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  • Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
    Oh please, guys, put your bile aside and let's get on with the really important and interesting job of moving the debate forwards, or into new territory.

    I would like to know what you all think the course of Hanratty's life would have been if he had:

    a) been found not-guilty

    b) never been 'fingered' (can't think of a better word) for the A6 crime.

    Would he eventually have settled down to a reasonably blameless life or would he have carried on his bad old ways, perhaps getting involved in other sorts of crime?

    Julie
    Well put Julie level headed as always.

    I myself of course believe James was framed, so I think if found not guilty, despite his previous shenanigans the whole experience would have shocked him to his foundation, betrayal by his so called best friends, terrible lies and skulduggery by the police, and as the ultimate pay back to his so called very best friend, I shouldn't wonder but that he wouldn't marry that little sweetie Carol France, and raise five lovely children.
    Oh well back to reality

    Comment


    • Maybe its just me, but if this quote is remembered correctly("there's plenty of time yet") by VS, I cant think of another reason for anyone using this actual line unless they were keeping to a predetermined schedule. Also they apparently turned into two previous side roads off the A6 in the Clophill area, before having been advised by Valerie, that these locations were not suitable (very strange) for JH to have a kip, (also very odd)until finally arriving at the layby by the RAC box, still in plenty of time....?


      The A6 Case often seems to have too much evidence of a coincidental or confusing nature, but this does not apply to the knowledge we have of the hours spent in the car between the cornfield and Deadman’s Hill. All we seem to have are random snippets of information that make the case even more perplexing.

      My suspicion is that Valerie Storie (who was, of course, seriously injured and presumably under sedation when questioned) gave an incomplete account of all that transpired in the car. I think you are going further, and implying that Valerie Storie may have done this deliberately. Another possibility is that the written police record of what she said was heavily edited.

      The murderer’s references to ‘plenty time left’ suggest, on the surface at least, that there appeared to be some purpose in his mind for the apparently aimless drive across the Bedfordshire area. I say ‘on the surface’ because the man might simply have been reassuring himself that he actually had some sort of purpose in what he was doing, whereas in fact he had none.
      But that returns us to the problem of why a man armed with a revolver and, everything indicates, quite a deal of ammunition in his pocket was wandering around a cornfield in the first place. It’s hardly likely that he could have travelled by public transport given that he was ‘tooled up.’ [I am working on the assumption that there were no ‘armourers’ in the Bedfordshire area.]

      So he must have driven, or been driven, to the area by car. You would imagine therefore he expected to drive, or be driven back, to whence he came once his purpose in carrying the weapon had been carried out. Something must have scuppered that plan. Even if Mr Gregsten and Ms Storie were the purpose of his visit, then he must still, at the outset, have believed he had his own transport back out of the area. Assuming that no abandoned/stolen cars turned up in the immediate aftermath of the murder, something that would surely have attracted attention, then everything points to the murderer having had an accomplice at some point in the venture.

      Comment


      • Morning Cobalt,

        I would not rule out an accomplice, because, as you describe, it is hard to imagine why a man would have been lurking in the shadows of this rural location clutching a gun and ammo.

        It has been suggested that the gunman was simply looking for an opportunity to use the gun, test his nerve in a non-risky way (a couple in a dark car in a dark lane) and that it all went wrong from there. I think this unlikely, but I would not rule it out altogether.

        What I would rule out is that VS had anything at all to do with the gunman and his plan. She was a young woman, smitten by an older, attractive man and she paid very dearly for her liaison with MG.

        Comment


        • Cobalt wrote:

          The murderer’s references to ‘plenty of time left’ suggest, on the surface at least, that there appeared to be some purpose in his mind for the apparently aimless drive across the Bedfordshire area.
          As I see it there are two possibilities as to why the gunman used this phrase. I believe that the gunman was there specifically to kill MG, having been hired by someone to do so. However, the murderer was not a professional hit-man, and I don't think he'd ever killed anyone before. It's a big step to pull the trigger for the first time with the intention of killing someone, so I think that when the gunman referred to 'plenty of time' he was talking to himself rather than VS and MG, reassuring himself that he didn't have to do the deed just yet. There's some supporting evidence in the fact that the gunman fired two shots. I could easily believe that the first shot was unintended, at least if the gun was cocked, but the second must have been fired deliberately. The revolver in question had a very heavy trigger-pull and it would take a lot more than an involuntary twitch of the finger to fire a round. Imagine trying to lift 5 or 6 bags of sugar just by crooking your index finger!

          The second reason is that the person who hired the hitman would obviously want to have a cast-iron alibi. I agree that someone must have driven the gunman to the scene and Occam's Razor suggests that the driver was the person behind the killing - why run the risk of involving a taxi-driver or some other third-party? Given this, the driver may have instructed the killer to wait for a few hours so that he could establish his alibi. I suspect that the original idea was that the gunman would instruct MG to drive somewhere within walking distance of a railway station, but something occurred to scupper this plan. I'd be very interested to know Ewer's movements for the times in question: if he had no alibi for the earlier part of the evening, but a rock-solid alibi for later, then this would fit the scenario. If not, then we can probably eliminate him.

