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  #2411  
Old 04-24-2018, 06:19 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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Afternoon Chaps,

Good points as always. One thing I keep coming back to is motive. For me, the robbery motive just seems weak, and doesn't work as well as the classic spouse-on-spouse killing, from want of domestic bliss.

Both Wallace and Julia had been unwell and it was said [although I can't recall by whom] that whenever Wallace was feeling poorly, with his genuine kidney or other health problems, far from getting any sympathy from his wife, a game of one-upmanship would follow, with her making the most of whatever aches and pains she could claim to be suffering from. Given the fact that she was considerably older than her old man, and neither was getting any younger or fitter, what was his quality of life with her around, and what was it likely to be over the time he had left? Had he already missed out, for instance, by not playing chess as often as he would have liked, because she had nagged him not to leave her alone, or had feigned illness whenever he was planning to go out? So much the worse if she had lied to him about her age when they first became a couple.

This was no spur-of-the-moment loss of temper and control, but the likely result of a slow build-up of secret resentment and bitterness, leading to much thought about a future without such restrictions on his freedom and the increasing burden of caring for a selfish and needy woman, while in poor health himself - a thankless task. It would take much careful planning, because he would be the obvious, perhaps the only suspect, so reasonable doubt would be absolutely vital, but not impossible for a chess player like Wallace to put in place.

Enter Qualtrough.

If Wallace had never spoken over the telephone to anyone at the club, including Beattie, he really didn't have to worry too much that his voice would be recognised by someone who was taking down a message for Wallace, not from Wallace. I imagine he'd have cursed himself when he found out that call was able to be traced. I doubt he considered that risk when making it from a call box just three minutes from home, on his way to the club.

Is it known if Wallace knew about the call being traced when asked which route he took that night? Even if he didn't know, he'd have probably thought it safer to lie, just in case some witness claimed to have seen someone like him using that box.

Love,

Caz
X
Afternoon Caz,

I couldnt agree more. Those 11 brutal blows speak of a personal motive. How many blows from a heavy iron bar would have been required to kill a frail 70 year old woman? 2, 3 maybe 4? Certainly not 11!

Although most described the Wallace’s as a devoted couple appearances can be deceptive (the Crippen’s come to mind.) A doctor and a nurse, both of whom spent time with the Wallace’s in their home environment, both of whom would have been expected to maintain confidentiality and so the Wallace’s wouldnt have needed to put on a ‘front,’ and neither of whom had any axe to grind, both said that the Wallace’s werent a happy couple. Wallace’s ex-colleage Mather called him the most ‘soured’ man that hed ever met and that he was a ‘bad tempered devil.’ Ive always wondered if Wallace had somehow found out Julia’s true age? Maybe from Julia’s family or during the process of setting up some insurance. How might that have affected Wallace knowing that his marriage had been based on a lie?

Whoever made the call wouldnt have wanted the call traced and the box identified just in case someone had seen them in the vacinity. It was even more important for Wallace of course due to the proximity of the box and the timing of the call.

When we add this to the fact that someone who intended murder wouldnt have needed such a plan we are only left with the sneak-thief theory which bares much more than a passing resemblance to a hunk of swiss cheese.

I know that i sound like a broken record but Wallace is overwhelmingly the likeliest suspect for Julia’s murder.
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  #2412  
Old 04-24-2018, 07:21 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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In the interest of fairness a was doing a bit of ‘devils advocate’ thinking last night ( i once did the same thing on a Diary thread and got pelted with rotten fruit for my pains )

I thought that as the tightness of the timings are most often used in favour of an innocent Wallace i wondered why a guilty Wallace didn't arrange his appointment with Qualtrough for 8.00pm giving him greater time?

In response to myself i came up with two points. If Wallace had rehearsed the crime in his mind he would have had a rough idea of the time required for the deed. And so 1) he wouldnt have wanted the police saying that there was plenty of time for him to have committed the crime before setting out and so a tight timing would work in his favour and 2) he had no way of knowing that Alan Close would turn up later than usual.

Ill be really interested to hear Antony’s take on the timings in his new book.
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  #2413  
Old 04-25-2018, 07:02 AM
AmericanSherlock AmericanSherlock is offline
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In the interest of fairness a was doing a bit of ‘devils advocate’ thinking last night ( i once did the same thing on a Diary thread and got pelted with rotten fruit for my pains )

I thought that as the tightness of the timings are most often used in favour of an innocent Wallace i wondered why a guilty Wallace didn't arrange his appointment with Qualtrough for 8.00pm giving him greater time?

