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  • moste
    replied
    copied..In that case Moste, we’d have to explore the reasons why Valerie Stories version of events was doctored and why she was prepared to go along with it…

    which ultimately means a conspiracy existed.

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    Quite right, and that someone was at the Dolphin racetrack that evening which by coincidence was on the route the car took , vis -a -vis the A4, Bath road.How much more of a coincidence is it though that this person in question shared the one in a million hotel only 24 hrs. apart with the man ultimately charged with the murder ?

    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    In that case Moste, we’d have to explore the reasons why Valerie Storie’s version of events was doctored and why she was prepared to go along with it.

    I agree the random stranger in the cornfield is hard to make any sense of. If Hanratty was going to be ‘a stick up man’ I can’t see why he couldn’t find richer pickings in the London area instead of coming to Taplow, a place he scarcely knew. Unlike burglary, where you can slip in and out without being noticed, armed robbery needs a sudden threat followed by a fast set of wheels. If Hanratty was casing possible targets in the area then he needed the option of a fast getaway, yet he seems to have been wandering around on foot instead of cruising the area in a car. It’s a bit late to nick one after you’ve done the deed.

    If the victims actually picked up by arrangement the person who later tried to murder them both, that would explain why there was no sighting of him in Taplow. The hitch hiker theory and the ‘man from near Slough’ both featured in early news reports but their accuracy is questionable. However we do know of one man who, by his own account, was in Slough that evening.

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    It would explain a great deal if we consider a prearranged meeting ,rendezvous,with someone known to Gregsten. Where some kind of ongoing arrangement was coming to a head, I would add quite possibly involving a financial agreement, which obviously went tragically awry.
    All of this would mean that there was a conspiracy involved, and as we all know the honesty and outstanding policing of the Met. In the early 60s, was beyond reproach.

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    I don’t believe the car was approached in a field, I’m not sure they were in that field on that particular night ,I do think closer to the truth was Stories original explanation, we picked a man up in Slough. This is just one of a number of issues I have .Things became more emphatic , and clarified once Acott spent time with the only witness.

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    All of above discussions lead me to the old question, ‘was Stories explanation of events accurately portrayed?’

    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    Hi Caz,

    I think the murderer would have guessed it was a courting couple before he peered through the windows, given the location of the car and it being late evening. He may have glimpsed a flash of female flesh that stirred his baser instincts but if it did, he took a long time to act on them. According to Valerie Storie, the murderer’s first desire was to blab out some kind of self-pitying autobiography. At that point she seemed to view him as an oddball rather a potential rapist.

    If sex was a motive then removing Gregsten from the car would have seemed the obvious move and that might have been possible in the cornfield. It’s true the killer did at one point consider putting him in the boot but there were other times Gregsten left the car and was allowed to return without the car being driven off. The sexual attack on Valerie Storie seems to have been more a reaction to the murder rather than an original motive.


    We still have the problem of how and why such a dangerous man, be he peeping tom, burglar or car thief, arrived undetected in a field carrying a gun and spare ammunition.

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    Hi OR,

    I think we occupy similar territory on the A6 Case: I’m not convinced of James Hanratty’s innocence but I’m less convinced of his guilt.

    How did the murderer arrive at the scene? Well first of all we would have to establish he was not a local man. If he was local, he wouldn’t really need to arrive at all. I assume the police checked out the small number of suspects in the area and their whereabouts on the night of the crime. Presumably any criminal associates lodging with ex-cons and even the proverbial black sheep of the family who turned up around the time of the crime were traced and eliminated as well. I say ‘presumably’ because there have been claims on this site that the local enquiries were very low key, that the focus swiftly shifted to London on discovery of the car and gun.

    If the murderer did arrive in Taplow on the day then I doubt he could have come by either train or bus. In the aftermath of such a crime every local person who had used public transport that afternoon/evening would have been racking their brains to remember any stranger they saw alighting in the Taplow area. Presumably ticket inspectors, bus drivers and conductors were questioned by police who drew a blank. That leaves the murderer arriving by car but not alone, for no stolen or abandoned car turned up in the area after the crime. Unsurprisingly given the turn of events, no one has ever come forward to volunteer that they drove the murderer to the location.

