Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A6 Rebooted

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Quote:It seems foolish for Hanratty to have left such an obvious trail in Ireland, but of course he had no reason to think that the Vienna would feature in the police's enquiries..If Hanratty was guilty , you mean?

    Comment


    • Amidst the comments on how slow the police seem to have been in pursuing Hanratty, they seem to have pretty dilatory in regard to Alphon as well. Alphon came to their attention on 27th August, around five days after the crime had been committed, due to his lying low in a hotel for that period of time and attracting the attention of other guests. According to his own later statement Alphon had, a week earlier, slept a night under Southend pier so it would appear his fortunes had improved somewhat.

      The police at this stage simply accepted phone call verification for Alphon’s alibi of staying at the Vienna Hotel and it was not until the 6th September that a written statement was taken from Mrs. Galves. This suggests they had far more likely suspects in their sights being traced, interviewed and presumably eliminated. The discovery of the cartridges on 11th September naturally enough changed the focus of the investigation and given that Alphon had already been interviewed by police, he would obviously have come into the frame as a prime suspect.

      Yet it was not until the 23rd of September that Alphon was given the third degree by Acott and company. That is a very long time for a prime suspect to be wandering around and not be apprehended by the police who presumably had some ‘feelers’ out about where he might be. It was only when the police effectively stated Alphon was their main suspect that he showed up voluntarily for interview. That is almost a fortnight for a man suspected of a brutal murder and rape who may well have struck again in relation to Mrs. Delal, yet the police were unable to locate him? Apart from eliciting statements from Nudds and his wife what were the police doing all this time? Were there other suspects still in the frame?

      Comment


      • Alphon, during his meeting with police at The Alexandra Court, volunteered that he had stayed at The Vienna Hotel on the night of 21st August - it wasn't an alibi, it was an answer to a direct question. He was, after all, being interviewed as part of the A6 investigation, whether he knew it or not. The investigating officers who spoke to him at The Alexandra Court merely made a note of this, and did nothing more, other than instructing him to re-register in his real name and not as Durrant. Only when the cartridge cases were discovered in Room 24 of The Vienna, and identified as being fired by the murder weapon, did the police realise that they had actually interviewed someone - Alphon - who freely admitted he had stayed there at the crucial time. Hence the manhunt and the unusual naming by police of someone they wished to interview regarding the A6 Crime. Alphon surrendered himself at Scotland Yard, and was duly grilled. The police hadn't a clue as to his whereabouts prior to his turning himself in - why should they have? He was not a known criminal. Had he not turned himself in, they may well still be looking for him to this day. He was not a 'prime suspect' at all at that time - he was merely someone whom the police wished to interview.

        For me, at any rate, it has always been a matter of some interest as to whether the police had any 'suspects' at that time. It seems highly likely that they interviewed at least one person prior to Alphon turning himself in. Who that person was, we'll never know. Almost certainly there were others - we'll never know that, either.

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

        Comment


        • Alphon was not a prime suspect when he was picked up by police on the 27th August at the Alexandria, although why the police bothered to put out a call to hotels for dodgy characters and then ignored a man who has been hiding for five days under a false name seems odd to me. No doubt they were busy and had stronger lines of enquiry.

          However from September 11th Alphon could not have been anything other than the prime suspect. The cartridge cases were the breakthrough the police had been waiting for: the car had yielded nothing and although they had the murder weapon, any villain in London could have put it there. The cartridge cases were specific to a particular room in a particular hotel and when Alphon’s name popped up once more the police must have thought they were closing in. Especially when Mrs. Galves explained that she, personally, had not seen Alphon on the night of the 22nd August. Nudds, on the 15th September, said he had, then when taken to Scotland Yard changed his mind and said he had not. If Nudds’ second statement was a lie, as the prosecution case claims, then this was surely because the police saw Alphon as their likely man.

