Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Do you think William Herbert Wallace was guilty?

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Do you think William Herbert Wallace was guilty?

    Do you think William Herbert Wallace was guilty of the murder of his wife Julia?

    The Wallace case is arguably one of the most famous in the canon of unsolved murders. The case has everything: a mysterious telephone call, the suspicious behaviour of her husband on the night of the murder, and one of the most bizarre clues in criminal history – a burnt mackintosh stuffed under the victim’s body. It's now the subject of my latest Cold Case Jury e-book, Move to Murder, which has just been published.

    The story is well known. In January 1931, a telephone message was left at a Liverpool chess club, instructing one of its members, insurance agent William Wallace, to meet a Mr Qualtrough. But the address given by the mystery caller did not exist and Wallace returned home to find his wife Julia bludgeoned to death. The case turns on the telephone call. Who made it? The police thought it was Wallace, creating an alibi that might have come from an Agatha Christie thriller. Wallace stood trial, was found guilty, but his death sentence was quashed on appeal.

    Over the decades scores of books and articles have been published on the case, each advancing a theory on who might have killed Julia Wallace. My research reveals that four major theories that have been advanced to explain the murder:

    - William Wallace acted alone in killing his wife, creating a devious alibi by making the telephone call to his chess club.

    - Hard-up insurance salesman Gordon Parry made the telephone call to lure William Wallace from his house. He murdered Julia Wallace after he failed to extort money from her.

    - William Wallace orchestrated the killing of his wife. The conspiracy involved Gordon Parry making the infamous telephone call to provide an alibi for Wallace, and the murder was committed by Joseph Marsden, a clerk who was being blackmailed by Wallace.

    - Most recently, the late novelist P. D. James suggested that William Wallace killed his wife after exploiting a prank telephone call, which gave him the chance to commit the perfect murder.

    These four theories are reconstructed, the evidence sifted and discussed, and then readers are asked to deliver their verdicts online. Like the Ripper murders, I don’t believe the Wallace case will ever be satisfactorily resolved - I believe we do not have all the facts. With the release of the police files, however, we now have all the available information, more than was presented to the original jury in April 1931.

    So was William Wallace a cunning murderer, or a victim of the crime himself?

    I'd love to hear your views.

    Antony Matthew Brown
    Author, Move to Murder, an investigation into the Julia Wallace murder.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    3 to 1 - Wallace did it.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

    Stan Reid

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by sdreid View Post
      3 to 1 - Wallace did it.
      Given that Wallace is involved in three out of the four major theories, I can see your odds have a mathematical basis!

      Comment


      • #4
        The man certainly acted oddly, his alibi of chasing after an apparently hoax address seems strange and possibly implausible. The bizarre thing though is that after Wallace was acquitted and later died, he and his wife were buried in the same grave in Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool. So if he did do it, they are together now.

        Liverpool City Police page on this curious case:

        http://liverpoolcitypolice.co.uk/#/j...931/4552924276

        Recent photograph of the Wallace grave in Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool, by Steve B



        Steve noted, "This is the Wallace headstone in Anfield Cemetery, and you can see that Julia's age is given as 52 which I believe is wrong, she was 69. This also makes her age on the death cert wrong, as this also says she was 52..."

        The following is a great thread on the Wallace case with postings by Liverpool historian and photo expert Ged Fagan and others --

        http://www.my-liverpool.proboards.co...7/wallace-case

        or check out Ged's own blog on the case at

        http://inacityliving.blogspot.co.uk/...rder-case.html

        Chris
        Last edited by ChrisGeorge; 06-06-2016, 02:18 PM.
        Christopher T. George
        Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conference
        just held in Baltimore, April 7-8, 2018.
        For information about RipperCon, go to http://rippercon.com/
        RipperCon 2018 talks can now be heard at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
          So if he did do it, they are together now.
          Chris, thanks for your reply. Your comment (above) echoes the last lines of my book. In the Epilogue (The Indignities of Murder), I say:

          If William Herbert Wallace was involved in her murder, Julia Wallace forever rests in silence next to her killer. Perhaps this would be the greatest indignity of all.

          But did he do it? That is the question.

          Comment


          • #6
            Parry is innocent beyond a reasonable doubt. At least one of the people (an adolescent) who gave him an alibi for the actual time of the murder outlived him by many years and had no reason at that point to maintain their account if it wasn't true.
            This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

            Stan Reid

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm not sure how Goodman even centered on Parry unless he didn't know the full story. In my view, Wallace did it then hit the road.
              This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

              Stan Reid

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sdreid View Post
                Parry is innocent beyond a reasonable doubt. At least one of the people (an adolescent) who gave him an alibi for the actual time of the murder outlived him by many years and had no reason at that point to maintain their account if it wasn't true.
                You accept Parry's alibi for the night of the murder, but we know that Parry misled the police about his whereabouts on the night of the call. Parry said in his police statement he was at his girlfriend's house from 5:30pm to 11:30pm on 19 Monday 1931. BUT his girlfriend said in her statement that Parry called at about 7:35pm (giving him time to make the call, BTW) while she was giving a piano lesson, he left, returning at about 9pm.

