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Move to Murder: Who Killed Julia Wallace?

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  • ColdCaseJury
    started a topic Move to Murder: Who Killed Julia Wallace?

    Move to Murder: Who Killed Julia Wallace?

    Hi, after setting up the other Wallace thread (which has over 350k views) I know there is some interest in the case.

    My book, Move To Murder, was due to published last November but was delayed to allow Death of an Actress - my book about the Gay Gibson case - to be released in time for the 70th anniversary of the trial of James Camb for her murder.

    However, today Move to Murder is finally published. For those new to the Wallace case, it is arguably Britain's most baffling unsolved murder. I hope the book will be of interest to those who know about the case, too. It compares and contrasts five theories, including a new one (by a poster to these forums), and publishes original evidence for the first time. This includes:

    - the post mortem report that contradicts expert testimony at the trial;

    - exclusive extracts from Wallace's unpublished memoir that provide his last known thoughts on the murder and his trial;

    - the timing tests conducted by the defence but never used at trial.

    And, best of all, you do not have to agree with my conclusions. You can deliver your verdict on what you believe most likely happened on the ColdCaseJury website. Will the overall verdict of the jury find Wallace guilty? Or will one of the other four theories be endorsed? The result is in your hands.

    If there is interest, this thread will answer specific questions about the book. For general points about the case, see the other thread.

    N.B. The newspaper article is from today's Daily Express (1 Nov 2018).
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ColdCaseJury; 11-01-2018, 08:30 AM.

  • WallaceWackedHer
    replied
    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

    Ive never heard of a jealous mistress being suggested as a solution. I once came up with a scenario for Wallace plus female accomplice which, in theory, answered a couple of the main questions that are raised against Wallace being guilty but there’s no evidence for it of course. I understand that there were rumours of Wallace having another woman but again there’s absolutely no evidence for this and I’m never quite sure if the rumour was current before or at the time of the murder or whether it was something that surfaced later on?

    Lets face it though, it’s pretty much a cliche. The milk man, the rent man, the insurance man, visiting while the husbands at work. It’s almost Benny Hill. Rumours are inevitable. If Wallace did have a mistress he certainly didn’t continue seeing her after the trial and appeal.
    The rumors were in fact contemporary, that is what led police to want to question Sarah Draper if I remember rightly, as someone said he was having an affair with his maid... But moreso the rumors were levelled at Amy Wallace. There isn't evidence, no, so you'd have a very difficult time coming up with any proof...

    Though one thing I will say, is that Wallace was known to often visit and be quite close to Amy - at the same time, Amy's husband Joseph was in another country, so she had no sexual outlet... Further on top of this, we know that Julia did not really enjoy the company of Amy - but Amy dropped by on the day of the murder - a flying visit. Apparently to offer her tickets to attend a show with her? Now, if they weren't such good friends, perhaps you might see that as unusual... But moreso, the important part of her testimony, was that Julia had told her that Wallace was off to meet a client in the Calderstones area on a matter of business... One wonders, was this a lie invented to support the idea that Wallace was truly tricked into going out on business?... We also have the statement from Wallace that a "dog whip" had been missing for 12 months - an odd thing to randomly point out - and there are rumors that Amy indulged in flagellation while in Malaya.

    It would be incredibly difficult to come up with anything concrete, but I think it's possible... And we must remember that Julia was quite old, and allegedly incontinent according to some sources - so perhaps she was unable to provide Wallace with sexual satisfaction.

    Something for your consideration. But yeah, like I said, to formulate this into anything convincing would be very difficult, and require investigative journalism to uncover new evidence.

