Compare and contrast these two statements:
'The delicious irony is that it was Anne Graham who identified this 'fatal' error in Mike's DAiry to Keith Skinner, regarding Flo's 'aunt'.' – Caroline Morris, (#502 'Special Announcement' thread), 3 August 2020.
'Ironically, the true relationship of the Countess to Florence (without getting her name right) was spotted by the authors of ‘The Last Victim’ (1999), Anne E. Graham and Carol Emmas'.' - Lord Orsam in 'Bunny’s Aunt', 1 August 2020.
Yes, isn’t it ironic?
Perhaps it would help if Caroline Morris actually read my articles before commenting on them in future.
Especially as no-one was allowed to quote from my article in order to correct her, so she could misrepresent my research to her heart’s content, with the assistance of her friend and enabler, Jonathan Menges.
Perhaps there are some articles you can disparage without reading but 'Bunny's Aunt' is certainly not one of them. Caroline Morris decided to comment on 'Bunny's Aunt' and criticize it without actually knowing what was in it. What does that tell you about her?
In attempting to disparage my article without reading it she just made a fool of herself. It was embarrassing.
Let's look at her responses in the 'Special Announcement' thread.
The first one came on 3 August in #477 of the 'Special Announcement' thread in which she seemed to think the article was about HER!!
So she told us that she was Auntie Caroline to her goddaughter Caroline. How nice! But what does that have to do with Florence Maybrick, James Maybrick and the Countess de Gabraic?
It's not always about you Auntie Caroline!!
Her next post in #480 - despite still not having read my article - was that she had a gut feeling that 'my words are going to be eaten...if not eaten already?' Does anyone see me eating any words? Nope, so that was a waste of time.
Then in #481, seeking information, she asked Iconoclast, 'do we know where Bongo is meant to have read that when Florie was off to 'that London' to bed Alfie, she lied about it hubby, saying she off to see her aunt?'
If she wanted to know the answer to that, why not just read my article? As I've stated, it is to be found in the books by Ryan and Morland (not to mention that it's also in books by Hartman and Whittington-Egan).
She then posted in #491 something hard to comprehend about 'Sir Jim' which I'll deal with at the very end of this article but, for the moment, in #494 she asked another question which was already answered in my article namely, 'How did Addison come to believe she had told Jim it was her aunt?'.
Then in #497 a point of irrelevance, 'She wasn't really going to see her aunt, or her Godmother, or her mother, was she?' If by that she's asking was Florence really going to see the Countess de Gabriac in London in March 1889, the answer is: probably not (although this is by no means 100% confirmed) but the Countess de Gabriac was her godmother. No-one called her Florence's aunt other than Addison by mistake, while 'mother' was a clear transcription/hearing error.
Then the big error in #498:
'But it isn't new research is it, Observer? Not by any stretch. The 'anomaly' was found back in the 90s.'
Again she embarrasses herself by attempting to disparage an article she hasn't read. No-one had ever confirmed that the woman Florence claimed to be going to visit was her godmother because no-one had identified the woman as the Countess de Gabriac.
She goes on to say 'Credit where credit is due please' so let's give credit to the person attributed with checking the facts in Robert Smith's 2017 and 2019 books who seems to have been under the impression that a woman called 'Countess de Gabrielle' was Florence Maybrick's AUNT because that's what Robert Smith tells us and Caroline Morris doesn't appear to have corrected him. Presumably she would not have wanted inaccurate information to be published in her friend's book.
Strange though isn't it, considering that she now tells us that the 'anomaly' was spotted back in the 90s? Not by Robert Smith in 2017, it seems. Nor by his fact checker. Nor by Shirley Harrison in 2003 because she also says that Florence went to London to see her aunt. Nor by Paul Feldman, for whom Keith Skinner was on the research team, because he too said in his 1997 book that Florence claimed she was off to see her aunt.
How is all that possible for an anomaly that was 'spotted' in the 1990? Not much good spotting something and keeping quiet about it, is it? If it was mentioned, no-one seems to have heard about it.
In fact, it's hard to tell because she writes so vaguely, but it seems that Caroline Morris herself was unaware of the discrepancy in the diary because later, after having stated that the anomaly was spotted in the 1990s, she says in #522 that:
'I just read the recent posts regarding Keith's research on Florie's aunt, with Anne Graham's assistance. First I knew about the aunt/Godmother thing and all the possible permutations and interpretations concerning the few words in the diary on the subject.'
So, if she's saying there that the first she knew about 'the aunt/Godmother thing' was in August 2020, following the publication of my article, that kind of suggests that I'm responsible for putting the information into the public domain doesn't it? So the credit is due to me isn't it? Not to the person or persons who might have spotted something but kept quiet about it for about fifteen years!
