Orsam Books

Lord Orsam Says...Part 22

DREAM ON

The Major in #7635 of Incontrovertible:

'Now if I were Lord Orsam...'

Oh yes, everyone dreams of being Lord Orsam and what they would do if they were Lord Orsam but alas not everyone, or indeed anyone, can be him.

The fact of the matter is: I'm Lord Orsam, and you're not.

IMAGINARY INITIALS - THE PLOT THICKENS

Keith Skinner emails the Major on 1st December to reveal some major new information about the Kelly crime scene photograph:

'...very early 1993 Paul Feldman phoned and asked me what I thought about the 'M' on Kelly's wall'.

If that is accurate, it means that, in early 1993, Feldman was aware of an 'M' on the wall but NOT aware of an 'F', otherwise he would have asked Skinner what he thought of the 'FM' on the wall.

This is very curious bearing in mind the passage in Feldman's 1997 book in which he explains that the very first time he saw any initials on the wall was following a computer imaging of the photograph, when the letters 'FM' magically appeared as clear as day.

For that reason he should never at any time have been asking Skinner about an 'M' on the wall.  He should either not have known of any initials visible or believed there was 'FM' on the wall.

We are, of course, deep in the realms of diary defending here where literally nothing makes sense but might I suggest that, prior to speaking to Keith Skinner, Feldman had spoken to someone (Paul Begg?) and been told about this supposed 'M' on the wall?

NON STOP INSANITY MARATHON

During 1st December, Miss Information went on an eight hour posting binge.  Starting at just before 10.30am, she simply didn't stop until after 6.30pm, posting constantly throughout the day, in a total of eighteen posts in the Incontrovertible thread.

It was the usual twisted madness and I have no intention of responding to the entirety of her posts - it's too much even for me - but let me just point out a few highlights:

1. No surprise that Dizzy Miss Lizzy agreed with Error Bitha's nonsense about the 1891 diary.  She will agree with ANY theory other than the obvious one.   So she said that Mike wanted a book 'of the right age with enough used pages for the purpose...to see if unused Victorian diaries were ten a penny' (#7639).  But that wasn't what Mike was seeking at all, as I've already explained (in Lord Orsam Says...Part 21).  He didn't know the age of the photograph album and would have needed more than 20 blank pages to replicate it.  He wasn't even after a Victorian diary but one from a certain decade and certainly didn't need to agree to acquire the 1891 diary, and be sent it, to know that Martin Earl was unable to source any diaries with a sufficient number of blank pages from the 1880s which itself would have told Mike literally nothing as to how easy it would have been to obtain an old-looking blank scrapbook or photograph album.

2. Mike's research notes, she says, were all genuine, revealing his actual attempts to understand the contents of the diary EXCEPT for the claim on the first page that they were dated from August 1991.  THAT and THAT ALONE was a clever piece of deception on Mike's part (which certainly fooled Shirley Harrison) - 'a wee bit contrived' as Miss Information laughingly put it (#7640) - but the rest of it was entirely genuine, of course.

3. Mike doesn't make any sense when it comes to money, she tells us, because he 'pissed all over the promise of further royalties when he told Harold Brough in June 1994 that he had faked the diary' (#7642).  It sounds convincing until you realize that there were no further royalties anticipated of any significance at that time.  It wasn't until December 1994, and then again in the summer of 1995, that Barrett understood there could be some big money coming in the future (from a proposed film) and this affected the way he kept quiet about the contents of his affidavit.  Miss Information of course doesn't even consider the idea that Mike confessed due to feelings of guilt, which is why she can't really understand what he was up to in June 1994.

4. When she told her story about the diary having long been in her family, says Miss Info, Anne 'gambled' in July 1994 on nobody being able to prove it was stolen or created after the 1960s (#7643) despite the fact that, by then, a string of experts had already examined and tested the diary and produced reports, a major book had been published and no-one had come forward to claim it was stolen.  Not much of a gamble one might think.

5. Missing the point entirely, Miss Information pretends that the argument is that Anne prevented copies of Mike's affidavit being circulated (#7643) when the actual argument is that she kept quiet about it and didn't mention it to Keith Skinner, despite being in frequent contact with him.

6. After 30 years we have a brand new theory from Dizzy Miss Lizzy that Mike stole the diary from Eddie Lyons (#7643 and #7658 )!!!  So when she used to tell us that Mike purchased the diary from Martin Earl because he wanted to fix a price for Eddie (of £25) and that this matched the 'rumour' that she claimed Robert Smith had once told her of a diary being sold in an Anfield pub for £25, that was all utter nonsense!  The £25 was totally unconnected with the sale of the diary because no money changed hands.  Brilliant!

7. Disputing the contents of her own book which said that Mike's story of owning the Sphere book was corroborated by Jenny (p.145), and in which it is stated that Melvin Harris had 'seen Barrett's own copy of Volume Two of the Sphere History of Literature' (p.241), she tells us that there is 'no evidence' the book ever existed (#7645).  Go figure.

8. She still doesn't understand that Alan Gray was responsible for the contents of Mike's affidavit (#7645).

9. She doesn't understand what it means to write a document 'at the direction' of another person (#7646) as opposed to on the advice of or following the suggestion of.

10. She asked: 'Who has claimed that the real JM referred to his wife's godmother as his aunt?' (#7650).   This is the same person who, shortly after my 'Bunny's Aunt' article was published, wrote of 'Lord O's limited understanding of how aunts and godmothers can be interchangeable'.  For what possible purpose could she have written this?  It only makes any sense if she was suggesting that the real JM had referred to his wife's godmother as his aunt.  We know that Florence said she went to London to visit her godmother whereas the diary says it was to visit her aunt.  So, unless the real JM referred to his wife's godmother as his aunt, my article proves the diary to be a fake doesn't it?   

11. She speculates that Mike lied about the purchase of the word processor 'probably in the forlorn hope that he might be reimbursed for the machine' (#7655) but doesn't explain why he never appears to have asked for any reimbursement.

12. She inadvertently reveals that she has, after all, read my articles on Anne and Blackmail (specifically Silence of the Anne) because, after RJ Palmer said that Barrett gave Anne a copy of his affidavit, she replied 'How would Mike's solicitor have come by that information?' (#7657).  No-one has ever posted on the Forum that it was Mike's solicitor who said that Barrett had given a copy Anne a copy of his affidavit.  So she gave herself away by knowing that!  Ha ha! 

13. The refusal to accept that Anne actually received a copy of Mike's affidavit is actually my favourite twist of hers because, when I originally revealed that Anne had received a copy of Mike's affidavit, she said by way of excuse for Anne's silence that Anne had no reason to tell Keith Skinner about it. Realising how nonsensical this argument is, she's now changed her tune to try and cast doubt over the idea that Mike provided the affidavit to Anne, when he quite clearly and obviously did. 

13. Despite changing her tune, she nevertheless asks RJ Palmer disingenuously 'What is your evidence that she [Anne] was working with Keith in January 1995?'. It's disingenuous for two reasons.  Firstly, because we know for a fact that Keith Skinner personally asked Anne for a sample of her handwriting on 18 January 1995, and she gave it to him, so they were certainly in contact even if not 'working' together.  Secondly, because, as I demonstrated in Silence of the Anne, Anne was working with Keith constantly during 1995 yet said not a word about Mike's affidavit which she had received.

14. But, hey, we are told she could also have chucked it in the bin unopened (#7657).  Ha ha!  Course she did, dear.

THAT SLIP WHICH GAVE IT ALL AWAY

It's worth having another laugh regarding Miss Information's sloppy reveal about knowing that it was Mike's solicitor who wrote that Anne received a copy of Mike's affidavit.

When my article Silence of the Anne was published in September 2020, Abby Normal described it as 'a real bombshell' (#700 of the 'Special Announcement' thread), while RJ Palmer wrote (#701):

'The revelation that Graham received a copy of Barrett's sworn affidavit in January 1995 - and didn't say anything about it to Feldman's team - is quite provocative...'

No mention was made of how it was known that Anne received a copy of Barrett's sworn affidavit nor that it came from a solicitor's letter which was was something exclusively revealed by me for the first time.

In her responses, Miss Information gave no indication that she'd read my article. She didn't comment on it directly.  Yet I knew at the time that she must have been curious as to how I found out.

But no one ever subsequently mentioned Mike's solicitor as the source of the information on the Forum. 

We've seen that when RJ Palmer recently suggested that Miss Information should read my articles on the subject she replied, 'No, I won't'.  She then added, 'I can probably guess anyway'.  LOL!  

But we now know that she must have read it.


She couldn't stop herself.  She gave it all away by saying:  'How could Mike's solicitor have come by the information that Mike had hand delivered a copy to Anne...?'

Basic tradecraft error!   How did she know that Mike's solicitor had come by the information if she hadn't read my article?

And it only took her over a year to come up with the idea that Mike's solicitor had been bamboozled by his client.  But what possible reason could Mike have had to deceive his own solicitor that he had done something that he was being advised against doing?    

No, it's perfectly obvious that the very first thing Mike did after swearing his affidavit on 5 January 1995 was hand deliver it to his wife in order to show her how he could (in his own mind) destroy her if he wished, by releasing it to the world. 

Next thing we know, Anne is writing to Mike about being blackmailed by him and about the counter measures she will take if necessary. 

Don't forget that Anne had flipped out when Mike merely claimed that HE alone had forged the diary in June 1994. Just like Miss Information giving herself away by her careless mention of Mike's solicitor, so Anne gave herself away to Harold Brough in June 1994 by saying that Mike was 'trying to get back at me because I have left him' and that 'I will fight like a tiger to protect myself and my family against anything he says'.  At that time, no accusation whatsoever had been made against her and she was later hilariously unable explain to Shirley Harrison why she said what she did to Brough.  It was almost like she knew that Mike was going to accuse her of assisting him in forging the diary before he even said it!

THE CREDIBLE ADMISSION

I almost forgot one thing Miss Information said in her rantathon on 1 December:

'Even a credible admission to taking the diary from the house back in 1992, supported by one or more witnesses, would not necessarily prove it to some people's satisfaction'.

Hey, tell you what Miss Information, why don't we FIRST get the credible admission, or even just an admission, from someone that they took the diary from the house in 1992, whether supported by any witnesses or not, and THEN we can see whether people are satisfied with it or not.

My further reply to Miss Information is that even a proven fact that the person who presented the diary to the world was, in the weeks leading up to that presentation, secretly hunting for a Victorian diary with blank pages doesn't seem to prove to some people's satisfaction that this person was engaged in a forgery scheme.

MISS INFO IN AFFIDAVIT CONFUSION

In the same breath as criticizing Trevor Marriott for not being aware of all Mike's affidavits, Miss Information wrote (#7687 of the Incontrovertible thread):

'The 'first' affidavit from April 1993, was to my mind just as phoney as the second and third, from January 1995.'

WRONG!!!

There was no third affidavit. 

After swearing his affidavit of 5 January 1995 Mike signed a statement dated 23 January 1995.   He then signed a further statement dated 26 January 1996. Neither of these were sworn before a solicitor or Commissioner of Oaths.  There never was a third affidavit.  I've already stated this on this website.

Why does Miss Information continue to spread misinformation about this case on the internet? 

THE FIRST AFFIDAVIT

It's not surprising that Trevor Marriott was unaware of the existence of Mike's first affidavit - the one dated 26 April 1993 - bearing in mind that its full contents have never been published.

All we've ever seen from Inside Story is the last paragraph (numbered 9) and some of the penultimate paragraph (numbered 8).  The rest of the contents of that affidavit have never been revealed.

This is what we do know the affidavit said:

'had one more question before he lost his patience with me and that was "who else knows about it?".  He told me: "Absolutely no fucking bugger alive alive today".

9. Tony died two months later in Fazakerley Hospital following a massive heart attack. Although I had asked him on several occasions where he had got the diary from, he always refused to tell me, without giving any reason.'

Why the rest of it hasn't ever been published or posted I have no idea. 

The Diary Defenders must be in possession of it but they are not helpful people. They regularly withhold information then attack someone who doesn't know all the facts. 

INSIDE STORY

Miss Information was asked by Trevor Marriott if she could put her hand on her heart and say no one has been able to negate anything said in the book and her hilarious reply (#7696 of the Incontrovertible thread) was:

'Pretty much, apart from the odd typo I let slip through, and the odd continuity error, which naturally Lord Orsam and his biggest fans have jumped all over with unbridled glee'.

Continuity error!  LOL. 

It was all rather more than that (and it gave me no pleasure to expose the serious problems with the book).

The first exposure I made was that critical corroborating information about Mike's story was omitted from the book.  For a reason never explained, the authors left out the fact that Kevin Whay confirmed that it was perfectly possible to use a false name at O&L auctions and that their records wouldn't have identified the sale of an old photograph album which would have been included in a 'miscellaneous' category.  Yet the authors did manage to include (at p.167) the information which appeared to contradict Mike's affidavit, that O&L's records didn't identify a sale of a photograph album or scrapbook in the way Mike described (albeit that it was later discovered that O&L searched their records for the wrong years).

This omission was admitted by both Keith Skinner and Miss Information on the Forum but, as I've said, no explanation was ever given for it. 

The second exposure was that the entire central theme of the book which set out Mike's various changes of stories was written on a false basis because it was written on the assumption that Mike had made his January 1995 affidavit public immediately, which wasn't in fact the case.  This meant that it was impossible for the reader to understand what was happening during the period between 1995 and 1997 and certainly made it impossible to understand what was happening during an interview on 18 January 1995, said by the authors to be 'the most crucial interview Michael Barrett would give' for those who maintain the diary is not a modern forgery (p.170).

Another big problem in the book is the story of the purchase of the red 1891 diary which is bizarrely told in two separate places, making it hard for the reader to follow what was happening.  It it is discussed first on page 167, where all the reader is told is that the cheque which paid for the diary was dated 18 May 1992, 'one month after Barrett had taken the Diary to Doreen Montgomery'.  Then Anne is relied on to explain that Mike had merely ordered it 'to see what a Victorian diary looked like and to compare it with the journal'.  Then, the reader is told, it would have been a poor choice for forgery, without the authors making clear that Mike would have bought it sight unseen from a description read to him over the telephone. 

The bamboozled reader has to wait until page 237 to be told that, in fact, the red diary was sent to Mike on 26 March 1992, long before his meeting in London with Doreen (which doesn't seem to have been arranged at that stage) and long before the date of the cheque of 18 May 1992.  Yet the reader is told that this would have left Barrett 'with barely two weeks' to have obtained the photograph album and completed the forgery as if this was a problem, when Mike had literally said, both in his affidavit and at the Cloak & Dagger club, that it only took eleven days to create the forgery.

MAJOR TO THE RESCUE

In a gallant defence of his mistress, an outraged Major told Trevor Marriott that he read something he had posted as 'a clear statement that Skinner, Linder and Brown published material for which there was no evidential source' (#7699 of the Incontrovertible thread).

While it is, of course, admirable that the Major always leaps to the defence of his boss, handing over to her his balls at the same time, perhaps the Major will kindly reveal to me the evidential sources of the following statements found in Inside Story (where a part of it is underlined, I'm interested in the underlined bit): 

'Fortunately, she and Michael Barrett were granted immediate access to the museum's curator of nineteenth century manuscripts, Robert A.H. Smith.' (p.8) 

'In a telephone conversation with Harrison soon after Barrett's affidavit went public, Whay went further, 'Anyone who tells you they have got a lot number or details for such an album from us is talking through their hat' (pp.167-168).

'Barrett had assented to a meeting at his house with Keith Skinner, Shirley Harrison, Sally Evemy and a mutually agreed 'independent witness' - Kenneth Forshaw, an ex-Liverpool CID man of thirty-two years' experience - to discuss his sworn statement' (p.170).

'In a further affidavit, sworn on 23 January 1995, Barrett declared that his four visitors 'tape-recorded everything that was said and the truth is I felt overwhelmed by their presence and I had nobody present to advise or support me' (p.179).

'Within a matter of days, Barrett's affidavit had come into the hands of Melvin Harris' (p. 180).

'Three days after his 23 January affidavit, Barrett had another to swear, this time written by Alan Gray at his dictation' (p.181). 

'Initially Barrett announces to Feldman, Martin Howells and Keith Skinner, who are also present,  that he has come to prove how he forged the diary' (p. 202).  

'Alan Gray had now undertaken work concerning the Diary for Nick Warren as well as for Stanley Dangar and Michael Barrett, even writing an affidavit on behalf of the latter when his hand was injured.' (p.221) 

'Pressed by Skinner to explain why the writing was not similar to Anne's, Barrett announced that this was because Anne suffered from a multi-personality disorder...' (p.236) 

'On a visit some months previously, in March 2002, Barrett had given Keith Skinner ten handwritten pages, which he said he had transcribed from some of the missing pages of the Diary...The content in truth bore no resemblance to that of the Diary.' (p. 271) 

'Those who believed Anne was involved in a forgery hoax might have been surprised to find that as one of the alleged conspirators she had not accepted her share of the royalties over a year and a half after the publication of the hardback edition of The Diary of Jack the Ripper. (p.195) 

'Anne had shown no interest at all in the spoils of the diary' (p. 213)  

A reminder at this point that Peter Birchwood established in 2001 that Anne received, as proceeds from the diary, a sum of £3,666,74 by cheque on or about 7 December 1993, a further £1,298.75 on or about 5 January 1994 and a further payment of £1,000 in March 1994, a total of almost £6,000 (see A Dig in the Archives).

Perhaps the Major can also confirm whether there is any evidential basis to this statement, from page 191 of Inside Story:

'Barrett returned to this theme a fortnight later [i.e. circa 28 March 1995], when he wrote to his agent Doreen Montgomery.  It was pure anger, he claimed, that drove his allegation, contained in his affidavit of 5 January 1995, that Anne was responsible for the handwriting in the diary'.

So Doreen was aware of Mike's 5 January 1995 affidavit in March 1995, then, was she?  How'd that happen?

