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  #4431  
Old 01-24-2018, 05:41 PM
moste moste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Yes I read about the Great Cornfield Entrance Debate of 2008.

http://forum.casebook.org/showthread...2113#post22113
While it would be interesting to know the exact location, I can’t attached too much importance myself. While studying the area on maps , Google Earth, etc. its worthy of note perhaps to people interested , that the Jubilee river flood relief project was completed around 2000, and the mile or so of rowing lake completed 2004, the entrance to which often attested to have been the original corn field entrance.
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  #4432  
Old 01-25-2018, 02:29 AM
OneRound OneRound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickB View Post
But he says: "It shows that, from the outset, Valerie Storie misled everyone ..." 'It' being Henderson's statement.

I don't see this as a pro or anti Hanratty point. Just asking if there is any reliable evidence that they stopped off somewhere else first, as I can't see any.
IF [large ''if''] Gregsten and Storie were followed to a first stopping point and then to the cornfield, it again doesn't put Hanratty in the clear but does lend weight to cobalt's recent view that the murderer was in a car at that time.

Best regards,

OneRound
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  #4433  
Old 01-25-2018, 03:05 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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In his 'confessions' Alphon claimed that he went straight there on foot. This is the context in which this has usually been discussed. If the couple only went to the cornfield serendipitously after stopping somewhere else, how did he know where to go?

A car makes it easier for an 'assasin', although I would say in general a stop-off makes it more likely that the gunman came across them by chance.

But it seems to me that Henderson saw the car in the cornfield. And this is how Woffinden also interpreted it in his first edition. Then someone pointed out to him that it contradicted the part of Henderson's statement (that he had quoted in the previous 2 paras) about the car being in HLS. Rather than doubting that Henderson's recollection of the location was correct, he re-writes everything to include a stop off in HLS. His rewrite is on the basis that if Henderson says something contrary to Valerie she is lying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrick View Post
The September 11th statement was only fully disclosed during the CCRC enquiries[/b]
Isn't that what Woffinden calls 'VS5'? It is referenced in several pages in his book - first edition - so looks like he had seen it.
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  #4434  
Old 01-25-2018, 07:20 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Originally Posted by moste View Post
Graham, So would you suggest that the leaving of a beer bottle being dropped at the entrance to the field that p.l.a. had directed the friends to, and subsequent retrieval of same bottle , proving that Alphon had indeed picked out the correct field, from a number of like fields, do you suggest all this as poppycock.
Moste,

I think 'poppycock' is a very appropriate word to describe this highly-unlikely story.

I don't doubt that at some time it is possible that Justice, Fox and Alphon drove around the area. However, that the 'correct' entrance to the cornfield was revealed to Justice and Fox in the way the former describes is transparent fiction in my estimation. Fox stated that while he was driving the car along Marsh Lane a voice behind him shouted "Stop here!", which he says he did, but - and this is the bit that amazes me - he claimed he couldn't tell if it was Justice or Alphon who shouted! Alphon's voice was nasal and quiet, whereas Justice's was a full, deep, loud baritone, and had long before earned him the nickname of 'Boom'. And he was, of course, Fox's lover. And then it is claimed that after parking, Alphon had a go at driving the car, and 'crashed the gears'. Just like Valerie said the gunman did on Deadman's Hill when he got into the Minor. Well, what a coincidence! Another little clue concocted to keep the finger pointing at Alphon!

If Justice ever did learn the precise location of 'the' entrance to the cornfield, then in my opinion the knowledge would have come from the Slough freelance journalist Tony Mason, whom Justice knew and who I believe later became a member of the A6 Committee. Mason took a close interest in the A6 Case right from the start (in fact it was he who broke the news of what had happened to Valerie Storie's parents), and because of his journalism had close contacts with the police. Woffinden states that Mason was one of the very few people, apart from the police, who knew the exact location of the cornfield entrance.

The whole 'Guinness Bottle' episode is written in the most lurid manner, and has sensational fiction stamped all over it. I believe it was an attempt by Justice to keep Alphon very much in the limelight as the 'genuine' A6 killer, and to aid Justice's crusade to prove that the Establishment had got it wrong.

Having said all that, nowadays I honestly don't think that knowledge of the precise location of the entrance was and is all that important.