In response to myself i came up with two points. If Wallace had rehearsed the crime in his mind he would have had a rough idea of the time required for the deed. And so 1) he wouldnt have wanted the police saying that there was plenty of time for him to have committed the crime before setting out and so a tight timing would work in his favour and 2) he had no way of knowing that Alan Close would turn up later than usual.

Ill be really interested to hear Antony’s take on the timings in his new book.
Herlock,

Good points. I would also add 1 and 2 go together in a sense.

As it was, Wallace was a bit late considering he arrived only right before his appointment time in a neighborhood that he claimed to be unfamiliar with searching for an address whose precise location he did not know. And on business the hopeful commission of which was enticing enough to send him out on a miserable January night nonetheless.

He could have reasonably been in the area "searching" for the address 15 or so minutes before which might have been the original plan before the darned milk boy showed up late (this was due to a fault in his bike that happened the night before, interesting tidbit since the call was also traced due to another sort of mechanical fault. In both cases Wallace (or excuse me "Qualtrough" in the 2nd case) could not have foreseen this.

Anyway, the most critical thing in terms of timing was the time between when the milk boy left, having seen JW alive, and when Wallace was seen at the tram stop (and he damned sure seemed to want to be seen!) This is the same regardless of when the milk boy leaves as Wallace swings into action immediately after. He could never hope to "outpace" reality, only create reasonable doubt.

It is also possible that this was not a crucial part of the plot, and opposing viewpoints have argued about the milk boy's timing being unreliable (I think that objection has been dealt with well though), and Wallace hoping the milk boy could be a reliable witness as also tenuous. This is a more valid point, although I would argue it could be looked at as Wallace just simply COULDN'T act until the milk boy had come and gone which would be the most salient point, but then immediately thereafter he would want to act as quickly possible, with the possible bonus of casting doubt on his candidacy as the murderer due to timing.
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  #2414  
Old 04-25-2018, 07:51 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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Herlock,

Good points. I would also add 1 and 2 go together in a sense.

As it was, Wallace was a bit late considering he arrived only right before his appointment time in a neighborhood that he claimed to be unfamiliar with searching for an address whose precise location he did not know. And on business the hopeful commission of which was enticing enough to send him out on a miserable January night nonetheless.

He could have reasonably been in the area "searching" for the address 15 or so minutes before which might have been the original plan before the darned milk boy showed up late (this was due to a fault in his bike that happened the night before, interesting tidbit since the call was also traced due to another sort of mechanical fault. In both cases Wallace (or excuse me "Qualtrough" in the 2nd case) could not have foreseen this.

Anyway, the most critical thing in terms of timing was the time between when the milk boy left, having seen JW alive, and when Wallace was seen at the tram stop (and he damned sure seemed to want to be seen!) This is the same regardless of when the milk boy leaves as Wallace swings into action immediately after. He could never hope to "outpace" reality, only create reasonable doubt.

It is also possible that this was not a crucial part of the plot, and opposing viewpoints have argued about the milk boy's timing being unreliable (I think that objection has been dealt with well though), and Wallace hoping the milk boy could be a reliable witness as also tenuous. This is a more valid point, although I would argue it could be looked at as Wallace just simply COULDN'T act until the milk boy had come and gone which would be the most salient point, but then immediately thereafter he would want to act as quickly possible, with the possible bonus of casting doubt on his candidacy as the murderer due to timing.
Agreed AS

Ive often thought that the time Wallace took to kill Julia, clean up and set the scene wouldnt have taken as long as some might think. I did intend to do a rough run through but ive never gotten around to trying. The physical act of striking the first blow, using the mackintosh as a shield and then delivering the other 10 blows would have, for me, taken a minute tops? Minimal clean up and wiping the weapon, what 2 or 3 minutes? Working quickly? Seconds to take the cash from the box. The cupboard could have been pre-damaged by Wallace to make pulling the door off easier. A dash upstairs and down. 2 minutes?

