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  • Graham - thanks for the info regarding the cornfield.


    On the 21st Hanratty got around a bit didn't he? He seemed to fit a heck of a lot into that one day and I'm fairly certain that I read that he visited Hendon dog track.

    Alphon was a regular at the Slough dogtrack and had lived in the area previously. It seems that he liked walking as well.

    I can't see why Hanratty would have checked out the Dorney Reach area at a previous time. (?)


    I would say that the murderer was one of the following:

    An opportunist with a gun who just happened upon the car and decided to take the passengers on a long and erratic drive and ended up raping and murdering. A nutter in other words.

    Or

    Somebody who was sent to the cornfield specifically to break up the liaison between Valerie and Michael, probably asked just to scare them but not kill them.

    Or

    It was Hanratty who did, possibly, a combination of the above. He could have been given (loaned probably) a gun and told the whereabouts of the cornfield in order to break up the lovers, or he was the opportunist nutter who decided to do a 'stick up' and then take the occupants of the car hostage, get them to drive all over the countryside until the early hours and then commit rape. Oh yes, and then pretend he couldn't drive and be asked how the gears worked before killing (or so he thought) his second victim.
    This is simply my opinion

    Comment


    • I wonder----the jury were not told of the affair Gregsten was having with his young colleague and that had been going on a while.So no motive was ever given.But whatever Ewer said then or has said since,not long after the trial he left his wife for a woman who looked like Helen of Troy---well Ingrid Bergman then-Janet Gregsten was a raving beauty -discernible even in old age according to Bob Woffinden!
      Last edited by Natalie Severn; 01-14-2012, 02:51 AM.

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      • A picture of Janet Gregsten taken at the time of the trial
        Attached Files

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        • Folks - Leaving aside for the purposes of this post whether Hanratty was or was not guilty, has the possibility been considered of the gunman being on drugs which ruled his actions that night.

          I am no expert in this area by any means but certain aspects seem to point towards that being at least feasible. In particular:
          * Bulging eyes
          * Incessant chatter
          * Sudden hunger
          * Overwhelming need to sleep
          * Sexual arousal
          * Impaired driving ability
          * Lack of logic throughout the whole episode.

          All views gratefully received.

          Thanks,

          OneRound

          Comment


          • Originally posted by OneRound View Post
            Folks - Leaving aside for the purposes of this post whether Hanratty was or was not guilty, has the possibility been considered of the gunman being on drugs which ruled his actions that night.

            I am no expert in this area by any means but certain aspects seem to point towards that being at least feasible. In particular:
            * Bulging eyes
            * Incessant chatter
            * Sudden hunger
            * Overwhelming need to sleep
            * Sexual arousal
            * Impaired driving ability
            * Lack of logic throughout the whole episode.

            All views gratefully received.

            Thanks,

            OneRound

            Hello OneRound,

            That's certainly an interesting possibility. Most of those things you list above can be experienced by someone on prescription drugs for mental health problems. Mind you, the drugs were different back then, but from the list you have drawn up, I would say it's certainly possible.

            Julie

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            • Hanratty at hendon dog track

              According to Hanratty, he visited the Hendon dog track on the night he stayed at the Vienna Hotel. He had a meal there and betted on dogs and lost about 70. He then left the dog track, enjoyed the favours of a prostitute in the West End (a regular girl), and then visited the Rehearsal Club, after which he decided it was too late to leave for Liverpool. He asked a cab driver to take him to a hotel (he had, he said, no particular place in mind) and he ended up at the Vienna because there was no room in the hotel that the cab driver took him to but the owner sent him to another in the same chain.

              So, Hanratty's original intention had been to leave for Liverpool on the Monday but he 'faffed' around so much it was too late to go that day. I am amazed that he was willing to lose 70 on the dogs! 70 in 1961 would have kept my family for almost two months!

              My information came from Woffinden, pages 99/100.

              Comment


              • Hi Julie,
                Yes,Hanratty was into gambling alright and it was part of the scene at the Rehearsal Club and Solomon's Gym-and a good many other Soho dives.So was Michael Gregsten---which may have accounted for him being so broke.So ofcourse was Alphon-big time.

                Hi One Round,
                As Julie says this is certainly possible.His 5 hours of chatter was apparently very odd too -sometimes downright bizarre as Valerie Storie is said to have had the impression he wasn't quite right.We only have a fragments of this ofcourse and only that which Valerie was 'helped' to recall by Supt Acott.
                I have often foundt the suggestion that the gunman was overcome by lust to be very unlikely----if true then why did he not simply put Gregsten in the boot much earlier on while they were deep in that deserted cornfield where nobody could see them?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Natalie Severn View Post
                  Hi Julie,
                  Yes,Hanratty was into gambling alright and it was part of the scene at the Rehearsal Club and Solomon's Gym-and a good many other Soho dives.So was Michael Gregsten---which may have accounted for him being so broke.So ofcourse was Alphon-big time.

