Orsam Books

Lord Orsam Says....(part 9)


Living up to its name as the forum of censorship, with Jonathan Menges having now taken complete control of that site in some kind of coup d'etat, the below announcement was posted on 7 June 2020, the very day after the last Orsam Day:

'Lord Orsam is banned from contributing to the Casebook message boards and that ban also forbids other posters from copying and pasting his comments in any discussion thread.  Whether you're actually being a proxy post for his Lordship, or have good an honest intentions, pasting his commentary here will not be allowed.'

As a matter of actual fact, I sent my notice of resignation from the Forum to the Administrator, Ally Ryder, on 20 August 2018.  Although I've obviously read about it on the Forum like everyone else, I have never, at any time, been informed of any ban, either by Ally Ryder, Jonathan Menges or any other moderator or representative of Casebook.  I really don't think that Casebook has the power to 'ban' a private citizen who is not a member of their website or Forum.  They might as well just'ban' the Prime Minister or, say, Tom Hanks for news value.

As I resigned from the site before any ban could possibly have been imposed, Menges is just gaslighting.  It's exactly like the situation in the United States where Donald Trump tried to pretend that he fired Colonel Mattis as defence secretary when the truth is that Mattis resigned of his own accord.  

Furthermore, I really have no idea why Menges seems to think I have some kind of burning desire to post anything on his pathetic Forum. I stopped posting voluntarily on there on about 28 May 2018. Even though I was perfectly free to post whatever I wanted at the time, there were no further posts made by me between the end of May and the day I formally requested termination of my membership about three months later, on 20 August 2018. 

If Menges wants to censor the members of his own forum from quoting anything I say on this website that's up to him but he isn't telling the truth if he explains it as a ban.  It's only a ban in his imagination.  I resigned from the Forum.  As I mentioned in the eighth installment of 'Lord Orsam Says...', the very last thing Ally Ryder personally told me (on 20 August 2018) was that I was 'welcome to continue posting' on the Forum.  So they can invent any false excuse they like to silence me but the fact is that I resigned from their stupid and heavily censored Forum. 

The rule is interesting though.  Since my resignation from the Forum, I've had three articles published in Ripperologist.  Does this rule mean that none of the members of the Censorship Forum are allowed to quote from any of those Ripperologist articles?  Because, after all, I'm very cunning.  Perhaps those articles were nothing more than an attempt by me to get others to copy and paste extracts from them on the Forum!!!

According to Menges, making it all up as he goes along (in #5219), if my 'responses' to specific posts on the Censorship Forum can be copied and pasted (or, presumably, just quoted), 'it doesn't make for much of a ban does it?'  Well, as there never was a 'ban' in the first place, it's pretty ridiculous to try and pretend to create one now!  But does that ruling mean that passages from my articles CAN be quoted if they are not responses to something said on the Forum?  The Censor-in-Chief offers no guidance to his members on this point.

Not all of the articles on this website are responses to what is posted on Casebook.  What about, for example, my recent article about Jonathan Hainsworth's book?  Is no-one allowed to quote from that?  In that article, I posted evidence (for the first time I believe) that Constable Robert Spicer was only 19 years old when he supposedly arrested a Ripper suspect in Heneage Court, not 22 as has always been believed.  So are people allowed to quote me as saying that?  If not, are they allowed to summarize that point?  Who knows?  Censorship has triumphed on the Forum and it's all gone quite mad.  

Of course, censorship existed on the Censorship Forum even when I was a member and I well remember that we were bizarrely told by Ally Ryder that we weren't even allowed to even mention the 2017 book 'The Diary of Jack the Ripper 25 Years of Mystery' because it was an H Division Crime Club book and Richard C. Cobb of that organization had, allegedly, threatened Ally Ryder with some form of violence in the past.  That was a pretty awful bit censorship as far as I was concerned, and, whatever Cobb had said to Ryder, I thought it was quite utterly mad to prevent discussion of a book with contributions by many others so that, for example, I wasn't even allowed to discuss the chapter by Paul Butler (as I have now done on this site) but, okay, at least there was some sort of weird justification in that Ally Ryder had supposedly been physically threatened by someone (although I have no idea if that was true or not).  But they can't use that excuse with me because I have made no such threats, so it is portrayed as some sort of 'ban' even though I've never been notified of any ban.

It's hard to see how there can be any justification for preventing discussion about the Maybrick/Jack the Ripper Diary on an online forum about Jack the Ripper but that's essentially what it boils down to.  If I say something interesting on the subject on this website no-one is allowed to quote me before responding, apparently, although it's not entirely clear.  And that applies to any other Jack the Ripper related subject. 

Can there be any bigger scandal in Ripperology?  They just cannot handle truthful and accurate criticism on this website that is outside their control and which they cannot censor.  But everyone is, of course, reading it!!!  That's the joke.  Everyone comes here either on Orsam Day itself or the day after - when this website gets a massive spike of visitors - and, believe me, the visits continue all the way through to the next Orsam Day.   

One more thing, incidentally, I did love Menges saying that 'Lord Orsam is banned...'.  That wasn't even my username but at least he recognizes my status. 


So Jonathan Menges seems to be making the rules of censorship up as he goes along.  No sooner had I drafted the above than we have this nonsense:


'You can't copy and paste from his website onto the boards.  Post a link instead.'

Seriously?  What madness is this?  You can link to my website but not quote from it?  What can that possibly achieve?  How very random.

I can't work out if this is all down to some fear that I have a team of 'proxy posters' posting on my behalf, thus overcoming my imagined 'ban', which of course I don't.  That all seems to be in the paranoid imagination of the Censor. I resigned from the Forum of my own free will. I don't need anyone to post on my behalf and have never asked anyone to do so.  It would be bloody obvious if anyone was doing it in any case. 

It's complete madness, and utterly pointless, to allow links to this site while preventing the members of his own Forum from quoting me.  And, really, it's not me being censored, it's the members of the Forum.  I can't even see how it even would work, posting a link but not quoting.  Someone can post a link but not properly explain why they are doing it, presumably, which seems bizarre.

And what is the rule on proxy posting anyway?  Keith Skinner, who is a flipping member of the Forum, has now had proxy posts made on his behalf by James Johnston, Iconoclast and, would you believe it, Jonathan Menges himself!!!  Now, I did, once or twice, while I was a Forum member, make proxy posts on behalf of Joe Chetcuti, as did others such as Mike Hawley and Robert Linford.  I did so because he asked me to. Why Joe Chetcuti couldn't do it himself I never understood, to be perfectly honest.  I never asked him.  When Joe Chetcuti asks you do something for him you tend to just do it!  But I was subsequently told that this was banned under the Forum rules and wasn't allowed to happen again. So he stopped doing it.  Next thing that happens, Jonathan Menges is doing it for Keith Skinner!!!

As far as I'm aware, Keith Skinner is perfectly capable of posting on his own accord.  What happened is that he tried to post once and his long post got lost.  That, I think, has happened to us all at one time or another and it's really annoying but, as I explained to Keith in a Forum post, there are ways to prevent that happening, such as typing out the post in a Word document first and then pasting it onto the Forum or signing into the Forum in a different way.  So he knows this but still refuses to post under his own name.  It is baffling and inexplicable.  What's more, it frustrates any attempt to search for posts by Keith Skinner using the search facility.  This obviously doesn't apply to me as I'm no longer a member but it does apply to all current members. 

I really don't know why Keith Skinner doesn't post under his own name and perhaps Menges can explain it when he makes up his next set of censorship rules.

But anyway, anyone who wants to provide a link to this article on the Censorship Forum can now do so, apparently. 

But don't quote me on that!


Following Jonathan Menges' recent ban from www.orsam.co.uk, yet to be announced, visitors to this site are reminded by the Administrator that Menges' nonsensical utterances may NOT be copied and pasted onto this website in rules that I am making up as I go along.

The reason for this is that it wouldn't be much of a ban if anything he said could just be posted here willy nilly now would it?  

It is permissible, however, to re-type anything he has posted online as long as you type "ARSE" between each word.  You may also link to his posts provided you are standing on your head whilst doing so.

But for anyone who has not yet heard the news, possibly including Menges himself, I must repeat that JONATHAN MENGES IS BANNED FROM THIS WEBSITE.


There is NO APPEAL from this decision. 

I would like to ask all visitors to be alert for his proxies, whom he may use to try and sidestep the ban, and to be especially vigilant in case he tries to slip in here under a fake name, like Jimmy Monges or Jack Manges de Tout.  Please immediately alert the Administrator and the Chief Moderator, who happen to be the same person, if you have any suspicions that Jonathan Menges is attempting to make an appearance on this site or is using others to secretly post words on his behalf.

You should look out in particular for any posts in which someone first denies having conspired with Ally Ryder then admits it. That will probably be him.

Also, please look out for anyone who resembles an interfering old fool and inform Admin immediately if you see anyone meddling in stuff which doesn't concern them.

You don't need proof of anything.  Just suspicion will be fine. 

The penalty for anyone who knowingly, deliberately, innocently or unwittingly assists Jonathan Menges in circumventing this ban by posting on this site is DEATH.

But don't quote me on that! 


While the buffoonish moderator of the Censorship Forum has announced that no-one is allowed to quote me, by taking no action in response to #5124 in the 'Incontrovertible' thread, Menges has made perfectly clear to the members of that Forum that they ARE allowed, without any sanction, to hurl out gratuitous abuse at me!!!

Here is that post. 

The Clanger obviously couldn't contain his glee when reading Menges' Censorship announcement and thus made this pathetic post referring to my real name as 'Denis O'Brien'.  Forum members confused by this should know that Gary Barnett once made a complete fool of himself (in multiple threads) by thinking that I was seriously putting forward 'Denis O'Brien' as a Jack the Ripper suspect when the truth was that I had made clear it was nothing more than a joke suggestion, a parody of a suspect theory, in fact.  He's never been able to acknowledge this and thinks that he can somehow escape his foolishness by pointing out that I assumed 'Joseph McCarthy' was the man's real name

The fact of the matter, to the extent that there is any importance attached to it (which there isn't!), is that it might well have been his real name, and Barnett himself assumed that the man's real name was 'Denis O'Brien' which could easily have been an alias. So the entire issue has rebounded very badly on the Clanger.  He also has issues which prevent him from understanding the jokes on this site and thus thinks I have 'multiple personalities' but Clangers just clang, it's their nature and there's nothing anyone can do about it.


It seems that Gary Barnett has finally understood that his mission is to ask Paul Begg a question, but he's got more excuses to wriggle out of doing so than the kid whose dog ate his homework.

'I don't know how to word the question, why don't you do it, why doesn't someone else do it?'  These are all thrown out in chaotic fashion in #316 in the Lord Orsam Blog thread.


'I simply don’t have sufficient knowledge of the subject to even frame the Munro question, let alone to field Paul’s responses, should he be gracious enough to make them.' 

Thing is, I already drafted the exact wording of the question he's supposed to be asking Paul Begg in the last 'Lord Orsam Says...'.  And it's not a difficult question. Here it is: 

"Do you accept that there are errors in your 1992 book regarding the resignation of Monro?"  

All he has to do is post it!

But he can't.

He doesn't need to field Paul's responses at all.  We just need to find out if Paul accepts there are any errors. It's a 'yes' or 'no' question.  After that, if Paul admits there are errors, it's up to him (Begg) to identify and correct them. 

But the claim by Barnett that he doesn't have 'sufficient knowledge' is clearly disingenuous.

Back in the fourth installment of 'Lord Orsam Says...' on 24 November 2019 (here), I explained in detail what Paul Begg and Keith Skinner had said in their book about Monro's 1890 resignation. At the same time, I set out the factual errors that the authors made which led them to a false conclusion, in what I referred to as 'an Idiot's Guide to the subject for anyone who hasn't read the book by Begg and Skinner'.  Accordingly, as I said in the sixth installment of 'Lord Orsam Says...' on 20 March, 'having educated him about Begg and Skinner's book, that removed Barnett's defence of ignorance.'    

Should he need any further information it's all in Part 4 of the Suckered! Plus Quadrilogy here

So that problem is solved.  He just needs to ask the short question that I've already drafted for him.  Does he have the balls to do it?  (Answer so far: NO!)


Barnett's second dreadful excuse is that I should be asking the question, not him.

Thus, we have:


Pausing there, I don't know what's suddenly got into him with this 'he/she' business. He's obviously losing it.  The clue is in the name, Lord Orsam.  Anyway, he/she/it continues:

'clearly doesn’t have the balls to ask Paul Begg the question about Monro that he/she is so desperate to ask'

Well, apart from the fact that I'm not a member of any forum of which Paul Begg is a member, and apart from the fact that he's not likely to respond to any question I ask him on this website, I actually did ask him the question on the Censorship Forum back in September 2015.

The circumstances were quite amusing.  Having made clear in my 'Suckered! Plus Quadrilogy' article that Begg and Skinner were in error about the circumstances surrounding Monro's resignation in their book, 'The Scotland Yard Files', Phil Carter had completely misread my article and thought I was praising their book.  In #4 of the thread 'The Suckered! Plus Quadrilogy' he actually accused me of wearing an 'I love Paul Begg' badge!!! 

Well Paul Begg, who can read English, obviously understood what I had said in my article and commented in #5, correctly, that I was 'critical of what we wrote'

I then pointed out to Phil Carter in #8:

'As Paul Begg has correctly stated, I have not frequently quoted from Begg & Skinner’s book at all; in fact I do not refer to that book in any of the first three articles in the quadrilogy, and I only mention it in the fourth article in order to challenge the authors’ assertion that the resignation of James Monro as Commissioner in 1890 can be described as a mystery. The only mystery is why you seem to think I have relied on Begg & Skinner in any way.'

Paul then addressed me directly (in #10):

'Hi David

As best I can recall, when we wrote the book back in the early 1990s our feeling was that Monro's resignation was a case of a fall before he was pushed. We were aware of the remark made by Lord Salisbury to Queen Victoria about Monro being the cause of many of the troubles, and, of course, Monro was and remains the only Commissioner not to have received a knighthood, which, given the highly sensitive work Monro must have overseen, perhaps suggests that he was very much out of favour.' 

I was curious because he seemed to be standing by what he said in the book. So I diplomatically asked him this question (in #13):

'Have your own views changed at all since the 1990s?' 

It was a polite way of asking him if appreciated he had made an error.  I wasn't looking for compliments but I was asking him if my articles had caused him to appreciate the mistakes in his book, His reply (in #16) was as follows:

'Hello David,

In the 1990s we were treading new ground and trying to understand what was going on. I wholly agree with you that the Pensions Bill was of considerable importance to Monro and he certainly saw his resignation as entirely to do with it. He was probably right, but, as said, it seems that he was in bad odour. I don't know, but I feel that not receiving a knighthood was a very hard slap in the face and I'm not sure if his actions over the pensions fully explains it. Mind you, I have no idea what he could have done to deserve it. I think our 1990s thinking was that Monro seemed almost to be Teflon Man, standing alone in defence of his men, but that the absence of a knighthood might reveal that he wasn't so pure and clean.The important thing, I think, is that we really don't know a a lot about these men and we need to if we are to properly assess them.'
I remember thinking that he hadn't actually addressed the point with his 'treading new ground' comment.  Sure, he and Skinner might well have been treading new ground in the 1990s (with their conspiracy nonsense!) but, even if Begg was sticking to his and Skinner's conclusion, he needed to accept that he and Skinner had got the underlying facts wrong.  It's that stark. And it's now time for him to 'fess up. 
A reminder that the five key errors made by Begg and Skinner are identified in my idiot's guide here under the headline 'BARNETT SLAMS LORD ORSAM: SHOCK CLAIM OVER UNFAIR PARAGRAPH NUMBER ALLOCATIONS'.
Now, one could ask why I didn't take the opportunity to press Paul Begg in 2015 and that's a fair question but, as I have been saying repeatedly in about the last five updates, the reason I am pressing this issue now is because Paul Begg has only recently set himself up, along with Gary Barnett, as one of the two great seekers of truth in the fight against Hallie Rubenhold. The two people for whom truth above all else is supposed to be of utmost importance.
I'm afraid I suspected hypocrisy at the time, back in 2015, based on the somewhat weasel way he avoided addressing my question on the Censorship Forum and now I see it in its full glory, especially when he publicly instructed Gary not to even ask him the question about errors in his book (which instruction, the little boy has, of course, faithfully obeyed).
That not only explains why I want the question asked of Paul Begg now but it explains why I want GARY BARNETT to do it.  I want to see if Seeker of Truth A is physically able to ask Seeker of Truth B if Seeker of Truth B once made some errors in one of his books.
Because Seekers of Truth A and B have been giving Hallie Rubenhold a very hard time about her own errors and seem to be very keen for her to admit to making those mistakes.  Are Seekers of Truth A and B really seekers of truth or are they despicable hypocrites?
So that brings us on to Gary Barnett's third excuse: trying to delegate the entire terrifying task to someone else, i.e. Kattrup. Thus, he says to Kattrup:

'since you appear to be Lord (or is it Lady?) Orsam’s representative on earth...'

There he goes again with his 'Lady' part. 
His Lady part *snigger*
Tee hee!
Pampered twat!!!
'...do you think you could summon up the courage to ask it on his/her behalf?' 

I'll come back in a separate section to his remarkable and abusive treatment of Kattrup but, look, he is literally pleading with Kattrup to ask Paul Begg the question which he is too cowardly to ask himself!

But it has to be Barnett who asks the question. 

Otherwise he loses his moral right to ask Hallie Rubenhold ANY questions at all.

I mean, ninety posts on the Waterstones blog directed at Hallie, over a hundred directed at Kristina Nordqvist (which we'll be discussing shortly), but he can't direct a single question at Paul Begg!

There's got to be something wrong somewhere with that.   

He knows his mission.  I've worded the question for him.

Get on and do it you snivelling little coward! 


So what crime did Kattrup commit?  What did he do to be referred to by Barnett in #316 as my 'representative on earth', as my 'mouthpiece', a 'grovelling acolyte' and to be accused by him of promoting 'the Great Grimpen Mire of word vomit'?  

Why, he did no more than post the links to the updates on this website on the last Orsam Day!  That was it.

For this heinous crime, G. Barnett, Thugmeister General, laid into him with his clanging size 12 boots.

The extraordinary thing is that the 'Lord Orsam Blog' thread was started by Howard Brown for the specific purpose of linking to this website when any updates are posted!!!

Hence, the first four posts by Howard Brown in the thread are literally nothing more than links to various articles or pages on this website, as are posts #8 to #14.

I mean, the thread was set up literally to do what Kattrup was doing - post a link to the new articles.

For that he has to suffer the abuse of being called my grovelling acolyte, something no-one in their right mind would want to be accused of!

It's very chilling though.  Someone does no more than post a link and they are verbally attacked by a prominent member of JTR Forums.  So that's going to seriously discourage any such behaviour in the future, isn't it?

After all, who wants to receive a volley of verbal abuse from a thug simply for posting a link? 

And even worse.  What about anyone who would actually like to post in agreement with something I've said?

Well it's obvious what's going to happen.  They will receive a rocket of highly unpleasant abuse from that thuggish Barnett accusing them of being my representative, my mouthpiece, my acolyte, thus effectively ensuring they DON'T post anything in agreement with what I am saying.  

The only thing it seems that Gary Barnett will accept in the 'Lord Orsam Blog...' thread, which he patrols and monitors on a daily basis, is childish abuse of me.  Indeed, he genuinely seems to think that THAT is the purpose of the thread.  Only abuse and insults are acceptable, in his mind.

No-one should be afraid of posting what they want on JTR Forums (or on the Censorship Forum for that matter) in response to the articles on this site but it's perfectly understandable that they will be terrified.  If someone like Kattrup is abused just for posting a link, what would happen if, for example, they happened to post that they agree that Barnett should now get on with it and ask Paul Begg the question about Monro?

I dread to think.  But Barnett knows what he's doing. He's creating the conditions where no-one feels safe or welcome to speak.

Even when Howard Brown, the Administrator, posted to make clear that all Kattrup was doing was posting a link, not intending to upset anyone (#317), Barnett challenged this and said he didn't agree (#318), as if he, not Howard, is in charge of the forum!!!  Thus he believes that simply by posting a link to all the new articles on this site Kattrup was somehow attempting to upset him.  In other words, by Kattrup doing no more than drawing attention to the existence of the updates on this site, Barnett felt that Kattrup was personally attacking him!!!

It's utter madness, fuelled by paranoia, hatred and downright moral cowardice.

I don't run that site but I'd like to think that members should feel free to post links to this website and comment on the articles without interference from Barnett.

And I can confirm that Kattrup is entirely correct when he posted in #319 that, 'I've never been in direct contact with [Lord Orsam] and I'm not his representative or anything like that'.

Other than via posting on the Casebook Forum I've never been in any form of contact with Kattrup, either direct or indirect, through emails, private messages, letter, telephone, skype or any other form of communication known to man.  I don't even know his name and I only assume Kattrup is a 'he' from his avatar. From his online posts he simply appears to be interested in some of the subjects I am also interested in and is entirely independent in thought and deed. So there we are.  A more moronic comment from the Clanger it is hard to imagine. 

Of course, in the third year of his three year vendetta against me, Barnett can't conceive of any independent person either agreeing with what I am posting or, posting a similar point to one I'm making or horror of horrors, posting a link to the new articles on this site without some sort of ulterior motive (directed, of course, at him personally!).

This is not the Gary Barnett site.  If Barnett wants me to stop being the focus of attention here he needs to think about what he posts in response to this articles and it will of course help if he quits stalling and gets on with his mission to ask a simple question of Paul Begg. 

I should probably also clarify that I am not paying Gary Barnett sums of money to repeatedly make a complete tit of himself on purpose on JTR Forums in order to give me a wealth of comedy gold material on this site.  Nor am I paying him to direct huge volumes of traffic to this website every Orsam Day as people clamour to find out what sort of clownish buffoonery the Clanger has been up to since the last update. No, he very kindly keeps making a fool of himself entirely free of charge!!  Very decent of him, I say.



Where Gary the Clanger leads, Caroline Morris is never far behind.  Thus she felt it was appropriate to abuse Kattrup too for posting a link!  So, she said in #321 of the Lord Orsam Blog thread on JTR Forums:

'Kattrup has admitted on several occasions to having no interest in discussing the Maybrick diary, and only seems to pop up on related threads to make personal attacks on the character and motivation of those of us who still do so.'

It's amazing to read the projection coming from someone who makes personal attacks on the character and motivation of every single person who claims the Diary to have been a modern forgery!!!  She certainly did it to me in the Censorship Forum.  After Barnett called me an 'insulting twerp' in #4661 of the Incontrovertible thread, she was lightning quick to join the assault in #4668:

'I do admire him Gary.  Or at least I admire all his efforts to mimic an insulting twerp. He almost pulls it off [now there's an an image nobody wanted] but I suspect he is just another silly faker, just like he believes his hero Mike Barrett wants'.

You know, it's amazing how many crude sexual references Caroline Morris slips into her posts and there's just one example.  As I look at her post above that one in the same thread (#4667) she replied to my post in which I said, 'We got there in the end though', with the comment, 'You may have 'got there in the end', David.  Do you always finish first?'  When I was posting in the Forum I always used to ignore this trailer trash talk and concentrate on the discussing issues relating to the Diary.

But there's a classic example of her attacking me.  And don't forget that Jonathan Menges once ludicrously accused me of 'badgering' her!!!  And, I believe, on this basis, he encouraged Ally Ryder to publicly and falsely accuse me of badgering Mike Hawley!

We only need to move on to the next paragraph of Caroline Morris' post #4668 to find a classic example of her attacking others before me who also believed the Diary to be an obvious modern fake:

'A long way to go before anyone reaches the standard of the insulting great twerps of yesteryear, like Mighty Mel Harris and the Big O, John Omlor. They were the genuine articles'.

Her posts are littered with unpleasant personal attacks on Melvin Harris, John Omlor and Nick Warren amongst others. Anyone who disagrees with her barking mad 'old hoax' theory is a 'twerp' it seems.  Her vendetta against Harris in particular seems to continue despite the man being long dead, as can be seen from her recent posts.  She will no doubt carry it to the grave.

And I hardly need to give examples of her attacking the motivation of others. We are all very familiar with them. Barely a month passes without her asking someone why they are continuing to post evidence or arguments in support of the diary being a modern hoax.  But, for the record, here's one she launched at me in the Acquiring thread on 7 December 2017 (#194):

'Forgive the question, David, but why are you still here, investing so much time and effort into the subject, if you are 100% satisfied that, because James Maybrick could not physically have written "one off instance", the diary could not physically have come out of Battlecrease, no matter what?'

Why are you still here?  A question which is repeated by her in multiple threads to multiple posters who believe in a modern hoax (but never to someone like Iconoclast who claims to be certain that the Diary was written by Maybrick) which shows a clear obsession with her own motivation of others which she then projects onto Kattrup. 

Of course, I am no longer 'still here' because I am no longer in the Censorshp Forum thanks in no small part to the actions of one of her chums, Jonathan Menges, who is currently ensuring that nothing that I say on this website about the Maybrick Diary can be quoted on his Forum.

And then, more recently, on 1 April 2020 (so perhaps it was an April Fool's prank) Ms Morris said this about me in the 'Lord Orsam Blog' thread (#226):

'What a waste of space that man is.  I'm beginning to think he may actually believe what he writes after all.  I used to assume he was making it up just for jolly, either because he has nothing better to do or he thinks he is winding people up.'

Whereas I attempt to confine myself to discussing the issues relating to the Diary she is there exclusively discussing my motivation with not a word to contradict anything I have actually said.  So when she accuses Kattrup of focusing on 'motivation' it really is pure projection.

It didn't stop there of course.  In #237 she referred to 'the bare bones' of my 'posturing'. In #239 she said that I make John Omlor and Melvin Harris 'look genial by comparison' with some additional reference to Maria Birchwood (all ghosts of her past which she can't seem to move on from).  Then in #304, she asks 'How many people out there are still visiting him in his bat cave for their dose of brain washing?' followed by a reference to 'the toxic fumes of subjective reasoning and empty rhetoric'.  

It's all because she doesn't have any sensible answers to the compelling case I've put forward on this site, so she resorts to silly abuse. 

I'm sure Kattrup can speak for himself but I don't ever recall him saying he has no interest in discussing the Maybrick Diary.  I've read him saying that he tries to keep out of the senseless discussions about the Diary.  I've read him saying that the subject is not of itself interesting (while also saying that he follows it for'the amusement value') but I don't remember him ever saying that he has 'no interest' in it. However, I've found that accuracy and attention to detail has never been one of Caroline Morris' strongest points.

And then a classic example of projection when she says:

'I don't think you need worry. Lord O can't have any respect for his supporters. He evidently thinks they are so easily fooled that he can palm them off with any old unsupported opinion dressed up as fact. I think the word for it is ipsedixitism. He's just not quite as accomplished at it as Lord Omlor and Mighty Mel Harris before him. '

I think it's fair to say that when one thinks of 'any old unsupported opinion dressed as fact' this could describe just about any one of the thousands of posts by Caroline Morris regarding the Maybrick Diary.

Amusing to see yet another reference to Harris and Omlor with whom she seems to be utterly obsessed. 

I happen to have respect for my readers (and I'm not a football club so don't have 'supporters') which is why I provide properly researched articles backed up with identified source material.  

But if Caroline Morris feels able to comment on the articles on this site then presumably this means she must be reading them.  No doubt she will provide her 'supporters' with a full rebuttal of all the 'unsupported' points I've made.  Unless she can't, of course. 


It was astonishing to read Caroline Morris' reply to Kattrup's posts #5427 and #5249 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread on the Censorship Forum.  For some bizarre reason she thinks that I was Kattrup's 'source' for his post, when the truth is that I've never spoken to the guy or ever had any contact with him.

To the extent that I am a 'source' because he's read the articles on this site, that should have been obvious to her because he had posted in #5249:

'I'm really glad [Lord Orsam] has a true interest in the diary case, and actually reads and researches it, though.  If you're really interested in solving the case of the diary (which has already been solved), you should read more of his posts.'

She subsequently claimed not to be reading them (which is clearly where she is going wrong) although she expressed surprise that Kattrup had knowledge about the Maybrick Diary. But if he's been reading the posts on this site then of course he would be well informed about the subject, probably better informed than she is!


I now need to mention a very troubling element to Caroline Morris' posts on the Censorship Forum in which she strongly implies that Kattrup has been speaking to me about his own posts and is in some way posting on the Forum on my behalf as a proxy poster.  In #5253 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread she said (my underlining):

'For someone who admitted only recently that they knew very little about the subject and had little interest in it, you now claim to be remarkably well informed. Awesomely well in fact. I don't know who you are getting your information from, but it's not humanly possible to know what you are claiming to know here, so someone is feeding you nonsense to post.'

Just to mention here that if it wasn't 'humanly possible' for Kattrup to have known what he was claiming to know then he couldn't have had a human source for that information. To the extent that she is accusing me of being the source for Kattrup's claim that 'Eddie Lyons  did not know MB prior to producing the diary and he did not find the diary' (which is what she was responding to in that passage), it is a well known fact (as I have posted previously on this site and as others have posted on the Forum) that Eddie Lyons denied knowing MB prior to producing the Diary and has denied finding the Diary.  I assume that Kattrup is relying on the evidence of Eddie Lyons himself to conclude that Eddie did not know MB and did not find the diary, a conclusion which strikes me as entirely humanly possible for anyone to reach!

Anyway, there then followed a mention of a 'notebook of Spandau Ballet' quite possibly to the bafflement of Kattup but I have, of course, written a book about Spandau Ballet (available at all good online booksellers, and in Waterstones, Covent Garden, thanks for the plug!).

Then, in response to a question about Barrett having given a ten day period for the creation of the Diary in a Liverpool Post interview (which is certainly not something I have ever referred to and, in fact, Kattrup subsequently posted in #5265 that he meant an article in the Sunday Times of 3 July 1994 for which the source, as revealed by the link he provided, was none other than R.J. Palmer!  - and thus absolutely nothing to do with me), Caroline Morris said: 

'Could you go back to your source and ask for further details please'.


'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? '

Then, when Kattrup suggested she read some more of my 'posts' (and I'm not sure if Kattrup here meant posts I made on the Forum when I was a member or articles on this website), she said:

'I think I just read several of them right here, Kattrup.

