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** The Murder of Julia Wallace **

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  • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
    Just on the point about Wallace setting up Parry or Marsden. I certainly understand people making the point that Wallace was stupidly narrowing the field and that he couldn’t have known whether the dynamic duo had alibis or not. But when considering this point I’m reminded of Blackadder’s quote when asked who knew about the ‘secret’ plan to advance into No Man’s Land: “Field Marshall Haig; Field Marshall Haig’s servants; Field Marshall Haig’s servants tennis partners.”

    The point being of course that the information about Wallace’s situation could have been known by pretty much any acquaintance (whether close or casual) of Parry or Marsden. This could have been dozens of people and of course it wouldn’t matter that these would largely have been unknowns. The possibility existed so there was an unknown amount of unnamed possible culprits. The police didn’t need another suspect to exonerate Wallace of course and neither did a jury. In short, I don’t think that if Wallace pointed the police in the direction of Parry and Marsden he was hampering himself in any way. I’d say that it was pretty much a free hit for Wallace.
    Just read this, Herlock, and it will come as no surprise that I completely agree with you.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


    Comment


    • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

      Cheers for acknowledging it Ven

      Of the two issues that you mention are both worth considering of course. I can only say that the differ in terms that it’s almost impossible (for me at least) to come up with a reason why Wallace might have lied about the music? To me this suggests an error of memory rather than a conscious lie.

      The second point is certainly interesting though. If Wallace did actually ask the Johnston’s to wait outside then that’s suspicious in my book. I’ve discussed this point previously. Wallace either felt that there was someone inside preventing him from getting in or he was shamming ( I think the latter of course) but does anyone really see Wallace as the have-a-go-hero type? Or did Wallace have a reason for wanting to enter alone (after all he hadn’t expected the Johnston’s to have turned up.) Again, with apologies, I raise my ‘parlour door’ point.

      We have Wallace returned after being sent on a wild goose chase, worried about his wife (note his first question to the Johnston’s) then for the first time ever he can’t get in (is someone trying to keep him out?) The sense of worry must have been increasing? He gets inside and finds the lights turned down and all is quiet. He goes into the kitchen and sees the cupboard door broken off (dispelling all thought of a possible innocent explanation) He’s now desperate to find Julia. He gets to the kitchen door with the parlour door within reach. A matter of 2 seconds work and he either finds Julia in the parlour or eliminates that room. No, he ignores it and goes upstairs first? Perhaps he wants to see if Julia has decided to do a few chemical experiments in his lab? Others say that the parlour was the least used room. Really? Is that an explanation? It was hardly a sealed vault. Who, when searching for a wife in peril, would stand next to a door and think “well, percentage-wise the parlour is probably the room Julia is least likely to be in?” They just wouldn’t. I genuinely, honestly can’t see why everyone doesn’t see this as strange behaviour? Apparently they don’t though so what can I say?

      Perhaps William had planned one last look around to check that he hadn’t made any errors? Perhaps he’d forgotten to do something or check something. Now if William deliberately told Johnston to stay outside, despite the possible danger, then avoided the parlour to go upstairs then who knows.
      I do find it odd, Herlock, that when Wallace sees the cupboard door broken off and realises something is badly amiss, he doesn't immediately check the whole of the downstairs first, including the parlour, before going upstairs. If he thinks for one second that someone up to no good may still be in the house, despite no obvious signs of forced entry, the obvious thing to do would be to check all the downstairs rooms first, for signs of life - Julia and/or Chummy. If Julia had invited this Chummy in, to wait for her husband's return, she'd have taken him into the parlour, so would Wallace have left that room until last? What was he expecting to find upstairs? Julia in bed with Chummy, both snoring soundly?

      Love,

      Caz
      X
      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


      Comment


      • Originally posted by etenguy View Post

        Hi Caz

        My understanding is that the records of his collections would identify the amount of company money that should have been in the cash box. It may have been too risky to lie about this as it was likely to be checked by the Prudential. He did, though, claim the denominations were different, I believe.

        Indeed, especially as Wallace claimed that when he and Julia left the house together, all monies would be removed from the premises for safe keeping. Someone so careful to guard against burglary is even less likely to leave large sums of money on show, IMHO.
        Cheers, etenguy.

        So basically, Wallace was more worried about leaving any monies on the premises when both he and Julia went out, than he was about leaving Julia alone in the house with all the monies, including large amounts on show.

