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Natalie Severn
05-13-2014, 05:17 AM
DAILY MAIL ARTICLE PUBLISHED UNDER THE TITLE "THEY HANGED
THE WRONG MAN" (May 1999) . .written by Roger Matthews on the report he produced in 1996 after a year's research during which he led a team of 20 as Detective Chief Superintendent Roger Matthews of Scotland Yard.

James Hanratty, aged 24, an inadequate petty criminal, was executed on a grey April morning in 1962 for a cruel, cold-blooded - and apparently random - sex crime. Initially, few outside his immediate family mourned his passing.

These days, sadly, we are used to horrific killings by gunmen and the appalling litany of brutal sexual assaults. However, in that more innocent age, the bizarre evil of this attack shocked the entire nation. As a callow sixth former with a burning ambition to join the Metropolitan Police, I remember reading about the crime with incredulity. I certainly felt no sympathy for a man whom I knew nothing about.

Little could I know that more than thirty years later in 1995, it would fall to me, by now an experienced Detective Superintendent at Scotland Yard, to conduct a review of the case at the request of the Home Office. The Home Secretary was considering an application from the family's lawyers to refer the case to the Court of Appeal.

Normally, of course, it is the function of police officers to search out evidence of guilt. Here, though, I was being asked to consider whether someone whom had been hanged as a murderer while I was still a schoolboy had in fact gone to the gallows an innocent man.

It took me a year of painstaking research before I reached the somewhat unpalatable conclusion that a grievous miscarriage of justice had almost certainly taken place. On the available evidence, James Hanratty ought not to have been found guilty; and certainly not have been “hanged by the neck until dead” in Bedford jail.

Now, as the case awaits hearing in the Appeal Court, I feel I have to speak out, because I am so concerned about the entire episode. Gradually, during the investigation, my opposition to the death penalty strengthened. Such a measure is so appallingly irreversible.

As I burrowed through sixteen boxes of evidence and yellowing files and documents, I found a copy of the last letter dictated by Hanratty (he could barely write) shortly before his execution. It took on poignancy for me.

The letter was to his brother Michael- a man whose tenacity I have come to admire - and it contained a final, and unexpectedly moving and dignified appeal to clear his name. At the time, it had sparked a campaign led by his father, backed by John Lennon and including investigative writers such as Paul Foot. The campaign is still running.

"Well, Mick", said Hanratty in that letter, "I am going to do my best to face the morning with courage and strength and I am sure God will give me the courage to do so...I am going to ask you to do me a small favour, that is I would like you to clear my name of this crime.
Someone, somewhere is responsible for this crime and one day they will venture out again and then the truth will come out, and then that will be the chance for you to step in. Well the time is drawing near, it is almost daylight, so please look after Mum and Dad for me. . .. I only wish I could have the chance over again. But never mind, Mick, as I don't know what I have done to deserve this. But Mick, that's fate for you. . . your loving brother Jim".

Hanratty died an hour or so later, still protesting his innocence to the Roman Catholic priest who gave him the last rites.

Of course, I didn’t base my professional assessment of Hanratty's guilt upon the hanged man's last words, no matter how impressive. Yet I couldn’t but wonder why this 25year-old had gone to his grave protesting his innocence with such quiet determination and dignity. Unless, of course, he really was innocent.

So, what exactly had James Hanratty been accused of? Well, the basic story has never been in dispute. At around 9.30 on the evening of 22nd August 1961, lovers Michael Gregsten, 36, and Valerie Storie, 22, were enjoying an illicit tryst in a grey Morris Minor owned by his aunt.

They had to be discreet because he was married with two small sons; and because they both worked at the Slough Road Research Laboratory in Borehamwood. Michael was a scientist and Valerie a research assistant.

They were parked in a remote cornfield at Dorney Reach, itself somewhat remote, near Taplow in Buckinghamshire. It was a location they had used before. Suddenly they were interrupted by a tap on the window. Gregsten wound it down and was forced out of the car at gunpoint.

The gunman climbed into the rear and ordered Gregsten to get back in and drive off. The trio spent several hours driving around the suburbs of North-West London and beyond, whilst the gunman claimed he was a desperate fugitive bent on armed robbery. Bizarrely, he took items from them, including a valuable watch, which he returned prior to the brutal and callous shootings which were to follow.

Eventually, Gregsten was ordered to park in a lay-by at the grotesquely named Deadman's Hill on the A6 in Bedfordshire. The journey had been bad enough, but what followed was truly horrific. Gregsten was shot twice through the head and died instantly. Valerie was
forced to help remove the body of her murdered lover from the car.

Then she was savagely raped and shot at least four times. She was left for dead alongside Gregsten's body. In fact she was - and remains - paralysed from the waist down but her brain was undamaged. She was able to give the police an account of her ordeal as soon as she was rescued.
The Morris Minor car was found dumped the next day in Redbridge, East London; and the gun used in the crimes was discovered a day later beneath the back seat of a London bus.

Suddenly, there came the breakthrough. Two cartridge cases from the murder weapon were found in the basement of a cheap hotel in Maida Vale, North-West London. A check of the hotel register revealed the name of Peter Louis Alphon, a travelling sales representative who specialised in selling "Old Moore's Almanac". He had booked into this hotel for an overnight stay on the day of the murder; and had been questioned over strange behaviour in another, nearby hotel in Finsbury Park. The background to this was that he had apparently locked himself in his room in the Finsbury Park hotel for the five days immediately following the murder.

Staff at the Maida Vale hotel said they had not seen Alphon on the crucial night; and his mother did not confirm his alibi - wherein he had mentioned visiting her at around the time the murder took place. .

Alphon's name was therefore released to the press, and it has to be said in his favour that he gave himself up. At an identification parade, however, held at her hospital bedside, Valerie Storie selected someone else and Alphon was released.

Police attention turned to Hanratty, who by common consent had stayed at the hotel on the night before the murder. He refused to give himself up because he was - and perhaps more importantly knew that he was - wanted for two offences of burglary on fingerprint evidence. On the telephone to police, he vehemently denied being responsible for the. crimes. No fingerprints or indeed any other forensic evidence had been discovered in the car. He was alleged to have told the interviewing officer that he was a "really clever" criminal who never left fingerprints. This was more than a little odd. All of his convictions had resulted from his leaving his prints at crime scenes.

He never wavered in his denial. On 11th October he was arrested in a cafe in Blackpool and charged after Valerie had selected him on an identification parade. Intriguingly, he bore not the remotest resemblance to the man she had identified (wrongly, of course) at the Alphon parade.

Miss Storie insisted, however, that this time, she was "positive" that Hanratty was the killer. It was a rather unusual “parade”. She was unable to visually identify any one; and asked that each participant uttered the words she said had been used repeatedly by the gunman. They were “Keep quiet: I’m Finking” – in a cockney accent. Hanratty was the only man on the parade born within a hundred miles of London!! Nowadays, this would be totally discredited.

The trial was the longest in English legal history and Valerie was obviously the chief prosecution witness. Hanratty initially refused to disclose where he had been on the night in question, and this weighed heavily against him.

Then he claimed that he had been in Liverpool. He was not able to substantiate this alibi and changed it during the trial, saying that in fact he had been staying in a guesthouse in the North Wales resort of Rhyl.

There was insufficient time to confirm this story - though his graphic description of the room he had occupied was quite extraordinarily accurate - and the landlady was uncertain
as to the dates upon which he had stayed. Therefore, this somewhat belated alibi collapsed, and Hanratty was convicted.

Following the failure of his appeal and the rejection of a petition signed by 90,000 people, he was hanged.

Soon afterwards, Alphon claimed to a writer that he was responsible for the outrage, whilst acting as a "hitman" whose task it had been to separate Michael and Valerie and frighten the former into returning to his wife and children.

Alphon supposedly made an identical admission to journalist Paul Foot.He has certainly been making it down the decades to anyone prepared to listen. Foot also discovered, incidentally, fourteen witnesses who supported Hanratty's claim to have been in Rhyl at the time of the atrocity.

Having got these basic facts straight, I began to worry about such matters as motive and opportunity. Why on earth would Hanratty, a petty if fairly determined urban burglar, suddenly take a gun and loiter in a very rural cornfield in Buckinghamshire?

Cornfields are hardly the most lucrative locations for armed robberies. Nor is it immediately obvious that the surrounding area would have been a source of rich pickings for a robber, particularly one with no apparent means of transport

It was common knowledge that Hanratty was a skilled car thief and that when arrested, he had in his pocket the keys for a Jaguar which he had stolen and driven around England for some weeks. Why did he not have a getaway car on the night in question? In addition, why did he need Valerie' s assistance to help start the very basic Morris Minor?

According to her, he did not even know how to change gear until she taught him. It just did not make any sense.

Then I turned to the prosecution case. The first thing to strike me was how thin it was. It would most certainly not have been sufficient to secure a conviction today.

There was, for instance, no forensic material. Instead, the prosecution relied upon identification evidence: from Valerie and two witnesses who claimed to have seen Hanratty driving the Morris Minor erratically in East London soon after the shootings. Their evidence was totally unreliable – and was in fact rejected at the trial.

Then there was the convenient discovery, three weeks later, of bullet cases, which had been fired from the murder weapon, in the hotel room used by Hanratty on the eve of the shooting. An odd event. The room had been occupied on at least two occasions in the intervening period. It had also been cleaned. Why had the cases not been discovered?

Next emerged the fact that the murder weapon had been discovered beneath the back seat of a 36A Bus - where a witness, Charles France, who later committed suicide, said that
Hanratty claimed to have got rid of, as a matter of course, valueless proceeds of his burglaries. The suicide in itself was a matter of some concern, since it coincided with the date of Hanratty's unsuccessful appeal. I found it strange that a killer would dispose of the murder weapon in such a fashion, when the Thames was available! Additionally, the route of the bus concerned passed France’s address. I couldn’t interview him, though!

Finally, there was an alleged confession to a fellow prison inmate. This, as far as I was able to establish, had been totally discredited at the trial.

It is very difficult to judge old cases by modern standards. Before the Police and Criminal Evidence Act for instance, the prosecution was able to be selective about just what evidence it disclosed.

. Today, it is under an obligation to present all relevant material. Had everything been disclosed in this case - in particular, but by no means only, details of the various identifications - the jury would have been given at least the chance to arrive at a different conclusion.

Other legislation and the impact of case law have had a marked effect on the way in which investigations and criminal trials are conducted. Indeed, the very first step in my investigation was a DNA analysis of a semen stain on Valerie's underwear - Hanratty's lawyers had hoped this would settle the matter once and for all.

The result was unfortunately inconclusive because the science was still insufficiently advanced.

Finally, as I dug still deeper, I came across matters that concerned me profoundly about the conduct of the investigation. It would be wholly improper for me to reveal details before the appeal hearing. Mention of “KIP”. Original notes of phone calls. The hotel register (copy). Disparity between evidence of SIO and Oxford. The manner in which a “J Ryan” was traced – smelled of informant. Postcard utterly impossible

Eventually, I acquainted my senior officers with my conclusion: a quite breathtaking miscarriage of justice had seemed to have taken place; just as Hanratty's family, friends and several distinguished writers had always maintained.

My views were endorsed by my then Commander, Roy Ramm, head of the Yard's International and Organized Crime Group. In May 1996, we reported jointly and formally that the Metropolitan Police would not oppose a Home Office recommendation to the Home Secretary advising him to refer the case to the Court of Appeal. I was assured that a decision would be arrived at ''within weeks".

This did not happen. Politicians had dodged the issue for over thirty years. The incumbent at the Home Office obviously saw no reason to depart from tradition. . .
In April 1997 - perhaps appropriately on the 1st - a new body called the Criminal Cases Review Commission was set up. The matter was placed in their hands.

Please Note:
Those familiar with the Hanratty case will know Roger Matthews was, at the time of the 1996 report,a Detective Chief Superintendent at Scotland Yard.A graduate of Cambridge University he was given a team of 20 police detectives to plough through 16 boxes of files and other matters relating to the case after the Home Office had instructed Scotland Yard to write an updated report on the Hanratty case. It is my understanding that on the evidence Matthews had at his disposal in 1996 he believed Hanratty was completely innocent and should never have been charged.His report has never been published and he is said to retain his belief that Hanratty had nothing to do with the A6 murder.

Derrick
05-13-2014, 07:40 AM
Hi Norma

You seem to have unnecessarily cut the bottom off of the article when copying it to here from another thread!

Anyway...to me the most informative sentence in the whole piece is the following one:
In truth, there was little in my confidential report that would not have been available to a committed investigator at any time during the past thirty-seven years.This quite clearly shows that Matthews had access to as much information as Cyril Lewis Hawser had had in 1975. Yet Matthews has analyzed the case in a much more even handed way and this time the Home Office had little option but, at long last, to take the case seriously.

Finally, Matthews either did not see or merely passed over the evidence of the murder cars missing mileage and the Matlock sighting, unearthed by either Woffinden and Bindman or the CCRC.

But when the CCRC referred the case back to the Court of Appeal in 1999, the CPS asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate the CCRC's findings but this time in light of the DNA. And, as DCS Ian Russell said on the BBC Horizon programme in 2002, ...
Certain items were not disclosed, statements, evidence were, were not disclosed 40 years ago which undoubtedly would have been disclosed today and may have put the defence in a better position that they were at the time....and
I think the DNA testing has provided very powerful evidence that the original conviction of James Hanratty was safe.So, as far as the police are concerned; Matthews versus Russell; we only have the DNA evidence as providing any extant evidence in the case despite the Court of Appeals assertion that the case was always a strong one.

Del

Natalie Severn
05-13-2014, 10:14 AM
yes thanks Del
for drawing attention to the bit at the end of the report that didn't get copied in so here it is-yes quite right what you say.However for Andy and me re-reading the report only last night what stood out too was the sentence I have emboldened and put in italics here about the extraordinary weakness of the prosecution case which directly and emphatically contradicts the words you refer to by the appeal court when they rejected the appeal---and of course Matthews is drawing specific attention to the intransigence of politicians regarding this case over the years. It is also pretty obvious reading this article that the police evidence was deeply flawed.

Daily Mail article of 1999 by Roger Matthews on Hanratty case- continued :

" Some time soon, the hearing will begin. Obviously, I have not the remotest idea which way the decision will go. Having said that, whether the conviction is quashed or upheld I find it quite appalling that the Hanratty family has been made to wait for this length of time.

The entire history of this matter has been characterized by delay, and apparent resistance to the notion that politicians may have been mistaken in their assessment of submissions made on this young man's behalf There has also been a quite disgraceful reluctance to accept that the prosecution case was extraordinarily weak, or to consider the possibility that some other person may just have been responsible.

In truth, there was little in my confidential report that would not have been available to a committed investigator at any time during the past thirty-seven years.

I do hope that justice will be done, in whatever form, when the Court of Appeal hears the case.

Yet I recall the old adage: justice delayed is justice denied.

My heart goes out to the Hanratty family, who have waited so long for their day in court.

Victor
05-14-2014, 08:20 AM
Anyway...to me the most informative sentence in the whole piece is the following one:
In truth, there was little in my confidential report that would not have been available to a committed investigator at any time during the past thirty-seven years.
This quite clearly shows that Matthews had access to as much information as Cyril Lewis Hawser had had in 1975. Yet Matthews has analyzed the case in a much more even handed way and this time the Home Office had little option but, at long last, to take the case seriously.

Hi Del,

I agree it is very informative, but to me it clearly says that there isn't any vast stash of hidden evidence buried away that a "committed investigator" couldn't find. That means there's no serious evidence to tie Alphon to Ewer or to France, otherwise Woffinden and Foot would have found it.

KR,
Vic.

caz
05-15-2014, 06:39 AM
There has also been a quite disgraceful reluctance to accept that the prosecution case was extraordinarily weak, or to consider the possibility that some other person may just have been responsible.

Hi Nats,

I see you chose to highlight the very words I referred to just now on the other thread, but for very different reasons.

The 'possibility' that some person other than Hanratty 'may just' have been responsible? That hardly comes across as a strong case put forward by Matthews for the impossibility of Hanratty being guilty, does it?

As Vic says, if any committed investigator could have found everything Matthews had access to, it merely demonstrates the lack of any convincing evidence that someone other than Hanratty was responsible.

Love,

Caz
X

Natalie Severn
05-15-2014, 08:14 AM
Caz,
I happen to know a mutual friend of Roger Matthews and myself ,who was also a very senior ranking detective in the flying squad before he retired .This person is unfamiliar with the A6 case and had in fact assumed ,like both police and public alike that because of the 2002 appeal judgment /DNA evidence that Hanratty was guilty . However at my request he has recently spoken with Roger Matthews, and my friend told me that Roger Matthews remains firm in his opinion that after having waded through all the evidence in 1996 ,it is his conviction that Hanratty could not have committed the crime .Not only that it appears that Matthews believes that there were three people involved and that evidence points to at least two . I do know who two of these people are that are suspected -but not the third.

In short Matthews believes :

a]Hanratty could not have been in that car in Buckinghamshire at 9pm that night

b] that more than one person was involved-probably three people in all.

c]Hanratty had nothing whatsoever to do with the A6 murder

d] he should never have been charged

e] that the case against him was extraordinarily weak.

f]he remains convinced of Hanratty's innocence

You surely do realise Caz that because of the laws of libel it would not be possible for Roger Matthews or anybody else to say more than this -at this conjuncture.Clearly!

Derrick
05-19-2014, 10:21 AM
...You surely do realise Caz that because of the laws of libel it would not be possible for Roger Matthews or anybody else to say more than this -at this conjuncture.Clearly!

As I said on another thread, libel has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Everything Matthews found was presented at the appeal in 2002, and some.

That doesn't mean that it was treated with any fairness...don't get me wrong on that eh?

Remember Hawser?

Del

Victor
05-20-2014, 02:42 AM
You surely do realise Caz that because of the laws of libel it would not be possible for Roger Matthews or anybody else to say more than this -at this conjuncture.Clearly!

Hi Natalie,

I don't understand at all, you can't libel the dead!

KR,
Vic.

GUT
05-20-2014, 02:48 AM
Hi Natalie,

I don't understand at all, you can't libel the dead!

KR,
Vic.

But what if someone who wasn't dead was named in the report? After all Hanratty was only executed in, if I remember right '62 or 3, so another suspect could well be alive now.

Sherlock Houses
05-20-2014, 04:03 PM
But what if someone who wasn't dead was named in the report? After all Hanratty was only executed in, if I remember right '62 or 3, so another suspect could well be alive now.

This is a good point you have made and one which I was thinking too.
The police must have questioned several suspects in the days after the murder before Alphon became their prime suspect.
One man was questioned for about 16 hours on Sept 6th/7th before being released. Does anybody have any info on who this suspect might have been ?

GUT
05-20-2014, 04:05 PM
G'day Sherlock Houses

Welcome to casebook, enjoy.

I love the name by the way.

GUT
05-20-2014, 04:44 PM
Thinking about Hanratty, a couple of things occur to me.

It has been said that his school declared him uneducatable when he was 11 and then he had a nasty head injury when 15, wonder what if any contribution this had.

More importantly, to my mind, that change of alibi half way through the case must have caused the Jury real doubts, "I was in Liverpool at the time of the murder.... oh no wasn't I was in Wales." Not a great look.

Sherlock Houses
05-20-2014, 04:55 PM
.....In the days following the murder, before Alphon became their chief suspect, the police must have questioned several possible suspects.
On Sept 6th/7th 1961, for example, a mystery man was questioned for a lengthy 16 hours before being released. Mr Matthews, having had access to a large number of police files during his long investigation, would probably have learned who this man was. Who knows, perhap this particular suspect is the one Mr Matthews is hinting at.

Derrick
05-21-2014, 02:24 AM
.....In the days following the murder, before Alphon became their chief suspect, the police must have questioned several possible suspects.
On Sept 6th/7th 1961, for example, a mystery man was questioned for a lengthy 16 hours before being released. Mr Matthews, having had access to a large number of police files during his long investigation, would probably have learned who this man was. Who knows, perhap this particular suspect is the one Mr Matthews is hinting at.

Hi Sherlock (sounds good saying that)
That was Alphon...see paragraph 37 of the appeal judgement: it reads thus;
Given the evidence of what was found at the Vienna Hotel, on or about the 22 September 1961, the police made a public appeal for Peter Alphon to contact them. As a result, he voluntarily presented himself to the police on 23 September; he had already been interviewed on 27 August and 7 September and he was interviewed again. He was then put on two identity parades. The first was on the 23 September (held at Cannon Row Police Station) when Edward Blackhall, James Trower and Harold Hirons (who was a garage attendant who served a light coloured Morris Minor with 2 gallons of petrol at about midnight on the night in question) attended. John Skillett was away and did not attend. Valerie Storie attended the second parade on 24 September 1961 at Guy’s Hospital. No witness connected with the murder picked out Mr Alphon. Valerie Storie picked out a man who was in fact a volunteer; there is an issue about what was said of his description (Ground 4).HTH
Del

GUT
05-21-2014, 02:30 AM
G'day Derrick

Can you please point me in the direction of the full appeal judgement I've only seen excerpts?

Sherlock Houses
05-21-2014, 03:38 AM
Hi Sherlock (sounds good saying that)
That was Alphon...see paragraph 37 of the appeal judgement: it reads thus;
HTH
Del

Thank you Del for clarifying this for me. I've often wondered if this mystery suspect could have been Alphon. Upon re-reading Bob Woffinden's fine book on the A6 murder he states the following about this Sept 7th incident (page 53).........."Although the London evening papers, which were always on sale from mid-morning, were creating the impression that it was all over, nothing more was heard from this suspect."

It would seem from reading this that Woffinden, as late as 1999, was unaware that this Sept 7th suspect was Alphon.

Is it possible that more than one suspect was interviewed that particular day ?

.

Derrick
05-21-2014, 07:35 AM
G'day Derrick

Can you please point me in the direction of the full appeal judgement I've only seen excerpts?

Hi Gut
Do I detect a slight Aussie twang in your salutation eh?

Here is a link:
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2002/1141.html

HTH
Del

Derrick
05-21-2014, 08:22 AM
Thank you Del for clarifying this for me. I've often wondered if this mystery suspect could have been Alphon. Upon re-reading Bob Woffinden's fine book on the A6 murder he states the following about this Sept 7th incident (page 53).........."Although the London evening papers, which were always on sale from mid-morning, were creating the impression that it was all over, nothing more was heard from this suspect."

It would seem from reading this that Woffinden, as late as 1999, was unaware that this Sept 7th suspect was Alphon.

Is it possible that more than one suspect was interviewed that particular day ?

.

Hi Sherlock
From what I have read from the press articles in the period from the murder until Alphon walked into Scotland Yard on the night of the 22nd September the police interviewed and released God only knows how many people.

In fact, the day after the identikit pictures were issued some 400 people contacted the police saying that they had seen the man!

The discovery of the cartridge cases at the Vienna on the 11th September was never reported at the time. The police were obviously keeping that one very close to their chest. But what is not in doubt is that in the 10 days that followed Acott had decided that Alphon was their man and, unusually, named him as the man they wanted to talk to.

So when Alphon was not picked out by anyone, the police, without any forensic evidence to go by, just went back to the Vienna Hotel.

Now, call me old-fashioned, but if Hanratty really was the A6 Murderer what are the chances of stumbling across him completely by accident only because he had stayed at the same doss house as the police's previous, and only, suspect the night before him? Mind-boggling.

As for Woffinden's lack of knowledge on this...no idea.