    The prosecution case suggested that Hanratty was in the area to do a spot of honest burglary and he could have been dropped by car for that very purpose with a view to a later rendezvous where he could be picked up with his loot. If the rendezvous went wrong, or was never part of the plan, then Hanratty needed a way back to London which for him meant stealing a car. A car park or street would the obvious option but he seems to have spied a car in a field. This meant he could use the firearm- which he had rather puzzlingly lugged along on his burglary mission- to scare the occupants out of the car and head back home. But he did not do this most obvious thing either then or at any point during the next five hours. A car thief who seems reluctant to nick a car.

    No one saw the murderer arrive. No one saw a young man in a suit walking a country lane, crossing a field, ‘casing’ a residential property or lurking around a car. No one reported any attempted break in to their property. To me this suggests the murderer was dropped by car near to the field with the intention of confronting the victims.

    All this assumes the ‘where’ and ‘when’ as testified by Valerie Storie. We have no corroboration of there being a third person in the car, by petrol attendants or other drivers, until the horrific events at Deadman’s Hill.
    Hi cobalt,

    Leaving the gunman's identity to one side for a moment, in your opinion do you think it possible that when he first saw the car parked in the field and walked up to it to investigate, he may have found a very obviously courting couple, engaged in kissing, cuddling and foreplay? Could this have turned a young mind to his own sexual gratification, and the possibility of doing a very ungentlemanly gentleman's excuse-me? It's a very powerful instinct, so it may not have been his original intention, and he may have had a lot of "finking" ahead of him, but once aroused...?

    Love,

    Caz
    X

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by OneRound View Post
    Hi cobalt,

    That's a striking post which powerfully reinforces my long held view that James Hanratty's guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt at trial and so a ''not guilty'' verdict should have been delivered by the jury.

    Putting my legal take and finding as above aside, we have to accept that someone killed Michael Gregsten and severely wounded Valerie Storie. For me, a lot points towards that person having been Hanratty albeit not, as I say, definitively enough for a ''guilty'' verdict and certainly not at the time of the trial.

    A couple of questions for you if I may. They are out of genuine interest and not to challenge you. Hence, I am only asking for your speculative thoughts - anything more would be wholly unfair.

    Your post doubts not just Hanratty but any stranger walking along the quiet, country roads of Taplow on the late afternoon / early evening in question. When, where and how do you think the third person got in the car?

    And if not Hanratty, who?

    Best regards,
    OneRound
    Hi OneRound,

    I was wondering exactly the same!

    Similarly, posters have often used the lack of forensic evidence found in the car to argue that Hanratty was never in it. But would that not equally apply to Alphon, or whoever else they suspect was the gunman?

    I do think the original jury was swayed by Hanratty's change of alibi, and his failure then to prove he was in either Liverpool or Rhyl when the murder was committed. That was not for the defence to prove, but it certainly helped the prosecution with their own case. Had Hanratty stuck firm with Liverpool, that essential element of reasonable doubt might well have crept in and been enough. But of course an acquittal on those grounds would not have meant he was innocent. Because of Rhyl we know he lied about his whereabouts, and his criminal record tells me he would have gone on to commit more offences had he been acquitted. So who can say, hand on heart, that none would have been of a serious enough nature to cause any great suffering to innocent home and vehicle owners?

    Love,

    Caz
    X

    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    Hi OR,

    I think we occupy similar territory on the A6 Case: I’m not convinced of James Hanratty’s innocence but I’m less convinced of his guilt.

    How did the murderer arrive at the scene? Well first of all we would have to establish he was not a local man. If he was local, he wouldn’t really need to arrive at all. I assume the police checked out the small number of suspects in the area and their whereabouts on the night of the crime. Presumably any criminal associates lodging with ex-cons and even the proverbial black sheep of the family who turned up around the time of the crime were traced and eliminated as well. I say ‘presumably’ because there have been claims on this site that the local enquiries were very low key, that the focus swiftly shifted to London on discovery of the car and gun.

