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Diary Defender Scams Exposed!

We've had examples of some of the most classic diary defender online misinformation scams recently, all by Caroline Morris-Brown, funnily enough.


THE MARTIN-WRIGHT SCAM


Here's a good one, posted on 6 February 2023:


'Firstly, Keith and I are not diary 'supporters', any more than we are Barrett supporters. Furthermore, 'this Martin-Wright chap' initially related the circumstances in which he had first heard of Jack the Ripper's diary - via Dodgson and Davies - without his account being prompted, influenced or contaminated by Feldman. Inconvenient but true: three witnesses telling the same basic story, at different times and to different people.'


The first sentence, denying that she and Keith Skinner are diary supporters is a scam on its own considering they've both spent more than 20 years supporting and defending the diary from attacks that it's a modern fake.


But we're not looking at that right now.


What about her claim that Tim Martin-Wright's account of having heard of Jack the Ripper's diary wasn't prompted, influenced or contaminated by Feldman?


How can she be in any position to say this?


The first person Tim Martin-Wright gave his account to was none other than Paul Feldman, in June 1994. He didn't speak to Keith Skinner until ten years later in 2004. How can anyone possibly know what Feldman said in private to Martin-Wright which might have corrupted or contaminated his account? Is there a recording of Martin-Wright's encounter with Feldman in June 1994? If so, let's hear it? If not, how does one know that Martin-Wright's story was not influenced by what RJ Palmer had described in the post to which Caroline was responding as 'Feldman's clumsy interviewing techniques'?


At the same time, RJ Palmer's central point was not actually that Feldman had influenced Martin-Wright. What he said was this:


'This is why the diary supporters are so desperate to claim that this Martin-Wright chap is an 'independent witness,' as he is being described, even though he was just a bloke repeating a third-hand rumor he heard and hadn't actually witnessed anything. They need Martin-Wright to try and date this rumor to a time before Feldman quizzed the electricians, but all he evidently has is a hazy memory of hearing the rumor at some not very specific date in the past. And he's the only one who claims to have heard it. Again, if Jack the Ripper's diary has been found in Liverpool, and one person heard about it, wouldn't a hundred have heard about it?'


Feldman wasn't even mentioned as influencing anyone in this context. It was in RJ's next sentence that he said, without particular reference to Martin-Smith, that, 'Caz and her crew need to convince the public that these rumors were already afloat and thus weren't the product of Feldman's clumsy interviewing techniques.'


He is absolutely correct in the sense that Feldman might have encouraged the electricians, including Alan Davies, to think that an electrician had found the diary, which is almost certainly what led Davies to speak to Alan Dodgson and then led Dodgson to speak to Martin-Wright. So it's entirely feasible, indeed highly likely, that the very conversation that Martin-Wright was told about was indirectly influenced by Feldman's meddling.


In her response, Caroline didn't even touch on RJ's central point which was that Martin-Wright must have been confused about the date his conversation with Alan Dodgson took place. If that's the case, and RJ is right, it matters not that Davies, Dodgson and Martin-Wright all told the same "basic story" (even though they seem to have told different stories). They might well all have discussed some form of diary for sale, but, if this discussion occurred in the Spring of 1993, which is entirely possible, it has no evidential value.


So that's the Martin-Wright Scam exposed.


THE RED DIARY SCAM


This one won't surprise anyone who has been reading my articles and posts over the years, but it's amazing that it still seems to be going strong, at least in the mind of Caroline Morris-Brown.


The below is from the very same post of 6th February in which the Martin-Wright scam featured:


'This is what Palmer is really battling against. It's not the diary 'supporter' or the Barrett 'sceptic', who can easily be disregarded as being in a tiny minority. It's not hearsay evidence, which he can redact mentally to leave himself with a clean slate, so he can concentrate on weaponising the one piece of evidence he is left with: a tiny 1891 diary. Anne was not remotely afraid of it herself, so there's no reason on earth for anyone else to fear it.'


So Palmer, we are told, is left with 'one piece of evidence', being the 1891 diary of which Anne was not 'remotely afraid'.


But, as I have said countless, times, the 1891 diary is of no value as evidence. This is because it could be said, as Anne did in fact, say, that Mike wanted to obtain it in order to see what a genuine Victorian diary looked like.


No, the killer piece of evidence is the document which Caroline Morris-Brown is evidently so afraid of that she can't even bring herself to mention it. This is, of course, the advertisement that Martin Earl placed on Mike's behalf in a March 1992 issue of Bookdealer magazine. Anne was never confronted with this advertisement. So we don't know whether she is (or was) afraid of it, or not. Caroline Morris-Brown certainly can't explain the advertisement. She's never been able to account for Mike's urgent need in March 1992 to get his hands on a genuine Victorian diary for a particular decade in the nineteenth century containing a minimum specified number of blank pages. She can't seem to fathom it. She's basically given up trying to explain it and pretends that it doesn't exist as crucial evidence in the case and that the only evidence is the valueless 1891 diary.

Quite amazing, but the Red Diary Scam is hereby exposed.


THE COINCIDENCE SCAM


Following a post I made in the Casebook Forum (in the 'Acquiring a Victorian Diary' thread) in November 2017 about the danger of coincidence, Caroline Morris-Brown responded on 6 December 2017 to say condescendingly:


'And you really thought you were the only one to realise all this, David? Everyone closely involved with the diary story has been acutely alive to the danger of coincidence lurking under those floorboards.'


Yet, despite this, she and every other diary defender always seems to forget about 'the danger of coincidence' when they talk about the Battlecrease discovery. For example, on 5 February this year in the 'Incontrovertible' thread, she posted:


'Nobody seeking to invent a link out of fresh air in 1993 could have imagined what Keith Skinner eventually found in 2004, relating to the events of 9th March 1992. Nobody could have made up a coincidence on that scale, to make the rumours work, but nobody needed to, because real life had provided it for them without their knowledge. If it was a coincidence, it was one that not only passed everyone by, but could not have been better designed by the fates to fit snugly with the future accounts from various witnesses.'


Once again, the mere coincidence of the electricians working in Battlecrease on 9th March 1992 impresses a diary defender. They don't seem to be able to step back and accept that if the electricians had worked in Battlecrease on, say, Friday, 6th March 1992, that would also have been an amazing coincidence bearing in mind that Eddie Lyons could have then contacted Mike Barrett on the Monday with his diary.


But her point here goes further. What she's saying is that Feldman couldn't possibly have anticipated that the electrical work would have been carried out in Battlecrease on 9th March 1992, as if that particular date (and only that particular date) is significant.


But he didn't need to. He already knew that electricians had been working in Battlecrease at some point prior to the discovery of the diary. It really didn't matter if it was in 1989 (as Feldman originally seemed to think) 1990, 1991 or early 1992. Work done in January 1992 would have been very interesting, same for February 1992, which, in fact, would have been even more interesting. Or, of course, in the first week of March 1992. What is so different about work done on the precise date of 9th March 1992? Why did Eddie have to find the diary on the exact same day that Mike called Doreen?


It doesn't really change anything except in the minds of people who want to find significance in a coincidence.


I do wonder, though, if they are seriously telling us that had the electrical work been done on 6 March 1992 this would have been way less significant than work done on 9 March 1992. If they genuinely believe this, their minds have obviously become warped by the diary.


In many ways, it would have been more compelling an argument had the work been done on the 6th March. There doesn't seem to have been enough time for Mike, on the other side of Liverpool, to have seen the diary if it had only been discovered earlier on the same day he called Doreen, or rather, there must at least be some uncertainty in the matter, whereas we can be sure there would definitely have been enough time had it been discovered on the Friday.