    Leave a comment:


  • Herlock Sholmes
    replied
    Or even the completely unexplored angle of a jealous mistress. Has anyone ever contemplated that possibility? What is everyone's thoughts on that?
    Ive never heard of a jealous mistress being suggested as a solution. I once came up with a scenario for Wallace plus female accomplice which, in theory, answered a couple of the main questions that are raised against Wallace being guilty but there’s no evidence for it of course. I understand that there were rumours of Wallace having another woman but again there’s absolutely no evidence for this and I’m never quite sure if the rumour was current before or at the time of the murder or whether it was something that surfaced later on?

    Lets face it though, it’s pretty much a cliche. The milk man, the rent man, the insurance man, visiting while the husbands at work. It’s almost Benny Hill. Rumours are inevitable. If Wallace did have a mistress he certainly didn’t continue seeing her after the trial and appeal.

    Leave a comment:


  • WallaceWackedHer
    replied
    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
    I’m the last person to defend the Accomplice theory but on the subject of a killer getting Julia into the Parlour and her not making any noise it’s not impossible that someone could simply have said ““keep quiet and you’ll come to no harm.”” A scared Julia does as she’s told. An unexpected blow from an iron bar wouldn’t have been heard outside of that room. No noise.
    I was thinking a hand over the mouth but what you said is more plausible.

    But you see what I mean, the accomplice theory blatantly needs reworking to enter the realm of plausibility.

    Sadly even your suggestion has slight issue though. One example: I'd expect at least some initial commotion upon discovery of the thief. It's possible he'd preempt her but I should suspect her to intiially be loud. The shoehorning of Julia's mutism is dishonest IMO, we know she screamed when Cadwallader walked into their home, but just in general it's trying to make the puzzle pieces fit when the shapes are all wrong.

    There are also other aspects of the accomplice theory which have not been thought through very well. Think Julia admitting him to wait for Wallace, instead of admitting him to leave a note as she had done before for others.

    Think of Julia's mental state when she has found that the person in her home is a severe threat. She will be on HIGH alert. Now, apparently she's comfortable letting the guy pick up a weapon and walk over to her and we see no dedensive wounds etc. Now unless she was lighting the fire and hit from the blindside, I reject that, I suggest he had his own weapon in such a scenario (where she's on the chair, as Antony suggested).

    Further we have to question the motive of someone who is a total stranger to Julia bludgeoning her to death instead of doing a runner. And the likelihood of such clinical containment of blood that is not tracked out of the room etc. should it have not been part of the plan.

    We can go real into depth with it. With effort we could make a plausible version of the accomplice theory. Although I tend to believe it would be harder to do than making an ironclad case for Wallace or Wallace + helpers...

    Or even the completely unexplored angle of a jealous mistress. Has anyone ever contemplated that possibility? What is everyone's thoughts on that?
    Last edited by WallaceWackedHer; 04-03-2019, 06:20 AM.

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  • Herlock Sholmes
    replied
    I’m the last person to defend the Accomplice theory but on the subject of a killer getting Julia into the Parlour and her not making any noise it’s not impossible that someone could simply have said ““keep quiet and you’ll come to no harm.”” A scared Julia does as she’s told. An unexpected blow from an iron bar wouldn’t have been heard outside of that room. No noise.

    Leave a comment:


  • WallaceWackedHer
    replied
    Originally posted by ColdCaseJury View Post

    Well let's take this one first, WWH. What makes you so confident that Julia - a diffident and frail woman - would shout out? Scream? Bang on the walls? Perhaps you've never been in a situation when you've been paralysed by fear, but it does happen. I know this is not your only objection, but I hope others will see it's not impossible that a shy, diffident 69-year-old artist might not scream out, or bang on the walls. As I wrote: "Her instincts were always to avoid confrontation, and they prevailed even now."
    Very. Very. Very improbable. Are you a legit true crime fanatic or just interested in cold cases? Little old ladies have been brutally slain in their own homes many times. Believe me, people fight and make noise. Others should see that it is essentially impossible... And the claim that she was physically dragged into the parlor and thrown down onto the chair - again obviously making no noise - but where's the coroner's evidence that she had been grabbed in this manner? Does it exist? If it does it's not proof (since she could've been grabbed in any other scenario too), but if it DOESN'T then it pretty much proves this did not happen. Period.

