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  • Lord Orsam

Through Anne's Eyes

There's been some talk on Casebook recently about Anne's motives in putting forward a false family provenance for the diary. Discussing this matter is difficult due to the incompetence of the original diary researchers who don't appear to have interviewed Anne in any detail about her initial reaction to the diary or, if they did, haven't made the transcript of any such interview public. The issue has also been hindered by Anne's subsequent unwillingness to speak of the diary at all. But I want to look at this on the basis that the first Anne knew of the existence of diary was when Mike brought it home on 9 March 1992, which is what I understand the current day diary defender thinking to be (subject to change at the drop of a hat), so that it will be assumed for the purposes of this post that the diary wasn't forged and that Mike obtained it from an electrician in the pub earlier that day.


*****


We don't have any direct evidence from Anne that she knew about the diary on 9 March 1992 specifically but, according to Shirley Harrison, having interviewed Mike and Anne, "Mike took the parcel home and opened it with Anne" causing Anne to tell Shirley, "I'll never forget Mike's face" when he saw it was the diary of Jack the Ripper. Although Shirley was interviewing the pair on the basis that this occurred in 1991, if the diary defender theory is correct, this must have been what happened on 9 March 1992. So Mike and Anne sat down together on the sofa on 9 March 1992 and opened the parcel containing the diary which they both examined at the same time to see that it was signed "Jack the Ripper" (although Mike must already have seen the diary in the pub).


We know that Anne was heavily involved in producing a typed transcript of that diary which was provided to Doreen Montgomery and Shirley Harrison at some point prior to 22 April 1992. We also know that on 21 April 1992 Anne informed Doreen that, "her only anxiety in asking her husband to place the Diary with the bank was because of the fact that they have had a couple of burglaries and she is also frightened of fire". Fifteen days later, Anne signed a collaboration agreement (dated 30 April and signed by Mike on that date, but apparently signed by Anne on 6 May) with Shirley Harrison. Why Anne, who ostensibly had nothing whatsoever to do with the diary, was a signatory to this agreement remains a mystery to this day.


Anne's knowledge of the existence of the diary in April 1992, therefore, is a historical fact. If the diary defenders are correct about Mike having obtained it from Eddie Lyons, she could not possibly have known about it prior to 9 March 1992. According to Shirley's interview, she knew about it from the start, on what must have been, if the diary defenders are correct, 9 March 1992. The big question, therefore, is where did she think Mike had got it from?

Mike's story at this time, of course, was that he had been given it by his friend Tony Devereux. The implausible diary defender argument is that Anne was unaware that Devereux was long since dead. Let's go with this unlikely line of thinking and assume that Anne believed Mike when he told her that he had been given the diary by his (living) friend Tony Devereux and that Mike was such an outrageous liar that he was prepared to tell his wife a lie which was going to so easily be exposed by her once she discovered that Tony had been dead for many months before he had first brought the diary home.


Even if Anne had been unaware of Tony Devereux's death at this time, what could she possibly have been thinking when she typed up her husband's research notes on the diary which were headed "Transferring all my notes since August 1991"? She must surely have asked him how it was possible he had been researching the diary from as early as August 1991 yet she hadn't known anything about it prior to 9 March 1992.


When Anne read the proof copy of Shirley Harrison's Diary of Jack the Ripper in what must have been about mid 1993, she would, of course, have known that Mike's story was that Tony Devereux "gave the diary to him in May 1991, but Devereux died a few months later without revealing how he came by it". Anne simply must have known in 1993, therefore, that this Devereux provenance story was a lie. She must have known that Mike did not receive the diary in May 1991, because he could not have kept it secret from her until March 1992, and most importantly she now knew that Mike couldn't possibly have received it from the deceased Tony Devereux.