So that's the Coincidence Scam exposed.


THE INK SCAM


As part of her 30 year long attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of innocent members of the public who are interested in the diary, Caroline Morris-Brown likes to pretend that expert document examiners can do impossible things, and that, because they haven't been able to do the impossible things that she pretends they can do, the diary wasn't forged by the Barretts.


One classic example is her repeated claim that no document examiner has been able to state that the diary is in Anne's handwriting, even though they could never possibly be able to positively identify the author of handwriting that has been disguised. It's just not something that is possible for a document examiner to do. Yet, their failure to do this impossible thing has been used by her to suggest that Anne can't be the author of the diary.


But the one I want to focus on under this heading is what she said on 25 January and 6 February 2024 in the Casebook Forum about the dating of the application of the ink to the diary paper. On 25th January, she wrote:


'Phil Kellingley, has disputed that Baxendale's solubility test result in 1992 proves that the ink had only recently been applied to the paper. Even Baxendale himself never hinted that it could have been written as recently as April 1992, which is the only theory in this part of town.'


As RJ Palmer pointed out in his response her post, she was wrong about Phil Kellingley who actually ended up accepting that Baxendale was right in his interpretation of the solubility test.


Regarding her second sentence, RJ pointed out that Baxendale did, in fact, hint that the diary could have been written recently as April 1992 when he informed the Sunday Times that his belief when conducting the test (in July 1992) was that it had probably been written 'recently' in the previous two or three years. By any calculation, April 1992 was within the previous two or three years before July 1992.


But when this was pointed out to her, she ignored that the issue was about whether Baxendale had merely hinted that the diary could have been written as recently as April 1992 by being within the past two or three years. Instead. she shamelessly switched the argument so that Baxendale should have specifically identified the date that the diary was written as having been in 1992 by saying:


'I know Palmer will point out that 'in the past two or three years' would allow for it to have been written in the same year that he examined it, but then Baxendale should have clarified if he thought the writing was probably no more than two years old and possibly considerably less.'


Well that wouldn't be hinting then, would it it? That would be expressly stating. So the goalposts have moved.


But that's not even the scam I'm talking about here. The scam is that she knows (because I have told her) that it's just not possible for any document examiner, either then or now, to narrow down the date of ink being applied to paper in such a specific way to a particular year. Had the diary been written literally the day before Baxendale examined it, he wouldn't have been able to say that it had been written the day before. The best he might have been able to say from a visual examination and solubility test was that the ink had been applied recently, within the past two or three years.


When other document examiners examined the diary in 1993, they believed that the ink looked like fresh and had been recently applied. But that's as far as they could go.


Yet, for Ms Morris-Brown, the fact that Baxendale didn't say the impossible thing which she thinks he should have said is used by her to support her outrageous claim that he didn't think, and certainly didn't hint, that the diary could have been written as recently in April 1992.


I don't suppose any sentient being would fall for this scam but I guess that not everyone appreciates the limits of dating ink on paper. The fact alone that Baxendale said that he thought that the ink had been applied recently is sufficient to allow us to conclude that it was entirely possible that it had been written in April 1992.


That is the Ink Scam exposed.


THE TRANSCRIPT SCAM


This is a brand new scam which made its debut on 15 February 2024. The Chief Diary Defender told us she had just noticed "another minor difference between the typed and handwritten versions". In respect of this minor difference, she asked:


"So what's the explanation?"


What a strange and, indeed, ridiculous question. How can anyone possibly know "the explanation" for a minor difference between the diary and the transcript? There are multiple possible explanations for any differences between the diary and transcript, including the one she was asking about.


Let's just look at her minor difference for which she is demanding an explanation. The diary has this:



The Barretts' transcript for the same extract has this:



I truly don't know what point, if any, the Chief Diary Defender is making about this.


In comparing these two extracts, it is obvious, first of all, that an attempt was made here for the transcript to exactly reflect the layout of the handwritten diary. But, presumably in error, the layout has gone wrong for the single line, 'Oh costly intercourse of death'. It should have been on two lines but the transcript has it on one line. So what? If the Chief Diary Defender is asking for "the explanation" of this, one obvious explanation is that a mistake was made when the transcript was created. Perhaps Mike was explaining the layout of the diary in detail, stating where lines ended and begun, while Anne typed it, or Anne was looking at the diary while she typed it, but, either way, a simple error was made when typing the 'Oh costly intercourse line' due to the transcript being prepared in a rush. However, we don't have any detailed and corroborated explanation as to how the transcript was prepared so there could be another explanation entirely.


If the point is that Anne should have known from having written the diary that the line ended after 'intercourse' that's not a good point because she could easily have forgotten this when typing the diary transcript.


Another point made within this scam is about the layout of the line in the Sphere History of Literature which looks like this:



Once again, I don't know quite the point that is being made about this by the Chief Diary Defender. I would personally assume that Mike copied that verse out from the book either by sight or from memory and, making a simple transcription error, probably copied it in the form:


'O costly intercourse

Of death...'


Then, when it came to dictating the diary text to Anne, he just told her to start a new line (and there was either some form of miscommunication with the capital "O" in "Of", or Mike had simply transcribed it wrong himself). It seems pretty darn simple to me.


What does Chief Diary Defender Caroline Morris-Brown say about all this? Let's see


'Let's imagine, for the sake of argument, that it was Mike who chose to use Crashaw's words in the diary and, Mike being Mike, he managed to type them somewhat inaccurately onto the word processor.


And now let's imagine it was Anne who then transferred the words by hand from the word processor into the scrapbook, either to Mike's dictation or by checking the typed document for herself.


How did Anne know to write the last two selected words on a separate line, just as they appear in the Sphere book? If she had referred back to check Mike's source, she'd have found that the first word was O and not Oh, and the fifth word was deaths and not death.'


It seems to me that, when talking about Mike typing something into the word processor, Caroline Morris-Brown is referencing a theory that the transcript was typed by Mike Barrett, presumably being the original draft of the diary when then doubled up as the transcript provided to Doreen. But that's not a theory I subscribe to, nor does it have to be what happened. I personally think that the transcript was probably created as a new document for Doreen Montgomery because what Mike likely typed into the word processor when drafting the diary was a complete mess, with the text being significantly improved during the writing process, and not reflective of what ended up in the diary.


The question, "How did Anne know to write the last two selected words on a separate line, just as they appear in the Sphere book?", would be answered simply by Mike telling her to write the last two words on a separate line. How simple an explanation is that? Why is it so difficult?


The scam then really kicked off with a post by Jay Hartley, someone who always seems to find what Chief Diary Defender posts compelling, who said:


"I think this is an excellent observation, Caz. The typescript throws a spanner in the works, as the diary matches the source material to break the phrase up over two lines at the point of 'of death(s)'."


A spanner in the works? Really? I've already provided one simple explanation.


He continued:


"It strongly suggests the writer of the diary either remembered the poem that way or they were mimicking the source material formatting. The typescript does not acknowledge it all."


Well it may be that the person dictating the text of the diary to the scribe remembered, while dictating, the format of the poem (it seems unlikely that person was looking at the Sphere book a the time given the difference between 'death' and 'deaths') but what difference does it make that the typescript doesn't 'acknowledge it'? Something different in terms of formatting was done for the transcript than what was in the diary text, so what?


And then the scam really kicks in with this claim from Caroline Morris-Brown:


"At the Cloak & Dagger meeting in April 1999, Mike blames Anne for making a foolish mistake in the diary by writing 'Oh' [costly intercourse...] after he had correctly typed 'O' on the word processor. Keith Skinner exposes this as untrue by pointing out that the word is 'Oh' in both the diary and the typescript."


