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  #4141  
Old 04-26-2017, 07:20 AM
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Hi Ansonman - yes, it does seem remarkable that no one spotted the car until early evening if it had been parked there since early morning.

However, it also seems remarkable that no one spotted the car being driven there in the early evening and that someone was even prepared to do the driving after the number plate had been broadcast if that is what happened.

Very perplexing. Again.

The only explanation for either scenario I can come up with is that we were then a long way from today's age of instant news and so many of the general public would still have been unaware of Gregsten's murder and any details of the car...
Hi OneRound,

Interesting observations here. What should perhaps be remembered is that the gunman himself would have had little cause for concern, while still driving the car and thinking where he should take it, that any of its details might be broadcast as early as the same day, or even the following day. He may not have thought to buy a newspaper, or had access to a radio or tv, until much later in the day, in which case he may well have abandoned the car, whenever that was, while still in blissful ignorance of his failure to kill the woman, and therefore how much the police and the general public could already have known about any vehicle involved. If he had never really intended to murder anyone, but shot Gregsten dead in a panic when he moved too abruptly, he knew he'd have to silence Valerie too, as the sole witness. He may never have intended to rape anyone either, but his darker instincts took over and he did so, in the realisation that he was going to kill this woman afterwards anyway.

When the gunman drove off, he must have believed he had finished the job, or he'd have made bloody sure of it. Anyone used to handling and firing a gun ought to have made a much better fist of it, without the panic and fatal error of leaving one of his victims to tell the tale. But looking at it from his point of view, even if the bodies were found quickly, they would represent a double murder, committed for unknown reasons, by someone who had then left the scene by unknown means. If Valerie had not survived, how long might it have taken the authorities to identify the couple, so far from home, and to establish that their car was missing, and was therefore likely to have been used by their killer to get them to the scene and to make good his own escape? Even when finally armed with the make, model, colour and registration number of the suspected vehicle, and the details broadcast, the police would have had no idea of its current whereabouts, or where it might finally end up, until some observant beat copper or member of the public in Avondale Crescent, who had absorbed the information, spotted the offending vehicle and reported it.

I'm not so sure it would be that remarkable if the car was abandoned for some hours before anyone made that crucial connection. But similarly, I'm not sure the driver himself, assuming this was the gunman, would have been too worried whether he abandoned it in the early morning at the first opportunity, or shortly before it was seen there and officially identified. One possibility is that he didn't drive the car straight back down south, but holed up somewhere secluded for an attempt at cleaning it, followed by some much needed beauty sleep - a nice long "kip" to recharge his batteries - before the final push back to London, to leave it somewhere convenient for his onward journey by public transport, taxi or even on foot.

The green bobble hat is intriguing to say the least. IF Lee, the Matlock witness, did see and describe such a hat before it was found in the boot or any news of it emerged, that would seem beyond coincidence. It was high summer so it would have been a distinctive and memorable hat to see a driver wearing, even that early in the morning. Assuming the one in the boot belonged to Gregsten, it would have made some sense for the gunman to wear it for his getaway, not only to hide his hair, but because it was not his own hat, and could simply be abandoned later with the car, leaving no obvious connection with anyone else - at least not until the double murder (as he thought) finally led the police to this particular car and its contents.

In this context, I wonder if the gunman, in his panic at having just committed such a senseless and shocking crime, wavered at first, thinking it was safer to go further north initially, to put even more distance between himself and where he first saw the car and held up the couple. Later, concerns about fuel and how he was going to get himself back to London could have caused him to turn round and head back south. Is this not the kind of erratic behaviour we might expect from a young petty criminal, totally out of his depth and comfort zone, a newcomer to the power and reality of firearms, unsure of what to do next and badly in need of sleep?

Obviously, if Lee could have learned about the bobble hat or car details before giving his statement, that would change everything.

But neither scenario would let Hanratty off the hook in my view. Any further appeal would require fresh evidence that the original conviction was unsafe, but no fresh evidence is going to prove he could not still have done it, which is the only thing that will apparently satisfy his most loyal supporters.