Let's also not forget what is said at page 206 of the book:

'On 20 October 1995 came a rebuttal of this possibility from a source that could hardly be bettered, Alec Voller, head chemist of Diamine Ink'.

The 'rebuttal' from Mr Voller actually came on 30 October 1995.  Not sure if Miss Information counts that one as a typo or a 'continuity error'.  

Finally, we can't leave the subject of errors in Inside Story without a quick laugh at page 234 which says:

'On Friday 11 April 1999 Michael Barrett arrived in London to explain how he had gone about his hoax.'

This was difficult because 11 April 1999 was actually a Sunday!

BEGG OFF KILTER

With reference to researchers having identified flaws in the content of Miss Information's book, Trevor Marriott wrote (#7700):

'If I recall Lord Orsam did just that and took her to task over the contents.  Of course Caz being Caz in her inimitable way ducked and dived to retain her status quo on the book and its contents'.

Frankly, I don't think Trevor had a clue what he was talking about here.  Yes, I have exposed flaws in 'Inside Story' but the main ones weren't while I was on the Forum.  It was on this website.  When those flaws I had identified were pointed out to her by Kattrup, Miss Information admitted the main flaw while stubbornly refusing to admit to another flaw I had identified (although she didn't seem to understand the point).

But following Trevor's lead, and presumably and foolishly thinking that Trevor must have been recalling an actual discussion between us, Paul Begg wrote (#7710):

'Maybe Caz did duck and dive, or maybe Lord Orsam was slightly off kilter with his assessments and she corrected him'.

Needless to say, Lord Orsam was not off kilter with any of his assessments and has not been corrected by Miss Information. 

I pointed out the BIG error on 6 June 2020 in my article Oh Carolina! under the heading 'SHOCK FAKE (?) NEWS'. It took a while for it to be filtered through (via Kattrup) into the brain of Miss Information but it eventually got there.

Here's what Miss Information said on 30 July 2020 in response to the flaw in her book I had identified concerning the meeting of 18 January 1995 (#331 of the Special Announcement thread):

'Apologies if Inside Story misled anyone....' 

Then in #355 of Special Announcement thread:

'It is unfortunate...I have no excuses, other than to clarify that it was primarily Keith's extensive research and documentation, which I used to create a chronology of events from 1992 to 2002, all of which gave Seth the basis for the narrative, which I then proofread and fact checked, chapter by chapter'.

No excuses, other than to blame someone else.  Keith Skinner on this occasion.

But then, on reflection in #362:

'I think the problem was my fault, because Seth was working on his narrative from my timeline...I think we both simply assumed at the time of writing that the affidavit would have been pretty much common knowledge soon after the event...'

And then a further delayed blinding flash of realization of an error that I'd already pointed out, in #364:

'I just realised that we wrote that Mike assented to the meeting at his house on 18th January 1995 'to discuss his sworn statement'.  It was a mistaken assumption on our part, writing in 2002/3...people like to blame, don't they, and my back is broad enough'.

Keith Skinner even chipped in via the Major to accept error in #344:

'I agree Inside Story is misleading and it reads like Mike's detailed account in his affidavit had already been examined in considerable depth'. 

and then to take some blame in #366:

'I should have read that more closely in the context of what had previously been said.. [there was] confusion resulting in, inadvertently, misleading readers'.

So I think we can safely say that Lord Orsam was not off kilter with that one. 

MISS INFORMATION'S SECOND ERROR

Pages 167-168 of 'Inside Story' contain the following quote (underlining added):

'In a telephone conversation with Harrison soon after Barrett's affidavit went public, Whay went further, 'Anyone who tells you they have got a lot number or details for such an album from us is talking through their hat' (pp.167-168).

This statement by the authors is false.  Whay gave the 'talking through their hat' quote to Shirley Harrison during a conversation on 16 January 1995.  So that obviously wasn't 'after Barrett's affidavit went public' which, as both Miss Information and Keith Skinner admit, was in 1997.

When confronted with this error by Kattrup on the Forum, Miss Information became very confused.  She seemed to think that Whay's 'talking through their hat' statement was made on 30 January 1997.  It wasn't.  On 30 January 1997, Whay told Shirley that 'no such description or lot number corresponding with Barret's statement exists'.  This is quoted on page 167 BEFORE the 'talking through their hat' quote, thus muddling up the chronological sequence of the book with respect to Whay's quotes.

In her confusion, Miss Information wrote this in #355 of the Special Announcement thread, immediately after advising people not to rely on anything on Lord Orsam's website:

'I don't know where the date of January 16th came from either, because there is no date mentioned on Page 167 of our book for any 'phone call' between Kevin Whay and Shirley'.

Well, the date of January 16th 1995 came from none other than Keith Skinner himself!  See #540 of the 'Acquiring A Victorian Diary' thread.  He produced the full note of Shirley Harrison's conversation with Kevin Whay on 16 January 1995.  This, remember, is the crucial conversation in which Whay also stated:

'Between 1990-1991 they held about 300 or more auctions and items such as an old photo album would have been in a job lot marked “miscellaneous items.” There would quite likely be several “Mr Williams” or “Mr Jones” as a lot of people use a pseudonym when buying at auctions...'

This corroborating information for Mike's affidavit was omitted from 'Inside Story' for reasons which are still unclear.

Continuing in her total confusion, Miss Information wrote in #357: 

'Shirley had previously dated Whay's statement [which is what we were referring to and quoted from on page 167 of Inside Story] to 30th January 1997, on page 315 of her 1998 paperback, so anyone interested enough in the minutiae could have put two and two together. I admit we could have made it easier for the more discerning and enthusiastic reader to get to grips with, but nobody's perfect! I'm cutting myself a decent slice of humble pie as I  type.'

No, she got it all wrong.  No-one could have put two and two together with respect to the Kevin Whay quote at the foot of page 167 which continues over to page 168 because that quote was said to come from a telephone conversation with Shirley, 'soon after Barrett's affidavit became public'. But it was, as I've said, actually from a conversation on 16 January 1995.  Miss Information seems to think it was a continuation of the quote from the January 1997 meeting but it wasn't.

Unfortunately, Kattrup seemed to give up on the whole affair, so Miss Information's further error was never properly pointed out to her and I assume (because she claims not to read these articles) that she remains in ignorance of this additional error in her book to this day.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE 16 JAN 1995 CONVERSATION

I've said it before that the 16 January 1995 conversation indicates that Shirley Harrison was aware at that date of Mike's affidavit but it's worth repeating it because Miss Information wrote in #355 of the Special Announcement thread:

'It seems that someone has got their wires crossed, or not updated their information, posted earlier this year on the boards, because the conversation between Whay and Shirley on 16th January 1995 had nothing to do with Mike's 5th January 1995 [affidavit], and actually demonstrates that Mike's 'unremarkable empty album' [as she had described it in her 1994 paperback] from O&L had morphed into a highly collectible album, containing 125 pages of WW1 photos - and a fingerless compass to boot.  At the time, Shirley could only work with what Mike had told Harold Brough in July 1994, which is why Whay told her that Mike's unremarkable empty album would not have been itemised or sold separately by O&L, but in a job lot of miscellanous items'.

However, the only person who has got their wires crossed or not updated their information is Miss Information.

It will be noted here that Miss Information is obviously aware of a conversation between Whay and Shirley on 16 January 1995 because she mentions it, having only just said that she didn't know where that date came from!!

Her argument in the above cited passage makes literally no sense.

Kevin Whay did not say anything about Mike's 'unremarkable empty album' during the 16 January 1995 conversation.  He referred to it as 'an old photo album'.  So he was obviously thinking of an old album with photographs in. It's entirely consistent with him having read Mike's affidavit.

Miss Information's mention of an 'unremarkable empty album' is a complete deflection here.  It's irrelevant what Shirley Harrison wrote in her 1994 paperback.  We can see that for someone who is always pedantic in the extreme about other people's arguments, her first sentence was very poorly constructed because she appears to be have been saying that it is the conversation between Whay and Shirley on 16th January 1995 which demonstrates that Mike's 'empty' album had morphed into a highly collectible photograph album.  But she obviously meant to say that it was Mike's affidavit which morphed the empty album into a highly collectible album (even though the concept of an empty album might just have reflected Shirley Harrison's own confusion, because Mike is never quoted as having used this description). But the expression 'highly collectible' is her own personal interpretation of what Mike was saying.  It's a distraction.  All we know is that Kevin Whay referred to the album as 'an old photo album' which was not inconsistent with what Mike said in his affidavit.

There are two key points to which I would draw attention from the 16th January 1995 conversation, but which Miss Information has never addressed, namely:

1. Kevin Whay referred to 300 more auctions having been held 'between 1990-1991'.

2. Kevin Whay said there would likely be several people called 'Mr Williams' or 'Mr Jones' at an O&L auction because pseudonyms were allowed.

As for point 1, as far as I know, it's only in Mike's affidavit where there is a suggestion of an O&L auction in 1990 or 1991.

As for point 2, as far as I know, it's only in Mike's affidavit where there is a mention of Mike using the pseudonym 'Mr Williams' to acquire the diary at an O&L auction.

For those reasons, it seems to me that Shirley Harrison was aware of the Mike's 5 January 1995 affidavit and had given a copy to Kevin Whay for his comments.

Miss Information to this day has never addressed my arguments on this score.  Why was Kevin Whay talking about 1990-91 auctions to Shirley Harrison on 16 January 1995? And why was he talking about bidders at his auctions using pseudonyms such as Mr Williams?  

The only thing that makes sense is that Shirley had obtained a copy of Mike's affidavit - didn't tell Keith Skinner - but arranged a meeting with Kevin Whay to discuss the contents of that affidavit.

Corroboration of this seems to be found in a letter written by Mike to Doreen Montgomery on 30 March 1995 (cited on p. 191 of Inside Story) in which Mike is said to have referred to his affidavit of 5 January 1995 and to have explained to Doreen why he swore it.  If this is true - and not yet another 'Inside Story' error - it means that Doreen must have known about Mike's affidavit shortly after it was sworn and about two years before Keith Skinner became aware of it!  

This point has never been addressed either. 

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BIG ERROR

While writing, I might as well explain the significance of the error regarding when Mike's affidavit became public.

In my view, the central theme of 'Inside Story' is that Mike changed his story so many times that it's impossible to believe anything he ever said.

In particular, the reader is left with the clear impression that Mike confessed to the forgery in June 1994 only to retract that confession a few days later.  Then the reader is left with the clear impression that he confessed again in January 1995 only to once again retract that confession a few days later.  By the time we get to April 1999, we, the readers, are so programmed to ignore what Mike is saying that we don't see the significance of his confession to the Cloak and Dagger club (and to the assembled guests at lunch the previous day).

It's actually almost certainly the case that it was Mike's solicitor who unilaterally withdrew Mike's first confession on his behalf, without instructions, in order to preserve the goose that was laying the golden eggs.  More importantly, it is now clear that, with his second confession, Mike withdrew nothing because that one was a secret confession, not for public consumption.  We can go further and say that Mike's audience was an audience of one: his wife.  He wanted her to know what he COULD publish if she didn't bow to his demands over their daughter.

The error by the authors of 'Inside Story' doesn't allow their readers to come to that conclusion.  All they would see is that Mike swore an affidavit confessing to the forgery on 5 January 1995, made it public to the world, yet when Keith Skinner & co. came knocking at his door 13 days later he completely changed his story for no sensible reason and said he'd received the diary from Tony Devereux after all.  But that's not actually what happened. 

THE MAJOR OFF KILTER

In response to Paul Begg wondering aloud hopefully if Lord Orsam was off kilter, the Major chipped in to say (#7714):

'He's spending too much time trying to fix that dreadful website of his to get anything right, Paul'.

Just another example of a diary defender happily making false statements on the Forum under cover of desperately trying to show that I am wrong about anything. 

The real evil about it is that it was the Major himself who posted Keith Skinner's apology and retraction, so he knows full well that I got it right and the authors of 'Inside Story' got it wrong but didn't see fit to inform Paul Begg of that fact.

I don't know where the date of January 16th came from either, because there is no date mentioned on page 167 of our book for any 'phone call' between Kevin Whay and Shirley. It seems that someone has got their wires crossed, or not updated their information, posted earlier this year on these boards, because the conversation between Whay and Shirley on 16th January 1995 had nothing to do with Mike's 5th January 1995, and actually demonstrates that Shirley had no idea on the 16th, that Mike's 'unremarkable empty album' [as she had described it in her 1994 paperback] from O&L had now morphed into a highly collectable album, containing 125 pages of WWI photos - and a fingerless compass to boot! At the time, Shirley could only work with what Mike had told Harold Brough in June 1994, which is why Whay told her that Mike's unremarkable empty album would not have been itemised or sold separately by O&L, but in a job lot of miscellaneous items.

The further communication with Kevin Whay, which we refer to on page 167, was indeed a direct result of Shirley reading Mike's 5th January 1995 affidavit for the first time, but this didn't happen until 'soon after Barrett's affidavit was made public'. [See bottom of page 167 and top of page 168 of Inside Story, plus Shirley's 1998 paperback, page 315]

We didn't have an actual date for when the affidavit reached the public domain [I still don't], but the relevant communication with Kevin Whay all took place between 22nd and 30th January 1997, and shows just how quickly Shirley went into action on finally reading Mike's affidavit:
THOSE TWO PROVENANCES

The Major challenged RJ Palmer's summary of his dreadful 'Society's Pillar' as having 'TWO excellent provenances' (#7713 of the Incontrovertible thread).  He then quoted from 'Society's Pillar' and stated without any explanation that 'It's not quite the way RJ portrayed it'.  Really?

Removing all the bluster, here is what the Major actually wrote in Society's Pillar:

'the Victorian scrapbook has two intriguing....back stories....two potential provenances...two profound coincidences'. 

That's not exactly a million miles away from saying two excellent provenances, is it?

The Major has also forgotten to quote from the heading of his section on provenance, which is:

'Two for the price of one: provenance'

Of the Graham family provenance, the Major said in Society's Pillar that there is 'an extraordinary aspect to this provenance' and that Florence's adoption of the surname Graham is 'staggeringly unlikely' given that 'the Jack the Ripper scrapbook came to light through a man married to one Anne Graham'.  

So that extraordinary provenance which is staggeringly unlikely to be untrue seems like an excellent provenance, according to the author.

The other 'intriguing' provenance is, of course, the discovery under the floorboards of Battlecrease on 9 March 1992, due to those floorboards being lifted on that day, which, the Major himself has told us, due to his superior knowledge of statistical analysis, cannot realistically have occurred on the same day that Mike telephoned Doreen Montgomery by chance.

So when the Major wrote Society's Pillar, he must have thought there were two excellent provenances.

One of them has, of course, now been quietly abandoned despite being so 'extraordinary' that the Major reproduced photographs showing facial similarities between Florence Maybrick and members of Anne Graham's family.

Don't worry though. When the floorboard provenance turns out to be a dead end, as it inevitably will, upon further investigation, the Major will rush back to the Graham provenance like a child running to their stinky comfort blanket.  

OMG CLANGER

Unbelievably the Clanger is still ranting on about Cat's Meats shops in the East End. The bad luck for the sake of his mental health is that he's discovered  that there was one in James Street of which he says (#370 of the 'Lair' thread on JTR Forums) 'Where better for CAL to have disposed of any knock-off horse flesh he got his hands on?'

To which the reader might well ask.  What fucking knock-off horse flesh?

Well, truly, I don't know if the Clanger is actually being serious here but there's nothing obvious to suggest he is joking.

From what I've read of his posts on the subject, the argument goes like this:

As his mother was known to be in the cat's meat business in the 1890s it's reasonable to assume that Charles was assisting her in the 1880s, and it's reasonable to assume that because they were involved in the cat's meat business in the 1880s (suddenly an established fact),  they had access to a cat's meat shop, and, as they had access to a cat's meat shop, it's reasonable to assume that those cat's meat shops must have been those situated in the streets in which they lived, and it is therefore reasonable to assume that Charles used one as his lair to take the bodies of women he murdered where he could cut them up.

Oh yes, it's all very reasonable and by the same token it's reasonable to assume that the Clanger is an idiot. 

SIMON WOOD IF HE COULD

Now that it finally seems to be accepted by everyone that Simon Wood NEVER saw, or even thought he could see, the initials which have been deciphered as 'FM' on the wall in the Kelly photograph - long after Lord Orsam revealed this exclusively to the world - let's remind ourselves of what Wood said after he had been asked by the Major (then posting as 'Soothsayer) back in 2008 if he was the first person to see those initials. Here is Wood's reply:

As we can see, he said (#250 of the Incontrovertible thread):

'Our forger was the second person to "see" the initials.'

By that, he obviously intended for people to think HE was the first person to have seen them.  Because he was so clever.

Tom Wescott replied to this (#260) to say:

'That's true, and I hereby accuse the diary author of plaguirizing (sic) Simon Wood.' 

Wood himself responded to Wescott's post in #264, not to explain that the diary author didn't plagiarize anything from him, but with a little ditty about plagiarism.

Then, of course, eight years later (#1626) we had Wood expressly stating:

'Not that it really matters, but I was the first to spot the initials on the wall in the Millers Court photograph'.

No, it doesn't really matter because he wasn't and he didn't! 

BEGGING THE QUESTION

Paul Begg had a very important message for the millions of people who believe the Maybrick diary is nothing more than an illusion, a figment of our collective imagination (#7692 of the Incontrovertible thread):

'Right from the beginning Keith Skinner and I said that the "diary" was a tangible thing, it existed, and  it had to come from somewhere'.

Wow, that is profound!

Had Keith Skinner and Paul Begg not immediately established that the diary was a tangible thing, which existed, and which had to come from somewhere, I doubt the rest of us would have managed to work it out to this very day.

Begg says that 'The important thing was to establish where it had come from'.

WRONG!!!