Del

Victor
05-21-2014, 09:07 AM
Hi Del,

Which one is it? They are mutually exclusive...
The discovery of the cartridge cases at the Vienna on the 11th September was never reported at the time. The police were obviously keeping that one very close to their chest. But what is not in doubt is that in the 10 days that followed Acott had decided that Alphon was their man and, unusually, named him as the man they wanted to talk to.

So when Alphon was not picked out by anyone, the police, without any forensic evidence to go by, just went back to the Vienna Hotel.
No forensic evidence or cartridge cases at the Vienna?

KR,
Vic.

Derrick
05-21-2014, 10:14 AM
Hi Del,

Which one is it? They are mutually exclusive...

No forensic evidence or cartridge cases at the Vienna?

KR,
Vic.

I don't know, what do you think?

Why did the cases in room 24 lead the police to Alphon and not originally J Ryan. Again...what do you think?

Besides, they was never any other forensic evidence viz the car!

Graham
05-21-2014, 01:12 PM
Why did the cases in room 24 lead the police to Alphon and not originally J Ryan. Again...what do you think?

Because further to Alphon's questioning after he was interviewed reference his conduct at The Alexandra Court, he freely admitted to the police that he had stayed at The Vienna on the night of the murder. However, it was soon established that he had slept in Room 6 at The Vienna, whilst a "J Ryan" had occupied Room 24.

Even so, Alphon was placed on an i.d. parade reference the assault of Mrs Dalal, who picked him out, but two men who supplied him with copies of Old Moore's Alamanac which he sold, stated that he had been with them at the time of the assault on Mrs Dalal. Alphon was then taken to Guy's Hospital the next day and placed on an i.d. parade before Valerie Storie, who failed to pick him out as the A6 killer. That, to all intents and purposes, ended the police's interest in Peter Alphon who, however, stated publicly that he had been scared out of his wits following his voluntary surrender to the police at Scotland Yard (prior to which he had cannily informed the Daily Express what he was about to do.

Hope this helps.

Graham

PS: only yesterday did I discover that I have been un-banned from the A6 thread. No-one told me that I had.

Natalie Severn
05-21-2014, 04:17 PM
Hi All, re Libel laws : I asked my friend-a childhood friend as it happens -who happened to have been a close colleague of Matthews in the force and is still a friend of Matthews .He has had a recent conversation with him about the case ---so I asked him why it was Matthews could not name names---quick as lightening he answered-'because of the laws of libel'.Now I happen to know who two of these people out of the three were from quite another source and two are now dead and have been for a long time -----but the third person has not been named which could suggest the person is still alive

ps Hi Graham-yes I think everybody was surprised the bans have been lifted-good eh!

GUT
05-21-2014, 05:48 PM
G'day Derrick

What Aussie Twang :lol: :lol:

Thanks for the link to the appeal judgement, I'll work through it.

Sherlock Houses
05-22-2014, 02:59 AM
Even so, Alphon was placed on an i.d. parade reference the assault of Mrs Dalal, who picked him out, but two men who supplied him with copies of Old Moore's Alamanac which he sold, stated that he had been with them at the time of the assault on Mrs Dalal.



This is something I find rather puzzling Graham. If, as Derrick states, Alphon was the unnamed suspect [in Woffinden's book] who was still at Cannon Row police station at 2pm on Thursday, Sept 7th, he could not have been Mrs Dalal's attacker. I say this because Mrs Dalal's assailant arrived at her home at 1.30pm that same day. It is my understanding that Mrs Dalal's home in Upper Richmond Road was over 6 miles away from Cannon Row police station in Whitehall, a journey of about 30 minutes or so. This would also suggest that the two men who said Alphon was in their shop in the City of London at the time of Mrs Dalal's attack were either mistaken or lying.

Something doesn't add up here.

NickB
05-22-2014, 04:18 AM
The man questioned at Cannon Row police station on Sept 7th must have been someone other than Alphon. He arrived at the police station late on the 6th and was released (without charge) on the 8th.

Derrick
05-22-2014, 05:01 AM
Hi Del,

Which one is it? They are mutually exclusive...

No forensic evidence or cartridge cases at the Vienna?

KR,
Vic.

In fact Victor, there was not any forensic evidence adduced by the prosecution in the original trial; just eye-witness and circumstantial evidence.

Derrick
05-22-2014, 05:25 AM
This is something I find rather puzzling Graham. If, as Derrick states, Alphon was the unnamed suspect [in Woffinden's book] who was still at Cannon Row police station at 2pm on Thursday, Sept 7th, he could not have been Mrs Dalal's attacker. I say this because Mrs Dalal's assailant arrived at her home at 1.30pm that same day. It is my understanding that Mrs Dalal's home in Upper Richmond Road was over 6 miles away from Cannon Row police station in Whitehall, a journey of about 30 minutes or so. This would also suggest that the two men who said Alphon was in their shop in the City of London at the time of Mrs Dalal's attack were either mistaken or lying.

Something doesn't add up here.

The man questioned at Cannon Row police station on Sept 7th must have been someone other than Alphon. He arrived at the police station late on the 6th and was released (without charge) on the 8th.

Hi Sherlock and Nick
Both of your points place the facts about Alphon's 7th September interview as given in the appeal judgement into some doubt.

As both of you say it is not possible for him to have been in two places at once; ie Cannon Row police station and the almanac wholesalers. I would tend to believe that the almanac sellers were correct and that Mrs Dalal was mistaken.

So it would seem that another error has been found in the judgement. It doesn't fill me with much confidence in the judges having much of a grasp of the facts of the case.

So that would also mean that Woffinden must have been right all along about this unknown man.

Sherlock Houses
05-22-2014, 05:33 AM
The man questioned at Cannon Row police station on Sept 7th must have been someone other than Alphon. He arrived at the police station late on the 6th and was released (without charge) on the 8th

According to Bob Woffinden's book this particular person was detained from 10.00pm Wednesday (the 6th) until just after 2.00pm the following day Thursday (the 7th).
The Court of Appeal judgement, unless it is in error here, has Alphon being interviewed [the second of three separate interviews] on Sept 7th 1961.This would seem to imply [unless other suspects were questioned the same day] that it was Alphon who was detained for 16 hours before being released shortly after 2.00pm.

Sherlock Houses
05-22-2014, 05:53 AM
So that would also mean that Woffinden must have been right all along about this unknown man.

Especially when one bears in mind that Alphon doesn't seem to have made any reference to being subjected to a second police interview.

Graham
05-22-2014, 06:11 AM
My Dear Houses (had to say that!),

I think the dates are getting a little confused here. To summarise, Alphon was interviewed at Blackstock Road police station on 27 August following the incident at The Alexandra Court, and then released (after giving the police details of where he was on the night of the A6 murder).

Mrs Dalal was attacked on 7 September. Whoever was being grilled in Cannon Row police station on that date almost certainly wasn't Alphon - he later referred to his interrogation at Scotland Yard (see below) but as far as I'm aware made no reference to any previous long interrogation.

From what I can gather, the police didn't bother with Alphon after 27 August until the cartridge-cases were found at The Vienna on 11 September. Alphon had freely admitted on 27 August that he had stayed at The Vienna on the night of the murder. They then searched for him, and visited his parents.

Following his naming by the police (to 'help them with their inquiries'), Alphon voluntarily walked into Cannon Row police-station at about 11.30pm on 22 September, and taken to Scotland Yard about an hour later. After a long interview he was placed on i.d. parades the next day, reference the attack on Mrs Dalal and also to enable Valerie Storey to see him - when she failed to pick him out. Alphon was ruled out of the A6 investigation but remanded in custody ref: the Dalal attack, but freed when his alibi checked out. It seems that Alphon was held in custody until 29 September when he was released on bail. ll charges against him were dropped on 3 October.

Graham

PS: is anyone else finding this website very slow at the moment?

NickB
05-22-2014, 06:17 AM
According to Bob Woffinden's book this particular person was detained from 10.00pm Wednesday (the 6th) until just after 2.00pm the following day Thursday (the 7th).

After being interviewed by Acott and Baron he was questioned further by Scotland Yard.

Sherlock Houses
05-22-2014, 06:48 AM
After being interviewed by Acott and Baron he was questioned further by Scotland Yard.

Do you have any further info Nick as to what time he was released on Sept 8th ? It would mean that this unnamed suspect had been questioned/detained at the very least for 26 hours. A long time to be held without being charged.

Sherlock Houses
05-22-2014, 07:12 AM
Considering all that has been written in recent posts It rather begs the question "Who or what was the source of the Court of Appeal Judgement's claim that 'he [ie Alphon] had already been interviewed on 27 August and 7 September and he was interviewed again' ?

Derrick
05-22-2014, 09:33 AM
...Why did the cases in room 24 lead the police to Alphon and not originally J Ryan...

...Because further to Alphon's questioning after he was interviewed reference his conduct at The Alexandra Court, he freely admitted to the police that he had stayed at The Vienna on the night of the murder. However, it was soon established that he had slept in Room 6 at The Vienna, whilst a "J Ryan" had occupied Room 24...

Hi Graham
I understand what you are saying but that still doesn't answer my question.

My point was that the cases were found in room 24, occupied the night before by J Ryan, and still the police pursued Alphon, occupant of room 6 on the night, for another 10/11 days.

One cannot blame a lowlife like Nudds and say that he muddied the waters with his myriad of statements. It is a fact that Hanratty stayed in room 24 on the night of the 21st and Alphon stayed there on the night of the 22nd in room 6. The police, once they had the register, should have concentrated solely on room 24 and Ryan. So my question, somewhat rephrased and concise, is; why didn't they?

Yet, in all honesty, Acott, despite his so-called total belief in Miss Storie's identification and evidence, conducted his investigation in complete contradiction to Miss Storie and any available evidence.

Alphon didn't have icy-blue saucer-like eyes did he?

What do you think?

Del

Natalie Severn
05-22-2014, 09:41 AM
September 6th was the day that Juliana Galves, asst.manager at the Vienna Hotel was interviewed by police about the night of the murder-following the police visit to the hotel on 27th August.She was questioned about what she knew about Alphon's stay there and the interview took place at Highgate [or Highbury] police station .She herself was off when Alphon had booked in but she saw him looking dishevelled and agitated late the next morning just after the murder.He was bending over a case which she told them contained dirty clothing and she also apparently claimed she saw a pair of black ladies gloves lying on top of the clothing.

Graham
05-22-2014, 09:54 AM
Derrick,

Alphon originally came to the attention of the police after they had issued a public appeal to hotels, b&b's, etc., asking proprietors if any of their guests had been behaving oddly. The manager of The Alexandra Court contacted the police to report s Mr F Durrant who certainly had been acting oddly. The police, when they first met him in his room, noticed that his case was open and that a copy of a newspaper folded to show an article on the A6 Case was visible. Not proof of anything, of course, but bear in mind that the police were at The Alexander Court in the first place as part of the A6 investigation. Therefore Alphon was 'down on the list' almost right from the start, but told the truth when the police asked him where he was on the night of the murder.

So when the cartridge cases were found at The Vienna, the police fell on the place and interviewed all and sundry. As Alphon had already freely admitted he was at The Vienna on the night of the murder, he was instantly a potential suspect and a search for him began. They had no idea who J Ryan was (and incidentally, to this day it is not clear how the connection to James Hanratty was eventually made). It also transpired that Alphon had initially been offered Room 24 but requested a move to another room - so I think it is obvious that he'd been inside Room 24 which would rather naturally give the police cause to believe he had the opportunity to drop the cases in that room.

Nats, I thought that the police's first visit to The Vienna was on September 6th to check out Alphon's alibi given by him reference the Alexandra Court incident.

Graham

Natalie Severn
05-22-2014, 10:19 AM
Hi Graham-No I believe they paid a visit to the Vienna on the 27th August but didn't get much from that visit.My understanding is that for some reason the police called Juliana Galves to be interviewed on 6th September but I am in Stratford Upon Avon right now-about to go to theatre on way back from Wales -so have no source materials with me. I do know that police were called by William Ewer as early as 1st September when he rang them about having seen a man with staring eyes in a cafe near his Umbrella shop.The lady in the nearby flower shop was approached by police and told them a J Ryan of similar description had sent flowers to his mum -a Mrs Hanratty- on September 1st and she gave them the address he had given but at that stage they didn't follow up-presumably it was one of very many suspects they had to follow up.

GUT
05-22-2014, 03:33 PM
Read the judgement of the Court of Appeal last night, Roger Matthews had better have something good if it's ever released the Court was critical of the case even being referred on so little grounds.

Victor
05-23-2014, 03:23 AM
In fact Victor, there was not any forensic evidence adduced by the prosecution in the original trial; just eye-witness and circumstantial evidence.

Hi Del,

Personally I include the following as Forensic evidence:-
Ballistics data on the cartridge cases from the Vienna, and the gun and bullets from the bus
Blood typing of the semen stains from the underwear

Are you claiming that these don't count as forensic evidence?

KR,
Vic.

Graham
05-23-2014, 05:25 AM
Hi Graham-No I believe they paid a visit to the Vienna on the 27th August but didn't get much from that visit.My understanding is that for some reason the police called Juliana Galves to be interviewed on 6th September

Hi Nats,

Hmmmm....neither Foot's nor Woffinden's "timelines" mention a visit to The Vienna on 27th August, but Foot states that while Alphon was being interviewed regarding The Alexandra Court business, Sgt Kilner telephoned The Vienna to check out Alphon's alibi for night of 22nd August, but doesn't say who he spoke to at The Vienna other than the 'hotel manager'. I don't think Woffinden mentions this phone-call at all. Woffinden's timeline states that Mrs Galves did indeed make a statement on 6th September regarding Alphon's alibi.

I've had an 18-month lay-off from the A6 Case, and I can tell you that now I've come back to it, it's as baffling and confusing as ever - probably even more so. "Dripping with Coincidence", as Sherrard so aptly put it.

BTW, re: libel, we all know that one major player in the A6 tragedy is still alive.

Graham

Derrick
05-23-2014, 07:23 AM
Hi Del,

Personally I include the following as Forensic evidence:-
Ballistics data on the cartridge cases from the Vienna, and the gun and bullets from the bus
Blood typing of the semen stains from the underwear

Are you claiming that these don't count as forensic evidence?

KR,
Vic.

Hi Victor
I agree that the blood typing is forensic evidence but as probative evidence that could point to a single suspect then it is of little or no worth.

So to all intents and purposes the prosecution, at the original trial, had nothing forensically of any value whatsoever...the gun and its accoutrements were, are and always will be part of the circumstantial evidence.

Del

NickB
05-23-2014, 07:49 AM
They had no idea who J Ryan was (and incidentally, to this day it is not clear how the connection to James Hanratty was eventually made).

On the web page (http://authonomy.com/books/48988/deadman-s-hill/read-book/?chapterid=465981) advertising a novel called Deadman’s Hill, the author Roger Forsdyke explains how his story differs from the facts.

In the Author’s Note (paragraph 7) he says:
“... James Hanratty senior had taken one of the postcards written out by Gerrard Leonard to the police.”

As these postcards were written on 7th September in the name of Ryan, it would appear to be a plausible explanation of how Acott linked the name Ryan to Hanratty.

Natalie Severn
05-23-2014, 08:08 AM
Hi Graham-[back in London] - looked up Woffinden [1997 edition].Here is what it says on page 58:
"The hotel had lately been the subject of police inquiries.On 27th August the Vienna had been contacted by Highbury Vale Police Station,asking about one of its guests,Frederick Durrant.Subsequently,the police needed a written record of the telephone verification.As a result Juliana Galves went to Hsarrow Road Police Station to make a statement.
Staff therefore knew,if only obscurely,that the hotel was being mentioned in connection with the A6 murder inquiry."

So you are right-it doesn't say the police went there in Woffinden's book but that the hotel was contacted by police.

Graham
05-23-2014, 08:34 AM
Hi Nats,

Woffinden says that Mrs Galves went to Harrow Road police station on 6 September to give her statement. I wonder why over a week passed between Sgt Kilner phoning The Vienna and Mrs G making her statement?

Graham

Natalie Severn
05-23-2014, 08:45 AM
and again Graham: [Foot's book pages 43 and 44] Alphon was questioned in Blackstock Road police station ,Highbury ,about his strange behaviour between the early evening of August 23rd- the night immediately after the murder until 27th August at the Alexandra Ct Hotel, Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park. He was asked by police where he had spent Tuesday night 22nd and he said he had stayed at the VIenna Hotel,Sutherland Road under the false name of Frederick Durrant.
"Sergeant Kilner phoned the Vienna Hotel and established that a man signed in in the name of Durrant for the night of August 22nd"[so this confirms the police contact on 27th appears to have only been by telephone.]

All they appear to have established in the two hours of questioning +a long statement is that Alphon had slept rough under the pier at Southend on 21st.Aug and that spent a lot of time walking around Richmond and Barnes and earned a living selling almanacs door to door and that his father worked as a records clerk in Scotland Yard's Aliens Department.
Alphon's statement was sent in to the 'murder room' at Scotland Yard.

Natalie Severn
05-23-2014, 08:48 AM
interesting point Graham…..!

Graham
05-23-2014, 08:49 AM
On the web page (http://authonomy.com/books/48988/deadman-s-hill/read-book/?chapterid=465981) advertising a novel called Deadman’s Hill, the author Roger Forsdyke explains how his story differs from the facts.

In the Author’s Note (paragraph 7) he says:
“... James Hanratty senior had taken one of the postcards written out by Gerrard Leonard to the police.”

As these postcards were written on 7th September in the name of Ryan, it would appear to be a plausible explanation of how Acott linked the name Ryan to Hanratty.
Nick,

I rather think that it was a birthday card, not a postcard, that James Hanratty Snr received from his son; if so, it would have been signed almost certainly just Jimmy or Jim or James.

Acott claimed that he made the Ryan/Hanratty connection from the Dublin police after Gerrard Leonard had gone to them to report that he had shared a room with a man who called himself Ryan but had used the name Hanratty when he asked Leonard to write cards for him. However, as Woffinden correctly points out, no way could Leonard have known that the London police were seeking a man called Ryan in connection with the A6 Case, as the name 'Ryan' was not connected with it until the discovery of the cartridge cases at The Vienna on 11th September. It has also been suggested that Dixie France told the police that Ryan was indeed Hanratty, but this has never been proved, not to my knowledge at any rate.

I saw Roger Forsdyke's book advertised on Amazon, but got the impression it was part fact, part fiction. Is this correct?

Graham

Derrick
05-23-2014, 09:16 AM
Forsdyke's book is indeed a comic fiction novel, but based on the facts of the A6 murder.

I got bored with it after a few chapters as I thought it was well below par and not in the same league as great comic writers such as Tom Sharpe.

So all I did was take a sneaky peek at the authors notes at the back to discover his sources. Woffinden, Miller and a paper by Roger Lewis.

The Lewis paper can be found by typing Roger Lewis Hanratty into Google. It is quite obviously just a rehash of the appeal judgement and was published 4 months after the appeal.

NickB
05-23-2014, 09:37 AM
Forsdyke claims to have also talked to retired police officers about the case.

Leonard did eventually tell Acott how he had written out the six postcards (on Hanratty’s behalf) in the name of Ryan but realised, when asked to write the name and address of his parents, that his real name must be Hanratty.

It sounds like Acott backdated this linkage to protect his original source.

Graham
05-23-2014, 12:44 PM
I honestly don't think there's much in the way of comic fiction about the A6 Case, and I take your advice, Derrick, that it's not worth wasting any time on.

Nick, I think you're correct in saying that Acott 'back-dated' Leonard's information, as I'm positive that the Ryan/Hanratty link came from elsewhere.
After the event, Acott was very elusive regarding the A6 Case, probably with good reason.

Graham

Derrick
05-24-2014, 03:24 AM
...Forsdyke claims to have also talked to retired police officers about the case...

Nick

Roger Forsdyke was a copper for 30 odd years (his three son's are policemen too) so that is not at all surprising.

Del

Limehouse
05-27-2014, 04:20 AM
How nice to see this thread up and running again - with new contributors and a nice, gentle debate on the issues. Some new ground being explored too. I look forward to reading more. :)

Sherlock Houses
05-27-2014, 06:00 AM
Nick

Roger Forsdyke was a copper for 30 odd years (his three son's are policemen too) so that is not at all surprising.

Del

I read Forsdyke's novel too on my kindle Del. It was a very strange book, one I wasn't too impressed with. It became quite obvious to me early on that the writer was either a policeman, ex-policeman or someone with very close ties to the force, as there was an obvious police slant in how he wrote and the content. He certainly took a few liberties re. real life A6 persons no longer alive. The A6 Murder case was [and is] a very serious affair and not one that should be treated light heartedly.

Sherlock Houses
05-27-2014, 06:45 AM
There has been a very noticeable resurgence of interest in the A6 case over the past couple of years....

Norma Buddle published her graphic novel "The A6 Murder - Was James Hanratty innocent?"
Robert Harriman published his kindle book "Hanratty - The DNA Travesty."
Roger Forsdyke published his novel "Deadman's Hill."
True crime writer John J Eddleston published a short kindle book "The story of James Hanratty."
Crime Investigation Channel produced a TV documentary about the case as part of it's "Murder Casebook" series.
The John Lennon funded 1969 campaign film is available on Youtube


It would seem this controversial and engrossing murder mystery will not lay down and die. Remarkable really, given that it occurred more than half a century ago.

Natalie Severn
05-27-2014, 08:14 AM
Thanks Sherlock Houses for reminding people about my book which I will post a link to in the next day or so .Actually t is isn't exactly a graphic novel as such but rather a series of 4 seriously researched pamphlets on the case bound together to form an illustrated book.It contains many photographs from 1961/2 as well as drawings by myself.Everything I have written has been double checked for accuracy and information and has been drawn from a wide range of newspaper and magazine articles from the time and of course from the excellent research by Paul Foot and Bob Woffinden,some from other eminent writers such as Louis Blom-Cooper and some from your good selves on here! I have not yet published it on the web as work continues on the crucial DNA aspects of the case -taken up by Andrew Buddle in the final chapter of my book and referred to as being 'an excellent contribution to the case' by Richard Ingram who was Paul Foot's great friend and was keenly interested in the case as editor of Private Eye for 30 years. In fact there are sterling contributions from Paul Foot's son, Tom Foot , from Julie known as Limehouse on here , by William Beadle and by James Moore and research is continuing by myself and Andrew Buddle into the car journey taken from Dorney Reach to Deadman's Hill that night. This route is one that that Andrew,who grew up in West London, knows well- the car passed within one mile of his parents bungalow in Greenford where he ,as a 13 year old was sleeping that night ! Andrew doesn't believe that car journey to have been nearly as haphazard as has been thought …..but I will come back to that another time …….
Best Wishes
Norma Buddle [Natalie Severn ]

Spitfire
05-27-2014, 09:56 AM
Buddle and Harriman in their respective recent works have blown the prosecution case to smithereens and it cannot be long before the Court of Criminal Appeal's decision in 2002 is reversed.

The authorities should release for publication the report by Roger Matthews. There can be no valid reason for withholding it.

Natalie Severn
05-27-2014, 10:29 AM
Awe Thanks Spitfire-that means such a lot :pleased: x

Victor
05-28-2014, 02:34 AM
Hi Del,

I agree that the blood typing is forensic evidence but as probative evidence that could point to a single suspect then it is of little or no worth.
But it does eliminate two thirds of the population as potential suspects! I agree it doesn't pinpoint one person, however, to say "no worth" is completely wrong, and I would strongly disagree with "little worth"

So to all intents and purposes the prosecution, at the original trial, had nothing forensically of any value whatsoever...the gun and its accoutrements were, are and always will be part of the circumstantial evidence.
Again I disagree, the ballistics proved the link between cartridge cases in the Vienna, and the hanky &tc from the bus, and the weapon used in the crime.

