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  • Alfie
    replied
    Originally posted by Graham View Post
    I suspect not, Nick! I would also suspect that, had Hanratty been cleared, Dangerous Donald may well have wanted a 'word' with him. Maybe that's why he handed over to Acott that mysterious file of 'personal information', the contents of which have never been released. And I wonder why Hanratty gave it to Slack in the first place. Another little A6 mystery.

    Graham
    A poster, Stewart P Evans, wrote some time ago: "... an old friend of mine was a detective who assisted on the case in the original investigation and he tells of how evidence that Hanratty had perverted sexual tastes was found at the time but could not be used."

    I've wondered since whether the folder Hanratty entrusted to Slack might have contained the "material" Evans referred to which "revealed that Hanratty was highly sexed in a perverted way" -- material that Hanratty may have been loathe to bring into the family home.

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  • Alfie
    replied
    Originally posted by NickB View Post
    But Dr Rennie's description of Michael Clarke was different: fairish hair and bluish eyes.

    With regard to Acott and Rennie, people on both sides tend to pick the eye colour of one and hair colour of the other to support their case!

    On more than one occasion Sherrard cited Rennie's "fairish hair" description as a reason to distrust Valerie's hair description, and Woffinden tracked down a relation who described his hair as mousey. If you recall we were wondering why Woffinden did not report what the relation said was his eye colour, as Woff must have asked her.
    Rennie at the trial was relying on his memory, Acott on notes he made at the time of the parade. Sherrard and Acott had this exchange: "Would you tell us first of all whether he was, as Dr Rennie has told us, a fair-haired man?" "No. He was not. He had dark, short-cropped hair."

    That said, Acott's notes also contradicted Rennie on eye-colour. He'd put them down as dark.

    For what it's worth, OneRound, I don't think Valerie was entirely reliable as a witness, either. But I believe she was honest and accurate when it came to hair and eye colour. As Gwen Woodin later said,, "She never changed her mind about the description in any shape or form. 'Eyes were blue, cold.' That's how she described them ..."

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  • Graham
    replied
    I suspect not, Nick! I would also suspect that, had Hanratty been cleared, Dangerous Donald may well have wanted a 'word' with him. Maybe that's why he handed over to Acott that mysterious file of 'personal information', the contents of which have never been released. And I wonder why Hanratty gave it to Slack in the first place. Another little A6 mystery.

    Graham

    Leave a comment:


  • NickB
    replied
    Originally posted by Graham View Post
    It seems that Slack was a tough bunny, and able to resist whatever Acott threw at him.
    Graham
    Hanratty had told Acott about Slack's fencing in some detail. "I have made over a thousand pounds in the last two months. I stick to jewellery and keep to one fence, who always pays me 30% for my gear." I doubt Slack was very impressed with that.

    Leave a comment:


  • OneRound
    replied
    Originally posted by Alfie View Post

    According to the notes Acott made at the time, he had "dark short cropped hair".
    Alfie - thank you (and to you as well, Nick) for that information although the main point of my last post was to highlight the unreliability of Valerie Storie as a witness. For the avoidance of doubt and as stated previously, I do not doubt her integrity.

    Best regards,
    OneRound

    Leave a comment:


  • NickB
    replied
    But Dr Rennie's description of Michael Clarke was different: fairish hair and bluish eyes.

    With regard to Acott and Rennie, people on both sides tend to pick the eye colour of one and hair colour of the other to support their case!

    On more than one occasion Sherrard cited Rennie's "fairish hair" description as a reason to distrust Valerie's hair description, and Woffinden tracked down a relation who described his hair as mousey. If you recall we were wondering why Woffinden did not report what the relation said was his eye colour, as Woff must have asked her.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alfie
    replied
    Originally posted by OneRound View Post

    Alfie - please remind me, what was Michael Clarke's hair colour?

    Best regards,
    OneRound
    According to the notes Acott made at the time, he had "dark short cropped hair".

    Leave a comment:


  • OneRound
    replied
    Originally posted by Alfie View Post

    Kerr initially thought Valerie told him her name was Mary.

    Superintendent Morgan of Biggleswade described the gunman's hair colour as "dark brown", yet the dailies' description ranged from black to dark, to dark-brown. And their description of the man varied in more respects than just hair-colour, which suggests to me that there was more than one police source for their information. The colour of his suit, for instance, was variously described as dark, dark-grey, brown and dark-brown. One even has him wearing a lounge suit.

    The common feature regarding his hair colour, though, was that it was dark.
    Alfie - please remind me, what was Michael Clarke's hair colour?

    Best regards,
    OneRound

    Leave a comment:


  • Alfie
    replied
    Originally posted by OneRound View Post

    Kerr has always come across to me as an impressive witness ... I would assume the various newspapers got their description of the gunman's hair colour from the same police briefing and we know what a horlicks they made of his eye colour.
    Kerr initially thought Valerie told him her name was Mary.

    Superintendent Morgan of Biggleswade described the gunman's hair colour as "dark brown", yet the dailies' description ranged from black to dark, to dark-brown. And their description of the man varied in more respects than just hair-colour, which suggests to me that there was more than one police source for their information. The colour of his suit, for instance, was variously described as dark, dark-grey, brown and dark-brown. One even has him wearing a lounge suit.

    The common feature regarding his hair colour, though, was that it was dark.

    Leave a comment:


  • Graham
    replied
    Hi OR,

    I think Acott was, basically, trying to get Hanratty to confess he had obtained a gun - one might even say trick him into confessing. I still can't quite get my head around how Acott was able to submit Hanratty to such potentially-damning questioning in the absence of Kleinmann or any qualified legal representative. Or where the rules of interrogation different in 1961?

