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  • Originally posted by NickB View Post

    That exchange did not take place in court. It was the invention of a poster on here who specialised in 'imagine what would have happened if ...' scenarios using made up dialogue.
    How could this be assumed if we haven't seen the trial transcript? Just wondering.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Graham View Post

      Bobble-hats were very popular all-round in those days. I got caught by a prefect for wearing one instead of my school cap on the bus on the way to school, and got detention. Regarding the green bobble-hat in the boot of the Morris, has anyone seen the photo that I believe was taken of the contents of the boot? And if so, was there a bobble-hat visible?

      Graham
      I feel sure there was a photo of what looked like a Bobble hat on the back window ledge of the m.m. years ago. So frustrating.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by moste View Post

        How could this be assumed if we haven't seen the trial transcript? Just wondering.
        Nick covered this a few posts back (#5278).

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Graham View Post
          Regarding the green bobble-hat in the boot of the Morris, has anyone seen the photo that I believe was taken of the contents of the boot? And if so, was there a bobble-hat visible?
          As far as I'm aware the only reference tying a bobble hat to the MM was that made by the Court of Appeal at 152 (i) ...

          "At 6.30am on Wednesday 23 August, William Lee saw a grey Morris Minor being driven by a man wearing a woollen pom-pom hat on the A6 near Matlock in Derbyshire. He wrote the registration number down as 847 BHN which was the registration of Michael Gregsten's car in the boot of which there was such a hat (although there is no evidence that the murderer otherwise was seen wearing it)."

          I've no idea where the Court learned of this. The list of items taken from the MM to the Met's lab doesn't include a reference to a hat, pom-pom or otherwise.
          Last edited by Alfie; 03-15-2019, 05:28 PM.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Alfie View Post

            As far as I'm aware the only reference tying a bobble hat to the MM was that made by the Court of Appeal at 151 (i) ...

            "At 6.30am on Wednesday 23 August, William Lee saw a grey Morris Minor being driven by a man wearing a woollen pom-pom hat on the A6 near Matlock in Derbyshire. He wrote the registration number down as 847 BHN which was the registration of Michael Gregsten's car in the boot of which there was such a hat (although there is no evidence that the murderer otherwise was seen wearing it)."

            I've no idea where the Court learned of this. The list of items taken from the MM to the Met's lab doesn't include a reference to a hat, pom-pom or otherwise.
            Quite so, Alfie. However, at least one poster here is totally and absolutely convinced that Mr Lee's sighting was factual.

            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

              As far as I'm aware the only reference tying a bobble hat to the MM was that made by the Court of Appeal at 151 (i) ...

              "At 6.30am on Wednesday 23 August, William Lee saw a grey Morris Minor being driven by a man wearing a woollen pom-pom hat on the A6 near Matlock in Derbyshire. He wrote the registration number down as 847 BHN which was the registration of Michael Gregsten's car in the boot of which there was such a hat (although there is no evidence that the murderer otherwise was seen wearing it)."

              I've no idea where the Court learned of this. The list of items taken from the MM to the Met's lab doesn't include a reference to a hat, pom-pom or otherwise.
              Regardless of where the court learned of this, they did learn of this and that's the important bit. We have covered this on here before I know, but the question was always ,'could William Lee have read of the information regarding the hat prior to his statement given to the police of his sighting?' If the answer is 'no he couldn't ' , the the m.m. was definately in Matlock, I would say. And further' if the answer is yes, why in the world would Lee want to lie about such a thing and possibly get himself in deep waters?

              Comment


              • William Lee says he say the car in or near Matlock at 6.30am. Odd, that neither Foot nor Woffinden mention Mr Lee. However, Woffinden does mention a Mr Charles Drayton, a milkman, who claimed he saw the car at 5.25am in Bedford. Drayton said he had to brake sharply to avoid a collision. Drayton also came out with some nonsensical-sounding mnemonic which, he claimed, helped him to remember the number of the car (Woffinden Pg 444). Thing is, according to my copy of RAC Route Planner, from Bedford central to Matlock central is some 113 miles, or at least two hours in a car capable of not much more than 60 mph. Therefore if Mr Drayton's sighting was genuine, no way could Mr Lee have seen the car at 6.30am. Conversely, if Mr Lee is right, no way could Mr Drayton have seen the car at 5.25am. Unless, of course, Gregsten's Morris had something like a supercharged V8 Buick under its bonnet.


                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

                  Quite so, Alfie. However, at least one poster here is totally and absolutely convinced that Mr Lee's sighting was factual.

                  Graham
                  The milage from Bedford to Matlock round trip, is around 165 miles I think someone said that's too far for the mileometer discrepancy. However no one can be certain of the facts here since 'a' we don't have definate logging times of Gregsten, and 'b' Acott was involved.

                  Comment


                  • From memory, on this site it was established that Mr. Lee of Matlock had his incident with the car around either 6.30am or 8.30am- there was some problem with a mistake in the appeal papers?

                    He did not report his encounter until later in the evening, and had mislaid the piece of paper upon which he had written the registration. By this time the car registration had been broadcast on national media. However he was presumably honest, if perhaps not accurate: he did not attempt after all to scribble down the car registration and claim it was from the morning.