          At this point the police had enough to pull in and arrest on suspicion of murder one Peter Louis Alphon. So why didn’t they? He had already probably attacked another woman and how were the police to know he would not continue in this vein? Alphon has been described as a ‘drifter’ but so far as I can make out he hardly ever left the London area: Hanratty was more of a drifter in the sense that he burgled in London, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Unless Alphon was being protected by some person or organisation, his simple lack of funds would have meant Alphon would have to surface and be spotted fairly quickly around his usual haunts. They did eventually flush him out on the 23rd of September by to all intents and purposes admitting he was indeed their prime suspect, but have we ever found out where he was during this period?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
            Alphon was not a prime suspect when he was picked up by police on the 27th August at the Alexandria, although why the police bothered to put out a call to hotels for dodgy characters and then ignored a man who has been hiding for five days under a false name seems odd to me.
            This idea that Alphon was "in hiding" and hadn't budged from his room at the Alexandra Court Hotel in the days following the murder is a persistent one but is wrong. He wasn't even in his room when the police called to see him on Sunday, August 27 for heaven's sake!

            Here's Foot, recounting what he told police: "The following day - the 23rd [the day following the murder] - he had met his mother for lunch, gone for a walk, and gone to a cinema. He had spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday entirely on his own - going for walks and going to cinemas. The statement seemed to satisfy the Highbury police. Alphon was released at about 10 pm. When Alphon returned, on his own initiative, to the police station the next day to see if they wanted anything more from him, the police, he wrote later, "didn’t seem particularly interested". (Daily Express, October 4 1961)

            Comment


            • Alphon ceased to be the police's suspect when Valerie failed to identify him. End of story. Only then did Acott turn his attention to other guests at The Vienna on the night of 21 August, in particular one James Ryan who had occupied Room 24. I'll emphasise - again - that Alphon's presence in the A6 investigation was down to sheer coincidence.

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

              Comment


              • We don't know what efforts were made by the police to locate 'Ryan' after 11-Sep. There must have been some, even if Acott did not concentrate on them until Alphon was cleared. Bear in mind that it suited the Foot/Woffinden narrative to play down any parallel investigation and suggest that Acott had to start again from scratch to look around for someone else. I think there were already developments in tracing Ryan that he could pick up on, along the lines we have been discussing recently.

                Comment


                • There was one other suspect, never named, but according to Foot and/or Woffo he was interrogated for several hours before being released. Given the horrific nature of the crime and the public outcry, I'm positive that Acott's team, under great pressure, must have interviewed a good number of potential suspects.

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

                  Comment


                  • If Alphon was not ‘holed up’ in the Alexandria then we have to wonder how on earth he came to the attention of the hotel manager there. He claims to have been going for solitary walks, bar meeting his mother, and visiting cinemas, relatively witness-free activities. His behaviour during these activities does not appear to have attracted any undue attention, but for whatever reason whenever he returns to the Alexandria Hotel other guests find his presence disturbing.

                    There is more than one coincidence linking Peter Alphon to the crime, in fact there are at least six of them. The first was that he was reported to the police for his behaviour at the Alexandria in the aftermath of the A6 murder. The second is that he happened to stay overnight at the very same hotel in which James Hanratty had stayed a day earlier. The third is that Nudds named Alphon in a statement as someone who had briefly occupied room 24, the one where the bullets were found. The fourth is that Alphon had been known to the visit the Taplow greyhound track. The fifth is that Alphon had little driving proficiency which fits with the murderer'‘s inability to work the gears. The sixth is that two local residents in Taplow described a man very similar to Alphon being in the area on the afternoon of the murder, a description which agrees with one of the photofits issued a week after the crime. So Alphon had a fair amount of circumstantial evidence to support his claim of being the A6 murderer.

