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  #1  
Old 05-10-2015, 02:26 PM
Harry D Harry D is online now
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Question Green Bicycle Case?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bicycle_Case

Quote:
The Green Bicycle Case was a murder investigation and trial over the shooting of a young woman named Bella Wright in Little Stretton, near Leicester, England on 5 July 1919. Wright was killed by a bullet wound to the head. Earlier that evening she had been seen with a man on a green bicycle. Ronald Vivian Light was tried for her death but acquitted.

Ronald Light, 34 years old at the time, was a World War I veteran who had returned from the war with shell shock. He did not voluntarily come forth in response to wanted posters for the man on the green bicycle who had been riding with Wright on the evening she was killed, and he made an attempt to dispose of the bicycle. Once arrested he admitted to being with her shortly before her death, but denied killing her. He was successfully defended in court by Sir Edward Marshall-Hall KC.
How on earth was Light ever cleared of this murder? He was the only person seen with the victim shortly before their death, he had tried to dispose of the bicycle, and admitted to owning the gun holster which was found in the canal (along with bullets matching the one which killed the victim), and yet they were able to get him off on some technicality about ballistics and because he was calm and well-spoken in the witness box?
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:33 PM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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I agree that Light was most likely guilty. There is a theory that the shooting was actually an accident and that the gunman may not have even known that he hit Bella. I'm not sure how I would have voted had I been on the jury.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:43 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Juries do some strange things, though I have never hunted out the transcript which may make it clearer.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:56 PM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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I'd not heard of the case until 1981 and then it was just a name on a list. It was 1990 before I actually read an account.
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:21 PM
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And of course having Marshall-Hall as your brief doesn't hurt your chances of walking either.
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:22 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Originally Posted by sdreid View Post
I'd not heard of the case until 1981 and then it was just a name on a list. It was 1990 before I actually read an account.
The "Green Bicycle Case" was one of the last major courtroom victories of the famous barrister Sir Edward Marshall-Hall. Many commentators (including Jonathan Goodman) feel (as has appeared on this thread) Light definitely was guilty, but was found not guilty due to Marshall-Hall's spirited defense, and a sense of sympathy with Light - a war veteran who was recovering from shell-shock.

The theory about the accidental shooting is traced to some article in a magazine (a fiction article) about how a private detective is challenged to find out who killed Bella, and does so by organizing a hunt near the scene of the crime, where he offers a large prize for the winner of the shoot. At a key moment one of the would-be hunters is aiming at a wall when a woman on a bicycle appears to be passing. The hunter collapses, and when he is revived confesses he accidentally shot Belle while she was on the bike and it appeared just as he aimed at a bird on the stone wall.

Jeff
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:27 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayerling View Post
The "Green Bicycle Case" was one of the last major courtroom victories of the famous barrister Sir Edward Marshall-Hall. Many commentators (including Jonathan Goodman) feel (as has appeared on this thread) Light definitely was guilty, but was found not guilty due to Marshall-Hall's spirited defense, and a sense of sympathy with Light - a war veteran who was recovering from shell-shock.

The theory about the accidental shooting is traced to some article in a magazine (a fiction article) about how a private detective is challenged to find out who killed Bella, and does so by organizing a hunt near the scene of the crime, where he offers a large prize for the winner of the shoot. At a key moment one of the would-be hunters is aiming at a wall when a woman on a bicycle appears to be passing. The hunter collapses, and when he is revived confesses he accidentally shot Belle while she was on the bike and it appeared just as he aimed at a bird on the stone wall.

Jeff

Didn't a prison guard say Light had told him he shot her accidentally?
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:32 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Didn't a prison guard say Light had told him he shot her accidentally?
Possibly. I tend to think this was an accidental killing, not a premeditated one.
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:38 PM
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I seem to recall that Marshall-Hall cross examined an expert and got a concession that the shot may have come from a rifle rather than a pistol and then submitted that it may have been an accidental rifle shot from the distance.

A dear friend of mine was once Junior to M-H when appeals from Australia could still go to England. The friend himself became a brilliant QC but spoke in awe of M-H's prowess.
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:59 PM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUT View Post
I seem to recall that Marshall-Hall cross examined an expert and got a concession that the shot may have come from a rifle rather than a pistol and then submitted that it may have been an accidental rifle shot from the distance.

A dear friend of mine was once Junior to M-H when appeals from Australia could still go to England. The friend himself became a brilliant QC but spoke in awe of M-H's prowess.
A .455 is a rather large caliber for rifles which tend to have longer but smaller diameter bullets. It's not unheard of though, in fact, I have a .450 caliber Marlin lever action rifle.
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