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** The Murder of Julia Wallace **

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  • Originally posted by Ven View Post
    Hmmm .. give me details Herlock, there is nothing to say he discussed it before TEA
    Im not stating as a fact I’m just saying that perhaps this might have been the case.

    If someone said to me “did you tell Fred to do x” and I replied by saying “yes, I told him at teatime,” would this mean that I couldn’t also have mentioned it to Fred earlier in the day? I’m just talking possibilities.

    Regards

    Herlock



    “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

    “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

    ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

    Comment


    • If Wallace was guilty the thing that puzzles me is why things happened as they did.
      The rest of this post is a musing, not necessarily amusing.

      <skip>

      It is as though Wallace had a cunning plan. For some reason he wants rid of his wife. Fortunately for him the word on the street is largely of the view that his is a happy enough marriage - I mean, in 30s Britain who could be said to be actually happy. So the real reason must remain a secret. All other reasons must be eliminated: more on this later.

      Now, he reckons if he murders his wife, he will surely hang. Yes he is expert in chemistry, but even 30s forensics could detect the most obvious poisons. And suppose he can convince the police he is not guilty, unlikely as that is, since suspecting the husband is possibly rule 1 in the murder investigation handbook. Then people will talk. "He got off, you can't kid me, I don't trust the cold little man, I'm going to ask the Pru for another agent." Before long he will be out of a job, vilified. OK, he has to go to trial. Now what if he is found not guilty? People will now talk of technicalities and the bungling police and prosecution. So, he must be found guilty, despite there being almost no motive, no evidence, an almost alibi, and a near impossible opportunity. Then the good judges of the Appeal Court will have to release him, and people may still shake their heads, but in 30s Britain most people believed in the majesty of British Justice.

      Good plan, eh? Worthy of Baldrick, very unlikely to end up hung. Bear with me.

      So how to be convicted when there was nothing to convict him with. The answer was to ensure the latter while maximizing suspicion: suspicion of the police, and suspicion by the Jury.
      To ensure the there was no reason to convict:
      - as said, no motive known: neither for insurance money, bitter quarrelling, pure hatred, known domestic violence
      - his wife would need to be murdered in the most out of character way possible. A violent and bloody coup in her own sitting room. Bludgeoned by a man known for quiet and unassuming hobbies and pursuits, never known to harm a flea.
      - there would be no blood attached to him, his clothes, coats, shoes, etc, despite the blood being everywhere
      - the murder weapon would never be found
      - the timeframe must be almost impossible, between the milk boy leaving, and having to dash off to the tram to take him to Menlove
      - he must have a cast iron reason for being out of the house long enough for an interloper to call
      - and the confirmation of most of the denizens of Liverpool that he was out and about far away for hours, at precise times and places

      To ensure suspicion:
      - he must be stoic. No emotion. This would convince the police by a large margin: they would be determined to get their man
      - maybe Wallace himself put it about that he was "sexually odd". Anyway he told the police he owned a missing dog-whip, but no dog.
      - somehow he must have a reputation for deviousness and cunning. Such as, a chess player! But the police wouldn't bring that up, neither the defence. So it must become an integral part of the whole business. He was rung at the Chess Club while he wasn't there. Qualtrough gave him a reason to be out, and everyone knew it, and more importantly, that he played chess, real chess, get up and go out in the cold for a game kind of chess. The Jury in particular would assume this showed a capacity for cold planning and subterfuge. (If I play so, he will think this, and do that, so falling into my trap, since I actually intend to ... - I expect most people think chess-players think like that (er, they do, Ed).)
      - And in court, he must show complete sang-froid. When the prosecution relate the bloody deed, and show the awful pictures of his poor wife to the Jury, describing in lurid detail her suffering, and how blow upon blow took her last innocent breath on earth away; yes, that is when the white faced Jurors would look over to the dock, that is when they need to be convinced the man is a monster, a psychopath, a murderer.

      </skip>

      So, do you believe this was his plan? (It worked.)
      I dont. But I still cannot see why things happened as they did.



      Comment


      • Hi Dupin,

        I get what you’re saying but I’d say..

        There is easily enough to suggest that the Wallace’s marriage wasn’t the happy one that has been suggested combined with the fact that Wallace had a serious illness which was likely to shorten his life; indeed it did shorten his life. The combination of the suggestion of discontent with the fact of his illness provides at least a possible motive. Motives aren’t always discovered though of course.

        We have a woman without a known enemy in the world. And certainly no one that would generate enough feeling to kill her in such an unnecessarily brutal way. We also know that the majority of these type of murders are by a family member; someone close.

        We have a phone call which gets William out of the house on a Tuesday evening. How many people knew that William was a member of the Chess Club....very few. How many knew for certain that he would attend the chess club on that Monday...none. So we have a plan by an unknown to get William out of the house.