    Originally posted by ColdCaseJury View Post
    But everyone is free to reject the scenario. The reason I include reconstructions is because it's so easy to say something rather than to show it with detail. But pause for thought for a moment, WWH. I know at one time you believed the Wallace's cat was catnapped by the Johnson's and used as a bait to get Julia to leave the house (correct me if I'm wrong). Now my conjecture of Julia's possible reaction is based on her character, the catnap is based on what? The fact the cat was missing on the 20th (and possibly before) is only evidence that the cat was missing, possibly hiding out during the inclement weather, as many cat owner's will attest can happen. So, without other evidence, is this also a stretch to make a theory? Perhaps you would like to offer a reconstruction on how the cat was taken and escaped. As a writer, the image I have of this scenario is the Johnston's father stroking the cat like a sinister Blofeld in the front room of No. 31 until the correct hour to release her. Please disabuse me of this image!
    No I don't really believe they tried to lure Julia from the home by using the cat. The only thing that convinces me is the coincidence matches up well with dementia'd Johnston's confession.

    I have come to believe that, more likely, the cat was removed by Wallace himself. This may have been for noise or any other inteference reasons, Like cats don't really make a lot of noise but... I don't know. It may have been given to someone to gain entry... Either way, but it seems unnecessary to use the cat for entry in that way. It MIGHT be a coincidence but I don't really think so due to the weather... Especially when you consider that the cat magically reappeared the night Julia had been killed.

    Originally posted by ColdCaseJury View Post
    Of course, I don't want you to waste your time writing a 10k critique. Just take pages 120-121, the first two pages of the reconstruction, and fire away. I will answer your points as honestly as I can. Where you make a good criticism, I will acknowledge. Where I differ, I will say why. I don't think I can do more as an author. This is not to defend Accomplice as the correct theory, but only to try to persuade others that it has a probability greater than 1 in 12,000 (or the probability of getting struck by lightning).
    I have the Kindle version of your book, so no page numbers. Why must I be confined to those two pages? The start of the theory is the entire reason it even exists, because it initially makes sense. It's the rest of it that proves it to be the lowest probability scenario as you probably know... When it starts getting into the pantomine of Julia discovering the burglar then losing her voice and being dragged into the parlor, thrown onto the chair, then without any defensive wounding or struggle, an iron bar picked up and smashed down on her head.

    It's clearly fantastical. Do you not agree or see why this is? With only minor effort you could construct a much better and more plausible accomplice theory. Iron out the Laurel and Hardy sketch tier stuff, find a way to make it believable. It's too late now seeing as it's published, but really, it needs an update.
    Last edited by WallaceWackedHer; 04-02-2019, 08:47 PM.

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  • ColdCaseJury
    replied
    Originally posted by WallaceWackedHer View Post

    But I mean just look at some of the things written there. Julia paralyzed by fear so that she could not shout out - well, how very convenient. Not just a stretch to make the theory fit, I'm sure.
    Well let's take this one first, WWH. What makes you so confident that Julia - a diffident and frail woman - would shout out? Scream? Bang on the walls? Perhaps you've never been in a situation when you've been paralysed by fear, but it does happen. I know this is not your only objection, but I hope others will see it's not impossible that a shy, diffident 69-year-old artist might not scream out, or bang on the walls. As I wrote: "Her instincts were always to avoid confrontation, and they prevailed even now."

