The A6 murder convulsed Britain. It was an August evening in 1961 when Valerie Storie and Michael Gregston sat in their Morris Minor on a date. They were kidnapped at gun point, told to drive around for hours before their kidnapper shot Gregston dead and then raped Valerie Storie before shooting her too. It was a time of low crime and gun crime was all but unheard of. Newspaper headlines bayed for blood. Someone must pay for this!
Eight months later an illiterate 25 year old petty thief with psychiatric problems was sent hurtling through the trap door of the gallows. His name was James Hanratty. He had paid for the A6 murder. But was he guilty?
Michael Gregston was married with two children. His marriage broke down so he and his wife lived separately. Gregston was a scientist and the 35 year old began an affair with a 22 year old colleague named Valerie Storie. On 22 August 1963 the two met in a pub. Another person present in the pub was Peter Louis Alphon. Alphon was a 31 year old career criminal.
Gregston and Storie later got into his Morris Minor. They drove to a fairly isolated field. It was near Maidenhead. There was no lighting around the area. There were no houses for a few hundred meters. There was a reason why this courting couple wanted privacy. They got into the back of the car and copulated. They then dressed and sat in the front. They spent 30-45 minutes in the vehicle.
A knock on the window alerted them to the presence of a man. He wore a bandana overt the lower part of his face and brandished a revolver. He told them he was a ”desperate man” and demanded that he let them into the car.
Valerie told her lover to drive off. He decided not to. It was to cost him his life.
The man got into the rear seat. This young man was dressed in a smart suit. He told them to drive off. They went on a wild goose chase around London and the Home Counties. The kidnapper seemed to have no idea where he wanted to go. He often changed his mind. He spoke almost incessantly. The gunman had been on the run for four months. He told the couple to call him Jim so they did. They did not turn around to see his face.
Twice the car stopped and the gunman ordered Gregston out to buy cigarettes on one occasion and to fill up with petrol on the other. Gregston could have made a run for it. There were people around. Why didn’t he raise the alarm? His lover was still in the car and presumably Gregston feared that if he did anything like that then the gunman would kill Valerie.
The couple spent six terrifying hours in the company of the gunman. He spoke in a Cockney accent – the accent of working class Londoners. On a number of occasions he said ”be quiet will you I am thinking.” He pronounced the ‘th’ like and ‘f’ which is a feature of the Cockney.
Finally the kidnapper had them park beside a minor road in a secluded field. The road was called the A6. The location was the appositely named Deadman’s Hill. It was the wee hours of the morning. He tried to tie Valerie up and managed to do so. He asked Gregston for the bag which was at Gregston’s feet – full of clothes. Gregston lent forward to get it. The gunman shot Gregston twice in the head.
The woman shrieked and swore at the gunman. The gunman claimed that Gregston had scared him by moving too fast.
Later the gunman raped Miss Storie. As he copulated with the female a car drove by. The headlights illuminated the interior of the Morris Minor for a few seconds. Valerie Storie got a good look at her rapist’s face. He then permitted her to dress. The mysterious man ordered the young woman to show him how to drive the car – where the lights were and so on. He then fired seven bullets at her. Five hit her. She fell and played dead.
The man drove off with the gears screaming. He clearly had very little experience with cars. The Morris Minor was seen being driven erratically. In 1961 very few people had cars. Two men in another vehicle were overtaken by the Morris Minor. They drove to catch up with it and got a good look at its occupant.
A car passed Valeria Storie in the middle of the night. She got up and cried for help and waved an item of clothing. The vehicle did not stop. Perhaps the drive assumed she was a lunatic.
At 6 am on 23 August Miss Storie was found by an undergraduate doing a traffic survey. She immediately said she had been shot and so had the man. Was the man lying there dead, the undergraduate inquired. Valerie believed that she was. The undergraduate felt for a pulse. Before he could gauge whether Gregston had a pulse he instantly noticed that the body was very cold. He was as dead as a doornail. Gregston had been shot over 3 hours earlier.
The young man who found Valerie used a call box to summon an ambulance. He spoke to her as he waited for help. He noted down all the particulars on pieces of paper he had taken for the purpose of his traffic survey. The police later arrived and the notes were handed over to them. The undergraduate never saw the notes again. Valerie said that the killer and rapist was a white about 30 years old.
