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  • I agree with Caz. If the DNA tests had shown that Hanratty did not do it, then I would have accepted their results in the same way I now accept them when they show that Hanratty did it.

    The legal team for Hanratty in the 2002 appeal were able to accept the DNA test results as excluding Alphon for responsibility for the crime. Mr Mike Sherrard, who defended Hanratty so gallantly, has said that the wrong man was not hanged.

    I cannot understand why some Hanratty defenders are so sure of his innocence, that is to say he did not commit the crime not merely that the evidence upon which he was convicted was not sufficient.

    Comment


    • Hi Spitfire,

      Natalie S asked: "How on earth can anyone not admit gross contamination of those LCN DNA tests?"

      The problem here is that she seems to be implying that this contamination would have been general and widespread, rather than confined solely to Hanratty's DNA being accidentally (and coincidentally) transferred to the knickers and hanky at some point after his arrest. If I understand her correctly, she should therefore have been expressing the exact same concerns today, had the tests been done exactly the same way, at the same time and on the same items, but produced a result favourable to Hanratty, or even indicating another individual's guilt.

      I would like to ask Nats in return if she would have accepted a different result, or would she now be compelled to reject any findings based on those tests, no matter what they may have indicated.

      Love,

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


      Comment


      • Hi All,

        I am no great scientist, but I believe that LCN method that was used was necessary because of the age and degraded condition of the DNA on the garment. It was not the same as lifting a fresh and large sample of DNA from a source protected from contamination. There may have been other DNA markers on the garment that did not belong to any of the people involved but only the three DNA profiles were isolated and, as I believe it, they were magnified many times to produce a result.

        Some posts back, contributors were discussing how reliable the DNA 'attributed to MG' is, given that there appears to be no DNA to compare it with. Until this issues is resolved, and given that the now discredited LCN method was used, I think it is only fair that doubters of Hanratty's guilt do not trust the DNA results.

        We are often asked if we would feel the same if Alphon's DNA had been found. Personally, I would feel uncomfortable with the results for the reasons I have outline above. However, it should be remembered that Alphon did not surrender his clothes for examination and therefore the possibility of cross-contamination is less likely.

        Kind regards,

        Julie

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Sherlock Houses View Post
          In 1997 the former Chief Constable of Hertfordshire, Baden Skitt, chaired the recently formed CCRC [Criminal Cases Review Commission] investigation into the A6 Murder case. During this investigation he discovered that on the day after James Hanratty's execution, Thursday, April 5th 1962, Acott's assistant, Kenneth Oxford, signed for and took away the Vienna Hotel Register. It was never returned and it's whereabouts were never discovered. When pressed on this by Skitt, Oxford's reply was that he couldn't remember what happened to it. Truly unbelievable.

          The obvious question one should ask oneself about this is "Why, when trial, appeal and Hanratty's subsequent execution are all done and dusted would a senior police officer feel the need to take away the Hotel's Register, never return it and not be able to account for it's permanent loss ? What, I wonder, was so important about the Hotel Register to warrant Oxford's actions ? Was there something in that register that needed to be kept hidden from impartial eyes forever ?
          Hi again Sherlock - further to my recent request soon after your post above appeared, grateful to know where you learned this.

          Thanks,

          OneRound

          Comment


          • Although from different ends of the park, very good posts recently from Caz and Limehouse about the DNA evidence.

            Thanks to you both,

            OneRound

            Comment


            • Over the years I've read with much interest the numerous posts regarding the DNA analyses, some of these posts being from people who plainly know a good deal about the subject. Although I spent nearly my entire working life in technology, biochemistry was never my strong suit and DNA mostly goes right over my head. I am, therefore, willing to accept the test results, as the Court Of Appeal and JH's defence accepted them. I also concur with the Appeal judges' comment that there is sufficient evidence other than the DNA analyses to prove JH's guilt. As far as I'm aware, the DNA tests can never be repeated and nothing is going to change the original results.

