Something went wrong, please try again later. Michael was 14 years older than her and married with two children, though he was in the process of separating from his wife. A group known as the A6 Committee was set up, with newspaper articles following and demands for an independent review in the House of Lords. My wife and i were driving a neigborhood looking for houses, and came accross a for sale sign with a phone number. 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. For over thirty five years one person remained silent. She was taken to hospital in Bedford where she underwent surgery for her injuries. "I would be terrified of every unusual sound or knock at the door. People need to know what this poor woman went through.'. Rachel Muir For Mailonline 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 the Old Station Inn, Taplow, near Slough. I could not ever relax.". If he hand't been hanged, with life sentences meted out today, then he would be long out of prison. In March 1958, aged 21, at the County of London Sessions, Hanratty was again convicted of car theft, and of driving while disqualified, and sentenced to three years' corrective training at Wandsworth Prison, and then to Maidstone Prison. 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. Please God, the judgement by the Lord Chief Justice sees not merely the end of yet one more chapter but the end of this book that has been part of my life for so many years. Nudds also now added that Alphon had left the hotel 'calm and composed'. [34] However, he admitted that, if contamination could be excluded, the DNA evidence demonstrated that James Hanratty had committed the murder and rape. However, as Paul's book reveals, these words were a mask for her true feelings. However, what isn't well known is Valerie's side of the story. The suspect falsely identified himself as 'Frederick Durrant'; he was actually Peter Louis Alphon, a drifter surviving on an inheritance and the proceeds of gambling. The gunman got out of the car and approached her; pleading for her life, she took a pound note from her pocket, screaming, "Here, take this, take the car and go." Nudds' statement also said that Alphon had stayed in the hotel as he claimed, and had remained in his room, Room 6, all night. [27] Justice encouraged the initially reluctant Fox to help him expose what he believed to be the fabrication of the case against Hanratty. Gregsten was forced to drive down the A6 until he reached Deadman's Hill near Clophill, Bedfordshire. She was able to see only the body of the man between his waist and shoulders, but his smart appearance seemed at odds with his threatening behaviour. Enter your email address below to get the latest news and exclusive content from The History Press delivered straight to your inbox. michael gregsten wife. Michael wound down his window, only halfway, when a gun was thrust through the gap, its muzzle pointing directly at them. The man accused of the "A6 murder" has entered a plea of "not guilty" at the start of his trial at Bedfordshire Assizes in Bedford. He was a scientist at the laboratory and being a talented mathematician occasionally taught evening classes at St Albans Technical College, so extra money was coming in, but it nevertheless worried him. Search for stock images, vectors and videos, Available for editorial use only. Was James Hanratty Guilty or Innocent? Storie recalled that he pronounced "things" as "fings" and "think" as "fink".[18]. 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. Alamy and its logo are trademarks of Alamy Ltd. and are registered in certain countries. It's best to encompass . [15][16] Storie, an only child, lived with her parents in Cippenham, a suburb of Slough. The Criminal Cases Review Commission announced yesterday that the case of. Snus is a pasteurized, air-cured, smokeless and spitless tobacco, usually found in pouches. He certainly didn't know what he alleged that Mrs Gregsten was the prime mover in commissioning the murder. They had never been disturbed before and it was easier to talk here rather than anywhere else. It was not yet dark, but twilight had set in and visibility was not perfect. [31] Woffinden wrote that there is no evidence that the witnesses even saw the same Morris Minor. They kissed only once. E-mail this story to a friend Watch/Listen Detectives search the murder scene Man finds A6. Valerie Storie was left paralysed after James Hanratty attacked her and killed her boyfriend in August 1961. The prosecution produced witnesses attesting that all the rooms were already occupied at the time and accused Mrs Jones of being an unreliable witness. Her wish was honoured when The Long Silence was released with the title that Valerie had planned to give to her book. Just before the defence opened its case, Hanratty changed part of his alibi. 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]. Gregsten's girlfriend, Valerie Storie, was raped, shot five times, and left paralysed. According to Storie, the couple were abducted at gunpoint in their car at Dorney Reach, Buckinghamshire, by a man with a Cockney accent and mannerisms matching Hanratty's. This means that we may include adverts from us and third parties based on our knowledge of you. This is a hold-up, a mans voice said. The Getty Images design is a trademark of Getty Images. 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. Valerie and 36-year-old Michael Gregsten were held captive in their car for five hours by a gunman who forced them to drive 60 miles from Buckinghamshire to Bedfordshire before shooting them. [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. Even once she had been shot and was passing in and out of consciousness, she still managed to wave her petticoat to try to attract attention. After a failed escape attempt, Hanratty was transferred to Camp Hill Prison, Isle of Wight. [citation needed]. 