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  • Originally posted by OneRound View Post
    Hi Spitfire - where does your ''a scintilla of doubt'' quotation come from?
    OR,

    I'm not sure where the phrase "a scintilla of doubt" originates from, but it does appear in many articles on the function of the Home Secretary in advising the Monarch on whether the death sentence should be executed. One such can be found here on page 77.

    When was a reprieve ever granted for this reason?
    I can't answer that one as the Home Secretary never gave reasons as to why he advised or did not advise a reprieve.
    Last edited by Spitfire; 04-29-2018, 09:01 AM.

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    • Song from Wee Willie Harris, although you don't see him until 2.10 ...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLFp-cw1R7A

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      • Sad to say, I remember Wee Wille Harris quite well, from TV shows such as Six Five Special. Also remembered by me personally because my dad once threw a shoe at the TV when he was on.....

        W W Harris is still drawing breath, apparently.

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

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        • Originally posted by Graham View Post
          ...W W Harris is still drawing breath, apparently...
          Ian Dury (not currently drawing breath!) name checks him in Reasons To Be Cheerful (Pt3.) in this verse:
          [html]Take your mum to Paris, lighting up the chalice
          Wee Willy Harris
          Bantu Stephen Biko, listening to Rico
          Harpo, Groucho, Chico[/html]

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          • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
            My original post was sceptical of the motivations for Dixie France’s suicide, which I note you have not responded to.
            To what was I supposed to respond? The Sunday Times journalist - you know, the one who actually read Dixie's letters - couldn't have put it more clearly: "What emerges with awful clarity is that he was driven to suicide by the thought, as one letter puts it, ‘of what I have done to you and the children.’ No other motive emerges from the letters, and nothing in them indicates that Mr France may have killed himself because he helped frame Hanratty." [My italics]

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            • Originally posted by NickB View Post
              Sunday Times magazine comments on the id parade ...

              (For some reason they think he was the only man in shirtsleeves and had black hair.)
              "At a parade at Guy’s Hospital three wks before, Miss Storie picked out the wrong man, a Spanish sailor."

              "... she had been operated on the day before."

              "Hanratty was almost certainly the only man with a Cockney accent on the parade."

              "He was the only man in shirtsleeves."

              "Hanratty’s flaming Irish hair ..."

              "The black was growing out on the day of the parade ..."

              Five errors and one instance of baseless speculation - not bad going for such a short article.

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              • Yet this is the article Woffinden cites for France taking the post card to the police, which is just stated as a fact without any supporting evidence.

                They took a photo of cornfield, but it is ridiculously small ...
                Attached Files

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                • Foot makes a good point when he writes that sometime between Nudds' first statement (Sept 15) and his second (Sept 21), "something happened which convinced the police that Alphon, not Ryan, was their man." (p.70)

                  In regards to the first statement, it seems the police left Nudds free to tell the truth as he remembered it. In the second, it is pretty apparent to me that they leaned on him and he lied in order to incriminate Alphon.

                  So what happened in the interim to make the police set their sights so firmly on Alphon?

                  Did they receive some info or tip-off pointing them in his direction, as Foot conjectures?

                  Or was it a case of a force under extreme pressure a month past the murder becoming desperate enough to try and fit up their most likely suspect?

                  I'm more than inclined to believe the latter - hence Alphon's subsequent bitterness and his desire to drag British justice through the mud.

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                  • What happened in the interim was Galves statement on 20-Sep.

                    To go back ...

                    On 27-Aug the police phoned the Vienna to ask if Alphon had stayed there, and requested someone to confirm it in a written statement at a police station. As we discussed recently, they probably spoke to Nudds - and normally he would have been the person to have gone along to confirm it. But he was fired on 5-Sep, so it was Galves who made the 6-Sep written statement.

                    After the cartridge cases were discovered, the police took a second statement from Galves in which she revealed that she had not personally seen Alphon arrive. Two days later Nudds made his first statement, on 15-Sep.

                    The police then took a further statement from Galves on 20-Sep in which she was unable to resolve the contradictions in the statements so far (Woff 258-9) which, apart from the registry entry, left Nudds first statement as the only thing exonerating Alphon. They phoned Nudds and asked him again about Alphon, indicating this was who they were after, and invited him in to make a second statement the following day.