As any art expert will know, when presented with a painting which is tangible and which exists, and for which there is a purported artist's signature on it, or other clear indication as to which artist is supposed to have painted it (just as the diary is supposed to have been written by James Maybrick), the important thing is to establish whether it is genuine or a fake.

If it's a fake it doesn't fucking matter who painted it, or where it came from.  The identity of the forger is of secondary importance, if of any importance.  I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that the identities of the people who painted the majority of the fakes in the art world are unknown.  It's either the artist it's purported to be by or it's not.

With the Maybrick diary, the author was either Maybrick or it wasn't.  If it wasn't Maybrick it should be thrown in the bin.

We know it wasn't Maybrick because Maybrick would not and never could have written the expression 'one off instance' in his lifetime.

-------------------------------------------->  BIN 

STICKING WITH FICTION

The Bitha tells us he isn't interested in sources.

Martin Fido said that Maybrick 'went to his doctor what about seventy times a year' none of which, he said, were dates on which a Whitechapel murder was committed, and, although those alleged 70 dates have never been identified, or a reliable source provided as to how Fido  knew about them, the Bitha isn't bothered.  He likes what Fido was saying, so he believes it.

But my favourite statement from the Bitha came after he quoted what Martin Fido said and commented (#7729 of Incontrovertible):

'This is the actual statement and readers can make their own interpretations.  I made mine'.

This is ludicrous.  We can all understand what Martin Fido was saying.  No interpretation is required.  The question is whether Fido was justified in saying what he did.

I think the Bitha was here saying, bizarrely, that it's up to readers as to whether they agree or not with what Fido said.  

But, of course, it isn't.  The question is, what is the underlying source material on which Fido was relying for these 70 annual visits? The simple fact is that it has never been produced or found and is therefore unlikely to exist (especially as we've been told that Fido did no independent research himself into the diary).  Just because the Bitha prefers fiction when it comes to the Maybrick case, it doesn't mean everyone else needs to.

The only good piece of news to emerge from this sorry tale is that we have learnt the Major understands that it wouldn't make any difference if Maybrick had seen his doctor or chemist in Liverpool on one of the days a murder was committed because it wouldn't rule out the possibility that he was in London murdering someone earlier or later that same day. 

I don't usually follow the word "Major" with the word "understands" but we are making progress, slowly. 

THE MAJOR'S SCHOOL OF SHAME

While trying to school Trevor Marriott about the number of affidavits sworn by Mike Barrett, the Major made a schoolboy error himself by claiming there were three affidavits (#7731 of the Incontrovertible thread) when, as I've already said, there were only two.

Sure, Casebook wrongly describes Mike's 26 January 1995 statement as a sworn affidavit but I've already explained in a previous update that this is a mistake (see Lord Orsam Says...Part 10 under the heading 'THE BACKSLIDING'), which the Major would have known if he'd read my previous writings carefully.

Proving once again the old saying: 'No Orsam, No Comment!'.

OOPSIE

In #7734, the Major referred to 'the loaded views of Paul Feldman' (which the sensible Martin Fido would never have adopted) and to Fido's capacity to resist 'the wilder imaginings of Paul Feldman'.

That's real weird because not only is Feldman's book listed by the Major in his Society's Pillar among the six 'key publications' which the reader 'should certainly digest' but the reader is also told that, 'As an absolute minimum, the interested commentator should review Feldman's epic Jack the Ripper: The Final Chapter'.  

How bizarre for the Major to have directed his readers, above all other books on the subject of the diary, to one written by an author with 'loaded views' and capable of wild imaginings.

I must admit I'd always thought that the Major was probably the one person in the world who was so impressed by Feldman's loaded views and wilder imaginings that he became a goggle-eyed true believer instantly while reading the book.  But, like they say: Time Reveals All.

HOW TO NOT EXPLAIN BY CHRISTER 

Christer Holmgren stepped forward in #3691 of the Evidence of Innocence thread to provide a garbled non-explanation of the mythical '100 signatures'.  While completely ignoring the question which had been raised as to how many of these 'signatures' are from the relevant period, i.e. before 3 September 1888, he said:

'They are a collection of documents like school documents, voting documents, census documents, social status documents and so on, some of them signed by Lechmere's own hand, others signed for him by other people'.

There's quite a bit to unpick in that one sentence.

Firstly, 'voting documents'.  What the fuck are they?  Does he mean examples of where Lechmere's name is recorded on the electoral register?  Because that's all I think he can mean.

Secondly, 'social status documents'.  Again, what the fuck?  Does he mean birth, marriage and death registration documents?

Thirdly, 'some of them signed by Lechmere's own hand'.  Translation, a very fucking few of them.

Fourthly, 'others signed for him by other people'.  Other people signing for someone else is not a thing.  Yet he keeps saying it.

Fifthly, we can see that Christer has managed to produce only FOUR categories of documents in which Ed Stow has found Lechmere's name. As I've mentioned, we have no idea how many of them are from 1888 or earlier.  Any date after 1888 is utterly worthless. For all we know Lechmere walked out of the inquest and made a conscious decision to abandon the name 'Cross'.   The other thing we don't know is how many documents are from a period after Lechmere left Pickfords which is another important event because, having done so, he might never have used the name 'Cross' again.

Christer says that Stow is not willing to publicly produce the documents because he's worried they might be used without his consent.

Okay fine, so just fucking list them. Like this:

1. 1871 Census Return

2. 1881 Census Return

3. Electoral register for [year]

4. 1871 marriage certificate

5. Birth certificate of [x] in year [x].

and so on until we get to 100.  Then we can see how much value there is in this oft-cited figure.

We don't necessarily need to see the documents but we need to know what they are, individually not by general category. I'm certain that the reason that even the basic descriptions of these documents are not revealed is because it will prove what we all know, i.e. that by far the biggest single category are electoral register lists.  Further, the majority of those will be dated after 1888 and thus worthless. 

A LEGAL EXPERT SPEAKS

Keith Skinner, apparently now a legal expert, basing his knowledge on the dicta of Lord Justice Trevor Marriott, tells us in #7756 of Incontrovertible that:

'it is incumbent on the person making the affidavit  to ensure, where possible, the information is accurate and can be supported evidentially...'

An affidavit is certainly supposed to be accurate, and reflect the personal knowledge of the deponent, but there is no requirement for it to be supported evidentially if by that he means that a deponent needs to produce evidence to support the affidavit.  

Skinner also says that, in his opinion, Mike's contradictory affidavits 'cannot be rejected'.  I don't know why.  If two affidavits are believed to be false they can both be rejected, for sure.  That's not difficult.  The question is whether Mike's second affidavit was false or just mistaken in parts.

As far as I'm concerned, there was no proper reason for Mike to swear an affidavit in the first place.  I can see why it might have been thought to be a good idea, and it might have been the idea of Melvin Harris, but this is far from certain.  What Alan Gray is recorded as saying is that Harris told him that 'it is in the best interest of everyone to take a concise statement'.   That was a good idea because what Mike was saying about the origins of the diary needed to be put in writing in a signed statement.  But it's possible that it was Alan Gray who wanted the statement envisaged by Harris to be sworn as an affidavit because he then goes on to say to Mike, 'at the end of it we go down together and swear it as an affidavit'.

An affidavit is normally a document sworn during legal proceedings or for a specific legal purpose. That was not the case with Mike's affidavit.  It's unusual to go and swear one just for the sake of it, or from a general desire to prove a fact, such as the origins of a disputed document.

The reason why an affidavit is generally regarded as of more importance than an unsworn statement is because there is a penalty for perjury and most people who swear something on oath take care to ensure it is true.

With Mike Barrett, however, we know he swore an affidavit in 1993 saying he got the diary from Tony Devereux and then swore a second affidavit saying something different and contradictory.  This means that he was certainly prepared to lie under oath so that his affidavit cannot be taken as likely to be reliable, simply because it was sworn under oath.

Our legal expert, Mr Skinner, tells us that he is 'not even sure whether the January 1995 affidavits even made it that far [as being sworn on oath in a solicitor's office]'.  I'm surprised he says that.  The 5 January 1995 affidavit was certainly sworn by Mike before a solicitor (and that was the only affidavit he swore in January 1995). But as we know that he had earlier sworn a contradictory affidavit before a different solicitor we cannot rely on the sworn nature of his testimony.

So we should regard it as a statement of Mike Barrett but the real problem with it is that it was so obviously written by Alan Gray for Mike to sign.

Keith Skinner says that 'Some of the detail can be proved to be factually incorrect' but he doesn't tell us what detail he is referring to.  There are, of course, errors of chronology, some of which were subsequently corrected, but, if this is all he means by 'factually incorrect', it's a pretty worthless statement.  Mike might also have referred in his conversations with Alan Gray to a 'ticket' he obtained at the O&L auction when he meant a receipt, which ended up in the affidavit, but again not of any real significance.

As I've mentioned a number of times, the very first thing I asked Miss Information when I was on the Forum back in 2016 was to tell me what the things are in Mike's affidavit which are demonstrably untrue (other than errors of chronology) and she blustered and flustered but couldn't substantiate that claim. 

Perhaps for that reason she's got it into her head that I believe everything in Mike's affidavit and rely on it.  I don't rely on it at all.  I merely note that, the way the story is told in the affidavit, Mike first acquires the little red 1891 diary then goes to an O&L auction to buy the scrapbook.  For me, that is the key information in the affidavit - made all the more significant by the fact that it's hidden within the text - and the critical fact is that we have documented proof that Mike was searching for a Victorian diary with blank pages after his telephone conversation with Doreen, at a time when no-one had yet seen the Maybrick diary.

So I think Keith overplays the significance of the affidavit while at the same not not understanding its true significance.  I also think he places far too much weight on the fact that Anne 'never changed' her story about the diary being in her family when she's barely spoken of it since 1995, having first told the story in 1994, so that the fact that she's never changed the main elements of her story (albeit that some small details have apparently changed) carries far less weight than it would have done if she had been constantly telling her story to this day.

Keith also doesn't tell us how much weight he gives to the fact that there are clear similarities in some of Anne's handwriting characteristics with those of the diary author's.  Just like Miss Information, he's never commented on it. 

MORE LEGAL EAGLING 

In a later post, #7819, Keith says, strangely about Mike's affidavit:

'If it's produced in Court, challenged and falls apart, then would your character explain away the errors  by informing the Judge that there are bound to be some mistakes because his client was an alcoholic whose mind was a mental fog'.

I don't know why Keith has in mind Mike's affidavit being produced it court.  This simply reflects the point I was making that an affidavit is not normally sworn outside of legal proceedings simply to confirm something that has happened.  It's the kind of thing stupid people do.  Mike's affidavit wasn't going to be produced in court!  That wasn't the purpose for swearing it.  Even if it was false, no-one was going to be taking the point.  Who was going to show it to a judge?  No-one! Because there were no  legal proceedings in which the affidavit would or could be produced. 

I'm not saying that it would have been impossible to prosecute Mike for perjury for swearing a false affidavit but who would have been prosecuting? Realistically, it would have had to have been the police.  But they didn't even have a copy of Mike's affidavit! It didn't affect them. So Keith is really thinking on the wrong lines here.

ASPIRATION FULFILLED

'I am an aspiring crime fiction writer...'

So said The Bitha in #7761 of Incontrovertible.

Aspiring?

Listen my son, you've already got there.  I've read your online posts.  A fantastic collection of crime fiction.   Well done.

CONTINUITY ERROR CONTINUED

Talking of fiction, Miss Information continued to promote the idea that the critical error I found in her book regarding the public knowledge of Mike's affidavit in 1995 was 'a continuity error' (#7765).  Well if that's how she likes to comfort herself...

But she doesn't seem to remember my exposure, while I was still on the Forum, of the bizarre omission from her book of the information obtained by Shirley Harrison from O&L which corroborated parts of Mike's affidavit.  Odd that.  When eventually challenged about it (by RJ Palmer) she did indeed duck and dive, saying that well, the authors can't be expected to include everything and they'd still be writing it today if they did.

That was some serious ducking and diving there, not to mention dodging and weaving.

Keith Skinner himself couldn't work out why it had been omitted and Miss Information has never provided a sensible reason.

Might one suggest BIAS?

THE INSIDE STORY STORY

In competition with The Bitha for fiction writer of the year, Miss Information repeated the old myth that the authors of Inside Story all had different views on the case so that the book couldn't have been biased:  '...all three of us had different "takes"' (#7766 of Incontrovertible).

Really?

In which case how does one explain Miss Information's co-author posting on the Forum on 21 January 2018:

'I will just end by saying that Caroline (Caz) expresses and articulates my thinking clearly and accurately.  I seldom read a post where I disagree with what she has written'.

To me that doesn't sound like someone with a different "take" on the case.  You?

I don't know anything about Seth Linder but in light of what Skinner confessed to (and as far as I'm concerned it's a damning confession) it seems fair to say that at least two-thirds of the authors of Inside Story were EXTREMELY biased against the idea that Mike Barrett and his wife could have been in any way responsible for the creation of the diary - refusing even to consider it in any sensible way - coz that's what Miss Information regularly posts.

A MAJOR ERROR

'By the way, if you want pedantic, Casebook is wrong: the 3rd affidavid (sic) was sworn and signed on January 26, 1995 (not the 25th).'

So said the Major in #7764 of Incontrovertible.

So while correcting an error on Casebook the Major made his own mistake (as he would later admit). 

There never was a third affidavit sworn in January 1995. 

MIKE'S TWO AFFIDAVITS

So Mike swore two, and only two, affidavits.  

The first, on 26 April 1993, was sworn before Denise Anne Walker, Solicitor.

The second, on 5 January 1995, was sworn before Denis Philip Hardy, Solicitor. 

An interesting little titbit of information about Mr Hardy of D.P. Hardy & Co.

In November 1986 he was fined £2,500 after being found guilty of improper handling of a client's money.

In January 1995 he was the solicitor before whom Mike swore his second affidavit.

In June 1999 he was fined £9,000 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for his mishandling of the sale of a house as part of a client's divorce, and over the transfer of a case to another Liverpool Law Firm.

In 2002 his office was shut down and he was investigated in relations to allegations connected with the abuse of legal aid. 

In October 2003 he was struck off the Roll of Solicitors by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for improper withdrawals from a client account and ordered to pay a total of £27,000 in costs.

TAG TEAM FAILURE

I mentioned in the last update how one can address a post to one Diary Defender and another pops up to reply, usually to try and help them out of trouble.

A classic example of this arose in the 'Society's Pillar' thread when RJ Palmer asked the Major a direct question about the size of the photographs which had been discovered by Baxendale to have been stuck into the photograph album and, seven days later, with no sign of a response from the Major, Miss Information, in #8 of the thread, posted out of the blue for no obvious reason on a completely different topic about the linseed oil!!!!

Linseed oil hadn't been mentioned by anyone in that thread.  Hells Bells, it isn't even mentioned in 'Society's Pillar'!!!!  Yet Miss Information introduced it in a thread called 'Society's Pillar' for no apparent reason other than to change the subject and be an aggravating troll-like person.

Even worse, when RJ Palmer replied in #9 to note that Baxendale found that there was damage on the inside cover the photograph, thus corroborating the idea that Mike had removed a label from the inside cover, as he claimed, Miss Information completely ignored this and focused on a completely different point, not even connected to the linseed oil, of Mike getting the dates wrong in his affidavit (yawn!). 

As to that, Miss Information repeated her unsourced claim that, a few days after swearing his affidavit, Mike 'had no difficulty remembering the exact date he went to London with his timely replacement for the red diary: Monday 13th April 1992' (#11).

Even if this is true - and I repeat that no evidence has been provided to support that Mike ever remembered this date or when he is supposed to have remembered it - the simple answer is that someone could have refreshed his memory after he swore his affidavit.  That person could even have been his wife to whom we now know he gave a copy of his affidavit shortly after swearing it.

We also need to bear in mind that the affidavit was written by Alan Gray and reflected the knowledge of Alan Gray as at 5 January 1995, not necessarily the knowledge of Mike Barrett.  It's not even clear to me that Mike Barrett even read his affidavit. As I've mentioned above, it was sworn before a solicitor who ended up being struck off the Roll. Proper procedures might not have been followed. I can well imagine the solicitor asking Mike if he had read the contents of the affidavit and Mike confidently replying that he'd done so, when in fact he'd never bothered, with the solicitor accepting this to save time and happily taking his beer money for the swearing.

Then we have another problematic claim from Miss Information:

'I'll leave it to you to reconcile this with the man's total inability to recall requesting the red diary in March 1992, just a month before this most memorable trip to London, thinking that it was over two years earlier, and being quite precise about all the action taking place in early 1990'.

As I keep saying - and maybe someone one day will draw it to her attention - the date of 1990 in his affidavit was almost certainly a typo because it was corrected on one copy of the affidavit to 1991.  There's nothing extraordinary about someone in late 1994 or early 1995 getting confused about an event that happened in 1992, thinking that it happened in 1991.  Even if the visit to London was 'most memorable' that doesn't mean Mike would or should have remembered the date.  I have done a lot of memorable things in my life but if you asked me to tell you the years in which they happened I might well not have a fucking clue for any of them.

Then finally we are told by Miss Information that Mike allegedly is on tape telling Alan Gray that 'he gets his dates wrong on purpose'.  Well that may or may not be the case but it's impossible to comment because the tape hasn't been released and is being suppressed.  I have called time and time again for the release of the tape recordings yet while this is ignored the Diary Defenders continue to quote or refer to selective snippets to suit their own purposes.  Until those tapes are released nothing that is said about them by any Diary Defender, and especially by Miss Information, should be trusted.

THE OLD HOAX OLD DENIAL

On the same day as posting in the 'Society's Pillar' thread, Miss Information replied to RJ Palmer's long and thoughtful post about the origins of the diary to ignore virtually all of it and to state misleadingly:

'I don't claim to 'believe' that the diary is an old hoax'.

It's unbelievable that she can write this because she has stated in the past (as I've set out in previous updates) that she DOES believe the diary is an old hoax.

