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Move to Murder: Who Killed Julia Wallace?

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  • OK,
    I accept the distinction between a planned murder, and a murder in the course of a planned burglary which went wrong. Which speaks to Wallace's innocence of course.

    Comment


    • I just love co-incidences...

      We know the Qualtrough caller pronounced Café in a highfalutin' manner, as ca-FAY
      [source: telephonist Dorothy Kerr (Carr?), 20th January 1981, Radio City phone-in]

      The door in the middle led to the City Café.
      For a while, to the right, there was an unconscious tribute to Qualtrough...
      Attached Files
      Last edited by RodCrosby; 01-20-2019, 02:52 AM.
      "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/s0jpn0kyuq...heory.pdf?dl=0

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

      Comment


      • For those of an architectural bent, the building is Grade-II listed, one of several thousand listed in Liverpool. Harrington Chambers was built in the 1840s.
        A stuccoed office building with a slate roof. It is in four storeys with an attic. There are 13 bays on North John Street, one bay on Harrington Street, and a curved bay between them. On the ground floor are modern shop fronts. Two pedimented granite entrances and pediments on consoles. Above them, the bays are divided by panelled giant pilasters. Lettering over 2nd floor: "HARRINGTON CHAMBERS" The windows are sashes. Gambrel roof has dormers with alternate segmental and triangular pediments, some later round ones..





        "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/s0jpn0kyuq...heory.pdf?dl=0

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

        Comment


        • On his way home on the Monday night, Wallace walks a short distance along North John Street to the corner of Lord Street to catch his tram,
          near the famous Liverpool jewellers Boodle & Dunthorne.

          He spends most of his journey home with his friends, Caird and Bethune, talking chess.

          Once they alight near St Margaret's Church in Anfield, the conversation turns to Qualtrough...
          Caird says he has only ever heard of one person by that name.
          They discuss the route to Menlove Gardens East. Caird suggests taking the bus from Queens' Drive.
          Wallace says he has decided to take the tram instead, although he is not certain he will go at all.

          The conversation then turns to Wallace's recurring kidney complaint....



          Last edited by RodCrosby; 01-20-2019, 04:58 AM.
          "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/s0jpn0kyuq...heory.pdf?dl=0

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

          Comment


          • Originally posted by RodCrosby View Post
            a) Why does Wallace rely on the suspicious "wild-goose-chase" alibi, when he could have arranged for his wife to be killed on the Monday, when he was surrounded by a dozen people, while cogitating the Knight's Move?

            b) We know there was no visitor expected on the Tuesday. Julia invited Amy Wallace to stay for tea, told her about WHW's appointment, yet mentioned no visitor.

            c) There was no reason for Wallace to want his wife to die. Certainly no objective reason, and his diaries all before the murder, and even more so after the murder right up his own death reveal his devastation at her loss..
            Rod - to respond now to your points.

            a) IF Wallace was responsible for his wife's death as some maintain, your comment still applies whether he got an accomplice to kill Julia or did it himself provided he could create sufficient doubt as to the time available for him to do it. Although your comment doesn't rule out the possibility of an accomplice, I agree with you that Wallace forever seeking a non-existent man in a non-existent street was not helpful to the predicament he later found himself in. It certainly created doubt though - not sufficient for the jury at the time but more than enough for everyone else over the following decades.

            b) Please allow me to clarify. IF Wallace told Julia there would be a visitor and to look out for him and let him in should he arrive before Wallace was back - given the visitor in this scenario was the accomplice who would actually kill Julia, it was vital to Wallace that he only told Julia at the last moment before going out so that she would not have the time or occasion to tell anyone else, such as Amy Wallace.

            c) The diaries seem to support Wallace although we can't really set much store by them. Reputation and legacy have been reasons for some murderers to continue to proclaim their innocence to the grave despite in their cases overwhelming evidence to the contrary. As for there being, ''no reason for Wallace to want his wife to die'': this may be somewhat obtuse but, as a world renowned expert on the case, I trust you will allow me it. My late uncle was a world renowned physician. I vividly recall a conversation with him when I was speaking proudly (? bragging) of my own good health. I commented that I had been in hospital only once as a patient and that was to have my appendix removed which serves no purpose. His reply, which caused me to think again about my health, was, ''It serves no purpose that we have yet found out.''


            I would again emphasise that I am not championing ''Wallace and an accomplice did it''. Just like etenguy's recent posts concerning Wallace's neighbours, I do though feel it's a possibility worthy of some consideration unless shown to be a clear non-runner.

            OneRound

            Comment


            • Hey that's fine, OneRound. I accept b) although I understand Amy Wallace had been expected on the Tuesday, casting severe doubt on any murder plan involving Wallace (she might still have been in the house in the early evening!)

