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Sherlock Houses
11-19-2014, 12:18 PM
The attack on Mrs Dalal around lunchtime on September 7th 1961 I find quite intriguing. It was a callous and violent attack and Mrs Dalal was very lucky to have survived it especially considering the fact that she was struck viciously by some hard object which might possibly have been a gun. This initial blow was to her left temple and was followed by two further blows to the head. Her assailant tied her hands behind her back, gagged her mouth and also tied her ankles together. He claimed to be the A6 murderer and demanded money from her. He may also have been intending to rape her when he turned her over onto her back and lifted up her skirt. He didn't do too good a job at binding her hands as Mrs Dalal was able to free them and fend off what would have been a fourth serious blow to her head. If his claim to have been the A6 murderer was merely an idle and boastful one it is more than a little uncanny that the attack should have closely resembled certain aspects of the A6 murder which had occurred just a fortnight before. Details which were known to very few people at the time.

The similarities were as follows :-

a. The unsuccessful binding of the women's hands.
b. Mrs Dalal's attacker hit her over the head with a hard object and according to Valerie Storie the A6 killer was considering hitting her over the head before deciding to shoot her.
c. The apparently token demand for money.
d. The likelihood of Mrs Dalal's attacker sexually assaulting her.

Just over a fortnight later, on the afternoon of September 23rd, Mrs Dalal attended an identity parade at Scotland Yard. On that parade was one certain Peter Louis Alphon [the darned man just won't go away no matter how much some people might will him away]. It was Alphon's second identity parade that day. Mrs Dalal felt too afraid to tap Alphon on the shoulder on the actual parade but told the police that she thought it was him [the second man from the left] who had been her attacker. The inspector who led the parade said she was "distressed and trembling".
Mrs Dalal's description of her attacker fitted Alphon in several respects. She said he had an oval face and dark brown hair which was plastered back. He was wearing a new coat, a light-coloured three-quarter-length mackintosh and had on a clean, white shirt without a tie.
It's rather interesting to note here that Alphon, who was very fond of wearing three-quarter-length raincoats, had bought a brand new raincoat less than a fortnight earlier on Friday, August 25th.

I've attached with this post a collage of 5 different Newspaper accounts of Mrs Dalal's trial evidence.

Amongst these reports there is a short 7 word sentence which might just be a pointer as to whether or not Alphon was Mrs Dalal's assailant.

Ed James
11-20-2014, 04:28 AM
Hi Sherlock

A brilliantly written and researched post.

Is the 7 word sentence 'He had dark brown hair plastered back'? I was also taken by the reference to the assailant talking all the time.

I have always thought that the alibi provided by the almanac folk was weak and mistaken , perhaps given because the persuasive Alphon said he was in a hole.

I never understood why Alphon disposed of his old three quarter length coat and bought a new one in summer.

regards

Ed

Sherlock Houses
11-20-2014, 08:32 AM
Hi Sherlock

A brilliantly written and researched post.

Is the 7 word sentence 'He had dark brown hair plastered back'? I was also taken by the reference to the assailant talking all the time.

I have always thought that the alibi provided by the almanac folk was weak and mistaken , perhaps given because the persuasive Alphon said he was in a hole.

I never understood why Alphon disposed of his old three quarter length coat and bought a new one in summer.

regards
Ed

Thank you for the kind comments Ed. I'd already submitted the post before realising that I'd omitted that reference to her attacker talking all the time. This was another characteristic he had in common with the A6 gunman.

The 7 word sentence I was musing about was "He kept his hands in his pockets". I'd completely overlooked this remark until fairly recently when I came upon several photographs of a certain party taken in 1962. I've attached them to this post, along with a 1991/92 still of the same person taken from Bob Woffinden's 1992 documentary about the A6 murder.

NickB
11-20-2014, 09:45 AM
I do not think that Alphon was the A6 murderer.

Apart from all the usual reasons given, Alphon had the speech characteristic of making the ‘w’ sound when trying to make the ‘r’ sound. I believe it is called rhotacism. After listening to the murderer for 6 hours or so, Valerie would have noticed if he had this characteristic which is not one you can disguise.

I think Alphon should have only been in an id parade for Dalal if Storie had already picked him out at her one because, as far as I am aware, he was only a suspect for the Dalal attack as a by-product of being the A6 suspect.

Graham
11-20-2014, 10:20 AM
I do not think that Alphon was the A6 murderer.

Apart from all the usual reasons given, Alphon had the speech characteristic of making the ‘w’ sound when trying to make the ‘r’ sound. I believe it is called rhotacism. After listening to the murderer for 6 hours or so, Valerie would have noticed if he had this characteristic which is not one you can disguise.

I think Alphon should have only been in an id parade for Dalal if Storie had already picked him out at her one because, as far as I am aware, he was only a suspect for the Dalal attack as a by-product of being the A6 suspect.

Quite correct on both counts, Nick. Alphon was an obvious choice as No 1 suspect for the A6, but as far as I'm concerned he proved his innocence by surrendering himself to Acott at Scotland Yard (after ensuring the morning papers the next day would run this story), and subsequently being placed on three i.d. parades. He said afterwards that the experience of being grilled by Acott and Oxford was awful.

Of course, once he'd been cleared following the i.d. parade before Valerie Storie, he was no longer an A6 suspect as far as the police were concerned, but they were still interested in him as a Dalal Assault suspect, and he was placed on a fourth parade where the two Almanac supply shop identified him and confirmed that he was with them at the time Mrs Dalal said she was attacked. He was bailed, and received a compensation payment from the magistrates.

As Mrs Dalal made a positive i.d. of Alphon as her attacker, it's difficult to understand why, even when he had an alibi from the Almanac suppliers, he wasn't charged.

We all know that Alphon went on to make the most of his 'association' with the A6, aided and very much abetted by Jean Justice. Alphon was an unstable character, right enough, but at the same time he was intelligent and manipulative. Whatever money he made as a result of the A6 was soon spent, and he returned to his strange demi-monde existence.

Graham

Ed James
11-20-2014, 10:47 AM
Hi Sherlock
Good stuff on hands in pockets - not something I had spotted.

Hi Nick

I am a don't know all round ! It seems to have become the orthodox view among those interested in the case (including Paul Foot) that Alphon did not know as much as he suggested.

However, there are some intriguing similarities to the gunman in Alphon's characteristics and behaviours, a range of evidence that might point to him, and some sightings that are not fully explained plus a lack of an alibi. Some have speculated as to some involvement (short of being the murderer ).

Personally , I think it is arguable that he did not have the expertise the gunman displayed , even if it was a botched job. I do believe he was responsible for menacing phone calls to Dixie France. And his attitude when he discovered Jean Justice had contacted William Ewer behind his back was strange.

I was unaware that Alphon had a speech characteristic , not having seen any reference to this before. Was it revealed in the Paris interview? Is there any other source ? It was never commented upon by Lord Russell of Liverpool who was subject to scores of abusive calls from Alphon. Or Justice?
I would be surprised if VS did not spot it. The killer didn't warn of Woad Works ahead !

regards

Ed

NickB
11-20-2014, 11:44 AM
Yes you can see it in the Paris interview. I would have liked to hear him say: “Hanratty really was in Rhyl”.

There is an interesting contemporary report about Alphon here (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=aHxWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8uUDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6522%2C2017896)from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sherlock Houses
11-20-2014, 01:19 PM
However, there are some intriguing similarities to the gunman in Alphon's characteristics and behaviours, a range of evidence that might point to him, and some sightings that are not fully explained plus a lack of an alibi. Some have speculated as to some involvement (short of being the murderer ).


Carrying on along these lines Ed, the first couple of paragraphs which appear on page 155 of Bob Woffinden's book make intriguing reading.
I have copied them verbatim as follows.......



On the opening day of the magistrates' court hearing, when the attention of almost the entire nation was directed towards Ampthill, two interesting developments in the case occurred elsewhere. The defence was contacted by a lady who said that she was Mrs Rouch (by no means a common name), and that she was telephoning from Marble Arch. She was calling, she said, because "I know who the real killer is. And the real killer knows Alphon. I went to Scotland Yard with this information but was turned away."

The woman said that she was living with a man whose baby she had just had, but that he had warned her not to get involved. She added that if she went to work the next day, she would go to Wembley Park underground and try to phone again from there, to make arrangements to meet someone from the defence. She did not phone again.

This very much appears to have been a genuine call to the defence team. As Woffinden says Rouch is not a common name. A certain unmarried Ms Rouch gave birth to a baby son called Anthony a couple or so months earlier, the only such birth in London in 1961 where the mother's name was given as Rouch. The boy took the father's name which was just as uncommon, if not more so. Ms Rouch married the father a couple of years later in 1963.
If Ms Rouch was being truthful about the vital information she had re. the A6 murder it would seem as though she was pressurised in some way into keeping mum about it, hence no further calls to Hanratty's defence team.

NickB
11-20-2014, 02:21 PM
A certain unmarried Ms Rouch gave birth to a baby son called Anthony a couple or so months earlier, the only such birth in London in 1961 where the mother's name was given as Rouch.

If that is true the defence team could have got her address from the registry of births at Somerset House.

moste
11-20-2014, 09:07 PM
Its interesting that Ms. Rouch who obviously knew something; was turned away from Scotland Yard, though a week later on 30th of Nov. later Roy Langdale was brought in by Acott to make a statement, about something a prison officer had overheard.

Limehouse
11-21-2014, 01:05 AM
I do not think that Alphon was the A6 murderer.

Apart from all the usual reasons given, Alphon had the speech characteristic of making the ‘w’ sound when trying to make the ‘r’ sound. I believe it is called rhotacism. After listening to the murderer for 6 hours or so, Valerie would have noticed if he had this characteristic which is not one you can disguise.

I think Alphon should have only been in an id parade for Dalal if Storie had already picked him out at her one because, as far as I am aware, he was only a suspect for the Dalal attack as a by-product of being the A6 suspect.

You are right, of course, but for those who believe that Hanratty was the A6 killer, they must surely also believe that Hanratty did not attack Mrs Dalal because she saw him very clearly in daylight and he most certainly did not fit the description of her attacker in any way, including manner of dress.

Mrs Dalal told the police that her killer claimed to be 'the Essex killer' (as she put it). Obviously, 'A6' and 'Essex' sound similar to some people.

This was a very strange event. What was the motive? Was the man trying to imitate the A6 killer out of mischief or was he laying a trap for someone?

And what do other contributors to this thread make of the incident of a man who threatened a young woman and her baby in their own home in Knebworth the morning after the A6 events ?

Ed James
11-21-2014, 02:24 AM
Hi Julie

The events involving the double hold up of the Knebworth housewife are intriguing but unresolved. My initial reaction was scepticism that it was Alphon when reading about the first incident of the man holding up Audrey Willis.

Although her description fitted Alphon, the gun was described as small. I also found it hard to believe Alphon would go to Knebworth at that juncture to get money, but would turn to his mother for cash even at that time.

She later said that the Alphon tape that Woffinden played her reminded her of the man. But she thought her intruder was weaker ,more insignificant and that Alphon had more brains.

The timing of the second visit and the content of what he said only add to the mystery.

Nevertheless, I do think Alphon had the unusual, chameleon like capacity to make himself look smaller and weaker than he actually was, or make himself seem larger. He was also, I think , a good actor It could be this which meant that VS did not pick him out (even if would have been wrong to so).

I think the two things I am most interested about Alphon are: Did he identify any special insights to the A6 case in his conversations with Justice etc? And has anyone given a credible explanation for the new found wealth and the regular cash payments into his bank account amounting to £5,000? And I don't mean he won it on the dogs.

Those who think the abduction was planned may think Alphon's role, if any, could have been to shadow the couples whereabouts.

regards

Ed

Graham
11-21-2014, 02:26 AM
The other peculiar occurrence was when Mrs Audrey Willis of Old Knebworth, Herts, was held up in her home by a man brandishing a gun on the day after the A6 Crime. The man demanded food and money, and then left. Amazingly, Mrs Willis was attacked again, once more in her own home, by the same man on 2 April 1962, shortly before JH's execution. Again he demanded food and money, and then left. According to Woffinden, before he left, he made a remark to Mrs Willis concerning JH's execution which was schedule for 4 April, referring to them hanging 'the wrong man'.

Was this double attacker Alphon? I'd very much like to think that it wasn't, that it was just another weird person who referred to the A6 Crime to scare his victim; however, I wouldn't rule out Alphon as the attacker on both occasions. If it was him, then why? Where did he get a gun, if indeed it was a real gun? How did he get away from Mrs Willis' house on each occasion? Alphon did have a violent streak in him, reference his attack on Mrs Hanratty, but on these occasions the attacker harmed neither Mrs Willis nor her infant son. Was the attacker, if it was Alphon, perhaps trying to prove something to Jean Justice?

Regarding the attack on Mrs Dalal, this time her attacker did assault her. Mrs Dalal did indeed identify Alphon on the i.d. parade, but he later had his alibi confirmed by the two Almanac stockists. The police accepted their i.d., and not Mrs Dalal's, and as far as they were concerned she had made an erroneous i.d. and that particular case was closed. I would presume that as Alphon had shortly before been eliminated as a suspect in the A6 Case the police just lost interest in him, and turned their attentions elsewhere.

Does anyone have any information regarding subsequent statements or interviews concerning Mrs Willis and Mrs Dalal? Did any investigator subsequently talk to either of them in later years?

Yet another highly puzzling aspect of this highly puzzling case.

Graham

Ed: our posts crossed. You've answered my question regarding subsequent interviews, ref: Mrs Dalal and Woffinden, which I'd forgotten. I still don't have my books and must get them back a.s.a.p.! (I did, though, long ago photocopy Bob Woffinden's timeline of the Case, which is very useful).

I think the question of Alphon's finances ought to be discussed in a separate thread, Ed.

Ed James
11-21-2014, 02:30 AM
Hi Sherlock

Again ,great research re Ms Rouch.

She could still be alive today to give insights which the defence with limited resources didn't follow up at the time.

Hi Moste

Langdale of course provided what the police firmly believed was correct. In there view they didn't want to get sidetracked when they had a mountain of information and intense pressure to get a result.

regards
Ed

NickB
11-21-2014, 03:38 AM
Alphon did have a violent streak in him, reference his attack on Mrs Hanratty

Alphon claimed that he was attacked by Mrs Hanratty and the magistrate said he did not know who to believe (despite, or because of, Justice's testimony) and gave Alphon the benefit of the doubt.

It is no doubt a coincidence (not another one!) that on the days of the Dalal/Wilis attacks the police had lengthy interviews with two A6 murder suspects. The suspect interviewed on 7th September (incorrectly described as Alphon in the Appeal) has been discussed here before, but a man was also questioned (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=UzM1AAAAIBAJ&sjid=HqYLAAAAIBAJ&pg=2721%2C7480297) for five and a half hours on 24th August.

Sherlock Houses
11-21-2014, 05:50 AM
You are right, of course, but for those who believe that Hanratty was the A6 killer, they must surely also believe that Hanratty did not attack Mrs Dalal because she saw him very clearly in daylight and he most certainly did not fit the description of her attacker in any way, including manner of dress.

Besides which Hanratty was in Ireland on the day of Mrs Dalal's vicious attack.



Mrs Dalal told the police that her killer claimed to be 'the Essex killer' (as she put it). Obviously, 'A6' and 'Essex' sound similar to some people.


This is a misconception Limehouse. The reference to 'Essex murderer' was made by a passer-by, Philip Dyerson, who misheard Mrs Dalal's scream.
The following morning, Friday, September 8th, the Daily Express mentioned the assault stating that the man told Mrs Dalal......"I am the man who killed on the A6. I want all the money there is in the house."

OneRound
11-21-2014, 08:21 AM
... As Mrs Dalal made a positive i.d. of Alphon as her attacker, it's difficult to understand why, even when he had an alibi from the Almanac suppliers, he wasn't charged ...

Graham

Hi Graham - unless a hole could be found in the alibi from the Almanac suppliers, there was little prospect of a 'guilty' verdict being obtained regardless of how good a witness Mrs Dalal turned out to be.

Also, I wouldn't be too surprised if the Police top brass and Acott, in particular, breathed a sigh of relief that Alphon appeared to have an alibi for the attack on Mrs Dalal. They might have found all the further inevitable publicity uncomfortable if their first publicised A6 suspect had appeared in court on a separate serious offence with the main prosecution witness (Mrs Dalal) testifying and reminding all as to what he said about Gregsten's murder. All this at a time when Hanratty would probably have been counting down the days for his visit from the hangman.

Best regards,

OneRound

Graham
11-21-2014, 09:23 AM
Hi OneRound,

you could well be right. I can only think that the two Almanac suppliers must have been able to prove beyond question that Alphon was with them at the precise time Mrs Dalal was attacked. I'm not sure how they managed this, to be perfectly honest, but whatever they said must have satisfied Acott. After all, it seems that JH himself was convicted with the aid of an identification which many have challenged. Blimey, I'm sounding like a JH supporter.......

Yes, I believe that Acott & Co must, figuratively, have pushed Alphon out of the door and out of their sight with the end of a broom once the Dalal case fell apart.

By the way, it was the second attack on Mrs Willis that was just a couple of days prior to JH's execution. Mrs Dalal was attacked on 7 September before JH's arrest.

Graham

Limehouse
11-21-2014, 09:46 AM
Hi Julie

The events involving the double hold up of the Knebworth housewife are intriguing but unresolved. My initial reaction was scepticism that it was Alphon when reading about the first incident of the man holding up Audrey Willis.

Although her description fitted Alphon, the gun was described as small. I also found it hard to believe Alphon would go to Knebworth at that juncture to get money, but would turn to his mother for cash even at that time.

She later said that the Alphon tape that Woffinden played her reminded her of the man. But she thought her intruder was weaker ,more insignificant and that Alphon had more brains.

The timing of the second visit and the content of what he said only add to the mystery.

Nevertheless, I do think Alphon had the unusual, chameleon like capacity to make himself look smaller and weaker than he actually was, or make himself seem larger. He was also, I think , a good actor It could be this which meant that VS did not pick him out (even if would have been wrong to so).

I think the two things I am most interested about Alphon are: Did he identify any special insights to the A6 case in his conversations with Justice etc? And has anyone given a credible explanation for the new found wealth and the regular cash payments into his bank account amounting to £5,000? And I don't mean he won it on the dogs.
Those who think the abduction was planned may think Alphon's role, if any, could have been to shadow the couples whereabouts.

regards

Ed

Could he have been blackmailing someone? Someone powerful or influential and wealthy?

moste
11-21-2014, 07:12 PM
Now your talking my kind of language. Mr. Gregsten could have been blackmailing someone.
Someone powerful or influential, and Wealthy, Some weasel in a high place,who maybe had a serious liking for young prostitutes. Someone who later was found out to be an absolute rogue.
someone with connections to the Road research Lab. Like for example a Minister of transport, Conspiracy theory? you bet ya

moste
11-21-2014, 08:11 PM
Maybe It was as VS had told Mr. Kerr all along, they were not stuck up, "they gave him a lift" ,what if it was prearranged that the passenger, was to take them to a rendezvous location, and instead of receiving lets say 5 grand blackmail money MG was assassinated instead for his troubles, and the 5 grand wound up in the picked up passengers bank account instead.
This is such a mysterious case, because it has always been crucial that the truth is kept out of the public domain, so crucial that an innocent man had to hang for it. What was it Alphon said, something like" Hanratty was expendable"
Liars quite often trickle out truths, its how they get their kicks. food for thought.

moste
11-21-2014, 08:18 PM
Hi OneRound,

you could well be right. I can only think that the two Almanac suppliers must have been able to prove beyond question that Alphon was with them at the precise time Mrs Dalal was attacked. I'm not sure how they managed this, to be perfectly honest, but whatever they said must have satisfied Acott. After all, it seems that JH himself was convicted with the aid of an identification which many have challenged. Blimey, I'm sounding like a JH supporter.......

Yes, I believe that Acott & Co must, figuratively, have pushed Alphon out of the door and out of their sight with the end of a broom once the Dalal case fell apart.

By the way, it was the second attack on Mrs Willis that was just a couple of days prior to JH's execution. Mrs Dalal was attacked on 7 September before JH's arrest.

Graham
Those two almanac sellers wouldn't have to prove anything beyond question would they? suffice to say "Oh yes he was with us that morning or afternoon!

Limehouse
11-22-2014, 03:58 AM
Now your talking my kind of language. Mr. Gregsten could have been blackmailing someone.
Someone powerful or influential, and Wealthy, Some weasel in a high place,who maybe had a serious liking for young prostitutes. Someone who later was found out to be an absolute rogue.
someone with connections to the Road research Lab. Like for example a Minister of transport, Conspiracy theory? you bet ya

There is no evidence that MG had any money at all.

I meant to offer an explanation for the amount of money in Alphon's account. He had no job and his family was no wealthy and yet he deposited very large sums of money in his account that have been explained away as 'money he won on the dogs'.

Could Alphon have been blackmailing someone?

As Graham has suggested, maybe that's a topic for a new thread.

Graham
11-22-2014, 06:01 AM
Apropose nothing at all really, I've just spent some time going over old posts, from 5+ years ago, on the various A6 sub-threads - I don't have my books at the moment, and I needed to check one or two things and refresh my aging memory.

What struck me is how much more pleasant it is these days to debate the case with other posters who are polite and non-aggressive. There was genuine viciousness and aggression in the air in the old days, and little wonder that Admin closed the A6 Forum for a time. I wasn't entirely innocent myself, I have to say. It makes a huge difference, I can tell you.

If anyone would care to start up a new thread on Alphon's finances, or what's known of them, please do so. Or I will, but only once I've got my books back (hopefully this weekend, if the rotter who borrowed them answers the phone!) so I can do some revision.

Graham

Sherlock Houses
11-22-2014, 06:20 AM
Those two almanac sellers wouldn't have to prove anything beyond question would they? suffice to say "Oh yes he was with us that morning or afternoon!

That's quite correct.

For me there's something very fishy and convenient about their alibiing Alphon. The attack on Mrs Dalal happened approximately between 1.30 and 1.45 pm. And Alphon just happened to be in their shop at exactly that time ? Did he have to clock on or something ? I don't buy that for one second.

Dupplin Muir
11-22-2014, 08:54 AM
Sherlock Houses wrote:

For me there's something very fishy and convenient about their alibiing Alphon. The attack on Mrs Dalal happened approximately between 1.30 and 1.45 pm. And Alphon just happened to be in their shop at exactly that time ? Did he have to clock on or something ? I don't buy that for one second.

I'd agree with this. I sometimes watch American true-crime documentaries on YouTube, and in one case the suspect claimed he was in a bar at the time of the murder. When the police went to the bar and showed his photograph, the bar-staff recognised him but, because he was there so often, they could not say for certain whether or not he was present on the night in question. If Alphon was a regular visitor to the almanac-seller I believe it would be very difficult for them to be sure that he was there on (say) Tuesday rather than Monday or Wednesday. Even if there was a receipt for the sale proving he was there on Tuesday, this would inevitably have been hand-written (given the state of cash-register technology!) and almost certainly would not have included the time of the transaction.

One question I'd like answered is the location of the almanac-seller. I've done a search for 'Dalal' but found nothing in any of the resulting posts. I'd be interested to know how long it would have taken Alphon to get from Mrs Dalal's house to there, given the transport situation at the time.

Limehouse
11-22-2014, 11:24 AM
Apropose nothing at all really, I've just spent some time going over old posts, from 5+ years ago, on the various A6 sub-threads - I don't have my books at the moment, and I needed to check one or two things and refresh my aging memory.

What struck me is how much more pleasant it is these days to debate the case with other posters who are polite and non-aggressive. There was genuine viciousness and aggression in the air in the old days, and little wonder that Admin closed the A6 Forum for a time. I wasn't entirely innocent myself, I have to say. It makes a huge difference, I can tell you.

If anyone would care to start up a new thread on Alphon's finances, or what's known of them, please do so. Or I will, but only once I've got my books back (hopefully this weekend, if the rotter who borrowed them answers the phone!) so I can do some revision.

Graham

I agree Graham, it did get very nasty in the old days. One member of the thread actually (don't ask me how) tracked me down on another social networking site and sent me some very abusive messages. I really unnerved me and I thought about involving the police. However, some firm friendships have also been made and I am still in touch with two posters who no longer contribute to the threads.

It is completely civil nowadays and so interesting with some new posters contributing and new aspects of the case being explored - such as the topic of this current thread.

Graham
11-22-2014, 02:31 PM
1] Hi Julie. I was actually threatened with physical violence by one maniac poster in the "old days", and he swore he knew where I lived, etc., etc. Someone very recently said that questioning a person's belief 0n a matter like Hanratty's innocence is like questioning someone's religious convictions, and that's exactly correct.

2] Hi D. Muir: long long ago I tried to establish the location of the Old Moore's Almanac distributors, and drew a blank. I even contacted the publishers in Ireland, and they couldn't help. I'm certain that whoever these distributors were (and as far as I know their names and whereabouts have never been mentioned by any writer on the A6) they didn't deal just in Old Moore's. Probably in religious and arcane writings on a general basis. (Thinks: I wonder if the marvellous Rev Lionel Fanthorpe might be worth contacting??)

3] I get the feeling that the arrival of the two Almanac distributing gents made Acott heave a sigh of relief. Alphon was already cleared of the A6, but to have a weird-o like him hanging like an albatross around their necks may just have been more than Acott, Oxford et al could put up with. So at the first possible 'exit sign', out Alphon went, never mind how upsetting poor Mrs Dalal felt about the whole incident. But they hadn't heard the last of him....oh no.

4] Mike and Janet Gregsten were skint. On their uppers. Janet had to sell Mike's beloved piano to pay some bills. The Morris Minor wasn't even theirs - it was on loan from an aunt of Mike's. The suggestion that he was blackmailing someone is crackers as far as I'm concerned, and if Mr Moste would care to elaborate upon this theory, I'd me most (pun not intended) to hear what he has to say.

5] The Profumo Affair, before anyone leaps in feet first, would probably have never been known to the public had it not been for the fact that John Profumo (a) was having it off with a call-girl who happened also to be having it off with an attache at the Soviet Embassy; (b) he lied to The House Of Commons when questioned about it. Dr Stephen Ward, society osteopath and (talented) artist, arranged for 'ladies' to be supplied to anyone who had the means to pay for them. One of his 'ladies', Christine Keeler, coincidentally shared the pillows of both John Profumo and Capt. Ivanov of the Soviet Embassy, so there was a security issue. The Profumo Affair was not, as it is sometimes thought today, some kind of international spy-ring. There were attempts to link other well-known names of the times, including (incredibly) Ruth Ellis. If anyone out there can prove, or even suggest a credible link between Profumo-related matters and the Road Research Laboratory, I'd be more than interested.

Graham

*sorry again for a long post*

moste
11-22-2014, 04:22 PM
4] Mike and Janet Gregsten were skint. On their uppers. Janet had to sell ........................ Exactly why blackmail is a possibility. Why is it crackers. Desperate for major cash , knew how to get some, We don't know what made MG tick .
I wasn't going to mention the Profumo affair, but I recently picked up a railway map from the York museum 5'x 2'6" from 1938. and if you push a pin into the location of The old station inn, Taplow where possibly the most incredible serious crime of the century kicked off ,then push a pin into the location of the Cliveden House where possibly the biggest political scandal ever took place , well the pins are almost touching! To big of a coincidence?Impossible to PROVE but John Profumo and Ernie Marples could well have been friends. Marples could well have known MG, in his capacity as transport minister,he had a lot of dealings with the road research labs.

