Why John Lennon And Yoko Ono Met With The Parents Of A Convicted Murderer

Bedfordshire, United Kingdom resident James Hanratty was convicted of murdering Michael Gregsten and then raping and shooting Gregsten’s girlfriend Valerie Storie. Storie survived and pointed to Hanratty as the culprit. However, Hanratty maintained to his family that he was innocent. The A6 murderer, as he became known, was hanged in 1962. Bedfordshire Live states that the controversy lasted even into the 21st century.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were among those who advocated for Hanratty’s innocence. They were photographed with posters declaring “Britain murdered Hanratty.” Hanratty’s family did not give up on clearing his name after his execution. In 1969, his parents met with John Cunningham, a friend of Lennon and Ono. Cunningham introduced the two couples. Later on, they four of them announced that they would make a film about the trial. Lennon’s company Apple Films released “Did Britain Murder Hanratty?” in December of 1969. Lennon himself seemingly had little to do with the production, but he and Ono included lyrics about Hanratty on their album “Live Jam” (per Dangerous Minds).

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