'I trust you are not suggesting that I am in the habit of conjuring up smokescreens designed to befuddle or confuse anyone...'
Caroline Morris, 9 June 2020
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (part 1)
In #5241 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread, Caroline Morris sets out the supposed evidence behind the story of the supposed discovery by electricians under the floorboards of Battlecrease. In doing so, the reader is both befuddled and confused due to the absence of any referenced sources.
She starts by admitting that the electricians to whom Feldman spoke, 'didn't all tell exactly the same story, although certain elements were consistent' (which one might think is a little red flag). She then says:
'Those who did talk would have known - or could have checked - when electrical work was done in Battlecrease and what and who was involved, but nobody suggested the "old book" [as several of them have always referred to it] was found as recently as 1992.'
It's interesting that Caroline Morris says that 'it' was referred to as an 'old book' by which she means the Diary. But, if several of the electricians said an old book was found, why could this not actually have been an old book? After all, Vinny Dring once found TWO books (presumably old ones) in Battlecrease, beneath the wall panelling, when he did some work there in 1982 and threw them into a skip. So why does Caroline Morris assume that a reference to an 'old book' was a reference to the Jack the Ripper Diary? And if the electricians knew that what they were describing was a Jack the Ripper diary written in manuscript into a photograph album, why did they refer to it as a 'book'? We all know what a book is and it's not a large photograph album is it?
Later, Caroline Morris says that it's possible that Mike saw the 'old book' in the Saddle on Monday lunchtime and was 'hooked'.
So she's really linked this 'old book' with the Diary for her readers, so that it can't possibly anything else.
But who were these 'several' electricians who have always referred to the Diary as an 'old book'? Caroline Morris doesn't tell us. So let's look at the evidence of the electricians.
According to Feldman, Rigby told him that he had 'overheard two of his colleagues, during a tea break while working at the house, mentioning "something to do with Battlecrease"'. (Feldman, 1997 p.134). These are Feldman's words and Rigby is not directly quoted saying this (or identified) but Feldman then does quote him as saying 'I remember something being thrown out of the window of the room where we were working at Mr Dodd's house. It was put in a skip.' Even Smith (2017, p.24) notes that the two statements attributed to Rigby are inconsistent. But clearly Rigby did not mention either a book or an old book to Feldman.
Denied all knowledge of the Diary (Smith, 2017, p.24).
At a meeting in the Saddle pub in June 1993, Smith claims that Eddie told him that 'he had found a book under some floorboards at Battlecrease and had "thrown it into a skip"' (Smith, 2017, p.25). No mention of an 'old book'.
Claimed that in July 1992 Eddie Lyons said to Brian Rawes, "I found something under the floorboards and I don't know what to do about it." (Smith, 2017, p.25-26).
James Johnston asked him if he could recall any mention of "the book" being found in a biscuit tin with a gold ring and watch which he said he did because someone had told him this although he couldn't quite remember who (James Johnston, 6 December 2017, 'Acquiring' #172).
James Johnston told me on the Censorship Forum in December 2017 ('Acquiring', #172) that, "I am quite satisfied Brian is telling the truth, and that Eddie did inform him that he had discovered a book beneath the floorboards, which he thought could be important'.
James Johnston also very kindly provided me with a complete set of relevant extracts of his interviews with Brian Rawes (and, in some cases, their dates) as follows:
I remember we were working on the roof at Halewood Police Station and I just told Arthur that this Eddie Lyons told me that he found a book under the floorboards, and I was in a hurry to go and pick Arthur up and I said ‘the best thing you could do is to go and tell Colin Rhodes about it. Because, I didn’t know more about it, because I thought Colin Rhodes’ son would probably know about it as well, but apparently, he never said anything to his son about it. Then he said he took this book out and started reading it and he got in touch with someone else about the book. (6 February 2016)
What it was, it was a Friday afternoon, and Colin Rhodes asked me and Arthur to go to this house, and I didn’t know where the house was. So, Arthur took me down to the house. Arthur shot back off to Colin Rhodes and I went into the house and told them that I needed the van, we have to go [inaudible] for this, and I was reversing out of the driveway of the house, and this Eddie Lyons told me about he found this book under the floorboards and he didn’t know what to do with it, and I said that I’m in a hurry the best thing to do is to tell Colin Rhodes. Because as I say, I never thought too much of it because I knew Colin Rhodes’ son was there, so I thought probably he knew about it as well.(6 February 2016)
All he said was, as I say I was in a hurry and to be honest I wasn’t very interested you know, and he just said about a book underneath the floorboards and he said I don’t know what to do about it, and I said you best to tell Colin Rhodes.
He just said he found a book under the floorboards. (12 February 2016)
Yeah, yeah. Arthur went, I didn’t know where the house was, so Arthur took me in his car, and I went there to pick up the van. Then it was as I was reversing down the pathway, Eddie Lyons came down and told me that he’d found something under the floorboards, which was a book, because then I said to him, you better tell Rhodes. I said [inaudible]. No, I think he said it was at home or something. (12 February 2016)
Well, [inaudible] we went to Halewood Police Station, to do some overhanging lights, and while we were there, Arthur was on the ladder and I was on the roof, and I just turned around and said, that Eddie Lyons had told me he’d found something in the house which was important.
Yes. I reversed the van out of the house and the path right down, and he followed me down, Eddie Lyons, and as I said, it was a Friday, and [inaudible] Eddie Lyons told me ‘I’ve found something important'…’I think it’s important, under the floorboards.’
That is all the relevant known information obtained from the electricians. As can be seen, NOT A SINGLE ELECTRICIAN said that they recalled an 'old book' being found!
Yet, according to Caroline Morris, 'several' of them have 'always' referred to the diary as an 'old book'.
Can we work out where the concept of an 'old book' came from? I think we can. It's from Robert Smith's 2017 book, at page 26, where he says:
'I note that in Rawes's interview by researcher, James Johnston, on 6th February 2016, that "something" was now being described as "an old book".
This statement is quite false. As we can see from the actual extracts of Johnston's interview with Rawes on 6 February 2016, which Johnston himself posted on the Forum, Rawes never once mentioned 'an old book'. He just said 'a book'. And this, in any case, was what Lyons was supposed to have been telling him that he had found in July 1992, long after the Diary had been brought to London and cannot possibly be said, with any degree of confidence, to have been referring to the Diary, especially as Rawes doesn't appear to have known what Lyons was talking about.
So Caroline Morris' close friend, Robert Smith, included a false statement in his book about what was actually a book which Rawes was claiming that Eddie Lyons had told him about finding in July 1992 (although at other times Rawes just said that Lyons had told him that he had found 'something') and from that single mention of a book or something which can hardly have been the Diary, due the discovery appearing to have taken place in July 1992, Caroline Morris has built that up in her mind and, WITHOUT CHECKING and WITHOUT PROVIDING ANY SOURCES, has decided to introduce the notion of several electricians having ALWAYS referred to the diary as an 'old book' which can surely only end up befuddling and confusing her readers.
Welcome to the world of Diary Defending!
It's funny isn't it that, despite the Diary not being a book, the phrase, 'an old book', just happens to fit the Diary a little bit better than 'a book' which could have been a modern book. So Smith's mistake, which Caroline Morris has repeated, has by happy chance managed to strengthen the argument that the Diary was found under the floorboards of Battlecrease. What a stroke of luck! This, by the way, is from the person who angrily wrote to another member of the Censorship Forum, 'Hang on, Kattrup, who exactly are you accusing of spreading misinformation and making up facts?'. I suppose the answer was that SHE was being accused of spreading misinformation and making up facts.
We can also see that on two occasions Brian Rawes said that Eddie Lyons told him that he had found 'something' in the house while on other times he says he told him it was 'a book'. Which is correct? Both can't be. Well Caroline Morris has no doubt. As she told R.J. Palmer in #5329 of the Incontrovertible thread:
'Eddie told another electrician that he had found a book while working in the house which he thought could be 'important'.
So right there, once again, when there are two possibilities in the evidence, Caroline Morris plumps for the one which suits her. It is NOT certain by any means that Eddie told another electrician that he had found a book while working in the house. He might well have just said that he found something, unspecified.
But we've seen the befuddling and confusing in action as the possibility of 'something' having been said to have been found is ignored and we are told, as a fact, that it was a 'book' and then, when it suits, this becomes 'an old book' which, we are also told, is a description used by a number of electricians, even though not a single one has so far been identified!
And it doesn't stop there in the befuddling and confusing posts of Caroline Morris. For she also claims in #5241 that:
'If nothing had been found, none of them should have been able to describe a "parcel wrapped in brown paper" to Feldy, many months before Mike's story was published for the first time in Shirley's book'.
