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  • Hi Vic,

    That's a great question, but I fear you may have to wait a long time for a sensible explanation.

    Love,

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


    Comment


    • Just noticed the Glasgow Herald's daily reports of the 1962 trial are freely available online, including:

      - Valerie Storie identifies Hanratty (Jan 25)

      - Witness points to Hanratty as driver of car (Jan 26)

      - Evidence by Acott ends (Feb 6)

      - Hanratty explains his lies to the police (Feb 8)

      - Rhyl Landlady cries in witness-box (Feb 10)

      Comment


      • Some things in the Glasgow Herald reports I found noteworthy ...

        - There is no record of Hanratty identifying his handkerchief, either in his evidence or any of the summing ups. I think an admission of this significance would have been mentioned.

        - Mrs Jones said the visitors’ book had “been destroyed” because “It was all in pieces. The leaves were all loose.” This contradicts reports that the book was in court and fell apart when she was flustered by Swanwick.

        - It appears Dixie France was co-operating with the police about Hanratty before his arrest, as he says that when Hanratty phoned him on 6th October he, his wife, daughter and brother-in-law kept Hanratty on the phone from 11.15pm until after midnight because “I was under instruction.” Presumably from the police, so they could try and trace the call.

        - There is a strange response from Hanratty in his further evidence when asked about the telex. He said:
        “If I had wanted an alibi I would have done something more outstanding than that. I would have committed some offence like drunk and disorderly and proved I was in Liverpool on August 24.”
        I don’t see how that would have been a better alibi.

        Comment


        • What I find interesting is that the gunman behaved like a very nervous backseat driver, saying things like 'watch those lights' and 'look out for those signs'.

          Hanratty at trial was painted as someone who, whilst acknowledged as an experienced driver, was in fact a rather reckless driver.

          Why therefore, if Hanratty was the killer, would he care about how Gregsten drove?

          I will not except arguments about giving the hostages a blind (a bluff). That has been played out and found to be nonsense.

          Why? Because after the gunman had left he expected Miss Storie to be dead...there was no need to grind the gears and drive in an inexperienced fashion as Miss Storie testified.

          Del

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Derrick View Post
            What I find interesting is that the gunman behaved like a very nervous backseat driver, saying things like 'watch those lights' and 'look out for those signs'.

            Hanratty at trial was painted as someone who, whilst acknowledged as an experienced driver, was in fact a rather reckless driver.

            Why therefore, if Hanratty was the killer, would he care about how Gregsten drove?

            I will not except arguments about giving the hostages a blind (a bluff). That has been played out and found to be nonsense.

            Why? Because after the gunman had left he expected Miss Storie to be dead...there was no need to grind the gears and drive in an inexperienced fashion as Miss Storie testified.

            Del
            Yes.

            In Valerie Storie's original statement, which was unforgivably withheld from Hanratty's defence team by the deceitful plod, she made it abundantly clear that the murderer knew next to nothing about cars or driving. She said (amongst other things) that "he wanted me to start the car for him, he didn't know where the gears were, the car cut out so I started it up again "

            This was in total contrast to Hanratty who was an experienced car thief, having been imprisoned several times during the previous 6 or 7 years for nicking cars. In all probability it would have been a favourite topic of conversation of his amongst other inmates. He taught his younger brother, Michael, how to drive in the mid to late 1950's. Michael said his brother was "a very good driver" and he taught him how to use the gears, hold the clutch etc.,

            A while back I received a very interesting and well written email from a complete stranger, her name was Lyn and she told me she was a writer. One of the paragraphs she wrote is very relevant here and I would guess she expresses the thoughts and opinions of a great many people. This is that paragraph :-


            "Setting aside all the Liverpool/Rhyl evidence, the alleged sightings of the car, etc. there has always been, for me, one fact about this case, more than any other, which has always convinced me that Hanratty was innocent, and it is this: Valerie Storie said that after the gunman raped her he demanded that she explain how to drive the Morris Minor how the gears worked, etc. and she said she had to go through her explanations with him several times. Other witnesses who claimed to have seen the vehicle said that it was being driven very badly. Now, Hanrattty was, among other criminal activities, a car thief! The idea that he would have been unable to drive a Morris Minor, a very common car in 1961, was absolutely ludicrous. It would have been equally ludicrous for him to have pretended to be unable to drive the car what possible reason could he have had to do that? He would have known that every minute he remained in that lay-by with Valerie Storie was increasing his chance of being seen by other motorists, and so he would have been extremely unlikely to have delayed his escape in such a way, and in any case, he obviously intended to kill Valerie Storie too so that she would not be able to identify him, so why indulge in such a charade with someone who would not live to describe it?"
            *************************************
            "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]

            Comment


            • I don’t think it was a bluff, and the idea that it was has rarely featured in the many discussions here about the ‘starting the car’ issue.

