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  • Alphon said?' That’s not much in the way of argument, never mind evidence. I doubt he ever got so close as to see Southend Pier. You are buying a false narrative.

    I do not believe that Alphon paid cash up front for a room at the Vienna he had never even seen at the Broadway. Nor do I believe that the Broadway would have expected him to put down any more than a token deposit. The story is leaking like a sieve from the outset. After placing the deposit Alphon then goes and meets with his dear old mum for a natter, totally oblivious to his deposit? You can believe this then you can believe Hanratty was guilty.

    And that is before we get Nudds upon the scene to clarify matters. Alfie is on the right mark: the strange relocation of both Hanratty and Alphon from the Broadway to the Vienna. Was it ever established if the Broadway was actually full? If so, by whom?
    Alfie is doing a decent job for the defence.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
      Alphon said?' That’s not much in the way of argument, never mind evidence. I doubt he ever got so close as to see Southend Pier. You are buying a false narrative.

      I do not believe that Alphon paid cash up front for a room at the Vienna he had never even seen at the Broadway. Nor do I believe that the Broadway would have expected him to put down any more than a token deposit. The story is leaking like a sieve from the outset. After placing the deposit Alphon then goes and meets with his dear old mum for a natter, totally oblivious to his deposit? You can believe this then you can believe Hanratty was guilty.

      And that is before we get Nudds upon the scene to clarify matters. Alfie is on the right mark: the strange relocation of both Hanratty and Alphon from the Broadway to the Vienna. Was it ever established if the Broadway was actually full? If so, by whom?
      Alfie is doing a decent job for the defence.
      I think we can assume that the Broadway was full. That would be why patrons were being asked if they would care to bed down at one of the satellite houses. Also since Alphon couldn’t at first secure a single room for himself , until a cancellation made one available, I think we can be fairly certain that this particular quod of hotels was doing ok for itself. Which brings us back to, how come room 24 was empty for a number of weeks apart from an Indian gentleman for one night , who we have to assume saw nothing of used cartridges, The said cartridges showed up when it was deemed that they were required. The management supposedly came round on an inspection of the premises as a result I believe of the dubious nature of the Nudds activities. Then ‘ hey presto’ looks what’s sitting on the easy chair next to the bed. Then, without so much as a hint of not wanting to get involved, calls Scotland Yard . There are very noxious fumes emitting from this whole story line.

      Comment


      • I agree that the payment Alphon made at the Broadway could have been just a depsosit. If so, this explains the reference to the deposit paid in the Vienna books.

        So he does not define how long he wants to stay, which appears to be his normal mode of operation, and is charged a deposit of one night's amount.
        Last edited by NickB; 04-30-2020, 08:44 AM. Reason: Added second sentence

        Comment


        • Why does Cobalt describe the relocation from The Broadway to The Vienna as strange? Moste has got it right - Mr Pichler's little group was doing all right, it was the height of the summer tourist season, and rather than turn a prospective guest away he would have suggested they book a room at one or other of his hotels - in the case of Alphon and Hanratty, The Vienna. My geography of London is not too good, but I believe the hotels were not all that far away from one another; in fact, within easy walking-distance. Cobalt makes it sound, intentionally or otherwise, as though he believes that Mr Pichler was in on the imagined conspiracy.

          Moste, for the nth time, Mr Crocker was sent by Mr Pichler to The Vienna to investigate 5 missing from the till. Presumably this error was discovered when Mr Pichler was checking the accounts. Nudds and his missus were a pair of bad 'uns - and it's sometimes forgotten that they'd been at The Vienna only since 12 August, yet already had a poor reputation for laziness and dishonesty. One day when Nudds had called in sick, Juliana Galves caught sight of his face at a horse-race meeting broadcast live on TV. Crocker was very firm that he himself had not appointed either of the Nudds, so it's assumed that Mr Pichler took them on. What a shrewd judge of character old Mr P was, eh? Although Moste appears to be suggesting otherwise, there is absolutely no doubt that Crocker was ordered by Mr Pichler to go to The Vienna and confront the Nudds about their various misdemeanours. Which he did. And he sacked them. The inspection of the rooms was overdue, so he and Mrs Galves went off on their tour.

          The cartridge cases were found when a chair in Room 24 was moved to access a strip of material hanging down beneath it. One of the cases fell off to the floor, and the other was found when Mrs Galves ran her hand over the seat and discovered it towards the rear of the chair. Which was upholstered in a dark brown material, and was located in an alcove, not in the main body of the room. On one of the several TV documentaries, there was a view of the room, which was large and over-looked a garden. However, it was poorly lit and gave the impression of being rather dismal. Hence the presence of the cases wasn't noticed for some time, especially was the room was little used.