All id say is that i dont think it would take long. He would have gone through it in his head many times. For me the only ‘unexpected’ might have been that if Wallace had left the smear of blood on the notes upstairs he might have spotted that hed missed a small patch of blood on his hand/finger and would have probably needed to remove it before he left.
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  #2415  
Old 05-06-2018, 02:41 PM
AmericanSherlock AmericanSherlock is offline
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Sorry haven't posted much because Herlock and others have basically solved what is an open case. What I mean is, this case can't be proved against anyone beyond reasonable doubt, but pretty much every angle has been covered to demonstrate it was most probably Wallace.

One further minor train of thought I had along the same lines:

If the killer wasn't Wallace but a "sneak thief" whether Qualtrough himself or someone working in conjunctioning with Qualtrough (And Qualtrough could be anyone but most who view Wallace as innocent think he was Parry), then what was his ploy to distract Julia in order to rob the joint? I've see some odd theories on this, like relying on Julia's incontinence. But remember there would be a time factor? Could this "sneak thief" rely on Julia needing to use the loo in the time period available? Such a person would have no clue at what point Wallace would give up on his journey and head home? Of course, there was limited reason to be confident he would go at all. Let's cast that aside for the sake of argument (aren't I generous?) and say this sneak thief felt confident in assuming Wallace would be gone for nearly 2 hours as was the case (although the significance or lack thereof of this totally depends on who really was behind the murder.)

Would this be enough time to be confident Julia would slip out to the bathroom? Enough to base an entire plan around? In any case, this villainous mystery killer would want to be long gone by the time Wallace came back. He wouldn't have a lot of time to act, and would have to hope that Julia afforded him the opportunity to pillage the cash undisturbed. This isn't something he could possibly rely on from my way of looking at things.

The killer was either Wallace or someone else who planned to kill Julia from the getgo (very unlikely I reckon). A panicked theft gone wrong just does not add up as part of this intricate plan. Everything points away from that.
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  #2416  
Old 05-07-2018, 05:47 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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Sorry haven't posted much because Herlock and others have basically solved what is an open case. What I mean is, this case can't be proved against anyone beyond reasonable doubt, but pretty much every angle has been covered to demonstrate it was most probably Wallace.

One further minor train of thought I had along the same lines:

If the killer wasn't Wallace but a "sneak thief whether Qualtrough himself or someone working in conjunctioning with Qualtrough (And Qualtrough could be anyone but most who view Wallace as innocent think he was Parry), then what was his ploy to distract Julia in order to rob the joint? I've see some odd theories on this, like relying on Julia's incontinence. But remember there would be a time factor? Could this "sneak thief" rely on Julia needing to use the loo in the time period available? Such a person would have no clue at what point Wallace would give up on his journey and head home? Of course, there was limited reason to be confident he would go at all. Let's cast that aside for the sake of argument (aren't I generous?) and say this sneak thief felt confident in assuming Wallace would be gone for nearly 2 hours as was the case (although the significance or lack thereof of this totally depends on who really was behind the murder.)

Would this be enough time to be confident Julia would slip out to the bathroom? Enough to base an entire plan around? In any case, this villainous mystery killer would want to be long gone by the time Wallace came back. He wouldn't have a lot of time to act, and would have to hope that Julia afforded him the opportunity to pillage the cash undisturbed. This isn't something he could possibly rely on from my way of looking at things.

The killer was either Wallace or someone else who planned to kill Julia from the getgo (very unlikely I reckon). A panicked theft gone wrong just does not add up as part of this intricate plan. Everything points away from that.
Hi AS,

Youve contributed to the debate far more than i have over time ive just added a few thoughts in recent months. Of course I agree that, viewed objectively, everything points to Wallace as the likeliest candidate.

The point that youve made here is a very good one. I dont think that its been highlighted before to my memory. A sneak-thief certainly couldnt bank on Julia needing the loo or on how long that she would be up there if she did. Of course he could have asked permission to use the loo himself but he couldnt have known that she wouldnt have come out into the hallway with him to point the way. Or that she would have left the parlour for some other reason whilst he was supposed to be upstairs.
As ever with the sneak-thief plan far too much is left to chance for it even to be grace it with the title ‘plan.’ And as we have said before the sneak-thief would have undertook the whole enterprise fully prepared for Julia to have been able to have identified him as the thief. So what really changed with Julia catching him in the act? No one heard any screams. If Julia appeared to be about to get hysterical it would have been no problem for our sneak-thief to put a hand over Julia’s mouth and threatened her into silence. Its also worth asking if noisily wrenching a door off a cupboard is really the act of someone who wished to remain undiscovered? Then we add that to the fact that he ignored Julia’s bag which logic would tell anyone contained her purse. Overall the attempt to find cash or valuables was pathetic to say the very least.

