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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Suspects » Maybrick, James » The Diary Controversy » Ink » Archive through May 10, 2005 « Previous Next »

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David O'Flaherty
Chief Inspector
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 848
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 12:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Robert,

I don't know, but seriously, you don't have to drop a thing. Why not email the library in Liverpool and ask them to send you Ripper-related articles from the first few days of October 1888? They'll probably charge a very small fee to cover copying and postage. Even if you don't find what you're looking for, you can always donate the articles to Press Project.

Cheers,
Dave
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David O'Flaherty
Chief Inspector
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 849
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 1:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Robert,

Another thought is that your local public library/university library might also have it on microfilm there, particularly if you live in a large metropolitan area.

Why not satisfy your curiosity? Anyway, back to Ink!

Dave
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Harry Mann
Detective Sergeant
Username: Harry

Post Number: 69
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 5:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have in my possession,a book called,'The life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby'.
In a front,otherwise blank page,is an inscription written in ink,using script or longhand style of writing.It appears to have been written with a nib type pen.
The writing indicates the book was a presentation from one person to another,and is dated 1899.
Would that ink,if analysed,show the properties it contains,and would it be of any value as comparison with inks of another age.
I would imagine that there is a large quantity of similar inscriptions in books from that period,that would be suitable for comparison with the ink in the diary.
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Sir Robert Anderson
Inspector
Username: Sirrobert

Post Number: 392
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 11:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dave - from our very own Casebook, The Liverpool Daily Post of Oct. 11th 1888, quoting stuff from The Globe.... I'm sure this has been cited before, but it's fun to conjecture what else is out there.

A LIVERPOOL CLUE - STRANGE DISCLOSURES

A well informed correspondent of the Globe states that he has gleaned the following information from an authentic source; and from careful inquiries he is able to relate the news as fact, though for obvious reasons names and addresses are for the present suppressed. A certain member of the Criminal Investigation Department has recently journeyed to Liverpool, and there traced the movements of a man which have proved of a somewhat mysterious kind. The height of this person and his description are fully ascertained, and among other things he was in possession of a black leather bag. The man suddenly left Liverpool for London, and for some time occupied apartments in a well known first class hotel in the West end. It is stated that for some reason or other this man was in the habit of "slumming." He would visit the lowest parts of London and scour the slums of the East end. He suddenly disappeared from the hotel, leaving behind him the black bag, and he has not returned. He left a small bill unpaid, and ultimately an advertisement appeared in the Times setting forth the gentleman's name, and drawing attention to the fact that the bag would be sold to defray expenses unless claimed. This was done last month by a well known auctioneer in London, and the contents, or some of them, are in the possession of the police, who are investigating the affair. Of these we (the Globe continues) of course cannot more than make mention, but certain documents, wearing apparel, cheque books, and prints of an obscene description are said to form the foundation of a most searching inquiry now on foot. It has been suggested that the mysterious personage arrived in Liverpool from America, but this so far is no more than a suggestion.


Sir Robert

'Tempus Omnia Revelat'
SirRobertAnderson@gmail.com
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David O'Flaherty
Chief Inspector
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 850
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 11:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Robert,

Why hypothosize when you can actually find out?

Take it easy,
Dave

(Message edited by oberlin on May 01, 2005)
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Caroline Anne Morris
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Caz

Post Number: 1689
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 1:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your time.

The internal evidence of the diarist, though, suggests someone whose spelling and grammar you would no doubt criticise mercilessly if they posted on the Casebook (though only if they happened to disagree with you).

Actually, I think the diary author shows a much higher level of literacy than many of the contributors to these boards who would never be at the receiving end of a tongue-lashing by me, whether I agree with their views or not. I only criticise spelling and grammar here when I have good evidence that the offender is capable of better, and especially when they spend more time ridiculing other people's contributions than checking if their own efforts are reasonably legible.

I only wish Mike could be persuaded to post here, so you could assess his efforts and decide if he has the basic literacy required to have penned the diary (if not composed the text), or if he can keep up a dumbing-down act indefinitely.

The amazing thing is, some of the people who insist that Maybrick could not have produced handwriting anything like that in the diary, seem to be relying more and more on the 'Mike and Anne did it for a quick buck' theory (despite Mighty Mel's opinion that Mike didn't have the capacity, and that neither Mike nor Anne actually wrote it - the only example I can think of where certain modern hoax theorists and Melvin are not joined at the hip).

I always ask myself: if Mike had penned this diary, what might it have looked like, given what I've seen of his writing? And the answer always comes back: Nothing remotely resembling what we have.

If the theory demands that we accept it was at least physically possible for Mike or Anne to have produced the diary, in a hand that doesn't look obviously disguised, but was still sufficiently different from any surviving examples of their handwriting, before or after 1992, to prevent anyone recognising it or making a positive identification, it can't then demand that we reject any other named person, including Maybrick, or anyone from 1888 to 1992, on the basis of the handwriting alone.

If the argument is that Mike was physically capable of carrying this off, then so could Maybrick have been. RJ and others can't have it both ways.

The point is that science can't prove anything absolutely any more than the textual arguments can.

I'm glad you said that, not me. Whenever I voice any concern over whether science can even resolve the question of authenticity I earn myself another howl of protest.

If you're going to keep raising this [Voller's opinions] I really think you should tell us how he could be certain. And for that matter, whether he's still certain today.

Read what Voller said in October 1995 in Shirley's Blake edition, and then we'll have to await the outcome of RJ's proposal, because until Voller sees the diary again, he would have no basis for modifying his original opinions. I've never claimed he was right to be certain anyway; I'm just offering the information so you can consider it or not, as you prefer. Why do you think I should explain or justify other people's professional opinions, whether it be Voller's or Fido's? Are they not relevant unless Caz can provide you with a glowing endorsement? From now on, just think of my snippets of info as gifts you can use or sling straight in the bin. I don't mind, but it gets a bit much when you complain that it's not enough, hasn't come wrapped in gold leaf, or you want the receipt so you can exchange it or get a refund.

But you must know that Melvin harris states that chloroacetamide wasn't produced in industrial quantities until after the Second World War.

Remind me again how much of the stuff has been conclusively identified as an ingredient of the diary ink?

You seem to have misunderstood my point about Diana Simpson's remark.

She tested the blank paper in 1996, two years after the ink-and-paper dots tested positive for chloroacetamide.

