Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Main
   

Introduction
Victims
Suspects
Witnesses
Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Authors
Dissertations
Timelines
Games & Diversions
Photo Archive
Ripper Wiki
Casebook Examiner
Ripper Podcast
About the Casebook

Most Recent Posts:
Witnesses: Kennedy and Lewis - by packers stem 59 minutes ago.
Non-Fiction: "Ripperland" by Andrew Firth - by Herlock Sholmes 2 hours ago.
Witnesses: 36 Berner Street............... - by Robert 2 hours ago.
Non-Fiction: "Ripperland" by Andrew Firth - by Andrew Firth 3 hours ago.
Witnesses: 36 Berner Street............... - by Robert 3 hours ago.
Non-Fiction: "Ripperland" by Andrew Firth - by Herlock Sholmes 4 hours ago.

Most Popular Threads:
Witnesses: 36 Berner Street............... - (20 posts)
Hutchinson, George: Why Didn't the Police Have Schwartz and/or Lawende Take a Look at Hutchinson? - (4 posts)
Witnesses: Kennedy and Lewis - (4 posts)
Non-Fiction: "Ripperland" by Andrew Firth - (4 posts)
Mary Jane Kelly: Did Mary Kelly meet the Bethnal Green Botherer? - (2 posts)
Torso Killings: JtR failed amputation. Torso killer was successful. - (2 posts)

Wiki Updates:
Robert Sagar
Edit: Chris
May 9, 2015, 12:32 am
Online newspaper archives
Edit: Chris
Nov 26, 2014, 10:25 am
Joseph Lawende
Edit: Chris
Mar 9, 2014, 10:12 am
Miscellaneous research resources
Edit: Chris
Feb 13, 2014, 9:28 am
Charles Cross
Edit: John Bennett
Sep 4, 2013, 8:20 pm

Most Recent Blogs:
Mike Covell: A DECADE IN THE MAKING.
February 19, 2016, 11:12 am.
Chris George: RipperCon in Baltimore, April 8-10, 2016
February 10, 2016, 2:55 pm.
Mike Covell: Hull Prison Visit
October 10, 2015, 8:04 am.
Mike Covell: NEW ADVENTURES IN RESEARCH
August 9, 2015, 3:10 am.
Mike Covell: UPDDATES FOR THE PAST 11 MONTHS
November 14, 2014, 10:02 am.
Mike Covell: Mike’s Book Releases
March 17, 2014, 3:18 am.

Go Back   Casebook Forums > Social Chat > Other Mysteries > A6 Murders

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #5041  
Old 09-22-2018, 03:32 AM
Sherlock Houses Sherlock Houses is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 447
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
I have to confess that SH's claim regarding what JH is reported to have said in court about the traffic island is new to me. Can this please be checked by someone with access to the trial proceedings?

Indeed, what did happen to the picture house? I have an admittedly imperfect memory of someone on the pre-crash Forum doing some digging on the spot in Liverpool, and who discovered that there never was a picture-house opposite Cowley's shop. Which does not mean to say that there were no picture-houses at all on Scotland Rd., and that another of the 29 sweet-shops could well have been situated opposite one.
Hanratty made a statement on 30-12-1961 wherein he stated that the sweetshop "was a corner shop by traffic lights and gent's toilets and ladie's toilets" [see post # 4946].
As previously mentioned there were 2 cinemas on either side of Scotland Road a few hundred yards before Hanratty reached the sweet shop that Tuesday afternoon. After alighting from the bus my guess is that Hanratty used the zebra crossing, [on the right hand side of the attached photo] finding himself on that triangular shaped traffic island.
The gent's and ladie's toilets which he mentioned are underlined in red in the photo. Also, as indicated in the photo by a green arrow, there was the site of the famous Rotunda Theatre a very short distance away. I don't know what stood on the site back in August 1961 as the theatre was bombed in the May blitz of 1941.
Attached Images
 