Contrary to what you evidently think, I was not born yesterday.'

Oh yes she bloody well was!


Then she said:

'For someone who isn't terribly interested in keeping the kettle boiling, and hasn't the time or the stamina to substantiate any of your accusations about me making 'false' claims, you are letting off an awful lot of steam on someone's behalf.'

And finally she told Kattrup:

'If you have any further questions, I suggest you go and ask your lord and master.'

So it's perfectly obvious that Caroline Morris is alleging here not only that I am Kattrup's 'source' (which I'm not) but also that he was actually posting on the Forum on my behalf (which he wasn't).

Caroline Morris clearly WAS born yesterday because I have nothing whatsoever to do with Kattrup's posts. They are his own, entirely independent of me.  I do not control an army of people posting for me!  I don't need, and have never asked, Kattrup (or anyone else for that matter) to make posts for me on my behalf.  What I want to say, I say on this website.  I repeat that I have never had any form of contact with Kattrup, either directly or indirectly, at any time in my whole life, or his whole life for that matter.

Just like with Barnett's attack on Kattrup in JTR Forums for simply posting a link to his website, the effect is chilling, aimed to deter anyone from arguing the case for the Barretts being involved in the creation of the Diary lest they be accused of posting on my behalf by proxy, or even of actually being me (as happened before on the Forum in incidents involving Mike Hawley and Simon Wood, both unpunished by any moderator or administrator). 

It should be obvious to anyone with even the slightest bit of intelligence that anyone can read my articles on this site, as well as my old posts on the Forum, and it is quite likely that my writing will be influential and influence the opinion of others. What if someone reads something I've written and thinks it's a good point?  A point they would like to make themselves. They will surely hesitate to post it on the boards lest they receive a flood of angry accusations from senior members, who should know better, that they are posting on my behalf (against the rules); an accusation very easy to make but literally impossible to disprove without giving access to one's email and telephone records etc. Why would anyone want to be embroiled in such a messy controversy?

And others can come to their own conclusions, from the evidence, which happen to agree with mine without reading a single word I've ever written. But the attitude of those who make these accusations seems to be that it's impossible for anyone to advocate the modern hoax involving the Barretts unless they posting on my behalf or actually are me!!!  It's both ridiculous and oh so very arrogant but ultimately designed to have a chilling effect on the boards.

What is so utterly outrageous, of course is that the moderator had, only a few days earlier, been talking about the possibility of me using proxies to post on the Casebook Forum, in breach of the Forum rules, and here is Caroline Morris, in the most flagrant way, accusing Kattrup of being a proxy who is posting on the Forum on my behalf.

It's completely untrue and I feel sure such a false allegation, and extreme badgering of Kattrup, must be in breach of the rules but one thing is for certain: she's not going to receive any punishment from her good friend Jonathan Menges, the current moderator.  I mean, she's a 'premium member' so presumably the rules don't apply to her and she can falsely accuse anyone she likes of being a proxy on my behalf without any sanction. 

It all confirms in my mind that Caroline Morris is incapable of rational thought or critical thinking and speculates inaccurately about everything and anything.  She has got it badly wrong. Perhaps the only good news is that Kattrup now knows, as I do, that she is an idiot.

That Kattrup has responded to the repeated insinuations and downright accusations in such a calm way and virtually ignored them is very much a credit to him.  Many others I'm sure would react with quite justified anger in a way that would probably get them a ban and thus: job done ✔ by the accusers who will remain unpunished. 

I dread to think of the explosive howls of outrage we would have seen from Caroline Morris if anyone had falsely accused HER of posting on behalf of a third party, especially as Kattrup had already stated on JTR Forums that he is not in contact with me, which means that she is also calling him a liar.  But will she apologize or retract her accusation?  I very, very, much doubt it.

More important than this, however, is that what we have on the Censorship Forum today is a situation where, with the active assistance of the Diary Defenders' friend Jonathan Menges, who now has absolute power and control over the board, it is virtually impossible for anyone, other than perhaps R.J. Palmer, to make a case for a modern hoax involving the Barretts, because in doing so, they will inevitably be accused of doing my bidding.  But even he, even HE, unbelievably, has now been accused of doing this, as discussed below!

The whole issue of whether members are or are not posting on my behalf inevitably becomes a distraction away from the points about the Diary that they are trying to make. This will be doubly if not triply true for any new members.  In the end, they will probably just give up and stop posting.  This is where censorship leads us.  To the actual prevention of discussion of the case against the Diary.  Like I say, it is chilling and it is wrong.


As if to confirm everything I've written above, Gary Barnett has posted on JTR Forums, in response to a quoted post in which Caroline Morris said, 'Kattrup has admitted on several occasions to having no interest in discussing the Maybrick diary' and also that 'Lord O can't have any respect for his supporters', to say (#324 of Lord Orsam's Blog thread):

'He seems to have delegated his attacks on females to one of his acolytes in particular.' 


'Nice work if you can stomach it'

It's a disgusting statement from a disgusting person, not to mention that it's entirely untrue because I've delegated nothing to anyone. 


As if proving that all Diary Defenders are unable to think properly, Iconoclast shows how low he's sunk recently by saying to R.J. Palmer (#5306 in 'Incontrovertible' thread):

'Polite suggestion mate: When pasting stuff directly from Lord Orsam's emails to you, remember to remove the inverted comma's from my name.'

As if R.J. Palmer needs me to draft emails for him or would even accept me doing so! And how ironic that only a couple of days later, Caroline Morris defends Iconoclast (in #5338), saying, 'You will never catch him aiming personal darts at the integrity, honesty and motivation of we non believers.  He doesn't need to aim below the belt'.  Yet here we see him playing real dirty and suggesting that R.J. is, against Forum rules, copying and pasting my emails onto the Forum!!!  How is that not aiming well below the belt with an attack on R.J.'s integrity?

As I mentioned in the last 'Lord Orsam Says...' Iconoclast has recently questioned my own integrity by implying that I might be withholding information that supports the Diary being genuine. But if he's not questioning my honesty, then I assume he will now admit that letters 'FM' don't appear on the best quality copy of Kelly's death scene photo (and I'm sure he's asked his new best mate for a look at such a copy).

Caroline Morris also refers to Iconoclast's 'self-deprecating humour' which I suppose is reflected in the fact he continually refers to his own essay as 'brilliant'.  Is that how self-deprecating humour works then? 

But, of course, when it comes to Iconoclast's accusation against R.J. for copying and pasting my (non-existent) emails, Caroline Morris has a blind spot because she made a similar accusation against Kattrup didn't she?  No wonder the birds of a feather stick together.

While it's no-one's business, I have emailed R.J. Palmer in the past - I first did so on a matter wholly unconnected with the Diary - but I haven't had any form of communication (email or otherwise) with him for about a year, and certainly not in 2020.  I would never ask him to post anything on my behalf. 

The first time I read R.J. Palmer's posts, or know anything about them, is when he makes them on the Forum, at exactly the same time as Iconoclast.

I recall that on one day, four years ago, I referred to Iconoclast on the Forum as "Ike", in inverted commas, which he commented on, but since then I have always without exception referred to him in full as Iconoclast. So I wouldn't have referred to him as "Ike" in any posting.

These people need to go to critical thinking classes. 

But, once again, it is a transparent attempt by a Diary Defender to undermine an argument by bringing in this 'posting by proxy' nonsense.  It also discourages others from posting on the Forum about a modern hoax lest they be accused of literally copying and pasting from my emails.

The moderator needs to stamp down on it but then again as the moderator is Jonathan Menges I doubt that will happen.

And, by the way, that will be the last time I comment on who I am or am not in contact with because otherwise anyone can make a similar allegation about another member as a way of finding out if I'm in touch with them. I'm not going to respond further in this way to any such allegations.


Some of Caroline Morris' questions on the Forum are so astonishing in their ignorance that they literally take one's breath away. One of her recent breathtaking questions ('Incontrovertible' #5233) was this:

'If he [Eddie Lyons] didn't know Mike, what was he doing in the Saddle in June 1993, being introduced by Mike to Robert Smith?' 

When I say this question is breathtaking, it's not simply because it's so easy to answer but because the issue of Smith's meeting with Mike and Eddie in the Saddle in June 1993 was at the centre of a massive long-running saga between myself and Caroline Morris back in late 2017 when I was posting in the Censorship Forum (see posts #49, #51, #54, #55, #60, #73, #86, #104, #123, #169, #171 and #185 in the 'Acquiring a Victorian Diary' thread).  She can't possibly have forgotten that can she?

So, anyway, what's the answer?

Simples.  The reason Eddie Lyons was being introduced by Mike to Robert Smith in June 1993 was because Robert Smith had expressly asked Mike to set up a meeting with Eddie Lyons in the Saddle!!!

The evidence for this is in Robert Smith's 2017 book at page 18:

'I asked Barrett if he could arrange for me to meet Lyons.  He could, so on Saturday, 26th June 1993, I drove up to Liverpool to stay with the Barretts at 12, Goldie Street.  I suggested meeting Lyons that evening in The Saddle.'

There is no mystery as to why Smith asked Mike to arrange such a meeting.  We've been told by Feldman that, earlier in 1993, Eddie had agreed to falsely say that he had found the Diary in Battlecrease in 1989 and Mike then went round to Eddie's house to ask why he was prepared to say this. Smith, therefore, was well aware that Mike knew Eddie by this stage which is why he asked him to set up the meeting. The only question is how Mike knew where Eddie lived in early 1993 with the obvious answer being that Feldman told him.

So the question asked by Caroline Morris was utterly pointless. 

She wasn't finished though.   Her next question was this:

'If Eddie knew nothing about any diary, why did he tell Robert he'd found a book, but it wasn't the diary and he didn't take it away, but put it in a skip?'

You will see there is a complete non-sequitur in the question.  If Eddie found a book and put it in a skip then, by definition, he knew nothing about any diary.  That would explain why he told Smith he knew nothing about any diary.  Did I really just need to type that out?

Let's not forget that Vinny Dring found two books in Battlecrease when he did some work there in 1982.  Another of the electricians found a newspaper, apparently.  If Eddie Lyons found some sort of old and disintegrating book which he put in a skip (possibly in July 1992 when he is recorded as having worked in Battlecrease) then so what?

According to Caroline Morris, though, it's called 'damage limitation'.  But what does that actually mean?  How would it limit any damage for Eddie to say he found a book which he threw in the skip?

Smith's own explanation is that it was a 'cover story'.  Noting that Arthur Rigby had apparently also told Feldman that Eddie had found a book which he threw in a skip, Smith wondered if this was an 'agreed cover story'.  What?  Or perhaps it was just what happened, which is why Rigby said the same thing as Eddie!

Here's the next ludicrous question:

'And why, when Feldman et al went to the house in the Spring of 1993, did Mike visibly stagger backwards when Paul Dodd said that electric storage heaters had been installed in 1988 or 9?'

Caroline Morris, incidentally, wasn't present to witness the 'visible stagger' (surely every stagger is visible?) and the expression 'visibly staggered backwards' was written by Feldman, not the most reliable witness. He was with Paul Begg and Martin Howells at the time and Feldman  claims that the staggering 'played on our minds for months'.  Apart from the fact that I've never read Paul Begg mention it (and I can't even find the incident mentioned at all in 'Inside Story', despite Caroline Morris now appearing to assign it great importance), and apart from the fact that Martin Howells didn't ask Mike about it when he interviewed him in September 1993, it's kind of strange that Mike wasn't asked about it by Feldman at the time if it was such an unusual thing to have happened.

Furthermore, Keith Skinner must have known about this visible staggering from 1997 at the latest, when Feldman's book was published (if he hadn't been told about it before this by either Begg and Howells), yet, as late as 2003, he was convinced that Anne Graham was telling the truth about the Diary having been in her family since the 1950s, thus making it impossible for it to have emerged from the floorboards of Battlecrease, so it's real strange that Caroline Morris now wants to find significance in this staggering which the great Keith Skinner had discarded long ago as having meaning.

As for why Mike visibly staggered, there is one answer to this that is so obvious that it's hard to type it out while keeping a straight face. This is that Mike, who was standing at the bottom of a small flight of stairs, simply lost his footing at that moment.  A suspicious observer like Feldman could easily have got it into his head that there was some connection with Mike losing his footing and what Paul Dodd had said.  And, as Caroline Morris herself admits, Dodd's story that he was telling Feldman, which supposedly caused Mike to 'visibly stagger', wasn't even true because the storage heaters were installed in 1992, not 1988/9.

Pausing there. Isn't it funny how Caroline Morris says that there's no way that Mike Barrett could have got confused in 1994 or 1995 about the date he acquired the scrapbook, thinking it to have been in 1990 when it was really 1992, yet she doesn't bat an eyelid that Paul Dodd, speaking in 1993, believed that the electronic storage heaters had been installed in his house three or four years earlier when this had, in fact, happened only the previous year?  She brushes it off with the comment,'Dodd's memory was playing tricks'.  I think it's bloody hilarious.  If Dodd's memory could play such tricks how is it that she simply will not allow for Mike's memory to play similar tricks? 

As we've seen, Caroline Morris, who was not there, describes Mike as acting like 'a stunned rabbit'. So, you see, we've now moved almost imperceptibly from'stagger backwards', which anyone could do if they lose their footing, to acting like a 'stunned rabbit' which creates an entirely new (but fictional) image.  People can see what they want to see and imagine what they want to imagine.    


I've already referred to posts #5427 and #5249 by Caroline Morris on the Censorship Forum in which she suggests that I was Kattrup's 'source' for his posts.

In raising this smokescreen, she avoided replying to the most devastating point that Kattrup had made. In response to her asking where she had suggested that items at auctions don't always sell for their true value, Kattrup had responded:

Well, your post gave the impression that you were unaware of how auctions take place, since you stated that "O&L were feeling generous that day on the owner's behalf". 

He'd got her bang to rights but in her reply, strangely, she didn't quote this and completely ignored it as if he hadn't said it.  No apology, no acknowledgment that she had clearly misunderstood how auctions work.  And I mean, my goodness, by saying 'O&L were feeling generous that day'  (as she did in #5179) was to reveal complete ignorance of the working of an auction because an auction house doesn't set the final sale price, the bidders do!  So she was talking complete and utter nonsense. She was caught out but she evaded the issue in her response.

Then we come to her response to #5249 which happens to be non-existent, apart from responding to one point.  That's a bit odd because she normally replies to everything.  But Kattrup had made two devastating points.

Firstly, In response to her question, 'If he [Lyons] didn't know Mike, what was he doing in the Saddle in June 1993, being introduced by Mike to Robert Smith?' Kattrup had posted:

'This is quite symptomatic of the way your posts might give people the impression that you're deliberately spreading misinformation. As you very well know, having studied the case for decades,  the meeting was set up at the behest of Robert Smith. Did you forget that?' 

Her answer in #5263 was incomprehensible.  She said:

'Where did I say it wasn't set up at Robert's behest? Mike agreed to ask Eddie to come to the Saddle and speak to Robert, and Eddie agreed to do so.  Not complicated, is it?' 

Erm, this is just gaslighting.  If Robert Smith asked Mike to invite Eddie to the Saddle (and she knows this), it fully answers the question as to what Eddie was doing in the Saddle in June 1993, being introduced by Mike to Robert Smith.

Just look carefully at the wording of her answer to Kattrup which I shall repeat:

'Mike agreed to ask Eddie to come to the Saddle and speak to Robert, and Eddie agreed to do so.  Not complicated, is it?'

Consider that wording: 'Mike agreed'.  She still can't bring herself say that Mike agreed at the express request of Robert Smith to ask Eddie to meet Smith in the Saddle.

Given that she knows that Smith asked Mike to set up the meeting with Eddie, why was she asking the world the question as to what Eddie was doing at the meeting?

Sure, she doesn't expressly say that the meeting wasn't set up on Robert Smith's behalf but the question makes no sense if she already knew that the meeting was set up on his behalf. That's obviously why Kattrup said that the meeting was set up by Robert Smith (and asked her if she had forgotten this).  He never accused her of saying it wasn't, only that the entire question doesn't make any sense if she was aware that the meeting was set up by Smith.  So her aggressive question, 'Where did I say it wasn't?' was thoroughly disingenuous and fails to meet the point of Kattrup's post.

Her question as to what Lyons was doing at the meeting, if she knew he had been invited there by Robert Smith, is utterly, utterly baffling.  If there's any kind of question to be asked, it would be why was Robert Smith asking Mike to set up a meeting with Eddie in the first place?  With Robert Smith being one of her 'close friends' she could ask him that one directly! 

But the answer is obvious in any case. As I've already mentioned (above), it's because Mike was known to have spoken to Eddie earlier in 1993, after Feldman told him that Eddie was prepared to say that he had found the Diary in Battlecrease in 1989. 

So the purpose of her original question is non-existent. As we've already seen, she took umbrage at the idea that she was spreading misinformation but how else can one describe her question other than as misinformation?  Which is the very point that Kattrup was making! 

Then in response to her question, 'If Eddie knew nothing about the diary...why did he tell Robert he'd found a book, but it wasn't the diary, and he didn't take it away, but put it in a skip', Kattrup gave her the obvious answer;

'Have you considered that perhaps Eddie found a book and put it in a skip?'

But there was no response from Caroline Morris to this.  She simply ignored it. 


On the day before the last Orsam Day, Caroline Morris casually mentioned, almost as an aside, that the supposedly 'reliable source' who told her that a WWI photograph album would be worth (have been worth in 1992?) £100 was none other than 'Mr Litherland', presumably Mike Litherland of Outhwaite & Litherland fame (#5179 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread).

As I've mentioned previously, the notional value of any item is irrelevant in an auction and it's frankly unclear why Litherland is commenting on the issue at all unless he is saying that it is impossible for O&L in 1992 to have sold a WW1 photograph album and compass for £50 at an auction which is certainly not what he is represented as having said. 

So why is Mr Litherland being asked about general prices of photograph albums?  There wasn't anything different about prices of prices of such albums at Outhwaite & Litherland compared to other auction houses was there?  So what can he really offer to the discussion about an album that he's not seen?  As to that, surely the value of any photograph album from any period in history will vary depending on the number and quality of photographs it contains.  There can't possibly be a one- price-suits-all figure.  It's ridiculous.

I mean, compare a photograph album of some family members in their army uniforms with with one containing photographs of troops at the front.  Both could be described as being 'to do with the 1914/1918 1st World War'.  But surely they would have very different values in an auction. How does Mr Litherland know what was in the album being described by Mike Barrett? Who knows what image that description in the affidavit has conjured up in  Mr Litherland's mind? Clearly not all the photographs in the album were being said by Mike to have been military related because, in his affidavit, Mike describes one that he kept back as being 'of a Grave, with a Donkey standing nearby'.  The idea that Mr Litherland can accurately value an album of photographs that he hasn't seen from a one line description is absurd.

Posting in my 'Acquiring a Victorian Diary' thread back on 21 March 2017, Caroline Morris said (#11):

'I know that Robert Smith bought a Victorian scrapbook like the diary for just £5 from an antiques fair, while I picked up one for £15 in a charity shop a few years ago...'

This was when she was trying to tell us that £50 was a ludicrously high price for an old photograph album or scrapbook, hence:

'I'm surprised that an auctioneer would bother to sell an item of sum small value and even more surprised that Mike would have had to bid anything like £50 in order to win his'.

So you see Diary Defender twisting in its full glory.  In 2017 the stated price of the Diary by Mike Barrett was way too high.  In 2020 the stated price of the Diary by Mike Barrett is way too low!!!

You could not make it up.

And both claims fundamentally misunderstand what happens in auctions.  If there are two bidders for an item who both want it very badly the sky's the limit, regardless of its notional retail value.  If, however, there's only one bidder, or a couple of bidders neither of whom are terribly keen, an item can be acquired very cheaply.  That's what auctions are all about.  One day perhaps she will understand that. 

The fact that the Morris/Skinner team appear to have spoken to Mr Litherland is far more interesting for what he evidently hasn't told them than what he has.  I mean, presumably the first thing Morris/Skinner would have asked him would have been whether and how Mike's description of the O&L auction process as described in his 1995 affidavit was inconsistent with the actual way that O&L conducted their auctions in 1992.  By her silence it looks like they've didn't get the answer they wanted.  It looks like what Mike said was a reasonable description of an O&L auction in 1992, contrary to the impression given by Kevin Whay in 1995.  Disaster!

I have little doubt that Mr Litherland would also have been asked what time O&L's auctions began.  Mike said the auction he attended started at 11am.  My own research found that the advertised start time of their auctions in March 1992 was 10.30am which, I think, corroborates Mike's affidavit.  The silence from Caroline Morris about this suggests that Mike was correct to say that the auction started at 11am.

Although by no means clear, the one thing specific to an Outhwaite & Litherland auction that they do appear to have extracted from Mr Litherland is that there would have been a buyer's premium of 5 or 10% (but the uncertainty as to which is the correct figure is puzzling).

The really baffling thing is that we have no production of the notes of any interview conducted with Mr Litherland.

We've all seen with the Sphere diary issue how Caroline Morris was quick to post Keith Skinner's verbatim notes of his discussions with Shirley Harrison and others.  So she CAN do it when it suits her.

I've complained before of the drip drip of selected snippets of information which are unsourced and not provided in quote form.  It's happened with the notes of Keith Skinner's interview of Colin Rhodes (never produced to this day!) and all of the interviews with the electricians, especially Eddie Lyons. In this case we need to know exactly what Mr Litherland was asked and exactly what he said. 

Perhaps he did say that the rough value of a WW1 photograph album was £100 but how was he able to be sure of the value in 1992 as opposed to say 1995 or 1988?  To the extent that it is of any importance (which doesn't even seem to be the case), did he check any records?  Was he working from memory?   Was he just giving a rough estimate?  The same for the buyer's premium.  Is he sure there was one in 1992 specifically?  Why is he unsure if it was 5% or 10%?   And, most importantly, what other questions was he asked?  And what were his answers?

We really shouldn't be having information put out in this disorderly way.  First it's a 'reliable source' then the source is named but nothing is even said as to precisely WHEN Litherland was spoken to.  It's all so vague and unsatisfactory.

It's hilarious that, in a subsequent post on 9 June, Caroline Morris indignantly claimed that she 'merely reported what Mr Litherland himself said recently'.  No, she didn't report anything.   She merely claimed, at first, that an unknown reliable source had told her something about the general cost of World War 2 albums.  And even when she named 'Mr Litherland' as her source she didn't reveal when she had been given this information or exactly what he had said.

What seems clear is that she can't possibly have reported EVERYTHING that Mr Litherland himself said recently.  She and Keith must have had more questions for him than THAT! 

In #5226 of 'Incontrovertible', we find Caroline Morris saying to Kattrup:

'When I need advice on auction practices, and Outhwaite & Litherland's in particular, I'll get it from the horse's mouth.'

This was in response to Kattrup saying that any item can be sold at an auction for less than it's perceived worth for which he was first told 'to stop being so patronising'.

The thing is, although Caroline Morris denied saying anything different, she had given the clear impression that the photograph album couldn't possibly have been sold at an O&L auction (with a brass compass) for £50 because such an album would have been worth £100.  But if she wasn't saying this, what was the purpose of telling us about the £100 valuation?

Kattrup was hardly being 'patronising' in saying that the value of an item is completely different to the sale price at an auction.  If that wasn't the case, and every item was sold at the price it was valued at, it wouldn't be an auction house, it would be a shop!

This is so obvious that it wouldn't normally need to be pointed out but it DID need to be said in view of Caroline Morris continually mentioning the £100 valuation as if this demonstrated that Barrett's story was a lie.  If that wasn't the reason for mentioning it then her posts have only served to befuddle and confuse.

What's utterly baffling is Caroline Morris telling us that she would get advice on auction practices from the horse's mouth.  What advice on auction practices has she obtained from Outhwaite & Litherland?  Because an item's value is nothing to do with an auction practice.   In saying that Mr Litherland told her that a photograph album of WW1 photographs would have, or would have had, a value of £100, that is not an auction practice.  

Advice on auction practice would be something like whether a photograph album and a brass compass would be sold as 'miscellaneous items' which is what Kevin Whay already told us.   

As far as I can see, Caroline Morris DID misunderstand auction practices.  She DID seem to think that if an item was valued at £100 then it couldn't have been sold for £50.  It's quite a ridiculous way of thinking but that was evidently what she was saying in her earlier posts when she dribbled out her amazing new inside information which she seemed to think would crack the case!

But I must repeat that if Caroline Morris and Keith Skinner are in contact with someone from Outhwaite & Litherland we need to know everything that they have been told and it needs to come in the form of direct quotes, otherwise any such information is going to be of no value.  

And given Keith Skinner's previous extraordinary statement that he won't release a copy of the Barretts' transcript of the diary in case those who think it is a modern hoax glean meaning from that transcript, I no longer have any faith that he will release information which either supports or is consistent with the modern hoax theory.   If he wants to regain the trust of the Ripperology community he needs to demonstrate that he is capable of earning that trust.  Obviously I don't even know if he was involved in speaking to Mr Litherland but the reason I don't know is because his good friend Caroline Morris has revealed nothing about it.  If they keep all these secrets they can hardly complain about people being suspicious of their behaviour.


No sooner had I typed the above than Caroline Morris was slowly dribbling out more information obtained from Mr Litherland.  Thus, in #5236 we are NOW told all kinds of weird and wonderful things:

'With the valuable help of Mr Litherland, recently casting his eye carefully over Bongo’s words, it was finally ascertained that if Bongo was telling the truth in January 1995, the ledger would not have been shoved in with a lot of miscellaneous items of little individual worth. A collection of WWI photographs, such as Bongo had described, would almost certainly not have appeared in a general sale, but would have been included in a collectors’ cavalcade sale, which was held about every two to three weeks. If they were good enough they might have been included in an antique and collectors’ sale held monthly. O&L had originally assumed they were looking for a blank ledger or note book: “in which case it would not have been itemised”. Mr Litherland didn’t personally recall looking for anything containing: “highly collectible WW1 photographs”, but “that quantity would have been worth in excess of £100. Not merely included in an etcetera lot or a miscellaneous lot."'

What we have here is nothing more than an attack on the information provided in 1995 by the Diary Defender's former star witness, Kevin Whay, and, clearly, a desperate belated attempt to justify with hindsight the exclusion from 'Inside Story' of the critical information that a scrapbook or photograph album plus brass compass would have been recorded in the records of O&L as 'miscellaneous items'

As I mentioned on the last Orsam Day, Mike said to the Liverpool Daily Post as early as June 1994 that the item he purchased from O&L was an 'old photograph album', and Kevin Whay expressly stated to Shirley Harrison in January 1995 that 'an old photo album would have been in a job lot marked 'miscellaneous items''.'  So there was no doubt about what Whay would have been looking for when the search of the files was conducted in 1997, after he had been shown Mike's affidavit in which the item was described as a photograph album containing old photographs to do with the First World War.  It is pure nonsense of the highest order, therefore, to suggest, that O&L were ever looking in their records for a 'blank ledger or note book'.  That would be bizarre, bearing in mind, as I've said, that their search, carried out in January 1997, was based on the 'description' in Barrett's statement, in which he described an old photograph album!!

Now suddenly the old photograph album has become some kind of highly collectible item that would only have been included in a collectors' cavalcade sale or even an antique and collectors' sale.  For some reason, however, we are not told if either such sale occurred at O&L on or around 28 March 1992!  Nor are we told that it would not have been sold with a brass compass.  Caroline Morris (not Mr Litherland) tells us that the ledger would not have been shoved in with 'a lot of miscellaneous items of little individual worth' but Mike only mentioned a brass compass.  He didn't say anything about a lot of miscellaneous items of little individual worth!  So why is Caroline Morris telling us about 'a lot' of items?  Is it another sleight of hand designed to befuddle and confuse?

What's really weird though is that in #5236 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread on 10 June, we were told that Mr Litherland:

'didn't personally recall looking for anything containing "highly collectible WW1 photographs"'.

So what was he saying here?  Was he involved in the 1997 search of O&L's records to verify or disprove Barrett's affidavit or not?  And, if he was, is he now saying that he was looking for the wrong thing?  I mean, if he was looking for the record of a sale of a blank ledger or note book, on the basis that, as Caroline Morris is telling us, 'O&L had originally assumed they were looking for a blank ledger or notebook', wouldn't that easily explain why he would have missed the record of a sale of a highly collectible photograph album?  

But then in #80 of the 'Two-off' thread on JTR Forums on 17 June, we were told something different, namely that Mr Litherland:

'didn't personally remember looking for a ledger  or notebook containing what he said would have been 'highly collectible WW1 photographs...'

So that is rather different isn't it?  Because 'anything' has now magically become 'a ledger or notebook', the very two items that Caroline Morris tells us O&L had originally assumed they were looking for.  So what did Litherland actually say?  We don't know, and it shows the importance of providing the full quote of everything Litherland said, which has not been done.

Furthermore, in her post of 17 June, a full week after she originally told us about Litherland's memory of looking for something - and almost a whole month after she first mentioned having a 'source' regarding O&L procedure on 19 May - she now added that Litherland:

'didn't say if he was involved in the renewed search in 1997.'

Again, this shows how crucial it is for the full information to be provided at the start and not be allowed to drip out. For if Litherland wasn't involved in the search then what does it matter if he could not 'personally recall looking for anything containing highly collectible WW1 photographs'.  If he didn't do the search that would explain it!!  

But if he DID do the search, or even if he didn't, have the Diary Defenders simply shot themselves in the foot here, replacing one explanation as to why the scrapbook could have been missed in the search with another?  I mean, if the O&L staff assumed they were specifically looking for a blank ledger or a notebook could that explain why they missed an old photograph album?

But even with all this amazing new information, how come Mr Litherland (especially if he WAS involved in the search of O&L's records) hasn't confirmed whether the records for March 1992 were searched?  Wouldn't that be one of the first things he would have been asked?  Is there any meaning in the fact that we are told nothing about this?  If they weren't, then all this talk about miscellaneous items is irrelevant because they weren't searching the records of the correct year!

I might add that none of this supposedly new information explains why Kevin Whay's information wasn't included in 'Inside Story' back in 2003, as to which Caroline Morris hasn't felt the need to provide a proper explanation to the Ripperology community.  Was she the person who took the decision to exclude it from the book? We can all note her silence on this issue. We can also note her sudden desperate attempt to undermine Kevin Whay's information on this point, having not spent a moment over the past 23 years questioning the other information he gave Shirley Harrison which suggested that Mike's affidavit was untrue.

