1. THE BARRETTS' TRANSCRIPT OF THE DIARY
Keith Skinner, 17 February 2018
'I have no problem with the transcript being put up for anyone who is interested in seeing it David - annotations and all. If I had the technical nous I'd put it up this evening immediately after Chelsea go through to the sixth round. As it is I'm afraid you'll have to wait a few weeks...'
THE FIRST COMPLAINT
Lord Orsam, 14 May 2018
THE FIRST EXCUSE
'...we were promised that the transcript of the Diary prepared by the Barretts would be made available but this promise has not been kept.'
Caroline Morris, 22 May 2018
'Has the person who promised this actually said it won't be made available after all? Or could it be that they are tied up with more important things to do before they can get round to satisfying David's curiosity?'
THE SECOND COMPLAINT
Lord Orsam, 22 May 2018
THE FIRST EXCUSE REPEATED
'This is what Keith Skinner to me posted back on 17 February 2018: [QUOTES POST]... It's now 14 weeks since that statement was made which is more than "a few weeks" in my scrapbook. It's actually months. A quarter of a year!! There is no sign of it happening and there has been no sign of either Keith Skinner or James Johnston. Perhaps one of them can kindly post an update or perhaps their official spokesperson can do more than pose a question such as "could it be that they are tied up with more important things to do before they can get round to satisfying David's curiosity?". If that's genuinely the case, perhaps it could be stated positively because otherwise the answer to that question could well be "No".'
Caroline Morris, 23 May 2018
'Yep, it's just as I suspected. David has been going out of his way to be so unpleasant over the last 'quarter of a year', that nobody with any kind of life would now drop everything to provide more material that he will inevitably reject because it won't support his idee fixe concerning the diary's origins. '
THE SECOND EXCUSE
Keith Skinner, 19 August 2019
THE THIRD EXCUSE
'the reason I did not follow through on my promise to post the transcript is because it was becoming clear to me that whatever material I was putting up on the Message Boards, in the spirit of being helpful, was either being ignored or clinically dissected from the entrenched position the diary was a modern hoax. The overall impression being created and left like a bad odour was the diary investigators had failed to spot things or had spotted them and did not pursue because of some hidden agenda to continue pimping an obvious hoax . You [Roger Palmer] describe yourself as a suspicious fellow – fair enough – but when that suspicion bleeds through to a suspicion that the authors of Inside Story were not presenting the facts objectively and were putting a spin on the tone of the book in favour of the diary being an old document, I take exception.... There are “textual discrepancies between the Diary proper” and the transcript and – yes – meaning could be gleaned from the discrepancies. They are open to interpretation. But they will only be relevant for you if they support your determination to prove this document to be a modern hoax created by Mike and Anne Barrett, Billy Graham and Tony Devereux.'
Keith Skinner, 24 May 2020
'...there is no point in releasing the typescript of the scrapbook manuscript produced by the Barretts because it only confirms what Mike Barrett stated in his sworn affidavit of January 5th 1995 (”I had actually written the ‘Jack The Ripper Diary’ first on my word processor which I purchased in 1985...”). So having a copy is only going to show you whether Anne was a decent typist or not (which in itself may have been influenced by how little time she had to type up the contents of the scrapbook before Mike jetted down to London with the scrapbook in April 1992)'
LORD ORSAM SAYS...
Caroline Morris' posts from May 2018 have not aged well. She was trying to convince the Forum that her good friend, Keith Skinner, was too busy to produce the transcript, despite that not being the case at all.
As Keith confirmed in his post of 19 August 2019, he had deliberately and disgracefully reneged on his promise to produce the transcript because - get this luvvie - people were either ignoring or clinically dissecting the material he was posting!
Mind you, in his post of 24 May 2020 he now claims that there was 'no point' in posting the transcript, despite him already having stated in his August 2019 post that there are textual discrepancies between the Diary and the transcript from which meaning 'could be gleaned'. From initially having had 'no problem' in posting the transcript in 2018 he does now seem to have a problem doing it in 2020. I really don't know how to describe this behaviour - I don't think I've ever come across anything like it before - so all I will say is that it is clear that Keith Skinner promised to post the transcript then failed to do so and, along with his official spokesperson, Caroline Morris, has given what appear to be bullshit reasons for not doing so.
THE BARRETT/GRAY TAPES
THE BACKGROUNDR.J. Palmer, 28 February 2018
Lord Orsam, 1 March 2018
'Hi David. I haven't forgot about the copy of Alan Gray's tape with Barrett. I couldn't find it the last time I was over to the mainland, but I have a few other places to check, and will give it another go, but it may be some time in the distance. I did, however, find a 2005 reference that I wrote shortly after listening to Gray's tape, and I was still insisting that Mike states quite plainly that the Diary did not physically exist when he called Doreen Montgomery in March 1992, with the obvious caveat that this is coming from Mike and it would need to be confirmed. I will post it below. I will still try to get hold of the tape.'
'RJ - quick question if you don't mind. These Alan Gray tapes of Mike Barrett speaking about the diary. Can I ask when they were recorded and for what purpose.'
