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  • Originally posted by Spitfire View Post
    Hanratty only formed the intention to rape and kill Valerie Storie after he had killed Gregsten. FWIW I don't think he intended to kill either of them when he set out on his mad cap adventure.
    Hi Spitfire - noted and almost certainly agreed. However, it's not what the prosecution suggested at trial. That is particularly why I was keen to flag my likely reactions had I been a jury member and known of Hanratty's relationship with Ms Deacon.

    Best regards,

    OneRound

    Comment


    • Originally posted by NickB View Post
      On the 1 month anniversary of the crime Hanratty drove Gladys Deacon to Bedford. There has been some discussion here about whether he was ‘reliving the incident' or it was merely a coincidence.

      After Bedford they went to Battersea funfair. When he and Carole had gone to the funfair shortly before they’d had sex in a side street afterwards. But now he had transport, Hanratty drove Gladys all the way to Brockley Hill where they had sex in the car. If he was not reliving the incident, why had he traveled to a place on or near the route that the murder car had taken on its way north?
      Hi Nick

      In her testimony to the committal at Ampthill on 29th November 1961, Miss Deacon said that Hanratty drove her to Bedford on 23rd September and parked in the station car park while he went to visit a house in Ashburnham Road. The man was, apparently, not in and he drove them back to London.

      Her took her out the following day for a trip on the river at Richmond, the cinema and a meal.

      She never saw him again.

      The prosecution counsel, Mr MacDermott made a case that Hanratty was familiar with Bedford and that the route taken was similar to that which the gunman forced Gregsten to drive that night.

      This is the same nonsense that Leonard Miller seemingly came up with independently in his book Shadows of Deadman's Hill, after reading Woffinden.

      I don't see any significance about the date he took Miss Deacon to Bedford seeing as he went there to, one supposes, dispose of some Tom. He also took her out the following day to South West London, so to my mind I find no relevance whatsoever.

      Besides, in her testimony Miss Deacon said that she didn't know the way to Bedford and assumed he did. The word assume suggests some familiarity with Bedford, as they got there, but 2 things here are important.

      Firstly, we don't know the route they took that day.
      Secondly, the murder did not take place in Bedford itself anyway.

      Del

      Comment


      • Originally posted by caz View Post
        ...So apologies for being dim
        Umm!

        The following answers are only my views based in what I have seen.

        Originally posted by caz View Post
        ...but were the 'smaller quantities of seminal fluid', as mentioned in the Appeal Judgement, plucked out of thin air then?..
        No. The respondent's counsel, Nigel Sweeney, made an initial statement at the beginning of the DNA evidence that Storie and Gregsten had had sex in the car on the Sunday prior to the murder. From this I believe that everyone accepted that Gregsten had ejaculated into Stories vagina and that the semen had persisted for 50 odd hours, therefore being detected some 40 years later.

        Originally posted by caz View Post
        What made anyone suppose in the first place that two separate individuals had left semen on those knickers back in 1961 if there was nothing anywhere to indicate this had been the case?
        See above.

        Originally posted by caz View Post
        Why would anyone imagine or invent this detail, and to what end?
        See above.

        Originally posted by caz View Post
        And how could such a 'gross error' occur, without anyone at the time of the appeal noticing and challenging it?
        Because the appellants expert case was useless. They only obtained the services of Dr Evison a couple of months before the appeal was heard in 2002. Obviously not enough to fully brief him.

        Originally posted by caz View Post
        Would there have been any way of knowing, back in 1961, if seminal fluid came from one, two or a dozen separate individuals, unless they found more than one blood group on examination? This is what I assumed must have been the case.
        I have said this on numerous occasions. Mr Lewis Nickolls only found O secretor semen and O non-secretor vaginal fluid. If there had been AB secretor semen he would have reported it.

        Originally posted by caz View Post
        How do you think this rogue section 113 came to be written, if only one man's semen - presumed to be the rapist's - was ever found in 1961?
        See above (para 2)

        Originally posted by caz View Post
        And why hasn't this been taken up and challenged by others with perhaps more influence?..
        No idea.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Derrick View Post
          I have said this on numerous occasions. Mr Lewis Nickolls only found O secretor semen and O non-secretor vaginal fluid. If there had been AB secretor semen he would have reported it.
          How does this comment square up with para 113 of the 2002 Judgement....or have I missed something?

          Comment


          • Whether the route JH took to Bedford along with the lovely Gladys Deacon of Stanmore is significant or not, had I been in the London area in 1961 and wishing to drive north to Bedford, I would have, having collected Miss Deacon at her home in Stanmore:

            - taken the A410 from Stanmore to the A41 ar Edgware;
            - turned right onto the A41;
            - turned left onto the A1 just before Mill Hill;
            - continued north up the A1 to the turn-off onto the A6 just before South Mimms;
            - continued north along the A6 through St Albans and Harpenden, then through Luton continuing northward towards Clophill and Bedford.

            This (suggested) route would of course be via Deadman's Hill on the A6.