How does the fact that the word "Oh" is in both the diary and the transcript possibly expose Mike's claim that Anne made a mistake as untrue?


In fact, Keith Skinner mis-stated the position when questioning Mike because this is how the key part of the exchange went:


KS: But in the transcript, on what you’ve written, it’s “O-h”, now “O-h costly intercourse of death”.


MB: I haven’t written that transcript.


KS: Oh this isn’t yours?


See what what Keith says there:


"in the transcript, on what you've written"


So Keith was here firstly assuming that Mike was responsible for the transcript and, at the same time, ludicrously, assuming that Mike would have ensured that the transcript matched the Sphere History of English Literature rather than what was in the diary. I mean, seriously?


Do Keith Skinner and Caroline Morris-Brown not know what a transcript is supposed to be? If there was a mistake in the diary, that needed to be reflected in the transcript. The idea that Mike should have corrected mistakes in the diary by making the transcript an improved version of the diary is ridiculous.


But it's even worse than this because Caroline Morris-Brown has completely misrepresented what occurred at the Cloak & Dagger meeting. Let's now look at the entire exchange on the point;


KS: Here’s where I get a problem, Mike, because you say, and I bring this to back you up, you say you create the diary, the text of the diary on your word processor, you give it to Shirley.


MB: By the way ladies and gentlemen, I just want to prove-


KS: Hang on,  because it’s in your favour.


MB: I know it’s in my favour but -


KS: Let me finish because, here it is, I turn to “Oh costly intercourse of death”, you’d written that, the stupid wife of yours, she puts an “h” on it.


MB: O H apostrophe.


KS: But in the transcript, on what you’ve written, it’s “O-h”, now “O-h costly intercourse of death”.


MB: I haven’t written that transcript.


KS: Oh, this isn’t yours?


MB Hang on a minute let me have a look, that’s if you don’t mind.


KS: Of Course….That’s all my stuff.


MB: That’s all yours. Right [inaudible]


KS: So this isn’t your original text?


MB: No.


KS Are you saying-


MB: “…..Sweet sugar and tea could have paid my small fee but instead I did flee”


KS: I’m with you, what you have done is made a transcript of a transcript?


MB: Yes. 


KS: Right. That clears that up.


In other words, not only did Mike tell Keith that he had not written that transcript but Keith responded by saying, "That clears that up". He didn't regard himself as having exposed anything that evening. On the contrary, he asked a daft question, assuming for some reason that Mike was responsible for the transcript, and would thus have corrected any errors that Anne had made while writing the diary (something to this day I can't fathom the logic of), and then backed down after Mike cleared the matter up for him.


I also don't know what Keith meant when he prefaced the question to Mike by saying that it was in his favour, unless he was trying to deceive him. Or perhaps Keith had something entirely different in mind when raising the issue.


The scam goes on with Caroline Morris-Brown saying:


"It's another crack in Mike's story, and you may as well ask why he typed 'Oh' if he was copying those five words beginning 'O' straight from the Sphere book. Why not format the whole quotation as it appears in the actual poem?"


It's not a crack in the story. Mike almost certainly wasn't formatting anything himself in any document we have seen. The Orsam Theory involves Anne writing the diary and Anne typing the transcript, so Mike wasn't formatting anything. If Mike was dictating 'O costly intercourse' when the diary was created, and Anne wrote 'Oh costly intercourse', it was, by that time, too late to change it. Then Mike could have said to her "new line: 'of death'". How difficult is that?


I can't say it did happen like that, but it's surely one possibility. It's an explanation, in other words. There is no 'crack' in Mike's story.


The Transcript Scam is exposed.


THE SPHERE SCAM


At the same time as attempting the Transcript Scam, Caroline Morris Brown invented another brand new scam when she wrote:


"Incidentally, when Mike is lying in 1999 about having copied the 'O' from his Sphere volume 2, he lets slip that he was only sent nine of the twelve-volume set in 1989, and that three were "missing". He doesn't say which volumes were missing, but I'll take a wild guess on one of them being volume 2, which he then had to hunt down in a second-hand book shop so he had something to hand over to Alan Gray in December 1994 when he needed to support his claims to inside knowledge."


This is one of the Chief Diary Defender's worse falsehoods. Mike never said that three volumes were missing. Why she puts the word "missing" in quotation marks is beyond me. Here is what was said in 1999:


KS: (addressing the audience) What actually happened was that Mike was sent the 12 volumes of Sphere’s English Literature.


MB: What they done - it wasn’t 12 volumes.


KS: However many volumes.


MB: 9 volumes.


What Caroline Morris seems to have done here is to have assumed that Keith Skinner was correct in saying that there were 12 volumes of the Sphere History of Literature (which is the actual title) and that, by saying he only received 9 volumes, Mike was thereby admitting that three volumes were missing.


But Keith Skinner was wrong. There weren't 12 volumes of the Sphere History of Literature, there were 10 volumes. So Mike was closer to the correct number of volumes than Keith. Here is the proof:



So, basically, Mike said there were nine volumes when he should have said ten volumes. That's it. He made a mistake of recollection, just like Keith made a mistake.


Mike never said any of the volumes were missing. He probably just got the number wrong. After all, what is the likelihood of Sphere sending him a set of the Sphere History of Literature for the Hillsborough appeal but only sending him nine out of ten volumes? Not very great, I would have thought. Despite Caroline Morris-Brown desperately wanting to scam us all into thinking that Mike received an incomplete set of the series, and that volume 2 (the volume with the Crashaw quote) was missing, this diary defender fantasy exists in her overactive imagination only.


That is the Sphere Scam exposed.


THE 1990 SCAM - PART ONE


This one is actually the central scam of this post.


It's a scam that's been going back eight years, literally from the moment I propounded the Orsam Theory which states that the diary was created in March/April 1992.


How was the chief diary supporter and defender, Caroline Morris-Brown, to respond to such a theory?


Well there was a lifeline. A magic elixir that solved all of her problems relating to the diary. All she had to do was point to Mike Barrett's affidavit in which it's stated that, 'Roughly round about January, February 1990 Anne Barrett and I finally decided to go ahead and write the Diary of Jack the Ripper.'


The next sentence says: 'In fact Anne purchased a Diary, a red leather backed Diary for £25.00p, she made the purchase through a firm in the 1986 Writters Year Book, I cannot remember their name, she paid for the Diary by cheque in the amount of £25 which was drawn on her Lloyds Bank Account, Water Street Branch, Liverpool.'


Later it is stated that, 'I feel sure it was the end of January 1990 when I went to the Auctioneer, Outhwatie & Litherland'.


How could Mike have created the diary in 1992 (the scam goes) if he was saying that the plan started with the purchase of a red leather backed diary followed by a visit to an auction in January 1990 with the diary itself written in January or February 1990?


All Ms Morris-Brown had to do, in other words, to attack and defeat the very dangerous Orsam Theory, was to point to Mike's affidavit in which he appeared to be saying that the diary was created in 1990, not 1992. At a stroke, she had proved his story to be a lie.


Or so she wanted everyone to believe.


Not for one second did she consider, or caution, that the 1990 date might have been a mistake made by Alan Gray, who obviously drafted and typed the affidavit, or that Mike might have been confused about the chronology of events when speaking to Gray.


