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  • Alfie,

    You can take back your apology because in 2002 Foot misled Guardian readers in an even worse way.

    "he told his lawyers that in Liverpool he had called at a sweetshop in the Scotland Road to ask the way to Tarleton or Carlton Road. Mrs Olive Dinwoodie gave evidence to say a) that she recalled a man looking like Hanratty calling at her shop and asking the way to Tarleton or Carlton Road ..."

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/...kcrime.comment

    So Foot now has Hanratty telling his lawyers exactly what Mrs D said in evidence. In fact Hanratty did not tell his lawyers that, nor did Mrs D say that in evidence. He has twisted both to make them the same.
    Last edited by NickB; 09-13-2018, 03:51 AM.

    Comment


    • I am not sure why the finer detail of the Hanratty alibi is being focused on here. Is it to suggest that Paul Foot was being economical with the truth? If that is the case then I think I have explained earlier how HIS conversation with Mrs. Dinwoodie was likely to have provided more detail and doubt than the official police statement. Paul Foot did, after all, speak to the woman face to face and is entitled to offer his version of her account, the same as the police did. There is nothing dishonest in that. Mrs. Dinwoodie is regarded by both sides as an honest, if fallible witness.

      What we do now is that a man, not a local Liverpudlian, asked for directions in her sweetshop on either 21st or 22nd August. What I am not clear on is why such an emphasis is being placed on whether he asked for Tarleton, or Carleton or Talbot etc. It’s remarkable that Mrs. Dinwoodie had as much recall as she did months after the event. Presumably I am missing something here, but if the stranger had asked for Matthew Street and the Cavern Club it would have made little difference. The Beatles did actually play the Cavern Club on the 21st and the 23rd of August, but had Hanratty taken over the drums from Pete Best on either of these nights and been photographed then I doubt that would be evidence enough for those convinced of his guilt. Creating an alibi, they would claim.

      Foot spent much time in trying to establish an Hanratty alibi in the Liverpool/Rhyl area with limited success. He did expose some doubt, to his credit, but he was never likely to come up with incontrovertible truth. Alibis are hard enough to prove in the immediate aftermath, never mind a few years down the line. No doubt Stefan Kisko or Paddy Hill could vouch for that. I think Foot should have spent more time on the locus of the crime and also dug deeper into the background of of William Ewer, a man of whom we know remarkably little.

      Comment


      • Hello everyone,

        I have been catching up with recent posts and it is nice to see the debate is continuing with far more decorum than has been the case in previous years.

        There is a good balance between guilty/innocent/undecided contributors and some interesting angles have been explored.

        My views about crime and punishment have changed slightly in recent years. My reactions to prolific criminals have hardened and, although still a passionate believer in Social Justice (the REAL sort, not the joke organisation headed by Ian Duncan Smith) I have become far less tolerant towards those who refuse to make even a small amount of effort to be half-decent citizens.

        So, have my views about Hanratty changed? Well, I am 95% certain that Hanratty was innocent for the following reasons:

        1. He does not fit in with any reasonable motive for the crime
        2. He had no previous history of violence or sexual deviance
        3. With the exception of VS, the majority of witnesses for the prosecution had reason to lie about Hanratty's involvement
        4. He had an alibi that is supported by a number of people with no reason to lie
        5. I have reasonable doubt about the reliability of the DNA evidence.

        However, I accept that Hanratty was foolish for introducing his alibi so late in the day and agree that it does throw doubt on its reliability.

        There are several things I think stand out concerning the investigation and conviction:

        a) We are encouraged to simply accept that the motive was probably 'a robbery gone wrong' which is fair enough UNTIL you consider that there were connections between the victim's brother-in-law and one of Hanratty's associates.
        b) If we accept that Hanratty's alibi was unreliable because it was produced so late in the day, then surely we should also accept that the two cartridge cases, so relevant in connecting Hanratty to the crime, were also found rather late (weeks after the crime, and even after the room had been cleaned following Hanratty's departure from the hotel room) and are therefore unreliable evidence? The possibility of them having been planted is strong, I believe.

        To me, the whole investigation was rushed, many of the witnesses were unreliable and had reason to point the finger at Hanratty (to save their own skin, in one case) and there is a whole nasty smell that hangs over the entire series of events that is difficult to shift.

