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  • Cheers Spitfire,

    Fascinating stuff. If the news article is to be taken at face value then it seems the police were indeed pulling out all the stops to find Alphon. Yet he remained elusive.
    The Durrant alias makes a lot of sense, and it also allowed Alphon to retain a French sounding surname as well.
    Alphon appears to have been an only child and one fathered relatively late in life. It would be interesting to know more about the life of Mr Alphon senior, who was of an age to be active in both WW1 and WW2.

    Comment


    • By the time that edition of The Daily Mirror hit the streets, Alphon was in police custody, as he had surrendered himself the previous night at 11.30pm at Cannon Row Police Station.

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

      Comment


      • I noticed several interesting points from that newspaper article.

        Firstly, the landlady of Alphon's parents describe Peter as having 'a London accent'.

        Secondly, irrelevant to the case but nevertheless interesting, Peter's father is still working at the age of 68. Possibly he did not qualify for very much in the way of a UK state pension?

        I am not sure about the comment that Peter 'would make a wonderful husband'. I suspect his preferences were not in that direction? Perhaps that is why he did not stay on in the RAF after his National Service? I would have thought he could have had a very good career in the RAF with his educational background.

        Comment


        • By the time that edition of The Daily Mirror hit the streets, Alphon was in police custody, as he had surrendered himself the previous night at 11.30pm at Cannon Row Police Station.

          It looks as if the Daily Mirror article was being used as a means to flush Aphon out. The article portrays the Alphon parents as being distressed by their experience, presumably the better to prick the conscience of their son.

          I am assuming Alphon's handing himself in before midnight is connected to the parents being dragged into the enquiry. He would have seen an evening newspaper carrying similar details on the 22nd? Or did someone alert him to the events?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
            By the time that edition of The Daily Mirror hit the streets, Alphon was in police custody, as he had surrendered himself the previous night at 11.30pm at Cannon Row Police Station.

            It looks as if the Daily Mirror article was being used as a means to flush Aphon out. The article portrays the Alphon parents as being distressed by their experience, presumably the better to prick the conscience of their son.

            I am assuming Alphon's handing himself in before midnight is connected to the parents being dragged into the enquiry. He would have seen an evening newspaper carrying similar details on the 22nd? Or did someone alert him to the events?
            Before turning himself in, Alphon very shrewdly called both the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror to tell them who he was and what he was about to do. The Mail apparently got the drop on the Mirror by reporting Alphon's surrender in their next-morning edition. There is another possibility why the Mirror was seemingly late, and that was in those days it was technically contempt of court to report on the arrest and naming of a person prior to charges being made. (I'm not 100% sure of this: maybe someone can elaborate?). Anyway, Alphon made it absolutely sure that his surrender would be in the public eye. Whatever else he may or may not have been, he was nobody's fool. He said later that his interviewing by Acott and Oxford was 'terrifying'. As well it might have been.

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

            Comment


            • Mrs Buckman

              The Mirror story also has Mrs Buckman saying she's never heard of Peter Alphon, contradicting Woffinden, who affirms that Alphon did stay in Horsham with her as a child. I assume Bob's right and Mrs B was just trying to avoid the press attention?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
                [I]He would have seen an evening newspaper carrying similar details on the 22nd?
                Exactly what happened as he settled into a seat on a district line train at Wimbledon station about 10.30pm after a day of selling almanacs.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Graham View Post
                  There is another possibility why the Mirror was seemingly late, and that was in those days it was technically contempt of court to report on the arrest and naming of a person prior to charges being made.
                  There were (and still are) restrictions on what you can report after arrest. Woffinden describes how Justice spent a long time tracking down the Daily Mail version with Alphon's details, before they revised the story to report on Alphon's arrest and deleted the background information.

                  My first reaction was that the Mirror front page posted was their first edition - the equivalent of the Mail first edition that Justice tracked down. However it is marked +++, which I think means it is the third edition.
                  Last edited by NickB; 02-15-2018, 02:50 AM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                    There were (and still are) restrictions on what you can report after arrest. Woffinden describes how Justice spent a long time tracking down the Daily Mail version with Alphon's details, before they revised the story to report on Alphon's arrest and deleted the background information.

