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Valerie Storie's 3 part story as published in 'Today' magazine, June 1962

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  • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
    There's not much point asking a question to which you know the answer. (Unless you are barrister in court, of course.)

    The scenarios I outlined were clearly hypothetical. ('Let us suppose...')

    I am asking a question to which I do not know the answer.
    What evidence would those, convinced of James Hanratty's guilt, accept as being inarguable in relation to the alibi he presented at trial?
    Until you see it how can you know?

    The two big problems with his alibi, as I see it are...

    1. The late change, if he had a real alive why go with Liverpool first

    2. It seems it was dropped like a hot potato at appeal.
    G U T

    There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
      There's not much point asking a question to which you know the answer. (Unless you are barrister in court, of course.)

      The scenarios I outlined were clearly hypothetical. ('Let us suppose...')

      I am asking a question to which I do not know the answer.
      What evidence would those, convinced of James Hanratty's guilt, accept as being inarguable in relation to the alibi he presented at trial?
      Ok, if it's a bona fide question, I'll have a go at answering it.

      If Hanratty had been arrested in Rhyl on the night of 22nd August 1961 and kept in the cells overnight, fingerprinted and put up before the local magistrates court on the morning of 23rd August, then that should do the trick.

      Comment


      • Perhaps I should add that the evidence need not be 'inarguable'. All that would be required would be some credible evidence that corroborated his Rhyl story which would be sufficient to induce in the mind of a member of the jury that there was some element of doubt as to whether Hanratty had been in Rhyl.

        My view is that the jury came to the conclusion that Hanratty had not stayed at Ingledene. If Hanratty had said that he slept in a room with a green bath, and Mrs Grace Jones had come along and said she let the bathroom to Hanratty, then that might be something to consider as introducing the necessary reasonable doubt. Unfortunately for Hanratty, this did not happen.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Spitfire View Post
          Perhaps I should add that the evidence need not be 'inarguable'. All that would be required would be some credible evidence that corroborated his Rhyl story which would be sufficient to induce in the mind of a member of the jury that there was some element of doubt as to whether Hanratty had been in Rhyl.

          My view is that the jury came to the conclusion that Hanratty had not stayed at Ingledene. If Hanratty had said that he slept in a room with a green bath, and Mrs Grace Jones had come along and said she let the bathroom to Hanratty, then that might be something to consider as introducing the necessary reasonable doubt. Unfortunately for Hanratty, this did not happen.
          Yep had that happened he may have walked.

          But even then the change in alibi would have been a problem for the defence.
          G U T

          There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

          Comment


          • A boarding house built on straw?

            I think I'm right in saying that it was the Panorama programme in 1966 that first gave a real boost to the possibility of Hanratty being in Rhyl at the key time.

            I watched this programme a couple of years ago. What really struck me was how much ''the Rhyl alibi'' was based on the claims of the newspaper seller Charlie Jones (aka Charles White). He of course later acknowledged that his claims were a pack of lies and he had been pressured into making them by Terry Evans.

            Best regards,

            OneRound

            Comment


            • "The strange case of the disappearing freckles"

              It's a well known phenomenon that regardless of how many hundreds or thousands of freckles [of the spotted variety] might be visible on a person's face, [particularly in mid-summer] they somehow magically disappear at night under artificial lighting and freckles can no longer be spotted by anyone. A face then assumes a very pallid, ghost-like complexion. They do however tend to re-surface come daybreak at the touch of a fairy's wand, and you can spot a freckle again.

              I must be the exception however, as my fully freckled face retained all of it's freckles while watching TV in the evenings, by lamplight, as a youth and teenager. No matter how much I wished they'd just up and go.
              Very perplexing
              *************************************
              "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


              • Originally posted by OneRound View Post
                A boarding house built on straw?

                I think I'm right in saying that it was the Panorama programme in 1966 that first gave a real boost to the possibility of Hanratty being in Rhyl at the key time.

                I watched this programme a couple of years ago. What really struck me was how much ''the Rhyl alibi'' was based on the claims of the newspaper seller Charlie Jones (aka Charles White). He of course later acknowledged that his claims were a pack of lies and he had been pressured into making them by Terry Evans.

                Best regards,

                OneRound
                The Panorama programme is still available to view on Youtube and I had another look at it last night.

                In support of the Rhyl alibi there appeared, Mrs Jones, Terry Evans and Charlie Jones aka White, (the newspaper vendor).


                Mrs Jones was sure that Hanratty visited her guesthouse just after 7pm on Tuesday 22 August 1961. She was able to fix the day and date as she had had a guest leave and had a room free, namely Room 4. This, I believe, is the small single room on the first floor of Ingledene at the front of the property, and which was proved at the trial to have been occupied by Mr Sayle on the nights in question. There was no mention by Mrs Jones of Hanratty staying in the attic bathroom.

