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  • Lord Orsam

More Gray Days

So let's go through what happens on these Gray/Barrett recordings in more detail.


31 AUGUST 1994


This is the first recording when the topic of the diary comes up, albeit briefly. It occurs after Mike has been moaning about the money he's been paid from the diary publisher, or rather lack of it, in his view. There isn't much of interest in the discussions on this day although, at one point, somewhat inaudibly, Mike mentions Quink, something which we will discuss in respect of the next tape.


The most interesting thing to emerge from this recording is that Gray appears to read out a number of book titles in Mike's possession which relate to crime and true crime. He seems to confirm that Mike owns a copy of Colin Wilson & Robin Odell's Jack the Ripper: Summing Up and Verdict as well as a copy of the Murderer's Who's Who. These are both books that Mike recommended as background reading to Doreen Montgomery when he first spoke to her in March 1992. So, while Mike could have rushed out and bought them on 9th March, it rather looks like Mike already owned copies of these books at the time. Other books in Mike's collection appear to be a book about the Train Robbers, one about the murders at 10 Rillington Place as well as some fictional crime books by Colin Dexter. This would appear to show Mike's pre-existing interest in crime and true crime especially. Just another coincidence, I guess, that the person who produced the James Maybrick diary was not only a professional freelance journalist but someone with an interest in true crime not to mention someone who owned at least two books containing information about Jack the Ripper (i.e. the Wilson & Odell book and the Murderer's Who's Who) and also two books which contained information about the Maybrick case (i.e. the Whittington-Egan book, which we already knew Mike owned, and the Murderer's Who's Who).


Worthy of note, I think, is the fact that the Murderer's Who's Who, under the entry of 'Jack the Ripper' said that the Ripper case was a 'Celebrated series of five unsolved murders in Victorian London in 1888', thus matching the number of London murders included in the diary.


24 OCTOBER 1994


It's on this day that Mike first tells Gray how the diary was created:


'I done it on a word processor.  She’s transcribed it....I thought it was a bit clever.  The writing and that. Write it down then. So I forged it, she transcribed it.'


The 'she' in question, here, is Mike's wife, Anne.


While I make no criticism of the authors at all, the fact that Mike was telling Gray on this date that his wife was the diary scribe isn't mentioned in the summary of this recording in 'Inside Story' (pages 147-8) so that listening to the tape was the first confirmation for me that Mike revealed this fact to Gray on this date. I already knew that he must have done so around this time because, within two weeks of the date of this recording, on 5 November 1994, Mike lodged a statement at Walton Police Station, prepared with Gray's help, in which he stated that his wife wrote the manuscript of the diary.


A few moments earlier, Mike had said something rather interesting to Gray. As a group, we are all, I am sure, used to the endless speculation posted by Caroline Morris-Brown about Anne's motives and behaviour in respect of her knowledge of the diary but, on this recording, we find Mike doing it himself, and, unlike that of the aforementioned Ms Morris-Brown, it's quite reasonable speculation. For he says:


'Anne’s thinking I daren’t say it’s phony because who goes down?  I go down. She’s gambling that I don’t say it’s phony.'  


In other words, Mike's belief was that Anne was relying on him to remain silent about their joint role in the forgery because, if he persists with his story, he will be going to prison, not her. So she was gambling that he wasn't going to contradict her own account of events which, of course, by October 1994, was that the diary had been in her family for years. Mike has noted that the diary team seem to have swallowed Anne's story hook, line and sinker, as he says:


'They’ve aligned themselves to Anne now.  They’ve probably paid her money.  The fucking thing is, I should be getting the money.'


According to Mike, in the mood he's in, 'There's only one thing to do. Kick over the fucking table'.


There then follows a conversation between Mike and Gray about the diary. Mike tells him that the main thing - 'the crux of it all' - in proving it was authentic was the paper and the ink. Gray says that he supposes one can pick up old paper somewhere. Mike replies that he used a photograph album and that 'it was so easy it was untrue'.


