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  • My grandma used to have red hair before she went grey I think (she's now around 75). Her sister's hair is still red though, and never went grey.

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    • Originally posted by Sherlock Houses View Post

      Blaspheming, eh ? How can you tell from a black and white photo whether a person has dark brown or dark red hair ?
      The whole digitalised copy of that newspaper article is dark so the photo does not give a true impression of Valerie Storie's hair colour
      This much clearer photo of her does not in any conceivable way portray a woman with dark brown hair ......

      Click image for larger version Name:	Valerie Storie.jpg Views:	0 Size:	34.2 KB ID:	726636
      Some of the stuff on here is enough to make a saint blaspheme.....

      .....so you don't think the photo you posted portrays a woman with dark brown hair? Well I do. A near-neighbour of mine, almost eighty, has flame-red hair, as brilliant as it was when I first made her acquaintance about 40 years ago. Her black-and-white wedding photos show her hair pale, could almost be blonde....you know, the same colour as the wig Janet Gregsten wore when she and Alphon were seen at The Old Station Inn on the night of the murder.........

      Graham

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

      Comment


      • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
        . Is it possible Valerie Storie changed her hair colour to look more demure for the trial?
        Quite possibly, especially considering that many women are not averse to a change of hair colour or hairstyle every now and then. It is, after all, for many females their "Crowning Glory"
        The most puzzling thing is that the Evening Times has Valerie with freshly coiffured brown wavy hair at the trial while the Daily Express states clearly
        that her hair is fair. Now you can't have it both ways so I wonder which reporter is the more accurate ?
        The attached colour photo of Valerie Storie was taken at her home in the latter part of 1962 and is inconclusive as to whether it indicates a deep red or a brownish hair colour.
        I'm going for a deep red. A sepia if you like. Not that it matters much what the natural colour of her hair was in 1961/62. The colour of her hair has been brought up to deflect from the important issues of the original Daily Mirror front page article of August 24th 1961.

        Click image for larger version  Name:	Valerie Storie at home sometime during 1962.jpg Views:	0 Size:	40.3 KB ID:	726652
        Last edited by Sherlock Houses; 11-04-2019, 08:17 PM.
        *************************************
        "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 cobalt View Post
          We know that newspapers often get names and ages wrong, especially in early reports. One of these has Gregsten aged 25. ‘Red-head’ was an attractive tag for tabloid newspapers back in the day and carried an implication of a fiery temperament. I would side with Graham that there is nothing visually in the admittedly black and white photos I have seen to suggest Valerie Storie was red-haired but I accept the Cilla Black reference. Is it possible Valerie Storie changed her hair colour to look more demure for the trial?

          What interests me more are two details from these early reports, both presumably from police sources. The hitch-hiker claim is well known but these reports seem to be quite specific about the attacker ‘thumbing a lift.’ Maybe just a bit of journalistic licence but there is the suggestion this is coming direct from Valerie Storie.

          The telephone box story is quite astonishing. If it was a guilty party or associate making the call from a nearby phone booth then presumably the mystery of when the car was dumped is now clear. Why did the police not feel the engine in any case? I could see that there might be some misunderstanding about who phoned in about the car and it was actually a neighbour, but this news report cannot surely be pure fiction: it locates the phone box, the sound of the caller’s voice and the fact a false name and address was supplied. This can only have come from a police source, so it is a bit more than hearsay. Was this some of the documentation seen by Matthews?

          I think I am right in saying that the caller could not have been James Hanratty if the information regarding the phone box is correct, although that would not establish his innocence of course.
          Good post, Cobalt. Except is it possible to actually dye red hair?

          Anyway, with regard to the 'thumbing a lift' reference. I think what Valerie said - and this only a short time after she was operated on - was 'we picked up a man near Slough'. That to most ears, mine included, implies that she and Mike picked up a hiker. However, as her further evidence went on to describe how the man gained access to the car, I think the phrase 'picked up' was not intended to be taken literally.

          I have to be honest, and state that although I've heard of the call from the phone-box regarding the location of the car, I don't know enough about it to comment. Where can I find more indformation on this, please? But there seems always to have been some conflict about precisely when the car was first spotted by Mr Medwar, Bob Woffinden I believe going for early evening. The only thing about feeling the engine-temperature is that there was so little iron in the tiny Morris 1000 engine block that they soon cooled off, even in summer.

          Graham

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

          Comment


          • Thanks for the Morris Minor info Graham; I am too young to have driven them: my first car was an ageing Vauxhall Viva. Maybe I have watched too many private eye film noirs about heated radiators.

            Having cleared my mind after four pints at the bar I can now see that maybe the phone box message is not as important as I first thought. Maybe it was a local ne’er do well, such as a car thief, who noted the number and felt he had to do his civic duty, leaving a false name lest he be linked to the crime. The ‘husky voice’ is sheer tabloid speak.

            But surely this information is relevant to the investigation and should have presented at trial? Look at what the police had: they had the victims within about 5 hours which is a reasonable time span; they had a surviving witness who could give detail about movements before and during the crime plus a sketchy ID; they had the car within 24 hours which according to one report was covered in blood and a treasure trove for forensics such as they were at the time; they were allegedly tipped off to find the murder car- maybe there were two phone calls? And within 48 hours they had recovered the murder weapon. They were damned lucky to collect all that in what was allegedly a motiveless crime, yet the conviction is still raising questions to this day.

            No ID on people seen around the phone box? It would still have been light I think and maybe worth more than the eyewitnesses from the morning sighting. Unless the police preferred to believe the car was dumped in the morning. This has always been a problem for me. How did the most sought after car in the UK remain undetected for the best part of a day; or alternatively, how did someone have the nerve to drive the most wanted car in the UK through the street of London in the early evening?
            Last edited by cobalt; 11-04-2019, 09:19 PM.