Spitfire
11-23-2014, 09:55 AM
I find it strange that those in the Hanratty-did-not-do-it-camp are willing to make quite appalling slurs on the reputation of a dead man. A man killed in cold blood by the blue-eyed (literally and figuratively) boy, James Hanratty.

There is absolutely no evidence that Michael Gregsten was involved in blackmail. There is plenty of evidence that James Hanratty was a callous killer and rapist.

Graham
11-23-2014, 10:17 AM
I find it strange that those in the Hanratty-did-not-do-it-camp are willing to make quite appalling slurs on the reputation of a dead man. A man killed in cold blood by the blue-eyed (literally and figuratively) boy, James Hanratty.

There is absolutely no evidence that Michael Gregsten was involved in blackmail. There is plenty of evidence that James Hanratty was a callous killer and rapist.

I couldn't agree with you more, Spitfire. It was ever thus on these threads, I'm afraid, though. I'm glad you posted this.

On the last (?) TV documentary made about the A6, Michael Gregsten's son Simon spoke - and he was plainly still extremely upset about the events all those years ago. He observed that if you ask a disinterested person who was the victim in the A6 Case, there's a good chance that the reply will be 'James Hanratty'.

Graham

Ed James
11-23-2014, 12:45 PM
In my humble experience, relatively lowly civil servants such as Mike Gregsten working in an outstation like the Road Research Laboratory seldom if ever come in contact with Whitehall based Ministers like Ernest Marples. And they would not be in the position to have personal or technical knowledge to have a hold over a Minister.

Of course it is possible to conjecture that a conspiracy exists virtually in any field (no pun intended).

If the base of the thinking is that the establishment conspired against Hanratty and there must be some major reason hiding a public scandal that is hitherto not apparent to anyone, I can't go along with that.

Whether you think Hanratty guilty or not, I think those that prosecuted the case were genuinely convinced of Hanratty's guilt, even if many questionable actions were designed to strengthen and not weaken the case against Hanratty. And subsequent enquiries and appeals were conducted with particular regard to fairly constrained legal rules that recognised that a jury had reached a decision on the evidence in the case of a very despicable crime and there was a reluctance to overturn it without totally compelling evidence that couldn't be explained away.

Having regard to legal orthodoxy, it wasn't in retrospect a surprise that the Court Of Appeal gratefully preferred the DNA evidence rather than deal with difficult, contradictory matters of evidence and non disclosure.

I still think there is further 'truth' to come out and in that regard I would be grateful if Graham started a broader Alphon thread that covered not just finance but whether he ever revealed any insights that suggested he had some connection with the case.
regards
Ed

Graham
11-23-2014, 01:32 PM
If the base of the thinking is that the establishment conspired against Hanratty and there must be some major reason hiding a public scandal that is hitherto not apparent to anyone, I can't go along with that.

Hi Ed,

Nice post. There are those amongst JH's supporters who do seem to have convinced themselves that the Establishmment conspired against JH, but in all honesty I don't think I ever read a reasonable argument for this. It seems to me that some of his, er, 'more enthusiastic' supporters were unable to accept the obvious, i.e., that he did it, and so looked elsewhere for a reason why their darling boy was hanged. This country has always been pretty damn good at giving birth to scandals, and also at covering them up. However if, as Ed says, there was an Establishment conspiracy against JH then it must have been for a reason, and thus far I have not been advised of what that reason might have been. And never will be, in truth.

I still think there is further 'truth' to come out and in that regard I would be grateful if Graham started a broader Alphon thread that covered not just finance but whether he ever revealed any insights that suggested he had some connection with the case.

I will with pleasure start another Alphon Thread, but only when I get my books back - promised "early this week". I've stated many times over the years that in my honest opinion Peter Alphon's involvement in the A6 Case was purely fortuitous and coincidental. Alphon was a complex character, and also very intelligent, and it seems to me that he led certain people by the nose with regard to what I feel was simply a coincidental connection with the A6. However, at least one person was more than willing to be led along, and Alphon made the most of it, both in terms of publicity and £££'s. In my considered opinion, Peter Alphon would have made a damn good politician.

Graham

Limehouse
11-24-2014, 01:35 AM
I find it strange that those in the Hanratty-did-not-do-it-camp are willing to make quite appalling slurs on the reputation of a dead man. A man killed in cold blood by the blue-eyed (literally and figuratively) boy, James Hanratty.

There is absolutely no evidence that Michael Gregsten was involved in blackmail. There is plenty of evidence that James Hanratty was a callous killer and rapist.


I am not willing to believe that at all.

moste
11-24-2014, 04:07 AM
The base of the thinking is that the establishment conspired against Hanratty and there must be some major reason hiding a public scandal that is hitherto not apparent to anyone, I can't go along with that......Thank you Mr. Graham..
I find it strange that the "Hanratty did it people", though knowing that this case is riddled with skullduggery, from the supposed tap on the morris window, to the final drop through the trap door, refuse to accept, that for some unknown reason its quite possible that JH was set up. From the, "I managed to convince him not to lock him in the trunk, because there is a hole in the exhaust, to the juries pathetic "What does beyond reasonable doubt mean?" after hours of deliberations. COME ON LETS GET SERIOUS!

OneRound
11-24-2014, 05:19 AM
Regardless of whether Hanratty was guilty or not, I find it totally unrealistic to take the view that this case involved a conspiracy by ''the establishment'' (quite whatever that term means, presumably the top echelons of Government).

If there really was such a conspiracy, surely the establishment would have organised it better than to rely on luck and such a dubious cast list.

Luck? Could the establishment have had such better luck than Hanratty having no plausible alibi for the crime? No signing of the guest register in Rhyl (as he did in London at the Vienna), no retained bus ticket, no memory of asking for directions from a cabbie who was going on a bender before moving down south, etc, etc? In fact, no evidence at all that he was in Rhyl as he finally claimed. I fully accept that doesn't prove Hanratty guilty - there was no obligation upon him at trial to even provide an alibi. However, that's not my point - the point is, how could the establishment have known that Hanratty would be unable to provide an alibi?

If the establishment were to organise a conspiracy, surely it would want more reliable participants than Alphon, France and Nudds? Why does the expression ''Not wish to touch with a bargepole'' come to mind?

Rather along the lines of Ed's recent post, I do believe there was unfair withholding of information and possible embellishment by the police in the lead up to and at Hanratty's trial plus a marked reluctance by the Home Office to thoroughly investigate concerns over subsequent years. However, I don't believe that amounts to an establishment conspiracy - and most definitely not before the crime was committed.

Oh, and the DNA? I can see a case being made for that to have been contaminated but not fabricated.

Best regards,

OneRound

Limehouse
11-24-2014, 06:03 AM
I am not willing to believe that at all.

What I meant by the above post is that I do not believe MG was involved in any kind of attempt at blackmail against anyone at all, even though I am 98% sure Hanratty was innocent.

Limehouse
11-24-2014, 06:10 AM
In my humble experience, relatively lowly civil servants such as Mike Gregsten working in an outstation like the Road Research Laboratory seldom if ever come in contact with Whitehall based Ministers like Ernest Marples. And they would not be in the position to have personal or technical knowledge to have a hold over a Minister.

Of course it is possible to conjecture that a conspiracy exists virtually in any field (no pun intended).

If the base of the thinking is that the establishment conspired against Hanratty and there must be some major reason hiding a public scandal that is hitherto not apparent to anyone, I can't go along with that.

Whether you think Hanratty guilty or not, I think those that prosecuted the case were genuinely convinced of Hanratty's guilt, even if many questionable actions were designed to strengthen and not weaken the case against Hanratty. And subsequent enquiries and appeals were conducted with particular regard to fairly constrained legal rules that recognised that a jury had reached a decision on the evidence in the case of a very despicable crime and there was a reluctance to overturn it without totally compelling evidence that couldn't be explained away.

Having regard to legal orthodoxy, it wasn't in retrospect a surprise that the Court Of Appeal gratefully preferred the DNA evidence rather than deal with difficult, contradictory matters of evidence and non disclosure.

I still think there is further 'truth' to come out and in that regard I would be grateful if Graham started a broader Alphon thread that covered not just finance but whether he ever revealed any insights that suggested he had some connection with the case.
regards
Ed

I think it is highly unlikely that the powers-that-be conspired against Hanratty in terms of eliminating him in order to protect anyone in authority from exposure. However, I do think it is credible to believe that evidence was selected, manipulated and perhaps even fabricated to secure a conviction against someone who was at least a 'credible' suspect (a known criminal) in order to wind up the case and that there is every possibility that, even if Hanratty was guilty, he should have been sharing the dock with at least one other person. I also think that the whole truth about the affair will never be known.

moste
11-30-2014, 02:25 PM
Originally Posted by Ed James View Post
In my humble experience, relatively lowly civil servants such as Mike Gregsten working in an outstation like the Road Research Laboratory seldom if ever come in contact with Whitehall based Ministers like Ernest Marples. And they would not be in the position to have personal or technical knowledge to have a hold over a Minister.



Just checking into the history of Road research Labs ,and far from being an outstation, from 1948 this group of offices in the Historic Langley Hall, was "The Labs" which the ministers for transport relied on constantly for advice, when on an almost weekly event, during question time in parliament they would be required to give explanations on numerous traffic/transport activities.Mr. Gregsten was a scientist, so I would disagree with Ed on this one.

Ed James
12-01-2014, 06:17 AM
Originally Posted by Ed James View Post
In my humble experience, relatively lowly civil servants such as Mike Gregsten working in an outstation like the Road Research Laboratory seldom if ever come in contact with Whitehall based Ministers like Ernest Marples. And they would not be in the position to have personal or technical knowledge to have a hold over a Minister.



Just checking into the history of Road research Labs ,and far from being an outstation, from 1948 this group of offices in the Historic Langley Hall, was "The Labs" which the ministers for transport relied on constantly for advice, when on an almost weekly event, during question time in parliament they would be required to give explanations on numerous traffic/transport activities.Mr. Gregsten was a scientist, so I would disagree with Ed on this one.

Hi Moste
Entirely happy for you to disagree. I can only draw upon over 10 years experience working in the Department for Transport to say that Minsters are fairly remote, based in Whitehall and did not routinely deal with officers of MG's pay grade. Any dealings on technical areas would generally be filtered through senior civil servants.

It is all a bit of a non point because your particular conspiracy theory just doesn't fit with the key facts of the case .

regards

Ed

moste
12-01-2014, 01:19 PM
Hi Ed ,I understand what your saying, all probably true, 99% of the time ,However Lord Dennings report to Harold Mcmillan was that, "The apparent rumours of Mr.Marples association with young prostitutes, appear to be true". Did you know of any ministers of this type, in your very lengthy workings in the department.
As for the facts of the case, they seam to lead us down the proverbial garden path, down the street, and into oblivion.
I'm only trying to look a bit further than we are told to look ,as it were.
regards.
Steve.

moste
12-01-2014, 06:31 PM
Also Ed. In your experiences with the transport ministry, would you know who would be responsible for the arranging and setting up of the Traffic counting that Mr. Kerr was working on?. sounds more like a road research lab initiative, I would imagine. I'm still thinking it odd, that the two persons assigned to that stretch of road, for the midnight shift, that Mr. Kerr took over from, had been moved to a different location further south, making that layby a much lonelier place that it otherwise would have been

Ed James
12-02-2014, 02:36 AM
Hi Moste

In my experience Ministers ranged in ability, character and behaviour as the general population. While some were undoubtedly brilliant in terms of mastering facts and articulating arguments, the main distinguishing feature was an eye for the 'political' opportunity/ downside. You simply did not get close enough to know their pecadillos, or them yours.
In 1961 roads provision I understand was handled regionally or by county. But in any case Ministers would not be involved in operational matters such as the manning of traffic census.

If you are looking for a quiet spot for an assassination what about a cornfield at Dorney Reach, without driving on a long ,risky journey and stopping to let your quarry get out?

regards

Ed

Sherlock Houses
04-23-2015, 01:53 AM
There is an interesting, 46 minute long Youtube video of Meike Dalal [uploaded in 2010] in which she speaks to a small female audience about her childhood on a farm in Sweden during and after WW2, Among other things she speaks of her fondness for England which prompted her to move there in the mid 1950's. She doesn't mention the horrific assault she endured on September 7th 1961 however.

For those interested she can be seen here...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyaOAJq5gQU

Sherlock Houses
04-23-2015, 06:21 AM
As with Valerie Storie a couple of weeks earlier, Detective-Sergeant Jock Mackle of Scotland Yard visited Mrs Dalal in hospital to obtain her assistance in composing an identi-kit photo of her violent attacker.
I wonder what the resultant identi-kit photo looked like ? A little strange that it seems never to have seen the light of day, except for the ones in the know.

How much it resembled Alphon we'll probably never learn.

Derrick
04-23-2015, 09:08 AM
...I wonder what the resultant identi-kit photo looked like ? A little strange that it seems never to have seen the light of day,...

Houses...

I believe that the police treated the A6 murder and the attack on Mrs Dalal as 2 separate and completely unconnected cases as soon as Alphon was able to establish an alibi via his almanac suppliers.

Any interest in an identikit from Mrs Dalal must have seemed unimportant considering that she picked out Alphon anyway and was sure he was the attacker.

Del

Dupplin Muir
04-23-2015, 10:44 AM
Derrick wrote:

I believe that the police treated the A6 murder and the attack on Mrs Dalal as 2 separate and completely unconnected cases as soon as Alphon was able to establish an alibi via his almanac suppliers.

I think that's the reason the police had no interest in going ahead with the case. They didn't want the public to hear that Mrs Dalal's attacker claimed to be the A6 gunman.

I also find it pretty disgraceful how the police accepted Alphon's alibi so readily. I suspect if the same people had given JH an alibi they'd have been dragged over the coals and had their characters assassinated in the same way that Hanratty's real alibi witnesses did.

Natalie Severn
04-23-2015, 01:39 PM
Derrick wrote:



I think that's the reason the police had no interest in going ahead with the case. They didn't want the public to hear that Mrs Dalal's attacker claimed to be the A6 gunman.

I also find it pretty disgraceful how the police accepted Alphon's alibi so readily. I suspect if the same people had given JH an alibi they'd have been dragged over the coals and had their characters assassinated in the same way that Hanratty's real alibi witnesses did.

Thats what I think undue haste to bury Alphon and any case connected with him---and yes of course it would have got right up the Old Bill's noses if newspaper headlines were continuing to draw attention to a woman who had been brutally assaulted by a man she had positively identified in a line up as Peter Alphon - one and the same Peter Alphon who the police had put out a nation wide A6 search for only a week or so before insinuating that he was the A6 murderer. Alphon was in fact unceremoniously 'dropped'!

caz
04-24-2015, 03:41 AM
To be fair, one can only imagine the outrage had the police not dropped Alphon from the A6 enquiry after Valerie Storie failed to pick him out from that first identity parade! Or if she had failed to pick Hanratty out from the second and the police had not dropped him equally 'unceremoniously'.

I really don't see why Alphon would have been treated any more favourably by the authorities than Hanratty if the evidence - or lack thereof - hadn't warranted it.

Love,

Caz
X

NickB
04-24-2015, 04:38 AM
Let’s look at it from Alphon’s point of view ...

Wimbledon station, 10.30pm, 22nd September, 1961. Peter Alphon has had a long day selling almanacs door to door. He settles into his seat on the District Line train and looks at the evening newspaper he has bought.

To his horror he sees that the lead story is that he is named as being wanted for the A6 murder. It shows an idendikit picture and contains information about his life and family. He decides immediately to present himself to the police. At Charing Cross station he rings two newspapers, and reporters interview him and take his photo.

At the police station he is led into an office and questioned through the night until 9.30am. He is presented with the Nudds/Snell ‘second statement’ evidence, which removes the alibi of the first statement and places him in the room where the cartridges were found. Can you imagine how he felt? In the middle of the interview he is placed on an identification parade where Nudds identifies him and someone else.

At 11am he is put on another identification parade. One of the witnesses on the parade is Meike Dalal who collapses and accuses him of being her attacker.

After a night in the cells he is taken to Guy’s Hospital in a Black Maria. There he is the subject of another identification parade at the bedside of Valerie Storie. After slowly scanning the line a few times she picks a man standing sixth on the left from him.

It must have been an excruciating time for someone who, even counsel acting for the Hanratty family agree, could not have been the A6 murderer.

As he said: “I kept feeling the noose around my neck”.

caz
04-27-2015, 08:32 AM
Let’s look at it from Alphon’s point of view ...

Wimbledon station, 10.30pm, 22nd September, 1961. Peter Alphon has had a long day selling almanacs door to door. He settles into his seat on the District Line train and looks at the evening newspaper he has bought.

To his horror he sees that the lead story is that he is named as being wanted for the A6 murder. It shows an idendikit picture and contains information about his life and family. He decides immediately to present himself to the police. At Charing Cross station he rings two newspapers, and reporters interview him and take his photo.

At the police station he is led into an office and questioned through the night until 9.30am. He is presented with the Nudds/Snell ‘second statement’ evidence, which removes the alibi of the first statement and places him in the room where the cartridges were found. Can you imagine how he felt? In the middle of the interview he is placed on an identification parade where Nudds identifies him and someone else.

At 11am he is put on another identification parade. One of the witnesses on the parade is Meike Dalal who collapses and accuses him of being her attacker.

After a night in the cells he is taken to Guy’s Hospital in a Black Maria. There he is the subject of another identification parade at the bedside of Valerie Storie. After slowly scanning the line a few times she picks a man standing sixth on the left from him.

It must have been an excruciating time for someone who, even counsel acting for the Hanratty family agree, could not have been the A6 murderer.

As he said: “I kept feeling the noose around my neck”.

Good post, Nick!

Alphon might not have come across as a very nice character, but neither in fairness did Hanratty.

Neither would have deserved to be 'fitted up' for the A6 crime if the evidence just wasn't there.

There is no evidence whatsoever that Alphon was involved, yet it seems to me that some Hanratty defenders are happier about pointing the finger at Alphon than they would be if they were being truly objective about justice being done.

Love,

Caz
X

cobalt
04-27-2015, 11:16 AM
There is no evidence whatsoever that Alphon was involved, yet it seems to me that some Hanratty defenders are happier about pointing the finger at Alphon than they would be if they were being truly objective about justice being done.

In fairness, it not so much a question of fingers being pointed at Alphon, as Alphon pointing a finger at himself.

Hanratty never deviated from his denial of involvement in the A6 case, even though his alibi was changed in the course of doing so.

Alphon, on the other hand, intermittently claimed to have some inside knowledge of the crime. He also drew attention to himself by his behaviour in the immediate aftermath of the murder, as well as presumably being the perpetrator of the attack on Mrs Delal. His mysterious good fortune financially is another factor which puts him in the frame, as well as his being a recognised face in the area where the murder took place.

Not solid evidence I grant you, but hardly grounds for claiming that pro-Hanratty supporters are recklessly accusing someone else, in order to exculpate Hanratty.

caz
04-28-2015, 04:18 AM
In fairness, it not so much a question of fingers being pointed at Alphon, as Alphon pointing a finger at himself.

Hi cobalt,

But the police pointed the finger at him first - the same police who have been accused of fitting up the first man who could be squeezed into the frame. There are many people who are not quite 'right', who have claimed inside knowledge or confessed to crimes they have not committed. (Michael Barrett of Maybrick diary infamy always springs to mind as another Alphon 'type'). They thrive on all the initial attention and miss it if and when interest in them drops off. With Hanratty identified by the victim and well on the way to being convicted, Alphon could continue bluffing with no great risk to his own neck. The danger would have been if he was the gunman and rapist and could therefore have incriminated himself for real.

His mysterious good fortune financially is another factor which puts him in the frame, as well as his being a recognised face in the area where the murder took place.

I don't really understand how the financial gain angle puts Alphon in the frame. If he was being paid merely to frighten the couple, as one theory goes, he bodged it - in the worst possible way - by driving with them for hours before shooting MG dead, then raping and shooting VS but leaving her alive to tell the tale. Even if the contract was to kill, he screwed up by leaving a witness. He would hardly have been in any position to try blackmail if Mr. Big had washed his hands of him and refused to pay up.

Not solid evidence I grant you, but hardly grounds for claiming that pro-Hanratty supporters are recklessly accusing someone else, in order to exculpate Hanratty.

Now now, I didn't quite put it like that, did I? :)

Anyone who really wanted justice for Hanratty for the sake of justice, and not for the sake of their personal investment in his innocence, would want the exact same justice for Alphon. And there's a case for reasonable doubt if ever there was one!

Love,

Caz
X

Graham
04-28-2015, 11:11 AM
Alphon was a sly, subtle, manipulative man who, once the police had dropped him as an A6 suspect, seemed determined to profit by his association with the crime. In another life, he may well have made it big in the world of business.
Jean Justice kept up the momentum. Many high-profile murders attract meaningless and empty 'confessions' - I believe more than 60 morons 'confessed' to the killing of Jill Dando. Alphon had a ready-made audience for his antics, and some people actually believed him....

That TV interview was Alphon at his very best, as he ate the poor interviewer for breakfast, only to retract virtually everything he said at a later date.

Paul Foot did his level best to discover the source(s) of Alphon's wealth (which he spent as fast as he received the money), but didn't very far. I posted on the other thread a summary of the payments Alphon received, per Foot's investigations and interviews with Alphon. Alphon certainly sold his 'story' to at least one newspaper, and he very likely received compensation for his arrest as an A6 suspect. Foot himself says that dealing with Alphon was a nightmare, as he changed his various stories as frequently as the weather. Alphon certainly didn't want the source of at least some of his money made public knowledge, but this in itself doesn't necessarily mean that he was paid to carry out the A6 Crime.

That he was seen around Dorney Reach prior to the crime is of course of interest, but there is of course no proof that it was Peter Alphon walking along Marsh Lane.

Graham

Sherlock Houses
04-28-2015, 03:25 PM
In fairness, it not so much a question of fingers being pointed at Alphon, as Alphon pointing a finger at himself.


This is an important point which is so often conveniently overlooked. Alphon most definitely did point an accusing finger at himself, both wittingly and unwittingly. Wittingly via his various confessions to the A6 murder over the years and unwittingly via his suspicious and nervous behaviour, his uncanny similarity to the A6 identi-kit photos and his unaccounted for monetary gains during the autumn and winter of 1961/62.

But for good fortune the violent assault on Mrs Dalal could easily have resulted in her death, thus leading to a murder enquiry. Mrs Dalal's positive identification of Alphon as her assailant remains much more valid than Valerie Storie's identiication of Hanratty as her attacker/rapist. The view she had of her attacker was of much longer duration under very good lighting conditions, contrasting sharply with the fleeting glimpse the short-sighted Miss Storie had of the A6 murderer under poor lighting conditions in the dead of night.

The agitated behaviour Alphon displayed between Wednesday, August 23rd, when he signed into the Alexandra Court Hotel, and Sunday, August 27th, was much different to his behaviour at the hotel in the subsequent 9 or 10 days of his residence there.

What could have caused this sudden and marked change in his behaviour ?

Some of the following is speculative on my part.........

From August 23rd to August 27th something out of the ordinary must have been troubling Alphon, preying on his mind. This manifested itself by way of his very erratic behaviour which drew attention from other guests at the hotel. For some reason, in the 4 or 5 days after the A6 murder the normally garrulous Alphon was keeping a very low profile. Almost as if he was in hiding. He was keeping to his room and avoiding other guests. not taking meals in the hotel's dining room and acting very strangely behind the locked door of his room.

Things began to change on the evening of the 27th when two police officers, alerted by the hotel manager to Alphon's very suspicious behaviour, after some initial questioning took him to their police station for a more prolonged interrogation lasting about two hours. Seemingly satisfied with Alphon's statement the interviewing police officer allowed him to leave around 10.00pm. Alphon was told to re-register at the hotel in his own name and return to the police station the following evening which he duly did. For the remaining 9 or 10 days of his stay Alphon's behaviour had changed beyond all recognition and he began to come down for meals and act normally like the other guests.

Alphon eventually left the Alexandra Court Hotel on Wednesday, September 6th, thus finding himself once again in the situation of having no fixed abode and having to seek accommodation elsewhere. Mrs Dalal, who had advertised a room for let that week in the local paper, received a telephone enquiry about it on that Wednesday. She also received a further call about it the following morning [Thursday, a couple or so hours before her attack] from quite possibly the same caller. This Thursday morning telephone caller was to become her vicious assailant.

If Mrs Dalal was correct in claiming Alphon as her vicious assailant/attempted murderer it is uncanny how reminiscent the attack was of the A6 murder just a fortnight before.The 'modus operandi' was very similar. Her attacker/would-be rapist even claimed to be the A6 murderer and demanded money from her. In all she was struck violently on the head 3 times and her wrists and feet were tied, with flex and a blue ribbon respectively. Just like the A6 gunman her attacker was not very good at binding hands and she was able to free hers and avert a 4th blow to her head. The A6 gunman was also quite prepared to hit Valerie Storie on the head . Valerie's actual words on what the gunman said to her were..."I think I had better knock you on the head or something, or else you will go or help."

Mrs Dalal's assailant seemed to display an inside knowledge of certain things that happened in the murder car. There had been absolutely none of these details printed in the newspapers between August 23rd and September 7th about the goings-on in the Morris Minor. The general public had been kept completely in the dark about what transpired in that Morris Minor.

Was Mrs Dalal's assailant and the A6 murderer one and the same person ? Quite probably.

NickB
04-28-2015, 05:30 PM
At the 27th August police interview Alphon provided the alibi that he was in the Vienna Hotel booked in as Durrant. The police phoned the hotel to check, and subsequently obtained a statement that ‘Durrant’ arrived at about 11:30 p.m - confirming his alibi.

After the discovery of the cartridge cases, Nudds first statement on 15th September also confirmed the alibi of ‘F Durrant’ (“he arrived very late in the evening, I think about 11:30 to midnight”) and fingered ‘J Ryan’ (“he occupied the bed on the left hand side as you go in the door”).

If the police at this stage had been able to identify ‘J Ryan’ they would have pursued him as the most obvious suspect, but they didn’t know who Ryan was.

We then have Nudds second statement on 21st September which implicates Alphon and was subsequently withdrawn. It is only because of this dodgy statement that Alphon was put on the Dalal id parade.

Graham
04-29-2015, 12:58 PM
Hmmm....it seems that JH's supporters are only too willing to accept Mrs Dalal's identification of Alphon, but not Miss Storie's identification of Hanratty. That Mrs Dalal made a mistake is fairly obvious, as the police were perfectly willing to accept the Almanac sellers' statement that Alphon was with them at the time.