                    He was still alive at the time of the appeal and I think contacted as a witness, when he held to his version of events 40 years earlier.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by moste View Post

                      The milage from Bedford to Matlock round trip, is around 165 miles I think someone said that's too far for the mileometer discrepancy. However no one can be certain of the facts here since 'a' we don't have definate logging times of Gregsten, and 'b' Acott was involved.
                      Wrong. The mileage Bedford central to Matlock central is as I quoted: 113 miles or 226 round trip, give or take a few depending upon where Drayton and Lee claimed they saw the car. If you don't believe me, get yourself onto RAC Route Planner. Either Lee or Drayton is right, or as I would very strongly suggest, neither of them are.

                      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

                        Wrong. The mileage Bedford central to Matlock central is as I quoted: 113 miles or 226 round trip, give or take a few depending upon where Drayton and Lee claimed they saw the car. If you don't believe me, get yourself onto RAC Route Planner. Either Lee or Drayton is right, or as I would very strongly suggest, neither of them are.

                        Graham
                        My source was Google . 83 each way.( Perhaps a rail measurement) Anyway, whatever man
                        Last edited by moste; 03-16-2019, 12:07 AM.

                        Comment


                        • Talking Forensics part 2: The Gun and the Handkerchief

                          In 1962 there appears to have been no attempt to make any forensic link between the items retrieved on the bus and James Hanratty. The issue of whether the handkerchief actually belonged to Hanratty does not seem to have been important enough to have been clearly established at trial. Presumably a blood group test could have been carried out at the time, but there is no record of this.

                          The reason for the prosecution to establish a link to the gun being found on the bus was presumably to claim there was a chain of evidence. After all, the cartridge cases found in the Vienna Hotel must have been deposited before the murder so it was necessary to establish a link between Hanratty and the murder weapon after the murder. The evidence produced was not very strong. What the prosecution would have wanted was a passenger seeing Hanratty acting suspiciously in the back seat, or a sharp eyed conductress who remembered him on the bus at a relevant time. Even an alleged confession by Hanratty to a fellow criminal, to the effect that he had stashed the murder weapon on a bus, would have been better than what they were left with. The prosecution had to rely on hearsay evidence from Dixie France to the effect that Hanratty liked to dispose of things under the back seats of buses.

                          The handkerchief only became significant when it was re-discovered in 1997. This was very fortuitous since the Matthews inquiry the previous year had, although unpublished, reportedly been favourable towards the idea that Hanratty was innocent. Two previous investigations- the Nimmo inquiry of 1967 and the Hawser Report of 1975- had effectively upheld the original verdict. Both were discussed in parliament, with the latter being published. The Matthews inquiry has never seen the light of day nor been discussed in parliament.

                          There are three reasons to question the validity of the handkerchief evidence.

                          Firstly, it would be naïve not to question the provenance of the handkerchief given the time which had elapsed and the fact that the A6 Case was going to be referred to the CCRC.

                          Secondly, reservations about the quality of LC DNA have been well made by others on this site.

                          Thirdly, leaving these arguments aside for the moment, even if the handkerchief did belong to Hanratty and it did contain his DNA it no more incriminates Hanratty than did France’s statement all these years ago. At best, the most we could conclude is that Hanratty was acquainted with a person who deposited the gun on the bus. It is no more indicative of Hanratty’s guilt, as a piece of free-standing evidence, than Desdemona’s handkerchief was proof of her infidelity to Othello.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
                            The prosecution had to rely on hearsay evidence from Dixie France to the effect that Hanratty liked to dispose of things under the back seats of buses.
                            Not quite. Hanratty admitted to having this conversation.

                            So, revolver found in Hanratty's favourite hiding place + cartridge cases fired by revolver found at the foot of his bed at the Vienna = strong circumstantial evidence that the murder weapon was in Hanratty's possession at the time of the murder, with or without proof that the handkerchief was his.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Alfie View Post

                              Not quite. Hanratty admitted to having this conversation.

                              So, revolver found in Hanratty's favourite hiding place + cartridge cases fired by revolver found at the foot of his bed at the Vienna = strong circumstantial evidence that the murder weapon was in Hanratty's possession at the time of the murder, with or without proof that the handkerchief was his.
                              And two goes at an alibi, of which neither succeeded, would add to the weight of evidence against Unlucky Jim.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Graham View Post

                                Wrong. The mileage Bedford central to Matlock central is as I quoted: 113 miles or 226 round trip, give or take a few depending upon where Drayton and Lee claimed they saw the car. If you don't believe me, get yourself onto RAC Route Planner. Either Lee or Drayton is right, or as I would very strongly suggest, neither of them are.

                                Graham
                                The straight line distance between the Drayton sighting in Bedford (Junction of Ampthill Rd and St John's St) and the A6 near Matlock is 83 miles but the distance by road is somewhat longer. The trouble with using modern route planners is that they will use roads which were not built in 1961, usually motorways. The shortest distance using the A6 would be something in the region of 106 miles making a round trip of 212 miles. The shorter distance would mean driving through the centres of Leicester and Derby.

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