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

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  • moste
    replied
    Originally posted by Natalie Severn View Post
    The direction of the car was to -and then beyond-Watford,where in Cassiobury Park Michael had played with his son that very afternoon.My point is the car's journey is far to close to home for Michael to be yet another coincidence in this whole story of coincidences.So surely worthy of consideration and investigation.One of Andy's -[my husband's] points about the car journey is that the 'accepted' tale of the car meandering around West London is open to challenge and has never been scrutinised.
    It can not be scrutinised and is not open to challenge, because to do so would be questioning miss Stories word on things, and even for the sake of arguing ,no one (well just about no one) is prepared to say 'what if she was lying? PS. As an aside,Norma, you mention in your book, 'The Illuminated sign flashed up before them, saying 'Dead mans Hill' was this a reference to the RAC box, with a sign on it, or some other sign? I only ask as I'm trying to get a feel for the arrival of the vehicle at this site. As you may know I believe this was a preconceived location, possibly an agreed rendezvous

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  • Graham
    replied
    Dream on, Nats. Nighty-night.....

    Graham

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  • Natalie Severn
    replied
    Originally posted by Graham View Post
    if you think it was a "hired/paid gunman", then perhaps you too would have the goodness to tell us who it was. And where, pray, do you think a middle-class yet none-too-wealthy family, such as Gregsten's was, would find such a gunman? In the small ads of Country Life, perhaps? Get real, Nats. I usually enjoy your arguments, but here you just fly to Mars.
    None too wealthy?Get off Graham -Get real ! Ewer was a very rich man .The location of his large houses -Hampstead and Golders Green tell you as much .
    Moreover his Antiques/Umbrella/cover shop hung a William Steer in 1961-one of England's most famous painters----who are you kidding? And his stuff at Sotheby's Auction House -probably the wealthiest Auction house in the world where in 1969 'Art dealer' William Ewer sold a Holbein worth millions upon millions today.
    Who do I think the gunman was ? Somebody connected with the man who gassed himself a few days after Hanratty's appeal was refused .He went in to see Ewer to apologise ! btw didn't France look like Sidney Tafler [without the glasses].Remember Fogarty Waul's description of the man he saw in Marsh lane a few weeks before? [He thought the man he saw looked like Tafler ] ...apparently the same man that the Cobbs and their neighbour Frederick Newell saw who lived in Marsh Lane .Frederick Newell described him as slightly built ,sallow with dark ,deep set eyes [like Valerie Storie's first identikit picture ].Although they went to the police about their sighting when they saw the likeness of the first Identikit it was never followed up !
    Bedford? Its like an outing to Southport or New Brighton if you live in Liverpool or Birkenhead ---or Epping Forrest if you lived in the East End.For a North West Londoner a trip to Bedford along the A roads was and is a delightful outing -like going to Richmond etc
    Last edited by Natalie Severn; 10-20-2015, 03:32 PM.

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  • Graham
    replied
    Thanks Graham, Well for a start I like thousands of others, including two of Scotland Yard's most academic and highly rated detectives,Roger Matthews and Basil Skitt do not believe Hanratty had anything whatever to do with the A6 crime.
    Well, I do believe that Hanratty was the A6 murderer, and so do thousands of others. If Messrs Matthews and Skitt believe otherwise, good for them and (a) why doesn't Matthews publish his report? and (b) if they don't think Hanratty did it, then perhaps they'd have the goodness to tell who they think really did do it?

    You know I suspect it was a hired/paid gunman whose money from Gregsten's family may have financed the whole thing -putting the frighteners on Gregsten
    Rubbish. Likewise, if you think it was a "hired/paid gunman", then perhaps you too would have the goodness to tell us who it was. And where, pray, do you think a middle-class yet none-too-wealthy family, such as Gregsten's was, would find such a gunman? In the small ads of Country Life, perhaps? Get real, Nats. I usually enjoy your arguments, but here you just fly to Mars.