I wonder how let down and disgusted they would feel if they could entertain the thought of having loyally defended a rapist and murderer?

Love,

Caz
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Last edited by caz : 04-26-2017 at 07:43 AM.
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  #4142  
Old 04-27-2017, 01:30 AM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Originally Posted by caz View Post
Hi OneRound,

Interesting observations here. What should perhaps be remembered is that the gunman himself would have had little cause for concern, while still driving the car and thinking where he should take it, that any of its details might be broadcast as early as the same day, or even the following day. He may not have thought to buy a newspaper, or had access to a radio or tv, until much later in the day, in which case he may well have abandoned the car, whenever that was, while still in blissful ignorance of his failure to kill the woman, and therefore how much the police and the general public could already have known about any vehicle involved. If he had never really intended to murder anyone, but shot Gregsten dead in a panic when he moved too abruptly, he knew he'd have to silence Valerie too, as the sole witness. He may never have intended to rape anyone either, but his darker instincts took over and he did so, in the realisation that he was going to kill this woman afterwards anyway.

When the gunman drove off, he must have believed he had finished the job, or he'd have made bloody sure of it. Anyone used to handling and firing a gun ought to have made a much better fist of it, without the panic and fatal error of leaving one of his victims to tell the tale. But looking at it from his point of view, even if the bodies were found quickly, they would represent a double murder, committed for unknown reasons, by someone who had then left the scene by unknown means. If Valerie had not survived, how long might it have taken the authorities to identify the couple, so far from home, and to establish that their car was missing, and was therefore likely to have been used by their killer to get them to the scene and to make good his own escape? Even when finally armed with the make, model, colour and registration number of the suspected vehicle, and the details broadcast, the police would have had no idea of its current whereabouts, or where it might finally end up, until some observant beat copper or member of the public in Avondale Crescent, who had absorbed the information, spotted the offending vehicle and reported it.

I'm not so sure it would be that remarkable if the car was abandoned for some hours before anyone made that crucial connection. But similarly, I'm not sure the driver himself, assuming this was the gunman, would have been too worried whether he abandoned it in the early morning at the first opportunity, or shortly before it was seen there and officially identified. One possibility is that he didn't drive the car straight back down south, but holed up somewhere secluded for an attempt at cleaning it, followed by some much needed beauty sleep - a nice long "kip" to recharge his batteries - before the final push back to London, to leave it somewhere convenient for his onward journey by public transport, taxi or even on foot.

The green bobble hat is intriguing to say the least. IF Lee, the Matlock witness, did see and describe such a hat before it was found in the boot or any news of it emerged, that would seem beyond coincidence. It was high summer so it would have been a distinctive and memorable hat to see a driver wearing, even that early in the morning. Assuming the one in the boot belonged to Gregsten, it would have made some sense for the gunman to wear it for his getaway, not only to hide his hair, but because it was not his own hat, and could simply be abandoned later with the car, leaving no obvious connection with anyone else - at least not until the double murder (as he thought) finally led the police to this particular car and its contents.

In this context, I wonder if the gunman, in his panic at having just committed such a senseless and shocking crime, wavered at first, thinking it was safer to go further north initially, to put even more distance between himself and where he first saw the car and held up the couple. Later, concerns about fuel and how he was going to get himself back to London could have caused him to turn round and head back south. Is this not the kind of erratic behaviour we might expect from a young petty criminal, totally out of his depth and comfort zone, a newcomer to the power and reality of firearms, unsure of what to do next and badly in need of sleep?

Obviously, if Lee could have learned about the bobble hat or car details before giving his statement, that would change everything.

But neither scenario would let Hanratty off the hook in my view. Any further appeal would require fresh evidence that the original conviction was unsafe, but no fresh evidence is going to prove he could not still have done it, which is the only thing that will apparently satisfy his most loyal supporters.