The correct technical term to describe this statement is: utter bollocks.
As usual, Caroline Morris doesn't reveal which electricians described a 'parcel wrapped in brown paper' but, by her use of 'none of them should have been able to', she suggests to the unwary that more than one of them did so.
Well the source of the 'parcel wrapped in brown paper' comes from Feldman who (knowing full well that Barrett had said that he had been given the Diary by Tony Devereux wrapped in brown paper with string tied around it) CLAIMED that a single electrician, Arthur Rigby, told him that he had once 'noticed a parcel wrapped in brown paper under the front passenger seat' when he was in a car with colleagues on a journey to Liverpool University (Feldman 2017, p134). Rigby is not directly quoted, though, and I am here quoting Feldman's summary of what he says he was told.
According to James Johnston, however, 'Arthur Rigby...claimed that the Diary had been wrapped in brown paper or an old pillow case and concealed between the front passenger seat of the vehicle before being removed from the premises' (Johnston, 'Acquiring' 25 November 2017 #136, underlining added, and see also Johnston, 2017, p.75). It will be noticed that the item in the brown paper OR the old pillow case has here magically become 'the Diary' although Rigby evidently never saw it or knew what it was.
So we now have a question mark over whether Rigby saw something in brown paper or in a pillow case. A pillow case is a rather strange thing to invent. If Rigby told Feldman that he saw brown paper OR a pillow case then Feldman evidently discarded the pillow case in his own account, thus appearing to strengthen the case that Rigby saw the Diary (even though many, many, things are wrapped in brown paper).
But there is good reason to doubt that there was any brown paper involved here at all.
According to Rigby's younger brother who was personally interviewed by James Johnston (underlining added):
'My brother never actually witnessed the finding of anything whilst he worked there. It was only the odd behaviour of the other two who went quiet in his presence and he saw them quickly put something in a pillow case or shopping bag under the seat as he approached...He told him his mother's dog had been ill and he was taking a sample of something to be examined.'
That quote comes from James Johnston's essay 'I've Found Something Beneath the Floorboards, I Think it Could be Important' in 'The Diary of Jack the Ripper: 25 Years of Mystery', which I have referred to above as 'Johnston, 2017' at page 77.
As we can see, in this version of the story there is NO BROWN PAPER BAG!!! It was either a pillow case or a shopping bag. Rigby only saw 'something' being put into it and he was told it was a sample from a dog being taken to get examined, about which there is no evidence to the contrary.
There was never any confirmation that the Diary was taken to Liverpool University. How could such a thing ever have been kept secret? That notion just looks like another Diary Defender fantasy.
All that's happened is that Rigby has searched his memory and recalled an innocent drive to Liverpool University to test a dog sample (or some other such irrelevant thing) which, when questioned by Feldman a year later, having been told all about the possibility of the Diary being discovered in Battlecrease, has now, in his mind, become a secret mission to get the Diary looked at by experts at the university.
I wouldn't mind but I've said all this before about the old book and the brown paper bag. For that reason I must remind readers of the golden rule:
No Orsam, No Comment!
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (part 2)
She's at it again. After asking Kattrup in #5253, 'Did your source offer any thoughts on the old glue Alec Voller found on top of the ink at one point in the diary, when he examined it in late 1995?', Caroline Morris then said in #5281:
'as I previously pointed out, Alec Voller observed the glue like staining in 1995 and indicated a dot of diary ink which is beneath the glue'.
Without access to a copy of the transcript of what Alec Voller actually said, it would be very easy to be befuddled and confused by this. Thankfully, from Shirley Harrison's 2003 book, we can read Voller's actual words (or at least some of them), which were (underlining added):
'Assuming this staining is glue...there you see a dot of ink which is beneath the blue so it's been there a very very long time. The glue does not have the feel of modern synthetic glue...'
So there we are. Despite Caroline Morris stating as a fact that there is some ink beneath some glue, we don't actually know that there was any glue involved here at all. It was an assumption on Voller's part.
We also don't know what kind of 'dot of ink' Voller was talking about. Was he saying some of the writing of the Diary is beneath some glue or was he talking about ink which isn't part of the Diary text but is elsewhere on the Diary?
I might add that we also don't quite know what Voller actually said in full because the above ellipses are all in the original, so that something has been omitted.
The point Caroline Morris is trying to make - which is presumably that the ink being beneath the glue shows that the Diary is old - doesn't make any sense. How or why would the author of the Diary - whether Maybrick or a Victorian forger - have written the Diary and then dropped some glue over a dot of ink? What would have been the purpose of using the glue after having written an entry in the Diary?
Even if Maybrick was writing his journal in an album containing photographs, the glue would already have been applied to those photographs, so how does Maybrick or the forger write something in the journal and have glue dropped over it?
Apart from the fact that we don't even know if it is glue, if it IS glue, all we have is Voller saying that it doesn't have the 'feel' of modern synthetic glue. But is Voller an expert on glue? I don't think so. As we now know, he doesn't even have a doctorate!
The point is that, if there is glue over the ink, or any part of it, it could just as easily have been applied by the Barretts as much as a Victorian forger or by Maybrick. How can we possibly tell?
In #5281 Caroline Morris seems to link the glue seen by Voller with the glue discovered on the Diary upon examination by Dr Baxendale. What did Baxendale say about that? Well, after noting that there was 'extensive staining' on the inside cover, the flysheet and the stubs where pages had been removed, Baxendale said:
'Those stains show a flourescence when viewed under ultra-violet light, and the heavier stains have the appearance of glue when viewed under a microscope. I have noted that some of the stained stubs are stuck together.'
He also said that he found a fragment of paper lodged in the binding which was different to the material of the pages and was 'coated in a glue like material'. He said this 'could well' be the torn edge of a small photograph. At the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999, Mike said that he 'missed' this fragment when he was cutting out the pages from the photograph album.
But it will be noted that Baxendale only came to the conclusion that the staining he saw had the appearance of glue when viewed under a microscope. Voller was examining the Diary with his naked eye and, according to Harrison, had been doing so for less then two minutes when he assumed that the staining he saw was glue.
But if he was speaking of the same glue as Baxendale, then he wasn't looking at anything on the pages of the Diary because Baxendale saw no staining there.
Does that mean that Voller was talking about staining on either the inside cover, the flysheet or the stubs? If there was a 'dot of ink' beneath that glue staining, how could Voller possibly have been in any kind of position to say that this was the same ink as the ink that had written the Diary?
This is also a typical Diary Defender tactic. I was arguing issues relating to the Diary for two years on the Forum and to the best of my recollection Caroline Morris said not a single word about this assumed glue. Now, in 2020 she suddenly becomes obsessed with it, mentioning it twice in a matter of days.
What's all that about?
Furthermore, her close friend, Robert Smith didn't think it was significant enough even to bother mentioning it in his 2017 or 2019 books. And in 25 years no-one even seems to have bothered to take a look at the assumed glue under a microscope, let alone had it tested!
It can only be another demonstration in how to (a) Befuddle and (b) Confuse.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 3)
Claim to have some new information which undermines the modern hoax theory even though it isn't new and doesn't.
Do not post the information but quote selectively from it.
In future posts, subtly shift the wording of the information you claim to have received.
Make an announcement on JTR Forums which starts with the words, 'In case anyone here is not aware...' and then go on to not reveal exactly what you've been told but claim that it means something other than it does.
Congratulations. You have now successfully befuddled and confused the entire internet.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 4)
Always be sure to misrepresent what your opponent is saying. Hence in the Incontrovertible thread (#5289) Caroline Morris says that all I, Lord Orsam, have to sustain me is:
'the tatty old belief in Bongo Barrett as the diary's creator'.
I have said time and time again, both when I was posting on the Forums and on this website, that I don't necessarily clam that Mike Barrett was the Diary's creator. I have said that he must have been involved in the creation of the Diary due to his attempts at obtaining a Victorian diary with blank pages.
But I have also said that the Diary could have been created entirely or in part by others.
It is remarkable from a psychological perspective how Caroline Morris simply never acknowledges the possibility that the Diary was created by both Mike and Anne Barrett. Or by Mike and Anne Barrett AND Tony Devereux, possibly with the assistance of Billy Graham. There might even have been others who contributed.
I've noted that there are certain quirky uses of language which match those of Mike Barrett which give us a clue that Mike was probably involved in the drafting but he doesn't have to have been the sole creator.
Caroline Morris, however, wants it to be thought I am saying that Barrett was the sole creator and then refers to him as 'Bongo' to make that sound ridiculous.