          Crocker was aware that The Vienna had attracted the attention of the police who were interested in one of their guests, a Mr Frederick Durrant a.k.a. Peter Alphon, who'd stayed their on the night of the A6 crime. Mrs Galves went to Harrow Road Police Station on 6 September to make a statement regarding Durrant/Alphon. We don't know the precise details of her statement, but it must have satisfied the police at that time that Durrant/Alphon was not connected with the A6. But there was now no secret that The Vienna was now linked, albeit very tenuously, with the A6 investigation, and this was sufficient for Crocker to contact the police regarding the cartridge cases he'd found. In next to no time the cases were collected, forensically examined, and pronounced to have been fired by the A6 murder weapon. And The Vienna Hotel becamse part of history.

          So, Moste, who in your opinion 'deemed' that the cases were 'now required'? Who gave Mr Crocker and Mrs Galves the nod to 'discover' them? Mr Crocker was aware that the hotel had been investigated as part of the inquiry into a now-famous and brutal crime. He said that if not for this knowledge he may well just dumped the cases and forgotten about them. But you obviously have other ideas, Moste - let's hear them!

          Graham
          Last edited by Graham; 05-01-2020, 08:19 AM.
          We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

          Comment


          • Regarding Nudds' second statement: I'm wondering about the note and key Nudds says he and Snell left for Durrant/Alphon at reception telling him that room 6 was now available (Nudds said it was placed "on top of the pen tray in the centre of the reception desk where it could not be missed by anyone coming to the reception desk").

            If the police's new chief suspect parked the murder car in Avondale Crescent at c. 7.10 am, he wouldn't have arrived back at the Vienna until 8.00-8.30 am at the earliest, by which time, presumably, at least some of the guests in the "particularly full" hotel would have checked out. If Nudds was telling the truth, wouldn't the note and key have been noticed prior to that time by Galves (or whoever was manning reception - Nudds was in the kitchen, he says, and Snell was serving breakfasts)?

            If I didn't believe that Acott and Oxford knew all along that the statement was hogwash, I'd say it was a little odd that the police didn't follow up this lead.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Graham View Post
              Why does Cobalt describe the relocation from The Broadway to The Vienna as strange? Moste has got it right - Mr Pichler's little group was doing all right, it was the height of the summer tourist season, and rather than turn a prospective guest away he would have suggested they book a room at one or other of his hotels - in the case of Alphon and Hanratty, The Vienna. My geography of London is not too good, but I believe the hotels were not all that far away from one another; in fact, within easy walking-distance. Cobalt makes it sound, intentionally or otherwise, as though he believes that Mr Pichler was in on the imagined conspiracy.

              Moste, for the nth time, Mr Crocker was sent by Mr Pichler to The Vienna to investigate 5 missing from the till. Presumably this error was discovered when Mr Pichler was checking the accounts. Nudds and his missus were a pair of bad 'uns - and it's sometimes forgotten that they'd been at The Vienna only since 12 August, yet already had a poor reputation for laziness and dishonesty. One day when Nudds had called in sick, Juliana Galves caught sight of his face at a horse-race meeting broadcast live on TV. Crocker was very firm that he himself had not appointed either of the Nudds, so it's assumed that Mr Pichler took them on. What a shrewd judge of character old Mr P was, eh? Although Moste appears to be suggesting otherwise, there is absolutely no doubt that Crocker was ordered by Mr Pichler to go to The Vienna and confront the Nudds about their various misdemeanours. Which he did. And he sacked them. The inspection of the rooms was overdue, so he and Mrs Galves went off on their tour.

              The cartridge cases were found when a chair in Room 24 was moved to access a strip of material hanging down beneath it. One of the cases fell off to the floor, and the other was found when Mrs Galves ran her hand over the seat and discovered it towards the rear of the chair. Which was upholstered in a dark brown material, and was located in an alcove, not in the main body of the room. On one of the several TV documentaries, there was a view of the room, which was large and over-looked a garden. However, it was poorly lit and gave the impression of being rather dismal. Hence the presence of the cases wasn't noticed for some time, especially was the room was little used.

