THE RETURN OF THE SKINNER
On 23 December 2021, Keith Skinner popped up onto the Forum with an unusually long string of posts in the Incontrovertible thread which are so controversial they deserve their own page for discussion.
He sounded pissed off, presumably at the results of the poll, and, in #8041, told us about his strong belief that the diary was found by Eddie Lyons in Battlecrease. He and Miss Information, we were told, are '99% certain that the creation of the diary had nothing to do with Mike Barrett or Anne Graham'. But there is a remaining 1% element of doubt because 'we may be wrong'.
SO 1% POSSIBLY BY THE BARRETTS - THERE IS HOPE!!!!
Seriously, though, I really do hope for his sake that Keith checked that statement with Miss Information because she's always given the impression that she's 100% certain that the Barretts had nothing to do with the creation of the diary.
Why do I say that? Well, statements from her in the past such as 'I am 100% certain that Mike got involved by pure chance, and long after the diary had been written and placed in Battlecrease' seem to give the impression of, er, 100% certainty!
It wasn't an isolated comment. We've also had from her: 'He didn't write the diary and nor did his missus' and 'Mike Barrett didn't do it', both of which also seem to indicate nothing less than 100% certainty.
Those statements certainly don't reflect someone who keeps 'an open mind' as Keith ludicrously suggested is demonstrated by the gracious allowance of a 1% doubt in his and Miss Information's minds. In fact, the idea that Miss Information has ever been open minded about the possibility of the Barretts forging the diary is so funny as to be hilarious.
The fact that she is (through Keith) now acknowledging some doubt in the matter is a major breakthrough!
Keith's 99% certainty is very odd. Back on 21 January 2018 he told me (#567 of Acquiring thread):
'I have not ruled out the diary could be a modern hoax created by Mike Barrett and others.'
But if he's now 99% certain that the diary is NOT a modern hoax created by Mike Barrett and others, hasn't he effectively ruled it out?
Was he lying to me back then in January 2018? Or has he obtained new evidence to rule out the Barretts in the past four years which he hasn't shared with us?
As usual, Lord Orsam featured heavily in Keith's posts. As he told RJ Palmer:
'But nothing you or Lord Orsam has written has given me pause to reassess my position...'
But has Keith actually been reading what I've written?
The answer is, obviously, no!
He revealed this in #8048 when he said:
'From memory, in April 1999, Mike explained to the C&D audience that the reason Anne's handwriting bore no resemblance to the handwriting in the diary was because Anne had a multi personality disorder'.
This proves that he hasn't even read my landmark A Man in a Pub article which RJ Palmer had recommended as essential reading only a few posts earlier.
I suspect this means he is not aware of the crucial dicta: "NO ORSAM, NO COMMMENT!"
Never have those words been more true because, in this case, it would have stopped Keith making a complete fool of himself.
As I demonstrated very clearly in my 'Man in a Pub' article, Mike never said to the C&D audience in April 1999 that Anne's handwriting bore no resemblance to the handwriting in the diary.
On the contrary, he said that the diary was written in Anne's handwriting!!
It follows that Mike never told the audience that the reason Anne's handwriting bore no resemblance to the handwriting in the diary was because Anne had a multi personality disorder.
This is nothing more than Keith's (wrong) assumption of what Mike was saying.
As I demonstrated very clearly, when Mike clamed that Anne had a multi personality disorder it wasn't because she wrote the diary in different handwriting to her normal handwriting. No, it had nothing to do with that. It was simply because Anna Koren had said that the author of the diary had a multi personality disorder.
In simple terms:
Mike was saying that Anne was the author of the diary.
Anna Koren was saying that the author of the diary had a multi personality disorder.
Q.E.D. it followed for Mike that Anne had a multi personality disorder. That's what Anna Koren, the expert, was saying.
So Mike's point was actually CONFIRMING that he genuinely believed that Anne wrote the diary. Otherwise his point doesn't make sense. Perhaps that's why Keith can't compute it. He can't imagine that his friend Anne was the forger. He was also so sure that Mike was lying about his involvement in the diary. For that reason, he simply didn't understand what Mike was saying in 1999. His brain wasn't set up to be capable of understanding it.
