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  • cobalt
    replied
    Lawyers are paid big money to get the wording right. The form of words used in the 2002 appeal suggests that there was more than one slip available at the time of recent testing.

    “The test was conducted on the small remaining piece of fabric from the knickers (part having been used in the 1995 experiment), a piece of material from one of the slips and the areas of staining from the handkerchief. ''

    I understand that ‘the slips’ could be a historical reference to the slips that existed prior to 1962, but am not clear why this ambiguity would have been introduced into their wording so many years later. Why refer to ‘one of the slips’ when only one slip had ever been relevant to the case in 1962? And far from being a crucial piece of evidence, the slip in 1962 could not be adequately tested for blood group so was presumably introduced at trial for presentational reasons. Why did the learned judges not simply write ‘a piece of material from the slip?’ None of the other slips had ever featured at trial and had been destroyed, so by writing this way they were only confusing the issue.

    Regarding conspiracies, they don’t have to be that giant to be pulled off even in a murder trial. Guildford, Birmingham and Kisko are three examples off the top of my head. In each case the prosecution evidence was undermined shortly after conviction. The conspiracy is less about the actual trial- mistakes happen in any system- but about the subsequent attempts to conceal the truth afterwards.

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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    From the wording at the appeal, it seems that the slips were growing in number. The slips were reported destroyed in May 1962. Yet the wording suggests there was more than a fragment of slip, but actually a number of slips available for testing many years later.


    'a piece of material from one of the slips'
    I think it's pretty straightforward, cobalt. Both slips were destroyed, but a piece that had been previously excised from one of the slips was retained, presumably because there was some staining on it?

    What are you and moste suggesting here? That it's ridiculous to think that any of these things would have been retained, so every detail about the victim's underclothing and the hankie, plus the DNA findings, were fabricated - er - from whole cloth?

    If that's the way this is going, you may as well trash all the evidence in this case and argue that this was one giant, ongoing conspiracy, involving both the justice system and Hanratty's associates, who all had their reasons for throwing him under the bus where the murder weapon was found.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

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  • moste
    replied
    remember the entire storage facility was emptied and moved to a new location back in the 'was it' the 1980s ?

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  • moste
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    From the wording at the appeal, it seems that the slips were growing in number. The slips were reported destroyed in May 1962. Yet the wording suggests there was more than a fragment of slip, but actually a number of slips available for testing many years later.


    'a piece of material from one of the slips'
    So, as it was surmised some time back,that the Morris minor was wrecked after the trial , why would exhibits be saved after the person was hanged? I can well see these artifacts being stored where the guilty party is imprisoned, but not in these circumstances. What was the protocol for redundant exhibit storage, after the finality of capital punishment ?

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  • cobalt
    replied
    From the wording at the appeal, it seems that the slips were growing in number. The slips were reported destroyed in May 1962. Yet the wording suggests there was more than a fragment of slip, but actually a number of slips available for testing many years later.


    'a piece of material from one of the slips'

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  • moste
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    R. v. James Hanratty (deceased) [2002] EWCA Crim 1141
    [This version of the judgment has been prepared by: Dr Robert N Moles and Bibi Sangha Underlining where it occurs is for editorial emphasis]

    That is my source, which contains a massive contradiction apparently missed by Hanratty’s lawyers. I think Houston , we have a problem. Was the slip destroyed or retained? Thanks for Oneround for alerrting me.

    “At the trial which took place between 22 January 1962 and 17 February 1962 all the exhibits with the exception of a portion of the slip and the fragment of the knickers referred to previously were produced and in due course, taken out by the jury on retirement. Thereafter, on 9 April 1962, Hanratty’s suitcase and clothing were returned to his father and on 22 May 1962 Storie’s slips, her knickers and various samples were all destroyed.”

    “The test was conducted on the small remaining piece of fabric from the knickers (part having been used in the 1995 experiment), a piece of material from one of the slips and the areas of staining from the handkerchief. This time the experiment did produce results in that profiles were obtained both from the fabric and from the handkerchief which could be compared with samples taken from Hanratty’s brother, Michael.”

    I thought the slips were destroyed in May 1962? How did they reappear like Caz’s handkerchief in 2002?
    So are we to take from this, that Hanratty’s hanky was destroyed along with Stories stuff, or given back to his Father in a
    suite case? Or a 3rd option , saved down in the catacombs, for 30 years waiting for someone to invent DNA ?

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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    R. v. James Hanratty (deceased) [2002] EWCA Crim 1141
    [This version of the judgment has been prepared by: Dr Robert N Moles and Bibi Sangha Underlining where it occurs is for editorial emphasis]

    That is my source, which contains a massive contradiction apparently missed by Hanratty’s lawyers. I think Houston , we have a problem. Was the slip destroyed or retained? Thanks for Oneround for alerrting me.