I think it has to be understood that Peter Alphon was in many ways 'never a normal man' (acknowledgment to the late Dan Farson for this memorable expression), and his behaviour was, to say the least, unpredictable. He made a habit of checking out of hotels without paying his bill, and also checking in using an alias. What happened at The Alexandra Court Hotel was typical of him. He was described by people who knew him as 'nervy' and 'unable to settle down' and as a 'misfit'. He was filmed, not long before he died, pacing up and down the platform of a railway station (and still wearing a white mac), showing every symptom of restless unease. He was also described as having a 'lizard-like gait', which could perhaps have been a form of toe-walking, a trait associated with autism.

Somehow, I just can't see Alphon as being capable of spending several hours cooped up in a small car with two other people.

But he was, at least, sufficiently in touch with reality to contact the press before giving himself up to the tender mercies of Basil Acott, and was quite open about being terrified at the prospect.

Graham

Sherlock Houses
04-29-2015, 03:13 PM
Hmmm....it seems that JH's supporters are only too willing to accept Mrs Dalal's identification of Alphon, but not Miss Storie's identification of Hanratty. That Mrs Dalal made a mistake is fairly obvious, as the police were perfectly willing to accept the Almanac sellers' statement that Alphon was with them at the time.

He was filmed, not long before he died, pacing up and down the platform of a railway station (and still wearing a white mac), showing every symptom of restless unease. He was also described as having a 'lizard-like gait', which could perhaps have been a form of toe-walking, a trait associated with autism.



I can't speak for others Graham, but I find Mrs Dalal's evidence quite persuasive especially when one also bears in mind her description of the assailant. Amongst other things she describes him as having his hair plastered back, wearing a tie-less white shirt and wearing a new, light coloured three quarter length mackintosh. As we know Alphon was very fond of three quarter length macs and greasing his hair back without a part. There is evidence [including photos] also
that he wore open necked white shirts. It's interesting to note that Mrs Dalal described the mac as being 'new' as coincidentally Alphon bought a new raincoat less than two weeks earlier [August 25th].

Of course Mrs Dalal could have been mistaken about her identification of Alphon, it's just that so much else seems to fit with what we know about him.

Re. the almanac sellers evidence, I have always considered this far too pat and convenient. How on earth could they pinpoint the time Alphon turned up at their shop [if indeed he did] that Thursday ? Did he clock on or something ?

Just to clarify things somewhat, that video footage of him pacing up and down the railway platform was in fact filmed in 1992, 17 years before his death.

He didn't seem to go anywhere without a three quarter length raincoat .

Natalie Severn
04-29-2015, 04:02 PM
Somehow, I just can't see Alphon as being capable of spending several hours cooped up in a small car with two other people.
Graham

Thats a very fair comment actually.

One the other hand Graham ,the very restlessness of Hanratty from his teenage years to his mid twenties makes it a virtual certainty to my way of thinking that it was not him sitting in the back seat of that car -a car in which there was absolutely no trace of Hanratty-not a single fingerprint-[though there were twelve others],not a hair ,not a fibre , a gunman who must have been saturated with blood as he removed Gregsten's corpse , [the upper part of the head ,according to his son 'blown away'].Yet there was a bloody handprint on the back window of the car -but it was not Hanratty's .

Natalie Severn
04-29-2015, 04:19 PM
Alphon was a sly, subtle, manipulative man who, once the police had dropped him as an A6 suspect, seemed determined to profit by his association with the crime. In another life, he may well have made it big in the world of business.
Jean Justice kept up the momentum. Many high-profile murders attract meaningless and empty 'confessions' - I believe more than 60 morons 'confessed' to the killing of Jill Dando. Alphon had a ready-made audience for his antics, and some people actually believed him....

That TV interview was Alphon at his very best, as he ate the poor interviewer for breakfast, only to retract virtually everything he said at a later date.

Paul Foot did his level best to discover the source(s) of Alphon's wealth (which he spent as fast as he received the money), but didn't very far. I posted on the other thread a summary of the payments Alphon received, per Foot's investigations and interviews with Alphon. Alphon certainly sold his 'story' to at least one newspaper, and he very likely received compensation for his arrest as an A6 suspect. Foot himself says that dealing with Alphon was a nightmare, as he changed his various stories as frequently as the weather. Alphon certainly didn't want the source of at least some of his money made public knowledge, but this in itself doesn't necessarily mean that he was paid to carry out the A6 Crime.

That he was seen around Dorney Reach prior to the crime is of course of interest, but there is of course no proof that it was Peter Alphon walking along Marsh Lane.

Graham

Hi Graham,
Alphon did not have an alibi for the night of the murder. The night after the murder when he booked into the Alexandra Hotel ,Finsbury Park people saw a disturbed erratic man who continued to act in a jumpy, curious way for several days so much so they called in the police-thinking he might be the A6 murderer. It was this and only this that alerted the police to the Vienna Hotel in the first place -nothing whatever to do with Hanratty at that stage .
I believe that if Valerie had identified Alphon the police would have ignored Alphon's almanac alibi ,to my mind quite a weak alibi since they were recalling a door to door part time erratic almanac salesman coming into their shop for a short while one lunch hour in late August which was 6 weeks or so previously .They were never pressed to prove the alibi because the police dropped Alphon shortly after Valerie identified a totally different and completely innocent man named Michael Clark .

Graham
04-30-2015, 01:17 AM
With regard to the almanac men, I would have to say that once you'd met Alphon you probably wouldn't forget him. We don't know how successful he was at selling the almanacs, probably not very, so we can't tell how often he went to the warehouse (or whatever it was) for a fresh stock, but I would suggest that the men who ran the business knew Alphon by sight pretty well, well enough to convince the police that they had provided a sound alibi for him.

Re: the Alexandra Court, other guests complained about Alphon's noisy behavior, and the manager, who was aware that the police were asking hotels, b&b's, boarding-houses, etc., if they had any peculiar clients, contacted the police who came to investigate. I doubt if the other guests went shrieking down to the manager's office about the hotel harbouring the desperate A6 killer! To them, Alphon was just a damn nuisance.

No, Alphon didn't have a tight alibi for the night of the murder, but you know how I'm going to counter that, don't you, Nats?!? By saying that I don't believe Hanratty had an alibi either.....

No, the car produced not a single trace of Hanratty, neither did it produce a single trace of Alphon. Not a hair, not a fingerprint from either of them. Nats, unless I'm going senile (quite likely), I can't remember there being a bloody handprint on the rear window of the car? If it wasn't Hanratty's, did the police identify whose it was? I'd have said it must have been Valerie's.

SH, you're quite correct about the time Alphon was filmed pacing like a madman up and down that platform.

Graham

Dupplin Muir
04-30-2015, 02:20 AM
Why didn't the police suggest that Alphon 'bought' his alibi by bribing the two almanac salesmen? They were quick enough to propose that Hanratty had done so, and sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander - and Alphon had far more money with which to pay bribes than JH ever did.

Of course, one major problem with evaluating Alphon's alibi is that we don't know who these witnesses were. Were they honest, law-abiding people like those who gave Hanratty his alibi, or were they shady ne'er-do-wells like Alphon himself? Where is the evidence that the police went through their story with a fine-tooth comb as they did for JH? Or was it a case of "Was Mr Alphon here at such-and-such a time?"...."Yes"..."Thank you, that's all"?

NickB
04-30-2015, 02:44 AM
Alphon did have an alibi for the murder, arriving at the Vienna hotel at 11.30pm and being the last guest entered in the register. Like Hanratty the night before he had been transferred from the Broadway because by that time it was full.

The only evidence against this is Nudds temporary second statement. This has Alphon arriving ten and half hours earlier at 1pm and going to the room Hanratty stayed in and putting his case on the armchair the cartridge cases were found. If reeks of being a false statement to frame Alphon.

In any case I don't know why we are revisiting this after Mansfield's acceptance of the DNA evidence regarding Alphon. Is anyone now seriously suggesting that Alphon was the A6 murderer?

Graham
04-30-2015, 03:48 AM
Alphon did have an alibi for the murder, arriving at the Vienna hotel at 11.30pm and being the last guest entered in the register

Strewth, I am going senile....he also met his mother during the evening.

Nick, you're quite right to pose the question concerning Alphon's elimination as a suspect, but there are still a few people who persist in believing he was the A6 murderer.

Graham

Natalie Severn
04-30-2015, 04:31 AM
Alphon did have an alibi for the murder, arriving at the Vienna hotel at 11.30pm and being the last guest entered in the register. Like Hanratty the night before he had been transferred from the Broadway because by that time it was full.


Nick-Why on earth , as was asserted by SH recently ,did Det Supt Oxford go to collect the Vienna Hotel Diary in which there was the alleged 11.30 ' evidence' of Alphon's arrival and if this is indeed factual evidence , why did he go to collect it the day after Hanratty was executed and never return it because it has never been seen since.

Sherlock Houses
04-30-2015, 04:39 AM
Alphon did have an alibi for the murder, arriving at the Vienna hotel at 11.30pm and being the last guest entered in the register. Like Hanratty the night before he had been transferred from the Broadway because by that time it was full.

The only evidence against this is Nudds temporary second statement. This has Alphon arriving ten and half hours earlier at 1pm and going to the room Hanratty stayed in and putting his case on the armchair the cartridge cases were found. If reeks of being a false statement to frame Alphon.

In any case I don't know why we are revisiting this after Mansfield's acceptance of the DNA evidence regarding Alphon. Is anyone now seriously suggesting that Alphon was the A6 murderer?

No, Alphon did not have an alibi for the night of the murder. His mother could not alibi him because she couldn't determine whether it was a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday that she met him.

The only evidence you say which contradicts Nudds's initial statement is the second statement. While there may be some innaccuracies within this very detailed and persuasive second statement there is much truth. Page 234 of the hotel diary [I have seen a copy of this page] confirms the fact that Alphon turned up [after first phoning] in person in the early afternoon of that Tuesday and handed over a 50% deposit [£1.7s.6d] towards room 24, expecting to pay the full amount [should a single room not become available in the meantime] when he returned later that evening, adding that he might be very late.

Ah yes, because the ubiquitous Mansield is said to have accepted the alleged DNA concerning Alphon, which I personally mistrust, we should all follow suit and stop raising valid questions and arguments about it all. I have yet to see anything in print which details the when, where and how Alphon is said to have given a DNA sample.

Lots of people still believe [myself included] that Alphon was the A6 murderer. There is just far too much which points to him to dismiss as mere coincidence. A score or more coincidences too many.

Natalie Severn
04-30-2015, 04:44 AM
[QUOTE=NickB;338770]Alphon did
In any case I don't know why we are revisiting this after Mansfield's acceptance of the DNA evidence regarding Alphon. Is anyone now seriously suggesting that Alphon was the A6 murderer?[QUOTE?/]

Mansfield was wrong over this but the LCN DNA experts might not have known this at the time;because the DNA of another person is not found on a tested item it does NOT mean another person's DNA is not actually there .That is now understood to be the case from more recent scientific studies and findings about LCN DNA testing and one of the important reasons many are now wary of LCN Test findings. The other is LCN DNA testings capacity to multiply duplicates of minute particles of DNA that can come from random contact and that can give totally false readings ---as has been reported in a number of wrongful convictions since the 2002 appeal .[yes-can supply that data if required].

NickB
04-30-2015, 05:36 AM
I don’t know why people think Alphon would refuse to give DNA tests. He is reported (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-17512039.html) in 1998 as saying that he may insist on taking DNA tests to prove his innocence.

And I don’t see how he could have paid a deposit to the Vienna hotel at lunchtime then in the evening tried to book into the Broadway House hotel and be transferred to the Vienna.

Spitfire
04-30-2015, 10:55 AM
There is an interesting, 46 minute long Youtube video of Meike Dalal [uploaded in 2010] in which she speaks to a small female audience about her childhood on a farm in Sweden during and after WW2, Among other things she speaks of her fondness for England which prompted her to move there in the mid 1950's. She doesn't mention the horrific assault she endured on September 7th 1961 however.

For those interested she can be seen here...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyaOAJq5gQU


The sound quality of this clip is appalling. I did glean that the Swedish housewife 'Meike Dalal' was (is) in fact German. She does not mention Sweden at all in the video. She was born in Schleswig-Holstein in Germany to parents who had been married in Germany in 1937, Her grandmother on her maternal side was Danish, which is about as close to Sweden as we get.

Her father was killed fighting for the Fatherland (Germany) when she was two years of age. Her fondness for England (Anglophilia) seems to have arisen from the kindness with which she and other German children were treated by the occupying British forces after the German surrender.

Meike came to England as an au pair in the mid 1950's and married a Parsee Indian, Mr (Zahir) Dalal, had three children, divorced and married again.

I managed the first 25 minutes of the video, but the sound quality of it eventually defeated me, when I gave up Meike and her second husband had moved out of London to lead the good life in Reigate.

caz
05-01-2015, 05:54 AM
Alphon did
In any case I don't know why we are revisiting this after Mansfield's acceptance of the DNA evidence regarding Alphon. Is anyone now seriously suggesting that Alphon was the A6 murderer?

Mansfield was wrong over this but the LCN DNA experts might not have known this at the time;because the DNA of another person is not found on a tested item it does NOT mean another person's DNA is not actually there .That is now understood to be the case from more recent scientific studies and findings about LCN DNA testing and one of the important reasons many are now wary of LCN Test findings. The other is LCN DNA testings capacity to multiply duplicates of minute particles of DNA that can come from random contact and that can give totally false readings ---as has been reported in a number of wrongful convictions since the 2002 appeal .[yes-can supply that data if required].

Hi Nats,

I wondered if it was Hanratty's unquestioned DNA on the hanky found with the murder weapon which helped towards the equally unquestioned verdict that Alphon was not the gunman. Without any evidence whatsoever that he could have had access to one of Hanratty's dirty hankies and framed him with it, I'm not sure how Alphon could have remained a potential suspect after that.

I do find it instructive to see some of Hanratty's defenders still trying to point the finger at Alphon, while expressing their disgust that Hanratty was charged and convicted, despite what they insist was reasonable doubt in his case.

If Alphon had been picked out by Valerie Storie, and if the prosecution had been able to cast doubt on his Vienna Hotel alibi, would the same objections now be made on his behalf, for instance that Valerie was short-sighted and only had a glimpse of the gunman's face in the darkness, therefore could not have identified anyone on that basis, and another for instance that Alphon did not have to prove he was elsewhere as it was the prosecution's job to prove he was at the crime scene, etc etc?

And now we have you suggesting Alphon's DNA could have been present on the knickers and/or hanky but none of it found. How outraged would you have been on a scale of one to ten if anyone had dared to suggest the same, had none of Hanratty's DNA been found?

Eleven would be my guess. :shakehead:

Again, where are the same concerns about justice for Alphon, in the absence of a more solid case against him (or anyone else for that matter), than the one made against Hanratty? How do you get round the double standards here?

Love,

Caz
X

Sherlock Houses
05-01-2015, 06:08 AM
Must have had one of those senior moments there in typing Sweden instead of Germany. Mrs Dalal was indeed born and raised in Germany, I don't know how all the books, newspapers etc., got that one wrong. I don't suppose it matters too much where about in Europe she came from.

Just a minor correction here, in that her first husband's name was Zarir. He had emigrated to England from India in 1951.

Natalie Severn
05-01-2015, 04:07 PM
Hi Nats,

And now we have you suggesting Alphon's DNA could have been present on the knickers and/or hanky but none of it found.

Love,

Caz
X

No Caz, all I said was that it has been forensically stated that the absence of a person's DNA on an item proves nothing and in this case

MANSFIELD was wrong to imply it did , though in fairness to him this was not known at the time.

I don't quite understand your indignation about Alphon.There was a nationwide search for him Caz,and he actually confessed to being the A6 murderer in a public statement.That is why he is still important.However much of an odd ball he was. I agree with a lot of what Graham wrote about Alphon recently -but suspicion lingers when there are so many contingencies .
It was Alphon who led police to the Vienna Hotel.Valerie actually didn't recognise anybody facially -as was clear, because she thought she also recognised somebody else in the line ups.
Chief Inspector Roger Matthews of Scotland Yard ,who drew up the Home Office report in 1996 , saw stuff in files we haven't and aren't allowed to for m,any years to come and it was clear to him that three people were involved.He won't say who they are .However he insists to this day that he believes Hanratty was totally innocent of any crime connected with the A6 murder.The DNA as referenced in the court of appeal of 2002 was accepted by the judges as confirmation of Hanratty's guilt which has perplexed both Matthews and others such as the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire who presided over the CCRC ever since.But in 2002 much less was known about the LCDDNA . Alphon seems to have exercised Matthews mind a lot and at the time of writing up his report -and the Daily Mail article- Alphon was still very much alive along with several others we mention which may have concerned them about redress.Certainly Matthews as a detective was given his greatest clue he says over Hanratty's hanky and the gun.Never would any murderer do such a thing.It was planted there to incriminate Hanratty he believed;no question .And he had covered very many cases as a detective solving murder crimes .

Norma x

Graham
05-02-2015, 12:57 AM
The problem with Alphon's 'confessions' is that there always appears to be a 'deliberate mistake' in them. I've always said that he was no fool, and he always made sure he left the escape-hatch at least partly open.

He was also effectively groomed by Jean Justice (and to a lesser extent by Jeremy Fox, although I believe the latter was nowhere near as convinced of Alphon's guilt as Justice [I]appeared[I] to be). Like Alphon himself, Justice was in it for the money. Once he'd had a taste of the limelight and the good life, Alphon was reluctant to let it go, as anyone would be. On the other hand, his whole lifestyle seems to have been a cycle of rags-to-riches and back again, and if it bothered him at all then he didn't appear to show it, or even let it bother him too much. He certainly had Paul Foot puzzled, no doubt about that.

I also get the impression that Alphon enjoyed brinksmanship, and genuinely relished leading the police, the press and the public a merry old dance. That the police kept tabs on him seems fairly clear, as they knew where to find him when they needed samples of his DNA for the appeal.

Graham

Sherlock Houses
05-02-2015, 02:45 AM
Certainly Matthews as a detective was given his greatest clue he says over Hanratty's hanky and the gun.Never would any murderer do such a thing.It was planted there to incriminate Hanratty he believed;no question .And he had covered very many cases as a detective solving murder crimes .
Norma x

It's crucial also, Natalie, to emphasise that James Hanratty told his brother, Michael, that had he been the A6 murderer the first thing he would have done with the gun would have been to chuck it in the Thames. Just like most any one of us would have done.

Spitfire
05-02-2015, 08:55 AM
It's crucial also, Natalie, to emphasise that James Hanratty told his brother, Michael, that had he been the A6 murderer the first thing he would have done with the gun would have been to chuck it in the Thames. Just like most any one of us would have done.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Hanratty must have regretted not disposing effectively of either Valerie Storie or the gun, as he must also have regretted leaving fingerprints at the scenes of his burglaries but he still left them.

moste
05-02-2015, 11:55 AM
He was also effectively groomed by Jean Justice (and to a lesser extent by Jeremy Fox, although I believe the latter was nowhere near as convinced of Alphon's guilt as Justice [i]appeared[i] to be).
Hi, Graham, There is that piece of video though, on the Mystery of Dead mans Hill documentary, where Fox explains, during a discussion with Alphon "At that moment I was convinced Alphon was indeed the A6 killer". Unless something happened after this to change his mind.

Graham
05-03-2015, 03:22 AM
There is that piece of video though, on the Mystery of Dead mans Hill documentary, where Fox explains, during a discussion with Alphon "At that moment I was convinced Alphon was indeed the A6 killer". Unless something happened after this to change his mind.

Hi Mr M,

Yes, but I didn't mean to imply that Fox did not believe that Alphon was the A6 killer. I meant that in the two-man team of Justice and Fox, Jean Justice was the stronger character, the one with the lolly, and the one who kept Alphon in the limelight for a while. He was also the one who had a kind of relationship with Alphon, who as always went along with it so long as Justice was also showing him the high life. Fox had to watch himself because of his self-proclaimed position in the Establishment, and kept a lower profile. He never struck me as being quite as convinced of Alphon's guilt as his pal Justice.

Graham

NickB
05-03-2015, 05:22 AM
"At that moment I was convinced Alphon was indeed the A6 killer".

He said he was convinced because of the "anguish" Alphon showed. But it appears that he was just playing up to what they wanted to hear. In the May-67 ITN interview Alphon showed no anguish at all.

On 2-Sep-67 Alphon was fined (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2507&dat=19670904&id=-H5AAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vaMMAAAAIBAJ&pg=2067,421365) in Marylebone Magistrates Court for making nuisance calls to Lord Russell and others. The magistrate accepted that he did this under a sense of grievance at being falsely accused of the A6 murder.

So within 4 months of the Paris press conference he was back into professing his innocence. Yet those campaigning for Hanratty clung on to Alphon’s confession.

It is easy to see why. Parts of the case for Hanratty’s innocence (e.g. the cartridge cases in the Vienna) were much easier to explain with Alphon as the murderer. He usefully plugged some of the holes in their case. And it is a more powerful argument to say ‘Hanratty did not do it’ and then add ‘... and I know who did’.

Sherlock Houses
05-03-2015, 10:22 AM
He said he was convinced because of the "anguish" Alphon showed. But it appears that he was just playing up to what they wanted to hear.In the May-67 ITN interview Alphon showed no anguish at all.


How so ? To whom does/did it appear that Alphon was "just playing up" ?

You omitted to mention [for the benefit of anyone unfamiliar with the Fox Youtube video clip] that a little earlier on in that Alphon/Fox conversation [at the Blue Angel Club in July 1962] Alphon looked Fox straight in the eye, privately confessing to him that he "did that murder". A little later on in their conversation Fox recalled [with reference to how badly Hanratty's mother felt about her son being hanged for a murder he didn't commit] ...."the look of anguish that came over Alphon's face at that moment, finally convinced me that he was indeed the A6 killer."

As for that May 1967 interview in Paris, by that time 5 years had passed and Alphon was a much calmer person. Any anguish he might have once displayed had gradually subsided. He was 36 years old and a far more self-confident individual to the agitated and suspicious one he was way back in 1961/62. Hanging had been abolished 18 months earlier and no longer posed any threat to him. Self-preservation had always been a driving factor in Alphon's mind which was probably why he had never before made a public confession to the A6 murder.

The full Jeremy Fox clip can be seen just before the 51 minute point of that Youtube video..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TntFELB2Yw

Sherlock Houses
05-04-2015, 05:09 AM
Things began to change on the evening of the 27th when two police officers, alerted by the hotel manager to Alphon's very suspicious behaviour, after some initial questioning took him to their police station for a more prolonged interrogation lasting about two hours. Seemingly satisfied with Alphon's statement the interviewing police officer allowed him to leave around 10.00pm.


When Kilner and Dean searched Alphon's suitcase at the Alexandra Court Hotel that Sunday evening, buried at the bottom of the case was a recent copy of the Daily Express. The front page, which is what Kilner saw first looked like this...............

caz
05-05-2015, 08:08 AM
When Kilner and Dean searched Alphon's suitcase at the Alexandra Court Hotel that Sunday evening, buried at the bottom of the case was a recent copy of the Daily Express. The front page, which is what Kilner saw first looked like this...............

It might have been more unusual around that date for anyone to have had a newspaper that wasn't featuring the A6 crime and its aftermath. Isn't this a case of reading (sorry!) too much into it? If Alphon wanted to line his case with newspaper, a recent one would be a likely choice. You'd have had to question many thousands of newspaper readers during the Yorkshire Ripper years on that basis.

Love,

Caz
X

caz
05-05-2015, 08:51 AM
I don't quite understand your indignation about Alphon.There was a nationwide search for him Caz,and he actually confessed to being the A6 murderer in a public statement.

Hi Nats,

No, you don't understand, do you? It's not indignation about Alphon specifically.

It's all about equal treatment under the law - you know, all the principles of fairness and justice and seeking the truth, regardless of who is having the finger pointed at them. You believe there was a miscarriage of justice in Hanratty's case, yet you can't see that there are blatantly insufficient grounds on which to put Alphon back in the frame, and doing so on the existing evidence is no less dodgy than you insist it was in Hanratty's case.

Do you really not see the awful irony of implying that anyone who makes any kind of confession is somehow 'fair game'? What about the mentally ill and all those who have ever made false confessions? Do they lose the right to be presumed innocent in your eyes, as if the truth matters less than swallowing an unreliable confession that ticks all your boxes?

How many innocent people do you think would have been locked up or hanged if a confession was considered a good enough substitute for actual physical evidence (such as the hanky with Hanratty's DNA)?

How could Alphon, if he was the gunman, have accessed Hanratty's hanky, and why would he have bothered, in an era when it could not have been tied to anyone forensically?

In my opinion, Hanratty put the gun on the bus before heading straight for Liverpool to send that telegram, hoping the latter would pass for an alibi for the former. Nothing else makes much sense when looked at with objective eyes.

Love,

Caz
X

Natalie Severn
05-05-2015, 02:12 PM
With regard to the almanac men, I would have to say that once you'd met Alphon you probably wouldn't forget him. We don't know how successful he was at selling the almanacs, probably not very, so we can't tell how often he went to the warehouse (or whatever it was) for a fresh stock, but I would suggest that the men who ran the business knew Alphon by sight pretty well, well enough to convince the police that they had provided a sound alibi for him.

Re: the Alexandra Court, other guests complained about Alphon's noisy behavior, and the manager, who was aware that the police were asking hotels, b&b's, boarding-houses, etc., if they had any peculiar clients, contacted the police who came to investigate. I doubt if the other guests went shrieking down to the manager's office about the hotel harbouring the desperate A6 killer! To them, Alphon was just a damn nuisance.

No, Alphon didn't have a tight alibi for the night of the murder, but you know how I'm going to counter that, don't you, Nats?!? By saying that I don't believe Hanratty had an alibi either.....

No, the car produced not a single trace of Hanratty, neither did it produce a single trace of Alphon. Not a hair, not a fingerprint from either of them. Nats, unless I'm going senile (quite likely), I can't remember there being a bloody handprint on the rear window of the car? If it wasn't Hanratty's, did the police identify whose it was? I'd have said it must have been Valerie's.

SH, you're quite correct about the time Alphon was filmed pacing like a madman up and down that platform.

Graham
Thanks Graham.Yes I can appreciate these thoughts about Alphon and certainly its one way of looking at the case of Alphon that I can appreciate .
When I was doing research for my book on the case I was quite interested in his ramblings of themselves ,often stretching over several hours in telephone conversations with Paul Foot .I have seen some of the transcripts taken from taped recordings .These were not the ramblings of say somebody who was drunk--they are more the ramblings of somebody who was unwell mentally.His letters-I have copies of several of them, are the same, rambling and slightly maniacal-sometimes incoherent and making no sense.
Another aspect of his personality that intrigues me is both his choice of job as an almanac seller and his lack of a job at various other times .Drifters such as Alphon with the sort of intelligence we know he must have had ,since he got a place at what was then a significant London public school ,indicate that he may have had a schizoid or borderline schizophrenic personality and if he did ,then that personality type can indeed commit such crimes as the A6 murder and there are several documented that I can cite. Just my personal opinion.Norma

Natalie Severn
05-05-2015, 02:15 PM
Hi Nats,

No, you don't understand, do you? It's not indignation about Alphon specifically.