And Mr Litherland's mutterings have got us absolutely nowhere further forward other than to confirm that O&L might well have sold a photograph album containing WW1 related photographs in one of their auctions in 1992! 


Then we have Caroline Morris throwing out more new information as if we all already knew it. 

In #5228 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread she says:

'We have consistently been given the same names and same number of electricians who worked on the job, or were sent there in a 'helping hand' capacity, on the Monday morning, by those who were in a position to know and would have nothing to gain by doubling up the numbers from two to four if that hadn't been the case. Four names, not two.'

She doesn't explain who the 'We' at the beginning of that sentence are, but the reader is apparently supposed to take her word that a number of people have been naming Eddie Lyons and A.N. Other as having worked at Battlecrease on Monday 9 March 1992.  Yet, not only is this the first time such a thing has ever been mentioned to the best of my memory (not even featuring in Robert Smith's 2019 book) but we are still not told WHO is saying this and exactly WHAT they are saying.  It's all put forward in such a vague and selective way.

I am aware (from James Johnston) that Colin Rhodes once said:  'We took Bowling and Lyons on for a specific contract which was in Skelmersdale, which is miles away from here [...] and they were on that particular contract for quite awhile. So, it was nearing the completion of it, then they were back here, and were available to just help out at Riversdale.'  But that doesn't mention anything about 9 March specifically, nor does it say that Bowling and Lyons did actually help out at Riversdale.

Then we have a conclusion to the post which is a simple non sequitur:

'All four could have known something, or just one or two of them - or maybe nothing was found and this is all part and parcel of a long-lasting corporate fantasy.'

She starts off by saying that all four could have 'known something' but what they are supposed to have known is not made clear (does she mean 'found'?) and she then rounds off by saying 'or maybe nothing was found' even though she hasn't provided any evidence whatsoever that anyone said they found anything or remembered anything being found so what's the 'long-lasting corporate fantasy' got to do with anything? 

The irony of it is that only two posts earlier (#5226) she had objected in the strongest terms to Kattrup asking if an earlier post of hers was 'just another smokescreen meant to befuddle and confuse'.  Thus, she said to Kattrup:

'I trust you are not suggesting that I am in the habit of conjuring up smokescreens designed to befuddle or confuse anyone...'

Well I don't know if he was suggesting that, but I certainly am!!!!  I've been following the whole story of the Maybrick Diary very closely and I am certainly befuddled and confused by her latest posts.  I really have no idea what she is talking about.

If she wants to rely on evidence she needs to post what that actual evidence is.  Otherwise surely everyone is going to be befuddled and confused.  At time of writing I have no knowledge what Mr Litherland has said, no knowledge what the electricians have said, no knowledge of what Eddie Lyons has said (other than that he has denied finding the Diary and denied knowing Mike Barrett) and no knowledge of who has 'consistently' been giving Caroline Morris names or what names those are supposed to be.

As far as I can tell, the attempts by the Diary Defenders to try and prove that the Diary came out of Battlecrease are getting more and more desperate as are their tactics in withholding crucial information.  Like I've always said, there is no chance that Diary came out from the floorboards, having been there since the nineteenth century, due to the anachronistic expression of 'one off instance', so I have no idea what Caroline Morris thinks she is playing at or what she thinks she has managed to find out. 


There was so much from Caroline Morris to respond to in the last 'Lord Orsam Says...' that I didn't have the opportunity to reply to this (#304 of 'Lord Orsam's Blog' thread):

'Regarding the watch, Mike boasted to Alan Gray that he had put the scratches inside it himself. If not even Orsam swallows that load of old cobblers, where does that leave Mike's boast to inside knowledge of the diary's creation? Up the Khyber, that's where.' 

In saying this, Caroline Morris shows that even after all these years she STILL has not understood my argument. This is despite me having posted back in January 2018 in the 'Acquiring' thread #331 (and repeated in various forms a number of times since) that:

'Frankly I don't care a jot for the "evidential value" of Mike's affidavit. I've never placed any reliance on that.'

My argument does not rest at all on MIke's boast to have had inside knowledge of the diary's creation.  I would be saying the same thing if Mike had never confessed to the forgery or had ever sworn an affidavit about the forgery.

Everything I say rests on the FACT that Mike was seeking to acquire an entirely or partially blank diary in March 1992.  I have said repeatedly that I cannot think of any other explanation for him doing so other than that he was wanting to find a diary in which to forge the diary of Jack the Ripper (and no-one has been able to provide one to me in four years).  That is wholly independent of anything said by Mike.

Because we all know that Mike told lies.  If he said that he put the scratches on the watch himself - something which I don't recall ever having seen a quote of him saying - I wouldn't necessarily believe him.  If, however, regardless of anything he said, it was a fact that he was attempting to acquire an unmarked Victorian gold watch prior to May 1993 then I would have to ask myself why he was doing so.  Presumably the Diary Defenders would tell me he was wanting to see what an old gold watch looked like!

So, you see, if Mike said he put the scratches on the watch it has no implications for my argument and does not leave the idea that Mike was had inside knowledge of the diary's creation 'up the Khyber'.  It leaves it where it has always been: as the most likely explanation for the Diary's sudden emergence in April 1992.


On the day of the very last Orsam Day, 6 June 2020, Iconoclast made a dramatic announcement in #5212 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread.

'I have become something of a convert'


And Amen. 

Yet, it's true, he is now a true believer in the cult of the Battlecrease provenance and, sadly, has had to ditch his long held belief that there is any significance in the supposed facial similarity between Florence Maybrick a.k.a. Ingraham and any members of the Graham family, a claim which features so prominently in his disastrous 'Society's Pillar'.  Speaking on the road to Damascus, Iconoclast tells us:

'I don't recall exactly what it was that caused me to shift my allegiance, but there was definitely a moment when I felt that - of the two provenances (one of which had to be incorrect) - one coincidence (the Eddie Lyons one) was just too significant to ignore. As one cannot believe both to be true simultaneously, I have had to shift away from Anne's tale which I now feel was timed all-too well to wipe-out Mike's confession.'

One has to hope that Iconoclast's new best chum, Keith Skinner, isn't too upset by this stunning news. After all, it was within living memory that Skinner was telling Shirley Harrison:

'Those who believe Anne is lying...must include me in the plot as well' (Harrison, 2003, p. 280).

Now that the newly reborn Iconoclast believes that Anne was lying, he must include Mr Skinner in the plot as well!

Oh dear.

No, don't worry, mate.  It was just another of Keith Skinner's ill-considered statements, along with his 'court of law' fiasco.

But, as we saw in 'Every One's A Skinner', Keith does still think Anne might have been telling the truth, so Iconoclast might want to tread delicately there.

Now that Iconoclast has put all his Maybrick eggs into one basket, can he really be so confident in the Battlecrease provenance?  After all, it's only based on the notion that one out of seven Liverpool electricians (including Graham Rhodes) who could have been working at Battlecrease on 9 March drank at the Saddle pub in Liverpool and, therefore, might have known either Mike Barrett or Tony Devereux.

If the question asked to the electricians by Paul Feldman  back in 1993 was, "Do you know anyone who drinks in the Saddle pub?", and the electricians knew that Eddie Lyons did, that would immediately have put him in the frame as the person most likely to have found and passed to Mike Barrett the diary that Feldman seemed to be so interested in, especially if he had found and thrown away another old item, leading to all kinds of speculation and false memories about what had happened during the electrical work the previous year.  Suddenly every innocent utterance or action by Lyons might have taken on a new meaning for the other electricians.  He would only have had to have been seen to have picked up something, or to have suggested that he'd found something, and the idea could easily have been implanted in the minds of the electricians that he simply MUST have found the diary.

Separately, it would appear that Colin Rhodes asked his team of electricians if they drank in the Saddle, and Eddie Lyons said that he did.  This was actually pooh-poohed by Caroline Morris when R.J. Palmer mentioned it on the Forum and he was told that he seemed to be 'getting  into a muddle' (#5329, 'Incontrovertible' thread).  As the Chief Diary Defender didn't recall any such admission by Eddie to Colin she felt it couldn't have happened, thus for a short time successfully befuddling and confusing R.J. But those with knowledge of Caroline Morris' memory will be aware that it is not good.  The story was first mentioned in the Sunday Times of 19 September 1993:


When Caroline Morris was corrected she dismissively called it point scoring but there are three important points to take away from that short press cutting.

1. If Eddie (and A.N. Other) told Colin that they drank in the Saddle, that might immediately have put thoughts into the minds of the other electricians that they must have known Mike Barrett and thus must have been involved in finding the diary that the wealthy Paul Feldman was so persistent in asking them about.

2. ALL the electricians denied finding ANYTHING under the floorboards.

3. Most important of all, the two electricians who said they drank in the Saddle appeared to be admitting that they might well have discussed their work at Maybrick's old house while they were in the Saddle and thus might well have been overheard by other drinkers.  If that's the case the whole 'big coincidence' point evaporates because such a discussion overheard by Mike might simply have prompted him to resurrect his old forgery plan and give Doreen a bell.

Although Eddie Lyons is supposed to have told the Skinner/Johnston team on camera, at some point prior to 4 August 2018, that he had worked at Battlecrease on 9 March 1992, still no actual quote from him has been produced (nor have we seen a transcript of the full interview nor the footage of it) and it would seem that he not only denies finding the Diary but also denies having known Mike Barratt in 1992 for which there can be no plausible explanation bearing in mind that knowing Mike Barrett in 1992 wasn't a crime.  So is he lying or telling the truth?  There can't be any reason for him to deny knowing Mike Barrett can there?  He seems to have fully co-operated with the Diary Defenders, being interviewed by James Johnston on a number of occasions plus the interview on camera by Skinner and Johnston. 

But let's say Eddie and Mike did know each other on 9 March 1992.  That might mean no more than that Mike was inspired to contact Doreen in the knowledge that electrical work was being carried out in Maybrick's old house that day, having been told so directly by Eddie (in the same way that he might have been inspired had he overheard a conversation between two electricians).  It might simply have reminded him that he owned a draft text of a fake Maybrick diary which he needed to do something about.  But we haven't yet reached the stage where there is any evidence of Eddie even knowing of Mike's existence let alone being the first person he would have gone to within minutes or hours of finding the diary of Jack the Ripper under the floorboards of Battlecrease.

What about Iconoclast's much vaunted 35,000 days between Maybrick's death and the floorboards coming up in Battlecrease?  It's something he has since repeated in #5230 of the Incontrovertible thread when he said 'There was no record of floorboards being lifted in Battlecrease prior to that date [9 March 1992]'. It's all nonsense of course, as the owner of the house, Paul Dodds, has confirmed.  From Shirley Harrison's 2003 book page 292:

'Paul was adamant.  The house was originally gaslit and converted to electricity in the 1920s. It was re-wired when his father bought it in 1946 and again in 1977 when Paul himself had gutted the place and lifted the floor boards.  Had anything been hidden, he was sure that he would have found it then'.

Try telling that to the Battlecrease cultists and they just won't listen.  Even though Dodd says in the clearest possible terms that there wasn't anything under the floorboards when he personally lifted them in 1977 they just cannot remove the idea from their minds that there was something there in 1992.


This is what Iconoclast says in #5230 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread:

'The chances of the floorboards coming up on the very day Barrett rang Montgomery is around 1-in-26,000 (the number of times it could have happened divided by the number of times it did happen).' 

Leaving aside that he seems to be basing this calculation of the floorboards never having been lifted prior to 9 March 1992, which is wholly incorrect, and I don't quite know where the figure of 26,000 comes from bearing in mind his previous reference to 35,000 days, we need to think a bit harder about this.

According to Iconoclast, talking out of his arse, every single amateur statistician will say that odds like this do not happen by chance alone.

Now, presumably the odds of the interior walls of Battlecrease being painted with Dulux paint on 9 March 1992 are exactly the same, if they'd never been painted with Dulux paint before.  So Iconoclast must be saying that every single amateur statistician will say that such a thing could not have happened by chance.  

Yet, no-one would bat an eyelid to learn that Mike called Doreen on the same day that the walls of Battlecrease were being painted with Dulux paint, would they? Yet, it's exactly the same mathematical coincidence.  The same coincidence that Iconoclast is telling us could not possibly have happened by chance!! But no-one in their right mind would say that there must be a connection between the painting of the walls and Mike's telephone conversation with Doreen.

And the same would be true if someone had been working in the attic of Battlecrease on the same day.  Yet Iconoclast focuses on the floorboards being lifted for some reason.

But here is where Iconoclast argument fails entirely and is quite wrong.

Would it be a remarkable coincidence if floorboards were lifted on 9 March 1992 in another old house in Liverpool, but not Battlecrease?  Or what about the floorboards being lifted in an old house anywhere in the country?  The odds must be exactly the same but can we say that such an event could not have happened by chance?  No, we can't.  It would be ludicrous to say such a thing.

Let me just develop that point because Iconoclast will no doubt tell us that there is something special about Battlecrease even though he doesn't explain it when telling us about the 1 in 26,000 odds.  What about Michael Maybrick's old house on the Isle of Wight?  I don't know if it still exists but let's assume it does, as we shall assume with all the houses I'm about to mention.  What if the floorboards were being lifted in that house on 9 March 1992.  Would THAT also be impossible to have happened by chance?   Or Thomas Maybrick's house in Manchester.  Or the house of any other member of the Maybrick family.  Or the houses of any of the servants of Maybrick.  Or the houses of any of Maybrick's friends.  Any of these houses could have had the Diary secreted under the floorboards, or in the attic, or in any other nook or cranny. The same is true of any of the offices where Maybrick once worked.

But it doesn't even have to have been a house that existed in 1889.  What if a researcher developed a theory that the Diary had been passed from one of Maybrick's friends, relatives or servants to another family member who had then moved to another city and had taken the Diary with them, which Diary had then been passed down through generations of that family so that the researcher believed that the Diary had, for a time, been owned by Joe Bloggs' father whose son passed it to Mike Barrett because Joe Bloggs' son was one of Mike's friends, or a friend of someone in the Graham family, or whatever (and was able to communicate easily with one of them by telephone).  And then AFTER having developed that theory, the researcher discovered that the floorboards of the house of Joe Bloggs in London had been lifted on 9 March 1992.  Would THAT be regarded by our notional amateur statistician as something that could not have happened by chance?  If so, we are pretty much saying that no house in the country could have had its floorboards lifted on 9 March 1992 without it being connected with Mike's telephone call to Doreen Montgomery!!! 

My point is that Iconoclast has introduced into his formula two variables.  One is the floorboards, the other is Battlecrease.  Yes, the author of the Diary is supposed to have lived at Battlecrease but there is nothing in the Diary which says that the Diary was either placed under the floorboards or placed anywhere in Battlecrease.  So he is factoring in certain assumptions which produce, for him, an extraordinary result.

To be clear, the assumptions are (1) that there is significance in lifting of floorboards in general (i.e. that the lifting of the floorboards is likely to result in the discovery of a diary) and (2) that there is significance of floorboards being lifted in Battlecrease in particular (i.e that the lifting of these floorboards is likely to have resulted in the discovery of Maybrick's diary).  While I obviously understand that the theory is that Maybrick might have hidden his journal beneath the floorboards of his room in his house, there is nothing scientific or mathematical about this.  It's just a human devised theory. It's all based on the human perception of the importance of floorboards being lifted that day and of the history of the house in which the lifting occurred. The Diary itself does not contain a statement that it was placed under the floorboards either of Battlecrease or any other property.  So, if one is being strictly scientific, there is (1) no more mathematical significance of floorboards being lifted as compared to any other work being done in a house (2) and there is no more mathematical significance of the floorboards in Battlecrease being lifted than any other house.

The numbers bandied round are ridiculous. There is no science behind them.  To work out the odds of two random things happening on the same day is meaningless.  Two random things happen millions of times without exception every single day of the week. The only question is whether, from our own human experience, one can conceive of the possibility of a coincidence in the floorboards being lifted in Battlecrease on the same day as Mike made a telephone call to Doreen Montgomery about the alleged diary of a person who once lived in Battlecrease.  It my view it's perfectly possible for there to be a coincidence.  What is required to take it any further is actual evidence that there is a connection between the two event.  Currently there is precisely zero evidence of this. 

If we just go back a step and ask what the odds are of electricians working in Battlecrease on the same day that Mike telephoned Doreen Montgomery, we would surely have to say - and any amateur statistician would have to say - that those odds would not be anything remarkable.  Electricians work in houses in Liverpool, and all over the country, every single day of the working week.  

So what's different about the electricians working in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992?  Well they had to lift the floorboards to do the wiring, apparently.  Big deal.  This is, no doubt, what electricians frequently need to do in old houses. 

We know, despite Iconoclast's fantasies, that this wasn't the first time the floorboards were lifted in Battlecrease.  

So the coincidence is really not so remarkable.

But if there really is such an amazing coincidence about electricians lifting floorboards in Battlecrease on the same day as Mike's call, then it may just be, as I've already mentioned, that Mike was aware of the lifting (or at least of the work being done) and it was this knowledge which prompted him to telephone Doreen on that day, having previously been working on a fake Maybrick Diary.  As we've already seen, two electricians appear to have admitted that it's possible that they discussed the work in the Maybrick house while they were drinking in the Saddle Pub and that they might have been overheard doing so.

And I haven't even mentioned that the coincidence would scarcely be less if the floorboards in Battlecrease had been lifted on Friday, 6 March 1992.  Or on Thursday, 5 March.  Or on Wednesday, 4 March.  Or on Tuesday, 3 March.  Or on Monday, 2 March.  I mean, if the floorboards had been lifted on Monday 2 March and Mike telephoned Doreen exactly one week later on Monday 9 March wouldn't that have been a sufficient coincidence for Iconoclast to tell us pretty much exactly the same thing about the extraordinary connection between the two events?  The floorboards are lifted and then just one week later Mike is on the telephone to Doreen!  Does it really make any difference that it was the same day rather than a week apart?  And I can't help feeling we can go all the way back to the start of 1992 and then, indeed, back to the start of 1991 if not 1990 then the same is true.

You cannot base a provenance on such a coincidence as this in circumstances where NO-ONE is saying they found the Diary and NO-ONE is saying they witnessed anyone finding the Diary and NO-ONE who worked in the house seems to have any first hand knowledge of the finding of a diary.

As to that, James Johnston told me on the Censorship Forum that he had personally interviewed Eddie Lyons, James Coufopoulos, Alan Davies, Brian Rawes, Graham Rhodes and Arthur Rigby's brother (who spoke to Arthur on his behalf) yet he confirmed to me on 6 December 2017 that:'I have not found an electrician who will admit to having discovered the Diary'. 

In his sadly deluded state, Iconoclast is clinging on to the happy thought that, 'Eddie will eventually admit to the removal of the scrapbook'.  And I happen to think that eventually pigs will fly.  Mind you, if the Diary Defenders pester Eddie at least once a month for the rest of his life and repeatedly ask him 'Did you remove it?' perhaps he will tell them that he did just to get rid of them.


What are the chances of someone finding the Diary under the floorboards of Battlecrease and giving it to a person who would two years later confess to forging the Diary with his wife and whose wife's handwriting bore similar characteristics with the author of the Diary?  We must be talking pretty astronomical.

Now let's factor into those odds the fact that the same person immediately made an unexplained secret attempt to purchase a Victorian diary with blank pages.   

And that this person was able to identify the source of a quote in the Diary that no-one else was able to identify.

And that this person owned a book setting out what had happened in Battlecrease in 1889 as contained in the Diary. 

1 in 26,000?   Surely we'd be looking at at least one in a million.  


This is a real classic from Caroline Morris in #5259 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread (emphasis in original) speaking of Mike's affidavit of 5 January 1995:

'After 25 years, how many of the details in that affidavit which relate directly to a forgery scheme, have been supported by the facts? Not one, now the little red 1891 diary has been disqualified, on the grounds that Martin Earl only ordered it for Mike after giving him a detailed description and getting confirmation that it met with his requirements.'

It would be easy for the unwary reader to fail to appreciate just how much heavy lifting the word 'directly' is doing in that sentence.  I guess that way she can exclude the claim in the affidavit that the quotation of 'Oh costly intercourse'  was taken from a Sphere history of English literature book because it doesn't relate directly to the forgery scheme even though it relates to it.  Presumably she also excludes the claim in the affidavit that Mike owned a word processor, although that could be said to relate to the forgery scheme (and indeed directly to it!).  Does she exclude the claim that  the photograph album was purchased at an O&L auction under the name of 'Williams', which Kevin Whay said would have been entirely possible?  What about the claim that the maker's seal was removed from the inside front cover and pages of photographs were ripped out with a Stanley Knife?  Isn't that supported by the report of Dr Baxendale?  And how about the claim that Anne wrote down the diary in the photograph album?  Can we really say that this is not supported by the facts, bearing in mind the similarities between her handwriting and the Diary handwriting that Caroline Morris once told us would be considered significant?  (See Inside Story of a Sceptical Mind).

We could turn it around though couldn't we and ask how many of the details in Mike's affidavit which relate directly to the forgery have been proven to be false in the last 25 years? Has it been disproved that Mike bought a scrapbook at an O&L auction in March 1992?  Clearly not.  As far as we know, the records for March 1992 were never even searched and Kevin Whay has told us, in any case, that an old photograph album sold with a brass compass wouldn't be identifiable in the records because they would have been described as 'miscellaneous items'. Has it been disproved that Mike bought the pens from the 'Medici' art gallery shop?  Absolutely not.  A claim was once made that the shop didn't exist in March 1992 but it is now known that there was an art shop there with the name 'Medici' on the front.  Has it been disproved that Mike bought Diamine Manuscript Ink at Bluecoat Chambers?  Nope.  Despite loads of resources and literally teams of people, Feldman (and his team), Harrison (and her team) Smith and his team, with researchers such as Skinner, Howells and Begg on the case, what has been disproved from Mike's affidavit directly related to the forgery?  Virtually nothing! That's what.

As for the absolutely delusional claim that the red diary 'has been disqualified' well, perhaps in her dreams, but in reality it is Mike's desire back in March 1992 to obtain a Victorian diary with blank pages which is the key piece of SOLID and UNDISPUTED evidence which DOES support the forgery.  It always has and it always will.

I'm not even going to bother to quibble with the usual twisting of evidence whereby Martin Earl's reported claim that he would have 'talked through' the diary before sending it to Mike has now become him giving Mike a 'detailed description', something which itself has since magically transmogrified into Mike being told 'precisely' what he was going to get (#60 of 'Two off' thread).  Let's let those hilarious distortions pass. The fact that Mike asked Martin Earl to proceed after receiving a 'detailed description' of the diary, or after having been informed 'precisely' what he was going to receive, tells us nothing because we don't have any evidence as to what that detailed description involved or as to what precisely was said to him by Earl.  The ONLY thing that might have persuaded Mike not to proceed with the order would have been if he was told that there was a printed date on each page of the diary.  But there's no evidence that he was ever told such a thing. 

Let me repeat that.  Despite having apparently contacted Martin Earl for a second time, the Diary team have NOT established that Mike was told that there was a printed date on each page of the diary.  Earl evidently hasn't even speculated that he might have said this (otherwise we would surely have heard all about it). That's the crucial piece of information, without which Ms Morris is whistling (or worse) in the wind.

As I've said previously, I already knew that Earl would have discussed the red diary with Mike before sending it on to him, not least because it was outside the requested date range and, in any case, he would surely have checked first with Mike before acquiring anything on his behalf.  It's obvious! I even posted this fact on the Forum years ago.  If Caroline Morris hadn't already worked it out it's her own fault and her own stupidity.  She hasn't learnt anything from Martin Earl today that we (the sensible people) didn't already know!

The overwhelming likelihood is that Mike was told that Earl had sourced a blank and wholly unused 1891 diary containing over 120 empty pages.  Mike would probably have been licking his lips to hear that!  There is no evidence from Earl that he would have told Mike the exact size of the diary but even if he did there's no reason to think that Mike wouldn't have believed the text of the diary couldn't have been squeezed in. Only after seeing with his own eyes both that there were printed dates on every page and that it was so very small (so that there was no way to cut round any edges or anything like that) did Mike understandably realize that the diary was going to be of no use.

The deluded Ms Morris can stick her head ostrich-like in the sand as much as she wants in order to pretend that one of her biggest headaches has gone away but Mike's attempt to get hold of that Victorian diary with blank pages remains a problem that SHE hasn't been able to solve in the last 12 years.


Attempting, as usual, to analyze the motivations of others, Caroline Morris posts in #5258:

'I don't really see any agenda here, apart from a very natural psychological inability to ever admit, no matter how much evidence to the contrary might emerge, that one was taken in by Bongo Barrett's unsupported and unsupportable forgery claims. In nearly any other situation, it would be regarded as admirable to change one's mind, but in this case it seems the humiliation of doing so and admitting it would be worse than ploughing on regardless.'

I mean, blimey, that is projection right there isn't it? Someone who isn't prepared to admit anything against the weight of the evidence herself and who is ploughing on regardless, against the weight of the evidence.

But to the extent that Caroline Morris is talking about me (and let's face it, now that Melvin Harris and John Omlor aren't around for her to obsess over, she almost certainly is) let me make something very clear.  I have never been 'taken in' or influenced by Mike Barrett's forgery claims (regardless of whether his nickname was 'Bongo' or not).

I read the diary in the 1990s, then read Feldman in 1997 and Harrison in 2003.  I never came to any firm conclusion, especially in respect of Mike Barrett's involvement.  It all appeared very messy and uncertain.  A lot of smoke and mirrors.  But anything seemed possible.

I joined the Censorhip Forum in late 2014 but avoided all diary threads and discussions for well over a year.  In August 2016, however, I happened to visit one thread in which a member had posted a link to Mike's affidavit, suggesting that it was convincing.   Immediately, another member said that it had all been disproved.  I was curious and asked exactly how it had been disproved.  My attention was directed to Kevin Whay's statement.  But I could immediately see that this statement was a very flimsy basis on which to discount Mike's story about the purchase of the photograph album. 

As it happens, another member was around who used to visit auctions in the north-west during the 1990s and he helpfully confirmed for me that Mike's description of the O&L auction was basically how most auctions he had visited during that period had worked.

At about this time I first read 'Inside Story', an enjoyable read which seemed to confirm to me how messy the story was and just how much smoke, and how many mirrors, were obscuring the truth.  

But the turning point for me was when I first saw the wording of Mike's request for a Victorian diary with blank pages which had been published in a trade magazine on 19 March 1992 and realized that he would have received the red diary on 28 March 1992, more than a fortnight before he brought the Diary to London, which must have meant that he was on still on the hunt for a blank diary even after speaking to Doreen. While it seemed somewhat unlikely at first blush that he telephoned Doreen before the Diary was in existence, the more I thought about it, the more obvious that seemed to be, especially when I noted that the affidavit stated it had taken only 11 days to write the diary, something for which I could see no reason for Mike to have invented.

It was also apparent that the affidavit stated that Mike went to the auction after acquiring the red diary which made no sense within the stated chronology, which said that this occurred in early 1990, but did make perfect sense within the unstated chronology.  The fact that Mike had definitely placed the advertisement (or, rather, made the request of Martin Earl who placed the advertisement on his behalf) seemed to me to be the one solid fact in the case on which I could finally place some reliance, instead of relying on the various changing stories of Mike and Anne Barrett.

The next thing that happened is that I carried out some very detailed research into the expression 'one off instance' having come to appreciate that Shirley Harrison had not, after all, put this issue to bed in 1993 with her Traynors discovery, as most people had imagined.  My research proved to me, at last, with some considerable relief, that the Diary was not from the nineteenth century.  I say 'relief', not because I cared whether Maybrick was or was not Jack the Ripper but because it finally gave me certainty on the subject.  And, believe me, I considered long and hard from every angle whether the Diary might just have been genuine and written by Maybrick.  I'm not one of those people who dismissed it out of hand without giving it proper consideration.

Although Caroline Morris keeps asking why I (and others) continue writing on the subject, I happen to consider it my duty to do so now that I've discovered that 'one off instance' is definitely a twentieth century expression.  Not everyone can be expected to do all the research and to have seen the evolution of the phrase with their own eyes.  

All of this initial research was done during 2016 in the shadow of the secret Battlecrease evidence which, we were told, was eventually going to end the debate once and for all and prove that the Diary came out of Battlecrease.  Well the single timesheet revealed in 2017 did not do this and that is something even the most ardent Diary Defenders would surely agree with, hence their constant continuing interviews with the electricians in order to place Eddie Lyons in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992.  It's a fools errand because it doesn't matter if Eddie Lyons was or was not in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 or whether the floorboards were or were not lifted on that day because the Diary did not come up from beneath those floorboards, something of which I am certain because of the 'one off instance' mistake by the forger.

So the Battlecrease evidence was a complete flop and Keith Skinner is, it seems, now desperately contacting Martin Earl and Mike Litherland in order to find SOMETHING, ANYTHING, which will disprove Mike Barrett's story, an enterprise in which he has singularly failed to succeed.  But despite having come up with zilch they keep on trying.  Eddie Lyons is interviewed by James Johnston again but, frustratingly for the Diary Defenders, still won't admit to finding any Diary in Battlecrease.

Not only did the Battlecrease evidence fail but, when Keith Skinner produced, for the first time, in February 2018, Doreen Montgomery's correspondence with Mike Barrett, it didn't undermine the modern forgery story.  It would only have needed Doreen to have mentioned one single physical aspect of the Diary, as related to her by Mike, in her notes of her conversations with him on 9 and 10 March 1992, such as it was big and black or had 63 pages of text, or something like that, but there was nothing of the sort.

The modern forgery story just kept on going.

And then, in April 2018, I somehow, almost miraculously, managed to obtain samples of Anne's handwriting which bore obvious similarities with the Diary handwriting.  Until that point the only example of her handwriting I had seen was a sample she had provided to Keith Skinner in January 1995 which, everyone would agree, looked nothing whatsoever like the handwriting in the Diary.  Once again, the modern forgery theory was standing up to new evidence.  The same with Mike's own written notes and interviews, which I obtained at the same time, which contained idiosyncratic use of the English language also found in the Diary.

