1. MR BEGG
Here's a weird thing. Please, look at this and tell me if you don't think it's weird.
Trevor Marriott addressed a post to Caroline Morris in my (Lord Orsam Blog) thread on JTR Forums on 6 March 2020 in which, in response to her childish word vomit that, 'You can really tell a man by his supporters' he posted (#170):
'Sometimes the truth hurts. I have no horse in this race and simply look for the truth. I personally have said from day one that the diary is a hoax.
If what Lord Orsam has published can be proven to be wrong then those that don't accept it have the chance to respond accordingly instead of posting snide remarks, which doesn't do them any justice and only goes to show that he has hit a nerve or two.
I have clashed with him big time several years ago on Tumblety but on that occasion I was right and he was wrong!'
Now, that's not the weird thing.
The weird thing is this: On 23 March, Paul Begg quoted Trevor's entire post and then wrote a response in which he completely ignored Trevor's central point that, if what I have published can be proven to be wrong, those who don't accept it have the chance to respond accordingly 'instead of posting snide remarks'. Perhaps this is because Begg himself was one of those, uncharacteristically, posting the snide remarks.
Instead, Begg posted a bizarre defence of Caroline Morris. This is what he said:
'No offence intended, Trevor, but what you have thought about the diary since day one is irrelevant. It's evidence, not a gut feeling, that's needed. And an honest pursuit of that evidence isn't having a horse in the race. I, like you and Caz and almost everone else, and their mother, think this diary is bogus, but none of us know for certain who was responsible for creating it. I don't have either the stamina or the depth of interest to pursue an answer to the mystery, but I am very grateful that people like Caz are doing so. So should you be.'
Isn't it weird how Begg says that he is 'very grateful that people like Caz' are pursuing an answer to the mystery but, in a post responding to a direct mention of me, in a thread entitled 'Lord Orsam Blog', he doesn't say that he is equally grateful to me for doing so?
But what is Caroline Morris even doing to 'pursue an answer to the mystery' except posting long rambling speculative posts about the perceived motivations of the players? Speculations which seem to change every single day, giving many different and often inconsistent reasons for why people like Mike and Anne did the things they did.
What's also, perhaps, even weirder, and certainly highly ironic, is Paul Begg saying, that what is needed is evidence 'not a gut feeling'. Yet, every single time Begg himself is asked if Mike Barrett did or could have forged the Diary he posts his gut feeling that Barrett wasn't smart enough or didn't know enough about Jack the Ripper!!! That's not evidence! It's just a gut feeling that he had about the man.
What Trevor thought about the diary since day one is not irrelevant. Same as for Begg himself, Caroline Morris, Keith Skinner, Paul Butler, Iconoclast or anyone else. True, it IS irrelevant when it comes to Simon Wood who doesn't believe that there was a murderer in the first place, so that his views on the authorship of the Diary (which will always be that it's a fake because he thinks there was no Jack the Ripper) ARE irrelevant. But everyone else is not only entitled to hold an opinion but their views are relevant because it's important that everyone assesses the known evidence and forms a conclusion. That's the only way a consensus can be formed.
The whole point of Trevor Marriott's post, which Begg completely ignored, is that he wants to hear and read the evidence, not name calling or insults. He wants to hear the responses to the substance of my posts. The whole point of what he was saying was that no-one is doing this, certainly not Caroline Morris whose backside Paul Begg wants to seem to lick all of a sudden.
What no-one surely wants is mates agreeing with their mates about the Maybrick Diary, or any other subject, simply because they are mates. That's quite sickening.
Sure, perhaps Caroline Morris has put a lot of work into researching the Diary. I've no idea. I don't see the results of it in all honesty. But perhaps she has. That doesn't mean that her opinions are not open to challenge or criticism. That doesn't mean that she doesn't have a bias or a prejudice towards a favoured outcome.
Paul Begg bristles at the notion at the idea of someone having 'a horse in the race'. He, of course, is totally independent. Yet, where is his response to all the evidence I've presented both on the Casebook Forum and on this website? I've been following carefully and I've seen absolutely zilch. Yet, what I have heard from him is childish muttering about me being mad and telling people to ignore me. How does that show an independence of mind on the subject? How does it show someone who is genuinely interested in the answers and focused on the evidence?
No doubt Trevor Marriott was wrong and confused to suggest that Caroline Morris thinks that the Diary is genuine but frankly I don't blame him. When pushed, she will say it was a forgery but she maintains an ambiguous stance at the best of times, often siding with arguments to the effect that the Diary was genuine. Indeed, as I understand her argument (which frankly I can't say I do) the Diary is a genuine hoax, an authentic fake or something.
No-one can accuse me of not concentrating. I've read and responded to hundreds of Caroline Morris' posts in great detail but even I don't fully understand what she thinks about the Diary so how can Trevor Marriott be expected to do so? Just look at the confused message coming from Robert Smith's book for which Caroline Morris was a fact checker. One minute the Diary is genuine, written by James Maybrick, next minute it may not be but it's genuinely historic, written almost immediately after Maybrick's death by someone who may not have been Maybrick but knew everything about him. Who knows what that's all supposed to mean?
If you look over the history of her posts you'll find her saying different things at different times. Sometimes it was a nineteenth century hoax, sometimes early twentieth century but at other times she seems to seriously consider the possibility that, perhaps, it was Maybrick who wrote it after all while maintaining a stance that, of course, she's never actually said this. To the best of my knowledge she's never explained who she thinks wrote it, when they wrote it or for what purpose. She describes herself as a close friend of Robert Smith who, on some days, tells us that the Diary was genuinely written by James Maybrick and she certainly repeats a lot of his arguments.
Seriously, I don't blame Trevor for being confused. When he says that he's stated from day one that the diary is a hoax this can at least be distinguished from those who say it's a genuine, historic and authentic hoax!