              Crocker was aware that The Vienna had attracted the attention of the police who were interested in one of their guests, a Mr Frederick Durrant a.k.a. Peter Alphon, who'd stayed their on the night of the A6 crime. Mrs Galves went to Harrow Road Police Station on 6 September to make a statement regarding Durrant/Alphon. We don't know the precise details of her statement, but it must have satisfied the police at that time that Durrant/Alphon was not connected with the A6. But there was now no secret that The Vienna was now linked, albeit very tenuously, with the A6 investigation, and this was sufficient for Crocker to contact the police regarding the cartridge cases he'd found. In next to no time the cases were collected, forensically examined, and pronounced to have been fired by the A6 murder weapon. And The Vienna Hotel becamse part of history.

              So, Moste, who in your opinion 'deemed' that the cases were 'now required'? Who gave Mr Crocker and Mrs Galves the nod to 'discover' them? Mr Crocker was aware that the hotel had been investigated as part of the inquiry into a now-famous and brutal crime. He said that if not for this knowledge he may well just dumped the cases and forgotten about them. But you obviously have other ideas, Moste - let's hear them!

              Graham
              Well,your post ,which including a couple of colourful Observations ,leaves me to believe that my final sentence was ,’on the money’ sorry but all I see in all this is a set up.
              Crocker/Galves. Certainly would not have surrendered the cartridges to the police, under any circumstances, and in my opinion it’s very naive to consider it likely. Add to this Acott and Oxford were bent, and no amount of explanation of events regardless of how accurate would suffice to change my view on this.

              Comment


              • I don’t think that either Mr. Pichler or Mr. Crocker was involved in any conspiracy. I do find it odd though that both Alphon and Hanratty went to the Broadway Hotel (albeit one day apart) before being directed to the Vienna. Alphon had already attracted police attention due to his behaviour at another hotel prior to the cartridge cases being found and if he was not responsible for them being deposited at the Vienna then he very nearly suffered the most outrageous misfortune. How could he ever have guessed that the man actually responsible for the crime Alphon had been questioned about had stayed in the same hotel as him a night previously?

                I agree with Alfie that Nudds second statement has the ring of falsehood about it; but then that would apply to any utterance from him. I think we would all be further forward if we had access to the contemporary registers for both the Broadway Hotel and the Vienna Hotel- and a list of names of those signed in on the two relevant dates as well.


                Hanratty had announced his intention to visit Liverpool on the morning before he stayed at the Vienna, I think. Did he ever offer a reason for delaying his journey?

                Comment


                • 1] Moste - unless I misread your post, are you saying that Crocker and Galves would have withheld their discovery of the cartidge cases from the police? If so, why? And why is it naive for me or anyone else to accept that they did what they did and reported the discovery of the cases to the police in the knowledge that The Vienna Hotel had already 'featured' in the A6 investigation? I really don't know what you're trying to get at here. Still, if, as you say, nothing will ever change your view on this, then no point continuing this dialogue.

                  2] Cobalt - I can't remember how many times I've said this, but Alphon's original 'inclusion' in the A6 investigation was purely coincidental. Yes, it was odd that they both went to The Broadway and both stayed at The Vienna, but nevertheless that's what happened. No way was Alphon responsible for depositing by accident the cartridge cases at The Vienna. Let's be absolutely honest and realistic about this - would he, had he anything whatsoever to do with the A6, have given himself up at Scotland Yard? I think not.

                  Acott was under immense pressure from his superiors and the Home Office. He had to come up with something and quick. The discovery of the cases at The Vienna was manna from Heaven as far as he was concerned, as to him it 'proved' that the A6 killer had stayed at The Vienna, and Peter Alphon had readily admitted that he had stayed there. Therefore, far as Basil was concerned, Alphon was the killer. My own feeling is that he leaned very, very heavily on Nudds until Nudds 'agreed' to make a statement which, so far as Acott was concerned, confirmed Alphon as the A6 killer. Unfortunately for Acott, Valerie failed to recognise Alphon on the i.d. parade, and Acott had to start from scratch. And it took him quite a long time before he was able to link James Hanratty to the 'Ryan' who had stayed at The Vienna at the crucial time.

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

                  Comment


                  • Not so long ago, Sherlock Houses gave us the sad news that Mick Hanratty, James' younger brother, had passed away. Sherlock stated that Mick had remained, perfectly understandably, totally convinced of James' innocence. He also said that Mick, like myself, was convinced that Peter Alphon had nothing to do with the A6 Case. I asked Sherlock why Mick thought this, but so far I haven't received a response. Sherlock, if you read this, I would be extremely interested to know just why Mick felt that Alphon had nothing to do with the case. Thanks in advance.

