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  • Originally posted by Alfie View Post

    The gunman drove away from Deadman's Hill on the Wednesday morning, the gun was found on Thursday evening, so was presumably hidden on Patt's bus on the Thursday morning. Depending on where he slept on Wednesday night, JH might have been looking a little less immaculate than he did when holding up Valerie and Gregsten.

    Indeed, but can we remember when Edwin the bus-cleaner said he'd last checked that particular bus?

    Like I said, I need to have a thorough re-read of my books and papers on the A6.

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

    Comment


    • Hi HS,

      My own feeling, FWIW, has always been that Hanratty should not have been convicted on the evidence available in 1962. It's been said that had his trial taken place under Scottish Law, the verdict would almost certainly have been 'not proven'. However, that doesn't mean to say he wasn't guilty. He made a total hash of his 'alibi's' and I rather believe he'd have been better off sticking to the Liverpool alibi. As for the gun, I can't convince myself that even Hanratty was dumb enough to place it in a place he'd already described to France - and admitted doing so - where he hid unwanted loot. It was, I'm afraid, a real dumb stroke of Fortune that Alphon appeared on the scene - had he not existed I doubt we'd still be debating Hanratty's guilt or innocence.

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

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Graham View Post

        Indeed, but can we remember when Edwin the bus-cleaner said he'd last checked that particular bus?

        Like I said, I need to have a thorough re-read of my books and papers on the A6.

        Graham
        According to Woffinden, Edwin Cooke "was able to state categorically that it was part of his daily routine to lift the back seat, and that nothing had been there the previous evening."

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Graham View Post
          It was, I'm afraid, a real dumb stroke of Fortune that Alphon appeared on the scene - had he not existed I doubt we'd still be debating Hanratty's guilt or innocence. Graham
          I agree. Remove Alphon and Acott would in all likelihood have immediately zeroed in on the occupant of room 24 at the Vienna; the Justices, Foots, Woffindens et al would have had no peg on which to hang their conspiracy theories; and Hanratty's execution would have excited little comment - as indeed was the case until Justice started using Alphon's infatuation with him as a means of stirring the pot.
          Last edited by Alfie; 03-12-2019, 10:26 AM.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Alfie View Post

            I agree. Remove Alphon and Acott would in all likelihood have immediately zeroed in on the occupant of room 24 at the Vienna; the Justices, Foots, Woffindens et al would have had no peg on which to hang their conspiracy theories; and Hanratty's execution would have excited little comment - as indeed was the case until Justice started using Alphon's infatuation with him as a means of stirring the pot.
            Thanks re: Edwin Cooke, Alfie.

            It has never been fully and satisfactorily explained precisely how Acott made the Ryan = Hanratty connection, but it seems his trip to Ireland was the key. Must read up again.

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

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Alfie View Post
              John Kerr arrived at the murder scene hours after the shooting.

              Anybody got an answer to my query about Hanratty having tattoos?
              James Hanratty did have a tattoo.
              *************************************
              "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
                James Hanratty did have a tattoo.
                What sort of answer is that? Give details and source.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Graham View Post
                  Hi Alfie,

                  First I've heard of Valerie describing the gun as 'small'.

                  Graham
                  I pointed this out yonks ago.

                  *************************************
                  "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 gallicrow View Post
                    What sort of answer is that? Give details and source.
                    Is that an order ?
                    *************************************
                    "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

                      James Hanratty did have a tattoo.
                      Thanks, SH. It makes sense that the police would only brief the press so if Hanratty was in fact tattooed, but I found it a little strange that it wasn't mentioned in any other source that I've seen. Is there a reference for it aside from the newspaper reports I cited?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
                        I have never been comfortable playing armchair psychologist in this case, but I am willing enough to respond to what others put forward. When I suggested that, psychologically speaking, Alphon was a better candidate than Hanratty as the A6 killer, Caz suddenly dropped her psychological profiling and started on about a snotty handkerchief found on a bus.
                        Hi cobalt,

                        To be fair, I'd take the DNA evidence from this snotty handkerchief over anyone's psychological profiling every time! Without your own ideas of what made Alphon tick, and efforts to match this with what is known about the crime itself, you have precious little else to support a case against him. You do need to link Alphon with Hanratty's hankie somehow, because it was found with the murder weapon! Pretty basic really.