We now know from the belatedly released Gray/Barrett recording of 29 January 1995, as transcribed exclusively in Gray Days, that Mike certainly was confused about the chronology of events and, only a few weeks after swearing his affidavit, privately corrected that chronology, so that the key events such as the O&L auction and purchase of the red diary were now said to have occurred in March 1991. But this was on the basis that he thought he brought the diary down to London for the first time to show Doreen Montgomery and Shirley Harrison on 13th April 1991. Once that error is corrected to the real date of 13th April 1992, we can now see that the story Mike was always telling was that he obtained the little red diary and went to the O&L auction to purchase the photograph album in March 1992. This was certainly the story he told at the Cloak & Dagger event in April 1999, and we know now that it has consistently been the story he has been telling since at least January 1995 and, indeed, what he must have been telling Gray in late 1994 even though we don't have audible recordings which confirm this.


The 1990 Scam has finally been exposed!


THE 1990 SCAM - PART TWO


The recording in which Mike said that he thought he'd come to London on 13th April 1991 (having apparently thought it to be 13th April 1990 before this) seems to disprove the claim made by Caroline Morris-Brown that he always knew that this visit occurred on 13th April 1992. For example, on 26 November 2021, she posted:


'Mike never forgot the date he took the diary to London: Monday, April 13th 1992.'


She has never substantiated this claim which, from the evidence we've been allowed to see (and hear), appears to be false.


But the purpose of this final section - because I always like to bring receipts - is to demonstrate the number of times that Caroline Morris-Brown shouted out the year "1990" as a way of countering the dangerous Orsam Theory.


The first example I've found is from 22 December 2016, while I was a member of the Forum (#2266 of the Incontrovertible thread), not long after I'd first put forward the Orsam Theory earlier that year:


'If he was so forgetful by the mid-90s that he thought the purchase was in 1990, and not 1992, and that he obtained it after the tiny 1891 diary arrived, it might explain why he had to make up the finer details from whole cloth, but that's what he did according to O&L.'


An early reliance on Mike's dating error of 1990 here to try and disprove his involvement in the forgery in 1992. We can see that she also uses her own failure, and the failure of Keith Skinner, to request that the files of O&L from early 1992 be searched, as evidence of O&L saying that Mike made up the finer details 'from whole cloth'. In fact, despite not being included in her book, O&L confirmed at least one of the finer details of Mike's story, namely his claim that it was possible to purchase items at O&L using a false name.


Then, a week later, on 29 December 2016 (#2379 of the same thread):


'Confused or not, it must have been untrue that Mike obtained the guard book in 1990 unless it was untrue that he bought the 1891 diary first. Demonstrable untruth in there somewhere, surely?'


Here, she was trying to demonstrate that Mike's account in the affidavit was demonstrably untruthful but, as we now know, all she was doing was pointing out an innocuous dating error which bears no relation to truthfulness. Accuracy, yes, truthfulness, no.


As we will see, should you wish to travel down this road with me of looking at Caroline's entire set of disinformation posts, as I hope you will, the 1990 scam was relied on in every single year but one since 2016.


It wasn't long after the new year of 2017 that the scam re-commenced. On 5 January 2017, (#2637), she posted:


'Just to be clear, he claimed that he obtained the guard book after the tiny 1891 diary.


He obtained the latter in March 1992.


He claimed he obtained the former in 1990.


Now since the above is an impossibility, it must contain at least one demonstrable untruth. It was either an untruth to claim he obtained the guard book in 1990, or it was an untruth to claim he obtained it after the 1891 diary. Whether he got himself thoroughly confused over his dates or was just demonstrating an inability to keep a straight story to save his life, there it was, a demonstrable untruth.'


This was, of course, as we now know for sure, completely the wrong way to frame the issue. What she should have concluded was that because Mike claimed that he obtained the 'guard book' (although he actually called it a photograph album and never used the expression 'guard book') after the tiny 1891 diary - and it is known for a fact that the tiny 1891 diary was obtained in March 1992 - this shows that Mike must have been saying in his affidavit that he obtained the 'guard book' in March 1992. But she couldn't seem to work that out for herself.


Within a week she was repeating herself. On 11 January 2017 (#2735) she posted:


'I can only repeat that Mike could not have got the guard book in 1990, as he claimed, if he didn't get it until after he acquired the 1891 diary, as he claimed in the same statement. Conversely, he could not have acquired the 1891 diary before the guard book, as he claimed, if he got the guard book in 1990, as he claimed in the same statement.'


Once again, she was relying on what Mike had supposedly claimed in his affidavit about having purchased the photograph album (not 'guard book') in 1990. But we now know (and whether she knew this at the time from having listened to the 29th January 1995 recording is unclear) that this was a simple dating error.


Nevertheless, she was back at it five days later (#2903), saying:


'Bit of a bummer for you then that he recalled purchasing the guard book in 1990, two years before his purchase of the 1891 diary, followed almost immediately by the supposed writing of 'the' diary in 11 days, followed almost immediately by taking it to London.'


And then some more:


'What did Barrett think he was doing in the two years between bidding for the guard book in 1990 and taking it to London in April 1992?'


More 1990 nonsense, with her trying to say that Mike's claim was that he went to the auction in 1990 and then spent two years twiddling his thumbs before bringing the diary to London in 1992.


And I must interject here to mention once again something I've already mentioned a couple of times in passing. Why does she continually refer to Mike claiming to have purchased a 'guard book'? That's not what he said at all. It is quite clearly stated in his affidavit of 5 January 1995 that he purchased a photograph album. Why does she continually use her own idiosyncratic expression rather than using the expression that was used in the affidavit?


Anyway, she was back four days later on 20 January 2017 (#2971) to once again obsess over the 1990 year in the affidavit, saying:


'He claims it was at the start of 1990 that he and Anne 'finally' decided to go ahead with writing the diary...Mike seems to put all the diary action back to 1990.'


Then it's the exact same thing again on 2 February 2017 (#3164):


'Mike puts all the action back to 1990, including the purchase of the red diary, followed by the 11 days of preparing the guard book followed by the trip to London with it.'


There was a bit of a lull at this point but she must have got a shock when I posted new information in my thread 'Acquiring a Victorian Diary' that there had been an auction of Victorian and Edwardian effects at Outhwaite & Litherland on 31st March 1992. I guess it took a while for her to recover but she was back with her favourite scam in that same 'Acquiring' thread (#225) on 19 December 2017, saying:


'So instead of having a diary project on the go from as early as 1990 and getting muddled with his dates five years later, it all began one fateful day in March 1992, followed by a brief but intense and exciting period in which he managed to acquire two old books - the Little and Large of diaries - and get the rapt attention of a London literary agent. I seriously doubt he'd have forgotten that in a hurry, or how quickly it had all gone down.'


Because Caroline Morris-Brown seriously doubted that Mike would have muddled up 1992 with 1990 - which we know he did - this was apparently enough for her, and enough to form the entire basis of the scam. Whether she had, by this time, heard the tape recording of Mike speaking to Gray on 29th January 1995 is unknown but I have to think that she surely must have done. Had she not done so it would have been grossly negligent considering that it was surely available to her at this time.


In the same 'Acquiring' thread on 2 February 2018 (#863), she wrote:


'…going to Liverpool libraries and bookshops to bone up on both the JtR and Maybrick cases, ask questions and take notes. Which means it was entirely possible for people to have noticed and remembered if someone had been doing this over a period of time, from as early as 1990, as Mike's affidavit appears to imply.'


So, here, she uses the fact that no one came forward to say that they recalled seeing Mike over a two year period, from as early as 1990, even though there is no evidence that anyone ever asked random users of Liverpool libraries and bookshops whether they had seen Mike Barrett (a complete stranger to them) in those locations but, had such a question been asked, the questioner would have been asking about the wrong time period.