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                    • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                      What happened in the interim was Galves statement on 20-Sep.

                      To go back ...

                      On 27-Aug the police phoned the Vienna to ask if Alphon had stayed there, and requested someone to confirm it in a written statement at a police station. As we discussed recently, they probably spoke to Nudds - and normally he would have been the person to have gone along to confirm it. But he was fired on 5-Sep, so it was Galves who made the 6-Sep written statement.

                      After the cartridge cases were discovered, the police took a second statement from Galves in which she revealed that she had not personally seen Alphon arrive. Two days later Nudds made his first statement, on 15-Sep.

                      The police then took a further statement from Galves on 20-Sep in which she was unable to resolve the contradictions in the statements so far (Woff 258-9) which, apart from the registry entry, left Nudds first statement as the only thing exonerating Alphon. They phoned Nudds and asked him again about Alphon, indicating this was who they were after, and invited him in to make a second statement the following day.
                      The relevant part of Galves' Sept 20 statement reads: "I do not understand that part of the entry ‘£1 7s 6d deposit’ because if the guest Durrant had telephoned the hotel in the morning he could not have paid a deposit before his arrival. If he telephoned this hotel in the morning, there was no need for him to call at the Broadway House before coming here. If he had come direct to this hotel without calling at the Broadway and had paid for his room here he would have been given a receipt signed by the Glickbergs or myself, and there would have been no need to show in the hotel diary that he had paid a deposit of £1 7s 6d."

                      Then there's Foot (pp68-9): "... the hotel documents ... had been seized and studied by the police. These included the relevant pages of the hotel register, signed by the guests; a hotel diary in which the manager recorded bookings as they came in on the phone; and a booking sheet in which the overall position as to bookings was recorded on a large chart. ... The last signature in the register for August 22 is Durrant … marked down for room 6 (1 person). ... in the diary for August 22 the last entry reads ... 6 Mr Durrant. 1 night. Deposit: £1.7.6. There is also a receipt book with carbon copies of receipts issued to guests. ... There is no receipt recorded for Durrant. ... Nudds’ second statement says that he received a telephone call from the Broadway House Hotel late in the evening to the effect that a Mr Bell had cancelled his booking, and, in the hotel diary, the entry: 1 s[ingle] Mr Bell 1 Night Deposit £1, had been scored out as if the booking had been cancelled. In the hotel register, however, there was a signature for Mr Bell ... The story about the cancellation of room 6 by Bell was false."

                      Taken together, these two passages strongly suggest to me that the Vienna's books were doctored. Take out the '£1 7s 6d deposit' entry, and the line drawn through Mr Bell's name, and reinstate the missing copy of Durrant's receipt, and the books would confirm Alphon's alibi and Mrs Galves would no longer be confused.

                      Who doctored them? Not Nudds. The Vienna's books would have been taken into the police's hands on or shortly after Sept 11, when the cartridge cases were found. That only leaves the police. It's my belief that Acott and Oxford, after speaking to Galves and in advance of calling in Nudds and Snell, concocted the story about Alphon temporarily occupying Room 24, and later arriving back at the Vienna after everybody was in bed. Then it would have been just a matter of getting the ever-obliging Nudds to put his name to it.

                      The one thing that could have blown the story apart was somebody from the Broadway House Hotel attesting that yes, indeed, Durrant was booked into the Vienna by us at about 8.30 pm on the night of August 22. Foot tries to throw doubt on this aspect of Alphon's alibi by saying "If they [the two Jewish employees of the Broadway who Alphon in a 1967 Sunday Times article said he'd spoken to] had been interviewed by Superintendent Acott after the murder and had said that Alphon had visited the hotel at about 8.30 on the evening of the 22nd, Mr Acott would surely have mentioned it when explaining at Bedford why he had eliminated Alphon from his inquiries."

                      But if he'd doctored the Vienna's books to try and fit Alphon up, this is the last thing Acott would have wanted to do.

                      Interestingly, the Sunday Times reporters contacted Pichler at the Broadway who thought he remembered Alphon arriving at about 9pm that evening, and recollected that one of his managers (now dead) was interviewed afterwards by the police. Given the elaborate story the police were compelled to invent, I can only surmise that the manager told them that yes, indeed, Alphon did call in that evening.