KR,
Vic.

Sherlock Houses
05-28-2014, 03:29 AM
The authorities should release for publication the report by Roger Matthews. There can be no valid reason for withholding it.

I agree 100% Spitfire.
In an ideal world that would happen.
However we don't appear to live in a very open society here in the UK as so much important information [from every sphere of life] is withheld from public scrutiny and never sees the light of day.
Who makes these decisions ? An elite group of elected officials/politicians/judges who decide amongst themselves that they know far better than 99.999 % of the populace.
The lengthy 1967 Nimmo Report into the Rhyl Alibi was never made publicly available. I don't know why.
It's been 18 years now since Roger Matthews' Report was received by the Home Office. Somehow I can't see the authorities releasing this report for publication. It probably is not in their interests to do so.

Victor
06-02-2014, 03:08 AM
The authorities should release for publication the report by Roger Matthews. There can be no valid reason for withholding it.

Hi Spitfire,

There's not a lot of chance of that happening, the Civil Service have strict rules about not releasing reports that are superseded before they are finalised. And that is your "valid reason", it isn't complete, i.e., it was never released or cleared for publication.

KR,
Vic.

Hatchett
06-02-2014, 09:41 AM
Hi Everyone,

I agree that this thread has a better feel to it that it had yester year, which I dont think was productive at all.

Yes, the case will not die, and as I have said before (and it is only my opinion) it will not die because there was not enough evidence presented at Hanratty's trial to convict beyond a reasonable doubt.

I also think ( as again as I have said before) if Hanratty had not changed his alibi halfway through the decision would probably have been different.

If the case had been held in Scotland I think a verdict of Not Proven would have been given, which would probably have been the correct verdict.

Best wishes to you all.

GUT
06-02-2014, 03:10 PM
G'day Hatchett

I also think ( as again as I have said before) if Hanratty had not changed his alibi halfway through the decision would probably have been different.

It certainly couldn't have helped, but if the first alibi was doomed to exposure?

Derrick
06-04-2014, 09:57 AM
...It certainly couldn't have helped, but if the first alibi was doomed to exposure?...
Hi GUT

Not quite sure what you mean here?

The prosecution at the original trial believed Mrs Dinwoodie was telling the truth and also had a good number of their own witnesses placing Hanratty in London on the Monday. So they put forward the proposition that perhaps Hanratty had used an air-service from Liverpool to be able to arrive at Dorney Reach at around 9:30pm.

My view is is that the jury just believed Miss Storie more than Hanratty...if only the jury had been aware of Miss Storie's non-disclosed statements and the additional mileage on the car, the outcome would certainly have been a lot different.

Del

Hatchett
06-04-2014, 10:03 AM
Hi GUT,

It is a case of credibility. Hanratty had sworn on oath for the first alibi and then changed his mind and swore on oath on the second one. It is a reasonable conclusion that could have been in the jury's mind that if he could lie on oath for that, which he had to have done with the first alibi, then he could lie on oath on anything.

It is a major issue.

Best wishes.

Hatchett
06-04-2014, 10:11 AM
Hi Derrick,

I think the jury had sympathy for Miss Storey, after all she had gone through a lot and had lost a lot. Not to lessen any of that tragedy that Miss Storey had to live through for the rest of her life, but if the full reasons of her relationship with Gregston had been revealed, perhaps the jury would have been more objective in their reasoning.

Graham
06-04-2014, 12:42 PM
With regard to non-disclosure to the jury the true facts of Valerie Storey and Michael Gregsten's relationship, this has to be viewed in the light of the morals of the time. Plus, given the nature of the crime, I don't think the truth about their relationship would have made much difference to the outcome.

In my view, and without wishing to criticise in any way Mr Sherrard's conduct of the defence, Hanratty was his own worst enemy. It was his choice, and his alone, that he changed his alibi, even though Mr Sherrard plainly disagreed with this decision and made Hanratty sign an affidavit that doing so was 100% his decision. It is worth noting that these days changing one's alibi mid-way through a trial is not permitted by law. Then there was Hanratty's insistence that he take the witness stand - his choice, but again I really don't think that Mr Sherrard fully supported this decision. According to John Kerr, Hanratty's demeanour in the witness box was 'cocky', and if so this must have had a negative effect upon the jury.

I've always thought that had Hanratty stuck to his 'Liverpool Alibi', effectively challenging the prosecution to destroy it, and also stayed out of the witness-box, the chances were that he would have been acquitted. And, in my view, got away with murder.

Mr Justice Gorman's summing-up was seen by most commentators as sympathetic to the defendant, but still the jury convicted him. In short, they did not believe him. Also, it has to be said that Valerie Storey's condition must have swayed them.

In 1932, the infamous Brighton Trunk Murder occurred, in which a real piece of low-life called Tony Mancini was accused of the murder of his sometime girl-friend. As it happened, his defence was conducted by Norman Birkett, one of this country's greatest advocates ever, who effectively coached Mancini as to his behaviour and demeanour in the witness-box. Birkett also with great skill cast doubt in the minds of the jury upon virtually every piece of prosecution evidence. The jury returned a verdict of 'not guilty', and around 50 years afterwards Mancini confessed that he had indeed murdered his girl-friend. He said that Birkett effectively taught him how to act in the witness-box, and obviously Mancini was an apt pupil not to say a natural-born actor.

Graham

NickB
06-04-2014, 02:02 PM
Hanratty changed his alibi just hours before taking the witness stand. So if he had not taken the stand, would he have bothered changing it? I see the two as connected.

I think a significant consequence of the changed alibi was that the final witnesses were from Rhyl. So Mrs Jones dreadful evidence, including the lie about what she had discussed with Evans in court, was freshest in the jury’s mind after a trial of record breaking length.

Gorman’s summing up may have been sympathetic to the defendant, but not to Mrs Jones. In his 10 hours speech he went through all the witnesses in detail, but said he would not spend long on her evidence “because I feel quite sure that by this time you have made up your minds what sort of woman she is.”

GUT
06-04-2014, 03:20 PM
Hi GUT

Not quite sure what you mean here?

The prosecution at the original trial believed Mrs Dinwoodie was telling the truth and also had a good number of their own witnesses placing Hanratty in London on the Monday. So they put forward the proposition that perhaps Hanratty had used an air-service from Liverpool to be able to arrive at Dorney Reach at around 9:30pm.

My view is is that the jury just believed Miss Storie more than Hanratty...if only the jury had been aware of Miss Storie's non-disclosed statements and the additional mileage on the car, the outcome would certainly have been a lot different.

Del

What I meant was pretty simple, if Hanratty knew that it was possible that for whatever reason his alibi was going to be exposed as false he had no choice but to come up with an alternate. But that was a huge risk.

As Graham points out Sherrard got written instructions on the change of alibi, as any Barrister worth his salts would. Two reasons really to do this, first to cover your own a$$ and second to bring home to the punter that you think what they are doing is DUMB.

GUT
06-04-2014, 03:22 PM
In 1932, the infamous Brighton Trunk Murder occurred, in which a real piece of low-life called Tony Mancini was accused of the murder of his sometime girl-friend. As it happened, his defence was conducted by Norman Birkett, one of this country's greatest advocates ever, who effectively coached Mancini as to his behaviour and demeanour in the witness-box. Birkett also with great skill cast doubt in the minds of the jury upon virtually every piece of prosecution evidence. The jury returned a verdict of 'not guilty', and around 50 years afterwards Mancini confessed that he had indeed murdered his girl-friend. He said that Birkett effectively taught him how to act in the witness-box, and obviously Mancini was an apt pupil not to say a natural-born actor.

Graham

Good to hear that some clients listen to what they're told. Though pity the prosecution couldn't do their job.

Victor
06-05-2014, 03:14 AM
What I meant was pretty simple, if Hanratty knew that it was possible that for whatever reason his alibi was going to be exposed as false he had no choice but to come up with an alternate. But that was a huge risk.

Hi GUT,

Whether the alibi was "changed" or not is quite an interesting point. On the one hand you could say he added a lot and just altered a small part - he didn't stay with the 3 mates in Liverpool and went to Rhyl instead; whereas if you viewed it as a complete change then maybe the Dinwoodie evidence was dismissed because it was part of the first alibi that Hanratty himself denied.

If the jury saw it as Hanratty contradicting Dinwoodie then they understandably dismissed her evidence, whereas I think most of us would conclude that the Rhyl is an addition to the sweet shop evidence not a replacement.

KR,
Vic.

GUT
06-05-2014, 03:56 AM
G'day Victor

I read t the other way, as a change of alibi.

Though I will have a fresh read.

GUT
06-05-2014, 04:29 AM
Clearly what you see as an amendment I see as a change.

There is only one day that is relevant to the alibi 22 August, the night of the murder.

Today it would not be an issue as there is a requirement to give notice of an intention to rely on an alibi [28 days I think] so it can be investigated.

I have little doubt that a jury that was told that they would hear that he was in Liverpool on 22 August and were then told, no he was in Rhyl would be having real difficulty knowing what evidence put on his behalf should be believed.

Many people also seem to rely on Usher, who was never called at the trial, the most likely reasons are that Sherrard QC thought that he wold be crucified on cross, or that with the change of focus from Liverpool to Rhyl made it pretty much irrelevant.

Hatchett
06-05-2014, 07:43 AM
Hi All,

I think it is clear that he changed his alibi. But if I go along with your argument, he is guilty at the very least of muddying the waters. As someone said earlier, Hanratty's presentation on the witness box, a cocky individual who made his living by breaking into houses and stealing cars would not have gone down well in a court of law .... especially in Bedford

Limehouse
06-06-2014, 01:15 AM
Hi All,

I think it is clear that he changed his alibi. But if I go along with your argument, he is guilty at the very least of muddying the waters. As someone said earlier, Hanratty's presentation on the witness box, a cocky individual who made his living by breaking into houses and stealing cars would not have gone down well in a court of law .... especially in Bedford

It was John Kerr who described Hanratty as 'cocky'. Now, I am not trying to stereotype or be class specific or anything - but who can define what 'cocky' is? John Kerr was about to go up to Oxford University. He was from a completely different background to Hanratty. What might come across to Kerr as 'cocky' might just have been a normal and acceptable tone in Hanratty's world. Despite his criminality, he was known for his politeness, his good manners and his dignity when facing the death penalty.

Victor
06-06-2014, 02:22 AM
but who can define what 'cocky' is? John Kerr was about to go up to Oxford University. He was from a completely different background to Hanratty. What might come across to Kerr as 'cocky' might just have been a normal and acceptable tone in Hanratty's world.


Hi Julie,

Cocky invariably implies a negative, such as over-confident or arrogant. And I can easily see that what one person sees as confident (relaxed, at ease, in control, comfortable with the situation); another might view as arrogance (dismissive, dominant, unwarranted belief in own superiority).

YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) as people seem to be saying a lot on the internet these days.

KR,
Vic.

Natalie Severn
06-06-2014, 02:25 AM
When I was writing my book, 'the A6 Murder, Was Hanratty Innocent ? ', much of my research focused on Rhyl and the Rhyl alibi. I became very friendly with the owner of Helygain Press in Kinmel Street which until 18 months ago was situated just two doors away from Ingledene and is now still nearby but no longer in Kinmel Street itself. Linda and her son Guto Lloyd Davies lived next to Mrs Grace Jones ,the Ingledene Landlady from 1970 and Linda was a great friend of Mrs Jones.Both Linda and her son are of upright good character,their shop a popular printing press and graphic design centre and both themselves and their business spoken very highly of in Rhyl .Linda Lloyd Davies cannot speak highly enough of Grace Jones.She kept an 'impeccable' boarding house said Linda-Linda's own shop being almost the embodiment of Welsh tidy mindedness and cleanliness. Mrs Jones, Linda insisted ,was an exemplary neighbour , quiet, kindly and generous and a woman who enjoyed having a laugh at the local club.The idea that she would have 'made up' a story about Hanratty was just preposterous she said. Moreover, Linda knew her other neighbours who claimed to have seen Hanratty on the night of 22nd August in Rhyl. These too were perfectly respectable popular neighbours who also went to the local club and enjoyed a sing song. To cap it all ,Linda could not have spoken more highly of Trevor Dutton who was her customer for years -his sons too who have taken over his business , still make fairly regular visits to her shop to buy various printing materials .Emphatically she says it is 'unthinkable' that Trevor Davies would have made up such a story and gone to the police with it. Michael Sherrard QC was astonished when told about Mr Davies's statement to Abergele Police made on 9th February 1962 before the end of the trial. Dutton had gone to the police immediately after reading in the newspaper about Hanratty who according to a Liverpool billiard room manager had tried to sell him and his clientele a gold watch in the early evening of 22nd August near Liverpool Lime Street Station. Michael Sherrard QC , Hanratty's trial barrister ,has written that he knew nothing about Trevor Dutton's statement until he was made aware of it in 1967 -five years after Hanratty had been hanged!Trevor Dutton had never understood why he was never asked about the written statement he had made or why it had never been mentioned by anyone until Paul Foot put an ad in the local newspaper asking witnesses to come forward in 1967-and he went to tell him about his experience.

NickB
06-06-2014, 05:50 AM
Here’s a question about Rhyl ...

Sherrard asked Hanratty why, when he knew the police wanted him for the murder, had he not returned to Rhyl to confirm his alibi. Hanratty said he did not do that because he would have been unable to find the boarding house.

But he described how on his second day in Rhyl he went to Dixie’s cafe (twice), a barber shop, amusement arcades, Woolworths etc. and then returned to the boarding house.

If he could find his way back to the boarding house then, why couldn’t he a few weeks later?

Limehouse
06-06-2014, 07:33 AM
Hi Nick,

Well, I would not be able to for sure. I have worked on the same campus for over 20 years and I still lose my orientation on a regular basis.

In a strange place it would be very difficult for me. When we are on holiday, if I walk the same route a couple of times within a few days I can find my way but if we return to the same place at a later date I have to learn all the routes again.

Also, could you really knock on someone's door and say 'Hello, it's me again, I stayed at your guest house a few weeks ago and now I'm wanted for that terrible murder and rape that is all over the newspapers and TV.' I mean, what if knocked on the wrong door?

Sherlock Houses
06-06-2014, 07:34 AM
It was John Kerr who described Hanratty as 'cocky'. Now, I am not trying to stereotype or be class specific or anything - but who can define what 'cocky' is? John Kerr was about to go up to Oxford University. He was from a completely different background to Hanratty. What might come across to Kerr as 'cocky' might just have been a normal and acceptable tone in Hanratty's world. Despite his criminality, he was known for his politeness, his good manners and his dignity when facing the death penalty.

This is a keenly observed point, Limehouse. I was thinking along similar lines myself. John Kerr, a witness for the prosecution, gave his testimony on January 24th 1962, a fortnight before Hanratty took the stand. If John Kerr was not in the public gallery on the two days that Hanratty gave evidence then he must have based his impression of Hanratty's 'cockiness' solely on his demeanour in the dock and not on how Hanratty handled himself in the witness-box. Other people who attended the whole trial thought Hanratty came across well.

Just after the trial finished, Mr James Hanratty sr, spoke with Daily Express reporter Ian Brodie. Mr Hanratty was very honest and forthright in what he had to say in that Express article which appeared in the February 19th edition......


"So they want to hang him. The verdict has left us numb with shock.
But I think the whole country must have been astonished that the jury was out for so long.
We, his parents, have believed him innocent from the start. We believed him when he told the jury he was nowhere near Deadman's Hill on that fearful night.
The wife and I can't accept that a lad so gentle to us could suddenly become a maniac.
We must not let him down now. He's said he will appeal and I will do everything to help him."

[Irish-born Mr Hanratty, aged 54, lives with his wife Mary, 44, and three other sons - Michael, 23, Peter, 16, and Richard, 15 - in a council house in Kingsbury, Middx.]

"As a child Jimmy was a mother's boy. If another kid clouted him in the street he would never hit back.
But since his teens, Jimmy has been two different people to us.
One was the home-loving son prepared to work hard.
The other Jimmy was the villain with no regard for another man's property, restless, always on the make.
He never let the two lives overlap. He never brought his shady friends or stolen goods home - or talked of it.
Jimmy cannot expect me to stand up and praise him for the crooked life he's led. Last summer he made a fool of me when I tried to give him one last chance."

[Mr Hanratty, for years a foreman dustman with Wembley Council, gave up his job and took a window-cleaning business for him and his son.]

"He threw away the chance. As far as I was concerned he was lost. I've never been on the wrong side of the law and it broke our hearts.
But we couldn't disown him when they charged him with murder. I knew he needed his own folk.
Jimmy's convictions have been well aired in court.
It was when he came out last March I played my last card to help him. After 26 years I left the council for window-cleaning. I reckoned Jimmy might settle down.
In July last year business was so good the wife and I took a holiday at Southsea.
We came home loaded with presents - but Jimmy was not there.
I found my ladders left by him in a front garden near the Edgware Road.
I had no more heart for window-cleaning. He had let me down again.
When I saw him next he was at Blackpool police station under arrest for the A6 murder. Detective Superintendent Bob Acott would not let me speak to him. Through an open doorway i shouted 'Thumbs up, Jimmy, we're with you all the way.' And we've been with him all the way since."


Mr Hanratty also added the following remarks....."I could never figure out why he became the black sheep because he was so good in so many ways. And it's not sympathy I'm seeking. I'm just numb with shock."

Natalie Severn
06-06-2014, 08:51 AM
Yes Nick,that puzzled me too.However I was given some photocopied notes that had been taken down -rather hurriedly it looks ,by hand by Hanratty's solicitor Kleinman and dated 29th January 1962 ,taken on the evening of his 'changed alibi' which happened as you say during the trial in Bedford which was six months after .He gives a very clear description of the boarding house itself and where it is situated -and it is accompanied by a rough sketch which is slightly inaccurate but if read alongside his directions could be found quickly-which it was in fact. viz " House not far from the coach station [it is about two minutes from it]There was a picture house on the main road going towards a bridge [both bridge and picture house still there though cinema is now a bingo hall]"It was one of the turnings on the right going towards a concrete bridge [hump backed] with a rail." [the rail is also still there and if you are going towards the bridge the house is on the right.]
I think this shows he could have found the house quite easily[ though certainly not Terry Evans house since that is way over the other side of the bridge which crosses the railway.It is also on a circular road in the middle of a complex arrangement of houses on a council estate.
However that being said, I know Hanratty is also on record somewhere in the trial transcripts in response to such a question in court that because he was a wanted man with police chasing him wherever he went until he was captured in Blackpool , he had actually been too scared to go knocking on people's doors asking if they remembered seeing him on August 22nd in Rhyl.[I know that if anyone came knocking on my door asking if I remembered them from 6 weeks previously I would be a bit scared myself and wonder what was going on exactly and why they needed me to remember such an event-and if they answered it was because they were wanted for murder I would probably have called the police.

Natalie Severn
06-06-2014, 09:07 AM
continued from previous page :
Other stuff stands out in these notes -eg his mention of his 'little leather case'.The notes are a bit jumbled at this point due it appears to the solicitor asking him what he was wearing and whether he was carrying anything.So-still on the evening of 29th January 1962 during his trial at Bedford. Hanratty has clearly been asked by Kleinman about what happened when he got to the boarding house :_
"Landlady'-[crossed out]
-"Left little leather case .Landlady about 50 -like my mother."


then Kleinman writes -'He was wearing the double breasted striped suit.'
then- Hanratty continues his description of his encounter with the land lady
[I] said, " Could I leave my case I will pick it up later?" ---,"I originally booked for one night and then booked for another".
[Then notes return to his description of the house.

Personally find the mention of the case important because witnesses from Rhyl who later came forward said he had not been carrying a case. These notes were taken down just minutes after he changed or altered his alibi in Bedford during his trial .

NickB
06-06-2014, 09:27 AM
Natalie - Yes I have seen the notes and sketch you obtained. Excellent research!

I’m not sure the ‘knocking on doors’ explanation is adequate though because it appears that he roamed around several places in Rhyl confident that he could return directly to the boarding house without knocking on any doors.

When he was asked why he had not told Acott about Rhyl he said:
“With my knowledge of the police he would have said right away – ‘That is not true’. I thought to myself: ‘I would put up another little story’."

If Rhyl was true, I find his behaviour baffling.

Natalie Severn
06-06-2014, 10:26 AM
I have had similar trouble Nick with other characters in this strange tale.Why for example did Nudds change his story? He claimed it was because he thought thats what the police wanted to hear.Why did Alphon change his story? Why didn't Terry Evans admit he in court that had given the impression to Hanratty that he could fence goods for him? Obviously Terry Evans didn't want to be going to jail by admitting he had anything to do with stolen goods in court-but he must have known that was coming. Nudds? I really don't know because there is worrying evidence that the Hotel Visitors Book had been tampered with and that and Oxford never [to anyone's knowledge ] returned it. But I think Hanratty, in the dreadful situation he found himself in, wasn't thinking straight---he also said he was convinced because he was innocent of the A6 crime---that it would never reach the conclusion it did.Sherrard says one of the most difficult things he had to deal with was trying to curb the confidence of the Hanratty family that Hanratty would be acquitted! But sure it is baffling behaviour.

Natalie Severn
06-06-2014, 02:16 PM
apologies re post 76-sometimes the machine here has a mind of its own-I begin by typing a capital D and before I know it the computer has punched in Davies! Anyway I was all the time referring to Trevor Dutton-not Trevor Davies.

Limehouse
06-07-2014, 02:30 AM
This is a keenly observed point, Limehouse. I was thinking along similar lines myself. John Kerr, a witness for the prosecution, gave his testimony on January 24th 1962, a fortnight before Hanratty took the stand. If John Kerr was not in the public gallery on the two days that Hanratty gave evidence then he must have based his impression of Hanratty's 'cockiness' solely on his demeanour in the dock and not on how Hanratty handled himself in the witness-box. Other people who attended the whole trial thought Hanratty came across well.

Just after the trial finished, Mr James Hanratty sr, spoke with Daily Express reporter Ian Brodie. Mr Hanratty was very honest and forthright in what he had to say in that Express article which appeared in the February 19th edition......


"So they want to hang him. The verdict has left us numb with shock.
But I think the whole country must have been astonished that the jury was out for so long.
We, his parents, have believed him innocent from the start. We believed him when he told the jury he was nowhere near Deadman's Hill on that fearful night.
The wife and I can't accept that a lad so gentle to us could suddenly become a maniac.
We must not let him down now. He's said he will appeal and I will do everything to help him."

[Irish-born Mr Hanratty, aged 54, lives with his wife Mary, 44, and three other sons - Michael, 23, Peter, 16, and Richard, 15 - in a council house in Kingsbury, Middx.]

"As a child Jimmy was a mother's boy. If another kid clouted him in the street he would never hit back.
But since his teens, Jimmy has been two different people to us.
One was the home-loving son prepared to work hard.
The other Jimmy was the villain with no regard for another man's property, restless, always on the make.
He never let the two lives overlap. He never brought his shady friends or stolen goods home - or talked of it.
Jimmy cannot expect me to stand up and praise him for the crooked life he's led. Last summer he made a fool of me when I tried to give him one last chance."

[Mr Hanratty, for years a foreman dustman with Wembley Council, gave up his job and took a window-cleaning business for him and his son.]