My point is that she didn't know, until 1996, whether the stuff was just in the ink, just in the paper, or in both.

This is why I found her remark, in 2003, slightly odd:

The paper samples [tested two years after the ink-and-paper-dots] did not contain any chloroacetamide because they were blank and, hence, contained no ink.

She is implying here that the absence of ink in the blank paper accounts for the fact that she found no chloroacetamide in these samples, as if she had already presumed that the chloroacetamide she found in 1994 did not come from the paper, or both paper and ink, but just the ink.

Is that any clearer? Perhaps Mr Poster can explain what I mean better, and tell me if I am worrying unnecessarily over something in the language, rather than the science behind it.

Hi Harry,

Dr Eastaugh certainly analysed handwriting samples of the right period and compared them with the diary, back in 1992, as did Dr Platt just recently.

Obviously more will have to be done, if the diary is ever to be proved modern, because the comparisons so far have shown up no inconsistencies with the period.

Love,

Caz
X
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Caroline Anne Morris
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Caz

Post Number: 1690
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 1:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Sir Robert,

It is stated that for some reason or other this man was in the habit of "slumming." He would visit the lowest parts of London and scour the slums of the East end.

And it has been stated on these boards many times that the very idea that a man would 'need' to travel all the way to London to do his slumming, when he could do it in Liverpool (even when the man in question is known to have been a frequent visitor to the capital, and had good reasons for not wanting to be recognised frequenting his local red light area) is crazy and a total non-starter.

If something can be done by man, it usually has been, at one time or another.

Love,

Caz
X
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Chris Phillips
Chief Inspector
Username: Cgp100

Post Number: 922
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 1:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caroline Morris

Read what Voller said in October 1995 in Shirley's Blake edition, and then we'll have to await the outcome of RJ's proposal, because until Voller sees the diary again, he would have no basis for modifying his original opinions.

Well, in 2001 Voller wrote to Peter Birchwood in response to a colour photocopy of a test letter written in 1995 by Nick Warren. Here is Peter's quotation, from his post of 7 June 2001:

"...the poor opacity and fading and bronzing that are apparent in your copy of Nick Warren's letter. These are aspects that can be drastically influenced by relatively small shifts in the conditions...One factor that can strongly affect both the initial result and the subsequent behavior of the ink , is the choice of paper and it may perhaps be that Nick's choice was not such as to bring out the best in the ink...I agree that the ink of Nick's letter has taken on an appearance similar to that of the Diary, as regards fading and bronzing..."
[my emphasis]

If the ink of a 6 year-old letter could have taken on an appearance similar to that of the diary, it's difficult to see how Voller, who saw the diary in 1995, could be "certain" on the basis of its appearance that it hadn't been written 6 years before.

I'm surprised you didn't remember that, as you participated in the same thread a couple of days later.

Chris Phillips

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Harry Mann
Detective Sergeant
Username: Harry

Post Number: 70
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 5:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caz,
Thanks for your information.The ink in the book I have,appears not to have bronzed or faded,and if the inscription is truthful,must be over a hundred years old.
Do you believe it is possible for ink to be manufactured in modern times,and to have the same properties as ink of the late 19th century,and then aged to fool even experts as to when it was put on paper?.
The term 'appears old",seems to me to allow for error, and not defenitive of any particular time frame.
What I would like to see,if it is possible,is expert confirmation that the writing in the diary,could not,under any circumstances,have been placed in the diary in modern times.
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Caroline Anne Morris
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Caz

Post Number: 1699
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 9:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris,

"...I agree that the ink of Nick's letter has taken on an appearance similar to that of the Diary, as regards fading and bronzing..."

I'm sincerely flattered by your surprise that I don't have a photographic memory going back four years. But 'similar...as regards fading and bronzing...' is hardly the same as 'Oh crikey, did I say the diary was 90+ years old and not written with Diamine? The ink on this 6 year-old letter looks identical, I think I'd better think it out again'.

I wonder if the rest of Voller's letter gives any clues as to whether the similarity was close enough to make him question his previous "not Diamine" conclusion?

This makes the prospect of a fresh look at the diary ink today even more intriguing.

Hi Harry,

According to Dr Eastaugh, if there is nothing in the ink that could not have been there in 1888, it becomes pretty much impossible to prove the age of the writing once it has been on the paper for 3-5 years.

It would be terrific if we could get expert confirmation that the writing was done in modern times, but I think it might be an even bigger problem to prove it conclusively old, if that's what it is.

If Chris is right, though, that science can't prove anything absolutely, it makes you wonder what is going to be possible in the future.

Love,

Caz
X

PS The point is that science can't prove anything absolutely any more than the textual arguments can. Chris, in one sentence, a couple of years' worth of long, boring, repetitive posts are ripped up and stamped on, as effectively as they were by Jenni's efforts that resulted in the latest tests. Anyone would think you'd had a falling out with someone...

(Message edited by caz on May 02, 2005)
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Chris Phillips
Chief Inspector
Username: Cgp100

Post Number: 928
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 1:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caroline Morris

But 'similar...as regards fading and bronzing...' is hardly the same as 'Oh crikey, did I say the diary was 90+ years old and not written with Diamine? The ink on this 6 year-old letter looks identical, I think I'd better think it out again'.

Well, it depends what Voller's original judgment was based on.

As you still won't tell us that, even though you raised it in the first place, I'd better try to look at Harrison's book before commenting too much more.

But if Voller based his opinion - summarised by you as "the diary ink certainly did not go on the paper in recent years and that, in his professional opinion, the writing was at least 90 years old" - primarily on the degree of fading and bronzing, and later found that a test letter only 6 years old had a "similar appearance ... as regards fading and bronzing", and if he pointed out on top of that that the fading and bronzing "can be drastically influenced by relatively small shifts in the conditions", I don't see how he could be at all certain that the writing in the diary wasn't recent.

Do you?

Chris Phillips

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Chris Phillips
Chief Inspector
Username: Cgp100

Post Number: 929
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 1:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caroline Morris

The point is that science can't prove anything absolutely any more than the textual arguments can. Chris, in one sentence, a couple of years' worth of long, boring, repetitive posts are ripped up and stamped on, as effectively as they were by Jenni's efforts that resulted in the latest tests.


I suppose I'd better correct this claim, as I see you're already starting to post it on other threads. (Honestly, have you really not got anything better to do with your time than posting all this endless nonsense?)