          Of course, these two suggestions are not mutually exclusive: they could both be true.
          Last edited by Dupplin Muir; 01-21-2015, 06:48 AM.

          Comment


          • Of course, these two suggestions are not mutually exclusive: they could both be true.
            Or both untrue.

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

            Comment


            • Hi folks,

              An alternative interpretation of ''plenty of time left'' could be that time was not an issue for the gunman; as in ''we have all the time in the world''.

              A couple of points on other recent posts -

              1. It was certainly odd that the gunman should want ''a kip''. Serious question - if he was Hanratty, why should he be so tired? [At serious risk of leading this forum's jury, I did speculate some while ago that the gunman might have been popping pills.]

              2. I've often wondered whether the gunman had an accomplice take him to the cornfield or nearby. If only Alphon had been a driver, I would be knocking hard on that door!

              Best regards,

              OneRound

              Comment


              • The murder weapon.....

                Originally posted by Dupplin Muir View Post
                I could easily believe that the first shot was unintended, at least if the gun was cocked, but the second must have been fired deliberately. The revolver in question had a very heavy trigger-pull and it would take a lot more than an involuntary twitch of the finger to fire a round. Imagine trying to lift 5 or 6 bags of sugar just by crooking your index finger!
                Although I know very little about firearms it is my understanding that this particular .38 Enfield revolver could not be thumb-cocked as it had a spurless hammer, as shown in the attached scanned image of the murder weapon. One can just make out the engraved lettering on it as "Enfield 1940"
                The actual size of the murder weapon was about an inch or so longer than is shown here. A large and bulky revolver.

                Perhaps someone could initiate a separate thread on the murder weapon as I feel there could me much to discuss on the topic.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by Sherlock Houses; 01-21-2015, 10:26 AM.
                *************************************
                "A body of men, HOLDING THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE TO NOBODY, ought not to be trusted by anybody." --Thomas Paine ["Rights of Man"]

                "Justice is an ideal which transcends the expedience of the State, or the sensitivities of Government officials, or private individuals. IT HAS TO BE PURSUED WHATEVER THE COST IN PEACE OF MIND TO THOSE CONCERNED." --'Justice of the Peace' [July 12th 1975]

                Comment


                • Oops! Forgot it was the hammerless version for tank-crews.

                  Comment


                  • Another relevant video:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCZGApuaz6U

                    This time it shows how the police managed to disregard an alibi even stronger than JH's in pursuit of a preconceived theory, rather than look for the real culprit.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by OneRound View Post
                      Amongst some (but not all) of the reasons for discounting the possibility of Hanratty's DNA appearing by means of contamination, the Court stated in paragraph 125, ''... Moreover, we would also have to suppose that Valerie Storie's DNA had remained in its original state, or at least detectable, and had escaped being overridden by DNA from James Hanratty.''

                      The Court then stated in the very next sentence of the same paragraph, ''The same would have to be true of the DNA attributed to Michael Gregsten.'' I don't see how the Court could have made this statement if the DNA attributed to Gregsten hadn't been on the underwear tested prior to their 2002 judgement.
                      Originally posted by Derrick View Post
                      As I have said before, I have seen copies of Mr Lewis Nickolls' original notes and his testimony at the trial and nowhere is there fluid of group AB reported on Miss Stories knickers at all.

                      The FSS scientists have just assumed it's Gregsten's DNA, nothing more.

                      HTH
                      Del
                      Originally posted by Dupplin Muir View Post
                      I strongly suspect that if the AB semen had been shown to be from someone other than Gregsten, the evidence for contamination (deemed hopelessly inadequate when cited by the defence) would have been found strong enough to support the idea of contamination with DNA from A. N. Other, Esq - in preference to accepting that the rape may have been perpetrated by someone else...
                      Hi All,

                      Glad to be back and up to speed following a long absence due to personal circumstances.

                      I'm not sure I follow this. Back in '61 they found semen from two males: one male was determined to have blood group O (the major semen staining) and the other AB (minor staining). Surely to goodness they would not simply have assumed which semen had come from the rapist, but would have eliminated the AB semen by confirming Gregston's blood group. How else could they have said with certainty that the rapist's blood group was O? There is no suggestion that Valerie Storie had been sleeping with a third man so the explanation seems rather simple to me. They found Valerie's DNA (described by the Court as 'detectable'), Hanratty's DNA (from the O group semen) and one other profile, which they attributed to the original AB semen stain from '61.

                      This was precisely what they would and should have found in the event that Gregston, then later Hanratty, had left their semen on the part of Valerie's underwear subsequently tested, preserved and tested again. Would a contaminated sample of material not have produced very different, inconclusive results?

                      I just don't see how a supposed contamination event could have produced exactly the right effect for the prosecution, nor do I believe in a conspiracy to manipulate or completely fabricate the results.

                      Love,

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


                      Comment


                      • Thoughts about that hankie...

                        I do think Tony was using a bit of harmless artistic licence with his 'conversations', but he did appear to believe that Hanratty had admitted the hankie was his.