But more than this, he was clearly and reasonably expressing the opinion, and the frustration, that no-one who believes in the 'genuine hoax' theory is responding to anything I say in any material or substantial way. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he is intellectually interested in the answers to the points I raise from the 'Diary Defender' team. He might want to know if what I am saying is (a) fair and accurate or (b) a lot of rubbish. The answer, incidentally, is (a) but he's not going to get his answer with people of the undoubted quality of Paul Begg dismissing the articles on this website as mad while encouraging others not to respond to them.
Paul Begg was, of course, commissioned to assist Keith Skinner on authenticating the Maybrick Diary and this seems to have made him overly sensitive and defensive on the question of his independence. I don't care about any of that and neither should anyone else. He just needs to demonstrate that he is open to all sides of the argument. He can't just be 'very grateful' to Caroline Morris for all her posts defending the Diary while telling us in highly speculative terms how it couldn't have been forged by the Barretts but must have some deeper more mysterious history while also completely ignoring anyone who wants to tell another side of the story.
I've said it before but I'll say it again. Paul Begg should be ashamed of the way he's responded in public to this website. And shame on him too for the way he's responded to Trevor Marriott in this instance. His response was both weird and shameful. Time to raise your game Mr Begg and not hide under the protective and convenient blanket of not having the stamina or depth of interest, which is an ostrich-like way of putting your head in the sand in the face of all the bad news and evidence pointing strongly towards the Diary having been forged by the Barretts.
2. MR WOOD
Given the poor quality of Mike Hawley's Ripperologist article (see 'Fake Orders, Fake Discovery') you'd think it would be an easy matter for Simon Wood to demolish it. Yet, somehow he screws it up and misses open goal after open goal, relying on false and unsubstantiated nonsense to counter Hawley's claims.
His line of attack in the 'Ripperologist 166' thread on the Casebook Forum (#2) is to say that Anderson had other men available in New York who could have gone after Tumblety. This is absolutely untrue.
'there would have been little point in sending Andrews to New York, as Robert Anderson already had his people in the city. Ex-Superintendent James Thomson and his wife were staying at the Gilsey House hotel on Broadway [the tab picked up by The Times], negotiating with double-agent General Millen about giving evidence before the Special Commission.'
Pure nonsense. As Wood is even forced to concede in that very sentence, James Thomson was working for the Times!!!! I mean he's admitted that the Times was paying him. He wasn't employed by Anderson or working for him or the Metropolitan Police. He had a specific job to do for his employers, the Times; he wasn't under the control of Anderson so what on earth is Wood talking about here? Anderson couldn't possibly have sent Thomson on a Tumblety or Jack the Ripper related mission.
Then we have this madness:
'And whilst forger Thomas Barton was in US custody pending extradition to the UK, Scotland Yard Inspector Fred Jarvis [he arrived in New York seven days before Tumblety] had plenty of spare time on his hands in which to hunt for him.'
Barton wasn't actually arrested until the second week of January 1889 when Inspector Jarvis had his hands very much full in Philadelphia attempting to ensure Barton's successful extradition with a string of important court hearings in January, February and March which Jarvis had to attend. Simon Wood knows literally nothing about Jarvis' workload at this time, or what he had to do in order to secure Barton's extradition, yet he feels able from this position of blissful ignorance to say that he had 'plenty of time' to hunt for Tumblety in a completely different city!
Wood also gives the false impression that Jarvis was hanging around in New York because, he says, he arrived there seven days before Tumblety. But New York was the point of entry for everyone going everywhere in the United States and Jarvis soon had to travel out to Canada in December 1888 where Barton's wife lived. He wasn't hanging round in that city with nothing to do!
Then, in a sure sign that Wood is losing is marbles, he says this:
'The Andrews in New York story was designed to steer attention away from Scotland Yard's other wholly illegal US activities way out west on behalf of The Times, which the Pinkertons and Henry Matthews knew all about.'
It's hard to know where to start with this. The 'Andrews in New York story' was, in essence, a one day story in the New York Evening World which was contradicted by the World itself a couple of days later but repeated in a minor way in one or two other UK newspapers about ten days later. How could that possibly have steered attention away from anything?
And there were precisely no illegal activities way out west involving the Metropolitan Police on behalf of the Times! Wood identifies none and the only one ever alleged to have taken place (by Henry Labouchere) was proven to be false in legal proceedings by Inspector Jarvis for which Labouchere had to pay handsome damages to the inspector and make a grovelling apology.
It's just a joke that Wood clings on to this long discredited nonsense.
Finally, Wood still doesn't understand how Andrews returned to the UK. He says:
Inspector Andrews returned to the UK aboard the SS Peruvian.
As I have demonstrated, he returned to the UK aboard the Sarnia. But, frankly, that's the least of his errors.
Wood concludes his post by saying:
'You had to be an early bird to get the better of the slippery Robert Anderson. To stay in practice, he used to tell lies in his sleep.'
Wood just spouts falsehoods in his sleep and then repeats them during the day.
3. MR THE CLANGER
Good to see Gary the Clanger making his SIXTIETH post on the Waterstone's blog. Even though it's supposed to be about Rubenhold's book, the Clanger is continuing his one-man campaign against the bookseller's policies about selling books during the Coronavirus crisis. A blog page relating to a book about Jack the Ripper is undoubtedly the appropriate place to be making these types of comments and doesn't reveal an unhinged person on a pointless solo vendetta.
But while he's busy waging his war against Waterstones he still can't seem to find time to ask his great mate and fellow seeker of the truth, Paul Begg, if he accepts that there are serious errors in his book regarding the issue of the resignation of Monro. It's only Rubenhold whose mistakes he challenges, not Begg, never Begg.
27 March 2020