The point I was making is that science can very rarely provide the kind of 100% absolute mathematical proof of the modernness of the hoax, that some posters seemed to expect. Just as the textual arguments can't.

But it may well be capable of demonstrating the modernness of the hoax beyond reasonable doubt. Just as the textual arguments already have, in my view.

Chris Phillips





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Jeff Leahy
Detective Sergeant
Username: Jeffl

Post Number: 111
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 7:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Exactly right--a needle in a haystack and that's what a hoaxer searching the newspapers would be looking for.

Hi Dave just cault your last post. ANd No that is not correct. That is what this whole debate has been about.

Yes for you and I it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack....yes

BUT...we simply have no way of knowing how difficult it was for the hoaxer, without knowing when and where the diary was produced.

Yes it may have been a brilliant peice of deductive research and genius on the part of the hoaxer. On the other hand it could have been a simple matter of poping into his local libruary and writing down the first itoms he came across.

We simply do not know. Which is the whole point we have been trying to explain.

For you and I, lots of time and research..for the Hoaxer...who knows, we can only guess.

The red cigerttee case ilustrates the point that it could be out there. Noone has ever checked a representative sample or even checked some of the more obvious places.

What is known is the Hoaxer stumbled across it somewhere...whether in Martin Fido's book or some as yet not found news paper report...there is know way of telling. Not one hundred percent. We can only speculate.

Which is why time would best be spent trying to date the diary by scientific rather than contextural means.

Sorry to be off post..back to the more important Mr Poster posts.

Jeff
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Lars Nordman
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 2:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello Chris

And isn't is so much more likely he would have had this phrase to hand if it had been recently published in a book on the Ripper, rather than if it had appeared only in a Victorian provincial newspaper that no one else has ever found?

Not if its an old hoax.

I was readinga piece by Colin Wilson yesterday. Can someone clarify the following for me:

1. Wilson mentions a letter written by Maybrick on a ship that matches some of the Ripper letters in writing. Is this true?

2. Is it true that the 25th of September letter was not the first one mentioning JTR by name?

I appreciate I could go back through th eboards but the diary threads are evry hard to find stuff in.

Thanks

lars
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Mr Poster
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 2:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello

Which of these two scenarios is better:

"Post/poste/Poste/post House,pub, hotel, Liverpool, chain, 1960's, could have been, maybe, other name, no proof........"

"After deliberation, we (6 labs names) concur that there is/is no chloroacetamide in the ink in the diary"

The first can never be resoloved to everyones satisfaction because it can fall back on semantics and wordplay. The second is possible. And the first will always be the situation with textual errors. They have too much room too wiggle out of.

Mr Poster
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Mr Poster
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 2:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello Caroline Anne Morris
The 6.5 ppm can only refer to the dried ink on the page. It is physically, scientifically and demonstrably impossible for AFI to have calculated back to the liquid ink as there is no way on earth they could have known the mass of wet ink the mass of dried ink corresponded to. However as there is no way on earth they could know how much dried ink was on the page, I dont see how they calculated 6.5 ppm for the dried ink either. But as Ive pointed out before....there seems to have been a magic balance doing the rounds in the early 90's...... Anyway the most they could have done (based on the information I have seen) is the calculation I have shown earlier which , assuming maximum concentrations of chloroacetamide and optimum conditions during analysis, produces a value that hovers around their stated detection limit. Given that the concentration cannot really be taken seriously for wet ink it must be for dry ink and now the situation for 6.5 ppm is verging on the absolutley bizarre. About 100 times less than the detection limit.

But to quote 6.5 ppm for the acetone extractant and imply it was for the ink is just so wrong and misleading it couldnt be possible. You can juggle the figures all you want. The amount quoted doesnt add up to anything that means anything. My personal opinion is that at some point AFI were asked to give a "guesstimate" and came up with "about 6.5 ppm" which of course is now being treated as sacrosant.

The comment made in an earlier thread about how the man from Leeds decsribed Melvin H.'s approach is probably most indicative of the atmosphere in which a value of 6.5 ppm was produced.

The paper samples [tested two years after the ink-and-paper-dots] did not contain any chloroacetamide because they were blank and, hence, contained no ink.

This statement appears to be base on assumptions that can not be known. That the ink was the source of the found compound (note I did not say chloroacetamide) is an unfounded scientific extrapolation based on information that was weak in the first place.

Mr Poster
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Mr Poster
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 9:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello

Has anyone emailed this Aginsky chap at www.rileywelch.com to ask his opinion? The diary could easily be right up his street. His CV is seriously impressive. But I think ballpoint and printer ink is his speciality. never know though....

Mr Poster
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Jeff Leahy
Detective Sergeant
Username: Jeffl

Post Number: 115
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - 8:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Mr poster

Is Valery Aginsky the same chap recommended by John Omlar, who originally worked for the KGB in drugs testing and moved to ink. If it is the same I gather he's the best but I had no reply to a series of emails.

The only thing that worries me about testing state side is the possible extra costs, although I dont for a minute beleive it should be ruled out if they garantee better results.

Very interested in more info on Aginsky and a more recent contact if possible.

Jeff
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R.J. Palmer
Chief Inspector
Username: Rjpalmer

Post Number: 605
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - 5:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"all this was accomplished in 16 days.

I wrote out a few pages of the Diary last night with a dip pen and a bottle of Parker ink. I did four pages of manuscript in twenty minutes. The Diary is only 20 pages of typed print. (See Harrison, Blake edition) I can't imagine it would take more than 8 or 10 hours to write out the whole text, or, in other words, two or three afternoons. The forensic evidence backs this up, as Rendell stated multiple passages were written at single sittings. It looks to me there was an effort by the penman to stretch out the manuscript to fill the available pages. Odd that Maybrick knew he was going to be dead and didn't need to conserve paper.

"at home using pen and ink..

Maureen Casey Owens stated the penman was not comfortable with a dip pen; the 'shading' was entirely incidental to the writing. (See Nickell, Detecting Forgery)

" Dr Eastaugh...and everyone else who examined the document ... would have been unable to demonstrate that the ink had gone on the paper as recently as early April 1992?'

Everyone else? Kenneth Rendell later stated that the ink was "barely dry on the pages."

I'm still curious about the delay between Barrett's initial call to Crew and his arrival in London. If I'm a literary agent and a bloke has "the find of the Century' "(as one author described it) why am I going to put this guy off for five weeks? Do we know for a fact that Barrett didn't cause this delay?