__________________
*************************************
"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]
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #5042  
Old 09-22-2018, 05:36 AM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 656
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherlock Houses View Post
Hanratty made a statement on 30-12-1961 wherein he stated that the sweetshop "was a corner shop by traffic lights and gent's toilets and ladie's toilets" [see post # 4946].
As previously mentioned there were 2 cinemas on either side of Scotland Road a few hundred yards before Hanratty reached the sweet shop that Tuesday afternoon. After alighting from the bus my guess is that Hanratty used the zebra crossing, [on the right hand side of the attached photo] finding himself on that triangular shaped traffic island.
The gent's and ladie's toilets which he mentioned are underlined in red in the photo. Also, as indicated in the photo by a green arrow, there was the site of the famous Rotunda Theatre a very short distance away. I don't know what stood on the site back in August 1961 as the theatre was bombed in the May blitz of 1941.
There is little doubt that the description of the sweet shop given in the December 1961 statement ( which was not made to the police but was taken by Hanratty's solicitor) fairly describes the location of Cowley's newsagents but none of this was said by Hanratty prior to Mrs Dinwoodie being found and Kleinman verifying the location of the shop. In its early form, Hanratty's description omitted traffic islands, zebra crossings, and gents and ladies toilets but included a picture house which was opposite the sweet shop; see Foot p190.

The postal address of Cowley's was 408 Scotland Road whereas the Derby cinema was 318a-322 Scotland Rd, in other words on the same side of the road. One can still see the facade of the old picture house on 2017 Google Streetview of the building which is now being used as an aparthotel called "The Picturehouse", perhaps in honour of Jim's 1961 description.

The Gaiety is on the opposite side of the road but was quite some distance away, having a postal address of 41-45 Scotland Road. Could a picture house at 41-45 Scotland Road fairly be said to be opposite a newsagents at 408 Scotland Road? I venture to say not.

Local Liverpool historian, Philip Mayer gives a potted history of the Gaiety here on Flickr. It would seem that both the Gaiety and its sister cinema, the nearby Derby closed on the same date, 14 May 1960.
And here is what he writes about the Derby
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #5043  
Old 09-22-2018, 06:05 AM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 656
Default

And here is the Derby as it is now.
Attached Images
 
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #5044  
Old 09-24-2018, 04:06 AM
Alfie Alfie is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 238
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
It is almost certain that the murderer, armed with a gun and ammunition, was driven to the Taplow area. That explains the lack of sightings and the failure to discover an abandoned car as well.
Langdale said Hanratty told him he was "coming across a field" when he came across the car.

The field in which Gregsten parked his Morris is bounded on its west side by the Thames River and its tow path, which only a mile or so to the north runs through Maidenhead. It's not inconceivable that Hanratty struck out across the field from this path.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #5045  
Old 09-24-2018, 04:38 AM
NickB NickB is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 936
Default

I've always thought it most likely he got a train to Maidenhead, simply because he talked in the car about having visited Maidenhead and 'The Bear' in particular. From there he could have walked or got a bus to Taplow.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #5046  
Old 09-24-2018, 03:07 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 300
Default

I appreciate that local knowledge of the scene of the crime offers a wider understanding of likely transportation, short cuts and the like. My own awareness of Maidenhead is limited to a resonant line in a Harold Pinter play, written a couple of years before the A6 Case, where a character insists on his anonymity by declaring ‘All that time I was in Maidenhead I hardly left the house!’ In trademark Pinter/Kafka style, this character is undergoing some kind of interrogation for a presumed ‘crime’ that is never made clear. At least James Hanratty had an advantage on that count.

It would be interesting to have access to the police actions in the days immediately following the crime, but we can only work on assumptions. The police had a reasonable description of the murderer from Valerie Storie so, given that the car was abandoned in London, they surely did some legwork in respect of bus conductors, railway ticket collectors and taxi drivers along the likely routes. Presumably they received information about dodgy characters seen travelling on the afternoon in question and checked them out best they could. Hanratty seems to have been what we used to call a ‘flash git’ and his sharp dress sense plus his carrying a carrier bag (containing ammunition) might have registered with a member of the public in the immediate aftermath. It is basic detective work to establish how a criminal arrived at the scene, what he did at the scene and how he left the scene but this investigating team never seemed to make much headway on the first of these. Maybe they just drew a blank.

Or did they actually do the hard grind of public transport and door-to-door enquiries? A contributor some time back claimed that locals in the Taplow, Dorney Reach area were surprised at the lack of police activity following the crime. From memory, he was suggesting that the police never really bought into the cornfield story, but that is no more than supposition based on hearsay. It would have been interesting though, had the police invited Mrs. Lanz along to the Peter Alphon identity parade.