I really have no idea what caused her to change her mind, although I like to think it was my revelation about 'one off instance', but I do love the fact that we are all supposed to be able to keep up-to-date about her views which change on a daily basis. It might have been better if she had written: 'I don't claim today to believe that the diary is an old hoax'.   Who knows what she will claim tomorrow?

She also stated that, 'I merely continue to question the 'correctness' of a belief in the Barretts as hoaxers' but that's not true at all. That's not 'merely' all she does.  She has repeatedly stated that she positively believes that the diary was found under the floorboards of Battlecrease on 9 March 1992.  That being so, she needs to explain how it could possibly have ended up beneath the floorboards of Battlecrease if it was a modern forgery by someone other than the Barretts. Who would have been able to put it under those floorboards in the twentieth century and for what possible purpose?

A TALE OF LIVERPOOL

RJ Palmer made an interesting point about Mike Barrett's 'research notes'.  In those notes it is stated under the heading of 'Relevent (sic) facts connected with Maybrick':

'Married on 27 July 1881 at Saint James Church, Piccadilly, London - Not Saint James, Liverpool, as I first thought (see Tales of Liverpool).'

Now the reason why I think it is interesting is not quite for the same reason put forward by RJ Palmer.  

Palmer notes in #7771 of the Incontrovertible thread that Barrett couldn't give the relevant page number of 'Tales of Liverpool' here because he no longer owned the volume, having given it to Tony Devereux at some point in or before July 1991.

Well I'm not entirely sure that the absence of the page number is the key point here, I think there may be something more interesting going on

Before I explain, let me first state what is found in Tales of Liverpool on page 52. It's this:

'On July 27th, 1881, they were married at St. James's Church, Piccadilly'.

As I understand RJ Palmer's theory, it's that Mike took this from memory but I don't see how Mike could have correctly remembered the date of 27 July 1881.  Perhaps he took that date from another source (such as Ryan) but, if so, how could he have been certain from memory that 'Tales of Liverpool', not at that time in his possession, contained the correct date? 

So my own theory would be that, prior to July 1991, Mike must have noted down the date of 27 July 1881 directly from his copy of 'Tales of Liverpool'.  For that reason, I don't see a huge significance in the absence of a page number in the research notes because he may well have noted down the page number in his private notes.

The point I'd like to address is this:

Mike's story is that, when he first read the diary, he had no idea that it had any connection with James Maybrick.  He said that the first time he became aware of the Maybrick connection was when he saw a copy of 'Tales of Liverpool' in WH Smith and noted the mention of 'Battlecrease House'It's certainly true that on page 51 and then again on page 52 there are references to Battlecrease House.

Miss Information accepts the truth of this account and is on record as saying that, 'Mike was open and consistent about how the Florence Maybrick chapters led him to identify Maybrick as the diary's supposed author'.  She must be of the view, therefore, that Mike saw this book in WH Smith at some point in the short space of time between 9 March and 13 April 1992 (because on 13 April 1992 he told Doreen that the diary related to James Maybrick).  

But here's the thing.  The research notes that I've quoted suggest that Mike first thought that Maybrick had married in St James' Church, Liverpool.  This, however, is inconsistent with his belief that the first time he knew that the dairy related to Maybrick was when he was flipping through 'Tales of Liverpool' for, at that very same time, he would surely have seen the mention of the Maybricks being married at St James's Church, Piccadilly.

He couldn't therefore have ever been in a position when he thought that the Maybricks married in a church in Liverpool.

Now, it's just about possible that when Mike wrote in his research notes the words 'as I first thought' he meant that he first thought that the mention of 'St James's' in the diary (which the author speaks of wanting to burn down to the ground) was a mention of the Liverpool church of that name.  But while that is possible, it is incongruent.  One would have thought that, in that event, his reaction on seeing in 'Tales of Liverpool' that the Maybricks married at St. James's Church would have been 'Aha, now I understand the reference to burning down 'St James's' in the diary, it's because that's where James married Florence'.  Instead, he gives the clear impression that he already knew why 'St James's' was in the diary, namely because that's where the Maybricks got married, but thought this had been in Liverpool.  That's a puzzler.  He shouldn't ever have been any doubt of St James's Church being in London bearing in mind that it's so clearly stated in 'Tales of Liverpool', supposedly the source of his knowledge that the diary was written by James Maybrick.

My own belief, naturally, is that when Mike wrote the words 'as I first thought', he was attempting a deception of Shirley Harrison to make her think that he had travelled down a long research path and had just discovered something new in 'Tales of Liverpool' but he forgot to make this consistent with his story that 'Tales of Liverpool' was the very first book he had consulted on the subject. 

I would also note that, in what must have been Mike's primary source, Bernard Ryan's 1977 book (albeit unmentioned in the research notes), it's not entirely clear to the casual reader that Maybrick's marriage to Florence takes place in London.  On page 17 of Ryan's book it is stated that a date set 'for St James's' for 27th July. There is also mention of an 'important wedding at St James's Church' but doesn't expressly say it was in London!! 

I can't help thinking, therefore, that Mike's expression of surprise from 'Tales of Liverpool' stating that St James was in London is that his 'first thought' as to St James being in Liverpool came from the vague wording of Ryan's book. 

For an important article on Mike's research notes, see The Secret Source of Michael John Barrett.

BEGG'S PR SERVICES TO MISINFORMATION

Miss Information's official spokesman, Paul Begg, dropped in from his lofty heights to declare (#7794 of Incontrovertible):

'Caz has since explained that she doesn't believe the diary was penned by an old hoaxer'.

Oh really?

I'm old enough to remember August 2013 when Miss Information posted earlier in the same fucking thread (#1111):

What's that I see there from Miss Information?

'My current thinking is that it is an old hoax,...'

Is that right?

Better just enlarge it to make fucking sure: 

 

Yes, she did say that. 

And it wasn't exactly a one-off because she repeated it a few weeks later:

 

In case you can't see it, she's saying that her theory is that the diary is 'a much older hoax' (than the 1990s) supposedly based on details supplied by an 'inside ripper source' who she thinks might be Melville Fucking Macnaghten, would you believe?  Let's just confirm:

But in fairness, 2013 was nearly ten whole fucking years ago. 

What about in October 2016?

Am I readin' that one right Mr Begg?

Let's just ZOOM in.

 

Yep, that's what I thought it said:

'My take is that it has to be an old hoax' 

There seems to be a pattern emerging here. 

And on and on we go, a few days later:

 

In case you can't believe the evidence of your own eyes, lets take a closer look:

 

Yes: 'Old 'hoax' is what I personally favour,...',... 

You see that Mr Begg?  It's not exactly what you'd expect from someone who doesn't believe the diary was penned by an old hoaxer, is it?

Then fuck me, in December 2016, we got this:

 

Surely not, but yes:

'I also believe it to be an old hoax.'

You cannot get any clearer than that. 

She'd already shared with the world on JTR Forums in September 2011 her thinking that 'my gut feeling is that someone wrote the diary in the immediate wake of the trial':

Yet if anyone who has been concentrating, and actually reading her posts, now says that she is someone who supports an old hoax theory, she, or her official spokesman, snaps back to say, without any shame: no, it's not true!!!

Unbelievable.  

Now Dizzy Miss Lizzy has a right to change her mind I suppose but to the best of my knowledge she has never explained what happened after December 2016 to make her discard her 'old hoax' theory of which, as we have seen, she was once such an ardent supporter.

Was it my 'one off instance' research, perchance?  

 BEGG'S PR SERVICES TO MISINFORMATION CONTINUED...

Begg's PR statement on behalf of Miss Information continued to say:

'I assume she doesn't accept that the diary handwriting has been made to resemble Anne's handwriting'.

But the fact of the matter is that she's never disputed it.  She's simply never commented, claiming not to be a handwriting expert.  Her head has been stuck in the sand.  If she can't see it, it can't hurt her. 

So Paul Begg should not be making these assumptions and posting them on the internet.  Why not simply fucking ask her if she accepts or does not accept that elements of diary handwriting resemble Anne's handwriting?

Or is that too confrontational for Mr Begg, who is not part of the diary team, oh no. 

BEGGS PR SERVICES TO MISINFORMATION FURTHER CONTINUED

The main point that Begg seems to want to make in his propaganda statement on behalf of Miss Information is this:

'I could understand why the handwriting not matching Mike or Anne's could pose a problem for Roger's theory, and why the handwriting not matching Maybrick's can pose a problem for Ike, but I don't understand why there was a problem with Caz not identifying the handwriting of an old hoaxer whose identity she did not know'.

Honestly, does this guy pop in the stupid pills before he writes something about the Maybrick diary?

Of course it's a fucking problem for Miss Information that she can't identify the handwriting of the alleged hoaxer.  It's a MASSIVE problem for her theory that she doesn't even have a fucking suspect in the first place.

I mean, otherwise RJ Palmer or myself could simply say that our theory is that the diary was created in March 1992 by a modern hoaxer whose identity we don't know.

On that basis, will Mr Begg now accept that neither RJ Palmer nor myself have a problem with our theory?

DEEP DOWN

The Bitha tells us, with great confidence, knowing Mike Barrett as he did not, that Mike was 'many things, but he was not the hoaxer of this scrapbook' (#7796 of Incontrovertible).  Of this, he says that, 'I suspect RJ and maybe even Lord Orsam know this deep down'.

This is the usual nonsense.  I certainly don't think Mike had the skills to forge the handwriting.  I don't know if he had the ability to draft the entire text and I certainly think he probably had assistance with the drafting.  I have no problem with him having had the original idea to turn James Maybrick into Jack the Ripper. 

But the most important thing which the Bitha simply ignores in his post is Mike's request for a Victorian diary with blank pages. This is the KEY to my understanding of the case and of Mike's involvement in the forgery.

There is no other sensible reason for Mike to have been trying to track down a Victorian diary with blank pages at the time he did other than that he was looking for a vessel into which he or an associate could forge a Victorian diary. 

For me that is the 'game, set and match' that the Bitha speaks of and I believe he knows deep down that neither he nor anyone else has provided an explanation for Mike's hunt for these blank Victorian pages.

The icing on the cake is that Mike actually set out the full details of the Orsam theory at the meeting in April 1999 despite me being entirely unaware of this when I set out the theory!!   If he can't see how massive a confirmation of my theory this was to me then there isn't much point engaging in any kind of dialogue with him. 

WHAT A HOOT!

The prize for most unintentionally hilarious post of 2021 goes, of course, to hapless Diary Defender Stephen Owl for his claim in #7805 of the Incontrovertible thread that Trevor Marriott's posts are 'ignorant to the pint of embarrassment'

 

Let's enjoy it in close up: 

 

That was a post which really got its pint across.

IN TRACTION

From his hideaway on a cloud in dreamland, the Major asked RJ Palmer (#7834 of Incontrovertible) why Baxendale's solubility test 'has never gained a single bit of traction in thirty years?'.

In the Major's head maybe. but out in the real world, amongst sensible people who wisely ignore the nonsense of the 'Incontrovertible' thread, the diary is dead in the water, with no credibility whatsoever, in large part because of report of the Sunday Times Investigation of 1993 in which Baxendale was quoted as saying the ink was fresh.

But if the Major is puzzled as to why Baxendale's findings are not widely known he might want to consider that fact that certain diary defenders have suppressed Baxendale's findings.  As far as I am aware, the full text of his 1992 report has never been published in any book or online or anywhere else!  The general reader cannot get hold if it.  This is in contrast to the reports on the watches which can be found on Casebook.

Baxendale's finding as to the solubility of the ink has never been controverted. The fact that the Major has decided to ignore it tells us far more about him than Baxendale's finding.  Most other people in the world, I think, accept the game was over when the ink failed the solubility test.  Baxendale was a very experienced document examiner and there is no obvious reason why he would have been wrong about a simple test of this nature. 

When the Major started his 'Incontrovertible' thread, he basically asked the world to give him an incontrovertible, unequivocal and undeniable which disproved the diary other than the failure of the solubility test. 

FUN FACT - If you search the Major's 'Society's Pillar' for the words 'solubility' or 'soluble' you get no results!  That's how to stick your head in the sand on a professional level.  One of the key incontrovertible facts which disproves the diary is completely ignored because the Major cannot begin to controvert it!

EVIDENCE OF A MODERN HOAX

In the same post written from the City of Wishville in Dreamland, the Major claimed that there isn't enough evidence to conclude that the diary is a modern hoax and that no-one has this evidence, 'certainly not Orsam's 'one off instance'.

But why does he say this?  What is the answer to it?

Surely not the Major's half-arsed (and not serious) suggestion that the diary author lacked the inability to understand and write English by describing the assault on his wife as a one, off-instance.  He can't possibly be sticking by that absurdity.

And I'm quite sure he's not attracted by the Clanger's batshit crazy horse nonsense. 

So the Major must literally think that the expression 'one off instance' was one commonly spoken of by the English population in 1888 to the extent that James Maybrick felt able to include it in his diary without any explanation and was also the VERY FIRST PERSON in human history known to have written this expression down on paper, OR ANY SIMILAR EXPRESSION INVOLVING 'ONE OFF', while not a single living soul would do it again in at least the next fifty years.  Is that an idea that he thinks will ever gain any traction?

On planet earth, anyone can see that 'one off instance' proves that the diary is a hoax to the extent that anyone who doesn't think so at least needs to come up with a sensible evidence-based explanation as to how Maybrick could have written that expression in 1888.  In the absence of such an explanation, belief in the authenticity of the diary is nothing more than a form madness.

A STRANGE QUESTION

Miss Information, on her personal mission to spread misinformation across the internet, asked in #16 of the 'Society's Pillar' thread:

'Why did Lord Orsam have to make up his own date for the auction to make Mike's red diary claim viable, if it stood by itself as proof of his intentions for it?'

It's a pretty outrageous way to frame a question and, of course, I 'made up' nothing.  I simply discovered that there was an auction of Victorian and Edwardian effects held at Outhwaite & Litherland on 31 March 1992.

The existence of that auction fell bang into the timeline specified in Mike's 5 January 1995 affidavit in which it is stated that he went to an Outhwaite & Litherland auction following receipt of the red 1891 diary, which we know to have occurred on 28 March 1992.   It just so happens that there was an O&L auction three days later and that a purchase on that date fits in perfectly with Mike's claim that it took eleven days to create the fake diary.

It's also very important to note - which Miss Information ignores - that Mike expressly stated that he went to an O&L auction after receipt of the 1891 diary in March 1992 when he spoke to the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999. 

So, if he says he went to an O&L auction after 28 March 1992, which must have been at at least 11 days prior to 13 April 1992, I'm not making anything up by pointing out that there was an O&L auction of Victorian and Edwardian effects on 31 March 1992 in which Mike could theoretically have acquired a photograph album. 

TAG TEAM FAILURE

So Miss Information posted in #16 of the 'Society's Pillar' thread that:

'The advert Mike placed between 9th and 12th March would also make sense if it wasn't the diary he wanted, but just a bit of paper he could wave about, preferably an invoice or receipt, or even the advert itself - to prove his interest in such an item at that time, or to legitimise his ownership of the old book supposedly dating from 1889, for anyone at the Liverpool end of the operations who might accuse him of nicking it'.

Kattrup destroyed this notion with a simple but devastating question for Miss Information in #18:

'Why then would he specify it had to be blank or have at least 20 pages?'

The Major then attempted to respond on Miss Information's behalf by saying in #21:

'It had to have the characteristics of the potentially stolen diary if he was to pass it off as the scrapbook if anyone came looking for it?'

Except that this doesn't even begin to answer the question of why Mike specified it had to be blank, or have at least 20 blank pages.  In doing so, he was reducing his chances of getting any kind of Victorian diary.  Yet it is patently clear that the advertisement was asking for (a) a blank Victorian diary from a certain decade (b) or, failing that, one with a minimum of 20 blank pages.

The 'potentially stolen diary' wasn't blank was it?  And if it had 10 pages with writing and 130 blank pages, that would include a minimum of 20 pages but would be nothing like the 'potentially stolen diary'.

So the Major simply hasn't answered the question that Kattrup asked. 

And, as RJ pointed out in #23, the little red 1891 diary that Mike agreed to accept from Martin Earl looked nothing like the big black photograph album

I can't leave this point without noting that, aside from the fact that Mike wouldn't have had any idea that Martin Earl located his second hand books by placing advertisements in a trade magazine, and would never have seen that advertisement in Bookdealer, the idea floated by Miss Information that the advert would have helped Mike is utterly ludicrous.  The advert was in the name of Martin Earl so that Mike showing it to anyone, if he had even been aware of it (which he wasn't), wouldn't and couldn't have 'proved his interest' in a Victorian diary or helped him in any way.  And it doesn't make any sense at all.  Even if HE had placed the advertisement, how on earth would a request for a Victorian diary with blank pages from 1880 to 1890 have legitimised his ownership of a Jack the Ripper diary?

Just more bonkers mad stuff. 

TAG TEAM FAILURE CONTINUED... 

The Major's attempt to repair the damage was followed up by Miss Information's own answer in #27 (phrased as a question):

'Because the scrapbook had something like 20 blank pages after the writing?'

Er....let's just look at Kattrup's question again followed by that answer with one part of the question underlined:

Q. 'Why then would he specify that it had to be blank or have at least 20 blank pages?'

A. 'Because the scrapbook had something like 20 blank pages after the writing?'

So in a total comprehension failure, Miss Information has simply ignored that part Kattrup's question, and that part of the advertisement which requested, as a priority, a blank diary.  Why would Mike have asked for a blank diary if he was trying to match it up with a diary with 63 pages of writing and 17 blank pages?  A blank diary would be utterly useless for that purpose.

