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** The Murder of Julia Wallace **

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  • Originally posted by moste View Post
    I do think it rather odd though, that Stephen Qs. discovery, was that all of his relations were settled in the concentration of Wallace’s neighbourhoods.


    It’s not surprising if they knew one another beforehand and chose to relocate close to one another in Liverpool.

    I wonder if they were from the mainland. The “Cumbrian Connection” is interesting in the choice of street names in that area. Windermere, Grasmere, Coniston, Ullswater, Thirlmere...

    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

    It certainly shows that Wallace or anyone else might easily have come across the name somehow and it stuck in their mind as unusual.


    Do we know where Parry was living at the time? Might he, just as much as Wallace, have come across that Qualtrough nameboard on the carpenter’s shop in Windermere Street?

    Another question that occurs to me, whether it’s significant or not, is whether there was any reason why the name given in the telephone message had to be a rare and unusual one. Not a common one like Adams, Bishop, Clark, Davis, or Evans (even down to Wilson, Xavier, Young, or Zimmerman), but something weird and wonderful (though equally real), like Puddephat, Gotobed, Birdwhistle, or Jellinek. Or in this instance, Qualtrough. (Seriously, my mother used to know a lady named Miss Gotobed, which surely belonged in John Train’s “Remarkable Names of Real People.” And there used to be a judge named Lionel Jellinek who, rather like Wallace, played the viola, and also like Wallace, played it rather badly.)

    It may of course mean nothing, and Qualtrough was just the name that came to the caller’s mind, having stuck in his mind simply because it was unusual. But if there was a reason, did it have to do with the caller’s expectation of how Wallace might react to an unusual name? Might Wallace be intrigued and go on searching longer for a Qualtrough than he would for an Adams, a Bishop, or a Clark, and thus be kept out of the way for longer? If the caller was Wallace himself, it wouldn’t matter what name he gave, since he’d know what he planned to do already in the Menlove Gardens area.

    Or did it have to do with the effect on whoever took the message (Beattie in this case)? Regardless of who made the call, Wallace or someone else, was an unusual name chosen because it would make more impression on the listener’s mind, helping to guarantee the message would be remembered and passed on? (“What was the name again? Quartermain? Oh, Qualtrow. How do you spell that? Q, U, A, L...”)

    If the call was made by someone else, it would certainly fit Parry’s psychology, his indulgence in what’s called “duping delight,” to pick an unusual name. It would seem all the funnier to fool Wallace into chasing all round Menlove Gardens after an unlikely name instead of a Smith, an Adams or whatever. Of course it mustn’t seem too unlikely--like Gotobed, Birdwhistle, or Jellinek, say--even though they are real names. Wallace might smell a rat and conclude someone was having him on. But Qualtrough, that’s just right: rare enough to be unlikely, ordinary enough to sound convincing.

    Comment


    • I have been trying, to no avail, to find any evidence that suggests Julia knew she was in any danger before she was attacked. All the evidence points to the contrary. I can find no sign of struggle, the position of Julia's body suggests her position in the room before the attack would not be consistent with fleeing someone, no one heard any sounds which might be construed as alarm and there were no defence wounds reported. She was apparently caught by surprise. That seems to suggest to me that there was no interrupted burglary and therefore the evidence points to someone who always intended murder (be that Wallace or A. N. Other). Is there any evidence that suggests an interrupted burglary?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Gordon View Post
        Or did it have to do with the effect on whoever took the message (Beattie in this case)? Regardless of who made the call, Wallace or someone else, was an unusual name chosen because it would make more impression on the listener’s mind, helping to guarantee the message would be remembered and passed on? (“What was the name again? Quartermain? Oh, Qualtrow. How do you spell that? Q, U, A, L...”)
        Hi Gordon

        I think this was likely to be why the name Qualtrough was chosen, but not just for Beattie - Wallace (if he hadn't made the call), Julia (if told) and those at the chess club too.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Gordon View Post

          It’s not surprising if they knew one another beforehand and chose to relocate close to one another in Liverpool.