    But everyone is free to reject the scenario. The reason I include reconstructions is because it's so easy to say something rather than to show it with detail. But pause for thought for a moment, WWH. I know at one time you believed the Wallace's cat was catnapped by the Johnson's and used as a bait to get Julia to leave the house (correct me if I'm wrong). Now my conjecture of Julia's possible reaction is based on her character, the catnap is based on what? The fact the cat was missing on the 20th (and possibly before) is only evidence that the cat was missing, possibly hiding out during the inclement weather, as many cat owner's will attest can happen. So, without other evidence, is this also a stretch to make a theory? Perhaps you would like to offer a reconstruction on how the cat was taken and escaped. As a writer, the image I have of this scenario is the Johnston's father stroking the cat like a sinister Blofeld in the front room of No. 31 until the correct hour to release her. Please disabuse me of this image!

    Of course, I don't want you to waste your time writing a 10k critique. Just take pages 120-121, the first two pages of the reconstruction, and fire away. I will answer your points as honestly as I can. Where you make a good criticism, I will acknowledge. Where I differ, I will say why. I don't think I can do more as an author. This is not to defend Accomplice as the correct theory, but only to try to persuade others that it has a probability greater than 1 in 12,000 (or the probability of getting struck by lightning).

    Leave a comment:


  • WallaceWackedHer
    replied
    Originally posted by ColdCaseJury View Post

    WWH, you may be correct. The apparent scene of premeditation is a good point. But we all agree that if Wallace did it he was still lucky not to get blood on him and, similarly, sometimes an opportunistic murder scene does not look messy. Further, the lack of noise (Julia was extremely diffident and frail) or positioning of the body does not rule out the accomplice theory. Indeed, the positioning of the body in the parlour with evidence of the fire having been lit points to two things, in my opinion:

    a) A visitor actually called.

    b) Wallace killed Julia in the front room to make it appear like (a).

    Now (a) is of course consistent with Accomplice. The position of the body in the parlour does not preclude the scenario which I describe in my book for Accomplice. Read it, WWH. Critique it. It might be wrong, but it's not as implausible as you suggest. However, where all theories break down, in my view, apart from Wallace, is the mackintosh. The person with the greatest motivation to prevent blood spatter is Wallace. And even if Wallace said to a collaborator "kill my wife using the mackintosh to keep things clean" (a little unlikely I would say), why was it placed under Julia's body? Could it be a subtle act to make the deceased more comfortable? Again, that would point to Wallace more than anyone else. The conjunction of both is a powerful argument - perhaps the most powerful - for Herlock.

    P.S. The mackintosh contained two matchsticks that appeared to be placed in a folded seam. It's possible that they were scooped up from the floor. But if you or anyone else has ideas on this, please say. It's always bugged me!

    P.P.S. If the scene firmly points to premeditation, in your view, there is no need to look beyond Wallace, as I say in my book.




    It is ridiculous dude, I'm sorry if it offends you, but man... It really is. I mean, there could be a 10,000 word post on why. But I mean just look at some of the things written there. Julia paralyzed by fear so that she could not shout out - well, how very convenient. Not just a stretch to make the theory fit, I'm sure.

    What's this about a ring with an M on it? Or him saying it was an 18th birthday? It's like partly fictionalized writing and it makes it hard for someone who does not know the case to disregard those things.

    It's like, a whole theory based around a few convenient things which fit, when it absolutely breaks apart everything else. Like I've said many times now... Put two people in the home, you can make a case. Have a scenario where the burglar knows he must kill Julia because she KNOWS him/her and thus would be a witness (this has been seen in other true crimes). Or even a scenario where Wallace really WAS cheating, and an extremely jealous woman went in there to kill Julia Wallace - and, to an extent, to possibly even frame Wallace for the murder, if she felt jilted.

    I mean, there's a lot more plausible scenarios. And some SIGNIFICANTLY more plausible versions of the scenarios you've proposed. I see even that you say her arm was gripped with "python like strength". Was there actually evidence of bruising on her arms in the coroner's report? I mean come on man... Just read it again and tell me you still believe this.

    Julia's silence is SOOOO shoehorned in to make it fit. Quite a few things are actually. All just to make sense of someone other than Parry being able to have committed the crime. I'd be even more inclined to believe it was some random chess club member who knew Wallace's address but was unknown to Julia (if such a person existed). Just sayin'.