    “At the trial which took place between 22 January 1962 and 17 February 1962 all the exhibits with the exception of a portion of the slip and the fragment of the knickers referred to previously were produced and in due course, taken out by the jury on retirement. Thereafter, on 9 April 1962, Hanratty’s suitcase and clothing were returned to his father and on 22 May 1962 Storie’s slips, her knickers and various samples were all destroyed.”

    “The test was conducted on the small remaining piece of fabric from the knickers (part having been used in the 1995 experiment), a piece of material from one of the slips and the areas of staining from the handkerchief. This time the experiment did produce results in that profiles were obtained both from the fabric and from the handkerchief which could be compared with samples taken from Hanratty’s brother, Michael.”

    I thought the slips were destroyed in May 1962? How did they reappear like Caz’s handkerchief in 2002?
    The main parts of the slips and knickers were destroyed, along with 'various' samples, cobalt. It isn't stated specifically that those samples included the excised portion from the slip, or any part of the hankie. The inference I get is that what remained after everything else was destroyed were: the small piece of fabric from the knickers; the piece of material from the slip; and 'the areas of staining' on the hankie. It isn't clear if the whole hankie was retained or just the stained parts.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    I’m more concerned with the cartridge cases found at the scene of the crime. The ones that were found under seats- in the Vienna Hotel and the bus- are not so helpful. If they could be tested and linked to Hanratty’s fingerprints then the case against him would be strengthened.
    Caz is as keen on the handkerchief as a sign of guilt as was Othello, and thinks that it already makes the link that I am asking to be established through cartridge cases. She may be correct but the role of the handkerchief has changed over time. From the appeal in 2002:

    “The handkerchief came to the laboratory on 25 August {1961} was screened for blood and semen and, none being found, seems to have been put to one side.”

    Put to one side but not destroyed apparently, since it was later discovered in 1997 and Hanratty’s mucus gave him away. That is what we are told but since the handkerchief was presumably never a point of issue at trial, it was remarkably prescient for it to be retained. Why retain a snotty hanky? All the more so when we are told what actually was destroyed in the aftermath of the trial:

    “Thereafter, on 9 April 1962, Hanratty’s suitcase and clothing were returned to his father and on 22 May 1962 Storie’s slips, her knickers and various samples were all destroyed.”

    I remain sceptical about how certain items are discovered years later in police basements and others have been lost or have degraded. Do the cartridge cases from the murder scene still exist for example or were they flung out as well? I ask as a sceptic who knows that DNA evidence is easily planted or can occur through contamination but that planting fingerprints without a corpse is well nigh impossible.
    I'm sorry cobalt, but I'm struggling with how you believe Hanratty's DNA could easily have been planted on the hankie - or could have contaminated it by accident - in such a way as to be compatible with the snot. Whose snot was it anyway, if not Hanratty's, and why was there no other DNA profile to account for it?

    I suspect you may be better off arguing that the hankie was not even tested, or was destroyed, and the DNA 'evidence' was fabricated from whole cloth [pun not intended but gratefully received].

    Love,

    Caz
    X

    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    R. v. James Hanratty (deceased) [2002] EWCA Crim 1141
    [This version of the judgment has been prepared by: Dr Robert N Moles and Bibi Sangha Underlining where it occurs is for editorial emphasis]

    That is my source, which contains a massive contradiction apparently missed by Hanratty’s lawyers. I think Houston , we have a problem. Was the slip destroyed or retained? Thanks for Oneround for alerrting me.

    “At the trial which took place between 22 January 1962 and 17 February 1962 all the exhibits with the exception of a portion of the slip and the fragment of the knickers referred to previously were produced and in due course, taken out by the jury on retirement. Thereafter, on 9 April 1962, Hanratty’s suitcase and clothing were returned to his father and on 22 May 1962 Storie’s slips, her knickers and various samples were all destroyed.”

    “The test was conducted on the small remaining piece of fabric from the knickers (part having been used in the 1995 experiment), a piece of material from one of the slips and the areas of staining from the handkerchief. This time the experiment did produce results in that profiles were obtained both from the fabric and from the handkerchief which could be compared with samples taken from Hanratty’s brother, Michael.”

    I thought the slips were destroyed in May 1962? How did they reappear like Caz’s handkerchief in 2002?

    Leave a comment:


  • OneRound
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    According to the appeal, Valerie Storie's slip was destroyed in May 1962, soon after the trial. Are you sure it was sent for testing for DNA?