At that time, I also managed to see a copy of a note written by Nick Warren in 1995 with pre-1993 formula Diamine ink which had remarkably similar characteristics to the Diary ink.  According to Robert Smith in his 2017 book, this should not have been possible due to his own test, but his own test was flawed.  Again, the modern forgery idea was being supported by new discoveries.

And then perhaps the most significant discovery of all occurred in late 2019.  The discovery that over a two day period in April Mike had said, to my utter astonishment, that he didn't obtain the photograph album from O&L until after he had spoken to Doreen Montgomery on 9 March 1992, exactly as I had theorized back at the start of my journey, more than three years earlier!  That really was amazing.  The Diary Defenders, naturally, have barely said a word about it, hoping that if they ignore it, it will go away.  But it's dynamite.  How could Mike Barrett, on the basis of what was supposed to have been a pack of lies in his 1995 affidavit, have predicted in 1999 that I would develop a theory seven years later that the Diary hadn't yet been forged at the time he spoke to Doreen Montgomery, something in complete contradiction of the entire stated chronology in his affidavit???!!!

And then, following on from that, the release of the tape of the famous Cloak & Dagger event in which Mike supported just about everything I had been saying about the Diary.

What should be clear from the above is that I haven't been influenced in my thinking by 'Bongo' Barrett's claims.  I have attempted to avoid any such influence and looked at where the actual evidence leads us.

It should also be clear that I have had, and continue to have, an open mind.  I go with the evidence not against it.

I've considered the Battlecrease evidence.  Of course I have.  I've written loads about it, including in this very article. But it falls short.  Not just on its own but especially in the context of the other evidence.  The 'one off instance' mistake by the forgers certainly makes it an impossibility that it had been under the floorboards for 100+ years.  I can't see how it could have ended up under the floorboards of Battlecrease at any time before the second half of twentieth century, when the expression 'one off instance' became part of the English language.  That alone rules out the the possibility of the Battlecrease evidence getting us to the solution.

And how many times have you heard a Diary Defender  addressing the 'one off instance' question?  When did Caroline Morris last address it?  Talk about 'ploughing on regardless'.  She's never responded to it in any satisfactory way over a four year period.  Robert Smith entirely ballsed up the point in BOTH editions of his book.  They not only have it from me but from experts in the English language and from flipping DICTIONARIES and phrase books that 'one off instance' could not have been written by anyone in the nineteenth century.  It seems to me that Caroline Morris is attempting a doublethink here. Well, she says, perhaps the Diary was written in the second half of the twentieth century but just NOT BY THE BARRETTS.  Anything but that!!! WTF?

Why is she so opposed to the idea?  Why so resistant?  I did ask her when I was a member of the Censorship Forum but I never got a satisfactory answer.  I'm certain myself that it's the result of a whole load of prejudices built up over the years by which she has managed to convince herself that there is no way that Mike Barrett could have had anything to do with the diary (and see Inside Story of a Sceptical Mind for a detailed discussion about this). 

I don't see any evidence of her challenging her own basic assumptions.  She never properly reflects on whether Mike could have been assisted by his wife, or others.  She is quick to ridicule but slow to think.  And many of her posts are littered with errors or obvious failures of logic.  Far too much speculation about what was going on in the minds of the main players, even though such a thing is virtually impossible to do correctly on the basis of the available evidence.

Caroline Morris concludes her #5258 by saying:

'That has to be the explanation, because it would hardly be the end of anyone's world if they had to let go of the Barretts. It wouldn't make the diary old, or real, or anything they don't want it to be. Mike could still have ended up with a mid to late 20th century fake created by a prankster who sensibly intended to remain anonymous.' 

This actually brings me, belatedly, to the main theme of this section which is that Caroline Morris doesn't seem to understand why her own position needs to be challenged.

As far as I am concerned, and continue to state, leaving aside for the moment the 'one off instance' error which makes it impossible, if the Diary was found to have come from under the floorboards of Battlecrease on 9 March 1992, it must, realistically, be genuine.  Which means that Maybrick was Jack the Ripper.

Caroline Morris, however, can't seem to see this and thinks that my challenge to her Battlecrease theory is pointless because we both think the diary is a hoax, so, she says, what does it matter when it was hoaxed and who hoaxed it? But she is missing the point. The Battlecrease theory in itself rules out a hoax!

I see chatter that a modern visitor to Battlecrease might have somehow hidden the Diary somewhere in the house during a guided tour (presumably having been left totally unsupervised), just in case some electrical work was ever done in the near future and it was found.  This is both bonkers and batty and can only be a suggestion by someone who has strange psychological reasons of their own for refusing to accept the far more simple and obvious explanation that the Barretts were involved in the forgery. 

As for her 'old hoax' theory (or her new 'modern hoax just not by Barrett theory', if she has one) she has never been able to explain who could have created such a hoax, why it would have been created nor how such a hoax could possibly (and realistically) have ended up beneath the floorboards of Battlecrease.  In complete contradiction of claims of an 'old hoax', I now see chatter from her that someone might have been writing a novel in an old photograph album which they then decided to hide away in Battlecrease but purrlease don't make me laugh!

A Battlecrease provenance can only mean that the Diary is genuine.  Now, while that doesn't scare or trouble me in any way - it would be literally fantastic if the crimes of 1888 could finally be solved - I cannot let such a false notion go unchallenged, especially in view of my knowledge of 'one off instance' which proves the Diary to be a fake.  And, unlike Caroline Morris, I am not hypocritically selective in who I respond to because I challenge those, such as Iconoclast, who argue that the Diary is genuine just as strongly as I challenge those who say 'old hoax' (or 'modern hoax, just not by the Barretts').

It's not that I 'can't let go of the Barretts'.  The very idea is simply ridiculous.  It's just that ALL the evidence in this case points to the involvement of the Barretts, as I've explained.  When some evidence is provided which is sufficiently compelling to show that the Barretts couldn't have been involved then I will accept it. But the idea (as Caroline Morris seems to think) that any evidence has recently been produced which undermines the Barrett forgery theory is laughable.  It hasn't even dented that theory!

On that point, I have to repeat that it is very unsatisfactory that possibly important evidence (being the Barretts' own transcript of the Diary) is, by his own admission, deliberately being withheld by Keith Skinner.  The most recent information from Martin Earl and Mike Litherland has been dribbled out in bits and pieces over a number of posts without the full notes of what they said in their own words being produced, the same for the notes of Keith Skinner's interview with Colin Rhodes, the transcripts of interviews with the electricians are not produced, the crucial Barrett/Gray tapes/transcripts are kept hidden (although we are promised some movement on that) and Keith Skinner STILL has not answered a question I asked him in good faith on the Forum about the contents of those tapes on 2 March 2018, nor has he answered the question of why he thinks Mike attempted to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages which I also asked him in 2018.  

So I do wonder how I am supposed to change my mind based on the evidence 'no matter how much evidence to the contrary might emerge' when I literally have no idea what the evidence is which is supposed to have emerged!!!  I can only go on the evidence that has been made available, in full.  I'm certainly not going to accept selected snippets of cherry-picked extracts (not that those cherry picked extracts have proved anything).  If the Diary Defenders want to convince anyone of the truth they have to start providing the full unvarnished evidence relating to this case.  

Until they do, I leave them with this question: why did Mike attempt to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992?  


R.J. Palmer started a new thread on the Censorship Forum entitled 'The Origins and Acceptance of the Canonical Five'. I just want to supplement that post here with some additional references.

As mentioned in my article 'Cutbush City Limits', the Sun newspaper, when it ran its Cutbush story, on 17 February 1894, told its readers that a single individual called Jack the Ripper was responsible for no fewer than nine murders: Tabram, Nichols, Chapman, Stride, Eddowes, Kelly, McKenzie, the unidentified woman in Pinchin Lane and 'Cole' (sic).  These are the victims listed by the Sun after the words: 'And now let us set forth the terrible list of crimes which were committed by the wretched man called "Jack the Ripper"....  

Robert Logan's 1905 fact based novel (first serialized in the Illustrated Police News of July 1905 and said to be 'absolutely true') had the series of murders commence on 7 August 1888 with Tabram and conclude with Kelly, so six in total. 

Robert Anderson's 'The Lighter Side of My Official Life' published in 1910 stated that:

'The second of the crimes known as the Whitechapel murders was committed the night before I took office, and the third occurred the night of the day on which I left London...On the night of my arrival in the French capital two more victims fell to the knife of the murder fiend...The last and most horrible of that maniac's crimes was committed in a house in Miller's Court on the 9th of November'.

One did not need to know that Anderson took office on 1 September to calculate that he was saying that there were six Whitechapel murders.  Clearly he included Tabram.

There is a footnote in the book in which he states, 'I am here assuming that the murder of Alice McKenzie on the 17th of July, 1889, was by another hand'.  

J. Hall Richardson's 'From the City to Fleet Street' was published in 1927. It stated of the Whitechapel murders:

'This series of atrocities begin in April and continued until November 9th 1888'.

I would make that seven murders (but he doesn't expressly say so).  

The Illustrated Police News of 29 January 1931 stated:

'"Jack the Ripper" was one of the most infamous criminals in history, whose identity has never been solved. In April 1888 there began a murderous campaign against women in the East End of London, and altogether ten were murdered, although two women were not officially accounted by the police as victims of "the Ripper"....The campaign of terror ended on February 13, 1891'

I guess that makes eight. 


The Clanger is proving my point by STILL frantically searching in the British Newspaper Archive, desperate for a nineteenth century example of 'one off', in a fine case of searching for a needle in a haystack which isn't actually there. The more he looks and finds nothing, the more it proves the correctness of what I have long said.

Mind you, I think I should make something clear for any prospective searchers, of which the more the merrier.

I have ALREADY found examples in print of 'one-off' prior to 1888.

I do hope that is appreciated.

Yes, I have posted on this website an example from 1884 and one from 1885.

Is that stunning news to anyone?

It should not be.

I said in my very first post on the subject in the Censorship Forum back in 2016 that I assumed that 'one-off' DID exist in the nineteenth century to mean a QUANTITY of one.

I then found the two above-mentioned examples (and they are to be seen in my 'One Off Article') which both relate to a quantity of one.

But we are not looking for 'one-off' as a quantity.  We are looking for it to mean something unique or singular.  Otherwise it's irrelevant.

The clue as to whether you are looking at 'one-off' to mean something unique is usually that when it means a quantity you also find references to 'two-off', 'three-off', 'four-off' etc. So 'one-off' is just a way of expressing the number one. Such examples can and must be ignored.

Now, the Clanger appears to have wet himself with excitement after finding mention in an 1864 newspaper of a 'one-off promising filly' (#11 of 'Two-off...' thread in JTR Forums).  But, as he had already found a 1903 newspaper reference to 'two off', 'three off' 'four off' and 'six off' colts (#1), it should have been obvious to him that we are in the realm of mere numbers here.  In fact, as explained in 'The Horse's Mouth' by Edward Mathew (a reference posted in JTR Forums by Kattrup) it relates to nothing more than the age of a horse based on the horse's teeth.

That it has nothing to do with uniqueness is demonstrated by the fact that it would obviously have been possible to say that there were three one-off fillies in a stable.  No-one in 1864 or 1888 would have batted an eyelid or commented on the irony of there being multiple one-off fillies, for the simple reason that 'one-off' during the nineteenth century never had the meaning of something that was unique.

Now, in desperation, the Clanger, realizing his failure, tries (in #20) to invent a completely new expression of 'one off instance' to describe the behaviour of a young colt and, when applied to something like hitting one's wife, to mean 'very indisciplined behaviour'.  He adds, 'I'm not saying it was used that way in the diary, just that there's nothing outrageous in the suggestion that it might have been'.

He is, of course, wrong in saying that.  It is totally outrageous to suggest that the author of the Diary might have written a phrase which did not exist!  One for which there is no evidence that anyone had ever in the history of the world used before, or anything even remotely similar, and no evidence that anyone in the history of the world has used since!  A phrase that has literally never existed in the English language in any form and which no-one could possibly have understood.  Furthermore, there is not the slightest evidence that anyone ever thought of a 'one off' colt as being indisciplined and thus went on to use the expression 'one off' metaphorically or figuratively to mean something or someone lacking discipline.  Without such evidence, or even the slightest hint of such evidence, the very suggestion is both bizarre and absurd.  In fact, I had to check the date of his post to confirm that it wasn't April 1st.

Don't forget that the author of the Diary claims he told his wife that it was a 'one off instance' at the time. So he was indicating that he expect to be understood, not have someone look at him in bewilderment.

Frankly this barking mad suggestion only strengthens a comment I once made on the Forum back in December 2016 that the author of the Diary couldn't have been using the expression in its NORMAL sense if he had invented it because neither his wife, to whom he claimed to have used the expression in real life, nor any reader of his Diary would have understood it (and, as he wasn't writing his Diary in code, he must have anticipated that it might be read by a third person one day). This was in #2810 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread when I said:

'The phrase in the diary...as I keep repeating, is "one off instance". No-one in 1888 would have understood what that meant which is why a diary writer would not have included it (or thought of it)'.

In response to this (#2321), Caroline Morris tried to argue that the reader (and the author's wife) would easily have been able to work the meaning.  Thus:

'Personally I don't see a yawning chasm between 'job' and 'instance' that the phrase would have been incomprehensible to anyone coming across it among the private written musings of, say, someone with an engineering or manufacturing background, or who could have been up to speed with the latest jargon via friends and family'.

She also referred to 'the context' of 'one off instance' as being of assistance in determining its meaning.

Caroline Morris was, of course, using modern hindsight, in circumstances where the phrase is perfectly familiar today but in 1888 it would have been baffling.  As we can see, she was saying very clearly that someone with knowledge of engineering or manufacturing jargon in 1888 could have worked out that Maybrick was talking about an unrepeatable instance.  Yet, Dizzy Miss Lizzy herself has now posted in the 'Two-off' thread on JTR Forums (#40) to agree with the nonsensical 'indisciplined young colt' meaning of 'one off instance' (and even explaining it as being 'sorry, love, I behaved like a two year old brat'!) thus totally contradicting her earlier stance that someone with an engineering or manufacturing background could have worked out with ease that it meant something that would not be repeated.  Now she is saying, ah just forget about that, it means, or could mean, something totally different - indisciplined, coltish  or brattish - and you need to have a knowledge of horses to work it out!!!  But how the blazes would anyone know what type of knowledge you needed to decipher such a phrase?

The Clanger, with his ludicrous suggestion, is demonstrating for me better than I could have done why it wouldn't have been possible to work out what a strange expression as 'one off instance' could have meant in 1888.

Anyway, we all know what the Diary author meant when writing 'one off instance' in response to him hitting his wife.  He meant an instance that would never be repeated.  That is unarguable. It's even defined by the author of the Diary who after saying he had apologized to his wife, calling it a 'one off instance',  then says, 'I assured the whore it would never happen again.'  The Clanger's new suggestion is, frankly, no better than Iconoclast's barking mad 'off instance' suggestion, another phrase that has never existed in the English language.

The smell of desperation?  Not much.


Given that the Clanger has invented this entirely fictional definition of 'one off instance' without any evidence whatsoever, and a few muppets have said 'Oh yes, this seems soooo possible', it makes me wonder why they are even bothering with the need for a horsey example of 'one off' to provide an explanation of the origins of the 'coltish behaviour' definition.  I mean, without evidence, if we are now making up things, why not just say that 'one off instance' could have meant a regrettable instance (and, after all, the Diary author said it was an instance 'which I regretted') or a violent instance or an unfortunate instance or a horrible instance.  Or perhaps it meant one bruise off to the side of the head instance.  Or perhaps it meant a one punch to the face instance.  All these things are possible aren't they?  They could  have been what he was saying couldn't they?  Okay, there's no evidence that 'one off instance' meant any of these things, but surely we are now casting off the need for evidence and are constrained only by our own imagination.  And thus the Diary somehow fights back!!!  

This truly is the argument of the insane.  And it is exactly the same argument the Clanger is now putting forward.  Yet, not only does it tempt Caroline Morris into the madness but it has caused little Paulie Butler to jump up and down maniacally from the sidelines with a comment even more optimistic than Donald Trump's 'it will go away in April' remark by calling it (#21) a 'brilliant find' and gibbering that, 'it clearly isn't an anachronism in the diary. Another one bites the dust'.

How can someone who isn't speaking from the confines of a lunatic asylum in a straightjacket (but maybe he is) say that 'one off instance' clearly isn't an anachronism based on a supposed meaning of 'one off instance' which someone has simply invented from the top of their head in 2020 without any evidence that it bore that meaning in 1888?  Because that's not just the definition of an anachronism (for ANY period in history!) but the literal definition of a phrase that didn't exist in 1888 and never has existed! 


After his brief flirtation with the 'extremely coltish behaviour' nonsense explanation, even the Clanger seems to have had doubts and lost interest.  Hence he immediately switched back to the notion that 'one off instance' must be related to a comparison of an event with a unique manufactured item.  In doing so, the Clanger misquotes me (twice) more egregiously than any misquoting Hallie Rubenhold has been accused off.

Thus, in #35 of his 'Two-off' thread, he tells us (with the spelling of my name corrected):

'According to Lord Orsam, 'No one in the world' in 1888 would have drawn an analogy between a unique manufactured item and an event outside manufacturing'.

He didn't actually provide the quote from me in that post but he did in the next post (#36) which, even on its face, doesn't support what he has just claimed I have said.  Thus, what I actually said was:

'No-one in the world at that time drew the analogy between such an item and an actual event outside manufacturing'.

It will be seen that the word 'would' doesn't appear in that sentence in which I was saying that no-one actually DID draw the analogy. I wasn't there speaking hypothetically I was speaking empirically.

But that's not the worst of it by any means because when I was referring to 'such an item' I wasn't referring to 'a unique manufactured item' I was referring to a 'one off' item.  The WHOLE POINT of my article was that in 1888 the expression 'one off' didn't exist as a description of a unique manufactured item or a unique job. No-one thought of those things as 'one-off's because 'one-off' was nothing more than a dull notation of quantity. So it's not that no-one could or would have compared a unique manufacturing item with anything, it's that no-one could or would have compared a 'one-off' with anything because 'one off' in 1888 didn't mean a unique manufactured item.

In quoting me here, the Clanger has simply ignored what I was saying in the rest of the paragraph.  I was actually dealing with the issue of the 1903 mention by Garscadden of the expression 'one off standpoint'. What I said about that was that (underlining added):

'it's a complete mistake to think that one can simply take Garscadden's 'one off standpoint', bring it forward by 15 years to 1888 (because, after all, why not?) and then completely change its meaning to think that James Maybrick, or anyone else writing in 1888, could have thought about anything other than some form of manufactured item or design as relating to 'one off'.'

It's at this point, in the next sentence, that I go on to say that no-one in the world drew the analogy between 'such an item' and a person or event, but I was clearly referring here to a 'one off' item (i.e. 'some form of manufactured item or design as relating to 'one off'').  And the point was that 'one off item' was an expression that didn't exist in 1888.

It's because 'one off item' didn't exist as an expression in 1888 that no-one in the world could or would have thought of comparing a 'one off item' with a unique person or event.  That's just a matter of simple logic. It's obvious and unarguable. And that is why no-one in fact did so.

A reader of my article could only be confused if they didn't understand the point of my article which is about how the 'one off' expression evolved.  I made it very clear that there are three phases.



PHASE 3  - ONE-OFF AS AN INDICATOR OF UNIQUENESS OF A PERSON OR EVENT (i.e effectively being compared to a unique manufactured item)

It should be absolutely bloody obvious that Phase 3 can't come before Phase 2 but the Clanger has simply ignored this, despite it being the entire point of my article!

What's amazing is that in the few responses to my posts and articles on the subject since I mentioned those three phases in 2016, I never read any Diary Defender getting to grips with them. They NEVER mention Phase 1 or Phase 2 or Phase 3 or the word 'evolution'.  They simply ignore it.  Yet it's at the central core of everything I am saying.

The expression 'one off' simply has to first enter the Phase 2 period, at which point the expression 'one off job' enters the lexicon, before it's possible to start comparing a 'one off job' with a human being or an event such as hitting one's wife. Again that is a statement of the bleeding obvious and a matter of simple logic.

The earliest known mention of the expression 'one off job' is from 1912.  Even then, it's not clear that there is any association of uniqueness about a 'one off job' at this stage or whether it was thought of more as something like a 'rush job'.  It will be recalled that the example relied on by Robert Smith of a 'one off job' in 1922 stated that. 'If such a casting was wanted in a hurry - a one-off job - there would be no question of molding it in a machine' which links the concept of a one-off job with a job done in a hurry.  We should be cautious of imposing our own modern meaning on an expression which is not clearly defined.

But let's assume that, in 1912, the 'one off job' was thought of as a unique job, then I entirely agree that a poetic thinking human being COULD in theory have had the thought that a unique job, or a unique manufactured item, known either as a 'one off job'  or a'one off', could be compared to a unique person or event.  I can't say it's impossible.  I don't say it's impossible. All I can say is that, in fact, this did not happen.  It wasn't until the post-war period that people were doing this. 

The English language needed to evolve and get comfortable with the Phase 2 meaning which needed to widen out from the world of pattern making and then engineering into the general world and it was only then that 'one off' started to have a metaphorical usage where people or events started to be described as 'one offs'.

And it might be worth emphasizing that my research shows that people who think it was originally an engineering expression are wrong.  It's true that 'one-off', 'two off' was used by engineers to indicate a quantity (i.e. a Phase 1 meaning) but it seems that it was in the world of pattern making, not engineering, that it first expanded into the Phase 2 meaning with the use of the expression 'one off job' and that this emerged from doing one [casting] off a pattern (hence 'one off'). It was only then picked up by the engineering world to describe their own unique jobs.

Anyway, the key point, as the Clanger must know, is that if he wants to even begin to prove me wrong, he needs to find a single example of 'one off' with a Phase 2 meaning, to mean something unique, from the nineteenth century.  There is currently no such example in the whole of the nineteenth century because in that century it just indicated a quantity, hence 'one off' was no different to 'ten off' or '100 off' other than being a different number.

It would only be if 'one off' was thought of as a unique manufactured item in 1888 that we can even bring into play the notion that someone in 1888 could have done the comparison with a unique manufactured item.  There is no evidence that anyone ever had that thought and the evolution of the expression shows us that it didn't happen until the twentieth century. But, contrary to what the Clanger says, my article DOES deal with this possibility. Hence I say this:

'If the author of the diary wrote the expression 'one off instance' in 1888 he would have been the first person ever known to have used this expression, or anything remotely similar in a Phase 3 sense and, even if you deduct ten years from the earliest date that I have found any similar expression, this would still mean that it was never written again by anyone else in the entire English speaking world for over 50 years! It's totally unrealistic.'

That was how I dealt with it.  Totally unrealistic. And that was an understatement.

We can see in #25 that the Clanger produces a page from the Tatler of 7 April 1960 with the words 'One-off is one up' and asks 'Does this tell us anything about the development of the figurative usage of 'one off'? '  It's strange that he does so because, in my own article, I said that the expression in its Phase 3 sense 'was certainly in common use during the 1960s...'

If I can draw the reader's attention to a companion article of 'One Off Article' which is the important 'Off and On Again' which can be found here, I noted that the earliest Phase 3 useage I had found was from 1946, almost 60 years after 1888, in which Anthony Phelps wrote in a book entitled 'I Couldn't Care Less' that:

'The Taxi Pool was under the command of a large Scot who had such a unique personality that it quite baffles description - definitely what an engineer would call a "one off job".'

This should be instructive because Phelps doesn't call the large Scot a 'one off'.  He says that he was what an engineer would call a 'one off job'.  So Phelps is doing the very (Phase 3) comparison of a unique manufactured item with a human being that is only possible when 'one off job' is understood in a Phase 2 sense.  And he actually seems to be explaining his thinking to his readers, which just shows how utterly unrealistic it is to think that anyone in 1888 could have used the expression 'one off instance'.  Not just unrealistic but literally impossible if 'one off' did not bear a Phase 2 meaning at that time (which it did not).

With that background we can see in #22 an egregious example of the Clanger misquoting of me of which he would surely complain if Hallie Rubenhold did something similar in respect of a police report or newspaper article.  He says:

'Orsam tells us:

For Maybrick to have written the words 'one off instance' in the diary he would firstly have had to have appreciated that there was something special about a product for which only one was made...'

Although I am obviously in the middle of a sentence, the Clanger breaks off and says that 'there is no problem' in Maybrick having done this as if he has resolved the entire issue!

But that wasn't the important part of the sentence and when I said 'firstly' I wasn't describing a multi-step process but one in which each of the components are inextricably linked and cannot be separated.  The full sentence is this:

'For Maybrick to have written the words 'one off instance' in his Diary, in the context in which it was used, he would firstly have had to appreciated that there was something special about a product for which only one was made (as opposed to a product for which a few, or a thousand, were made) and then, secondly, he would have to have known that a possible description for a unique product was 'one off' and then, thirdly, he would have had to have had the somewhat poetic thought that the way he hit his wife could be compared to a unique product because, just like the product would never be made again, he would never hit his wife again.'

So what I'm doing there is saying that the entire 50+ years of evolution of the phrase 'one off' would have had to have occurred inside Maybrick's head in 1888 for him to have used the expression in that year. And obviously, the key element, which the Clanger deliberately omits in his truncated quotation, is that 'one off' in 1888 has to bear the meaning of a unique product.  But it did not. 

If it did, why hasn't the Clanger, or anyone else, found an example of it?

And don't forget, even if such an example were found (which it will not be because it didn't bear such a meaning until the twentieth century) it STILL means that a person writing in 1888 would have had to have done the poetic comparison which no-one else does in the next 50+ years; and we've seen the 1946 example where the writer actually explains his thought process when comparing a 'one off job' to a man with a unique personality, showing that it was an original thought and a new one.  It was some years after 1946 that the notion of a person being a 'one off' really took hold in the language to the extent that it required no explanation and the person would be referred to as a 'one off' not a 'one off job' as happened in 1946. It's all part of the evolution of the phrase that the Clanger and other Diary Defenders keep ignoring.

Perhaps my article had too many words and not enough pictures. In fact, I can already see the Clanger counting the number of words in this article as his excuse for why he hasn't read the whole thing! 

It immediately became obvious, incidentally, that, having abandoned his new and ridiculous horsey definition of 'one off instance' , the Clanger didn't even have faith in what he was saying about the manufactured item definition.  We could see this as soon as he mentioned Joseph McCarthy (#37), about which he has some kind of obsession, having embarrassingly misunderstood that my mention of that man as a Ripper suspect was all part of a parody Ripper article, something which seems to be so utterly humiliating for him that he can't acknowledge his mistake in public. And now, presumably due to a cocktail of sad psychological issues inside his brain, and to try and cover up his mistake, he can't stop mentioning McCarthy in the context of 'one off', to which it has literally no relevance.  Whenever I see Joseph McCarthy in a one-off post I know that the Clanger has given up hope.

To return to the issue at hand, I set out the evolution of the 'one off' phrase, and the sudden explosion in Phase 3 usage in the 1960s and 1970s, very clearly in the 'Off and On Again' article (linked to above) and the accompanying article entitled 'One Off Expressions - First Newspaper Appearances' which is found here. Diary Defenders should read these two articles and absorb them.  

When I carried out my research into 'one off' I wasn't doing it primarily to convince anyone or even to provide the one incontrovertible fact which disproves the Diary.  I was doing it for my own satisfaction to see if it was possible that I could work out, once and for all, if the Diary was genuine or not. And I did! I constantly questioned my own assumptions and tested my thought processes and, by the end of the research, I was entirely satisfied to the very highest standards that it was impossible for Maybrick (or anyone else) to have written those words in 1888.

When I say 'impossible' I don't mean physically impossible because, of course, there was nothing physically preventing him from writing those three words but it was impossible for the simple reason that 'one off' did not mean a unique in 1888.  And, of course, my argument is more sophisticated than that because even when the phrase 'one off' did carry a meaning of uniqueness this only applied to a manufactured item and it took many years of evolution before it was in fact used to describe people and events. 

The only arguments I'm reading from Diary Defenders are absolutely crazy.  Feldman, in 1997, had no problem in accepting that 'any linguistic anomalies would prove this diary a fake'.  Thus, he said, 'if it could be proved that certain catchphrases or words were not known or in common useage at the time, I would accept the inevitable and go after the forger'.  That should be the view of everyone. But the kind of arguments coming from Diary Defenders in 2020 are not of this planet. 

What I seem to be reading from the Clanger is pretty much that there is no such thing as an anachronism!!! Yes, truly!  For, he seems to be saying, just about every and any expression in the English language MIGHT have been in use in 1888, even if no examples have ever been found prior to this date, or for some years after, and even if experts tell us that it wasn't.  He seems to forget that we are told by dictionaries, phrasebooks and at least one expert in the English language from Oxford University (with no dissenting expert voices) that 'one off' or 'one off instance' to mean unique is a twentieth century expression. But the Clanger thinks we can ignore that because, after all, who knows, PERHAPS someone in the nineteenth century COULD have anticipated an expression not known to have been used until the twentieth century, thus denying the very existence of such a thing as an anachronism.  That's basically how far the Diary Defenders have fallen in thirty years from Feldman's admission (which, of course, he only made because he wrongly thought Harrison HAD found a nineteenth century example).

The Clanger thinks his isolated find of someone saying that he would 'top himself' during the 1870s actually proves that there is no such thing as an anachronism!  For the reasons I set out in the last update, he's wrong about that but, in any case, 'top myself' is very different from 'one off instance' because 'top' already meant 'hang' in the nineteenth century but it's not possible to put 'one off' together with 'instance' without 'one off' first bearing the meaning of unique which it did NOT in 1888.   

I'm not in the business of deceiving myself.  Having established that the Diary could not possibly have been written in 1888, this allows me to know for certain that it didn't come up out of the floorboards of Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 so that I am not deceived by a coincidence of dates.  While I understand the argument that someone could have placed it there shortly before it was 'discovered', I then look at Mike Barrett's attempt to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages and, honestly, why else was he doing that apart from the obvious reason? That tells me that the Diary wasn't yet created as at 9 March 1992.

I've been writing about this for four years now and despite two editions of his book published during that period by Robert Smith (not to mention the ludicrous 'Society's Pillar' so I won't mention it) and despite frantic attempts by the Diary Defending team to contact Martin Earl and Mike Litherland and others and despite the production of Doreen Montgomery's notes, and despite a number of interviews with electricians conducted by James Johnston, not a single piece of information has even come close to undermining the notion that the Diary was created in March and April 1992. 

