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  • Originally posted by Graham View Post
    I just re-read Paul Foot with reference to Mr Harding's evidence, and I don't find it convincing at all. Both he and Mrs Dinwoodie said initially that the man came into the shop on the Monday, and nothing that either Mr Harding or Paul Foot says or infers alters this for me. One other point - Hanratty said that there was a little girl in the shop when he called. If this 'little girl' was Barbara Ford, then according to her own testimony she was actually accompanied by her friend Linda. Paul Foot in my view just confuses matters even further. I'll see what Woffinden has to say when I've got a minute.

    By the way - if an accused person suddenly changes his alibi, as Hanratty did, would the jury be obliged to immediately forget everything he said concerning his original alibi, or would both alibis be considered by the jury when debating their verdict? Something that's always puzzled me, and if anything was ever said about this in the books I've read, then I've missed it.

    Graham
    In an English court of law the onus is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond all reasonable doubt----in my view and many thousands of others this did not happen.They did not prove guilt and by today's standards they would never have got away with a quarter of what they got away with.

    Judge Gorman-16th February 1962:

    "He does not have to prove his alibi.
    The failure or otherwise of the alibi
    does not make him guilty"

    Comment


    • Louisa,

      I am perfectly satisfied that Hanratty was not in the sweetshop at 408 Scotland Road, Liverpool, on either the Monday or the Tuesday. He was at the Vienna Hotel on the Monday night, and after he left it on the Tuesday morning no-one knows what his true actions and activities were, not until he turned up at the cornfield. I repeat that it is highly suggestive that by his own admission he went to Paddington Station, from where he could get a train to the Maidenhead/Slough area.

      Norma,

      I wasn't asking about a defendant having to prove his alibi or not; I was asking if the jury were still obliged to consider his original alibi in view of the fact that he changed it.

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

      Comment


      • Graham,
        How anybody can read the concoctions of Swanwick about Haratty paying in advance for a bogus alibi to do an unpremeditated lust attack---thats what they claimed- or equally as ridiculous to follow Acott's suggestion that Hanratty must have taken a plane to get to the cornfield beats me -but then given that they used the most corrupt witnesses imaginable in Nudds and Langdale to secure their verdict and suppressed all information about Gregsten's affair with Valerie that everybody was at a complete loss to think of a motive.Even Swanwick and Acott took Mrs Dinwoodie's statement very seriously----even if you prefer to ignore it.
        Just as if a man like Hanratty would be heading off to a cornfield in Slough commit a murder and rape----or was it to steal a watch ---oops he gave it back-----or was it to steal an old morris minor when he was into stealing jags.......it just gets curiouser and curiouser........

        I answered your question,Graham .Hanratty did not have to prove he was innocent of this crime.The prosecution had to prove him guilty and hey! they did not in the view of many ,many thousands of people.

        Comment


        • Was Hanratty ever seen by any independent witness in Slough - or down South bet 22 and 25 august?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Graham View Post
            Louisa,

            I am perfectly satisfied that Hanratty was not in the sweetshop at 408 Scotland Road, Liverpool, on either the Monday or the Tuesday. He was at the Vienna Hotel on the Monday night, and after he left it on the Tuesday morning no-one knows what his true actions and activities were, not until he turned up at the cornfield. I repeat that it is highly suggestive that by his own admission he went to Paddington Station, from where he could get a train to the Maidenhead/Slough area.

            Norma,

            I wasn't asking about a defendant having to prove his alibi or not; I was asking if the jury were still obliged to consider his original alibi in view of the fact that he changed it.

            Graham
            Hi Graham,

            Do you think Hanratty made a determined decision to visit the Maidenhead/Slough area? If so, why? Did he select that area to start his career in armed robbery and if so, what was the attraction of that region? Did he do any research in advance to suggest that this would be a good area to suceed in armed robbery?

            Finally, do you think it's possible Hanratty went there to seek out MG and VS?

            Just trying to explore the reason why Hanratty would set out for Paddington with a precise intention.

            Julie

            Comment


            • Hi Julie,

              Do you think Hanratty made a determined decision to visit the Maidenhead/Slough area? If so, why? Did he select that area to start his career in armed robbery and if so, what was the attraction of that region? Did he do any research in advance to suggest that this would be a good area to suceed in armed robbery?
              I can't answer any of those questions, really, and there's no point in speculating. All I can say is that most of what I've read about Hanratty would suggest that he was not by nature an organised person who did much planning ahead.

              I've visited Dorney Reach two or three times over the years - it's semi-rural with some impressive houses dotted around the place. Probably as good a place as any to stage a burglary with the help of a shooter.