So for 22 years now he's believed that the reason Mike was claiming Anne had a multi personality disorder was to explain why Anne's handwriting was different to the handwriting in the diary.
But that was Keith's belief, which was based on a handwriting sample Anne had provided for him (with no confirmation that it reflected her normal handwriting).
Mike never, at any time during the C&D meeting, said he shared that belief. As I've said, he repeatedly stated that the diary was in Anne's handwriting.
What is so ironic is that in the very same post where Keith gets all confused about events, he writes that 'Caroline's grasp of the chronology of this investigation since 1992 far outstrips his own and that of Lord Orsam'.
I rather doubt that claim, bearing in mind her established confusion over when Mike's affidavit became public knowledge, and her complete muddle over Shirley's contacts with Outhwaite & Litherland. She may have her famous 'timeline' but that doesn't mean she understands what happened.
IN THE DEFENCE OF MISS INFORMATION
The way that both the Major and Keith have rushed to the aid of Miss Information after she goofed by saying that Mike needed to be 'reminded' in July 1995 of his claim that Mike wrote the diary reminds me of the way that Donald Trump's minions always feel the need try to change reality to fit the bizarre things that he's said.
By way of reminder, Caroline Morris stated that (#7995 of Incontrovertible, underlining added):
'as Keith Skinner reminds us, in one comedy gold moment Mike asked for a pen and ink to demonstrate that the handwriting was his, and when reminded of that his claim was that Anne wrote it, he moved swiftly on to other important evidence he had brought with him from Liverpool to prove that his diary was a fake...'
This means that Paul and Keith had to know on 20 July 1995 that Mike was claiming that Anne wrote the diary, something only mentioned in his November 1994 statement for Liverpool police and his January 1995 affidavit. So how could either of them have been in a position to have reminded Mike of his claim that Anne had written the diary?
In one of his 23 December 2021 posts (#8048), Keith claimed that, at the meeting on 20 July 1995, 'Mike asked for a pen and paper to prove the handwriting in the diary was his. At which point Feldman reminded Mike his story was that the handwriting in the diary was Anne's'. He referred Kattrup to page 202 of Inside Story but the relevant paragraph on that page doesn't bear him out at all.
Here is what is stated in that book on page 202 (with my underlining):
'Initially Barrett announces to Feldman, Martin Howells and Keith Skinner, who are also present, that he has come to prove how he forged the Diary. Furthermore, there is an envelope in Richard Bark-Jones's office, which can only be opened on Barrett's instructions, which will prove this. He has bought a bottle of the same Diamine ink he used and now he needs a nib to show how he wrote the Diary. He solemnly swears on a Bible that he and Anne forged the Diary together and that Anne told him she has both Paul Feldman and Keith Skinner 'by the balls'. Paul Feldman then agrees to go and get a nib and blotting paper for Barrett to prove how he wrote the Diary. Barrett says Anne's story is wrong; she wrote the Diary. Why then, Feldman enquires, does Barrett want a pen, if he did not write the Diary. Barrett evades the question, saying he created the Diary on the word processor and Anne wrote it. The demonstration is called off.'
We can see that Mike mentioned Anne's involvement in forging the diary three times, and two times stated that Anne wrote it. He did so entirely of his own volition. No one reminded him of anything.
Lest it be thought that the summary of Inside Story is wrong on this score, we actually have a transcript of the exchange provided by Feldman in his book (pages 196-197 of my version). When introducing the transcript, Feldman says that, 'Mike came to my office to prove that he and Anne forged the diary together. In a taped interview, with Keith Skinner and Martin Howells present, I asked him to re-create the handwriting of the diary.'This is what then follows:
MB: I don't suppose you've got a pen, with a little gold nib, have you? Just for the record...
PHF: A little gold nib?
PHF: I'll go and buy one.
MB: I don't suppose you've got one?
PHF: Yes, I have.
MH: We could go and get one.
PHF: I've got one next door. I'll go and get one for you. All right?
MB: And blot [sic] paper. Blotting paper.
PHF: Blotting paper.
MB: Right, blotting paper.
PHF: What is it you actually want?
MH: Blotting paper.