Now let's look at the question and answer again with a different part of the question underlined:

Q. 'Why then would he specify that it had to be blank or have at least 20 blank pages?'

A. 'Because the scrapbook had something like 20 blank pages after the writing?'

So in a second total comprehension failure, Miss Information has simply ignored that part of Kattrup's question, and that part the advertisement which requested, as an alternative to a blank diary, a diary with at least 20 pages.  If Mike was specifically wanting a diary with 'something like 20 blank pages' he would surely have asked Martin Earl for a Victorian diary with about 20 blank pages.  Instead, he asked for one with at least 20 blank pages, thus incorporating 50 blank pages, 100 blank pages or 200 blank pages, making a mockery of the Miss Information's answer.

But we need to do one more repeat of the question and answer with another part of the question underlined:

Q. 'Why then would he specify that it had to be blank or have at least 20 blank pages?'

A. 'Because the scrapbook had something like 20 blank pages after the writing?'

I suppose you've got to admire Miss Information's attempt to wriggle out of the fact that the diary only has 17 blank pages which she has laughably described as 'something like 20 blank pages'.

Why is it laughable?  I'll tell you why.  Because the Bookdealer advertisement literally EXCLUDES any Victorian diary with 17 blank pages.  So, if, as Miss Information has claimed, Mike was looking for a Victorian diary with blank pages which matched the number of blank pages in the photograph album  - and of course there is no sane reason why he would have been doing so but that's another matter - his request to Martin Earl had positively ensured that he wasn't going to find one!!!!

Naturally, a Victorian diary with 18 blank pages or 19 blank pages would also be excluded from the terms of reference.  It's utter madness therefore for Miss Information to randomly try to link the 17 blank pages in the scrapbook with Mike's desire for a minimum of 20 blank pages if he couldn't find a completely blank one which, according to the advertisement, was the thing he was actually looking for!

Why would Mike want a blank Victorian diary or one with a minimum number of blank pages? There is only one possible answer: to forge a Victorian diary.

I've been saying this since 2016 and no one, not a single person, has been able to suggest another answer which makes any sense. 

ALAS SMITH AND BROWN 

As RJ pointed out in #22 of the Society's Pillar thread, Miss Information made a basic factual error by referring in her post to 'the advert that Mike placed'.

She's normally so fussy about attention to details - and bollocks anyone who makes any kind of minor factual error about the diary - that it's remarkable that she still hasn't wrapped her head around the mechanics of how the advertisement ended up in Bookdealer.  It had nothing to do with Mike whatsoever.  He would never have known about it and would never have known there was incriminating evidence out there, albeit that his name wasn't mentioned in the advertisement so that no-one could ever have possibly traced it back to him without assistance from Martin Earl.

But the interesting thing is that Robert Smith made EXACTLY the same mistake in the first edition of his book (as I mentioned at the time in my article The False Facts Exposed!).  He too thought that Mike had placed the advertisement in Bookdealer (page 22 of his book, 'The True Facts').  This book of course was fact checked by none other than Miss Information, as confirmed by Smith in the Acknowledgments.  Smith corrected his error in the second edition but Miss Information doesn't appear to have deprogrammed her brain to the correct facts.

It's funny though.  Miss Information was caught unawares back in 2016 when I posed the question as to why Mike was seeking a Victorian diary with blank pages.  She'd had years to think of a reason but evidently hadn't bothered (she's had about one hundred attempts since then, of course).  And when she did first try to crack it, she hadn't even read the advertisement properly because she seemed to think that Mike was looking for a Victorian diary WITH 20 blank pages, not a minimum of 20.

To me, it just demonstrates where the priorities of the diary defenders lie.  They are simply not interested in anything which incriminates Mike.  They either block it out of their mind or, if they do notice it, they don't pay very careful attention to it.   When it comes to the electricians and the floorboards they are all over that subject down to every last detail.  The Bookdealer advertisement, aw, not so much. 

OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BEGGS

Wow!  You got it direct from the mouth of Paul Begg (#7863 of Incontrovertible).

'As for the Victorian diary, it looks suspicious to the point of damning'.

He's come around ladies and gentlemen!

It wasn't so long ago when he was wondering aloud why Mike would have wanted a Victorian diary in order to forge a.....er, Victorian diary. 

I guess the stupid pills have finally worn off. 

OUT OF THE MOUTH OF THE MAJOR

Just occasionally, but very rarely, the Major says something sensible, so it's worth marking the date of 13 December 2021.  On this day in history, the Major posted (#7839 of Incontrovertible):

'I've never understood why anyone would think a hoaxer would use their own handwriting.'

Hmmmn, he needs to make sure this gets through to Miss Information because one of her daft big points has always been that the handwriting doesn't match any of the known individuals associated with the diary.  No, of course it doesn't.  It was obviously fucking disguised.  If even the Major can see that, then it should be stark staring obvious to Miss Information. 

We'll see if Miss Information responds to the Major's post which is basically a direct attack on her, as just about the only person who thinks a hoaxer would use their own handwriting (spoiler alert: she never does). 

MISS INFORMATION'S GONNA SPREAD MISINFORMATION

#28 of Society's Pillar thread:

'But clearly Lord Orsam wants to believe Mike had some paperwork with him in April 1999, which was too incriminating to produce: paperwork with details to prove where and when he had obtained the black diary'.

Fact check: False.

It's amazing how Miss Information is so critical of those people who misrepresent her own (ever-changing) position yet she continually and recklessly misrepresents what I have said about Mike and the O&L receipt.

I have been very clear from the start - and expressly stated it in Man in a Pub - that I do not think that Mike had the O&L receipt with him at the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999.  My belief is that it had probably been long destroyed.  I think the way that his mind worked was that he did once have the receipt and so in his mind he could produce it, even though it wasn't in fact in his possession at that time.

Hence if you look at my 'Man in a Pub' article written in January 2020 I stated:

'The likelihood is that Mike had destroyed his receipt in 1992...'

The problem with Miss Information is that she refuses to read my articles - or refuses to admit to reading them - and ends up constantly misrepresenting what I've actually written.

What I also said is that while I believe Mike destroyed his receipt I can't be 100% certain of this.  But the main point I wanted to convey was that we'd never been told by anyone prior to the release of the tapes that Mike had become extremely nervous at the mention of an investigation into his story by someone who, he had been told, 'used to be a policeman for 23 years'.  He IMMEDIATELY responded to this information by asking if he was going to be arrested.  It just seemed to unnerve him.  

As we hadn't been told about this, it was impossible for anyone who wasn't at the meeting to form an educated opinion about why Mike didn't produce the receipt.

As to that, I also want to stress that at no point during the recording did Mike promise to produce a receipt for the purchase of the photograph album.  It was Keith who brought up the subject.

Miss Information then asked the following question of RJ Palmer:

'If Mike had those details with him in 1999 as Lord Orsam believes, why did Mike - and Alan Gray - have to rely on his faulty memory when preparing the affidavit of January 5th 1995, when he could simply have read off those details at any time if he didn't want to part with the actual paperwork?'

As this question is framed on a faulty premise - Lord Orsam does not believe that Mike had the details with him - it can be ignored.  Nevertheless, were it Lord Orsam's belief, the answer is so obvious as to be unbelievable.  Mike might not have bothered looking for the receipt in January 1995 or he might have looked around his house but not found it, only finding it years later.  That's perfectly possible.  Like I say, I don't particularly believe he had it with him but, if he did, he was obviously scared off from producing it by Keith Skinner's daft and impolitic mention of a former police officer (who was in the audience) investigating the documents.

Miss Information then asks a real stupid second question.  I can hardly bother with it, it's so stupid:

'If Mike had read up all about the ripper in order to fake the diary...'

Pausing there, that's a strawman argument which she's created in order to set up her conclusion.  No one has ever said that Mike had 'read up all about the ripper'.  In fact, what is always said is that he only needed to have read a very few books about the Ripper in order to fake the diary.  Miss Information says that Mike claimed in January 1995 that he had read up all about the Ripper but she doesn't provide a source and I'm quite sure he never said he'd read every book. 

But she continues, '...is it not a little odd that he feared being arrested by a well known ripper author, who had long since retired from the force?'

There are to massive assumptions there.  The first is that Mike would have known who Stewart Evans was in 1999.  Even if Miss Information is correct to say that Mike had read up all about the Ripper when preparing the diary in 1992, or even in January 1995, this wouldn't have helped him because Stewart Evans' first book wasn't published until the summer of 1995!  Before then Stewart Evans wasn't well known at all in the Ripper world. 

Secondly, Mike would have had to have known in 1999 that Evans had 'long since retired from the force'.  What he was told by Keith Skinner was that he'd given Anne's cheque book to Stewart Evans 'who used to be a policeman for 23 years'.  He wasn't given information as to how long ago Evans had retired, not that this would even have mattered. On this basis, Miss Information's question is utterly daft and not worth considering any further.  It answers itself!

MISINFORMATION REPEATED

#7875 of Incontrovertible:

'And why the need for any feat of memory concerning the awesome auction if, as you and Lord Orsam believe, Mike still had the ticket for years later, in 1999'.

I've already answered this, above.  It's not Lord Orsam's belief and there is a simple answer to the question anyway. 

RYAN'S WAY

Whenever I see a post by Miss Information or Paul Begg telling us what they would have done if they had forged the diary I always have to laugh because neither of them would ever have forged a Jack the Ripper diary!  So it's ludicrous for them to be telling us how they would have done it.  The just don't think like the type of person who would do it, so their opinions are irrelevant.

The latest from Miss Information (#7864 of Incontrovertible) is that, having read in Ryan's book that Maybrick paid weekly visits to Dr Hopper in the summer and autumn of 1888, and had his remedies entered in Dr Drysdale's diary, and regularly visited a chemist, she would have been 'buggered if I would be happy with the rest of it, as a hoaxer taking my own hoax to market'.  On that basis, assuming that everyone else in the world thinks like she does (which thank Christ they don't), Mike, as someone who had read Ryan, would have been too scared to forge a diary of Maybrick as Jack the Ripper. Regardless of the prospect of a fortune at the end of it, he would simply have thrown his hands up in the air and abandoned the idea due to the possibility, however remote that possibility might be, that someone would discover that Maybrick had a medical appointment on, say, 31 August 1888 or 9 November 1888.

But as we've seen, even the Major is aware that this would mean nothing.  We could have a record of Maybrick having seen Dr Hopper or Dr Drysdale or his chemist on 31 August, 8 September, 30 September AND 9 November and it STILL wouldn't even begin to disprove the diary. In fact we could have records of Maybrick seeing his doctors on 30 August, 31 August, 1 September, 7 September, 8 September, 9 September, 29 September, 30 September, 1 October, 8 November, 9 November and 10 November and it STILL wouldn't disprove the diary.

Because the murders weren't committed during the day!!  They were committed either at night or during the early hours of the morning.   With trains going to and from London and Liverpool during the day, Maybrick could have been in Whitechapel in the morning only to be visiting Dr Hopper in the afternoon and equally he could have seen Dr Hopper in the morning only to be in Whitechapel for a bit of murdering in the evening. 

If I can work that out, and if the fucking Major can work it out, with his few remaining brain cells, perhaps even Mike would have been able to work it out.  That's if he even gave a flying fuck about anyone disproving the diary. 

After all, his story was that he'd been given it by Tony Devereux so, if it turned out to be disproved by a researcher who knew where Maybrick had been every minute of every day in 1888, so what?  He'd just scratch his head, say that Tony must have given him a dud and walk away.

Miss Information continues to overthink this while at the same time not giving it any proper thought at all.

She is a nightmare.

And btw, did the Major contradict Miss Information and set her straight about how quickly one could travel between London and Liverpool in 1888?  Did he fuck, the snivelling little coward.

MAJOR AND HIS COUNTING PROBLEM

Talking of the Major, he dropped another bollock in #7869 of the Incontrovertible thread by claiming that Mike swore FOUR affidavits, 'one in April 1993 and three in January 1995?'

The number seems to be increasing by the day.  Previously it was three affidavits, now it's four.

This is the guy who patronisingly schooled Trevor Marriott on the subject Mike's affidavits.  

No, Mike swore two affidavits in total. The rest of them were signed statements.

THE MAJOR GETS HELP

Someone must have had a word in the Major's ear before he added another 'affidavit' to the growing collection. In #7885 we had a highly amusing retraction.

At the very same time as literally telling Trevor that he (Trevor) was 'making a fool of yourself with the enumeration of affidavits' the Major hilariously had to correct his own foolish wrong enumeration of affidavits!!!!  Hence:

 

Ha ha!

So having previously told us confidently (while correcting Trevor!) that there were FOUR affidavits, we are now  down to TWO. 

And I just love the way the Major says, 'but in fairness there has been much confusion about terminology'. Yeah from HIM!!  Had he been concentrating on reading his Orsam, he would have known that there were only two affidavits because I've mentioned a number of times that the other January documents were statements.

No Orsam, no comment!

Btw, the Major's list isn't even complete. He's omitted a signed statement dated 5 November 1994 in which Mike confirmed (for the benefit of Liverpool Police) that the Ripper diary was a fraud and also stated that his wife wrote the manuscript. 

Again, no Orsam, no comment! 

MAJOR CHERRY PICKER

I have once again been called a cherry picker by a professional cherry picker!  Cherry picking is literally all the Major does, yet he has the sheer nerve to write in #7885 of the Incontrovertible thread that 'What Lord Orsam does is called cherry picking'.

What's so unbelievably hypocritical about this is that I responded at length to the Major's previous accusation of cherry picking in Lord Orsam Says...Part 16 under the heading 'MAJOR MISUNDERSTANDING MISUNDERSTANDS' and then AGAIN in Lord Orsam Says...Part 19 under the heading 'THE MAJOR MISUNDERSTANDS'.  Yet the Major hasn't responded to a single word.

In terms of cherry picking the evidence, the real cherry picking going on here is the way that the Major only looks at Mike's affidavit (written by Alan Gray) and totally ignores everything Mike said out of his own mouth in April 1999.  That is cherry picking of the evidence on a Champions League level.

Has the Major ever addressed the implication of the fact  that the affidavit was typed by Alan Gray and obviously drafted by him?  Not to the best of my recollection, even though he now, for the first time, seems to accept Gray's role in writing it.  He just picks cherries.

Has the Major ever commented on the fact that a copy of the affidavit exists with the wrong dates corrected?  Not to my knowledge.  He still bangs on (e.g. #7883) about Mike's affidavit stating that Mike started to expose the fraud in December 1993 when that was an obvious mistake which was subsequently corrected to 1994.  He just picks cherries when it comes to the overall evidence in the case.

Has the Major ever called for the release of the recordings between Gray and Barrett which could help to explain why certain errors were made by Gray in the affidavit?  Not to the best of my recollection.  No, he's content for Miss Information to cherry pick a few exchanges from that recording without her, or his friend Keith, revealing the entire content of the discussions.

The irony of the Major's comment about cherry picking is that only two posts earlier he had discussed the issue in Mike's affidavit about the claimed use of linseed oil to remove a label from the inside cover of the photograph album without even mentioning that Baxendale's report stated that there was damage to the inside cover, thus corroborating what Mike said!  RJ mentioned this on the Forum only recently, yet the Major has simply ignored it, preferring to cherry pick with unsubstantiated claims about smell even though there is no evidence about what the album smelt like in April 1992.

On the other hand, I have dealt with every single point that's ever been raised about Mike's affidavit.  From the very start, back in 2016, I acknowledged the dating errors in the affidavit but that is simply explained by (a) Mike's own confusion about dates and (b) Alan Gray's additional confusion, not having had any first hand knowledge of the events he was writing about.

Has the Major ever dealt with the fact that Mike was reported in the Liverpool Daily Post in June 1994 as saying that he brought the diary to London in 1991?  Not to my knowledge!  He just cherry picks the bits of the evidence in this case that he likes while sticking his head in the sand with respect to the mountains of evidence which suggest that Mike was involved in the plot to forge the Maybrick diary. 

A FRAUDULENT POST

The ability of Miss Information to doublethink without even realizing it is a real superpower.

In #7888 she says:

'If RJ is accusing named individuals - one still alive - of fraudulently creating a written document together, it's a massive cop out to argue that he doesn't need to identify the writing because nobody else can do so, even if they have no idea who was responsible'.

There's three elements of doublethink there.

The first is that she's always said that anyone who wants to prove that Barrett was involved in the hoax NEEDS to identify the forger (whereas she is entitled claim old hoax or modern hoax but doesn't need to identify the forger!) but when RJ suggests an identity for the forger she thinks it's unreasonable for him to say that it's a problem for her that she can't herself do so!

The second is that in the same post in which she refers to RJ 'accusing named individuals', one of whom is still alive, of fraudulently creating the diary, she literally says, 'Without a penman or woman, there is no certainty that the diary was created by any of the usual suspects..'.  Er...run that past me again.  If RJ doesn't name a penman or woman we can't say we know that Mike was involved in the forgery but, if he does, he is accusing a living named person of fraudulently doing something, so presumably should not be naming anyone, so that we will never know anything ever!! 

The third is that, in order to make her point, there was no need for her to refer to 'named individuals' or mention that one of them is still alive or accusingly say that RJ is accusing that person of 'fraudulently creating a written document'.  After all, she herself, with her belief that the diary came from under the floorboards in March 1992, is accusing Anne of fraudulently appearing on local radio to claim that she saw the diary during the 1960s and indeed of signing a legal agreement relating to the diary when she suspected that the diary was a stolen document.  That is her OWN position.  Mike Barrett is already on record in a sworn affidavit as saying that his wife wrote out the diary.  It's not an accusation invented by RJ Palmer!! So what's the big deal about RJ pointing out to Paul Begg that Anne's handwriting matches the handwriting in the diary?

As I've said many times, to suggest that Anne wrote the diary is not to accuse her of fraud because it isn't a crime to write a diary out in manuscript whether in a disguised hand or not.

The fraud comes in selling it or promoting it or verifying it as a genuine document.

RJ also makes the good point that Miss Information is very happy to accuse a named living individual of stealing the diary from Battlecrease on the basis of no evidence from anyone whatsoever that he did so, in contrast to a number of statements from Mike Barrett accusing his wife of writing the diary. 