        If the plan fails how many other ways would there have been to get William out of the house on a Tuesday evening? And would William have been so gullible as to fall for a second attempt to get him out of the house? So the plan needs to have a very good chance of success. It needs few things that could go wrong. Ok.

        1. Wallace just decides that he can’t be bothered making this journey on a winters evening and he’s not compelled to go out of duty to the company. 2. Wallace has other plans for the evening. 3. He thinks the phone call is strange and it makes him suspicious so he doesn’t go. 4. Wallace doesn't go to chess. 5. Someone forgets to pass on the message. 6. Someone at the club tells him that there’s no Menlove Gardens East. 7. Wallace consults a map or a directory and finds...no Menlove Gardens East. Any one of these perfectly simple occurrences and the plan crumbles.

        So Wallace kills Julia. He has around 10 minutes or maybe more. The murder would have taken no more than a minute. He plans to protect himself from blood spatter and so requires no clean up. 10 minutes is therefore more than ample time.

        He then takes a tram route that evidence tells us that he’s familiar with to an area that he’s familiar with. Of course I’m not suggesting that we can say that he knew the area like the back of his hand or that he knew the side streets but he certainly wasn’t a complete stranger to the area. Yet this is what he keeps telling conductors and an inspector. Wallace is an intelligent, middle aged man who’s used to getting around and yet on this particular night he acts like a lost child.

        Wallace was a methodical, well organised man especially in business and yet he turns up for a meeting in a very large area that he’s supposed to be unfamiliar with, to look for a road that he’s never heard of, with only 10 minutes to spare. For all he’d known MGE might have been 20 minutes walk or more away.

        He almost immediately realised that this place doesn’t exist (his conversation with Katie Mather) but on he goes. Sydney Green tells him it doesn’t exist but on he goes. PC Sergeant tells him it doesn’t exist but he still wants to see a directory (why? Does he think that the policeman is lying? Or that he doesn’t know the area?) He finally gives up and goes home.

        When he gets back, for the first time ever, he can’t get in. He says that the front door was bolted but we only have his word for that. The backdoor certainly wasn’t though. It only won’t let him in, for the first time since he’d lived there, on the night that his wife lies dead inside.

        He then goes inside and through two rooms desperate to find his wife. At the kitchen door the parlour door is within reach. A work of 2 seconds and he either finds his wife or eliminates the room. No, he goes upstairs and saves the parlour until last.

        At the crime scene we find the mackintosh. It’s suggested that Julia put it over her shoulders, either to open the door or to light the fire. And yet she didn’t put it over her shoulders to go outside the the back gate with William. How did it from over her shoulders to bunched up underneath her as she fell onto her front. Is there another explanation for the presence of the mackintosh? Like it was used by the killer.

        The room is bloody but there’s no blood anywhere else. Why would a thief be careful? William on the other hand had to go to MGE and so
        had to be careful.

        If the killer intended to take the box without Julia knowing then he was fully prepared to be identified by her. So why kill her? And not just that how vicious a beating would it have taken to kill a frail 70 year old woman.

        ......

        I can understand why someone would think Wallace innocent Dupin. I’ve no issue with that. He might have been. My own opinion is that he was the likeliest killer by a mile. I don’t think that any other solution, theory or suspect even comes close. This is why my response was such a long one. It’s certainly not critical of your post it was just meant as my ‘case for the Prosecution’ if you like.

        Regards

        Herlock



        “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

        “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

        ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

        Comment


        • The prosecution offered no motive, so I don't think it is that easy to say that they had an unhappy marriage.

          Even so the unnecessarily brutal aspect of the attack would normally point to Wallace, as it is characteristic of a domestic. However, such a domestic is usually something that is built up to, an argument that escalates and gets out of hand. In this case we are expected to believe that there was patient planning and plotting right up to when the milkman called and then, suddenly: frenzied attack!

          Comment


          • Originally posted by NickB View Post
            The prosecution offered no motive, so I don't think it is that easy to say that they had an unhappy marriage.

            Even so the unnecessarily brutal aspect of the attack would normally point to Wallace, as it is characteristic of a domestic. However, such a domestic is usually something that is built up to, an argument that escalates and gets out of hand. In this case we are expected to believe that there was patient planning and plotting right up to when the milkman called and then, suddenly: frenzied attack!
            I agree that it’s not a given that they had an unhappy marriage but it’s possible and there are at least pointers to this which I don’t think should be ignored. If there had been a build up of resentment on William’s part which resulted in a plan to kill her he might only have intended maybe one or two blows; just enough to kill her. A build up of anger might have spilled out resulting as it did. Or maybe, and this could apply to a non-Wallace killer of course, the blows were in panic. Not being sure when she was actually dead?

            .....

            The A6 thread is quiet at the moment Nick? Is there nothing new on the horizon? I keep expectimg to hear of a new book on the case.
            Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 01-29-2021, 08:44 PM.
            Regards

            Herlock



            “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

            “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

            ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Ven View Post
              LOL, Iet's get back to the facts, the use of Dinner or Tea
              Easy one. Working class folk, always referred to the meal around or just after noon as dinner. Around 6pm = Tea.