MB: Blotting paper and a proper nib with ink, please.
PHF: Right [PHF leaves the room, returning after five minutes]
PHF: Which one actually wrote it? Whose handwriting is it - yours or Anne's?
PHF: Oh, it's Anne's writing? Why do you want a fountain pen here?
MB: Right, right.
PHF: What's the point of getting a fountain pen -
MB: Hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on -
PHF: If she wrote the diary.
MB: Hang on - bear with me - just bear with me. Just bear with me - please, Paul - I ask you to bear with me.
Again, therefore, it is confirmed that it was Mike who volunteered the information that the handwriting in the diary is Anne's handwriting. He didn't need to be reminded of this. A later transcript provided by Miss Information simply confirms this.
What is also noticeable here is that there is no evidence that Mike ever said that he was going to prove with the ink and nib that HE wrote the diary. This seems to have been an assumption on Keith's part. For, as we've seen, Feldman says that Mike came into the office to prove that he and Anne wrote the diary together and it was Feldman who then asked Mike to recreate the handwriting of the diary.
Well perhaps Mike thought he could demonstrate to them how Anne wrote the diary. Who knows what was going on in his mind?
All that the transcript provided by Feldman shows is that Mike couldn't satisfactorily explain why he wanted a fountain pen.
What we're not even seeing is his claim that HE (not Anne) wrote the diary and a subsequent change of mind. It seems to be assumed that he changed his story during the meeting but that is far from clear.
What IS clear is that it was Mike who said, as he consistently said over a long period both before and after the 20 July 1995 meeting, that Anne wrote the diary.
But here's the weird thing.
On the basis of Miss Information having said that Mike had to be reminded by him and Feldman that Anne wrote the diary, in order to defend that false reality, Keith seems to have felt the need to come up with an explanation of how he and Feldman both knew prior to the 20 July 1995 meeting that Mike had claimed that Anne wrote the diary in circumstances where neither of them had seen his affidavit.
Here is what Keith says about the state of his knowledge (#8048):
'Feldman had been phoning Mike (and had seen him in Liverpool) since 1994 - so it is more than likely that Feldman told me that Mike had claimed the handwriting in the diary was Anne's.'
WHOOOAAAAA!!!! 'more than likely'. That's reconstruction. It's not Keith's memory. Nor is it something he has confirmed from documents. Just mere reconstruction.
I thought Keith always took detailed notes of all his conversations. Where is his note of his conversation with Feldman where Feldman told him that Mike was now claiming that Anne wrote the diary? Surely Keith would have made a note of this very important claim, if he had been told it.
The extraordinary thing is that Keith seems to be basing his reconstruction here on the fact that he had asked Anne for a sample of her handwriting on 18 January 1995.
Thus he says:
'Indeed, I cannot think of any other reason why I would have asked Anne in January 1995.'
So when he said categorically earlier in the post:
'by July 20th 1995, I was aware that Mike was claiming the handwriting in the diary was Anne's because I asked her for a specimen in January 1995.'
he was just reconstructing.
He can't think of any other reason for why he asked Anne for a sample of her handwriting, so he now thinks (presumably under the false impression that he and Paul on 20 July 1995 reminded Mike of his claim about Anne writing the diary), that Feldman must have told him that Mike was now claiming that Anne wrote the diary. And this belief is based on the imagined telephone conversations that Mike had supposedly had with Feldman.
This is a very BAD way of going about things.
Although Keith can't think of an alternative explanation for why he asked Anne for a sample of her handwriting, I can. I've already suggested it in the past. Martin Fido had become suspicious of Anne because a research note she wrote on 2 November 1994 was too good. As reported in Inside Story, he believed she could have concocted the Maybrick diary 'with one hand tied behind her back'. Surely these suspicions were reported to Keith Skinner. And might it not have been for THIS reason that Keith asked Anne for a sample of her handwriting in January 1995? Nothing to do with an allegation by Mike that she wrote the diary of which he seems to have no note and can't now positively remember being told it.