The Morris Minor was found the next day in Redbridge – not so many miles from the scene of the murder. The car had been wiped clean of finger prints. The crime had been carried out in a very haphazard manner. However, the way that the criminal dealt with the car was crafty. It would probably take a seasoned criminal to do this.
There was a media storm. The case shocked the United Kingdom. There was wall to wall coverage in the newspapers on the radio and on television. It was extensively reported in the Republic of Ireland. The case became known as the A6 murder.
Did the gunman want money and the car? The couple had repeatedly offered him that. Why did he spend six hours with them? Why did he kill Gregston? There was no particular reason to do so. Perhaps the gunman’s explanation as true. He just panicked and shot Gregston thinking Gregston was reaching for a weapon in the bag or something. Or was it genuinely unintentional – touching the trigger accidentally? Why did the kidnapper reveal so much about himself? Was it always his intention to kill the couple? Or did he only make up his mind much later?
What was the gunman doing in that field? The field was not near a railway station and a couple of miles from a bus stop. Did he walk there, or cycle there or drive there? Perhaps someone gave him a lift. Maybe he was trying to burgle houses and was then at a loss for a means of transport. Perhaps the car hijacking was opportunistic. He needed to get out of the area saw a car and that was that. It was very unwise of the kidnapper to reveal so much about himself. Having done that did he then decide that he had to kill the pair so that he could not be traced?
Some days later spent cartridges were found in a basement room in a the Vienna Hotel London. It was a very down market hotel. The cartridges were proven by ballistics tests to have come from the murder weapon. The manager had been suspicious of a young man who had no emerged for days. The man in question was Peter Louis Alphon who had been in the same pub as the couple the night of the murder.
A gun was found hidden under the back seat of the 36A bus in London. There were 60 rounds of ammunition with it.
The police put out a statement saying that they suspected Alphon in this case. P L Alphon handed himself into the police. It was midnight when he did so. The senior policeman in the case, Acott, came straight away. Acott interviewed Peter Alphon for five hours in the middle of the night.
Next day Miss Storie came to an identity parade. Alphon was there along with several other men of about the same description. Valerie Storie identified a volunteer as he rapist – i.e. a man other than Alphon. The police questioned Alphon ferociously. In those days they would be openly hostile and scathing. They would do everything the could to intimidate someone without physically harming him. In some cases they did physically harm suspects. Alphon stood up to the harsh interrogation. He was an experienced criminal and knew how to handle police interviews. P L Alphon was not easily intimidated. He said he spent the night of the murder with his mother before going to the Alexandra Court Hotel. Mrs Alphon did not exactly confirm it. She said she had seen her son on that night or possibly the night before or after. The police had no fingerpint, no positive ID and no confession. Alphon was released. Peter Alphon handing himself into the police had told in his favour. He refused to give samples of his body fluids or to reveal where the clothes were that he had worn on the day of the murder. He would not disclose where his luggage was. He may have believe that forensics would tie him to the murder. But why then hand himself in?
Alphon had registered at the Alexandra Court Hotel as Frederick Durrant. Why use a pseudonym? He may have been trying to conceal his whereabouts. On the other hand it did not help him establish an alibi.
Another person had stayed in the Vienna Hotel. He had signed in as J Ryan.
A hotel employee William Nudds was unsure who had stayed in the basement room. Was it J Ryan or was it Alphon? Nudds contradicted himself on this. He recalled that J Ryan asked directions to the 36 bus. The gun was found on bus 36 A. Not bus 36. But was it the hotel owner getting it slightly wrong? Or was it J Ryan getting it slightly wrong? Nudds was a petty criminal and had been a police informer. The police suspected that Nudds was changing his story in a way that he thought would ingratiate him with the police. They told him as much. William Nudds then confirmed that he was saying whatever he assumed the police wanted him to say to help them build their case.
There is a tendency to prefer letters that one finds in one’s own name. The letters ‘R-Y A and N all appear in Hanratty. Ryan is also an Irish surname like Hanratty. James Hanratty was a man of subnormal intelligence. The name Ryan is so short that even he could spell it. Hanratty’s initial was ‘J’. The gunman had told the couple to call him ‘Jim’ which is a nickname for anyone called ‘James.’ Hanratty was known as ‘Jimmy’ to his family. That is interchangeable with ‘Jim’.