On the contrary, it's all consistent with the conclusion of Dr Baxendale and the experts who viewed it in 1993 for the Rendell report.  It fits in with so many other things, including Mike's knowledge of the source of the 'Oh costly intercourse...' quote.  It fits in with what Mike Barrett himself stated over two days in April 1999.  Against that, all I read are weird extreme hypothetical 'possibilities', which aren't even possible, that seem to be written out of an intense and irrational desire for the Diary to be an old if not genuine document.  Personally, I prefer to get real, it's time others did.

But for those who don't want to get real, good luck with the search for that nineteenth century'one off' example and get back to us when you've given up. 


In another dreadful example of quoting me out of context, the Clanger posts (with the omission of my title corrected) in #76 of the 'Two off' thread:

'You'll remember Lord Orsam's rather dismissive comment of Shirley Harrison's 'one off' research:

'For all we know, she just made it up'.

This is then immediately followed by a discussion about Dr Deeson, as if I was saying that Harrison might have just made up the information provided by Dr Deeson.

That was NOT what I was saying.  In my 'One Off Article' I was solely discussing Shirley Harrison's claim that 'one off' was used as an engineering term in the nineteenth century to mean a unique example or a prototype. It thus had nothing to do with the information said to have been discovered by Dr Deeson.  This is what I said, in short (underlining removed):

'To the extent of 'one off' meaning something unique...she doesn't provide any source for this claim...For all we know, she just made it up.'

And here are those words in full context with the underling as in the original:

'Harrison says firstly that 'one off' was also an ornamental brick (although what that has to do with the expression 'one off instance' I have literally no idea) and then, secondly, that it was, in the Victorian period, used as an engineering term to mean a unique example or prototype.  To the extent of 'one off' meaning something unique, this IS relevant and is the sense employed in the Diary, as Harrison says. But she doesn't provide any source for this claim (or for the claim that it was an ornamental brick for that matter).  It is just stated and left without any support whatsoever.  More than 25 years later, still no source has ever been provided. For all we know, she just made it up.'

So we can see the Clanger's dirty and underhand tactic of lifting a quote totally out of context, totally unrelated to the Deeson information, and then applying it to the Deeson information to make it appear that I was saying that Harrison had 'made up' the Deeson information.  No, what I was saying (and I flipping well underlined it in the article) was that she never provided any source that 'one off' was ever used as an engineering term to mean a unique example or prototype.  

What Harrison actually said in her 1993 book about the Deeson information (although Deeson isn't mentioned) was no more than this:

'In the building industry, one off in the sense of one only was used when ordering materials (source: records of Traynors of Kent, 1860).'

That was it.  Nothing more. But there is no dispute that prior to 1888 'one off' could have been used to indicate the ordering of a single item in the same way that 'two off' would have indicated ordering two items and 'three off' would have indicated the ordering of three items etc.  We have nothing in that sentence to confirm that there was any uniqueness involved.

As I also mentioned, in her 2003 book Harrison said that SHE not Deeson telephoned Traynors and that SHE was told that they had 'discovered the phrase lurking in their archives' and that, 'it was used when a new building material was ordered as a special'. Regardless of who spoke to whom, this wasn't what she had said in 1993.  Somehow, over the period of ten years, the word 'special' had crept into the picture.

It was actually Keith Skinner who first noted that Shirley had never seen any document confirming the use of 'one off' in the Traynors archives, either dated 1860 or any other date.  He was rightly of the view that this wasn't a satisfactory state of affairs.  It's even mentioned in 'Inside Story' (p.56, where the authors state: 'to date, Harrison has not seen the record herself').

Although the Clanger claims that I seem to 'have been singularly disinterested in Dr Deeson', and says that I didn't mention his occupation in my article, he fails to record that I quoted in my article from Linder, Morris and Skinner who described him as, 'Dr Tony Deeson of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers'.  So, by the Clanger's daft standards, if anyone was singularly disinterested in Dr Deeson it was Linder, Morris and Skinner!

Caroline Morris will certainly enjoy that criticism of her by the Clanger and I look forward to him raising it directly with her on JTR Forums. 

More importantly, what we are told by Linder, Morris and Skinner in 'Inside Story' (p. 56) is this:

'According to Dr Tony Deeson of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, the phrase 'one-off' appeared in the records of the builders Trayners of Kent in 1860...'

That is apparently based on what Harrison told her publishers but Robert Smith tells us at p.147 of his 2019 book that Harrison 'is now unable to identify her source' so the information about Traynors might not even have come from Deeson!!! Nevertheless, if 'Inside Story' is correct, Deeson said nothing about it being related to ordering materials or to it being related to a 'special'.  It was just 'in the records'.  But without any further information, that is totally meaningless because it is known that 'one off' was used to indicate a quantity prior to 1888.

For that reason, it wouldn't matter if Dr Deeson had been the bloody Mayor of Kent in 1992, having been the longest surviving resident of that county and the official leading world expert on all things Kentish. The information he is said to have provided to Harrison proves absolutely nothing and gets us nowhere.

If the Clanger wants to prove the existence of Traynors, it should be a straightforward matter for a man of his incredible search skills, unless he is singularly disinterested in that company.  I mean, it can't have been a secret company in 1992 known only to the public relations director of the Swale Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise, can it?  I spent a lot of time looking for such a company (especially in nineteenth century records) but couldn't find it.

But what should be obvious is that the existence or otherwise of the company called 'Trayners' or 'Traynors', or similar, is only a very minor part of this story (because the company could have existed, just with a different name due to Shirley writing it down incorrectly) so that finding it or proving that it never existed would move us no further forward either way, bearing in mind that it has evidently long since gone out of business.

As for research into Dr Deeson, what the Clanger doesn't know is that I was in direct communication with Keith Skinner about the man during 2016. In fact, in an email to Keith dated 5 September 2016, I specifically mentioned to him that Deeson's family company was based in Kent!

After I gave Keith an email address to contact, Keith then very kindly forwarded to me his email correspondence with a close relative of Dr Deeson's who informed Keith of Deeson's former status as the general secretary of the Institute of Engineers and Technicians and also informed Keith that he was dead (and that his first name was Arthur but he liked to be called Tony!).  In the second of his two emails, dated 19 September 2016, Mr Deeson (the relative), who lived in Canterbury, Kent, informed Keith: 'I have not heard of Trayners'.  He mentioned that Tony wrote several hundred company histories and suggested that it was possible that Trayners was one of those but that Tony would have returned any documents to Trayners after use.  He did not bother to mention that Tony had been a public relations director of the Swale Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise and, indeed, there was no reason for him to have done so and equally no reason for anyone to think that Traynors was located in Swale, one of 12 boroughs or districts in Kent (but perhaps the Clanger, now that he has a hot lead, will be able to find it very quickly in that borough). 

In the meantime, please wave to the nice people, Mr the Clanger....


Talking of the Clanger, as I wish we weren't, just look at this classic piece of muppetry from Barnett which he posted in the 'One off' thread on JTR Forums on 13 July 2019 at #338: 


'Just a reminder of how this thread started:

'Hi everyone I hate to get into the Ripper debates but I just found the earliest published record of the use of the term "one off".

It's from the British Bee Journal of 1882 and refers to a person. Sorry battery dying.'

So the guy IS a muppet after all!

It's really weird and I just can't think what prompted him to post this.  The 1882 dating of the British Bee Journal had been totally debunked back in December 2016, shortly after the OP, and Barnett knew this at the time because he was involved in the debunking.  It was, of course, an extract from a 1975 issue of that journal.

I can only assume that by repeating the OP he had forgotten about the debunking because he is suffering from some kind of early onset dementia which, as we know from the last edition of 'Lord Orsam Says...', means he is truly demented!


I was so excited to see this I could hardly breathe.

Pierre's suspect is a chap called Henry Maxwell Reily. 

Almost equally as exciting is the news that Pierre is a chappess called Kristina Nordqvist.  My dear boy was my dear girl all along! 

And, despite having made clear her utter contempt for Ripperologists, she is now a proud and fully signed-up Ripperologist herself, having 'published', in PDF format, a highly speculative and quite utterly bonkers suspect book!

So Henry Maxwell Reily was a district superintendent of the Bengal Police Force who, in 1888, was going through a divorce process (although his wife's petition wasn't dismissed until November 1889).  I guess we are told by Kristina in the PDF that Reily was wearing his Indian police uniform with his cloth cap with a cloth peak (as seen by Lawende) while carrying out the murders and was the policeman seen by Cross with the body, as mentioned to Mizen, that Cross was too terrified to tell the coroner about at the inquest.

Okay, so far so bad, but what about that question asked in July 2016 by Pierre, I mean Kristina, in the thread on the Censorship Forum entitled 'Pawn tickets in Mitre Square' (#96):

'What is the statistical probability that you will find a serial killer's name in a mustard tin on a murder site?'

She explained further (#103) that the solution was:

'An anagram for a complete, full name with all the given names and surname.'

For the thickos amongst us who couldn't work out what she was talking about, she would later clarify (#124 & #133) that all the letters in her suspect's name were to be found within a pair of names and street names on the two pawn tickets found in a mustard tin next to the body of Eddowes as follows:

'Emily Birrell/White's Row/Jane Kelly/Dorset Street'

It wasn't quite the perfect anagram, though, for, as Kristina subsequently clarified:

'There are two or three letters not used'


Well 'Emily Birrell/White's Row/Jane Kelly/Dorset Street' contains 42 letters.

Henry Maxwell Reily contains 17 letters. 

So, even if we fitted the entire name in, there are, inevitably, going to be 25 letters not used, not two or three.

But even the quickest glance at the names will show that we can't find 'Maxwell' in the mustard tin, due to the absence of the letter 'x'.

I really don't know how Kristina gets round that.

Sure, we can get 'Henry Reily' (which is only 10 letters thus leaving 32 unused!).  I can't tell you if Kristina decides to spell Maxwell as 'Makswell', which will enable the name to be spelled phonetically, but it's all obviously a lot of baloney.

What about the rest of it?

Well I haven't read the book and have no intention of doing so but it's perfectly obvious from the blurb that Kristina thinks that Henry Maxwell Reily somehow faked his own death (or something like that) on 24 May 1889 under the name of Henry Maxwell, the deputy of the lodging house at 14 Dorset Street, husband to Caroline Maxwell.

I assume she's come to this conclusion on the basis that Henry Maxwell Reily was about the same age as Henry Maxwell and had a wife called Caroline. In a JTR Forums post on 16 June 2020 she said:

'Henry was registered in London as "born about 1837". The man called Henry Maxwell...was registered on the death certificate as "born about 1837".' 

This is untrue.  Henry Maxwell's age on his death certificate was stated to be '52 years'.  Nothing was said about him being 'born about 1837'.  One can only assume that Kristina is referring to the Ancestry  calculation of his birth as being 'abt 1837'.  As for Henry Maxwell Reily, he certainly wasn't 'registered in London' as having been 'born about 1837'. He was actually born in Bengal, India, on 2 September 1834.  That is entirely consistent with his age as stated on the 1891 census (of 56) when he was, of course, very much alive and living in South London.   

Henry Maxwell died on 24 May 1889 of 'Pneumonia Exhaustion' as certified by Herbert Larder M.R.C.S.  The registration was properly recorded by the registrar, Thomas Robert Struthers. According to Kristina's blurb, 'there is something wrong with the death recording and the death certificate'.

But there is nothing wrong with the death recording or the death certificate.

In her internet post of 16 June, Kristina said that 'the death register' shows that Henry Maxwell died a violent death involving a (self-inflicted) stab, or cut, and claims that there should have been an inquest as a result.  This nonsense appears to be based on an obvious misunderstanding of a scribbled notation in the margin of the Register of Deaths of the Whitechapel Union Infirmary (not the Register of Deaths of the Whitechapel District which is where the official registration of Maxwell's death is to be found). But the death certificate itself is perfectly straightforward.  Maxwell was not stabbed or cut which explains why there was no inquest.

Kristina says:

'On 24th May 1889, Melville Macnaghten officially took over the responsibility as the Assistant Chief Constable in the CID at Scotland Yard.

On the very same day, someone in the Whitechapel Infirmary registered Henry Maxwell as dead.' 

As written that is not correct, because Maxwell's death was registered on 25 May 1889.  

We can be sure that Kristina has identified a different person.  Henry Reily was not pretending to be Henry Maxwell of Dorset Street, nor was anyone attempting to make it seem like Henry Reily had died under the different name of Henry Maxwell nor was there any sort of connection between the two men

That being so, the rest of the book must be nonsense too. 

And I see it didn't take very long for the theory to fall apart.

While posting in the Censorship Forum, Kristina (Pierre) was always banging on about how her suspect falsely claimed to be a judge at one point in his life.  Well it turns out that he didn't.  Kristina misunderstood a baptism certificate in which the occupation of Reily's father, James Reily, was correctly recorded as a judge (James having been a Principal Sudder Ameen in India).

Even the Clanger was able to spot this immediately and, when he raised it, Kristina came back with some typical bullshit which she couldn't source about how adults gave their own occupation, not their father's occupation, when being baptised.  She gave a couple of links but those were only references to ceremonies used for baptisms of adults.  She has no source showing that the paperwork didn't require insertion of father's occupation, and clearly it did.

She always also used to say that her suspect gave a false name to the Church (although what significance that could possibly have ever had has always been unclear) but even the Clanger could see that an administrative error had caused Henry Maxwell Reily's name to be recorded as 'Henry Maxwell' and that this was corrected.

It all reminded me of Kristina's 'GOGMAGOG' theory which I demolished within 24 hours of her posting about it.  And it confirms what I always said about Pierre/Kristina.  She doesn't read documents properly and she leaps to conclusions which she aren't supported by the evidence. 

Another claim by Kristina while posting as Pierre was that there was 'a confession'.  Unless I hear from a reliable source that Kristina actually has found some form of confession as she always claimed she had on the Forum, but about which no-one who has read the book is remarking upon, or unless there is any other documentary evidence to support her theory, I won't be wasting my time with it and buying the book, or rather the PDF.  And given that Kattrup has already posted that there isn't any evidence linking Reily to the Ripper murders I most certainly will not be wasting my time with that book.


While refreshing my memory of the thread about the mustard tin from 2016, who did I see stepping in to try and close down the debate between myself and Pierre?  None other than the Clanger himself with a typically pompous and twattish question: 'what are we trying to achieve here, a better understanding of the WM, or which of our posters is the smartest arse?'

He was quickly shut down by Abby Normal and I just ignored him, continuing to post as normal.

But how funny to see him now embroiled in debate with Pierre (Kristina) over on JTR Forums.  To date, he's made 284 posts in Kristina's thread since 18 June of which the first 56 posts were made in the space of four days (18-22 June).

Let's compare that to the discussion about the mustard tin.  Pierre introduced the barking mad anagram theory on 22 July 2016 (at #96 in the thread), claiming that the name of the murderer could be found on the pawn tickets in the mustard tin.  Over the next four days, there followed a discussion with Pierre about this involving myself and no fewer than eleven other contributors: Joshua Rogan, Elamarna, GUT, Paddy, Errata, Abby Normal, The Good Michael, Caligo Umbrato, Jerryd, Mrs Weatherwax and Mayerling.  We were all hamstrung by not knowing the name of the suspect but were doing our best to examine and scrutinize the theory. 

It was on 26 July, after I had made a mere 43 posts on the subject (not all of which were directed at Pierre), compared to the 56 posts made in the same four day period by the Clanger in the 2020 thread, that the Clanger intervened (at #221) to say: 'The two of you should grow up'.  


He was then asked by an astonished Abby Normal which 'pair' he was talking about, to which he responded 'Pierre and David'.  That's when he said (in #223): 'What are we trying to achieve here, a better understanding of the circumstances of the WM, or which of our posters is the smartest arse?'.


One can only imagine the extraordinary pomposity existing inside the mind of a person who feels able to intervene in a discussion in this way.  But now we see it's not just pomposity, it's hypocrisy too. Because he thinks it's perfectly okay for HIM to debate at length with Pierre about Pierre's nonsense when HE wants to.

As we've seen, he actually made more posts about Pierre's nonsense over a four day period than I had done when he intervened in the mustard tin discussion. 

One could certainly ask what HE is trying to achieve with an extended discussion about Henry Reily and Kristina's barking mad crackpot theories. It's certainly not a better understanding of the WM.  So it must just be about which poster is the smartest arse or, perhaps, in the Clanger's case, the most pampered twat


It gets worse because at #129 the Clanger said he finds it 'astonishing' that Kristina's book hasn't been mentioned on the Censorship Forum.  Not sure why, considering that Kristina hasn't posted anything about it on that Forum, and, unlike the gullible Clanger, its members probably don't want to waste £6.99, and some hours of their life, with her nonsense in PDF format.

Anyway, he then says, 'I recall there was a bit of a 'put up (your suspect) or shut up' thing going on over there at one time.  Well Chris has certainly 'put up' but those on CB who 'bullied' Pierre have seemingly lost their voices'.

What's so extraordinary about this is that the Clanger, as we have seen, was one of those bullying Pierre/Kristina, intervening in a thread for no other purpose than to tell her to 'grow up' and suggesting that she was trying to be the 'smartest arse'.  Not to mention his identical bullying of me. I don't remember him contributing anything of any significance to the discussions taking place at the time.

He just dropped in to throw around some insults then departed.

I, on the other hand, was not one of those who disputed Pierre's right to post on the Forum or told her to put up or shut up.  In fact, I defended her right to post from attacks by other members who wanted her silenced by Admin (Graham being one who leaps to mind).  

More than that, I believe I actually helped Kristina.  By showing her the dreadful error of her ways on the 'GOGMAGOG' point, I seem to have convinced her to remove that nonsense from her book, or at least I assume I did, bearing in mind that no-one has mentioned it.  Consequently her book is not quite as bad as it otherwise would have been.  Perhaps the mustard tin nonsense has gone too.  If that's the case, I've actually prevented the Clanger from having to deal with it now.  Another reason why he should be ashamed of himself for his intervention back in July 2016.


After Kattrup quite reasonably said that Pierre's persona on CB wasn't relevant to a discussion of her book on JTR Forums (#132), the Clanger went all aggressive and described Kattrup's reasonable post as a 'snotty little rebuke' (#133).

Somehow I then got dragged in - the Clanger being obsessed with me - and he said to Kattrup, 'as you will recall your pal Lord Orsam takes a very dim view of those who criticise the work of 'female' authors, I bet he's feeling very guilty now' (#133, spelling of the typo of my name corrected).

Kattrup (who is not, as we've established, my 'pal' because I don't know him) should have taken that bet because I've never taken a dim view of those who criticize the work of female authors, only a dim view of those remarkably dim posters who obsessively wage strange endless campaigns against female authors (and the shops which sell their books) and use unacceptable language to describe them, such as 'pampered twat', as the Clanger famously described Hallie Rubenhold. 

But perhaps the Clanger is projecting.  Having shown no interest in discussing Pierre's theory on the Censorship Forum, he suddenly wants to take it apart on JTR Forums, now he knows that Pierre is Kristina.  Hence he has told her that she hasn't found JTR and that, 'the data doesn't bear our your theory' (#112) and, 'you misunderstood your source material' (#113).  He wasn't saying that when he thought Pierre was a man, was he?  I was.  


One of the world's leading experts in English grammar, the Clanger, wrote in Kristina's thread (#408):

'I don't wish to be rude Chris, but this is the most bonkers part of the book.  Not the only one by any means.'

Tell me, how can there be more than one part of a book which is 'the most bonkers'?

Mind you, we are talking Pierre's book so.....maybe. 


The Pierre thread on JTR Forums really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Ed Stow, disappointingly yet to retract his false claim that I once ignored one of his messages, popped in to say (#139), 'I do so enjoy his [Lord Orsam's] put downs of poor Gary as well!  Even if they do tend to go on and on.'

Yay, he's gonna love this page! 

Going on and on, of course, is the only way to deal with the Clanger's endless clanging, unfortunately. 

But the really great thing to emerge was the Clanger's response to Stow when he said (#141):

'If you actually look at what he [Lord Orsam] writes...you'll find it's mostly a load of old cobblers'.

Sadly, the Clanger didn't find the space to give any indication that he actually does look at what I write.  If he's not misquoting me, or quoting me out of context, or somehow twisting my words, he's deliberately ignoring me or showing that he hasn't read properly what I've written.

The day he actually manages to establish, with evidence (which, I think, is normally how it's done), as opposed to mere assertion, that I've ever written anything that is either mostly or partly 'a load of old cobblers' will be the day that we will all hear the clanging chimes of doom, as the world comes to an abrupt end. 


After I managed to start breathing again, once I'd calmed down from knowing the name of Pierre's suspect, I then nearly died when I discovered the massive Spandau Ballet connection to Pierre's suspect. This is how it pans out....

1. The maiden name of the wife of Pierre's suspect was Caroline Kemp.

2. John Arnold alias John Cleary alias Stephen Cleary  (possibly also alias Joseph McCarthy for all we know)  informed the London Office of the New York Herald that he had been told by a man in uniform about a murder in Backchurch Lane on 8 September 1889 and...wait for it.....told Chief Inspector Swanson that he had given his name to the editor of the New York Herald as John Kemp.

3. Gary Kemp is a member of Spandau Ballet.

4. Martin Kemp is another member of Spandau Ballet.

8. Gary Kemp's father was called Frank Kemp.

9. Martin Kemp's father was also called Frank Kemp.

10. Gary Kemp's father was called Eileen Kemp.

11. Martin Kemp's mother was also called Eileen Kemp.

12. Martin Kemp has a son called Roman Kemp.

13. Kitty Roman was murdered in Miller's Court in July 1909, like Mary Jane Kelly in 1888. 

14. Between 1999 and 2009 the other three members of Spandau Ballet toured as Hadley, Norman, Keeble which was commonly shortened to HNK.  N is one letter away from M.  K is six letters from R.  Make the necessary adjustment and you have HMR...the initials of Pierre's suspect.  It's not a coincidence believe me.

15. If you buy the amazing book about Spandau Ballet by David Barrat entitled 'New Romantics Who Never Were: The Untold Story of Spandau Ballet' (available from all good online booksellers and Waterstones Covent Garden) you will find it stated that the band from whom Spandau Ballet got their name, the original Spandau Ballet, were formerly known as....Jack the Ripper.  If you think THAT's a coincidence you need the screws adjusting in your head, mate. 

16. David Barrat the author of that book sometimes writes about Jack the Ripper matters.

17. Now things get really spooky because David Barrat has used a vacuum cleaner called Henry, he believes he may have once drunk some Maxwell House coffee and he sometimes lives the life of Reily (or Riley).  That's Henry Maxwell Reily right there.

18. David Barrat also frequently writes about the ravings of a person called Caroline, he owns a number of Allen keys and he also owns an album and a book by Gary Kemp.  I am literally shaking.  Caroline Allen Kemp!!!

19. I also don't know if anyone's noticed but in her 1882 divorce petition Caroline Reily stated her address as 20 Denmark Terrace and....Henry Reily died in Denmark.  Gasp!  Hope that's in Pierre's book. But get this.  Gary Kemp's autobiography was entitled 'I Know This Much: From Soho to Spandau' and one of the most famous streets in the area of Soho is Denmark Street!!!   

20. One of Spandau Ballet's songs is called 'True' and that is the opposite of what is in Pierre's book.

But am I being unfair? Am I talking a load of old cobblers?   I don't think so.  After all, look at this extraordinary and impossible to otherwise explain sequence:


Do you see that?  They're all locations of mutilated victims and each one, astonishingly, has a letter from Henry Maxwell Reily's initials visible within.  The odds against that happening must be astronomical.  In case you can't see it from the post, here it all is, large as life and undeniable:

Bucks Row

Hanbury Street


Mitre Square

Cannon Row

Miller's Court 

Castle Alley 

It cannot be explained away by science.


There's something wrong with just about every sentence posted by Kristina in her JTR Forums thread.  One obvious example is her statement in #166 that:

'8 September a witness was approached by a man looking like a police officer in the area where Henry was going through the judicial process with Caroline, at the Royal Courts of Justice'

Leaving aside that the so-called 'witness', John Arnold a.k.a. Kemp, wasn't, in fact, a witness to anything, there is no logic in that sentence.  August and September is, and always has been, the long summer vacation of the High Court.  As of 8 September 1889, there were no judges at the Royal Courts of Justice and no hearings of divorce cases. So what relevance is there that Arnold, who was a newsvendor at Charing Cross, was approached by a man in uniform (but not a police uniform) in Fleet Street?  Was Henry Maxwell Reily supposed to have been prowling around the Royal Courts of Justice on a daily basis during the Court's vacation?  For what possible purpose?  While the court offices were still open for filing purposes during the vacation, Reily had instructed a solicitor, W.D. Dowding, for this purpose and Dowding didn't file anything during the vacation in any case.  There was literally no reason connected with his divorce for Reily to have been anywhere near the RCJ on 8 September.

Another strange thing said by Kristina in relation to the legal proceedings is:

'Henry had been fighting for his economy during the autumn of 1888, but Caroline had refused to stop her claim for money.  By the end of October their case was finally put on the list of causes for hearing'.

But the court record shows that nothing happened in the case at the end of October 1888 and it was not 'finally' put in the list of causes for hearing in that month.   

Also, as spotted by Kattrup, Kristina shows her lack of knowledge of the law by saying (in #588):

'why do you think it was stated in the Coroners Act 1887 that inquests ought to be held in all cases of death in public institutions, not only for suicides or murders, but in all institutions where patients were treated among strangers, away from their friends?'

Nothing of the sort is stated in the Coroners Act, 1887.  Kristina has confused the commentary to the 1887 Act by Rudolph Melsheimer (in the 1888 edition of 'The Office and Duties of Coroners' by Sir John Jervis) with the text of the Act itself.  Melsheimer says in his commentary to Section 3(1) of the Act that, 'it has been suggested that notice of death should be sent to the coroner, and an inquest held, in all cases of death in a public institution, where patients are treated among strangers away from friends'.  That was nothing more than a suggestion.  It was not in the 1887 Act and it was thus not the law at the time (and never became the law). 


When I call it the thread that keeps on giving, I'm not joking.

In #194, Kattrup asked Kristina where her very specific information that Henry Reily rented an apartment in Copenhagen on 12 June 1888 came from and how she knew that he had already contacted his relative and prepared a new life for Nora in Copenhagen where a niece was going to look after her and how she also knew that Reily had sent some form of 'express letter' to London on 20 July 1888. 

Astoundingly, Kristina revealed she had lost her sources due to a Windows crash (#225).  Before 'publishing' the PDF she hadn't bothered to find them again because she wanted to get the PDF out during the pandemic for some reason.

Oh how I enjoyed those lectures from Kristina-as-Pierre on the Forum about how academic historians behave.  But I must admit, I don't remember, "Lose your sources and then write a book from memory" being among them.

And when Kattrup had trouble finding those sources, what was her reaction?

Well in #238 she had a message for Kattrup:

'Keep searching'.


Coz, yeah, that's how scholarship works.  You lose your sources and then publish a book and THEN, after publication, ask your readers who bought the book to try and find the missing sources for you!!! 

As Johnny Rotten famously once said, 'Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?' 


The new Pierre thread on JTR Forums finally reveals the reason why Kristina as Pierre asked me the following question on the Censorship Forum on 10 March 2016:

'Do you happen to know anything at all about a newspaper called Sunderland Daily Echo?....do you know where I could find some knowledge about it?  Was it a reliable newspaper?  Was it just like any other newspaper or was there anything special about it?'

I told her it wasn't a magic newspaper but she obviously seems to think it was.  Unlike any other reports of Inspector Chandler's evidence at the inquest of Annie Chapman, this newspaper states that the initials 'H.M.R.' were on the envelope found next to Chapman's body, not just 'M' as every other newspaper reported.

Although Kristina as Pierre frequently made clear her disdain for newspaper sources (as opposed to official sources), once telling me 'I have a rubbish bin for newspaper articles.  Feel free to use it anytime' and another time saying, 'we must be utterly suspicious of newspaper articles since they very often contain errors...articles are the least reliable sources' , she now thinks that she CAN rely on this single report in a regional newspaper.  

It appears that Kristina's theory is that the reporter who filed this report for the Sunderland Daily Echo had seen the letters 'H.M.R.' on the actual envelope in the coroner's court which is why it was reported in this way, despite Inspector Chandler only saying in evidence that the letter 'M' was on it (as well as 'Sp').  I am going to demonstrate, however, that this was impossible because the envelope wasn't in court for any reporter to see it.

Let's first collect together the evidence relating to the envelope.  We know from Inspector Chandler's evidence at the inquest on 13 September 1888 that it was found near Annie Chapman's head.  Inquiries made by Chandler with William Stevens established that Stevens had seen Chapman pick up this envelope from the floor of her lodging house on the day before her murder.  Thus, as stated in Inspector Chandler's report of 15 September 1888, Stevens said:

'I saw that she had a bottle of medicine, a bottle of lotion and a box with two pills and as she was handling the box it came to pieces, she then took out the pills and picked up a piece of paper from the kitchen floor near the fireplace, and wrapped the pills up in it.  I believe the piece of paper with Sussex Regiment thereon to be the same'.

As we know from Chandler's evidence that the envelope was marked 'Sussex Regiment' , it is clear that the reference by Stevens to 'a piece of paper' was also a reference to the envelope.  This was confirmed in Stevens' evidence to the inquest on 19 September when he said (according to the Times):

'Witness believed the piece of envelope produced was the one he saw deceased pick up by the fireplace.  He noticed it was about the size of the piece produced, and he saw it had a red post mark on it.  Deceased then pulled out a box containing pills from her pocket, and the box breaking she put the pills into the piece of paper, and put it in her pocket.'

So there can be no doubt that 'the piece of paper' was the same as 'the piece of envelope'.

Now when it comes to the reports of the evidence of Inspector Chandler at the inquest in the London newspapers on 13 September, there is a bit of confusion caused by the reporting. According to the Daily News:

'A small piece of paper, a portion of an envelope, was found lying near her head. The paper was produced.  It had contained two pills, but the pills were not produced, as inquiries were being made about them.'

This is the only known report which says that the paper was produced in court. The Times reported that the pills weren't produced but said nothing about the paper, hence:

'A portion of an envelope was found lying near where her head had been, and a piece of paper containing two pills. He had not the pills there, as inquiries were being made about them.' 