Mike subsequently emphasises that he wrote the diary but it's in Anne's handwriting. Interestingly, Gray then asks Mike if he has got samples of Anne's handwriting, which Mike immediately provides to him. Gray says: 'These are good samples, these'.


He asks Mike if the word processor on which he wrote the diary had a disk. Mike says it did, to which Gray responds, 'See proof, proof, proof.  They will argue it could have been done after. You know what I mean?'. Gray doesn't consider the possibility of metadata on the disk and it's not clear to me if there would have been recoverable metadata from an Amstrad disk showing what date a document on it had been created.


We then come on to a troublesome part of Mike's story, for he tells Gray that what he purchased from Bluecoat chambers for the purposes of forging the diary was 'a bottle of Quink'. Mike then stresses: 'I never wrote the diary personally. I didn’t write the diary personally.  Anne wrote the diary.  I did it on the word processor.' It's possible he said this to make clear that he didn't himself use the ink and thus wasn't so familiar with it.


A few days later, on 31 October (albeit in the same tape recording) Gray has been told (perhaps by Melvin Harris) that the ink used was Diamine, not Quink, and he asks Mike why he said Quink, to which Mike responds, 'That's the type it was'.


Now, anyone disposed to doubt that Mike involved in the creation of the diary will, understandably, use this as evidence that he was fabricating the story of how the diary was written. My view, however, is that Mike was never likely to have remembered the brand name of the ink purchased from Bluecoat chambers - assuming that's what happened - and the bottle of Diamine ink probably resembled (to him at least) a bottle of Quink. While I don't know what those respective bottles looked like in 1992, here are some current examples of Diamine and Quink simply to illustrate the point.


This is a bottle of Diamine Registrars Ink:



This is a bottle of Quink:



Mike does better with the paper, telling Gray on 24th October that he spent £50 'because it was an auction to buy an old album' in a Liverpool auction house.


31 OCTOBER 1994


During the conversation on 31st October, Gray asks Mike about 'FM' on the wall and whether he researched that anywhere. Mike says it was from a book 'three years ago', but I wasn't able to catch the name of it. I assume he was referring to The A to Z of Jack the Ripper because a few minutes he later names this book as his source. He also tells Gray that Mrs Hammersmith came from his imagination and that he placed two invented murders in Manchester because Thomas Maybrick lived in Manchester. This is all consistent with what he would say nearly five years later at the Cloak & Dagger meeting in April 1999.


4 NOVEMBER 1994


In this tape, Gray tells Mike that he's recording him. It may well be that Mike was unaware he was being recorded before this date.


Gray asks Mike again about the diary, and Mike, saying it was 'so easy to write it', seems to want to impress Gray with his knowledge of True Crime, telling him that he'd read a book about the assassination of JFK, a book entitled A Date with the Hangman: A History of Capital Punishment and a book about the Boston Strangler, as well as the Murderer's Who's Who. Asked what made him pick on Maybrick, Mike says that for years he studied killers and, mentioning Maybrick's grave, says that the irony is that Maybrick really was Jack the Ripper and in writing the diary he was speaking for him. He then seems to tell Gray that his father passed away last night which I assume wasn't true. It's not clear to me from the tape why Mike said this or what motive he could possibly have had to lie about it.


Gray then asks Mike if he had the idea to write the diary with someone else, to which Mike replies, 'I had the idea with somebody else', but he doesn't say who that person was.


Asked how Anne did the handwriting, Mike says that 'she wrote very slow on some occasions'.


Gray asks Mike if he has got documentary evidence for him to back up his claims. Mike replies that he has 'plenty of documents, evidence' but then, somewhat inconsistent with this, tells Gray to go back to Liverpool City Centre and he will prove it.