I mean, if the person to whom Robert Smith - someone who, in theory at least, must be amongst the most knowledgeable about the diary - turns for help in checking the facts in his book (i.e. Caroline Morris) doesn't know about a massive discrepancy between what is in the diary and what is in the evidence then surely it's a bit rich for Caroline Morris on 3 August 2020 to say 'Credit where credit is due, please' where that credit is supposed to go to Keith Skinner, not to me!
And, in any case, I clearly mentioned in my article that both Feldman and Anne Graham had spotted in the 1990s that Hopper said that Florence was going to visit her godmother. I couldn't have made it clearer. So once again her childish and immature failure to read my article meant that she simply embarrassed herself in public.
Then, if she hadn't already embarrassed herself enough, she concluded her post by saying to Observer:
'And you will get credit if can tell us which Maybrick book gave Bongo his source for Florie lying to Jim in private about her plans to visit an aunt, when she was planning to visit an Alf'.
Like I said in the article which she hadn't bothered reading, Ryan or Morland. You can take your pick. There's also Hartman and Whittington-Egan if you prefer.
Then we come to #502 where we have the 'delicious irony' mentioned at the start of this article which Caroline Morris, in her ignorance, thinks she was the first to spot even though I'd mentioned this exact same irony in my article that it was Anne Graham who was the first and only person to have published the information that Florence claimed she was going to see her godmother, although in a book with footnote references throughout there is, surprisingly, no footnote reference on the relevant page showing that the source of this information was Hopper's witness statement. I say that's surprising bearing in mind that it is now being stressed that this was exclusive information being published for the very first time. The authors of that book didn't seem too keen on explaining for their readers how they knew about it.
In the same post, Caroline Morris continues to speak in ignorance when she refers to 'someone of Lord O's limited understanding of how aunts and Godmothers can be pretty much interchangeable'. My article did not reveal any such understanding (or lack of it) on my part bearing in mind that this issue is completely irrelevant to the article in circumstances where we know for a fact that both James and Florence told Hopper that Florence had been to see her godmother, not her aunt, and there is no way in the world that James (who was not a child) would have mistaken Florence's godmother for her aunt.
At this point, some reality was knocked into her head by RJ Palmer who informed her (#519) that:
'Lord Orsam acknowledges that Feldman and his research team must have seen this documentation. Indeed, it was one of the more disturbing aspects of his article...'
This is when she was forced to confess that she hadn't even read the article that she was commenting on so confidently!
Her response to being told she had got it wrong was:
'Don't know, don't care'.
She went on to say that Feldman was 'hardly likely to abandon his own beliefs on the strength of learning of this earth-shattering but bogus revelation'. That makes no sense. If he accepted that Hopper's evidence was true he had no choice. It wasn't open to him to say as a matter of historical fact that the 'Countess de Gabrielle' was Florence's aunt on the basis of what was written in the diary, if the evidence was that the woman was her godmother. Sure, if he thought Hopper was mistaken and didn't understand that Addison had no other source of information than his brief, he might have thought that the 'Countess de Gabrielle' really was her aunt. But that's where my 'earth-shattering' and NOT 'bogus' revelation comes into play. I discovered what Feldman didn't know, namely that the woman in question was the Countess de Gabriac and she actually WAS Florence's godmother.
Then she fell back on, 'None of this points to a modern hoax anyway does it?' to which the answer is no. I never said it did. It certainly proves that the diary could not have been created before Florence's trial to assist her defence - so that knocks that crazy idea out of the water (crazy because there was no way she would have wanted to draw attention to her adultery) - but it could have been written by any forger at any point after Addison made the mistake about Florence going to see her aunt (although other entries in the diary show that it contains information about Maybrick not publicly available before 1891).
However, what DOES point to a modern hoax is the expression 'one off instance'. Caroline Morris has no answer to that and, as far as I can tell, now accepts the possibility of the diary being a modern hoax which someone (just not Mike!!!) slipped into a concealed part of Battlecrease at some point prior to 9 March 1992. That's bad news for Iconoclast, of course, but he doesn't like to think ill of his lady master, the woman he refers to as 'Cazzykins', so wipes that out of his mind as if she never said it.
Going back to her 'credit' point, she refers to the 'credit due to Keith and Anne, for finding the information in the first place'. They didn't, of course, find the information set out in my article. Caroline Morris is, no doubt, STILL unaware that I discovered the identity of the Countess de Gabriac, which is the key piece of new information to unlock this puzzle, but I don't think one can credit an alleged co-forger of the diary who would have had a certain advantage over everyone else in knowing for certain that the diary was a forgery. In any case, I gave the 'credit' in my article to Anne Graham for spotting that Florence said she went to see her godmother. Had she read it, she would have known that!
In #557 we have the suggestion that 'Sir Jim' could have been carelessly 'conflating' the two visits to London by his wife, 'the one to Aunt M [his favourite initial] and the one to the one he couldn't be arsed to spell'. Except that 'Aunt M' - Aunt Margaret - was a friend of Florence (and her mother), who was only the aunt to John Baillie Knight, not to Florence, and she wasn't in need of any nursing. In addition, the 'Aunt M' reference was only found in a legal document created long after Maybrick's death. So that's not the answer.