        Did he think of Julia as a big old guard dog, growling and slavering at the first sniff of a juicy burglar?

        Love,

        Caz
        X
        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


        Comment


        • Well, Wallace may have thought burglars avoid occupied houses. Being in insurance, he was likely to know. If so then to his mind Julia would be safe as long as she kept the doors locked, put the gas lights on, and maybe played the piano.

          I don't have 1930s stats, but this is the case today, where one published estimate is that 70% of burglars would avoid burglary where there is an occupant. And nowadays we rarely have pokers available!

          On the other hand, 50% of burglaries are to occupied premises, so either the stats are askew or burglars are not good at guessing if someone is at home.

          Maybe Julia was preparing the front room to make sure occupancy was clear to anyone outside, although surely burglars would not try to gain entry at the front where everyone could see them. (That's my hope anyway.)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by caz View Post

            I do find it odd, Herlock, that when Wallace sees the cupboard door broken off and realises something is badly amiss, he doesn't immediately check the whole of the downstairs first, including the parlour, before going upstairs. If he thinks for one second that someone up to no good may still be in the house, despite no obvious signs of forced entry, the obvious thing to do would be to check all the downstairs rooms first, for signs of life - Julia and/or Chummy. If Julia had invited this Chummy in, to wait for her husband's return, she'd have taken him into the parlour, so would Wallace have left that room until last? What was he expecting to find upstairs? Julia in bed with Chummy, both snoring soundly?

            Love,

            Caz
            X
            I'm not alone
            Regards

            Herlock




            “...A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
            As night descends upon this fabled street:
            A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
            The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
            Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
            And it is always eighteen ninety-five.”

            Comment


            • Just thinking through his movements in the house. Rather than dashing through the place like wee Willy winkie ,its worth remembering that from the moment he entered.,he was having to deal with very poor lighting, like ‘dark’ . If I’m not mistaken Wallace said they left one gas light burning upstairs at all times. But on entering, he would be striking a match to initially light the back kitchen , then he goes into the middle living/dining room possibly lighting a gas bracket in the hallway bottom of stairs,we’ll say his match is still burning and he lights up this room, now he spots the door ripped off the cupboard, and coins spread around the floor, an innocent Wallace is now beginning to panic, he will now in my opinion, arm himself ,a poker I believe was not available, so anything, rolling pin , carving knife,etc. call out to Mr. Johnstone asking him to join him, then both would eliminate the Parlour before going upstairs. This would be an absolute given .For there to be even a 1 percent chance of an intruder being trapped in the house, to ignore this room and go upstairs would be a stupid move even for a moron.Regardless of Wallace’s answer to ‘ Did you believe there may have been an intruder still in the house’, ( 3 separate answers apparently) ). In reality ,it could not have been possible to ignore this feasibility . But anyway , he goes upstairs presumably lighting up the remainder of the rooms . I seem to recall a couple of burnt matches ,was it, one in the folds of the mackintosh, and one in the parlour doorway . With a dark front room Wallace needing to light one or both brackets by the chimney breast, would very likely be in the process of striking a match as he walked into the very familiar room ( picturing that there was no obstruction between door and mantelpiece )whereby a stumbling over the body would be likely.
              When calling in the Johnston’s, was a gas mantle lit over the fireplace ? Or had he seen his wife’s body by match light then called in the neighbours ? could be important if not pivotal.

              Comment


              • I say Pivotal, because although Wallace was a self proclaimed stoic, would any one not call the neighbours in at the moment of this terrible discovery? ,or would he carefully sidle around the body to light the gas mantle over the fireplace?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by moste View Post
                  I say Pivotal, because although Wallace was a self proclaimed stoic, would any one not call the neighbours in at the moment of this terrible discovery? ,or would he carefully sidle around the body to light the gas mantle over the fireplace?
                  He definitely lit the right side gas jet before going to inform the Johnston’s. He’d used a match to take a closer look at Julia.
                  Regards

                  Herlock




                  “...A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
                  As night descends upon this fabled street:
                  A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
                  The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
                  Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
                  And it is always eighteen ninety-five.”

                  Comment



                  • At the trial PC Williams was asked about when he first entered the parlour.

                    “The accused stepped round the body near the sideboard and lit the left hand gas mantle.” Williams didn’t ask him to do this.

