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  • Thanks, Graham.

    I'm recently back home from an an evening out myself. Mind you that was with the boys (ok, miserable old gits like me!). I've had only four pints and so suspect I'm some way behind your goodself.

    Anyway, your post is illuminating and entertaining as ever. However, my main question was whether Sherrard sufficiently highlighted the Fawlty Towers type sitcom setting to the jury. Back to you although understand if you want to leave it until late morning.

    Sleep well,

    OneRound

    Comment


    • In view of the undoubted criminality of some of the staff at the Vienna, would it not have been beyond the bounds of possibility that not all the paying guests at the Vienna were put through the books?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Spitfire View Post
        In view of the undoubted criminality of some of the staff at the Vienna, would it not have been beyond the bounds of possibility that not all the paying guests at the Vienna were put through the books?
        A bit like Mrs Jones, as some might suggest? I would think that you're quite correct about The Vienna, Spitfire. During my business travels I do recall staying in more than one small hotel/large pub, in which the visitors' book (which I always signed) didn't always reflect the number of guests I saw at breakfast. Unlike France where it's a legal requirement to sign the book. I wonder if The Vienna's owner was as fearful of hotel inspectors as Basil Fawlty was?

        One strange thing about The Vienna - and I've mentioned this before - is that although described as a 'doss house', it was apparently sufficiently up-market to be featured on the large-scale street-map of London in my treasured 1972 edition of the Lucas Road Atlas of Great Britain. Only what one assumes were 'quality' hotels appear on this map. JH did complain about The Vienna's charge for a room, so I'd guess it wasn't such a low dive as portrayed by some. I would also hazard a guess that owner Mr Pichler was practising economy by not employing experienced hotel staff at The Vienna, and possibly didn't bother too much about criminal records, either. Oh, and Mrs Galves was apparently an illegal immigrant, or so I've read.

        OR, Mrs Jones certainly went through the mill at the Trial, but I don't recall if any of The Vienna's staff were similarly treated by either Sherrard or Swanwick. Maybe someone with access to the transcript can help here?

        Graham

        Bit sore in the bonce department today, I am.......
        We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

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        • Michael Clarke

          Don't know if it's been raised before, but given the fact that the elusive Mr Clarke, the man Valerie mis-identified, was an airman, wouldn't his physical particulars (height, weight, distinguishing marks etc; perhaps even a photograph) have been held on a file somewhere? Considering how crucial his appearance could have been to the defence's efforts to discredit Valerie's testimony, I wonder if Sherrard followed up this lead. If he didn't it was a trick missed (unless, of course, he was afraid Clarke would look more like Hanratty than Alphon).
          Last edited by Alfie; 04-13-2018, 09:29 AM.

          Comment


          • Hi Alfie,

            Woffinden says he tried very hard to locate Clarke, and failed. He did discover that he had left the country in 1965, apparently never to return. He also located Clarke's elderly aunt, who lived in Wales, and who said that her nephew's hair was a 'mousey colour'. Whether anyone else since then has made efforts to find Clarke, I wouldn't know, but I should doubt it.

            I don't think the Government would be too keep to throw open their military-personnel records to an independent researcher, even though the person being sought must have left the RAF at least 50 years ago.

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

            Comment


            • Originally posted by OneRound View Post
              Hi all,

              Intrigued by Sherlock's post containing further details of the innocent airforce man picked out by Valerie Storie together with my being a sad git, I googled ''Michael Arthur Falkner Clark'' (the man's full name per Acott's notes).

              Whilst that full name produced nil results, I was led to a ''Michael Arthur Falkner'' who died just over a week ago and lived in Middlesex where our airman was based. For such an unusual name, just another coincidence in a case sagging with them or could he have been our man?

              Best regards,

              OneRound
              Hi Alfie - re your post about our missing airman, I'll throw this one of mine from November 2016 into the pot again.

              As Graham has confirmed, the man picked by Valerie Storie on the first identity parade subsequently left the country. I just wonder if he returned years later and for some reason dropped the ''Clark'' part of his name.

              Best regards,

              OneRound

              Comment


              • Originally posted by OneRound View Post
                Hi Alfie - re your post about our missing airman, I'll throw this one of mine from November 2016 into the pot again.

                As Graham has confirmed, the man picked by Valerie Storie on the first identity parade subsequently left the country. I just wonder if he returned years later and for some reason dropped the ''Clark'' part of his name.

                Best regards,

                OneRound
                Aw-shucks!

                Further investigation shows that the Michael Arthur Falkner Clark picked out by Valerie Storie was born in 1935 (all per what appears to be Acott's notes, as supplied by Sherlock Houses in a post of November 2016) whilst the Michael Arthur Falkner I dredged up who died in 2016 was, in fact, born in 1932.

