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  • Woffinden page 162.

    Incidentally it has been mentioned on here recently that Woffinden thought the car arrived in the evening. I've just re-read the section on this and he thought it arrived in the morning, even though he knew about the withheld information about the mileage and the sightings. He believed that Skillett etc. saw the car, although obviously he disputes that they correctly identified Hanratty.

    Going back to the sweetshop ...
    When Acott rejected Swanwick’s suggestion that Hanratty had gone straight from the sweetshop to the cornfield – Swanwick must have accepted this, because when he questioned Hanratty he said specifically that he did not think Jim was in Liverpool on the 22nd. In fact he made the even more bizarre suggestion that he might have been there on the 21st ....

    Swanwick: “I think that if by any chance you were in Liverpool before August 24 it was on the 21st and not the 22nd.”

    Hanratty: “I was in the Vienna Hotel on the 21st.”

    Swanwick: “You were in the Vienna Hotel about five in the evening?”

    Hanratty: “No, I would say midnight.”

    Swanwick: “There is a 5.15 train from Liverpool which gets in about 9.15?”

    Hanratty: “How about Mrs France? I did not leave there until seven o’clock. I thought you had more intelligence.”

    (Woff mentioned the tail end of this exchange on page 223.)

    Later on in his evidence Hanratty turned to the Judge and said: “Sir, can I put a question?”

    Gorman: “I think you should meet the suggestion, but if you want to say something don’t take that as an indication that you should not. You can say just whatever you like.”

    Hanratty: “What Mr Swanwick is saying here. It is impossible for me to have carried out this most terrible crime because, as I have stated earlier, yesterday and this morning, I was in Rhyl. I was in Liverpool. I only hope that Mrs Dinwoodie will come here and prove her evidence.”

    Comment


    • Hi Nick,,

      Incidentally it has been mentioned on here recently that Woffinden thought the car arrived in the evening. I've just re-read the section on this and he thought it arrived in the morning, even though he knew about the withheld information about the mileage and the sightings. He believed that Skillett etc. saw the car, although obviously he disputes that they correctly identified Hanratty.
      However: Woffinden, Paperback Edition, 1999:

      As a result of the CCRC's investigation, it now seems that the car was not, after all, parked at Avondale Crescent, east London, during the day. It was probably not left there until the early evening, shortly before Mr Madwar noticed it and reported it to the police at about 6.45pm. There appear to have been three areas of evidence which led the CCRC to this conclusion; i) statements from those who saw the Morris Minor elsewhere in the country; ii) statements from witnesses in the vicinity of Avondale Crescent; iii) the overall mileage of the car.

      I guess all of these 'areas of evidence' can be, and have been, questioned. However, as I have said previously, I would honestly doubt that if the car was abandoned in Avondale in the early morning, it would have gone un-noticed all day until Mr Madwar spotted it.

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

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Graham View Post
        Hi Nick,,



        However: Woffinden, Paperback Edition, 1999:

        As a result of the CCRC's investigation, it now seems that the car was not, after all, parked at Avondale Crescent, east London, during the day. It was probably not left there until the early evening, shortly before Mr Madwar noticed it and reported it to the police at about 6.45pm. There appear to have been three areas of evidence which led the CCRC to this conclusion; i) statements from those who saw the Morris Minor elsewhere in the country; ii) statements from witnesses in the vicinity of Avondale Crescent; iii) the overall mileage of the car.

        I guess all of these 'areas of evidence' can be, and have been, questioned. However, as I have said previously, I would honestly doubt that if the car was abandoned in Avondale in the early morning, it would have gone un-noticed all day until Mr Madwar spotted it.

        Graham
        Hi Graham - further to your post above and some of my recent ones, do you have any views on how likely it would have been for Avondale to be on a bobby's beat in 1961? I'm not expecting (even) you to know with any certainty but you do regularly display a good awareness of how things were back then.

        Many thanks,

        OneRound

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Graham View Post
          [I]As a result of the CCRC's investigation, it now seems that the car was not, after all, parked at Avondale Crescent, east London, during the day.
          Thanks Graham. I thought he might have changed his mind somewhat, which is why I put what he said in the past tense.

          -----

          Something else I saw in the Telegraph was the full exchange on the “I am not a murderer” comment. I don’t think the last line would have gone down well with the property-owning jury ...

          Swanwick: “Did you have any feelings towards the householders who returned home to find their premises broken into and their goods missing?”