                    My first reaction was that the Mirror front page posted was their first edition - the equivalent of the Mail first edition that Justice tracked down. However it is marked +++, which I think means it is the third edition.
                    28 years according to Woffo, who says Justice found a copy on a vintage newspaper stall in Brighton! Top marks for persistence!

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

                    Comment


                    • Exactly what happened as he settled into a seat on a district line train at Wimbledon station about 10.30pm after a day of selling almanacs.

                      Thanks for the confirmation NickB.

                      But it only highlights the remarkable situation whereby the most wanted man in Britain was selling almanacs with impunity. The police knew of his connection with the almanacs but seemed powerless to find him for over a week. It does does not make sense. Such a man, believed capable of such a horrific crime, might have struck again.

                      As I said before, Alphon does not seem a man capable of mixing easily in a crowd. Why was it so hard to find him? 11 days for Britains' most wanted? And even then he handed himself in.

                      Comment


                      • I think this shows that they were not looking in earnest for Alphon until after Nudds made his dodgy second statement, go home and teach it to Snell and for her to give her statement to Acott the following day.

                        Comment


                        • NickB,

                          You could be right there. Nudds' second statement is as you say 'dodgy.' In fact it is almost certainly a fabrication.

                          But why on earth were the police, investigating the most high profile murder case of a generation, not engaging on a national manhunt for J. Ryan from September 11th?

                          Comment


                          • Quite simply, coppers being coppers and (especially back then) somewhat blinkered, Alphon was already on the A6 'books' before the cartridge cases were found at The Vienna. He had been interviewed at The Alexandra Court as part of the overall A6 investigation, and had openly and honestly told the police where he had been on the night of the murder.

                            Nudds' first statement was, I submit, pure Nudds but because, if true - and I believe it was - it let Alphon off the hook. Hence 'his' second statement, hammered out during a gruelling session at Scotland Yard, and which I submit was about 10% Nudds and 90% Acott - Alphon's movements had to fit in with his being Acott's prime suspect. Therefore Alphon was pursued - unsuccessfully, as it turned out, because he surrendered himself. Only when Valerie failed to identify him was he off the hook leaving Alphon to go after Ryan. Why the police did not seek Ryan at the same time they were looking for Alphon I really couldn't say. It puzzled Paul Foot, too.

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

                            Comment


                            • To assess whether poster ‘Steve’ was right about the cornfield entrance, you can go to http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?p=29206 and look at the contemporary photo by Tony Mason; I assume this is where he thinks the car was parked when driven further into the field. Then scroll down to the bottom of that page and look at Steve’s more recent photo.

                              Allowing for extensions and alterations to the cottages, are we are looking ‘then and now’ photos from roughly the same viewpoint?

                              Comment


                              • The car in Tony Mason's black & white photo looks to me like a Mk 3 Cortina, produced from 1969 to 1976 or thereabouts; if so, so the photo isn't contemporary.

                                The two cottages, when compared in Tony Mason's and Steve's much later photo, look very different, almost completely rebuilt. In the Mason photo, the tallest tree is directly above the RH cottage, whereas in Steve's photo it's about the LH cottage (if it's the same tree, taht is). I would have to say that Steve's photo seems to have been taken from a position well to the right of Mason's photo, to judge by the gable-ends of the cottages. I also have the impression that the entrance to the field off Marsh Lane is to the right of the car.

                                It's a long time ago since I was there, but looking at the two photos I would suggest that Mason's is probably nearer the mark. My memory tells me that the cottages were further from the gate than Steve's photo indicates. I'm under the impression, which may well be wrong, that 'the' entrance is where the electricity sub-station now is (or was). Does anyone fancy a quick ride down (or up) to Dorney? I'd go myself as it's a nice part of the world, but I'm afraid I'm just too knackered!

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

                                Comment

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