          I wonder if they were from the mainland. The “Cumbrian Connection” is interesting in the choice of street names in that area. Windermere, Grasmere, Coniston, Ullswater, Thirlmere...



          Do we know where Parry was living at the time? Might he, just as much as Wallace, have come across that Qualtrough nameboard on the carpenter’s shop in Windermere Street?

          Another question that occurs to me, whether it’s significant or not, is whether there was any reason why the name given in the telephone message had to be a rare and unusual one. Not a common one like Adams, Bishop, Clark, Davis, or Evans (even down to Wilson, Xavier, Young, or Zimmerman), but something weird and wonderful (though equally real), like Puddephat, Gotobed, Birdwhistle, or Jellinek. Or in this instance, Qualtrough. (Seriously, my mother used to know a lady named Miss Gotobed, which surely belonged in John Train’s “Remarkable Names of Real People.” And there used to be a judge named Lionel Jellinek who, rather like Wallace, played the viola, and also like Wallace, played it rather badly.)

          It may of course mean nothing, and Qualtrough was just the name that came to the caller’s mind, having stuck in his mind simply because it was unusual. But if there was a reason, did it have to do with the caller’s expectation of how Wallace might react to an unusual name? Might Wallace be intrigued and go on searching longer for a Qualtrough than he would for an Adams, a Bishop, or a Clark, and thus be kept out of the way for longer? If the caller was Wallace himself, it wouldn’t matter what name he gave, since he’d know what he planned to do already in the Menlove Gardens area.

          Or did it have to do with the effect on whoever took the message (Beattie in this case)? Regardless of who made the call, Wallace or someone else, was an unusual name chosen because it would make more impression on the listener’s mind, helping to guarantee the message would be remembered and passed on? (“What was the name again? Quartermain? Oh, Qualtrow. How do you spell that? Q, U, A, L...”)

          If the call was made by someone else, it would certainly fit Parry’s psychology, his indulgence in what’s called “duping delight,” to pick an unusual name. It would seem all the funnier to fool Wallace into chasing all round Menlove Gardens after an unlikely name instead of a Smith, an Adams or whatever. Of course it mustn’t seem too unlikely--like Gotobed, Birdwhistle, or Jellinek, say--even though they are real names. Wallace might smell a rat and conclude someone was having him on. But Qualtrough, that’s just right: rare enough to be unlikely, ordinary enough to sound convincing.
          Parry lived at 7 Woburn Hill, Stoneycroft which I believe is about 10 minutes away by car.

          Any one of your suggestions about why the name Qualtrough might have been chosen could be true to be honest Gordon. It may just have been a name that stuck in the callers mind and he recalled it when thinking about what name to give.

          You’re right that Wallace might have smelled a rat had some Dickensian name been suggested but I think that it’s suggestive that Wallace didn’t smell a rat anyway? After all...

          Why would someone from another area not simply contact The Pru and ask for an agent? Wallace was hardly a legendary insurance agent that everyone wanted to deal with.

          Surely most people had some form of insurance which meant that they already had an agent?

          Why contact him at his chess club (known about by so few people?)

          If the caller was so busy with his girls 21st why had he left this so late?

          How many people in Wallace’s position wouldn’t think that this was strange to say the least? Apparently not Wallace though. I wonder what he’d have said if Beattie had informed him that the caller had asked for his address first? My guess is that he’d still have expressed no doubts or surprise.
          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 etenguy View Post
            I have been trying, to no avail, to find any evidence that suggests Julia knew she was in any danger before she was attacked. All the evidence points to the contrary. I can find no sign of struggle, the position of Julia's body suggests her position in the room before the attack would not be consistent with fleeing someone, no one heard any sounds which might be construed as alarm and there were no defence wounds reported. She was apparently caught by surprise. That seems to suggest to me that there was no interrupted burglary and therefore the evidence points to someone who always intended murder (be that Wallace or A. N. Other). Is there any evidence that suggests an interrupted burglary?
            Id say only the replaced cash box and lack of any sign of a break in Eten. If Julia caught the killer in the act surely she’d have made a noise unless he somehow persuaded her to be quiet but then why go on to kill kill her? She may have been quiet at first and then panicked of course. If he didn’t have the weapon on him then that would give a time gap to get it but obviously he wouldn’t have said “can you keep quiet whilst I go and pick up that iron bar) It just doesn’t look like a real robbery to me. No search for cash after such a pathetic haul - why turn the lights off - why bolt the front door (if it was bolted) - why no blood outside the parlour - why would she use a mackintosh indoors but not out in the yard - why did no one hear a knock at the door and yet they heard the milk boy and Wallace knocking when he returned?