(Message edited by rjpalmer on May 04, 2005)
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Caroline Anne Morris
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Caz

Post Number: 1715
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2005 - 6:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Mr Poster,

Many thanks for your clarification.

"After deliberation, we (6 labs names) concur that there is/is no chloroacetamide in the ink in the diary".

Yes, that would be progress of sorts, compared with the endless repetition of textual evidence that proves nothing except the old adage that a miss is as good as a mile. If we need to add up a whole load of misses to make something that still misses, because not one of the 'problems' hits the modern hoax bull's eye on its own merits, perhaps that in itself could be trying to tell us something.

The problem is that even if we could all agree that the ink doesn't contain chloroacetamide, it wouldn't help date the diary; it would only disprove one more of Mike's dodgy claims.

And if we could all agree that the ink does contain the stuff, it wouldn't help unless it could be shown to be Diamine, or some other ink of modern manufacture, and not some older experiment with known compounds, just as I gather pre-1992 Diamine was a more recent experiment.

Hi RJ,

Why don't you drop a line to Keith, to see if he can help with Doreen's side of things? I am hopeful that she will have a record, or at least a memory, of what Mike told her about the diary, and how the arrangements were agreed upon for showing it to her, during those early phone calls, which took place before you think Mike had even managed to acquire the scrapbook.

Doreen may quickly be able to support your suspicions or set your mind at rest, if Mike either refused to describe the book to her until April, or else gave an accurate description of it back in early March.

Love,

Caz
X

(Message edited by caz on May 05, 2005)
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Jeff Leahy
Detective Sergeant
Username: Jeffl

Post Number: 117
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2005 - 6:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi RJ

very interested in your findings on physically writing the diary. Is it possible to give us more detail on this.

Have you any background using an ink pen? Are you writing the same size or number of words to the page?

How much ink is physically needed?

Do you have any difficulty with dripping or smudges..do you use blotting paper?

Does your end product look like the Maybrick writing?

Are you writing into a scrap book?

Do you experience any difficulties turning page?

Just some more details would be facinating. Its something I'm visually interested in trying to recreate, are you near London? could I film you doing this process?

Yours Jeff


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Christopher T George
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 1432
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2005 - 9:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi R.J.

You wrote: "It looks to me there was an effort by the penman to stretch out the manuscript to fill the available pages."

Certainly this is a feature of the Diary that I noticed immediately early on after seeing the facsimile pages, that penman often finishes partway down the page and then fills the rest of the page with a long squiggle or a diagonal slash. It's one of the aspects of the Diary that made me think things were not quite right with the document.

The squiggle or diagonal of course might be also to give an antique look to the "diary" and it does seem as if some thought has been given to gussying up the look of the artifact other than one might think a confessing serial killer might think to add.

I can already hear Caroline Morris saying "Ah but how do you know what a serial killer might do?" Well, again, as I have stated before, this is yet another duff note rung by the Diary to add to all the other iffy things that people point to -- the reference to the Poste House, an existing pub in Liverpool, a name that sounds old but that is not; the Diary entry "matchbox empty" suspiciously matching the 1888 police list of Eddowes' belongings; the reference to a "Mrs. Hammersmith" who has not been shown to be a neighbor of the Maybricks in the south end of Liverpool, and so on. Hmmmm. scratchchin

All of these things can of course be continued to be debated if there is any real need for debate. Seems to me the Maybrickites are putting more store in the Maybrick watch than the Diary these days given that the Turgoose and Wilde watch reports appear to give an old date for those suspicious scratches. The scratches in the Diary might be relatively new but those in the watch are old. Hmmmmm yet again. confused

Chris

(Message edited by ChrisG on May 05, 2005)
Christopher T. George
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R.J. Palmer
Chief Inspector
Username: Rjpalmer

Post Number: 606
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2005 - 2:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris--I think the Maybrickians suggested that Maybrick's brain was going awry and that this accounts for the erratic writing near the end of the diary. I do wonder, though, if another explanation might be the penman's fatigue if he was rushing to complete the document.

Jeff--No, I'm afraid I live across the Atlantic. Nothing earth-shattering, I just took a pen with a steel nib and wrote out a few pages (not in a notebook) to get a general idea of how long it would take. Yes, I have used such a pen before, but they are fairly easy to get used to; the main thing is to scrape away excess ink from the nib (using the side of the ink well), so one does't 'drip' onto the manuscript. With the proper nib, one can write 6 or 8 words or so before having to dip the pen again. I imagine the Diary would take a third to a half a bottle of ink. I made no effort to imitate the diary's handwriting. I believe Maureen Casey Owen stated that the handwriting was likely to be the writer's normal hand. One concern with writing with pens of this sort is to allow the page to dry before turning it, so one doesn't make a mess, so this would slow down the process somewhat. I think among Barrett's many conflicting statements he once claimed to have dried the diary in an oven. RP

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R.J. Palmer
Chief Inspector
Username: Rjpalmer

Post Number: 607
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Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2005 - 3:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caz--I understand from an old post by Shirley Harrison that Doreen Montgomery was plagued by worries and insomnia during the Maybrick years and isn't too keen on reliving them. I'll leave it to others whether or not they wish to contact her; I merely wonder in an idle sort of way why it took Barrett 45 days to turn up in London. Then again, I don't know how busy literary agencies are. RP

(Message edited by rjpalmer on May 05, 2005)
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Christopher T George
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 1437
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2005 - 3:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi RP

You could turn the page without leaving wet ink on the previous page if you used blotting paper between the pages. That would I think be standard practice for someone using an old-style ink pen, whether in Maybrick's day or someone pretending to be Maybrick years later.

It looks as if Barrett's claim that he put the Diary in the oven was part of the effort to remove evidence of a maker's mark from the cover giving a date of "1908 or 1909" rather than to dry the ink or for the reason of making the writing appear old. See "Michael Barrett's Confessions, January 5 1995." The so-called fake Mussolini diaries were oven-aged according to Melvin Harris.

Chris

(Message edited by ChrisG on May 05, 2005)
Christopher T. George
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Jennifer D. Pegg
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Jdpegg

Post Number: 2350
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2005 - 3:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

it seems to me that there are a lot of things floating round that we are not sure of.
Anyway, some of these things are answerable so I'm all for trying to answer those ones.