              No problem looking at alternative theories objectively. If we do, we will find no evidence for them, and will invariably find evidential and logical difficulties which point against...
              There is really only one theory for which there is any evidence at all and which is logically sound.
              Last edited by RodCrosby; 01-20-2019, 12:26 PM.
              "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/s0jpn0kyuq...heory.pdf?dl=0

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

              Comment


              • ColdCaseJury has emphasised the importance of the telephone call to the Chess Club in trying to understand who murdered Julia Wallace. This has been agreed by a number of posters to this thread. It seems to me that it would, therefore, be useful to examine the call in some detail. I approach this analysis from the point of view of having no preferred suspect and will try to be objective.

                Time of the call
                The time of the call can be set reasonably accurately as between 7.15pm and 7.20pm on Monday 19th January 1931. Does this timing help us understand who made the call. I would suggest on its own it does not. Wallace could have made the call and arrived at the Chess Club when he did, around 7.45pm. Someone watching for Wallace to leave could also have made the call, including Parry whose movements during that time have been shown to be unknown.

                Location of the phone box
                The phone box from which the call was made is approximately 400 yards from Wallace’s home at 29 Wolverton Street. This allows for both Wallace and someone else who was watching Wallace’s home to have made the call.
                However, the establishment of the location of the phone box from which the call was made was facilitated by the caller going through the telephone exchange to make the connection. This raises some questions:
                • If the caller was Wallace, surely he would not have wanted to facilitate the establishment of the phone box from which the call was made as close to his home. I think it reasonable to expect Wallace to have known that using the exchange would make identifying the location from where the call was made fairly straight forward. This, I think, suggests it is unlikely Wallace made the call.
                • If the caller was not Wallace, they may either have not cared if the phone box location was established or may have wanted the location established to point to Wallace being able to have made the call himself. If the latter, it suggests a motive beyond robbery, and perhaps it was Wallace the caller was trying to harm – by murdering his wife and putting Wallace in the frame for her murder.

                Before moving onto the contents of the call, It might be useful to hear if any other posters agree or disagree with the above logic, and which option they find most compelling - or indeed if they have a logical argument for a different option.

                Comment


                • I do not necessarily accept a causal link between the call and the murder. I think the ‘coincidence’ of there not being one is less difficult to accept than the contortions most other theories have to go through. However, I recognise that I plough a lonely furrow.

                  Comment


                  • Hi Eten - that all seems sound.

                    In line with the comments in your posts, I very much doubt that the caller was Wallace. Add to that, Caird's insistence it wasn't Wallace which I'm sure you'll cover in a subsequent post.

                    As for motive - I speculated some time ago that it might have gone beyond robbery. My thinking was not to go so far as to suggest it was to murder Julia and frame Wallace but to embarrass him; whilst he was out on a fool's errand licking his lips at the thought of a juicy commission, his home was being done over and his work takings being stolen. Thus, an embarrassing robbery being the intention rather than murder. Speculation again on my part although it does seem to rather go along with Rod's thinking.

                    Regards,
                    OneRound

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                      I do not necessarily accept a causal link between the call and the murder. I think the ‘coincidence’ of there not being one is less difficult to accept than the contortions most other theories have to go through. However, I recognise that I plough a lonely furrow.
                      If no causal link then, some random makes a hoax call AND either

                      a) another random just happens to effect an unforced entry on the Tuesday and kills Julia. We might ask how, and how would he know Wallace would be out, to even consider trying?

                      b) or Wallace decides on the spur of the moment (during Monday night/Tuesday) to kill Julia before leaving for the appointment. He of course does not know it is a hoax. Aside from the sheer lack of evidence pointing to Wallace, we might ask why would a mere appointment crystallize a murderous design in Wallace's head? Assuming he was capable of performing such a traceless murder, he could have murdered Julia on the Monday night, or any similar night where he had an appointment, with the self-same explanation "When I left she was alive. She was dead when I returned..."
                      "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/s0jpn0kyuq...heory.pdf?dl=0

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

                      Comment


                      • Rod,

                        On the Yo Liverpool forum you posted:

                        “For me, this much is clear.
                        Wallace didn't make the phone call and didn't kill Julia.
                        Parry did make the phone call, but didn't kill Julia.

                        And that, sadly, is as much as I believe we'll ever know with confidence...”
                        Even this goes further than many would be prepared to go, yet it is not inconsistent with my theory of a Parry prank call followed by someone wandering the streets looking for burglary opportunities who saw Wallace leave the house.

                        It is difficult to calculate how much of a ‘coincidence’ this would be because there is a strong desire (which I also feel) to believe that the two incidents are connected. Without a causal link the case loses much of its charm. But sometimes it does take a ‘coincidence’ to explain a strange case.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by RodCrosby View Post
                          If no causal link then, some random makes a hoax call AND either

                          a) another random just happens to effect an unforced entry on the Tuesday and kills Julia. We might ask how, and how would he know Wallace would be out, to even consider trying?

