Orsam Books

The Inside Story of Post #6143

Oh boy!  On Orsam Day Eve it looks like she's downed a whole bottle of the Happy Juice.  She's gone into full ramble mode with her Post #6143, causing me to create a second overflow post from 'Lord Orsam Says...'.

The first sentence is hilarious:

'I don't know when Mike first mentioned Tales of Liverpool to anyone, but he was quite open and consistent about how the Florence Maybrick chapters led him to identify Maybrick as the diary's supposed author. '

Oh ha ha!  Mike was "quite open and consistent" was he?  This is the guy about whom we have been cautioned time and time again by Caroline Morris not to believe a single word he says.

Unless, of course, it suits Caroline Morris.

It's not even true to say that he was open and consistent about Tales of Liverpool!  In 'Inside Story' we are told this on page 255:

'Barrett had claimed he bought the book in WH Smith's just prior to commencing his research on the Diary, which by his own account is likely to have begun after Tony Devereux's death on 8 August 1991'

Well there's two big problems right there. 

Firstly, he couldn't possibly have bought the book found in the possession of the Devereux family after Tony died bearing in mind that he lent it to Tony while he was alive.  Surely Caroline Morris isn't saying that he bought the book twice is she? But, hey, with the strength of that Happy Juice, I wouldn't put it past her.  And, oh boy, yes she is: 'So could there have been two copies?' she asks.  Lord preserve us!

Secondly, he said this to Martin Howells in September 1993:

'I got a book out by Richard Whittington Egan.  Right, and in that book, it's got quite a lot of short stories...and I come across Florence Maybrick, the murder, right...and I found Battlecrease House.  I suddenly realised Battlecrease House is in the diary'.

You can see there that he didn't say he bought Whittington Egan's book.  He said he 'got' it 'out'.  That doesn't strike me as being a consistent story.  One gets a book out of a library.  One doesn't get a book out of WH Smith.

My suggestion is that he's lying in both cases.  I suggest that he already knew that Maybrick lived in Battlecrease because he already owned the Whittington Egan book.  
We may also note that Mike told Martin Howells in September 1993 that Tony was dead when he got out the Whittington Egan book which is hard to fathom bearing in mind that he lent him a copy while he was alive.  Howells challenged Mike on this, saying that one of Tony's daughters remembered her father lending the book to their youngest daughter.  In response, Mike stalled, saying 'which daughter?'.  As if it mattered which daughter it was! Howells replied saying, 'The younger one.  I don't know the names.  In other words, that the book you had was your book'.  Mike stalled again saying, 'Are you trying to imply that Tony wrote it?'.  Howells then asked him a leading question: 'No, you didn't give the book to Tony Devereux to read when you were investigating it?' to which Mike awkwardly said, 'Not to my knowledge. No.'  But we know that he did give it to Tony during his lifetime.  So he must have been covering this up.  And Howells let him off the hook by not asking how Tony could possibly have had the book in his possession. 
Caroline Morris  then goes on to make the following points which, because they are so rambling, I will largely summarize:
1. She suggests Mike had forgotten owning 'Tales of Liverpool' when questioned by Martin Howells in September 1993.  This doesn't seem very likely.
2. Somehow she's managed to convince herself that when Maybrick wrote that, 'I am convinced a dark shadow lays over the house, it is evil' this means that the forger knew that Maybrick had only moved into the house in February 1888 and that this is the only possible interpretation of those words.  Her big point is that both Whittington Egan and Ryan wrongly date the Maybricks move to Battlecrease as 1884 and 1886 respectively.  So she thinks this means that neither book could have been the forger's source.  Well back on planet earth it seems perfectly possible that Maybrick could have lived in Battlecrease his entire life and still have written that he felt the house was evil in April 1888.  The reality is that there is nothing in the diary to suggest that the forger knew that the Maybricks had only moved into the house in February 1888.  Nothing!
3. In a long-winded ramble she suggests that it wouldn't have been possible for Mike and Anne to have created the diary while Anne held down a full time job as a secretary and Mike did the school run and had 'two or three pints inside him'.  This is complete and utter nonsense.  It's not even clear what period she's talking about. If she means the period of research, this could have taken five years which would have involved five years of long school holidays.  We know that Anne was sometimes off work sick due to her back, so who knows what she did in that time?  Speculation is utterly pointless.   Caroline Morris frets about whether Mike and Anne might have gone to London even though they didn't need to.  All they needed was a few books, probably from the local library, and that was it.  If she's talking about the period of the writing of the diary into the photograph album, all Mike needed to do was read aloud from a pre-prepared text so it didn't matter if he'd had a few drinks. There would have been plenty of time in the evenings between 31 March and 13 April, which included one whole weekend, to write out the diary from a pre-prepared text.  If it was done in 11 days that's just about 6 pages per day on average.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  