                    Did Alphon ever visit the Vienna Hotel? I am not so sure. The only evidence we have to support this idea is that of Nudds and his wife. At an ID parade on 23rd September Nudds’ wife failed to pick Alphon out, whilst Nudds hedged his bets by picking out two people. In stark contrast, Mrs. Delal had no hesitation in picking out her attacker. I can believe that someone called Durrant might have turned up at the Vienna Hotel but I am less than convinced it was Alphon. No other guests saw him, which for some is reason enough to 'burst' the Hanratty alibi at Rhyl.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Graham View Post

                      Well, if you can provide concrete evidence that Ewer was behind some kind of plot to frame Hanratty, go ahead and tell us about it.

                      Ewer was actually Janet Gregsten's brother-in-law, and for a time she lived in the same house as the Ewers. After Michael's murder, the Ewers gave shelter to Janet and her two sons. Some time later, she and Ewer did have an affair, which neither of them denied. However, when he interviewed Janet not long before he died, he wrote that he no longer felt that the A6 Crime had been 'masterminded' by Ewer, nor did he any longer feel that Janet was the vengeful harpie he had always imagined her to be, because of her husband's various affairs. In 1967 (I believe) Ewer sued Paul Foot, Foot's publisher Jonathan Cape, and the Sunday Times for libel, on the basis that they implied he, Ewer, had something to do with the A6 Crime, and received settlements from both Cape and the Times.

                      Graham


                      I know that Ewer sued and won, and all that.

                      Do you remember Liberace ? he sued and won, and what a travesty of justice that was.

                      https://www.theguardian.com/media/gr...irror-liberace


                      A verdict is only an opinion, the collective opinion of the jury. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they get it wrong, ie Hanratty.


                      Do you remember The Babes In the Wood ?

                      Bishop was acquitted and left the court a free man, innocent.


                      They obtained DNA and he went to trial again - guilty.

                      Thank goodness they changed the Double Jeopardy law.

                      So am I impressed that Ewer sued and won, no.

                      Lots of " guilty " people sue. Oscar Wilde, Jonathon Aitken , to name but two.
                      By God, sir, I`ve lost my leg.
                      By God, sir, so you have.

                      Uxbridge to Wellington.

                      Comment


                      • I am rereading the Foot book and reacquainting myself with the murder case for the first time in many years. It is fascinating and helpful to reconsider it all in the light of the many thoughtful and intelligent comments I have found on this Site. Thank you all. Some of you seem to have an encyclopaedic knowledge and I feel like a bit of a beginner by comparison so you please take that into account when I express my iews.

                        No mind is completely open however and I think it would wrong to pretend that I am without either opinions or passions. This case was a big deal at the time, played an important part in the abolition of capital punishment, and continues to resonate nearly sixty years later, so as someone who remembers well the crime itself and its aftermath I think I should just state some views openly.

                        It seemed to me when I first read Foot's book that it was unlikely but not impossible that Hanratty committed the murder. The succeeding years tended to support the Foot thesis, until of course you get to the DNA evidence. I remember being very surprised when the DNA results were announced, but gave it little thought until now. Normally I would accept such evidence without hesitation but in this case I think you have to treat it with caution. The samples were very old and obviously not preserved with DNA testing in mind. Contamination may have occurred, and in view of the sensitivity of the case there is always the possibilty of deleiberate interference. Naturally one should not assume these things did happen, but it has to be considered that they might have.

                        It would be easier to dismiss these concerns if the 'normal' case against Hanratty were a little more convincing, and here I think a relative newcomer looking at it afresh does have certain advantages. The detail discussed here is fascinating but one has to return continually to the big picture and the big questions that were asked as the time and ever since. What was the motive? Why would he kill a complete stranger, and rape his girlfriend before shooting her? How did he get to the murder scene, and how did he leave no trace? You have to answer these questions before you even get to alibis and possible alternative explanations for who did what to whom on the night. Looking at the broad picture it's easy to conclude he makes a very unlikely suspect.