I wonder how let down and disgusted they would feel if they could entertain the thought of having loyally defended a rapist and murderer?

Love,

Caz
X
Hi Caz,

Thanks for your post. I don't believe we're far apart there.

My main point was that IF (as we have both emphasised) Lee saw the car in Matlock as claimed, then the alleged sightings of the same car around Avondale as claimed by Skillett and Trower are blown out of the water. That would not establish innocence on Hanratty's part but it would remove an important part of the prosecution case at trial.

I follow the possibility you raise that the car was first driven north by the gunman and then, in panic, he doubled back. However, for the car to have been driven so far as to where it was allegedly sighted by Lee, would have meant that the odometer or Gregsten's last recording of the mileage was faulty. Acott was apparently satisfied that neither was at fault which resulted in him dismissing Lee's evidence and not disclosing it.

What for me is so wrong there is that Acott did not disclose details of Lee's statement and Gregsten's mileage records to Hanratty's defence team to make their own investigations.

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #4143  
Old 04-27-2017, 05:26 AM
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Hi Caz,

Thanks for your post. I don't believe we're far apart there.

My main point was that IF (as we have both emphasised) Lee saw the car in Matlock as claimed, then the alleged sightings of the same car around Avondale as claimed by Skillett and Trower are blown out of the water. That would not establish innocence on Hanratty's part but it would remove an important part of the prosecution case at trial.

I follow the possibility you raise that the car was first driven north by the gunman and then, in panic, he doubled back. However, for the car to have been driven so far as to where it was allegedly sighted by Lee, would have meant that the odometer or Gregsten's last recording of the mileage was faulty. Acott was apparently satisfied that neither was at fault which resulted in him dismissing Lee's evidence and not disclosing it.

What for me is so wrong there is that Acott did not disclose details of Lee's statement and Gregsten's mileage records to Hanratty's defence team to make their own investigations.

Best regards,

OneRound
Agreed, OneRound.

If everything had been properly disclosed, and nobody could later have reasonably complained that Hanratty's trial was unfair, one wonders what the verdict would have been? It's still entirely possible that Valerie's confident second identification and Hanratty's own performance, confessing that he had lied about his first alibi and asking the jury to accept a second, would have been enough for them to return the same guilty verdict. The jury were aware that Valerie had erred by picking out one of the volunteers on the first parade, so Hanratty's change of alibi must have been very damaging indeed. Faced with all the potential sightings of the car and its driver, would the jury have conceded reasonable doubt? Or would they have been as confused as we are today about which witnesses, if any, could be relied on, and lumped them all in with the questionable Liverpool and Rhyl witnesses, who they clearly didn't believe had seen Hanratty on August 22nd/23rd?

I wonder what would have become of him if the undisclosed evidence had emerged in time for the defence to investigate and the jury to consider the findings and he had been acquitted as a result? Would his close call with the hangman have shocked him into going straight? Or would he have been in and out of prison for much of his adult life, perhaps for more serious crimes than previously?

Love,

Caz
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  #4144  
Old 04-27-2017, 05:59 AM
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hanratty couldn't be the a6 killer because he would have done 2 things.

torched the car and then stolen another.

chucked the gun in the drink.
Hi Del,

So nobody with any sense could have been the A6 killer because they would have done those same two things.

A killer with any sense would have torched the car and stolen another.

This killer didn't have the sense to do that, abandoning it where it would be found.

A killer with any sense would have chucked the gun in the drink.

This killer didn't have the sense to do that, leaving it on a London bus where it would be found.

The question is, how much sense did Hanratty have?

Not a lot.

He admitted that he left stuff on buses.

He admitted that he had lied about being in Liverpool on the night of the killing.

I suspect he left the gun on the bus, assuming it would be found later that day, then got himself up to Liverpool sharpish so he could claim to have been there when the gun was being dumped in London. He was actually in Liverpool sending a telegram around the same time the gun was found, so if that was the plan it nearly worked. Chucking it in the drink would have deprived him of yet another false alibi.