Let's not forget that Keith's official spokesperson told us on 23 September 2020 (Special Announcement thread, #707) that Keith decided to ask Anne for a handwriting sample in January 1995 'on the spur of the moment'. That doesn't sound right if Keith had been told by Feldman that Mike was now alleging that Anne wrote the diary. Surely, upon being told of this he would immediately have realized that he needed a sample of her handwriting and would have planned to obtain one accordingly. He wouldn't have done it 'on the spur of the moment'.
So Keith's story is changing left right and centre. To my mind, this sudden claim that Feldman had probably extracted from Mike the information that he was saying that Anne wrote the diary and had passed it on to him is nothing more than Keith's imagination filling in the gaps. Guesswork in other words.
And it all seems to follow on from Miss Information's entirely inaccurate claim that Mike was reminded in July 1995 that his claim was that Anne wrote the diary.
As we've seen, Mike wasn't reminded of anything. This leads us surely to the inescapable conclusion that, prior to 20 July 1995, Paul and Keith were unaware that Mike had claimed that Anne wrote the diary by her own hand.
Now it is perfectly true (which Keith fails to mention) that, as Miss Information revealed in a post of 4 September 2020, Feldman had been told by Melvin Harris prior to 20 July 1995 (but presumably not as early as before 18 January?) that Mike was claiming that Anne 'wrote the diary'. But this was somewhat ambiguous. Did it mean the text or the physical handwriting? I don't think Feldman knew. I think this is why he asked Mike at the 20 July meeting whose handwriting was in the diary, his or Anne's. I suspect that when Mike said it was Anne's, this was the first time Feldman had positively been told that Mike was claiming this.
After all, look at the above transcript. Why would Paul Feldman have gone searching for a nib for five minutes to give to Mike if Mike had already told him, either directly or via Harris, that Anne had physically written the diary??? It doesn't make any sense. Why did he NOT at that point remind him of his claim about Anne's authorship of the diary. Surely the whole demonstration would have been strangled at birth. And just look at the transcript! Feldman has to ask Mike who wrote the diary, him or Anne. Mike tells him Anne.
I strongly suspect that this is the first time that both Feldman and Skinner had heard this, notwithstanding Keith's somewhat desperate attempt to extract darling Miss Information from a deep hole of her own digging.
LIKE A MARRIED COUPLE
Look at this piece of vomit-inducing guff:
'Concerning Eddie Lyons - in spite of his denials, Caroline and I are both comfortable - more than comfortable - in our strong suspicion against him.'
Caroline and I. Give me a minute to chuck up.
Remember when that same Caroline was telling us that the authors of Inside Story all share different views on the diary?
And here we have Keith telling us that he and Caroline are both more than comfortable in suspecting Eddie Lyons of stealing the diary from Battlecrease in the face of Eddie's denials.
You can't divide them. What are these differences they are supposed to have?
THE EDDIE LYONS IMPOSTER
RJ Palmer made an entirely reasonable suggestion about Eddie Lyons.
Keith had said in #8041:
'Lyons also twice denied meeting Robert Smith and Mike Barrett in the Saddle on the night of June 26th 1993 - in spite of Robert's published account of what occurred at that meeting'.
As RJ commented, one obvious possibility is that the man Mike Barrett - a notorious liar - introduced to Robert Smith as 'Eddie Lyons' was not Eddie Lyons but an imposter who Mike had asked to pretend to be Eddie Lyons. After all, we are always told not to believe a word Mike says. Why should we believe that, having been asked by Smith to set up a meeting with Eddie, Mike actually DID set up a meeting with Eddie? Why could this not have been another scam by Mike, perhaps with the intention of impressing Smith by proving to him that he was capable of setting up meetings that Smith wanted him to set up?
As usual, the Diary Defender response was a couple of sarcastically framed but ill-thought out questions. Hence we got this from Keith Skinner (#8046):
'I want to see if I am understanding Roger correctly. His suggestion is that Mike asked another person to pose as Eddie Lyons and then to meet with Mike and Robert in The Saddle which was a pub frequented by Eddie Lyons and only two minutes away from where he lived. Presumably part of Mike's scam would have involved using somebody not known in The Saddle to avoid the possibility of a local coming up to Mike's imposter and greeting him by his real name? Quite what would have happened if the real Eddie Lyons walked in I don't know, but I guess Mike was confident enough that Eddie would not have gone over to join him, Robert and the person who was impersonating him?'