At this time Anne was still living with Mike. The story it seems we are being asked to believe is that, amidst plans for a major publication of Shirley Harrison's book with all its attendant publicity, and despite all the writers and researchers who were buzzing around Goldie Street to investigate the diary, and despite Anne having personally signed a collaboration agreement for the diary, and despite her publicly expressed interest in where Mike got the diary from, asking him in with researchers present in February 1993, 'Did you nick it Mike?', and despite an actual Scotland Yard investigation during which Mike was interviewed by a detective in Goldie Street during October1993 while she was stood behind the kitchen door "listening like a hawk" according to Fido, Anne didn't ever ask Mike where he really got the diary from once she learned that it couldn't possibly have come from Tony Devereux. Is that even plausible for one second?


No, of course she would have asked him. In response, there is no way that Mike could have told her it came from Tony Devereux who she now knew had died a few months after May 1991. So he must have told her something. He must have told her a different story which didn't involve Tony Devereux.


So here's the big question. When the story broke in the Liverpool Daily Post on 26 June 1994 about Mike's confession, which Anne was so angry about, saying that she would fight like a tiger to protect herself and her family, at a time when she had separated from Mike (and had, that very day, initiated divorce proceedings) why, for the love of god, did she not protect herself by revealing the story of the diary's origins that Mike had told her during 1993? At the very least, why didn't she reveal that the truth was that Mike had come home from the pub with Caroline one day in March 1992 with the diary? What could possibly have been preventing her at that time from telling the truth?


Why did it take another month for her to tell a story (which diary defenders accept isn't true) that the diary had been in her family all along and that she gave it to Tony Devereux (which must have been before August 1991) to give to Mike?


As R.J. Palmer has pointed out on Casebook, the context in which Anne told her "in the family" story was the harassment that she said she felt under from Paul Feldman, as she explained that on 21 July 1994 she had received an angry telephone call from Mike's sister complaining about a call that Feldman had made to her, about which she said:


'I felt very guilty that I had brought all this worry on their heads as they had been very good to me and I was obliged to them for helping me get away from Mike. I rang Paul Feldman about 11 p.m. that evening, a few minutes after Lynn had rung. I was furious angry with him for pestering Michael's family and worrying my friends Audrey and Eric with his questions."


Then, on 23 July 1994, Anne was taken by Feldman to the Moat House Hotel for some private conversations before she recorded a message for Doreen and others on 31 July 1994 telling her bombshell story that she first saw the diary in 1968 or 1969.


We can see, therefore, reasons why Anne wanted to get Feldman off the back of Mike's sister and her friends, or perhaps she was persuaded by whatever Feldman told her, but the weird thing is that by telling him that the diary had been in her family for years she was putting the spotlight very much on the Graham family and forcing her elderly father to the front of the story. Why didn't she tell Feldman the story that Mike must have told her during 1993 to explain where the diary came from? Why didn't she tell Feldman that Mike first brought the book home in March 1992 but she knew nothing more about it?


Her failure to do this immediately after separating from Mike and then again immediately after issuing divorce proceedings can, in my opinion, only be adequately explained by her involvement in the forgery.


The truth is that she never asked Mike during 1993 where he got the diary from (other than in front of researchers for show) because she knew perfectly well where it came from. She always knew it had nothing to do with Tony Devereux. She always knew it was only created in March 1992.


LORD ORSAM 5 April 2024 (updated later on the same day to take into account Shirley's interview with Anne).

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Guest
Apr 14
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Heterochromia, or is it just the photo?

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Guest
Apr 05
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I remember being stunned a few years ago when I discovered that there is a small group - but much bigger than I expected - who think the Shroud of Turin hoax is real?! This after carbon dating established in 1988 that it was Mediaeval, supporting a source from that time that said, unequivocally, that it was a clever fake.

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Guest
Apr 05
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I had no idea the original investigation was so threadbare - one assumes it was a desperate throw of the dice. Jonathan Hainsworth

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Lord Orsam
Apr 05
Replying to

Thank you (if you are RJ Palmer you've already emailed this to me) and I've updated the blog post accordingly. We only have that single quote from Anne, however, which, as you mention is, "I'll never forget Mike's face". But it does mean that two of the questions that I suggested earlier in reply to Jonathan H have already been answered, namely she did see it on day one and was aware that it was signed "Jack the Ripper". We've also been told about a later incident when she wanted to throw the book on the fire but I don't think we've been told any more than this about what Anne said about the diary in those early days, w…

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