            Two further points:

            1] Hanratty had a relation, an aunt I believe, who lived in Bedford, and whom he visited at least once when he was younger; there is little doubt therefore that Hanratty was at least somewhat familiar with the general area of Bedford.

            2] it is highly unlikely that all murderers return to the scene of their crime. However, it is not unknown. The best example I can give is Neville Heath, who most certainly did return to the scene of his first murder.

            3] the A6 murder did not take place actually in Bedford, but just 5 miles south of the outskirts of that town. You only have to look at a map............

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

            Comment


            • Originally posted by uncle_adolph View Post
              How does this comment square up with para 113 of the 2002 Judgement....or have I missed something?
              Uncle Adolph

              Well quite clearly it doesn't square at all.

              Paragraph 113 is a fairytale I'm afraid with regard to AB secretor semen when compared to Lewis Nickoll's reports and testimony at trial and the DNA evidence given at appeal in 2002.

              HTH
              Del

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Derrick View Post
                Uncle Adolph

                Well quite clearly it doesn't square at all.

                Paragraph 113 is a fairytale I'm afraid with regard to AB secretor semen when compared to Lewis Nickoll's reports and testimony at trial and the DNA evidence given at appeal in 2002.

                HTH
                Del
                So,in that case o secretor from Gregsten ,Valerie's fluids, and no sign of a rapists then?

                Comment


                • Geoffrey Bindman’s chosen DNA expert was Patrick Lincoln. As Lincoln was familiar with the case history and had observed the tests it would be interesting to see his report. It has been suggested that he reported back that the results implicated Hanratty, as his engagement was discontinued.

                  Bindman did an about turn and tried to get the DNA evidence ruled inadmissible in the 2002 Appeal. But he must have known this was unlikely to succeed and so needed a fallback position whereby the DNA result could be challenged. It appears that in casting around for a replacement expert the best he could find was Martin Evison with his ‘contamination’ theory. Surely if there had been a better defence they would have used it.

                  The Bindmans website still talks about: “a second appeal hearing to clear his name on the grounds that DNA evidence linking Hanratty to the case was ‘contaminated’.”

                  Turning to a lighter subject, something Sir Geoffrey says on another page caught my eye:
                  In 1969 Paul Foot asked if I’d be interested in being Private Eye’s lawyer. The Eye had recently suffered a well-publicised defeat in the courts at the hands of Lord Russell of Liverpool, author of the best-seller The Scourge of the Swastika. It had put them in dire financial straits. Rightly or wrongly, they held their lawyer responsible and were looking for a replacement.
                  When Russell’s A6 murder book came out in October 1965 he was in the process of suing Private Eye for libel. They had parodied ‘The Scourge of the Swastika’ suggesting that it pandered to a prurient interest in Nazi war crimes. Although the article had not named Russell, he could be identified through the description ‘Lord Liver of Cesspool’.

                  The verdict was announced in February 1966, co-incidentally the month that Foot became interested in the A6 murder. Russell won. He was awarded £5,000 damages plus £3,000 costs. The Eye had nothing like this amount of money. They were saved by an intensive fund-raising campaign and, apparently, the appointment of a new solicitor!

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by moste View Post
                    So,in that case o secretor from Gregsten ,Valerie's fluids, and no sign of a rapists then?
                    No

                    O secretor semen from the rapist and O non-secretor vaginal fluid from Storie.

                    Nothing else.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                      Geoffrey Bindman’s chosen DNA expert was Patrick Lincoln. As Lincoln was familiar with the case history and had observed the tests it would be interesting to see his report. It has been suggested that he reported back that the results implicated Hanratty, as his engagement was discontinued.
                      Someone I know, close to the case, has informed me that Dr Lincoln ceased working on the case because he was extremely critical of the FSS's use of LCN in 1997 as it was not a valid system that could be relied on and would ultimately destroy the last vestiges of the samples. He wanted to wait until a valid system came along that might get reliable results.

                      This was his view in 1995 after the STRQuad tests failed as per his comments in the revised Woffinden documentary.

                      Comment


                      • That does not make sense to me.

                        If that is what happened, why didn’t the defence team declare that their DNA expert did not consider the testing system valid?

                        Statements made by the defence in the 2002 Appeal show that, although they had qualms about contamination, they accepted that the testing system used was valid:

                        1) ‘It is conceded by Mr Mansfield on behalf of the appellant that, should it transpire that all possibility of contamination can be excluded, the DNA evidence points conclusively to James Hanratty having been both the murderer and the rapist.’

                        2) ‘It has been agreed by Mr Sweeney and Mr Mansfield that on the evidence now available Peter Alphon could not have been the murderer. It is understood that this agreement arose out of the DNA evidence.’

                        Comment


                        • Mrs Dinwoodie's customer

                          Sorry to interrupt the DNA debate, but ...

                          Mrs Dinwoodie said the man who asked her directions to Carlton or Talbot/Tarleton Road/Street was "hard to understand", and she thought he could have been Scots or Welsh.