The English police received a phone call from Ireland. A man with a bed and breakfast had had a young Englishman stay with him some time before. The guest signed in as J Ryan. He said he was bad at writing and asked the guest house owner to write a postcard for him. J Ryan dictated for the other man to write. J Ryan’s mother was ‘Mrs Hanratty.’
The police then published statements in a newspaper saying they wished to speak to James Hanratty in relation to the A6 murder. James Hanratty called the police several times to say he was not involved in the A6 murder. Why would he do this?
The police were getting anxious. It was embarrassing. They came under intense public pressure to produce results. Since the day she was found Miss Storie had asked the police to guarantee that her rapist would be brought to justice.
On September 7 a man broke into a house in Richmond, London and assaulted a woman. He bragged that he was the A6 killer. The woman picked out this man at an identity parade. It was Alphon. But the police had already excluded him as a suspect. They were very closed minded on this.
In October Mr Hanratty was arrested in Blackpool. He volunteered to give hair, blood and saliva samples. He was not legally required to do so. Presumably he thought this would exonerate him. But he was a man of very limited ratiocinative ability. So he might have given these samples even if they would have been damning. It turned out that Hanratty has the same blood group as the killer. But 50% of the UK population have that same blood group. I do not know what blood group Alphon was.
James Hanratty agreed that the police could take blood and saliva samples from him. He also allowed them to take fibre from his clothes. He was not legally obliged to do this. Some have said this militates towards him being innocent. On the other hand he may have been so dim that he did not understand the significance of what he was agreeing to. Alphon, on the other hand had refused to do so. Does this suggest guilt? No, because Alphon could have thought that the police would use these items to fit him up – to plant evidence. Moreover, there would have been other crimes that Alphon committed and these samples could have tied him to them.
Hanratty had bright red hair. He felt this made him conspicuous. He dyed it black. He did a very bad job of it. Valeria said he assailant had fair hair. Could this have been her description of red hair badly dyed black?
Acott came up from London to interview Hanratty. The police made interview notes. The suspect was interviewed without the presence of a lawyer. This was typical for the time. Moreover, the interview notes are since proven to have been falsified. The interview notes were written up. They were later rewritten. There were well over 12 000 files on the case that the police had. Much of this was never shown to the defence.
In one of the interviews Hanratty allegedly said ”I want to kip”. This was a phrase that the gunman had used twice according to Valerie Storie. The police officer had Hanratty uttering this phrase at 9:30 in the morning! Some have taken this as a blatant fabrication on the part of an officer of the law. The aim being to establish that the expression ”I want to kip” was typical of Hanratty and therefore he was the killer. Even if Hanratty had said it the phrase was not uncommon.
There was an identity parade. Hanratty was the only one with reddish hair. The police felt this was unfair. They wondered if they should make all the participants wear hats? In the end the police did not make anyone wear a hat. Miss Storie came in. She took up to 15 minutes to make an identification. Before she did so she had them all speak. She picked out Hanratty. Why did she take so long to pick him out? Does that undermine her identification? Or did she just want to be certain? She had got it wrong at the Alphon ID parade. The identification is surely vitiated by the red hair.
Two men had seen the driver of the Morris Minor. One picked out Hanratty. The other said it was not Hanratty. The man who had caught a glimpse of the driver of the Morris Minor had only seen the man for a few seconds from the side. Moreover, it might have been a different Morris Minor.
James Hanratty was charged with murder. Strangely he was not charged with attempted murder, rape, kidnapping and car theft. Mr Hanratty had a friend called Mr France who said that Hanratty found the 36 A bus to be a good place to hide stolen goods. He did not say guns.
The killer had said ”I have been on the run for four months.” Hanratty had been released from prison five months before the killing. If the killer was Hanratty then Hanratty had got this detail wrong. But four months or five months is almost the same. It depends how precise one is. What if it was more like four and a half months? Or did Valerie misremember what he said? The words ”for five months” could easily be confused with ”for four months.” Some say that there was a bid to frame Hanratty. If so could this have been party of it?
The killer appeared to be a dreadful driver. Whatever Hanratty’s other limitations he was an accomplished driver. Would he have ground his gears and not known where the lights were? In the stress of the moment he might have panicked and forgotten the basics. As his adrenaline was pumping he might have made some fundamental errors like that. The prosecution claimed that Hanratty deliberately drove badly to make it appear that it was not him. That beggars belief. Of all the blinds to conceal his identity that is the most improbable. Moreover, the killer clearly assumed that Storie was dead. There was no need to drive badly on purpose.