Let me tell you something. It's not just that Mike would probably have known that the chances of the real Eddie walking into the Saddle AND coming over to speak to him while he was talking to a couple of strangers AND introducing himself were infinitesimally small, and also that the chances of someone coming over to the man pretending to be Eddie who knew him AND who would come over to him while HE was talking to at least one if not two strangers AND calling him by his real name, were also infinitesimally small. No, it's not just that. The key point is that there was ZERO RISK - because there was no problem or peril whatsoever for Mike if the scam had been exposed!
I mean, Mike would no doubt have just shrugged his shoulders, smiled and said he'd been playing a little prank on Robert Smith. That's all. I don't suppose Smith was going to take the imposter round the back of the pub and shoot him in the head, like he was killing a police officer acting as an undercover gangster. And Mike knew that. He could just laugh or bluff his way out. And if the real Eddie Lyons had walked into the pub, Smith wouldn't even have known whether or not that was part of the prank and had been pre-arranged.
So Keith's sarcasm is entirely misplaced.
And let's look at some real life risks.
Would Mike have risked stealing an old lady's handbag from her in broad daylight when there was a risk of members of the public seeing him doing this, chasing him and detaining him so that he would be arrested, convicted and locked up in prison? Because that's EXACTLY what did happen when Mike mugged an old lady in 1974!
Would Mike have risked selling artwork he'd been sent under false pretences by aspiring artists from an advertisement in Loot and passing it off as his own to local shops, when the real creators might have seen their artwork on sale in those shops? Well, yes, actually, because that's exactly what he did do!
And, perhaps most relevant of all, would Mike have claimed that he was going to produce the auction ticket for the photograph album at a public meeting when it must have been obvious to him that, when the time came to produce it, he wouldn't be able to? Well, if Keith Skinner is to be believed (and I've never seen actual evidence that Mike said he was going to produce the auction ticket, but let's assume Keith is correct that he did say this) that's exactly what happened in April 1999!
In fact, by Diary Defender logic, they should be thinking that, because it was so obvious that he would get caught out in not having the ticket, Mike MUST have had the ticket on him and only refused to produce it because he suddenly thought he might be arrested after Keith told him that an ex-police officer was investigating his story. Because, after all, why would he ever have promised to produce a document which he didn't possess? Why would he risk being found out?
The answer could be as simple as that he didn't care that he would be caught out in a lie. Exactly the same applies with the Robert Smith situation. Why would Mike have cared if Smith twigged that the man he thought to be Eddie Lyons was an imposter? If the plan failed, so be it, but if it succeeded it would mean that Mike had successfully fooled Smith, something which might have given him much enjoyment.
If Robert Smith didn't actually meet the real Eddie Lyons that night, it would explain why Eddie is insisting that the meeting never happened.
For what would be the point of Eddie lying about it? What would he gain? The only thing he had supposedly told Smith in 1993 was that he had found a book during electrical work at Battlecrease and thrown it into a skip. Why would he tell Smith that in 1993 but subsequently wish to deny that he'd done so? It doesn't make any sense. Finding a book and throwing it into a skip doesn't incriminate Eddie. Far from it. But if it did, why did he tell Smith he'd done it in 1993? Having said he'd done it, why subsequently lie about it to the extent he felt the need to deny the meeting ever even happened. If he'd wanted to retract the admission to finding a book, wouldn't it have been easier to admit he was at the meeting with Smith but deny he'd ever said anything about finding a book and throwing it into a skip?
For all these reasons, RJ Palmer's suggestion that the man Smith met might not have been Eddie seems eminently sensible. At the very least, it's surely something that should be investigated. Has Smith ever provided a description of the man he met in the Saddle in 1993? What is the description of Eddie Lyons? I don't believe we've ever seen a photograph of him, despite his importance to the Diary Defender theory. Why not?
Rather than pooh-poohing with sarcasm, it would serve Keith Skinner better if he took helpful suggestions of this nature seriously and checked them out. Otherwise, he is possibly allowing himself to be fooled ONCE AGAIN by the master scammer, Michael Barrett.