22nd August 1961, Michael Gregsten a 36-year-old research scientist at the Road Research Laboratory at Langley, near Slough. [1] He was hanged at Bedford Jail on 4 April 1962, after being convicted of the murder of scientist Michael Gregsten, aged 36, who was shot dead in a car on the A6 at Deadman's Hill, near Clophill, Bedfordshire in August 1961. According to Alphon, a man had paid him a sum of 5,000 to end the affair between Gregsten and Storie. [32][33], While some of the original items of physical evidence were destroyed, the sample from Miss Storie's underwear had been discovered in 1991 and, in late-1997, the handkerchief was subsequently found in the possession of the Berkshire police. By the time of his arrest for the murder of Michael Gregsten, Hanratty had already accumulated four convictions for motoring offences and housebreaking. The circumstances of Hanratty's introduction to France's family, and the reasons for the crippling sense of guilt harboured by France for the harm he felt Hanratty had inflicted on them, so great that it could only be expiated by suicide, remain a mystery.[8]. This would be of no interest except for possibly the oddest coincidence in the case. He stayed in a room the night before the crime from which bullets that had been fired from the murder weapon were recovered. James Hanratty (4 October 1936 4 April 1962), also known as the A6 Murderer, was a British criminal who was one of the final eight people in the UK to be executed before capital punishment was effectively abolished. 2023 Getty Images. Another man obtained a gun for Alphon, whereupon he set off and hijacked the pair. [12] Gregsten had been shot twice in the head with a .38 revolver at point blank range; Storie had been raped, and then shot with the same weapon, four times in the left shoulder and once in the neck, leaving her paralysed below the shoulders. Or did Scotland Yard have the right man all along? On the evening of August 22, 1961, a car containing lovers Michael Gregsten and Valerie Storie, was parked by a field near . Even Valerie's own Member of Parliament, Joan Lestor, insisted Hanratty was innocent. [8], Hanratty's capital murder trial started at Bedfordshire Assizes on 22 January 1962 before Mr Justice Gorman and a jury; it was originally to have been heard at the Old Bailey, as requested by Hanratty's defence counsel, Michael Sherrard QC, later CBE. How much time had passed since they had pulled into the field is not absolutely clear since neither was paying particular attention but, Valerie would later estimate, after about thirty minutes their private conversation was disturbed. Although Gregsten and Storie offered to give him all their money and the car, the man appeared to have no plan and seemed to want them to stay with him. In the 'Storie papers' is a script containing her stronger feelings on the matter. 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. michael gregsten wife. His DNA was found on a piece of material from Valerie Stories knickers where it would be expected to be if he was guilty; it was also found on the handkerchief found with the gun. Hanratty put a cloth over Michael's bloodied head before raping Valerie on the back seat of the car. Source: Get in touch for any commercial. With the gun still pointing at them, the man said, I have been on the run for four months. If you're looking for a way to stay up to date with the latest breaking news from around Bedfordshire, the BedfordshireLive newsletter is a good place to start. They were ordered to drive to Deadman's Hill, where the attack took place. France also left behind several letters for his family, the contents of which have never been made public. He believes that one of the other people was the murdered man's spurned wife, Janet Gregsten, who died recently, and at . Keep an eye on the newspapers, this in years to come will come out.". No DNA other than Hanratty's was found on the handkerchief in which the murder weapon had been found wrapped. A strong, disabled woman's story. Bitterness continued in 1970 when the A6 Committee held a public meeting in Bedford to raise awareness of their concerns. But then the other suspect, Peter Alphon, publicly confesses to the crime. The hotel manager, William Nudds, made a statement to police naming the last occupant of the room as 'James Ryan'. The following extract describes the moments leading up to the events on that fateful nightin August 1961 that turned her life upside down Valeries shopping basket rested on the back seat. Despite being pilloried by the media, Valerie Storie withdrew from the limelight and tried to live a normal life. Moreover, the murderer drove badly, whereas Hanratty was an experienced car thief. ;Picture taken at home of Mrs. Janet Gregston with her two sons Anthony 3 and Simon (9) 1961. Neutral Citation Number (2002) Crim 1141, 'Musing about The A6 Bedfordshire murder', Professor Hobbs said: 'It is important that people understand that it is very easy to jump on a bandwagon and come up with a conclusion that is wrong.'