"He threw away the chance. As far as I was concerned he was lost. I've never been on the wrong side of the law and it broke our hearts.
But we couldn't disown him when they charged him with murder. I knew he needed his own folk.
Jimmy's convictions have been well aired in court.
It was when he came out last March I played my last card to help him. After 26 years I left the council for window-cleaning. I reckoned Jimmy might settle down.
In July last year business was so good the wife and I took a holiday at Southsea.
We came home loaded with presents - but Jimmy was not there.
I found my ladders left by him in a front garden near the Edgware Road.
I had no more heart for window-cleaning. He had let me down again.
When I saw him next he was at Blackpool police station under arrest for the A6 murder. Detective Superintendent Bob Acott would not let me speak to him. Through an open doorway i shouted 'Thumbs up, Jimmy, we're with you all the way.' And we've been with him all the way since."


Mr Hanratty also added the following remarks....."I could never figure out why he became the black sheep because he was so good in so many ways. And it's not sympathy I'm seeking. I'm just numb with shock."


Thank you for posting this Sherlock. It's a very moving piece and shows how this terrible crime caused ripples of heartache and tragedy that would be felt by all those involved for many years to come.

Hatchett
06-07-2014, 09:13 AM
Hi Limehouse,

I was particarly interested by your post on the views of Mr. Mathews. But if there were three people involved, then you would think that there was a clear motive involved, Did he said what he thought the motive could be? And also why the abductor, killer, and rapist was in such a nervous and bickering state when he entered the car?

Best wishes.

NickB
06-07-2014, 12:05 PM
Louise Anderson, giving evidence on Monday 29th January 1962, was asked if she had been approached in a hotel at lunchtime on Friday by a man. She said she had. She was then asked: “Was that the man sitting behind my learned friend?” and she replied “Yes”. The judge then stopped any further questioning about him.

Who was the mystery man? The answer may be in a paragraph in the 1971 Sunday Times article:

Another point in Mr Ewer’s statement was that he did not know Mrs Louise Anderson though he conceded she might have known him. Mrs Anderson told us last week that she did indeed know Mr Ewer before the murder and furthermore that Mr Ewer told her of the intuitive sighting when they met during the trial. She has a clear recollection of this.

So if it was William Ewer, I wonder what the line of questioning was going to be.

I notice that Ewer's libel proceedings against The Times will not be released by National Archives until 2040.

Natalie Severn
06-07-2014, 01:13 PM
Thanks Nick….very important points .Return to them later.
Regarding Roger Matthews .He makes a very specific point in the Mail article about Charles France and the fact that the 36A bus passed his address-and comments ,"I couldn't interview him though." Matthews 'finds it strange' that a killer would dispose of a murder weapon in such a fashion…….when the Thames was available!So we are meant to read between the lines here I think……..

richardnunweek
06-07-2014, 01:59 PM
Hi,
Surely that article referring To Hanratty's father, gives a insight into the mind of James..
'He never brought his shady friends, or stolen goods home with him, or talked of it''
In other words he would not intentionally bring shame upon his parents, in their presence.
Is that the real reason, apart from self preservation , that he maintained his innocence..to spare his families feelings, and that legacy he left his parents, with ''I am innocent ''.
Makes sense to me...very basic, and does not involve conspiracies , and false convictions, or a confused witness ...
Regards Richard.

GUT
06-07-2014, 04:34 PM
Thank you for posting this Sherlock. It's a very moving piece and shows how this terrible crime caused ripples of heartache and tragedy that would be felt by all those involved for many years to come.

Almost all crime causes ripples of heartache to those not only around the victim, but the perpetrator as well. Think of the innocent wife and children left with no income and sometimes shunned by those around as just one example.

I can't even begin to imagine what it must be lke to have a son executed.

Limehouse
06-07-2014, 11:44 PM
Hi Limehouse,

I was particarly interested by your post on the views of Mr. Mathews. But if there were three people involved, then you would think that there was a clear motive involved, Did he said what he thought the motive could be? And also why the abductor, killer, and rapist was in such a nervous and bickering state when he entered the car?

Best wishes.

Hi Hatchett - I think you mean Natalie's post? I haven't posted anything about Mathews.

Kind regards

Limehouse
06-07-2014, 11:50 PM
Louise Anderson, giving evidence on Monday 29th January 1962, was asked if she had been approached in a hotel at lunchtime on Friday by a man. She said she had. She was then asked: “Was that the man sitting behind my learned friend?” and she replied “Yes”. The judge then stopped any further questioning about him.

Who was the mystery man? The answer may be in a paragraph in the 1971 Sunday Times article:

Another point in Mr Ewer’s statement was that he did not know Mrs Louise Anderson though he conceded she might have known him. Mrs Anderson told us last week that she did indeed know Mr Ewer before the murder and furthermore that Mr Ewer told her of the intuitive sighting when they met during the trial. She has a clear recollection of this.

So if it was William Ewer, I wonder what the line of questioning was going to be.

I notice that Ewer's libel proceedings against The Times will not be released by National Archives until 2040.

Yes, Ewer is a very dark character in this tragedy. He did, of course, have a long affair with Janet, the victim's widow, following the A6 crime.

Anderson too was a very disagreeable character. It is almost certain that she lied on oath and lied to Frances' wife (about the origins of the gun) in order to create false evidence in exchange for not being prosecuted for all the stolen goods found on her premises.

Limehouse
06-07-2014, 11:52 PM
Hi,
Surely that article referring To Hanratty's father, gives a insight into the mind of James..
'He never brought his shady friends, or stolen goods home with him, or talked of it''
In other words he would not intentionally bring shame upon his parents, in their presence.
Is that the real reason, apart from self preservation , that he maintained his innocence..to spare his families feelings, and that legacy he left his parents, with ''I am innocent ''.
Makes sense to me...very basic, and does not involve conspiracies , and false convictions, or a confused witness ...
Regards Richard.

A fair enough point Richard - but it also shows that, despite his disgraceful dishonesty, which he never denied or excused, there is nothing in Hanratty's character that suggests he was capable of rape and murder.

GUT
06-08-2014, 12:02 AM
A fair enough point Richard - but it also shows that, despite his disgraceful dishonesty, which he never denied or excused, there is nothing in Hanratty's character that suggests he was capable of rape and murder.

But that could be said of many murders and rapists, it was said of Gacy, Bundy and Bryant those being just three that spring to mind.

richardnunweek
06-08-2014, 01:34 AM
Hi,
looking at this case we have a gunman, which we will call Hanratty, sitting in the back seat, of a car he had just hi-jacked, pointing a gun at the terrified couple.
In this circumstance, the gunman would have been nervous, and close to the diminished responsibility stage, if not already there.
Any sudden movement from the couple in front of him, could have sparked off a self preservation fear, which could result in the gun be discharged..
Precisely what happened...
The gunman would have then been in a state of panic, and totally confused on what to do next...
He had already killed a man, the remaining person, would be a witness to that, and even despite his reluctance, the only thing left left to him to do was to kill again...the noose would have been less likely that way, providing he could make it back to London ..
Again no conspiracies , but nothing in the above scenario, is alien to the personality of one James Hanratty.
Regards Richard.

GUT
06-08-2014, 01:47 AM
Hi,
looking at this case we have a gunman, which we will call Hanratty, sitting in the back seat, of a car he had just hi-jacked, pointing a gun at the terrified couple.
In this circumstance, the gunman would have been nervous, and close to the diminished responsibility stage, if not already there.
Any sudden movement from the couple in front of him, could have sparked off a self preservation fear, which could result in the gun be discharged..
Precisely what happened...
The gunman would have then been in a state of panic, and totally confused on what to do next...
He had already killed a man, the remaining person, would be a witness to that, and even despite his reluctance, the only thing left left to him to do was to kill again...the noose would have been less likely that way, providing he could make it back to London ..
Again no conspiracies , but nothing in the above scenario, is alien to the personality of one James Hanratty.
Regards Richard.

As I read it, that is exactly what happened and I see nothing unusual in such behaviour for a car thief.

Limehouse
06-08-2014, 04:53 AM
Hi,
looking at this case we have a gunman, which we will call Hanratty, sitting in the back seat, of a car he had just hi-jacked, pointing a gun at the terrified couple.
In this circumstance, the gunman would have been nervous, and close to the diminished responsibility stage, if not already there.
Any sudden movement from the couple in front of him, could have sparked off a self preservation fear, which could result in the gun be discharged..
Precisely what happened...
The gunman would have then been in a state of panic, and totally confused on what to do next...
He had already killed a man, the remaining person, would be a witness to that, and even despite his reluctance, the only thing left left to him to do was to kill again...the noose would have been less likely that way, providing he could make it back to London ..
Again no conspiracies , but nothing in the above scenario, is alien to the personality of one James Hanratty.
Regards Richard.

Yes, but why would Hanratty hijack a Moggie Minor in a field in the middle of nowhere? Why would anybody? Hanratty had stolen cars before - but he would not have gone out with a gun in order to steal such a car. No one in their right mind would steal such a car at gun point or, for that matter, attempt to rob a couple sitting in such a car.

It beggars belief that he travelled that far out of London and wandered round deserted lanes and fields looking for a couple/car to hijack.

There is a strong possibility that the couple were pursued to that spot for a reason.

richardnunweek
06-08-2014, 05:58 AM
Hi Limehouse,
But that is what happened, unless you go with the hit theory, which I do not subscribe to, some cases are open and shut, and this one has been blown out of proportion .
Nothing Hanratty did that night made sense,he was not thinking clearly, he said he was a desperate man, and for some reason was, and events escalated , into the bloodbath that was inevitable.
Like many men that have been arrested for murder, he protested his innocence,which included to his parents, who he knew would fight tirelessly on his behalf, even right to the end he protested that, even when he knew it was over, at the very least he could leave his family believing he was innocent, and not leave them in shame.
Regards Richard.

Natalie Severn
06-08-2014, 12:02 PM
Can I remind you Richard that this thread is about the article in the Daily Mail in 1999 written by Roger Matthews about the report he submitted as the then ' Detective Chief Superintendent' , Roger Matthews in 1996 , after an entire year of leading a team of 20 police and detectives .These went through all the files available to Scotland Yard with a fine tooth comb and came to the conclusion that Hanratty should never have been charged and was entirely innocent of anything whatever to do with the A6 murder.Matthews report was made after the Home Office requested Scotland Yard to review every aspect of the case remember ---as the Home Office needed to know if the case should go back to the appeal courts .Matthews recommended that it should---and of course in due course it did.
A word about Roger Matthews: He was a very senior ranking detective in Scotland Yard ,very highly regarded by his colleagues both as an academic and as a high flying detective who had dealt with many cases of murder.Matthews was educated at Cambridge University and had extensive experience in the murder squad in the met and was one of their most highly regarded and trusted senior detectives.
If you are saying you don't believe him or think he was unqualified in some way to make such judgments and reach the conclusion he did from his extensive investigation it really beholds you to explain where you feel he has fallen short in his duties.

Graham
06-08-2014, 12:38 PM
Unfortunately for Hanratty's supporters, thorough though Roger Matthews' investigation doubtless was, it didn't carry much weight with the Appeal Court at the time of the 2002 appeal.

I think, and for long have thought, that unless and until there is concrete evidence of Hanratty being in Rhyl on the night of 22 August 1961, he can never be posthumously cleared. By concrete evidence I mean, for example, a signature in a hotel or B&B register, or a bus-ticket stub - something to physically link Hanratty to the place. I also should mention the fact that the newspaper-seller, Charlie Jones, eventually admitted that Terry Evans, Hanratty's contact in Rhyl, had "put the arm" on him to state that he had seen Hanratty about the time of his supposed arrival in Rhyl.

Natalie quotes various people in Rhyl as being absolutely sure that they saw Hanratty there on the evening of the 22nd August. This evidence, unfortunately, is just heresay. Before I retired, I stayed in a particular hotel in Wiltshire probably twice a month for perhaps 10 years, yet even though I'm 6' 4" tall and sport a bushy moustache, nine times out of ten the receptionist didn't recognise me! Mrs Jones' B&B was popular and busy, and I really can't accept that she would have remembered a particular guest who claimed to have stayed there about 6 months before her appearance in court.

I honestly cannot accept that there was any conspiracy involving two or more persons behind the A6 Case. Valerie Storey said that on the evening of the 22nd August, after she and Gregsten left the Old Station Inn, they went at first to a field-gate in Hunterscombe Lane, but left after about 10 minutes to go to the field-gate in Marsh Lane, which if I recall correctly my walking of the area many years ago, is about 3/4 of a mile away. If the A6 gunman was expecting them to be at Marsh Lane at around the time he held them up, he must have been possessed of ESP.

Can I ask Natalie if, to her best knowledge, Roger Matthews ever named anyone else he considered to be a party to this crime?

Graham

Natalie Severn
06-08-2014, 01:33 PM
Hi Graham,
In answer to your last question yes, I understand Roger Matthews has named all three people. But I have not had permission from either of my sources to repeat what I have been told and yes ,one of the three was not named by my source though may have been named by Matthews .However I understand Matthews is writing a book which will include a number of the murder cases he has covered and its possible he will himself name the three people he suspects-and then again he may not .
I will come back to you more fully on the appeals procedure itself another time Graham but in the 2002 appeal the DNA evidence by itself was considered 'certain proof of Hanratty's guilt" and given what has been learnt between 2002 about the current knowledge of the specific LCN DNA process that was used for testing the 42 year old fragments ,that claim is as good as useless.
Best Wishes
Norma

NickB
06-08-2014, 01:44 PM
Mrs Jones' B&B was popular and busy, and I really can't accept that she would have remembered a particular guest who claimed to have stayed there about 6 months before her appearance in court.

Mrs Jones said that one vacant room – number 4 – was available for casual visitors and that is where Hanratty would have stayed on the second night. The trouble is that Alexei Sayle’s dad stayed in room number 4 on that date.

Swanwick: “Was there any other gentleman who stayed during that week?”
Jones: “It is such a long time.”
Swanwick: “Is it such a long time that you cannot remember?”
Jones: “People come and go.”
Swanwick: “I am sure they do. Like ships that pass in the night. You cannot remember when they come and go, can you?”

Mrs Jones said she did not remember a man who was sent over from the hotel to occupy her vacant room, and she did not remember anyone called Mr Sayle.

Swanwick asked for Mr Sayle to be brought into the court. Mrs Jones said she did not remember him staying at the boarding house.

Graham
06-08-2014, 01:45 PM
Hi Nats,

not a very satisfactory answer to my question, if I may say so. Either Roger Matthews can and is willing to name names, or he can't or won't. Frankly, I can think of only two names that might fit, and of these at least one is not viable. Do you get my drift?

I don't think the DNA evidence, one way or the other, is ever going to give us the name of the A6 killer without a shadow of doubt, and so until something else crops up, new evidence, maybe even a death-bed confession, then for my money Hanratty is guilty.

Graham

Graham
06-08-2014, 01:50 PM
Mrs Jones said that one vacant room – number 4 – was available for casual visitors and that is where Hanratty would have stayed on the second night. The trouble is that Alexei Sayle’s dad stayed in room number 4 on that date.

Swanwick: “Was there any other gentleman who stayed during that week?”
Jones: “It is such a long time.”
Swanwick: “Is it such a long time that you cannot remember?”
Jones: “People come and go.”
Swanwick: “I am sure they do. Like ships that pass in the night. You cannot remember when they come and go, can you?”

Mrs Jones said she did not remember a man who was sent over from the hotel to occupy her vacant room, and she did not remember anyone called Mr Sayle.

Swanwick asked for Mr Sayle to be brought into the court. Mrs Jones said she did not remember him staying at the boarding house.

Exactly so, Nick. People are, after all, only human, and to remember one particular face amongst many, half a year on, is asking a little too much.

Graham

richardnunweek
06-08-2014, 03:26 PM
Hi Guys,
Wrong thread I am sorry for that intrusion...
Richard.

Natalie Severn
06-08-2014, 03:41 PM
Nick and Graham -all we know is that Mrs Jones said she 'thought' she recognised Hanratty from a photo she was shown .Regarding the point about Alexis Sayle's father not being remembered by Mrs Jones -Sayle was out from dawn to dusk at a trade union conference that week ---few people would have seen him to take stock of and it beggars belief he would have seen Hanratty…
I stay regularly in Boarding houses-quite good ones too actually .I very rarely sign a visitors book and very rarely see more than two or three couples at Breakfast when in fact the B&B has often been full to bursting.
I think it has been worked out that the room with the sink from which could be heard trains was the one thought to be the room Hanratty stayed in the second night and the family occupying that room up until the morning of 23rd August left leaving just that one room vacant.[would need to go back to sources to check name of that particular family who stayed every year.

Natalie Severn
06-08-2014, 03:46 PM
Graham- when Colin Burden put on a play in the 1990's which implicated one of the named---all hell broke loose when relatives of the named person arrived to do battle---maybe its the anticipation of all sorts of similar fracas breaking out like this?
I think Graham that you are right .I forget how the three names came up originally-maybe it was to do with the fact Matthews believed it was a crime that must have been committed by at least two men and he actually believed that the evidence pointed to three people being involved.

Natalie Severn
06-08-2014, 04:08 PM
It is a bit astonishing that this was the most notorious murder case at the time yet the only people to come forward to say they had seen Hanratty over the period of the crime were 10 people from Rhyl and Mrs Dinwoody and her granddaughter from Liverpool.Yet Hanratty's face was all over the papers at the time and nobody ever came forward from Slough, Buckinghamshire, Bedford or anywhere else to say they had seen him.

Spitfire
06-08-2014, 04:58 PM
It is a bit astonishing that this was the most notorious murder case at the time yet the only people to come forward to say they had seen Hanratty over the period of the crime were 10 people from Rhyl and Mrs Dinwoody and her granddaughter from Liverpool.Yet Hanratty's face was all over the papers at the time and nobody ever came forward from Slough, Buckinghamshire, Bedford or anywhere else to say they had seen him.

Precisely.

If there is one single fact that convinces me of Hanratty's undoubted innocence it is this.

Limehouse
06-09-2014, 12:02 AM
Hi Guys,
Wrong thread I am sorry for that intrusion...
Richard.

No intrusion Richard. Your views are very welcome.

NickB
06-09-2014, 04:33 AM
Hanratty's face was all over the papers at the time and nobody ever came forward

Storie, Skillett and Trower identified him. You can disagree with their evidence, but they do exist.

Matthew Hogan appeared for the defence claiming to have seen the car. Following Hogan’s evidence Trower was recalled, at the request of the jury, and said he had “no doubts” that Hanratty was the driver of the Morris Minor he saw going into Avondale Crescent.

I don’t think Hanratty’s face appeared in the papers until after the trial. He was taken to and from court under a blanket, and when he came up with the Rhyl alibi he was taken outside and photographed privately so that the investigators could go there with photos of him.

Sherlock Houses
06-09-2014, 08:02 AM
Yes, Ewer is a very dark character in this tragedy. He did, of course, have a long affair with Janet, the victim's widow, following the A6 crime.

Anderson too was a very disagreeable character. It is almost certain that she lied on oath and lied to Frances' wife (about the origins of the gun) in order to create false evidence in exchange for not being prosecuted for all the stolen goods found on her premises.

Re. Ewer it's interesting to learn that he attended every day [or almost every day] of the Bedford trial, which entailed a round trip in excess of 100 miles. Given his less than complimentary feelings towards his brother-in-law, Michael Gregsten, this seems rather surprising. It would appear that the almost month long trial held much more importance for him than the everyday running of his antiques business. And why would he feel it necessary to ask police permission to attend the trial ? All rather puzzling.

Re. Mrs Anderson, if we are to believe what she told a newspaper reporter on October 9th 1961, she had not realised until three days previously [Oct 6th, when police visited her] that there had been a murder on the A6. She must have been in a very tiny minority of adults then.

Derrick
06-09-2014, 09:32 AM
Re. Ewer it's interesting to learn that he attended every day [or almost every day] of the Bedford trial, which entailed a round trip in excess of 100 miles. Given his less than complimentary feelings towards his brother-in-law, Michael Gregsten, this seems rather surprising. It would appear that the almost month long trial held much more importance for him than the everyday running of his antiques business. And why would he feel it necessary to ask police permission to attend the trial ? All rather puzzling.

Re. Mrs Anderson, if we are to believe what she told a newspaper reporter on October 9th 1961, she had not realised until three days previously [Oct 6th, when police visited her] that there had been a murder on the A6. She must have been in a very tiny minority of adults then.

Houses my dear fellow;

The same kind of thing would also be true of Mr Trower who, when asked by Mr Sherrard at the committal, denied that he had had any knowledge, before the identity parade, that the police were seeking a man who dyed his hair.

He must of been living in a cave. The Daily Mirror (Britains biggest circulated paper at that time) printed front page stories, 2 days running and before his arrest, of both Mrs Anderson and Mary Meaden commenting on Ryan/Hanratty's dyed hair.

Even Acott knew that as a fact and called for skull caps to be worn..which was ignored by the officers who organized that parade.

Yet Acott was present on the Valerie Storie parade the next day and didn't utter a dickie bird about skull caps. He just grabbed Miss Stories arm, after she picked out Hanratty, and said "Well Done!"

Surely today, this would be thought of as a scandal and any subsequent identification rendered inadmissible.

Del Boy

Natalie Severn
06-09-2014, 11:22 AM
Nick,
I was talking about the fact that everybody knew about the trial and Hanratty because of the Nationwide hunt. Also that his picture once the trial was over was beamed across the whole of the British Isles -millions would have seen it yet nobody apart from 10 people in Rhyl and Mrs Dinwoody and her granddaughter came forward to say they had seen him.
Regarding TROWER: He was actually dealt with very thoroughly and his evidence totally discredited by Michael Sherrard at the trial [agreed as discredited I believe by the Judge ] Sherrard had used demonstrations of angles and road measurements that did not tally with the view he claimed.
He claimed to have seen the driver for a few seconds from a three quarter angle and side view.On top of that Paddy Hogan,Trower's friend said Trower arrived too late to have seen him.

John SKILLETT was driving and Edward BLACKHALL was in the passenger seat and rolled down the window and it was he,not Skillett ,who the police were most interested in at first because he had the better view of the driver.But he did not identify Hanratty and said the driver looked 'nothing like Hanratty" -whereupon the police lost interest in him.

Valerie Storie a few weeks earlier had identified another man entirely as Gregston's killer.This alone would disqualify her identification today.
Returning to the Morris Minor seen by Skillett and Blackhall. It is questionable whether the Morris Minor that they saw was the murder car.Another Morris Minor was in fact seen by several witnesses much later in the day and these witnesses were never called [Margaret Thompson and Doreen Milne]-at the appeal this was called by the appeal judges the ' high water mark of non disclosure ' [by the police] .So nobody knew about them at the trial-not even Michael Sherrard .There was also a crucial sighting at 6.30 in the morning by a lorry driver named William Lee driving South on the A6 .The car pulled out in front of him and nearly caused a collision.Outraged he noted its registration number.Later that morning when he stopped at a cafe he heard the number read out.He called police was traced and interviewed .He gave a statement which including him noting that the driver was wearing a green woollen hat with a pom pom on it. Much much later on the police were looking at a file which contained coloured images of the interior of the car and the boot.When these photos were enhanced and enlarged ,a GREEN woollen hat with a pom pom on it,exactly as described in Mr Lee's statement to the Derbyshire police in 1961 could be seen in the boot of the car.Had Michael Sherrard,Hanratty's trial barrister been given access to those witnesses a persuasive argument could have been put forward that this was not the car seen by either Skillet or Trower.

