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Do you think William Herbert Wallace was guilty?

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  • Originally posted by Charles Daniels View Post
    If Wallace acted alone -

    Then how did Wallace disguise voice sufficiently when calling someone who knew him very well for 8 years?

    And how on earth did he murder, stage a robbery, and clean up in 10 minutes max, then casually stroll off to the tram?
    These are all very good points, to which I would add: what did he do with the murder weapon, which was not found despite an extensive search? Why was there no forensic evidence? Why did he murder his wife in such an inefficient manner when he could have simply have strangled or suffocated her?

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    • Originally posted by Charles Daniels View Post
      If Wallace acted alone -

      Then how did Wallace disguise voice sufficiently when calling someone who knew him very well for 8 years?

      And how on earth did he murder, stage a robbery, and clean up in 10 minutes max, then casually stroll off to the tram?
      You suggested it could have been someone else from the chess club. That would apply to them too. I think he could have done it. The operators said it sounded like an older gentleman.

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      • Originally posted by louisa View Post
        Even back in those days?

        Yes I can see some flaws in my theory. I'll have to go back to the drawing board.
        .
        Yes, I was surprised by the accuracy of the forensic testing. The information is from CCJ's book; the test carried out was the Benzidine test, which was applied to the bathroom, back kitchen and drains (Brown, 2016.)

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        • Originally posted by John G View Post
          These are all very good points, to which I would add: what did he do with the murder weapon, which was not found despite an extensive search? Why was there no forensic evidence? Why did he murder his wife in such an inefficient manner when he could have simply have strangled or suffocated her?
          I believe it was the bar found later on. there was no DNA back then. This case really comes down to whether you think he could have avoided blood splatter. I think so, clearly you think not. "Inefficient manner" is the way that would make sense if he was staging a robbery.

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          • Originally posted by AmericanSherlock View Post
            You suggested it could have been someone else from the chess club. That would apply to them too.
            yes! That little line of thinking was very quickly and effectively squashed.

            I think any long standing acquaintance of the person who answered the call could be eliminated from the suspect list of who made the call.

            Unless we want to leap to extreme realms, and look into the idea that the person who answered the phone was in on some conspiracy.

            I think he could have done it. The operators said it sounded like an older gentleman.
            Well there would obviously be quite a few older gentlemen in Liverpool at the time. And there may even be younger gentlemen who had experience at acting who could put on a very good older gentleman character voice.

            The operators saying it sounded like an older gentleman, doesn't compel me as much as a person who would have recognised a specific voice of someone they knew.

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            • Originally posted by Charles Daniels View Post

              The operators saying it sounded like an older gentleman, doesn't compel me as much as a person who would have recognised a specific voice of someone they knew.
              I can't remember the ages of the telephone girls but if they were in their teens or twenties they may have regarded anyone over the age of 40 as 'older'.

              On another point - I can't help wondering what would have happened if somebody in the chess club had piped up with "I know that area and there definitely is no Menlove Gardens East".
              .
              This is simply my opinion

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              • Originally posted by AmericanSherlock View Post
                I believe it was the bar found later on. there was no DNA back then. This case really comes down to whether you think he could have avoided blood splatter. I think so, clearly you think not. "Inefficient manner" is the way that would make sense if he was staging a robbery.
                I think this has been discussed before. I assume you are referring to a bar that was allegedly discovered in the fireplace by a subsequent occupier. However, this appears to be little more than hearsay evidence that was referred to in just one book on the subject. Moreover, the police took the fireplace away for examination, so they'd have to be pretty incompetent to have missed the bar (and it would surely have rattled as soon as they picked the fireplace up). In fact, it wasn't even a bar that was missing, but a piece of iron about a foot long.

                I think it's pretty much untenable to argue that Wallace wouldn't have got blood on his person considering the ferocity of the attack. In fact, there was even blood on the furniture and on the walls it reached seven foot in height.

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                • Are we to assume that the killer went to the house with the intention of battering Julia to death? Pre-meditated?

                  If we presume that to be the case then it stands to reason the killer would have brought along an implement to do the job and not relied on something he hoped to pick up in the house. And, of course, he would have taken it with him when he left.

                  Wallace had a laboratory and if he had wanted to do away with his wife he may have been able to poison her slowly. She was ill anyway so her death would not have alerted anyone's suspicions.

                  I think you'd have to be of a vicious disposition to pre-mediate killing somebody by bashing their head in over and over again. That doesn't fit the profile of Wallace, not in the books I've read anyway.

                  If it had been Wallace who killed his wife then it would have had to be a spur of the moment, pent up anger rage. In which case the pre-arranged alibi wouldn't make any sense at all.
                  .
                  This is simply my opinion

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                  • Originally posted by AmericanSherlock View Post
                    Parry had been sacked from the Pru and was known as a scumbag around town! It was 18 months before, as I point out, so the revenge motive doesn't ring true, but nevertheless he would be a prime robbery suspect. He couldn't possibly think he could try to make it seem like Wallace did it himself or Julia was in on it. Come on. That belies belief.