Then we have this shocker (in #552):
'Maybe my eyes are going, but I can't find where Mike or Anne could have blindly copied Addison's awful auntie anomaly from either Bernard Ryan or Trevor Christie'.
Well it's not in Christie, whereas despite our blind bat being on the case, Bernard Ryan DOES mention it on page 35 of his book:
I think I can see the word 'aunt' there. Can you?
The pretext of Florence going to London to visit an aunt is also mentioned, incidentally, in Mary J. Hartman's book 1977, 'Victorian Murderesses' and Richard Whittington-Egan's 1967 book, 'Tales of Liverpool: Murder, Mystery, Mayhem', which Mike is known to have owned.
The final point I want to address is why Caroline Morris' response isn't to say 'Oh, of course, yes, it's obvious that the hoaxer made a mistake because he wasn't James Maybrick therefore he didn't know the true relationship between Florence and the woman she was claiming to visit in London'. After all, that's her theory isn't it? So why does she appear to be resistant to it?
This is the very strange thing she says in #491:
'There is also the possibility that 'Sir Jim' was sarcastically parroting from various press reports in some of his rotten rhymes, in which case it wouldn't actually matter whether the finer details were erroneous or not. In one's personal diary one wouldn't need to spell out where the reports were accurate and where they got it wrong. The diarist would know - and in keeping with the character portrayed, 'Sir Jim' would be laughing at the fools, running round like headless chickens getting everything arse about face. I reckon the diary author would still be laughing today if he could see us all now.'
Why does she refer here (and at other times) to 'Sir Jim' and not simply to 'the hoaxer'? Is she trying to keep alive the possibility that 'Sir Jim' might have been Maybrick? If not, I just can't understand the reason for the 'Sir Jim' label.
And the logic in her post is baffling. What she appears to be saying is that the hoaxer, in a FAKE or HOAXED diary of James Maybrick, deliberately included facts from newspapers which were false because he or she figured that the real Maybrick would probably also include false facts in his own personal diary!
Well at least I think that's what she's saying. How else does one interpret the words, 'The diarist would know'. What would the diarist know? Unless the diarist was the real killer, he or she surely wouldn't know whether the facts in the newspapers were true or false.
Then the big conclusion is that 'the diary author would still be laughing today if he could see us all now' which, I think, means that the false facts in the diary which genuinely give away the fact that the diary is a fake were deliberately placed in the diary so that the forger (or hoaxer) would laugh when, in the future, readers of the diary would see those mistakes and conclude that the diary must be fake. So the big joke is.....er??????
Hasn't the hoaxer just given the game away then by including the mistakes? Surely the point of such a diary is to make the reader genuinely think it was written by Maybrick, no? Or is that too obvious?
For me, this is a classic example of the twisted and warped mind of Caroline Morris who over-complicates to a such incredible degree in coming up with something so nonsensical that it literally defies understanding.
We find that she repeats the same weird suggestion in #495 when she says:
'Just have 'Sir Jim' embroider his personal recollection with some of the bollux he has been reading about himself in the papers - just for jolly - and he's untouchable'
What can she possibly think she means by the word 'untouchable'? She is literally saying (as far as it's even possible to understand her) that the hoaxer she calls 'Sir Jim' is including facts in the diary taken from the newspapers not caring whether they are true or not because the hoaxer thinks it is likely that James Maybrick, the real killer, would have included false facts taken from the newspapers and, therefore, if those facts turn out to be untrue it would mean that, er, the diary is exposed as a fake but then I think she's saying that the hoaxer expects someone investigating the diary in the future to say 'Ah hold on, we can't say the diary is a fake simply because of all these mistakes in the diary because perhaps the REAL killer was including false facts in his diary'. And then the hoaxer is 'untouchable' whatever that means. Can she be serious with this line of nonsense?
It's just the drivel of someone whose brain doesn't work properly, isn't it?
There is a very simple answer to all this. The forger of the diary was reasonably imaginative but, at the same time, quite daft. He made some stupid and obvious errors because he used a handful of books about Maybrick and the Ripper murders so that his information was only as good as the information in those books. On most occasions the books are entirely accurate - hence so is the diary - but on some occasions the books got the facts wrong and so does the diary. The forger was also no expert on the English language and didn't realize that certain phrases would give the game away. Funny how Caroline Morris always says Bongo Barrett was very stupid but, despite so many clear errors in the diary, this doesn't seem to have any impact on her thinking that Bongo might have been behind it after all!
19 September 2020
p.s. Despite her making mistake after mistake about my article, not once, not a SINGLE TIME, did Mr Pedantic Nitpick the Clanger correct Caroline Morris on any of her many errors of understanding, which shows perfectly well how unbiased he is, doesn't it?