THE SHEER ARROGANCE OF DIARY DEFENDERS
It's kind of pathetic really. When Keith says he's learnt nothing from RJ Palmer or Lord Orsam and that, 'Caroline's grasp of the chronology of this investigation since 1992 far outstrips his own and that of Lord Orsam' it's just an expression of arrogance of the most unseemly kind.
Keith seems to think that no one can tell him or darling Caroline anything new on the subject of the diary.
And this is why the Diary Defenders like to keep a tight control over the information flow of which they need to be the gatekeepers. Little snippets sometimes get released through the Major or Miss Information. They particularly love it when they can counter an online argument with some new information that's never been mentioned before and which their opponent couldn't possibly have known. Ha ha, they win! If Keith Skinner ever actually fucking releases a new document we are all required to say how immensely grateful we are to him otherwise he goes off on a sulk and won't let us see anything else.
The incredible irony of Keith's statement, as I've already mentioned, but it's worth repeating, is that Keith clearly isn't reading my articles on this website and nor is Miss Information, it seems, or at least she pretends not to be.
But, whether they realize it or not, they have been forced to confront certain facts that I've posted which have filtered through onto the Casebook via other members. Things which they didn't know.
The major correction to Inside Story by Miss Information regarding the wider knowledge of Mike's affidavit came about due me spotting the mistake in her book and posting about it on here.
Did Keith and darling Caroline know that there was an O&L auction of Victorian and Edwardian effects held on 31 March 1992? No, they most certainly did not. It took them by surprise, and they didn't like it.
In #8041, Keith Skinner expressed curiosity about the idea that Mike went to a police station in 1994 and claimed that the handwriting in the diary was Anne's, thus apparently showing that he is unaware of Mike's statement of 5 November 1994 which I've mentioned at least twice in articles on this website.
They clearly didn't know that Mike had delivered his affidavit to his wife in January 1995, which is odd because they were supposed to have inspected his solicitor's file prior to the publication of Inside Story.
Miss Information didn't even know the date of Mike's divorce to Anne (she thought it occurred on 7 December 1994 whereas the decree absolute hadn't even come through as at 1 February 1995). So much for her vaunted chronology!
These are things they are learning from Lord Orsam.
And, anyway, who cares about the chronology of the investigation 'since 1992'? What happened in or before 1992 is far more important.
As to that, did darling Caroline or Keith know that the woman referred to in the diary as Florence's 'aunt' was actually the Countess de Gabriac who was, in fact, Florence's godmother until I revealed that fact on here? It seems not.
Yet, that fact on its own proves that the diary is a fake, not written by James Maybrick.
Miss Information didn't appreciate this because, with all her supposed expert knowledge, she was under the mistaken impression that Margaret Baillie was an old family friend of Baroness Von Roques, and thus might qualify for the label of Florence's 'aunt'; a false belief, because the Baroness and Florence both met Margaret Baillie for the first time while travelling through Europe, something she would have known had she researched the case properly.
She also famously got the occupation of Maybrick's father wrong, thinking he was an engineer.
Did Keith and Miss Information know that the 'Gladys is unwell again' information had been publicly available information since 1889? No, they did not and, until I exposed the truth on this website, they were under the mistaken impression that the diary contained inside information about Gladys's health, thus suggesting that it was written (many years ago) by someone who had inside information about the Maybricks.
I really could go on. If they are seriously interested in where Mike's diary came from, they should be following Lord Orsam's writings, and taking them seriously, not pointedly ignoring them like little children because they think they know everything there is to know about the diary and no one can possibly teach them anything.
Arrogance is the downfall of the ignorant.
Returning to Keith's claim that he's 99% certain that the Barretts had nothing to do with diary, I'd love to know WHY he says that.
In the six years I've been involved in diary matters I've never read a single coherent explanation from anyone, be it Miss Information, Paul Begg or Keith Skinner as to why the Barretts jointly couldn't have forged the diary. As far as I can see, if we assume that Anne was ambidextrous and/or able to disguise her handwriting to some degree, she literally COULD have forged the diary with one hand tied behind her back, as Martin Fido suspected she could.
