Orsam Books

Inside Story of #6801

And so I find myself wasting my time again having to respond to another one of Miss Information's long speculative rambles.  I might have ignored it but in virtually every paragraph of her #6801 in the 'Incontrovertible' thread, we find Orsam this and Orsam that.  My goodness, obsessed or what?

The punchline of the post is:

'That's the scale of the coincidence Orsam and co have to face and come to terms with. I don't envy them.' 

I think irony died a tragic death right there.  The 'coincidence' she was referring to was nothing at all, but the diary defenders have to contend firstly with Mike's secret attempt to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages AND secondly with the inclusion in the diary of 'one off instance'.  I really do not envy them with their argument that the diary was both old (having come up from the floorboards) and not connected with Mike Barrett.

But what is the 'coincidence' that I and others have to face and come to terms with?

It's a real nothing burger.   It's that both Tony Devereux and Eddie Lyons lived in Fountains Road (or rather Eddie lived with his girlfriend in that road during 1993 - it's not known if he was there in March 1992).

I say it's a nothing burger because even on Miss Information's own case, it's nothing more than a mere coincidence.  After all, if Eddie brought the diary to Mike in the Saddle Pub on 9 March 1992 (six months after Tony's death) it was presumably nothing more than a pure coincidence that a man who lived with his girlfriend in Fountains Road (Eddie), if he was living there with her at that time, was bringing it to someone (Mike) who once had a friend who lived in Fountains Road (Tony) now deceased.

There's no reason to think that Eddie knew of Tony's existence or that Mike knew Eddie through Tony.  Nor that Mike knew Tony through Eddie.  Nor that there was any connection between the three men at all.

So frankly I just don't understand the coincidence.

On Miss Information's version of events, what happened is that having received the diary from Eddie, Mike came up with a cunning plan to say that he'd received it from his recently dead friend, Tony Devereux.

The key to this plan was that Tony had died recently. The fact he lived on Fountains Road was neither here nor there.

So where is the amazing coincidence?   Isn't it nothing more than Mike, a drinker in a pub in Fountains Road, happened to know two men who lived in Fountains Road (and that's assuming that he knew Eddie, and also assuming that Eddie lived in Fountains Road at that time, about which there is no known evidence).  

If Mike didn't know Eddie the only coincidence of any importance is that Eddie and Mike drank in the same pub.  That would be the coincidence.  I just can't see why Eddie's residence in Fountains Road is of ANY importance regardless of the origins of the diary.

Sure, on my version of events, the man falsely selected as the provenance for the diary lived in a house in Fountains Road while one of the Portus & Rhodes electricians lived with his girlfriend in Fountains Road but what on earth is so remarkable about that? 

Apparently, for Miss Information, Mike was delighted because he could say that 'he got the diary from a Fountains Road resident' and she highlights that in bold.  But, really, did it matter?   And is her claim that if Tony had lived in a different road to Eddie it wouldn't have occurred to him to say that Tony gave him the diary?

Did Mike even know that Eddie was living in Fountains Road? 

Thing is, Fountains Road is a long road in Liverpool.  I just can't see anyone even bothering to be surprised about knowing two people who lived in that long road. 

It's all a huge nothing burger yet I'm supposed to have to be worried about it! 

If we go to the start of her post, it's remarkable how Miss Information, in an attempt to explain away the coincidence of Mike owning a copy of 'Tales of Liverpool', fully accepts Mike's story that he just happened to be in WH Smith, or a library (no real difference, apparently!), when he saw a copy of 'Tales of Liverpool' which he flicked through to see the Battlecrease chapter, having completely forgotten that he already owned a copy of that very book which he had lent to Tony!!!

Well the best one can say for this is that it's not impossible but it seems that Miss Information has fallen hook, line and sinker for Mike's denial of any knowledge about the book in circumstances where he was clearly lying about having lent it to Tony.   

She says this about 'Tales of Liverpool'.

'The book itself had nothing to distinguish it as Mike's; no marginal notes; no underlining of any words or phrases; no turned down corners.' 

This observation only has any validity if Mike's usual practice when reading books was to make marginal notes, to underline words or phrases or turn down corners.  As to that, no evidence is provided. If he didn't do any of those things, or is not known to have done them, the observation is utterly meaningless and worthless.  I mean, I don't make notes in ANY of my books or underline words and phrases or turn down corners.  So does that mean I've never read any of my books?

If you are Miss Information apparently it does.

She also says that the book had:

'no signs of the Florie Maybrick chapters being more thumbed through than any others'

But do books normally have such signs?  The answer is that they don't!   I've looked in a lot of library books and I'm sure I can't tell which chapters have been read the most.  It's utterly ridiculous for her to make such an observation in support of her claim that neither Mike nor Tony had read the chapter on the Maybrick case.