          Hanratty: “I must put this quite clearly. I ain’t a man of good character, but I am not a murderer and this is a murder trial not a housebreaking trial.”

          Swanwick: “Will you answer my question? What were your feelings towards the householders whose houses you broke into?”

          Hanratty: “No feelings whatsoever.”

          -----

          Woffinden’s suggestion that Swanwick said the cartridge cases were left in the Vienna because Hanratty was doing some target practicing is a bit wide of the mark.
          What he said was:

          “If he did intend genuinely to go to Liverpool, why did he change his mind and go to the Vienna Hotel on the night of the 21st, instead of spending the night with the Frances or with Louise Anderson? If he was the person who left the cartridges at the Vienna Hotel and left them there on that night of August 21, would that not suggest that his visit to the Vienna Hotel might be connected with the recent acquisition of a gun? Whether he got it on that day or the day before, might he not well have gone to the Vienna Hotel to play with the new toy, its mechanisms, its working?”

          On Mrs Jones:

          “You see Mrs Jones, I suppose, is in appearance what the average landlady would be – middle aged, about 50, average build. But Mrs Jones had explained that she wore glasses for reading and television, she would never wear them when she was serving breakfast. Would you describe her as having greying hair? It was blonde, blonde as they come.”

          Comment


          • Hi OR,

            I'm not a Londoner, but I did visit London quite a lot in the early 1960's. I really can't say if Avondale had a regular 'bobby in the beat', but can only add that where I lived (in the Midlands) we did around that time see the occasional PC Plod doing the rounds. As Avondale was very close to a tube station, I would suggest that it was busy in terms both of pedestrians and parked cars.

            One thing that has always bothered me a little is that Hanratty was West London, yet the Morris was abandoned much further east. I wonder why? Was there a genuine reason for this - did he get lost, or what? If - a big 'IF' - he retraced his route back down the A6 then that would have taken him into West London. So why abandon the car where it was found? Did he know people in this part of London? Or - pure speculation here - did he get someone else to dump the car for him?

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

            Comment


            • I appreciate your honest doubts, Graham, regarding the dumping of the car- but you will appreciate that several on this site doubt that Hanratty ever set foot in the murder car. That would certainly answer most of your questions.

              Had Hanratty been the murderer, and persuaded a criminal friend to dump it for him, I would be confident that such a person (presumably horrified at what he had unwittingly become party to) would have easily become known to the police and been promised immunity from prosecution.

              Comment


              • Hi Cobalt,

                I appreciate your honest doubts, Graham, regarding the dumping of the car- but you will appreciate that several on this site doubt that Hanratty ever set foot in the murder car. That would certainly answer most of your questions
                .

                But on the other hand, you will equally appreciate that several on this site do seriously believe that Hanratty most definitely was in the murder car, both as a passenger and later as a driver. Let me suggest this: for whatever reason, Hanratty after leaving Deadman's Hill and heading back south along the A6 decided that to draw attention away from himself he would dump the car in a part of London with which he was never associated. Yes? Or he knew someone in the area where he dumped the car who would help him out? Possibly?

                Graham
                Last edited by Graham; 02-26-2017, 02:41 PM.
                We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Graham View Post
                  Hi OR,

                  I'm not a Londoner, but I did visit London quite a lot in the early 1960's. I really can't say if Avondale had a regular 'bobby in the beat', but can only add that where I lived (in the Midlands) we did around that time see the occasional PC Plod doing the rounds. As Avondale was very close to a tube station, I would suggest that it was busy in terms both of pedestrians and parked cars.

                  One thing that has always bothered me a little is that Hanratty was West London, yet the Morris was abandoned much further east. I wonder why? Was there a genuine reason for this - did he get lost, or what? If - a big 'IF' - he retraced his route back down the A6 then that would have taken him into West London. So why abandon the car where it was found? Did he know people in this part of London? Or - pure speculation here - did he get someone else to dump the car for him?

                  Graham
                  Thanks, Graham.

                  Your opening para certainly doesn't go against my feeling that there would have been likely to have been a copper or two in the vicinity of Avondale, particularly given a tube station was near by. I'm pretty sure Acott would have checked. I'm not sure if Sherrard did though - possibly an important mistake if he didn't. IF a policeman was there on foot that day before the car was found and he didn't see the car, then the important identification evidence of prosecution witnesses Skillett and Trower is massively reduced in value.