Sherlock Houses
06-09-2014, 12:07 PM
Even Acott knew that as a fact and called for skull caps to be worn..which was ignored by the officers who organized that parade.

Yet Acott was present on the Valerie Storie parade the next day and didn't utter a dickie bird about skull caps. He just grabbed Miss Stories arm, after she picked out Hanratty, and said "Well Done!"

Surely today, this would be thought of as a scandal and any subsequent identification rendered inadmissible.

Del Boy

If I recall correctly Derrick, when Alphon attended his Identification Parade on September 24th he was wearing an open necked shirt. All the other participants in the parade had to remove any ties they were wearing in order for the parade to be as fair as possible to Alphon. The same fair play rules should have applied with regard to Hanratty's Identification Parade and skull caps should have been insisted on. I imagine anyone witnessing the Hanratty parade would have known instantly who the police suspect was just by the outstanding colour of his hair regardless of any nervousness or tension Hanratty might have displayed.

I can't help but get the impression that Acott's relationship with Miss Storie had become too personal during this period, thus damaging the objectivity/lack of bias that should have been uppermost in a senior police officer's mind during a murder investigation. Acott and other members of the A6 murder case team were even invited to her 23rd birthday party on November 24th.

NickB
06-09-2014, 01:36 PM
Natalie,

I take your points, but there is a case to be made against every witness. Including Mrs Dunwoody, who said of her sighting: “It was definitely the Monday”.

Even if there were further prosecution witnesses who recognised him after his photos were published, there was no impetus for them to come forward as he had already been convicted.

richardnunweek
06-10-2014, 01:12 AM
Hi,
Sorry do not see what all the intrigue is about..
Valerie admitted on camera, that she made a mistake in identification initially, but it does not alter the fact, that she says positively. that she recognised Hanratty, the moment she saw him, he knew I knew, and he was finished.
She maintained that throughout the trail , and ever since...that the right man was hanged, and DNA, even if flaws are present is a massive pointer to guilt, for gods sake how much is ''reasonable doubt''?
That's my take on it..simplification ....
Regards Richard.

Victor
06-10-2014, 02:34 AM
Hi Del Boy,

Even Acott knew that as a fact and called for skull caps to be worn..which was ignored by the officers who organized that parade.

Yet Acott was present on the Valerie Storie parade the next day and didn't utter a dickie bird about skull caps.

Acott called for skull caps to be available, if needed, and they were but Kleinman didn't request them or challenge the ID parade at all, so they weren't necessary.

Yet Hanratty's face was all over the papers at the time and nobody ever came forward from Slough, Buckinghamshire, Bedford or anywhere else to say they had seen him.

Hi Nats,

It's hardly surprising that nobody came forward from the sticks to say they'd seen a wanted rapist and murderer hanging around, but that might be because he was lying low!

KR,
Vic.

Natalie Severn
06-13-2014, 04:27 PM
Victor: 10 people eventually came forward from Rhyl and two from Liverpool [Mrs Dinwoody's granddaughter supported by her friend because they both remembered going into Liverpool centre on the 22nd to buy dress material returning about 4 pm on the 22nd -the granddaughter is said to have recognised his profile picture out of several others immediately the police officer showed her it.Mrs Dinwoody at first maintained it was Tuesday she saw Hanratty then she was persuaded it 'must have been ' Monday by Acott .Later on that day [except in Trevor Dutton's case when it was the Wednesday morning near Rhyl's Barclay's Bank] , 10 other people came forward eventually to say they had seen him in Rhyl that day. Nobody ever came forward from Dorney Reach, Marsh Lane ,The Taplow Inn, or from around Deadman's Hill to say they had seen Hanratty .

Graham
06-14-2014, 02:16 PM
Hi Nats,

I think you have to consider that Rhyl in August 1961 would have been teeming with people of all ages. Hanratty, who was well-groomed and usually smartly dressed, could have been one of dozens of similarly-attired young men around the streets of Rhyl at that time. It was an age of conformity in dress-style - 'sharp' suits, white shirts, dark ties, short hair. Just like Hanratty.

With regard to Mrs Dinwoody, as has been pointed out many times, the police made a hash of her interview when they showed her just the one photograph - that of James Hanratty.

As far as Dorney Reach is concerned, Jean Justice (for whatever reasons, profit being the main one in my opinion) was "convinced" that Alphon was the A6 killer, so went to some length to 'prove' his, Alphon's, presence in the area. I have always thought that the apparent sightings in the area of someone who might have been Alphon were manufactured. Mrs Lanz, the licensee of The Old Station Inn at Taplow, claimed according to Justice to have seen Alphon (or an Alphon look-alike) in her pub on the evening of the crime. But is there anyone who still believes that Alphon was either the killer or even implicitly associated with the A6 Case? His presence in the Case was purely coincidental - he was a manipulative chancer, and saw the possibility of making a few bob out of it, once he had been eliminated from police inquiries. I am certain that if Justice's suspect had been James Hanratty, then Justice would have produced 'evidence' for Hanratty's presence in the area.

As far as Deadman's Hill is concerned, it was pitch dark, no-one (apart from John Kerr) was around, at least not until the passing farm-worker Sydney Burton saw the two bodies in the lay-by at about 6.30am, when it was daylight, and told Kerr. The only possible way that anyone in that Morris Minor could have been seen would be if another car had driven into the lay-by; and I am certain that if this had happened, Valerie would have mentioned it.

Graham

Spitfire
06-14-2014, 05:24 PM
Have I got this right?

Mr Larman says he saw someone who looked like Hanratty at about 7.30 pm on Tuesday 22 August 1961 and who asked where he could get digs for the night. This person who looked like Hanratty had no luggage. Mr Larman sent him to Mrs Jones at Ingledene.

Mrs Walker says she saw someone (without luggage) at 7.30 pm who looked like Hanratty and who asked for digs.

Mrs Ivy Walker corroborates this, by saying she saw the man, who looked like Hanratty, leave Mrs Walker's house and come to her house to ask for digs.

Hanratty himself said that he left Liverpool at about 7.30 pm, but the last bus from Liverpool left at 6.00 pm and arrived in Rhyl at 8.19 pm. He said it was dark by the time he found accommodation (digs).

Can someone do a timeline from 8.19 pm onwards which would help illustrate the strengths of Hanratty's alibi?

Spitfire
06-14-2014, 05:32 PM
I have looked at the times of sunset etc for 22 August 2014 which gives sunset as being 20.24 and civil twilight ending at 21.02.

At the trial Mr Swanwick's diary gave sunset as 20.30, which if correct would give a time of 21.08 as the time when civil twilight ended and it became 'dark'.

GUT
06-14-2014, 06:13 PM
G'day Spitfire


Hanratty himself said that he left Liverpool at about 7.30 pm, but the last bus from Liverpool left at 6.00 pm and arrived in Rhyl at 8.19 pm.

And this is, in my opinion another reason why the jury convicted him, his evidence was simply wrong and once someone is shown to have been wrong on a number of issues human nature says you start to doubt the rest of what they say.

Rightly or wrongly.

He said it was dark by the time he found accommodation (digs)

If the bus arrived at 8:19 and sunset was about 8:30 with dark just after 9:00 this seems plausible.

NickB
06-15-2014, 03:26 AM
Larman, Walker and Vincent discussed on the thread here (http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=4991).

Natalie Severn
06-16-2014, 02:22 AM
Graham,
I have photocopies in front of me of the rough notes taken by Kleinman within the hour of Hanratty changing his alibi,during his trial in Bedford, to say he took the bus to Rhyl.You are quite right about him being smartly dressed in Rhyl e.g. [as posted previously ]He is asked by Kleinman [his solicitor]what he was wearing in Rhyl-'the double breasted striped suit' he answered.[ Trevor Dutton described the clothing by the young man he saw who tried to sell him a gold watch in Rhyl as 'a dark jacket or coat with a light grey stripe'.
A little further down the page he is asked what he had with him and he answers " [I] left the little hyde leather case.Landlady about 50 like my mother [asked her] Could I leave the case I will pick it up later ?'

True it could have been anyone but when put together with the statements from other witnesses it appears to me to be Hanratty who Dutton saw.

Victor
06-16-2014, 03:24 AM
10 other people came forward eventually to say they had seen him in Rhyl that day. Nobody ever came forward from Dorney Reach, Marsh Lane ,The Taplow Inn, or from around Deadman's Hill to say they had seen Hanratty .

Hi Nats,

I think that's exactly what you'd expect from a busy seaside resort, contrasted to 'out in the sticks'. But as you keep pointing out, the Rhyl evidence only consists of those really dubious, unreliable, eyewitness accounts.

KR,
Vic.

Natalie Severn
06-16-2014, 04:24 AM
Hi Nats,

I think that's exactly what you'd expect from a busy seaside resort, contrasted to 'out in the sticks'. But as you keep pointing out, the Rhyl evidence only consists of those really dubious, unreliable, eyewitness accounts.

KR,
Vic.
Unlike William Nudds ,Roy Langdale ,Trower et al

Natalie Severn
06-16-2014, 04:28 AM
G'day Spitfire




And this is, in my opinion another reason why the jury convicted him, his evidence was simply wrong and once someone is shown to have been wrong on a number of issues human nature says you start to doubt the rest of what they say.

Rightly or wrongly.



Re Time and timings---some information from the trial transcript:

If the bus arrived at 8:19 and sunset was about 8:30 with dark just after 9:00 this seems plausible.

[Spitfire, the two witnesses who believe they saw Hanratty in South Kinmel Street were Margaret Walker and her neighbour Ivy Vincent.


Here is a section from the trial transcript where Hanratty attempts to deal with Mr Swanwick's probing about Time.
Mr Swanwick:Q:Was it a single decker or a double decker [bus]?
JH A:It was a double decker bus
Q What time would it be?
A. This would be about half past seven.It might not be the exact time[VolX111,p.61]
When Mr Swanwick asked him about his arrival in Rhyl,hanratty refused even to guess the time:
Q,You told us when you arrived in Rhyl it was dark: is that right?
A.No, I did not say that.
Q What did you say?
A. I said it got dark towards evening.
Q.What time did you arrive in Rhyl?
A. I am not sure.It was August time.It don't get dark till late.
Q What sort of time would you put it? I will help you by telling you that according to my diary the sun set at Liverpool at 8.30
A. What in August?
A. At that time,21st August [sic 22nd]
A.Would it?
Q. Can you give us any idea of the time you got to Rhyl?
A.Off-hand I cannot.If I was to say a time it would not be fair ,because you would cross examine me and I am not sure of the exact time.
Q I only want an approximate time if you can give it.A, I could not because I did not time it [Vol.X1V,p.11]

Victor
06-16-2014, 08:48 AM
Unlike William Nudds ,Roy Langdale ,Trower et al

Hi Nats,

I think you are getting confused here, Nudds and Langdale are not identification witnesses. Langdale knew he was talking to Hanratty as they were locked up together, and Hanratty himself admitted he stayed at the Vienna which Nudds confirmed.

Trower et al are identification witnesses, but their evidence was contemporary, whereas the Rhyl witnesses are reporting events at least 6 months afterwards, and in some cases nearly a decade later.

KR,
Vic.

Spitfire
06-16-2014, 09:56 AM
So the only time mentioned by Hanratty was 7.30 p.m., which from the context above seems to be the time when he said the bus left Liverpool as he would not be drawn on the time of its arrival in Rhyl.

The time given by both Mr Larman and Mrs Walker for their respective meetings with Hanratty was 7.30 p.m. in both cases.

NickB
06-16-2014, 10:20 AM
When Mr Swanwick asked him about his arrival in Rhyl, hanratty refused even to guess the time:
Q. You told us when you arrived in Rhyl it was dark: is that right?
A. No, I did not say that.


In answer to Sherrard, Hanratty had said that after arrival in Rhyl he enquired on five or six occasions to get bed and breakfast in the area eventually coming to a small private house with a ‘bed and breakfast’ sign.

Hanratty said: “It was dark at this time.”

He reiterated “it was dark” when he entered the house and could hear trains shunting.

So he didn't say it was dark when he arrived in Rhyl, but he did say it was dark when he arrived at the guesthouse.

Natalie Severn
06-16-2014, 12:10 PM
Victor hang on- the Rhyl witnesses may have come along almost six months later when the trial was underway and they were reading about Hanratty in National newspapers again -about him going to Rhyl etc but thats not the case with Mrs Dinwoody, a most important witness who was interviewed within six weeks of the crime .Barbara her granddaughter and her friend Linda Walton remembering precisely that they were in the shop late afternoon on that Tuesday.

Natalie Severn
06-16-2014, 12:46 PM
Nick,
[btw it gets dark quite suddenly on 22nd August in Rhyl around 8.55-9.05 pm whereas as 8.45 pm it is still light.]

Yes thats true. Also a crucially important Rhyl witness who came forward six years later was Mrs Betty Davies.Her baby had died days after being born in July 1961 and she herself had become ill.She didn't want to get involved in the case at the time but when six years later neighbours told her Mr and Mrs Hanratty wanted to talk to her about her recollection of sightings and times etc She agreed. She also made a statement .In her statement she says that she believes the man who called at her house in late August 1961 could have been James Hanratty .Betty Davies had been frightened when a young dark haired man knocked on her door late one August evening when she was alone except for her small daughter.At that time she and her husband ran a Boarding House next door to Ingeldene where Mrs Jones lived .At the back of her house there was an adjoining passage to her mother in laws house at 27 South Kinmel Street a tiny narrow street where two other Rhyl witnesses Margaret Walker at 12 and Ivy Vincent at number 23 lived .She hadn't liked the look of the young man because he was knocking on people's doors late in the evening -around 9 pm and didn't have a case with him.It was beginning to get dark by then.She suggested he go round the corner where he might find some vacancies.Shortly afterwards she decided to go and tell her mother in law Margaret Davies and ask her opinion on whether or not she should have taken him in. Margaret Davies wasn't alone. Margaret Walker had joined her and was able to tell them both an almost identical story but she was at Margaret Davies's house to ask her advice about her son who was being evicted from his house at the end of that week.On hearing about Betty's visitor Mrs Walker told them she too had been visited by a young man just a little while ago.They later learned he had called on Ivy Vincent too.

It seems likely they were all visited by the same young man.These meetings could not have taken place on 25th July because Betty Davies was in Chatsworth House nursing home , Prestatyn from July 20th to July 28th .
Betty Davies's statement was fully endorsed by Noel Davies her husband and her mother in law.The statements of Betty Davies, Margaret Walker, Ivy Vincent and Mrs Grace Jones are closely linked and had the jury heard them they would have found it difficult to dismiss them out of hand.

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 12:28 AM
So it was dark when Hanratty got to Ingledene but was getting dark when he saw Larman/Walker/Vincent/Davies which would imply that he saw them before encountering Mrs Jones. But what had happened to his case?

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 01:00 AM
So it was dark when Hanratty got to Ingledene but was getting dark when he saw Larman/Walker/Vincent/Davies which would imply that he saw them before encountering Mrs Jones. But what had happened to his case?
There was only one coach to Rhyl from Lime Street Liverpool ,Spitfire .I have been on it many a time .It had regular stops on way and I used to get off at Eastham.It was the kind of service which because it ran only once or twice a day would stop between stops if you put out your hand on its route .It left Lime Street at 6 o'clock and depending on traffic conditions got to Rhyl for 8.17.At 8.17 in Rhyl the sun is beginning to set . By 8.48pm the street lights have come on in Rhyl on 22nd August.Just after 9 pm its quite dark.

Regarding his 'little leather hyde ' case.In Kleinmen's notes ,taken down within the hour of him changing his alibi during his trial in Bedford and causing great concern as a result to his trial barrister, Michael Sherrard , he is asked what he was wearing and whether he was carrying his case and he immediately answers by saying that he had a case which he asked 'the landlady ' if he could leave it with her. Clearly this is because 'the landlady-who he says 'looked like his mother' has agreed to mind his case for him while he looks round to see if there are vacancies in other houses nearby.The young man seen by Mrs Walker, Mrs Vincent and Mrs Davies in nearby B&B's did not have a case which matches what he tells Kleinman.

GUT
06-17-2014, 01:12 AM
G'day Natalie

But why would he leave the case with Mrs Jones and then go looking for a room. Surely if he has spoken with her he has arranged a room with her.

Or have I misunderstood what you are saying?

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 01:23 AM
GUT;295990]G'day Natalie

But why would he leave the case with Mrs Jones and then go looking for a room. Surely if he has spoken with her he has arranged a room with her.

Or have I misunderstood what you are saying?

In court Mrs Jones explained she was full and had no vacancies.So it looks like he asked if he could leave his case there then he went back for his case having found nowhere else to stay because they were all full. He says at first he booked with the landlady who looked like his mum only for one night-later he booked for two nights.

re photocopy attached-here is Kleinman[solicitor] taking down hurriedly answers to questions he is firing to Hanratty after Hanratty has just changed his alibi-during his trial.Do note you have to imagine the questions here -eg Kelinman ,"What were you wearing? Hanratty- "[I was] wearing the double breasted l striped suit " etc

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 02:08 AM
Can I get this right as a timeline for the material events in Rhyl on the evening of 22 August 1961?

19.15 Chris Larman leaves an hotel on the corner of Kimnel Street. He is approached by a man in his 30's asking if CL knows where he can find digs. CL shows him the whereabouts of Ingledene. The man had no case. CL could not determine the colour of the man's hair due to the sun shining upon it.

20.17 Hanratty gets off bus.

20.24 Sun sets over Rhyl

20.24-21.08 Twilight in Rhyl. The lights go on as it gets dark. Man without case asks for digs in South Kimnel St. Asking Mesdames Davies, Walker and Vincent.

21.08 It is dark in Rhyl.

Some time after it goes dark Hanratty pitches up at Ingledene.

Could there have been two singletons in Rhyl looking for accommodation on that night? Mr Larman seems definite on his timings and the fact that the sun was shining. For Mr Larman to have seen Hanratty he would have had to put his timeline back over one hour from 19.15 to 20.17. Even then Hanratty's evidence was that it was an ordeal to find digs, whereas for Mr Larman to be correct, once Hanratty was off the bus almost immediately he found Mr Larman who pointed him in the direction of Ingledene.

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 02:14 AM
In court Mrs Jones explained she was full and had no vacancies.So it looks like he asked if he could leave his case there then he went back for his case having found nowhere else to stay because they were all full. He says at first he booked with the landlady who looked like his mum only for one night-later he booked for two nights.

re photocopy attached-here is Kleinman[solicitor] taking down hurriedly answers to questions he is firing to Hanratty after Hanratty has just changed his alibi-during his trial.Do note you have to imagine the questions here -eg Kelinman ,"What were you wearing? Hanratty- "[I was] wearing the double breasted l striped suit " etc

Thanks for that. It is very interesting.

Do you have the previous page? As the top of the page reads "... then ran out of money."

Also Hanratty would have had the opportunity of giving evidence. What does the transcript say about this? I have not seen anything which would indicate that once Hanratty had found Ingledene, he went out again to look for better digs. Indeed it seems that he was prepared to sleep on the sofa etc at Mrs Walker's and Mrs Vincent's.

Victor
06-17-2014, 02:41 AM
the Rhyl witnesses may have come along almost six months later when the trial was underway and they were reading about Hanratty in National newspapers again -about him going to Rhyl etc

Hi Nats,

I think you've done a pretty thorough job on this thread of discrediting those Rhyl witnesses, and validated Sherrrard's decision not to call them for the Appeal.

There was only one coach to Rhyl from Lime Street Liverpool ,Spitfire .I have been on it many a time .It had regular stops on way and I used to get off at Eastham.It was the kind of service which because it ran only once or twice a day would stop between stops if you put out your hand on its route .It left Lime Street at 6 o'clock and depending on traffic conditions got to Rhyl for 8.17.At 8.17 in Rhyl the sun is beginning to set.
So this coach is the important one, but it arrives in Rhyl AFTER Larman and the Walker\Vincent encounters.

Even a favourable reading of Hanratty's evidence has issues:-
1. When does he arrive in Rhyl? 8:17pm or thereabouts.
First he has to meet Charlie White the paper seller at the bus station, or maybe the Panorama confession means that didn't happen?

Then he has to get to Ingledene, and be told there are no vacancies, so he leaves his case with the most generic landlady ever described ("about 50", "like my mother") and goes out looking for digs.

He goes to 5 or 6 places nearby and meets Larman, who directs him to the place he's already been to and left his case! He also meets the Walker\Vincent\Davis bunch, presumably as part of the 5 or 6 places.

But why would he leave the case with Mrs Jones and then go looking for a room. Surely if he has spoken with her he has arranged a room with her.
Now the part that I find quite easy to believe, after you've swallowed all the twilight\getting dark\nearly dark vagueness, is that he can't find anywhere else to stay so goes back to Ingledene and Grace Jones tells him he can stay in the illegal bed in the "bathroom" for one night and have a room the second night, but he has to pay the full room rate, and eat separately to everyone else. Actually it makes sense that Hanratty, the thief and habitual liar, was quite prepared to collude on this nefarious scheme, but surely he'd have told Sherrard (at least) once Grace Jones had confessed in open court to her wrongdoing - he can't grass up someone who's already held their hands up.

but thats not the case with Mrs Dinwoody, a most important witness who was interviewed within six weeks of the crime .Barbara her granddaughter and her friend Linda Walton remembering precisely that they were in the shop late afternoon on that Tuesday.
Erm... that's not true, Paul Foot managed to coach and tutor the young girls into admitting it might have been Tuesday instead of Monday, but he failed to get Mrs Dinwoodie to agree...
Including Mrs Dunwoody, who said of her sighting: “It was definitely the Monday”.

KR,
Vic.

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 02:50 AM
Spitfire here is what Paul Foot has reported in his book on Mr Larman.Clearly the sighting could only have been after the bus arrived at 8.17 pm -but while sun was still shining so before 8.30pm.Hanratty then-if this sighting was of Hanratty- made for Mrs Jones's Ingledene, was told she was full and left his case there. Possible he made off for the fairground immediately after this-looked for 'John's Taxi' -it wasn't there so made way back to Mrs Jones's calling in at one or two B&B's on way back such as River Street 'en route' and Mrs Davies's who directed him round corner to South Kinmel Street. After which he returns to Mrs Jones and books for one night.

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 02:55 AM
We should not confuse Olive Dinwoodie, a sweetshop locum, with Gwyneth Dunwoody, a (late) labour MP.

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 03:02 AM
Spitfire re 'then ran out of money' in Kleinman's notes.
Here it is.Its about Hanratty's need to go to Liverpool first , but where he was unsuccessful in finding Aspinal to fence his goods . So after trying to sell the gold watch at the Billiard Hall and being told he wasn't allowed to do that ,he hops on Rhyl bus he sees waiting at Lime Street station opposite, to see if Terry Evans who he knows as 'John' might be able to 'fence it' or know of people who will buy it off him [Terry had told him he could do that].


btw that final sentence begins:- " Louise then ran out of money " -Hanratty had been staying with Louise Anderson who ran an 'antiques shop' in Soho.....and used the sell Hanratty's 'stuff' for him,herself making quite a profit by all accounts.

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 03:06 AM
Spitfire here is what Paul Foot has reported in his book on Mr Larman.Clearly the sighting could only have been after the bus arrived at 8.17 pm -but while sun was still shining so before 8.30pm.Hanratty then-if this sighting was of Hanratty- made for Mrs Jones's Ingledene, was told she was full and left his case there. Possible he made off for the fairground immediately after this-looked for 'John's Taxi' -it wasn't there so made way back to Mrs Jones's calling in at one or two B&B's on way back such as River Street 'en route' and Mrs Davies's who directed him round corner to South Kinmel Street. After which he returns to Mrs Jones and books for one night.