Then in May 2018 back in the Incontrovertible thread (#4649):


'Have you ever wondered why Mike [helped along by Alan Gray] backdated the writing of the diary to early 1990 in his January 1995 affidavit, putting Tony Devereux's death back accordingly to mid-1990? It seems not to have occurred to him that anyone might be able to trace his enquiry for the little red diary to a totally incompatible early 1992. And Alan Gray probably didn't have a clue it was purchased that late on in the game.'


Here we have an interesting rare admission by Ms Morris-Brown that Mike had been helped by Alan Gray when preparing his January 1995 affidavit, although she doesn't follow through to the logical conclusion that errors in the affidavit might be the responsibility of Gray rather than Mike.


Worse, she seems to be saying here that Mike consciously dated the writing of the diary to 1990 even though he was fully aware that he had acquired the little red diary in March 1992 and that the purchase of the photograph album (and thus the writing of the diary) came after the acquisition of the little red diary. The idea that he could have made a simple and not uncommon error in recalling the year something in his life had happened (as the evidence suggests was the case) seems not to have even occurred to her.


Incidentally, anyone following closely will have spotted that subtle twisting of the facts by Ms Morris-Brown in saying that Mike had made an 'enquiry for the little red diary'. This is false. It isn't what he said in his affidavit (in which he simply claimed that Anne had purchased the little red diary, without any involvement from him) nor is it what we now know happened in actual fact, whereby his enquiry was for a Victorian diary from the period 1880-1890 with blank pages. The little red 1891 diary was something that was offered to him when his enquiry produced no positive results.


She continued in the same post, saying:


'Neither Mike nor Alan Gray thought it would be credible to claim the diary was forged any later than 1990 [and certainly not as late as April 1992, when the little red diary had finally put in an appearance], so that's what went in the affidavit.'

 

You see, she knows why the 1990 diary date was put into the affidavit even though the truth is that she was only speculating at the time and we now know that it was a dating error.


More than a year after my discovery of the 31st March 1992 O&L auction, she was still fretting about it and, of course, using the 1990 date in the affidavit as her sole way of countering the point. Thus, on 10 May 2018, in the Incontrovertible thread she posted:


'....the only auction David found was on March 31st 1992 and the finished diary was in London on April 13th 1992. But the emphasis on all this happening in early 1990 is quite striking and would certainly be explained by a belief that if Mike and Anne had forged this diary it would have needed a good two years before it could safely be shown to anyone.'


She was, here, mistaken in saying that the 31st March 1992 auction was the 'only' auction I found (I found lots of them; one O&L auction every week, in fact) but her point again seems to be that Mike had deliberately and consciously dated the writing of the diary to 1990 because he was, in her view, fully aware that one needed to let a forged document lie around for two years (presumably to age it) and that no one would have believed him if he had said it was only written a few weeks before he brought it to London. The funny thing about this is that she was sat in silence listening to Mike say very clearly at the Cloak & Dagger event in April 1999 that he only purchased the photograph album at auction after having spoken to Doreen Montgomery in March 1992. If he thought in 1995 that it was such a daft idea that he had purchased the photograph album in March 1992 why did he say precisely this in 1999? It doesn't make any sense.


In this month of May 2018 she was unstoppable. On 23 May 2018 (#4735) she wrote:


'It's clear from the affidavit that the red diary was deliberately included in all the events described as happening in early 1990, because it would have been useless for confession purposes [as well as forgery purposes] if its actual date of purchase in 1992 had been included at the time.'


Again, we see her theme that the 1990 date was 'deliberately included' in Mike's affidavit because, she claims, the 1992 date would have been 'useless', even though she was fully aware that Mike had used a 1992 date of creation at the Cloak & Dagger event in 1999. She should also have been aware of Mike's confusion as expressed in the then secret (to the rest of us) tape recording of 29th January 1995.


I resigned from Casebook in 2018 so things went quiet a bit with the 1990 scam, because she had lost her main opponent, but kicked off again with a vengeance on 5 June 2020 (#5179) when she introduced the fictional character Sherlock Holmes into the scam, saying:


'Holmes would have been left to grapple with Mike's sworn affidavit of 5th January 1995, which put the planning and also, awkwardly, the execution of the diary back two years to early 1990.'


I rather think that Sherlock Holmes would have worked out in a fraction of a second that the 1990 date in Mike's affidavit was a simple dating error, either by Mike himself or by Alan Gray when drafting and/or typing the affidavit.


How to deal with the fact that Mike consistently claimed in both 1995 and 1999 that the diary was written in eleven days, which fitted perfectly with my discovery of the O&L auction on 31st March 1992 knowing that the diary was brought to London on 13th April 1992? Simple! Just use the magic elixir and throw out the 1990 date from the affidavit. Hence on 7 June 2020 (#5226):


'He dated those 11 days to early 1990 for starters,'

 

Job done! The fact that it's perfectly clear that Mike meant to date those 11 days to 1992 is overlooked and ignored.


Then, on 23 June 2020 (#5347), as part of an attempt to accuse me of 'fitting up' Mike Barrett even though he freely confessed to having done exactly what I was suggesting he had done, she wrote (underlining added):


'The hypocrisy is stunning, when I think of the blatant, public and deliberate fitting up of Mike Barrett. Orsam had to have him attending an auction on 31st March 1992, and no other day, or he knew the Barrett hoax would fall apart like a cheap suit. Mike himself felt 'sure' he got the photo album from O&L in January 1990, but that didn't work with the red diary being ordered to accommodate Maybrick's memoirs, so the auction date had to be moved forward 2 years so Anne could still be accused of forging the diary over 11 days in early April 1992, using the photo album. I don't see a single word of criticism aimed Orsam's way for his shameless fitting up of Mike and the evidence to fit the desired conclusion.'


The fact that Mike might have felt sure that he got the photograph album (and it's good to see her finally using that expression rather than guard book) in 1990, assuming that it wasn't a typo or other form of mistake made by Alan Gray, means nothing if he was confused about the chronology of events and made a simple dating error. By this time, the recording of the 1999 Cloak & Dagger event had been released so now we were told that, at that event, instead of deliberately moving the date of the purchase of the photograph album two years back to 1990, Mike was deliberately moving it forward two years to 1992.


In the 'Special Announcement' thread on 30 July 2020 (#325) Caroline wrote:


'Mike not only has Devereux, their alleged co-conspirator, dying over a year too soon [he actually died in August 1991], but he also dates the 11 day creation and completion of the diary to before May 1990. Even allowing for Mike forgetting when Devereux died, this would put the creation and completion before August 1991.'

 

Aside from her once again focusing on the 1990 date in the diary, which was a simple mistake, in using the word 'completion', she was suggesting that the affidavit was saying that the writing of the diary text into the photograph album was completed before August 1991 when Tony Devereux was alive. But, while it is true that the affidavit states that, 'after we completed the diary we left it a while with Tony being sever[e]ly ill', as I mentioned to Caroline a number of times when I was posting in the Forum, it may well be that what Mike had told Gray was that a draft of the diary text had been completed, perhaps on Mike's computer, while Devereux was alive, but that the physical act of completing the writing into the photograph album only happened much later, in April 1992.


She then said:


'For any of this to have a chance of being credible, you either have to rule out the red diary as irrelevant [it was not sent to Mike until 26th March 1992], and have the diary created between 1990 and 1991 while Devereux was still alive and able to help, or you rule out the timing of Devereux's death as irrelevant, but include the red diary as crucial, and then put the diary's 11 day creation and completion forward to April 1992.'