Graham
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  #4435  
Old 01-26-2018, 02:17 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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Having said all that, nowadays I honestly don't think that knowledge of the precise location of the entrance was and is all that important


You could well be right there, Graham. There are two problems with the cornfield version of events.
I have recently explained the first. Either Hanratty was scouting for burglaries around Taplow area and stumbled upon a courting couple in which case he was not ‘tooled up,’
Or, he was embarking on a career as a stick up man and should have been nowhere near a cornfield but rather in a small garage forecourt plucking up courage to rob the till, when lighting upon a couple looking for petrol. (With a getaway vehicle as well.)
I can just about accept either, but not both.

The second problem is his invisibility. A burglar like Hanratty would be very adept at operating below the radar and avoiding attention. That much we can probably all agree upon. But the prosecution case stretches this beyond credulity. Hanratty left London by train in the morning, before emerging in a cornfield sometime after 2130 in the dusky evening. What was he doing during this time? A man needs to be fed and watered. Yet no one saw him. Not even Mrs. Lanz in the Station Hotel. Not even those living close to the cornfield who did remember seeing a stranger, who was clearly not Hanratty, in the afternoon. The earlier he arrives, the more time he has to hang around. The later he arrives, the more chance a railway employee/passenger remembers him disembarking from the train. Yet no one saw him. Never mind the quality of witnesses at Rhyl: this is the far more serious case of the total non-existence of witnesses at Taplow who saw Hanratty make his way to the cornfield from wherever.

Think about it. A professional police force has the remit to join the dots of its case, which is that James Hanratty left London in the morning and embarked on a hold up/kidnap/execution in the late evening, yet turns up no witnesses to his journey, nor as a matter of fact any subsequent forensic evidence he was ever inside the car. Which leads me to the conclusion that, if the cornfield narrative is true, then it did not involve James Hanratty.
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  #4436  
Old 01-26-2018, 03:40 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Hi Cobalt,
Quote:
Or, he was embarking on a career as a stick up man and should have been nowhere near a cornfield but rather in a small garage forecourt plucking up courage to rob the till, when lighting upon a couple looking for petrol. (With a getaway vehicle as well.)
As I said before, a garage is not the place to do a stick-up - unless you go in mob-handed and with a getaway car ticking over outside. The same as today, if you're out to make a living from armed robbery, go for courting couples or off-licences. Hanratty would have known that, I feel.

Quote:
arrives, the more chance a railway employee/passenger remembers him disembarking from the train. Yet no one saw him. Never mind the quality of witnesses at Rhyl: this is the far more serious case of the total non-existence of witnesses at Taplow who saw Hanratty make his way to the cornfield from wherever.
Nobody saw anyone else, either. We don't even know if he actually arrived at Taplow by train, bus or car. If the latter, then chances are someone drove him there. But if that was the case, then that someone would have kept his mouth firmly closed once it was apparent what Hanratty had got up to that night. If Hanratty had nicked a car somewhere and driven himself to the vicinity of the cornfield, then I don't recall reading that the police were advised that an abandoned car had been found nearby.

Quote:
Think about it. A professional police force has the remit to join the dots of its case, which is that James Hanratty left London in the morning and embarked on a hold up/kidnap/execution in the late evening, yet turns up no witnesses to his journey, nor as a matter of fact any subsequent forensic evidence he was ever inside the car. Which leads me to the conclusion that, if the cornfield narrative is true, then it did not involve James Hanratty.
A police-force does not 'turn up' witnesses; a police-force will ask the public if anyone was seen near the scene of a crime. Why should there be 'witnesses to his journey'? Do you, Cobalt, get on a bus or a train and sit there memorizing the details and characteristics of other passengers, just in case one of them might commit murder a bit later? Of course you don't.

As far as forensics are concerned, none were found to link Hanratty to the car, nor were any forensics found to link anyone else. It was other matters, other evidence, that linked Hanratty to the A6 crime. Or are you suggesting, as has been suggested before, that for some reason that hasn't come down to us, Gregsten and Storie just happened to drive from Taplow to Deadman's Hill for some unknown reason, and there met their nemesis?

Graham
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Last edited by Graham : 01-26-2018 at 03:47 PM.
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  #4437  
Old 01-26-2018, 04:12 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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One feature of the A6 Case is that apart from Hanratty, who was an established burglar but allegedly a wannabe armed robber who became a murderer, everyone else’s activity seems to be downplayed.