Thanks for that.

I'm sure I've read somewhere that the man Mr Larman saw did not have a case with him.

But had we not established that the encounters with Mesdames Walker, Vincent and Davies were whilst it was going dark rather than after darkness had set in? So Hanratty would have had to start looking for alternative accommodation almost immediately on getting to Ingledene. Also he would have arrived at Ingledene for the first time whilst it was light, whereas he was definite that it was dark.

Surely the transcript would reveal whether Hanratty contended that this series of events had transpired.

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 03:20 AM
15965Victor,
please read exactly what happened re Barbara Taylor and Linda Walton who were interviewed by the Police themselves. Both girls were 21 by the time Paul Foot interviewed any of these witnesses.

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 03:23 AM
Spitfire-I can only go on text's I have shown you.Its possible Hanratty had called into B&B's with no vacancies soon after he got off the bus and in one of them left his case while he looked round.

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 03:35 AM
Linda Walton's short statement :

Victor
06-17-2014, 03:38 AM
please read exactly what happened re Barbara Taylor and Linda Walton who were interviewed by the Police themselves. Both girls were 21 by the time Paul Foot interviewed any of these witnesses.

Hi Nats,

Foot's account is hardly "exactly what happened", I don't think you could get a more biased version.

And are you ignoring Charlie White's Panorama confession that he and Evans cooked their story up between them?

KR,
Vic.

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 03:41 AM
Spitfire-I can only go on text's I have shown you.
I think that I can now see Sherrard's problem.

Hanratty says he arrived at Ingledene after dark.

Larman has Hanratty on Kinmel St. at about 7.30 pm when the sun was shining and Mrs Walker has Hanratty on South Kinmel St at 7.30 pm when it was going dark with the street lamps on.

Both Walker and Larman have Hanratty without any bags.

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 04:06 AM
Victor - Sorry the Panorama programme is not something I know much about .

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 04:22 AM
I think that I can now see Sherrard's problem.

Hanratty says he arrived at Ingledene after dark.

Larman has Hanratty on Kinmel St. at about 7.30 pm when the sun was shining and Mrs Walker has Hanratty on South Kinmel St at 7.30 pm when it was going dark with the street lamps on.

Both Walker and Larman have Hanratty without any bags.

Hi Spitfire, I have done a lot of research into this. When Margaret Walker was cross questioned by Gillbanks -an ex policeman acting in this instance for the defence after Kleinman wrote to him asking for more information on Mrs Walker's sighting Gillbanks wrote back saying

" [Margaret Walker ] fixes the time owing to her domestic arrangements and because it was getting dark and the street lamps were lit ."


Sunset being about 8.30 on 22nd August the street lights would have come on at about 8.50 as they do today-----when it has begun to get dark.


re Larman---ok ok ....i don't know the answer sorry to when exactly Mr Larman saw him but it wasn't at 7.30 as he thought-it must have been after 8.17pm.

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 04:31 AM
I think that I can now see Sherrard's problem.

Hanratty says he arrived at Ingledene after dark.

Larman has Hanratty on Kinmel St. at about 7.30 pm when the sun was shining and Mrs Walker has Hanratty on South Kinmel St at 7.30 pm when it was going dark with the street lamps on.

Both Walker and Larman have Hanratty without any bags.


Had Michael Sherrard ,Hanratty's trial barrister have gone more deeply into the issue of times instead of accepting that Margaret Walker could not have seen Hanratty at 7.30 pm and looked more closely into the second part of her sentence about time where she stated that it was after the lights had gone on at about 8.50 pm Hanratty's appeal might possibly have been successful ---IMHO.Ditto Ivy Vincent who corroborated Margaret Walker's sighting.And of course then they didn't know that Betty Davies had had a young man without a case looking for digs and calling on her in Kinmel Street 'when it was getting dark.'

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 04:41 AM
Spitfire-I can only go on text's I have shown you.Its possible Hanratty had called into B&B's with no vacancies soon after he got off the bus and in one of them left his case while he looked round.

Yes, that would explain why Mr Larman and Mrs Walker saw Hanratty without any luggage but would mean that the B&B where Hanratty left his case was Ingledene. He would then have to leave Ingledene to encounter Mr Larman on the junction of Kinmel and Bodfor Street before sunset (at 20.24 ish) who sends him back to Ingledene. This is pointless as that is where Hanratty has just left, so he goes to Mrs Betty Davies at 21 Kinmel St (i.e. next door to Ingledene) then on to Mesdames Walker and Vincent at South Kinmel Street (i.e just behind Ingledene).

Mrs Jones's kindness in taking bailment of the small leather case backfired on Hanratty as no one liked the look of him as he didn't have any luggage.

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 04:50 AM
[QUOTE=Spitfire;296020]Yes, that would explain why Mr Larman and Mrs Walker saw Hanratty without any luggage but would mean that the B&B where Hanratty left his case was Ingledene. QUOTE]
Why would it? It could have been any B&B after he left the bus I think---he would hardly have gone to Ingledene then let Mr Larman point it out again without Hanratty saying something like-'thats where I have just been' . Personally I think Margaret Walker is more important to this here -as important as Mrs Dinwoody.

Victor
06-17-2014, 05:24 AM
Yes, that would explain why Mr Larman and Mrs Walker saw Hanratty without any luggage but would mean that the B&B where Hanratty left his case was Ingledene.
Why would it? It could have been any B&B after he left the bus I think---he would hardly have gone to Ingledene then let Mr Larman point it out again without Hanratty saying something like-'thats where I have just been'.

Hi Nats,

I too think it must have been the Ingledene or possibly the left luggage at the station (one of Hanratty's normal routines), otherwise he must have left the case somewhere else, then gone looking and been turned away from multiple places, then gone to Ingledene and negotiated the dodgy "bathroom" bed, then gone and collected the luggage, and then back to Ingledene again. A fairly memorable sequence of events that no-one remembered and gave evidence about, but then no-one gave evidence about leaving the case anywhere to go searching...

Personally I think Margaret Walker is more important to this here -as important as Mrs Dinwoody.
Unfortunately all the speculation about Rhyl just reeks of square pegs and round holes. Dinwoodie says "definitely Monday", Scottish (IIRC) accent, which gets twisted to fit Hanratty's evidence. Occam's razor is nowhere to be seen.

KR,
Vic.

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 06:27 AM
Hi Nats,



Unfortunately all the speculation about Rhyl just reeks of square pegs and round holes. Dinwoodie says "definitely Monday", Scottish (IIRC) accent, which gets twisted to fit Hanratty's evidence. Occam's razor is nowhere to be seen.

KR,
Vic.
[Mrs Dinwoody and her granddaughter said they had difficulty following his accent [as Liverpuddlians] and thought it might be Scottish or Welsh]

But lets re-cap about what Mr Swanwick decided he would make of this case at the point when the police were beginning to accept what Mrs Dinwoody was saying about her sighting .

Swanwick ,along with Acott , believed Hanratty was sexually ablaze in some way [unnoticed that is by anyone else whatsoever who appeared in court for the prosecution btw] and had planned and executed the murder in order to have sex with Valerie Storie .To this effect he had bought an alibi who looked just like him and paid him to wander into Mrs Dinwoody's sweetshop and ask her where Tarlton or Carlton road was . The judge politely attempted to point out to the jury here the "problems " with such a suggestion ,"Members of the jury,when it is said that this alibi is "bought" then how did he know anyone had made an inquiry of Mrs Dinwoody for Tarleton or Carlton Road?"
Indeed-and this not to even mention the Monty Pythonesque suggestion that Acott made - bothered from the start about Mrs Dinwoody's evidence [which btw he had taken care from the start to conceal from the defence] was cross questioned about it and made the preposterous suggestion that Hanratty had taken a plane or a helicopter to the South to get to Buckinghamshire in time to murder Michael Gregsten and then rape Valerie Storie ---because Acott like Swanwick considered the crime to be all about a man sexually aroused to the point of madness -despite the inconsistency of that scenario with the killer waiting over 2 hours in a cornfield chatting away to the lovers and another 3 hours driving about the outer suburbs of London before committing the crimes .
You talk about square pegs -I talk of half baked theories that take off by helicopter to cloud cuckoo land.

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 06:35 AM
Occam's razor is nowhere to be seen.



Hanratty said he had a shave at a barbers whilst in Rhyl. Could it be there?

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 06:39 AM
[QUOTE=Spitfire;296020]Yes, that would explain why Mr Larman and Mrs Walker saw Hanratty without any luggage but would mean that the B&B where Hanratty left his case was Ingledene. QUOTE]
Why would it? It could have been any B&B after he left the bus I think---he would hardly have gone to Ingledene then let Mr Larman point it out again without Hanratty saying something like-'thats where I have just been' . Personally I think Margaret Walker is more important to this here -as important as Mrs Dinwoody.

I thought the point of the statement of JH which you uploaded was to show that JH left the little hyde (sic) case at Ingledene while he searched for alternative accommodation.

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 06:47 AM
No Spitfire-the point I was making was that he wasn't seen with any case because he had asked a landlady -soon after his arrival in Rhyl-presumably a landlady who had no vacancies -possibly Mrs Jones -if he could leave the case with her.

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 07:30 AM
No Spitfire-the point I was making was that he wasn't seen with any case because he had asked a landlady -soon after his arrival in Rhyl-presumably a landlady who had no vacancies -possibly Mrs Jones -if he could leave the case with her.

That seems a reasonable enough explanation. Although I had read it that it was Mrs Jones who was offering to look after the little leather case.

Derrick
06-17-2014, 09:16 AM
You talk about square pegs -I talk of half baked theories that take off by helicopter to cloud cuckoo land.

Hi Norma

You have it in a nutshell, girl!

ATB
Del Boy

Graham
06-17-2014, 10:13 AM
Not even the most enthusiastic supporter of Hanratty's guilt would ever go along with the incredible helicopter crap! The court didn't believe it, that was for sure. Clutching at straws springs to mind. And I am one who believes that Hanratty was guilty (and thus never in Rhyl on the night of 22 August).

With the Rhyl Alibi taken as a whole, it can never be proven after more than 50 years, and indeed couldn't be proven even at the time. Sherrard didn't believe it, I'm certain of that, and neither did the jury, obviously. Mrs Jones blew her chance when she was seen and overheard talking to Terry Evans during a lunch-break, and also when she made a pig's ear of the register. But it was worth a shot considering a man's life was at stake. Knowing a little bit about how the legal mind operates in cases such as this, I'm pretty sure that Sherrard counselled Hanratty to stick with his Liverpool Alibi; I've always felt that had he done so, Hanratty might have stood a chance, however remote, of being acquitted. But who knows?

Graham

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 10:40 AM
Knowing a little bit about how the legal mind operates in cases such as this, I'm pretty sure that Sherrard counselled Hanratty to stick with his Liverpool Alibi; I've always felt that had he done so, Hanratty might have stood a chance, however remote, of being acquitted. But who knows?



I think that the choices which were available to Sherrard were either to run with the amended alibi and have Hanratty give his evidence from the witness box, or not to call Hanratty to give evidence at all.

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 10:51 AM
So it seems that the likely course of events was as follows.

20.17 Hanratty gets off bus.

2.20ish Hanratty inquires as to accommodation but is told there is no room at the inn by an (as yet) unidentified guest house proprietor (unless it was Mrs Jones of Ingledene) who allows Hanratty to leave his little hide case.

20.21 Larman and Hanratty meet on the junction of Bodfor St and Kinmel St where the former points the latter in the direction of Ingledene.

20.24 to 21.08 Hanratty does not go direct to Ingledene (possibly because that is the guest house in which he left his little leather case) but tries guest houses next door to Ingledene and at the rear of Ingledene on South Kinmel St.

21.08 or later Hanratty eventually secures accommodation at Ingledene

NickB
06-17-2014, 01:09 PM
I'm pretty sure that Sherrard counselled Hanratty to stick with his Liverpool Alibi

I can imagine the spirited debates we would be having now about whether the Liverpool Alibi was true or not.

Graham
06-17-2014, 01:57 PM
I can imagine the spirited debates we would be having now about whether the Liverpool Alibi was true or not.

You're not wrong there, Nick! However, Joe Gillbanks did at least establish that Hanratty knew certain men in Liverpool, who agreed that they knew him. More of that anon.

Regarding the Rhyl Alibi:

1] Hanratty said that the reason he'd gone to Rhyl was to look for a man called "John", whom he knew from a previous visit to Rhyl, to fence some stolen goods. This "John" was actually Terry Evans, at whose house Hanratty had spent a night during his previous visit to Rhyl, and to thank him for his hospitality Hanratty nicked a pair of Evans' shoes! So right away, Hanratty's memory is open to question. Gillbanks located Terry Evans a.k.a. "John", and thus was Ingledene located, to eventually pass into A6 folklore, purely on the basis that it had a green bath, which Hanratty said might have been in the attic.

2] Hanratty described the lady who owned Ingledene as "about 50, average build, wore glasses, grey hair". Mrs Grace Jones had fair hair, not grey. She did not wear glasses. She was actually a very short lady, only 5' 2", and below "average build".

3] As in Mrs Dinwoodie's case, Mrs Jones was shown just one photo, this time by Gillbanks, that of James Hanratty.

4] Mrs Jones initially told Gillbanks that she was not at all sure about Hanratty's claimed visit to Ingledene. Gillbanks reported to Sherrard that Mrs Jones was uncertain about when, and in which room, the man in the photo stayed.

5] Terry Evans (during the trial and presumably during the lunch hour in which a juror spotted him talking to Mrs Jones) said that he asked Mrs Jones if she recognised Hanratty. Mrs Jones said she was almost sure; that is, not completely sure. Mrs Jones admitted to Mr Swanwick that she did not recognise the man in the photo shown to her by Gillbanks. Mrs Jones also said that she had got muddled.

6] Mrs Jones 'got muddled' because of the colour of the man's hair, which would suggest her veracity to Hanratty's supporters because he did indeed change the colour of his hair. But in fact it was Terry Evans who told her that she may not have recognised the man in the photo and James Hanratty in the court-room as one and the same, "because of the colour of his hair".

7] Until encountering Terry Evans at Bedford, Mrs Jones had never said anything about Hanratty's hair or its colour.

8] Hanratty mentioned a green bath at Ingledene, but then shot himself in the foot by adding "I have been in so many boarding-houses that you get confused". This was when he was in the witness-box, and having said that he became incoherent.

9] About the only correct statement Hanratty made about Ingledene was that he paid 12/6 a night, which is what Mrs Jones charged. However, this was probably a standard charge for seaside b&b's - on the night of his arrest, he had booked into a b&b in Central Drive, Blackpool, and maybe this place also charged 12/6 a night...and maybe also had a green bath.

10] Paul Foot makes the claim that Mrs Jones stated that "a young Londoner stayed 2 nights at Ingledene, and he looked like Hanratty". In fact, Mrs Jones never once mentioned a 'young Londoner'.

That's enough from me tonight - I was watching Brazil v. Mexico, but it's probably over by now!!!

Graham

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 04:00 PM
: Witnesses for the Prosecution Such a shower of shady types they were most of those appearing as prosecution witnesses, Take William ,George,Richard,Nudds -an important prosecution witness -his aliases were -quite apart from 'liar ,liar pants on fire"... 'Baker,Bartlet,Beaumont,Glickberg,Itter ,Knight']he was only let out of jail at beginning of August 1961...just three weeks before the A6 murder.
Roy William Langdale -another well known liar -and very crucial to Hanratty's execution a criminal who along with Nudds ,was rated in 1961 by the criminal fraternity as one of the worst types of prisoners in the UK - Nudds made news headlines several times -both men being hated for being vicious towards other inmates as well as grasses of the worst type and known to have bargained their way through jail with their jailers as well as police all deals done w regularly together with a spot of torture and knee capping-in Langdale's case and some nasty goings on by Nudds too ---ie if accounts in the press at the time are to be believed .In fact Hanratty's trial must rank as having had some of shadiest nastiest witnesses ever to have been wheeled out by the prosecution in a uk court of law -especially when it was in order to give evidence in a capital case where a man was under the threat of execution.
Then we get the secondary bunch of shady ,odd types of witnesses -sort of second degree shady types like Louise Anderson who sold stolen goods in her Soho 'antiques' shop ,Charles France who fenced Hanratty's nicked jewellery and who had to be dragged into court between two men in white coats on one occasion so freaked out was he by the trial and having to appear at it ... tried to jump out of the hospital window on another occasion ...committing suicide finally shortly before Hanratty was hanged.
The senior policeman Roger Matthews who was in charge of 20 detectives compiling evidence for the home office to go to the CCRC was apparently totally gobsmacked that nobody at the court had ever drawn attention to the fact that the 36 bus which had the gun planted on it on 24th August two days after the murder , stopped just yards from France's flat...actually you can see his old flat from that same bus route still ! Not forgetting that the only person who had access to Hanratty's dirty linen was France himself and his wife Charlotte who did Hanratty's washing for him.
Besides this bunch of reprobates the Rhyl witnesses all seem like regular and exemplary pillars of the community!

Spitfire
06-17-2014, 04:31 PM
If Matthews had determined that Hanratty was innocent as opposed to merely determining that Hanratty was not guilty as the prosecution had not proved its case, then Matthews must have been satisfied as to the veracity of Hanratty's improved alibi.

The relevant times are the evening of 22 August and the early morning of 23 August, any confirmed sighting of Hanratty in Rhyls during these times would establish Hanratty's innocence, in the sense described above. We should therefore concentrate on these times and dates and not get sidetracked into the credibility or otherwise of witnesses to other matters e.g the finding of the gun or the route of the 36 or 36A bus (I think it was the latter that had the gun left upon it).

I have given above what I consider to be the likely timeline (to use the modern vernacular) for the events of 22/23 August 1961 and it does seem that it was possible for there to have been sightings of Hanratty or a Hanratty lookalike in Rhyl during the relevant time.

GUT
06-17-2014, 04:37 PM
I have given above what I consider to be the likely timeline (to use the modern vernacular) for the events of 22/23 August 1961 and it does seem that it was possible for there to have been sightings of Hanratty or a Hanratty lookalike in Rhyl during the relevant time.

As you say or "A Hanratty lookalike" identified months or years after the event.

Natalie Severn
06-17-2014, 04:37 PM
Hi Spitfire-well I take your point but it does need to be remembered that the witnesses for the prosecution were very flawed characters indeed and that this is a major part of the reason the case has gone on so long and has been such a cause celebre.

GUT
06-17-2014, 04:38 PM
I find it interesting that some here criticize the victims ID of Hanratty as unreliable [and ID evidence is unreliable and today jury's are given a warning about it] but accept ID's by people with less reason to remember him and who only identify a photograph.

Natalie Severn
06-18-2014, 01:42 AM
Gut, the victims ID today would be unacceptable in a court of law because Valerie Storie "identified "Michael Clark" as the A6 murderer a RAF airman in an ID parade of September 24th -just a few weeks before.Btw-Louis Blom-Cooper-distinguished barrister and legal commentator wrote a book about the case in which he discusses the shortcomings of the English judicial process .Blom- Cooper totally impugned Valerie Storie's entire testimony,arguing that "no trained judge could have placed much weight on her evidence.'.
In 1963 when he wrote the book,he stated he believed ,despite his many misgivings such as believing the trial had been full of weaknesses, he still then believed that Hanratty was guilty as charged .But he changed his mind and retracted that opinion after reading the new evidence unearthed by Paul Foot in his book of 1970.

Victor
06-18-2014, 03:04 AM
[Mrs Dinwoody and her granddaughter said they had difficulty following his accent [as Liverpuddlians] and thought it might be Scottish or Welsh]

Hi Nats,

Do you really expect us to believe that "Liverpuddlians" are not able to distinguish a Scottish from a Welsh, from a Cockney accent?

Swanwick ,along with Acott , believed Hanratty was sexually ablaze in some way [unnoticed that is by anyone else whatsoever who appeared in court for the prosecution btw] and had planned and executed the murder in order to have sex with Valerie Storie .
Yet you yourself have previous listed numerous girlfriends he had - off the top of my head there's Ann Pryce and Mary someone - so hardly "unnoticed". However, the sex motive does seem strained.

To this effect he had bought an alibi who looked just like him and paid him to wander into Mrs Dinwoody's sweetshop and ask her where Tarlton or Carlton road was . The judge politely attempted to point out to the jury here the "problems " with such a suggestion ,"Members of the jury,when it is said that this alibi is "bought" then how did he know anyone had made an inquiry of Mrs Dinwoody for Tarleton or Carlton Road?"
We know Hanratty hung around with dodgy Liverpudlians because he tried to get a false alibi with 3 of them. They refused to get personally involved so reasonably could have offered Hanratty the sweetshop alibi instead.

Indeed-and this not to even mention the Monty Pythonesque suggestion that Acott made - bothered from the start about Mrs Dinwoody's evidence [which btw he had taken care from the start to conceal from the defence] was cross questioned about it and made the preposterous suggestion that Hanratty had taken a plane or a helicopter to the South to get to Buckinghamshire in time to murder Michael Gregsten and then rape Valerie Storie
Go, go, gadget Helicopter obfuscation! Acott never made the suggestion that Hanratty caught a plane, he considered it preposterous too, he just said that it was possible to get from the Sweetshop to the cornfield in time, but it was unrealistic that Hanratty had done that.

You talk about square pegs -I talk of half baked theories that take off by helicopter to cloud cuckoo land.
I agree, most of your theories are half baked.

KR,
Vic.

Victor
06-18-2014, 03:09 AM
No Spitfire-the point I was making was that he wasn't seen with any case because he had asked a landlady -soon after his arrival in Rhyl-presumably a landlady who had no vacancies -possibly Mrs Jones -if he could leave the case with her.

Hi Nats,

Don't you think Foot and the A6 Committee would have checked every guest house in Rhyl to see if anyone remembered someone leaving a case to go searching for vacancies? Yet no-one came forward to corroborate this!

KR,
Vic.

GUT
06-18-2014, 03:14 AM
Gut, the victims ID today would be unacceptable in a court of law because Valerie Storie "identified "Michael Clark" as the A6 murderer a RAF airman in an ID parade of September 24th -just a few weeks before.

I don't argue against that but what I do say is don't then rely on witnesses who say "Yes it was him" months later.

Btw-Louis Blom-Cooper-distinguished barrister and legal commentator wrote a book about the case in which he discusses the shortcomings of the English judicial process .Blom- Cooper totally impugned Valerie Storie's entire testimony,arguing that "no trained judge could have placed much weight on her evidence.'.

And he should also know that criminal trials are not decided by trained judges [for whatever that is supposed to mean] but by juries.

In 1963 when he wrote the book,he stated he believed ,despite his many misgivings such as believing the trial had been full of weaknesses, he still then believed that Hanratty was guilty as charged .But he changed his mind and retracted that opinion after reading the new evidence unearthed by Paul Foot in his book of 1970.

Just as many Barristers believe or disbelieve the results in many cases. I can honestly say that I don know a Barrister who has not honestly believed that some of his cases have gone the wrong way [even when they are successful].

I would also add that Louis Blom-Cooper is a specialist in Public Law and Administrative Law and not Criminal Law.

Victor
06-18-2014, 03:25 AM
So it seems that the likely course of events was as follows.

20.17 Hanratty gets off bus.

2.20ish Hanratty inquires as to accommodation but is told there is no room at the inn by an (as yet) unidentified guest house proprietor (unless it was Mrs Jones of Ingledene) who allows Hanratty to leave his little hide case.