I think it's worth saying at this point that, despite repeated efforts by Gray over the remaining recordings to obtain from Mike some form of documentary evidence to prove his claims of forging the diary, Mike never provides it. We know that he did provide Gray with samples of Anne's handwriting. He also appears to have given him the Sphere paperback from which he said he took the Crashaw quote. He would, presumably, have given him the 1891 red diary but for some still unexplained reason that appears to have been in Anne's possession (or, at least, it was at the time Mike swore his 5th Jan 1995 affidavit because, he said, Anne had 'recently' asked for it, and she certainly had it in her possession when Keith Skinner spoke to her about it later in the year).


What more could Mike have given Gray to prove his involvement in the forgery?


Notes in preparation, or a rough draft? These could have been made later.


The pens and nibs? These could have been purchased later?


The brass compass? This could have been bought at an antique shop at any time.


To my mind, this only leaves the O&L receipt for the photograph album (assuming it was dated and could have been authenticated with O&L). What if this had been discarded or destroyed at the time, or subsequently, either by Mike or Anne? It would have meant, to his undoubted immense frustration, that Mike had nothing he could produce which would prove his role in the diary.


I challenge any diary defender to tell me what else Mike could ever have produced to their satisfaction which would have proved his involvement beyond any doubt. Other than an authenticated and dated receipt for a photograph album I can't think of anything, and even that could have been challenged. I can well envisage a diary defender breezily explaining it away to their own satisfaction as Mike having attended an O&L auction in late March 1992 to see if he could buy something similar to what Eddie Lyons had given him on 9 March, having failed to get a something satisfactory from Martin Earl, either to use as a 'decoy' in case the police or the angry owner knocked at his door demanding their own album back or to write a copy of the Jack the Ripper diary into it for some purpose, or just to see what a Victorian photograph album looked like, perhaps for some unspecified testing purpose. Oh yes, they would have come up with some sort of ludicrous explanation for why Mike might have wanted a photograph album in late March.


That's if the receipt even included the words "photograph album" which, from what we've been told by O&L, seems unlikely, and might have said nothing more than "miscellaneous lot" or similar.


What Mike needed to satisfy the doubters was something dated prior to 9 March 1992. But even that wouldn't have been sufficient for Gray in 1994, when the idea of Eddie Lyons working in Battlecrease on that date was but a twinkle on Caroline Morris-Brown's eye. So a document dated January 1992 proving Mike's possession of the diary, which might satisfy the doubters today, wouldn't have done so at a time when it was believed that the diary could have been created in 1990 or 1991.


While it might said be that Mike could, at the very least, have produced the compass - something we will discuss in due course - what I'm saying is that Mike might have been extremely frustrated that he couldn't prove, with any documentary evidence, what he was saying, and that very few people believed him.


I've made the point in the past that Mike's personality and character wasn't suited to arguing a case. He didn't know how to do it. His memory was appalling, I suggest. He confused names, words, places and dates. Everything was jumbled up in his mind. What he knew and kept repeating was that he wrote the diary and Anne transcribed it in her handwriting. That's what he says emphatically over and over during these tapes and on other occasions.


Now, I've said before that it may not even be true that Mike wrote the diary, either in its entirety or at all. I strongly suspect he was responsible for at least some of it but he might have been assisted by Tony Devereux, Billy Graham, his wife or by someone unknown. He might equally have convinced himself that it was his own masterpiece and that he wrote it all. He might well have thought this if the story as told in the diary was his idea, even if executed by someone else, just as he appears to have been proud of his Celebrity and Chat articles which might well as been as much Anne's responsibility as his.


All I'm trying to say here is that when Mike said that he wrote the diary, whether that was entirely true or not in reality, it was likely true in his own mind.


In his frustration at not being able to prove it, he kept telling Gray that he could prove it and, indeed, that he had lots of proof. I suspect that Mike's idea of 'proof' is rather different to that of a lawyer or judge (or to you and I). It may have amounted to not much more than him saying he did it in a very loud voice. Equally, he might have had all these snippets in his head about the Crashaw quote, Anne's handwriting, the 1891 diary and perhaps even things like a visit to Outhwaite & Litherland to examine their records which, in his mind, would reveal all. There may be other things too which in Mike's mind constituted proof but which were not proof at all.