Gregsten had a logbook in his car. He recorded his journeys in pedantic detail. The police came into possession of the logbook. Acott used the mileometer to calculate that after the murder the car was driven 200 miles. That is much longer than directly from Deadman’s Hill to Redbridge. Therefore the route of the car from Deadman’s Hill to Redbridge was circuitous and no one knows what route was taken. Those who identified Hanratty as the driver of the Morris Minor may well have seen a different Morris Minor. Indeed those who said that the driver of the Morris Minor was not Hanratty might also have seen the wrong Morris Minor.
Two men claimed to have seen Hanratty driving the car through Ilford at 7 am. As the car was driven 200 miles from Deadman’s Hill to Redbridge it went a very roundabout route and would very probably not have been passing through Ilford at 7 am. It went into Avonmore Crescent. The Morris Minor seen at Ilford near Redbridge at that time could have been any Morris Minor. The witnesses did not claim to have remembered its registration number. The information about the car driving over 200 miles from Deadman’s Hill to Redbridge was not revealed to the defence. This would have been very useful to the defence. Then again the men who saw a grey Morris Minor who stated that the driver was not Hanratty could have been seeing the wrong Morris Minor.
Consider the erratic conduct of the kidnapper. Sitting in the car with his hostages for two hours whilst it was stationary was purposeless. If he wanted to rob or rape or murder he could have done these things. Holding people hostage was to no avail. Then he had Michael Gregsten drive on a wild goose chase around London and the Home Counties. The gunman had no idea where he wanted to go. He was labile and aimless. After the murder the gunman drove 200 miles and ended up less than 50 miles distant from the site of the murder. This yet again shows purposelessness. Was it that he could not read the road signs? Hanratty was illiterate so this might explain it. Whose character does this behaviour square with? James Hanratty was a not very successful thief. His changing his alibi seems to fit the pattern. On the other hand Alphon wished to avoid conviction but handed himself in. Once eliminated from inquiries he went to the trial rather than distance himself from proceedings. Only three months after the death of Hanratty Alphon began to hint that he not Hanratty was the killer. Alphon’s admission to the murder and then retraction and then admission and then retraction might suggest that he was the sort of man who would be as irrational and as fickle as the kidnapper.
While Hanratty was awaiting trial another remand prisoner said that Hanratty had vouchsafed to him that he had killed Gregston. The police subsequently spoke at the stoolpigeon’s trial and asked the court to go easy on him because he had assisted the police.
Hanratty was born into a working class family. He left school at 15 and did some dead end jobs. He soon became a criminal. He was a pathological liar and was diagnosed as psychopathic. If Hanratty was suspected of murder today he might be judged too mentally ill to stand trial. Alternatively, he might be held to be mentally a child.
Initially the case was to be heard at the Old Bailey. Then it was decided that it would be held at Bedford – near the scene of the crime. Some feared local prejudice. As the crime had taken place there the jury might feel dutybound to convict.
The trial was attended by P L Alphon. Strangely, the jury was not told that Mr Gregston had been having an affair with Miss Storie at the time of the murder. Could that extra-marital affair have provided an explanation for an otherwise motiveless murder?
The defence’s story was that James Hanratty had been in Liverpool on the day of the slaying. He was with three friends but refused to identify them. His life was on the line and he refused to name them? Not very convincing is it? He mentioned two people he spoke to in Liverpool – shop assistants. Two of them remembered him. But they could not be sure they met him on 22 August. Clearly the defendant had been in Liverpool at some point. But the date in question was not necessarily that time. He was arrested in Blackpool in October – not far from Liverpool. It is possible that he passed through Liverpool between the date of the A6 killing and the day of his apprehension.
The defendant changed his alibi from being in Liverpool the day of the murder to being in Rhyl. However, there is evidence that he was in London the day of the murder. He picked up his dry cleaning in London that day and was at someone’s house at 4 pm. The killer did not approach the car until 9 .30pm. There is no evidence that Hanratty was near Maidenhead that evening.
Mr Sherrard was the defence barrister of James Hanratty. Sherrard tried to convince his client not to change his alibi. Mr Hanratty would not hear of it. Sherrard, counsel for the defence, insisted that his client would be shooting himself in the foot if he did so. But Hanratty was adamant. His brief asked him to sign a statement to the effect that he had been advised that changing his story would fatally undermine his defence. He did so. Cognizant of the terminal effect that altering his alibi might have one him he did so nonetheless.
