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The Caution was Given

Mr. Harris tries to make out that a "paid henchman" is a right-hand man, little more than a paid assistant. It is in fact a little more than just that. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a "henchman" as: "The personal attendant, right-hand man', or chief gillie of a Highland chief; hence, generally, a trusty follower or attendant who stands by the side of his chief or leader, and supports him in every case of need."

My colleague and co-author Keith Skinner is a professional researcher who accepted a commission from Paul Feldman to assist in the research of the "Maybrick Diary". He has publicly stated his strong disagreement with many of Paul Feldman's ideas and theories. I therefore submit that Paul Feldman is an employer, not a "chief or leader", that Keith Skinner clearly does not support Paul Feldman "in every case of need" and that Keith therefore does not fit the definition of "henchman".

The Oxford English Dictionary also provides a more current definition of "henchman": "A stout political supporter or partisan; esp. in U.S. A mercenary adherent; a venal follower; one who holds himself at the bidding of another."

I sincerely hope that Mr Harris did not wish his readers to infer from his use of "henchman" that Keith is "a venal follower" of Paul Feldman's, but it is difficult to imagine that a writer of Mr. Harris's ability would have chosen the word without being fully aware of the meaning it might convey. Whether he did so or not, one can only wonder why Mr. Harris's chose such a word when words like "assistant", "employee", "researcher", or maybe even "friend" were available.

Turning to the matter of the Maybrick Will, it was known to the advisors in July 1992. Indeed, at that time a copy was supplied to me along with a photocopy of the "Maybrick Diary". As far as I recall, every advisor pointed out that the handwriting of the Will was distinctly different from the handwriting of the "Diary". Over time two theories to account for this were postulated, neither theory was postulated by the advisors. One stemmed from a description of the Will given by MacDougall which in several ways differed from the extant will (most notably MacDougall described the Will as having been written in a large, shaky hand, which the extant will is not), which led to the suggestion that the extant Will was not written by James Maybrick and is not representative of his handwriting. The second was that Maybrick was a scizophrenic whose handwriting would change according to his personality changes, a phenomenon noted elsewhere and for which there are documented examples. To both these hypotheses "cautioning voices" were in fact raised, as Mr. Harris could have found out by the simple expedient of asking the advisors. And if he doubts that our voices were raised, there are several people who can testify to the fact, including handwriting expert Sue Iremonger who was questioned by Keith and myself on the latter point.

Turning to Mr Harris's assertion that he knows the identity of the forgers and can name them, he states that he is prevented from doing so by legal reasons known to Ms. Harrison. I stand to be corrected, but I understand that the only legal reason Mr. Harris has given to Ms. Harrison is that the "Diary" is still under investigation by Scotland Yard. To the very best of my knowledge, it isn't. If this is the case, is Mr. Harris's tongue now freed?

What really is astonishing is that Mr. Harris describes the matter of his naming the forgers as "hogwash", "an excuse for yet more evasions" and "a petty diversion". But surely it isn't any of thiese things? The dispute between Paul Feldman/Shirley Harrison and Melvin Harris concerns whether the Journal is genuine or a forgery. If Mr Harris can indeed name the forgers then he could put an end to the controvery right now, once and for all, and without having to bother with all this endless diatribe about handwriting, texts, inks and so forth. I'm sorry, maybe it's me, but I honestly don't appreciate how asking Mr. Harris to end the debate so effectively can be dismissed as "hogwash" and a "petty diversion".

Related pages:
  Maybrick Diary
       Dissertations: 5th Int. Investigative Psychology Conf. 
       Dissertations: A Final Response to Mr. Harris 
       Dissertations: A Guide through the Labyrinth 
       Dissertations: A Nest of Forgers 
       Dissertations: An Article by Richard Scheib 
       Dissertations: An Article by Steven Fern 
       Dissertations: Bravo for Maybrick 
       Dissertations: Bristol University Surface Analysis of Maybrick Watch - 3... 
       Dissertations: Dear Diary 
       Dissertations: Facts Please, Not Fallacies! 
       Dissertations: Maybrick Hoax: Donald McCormick's Legacy 
       Dissertations: Maybrick Hoax: More Futile Floundering 
       Dissertations: Maybrick Hoax: Some Extra Guidance 
       Dissertations: Maybrick Hoax: The Roots File 
       Dissertations: Maybrick Hoax: Yet More Unacceptable Ploys 
       Dissertations: Maybrick Watch - Scientific Analysis 
       Dissertations: Platt Diary Report 
       Dissertations: Reflections on the Ripperologist Interview 
       Dissertations: The Maybrick Diary Analysis 
       Dissertations: The Maybrick Diary Ink 
       Dissertations: The Maybrick Diary Paper 
       Dissertations: The Maybrick Hoax: A Fact File 
       Dissertations: The Maybrick Hoax: Evasions are Valueless 
       Dissertations: The Ripperologist Interview 
       Dissertations: Turgoose Report on the Maybrick Watch - 23 August 1993 
       Dissertations: Where was the Caution? 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: The Final Chapter 
       Ripper Media: The Diary of Jack the Ripper 
       Suspects: James Maybrick - Index 
       Suspects: Michael Barretts Confessions 
       Suspects: Michael Barretts Confessions - January 25 1995 
       Suspects: Michael Barretts Confessions - January 5 1995 
       Suspects: Photographs of the Maybrick Diary 
  Melvin Harris
       Authors: Melvin Harris (1930-2004) 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: The Bloody Truth 
       Ripper Media: The Ripper File 
       Ripper Media: The True Face of Jack the Ripper 
  Paul Begg
       Authors: A Talk With Paul Begg 
       Authors: An Interview with Paul Begg 
       Dissertations: Getting Better 
       Dissertations: Jack the Ripper on Old Time Radio 
       Dissertations: Jack the Ripper: What’s in a Name? 
       Dissertations: Reader Reactions 
       Dissertations: Summing Up and Verdict: Liverpool 2003 
       Dissertations: Summing Up and Verdict: Liverpool 2003 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: The Definitive History 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: The Facts 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: The Uncensored Facts 
       Ripper Media: Ripperology: The Best of Ripperologist Magazine 
       Ripper Media: The Jack the Ripper A to Z