Until she is able to understand what the argument against her is she can't possibly begin to counter it.
But of course she is pretending not to read any of my articles which means that she doesn't have to respond to anything which she doesn't like and would find difficult to challenge.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 5)
State that your opponents don't have sufficient information (especially information which you are refusing to provide).
Caroline Morris points out (#5289 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread) that neither R.J. or myself have been 'personally involved in any of the lengthy and in-depth investigations into Portus and Rhodes and Colin Rhodes' team of electricians'.
Of course not but I vividly recall pressing James Johnston to release, in full, the transcripts of his interviews with the Portus and Rhodes electricians and, when I criticized him for refusing, he received support from none other than Caroline Morris who said he didn't need to!!!
So she deliberately wanted R.J. and myself kept in the dark.
Furthermore, I've lost count of how many times I've asked directly (both on the Forum and on this website) for the release of Keith Skinner's notes of his interview with Colin Rhodes but this has not happened. Instead, Caroline Morris quoted selectively from those notes.
So there's the trick. Withhold the information and then say to your opponents, 'You don't have sufficient information to comment'.
Honestly, that's what happening.
We see it in its full glory in #5503 when she tells Mike J.G. (#5503):
'You won't know all about the evidence right now, but it's thriving and getting stronger'.
How similar to her telling me prior to September 2017 about the secret evidence which proved the Diary came out of Battlecrease! She knows something we don't know! She knows something we don't know! Yeah, right. Given that she seems to think that the dud information from Martin Earl and Mike Litherland is important, we can safely assume that this 'thriving evidence' is just more garbage.
And we find Caroline Morris saying in #5289 that 'Lord O' is 'banished to his basement'. Does that remind you of anyone? Well it reminds me of Donald Trump saying that Joe Biden is hiding away in his basement. So a classic example of Caroline Morris using Donald Trump tactics. She is truly the Donald Trump of Diary Defending! Very appropriate too, since she spends her time cowering in her metaphorical bunker, hearing and seeing nothing, claiming not to know what I'm saying here, so that she doesn't have to respond to difficult issues which effectively prove the Diary to be a modern hoax.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 6)
The old misquoting trick so loved of the Clanger, or rather the trick of wrongly summarizing what an opponent has said, is taken on by Caroline Morris.
So in #80 we find this:
'We have R.J. Palmer and Lord Orsam himself to thank for Mr Litherland's recent observations. Palmer had recently reproduced what Orsam had written at some point about Mike's alleged photo album. R.J was seeking to argue that the reason Outhwaite & Litherland were never going to be able to trace it was not because it didn't exist outside of Mike's imagination, but because such an item would not have been itemised and described individually, but included in a job lot of miscellaneous items. This was what O&L had told Shirley when her understanding had been that Mike's claim involved an 'unremarkable empty album'.
I'm going to leave aside the irrelevant mention of Shirley Harrison's (unsourced) understanding of the item in question being 'an unremarkable empty album', despite Mike having been reported in the press in July 1994 as calling it 'an old photograph album', which is definitely what O&L understood it to have been because that's how Kevin Whay himself described it! What I want to focus on is Caroline Morris' claim that R.J. was seeking to argue that O&L 'were never going to be able to trace it...because such an item would not have been itemised and described individually, but included in a job lot of miscellaneous items'.That does not properly state the argument. The actual argument was twofold, namely that O&L would never have found the photograph album because (a) they didn't search their records for 1992 and (b) it would, in any event, have been described as 'miscellaneous'. The primary point being made in my article was that they didn't search the records of the correct year. Hence, I stated in the article from which R.J. was quoting (with respect to Keith Skinner's 1999 interview of Mike) that:
'Keith Skinner had failed to take into account that the alleged sale date in Mike's 1995 affidavit was given as January or February 1990 so that a search through O&L's files on the years either side of that date would only have covered 1989 and 1991 but not 1992 which is when Mike was saying he went to Outhwaite & Litherland to acquire the black ledger. So that was unfair to Mike Barrett because he was being told that the files had been checked for the relevant period when they had not, in fact, been checked.'
It was only after this that I noted that a second problem was the 'miscellaneous items' issue so that 'even a search in the correct year would not have revealed the sale of the photo album (or ledger or scrapbook)'. Thus, to repeat, the 'miscellaneous items' point was a secondary point, the primary point was that O&L were not searching in the correct year.
Kevin Whay said the records were searched either side of the dates mentioned in Mike's affidavit which were January and February 1990 making it almost certain that the records for 1992 were not searched.
So the first thing for a Diary Defender to do is to establish that the records for 1992, were searched otherwise the entire point relating to 'miscellaneous' items, about which Caroline Morris has become so exercised, is irrelevant.
But she has failed to do that. She doesn't mention anything about it. Her source has evidently let her down! Instead, she does something very strange. She seems to think that the point about the 1992 records is all about who was to blame for those records not being searched. Thus she says (#80 in the 'Two off' thread on JTR Forums):
'A new search by O&L, based on the detailed description in the affidavit, also came up empty, although it was argued by Palmer that all concerned should have known that Mike was out by two years when he stated he was sure the auction was in early 1990. Shirley and co should have been psychic and known he really meant the end of March 1992, because he put the purchase - and rejection - of the little red diary before the auction where he obtained the photo album.'
I read this as an admission from Caroline Morris that the records for 1992 were NOT searched. And she is quite right about her psychic point. Shirley and O&L cannot have been expected to have been psychic and known that, when the affidavit stated that the Diary was purchased in January or February 1990, Mike was really referring to March 1992. One could argue (as perhaps R.J. does) that O&L should have been more thorough and searched all their auction records prior to April 1993 but that's neither here nor there.
And Caroline Morris is totally wrong to say 'everyone else but my cat has been blamed by Orsam and Palmer for not being psychic'. I've never blamed anyone for not searching the 1992 records. I've just pointed out that they were not searched. It was Caroline Morris, in her extreme defensive and paranoid state, who thought that this implied criticism and negligence on the part of Keith Skinner! As far as I'm concerned, that's not the issue here at all. Who cares whether O&L or the researchers were or were not to blame for the correct records not being searched?
The whole point is that the 1992 records were not, in fact, searched.
So we don't even need to go down the road of whether the photograph album would or would not have been described as 'miscellaneous'. If the records for 1992 weren't searched, and Caroline Morris doesn't appear to dispute that they weren't (because, as she says, O&L weren't psychic), then the issue of the 'miscellaneous' items could not be more irrelevant.
Yet, she babbles on about what Litherland has said about the 'miscellaneous' items as if it is of any importance. If, as she seems to accept, the records searched by O&L were for 1990 and possibly 1991, nothing purchased at an auction in March 1992 would have been found during the search, whether it was described as a photograph album or not.
Amazingly she reproduces the entire part of Mike Barrett's affidavit which was provided to Mr Litherland but does NOT give us Mr Litherland's full response. Just selected extracts! Is she hiding something?
The only point of any small relevance that she has extracted from Litherland (although I personally refuse to accept ANYTHING without seeing his full response) is that, if Mike had won the auction, 'he wouldn't have paid £50 because there would have been a buyer's premium added of either 5% or 10%'. Aside from the fact that the quote is Caroline Morris' own summary of what Litherland has supposedly said, it is very odd that he doesn't know whether the premium was 5% or 10%. Are we just supposed to rely on his memory of what O&L's practice might have been in 1992?
Anyway, if Mike went to pay for his item with his £50 and was then told he needed to pay an extra £2.50 as a premium, big deal. It doesn't prove or disprove anything. He could easily have forgotten about this by 1994/95. It would just have been a case of digging some small change out of his pocket.
Caroline Morris has got nowhere. Frankly, she hasn't even proved that the photograph album would NOT have been recorded in O&L's records as a miscellaneous item. As mentioned in the main section of the ninth edition of 'Lord Orsam Says...', we've also finally got confirmation (according to Ms Morris) that Litherland 'didn't personally remember looking for a ledger or a notebook' containing the photographs. So what use has his information been? None, I would suggest.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 7)
As we've already seen, when it comes to befuddling and confusing, one of the most important weapons in the befuddler's armory is the ability to say "I know something you don't know".
When I started posting on the subject in the Forum back in 2016, and Caroline Morris could see the danger I was posing to her Battlecrease theory, one of the first things I was told was that there was some secret information of which I wasn't aware that would effectively end the debate.
That turned out to be the damp squib of a single timesheet.