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

                    Comment


                    • Alphon’s original link to the A6 Case was more than coincidental. He was reported as acting strangely over a period of days at a hotel, behaviour which in the Padola case had helped locate the murderer of a policeman. That hardly makes Alphon guilty of anything other than being a nuisance, but Alphon was brought to police attention specifically in relation to the A6 enquiry. One reason they lost interest is that he had what appeared to be an established alibi at the Vienna Hotel.

                      Now it was possibly just extremely bad luck that of all the hotels Alphon had stayed at, the one he used for his alibi was the very same establishment where the murderer had dropped some cartridge cases. But given the combination of his odd behaviour in the days following the murder and the later discovery of the cartridge cases it’s obvious the police thought they might have their man. That was one coincidence too many in their eyes.

                      Regarding Nudds’ various statements, the scenario you outlined of Acott pressuring him to finger Alphon makes as much sense as anything. But having bent the law to that extent, it’s strange Acott didn’t find a way to ‘tip the wink’ to Valerie Storie about who their main suspect was. He knew she was not confident about identifying her attacker and once she failed to do so, Acott looked a bit of an idiot having to go back and get Nudds to retract version 2 and restore version 1.

                      When did Acott know who Ryan really was? It’s not clear. But in theory he could have found out when the police made their enquiries at Swiss Cottage a week before the cartridge cases turned up. As for the cartridge cases it would be great if they had not fallen down a memory hole. For although shooting removes traces of fingerprints from a cartridge, there is a tattooing process when fired which drives the fingerprint under the surface.

                      Comment


                      • Remember ,The Vienna Hotel ,in fact all of the Acott investigations since his first interview with Storie ,are as a result of ‘We picked a man up in Slough’.
                        I think Storie told Acott, “I blurted out about picking someone up,because I knew this terrible event would become a nationwide exposition.” The truth is Mr. Acott, Michael and I had on an impulse , and tracked what Would be our weekend rally . Traversing the Chilterns from south to north . We loved the get togethers in the car late at night , and after a couple of hours nap, made love in the back seat . Then a sudden rap on the car window , and two men with guns pulled us out onto the lay by. One of them shot Mike dead at close range, then shouted to the other man to finish me off, which after blazing away with what sounded like a much less powerful gun, Jumped into the car and set off in a southerly direction. I don’t know if Mike was involved in something unbeknown to me or why or how all this had to happen. All I can say is ,it all happened too fast to see, or hear, or remember anything of the event , “
                        Acott knew of Cheif Superintendent Herbert Balmers exploits up in Liverpool, so after a very short time of Deliberation knew he was going to have to take his lead.The scant info. that Storie had proffered, left Acott behind the 8 ball.
                        This would explain why ,There was very little Police presence In Taplow along Marsh Lane , and in Particular the Station Inn pub, where apparently , the lovers used as their preferred hangout on numerous occasions, . This place where people who were out enjoying a pint and a pie , were rubbing shoulders with, and seeing, this couple For the very last time. We’re they all found, and interviewed, thoroughly , to satisfy the investigation that the couple and in particular Gregsten had had no conversations or discussions that may help with a possible lead? Not a bit of it .By all accounts ,as raised on these boards before, the police were Conspicuous in their absence.
                        Next ,this would explain why there was to all accounts, no door to door questioning of all Home owners on Avon crescent, as mentioned in the books I believe. People it seems that had something to say Approached the police of they’re own Volition, ie. the brilliant ,dashing Mr. Trower.

                        just caught up on recent posts.
                        The enigma ( for that is what we have here) of the the two suspects Staying at the same boarding house, out of all the possible choices that were available to these two gentlemen , is too incredible to be brushed under the carpet as ‘coincidence’.
                        Last edited by moste; 05-01-2020, 08:55 PM.

                        Comment


                        • Since Alphon was actually‘ named ‘as the man they were after, he would be extremely foolish to go on the run , can’t understand anyone not seeing this Graham.

                          Comment


                          • Some reasons to suppose that Alphon was involved in the A6 Case.