Jenni
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Caroline Anne Morris
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Caz

Post Number: 1719
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 5:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris,

...the reference to a "Mrs. Hammersmith" who has not been shown to be a neighbor of the Maybricks in the south end of Liverpool...

But Hammersmith was a recognised surname in America at the time, and Liverpool and its leafy suburbs would have been home to a great many temporary visitors from across the pond. So your modern hoaxer was actually quite astute if he knew all this - or else very lucky indeed, if he stupidly picked on a name that didn't exist in England at the time.

It looks as if Barrett's claim that he put the Diary in the oven was part of the effort to remove evidence of a maker's mark from the cover giving a date of "1908 or 1909"...

I think you have to be careful here, Chris, to make it clear that this 'effort' was also just an unsupported claim, as was the existence of any maker's mark, giving any date.

Hi RJ,

I believe Maureen Casey Owen stated that the handwriting was likely to be the writer's normal hand.

If she was right, that lets Mike, Anne, Tony Devereux and Billy Graham off the hook at least. And I don't see the 'uncanny' resemblance others do with Citizen Kane's handwriting.

But I can't for the life of me imagine why a modern hoaxer, with even the most tenuous connection with the bloke charged with handling and placing the diary, would not have made a determined attempt to disguise his writing so that no one could say "Wait a minute...".

And it's worth repeating that any theory about the penman's identity, that depends on Devereux's involvement, in any way, shape or form, is on very shallow foundations, built by Mike himself. He needed a story to explain how he got the diary; Devereux had been dead for several months and couldn't contradict anything; Mike saw his opportunity.

If Devereux had been involved in a modern hoax, his death was certainly convenient. But why bring his name into it, knowing he would be sending the first investigators straight to Devereux's door, followed by the doors of his associates, where all sorts of conclusive physical evidence of the hoax could have turned up, for all Mike could have known? (And the RWE booklet is nothing like conclusive evidence, before you say 'but...'. )

I just thought a quick line to Keith might help you with your enquiries. He may have asked Doreen these questions a long time ago and if not, I'm sure he would see the point in asking her now.

Wondering anything 'in an idle sort of way', when it's bound up with your publicly expressed claim that Mike could have acquired the scrapbook after March 26 1992 (which could be quickly strengthened or disproved by Doreen's testimony), strikes me as a trifle unfair.

If you aren't even willing to explore your claim at first base level, please do let me know and I will ask Keith myself.

Have a great weekend all.

Love,

Caz
X

(Message edited by caz on May 06, 2005)
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Jeff Leahy
Detective Sergeant
Username: Jeffl

Post Number: 119
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 5:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Rj

I thought that it had been generally accepted that the writer of the diary had made an effort to discuise the writing with Victorian characteristic's. Have you tried this to see if it takes longer?

Interesting about the blotting paper. If the hoaxer did indeed use it, would there not be small tracies of blotting fibre in the writing? And might this not contain modern dies etc?

Has anyone ever searched for blotting paper fibres in the diary?

If the diary was dried in the oven, is it not possible it picked up traces of animal fats. Would these be dateable?


Just thinking out loud. Had always assumed that the hoaxer would have required more ink than this.

Shame or not this side of the pond.

Many thanks Jeff
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Chris Phillips
Chief Inspector
Username: Cgp100

Post Number: 940
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 5:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caroline Morris

But Hammersmith was a recognised surname in America at the time, and Liverpool and its leafy suburbs would have been home to a great many temporary visitors from across the pond. So your modern hoaxer was actually quite astute if ...


Could you clarify the point you are making, please?

Chris was discussing evidence that told against the genuineness of the diary, not evidence that indicated whether the hoax was old or new.

You have said in the past that you believe the diary is a hoax. Have you changed your mind?

Chris Phillips

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Christopher T George
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 1440
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 12:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Caz

I realised after the fact that in writing my last post about Mike making the claim about oven-drying the Diary book to remove a maker's mark I made it sound as if he actually did that, so thanks for clarifying it was an unsupported claim that he did, as he said, remove the maker's mark from a "1908 or 1909" diary or scrapbook he claimed to have bought at auction.

And if I might say so, Caz, to say Hammersmith was a common name in the United States is clutching at straws, not evidence in any way even if Yanks did visit Liverpool. You need to come up with some documentary evidence that there was a Mrs. Hammersmith in Aigburth in 1888 which nobody has so far done.

Chris
Christopher T. George
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Chris Phillips
Chief Inspector
Username: Cgp100

Post Number: 943
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Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 12:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris G.

And if I might say so, Caz, to say Hammersmith was a common name in the United States is clutching at straws, not evidence in any way even if Yanks did visit Liverpool.


Of course I agree Caroline Morris is clutching at straws.

And I see she was careful not to claim Hammersmith was a "common" name in the U. S. (as we've seen previously, it was a very rare surname there), but to describe it as a "recognised" surname there (whatever that means).

Chris Phillips

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R.J. Palmer
Chief Inspector
Username: Rjpalmer

Post Number: 608
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 1:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris G--Thanks for that citation.

Caz---Sadly, I think Mr. Devereux had a pretty good alibi in March, 1992 when Barrett was buying a blank diary. I don't hold any suspicions in that direction.

However, concerning Barrett's purchase. Do you find it at all odd that he ordered it though a bookdealer in Bledlow Ridge, Buckinghamshire? He's drifted quite afield from Liverpool hasn't he? Wasn't there a way to see what a genuine Victorian diary looked like closer to home?

Now. In looking over the information about the auctioneers Outhwaite & Litherland, I notice a letter Shirley received back from the auction house (Blake edition) stating that they couldn't find any such purchase by Mr. Barrett around 'that date." This is interesting.

In Barrett's confession, he states

"I felt sure it was the end of January 1990 when I went to Outhwaite & Litherland....:

But how sure was Mr. Barrett? In the sentence preceding this statement, he claims the red diary was purchased in January or February 1990. We know, in fact, that it was ordered in March 1991 and paid for in May 1991. Did Barrett get his years wrong? If the 1990 date was what was supplied to Outhwaite & Litherland,---and this appears to be the case--- is it possible they missed a purchase made by Barrett somewhere else in their records? It might be recalled that Barrett also didn't correctly describe the method of marking the lots, but this could, afterall, be nothing but a faulty memory. My understanding is that Alan Gray later went to the auctioneers and wished to examine their books, perhaps thinking along the same lines I am thinking, but they declined his request. A pity, perhaps. RP
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Christopher T George
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 1441
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Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 1:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris

Yes thanks for clarifying that Caz did not claim the name Hammersmith to be common in the U.S., only that it was a "recognized" surname there.