Let's now look at the report of Chandler's evidence in the Morning Post (and also the Standard) of 14 September to include the previous sentence (underlining added):

'After the body had been removed I examined the yard, and I found some piece of coarse muslin, a small tooth-comb and a pocket hair comb in leather case. I produce these things. There were lying near the feet of the woman a small piece of paper; a portion of an envelope I also found near her head.'  

What is being produced there by Chandler is the muslin, the tooth-comb and the pocket hair comb in leather case.  No mention of the paper or envelope being produced.

As for the apparent suggestion that a piece of paper was found near the feet while an envelope was found near the head, I would suggest that this is a result of poor sub-editing and punctuation.  What the Morning Post's report obviously should have said was:

'These [i.e. the muslin and combs] were lying near the feet of the woman. A small piece of paper; a portion of an envelope, I also found near her head.'   

We find exactly this reported in the Morning Advertiser, hence:

'After the body had been removed there were found in the yard a piece of muslin, a pocket comb, and a small tooth comb in a leather case. They were lying near where the feet of the deceased had been. A piece of paper - a portion of an envelope - was found near the spot where the head had been, and this contained two pills.'

This is undoubtedly the correct reporting regarding the issue of the paper and the envelope.  It was the same thing (as we've already seen confirmed by Stevens) and it was found near where the head had been.  It was the other articles which were lying at the feet of the woman.

Right, so now we've tidied that up. We'll come to the issue of exactly what was produced by Chandler in a moment but first, what exactly was said by him in his evidence about the envelope?  Thankfully the reporter for the Daily Telegraph of 14 September gives it to us in transcript format with the questions and Chandler's answers:

What was on the envelope?  On the back there was a seal with the words, embossed in blue, “Sussex Regiment.”  The other part was torn away.  On the other side there was a letter “M” in writing.

A man’s handwriting? I should imagine so.

Any postage stamp? No.  There was a postal stamp “London, August [3?], 1888.” That was in red.  There was another stamp which was indistinct.

Any other marks on the envelope? There were also the letters “Sp” lower down, as if one had written “Spitalfields”.  The other part was gone.  There were no other marks. 

The Echo of the previous day had also reported the evidence in similar fashion (but with sufficient differences to show that it was a different reporter). The correct date on the envelope was 23 August (as reported in the Morning Post) which we know because this date is included in the official records. The Times and Echo both wrongly have the date as being 28 August.  Other papers (presumably because Chandler's evidence was somewhat hard to hear) simply give it as 'August '88' or 'Aug '88'.  The date given in the Telegraph is unclear because there is a blob on the microfilm copy at the British Library.

What immediately strikes one from this is that Chandler couldn't possibly have had the envelope in front of him to give this evidence.  The evidence is reported in the past tense, i.e. 'There was a seal',  'The other part was torn''There were letters' and, above all, when asked whether the handwriting was a man's handwriting, Chandler said 'I imagine so' whereas, if he'd had the envelope in front of him, he would have invited the coroner and the jury to look for themselves.

If we think about it for a moment, is it really likely that enquiries were being made by the police about the pills, which is why they were not at court?  Surely it was the envelope which was the subject of enquiries.

We know for a fact that the very next day, 14 September, Inspector Chandler went to the depot of the 1st Battalion, Sussex Regiment, in Farnborough, with 'the piece of envelope found near the body of deceased'.  It was identified by Captain Young as bearing the official stamp of the regiment. 

No-one would have been asking questions about the pills!   There is certainly no indication in the police reports that there was any mystery about them whereas there most certainly WAS a mystery about the envelope which required enquiries to be made.

For that reason, what probably happened is that a sub-editor at the Daily News became confused by the report which had been filed, thinking that the piece of paper had been produced in court when the reporter was actually reporting that Chandler had produced the three muslin and combs.  No doubt Chandler in his evidence gave the impression that it was only the pills which hadn't been brought to court  - perhaps saying something ambiguous like 'I haven't brought them due to ongoing enquiries' -  when he was surely referring to both the envelope and the pills as not having been brought.   But because he gave the impression that the pills only weren't produced (and that enquiries were being made about the pills) this convinced the sub-editor at the Daily News that the piece of paper (i.e. the envelope) HAD been produced by Chandler.  But it's clear that this wasn't the case.

We also know from Inspector Chandler's report of 14 September that 'Enquiries were made amongst the men of the Sussex Regiment' but none could be found who 'corresponded with anyone living at Spitalfields'.  This makes clear that the police's theory was that the 'Sp' on the envelope was the start of 'Spitalfields', as Chandler had actually stated in court, and was thus unlikely to have been represented as 'S.P.' as some newspapers (but NOT the Sunderland Daily Echo) transcribed it.

The curious thing about Chandler's report of 14 September is that the men of the 1st Sussex were asked  if they corresponded with any person whose address commenced with "2".  Chandler had said nothing to the coroner the previous day about a number 2 being on the envelope which can only mean either that he hadn't noticed it prior to his appearance in the witness box or had simply forgotten about it. 

We now come to the tricky issue of the Sunderland Daily Echo's report referring to 'H.M.R' which none of the London papers reported.  Before I deal with this I'd like to comment on Kristina's calculation (in #192) that, 'The chance of obtaining a combination of 3 specific initials on an envelope is also extremely small.  If you use the alphabet, the chance is 1 in 17,576'.  When posting as Pierre, this person's grasp of probability theory was never very good. In fact, it was awful. Here we see she has assigned the exact same probability (of being on the envelope) to all 26 letters of the alphabet.  But, on an envelope, there was always a decent chance of the letters O.H.M.S. appearing.  That's because it stood for On Her Majesty's Service and meant that the letter was exempt from postal fees and could be posted free, without a stamp.   Here's an example: 


It could be written out in full too.  No fewer than seven Jack the Ripper letters were marked as being On Her Majesty's Service, two of which were in the shortened form of 'O.H.M.S'.  While I'm not suggesting that this was the explanation for the reported 'H.M.R' on the envelope in question, it does obviously mean that the probability is different for 'H' and 'M' being on an envelope (in that order) compared to, for example the letter Q or the letter Z.  So Kristina's calculation of 1 in 17,576 is just flat wrong.

Now let's consider the 'H.M.R'.

Well the first thing to note is that the Sunderland Daily Echo appears to have been receiving its reports on the Chapman inquest from the Press Association.  Its report of the inquest in its issue of 10 September 1888, for example, was headed, 'Press Association Telegram'. They certainly didn't have their own reporter in court.  The same agency report of Inspector Chandler's evidence on 13 September, without any mention of 'H.M.R.' (only 'M'), can be found in a number of other regional newspapers.  It is certainly somewhat odd that the Sunderland Daily Echo alone has converted the agency report saying 'M' into 'H.M.R.' and I can't think how it could have done so by mistake, although that can be hardly be ruled out.

Let's just have a look what I'm talking about.  This is the report in a late edition of the Manchester Evening News of 13 September 1888:


Now compare that with the report in the Sunderland Daily Echo of 14 September 1888:


It's almost word for word.  The Manchester Evening News report omits the words 'at the Working Lads Institute, Whitechapel' in the introductory preamble and 'today' obviously becomes 'yesterday' in the Sunderland Daily Echo'.  The word 'tooth-comb' for some reason doesn't appear in the Manchester Evening News and 'Sussex Regiment' in the Manchester paper becomes 'Sussex Regt' in the Sunderland paper but, up to the mention of the letters on the envelope, the two summaries are otherwise identical.  Yet the Manchester newspaper records the letters 'M' and 'S P' being on the letter while the Sunderland paper records the letters 'H.M.R.' (assuming that's an 'H') and 'Sp.  How does one explain that?

The answer doesn't seem to be that the reporter corrected his copy on the 14th, for we find this in the Western Mail of 14 September:


Nor does there appear to be any significance in the difference between "S.P." and 'Sp'.  The Edinburgh News of 14 September 1888, for example, clearly received the same report:


If we bear in mind that these reports were being circulated around the country by telegram that might well explain these small differences.  The Birmingham Daily Post which also carried the same report has the 'M' in lower case as 'm', also the 'S' as 's', thus:


Just so there is no doubt.  This is a Cheshire newspaper the Alderly and Wimslow Advertiser of 14 September 1888:


While there are some differences in reporting of the rest of the evidence on that day between the newspapers, it is clear that all of them were using the same report of Chandler's evidence which would have been telegraphed to them on 13/14 September.

How can one possibly explain that only one newspaper tells us there was an 'H.M.R.' on the envelope rather than an lone 'M'?  

The Clanger has suggested that H.M.R. could have been a reference to 'Her Majesty's Royal Sussex Regiment' and, although it certainly has been described as such, I can't find any evidence that anyone would ever have referred to 'H.M.R. Sussex Regiment'. If such evidence could be found then perhaps someone (either a jury member or the coroner) asked Inspector Chandler if the 'M' could have been part of 'H.M.R.' to mean 'Her Majesty's Royal Sussex Battalion' and Chandler said it was possible so that the reporter noted that down in one version of the report which was circulated and it confused the sub-editor at the Sunderland Daily Echo.  It's the type of question and answer that might not have been reported by most newspapers.  But it's a bit of an odd question to have been asked just on the basis of an 'M'. If it did happen I can only think that the Press Association (assuming it was them) provided a different report to the Sunderland Daily Echo than to other newspapers.

It's always worth bearing in mind that, because the inquest on 13 September started at 2pm, we don't have the reports of the London Star or the London Evening News (because only the early editions have survived) but these were usually very comprehensive and might have assisted with this issue.

That's as far as I can go on that point but what seems certain is that the envelope was not in court that day so that any theory which involves a reporter sneaking his own look at what was written on it is unsustainable.  


I wouldn't say Kristina's point about H.M.R. is a good one but at least there is something more than a 1% chance that Inspector Chandler testified that the initials 'H.M.R.' were on the envelope and that this was missed by all the other reporters in court who only heard him say 'M'.  It's still a long way from 'H.M.R.' bearing any relation to either Chapman's killer or Henry Maxwell Reily but at least it would fit Reily. None of the other arguments from her book that I've read about seem to come close even to 1% of having any validity.

Above all, Henry Reily wasn't even in England when Mary Jane Kelly was murdered on 9 November 1888!  He was on the P&O steamer Peshawur at the time, bound for Bombay.  He's one of the worst suspects ever, unless you want to argue that Kelly wasn't a Ripper victim.

Now, although I haven't read the book, Kristina seems to have put forward a convoluted argument (against the sources!) that Reily wasn't on the Peshawur even though his name is on the passenger list!

Before I deal with that, as individuals do not magically appear on passenger lists of ships of which they are not on board, I can only assume that Kristina is saying that a cunning Reily gave himself a cast iron alibi for his next murder by somehow ensuring that his name was on the passenger list of the Peshawur which departed from Gravesend on 25 October 1888, even though he wasn't on it.  That being so, the last thing Reily would have wanted would have been any kind of inconsistency in the documentation to call into question the notion that he was on the ship.  For that reason, the fact that, when the Peshawur arrived at Bombay, Reily was listed as having boarded at Brindisi in Italy, on 5 November, can only be a red herring and must have been an administrative error.  If Reily was giving himself an alibi for the Kelly murder there is no way he would have wanted to undermine the document which showed him boarding at Gravesend.

But, if for any reason, the passenger list was in error in showing Henry Maxwell Reilly boarding at Gravesend, he simply must have boarded at Italy on 5 November, thus meaning that he couldn't possibly have murdered Kelly in London four days later.

There's no way around it as far as I can see.

Kristina tries to get around it, though.  I really have no idea who she thinks was on the Peshawur under the name of Henry Maxwell Reilly (perhaps it was Henry Maxwell, the lodging house keeper of 14 Dorset Street??!!) but the most convoluted part of her theory is that Reilly couldn't have disembarked at Bombay on 19 November, when the Peshawur arrived there, because the records show that he didn't resume his official responsibilities until 2 December, whereas an officer's leave was supposed to come to an end the day before the ship arrived at port, or the same day it arrived, as Kristina seems to believe.

Now, I don't think Kristina has really understood these rules and it's difficult to see how Reily would have been in a position to resume his responsibilities on 18 or 19 November while he was still at sea or at a port!

While the rules no doubt had some administrative purpose, and assuming they applied to Reily, such rules could hardly change the laws of physics.  For Reily to have resumed his job, he needed to be back at his office and he physically needed to get there first.  So the rules that Kristina seems to be relying on tell us absolutely nothing.

But, if we were to assume that Kristina is right, it makes no sense for Reily to place himself on the passenger list of the Peshawur if he wasn't actually on it because his leave would then have come to an end on or before 19 November, at a time when he wasn't anywhere near India, having he only murdered Kelly ten days earlier!

If the rules that Kristina is relying on were to have any meaning, the authorities needed to know which ships their officers were sailing back to India on. But if Reily was secretly travelling incognito how were they to check?  And if they didn't check on the passenger lists then the rules couldn't be enforced because officers could return to India whenever they wanted and give themselves a little extra holiday before returning to work, pretending that they hadn't yet arrived in the country.

So the plan that Kristina seems to be envisaging is entirely illogical.

More to the point, I suspect that Kristina has failed to appreciate that, in confirming that Henry Reily was back at work in India on 2 December 1888, she is telling us that Reily thereby has a genuine cast iron alibi for the murder of Mary Jane Kelly on 9 November 1888! For it wasn't humanly possible for Reily to have killed Kelly in London on 9 November 1888 and then been in a position to resume his duties in India on 2 December 1888.

The P&O steamer, the Sutlej, which departed Gravesend on 8 November 1888 (so that Reily couldn't possibly have been on it if he murdered Kelly the next day) didn't arrive at Bombay until the morning of 3 December. Those P&O steamers were the fastest ships you could get out of England to India at the time.  So how did Reily manage to get to India by 2 December if the earliest he could have left was 9 November?

If he had his eye on the fast P&O steamer to Bombay, the Brindisi, which left Gravesend on 15 November, he still wouldn't have arrived in Bombay until the afternoon of 6 December, so that was no good. I've examined the position very carefully and I've been unable to find any ships which left England on or after 9 November that arrived at Bombay on or before 2 December.

In the thread on JTR Forums, at #231, Kristina tells us that Reily started to draw a salary on 2 December and that, the day his ship anchored would have been his first day of duty. She then makes the very vague statement that:

'There were ships arriving in India around this date'

Well of course there were!  But had they left England after 8 November?  If so, what were their names?  If there weren't any such ships, as my analysis shows there weren't, then Reily couldn't possibly have reached India in time to draw his salary on 2 December, which means that if we do some advanced mathematics....give me a second here....*taps calculator*....yes, indeed, this means that the statistical chance that Henry Maxwell Reily was the killer turns out to be zero.  Just fancy that.


I've been waiting.  Just waiting for a Dairy Defender to say that they're not releasing information because we haven't been sufficiently grateful for the crumbs that they have let us nibble on.

And it didn't take long.  Bingo!  Here it is.  Post #5290 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread by Caroline Morris (underlining added):

'I imagine if Keith wants to release it he will do so in his own sweet time, and won't be bullied by someone who has shown a remarkable contempt for the material which has been posted recently, and an even more noteworthy unwillingness or inability to test his beliefs against it.'

When she refers to'the material which has been posted recently' she means the useless summaries of what Martin Earl and Mike Litherland have told Keith Skinner.  And I do mean useless.

We haven't even been given the full quotes of what was said by Earl and Litherland.  Just selected extracts. But those extracts add nothing in assisting us as to whether the Diary is old or not.

Yet we are supposed to doff our caps and say "oh gawd bless ya Keith and Caroline for this treasured present you have given us, you saints, better even than Pierre's famous Christmas gifts, how lucky we are to be provided with this high quality information and how grateful we are.'


But more than that, we should also be saying, 'ah my gawdness, now, having tested my beliefs against this incredible information, I can see how wrong and misguided I've been because it's now obvious that the Diary came up from beneath the ground, gawd bless ya K and C, you are my heroes......now can we have some more please, sir?'

That's what they want.  Respect. Be Nice!

Now who does that remind us of again?  Oh yes.  Donald Trump!  He doesn't give out PPE to governors of States who don't say nice things about him.  That's the quid pro quo.

Caroline Morris emphasised this point in a post to another member (#5319) advising to 'ask nicely'.  Total Trump.

It's also real funny that Caroline Morris used to tell me how close she was to Keith Skinner but every time anyone asks for information from Keith she makes out that she doesn't know if he is willing or able to release it. She did that to me when I was asking on the Forum why he hadn't provided the Barretts' transcript of the Diary which he had promised to release, saying that maybe he was busy or had better things to do (despite Keith himself later admitting that he was deliberately withholding it following a lack of gratitude from some Forum members about a news cutting he had posted on the Forum, so plus ca change). Doesn't she speak to him then?  Doesn't she say, 'Are you going to release the Gray/Barrett tapes?'  Coz then we could be told yes or no (and it seemed to fall to Menges to update us on this, so where does that leave the famous Morris/Skinner friendship?).

But whatever happens we will be made to feel that it is impertinent of us to even ask for information. Especially when information that we didn't ask for, and which has proved useless, has been provided but we haven't bent the knee and kissed the glove.

Caroline Morris finishes her rant by asking:

'Why on earth would anyone think the Barrett & Gray comedy box set would fare any better?' 

Similarly, in a later post (#5319) she says that the tapes 'won't provide much in the way of edification'.

Of course, she misses the point.  What we are trying to achieve in asking for the release of the tapes (and I believe I can speak for RJ on this simple point) is to establish what Mike actually told Gray during the proofing sessions for his affidavit and whether we can see if Gray misunderstood what he was being told.  That should be the aim of EVERYONE.  There is no point in relying on Mike's affidavit for his story when there is a possibility of getting Mike's story in his own words.  Thus, did Mike tell Gray that he went and purchased the Diary in January or February 1990?  Or did Gray get that wrong?

These are the real and important questions in the case.  They don't rely on the memory of people like Martin Earl and Mike Litherland who don't seem to have anything positive to offer about what they actually recall of the events of 1992.  On the other hand, we have recordings which could assist everyone in debating the issue sensibly but the Diary Defenders don't seem interested. 


I don't suppose Caroline Morris realises it - deep thinking isn't quite her thing - but the more she refers to the Barrett/Gray tapes as the "comedy box set" (e.g. #5296 in the 'Incontrovertible' thread) the more she strengthens my argument that we can't rely on Mike's affidavit as reflecting Mike's own words.  If, hilariously, Gray wasn't understanding what Mike was saying to him about the creation of the Diary - which is what the concept of a "comedy box set" brings to mind - then we can't rely on the affidavit which Gray would have drafted and typed to accurately reflect Mike's version of events.

Hence we need to listen to the underlying tapes to find out what Mike actually said to Gray.  

In her post #5296, Caroline Morris states that Mike's affidavit was said by her opponents to be 'the one document in the entire diary saga...we could all rely on to represent the truth'.  I have no idea who said that and can only imagine she is going back to the days of Melvin Harris, which she can't seem to leave behind.  I guess they affected her greatly. 

As far as I'm concerned, amongst all the smoke and mirrors, the one document in the entire diary saga which we can all rely on is the advertisement placed by Martin Earl in Bookseller.  It tells us for a fact that Mike was on the search for the some blank pages in a Victorian diary during March 1992.  Neither Caroline Morris or any other Diary Defender has yet been able to explain that documented fact.  Keith Skinner is so terrified by the question of why Mike did so that, after promising to answer it in January 2017, he's failed to do so to this day.  And this is the man who claimed that the timesheet evidence would stand up in some form of court to prove the Diary came from Battlecrease.  Well to prove one fact you have to be able to explain the counter evidence don't you?  He can't.

For myself I've never relied on Mike's affidavit as representing the truth.  Even if he had prepared it himself he could have made mistakes without having documents to refresh his memory as to dates of events.  As a drunken confabulist, which he undoubtedly was, he was also quite capable of mixing fact with fiction while perhaps not even appreciating he was doing it. But with the addition of an untrained middleman like Alan Gray, having to interpret his story, the affidavit becomes even less potentially reliable in terms of the details.

As far as I can see, Caroline Morris likes the fact that the affidavit refers to the scrapbook being purchased in early 1990 far too much for her to have any desire to get to the bottom of why Alan Gray included this date in the affidavit.  Her biggest nightmare is that it becomes clear from the tapes that Barrett never actually said this and that he was actually telling Gray that the scrapbook wasn't purchased until after his conversation with Doreen and until after he acquired the red diary (the latter being, of course, what IS stated in the affidavit).

I have no idea what Caroline Morris means when she says that if the affidavit is'utterly useless' this would explain why Mike wasn't prosecuted back in 1995.  It just makes no sense to me.  But she does have an awful habit of talking gibberish.

I also don't know what she means when she then goes on to say that this means that Gray and Harris were the ones 'holding back any supporting evidence that could have nailed the forgers.'  On writing this, she said that she 'started to giggle' which, to be quite honest, portrays the image of a person who is quite mad typing at her keyboard.  What on earth was she giggling at?  Her own crazy talk?

We might also note in passing that she couldn't resist talking about the tapes without smearing R.J. Palmer.  All he's done is ask politely if Keith could release the tapes. He was asking for help! Yet he is smeared for not keeping hold of his own copy of the tapes.  If I remember rightly, R.J. Palmer has moved to some remote and isolated location in the world so it doesn't surprise me that he wasn't able to keep hold of all his possessions.  

Then, without any evidence, Caroline Morris says that she can 'just imagine RJ's reaction if Keith had been similarly careless with this material'.  For myself, if Keith ever came forward and said he'd lost the tapes, and apologised for having done so, I imagine that RJ would have accepted that.  It's disgraceful for Caroline Morris to suggest anything different.  I don't recall RJ having done anything like what she is suggesting before.  So she should really be keeping her imaginings to herself instead of constantly trying to smear and discredit people.  It's NOT the way to disprove that the Diary is a modern hoax. 


As it happens, I think R.J. Palmer is spot on when he sets out the origins of the story about the electricians finding the Diary under the floorboards in #5303 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread.

He mentions Vinny Dring and it has certainly never been explained how anyone knew that Dring had found some books in the first place.  James Johnston, however, told me that he interviewed Dring who said that the discovery of two books in Battlecrease was made behind some wall panelling way back in 1982.  According to 'Inside Story', this was in James Maybrick's dressing room.  The books were then discarded into a skip supplied by a company called Lockwoods. Johnston told me that, 'Vincent had no association with Portus & Rhodes and was then employed by a firm named J&T Joinery'.   To me, that doesn't sound like Dring was an electrician. It sounds like he was a carpenter. I raised this point on the Forum but no-one responded.  Dring is, of course, described in 'Inside Story' as an electrician (p.82).

But here we have the basics of the story about Eddie Jones finding a book and throwing it into a skip.

It's important to remember that this story originated with Arthur Rigby who was Feldman's informant.  Rigby was the very first person to step forward to say that an unnamed electrician might have found the Diary in Battlecrease.  His story was that:

'I remember something being thrown out of the window of the room we were working at Mr Dodd's house. It was put into the skip'.

Caroline Morris now tells us that it has been established that there was no skip for the electrical work being carried out at Battlecrease in March 1992.  She has, therefore, undermined the VERY REASON that anyone ever thought that a book was found in Battlecrease in March 1992 in the first place!!!! If Rigby's story was untrue (or if he was thinking of a time other than March 1992) then I would suggest everything else that followed on from that is untrue.

It gets even more interesting than this because Brian Rawes claims that he told Arthur Rigby of his conversation with Eddie Lyons in July 1992 in which Lyons is supposed to have said that he had found something important in Battlecrease.  Yet Rigby never appears to have said anything about it to Feldman because Feldman reports no such thing.

Either that means that Rawes isn't telling the truth or he IS telling the truth and HE had put into Arthur Rigby's head the idea that Eddie had found something at Battlecrease so that when Feldman stated making enquiries amongst the electricians in 1993 it triggered off a vague memory in Rigby's head which led him to think that Eddie must have found the Diary.

I'm also convinced that the story about the Diary and the watch having been found in a biscuit tin originated with Feldman and that it was Feldman who put the idea into the heads of the electricians.

Imagine if Feldman said to Electrician A, hoping to jog his memory, 'Do you remember anything about a gold watch being found?  Perhaps in some kind of container like a biscuit tin with the Diary?'  Electrician A says no but next time he speaks to Electrician B he asks him, 'Did anyone find a biscuit tin with a gold watch and Diary?'.  Electrician B says no, but he then speaks to Electrician C and says 'There is talk of a gold watch also being found with the Diary in a biscuit tin'.  Electrician C mentions this to Electrician D next time he speaks to him and Electrician D thinks that this talk is coming from other electricians.  He mentions it to Electrician E who thinks Electrician D has some kind of knowledge of this discovery.

This will explain perfectly why Alan Davies told James Johnston in an interview on 15 February 2016, 'Yeah, I remember a gold watch I think, I never seen anything, but I remember it was Brian or someone telling me that it was in a tin under the floor'.   As Johnston confirms, Brian - who was Brian Rawes - had no memory of this and no electrician was EVER found who knew anything about it.  It's why I'm confident it came from Feldman and subsequently contaminated the mind of Alan Davies who remembers 'someone' TELLING him about a tin, even though he had no first hand knowledge of any such discovery.

We have all these stories, plus the mysterious trip to Liverpool University with something in a pillow case or shopping bag which Feldman preferred to say was brown paper (see How to Befuddle and Confuse) because that matched it to the Diary (and the Diary Defenders lapped it up) and now we have researchers going back to Liverpool to speak to the electricians time and again hoping to extract some new information which will finally prove that an electrician found the Diary while inevitably contaminating their memories and probably putting new ideas into their heads.  I mean, just look at this questioning of Alan Davies by James Johnston:

JJ: Ok, last thing. Can you remember any mention of the book being found in a biscuit tin with a gold ring?

AD: That’s right yeah! And a watch as well.

JJ: And a watch?

AD: Yeah, I remember a watch I think. I never seen anything, but I remember it was Brian or someone, telling me that it was in a tin under the floor. 

If Alan Davies hadn't previously heard of the book being found in a biscuit tin well he certainly had now!!!   In his reply he only mentions a tin but Johnston has put the idea of a 'biscuit tin' into his mind.  Next time Davies speaks to someone he'll probably mention the biscuit tin.  And if Davies mentions the finding of a gold ring we'll never know if that was because Johnston had put the idea into his head or if another electrician really had told him about it.

The reason, incidentally, why Johnston thought that a gold ring was also found in a biscuit tin was because the story told in Harrison's 2003 book was that Davies had told Alan Dodgson in the APS shop in Bootle in late 1991 that a colleague doing a rewiring job at Battlecrease 'had found a biscuit tin under the floorboards.  It contained a leather-bound diary and a gold ring'.  As we've seen, however, Davies has no idea how this information had got into his head, attributing it to 'Brian or someone'.   I suspect it was Chinese Whispers, having started off as a gold watch (from Feldman) and then became twisted to a gold ring.

The other thing about the James Johnston interview with Alan Davies is that he's obviously come to the very end of the interview, hence he begins his question, 'one last thing', which means that Davies had offered up during the entire interview NOT A SINGLE WORD regarding the finding of the diary with a gold watch and gold ring in a tin!!!  He had to be prompted by Johnston even to mention it!  How extraordinary is that? 

Basically, all we had here is Johnston asking Davies if he has heard any rumours and Davies saying 'yeah I heard this great rumour....'.

What I also find very interesting is that Johnston was spending so much time in 2016 interviewing the electricians.  It just shows the focus of the research going on at that time, ignoring the possibility of the Barretts being behind the forgery.  2016 was the year in which I started posting and now, in 2020, we suddenly have researchers pestering Martin Earl and Mike Litherland for their memories, hoping to undermine the idea that the Barretts could have had anything to do with the creation of the Diary.  It shows the panic of the Diary Defenders but I would suggest they were always looking in the wrong place.

As for the new information they are getting, we are provided with selective extracts only, not even told what questions those two individuals were asked let alone what their answers were.  Just selected extracts or summaries which change on a daily basis. 


The Diary Defenders don't normally mention this but here are Caroline Morris' own words in #5242 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread (underlining added):

'Oh and by the way, this idea that Paul Dodd couldn't have something Victorian hidden in his house without him knowing about it was challenged back in 1993 by Colin Rhodes, who said that one of his electricians had found a Victorian newspaper and got Paul Dodd's permission to keep it.'

So SOMETHING was found in Battlecrease by an electrician!!!!  But it was a newspaper.

Could it be that rumours about this discovery had spread through the electricians in 1992, thus making them feel certain in 1993, when questioned by Feldman, that the Diary (always referred to as 'something') had been found by one of their number?

And here's a puzzle.  Which of the electricians actually found this newspaper and where did they find it?  We are never told.  The Diary Defenders don't seem to be too interested in getting the answer to this question. Or if they have, the don't tell us.

As for Caroline Morris' point that this discovery shows that something could have been hidden in Battlecrease, nobody has denied this.  What has been said is that Paul Dodd lifted the floorboards personally in 1977 so that there couldn't have been anything hidden under the floorboards.  But there must have been loads of other nooks and crannies in the house, and the Victorian newspaper might have been found in one of them. Exactly the same is true of the two books found by Vinny Dring beneath some wall panelling, not under the floorboards.

So we can see the sleight of hand in Caroline Morris pretending that the argument against her is that nothing could have been 'hidden' in Battlecrease. The actual argument is that nothing could have been hidden under the floorboards of Battlecrease. 

But if the argument is that the Diary need not have been found under the floorboards, that's exactly why I've been saying all along that the whole fuss about the floorboards having been lifted on 9 March 1992 for the first time since 1889 (which, of course, is not true) is of far less significance. 

We just go back to the coincidence of electricians working in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 which is far less of a coincidence when you remove the floorboards from the equation.  A diary could potentially have been hidden anywhere in the house and potentially discovered from all kinds of different work in different parts of the house, but the Diary Defenders have a floorboards obsession.

Yet, when it suits her, Caroline Morris IS prepared to say that the Diary might not have been hidden under the floorboards after all.  Thus, she told Kattrup in #5286 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread, after referring to the hundreds of true crime enthusiasts who had trooped through Battlecrease that:

'It would not have been impossible for anyone determined enough to hide their spoof diary somewhere in that house, where it could not have been found in days, weeks, years - or not at all while the prankster lived.'