Then we have this classic example of bad argument:

'Mike was to put the line about no bugger alive knowing about the diary in Tony's mouth on 26th April 1993, when he swore an affidavit that it was his dead friend who gave it to him. It was squeaky bum time, because just three days earlier Feldman had been faxed a list of Portus & Rhodes employees, their addresses and phone numbers. The list included one, Edward Lyons.'

If there is any evidence that Mike knew, prior to 26 April 1993, that Feldman had been faxed a list of Portus & Rhodes employees on 23 April 1993, one could possibly argue that he swore his affidavit in response to Feldman's receipt of that list.  But did he know?   There is no reason to think he did and there's just a huge evidential gap there but Miss Information jumps into it, assuming that the two events are connected when they may well be totally separate.

We know very little about Mike's affidavit of 26 April 1993.  I don't even think I've seen a full copy of it.  We don't know why he swore it.  There could be any number of reasons.  But if you want to attribute it to a fax received by Feldman, you need to be able to demonstrate that Mike actually knew about that fax within three days of its receipt.

It's worth mentioning this sentence:

'After all, his late friend Tony did make a very handy substitute, considering he had lived on the same street as Eddie.' 

Complete nonsense.  As I've already discussed, what did Tony living in Fountains Road have to do with him being the notional source of the diary?   It was the fact that he was dead that was 'handy'!

And then we move on to this cracker:

'The alternative to the above is Orsam's hypothesis, whereby Mike Barrett had no provenance in mind for James Maybrick's diary - which covered just the final year and a bit of his life after moving into Battlecrease - until one day in August 1991, when Tony Devereux died suddenly and unexpectedly. Being a Barrett of very little brain and even less imagination, he still hadn't come up with a better idea seven months later, when he finally threw caution to the wind and contacted a literary agent with a view to getting the hoax published - before he had even found anything suitable to put it in.' 

I mean, hello, broken brain?  Why assume that Mike Barrett had 'no provenance in mind for James Maybrick's diary' during 1991?  What if the plan all along had been for Anne to claim it had been in her family for years, only for Tony's death to provide an even better provenance which meant Anne didn't need to be involved?  But then that plan was resurrected much later when Anne wanted to provide an alternative provenance herself.

We just don't know.  We don't know if Mike had another plan to say where the diary came from if he had been drafting the text in 1991.  He might have had all kinds of ideas. 

And although Miss Information says that Barrett 'still hadn't come up with a better idea seven months later', what was so bad about his story that he'd been given it by Tony Devereux?  To this day, no-one has ever managed to crack that story.  It was a decent cover story.  It left the provenance as a mystery.  Tony was dead so couldn't contradict it. The best argument against is that Tony's daughters knew nothing about it but that doesn't really count for much.
Mike was to put the line about no bugger alive knowing about the diary in Tony's mouth on 26th April 1993, when he swore an affidavit that it was his dead friend who gave it to him. It was squeaky bum time, because just three days earlier Feldman had been faxed a list of Portus & Rhodes employees, their addresses and phone numbers. The list included one, Edward Lyons.

And then finally Miss Information sets out the supposed coincidence that we dealt with at the start:

'What Orsam's hoaxer could not have anticipated in a million years, when naming Tony and giving his diary a Fountains Road provenance, was that another Fountains Road resident was already in position, and would come out of the woodwork for the second time in April 1993, having come out of it for the first time – quite literally – from Maybrick's house, and on the same day Mike had called the agent, 9th March 1992.' 

We can see that, ludicrously, the diary is supposed to have had 'a Fountains Road provenance' but no-one thought about it like that at the time.  The provenance was the late Tony Devereux.  We know what happened next.  Feldman had a theory that the diary had been found by the Portus & Rhodes electricians and he started asking if any of them drank at the Saddle pub.  Once it transpired that one of them DID drink in the Saddle pub, Feldman figured that he had his man and induced him into agreeing that he found the diary in the house in 1989 until he realized that he was going down a rabbit hole. 

Once we've found someone who drank in the Saddle pub in Fountains Road it's never going to be a big surprise that this person lived near or in Fountains Road. 

Mike was to put the line about no bugger alive knowing about the diary in Tony's mouth on 26th April 1993, when he swore an affidavit that it was his dead friend who gave it to him. It was squeaky bum time, because just three days earlier Feldman had been faxed a list of Portus & Rhodes employees, their addresses and phone numbers. The list included one, Edward Lyons.
 
LORD ORSAM
18 September 2021 

 

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