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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Social Chat > Other Mysteries > A6 Murders

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  #4541  
Old 02-21-2018, 12:47 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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Hi Graham,

I think it’s fair enough to change your opinion on the A6 Case. I might even do that myself one day. I have no doubt that for many, who have followed the case over the years, the DNA evidence was a decisive moment. I will try to explain my reasons for not accepting it. I am aware of the controversy over Low Copy DNA but will not go into that specialist area.

As was written here recently, the Hanratty conviction had been a monkey on the back of British justice for many a long year. Once a verdict has been reached it is in the interests of the judicial system to uphold that verdict up to the point it becomes impossible to so do. Since the judicial system effectively judges itself, this is not a particularly difficult task to carry out. I recall one appeal by the Birmingham Six where an appeal judge pronounced that, having reviewed the evidence, it only made a strong prosecution stronger! Willful misjudgments of this enormity usually earn an accompanying promotion, along with an obligatory seat in the House of Lords, and these gratuities are never revoked. Unsurprisingly therefore, this kind of talk has been a feature of problematic cases since Timothy Evans right through to the Hillsborough Inquiry where, belatedly, the truth finally emerged. In essence, there is a mindset that the integrity of the justice system and its public perception are more important than the guilt or innocence of one mere citizen or citizens.

So, when Sherrard raised his eyebrows at the discovery of Valerie Storie’s clothing for DNA testing, along with a hanky, he was going as far as the rules of the game he played allowed. Mansfield, in similar vein, had to argue from the standpoint of accidental contamination. That tactic had at least proved successful in the case of Barry George, found guilty of Jill Dando’s murder largely on the basis of gunpowder residue found in one of his jacket pockets. When the Hanratty appeal judgment was made two senior policemen, who knew the case intimately, were reportedly at a loss to explain the DNA results. That is as far as they are able to go.

Not being bound by their professional code I can go further and suggest that the DNA evidence was fabricated. It not only got the Hanratty case of their backs- he could not be released and given a grudging apology like the Guildford Four or Birmingham Six- but discredited all these political agitators like Foot and their accompanying band of social misfits, well-intentioned do-gooders and nosey parkers. A salutary lesson for anyone who might have been inspired to follow in their footsteps. British justice does not hang innocent men. So, a good result and done, incidentally, with the very method insisted upon by the Hanratty family themselves the better to seal the case once and for all.

A different monkey was lifted from the back of British justice some years back when there were eventually two convictions in the Stephen Lawrence case. However, the method of ascertaining guilt was similar: exhibits from the time of the crime were found in a police store room and the DNA results proved conclusive after incriminating fibres were found at the bottom of a plastic bag. So, the police cannot not be racist or corrupt after all.

Forensic evidence which turns up late in the day is always unsatisfactory, especially when a case takes on a political dimension. Forensic evidence which inexplicably fails to be collected at the time- a feature the Lawrence case shares with the A6 Case- is equally unsatisfactory.
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  #4542  
Old 02-21-2018, 01:00 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Hi Cobalt,

Quote:
1. His strange behaviour in the Alexandra Hotel in the days after the crime, of the type specifically highlighted by police investigating the crime. This behaviour was reported to police in the belief that Alphon was behaving as a suspect in a murder case
Indeed yes, Alphon was acting oddly. However, unlike various reports to the contrary, he did leave his room at least once during the (five?) days he was at The Alexandra. The thing is, had Mr Sims the Manager chosen not to concern himself with his guest's odd behaviour, chances are we'd never have heard of Peter Louis Alphon. And, if I may ask, how does a suspect in a murder case actually act? By bringing attention to himself as Alphon did? Don't think so, somehow.

Quote:
2. The obvious one of being in the same hotel as Hanratty, after being re-directed from the same hotel, albeit arriving one day later. That is really a double coincidence.
A coincidence maybe, in view of later developments, but there is absolutely no evidence that they intended to meet there by design, nor even knew one another. Don't forget they stayed at The Vienna on different nights.


Quote:
3.His being seen previously in the Taplow Inn which is in the proximity to where the crime was committed and the victims were known to drink.
I can't recall Mrs Lanz, proprietor of The Old Station Inn, Taplow, saying that she remembered seeing Alphon or someone who resembled him before
the murder. She did, though, claim that she had seen Gregsten and Valerie there several times prior to the murder night - when she also stated that she saw them. If she did claim to have seen Alphon at The Old Station before, on, or after the murder night, then she I think was either making it up, or someone (I wonder who??) was putting words into her mouth.

4. His resemblance to an early impression of the suspect.

If you mean the famous Photofit, then I'm honestly not convinced. In my opinion, both of the Photofits were highly questionable. Even Paul Foot had to admit to that. There are many genuine photos of Peter Alphon on the net, if you wish to look, and none of them look like the Photofit some have claimed resemble him. OK, the same may be said of the Photofit that many have stated resembles Hanratty - well, maybe, if you look at it in a darkened room with one eye closed. Frankly, I don't think the Photofit 'evidence' did much more than to muddy the already-murky waters. Others may think different.

Maybe I should add a fifth. His later ability, whether through luck or judgment, to identify the specific field where the crime originated

And here we have Messrs Justice, Fox and Alphon on a boozy night out around and about the murder scene. If you read my earlier post on this subject, you'll see how questionable it is that Alphon had the faintest idea of where the actual crime originated.

There were other suspects, naturally, including someone who was subjected by Acott and Oxford to rigorous questioning for several hours. Who this person was has never been revealed, nor have the names of other persons hauled in for questioning. I think, to be very honest, until the cartridge cases were found at The Vienna, the police were floundering around in the dark. And even afterwards, some might say.

