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Melvin Harris

On the Internet, on 8 Sept 1997, Paul Begg said this of me: "his honesty is not and never has been in question." Very well, let him now take note that this honest writer finds his present standards deplorable. In an attempt to justify the belief in the "Eight little whores" poem he deliberately mistates my position. And this, despite the fact that my first book makes my position clear, and depite the fact that I have elaborated on my position in letters which Begg has seen. I insist on far higher standards from him in the future.

But it is urgent, and desperate for Feldman to go on believing in this poem. The moment he accepts it as the hoax it is, then the Diary is dead. He has said so himself. And Begg provides excuses that allow the pipe dreams to drift on.

Begg 's quote from my RIPPER FILE leaves out my opening words, which read: "...any theories drawing on the 'Dr Dutton Diaries' are invalid." Since it is impossible to draw on material that has never been seen in print, this plainly refers to the passages that appeared in McCormick's book. No other passages ascribed to Dutton exist anywhere else. Thus every remark I make on this score points the reader back to McCormick.

In my detailed comments in my JACK THE RIPPER: THE BLOODY TRUTH, I repeatedly remind my readers that all the Dutton claims rest on McCormick's text. The fair summary I made of his text warns that everything is "According to Donald McCormick" and "...there's something unreal about the doctor , as he appears in McCormick's book." And I demonstrate that the Dutton portrayed by McCormick makes claims that only a charlatan could make.

The research Begg mentions has no bearing on this matter. It does not provide a single line from Dutton; we still are thrown back on McCormick. Begg asks us to accept that McCormick actually saw the 'Chronicles' and took notes from them. There are many good reasons for rejecting this claim by McCormick. And in any case the evidence provided by his book proves that all the stories said to be derived from Dutton are bogus. I have already given a few examples in my reply to Feldman. I will be providing more.

It is now time for Begg to stop the tomfoolery and put his reputation on the line. Let him tell us all just which of these bogus stories he believes in? And which specific lines from Dutton (McCormick's Dutton) is he prepared to endorse and stand by?

It is worthless to plead that McCormick actions are covered by the literary conventions that Fido mentions, for McCormick has specifically nullified that defence. In his preface he states this: "...I have in several chapters used first-person narratives which some critics may say, is not in keeping with a serious assessment of the facts and might be considered as a fictional reconstruction of the incidents. To this criticism there is an answer. The first-person narratives which are recorded are based on (and in most cases literally transcribed from) statements actually made by the persons concerned either to the police, at inquests on the victims, or in documents and diaries.

In other words McCormick is dismissing, in total, the very idea that he has actually manufactured any evidence or documents. He is saying that his packaging might be slightly more colourful, but his contents are sound and authentic. Despite this disarming claim, bogus events and documents are found throughout his book and not all of them are pinned on to Dutton.

For example, a whole section revolves around a copy of the 'Ochrana Gazette' dated January 1909 and said to have been shown to McCormick by the late Prince Serge Belloselski. This copy of the 'Gazette' has never been traced; its alleged text twice mentions 'Petrograd', at a time when that city was called St Petersburg; and McCormick later issued a doctored version of its text in 1972. This particular story has been repudiated by all of the people who knew the Prince well. It has also been rejected by Belloselski's daughter, Marina, who even wrote to me saying: "I can assure you that had there been any evidence regarding the individual you refer to, it would have come to the attention of other Russian families as well."

Let me remind Begg that it was none other than Martin Fido who wrote to me in 1994 saying: "I do look forward hugely to your debunking of McCormick. Bounder is too kind a word for a man who transparently falsifies 'documents' no one else has seen! He and Joe Sickert are the only two people we overtly or by innuendo accuse of deliberate deceit in the A to Z, and I myself should be only too happy if he sued me; would defend myself and win!"

Let me now state publicly that McCormick has to my face admitted that the "Eight little whores" poem is a modern fake. He never named the faker and I did not even ask for the name. But he has never been willing to commit himself in writing . Instead he has chosen to play silly games by altering his story each time. In one ~etter he tried to attribute the poem to J.K.Stephen; in another he pretended that it had been found in some newspaper clippings. He has even spun the yarn that his father recited it to him! Now, unfortunately, he is too ill to ever set the record straight.

Diary devotees will no doubt resort to the sneer that they only have my word to go on. But let me remind them that I speak as the honest man identified by Paul Begg, whereas McCormick stands branded by Fido as an author who has traded in dubious and transparently falsified 'documents'. So whose word are you justified in believing?

In any case,I can prove that all the Dutton material deals with events that never took place, thus it has to be condemned and discarded. So why should Begg, or anyone else, have the licence to go on believing in the one item the Diary camp depends on? Such a continued belief is both irrational and pathetic.

Begg's attempt to reinstate the red leather cigarette case as a possible clue is pretty dismal as well. Paul Feldman's original specious claim involved his belief that the case was an expensive item that just had to be clue left by Maybrick! But the white metal fittings (melchior) betray it as the cheapest of the line. And its cheapness and state of wear was exactly in keeping with police expectations. They were dealing with a pitifully poor woman, wearing very old skirts, and crudely repaired boots and stockings. This cigarette case did not jar in any way. They found it unremarkable, and not worthy of a line of comment. We know of it only as just one item among the many others noted on the police inventory.

I was amused to see that Begg had fallen for the scam involving Mike Barrett's 'research documents'. I would have thought that by now even he would have been wise to such hoary old tactics! And he needs reminding that the lady who said "Who's Underwood?" also once said: "Did you nick it, Mike?" Need I elaborate?

My piece set out to show that the Dairy camp scenario, involving massive research by any hoaxers was quite false. As I said back in 1993 the whole hoax could have been created quite painlessly by the use of a few easy-to-find books. A mere two in the case of the Ripper. I have demonstrated that. If I was wrong then it would be quite easy to show how, but the case is beyond demolition. That's why we now have an attempt to divert attention away from the truth by the frantic production of lists of names! Lists, which, in themselves, are meaningless and not worth the time of day. Feldman is impressing himself only.

Only one point is worth bothering with, that is the question of the Poste House. I, too, have spoken with Andrew Perry , who conducts research at the Royal Mail Archives. His statement to me differs somewhat. He thinks it possible that a place that used to accept post might have been known loosely as a post house, but he also states that the name 'Poste House', with its two capital letters, must be the proper name of an establishment, that would have been publicly registered under that name, and publicly visible under that name. Just so, it is still very visible in Liverpool, but it was never visible to Maybrick under that name.

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: 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 Caution was Given 
       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