              The thing is, if, as some people are adamant, James Hanratty was innocent of the A6 Crime, and that Peter Alphon has now been eliminated as a suspect, then who committed this crime if it wasn't James Hanratty? Where is the evidence of a conspiracy both to commit the crime and to frame Hanratty? Certainly, people can, for example, can point to William Ewer as being the famous "Mr X" referred to by Paul Foot, and they can point to the cartridges being found at the Vienna Hotel as being planted. But this is not concrete evidence. Neither is the Rhyl Alibi, as there is no physical, tangible proof that JH was there when he claimed he was.

              I love a conspiracy-theory myself - in fact I'm reading some new stuff about the Lincoln Assassination - but so far I've seen no real evidence of any sort of conspiracy in the A6 Case. Had there been, then I would have thought that over the intervening 53 years something would have come to light; someone, somewhere, would have spoken up, perhaps as a death-bed confession. But there really has been nothing to change my feelings regarding this case. As Sherrard succinctly commented, the case drips with coincidence, and he, for one, accepted the DNA analyses and the decision of the Appeal Court.

              So if it wasn't James Hanratty, then can anyone suggest a likely candidate, or show some concrete proof that there was a conspiracy to frame Hanratty?

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

              Comment


              • I am not a scientist and have no qualifications to write about DNA testing. I approach the evidence as follows.

                It seems that the two items which were subjected to the testing were (1) the hankie that wrapped the gun found on the bus and (2) a fragment of the knickers which Valerie Storie was wearing before and after she had been raped.

                The hankie was stained with mucus and the knicker fragment with seminal fluid. The latter had revealed in 1961 tests that the rapist was a blood group O secretor.

                It was as a result of inquiries made by the defence team (Woffinden and Bindman) that the two items were discovered.It was the defence team who pushed for DNA testing and initially it was resisted by the powers that be. Eventually DNA testing was given the green light.

                In 1995 Channel 4 updated the programme it had made by Woffinden originally in 1992 Hanratty; The Mystery of Deadman's Hill. In this programme a Dr Patrick Lincoln, who was overseeing the tests on behalf of the defence, was interviewed. He said that the first tests had extracted DNA but the 'structures had not been identified'. He stated that there were further tests which would be carried out. The voice over narrator said that even after 34 years DNA could prove conclusively who was the A6 killer.

                It was only when the further tests started to indicate that Hanratty was the killer and rapist that the defence team began to backtrack.

                Indeed it would be possible for both items to have been contaminated with Hanratty's DNA but for the life of me I cannot see how the DNA of the rapist murder can have vanished from the two exhibits leaving only the DNA of Hanratty as the contaminator. Common sense indicates that there would be lots of DNA material on the hankie from the person who used it to blow his nose. That there would be lots of DNA material left on the knickers by the rapist. This DNA material would be likely to swamp any contaminating DNA material.

                Once one accepts that Hanratty left his DNA on the hankie and the knickers then the case becomes more readily understandable.

                The cartridges cases found in the Vienna were left there by Hanratty when he stayed the night before the abduction.

                Hanratty's vague timings of his journey to Liverpool on 22 August are necessarily vague because it never happened.

                Hanratty lied about his whereabouts because he had to. The truth was that he was a murdering and a raping when he said he stayed with friends in Liverpool on the night of 22 August.

                Hanratty had to ditch one lie when he feared that that lie would be unravelled in the witness box.

                Hanratty did not replace the original lie with the truth but with another lie, namely going to Rhyl.

                Hanratty never mentioned to anyone that he had been to Rhyl on the night in question until the middle of his trial. The reason for this being that he had not gone to Rhyl on 22 August.
                Last edited by Spitfire; 04-10-2015, 02:52 AM.

                Comment


                • Hi Graham - the idea of a conspiracy just doesn't work at all for me. If there was a conspiracy, what was its objective and why? To kill Gregten? To kill Gregsten and Storie? To frame Hanratty? All of these things?

                  Nah, beyond my imagination for such an apparently pointless conspiracy to be plotted and then have so much luck for Hanratty to fit the role of fall guy.