But she's still at it four years later. Thus she told R.J. Palmer in #5329
'you still think you have all the pieces you need to report and interpret this accurately, and throw it all out without waiting to learn if there was a baby in the bath water. I'm fully aware you do not have all the material at your fingertips, but so should you be by now. New information is coming in all the time, which adds another piece of the same puzzle.'
Students of Diary Defenders will appreciate how carefully crafted that sentence was. She was saying both that R.J. doesn't have all the information that exists (because it is being withheld!) and also that he doesn't have all the information that will emerge in the future!!! But she doesn't really make clear what information she is talking about, of which R.J. is unaware, whether existing now or in the future, or how R.J. can possibly know about it if he is unaware of it!
If you follow her logic to its natural conclusion, no-one should be offering any opinion about the Diary because some new 'information' might emerge tomorrow. It doesn't matter if it is relevant or important information, just information, apparently.
We've already seen (in 'Lord Orsam Says...') her attempts to befuddle and confuse the boards with her claim that Martin Earl and Mike Litherland have produced some significant information when they have done no such thing.
As for other information, it's worth repeating that I pressed James Johnston repeatedly to produce the full transcripts of his interviews with the electricians and he refused, with the active and vocal support of none other than Caroline Morris.
I've called for the release of the transcript prepared by the Barretts and her friend, Keith Skinner, after promising to release it, reneged on that promise, despite accepting that meaning could be gleaned from that transcript, with Caroline Morris having offered excuses as to why that promise wasn't kept.
So she participates in and encourages the deliberate withholding of information and then tells her critics that they don't have all the information!!! I mean, seriously.
Well, as far as I'm concerned, I have plenty of information. Any new information that has emerged since 2016 has been entirely consistent with Mike Barrett having forged the Diary.
Caroline Morris can't keep playing the game of "I know something you don't know". After the timesheet fiasco of 2017 it is sounding very hollow.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 8)
It's important for any Diary Defender, in their endless attempts to befuddle and confuse, to master the art of talking nonsense.
Here's a great example, from #5342 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread:
'There was only one good reason for Mike to deny, in 1993, that the diary was stolen from Battlecrease, and that's if it was.'
She is literally saying that if the diary wasn't stolen from Battlecrease in 1993 it would have been sensible for Mike to have LIED and said it was!!! And, at the same time, for him to have given Paul Dodd 5% of everything he made from the Diary which was the deal being offered (something Caroline Morris forgets to mention here). And presumably Eddie Lyons would have been paid off too for lying about his discovery and keeping his mouth shut.
She doesn't mention that the deal was that the Diary was going to be said to be found in Battlecrease by Eddie in 1989. Something that would have been disproved in five seconds once the records of Portus & Rhodes were checked and it was discovered that Eddie wasn't even working for them in 1989 and that no electrical work was done in Battlecrease that year.
And then let's turn it around. If the Diary had been stolen from Battlecrease in 1992 and Mike was being offered a deal whereby the owner was going to forgive the theft in return for 5%, thereby giving the Diary an utterly amazing provenance, with the actual genuine finder (Eddie) being prepared to swear that he had found it in Battlecrease, why the bloody hell didn't Mike bite Feldman's arm off and take the deal?
All the worries about the Diary having been stolen would now have been over. Mike could have made his millions from the Diary being the genuine diary of Jack the Ripper and he would only have had to give up 5% of those millions. He wouldn't have had all the stress about telling the lie that he'd received it from Tony Devereux. It was perfect for him. Yet he refused it.
As we've seen, critical thinking is not one of Caroline Morris' strong points.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 9)
Every Diary Defender needs to dish out a large dollop of hypocrisy in their never ceasing efforts to befuddle and confuse.
Thus, after affecting OUTRAGE at the idea that R.J. Palmer had dared to suggest that the Great and Holy Keith Skinner, Blessed Be His Name (Amen), might have attempted to 'fit up' someone, her very next move is to suggest, out of the blue, that poor old innocent Lord Orsam has fitted up Mike Barrett!
Thus, in #5437 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread she moves effortlessly from 'RJ must be desperate indeed to accuse Keith of ever compromising his high standards to...suit some preconceived scenario', through,'This is not only an attack on Keith's integrity, but an insult to all those who have benefited greatly from working alongside him [she then names Stewart Evans and Martin Fido but she really means herself]', rounding up with, 'It is a cheap shot from the gutter' BEFORE immediately, and without seeing the irony, double standards or hypocrisy, saying:
'The hypocrisy is stunning, when I think of the blatant and deliberate fitting up of Mike Barrett. Orsam had to have him attending an auction on 31st March 1992, and no other day...I don't see a single word of criticism aimed Orsam's way for his shameless fitting up of Mike on the evidence to fit the desired conclusion.'
Now, if you are reading this and you can't see the blatant hypocrisy in Caroline Morris expressing outrage at R.J. supposedly accusing Keith Skinner of 'fitting up' the electricians or the Grahams while in the next breath accusing ME of 'fitting up' Mike Barrett then you actually are Caroline Morris.
But it's even worse that this. If it could truly be said that I was involved in 'fitting up' Mike Barrett then fine, at least there would have been some element of sensible basis to what she was saying, but my theory entirely matches what Mike Barrett himself has said about what he did!!! How can you possibly fit someone up by suggesting they did something which they have actually freely admitted to doing? It makes no freaking sense!!
At the Cloak & Dagger club on 10 April 1999, from his own mouth, came the words:
'Ill tell you this now. Doreen Montgomery. And this is very clever. This is extremely clever. Now, you can check your facts...I did contact her...I said I think I've got the diary of Jack the Ripper here, do you understand? Doreen fell for it left, right and centre. So all I had to do was come out and find the Diary of Jack the Ripper and write it. It took me eleven days flat to write...if she wouldn't have believed the con, I would never have carried on with the con. She believed it, so therefore I said to myself, right, Outhwaite & Litherlands. Right, okay. Now Outhwaite & Litherlands, right, Mr Kevin Whay and I hope everyone is taking this -'
At this point in his flow, Mike was interrupted by Keith Skinner who, with his famously brilliant interviewing technique, decided to cut Mike short and go back to ask him (repeatedly) about why he had told Doreen of the effect that the Diary had on his family. Why that question couldn't have waited until Mike finished his story I have no idea but we've already seen Mike say three key things:
1. When he first contacted Doreen Montgomery the Diary did not exist.
2. After he contacted Doreen Montgomery he went to Outhwaite & Litherland.
3. The Diary was written in eleven days.
Eventually, once Mike was allowed to continue speaking, he was forced to recap the story and said the following:
'So I'm saying to myself, whoopsie daisy, I'm gonna write myself out of trouble here. And I mean literally out of trouble...So what I've done is phoned Doreen Montgomery...Right now I've sold it over the phone...So I get a red ledger...The red ledger is, if you understand me, is so small, it's untrue. And I thought to myself oh sugarlumps...It is a Victorian diary but I thought to myself "no good"...So I said to myself whoopsie daisy. I've just gone and sold the idea to Doreen Montgomery. Now I've got to produce the goods. Now I'm stuck...all I've got is a little red diary...So I turn round and go to Outhwaite & Litherland....fifty pounds...Cash. On the nail...I had the £50 in my pocket.'
So there he basically repeated what he's already said, exactly the same as he first said it. In March 1992 he contacted Doreen Montgomery THEN he obtained a genuine Victorian diary (which he couldn't use) THEN he went out and purchased the photograph album at Outhwaite & Litherland.
Then, in respect of the creation of the Diary:
'Anne wrote it. It's in her handwriting...You remember that...She carried on with the fraud...'
So how could R.J. Palmer in any rational world be criticized for not criticizing me for 'fitting up' Mike Barrett?
No, seriously, please could someone tell me? How can anyone in their right mind - by which I mean not medically certified insane - categorize me as having 'fitted up' Mike Barrett when I have done no more than set out a sequence of events that Mike himself, unprompted, and from his own mouth, has publicly stated in a consistent fashion eight years after the event? And he had said exactly the same thing over a lunch to Ripperologists the day before!
I might add that he essentially said exactly the same thing in his affidavit of 5 January 1995 once we adjust the chronology to account for errors in dating.
Yet, it's not as if I'm relying in any way on what Mike said. My theory has always been based on the documented FACT of Mike seeking to acquire a genuine Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992. I didn't even know Mike had said ANY of the above in 1999 when I first posted my theory four years ago.