It's fair to point out that Mike tells Gray: 'I’ll show you evidence...I’ll show you diary, I’ve got the ink, I’ve got everything.  The  pen, the pen nibs.   I’ll show you how I forged the diary.' But nothing of the sort is ever produced.


6 DECEMBER 1994


We then have to skip over the 3 inaudible November mp3 files to arrive at 6th December 1994. At the start of this very poor quality recording, Mike appears to say that he wrote the diary 'to get him out of the shit'. He then insists that he needs to be paid before he reveals his diary secrets.


Later on in the tape, Gray says that he wants to go with Mike into town to see his (Mike's) solicitor, Richard Bark-Jones, in order to obtain a copy of 'that book' from him. Gray subsequently records that he has just been handed a copy of the Sphere History of English Literature, volume 2, English Poetry and Prose which contains the 'O costly intercourse of deaths' line by Crashaw. From an account Gray later provided to the authors of 'Inside Story', it would appear that Mike went into the solicitors' office and emerged with the book which he then gave to Gray.


10 DECEMBER 1994


There's not much of interest on this tape - at least not much that's audible - but we can hear Mike saying that there was 'no one in the world' who could find the Crashaw quote. He also seems to have been telling Gray about a recent visit from Anne in which they made love (something which is referred to in his affidavit in which it is stated that she told him that if he kept his mouth shut he could receive a payment of £20,000 before the end of the month).


12 DECEMBER 1994


As already discussed in Gray Days, this is the tape on which the idea of creating an affidavit is first mentioned.


26 JANUARY 1995


This is a troubling recording centered around the watch.


A very drunk sounding Mike, slurring his words, tells Gray that he can prove where the watch came from and how it was done. He starts off by telling Gray a story about a meeting with Anne at the Central Railway Station for a hamburger and coffee when he had supposedly secretly recorded her saying, 'I don't want to know about the watch', and, 'I always knew that the watch was a forgery but I didn't know how you'd done it', give or take a few swear words. With some odd logic, Mike seems to think that this proves that the diary is a forgery.


He then tells Gray a story about how he paid someone £150 to buy the watch but 'the fella would not give me a receipt because he was a criminal himself'. However, he immediately seems to contradict himself by saying that he does have the receipt for the watch. At some point he apparently tells Gray that he has the receipt in his back pocket. Later in the conversation he says that he purchased the watch himself in 1990 from a jewellers near Lime Street. According to Mike, he made the scratches on the brass plate at the back of the watch before covering those scratches with meths and setting it alight. He then took some Brasso and rubbed the plate with it until there was no sign of the scratch marks. He had to do this twice because the initials didn't come up properly the first time. After he took the main spring out in order to deliberately stop the watch ticking, a friend of his, who he refused to name, because he wasn't a grass, 'planted' the watch in the Wallasey jewellers, by selling it to them, where it was purchased by an unsuspecting Albert Johnson.


Asked to produce the receipt, Mike changes his story. Now it's not in his back pocket, it's in a hidden compartment in a gas meter cupboard in Tony Devereux's house, which remains unsold and empty after his death, together with Devereux's diary notes and other related papers. When asked to explain why he lied about having the receipt in his back pocket, Mike says, 'That’s very easy to explain.  I’m desperate to prove it, you are desperate to prove it.' That's not a very satisfactory explanation but somehow, in Mike's mind, it justified him lying to Gray.


Mike tells Gray to go to Tony's house at 137 Fountains Road. He wants him to break in to access the gas meter cupboard but Gray says he's not going to do that. Gray does go to Fountains Road but quickly realizes that there is no house numbered 137. Devereux had, in fact, lived at 138 Fountains Road. Did Mike deliberately tell him the wrong address or was he just confused?