    Leave a comment:


  • Herlock Sholmes
    replied
    Antony, to save me spending ages searching can you point me toward where the matches are mentioned?

    Leave a comment:


  • ColdCaseJury
    replied
    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

    Hi Antony,

    Couldn’t Wallace have put the matches in the mackintosh pocket? Maybe during his morning round he lit a cigarette in someone’s house but there wasn’t an ashtray available so he just put the match or matches into his pocket? As the mackintosh was bunched up beneath Julia maybe they just fell out and got caught in the folds?
    Hi Herlock

    It's possible but whether it is probable, I think, depends on where the matches were found in relation to the pockets, which of course we don't know. In my experience, the friction of the pocket sides on something so light as a match would tend to keep them in position rather than let them slip out. But I have no alternative to scenario to offer at the moment. AMB.

    Leave a comment:


  • Herlock Sholmes
    replied
    P.S. The mackintosh contained two matchsticks that appeared to be placed in a folded seam. It's possible that they were scooped up from the floor. But if you or anyone else has ideas on this, please say. It's always bugged me!
    Hi Antony,

    Couldn’t Wallace have put the matches in the mackintosh pocket? Maybe during his morning round he lit a cigarette in someone’s house but there wasn’t an ashtray available so he just put the match or matches into his pocket? As the mackintosh was bunched up beneath Julia maybe they just fell out and got caught in the folds?

    Leave a comment:


  • Abby Normal
    replied
    Originally posted by ColdCaseJury View Post

    WWH, you may be correct. The apparent scene of premeditation is a good point. But we all agree that if Wallace did it he was still lucky not to get blood on him and, similarly, sometimes an opportunistic murder scene does not look messy. Further, the lack of noise (Julia was extremely diffident and frail) or positioning of the body does not rule out the accomplice theory. Indeed, the positioning of the body in the parlour with evidence of the fire having been lit points to two things, in my opinion:

    a) A visitor actually called.

    b) Wallace killed Julia in the front room to make it appear like (a).

    Now (a) is of course consistent with Accomplice. The position of the body in the parlour does not preclude the scenario which I describe in my book for Accomplice. Read it, WWH. Critique it. It might be wrong, but it's not as implausible as you suggest. However, where all theories break down, in my view, apart from Wallace, is the mackintosh. The person with the greatest motivation to prevent blood spatter is Wallace. And even if Wallace said to a collaborator "kill my wife using the mackintosh to keep things clean" (a little unlikely I would say), why was it placed under Julia's body? Could it be a subtle act to make the deceased more comfortable? Again, that would point to Wallace more than anyone else. The conjunction of both is a powerful argument - perhaps the most powerful - for Herlock.

    P.S. The mackintosh contained two matchsticks that appeared to be placed in a folded seam. It's possible that they were scooped up from the floor. But if you or anyone else has ideas on this, please say. It's always bugged me!

    P.P.S. If the scene firmly points to premeditation, in your view, there is no need to look beyond Wallace, as I say in my book.




    match sticks in in the mac-point to Julia wearing the mac around her shoulders and lighting the parlor fireplace when she was killed-which I guess points to the visitor killer. or simply Wallace had previously put them in there after lighting something and it has nothing to do with anything.

    Leave a comment:


  • ColdCaseJury
    replied
    Originally posted by WallaceWackedHer View Post

    I don't disrespect Antony. If you read carefully you'll see I only throw shade at the ridiculous idea that is being proposed as the best solution. How can anyone believe that? I'm simply incredulous he can believe it with his knowledge and skills of logical reasoning. It's like bizarro world tier.

    If someone attaches their actual self and identity to theories about a cold case that's probably not a good thing.

    Anyone running with the accomplice theory presented by Antony needs to alter it to remove the near impossibilities.