In the witness box James Hanratty came over as overbearing and sneering. His hostile and haughty demeanour did not produce a congenial impression on the jury. As a hardened criminal his bumptiousness was to be expected. On the other hand Valerie Storie was tranquil, composed and unwavering. Her quiet dignity won the hearts of the jurors. Mr Sherrard prefaced his cross examination by stating that everyone had the deepest empathy for her monstrous ordeal and no one diminished the horror of that one iota. An innocent man had already been killed in this sordid affair. Sherrard did not want to see a second innocent man killed. There is no question which of Hanratty and Miss Storie was more likeable. The case came down to which of them the jury preferred to believe. Valerie Storie was the Crown’s star witness. Her identification was the key plank of the prosecution’s case.
The fact that Miss Storie was engaged in an adulterous relationship with Gregsten was not mentioned to the jury. Given the mores of this time this would have damaged her image. There might even have been some who, learning of the adultery, would have thought that the couple got what they deserved. The affair was not strictly germane to the case.
Hanratty was found guilty. The judge asked the defendant if he had anything do say. Hanratty repeated his denial. The beak on the bench then donned the black cap and pronounced the sentence of death.
There was an appeal. It was dismissed. There was a campaign for a reprieve. The Home Secretary decided that there was no case for a reprieve.
Сharles France was a friend of Hanratty’s who testified against Hanratty. After James Hanratty’s appeal failed Mr France committed suicide. France left a suicide note stating that he felt terrible for the suffering he had caused the Hanratty family.
Perhaps the family should have tried to internationalise the case. J Hanratty was born in England to Irish parents. The child of an Irish parent has the right to Irish citizenship. The Hanratty family could have asked the Irish Government to intervene. The idea that an innocent Irishman was due to be hanged in England would have incensed Ireland. The huge protests might have convinced the Home Secretary to recommend that the royal prerogative of mercy be exercised. Then Her Britannic Majesty would have been graciously pleased to commute the sentence to life imprisonment.
The night before Mr Hanratty was due to be put to death he told his father he would ”take it like a man.” In fairness to James Hanratty the only account of the execution states that he did indeed demonstrate unutterable courage.
James Hanratty maintained his innocence to the end. On 4 April he was hanged. A witness to Hanratty’s death recalled that the condemned ”strutted” in and maintained his truculent composure to the very end.
A gay couple befriended Alphon. One of these men was named Jean Justice. Perhaps this was nominative determinism. The son of a Belgian diplomat Jean Justice became fixated with the case. Jean Justice’s boyfriend was Jeremy Fox.
The gay couple wined him and dined him. He told them on numerous occasions that he was the A6 killer. Was this him talking nonsense when drunk? Was he telling them what they wanted to hear? He was singing for his supper. On the other hand it may have been a case of in vino veritas. The gay couple recorded Alphon on the phone making incriminating statements.
Alphon also told them that he had received GBP 5 000 from a man for ending the affair between Mr Gregston and Miss Storie. Who was this man? Alphon had no job and deposited GBP 7 600 into his account between October 1961 and June 1961. October 1961 was the month that Hanratty was charged with murder. Note that Alphon did not say he was paid to kill – only to end the affair. Who would want the affair ended? The blatant suspect would be Mrs Gregston. But she seemed to have accepted the split from her husband. Miss Storie said her affair was no explanation for the murder. Mrs Gregston visited her in hospital and the two got on well. Moreover, GBP 5 000 was a staggering sum at the time. It was like GBP 130 000 today. Mrs Gregston was a housewife and her husband was a government scientist. They did not have that kind of money. The claim of receiving GBP 5 000 to end the affair is likely to be bogus. That does not disprove Alphon’s unpressured confession to the murder.
Mr Alphon appeared to feel guilt-stricken about the death of Hanratty. He visited the Hanratty family and commiserated with them. It is surely surprising that they allowed him into their house. If Hanratty had not killed Gregston then who had? The obvious other suspect is Alphon. If Alphon had fessed up at the time then Hanratty would not have been killed. Tellingly, Mr Alphon did not seem to feel a twinge of sympathy for Mr Gregsten or Miss Storie.