So what could have made someone change from a sneak-thief who was prepared to have been identified by Julia into a brutal murderer? It really makes no sense. This is surely the least believable of robbery scenes? Equally surely the scene was part of the least believable robbery scenario? Add these facts to sheer over-the-top and unnessecary brutality and we are left with the only logical conclusion. This was not a robbery gone wrong. It was a pre-planned and vicious murder and if this was the case then there really is only one suspect. Wallace himself.

Apologies AS for removing the ‘lol’s’ from your quote but i had to to fit in my own.
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  #2417  
Old 05-09-2018, 02:16 AM
AmericanSherlock AmericanSherlock is offline
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Hi AS,

Youve contributed to the debate far more than i have over time ive just added a few thoughts in recent months. Of course I agree that, viewed objectively, everything points to Wallace as the likeliest candidate.

The point that youve made here is a very good one. I dont think that its been highlighted before to my memory. A sneak-thief certainly couldnt bank on Julia needing the loo or on how long that she would be up there if she did. Of course he could have asked permission to use the loo himself but he couldnt have known that she wouldnt have come out into the hallway with him to point the way. Or that she would have left the parlour for some other reason whilst he was supposed to be upstairs.
As ever with the sneak-thief plan far too much is left to chance for it even to be grace it with the title ‘plan.’ And as we have said before the sneak-thief would have undertook the whole enterprise fully prepared for Julia to have been able to have identified him as the thief. So what really changed with Julia catching him in the act? No one heard any screams. If Julia appeared to be about to get hysterical it would have been no problem for our sneak-thief to put a hand over Julia’s mouth and threatened her into silence. Its also worth asking if noisily wrenching a door off a cupboard is really the act of someone who wished to remain undiscovered? Then we add that to the fact that he ignored Julia’s bag which logic would tell anyone contained her purse. Overall the attempt to find cash or valuables was pathetic to say the very least.

So what could have made someone change from a sneak-thief who was prepared to have been identified by Julia into a brutal murderer? It really makes no sense. This is surely the least believable of robbery scenes? Equally surely the scene was part of the least believable robbery scenario? Add these facts to sheer over-the-top and unnessecary brutality and we are left with the only logical conclusion. This was not a robbery gone wrong. It was a pre-planned and vicious murder and if this was the case then there really is only one suspect. Wallace himself.

Apologies AS for removing the ‘lol’s’ from your quote but i had to to fit in my own.
Hi Herlock, incisive points as usual. The bold especially highlights how the robbery gone wrong scenario is logically inconsistent.

I'm more convinced than ever of Wallace's guilt.

So let me try to play Devil's Advocate, because unlike other geniuses who are convinced they have "the correct solution", I like to consider opposing viewpoints and cover every angle, being intellectually honest regardless of what narrative it suits.

My main cause to pause over the years was the caller mentioning a 21st as that seemed a strong hinter towards Parry as the caller, since he mentioned something about getting an invitation to Leslie Williamson's 21st in his statement. A bit suspicious, for sure.

But it turned out not only was a 21st a common policy, but that there was an RJ Qualtrough who had a daughter who was celebrating a birthday (20th not 21st but still pretty spooky, no? ) that very night of the 19th, when the call was placed.

That mitigates somewhat of the implication of Parry's guilt in at least making the call IMO, because it implies anyone who came up with the idea of using this Qualtrough as part of the hoax, whether it was Wallace or whether it wasn't, probably got the idea of a "21st birthday policy" from researching him and knowing of his daughter's birthday on that very night.

Or if this was not the case, then it sure shows coincidences happen, no?!

I still find it mildly suspicious, because it would be one thing if we just considered Parry was in that age range and turned out to be busy arranging a 21st party celebration, but it seems a slightly higher order of incriminating that he mentioned it in his statement. As if it was in the back of his mind from that very night for other reasons; obviously if this was the case, then it was a substantial slip-up by Parry to mention it.

Another possibility is that a guilty Wallace was seeking to incriminate Parry somehow by mentioning this. Or it could just be coincidence.