    I assume the slip was not used at trial since it yielded no evidence then, same as the handkerchief. Yet the slip was destroyed and the handkerchief retained.
    Hi Cobalt - I can only quote from para 108 of the 2002 Court of Appeal judgement.

    Having referred to the unsuccessful DNA testing in 1995, - ''However, in November 1997 after much consultation further DNA analyses were commissioned this time using highly sensitive DNA amplification techniques. The test was conducted on the small remaining piece of fabric from the knickers (part having been used in the 1995 experiment), a piece of material from one of the slips and the areas of staining from the handkerchief. This time the experiment did produce results in that profiles were obtained both from the fabric and from the handkerchief which could be compared with samples taken from James Hanratty's brother, Michael, and his mother, Mary.''

    The Court make no further reference to the slip.

    Best regards,
    OneRound

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    Very interesting info,Cobalt. What a pity someone highly skilled in the world of DNA forensics, could not be coaxed into voicing an opinion on the Hanratty DNA results. Without the fear of (as with Chief Sup.Mathews files ), an obvious gagging order being covertly issued .
    I for one would be delighted to hear of the virtual impossibility of any DNA strains surviving the ludicrous journey through from’61, with all the abuse of ignorant handling , and ridiculous storage methods. But it would need to be voiced by an unrestrained impartial expert. Straight from the horses mouth , but we all know that’s never going to happen.

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  • cobalt
    replied
    According to the appeal, Valerie Storie's slip was destroyed in May 1962, soon after the trial. Are you sure it was sent for testing for DNA?

    I assume the slip was not used at trial since it yielded no evidence then, same as the handkerchief. Yet the slip was destroyed and the handkerchief retained.

    Leave a comment:


  • OneRound
    replied
    Originally posted by OneRound View Post

    Just a few comments now about the DNA.

    Matters are set out by the Court of Appeal in paras 106 to 128 of their 2002 judgement (link in Caz's post #4282 above).

    For any newcomers to this thread (and it's great there are some), it's only right to flag from outset that Hanratty's family and legal team were originally very keen to use DNA findings in an attempt to establish his innocence. However, they challenged its integrity once the findings pointed more towards his guilt.

    It is also only right to declare up front that I am far more a scientific numbskull than an eminent scientist, of whom several convinced the Court of Appeal of his guilt. I am no position to say anyone was wrong but I do feel aspects of this part of the Court's judgement raise queries.

    Main aspects for me are as below:

    1. As well as Hanratty's DNA (he was a blood group O secretor), the Court also refer to DNA from the semen of an AB blood group secretor being shown to be on the fragment of Valerie Storie's knickers and ''attribute'' that to her lover Michael Gregsten. The Court could of course be right there but, nonetheless, I feel the ''presumption'' (another term used by the Court) should have been thoroughly checked. After all, the Court insisted on Hanratty's body being exhumed to check on the accuracy of findings for him. The contrast in approach between the two DNA findings is massive and to my mind just as much surprising. If the AB DNA had been cross-checked to Gregsten and found not to be his, that would have invalidated the DNA evidence totally. Admittedly, that is a big ''if''. However, in my opinion, the Court should have been relying on a thorough cross-check and not a ''presumption''.

    Something else which increases my unease in this regard relates to when Gregsten last had sex with Ms Storie. I believe she said this was several days before the murder. If that's right, it would seem to lessen the likelihood of it being his AB semen on the knickers. Odd.

    [I appreciate Del has strong views about the reported AB findings. My comments stem from the Court's judgement.]

    2. The Court regarded it as very damning for Hanratty that only his and Valerie Storie's DNA plus that ''attributed'' to Gregsten were located on the knicker fragment tested in 1997. The Court effectively took the view that if Hanratty's DNA got there through contamination and he was not the rapist, the DNA of another male (ie the rapist) would have had to have been there as well. As there wasn't, that meant Hanratty had to be the rapist. I follow the logic. However, what was being checked was only ''a fragment'' which had been cut away from the knickers for basic tests thirty-six years earlier following the crime and then reduced further in 1995 when another part was removed for initial and unsuccessful DNA testing. Could the rapist's DNA have been on the part that was removed in 1995 and destroyed when unsuccessfully tested? I obviously don't know but feel it's a fair question.

    3. At the 2002 appeal, Hanratty's legal team argued that the knicker fragment might have been contaminated as a result of spillage from a broken vial, containing a liquidised sample from Hanratty, stored and found in an envelope alongside it. A boffin with thirty years' experience told the Court he had never come across a vial containing contents to be stored in this way and, whilst acknowledging their own lack of scientific experience, the Court commented that it would seem strange to do so. Fair enough. However, wouldn't it have been even more strange to store an empty vial in this way?

