In a challenge to Jasper Kent, Mr Feldman invites him to answer nine questions. Those questions should have been addressed to me since Mr Kent is pursuing his own independent line of analysis. For that reason I am answering those questions. And I answer them in a state of disbelief. How can Feldman continue to make such a display of his lack of logic and of his failure to read the most basic texts?
To begin with he asks for quotes from "...passages from the two books that Mr Harris mentions that contain the 'FACTS' that would enable these references to be constructed." As every wide-awake reader will know the two books in question are the ones by Underwood and Fido; both are books ON THE RIPPER. Yet eight of Feldman's questions have nothing to do with the Whitechapel events, but concern the life of the Maybrick family! Logic?
The one and only question involving the murders runs: " That the 'M' on the envelope at Chapman was NOT composed by the murderer." Easy; the hoaxers knew that from Underwood's page 9, which told them that: " The only part of the handwritten address still legible were the letters M and Sp."
The point: "That Maybrick had a lover in Liverpool." was no problem for the hoaxers; full details were there for them on the pages of Ryan's book, not once, not twice, not three times, but four times in all (pages 20, 28, 32, 89). And to that we can add that Christie (p22) states this as well. How puerile then is Feldman's claim that his team had to uncover a Home Office document in order to confirm the diary entry. How complacent is his conclusion: " Only Florence and the author of the diary would appear to know of this woman in Liverpool."
Equally puerile is his challenge to show: " That Florence had TWO lovers at the same time." This is made clear on page 64 of Christie's book and on page 296 of Hartman's. Once again the hoaxers had no problems. Feldman's claim that this knowledge was: ..... revealed by the diary and confirmed in private correspondence from Charles Ratcliffe to John Aunspaugh..." is much more than misleading, since he claims to have read and studied all the works on the Maybrick affair. In that case he should know that the telling parts of that Ratcliff (Christie's spelling) letter were made public by Christie as long ago as 1968.
He repeats his canard: "...that Maybrick was NOT at home at XMAS" and adds "(Morland said he was)". Both statements are false. The first is dealt with in my original piece. So, do I have to keep reminding him that, apart from the letter dealing with Dec 31st, no other document anywhere tells us where Maybrick was over Christmas? But he does need reminding that Christmas is a SEASON and in popular usage its duration is not rigid or fixed. Even in more riqid minds it is still broad enough to run to the old '12 Days of Christmas'. As for Morland, his exact words are in my original, and he does not state where Maybrick was for every day and every hour, of that season. Indeed his words are but vague, non-evidential,linking passages, as befits the work of a man who was best writing novels.
His assertion: "That 'The Drive' referred to on the first page of the diary WAS Aigburth Park Drive..." is nonsense and contrived nonsense, since the two capital letters in the single quotes have been added by Feldman. These additions mislead readers into believing that the diarist was using the proper name of a thoroughfare. Not so. The authentic words appear on the sixth page of the Diary and read: "Strolled by the drive..." The drive in question was no more than the private drive leading up to Battlecrease House and made know to the hoaxers through Morland's book (page 15). This broad curving drive, wide enough to accomodate carriages, is also shown in the drawings that have illustrated the many popular articles on the Maybrick case.
"That Gladys was a sickly child ", has already been dealt with, but if whooping cough and its after-perils are not good enough for Feldman, then he needs reminding that Gladys was the younger of the two children and therefore more easily damaged by any of the customary infantile disorders. And on page 32 Ryan had informed the hoaxers that: "Dr Richard Humphreys, a general practitioner.. .had often attended the Maybrick children..." When a doctor attends often, then one could reasonably conclude that there were problems often. And the greatest anxiety would naturally focus on the more vulnerable girl. Our hoaxers may have not been scholars, but they were not idiots and although they produced fiction, they drew on their own experiences of life in crafting it.
Feldman's idea that the Diarist knew "That Maybrick had hit Florence BEFORE the fight after the Grand National..." is just another example of his failure to understand the writing of fiction. Both Morland and Christie had well-primed the hoaxers. Morland (p23) had told them of a possible:".. quarrel conducted behind closed doors" and he spoke of: "... James Maybrick's most violent anger." Christie (p48) quotes from a letter which brands Maybrick as: "...a bully and a brute.." If you take those references and add to them the known brutality following the National, then it is hardly noteworthy that the hoaxers would picture James as a wife-beater!
Since the Witt diversion has been dealt with, that leaves one point only: "That the Grand National was the fastest Maybrick had seen." There is nothing amazing about this to any thoughtful person. Remember that the National is not any old race, it is Liverpool's great event. And remember that any devotee of any sport is likely to know seemingly obscure facts about his field. Indeed Billy Graham provides a very interesting example since he tells us that as a boy he used to imitate Fred Archer the famous Jockey: "...you know, the American who brought the 'crouch' over to this country . Jockeys used to sit up straight, you know." (Feld p171) Now Fred Archer died in 1886, long before Billy was born, but his feats were known to him. And he knew a great deal of other ancient racing lore too. Food for thought indeed!
Let me conclude by once more drawing attention to the claim made by Feldman that: '~ From the moment I became involved with with the project, I studied and read every book that I could find on the Maybrick trial." (p292). The examples now given, together with my earlier examples, prove that Feldman has ignored every piece of text that clashed with his claims to have discovered new or rare evidence. Every piece of material used to create the Diary has been readily available in the popular works identified by me. No archive or newspaper research of any kind whatsoever was needed to create the hoax.
FOOTNOTE: THE MAYBRJCK SOURCE BOOKS. Since the Diary posed as the Ripper's work, my 'GUIDE' concentrated on the Ripper sources. Since examination showed the 'confession' to be pure fiction, it became pointless to dissect the Maybrick references in detail. But If you wish to consult the three most popular books on the case, then you will find ample proof that the elaborate research described in Feldman's book was both a waste of time and unproductive.
The three key books are: 'THIS FRIENDLESS LADY', Nigel Morland; 'THE POISONED LIFE OF MRS MAYBRICK', Bernard Ryan; 'ETCHED IN ARSENIC', Trevor Christie. In these books you will find everything that the hoaxers needed to paint Maybrick into the picture. This includes a false description of Michael Maybrick as: "...the composer and author of many popular songs."(Ryan p20) It was these misleading words that caused the hoaxers to betray themselves by their excursion into verse.