        Have a good weekend all.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
          Hello everyone,

          I have been catching up with recent posts and it is nice to see the debate is continuing with far more decorum than has been the case in previous years.

          There is a good balance between guilty/innocent/undecided contributors and some interesting angles have been explored.

          My views about crime and punishment have changed slightly in recent years. My reactions to prolific criminals have hardened and, although still a passionate believer in Social Justice (the REAL sort, not the joke organisation headed by Ian Duncan Smith) I have become far less tolerant towards those who refuse to make even a small amount of effort to be half-decent citizens.

          So, have my views about Hanratty changed? Well, I am 95% certain that Hanratty was innocent for the following reasons:

          1. He does not fit in with any reasonable motive for the crime
          2. He had no previous history of violence or sexual deviance
          3. With the exception of VS, the majority of witnesses for the prosecution had reason to lie about Hanratty's involvement
          4. He had an alibi that is supported by a number of people with no reason to lie
          5. I have reasonable doubt about the reliability of the DNA evidence.

          However, I accept that Hanratty was foolish for introducing his alibi so late in the day and agree that it does throw doubt on its reliability.

          There are several things I think stand out concerning the investigation and conviction:

          a) We are encouraged to simply accept that the motive was probably 'a robbery gone wrong' which is fair enough UNTIL you consider that there were connections between the victim's brother-in-law and one of Hanratty's associates.
          b) If we accept that Hanratty's alibi was unreliable because it was produced so late in the day, then surely we should also accept that the two cartridge cases, so relevant in connecting Hanratty to the crime, were also found rather late (weeks after the crime, and even after the room had been cleaned following Hanratty's departure from the hotel room) and are therefore unreliable evidence? The possibility of them having been planted is strong, I believe.

          To me, the whole investigation was rushed, many of the witnesses were unreliable and had reason to point the finger at Hanratty (to save their own skin, in one case) and there is a whole nasty smell that hangs over the entire series of events that is difficult to shift.

          Have a good weekend all.
          Hi Julie. nice to see you on here again,your brief synopsis mirrors my own views pretty accurately. I have a list somewhere of about 30 oddities/enigmas , that give me cause to be very suspicious of the handling of this case by the police and authorities, high on the list of course is the used shells you alluded to in the hotel room.
          I wish more could have been revealed by the defence and investigative journalists with regards to Bill Ewer , whose connections to the whole affair in my view are extremely ominous.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by moste View Post
            Did you notice from previous posts, the side street that Cowleys newsagents is on the corner of, is interestingly, Tarlisin street.I have wondered over past years if Jim had actually found the correct address,
            A slight but important correction is in order here Moste. Taliesin Street is actually a couple of streets further on from David Cowley's corner sweet shop [as you head towards St Anthony's RC church]. The side street that the sweet shop was partially on was Taylor Street.

            The Liverpool Echo of February 7th 1962 [the first day of Hanratty's trial evidence] includes trial evidence which, very curiously is missing from the dozen or so newspapers [the major ones of the day plus regional ones] I have downloaded over the last decade. I have copied verbatim part of that Echo article which refers very pertinently to the location of the sweet shop.......


            After leaving the left luggage office, Hanratty said that he went into Lime Street and he got on a bus and asked the conductor the way to Carlton Road or Tarleton Road, But the conductor did not know the direction.

            Mr. Sherrard : "Did you go anywhere in particular and make an enquiry ?" ----"I asked two or three people beforehand, but they did not have a knowledge of Liverpool and so I thought I would ask someone who was a resident. So I went into a sweet shop. It looked like a sweet shop to me. The sweet shop was in Scotland Road.

            Hanratty said that he had got on the bus and gone to the sweet shop.
            Mr. Sherrard asked Hanratty to tell the court anything he remembered when he got off the bus to go to the sweet shop.

            Hanratty said he remembered waiting for the traffic lights to change as he was crossing the road because he was standing on an island. When the lights turned to red he went across and there were some railings to stop children running onto the road. He remembered these because he had to walk round them.



