Ansonman’s description presents a picture of Dixie France being a very reluctant witness indeed. As he indicated, any feelings of guilt France might have had would surely have been assuaged somewhat by his doing the decent thing and testifying against Hanratty, the monster who he allowed into his family home.
Even in his suicide notes France could have unburdened himself more fully and not just savagely attacked Hanratty, but actually declared he was guilty of the A6 crimes. Yet he did not do this, even after a jury and appeal court had made their judgment.
France was coerced into testifying for a reason and for me the likeliest reason is that the police had made a potential link between France and the murder weapon. The deal would have been for France to take the witness stand in return for police not pursuing their enquiries about the gun. Incidentally this is a gun we seem to know less about than the handkerchief in which it was wrapped, an unusual situation in a capital crime. In fact, it appears we seem to have as little evidence regarding the history of the gun as we have of forensic evidence inside the car where the crime was committed.
Once Hanratty’s appeal was dismissed, France may well have been fearful that Hanratty would have a bit more to say about guns and Dixie France. Having got their verdict, the police might then have proceeded further into the provenance of the gun and, as France saw it, crucified him and his family.
None of the above assumes either guilt or innocence on Hanratty’s part.