MENTAL

Here is a really mental statement by Miss Information (#7891 of Incontrovertible:

'If the 1891 diary had been sufficient proof...Lord Orsam would not have bothered looking for the only possible auction that Mike could have attended, between the 1891 diary arriving in the post and the Maybrick diary making its debut in London'.

This is utter bullshit.

Firstly, I have never claimed that the 1891 diary is 'sufficient proof' of anything.  That 1891 diary itself proves nothing.  I've said that many times.  The proof of Mike's involvement in the forgery is in the wording of the advertisement placed on Mike's behalf which specifies a specific time period and the requirement for blank pages.

Secondly, I never looked for 'the only possible auction that Mike could have attended'.  I simply carried out basic research - which no one else ever seems to have done - to establish on what dates Outhwaite & Litherland held their auctions during March and April 1992 and what type of auctions they held.  Mike could have attended any other auction anywhere else in the country for all I know and purchased the photograph album there, so the O&L auction on 31 March 1992 is not 'the only possible auction' Mike could have attended.  But I wasn't interested in all other auctions.  I just wanted to know whether it was possible that Mike could have done what it is stated he did in his affidavit by attending an O&L  auction after he received the diary on 28 March 1992 which would have given him sufficient time to write out the text of the diary before 13 April 1992, and it turned out that it was possible.

Thirdly, it is mental for Miss Information to suggest that if I found proof of anything at all in this case I would then simply sit down and stop doing anything further.  That would never be the case.  There will always be further questions to be answered.  Even if spoke to Martin Earl who told me that when he told Mike about the 1891 diary back in March 1992, Mike had said to him, "Thank you Martin, I really really need this to forge a diary of Jack the Ripper in the name of James Maybrick", I'd still want to know where the photograph album came from. Isn't that obvious?  Having proved the diary to be modern through the use of 'one off instance' doesn't stop me being interested in the discovery of other modern expressions in the diary such as 'bumbling buffoon'.

Miss Information really does talk such crap and for some reason it seems to all be about me.  While refusing or pretending to refuse to read my articles, she mentions me constantly on a daily basis and literally spews inaccuracies and misinformation about me which she knows I cannot post about on the Forum to correct.  

PAUL BEGG IN COMPREHENSION ERROR

So, the Major having made clear that there were only two affidavits, Paul Begg comes in a few posts later (#7892) to tell Trevor:

'There were three affidavits'.

Christ alive.  But sadly this reflects the standards of Paul Begg's posts on this case.   

Naturally, Begg wasn't corrected by the cowardly Major in the same way he corrected Trevor. 

MAJOR IN MAJOR CONSPIRACY THEORY NON-SHOCK

It's no real surprise to get a bonkers, evidence-free conspiracy theory from Feldman disciple Major Misunderstanding, but his latest takes the biscuit even for him. 

First of all, in #7883, he tells Trevor:

'By January 1995, the only 'friends' Mike had left in the world were the money-driven...Alan Gray and the agenda driven...Melvin Harris. The evidence strongly indicates that Mike was being led very firmly by these two into signing the 05/01/1995 affidavit which Alan Gray certainly typed-up for Mike (and who knows actually wrote it for him.'

I fear that the Major doesn't understand the English words 'evidence', 'strongly', 'indicates', 'led' and 'firmly'.

What the evidence actually indicates is that Melvin Harris sensibly advised or suggested to Alan Gray that Mike should put his account of the origins of the diary in writing.  That's it!

It's not impossible that Harris also suggested this should be in the form of an affidavit but there is only weak evidence to support that notion.

There is no whatsoever evidence that Mike was led 'very firmly' (or pressured) by Harris into signing the affidavit. 

However, even if it was the advice from Harris that explains why Mike signed his affidavit, there is zero evidence that Harris had any involvement with, or knowledge of, the contents of Mike's affidavit before it was signed.  Yet, when responding to a question from Trevor as to how Mike's affidavit came to be in so much detail, the Major responded:

'Alan Gray and Melvin Harris.  Read the posts....Between Barrett, Gray and Harris we got  what we got on January 5 1995'.

This is, of course, nothing more than a wild conspiracy theory.  There is no reason to suppose that Harris had any input as to what went into Mike's affidavit, yet the Major feels free to spout this evidence-free claim as if it's virtually established fact.

Even worse is that, if the Major thinks that Alan Gray and Melvin Harris - two men with no first hand knowledge of the events described in Mike's affidavit - were directing what Mike should say in his affidavit, and providing all the detail, why does he not then draw the obvious conclusion that THIS explains the dating and other minor errors in Mike's affidavit, which Mike never bothered to read or correct?

If he knows that Alan Gray typed Mike's affidavit why doesn't he seem to think that Alan could have made a number of typos which would also explain those errors?

More sloppy sloppy thinking from the Major.

ANOTHER MAJOR ERROR

In #7905 of Incontrovertible, the Major plays the game of creating a list of books which have been suggested by various people that Mike used to create the diary.  I don't really understand the purpose of it although it always seems to be to pointlessly discredit Melvin Harris' claim that the forger only needed three books: a claim which the Diary Defenders have been obsessing over for the last 25 years, even though analysis of the contents of the diary proves that it really only needed about that number.

After Kattrup decided that Mike might have read MacDougall, which is perfectly possible (although I personally don't think he did - there was no need to but, if he did, I'm sure it wasn't to look at the dates on the bottles of Maybrick's medicine which is a pure red herring introduced post-diary by Martin Fido) the Major created a new list.

The key point to which I want to draw attention is the asterisks in the below which are supposed to indicate which books Mike Barrett claimed himself that he read: 

This is inaccurate.   During the Cloak and Dagger meeting in April 1999, which the Major doesn't like to talk about, Mike said that he used Ryan's book for his information on Maybrick, as I mentioned in Man in a Pub.  We now know for a fact that Mike hid the fact that he had consulted this book from Shirley Harrison in July or August 1992 (see The Secret Source of Michael Barrett if you haven't already read it, which of course you have).

THE CONTINUED BOLLOCKS OF MISS INFORMATION

From #7911 of Incontrovertible:

'Without reading MacDougall's six hundred pages, may I assume that he included Dr Fuller's trial testimony, which Mike would have needed to read through for himself, in order to put a verbatim quote in the diary? Ryan only paraphrases, so Mike would have needed to engage the combined services of Mystic Meg, Doris Stokes and Pamela Ball to divine any of Fuller's actual words without consulting an earlier source.' 

I already dealt with this in the last upate in Lord Orsam Says...Part 20 under the heading 'The Misinformation Continues'.

The short point is that the diary does not contain a verbatim quote of Fuller. It contains a summary of what Fuller said at trial. Ryan's book also contains a summary of what Fuller said at trial.

So the forger only needed Ryan's book, not the actual trial evidence.

He certainly didn't need Mystic Meg, Doris Stokes or Pamela Bell.  Just Ryan's book which contained all the information about what Fuller said that was needed. 

I don't know how long it will take to knock this nonsense out of Miss Information's head but it clearly hasn't happened yet. 

LAW CENTRAL

I've always avoided the issue of Mike's £1 contract with Robert Smith because I don't think of it's of any real significance.

But I had to laugh when Miss Information said in #7919 of the Incontrovertible thread:

'Robert's legal advice, which came from Harbottle & Lewis, the Queen's solicitors, was that Smith Gryphon should purchase rights in the diary for a nominal £1.'

The Queen's solicitors, lol!, as if that makes any difference to anything.

Miss Information misses the point, which is not whether it was advantageous to Robert Smith to sign the contract, which is what Harbottles would have been advising him about, but whether it was in the Barretts' interest to do so.  As to that, we would need to know the legal advice being given to Mike, not the advice given to Smith.

Does the contract make sense?

Obviously I haven't seen the terms of the actual contract between Mike and Smith but the first thing that I should say is that there is nothing whatsoever unusual about a £1 contract.  It is, in fact, very common for certain types of deals. 

Every contract requires there to be a 'consideration', namely a sum paid by one party to the other.  Mike couldn't legally contract with Smith or his company to transfer ownership of the diary unless some form of payment was made.  The £1 payment was, therefore, a nominal payment which is quite unremarkable. 

Here's an example of when it makes sense.  A songwriter often assigns the rights of their songs to a publisher but, for new songs, the publisher is not usually expected to pay the songwriter for those rights.  The role of the publisher is to arrange for the songwriter's song to be recorded by a recording artist so that the songwriter can then (and only then) make money from the song.  If the songwriter doesn't assign the rights to the publisher, the song may not make any money so it's in the songwriter's interest to make the assignment.  But, unless we're talking about a very successful songwriter, the publisher won't normally want to pay any money to the songwriter before the track has been recorded and released.  So the rights to the song or songs are transferred for a nominal sum of £1 to make the publishing contract legal. Harbottle & Lewis as top music lawyers would have been very familiar with such contracts.

But was it in Mike's interest to transfer the diary to Smith for, in effect, nothing?

Well he could have sold it to someone, like Feldman, for a large sum but then he would have lost ownership and wouldn't have been entitled to the royalties from the book and film.  So perhaps Mike could have immediately gained £100,000 but lost £500,000 (or millions) in future income.  It would be very similar to a songwriter selling their song to the publisher but then losing all future royalties from sales and radio plays etc., which is why that isn't usually done.

Mike, therefore, might have considered, and been advised, that a sale of the diary to a third party (other than Smith) was against his financial interests.

That means that Smith was the only 'purchaser' in town.  Sure, Mike could have asked Smith to pay a large sum for the diary but he had no negotiating position on this because all Smith had to do was refuse and Mike was stuck with a diary which he couldn't realistically sell.

I can certainly see that Mike might have wanted to transfer the ownership of the diary to Smith in case he became drunk and agreed to sell it to someone for short-term gain, thus losing his right to future royalties.  Getting rid of it legally would have removed this temptation from his sight. 

Were there any other advantages to Mike in transferring ownership to Smith?

Well one thing I can think of is the security of the diary.  We know that Mike had placed the diary in the safe of a bank.  This wouldn't have been a free service and would have cost Mike money in the long term.  Handing the diary over to Smith would have meant that Mike was free of all worries over how to keep the diary safe.

So there was one financial advantage to Mike in doing the £1 deal with Smith.

Is it also possible that Mike had in mind that if he sold the diary to a third-party for a large sum he opened himself up to a possible charge of fraud should it transpire that he was selling a fake diary?  Hence, if he sold it to Smith for just £1 that took care of that problem?  Well that can only be speculation and I don't think it's staring us in the fact that this was his motive.

That is all.  Stand down.

THE GLUE POINT

It always amazes me how regularly Miss Information throws up her distraction points in an endless circle: all designed to distract from her inability to explain why Mike sought a Victorian diary with blank pages.

The supposed glue observed in the diary by Voller is the latest one (#7908).

I've dealt with it before (naturally) - see part 2 of How to Befuddle and Confuse - but just briefly, Voller saw some staining somewhere unspecified in the dairy above a dot of ink.  He thought the staining might be glue so said:

'Assuming this staining is glue..'

And there's the problem right there.  Miss Information wants us to follow Voller's assumption and then explain it!!!

But we simply don't know if his assumption is correct. The stain has never been tested, as far as we know.  Nor do we know the location in the diary where this staining was seen.  Nor do we know what type of ink it covered. 

This was an observation by Voller off the top of his head when visually looking at the diary. He was an ink specialist.  He had no expertise in glue.  

His observation, in other words, is worthless. 

But if Voller's assumption is correct it might just be that the glue was the glue which was used to stick photographs in the album and that this glue covered some ink left on the diary by the person who applied the glue.  In other words, the ink might be totally different to the ink used to write the text of the diary.

But we don't know!  Because we are not told.

But we ARE told by Dr Baxendale - an actual expert - that he found 'extensive staining', looking like glue, to the front cover, the flysheet and the stubs where the pages had been torn out.  Is this where Voller observed the staining?  If so, it's away from the dairy text so that any ink that Voller saw may have been put there by the photograph album's original owner and thus irrelevant.

The short point is that there is insufficient information for ANYONE, including Miss Information, to form a sensible view about what the staining that Voller saw actually was or whether it is significant.  One would have thought that if it was important Smith or Harrison would have arranged for tests to be done.  One would also have thought that they would have revealed precisely where in the diary Voller observed the staining.

In the absence of this, it's simply not worth bothering with, yet one thing I can say with great confidence is that in about a year or two Miss Information will repeat this daft point again and think she's valiantly defended the diary. 

HANDWRITING ISSUE

As I write this, the question of why the handwriting in the diary doesn't match Maybrick's handwriting has come up in the Forum.

There are two obvious answers which, surprisingly, no-one has mentioned.

The first is that the forger didn't know what Maybrick's handwriting looked like and, further, wasn't aware that there were any surviving examples of his handwriting.

The second is that even if the forger had seen Maybrick's Will and gambled that it was written by Maybrick (as opposed to a clerk), that forger didn't have the skill to imitate Maybrick's handwriting.  Furthermore, even if the forger was able to imitate Maybrick's handwriting THAT is exactly the type of thing that would have busted the diary as a forgery from the start.  A competent handwriting expert would immediately have been able to tell from the way it was written (i.e. it would have been hesitant due to the attempt at imitation), and from a close comparison with the real Maybrick's handwriting, that it was a forgery and THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE END OF IT.

Not attempting to imitate Maybrick's handwriting was actually the most sensible thing to do.  You really would have to be a master forger to imitate someone's actual handwriting for an entire diary and get away with it.

As it is, the handwriting is inconsistent and unnatural throughout.  Baxendale could see this and it was one of the reasons why he concluded the diary was a fraud.

THE HUMBLING OF PAUL BEGG

Whenever Paul Begg writes about the diary he seems to turn into a a gibbering idiot.  His latest was to say of the diary in #7939 of Incontrovertible:

'My conclusion...was that a less than scrupulous journalist wrote it...' 

As RJ pointed out to him, he was there perfectly describing Mike Barrett!!  Mike WAS a less than scrupulous journalist!

But Paul Begg has never been able to compute that Barrett was a journalist.  It just doesn't sink in.  And so he once again makes a fool of himself with another self-inflicted wound preserved in amber. 

THE IRONY OF MISS INFORMATION

It's terribly ironic isn't it that while chiding RJ Palmer for misrepresenting her views and beliefs in every other post, in ever OTHER post, Miss Information is misrepresenting MY views and beliefs? Hence, in #7945 we find:

'I meant to add that if Anne knew that Mike had that auction ticket for 31st March 1992, as Lord Orsam believes he did, then her 'I seen it in the 60s' story would have been toast the instant he produced it.  Where would she have begun to explain that away?'

Lord Orsam has never even commented as to whether Mike had the auction ticket (or receipt) in his possession in 1994 when Anne came up with the 'I seen it in the 60s story' so the entire question is bogus and based on a lie.  Other than whether he had it in his possession on 31 March 1992, I've only commented on the question as to whether Mike had the auction receipt in his possession in 1999... and my conclusion was that it was unlikely that he did so!

It's thus another dreadful post from Miss Information. 

But let's forget about 1999 and we'll assume that Mike did have the receipt in his possession in 1994.  The first issue is whether Anne knew this.  Miss Information seems to ASSUME that if Mike had the ticket that Anne would have known it.  Well the answer to that is maybe, maybe not.  If she didn't know, that's the question answered.

The second issue is that, from the information provided by Kevin Whay, it would seem unlikely that the receipt would have mentioned a photograph album.  At best, it would have said 'miscellaneous lot' but at worst might only have shown the amount paid, presumably by a 'Mr Williams (if there was a name on it at all) and, presumably, the date.  To the extent that Mike was in possession of an O&L receipt of a 'Mr Williams', that MIGHT have proved that Mike had been to an O&L auction on 31 March 1992 and purchased something on that date (although I suspect it wouldn't have satisfied everyone, with Mike not being called 'Mr Williams' and if there was no name on it how would we have been sure it was Mike's and not something he had obtained from a mate?) but would it have proved he purchased a diary?  31 March 1992 was long after Mike's telephone call to Doreen, so a purchase on that date might not have been believed in 1994 to have been for the photograph album. 

Let's not forget that in 1994, when Anne came up with her 'I seen it in the 60s' claim, Mike hadn't mentioned his attempt to search for a Victorian diary through a bookdealer nor the little red diary to anyone.  Nor had he yet sworn his affidavit stating the price he paid for the photograph album (or that he attended in the name of Williams).  So if he pulled out a receipt from an auction house for a miscellaneous lot from 31 March 1992 why could Anne not have made up a bullshit story to explain it like she explained away the little red diary?  I mean, she could just have said that Mike was doing some research  prior to meeting Doreen - perhaps research into Victorian diaries - and wanted to buy one so he knew what they looked like.

And this is why the fundamental premise of Miss Information's question is flawed, even when setting aside her mistake about Lord Orsam's beliefs.  She assumes that Anne's story would have been toast in June 1994 the minute Mike produced an auction receipt dated 31 March 1992 from a Liverpool auction house.  That is NOT true.  There was always a bullshit explanation that Anne could  have produced.  Just look at what actually happened when Keith discovered in 1995 that Mike had acquired a Victorian diary (the little red one).  Her story did not become 'toast' as it should have been.  Instead, she gave Keith a bullshit explanation that Mike had merely wanted to see what a Victorian diary looked like!!!

It took TEN fucking years for Keith Skinner to obtain the evidence which disproved this claim (i.e. the blank pages requirement) but by then Anne wasn't answering any questions. 

Like I say, I suspect the receipt was probably destroyed in 1992 but even if it hadn't been that wouldn't necessarily have deterred Anne from her 1960s story.

WILL LORD ORSAM DIE?

RJ Palmer addressed a question to Lord Orsam in #7951 of the Incontrovertible thread as follows:

'To Lord Orsam: we will all be dead by then, but  what are the odds that when the 1991 UK census is released, Barrett's occupation will be listed as a "journalist".'