But this isn't true. The idea for the diary, including its contents, could have been created in 1990 or 1991 while Tony Devereux was alive, while the physical act of creating it by use of the photograph album could have occurred in April 1992. She must have been aware of this alternative possibility so why didn't she mention it? The answer can only be that it's part of the scam not to do so.


A few months later, in September 2020, in the Incontrovertible thread (#6098) it was the same old story:


'Never mind that Mike didn't play any of the right notes in his 5th January 1995 affidavit, much less in the right order, when claiming that the entire process took place in early 1990, two years before he took the diary to London.'


Once again, it's a mistake - and a pretty obvious one at that considering the misdating of Tony Devereux's death - which is being relied on to undermine the entire forgery story.


Two days later, like a robotic machine, the same old trope is produced once more in a longer form (#6100):


'In the affidavit, Mike had dated Anne's purchase of a small red diary [no indication of its year or age] back to the beginning of 1990, followed by his auction attendance which he 'felt sure' was at the end of January 1990.  The priority in January 1997 was seen as checking his story of where and when he obtained the actual book used for the Maybrick diary. I doubt Shirley would have considered a nondescript red diary more important to check out, even if she was fully aware by then that one existed and Anne had paid for it in May 1992. Mike's inclusion of it in the affidavit, his dating of its purchase to 1990, and the date of Anne's cheque, would have made no sense to anyone at that time. So the accusation that 'the Diary team' didn't 'bother' to competently check O&L's books for 'over 20 years' is almost as inappropriate as accusing Baxendale of not noticing that the ink was 'still damp' in June 1992.'


As with any sentence from Caroline Morris-Brown which commences "In the affidavit...", one knows exactly what is coming next. It's not even true to say, as she does, that Mike dated Anne's purchase of a small red diary back to the beginning of 1990. No date is stated in the affidavit for when this purchase occurred. Sure, the implication is that it occurred prior to the end of January 1990 but, considering that it is also categorically stated as a fact in the affidavit that Tony Devereux 'died late May early June 1990', when he actually died in August 1991, surely that must have indicated to any intelligent reader of the affidavit that the January 1990 date for the auction purchase is unreliable.


Two weeks later on 18 September 2020 we had this from Ms Morris-Brown


'Mike didn't help himself by putting the purchase of the red diary first, followed by the 11-day creation process, followed by the death of Devereux, a year too early, in 1990.'


One can only admire the notion of Mike taking care when writing his affidavit to 'help himself'. Was that really what he was doing? Or was he leaving it all to Alan Gray, giving not the slightest concern about the details of what Gray was including in the affidavit?


And truly, did Caroline Morris-Brown really believe that Mike cleverly cooked up a convoluted story about the diary's creation having occurred in early 1990 only to clumsily say that Tony Devereux died in the summer of 1990, an easily checkable and disprovable fact?


The year 2021 was only 22 days old when the scam was continued as Caroline Morris-Brown wrote:


'One of his claims, from 1995, was that the diary was first thought of in early 1990 and written into the scrapbook while Tony Devereux was alive.'

 

Again, this is all stated as a fact without any consideration of a simple dating error having been made in the affidavit, either by Barrett or Gray. This is even worse if, as I suspect she must have done, she had listened to the recording of 29th January 1995.


Now you might be thinking at this stage that no one could possibly have been impressed with this 1990 scam. No one can be so gullible as to fall for such a scam, surely?


Well you'd be wrong. Jay Hartley lapped it up and, while the thoughts of some turned to love, Jay Hartley's thoughts turned to Caroline Morris-Brown's scam on Valentine's Day, 14 February 2021, as he posted on that day (#6226):


'When in 1995 he had the chance to finally reveal just when and where in March 1992 did he eventually get the scrapbook that was to become this document, he plumped for January 1990.'


But if Mike in 1995 (or rather in late 1994 when speaking to Alan Gray) had had no way of confirming the date he purchased the scrapbook, having to rely on his alcohol befuddled memory, and if Alan Gray misunderstood what Barrett was telling him, the date in the affidavit could have been a simple mistake, as we now know it was.


A week later, the Chief Diary Defender, Ms Morris-Brown, took back the running to say (#8011):


'In Mike's affidavit of January 5th 1995 - which is available to read on this site if you require reminding - he claimed that 'the progression of the diary' began and ended in early 1990, from the initial idea to the final production. You can work out how long he claimed the whole process took by reading the details, and noting that he claimed the physical diary was all done and dusted in 1990 while Tony Devereux was still alive.'


It can be seen that the scam here involves sending her helpless, innocent readers off to read Mike's affidavit with no indication that it would have been drafted and typed by Alan Gray or that it might contain some dating errors. Instead, her poor readers (the scamees) are instructed to take the date of 1990 uncritically at face value.


We arrive at the summer of 2021 and it doesn't stop. On 25th June (#6318) she wrote:


'He had dated everything: the purchase of the red diary, the photo album, the pen, the nibs, the ink and indeed the creation of the diary itself, including the 11 days Anne took to write it into the scrapbook, back to 1990, before Tony Devereux died, and then had Tony die a year too early.'


Addressing RJ Palmer, she said on 2nd July 2021 (#6465):


'Your belief is that Mike arrived home on 31st March 1992 with an album of WWI photos, which had to be removed so Anne could get to work right away on transferring the Maybrick text into it, in time for it to be seen in London on 13th April. Mike later claimed that Caroline witnessed this going on, but let's ignore the fact that he dated it back to 1990 and also claimed that the whole process, from inspiration and raw materials to completion, was done and dusted before Tony died.'


Yes, exactly, let's ignore the fact that the affidavit dated the events back to 1990. What a fantastic suggestion. Because it might just be a dating error. But, oh dear, before the end of the month she just can't ignore it, she can't let it go. On 26 July 2021 (#6773) she posted:


'Mike never attempted to put the diary's creation as late as 1992. The two knowns do not lend themselves to any post hoc probability calculation, because all Orsam has is the appearance of the diary within a fortnight of a random auction at O&L. That's it. In January 1995, Mike himself claimed he had attended one in January 1990, and this problem is artificially resolved by theorising that his drinking by 1995 had badly impaired his memory for dates. This ignores the evidence on record that Mike instantly recalled, during that same period, the exact date he went to London with the diary: Monday 13th April 1992.'


Her first sentence, of course, wasn't true. Not at all. Mike did expressly attempt to put the diary's creation as late as 1992 over a two day period in April 1999, first at the Ripperology lunch and then at the Cloak & Dagger event. To say that he 'never' did this is just blatantly false.


In the middle, we see that the Orsam/Palmer suggestion that Mike's memory for dates was 'badly impaired' is described as a way of artificially resolving the problem with Mike's affidavit. If Caroline Morris-Brown had listened to the recording of 29th January 1995, which one assumes was in her possession at this time, it is baffling as to how she could properly make that statement. Even without that recording, which clearly shows Mike having an impaired memory for dates, it should have been obvious to her that this was a very likely explanation for the 1990 date in the affidavit.


As I've already mentioned above, on 25 November 1991 she posted that Mike 'never forgot' the date he took the diary to London without providing any evidence to support this claim. She did the same again on 14 December 1991 (#7875) when she said:


'Just a few days after swearing to Anne purchasing the red diary in early 1990, Mike was very far indeed from being in a 'mental fog'. He recalled the exact date when he took the diary to London: Monday 13th April 1992 - over two years after he had so recently 'remembered' buying all the raw materials and going through the entire creation process.'


To this day, I'm not quite sure what Ms Morris-Brown had read or discovered in late 1991 which led her to believe this, but it's odd that she repeated the claim, never made before, in such a short space of time (and continued to repeat it thereafter).