                Mr Evans was quizzed by the Panorama interviewer as to whether Hanratty would have had reason to visit Evans in Rhyl for the purpose of disposing of stolen goods. Evans had told the trial that he himself would not buy stolen goods, but he wanted to add that he knew people who would, which was not something that had come out in evidence.

                The striking thing about Mrs Jones and Mr Evans interviews is that the both complained that all you are allowed to say in court in giving evidence is "yes" or "no". This is patently absurd. The oath enjoins the witness to tell the truth and the whole truth, not just to give monosyllabic answers to questions. Those parts of the transcript of the trial which have found their way into the public domain indicate many answers clearly indicate many occasions where witnesses have given more expansive answers than "yes" or "no".

                Mr Charlie Jones was the last of the three called in support of the Rhyl alibi. He remembers the Tuesday specifically because someone had asked him for the Rhyl Journal and Advertiser (a good read and well priced) but as this only came out on a Wednesday he was unable to oblige. Mr Jones recognised Hanratty from a photograph as the person who approached him near the bus station soon after 7pm and asked him where he could find "Terry". Mr Jones did not know who Terry was. Hanratty then asked where was the fairground. Mr Jones gave directions. Mr Jones was then asked by Hanratty where he could find digs. Mr Jones was able to refer Hanratty to Mrs Grace Jones (no relation) at No 19 Kinmel Street.

                Mr Jones, despite selling newspapers, had not seen a photograph of Hanratty until after Terry returned from the trial and showed him a photograph, from which Mr Jones was able to recollect the events of that fateful Tuesday evening.


                There are lots of things which are unhelpful to Hanratty from this interview. First, the time is wrong in that Hanratty can only have got to Rhyl at the earliest by 8.19pm. The time does coincide with Mrs Grace Jones 7pm estimate when Jim pitched up at her boarding establishment. Second, Jim Hanratty only knew Terry Evans as "John" so would be unlikely to be asking for a "Terry". Third, Jim Hanratty never mentioned being directed to Ingledene, or anywhere else, by any newspaper vendor.

                Mr Charlie Jones was to subsequently retract this interview.

                Valerie Storie appeared at both the beginning and end of the programme. She was certain that Hanratty was the murderer/rapist. If this came over in the witness box as well as it did on telly, one can see why the jury voted in the way which they did.
                Last edited by Spitfire; 04-29-2016, 03:18 AM.

                Comment


                • It should also be remembered that a juror reported to the Court that he had overheard Grace Jones and Terry Evans discussing the case during the lunch interval, strictly against the rules. The Judge admonished them for this breach, and their reliability as witnesses was seriously compromised. Another factor which must have influenced the jury against the Rhyl 'alibi'.

                  Evans did, or so it appears, sympathise with Hanratty and helped the defence's investigation in Rhyl. Amongst other claims, Evans said that Ernie Gordon, the proprietor of Dixie's Cafe, had told him that someone who looked like Hanratty had visited his cafe to ask where he could find 'John' who worked at the fairground. Interestingly, when the defence and later the campaigners for Hanratty's innocence approached Mr Gordon, he declined to be interviewed. Why? If he really did think he'd seen Hanratty in his cafe, why did he decline to discuss it? Taken together with Charlie Jones' original evidence, which he later admitted was given as a result of his being 'put up to it' by Evans, it all seems rather odd to me.

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

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Sherlock Houses View Post
                    It's a well known phenomenon that regardless of how many hundreds or thousands of freckles [of the spotted variety] might be visible on a person's face, [particularly in mid-summer] they somehow magically disappear at night under artificial lighting and freckles can no longer be spotted by anyone. A face then assumes a very pallid, ghost-like complexion. They do however tend to re-surface come daybreak at the touch of a fairy's wand, and you can spot a freckle again.

                    I must be the exception however, as my fully freckled face retained all of it's freckles while watching TV in the evenings, by lamplight, as a youth and teenager. No matter how much I wished they'd just up and go.
                    Very perplexing
                    Nice try, SH, but I simply don't accept that heavily freckled young men with dyed hair and recognisable Cockney accents would have been ten a penny in Rhyl in 1961, and that Hanratty would therefore not have stuck out sufficiently to be remembered by anyone he had seen or spoken to during the daylight hours of Wednesday, when he supposedly spent the time fruitlessly walking the streets trying to find "John" (who was actually Terry Evans). Not one of the Rhyl witnesses mentioned Hanratty being heavily freckled, which begs the question why not?