It's all about equal treatment under the law - you know, all the principles of fairness and justice and seeking the truth, regardless of who is having the finger pointed at them. You believe there was a miscarriage of justice in Hanratty's case, yet you can't see that there are blatantly insufficient grounds on which to put Alphon back in the frame, and doing so on the existing evidence is no less dodgy than you insist it was in Hanratty's case.

Do you really not see the awful irony of implying that anyone who makes any kind of confession is somehow 'fair game'? What about the mentally ill and all those who have ever made false confessions? Do they lose the right to be presumed innocent in your eyes, as if the truth matters less than swallowing an unreliable confession that ticks all your boxes?

How many innocent people do you think would have been locked up or hanged if a confession was considered a good enough substitute for actual physical evidence (such as the hanky with Hanratty's DNA)?

How could Alphon, if he was the gunman, have accessed Hanratty's hanky, and why would he have bothered, in an era when it could not have been tied to anyone forensically?

In my opinion, Hanratty put the gun on the bus before heading straight for Liverpool to send that telegram, hoping the latter would pass for an alibi for the former. Nothing else makes much sense when looked at with objective eyes.

Love,

Caz
X

Caz-sure I see.Of course I do.
But please calm down Ma'am.

Natalie Severn
05-05-2015, 02:29 PM
When Kilner and Dean searched Alphon's suitcase at the Alexandra Court Hotel that Sunday evening, buried at the bottom of the case was a recent copy of the Daily Express. The front page, which is what Kilner saw first looked like this...............

Thanks for this fascinating find SH. Interesting this hitch hiker thing they got hold of in the press -was it just an invention or was this something they got from Valerie initially?and clearly somebody must have been quite insistent about the description of the guy as having 'deep set brown eyes' !Can we be sure it was just a policeman bungling the description? Or was this how Valerie initially remembered him in the brief time she saw him. I understand that Michael Clark who was the first man Valerie Storie 'identified' was the exact same height as Alphon,5' 9", and that he had 'mousey hair' according to his aunt,and that he was 'heavily built' according to Acott..
Hanratty on the other hand was very slim, and two inches shorter and at the time of the murder had dark almost black hair.

caz
05-06-2015, 04:05 AM
Thanks Graham.Yes I can appreciate these thoughts about Alphon and certainly its one way of looking at the case of Alphon that I can appreciate .
When I was doing research for my book on the case I was quite interested in his ramblings of themselves ,often stretching over several hours in telephone conversations with Paul Foot .I have seen some of the transcripts taken from taped recordings .These were not the ramblings of say somebody who was drunk--they are more the ramblings of somebody who was unwell mentally.His letters-I have copies of several of them, are the same, rambling and slightly maniacal-sometimes incoherent and making no sense.
Another aspect of his personality that intrigues me is both his choice of job as an almanac seller and his lack of a job at various other times .Drifters such as Alphon with the sort of intelligence we know he must have had ,since he got a place at what was then a significant London public school ,indicate that he may have had a schizoid or borderline schizophrenic personality and if he did ,then that personality type can indeed commit such crimes as the A6 murder and there are several documented that I can cite. Just my personal opinion.Norma

How does this do anything at all for the cause of justice and fair play, Nats? If anyone says anything remotely similar about Hanratty, you come down on them like a ton of bricks.

I'm sorry but I just don't get it. No evidence that the mentally fragile Alphon did commit the A6 murder, yet you feel it's perfectly okay to suggest it anyway in his case, while expressing disgust that people ever did so in Hanratty's.

Love,

Caz
X

caz
05-06-2015, 04:15 AM
Caz-sure I see.Of course I do.
But please calm down Ma'am.

If you do see, Nats, then what is your explanation for abandoning all the principles you claim when defending Hanratty, whenever you discuss Alphon? All I see is blatant hypocrisy, so make me see what it really is - please.

Look - if anyone had tried to prosecute Hanratty on the same grounds you are seeking to use against Alphon, they would have come seriously unstuck.

And there's no need to patronise me, I've never been calmer.

Love,

Caz
X

Natalie Severn
05-06-2015, 04:59 AM
Caz-What on earth is going on here? Why are you deliberately stonewalling any discussion on Alphon and choosing instead to make offensive and personal attacks on me, calling me names like hypocrite and taking the high moral ground ? Get Lost.

moste
05-06-2015, 09:57 AM
How does this do anything at all for the cause of justice and fair play, Nats? If anyone says anything remotely similar about Hanratty, you come down on them like a ton of bricks.

I'm sorry but I just don't get it. No evidence that the mentally fragile Alphon did commit the A6 murder, yet you feel it's perfectly okay to suggest it anyway in his case, while expressing disgust that people ever did so in Hanratty's.

Love,

Caz
X

Hey Caz Part of the problem here with this back and forth argument re- Alphon v Hanratty, Lies in your belief that Alphon was mentally fragile. Alphon I believe was a cunning ,misleading, calculating, ne'er-do-well and about as mentally fragile as Einstein. Gregsten was mentally fragile, check out Woffindens book chapter 2. Poor man needed medical help he wasn't getting.

Spitfire
05-06-2015, 10:15 AM
There wasn't a great deal going for the notion that Alphon was the A6 Murderer back in 1962. There is even less going for it 53 years later after Hanratty's 1962 Counsel (Sherrard) has said the wrong man was not hanged and his 2002 Counsel (Mansfield) has said that Alphon did not commit the crime.

Other facts point to Hanratty rather than Alphon, the spent cartridge cases were found in Room 24, a room occupied by Hanratty not Alphon. Hanratty's DNA was found on the hanky and knicker fragment, Aphon's was absent.

moste
05-06-2015, 12:05 PM
While we're on the subject of Alphon v Hanratty. Selling almanacs door to door ,is a classic method of "casing a joint." Used by burglars as a good reason to be wandering around a persons property with the ruse to be peddling something.
I myself sometimes wonder if Jim and Pete perhaps knew each other, and even in league with each other, Pete would do the reconnoitre, with books in bag ready for a sale ,while checking for absent home owners,then later, passing on his addresses to Jim, who, by moonlight, will relieve them of their valuables. All that is required then is a fence, maybe like Mr.E or Ms. A, and its "share out time". Very nice little business, I would say,(always remembering to keep people like the Almanac people sweet with a few quid in case an alibi may be required at some later day). If anyone believes Alphons almanac selling was a legitimate job of work, then he could tell you anything.
just a thought.

moste
05-06-2015, 12:28 PM
That phrase "the wrong man wasn't hanged" is stupid and meaningless, regardless of who said it. Everyman was the wrong man and wasn't hanged, except for the right man, whom in our case is unknown.
If on the other hand you believe Hanratty was guilty, then, the right man was hanged, I think if Sherrard did actually say that, he was having a tease.

Spitfire
05-06-2015, 02:22 PM
Everyman was the wrong man and wasn't hanged, except for the right man, whom in our case is unknown.


Maybe I can help.

In the context of this debate only one man was hanged (Hanratty) and he was not the wrong man, in that he committed the crime of which he was charged, and was the right man to be hanged.

cobalt
05-06-2015, 02:25 PM
The truth in this case will continue to be hard to fathom.

Hanratty: Self confessed criminal
Dudds: Ditto
Alphon: Dodgy character accused of serious assault
Ewer: Self styled antique dealer with unaccounted for wealth
Gregsten: Philanderer
Acott: Dodgy cop with an alleged track record of fit ups.
Oxford: Ditto

Not much to go on there.

Spitfire
05-06-2015, 10:41 PM
The truth in this case will continue to be hard to fathom.

Hanratty: Self confessed criminal
Dudds: Ditto
Alphon: Dodgy character accused of serious assault
Ewer: Self styled antique dealer with unaccounted for wealth
Gregsten: Philanderer
Acott: Dodgy cop with an alleged track record of fit ups.
Oxford: Ditto

Not much to go on there.

Dudds being the most interesting character of the lot.

Natalie Severn
05-07-2015, 12:13 AM
There wasn't a great deal going for the notion that Alphon was the A6 Murderer back in 1962. There is even less going for it 53 years later after Hanratty's 1962 Counsel (Sherrard) has said the wrong man was not hanged and his 2002 Counsel (Mansfield) has said that Alphon did not commit the crime.

Other facts point to Hanratty rather than Alphon, the spent cartridge cases were found in Room 24, a room occupied by Hanratty not Alphon. Hanratty's DNA was found on the hanky and knicker fragment, Aphon's was absent.

True-there wasn't a 'great deal' going for it in 1962 since Valerie Storie had positively identified two other men by then as the A6 killer ;one a 'heavily built ' mousey haired man the same height of 5'9" as Alphon ,the other a very slim man of 5'7" named Hanratty .
But from day one of the A6 murder in 1961 when a very agitated Alphon arrived in the Alexandra Hotel ,Finsbury Park, there was suspicion about his agitated behaviour from a retired school teacher then other guests at the hotel which led to police questioning him 5 days later which actually was their very first lead to the Vienna Hotel where he had checked in on 22nd August 1961, the night of the A6 murder. Later police took a very significant interest in Alphon and began a nationwide search for him.
Mansfield ruled out Alphon in 2002 solely on the basis of the absence of his DNA on the knicker fragment which at the time was thought to be proof that he did not commit the crime.However we know today that this was wrong and that Mansfield made a mistake in saying this and that you can not rule someone out on the basis of absence of DNA if you are using LCNDNA testing methods.

It appears that Chief Supt Roger Matthews of Scotland Yard who in 1996 saw a lot more information than we have seen of police files etc , apparently did not 'rule him out' .I also understand that Matthews believed there were three people involved in the A6 murder, not one.

Natalie Severn
05-07-2015, 12:41 AM
re 'DUDDS'
mind we know ' Nudds ' had an astounding collection of eleven false names in all ....! Maybe he was nicknamed 'Dudds' by the cops after he did a complete turn around over the Alphon/Hanratty alibis telling the cops first one story in which he gave his alibi for Alphon,then another in which he gave his alibi for Hanratty, then ,after a metaphorical kick up the bum and seven hours of interrogation from very same cops plumped for giving back Alphon an alibi and was rewarded by being made a 'witness for the prosecution' at the trial.lol !

Graham
05-07-2015, 12:45 AM
Hi Nats,

After Alphon was interviewed following the Alexandra Court incident, he was dismissed as a suspect for the A6 crime. (Incidentally, he wasn't the first man to be interviewed about the A6). It was only when the cartridge cases were discovered at The Vienna that the police became instantly interested in him again, even though he didn't actually stay in Room 24 - unless you believe old Nudds, that is. It then became clear that someone called Ryan had stayed in Room 24 on the night in question. Alphon gave himself up willingly, hardly the action of a man responsible for one of the most brutal crimes of the 20th century, and admitted to the press that the prospect of being grilled by Acott & Co 'terrified' him. Acott played down the severity of his grilling of Alphon, who said it was a terrible ordeal, and I know which of the two I'm more prepared to believe - and it's not Mr Acott.

Alphon's weird behaviour at The Alexandra was absolutely typical of him, as I mentioned in a previous post, and more than one person who knew him testified as such. I once had to share an office with a bloke who was completely unable to keep still for more than about a minute, and it drove me crackers as he fidgeted and paced up and down, to the point where I moved to another office and sanity.

You mention Matthews and his report quite a lot, Nats. Obviously you accept what he says. It seems that he was confident that 'three people' were involved in the A6, so would it perhaps be possible if these three people were named? Do you know who he was referring to? (I can probably guess the i.d. of two of them, anyway).

Graham

OneRound
05-07-2015, 02:52 AM
Hi Nats,

Following on from Graham's post and queries, surely Mansfield would have had access to Matthews' report - is that right? If so, do you know why he didn't fully utilise it?

Thanks,

OneRound

caz
05-07-2015, 03:03 AM
Hey Caz Part of the problem here with this back and forth argument re- Alphon v Hanratty, Lies in your belief that Alphon was mentally fragile. Alphon I believe was a cunning ,misleading, calculating, ne'er-do-well and about as mentally fragile as Einstein. Gregsten was mentally fragile, check out Woffindens book chapter 2. Poor man needed medical help he wasn't getting.

Hi moste,

It was Norma who suggested that Alphon "may have had a schizoid or borderline schizophrenic personality and if he did, then that personality type can indeed commit such crimes as the A6 murder...".

If this is true, any unsupported confession he made should not be relied on or used against him.

I'm not sure what Gregsten's mental capacity has to do with anything. He was the murder victim.

Love,

Caz
X

caz
05-07-2015, 03:09 AM
While we're on the subject of Alphon v Hanratty. Selling almanacs door to door ,is a classic method of "casing a joint." Used by burglars as a good reason to be wandering around a persons property with the ruse to be peddling something.
I myself sometimes wonder if Jim and Pete perhaps knew each other, and even in league with each other...

Well they'd have had to be close associates if Alphon had been the gunman and used Hanratty's hanky when disposing of the murder weapon.

However, any actual evidence of such a relationship seems to be totally lacking.

Love,

Caz
X

caz
05-07-2015, 03:57 AM
Caz-What on earth is going on here? Why are you deliberately stonewalling any discussion on Alphon and choosing instead to make offensive and personal attacks on me, calling me names like hypocrite and taking the high moral ground ? Get Lost.

Me stonewalling, Nats? Everyone is most welcome to discuss Alphon and I couldn't stop you even if I wanted to - which I don't.

But no, I won't 'get lost'. You have consistently claimed the moral high ground when defending Hanratty against what you insist was 'gross contamination' of DNA tests, which were a 'complete joke'; what you insist have been lies and corruption from the police, the prosecution, the FSS and the justice system in general, from 1961 to 2002 and beyond. You keep bringing up other cases, particularly Hillsborough, as if this terrible miscarriage of justice has any bearing on the evidence in the A6 case, and you can't even see that in seeking to incriminate Alphon for the murder and rape (which in itself I don't object to in the slightest - freedom of opinion and all that) you are doing everything that you so thoroughly condemn in others.

In short, if you consider the case against Hanratty (even with his DNA on the knicker fragment and hanky) was grossly unfair and grossly unsound, what does that make any case against Alphon? Safe and sound? No, not remotely.

It would just be nice if you could admit that much.

Love,

Caz
X

Natalie Severn
05-07-2015, 04:50 AM
Caz, I don't accept that having a look at Alphon's stay at the Vienna Hotel and how it then led to Hanratty and Hanratty's subsequent execution is remotely comparable to what happened to Hanratty.
It is also a fact that the nationwide search put out by police in 1961 for Alphon and his subsequent questioning by police and the police dropping him from their inquiries led directly to police questioning Hanratty. So Alphon remains someone we have to deal with when looking at the case.This astounding and extraordinary co-incidence and it was not the only astonishing co-incidence .
But you have decided this is hypocritical of me because in your opinion I am not using the same yardstick of justice for Alphon when I consider his possible role in the A6 murder as I do for Hanratty and other justice campaigns say Hillsborough. Alphon did not die Caz, was not a victim of police--- or anybody else----'fitting him' up or police altering his statements- so far as we know -yes he was in prison briefly [ my mistake previously when I said he was not imprisoned in this post ] -he was briefly in Brixton prison and he was freed from Brixton upon being given an alibi by the almanac sellers ,his occasional employers. So how can there be a 'miscarriage of justice' for me to campaign around?
I think the way you are personally attacking my integrity on these boards is uncalled for.My suggestion to you is that we ignore each other's posts to avoid you continuing your personal attacks .
Best Wishes
Norma

Graham
05-07-2015, 05:51 AM
Hi Nats,

Mansfield ruled out Alphon in 2002 solely on the basis of the absence of his DNA on the knicker fragment which at the time was thought to be proof that he did not commit the crime.However we know today that this was wrong and that Mansfield made a mistake in saying this and that you can not rule someone out on the basis of absence of DNA if you are using LCNDNA testing methods.

I don't mean to be flippant, but if what you say is true then the number of potential A6 killers must be infinitesimal. I mean, my late Uncle Ted lived in Harrow, quite close to where it all began, and as his DNA wasn't on any of the fragments, then could he be considered a legitimate suspect? He was an odd 'un, quite true, but I couldn't see him as a killer and rapist.

The simple fact is, Nats, that Hanratty's DNA was found on the fragments, and Alphon's wasn't. Michael Mansfield, one of the most senior appeal lawyers in the judiciary, was perfectly prepared to accept this, as was Michael Sherrard. It must rest there, I feel.

Graham

Natalie Severn
05-07-2015, 06:03 AM
Hi Nats,

Following on from Graham's post and queries, surely Mansfield would have had access to Matthews' report - is that right? If so, do you know why he didn't fully utilise it?

Thanks,

OneRound

Don't know whether Mansfield had access to it One Round.Assume he did -you can pick up bits of it as you read through the record and documentation of the appeal court .It must have been persuasive to have been allowed to go to appeal 42 years after the execution at all .Personally I believe they were all quite astounded by the DNA results.And I understand that ----at that time, 2002, its extraordinary propensity to contamination was not known.Now there are much greater safe guards from the crime scene and sterile labs and sterile handling in the lab.

Natalie Severn
05-07-2015, 06:17 AM
Hi Nats,



I don't mean to be flippant, but if what you say is true then the number of potential A6 killers must be infinitesimal. I mean, my late Uncle Ted lived in Harrow, quite close to where it all began, and as his DNA wasn't on any of the fragments, then could he be considered a legitimate suspect? He was an odd 'un, quite true, but I couldn't see him as a killer and rapist.

The simple fact is, Nats, that Hanratty's DNA was found on the fragments, and Alphon's wasn't. Michael Mansfield, one of the most senior appeal lawyers in the judiciary, was perfectly prepared to accept this, as was Michael Sherrard. It must rest there, I feel.

Graham

Then I really must post you some of the cases of where since then-from the Omagh bomb case back in 2007 onwards several judges and barristers have been overwhelmingly critical and thrown out cases because of totally error ridden LCN DNA results---[one, a teenage boy was accused of rape on the basis of his DNA being found on the victims belongings and who had never even been to the town where it happened and in this case they failed to find the evidence of the rapist on the victims clothing.There are quite a few more too.
Mansfield a was wrong but his mistake can be understood as at the time they were unaware either of the extent of the tests tendency to contamination or its ,via the process of actually being able to ' mask ' another person's DNA .Sherrard was suspicious of the results and makes a cautious assessment in his autobiography of 2009 and in more combative questioning of the appeal court findings in his Horizon TV interview done just after the hearing in 2002.

Natalie Severn
05-07-2015, 06:21 AM
Hi Nats,

Alphon gave himself up willingly, hardly the action of a man responsible for one of the most brutal crimes of the 20th century, and admitted to the press that the
Alphon's weird behaviour at The Alexandra was absolutely typical of him, as I mentioned in a previous post, and more than one person who knew him testified as such.
Graham
Yes Graham I agree.But its also typical of a person with a schizoid personality under stress.

OneRound
05-07-2015, 07:04 AM
... my late Uncle Ted lived in Harrow, quite close to where it all began, ... He was an odd 'un, quite true, but I couldn't see him as a killer and rapist.


Graham

Graham - with all due respect to you and your late Uncle Ted, you would say that, wouldn't you?;)

Best regards,

OneRound

Natalie Severn
05-07-2015, 07:07 AM
I am afraid I don't know who the three people are that Detective Matthews had in mind . that Matthews may have believed somebody must have driven the killer to the cornfield because there is no evidence the killer was a hitch hiker and it was miles from anywhere.He also appears to be very clear that the two witnesses could not have seen the car at that time in Redbridge either at the roundabout or anywhere in Redbridge as other withheld evidence suggests the car was left in Redbridge much later on in the day and this is backed up by four different witnesses.Another point he brought out was about how and where the killer cleaned himself up because he would have been saturated with Michael Gregsten's blood as he took his shoulders and pulled him from the car-half Gregsten's head had been blown off.
Andy [my husband] did some interesting research a little while ago on the journey the gunman directed Valerie and Gregsten on which passed the very park Gregsten had been to with his two sons that afternoon in Watford, just two miles from the Gregsten family home in [I]Abbot's Langley suggesting that at least that part of the car journey may have been 'pre-planned'.It appears they took a route from Dorney Reach where the gunman said ' not left at Maidenhead -sick of Maidenhead [where Gregsten was decorating the flat he intended moving into on 27th August 1961] but right to Slough" and so they went down Slough High Street Valerie 'e home being in Slough and on to go through Hayes reaching the Western Avenue and crossing the Greenford intersection up through Harrow and on to Watford ,close to the Gregstens home.Now this must have been a route Gregsten knew as it would have been the easiest route from Abbot's Langley where he lived near Watford to the other Langley near Slough where Gregsten and Valerie both worked . This may be significant as to whether they had been previously followed ,this journey to Dead man's Hill actually being part of a planned route.

Graham
05-07-2015, 08:02 AM
Hi Nats,

in fact, the cornfield is probably somewhat less than a mile from the main A4. I've visited the area twice, the first time on a stinking hot day when I parked at Taplow Station and walked as far as Dorney Court. It nearly did me in. The second time I drove. Valerie stated that on the fateful evening they first parked just off Hunterscombe Lane, where they'd parked before, not very far from Marsh Lane, but after a while decided to move to Marsh Lane for reasons I don't think she specified. Unless Hanratty followed them first to Hunterscombe Lane and then to Marsh Lane, how did he know they would be at Marsh Lane at all that evening? To me, this rules out any pre-planning of this crime - Hanratty came across the car purely by chance.

He could have been driven to the cornfield, I suppose, but unlikely.

For what it's worth, I never thought much of the various claimed sightings of the car, either in London or elsewhere.

As far as I'm aware, Valerie said that the route they took to Deadman's Hill was virtually all dictated by the gunman. Hanratty did know the Bedford area as his aunt lived there, and after the crime he took his girl-friend Gladys Deacon to Bedford. From London he could have taken the A6 or the A1/M1 routes.

Where he cleaned himself up is anybody's guess, or perhaps he didn't get as much blood on him as is supposed. If he stopped somewhere secluded on his journey south after the murder, then why didn't he dispose of the gun? Odd.

Graham

Graham
05-07-2015, 08:05 AM
Graham - with all due respect to you and your late Uncle Ted, you would say that, wouldn't you?;)

Best regards,

OneRound

Hi OR,

Yes, you're right, but Uncle Ted did possess a gun - an ancient WW! Lee-Enfield rifle which didn't work! He was odd all right, but his wife (Aunt Lily) was even odder....I won't go into it!

Graham

Ed James
05-07-2015, 08:33 AM
I am afraid I don't know who the three people are that Detective Matthews had in mind . that Matthews may have believed somebody must have driven the killer to the cornfield because there is no evidence the killer was a hitch hiker and it was miles from anywhere.He also appears to be very clear that the two witnesses could not have seen the car at that time in Redbridge either at the roundabout or anywhere in Redbridge as other withheld evidence suggests the car was left in Redbridge much later on in the day and this is backed up by four different witnesses.Another point he brought out was about how and where the killer cleaned himself up because he would have been saturated with Michael Gregsten's blood as he took his shoulders and pulled him from the car-half Gregsten's head had been blown off.
Andy [my husband] did some interesting research a little while ago on the journey the gunman directed Valerie and Gregsten on which passed the very park Gregsten had been to with his two sons that afternoon in Watford, just two miles from the Gregsten family home in [I]Abbot's Langley suggesting that at least that part of the car journey may have been 'pre-planned'.It appears they took a route from Dorney Reach where the gunman said ' not left at Maidenhead -sick of Maidenhead [where Gregsten was decorating the flat he intended moving into on 27th August 1961] but right to Slough" and so they went down Slough High Street Valerie 'e home being in Slough and on to go through Hayes reaching the Western Avenue and crossing the Greenford intersection up through Harrow and on to Watford ,close to the Gregstens home.Now this must have been a route Gregsten knew as it would have been the easiest route from Abbot's Langley where he lived near Watford to the other Langley near Slough where Gregsten and Valerie both worked . This may be significant as to whether they had been previously followed ,this journey to Dead man's Hill actually being part of a planned route.

Hi Nats

I am interested in what you say about Matthews's view that the murder car was abandoned later in the day at Redbridge.

I think there is an argument that East London was not an accidental location for the dumping of the car. The gunman either had friends in the area and /or hailed from there. An argument runs that the gunman made for that general area for safe refuge, albeit haphazardly after the murder , got cleaned up and possibly cleaned up some of the car. The car was then moved , in a panic, to Avondale Crescent around 5.30pm when it was recognised the car was really hot - this would fit the witness evidence of the sighting and non sighting in Avondale Crescent.
The risk of being sighted in the car at this time was great, but the gunman and possibly an unwilling associate were desperate. To make identification difficult , the front number plate was deliberately bent so it was not easily readable and a closely following car obscured the rear number plate and provided a getaway when the car was abandoned. Parking near to the tube was designed to suggest the gunman came from outside the area.

In a previous post I also suggested that the route of the MM after the abduction was either another coincidence or deliberate - the car passed within a couple of miles of Gregsten's Abbot's Langley home, and would have been closer still but for the gunman's apparent confusion between Watford and St Albans.

Unlike your husband Andy, I don't believe the MM went along the A412 directly past Cassiobury Park, Watford (where Gregsten took his son and neighbour's boy earlier in the day) I think the route was on the Watford By Pass from Stanmore (A41), but am happy to be corrected.

KR
Ed

OneRound
05-07-2015, 10:24 AM
Hi OR,

Yes, you're right, but Uncle Ted did possess a gun - an ancient WW! Lee-Enfield rifle which didn't work! He was odd all right, but his wife (Aunt Lily) was even odder....I won't go into it!

Graham

Hi again Graham,

I'm tempted to ask what Uncle Ted's driving was like but I'll bring the shutters down here before you tell me that he and Aunt Lily used to holiday in Rhyl!

Best regards,

OneRound

moste
05-07-2015, 08:39 PM
Well they'd have had to be close associates if Alphon had been the gunman and used Hanratty's hanky when disposing of the murder weapon.

However, any actual evidence of such a relationship seems to be totally lacking.

Love,

Caz
X

Absolutely lacking. But very possible.

moste
05-07-2015, 08:48 PM
Hi moste,

It was Norma who suggested that Alphon "may have had a schizoid or borderline schizophrenic personality and if he did, then that personality type can indeed commit such crimes as the A6 murder...".

If this is true, any unsupported confession he made should not be relied on or used against him.

I'm not sure what Gregsten's mental capacity has to do with anything. He was the murder victim.

Love,

Caz
X

Alphon wasn't fragile mentally. Thats all.

Sherlock Houses
05-08-2015, 02:28 AM
Alphon wasn't fragile mentally. Thats all.

So true. Anybody coming to that conclusion , Moste, after all we know about Alphon, frankly hasn't got a clue. Alphon was in truth anything but fragile. He was mentally acute, manipulative, cunning, threatening and any number of similar adjectives. He would often toy with people when it suited his purposes. One thing he couldn't shake from his mind however was the A6 murder, a subject he would return to time after time over the years. He was ultra careful to include glaring inaccuracies in his many confessions over the years, a self-preservation tactic. It is often said that confession is good for the soul.

Sherlock Houses
05-08-2015, 02:54 AM
Isn't this a case of reading (sorry!) too much into it? If Alphon wanted to line his case with newspaper, a recent one would be a likely choice.