20.21 Larman and Hanratty meet on the junction of Bodfor St and Kinmel St where the former points the latter in the direction of Ingledene.

20.24 to 21.08 Hanratty does not go direct to Ingledene (possibly because that is the guest house in which he left his little leather case) but tries guest houses next door to Ingledene and at the rear of Ingledene on South Kinmel St.

21.08 or later Hanratty eventually secures accommodation at Ingledene

Hi Spitfire,

Things to add in are:-
1. Meeting Charlie White the paper seller at the bus station.
2. Hunting for "John" (Terry Evans \ Star) and not finding him, despite having previously slept the night at his house.

Have you seen this site? http://pemmusing.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/the-a6-bedfordshire-murder/

The chronology seems fairly accurate.

KR,
Vic.

Victor
06-18-2014, 03:35 AM
Hi Nats,

: Witnesses for the Prosecution Such a shower of shady types they were most of those appearing as prosecution witnesses,
That's just because those were the sort of people that Hanratty associated with! Anderson and France were his close friends. Nudds was the dodgy manager typical of the sort of place Hanratty stayed in. Langdale was inside with him

In fact Hanratty's trial must rank as having had some of shadiest nastiest witnesses ever to have been wheeled out by the prosecution in a uk court of law -especially when it was in order to give evidence in a capital case where a man was under the threat of execution.
Which is totally expected from associates of the shady, nasty Hanratty.

Charles France who fenced Hanratty's nicked jewellery and who had to be dragged into court between two men in white coats on one occasion so freaked out was he by the trial and having to appear at it ... tried to jump out of the hospital window on another occasion ...committing suicide finally shortly before Hanratty was hanged.
France a petty criminal who killed himself because Hanratty had dragged him from the little league into the serious, vicious, nasty big boys game.

Not forgetting that the only person who had access to Hanratty's dirty linen was France himself and his wife Charlotte who did Hanratty's washing for him.
Wrong. You are forgetting Anderson, a bag of Hanratty's clothing was taken as evidence from her flat.

Besides this bunch of reprobates the Rhyl witnesses all seem like regular and exemplary pillars of the community!
...as long as you don't include Evans\Star and White.

KR,
Vic.

Victor
06-18-2014, 03:39 AM
Hi Spitfire-well I take your point but it does need to be remembered that the witnesses for the prosecution were very flawed characters indeed and that this is a major part of the reason the case has gone on so long and has been such a cause celebre.

It does need to be remembered that the (witnesses for the prosecution) DEFENDANT was a very flawed character indeed.

There FTFY - Fixed That For You.

KR,
Vic

Natalie Severn
06-18-2014, 03:48 AM
Hi Nats,

We know Hanratty hung around with dodgy Liverpudlians because he tried to get a false alibi with 3 of them. They refused to get personally involved so reasonably could have offered Hanratty the sweetshop alibi instead.

VR,
Vic.

but the logistics of this are all impossibly strained because it would amount to Hanratty not only being 'overcome' by his lust murder fantasies about Valerie Storie but also planning his 'lust' murder ahead of 22nd August 1961 with one of these men from Liverpool who would be taught by him to try to impersonate his London accent but it coming out in a Scottish/Welsh gobbledegook ---no wonder Mrs Dinwoody went off sick soon after !The gunman meanwhile was beginning to get himself steamed up like a kettle for his imagined tryst in a Cornfield in Dorney Reach where he waved his gun about like a cowboy while at the same time holding back his explosion of steam by gabbing non stop for five hours .......it doesn't make sense yet in essence its what they expected people to accept as their theory about the crime.

Victor
06-18-2014, 03:50 AM
Hi Nats,

Gut, the victims ID today would be unacceptable in a court of law because Valerie Storie "identified "Michael Clark" as the A6 murderer a RAF airman in an ID parade of September 24th -just a few weeks before.

Gosh I'm shocked, procedures have improved and if it was done today the result would be different. The entire process would be different and Valerie would be given different instructions regarding the ID parade, I resent your attempts to smear the surviving VICTIM here, so much for justice.

KR,
Vic.

Natalie Severn
06-18-2014, 04:03 AM
Hi Nats,

France a petty criminal who killed himself because Hanratty had dragged him from the little league into the serious, vicious, nasty big boys game.
KR,
Vic.

Oh p-l-e-a-s-e! France was a bouncer--the gun handler at the Rehearsal Club! He worked there every night---through the night.

Mrs Roberts owned the Rehearsal Club where France had been a bouncer---or 'doorman' if you prefer euphemisms.

The Sunday Times of 18th December 1966 reported this same Mrs Roberts as saying of James Hanratty :

""He [Hanratty] was so quiet and polite....he was naive you know , and people would take liberties with him.

If anyone knew the ropes in the Rehearsal Club -frequented by gangsters ,some big time ones too apparently -it was France-not Hanratty ,Victor.

Victor
06-18-2014, 04:03 AM
Hi Nats,

but the logistics of this are all impossibly strained
Only if you keep building dodgy strawmen in the way.

because it would amount to Hanratty not only being 'overcome' by his lust murder fantasies
- this isn't needed at all.

but also planning his 'lust' murder ahead of 22nd August 1961
- neither is this.

one of these men from Liverpool who would be taught by him to try to impersonate his London accent
- and it's a hat-trick of unnecessary requirements!

The gunman meanwhile was beginning to get himself steamed up like a kettle for his imagined tryst
- and that makes 4!

he waved his gun about like a cowboy while at the same time holding back his explosion of steam by gabbing non stop for five hours
- number 5 in the list of imaginary roadblocks...

it doesn't make sense yet in essence its what they expected people to accept as their theory about the crime.
Did you read what I wrote at all? You quoted it...

We know Hanratty hung around with dodgy Liverpudlians because he tried to get a false alibi with 3 of them. They refused to get personally involved so reasonably could have offered Hanratty the sweetshop alibi instead.
2 sentences. The first sentence and the first half of the second are undisputed facts. The last bit is my speculation, and is completely unrelated to your entire post.

3 dodgy Liverpudlians brought into the situation because of Hanratty's dodgy associations AGAIN. Who hang around with other dodgy characters, anyone of whom could easily have said something like "Well I'm not giving evidence that you were with us, but I can tell you I went into a sweetshop on Scotland Road to ask directions for Carleton Street, so maybe you can use that."

KR,
Vic.

GUT
06-18-2014, 04:08 AM
Why would anyone be surprised at dodgy characters being witnesses [for defence or prosecution] in a criminal trial?

Victor
06-18-2014, 04:10 AM
France was a bouncer--the gun handler at the Rehearsal Club! He worked there every night---through the night.

So what was France's criminal record like? You know, some actual real evidence!

The Sunday Times of 18th December 1966 reported this same Mrs Roberts as saying of James Hanratty :

He [Hanratty] was so quiet and polite....he was naive you know , and people would take liberties with him.
And of course we have evidence here too - Hanratty's criminal record - the unrepentant and pretty incompetent (judging from the number of times he was caught) house-breaker and seasoned carjacker. Ah, so sweet and cute and cuddly and "not innocent"* !

KR,
Vic.

* Hanratty's words from the trial.

Victor
06-18-2014, 04:12 AM
Why would anyone be surprised at dodgy characters being witnesses [for defence or prosecution] in a criminal trial?

Hey GUT,

I'm totally unsurprised too, but then that's really a question for Natalie to answer, as she's the one throwing mud around hoping that some of it will stick.

KR,
Vic.

Natalie Severn
06-18-2014, 04:20 AM
Hi Nats,

Gosh I'm shocked, procedures have improved and if it was done today the result would be different. The entire process would be different and Valerie would be given different instructions regarding the ID parade, I resent your attempts to smear the surviving VICTIM here, so much for justice.

KR,
Vic.

I am sorry, Victor.I am not trying to 'smear' Valerie, the surviving victim.Valerie has always appeared to me to have suffered terribly from this horrendous crime. Clearly she did her best to cooperate in every way she could with the prosecution and sincerely believed she had identified the right man.Her life was in ruins when only a young attractive 23 year old girl with the whole world in front of her. My apologies if you are offended on Valerie's behalf and I accept what you have written above. Norma
think I will leave it at that for today.

Spitfire
06-18-2014, 04:20 AM
Hi Spitfire,

Things to add in are:-
1. Meeting Charlie White the paper seller at the bus station.
2. Hunting for "John" (Terry Evans \ Star) and not finding him, despite having previously slept the night at his house.

Have you seen this site? http://pemmusing.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/the-a6-bedfordshire-murder/

The chronology seems fairly accurate.

KR,
Vic.

Thanks for that, I have not seen this before.

I am not sure how accurate it is regarding the timeline of the events with which I am presently concerned. Mr Magee says that

"Hanratty now said he had travelled to Rhyl by coach arriving there at approximately 7:30 p.m."

I think everyone assumes that Hanratty must have gone to Rhyl on the 6 pm bus from Liverpool which arrived at 8.19 pm (scheduled) of 8.17pm if early.

To arrive at 7.30pm Hanratty would have had to have caught a bus which would have left Liverpool at no later than 5.10pm. We do not know if such a bus existed, and if it did, would this have given Hanratty the time required to do all he said he did in Liverpool?

The other point which occurs to me concerns Robert Kempt of the billiard hall, who said it was his practice to take his early evening smoke at between 6.00pm and 7,30pm. If he had stuck to these times on the evening of 22 August then there would not have been the opportunity for Hanratty to do what he said he did at the billiard hall AND catch the bus, whether it be at 5.10pm or 6.00pm.

GUT
06-18-2014, 04:29 AM
I think smeer is a bit harsh for what Natalie is trying to get across.

The ID parade does appear to have been a bit of a dog's breakfast by today's standards.

But it is grossly unfair to judge by today's standards.

Graham
06-18-2014, 04:37 AM
Hi Nats,

Oh p-l-e-a-s-e! France was a bouncer--the gun handler at the Rehearsal Club! He worked there every night---through the night.

In fact Dixie France was "manager" of The Harmony Cafe in Archer Street, a real dive which attracted various low life and was also well-known as a place where modern-jazz musicians met. Dixie was well-known for keeping a selection of weapons under the counter in case of trouble, but I'm not sure if this selection included a gun. I don't think he was employed by The Rehearsal Club, but was definitely something of a regular there. One of Dixie's previous convictions is listed as "unlawful possession of an overcoat", which for some reason I find funny!

Graham

Derrick
06-18-2014, 04:38 AM
...Wrong. You are forgetting Anderson, a bag of Hanratty's clothing was taken as evidence from her flat...

Hanratty left 2 suitcases at Anderson's flat after he had returned from Ireland on or around the 9th September, some 16, or so, days after the gun was found on the bus. So your point is completely irrelevant, except for the fact that Hanratty told Acott almost immediately where to collect them from during his second telephone call on 6th of October, 5 days before he was even arrested.

HTH
Del

Graham
06-18-2014, 04:41 AM
With regard to the ID parades and Valerie's ultimate identification of Hanratty as the man who killed Michael Gregsten and raped and shot her, unsatisfactory though they may have been by modern standards, Hanratty's defence team didn't mount a challenge, and the trial judge made no remark concerning it. And of course the jury accepted Valerie's identification of Hanratty.

Graham

Victor
06-18-2014, 04:56 AM
I am sorry, Victor.I am not trying to 'smear' Valerie, the surviving victim.

Thank you for the apology. On second thoughts, I would characterise this as unintentional "splash-damage" rather than "smearing".

KR,
Vic.

Victor
06-18-2014, 04:59 AM
Hi Del,

Hanratty left 2 suitcases at Anderson's flat after he had returned from Ireland on or around the 9th September, some 16, or so, days after the gun was found on the bus. So your point is completely irrelevant,

"Completely irrelevant"? "Clearly demonstrated precedent" is more accurate.

KR,
Vic.

Natalie Severn
06-19-2014, 02:12 AM
So what was France's criminal record like? You know, some actual real evidence!
KR,
Vic.

* Hanratty's words from the trial.

Thankyou Graham for the information you posted.

Here is some specific detail of the evidence asked by Victor re Charles France. France's original name was Charles Frederick Franz [a surname he anglicized to France].Louis Blom-Cooper was at a loss to understand why it was that Charles France,had this 'overweening guilt complex' and he asks,"Did France ,in fact, play some part in the events which led to the A6 killing?

Charles "Dixie' France:-

By the time James Hanratty was born in 1937 Charles 'Dixie' France had acquired 5 criminal convictions :two for larceny,one for selling fruit in a restricted place,one for being in unlawful possession of an overcoat and one for stealing lead from the roof of a block of unoccupied dwellings.*
During his twenties in WW2 he collected six further convictions, two for theft and three for ' frequenting a common gaming house'.There were additionally three post war convictions all for gambling offences.

Victor ,regarding your post accusing me of 'smearing Valerie' I was simply quoting a legal expert analysing Valerie's entire testimony; Louis Blom-Cooper Blom -Cooper was in fact a distinguished barrister and legal commentator and he impugned the entirety of her testimony .Blom-Cooper analysed a number of points of evidence,demonstrating for example how totally ludicrous the 'roadworks' evidence was and stating,crucially ,that "Once Storie's evidence was discounted,[B]the only other evidence was Langdale's-[who was a notorious prison grass.]*-from Bob Woffinden,Hanratty :The Final Verdict.

PS Can we now have some 'concrete' evidence about Hanratty's role in the A6 murder rather than repeatedly smearing him and presenting us with your own prejudices and value judgements.

Spitfire
06-19-2014, 02:33 AM
I am afraid that you can't simply discount the evidence which you find inconvenient. The jury heard that evidence and believed it was credible. They also heard the evidence of Mrs Jones and Hanratty and decided that it was not credible.

I am keen to know why Matthews was certain to that Hanratty was innocent, to the extent that non only had the prosecution not proved its case, but that on the balance of probabilities, Hanratty had not committed the crime.

I have given a timeline above which shows that the witnesses (Larman, Walker and Vincent) could have seen Hanratty in Rhyl at about 8.30 pm on 22 August 1961. It is true that there are gaps and inconsistencies as to time, but the basis of an alibi is there.

The question then arises as to why did Sherrard not seek to use this evidence at the appeal? Sherrard was in a better position than Matthews to analyse the evidence, as he had access to the direct instructions of Hanratty. Yet he chose not to call any fresh evidence at the appeal. Why? Had Hanratty given instructions which were manifestly at odds with the putative evidence of Larman, Walker and Vincent? Had Sherrard become mentally scarred with the ordeal of Mrs Jones? Did Sherrard come to the conclusion after Mrs Jones's disaster in the witness box, that Hanratty had not spent the nights of 22 and 23 August in Rhyl?

Natalie Severn
06-19-2014, 02:52 AM
John Kerr, the very first witness to speak to Valerie Storie at the scene has always insisted that Valerie had said "We picked up a man near Slough " and :"He had big staring eyes, fairish brown hair,slightly taller than I am five foot three and a half inches."
Michael Clark who Valerie picked out as the A6 killer on the first ID parade stood 5 feet 9 inches tall ,[same height as Alphon who Valerie said she thought Michael Clark ' looked like' ] was 'well built' and had 'mousey brown hair' .
James Hanratty who Valerie picked out the second time round on an ID parade stood 5 feet 7 and a half tall and had dyed black hair that was going streaky on 22nd August.

So the first 'witness' who spoke to Valerie herself, although very briefly only partly corroborated Valerie's later accounts.

Natalie Severn
06-19-2014, 02:55 AM
re The Rhyl bus---there was only one bus that went from Liverpool to Rhyl in the evening and it went from Liverpool Lime Street Station in 1961.

NickB
06-19-2014, 03:05 AM
Had Hanratty given instructions which were manifestly at odds with the putative evidence of Larman, Walker and Vincent?

Yes.

In a letter to the Sunday Times on 30-Sep-68 Sherrard gave the reasons why “there was no point in seeking to rely on the evidence of Mr Larman, Mrs Walker and Mrs Vincent” at the Appeal.

1. Mutually contradictory features in the witness statements.
2. Contradictions between the witness statements and evidence already given by Hanratty.
3. “The witness statements in other respects did not find support from Hanratty himself.”

Even if you say Sherrard was mistaken about the contradictions in points 1 and 2, you cannot argue with him about point 3.

Natalie Severn
06-19-2014, 03:07 AM
I am afraid that you can't simply discount the evidence which you find inconvenient.





What on earth are you on about here Spitfire?

Lets be quite clear.[B]I am quoting Louis Blom- Cooper who as a trained barrister analysed, in 1963 , the entire trial transcript and discovered many inconsistencies in the evidence .Of crucial importance to him was Valerie's evidence ,whose sole account of what happened was never corroborated by anyone . This is NOT to say Valerie was making things up or lying AT ALL. In America Psychiatrists and legal experts in past twenty years have profoundly affected legal procedure regarding victim's eye identification and memory loss+ flash back inaccuracies ,particularly when that victim has been as severely traumatised as Valerie undoubtedly was.Why not look it up on the net?

Natalie Severn
06-19-2014, 03:20 AM
Yes.


Even if you say Sherrard was mistaken about the contradictions in points 1 and 2, you cannot argue with him about point 3.

Nick,Hanratty knew nothing whatever about Trevor Dutton's evidence whose written witness statement ,made to Abergele Police on February 9th while trial was still in progress and forwarded to Acott in the last days of the trial but was never received by Sherrard or seen by him until Paul Foot got onto it.
Regarding Mrs Walker Sherrard according to Kleinman discounted her evidence at the final hour because of inconsistencies of timings [the 7.30 issue] which in my view was horrendous.Had he thoroughly analysed and investigated Mrs Walker's statement a propos of time , he would have seen the inconsistency in the street lamps coming on at 8.50 when she saw him and Margaret Walker's recollection of that event ,six months later as being 'around 7.30.As it was Sherrard apparently warned Hanratty not to 'go there' because neither she or Ivy Vincent or Christopher Larman could have seen him at 7.30

NickB
06-19-2014, 07:34 AM
Nick, Hanratty knew nothing whatever about Trevor Dutton's evidence

If Trevor Dutton’s evidence was significant, do you know why it wasn’t submitted for consideration by the Appellant in the 2002 Appeal?

Sherrard talks about the timing contradictions then says “the witness statements in other respects did not find support from Hanratty”, so he is referring to issues other than the timing.

Incidentally, something that strikes me about the papers you obtained is that Hanratty gave details about the Rhyl Alibi on 29 January 1962, and signed his instructions about it on that date. But Sherrard did not disclose the Rhyl Alibi to the police or the court until 4.30pm on 6 February – 8 days later.

Natalie Severn
06-19-2014, 09:56 AM
If Trevor Dutton’s evidence was significant, do you know why it wasn’t submitted for consideration by the Appellant in the 2002 Appeal?

Sherrard talks about the timing contradictions then says “the witness statements in other respects did not find support from Hanratty”, so he is referring to issues other than the timing.

Incidentally, something that strikes me about the papers you obtained is that Hanratty gave details about the Rhyl Alibi on 29 January 1962, and signed his instructions about it on that date. But Sherrard did not disclose the Rhyl Alibi to the police or the court until 4.30pm on 6 February – 8 days later.

You raise some excellent points Nick.Are you certain Sherrard did not disclose the alibi before 4.30 pm on 8th February?

re The Trevor Dutton evidence ;it was never even presented by Det Supt. Douglas Nimmo when he wrote up the report of his 1967 findings because he had never interviewed him - the reason why not being known .But his testimony was never given any serious consideration by the prosecution from the start [Nimmo didn't interview Christopher Larman either who was in New Zealand] . It has been noted that there were 19 names and addresses presented in all after 6th February 1962 as witnesses but Nimmo only took the trouble to interview 8 of these and according to Bob Woffinden there is no way of knowing from Nimmo's report exactly when all these names supplied to the defence were made e.g. were they all or most of them supplied while the trial was in progress for example ?
Returning to Trevor Dutton: Prime Minister Callaghan responded to a letter from Mr and Mrs Hanratty some time in 1967 or 1968 after Mr Dutton's 1961 statement to Abergele police became known, to say that[he is ignoring it basically ] as their 'son's evidence at the trial 'did not include any reference to an attempt to sell a gold watch in Rhyl it could not be considered " -and he adds a few more words along the lines of there being no reliable means of identification made by Mr Dutton anyway.
The point I would make here is that James Hanratty knew nothing whatever about Trevor Dutton's statement of 9th February to Abergele police and neither did Michael Sherrard because it was never passed on to him [he said ] so Hanratty could hardly have commented on it could he? He was also warned about the Rhyl witnesses Walker, Vincent and Larman since Sherrard was wary of their statements with regard to the 7.30 timings though he did submit their names to the Home Secretary 3 weeks before Hanratty was executed but no inquiry was ever made by any policeman or Home Office personnel of these three people to see whether their testimony,individually or collectively could substantiate the alibi.

Derrick
06-19-2014, 10:16 AM
...Christopher Larman either who was in New Zealand]...Prime Minister Callaghan responded to a letter from Mr and Mrs Hanratty some time in 1967 or 1968...

Norma
It might help your case somewhat if you actually got the basic facts right on a regular basis.
Larman was in Australia and Harold Wilson was Prime Minister in 1967/8.

HTH
Del Boy

Natalie Severn
06-19-2014, 10:53 AM
Derrick -Yes indeed working on much of this from memory ....Larman was indeed in Australia and not in New Zealand and Callaghan was Home Secretary...not Prime Minister.
Massive case this and everything does need to be double checked.I noticed myself in another book on the case that Louis Blom -Cooper in fact changed his mind several times about his belief in Hanratty's innocence.For example in 1997 he had reverted back again to believing he had committed the crime.
Norma

NickB
06-19-2014, 11:36 AM
Are you certain Sherrard did not disclose the alibi before 4.30 pm on 8th February?

I presume you mean 6 February.

From the 2002 Appeal:
The Rhyl Alibi “only came to the attention of the police on 6 February, the twelfth day of the trial, when Mr Sherrard opened the defence case.”

From the trial, 7 February:
Swanwick - You had, until 4.30 yesterday afternoon, led the prosecution on a wild goose chase?
Hanratty - Yes, sir, yes.
Swanwick - By telling a pack of lies, firstly to Mr Acott, about the three men?
Hanratty - That’s right, sir.
Swanwick - All lies?
Hanratty - That’s right, sir, yes.


as their son's evidence at the trial did not include any reference to an attempt to sell a gold watch in Rhyl it could not be considered

I don’t know how reliable this (http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Lawyers+launch+new+bid+to+clear+Hanratty's+name%3B +Court+of+Appeal...-a084791636) report is but it says “Hanratty said he remembered trying to sell a watch to a well built man in [the] High Street.”

Spitfire
06-19-2014, 12:12 PM
I don't think that there was anything sinister in the delay in announcing what James Hanratty's true alibi was.

It is true that the defence only found out that Hanratty had changed his alibi on the 29 January, but that fact was only announced when Michael Sherrard began his opening speech for the defence on 6 February, 8 days later. At that time there was no obligation on a defendant to give particulars of his alibi. Obviously evidence given in the witness box which was inconsistent with previous statements given to the police would tell against the defendant. But the police would not have been in a position to interview James Hanratty had they been given advance notice as to the exact particulars of the alibi.

It seems that it was only on 6 February that Mrs Grace Jones had been located by the Hanratty's investigators. It would be interesting to know if Mr Sherrard had notice that Mrs Jones had been located when he began his speech for the defence.

