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  • #31
    Spitfire and Nick,

    indeed, as I recall it was someone called Tony who said that Hanratty had confirmed in court that the hankie was his. Like many posters, I accepted this at face value but I am aware that it was questioned and discussed some time ago, but not I believe resolved. If it was a bit of invention on Tony's part, then I do think it was a tad irresponsible, but no matter. If what Tony said is factual, then I should be interested to know where he got that information.

    Graham
    We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

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    • #32
      I also took it at face value when I first posted here. However if you look at Tony's posts, they often consisted of imaginary dialogue so I suppose he presumed we knew this is what it was.

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      • #33
        Hi Graham

        About 10 years ago (when travelling through the two areas) I did visit the hold up and murder sites (or as close as I could get), and as you say both I imagine are quite a bit different now. It was a crying shame that the Old Station Inn has long since gone, otherwise I would have stopped in for a pint.

        Cheers

        JPR

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        • #34
          JPR,

          You mentioned staying at the Westminster Hotel in Rhyl.

          This was indeed where the newly formed 'A6 Murder Committee' (Justice, Fox, Foot, Mary, James and Michael) stayed on the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend starting 25-May-68. Fox paid the bill. Advertisements had been placed in the press appealing for new witnesses.

          There was a press conference on the Sunday evening when it was announced five new witnesses had come forward. This photo shows a press conference in a hotel-type room, but I don’t know if it was the one at Rhyl.

          I had imagined that Alphon’s ‘press conference’ in May-67 at the Hotel du Louvre was in one of their meeting rooms. But actually he just sat at a table in the public bar then repaired to the far more modest Hotel Sainte-Anne where the TV interview was conducted and he stayed the night.

          Incidentally, just a few yards from the cornfield entrance is a church called ‘St James the Less’!

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          • #35
            Hi Nick

            It was only last November (2015) that I stayed at the Westminster (I'd taken the Foot/Woffinden) books with me (I was in Rhyl as had been to a football match in nearby Colwyn Bay) and didn't realise the significance of the hotel until I browsed through the books the evening I was there (although I've read both many times in the past). I mentioned it to the (young) receptionist when checking out the next morning, but she hadn't the remotest idea what I was talking about it.

            Cheers

            JPR

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Graham View Post
              Following the murder, the police had absolutely no leads to follow up, yet Alphon was by no means the first person interviewed in connection with the murder. Following what was then quite normal police practice, Acott issued a general request via the media for any hotel, B&B or boarding-house proprietor to let him know if they had a guest whose behaviour was suspicious or abnormal. Today, such a move by the police would be considered very strange, but back then it was how it was.

              Mr Sims, manager of The Alexander Court, informed the police on 27 August that he had such a guest, who was keeping odd hours and his noisy behaviour in his room was annoying other guests. The first time the police visited, Alphon (who had checked in with the name Frederick Durrant) wasn't in, but when they returned he was in his room and was asked questions including where he was on the night of 22 August. He told them the truth that he was at The Vienna registered as Frederick Durrant. The police told him to re-register in his real name and warned him to behave himself. With that Alphon disappeared from view. There was NO police hunt for Alphon until the cartridge cases were found at the Vienna on 11 September. That's when the police descended upon the hotel and started a desperate search for Alphon, who surrendered himself on 22 September shortly after the police publicly named him in connection with the A6.

              The police had known about The Vienna since 27 August but had no reason to connect it with the A6 as they did not consider Alphon a suspect until the cartridges were found. Obviously, they checked the register regarding who else had stayed there on 22 August which is when the name Ryan was first brought to their attention.

              Graham
              Hi Graham,

              You put this very well. Basically the coincidences here boil down to the fact that one of the hotel-frequenting oddballs initially targeted by the police appeal - which describes Alphon to a tee - who happened to have the most common blood group O - happened to spend the night in the same hotel (and possibly the same room, 24, although I'm not sure that was ever established beyond doubt?) where the A6 murderer - also a group O hotel-frequenting oddball - happened to spend the previous night.