    Lots of Londoners go for drives to Bedford Graham-its one of several picturesque drives through the countryside out of London.
    Possibly, but too facile a reply, Nats. The fact is that Hanratty had been to Bedford before and after the crime, and knew people there. Coincidence that the crime took place on the A6? Maybe, but I don't think so.

    Graham

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  • Natalie Severn
    replied
    Thanks Graham, Well for a start I like thousands of others, including two of Scotland Yard's most academic and highly rated detectives,Roger Matthews and Basil Skitt do not believe Hanratty had anything whatever to do with the A6 crime.
    So no I am not saying 'Hanratty' routed the car in that direction on purpose.I am saying somebody did -somebody who knew a lot more about Michael Gregsten with his marriage to Janet on the rocks and his dusk to dawn trysts 'rallying' with his lover Valerie Storie .You know I suspect it was a hired/paid gunman whose money from Gregsten's family may have financed the whole thing -putting the frighteners on Gregsten----a plot that went so badly wrong that Gregsten was murdered, France committed suicide and Hanratty became the fall guy.
    Lots of Londoners go for drives to Bedford Graham-its one of several picturesque drives through the countryside out of London.
    Last edited by Natalie Severn; 10-20-2015, 12:59 PM.

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  • Graham
    replied
    Couple of possibly minor points, if I may:

    1] Given the unimaginable trauma of that night, I think it only fair to say that it is likely Valerie was unable to recall all the twists and turns of that journey.

    2] I would like a little clarification regarding why the assumed nearness of the car during that trip to Michael Gregsten's home should be considered and investigated. Are you saying that Hanratty routed the car in that direction on purpose? If so, for what purpose?

    3] It should be borne in mind that Hanratty was not unfamiliar with Bedford, as he had an aunt who lived there, and he admitted having visited her when younger, and so he had been to that town and possibly via the A6 on at least one previous occasion. Also, he went to Bedford after the murder in his new Sunbeam, on Saturday 23 September, taking with him his girl-friend Gladys Deacon. The A6 isn't the [I]only[I] route from where he lived to Bedford, but it is a route, (he could have gone via the M1), and there is at least the possibility that Hanratty was familiar with it prior to the crime. (He went to Bedford with Gladys to fence some jewellery, or so he said, but couldn't find Ashburnham Road where, he claimed, his contact lived. Now, haven't we heard a tale of this sort before? Like, concerning Liverpool? Hanratty must have been the most inept burglar ever put behind bars).

    If Hanratty deliberately guided the car towards Bedford up the A6 and to Deadman's Hill, I honestly can't say.

    Graham

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  • Natalie Severn
    replied
    Hi PcDunn-yes they managed to change his mind in minor ways but the main course of the route the gunman certainly knew and gave the directions for.

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  • Pcdunn
    replied
    Hello, all. I have been lurking on these threads for months, despite knowing nothing about the case beyond what I read on the Internet and found in these threads.

    I really enjoyed the original articles presenting the victim's account of their carjacking and what happened later that night. The case is certainly strange, if not bizarre, in certain elements. The drive being similar to Gregsten's regular drive makes me wonder if the back-seat gunman was as much in control of things as he seems. Vickie did mention that twice they were able to change his mind about where to stop, as being too near houses, so it seems he had no very clear notion of where he was going or what was going to happen. Maybe Gregsten unconsciously drove that route, and the gunman didn't care or notice.

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  • Natalie Severn
    replied
    Originally posted by Ed James View Post
    Hi Nats

    I lived in Watford for 16 years next to Cassiobury Park where Gregsten took his son and the neighbour's child on the day of the abduction; and 200 yards from the Watford Memorial Hospital where Gregsten was treated as an outpatient.

    You said in a previous post that the murder car went past Cassiobury Park on its long journey. I don't think that is correct as the journey from Stanmore along the A41 is 3/4 miles from Cassiobury Park at its nearest point.
    Your husband may be right about the early part of the route from Dorney reach. I would like to know that part of the route because I think it is important.