. As 22-year-old Valerie Storie stepped out of her home on August 22, 1961, she shouted to her parents "Goodbye, I shan't be late". Crime A6 Murder of Michael Gregsten. [29] Fox split from Jean Justice in the 1970s, but continued the fight to clear Hanratty until his death in 1999, three years before the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction on the basis of the DNA evidence retrieved from Hanratty's corpse. This was the beginning of the crime which would see Michael murdered and Valerie raped and shot before being left at Deadman's Hill on the A6. My evidence has never changed, neither have I ever had any doubts. He attempted to escape that facility as well, and was sent to Strangeways Prison, Manchester. One dog was subsequently put to sleep due the severity of it's injuries. None of it made sense. Journalists such as Paul Foot and Bob Woffinden campaigned for years to prove Hanratty's innocence, casting doubt on Valerie's evidence. Not so much lying to avoid the death sentence, but putting the burden of clearing his name on his brother, even AFTER his death, makes him the worst type of criminal. All you have to do is to click here and type in your email address. Where was the money going to come from? "However, my MP joined the rebel cause, became embroiled in a committee set up to prove a miscarriage of justice, and had the temerity to write to me asking me to join it.". Valerie Storie after receiving treatment for stab wounds on the A6 where Michael Gregsten was murdered is taken to court during trial against James. James Hanratty was later tried, convicted and executed for the murder of Michael John Gregsten on the A6 road. The Hanrattys were warm, gentle, determined people, unlikely parents of a man who had been convicted of shooting Michael Gregsten dead in a lay-by off the A6, raping his girlfriend Valerie Storie and then shooting her, leaving her for dead before driving off in the couple's car. On 11 October, Hanratty was arrested by police in Blackpool, at the Stevonia cafe. AboutPressCopyrightContact. Find Janet Gregsten stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. The decision by the Court of Appeal included a discussion of the handling of the various items of evidence involved. On 29 August, Valerie Storie and another witness, Edward Blackhall, who had seen the driver of the Morris Minor, compiled an Identikit picture which was then released. 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. By August 22nd 1961 the marriage of Michael and Janet Gregsten had been in difficulties for some time.The 3 year love affair between Valerie Storie and Gregsten had intensified and on 1st August 1961 Gregsten had taken what seemed like an irrevocable step to end his marriage.He took a flat in Maidenhead and told his wife he would be moving in on The campaign got even more attention when Beatle John Lennon, and his partner, Yoko Ono, joined the campaign. Detectives and tracker dogs have spent the day searching the surrounding area and so far two cartridges have been found. [citation needed] Hanratty's defence claimed that Mrs Dinwoodie was mistaken about the date. Miss Storie's mother, Mrs John Storie, said: "Michael came here last night and had tea with Valerie. 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.". After driving them around the English countryside for hours, the intruder shot both Michael and Valerie, leaving them on the side of the road at a location known as Deadmans Hill. The A6 Committee made a list of claims which, they contended, indicated that Alphon was the murderer: Paul Foot warned "against jumping to hasty conclusions, in particular about Peter Alphon he really didn't know as much as he pretended. It was now approximately 3am, six hours after the ordeal had started at Dorney Reach. 2022 Casefile True Crime Podcast. Alphon was the son of a senior figure at Scotland Yard. He told Gregsten to pass the bag but, as Gregsten moved, there were two shots. They covered about 30 miles before the gunman ordered Gregsten to pull into a lay-by on the A6 at Clophill at around 01 . [citation needed]. The murderer left the scene in Mr Gregsten's grey Morris Minor, registration number 847 BHN, which was found abandoned in Ilford, Essex, this evening. No defence on the basis of mental history was raised at Hanrattys trial. Lying next to Gregsten, semi-conscious, was Gregsten's mistress, Valerie Jean Storie (24 November 1938 26 March 2016). At the trial Nudds also stated that the man, upon leaving, had asked the way to a bus stop for a 36A bus, though his statement to police had merely mentioned the 36 bus. Were they to marry? 'What I do find distasteful is that the family's belief in their son's innocence has been boosted by campaigners who have given them false hope. 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. In police line-ups, Storie did not recognise Alphon, but eventually identified Hanratty. July 3, 2022 July 3, 2022. Following her death, author Paul Stickler was handed Valerie's extensive notes and files, allowing her story to finally be told. Hanratty became one of the final eight people in the UK to be executed before capital punishment was abolished, but the others that came after him were seen as 'more clear cut' cases, so the idea of Hanratty's innocence became a beacon for those opposing capital punished. After forcing them to drive 60 miles, gunman James Hanratty murdered Michael before raping Valerie and emptying a number of rounds into her body. In 1999 the case was referred to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). They were, though, generally relaxed talking in their cornfield. Collaborate with our global Enterprise Sales team. The journey continued along the A5 through St Albans, which the gunman mistakenly insisted was Watford, before joining the A6. ", Planned school expansion will cause 'traffic chaos', councillor claims, Councillor Victoria Harvey warned: This council is failing on travel plans. The full text of the Court of Appeals Decision: This page was last edited