              The issue was known to the Defence and used by them.

              You can see in the link above to Valerie’s evidence she said she “showed the man how to start the car”. And as you can see in the Appeal, one of Sherrard’s key points at the original trial was:
              “Valerie’s description of the murderer's knowledge of cars and how to drive them was inconsistent with James Hanratty's experience and driving.”

              Comment


              • There are a number of other factors too:-

                1. Hanratty's state of mind; he'd just killed his first person, and raped and attempted to murder another.
                2. Hanratty's alleged driving skill; he would soon crash the hire car in Ireland and was allegedly driving erratically; he only stole high end jaguars and the like which drive very differently to Moggie's; what does "reckless" actually mean? A skilled driver could drive recklessly just by being in a rush and not paying enough care and attention to detail.

                I don't think "Call me Jim" was bright enough to consider bluffing.

                KR,
                Vic.
                Truth is female, since truth is beauty rather than handsomeness; this [...] would certainly explain the saying that a lie could run around the world before Truth has got its, correction, her boots on, since she would have to chose which pair - the idea that any woman in a position to choose would have just one pair of boots being beyond rational belief.
                Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett.

                Comment


                • How about a comparison?

                  Andy Murray is a great tennis player, Olympic Champion, Defending Wimbledon Champion, surely it's unthinkable that he'd be knocked out to a lesser player in the Wimbledon Quarterfinals in straight sets!

                  KR,
                  Vic.
                  Truth is female, since truth is beauty rather than handsomeness; this [...] would certainly explain the saying that a lie could run around the world before Truth has got its, correction, her boots on, since she would have to chose which pair - the idea that any woman in a position to choose would have just one pair of boots being beyond rational belief.
                  Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Victor View Post
                    There are a number of other factors too:-

                    1. Hanratty's state of mind; he'd just killed his first person, and raped and attempted to murder another.
                    No need to go any further than that, Vic.

                    The gunman must have been in a right old state, whoever he was, after raping the woman and realising he had to kill her too. He made a pig's ear of that by leaving her alive to tell the tale. Also, he'd have been stuffed if he couldn't get the car started after shooting her.

                    I wouldn't expect even the most experienced driver to have his wits about him in those circumstances - especially if he had never killed anyone before.

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    Last edited by caz; 07-04-2014, 04:48 AM.
                    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                    Comment


                    • Valerie Storey said that after the shots were fired, her attacker said something to the effect that Gregsten frightened him; he 'moved too quick. I got frightened'. Which would seem to suggest that Hanratty was in a highly nervous state even before he pulled the trigger - twice. There is of course the possibility that he fired the gun as a kind of accidental knee-jerk reaction to Gregsten's movement with the duffel bag, but of course we can never prove this. After Gregsten was shot, Valerie said she and 'the man' engaged in a 'near hysterical' conversation as to whether or not Gregsten was dead. From this statement, it's quite fair to assume that 'the man' was not acting rationally, and this is confirmed by Valerie saying that he told her to be quiet, as he was 'finking'. 'Finking' about what?

                      After Valerie and Hanratty between them had removed Gregsten's body from the car, he asked her to start the car and show him how the gears worked.
                      He stalled the engine, and she re-started it. Hanratty also, according to Valerie, walked repeatedly to and from the car as though trying to decide what to do. After he shot her, he drove off, apparently grinding the gears. And little wonder he was driving erratically, as he'd just shot and killed two people (or so he thought) and raped one of them.

                      Apart from his accident in Ireland, he also pranged the Sunbeam car he bought in London. Carole France, to whom Hanratty gave a ride in this car, said he drove erratically, zig-zagging up the road. Maybe he was showing off; or maybe he was just a crap driver.