If Caroline Morris is allowed to get away with this kind of utter nonsense about someone who she knows cannot respond in the Forum, either directly or through my small army of non-existent proxies, then it's no wonder that her good friend Jonathan Menges, an active participant in the notorious Tumblety thread of May 2018, decided to report that thread to his other good friend Ally Ryder, and accuse me of badgering Caroline Morris, which allegation was outrageously posted by Ryder, leading to my inevitable resignation from the Forum.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 10)
We haven't finished yet with Caroline Morris' post #5347 and her efforts to befuddle and confuse.
Firstly, we have this statement:
'Orsam had to have him [Mike] attending an auction on 31st March 1992, and no other day, or he knew the Barrett hoax would fall apart like a cheap suit'.
This isn't actually true. In my very post on the subject, on 19 September 2016 (#1946 of 'Incontrovertible' thread), I said that the known facts tell a curious story and that, 'If Barrett went to an O&L auction on or about 28 March 1992 to purchase a scrapbook it would be even curiouser'. That remains my position today. On or about 28 March.
Furthermore, I am also on record as saying that Mike could have attended an earlier auction such as the one on Tuesday 24th March. He MIGHT have decided that if Martin Earl couldn't source a diary for him he should keep his options open and go hunting at auctions. Despite buying the photograph album, he MIGHT nevertheless have agreed to purchase the little red diary to give him another option due to the fact that he needed to suspiciously cut a large number of pages from the front of the photograph album (and surely only an idiot would accept as genuine a Diary with pages cut out from the front, no offence Iconoclast).
Now, I appreciate that this wouldn't match what Mike said in April 1999, nor in his affidavit, where he made clear that he purchased the scrapbook only after receiving the red diary. But I was told repeatedly by Caroline Morris that Mike was a liar and we can't believe a word he says. Therefore, when formulating my theory I was careful not to take Mike's word for anything. Hence, if I was searching the records of O&L, I would personally want to search the records of every auction in March 1992 and even any in early April.
But, of course, I happen to think that the most likely auction that Mike would have gone to - and certainly the one which fits the story of his affidavit and the story he told in April 1999 - is the one that we know took place on 31 March 1992 because that perfectly fits the timescale of eleven days in creating the Diary which is said to have been the case in Mike's 1995 affidavit and which he repeated in April 1999.
I might add that this is also based on the fact that O&L held an auction every Tuesday. I'm not aware of any others but Caroline Morris claims that a little birdie in the form of Mr Litherland has told her there were other special auctions conducted by O&L such as a collectors cavalcade sale and an antique and collectors sale although she's provided no evidence whatsoever that this was the case in 1992. However, if there was a special auction held on Saturday, 28 March, or Monday, 30 March, this would perfectly fit my theory too. So it's simply not correct for Caroline Morris to stress that 'no other day' would work. It's just plain wrong.
Not that it even matters because there is absolutely no evidence that Mike couldn't have purchased the scrapbook at the O&L auction on 31 March so Caroline Morris' claim that no other day would work is very strange. I only need Mike to have bought the scrapbook on one day!!! And he must have done.
Secondly, we have Caroline Morris once again repeating the trope that:
'Mike himself felt 'sure' he got the photo album from O&L in January 1990, but that didn't work with the red diary being ordered to accommodate Maybrick's memoirs'.
Yet, Mike clearly didn't say he was sure he got the photo album from O&L in January 1990 when addressing the Cloak & Dagger Club in April 1999 (nor the previous day at the lunch). So what's happened there? Are we supposed to seriously believe that, four years after his affidavit, Mike has actually sat down and worked out that he needed to adjust his chronology in order to tell a coherent but still false story? I don't think so somehow. Mike was not a sitting-down-and-thinking-about-it kind of guy. I'm sure Caroline Morris would agree.
As for the obsession that Caroline Morris has with the January 1990 date in an affidavit which was typed by Alan Gray and almost certainly drafted by him, not by Mike, I guess I need to post, once again, an image of an amended version of Mike's affidavit, with errors corrected, which I assume was amended by Alan Gray:
We can see that 'January 1990' has been amended to 'January 1991'.
Similarly the dates of 'January, February 1990' have been amended to 'January, February 1991'.
And 'This all happened late January 1990' has become 'This all happened late January 1991'.
For comparison purposes we can see that other obvious errors have been corrected so that it is now stated that Devereux died in early June 1991, not 1990 as stated in the signed affidavit.
Devereux actually died in August 1991 but Gray might not have known the correct month.
Another obvious dating error that was corrected was the claim in the second paragraph that Mike had been attempting to expose the fraud 'since December 1993'. The month of December has been crossed out and 1993 corrected to 1994 so that it reads, 'Since 1994 I have been trying...to expose the fraud...'.
Funny how we never hear Caroline Morris insisting that Mike claimed that Tony died in June 1990 or that he was claiming to have attempted to expose the Diary since December 1993. These are obvious errors that have crept into the Diary (no doubt because Mike was wobbly on dates in the first place, and we have a case of Chinese Whispers with Alan Gray) in exactly the same way as 'January 1990' is an obvious error for the date of creation of the Diary.
Now, while January 1991 is STILL wrong, it needs to be borne in mind that Mike appears to have believed in 1994 that he first brought the completed Diary to London at some point in 1991. Alan Gray would surely have seen the press cutting from the Liverpool Daily Post in which Mike actually said this. That being so, Gray would never in a million years have even considered that the visit to O&L and the creation of the scrapbook could have happened in 1992. I mean, he would have had to have been literally mental to have thought so and included it in the affidavit. It was, literally, an impossible date.
It's also obvious to me that Alan Gray didn't appreciate that Mike hadn't yet created the Diary when he first spoke to Doreen Montgomery about it. Even if he had, he evidently had no idea WHEN Mike first spoke to Doreen Montgomery (which was, of course, on 9 March 1992) and he equally had no idea that Mike only acquired the red Victorian diary on 28 March 1992. Had he known these two dates he would have twigged very quickly that there was something badly wrong with the chronology in the affidavit. But he didn't know those dates and, let's face it, there was little chance that a drunken (or even sober) Mike was going to be of assistance with a chronology. He wouldn't have had a clue about the dates of events. We all know people who get dates muddled up and Mike was certainly such a person. He would have needed either documents or someone like Anne to tell him when things happened. But Anne was gone and he obviously didn't have documentation at hand to check anything, including the factual story of the acquisition of the red diary (something which must have been a real problem for Gray).
It's time for Caroline Morris to stop referring perversely to the January 1990 date. If she wants to say that the affidavit wrongly attributed the date of the visit to O&L and the creation of the diary to January 1991 then fine, but she also needs to acknowledge that it was perfectly possible that Mike (and Gray) could easily have muddled the chronology by about a year.
The third thing I want to pick up from CM's #5347 is this statement:
'We now know that Mike ordered the tiny 1891 diary - useless for forgery purposes - when he knew it was a tiny 1891 diary.'
Well, no, we don't know that actually. Not a jot of evidence has been provided that Mike was ever told that the diary was 'tiny'. That is a word Caroline Morris has invented and now slipped into her post as if it is an established fact.
We haven't even seen any evidence that Mike was told it was a 'small' diary. We certainly haven't been given any evidence that Mike was given the actual dimensions.
But even if we go along with Caroline Morris' speculation and accept that Mike was told by Martin Earl that the diary was 'tiny', where does that get us? If Mike was told that he had the chance to acquire a tiny but completely blank Victorian diary, might he not still have gone ahead with the purchase? After all, until he sees it with his own eyes, he can't really say whether he could fit the text into it can he? And he didn't need to fit the entire text as we have it today. All those silly poems could have been omitted without any loss of narrative drama (and indeed many of the poems don't even seem to emerge from the narrative).
But perhaps the most important problem with the red diary was that it had the year 1891, and all the dates from that year, printed on each page. Now, I appreciate that the reason given in Mike's affidavit for why he couldn't use the diary was because it was too small, and that's what he also suggested in April 1999, but, in my view, that's just what he remembers about it while having forgotten that it ALSO wasn't suitable because of the printed date problem. Again, we shouldn't rely on what Mike says just because he says it. He was confused about loads of stuff and I'm sure if he had been re-united with the red diary in order to refresh his memory he would have noticed that it was both too small and impossible to convert to an 1888/89 diary.
Finally, have you ever asked yourself why Caroline Morris hasn't produced Keith Skinner's note of his conversation with Martin Earl? Have you wondered why only snippets have been released? Because, after all, when it came to the Sphere diary saga the same person was giving us Keith's notes in their entire unedited form.
Well I'll tell you why. It's because without any doubt Keith asked Earl if he could remember what he said to Mike about the red diary in 1992 and Earl said that he couldn't remember a thing. The best he could do is tell Keith that his normal practice was to talk a customer through the purchase to ensure that they knew what they would be getting. But, in this case, it seems clear that Earl didn't even want to speculate as to what he thinks he would have told Mike about the book.
