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

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  • #31
    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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    • #32
      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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      • #33
        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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        • #34
          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.
          Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
          ---------------
          Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
          ---------------

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          • #35
            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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            • #36
              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
              We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

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              • #37
                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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                • #38
                  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
                  We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    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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                    • #40
                      Dream on, Nats. Nighty-night.....

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

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        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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                        • #42
                          The journey and the route Gregsten took, may well have been of his own planning. The third person in the vehicle I suspect (and speculate) was known to either both of the lovers or at least to Gregsten. Otherwise, had it been an abduction, I really think evasive action of some kind would have been taken much earlier in the evening. Another possibility 'there was no third person in the car with them. They were on a mission to meet with a person or persons on dead mans hill, some plan that has never been revealed, that went horribly wrong. The concept of someone putting the 'frighteners on the couple, simply doesn't work. It is not possible to shoot someone with a .38 revolver, at close range twice, through the head, by accident.

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                          • #43
                            You raise some good points, Mr Moste. Quite rightly, never should we forget that Valerie Storie is still alive.

                            With regard to your suggestion that they drove to Deadmans Hill to meet someone, don't forget that Harry Hirons, the attendant at the Shell Garage on Kingsbury Circle, came forward to say that he remembered the Morris stopping there shortly after midnight on the morning of the murder, and that there were three people in it. He was shown the Morris at Scotland Yard and said he was confident it was the same car. He was one of the people who took part in the ID parade on which Alphon stood, but he did not pick out Alphon. At a later parade, Mr Hirons did not pick out Hanratty. Acott was confident - well, he would be, wouldn't he? - that Hirons had seen the murder car at his garage, but because he had failed to identify anyone when shown photos and a Photofit, he was not called as a witness. Also, the garage where he worked was not the garage that Valerie said they stopped at for petrol. So who was mistaken - Valerie or Mr Hirons? Easy to dismiss Mr Hirons, but he approached the police on his own initiative, so he must have been pretty confident that he had seen the murder car and its three occupants. Of course, he may have been totally mistaken, but the police seemed to take Mr Hirons very seriously, at least at first.

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

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Graham View Post
                              . Also, the garage where he worked was not the garage that Valerie said they stopped at for petrol. So who was mistaken - Valerie or Mr Hirons? Easy to dismiss Mr Hirons, but he approached the police on his own initiative, so he must have been pretty confident that he had seen the murder car and its three occupants. Of course, he may have been totally mistaken, but the police seemed to take Mr Hirons very seriously, at least at first.

                              Graham
                              Graham

                              Valerie was of course under huge stress following her horrendous ordeal which certainly would have understandably led to forgetting some things and being mistaken about others. However , I don't believe she was mistaken about the garage because she had good reason to recall that Mike G disliked the brand of petrol dispensed (Regent I believe). Of course, Acott had his own reasons for bringing Mr Hirons forward, despite Valerie's own account, since he wanted to strengthen in the jury's mind the link between Kingsbury and Hanratty.

                              In fact , the car's route passed as closely to Gregsten's home as Hanratty's , yet no one has seriously pursued the former angle , coincidence or not.

                              I believe the gunman was in control .Valerie's evidence was that even after short periods of relative silence , he gave firm instructions on directions.

                              Personally,I have a feeling that there is some significance to the car's route if not the destination. However, that slightly conflicts with my growing supposition that if the gunman was hired he was inadequately briefed and as a consequence this contributed to his bizarre behaviour.

                              For the sake of argument , if it were a choice between Alphon or Hanratty as the gunman purely on the basis of the route and demeanour I would go for Alphon (even though he's not a fashionable perpetrator on the A6 murders (sic) site). Both knew Northolt, Harrow and Stanmore - but Hanratty was less likely to mistake St Albans for Watford. But I understand the link to Bedford in relation to Hanratty.

                              My next post will be on the neglected Mrs Dalal (Alphon) thread touching on the issue you flagged regarding the financing of a hired gunman.
                              atb
                              Ed

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by moste View Post
                                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
                                You make some salient observations Moste in this post. Speaking only for myself and with some justification [which I will elaborate on in a future post] I find Valerie a most [no pun intended] unreliable witness. Louis Blom-Cooper, the author of the first book about the A6 murder in 1963, also considered her an unreliable witness, which might seem rather surprising given that back then he was a believer in Hanratty's guilt.

                                I too am of the belief that Deadman's Hill was a predestined location. Try putting yourself in Michael Gregsten's position for one moment.....what must he have been thinking when that sign for Deadman's Hill loomed in front of him ? Was that the reason he deliberately drove past it contrary to the gunman's instructions ? Did he have a real feeling of foreboding, believing that his number was finally up ?
                                *************************************
                                "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]

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