on 26 January 2023, at 14:31. I would ask you now to respect my wish to be left in piece.". Learn more about how you can collaborate with us. After six hours they returned to ask the judge for the definition of 'reasonable doubt'. Hanratty's uneducated London accent and his 'very large icy-blue eyes' enabled Valerie to identify him from a line-up and she later testified at his trial. Professor Hobbs described Valerie as a 'bloody minded and determined' woman with a charming character. Grow your brand authentically by sharing brand content with the internets creators. After nine hours, they returned to the court and entered a unanimous verdict of guilty. He was hanged at Bedford Jail on 4 April 1962, after being convicted of the murder of scientist Michael Gregsten, aged 36, who was shot dead in a car on the A6 at Deadman's Hill, near Clophill, Bedfordshire in August 1961. Shortly after his discharge, Hanratty left home for Brighton, where he obtained casual work with a road haulier. dr mark weiss psychologist; evaluate crossword clue 4 letters; pitt county jail bookings twitter. The gunman then made to leave but suddenly turned back and shot Valerie several times, with five bullets hitting her. The sudden intrusion did not seem real. Two suspects were spotlighted for the attack, which was dubbed The A6 Murder. James Hanratty was eventually charged and executed, despite claiming his innocence. Paul Foot and some other campaigners argued elsewhere that the DNA evidence could have been contaminated, in view of the fact that the small DNA samples from items of clothing, kept in a police laboratory for over 40 years in conditions that, as they argue, "do not satisfy modern evidential standards", had to be subjected to amplification techniques to yield any genetic profile. 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. Jet tila michael voltaggio and defending champion and last seasons winner brooke williamson. Hanratty's early years were troubled. Paul Stickler's book is available on Amazon here. During the 60 mile journey, Michael and Valerie made 22 separate attempts to escape or frustrate the driver. Believing that he had killed her, Hanratty drove south in the direction of Luton. It also tells the true story of Valerie's complicated relationship with 36-year-old Michael. Hanratty also raped Gregsten's fiance, Valerie Storie, shot her five times and left her for dead. At about 1.30am on Wednesday 23 August, the car was on the A6, travelling south, when the man said he wanted a 'kip' (sleep). Despatched to the youth wing of Wormwood Scrubs, he slashed his wrists; placed in the prison hospital, he was declared a 'potential psychopath'. You shot him. On 3 July 1957, aged 20, five months after his release from Wormwood Scrubs, Hanratty was sentenced at Brighton Magistrates' Court to six months' imprisonment (he served four) for a variety of motoring offences, including theft of a motor vehicle and driving without a licence. 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]. As they sat there was a tap on the driver's window. Despite being left paralysed and having to spend several months undergoing therapy at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, she returned to her job as a member of the on-the-spot accident team at the Road Research Laboratory just ten months after the ordeal. (Known as the 'A6 Murderer' Known for Killing Scientist 'Michael Gregsten') 3 3 Birthdate: October 4, 1936 Sun Sign: Libra Birthplace: Bromley, Kent, England Died: April 4, 1962 Better known as the A6 Murderer, James Hanratty was one of the last people to be executed before capital punishment was abolished. Awesome. According to this, Hanratty had gone to Rhyl to sell a stolen watch to a 'fence', arriving there in the evening of Tuesday 22 August and staying in a boarding house near the railway line. But tonight, they were talking. RM ID: B5E30P Preview Image details Contributor: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo File size: 30 MB (1.3 MB Compressed download) Releases: Were going to have traffic chaos. This image could have imperfections as its either historical or reportage. They dispatched a telegram to Valerie's place of work, inviting her to the Corn Exchange to "refute any allegations that may be made against you". 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. We'll also send you alerts about important breaking news. Gregsten had been hit twice in the head and died instantly. The day before he died he wrote a letter to his brother Michael in which he said: "I'm dying tomorrow but I'm innocent. Satisfied he had killed her, the gunman drove off southward with much crashing of gears, in the direction of Luton. Two civil servants employed at the Road Research Laboratory at Langley, near Slough, Michael Gregsten and Valerie Storie, drew up in a Morris Minor car outside the Old Station Inn, a public house just outside the village of Taplow. "Valerie has worked at the laboratory since she left school five years ago and she has known Michael for a long time.". Rachel Muir For Mailonline, Easter getaway havoc as more than 1,100 flights are cancelled with Heathrow airport blaming soaring passenger and staff rotas hit by Covid for long queues as fliers also endure chaos at Manchester and Gatwick, Oligarch who was once Russia's richest man says the nation's billionaire elites need to publicly declare Putin a war criminal to prove they do not work for the Kremlin, Covid lockdowns have left a generation of young children struggling to crawl, talk, share, make friends and use the toilet independently, Ofsted report finds.
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