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

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  #21  
Old 10-23-2016, 05:33 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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And at that point there is an interesting twist in the story.

On 13-Sep-61 Galves makes a statement saying the hotel register shows that no-one had occupied Room 24 since 16th August.

As Woffinden says (page62): “However, after a closer examination of the books, it now emerged that the room was occupied. Someone called J. Ryan slept in Room 24 on Monday, 21 August, the night before the murder.”

It was one of the grounds of Appeal in 2002 that this delay was caused by the police trying to frame Alphon.

Appeal section 166: “Mr Mansfield argues further, that it is legitimate to infer that the hotel register had been altered to conceal the entry in relation to Ryan and that the defence were deprived of the opportunity to submit that the police were prepared to tailor the evidence to fit the theory that Durrant/Alphon was guilty, that someone with knowledge that Alphon was under investigation had planted the cartridge cases; and that the hotel record had been altered in some way.”
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  #22  
Old 10-23-2016, 06:19 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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I wrote "night of 22 August" instead of "21" - slip of the keyboard.

I don't myself think that the Vienna's books had been altered - had they been 'doctored', when would that have happened? As I understand it, the staff at the Vienna seemed to confirm Alphon's statement that he had arrived at the hotel around 11.00pm that evening and had stayed there all night. If this is true, and I believe it is, then there is obviously no way he could have committed the A6 crime.

It was at this point that the police got hold of Nudds by the fundamentals, and treated him to the third degree until he made a statement that agreed with the police's version of events. Unfortunately, such tactics were by no means uncommon at that time, and in the case of a crime such as the A6 it is doubtful if the general public were over-bothered, so long as the murderer was caught. I would give (somewhat grudgingly) Acott & Co the benefit of the doubt here, and say that they genuinely felt that Alphon was the culprit.

Only when Valerie failed to pick out Alphon on the ID parade did the police return to the Vienna for further checks of the books, interviews with the staff, etc. I find it slightly remarkable that they appeared not to make any attempts to actually locate and interview other guests at the Vienna that night until Alphon was eliminated, but that seems to be the case.

So Peter Louis was in the clear....and then there was Justice....

Graham
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  #23  
Old 10-23-2016, 07:59 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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If Valerie had picked out Alphon, Acott would still have had to re-interview Galves to get her to change her statement to align with Nudds-2.
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  #24  
Old 10-23-2016, 08:56 AM
louisa louisa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
Only when Valerie failed to pick out Alphon on the ID parade did the police return to the Vienna for further checks of the books, interviews with the staff, etc. I find it slightly remarkable that they appeared not to make any attempts to actually locate and interview other guests at the Vienna that night until Alphon was eliminated, but that seems to be the case.

So Peter Louis was in the clear....and then there was Justice....

Graham
But why would the police go back to the same hotel and expect to find another suspect? Can someone refresh my memory? Was it that the cartridges had been found (planted more like!)?

As for Jean Justice and his friend, they struck me as a couple of rich party people who had a lot of time on their hands. Befriending (and doing whatever else he did with him) Alphon didn't really serve an awful lot of purpose in the end. From the moment Jean Justice entered this convoluted story I just lost interest in it.
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  #25  
Old 10-23-2016, 09:06 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Quote:
If Valerie had picked out Alphon, Acott would still have had to re-interview Galves to get her to change her statement to align with Nudds-2
Indeed, and had Alphon got so far as being on trial for his life, it may well have posed a problem for the prosecution.

Graham
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  #26  
Old 10-23-2016, 09:17 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Quote:
But why would the police go back to the same hotel and expect to find another suspect? Can someone refresh my memory? Was it that the cartridges had been found (planted more like!)?
Louisa, the cartridge cases were found and shown to have been fired with the same gun used to kill Gregsten. Therefore the police were reasonably confident that whoever had stayed in Room 24 on the 21 August had been in possession of the murder weapon and had, by logical extension, almost certainly committed the murder. Once Alphon was in the clear via the ID parade the police had to accept that he had nothing to do with the A6 case and that his presence in the Vienna on the night in question was purely coincidental.