So you see, when she wants to, she relies on the possibility of the Diary having been hidden 'somewhere' in the house, not necessarily under the floorboards.

And in one fell swoop the whole palaver about the amazing coincidence of the floorboards having been lifted on the same day as Mike making his telephone call to Doreen is reduced to a pile of ashes.


While preparing my 'Deconstructing Hallie' article I naturally re-read the long thread about her book on JTR Forums.  I didn't want to repeat what had been said in there to the extent I could avoid it.

But there were a number of criticisms made of Hallie's book in that thread, almost all of them by the Clanger. Let's look at the five best and the first worst.


No. 1 

Hallie claims that Dawes Court, where Polly Nichols was born in August 1845, was inhabited by 'no fewer than forty-five people'.  Even the Clanger was able to spot that this was information derived from the 1861 census, by which time the Walker family had long since moved out.  In the 1841 census there were 36 people living there while in the 1851 census there were only 17 inhabitants.  I suppose one could say that the building had the capacity for 45 residents and perhaps that was what Hallie was grasping at.  It's curious that she ignored the earlier censuses but in truth the number of people living in Dawes Court in 1841 might have borne no relationship to the number of people living there in 1845.

Hallie seems to have missed a trick in her book when writing about Dawes Court for we find in the Sun of 21 February 1844 that:

'A wretched looking woman, named Smith, residing in Dawes-court, Gunpowder alley, Shoe-lane, complained to the Magistrate that the Clerkenwell authorities had refused to relieve her. She stated that her husband was working in the yard of industry, attached to Clerkenwell Workhouse, but did not always get work there. Some days he earned as much as a shilling, but upon others not more than fourpence.  Herself and their two little children were reduced to the greatest distress. Her husband had obtained a settlement in Clerkenwell parish.  Mr Combe said he would mention her case to the parochial authorities of Clerkenwell as soon as they came before the Court.'

While it might not have been the same for all residents, of course, that does suggest that the inhabitants of Dawes Court were likely in a state of relative poverty at that time.  But with the husband of the wretched Smith not working in the print industry in Fleet Street that might not have been such an attractive story for Rubenhold.

No. 2

Yes, the Clanger is correct to point out (#2511) that Hallie is wrong to say in her book that Dickens, 'worked as a shoe black'.  He worked in the shoe-black industry, pasting labels on pots of blacking.  And, as the Clanger also says, there doesn't seem to be any good reason for Hallie to suggest that Dickens had any familiarity with the area around Dawes Court simply due to him working in a shoe-blacking factory near Charing Cross Station.  However, it should be noted that while the Clanger points out that Dickens worked a 10 hour day, his memoirs reveal that he did have half an hour for tea, when he would visit Covent Garden, and he was also familiar with shops in the Strand.  He would, in addition, pop into a confectioner's shop in Tottenham Court Road in the morning on his way to work.  But it's fair to say that there doesn't seem to have been any obvious reason for him to have explored the area as far east as Fleet Street and he probably wouldn't have had the spare time to do so.  

It is an error, therefore, for Hallie to have represented as a fact that Dickens knew the area around Polly's home 'intimately as a youth while he worked as a shoe black'.

In saying that, Hallie appears to have been excited by the fact that Dickens chose the Saffron Hill area of London ('near Field Lane'), not far from Kirby Street where Polly Nichols and her family briefly lived, as the home of Fagin in Oliver Twist, and assumes that he knew the area as a child.  But he was living not so far away from Saffron Hill in Doughty Street when he wrote Oliver Twist so there's just no need to speculate that he was familiar with the area from his childhood. 

I'm not quite sure incidentally why Hallie says that Polly 'would spend her first years in the same lodgings as the fictional Fagin and his pick-pocketing boys'.  I don't think that can be right because Fagin's lodgings aren't identified to a specific building in the book.

No. 3

When Hallie says that, 'Hardly a man in the publishing world of St Brides could have boasted of unstained fingers, nor would he have wished to' even the Clanger can see that the occupations of the workers living in St Brides were much more varied than just being print workers. 

No. 4

Even the Clanger could spot that seven people were not 'murdered in their beds' in the 1811 Ratcliff Highway murders, as claimed by Haillie.

No. 5. 

Even the Clanger, as noted in #2046, is aware that Buller's lodging house was not on the corner of Bishopsgate-street, as Hallie says it was.

The Clanger notes that Joe Barnett only said that it was at '24, New Street, Bishopsgate', adding that Hallie 'has seemingly narrowed that down to the corner of Bishopsgate-street' causing him to comment sarcastically that he stands in awe of the amount of research Hallie must have done. He says that he assumes that Hallie decided to ignore both the Goad map and Rob Clack's ID of the location of Bullers. 

Well I think Rob Clack's ID of the location of Bullers was only first published, at least online, on 31 December 2018, at which time Hallie's book would have already been completed. 

Hallie probably relied on this Casebook post by Leanne Perry on 12 November 2003.


Perry said that there's a map in Bruce Paley's book pinpointing the location of Mrs Buller's Lodging House as being 'on the corner of Bishopsgate Street and New Street, Spitalfields'

She repeated, in another post on 3 April 2005, that the lodging house was 'on the corner of New Street and Bishopsgate Street' .

I don't think Paley located the lodging house at the corner of New Street.  It's rather vague on his map. I rather think that's Leanne Perry's understanding of what an address of '24, New Street, Bishopsgate Street' means.

In his post, incidentally, the Clanger asks, 'were people still adding the archaic -street bit [to Bishopsgate] in 1888?'.  The answer, as he should know, is yes, they did. See, for just one example, the deposition of Inspector Collard at the Eddowes inquest referring to 'Bishopsgate Street Station'.


No. 1

The Clanger attempts to undermine this sentence of Hallie's, regarding Mary Jane Kelly's time in London before she moved to the East End:

'Considering Mary Jane’s proximity to the Knightsbridge Barracks and the area’s association with regimental mistresses, a number of such men may have been among her clientele, including, perhaps the Henry or ‘Johnto’ she mentioned in the second battalion of the Scot’s Guards.'

To this, the Clanger responded (#1155):

'As far as I’m aware, the Scots Guards weren’t based at the Knightsbridge (Hyde Park) Barracks in the 1880s, although they were at times based at Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk (St James’s Park).' 

But Hallie doesn't actually say the Scots Guards were based at Knightsbridge.  Some soldiers from the 2nd battalion might have been there for other reasons.

On 24 September 1885, the Duke of Cambridge reviewed at Knightsbridge Barracks the three battalions of the Guards recently returned from the Sudan, namely the 3rd Battalion of the Grenadiers, the 1st Battalion of the Coldstreams and the 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards. They paraded in the barracks at 8.30am before entering Hyde Park to receive the Duke. The Times of 25 September 1885 reported that, 'The thin red line stretched for over half a mile facing the Knightsbridge Barracks, the total strength being 65 officers and 1,812 men of other ranks.'

Prior to leaving for the Sudan that year, the 2nd Scots weren't just based in Wellington Barracks. This is from the Globe of 9 February 1885:


As can be seen it states:

'The Press Association learns that the battalions of Guards ordered to prepare for service are...the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards, quartered at Wellington and Kensington Barracks..'.

Kensington Barracks was located in what is now Lancer Square, a little to the west of Hyde Park, near Kensington Palace. Knightsbridge Barracks were a short walk away, to the south of Hyde Park.  Mind you I don't think the Clanger should have been commenting on this issue in the first place.  Just look at the final paragraph of his post....


Do you see it?

Let me enlarge for you.


Tee hee!  He can't spell can he ladies and gentlemen?

Just to be clear.

Dumbo can't spell 'battalion'.  Should he even be responding on this subject to Hallie who, funnily enough, did manage to spell the word correctly?

When I saw that appalling schoolboy error I literally couldn't continue reading the guy's post. Instead, I had to run away from my computer and vomit into a bucket. 

No. 2

Here's another poor effort from the Clanger (#1841):

'I get the impression that she’s not overly familiar with the topography of London, or it’s history. On page 311, for instance, she says, ‘In the early 1880s, the area between the Strand and Charing Cross Station was still a haunt for street walkers...’ But Charing Cross Station is in the Strand. So she’s saying there were street walkers between the Strand and the Strand???' 

While it's true that the address of Charing Cross Station is 12-30 Strand, does that actually mean that you can't walk from Charing Cross Station to the Strand?

I say you definitely can.  

Let me give you an example.  If you live at 25 Acacia Avenue, would you think of yourself as actually being in Acacia Avenue when you are inside your house?  No, you don't.  If, for example, you wanted to meet someone in Acacia Avenue, or do something in Acacia Avenue, you would leave your house.  Your house and Acacia Avenue would be regarded as separate locations despite the house being in Acacia Avenue.

It's the same with Charing Cross Station.  A normal person (perhaps not the Clanger) would walk from the station to the Strand.  In front of Charing Cross Station is a large forecourt and I wouldn't call standing in the forecourt being in the Strand.  You could quite reasonably call it an area between the station and the Strand.  

A reporter for the The New York newspaper, the Democrat and Chronicle, of 19 March 1899, writing about the view from Rudyard Kipling's apartment in Villiers Street, stated:

'This table stood near the window, which looked down on the busy life ebbing between the Strand and Charing Cross Station'.

Does the Clanger want to have a laugh at this too?

The passage was actually reproduced in a 1936 publication called 'Britannia & Eve' after Kipling showed the extract to a British journalist shortly before his death.  Hence:


Kipling didn't seem to have any problem with the concept of life ebbing and flowing between the Strand and Charing Cross Station, but the Clanger thinks he knows better.

But then, as Hallie Rubenhold would probably tell us, we are dealing with pretentious pampered twat.


No. 3

According to Barnett (#2516):

'HR seems not to understand the distinction between Holborn and High Holborn. She repeatedly refers to High Holborn in connection with Polly and her family when in fact they lived in the vicinity of Holborn. Holborn is in the City of London, High Holborn, it’s western continuation, is outside of it.' 

He adds that this: 'may come across as a pedantic point, but I doubt that someone steeped in the history of London would make such a mistake.' 

To prove that Holborn is in the City, but High Holborn is not, the Clanger shows a photograph of a street sign of Holborn saying E.C.1 and one for High Holborn saying W.C.1.


This is what can only be described as an arsey point.  Let's have a look at a few real-life examples from the period:

Firstly, from The Pharmaceutical Journal of 20 May 1882:


There we see the address of Samuel Lloyd Stacey being given as 300, High Holborn, E.C.

Here's some subscribers to Guy's Hospital Reports of 1865:


That's George Burt of 27 Ely Place, High Holborn, E.C.

This is from a 1907 edition of Truth:


An office at 104, High Holborn, E.C.

An extract from an 1884 publication entitled 'Fisheries Exhibition Literature'

L. Casella is based at 147 High Holborn, E.C.

This is from the Times of 10 October 1885:


Mr Carr believed he was practicing out of an address at 325, High Holborn, E.C.

This isn't just people getting confused with their addresses, it's an issue with the entire stupid area. 

As you travel east from St Paul's you come to Holborn Viaduct and then at the end of that is Holborn Circus (although, there are, alas, no clowns to be found).  As you cross New Fetter Lane, you reach the STREET called Holborn.  But it is one long street which takes you all the way up to Holborn Station.  At some point, Holborn, the street, simply blends into High Holborn (the same street).  In other words, you start at Holborn and, if going in a straight line, find yourself suddenly but unheralded, and probably without realising it, in High Holborn, before ending up at Holborn (station!!!).  It's a bit ridiculous. 

I say 'without realising it', incidentally, but the absolute reverse is true and you may easily think you are in High Holborn as soon as you cross over New Fetter lane because it is the same physical stretch of tarmac.

Now, High Holborn originally commenced at Brooke Street (per 'Old and New London', volume 2, 1878), a street which still exists. I'd say that means that Holborn, as a street, if we regard it as having started at Holborn Circus, was barely 100 yards and not so much a street, more a corridor. But then that was changed and High Holborn suddenly started from Holborn Bars (not the same 'Holborn Bars' which is the large red brick building existing today, the former head office of the Prudential Assurance Company, but at about the same spot).  At one point, two granite obelisks bearing the City arms apparently marked the boundary. But those don't exist any longer.  Today, High Holborn apparently starts even further west, at the junction with Grays Inn Road, just past Chancery Lane station.  I say apparently because there is no obvious landmark which indicates to anyone walking or driving through that they have moved from Holborn to High Holborn.

There's something similar in Fleet Street where that street suddenly becomes the Strand (or 'Strand' for the clanging pedants amongst us) but that's a bit different because it's right at the end of Fleet Street and its start is marked by the Temple Bar (a large monument or statue in the middle of the road). 

In the case of Holborn, despite the slight extension over the years, it is still extremely short (if we exclude Holborn Viaduct).  And because there is such a short distance between Holborn Circus and Gray's Inn Road, it's natural, as I've already mentioned, to think that when you've cut across New Fetter Lane you are now in High Holborn.  It's basically just this one long road up to Holborn station.  My point is that I would suggest that this marks the psychological beginning of High Holborn even if it is not stated to be as such in official records. 

As I've already said, when you travel up High Holborn you then arrive at Holborn Station, which I think people would regard as being 'Holborn' even though it is technically located at the corner of High Holborn. It is, of course, in the borough of Holborn, not the street! So it is certainly IN Holborn.  I suggest, therefore, that most Londoners would actually think of Holborn as being more to the west than High Holborn!

Maybe it was crazy to name Holborn Station 'Holborn' and it should have been 'High Holborn Station'.

High Holborn and Holborn can get easily confused.  The correct address for Ely Place was actually 'Ely Place, Holborn E.C.' but we can see that George Burt of number 27 Ely Place regarded himself as living off High Holborn and, frankly, I don't blame him.

That's why I say this is a real arsey point. I happen to know the area very well but I didn't find any difficulty understanding Hallie or feel the need to criticize her or correct her on this ridiculously pedantic point. 

I would also add that despite its swanky WC2 postcode, Wikipedia says that 'High Holborn is the highest point in the City of London'.


Now I don't know if that's right or wrong (it's certainly been cited in various publications, including the Sun newspaper), but when you are in High Holborn, at the Holborn Circus end, near Chancery Lane, if I am allowed to call it High Holborn (as I think most do) you very much have the feel of being in the City.  In directories from the 1880s, Chancery Lane has a WC address but is stated to be 'partly in the City'.  Without doubt, where-ever it commences, High Holborn is right on the border of EC/WC and, at that point, FEELS more in the City than the West End whatever the postcodes might suggest.

I can't necessarily say he's clanged it up this time, on this aspect at least, but to me it shows someone nitpicking at points which did not need to be nitpicked. 

But that's not to say he hasn't clanged it up completely.

As we've seen, the Clanger says that Hallie 'repeatedly' (and wrongly) refers to Polly and her family in connection with High Holborn when, in fact, they lived 'in the vicinity of Holborn'.

Well I've done an electronic search of her book and she only mentions 'High Holborn' three times.  The first is when she says that between Fleet Street and High Holborn is a compact network of smaller alleys in which one finds Dawes Court.

Well, if as George Burt did (so it seems to be acceptable), you extend High Holborn back a few yards to Ely Place, and draw a line down from there on a map to Fleet Street, you will intersect Shoe Lane which is where Polly's Family was living.

The second mention of High Holborn in the book is where Hallie says that:

'The Walkers never lived far from either Shoe Lane or High Holborn'

That is a factually accurate statement.  Dawes Court, Dean Street, Robinhood Court and Harp Alley would all have been, what, five or ten minutes walk to Holborn Bars, the start of High Holborn?  It can't be challenged. 

The third mention of High Holborn is the one we started with, in respect of the Clanger's response, where Hallie says that 17 Kirby Street is 'just north of High Holborn'.

Again, factually, Kirby Street IS north of High Holborn, albeit north-east of High Holborn, but who would quibble with someone saying that Newcastle is north of Manchester, even though it is north-east of it? 

So, I just don't see the need to do the correction.  That part of Holborn is colloquially regarded as High Holborn, I would suggest, and I think it's fine.   But the Clanger felt the need to post this to prove it has an E.C.1 postcode and is 'in the Walter Mitty'  (#2519) by which he means 'the City' in rhyming slang: 


I don't know why he does this.  Hallie doesn't say that Kirby Street isn't in the City and I can't see what difference it would make if she had.  The street sign, in any case, says that Kirby Street is in the Borough of Holborn, not the City of London, despite the E.C.1 postcode.

What Hallie does say about Kirby Street is that it was 'situated in the down-at-heel area known as Saffron Hill' and the Clanger corrects her to 'the up and coming area of Hatton Garden'.  But Kirby Street is just as close to Saffron Hill as it is to Hatton Garden and in fact closer at the north end.  And Kirby Street is no Hatton Garden. 

Anyway, it's just three mentions of 'High Holborn' in the whole book where at least one and arguably two of those mentions are correct and reasonable.  For the Clanger, therefore, to claim that Hallie 'repeatedly' and wrongly refers to High Holborn in connection with Polly's family isn't true.  It's another clang from the master of them.


No. 4

In a previous 'Lord Orsam Says...' I mocked the Clanger for taking issue with Hallie 'on the really important stuff like the exact address of one of the victims' former employers (no it wasn't 10 Acacia Avenue it was 12 Acacia Avenue)'.  I hadn't realized until I reviewed the Rubenhold thread that the Clanger had responded to me in that thread, but all he's done is say, in effect, that it wasn't just the difference between 10 and 12 Acacia Avenue but the difference between the name of the employer being S. Bloggs as opposed to M. Bloggs!! Big deal.

The issue in question here is the address and identity of Polly Nichols' final employer before her murder.  It has always been assumed that her employer was Sarah Cowdry.  This is actually in Shelden's book which states that a postcard was received at Polly's workhouse 'from her mistress Mrs Sarah Cowdry'. It is also stated on the Casebook page devoted to her that Polly left the workhouse on 12 May 'to take a position as a domestic servant in the house of Samuel and Sarah Cowdry' who lived at 'Ingleside', Rose Hill Road.  I would say that Hallie was entitled to rely on Shelden, and indeed on Casebook, but it turns out that the original source information only shows that Polly's employer was a couple named Cowdry who lived at Ingleside (in Rose Hill Road).  It also turns out that in 1888 there were two couples named Cowdry living in Rose Hill Road, one at number 16 and one at number 18.  From the 1891 census, however, it looked to researchers, such as Shelden, like there was only Francis and Sarah Cowdry living at number 16, which was assumed to be 'Ingleside'. But, it seems, Ingleside was number 18 where Frank and Martha resided.

So the bottom line is this, according to the Clanger:  Polly wasn't working at 16 Rose Hill Road for Mrs S. Cowdry, she was working at 18 Rose Hill for Mrs M. Cowdry.

Big frigging deal!

But here's the thing.  Hallie's book was published in February 2019.  The confusion between the two Cowdrys and the two addresses in Rose Hill Road wasn't spotted until July 2019, five months after the book as published and probably well over a year since it was written.  The  point wasn't even nailed down until February 2020, after months of discussion and online searching. 

It's one thing to criticize an author for mistakes that they should not have made but it's ludicrous to be criticizing Hallie for this.  It's very harsh to expect an author to double check every single minor detail when writing a book at a time when they are fully engaged in trying to write the damn thing. There have to be times when it's acceptable and reasonable to rely on the published research of others.  Like I say, Hallie was entitled to rely on Shelden and on Casebook.

And perhaps others.  For, hold on, what's this book in front of me?  Why, it's Paul Begg's 2003 book, 'Jack the Ripper: The Definitive History'.  What does Mr Begg have to say about the matter:

'Perhaps with help from the workhouse authorities, Mary Ann Nichols secured employment as a servant for Samuel and Sarah Cowdry....'

The Clanger is going to have to inform his best mate and fellow seeker of truth that he screwed up too.

No bloody chance!!! 

In his response to me, the Clanger tries to justify his criticism of Hallie over this issue by saying that an investigation into Frank Cowdry reveals that he went off to the Middle East and was interned during World War 1. But what relevance is that to the victims of Jack the Ripper?  Oh, well at this point the Clanger turns into Hallie Rubenhold by speculating about the atmosphere in Ingleside while Polly was there, based partly on an 'impersonal' letter written by Martha asking after Frank.  But you can't possibly tell anything about the atmosphere in Ingleside in 1888 from this.  I mean, what if the Cowdrys had a fight in 1889?   And we don't even know if they did have a fight.  And it's all irrelevant.

The Clanger's one other point is that Hallie writes of Polly leaving Ingleside by the servants' entrance, and the Clanger doesn't think there was one.  In which case, she left by the bloody front door.  But it doesn't make any actual difference to anything.

So the Clanger's criticism here was unfair but more than that, on top of all the other criticisms, it exaggerated the picture of a poorly researched book.  For criticisms to be effective they need to be fair but the criticism over the difference between 16 and 18 Rose Hill Road and between Sarah or Martha Cowdry wasn't fair, in my opinion. 

No. 5

Christopher T. George dropped down from his lofty heights to chide Hallie for making a claim in her book 'with certitude' that Ripper victim Polly Nichols was the same Mary Ann Nichols arrested in Trafalgar Square in 1887.  Thus, he said in #2164 of the Rubenhold thread:

'Ms. Rubenhold then states that through the scenes she had described "moved two women whose lives and deaths would come to define nineteenth century Britain." One woman was Queen Victoria, the other "a homeless woman called Mary Ann, or 'Polly' Nichols, who was among those encamped at Trafalgar Square in 1887." Now while this statement neatly ties her narrative together, it constitutes a major claim, a leap of faith that a woman arrested in the square during the autumn of 1887 was the same woman who was killed in Durward Street, Whitechapel on August 31, 1888.'

He added that, 'While Ms Rubenhold makes the claim with certitude, the authors of The Complete Jack the Ripper A to Z hedge their bets'.

What Mr George didn't know, but even the Clanger did, is that some brilliant research by Debra Arif had conclusively established that Polly Nichols was indeed the same woman arrested at Trafalgar Square.   So Mr George hadn't been following developments carefully, whereas Hallie Rubenhold had.

A positive mark for Hallie, not so good for Chris George but, of course, everyone makes mistakes. 

The surprising thing in this case, however, was that Chris George could barely acknowledge his error and was, in fact, somewhat dismissive of the new finding.  What he said in his next post #2180 was this:

'Good to know that there is a good probability that the Mary Ann Nichols picked up by the police for squatting in Trafalgar Square is the first victim...'

'good probability', lol! No Chris, it's now been conclusively established that it was the same person. 

But here was how he framed his argument:

'From everything I know about Polly Nichols...she [doesn't] come across to me like the woman picked up at Trafalgar Square who was characterized as "the worst woman in the square, and at the police-station was very disorderly'.

From everything he knows about Polly Nichols!!!  I mean, honestly, how pompous are these people?  He says that she was a 'docile happy-go-lucky person'.  Seriously?  And that is based on what, exactly? 

But with this image of her stuck in his head, Mr George said:

'So to me it's not a done deal that the woman rounded up in the square in December 1887 was the Ripper victim of October 31, 1888'.


He does, however, graciously concede that Nichols was described as 'a heavy drinker' and that alcohol can 'alter personalities' as if he actually knows something about Nichols' personality.

He was then schooled by Debra Arif in #2812 to the extent that even the Clanger, yes even the Clanger was compelled to say in #2183 that, 'That's about as good as it gets' and that 'Hallie got it right'

Needless to say there was no acknowledgment from Chris George to this and he moved on to the issue of whether Nichols was in Trafalgar Square on Bloody Sunday in November 1887 along with William Morris, although Hallie hadn't actually said she was.  She only said that, 'Among those who gathered with Polly in the last weeks of October was...William Morris'.  She wasn't speaking about Bloody Sunday.  Of course it can only be speculation that Polly was on the Square in October at any time that William Morris was there (and I'm not sure there is any evidence that he WAS there at any time during October, although he might well have popped along for a bit I suppose).  However, Chris George for some reason stated that 'In all probability she was not there on Bloody Sunday in November 1887'.  No of course she wasn't, she was in the Edmonton Workhouse on that date but Hallie never said anything different. 

It's true that her publisher's card states misleadingly that Polly 'was present in the 1887 riots in Trafalgar Square along with William Morris and Eleanor Marx' but that is not stated in the book where Hallie only mentions 'skirmishes' during October.

The problem is that the Rubenhold thread started to confuse the book with the publisher's card and made Hallie's book seem worse than it actually is.


For those who don't speak 'Diary Defender' it might have been difficult to understand post #5326 in the 'Incontrovertible' thread in which Caroline Morris responded to a call for 'a truce' so that there could be a rational debate about the origins of the Diary.

Ms Morris said:

'As long as we can agree we are discussing 'many permutations', of which only one can be correct, we should be fine.'

The correct translation of this is: As long as we can agree that only my permutation is the correct one we should be fine.

For Caroline Morris has never been prepared to give the idea that the Diary was created in the Barretts' home in late March and early April 1992 the time of day. She treats it with contempt, calling it 'insane' and 'barking mad'.  See Inside Story of a Sceptical Mind.

Yet, as we can see, she hypocritically now wants to give the impression that she is happy to debate the 'many permutations'.

And it was such a strange thing to say that she needs people to agree that 'only one can be correct'. As if no-one else is aware that there can only be one correct answer to the question of where the Diary came from! 

If Caroline Morris hadn't been so dismissive of the idea of the modern hoax when I raised it in the Forum back in 2016, the level of debate could have been much higher than it is today.  But she has never been able to discuss it sensibly which means she can't think about it sensibly which in turn means that she is blinded to the truth.


I'm guessing that Iconoclast is feeling very proud of himself.  He's created a new step by step narrative to explain how the Diary came out of Battlecrease (#5353 of 'Incontrovertible').  Shall we go through the steps together with him, boys and girls? 

  • Mar 9, 1992: Eddie Lyons tells Mike Barrett of a Jack the Ripper diary he has in his possession (he may or may not have it in his possession on that day, note)
This isn't really explained.  How does Eddie Lyons get a Jack the Ripper diary in his possession?  His own evidence is that he didn't find one.  But if he did get one in his possession, why did he tell 'Bongo' Barrett about it, of all people?  
  • Mike goes home, makes some light enquiries, and ends up speaking to Doreen Montgomery who is interested in Mike Williams' story (Mike knows there is a strong possibility that something is not entirely legal about this so he uses the surname of the guy who lived in his house before him)
This doesn't make any sense.  If Mike knew that there was 'a strong possibility that something is not entirely legal about this' what changed on 8 April when he gave his real name to Doreen?  And what's the point of giving a false name but his real address?  Isn't the most likely explanation the one that Mike has himself put forward, namely that, as a professional freelance journalist and aspiring writer, he didn't want to be laughed at by an international literary agent when he told her a story about a Jack the Ripper diary?  Once Doreen had shown interest and was prepared to take it seriously, however, he simply gave her his real name.
  • Mike then procures the scrapbook from Eddie Lyons - perhaps for a fee, perhaps for a cut of profits, perhaps for both
And perhaps my aunt has cojones and is my uncle.  Iconoclast knows the problem here.  If Eddie wanted a fee for this diary of Jack the Ripper that fee is hardly going to be less than hundreds if not thousands of pounds.  But Mike didn't have that sort of money. So Iconoclast has to speculate about Mike agreeing to give Eddie a cut of the profits. But that is ludicrous. Criminals don't go doing deals of this nature.  They just don't. The reason is that the only way to monitor and enforce such a deal is with lawyers and accountants.  Otherwise, how is Eddie supposed to know what Mike is earning in order to calculate what is due to him?  It makes no sense.  
  • Mike has to explain his new acquisition to Anne so he tells her that Tony D gave it to him the previous year as a Thank You for Barrett's occasional help (Tony has sadly passed away at this point so he can't ever deny it, obviously)
And where did the 17 pages of research notes headed 'transferring all my notes since August 1991' which we are told Anne helped to'tidy up' come from?  Because let's face it there is no way that Mike typed them up himself.  Was Anne supposed to have believed that her husband had been secretly researching Jack the Ripper's Diary for the best part of a year and had said nothing to her about it during that whole time?  
  • Mike then gets the book published
Whoooooaaaaaa!!!! Steady on there Red Rum. Haven't you missed out something?  Why did Mike go searching for a genuine Victorian diary with blank pages?  I thought this was a step-by-step narrative with everything explained.  You conveniently left that one out, didn't ya?
  • Anne suspects not everything is entirely right - at one point asking Barrett in front of witnesses "Did you nick it, Mike?" 
I'll bet she does suspect everything isn't entirely right, considering that, in Iconoclast's story, Mike was claiming to have been researching the Diary of Jack the Ripper during the past year but hadn't breathed a word of it to her.  Mind you, it didn't stop her entering into legal agreements with respect to the Diary.  And contemporary documents show she was so concerned for the safety and protection of the Diary that she arranged for it to be lodged in the safe of a bank! 
  • Once published, it has the potential to be a worldwide sensation but the Barretts break up and Mike breaks down
Hmmmnn. The Sunday Times famously, and to much publicity, declared it be a FAKE in September 1993!  The 'worldwide sensation' dream was shattered prior to the break-up of the Barretts' marriage in 1994.  
  • Mike - for any number of not entirely logical reasons - announces (not 'confesses' - that would have required some evidence, none of which he ever provided) that he had created the tale in the scrapbook
A confession does not require evidence Mr Legal Genius.
  • Despite Mike's inability to tell the same tale even for the length of a single sentence sometimes, certain motivated individuals jump on his claims, arguing that they were right all along and here was the proof (there wasn't, of course, any proof, only a determination to marginalise the scrapbook)
When he is in the mood to admit to the forgery, Mike does tell a consistent story between 1994 and 1999.  I've set this out in many places.
  • The claims start to impact on the sales of the book and the mooted sale of film rights
September 1993.  The Sunday Times.  FAKE!!! That had already impacted the sales of the book.  The mooted sale of the film rights nevertheless came back to life and Mike fell back in line, giving an interview in September 1995 that he'd received the Diary from Tony Devereux because he was absolutely desperate for money, and the Diary seemed to be his only hope at that stage.
  • Anne Graham (nee Barrett) has become close (emotionally, not physically) to Paul Feldman and either she suggests, or he suggests, or they both suggest that they need to take control of the narrative away from Barrett and as conclusively as possible, so Anne announces that the scrapbook came from her, via Tony
Someone called Iconoclast, formerly Soothsayer and Tom Mitchell, once fell hook line and sinker for that story.
  • Anne needs to corroborate the story so she asks her elderly father Billy for a favour - the scrapbook is almost-certainly stolen property and Barrett has therefore put her in huge legal danger, so could he just agree that the scrapbook was in the family for at least half a century?
A lot of trouble for someone who is innocent and pure as the driven snow.  Could it be that she had been involved in the forgery and was now looking for a way to protect her investment?
  • Billy - worried that his idiot son-in-law has put his beloved daughter and granddaughter in huge danger - agrees to support the new version of the provenance
Huge danger my arse.
  • Neither Anne, nor Billy, nor Feldman know about the sirens blaring out of Battlecrease House on that crucial day - Mar 9, 1992 - so they do not realise their tale will not hold up to the enquiries of time
Neither Anne, nor Billy, nor Feldman know about the sirens blazing out of the 19 March 1992 issue of Bookseller, so they do not realize that the forgery plot will be exposed with the enquiries of time.
  • Time passes, enquiries are made, the link with Eddie Lyons and the Battlecrease House crew is established, and Anne's cover story is blown
Time passes and the Bookseller advertisement is located and it is discovered that Mike was on the hunt for a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992.  Further time passes and genuine examples of Anne's handwriting come to light showing similarities with the Diary handwriting.
  • Finally, we know where that Victorian scrapbook came from (Battlecrease House)
Finally, after 28 years still no-one admits to finding any sort of scrapbook in Battlecrease and the phrase 'one off instance' proves that the scrapbook had not been in Battlecrease at any time during the 19th century.
  • Finally we know that either it is genuine or else - slightly surreal this one but I didn't suggest it - someone visited Battlecrease and managed to secrete the scrapbook somewhere where it would not be found too easily but neither with too much difficulty (they also managed to secrete Florence Maybrick's initials into a police photograph from 1888 - now that's what I call forgery)
Iconoclast is not the greatest thinker in the world but I'd have thought that even he would have realized that by admitting that someone MIGHT have visited Battlecrease and secreted the scrapbook somewhere in Battlecrease he has completely negated the conclusion to this narrative!
  • The story is complete
Only by ignoring 'one off instance' and the Bookseller advertisement and a host of other issues.
  • Barrett is categorically out of the provenance
Not a single reason has been provided for the claim that 'Barrett is categorically out of the provenance'.  Does Iconoclast actually know what the word 'categorically' means?
  • The vast majority of us (who have no axe to grind) can say for certain that Jack the Ripper was James Maybrick
So despite having accepted (presumably to please Madame La Morris) that a modern visitor to Battlecrease might have secreted a forged diary into a hiding place in Battlecrease to be found by an electrician on 9 March 1992, Iconoclast feels able to say 'for certain' that Jack the Ripper was James Maybrick when his own narrative, I repeat his own narrative, totally contradicts that notion by making it not certain at all. 