R.J. Palmer, 1 March 2018
'Great question...The tapes I heard (and I never had a complete set, I think there were 12 or 14 originally) dated, I believe, to late 1994 and early 1995, mostly 1995, but I would want to recheck this, or perhaps Keith can enlighten you about the exact dates. From the context it is obvious that they are covering many of the same bizarre episodes mentioned by Paul Feldman in his book. They are long rambling dialogues of Gray attempting to pick Barrett's brains on various issues surrounding the Diary, Anne Graham, Paul Feldman, a proposed film deal, allegedly unpaid royalty payments, etc. There is a lot on the table, but most of what I heard has to do with Mike's "off the cuff" remarks about the Diary.'
Lord Orsam, 2 March 2018
'Keith...are you in a position to confirm or deny what RJ thinks he has heard on the tapes, namely ...that Barrett says the diary didn't exist when he telephoned Doreen?'
Not forthcoming. Keith Skinner fled from the Forum on that very day, 2 March 2018.
R.J. Palmer, 23 May 2020
'Ike. If you're in contact with Keith, maybe you can talk him into releasing...an audio file of the Barrett/Gray tapes?'
Keith Skinner (via Iconoclast), 24 May 2020
'As for the Barrett/Gray tapes, Keith tells me that he is rather surprised that you have not already released these yourself as you apparently have a set. If you do, why on earth are you asking Keith to do so?'
Lord Orsam Says...
Not only did Keith Skinner not answer the question I asked him on 2 March 2018 about the contents of the tapes but that was literally the very moment that he ran away from the Forum!!!! Are the two events connected? We can also see that Keith Skinner now expresses surprise that R.J Palmer hasn't released the tapes himself despite the fact that RJ clearly stated in March 2018 (during an online conversation in which Keith Skinner participated) that he didn't have a full set of the tapes and couldn't find the tapes that he did own. It's hard to think of a more important 'document' in the case than the set of Barrett/Gray tapes, or a transcript of them, in order to get the story of the forgery in Barrett's own words from 1994, not twisted by Gray in the affidavit. Yet, Keith Skinner doesn't seem to be in the slightest bit interested in releasing them. Do they contain something he would rather kept hidden?
THE ACQUISITION OF A VICTORIAN DIARY
Lord Orsam, 31 January 2018
'Keith...As you know, my view of the matter of the origins of the diary is influenced by Mike's (secret) attempt to acquire a genuine diary from the late Victorian period with a specified minimum number of blank pages while also being happy with a completely blank diary. I simply cannot think of another credible reason for him doing so other than to create a forged Victorian diary. (Can you?)'
Keith Skinner, 9 February 2018
'I am not, incidentally, avoiding answering your very reasonable question about why else would Mike have sought to acquire a Victorian diary with a minimum of twenty blank pages – if not for forgery purposes. I promise you I will address it – as with all of your questions.'
LORD ORSAM SAYS...
More than two years later Keith Skinner has still not answered the question. Another promise not kept. No explanation had been provided for why he did not do what he promised he would do.
THE BATTLECREASE EVIDENCE
THE OUTRAGEOUS CLAIM
Keith Skinner, 20 May 2007
'If I went into a court of law with the documents in my possession, I think the jury would reach a verdict and say, "yes, this Diary came out of Battlecrease House".
THE RETRACTION (OOPSIE!)
Keith Skinner, shortly after 20 May 2007
'I didn't mean a court of law, I meant a court of history'.
Keith Skinner, 11 February 2018
'I somewhat foolishly said a 'court of law' when I meant a 'court of history' and I can but apologise for the misunderstanding this has created'.
THE FURTHER RETRACTIONKeith Skinner, 21 January 2018
'I have not ruled out Anne Graham's story'
Keith Skinner, 18 November 2019
'The one person who knows the truth is Anne Graham and maybe she has already told us.'
LORD ORSAM SAYS...
Those with long memories will no doubt recall me saying on the Forum in November 2016 that I was 'unconvinced' that Keith Skinner was still of the same view that he expressed at the Liverpool Conference in May 2007 to the effect that he found the Battlecrease provenance 'compelling'. When his official spokesperson, Caroline Morris, claimed that his opinion was, in fact, unchanged and 'totally backed up to the hilt' I suggested that this was an assumption on her part. She hit the roof, telling me on 6 December 2016, that, 'if I hadn't already known for certain what his thinking was, I'd have asked him before commenting on it publicly' and she later told me, with barefaced cheek, that I was so wrong that I should have sent her 'an apology via private message'. It was all a try-on, of course, and we now know, because he's publicly admitted it, that the Battlecrease evidence is so NOT compelling for Keith Skinner that he hasn't even ruled out Anne Graham's story that the Diary had been in her family for generations and, thus, did not necessarily emerge from under the floorboards of Battlecrease on 9 March 1992.
I happened to know this when I was posting in November 2016 because I'd been in email contact with Keith Skinner for a number of months prior to that and it was perfectly clear to me from what he said in those emails that he wasn't entirely convinced by the Battlecrease evidence and couldn't say the mystery was now solved. This is why I said that I was 'unconvinced' that Keith Skinner held the same view in November 2016 that he held in May 2007. I think I was right, as the above quotes show, but he's said so many different things at different times that it's hard to be certain of anything.
All I can is, thank goodness the matter never reached a jury in a court of law, or a court of history, whatever the feck that is, or else there could have been a serious miscarriage of justice, had the jury been persuaded, against all the actual evidence, by a mere coincidence.
6 June 2020