It details 22 attempts made by Michael and Valerie to escape or frustrate the gunman, including hatching a plan to drive into a policeman if they came across one on the journey in order to get his attention. ;Picture taken at home of Mrs. Janet Gregston with her two sons Anthony 3 and Simon (9) 1961. You shot him. Gregsten's girlfriend, Valerie Storie, was raped, shot five times, and left paralysed. Get in touch for any commercial. Even Valerie's own Member of Parliament, Joan Lestor, insisted Hanratty was innocent, and once sent a letter to Valerie inviting her to join the campaign for the A6 Committee. At that time there was no conclusive forensic evidence to connect Hanratty with the car or the murder scene. Charles France was also the recipient of highly unpleasant anonymous phone calls. No DNA other than Hanratty's was found on the handkerchief in which the murder weapon had been found wrapped. The pair had been intimate for two years after meeting through work, and seemingly had spoken about marriage. She wanted to write a book to finally give her version of events but did not get round to this before her death in 2016. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images) Victim's Wife 23rd November 1961: Mrs Janet Gregsten arrives at Ampthill Court in Bedfordshire, to attend the trial of James Hanratty for the murder of her husband, Michael Gregsten. This means that we may include adverts from us and third parties based on our knowledge of you. I could not ever relax.". Within a few days, the defence had checked and assembled a new alibi for Hanratty. Their relationship started over a mutual love of car . Find the right content for your market. They had been here on a few occasions before, to make love or simply to spend time alone together. She then began to draft a book telling her story of what happened that night on the A6, and of the suspicions she endured for years after, but tragically she died in 2016 before she wrote it. [8], Gregsten was a scientist at the Road Research Laboratory in Slough. The police raided the hotel, and questioned Nudds again, who then changed his story, claiming that Alphon had in fact been in the basement and 'Ryan' in Room 6 but, for reasons unknown, had swapped rooms during the night. A woman who was raped and shot in a car with her lover - and was then hounded by people who were convinced her attacker was innocent, has told her story in a new book from beyond the grave. Flatline intro and Come play with me intro and outro, Logo and website design Paulina Szymanska, James Hanratty: The A6 Murder Crime Files, Tributes pour in for Sloughs brave Valerie Storie Slough & South Bucks Observer, Man is charged with A6 murder The Guardian, Court told of A6 car chase The Guardian, Calls to Yard in A6 case The Guardian, Hanratty family in new appeal against murder conviction BBC News, Police denial of concealing evidence The Guardian, Lay by murder gun identified The Guardian, New search in lay by murder The Guardian, Lennon film on the A6 murder found The Observer, Fresh confession revives Hanratty doubts The Guardian, Appeal court to reveal Hanratty murder case The Guardian, DNA hampers effort to clear Hanratty The Guardian, Murder casebook: James Hanratty Crime and Investigation Network, A miscarriage of justice? She refused and, having managed to free her hands, tried to disarm him but was overpowered; after he threatened to shoot her, she relented. [citation needed]. Ingrams said that Foot continued until his own death in 2004 to believe in Hanratty's alibi, despite the DNA tests of 2002. Mr Gregsten's body was tonight identified by his wife, Janet. In October 1955, aged 18, Hanratty appeared at the County of Middlesex Sessions, where he was sentenced to two terms of two years' imprisonment, to run concurrently, for housebreaking and theft. Was this a miscarriage of justice? Michael Gregsten is a 36-year-old research scientist at the Road Research Laboratory at Langley, near Slough. Gregsten at first refused, but the man became aggressive and threatened them with the gun. During the 1990s, increasingly advanced DNA analysis techniques became widely available. However, in a new edition of his book, 36 Murders and Two Immoral Earnings, printed immediately after the publication of the Hanratty DNA evidence, he retracted his assertions of Hanratty's innocence.[26]. ease arkansas phone number They had never been disturbed before and it was easier to talk here rather than anywhere else. He always protested his innocence claiming he was 250-miles from the scene in a bed-and-breakfast in North Wales at the time of the attack. Was James Hanratty Guilty or Innocent? By the age of 11 he had been declared ineducable at St James Catholic High School, Burnt Oak, Barnet, although his parents steadfastly refused to accept he was in any way mentally deficient and successfully resisted attempts to have him placed in a special school. Even Valerie's own Member of Parliament, Joan Lestor, insisted Hanratty was innocent. The murder weapon was recovered from a place on a bus which he regarded as a hiding place and the bus followed a route he could well have used. circa 1962. The Long Silenceis, in essence, Valeries posthumous autobiography, explaining for the first time every explicit detail of the cat and mouse drive, as Michael and Valerie tried on over twenty occasions to deter and thwart the apparently indecisive Hanratty. It was full of her personal effects including her handbag, a wallet and a purse, a few pound notes and coins pushed inside them. , updated The gunman knew the Bear Hotel, Maidenhead. The gunman replied that Gregsten had frightened him by turning too quickly. This standard of travel plan isnt good enough in the modern age. As she told food network, "i learned more about myself with every battle and i learned more how deeply talented the other warriors in this tournament are. ", "Hanratty's