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Move to Murder: Who Killed Julia Wallace?

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  • I'd try Dorothy L. Sayers. She addressed all these points with clarity and objectivity in 1936...

    [and the routes to the tram were totally different between the Monday and Tuesday, in any case]
    "I make a point of never having any prejudices, and of following docilely where fact may lead me..."
    Sherlock Holmes, in The Adventure of The Reigate Squires
    The Accomplice Theory - 'on balance, the best explanation for one of the most puzzling murder cases in British criminal history' - Move to Murder, 2018
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/hc1n5xu7nn...heory.pdf?dl=0

    Compendium of Resources
    https://forum.casebook.org/forum/soc...882#post650882

    Comment


    • Fiddling around with the locks, one of which then opened without apparent difficulty according to the neighbours, is a point against Wallace.

      However, how did he know the Johnston's were about to leave and therefore witness the later stage of his key problem? Surely he was not going to prolong this act until a witness showed up. Or was he intending to knock on their door for assistance when, to his delight, they fortuitously showed up?

      For the so-called perfect murder the last of these actions would have been deficient. If Wallace were guilty he would have lost nothing in credibility by entering the house without difficulty, 'finding' his wife's body, then running next door to the Johnstons.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
        Fiddling around with the locks, one of which then opened without apparent difficulty according to the neighbours, is a point against Wallace.

        However, how did he know the Johnston's were about to leave and therefore witness the later stage of his key problem? Surely he was not going to prolong this act until a witness showed up. Or was he intending to knock on their door for assistance when, to his delight, they fortuitously showed up?

        For the so-called perfect murder the last of these actions would have been deficient. If Wallace were guilty he would have lost nothing in credibility by entering the house without difficulty, 'finding' his wife's body, then running next door to the Johnstons.
        Hi Cobalt. Not sure I agree with this . I mentioned a while ago he was relying on the effect of involving his neighbour in his discovering his wife's body. 'The being locked out and asking the folks next door if they had seen or heard anything odd or suspicious fit the bill nicely'. It did work well for Wallace that the Johnstones were just about to leave , but if they were still inside, I think it would have been seen as a natural ploy to knock on their door, or even the Holmes's on the other side ,to see if they had witnessed anything untoward, and so involving them before managing to access his home. Quite clever I thought.
        Last edited by moste; 01-15-2019, 06:20 PM.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by moste View Post
          That's right,the night before the murder. Securing himself a method of losing a murder weapon. As in preplanning. come on now try and keep up!LOL
          Just an idea as to what may have occurred to Wallace as a means of getting rid of the 12 inch iron bar, much better than dropping it down drains, house cavity's etc. Take a 2 inch thick stick of approximate walking stick dimensions, walk into saint Trinity's church yard sometime previous to the night in question, ( on his way to the chess club would suffice,)preferably just after dark ,force the stick into the soft earth just by the rhododendrons at the side wall of the church, push down a good 12 inches or so, just enough that the iron bar which he will use to commit the murder with, should disappear down nicely. Stick a piece of silver paper from his fag packet in the entrance to the hole, so that he can locate it quickly on returning after the crime. This is just off the top of my head,. I'm sure given the time and thought that Wallace put into this thing, he would have had a much better plan, 'the old sage'.

          Comment


          • Hi Moste,

            I think you are veering off into rubber suit territory here.

            As a contributor to the A6 Case open to a political dimension, do you think that may have been a factor here?

            As late as the 1960s it was possible to seek election at ward level in Liverpool standing on a Protestant ticket. Some politicians of national renown, such as the late Bessie Braddock, used religious affiliation as part of their power base in the city.

            Where there is a Protestant political identity in areas like Liverpool and central Scotland, there is usually an accompanying Freemasonry to give it legal and economic ballast. As a Liberal, Wallace would presumably have been outwith this Unionist identity. However Parry, with his relatives occupying important civic positions within Liverpool, almost certainly would have been. Freemasonry is normally well represented within the police force- the notorious Bert Balmer who rose to high office within the Merseyside Police in the post-war years- was a senior Freemason. Perhaps the Liverpool police were told to go easy on Parry in 1931, until a few years later he discovered he had used his get out of jail card once too often.

            Comment


            • Quote"I think you are veering off into rubber suit territory here."

              Ha Ha Ha . Actually, have you heard the 3rd of 3 1981 Liverpool radio city
              programmes They interview in depth a so called witness to Parry's skulduggery, a Mr. John Parkes. tells an incredible story filled with intrigue,
              where at one point talks of Parry borrowing a policeman's waterproof cape( for crying out loud) and from another person a pair of rubber , thigh high,
              fishing waders! When I heard this I thought I wish we could introduce this Parkes dude to poster Spitfire, 'What great larks eh'?
              Last edited by moste; 01-15-2019, 07:53 PM.

              Comment


              • The John Parkes story.

                https://drive.google.com/file/d/1G4j...b9Gelb0qQ/view

                Comment


                • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
                  Hi Moste,

                  I think you are veering off into rubber suit territory here.

                  As a contributor to the A6 Case open to a political dimension, do you think that may have been a factor here?

                  As late as the 1960s it was possible to seek election at ward level in Liverpool standing on a Protestant ticket. Some politicians of national renown, such as the late Bessie Braddock, used religious affiliation as part of their power base in the city.