                  IF we accept Hanratty drove the car to Avondale (I appreciate some here do not), one reason for him doing so might simply have been to ensure it was some distance from his own West London doorstep. The murderer would not have wanted the police crawling all over his manor and being more likely to come across him as they carried out their investigations.

                  Best regards,

                  OneRound

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by cobalt View Post

                    ...

                    Had Hanratty been the murderer, and persuaded a criminal friend to dump it for him, I would be confident that such a person (presumably horrified at what he had unwittingly become party to) would have easily become known to the police and been promised immunity from prosecution.
                    Hi Cobalt,

                    Given the blood staining in the front of the car, I doubt that the murderer (let's ignore here whether it was Hanratty or someone else) would have been able to dupe some innocent individual into dumping it for him.

                    The car was dumped by either the murderer or someone who had close links to him and would have known / suspected about the murder. If the latter was the case, I would have expected that person to keep his head down rather than come forward in the hope of a deal.

                    Best regards,

                    OneRound

                    Comment


                    • Just re-reading my 1999 edition of Bob Woffinden's work on the subject, he seems to discount entirely the Wm Lee sighting near Matlock, and runs with the milkman, Charles Drayton, who claimed to have seen 847 BHN in Bedford at 5.25 am.

                      It is a 60 mile drive to Avondale Crescent from Bedford and it would have been possible for the car to be there by 7.05 am when seen by Trower.

                      So I am not sure that the Charles Drayton sighting, if proved, would have been as fatal to the prosecution case as the Lee sighting would have been, if likewise proved.

                      Comment


                      • Just re-reading my 1999 edition of Bob Woffinden's work on the subject, he seems to discount entirely the Wm Lee sighting near Matlock, and runs with the milkman, Charles Drayton, who claimed to have seen 847 BHN in Bedford at 5.25 am.
                        Against this is the claimed sighting by the traffic-census operative John Smith, who was apparently stationed further down the A6 from Deadman's Hill at Silsoe. He said that he saw at approx 4.00am a saloon car accelerating south along the A6; he told his colleague Michael Black that he thought it was a Morris Minor.

                        Valerie said that after she was shot she heard the car move away south. This, taken with the above, would seem to me effectively to eliminate any claimed sighting(s) of the car north of Deadman's Hill. Why would the driver of the murder car head off southwards then do an about-turn and head northwards?

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

                        Comment


                        • One other point (which I may have missed): do we know at what time during the morning after the murder the number of the Morris Minor was made public, that is, via the BBC?

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

                          Comment


                          • Paul Foot at page 38 says that Radio bulletins with the car's description including registration plate number had been broadcast throughout the day since those facts were known to the police at 7.08am. He also refers to one Mr Sidney Lawrence, a resident of the 'corner house' on the Crescent outside of which the car had been parked, (Not sure how accurate that is as the photos seem to indicate that the car had been parked on the Crescent alongside the rear of the buildings that formed the parade of shops on Redbridge Lane East), who saw the car at 7.45 am.

                            The destination of Redbridge is a curious one, as is the route taken. Blackhall and Skillett first encountered 847 BHN at the junction of Eastern Avenue and Ley St. The more direct route from Bedfordshire to Redbridge would have been along the A6 and then clockwise on the North Circular, but Hanratty was approaching the North Circular at Redbridge station from the east. We will never know if this was by accident or design. One would have thought that there would have been plenty of other places to ditch the car before he eventually did.
                            Last edited by Spitfire; 02-26-2017, 04:36 PM.

                            Comment


                            • Doris Athoe and Sidney Lawrence lived at houses in the crescent and both said they saw the car parked there in the morning. I believe that at the Appeal it was claimed that they might have mistaken it for Doreen Milne’s similar car parked opposite. But I think they would have been asked about the positioning and in all likelihood, like Trower and Hogan, they saw the police activity around it and therefore knew which car was being enquired about.

                              I wonder how reliable is Foot’s information that the number plate was broadcast throughout the day. Madwar’s reporting is consistent with him hearing it on the early evening television news. Did the infamous ITN lunchtime report include it?

                              Comment


                              • The extracts of the ITN news bulletin shown on the 1992 Channel 4 documentary do not refer to the registration number 847 BHN. There is shown part of a telex from the Bedfordshire Police (DCI Morgan I think) to all regional police forces which does have details of the car, and this is timed as being sent at 10.51 am.

                                Comment

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