    It seems that Slack was a tough bunny, and able to resist whatever Acott threw at him. I don't think Slack was a gaol-bird (not sure of this), but Hanratty knew him from various Soho establishments including a snooker club.

    Graham

    Leave a comment:


  • OneRound
    replied
    Originally posted by Graham View Post
    Hi OR,

    back in 1961 murder by firearm had only one sentence for the accused if found guilty - death. I believe I'm correct in saying that if in such a case the person who supplied the gun to the accused, obviously only if that person could be identified, faced a stiff prison-sentence. I can't think off the top of my head of any cases in which this actually occurred. It's like if today someone commits a serious crime when high on drugs, if the supplier of those drugs can be identified then he stands a chance of being charged as an accessory. If I'm wrong, no doubt I'll be put right before too long.

    Hanratty did tell Acott of the conversation he had with Slack. He also handed to Slack a file of personal information presumably for safe-keeping; the police took possession of this file when they interviewed Slack, and it was never seen again. (It would, I think, be of some interest to discover its contents). Acott informed Hanratty that he had met Slack who told him about Hanratty's interest in obtaining a gun. However, when Hanratty (in custody) wrote to Slack presumably to get him to confirm the request for a gun, Slack absolutely denied this. Unfortunately, Slack's denial - according to Woffo - wasn't unearthed for another 30 years. And Hanratty's letter to Slack was confiscated by the Home Office.
    (Why Hanratty didn't pursue this through his solicitor, I don't know). And then, at the trial, Acott denied ever telling Hanratty that he had been to interview Slack. All a bit naughty, in my opinion. And Hanratty confirmed that he had met Slack about a gun whilst under oath during the trial. The point I'm seeking to make is, that had Acott satisfied himself that Slack had supplied a gun that was subsequently used in a murder, Slack would have been in big trouble. It is a rather unsavoury chain of events.

    ...

    Graham
    Hi Graham - thanks for your response. I don't disagree with any of it and appreciate your (now) highlighted point.

    The only point I would make in reply is that even if Acott was satisfied in himself that Slack supplied the murder gun, he still had to be able to prove it. Even for someone not adverse to dubious police tactics, that was never going to be easy with Hanratty continuing to deny he had received a gun, Slack continuing to deny he had supplied a gun and there being no witnesses to the possible transaction. I'm not too surprised that Acott concentrated on the main prize as he saw it - Hanratty - and then rested on his laurels.

    Best regards,
    OneRound

    Leave a comment:


  • OneRound
    replied
    Originally posted by Alfie View Post
    The clash over the gunman's hair colour, with John Kerr saying that Valerie told him it was "fairish brown" or "light fairish", whereas Valerie always maintained that she'd described it as brown.

    Superintendent Morgan who released the first description to the public said it was dark brown. And here are the descriptions that the newspapers carried in the immediate aftermath:

    Evening Times (Aug 23): "black hair"
    Evening Times (Aug 24): "dark-haired"
    Daily Mirror: "dark brown"
    Yorkshire Post: "dark hair"
    Glasgow Herald: "black hair"
    Daily Herald: "dark hair"
    Daily Telegraph: "dark hair"
    Evening News: "dark hair"

    It seems pretty clear that Valerie's recollection was of a dark-haired assailant. And dark brown or black was what Dixie testified his daughter dyed Hanratty's hair on Aug 5 and again on Aug 26.
    Hi Alfie - I'm not so certain of that being pretty clear. Kerr has always come across to me as an impressive witness whenever I've watched him on tv, both in old footage from the time and in documentaries over the years. I would assume the various newspapers got their description of the gunman's hair colour from the same police briefing and we know what a horlicks they made of his eye colour.

    Best regards,
    OneRound

    Leave a comment:


  • Alfie
    replied
    The clash over the gunman's hair colour, with John Kerr saying that Valerie told him it was "fairish brown" or "light fairish", whereas Valerie always maintained that she'd described it as brown.

    Superintendent Morgan who released the first description to the public said it was dark brown. And here are the descriptions that the newspapers carried in the immediate aftermath:

    Evening Times (Aug 23): "black hair"
    Evening Times (Aug 24): "dark-haired"
    Daily Mirror: "dark brown"
    Yorkshire Post: "dark hair"
    Glasgow Herald: "black hair"
    Daily Herald: "dark hair"
    Daily Telegraph: "dark hair"
    Evening News: "dark hair"

    It seems pretty clear that Valerie's recollection was of a dark-haired assailant. And dark brown or black was what Dixie testified his daughter dyed Hanratty's hair on Aug 5 and again on Aug 26.

    Leave a comment:


  • Graham
    replied
    Originally posted by NickB View Post

    If the 'gun conversation' was not serious, why was Fisher not called to give evidence by the defence?
    Not a question that can really be addressed now, Nick. I think it highlights Kleinmann's shortcomings as a defence solicitor. I can only suggest that there was a conversation about a gun between Hanratty and Slack, but precisely what the purpose of that conversation was, and what was said, we can never know. And, of course, why on earth did Hanratty tell Acott about it? Where was Kleinmann?

    Graham

    Leave a comment:


  • NickB
    replied
    Originally posted by Graham View Post
    Foot adds that if the 'gun conversation' was serious, why was Fisher not called to give evidence?
    If the 'gun conversation' was not serious, why was Fisher not called to give evidence by the defence?

    Leave a comment:

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