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  • Originally posted by ansonman View Post
    Howard may have no idea who may have the file but I bet he's got a bloody good recollection of what was in it and, more importantly, its conclusions.
    And for that matter, so does our Derrick.

    Originally posted by Derrick View Post

    As I said on another thread, libel has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.

    Everything Matthews found was presented at the appeal in 2002, and some.

    That doesn't mean that it was treated with any fairness...don't get me wrong on that eh?

    Remember Hawser?



    • Is it worth sending a more open ended FOI for the Matthews report, as previously suggested? And if so, then to which department? The Home Office, the Ministry of Justice or the Metropolitan Police? Or is it worth digging deeper with the National Archives or the Information Commissioner?


      • Originally posted by djw View Post
        Is it worth sending a more open ended FOI for the Matthews report, as previously suggested? And if so, then to which department? The Home Office, the Ministry of Justice or the Metropolitan Police? Or is it worth digging deeper with the National Archives or the Information Commissioner?
        Alas it seems you are discovering what a joke the FOI act is proving to be. Also known as the "Fobbed Off Interminably" act. The Matthews Report must be a complete figment of our imagination, it never existed.
        "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]


        • djw,

          You're not alone in your frustration. Here is a report on a FOI request concerning the Jean Townsend murder of 1954.

          ''In 2005, a former schoolfriend of Jean's (and a neighbour and family friend of the Townsends), Reg Hargrave, applied for access to the police case files – now held by the UK National Archives at the Public Record Office in Kew – under the Freedom of Information Act. The request was refused and – following an approach to the Information Commissioner – an appeal was heard (in part in closed session) by an Information Tribunal in November 2007. In its ruling the Tribunal dismissed the appeal and upheld an earlier decision to withhold the files from public inspection until 2031……. The Tribunal heard that whilst the police case files were substantial, a number of items were missing.

          The Townsend case still elicits a certain amount of interest in the Ruislip area, albeit on a limited scale. Unofficial enquiries and research are still undertaken by those who have developed an interest in it, including the appellant in the FOI case above……….. A chance meeting in 1983 with a retired detective who had worked on the case suggested that the police had a pretty good idea who was responsible, but were unable to gather sufficient evidence to make an arrest or bring charges.''


          • Hi all,

            Its probably a dumb question to ask on this thread but has anyone read The Long Silence by Paul Stickler yet? Is it worth getting?


            • I bought a copy shortly after it came out. I'm a Hanratty supporter and although it's one sided, it's well worth a read in my view. Essentially, it's Storie's autobiography put together by an ex-policeman. There are also some very interesting photographs that I hadn't seen before including the inside of the Morris Minor.


              • Hi Herlock, it's not a bad book. It contains some information not previously made widely available and has some interesting photos. The following is what I posted after reading it.

                Originally posted by Spitfire View Post
                I spent a pleasant few hours in the garden reading Paul Stickler's book The Long Silence. The book was authorised by Valerie Storie's estate and is written by an ex-bobby, so I am sure the tone and contents will come as no surprise.

                It is not entirely free of error despite the author taking to task those who in the past have made similar errors of spelling of names etc. For example, Carole France becomes "Carol France"; Meike Dalal was a Swedish national (she was German-born and naturalised British) and the date of the murder is wrong in this passage at p258
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                Of course Val and Mike were abducted on the evening of 22 August and they were both shot in the early hours of 23 August 1961.

                It is admitted that Val and Mike had had sex in the Moggie Minor on the Sunday immediately before the adduction but had not done so on the evening of 22 August. The much-debated thorny question as to how the mystery blood group AB DNA material was detected on the fragment of the knickers she was wearing on the 22 August is not otherwise addressed.

                It is alleged that Hanratty's dad had on two occasions tried to knobble witnesses. This must have been discussed in other books but without much prominence.
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                and the note at note 6

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                The book contains photographs many of which we have seen before, however courtesy of Bedfordshire cops there are photos of the infamous bedroom/bathroom at Indledene and of Room 24 of the Vienna. There are also photos of the postcard sent by Jimmy from Ireland.