He didn't need to line his case with anything though. The contents of the case were all neatly wrapped up in brown paper or newspaper. Most people in those days, I would say, would have chucked an almost 4 day old newspaper in a nearby bin. Not Alphon though. I wonder just how much longer he kept hold of that particular copy of the Express ?

Sherlock Houses
05-08-2015, 05:32 AM
...Amongst other things she describes him as having his hair plastered back, wearing a tie-less white shirt and wearing a new, light coloured three quarter length mackintosh. As we know Alphon was very fond of three quarter length macs and greasing his hair back without a part.

Alphon felt the need to purchase a brand new three-quarter length mac just two days after the A6 murder. Was he replacing a bloodied one I wonder ? As I have mentioned before he didn't seem to go anywhere without one. How common was it for 30 year old males to wear one back in 1961 ? Was that summer really such a wet one ? Even 30 years later he was filmed wearing one. An ideal sort coat for secreting things on one's person I suppose.

Sherlock Houses
05-08-2015, 06:37 AM
Alphon's weird behaviour at The Alexandra was absolutely typical of him, as I mentioned in a previous post, and more than one person who knew him testified as such.



Where is the evidence to show that Alphon's strange behaviour at the Alexandra Court Hotel between August 23rd and August 27th was "absolutely typical" of him when staying at hotels/B&B's ? ?

The only other example of weird hotel behaviour on his part happened at the Regent Palace Hotel in the early hours of Sunday, March 18th 1962, arguably under the influence of drink.This incident, somehow involving a hotel chambermaid, is fairly well documented in the Foot and Woffinden books so it doesn't require me to go into any detail about it.

Graham
05-08-2015, 07:54 AM
Where is the evidence to show that Alphon's strange behaviour at the Alexandra Court Hotel between August 23rd and August 27th was "absolutely typical" of him when staying at hotels/B&B's ?

You misunderstood what I wrote - I was referring to Alphon's character and behaviour in general, not merely what he got up to in hotels, etc. Plenty of evidence in the books with regard to his character. A previous landlady of his complained about the noises from his room at night, for example.

Graham

Graham
05-08-2015, 07:59 AM
White and light-coloured shortie raincoats were all the go in the late 50's and early 60's, and worn in any weather by the discerning fashionistas of the day. I had two or three when I was still at school, very much against my school dress-code, which expected boys to wear a dark gabardine mac in inclement weather.The crack was to wear them open, as in the film of Alphon. Not much use for secreting anything except your wallet and your fags.

Graham

Derrick
05-08-2015, 08:17 AM
Alphon felt the need to purchase a brand new three-quarter length mac just two days after the A6 murder. Was he replacing a bloodied one I wonder ? As I have mentioned before he didn't seem to go anywhere without one. How common was it for 30 year old males to wear one back in 1961 ? Was that summer really such a wet one ? Even 30 years later he was filmed wearing one. An ideal sort coat for secreting things on one's person I suppose.

But nowhere in her testimony does Miss Storie mention the man wearing a raincoat. In fact her testimony was to the contrary.

Where about his person would the gunman have hidden such a raincoat. One of his pockets had loose bullets in it. That narrow's down the opportunities for concealment of such a garment.

Sherlock Houses
05-08-2015, 08:55 AM
But nowhere in her testimony does Miss Storie mention the man wearing a raincoat. In fact her testimony was to the contrary.

Where about his person would the gunman have hidden such a raincoat. One of his pockets had loose bullets in it. That narrow's down the opportunities for concealment of such a garment.

I'm not saying that the gunman was wearing a raincoat when he hijacked the car. It could easily have been inside a rolled up carrier bag, similar to one that Stanley Cobb mentioned in a statement.
Mr Cobb and his wife Elsie, residents of Dorney Reach, both recalled a stranger outside their front gate on the Tuesday [Aug 22nd] afternoon who was carrying a white, rolled up carrier bag. Their dog had been barking at this man for some time which was what drew their attention to him. Along with neighbour Fred Sewell, who also witnessed the incident, they were struck by the man's resemblance to the identi-kit photos issued a week later.

There must have been lots of things Miss Storie never mentioned in her testimony.

Derrick
05-08-2015, 09:59 AM
...There must have been lots of things Miss Storie never mentioned in her testimony...

Why Houses ole chap...

I believe you may be right.

She never mentioned that she had been shagging Mr Gregsten and had been doing so for 3 years.
She never mentioned why she changed the eye colour of her assailant from brown to blue.
She never disclosed any information about the appearance of the man she picked out on 24th September.

But we should not put any of the blame onto Miss Storie.

The real blame lays at the door of Acott.

cobalt
05-08-2015, 03:32 PM
Graham,

You said that it was unlikely Hanratty was driven to the area where the murder took place. So how did the murderer (who might have been Hanratty) get there?

Carrying a loaded revolver on a bus or train would be very difficult for a man wearing a suit in the early autumn, particularly as he was also lugging a box full of cartridges.

If the killer drove in his own (or a stolen) car, then he must have abandoned it in the area. Only an accomplice could have retrieved it before the police became aware of the vehicle.

No one has ever satisfactorily explained how the killer arrived at the cornfield. He just magically appears. No trace is ever found: not a bus ticket, a train ticket or an abandoned car. It does not make sense.

Graham
05-09-2015, 12:10 AM
Cobalt,

you pose questions that I really can't answer with any degree of certainty. I can only repeat what I said in a recent post that it's less than a mile from the main A4 road (and buses) to the cornfield. Hanratty entered the car with the gun in his hand and the bullets in his pocket, so unless he carried them to the field in a paper bag or similar, which he discarded, I can only assume that he carried gun and ammo in his pockets. I expect a large revolver would soon ruin the pocket of a suit jacket, or trouser pocket, but that eventuality didn't seem to bother Hanratty.

I'd say it was more late summer than early autumn - I believe the weather was pretty good at the time.

In line with your questions, as far as I'm aware the police's examination of the gateway was either cursory or even possibly non-existent, unless someone has any information regarding. If a car had been abandoned nearby, you'd think that the police would have soon known about it, and included it in their inquiries.

Hanratty claimed also to have been in Rhyl at the time of the abduction, yet no bus or train tickets, nor even a signature in a guest-book, were forthcoming there, either. I would suggest that Hanratty tended to conduct his life without a lot of planning or thought for the future, so even if he did have bus-tickets chances are that he'd have just chucked them away. Who keeps bus-tickets anyway?

Finally, I believe that it does make sense if you consider the possibility (even perhaps probability) that Hanratty had recently acquired the gun, was in the area that day (maybe he'd been to Slough greyhound track), thought about a spot of buglary at a lonely property, abandoned that idea for whatever reason, and then spotted the car in the field. Speculation obviously - we will now never know precisely what he did and why, prior to getting into that Morris Minor.

Graham

Spitfire
05-09-2015, 02:10 AM
Finally, I believe that it does make sense if you consider the possibility (even perhaps probability) that Hanratty had recently acquired the gun, was in the area that day (maybe he'd been to Slough greyhound track), thought about a spot of buglary at a lonely property, abandoned that idea for whatever reason, and then spotted the car in the field. Speculation obviously - we will now never know precisely what he did and why, prior to getting into that Morris Minor.



For Hanratty to have left the spent cartridge cases in Room 24 of the Vienna, the likelihood he must have been in possession of the gun since the previous evening.

cobalt
05-09-2015, 04:30 AM
Graham,

Thanks for your thoughts on how the killer reached the cornfield. I still think it unlikely he would travel by public transport with a revolver and cartridges on his person. Even less likely that he would visit a greyhound track 'packing a heater' given how cumbersome it would be when handing over money, squeezing past members of the public, going to the toilet. The same would apply if the gun and cartridges had been in a bag of some sort.

Were the killer Hanratty then, as a known criminal, he faced the risk of being spotted by an alert policeman at the dog track and frisked. The criminal fraternity were a feature at dog tracks, as were plain clothes detectives, so I doubt anyone would carry a weapon in that environment.

What I could more willingly accept is that the killer arranged to meet someone in the vicinity of Slough greyhound track in order to obtain a firearm. But that then indicates a conspiracy of some sort, and as Spitfire points out rather undermines the evidence of the cartridges which appeared at the Vienna Hotel.

Graham
05-09-2015, 05:34 AM
Hi Cobalt,

I take your point about the buses, but someone did take the gun + ammo onto a bus without being detected, to dispose of them.

As Spitfire points out, he must have got the gun no later than the previous evening, ref: the cartridge cases at The Vienna. And I don't believe anyone planted them there other than the killer, who I believe to have been Hanratty.

Did the police habitually 'stop and search' known criminals at dog-tracks in those days? Alphon was not unknown to the police even before the murder, albeit a long time before, but he seemed to spend a large proportion of his time at dog-tracks without being accosted by PC49.

Graham

Graham
05-09-2015, 07:42 AM
Two photos which may be of interest, with acknowledgement to Alamy.

1] Meike Dalal

2] Peter Alphon (a photo I've never seen before)

If these photos have been placed on the A6 Thread in the past, then I apologise to whoever placed them!

Graham

Sherlock Houses
05-09-2015, 09:49 AM
MD. Yes, that's the bloke who nearly brain-damaged me.

moste
05-10-2015, 01:56 AM
Finally, I believe that it does make sense if you consider the possibility (even perhaps probability) that Hanratty had recently acquired the gun, was in the area that day (maybe he'd been to Slough greyhound track), thought about a spot of buglary at a lonely property, abandoned that idea for whatever reason, and then spotted the car in the field. Speculation obviously - we will now never know precisely what he did and why, prior to getting into that Morris Minor.
Hi Graham. just checking on Google Earth the location of Slough greyhound stadium.(as was)It was actually on the Uxbridge road to the east of Slough, and to get to Marsh Lane off the A4, it would have been a couple of miles west across the other side of Slough. As the train runs it would be a case of getting off at Slough from Paddington, then doubling back 1/2 a mile to Uxbridge road for the greyhound stadium , or if you stayed on the train it was Burnham next, then Taplow for Marsh road. just thought I would indicate that to be going to Slough dogs for a track meet you certainly wouldn't be swinging by the vicinity of the corn field to rob a house.
Also on the discussion of identifying areas did anyone realise that Huntercombe lane South. where the couple supposedly pulled in for a chat or whatever, is about a ten or twelve minute walk to Valeries house on Anthony way, in cippenham. It was most likely the two lovers that were spotted there by the motorcyclist, on his way home to Burnham from his girl friends place at 9 30 p.m. I wonder if they were discussing Mike taking her home at this point, and she wasn't even supposed to be part of a pre-conceived plan. I guess we'll never know.

NickB
05-10-2015, 03:23 AM
to be going to Slough dogs for a track meet you certainly wouldn't be swinging by the vicinity of the corn field to rob a house

Isn't this the route Alphon claimed to take? (although not to rob a house)

After watching the dog he bet on ‘Mentals Only Hope’ run at 9pm in Slough he walked out into the country (it must have been incredibly quickly!) 6 miles to the Old Station Inn at Taplow, and then the further 1.5 miles to the cornfield.

cobalt
05-10-2015, 02:13 PM
Mentals Only Hope might well serve as an appropriate title for this website. But I respect all of those, whatever their view, who continue to show an active interest in the case. I was 9 years old when the crime occurred, and it was probably the first news story I read outside of the back pages covering sport. Whatever our differences, we all believe that justice is precious.

It is certainly an intriguing case. There are three areas of interest: North London, Slough and Liverpool/Rhyl. So the possibilities for questioning the prosecution case are very wide geographically. (I could even add in Derbyshire where a credible sighting of the car was made.)

Then we have an array of characters who might come from a Dickensian novel: the artful dodger Hanratty, the Quilp like Nudds, all the way through to Dixie France, the dubious antique dealer Ewer, Alphon ,the embodiment of the riddle wrapped in an enigma, and Hanratty's female fence whose name eludes me for the moment. Some crew! Add on a couple of dubious coppers, one of whom later achieved notoriety in Liverpool, and you have to regret that Dickens was not around to write up the story.

But ultimately, as we all appreciate on this site, this is not entertainment. A man was killed, a woman paralysed, and a man executed. I hope we can help each other get closer to a fuller understanding of what took place that night in 1962.

As you are probably aware, I have a particular interest in how the murderer arrived at the cornfield. I am unconvinced that Hanratty, a burglar rather than a robber up till that point, would have arrived on foot without a getaway vehicle. Is there any evidence that Hanratty, an acknowledged car thief and burglar, ever combined these two activities in his criminal career?

Graham
05-11-2015, 01:35 AM
Hi Cobalt,

I am unconvinced that Hanratty, a burglar rather than a robber up till that point, would have arrived on foot without a getaway vehicle. Is there any evidence that Hanratty, an acknowledged car thief and burglar, ever combined these two activities in his criminal career?

It seems that JH's usual modus operandi when out a-burgling was to travel by bus and on foot, sort out his loot at a convenient time afterwards, then discard unwanted items under the back upstairs seat of a bus. From what I can tell, he nicked cars mainly for profit, and didn't own one until he bought the Sunbeam Alpine after the murder. The Dorney Reach area is, as I said, within quite easy reach of bus-routes, and there's also Taplow Station.

I will always feel that the events of that terrible night were basically down to JH's failure to burgle a house, hold up a shop or a garage or whatever at gun-point, and he got into the Morris out of sheer frustration. I am very aware, however, that not everyone on this thread shares my feelings regarding the genesis of the A6 Crime.....

Graham

caz
05-11-2015, 07:10 AM
Caz, I don't accept that having a look at Alphon's stay at the Vienna Hotel and how it then led to Hanratty and Hanratty's subsequent execution is remotely comparable to what happened to Hanratty.
It is also a fact that the nationwide search put out by police in 1961 for Alphon and his subsequent questioning by police and the police dropping him from their inquiries led directly to police questioning Hanratty. So Alphon remains someone we have to deal with when looking at the case.This astounding and extraordinary co-incidence and it was not the only astonishing co-incidence .
But you have decided this is hypocritical of me because in your opinion I am not using the same yardstick of justice for Alphon when I consider his possible role in the A6 murder as I do for Hanratty and other justice campaigns say Hillsborough. Alphon did not die Caz, was not a victim of police--- or anybody else----'fitting him' up or police altering his statements- so far as we know -yes he was in prison briefly [ my mistake previously when I said he was not imprisoned in this post ] -he was briefly in Brixton prison and he was freed from Brixton upon being given an alibi by the almanac sellers ,his occasional employers. So how can there be a 'miscarriage of justice' for me to campaign around?
I think the way you are personally attacking my integrity on these boards is uncalled for.My suggestion to you is that we ignore each other's posts to avoid you continuing your personal attacks .
Best Wishes
Norma

Okay Nats, I'll just say this and then I'll be glad to let it drop.

I suppose this was the bottom line for me:

In Alphon's case there is no DNA or other forensics (indeed it was someone else's DNA found on the two surviving pieces of important physical evidence, as Graham has pointed out); nothing connecting him with the crime scene or murder weapon; and a failed victim identification to kick things off. Any case made against him post-2002 has to boil down to "acting suspiciously".

In fact it put me in mind of the old Not the Nine O'Clock News sketch in which Constable Savage arrests someone for "looking at me in a funny way". It might have been comical if it hadn't involved such a senseless and horrific crime.

In short, if Hanratty had been put on trial for murder (never mind convicted and hanged) on as little evidence as there is against Alphon, the whole world would rightly have wept at the injustice, not just a few of his die-hard defenders.

My beef begins and ends there. :hiya:

Love,

Caz
X

caz
05-11-2015, 07:23 AM
Alphon wasn't fragile mentally. Thats all.

Well he couldn't have been 100% up top, moste, or he wouldn't have 'confessed' to a capital crime - guilty or not. I'm with Nats on that one.

Love,

Caz
X

caz
05-11-2015, 07:27 AM
He didn't need to line his case with anything though. The contents of the case were all neatly wrapped up in brown paper or newspaper. Most people in those days, I would say, would have chucked an almost 4 day old newspaper in a nearby bin. Not Alphon though. I wonder just how much longer he kept hold of that particular copy of the Express ?

There's your answer, SH. If his habit was to wrap case contents neatly up in newspaper, why would he not have carried a spare? I always put a spare carrier bag in luggage of any kind, for purchases, shoes or dirty washing.

Love,

Caz
X

Graham
05-11-2015, 08:10 AM
Well he couldn't have been 100% up top, moste, or he wouldn't have 'confessed' to a capital crime - guilty or not. I'm with Nats on that one.

Love,

Caz
X

Hi Caz,

false confessions to murder are far from rare, and it seems that the worse and/or more in the public eye the crime is, the more false confessions! I mentioned the Jill Dando Case, where more than 60 false confessions wasted an awful lot of police time. I've read that there were possibly 300 false confessions to the Lindbergh Kidnap case. Why people do it is beyond me. The guy who sent those tapes to the police investigating the Yorkshire Ripper Murders is another well-known one. There are also confessions obtained through police pressure and/or coercion, Stephen Downing being a well-known victim of this.

I just wonder, in Alphon's case, how much he was put up to his false confessions by his pal Jean Justice - his 'little girl'. But in Alphon's confessions there was always a 'deliberate mistake', or so it seems to me, something he could use as a fall-back in case things got hot for him.

Graham

Dupplin Muir
05-11-2015, 10:51 AM
Graham wrote:

false confessions to murder are far from rare, and it seems that the worse and/or more in the public eye the crime is, the more false confessions!


Yes, but people don't usually confess while in the process of committing another crime! I don't think anyone can seriously doubt that Alphon attacked Mrs Dalal and should have been charged with it. The willingness of the police to accept his so-called alibi was nothing short of a dereliction of duty. Why didn't they accuse the almanac sellers of getting the wrong day, or wanting their '15 minutes of fame' as they did with JH's alibi witnesses?

False confessions almost invariably happen in only one of two circumstances:

A) Someone is seeking attention and walks into a police station and says "I am Jack the Ripper" (or whatever).
B) The police browbeat or trick a vulnerable person into giving a false confession, usually by promising to give them bail.

NickB
05-11-2015, 11:18 AM
I don't think anyone can seriously doubt that Alphon attacked Mrs Dalal

I'm sure he did not attack Mrs Dalal.

Alphon was only put on Dalal’s id parade because the attacker had claimed to be the A6 murderer. But the only thing that implicated him in this was Nudds temporary second statement - a classic case of police browbeating. Effectively Dalal was presented with a complete parade of fillers. Under these circumstances, what are the chances of anyone making a correct identification?

They should have put Alphon on Valerie’s id parade first, and only if she had identified him then put him on Dalal’s id parade.

Natalie Severn
05-11-2015, 03:50 PM
Graham, when the Home Office asked Scotland Yard for a report on the A6 murder , Scotland Yard appointed one of their top men in Roger Matthews,a long serving and distinguished chief detective and a Cambridge graduate ,so he must have assessed the evidence he saw pretty carefully over a period of nearly a year with a team of 20 detectives to help him present a report worthy of a Home Office review.Whatever the report contained must also have been compelling for it to have been accepted by the Chief Police Constable of Bedfordshire Baden Skit in charge of the CCRB-who,like Matthews was absolutely convinced by what he read in the report of Hanratty's innocence. Both men so far as I know remain convinced of Hanratty's innocence and cannot understand the DNA result.
I think Matthews believes that somebody drove two men to the Taplow Inn, and these two men were seen by at least one other person that night sitting in a room next to the main bar from which you can/could see Dorney Reach Cornfield and the movements of the Morris Minor that night . This is just a snippet of information I gleaned about this report by Roger Matthews ---and it may not be wholly accurate as I myself have never spoken with him but I am pretty certain he was convinced three people were involved in the crime and that Hanratty had nothing to do with it. Norma

Natalie Severn
05-11-2015, 03:58 PM
Okay Nats, I'll just say this and then I'll be glad to let it drop.

I suppose this was the bottom line for me:

In Alphon's case there is no DNA or other forensics

My beef begins and ends there. :hiya:

Love,

Caz
X

Cheers Caz---quite right there isn't but there are unsolved anomalies and strange coincidences :hiya:

Spitfire
05-12-2015, 03:36 AM
I'm sure he did not attack Mrs Dalal.

Alphon was only put on Dalal’s id parade because the attacker had claimed to be the A6 murderer. But the only thing that implicated him in this was Nudds temporary second statement - a classic case of police browbeating. Effectively Dalal was presented with a complete parade of fillers. Under these circumstances, what are the chances of anyone making a correct identification?

They should have put Alphon on Valerie’s id parade first, and only if she had identified him then put him on Dalal’s id parade.


Mrs Dalal could only identify who had attacked her and who had claimed to be the A6 killer. The fact that the person had claimed to be the A6 killer would not necessarily mean that he was. It was as, if not more, likely that the attacker of Mrs Dalal was using the claim to be the A6 killer as a threat to intimidate her rather than a true claim.

Alphon could have attacked Mrs Dalal but that did not make him the A6 killer.

caz
05-12-2015, 04:45 AM
Hi Caz,

false confessions to murder are far from rare, and it seems that the worse and/or more in the public eye the crime is, the more false confessions! I mentioned the Jill Dando Case, where more than 60 false confessions wasted an awful lot of police time. I've read that there were possibly 300 false confessions to the Lindbergh Kidnap case. Why people do it is beyond me. The guy who sent those tapes to the police investigating the Yorkshire Ripper Murders is another well-known one. There are also confessions obtained through police pressure and/or coercion, Stephen Downing being a well-known victim of this.

Hi Graham,

I agree with all of this, but would still argue that voluntary confessions to murder, when we had the death penalty, would not generally have been made by the mentally sound and well-adjusted. A false confession could have landed you in very hot water unless you could prove your innocence when push came to shove.

And I think that must have reassured Alphon when claiming involvement - that he knew there was no actual evidence against him apart from his own less than reliable word for it, not nearly enough for a prosecution.

If he had been the gunman and rapist, what on earth would have possessed him to confess at all, when he had been getting away with it? If he'd had a death wish (or even less likely, had been suffering from terrible remorse), he'd surely have found some way to incriminate himself beyond doubt.

Stating the obvious, all false confessions will have one thing in common - nothing conclusive to indicate guilt. Genuine confessions will succeed if the person really wants to be believed. If they don't want to be believed, why would they confess in the first place? Double bluff?

Love,

Caz
X

Graham
05-12-2015, 04:49 AM
Hi Nats,

I think Matthews believes that somebody drove two men to the Taplow Inn, and these two men were seen by at least one other person that night sitting in a room next to the main bar from which you can/could see Dorney Reach Cornfield and the movements of the Morris Minor that night

Do you mean the Old Station Inn, now demolished? If so, this stood well back from the main A4, on the north side, and although I don't know if there were any buildings between it and the A4, there were certainly buildings on the south side of the road which blocked any sight of the country beyond. Even so, I don't think there was any chance of the cornfield being visible from the Inn. Unfortunately my large-scale map of London doesn't extend far enough west, so I can't do any measurements. There's a large garage very close to where the Inn used to be, and having filled my car there on the day I went to Marsh Lane, I can assure you that you can't see the cornfield from there. This is the first time I've heard this theory, though, that's for sure!

Mrs Lanz, who was the licensee of the Inn, was claimed by Jean Justice to have stated that she had seen Alphon more than once prior to the murder, and that on the night of the murder he was present at the Inn in the company of a 'blonde woman' who possibly was wearing a wig according to Mrs Lanz. This 'blonde woman' was claimed by Justice to be Janet Gregsten, which I always thought was totally preposterous! He then has Alphon and the 'blonde woman' engaging in conversation, with her encouraging him to 'do it', i.e., the murder. The Old Station Inn was on at least one occasion used as a film set, and it sounds as if Justice might have been quoting from the script of a B-rated detective movie! Unfortunately, the statement Mrs Lanz gave to the police very soon after the murder was totally different to the joint Justice/Alphon concoction.

One last thing, Nats: if the Matthews Report so convincingly proves Hanratty's innocence, why has it never been published?

Graham

Graham
05-12-2015, 04:56 AM
Hi Caz,

you're quite correct in what you say, of course. However, there was a case in the USA about 30 years ago in which a man voluntarily confessed to a murder, and ended up spending years on death row before it was proved that he had nothing to do with it. I'm afraid I can't remember names, location or any other details, so don't know if the man concerned was of sound mind or not......I'd say 'not', to be honest.

Graham

caz
05-12-2015, 04:57 AM
False confessions almost invariably happen in only one of two circumstances:

A) Someone is seeking attention and walks into a police station and says "I am Jack the Ripper" (or whatever).
B) The police browbeat or trick a vulnerable person into giving a false confession, usually by promising to give them bail.

It must happen occasionally that an attention seeker draws attention to himself before A) happens, and when the police take an interest he makes a false confession to keep the attention on himself.

Again, what would have made Alphon confess willingly if he had been genuinely guilty of the A6 crime, but didn't fancy having his neck stretched for it?

That would make no sense to me at all. Do you know of any such cases in criminal history?

Love,

Caz
X

caz
05-12-2015, 05:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by caz View Post
Okay Nats, I'll just say this and then I'll be glad to let it drop.

I suppose this was the bottom line for me:

In Alphon's case there is no DNA or other forensics

My beef begins and ends there.

Love,

Caz
X

Cheers Caz---quite right there isn't but there are unsolved anomalies and strange coincidences :hiya:

That wasn't quite the full 'beef', Nats, so I'd have preferred to be quoted in context, but we can't have everything, can we? ;)

Love,

Caz
X

caz
05-12-2015, 05:10 AM
Hi Caz,

you're quite correct in what you say, of course. However, there was a case in the USA about 30 years ago in which a man voluntarily confessed to a murder, and ended up spending years on death row before it was proved that he had nothing to do with it. I'm afraid I can't remember names, location or any other details, so don't know if the man concerned was of sound mind or not......I'd say 'not', to be honest.

Graham

Well quite. Who in their right mind would do such a thing? :anxious:

Love,

Caz
X

Natalie Severn
05-12-2015, 10:55 AM
Hi Graham,

I agree with all of this, but would still argue that voluntary confessions to murder, when we had the death penalty, would not generally have been made by the mentally sound and well-adjusted. A false confession could have landed you in very hot water unless you could prove your innocence when push came to shove.
X
Did Alphon make any public confession to the A6 crime, Caz, while the death sentence was still operating ? I don't think so. He definitely explained later that the reason he had not come forward was that he did not want to hang. A schizoid personality is not a 'fragile' minded person .This is a misunderstanding of the term.Many cold blooded killers have shared this personality type ,[and so of course have millions of other schizoid personalities who would never go on to become killers of any kind -in fact they are to be found among conscientious objectors too ].But apart from psychopaths it has often been people who share that personality type who have been able to kill seemingly without emotion,usually for a cause .Alphon is a bit of an enigma certainly.He did not have an alibi for the night of the murder-certainly not his mother -and the hotel entry is something Roger Matthews draws specific attention to as being very 'unreliable' but in the Mail article he unfortunately doesn't explain why .

Natalie Severn
05-12-2015, 11:51 AM
Hi Nats,



Do you mean the Old Station Inn, now demolished? If so, this stood well back from the main A4, on the north side, and although I don't know if there were any buildings between it and the A4, there were certainly buildings on the south side of the road which blocked any sight of the country beyond. Even so, I don't think there was any chance of the cornfield being visible from the Inn. Unfortunately my large-scale map of London doesn't extend far enough west, so I can't do any measurements. There's a large garage very close to where the Inn used to be, and having filled my car there on the day I went to Marsh Lane, I can assure you that you can't see the cornfield from there. This is the first time I've heard this theory, though, that's for sure!

