To clarify, I believe that Hanratty’s alibi was a genuine one (eventually). When I said it was a ‘dead end’ I was not abandoning belief in his alibi but accepting the limitations of that alibi. It is very hard to prove a negative as we all know, and I do not think there is any more evidence available from which to argue Hanratty’s alibi. He did not need to provide one and it offers no more mileage to those who believe in his innocence. It has become a sideshow for those on the prosecution side who wish to pick (justifiably) holes within it. Would that they were asked to provide an alibi for two months ago and see how they fare! An accused has no more need to provide an alibi than the prosecution has to provide a motive. On balance I would suggest Hanratty did a better job. His alibi is better than the prosecution’s motive.
Hanratty’s alibi is hardly worthless so could have not been plucked out of thin air. There are a number of witnesses who believed they saw him in both Liverpool and Rhyl at the relevant times, one of which is even time-stamped. We are often told on here that Jim Hanratty was unlucky but if his alibi was fictitious, then he was actually extremely lucky. Extremely lucky to have so many independent witnesses confirm it. Of course, they could have been mistaken, or ‘suggestible’ as has been suggested here. No more suggestible however than the ID witnesses who saw Hanratty driving near Redbridge I would contend, nor even Valerie Storie herself.
And then there is massive lack of those ‘wishing to get in on the act.’ In Redbridge and Liverpool/Rhyl they were lining up to get their five minutes of fame. Yet in sleepy Taplow, the very heart of the crime, no one saw or heard anything. No roadside driver, no train ticket collector, no train passenger, nothing. The only link to Hanratty and the cornfield is Valerie Storie whose evidence is obviously undermined by an earlier identification.