Love,

Caz
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  #4145  
Old 04-27-2017, 06:14 AM
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According to the Times report of 26 January 1961 of Charlotte France's evidence, it was she who did Jim's Laundry. She knew of him only as Jim Ryan.
So if Jim had had his initials embroidered on his hankies, she'd presumably have been curious to know why he had JH and not JR.

I think it's about time people dropped the idea that someone else cunningly left Jim's snotty hanky with the murder weapon, imagining it would put the police on his scent. Or did he have technicolour bogies to match his hair?

Love,

Caz
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  #4146  
Old 04-27-2017, 07:19 AM
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If my reading of Woffinden is correct he has the sequence as follows:
1. Hanratty signs the note;
2. Photographs are taken of Hanratty;
3. Gillbanks is sent to Rhyl.

This makes more sense to me, as Gillbanks would need the photos when he made enquiries. It means that he came across Ingledene quite quickly, but all he needed to do was find a guest house with a green bath and a co-operative landlady.

In section 186 of the Appeal, the defence complains that information the prosecution obtained about the Liverpool-Rhyl bus timing was not disclosed. If the 1962 defence team had been investigating for a week they would have found out information like this themselves.
Hi Nick,

I'm a little confused over when exactly Hanratty first came out with his little gem about the green bath. Ingledene was only ever going to be a doubtful possibility, given the various conflicting details we have from its landlady, her guests, Hanratty and the place itself (down to where the green bath was and which room Hanratty supposedly slept in) - not to mention the jury's disbelief that he was ever there. So is there even the remotest chance that Gillbanks could have identified this guest house for other reasons and that Hanratty could then have learned about its green bath and included it in his own account?

If green baths were as uncommon in the early sixties as we have been led to believe, it does seem very odd that Hanratty could have made up this detail and that Gillbanks could have located one so quickly. Even odder that Hanratty would have invented something like a green bath, imagining one would be found at all, anywhere in Rhyl. So an explanation does seem to be required. Was he perhaps remembering an actual green bath he'd seen in this or some other guest house, at a different time? If he had seen one for himself and didn't consider it too much of a rarity to introduce here, maybe it wasn't such a rarity after all. Would that make a good deal more sense than dreaming up something so unusual that Gillbanks should have had the devil's own job to find an example?

Love,

Caz
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  #4147  
Old 04-27-2017, 09:10 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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Hi Caz,

In the thread ‘scan of Hanratty statement re Rhyl alibi’ Natalie posted the notes Kleinman took on 29-Jan-62.

You can see (post 4) that Hanratty says: “Green bath round, sink green to match bath.” After two words I cannot decipher he says: “Lavatory and bath room combined.”

I presume the description on this page was conveyed to Gillbanks. You can see that it also says: “Front of house was living room”; whereas the front room of Ingledene was the dining room.

In his summing up Swanwick suggested that the idea of the green bath came from Terry Evans house, where there was a bath with a duck-egg blue-green surround.
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  #4148  
Old 05-03-2017, 01:59 AM
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Cheers Nick.

Could the attic room at Ingledene have been described as a combined lavatory and bathroom? If there was no green sink in there to match the bath, and no loo either, something was seriously amiss for Hanratty to 'remember' such details. He does seem to have had a tendency to use real memories to fashion the false ones, giving them an underlying ring of truth for his supporters to cling to.

But it's little wonder his defence team could not make more of the Rhyl alibi for the 2002 appeal.

Love,

Caz
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:04 AM
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Looking at the post you mentioned, Nick, I think the wording may be:

Poorish house - Lavatory and bath room combined -

followed by:

In bedroom was a small sink

Love,

Caz
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  #4150  
Old 05-03-2017, 05:31 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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The words I couldn't decipher may well be 'Poorish house'.

There is a contemporary photo of Ingledene on the page linked to below. Looks quite smart to me. And it is difficult to imagine he would not have seen the name in big letters above the front door!

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/crim...ratty-11074437
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