Graham
Yes-the Old Station Inn in Taplow. At the moment I am in North Wales Graham without access to the relevant information.I am not referring to Jean Justice or any of his theories here but to information I have had passed on to me about the sighting of two men in the lounge being seen by others ,including the landlady ,who were there that night.When I get back I will search out the source of that information which I believe was given by a journalist in an article written not long after the trial. No mention was made of any woman that I do know. I also have information about background research undertaken by Colin Burdon the Director of The Bootleg Theatre Company who wrote a play in which he himself played Hanratty while his colleague played Alphon. They play has the two men having an imaginary conversation about the A6 Murder and both defend their innocence .In the preparations leading up to the production both director/actor[s] visited the Old Station Inn several times and sat in the corner of the lounge we are discussing -next to the bar-and were able to see, perfectly clearly , the field off Marsh Lane where the car entered and exited-all quite easily seen from the Old Station Inn window.I took detailed notes and they are in London at the moment.Colin Burden still runs the Theatre company and I am sure if somebody dropped him a line he would confirm what he told me. Norma
post script:- I have just checked and it looks like the Bootleg Theatre Company is no longer operating as such but Colin Burdon is still very much involved in the theatre.
-I don't know why the Matthews report has never been published-but neither has a fair bit of information in the police files -some of it unavailable for another twenty or thirty years.

moste
05-12-2015, 01:19 PM
It really is too bad that more could not be gleaned from the 'Mathews report, from all of the investigative work carried out, it sounds like Mathews came to the conclusion that the whole thing reeks of a cover up.
I myself have a strong feeling that the official secrets act has been enforced on many occasions with this whole case, possibly even restricting the outcome of the report.
Also on the Old Station Inn, I have to agree with Graham. The existing Shell petrol station was built close to the original pub location . The old pub was in fact part of Taplows original station obviously renovated over the years, I have seen an old photo of it, and to reach the train platforms it was necessary to ascend a flight of stairs, possibly at a height of 25' From this spot looking S.S.E. you could probably see the Dorney Reach corn field in the distance. The pub as was, even if you were standing on the roof, the railway embankment would have been in your way, even without the trees and bushes which are profuse these days.

Spitfire
05-12-2015, 02:16 PM
I'm not sure what the Matthews report has to do with the attack on Mrs Dalal but Mr Matthews (he'd retired) was called as a witness by the Defence in the 2002 appeal. if he had unearthed anything which might have broken the prosecution case then here was the opportunity for it to be used. In fact, Mr Matthews' evidence was limited to questions concerning the custody and handling of exhibits and documents in the case.

Natalie Severn
05-12-2015, 02:53 PM
I'm not sure what the Matthews report has to do with the attack on Mrs Dalal but Mr Matthews (he'd retired) was called as a witness by the Defence in the 2002 appeal. if he had unearthed anything which might have broken the prosecution case then here was the opportunity for it to be used. In fact, Mr Matthews' evidence was limited to questions concerning the custody and handling of exhibits and documents in the case.

His report was strong enough to be accepted by the CCRB and by implication the Home Office, to recommend a new appeal,42 years after the event Spitfire.I believe it did point to evidence of cover up/fitting up but we won't know that for sure for another long stretch of [ is it 30 ?] years.

Natalie Severn
05-12-2015, 03:00 PM
Also on the Old Station Inn, I have to agree with Graham. The existing Shell petrol station was built close to the original pub location . The old pub was in fact part of Taplows original station obviously renovated over the years, I have seen an old photo of it, and to reach the train platforms it was necessary to ascend a flight of stairs, possibly at a height of 25' From this spot looking S.S.E. you could probably see the Dorney Reach corn field in the distance. The pub as was, even if you were standing on the roof, the railway embankment would have been in your way, even without the trees and bushes which are profuse these days.

I do not believe this is necessarily accurate Moste -no offence but I did cross question Colin over this and he was emphatic..However to prove Colin Burdon was right may mean testing the distance ,the angles and geometry of it-.Colin never mentioned using binoculars but that would have significantly enhanced what was visible.

Natalie Severn
05-12-2015, 04:32 PM
Okay Nats, I'll just say this and then I'll be glad to let it drop.

I suppose this was the bottom line for me:

In Alphon's case there is no DNA or other forensics (indeed it was someone else's DNA found on the two surviving pieces of important physical evidence, as Graham has pointed out); nothing connecting him with the crime scene or murder weapon; and a failed victim identification to kick things off. Any case made against him post-2002 has to boil down to "acting suspiciously".

In fact it put me in mind of the old Not the Nine O'Clock News sketch in which Constable Savage arrests someone for "looking at me in a funny way". It might have been comical if it hadn't involved such a senseless and horrific crime.

In short, if Hanratty had been put on trial for murder (never mind convicted and hanged) on as little evidence as there is against Alphon, the whole world would rightly have wept at the injustice, not just a few of his die-hard defenders.

My beef begins and ends there. :hiya:

Love,

Caz
X
OK taking up your point that I omitted the main part of your post Caz, here it is in full and I do actually agree with most of what you say tbh. Alphon acted oddly but there is nothing much he did that in any way points to him being the gunman .However there is one bit of evidence that I have always found tantalising and its where Juliana Galves tells the police in her second interview of 13th September that around 11. 45 on the day of the murder she knocked on Alphon's room at the Vienna Hotel and told him he must leave by noon.He was apparently standing near the sink and looking dishevelled.But his case was lying open on the bed behind him and she noticed, as he moved to close it ,that it was full of dirty clothes on top of which were a pair of black ladies gloves.

Spitfire
05-12-2015, 04:35 PM
His report was strong enough to be accepted by the CCRB and by implication the Home Office, to recommend a new appeal,42 years after the event Spitfire.I believe it did point to evidence of cover up/fitting up but we won't know that for sure for another long stretch of [ is it 30 ?] years.


Quite correct, and an appeal was heard and no fewer than 17 grounds of appeal were relied upon. These grounds of appeal would be the fruits of Mr Matthews's labours. There is no more.

caz
05-13-2015, 03:53 AM
Did Alphon make any public confession to the A6 crime, Caz, while the death sentence was still operating ? I don't think so. He definitely explained later that the reason he had not come forward was that he did not want to hang. A schizoid personality is not a 'fragile' minded person .This is a misunderstanding of the term.Many cold blooded killers have shared this personality type ,[and so of course have millions of other schizoid personalities who would never go on to become killers of any kind -in fact they are to be found among conscientious objectors too ].But apart from psychopaths it has often been people who share that personality type who have been able to kill seemingly without emotion,usually for a cause .Alphon is a bit of an enigma certainly.He did not have an alibi for the night of the murder-certainly not his mother -and the hotel entry is something Roger Matthews draws specific attention to as being very 'unreliable' but in the Mail article he unfortunately doesn't explain why .

Hi Nats,

Thanks for the additional info.

The question remains why Alphon would have confessed at any time, publicly or privately, if he had been guilty of any sort of involvement in this notorious crime and had got clean away with it because someone else had been convicted and hanged? I can't think of any other criminal who has done something like this. Alphon doesn't come across as a remorseful type at all, though arguably a boastful one with little to boast about. And that is another trait of inadequate people who falsely claim involvement in important - or in this case infamous events.

By the way, if you are arguing that Alphon may have had a schizoid personality, or been a psychopath, either of which can indicate a cold blooded killer, I would still argue that would not have made him as sound as you or I mentally. :anxious:

Love,

Caz
X

caz
05-13-2015, 04:08 AM
OK taking up your point that I omitted the main part of your post Caz, here it is in full and I do actually agree with most of what you say tbh. Alphon acted oddly but there is nothing much he did that in any way points to him being the gunman .However there is one bit of evidence that I have always found tantalising and its where Juliana Galves tells the police in her second interview of 13th September that around 11. 45 on the day of the murder she knocked on Alphon's room at the Vienna Hotel and told him he must leave by noon.He was apparently standing near the sink and looking dishevelled.But his case was lying open on the bed behind him and she noticed, as he moved to close it ,that it was full of dirty clothes on top of which were a pair of black ladies gloves.

Thanks again, Nats.

When you say 'around 11.45 on the day of the murder', do you mean after the murder? If so, and he had to check out by noon, I'd have thought someone would have noticed if he hadn't slept there overnight, but had come in 'dishevelled' at some point after 7 am.

Love,

Caz
X

caz
05-13-2015, 04:29 AM
Quite correct, and an appeal was heard and no fewer than 17 grounds of appeal were relied upon. These grounds of appeal would be the fruits of Mr Matthews's labours. There is no more.

Hi Spitfire, All,

I don't understand why the authorities would have needed to cover anything up. If the DNA findings had not further incriminated Hanratty, or had in fact indicated someone else as the rapist, they'd have had to swallow it, and they would have done, having allowed Hanratty's remains to be exhumed for the purpose of testing the original conviction. They certainly couldn't have predicted a positive result due to a very specific and unfortunate contamination event. And they could hardly have 'fixed' the DNA tests to come up with the 'right' result.

Moreover, the jury had no pressure put on them to find Hanratty guilty in the first place. They were clearly advised to acquit if they had any doubts about the strength of the evidence, and it was arguably Hanratty's change of alibi that tipped the balance. We may say that was the jury's fault more than Hanratty's, but the authorities could have said the same thing. It was hardly their fault if Hanratty lied and the jury refused to acquit, so why would a risky cover-up be warranted?

Love,

Caz
X

Graham
05-13-2015, 04:43 AM
Mr Moste is perfectly correct - no way can you see the entrance to the cornfield from where the Old Station Inn used to be, even if the modern Shell station wasn't in the way. Plus the cornfield has to be the best part of a mile from the site, and there are houses in between. I think the play producer is using a touch of artistic licence.

And two men in the lounge of a pub? How very unusual.......

Graham

OneRound
05-13-2015, 02:57 PM
Quite correct, and an appeal was heard and no fewer than 17 grounds of appeal were relied upon. These grounds of appeal would be the fruits of Mr Matthews's labours. There is no more.

Hi all,

Following on from Spitfire's post above and several claims made by Natalie, I have never seen a direct quotation from or attributed to Matthews in which he asserts Hanratty's ''innocence''.

I would very much like to see one.

In the meantime, I would emphasise that there is a difference between a belief in innocence and concern that guilt was not proved fairly beyond reasonable doubt. I do wonder if the latter relates more to Matthews' viewpoint.

Best regards,

OneRound

OneRound
05-13-2015, 03:36 PM
OK taking up your point that I omitted the main part of your post Caz, here it is in full and I do actually agree with most of what you say tbh. Alphon acted oddly but there is nothing much he did that in any way points to him being the gunman .However there is one bit of evidence that I have always found tantalising and its where Juliana Galves tells the police in her second interview of 13th September that around 11. 45 on the day of the murder she knocked on Alphon's room at the Vienna Hotel and told him he must leave by noon.He was apparently standing near the sink and looking dishevelled.But his case was lying open on the bed behind him and she noticed, as he moved to close it ,that it was full of dirty clothes on top of which were a pair of black ladies gloves.

Hi all,

I too wonder whether this statement from Ms Galves could have been shown to be significant.

Not so much if what Ms Galves said was true. That might have raised further speculation about Alphon but it probably wouldn't have achieved anything other than to again demonstrate what we already knew - that he was an odd bod.

However, if the statement was untrue, why did she make it and was it because she was pressured by Acott and crew into doing so? If Hanratty's legal team could have traced Ms Galves and obtained an affidavit to that effect (this could have happened years before the 2002 appeal), this would have gone a long way to blowing the police's credibility for the whole investigation out of the water.

Admittedly some questions of a speculative nature here and ultimately it's possible nothing much may have come of them. However, I do believe this matter should have been pursued by the defence more vigorously than it appears to have been. Even though it does not directly relate to Hanratty, it might just have considerably helped in getting his conviction overturned.

Best regards,

OneRound

Graham
05-14-2015, 01:07 AM
I think I'm correct in saying that Mrs Galvez was in this country illegally, so therefore may have been rather pliable when it came to giving the kind of evidence that Acott wanted to hear.

Graham

OneRound
05-14-2015, 01:19 AM
I think I'm correct in saying that Mrs Galvez was in this country illegally, so therefore may have been rather pliable when it came to giving the kind of evidence that Acott wanted to hear.

Graham

Hi Graham - yes, and if it had been confirmed by Mrs Galvez that that had actually happened then Acott's credibility and that of the whole police investigation would have been significantly dented.

Best regards,

OneRound

Graham
05-14-2015, 01:26 AM
I've just had a look at Google Earth and also Streetmap with regard to whether it's possible, as Nats claims, to see the entrance to the cornfield on Marsh Lane from the site of the now-demolished Old Station Inn. It isn't.

First, the distance as the crow flies is approx. 0.75 miles, a long way to see any detail with the naked eye.

Second, there are, and certainly were in 1961, many buildings between the Inn and the gate to the cornfield.

Third, as Moste points out, the old Inn was in a slight hollow.

I would politely suggest that the producer of the play mentioned by Nats not only applied some poetic licence, but also has a terrific imagination - as of course should be possessed by any theatrical producer. Nice idea for a play about Hanratty, but not I fear to be taken seriously.

I'm guessing that the old Inn was demolished in the late 1990's. I first visited the area in I think about 2000 and it wasn't there. In fact, the actual site took quite a bit of finding behind the Shell station.

If Mr Moste, who plainly knows the area, could comment, I'd be imterested.

Graham

PS: I'd have attached the Streetview maps, but for reasons I don't understand the 'Manage Attachments' feature on this Forum describes them as 'invalid documents' and won't upload them. Why's that, does anyone know?

NickB
05-14-2015, 02:17 AM
However, if the statement was untrue, why did she make it and was it because she was pressured by Acott and crew into doing so?

Galves first statement on 6th September said Alphon “arrived at about 11.30 pm” and it made no mention of gloves.

“The only luggage he had was a small brown suitcase, almost an attaché case, and when I looked into his room to ask when he was leaving, it was open and contained very dirty clothing.”

The following week the police get a second statement in which she clarifies that she did not see Alphon arrive herself and adds a mention of gloves.

Like Nudds second statement, Galves second statement appears to be the result of the police homing in on Alphon. But it is not quite as simple as that, because in between the two was Nudds first statement which said he did see Alphon arrive at 11.30.

Natalie Severn
05-14-2015, 02:58 AM
Galves first statement on 6th September said Alphon “arrived at about 11.30 pm” and it made no mention of gloves.

“The only luggage he had was a small brown suitcase, almost an attaché case, and when I looked into his room to ask when he was leaving, it was open and contained very dirty clothing.”

The following week the police get a second statement in which she clarifies that she did not see Alphon arrive herself and adds a mention of gloves.

Like Nudds second statement, Galves second statement appears to be the result of the police homing in on Alphon. But it is not quite as simple as that, because in between the two was Nudds first statement which said he did see Alphon arrive at 11.30. Nudds made it up as he went along of course-according to what he thought the police might like to hear at any given time.

Juliana Galves first statement of 6th September was a composite statement from the Vienna Hotel to local police . Her second statement of 13th September 1961 to Acott carries another clue to the suspect hotel diary entry of 11.30 referred to by Roger Matthews as suspicious . Juliana Galves not only mentioned the Black gloves in that statement but also insisted that she had never been at the hotel desk at 11.30 and had a day off on that day [night of 22nd ] and didn't set eyes on Alphon until 11.45 am the following morning ,23rd which of course was the day Michael Gregsten was found dead and Valerie Storie was found severely injured.[Galves was not here illegally as I recollect ,but rather needed to extend her visa/work permit in the October].

Natalie Severn
05-14-2015, 03:18 AM
Yes,Graham-am checking out my source .However I am almost certain it was not artistic license but checked out by Colin Burdon going with his colleague and sitting in a far corner of the lounge room at The Old Station Inn, Taplow and both men being surprised at being able to see the field. Norma.

Graham
05-14-2015, 03:21 AM
When Paul Foot became interested in this case with his Private Eye articles and the publication of his book, I initially believed that Hanratty had genuinely been stitched up and that an innocent man was hanged. However, on subsequent readings of both Foot and Woffinden, it became clear to me that the police, in order to satisfy the ever-louder demands to find the A6 killer, actually tried to stitch-up Peter Alphon. He was under suspicion primarily because he had stayed, by his own freely-given admission, at the Vienna Hotal at the crucial time. That is, his involvement in the case was simply by coincidence. Unfortunately, Acott & Co had decided that Alphon was their man and, to put it simply, pressured Nudds and Galves into making statements that were acceptable to the police. Nudds was a well-known bad 'un, for all we know open to being lent on for misdemeanors that had nothing to do with the A6, and Mrs Galves was almost certainly in fear of being deported. The black gloves, the claimed brief presence of Alphon in Room 24, the apparent 'confusion' over the time of his arrival, all were police fictions put into the mouths of Nudds and Mrs Galves so that Alphon could be neatly moulded into the role of vicious murderer and rapist. And obviously, had Alphon not drawn the police's attention to the Vienna Hotel, the chances are that Hanratty would never have been caught.

I'm only repeating what has been known for a long time, but I do feel it's important to re-emphasize that Alphon was neither the A6 killer nor the attacker of Mrs Dalal. Unpleasant and peculiar though he was, he did come frighteningly close to being hanged, and then maybe today it would be his name connected with the execution of an innocent man.

Graham

Graham
05-14-2015, 03:24 AM
Yes,Graham-am checking out my source .However I am almost certain it was not artistic license but checked out by Colin Burdon going with his colleague and sitting in a far corner of the lounge room at The Old Station Inn, Taplow and both men being surprised at being able to see the field. Norma.

Norma,

just enter 'Taplow Station' into Google Earth and you'll see what I mean.

Graham

NickB
05-14-2015, 03:37 AM
Juliana Galves first statement of 6th September was a composite statement from the Vienna Hotel to local police.

As far as I am aware only the first paragraph, describing what happened on the Tuesday, is written as a composite. For example, “We told him we would save him the room ...”.

Her description of Alphon and the paragraph I quoted are written in the first person.

Natalie Severn
05-14-2015, 04:05 AM
Bob Woffinden actually interviewed Juliana Galves long after the event and insists on including the black gloves as being what Juliana actually saw resting on top of dirty clothes in Alphon's suitcase. Woffinden not only draws compelling reference to her seeing such black gloves on top of the suitcase but explains in detail how Alphon had subsequently [unlike Hanratty] "adamantly refused to surrender his clothing or allowed it to be forensically tested" He also refers to what Alphon's mother had said about his habit of leaving a suitcase in a left luggage locker,which according to one of his confessions , was what he did with the clothes he wore when carrying out the murder and ,Woffinden adds ,where he assuredly deposited the women's gloves seen by Juliana Galves and referred to in her second statement, the dirty clothing she saw---and adds Woffinden where undoubtedly the blood stained clothing were deposited.Lets remember too that Peter Alphon was seen at Victoria Station on Wednesday 23rd August 1961 at about 4.50 pm.Alphon checked in at the Alexandra Court Hotel as F.Durrant of Horsham ,Sussex[!] Anita Sims the wife of the manager remembers him as having a cockney accent .This was between 5 and 6 pm on 23rd August 1961.

Nick do you happen to have available her statements of 6th and 13th September?

Natalie Severn
05-14-2015, 04:45 AM
Graham,
I have looked at Google Earth at Taplow Station and remembering that the Old Station Inn was part of the original Taplow Station and not the later one of the 1870's what we are actually looking for is a spot well to the West [approx three quarters of a mile to the West and close to the railway line] .It therefore looks as though it might well have been possible to see the field off Marsh Lane/ Dorney Reach from a far window in the Old Station Inn -especially with a pair of small racing binoculars ---not forgetting that the area then was very isolated -no shell garage and no industrial buildings to block such a view .

Natalie Severn
05-14-2015, 07:19 AM
Among the papers myself and William Beadle were given a few years back by a chap in motor cycle gear at the Whitechapel Society , were three pages of notes which appear to have been taken by Joe Gillbanks,the retired detective sergeant from Liverpool employed by Michael Sherrard, Hanratty's trial barrister to carry our further investigations for the trial . Gillbanks appears in the papers to be interviewing Hanratty on 12th December 1961 and asking him about his relationship with Charles France and his wife and their daughter Carol.Later Gillbanks moves on to specific questions about his relationship with France .He asks Hanratty whether France can drive-Hanratty says yes he can but that he wasn't a good driver in his opinion because he let him have a drive in his new Sunbeam Alpine Sports car and he crashed the gears .I can't get hold of these papers right now as they are in London but the really interesting bit is where Hanratty is pressed about any role France may have played apart from as an fence .Hanratty who appears quite protective of France in some ways says he felt sorry for him as France with his wife and three children , was desperately hard up and Hanratty had suggested France went out with him to Stanmore and they could do some burglary [France had done time some years before for stealing -I think it was lead off roofs and other bits and pieces ] -and was on the fringes of criminality in Soho. However the job with France which was in July'61 reveals France as someone who tended to make rather a habit of making things go pear shaped , as happened on this occasion when he apparently kept standing guard in the wrong place outside the house and even bungled things as they were being put in a chest and then into the car boot.When the three men-the third ,Harry,another Rehearsal Club doorman - much older than either France or Hanratty -drove an old rover for them to Ealing to see Donald Slack -also known as Donald Fisher who was bothered the cops might come back as he has been dealing in stolen goods and they had just been to quiz him about it.The goods from the Hanratty/France/Harry job appear to have been worth quite a bit and France was given Scotch and £30 cash.The money and scotch were more or less divided according to 'expertise' .
Hanratty also gave Charlotte France £15 on 21st August before leaving for Liverpool .This was for doing his washing which had included his shirts and handkerchiefs.

Graham
05-14-2015, 07:41 AM
Indeed, Woffinden does give an extract from Acott's interview with Alphon, but according to Leonard Miller is not always precise, as follows, when Acott asks Alphon if he is storing any clothes other than those he's wearing:

Woffinden's Version

Alphon: Yes, but they're in hotels and pawnbrokers and I'm not telling you where they are.

Acott: I shall have every pawnbroker visited and I shall probably find them. Have you got any bags or cases:

Alphon: No

Miller's Version

Alphon: Yes but they're in hotels and pawnbrokers and I'm not telling you where they are.

Acott: I shall have every pawnbroker visited and I shall probably find them.

Alphon: All right, I've a pair of trousers in Thompson's on the Uxbridge Road.

Acott: Have you got any bags or cases?

Alphon: No


This if correct shows at least that Alphon was being reasonably cooperative with the police. I assume that Miller had access to the transcript of Acott's interview.

Alphon said that he came out of that interview 'utterly exhausted and defeated' (Daily Express 4 October 1961) but some time later Acott apparently stated that the interview was shorter and milder than Alphon claimed.

Graham

NickB
05-14-2015, 07:52 AM
Nick do you happen to have available her statements of 6th and 13th September?

Only the 6th September statement which is as described. I think the second one might have been on the 12th, the day following the cartridge cases find.

It has been said (by Woffinden etc.) that the Old Station inn was used as a setting in a Miss Marple film starring Margaret Rutherford.

The film must have been ‘Murder She Said’. This includes some scenes in Taplow, shown here ( http://www.margaretrutherford.com/milchester.htm), but I cannot find any mention of the inn being featured.

The interesting thing is that this film was released in 1961!

NickB
05-14-2015, 07:56 AM
This if correct ...

It is correct. You can freeze frame Woffinden's TV documentary and read the typewritten interview. I presume this is where Miller saw it.

Graham
05-14-2015, 08:01 AM
Graham,
I have looked at Google Earth at Taplow Station and remembering that the Old Station Inn was part of the original Taplow Station and not the later one of the 1870's what we are actually looking for is a spot well to the West [approx three quarters of a mile to the West and close to the railway line] .It therefore looks as though it might well have been possible to see the field off Marsh Lane/ Dorney Reach from a far window in the Old Station Inn -especially with a pair of small racing binoculars ---not forgetting that the area then was very isolated -no shell garage and no industrial buildings to block such a view .

Nats,

I identified the site of the Old Station Inn when I visited the area by means of the car showroom which is right on the Bath Road. (Thinking about it, perhaps I filled the car at a petrol-station further east along the Bath Road, but not sure). The site of the Inn was well back from the road near the long lay-by you can see to the west on Google Earth.

If you're correct in saying that the true site of the Inn was 3/4 mile to the west of where I was looking, that that would make it even further from the entrance to the cornfield, in fact about doubling the distance. Only one way to resolve this - one of us will have to visit! It used to be easy for me before I retired, as I had customers in Slough, but just at the moment, 3 months into a total knee replacement, I don't fancy the drive! Maybe Mr Moste can help here.

I still think Colin Burden was using artistic licence and imagination.....

Graham

Natalie Severn
05-14-2015, 08:14 AM
Graham yes perhaps Andy and I could make a preliminary visit this Summer and join you and Moste and others in the Autumn when your knee is better .I used to go almost as far as Bedford along a route that used to be considered a panoramic drive in the 1970's .I expect when you write a large book like Woffinden's on the case there are always a few things missing or not quite exact .Hope knee heals well, Norma

Natalie Severn
05-14-2015, 08:18 AM
Great pix Nick-gives you a flavour.

NickB
05-14-2015, 08:18 AM
Brooke said in parliament that it was a “mile-and-a-half from the public house to the cornfield”. I presume he is talking about the distance by road.

NickB
05-14-2015, 08:22 AM
The location is identified here:
http://www.maidenhead.net/history/old-stn.html

moste
05-14-2015, 11:42 AM
The location is identified here:
http://www.maidenhead.net/history/old-stn.html

Yes, this is the site I had visited before. Also I had on my pc prior to it crashing, a local Taplow gazette, with a historic article on a 6 pub, pub crawl starting in the village and ending up on the A4 Bath road. where the two pubs, 'The Dumb Bell " and 'The Old Station Inn' were almost across the street from each other .'The Dumb Bell' is now called 'Harvester' but got its original name from the fact that you could hear the old station platform bell ringing when ever a train approached.So apparently there is a connection with the old station closing and being moved approximately 1/4 mile east to its new location, and the opening and subsequent naming of the new pub across the road in the middle of the 19th century ( Interesting piece of trivia, I thought)
In the Film with the wonderful Dame Margaret Rutherford, "Murder she said,"Taplow was in fact the location, but although I had read the Old Station Inn was used in the making, I couldn't detect as much from watching ,although the opening and closing scenes show a beautiful old stone built farm house which I found using Google Earth just west a hundred yards from our pub, turning left into a very easy to miss, Amerden Lane, then through the railway tunnel and its on your immediate right . Hasn't changed since '61 hardly.
The problem with the location of the 'Old station Inn as a 'look out point, isn't so much that its in a hollow or dip , its the railway embankment .You would need to walk the three hundred yards east, and through the old Great Western road bridge to emerge on the south side of the railway, and the now available view toward the Marsh road fields.

moste
05-14-2015, 01:20 PM
Of course I don't mean 'now' available view ,because of the trees and shrubbery, but the 30' embankment is no longer an obstacle.