There is no doubt that Mike's story about the watch was nonsensical. In fact, he later admitted (on the 30 September 1996 recording) that he hadn't known anything about the watch before it was produced, saying to Gray, 'I knew somebody else would try and get on the bandwagon, I didn’t know it was going to take the form of a watch.' It wouldn't surprise me if, by this time, Mike had even forgotten the false story he had told about how he had created the scratches himself.


It is entirely understandable for a diary defender to point to this fabricated story about the watch and to say that if Mike invented his role in forging the watch scratches it must mean he also fabricated his role in forging the diary. However, I would respond by saying three things:


  1. We have always known that Mike is a compulsive liar with some kind of psychiatric disorder and that nothing he says can be believed without corroboration. This is why I've never relied on the account he gave to Gray about the diary as set out in his affidavit and have always looked for independent corroborating evidence.

  2. Mike told this story about the watch once in a drunken haze and then seems to have abandoned it. By contrast, he repeatedly, over a period of many years, said that he drafted the diary and that Anne wrote it out in her handwriting. He said it over and over again. He was absolutely insistent about it. This isn't the case with the watch. So his diary forgery story can be distinguished from the watch forgery story. According to Caroline Morris-Brown, Mike needed to lie about the watch because, she says, "if the scratches are old, it follows as night follows day that Anne and Mike didn't write the diary". This isn't true. Not only had Mike already told Gray that he thought Maybrick was Jack the Ripper, so that a watch of Maybrick's confirming this would not have been problematic for him, but, if that was Mike's motive, and it was so important to him for people to believe he forged the watch, why did he abandon the story of this forgery, only ever telling it once (in private to Gray), while sticking firmly to his story that he forged the diary?

  3. One has to look at the evidence as a whole. While Mike's account about how he forged the watch is certainly problematic, it does not, in my view, negate all the other evidence which suggests that Mike simply must have been involved forging the diary. The Bookdealer advertisement is just one example. I've set out the rest of the evidence elsewhere. It remains compelling.


29 JANUARY 1995


By this date, Gray has discovered that the account in Mike's affidavit about his sister, Lynn Richardson, having taken the brass compass to her home address was untrue. This is another troubling issue.

Gray tells Mike, 'If I could have got that compass or the date that bloody lot came out of Outhwaite and Litherland, if I could have got that it would have been alright, you know'. It's at this point, after Gray tells Mike he will speak to Anne about arranging a meeting between her and Mike, that Mike works out that the date of the auction was in March 1991, on the basis that he first brought the diary to London in April 1991, an obvious error for April 1992 (and thus an equally obvious error for March 1992).


Returning to the question of the compass, Gray says: 'I want facts, receipts, documents, I want the compass.  I don’t want it for me, I want it for you.  Did you put it in the bank for safekeeping, did you give it to your solicitor?' Mike replies: 'No, when I sold the furniture….the compass was there.' In a part of the recording that isn't very audible, Mike appears to tell a story involving him getting drunk at a wine bar, during which time he was carrying the compass, and he then appears to say that he was so drunk that he doesn't now remember what happened to it. It's not exactly a great answer and Mike doesn't seem to explain why he had previously lied about his sister taking it but the upshot seems to be that Mike doesn't know where it is or what happened to it.


For those who enjoy Mike's comedy moments, at one point he gave Gray the telephone number of 'the owner of Battlecrease House' which he states to be 236 4130. When I Google this number it turns out to be the telephone number of The Poste House public house!


At one point during the conversation, Mike tells Gray that Anne's best friend Audrey Johnson knows that he wrote the diary but it transpires that the reason for this is that Mike told her (and Eric, who, I assume, was her husband) that he had done it at a party on an unspecified date. If this happened after 1992, assuming it happened at all, it's pretty much worthless.


8 APRIL 1995


Mike is sounding very drunk.


He has, apparently, invited Gray round to show him proof that he'd written the diary but, instead, merely shouts: 'I wrote the fucking diary!'.


