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  • moste
    replied
    Quote: The first ID parade was carried out fairly and the police suspect, Alphon, was not identified. Had the individuals been asked to speak we have no idea if Alphon, depending on what accent he favoured at the time, would have been identified by Valerie Storie or not. Maybe he would and none of us would be here. The speaking element was introduced at the second ID parade which makes it different from the first,

    Yes, you know ,I’ve always had a serious problem with the voice ID thing. Valeries exposure to the Cockney accent has to have been very limited , I have mentioned before my mistaking a London football pundit for another . Although from Manchester, during my working career , I worked with and spent lots of time in the company of blokes from the smoke and can say without hesitation I have no problem identifying the lingo of people of many areas of the country including London, as I’m sure many of us can. But 1961 ,a 21 year old somewhat introverted young woman ? The deal seemed to have been centred on the killers inability to pronounce TH! Can no one else not see how ludicrous this is? And the jury, Did they not consider the fact that ,because of the introduction of a request to hear the suspect speak, it indicates that the victim could not identify her assailant visually? And Sherrard, how much emphasis did he put on this, including the fact that literally thousands of Londoners have trouble pronouncing th.

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  • cobalt
    replied
    The date and detail of Mrs. Lanz’s official police statement is important. It seems she has given slightly different accounts to others. We know the date had to be earlier than August 1966 since the following is an extract from Lord Russell’s submission in the House of Lords:

    Mrs. Lanz, who is the wife of the landlord of the Old Station Inn at Taplow, whom I have myself interviewed, certainly remembers (and has told the police a long time ago that she does remember) that Alphon was at the Old Station Inn on the night of the 21st. She is not quite sure whether he was there on the night of the 22nd, but he frequently used to go there.

    What exactly she means by ‘a long time ago’ is uncertain. Was it after she had been ‘primed’ by Justice and Fox who were clearly active as early as March 1962? Quite likely. At the very least it surely has to be after Alphon’s name and photo became known to the wider public since until then Alphon was no more to her than an occasional customer.

    There is a clear and crucial discrepancy between what we know of her official statement and what she claims she said to the police. Mrs. Lanz either added the detail of Alphon visiting the Old Station Inn on 21st August 1961 at a later date: or her statement was ‘tidied up’ by the police so that the A6 Case could be laid to rest.

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  • ansonman
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    Ansonman,

    Thanks for that; I wasn’t aware that an official statement from Mrs. Lanz existed. Her ID of Alphon, if correct, does not remove the coincidence factor but if she cannot be specific about times then mere coincidence becomes more credible. It’s even possible she saw Alphon in her bar after the murder, given that Alphon liked to immerse himself in the A6 Case and was encouraged to do so by Justice and Fox. Is there a date for her official police statement?

    As regards the focus of the original investigation, the discovery of the car and the gun obviously moved attention away from Taplow. That is understandable but left holes in the prosecution case that exist to this day. How did the murderer actually get to Taplow since he had no car to return in? When did he arrive? Where was he having refreshments before he struck? Why were there no sightings of him in Taplow or surrounding areas until he appeared in the cornfield?
    Cobalt,

    You are bang on the money regarding Alphon being in her bar after the murder.

    Woffinden P298:

    "Justice hit on a new plan. He and Fox decided to take Peter Alphon to the area where the crime has started. Accordingly, in the early evening of Tuesday, 20 March*, the three of them headed west out of London. On the way there, Alphon insisted on stopping for a drink. "The first thing that struck me" recalled Justice, "was that he seemed to know his way round Slough. He said to us , "Don't park here, there's a pub round the corner". The pub was near the Uxbridge Road, where the Slough greyhound stadium was. Alphon gave the impression that he knew both the pub and the stadium very well".

    From there, they went to the Old Station Inn at Taplow. Fox ordered a Tio Pepe sherry and Alphon had a Guinness. As they were leaving, Justice managed to linger behind to have a discreet word with the landlady, Mrs. Lanz. He asked her if she recognised either of his two friends. Yes, she said, she did: "the one with the Guinness". She recognized him, she said in a statement to the police, as "a man who had previously been in the bar".

    *1962
    ​​​​​​​
    I don't know the date of the police statement.



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  • cobalt
    replied
    Ansonman,

    Thanks for that; I wasn’t aware that an official statement from Mrs. Lanz existed. Her ID of Alphon, if correct, does not remove the coincidence factor but if she cannot be specific about times then mere coincidence becomes more credible. It’s even possible she saw Alphon in her bar after the murder, given that Alphon liked to immerse himself in the A6 Case and was encouraged to do so by Justice and Fox. Is there a date for her official police statement?