Caroline Morris has nothing, in other words. She's tried to put a brave face on it with a partial quote from Earl which, as we saw in 'Lord Orsam Says...', she's built up to something bigger than it actually is, but Earl has been of no actual assistance in terms of what he could recall from 1992. My theory about what happened remains unscathed despite the best efforts of Keith Skinner, James Johnston, Robert Smith and Caroline Morris over the past four years. After all, you can't prove that something which happened didn't happen. Not unless you resort to befuddling and confusing of course!
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 11)
No self-respecting Diary Defender, or perhaps I should, more accurately, say, no self-loathing Diary Defender, misses an opportunity to try and present a picture of what happened during the 1990s which is the exact opposite of the truth.
Look at this question which I promise you was actually asked by Caroline Morris in #5347 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread:
'What evidence is there that Mike was interested in money anyway?'
Yeah what evidence was there that someone with a criminal conviction for mugging an old lady was interested in money?
The reason behind the question shows the total inability of Caroline Morris to understand human behaviour, despite appearing to think she is an expert in the subject and can explain all actions through the power of deep thought.
She says that Mike 'turned down thousands for the diary' then handed it to Robert Smith for £1. But this is the same logical trap that those who claim that Albert Johnson wasn't interested in money because he once turned down an offer to sell his watch fall into. The reason in both cases is obviously that Mike and Albert turned down deals because they were hoping for more money in future.
Sure, Mike could have sold the Diary to Feldman in March 1993 for £15,000 but I'm sure he was being told (by Smith) that if he did so he would lose a huge sum of future royalties because Feldman's plan (according to Smith) was to ditch Shirley Harrison and write the book himself. In the end, Mike received more than double the £15,000 he would have got from Feldman. He was no fool! Perhaps Caroline Morris is.
The only other evidence provided by Caroline Morris that Mike might not have been interested in money was the fact that he 'proceeded to piss all his royalties up against the wall'. But that's not evidence of someone not interested in money!! It's evidence of someone who needs lots of it!
But let's go back to that extraordinary question:
'What evidence is there that Mike was interested in money anyway?'
Between 29 July 1992 and 12 May 1994 Mike received well over £30,000 from the Diary. But he wasn't happy with that. The Sunday Times had exposed the Diary as a fake and the massive sums in the hundreds of thousands that he might have been hoping for weren't now going to happen.
As we know, in July he confessed to forging the Diary.
In August 1994, Mike instructed solicitors 'in respect of outstanding monies due to [him] from Smith Gryphon Limited'.
On his royalty statement for 13 September 1994 Mike should have received £26,609 but, after deduction of legal and other expenses and commission, the statement said, 'Due Nil'. He received nothing.
By this stage Anne, who was in the process of divorcing him, had instructed solicitors who were pressing for information about the state of Mike's finances. They wanted any future royalties from the Diary to be sent to a designated joint deposit account controlled by the respective solicitors of Mike and Anne. But there wasn't much more money coming in.
On 27 September, based on information from Feldman, Anne's solicitors were expecting a payment from Feldman to Doreen Montgomery of £12,000 and wanted to know what would happen with it. Mike wrote on the letter, 'This is a bloody lie. Check with Doreen and Feldman. Feldman using you. A couple of calls will prove it'.
Inside Story tells us that Mike was recorded by Alan Gray on 24 October 1994 as saying he was 'a victim of exploitation' (p.147). He was then meeting with solicitors to discuss 'the royalties he believes he has been denied'. Mike was, at this stage, also trying to sell his story to a journalist from the Independent. On 31 October, Barrett's solicitors wrote to Smith Gryphon claiming that the publishers were 'withholding royalties from their client' (Inside Story, p.148). Barrett told Gray that the publishers were 'taking me to the cleaners' (Inside Story, p.148)
On 25 November 1994, Mike did receive one more payment of £3,627 but he had spent everything he had already received and was broke.
As at 28 November 1994, Mike was £3,148.80 overdrawn, with his bank threatening to refer his debt to credit reference agencies.
On 19th December 1994, in anticipation of receiving £70,000, which he understood Robert Smith would be paying him in June 1995 for the film rights from New Line Cinema, Mike wrote:
'I do want this money...'
Here is that letter in full:
It won't surprise anyone to know that Alan Gray had a hand in this and almost certainly typed it. I don't think I have a copy of the enclosed draft letter but it was probably some daft attempt to get Smith to compromise himself.
On 20 December 1994, Mike should have received £3,627 from Smith Gryphon but the actual amount he received was again 'nil' after deduction of expenses.
Mike swore an affidavit on 5 January 1995 admitting to the forgery. Four days later, on 9 January, Mike's lawyers wrote to him to say, 'I would advise that no further Affidavits or statements are made by you in the future as you will kill the golden goose'.
Although, as I have said, Mike had received well in excess of £30,000 prior to the end of May 1994, and possibly as much as £40,000, the golden goose was not at that moment laying any golden eggs. On 17 January 1995, Mike's solicitors wrote to the Legal Aid Board saying, 'We are instructed by our client that he has no income whatsoever and is presently liaising with the DSS for monies in view of the fact that he is existing on handouts from various relatives.'
Meanwhile, Mike's divorce proceedings were in progress. His motive in swearing an affidavit on 5 January might well have been to get back at Anne and/or somehow prevent the divorce from going ahead.
The point here is that in the second half of 1994 and early 1995 Mike was receiving virtually no income from the Diary. Any income he was due to receive was potentially going into a joint account with his wife. Mike learnt by letter from Robert Smith dated 13 January 1995 that he would not, in fact, be paid £70,000 in June, just a small share of that money.
Mike had also been very annoyed about various deductions to all kinds of people, experts, consultants etc. and by Shirley Harrison's own expense deductions (see pages 201-204 of Inside Story). But his overriding anger appears to have been that his wife wanted a share of the income during the divorce proceedings. According to Inside Story, p.191, he wrote to Doreen Montgomery at the end of March 1995 saying, 'If Anne wants half the money from him, she has a lot to prove. Otherwise she will have to fight him in court.'
I suggest it's ludicrous to say that Mike didn't care about money. His whole life in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 was centered around money and the income he was receiving from Smith Gryphon. But, of course, he also had other motives, such as his hatred towards his wife and a desire to prevent HER from getting her hands on his money even if he had to cut off his own nose to spite his face.
Nevertheless, by about July 1995 the prospect of a film based on the Diary, starring a famous lead actor as Maybrick/Jack, was very much alive and Mike duly fell back in line and gave an interview on Radio Merseyside in September denying that he'd ever even signed an affidavit confessing to the forgery. Anne also gave an interview on the same station about how the Diary had been in her family for generations and how she'd given it to Tony to give to Mike prior to August 1991, something Caroline Morris (and now Iconoclast) will tell us was all a terrible pack of lies.
By February 1996, however, it was evident that the film wasn't going to happen and Mike wrote to Anne 'saying that he wanted half his money back' (Inside Story, page 210). As late as January 1997 Mike 'remained angry at the deductions that were still being taken from his royalties' (Inside Story, p.222). Doreen wrote to him to say that by this stage he had received in excess of £60,000.
By 1999 there was no more money in the game and Mike told the truth at the Cloak & Dagger club in April.
What did he say at the Cloak & Dagger club?
'I had a hell of a mortgage. And the mortgage was getting rather heavy...I only had £600 at the time. £600 wasn't enough to pay the mortgage...so I thought to myself...I'll write myself out of it...I'm gonna write myself out of trouble here...So where's all the money Robert if you don't mind me asking?...Where's all my money? I haven't had a penny.'
I think we can safely say that there is sufficient evidence that Mike cared about money.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 12)
At #5393 Caroline Morris sets out four points which are, she claims, all that remains in terms of circumstantial evidence 'to bury the Barretts'. Let's go through them together one by one:
'Orsam's awesome auction on March 31st 1992, for which there is not a shred of evidence - yet - that an album full of WWI photos was in the sale, or was sold to a Mr Williams for £50.'
One can only admire the tactics of a Diary Defender saying that 'there is not a shred of evidence' to support Mike's claim that he bought the photograph album at the auction on 31 March 1992 in circumstances where the records of that auction were never searched and have now been destroyed! That's why there's no evidence!
Keith Skinner could have requested that the 1992 records be searched back in 1994 when Mike first made his claim that he purchased the album at O&L in July of that year. He then had another chance in 1997, when he first learnt of Mike's affidavit, but he didn't. Nor did he, apparently, go back to O&L after the Cloak & Dagger club meeting in April 1999 when Mike told him to get the records searched properly. If I recall correctly, R.J. did contact O&L some years ago but by then they told him that all their records from 1992 had been destroyed.