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                The attic room at Ingledene. This photo must have been available to Woffinden but did not find its way into his work on the A6 Murder. The photo clearly demonstrates that the room described (rear room, curtains, sink etc) by Hanratty was nothing like the attic room.


                • New info from Stickler included:

                  1. Evans was in Rhyl at the time Hanratty claimed to have been there, serving at a cafe near Dixie's.

                  2. Irish police were contacted on 19th September to trace Ryan, so the information from Pratt about the rental car had been obtained by then and not on 26th.

                  3. Hanratty came up with the Rhyl alibi on 25th January and Gilbanks went there the following day.

                  However it didn't really work for me as a proxy book because it lacked the personal insights that Valerie would have included. He seemed to be more protective of the police than her; the idea that Acott was passive in Nudds second statement strains credulity. Also would have liked more detailed notes about his sources.


                  • Thanks Ansonman, Spitfire and Nick B

                    Why did I ask if anyone had read it? I think I just won the ‘stupidest question of the year’ award.


                    • 87 reviews on Amazon. The book has attracted more attention than I expected.


                      • Indeed. 71% gave it 5 stars and 15% 4 stars. What's more interesting to me is this book, recently published:

                        Hanratty's Guilt: The A6 Murder and its Aftermath Paperback – 9 Aug. 2022

                        by Leonard Miller (Author)

                        I haven't read his first book which was going for a ridiculous sum. Here's the write up on this one:

                        "The A6 murder case shocked the nation in 1961. But after James Hanratty was convicted of the crime and executed a series of books appeared over three decades arguing that there had been a major miscarriage of justice and an innocent man had been hanged. Some even suggested that the crime had involved a conspiracy and that it originated in the private life of the murder victim, Michael Gregsten.

                        Leonard Miller’s classic work of analysis, Shadows of Deadman’s Hill, published before the Court of Appeal’s final verdict on the case in 2002, was the first book to challenge the case for Hanratty’s innocence. Piece by piece, Miller tore apart the claims that there had been a miscarriage of justice, as set out in no less than five full-length studies of the A6 murder case. These authors, he argued, were guilty of tunnel vision. There was no secret conspiracy involving third parties. The crime was unplanned. An impulsive attempt at robbery spiralled out of control as Hanratty enjoyed the power which a newly acquired gun gave him.

                        Miller’s conclusion was later echoed by the subsequent Court of Appeal’s final verdict that Hanratty had all along been the A6 gunman and rapist, and that there was “overwhelming proof of the safety of the conviction from an evidential perspective”.

                        In this rewritten and expanded analysis, Leonard Miller returns after twenty years to his original study of the crime. He brings the story up to date, considers new studies, and provides the definitive account of the case for James Hanratty’s guilt. This book also includes new material communicated to the author after the publication of his earlier work".

                        Was Shadows of Deadman's Hill worth reading?


                        • Originally posted by ansonman View Post
                          Was Shadows of Deadman's Hill worth reading?
                          I don't know because it sold out very quickly and was then only available for silly money. It was slated on here, mainly because someone had had the audacity to write a book believing in Jim's guilt! I would be interested to know about his 'new material' though, because one of the criticisms of his original book was that it contained no original material but appeared to be merely pointing out the flaws in Foot and Woffinden.


                          • Well I've bought Miller - as only 2.99 on Kindle.

                            Seems the cornfield entrance was at or near what became the Thames Water entrance. This is what I had come to believe after Spitfire's map.


                            • So, I bought Millers latest effort on kindle also, $4.75 Canadian. Only Two chapters in and it’s already apparent he’s on the other side of my fence . Anyhow we’ll see how it develops.


                              • Sorry about the type, this is the only site that does that!