    As I mentioned I can reference many true crimes where a person was burgled and murdered DESPITE not having discovered the person was thieving, simply to silence the witness, because he/she was known to her. But in all those cases much more was taken and the place ransacked after the killing. There were also mistakes like bloody boot prints left, since it wasn't premeditated... But still you could seal a few plotholes.

    The accomplice theory as proposed in Move to Murder has too many glaring plotholes.
    WWH, you may be correct. The apparent scene of premeditation is a good point. But we all agree that if Wallace did it he was still lucky not to get blood on him and, similarly, sometimes an opportunistic murder scene does not look messy. Further, the lack of noise (Julia was extremely diffident and frail) or positioning of the body does not rule out the accomplice theory. Indeed, the positioning of the body in the parlour with evidence of the fire having been lit points to two things, in my opinion:

    a) A visitor actually called.

    b) Wallace killed Julia in the front room to make it appear like (a).

    Now (a) is of course consistent with Accomplice. The position of the body in the parlour does not preclude the scenario which I describe in my book for Accomplice. Read it, WWH. Critique it. It might be wrong, but it's not as implausible as you suggest. However, where all theories break down, in my view, apart from Wallace, is the mackintosh. The person with the greatest motivation to prevent blood spatter is Wallace. And even if Wallace said to a collaborator "kill my wife using the mackintosh to keep things clean" (a little unlikely I would say), why was it placed under Julia's body? Could it be a subtle act to make the deceased more comfortable? Again, that would point to Wallace more than anyone else. The conjunction of both is a powerful argument - perhaps the most powerful - for Herlock.

    P.S. The mackintosh contained two matchsticks that appeared to be placed in a folded seam. It's possible that they were scooped up from the floor. But if you or anyone else has ideas on this, please say. It's always bugged me!

    P.P.S. If the scene firmly points to premeditation, in your view, there is no need to look beyond Wallace, as I say in my book.





    Leave a comment:


  • WallaceWackedHer
    replied
    Originally posted by moste View Post
    You didn't mention 'walking past the parlour this time ,did you? Lol. That's where the action had been and Wallace knew it!

    ,I have a strange feeling of foreboding Think I need to get home now!

    WWH I don't think it's necessary to be disrespectful to Anthony, a lot of what you say is pure blather

    anyway.

    Here's a good tip .Dont drink

    and post. If you 'don't 'drink and post , you make a good impersonation of one that does.

    You haven't made assistant commissioner yet dude.Have a nice day.
    I don't disrespect Antony. If you read carefully you'll see I only throw shade at the ridiculous idea that is being proposed as the best solution. How can anyone believe that? I'm simply incredulous he can believe it with his knowledge and skills of logical reasoning. It's like bizarro world tier.

    If someone attaches their actual self and identity to theories about a cold case that's probably not a good thing.

    Anyone running with the accomplice theory presented by Antony needs to alter it to remove the near impossibilities.

    As I mentioned I can reference many true crimes where a person was burgled and murdered DESPITE not having discovered the person was thieving, simply to silence the witness, because he/she was known to her. But in all those cases much more was taken and the place ransacked after the killing. There were also mistakes like bloody boot prints left, since it wasn't premeditated... But still you could seal a few plotholes.

    The accomplice theory as proposed in Move to Murder has too many glaring plotholes.

    Leave a comment:


  • moste
    replied
    You didn't mention 'walking past the parlour this time ,did you? Lol. That's where the action had been and Wallace knew it!

    ,I have a strange feeling of foreboding Think I need to get home now!

    WWH I don't think it's necessary to be disrespectful to Anthony, a lot of what you say is pure blather

    anyway.

    Here's a good tip .Dont drink

    and post. If you 'don't 'drink and post , you make a good impersonation of one that does.

    You haven't made assistant commissioner yet dude.Have a nice day.
    Last edited by moste; 04-02-2019, 03:45 AM.

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