So the evidence that Caroline Morris is talking about here cannot possibly be obtained.
What we do know as a fact, however, is that an auction DID take place at O&L on 31 March 1992.
We also know from Kevin Whay that there were no checks carried out on buyers, so that it would have been easy for Mike to have called himself Mr Williams.
There is not a shred of evidence that an old photograph album was NOT sold that day by O&L for £50 to a Mr Williams.
That's the first point dealt with.
'Mike's Sphere volume 2, which is not one of the volumes he claimed to have had since 1989. There is no evidence - yet - that there was another volume 2 which had ever been in his possession. You have suggested he could have lost or destroyed this piece of evidence, presumably before he realised he could have used it to support his forgery claim.'
Talk about befuddling and confusing! I have no idea where Caroline Morris' claim comes from that volume 2 wasn't one of the volumes Mike claimed to have had since 1989. Is she seriously saying that Mike was able to list, by number, the volumes he had in his possession?
According to 'Inside Story', Sphere Books had sent 'several volumes' from their literary criticism series to Mike in 1989 (p.145). It is stated that Mike put them in the attic and forgot about them. During the summer of 1994 he lent them to Jenny's teenage son. I have no idea why Caroline Morris seems to think that this excludes volume 2.
'The tiny 1891 diary, which Mike would not have ordered to accommodate Maybrick's fake memoirs unless he was a total moron.'
Let's leave aside that we are always told by Caroline Morris that Mike WAS a complete moron, she hasn't given us any reason why Mike would not have thought he could accommodate Maybrick's fake memoirs into that diary BEFORE HE SAW IT. Until she does that her point cannot stand.
Next, and final one...
'And now a copy of TALES OF LIVERPOOL which had no distinguishing marks to make it evidence of anything at all. Totally happy to accept Tony's daughter's recollection as accurate, but there is nothing to show whether Mike had even read this particular copy before Tony's daughter saw it and asked to borrow it. And I do wonder why Tony would have casually let his daughter borrow a book which he and Bongo had used to create the Maybrick diary, with Bongo's wife and father-in-law as their fellow conspirators.'
What a lot of waffle. So her position appears to be that Mike owned a book (i.e. 'it belongs to Bongo' according to Tony's daughter) which contained a chapter about Maybrick and which he lent to his friend Tony yet there is 'nothing to show that Mike had ever read this particular copy'. I mean, honestly! What kind of evidence does she want? Fingerprints on the pages?
Mike owned the flipping book and lent it to a mate.
Then we have the usual nonsense from that quarter wondering why Tony would have allowed his own daughter to borrow the book. I mean, good grief! Nothing could be less problematic or easier to figure out. Why would a father lend his daughter a book? Jeeezuz Christ. It gives me flashbacks to my time on the Forum when she would raise mad objections like this every day and I had to waste my time responding to them.
Amazingly, though, in those four points she has omitted the most important piece of circumstantial evidence of all: the advertisement in the Bookseller of 19 March 1992 asking on Mike's behalf for a genuine Victorian diary from the 1880s with blank pages. She's just omitted it from the list as if it wasn't the one thing I've been going on about repeatedly for four years.
Does she think that the smallness and uselessness of the red diary IN ANY WAY negates the critical importance of the wording of the advertisement????
It's just one more classic example of how to befuddle and confuse.
List the four key bits of circumstantial evidence against you but omit the most important one!!!!
Just stick your head in the sand and maybe the danger won't be there when you emerge!
I mean, seriously guys, seriously.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 13)
According to Caroline Morris (#5446):
'And without knowing anything about the 1891 diary, or the fact that it was priced at £25, one of the electricians claimed, in December 1992, that Jack the Ripper's diary had been sold in an Anfield pub for the same amount of money'.
I don't know how to describe this statement other than being without truth.
You can see that the electrician isn't identified, which should raise a red flag, but she tells us here AS A FACT that an electrician stated in December 1992 that Jack the Ripper's diary had been sold in an Anfield pub for £25.
The only published story which is similar to this is the story in Robert Smith's 2017 book that Alan Davies supposedly told Alan Dodgson 'close to Christmas 1992' in the APS shop in Bootle that the diary COULD BE acquired by Dodgson's boss, Tim Martin-Wright, for ABOUT £25, if he wanted it, but that when he (Davies) subsequently attempted to locate it, in order to arrange the sale, he was told that 'the book had been sold in a pub in Anfield'.
This story, which appears to have first surfaced in 1997, was told by Shirley Harrison in her 2003 book (and dated to 'the end of 1991') when she says that 'a purchase price of £25 was mentioned' by Davies when he tried to flog the diary to Martin-Wright but, in this version of the story, it was DODGSON ('the shop assistant'), not Davies, who later heard that the diary had been sold 'in a pub in Anfield'.
The details of this story are so similar to Caroline Morris' yarn that it's hard to think they can be anything other than the same. Yet, in both versions of the story, as told by Smith and Harrison, there is no actual sale price for the diary stated by Davies or Dodgson. It could, therefore, have been sold for a million pounds or any other sum. All we are told is that Davies BELIEVED, either in late 1991 or in Christmas 1992, that the diary could be purchased for about £25, although the source of his supposed belief is completely unknown.
But is this the same story? Well, Caroline Morris has attempted the same trick of using this story on the Forum in the past. Having got rattled by the information I posted in my 'Acquiring a Victorian Diary' thread, this is what she told me back on 21 November 2017 (#68):
'IIRC, one of the early rumours was the detail that the diary found under the floorboards was finally sold to a chap in an Anfield pub for £20 [or was it £25?] This would have to be yet another curious coincidence, unless the seller already knew about Mike's other diary purchase around the same time for around the same amount, because it was used as a bargaining tool. Nobody would have known back then about an 1891 diary costing £25 if Mike had hoped to use it for a fake ripper diary.'
There are a number of interesting aspects to this. Firstly, Caroline Morris calls it an 'early rumour'. Secondly, she doesn't attribute the story to an electrician. Thirdly, she doesn't mention December 1992. Fourthly, and most importantly, she is not sure if the sale price was £20 or £25.
Now, here is where it gets really interesting. I challenged her about this source of this story in #80 and pointed out that things had got so desperate for diary defenders that they were now relying on 'unsubstantiated rumours'. I said:
'So now we are told that the diary was sold in an Anfield pub for £20. Forgive me, but where is the evidence for this assertion? What is the source of it?'
I then returned to the issue in #93 and said:
'As for the story about the diary being sold for £20 or £25, I can't help wondering if someone is getting themselves terribly confused about a story told by Robert Smith that Alan Davies suggested to the manager of the newly opened APS store in Bootle, Alan Dodgson, that "the diary could be acquired for about £25". However, as Alan Davies told Smith when he later tried to locate the diary: "the book had been sold in a pub in Anfield".
Caroline Morris was so thoroughly rattled by this that she replied (#100):
'What is your evidence that the diary was not sold in an Anfield pub for £25?'
How ludicrous is that? Post an invented 'rumour' about the diary being sold in an Anfield pub for £25 and then ask me to prove it didn't happen!!
I wasn't going to let that nonsense go and pressed the point in #128
'We know that comprehension is not that person's strong suit but the issue is not whether there is evidence that the diary was or was not sold in an Anfield pub for £25 but whether there was a rumour in existence to that effect. Because that is what the claim was.
And what seems to have happened is that the person who claimed there was rumour that the diary was sold in an Anfield pub for £25 (in fact she originally said £20 - with £25 as an alternative - but seems to have switched in the face of my post) got herself terribly confused and was evidently thinking of the offer to sell the diary for £25, by someone who didn't own it, in an APS shop in Bootle at an unknown date, the year of which varies depending on which book you read.
Now, having realised her error - rather than simply admitting that she has once again got something wrong (which she seems to find impossible to do) - she wants to throw up a smokescreen by switching the argument to one about whether the diary was or was not in fact sold in an Anfield pub for £25 knowing full well that this is the very point in issue which cannot possibly be answered! '
I had clearly caught her out but rather than admit that she had made a mistake this is what she came back with:
'No, David. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I didn't 'switch' in the face of your post or have trouble comprehending anything. I was in fact reminded by Robert Smith in an email referring to the rumour that the diary had eventually been sold in an Anfield pub, that the price mentioned was £25. This was a separate rumour but the basis was the same, hence the same price of £25 in both cases: a diary had emerged from the house and a buyer had initially been sought. If Alan Davies went to APS in Oct/Nov 1992, as appears most likely from the latest information, and mentioned the diary having a suggested sale price of £25, he didn't know it had already been sold back in the March to someone who was going to publish it. He must have heard an early rumour but then been out of the loop for the outcome, which makes sense because he had a bad car accident on June 13th 1992, before anyone [apart perhaps from Eddie] knew what was happening with the diary. After the visit to APS, Davies heard about it having been sold for £25 in a pub in Anfield.'