              Finally, do you think it's possible Hanratty went there to seek out MG and VS?
              The one thing which rules this possibility out, as far as I'm concerned, is that Gregsten and Valerie, according to what Valerie said, first parked that evening in Huntercombe Lane, a short distance away, and after a while moved to the cornfield at Dorney Reach where Hanratty came across them.
              I believe he found them purely accidentally.

              Someone ought to write a book about this.......

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

              Comment


              • I can't see Hanratty bothering to go so far from his home patch in order to rob houses. There are plenty of big houses in and around London.

                He wouldn't have gone by train to burgle either, he would have taken a car. Judging by what I know about Hanratty, Morris Minors weren't his style.
                This is simply my opinion

                Comment


                • I can't see Hanratty bothering to go so far from his home patch in order to rob houses. There are plenty of big houses in and around London.
                  So why should he go all the way to Liverpool to fence stolen property? Surely he could have fenced it in London, via Louise Anderson for instance?

                  He wouldn't have gone by train to burgle either, he would have taken a car. Judging by what I know about Hanratty, Morris Minors weren't his style.
                  He must have used public transport at least some of the time, hence his telling France about the back seat of a bus being a good place to hide unwanted stuff. I assume this to mean that he'd burgle a house, then catch a bus and sort out the pinched goods upstairs. Sounds a bit dodgy to me, especially as there were conductors on buses in those days, but that's what he said. And it also suggests he didn't pinch anything he was unable to carry upon his person, which makes sound sense. Far better to leave a burgled house with a few sets of gold cuff-links (with an 'E' monogram) that he could put ina pocket or a bag, rather than something like a chandelier.

                  Unless I'm up the spout on this, the only cars connected with Hanratty, apart from Gregsten's Minor, were the Jag he nicked and drove to Manchester for whatever reason, and the Sunbeam he bought for himself. I can't remember reading any mention of the make of car he hired in Ireland.
                  His brother Michael said that James would steal cars to order, but didn't go into any detail regarding preferred makes, etc.

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

                  Comment


                  • Graham:
                    So why should he go all the way to Liverpool to fence stolen property? Surely he could have fenced it in London, via Louise Anderson for instance?

                    Louise Anderson had bought what she could from him but could not afford to buy the solitaire diamond ring which France-apparently since he was the one advising Hanratty on the worth of his bits and pieces----- told him was worth 350.
                    He definitely had links in Liverpool-Terry McNally and co stated they certainly knew him -but his big hope seemed to be centred on 'John' [Terry Evans] who the month before had sat up much of the night talking with him and had said he could put him in touch with fences who would buy his stuff from him.This was only weeks before.Not only that but he had cashed in items of silver in a Liverpool jewellery shop where he got 25 shillings for some stuff he had in his pockets-had even given his correct name and address there -so Liverpool and Rhyl beckoned in terms of getting that money for the deposit on the car he bought which was 113.
                    It is actually extremely likely Hanratty did do business in Liverpool because on page 128 of Bob Woffinden's book [thats the right page I think] ,it clearly states that on 24th August when he returned from Rhyl to Liverpool "he went to the flat ,after going to the cinema,where he picked up his case and a pile of money from the stolen items ".
                    I think Hanratty had been warned by these tough guys in LIverpool not to implicate them in any way regarding fencing for him---understandable since they could have gone to prison for it-as could Terry Evans which was why he dodged Swanwick's direct question about receiving stolen goods to sell on.
                    Understandable too that none of them would want to swear on oath they had seen him ---they turned their backs when it came to going to jail for him.
                    Last edited by Natalie Severn; 01-11-2012, 03:42 AM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Graham View Post
                      Hi Julie,



                      I can't answer any of those questions, really, and there's no point in speculating. All I can say is that most of what I've read about Hanratty would suggest that he was not by nature an organised person who did much planning ahead.

                      I've visited Dorney Reach two or three times over the years - it's semi-rural with some impressive houses dotted around the place. Probably as good a place as any to stage a burglary with the help of a shooter.



                      The one thing which rules this possibility out, as far as I'm concerned, is that Gregsten and Valerie, according to what Valerie said, first parked that evening in Huntercombe Lane, a short distance away, and after a while moved to the cornfield at Dorney Reach where Hanratty came across them.
                      I believe he found them purely accidentally.

                      Someone ought to write a book about this.......

                      Graham
                      Hi Graham,

                      You suggest that Hanratty 'was not by nature organised' and yet in your previous post you write "I repeat that it is highly suggestive that by his own admission he went to Paddington Station, from where he could get a train to the Maidenhead/Slough area".