                    Would most people in that position have wanted to have kept returning to a room where their wife had been horribly bludgeoned to death? Florence Johnston said that she and William were in the kitchen when William got up and went to the Parlour and she followed him. Asked at the Trial what Wallace did next she said:

                    “Mr Wallace stooped over Mrs Wallace and he said “They have finished her; look at the brains.”

                    Then McFall at the Trial though that it was strange that Wallace:

                    “Whilst I was in the room examining the body and the blood he came in smoking a cigarette, and he leant over in front of the sideboard and flicked the ash into a bowl upon the sideboard.”

                    McFall felt that this was unnatural and I have to say that I agree. We know that people react differently of course but Wallace’s actions are just strange. Of course it’s been stressed that we shouldn’t condemn someone because their demeanour was unusual and that’s correct of course but I think that it’s very valid to point out Wallace’s detachment in the face of his wife’s brutally murdered body.
                    Regards

                    Herlock




                    “...A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
                    As night descends upon this fabled street:
                    A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
                    The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
                    Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
                    And it is always eighteen ninety-five.”

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                      He definitely lit the right side gas jet before going to inform the Johnston’s. He’d used a match to take a closer look at Julia.
                      Yeah, you see I have a problem with that! The cig thing, his alluding to his wife’s brains to a neighbour ,barely an acquaintance.
                      Leaves the Johnston’s outside still waiting, while he lights one of the gas jets . Very Stoic , Wonder why he didn’t put the kettle on for a brew ?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by moste View Post

                        Yeah, you see I have a problem with that! The cig thing, his alluding to his wife’s brains to a neighbour ,barely an acquaintance.
                        Leaves the Johnston’s outside still waiting, while he lights one of the gas jets . Very Stoic , Wonder why he didn’t put the kettle on for a brew ?
                        And all of this after finding himself defeated by the back door for the first time ever? And none of this is suspicious?

                        Regards

                        Herlock




                        “...A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
                        As night descends upon this fabled street:
                        A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
                        The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
                        Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
                        And it is always eighteen ninety-five.”

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                          Hi OneRound,

                          I just remembered the origin of the story about Parry’s family wanting him out of the country. It was Ada Cook. You can read the details on pages 120 and 121 of Gannon.
                          Thanks as ever, Herlock.

                          This case continues to tease. I now see more pointing to Wallace's guilt than Parry's although I'm still not fully convinced that Parry didn't have some involvement.

                          Following on from another recent post of yours, I'll throw a wild thought with no substance to back it up into the mix later today or tomorrow. Moste might approve anyway!

                          Best regards,
                          OneRound

                          Comment


                          • Little thought to throw out there. What if Parry had seen Wallace exiting the phone box?
                            Regards

                            Herlock




                            “...A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
                            As night descends upon this fabled street:
                            A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
                            The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
                            Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
                            And it is always eighteen ninety-five.”

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by OneRound View Post

                              Thanks as ever, Herlock.

                              This case continues to tease. I now see more pointing to Wallace's guilt than Parry's although I'm still not fully convinced that Parry didn't have some involvement.

                              Following on from another recent post of yours, I'll throw a wild thought with no substance to back it up into the mix later today or tomorrow. Moste might approve anyway!

                              Best regards,
                              OneRound
                              No problem OneRound. Got there in the end.
                              Regards

                              Herlock




                              “...A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
                              As night descends upon this fabled street:
                              A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
                              The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
                              Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
                              And it is always eighteen ninety-five.”

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Dupin View Post
                                Well, Wallace may have thought burglars avoid occupied houses. Being in insurance, he was likely to know. If so then to his mind Julia would be safe as long as she kept the doors locked, put the gas lights on, and maybe played the piano.

                                I don't have 1930s stats, but this is the case today, where one published estimate is that 70% of burglars would avoid burglary where there is an occupant. And nowadays we rarely have pokers available!

                                On the other hand, 50% of burglaries are to occupied premises, so either the stats are askew or burglars are not good at guessing if someone is at home.

                                Maybe Julia was preparing the front room to make sure occupancy was clear to anyone outside, although surely burglars would not try to gain entry at the front where everyone could see them. (That's my hope anyway.)
                                Hi Dupin,

                                I don't have a poker, but I do keep a genuine H Division police truncheon by the bed, just in case! I won it in a raffle at the Brighton JtR Conference in 2005, and when Jeremy Beadle presented it to me, the cheeky bugger told everyone it had been following me round all weekend.

                                Happy days...

                                Love,

                                Caz
                                X
                                "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                                Comment

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