            This is precisely what he would have encountered after getting off the bus, as evidenced by the two attached photos from that time.
            Attached Files
            *************************************
            "A body of men, HOLDING THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE TO NOBODY, ought not to be trusted by anybody." --Thomas Paine ["Rights of Man"]

            "Justice is an ideal which transcends the expedience of the State, or the sensitivities of Government officials, or private individuals. IT HAS TO BE PURSUED WHATEVER THE COST IN PEACE OF MIND TO THOSE CONCERNED." --'Justice of the Peace' [July 12th 1975]

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Sherlock Houses View Post
              ....




              This is precisely what he would have encountered after getting off the bus, as evidenced by the two attached photos from that time.
              What's happened to the picture house mentioned on page 122 of Woff's book? And why hasn't Woff mentioned the traffic island or the railings?

              Woff had access to Hanratty's original statement to his solicitor, did this mention the picture house but omitted to mention the island and railings?

              If, as we all know, there were 29 sweet shops, newsagents etc. on the Scotland Road there would only be a need to concentrate the checks on the (few/one) opposite a traffic island and railings, yet neither Foot nor Woff refer to this, so it would seem that the bizzies did not know about the island and railings.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Spitfire View Post
                What's happened to the picture house mentioned on page 122 of Woff's book? And why hasn't Woff mentioned the traffic island or the railings?

                Woff had access to Hanratty's original statement to his solicitor, did this mention the picture house but omitted to mention the island and railings?

                If, as we all know, there were 29 sweet shops, newsagents etc. on the Scotland Road there would only be a need to concentrate the checks on the (few/one) opposite a traffic island and railings, yet neither Foot nor Woff refer to this, so it would seem that the bizzies did not know about the island and railings.
                I have to confess that SH's claim regarding what JH is reported to have said in court about the traffic island is new to me. Can this please be checked by someone with access to the trial proceedings?

                Indeed, what did happen to the picture house? I have an admittedly imperfect memory of someone on the pre-crash Forum doing some digging on the spot in Liverpool, and who discovered that there never was a picture-house opposite Cowley's shop. Which does not mean to say that there were no picture-houses at all on Scotland Rd., and that another of the 29 sweet-shops could well have been situated opposite one.

                JH was adept in his construction of both the Liverpool and Rhyl 'alibis' in using his memories of previous, proven, visits to both places. These memories are nearly always muddled, however, and are not, and were not, reliable.

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

                Comment


                • The pertinent description by Hanratty of his visit to the sweetshop is the one in his original statement.

                  Hanratty’s description changed after Kleinman visited the sweetshop and interviewed Mrs D, as shown by the interview notes in December when he started talking about the sweetshop being on a corner and opposite lavatories. It is clear to me that Kleinman was feeding back to Hanratty information about the location of Cowley’s shop and Mrs D’s account of the road name asked for by the visitor.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                    The pertinent description by Hanratty of his visit to the sweetshop is the one in his original statement.

                    Hanratty’s description changed after Kleinman visited the sweetshop and interviewed Mrs D, as shown by the interview notes in December when he started talking about the sweetshop being on a corner and opposite lavatories. It is clear to me that Kleinman was feeding back to Hanratty information about the location of Cowley’s shop and Mrs D’s account of the road name asked for by the visitor.
                    Nick - I take it from this that you accept there was a visitor to the sweetshop albeit certainly not Hanratty.

                    Do you believe the visitor told Hanratty of the visit to the sweetshop or do you believe Hanratty got lucky in fabricating his own visit and then built on it with details of the actual visitor supplied by Mrs D via Kleinman?

                    If the former, the provider and Hanratty made a p*ss poor job of getting the details sorted - although many would say that was normally the case with Hanratty.

                    If the latter and putting aside the size of the coincidence, Hanratty and Kleinman were certainly running a risk that the true visitor would go to the police once details became public.

                    For my own part, I've long thought that Hanratty bought the sweetshop alibi from the visitor albeit for the wrong day. He was either sold a pup there or chanced he could still use it. After all, it was hardly a buyer's market!

                    Best regards,
                    OneRound

                    Comment


                    • I think there was a visitor asking directions, as Mrs D not only recalled the event but mentioned it to Harding the same day. Asking Harding if he knew the road is what she would have asked Cowley’s brother instead if it had been the Tuesday, when he was serving with her (as I believe you pointed out previously).