                Parry cannot escape the shadow of suspicion as easily as you suggest.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sdreid View Post
                  I'm not sure how Goodman even centered on Parry unless he didn't know the full story. In my view, Wallace did it then hit the road.
                  To be fair to Goodman, he did not focus on Parry in his 1969 book The Killing of Julia of Wallace. His aim in his book was to prove Wallace innocent, and only spent a few pages speculating on the identity of the murderer. True, he supported Roger Wilkes in the radio broadcasts in 1980, which pointed the finger at Parry.

                  But did Wallace have enough time to commit the crime? If you read James Murphy's account of what Wallace did, Wallace had to do an awful lot to do in a very short time. From my book:

                  If the milk boy saw Julia Wallace alive at 6:45pm, as he originally told his friends, then Wallace could never have completed everything he is alleged to have done – bludgeon his wife, wash, dry, dress, tidy the bathroom, clean and possibly hide the iron bar, and stage a robbery – in only three minutes before departing his house at 6:48pm [see Exhibit H in the Evidence File for a justification of the departure time]. This is why your view on the timing of the milk delivery is crucial: if you believe that the Alan Close spoke to Julia Wallace at 6:45pm then you cannot accept this view of the murder. If you believe that Alan Close called earlier, the maximum amount of time available to Wallace was 18 minutes. How long does it take to kill, clean up, stage the house and leave? For how long would you scrub the bath, knowing that if the police found a trace of blood you might be hanged? Did Wallace have enough time? This is a crucial question.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think it's highly likely that Parry was guilty.

                    [1] There were the bloodied gloves the garage-man saw in Parry's car when he was cleaning it.

                    [2] Parry claimed he was with his fiancee Lily Lloyd all that evening, but some time afterwards, I believe after Wallace had died, she said she had been playing piano in a cinema that evening.

                    [3] Parry was in debt and according to Wallace knew where he, Wallace, kept his insurance collection money.

                    However, the front door and back door, were locked when Wallace returned home. He went next door to ask his neighbour if he had heard anything, and when he returned to the back door with the neighbour they found it unlocked. I always thought this very odd.

                    Graham
                    We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Graham View Post
                      [2] Parry claimed he was with his fiancee Lily Lloyd all that evening, but some time afterwards, I believe after Wallace had died, she said she had been playing piano in a cinema that evening.
                      Graham
                      Thanks for your views, Graham. On point [2], Lily Lloyd acted as you said, but Parry's alibi was given by Mrs Olivia Brine, who stated that Parry was at her house on the night of the murder from 5:30pm til 8:30pm. If this is accepted, Parry could not be the killer, but he could still be involved with the call (see my earlier comment). The police did not adequately verify Brine's statement, however, so a measure of doubt still hangs over Parry.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ooh good, another classic British murder!
                        I've really never been able to figure out how Wallace had the time to kill Julia before going out, as you point out, ColdCase. On the whole I think Parry more likely to be guilty than Wallace (there is at least a slight motive for Parry to attack and kill Mrs Wallace, while with Wallace himself there's nothing at all, no quarrels, no other woman, no substantial insurance policy payout). He and Julia lived a quiet and rather dull married life with no drama. All the same, the case for Parry as murderer is by no means open and shut either!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rosella View Post
                          I've really never been able to figure out how Wallace had the time to kill Julia before going out, as you point out, ColdCase.
                          Hi Roz, if you believe Wallace had insufficient time (and even the trial judge thought that 20 minutes was 'lightning fast' work on his part, let alone 10 or less), then this rules out 2 out of the 4 verdicts. You are still left with Parry (as you say), or Conspiracy, i.e. Wallace masterminded the murder but took no part in the call or the killing. This last theory is also covered in my book.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The reason I'm mostly sure that Wallace did it is the fact that the woman next door heard Close knock before Wallace left but heard no one-Parry, Marsden, Young, Johnston, the Anfield Housebreaker or whoever-knock later.
                            This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

                            Stan Reid

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It depends on what she was doing later that evening though, doesn't it Stan? For instance, if she was filling a kettle, using the taps full-blast in order to wash a few things, listening to the radio, 'wireless' as they called it in those days, in the sitting room, or doing anything away from the kitchen or front parlour she need not necessarily have noticed a knock on the door.

                              A conspiracy, with the aloof Wallace as a mastermind is an attractive scenario, ColdCase. However, I don't believe in conspiracies of this sort, I'm afraid.

                              Conspiracy to murder Andrew Borden (a very wealthy man) used to be discussed regularly on the Lizzie Borden forum I was on a few years ago. If two or three people plot to commit murder, nine times out of ten it unravels because one of them can't keep their mouth shut afterwards with a spouse, lover, sweetheart, mother, brother.

                              It would take an absolute miracle for two or more people to keep mum for decades following Wallace's death. And what motivation would there be? There's no evidence that Wallace hated or loathed his wife, and even if he did why should men who had no bond with him, no allegiance to him, risk their necks to commit the deed for him? (And in those days it would have been literally a neck risking event.)

                              After all, unless there was direct evidence in the way of a letter or a witness to their transactions all Wallace would have to do would be to deny it afterwards if the others were arrested. Wallace had no money to pay anyone off and would leave himself open to blackmail by his unscrupulous co-conspirators or anyone they'd told.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X