To clarify, I believe that Hanratty’s alibi was a genuine one (eventually). When I said it was a ‘dead end’ I was not abandoning belief in his alibi but accepting the limitations of that alibi. It is very hard to prove a negative as we all know, and I do not think there is any more evidence available from which to argue Hanratty’s alibi. He did not need to provide one and it offers no more mileage to those who believe in his innocence. It has become a sideshow for those on the prosecution side who wish to pick (justifiably) holes within it. Would that they were asked to provide an alibi for two months ago and see how they fare! An accused has no more need to provide an alibi than the prosecution has to provide a motive. On balance I would suggest Hanratty did a better job. His alibi is better than the prosecution’s motive.
Hanratty’s alibi is hardly worthless so could have not been plucked out of thin air. There are a number of witnesses who believed they saw him in both Liverpool and Rhyl at the relevant times, one of which is even time-stamped. We are often told on here that Jim Hanratty was unlucky but if his alibi was fictitious, then he was actually extremely lucky. Extremely lucky to have so many independent witnesses confirm it. Of course, they could have been mistaken, or ‘suggestible’ as has been suggested here. No more suggestible however than the ID witnesses who saw Hanratty driving near Redbridge I would contend, nor even Valerie Storie herself.
And then there is massive lack of those ‘wishing to get in on the act.’ In Redbridge and Liverpool/Rhyl they were lining up to get their five minutes of fame. Yet in sleepy Taplow, the very heart of the crime, no one saw or heard anything. No roadside driver, no train ticket collector, no train passenger, nothing. The only link to Hanratty and the cornfield is Valerie Storie whose evidence is obviously undermined by an earlier identification.
What really is perplexing is why Hanratty's supporters keep relating this story as a fact when Janet Gregsten herself described it as an invention of the tabloid press. Stop it, please.
No. I can't stop Alfie.
I was not referring to the 'I saw him at the dry cleaners' vision which all sides surely regard as ridiculous. We may of course argue whether the story came from William Ewer or was concocted by tabloid reporters.
I was referring to the poliice activity in Swiss Cottage weeks before any cartridges were found in the Vienna Hotel. That police actiivity may, or may not, have been instigated by William Ewer as he claimed, but according to two shop keepers the name of one James Ryan (alias James Hanratty) was obtained by the police as a result of their enquiries. A massive coincidence you would surely acknoweldge.
This is the same Swiss Cottage arcade where Dixie France found it necessary to visit Wiliam Ewer's shop and offer his condolences, to a man he apparently did not know. Well beyond the normal bounds of sympathetic citizenship I would suggest.
Yet in sleepy Taplow, the very heart of the crime, no one saw or heard anything.
If he had met someone in Taplow who he thought could have identified him later (i.e. had an interchange with them instead of being just a passing stranger) he would have been foolish to proceed with the hold-up. So the lack of sightings in Taplow does not surprise me. Although if his photo had been published before the trial it might have jogged someone’s memory.