So the story we are being asked to believe is that, having originally thought 'the rumour' was that the diary had been sold for £20, her good friend Robert Smith reminded her that the 'the rumour' was that it had been sold for £25.
Well the first thing to note is that Robert Smith was saying, and Caroline Morris was repeating, that this was a 'rumour'. A rumour by definition is 'a report or story of uncertain or doubtful truth'. Yet, here we are in July 2020 and Caroline Morris is telling us as a fact that 'one of the electricians claimed, in December 1992' that Jack the Ripper's diary had been sold in an Anfield pub for £25. If it was only ever a rumour that can't possibly be right.
We can see that she claimed in 2017 that this is 'a separate rumour' from the Alan Davies story although 'the basis was the same' by which she seems to mean that because Davies thought at Christmas 1992 that it could be acquired for £25 then this must be the same as the £25 which the rumour says the diary had already been sold for, although the logic of this escapes me. They appear to be two completely different stories, or rumours.
We see that in her 2017 post, Caroline Morris says, 'After the visit to APS, Davies heard about it having been sold for £25 in a pub in Anfield'. As is often the case with her posts, it's not clear if this is her own reconstruction about what might have happened but the fact that Robert Smith quotes Davies only as saying that he subsequently became aware that the diary had been 'sold in a pub in Anfield', BUT there was no price stated for the sale, must surely mean that Davies was never told the sale price.
To me, this confirms in my mind that Caroline Morris simply got confused, thinking that Davies had discovered that the diary had been sold for £25 when all he was saying to Dodgson is that he thought Dodgson could acquire it for 'about £25'.
We can see that Caroline Morris was also confused about the dates. She said that the Davies conversation was in 'Oct/Nov 1992' whereas Smith tells us it was 'close to Christmas 1992' (after the APS shop in Bootle was opened on 26 October 1992, although no evidence has ever been provided to support this date). The fact that Caroline Morris now, for the first time, dates the rumour to December 1992 only strengthens my belief that she is confused about what story she is talking about.
Above all, we can see that her source for this rumour is Robert Smith, yet Smith said nothing about this rumour in his 2017 book and still says nothing about it in his 2019 book. As far as I am aware, this rumour has never been mentioned by anyone other than Caroline Morris (in her internet posts) but is unsourced to any named electrician or, indeed, to any human being.
It is garbage, in other words, yet we have seen Caroline Morris telling the internet that there IS in existence a story, coming from an electrician, that the diary was sold for £25 in an Anfield pub. The truth is that there is no such story. It's an invented rumour by a confused Caroline Morris who seems to have built it up in her mind so that it is now the truth.
So we have a befuddled and confused Caroline Morris successfully managing to befuddle and confuse the rest of the world. Nothing changes.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 14)
In #5483 Caroline Morris attempts to demonstrate why Mike couldn't possibly have thought that the 1891 red diary would have been suitable for the forgery even before he saw it.
She starts her post thus:
'If I try to put myself in the Barretts' position, in March 1992, as you see things, RJ, I come up with a draft of the diary, typed on the word processor, over the equivalent of 29 sides [not pages] of A4 paper.'
And right there we have the flaw in the premise from which the faulty conclusion follows. There is simply no evidence that the draft of the diary was ever printed out at 29 sides of A4 paper. Did Mike even print it out? We don't know. He might just had it on his computer and estimated how much blank diary paper he would need from that.
The '29 sides' is, of course, based on the transcript which Mike and Anne provided to Doreen and Shirley in 1992 but we are told that this was created after 13 April 1992. There is no evidence that this is the draft from which the Diary was created.
But if Mike did print a draft of the diary out, prior the creation of the forgery, he could have saved paper by reducing the font size. We know that Shirley Harrison got the full text down to EXACTLY 20 pages of typescript. In her 2003 book it runs from page 392 to page 411. If Mike had used the same font, and the draft was the same as the final version, he too could have printed it out on 20 pages.Then Caroline Morris puts forward a speculative assumption as if it is fact. She says:
'If I were Anne, I would want to give Mike some idea of how much old paper I will be needing for this task.'
But she is not Anne and she has literally no idea whether Anne ever told Mike (or ever would have told him) 'how much old paper' she would need.
It's kind of ridiculous for her to say this anyway, as if Mike could just walk into a shop and order the exact amount of Victorian paper for the job. He was trying to get as much as possible. He wasn't asking for 20 pages! He was asking for more than that.
The other fundamental flaw of Caroline Morris' post is that she assumes that the Diary had to be exactly the same as the Diary we know it today. There is no reason why this had to be the case.
I've said time and time again that the poetry could easily have been omitted from the Diary in order to save space. By my count the poetry takes up about 18 of the 63 pages of the diary which brings us down to 45 pages of manuscript. Of that 45 pages, there is an awful lot of waste of space. Not all of the pages are fully used by any means.
But in her attempt to befuddle and confuse we see Caroline Morris mixing up two things. One is the demand for a MINIMUM of 20 blank pages. The other is Mike's acceptance of the little red 1891 diary. If we were talking about a large 1891 diary with just 20 blank pages, then by making the size of the handwriting smaller and removing the poetry there was a good chance the text could have been fitted in. But if not, some of the text might have had to be deleted.
Basically you cut your coat according to the cloth.
In any case, to repeat, Mike was asking for a MINIMUM of 20 blank pages. He wasn't asking for a diary with 20 blank pages. The primary request, as I've written about a million times, was for an unused diary (i.e. a completely blank diary) and THEN, if that wasn't possible, he would accept a partly used one. No doubt he hoped for far more than 20 blank pages to work with but if all you can get is a genuine Victorian diary with 20 blank pages you do your best and try and work with it.
It's really really simple.
As for Mike accepting a completely blank 1891 diary, he would have assumed there would be at least 100 blank pages to work with. Obviously we all know that when he saw it the thing wasn't suitable (probably more because the dates were printed on each page).
It's not rocket science. Mike wanted an unused diary. By definition this would be completely blank. Why on earth did he want an unused blank Victorian diary? There's only one answer. Realistically he knew this was going to be difficult to find, so that, if this wasn't possible, he would accept a partly used one as long as it contained a minimum of 20 blank pages. He wasn't hoping for 20 blank pages. He was hoping for more. But at the time he didn't have ANY blank Victorian paper so 20 blank pages was going to be better than nothing wasn't it?
Caroline Morris just over-complicates the issue in the hope of befuddling and confusing to divert attention from the very simple question which she cannot answer. That question is:
Why on earth did Mike want a genuine Victorian diary with blank pages?
Within the answer to that question is the key to where the Maybrick Diary came from.
HOW TO BEFUDDLE AND CONFUSE (Part 16)
Every befuddler and confuser must have in their armory the ability to assign to a word the very opposite of its actual meaning.
Thus we find that that a mere two posts after saying to R.J. Palmer in her most headmistressy tone, 'Words have meaning' (#5594 of 'Incontrovertible' thread), Caroline Morris responds to R.J.'s statement of his belief that, 'It's a possibility' that the Diary is in Anne's handwriting by saying:
'I'm really glad to sense here that you think [Lord Orsam] is barking to believe Anne wrote the diary' (#5596).
Perhaps Caroline Morris' senses outrank her ability to read plain English but when R.J. says 'It's a possibility' that the Diary is in Anne's handwriting that is exactly what I have been saying for the past two years, since I obtained samples of her handwriting, due to some of the extraordinary similarities in the way she forms her characters. I've never said that this means it's certain that she wrote the Diary, only that it is possible. And I've noted that Anne just happens to be the person identified by Mike Barrett as the person who wrote the Diary.
Caroline Morris, of course, refuses even to admit the possibility of Anne's involvement but, equally, she refuses to comment on whether there is or is not any similarity between Anne's handwriting and the Diary handwriting, claiming not to be an expert in the subject, so it's hard to know how she can arrive at any firm conclusion on the issue.
That said, if she continues to read words such as 'possible' to mean 'impossible to point of barking' I think I'm going to have to ask for a reduction in the rent I pay to live inside her head.
18 July 2020
Updated 31 July 2020