                  Where there is a Protestant political identity in areas like Liverpool and central Scotland, there is usually an accompanying Freemasonry to give it legal and economic ballast. As a Liberal, Wallace would presumably have been outwith this Unionist identity. However Parry, with his relatives occupying important civic positions within Liverpool, almost certainly would have been. Freemasonry is normally well represented within the police force- the notorious Bert Balmer who rose to high office within the Merseyside Police in the post-war years- was a senior Freemason. Perhaps the Liverpool police were told to go easy on Parry in 1931, until a few years later he discovered he had used his get out of jail card once too often.
                  Possibly a factor here, but after the fact. Rather than before, and during.
                  I myself am at around 60% Wallace did it . 20% someone from Julia's past Governess days. and 20% Anfield burglar (which wouldn't rule out Parry altogether).

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by moste View Post
                    in the wake of the unthinkable escape from being hanged by the neck until dead!
                    Had the Appeal been lost, I think the Home Secretary (J. R. Clynes) would have commuted the sentence to imprisonment.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
                      Fiddling around with the locks, one of which then opened without apparent difficulty according to the neighbours, is a point against Wallace.

                      However, how did he know the Johnston's were about to leave and therefore witness the later stage of his key problem? Surely he was not going to prolong this act until a witness showed up. Or was he intending to knock on their door for assistance when, to his delight, they fortuitously showed up?

                      For the so-called perfect murder the last of these actions would have been deficient. If Wallace were guilty he would have lost nothing in credibility by entering the house without difficulty, 'finding' his wife's body, then running next door to the Johnstons.
                      Wallace had no way of knowing that the Johnston’s would appear but they weren’t the only potential witnesses. Wallace tried the front door twice and, if the Johnston’s hadn’t arrived, he might have even made a third ‘attempt.’ Wallace had nothing to lose by this but he might easily have been spotted by someone from the houses opposite for example. “Yes I saw Mr Wallace trying three times to get in.” The Holme’s next door might have heard or seen him.

                      Wallace being seen whilst he was ‘unaware’ of the fact might lend credibility to efforts to get to his wife.

                      We have to remember of course that as well as the fact that the back door was in perfect working order this was also the first time ever that Wallace was unable to get in. Wallace was trying to give the impression that Julia’s killer was still in the house. He later, when questioned, had to admit that he had ‘suspected’ that there was someone in the house despite the fact that he tried to avoid admitting to this.
                      Regards

                      Herlock






                      "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact!"

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by moste View Post
                        Quote"I think you are veering off into rubber suit territory here."
                        Strictly it should be "plastic suit with rubber buttons territory" and not "rubber suit territory".

                        Comment


                        • HS,
                          I can see that Wallace might have been trying to create a general impression with his lock difficulties rather than attract the close attention of a particular neighbour.

                          His suspicion that someone was still in the house is a bit puzzling however. If Wallace was guilty then the whole point of the Qualtrough phone call was to create a time slot in which, theoretically, his wife was murdered by an intruder. His fictional thief who had got him out of the house would hardly be careless enough to be still mooching around for valuables two hours later.
                          As a man interested in biology, Wallace would have assumed the time of death could be estimated better than it actually was, which again counts against the culprit hanging around the house any longer than necessary. So I can see little advantage in Wallace’s plan requiring the murderer to have slipped out the front door while he was trying his key in the back door, as it undermines the purpose of the Qualtrough phone call.

                          Can we clarify what exactly Wallace meant by his words? After all, there was still someone in the house when he entered: Julia. Did he just mean that he was confident she was still on the premises, alone or otherwise? For a man who allegedly suspected an ill-intentioned visitor, Wallace seemed pretty relaxed about investigating the house with the assistance of no more than a box of matches. His actions seem more in line with a man who has been sent on a wild goose chase, is frustrated that the door locks are troublesome, and is becoming a little anxious about his wife who has probably gone to bed early due to ill-health.

                          Comment


                          • The Back Door Lock

                            Re: Sarginson

                            Sarah Draper in her police statement said the front door lock had no problems, as far as she was aware, but the back door lock was "defective". On "many occasions" she could not enter and had to ask Julia to let her in.

                            In his statement, Sarginson said the back door lock was "very rusty" and the spring bolt would not naturally return to its normal position.

                            It appears Sarginson gave a misleading/forgetful reply on the stand.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                              Had the Appeal been lost, I think the Home Secretary (J. R. Clynes) would have commuted the sentence to imprisonment.
                              Fair chance. In the 20th Century, only about half the men, and 1-in-10 of the women, who were condemned actually got to meet Mr. Pierrepoint...
                              "I make a point of never having any prejudices, and of following docilely where fact may lead me..."
                              Sherlock Holmes, in The Adventure of The Reigate Squires
                              The Accomplice Theory - 'on balance, the best explanation for one of the most puzzling murder cases in British criminal history' - Move to Murder, 2018
                              https://www.dropbox.com/s/hc1n5xu7nn...heory.pdf?dl=0

                              Compendium of Resources
                              https://forum.casebook.org/forum/soc...882#post650882

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                                Had the Appeal been lost, I think the Home Secretary (J. R. Clynes) would have commuted the sentence to imprisonment.
                                Hi Nick - I'm not so sure of that. It was a vicious murder of a defenceless elderly lady for which Wallace would have been viewed as guilty following a fair trial and full appeal.

                                I don't know much about Clynes' time as Home Secretary but some wife murderers went to the gallows on his watch. Admittedly, the trial judge summed up for an acquittal but so did Gorman J. thirty years later in the case of Hanratty and we know what happened there.

                                Best regards,
                                OneRound

                                Comment

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