body is reburied after DNA testing", "DNA proves Hanratty guilt 'beyond doubt', "The A6 Murder (BBC2 programme transcript)", "Hanratty family in new appeal against murder conviction", "Rape victim speaks out at last about Hanratty", "Community transport service launches new bus", "Tributes pour in for Slough's brave Valerie Storie", Criminal Cases Review Commission Referral, "Hanratty's defence lawyer: "The wrong man was not hanged", Criminal Cases Review Commission, A miscarriage of justice? During 1962, the case caught the interest of London businessman Jean Justice, the son of a Belgian diplomat and partner of barrister Jeremy Fox. Valerie hid pound notes in her bra to stop Hanratty from taking them. Paul's book describes the events in great detail of the night in illuminating detail, based on Valerie's accounts. Still can't find what you're looking for? [28] However, Bob Woffinden wrote that there was only one occasion when Justice and Jeremy Fox supported Alphon financially, when Fox paid a hotel bill for him. The police then took the unusual step of publicly naming Alphon as the murder suspect. The story of the A6 Murderer in Bedfordshire is infamous, but the story of one of his victim's has remained untold, To stay up to date with all the latest news from across Bedfordshire sign up to our free newsletter for daily updates and all the latest breaking news. Was a married man, he and his wife Janet had two boys, Simon, eight, and Anthony, nearly two. At the time of France's second suicide attempt in January, one of the letters he left was addressed to the coroner, in which he wrote 'I am of sound mind and body. [24] The Committee attempted to assist Hanratty in his defence, and later tried to disprove his conviction. On the evening of August 22, 1961, lovers Michael Gregsten and Valerie Storie were parked by a field near Slough. Were they to marry? He certainly didn't know what he alleged that Mrs Gregsten was the prime mover in commissioning the murder. [34] DNA was donated by Hanratty's mother and brother,[22] which they expected to exonerate him when compared with DNA extracted from surviving evidence. Michael Gregsten, was shot dead in a car on the A6 in Bedfordshire in August 1961, but Hanratty claimed to be in North Wales resort . After a five-hour ordeal, ending in a layby on the A6 in Bedfordshire, Michael was shot dead and Valerie was raped, shot and left for dead. Michael Gregsten with his wife Janet before he was murdered in his car on the A6 by James Hanratty. land for sale in highgate, st mary jamaica . Hanratty confessed to his defence barrister that he had invented part of the Liverpool story as he was unsure he could prove where he was. RM ID: B5E30P Preview Image details Contributor: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo File size: 30 MB (1.3 MB Compressed download) Releases: The Court concludes that this number of alleged coincidences mean that they are not coincidences but provide overwhelming proof of the safety of the conviction from an evidential perspective. A man threatened the couple with a gun. If you do as I tell you, you will be all right.'. Alphon resembled the Identikit pictures more than Hanratty did; Alphon never produced a convincing alibi; He provided a more credible motive than Hanratty could; He was a poor driver, as witnesses had seen the Morris Minor being driven erratically towards Redbridge Station; On 22 March 1967, Detective Superintendent Douglas Nimmo reported to, On 29 May 1996, Detective Chief Superintendent Roger Matthews reported to Home Secretary. However, there was another person called William Usher, who did have two fingers missing from one hand, which looked withered. 22:52, 05 Apr 2022. James Hanratty was born on 4 October 1936 in Farnborough, Kent,[3] the eldest of four sons of James Francis Hanratty (19071978) and his wife Mary Ann Hanratty (19171999). During the 60 mile journey, Michael and Valerie made 22 separate attempts to escape or frustrate the driver. Her testimony was critical in securing a guilty verdict, but this was questioned by many who felt the supporting evidence too weak to justify conviction, and Hanratty's brother fought for decades to have the verdict overturned. Rachel Muir For Mailonline The full text of the Court of Appeals Decision: This page was last edited on 26 January 2023, at 14:31. That's basically taking the rest of his brothers life with him, since he knew he wouldn't be cleared. Boards are the best place to save images and video clips. Michael Gregsten's widow later went on to have an affair with her brother in law William Ewer, who left his wife. Hanratty telephoned Scotland Yard several times, saying he had fled because he had no credible alibi for the date in question, but repeated each time that he had nothing to do with the A6 murder. In 2002 DNA evidence proved beyond all doubt that Hanratty was guilty. "Im a desperate man. Valerie and Lennon never met, but in 2001 she said: "I felt it was very ironic that he himself died by the bullet and it flashed through my mind that when the news came through that John Lennon had been shot and killed, I felt, well now John Lennon, you know what it feels like to be shot.". I knew who he was and he knew that I recognised him. In August 1961, Michael Gregsten and Valerie Storie were sitting in their car in Dorney Reach, UK when an intruder forced his way into the backseat brandishing a gun. Drain the heater and clean it. No precise diagnoses were offered, and it has since been suggested that he suffered from either epilepsy or post-concussional syndrome, which would have had a marked effect on his personality.