            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


            • Hi Herlock

              You won't be surprised to hear that I agree with your thinking - but I am specifically looking for evidence that if burglary was the intended crime, the miscreant was caught in the act. I think the evidence we have suggests murder was always intended, whether burglary was also intended or not. I think if we can safely conclude murder was always the intended crime, it means we might consider the potential suspects from a useful starting point. To go through your thinking.

              Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
              Id say only the replaced cash box and lack of any sign of a break in Eten.
              I think the replaced cash box is designed to suggest burglary (or maybe was really burglary). But since whoever took the money had time to replace the cash box, it suggests they were not interrupted (since if caught in the act and were worried about being identified, putting the cash box back serves no purpose). No sign of a break in suggests they either found an open way in (unlikely) or conned their way in. If the latter then they know the missing money would be discovered and Julia would be able to identify them. Therefore, murder was always envisaged.

              Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
              If Julia caught the killer in the act surely she’d have made a noise unless he somehow persuaded her to be quiet but then why go on to kill kill her? She may have been quiet at first and then panicked of course. If he didn’t have the weapon on him then that would give a time gap to get it but obviously he wouldn’t have said “can you keep quiet whilst I go and pick up that iron bar) It just doesn’t look like a real robbery to me. No search for cash after such a pathetic haul - why turn the lights off - why bolt the front door (if it was bolted) - why no blood outside the parlour - why would she use a mackintosh indoors but not out in the yard - why did no one hear a knock at the door and yet they heard the milk boy and Wallace knocking when he returned?
              I agree with all of the above, which strengthens the argument, in my view, that someone intended to murder Julia from the outset, either as an end in itself or as part of a burglary. In either case, I do not understand why the cash box was replaced.

              However, I think we have to consider the theories which suggest it was a burglary (with no harm to Julia envisaged) which was discovered by Julia while the burglar was still in the house. I can't find evidence which supports that scenario. If that was the case, my expectation is they would simply have fled since they always knew their crime would be discovered and also knew that Julia would be able to identify them if they had conned their way in.

              The only scenario I can think of which would support the crime was intended to be a burglary with no thought of harming Julia, is that the burglar broke in and expected to escape without being seen. (I don't subscribe to the theory of an opportunistic burglar who saw Wallace leave and took his chances - they wouldn't know to go straight to the cash box and even if they saw it as they entered, there was no reason to neatly replace it and of course, there was no sign of a break in).

              Comment


              • .
                The only scenario I can think of which would support the crime was intended to be a burglary with no thought of harming Julia, is that the burglar broke in and expected to escape without being seen. (I don't subscribe to the theory of an opportunistic burglar who saw Wallace leave and took his chances - they wouldn't know to go straight to the cash box and even if they saw it as they entered, there was no reason to neatly replace it and of course, there was no sign of a break in)
                There was Tom Sleman’s theory of course but I’ve never considered it remotely plausible. I certainly agree with you about the opportunistic burglar scenario though. There’s pretty much nothing that I’m 100% certain of in this case Eten but the nearest I get to that figure is my certainty that the call was intentionally connected to the killing of Julia. So it’s difficult to see how a burglar could, just because they had removed William from the scene, have expected to have been able to get to the cash box without Julia’s knowledge given that it was situated in the room where Julia would have spent most of her time (especially in the evening and in the house alone)
                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


                • I agree that there is a general difficulty with burglary theories in explaining why Julia was killed and how an unsurprised Julia could be killed silently.

                  When I raised the latter point before it was suggested in reply that perhaps she was too stunned to utter anything.

