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  • Originally posted by moste View Post

    I don’t mind playing the devils advocate on occasions where the innocence of Alphon is concerned, but like yourself have always only ever considered him a ‘ crack pot’ and bloody nuisance. Your post however does smack of the police actions being of a perverse nature.
    Just doing a quick research on greyhound stadia on ‘vice.com’, apparently there was in 1961 over 30 stadiums in the London area , before their rapid decline throughout the 60s. I believe it is a given that Alphon for reasons known only to himself, frequented the Dolphin stadium ,Slough. I do believe IIRC. Alphon had claimed to have placed a bet on the last race of the night (‘Mentals only hope’) consequently, it would not be unreasonable to believe Alphon was seen earlier in the day wandering the lanes of Taplow.
    Apart from the two residents of ( was it) Marsh Lane we had the caravan dweller, Fogarty, who believes he encountered Alphon twice.
    I tell yer! This devils advocate things starts to get you swaying. Who knows maybe Natalie was right!

    Comment


    • In order to downplay the number of coincidences which connect Alphon to the A6 Case it seems necessary to support police actions (or lack of them) and rely on the testimony of Nudds. It is also necessary to discount eyewitness testimony as unreliable, which of course it may have been, but an irony given the foundation of the case against James Hanratty. I think it would be more accurate to say that the involvement of Peter Alphon in the A6 Case was based not on ‘a coincidence’ but on ‘a number of coincidences.’

      That’s if you think Alphon is simply a red herring that draws us away from the real killer. I suspect he was a bit more than that, and a far more complex character than the ‘nutter’ ‘wierdo’ or ‘loner’ he is often described as. His charmed life in respect of attacks on women and harassing phone calls indicates a person being offered some sort of protection. His ability to stay at hotels and even possess considerable monies at the bank despite having no regular income and a father described as a ‘Records Clerk’ has never been satisfactorily explained.

      BTW one coincidence I overlooked. A woman calling herself Mrs Rouch contacted the defence at the beginning of the magistrate hearing and claimed she knew who the real killer was and that the real killer knew Alphon, of all people.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
        In order to downplay the number of coincidences which connect Alphon to the A6 Case it seems necessary to support police actions (or lack of them) and rely on the testimony of Nudds. It is also necessary to discount eyewitness testimony as unreliable, which of course it may have been, but an irony given the foundation of the case against James Hanratty. I think it would be more accurate to say that the involvement of Peter Alphon in the A6 Case was based not on ‘a coincidence’ but on ‘a number of coincidences.’

        That’s if you think Alphon is simply a red herring that draws us away from the real killer. I suspect he was a bit more than that, and a far more complex character than the ‘nutter’ ‘wierdo’ or ‘loner’ he is often described as. His charmed life in respect of attacks on women and harassing phone calls indicates a person being offered some sort of protection. His ability to stay at hotels and even possess considerable monies at the bank despite having no regular income and a father described as a ‘Records Clerk’ has never been satisfactorily explained.

        BTW one coincidence I overlooked. A woman calling herself Mrs Rouch contacted the defence at the beginning of the magistrate hearing and claimed she knew who the real killer was and that the real killer knew Alphon, of all people.
        That’s right Cobalt and that person was supposed to call back and never did IIR.

        Comment


        • It’s possible Mrs. Rouch had nothing more than hearsay to offer but my general point was to question the claim that Peter Alphon’s link to the A6 Case was pure coincidence. He had a number of links to the A6 Case independent of claims made by either himself or activists supporting James Hanratty.

          The most significant may be the claim by Mrs. Lanz of the Old Station Inn that Alphon had visited the place on a number of occasions. Her claim is not quite ‘testimony’ because although Mrs. Lanz said that she told the police about this there is no record of a statement being taken. Her claim is often discredited since it was brought to public attention by Jean Justice and Jeremy Fox, two characters who were convinced of Hanratty’s innocence and are easily caricatured as being like ‘Julian and Sandy’ from the radio show ‘Round the Horne.’ The suggestion is that these two men led their witnesses and edited responses to obtain the kind of evidence that supported their view.