It's during this recording that Mike says that he's going to kill himself but Gray doesn't take him seriously.


It seems to me that Mike was lonely and depressed and wanted someone to speak to, which is why he lured Gray round to his house on the false pretence that he was finally going to give him some proof. Gray, who has generally been diplomatic with Mike until now, has taken the gloves off. When Mike says 'I was too fucking clever for all of them', Gray tells him 'It seems you weren’t because everything that could have backed up what you said, you’ve destroyed.' While, of course, that is true enough in the context of a situation where Gray feels that Mike needs to produce proof of his involvement, it would normally be considered quite clever to destroy all evidence of participation in a criminal scheme.


Regarding Outhwaite & Litherland, Gray says, 'I checked and worried that firm out of existence checking this date and that date and there was never anything there Mike'. As we know, having been told that the auction was in 1991, Gray would have been asking the auction house to search in the wrong year.


Mike randomly says 'Lot 53' to which Gray says that there weren't 53 lots on the date in question and points out that Mike had told him previously it was Lot 112. The affidavit itself says it was Lot 126. At the Cloak & Dagger club event in April 1999, Mike said it was Lot 64 so there's no doubt that Mike gave different lot numbers of different occasions. One might wonder, though, why, if Mike was such an accomplished liar in other respects of his story, he didn't just stick with one number. If his story was true, the answer might be that he'd forgotten the lot number and simply threw out the first number that popped into his head at any one time when discussing it, genuinely thinking it was the correct one.


A couple of other things that can be heard on the tape: Mike says, 'Anne made a cheque out for £25' by which he is presumably referring to the cheque to pay for the 1891 diary. He also says: 'I don't have the proof, my sisters have the proof'.


30 SEPTEMBER 1996


In this final tape, Mike is trying to persuade Stanley Danger to enter into a contract under which Dangar will pay him to write his biography in return for the full and true story of how he came to write the diary. I've already quoted his long speech in 'Gray Days'. Afterwards, there is further discussion about the diary between Gray and Mike.


Gray wants to know if it's possible to identify the previous owner of the photograph album. Mike says that, in an attempt to track him down, he once thought of writing for help to the Liverpool Echo's 'A Team' (who presumably helped readers with their enquiries) because his knowledge of the album's original contents might mean they would be able to locate him. Mike said: 'It originated from Merseyside there’s a fact I can tell you.  I reckon we can get that man with a bit of effort because I know what was in the diary.'


Gray asks if he bought the diary with the compass. Mike says he did but agrees when Gray says that he didn't get it in the manner he had previously described, replying, 'Not in that direct manner.  I’m not saying no more…until I’ve got a contract. You are going to have a hell of a lot of information.' It's difficult to know what Mike means when he says that he didn't obtain the compass in the 'direct manner' he had previously said, although he would appear to be saying that the story of the the way he placed the winning bid for the photograph album and compass in his affidavit isn't accurate. It's another troubling aspect of the recordings.


Mike claims that once Danger signs the contract he will be able to give him 'one major piece of evidence and possibly a little more supporting evidence' but the likelihood is that he's bullshitting to induce Danger to pay him a large sum for his story. In Mike's mind he may feel that he will be able to produce something of value, just that, in reality, it won't be proof of anything . This doesn't mean that Mike is lying about having forged the diary, just that he doesn't have any hard evidence to back up his story. As to that, I've always assumed that all the relevant paperwork was destroyed immediately after the diary was finished. To the extent it wasn't, one mustn't forget Anne's strange alleged visit to Mike's house in December 1994 when, according to Mike, they made love and Anne asked him to keep his mouth shut on the understanding that he would receive £20,000 before the end of the month. If that story is true, it might be that Anne also took the opportunity during her visit to remove any incriminating evidence which had been left in 12 Goldie Street.