    As regards the focus of the original investigation, the discovery of the car and the gun obviously moved attention away from Taplow. That is understandable but left holes in the prosecution case that exist to this day. How did the murderer actually get to Taplow since he had no car to return in? When did he arrive? Where was he having refreshments before he struck? Why were there no sightings of him in Taplow or surrounding areas until he appeared in the cornfield?

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  • moste
    replied
    The puzzlement as to where police presence was centred has always been an issue for me. Speaking for example as to the importance of Gregsten and Stories last visit to the Old Station Inn, It would seem to me that the investigation should include any snippets of information that may be gleaned from the pub regulars. Did for example Ms. Lanz list other pundits that may well have been on the premises say between 8 and 10 pm? We’re there regulars who’s memories could be tapped? Did the police have an officer greeting arrivers at that crucial time frame, for say at least a couple of weeks ? If so Ms. Lanz would have had a few words to say to the various interviewers of the intensity of the investigation in and around her establishment. But Alas, it seems ,not a bit of it . All of the info that the police believed to be of any interest to the case appears to be affixed to Ms.Stories statements , as ambiguous and wobbly as they were, little else it seems was of any importance.

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  • ansonman
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    I am sure NickB or Spitfire can correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think Mrs. Lanz was so precise in her memory about which evenings Alphon had been in her premises. She gave a few accounts I think, to Fox and Foot some years later, and probably these were not exactly the same. Unfortunately, although Mrs. Lanz claimed to have reported her sightings to the police there is no known record of a statement having been taken from her. Maybe Matthews found out different.

    However in a case plagued by conflicting witness accounts I would place great weight on Mrs. Lanz’s ID. Bar owners by necessity have a good memory for faces. She had seen this man on a number of occasions for a reasonable period of time and presumably served him over the counter. She had no obvious motive for placing her establishment into the mix of the A6 Case.

    If we accept Mrs. Lanz’s ID, whatever the evening she believed Alphon was there, then the level of coincidence simply becomes overwhelming. When Alphon first came to police attention it was on the ‘Padola’ basis of acting oddly in a hotel. That is to say he had already attracted police attention BEFORE the police knew about cartridge cases in the Vienna Hotel where Alphon had been, or BEFORE they were alerted to his being an occasional patron of the premises where Gregsten and Ms. Storie had been on the evening of the crime.
    Woofinden P. 298:

    "She recognised him (Alphon) she said in a statement to the police, as "a man who had previously been in the bar. I cannot remember when I have seen him previous to this; I just know that I have seen him before"

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  • cobalt
    replied
    I am sure NickB or Spitfire can correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think Mrs. Lanz was so precise in her memory about which evenings Alphon had been in her premises. She gave a few accounts I think, to Fox and Foot some years later, and probably these were not exactly the same. Unfortunately, although Mrs. Lanz claimed to have reported her sightings to the police there is no known record of a statement having been taken from her. Maybe Matthews found out different.

    However in a case plagued by conflicting witness accounts I would place great weight on Mrs. Lanz’s ID. Bar owners by necessity have a good memory for faces. She had seen this man on a number of occasions for a reasonable period of time and presumably served him over the counter. She had no obvious motive for placing her establishment into the mix of the A6 Case.

    If we accept Mrs. Lanz’s ID, whatever the evening she believed Alphon was there, then the level of coincidence simply becomes overwhelming. When Alphon first came to police attention it was on the ‘Padola’ basis of acting oddly in a hotel. That is to say he had already attracted police attention BEFORE the police knew about cartridge cases in the Vienna Hotel where Alphon had been, or BEFORE they were alerted to his being an occasional patron of the premises where Gregsten and Ms. Storie had been on the evening of the crime.

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  • NickB
    replied
    Some chapters of the Stickler book are free to view on Google Books ...

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lXEyEAAAQBAJ&pg=PT1&lpg=PT1&dq

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  • moste
    replied
    Originally posted by djw View Post
    Hello, I notice a new book about this case has been released called The Long Silence: The Story of Hanratty and the A6 murder by Valerie Storie, the Woman who Lived to Tell the Tale written by Paul Stickler.
    A Freedom of Information request has also been submitted requesting the release of the Matthews report into the case here https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...coming-1590935

    Finally, I have been trying to get hold of the works on the case by Norma Buddle, can anyone help me out?
    I have a copy you can have , pm me , I’ll send it to you.

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  • moste
    replied
    Alphon was in the line up with the airman when Storie picked out the wrong man. I wonder if she thought that Alphon looked familiar, after all , he was in the Station Inn the night they were abducted. Following on from previous post, Mary Lantz claimed Alphon to have been in the pub, till around 9 pm. On the night of the 22nd. Of August. and more or less followed the couple out when they left. Why would Woffinden not question Alphon on this , and report on the outcome in his book, regardless of his answer?