Natalie Severn
06-19-2014, 02:49 PM
Grateful for the link to that article Nick but I think the bit about Hanratty describing Dutton must be incorrect . However tomorrow I will try to find Sherrard's statement in which he says something along the lines of being as certain as he could be that he had not ever been shown Mr Dutton's statement.
[Sorry but I have had severe hay fever today and the antihistamines I take for it are not helping my concentration- need to get some sleep actually].
Best Norma

Natalie Severn
06-19-2014, 03:15 PM
Spitfire -I need a bit more information.Yes, as you say ,both defence and prosecution were presumably seeking out witnesses in Rhyl after 29th January .Cheers N

NickB
06-19-2014, 04:56 PM
Defence investigators went to Rhyl after his photo taken on the 5th.

Natalie Severn
06-20-2014, 01:10 AM
Hi Nats,



In fact Dixie France was "manager" of The Harmony Cafe in Archer Street, a real dive which attracted various low life and was also well-known as a place where modern-jazz musicians met. Dixie was well-known for keeping a selection of weapons under the counter in case of trouble, but I'm not sure if this selection included a gun. I don't think he was employed by The Rehearsal Club, but was definitely something of a regular there. One of Dixie's previous convictions is listed as "unlawful possession of an overcoat", which for some reason I find funny!

Graham

Thanks Graham,
As you see Paul Foot has him having lost his job as a 'Doorman" at the Rehearsal Club on Page 146 of his book ,"Who Killed Hanratty?"

Natalie Severn
06-20-2014, 02:55 AM
The earlier reference I posted [now on previous page ] mentioning that France had been sacked as a 'doorman' at the Rehearsal Club and also had connections to the 'Billiard Hall' in Great Windmill Street doing 'marking ' there is significant[also Page 146 of Foot] .
Great Windmill Street Billiard Hall was quite notorious for attracting big shot gangsters .It was run by Jack Solomon the boxing promoter who 'marked Bob Monkhouse's card ' [see page 179 Chapter 14 "Those were the Krays" in James Morton's book , "Gangland Soho'.See also "Crying with Laughter" by Bob Monkhouse page 133.
Gangland Soho in particular gives some background to Solomon's Gym with its Billiard Hall in Great Windmill Street and the characters who frequented in in the late 1950's and early 1960's and by default who France was 'mingling' with when 'marking' there in 1961.The Rehearsal Club itself is across the street-not even 2 minutes away.
Image below is from page 146 of Foot's book on the A6

Natalie Severn
06-20-2014, 03:01 AM
Defence investigators went to Rhyl after his photo taken on the 5th.
Then you are absolutely right.So why there was such a delay?

Natalie Severn
06-20-2014, 03:07 AM
Does anyone have a link to a text [ possibly in a the newspaper article or magazine] stating that William Ewer had business connections with Louise Anderson's shop in Soho ?

Victor
06-20-2014, 03:36 AM
Hi Nats,

Victor ,regarding your post accusing me of 'smearing Valerie' I was simply quoting a legal expert analysing Valerie's entire testimony; Louis Blom-Cooper Blom -Cooper was in fact a distinguished barrister and legal commentator and he impugned the entirety of her testimony .Blom-Cooper analysed a number of points of evidence,demonstrating for example how totally ludicrous the 'roadworks' evidence was and stating,crucially ,that "Once Storie's evidence was discounted,the only other evidence was Langdale's-[who was a notorious prison grass.]*-from Bob Woffinden,Hanratty :The Final Verdict.
I've got Blom-Cooper's book, which basically says the trial wasn't as clear and straightforward as it should have been, but the result was correct. LBC did flip-flop from guilty to innocent (with Foot's book) and back quite a lot.

And I did correct the "smearing" suggestion to "unintentional splash-damage".

Can we now have some 'concrete' evidence about Hanratty's role in the A6 murder rather than repeatedly smearing him and presenting us with your own prejudices and value judgements.
Well for a start, even Del-boy accepts that Hanratty blew his nose on the handkerchief that was discovered wrapped around the murder weapon. Several witnesses (including the victim) positively identified him. He stayed the night in the hotel room where cartridge cases from the murder weapon were found. He has no alibi that stands up to scrutiny. And his ejaculate was found in the victim's underwear.

KR,
Vic.

Victor
06-20-2014, 03:44 AM
Of crucial importance to him [LBC] was Valerie's evidence ,whose sole account of what happened was never corroborated by anyone.

Hi Nats,

Well that's only true in the sense that her entire account was not corroborated, but large chunks of it have been.

She was shot 5 times.
She was raped (ejaculate was found in her underwear).
Gregsten was shot dead.

I doubt you'll find anyone who was the sole survivor after being taken hostage in a rural area, whose entire account is corroborated.

KR,
Vic.

Natalie Severn
06-20-2014, 03:50 AM
Hi Nats


Well for a start, even Del-boy accepts that Hanratty blew his nose on the handkerchief that was discovered wrapped around the murder weapon. Several witnesses (including the victim) positively identified him. He stayed the night in the hotel room where cartridge cases from the murder weapon were found. He has no alibi that stands up to scrutiny. And his ejaculate was found in the victim's underwear.

KR,
Vic.

Hi Vic,
Only your final point still needs to be explained.The rest is disputed and/or circumstantial-not concrete.

Victor
06-20-2014, 03:53 AM
...France had been sacked as a 'doorman' at the Rehearsal Club and also had connections to the 'Billiard Hall' in Great Windmill Street doing 'marking ' there is significant[also Page 146 of Foot] .

Hi Nats,

What are you attempting to do here? Dixie and Hanratty were close friends and associates. If you trying to make Dixie out to be more than a small time crook, then Hanratty gets tarred with the same brush. "Sauce for the goose" &tc.

KR,
Vic.

Natalie Severn
06-20-2014, 03:58 AM
Hi Nats,

Well that's only true in the sense that her entire account was not corroborated, but large chunks of it have been.

She was shot 5 times.
She was raped (ejaculate was found in her underwear).
Gregsten was shot dead.

I doubt you'll find anyone who was the sole survivor after being taken hostage in a rural area, whose entire account is corroborated.

KR,
Vic.

All true-but none of this is concrete proof that Hanratty had anything to do with it---let alone was the murderer .
Contamination , even back in 2002, was a recognised possibility.Today the DNA LCN testing of 2002 and its reliability is becoming a different story entirely .

Natalie Severn
06-20-2014, 04:02 AM
Hi Nats,

What are you attempting to do here? Dixie and Hanratty were close friends and associates. If you trying to make Dixie out to be more than a small time crook, then Hanratty gets tarred with the same brush. "Sauce for the goose" &tc.

KR,
Vic.

We know Hanratty was a small time crook but you appeared to implying the other day that France was not.

Victor
06-20-2014, 04:19 AM
We know Hanratty was a small time crook but you appeared to implying the other day that France was not.

Sorry Nats, you can go back and read what I said in post #177...
France a petty criminal who killed himself because Hanratty had dragged him from the little league into the serious, vicious, nasty big boys game.

I asked for evidence that France was anything more than a small time crook. You appeared to be saying France was bigger-time than Hanratty, when the opposite seems to be the case.

KR,
Vic.

Victor
06-20-2014, 04:37 AM
All true-but none of this is concrete proof that Hanratty had anything to do with it---let alone was the murderer .

Hi Nats,

LBC thinks it "of crucial importance" that the evidence of the sole survivor of a rural hostage taking lacks corroboration.

I say it's entirely expected, and attempts to cast doubt on the victim's account because of this are unwarranted.

Contamination , even back in 2002, was a recognised possibility.
A possibility yes, but a very implausible one given the results obtained. One-in-a-billion is a possibility and also a quantified probability.

Today the DNA LCN testing of 2002 and its reliability is becoming a different story entirely .
Yes, it's established fact that legally speaking it's reliable.

The Court rejects the possibility of contamination and accepted the prosecution’s submission that the DNA evidence, standing alone was, in fact, certain proof of James Hanratty’s guilt.

KR,
Vic.

Victor
06-20-2014, 04:40 AM
Hi Vic,
Only your final point still needs to be explained.The rest is disputed and/or circumstantial-not concrete.

I counter with...
The DNA evidence does not “stand alone” and the Court refers to some of the more striking coincidences in the light of the DNA evidence if James Hanratty was not guilty. He would have been wrongly identified by three witnesses at identification parades; first as the person at the scene of the crime and secondly (by two witnesses) driving a vehicle close to where the vehicle in which the murder was committed was found. He had the same identifying manner of speech as the killer. He stayed in a room the night before the crime from which bullets that had been fired from the murder weapon were recovered. The murder weapon was recovered from a place on a bus which he regarded as a hiding place and the bus followed a route he could well have used. His DNA was found on a piece of material from Valerie Storie’s knickers where it would be expected to be if he was guilty; it was also found on the handkerchief found with the gun. The Court concludes that this number of alleged coincidences mean that they are not coincidences but provide overwhelming proof of the safety of the conviction from an evidential perspective.

KR,
Vic.

Victor
06-20-2014, 04:48 AM
Does anyone have a link to a text [ possibly in a the newspaper article or magazine] stating that William Ewer had business connections with Louise Anderson's shop in Soho ?

Hi Nats,

There's Ewer's "15 point statement for The Sunday Times" in response to "She saw him at the cleaners" where he specifically denies any business connections. I think it's from 1971.

KR,
Vic.

NickB
06-20-2014, 05:03 AM
he specifically denies any business connections.

In fact Ewer said he didn't even know her (post 87) but Anderson contradicted this when they interviewed her.

The police interview with Ewer as a result of this article is at the National Archives (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C11542759). A poster here made an official application for it and was refused.

Natalie Severn
06-20-2014, 05:49 AM
In fact Ewer said he didn't even know her (post 87) but Anderson contradicted this when they interviewed her.

The police interview with Ewer as a result of this article is at the National Archives (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C11542759). A poster here made an official application for it and was refused.

Thanks for this information Nick-its not what I was thinking of-but I am in fact quite gobsmacked that it won't be available for another 60+ years

Do you or anyone here have any idea why this is so ?

Natalie Severn
06-20-2014, 06:22 AM
I counter with...
The DNA evidence does not “stand alone” and the Court refers to some of the more striking coincidences in the light of the DNA evidence if James Hanratty was not guilty. He would have been wrongly identified by three witnesses at identification parades; first as the person at the scene of the crime and secondly (by two witnesses) driving a vehicle close to where the vehicle in which the murder was committed was found. He had the same identifying manner of speech as the killer. He stayed in a room the night before the crime from which bullets that had been fired from the murder weapon were recovered. The murder weapon was recovered from a place on a bus which he regarded as a hiding place and the bus followed a route he could well have used. His DNA was found on a piece of material from Valerie Storie’s knickers where it would be expected to be if he was guilty; it was also found on the handkerchief found with the gun. The Court concludes that this number of alleged coincidences mean that they are not coincidences but provide overwhelming proof of the safety of the conviction from an evidential perspective.


KR,
Vic.

Yes I am aware of what the appeal judges decided and I also respect and understand your own and other people's reluctance to call Valerie's account into question both back in 1963 by Louis Blom-Cooper and today . But this was only one aspect of the case that was called into question and the wording of the conclusion of Judges Woolf, Mantell and Leveson very much contradicted the findings of Detective Chief Superintendent Roger Matthews whose team of twenty Scotland Yard detectives and personnel had studied all the evidence over a period of a year in 1996. Their conclusion found additional support from Baden Skitt ,Chief Constable of Hertfordshire , who was directed by the Home Office to chair the Criminal Cases Review Committee which recommended the case should be returned to the appeal courts .

Sherlock Houses
06-20-2014, 06:40 AM
Thanks for this information Nick-its not what I was thinking of-but I am in fact quite gobsmacked that it won't be available for another 60+ years

Do you or anyone here have any idea why this is so ?

Not quite 60+ years, just a mere 26 years. No doubt done in the interests of National Security, haha. The Freedom of Information Act is an absolute joke, I know from personal experience.

We are living in a fast becoming totalitarian state.

Natalie Severn
06-20-2014, 06:53 AM
26 years -but 66 years from the ruling taking us back to 1973 approx.Hawser? A real rigmarole of a report ---in one instance implying Mrs Jones was some buxom blonde !!!-[conjuring up images of a blond floozie ---anyone less like that would be hard to imagine with her coat, hat and handbag epitomising Northern working class respectability.....]

Derrick
06-21-2014, 10:14 AM
...and Callaghan was Home Secretary...not Prime Minister...

Norma

In addition, I'm not quite sure what James Callaghan has to do with all of this. If you are referring to the Home Secretary who received the Nimmo report then that was actually Roy Jenkins.

Nimmo reported his findings on 22nd March 1967. Callaghan was at that time Chancellor of the Exchequer until November 30th that year.

HTH
Del

Natalie Severn
06-21-2014, 10:45 AM
Norma

In addition, I'm not quite sure what James Callaghan has to do with all of this. If you are referring to the Home Secretary who received the Nimmo report then that was actually Roy Jenkins.

Nimmo reported his findings on 22nd March 1967. Callaghan was at that time Chancellor of the Exchequer until November 30th that year.

HTH
Del

Derrick-this is the reference that I took from Bob Woffinden's book.

Spitfire
06-22-2014, 12:17 AM
Not sure what this has to do with the Matthews report. It seems to concern the events of 1968 and the then Home Secretary's decision not to order a further inquiry into the reasons why Dutton's statement or existence was not disclosed to the defence.

As has been stated above, the 'Dutton point' was not taken by Hanratty's family's counsel in the 2002 appeal, where many wide ranging points were taken. This would seem to suggest that the Jim Callaghan or his department had got it right, or am I missing something? Did Matthews address the Dutton point in his report? If not, what has Dutton got to do with Matthews? Please clarify.

Derrick
06-22-2014, 05:57 AM
Derrick-this is the reference that I took from Bob Woffinden's book.

Well? That would have been 1968 then.

Sherlock Houses
06-22-2014, 12:34 PM
Not sure what this has to do with the Matthews report. It seems to concern the events of 1968 and the then Home Secretary's decision not to order a further inquiry into the reasons why Dutton's statement or existence was not disclosed to the defence.

As has been stated above, the 'Dutton point' was not taken by Hanratty's family's counsel in the 2002 appeal, where many wide ranging points were taken. This would seem to suggest that the Jim Callaghan or his department had got it right, or am I missing something? Did Matthews address the Dutton point in his report? If not, what has Dutton got to do with Matthews? Please clarify.

A better question would be what have the last few dozen posts got to do with the Matthews Report ? The thread seems to have wandered completely off track.

Natalie Severn
06-22-2014, 02:31 PM
Apparently Roger Matthews concluded in 1996 -and I understand is still firmly convinced- that three people were involved in the A6 crime,one of whom drove the gunman to Dorney Reach.He arrived at this conclusion after a year's research helped by almost two dozen other detectives or similar personnel.When Baden Skitt was appointed chair of the CCRC responsible for recommending the case should go back to the Court of Appeal , he too was convinced after studying the Matthews report of James Hanratty's innocence and duly referred the case back to the Court of Appeal .Baden Skitt like Roger Matthews was an extremely high ranking policeman-and had been Chief Constable of Hertfordshire earlier in his career so he clearly wasn't making wild guesses.
Unfortunately we ourselves can only guess at what it was in that report that convinced both these experienced policemen that Hanratty was 'not only innocent but had nothing to do with the crime'.
A few ideas come to mind:
Is there something in the statement by William Ewer which provided clues and was this why it was sealed for 66 years in 1974 and is still not available to us for another 20 odd years ? Or was it just what happened when a newspaper was sued by a private citizen?
Paul Foot was absolutely convinced that many gaps would be filled if there was access to the unpublished statements and unsaid evidence under lock and key in the Home Office for 100 years -but which presumably Roger Matthews had access to? I suppose the public could press for 100.000 [is it?] on line signatures demanding a public inquiry which would be the only way in which they could be released.

Hatchett
06-22-2014, 04:12 PM
Hi,

The theory of the three conspirators is intruiging.

If three were involved you would expect there to be a definate motive, and some sort of monetary payment.

Have you any views on that?

Best wishes.

Sherlock Houses
06-22-2014, 04:37 PM
Baden Skitt like Roger Matthews was an extremely high ranking policeman-and had been Chief Constable of Hertfordshire earlier in his career so he clearly wasn't making wild guesses.


Roger Matthews was indeed a very high ranking police officer [no less than a Detective Chief Superintendent in fact]. By all accounts his investigation into the case was no superficial one but a very thorough and exhaustive affair lasting 18 months. He had access to tons of police A6 murder files, but very possibly not all of them. It would seem he and his team approached their searching inquiry with a commendably open mind and were not to be swayed by whatever may have been contained within the two earlier Home Office reports. Their conclusion that James Hanratty was completely innocent of the A6 murder could not have been arrived at lightly. His report has not seen the light of day as of yet and one can but only speculate as to what evidence his investigative team uncovered which convinced them of Hanratty's innocence.

Mr Matthews comes across, to me at least, as a man of great integrity which is so refreshing to find considering the shocking amount of police corruption that has come to light and which is viewable online for any interested parties to see.

Derrick
06-23-2014, 07:21 AM
A better question would be what have the last few dozen posts got to do with the Matthews Report ? The thread seems to have wandered completely off track.

I agree, over 200 posts devoted to a report that nobody has seen is a little bit excessive...but threads do go off at a tangent very easily.

Victor
06-24-2014, 02:28 AM
Apparently Roger Matthews concluded in 1996 -and I understand is still firmly convinced- that three people were involved in the A6 crime,one of whom drove the gunman to Dorney Reach.

Hi Nats,

If the above is true then it must mean he had some extra evidence that we haven't seen, but from the first post we have...
(actually it's a quote in post#2 from Derrick, I can't find it in a quick scan of the long 1st post)

In truth, there was little in my confidential report that would not have been available to a committed investigator at any time during the past thirty-seven years.

...those 2 statements are mutually exclusive, so one of them is wrong, which one?

KR,
Vic.

Natalie Severn
06-24-2014, 06:08 AM
Victor, what if one of the three is still alive-or was in 1999? Its really no use guessing- Matthews is writing a book.Perhaps this will throw more light on his report.Apparently there is material in the report the powers that be don't want us to see....Why not?

NickB
06-24-2014, 06:21 AM
There are clues in what Matthews wrote indicating what new evidence he has.

“Gregsten wound [the window] down and was forced out of the car at gunpoint.”
He has a witness other than Valerie at the point of hold-up.

“Staff at the Maida Vale hotel said they had not seen Alphon on the crucial night.”
He has evidence that Nudds middle statement is the true one.

“[Hanratty] bore not the remotest resemblance to the man she had identified (wrongly, of course) at the Alphon parade.”
He found Michael Clark.

“[Valerie] was unable to visually identify any one.”
He has evidence to contradict Valerie’s contention.

“Hanratty was the only man on the parade born within a hundred miles of London!!”
He tracked down all id parade volunteers.

“The room [where the bullet cases were found] had been occupied on at least two occasions in the intervening period.”
He discovered a second occupant.

“[Skillet and Trower’s] evidence was totally unreliable – and was in fact rejected at the trial.”
He talked to a juror.

“[Hanratty’s] graphic description of the room [at Rhyl] he had occupied was quite extraordinarily accurate.”
He uncovered another description by Hanratty of the room.

Victor
06-25-2014, 02:16 AM
Hi Nick,

There are clues in what Matthews wrote indicating what new evidence he has.

How do your suggestions tally with the quote?
In truth, there was little in my confidential report that would not have been available to a committed investigator at any time during the past thirty-seven years.

Are you saying that if he has (to take your first example) located a new witness to the hold-up, that Foot could have (should have?) found them too?

KR,
Vic.

Victor
06-25-2014, 02:23 AM
Hi Nats,

Victor, what if one of the three is still alive-or was in 1999?
How is that relevant to whether the existing evidence is sufficient to conclude that 3 people colluded to abduct a couple in a Moggie in the middle of nowhere?

Perhaps this will throw more light on his report.Apparently there is material in the report the powers that be don't want us to see....Why not?
Again that seemingly contradicts the little extra evidence quote. I'm quite interested in what he has found though and look forward to the book.

KR,
Vic.

NickB
06-25-2014, 04:47 AM
Victor,

I am suggesting he should provide evidence of the sort I suggested to back up what he describes as the "facts". Otherwise it is just conjecture and opinion.

It looks like he simply supports the traditional Alphon theory.

An 'Independent' April 1997 article headed 'Hanratty case - police want to track killer' (claiming to use "police sources") says he:
“concluded the man who carried out the attack on 22 August l961 at Deadman's Hill, Bedfordshire, was probably hired to break up the illicit liaison. His report is believed to recommend that a new inquiry should in particular examine evidence regarding Peter Alphon, a salesman who was the original suspect.”

Derrick
06-25-2014, 07:48 AM
Victor,

I am suggesting he should provide evidence of the sort I suggested to back up what he describes as the "facts". Otherwise it is just conjecture and opinion.

It looks like he simply supports the traditional Alphon theory.

An 'Independent' April 1997 article headed 'Hanratty case - police want to track killer' (claiming to use "police sources") says he:
“concluded the man who carried out the attack on 22 August l961 at Deadman's Hill, Bedfordshire, was probably hired to break up the illicit liaison. His report is believed to recommend that a new inquiry should in particular examine evidence regarding Peter Alphon, a salesman who was the original suspect.”

That article is here http://www.independent.co.uk/news/hanratty-case-police-want-to-track-killer-1264556.html

I must say that it would be helpful in future if posters give precise references for the information that they quote, especially web based material in the form of a URL. It is what the web was built on after all:reading:

Del

NickB
06-25-2014, 08:31 AM
I must say that it would be helpful in future if posters give precise references for the information that they quote, especially web based material in the form of a URL. It is what the web was built on after all:reading:

I always do, and tried to in this case but the link wouldn't work.

NickB
06-25-2014, 09:14 AM
For anyone also unable to use the link above this link (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:kAVoJ6nOuWwJ:www.independent.co.uk/news/hanratty-case-police-want-to-track-killer-1264556.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk) may work.

Victor
06-25-2014, 09:20 AM
Hi Nick,
I am suggesting he should provide evidence of the sort I suggested to back up what he describes as the "facts". Otherwise it is just conjecture and opinion.
I'd go further, if he doesn't provide evidence of the sort you listed then it must be gross negligence and incompetence, and he should be dismissed as a serving police officer.

It looks like he simply supports the traditional Alphon theory.
Of gawd that old codswallop, if that's true then comments about his reputation are just a smearing of police integrity.

Kr,
Vic.

Derrick
06-25-2014, 09:50 AM
...
I'd go further, if he doesn't provide evidence of the sort you listed then it must be gross negligence and incompetence, and he should be dismissed as a serving police officer.

He is retired.

Of gawd that old codswallop, if that's true then comments about his reputation are just a smearing of police integrity.

What integrity? After Hillsborough, Lawrence and de Menezes do the police have any?

Del

Sherlock Houses
06-25-2014, 11:07 AM
What integrity? After Hillsborough, Lawrence and de Menezes do the police have any?
Del

I would guess very little.

For anyone on here naive enough to place their faith in the alleged integrity of our police force the following useful link might prove both shocking and enlightening.......


http://www.bentlawyersandcops.com/bent_cops_list.htm

Natalie Severn
06-25-2014, 11:44 AM
Victor,
Did you never wonder about the wording of number 128 of Lord Woolf's judgement? Viz- "By way of postscript we should record that it has been agreed by Mr Sweeney [Crown prosecution] and Mr Mansfield that in the evidence made available Peter Alphon could not have been the murderer.
It is understood that this agreement arose out of the DNA evidence

Why end the section on DNA evidence with such an insistence?