    If the murderer did arrive in Taplow on the day then I doubt he could have come by either train or bus. In the aftermath of such a crime every local person who had used public transport that afternoon/evening would have been racking their brains to remember any stranger they saw alighting in the Taplow area. Presumably ticket inspectors, bus drivers and conductors were questioned by police who drew a blank. That leaves the murderer arriving by car but not alone, for no stolen or abandoned car turned up in the area after the crime. Unsurprisingly given the turn of events, no one has ever come forward to volunteer that they drove the murderer to the location.

    The prosecution case suggested that Hanratty was in the area to do a spot of honest burglary and he could have been dropped by car for that very purpose with a view to a later rendezvous where he could be picked up with his loot. If the rendezvous went wrong, or was never part of the plan, then Hanratty needed a way back to London which for him meant stealing a car. A car park or street would the obvious option but he seems to have spied a car in a field. This meant he could use the firearm- which he had rather puzzlingly lugged along on his burglary mission- to scare the occupants out of the car and head back home. But he did not do this most obvious thing either then or at any point during the next five hours. A car thief who seems reluctant to nick a car.

    No one saw the murderer arrive. No one saw a young man in a suit walking a country lane, crossing a field, ‘casing’ a residential property or lurking around a car. No one reported any attempted break in to their property. To me this suggests the murderer was dropped by car near to the field with the intention of confronting the victims.

    All this assumes the ‘where’ and ‘when’ as testified by Valerie Storie. We have no corroboration of there being a third person in the car, by petrol attendants or other drivers, until the horrific events at Deadman’s Hill.

    Leave a comment:


  • OneRound
    replied
    Hi cobalt,

    That's a striking post which powerfully reinforces my long held view that James Hanratty's guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt at trial and so a ''not guilty'' verdict should have been delivered by the jury.

    Putting my legal take and finding as above aside, we have to accept that someone killed Michael Gregsten and severely wounded Valerie Storie. For me, a lot points towards that person having been Hanratty albeit not, as I say, definitively enough for a ''guilty'' verdict and certainly not at the time of the trial.

    A couple of questions for you if I may. They are out of genuine interest and not to challenge you. Hence, I am only asking for your speculative thoughts - anything more would be wholly unfair.

    Your post doubts not just Hanratty but any stranger walking along the quiet, country roads of Taplow on the late afternoon / early evening in question. When, where and how do you think the third person got in the car?

    And if not Hanratty, who?

    Best regards,
    OneRound







    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    A great deal of hard work done there Spitfire, so congratulations on your efforts. It does shine a light on the short, shabby life being lived by James Hanratty. Alphon is often referred to as a ‘drifter’ but it seems Hanratty was little different.

    The arrest which caught my eye was the one in Mill Hill where an alert policeman thought Hanratty looked out of place in the area. No one, neither policeman nor member of the public, has surfaced to do the same in the A6 Case.

    We don’t know when Hanratty was alleged to be in Taplow but assume it was late afternoon or early evening. Nobody saw him arrive by train, bus or car. At some point he is believed to have walked along quiet, country roads which means fewer witnesses, but any there were had all the more reason to remember him. Especially in the aftermath of a horrific crime in such a quiet area. Taplow is a small town with a population of under 2,000 so a stranger to the area would be more noticeable than in a larger town. For me the lack of witnesses in Taplow speaks louder than the witnesses to Hanratty being in Liverpool/Rhyl.

    Leave a comment:


  • Spitfire
    replied
    Click image for larger version

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    Harrow Observer 3 April 1958 reporting Hanratty's sentence of three years corrective training.

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  • Spitfire
    replied
    Click image for larger version

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    Harrow Observer 13 October 1955.

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  • Spitfire
    replied
    Click image for larger version  Name:	1955.jpg Views:	0 Size:	68.5 KB ID:	783424

    And after a year's probation, Jim was back before the beak as the above report in the Harrow Observer 15 September 1955.
    Last edited by Spitfire; 03-22-2022, 05:25 PM.

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