          However according to Lord Russell, speaking in the HOL in 1966, Mrs. Lanz had confirmed this information personally to him in conversation. She claimed to have told this to the police on a number of occasions ‘some time ago’ and that Alphon was in her establishment on the evening of the 21st of August 1961, the evening prior to when the couple were attacked. Given that a proprietor is naturally alert to the faces of regulars and strangers who turn up at their premises I would put set some store by her claim.

          If she is correct then the coincidence is quite a deep one. That Hanratty visited the Dolphin dog track in Slough can be discounted as mere coincidence I agree; Alphon liked betting and dog racing so this is of no consequence. That he liked to visit the Old Station Inn, I believe around 6 miles from the dog track, is a little stranger since there must have been places closer he could have gone for a drink and this particular place was around a mile from the cornfield in Taplow. Where the coincidence is stretched to the limit is that Alphon chanced to frequent the very hostelry which happened to be a regular dropping off point for Michael Gregsten and Valerie Storie, the two victims; not only that, he was there the night before the terrible events occurred.

          The reluctance of the police to investigate from the Taplow end of the crime is perplexing. Fenner Brockway, speaking in the HOC in 1963, explained that his involvement with the case had arisen from a Taplow journalist of good reputation who alerted him to anomalies in the case. Whether this man, called Mason, had picked up on some local disquiet or was acting independently is unclear. Surely interviewing Mrs. Lanz and her customers should have been one of the first actions undertaken, as well as canvassing locals near to the cornfield and interviewing work and car club colleagues. If this was done there is no public record of it although Roger Matthews might have seen something which attracted his attention.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by cobalt View Post


            The most significant may be the claim by Mrs. Lanz of the Old Station Inn that Alphon had visited the place on a number of occasions. Her claim is not quite ‘testimony’ because although Mrs. Lanz said that she told the police about this there is no record of a statement being taken. Her claim is often discredited since it was brought to public attention by Jean Justice and Jeremy Fox, two characters who were convinced of Hanratty’s innocence and are easily caricatured as being like ‘Julian and Sandy’ from the radio show ‘Round the Horne.’ The suggestion is that these two men led their witnesses and edited responses to obtain the kind of evidence that supported their view.

            However according to Lord Russell, speaking in the HOL in 1966, Mrs. Lanz had confirmed this information personally to him in conversation. She claimed to have told this to the police on a number of occasions ‘some time ago’ and that Alphon was in her establishment on the evening of the 21st of August 1961, the evening prior to when the couple were attacked. Given that a proprietor is naturally alert to the faces of regulars and strangers who turn up at their premises I would put set some store by her claim.
            .
            I would definitely put some store by Mrs Lanz's claim, Cobalt. Efforts have often been made, unjustly, on this forum to discredit Mary Lanz. I have no information as to whether she made a statement to the police at the critical time. I do know however that she made a statement to the press on August 24th 1961, informing them that Gregsten and Storie had been regular customers at her pub for about 4 months prior to the murder, every night in fact on certain weeks but never at weekends [see Paul Foot page 26]. This contrasts remarkably with how seldom Valerie Storie claimed she and Gregsten went to that particular pub.

            In addition to what Mrs Lanz told the press the day after the murder she had already informed a Daily Herald reporter, Robert Traini, on August 23rd, the day of the murder, that "They came in here last night about 8 pm and drank Coca-Cola and gin. They left about about 9.15. Mr Gregsten always carried an umbrella with him and last night he was wearing a leather motoring jacket. While they were here the couple sat studying the road maps."

            Evidently a very observant pub licensee, Mrs Mary Lanz.

            *************************************
            "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

              If she is correct then the coincidence is quite a deep one. That Hanratty visited the Dolphin dog track in Slough can be discounted as mere coincidence I agree;
              I noticed that you've inadvertently typed Hanratty here Cobalt instead of Alphon.
              *************************************
              "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
                Are you absolutely certain of this? Apparently a man the couple in Dorney saw reminded them of the actor Sidney Tafler, and perhaps there was a superficial resemblance, but I think this sighting was a few days prior to the murder. So was Alphon placed on an i.d. parade at which the Dorney couple were present? Don't think so.
                You are getting all muddled up here Graham. It was Michael Fogarty-Waul, not the Dorney couple [ie. Elsie and Stanley Cobb] who remarked about the Sydney Tafler resemblance to the man he encountered a week or two before the murder.
                Also it is quite unbelievable that the Cobbs's compelling evidence was ignored by the plod and that they were not called upon to attend any of the ID parades. Thus Alphon could not be picked out by either of these important witnesses. Struth !