Well first of all Lord Orsam rejects the suggestion that he will be dead by 2091.  He has no plans to die at any time within the current century, or at all, and such defeatist talk should be firmly discouraged.

Secondly, I would only note that Celebrity magazine folded in 1988 so that by 1991 Mike is not known to have done any journalistic work.  I wouldn't therefore want to be sure that he will have described himself as a journalist in that year.  But I will look forward to finding out in 2091, assuming that I don't forget to do so when they release the census.

OBSESSION

Proving the Diary Defenders' obsession with me, we find the Major in #7952 saying:

'Did Mike's stroke cause his GP to forget it ever happened.  It's possible I suppose (if you're Lord Orsam) ...'

It's bizarre.  I have no interest in Mike's alleged stroke.  I've never once claimed that it was a genuine stroke.  I think I only ever discussed the point once in my whole time on the Forum which was simply to note that the authors of Inside Story tell us that Brough thought in September 1993, when Mike was claiming to have had a stroke, that Mike had 'aged visibly'.  At this time Miss Information was saying that anyone could walk slowly with a stick, as Mike was reported to have been doing, but I wanted to know how it was possible to falsely 'age visibly'.  That's my only interest in the subject other than the fact that - stroke or not - Mike was giving the impression in September 1993 that he felt under a lot of pressure.  He was quoted by Brough in September 1993 as saying, 'My life is in total turmoil' and suffering from 'stresses and strains'.

My point is that this could demonstrate the type of pressure he felt under is why he cracked and confessed in June 1994 to the forgery.  I'm not interested in whether he actually had a stroke or not. I don't care! He clearly wasn't being truthful to Brough in September 1993.  Not only was he claiming to have received the diary from Tony, and saying that he 'nearly had a heart attack' when he read in a book (presumably Tales of Liverpool) that Battlecrease was the home of James Maybrick, but he was concealing from Brough the fact that he had been a freelance journalist in the 1980s because Brough said that he hadn't worked since 1981 when he was diagnosed as having kidney failure.

Anyway, the REALLY bizarre part of what the Major says is that he refers to a letter written by Mike's GP to Doreen Montgomery on 22 August 1994.  I've never heard of this letter before.  Presumably, until now, it's been suppressed by the diary defenders.  So how am I, or RJ Palmer or anyone else supposed to be able to assess Mike's claims without knowledge of this letter.  Above all, how could I possibly be accused of thinking that a GP might be lying - which is what the Major accused me of - when I have no idea what that GP said! 

It's a typical diary defender tactic.  Withhold evidence and then shout 'yaboo sucks!' when someone says something which contradicts that secret evidence. But they still don't publish it in full, just revealing the bits they want to reveal.

Clearly the state of Mike's health as at August 1994 is relevant so publish the entire letter, then we can see if he actually had any health problems at the time. 

LIE WATCH

Just want to record all the falsehoods being posted by Miss Information on the Forum about my supposed belief that Mike had the auction 'ticket' in his possession at all times.  This one from #7953:

'And why bother with that affidavit at all when, according to Orsam, Mike had physical proof of his claims in the form of the auction ticket for the scrapbook which was used?'

All part of her lifelong mission to mislead and misinform. 

MAJOR MIX UP

Five whole years after I first asked the Major to tell me the problems with Mike's affidavit he's had a fresh, and very dull attempt, at undermining it - see #7954 of Incontrovertible.

And what does it amount to?  Mike got the dates wrong!  YAWN!

Says the Major:

'So let's remember that Mike - in Lord Orsam's fantasy - is permitted to get his dates mixed up'

This is unintentionally hilarious.  Anyone and everyone trying to recall a story from the past can get their dates mixed up.  In fact, if someone isn't working from documents, but from memory, it can be expected that they will mix up the dates. That's anyone, even normal people with reasonable memories.  In this case we not only have a seriously drunken man with a terrible memory but his story was being told through Alan Gray who had no first hand knowledge of events (something the Major conveniently omits to even mention in his long post).

A couple of other moments of hilarity in the post:  

The Major wrote:

'I'm sure it was reported on this thread some time ago that WWI photographs were considered far more valuable than mere Victorian/Edwardian scrapbooks and that they would therefore never have been auctioned as a 'job lot' (maybe I read this elsewhere)'.

This is literally just after the Major has sneered at the idea that Mike might have had a bad memory and got his dates mixed up here he is ADMITTING that he is unable to remember the details of the very fucking thing he is discussing.  Not only that he but he is getting his facts mixed up too.

First of all, his source here is Miss Information which is an immediate red flag.  The clue is in the name.  Secondly, Miss Information has never provided any direct quotes from her own source (Mr Litherland) who was himself attempting to recall events from over 25 years previously.  Thirdly, Miss Information's source did NOT say that a photograph album with WWI photographs would 'never' have been auctioned as a job lot.  Fourthly, and most importantly, what Miss Information's source actually said, in her summary of his words, was the DIRECT OPPOSITE of how the Major remembers it, namely that they 'could have been sold together as a lot'.  

But I suppose that in Lord Orsam's fantasy, the Major has to be permitted to get his facts mixed up!

I mean, he ALWAYS fucking does, so why should he stop now?

The other thing he gets wrong is in attempting to work out from Mike's affidavit what happened during the period between 31 March and 13 April.  I already demonstrated how it was possible to do everything stated in Mike's affidavit within that time period after Miss Information made exactly the same false point (see Lord Orsam Says...Part 20 under the heading 'MISS INFORMATION STRIKES AGAIN').  In short, the Major, just like Miss Information, has counted the days wrongly.

Hey Major, now you've analyzed the affidavit, why not now analyze what Mike actually said on 10 April 1999 or is that too daunting for ya?

MISS INFORMATION'S FALSE STATEMENTS

She's spewing out so many these days. I'll number them but I can't start with number 1, coz she's probably made at least 100 false statements this year alone, so I'll start at 100.

FALSE STATEMENT 100

'Mike knew the date he took that scrapbook to London RJ: Monday 13th April 1992.  It was etched into his brain like the initials in the watch.' (#7961)

There's no evidence for this and none was provided.  A fabrication in other words. 

FALSE STATEMENT 101 

'Yet he dated the entire physical creation process...to a few days in early 1990' (#7961)

That's what is in Mike' affidavit, but did Mike actually say it or was that a misunderstanding of Alan Gray or even a typo?

On 10 April 1999 Mike dated the entire physical creation process to March/April 1992.  

FALSE STATEMENT 102 

'Orsam believes Mike had this ticket in 1999' (#7976)

False, even though she underlined it! 

Ironically this came within an hour of her previous post with a message from Keith Skinner accusing RJ of 'misleading the Message Boards by distorting and putting his own spin on information and presenting it as fact' (7974).

Is that what is known as diary defender projection? 

ANOTHER PINT OF EMBARRASSMENT

Ardent diary defender StevenOwl posted in #7964 of Incontrovertible:

'Jesus wept - I'm losing the will to live with all these armchair detectives who think they have it sewn up and yet still aren't aware of the basics regarding what lies Bongo told and when'.

That's not a nice way to speak of Miss Information who thought Mike swore three affidavits, or the Major who thought he swore four!

THE EASY GAME

'Whoever knew hoaxing was such an easy game?'

So said Miss Information in #7977 of Incontrovertible.

Actually, in reality, it wasn't such an easy game. 

The hoax failed at the first hurdle when an experienced document examiner concluded the diary was a forgery.

But this was ignored.

It then fell at the second hurdle when an English language expert from Oxford University concluded it contained phrases not from the period.

But this was ignored.

In then fell at the third hurdle when an entire team of historical document experts examined the diary and concluded it was a fake.

But this was ignored. 

It then fell at the fourth hurdle when the ink was scientifically found to contain an ingredient of Diamine.

But this was ignored.  

I guess hoaxing IS an easy game when the researchers who are supposed to be checking for a hoax simply ignore the experts and form opinions about age and authenticity based on their own uneducated instincts and hunches. 

Even then, it fell at the fifth hurdle when the man who produced the diary subsequently confessed to forging it with his wife and was proven to have secretly been in the market for a Victorian diary with sufficient blank pages to include the diary text.

But, of course, this was ignored too.

Experts and evidence all ignored.  Because they have a hunch! 

Well, I guess Miss Information was right, hoaxing IS an easy game when the people you are scamming are all gullible idiots. 

THE FALSE STATEMENTS OF ERROR BITHA

The Bitha seems to want to play the game of false statements along with Miss Information so I'll start an entry for him.  We can probably also start at 100 for him too.

FALSE STATEMENT 100

Of the red diary: 

'He didn't buy it - Anne did' (Society's Pillar, #32).

FALSE!  Mike bought it and Anne paid for it. 

FALSE STATEMENT 101 

'You may not like the fact that some well-regarded researchers are not willing to condemn it to the scrapheap where you feel it belongs' (Ibid #32).

FALSE!  No well-regarded researchers are unwilling to condemn it to the scrapheap.  I don't know of a single well-regarded researcher who thinks the diary is genuine.  The Bitha is confused about the argument going on around him which is simply whether Mike Barrett (and his wife) forged the diary or someone else did. 

FALSE STATEMENT 102

'Mike only had to produce one receipt that corroborated his story and he never did'. (Ibid #32)

FALSE!  We have no idea if production of a receipt would have sufficiently corroborated Mike's story.  Aside from the fact that we don't know what information a genuine receipt from O&L would have contained, receipts can be forged too!  Also, other things have corroborated Mike's story, like the advertisement placed on his behalf in Bookdealer for a Victorian diary with blank pages.

NONSENSE LIMIT EXCEEDED

As at time of writing this entry, on 17 December 2021, Miss Information has surely exceeded her quota of nonsense that she's legally allowed to post on the Message Boards.

In #7895 of Incontrovertible, in order to counter the painful fact that Anne Graham was fully aware of Mike's affidavit in January 1995, but failed to mention it to Keith Skinner, she wrote:

'...there is no evidence that she didn't chuck it in the bin unread, along with other unwelcome letters he was foisting on her'. 

This is just ludicrous.  Aside from there being no evidence that Anne was destroying Mike's letters unread - on the contrary, she clearly DID read the note posted through her letterbox in which Mike threatened to kill her - Miss Information seems to have forgotten that Anne was going through a divorce with Mike and a legal battle for custody of Caroline at the time.  There is no way on god's green earth that Anne would have been destroying documents from Mike without reading them, let alone legal looking documents, such as affidavits.

Aside from anything else, if the missives from Mike were bad, they could be have used favourably to her in the legal proceedings.  That's the very point that Mike's solicitor was making to Mike.  Don't send any more affidavits to Anne because she could use them against you.

It's all just wishful thinking on Miss Information's part to think that Anne would for one second have been destroying communications from Mike without reading them. And god only knows why she keeps defending Anne who, on her own theory of the case, is a bare faced liar of the most incredible type - going in local radio for fuck's sake to spew lies about the diary - for whom merely concealing information from Keith Skinner would have been a walk in the park. 

There can be no reasonable doubt that Mike delivered his affidavit to Anne and that Anne read it but didn't mention it to Keith Skinner.  That is certain.  It's one of the few certainties in the case.   

Miss Information's original theory, remember, was that Anne probably didn't think she needed to mention it to Keith. Good luck with that one.  We all know why Anne didn't mention Mike's affidavit, in which he accused her for the first time (to her knowledge) of forging the diary,  don't we? 

AND THERE WE HAVE IT

After a long speculative post about why the forger of the diary would or would not have done certain things, Paul Begg (in #7987 of Incontrovertible) said:

'It always amazes me that anyone ever tries to fake something, especially a document'.

So probably not the best person to be explaining the forger's motives, then, considering that he doesn't have the first fucking clue. 

DIZZY MISS BEGG

The man who, in June 1992, went on record to say that 'I incline to the belief that the diary is genuine...I honestly cannot see any reasonable alternative' now wants to try and restore his credibility by telling us, 'I recall that I  even stated that I thought it was a fake, and I even made a note to that effect when I first saw it'.

Congratulations Dizzy Miss Begg!

So why doesn't he seem to think that the Barretts faked the diary today?

He's obsessed with the handwriting issue.

I can only stress that the very LAST thing that any amateur forger should have done was attempt to imitate Maybrick's handwriting (if they could even find any examples of it). The one thing handwriting experts are really good at is establishing whether someone has made an attempt to imitate someone else's handwriting.  To be able to copy someone's handwriting is a REALLY difficult skill to pull off and even professional forgers often get caught out this way.

On the other hand, the one thing that handwriting experts have trouble with is identifying the handwriting of someone who has disguised their handwriting.

So the forger, knowingly or unknowingly, actually did the most sensible thing by attempting to write in what they obviously thought was a general Victorian style without fussing about the handwriting.

What's so amazing to me is that diary defenders say that Anne didn't have the skill to disguise her handwriting YET in the very next breath will tell us, in effect, that they would have accepted she was the forger if the handwriting had matched Maybrick's!!!!!

Yes, their brains are so broken that THAT is what they are saying. 

LET'S ASK MIKE

The diary defenders, naturally, ignore what Mike Barrett himself said about the handwriting issue.

As I set out in A Man in a Pub this is how the Q&A on the topic went at the Cloak & Dagger meeting on 10 April 1999:

Q. 'So why didn't you make the diary resemble his handwriting at all?

A. 'Very, very simple, I never had any examples of James Maybrick's handwriting.'

Why does Begg have a problem with that?

TREVOR DOES IT AGAIN

In #148 of the 'Work amongst the fallen...' thread, in order to justify the police in 1888 labelling the C5 as prostitutes, Trevor Marriott quoted from what he described as 'Sir Howard Vincents police codes in dealing with prostitutes'.  The key passage he quoted (which he underlined) was this:

'A constable may arrest, without warrant, any person whom he sees committing one of these offences.  It is, however, necessary to prove that the woman is a common prostitute, and therefore the usual practice is that she should be cautioned the first time she is seen committing the offence, a note being made of the fact of the caution being given.'

About this, Trevor commented:  'This would have been  on an official record which I have no doubt the police referred to when describing the victims as prostitutes.'

The problem is that Trevor doesn't have access to an 1888 or 1889 copy of the police code.  As a result, EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME he cites the police code he does so from a copy available online (at forgottenfutures.com) which is the edition from 1912.

The 1888 version of the police code doesn't contain any mention of anything Trevor cited and thus does not say that the usual police practice is to caution a woman the first time she is seen committing an offence of prostitution.

Trevor continues to make unhistorical arguments based on the wrong version police code. 

WOOD TALKS TO HIMSELF

Simon Wood #171 of 'Work amongst the fallen...' thread on Casebook:

'Unfortunates were also known as members of the frail sisterhood'.

No-one took any notice of him so Wood posted again in #190 to say in reply to his own post:

'Nowhere have I seen the C5 referred to as members of The Frail Sisterhood'.

Heaven only knows what point he was trying to make but Chief Censor Menges immediately referred him to an 1888 article in the Star in which Stride was referred to as one of the frail sisterhood!

Wood's response?  'You win some, you lose some'.  I think he meant, 'You lose some, you lose the rest'.

MAD HARRY AND HIS JAMAICAN NEWSPAPERS

Harry claimed to have made another amazing discovery in the Jamaican newspaper archives, about which he was reticent in providing proof.

He pulled the same stunt a couple of years ago claiming that he'd discovered a reference to 'one off retail' in a nineteenth century Jamaican newspaper.  He was equally reticent to provide the proof back then.  No wonder, because it turned out to be 'one on retail' which he'd misread!

He doesn't seem to have learnt his lesson.  

It will also be recalled that in #981 of the 'Kate's Apron' thread, Harry claimed that Mr Justice Lumb had been reported as saying 'in an 1880s newspaper' that, 'in reference to the shorthand notes alluded to, in every court in England, shorthand writers attended the court, not officially, but to take notes of the cases, so that afterwards, if the notes were required, who ever wanted to them would have to pay for them'

I've now located the newspaper in question and, while the quote is correct (but Lumb obviously meant all criminal courts at sessions or assizes level, not inquests or police courts, as I mentioned in Lord Orsam Says...Part 17 ), it's the Kingston Daily Gleaner of Jamaica from 28 August 1893.  Not, therefore, a newspaper from the 1880s as Harry claimed!

It's the same thing with his claim that someone called Harry McMahon was described as an unfortunate. In #131 he expressly said of McMahon that 'He was an unfortunate'After finally providing a copy of the article in which McMahon was actually described as one of a number of 'poor unfortunates', it transpired that this was an article from 1937 (in Jamaica, of course), thus telling us nothing about the meaning of 'an unfortunate' in the Victorian era in the UK.  

THE CONTINUITY ERROR CONTINUED

Amazingly, Miss Information continues to repeat her famous 'continuity error' from her book.  She STILL seems to think that Mike's affidavit was publicly available to all during 1995.

Hence she wrote in #7995 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread (my underlining):

'And during a long day's recorded interview on July 20th 1995, as Keith reminds us, in one comedy gold moment Mike asked for a pen and ink to demonstrate that the handwriting was his, and when reminded that his claim was that Anne wrote it, he moved swiftly on...'

But how could Mike have been 'reminded' that his claim was that Anne wrote the diary when he'd never publicly made this claim before 20 July 1995?  It was certainly stated in his January 1995 affidavit but Keith didn't know about that affidavit on 20 July 1995.

While the recording of the meeting on 20 July 1995 is another recording being suppressed, what Miss Information says about that meeting is certainly NOT what is reported in 'Inside Story'.

What we are told in that book (page 202) is that Feldman agreed to get a nib and ink so that Mike could show how he wrote the dairy at which point MIKE SAID that Anne wrote the diary.  He wasn't reminded of anything!

Mike was evidently saying this to Feldman and Keith Skinner for the first time. He might have been hesitant to reveal it because it wasn't something he'd said publicly before. 

Sure, according to Inside Story, Feldman then asked him why he wanted the pen if he didn't write the diary and Mike is said to have evaded the question.