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  • moste
    replied
    Originally posted by NickB View Post
    I have ordered a hard copy of the book, which reminds me of a paragraph in Valerie's 2002 Daily Mail interview:

    "She even said she might return to the 'copious notes' and piles of paper that have accumulated over the years and write her own book about her nightmare."

    The non-knicker evidence is often dismissed as circumstantial, but when you put it together (cartridge cases, handkerchief, calling himself Jim etc.) it means that either Hanratty did it or he was framed. Yet the books that claim he didn't do it hardly touch on the reason why, and mechanisms for how, he was framed.
    No they don’t touch on it do they? I believe the reason to be that , investigative journalists distance themselves from the label ‘Conspiracy Theorist. I’ve never understood why, if someone believes they have seen and heard enough to conclude that there is a strong possibility that a conspiracy exists ,there is no occasion to consider that person a crack pot . Any evidence that points toward the possibility of a conspiracy to my way of thinking should be thoroughly investigated . I have mentioned before Foot and Woffinden , are disappointing in this regard
    On another note, I fail to see why, when a person highly suspected is placed on an identification line and then is not picked out, should be completely ruled out . I mean let’s face it , Alphon may have been the guilty party , Storie failed to pick him out, what else is new?

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  • NickB
    replied
    The book appears to confirm that the police interviewed George Pratt at 72 Wood Lane before 26-Sep-61, as I've always suspected they must have, and that therefore there was no miraculous discovery between visiting him in the morning and the Hanrattys in the afternoon.

    It claims the Irish police were contacted on 19th September ("Please make all enquiries at Dublin airport and elsewhere to identify and trace the man J Ryan ... ") so by then they must have got the information from Pratt about the rental car and established it had been abandoned at the airport.

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  • cobalt
    replied
    NickB,

    You might have also added the appearance of detectives at the Swiss Cottage shopping arcade shortly before the discovery of bullets at the Vienna Hotel, at a time when James Hanratty did not seem to be anywhere on the police radar as a suspect.

    I appreciate you are referring specifically to books regarding the issue of being ‘framed.’ For Paul Foot, whose politics I largely share, the system of justice in the UK was reason enough to ‘frame’ a petty criminal from the underclass. But that’s a very broad brush approach and not of much value on this particular site.

    Since published authors have evaded your questions I will give my meagre offerings. Why was Hanratty ‘framed?’ I think he was used as a red herring to drag the police away from the guilty party or parties at a time when the investigation was stalling. There was a danger that a fresh look at the case might bring about a new angle of investigation- perhaps along the lines of a ‘gas meter job’- and Hanratty was an available ‘patsy.’ I cannot believe the plan was ever for Hanratty to actually be convicted and executed and that this caused some trauma to Dixie France and Peter Alphon.

    Which kind of answers the question of ‘mechanisms.’ Hanratty did not choose his friends well in so far as most of them were criminals like himself. Even the hotel he booked into was being managed by a crook and police informer. Being pretty low down the feeding chain he was, as Alphon put it, ‘expendable.’ That meant fellow criminals, no doubt in return for money and favours, could help to put Hanratty in the ‘frame’ and take off some of the ‘heat.’ The problem for them was, as I indicated earlier, that once the police began to make a case against Hanratty they found to their alarm that they either had to save themselves from prison or Hanratty from the gallows. Maybe they clung on to the hope that British justice would not hang an innocent man, all would be forgiven and they could all return to their nefarious ways.


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  • NickB
    replied
    I have ordered a hard copy of the book, which reminds me of a paragraph in Valerie's 2002 Daily Mail interview:

    "She even said she might return to the 'copious notes' and piles of paper that have accumulated over the years and write her own book about her nightmare."

    The non-knicker evidence is often dismissed as circumstantial, but when you put it together (cartridge cases, handkerchief, calling himself Jim etc.) it means that either Hanratty did it or he was framed. Yet the books that claim he didn't do it hardly touch on the reason why, and mechanisms for how, he was framed.

    Leave a comment:


  • OneRound
    replied
    Originally posted by Spitfire View Post
    ...

    It is admitted that Val and Mike had had sex in the Moggie Minor on the Sunday immediately before the adduction but had not done so on the evening of 22 August. The much-debated thorny question as to how the mystery blood group AB DNA material was detected on the fragment of the knickers she was wearing on the 22 August is not otherwise addressed.

    ...
    Hi Spitfire,

    Thorny indeed.

    The Sunday concerned was the 20th. Thus, for the mystery DNA material to be attributable to Gregsten as the Court of Appeal was (too) willing to presume and not a consquence of contamination or Valerie Storie being raped by someone other than Hanratty, she must have been wearing three day old (or more) unwashed knickers.

    That's right, isn't it? If so, I struggle with it.

    Best regards,
    OneRound





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