                        It's harder to say who may have done it, or why. Alphon ceratinly fits closer than Hanratty, and that's before you even get to his bizarre confessions and harrassment of other witnesses. But just as you cannot be sure Hanratty didn't do it, you can't be sure Alphon did. Perhaps if Hanratty had escaped the gallows (and I certanly think the jury should not have found him guilty on the basis of the trial testimony) we may have found out more about Alphon, and others, that would have led to thoroughly conclusive results. As it was, official interest in him was understandably dropped once Hanratty was squarely in the frame.

                        Maybe it was neither of them? Maybe others were complicit? Ewer certainly is an interesting character. It's a shame we know so little about him. Foot must have known more than he could print but it seems he became less convinced over time that Ewer and/or Mrs G played a greater role than was publicly accepted. Perhaps he was swayed by his meeting with Ewer long after the crime when the former antiques dealer told him that the newspaper articles about the 'miracle identification' of Hanratty were a farago of nonsense, and fabricated out of the slenderest suggestions. My experience of newspapers over the years suggests to me that they were perfectly capable of such things, and at least as much then as they are now.

                        So back to re-reading Foot. It is so much more fascinating to do so now in the light of all your comments. Thank you again.

                        And of course I'll let you know if I come up with an answer!

                        Kind regards

                        Yossel

                        Comment


                        • Yossel quote: What was the motive? Why would he kill a complete stranger, and rape his girlfriend before shooting her? How did he get to the murder scene,

                          Did you mean how did he get to the car in the corn field in Dorney? Or the actual murder scene on the A6 ? Both reasonable questions , just wondering which direction your’e going with it.

                          Comment


                          • Hanratty at trial, when asked by Sherrard why, when he phoned Acott on October 6, he lied about being in Liverpool on the night of the murder:

                            "On the first occasion when I rang Superintendent Acott he was thoroughly interested to know my whereabouts on the 22nd and 23rd of August. I was a little bit confused myself with seeing my name in the papers knowing that my mother and father and brother were looking for me. I knew in myself that I did not commit this crime so I tried to help in every way I could to help Superintendent Acott when he asked me where I was on the 22nd and 23rd of August. At that stage I knew that I was only wanted for interviewing, not for the actual A6 murder charge which I eventually found out later or the truth would have been told straight away." [Italics mine]

                            Dixie France at trial: "France said that Hanratty phoned him on October 5, saying: 'Dixie, Dixie, I am wanted for the A6 murder.'"

                            None of the reports of the trial that I've read have Swanwick challenging Hanratty on this discrepancy. Anyone know if he did?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by moste View Post
                              Yossel quote: What was the motive? Why would he kill a complete stranger, and rape his girlfriend before shooting her? How did he get to the murder scene,

                              Did you mean how did he get to the car in the corn field in Dorney? Or the actual murder scene on the A6 ? Both reasonable questions , just wondering which direction your’e going with it.
                              Both really. I just find the whole 'moon-maniac' theory completely implausible, and unsuported by any evidence of merit apart from Valery Sorie's flaky identification, until the DNA proof comes along.

                              Comment


                              • [QUOTE=moste;n705208][QUOTE=George Dixon;n705189]

                                Well said George, I'd forgotten she had said that . And your absolutely right regarding what would have been the most likely scenario where Ewers affections lay. As for snide remarks , take no notice, all new posters usually get it from the 'Hanratty was guilty band'.

                                Hi moste.

                                I have been following this thread for a long time now, so I know exactly who they are. The Hanratty was guilty band.

                                What I do not comprehend is " why " they are.

                                I am here because I am of the opinion that there was a grave injustice, an innocent man was framed and sent to the gallows.

                                Why do they spend so much time and effort trying to prove that Jim was guilty ? What do they want or expect ? Hanratty was convicted and executed for goodness sake.


                                I have read everything on here, several times over. I have followed your posts with interest.


                                Can you offer any idea ? it baffles me.



                                By God, sir, I`ve lost my leg.
                                By God, sir, so you have.

                                Uxbridge to Wellington.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X