                      This action, if that is what Hanratty did, suggests an element of deliberate planning. Deliberate planning would suggest that there was a reason to head for Slough. Your claim that there were some impressive properties, 'possibly good places to stage a burglary with a shooter' does not satisfy me as a reason because, when Hanratty was talking to his friend about getting a gun, he is supposed to have said something like 'house breaking doesn't bring in real money' and when he was challenged on the stand at his trial about having discussed getting a gun he replied that if he was going to go out and rob somewhere using a gun, he would be looking for hard cash, a petrol station or something similar. My point is that he would not have held up a household using a gun because the results would not have been greater than robbing an empty house and the risk would have been greater. By his own admission, he would have been looking for easy cash - cover his face, wave the gun, demand cash, get away fast. He would not have been looking for high risk 'house' jobs like that described above - or approaching a small car in a field and engaging the occupants for hours in a pointless drive around the country. My point is that Hanratty didn't have a reason to 'plan to go to Slough' but he did have a reason, and he did plan, to go to Liverpool.

                      You state that MG and VS moved from Huntercomb Lane to the cornfield, thus making it unlikely that anyone 'planned' to attack them, and this is true, but VS told a colleague that she and MG often visited the cornfield and she even showed him the spot. If it was a regular haunt of theirs, an attacker may have just made for that spot first and struck lucky or they may have just hidden away, waiting for them to arrive. I am 99% certain it was not Hanratty.

                      Hanratty was keen to sell the ring and other bits he couldn't off load in London. I don't believe Hanratty had intended to stay at the Vienna. He had planned on staying closer to the station that would have taken him to Liverpool. The next morning he just made for the nearest station, not really thinking about much except the cash he was hoping to pick up for the stolen goods he had in his pocket.

                      Julie

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by louisa View Post
                        Caz. I had also noticed the fact that Hanratty stole cufflinks with the letter 'E' on them and then told the court that he saw a gent with the letter 'E' on his gold cufflinks on the train to Liverpool. I remember thinking this was very coincidental - and odd - and wondered why the prosecution did not pick up on this.

                        However, would Hanratty really have been so naive to have mentioned the gold 'E' cufflinks as part of his alibi if it wasn't true? If he was going to make it up then surely he would have used another letter of the alphabet, rather than risking the prosecution picking up on this 'coincidence'? Just a thought.

                        There were a number of strange coincidences in this case and maybe, just maybe, this is one more?

                        Also.....I reckon that if I took a train to Liverpool and stayed all day, wandering about, I doubt very much if anyone would remember me - not even the day afterwards, not even if I'd got on a bus to Rhyll. Somebody may remember me if I'd asked for directions though, especially with my London accent.
                        Remember, Hanratty wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, since he lied about his Liverpool overnighter and had to change it to a Rhyl one. Burglars have to be liars by definition, and those who get caught are the bad liars. So the precedent was set by Hanratty himself and he had every reason to invent a fellow passenger if he never made that train journey. If his powers of observation were good enough to see and remember a letter 'E' on a pair of cufflinks, one wonders why he didn't see and remember more of the people he would have encountered on the whole trip north and back again. If he made the trip and was up to no more mischief there than trying to fence stolen goods and so on, why on earth did he lie about where he was and when, considering the seriousness of his position? He surely knew he could hang if he screwed up, so an innocent man telling the truth about those cufflinks would have been a perfect fool to lie about the more major details of his trip.

                        Who remembered a man with a London accent asking for directions? The sweetshop lady got it totally wrong, so at least this detail could not have been spoonfed to her along with Hanratty's photo. And I just don't believe that she had never been to the flicks and heard many a cockney accent coming from the big screen.

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X
                        Last edited by caz; 01-11-2012, 03:04 PM.
                        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Graham View Post
                          By the way - if an accused person suddenly changes his alibi, as Hanratty did, would the jury be obliged to immediately forget everything he said concerning his original alibi, or would both alibis be considered by the jury when debating their verdict? Something that's always puzzled me, and if anything was ever said about this in the books I've read, then I've missed it.

                          Graham
                          Hi Graham,

                          The problem is that even if the jury had been ordered to 'forget' something originally claimed by Hanratty, it would be humanly impossible for it not to colour their view of him as an honest witness. And the only possible reason I can think of for not including Rhyl in the original account of his movements would be if he had been committing an even more shocking crime there when the A6 murder was being committed down south - which is clearly not the case. I imagine the jury felt the same way.

                          It is very hard to believe that an innocent Hanratty thought he was better off not mentioning right from the start a genuine, totally innocent overnight stay in Rhyl, which would have involved meeting and conversing with potential witnesses of better character than his Liverpool cronies who failed to help him.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X
                          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                          Comment


                          • Graham - I certainly wasn't saying that Hanratty never used public transport. All Londoners use public transport. What I meant was that he would have needed a car (to transport the stolen goods) if he was going out robbing. Why would he have gone to Slough by train with the intention of robbing houses when he would have known that he would have to carry his loot (which could be heavy if it included silver items) back to the station and then to London? That scenario doesn't make sense to me.