Graham
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  #4543  
Old 02-21-2018, 01:19 PM
NickB NickB is offline
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Alphon could have seen reports of the committal where the cornfield was described as being about 200 yards south of where Marsh Lane (reported as Arch Lane) crossed over the M4. Then he could have discovered the exact location in court when Valerie described their movements in detail with the aid of a plan of Dorney Reach.
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  #4544  
Old 02-21-2018, 01:52 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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Graham,

Acott believed that one type of behaviour consistent with having committed murder was to lie low in a hotel room. It had produced up a result for him in the case of Gunther Padola a year earlier, hence his request to hoteliers following the A6 crime. Five days seems a long time for a wanderer like Alphon to stay in one hotel, but I lack the supporting confirmation for this. You could equally well say that if a hotel manager had not alerted the police, we may never have heard of police killer Gunther Padola.
One of the great fascinations of the A6 Case is whether Hanratty and Alphon had ever met, or shared mutual acquaintances. Was the coincidence of the Vienna Hotel actually a planned meeting which never took place, or the transfer of a weapon via a third party?


NickB,

I am sure Alphon was astute enough and had the motivation to identify the cornfield. His police interviews might have allowed him some information as well. Yet remarkably, no one else seems to have subsequently been able to match his powers of deduction, if the story of the farmer pointing a gun at Fox’s head is to be believed.
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  #4545  
Old 02-21-2018, 02:10 PM
moste moste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Alphon could have seen reports of the committal where the cornfield was described as being about 200 yards south of where Marsh Lane (reported as Arch Lane) crossed over the M4. Then he could have discovered the exact location in court when Valerie described their movements in detail with the aid of a plan of Dorney Reach.
Or he could have actually been there during the execution of the crime. Almost certainly witnessed as having frequented the area by Mr. Fogarty Waul
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  #4546  
Old 02-21-2018, 02:21 PM
moste moste is offline
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Quote:And here we have Messrs Justice, Fox and Alphon on a boozy night out around and about the murder scene. If you read my earlier post on this subject, you'll see how questionable it is that Alphon had the faintest idea of where the actual crime originated.
Hi Graham.
Looks like Nick B thinks its possible Alphon did his homework on figuring out the correct location.
Also you didn't address my mention in this message of Mrs Climo's experience.
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  #4547  
Old 02-21-2018, 02:25 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Cobalt, if I may say so, your recollection of the Podola Case is quite wrong. He had been trying to blackmail a woman whose flat he had broken into and had stolen various goods to the value of about £2000. She reported this to the police, who put a tap on her phone. When he rang again, presumably to repeat his threats of blackmail, the woman kept him talking long enough for the police to trace his call to a phone-box at South Kensington tube station. Two detectives actually found him in the phone-box, but he got away and was chased by them to some nearby flats. He was caught, and when one of the detectives went to fetch their car, Podola shot the one holding him and escaped. Possibly he might have got away, but three days later the detective's widow when going through her husband's belongings found Podola's address book, which her husband had taken from him when he arrested him. From this, the police found that Podola was staying in a Kensington hotel. Three days after the murder of the detective, armed police effectively stormed the room on which he was staying and arrested him. There was no previous 'appeal to hotel managers', and the manager of the hotel never alerted the police to Podola's presence there, as they already knew. Acott had some input in this case, but as far as I'm aware he wasn't the senior police officer concerned.
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  #4548  
Old 02-21-2018, 02:48 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Quote:
Also you didn't address my mention in this message of Mrs Climo's experience.
Paul Foot wrote that he interviewed Mrs Climo and her husband, and she agreed that it was the door of her house that Justice had hammered on the door of, that night. She confessed, "My husband nearly got his shotgun out to him". Lord, what a caper! But it still doesn't prove that Alphon had been able to show his chums the precise entry to the cornfield. Not that it matters. It was by then public knowledge that the A6 Case had its origins in Marsh Lane, Dorney. And just to repeat: Jeremy Fox admitted, to no less a personage than the Home Secretary himself, that he was not sure whether the order to Stop! came from Justice or Alphon.

Oh, by the way: this is the same Jean Justice who nicked a London parking-meter just for a laugh, who got pinched on a train (with Fox) for being drunk and disorderly, who held drunken gay parties at his country cottage, and who (best of all) was shoved into a nut-house in Vienna when he panicked and told the local police that Alphon was coming out to get him with a gun. Just the kind of bloke you'd rely on, eh?

Graham
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  #4549  
Old 02-21-2018, 03:47 PM
moste moste is offline
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Oh, by the way: this is the same Jean Justice who nicked a London parking-meter just for a laugh, who got pinched on a train (with Fox) for being drunk and disorderly, who held drunken gay parties at his country cottage, and who (best of all) was shoved into a nut-house in Vienna when he panicked and told the local police that Alphon was coming out to get him with a gun. Just the kind of bloke you'd rely on, eh?

And the same Jean Justice who said’either Alphon is guilty of the A6 murder ,or Ive spent 25 years and a lot of effort wasting my time .(or words to that effect)
Just watched the Panorama show from ‘66 again ,can’t say I care for the man either particularly, but I fail to see how anyone can challenge the mans ardour,in his beliefs of Alphons guilt.
Incidentally, what the hell has drunken gay parties got to do with his later conviction of Alphons guilt?
As for Alphon coming after him with a gun, Those tapes on Panorama are pretty scary, there’s no doubt in my mind amongst other things Alphon was a Lunatic!
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  #4550  
Old 02-21-2018, 03:59 PM
moste moste is offline
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What does Fox stating ‘he didn’t know who shouted stop’ got to do with anything? I mean Justice didn’t know where the field was!
And in any case , Alphon may easily have said to Justice in the back seat ,’ this is the field here’ so Justice called out ‘stop the car’ . Like chewing a bone with no meat on it, time to move on.
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