The most outstanding example of this is clearly William Ewer who was laughably described as running an umbrella repair shop. He owned two expensive properties as I understand and engaged in high value transactions in both art and antiques. Notwithstanding that, he doubtless had an awareness of criminal undertakings in the antique trade. According to Jean Justice, Ewer was a committed fascist who claimed he had fought in the Spanish Civil War on Franco’s side. If he was not, at the very least, on a retainer from MI5 then we must have been wasting our taxes.

Malcolm Gregsten is regularly described as a ‘physicist’ although this definition has been challenged I know. We seem to know little of his academic background or what his qualifications were. A physicist has a high degree of mathematical knowledge as did indeed Valerie Storie, who sat her A Level Mathematics. Not many girls stayed on at school after 15 in those days and even fewer stayed on to do A Level Maths. Valerie Storie must have been seriously bright, as her later interviews indicate.

Both Gregsten and Storie are portrayed as humdrum civil servants working in the rather prosaic area of transport, whose eyes met when serving on the canteen committee at their place of work. But Valerie Storie was 20 years old when she went to work there so must have been employed somewhere previously. Where was Gregsten working beforehand?

Finally, we have Alphon’s father, reportedly a Records Clerk at Scotland Yard. Alphon, a self-proclaimed fascist like Ewer, is usually tagged as a drifter or door-to-door salesman yet seems to have an ‘inheritance’ which allows him to hang around race courses with mixed success and stay at swanky hotels. He admits to scrounging off his mother although so far as we know she is reliant on the humble clerical salary of her husband. If he was not a police ‘snout’ then we were wasting our taxes.
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  #4438  
Old 01-26-2018, 04:27 PM
moste moste is offline
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Just changing the subject for a second. I post the following to give some incite into the feasibility of cross contamination in a situation where every care and protocol was thought to have been followed.
'The Phantom of Heilbronn'
Known as “The Woman Without a Face”, the Phantom of
Heilbronn was one of Germany’s most-wanted women, leaving
DNA evidence at 40 crime scenes, including various burglaries
and six murders, across Europe between 1993 and 2009
(Spiegel, 2009). Countless resources were spent trying to locate
the Phantom and bring her to justice, particularly after her DNA
was found during the investigation of a police officer’s homicide
in Germany. It took over a decade for investigators to determine
the true identity of the elusive Phantom. In 2008, French police
swabbed the body of a burnt male to attempt a DNA

identification of his body, and were surprised to find the DNA of
the Phantom as well (Spiegel, 2009). After inquiry into the
equipment being used to process the Phantom scenes, it was
discovered the Phantom was in fact a Bavarian woman working
in the factory that manufactured swabs for investigative use.
Thousands of hours had been spent investigating a woman who
had no involvement in any of the crimes, all due to
contamination. The extensive investigation into the identity of
the Phantom could have been avoided if standards similar to
those suggested by Promega were implemented. A forensic
laboratory with access to employee DNA databases and required
contamination checks would have identified the donor in weeks
rather than decades.'
Reading more of the rather lengthy scientific paper, It makes reference to the fact that 'a person even speaking near an exhibit that will be used for DNA testing without a mask will contaminate that article. Now consider the various activity by all and sundry around the items of clothing etc. at the time of the A6 crime and since. Far from concerning themselves with where the DNA of the killer is if Hanratty is not the killer, The Forensic laboratory scientists in this case should be telling the public the truth. That in actual fact the knickers fragments ,trousers ,handkerchief, etc. were so degraded with age and serious multiple contaminates that the whole procedure was a completely fruitless exercise. I consider the so called tests to have been a sham, an ace up the sleeve of the authorities , to finally get the monkey of their backs, and get the whole Hanratty problem to go away, once and for all. Ok, back to the corn field.

Last edited by moste : 01-26-2018 at 04:40 PM. Reason: add a sentence.
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  #4439  
Old 01-26-2018, 05:14 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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Hi Graham,

I can accept your off-licence target for a trainee armed robber, but not a cornfield. It didn’t make sense in 1961 as I recall from adult conversations, and it does not make sense to me now.

If Hanratty arrived in the evening at what I assume is a quietish railway station then I think he would be remembered by some passenger or more likely a member of staff. They were queueing up in Merseyside to ‘get in on the act’ but down in Taplow, which was at the centre of the crime, no one came forward. The police would obviously have been appealing for witnesses to come forward, and locally the crime must have been off the Richter Scale. That’s one reason I think it most likely the killer was driven close to the cornfield, if indeed that was the place where the events began to unfold.