                    Again, the robbery motive doesn't compute. The motive was murder and therefore the caller was in on the plot imo. Either Wallace and a conspiracy help who called/killed Julia or Wallace alone. Wallace alone simplest and makes most sense.
                    Some people bear grudges for years, based upon transgressions or slights-real or imaginary-allowing them to slowly fester before eventually deciding to act. And it's not just the fact that Wallace reported the missing money that may have rankled; Parry may have been angered at being caught out/outwitted by a man he clearly he probably had little respect for.

                    If Parkes is correct about the hoax calls, the Qualtrough call may have appealed to Parry's perverse sense of humour, i.e. sending Wallace on a wild goose chase. Stealing the money, and hoping Wallace was suspected, could have been the icing on the cake. Of course, he would have been suspected himself, but then it would simply be his word against William's and Julia's.

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                    • I think robbery as a motive (with Parry or anyone else as the thief) can safely be ruled out. We only have Wallace's word for the insurance money being in a tin in the kitchen and that it was missing. And according to him it was only four quid! I know four pounds was worth more then than it is now, but even so it was hardly a fortune worth murder and being hanged if caught. Also, Mrs. Wallace's purse with money and silver was lying in plain view on the kitchen table and wasn't taken- neither was her wedding ring. If Parry did it then robbery wasn't the motive and he was acting as Wallace's hired killer. That is a possible theory in my opinion, but too complicated in the end. I think the simplest explanation is that Wallace himself murdered his wife and created red herrings to draw attention away from himself. With robbery removed as a motive, the only person who would want Mrs. Wallace dead and have the means and opportunity is Mr. Wallace.
                      Last edited by Penny_Dredfull; 11-29-2016, 08:59 AM.

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                      • Originally posted by Penny_Dredfull View Post
                        I think robbery as a motive (with Parry or anyone else as the thief) can safely be ruled out. We only have Wallace's word for the insurance money being in a tin in the kitchen and that it was missing. And according to him it was only four quid! I know four pounds was worth more then than it is now, but even so it was hardly a fortune worth murder and being hanged if caught. Also, Mrs. Wallace's purse with money and silver was lying in plain view on the kitchen table and wasn't taken- neither was her wedding ring. If Parry did it then robbery wasn't the motive and he was acting as Wallace's hired killer. That is a possible theory in my opinion, but too complicated in the end. I think the simplest explanation is that Wallace himself murdered his wife and created red herrings to draw attention away from himself. With robbery removed as a motive, the only person who would want Mrs. Wallace dead and have the means and opportunity is Mr. Wallace.
                        if Wallace had wanted his wife dead then he wouldn't have had to go to all that palaver of setting up a false alibi and beating her brains in then wandering the streets looking for a place, and a person, he knew didn't exist.

                        He could have opted for the more genteel way of simply pushing her downstairs or poisoning her (he had a laboratory in his house remember?)

                        Julia was frail anyway and it wouldn't have taken much to do away with her.

                        As for a hired assassin - I don't think so.
                        This is simply my opinion

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                        • When Wallace was 14 years old, his family moved to Walney Island, Barrow in Furness- which is across the bay from the Isle of Man. It's the perfect region of the country to encounter the rare surname Qualtrough. Could this unusual name have stuck in Wallace's memory to be fished up conveniently many years later to provide the name of the mysterious telephone caller? Wouldn't it have been better to use a more common, and therefore more untraceable alias such as Smith, Jones or Brown? Maybe Qualtrough was his own little private joke.

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                          • Louisa- Husbands who kill their wives go to a lot of trouble setting up alibis and false alibis. As for poisoning- it takes time to achieve and attracts attention, and it can be messy. Besides, it's a huge step from tinkering with chemistry sets to having knowledge of, acquiring and administering poison. Pushing his wife down the stairs could look like an accident but it wouldn't necessarily be guaranteed to kill her- and what then? The stairs in those kind of dwellings are hardly precipitous. Bashing her brains in quickly, distancing yourself with an alibi and casting suspicion on a strange intruder is a better bet.

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                            • Hi,

                              I think he used the name Qualtrough because it would be remembered more distinctly for a longer period of time than Smith, Jones, or Brown which are very common names.

                              As regards the murder itself. Perhaps, if he was guilty, Wallace not only wanted to murder his wife but also wanted to implecate someone else ... Mr. Parry maybe.

                              Best wishes.

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                              • Hatchett- Good point about Qualtrough being memorable. It certainly is that! In the same way he called attention to himself on the night in question while on his futile journey to find the non-existant Melove Gardens East. THAT name is memorable as well. And having Parry- or anyone else- in the frame would have suited him. All little arrows pointing away from him- pointing anywhere than at him. But common sense dictates to me that no one else but him is the perpetrator.

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