                        I will stick purely with the psychology for the time being...
                        But that won't get you very far on its own, will it? If you think it was unfair to convict Hanratty on the evidence against him, why is it not every bit as unfair to argue that Alphon should have hanged instead, when there is not a ghost of a case against him if you leave out the armchair psychology?

                        Regarding the issue of the killer wanting a ‘kip,’ I fear we are engaged in circular logic. I suggested that the killer would have tired of his game of cat and mouse, so Caz has taken me literally and suggested he was suffering from fatigue! If I read her correctly, the killer’s tiredness has the effect of making him more nervous than when he entered the car and started babbling away about nothing.
                        Not quite, cobalt. My point was that a sudden adrenaline rush, caused by the initial excitement of holding up the couple at the point of a loaded gun, could have led to exhaustion after several hours in the car, "finking" what he was going to do. Once tiredness sets in like that, it can be very difficult to maintain concentration and control, even when the consequences of dropping off would be disastrous. If that was not the case, they wouldn't need signs on motorways warning drivers: 'Tiredness can kill - take a break'. If the gunman was fighting the urge to have a much needed "kip" [and why would he lie about something like that?] I could imagine him being startled by Gregsten's sudden movement and reacting instinctively. [Like a driver who momentarily loses it, then takes immediate evasive action when he realises he's on the wrong side of the road. Happened to me once when I was one of three passengers in a friend's car, on the Western Avenue, after a meal out in London. I was in the back, asleep, and suddenly woke up to find that the others were all asleep, including the driver, and we were veering away from the straight and narrow! That's what must have woken me. I had to shake my friend awake and luckily we got away with it.]

                        My point was that the killer must have had some sort of idea of how he was going to conclude his evening’s work and that falling asleep was scarcely going to be part of that plan. Most of us agree that murder was not originally on the agenda either, so after four hours driving around in the dark some sort of decision was going to have to be made before day broke.
                        I doubt very much that falling asleep with a loaded gun on him was what the killer wanted to do, any more than a driver would, with a steering wheel in their hand. But I also doubt he had thought "fings" through when he first took over the car, which would fit so much better with an impulsive, emotionally immature character, on his first outing with a firearm, than with someone who had an agenda, or had one thrust on him, with specific instructions for carrying it out, but then ballsed it all up on a whim.

                        The screamingly obvious decision was to chuck the couple out of the car and drive back home alone. Unless the killer could not drive of course, in which case that would not have been an option he considered prior to the shooting.
                        But the screamingly obvious decision was not taken and he did drive the car - all the way back down to London, with no obvious mishaps along the way.

                        The other screamingly obvious decision, to make sure Valerie would never live to give evidence, was not taken either. Perhaps Alphon wore a Hanratty mask, and spoke with a Hanratty accent, so he could safely leave her alive because she would inevitably fail to pick him out if he foolishly drew attention to himself later and got himself suspected.

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X
                        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                        Comment


                        • I am prepared to argue the case for Hanratty from either a psychological or forensic angle; it’s just that I would rather focus on either one or the other and not flit back and forth.

                          I cannot follow the reasoning which links adrenalin to you and some friends nodding off in a car. An adrenalin rush has the opposite effect, otherwise marathon runners, footballers playing in extra time, women in labour or soldiers on the battlefield would all be lying down for a kip. This has never been recorded in human history. Tiredness comes after the race has been run, not during it; the brain makes sure of that.

                          Which was pretty much my point in regard to the killer claiming he was tired. He was no more likely to have felt the need to sleep than Gregsten, who had after all actually being driving the car under bizarre navigation for some hours. In a tense situation the mind and body will stay alert until the event has reached its conclusion. Whatever Hanratty’s mental shortcomings, he was as capable of living by his wits as most it would seem, and he would have been aware that this particular situation was far from complete. Sleep was not an option. The same would apply to any person in the car that night.