                      Hanratty admitted that he went to Liverpool to get his friends to “stand by their alibi” (in other words, get them to provide him with one) so you would have thought he could have got something. It appears that Swanwick believed he purchased the near-alibi. However I don’t know if the judge would have allowed Swanwick to suggest the ‘information from Kleinman’ alternative without evidence. Although the judge did let Swanwick get away with suggesting underhand action by Kleinman in talking to Anderson and Jones before they gave evidence.

                      Comment


                      • Thanks, Nick.

                        Yep, I believe Mrs D not asking Cowley's brother is a strong indicator of the day.

                        Btw, what do we know of attempts - particularly by Foot and Woff - to trace the bus conductor who allegedly told Hanratty he was in the wrong area before he disembarked and headed to the sweetshop?

                        Best regards,
                        OneRound

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by OneRound View Post
                          Thanks, Nick.

                          Yep, I believe Mrs D not asking Cowley's brother is a strong indicator of the day.

                          Btw, what do we know of attempts - particularly by Foot and Woff - to trace the bus conductor who allegedly told Hanratty he was in the wrong area before he disembarked and headed to the sweetshop?

                          Best regards,
                          OneRound
                          I take it the answer is ''not much''.

                          It is as if Hanratty just materialised in the sweetshop. If not an early audition for Doctor Who, another aspect of his alibi to lack credibility.

                          Best regards,
                          OneRound

                          Comment


                          • Btw, what do we know of attempts - particularly by Foot and Woff - to trace the bus conductor who allegedly told Hanratty he was in the wrong area before he disembarked and headed to the sweetshop?
                            The other Phantom Bus-Conductor in the A6 Case was the one on the bus on which JH claimed to have travelled from Liverpool to Rhyl on the Monday. Were any attempts made to trace him or her?

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

                            Comment


                            • One Round,

                              James Hanratty’s ability to emerge from a Tardis was not confined to Scotland Road. He managed the same trick when arriving at Taplow railway station and remaining unobserved for a few hours before committing his crime.

                              There is quite a difference between a young lag trying to establish an alibi a few months after event, and the police- with all their resources-trying to identify a suspect who arrived on a train on the early afternoon of a murder which horrified the UK back in 1961. They were hot on the trail. Everybody and anybody would surely have wanted to ‘get in on the act.’ In short, it is a no contest. Yet the police were never able to identify one passenger, not a ticket collector, nor even a passing motorist, who could place Hanratty in Taplow. The trail went very cold indeed, until fortuitously reheated.

                              Which is why any focus on the Liverpool/Rhyl alibi can only benefit the prosecution case. No weight of evidence will ever be enough to convince the prosecution supporters that Hanratty was running an honest albi. I have asked here before what would constitute such proof and the best I could elicit, from memory, was Hanaratty being booked by the Liverpool police with accompanying fingerprints and possibly his mugshot in an edition of that day’s Liverpool Echo. Anything less will not suffice, so the argument is best left open until new information surfaces. Those of us who believe in Hanratty’s innocence are being encouraged to engage on a wild goose chase. Such distractions should be avoided since they seek to shift the focus from the gaping holes in the prosecution case and transfer them on to Hanratty’s alibi which, the trial judge emphasised, he had no obligation to prove beyond reasonable doubt.

                              It is almost certain that the murderer, armed with a gun and ammunition, was driven to the Taplow area. That explains the lack of sightings and the failure to discover an abandoned car as well. Given that he was well tooled up, it is more likely that he was intent on a violent mission rather than a simple housebreak. None of this supposition precludes Hanratty from being the murderer, but it at the very least undermines the prosecution case of a chance encounter by a ‘lone nutter.’

                              Comment


                              • Hi Cobalt - perhaps fittingly, I have just read the Telegraph's obituary of Sir Louis Blom-Cooper. One sentence there stood out strongly for me and by identifying with that, I probably needn't say any more:

                                ''Blom-Cooper, taking a characteristically independent line, argued that Hanratty was guilty rather than innocent as many maintained, but that he should not have been convicted on the evidence presented.''

                                Best wishes,
                                OneRound

                                Comment

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