Chris
Christopher T. George
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Christopher T George
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 1442
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Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 1:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi RJ

You do make a very good point about Mike Barrett quite possibly getting the date of purchase of the Diary book wrong, if he did in fact purchase it from the auctioneers Outhwaite & Litherland. So I agree absolutely that there could have been benefit in looking at other possible dates for purchase of the book if the auctioneers had allowed such perusal of their records -- or might still do so.

In regard to Barrett's purchase of the blank little red Victorian diary in March 1992, you state, "Do you find it at all odd that he ordered it though a bookdealer in Bledlow Ridge, Buckinghamshire? He's drifted quite afield from Liverpool hasn't he? Wasn't there a way to see what a genuine Victorian diary looked like closer to home?"

No, RJ, sorry, I don't find that especially odd. Knowing Liverpool, I would not expect to find a specialty bookseller in the city that might have such a diary for sale, although of course there are second hand and antiquarian book dealers in Liverpool if not ones that would stock old blank diaries. I would be more likely to look further afield and try a dealer at some distance from the 'Pool where I might be more certain of being able to get what I need. R.J., I hope this feedback helps.

All my best

Chris

Christopher T. George
North American Editor
Ripperologist
http://www.ripperologist.info
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R.J. Palmer
Chief Inspector
Username: Rjpalmer

Post Number: 609
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 2:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris--Thanks for that. I can appreciate the fact that Barrett would have difficulty in finding such an item, but this only tends to confirm for me his determination to find a blank diary. If I recall correctly, the day Barrett showed up with the Maybrick Diary in London, one of the ladies at Crew very sensibly took the Diary to the British Museum and then to an antiquarian bookdealer to get their opinion on whether it "looked right." It seems to me this would have been the perfect opportunity for Barrett to have revealed that he had already bought a blank Victorian diary to check the guard book's bona fides; further, he could have done the same sort of thing in Liverpool, taking the Diary to Liverpool University or some museum and saved himself the twenty-five pounds and the phone-call to Buckinghamshire. Naturally, the onus is on me to prove he bought the guard-book, and I can produce no such evidence. Have a good week-end. RP


(Message edited by rjpalmer on May 06, 2005)
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Caroline Anne Morris
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Caz

Post Number: 1724
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 07, 2005 - 12:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris P,

I was just wondering if Chris G thought the hoaxer was astute or stupid, to pick an unusual surname like Hammersmith, that luckily is recognised to have existed in America at the right time, when he/she could have picked the name Smith instead.

Hi RJ,

I had wondered whether you thought Devereux was somehow involved in the conception and composition of the diary, and died before Mike was finally able to locate the scrapbook.

I think you are right not to hold any suspicions in that direction, and I hope he rests in peace.

Regarding Mike's order and purchase, I suppose it would depend on where he found the details of H.P. Bookfinders in Bucks. If they advertised in a publication available to Mike locally in Liverpool, it wouldn't be that odd, surely? A clue might be this, from page 163 of Ripper Diary, where we refer to details of Mike's January 5 1995 statement, except that it has to be treated with as much caution as any other unverified claim of his:

'A red leather diary was purchased by Anne for 25 from a firm in the 1986 Writers Year Book...'

You wrote:

We know, in fact, that it was ordered in March 1991 and paid for in May 1991.

I think you meant 1992.

Mike also had Devereux dying 'in fact' in 'late May early June 1990', when it was in fact in August 1991. I agree that any investigation based on Mike's idea of date and time is not very likely to bear fruit, even if there is any truth behind the story itself.

On page 273 of Ripper Diary we refer to our own visit to Outhwaite & Litherland: '...where we discovered that all prospective bidders have to complete a registration form in the office, and that this has always been the case - a fact omitted from Barrett's detailed confession...'

Any idea whose writing is in the diary? I can tell you now, for what it's worth, that if Mike had written it himself, I firmly believe it would have looked totally different from page one, and that Shirley would have returned from the British Museum and Jarndyce with two fleas in her ear!

Love,

Caz
X

(Message edited by caz on May 07, 2005)
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Chris Phillips
Chief Inspector
Username: Cgp100

Post Number: 948
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 07, 2005 - 1:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caroline Morris

I was just wondering if Chris G thought the hoaxer was astute or stupid, to pick an unusual surname like Hammersmith, that luckily is recognised to have existed in America at the right time, when he/she could have picked the name Smith instead.

In that case I must apologise for saying you were "clutching at straws" - it sounded as though you were suggesting this could be evidence in favour of genuineness, or perhaps in favour of the hoax being old, whereas you are only asking whether the hoaxer was astute or stupid.

As you know, I think the hoaxer was stupid, and I think picking a surname that appears not to have existed in England at the time is a good piece of evidence for that.

If the hoaxer had been astute, I think he should have gone to the library, looked at an old directory, and picked a surname represented by, say, 3 or 4 families who lived in the same district as Maybrick. Not a very common name like Smith, nor a suspiciously uncommon one, but a reasonably distinctive one, so that if anyone did research it, they could cry "Eureka!" when they discovered "confirmation" of the information in the diary.

I don't think any hoaxer, astute or otherwise, would have wanted to rely on the incredible ingenuity that the diary advocates have demonstrated in finding ways of keeping the thing alive.

Chris Phillips



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Caroline Anne Morris
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Caz

Post Number: 1729
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 6:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris P,

The fact is, Mrs Hammersmith is evidence of nothing at all, since it can't be proved that no Mrs Hammersmith from America was visiting the Aigburth area in 1888, and no one has found one who did. If a Mrs Hammersmith from America were ever to be found in the right area at the right time, it would be argued that the hoaxer found this information first.

It's pretty much on the cards that, among all the visitors from America, staying in the Liverpool area in 1888, some of them would have had uncommon surnames. So as I say, it's non-evidence. It's just a piece of information that was either invented, or hasn't been verified yet.

The thing is only kept alive because the ultimately subjective arguments, which you keep coming back here to repeat, for the diary being a modern hoax, are just not sound enough on their own. Not one of the test results to date has been able to stamp an indelible post-1987 date on the document; a fact that a modern hoaxer could not have relied on, unless he knew even more than we appear to know about the difficulties of dating if you use the right ink.