Natalie Severn
05-17-2015, 01:56 PM
Hi Nick ,Graham and Moste.A few points I want to clarify .I contacted Colin Burden who responded today with a very pleasant email confirming that what I remembered about what he had told me a few years back was correct about his acting colleague and himself visiting the Old Station Inn and I quote :
Michael and I did indeed visit the pub in 1995 and I sat in the rear area from which you could see the corner of the cornfield but probably not the actual spot where the Morris Minor would have been parked. [Sunday 17th May]

I didn't ask Colin if he had binoculars or not that day and I note he doesn't say whether you could see a car going down Marsh Lane or not-just that you could see the corner of the cornfield from the rear area of the pub.

Btw I am sure everybody knows that there was an interesting siting at about 2.30 pm on 22nd August 1961 in Marsh Lane of a man with receding dark brown or black hair brushed straight back and dark eyes and a sallow complexion wearing a dark suit- in Marsh Lane -are intriguing .The man ,according to neighbours , resembled the photofit which Valerie Storie helped to compose.He was seen carrying a white carrier bag rolled up at the top at about 2.30 pm on Tuesday 22nd August by Mr and Mrs Cobb of Marsh Lane and by Mr Newell their neighbour who had seen the man two or three times before when he wore a red coloured garment under his jacket the first time and a similar red coloured garment under his coat the second time .Neither the Cobbs or Newell were ever asked to attend an identity parade.
referring to a post I wrote a few weeks back I can't yet find the reference to the handprint but finger prints were shown to be on the windows of the Morris Minor yet the photographs of them were never shown at court.We don't know whose they were or on whose instructions twelve photographs were withheld .
Norma

Graham
05-20-2015, 01:48 PM
Hi Nats,

subject to a return visit (after 20-odd years) to Taplow, I really do think that Mr Burden is either (a) totally mistaken or (b) looking at the wrong cornfield. Checking again on Google Earth, as I did today, and scrolling along the Bath Road then down Marsh Lane, there are simply too many buildings in the way, plus the distance even if the ground were perfectly flat is too far for the naked human eye to pick out any proper detail.

The sightings of a man walking along Marsh Lane who 'resembled' Alphon who in turn 'resembled' Sydney Tafler the actor strike me as being extremely suspect.

I think I'm correct in saying that it was only after Alphon's features were shown in the press and possibly on TV that these sightings were reported. Michael Sherrard was very wary about people who 'wanted to get in on the act', reference the left-luggage office assistants at Lime Street Station. I do think that the good people of Marsh Lane may well have fallen into this category, especially Mr Fogerty-Waul whose claim that he gave Alphon, or a man resembling Alphon, a lift from Slough dog-track to a hotel in Slough, and then later saw the same man leaning out of a window in Brighton is to me totally ridiculous - it's all in Paul Foot's book, and I get the impression that even Foot felt this to be rather far-fetched.

And why shouldn't people walk down Marsh Lane? I did, and nobody reported me to the police...as far as I know.

The memory can easily be jogged by a photo or two, reference the Rhyl 'witnesses'.

Graham

simon
05-29-2015, 06:04 AM
My first visit to this forum for years ! - amazing how the debate continues. The people involved, all those decades ago, could never have begun to imagine..

The Sidney Tafler lookalike sighting is what first fascinated me, having myself noticed (in a newspaper photo) Alphon's resemblence to the actor before ever reading (years later, in Foot's book) the witness's account. But I have to agree, now, that perhaps Fogerty-Waul was bending the truth a little. 'Getting in on the act' certainly a possibility.

moste
06-01-2015, 11:16 AM
First try at posting an image... Taplow, location of old station Inn. Note GWR railway bridge over A4. Embankment, approximately 28 feet high, running at acute angle behind car dealership and shell station, where old pub was, obliterating any view towards Dorney Reach.

Graham
06-01-2015, 11:31 AM
First try at posting an image... Taplow, location of old station Inn. Note GWR railway bridge over A4. Embankment, approximately 28 feet high, running at acute angle behind car dealership and shell station, where old pub was, obliterating any view towards Dorney Reach.

Sorry, Mr Moste - no image. Same as you I've sometimes had problems uploading an attachment - it seems slightly hit-and-miss. Try again, worth seeing if you can do it.

Graham

moste
06-01-2015, 05:31 PM
http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=JN.HAeAmj%2b%2fI0gQXRdqKLh4ug&pid=15.1&P=0 (Can't copy and paste an url for google earth photo. )Original photo circa 1870 of Taplow railway station which after major renovations became the Old station inn.
notice roofing over stairway to platform at the top of the embankment.

Graham
06-02-2015, 12:24 PM
Hi Moste,

I'm just trying to see if I can upload a photo from Google Earth.

Graham

And the answer is that I can! Wow!

As far as I can make out the site of the Old Station Inn is just to the right of where it says 'Taplow', just off the road going north to south (Station Road, I assume), and just above the railway tracks up on their embankment. As you very correctly point out, this embankment is very much in the way of a direct view from where the Old Station Inn used to be to...well...anywhere to the south. No way in the world can the cornfield be seen from there. If you follow the north to south road under the railway tracks you will come to the main A4 Bath Road, and if you cross that you will be on Marsh Lane heading south towards the cornfield. What surprised me, as it's getting on for 20 years since I was in the vicinity, is how far from the Bath Road the Old Station Inn was actually located.

Hoping I've got this right!

Graham

Graham
06-02-2015, 12:36 PM
Flushed with confidence, I will now re-post a photo of The Old Station Inn first posted by JiMarilyn on Post #494 on the 'A6 Murder' thread. Acknowledgements to him.

I would guess by the parked vehicles that this photo was taken maybe in the 1950's or 1960's. The embankment would, I think, be to the very left of the photo, i.e., the camera was to the north-east of the Inn.

Graham

Sherlock Houses
06-02-2015, 02:59 PM
Hi Moste,

I'm just trying to see if I can upload a photo from Google Earth.

Graham

And the answer is that I can! Wow!

As far as I can make out the site of the Old Station Inn is just to the right of where it says 'Taplow', just off the road going north to south (Station Road, I assume), and just above the railway tracks up on their embankment. As you very correctly point out, this embankment is very much in the way of a direct view from where the Old Station Inn used to be to...well...anywhere to the south. No way in the world can the cornfield be seen from there. If you follow the north to south road under the railway tracks you will come to the main A4 Bath Road, and if you cross that you will be on Marsh Lane heading south towards the cornfield. What surprised me, as it's getting on for 20 years since I was in the vicinity, is how far from the Bath Road the Old Station Inn was actually located.

Hoping I've got this right!

Graham

Hi Graham, it looks like you and I have been two busy bees on Google Earth today with reference to Moste's recent posts about the Old Station Inn in Taplow.
I grabbed hold of that little yellow man [near the top right hand corner of the G.E. page] and dragged him onto the Bath Road and travelled up and down it until I came across the Shell Petrol Station that Moste mentioned. The Shell Petrol Station is indeed on the site where the Old Station Inn stood. I myself hadn't realised that the Old Station Inn was actually on the Bath Road. After some Google Mapping I discovered that if you turn right out of the Shell station and travel about half a mile down the Bath Road you come to Marsh Lane located on the right hand side of the road.

From the Shell Station you can see the GWR Railway Bridge that Moste also mentioned.
For clarification purposes I have attached a G.E. image below which shows this.
Hope this helps.

I do agree that you wouldn't be able to see the infamous cornfield from the Old Station Inn.

Sherlock Houses
06-02-2015, 03:23 PM
Attached is GE image of the Shell Service Station where the Old Station Inn stood.
Directly opposite the Shell Station is the old pub that is mentioned in one of Peter Alphon's confessions [on page 318 of Paul Foot's book, point 3].

Sherlock Houses
06-02-2015, 05:22 PM
The attached map gives you a rough idea of how far the Old Station Inn [top left hand corner] was from the Cornfield at Dorney Reach [lower right hand corner]. Excuse the size of the attachment.

Spitfire
06-02-2015, 11:02 PM
It looks like there is some confusion as to where the Old Station Inn stood.

Graham has it close to where Taplow Station now stand and a distance away from the Bath Road whereas Sherlock Houses has it on the Bath Road where the Shell Petrol Station is.

I read recently on a site which I can no longer find which described the Old Station Inn as being the site of the car park being used by the Sytner dealership and directly opposite Sytner's main buildings on the Bath Road. This would place the site next to the Shell garage.

Sherlock Houses
06-03-2015, 02:03 AM
The wooden fence in both photos looks similar but might not be the same. The car dealership is to the right of the Shell Garage.

Directly opposite the Shell Garage is the Dumb Bell/Harvester pub. Peter Alphon said in a confession that he "stopped at pub opposite Old Station Inn".

Natalie Severn
06-03-2015, 03:06 AM
Thanks everybody for some very interesting posts. I am still not convinced that Graham/ Moste are right and Colin Burden was wrong in his belief that he and his colleague could see corner of what was a very long cornfield stretching right down to the river .The Old Station Inn appears itself to have been built on a slope . In the photos SH has posted he foliage does not match and the trees are a mixture of coniferous and deciduous several of which would have of course grown in 50 years but not that much.Certainly some trees would have been cut down to make way for the shell garage though the trees look thicker behind the garage than behind the pub---so maybe not so many had been cut down and there are laws protecting certain trees.
One last point: the Old Station Inn stood adjacent to the old station not the new one ....it was almost a part of it.

Natalie Severn
06-03-2015, 03:24 AM
The slope is visible here

Natalie Severn
06-03-2015, 04:01 AM
Also from Google earth: we also need to know *the topography* -eg the Cornfield stretched extensively downwards to the river --and also how much above ground level the embankment was -or whether in fact it lies flat with the ground as it does here in much of the North Wales coast where its lies next to the River Dee and later the Irish Sea .I haven't been able to get the google earth key to the topography yet.[the grey road on right of the marked route on the map on the left is Marsh Lane]-the River Thames is on the left of the marked route on the map up until it reaches Dorney Reach cornfield and usually the whole slope of the land towards the River Thames is very markedly downwards formed by glacial slippage in the ice age as it is for example in West London.There is also the Jubilee River on right of Marsh Lane adding to the slide downwards of land from the Old Station Inn /Shell Garage . Clearly this was all downward sloping Marsh Land-hence Marsh Lane.

Natalie Severn
06-03-2015, 05:43 AM
It would be so helpful if somebody could trace where the exact location of the Old Station Inn was.Has anybody got access to an old map of the area?

Graham
06-03-2015, 07:50 AM
I e-mailed the Hitcham and Taplow Society regarding the Old Station Inn's exact location, and this is the reply I received:

The Old Station Inn was set back from the Bath Road (A4) immediately south-east of its junction with Berry Hill, which runs northwards uphill from this point.

The original beerhouse there - The Tin Shanty - was built for the refreshment of workers building the railway in the 1830s. By the 1850s, it had been replaced by a pub which by 1872 - when the original station was succeeded by another a little to the east - had become known as The Old Station Inn which was itself replaced in the 1930s by another of the same name which eventually became the headquarters of a car sales company before being replaced in 2001 by a new car showroom.

I was certainly not aware that the Inn replaced an earlier building. However, I was fairly certain that Sytner's car-showroom is built on the site.

Hope this is of interest.

Graham

Sherlock Houses
06-03-2015, 07:54 AM
It would be so helpful if somebody could trace where the exact location of the Old Station Inn was.Has anybody got access to an old map of the area?

The attached article, Norma, copied from this website

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4E2BY_really-sidetracked-maidenhead-riverside?guid=b8d2463d-15ad-4077-ae69-749dd2c4bbee

is very informative and helps to clarify any uncertainty about the location of the Old Station Inn [2nd to last paragraph]

moste
06-03-2015, 09:57 AM
Hi Graham, I didn't think the historical facts of the geography of this case would have tickled peoples fancy as much as they have, I for one am a sucker for this kind of thing I must admit. S.Hs post 195 shows the Brunel bridge over the A4, and standing where this shot was taken the old station inn would have been immediately on your right .If you can make out the side road on the left just before entering the bridge, this is 'Approach road' and takes you in a 1\4 mile approx. to the location you show of the newer location of Taplow station on your uploaded map,

NickB
06-03-2015, 10:03 AM
The entrance to the cornfield where the incident started was at the extreme bottom right of the field on the map, at the junction of Court Lane and Mash Lane.

This was reported by poster ‘Steve’ after visiting and talking to locals, and is confirmed by the photos of Valerie’s return to the scene.

moste
06-03-2015, 10:23 AM
Hi SH. This is a much clearer image than the one I uploaded. I, like Graham didn't realise there had been a previous watering hole to the one demolished in the 1990s. Good work on finding this interesting article. Not mentioned here though is the fact that, Taplows original station namely, Maidenhead Riverside, was the Great Westerns terminal from Paddington, any further travel west would have required coach and horses until the Bridge over the Thames into Maidenhead was built later.
P.S. How do you upload from google earth to the casebook site, Admin ask for an Url and the google camera shots don't have one?

Sherlock Houses
06-03-2015, 11:06 AM
P.S. How do you upload from google earth to the casebook site, Admin ask for an Url and the google camera shots don't have one?

Hi Moste,

On Google Earth click on 'File' in the top left corner.
To the right of 'Save' you will see 'Save Image'. Click on this and a new window opens where you can save the GE image to any folder you choose on your laptop/PC.

You can then upload it onto the Casebook site by scrolling down the page a little [in your reply post] until you see the "Manage Attachments" tab. Click on this. A small window opens.
You then click on one of the 5 Browse tabs [instead of 'Upload file from a URL' ] to locate the folder on your computer where you saved the GE image.
Now click on the 'Upload' tab opposite the last 'Browse' tab.
The GE image is now attached to your reply post.

Hope this helps.

Graham
06-03-2015, 11:20 AM
The arrow on the attached map shows the site of the Sytner showroom, via feeding its post-code into Streetmap. Therefore the Old Station Inn was definitely behind the embankment.

Like you, Moste, I also go for the historical and geographical details of this case. I've been to Deadman's Hill numerous times (I had a customer in Bedford) and although the actual lay-by is long gone (under the north-bound carriageway of the A6, which in 1961 wasn't dualled), there is still a definite atmos there. Steve, who was also a rep, did what could be called the full "A6 Tour", and posted some great photos. I'm not sure if all his pix survived the crash, though. My dad, incidentally, was born about 75 yards from Bedford Prison, but the street is now no longer there.

Graham

The map didn't fully upload!!! I said it's all a bit hit and miss!!!

moste
06-03-2015, 11:25 AM
Also from Google earth: we also need to know *the topography* -eg the Cornfield stretched extensively downwards to the river --and also how much above ground level the embankment was -or whether in fact it lies flat with the ground as it does here in much of the North Wales coast where its lies next to the River Dee and later the Irish Sea .I haven't been able to get the google earth key to the topography yet.[the grey road on right of the marked route on the map on the left is Marsh Lane]-the River Thames is on the left of the marked route on the map up until it reaches Dorney Reach cornfield and usually the whole slope of the land towards the River Thames is very markedly downwards formed by glacial slippage in the ice age as it is for example in West London.There is also the Jubilee River on right of Marsh Lane adding to the slide downwards of land from the Old Station Inn /Shell Garage . Clearly this was all downward sloping Marsh Land-hence Marsh Lane.

Hi Natalie. I think I may have solved the riddle of the corn field "Now you see it ,Now you don't". Could it possibly be that your associate Colin and friend were actually sitting in the lounge of the pub, overlooking the farmlands surrounding 'The Pineapple '? a15th century pub It is on Lake End road, actually in Dorney on the south side of the motorway and much much closer to the corn field than The Old Station Inn.:scratchchin:

moste
06-03-2015, 11:54 AM
Possible Pub confused by Natalie's friends as Pub frequented by the couple VS and MG. Although mentioned by a past author as an Inn used by same. Also location on double 'S' bend on Huntercombe Lane that Morris Minor was witnessed as being spotted by a motor cyclist on his way home at 9.30 pm. on the night of the claimed abduction.( Note: This spot is only a stones throw from VSs home on Anthony Way Cippenham ,interesting )

moste
06-03-2015, 11:55 AM
BINGO. Thanks Sherlock.:2thumbsup:

Natalie Severn
06-03-2015, 12:01 PM
Hi Moste---The Pineapple is a possibility but I did check it with him by email and I am wondering if since it was almost 25 years ago whether Colin may have been exploring the surrounding area-just behind where Tallow Lake is because from these open spaces you would be able to see over the land---but not I agree, from a window in the actual Old Station Inn.
One good thing though- I think I have found the exact location of The Old Station Inn see the attached images :
SH posted this a few hours ago :The Old Station Inn was set back from the Bath Road (A4) immediately south-east of its junction with Berry Hill, which runs northwards uphill from this point
Standing immediately South -East of the junction with Berry Hill today is the Sytner Car Sales site a little along Bath Road/A4 with the Office part set back from the road. If you look closely at the tallest tree behind it it appears to be the same tree you can see behind the Old Station Inn!So I think perhaps-the Sytner Car Offices now stand on the site of the Old Station Inn.

Natalie Severn
06-03-2015, 12:06 PM
Posting pic of Old Station Inn again for comparison

Graham
06-03-2015, 12:36 PM
I think you've made a very good point re: The Pineapple, Moste. On my second visit to Taplow I drove past The Pineapple and thought I might stop for a bite of lunch, but the car-park was packed. Providing there are no large trees in the way I think you could almost certainly see the gate to the cornfield from the pub.

Nice one re: the tree, Nats. Well spotted. The e-mail I received from the Taplow Society was absolutely correct regarding the Sytner showroom.

Graham

Natalie Severn
06-03-2015, 12:38 PM
Gosh Moste our posts must have crossed!Thanks for posting the great pics but no , I am pretty sure Colin Burden would not have confused pubs actually.The play he wrote about the case was carefully researched . Hanratty's trial barrister Michael Sherrard QC went to see it and was apparently most impressed by the fascinating insights into the character's of both Alphon and Hanratty who ,in the play , carry on an exchange about the A6 murder throughout. Like Louis Blom-Cooper, Michael Sherrard had been appalled by the selectivity of the police and both wondered why they never called Alphon to be questioned at the trial or looked into what had made the gunman hold the couple up in Dorney Reach or why Michael Clark was never called to court [he being the first,---and totally innocent , man Valerie Storie positively identified as the A6 rapist and Gregsten's killer -important so the jury could see whether he in any way resembled James Hanratty--and there are many other inconsistencies and anomalies about the police case and the trial.

Natalie Severn
06-03-2015, 12:40 PM
Yes Graham-it was good to see that tree!
Thanks for your research too---it was the Sitner show room that clinched it really!
Norma

moste
06-03-2015, 02:36 PM
Gosh Moste our posts must have crossed!Thanks for posting the great pics but no , I am pretty sure Colin Burden would not have confused pubs actually.The play he wrote about the case was carefully researched . Hanratty's trial barrister Michael Sherrard QC went to see it and was apparently most impressed by the fascinating insights into the character's of both Alphon and Hanratty who ,in the play , carry on an exchange about the A6 murder throughout. Like Louis Blom-Cooper, Michael Sherrard had been appalled by the selectivity of the police and both wondered why they never called Alphon to be questioned at the trial or looked into what had made the gunman hold the couple up in Dorney Reach or why Michael Clark was never called to court [he being the first,---and totally innocent , man Valerie Storie positively identified as the A6 rapist and Gregsten's killer -important so the jury could see whether he in any way resembled James Hanratty--and there are many other inconsistencies and anomalies about the police case and the trial.

OK Natalie, point taken on the 'Pineapple" point.
I believe Michael Clark ,not being brought into court, is pivotal beyond words. Sherrard only relying on Acott 'working from memory' about the description of Clark, didn't quite cut it! My thoughts are, Michael Sherrard was completely remiss in not insisting on seeing a photo of Clark, or indeed having him brought to court for the purpose of allowing the jury to compare the two. If Sherrrard was concerned that JH may look a little like Clark , then at that point he could have changed tact, however, even from the description Acott gave of Clark,It should have been enough for defence to require Clarks attendance. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark

Sherlock Houses
06-03-2015, 03:54 PM
Hi Natalie. I think I may have solved the riddle of the corn field "Now you see it ,Now you don't". Could it possibly be that your associate Colin and friend were actually sitting in the lounge of the pub, overlooking the farmlands surrounding 'The Pineapple '? a15th century pub It is on Lake End road, actually in Dorney on the south side of the motorway and much much closer to the corn field than The Old Station Inn.:scratchchin:

It's very interesting that you should mention the Pineapple Pub, Moste. It is as you say much nearer to the Dorney Reach cornfield than the Old Station Inn was.
The day after the murder police were alerted to reports that a man fitting the description of the gunman was seen in the Pineapple on that fateful Tuesday evening of August 22nd.

The Guardian Newspaper of August 25th makes a brief mention of this....

Sherlock Houses
06-03-2015, 04:14 PM
OK Natalie, point taken on the 'Pineapple" point.
I believe Michael Clark ,not being brought into court, is pivotal beyond words. Sherrard only relying on Acott 'working from memory' about the description of Clark, didn't quite cut it! My thoughts are, Michael Sherrard was completely remiss in not insisting on seeing a photo of Clark, or indeed having him brought to court for the purpose of allowing the jury to compare the two. If Sherrrard was concerned that JH may look a little like Clark , then at that point he could have changed tact, however, even from the description Acott gave of Clark,It should have been enough for defence to require Clarks attendance. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark

Something is indeed rotten in the state of Denmark, Moste. When Acott gave his description of Michael Clark in court, ie. the heavy build, the dark short-cropped hair, 27 years of age and 5'9" height, he was ultra careful to omit the most important and telling detail of all......Michael Clark had dark eyes.

cobalt
06-04-2015, 01:57 PM
Great find Sherlock. And this newspaper article was long before the police put out an APB regarding Alphon.

The Dog that did not Bark is a famous Sherlock Holmes story, and it has a relevance here. We are often told that after Alphon was fingered by the police, that several witnesses, no doubt in all sincerity, claimed to have seen a similar man in the area of the cornfield. We are persuaded to believe that they were well intentioned people trying to help solve the case. All well and so good.

But why, after Hanratty was charged with murder, did a similar number of well meaning witnesses not emerge? Where are all the statements from Farmer Hodge about a dodgy looking Cockney geezer wearing a sharp suit and bulging pockets walking across his land? There don't seem to be any. So why did Alphon generate such a level of mistaken witnesses in Dorney Reach, but Hanratty, even after he was executed, generate none?

I would be interested to know why this has happened.

Limehouse
06-05-2015, 12:48 AM
Great find Sherlock. And this newspaper article was long before the police put out an APB regarding Alphon.

The Dog that did not Bark is a famous Sherlock Holmes story, and it has a relevance here. We are often told that after Alphon was fingered by the police, that several witnesses, no doubt in all sincerity, claimed to have seen a similar man in the area of the cornfield. We are persuaded to believe that they were well intentioned people trying to help solve the case. All well and so good.

But why, after Hanratty was charged with murder, did a similar number of well meaning witnesses not emerge? Where are all the statements from Farmer Hodge about a dodgy looking Cockney geezer wearing a sharp suit and bulging pockets walking across his land? There don't seem to be any. So why did Alphon generate such a level of mistaken witnesses in Dorney Reach, but Hanratty, even after he was executed, generate none?

I would be interested to know why this has happened.

A very good point cobalt. Could the answer be that a good number of witnesses were encountering Hanratty in north Wales at the time?

Limehouse
06-05-2015, 12:58 AM
My first visit to this forum for years ! - amazing how the debate continues. The people involved, all those decades ago, could never have begun to imagine..

The Sidney Tafler lookalike sighting is what first fascinated me, having myself noticed (in a newspaper photo) Alphon's resemblence to the actor before ever reading (years later, in Foot's book) the witness's account. But I have to agree, now, that perhaps Fogerty-Waul was bending the truth a little. 'Getting in on the act' certainly a possibility.

Hi Simon - welcome back. :)

Do you mean that Fogerty-Waul did not see a stranger at all that afternoon or do you mean he miss-described the stranger he saw to fit Alphon's description?

I hope that nobody would ever attempt to mislead a murder enquiry just to 'get in on the act' but I am afraid to say that has also been said of witnesses in Rhyl. However, no such thing was said of people like Anderson and Nudds. Possibly, they had good reasons for their particular testimonies.

Have a good weekend all.

Julie

Graham
06-05-2015, 01:09 AM
I think it likely that the prevalence of sightings of Alphon around Dorney Reach may well have had a lot to do with a certain M. Jean Justice. If Sherrard had thought the claimed sightings were reliable, he would surely have called at least some of the residents of the area as witnesses for the defence at the appeal. These sightings were included in the Commons Debate on the case in August 1963, and were dismissed as unreliable.

Graham


PS: just a small point, Cobalt, but there never was a Sherlock Holmes story called The Dog That Did Not Bark. This in fact comes from the story The Adventure Of Silver Blaze:

Holmes: ....to the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.
Colonel Ross: But the dog did nothing in the night-time.
Holmes: That was the curious incident.

Silver Blaze in my humble opinion is one of the top five short stories in the entire Holmesian canon. But I digress......

Graham

simon
06-05-2015, 05:45 AM
Hi Limehouse, and thank you.

I think it's more likely that he mis-described than made the sighting up. Per haps whoever he saw, if it wasn't Alphon, could..at a pinch..in the right light..with a bit of imagination.. be thought to look Tafler-ish ? Sort of ? It's a pity we don't know a bit more about Fogerty-Waul..unless I've missed it. In fact I've missed about 4 years here ! - I retire in a few weeks, and I'll do a lot of catching up.

Best wishes to all.

Sherlock Houses
06-05-2015, 10:18 AM
My first visit to this forum for years ! - amazing how the debate continues. The people involved, all those decades ago, could never have begun to imagine..

The Sidney Tafler lookalike sighting is what first fascinated me, having myself noticed (in a newspaper photo) Alphon's resemblence to the actor before ever reading (years later, in Foot's book) the witness's account. But I have to agree, now, that perhaps Fogerty-Waul was bending the truth a little. 'Getting in on the act' certainly a possibility.

I get the feeling, Simon, that most people, if they are being honest, would agree that there is a definite resemblance between Alphon and the late British actor Sydney Tafler. Coincidentally enough [and being a sucker for old black and white movies] I watched a good old British crime drama a fortnight ago via Youtube. It was the 1947 movie "It always rains on Sunday" starring Jack Warner and Googie Withers. I might google Googie later this evening. Sydney Tafler had a fairly prominent role in the movie and he was the same age as Alphon in 1961 was, ie. 30/31 years old.

