Jump to content
The Education Forum

James Maybrick.


Guest Stephen Turner
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Stephen Turner

I AM PLAYING DEVILS ADVOCATE ;)

In the spring of 1992 former Liverpool scrap-metal dealer, Micheal Barrett came to London, with a diary that made the astonishing claim that it was written by none other than Jack the ripper.

On first sight the diary was pretty unprepossing, written in a black, leather bound album with the first 64 pages removed. The other 144 pages were covered in writting that changed from almost "copperplate" neatness, to a wild uncontrolled style, with vicious slashes and ink blots. The contents were gruesome and contained an obsession with cannibalism, the writer had signed of as "Yours truely Jack the ripper. The writer catalogues the five murders in great detail, and is strewn with little details about the killers family, friends,and his reasons for commiting the murders. He writes "Tonight I shall return to Battlecrease" He refers to "Bobo" and "Gladys" and "My darling Bunny"and finally to his Brother Micheal, the song writer. The diary is clearly meant to indicate that James Maybrick was Jack the ripper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I AM PLAYING DEVILS ADVOCATE :)

In the spring of 1992 former Liverpool scrap-metal dealer, Micheal Barrett came to London, with a diary that made the astonishing claim that it was written by none other than Jack the ripper.

On first sight the diary was pretty unprepossing, written in a black, leather bound album with the first 64 pages removed. The other 144 pages were covered in writting that changed from almost "copperplate" neatness, to a wild uncontrolled style, with vicious slashes and ink blots. The contents were gruesome and contained an obsession with cannibalism, the writer had signed of as "Yours truely Jack the ripper. The writer catalogues the five murders in great detail, and is strewn with little details about the killers family, friends,and his reasons for commiting the murders. He writes "Tonight I shall return to Battlecrease" He refers to "Bobo" and "Gladys" and "My darling Bunny"and finally to his Brother Micheal, the song writer. The diary is clearly meant to indicate that James Maybrick was Jack the ripper.

Hi Steve

I have just returned from a three-day business meeting and will be setting off again a week tomorrow (Thurs Oct 6) for the Jack the Ripper conference in Brighton, UK, where we will hopefully be able to chat.

Needless to say I believe as you do, and I believe as do the majority of people in the Ripperworld, that the Maybrick diary is a hoax, and not even a very good hoax.

The person who created the Diary has cunningly chosen a semi-famous Victorian gentleman and cotton merchant who was himself murdered, or at least died in suspicious circumstances, in May 1889, almost exactly six months after the last canonical victim, Mary Jane Kelly, was butchered in 13 Miller's Court, Spitalfields.

The point though is that the Diary is not even in Maybrick's known handwriting, a huge hurdle to Maybrick's candidacy, that the Diary apologists' try to excuse by saying that Maybrick's drug habit gave him multiple personalities --though they don't explain how the signature on his will and business correspondence are exactly the same and not anything like the writing in the Diary. There is no doubt that Maybrick was a drug-taker but that does not necessarily make him a homicidal maniac or a man with multiple personalities. He was addicted to arsenic and strychnine as a daily pick-me-up; he had begun taking the drug as an anti-malarial dose while on business trip to Virginia in the earlier 1880's.

The Diary also has no provenance, and cannot authentically be traced back further than it being in the hands of Michael Barrett, the man who took it to literary agent Doreen Montgomery in 1992, and his former wife, who has now reverted to her maiden name of Anne Graham. Anne tells a story of the Diary having been in the possession of her late father, Billy Graham, although that story appears to be a reaction "research" by the late Paul Feldman, author of Jack the Ripper: The Final Chapter, to link the Barretts or at least Anne, to the Maybricks which he finally did with an odd connection that appeared to contend, with no real proof, that Billy Graham may have been an illegitimate son of Florence Maybrick's.

The whole scenario depicted in the Diary that James Maybrick went down to London to murder prostitutes to gain revenge on his unfaithful wife is contrived. The dates when Florence knew Alfred Brierley, the supposed lover that James knew about and that drove him to his murder spree, don't match the time of the Ripper murders: she only met Brierley in December 1888, after the canonical murders were over.

The late Diary critic Melvin Harris's article on the Maybrick Diary, THE MAYBRICK HOAX; A GUIDE THROUGH THE LABYRINTH remains a good discussion of the problems with the Diary, while the recent book by Keith Skinner, Seth Linder, and Caroline Morris, Ripper Diary (Sutton 1993) provides a good, objective analysis of the Diary controversy even if it falls short of getting to the root of the hoax.

All my best

Chris

Edited by Christopher T. George
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner

On first sight the diary was pretty unprepossing, written in a black, leather bound album with the first 64 pages removed. The other 144 pages were covered in writting that changed from almost "copperplate" neatness, to a wild uncontrolled style, with vicious slashes and ink blots.

Chris George has kindly pointed out in a P/M ( to save my blushes) that the above should read "The other 64 pages" I had more than doubled the size of the infamous diary,and some people think its much to long as it is. :stupid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...