The Diary

In 1992 Mike Barrett, a Liverpool man, appeared with what was claimed to be a 'diary' of the Whitechapel Murderer - said to have been given to him by his dead friend Tony Deveraux. The notebook purported to be the ravings of James Maybrook.

The Deveraux family consistently denied Tony ever had the 'diary' - they would surely have known. Despite some reservations over absolute authenticity, and some rather shaky technical evidence that the diary (and ink) was not contemporaneous with the killings, the diary was published in 1993 - "The Diary of Jack the Ripper".

In 1994 Anne Barrett 'confessed' she had had the diary passed to her husband, via Tony Deveraux. Anne claims the diary was left to her father by his granny. This story is supported by Anne's father, 'Billy' Graham. If true, the diary has been with the Graham's over 50 years. Florie Maybrick had used the name 'Graham' after her release from prison in 1904... On the other hand, Mike Barrett has 'confessed' to forging the diary... And of dying... And of being a spy...

Just before the publication of the diary, a gold watch was 'found' (hallmarked in 1846, made by Henry Verity of Lancaster), also in Liverpool. Inside the back cover were scratches, which under a microscope revealed the signature "J. Maybrick" and the words "I am Jack". There were also initials of the 5 victims (plus 2 others from the diary...). Another fake? An eminent metallurgist Dr S. Turgoose, has found brass particles in the scratches, which are corroded, due to ageing, of "several decades". Dr. Robert Wild, a metallurgist from Bristol University, also stated "it would seem likely that the engravings were at least several tens of years age" after testing with an electron microscope.

The 'coincidence' of the watch and diary appearing simultaneously, together with some oddities over the age of both the diary and the watch markings appear to stretch credularity somewhat; but the sheer detail and coincidences noted are remarkable. It is probable there is much more to the diary than a straight 'modern day' forgery, certainly worth further investigation. Is Maybrook the Whitechapel fiend....?

The Ripper mystery continues to twist and turn... And so does the diary... Will we ever know the whole truth?

Further diary investigations are underway - more evidence unfolded in 1997 with the publication of a new book - The Final Chapter - Perhaps the most exciting Ripper publication yet!

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Last updated 23 December 1999