Langdale as a witness has less credibility than Nudds for, by the law of averages, Nudds must have been telling the truth some of the time. Hanratty was not one of life’s hikers from what I can gather, preferring to hire transport out of his ill-gotten gains or nick a car. Like many city boys, myself included, I suspect Hanratty had no interest in walking across fields. Valerie Storie’s first statement, I think it was, actually mentioned how clean the murderer’s shoes were, in contrast to his tale of living rough.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #5047  
Old 09-25-2018, 02:05 AM
Alfie Alfie is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 238
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
... I suspect Hanratty had no interest in walking across fields. Valerie Storie’s first statement, I think it was, actually mentioned how clean the murderer’s shoes were, in contrast to his tale of living rough.
Valerie mentions the gunman being "immaculately" and "nattily" dressed in a suit and white shirt, but there is no mention of his shoes as far as I can see.

I can't imagine when she'd have gotten the chance to observe the state of his footwear.

Last edited by Alfie : 09-25-2018 at 02:27 AM.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #5048  
Old 09-25-2018, 03:38 AM
Alfie Alfie is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 238
Default Hanratty in Liverpool

May have been covered previously but ...

Woffinden on pp. 128-9, discussing Hanratty's mid-trial switch of alibi, relays in part what he told his lawyers about his return to Liverpool from Rhyl thus:

"... he went over on the ferry to New Brighton, where he went to the fun-fair. He was disappointed that many of the side-shows were closed. ‘I was on my own. I came back about 10 o’clock. I went back to the flat, picked up my luggage and took a large sum of cash with me. I went to the station about 10.15.'"

What flat?

And where did this large sum of cash come from? Earlier he'd told his lawyers that he'd tried to flog the gold watch at the billiard hall because he "only had £8 or £9 on me, that to me is not a lot of money."

Is Hanratty getting his first and second alibi stories mixed up here? Or is Woffinden?
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #5049  
Old 09-25-2018, 05:17 AM
NickB NickB is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 936
Default

This was discussed before, after Spitfire drew attention to it.

Woffinden is plonking the latter stages of the Liverpool alibi onto the end of the Rhyl alibi and it doesn't work. Similarly the front-end join between Liverpool and Rhyl is also ropey, with Woffinden saying he arrived on the 4.54 train and not explaining how he completed all the actions he claimed to have done before getting the bus at 6.00.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #5050  
Old 09-26-2018, 03:13 AM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 656
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickB View Post
This was discussed before, after Spitfire drew attention to it.

Woffinden is plonking the latter stages of the Liverpool alibi onto the end of the Rhyl alibi and it doesn't work. Similarly the front-end join between Liverpool and Rhyl is also ropey, with Woffinden saying he arrived on the 4.54 train and not explaining how he completed all the actions he claimed to have done before getting the bus at 6.00.
What a good memory you have, Nick. Here is the post of nearly three years ago. It does seem that Woff was getting fact and fiction hopelessly confused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Calling James Hanratty by the wrong name is not the only mistake made by Bob Woffinden.


The edition of Bob’s book which I have is the 1999 Pan edition and I refer to the relevant account which begins at the end of page 127. Bob has described, amongst other things Hanratty’s trip to Liverpool, the bus ride to Rhyl and the quest for digs in a seaside town in the middle of the holiday season. Bob now turns to the return bus ride from Rhyl, which Bob assures us took place in the morning of Thursday 24 August after Hanratty had resolved he could return to London (the Smoke) in ersatz triumph. So far so good; we know that the bus journey is not speedy, the outbound journey taking 2hours 19 minutes, so if Bob is right then Hanratty should have been in Liverpool by 14.20 pm.

Bob does not condescend to giving particulars of times, however, and it is a matter of guesswork as to when it is contended that Hanratty arrived at the Pool but for the moment we can give Jim and Bob the benefit of the doubt. On the second paragraph of page 128 Bob writes as follows:

“At that point the pretence was discarded and Hanratty could tell that the actual truth.”

He then paraphrases Hanratty’s account of the afternoon of 24 August 1961; going to the left luggage to leave his case, having a meal, going to the pictures, sending the telegram to Dixie, trying to get into the Winstone fight, and then off to New Brighton and the funfair.

Bob now quotes Hanratty (page128):

'I was on my own. I came back about 10 o'clock. I went back to the flat, picked up my luggage and took a large sum of cash with me. I went to the station about 10.15. I again put my case in the left luggage-it was a different man-I gave him a 6d tip.’


Has Bob just transplanted the events of 24th August 1961 of the first alibi story into the second alibi story? What flat is Bob talking about? How can Hanratty have put his luggage in the left luggage office twice without removing it in between times? Where has the large amount of cash appeared from?

More questions than answers.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.