                  The above doesn't mean that I feel Hanratty's guilt was proved fairly and beyond reasonable doubt. Nor does it mean that Alphon couldn't have had a minor involvement (which might explain his early actions which first aroused suspicions). However, to quote from a post of Victor's from some time ago, I feel we'll always be wondering ''without an explanation from Hanratty of his own starring role''.

                  Btw, any thoughts on my own requested thoughts as to the possibility of Hanratty buying an alibi? My post #2744 refers, probably from when you were away.

                  Best regards,

                  OneRound

                  Comment


                  • Hi Spitfire,

                    your summary of events before, during and after the DNA analyses is spot on. It turned into a double-edge sword for the defence, no doubt at all about that. I do have nearly all the TV documentaries on record - unfortunately on video tape and I don't have the means of playing them at the moment!

                    Re: your comments on matters other than the DNA, your feelings match mine.

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

                    Comment


                    • Hi OneRound,

                      the idea of a conspiracy just doesn't work at all for me. If there was a conspiracy, what was its objective and why? To kill Gregten? To kill Gregsten and Storie? To frame Hanratty? All of these things?
                      I stand to be corrected here, but I think it was Louis Blom-Cooper who kick-started a kind of conspiracy-theory when he remarked the from the evidence before him it could be that Hanratty might have been sent to the cornfield. But LB-C doesn't go on to expand this suggestion.

                      All I can say about a 'conspiracy' to 'break up' the affair between Mike Gregsten and Valerie Storie is that to go to the extent of sending a lone gunman to a cornfield at the dead of night just does not make any sense whatsoever to me. They were ordinary people in that Morris, not high-ranking Mafiosi from 1930's Chicago. The expression 'taking a hammer to crack a nut' springs to mind.

                      Nah, beyond my imagination for such an apparently pointless conspiracy to be plotted and then have so much luck for Hanratty to fit the role of fall guy
                      .

                      Same here.

                      Re: buying an alibi in Liverpool. It was certainly something that was suggested in court, and the judge referred to such a possibility in his summing-up. Personally, I kind of lean towards the idea that Hanratty did try to convince one or more of his Scouse pals to help him out, but even if one of them was sufficiently obliging to do so it all went pear-shaped.

                      BTW, according to Leonard Miller, DC Pugh was not the first person from whom Mrs Dinwoodie heard about the man asking for Carlton/Tarlton/Talbot Road, and that the man had referred to there being a young girl in the shop at the time. DC Pugh had prior to his interview with Mrs D spoken to Stella Cowley, the owner of the shop, who apparently suggested to him that he really ought to return and speak to Mrs D. Mrs Cowley passed on to Mrs D what DC Pugh had told her, and Mrs D was obviously (and doubtless unintentionally) 'primed' when DC Pugh came back to the shop to speak to her. Unfortunately for JH, some of what Mrs D said later about the episode was at variance to what JH had said.

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

                      Comment


                      • Snotty Problem

                        Originally posted by Spitfire View Post
                        Indeed it would be possible for both items to have been contaminated with Hanratty's DNA but for the life of me I cannot see how the DNA of the rapist murder can have vanished from the two exhibits leaving only the DNA of Hanratty as the contaminator. Common sense indicates that there would be lots of DNA material on the hankie from the person who used it to blow his nose. That there would be lots of DNA material left on the knickers by the rapist. This DNA material would be likely to swamp any contaminating DNA material.
                        I agree, Spitfire, except where you say it would be possible for the hankie to have been contaminated with Hanratty's DNA. I really don't see how, or where on his person it could have come from, apart from his hooter. If I recall correctly, DNA could only be extracted from the mucous stained area, and the only profile that showed up was a match with DNA from Hanratty's exhumed remains.

                        For me, the clear and unambiguous hankie result acts as a kind of 'control', which helps support the reliability of the equivalent testing of the knicker fragment. I realise Hanratty's defenders will never agree with me on this, and will always find as much fault as possible with the DNA tests on both items, but it would be refreshing to hear some ideas from them on how the hell the mucous staining on the hanky only produced Hanratty's DNA, if it had come from anyone else's nose!