As you indicated, I am not convinced that the cornfield had much to do with the crime at all. I think a previous contributor said that the police themselves paid little attention to the area in the aftermath of the crime. Maybe they knew more than we do. No one was seen going there. To go on foot, as Alphon I think said he did, could have been turned out a waste of time for a man carrying a gun since no one knew for sure where the car was headed. At least so far as we know. And the man described by Valerie Storie had polished shoes, unlikely for someone who had been walking through fields.

Then there is the enormous period of time in which such a small amount of conversation seems to have taken place from a man who was talking incessantly. Two hours in a cornfield produced next to nothing outside some self-pitying, potted autobiography. At no point do the couple, having offered the car and money, seemed to have asked the assailant what on earth it is he wants from them, which to me would have been one of the most obvious enquiries. From what has been reported, there seems to have been a strange passivity from the captives; I don’t mean a lack of physical heroics but more a sense of asserting some psychological pressure back on to the gunman.

There is also the problem of basic human biology. Two people who have been for a drink are liable to need the toilet long before six hours have passed, especially given the fact that a gun is being pointed at them. This would apply to the gunman as well, yet after six hours in which he says he wants to eat, and apparently gets no food, he only wants to sleep. This is the most preposterous part of the story, for a gunman had no reason to sleep with the attendant risk of being overpowered by two captives who might have slipped their bonds and turned the gun on him.

The meandering journey has been covered here before and there are some who feel there was more method than madness in the route. Valerie Storie reportedly said that she and Gregsten sometimes went on late night/early morning car journeys which I found a little surprising. I know they were members of the de Havilland Car Club and would be interested in anything contemporary members could offer about the couple and how common an activity this was.

Regarding the cornfield, I think it is probably a red herring. I think they ‘picked up a man around Slough’ but for what reason I can but guess.
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  #4440  
Old 01-26-2018, 05:19 PM
moste moste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
One feature of the A6 Case is that apart from Hanratty, who was an established burglar but allegedly a wannabe armed robber who became a murderer, everyone else’s activity seems to be downplayed.

The most outstanding example of this is clearly William Ewer who was laughably described as running an umbrella repair shop. He owned two expensive properties as I understand and engaged in high value transactions in both art and antiques. Notwithstanding that, he doubtless had an awareness of criminal undertakings in the antique trade. According to Jean Justice, Ewer was a committed fascist who claimed he had fought in the Spanish Civil War on Franco’s side. If he was not, at the very least, on a retainer from MI5 then we must have been wasting our taxes.

Malcolm Gregsten is regularly described as a ‘physicist’ although this definition has been challenged I know. We seem to know little of his academic background or what his qualifications were. A physicist has a high degree of mathematical knowledge as did indeed Valerie Storie, who sat her A Level Mathematics. Not many girls stayed on at school after 15 in those days and even fewer stayed on to do A Level Maths. Valerie Storie must have been seriously bright, as her later interviews indicate.

Both Gregsten and Storie are portrayed as humdrum civil servants working in the rather prosaic area of transport, whose eyes met when serving on the canteen committee at their place of work. But Valerie Storie was 20 years old when she went to work there so must have been employed somewhere previously. Where was Gregsten working beforehand?

Finally, we have Alphon’s father, reportedly a Records Clerk at Scotland Yard. Alphon, a self-proclaimed fascist like Ewer, is usually tagged as a drifter or door-to-door salesman yet seems to have an ‘inheritance’ which allows him to hang around race courses with mixed success and stay at swanky hotels. He admits to scrounging off his mother although so far as we know she is reliant on the humble clerical salary of her husband. If he was not a police ‘snout’ then we were wasting our taxes.
Michael was working with a Fire research laboratory in Borhamwood ,in the mid 50s where according to Woffingden he fell in love with one of the office girls and an affair ensued but collapsed as she wanted a more stable relationship,( he wouldn't leave his wife) ,'sound familiar'. This was around the time Gregsten started suffering from headaches and mental problems.
Chapter 2 of Woffindens 1999 paperback is quite enlightening.
I know what your saying though, as a believer in Hanratty's innocence I would be keen to learn more about all the other characters in this huge saga.
This father of Alphons for example, PLA maintained and its generally understood that Peter and his father disliked each other and never got along, hence the alibi alluding to PLA meeting his mother in the street (we're left to guess, because he didn't want to cross paths with his Dad)and yet soon after there is the acclaimed press photo of Pete with his Mum and Dad drinking champagne and celebrating his being cleared of the 'housewife attack' all very odd.
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