    4. A fair bit of weight appears to have been given by the Court to the DNA findings of Hanratty and Valerie showing a ''typical distribution'' consistent with them having had sex. That does seem pretty damning. I would just like it to have been clarified whether the distribution would have definitely been different if Hanratty's DNA was as a result of contamination.

    5. Discussion about the DNA here usually involves the knicker fragment and/or the hanky. Understandably so. However, a third item was also submitted for DNA testing. This was one of Valerie Storie's slips upon which semen was identified immediately after the crime. No result was found from this DNA testing. Given Hanratty's DNA was readily identified on the knicker fragment, why didn't it show up on the slip? As I say, I'm no scientist but might it suggest the DNA on the knicker fragment got there through different means (ie contamination)?

    Having assessed the scientific evidence, the Court concluded that the possibility of contamination of the knicker fragment or the hanky was ''fanciful'' and of both ''beyond belief''. However, if you include the slip, only 2 of the 3 items tested are indicators of Hanratty's guilt. If you then doubt the knicker fragment (see particularly points 1 and 3 above re the unestablished AB finding and broken vial), that only leaves the hanky.

    6. The hanky. Caz's favourite. Again understandably so. That is very damning. Unless you buy into ideas of police corruption and manipulation of exhibits and evidence, the DNA findings prove that the hanky wrapped around the murder weapon was Hanratty's. Although that leaves extremely serious questions to be answered by Hanratty's remaining supporters, it does not actually prove he fired the gun that killed Gregsten, raped Valerie Storie or even hid the gun and hanky where it was found. We do know others had access to his laundry.


    Let me make very clear that none of the above points go any way to suggesting innocence on the part of James Hanratty, let alone proving it which was the aim of those who first campaigned for DNA use. I'm actually as sure as I can be taking everything in the round that Hanratty was guilty. I'm just not as convinced as some that his guilt was proved fairly at trial or that the DNA evidence almost forty years later (inevitably without the safeguards being taken which are now so mandatory) was so unanswerably conclusive.

    If things had been very different in a make believe legal world - in particular, Hanratty not being executed and still being alive, the appeal of 2002 being heard many years earlier but with DNA being used years earlier than it was and able to be brought to the appeal - I would have thought it fair and just for Hanratty to have been granted a retrial.

    Obviously that could not happen and didn't. I therefore remain uncomfortable that a man - even though I consider him guilty - on trial for his life did not get a fair hearing. This though is where the hypocrite in me comes out. If Michael Gregsten or Valerie Storie had been my son or daughter, hangman Harry Allen could have got any required help from me in an instant.

    With apologies for the length and best regards,

    OneRound

    Hi all - I'll treat the recent posts about the DNA as giving me an excuse to bump up this one of mine from the end of 2017. Interestingly or not, Caz and the hanky were getting a shout out then as well!

    As previously stated, the issues raised do not suggest innocence on the part of Hanratty but highlight why I wasn't as convinced as the Court of Appeal.

    Best regards,
    OneRound

    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    NickB,

    Not wanting to wander off to another case but Jean Langford said Tobin was NOT the man in the taxi to both Joe Beattie, the retired SIO of the case, and also Magnus Linklater, a well known Scottish editor and man of letters before her death.

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  • cobalt
    replied
    I’m more concerned with the cartridge cases found at the scene of the crime. The ones that were found under seats- in the Vienna Hotel and the bus- are not so helpful. If they could be tested and linked to Hanratty’s fingerprints then the case against him would be strengthened.
    Caz is as keen on the handkerchief as a sign of guilt as was Othello, and thinks that it already makes the link that I am asking to be established through cartridge cases. She may be correct but the role of the handkerchief has changed over time. From the appeal in 2002:

    “The handkerchief came to the laboratory on 25 August {1961} was screened for blood and semen and, none being found, seems to have been put to one side.”

    Put to one side but not destroyed apparently, since it was later discovered in 1997 and Hanratty’s mucus gave him away. That is what we are told but since the handkerchief was presumably never a point of issue at trial, it was remarkably prescient for it to be retained. Why retain a snotty hanky? All the more so when we are told what actually was destroyed in the aftermath of the trial:

    “Thereafter, on 9 April 1962, Hanratty’s suitcase and clothing were returned to his father and on 22 May 1962 Storie’s slips, her knickers and various samples were all destroyed.”

    I remain sceptical about how certain items are discovered years later in police basements and others have been lost or have degraded. Do the cartridge cases from the murder scene still exist for example or were they flung out as well? I ask as a sceptic who knows that DNA evidence is easily planted or can occur through contamination but that planting fingerprints without a corpse is well nigh impossible.

    Leave a comment:

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