Then we had another strange and unproven claim made on 15 December 2021 (#7891):


'He claimed the auction took place in early 1990, and there is still no satisfactory explanation for why he did so. He did tell Alan Gray, who typed up the statement for him, that he got dates wrong on purpose. Make of that what you will.'


When did Mike tell Alan Gray that he 'got the dates wrong on purpose'? Where did this come from? I don't recall hearing it on any of the recordings which have been provided. Where else could Caroline Morris-Brown had got such an idea into her head? Was she relying on her unreliable memory? It's yet another outrageous example of her making statements on a public forum without providing the source.


On 21 December 2021, we see in the clearest possible way how Caroline Morris-Brown was using the 1990 mistake in the affidavit to counter the dangerous and scary Orsam Theory (#8011):


'In Mike's affidavit of January 5th 1995 - which is available to read on this site if you require reminding - he claimed that 'the progression of the diary' began and ended in early 1990, from the initial idea to the final production. You can work out how long he claimed the whole process took by reading the details, and noting that he claimed the physical diary was all done and dusted in 1990 while Tony Devereux was still alive. You must be confusing Barrett with Barrat, because Barrett certainly didn't explain the progression as 'lasting several years'. It was Barrat 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. Unlike Barrat, Barrett could have produced his auction ticket as proof, assuming he ever had it. But Barrett's claim was that it was proof of an auction held in January 1990.'


Interestingly, when she was asked on the same day by RJ Palmer about Mike's claim in 1999 that he bought the pens in 1992 (#8018), she said:


'Right, so Mike changed his story again to suit his new and approved narrative'.


What she means by a 'new and approved narrative' is unknown and unknowable. What can the word 'approved' here possibly indicate? Who could have approved Mike's narrative in 1999? Surely the only sensible conclusion is that what was happening in 1999 was that Mike was telling exactly the same story as in his 1995 affidavit but that in 1995 he (or Gray) made a dating error.


We move effortlessly into 2022. She waits a few weeks but by 25th February of that year she can contain herself no longer. She now says that RJ Palmer needs to provide evidence of Mike being on dialysis before she will accept that Mike's memory of dates could have let him down (as if only people only dialysis could get their dates wrong!) and once again claims that Mike had no trouble recalling the date of 13th April 1992 during January 1995 (#8422):


'Some evidence that Mike was on dialysis prior to January 5th 1995, potentially affecting his mental state and memory when preparing and making his affidavit of that date, might help you reconcile the hopeless "early 1990" date he gave for Anne's purchase of the red 1891 diary, which arrived in late March 1992. In case your memory is letting you down, this arrived just a few days before Mike took the Maybrick diary to London - a date he had no trouble recalling on 18th January 1995.'

 

The reference to Mike having no trouble on 18th January 1995 recalling the date he brought the diary to London (13th April 1992) suggests that she is saying that Mike must be on tape as having mentioned it during the recorded meeting with Keith Skinner on that date. So why have we never heard this recording? Why has it not been released on Casebook? How difficult can it be for someone to forward a digital copy to Jonathan Menges for him to upload it? In the absence of any quote of Mike mentioning the 13th April 1992 date at this meeting, including in the detailed summary of it in 'Inside Story' (pages 170-173), how can we be sure he said it?


We then had two posts on 2 March 2022. Firstly, the bombastic claim (#8442) that:


'Mike made up the auction and dated it to early 1990, probably because it never dawned on him that anyone would believe it in a million years if he tried to date it to late March 1992, to tie in with the arrival of the red diary he was trying to use as evidence.'

 

Again, utter nonsense contradicted by Mike dating the auction to late March 1992 in April 1999, at a time when the date he received the red diary was unknown to anyone (including him!).


Then, secondly, another attempt to create the fiction that Mike was saying that it took two years for Anne to write the diary (#8445):


'And presumably when he swore his affidavit 13 days earlier, you think he was not putting on an act, for Anne, or Alan Gray, or Melvin Harris, or Nick Warren, but genuinely believed he and Anne had been beavering away, obtaining all the raw materials and writing the diary, with Caroline there to witness its creation, in early 1990, a year and a half before Tony died, and a full two years before he had actually ordered the 1891 diary and had taken the Maybrick diary to London?'


This post was in response to RJ Palmer referring to Mike having made 'a small error about the date'. She didn't like that because it ruins the scam.


No summer would be complete without the 1990 scam and so it was on 17 June 2022 that we had this:


'While RJ might want to argue that Mike's 'chronology' is ambiguous, regarding whether Tony died after the text was composed, but before the offending artefact was created from it, I don't see how it can be remotely ambiguous regarding when the raw materials, including the red diary and the photo album, were obtained in relation to Tony's unexpected demise. Mike's timeline unequivocally dates the former to January 1990, and the latter - incorrectly - to late May, early June 1990. If he had got his mate's date of death the following year roughly right, he'd have put the cart containing both diaries even further before the horse and hearse. It's the basic order of events that RJ needs Mike to have got so spectacularly wrong - no word of a lie.'


One wonders why RJ needed Mike to have got it so spectacularly wrong but it's evident from the recently released recordings that Mike did get it so spectacularly wrong, or rather his affidavit was a couple of years out which, when one is recalling events from memory, is not actually so surprising and, if "1990" was a typo by Gray for "1991", a possibility which cannot currently be ruled out, he may only have been a year out in his recollection.


Five days later, the scam spread into the 'Who were they?' thread on Casebook (#221):


'Now, we do know for a fact that Mike's request for an unused or partly used Victorian diary was not made until 9th or 10th March 1992, when he first told anyone he had Jack the Ripper's diary.


What do you think he needed this for in March 1992, when he later 'admitted' that the diary he took to London in April 1992 had been sitting around biting its nails in nervous but excited anticipation since January 1990?'


Did Mike really admit that the diary had been sitting around since January 1990? Or did the wording of his affidavit reflect Alan Gray's garbled misunderstanding of what had occurred? After all, Mike has been consistent over many years in saying that the plan to forge Jack the Ripper's diary started in 1989. This means that it started when Tony Devereux was alive and, considering that Tony was the person to whom Mike lent his copy of 'Tales of Liverpool', it is by no means outside the bounds of possibility that Mike and Tony collaborated to draft the diary's text with a view to jointly profiting from it, a plan which Mike put aside for a few months following Tony's illness and death in August 1991.


In July, in the same thread (#679), Caroline was back to repeat her baffling claim that Mike never forgot the date he brought the diary to London:


'Bearing in mind that he never, ever forgot the date that he took the diary to London: Monday 13th April 1992'


Once again, no evidence was adduced in support of what is a ridiculous assertion. How can she possibly know if Mike ever forgot a certain date or not? Only a diary defender scammer could say such a thing.


In the same post, she confirmed for us that 'Alan was the one who typed up the affidavit'. Why does she never consider that Alan might have made mistakes when doing this typing?


The tentacles of the scam widened even further in July 2023 as it now made an appearance in the 'old hoax or new' thread (#453):


'As Mike was in the habit of doing, he tended to base his tall stories about the diary on actual events, adapting the dates and details to whatever advantage he was seeking to gain at the time. So a live electrician living on Fountains Road in 1992 became a deceased friend living there until August 1991, so Mike could explain how he came to have Jack the Ripper's "diary" in his possession. The transcript that was prepared from the diary for its debut in London on 13th April 1992 became, in January 1995, the draft that was handwritten into the scrapbook by the wife who had deserted him the year before and had just divorced him. But even Mike knew that if he claimed this was not done until early April 1992, when he had already begun making arrangements with Doreen to bring both the diary and the transcript to London, it would simply not be credible, so he wisely backdated the process to January 1990 in his affidavit, apparently altering the year on the draft version to 1991 at a later date - probably when he realised his mistake that Devereux had died that year, and not in 1990.'