                        If one accepts it was indeed Hanratty who blew his nose on that hankie, but believes it was used by someone else to wrap round the gun and 'plant' it on the bus, then the gunman and rapist, if not Hanratty himself, had to be someone very closely associated with him - not Alphon apparently.

                        It still seems to me that no DNA test would ever have been considered reliable by Hanratty's defenders, unless it had produced a very different result.

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X
                        Last edited by caz; 04-10-2015, 08:52 AM.
                        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                        Comment


                        • Hi Caz !
                          surfing the internet the other day came across these snippets ---there were a lot more in similar vein -it appears Angus Huck knows quite a lot about Criminal Law -think he is a lawyer -anyway he can be found on a page about 'LibDems 'and more recently on a page titled Cash for Honours . Certainly thought it fitted with some of my own theories about the case:

                          Angus Huck 25th Jul '07 - 3:18pm
                          "Laurence, I think I ought to answer my questions:-
                          (1) Because Hanratty actually was in Rhyl on the night Michael Gregsten was murdered.
                          (2) Because Valerie Storie was attacked by Peter Louis Alphon, who had brown eyes. (Her first and only accurate account was given to David Kerr, an Oxford University student, a few hours after the attack. Kerr’s written record was destroyed by Bedfordshire Police.)
                          (3) Because William Ewer paid Peter Louis Alphon 5,000 to kill Michael Gregsten and frame Hanratty. (Ewer wanted his hands on Gregsten’s wife, but that was not the reason he gave Alphon.)
                          (4) Because Ewer either bribed or blackmailed all these people to give evidence against Hanratty.
                          And I will provide answers to two further questions:-
                          (1) How is it that Hanratty’s semen was found on Valerie Storie’s knickers?
                          BECAUSE the Police put it there. Remember, in 1996 the Police were claiming there was no semen on Valerie Storie’s knickers. A few days before he was arrested, Hanratty had sex with Gladys Deacon in the back seat of his car in Kenton. He practiced coitus interruptus and ejaculated over his trousers. He then placed these trousers, unlaundered, in a suitcase, which he handed over to the Police after his arrest.
                          (2) How is it that Rab Butler declined to commute Hanratty’s death sentence?
                          BECAUSE he put his duty as a Freemason above his duty as a Minister of the Crown. “Private Eye” said it was because he was a “flabby-faced old coward”, which may also be true."
                          ps Caz -Charlotte France seemed to enjoy doing everybody's dirty washing and remember she admitted doing Hanratty's last wash which included his hankies. Didn't France nip down Boundary Roadwhere his flat was to that 36A bus that stopped at the bottom of his road with that pesky gun - grabbing one of Hanratty's old hankies to wrap round it so he didn't leave his finger prints on it ---and put it under the back upstairs seat it where Hanratty once told him you could hide junk? Makes sense to me Caz.
                          Last edited by Natalie Severn; 04-10-2015, 03:19 PM.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Natalie Severn View Post
                            Hi Caz !
                            surfing the internet the other day came across these snippets ---there were a lot more in similar vein -it appears Angus Huck knows quite a lot about Criminal Law -think he is a lawyer -anyway he can be found on a page about 'LibDems 'and more recently on a page titled Cash for Honours . Certainly thought it fitted with some of my own theories about the case:

                            Angus Huck 25th Jul '07 - 3:18pm
                            "Laurence, I think I ought to answer my questions:-
                            (1) Because Hanratty actually was in Rhyl on the night Michael Gregsten was murdered.
                            (2) Because Valerie Storie was attacked by Peter Louis Alphon, who had brown eyes. (Her first and only accurate account was given to David Kerr, an Oxford University student, a few hours after the attack. Kerr’s written record was destroyed by Bedfordshire Police.)
                            (3) Because William Ewer paid Peter Louis Alphon 5,000 to kill Michael Gregsten and frame Hanratty. (Ewer wanted his hands on Gregsten’s wife, but that was not the reason he gave Alphon.)
                            (4) Because Ewer either bribed or blackmailed all these people to give evidence against Hanratty.
                            And I will provide answers to two further questions:-
                            (1) How is it that Hanratty’s semen was found on Valerie Storie’s knickers?
                            BECAUSE the Police put it there. Remember, in 1996 the Police were claiming there was no semen on Valerie Storie’s knickers. A few days before he was arrested, Hanratty had sex with Gladys Deacon in the back seat of his car in Kenton. He practiced coitus interruptus and ejaculated over his trousers. He then placed these trousers, unlaundered, in a suitcase, which he handed over to the Police after his arrest.
                            (2) How is it that Rab Butler declined to commute Hanratty’s death sentence?
                            BECAUSE he put his duty as a Freemason above his duty as a Minister of the Crown. “Private Eye” said it was because he was a “flabby-faced old coward”, which may also be true."
                            ps Caz -Charlotte France seemed to enjoy doing everybody's dirty washing and remember she admitted doing Hanratty's last wash which included his hankies. Didn't France nip down Boundary Roadwhere his flat was to that 36A bus that stopped at the bottom of his road with that pesky gun - grabbing one of Hanratty's old hankies to wrap round it so he didn't leave his finger prints on it ---and put it under the back upstairs seat it where Hanratty once told him you could hide junk? Makes sense to me Caz.

                            I have tracked down the website where Mr Angus Huck posted the comments quoted above. For the sake of completeness I give the questions which Mr Huck asks, they are

                            "Perhaps Laurence Boyce can answer the following:-

                            (1) How is it that on the night Michael Gregsten was murdered (between Slough and Maidenhead), Hanrattywas staying in a guesthouse in Rhyl – some 200 miles away? 11 people saw Hanratty there, and a shopkeeper spoke to him in Liverpool earlier in the day.

                            (2) How is it that Valerie Storie said the man who attacked her had brown eyes? (Hanratty’s eyes were blue.)

                            (3) How did 5,000 find its way into Peter Louis Alphon’s bank account shortly after Hanratty’s conviction? (Alphon was unemployed and scrounged off his mother. Alphon showed his bank statements to Paul Foot.)

                            (4) How is it that Mr William Ewer was known to so many otherwise unconnected witnesses? (He knew Hanratty, from whom he received stolen property, he was a personal friend of Louise Anderson, another Hanratty fence, he knew Peter Louis Alphon, and he shacked up with Janet Gregsten, the murdered man’s wife. Oh, and his junk shop was just round the corner from Charlie France, Hanratty’s “friend” whose teenage daughter Hanratty seduced at Battersea Fun Fair.)

                            That’s enough to be going on with, Laurence. Plenty more when you’ve finished."



                            Mr Huck's first question clearly demonstrates that he knows next to nothing about the A6 murder for Michael Gregsten was murdered near Clophill in Bedfordshire which is not and has never been between Slough and Maidenhead.

                            Last edited by Spitfire; 04-10-2015, 05:32 PM.

                            Comment


                            • Mr Huck's first question clearly demonstrates that he knows next to nothing about the A6 murder for Michael Gregsten was murdered near Clophill in Bedfordshire which is not and has never been between Slough and Maidenhead.

                              Ha Ha Ha Ha , Well done Spitty,I knew we could rely on you to try and distract us from the main theme of his opinion.
                              Though I don't necessarily agree that the fateful evening began in a cornfield near slough Bucks, that is the general consensus. However as long as it wasn't a cornfield somewhere in the Wirral what's the dif? Stop nitpicking! and absorb what he's saying

                              Comment


                              • Hey, Spitfire! David Kerr's real name was John, sorry to steal your thunder.
                                Chuckle, Chuckle!
                                No, but really, its refreshing when you read of other people sharing your opinion of the existence of corruption, and conspiracy, in an incredibly intriguing case as James Hanratty's

                                Comment

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