                Best regards,

                OneRound

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Sherlock Houses View Post
                  This is complete crappushka. Valerie Storie knew full well that she was under no obligation to select anyone from that line-up unless she was sure in her own mind that he was infact the gunman. All she had to say to Acott was something along the lines "I'm sorry Mr Acott but I don't see the A6 murderer amongst these 10 men"

                  The fact that she picked out the innocent R.A.F clerk Michael Clark demonstrates that she had very little inkling as to what the gunman looked like because Michael Clark was the almost complete opposite to James Hanratty in physical appearance.

                  When cross-examined at the Bedford Trial by Michael Sherrard this is what Acott had to say regarding Clark's physical appearance.......

                  Acott :- "I can give you a full description of the man who was picked out on that parade.

                  Sherrard:- "Would you tell me whether he was, as Dr Rennie has told us , a fair-haired man ?"

                  Acott :- "No, he was not. I have his full description. I have had this man physically examined....I can tell you from my own knowledge : 5 feet 9 inches, dark short-cropped hair, about 27 years of age, and he was heavily built. Anything else, sir ? "

                  Sherrard :- " Is the man available, by any chance ?"

                  Acott :- "He was sometime ago, but I cannot say off-hand."



                  You will notice how deceitful and cunning Acott was in describing Michael Clark. He was ultra careful to hide from the jury and court something which he obviously regarded as vitally significant. The fact that Michael Clark had DARK EYES !! He'd even underlined it on page 174 of his notebook. Can you imagine what the reaction of the court would have been to this sensational information ?? Valerie Storie had allegedly maintained, from August 28th 1961 until her trial evidence in late January 1962, that the murderer had icy-blue, saucer like, staring eyes. So why, for Goodness sake, would she pick out a dark-eyed man on September 24th 1961 ?

                  And to save others the trouble of trawling back through the thread, here it is in all its glory.

                  Comment


                  • See post below.
                    Last edited by Spitfire; 04-16-2018, 02:16 AM.

                    Comment


                    • And here it is, what purports (I think) to be a copy of page 174 of the notebook in question.
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • Woffinden says: “I did locate his closest surviving relative, an aunt living on the Welsh borders. She recollected his hair as being of a ‘general mousey colour’ – which appeared to corroborate Rennie’s description, and not Acott’s.”

                        If Rennie’s description of Clark’s hair is more accurate, as corroborated by his aunt, why is Rennie’s description of Clark's “blueish eyes” not also taken as the more accurate one?

                        In fact Woffinden must have asked the aunt about the eyes, but strangely does not report what she said.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                          ... Woffinden must have asked the aunt about the eyes, but strangely does not report what she said.
                          If she'd informed Woffinden they weren't blue, you can bet he'd have reported it. If she told him she couldn't remember what colour they were, he'd likely have reported that too. Which only leaves ...

                          Comment


                          • Forensics and the A6 case

                            One of the most puzzling aspects of the case to me is the complete absence of any hairs or fibres connecting the killer to the crime. The absence of these in the car I can just about accept - Hanratty did after all have the time to thoroughly clean the interior even if the means he had for so doing is not immediately apparent.

                            But for there to be not a single hair or fibre found on Valerie or on her clothes just about beggars belief, and it leads me to wonder just how thorough the examination was.

                            From what I've read, scientists at that time certainly had the ability to match hairs and fibres, and the fact that hair samples and clothes were taken from Hanratty and Alphon for testing suggests that the attempt was made in this case. So how come there wasn't even a single pubic hair belonging to Hanratty found on Valerie? Was it negligence on the part of the police, or just a case of lady luck, for once, shining on Jim?

                            Comment


                            • Alfie,

                              I don’t think luck comes into it. You might just be lucky enough to sit in a car for over 7 hours and leave no trace. However, if you have shot a man twice, sexually assaulted a woman in the rear seat, then proceeded to occupy the seat of the dead driver then it’s obvious you are bound to have left some traces inside the car. That is before we follow your logic regarding the clothing of Ms. Storie and also, I could add, the body of Michael Gregsten who was carried from the car.

                              Since there were fingerprints identified within the car then it seems unlikely that any clean up operation occurred. An experienced forensic team would be aware if such an attempt had been made.

                              Matching hair and fibres had been part of forensic science in the UK since at least the 1930s, so was well enough established by 1961. I would draw a different conclusion than yourself. Hair and fibres were extracted from the car but were not considered relevant to the prosecution case.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
                                I would draw a different conclusion than yourself. Hair and fibres were extracted from the car but were not considered relevant to the prosecution case.
                                Perhaps, but wouldn't the defence have had access to the results of any forensic analysis? And wouldn't they have been able to call as a witness Lewis Nickolls, the director of the Met Police Lab, and put that very point to him? Wouldn't it be a strong point in Hanratty's favour if Sherrard could say that hairs and fibres were found in the car that didn't match Hanratty's hair or clothes?

                                Nickolls was a witness at the committal, but isn't mentioned in the reports I've gathered about the trial. Anybody know whether he was called there?

                                As for fingerprints being found in the car, it's possible that Hanratty hoovered the interior without wiping away any fingerprints. If he was wearing gloves he might have thought it wasn't worth the time and effort.

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