                            1. A man bearing a resemblance to him was seen in the Taplow area the afternoon of the murder.
                            2. The landlady of the Inn where the victims shared their last drink believed she had seen Alphon there around the time of the crime.
                            3. Alphon was garrulous by nature. So was the murderer according to Valerie Storie.
                            4. Alphon did not have a driving licence and had no known experience of cars.
                            5. In the aftermath of the crime Alphon lay out of sight but attracted the attention of fellow residents in the hotel where he was staying, resulting in the police being called.
                            6. Alphon carried out an apparently motiveless attack on Mrs Delal.
                            7. Alphon stayed in the Vienna Hotel where cartridge cases were found.
                            8. Alphon was obstructive when police attempted to obtain his clothing.
                            9. Alphon was named- by an anonymous caller admittedly- as a person that knew who the killer was.
                            10. Alphon seemed to feel some personal responsibility for the execution of Hanratty and visited the family to offer his remorse.
                            11. Alphon was in possession of quite a large sum of money despite having no obvious means of support.
                            12. From the relative safety of Paris, Alphon effectively admitted his guilt and even provided some kind of motive.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
                              Alphon’s original link to the A6 Case was more than coincidental. He was reported as acting strangely over a period of days at a hotel, behaviour which in the Padola case had helped locate the murderer of a policeman. That hardly makes Alphon guilty of anything other than being a nuisance, but Alphon was brought to police attention specifically in relation to the A6 enquiry. One reason they lost interest is that he had what appeared to be an established alibi at the Vienna Hotel.

                              Now it was possibly just extremely bad luck that of all the hotels Alphon had stayed at, the one he used for his alibi was the very same establishment where the murderer had dropped some cartridge cases. But given the combination of his odd behaviour in the days following the murder and the later discovery of the cartridge cases it’s obvious the police thought they might have their man. That was one coincidence too many in their eyes.

                              Regarding Nudds’ various statements, the scenario you outlined of Acott pressuring him to finger Alphon makes as much sense as anything. But having bent the law to that extent, it’s strange Acott didn’t find a way to ‘tip the wink’ to Valerie Storie about who their main suspect was. He knew she was not confident about identifying her attacker and once she failed to do so, Acott looked a bit of an idiot having to go back and get Nudds to retract version 2 and restore version 1.

                              When did Acott know who Ryan really was? It’s not clear. But in theory he could have found out when the police made their enquiries at Swiss Cottage a week before the cartridge cases turned up. As for the cartridge cases it would be great if they had not fallen down a memory hole. For although shooting removes traces of fingerprints from a cartridge, there is a tattooing process when fired which drives the fingerprint under the surface.
                              Hi Cobalt,

                              yes indeed, I am aware of the circumstances behind Alphon being interviewed by police regarding the A6 investigation at The Alexandra Court. Because the police put out a public request to hotel, B&B and boarding-house proprietors concerning any guests they had who were behaving oddly. So was Alphon the only one who was reported and interviewed? Highly unlikely, I'd say. All he was doing was making a bit of a row at night and annoying other guests. When asked where he was on the night of August 22, he openly and without reservation told the police that he was staying at The Vienna Hotel, Maida Vale. It was not an alibi as he had no need for an alibi. It was the truth. When the cartridge cases were found, the police were advised of who was staying at The Vienna on the night in question, and discovered that one of the guests was Frederick Durrant a.k.a. Peter Alphon, who had caused a bit of a disturbance at The Alexandra Court and had been interviewed as a result. So they put out a public request for him to turn himself in. Why do you say that it was his 'alibi', the fact that he had stayed at The Vienna? Alibi for what?

                              Acott & Co descended upon the Vienna (although precisely when is open to question) and rather obviously let it be known that they would rather like to have a few words with Peter Louis Alphon. Almost certainly amongst others. And as a result of his being publicly named as a person the police wanted to speak to, he gave himself up. As any guilty murderer would do, naturally..............

                              Graham

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

                              Comment


                              • Moste,

                                I can’t find a motive for two anonymous gunmen to cut down Michael Gregsten and Valerie Storie. They didn’t mix in high enough society to pick up on any political sex scandals. It’s almost possible there might have been some industrial espionage relating to road safety/cars but an execution is hardly required: just pay Gregsten off, or promote him and hush it all up.

                                From what little we know, or maybe that should be suspect, about the methods used by our security services the arranged car crash seems to be a tactic employed. This would have been relatively easy to set up with a couple of car rally enthusiasts like Storie and Gregsten. And why did the executioners, or one of them, find it necessary to drive the car back badly to London? Why not leave it there?

                                As ever, if we accept Valerie Storie’s account we are stuck with the problem of motive. Robbery? Not really. That would have taken about two minutes. Exercise power? Probably, but that must have been wearing thin for all concerned after a few hours. Sex? Seems to have been an impulsive reaction to the murder. If a deranged gunman was playing some cruel game then he was running out of time before daylight broke, so deciding to ‘have a kip’ makes no sense whatsoever.

                                To me the crime looks like some sort of ultimatum. Or a transaction, a handover going wrong. If Valerie Storie’s account is accurate then it seems any transaction was no more than a blurred idea inside the head of a disturbed man. Then again maybe her account is not complete.

                                Comment

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