                      As a confessed car-thief, Hanratty would never have wasted his time nicking anything other than quality cars. By his own admission, he stole a plush Jaguar Mk 7 on 6th or 7th of October to drive north. He abandoned it in Manchester. Speaking personally, I once owned a 1952 Morris Minor, and I've also driven Jags, and I know what I prefer! A Minor's gear-shift could be stiff and difficult (some of them also had a fierce clutch, making them easy to stall), whereas in comparison even a 1961 Jag was silken. If Hanratty's preference in car-theft was for motors that would at least stand a chance of making a profit for him, then I believe it's understandable that he was not familiar with a Morris Minor. The car he bought was a 1953 Sunbeam Alpine,
                      which would exactly reflect the 'flash' image he wished to portray; the fact that it was faulty and also damaged didn't seem to put him off, which suggests to me that although he might have been adept at nicking cars, he didn't know much about them. It was when he gave his cousin Eileen Cunningham a lift in this car that she informed him that the police had been looking for him concerning a burglary, and had been to see his parents.

                      Finally, in the Sunbeam, he and Gladys Deacon went on a day out together, to Bedford as it happens, where he said he knew a man who he could sell some jewellery to, but couldn't find the man concerned. Shades of the Rhyl Alibi and his failure to find Terry Evans. Strange that the A6 Crime was committed on the road to Bedford.

                      Graham
                      Last edited by Graham; 07-04-2014, 01:33 PM.
                      We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                      Comment


                      • A 1953 Sunbeam Alpine Mark 1 featured in To Catch A Thief, the 1955 film directed by Alf Hitchcock.

                        You can see a trailer here

                        I can see Jim Hanratty as Cary Grant, but don't know about Gladys as Grace Kelly. The driving seems a bit Hanrattyish though.

                        Comment


                        • Sometimes there's very little else to do Watson old chap but just laugh to yourself.
                          Last edited by Sherlock Houses; 07-07-2014, 08:29 AM.
                          *************************************
                          "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]

                          Comment


                          • One of the over looked facts is the car and Avondale Cresecent. Who ever drove the car there did clealry not leave it there at 0700am as trower/Skillett/Hogan evidence implies. The prosecution kept the considersable number of statements from the locla residents who indicated that there was no 'murder' car there at all during the day. Why would these people make it up? Simply they wouldn't. So that begs the question what were Skillett/Tower and Hogan seeing if at all. Also what and were was the car doing/during the actual day after before left in Avondale? It took incredible nerves to drive it there when the alert was already out from police etc and leave the car at dusk time there. The dusk leaving of the car rules out Hanratty whose movements the day after are well timetabled and also Alphon whose movements for that day are well known in police statements which for once I do believe. I have never ever believed in the fantasist Alphon and his involvement in the murder. A very clever band waggoner jumper was his role after the event for attention seeking. But returning back to Avondale, someone drive the car there at dusk? Why that late, why not abandon the car at the first opportunity rather than wait all day? It also could not have been France who left the car as he did not drive at all. I have always thought he turned evidence against Hanratty once he found out that there had been a liasion betwen his Daughter and Hanratty. Revenge for besmirching his Daughter with whom he seems to have been very protective towards. Hanratty's own admissions woulod not have been enamoured him towards his old fence. Especially in the early 1960's. Attitudes have changed now but still not then. unprotected sex was still regarded by fathers as a no no.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by john View Post
                              The prosecution kept the considersable number of statements from the locla residents who indicated that there was no 'murder' car there at all during the day.
                              What is the considerable number? There are 2 named in the Appeal.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by john View Post
                                ...Also what and were was the car doing/during the actual day after before left in Avondale? It took incredible nerves to drive it there when the alert was already out from police etc and leave the car at dusk time there. The dusk leaving of the car rules out Hanratty whose movements the day after are well timetabled and also Alphon whose movements for that day are well known in police statements which for once I do believe...
                                Hello John

                                You seem to be suggesting that the car was dumped in Avondale Crescent on the 24th August. The car was discovered by police, after being alerted by Alan Madwar, on the evening of the 23rd; the same day as the murder.

                                I ask this because you say Hanratty's movements were well timetabled. He certainly sent a telegram from Liverpool on the evening of the 24th. But the prosecution would not agree his movements were well timetabled, from an alibi point of view, on the 23rd.

                                But there is certainly some disagreement among the various witnesses, disclosed and non-disclosed over when the car was first seen abandoned.

                                Comment

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