One of the interesting aspects of Michael Fogarty-Waul's sighting of the Tafler look-alike is his comment that the man he saw had a 'distinctive gait'. Peter Alphon had an unusual gait, other people have picked up on it and it is evidenced in the 1967 ITN Dateline video of Alphon in Paris where the cameras follow him along a Parisien street as he leaves his hotel. It's in clip 1 [of 6] in this link.........http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist/BHC_ITN/1967/05/17/X17056701/?v=0&a=1

Sherlock Houses
06-05-2015, 10:36 AM
Came across this short clip on Youtube a short while ago. Curiously enough Sydney plays a hired killer who fires 2 bullets at his victim.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el1X6dhM-4o

Sherlock Houses
06-05-2015, 11:24 AM
But why, after Hanratty was charged with murder, did a similar number of well meaning witnesses not emerge? Where are all the statements from Farmer Hodge about a dodgy looking Cockney geezer wearing a sharp suit and bulging pockets walking across his land? There don't seem to be any. So why did Alphon generate such a level of mistaken witnesses in Dorney Reach, but Hanratty, even after he was executed, generate none?

I would be interested to know why this has happened.

Searching questions Cobalt. I think most of us would like to know why this happened.
Nobody has ever stepped forward to place a Hanratty look-alike on a Paddington to Taplow/Maidenhead/Slough train that fateful Tuesday.
Nobody has ever stepped forward to say they spotted a Hanratty look-alike
in a Maidenhead, Slough, Taplow or Dorney pub/shop/farmer's field that day.

Meanwhile up North in Liverpool and Rhyl......................

Spitfire
06-07-2015, 10:47 PM
Searching questions Cobalt. I think most of us would like to know why this happened.
Nobody has ever stepped forward to place a Hanratty look-alike on a Paddington to Taplow/Maidenhead/Slough train that fateful Tuesday.
Nobody has ever stepped forward to say they spotted a Hanratty look-alike
in a Maidenhead, Slough, Taplow or Dorney pub/shop/farmer's field that day.

Meanwhile up North in Liverpool and Rhyl......................

And yet Michael Mansfield QC was able to say that Peter Alphon was not the A6 Murderer.

And Michael Sherrard abandoned any attempt to establish a Liverpool/Rhyl alibi in the Court of Criminal Appeal in 1962, and was reported to be of the view in 2002 that the wrong man was not hanged.

All this Alphon did it/ Hanratty did it stuff was put before the jury who decided that beyond reasonable doubt it was Hanratty. The DNA tests confirmed that.

Back to the topic of Mrs Dalal, I do not see any similarity between the assault on her and the A6 Murder. Mrs Dalal's assailant's declaration that he was the A6 Murderer should be taken with a large pinch of salt, and surely the difference between the two crimes is strikingly obvious.

Natalie Severn
06-09-2015, 04:05 PM
And yet Michael Mansfield QC was able to say that Peter Alphon was not the A6 Murderer.

And Michael Sherrard abandoned any attempt to establish a Liverpool/Rhyl alibi in the Court of Criminal Appeal in 1962, and was reported to be of the view in 2002 that the wrong man was not hanged.

All this Alphon did it/ Hanratty did it stuff was put before the jury who decided that beyond reasonable doubt it was Hanratty. The DNA tests confirmed that.

Back to the topic of Mrs Dalal, I do not see any similarity between the assault on her and the A6 Murder. Mrs Dalal's assailant's declaration that he was the A6 Murderer should be taken with a large pinch of salt, and surely the difference between the two crimes is strikingly obvious.

Michael Mansfield QC was going on the LCN DNA Test results that have since been proven in several UK courts to be totally unreliable as well as having a much greater propensity to attract contaminants. One of the main findings recently is that the absence of DNA on an LCN test result does not mean the person can be eliminated which was what Mansfield was basing his claim on.

What you are saying about Michael Sherrard is complete and utter nonsense.He may have, at the time,2002 , come to the same conclusion about Alphon as Mansfield because of the then misplaced faith in the tests but that does not mean he therefore believed Hanratty to be the A6 murderer.He spoke on camera just after the 2002 appeal was overturned and its clear he believes Hanratty was in Liverpool in Mrs Dunwoody's shop on the 22nd August 1961 and that the total absence of any forensic information in the murder car linking Hanratty to the crime and the dreadful selectiveness and forensic fiddling with witness statements by the police all pointed to Hanratty's innocence exactly like Chief Constable Skitt and Chief superintendent Roger Matthews believed 40 years later, having examined all the evidence and having had the advantage of having been working detectives for many many years.

caz
06-10-2015, 05:35 AM
Michael Mansfield QC was going on the LCN DNA Test results that have since been proven in several UK courts to be totally unreliable as well as having a much greater propensity to attract contaminants...

Hi Nats,

Isn't that a bit misleading? You may say that certain results based on LCN DNA tests have subsequently been proved unreliable, but you cannot say that about the specific results in the Hanratty case.

One of the main findings recently is that the absence of DNA on an LCN test result does not mean the person can be eliminated which was what Mansfield was basing his claim on.

Do you know for a fact that Mansfield based his claim solely on the absence of any Alphon DNA? Wasn't it just as much the presence of Hanratty's DNA - and only Hanratty's - on the hankie, as well as his DNA on the knicker fragment, that would have swung it? After all, there was only one gunman and rapist, and no reason to believe Alphon knew Hanratty, or would have tried to frame him, using one of his hankies.

What you are saying about Michael Sherrard is complete and utter nonsense.He may have, at the time,2002 , come to the same conclusion about Alphon as Mansfield because of the then misplaced faith in the tests but that does not mean he therefore believed Hanratty to be the A6 murderer.He spoke on camera just after the 2002 appeal was overturned and its clear he believes Hanratty was in Liverpool in Mrs Dunwoody's shop on the 22nd August 1961 and that the total absence of any forensic information in the murder car linking Hanratty to the crime and the dreadful selectiveness and forensic fiddling with witness statements by the police all pointed to Hanratty's innocence...

But someone was in that car and committed the crime, Nats, so it's equally 'complete and utter nonsense' to say the lack of any forensic evidence in the vehicle points to Hanratty's innocence.

I might just as well say this points to Alphon's innocence too, along with every other living soul at the time! And as for the 'dreadful selectiveness and forensic fiddling with witness statements' - that would have applied with knobs on to Alphon, had the police used any of them (Nudds for instance) to keep him in the frame, despite Valerie not identifying him as the man who was in that car with her for many hours.

Sorry, but we are straight back to my problem with the fingering of Alphon, while claiming Hanratty was unjustly fingered. How much more unjustly would the former have been fingered, considering the complete lack of evidence - forensic or otherwise - for his involvement? He should certainly be presumed innocent by the standards you use for judging Hanratty.

Love,

Caz
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Spitfire
06-12-2015, 06:42 AM
If Sherrard had believed that Hanratty had been in Liverpool on the afternoon of 22 August 1961, then he would have believed that Hanratty was not the A6 Killer and that his execution was wrong. Sherrard would have been perfectly able to articulate such thoughts but chose to say, and I paraphrase, that the wrong man was not hanged although the 1962 evidence was insufficient to justify the verdict.

The DNA tests in the 2002 appeal have not in the slightest been discredited. Neither Bindman nor Woffinden has been able to produce one DNA expert who has considered all the DNA material before the court in 2002 and pronounce Hanratty as not guilty. This despite both of them appearing on a radio show in 2010 promising another appeal early in 2011!

Mansfield QC and Sherrard QC were right, Alphon did not do the A6 Murder and Jim did it and was rightly hanged.

This inevitably means that Mrs Dalal's assailant, even if it had been Alphon which is debatable, was not the A6 Murderer.

Dupplin Muir
06-12-2015, 08:52 AM
Spitfire:

To reverse your question, can you name any independent DNA experts (ie not tainted by association with a government agency) who backs LCN DNA as reliable? For me, any evidence given by people who work for the prosecution is inherently untrustworthy, since they would swear that black was white if it suited the police. I've seen too many cases where this has happened to have any illusions about their probity.

Also, since you claim Sherrard said that 'the wrong man was not hanged', perhaps you could indicate where he says this in his autobiography.

Graham
06-12-2015, 12:57 PM
If Sherrard had believed that Hanratty had been in Liverpool on the afternoon of 22 August 1961, then he would have believed that Hanratty was not the A6 Killer and that his execution was wrong. Sherrard would have been perfectly able to articulate such thoughts but chose to say, and I paraphrase, that the wrong man was not hanged although the 1962 evidence was insufficient to justify the verdict.

The DNA tests in the 2002 appeal have not in the slightest been discredited. Neither Bindman nor Woffinden has been able to produce one DNA expert who has considered all the DNA material before the court in 2002 and pronounce Hanratty as not guilty. This despite both of them appearing on a radio show in 2010 promising another appeal early in 2011!

Mansfield QC and Sherrard QC were right, Alphon did not do the A6 Murder and Jim did it and was rightly hanged.

This inevitably means that Mrs Dalal's assailant, even if it had been Alphon which is debatable, was not the A6 Murderer.

Spitfire,

very well summed-up. By definition, when Sherrard, as Hanratty's defence-counsel in his trial, stated that the wrong man was not hanged, then he rejected both of Hanratty's alibis. Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't believe them in the first place - I think it almost goes without saying, given the fact that he made Hanratty sign a statement that the decision to change his alibi was his and his alone, that Sherrard certainly did not believe the Rhyl Alibi.

As far as the DNA is concerned, the judges at the 2002 Appeal accepted it, and that ought to be final. If Messrs Bindman and Woffinden disagree, then perhaps someone might tell me what happened to their promised new appeal in 2012? Did it fall through because of lack of funds, lack of new evidence, or just sheer lack of any supportive evidence at all?

And The Matthews Report. Nats refers to it frequently, yet if, as she seems to believe, it offers incontrovertible evidence of Hanratty's innocence, why has it never been published? Will it ever see the light of day, one wonders?

And the lack of forensics in the car. Hanratty's supporters - well, at least one of them - has said many times that this supports Hanratty's innocence. Does it not also support Alphon's? And anyone else who walks this planet?

And the claimed sightings of Alphon or an Alphon look-alike around Dorney Reach. These were not reported until after Alphon's phizzog had appeared in the press and on TV. In the case of Mr Fogerty-Waul he reported his sightings not to the police but to a local Slough journalist called Tony Mason. Who just happened to be acquainted with Messrs Justice and Fox, who were more than happy to interview him. If Mr F-W's sightings were really of Alphon, then why was he not called as a witness at the original appeal? Because his sightings were valueless, given that Alphon's features were now in the public domain. Yet it seems that there are still those amongst Hanratty's supporters who feel that Mr F-W's sightings were indeed of Peter Alphon.

Graham

cobalt
06-12-2015, 02:45 PM
And the lack of forensics in the car. Hanratty's supporters - well, at least one of them - has said many times that this supports Hanratty's innocence. Does it not also support Alphon's? And anyone else who walks this planet

Like much of your credulous approach to the prosecution case, this rather misses the point.
It is not the fact that none of Hanratty's blood group was found either in the form of saliva or semen which raises concern; it is the fact that no one's saliva or semen was found.
Any rational person , either in 1962 or today, recognises this is an impossibility given the nature of the crime. That means either that the forensic examination was grossly inefficient, but on scale almost unimaginable. Or, much more likely I would suggest, that the evidence which was found inside the car was suppressed since it did not support the prosecution case.

This is yet another dog which did not bark. And there are too many of them in this case.

Graham
06-14-2015, 01:41 PM
Cobalt,

before I respond to your other questions and statements, could you please tell us why evidence that might have been found inside the car was suppressed?

Graham

cobalt
06-14-2015, 02:06 PM
Graham,

I apologise if the word 'credulous' seemed offensive. The reason I used it was because the prosecution case relies a great deal on trust. We have to believe the eyewitness evidence of Valerie Storie, which seems entirely reasonable at first sight, but not in the context in which it was ultimately given. The other eyewitness evidence is, in my view, slightly less credible than those who claimed Hanratty was in Rhyl.

The other major plank in the case against Hanratty is the gun on the bus and the cartridges in the Vienna Hotel. Neither of these points to his innocence I accept, and indeed they might just be indicators of his guilt. But given the fuller understanding of the case that has emerged over the years, very few would place much credence in the testimony of Nudds et al. The role of Dixie France is a riddle wrapped inside an enigma.

That leaves the forensic evidence, which is now the strongest factor indicating Hanratty's guilt. Indeed it has reversed the situation as was, for previously the onus was on the prosecution case. Now those who believe in Hanratty's innocence have to make the case. I can only refer you to Limehouse and her exhaustive efforts in this area.

Sorry to take so long to answer your initial question. Why would forensic evidence of saliva, semen and presumably fabric be suppressed? Well, it must have existed in some form, even if not to a standard required for criminal prosecution. So let us start with the obvious point: it was suppressed. For if the forensic evidence had implicated Hanratty, then clearly it would not have been suppressed, since such evidence would have strengthened the rather thin case against him. A case which might have gone either way.
That, to me , is more important than my musings as to why it was suppressed. The moment I veer towards conjecture you will, quite rightly, employ your legal mind and remind all of us that I am merely offering a subjective possibility. What I am offering is the claim, reasonable I believe, that forensic evidence was suppressed. The ball is not in my court. The prosecution has to explain why this anomaly/oversight/incompetence occurred.

caz
06-15-2015, 04:00 AM
That leaves the forensic evidence, which is now the strongest factor indicating Hanratty's guilt. Indeed it has reversed the situation as was, for previously the onus was on the prosecution case. Now those who believe in Hanratty's innocence have to make the case. I can only refer you to Limehouse and her exhaustive efforts in this area...

...The moment I veer towards conjecture you will, quite rightly, employ your legal mind and remind all of us that I am merely offering a subjective possibility. What I am offering is the claim, reasonable I believe, that forensic evidence was suppressed. The ball is not in my court. The prosecution has to explain why this anomaly/oversight/incompetence occurred.

Hi cobalt,

Isn't that a contradiction? You rightly say that Hanratty is now guilty unless or until his defenders can prove him innocent, then you say the ball is in the prosecution's court to explain what you believe was the suppression of forensic evidence in the car.

I'm afraid it's the other way round, and you would need to demonstrate this suppression and why it could only point to Hanratty's innocence.

If you are claiming police corruption here, then Hanratty could have left forensic evidence in the car, which the police compromised or destroyed while initially trying to build a case against Alphon. If they merely missed any such evidence, there would still be no proof it wasn't left by Hanratty.

Love,

Caz
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cobalt
06-15-2015, 01:22 PM
Hello Caz,

I accept that the burden of proof at present rests with the defence, despite the best efforts of Limehouse on forensics.

But Graham is trying to draw some conjecture from me regarding the alleged suppression of evidence. I am not prepared to be drawn on that matter, no matter how interesting it might prove. I would rather focus on the reality of a car interior where a man was murdered and a woman sexually assaulted. Ample opportunity for forensic material to be gathered one would have thought, yet none, so far as I am aware, was presented at trial. Now this may not 'prove' suppression to your satisfaction, but since you think it possible 'they might merely have missed it' I doubt if anything ever could.

The evidence suppressed can obviously have had no material worth in the prosecution of James Hanratty. Muddying the waters by suggesting the police might have degraded the forensics by trying to build a case against Alphon is only echoing what many of us have claimed for many years: that forensic evidence can be used not to elicit the truth but to 'fit up' the main suspect.

The motivation for this suppression of evidence is far less relevant than the fact it must surely have taken place. So I am happy to take up the challenge to make the case for Hanratty's innocence, and refer to the two dogs which did not bark in the night: the complete absence of witnesses who saw Hanratty at the locus (save of course Valerie Storey) and the car which housed a brutal murder and callous rape yet yielded no forensic evidence against the accused.

caz
06-16-2015, 06:10 AM
The evidence suppressed can obviously have had no material worth in the prosecution of James Hanratty. Muddying the waters by suggesting the police might have degraded the forensics by trying to build a case against Alphon is only echoing what many of us have claimed for many years: that forensic evidence can be used not to elicit the truth but to 'fit up' the main suspect.

Hi cobalt,

I wouldn't really call it 'muddying the waters'. Your opinion is that forensic evidence was found in the car but suppressed because none of it indicated Hanratty's involvement. But the first police suspect was Alphon, so it's all in the timing. Clearly they didn't find anything in the car early enough to incriminate Alphon, or Hanratty's name would probably never have come up.

So it's a case of what the police could have found, and who they had their sights on at the time they found it. But if they were rotten enough to suppress crucial evidence, indicating the guilt of someone other than Hanratty or Alphon, how hard would it have been to plant incriminating evidence in the car against one or the other?

Love,

Caz
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Graham
06-16-2015, 12:34 PM
The car was found in Redbridge at about 6.30pm on 23 August, approximately 16 hours after the murder in the lay-by. Peter Alphon a.k.a. Frederick Durrant was interviewed by police following the complaint by the manager of The Alexandra Court Hotel on 27 August. However, he did not become a suspect in the A6 hunt until 11 September, when the cartridge cases were found at The Vienna and police interest shifted immediately to that hotel and the people who had stayed there on the night of 22 August. Alphon, of course, being one of them, as he freely admitted. On 22 September Alphon surrendered himself to police and was interrogated. On 24 September Alphon was dismissed as an A6 suspect after Valerie Storie identified another man on the i.d. parade.

Now I don't know how long it takes to make a thorough forensic examination of the interior of a car, and I don't know when and if the police issued a report of their examination. But it's just about a month between the discovery of the car and the elimination of Alphon as an A6 suspect. I am reasonably certain that had the police been able to match forensic evidence found in the car to Peter Louis Alphon, then it would be his untimely demise on the gallows we'd be debating. Don't forget that Alphon was prime suspect for an admittedly short period of time, but during that period he gave samples of blood and pubic hair.

From what I understand of the timeline of this case, it was late in the evening of 29 September that Mr Hanratty Snr learned that his son was now the No 1 suspect in the A6 case. Hanratty was arrested on 11 October.

As far as I'm aware the police found nothing in the car that linked either Hanratty or Alphon to it. I have always found this very odd, one of the mysteries of the case. However, if you re-phrase this as 'the police found nothing in the car that could be used as evidence against Hanratty or Alphon', then you're nearer the mark. The police did, though, find evidence that the car had been used by persons, totally legitimately, other than Michael Gregsten and Valerie Storie. So, some forensic information was found in the car, but was of no use to the police or prosecution.

Pardon my crudeness, but having it away in a car does not necessarily mean that body fluids are distributed all over the interior. But if someone occupies a car for, what, 6 or 7 hours, then surely he would leave traces such as hair, clothing fibres, dirt off the soles of his shoes, etc. And maybe the police did find such traces, but because it could not, I think, be ascertained exactly what Hanratty was wearing that night, such traces would be useless as evidence. If his shoes picked up mud or earth from the cornfield, then it could be argued that as Gregsten and Storie had been there upon at least one occasion, then those mud or earth traces could have come from their shoes. As to hair - well, not sure. Unless Hanratty was fortunate enough to have short, wiry hair that's not prone to falling out. Unlike me - long and fine, only have to shake my head and loose hairs are everywhere.

I can only suggest that had the police found anything in the car to link Hanratty or Alphon to the crime, it would have been shouted from the roof-tops. The fact would appear to be that they didn't, and so it must remain one of the many mysteries of the A6 Case. I really don't feel that any crucial evidence from the car was suppressed.

Graham

cobalt
06-16-2015, 03:13 PM
Thank you Graham for your very measured response.

There clearly was some forensic material retrieved from the car. It is obvious that none of that material could have pertinent to Hanratty, since that would have been crucial at trial.

What is less clear is whether forensic evidence pointing to A.N. Other was not presented to the jury. By the way Caz, I have never suggested that the police would have planted evidence. Other parties may planted evidence in this case, and the police may have readily readily accepted it. But I don't think anyone has gone so far as to suggest Acott and Oxford were actually manufacturing evidence.

The failure to extract forensic evidence from the car is an obvious problem for the prosecution case, and to be fair Graham acknowledges this as an anomaly, although I accept that falls short of exonerating Hanratty. But the murderer should have left some kind of calling card.

Was the car cleaned in some way prior to examination? This would suggest some sort of collusion, and the involvement of a third party. My limited knowledge of police procedure is that they are very aware when an attempt has been made to clean the scene of a crime.

NickB
06-18-2015, 10:12 AM
On 14-Oct-61, the Storie id parade was at 11.10am and Hanratty was charged at 6.15pm. In between these two events Acott received the result from forensics that they had not found any of Hanratty’s fingerpints on the car. Perhaps Acott had delayed charging, hoping for a different result.

caz
06-19-2015, 08:15 AM
There clearly was some forensic material retrieved from the car. It is obvious that none of that material could have pertinent to Hanratty, since that would have been crucial at trial.

What is less clear is whether forensic evidence pointing to A.N. Other was not presented to the jury. By the way Caz, I have never suggested that the police would have planted evidence. Other parties may planted evidence in this case, and the police may have readily readily accepted it. But I don't think anyone has gone so far as to suggest Acott and Oxford were actually manufacturing evidence.

Hi cobalt,

I know you didn't suggest that the police 'would have' planted evidence, but you did claim there must have been deliberate suppression of evidence and even wrote:


...what many of us have claimed for many years: that forensic evidence can be used not to elicit the truth but to 'fit up' the main suspect.

I wouldn't have thought there was much difference legally or ethically between fitting up a suspect by suppressing forensic evidence or by planting it. The implication seems to be that if the police wanted to 'fit up' their main suspect (who was Alphon initially, then Hanratty) using forensic evidence, they were not above doing so, whether it be by suppressing, planting or in any way tampering with it.

I can't see it myself, because it should have been as easy, and more effective, to plant incriminating evidence in the car (which, as you say, one would have expected to find), than to suppress what was found and pretend it wasn't.

But if you feel 'manufacturing' evidence would have been a step too far, I have another reservation concerning your suppression argument. You originally wrote:


It is not the fact that none of Hanratty's blood group was found either in the form of saliva or semen which raises concern; it is the fact that no one's saliva or semen was found.
Any rational person , either in 1962 or today, recognises this is an impossibility given the nature of the crime. That means either that the forensic examination was grossly inefficient, but on scale almost unimaginable. Or, much more likely I would suggest, that the evidence which was found inside the car was suppressed since it did not support the prosecution case.

The problem is that in those days, pretty much all they could have done with saliva or semen found in the car was to blood type it, and they established from semen left on Valerie's undies that the murderer's blood group (whoever he was) was O. Do you see where I'm going with this? If, as you maintain, the real murderer must have left some saliva or semen in the car, it would still have been group O, same as both Alphon and Hanratty, so there would have been no need for any suppression! It could have been used in the case against either of them. On the other hand, any saliva or semen found that was not group O could not possibly have come from the murderer (while it could have come from Michael Gregsten if it was AB), so there'd have been no 'evidence' to suppress.

And that concludes my case for no suppression, M'Lud. :)

I did wonder if the fact they took a sample of pubic hair from Alphon meant they had found some pubic hair in the car or Valerie's undies, and hoped to match it with a suspect. But again, in those days, while it would have been obvious if the two samples were nothing like each other, it would have been nearly impossible to prove they came from the same person, so not much use for tying a particular suspect to the car (nor eliminating anyone, assuming the sample found in the car could have come from Gregsten).

Love,

Caz
X

Derrick
06-19-2015, 09:34 AM
This is all now completely off-topic.

cobalt
06-19-2015, 02:48 PM
O.K. Derrick. you are technically correct. But let us continue to discuss the case please.

Hello Caz,

Thanks for your very logical critique of what I said.
I think the police do manufacture evidence in order to bolster a case, and that this is much easier to do in the age of DNA evidence which is generally accepted by juries. However I do not think that Acott or Oxford engaged in this behaviour in 1962.
I cannot say the same for the recent handling and interpretation of the DNA evidence in this case; a case which is still, (amazingly) highly sensitive and impinges upon the life of a survivor whose evidence helped send a man to the gallows. It is so easy to forget that Valerie Storey is still with us, and that her situation must be taken into account by the parties who have the power to investigate this case.

Let us look a the dog which did not bark. The car is crucial to the case against Hanratty, yet yielded nothing. Nothing! A murder and a sexual assault apparently left no forensic evidence inside the limited confines of a Morris Minor car. Just as astonishing, the initial forensic evidence in this case came not from the corn field, not from the car, not from Valerie Storey's clothing - but from an obscure doss house in London and the seat of a London bus! No wonder the judge was equivocal in his summing up. Yet this proxy forensic evidence was given weight and swayed a jury.

The forensics at the time were not quite so basic as you suggest. Hair samples could certainly be matched (Glaister in Scotland was doing this in the 1940s) so any human hair, whether head or pubic, could be matched to the owner. It defies belief that the assailant did not leave some hair behind in the car given the nature of the crime, and the time he spent there. That leaves, it seems to me, two possibilities.

1. The car was cleaned well enough to remove hair samples.
2. Samples were actually found but suppressed, since they did not help make the case against Hanratty.

Whatever the case, there was obviously no forensic evidence against Hanratty. That does not make him innocent, I accept, but it is certainly grounds for reasonable doubt.

Spitfire
06-21-2015, 04:15 AM
If Alphon assaulted Mrs Dalal, and if Mrs Dalal's assailant was the A6 Murderer then it would have been Alphon's hairs and his clothes' fibres left in the Morris Minor which would explain why Acott first went after Alphon as the prime suspect.

Derrick
06-21-2015, 06:17 AM
There were a myriad of hairs, fibres and fingermarks found in the car that were eventually matched to either Ms Storie or Mr Gregsten or members of Mr Gregsten's family.

There were only 2 fingermarks that were found that matched nobody from Gregsten's family or from Ms Storie.

Neither of these fingermarks matched either Alphon or Hanratty.

The car couldn't have been cleaned up prior to it being found otherwise all of the other expected evidence would have been lost, which clearly it wasn't.

So, therefore, there was neither a clean up nor a suppression of evidence. The lack of evidence of the killer is just one of the mysteries of this case.

caz
06-22-2015, 08:28 AM
Hello Caz,

Thanks for your very logical critique of what I said.

You are most welcome, cobalt.

Regarding the 'forensic' evidence left on that bus, while I accept it was rather tenuous to conclude in 1962 that the hanky undoubtedly belonged to Hanratty and was therefore hidden by him on the bus, we have known since 2002 that his DNA - and only his - was present on this item, and nobody appears able to dispute this, or to explain how it might have got there by any other route than Hanratty blowing his nose.

The forensics at the time were not quite so basic as you suggest. Hair samples could certainly be matched (Glaister in Scotland was doing this in the 1940s) so any human hair, whether head or pubic, could be matched to the owner.

Thanks, I didn't know that.

It defies belief that the assailant did not leave some hair behind in the car given the nature of the crime, and the time he spent there. That leaves, it seems to me, two possibilities.

1. The car was cleaned well enough to remove hair samples.
2. Samples were actually found but suppressed, since they did not help make the case against Hanratty.

I think Derrick has dealt with number 1.

Regarding number 2, I don't see how any hair samples found, which could not be matched with hair from any named individual (Alphon, Hanratty, Valerie and so on), would have been much use to either the defence or prosecution, or admissible as evidence of anything. I certainly wouldn't call it 'suppression' if such samples were not produced during the trial. It was surely enough for the jury to know that nothing was found in the car that could put Hanratty there.

Whatever the case, there was obviously no forensic evidence against Hanratty. That does not make him innocent, I accept, but it is certainly grounds for reasonable doubt.

But again, there was nothing against Alphon or anyone else either, so reasonable doubt, where it concerns the vehicle alone, has to extend to all. However, the jury felt able to consider their verdict using other means at their disposal.

Love,

Caz
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