They therefore had little option other than return to the Vienna and so dowhat they should have done some time before, and discover just who else other than Alphon had stayed in the hotel that night, particularly in Room 24. Hence the name Ryan came in the frame.

If you wish to believe that the cartridges were planted, then that is your prerogative, but is I think now impossible to prove.

Obviously there is far more to these particular aspects of the story.

Graham
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  #27  
Old 10-23-2016, 09:44 AM
louisa louisa is offline
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There are too many coincidences regarding Alphon for my liking.

In one of his confessions Alphon explained how, after the murder, he had met Dixie France (in a seaside town - Southend? I'm going from memory now because it's been a while since I read my books on this case) - where they went to a Steak House, then Alphon pulled out the gun (which he had been given to him on a prior occasion in order to frighten Gregston but was ultimately used to kill him) and France was a bit shocked to see Alphon so openly waving the gun around, but he took it from him and they walked up the pier where France threw it in the sea.

I remember when it read it that Alphon's account of that day sounded very plausible. So, for that matter, does most of his account of what happened in the hours leading up to the murder.
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  #28  
Old 10-23-2016, 11:42 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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There are too many coincidences regarding Alphon for my liking.

In one of his confessions Alphon explained how, after the murder, he had met Dixie France (in a seaside town - Southend? I'm going from memory now because it's been a while since I read my books on this case) - where they went to a Steak House, then Alphon pulled out the gun (which he had been given to him on a prior occasion in order to frighten Gregston but was ultimately used to kill him) and France was a bit shocked to see Alphon so openly waving the gun around, but he took it from him and they walked up the pier where France threw it in the sea.

I remember when it read it that Alphon's account of that day sounded very plausible. So, for that matter, does most of his account of what happened in the hours leading up to the murder.
Louisa, this is total nonsense, but if you really do believe it, then I for one will be genuinely interested in your source.

The gun found on the 36A bus was forensically and ballistically tested, and was found to totally beyond doubt the weapon that was used to kill Gregsten and maim Valerie. The cartridge cases found at The Vienna and in the car, and the bullets taken from Valerie, were shown to have been fired from that very gun. It was not chucked into the sea; it was deposited under the upstairs back seat of a 36A bus and was duly discovered wrapped in a hankie which Hanratty agreed was his and which was later established to contain his DNA. How the gun came to be on the bus and wrapped in one of Hanratty's hankies is open to debate; but it was, and that is a fact.

Graham
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  #29  
Old 10-24-2016, 12:34 AM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
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Quote:
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The gun found on the 36A bus was forensically and ballistically tested, and was found to totally beyond doubt the weapon that was used to kill Gregsten and maim Valerie. The cartridge cases found at The Vienna and in the car, and the bullets taken from Valerie, were shown to have been fired from that very gun. It was not chucked into the sea; it was deposited under the upstairs back seat of a 36A bus and was duly discovered wrapped in a hankie which Hanratty agreed was his and which was later established to contain his DNA. How the gun came to be on the bus and wrapped in one of Hanratty's hankies is open to debate; but it was, and that is a fact.
I have firm doubts that Hanratty ever gave evidence to the effect that the hankie was his and that this factoid has come about through the invention of an earlier poster on this forum.

There is no mention in either of Foot or Woffinden's books that Hanratty made such an admission. Moreover the DNA tests on the hankie would not have been of any great moment if Hanratty had agreed that the hankie was his. Indeed the only comment anyone could have made in the Court of Appeal in 2002 in those circumstances would have been, "what did you expect to find on Hanratty's used hankie but Hanratty's DNA from his mucus?"

That Hanratty's hankie was used to wrap the gun did not conclusively prove guilt but went a long way to confirming it.
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  #30  
Old 10-24-2016, 01:38 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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If Hanratty had admitted the hankie was his it would have been reported in the newspapers. They provide quite detailed coverage of his evidence and it is inconceivable that something of this significance would have been excluded.
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