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  #4211  
Old 11-23-2017, 07:07 AM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Surely that could not be the same rotten Court of Appeal that one year earlier had upheld Hanratty's conviction?
Hi Nick - yes, indeed it was. In my humble opinion, a remarkably fair and well constructed judgement in respect of Connolly, especially as he had pleaded guilty to the charge.

Different judges, mind you. Including Leveson (of subsequent press freedom / gagging fame) for Hanratty's appeal in 2002.

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #4212  
Old 11-23-2017, 02:05 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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I raised the Bert Balmer link to the A6 Case because it may well be relevant. Hanratty wanted, initially at least, a Liverpool alibi, yet seeking an alibi when Bert Balmer held sway in the Merseyside Police was probably something of a fool’s errand.

The Liverpool criminal fraternity believed in 1961 (with some justification if you read about the controversial cases) that Bert Balmer had sent three innocent men to the gallows. Not just ‘fitted them up’ for robbery- as payback for the half dozen which they had committed and escaped detection- but had actually conspired to legally execute them for crimes they had not committed. That was the perceived power of the man in some quarters.

Balmer had spent at least 10 years as a younger policeman assigned to the Liverpool magistrate’s court, so was very familiar with taking statements, arranging witnesses, ensuring that prosecutions obtained a result. The feeling was that, through bullying, threats and and deals, he could elicit damning (if dubious) testimony from associates and gang members which would stand up in court, even in a capital crime. As a result, he was loathed, but also feared by the Liverpool underworld. Balmer was very much old school and would have taken Hanratty’s claim of a Liverpool alibi as a personal affront, since he viewed himself as Lord of his Merseyside Manor and did not want cheapskate Cockneys queering his pitch.

Therefore, it would have been a brave Merseyside villain who supported Hanratty’s alibi. If he had, he might have shared the same fate as Kelly, Burns and Devlin, and ended up swinging from a rope. These executions had happened ten years earlier when Balmer was merely a leading detective. He was, by1961, pretty much unchallenged as the senior policeman in the Merseyside area.

Similar pressure may have been applied to Joe Gillibanks (right spelling I hope), the private investigator who was detailed to confirm Hanratty’s alibi in Rhyl. He was an ex-policeman whose path must have crossed that of Balmer at some point in his career. His careless method of showing photographs of Hanratty to potential alibi witnesses has been criticized on this forum, and it is possible he was warned off by Balmer not to obtain an alibi. Then again, for all I know, Joe Gillibanks perhaps loathed Bert Balmer and was so keen to embarrass his reputation that he was too enthusiastic in his actions.

In conclusion, there were better places to seek alibis than Bert Balmer’s Merseyside.
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  #4213  
Old 11-23-2017, 02:30 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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Caz makes two points, one about the telegram and the other about the handkerchief.

She is not convinced by the coincidence of the telegram arriving around the time of the gun being found on the bus. However, she is as selective as the rest of us, from differing sides of the argument, in deciding which coincidences she chooses to accept and which to reject. Indeed, those of us doubtful of Hanratty’s guilt, are probably more spoiled for choice in this area.

She also assumes, I think, that the gun was placed on the bus on the morning of the 24th August, being discovered later that evening around the time the telegram arrived. It may be that the gun was planted on the morning of the 23rd August, as the killer made his way back through London after dumping the car, and was not discovered until the following evening. This would not exonerate Hanratty as the killer, but it does take some of the sting out the alleged coincidental timing.

In other words, there is a possible scenario whereby the gun could have been discovered a day before the telegram. Even if it was dumped on the 24th it might have been discovered by some nosy schoolboy hours before Hanratty’s telegram arrived.

Caz’s highlighting of the handkerchief is a much more solid point and one that supporters of Hanratty have to address. After all, finding DNA linking Hanratty to the handkerchief years later could hardly have been part of any conspiracy in 1961. Assuming the DNA evidence can be trusted, then this shows a direct connection between the murder weapon and France or Hanratty. Possibly both. But certainly not neither. I still lean towards France.
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  #4214  
Old 11-23-2017, 02:48 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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I can understand Moste remaining sceptical regarding Valerie Storie’s account of what transpired before and during the apparently pointless drive around Slough. However, one part of her testimony which I do not think has ever been challenged, is that the gunman was smartly dressed yet claimed to have been on the run for four months.

It has been assumed that this was simply a fabrication by the killer, perhaps to impress upon his hostages that he was a dangerous outlaw with nothing to lose. That seems a reasonable interpretation, but do we know if the police investigated any suspects who would have matched this description? And why four months? It seems a very specific time to choose, even off the top of one’s head. In fact, four weeks would actually sound better, since a man on the run for four months sounds like he has been forgotten about by the police as not worth pursuing.
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  #4215  
Old 11-24-2017, 02:42 AM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
Caz makes two points, one about the telegram and the other about the handkerchief.

She is not convinced by the coincidence of the telegram arriving around the time of the gun being found on the bus. However, she is as selective as the rest of us, from differing sides of the argument, in deciding which coincidences she chooses to accept and which to reject. Indeed, those of us doubtful of Hanratty’s guilt, are probably more spoiled for choice in this area.