                *************************************
                "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


                • Coca-Cola and gin.
                  My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                  Comment


                  • If she is correct then the coincidence is quite a deep one. That Hanratty visited the Dolphin dog track in Slough can be discounted as mere coincidence I agree


                    Yes, apologies for the typo. I meant Alphon of course. However as another possible coincidence it has been suggested that Aplhon and Hanratty probably visited the same greyhound tracks although there is no record of them being seen together.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
                      If she is correct then the coincidence is quite a deep one. That Hanratty visited the Dolphin dog track in Slough can be discounted as mere coincidence I agree
                      Yes, apologies for the typo. I meant Alphon of course. However as another possible coincidence it has been suggested that Aplhon and Hanratty probably visited the same greyhound tracks although there is no record of them being seen together.
                      My favourite coincidence, which I personally don’t believe is a coincidence, is the very real association between (a) Ewer and Ms. Anderson,
                      (b) Ms. Anderson being friend, confidant, of James Hanratty, and(c)
                      the exposition of Hanratty by Ewer to the police in Swiss Cottage.

                      Comment


                      • It seems that Mrs. Lanz did in fact make statements to the police at the time of the A6 Case. Here are extracts from a HOC debate in October 1971 following the publication of Paul Foot’s book. The Home Secretary was Reginald Maudling, one of the most hapless politicians of his generation, a man who introduced internment in Northern Ireland and fuelled an IRA backlash that brought the province close to outright civil war, gave false testimony to parliament following ‘Bloody Sunday’ and had his face slapped by Bernadette Devlin for his pains, then was forced to retire from politics since so many of his friends were exposed as fraudsters or embezzlers.

                        Maudling: ‘’…inquiries were made of Mrs. Lanz at the time of the crime and shortly after the trial about persons she had seen at the Old Station Inn, Taplow, and her present recollection of events is not consistent with the statements she made nearer the time.’’
                        It would be very interesting to see what these inconsistencies were. For example Mrs. Lanz was unlikely to say that she remembered seeing Peter Alphon in her first statements since she had no idea who he was at that time. When, in the course of events, she did recognise him later and said so, would that be an inconsistency?

                        Maudling: ‘’Nor is it the case that the police were put on the trail of Hanratty as a result of information received from Mr. William Ewer.’’
                        Strictly speaking that may be true: the police claimed they only pursued the ‘Ryan’ lead after the cartridge shells were found. Notice however that Maudling does not openly deny that information was received from Ewer intending to put the police on Hanratty’s trail.

                        Maudling: ‘I do not believe that any judicial tribunal can be expected to arrive at a convincing opinion as to the facts on the basis of the recollection of witnesses as to specific details ten years after the event. Mr. Justice Brabin, in his report on the Evans case, has graphically described the fallibility of any such process.''
                        Quoting Brabin reveals Maudling’s intention to keep the truth at bay. Brabin’s perverse conclusion about the Evans case was that Evans was innocent of murdering his daughter but was probably guilty of killing his wife, a crime to which Reginald Christie confessed before execution. (Both victims were strangled and their bodies found together.) It took 30 years to get some sort of truth about Hillsborough but presumably Maudling would have discounted any findings as unconvincing.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by moste View Post

                          That’s right Cobalt and that person was supposed to call back and never did IIR.
                          Then there was the particular prostitute ,(digging deep into my memory bank from one of the books) who claimed she saw Hanratty on his own, on the other side of the street, and recognized him well enough , however I think she went to call out and wave ,but was with a male companion, so decided not to. I can’t recall if it was Rhyl or Liverpool, anyhow little was made of this and it was filed under ‘Do Not Pursue’ I believe. I wonder what difference it would have made if she had been alone and had called out?

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