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

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  #4741  
Old 04-21-2018, 08:03 AM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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I take your point about the forensic report being available to the defence. I think there was once a photocopy of a forensic report signed by ‘Elsie Nickolls’ shown on this site but whether that was merely a summary report rather than a more thorough report I am not sure. It may be that the defence was shown a less than comprehensive report and was satisfied with that.


Sherrard surely missed a trick in not calling Nickolls to testify. He was a big ‘name’ in criminal trials of that era and his confirmation of the negative connection between Hanratty and the car would have had a powerful effect on the jury I would imagine.

There remains the possibility of a clean-up by the killer which removed hair and fibre evidence but as you suggested this would have required a thorough vacuum clean of the car. In the circumstances this seems unlikely, not in line with the narrative of a panicked killer driving erratically. Then there is the problem of finding an extension cable to get the vacuum to the car before starting to hoover, most probably in poor light. Vacuum cleaners also make a lot of noise and would be likely to disturb anyone sleeping in the vicinity in the early hours of the morning. If this did happen then an accomplice seems likely to have been involved. And as I indicated earlier, an experienced forensic team can tell when a car is ‘too’ clean following a clean up operation.
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  #4742  
Old 04-21-2018, 01:42 PM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfie View Post

Nickolls was a witness at the committal, but isn't mentioned in the reports I've gathered about the trial. Anybody know whether he was called there?
Indeed he was.
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  #4743  
Old 04-21-2018, 02:20 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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So Nickolls was there.

Yet Sherrard passed up the opportunity to cross examine him on the negative result on the murder car?
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  #4744  
Old 04-22-2018, 12:33 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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But Sherrard's cross-examination of Nickolls is not included. This is the difficulty of having only abridged reports - some important things are left out. For example, France's 'back seat of the bus' testimony is not mentioned.
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  #4745  
Old 04-22-2018, 02:21 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
But Sherrard's cross-examination of Nickolls is not included. This is the difficulty of having only abridged reports - some important things are left out. For example, France's 'back seat of the bus' testimony is not mentioned.
I'd be totally amazed had Sherrard not brought the 'clean' condition of the car to the attention of the Court, thereby challenging the prosecution to prove that it had actually been Hanratty in the back seat that evening.

Graham
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We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze
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  #4746  
Old 04-23-2018, 09:59 AM
moste moste is offline
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So, having researched the theory myself ,of the fact that it was not possible for the .38 Enfield to have been fired accidentally, and claiming the murder was in fact a ‘double tap ‘ style assasination . It would appear that the whole thing was covered quite thoroughly by Nickolls. Rob Harriman obviously was not aware of this when he tackled the ‘Men’s Rea, issue,in his book ,and clearly Nichols’ demonstration and statement would negate the need for Sherrard to persue the killer blurting out, ‘he frightened me ,he moved too quick’ ( or whatever) .
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  #4747  
Old 04-23-2018, 04:04 PM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
I'd be totally amazed had Sherrard not brought the 'clean' condition of the car to the attention of the Court, thereby challenging the prosecution to prove that it had actually been Hanratty in the back seat that evening.

Graham
Hi Graham - I'm sure you're right. I remember Sherrard placing great emphasis on this in one of the tv documentaries from the 1990s.

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #4748  
Old 04-25-2018, 01:28 AM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
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Here is the transcript of the 2002 BBC documentary.

Sherrard says on this point
Quote:
No hair, no blood, no fibres, nothing at all was found that linked Hanratty to that motor-car.
A good many threads, fibres and hairs were found and these were examined by Lewis Nickolls and some were preserved by him between glass slides which subsequently became broken. This was one of the subjects of debate in the 2002 appeal and appears in the transcript which can be found in R Harriman's book.

If it be the case that fibres etc. were found, and along with the fact that there was much else in the car, e.g rug, spent bullets, clots of blood, bobble hats etc., the argument for saying that the car was 'cleaned' seems a bit thin. Moreover, if the malefactor (Hanratty) had the time and inclination to clean the car, then he would have had the time and opportunity to torch the vehicle and obliterate any trace linking him to the crime which he might have left.

I believe that Hanratty was confident that he had left no evidential trace and that his best bet was to abandon the car by parking up, as thousands of commuters do every day, near to a Tube station from where he could merge unnoticed into the rush hour throng in central London.

Even if he had succeeded in killing Valerie Storie, Hanratty would not have risked driving around in the murder car any longer than was necessary, and certainly not into the late afternoon.
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  #4749  
Old 04-25-2018, 02:33 PM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Here is the transcript of the 2002 BBC documentary.

Sherrard says on this point


A good many threads, fibres and hairs were found and these were examined by Lewis Nickolls and some were preserved by him between glass slides which subsequently became broken. This was one of the subjects of debate in the 2002 appeal and appears in the transcript which can be found in R Harriman's book.

If it be the case that fibres etc. were found, and along with the fact that there was much else in the car, e.g rug, spent bullets, clots of blood, bobble hats etc., the argument for saying that the car was 'cleaned' seems a bit thin. Moreover, if the malefactor (Hanratty) had the time and inclination to clean the car, then he would have had the time and opportunity to torch the vehicle and obliterate any trace linking him to the crime which he might have left.

I believe that Hanratty was confident that he had left no evidential trace and that his best bet was to abandon the car by parking up, as thousands of commuters do every day, near to a Tube station from where he could merge unnoticed into the rush hour throng in central London.

Even if he had succeeded in killing Valerie Storie, Hanratty would not have risked driving around in the murder car any longer than was necessary, and certainly not into the late afternoon.
Hi Spitfire and all - I struggle with the cleaning or non-cleaning of the car by a guilty Hanratty.

If he didn't clean the car, it is odd and he was bl**dy lucky (the only bit of luck to come his way throughout the case) that he left no evidence of his being in it.

If he did clean the car, it is odd and again he appears lucky that he managed to remove all evidence of his having been in it although not others.

I'm not convinced about the feasibility of torching the car even if there was sufficient time. That would run the risk of drawing attention to the vehicle as soon as it went up in flames as well as leaving him stranded there.

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #4750  
Old 04-26-2018, 03:12 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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I don’t know where this idea comes from that overall Hanratty was ‘unlucky’, except in the sense that Caz was using the word – that an innocent Hanratty would have been incredibly unlucky to have so many things pointing towards his guilt.

On 23-Sep-61 Alphon said to Acott: “It’s quite clear to me that you’ll never catch him now. It’s over a month old now and if you haven’t caught him now, you never will.” I expect similar thoughts were running though Hanratty’s mind later that day as he drove Gladys to Bedford. He must have felt very lucky that he had got away with it.

I accept that if Crocker only reported the cartridge cases because of the Alphon linkeage, then this was indeed unlucky for Hanratty. But after this had been reported, by continuing to use the ‘Ryan’ alias and the ‘Wood Lane, Kingsbury’ address he was leaving a trail that, I feel, inexorably would have lead to him.
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