She also assumes, I think, that the gun was placed on the bus on the morning of the 24th August, being discovered later that evening around the time the telegram arrived. It may be that the gun was planted on the morning of the 23rd August, as the killer made his way back through London after dumping the car, and was not discovered until the following evening. This would not exonerate Hanratty as the killer, but it does take some of the sting out the alleged coincidental timing.

In other words, there is a possible scenario whereby the gun could have been discovered a day before the telegram. Even if it was dumped on the 24th it might have been discovered by some nosy schoolboy hours before Hanratty’s telegram arrived.

Caz’s highlighting of the handkerchief is a much more solid point and one that supporters of Hanratty have to address. After all, finding DNA linking Hanratty to the handkerchief years later could hardly have been part of any conspiracy in 1961. Assuming the DNA evidence can be trusted, then this shows a direct connection between the murder weapon and France or Hanratty. Possibly both. But certainly not neither. I still lean towards France.
Hi Cobalt - some good and interesting points in this and other of your recent posts. That said, I don't share your understanding towards Moste who, in my opinion, does no favours to the Hanratty cause.

As regards the post above, a couple of points.

I don't have the books to check but I'm pretty sure that Edwin Cooke stated he cleaned under the backseat of the same bus on the night of the 23rd August. Assuming he said that and it was correct, the gun must therefore have been left there some time on the 24th when it was found. [This may also be confirmed in the 2002 Court of Appeal judgement.]

You are right to acknowledge the strength of Caz's point about Hanratty's DNA being on the handkerchief. Although that by itself does not prove guilt, it is still a very significant problem for his supporters. In some ways, that is even more of an issue to me than the apparently damning evidence of the knicker fragment for which I can at least find possible excuses. However, why would anyone discard a murder weapon wrapped in someone else's handkerchief when the handkerchief's ownership could not be traced or it ever be envisaged that it would be?

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #4216  
Old 11-24-2017, 04:34 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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According to Woffinden, the gun was found on the bus by Edwin Cooke at about 8.40pm on Thursday 24 August. That is, at about the same time Hanratty sent his telegram to the France family from Liverpool. Obviously the gun could have been planted on the bus at any time during the preceding approx. 24 hours, which would have given Hanratty time to plant the gun and get to Liverpool.

As far as I recall, the possibility of the gun being placed in the bus while it was at the garage was dismissed both by London Transport and Woffinden as not practically possible.

As for the hankie, I should think that the gun and the bullets that had been loaded into it would have been subjected to an extremely rigourous cleaning to rid it of fingerprints, hair, etc. Obviously we don't know if the gun was carried onto the bus in pockets or in a bag, but the hankie was undoubtedly used to handle it and the boxes of cartridges when being deposited under the back seat.

The only other way to safely handle the gun would have been using gloves, and perhaps it was thought that anyone seen wearing gloves in August would have been noticeable.

Graham
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  #4217  
Old 11-24-2017, 04:45 AM
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caz caz is offline
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Hi All,

Another point is that the hankie proves Hanratty's involvement, whether as an active participant in the crime, or the completely innocent victim of a successful attempt to frame him by someone known to him with access to one of his hankies.

I don't think this can be said too often. But is he also supposed to have been a completely innocent victim of: Valerie Storie's lies and misidentification; flawed witness testimony on both sides; a police stitch-up; forensic skulduggery either at the time or when the DNA testing was done, or at least accidental contamination of the knicker fragment, or misattribution of the DNA profiles picked up; and sheer bad luck for sharing his blood group with the rapist [which the person framing him would almost certainly not have known] and - the clincher - for having to lie because he had no way to prove he was elsewhere?

We've said this before too, but if it wasn't for bad luck, Jim would have had no luck at all.

Love,

Caz
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Last edited by caz : 11-24-2017 at 04:48 AM.
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  #4218  
Old 11-24-2017, 04:48 AM
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caz caz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
As for the hankie, I should think that the gun and the bullets that had been loaded into it would have been subjected to an extremely rigourous cleaning to rid it of fingerprints, hair, etc. Obviously we don't know if the gun was carried onto the bus in pockets or in a bag, but the hankie was undoubtedly used to handle it and the boxes of cartridges when being deposited under the back seat.

The only other way to safely handle the gun would have been using gloves, and perhaps it was thought that anyone seen wearing gloves in August would have been noticeable.
Good point, Graham!

Love,

Caz
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  #4219  
Old 11-24-2017, 05:34 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Quote:
Another point is that the hankie proves Hanratty's involvement, whether as an active participant in the crime, or the completely innocent victim of a successful attempt to frame him by someone known to him with access to one of his hankies.
Absolutely correct, Caz! There is no doubt in my mind that had the hankie been identified as his by Hanratty, then his trial wouldn't have lasted the record-breaking 22 (?) days that it did.

Well, as for access to one of his hankies, who sometimes did his laundry for him?

Rgds,

Graham
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  #4220  
Old 11-24-2017, 09:42 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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Enclose another page from the Sunday Times magazine feature in 1966 ...
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Last edited by NickB : 11-24-2017 at 09:45 AM.
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