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  • NickB
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Spitfire
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ansonman
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Herlock Sholmes
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • cobalt
    replied
    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.''

    Leave a comment:


  • Sherlock Houses
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • djw
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Spitfire
    replied
    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?

    Del

    Leave a comment:


  • ansonman
    replied
    I admire your perseverance. If nothing else it proves that whoever does have the file, doesn't want to release it. Now why would that be, if Hanratty committed the crime?

    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • djw
    replied
    The Metropolitan Police have looked into this and found that they do not hold the information either
    I would like to read the report on the A6 murder and James Hanratty made to Home Secretary Michael Howard on 29 May 1996 by Detective (Chief) Superintendent Roger Matthews of the Metropolitan Police. I have made Freedom of Information requests to the Home Office (reference 59087) and the Ministry of Justice (reference 220405067) who both confirm they do not hold the information. The National Archives records' online description show the subsequent appeal but I do not believe this contains the report. Yours faithfully, D. Whitehead

    Leave a comment:


  • djw
    replied
    Lord Howard comments
    Thank you for your email of 9th May.

    I am afraid I have absolutely no idea what happened to the report to which you refer.

    I am surprised that the Home Office say they don't have it but I certainly don't and, regrettably, I have no idea who may have it.

    I am so sorry not to be more helpful.

    Best wishes,

    Michael Howard

    Leave a comment:


  • Semper_Eadem
    replied
    Originally posted by caz View Post

    Well you couldn't be more wrong, Steve. I wouldn't trust this government to boil a kettle, and any justice system will have its flaws.

    What you appear to suggest is that I don't believe there have ever been any miscarriages of justice, which is as absurd as suggesting that you think our prisons are full of innocent men and women.

    If the DNA profile from Valerie's clothing and the hankie had not proved a perfect match with DNA taken from Hanratty's exhumed remains, but had produced a less than conclusive result from either item, or findings which could reasonably have been explained by separate contamination incidents, I would now be as concerned as you are if the 2002 appeal had still been rejected.

    But sometimes, despite your deep and not entirely misplaced distrust of authority, it is what it looks like, and what many hoped for and expected it to be - an innocent man emerging from the DNA evidence - was never going to happen, because the original jury got it right, though not necessarily for all the right reasons. If Hanratty had told a straight, credible story about his movements and whereabouts, and not caught himself out by lying, it wouldn't have mattered that he had no documentary proof of his alibi, as long as it gave him the benefit of the doubt. Valerie put him in the car with her, while he put himself in two other places at once. Not a good look - especially if he, like yourself, had little trust in the police and the justice system to treat him fairly.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

    I bet he, Hanratty didn't think he was going to get a fair deal from the Police. Look what had happened to Timothy Evans of Rillington Place just ten years earlier. I mean Evans treatment by police was general knowledge in Britian. Not that I think Hanratty was innocent, but I think most people of Hanratty's class/social stratus of that time probably knew or suspected they were going to get the short stick from Police if they were suspected of something.

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by moste View Post
    Hey there Caz. Spitfire alludes to Ron Harrimans book which I have read and struggled through, to glean as much information as I could. The question on the DNA which I would really like to have settled is one that would lay to rest the old chestnut which your good self always seem to be so confident about with regards to the existence or lack of DNA in the seminal fluid retrieved from Valeries clothing.My problem is this. If, and it seems to me a highly likely possibility, that the DNA has been corrupted by contamination, who, (and I'm pretty certain this would include any poster on this forum) ,is in a position to say how valuable,or useless is that DNA sample ? In other words how can we be sure that the contaminated sample has not been subjected to such abuse over the years,and indeed during the time frame of the period of the trial that it has not been rendered useless.. In order to sweep this aside one would need to have an unshakable belief in the authorities, that they are not guilty of allowing an innocent man to die, because for them the alternative would be excruciatingly unthinkable.The DNA was the ace up the sleeve for the Home secretary,and all subsequent Home secretaries after the Mathews bomb shell.
    I'm sure your very trusting in all you hear from the government, and its wonderful justice system and always have been, especially during the incredible Met corruption of the early 60s. Forgive this old skeptic for not sharing your gullibility.
    Love, Steve.
    Well you couldn't be more wrong, Steve. I wouldn't trust this government to boil a kettle, and any justice system will have its flaws.

    What you appear to suggest is that I don't believe there have ever been any miscarriages of justice, which is as absurd as suggesting that you think our prisons are full of innocent men and women.

    If the DNA profile from Valerie's clothing and the hankie had not proved a perfect match with DNA taken from Hanratty's exhumed remains, but had produced a less than conclusive result from either item, or findings which could reasonably have been explained by separate contamination incidents, I would now be as concerned as you are if the 2002 appeal had still been rejected.

    But sometimes, despite your deep and not entirely misplaced distrust of authority, it is what it looks like, and what many hoped for and expected it to be - an innocent man emerging from the DNA evidence - was never going to happen, because the original jury got it right, though not necessarily for all the right reasons. If Hanratty had told a straight, credible story about his movements and whereabouts, and not caught himself out by lying, it wouldn't have mattered that he had no documentary proof of his alibi, as long as it gave him the benefit of the doubt. Valerie put him in the car with her, while he put himself in two other places at once. Not a good look - especially if he, like yourself, had little trust in the police and the justice system to treat him fairly.

    Love,

    Caz
    X


    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    Hey there Caz. Spitfire alludes to Ron Harrimans book which I have read and struggled through, to glean as much information as I could. The question on the DNA which I would really like to have settled is one that would lay to rest the old chestnut which your good self always seem to be so confident about with regards to the existence or lack of DNA in the seminal fluid retrieved from Valeries clothing.My problem is this. If, and it seems to me a highly likely possibility, that the DNA has been corrupted by contamination, who, (and I'm pretty certain this would include any poster on this forum) ,is in a position to say how valuable,or useless is that DNA sample ? In other words how can we be sure that the contaminated sample has not been subjected to such abuse over the years,and indeed during the time frame of the period of the trial that it has not been rendered useless.. In order to sweep this aside one would need to have an unshakable belief in the authorities, that they are not guilty of allowing an innocent man to die, because for them the alternative would be excruciatingly unthinkable.The DNA was the ace up the sleeve for the Home secretary,and all subsequent Home secretaries after the Mathews bomb shell.
    I'm sure your very trusting in all you hear from the government, and its wonderful justice system and always have been, especially during the incredible Met corruption of the early 60s. Forgive this old skeptic for not sharing your gullibility.
    Love, Steve.

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    Well that was unsatisfactory, I thought the next question for Mathews was going to be"And did you at the conclusion decide that Hanratty certainly wasn't a person that should have been a suspect in the original police investigation."

    Leave a comment:

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