                  Supposing that the burglar was threatening her to be quiet with the instrument and then he saw, or thought he saw, that she was about to shout or scream and almost instinctively hit her before she could.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                    I agree that there is a general difficulty with burglary theories in explaining why Julia was killed and how an unsurprised Julia could be killed silently.

                    When I raised the latter point before it was suggested in reply that perhaps she was too stunned to utter anything.

                    Supposing that the burglar was threatening her to be quiet with the instrument and then he saw, or thought he saw, that she was about to shout or scream and almost instinctively hit her before she could.
                    It’s certainly possible Nick. The only point that I’d make would be that the burglar would have been fully prepared to have been identified by Julia and so if she had caught him in the act and shouted out or even if he’d just felt that she was about to shout out he could just have run out through the back door into the alley and escaped with almost no chance of being caught at the time. I’m not saying that it’s impossible that he might have killed her but it’s difficult to see what kind have threat Julia posed to him? What was it about Julia that panicked him so badly that he viciously bludgeoned her to death?
                    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 agree that there is a general difficulty with burglary theories in explaining why Julia was killed and how an unsurprised Julia could be killed silently.

                      When I raised the latter point before it was suggested in reply that perhaps she was too stunned to utter anything.

                      Supposing that the burglar was threatening her to be quiet with the instrument and then he saw, or thought he saw, that she was about to shout or scream and almost instinctively hit her before she could.
                      Hi Nick

                      It is of course possible that she froze or shock/fear prevented her screaming, and an intimidating man might do that. But that raises some other questions, like why was she in the parlour when she was killed, if she interrupted him taking money in the kitchen. she probably wouldn't flee there, its a dead end. Why would the front door be bolted. How did the mackintosh become involved. How did the burglar gain entry, if it was through a ruse of being Qualtrough, he would have known when entering Julia would later be able to identify him. Also, if the fire iron bar was the murder weapon, he would not have that until he went into the front parlour and he would not know he needed a mackintosh unless he already knew how he was going to kill Julia. Also, if she saw an attack coming but had no time to scream, surely she would have at least attempted to block the blow with her arm instinctively and there was no bruise reported.

                      There may be good answers to those questions, but from what we know, it seems to me that Julia was taken by surprise.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                        Parry lived at 7 Woburn Hill, Stoneycroft which I believe is about 10 minutes away by car.

                        Any one of your suggestions about why the name Qualtrough might have been chosen could be true to be honest Gordon. It may just have been a name that stuck in the callers mind and he recalled it when thinking about what name to give.

                        You’re right that Wallace might have smelled a rat had some Dickensian name been suggested but I think that it’s suggestive that Wallace didn’t smell a rat anyway? After all...

                        Why would someone from another area not simply contact The Pru and ask for an agent? Wallace was hardly a legendary insurance agent that everyone wanted to deal with.

                        Surely most people had some form of insurance which meant that they already had an agent?

                        Why contact him at his chess club (known about by so few people?)

                        If the caller was so busy with his girls 21st why had he left this so late?

                        How many people in Wallace’s position wouldn’t think that this was strange to say the least? Apparently not Wallace though. I wonder what he’d have said if Beattie had informed him that the caller had asked for his address first? My guess is that he’d still have expressed no doubts or surprise.



                        Hi Herlock,

                        Hmm, so Parry lived in the opposite direction from Windermere Street, a mile and a half east from Wallace’s house. Just as a matter of interest, I note that both men lived about the same distance from Clubmoor to the north, which explains why Parry could conveniently collect premiums from that district on occasions when Wallace was sick.

                        Certainly a cautious or skeptical person would ask the questions you asked about why Qualtrough was calling. Except that we all know in hindsight that the whole thing was fishy from the start, so we have good cause to ask these probing questions. Would Wallace necessarily have thought to ask them at the time? It’s surprising what many people will take for granted and never question. My impression is that Wallace was a man who took life seriously, and may have assumed that others did the same, that they wouldn’t be playing jokes on him.