    Ed
    The direction of the car was to -and then beyond-Watford,where in Cassiobury Park Michael had played with his son that very afternoon.My point is the car's journey is far to close to home for Michael to be yet another coincidence in this whole story of coincidences.So surely worthy of consideration and investigation.One of Andy's -[my husband's] points about the car journey is that the 'accepted' tale of the car meandering around West London is open to challenge and has never been scrutinised.

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  • barnflatwyngarde
    replied
    i have followed the Hanratty case for many years, and am personally convinced of his guilt.

    One of the abiding memories of the case is the incredible efforts made by his parents in an attempt to save his life.

    I attach a link to a website that shows two photographs of Hanratty's parents.
    The first photo was taken in March, 1962.
    The second was taken in August 1962.

    The difference in Hanratty's parents is striking and, to my mind, shocking.
    The strain of fighting to save their son has taken a terrible toll on them both.

    Just another little reminder that the horrifying effects of violent crime ripple out and affect so many decent people.

    http://murderpedia.org/male.H/h/hanr...s-photos-3.htm

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  • Ed James
    replied
    Hi Nats

    I lived in Watford for 16 years next to Cassiobury Park where Gregsten took his son and the neighbour's child on the day of the abduction; and 200 yards from the Watford Memorial Hospital where Gregsten was treated as an outpatient.

    You said in a previous post that the murder car went past Cassiobury Park on its long journey. I don't think that is correct as the journey from Stanmore along the A41 is 3/4 miles from Cassiobury Park at its nearest point.
    Your husband may be right about the early part of the route from Dorney reach. I would like to know that part of the route because I think it is important.

    Ed

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  • Natalie Severn
    replied
    Yes Ed.I myself lived and taught in West London for a number of years- and my husband Andy was born there and grew up in Greenford and know the various routes well.He reckons the route they took would have been the most logical and likely route Gregsten took to and from work or Slough in 1959/60 /61.

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  • Ed James
    replied
    Originally posted by Natalie Severn View Post
    I think people may be missing what might possibly be a very significant point here Moste;

    viz :Mike's journey to work each day up until 12 months previously was almost to the detail the route via Watford from Abbots Langley to Langley Slough where the Road Research Lab was and where he and Valerie worked .The family home where Mike had lived until the previous 12 months with his wife Janet and their two sons was in fact just over two miles from the very route the gunman directed them through via Watford on the fatal night .Yet the route's significance i.e. from Dorney Reach via Slough up until Watford has always been omitted by writers and investigators of the A6 case -[who have emphasised instead Deadman's Hill and the A6] .Even more remarkably Valerie who must have been aware they were passing close to Mike Gregsten's family home in Abbots Langley never refers to this coincidence despite the likelihood Mike Gregsten wothat identical route from Abbots Langley/ Watford to Langley / Slough - the very same route the three of them took on the night of the 22nd August 1961 -as it is the most direct and obvious route for him to have taken-in 1961 .
    Hi Nats

    I agree with you that the route of the car , going close to Abbots Langley, seems to be significant and has not previously been picked up by prime commentators.
    However, unless you know something different, the route of the car from Dorney Reach was not a direct one to Watford along the A312 (I think). Instead , the car headed into the outer west London suburbs (Greenford, Harrow and Stanmore) , taking then the A41 north of Watford (A41 was called the Watford Bypass) , turning off under 2 miles short of Abbots Langley , going through St Albans.

    Valerie reported that the gunman mistook St Albans for Watford . This may explain why the journey did not get closer to Gregsten's Abbots Langley home.