Love,

Caz
X
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Chris Phillips
Chief Inspector
Username: Cgp100

Post Number: 952
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Posted on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 6:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caroline Morris

You seem to want to keep talking about whether the hoax is modern or not, despite the fact that we're agreed that "Mrs Hammersmith" can't tell us that. Curious.

On the question of whether the hoaxer was clever or stupid, it's not very clear to me what you're arguing, but you seem to be arguing that he was either stupid, or actually much cleverer than the rest of us, and actually found a record of a Mrs Hammersmith visiting Liverpool from America, and used it in the diary.

But - while I agree that this would require phenomenal research skills - would it really be such an astute thing to do? It could hardly be expected to provide verisimilitude, as it's very unlikely that anyone investigating the diary would discover the "real" Mrs Hammersmith. (And if the hoaxer tipped anyone off, he would find himself in a "Crashaw situation".)

On the contrary, our hypothetical highly skilled hoaxer would know very well that "Hammersmith" was an unknown surname in England at the time, and would be well aware that this would cast serious doubt on the diary's authenticity.

Behaving like this would be just another kind of stupid, in my opinion. But in any case, I think the hoaxer was just plain stupid in the usual sense of the word.

Chris Phillips

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Jeff Leahy
Detective Sergeant
Username: Jeffl

Post Number: 122
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 7:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not certain about the Stupid Hoaxer/ clever Hoaxer debate but as this is an ink thread can we just look at the Clean Hoaxer/ dirty hoaxer question.

Am I correct in beleiving that the ink required by the hoaxer would have been bought in powder form and mixed before using?......In which case surely the ink would have been full of obvious contaminants. Floride, deturgents, remaims of hoaxer breakfast, Robin Reliant axle greese.etc etc.

OR...is it possible for the Hoaxer to have bought ready mixed...period ink?

Could the Hoaxer possibly have bought mixed ink from the correct period or would he have had to mix from powder form to create a viable Victorian substitute?

Just wondering if anybody knows anything about how Barrett claimed he came by the ink aswell as the diary.

Or if it wasnt Barret how a partencial Modern Hoaxer would go about getting Victorian ink (if that it be) or at least a pausable ready mix ink in the Liverpool area post 1987?

Jeff

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Sir Robert Anderson
Inspector
Username: Sirrobert

Post Number: 395
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 11:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Just wondering if anybody knows anything about how Barrett claimed he came by the ink aswell as the diary. "

Jeff -- hasn't Barrett also claimed he added sugar to the ink in an effort to make it more "authentic" ? What was the point of that ?
Sir Robert

'Tempus Omnia Revelat'
SirRobertAnderson@gmail.com
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Jeff Leahy
Detective Sergeant
Username: Jeffl

Post Number: 123
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 11:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sir Robert

I'm not certain about that. I will consult the govnor.

However how the Hoaxer came by the ink and how it was mixed seems like a much better line of enquirary than the diary, which could have come from anywhere and contain no obvious period mistakes.

Hopefully speak to dear boss tomorrow. Will let you know about sugar.

Jeff
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Chris Phillips
Chief Inspector
Username: Cgp100

Post Number: 955
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Posted on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 12:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

and contain no obvious period mistakes.

I give up.

Chris Phillips

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Mr Poster
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Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2005 - 2:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello Jeff Leahy

It could be him. His CV mentions ink, drugs and explosives and the Ministry of the Interior so it is more than likely the same guy.

Try writing a hand written letter. Maybe it comes across more formal or something.

I thought this would be right up his street. Then again, maybe he's already heard of the "bad manners" that are characteristic of some in diary world.

mr Poster
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Jeff Leahy
Detective Sergeant
Username: Jeffl

Post Number: 124
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 6:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Chris and Mr Poster

Not quite sure if I understand your banter or whether you've quite understood the gist of mine, so i will try refrazing what I'm getting at.

1. How Barrett or the Hoaxer came by the diary I do not see as important. The fact is that a blank 'Memorabilia Album' (for that it be) could have been purchased from somewhere quite simply. And if said blank diary was made before 1888 it should under any scientific tests register as being genuine in period. ie Not a fake, real, gone to meet its museum curator.

Therefore there is little we can learn from such a part of the hoax.

I'm suggesting that we should be able to learn more from the ink.

2. I had been lead to beleive that the ink one would need to purchase if one was to go about trying to create such a hoax, would be available in powder form.

If you bought the ink in powder form you would need to mix the ink into a solution inorder to get said ink onto the diary.

I have also been lead to beleive from posts on casebook that the ink was 'thinned down' or watered down to appear thin.

I am pondering on contamination as a problem. Assuming that the diary was not created in laboritory conditions.

I am also trying to assertain if it is possible to buy the type of ink necessary to create a 1888 apperance hoax in liverpool. Is said ink available in pre-mixed victorian form? Anywhere?

My assumption is that the ink would not store or keep for over hundred years without drying out.

If the ink is therefore a modern solution what contaminates would we expect to find and where should we look for them?.....has anybody found anything odd or out of place 'traces of Happy shopper washing up liquid fore example.

Also can we assume that Barrett would have known about Liverpool tap water? have realized it would have modern contaminates? Assumed that the diary would be tested to this level and gone and purchased a bottle of Evian to create the ink solution?

As for the sugar question....I've not heard of this before...and in me cockney way was trying to say I'd ask someone who would know and see if I could find any information for Sir Robert.

Hopefully thats a little clearer. I'm trying to ask questions and discover information about the ink. thats my fundermental interest now on this particular artefact.

Mr Poster when I mentioned the governor I obviously wasnt refering to Ronnie and Reg down the road (gaud bless them) but a source on diary information.

Many thanks Jeff
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Caroline Anne Morris
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Caz

Post Number: 1734
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 6:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris,

On the contrary, our hypothetical highly skilled hoaxer would know very well that "Hammersmith" was an unknown surname in England at the time, and would be well aware that this would cast serious doubt on the diary's authenticity.

Actually, I got my wires crossed over the existence of the surname, completely forgetting the research Constance Brown and Shirley had done.