                        The interesting thing here is that Jonathan Goodman reported playing exactly the same prank as a test on a friend of his, who worked for Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. Goodman left him a phone message at his home asking him to visit a potential client at 7:30 pm at Belgrave Mews East in Mayfair. Just like Menlove Gardens, there’s a Belgrave Mews North, South, and West, but no Belgrave Mews East. The friend fell for it hook, line and sinker and did exactly what Wallace did! He didn’t even bother looking at a map beforehand to see where the place was, as I would have done. He just assumed it was in the vicinity of Belgrave Square, went there, and spent half an hour tramping round the area, asking questions of five people on the way, until he finally gave up and went home. So if Wallace was “set up,” his behavior in response to the call was by no means out of character.

                        If someone else did make the call, of course they’d have to be familiar with Wallace’s habits. They probably couldn’t know in advance that he would go to the Chess Club that particular evening. However, they could have hung around near his home, knowing roughly what time he would leave, that he rarely left Julia alone except when going to the Chess Club, and even that he usually left by the back door. If he left by the front door instead, there was still a vantage point at the intersection of the alleys where they could see him coming out of the back yard gate, or passing in the street at the end of one passage or another, having exited the front door instead. If he was going out alone on a Monday night, it was pretty certain he was going to the Chess Club. If he wasn’t seen leaving home, the plan could always be postponed to another Monday.

                        An interesting point here is that it’s doubtful, and certainly arguable, whether Wallace had enough time to make that phone call himself and catch his tram to get to the Chess Club when he did. On the other hand, if anyone was following him from his home at a discreet distance, when Wallace got to Breck Road and turned left as he said he did, the prankster could have turned right instead and walked the 240 yards northeast up Breck Road to that phone box, unseen by Wallace who was walking the opposite way, 300 yards southwest to the junction with Belmont Road where he caught his tram.

                        It would make no sense for Wallace to walk the opposite way toward the phone kiosk, [i]away[/i[ from his destination--unless of course he did make that phone call. Why he chose to pass two tram stops in favor of a four-minute walk to Belmont on a somewhat drizzly night is another question, when he could have caught a tram right there at the end of Richmond Park. But I don’t attach much importance to that. Maybe it was his habit to do so, rain or shine. He didn’t get out much in the evenings, and maybe he just felt like a walk. He was the kind of man who could take pleasure in all kinds of weathers. Or--has anybody checked this?--could walking to Belmont Road have saved him a ha’penny on his tram fare?

                        Anyway if he did make that phone call and was lying about where he boarded the tram, why not tell the most plausible lie and claim he boarded at Richmond Park? Why tell a less likely story, that he walked all the way to Belmont Road, unless it happened to be true?

                        At any rate the police never put any effort into checking where and when he really boarded the tram that Monday night. Moore couldn’t afford to do so, since it risked blowing his theory that Wallace made the phone call. It’s also possible that they did check, and kept quiet about what they found. If so, it wouldn’t be the only time police suppressed evidence in Wallace’s favor.

                        However, the bottom line in all this is that if Wallace walked one way while his follower walked the other, the prankster would get to the phone box a minute or so before Wallace got to Belmont Road. There was a five-minute delay in putting the phone call through, while Wallace meanwhile was waiting for his tram. Then it took a few minutes to make the call itself. Meanwhile, Wallace had boarded his tram and was already on the way. He had a head start too, because his journey would have taken two or three minutes longer if he’d boarded by that phone box 640 yards and three tram stops up the road. If he had made that phone call, it would have made it hard or impossible for him to reach the Chess Club when he did. However, the timing of the call would fit well if a prankster had followed him and made the call instead.

                        Nobody could be sure either whether Wallace would act on the call and go out to Menlove Gardens the following night. He might have decided to pass it up. But if he did go, his approximate time of leaving home would be known, and his house watched to see if he did leave. If not, the plan could simply be called off at no risk.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by etenguy View Post
                          I have been trying, to no avail, to find any evidence that suggests Julia knew she was in any danger before she was attacked. All the evidence points to the contrary. I can find no sign of struggle, the position of Julia's body suggests her position in the room before the attack would not be consistent with fleeing someone, no one heard any sounds which might be construed as alarm and there were no defence wounds reported. She was apparently caught by surprise. That seems to suggest to me that there was no interrupted burglary and therefore the evidence points to someone who always intended murder (be that Wallace or A. N. Other). Is there any evidence that suggests an interrupted burglary?