There's literally nothing in the diary that someone who had read a very small number of books about the Maybrick case and Jack the Ripper could not have written. It's possible that Mike had help from Anne, Tony or Billy Graham but there's no obvious reason that he needed any help in drafting the text of the diary.
It's not well written and contains many many errors of grammar and spelling mistakes. As Miss Information seems keen on pointing out (for what reason I've never understood) the author of the diary didn't even seem to have consulted a dictionary. It's got Michael Barrett written all over it.
Sure, he didn't have the penmanship skills to physically write the diary himself but that's why he and Anne could have done it jointly because she seems to have had many of the skills that Mike did not possess on his own.
The Diary Defenders love to tell us how Anne was mainly responsible for Mike's Celebrity articles but they don't seem to realize that, far from undermining the idea that the Barretts jointly forged the diary, this very much supports it.
I mean, let's say that Anne was entirely responsible for Mike's articles. It just means that SHE was a professional freelance journalist writing under Mike's name. We still have a professional freelance journalist behind the production of the diary.
Mike and Anne were able to produce 17 pages of competently written research notes about the diary. So why couldn't they have produced 63 pages of incompetently written diary entries?
Just look at Mike's performance in April 1999. If he was standing on his feet lying, he was not only able to competently incorporate factual details into his story, such as the receipt of the 1891 diary perfectly fitting the time frame of his story (despite it NOT fitting the time frame of his 1995 affidavit) but he was also able to expertly incorporate details from Baxendale's expert report such as the idea that there were photographs in the diary which he had needed to remove with a Stanley knife and the idea that he left a piece of a single photograph in the diary by mistake, something which is supported by the expert analysis. I've never understood how the Diary Defenders can say that Mike was clever enough to come up with a detailed story supported by evidence of this nature yet wasn't clever enough to come up with the simple plotline in the diary that James Maybrick was killing prostitutes in Whitechapel as substitutes for his adulterous wife.
And can the Diary Defenders not see all the factual errors in the diary such as the wrong placing of the breasts and the linguistic errors with anachronistic expressions such as 'one off instance', 'bumbling buffoon' and others? Such shoddy work has surely got Mike Barrett all over it!
Then there are the idiosyncratic expressions used by the diary author which are matched by the Barretts - 'I seen' being just one of those obvious giveaways.
Then above all this we know for a fact that Mike was secretly seeking out a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992.
What do these guys want, for chrissake?
One can only assume that their belief that Eddie Lyons, who lived in Fountains Road and drank in the Saddle (but can't otherwise be connected with Mike), was working in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 overrides EVERY OTHER CONSIDERATION.
This gives them their 99% certainty, apparently.
But their arrogance blinds them to the fact that even if Eddie was working in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 and even if Eddie was personally acquainted with Mike Barrett, that is still FAR from good evidence that the diary was found in Battlecrease on that date. They seem to be completely ignoring the possibility that the connection was the other way round. That Mike knew that Eddie would be working in James Maybrick's old house on 9 March 1992 and, with that in mind, chose to select that date to call Doreen Montgomery.
Why is that so hard to believe? Sure, they might think it's unlikely...but 99% unlikely? That type of number does not suggest someone who is truly keeping an open mind. It suggests someone who is certain that the diary came from Battlecrease and is only giving a figure of 1% doubt to appear to be 'reasonable'.
What I've said all along is that there is no reason why everyone who thinks the diary is a hoax should not be co-operating happily to get to the bottom of the hoax. Instead, a few people who claim that they think that the diary is a hoax can co-operate happily with those nutters who believe that the diary is genuine while despising those who dare to believe that the Barretts could have produced it.
It's astonishing. In my opinion Miss Information is entirely to blame for the distrust between the different sides of the hoax argument. She's been disdainful and scornful of anyone who thinks the Barretts were involved for more than twenty years, long before I started posting on the subject. It's not helpful for serious debate and discussion.
One day - and I dare to dream - Keith Skinner will articulate for us why he is 99% certain that the Barretts were not involved. Because hasn't done it yet. He hasn't even told us why he thinks Mike was so keen to acquire a blank paged Victorian diary, if not for the purpose of forging a Victorian diary. Many years ago he promised me he would do so. Perhaps he will now finally keep that promise.
21 January 2022