4. In another long-winded ramble she's back to complaining that Mike's affidavit isn't sufficiently clear about the process of creating the diary and the chronology is muddled.  As I keep saying, the affidavit was almost certainly drafted by Alan Gray based on recorded conversations with Mike.  So let's just listen to the tapes!  As I've also said many times, it's very easy to get confused with the expression 'writing the diary' because it could mean drafting it or it could mean physically writing out the text into the photograph album.  Gray himself could easily have got confused when Mike was telling him about it.  So when the affidavit says, 'During the period when we were writing the Diary, Tony Devereux was house bound, very ill' he could simply have been talking about the stage of drafting it.   That's the ONLY thing he says in his affidavit about Tony's involvement other than that he, Tony and Anne discussed the original idea.   In my view, Caroline Morris is wrong to say:
'Mike didn't help himself by putting the purchase of the red diary first, followed by the 11-day creation process, followed by the death of Devereux, a year too early, in 1990.'

If Mike didn't draft the affidavit, he didn't set out this chronology.  And the idea that the 11 day creation process is followed by the death of Devereux comes about due to one word: 'this'.  In the affidavit Mike says:
'Anne and I wrote the Diary in all it took us 11 days.'

There is no mention of Tony Devereux here.  It's clear, therefore, that Tony had nothing to do with the 11 days.

Now, it's true that in the next paragraph it is stated:

'During this period when we were writing the Diary, Tony Devereux was housebound, very ill and in  fact after we completed the Diary we left it for a while'.

But change 'this' to 'the' and the sentence more sensibly reads:

'During the period when we were writing the Diary, Tony Devereux was housebound, very ill and in  fact after we completed the Diary we left it for a while'.

If by 'writing' here Mike had been telling Alan Gray that he had been DRAFTING the text of the diary, and that, when the text of the diary had been completed, it was left for a while, then we can start to understand how that sentence got into the affidavit.

I have to keep saying until I am blue in the face that Alan Gray had no personal knowledge of the events he was writing about and that, furthermore, he was almost certainly under the impression that the diary was brought to London by Mike in 1991 (as Mike was reported to have said in 1994).  He could also have had no idea that the diary wasn't in existence before Mike called Doreen.  So he understandably got confused.

Caroline Morris continues to take the affidavit literally even though she knows full well that Alan Gray typed it and probably drafted it for Mike and knows full well that when Mike came to London to tell the story in his own words that story involved Mike having the idea to create the Maybrick diary while Tony was alive but him and Anne creating the physical diary months after Tony's death. 

Caroline Morris also says 'I'm not entirely sure if the rest of Mike's affidavit added anything of real substance to his initial story from June 1994.'

Of course she's not sure because she's ignored the bombshell of Mike revealing his attempt to purchase a Victorian diary.  That led to new evidence emerging which proved he was after a Victorian diary with blank pages before he brought the diary to London.  She simply can't explain it so, as usual, she completely ignores it from her entire long post!

5. Then, it looks like she's onto a second bottle of the Happy Juice with a long section about Melvin Harris and his supposed investigation into Devereux and Kane.  This goes back to battles she fought about twenty years ago and which she can't seem to move on from.  She still wants to fight those battles.  That darn Melvin Harris!!!

6.  A lovely quote:

'We are back to whose handwriting is in the diary, and who, if not Mike or Anne, could have copied out the text from the Barretts' word processor, for no apparent gain.'

Well er, what about Anne?  Why does she say 'if not Mike or Anne'?  How has she magically managed to rule Anne out?  She won't even look at the examples of Anne's handwriting that I've posted on the Forum and on this site!  She just won't look!  She refuses to acknowledge the obvious similarities.  So how can she possibly rule out Anne? 

7.  Time for some exculpation of Anne, naturally.  She only lied because it was 'Easier perhaps to give in, and just say whatever the hell would relieve the pressure on everyone' . Yada yada.  Excuses, excuses.  As long as Anne's lying doesn't lead to the conclusion that she participated in the forgery, which is what some people might think it obviously means, she's happy.