The only thing that's certain is that Iconoclast needs to go back to the drawing board because another one of his pillars has crumbled into the dust. 


Poor old R.J., on the end of another tongue lashing from you know who. Here is part of it (#5373 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread):

'What you did - in plain sight - was to try and wriggle your way out of falsely accusing Keith outright, more than once, of fitting people up and putting dates in their mouths. How did you expect me to react? I have no reputation worth damaging, so you can falsely accuse me of anything you like, and if it's legal, hurts no-one and sounds like fun, I may as well try it if I'm going to be accused anyway. But Keith is a highly respected professional researcher, so you can call me as 'ridiculous' and as 'disingenuous' as you like, but I'm going to have my say and I don't need an "outrage" card to do so.'

Keith Skinner is, of course, a highly respected professional researcher but what is one supposed to make of this statement by him (quoted in Harrison, 2003, p.280) about Anne Barrett's story of the Diary having been in her family for generations?

'I was involved from the very first and I was present at most of the meetings of Paul and Billy.  If the story had been forced I would have detected it by now.  If I had detected it I would have exposed it. Those who believe Anne is lying, or that she has been bought by Paul must include me in the plot as well.'

Given that he now appears to think that the story being told by Billy Graham WAS forced, and WAS a lie, he must have been totally wrong to say that he 'would have detected it'.

Given that his Battlecrease provenance theory inherently entails a belief that Anne was lying, what are the rest of us supposed to do about including him in the plot? Keith Skinner himself has told us that we must include him in the plot!!!

Has he ever retracted the above statement?  Has he admitted that he was fooled by Paul and Billy and that it is possible to believe that Anne is lying without including him in the plot?  For that is what I would expect a highly respected professional researcher to do.

In a letter from Shirley Harrison to Richard Whittington-Egan dated 10 January 1997, Shirley attempted to use Keith's exalted reputation as a battering ram to impress upon Whittington-Egan the genuineness of the Diary via the Graham family provenance.  She wrote:

'And what is your response to Keith's deeply rooted belief based on his unique accumulated knowledge and experience of every aspect of the project and his understanding of all the personalities involved, since June 1992. He claims that the diary is NOT a modern hoax and after many days of discussions and meetings under varied conditions, accepts Anne's and Billy's story.'

Does that not show how a respected professional researcher - even one with 'unique accumulated knowledge and experience' and 'understanding of all the personalities involved'  - can get it totally and utterly wrong?   One day he accepts Anne's and Billy's story as the truth, next day he rejects it as a tissue of lies. 

If Harrison is reporting correctly, far from keeping an open mind, Skinner had concluded by 10 January 1997 that the diary was not a modern hoax, even though he had yet to discover all the evidence.  At that time he knew nothing of the red diary and nothing of the Bookseller advertisement.

Personally, I would expect a respected professional researcher NOT to renege on a promise to supply a copy of a transcript, especially not for the reason that someone might glean 'meaning' from it.  On the contrary, the fact that someone might glean meaning from a document is the very reason to release it!

I would also expect a respected professional researcher to answer a question that he promised he would answer, not for someone to have to be chasing it more than two years later. 

I would also expect a respected professional researcher who has spoken to key people involved, such as Colin Rhodes, Martin Earl, Mike Litherland and Eddie Lyons to release the full notes of his interviews, not allow partial extracts to be leaked in dribs and drabs by someone who admits that she has 'no reputation worth damaging'.  


When RJ temporarily stops posting about the Maybrick diary, that leaves a very strange love-in between Caroline Morris and her useful idiot, Iconoclast (sorry mate, but it's true).  While, in a normal world, the two of them should be having a heated and passionate argument about whether the Diary is genuine, not a word is said about that. Its all 'Bongo' this and 'Bongo' that. 

Amazingly, but unsurprisingly, Caroline Morris is far more concerned to try and show that Bongo didn't write the Diary than she is to show that the Diary is a fake (as she purports to claim it is).  She shows no interest in contradicting Iconoclast on that rather important point. If anything, she always seems to take the opportunity to challenge arguments that Maybrick couldn't have written the Diary,

Meanwhile, Iconoclast tells us that he enjoys creating his 'little slice-of-Bongo life scenarios' because 'they make me chuckle' (#5412).  Of course they do.  He's invented his own fictional character called 'Bongo', who is incapable of creating a fake diary, and he chuckles at his own cleverness in showing how Bongo couldn't have created a fake diary.

Back in the real world, the actual Mike Barrett, who was really quite a resourceful chap, had a number of people who could have helped him create the Diary including his intelligent and sensible wife, someone who neither Iconoclast nor Caroline Morris ever seem to want to talk about in this context.  Whenever they discuss Bongo creating the diary, he did so on his own, without any assistance from Anne or Tony or Billy or anyone else.

During the course of the love-in, Caroline Morris tells Iconoclast that the argument that there's enough circumstantial evidence to back up Bongo's forgery claims is 'not sustainable' (#5413).  She then goes on to purportedly list that evidence without mentioning the most important piece of circumstantial evidence that Bongo WAS clearly involved in the forgery, namely the advertisement in Bookseller!!! How is such an extraordinary omission possible by anyone who is not trying to befuddle and confuse their readers?

I remember once saying to Caroline Morris on the board that the 1891 red diary on its own proves nothing.  But for her, apparently, 'Bongo's reason for ordering a tiny red diary', is 'Gone'.  I've really no idea what she means by this.  Martin Earl clearly couldn't find a diary which satisfied Mike's requirements, as reflected in the advertisement, and the only genuine Victorian diary he had to offer Mike was the 1891 diary.  Mike accepted it but, on receipt, it turned out not to be practical for the purpose of the forgery.  What is it about this that Caroline Morris has difficulty with? 

She says that the auction ticket is 'Gone' but we are in exactly the same place as we were when I started posting four years ago.  There is no evidence that Mike didn't go to an auction on 31 March 1992 and purchase an old photograph album.  The records for 1992 were never searched!

Then, in a classic piece of befuddling, Caroline Morris says that the Sphere Volume 2 was 'certainly not' in Mike's possession when it mattered.  I have no idea where she gets that from.  It's never been positively established whether the Sphere volume 2 was or was not in Mike's possession but the evidence suggests that it was.  I don't like to say that Caroline Morris is lying about this but I have literally no idea on what basis she feels it proper to say that the book was 'certainly not' in Mike's possession.

Then she says, 'Gone is Bongo's TALES OF LIVERPOOL'. This is bizarre.  The reason it was mentioned by R.J. Palmer was because there is incontrovertible evidence that Mike had this book (which tells the story of the Maybrick murder at Battlecrease) in his possession prior to August 1991 and lent it to Tony Devereux.  He wasn't claiming it to be a primary source for the Diary (although it is likely to have inspired it and been used for the basic facts). But Caroline Morris feels it appropriate to say 'He didn't use it to create the Diary'.  There doesn't even seem to be any evidential basis for this statement. How can she possibly know whether Mike used it to create the Diary or not?  

Finally she says 'Gone is Ryan's book', not because she has established that it wasn't used by Mike and Co. to create the Diary - it almost certainly was - but because there is another source that Mike and Co could have used in respect of Dr Fuller's evidence!!!

In any case, in #5507 she revealed she had completely misunderstood the point about Ryan.  She said to R.J.

'If you don't get it, RJ, you don't get it.

It is your claim that Mike used Ryan's book as his main source of Maybrick material for forging the diary'.

In saying this she had obviously either forgotten or misunderstood R.J.'s #5447 in which he actually reproduced the relevant passage from Iconoclast's ludicrous 'Society's Pillar' in which Iconoclast claims that the evidence of a shared grave 'was only in print in one tome - buried deeply within the text of the Florence Maybrick trial transcript'.  

The purpose of R.J.'s #5447 was to inform Iconoclast that he is 'wrong on this point' and that ,'The obscure fact that Maybrick's father and mother were buried next to each other can be found in....Bernard Ryan's book (1977)'.  As R.J. pointed out, this just happens to be one of the books that Mike claimed that he used during the process of forging the diary.

In response (#5448), Iconoclast admitted that he 'hadn't spotted that reference when I read Ryan cover-to-cover'.  He added in #5450 that 'it's there if you pay attention, and I clearly did not.'  So that's just one more failure of his 'Society's Pillar' identified right there.

As a postscript, Iconoclast admitted that Mike might have visited the cemetery and seen the grave for himself. This was something that I had, in fact, suggested a year earlier in 'Pillar of Sand' (yet to be responded to by Iconoclast, and I've now updated the article to include R.J.'s Bernard Ryan reference).

But then Caroline Morris felt the need to step in with her size 12 boots and, even though she quoted R.J.'s #5447, with its reproduction of the key passage from Society's Pillar claiming that it was virtually impossible for Mike to have known Maybrick's parents were in a shared grave, she decided that R.J. had been trying to say that the fact that this information was in Ryan proved that Mike had read Ryan's book.

That's what led her into another typical 'Oh Carolina' type misunderstanding which caused her to post 'If you don't get it, RJ, you don't get it' in #5507 even though RJ had already told her in #5506 that 'The original point - which you seem to have forgotten - is that Ike's claim that this 'shared burial' was deeply obscure knowledge is pure hokum'.

But when Caroline Morris doesn't get it she doesn't get it big time. 

Anyway, returning to the point of Caroline Morris' #5413 with her 'Gone' claims, we can see that it's all utterly ridiculous.  The evidence to support Mike's forgery claims remains just as strong, if not more so since the discovery of what Mike said in April 1999, as it was when I was last posting on the Forum in May 2018.

And we should note that, when listing the circumstantial evidence which supports Mike's claims, Caroline Morris said nothing - not a single word - about Anne's handwriting!   How is that not cowardice?  An inability to face up to the strong evidence showing the Diary is a modern fake.

She can't bring herself to mention the handwriting just like she can't bring herself to mention the wording of the advertisement showing Mike's search in March 1992 for a genuine Victorian diary with blank pages.  How does she explain it?


The Diary Defenders don't seem to understand something about the little red diary that is so obvious that it shouldn't need mentioning.

Under the hoax scenario, the only reason we actually have the little red diary is because it was unsuitable for the forgery.  I mean, if it had been suitable, Mike would have used it for the fake Diary of Jack the Ripper!  He wouldn't have needed to go to Outhwaite & Litherland.  Whether we would know about its acquisition today is debatable but, for the secret to have emerged, it would have needed (a) Mike to have revealed the purchase and (b) Anne to have then given Keith Skinner the critical information from her cheque book to enable him to track down Martin Earl. 

In a scenario where Martin Earl had provided a suitable diary for Mike to use, and he used it, it is by no means certain that Anne would have given Keith any information about it.  If Mike had only been able to say that he bought it from someone over the telephone who he found in the Yellow Pages (as he did in his affidavit) that wouldn't have been sufficient information to trace Martin Earl, not least because Earl didn't advertise in the Yellow Pages.

However, despite the fact that its very existence in the possession of the Barretts means that it was unsuitable for the forgery, the Diary Defenders point to the very fact that it was unsuitable as the reason why they say it wasn't purchased for the forgery!!!

It's Alice in Wonderland thinking. If they were thinking straight, they would surely see that if it had been suitable it would have been used for the forgery and would no longer exist as a blank diary.  But, for the Diary Defenders, the fact that it wasn't suitable somehow shows that Mike wouldn't have purchased it!

However, as Mike was ordering an item over the telephone, sight unseen, it's patently obvious that he couldn't tell if it would be suitable for a forgery until he had it in his hands. 

One could ask why he didn't demand a refund but, then again, he never actually paid for it himself.  He just left it (possibly hoping it would go away) and evidently forgot about it for the whole of April and then May until Martin Earl chased for it.  As we keep getting told, Anne paid for it from her account, so Mike probably wasn't too bothered.  He'd also almost certainly accepted the Diary from Martin Earl on the basis that he knew it was unused and from 1891 so it's hard to see what reason he could have come up with to return it. 

That's not only a very minor issue but exactly the same question could be asked of any crazy theory the Diary Defenders have ever come up with as to why Mike acquired the diary.  He obviously never used it for anything, and once he saw it - and saw what blank pages looked like and saw what a Victorian diary looked like and had a receipt for £25 - why didn't he simply return it? 

As I keep saying, though, it's not the red diary on its own which is of importance. Mike COULD, in theory, have purchased the red diary to see what a genuine Victorian diary looked like.  But we know that that this wasn't the reason for the purchase due to the terms of the advertisement placed by Martin Earl.  That's why it is the ADVERTISEMENT which is the key and crucial piece of evidence showing that Mike must have been involved in a forgery scheme. 

Honestly, for what possible flipping reason could Mike have been seeking a real Victorian diary with blank pages?   The question answers itself. 


To my amazement I find Caroline Morris saying this in #5503 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread:

'Like the little red diary, you mean, that was once the icing on Orsam's cake, but is now a sickly green, flowing down like MacArthur Park?'

Anyone who is concentrating would know this is nonsense.  The little red diary has never been the icing on Orsam's cake.  All you need to do is go back about a thousand posts in the same thread to post #4742 from 23 May 2018 where you will find this:  


'It's perfectly true that the little red diary doesn't prove anything at all.  It's the undisputed fact that Mike, in March 1992 was seeking a used or unused Victorian diary with a minimum of 20 blank pages which is the salient point...'

Tell me, what is so hard to understand about that?

And I repeated the point in the very last update in the article 'Oh Carolina'.  Here's the relevant extract, pasted direct from that article:


As we can see, once again, I say 'The red diary proves nothing'. 

So the red diary was never the Orsam icing on the cake.  It's the Bookseller advertisement that is the evidence which shows what Mike was up to in March 1992, which you can call 'the icing on the cake' if you want to. 

And Caroline Morris' reason for thinking that the icing is now a sickly green is completely wrong in any case.  This is based on her belief that Martin Earl would have told Mike Barrett 'precisely' what he was going to receive (as to which there isn't actually any evidence).  But look what I posted on the Casebook forum on 25 January 2017 (#3062 of the 'Incontrovertible thread'):

I said:

'I've always assumed that HP Bookfinders [i.e. Martin Earl] contacted him before they sent it to him and said "We haven't been able to find anything from 1880 to 1890 but we've located a partly used 1891 diary, would you like us to acquire it for you?' and Mike said yes (on the basis that beggars can't be choosers)...'

At that time I believed that the 1891 diary was partly used - whereas, in fact, it was blank - but the point is that I always figured that the process would be that Martin Earl would have first contacted Mike to tell him what he had been able to find and ask him whether he wanted to go ahead and purchase it. 

Yet, for some reason, now that Caroline Morris has been told the very same thing by Martin Earl, she thinks she's made an astonishing new discovery!

If we amend my above post it would simply be that Earl said to Mike, 'We haven't been able to find anything from 1880 to 1890 but we've located a blank 1891 diary, would you like us to acquire it for you?'.  He might also have said it was a small diary but there's no actual evidence that he did so.  It depends on what he had been told about it by his supplier about which there is also no evidence. 

The key thing is that Mike would have assumed there were blank pages in the diary.  That's what he was after.

So, not only has Caroline identified the wrong icing, even if she had identified the right one it would still be sitting proudly, and intact, on top of the cake. 


Let's take a short break from the Diary to see what Trevor Marriott's up to these days.  For Caroline Morris isn't the only one who knows how to befuddle and confuse.  In #365 of 'The Secret Special Branch Ledgers' thread he writes:

'The Special Branch or Special Irish Branch came under Monro's control when he was Assistant Commissioner (CID). There is also an entry in the register relating to him in a memorandum from the Home Secretary Henry Matthews sent in 1888 to his Private Secretary Evelyn Ruggles-Brise that read: Stimulate the Police about the Whitechapel murders. Monro might be willing to give a hint to the CID people if necessary.”  This also shows Special Branch did have some input into the murders.'

I'm not so bothered that Trevor gets the quotation wrong.  It's obviously difficult to be accurate on such matters. I'm being sarcastic.  But what Henry Matthews actually said to Ruggles-Brice on 22 September 1888 was: 'Stimulate the Police about the Whitechapel murders.  Absente Anderson. Monro might be willing to give a hint to the C.I.D. people if needful'.   In other words, while Assistant Commissioner Anderson was out of the country, the Home Secretary thought that the former Assistant Commissioner might be able to give some guidance to the leaderless and clueless C.I.D. as to how to go about conducting the investigation into the murders.

Getting the quote wrong is one thing but what I have to object to his Trevor's blatant misrepresentation of the evidence to make it sound like it has something to do with Special Branch. It does not.

Trevor's statement about Monro that, 'There is also an entry in the register relating to him in a memorandum from the Home Secretary Henry Matthews' is garbled nonsense.  We're not dealing with a register entry - the information about what Matthews said in his memo actually comes from a 1938 book by Shane Leslie entitled 'Sir Evelyn Ruggles-Brice: A Memoir of the Founder of Borstal' - but Trevor mentioning a register entry makes it sound like there is something in a Special Branch register about this issue.

The situation is no more than that Henry Matthews wanted to use Monro's C.I.D. experience while the C.I.D. had no Assistant Commissioner in situ.  The comment in his memo of 22 September had nothing whatsover to do with any 'Special Branch input into the murders'.  


Trevor was asked by Paul Begg to provide some evidence that the Swanson marginalia might be false, and fair play to the fella he came up with the goods in #112 of the 'Why wasn't Hutchinson used to try to ID Kosminski' on the Censorship Forum, where he says:

'Now in 1888 there were guidelines as to how ID parades were conducted these are as set out below and are from the Police Codes'.

He then sets out the guidelines and concludes: 'So all of this shows a big question mark hanging over this mythical ID parade'.


Anyone taking a close look at his post, however, might have noticed something a bit odd.

'It is of the utmost importance that the identification of a person who may be charged with a criminal offence should be conducted in the fairest possible manner. (See

2. With this end in view the following procedure should be observed:'

What's that bit about "(See     " with a strange space and no closed brackets?

Well the original of the Police Code from which Trevor is quoting says: "See FINGER PRINT SYSTEM OF IDENTIFICATION.)"


That might, perhaps, have raised a bit of a red flag in Trevor's mind (had he not deleted it).  There was no finger print system of identification in 1888!

Yes, that's right, Trevor has done his usual thing of citing a twentieth century document and applying it to 1888.  

In this case he's quoting from the 1912 edition of the Police Code which he's found online. 

He's done this kind of thing many, many, times before, including with that very same edition of the Police Code on a different point.

The Police Code which applied to 1888 does say something about identification of prisoners but it's very different to what it said in 1912 as quoted by Trevor. The key point in 1888 was that there should be five or six others with similar appearance to the accused who should not be identified alone in a room. 

I don't see anything in the Swanson marginalia inconsistent with what is said in the Police Code as it applied to 1888 nor indeed to the 1912 Rules for that matter.  Swanson basically says nothing about how the identification procedure was conducted  Trevor's explanation of the problem is a garbled, 'Nor do we see any evidence to corroborate what Swanson writes in the marginalia from any other police officer who would have been involved in the ID nor do we see any official records to corroborate Kosminski being put on an ID parade'. Well, apart from the fact that neither point he makes here has anything to do with the Police Code of 1888, we know that the official records don't exist any longer so where would Trevor expect to find such corroboration?

The only point of any vague, almost relevant substance is where he says, 'It has been suggested that the police adopted a direct confrontation well I cant find anything which allowed the police in 1888 to conduct such an ID procedure'.   He might have a point there against anyone suggesting that the Seaside Home ID was a direct confrontation but the problem is that this isn't what Swanson is suggesting so how can it possibly go to the authenticity of the marginalia.

And has anyone else noticed how most of Trevor's online debates seem to end up with him saying "read my book" where I can guarantee one will not find any answers. 


Also in Conspiracy Corner is Simon Wood (another person who constantly claims in his posts that enlightenment will be found within the pages of his book) who, on the very same day of the announcement of the death of Nevill Swanson, in the thread: 'Swanson: The Life and Times of a Victorian Detectives' (#38), outrageously and in appropriately claimed that Nevill Swanson had told 'a lie' about his great-grandfather's receipt of a book, thus proving that not only does he not have any respect for the recently deceased but he doesn't know the difference between a lie and a mistake either.

All that happened here is that Nevill Swanson believed that a 1905 letter to Donald Swanson from Robert Anderson enclosing a book to his great-grandfather had enclosed Anderson's 'The Lighter Side of My Official Life' when, in fact, it was enclosing a different but unnamed book (probably Anderson's 1905 'The Bible and Modern Criticism').  As a result, Nevill was under the mistaken but entirely understandable impression that Anderson had personally sent a copy of The Lighter Side to his great-grandfather.  The book was actually sent to Donald Swanson by someone called 'Fred' but the inscription to this effect in the front of the book was hidden by the 1905 letter having been pasted over it.

Nevill Swanson obviously hadn't focused on the fact that The Lighter Side was published in 1910 and thus couldn't have been enclosed by a letter dated 1905.  In fact, he was obviously under the impression that The Lighter Side had been published in 1905, because this is what he told News of the World Journalist Charles Sandell. It was an easy mistake to make because the date of the book is only given in Latin as "MCMX" and, if your Latin isn't good, or you haven't given it any thought, you would naturally have assumed that the book being enclosed by the letter from Anderson in 1905 was the book in Swanson's possession (The Lighter Side) of which Anderson was the author, so that it must have been published in 1905.

But, really, if a mistake is the same thing as a lie then Simon Wood must be one of the biggest liars there is.  His book is full of mistakes...(just see Reconstructing Jack and Re-Reconstructing Jack for proof) but now that he tells us that a mistake is the same thing as a lie then, on his own terms, his book must be full of lies, just like his internet posts.

One great example appears on cue. On the very eve of Orsam Day too!  In #127 of the Swanson thread, Wood says:

'There is also the matter of Charles Sandell's unpublished newspaper article for the News of the World - for which Jim Swanson received £750 - which does not include the closing line of the endpaper "Kosminski was the suspect".'

From that, the unwary would think that the words "Kosminski was the suspect" must have been added to the marginalia after Charles Sandell saw it in 1981.

But what Sandell wrote in his 1981 draft article was that Swanson had written in the margin of Anderson's book that the suspect, 'was a Polish Jewish immigrant called Kosminski'.  How Sandell could have known this if he hadn't seen the words "Kosminski was the suspect" in the Swanson marginalia is something that Simon Wood has yet to explain in many years of discussing this issue.

Whether Wood has made a simple mistake or is lying about this remains undetermined but presumably, on the basis of what he says about Nevill Swanson, he will tell us that he is lying. 


I did enjoy Iconoclast telling us (in #5470 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread) that he has been given exclusive access to a tape recording (and unpublished transcript) of an interview of Mike Barrett by Keith Skinner at Liverpool Library on 14 April 1994.  Apparently Mike said in that interview that he had never heard of Ryan's 1977 book about Maybrick until Shirley Harrison told him about it. And Iconoclast, naturally, believes it!!!

Why does he believe it?  Well, he says, Mike was sober, coherent and very co-operative.  Oh yes, I bet he was co-operative!  No doubt he was telling Keith the story about how he was given the Diary by Tony Devereux at some point prior to August 1991.  Does Iconoclast believe that one too?

Because Keith Skinner obviously believed it, which is why he subsequently believed Anne Graham's story about the Diary having been in her family for generations before she passed it on to Tony Devereux for him to give to Mike at some point prior to August 1991.

I assume that Keith was sober and coherent at the time he believed this.  And I assume that Iconoclast was sober at coherent at the time he listened to the tape recording although, sadly, that cannot be verified.

Worth a reminder, I think, that, at the Cloak & Dagger club on 10 April 1999, when asked: 'Can you tell us the three books you used to forge the diary?', Mike answered:

'Richard Whittington-Egan. Okay.  Murder Mystery Mayhem.  That's number one...Robin Odell...Two. And The Poisoned Life of Florence Maybrick.' 

The Poisoned Life of Florence Maybrick was published in 1977.  The author Bernard Ryan.

Mike might not have been sober at the time but he was coherent and very co-operative. And I think he was being truthful on this occasion whereas in April 1994 he was pulling the wool over Keith's eyes (as usual).


When asked to compare Anne Barrett's handwriting with the Diary handwriting in April, Caroline Morris declined, saying modestly, 'I don't claim to be any kind of expert'

Three months later she has become sufficiently expert in the art of graphology to be able to say (#5531 of 'Incontrovertible'):

'The curious thing about the watch is that JM's signature, scratched inside the back cover, is very like the real thing'.

Is it, though?

And if it is, what is she saying?  That the watch was James Maybrick's watch and that he was the Whitechapel Murderer?  Or is she saying that the person who forged the Diary (as a 'hoax', while writing a novel) not in Maybrick's handwriting, decided, when scratching the watch, to forge Maybrick's actual signature on the watch?  Or is she saying that the watch inscription was by someone different to the person who forged the Diary?

Who knows?  I doubt if she even does. 

In #5584 she tells us that she sees the Diary as a 'spoof' (so not a draft novel then?) 'possibly by someone who found the watch'.  So she actually thinks the watch is genuine does she?  Which means she thinks that James Maybrick was Jack the Ripper does she?

Who knows?  I doubt if she even does. 


In response to RJ Palmer's comment that 'several disinterested parties' have concluded that the Diary is a modern, Barrett related, hoax, Iconoclast says that 'disinterested parties are hardly a source of truth in any debate', explaining that this is 'by dint of their very disinterest' b(#5597, 'Incontrovertible').  From this, one can only assume that he doesn't know the difference between someone who is disinterested (and who has no vested interest in a matter) and someone who is uninterested (who has no interest in a matter).  An interested disinterested person is, by virtue of not being influenced by considerations of personal advantage, the most likely person to be the 'source of truth' in a debate!


As mentioned in 'The Inside Story of Post #506' dated 6 June 2020 which can be found here, Caroline Morris recently told us this in #506 of the 'Problem of Logic' thread:

'On the very day before Mike swore his affidavit, Melvin wrote to Shirley, ending his letter with: ‘I, and my colleagues on the committee, are prepared to cooperate fully and freely, without prejudice, in order to make known the real facts in this case.’ How quickly that was forgotten – unless Melvin knew perfectly well that Mike’s affidavit and ‘the real facts’ had very little in common.'  

It will be recalled that my response to this in my article of 6 June was as follows: 

'And did Shirley Harrison respond positively to Melvin Harris' 'without prejudice' offer?  If so, what documents did she provide to Melvin Harris?  If not, why would there have been any obligation on Melvin to unilaterally provide documents to Shirley?  It's quite clear to me that Melvin's letter contains an offer which he expected Shirley to reciprocate, or hoped that she would.  If she had said in reply that she wasn't prepared to cooperate fully and freely, or simply never responded, no sensible person would have expected Melvin to simply provide information to Shirley on a one-sided basis.' 

It's always comforting when I am proved right (as always seems to be the case!) and I have now located a copy of Shirley Harrison's reply to Melvin Harris' offer to co-operate fully and freely with her, as made in Harris' letter of 4 January 1995.  Here is that actual reply (with personal details redacted) dated 22 January 1995:


As can be seen, Shirley Harrison flatly rejected Melvin's offer of cooperation, saying that, 'it seems inappropriate to pursue our dialogue further at this stage'.

Caroline Morris' claim, therefore, that Melvin Harris 'quickly' forgot his offer to fully cooperate with Shirley is revealed as the utter tosh and bunkum that I always suspected it was. 

Further, her attempt to smear Melvin by attributing to him a reason for not cooperating, namely that he knew 'perfectly well' that Mike's affidavit was untrue, is revealed as the usual despicable and false speculation that we have come to expect from that quarter.


18 July 2020