In 1967 Alphon took the extraordinary step of calling a press conference in Paris. He announced that he slew Gregston. He had put himself in legal jeopardy. A posthumous appeal could be allowed – clearing Hanratty. People were zealously campaigning for this at the time. John Lennon walked around with a sign saying ‘Britain murdered Hanratty’. In 1949 Timothy Evans was hanged for murder. In 1952 his conviction was posthumously overturned. John Christie was convicted for those murders for which Evans had previously been wrongly convicted. Christie was then executed. So in 1967 Alphon could have been talking his way onto the gallows. That year he want on ITN to say that he carried out the A6 murder.
P L Alphon wrote a lengthy confession which he gave to Jean Justice. Mr Justice published a book entitled ‘Murder is Murder’ in France. Justice gave these to the Home Office. It outlined the case against Alphon. Alphon said that he decided to slay the couple because of the sort of people they were. Was this because they were adulterers? Or because they were of a certain social class? He said that he had given Mr Gregsten two chances to escape but Gregsten had failed to so. This was probably an allusion to run away at the petrol station and the shop. Some have taken this as proof positive of Alphon’s guilt as in Alphon could not have known about the two occasions in which Gregsten was allowed out of the car by the kidnapper. However, Alphon could easily have known about the particulars of the kidnapping without being the killer. The police may have told him about this when they questioned him. Moreover, the newspapers detailed the ordeal. Lastly during the trial (which Alphon attended) Miss Storie gave a full account of the event.
Mr Alphon stated in 1966 that his taped confession and written confession him inventing a work of fiction. He was helping Jean Justice write a novel. If Justice really thought that Alphon was a killer was it not unwise to hang around him? This was especially so if Alphon committed the murder as part of a crusade against indecency as Alphon said. Homosexuality was legally termed indecency at the time.
The death penalty was suspended in 1965. It was not abolished. There was much talk about ending the moratorium. Hanging could easily have been reintroduced. In fact in 1970 it was abolished. Even then Alphon would have faced a life sentence. Is it crazier to confess if you are guilty or innocent?
The behavior of the kidnapper fits with Alphon’s personality. He was very boastful and unstable. That is why he was rabbiting on to the couple in the car. Another fact that points towards Alphon being guilty is that Hanratty spoke hesitantly and left very long pauses in his speech. Alphon’s conversational patter was of a reasonable speed. It was not like a machinegun. The killer spoke with a Cockney accent which Alphon did not. Instead P L Alphon spoke Standard British English. You can see videos of him on youtube when he felt placid and his accent was Standard Southern British English. Except when Alphon was stressed he lapsed into Cockney. The killer’s behaviour suggests grave anxiety.
Alphon did not know how to drive. Valerie’s evidence suggested that the killer was terrible at driving as did the two other men who had seen the Morris Minor.
Valerie Storie said that it was blatant that ‘Jim’ was not the true name of her rapist.
Alphon was the son of a highly ranking Scotland Yard detective. Was Scotland Yard trying to protect its own? His face was more similar to Valerie Storie’s description than Hanratty’s face.
As Mr Alphon was in the pub with Gregston and Miss Storie he could have followed the couple to their car. As he was on foot it would have taken him 30-45 minutes to get there. Indeed finding it in the dark may have been difficult. Did he go to the Dorney Reach area with the intention of slaying the pair? Alternatively it could have been an opportunistic crime. On ITN in 1967 he stated that he killed them as part of a crusade against immortality. He was incensed at their adultery. But if, against expectation, Alphon was a intending to kill them why did he not shoot them right away? He might have thought he was too close to houses – his shots would be heard. He had been seen in the same alehouse as them earlier. Perhaps he wanted to get them to a remote location for the slaying to take place. Moreover, he might have been steeling himself to go through with it. Could he bring himself to kill? If his actuation was to penalize adultery committing rape was a strange way of expressing disapprobation.
For years the Hanratty family demanded that the case be reopened. In 1999 they finally got their way. They wanted DNA to be used to have their relative’s conviction found unsafe.
In 2002 DNA tests proved that the killer was Hanratty. But could his DNA have gotten on the handkerchief in which the gun was kept some other way? Could his DNA have gotten into Valerie’s knickers by some other means? The exhibits at the trial often touched each other. There were well over 100 exhibits. These items were carried together in a box.
Without the DNA (which was not available in 1962) then the jury should have voted not guilty.