British Executions

James Hanratty

Age: 25

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 4 Apr 1962

Crime Location: A6, Maulden Wood

Execution Place: Bedford Jail

Method: hanging

Executioner: Harry Allen


James Hanratty was convicted of the murder of Michael John Gregsten 34 and sentenced to death.

He had approached a car that Michael Gregsten had been in with a woman in a cornfield.

He then forced them at gunpoint to drive about and later Michael Gregsten dead and then later raped the woman and shot her 5 times leaving her for dead.

His conviction was considered controversial but in 2002 DNA evidence concluded that his guilt was proved beyond doubt. His body was exhumed and DNA taken which was then compared to semen stains from the underwear of the woman that he raped and shot who had been with Michael Gregsten as well as DNA from the handkerchief that the gun had been wrapped up in before it was left on a bus. The Appeal judges said that that evidence, combined with all the other evidence, proved his guilt beyond doubt.

see Wikipedia

see Capital Punishment

see "Hanratty Sent For Trial." Times [London, England] 6 Dec. 1961: 5. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 23 Apr. 2016.

see "A 6 Court Told Of Calls To Scotland Yard." Times [London, England] 30 Nov. 1961: 7. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

see "Antique Shop Owner Says She Gave Hanratty £500 To £600." Times [London, England] 29 Nov. 1961: 8. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

see "A6 Murder Charge: Court Told Of Hair Dyeing." Times [London, England] 28 Nov. 1961: 6. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

see National Archives - MEPO 2/9720, ASSI 13/534, CRIM 1/3814, DPP 2/4389

see A Calendar Of Murder, Criminal Homicide In England Since 1957, Terence Morris and Louis Blom-Cooper