                          Regarding wearing masks, to follow your logic perhaps the killer actually wore a mask identical to that of Mr Clark I think his name was, the innocent man picked out by Ms. Storie on the first parade.

                          We do not know if the killer drove the car back to London or not. The car was driven back for sure, although we cannot be certain when or by whom. All we know is that the killer drove away from the scene of the crime.

                          I have never been in favour of Alphon swinging from the end of a rope for two reasons. Firstly. I am not in favour of capital punishment. Secondly, I have only pointed out that his involvement in the crime is as likely as Hanratty’s which admittedly may amount to not very much. I can understand that if Ms. Storie’s second ID is given full weight this is not the case, but I reserve the right to question the accuracy of her second opinion. The forensics I will be happy to argue on another occasion.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                            Can I ask opinions on where the gun was found? I struggle to understand why the killer wouldn’t have simple chucked it in the river (as has already been mentioned) or at the very least dumped it somewhere where there was at least a chance of it not been found (or not being found for a few years.) When we add to this the fact that someone like the conductress might have been able to pick him out, or that someone on or near the bus might have recognised or even known him, it appears to have been a big risk when weighed against a simpler and more effective option?
                            Yes. The planting of the weapon. For the folks who believe in Hanratty's innocence ,this is seen as an extremely blatant attempt at framing him. Along of course with the lying scumbag Nudds's statement, William Ewers incredible ( we saw him at the cleaners!) farce , Chief superintendent Acott and his side kick 'shifty Oxford ' who amazingly rewrote and adjusted their notes of Hanratty's statements.And of course the star witness ,Storie herself, who, though she hadn't a clue what the assailant looked like, managed to pick Hanratty out because she recognized his cockney accent.
                            For the folks who believe in Hanratty's guilt, Well he was one slice short of a loaf, so was probably stupid enough to shovel the incriminating hardware under the back seat of the bus, which as you know he'd mentioned to another 'framer'Dixie France that it made a good rubbish bin
                            Last edited by moste; 03-14-2019, 01:18 AM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Alfie View Post

                              Thanks, SH. It makes sense that the police would only brief the press so if Hanratty was in fact tattooed, but I found it a little strange that it wasn't mentioned in any other source that I've seen. Is there a reference for it aside from the newspaper reports I cited?
                              I asked Michael Hanratty several months ago if Jimmy had a tattoo and he confirmed to me that he did.
                              *************************************
                              "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 Herlock Sholmes View Post
                                Can I ask opinions on where the gun was found? I struggle to understand why the killer wouldn’t have simple chucked it in the river (as has already been mentioned) or at the very least dumped it somewhere where there was at least a chance of it not been found (or not being found for a few years.) When we add to this the fact that someone like the conductress might have been able to pick him out, or that someone on or near the bus might have recognised or even known him, it appears to have been a big risk when weighed against a simpler and more effective option?
                                Hi Herlock,

                                That might point to someone who wasn't in a frame of mind at the time to think things through properly and just resorted to his usual method of disposing of unwanted crime-related stuff.

                                Alternatively, if he was starting to think of the consequences, and the vital need for an alibi, he may have decided to leave the gun where he knew it would be found within hours, in London, by which time he could be 200 miles away in Liverpool, establishing a false alibi by sending the telegram to Dixie France and later trying to give the impression he had been "oop north" all week.

                                The sticking point for anyone else putting the gun on the bus is why they would have left Hanratty's hankie with it. It couldn't have framed him at the time, because it would be many decades before it was proved that he had used it when his DNA - and only his - was found to be present. None of the conspiracy theorists has yet come up with a reasonable, no-nonsense explanation for this, and I presume this is why they tend to get snotty [sorry] whenever I bring up the snotty thing.

                                Love,

                                Caz
                                X



                                "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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