[8]. Yet in spite of this, Valerie kept her silence, Paul explained. His wife, Maureen Hanratty, said the family had been 'put through hell' because of the behaviour of the authorities. Valerie criticised the journalists who campaigned to prove Hanratty's innocence in an interview with the Mail on Sunday in 2002. The Criminal Cases Review Commission announced yesterday that the case of. The man then kept them there for two hours, chattering to them incessantly. Signing up to the newsletter is simple. The gunman then made to leave but suddenly turned back and shot Valerie several times, with five bullets hitting her. Look after mum and dad. Ingrams said that Alphon, in conversations with Foot and others, had spoken "obsessively about the case, frequently incriminating himself". Try to reignite the pilot light. 341,587,075 stock photos, 360 panoramic images, vectors and videos, Share Alamy images with your team and customers. [35], James Hanratty's body was exhumed in 2001 to extract his DNA. Gregsten was found shot dead in a car on the A6 in Deadman's Hill, Bedfordshire, and his girlfriend Valerie Storie was raped . Eventually, the jury retired. After nine hours, they returned to the court and entered a unanimous verdict of guilty. Police believe the couple, both employees of the Road Research Laboratory near Slough, were confronted by a man with a gun as they were parked on Dorney Common in Berkshire yesterday evening. Collaborate with our global Enterprise Sales team. None of it made sense. All rights reserved. The report made there acknowledged his unhappy home background (he claimed he was frightened of his mother and had no filial feelings towards his father) and his mental handicaps. "[42], Following the DNA evidence in 2002, Storie earned over 40,000 for her participation in various TV and newspaper documentaries. At about 6:45am on 23 August 1961, the body of Michael John Gregsten (28 December 1924 - 23 August 1961)[10][11] was discovered in a lay-by on the A6 road at Deadman's Hill, near the Bedfordshire village of Clophill, by John Kerr, an Oxford undergraduate conducting a traffic census. Forensic science and the case of James Hanratty, England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions. Michael Gregsten with his wife Janet before he was murdered in his car on the A6 by James Hanratty. The case became a cause celebre, with politicians and pop stars, legal experts and writers joining the campaign to prove he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice. Satisfied he had killed her, the gunman drove off southward with much crashing of gears, in the direction of Luton. Neutral Citation Number (2002) Crim 1141, 'Musing about The A6 Bedfordshire murder', I repeat that James Hanratty was guilty of the crime for which he was hanged. We'll also send you alerts about important breaking news. In July of the following year he fell from his bicycle, injuring his head and remaining unconscious for 10 hours; he was admitted to Wembley Hospital, where he remained for nine days. After six hours they returned to ask the judge for the definition of 'reasonable doubt'. Storie and Gregsten pleaded with him not to shoot them. [8], The first policeman on the scene was handed a census form on which Kerr had written down Storie's account of what she recalled at that moment; the document was never seen again. Storie was an assistant at the same laboratory and had been having an affair with Gregsten, although this did not become public knowledge until Storie wrote a series of articles for the popular Today magazine in June 1962, five months after the trial. Secretly, however, she was drafting the contents of a book and writing hundreds of notes. Hanratty's appeal was dismissed on 13 March, and despite a petition signed by more than 90,000 people, Hanratty was hanged by executioner Harry Allen at Bedford on 4 April 1962, still protesting his innocence. The comments below have not been moderated, By The argument for contamination was dismissed as "fanciful" by the judges, who concluded that the "DNA evidence, standing alone, is certain proof of guilt". Professor Hobbs described Valerie as a 'bloody minded and determined' woman with a charming character. In police line-ups, Storie did not recognise Alphon, but eventually identified Hanratty. In 1999 the case was referred to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). Michael J. Gregston [, GRO Register of Marriages: SEP 1951 5f 1655 WOOD GREEN - Michael J. Gregsten = Janet Phillips or Kinnock, GRO Register of Deaths: JAN 1995 38C 7831 24 HORSHAM - Janet Gregsten, DoB = 9 Jan 1930, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Wrongly hanged: Hanratty is found innocent", "40 years after his execution, appeal judges say DNA is certain proof of Hanratty's guilt", "Hansard (for the 2 August 1963 sitting)", "We will never know the truth about the A6 killer", "After 36 years, Hanratty is set to be cleared", "Appeal Court to review Hanratty murder case", "England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions. When Valerie died and her papers were given to me I became determined to retell the story with her perspective at its heart. On Tuesday, 22nd August, 1961, Michael Gregsten, 36, a research physicist, called at the address of his estranged wife at Sabine House, Abbots Langley, and after taking his 9-year old son, Simon, to play in Cassiobury Park, Watford, he collected his girlfriend, Valerie Storie, 22, from work, and he and Storie went in Gregsten's Morris Minor to Whilst he was a professional thief, he had no convictions for violence, and apparently had never possessed a gun, although he later admitted to the police that he had attempted to obtain one after his last release from prison in March 1961. ;Picture taken at home of Mrs. Janet Gregston with her two sons Anthony 3 and Simon (9) 1961. After some investigation, 'Ryan' turned out to be James Hanratty, a 25-year-old petty criminal with four convictions for car theft, larceny and burglary. Storie screamed, "You bastard! Twice he told Gregsten to turn off the road and then changed his mind, and the car returned to the A6.
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