              Two hotel-frequenting group O oddballs (or petty criminals, or 'men with something not quite right upstairs', if you prefer) choosing the same hotel could not have been that unusual for the time and place. It only looks that way because the cartridge cases from the murder weapon naturally elevated Alphon above all the others until the man who had unwisely left them in his hotel room could be identified and tracked down. It was just unfortunate that this elevation allowed the larger-than-life Alphon to enjoy a lot more than his fifteen minutes of infamy. Had he not been the character he was to begin with, he would not have come to police attention before the cartridge cases were found, and it is questionable that he would have done so at all once J Ryan was identified as having occupied room 24 the night before the murder.

              As for the hankie, which was provably used by Hanratty and found with the murder weapon, there is no evidence and no explanation offered as to how Alphon would have come into direct contact with either, and the idea of the cartridge cases being planted by Alphon himself, or anyone protecting Alphon and trying to frame Hanratty, makes no sense considering they both stayed in the Vienna (and were therefore equally vulnerable to suspicion). That fact alone has to be a coincidence, doesn't it?

              Those who argue that the police found the cartridge cases elsewhere and planted them to snare Alphon initially, before Hanratty conveniently came on their radar, would need to explain the huge 'coincidence' of the hankie turning out to bear his DNA, and his alone. Conversely, how could the police have planted the cartridge cases to snare Hanratty, before they even knew he had stayed in that room?

              In short, I don't see how Alphon could have been involved if those cartridge cases were planted by anyone. Maybe I'm missing something?

              Love,

              Caz
              X
              Last edited by caz; 11-16-2016, 07:21 AM.
              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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              • #37
                Hi Caz,

                to quote Sherrard (for the zillionth time) 'this case is dripping with coincidence'. In fact, you couldn't make it up! Seriously, I think had Alphon genuinely had an involvement in the A6 he wouldn't have been seen for dust afterwards. Of course, there will always be those who will shout out that it's 'an obvious fact' that Alphon and Hanratty knew each other and were part of a deep conspiracy, simply because they happened to stay at the same hotel. Just one thing convinces me they are wrong: there is absolutely not one jot of proof that Alphon was involved. Unfortunately, Alphon was as nutty as a fruit-cake and once he'd been cleared, with the very willing assistance and encouragement of M. Jean Justice, he went to town.

                Re: the cartridges in Room 24, from what I can make out they were stuck down the back of the upholstery of what sounds like an over-stuffed chair and couldn't be seen until Mr Crocker started tearing at a piece of loose fabric, dislodging them. As to whether they were left there by Hanratty or planted, hard to tell, but I feel that had they been planted they would have been placed more visibly.

                Nice to see you back on these threads, Caz!

                Graham
                We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                Comment


                • #38
                  Thanks Graham. Always good to read your posts.

                  I just can't think of any way those cartridge cases could have been planted to frame either Alphon or Hanratty. None of the theoretical alternatives make any sense when you look at the timeline and all the known circumstances.

                  That really just leaves Hanratty being careless, like he was with pretty much everything else.

                  Love,

                  Caz
                  X
                  "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by caz View Post
                    That really just leaves Hanratty being careless, like he was with pretty much everything else.

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    It does seem odd that such a habitually careless criminal managed to be in a car for a number of hours and yet didn't leave a single trace.

                    It's almost as if it were a different person altogether.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by uncle_adolph View Post
                      It does seem odd that such a habitually careless criminal managed to be in a car for a number of hours and yet didn't leave a single trace.

                      It's almost as if it were a different person altogether.
                      Hi Uncle,

                      You mean a different habitually careless criminal who didn't leave a single trace?

                      Are we back to the invisible Mr. Nobody argument?

                      Look, if you want careless, you have a killer who left the only witness alive when he drove off. That's about as careless and inexperienced as it gets. So if it wasn't Hanratty, you still get careful regarding traces of himself in the car; still get careless in the extreme concerning the witness; plus incredibly lucky that Valerie believed it was Hanratty.

                      Love,

                      Caz
                      X
                      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                      Comment

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