                        I now agree with others that this was highly unlikely. The only way Hanratty could have known it was his hankie was if he had wrapped it round the gun himself, so any such admission would have been pretty fatal to his claim to innocence. He could have denied it with no comeback in '61 since there was no way to establish forensically that he had ever used or handled it.

                        And that brings me to another point. If we use hard, cold, objective logic here, what would have been the advantage in '61 of anyone else taking one of Hanratty's hankies to wrap round the murder weapon before hiding it on the bus? How would the hankie have incriminated Hanratty specifically? The only link between Hanratty and the bus came when Dixie France revealed Hanratty's admission to hiding his unwanted criminal spoils that way. How on earth would anyone attempting to frame Hanratty, by using his typical hiding place, have engineered it for the police to focus their attention on the Vienna Hotel and thence to Hanratty himself? How does that work?

                        Moreover, if Hanratty was innocent, did he not suspect he was being set up by whoever hid the murder weapon on the bus? And if so, the real gunman or an accomplice, would have had to be someone in Hanratty's circle. This throws up a lot more questions than answers.

                        Of course, if the hankie was never Hanratty's, we have the second, separate, unexplained contamination event, resulting in his DNA, and only his DNA, being picked up from the hankie 40 years later. And maybe just the strange coincidence of two independent criminals hiding stuff on London buses, when the gunman could presumably have tossed the gun in the river if he didn't know Hanratty and therefore had no need to try and frame him in this way.

                        In short, if the gun was planted to frame an innocent Hanratty specifically, it would narrow down the suspects to his close associates.

                        What do you think? All ideas welcome.

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X
                        Last edited by caz; 01-23-2015, 11:09 AM.
                        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                        Comment


                        • Hi Caz, welcome back.

                          Well, it was known by Hanratty's close circle that, not only did he hide unwanted loot under the back seat of a bus, but also, his favoured method of wiping off his prints and picking up bits and pieces during robberies was by using his hanky.

                          One of Hanratty's circle knew he stayed at the Vienna hotel because Hanratty showed him the receipt. So, if the person who hid the gun and ammo kept back a couple of cartridges...... they end up in the hotel room where Hanratty stayed.

                          I do not necessarily subscribe to this scenario - but it is a possible one nevertheless - and even more so if you happen to believe that Hanratty was involved but did not act alone.

                          Once again, welcome back.

                          Julie

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
                            ...

                            I would like to know what you all think the course of Hanratty's life would have been if he had:

                            a) been found not-guilty
                            ...

                            Julie
                            Hi folks - the posts from Caz (a warm welcome back) about the DNA got me thinking again about this part of Julie's post and something I had speculated about a while ago.

                            With no one convicted of the A6 crimes together with subsequent scientific advances, there would certainly have been a cold case review.

                            Would the DNA findings from that review have resulted in a retrial for Hanratty (as now permitted when substantial new evidence comes to light)?

                            Or would the Court of Appeal (who have to agree to a retrial being held) have ruled that the DNA did not satisfy current evidential safeguards and thus upheld the jury's original not guilty verdict?

                            Best regards,

                            OneRound

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by caz View Post
                              ...I'm not sure I follow this. Back in '61 they found semen from two males: one male was determined to have blood group O (the major semen staining) and the other AB (minor staining)...
                              As I posted, and you quoted, there wasn't any semen, fluid or any other such material of an AB source found at all in 1961.

                              The judgement from 2002 is completely and utterly wrong on that point. I cannot for the life of me see how I can make this point any clearer.

                              Del

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Derrick View Post
                                As I posted, and you quoted, there wasn't any semen, fluid or any other such material of an AB source found at all in 1961.

                                The judgement from 2002 is completely and utterly wrong on that point. I cannot for the life of me see how I can make this point any clearer.

                                Del
                                Which is, perhaps, why the words 'attributed to MG' were used in the 2002 judgement?

                                As an aside, I am sure I read somewhere that the 'major' staining was actually a deposit that extended in a sort of line up the back of the panties, whereas 'miner' staining was concentrated in the crotch area. I think this was in the report from 1961, where the 'O' source was identified.

                                This is as one would expect, as VS states the rapist asked her to remove her panties before that terrible act. It is my guess that the staining extending up the back of the panties was deposited when the male who deposited it (MG) 'withdrew' just before ejaculating in order to avoid pregnancy (remember, this was in days before The Pill was not available to unmarried women.

                                Now, in light of that, it is perhaps interesting to consider when this major staining actually took place. As some posters have mentioned (and it is an interesting point), when the gunman banged on the window, the couple were said to have been sitting in the front of the car. This is in keeping with the position in which MG was shot. So, when did they make love? Did they move from the front to the back of the car for love-making and then return to the front of the car before being accosted? Were they preparing to move to the back - in which case when was the semen deposited? Or, as some have suggested, were they interrupted during love-making?

                                What I am getting at is, was some evidence inaccurate in order to perpetuate the notion that this couple were colleagues who were actually just planning a future outdoor event for their colleagues? If so, I can sort of understand why because, after all, MG and VS were not on trial for having a relationship, were they? However, the exact nature and circumstances of the point at which they were accosted is very important because it may help to understand the motive for this terrible crime.

                                Am I making sense?

                                Julie

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