    atb
    Ed

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  • moste
    replied
    Originally posted by Natalie Severn View Post
    I think people may be missing what might possibly be a very significant point here Moste;

    viz :Mike's journey to work each day up until 12 months previously was almost to the detail the route via Watford from Abbots Langley to Langley Slough where the Road Research Lab was and where he and Valerie worked .The family home where Mike had lived until the previous 12 months with his wife Janet and their two sons was in fact just over two miles from the very route the gunman directed them through via Watford on the fatal night .Yet the route's significance i.e. from Dorney Reach via Slough up until Watford has always been omitted by writers and investigators of the A6 case -[who have emphasised instead Deadman's Hill and the A6] .Even more remarkably Valerie who must have been aware they were passing close to Mike Gregsten's family home in Abbots Langley never refers to this coincidence despite the likelihood Mike Gregsten wothat identical route from Abbots Langley/ Watford to Langley / Slough - the very same route the three of them took on the night of the 22nd August 1961 -as it is the most direct and obvious route for him to have taken-in 1961 .
    I wonder also, that little has been made of that coincidence, re the route taken, by writers of this saga. Are we all up to snuff on Mikes comings and goings though, over the four years of the couples involvement. I mean to say it is 25 miles each way to the research lab from Abbots Langley. Was Mike actually travelling home at weekends, and staying in digs during the week. This could explain him straying in the first place. We do know he had lived away from home on more than one occasion, maybe he was away a lot more than we think.

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  • Natalie Severn
    replied
    thanks Spitfire-it clearly states 1961 as the actual date of the murder in the body of the text though why the Independent carried the headline of 'After 36 .years in 2011 .."etc etc is strange-maybe it had been inserted as part of a much bigger article about the case.I note it supports my earlier comment about Baden Skitt being leading the CCRC though they refer to him by his title of former Assistant Commissioner of the MET.

    After 36 years, Hanratty is set to be cleared
    By Jason Bennetto Crime Correspondent
    Sunday 23 October 2011



    JAMES HANRATTY, hanged more than 36 years ago for murder and rape, is likely to be cleared after what is believed to be a serious miscarriage of justice.
    Hanratty, 25, was executed for the so-called "A6 murder" in one of the most infamous crimes this century. It is understood that his case is to be referred to the Court of Appeal after a fresh investigation into the affair.
    The inquiry into the 1961 murder is believed to have concluded that Hanratty should never have been brought to trial and that his conviction was part of a conspiracy, possibly including a police cover-up. He was convicted in 1962 of killing a married man before he raped the victim's lover and repeatedly shot her, leaving her paralysed for life.

    The Criminal Cases Review Commission is understood to have decided to refer his case to the Appeal Court - where the conviction is likely to be quashed - after an 18-month inquiry. In all cases so far referred by the commission, the conviction has been quashed or the sentence reduced by the Appeal Court.
    As The Independent previously reported, civil servants at the Home Office had reached a similar conclusion in January 1997, but Michael Howard, who was then Home Secretary, decided to sit on what was a potentially embarrassing decision and leave it to the newly formed commission.
    Hanratty, a petty burglar, was convicted of abducting Michael Gregsten, 36, and his mistress Valerie Storie, 22, at gunpoint from a cornfield at Taplow, near Maidenhead in Berkshire, in August 1961. The lovers were forced to drive about 60 miles to a lay-by on the A6 near Bedford, known as Dead Man's Hill.
    At the end of the two-hour trip Mr Gregsten, a research scientist, was shot dead. Miss Storie was then sexually assaulted before being shot repeatedly at close range. Hanratty was arrested two months later. He was convicted largely on the identification evidence of Miss Storie. Campaigners claim this evidence, which was based largely on her memory of the tone of voice used by her killer, would not now be accepted by a court. There was no scientific evidence.
    The investigation by the commission has been headed by Baden Skitt, 57, a former Assistant Commissioner at the Metropolitan Police. Mr Skitt, whose findings were presented to a committee for the final decision, is understood to have concluded that the original investigation was deeply flawed and that much of the "evidence" should never have been used at trial. The commission is expected to make a statement in the next few days.
    Michael Hanratty, 59, the brother of James, said last night: "It's been a terrible struggle that has ruined a whole family. You can't explain how it has affected us - it's been devastating.
    "The whole case has been a whitewash for years. There have been official inquiries in which people have bent over backwards to cover things up."
    More about:
    London Metropolitan University
    Michael Howard
    Last edited by Natalie Severn; 10-16-2015, 03:55 PM.

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