                            Hanratty did used to nick large items like candelabras which he fenced to Louise Anderson.

                            I have an idea that the car he stole in Ireland was named but without going back to the books, it's going to remain just an idea, unless somebody can help me out.

                            Hanratty only nicked good motors - that was his modus operandi. Why in the world would a car thief want to steal cr*p cars when he intended to sell them? Some of them he stole 'to order'. Tootling along in a little Morris Minor wouldn't have much appeal for somebody who liked flashy fast cars, would it?

                            As for Hanratty not admitting the Rhyll alibi until much later was because he thought the Liverpool alibi would 'stand firm'. It was only when he saw the true seriousness of the peril he was in that he 'came clean' and told Sherrard the truth.

                            We can't really put our own reasoning, and how we ourselves would have behaved in those circumstances, because none of us have exactly the same mindset as Hanratty. He was a man used to dodging the law, bluffing and blagging his way out of trouble. It didn't always work though, and unfortunately it certainly didn't work in his trial. He must have realised that this time he needed to tell the truth and the whole truth. Unfortunately it was all too late.
                            Last edited by louisa; 01-11-2012, 05:26 PM.
                            This is simply my opinion

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by louisa View Post
                              As for Hanratty not admitting the Rhyll alibi until much later was because he thought the Liverpool alibi would 'stand firm'. It was only when he saw the true seriousness of the peril he was in that he 'came clean' and told Sherrard the truth.

                              We can't really put our own reasoning, and how we ourselves would have behaved in those circumstances, because none of us have exactly the same mindset as Hanratty.
                              To be fair, Louisa, you are making a very bold assertion here about Hanratty's 'mindset' based on your own reasoning, so please don't lecture me for merely questioning Hanratty's unfortunate timing!

                              How can you possibly know that Hanratty simply didn't bother to mention Rhyl because he assumed a bogus Liverpool tale would 'stand firm' and save his neck? What was there to 'come clean' about, if the truth included an innocent overnight stay in a Rhyl guest house, as opposed to a fatally ridiculous lie about a night spent in Liverpool that could never have been verified because it was a lie?

                              How can you possibly know that Hanratty didn't compound the Liverpool lie with one about Rhyl, because telling the truth about his whereabouts that night was the one thing he couldn't do?

                              What you are saying about Hanratty's mindset here makes it look like his conviction was his own silly fault, for making himself look as guilty as hell.

                              But then the DNA evidence indicates this was a guilty man who had no choice but to lie and keep on lying. And I still trust that evidence more than I trust your unique ability to get inside Hanratty's head and find him innocent. Sorry.

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X
                              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
                                Many people agree that Hanratty's change of alibi during the second week of the trial was possibly a deciding factor in sealing his fate. Some argue that he lied about Rhyl when it seemed that his Liverpool alibi could not be proven.

                                However, in reality, it was aspects of the Liverpool alibi that were lies (staying with three men) but so convinced was Hanratty that his presence in Liverpool could be established, and so convinced was he that there was not a firm case against him, he did not have enough confidence in the Rhyl alibi to mention it at the outset.

                                Woffinden describes how Hanratty concluded tghe Rhyl alibi was weak because it was difficult for him to remember details, whereas the Liverpool alibi was stronger because of the people he had spoken to. he was also, I feel, hoping to secure an alibi from some of his 'friends' up there (he, after all, went there to sell stolen goods, so he must have had some people in mind who might buy them). However, these 'friends' obviously did not want to be associated with the case and additionally would want as few people as possible to know about their role as fences.

                                Woffinden also describes how Hanratty had told several associates he was going to Liverpool (the Frances, his girlfriend etc) to visit an aunt and he had not mentioned his Rhyl trip to any of them on his return to London. Therefore, he concluded it would have been hard to have it accepted as an alibi at the outset. When the Liverpool alibi fell apart, he had to fall back upon Rhyl.

                                It is not difficult to see how Hanratty may have reached all these conclusions. When arrested for the crimes, he was so sure it would not go to trial because he was iinocent. How could they have any evidence against him when he wasn't in the area at the time? All he had to do was describe the people he met and spoke to in Liverpool and it would all be cleared up.

                                More to follow.
                                Hi Caz, I think the post above posted a few weeks back, will demonstrate that Louisa's 'assumptions' are based on quite sound reasoning because it shows how Hanratty's mind was working and why he didn't mention the Rhyl alibi at the outset. Woffendin and Foot explore this aspect quite thoroughly and I can understand fully why he mentioned only Liverpool to start with.

                                There are quite a few people in Rhyl who were/are convinced they saw him there and they can't all be lying or suffering from false memory syndrome.

                                Comment

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