              Comment


              • Irregular time frames for his street movements will most likely be a result of ‘not finding anyone home and having to return’ much to his disappointment. Simple as.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Dupin View Post
                  If Wallace was guilty the thing that puzzles me is why things happened as they did.

                  So, do you believe this was his plan? (It worked.)
                  I dont. But I still cannot see why things happened as they did.
                  Hi Dupin

                  Like Herlock, based on what we know, I think it is more likely that Wallace killed his wife than someone else did.

                  If we do as you have - try and put ourselves in the mind of a pre murder guilty Wallace, is what happened what Wallace would have planned? As your post makes clear, surely not.

                  We don't know Wallace was guilty, but if he was maybe his thinking went something like this
                  * he must have known he would be a prime suspect, so he wanted to set up an alibi. Hence his plan.
                  * Not only does it give him a reason to be out of the house, by introducing Qualtrough, it throws in a different suspect.
                  * Also, he introduces the burglary motive - and there had been a spate of burglaries.
                  He probably thought this would lead the police away from him. He expected to get off scot free, reputation intact and garnering sympathy from his friends and colleagues. Clever man.

                  So what went wrong? A few things perhaps, including:
                  * the call was traced to the phone box not far from Wallace's home
                  * he overdid his getting noticed in the MGE area
                  * he didn't do a great job of making the burglary seem real

                  Nevertheless - it was good enough that he eventually escaped the noose.



                  Comment


                  • I believe there is every reason to consider that Wallace left the scene at his house in a condition that would obfuscate the police.I think he was more cunning than people give him credit.

                    Yes Herlock all dried up on the A6 thread . I was hoping maybe this guy ‘Mark John Maguire’may have covered the case, but all of his cases seem to be scrunched into 30 ish minutes . Perhaps he feels he would need a couple of Hours to do James Hanratty Justice.

                    Comment


                    • Quote : Either guilty or innocent, Wallace tells the police all about the cash box. I know many disagree, but my feeling here (and it is intuition, what else have we to go on?) is that this is a weak pointer to innocence.
                      Hi CCJ , Could it be envisioned then that the intruder having climbed up the cupboard, maybe using the cupboard door for a peg up, he is in the process of dealing with the cash box when surprise surprise Julia is heard coming down the stairs, so replaces the cash box .Is this an example of the pointer to Wallace’s innocence you mention?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                        The A6 thread is quiet at the moment Nick?
                        If only Julia had survived, id'd her attacker and this was confirmed by a DNA test. Then this would be a real mystery!


                        Originally posted by etenguy View Post
                        * Not only does it give him a reason to be out of the house, by introducing Qualtrough, it throws in a different suspect.
                        I think the suspect Wallace wanted to throw in was Parry. When the police asked Wallace if Julia would have let in Qualtough he said yes, and Oliver then ran with this as his theory at the trial. But I don't think Wallace was ever happy with this aspect of the defence, as he continued to finger Parry in his subsequent writings.


                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by NickB View Post

                          If only Julia had survived, id'd her attacker and this was confirmed by a DNA test. Then this would be a real mystery!

                          Regards

                          Herlock



                          “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

                          “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

                          ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by moste View Post
                            I believe there is every reason to consider that Wallace left the scene at his house in a condition that would obfuscate the police.I think he was more cunning than people give him credit.

                            Yes Herlock all dried up on the A6 thread . I was hoping maybe this guy ‘Mark John Maguire’may have covered the case, but all of his cases seem to be scrunched into 30 ish minutes . Perhaps he feels he would need a couple of Hours to do James Hanratty Justice.

                            It does seem strange that there seems to be only 2 major books on the case. I’d have thought that someone would have tackled the subject again by now especially after the DNA?
                            Regards

                            Herlock



                            “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

                            “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

                            ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by NickB View Post


                              I think the suspect Wallace wanted to throw in was Parry. When the police asked Wallace if Julia would have let in Qualtough he said yes, and Oliver then ran with this as his theory at the trial. But I don't think Wallace was ever happy with this aspect of the defence, as he continued to finger Parry in his subsequent writings.
                              Hi Nick - you're quite right that about Wallace suggesting Parry in his subsequent writings. But if he was guilty, did he start out by trying to frame Parry? Maybe. He certainly gave the police information which might suggest that.



                              Comment


                              • Just watched/listened to a ‘They got away with murder ‘ a ‘Mark John Maguire’ oration on YouTube, ‘The murder of George Harry Storrs’ entitled ‘For whom the bell tolls’ from 1909 ,both fascinating and thought provoking ,when considering the Will Wallace mystery. I have entertained the notion of Wallace being Homosexual in the past, and this somehow leading to the murder of his wife.Just another possible angle.
                                Last edited by moste; 01-30-2021, 01:10 AM. Reason: Added date

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