8.  'So of course, she then had to adapt Mike's 'dead pal' story if she was going to appease Feldy.'  Heh?  Yeah sorry for doubting.  Of course she did.  It's only natural to tell massive lies about the provenance of a supposed historical item, after all, isn't it?

9.  The good news is that Anne telling this massive lie about the diary having been in her family since at least 1950 'implies that Anne knew very well that Mike's forgery claim was a load of rubbish'.  Er.. How do you work that out?   Look it's easy. If Mike had been telling the truth, 'he should have been able to prove her story a lie the moment she came out with it. '  As the Great Mind Reader says: 'She'd have had no idea what evidence he might have kept, or left with Devereux, after she left the marital home for good, while she had not a scrap to defend herself against it.'  Mind you, she was his wife and, if she was involved in the forgery, she might have known perfectly well what evidence Mike had kept or destroyed, especially if she had been involved in destroying it!

10. 'Keith tells me that Anne never once tried to convince him that the diary was 'an old document'.  Seriously?  Wasn't her story that it was in her family since at least 1950, with her father claiming to have known about it since 1943?   That's already quite old isn't it?  And didn't I hear her say to Bob Azurdia in September 1995, 'I thought it had probably been stolen and ended up in our house by - for some reason in the past....probably been stolen...by somebody in the past'?  I think I did.  

11. See if you can spot the problem with this long sentence: 'Mike's forgery story simply didn't ring true under investigation, so he had to consider the only alternative at the time. Anne would obviously not have wanted people to believe it was created in the Barretts' marital home, but she couldn't prove it wasn't, so Feldy's theories offered her a way of countering Mike's claim with one of her own, which was equally unprovable but more believable - at least to anyone with any experience of Mike's capabilities and limitations.'  Just look at the word 'obviously'  thrown casually in there.  What is obvious about it?   Why would Anne have cared one jot if the world believed that Mike had secretly created the diary in 12 Goldie Street?  What would it have had to do with her?  Why would it have affected her in the slightest in July 1994?  She wasn't even living with Mike at that time!  She could simply have walked away from the diary and said it had nothing to do with her and she knew nothing about it, if that was the case.  But she didn't.  Instead, according to Caroline Morris, she told her own massive lie about where the diary came from but that's all perfectly understandable because er....er.....  

12. Caroline is back to Melvin Harris in the next paragraph of her post. 'Harris knew instinctively that neither Mike nor Anne could be exposed as the actual creators, so he had to set his sights on the next best bet...' blah blah blah. Yawn.  Let it go!  Who cares about Harris?

13.  Time to mention the floorboards: 'The floorboards were lifted in Maybrick's old bedroom, and Mike called Doreen about a diary, whose supposed author he went on to identify as Maybrick.'  But what is so significant about the floorboards being lifted when she now claims that a visitor to Battlecrease might have concealed the diary somewhere, anywhere, in the house on a paid tour of the building?  If that doesn't mean under the floorboards (which it can't realistically mean because visitors to historic houses don't get the opportunity to lift floorboards) then the fact that the floorboards were lifted on 9 March is irrelevant isn't it?  The story must be that the electricians found it elsewhere than under the floorboards.  Or is Caroline Morris prepared to step forward with the courage of her convictions and say that the diary MUST have been found under the floorboards and nowhere else within the house?

14.  Time for some nonsense.  'I don't 'have' to solve anything, because I'm not the one arguing that the handwriting belongs to anyone associated with the Barretts.'  What the hell does that mean?  What does the handwriting belonging to anyone associated with the Barretts have to do with whether she has to solve anything?  And, in any case, I thought her whole purpose in life was to solve the mystery of where the diary came from.  I thought that's what she's always been saying. No?

15. More nonsense to wrap up. 'If RJ wants his simple coincidence accepted, he can demonstrate that the diary was handwritten by one of Bongos's associates. It had to be, so how hard can it be?'  Even leaving aside that Anne's handwriting bears remarkable similarities to the handwriting of the author of the diary (which Caroline Morris certainly IS leaving aside), it's ludicrous for her to ask 'how hard can it be?' to prove that a certain person wrote the diary.  If the handwriting was disguised - which it must have been - it's all but impossible!  Even without disguise, one would need to obtain genuine samples of handwriting of a suspect which is itself almost impossible bearing in mind that a number of the suspects are dead but even if they were alive it's still very tough but if it was disguised it would very very hard and, in truth, totally impossible to demonstrate that any particular person wrote the diary!   So what a really daft question. How hard can it be for her to see she's asking the impossible?
Lord Orsam
19 September 2020