            Comment


            • Cobalt,

              I just checked with Leonard Miller, who agrees with Woffinden that the car was reported by Mr Medwar in Avondale Crescent in the early evening, around 6.30pm. Valerie thought it was around 3.00am when the gunman left Deadman's Hill in the car, and it was seen by traffic census-taker John Smith heading south. He thought around 4.00am. Smith was stationed at Silsoe, about a quarter of an hour's drive south from Deadman's Hill.

              I have never quite been able to get my head around the claimed sightings of the car by Skillett and Blackhall, and slightly later by Trower, at a time shortly after 7.00am. These sightings may, or may not have been, of Hanratty in Gregsten's Morris Minor. Paul Foot was quite sure it was the murder car. And then we have the claimed sightings in Bedford, at around 5.30am, and Derbyshire at an undisclosed early-morning time. Foot, naturally enough, agreed with these sightings - so how could he then place the car way further south just a couple of hours later? However, I think we can take it as read that the Bedford and Derbyshire 'sightings' were not of the murder car with Hanratty behind the wheel. Miller thinks that the car seen by Skillet and Blackhall was indeed the murder car. So if it was indeed parked in Avondale Crescent during the early morning, why wasn't it spotted earlier than Mr Medwar's reporting of it? Possibly because there was another grey Moggie Minor in Avondale Crescent, which perhaps Mr Medwar (who was walking his dog) was well aware of? However, the murder car was parked awkwardly and was damaged, which doubtless alerted Mr Medwar to the possibility that it was the A6 murder car, details of which had been broadcast.

              On the face of it, I'd be prepared to go along with the car being dumped in Avondale Crescent not long before it was spotted by Mr Medwar. The absense of traceable forensics inside the vehicle suggests that it had been cleaned en route from Deadman's Hill. As for the phone-call, about which I admit I know very little, maybe it was some local busybody. Or could it have been Mr Medwar himself? However, Paul Foot says that a Mr Lawrence, who lived very near to where the car was found, told the press that it had been seen there, by him, at 7.45am that morning.

              Mystery.

              Graham

              PS: I had a miserable example of a Morris Minor, a 1952 split windscreen job with a 858cc (I think) engine. Even in warm weather, if the engine was cold, it needed the choke to start it. And it cooled off in next to no time.
              We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

              Comment


              • Medwar ?? Was that a conflict in the Mediterranean ?
                *************************************
                "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 Graham View Post
                  For the love of God, man, does she look like a redhead in that photo of her in your post?

                  Graham
                  The latest colour photo of Valerie,I would suggest is a fairly accurate representation of her actual hair colour. My wife knows a great deal about the science of hair and regards Valerie as having been ‘auburn’ . It’s all to do with the varying level of red pigment . Now we’ve all heard the expression, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ , well similarly ,one person may see auburn hair as leaning towards red, while the next person, say, Graham for example will only see dark brown, so for our purpose I would say it’s a draw, no one is wrong.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Sherlock Houses View Post
                    Medwar ?? Was that a conflict in the Mediterranean ?
                    LOL. No , your thinking of the Pacific involvement between Japan and the Yanks SH. Medwar is where pharmaceutical companies are trying to outdo each other feverishly, before Trump buys the NHS, and we all devolve back to the dark days of pre Aneurin Bevan.

                    Comment


                    • It’s possible Mr. Medwar used the nearby phone box to alert the police when out walking his dog, for phone ownership was not widespread in the UK in 1961. But that does not really explain the phone call reported in the newspaper which is specific about a false address in Wanstead. I can’t see why a police source would hand out false information (they were presumably handed 10/- for their efforts) since it would be the last time they were trusted. Likewise, there is little point in a reporter making up a story if he wants to retain the trust of his editor. It seems more likely there were two phone calls.

                      On balance I think it more likely the car was dumped in the early evening for the following reasons. It was poorly parked and would probably have been noticed in the course of the day by the usual suspects once its details had been broadcast: fellow parkers, dog-walkers, milkmen, newspaper boys, postmen, sharp-eyed schoolboys, car thieves, women heading to the shops and maybe even recently introduced traffic wardens. This would partly explain the lack of forensic evidence gathered from the car if an attempt had been made to clean it before it was dumped- although one newspaper claimed it was bloodstained: surely the simplest method of cleaning would be to wipe down the seats and surfaces with warm water which would have diluted the blood. And were there not shell casings in the footwell? Not much of a clean-up operation.

                      If the car was dumped in the early evening then common sense suggests it must have been hidden from sight quite nearby to where it was found. No one, whether guilty of the crime or an accessory, would be confident of driving through London streets in the rush hour and not being noticed.

                      Comment


                      • Madwar . There is no Medwar, honestly, unless Allan changed his surname by deed poll since 1961.
                        *************************************
                        "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


                        • Alan Medwar, the well-known typo....

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

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Sherlock Houses View Post
                            Madwar . There is no Medwar, honestly, unless Allan changed his surname by deed poll since 1961.
                            Absolutely , I double checked ‘Foot and Woff’. Just to be sure

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by moste View Post

                              Absolutely , I double checked ‘Foot and Woff’. Just to be sure
                              You mightn't believe this Moste, but Allan Madwar's birth was registered in the district of Medway. A demilitarised zone in Kent, so no battles going on there in 1932.
                              *************************************
                              "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


                              • ........
                                Click image for larger version

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ID:	726793
                                *************************************
                                "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]

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