                  Hi One Round,
                  As Julie says this is certainly possible.His 5 hours of chatter was apparently very odd too -sometimes downright bizarre as Valerie Storie is said to have had the impression he wasn't quite right.We only have a fragments of this ofcourse and only that which Valerie was 'helped' to recall by Supt Acott.
                  I have often foundt the suggestion that the gunman was overcome by lust to be very unlikely----if true then why did he not simply put Gregsten in the boot much earlier on while they were deep in that deserted cornfield where nobody could see them?
                  Hi Norma,

                  Well if the gunman was overcome by lust, it certainly took him long enough to get around to it. As we know, Hanratty respected the wishes of girlfriends who did not want to have sex with him and used prostitutes (regular girls) when he needed/wanted sex.

                  'Lust' seems to be the desperate motive dreamed up by the prosecution because nothing else fitted. of course, had the jury been aware of the true relationship between MG and VS, they may not have swallowed the lust motive.

                  Comment


                  • Hi Julie,
                    apparently he had a lot of attractive girl friends Mary Mead and Gladys Deacon-plus he took Carol France out too.Anne Pryce who worked at the Rehearsal Club suggested the prostitutes you refer to were girls who worked at the Rehearsal Club or Solomon's gym-anyway who frequented that scene and were actually friends of his as well as sexual partners.

                    Comment


                    • Picture of Mary Meaden---another of his girl friends was Gladys Deacon can be seen briefly in Bob Woffinden's film,The Mystery of Deadman's Hill-see YouTube on A6.She is similar with blond hair and a cute face.
                      Attached Files

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                      • Picture of Carol France -another of the girls Hanratty took out.
                        Attached Files

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                        • I wouldn't call Janet Gregsten a raving beauty, but that's just my opinion. She looks rather ordinary. However, maybe compared to Bill Ewer's wife she was a goddess. (By the way I have never seen a photo of Bill Ewer's wife so I am just posing the question). Plus the grass is always greener on the other side - Michael Gregsten obviously thought so.

                          If the gunman was on drugs, as OneRound suggests, that would make his behaviour more understandable. Either that, or he was a very odd person indeed (with a personality that would sound very much like Alphon's).

                          As for Hanratty being on drugs, who knows, but he didn't even smoke. I don't remember reading that Hanratty was a constant chatterer or had any other of the 'symptoms' listed.

                          Valerie Storie only mentioned 'bulging eyes' when she changed the description to fit Hanratty, didn't she? Her original description (and for my money the most likely-to-be-true one) says something like "he had deep set eyes".
                          This is simply my opinion

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
                            Hello OneRound,

                            That's certainly an interesting possibility. Most of those things you list above can be experienced by someone on prescription drugs for mental health problems. Mind you, the drugs were different back then, but from the list you have drawn up, I would say it's certainly possible.

                            Julie
                            Thanks, Julie. Same also to you, Natalie, for your response.

                            I was actually wondering more if it might have been an early dalliance with recreational drugs which resulted in such dreadful consequences. Would they have been around then? They certainly were by the mid 1960s.

                            Best regards,

                            OneRound

                            PS Still working on my 'Doubts about the DNA' article - not forgotten.

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                            • Hi Louisa,well there are better pictures of her that James found -but Bob Woffinden who met her was pretty emphatic that she was 'very lovely' and 'delightful' so in a sense I am just repeating his impression of her in the flesh so to speak.The thing is there was never any motive given but looking just at the straight facts, Ewer and Janet Gregsten became lovers-Janet is on record describing how they fell into each other's arms one day and everything just took off with abandon.
                              In a sense I was just quoting the famous Greek legend to illustrate the lengths men will go to [some men anyway] to have the woman they desire----and in the Helen of Troy saga ,war was declared and a thousand ships were launched!
                              So Ewer would not be alone if he had wanted his beloved's spouse out of the way.One of the most famous stories in the Bible is that of David and Bethsheba where David plotted and arranged to have her husband sent to the front in battle and when he was killed David took her for himself.none of this is new to the world.

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                              • Have to go out now One Round but yes-drugs were definitely around.RDLaing took LSD himself-along with a number of other psychiatrists at the time to try to 'get inside the mind' of schizophrenics who had been triggered into a psychosis to see what they saw-experience the splitting off from reality and consciousness into acting out the fantasy etc

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