                          Originally posted by etenguy View Post
                          Hi Herlock

                          You won't be surprised to hear that I agree with your thinking - but I am specifically looking for evidence that if burglary was the intended crime, the miscreant was caught in the act. I think the evidence we have suggests murder was always intended, whether burglary was also intended or not. I think if we can safely conclude murder was always the intended crime, it means we might consider the potential suspects from a useful starting point. To go through your thinking.

                          I think the replaced cash box is designed to suggest burglary (or maybe was really burglary). But since whoever took the money had time to replace the cash box, it suggests they were not interrupted (since if caught in the act and were worried about being identified, putting the cash box back serves no purpose). No sign of a break in suggests they either found an open way in (unlikely) or conned their way in. If the latter then they know the missing money would be discovered and Julia would be able to identify them. Therefore, murder was always envisaged.

                          I agree with all of the above, which strengthens the argument, in my view, that someone intended to murder Julia from the outset, either as an end in itself or as part of a burglary. In either case, I do not understand why the cash box was replaced.

                          However, I think we have to consider the theories which suggest it was a burglary (with no harm to Julia envisaged) which was discovered by Julia while the burglar was still in the house. I can't find evidence which supports that scenario. If that was the case, my expectation is they would simply have fled since they always knew their crime would be discovered and also knew that Julia would be able to identify them if they had conned their way in.

                          The only scenario I can think of which would support the crime was intended to be a burglary with no thought of harming Julia, is that the burglar broke in and expected to escape without being seen. (I don't subscribe to the theory of an opportunistic burglar who saw Wallace leave and took his chances - they wouldn't know to go straight to the cash box and even if they saw it as they entered, there was no reason to neatly replace it and of course, there was no sign of a break in).


                          Hi Eten,

                          I agree with what you’ve said here, and with Herlock too: the indications are that murder was always intended. Julia didn’t surprise an otherwise trusted visitor rifling the cash box, otherwise she would have been found in the kitchen, not in the parlour. Nor in all probability did she surprise a burglar, since there was no sign of a break-in. As you said, it was Julia herself who was taken by surprise. The fact that she was found in the parlour points either to Wallace himself, or to a visitor that Julia admitted to the house. And interference with the cash-box points to someone who knew where it was--either Wallace or someone familiar with the household, which explains why Julia would trust him enough to let him in.

                          I don’t attach much importance to the fact that no blood was found outside the parlour. If the killer was anyone other than Wallace, he must have had some blood on his clothes, but that doesn’t mean he was dripping blood all over the floor. If he wore gloves and they were bloody, he could have dumped them in a bag along with the murder weapon before messing with the cash-box.

                          Similarly I’m dubious about the significance of the front door being bolted. Any outsider not wanting to be disturbed, during a burglary or a murder, might bolt the front door to protect themselves against entry by the homeowner to give themselves time to escape out the back. Possibly it was bolted and P.C. Williams didn’t hear the bolt being drawn before he entered. He heard some “fumbling,” that’s all. Do we even know what kind of lock the door had? A Yale-type cylinder lock with a latch, so ubiquitous on front doors, or some older type? I understand the Yale lock dates back to 1865, so plenty of older houses must have been fitted with them. That’s one of those details that can be important but is not always clear--like why exactly the wash-house door at 10 Rillington Place wouldn’t open. (I think it was just missing a handle and spindle.)

                          Was Julia wearing the macintosh or not? Even if the killer was someone other than Wallace, it’s not impossible that he did use it for some protection after seeing it hanging it in the hall--or knowing it would b be there, since Wallace left without it. The point here is that Wallace would have needed complete protection from blood anywhere on his clothing, trouser legs, shoes, face and so on, and the macintosh could never guarantee that. But if it provided substantial protection to another killer who could clean up more thoroughly afterwards, that would be good enough. Besides, using it would help to point the finger at Wallace.