And a little bird sent me this earlier today:

A quick search on Ancestry.com shows that the name was known in England:

Source:
Census - 1871 England Census

Elizabeth Hammersmith
Birth:
1845 - location, Surrey, England
Residence:
year - location, London, England

Elizabeth Hammersmith
Birth:
1826 - location, Yorkshire, England
Residence:
year - location, Yorkshire, England

Hannah E Hammersmith
Birth:
1854 - location, Yorkshire, England
Residence:
year - location, Yorkshire, England

Jane Hammersmith
Birth:
1856 - location, Yorkshire, England
Residence:
year - location, Yorkshire, England

John Hammersmith
Birth:
1847 - Berkshire, England
Residence:
year - location, city, London, England

John E Hammersmith
Birth:
1856 - location, Staffordshire, England
Residence:
year - location, city, Staffordshire, England

Mary A Hammersmith
Birth:
1812 - location, Surrey, England
Residence:
year - location, London, England

Medley Hammersmith
Birth:
1865 - location, Yorkshire, England
Residence:
year - location, Yorkshire, England

Nancy Hammersmith
Birth:
1814 - location, Yorkshire, England
Residence:
year - location, Yorkshire, England

Robert Hammersmith
Birth:
1846 - location, Cheshire, England
Residence:
year - location, city, Cheshire, England

I'm still just gathering other people's views on the diary author's choices.

Hi Jeff,

When Mike was selling his 'world's greatest forger' story to Harold Brough, they drove round so Mike could point out where the materials came from etc. Mike pointed to the Bluecoat shop and claimed that the diary ink was bought there. Enquiries found that pre-1992 Diamine would have been the only product on sale to give a suitably Victorian appearance.

On looking at the diary in October 1995, Alec Voller, Diamine's research chemist, stated:

The opacity of this is very much poorer than one would have from Diamine Manuscript ink even if it were diluted. You see dilution would simply not produce this sort of effect...

If you made up the ink in the way it is supposed to have been made up (as a modern forgery) it simply wouldn't have faded to the extent that parts of the Diary have faded... To create this document as a modern fake you would have to start with a person of at least my experience of ink...

...you mention powdered inks... I daresay one can find them... we have 7,000 sachets tucked away in some cobwebby corner of Diamine. But if you add the appropriate quantity of water to the powder it would still look like new ink on the paper...

...to make a proper ferro-gallic ink takes a week of doing things at the right time and in the right order...

If I were going to try and forge something I wouldn't use a pseudo old ink at all. I could formulate an ink that would give you the right appearance... but of course it wouldn't stand up to chemical analysis.


And yes, when asked about the ink during his April 1999 C&D interview, Mike said "Simple - I just added sugar!" I presume he meant he added sugar to the ink bought from the Bluecoat shop, but I don't know how he thought that would have made it harder to prove modern.

It seems to have worked, anyway.

Love,

Caz
X

(Message edited by caz on May 10, 2005)
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Chris Phillips
Chief Inspector
Username: Cgp100

Post Number: 957
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 7:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caroline Morris quoted Voller in 1995:

If you made up the ink in the way it is supposed to have been made up (as a modern forgery) it simply wouldn't have faded to the extent that parts of the Diary have faded...


But as we've seen elsewhere, Voller was later shown a 6-year-old test letter, and acknowledged that it showed similar fading.

Sometimes it would be nice if you could acknowledge points like this, rather than quoting things without any warning that they may be incorrect.

Chris Phillips

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Chris Phillips
Chief Inspector
Username: Cgp100

Post Number: 959
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 7:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caroline Morris

A quick search on Ancestry.com shows that the name was known in England:


Well, thank you for that - or rather, thanks to your "little bird".

Admittedly it's difficult to be sure that there were no "resident" Hammersmiths in England in 1888. We know there are none in the index to the 1881 census (except two "Hamersmiths" which turned out to be mistranscriptions).

For that reason I'm rather suspicious that your bird found no less than 10 Hammersmiths living in 4 different counties 10 years earlier. Of course, they may all have died or emigrated during the 1870s. However, no doubt you know that the Ancestry index is notoriously inaccurate, so it may be that these too are mistranscriptions.

This possibility is strengthened by the fact that none of them appears in the FreeBMD index, though 7 of the 10 fall within the period it covers (admittedly it is not a complete index, but it's surprising that none of the 7 appears).

So your 1871 Hammersmiths are a bit of a conundrum. Where did they come from? And where did they go to? If you feel it's of particular importance, your next step should be to check the census returns on microfilm, to see if the surnames have been transcribed correctly.

But as I've already said, I think the hoaxer would have been stupid to pick an extremely uncommon name - which Hammersmith undoubtedly was - whether there was really one in Liverpool or not.

Chris Phillips



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Jeff Leahy
Detective Sergeant
Username: Jeffl

Post Number: 125
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 8:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Caz

So your saying Mike Barrett claimed that he put sugar in the solution.

Surely this would have shown up in any chemical tests?

...to make a proper ferro-gallic ink takes a week of doing things at the right time and in the right order...

Caz I dont fally understand this. What is the significance of ferro-gallic ink?

If we are working on a Modern Hoax theory...help me out here...

What is the most likely way the forger would go about obtaining the ink in the diary?

You seem to suggest a much more complicated mixing process than just adding Evian water giving it a stire, then getting it on the diary asap.

Have any tests so far looked for contaminants like floride (tap water) sugar or and modern detergants likely to have been used in washing up utensils. Would these contaminants be in to small a quantity to take my Reliant Robin Axle greese joke seriously. Or would tests show up very very small quantities of just about everything surrounding the ink mixing process.

Appreciate your thoughts Mr Post.

Many thanks for your help Caz.

The contamination for hoaxs in general is something I'm stewing on at present...have to send off report by end of the day.

Thanks Jeff


Is this just proof of another Barrett lie or a sign of something more significant.

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Sir Robert Anderson
Inspector
Username: Sirrobert

Post Number: 397
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 10:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"And yes, when asked about the ink during his April 1999 C&D interview, Mike said "Simple - I just added sugar!" I presume he meant he added sugar to the ink bought from the Bluecoat shop, but I don't know how he thought that would have made it harder to prove modern. "

A few more questions come to mind, then.

1) Is it possible to test for the presence of sugar in the ink ?

2) Are there differences in the refining process of sugar in Victorian era vis a vis modern times?

3) And finally -- how would sugar alter the appearance of the ink? Is this a known "trick of the forger's trade" or is it unique to Barrett?
Sir Robert

'Tempus Omnia Revelat'
SirRobertAnderson@gmail.com

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