                    As for Valerie, his freckles didn't make her doubt that he was indeed the gunman when she picked him out of the second line-up. And only she knew whether she might not have seen or made a mental note of freckles when briefly seeing his face during her lengthy ordeal in the car.

                    If Valerie ought to have recalled freckles in that situation, how do the Rhyl witnesses get an entirely freckle-free pass?

                    In addition, an innocent Hanratty, on a two-night visit to Rhyl that week, would have had no pressing reason to avoid people seeing his face or his hair, or to avoid meeting and speaking to anyone, while a guilty Hanratty over the same time period down south would have had the best reason in the world to avoid all potential witnesses.

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    Last edited by caz; 05-03-2016, 06:36 AM.
                    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by OneRound View Post
                      A boarding house built on straw?

                      I think I'm right in saying that it was the Panorama programme in 1966 that first gave a real boost to the possibility of Hanratty being in Rhyl at the key time.

                      I watched this programme a couple of years ago. What really struck me was how much ''the Rhyl alibi'' was based on the claims of the newspaper seller Charlie Jones (aka Charles White). He of course later acknowledged that his claims were a pack of lies and he had been pressured into making them by Terry Evans.

                      Best regards,

                      OneRound
                      The basic problem for the defence was that the Rhyl 'witnesses' all came forward in the wake of media publicity generated by the change of alibi and by Mrs Jones' court-appearance. Also at least one 'witness' came forward years after the event - to what end? A bit late by then. It would have been mightily impressive had a resident of Rhyl come forward before the trial began. But no-one did. JH's change of alibi was known as an 'ambush alibi' as it gave the police and the prosecution little or no opportunity to follow it up and check details. Not uncommon back then, but these days no longer permitted.

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

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Graham View Post
                        ...change of alibi was known as an 'ambush alibi' as it gave the police and the prosecution little or no opportunity to follow it up and check details...
                        Much the same as what the prosecution did to the defence over the discovery of Mrs Dinwoodie.

                        Sherrard only knew about her late in the proceedings at Ampthill.

                        He was furious and demanded from Acott to know when he thought that it would be obliging of him to have told the defence of her existence.

                        Furthermore Sherrard believed that if Mrs Dinwoodie had appeared at the magistrates court that a decision of no case to answer may have been forthcoming.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Graham View Post
                          It would have been mightily impressive had a resident of Rhyl come forward before the trial began. But no-one did.
                          But how could anyone come forward before the trial without knowing what Hanratty looked like ? The first ever photographs of Hanratty were not published in any newspaper until February 18th 1962, the day after the trial ended

                          In addition the Rhyl part, the extension of the Liverpool alibi, was not mentioned to Hanratty's defence team until a week after the trial had started.
                          *************************************
                          "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


                          • Whoops! I meant to delete that sentence before I posted! My mistake!

                            Graham
                            Last edited by Graham; 05-08-2016, 09:34 AM.
                            We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                            Comment


                            • Hi All,

                              I have just watched this very recent offering on catch up:

                              http://www.londonlive.co.uk/programmes/the-a6-murderer

                              Not a bad effort in the time allowed, but nothing much we haven't heard before.

                              One thing that struck me immediately was Michael Hanratty's distinctive London accent, with not the slightest trace of Irish or Scottish.

                              Assuming his brother Jim had a similar accent, I will never accept that a witness in Liverpool or Rhyl would have had trouble instantly recognising a cockney voice when they heard one in 1961. Almost everyone in those days went regularly to their local cinema or listened to the radio, if they didn't yet have a tv. Cockney characters had featured by the bucket load for decades, the cast of the Ealing films and early Carry-Ons being just a couple of the more contemporary examples.

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X
                              Last edited by caz; 05-11-2016, 08:35 AM.
                              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                              Comment


                              • Hi Caz,

                                as I've stated a few times before, Hanratty's defence arranged for him to be examined by a Prof Fry of the Phonetics Dept., University College, who stated:

                                "In my opinion his speech is in every way typical of a man with his background and upbringing; his pronunciation is that of a boy of low educational attainment brought up in London. I could not detect any feature (in his pronunciation) which could be regarded as a personal pecularity. His mode of speech is shared by very many thousands of Londonders".

                                In other words, he had a Cockney accent, which effectively shoots down Mrs Dinwoodie and Mr Dutton, who stated that the man they met had some kind of irish accent or dialect. Just as anyone would assume a man with an Irish name like Hanratty would have. The above assessment by Prof Fry was reproduced by Bob Woffinden in his book; to his credit, I must say, but of course there was and is filmed evidence of Michael Hanratty's accent which even Bob would have found difficult to worm his way around.

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

                                Comment

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