                          It would be useful to know in what sequence the blows were struck. For instance, it’s possible that the first was a knockout blow, perhaps delivered to an unsuspecting Julia from behind, that laid her on the floor but didn’t splash much blood to speak of. After that the killer might have donned the macintosh and proceeded to beat the poor lady’s head to a pulp, splashing blood all the way up the walls in the process. Incidentally is it possible to estimate whether the killer was left- or right-handed, and whether Wallace or any other suspect was?

                          As for that cash-box that “didn’t look a real robbery,” it’s possible that it was never meant to! Rather, it may have been intended to look like a fake robbery. That again could be a killer’s way of pointing the finger at Wallace as the “most likely” suspect for having faked it.

                          Overall I would certainly not rule out revenge as a major motive for this crime.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Gordon View Post


                            Hi Herlock,

                            Hmm, so Parry lived in the opposite direction from Windermere Street, a mile and a half east from Wallace’s house. Just as a matter of interest, I note that both men lived about the same distance from Clubmoor to the north, which explains why Parry could conveniently collect premiums from that district on occasions when Wallace was sick.

                            Certainly a cautious or skeptical person would ask the questions you asked about why Qualtrough was calling. Except that we all know in hindsight that the whole thing was fishy from the start, so we have good cause to ask these probing questions. Would Wallace necessarily have thought to ask them at the time? It’s surprising what many people will take for granted and never question. My impression is that Wallace was a man who took life seriously, and may have assumed that others did the same, that they wouldn’t be playing jokes on him.

                            The interesting thing here is that Jonathan Goodman reported playing exactly the same prank as a test on a friend of his, who worked for Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. Goodman left him a phone message at his home asking him to visit a potential client at 7:30 pm at Belgrave Mews East in Mayfair. Just like Menlove Gardens, there’s a Belgrave Mews North, South, and West, but no Belgrave Mews East. The friend fell for it hook, line and sinker and did exactly what Wallace did! He didn’t even bother looking at a map beforehand to see where the place was, as I would have done. He just assumed it was in the vicinity of Belgrave Square, went there, and spent half an hour tramping round the area, asking questions of five people on the way, until he finally gave up and went home. So if Wallace was “set up,” his behavior in response to the call was by no means out of character.

                            At his home but not at a club that very few people knew that he was a member of. I’d also ask whether his friend, after being told twice (once by a police officer) that there was definitely no Belgrave Mews East would he have continued or gone home?

                            If someone else did make the call, of course they’d have to be familiar with Wallace’s habits. They probably couldn’t know in advance that he would go to the Chess Club that particular evening. However, they could have hung around near his home, knowing roughly what time he would leave, that he rarely left Julia alone except when going to the Chess Club, and even that he usually left by the back door. If he left by the front door instead, there was still a vantage point at the intersection of the alleys where they could see him coming out of the back yard gate, or passing in the street at the end of one passage or another, having exited the front door instead. If he was going out alone on a Monday night, it was pretty certain he was going to the Chess Club. If he wasn’t seen leaving home, the plan could always be postponed to another Monday.

                            I can’t see where anyone could stand to see Wallace leaving by either doors? And not without being seen by Wallace?

                            An interesting point here is that it’s doubtful, and certainly arguable, whether Wallace had enough time to make that phone call himself and catch his tram to get to the Chess Club when he did. On the other hand, if anyone was following him from his home at a discreet distance, when Wallace got to Breck Road and turned left as he said he did, the prankster could have turned right instead and walked the 240 yards northeast up Breck Road to that phone box, unseen by Wallace who was walking the opposite way, 300 yards southwest to the junction with Belmont Road where he caught his tram.

                            Its been shown (by Antony I believe) that Wallace would have had enough time. Antony also mentioned that some engineering works might have affected tram times but I believe Mark writes that they’d been ongoing for a considerable time? If so it’s likely that Wallace would have been aware of this. The point being that the normally well organised, efficient Wallace arrives at the club to play his match on the stroke of the deadline. Similarly on the Tuesday he arrived to look for MGE with only 10 minutes to spare in a very large area where, according to him, he was a ‘complete stranger.’