                          Anybody know whether any of Hanratty's Liverpool associates were Scots or Welsh? eg, Terrence McNally?

                          Comment


                          • Finding Evans

                            If my note-taking is accurate, I have Hanratty telling Sherrard about his Rhyl alibi on Monday, January 29, and Terry Evans making a statement to the defence on Tuesday, January 30.

                            Is this right?

                            If so, it begs the question of how the defence managed so quickly to track down the "John" that Jim supposedly spent a whole day searching fruitlessly for on August 23. Anyone have the details?

                            Comment


                            • I understand the sequence of events to be as follows:
                              1. Disclaimer letter signed
                              2. Photographs taken of Hanratty
                              3. Gillbanks despatched to Rhyl
                              (Woffinden page 200)

                              If this is correct then Terry Evans statement would have been sometime after the photographs had been taken on 5th February. (Woffinden page 227: “Gillbanks had found Terry Evans first”.)

                              The Rhyl alibi was not revealed to the prosecution until 4.30pm on 6th February.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by OneRound View Post
                                Thanks, Graham.

                                Interesting question about the possibility of buying an alibi. Obviously here there is a presumption or acceptance that Hanratty killed Gregsten and I'll give you some speculative thoughts on that basis. I appreciate that some posters strongly dispute that presumption and don't accept it for a moment whilst others have at least certain doubts.

                                Following up a point made by Spitfire yesterday, the nature of the crime would have repulsed the majority of even the most hardened criminals. Of those not sufficiently sickened by the crime, many would have been scared of any association with it due to the potential severe penalties.

                                Thus, buying an alibi was always going to be difficult for Hanratty. There simply would not have been many sellers on the market. Of the few that were, none were going to provide ''fit for purpose or money back'' guarantees!

                                It seems likely to me that an attempt at a bought or begged alibi was made in respect of Liverpool. However, no one there was prepared to play ball and so the alibi switched to Rhyl. I don't think any poster (whether believing Hanratty guilty, innocent or unsure) considers that Hanratty was in Liverpool on the night of the A6 crime; he was either in Rhyl or a Morris Minor. However, if McNally and/or others like him had backed up Hanratty's first account and swore blind that Hanratty was with him (McNally) in a Liverpool flat, would we to this day have ever heard any mention of Rhyl in respect of this case?

                                Now onto the sweet shop. It appears clear (as far as anything to do with this case is) that the incident happened on the Monday or the Tuesday. It's agreed that Hanratty was in London on the Monday and so claimed by his supporters that the incident must have happened on the Tuesday. However, that is not the only possibility. It could have occurred on the Monday involving a criminal pal of Hanratty who gave or sold him this aibi when Hanratty was seeking an alibi for the Tuesday. Possibly the pal gave Hanratty an alibi for the wrong day without Hanratty's knowledge or Hanratty, knowing it was the wrong day, chanced no one would adequately remember.

                                To my thinking, the sweet shop incident must have occurred to some extent. It's inconceivable that Hanratty could have totally made up a story which was supported in part by Mrs Dinwoodie and her granddaughter. However, there are noticeable discrepancies in the accounts (in addition to the day itself). Perhaps this is just due to the passage of time affecting the memories of those giving the accounts as Hanratty's supporters claim. However, it could also be explained by the man in the sweet shop not being Hanratty and he (Hanratty) having to remember and rely upon an account he had bought.

                                And finally we end up in Rhyl. I acknowledge this is the high watermark of my speculation but I do wonder if somehow Terry Evans suggested this alibi to Hanratty and he went for it. It's fair enough that Evans couldn't just walk into Hanratty's cell and directly say this but it doesn't seem inconceivable that such a message could have been passed on.

                                Evans always seems to have been remarkably supportive of Hanratty. Getting him a job on the dodgems, putting him up for the night, not holding a grudge when his shoes were nicked, pressuring Charlie Jones, the newspaper vendor, to lie about seeing him, speaking up for him on tv documentaries, etc. Add to that, Evans talking to Grace Jones during a break in the trial contrary to the judge's instructions - do we really know why and what that was about?

                                One other thing about the switch to the Rhyl alibi. The note that Sherrard got Hanratty to sign is usually viewed as Sherrard covering his own back. That's entirely understandable and clearly a large part of it. However, the note also contained a plea for the landlady to come forward. I suspect that was included at Hanratty's urging. Did he know that someone would appear? If he did, that might go a long way to explaining why he changed / expanded his alibi to Rhyl. Many here feel that it was the switch to Rhyl that did for Hanratty; that may well be so but probably and largely because Mrs Jones was such a poor defence witness which Hanratty had not contemplated.

                                Masses of speculation in the above and far, far too much for me to have given a guilty verdict at the time of Hanratty's trial. However, they are honestly held and do little to persuade me of Hanatty's innocence.

                                Best regards,

                                OneRound
                                Hi Alfie - the above is from 4th April 2015 (post 266 of this thread). I'm afraid it doesn't answer the questions in your recent posts but it perhaps shows a similar line of thought.

                                Best regards,

                                OneRound

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