I mention all of this not because I have serious doubts that Wallace was guilty. Rather precisely the opposite; because of the increasing strength of my belief in his probable guilt (in no small part to your clever arguments), I am looking to consider any worthwhile points to the contrary to feel I've thoroughly examined all angles.

I would put my belief in Wallace's guilt at around 95 percent.

PS. I agree, they really need to fix the emoticons thing! It should be 5 per message, NOT including quoted messages one is replying to!
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  #2418  
Old 05-09-2018, 02:33 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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Hi AS,

I’d go with around 95% too.

I wonder when Wallace last spoke to Parry before the murder? I cant recall if its even been mentioned in the books? You can guess where I’m going with that question though. Could he have let slip plans for a 21st birthday party in conversation? Rod would say that I was clutching at straws with that one and, for once, he would probably be correct

It could just have been a coincidence after all. A far more believable one than the phonecall being a prank which the killer just happened to take advantage of

Wallace and Parry would both be aware that 21 was an age that insurance policies were regularly set up. I genuinly think that it was just a coincidence and not a particularly spectacular one. Taken alongside all the other evidence it’s not a point that worries me but you are definitely right to explore points from both sides. I could name someone who would do well to take a leaf out of your book
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:42 AM
AmericanSherlock AmericanSherlock is offline
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Hi AS,

I’d go with around 95% too.

I wonder when Wallace last spoke to Parry before the murder? I cant recall if its even been mentioned in the books? You can guess where I’m going with that question though. Could he have let slip plans for a 21st birthday party in conversation? Rod would say that I was clutching at straws with that one and, for once, he would probably be correct

It could just have been a coincidence after all. A far more believable one than the phonecall being a prank which the killer just happened to take advantage of

Wallace and Parry would both be aware that 21 was an age that insurance policies were regularly set up. I genuinly think that it was just a coincidence and not a particularly spectacular one. Taken alongside all the other evidence it’s not a point that worries me but you are definitely right to explore points from both sides. I could name someone who would do well to take a leaf out of your book
I agree it is simply overwhelmed by the evidence pointing in the other direction. For 1, Parry had an alibi for the next night! (And not the Lily Lloyd one. )

I view it as a similar thing as the fact the killer replaced the cash box, which would point towards Wallace. Unfortunately for Wallace, there are about 10 of these "coincidences" pointing towards him.

I believe Wallace and Parry last spoke in November according to Wallace at the City Cafe. Like many parts of this case, this could be viewed in multiple ways.

I do think Wallace's relationship with Parry seemed off for someone who supposedly he knew to be so unscrupulous. Perhaps, he was scouting out his "fall guy?"
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:54 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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I agree it is simply overwhelmed by the evidence pointing in the other direction. For 1, Parry had an alibi for the next night! (And not the Lily Lloyd one. )

I view it as a similar thing as the fact the killer replaced the cash box, which would point towards Wallace. Unfortunately for Wallace, there are about 10 of these "coincidences" pointing towards him.

I believe Wallace and Parry last spoke in November according to Wallace at the City Cafe. Like many parts of this case, this could be viewed in multiple ways.

I do think Wallace's relationship with Parry seemed off for someone who supposedly he knew to be so unscrupulous. Perhaps, he was scouting out his "fall guy?"
Yes it is a bit strange. You would think that Wallace, the straight-laced, conservative, do-everything-by-the-book type would have wanted nothing to do with a guy who might as well have walking around in a striped shirt and a mask.

Ive been thinking again recently about Wallace in relation to Parry. He mentions Parry to the police as one of a list of people who Julia would have let in. He doesnt suggest him as the murderer though. And yet after hes finally acquitted Wallace becomes convinced of Parry’s guilt. Why? What new information has come to Wallace’s attention? Surely if hed have suspected him all along might have mentioned it to the police when he was on trial for his life? What can we deduce from this....if anything?

Could this be a pointer toward a Wallace/Parry partnership? He mentions his name during the investigation because it might have looked suspicious if someone had mentioned that Parry had done Wallace’s work whilst he was ill (which would show that he would have been familiar to Julia.) Later, when Wallace knew that he didnt have long to live, he left the incriminating accusation in his diary. He might have felt that a) Parry couldnt say “no, we were in it together.” Or that b) if Parry denied it the public might have felt ‘why would Wallace bother making an accusation that would only come to light after his death? Theres also the matter of the ‘respectable’ Wallace versus the criminal Parry.

Unsure
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