                      It occurs to me now though that Acott was taking a hell of a risk. If he had managed to get Alphon in the dock, wouldn't the first person his brief called as a witness for the defence be the Broadway manager?

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                      • Originally posted by Alfie View Post
                        It occurs to me now though that Acott was taking a hell of a risk. If he had managed to get Alphon in the dock, wouldn't the first person his brief called as a witness for the defence be the Broadway manager?
                        This alibi appears to be exactly what the police did establish in 1967 (Woff 359) and may have not made public, as Alphon said it would be, because the police realised it would have exposed previous coverings up.

                        There was confusion about the register from the beginning. In her 13-Sep-61 statement Galves said room 24 had not been occupied since 16-Aug. As Woffinden puts it: “However, after a closer examination of the books, it now emerged that the room was occupied.”

                        Then in the 2002 Appeal, section 166: “Mr Mansfield argues further, that it is legitimate to infer that the hotel register had been altered to conceal the entry in relation to Ryan and that the defence were deprived of the opportunity to submit that the police were prepared to tailor the evidence to fit the theory that Durrant/Alphon was guilty, that someone with knowledge that Alphon was under investigation had planted the cartridge cases; and that the hotel record had been altered in some way.”

                        Incidentally this proves that Mansfield did not admit to Alphon’s innocence in a moment of madness, it was part of the defence’s case that the police tried to frame him.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                          ... Mansfield did not admit to Alphon’s innocence in a moment of madness, it was part of the defence’s case that the police tried to frame him.
                          Right, but surely if the police or anybody else had planted the cartridge cases in an attempt to frame Alphon they'd have planted them in room 6.

                          I still can't quite believe how bone-headed the police were in initially ignoring Ryan as a suspect - apparently on the grounds that he'd stayed in room 24 the night before the murder.

                          Or was it the case that the police, in common with Galves, weren't aware at the time that Ryan had actually stayed in that particular room?

                          Foot says (p68-9) that Ryan signed the register, but whereas for Durrant he says the register showed the room number (6), he makes no mention of this for Ryan.

                          Foot also says there was no mention of Ryan in the diary. The only item placing Ryan in room 24 appears to be the booking sheet, "in which the overall position as to bookings was recorded on a large chart."

                          Perhaps Galves and the police initially consulted just the register and the diary, and only later looked at the chart?

                          That said, I'd have thought once the cartridge cases were discovered the first thing the police would have asked for was a list of the people who'd recently stayed in room 24.

                          Edit: Nudds in his second statement says Snell took a booking for Durrant about 11am on the 22nd. Alphon says the Broadway phoned the Vienna at about 8.30 pm and booked him in. This might be a simple memory lapse on Snell's part. But then there's the matter of the Vienna's diary, which was supposed to record phone bookings as they came in. It shows the entry for Durrant as the last for the day. Would Durrant's have been the last entry for the day if the call had been made at 11am? Or is it another indication that Alphon's alibi was sound?
                          Last edited by Alfie; 05-03-2018, 06:26 AM.

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                          • Originally posted by Alfie View Post
                            for Durrant he says the register showed the room number (6)
                            Apparently also in the diary, indicating that 6 was free at the time of booking. Swanwick said: "The hotel diary shows Durrant in Room 6." (Woff 258)

                            As I have suggested before, the ‘deposit’ entry for Durrant could have been genuine – to reconcile the Vienna policy of demanding payment up front with Alphon’s desire for a moveable departure date (which appears to have been his normal practice). In other words, he agreed to pay for one night up front on the basis he might stay longer. So when he decided not to stay longer the entry was an anachronism that could be used to support a different story.

                            I disagree with Woffinden's claim that "the only conceivable explanation is the one which Nudds did give in his second statement" (Woff 259).

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                            • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                              As I have suggested before, the ‘deposit’ entry for Durrant could have been genuine ... when he decided not to stay longer the entry was an anachronism that could be used to support a different story.
                              Good point. It would have placed less of a premium on the imaginative powers of Alphon's fitter-uppers.

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                              • We discussed the '11am booking' claim in post 4576/7. If 'Room 6' was specified in the diary for Durrant, this is further proof against it.

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