                            It would make no sense for Wallace to walk the opposite way toward the phone kiosk, [i]away[/i[ from his destination--unless of course he did make that phone call. Why he chose to pass two tram stops in favor of a four-minute walk to Belmont on a somewhat drizzly night is another question, when he could have caught a tram right there at the end of Richmond Park. But I don’t attach much importance to that. Maybe it was his habit to do so, rain or shine. He didn’t get out much in the evenings, and maybe he just felt like a walk. He was the kind of man who could take pleasure in all kinds of weathers. Or--has anybody checked this?--could walking to Belmont Road have saved him a ha’penny on his tram fare?

                            Its a question I’ve asked but no one seems to know. I still find it strange that he passed two stops though as he spent all day trudging around after all.

                            Anyway if he did make that phone call and was lying about where he boarded the tram, why not tell the most plausible lie and claim he boarded at Richmond Park? Why tell a less likely story, that he walked all the way to Belmont Road, unless it happened to be true?

                            Maybe he was worried that if he caught the tram at the end of Richmond Park someone might have suggested that he’d made the call and then walked to that stop?

                            At any rate the police never put any effort into checking where and when he really boarded the tram that Monday night. Moore couldn’t afford to do so, since it risked blowing his theory that Wallace made the phone call. It’s also possible that they did check, and kept quiet about what they found. If so, it wouldn’t be the only time police suppressed evidence in Wallace’s favor.

                            I don’t think that we can go so far as to say that Moore ignored the Monday night trams because he knew that it would disprove Wallace’s guilt but we can say that he’d made up his mind and just focused on the Tuesday night trams.

                            However, the bottom line in all this is that if Wallace walked one way while his follower walked the other, the prankster would get to the phone box a minute or so before Wallace got to Belmont Road. There was a five-minute delay in putting the phone call through, while Wallace meanwhile was waiting for his tram. Then it took a few minutes to make the call itself. Meanwhile, Wallace had boarded his tram and was already on the way. He had a head start too, because his journey would have taken two or three minutes longer if he’d boarded by that phone box 640 yards and three tram stops up the road. If he had made that phone call, it would have made it hard or impossible for him to reach the Chess Club when he did. However, the timing of the call would fit well if a prankster had followed him and made the call instead.

                            I can only repeat that I think that Antony proved that Wallace could have made the call and got to the chess club in time. It doesn’t mean that he did make it of course.

                            Nobody could be sure either whether Wallace would act on the call and go out to Menlove Gardens the following night. He might have decided to pass it up. But if he did go, his approximate time of leaving home would be known, and his house watched to see if he did leave. If not, the plan could simply be called off at no risk.


                            It could but for how long with Wallace being an irregular attender. How many night would our burglar be prepared to waste sitting around waiting for Wallace to attend the club?
                            All good points Gordon. So much is down to interpretation of course and most things are possible even if they might be improbable. Few things can be dismissed.

                            For me, improbable is the Prank Theory, The chances of them not being connected must be astronomically high and I just can’t see Wallace deciding and carrying out a murder all within 24 hours. It’s too grave an undertaking not to have taken more thinking time.

                            Almost impossible for me is a guilty Parry. He has an alibi that cannot be shaken and so until someone can offer evidence that his alibi was false then personally I can’t consider him a suspect


                            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 he wore gloves and they were bloody, he could have dumped them in a bag along with the murder weapon before messing with the cash-box.
                              If he’d worn gloves that got bloody wouldn’t he have transferred blood onto door handles and gas jets? And if he took them off why no prints?
                              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


                              • .
                                Similarly I’m dubious about the significance of the front door being bolted. Any outsider not wanting to be disturbed, during a burglary or a murder, might bolt the front door to protect themselves against entry by the homeowner to give themselves time to escape out the back
                                How would he have bolted the front door without Julia knowing? Surely he wouldn’t have bolted it after death if he left immediately and didn’t bother to search for cash or valuables?
                                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

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