The point that Miss Information was trying to rebut was that Mike didn't consistently state that Anne wrote the diary (as Kattrup had claimed).  But the fact of the matter is that Mike said that Anne wrote the diary in a statement made for Liverpool police in November 1994.  He said she wrote the diary in his affidavit of January 1995.   As Inside Story confirms, and I've just set out, he said she wrote the diary at the meeting on 20 July 1995. He also said she wrote the diary in a letter written by him to her in February 1996 (p.210 of Inside Story). He also stated that she wrote the diary when giving evidence in court under oath in September 1998. He also said she wrote the diary when addressing the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999.

That's pretty consistent! 

Another false statement - more misinformation - from Miss Information is contained in her #7995.

I've quoted part of this sentence in the above entry but look how it finishes (per my underlining):

'And during a long day's recorded interview on July 20th 1995, as Keith Skinner reminds us, in one comedy gold moment Mike asked for a pen and ink to demonstrate that the handwriting was his, and when reminded that his claim was that Anne wrote it, he moved swiftly on to other important evidence he had brought with him from Liverpool to London to prove the diary was a fake, consisting of his affidavit of April 1993, in which he swore Tony Devereux gave him the diary, and a bottle of Diamine ink. '

So we are there being told, or given the impression, that the ONLY other important evidence Mike had brought with him from Liverpool to prove the diary was a fake was his April 1993 and a bottle of Diamine, both useless.

FALSE!

That may be what you would think had happened if you were relying on Inside Story's account of the meeting but RJ Palmer subsequently managed to extract from Miss Information in September 2020 that Mike brought some further crucial oral evidence with him to that meeting, namely the fact of his purchase of the red diary.  Hence we were told for the very first time by Miss Information in #6100:

'Keith first heard about the red diary on 20th July 1995, at Baker Street, during a recorded conversation with Mike, Feldman and Martin Howells. Mike mentions it at one point and nobody seems to know what he's talking about. He accuses Feldman of knowing about it and wants him to admit it. Feldman says Melvin Harris was told that Mike had a receipt proving Anne bought a Victorian diary. Feldman asks Mike why he told Melvin that the diary was bought in 1992 for £25. Feldman says it's a little diary dated 1891. He asks Mike why he implied to Melvin that the receipt for it proved Anne wrote the diary.'

So we there have it.  Mike was insisting on 20 July 1995 that his forgery story was true.  He was even directing Keith Skinner's attention to the red diary.  But Skinner didn't get to the bottom of the story of the red diary for MORE THAN TEN YEARS!!!  Even four years later in April 1999 he was still under the impression that Mike hadn't bought it until May 1992.  

FRESH INK

I am very much still on Miss Information's mind. In #7996 of Incontrovertible she wrote:

'Lord Orsam needs a Barrett hoax to have been penned in early April 1992, yet I don't recall a single expert, forensic or otherwise - not even Melvin Harris - trying to suggest it could have been as recent as that, and be able to resist being immediately exposed as such, under one or more of the earliest examinations. Did anyone claim the results could become inconclusive that quickly? Would the Barretts have been aware that a diary penned in April might resist any attempts to date it by June? Or would they not have given it a second thought?'

Miss Information seems to think that ink on paper can be dated to a specific time period, down to the nearest month, which it can't be.  Her ignorance on this issue is revealed time and time again.

But let's look at the evidence:

Baxendale, July 1992:

'The ink of the diary was readily soluble in the extractant and only a small amount of soluble black residue was left on the paper'.

Harris and others, 1993:

'In August and November 1993, independent visual examination of the Diary ink by myself, by Dr Joe Nickell, by Kenneth Rendell, by Maureen Casey Owens, and by Robert Kuranz, revealed no signs of ageing.  We were all viewing a fresh, washed-out looking ink, that gave signs of having been diluted.  So at that time there were six examinations that all pointed to one conclusion: the ink was new.' 

Baxendale September 1993 (from Sunday Times):

'For a document more than 100 years old, Baxendale would have expected the ink to take several minutes to begin to dissolve.  In this case, says Baxendale, "it began to dissolve in just a few seconds."  Baxendale concluded that it had probably been written recently, in the past two or three years.'

So Miss Information's attempt to try and suggest that even Harris didn't think the ink could have gone onto paper in April 1992 is false.  He couldn't date it but he said in 1993 that the the ink was 'fresh' and 'new'. Baxendale said the diary had been written 'recently' because the ink was readily soluble and dissolved in seconds.

It's all entirely consistent with the diary having been written in April 1992. 

NELSON'S BLIND EYE

in #7999 of Incontrovertible, Little Scottie Nelson Esq. wrote:

'Lord Orsam's samples of Anne's handwriting show a left handed writer (letter slanted left)'.

He's actually wrong about this - you can't tell whether a person is right or left handed from the way they slope their handwriting -  but it's correct that Anne's handwriting slopes in the opposite direction to the diary author's handwriting.

As I said in the thread in which I introduced Anne's handwriting in May 2018, experts tell us that ambidextrous persons have a particular talent for disguising their handwriting.  So, as I said in #34 of my thread 'Diary Handwriting', which can be found here:

'if we are comparing the Diary handwriting with the handwriting of any individual we need to consider whether they might have attempted to disguise their handwriting by using their "other" hand.  This could account for a different direction in the slope of such handwriting'.  

Little Scottie Nelson Esq. posted in the thread, #59, to make his big point that the diary appears to be written by a right handed person whereas Anne's slant makes her look like a left handed person.  I asked him in #62 if he had actually read what I had posted in #34 and he said that he had read it but that, 'I asked if anybody knew if Anne Graham was a left-handed writer, not ambidextrous'.  This wasn't true.  He had actually asked 'Is it safe to suggest that Anne Graham is a left-handed writer?' (which is not the same thing) and had then gone on to state that, 'The Diary writing appears to be written by a right-handed person'.  That's no answer to a suggestion that the forger was ambidextrous!

When I pointed out to him that he had not asked the question he was claiming to have asked he had no sensible response.

Even though the entire thread was about comparing Anne's handwriting to the diary handwriting, L'il Scottie had nothing to say about this at the time when it was actually being discussed.  His only point was that Anne was left handed.  Now, when I'm not there to challenge him, he claims not be have been able to see 'any obvious similarities in the formation of individual letters in the Diary and her writing'.  But the question is: has he actually looked?   I think the answer his no.  Like the Admiral, he's put the telescope to his famous blind eye. 

MISS INFO'S QUESTION

In #33 of Society's Pillar, Miss Information asked: 

'imagine you are Mike Barrett, and are trying to obtain something suitable, as late as March 1992, for faking James Maybrick's diary yourself. Should be easy, as you believe this is what actually happened. Would you order the item located, knowing it was just for the year 1891, and ask for it to be sent to you with an invoice, requiring you to pay for it within a certain time, or return it as unwanted, to avoid the supplier chasing it up?'

The answer is NO.  No you would not order an item for the year 1891.  What you might well order, on the other hand, is a blank diary from the period 1880 to 1890 which is what Mike actually ordered.

Then, if such an item isn't available, you might well accept a blank diary from 1891, if that's all there is.

You probably wouldn't ask for it be sent with an invoice requiring you to pay within a certain time but that's what the supplier would probably send you anyway.

As for whether you would return it unwanted, to avoid the supplier chasing it up, that might be a good idea if the supplier's terms and conditions allowed it but if you'd accepted it, and the item was as described, you probably wouldn't be allowed to return it as unwanted.  

But even if it was an option, you might not have had the money to pay for it. If you were Mike Barrett you might have hoped the supplier wouldn't chase for it.  Then you might end up after the 30 day period for returning defective items is over (even though you couldn't have returned it anyway because it wasn't defective) being legally required to pay for it or end up with a county court judgment against you and the bailiffs knocking at the door.

So Miss Information's question gets us literally nowhere.

She then asked a second question in the same post premised on the idea that you've kept the auction ticket but if you haven't kept it (as Mike probably hadn't) that's another waste of time.

MISS INFO'S IGNORANCE EXPOSED

In #8002 of Incontrovertible, Miss Information posted:

'I had always assumed that forgers were identified from certain characteristics in the disputed handwriting which they failed to disguise well enough.' 

No, she is wrong.  If handwriting is disguised it's not possible to identify a forger, or at least their handwriting would need to have certain unique characteristics which they had failed to disguise for an expert to be able to identify them.

She is utterly confused about what experts can achieve.

Here is what they can do.

1. Where a certain person's signature or handwriting is disputed, an expert can state whether the signature or handwriting is genuine or a forgery by comparing with the normal signature or handwriting of the individual in question (or at least they claim to be able to do it!) but, if a forgery, they won't be able to identify the forger.

2. Where an individual denies writing a document in their normal handwriting, they would be able to say whether the document is actually that person's handwriting (or at least they claim to be able to do it!).

What they can't do is identify a forger where their handwriting is disguised.

Now, in the case of the diary, they might be able to say that there are certain characteristics of the handwriting which are similar to to those of Anne Barrett.  But that's as far as they would ever be able to go.  They wouldn't be able to state that Anne Barrett was, therefore, the author of the diary.

Would that satisfy anyone?  No!  So why bother?

What Miss Information COULD do, if she so wanted, is what I have done, and what Kattrup has done, and note the similarities between the way Anne forms certain letters and the way the diary author forms certain letters.  There is no mystery about doing this.  You just need a pair of eyes.  Then once you see those similarities you might want to consider how extraordinary it is that Mike kept on saying repeatedly that the diary was in his wife's handwriting.

The other thing you might do is wonder why Anne's normal handwriting in her private correspondence is so different to the sample she gave to Keith Skinner in 1995.

Then when you've pondered on those things you might finally work out where the diary came from. 

OUT OF THE MOUTH OF MISS INFO

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, brought an overwhelming amount of nonsense from Miss Information on the Forum, all of which I've already dealt with in one form or another, either in this update or previous updates.

But I did notice one amusing thing from #8011 of 'Incontrovertible' in which Miss Information wrote to Kattrup (with her appalling punctuation unchanged):

'Shirley who with respect knew more by 1994 than you are ever likely to know, about Mike's research capabilities in 1992/3, found even simple tasks beyond him.'

This is very strange because Shirley Harrison is on record as saying that in her 2003 book (p.266):

'Michael Barrett is no fool...he has a knack of collecting unexpected snippets of knowledge from the library'.

As a result, Shirley said that she was 'not altogether surprised' when Mike 'discovered the answer to a problem that had been facing us all' which was the origin of the 'oh costly intercourse of death' quotation.

In other words, far from saying that simple tasks were beyond him, she was LITERALLY praising Mike's complex research capabilities!!! 

HOW MANY YEARS IS THREE YEARS?

In response to Kattrup saying that Mike had 'for years worked as a freelance journalist', the Major replied:

'Really?  We know that for certain? 

Er....well yes we do.  We know that Mike was writing articles for Celebrity in 1986 and continued until 1988.

Let's see:

1986

1987

1988

So that's three years. Which is more than one year.  So it's perfectly true to say that Mike worked as a freelance journalist 'for years' isn't it?

Yet, in the same post the Major wrote:

'But - come on - evidence that Barrett "had for years worked as a freelance journalist"? I think not. Unless it suits your argument, of course!'

Not really, it just fits the facts. 

But - come on - evidence that Barrett "had for years worked as a freelance journalist"? I think not. Unless it suits your argument, of course!
WHO WROTE THE ARTICLES?

I've never understood the desire of Miss Information to downplay Mike's role in writing the articles in Celebrity and switch all the work to Anne.

Hence we find her saying in #8011:
 
'...how much of his published work did Anne do for him, while holding down a secretarial job?  Both admitted she had to type up his articles for him and make them suitable for submission...'

Right, so they jointly wrote the articles for Celebrity. 

And the allegation is that they jointly forged the diary.

It doesn't help her that Anne improved Mike's articles does it, boys and girls?

PROOF OF THE PUDDING

Also in #8011 from Miss Information (with her original poor punctuation in place): 

'It was Lord Orsam who tried to claim that the final production did not take place until early April 1992, but like Barrett, he has not produced any evidence that the scrapbook was obtained from an auction sale at any time.'

No, of course I haven't produced any evidence that the scrapbook (or, rather, photograph album) was obtained from an auction sale.  How can I?  The records of Outhwaite & Litherland were long destroyed before I had any involvement in the case and were never properly searched.  If that was where Mike purchased the photograph album it's obviously impossible for me to produce evidence of that purchase.

But I did prove that there was an Outhwaite & Litherland auction of Victorian and Edwardian effects at the time when there needed to be one to allow Mike to have purchased the photograph album with sufficient time to create the diary before meeting Doreen in London.

What has also been proved is:

1. That the diary was written in the second half of the 19th century (due to 'one off instance') and even Miss Information herself no longer claims it was an 'old hoax'.

2. That Mike was secretly attempting to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages after his telephone call with Doreen on 9 March 1992, something which Miss Information is at a loss to explain.

We don't really need the auction evidence.  We have sufficient evidence which tells us that Mike simply must have been involved in forging the diary. 

"I KNOW SOMETHING YOU DON'T KNOW!"

Miss Information is back at it with her 'I know something  you don't know' shtick (and bluff).

Hence, in #8018:

'Lord Orsam, 'the most credible expert' on Mike Barrett's when in confession mode?  I've seen it all  now.  This is an absolute joke, given how much recorded material Lord Orsam is ignorant about'.

Why is there so much recorded material that I, and everyone else, am ignorant about?  That's a confession right there that information on the case is being actively and deliberately suppressed. 

But she's been saying the same thing constantly since 2016 when she was banging on about the secret smoking gun information which was supposedly going to prove the diary came out of Battlecrease which turned out to be a damp squib.

I obviously don't know anything about material that I haven't seen, because it is being suppressed, but I've been repeatedly calling for the release of loads of stuff that I'd like to see.  I happen to believe it will strengthen the case that the Barretts were responsible for the diary.

I mean, the idea that Miss Information is sitting on information which contradicts the claim that the Barretts were responsible for the diary and isn't releasing it is too ludicrous to contemplate.   She selectively quotes from unreleased documents the whole time!  No opportunity is missed to attempt to undermine the 'Barretts as hoaxers' story.

No, the only evidence the diary defenders are withholding is evidence which doesn't support their case.

I've read all the publicly available information. That's all I can do.  And from that publicly available information it's perfectly clear to me where the diary came from.  If Miss Information has information to the contrary she should produce it or hold her peace. 

SCISSORS

Lord Orsam gets dragged into all sorts of controversies, with people frequently attributing to him things that he hasn't said.

For example, I've never discussed the issue of the assumed size of the photographs in the diary, as found by Baxendale, or ever made a point relating to it.  Yet, when responding to a post by RJ Palmer, who was dealing with Paul Butler's claim about the size of the photographs, as parroted by the Major in a revised version of his 'Society's Pillar', the Major wrote (#35 of 'Society's Pillar'):

'I assume that RJ and Lord Orsam will not be arguing that scissors weren't around in Victorian times?'

But what's it got to do with me???

My article 'Pillar of Sand' was in response to the Major's original version of 'Society's Pillar' which didn't include the Paul Butler section.  In the original version, the Major pretty much conceded that the issue of the photographs was 'problematic' for the diary and made no positive point about it so I didn't say anything in response.

The Major seems to think the argument against him is that 3.5 by 2.5 photographs didn't exist in the Victorian era.  But what Baxendale said in his report was no more than that this size of photograph 'was once a popular size for photographs and corresponds with the size of film used in roll-film cameras'.  That was it!

Whittington-Egan then developed the point and said that 3.5 by 2.5 was 'a popular size for photographic prints from roll film between the First and Second World Wars'.  By contrast, he said, 'The Victorians in their photography used large plate glass printing.' 

It was Paul Butler who challenged this by claiming that 3.5 by 2.5 'was the exact size of a Victorian carte de visite popular since the 1860s'. Butler went further and said that it was to house such carte de visites was 'what  it seems very probable the old diary was used for originally'.

RJ's point in response (after the Major parroted Butler's claim) was that the size of carte de visites was NOT 3.5 by 2.5 so that Butler's point was wrong.

As far as I can tell, the Major isn't challenging this but pointing out that SOME photographs in the Victorian age could be 3.5 by 2.5 or, if not, that they could be cut down to that size. 

Well, he can argue as much as he likes about this but if he is arguing with anyone it is with RJ Palmer (who, as far as I know, has never said that no Victorian photograph could possibly be 3.5 by 2.5 because he was specifically talking about carte de visites) but he is certainly not arguing with me, much as he would no doubt like to be.

THE MAJOR'S DISCLAIMER

Admitting to another error in Society's Pillar, this time that the supposedly secret information about the shared grave of Maybrick's parents was publicly known and mentioned in Ryan's book, the Major wants to make clear (#41 of the 'Society's Pillar' thread) that, in his essay, he was doing no more than parroting what other people have said about the diary and, furthermore, that he hasn't bothered to check a single one of the supposed facts that he parrotted.

So despite continually referring to 'Society's Pillar' as 'brilliant', he admits that it's not a work that has gone through any sort of filter or fact checking process to remove stuff that is plainly wrong.

It's the same sort of defence that the Kraken lawyers in the U.S. used after having filed legal claims that the American election was rigged. When it was discovered to be all lies they said they were just repeating stuff they'd read on the internet!!!  No one could have expected them to check any of the facts!

This was basically the Major's standard for what to include in his essay.  If it favoured the diary it went in without any thought or checking, regardless of how wrong it might be. 

His defence for this appalling negligence seems to be that he made his essay available free of charge and, thus, his readers should expect it to be a pile of shit! 

Well everything on here is available without charge but I happen to check everything I write and make sure it makes sense before publication.  I don't just parrot what someone else has said.... because that way one's arguments quickly end up as a pillar of sand.

That's enough for part 22, continued in part 23.

 

LORD ORSAM
22 December 2021
Published on 21 January 2022
 


22 December 2021