Gray then points out for Danger's benefit that Anne had made some mistakes when writing the diary at his dictation. Not all of them are clearly audible but Mike says that 'Anne made a mistake on the O apostrophe'. Although he uses the word 'apostrophe' he doesn't mean this. He's talking about Anne adding the letter 'h' in 'Oh costly intercourse of death' which should have been 'O costly...'.


Finally, Mike points out that once he publicly tells his story about how he forged the diary (which, remember, he hasn't done yet, as at September 1996, his affidavit not being public) everyone will come down on him 'like a ton of bricks' and he won’t make any more money from the diary.


CONCLUSION


While some of the recordings include Mike saying things that it's not easy to explain in a way that's consistent with him being the forger of the diary, I remain of the firm view that Mike was involved in the forgery. That he was a massive liar is not a surprise to me and should not come as a surprise to anyone else. The trick is to work out what parts of what he said were true and what were false.


What is certainly a relief is that we have been able to hear these recordings in full for ourselves, although I must stress that three key recordings have clearly not yet been released because the mp3 files for the crucial November 1994 tapes are inaudible and we've been told by no less a person than Jonathan Menges (exclusively on this website) that James Johnston is refusing, for some unknown reason, to provide high quality audio files of these recordings so that they can actually be listened to.


Thank goodness we have not had to rely on diary defenders for our knowledge of their contents. This was Tom Mitchell's summary of them, posted on 7 January 2024:


For the benefit of those who cannot bring themselves to put themselves through the tortured comedy of the whole gamut of the Gray-Barrett tapes, I can reassure you all that none of these tapes ever produced any evidence whatsoever of Barrett's hand in a hoax and - on the contrary - they do contain a long litany of Barrett lies and manipulations to keep his 'pal' (Gray) in the game.


It's impossible to know what Mitchell means when he says that 'none of the tapes produce any evidence whatsoever of Barrett's hand in a hoax'. Of course they do! A number of the tapes include Mike literally explaining how and why he forged the diary. That is evidence of Barrett's hand in a hoax. It might not convince Mitchell but it is evidence. It's very important that all the evidence is made available to allow independent people to form their own conclusions.


The only other thing Mitchell had to say about the recordings was:


One of my favourites is when Barrett tells Gray he's going to kill himself and Gray asks him to hang on until he (Gray) gets paid. Honestly, it would be pure Comedy Central if it wasn't so tragic.


Spoiler alert: Barrett doesn't do it.


I guess, from his tone, for Mitchell, if a suicidal person doesn't go ahead and actually take their own life they were not, in fact, suicidal.


THE MISSING TAPES


Finally, it needs to be repeated that only 12 of the 15 tapes have so far been made available. Caroline Morris-Brown stated on on 22nd January that:


'They now have 15 tapes and a typescript to help them describe the entire process leading up to Monday 13th April 1992, when Mike took the diary to London and waved his old life goodbye.'


She is wrong. Completely wrong. As at time of writing we do not have 15 tapes. Three have been produced which are totally inaudible. So we only have 12.


Worse, as I've already mentioned, Jonathan Menges has confirmed on this website (in the comments section of Gray Days) that his perfectly reasonable request for high quality audio files of these three recordings was refused. I have no idea why such a reasonable request was refused. It is unexplained to this day.


Mr Menges has kindly offered to run the three tapes in question through Audicity at the correct speed but it's unclear if this will work. Yabs attempted something similar but the result of his recording is still about 90% inaudible. We know that those tapes were perfectly audible at in their original form because their contents are summarized in detail in 'Inside Story'. Why haven't these tapes been made available in an audible form?


From what I could glean from Yabs' slightly improved mp3 files, the November 1994 tapes may be rather important. They appear to record the first time Mike told his forgery story in full. Indeed, they may contain all the information Gray used to draft Mike's affidavit. It would be very useful to hear these recordings for ourselves, unfiltered by Gray's confused interpretation and by the likely incomplete summary of them provided by the authors of 'Inside Story'.


LORD ORSAM 25 January 2024







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