                          b) or Wallace decides on the spur of the moment (during Monday night/Tuesday) to kill Julia before leaving for the appointment. He of course does not know it is a hoax. Aside from the sheer lack of evidence pointing to Wallace, we might ask why would a mere appointment crystallize a murderous design in Wallace's head? Assuming he was capable of performing such a traceless murder, he could have murdered Julia on the Monday night, or any similar night where he had an appointment, with the self-same explanation "When I left she was alive. She was dead when I returned..."
                          I think the purpose of the call is important to consider, and Nick is right to suggest one option is it is a prank call and not directly related to the murder (P D James also suggested this).

                          Rod's challenge to that option is strong. Two random unconnected events (a) above) is a highly unlikely coincidence, but not impossible.
                          b) is also unlikely but might be a little more likely, if Wallace had murderous intent, he may have seized on this call thinking his alibi would be his meeting with Qualtrough. Rod is correct, he could have chosen any appointment to do this, but perhaps he felt this was a particularly good opportunity. Whether he knew the call was a hoax or not does not matter in this scenario, Wallace had an evening appointment which would constitute his alibi.

                          The other two options for the call purpose we have discussed extensively:
                          1. The call was part of a plan for Wallace to establish an alibi
                          2. The call was intended to get Wallace out of the house in order that a crime could be committed (and potentially to furnish a criminal with an excuse to gain entry into the house).

                          These last two options suggest agency rather than coincidence. I think with such a murder as was committed the next day, agency is a considerably stronger explanation than coincidence. Clearly the police connected the two and most people who have commented on the case agree, but there is an outside possibility that it merely was coincidence.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                            Rod,

                            On the Yo Liverpool forum you posted:



                            Even this goes further than many would be prepared to go, yet it is not inconsistent with my theory of a Parry prank call followed by someone wandering the streets looking for burglary opportunities who saw Wallace leave the house.

                            It is difficult to calculate how much of a ‘coincidence’ this would be because there is a strong desire (which I also feel) to believe that the two incidents are connected. Without a causal link the case loses much of its charm. But sometimes it does take a ‘coincidence’ to explain a strange case.
                            Hi Nick

                            I start from the position that there must be a causal link between the call and the crime (my bias). One of your two suggestions allows for that.

                            Your option that it was an opportunitic crime by someone seeing Wallace leave the house has a number of challenges which I believe makes it highly unlikely - they are:
                            1. the criminal would not know how long Wallace would be gone
                            2. the criminal would not know who else was in the house
                            3. the criminal would need to find a way in and there was no sign of forced entry.
                            4. the criminal might knock at the house but would then need to force entry past Julia (possible but risky if he did not know whether anyone else was at home).
                            5. Wallace left by the back entry - not a thoroughfare - so unlikely to be seen leaving a specific house (unless the criminal also coincidentally knew who Wallace was and where he lived).
                            For these reason I suggest this option is highly unlikely.

                            Your second option of Wallace seizing on an opportunity which falls in his lap does link the call and the crime - if indirectly. This is the stronger of the two options you suggest in my opinion. Though this means that Wallace was the murderer and we need to establish evidence of that from other information. I can find no significant challenge to this theory except that if Wallace was intent on murdering his wife, I think it more likely he would make a plan and follow it than wait for an unexpected opportunity - but this is possible when we consider only the phone call. When we consider other evidence this option may have greater challenge.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by etenguy View Post
                              • If the caller was not Wallace, they may either have not cared if the phone box location was established or may have wanted the location established to point to Wallace being able to have made the call himself. If the latter, it suggests a motive beyond robbery, and perhaps it was Wallace the caller was trying to harm – by murdering his wife and putting Wallace in the frame for her murder.
                              If the caller was not Wallace, then Wallace was (probably**) telling the truth about where he boarded the tram [nowhere near the phone-box]. It seems an unlikely and uncertain way to try to frame someone, based on a mere assumption that Wallace would not be able to prove he was no-where near the box, by him, for example, bumping into an acquaintance at the Breck/Belmont Road stop.

                              A perp would not surely rely on the Liverpool Police making no effort to verify Wallace's movements on the Monday night with tram conductors, etc. Although (it seems) that is in fact exactly what happened, due to Police 'tunnel vision'!

                              Personally, I would discount the 'framing' theory, and other evidence points to 'robbery' rather than murder as the intention, in any case...

                              **it's theoretically possible an innocent Wallace did board at the stop near the box, but decided to lie out of fear. But there's no evidence he lied about anything else, and that would all turn on when Wallace found out about the location of the box - before or after he described his Monday night route in his second statement on 22nd January. [not sure]
                              "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/s0jpn0kyuq...heory.pdf?dl=0

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

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                                Rod,

                                On the Yo Liverpool forum you posted:
                                Yes but I am surely referring there to the identity of the killer, not necessarily the shape of the crime.
                                Please don't try and take my words from 11 years ago out of context.
                                I was (and am) entitled to keep thinking!
                                Last edited by RodCrosby; 01-20-2019, 04:18 PM.
                                "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/s0jpn0kyuq...heory.pdf?dl=0

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

                                Comment

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