This is the most highly developed version of the scam whereby Mike is deliberately - here said to be 'wisely' - backdating his creating of the diary to 1990. For what reason? Because, she says, a 1992 creation 'would simply not be credible'. Really? So why was it believed by Mike to be credible in April 1999? What had changed? It just doesn't make sense.


Here we also see a belated appreciation by Ms Morris-Brown that the date of 1990 was subsequently corrected to 1991 on a mark-up of the affidavit. Now that we've heard the previously top secret recording of the conversation between Barrett and Gray on 29th January 1995, we know exactly why this was done. It wasn't so much the fact that Gray informed Mike that Devereux died in 1991 but that the date of his death told Mike that Tony had his fall in Christmas 1990, something which seemed more important to him in calculating diary dates than Tony's death. It enabled him to work out that he brought the diary to London in April 1991. In doing so, he had obviously got it wrong but he must have narrowed in his memory the time period between Tony's fall and the bringing of the diary to London, something which can easily happen as the memory plays tricks with matters of time. It suggests that Tony's fall, which left him housebound, was connected in Mike's mind with a plan to collaborate on writing the diary and that Mike knew the diary was only physically forged with Anne's help after this, hence it couldn't have been done in early 1990.


Back over in the Incontrovertible thread eight days later, on 25 July 2023, responding to a post by RJ Palmer in which he had said, "We are constantly told that Barrett's reference to 1990 (1991 in the handwritten draft) makes his January 1995 affidavit a deal breaker, but the businessman is given a pass even though he potentially dates the sale to a time before Dodd's floorboards were even lifted by more than a 50/50 margin", the diary defending scammer wrote:


'Not sure RJ is 'constantly' told that it's Barrett's 1990 [or 1991] that makes his affidavit 'a deal breaker'. The whole thing looks like tripe from start to finish, from where I'm sitting, for a whole number of reasons other than just his evident problem with dating Devereux's death and the order of the claimed events.'


I do love that first sentence. Despite having been constantly telling us in multiple threads since 2016 that Mike's affidavit was a deal breaker, as we have seen, she is here (in 2023) 'not sure' that RJ is constantly being told that the 1990 date makes Mike's affidavit a deal breaker!!! Really? What would she need to be sure of this? Having said or implied it every single day of the week? For goodness sake. But now she's trying to tell us that her opposition to Mike's affidavit is based on 'a whole number of other reasons'. How odd then that it always seems to be the 1990 date that she brings up when challenging it.


Now, you might think that having denied constantly using the 1990 date to break the affidavit, and having told us about these 'whole number of other reasons' which make the affidavit 'tripe', she would finally shut up about the 1990 scam. But not a bit of it. Literally two days after posting the above she was back on the scam posting on 27 July 2023 (#9754) about:


'The word of a liar, who dated this back to 1990, arguably because he never dreamed anyone would give it the slightest credence otherwise?'


On 5 September 2023 (#10058), after warning us that "a note of extreme caution has to be attached to anything he ever said about the scrapbook he took to London in April 1992", she said in the next sentence:


'Not only that, but the account he gave, which Barrett hoax theorists rely on most, includes the claim that the scrapbook used for his fake was obtained from an auction in early 1990, before Tony Devereux died, which nobody believes was true. The theorists get round this by blaming Mike for being two years out with his dates due to his heavy drinking and, if that doesn't work with the known facts [because, for instance, there was nothing wrong with Mike's memory for dates just a few days later], they fall back on blaming the private investigator for not checking any of Mike's dates before typing up the affidavit and allowing him to sign off on it.'


As far as I can see, she is basically saying here that the inclusion of the 1990 date in Mike's affidavit is a deal breaker! The very thing she's been constantly saying since 2016; but when anyone points out that she's been doing it, she denies it!


We also find a strange, apparently carefully worded, twist in this post. Whereas she has previously said on multiple occasions that Mike was always aware of the specific date of 13th April 1992, and mentioned this date on 18th January 1995, here we are simply told that 'there was nothing wrong with Mike's memory for dates just a few days later'. It's curious that she puts it in this vague way. He might well have remembered some other dates, but did he remember that the diary came down to London in 1992? The fact that she doesn't say so is very suspicious and suggests to me that she's belatedly checked the position to find her own memory was at fault and that Mike never mentioned 13th April 1992 during the 18th January 1995 meeting.


We bring ourselves up to date with her final stubborn post that the inclusion of 1990 in the affidavit was deliberate by Mike Barrett, which occurred on 7 November 2023 (#10260) when she said that:


'Mike Barrett's claim was that it had been an intact album with many pages of photos in January 1990, when he saw it in an auction sale and bought it for the purpose of turning it into JtR's diary.'


Well that wasn't really Mike's claim. Now that we've heard the recording from 29th January 1995, we know that his claim was that he saw the album in an auction sale in March 1991. But that was on the basis that he came down to London with the diary in April 1991. Once the latter date is adjusted to the correct date of April 1992, Mike simply must have been saying at all times in January 1995 that he saw the album in an auction sale in March 1992. Just like he said when he told the story in his own words to Caroline Morris-Brown, Keith Skinner and many others at the Cloak & Dagger event in 1999, but they weren't listening.


Since the release of the Gray/Barrett recording of 29th January 1995 at the start of 2024, we haven't seen the deployment of the 1990 scam, not surprisingly because it's now been busted wide open. As mentioned in Gray Days, however, we did see this ridiculous post on 12th January 2024:


'Later the same month, Gray already knew this statement had at least one error: Tony Devereux did not die in 1990, but in 1991. He soon heard that another date was in question, when Mike told him he had obtained the scrapbook, not in January 1990 as he claimed in the affidavit [nor from the awesome auction held on 31st March 1992 - you could have knocked me down with a feather], but "six weeks previous" to his meeting with Doreen, on "13th April". Okay, so Mike got the year wrong on this occasion - he said both these memorable events took place in 1991, following Tony's fall at Christmas 1990 - but he was spot on as always with the actual date of the diary's London debut. As quick on the uptake as ever, Gray was able to work out in a flash that six weeks back from 13th April took them to March, except that the year would have been 1992.'


Well, I have lived to see a post from her which finally includes a belated acknowledgement that Mike was confused about the dates of events during 1995! We can see that she tries to call those events he was describing, "memorable events". That may be true but the fact that an event itself might be memorable doesn't mean for one second that the date of the event will be remembered by the person who experienced it. Far from it.


We also see her false claim, about which I've previously commented, that Mike was 'spot on as always with the actual date of the diary's London debut.' He was not spot on at all. The only thing he seemed to be able to remember was that it occurred on the 13th April but, as to the year, he was clueless. It was a pitiful attempt by Caroline Morris-Brown to underplay the enormous significance of what was on the recording - a recording which she had surely been in possession of for many years - and to put a brave face on what was a disaster for her after all the many years of telling us that 1990 was the lie told by Mike which proves the falsity of his forgery story.


While, other than the above-mentioned post, we haven't seen the scam in action during 2024, readers should remain vigilant. I would not want to see anyone caught out in this dreadful scam. Most scammers scam for money but diary defender scammers seem to scam to collect the souls of unwary online posters. Be safe! Don't get scammed online by the diary defender scammers.


That is the 1990 Scam fully and finally exposed, with receipts.


LORD ORSAM 22 February 2024












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