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** The Murder of Julia Wallace **

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  • Copied from first page ...Quote: Accomplice (a theory first published in my book*)…. 36%
    Wallace (supported by Murphy and now Russell)… 29%
    Parry (endorsed by Roger Wilkes and the late Jonathan Goodman)… 25%
    Conspiracy (Gannon’s theory)… 9%
    Prank (the theory of the late P.D. James)… 1%

    Hi, CCJ. Was there no consideration given to the culprit being ‘The Anfield Burglar’ ? (My second choice after William Wallace.)

    Comment


    • He also left out Tom Sleman’s theory. Wisely IMO.
      Regards

      Herlock



      Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
        He also left out Tom Sleman’s theory. Wisely IMO.
        Didn't have my glasses on and thought you were referencing Tom Selleck - I bet Magnum would have solved the case by now - he used to only need an hour.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
          He also left out Tom Sleman’s theory. Wisely IMO.
          Not familiar with that one, but I should have thought ,that the Anfield burglar , who had already fingered a house further up the same street not too long since , would have figured much higher than P D James’s. 1 %.
          I wonder if they were ever brought to book?
          On another thought, I wonder how often the window cleaner came around. In the 50s ours visited every month. Our Mum filled his bucket , and he’d sit and have a brew and a gossip. What he didn’t know about the neighbourhoods comings and going’s wasn’t worth knowing. I supposed the cops sat Julia’s window cleaners down,and eliminated them from their enquiries pretty smartish , since they were there same day she was murdered.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by etenguy View Post

            Didn't have my glasses on and thought you were referencing Tom Selleck - I bet Magnum would have solved the case by now - he used to only need an hour.

            Regards

            Herlock



            Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by moste View Post

              Not familiar with that one, but I should have thought ,that the Anfield burglar , who had already fingered a house further up the same street not too long since , would have figured much higher than P D James’s. 1 %.
              I wonder if they were ever brought to book?
              On another thought, I wonder how often the window cleaner came around. In the 50s ours visited every month. Our Mum filled his bucket , and he’d sit and have a brew and a gossip. What he didn’t know about the neighbourhoods comings and going’s wasn’t worth knowing. I supposed the cops sat Julia’s window cleaners down,and eliminated them from their enquiries pretty smartish , since they were there same day she was murdered.
              Sleman claims that the Johnston’s did it based on some guy called Stan who heard a death bed confession by John Johnston. Sadly Johnston died after battling dementia so it’s difficult to see how any ‘confession’ could be taken seriously. Also Johnston’s grandson said that family were with him right up to the end and heard no confession.

              The Johnston’s were supposed to have seen William and Julia go to the back gate and into the passage and assumed that they were going out together. Johnston then went inside, stole the cash, then went into the Parlour surprising Julia who was asleep on the sofa. He then killed her. Its nonsense.

              We know two things from William. 1) Julia didn’t go into the alley, and 2) she wasn’t wearing a coat, so how could the Johnston’s think that Julia was going out with William on a cold January evening?





              Regards

              Herlock



              Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

              Comment


              • There are not many posts in this thread that make the case for Wallace's innocence and/or Parry's guilt. When I have provided my reasons for thinking it more likely that Wallace murdered his wife, I have focussed on those things that suggest his guilt. But those reasons taken together, although in my view quite convincing, are insufficient for certainty. Given that uncertainty, it is also worth considering the elements of the case which point to Wallace's innocence. And there are a number of things which do that.

                1. Beattie swore the voice he heard on the phone call was definitely not Wallace, even under questioning at the trial - he never showed any doubt in that conviction.
                2. There was not a single drop of Julia's blood found on Wallace.
                3. Wallace's diary and the view of most people asked, point to a close, loving relationship between Julia and Wallace.
                4. No motive for Wallace to commit the murder has ever been proven, instead there is speculation about the state of the marriage based on limited evidence.
                5. The time available for Wallace to commit the crime (book ended by the milk boy and the tram conductor) was extremely limited to the point where it has to be questioned that it was sufficient (also true in respect of making the Qualtrough call).
                6. No-one at the chess club nor on his insurance round noted anything about of his behaviour out of the ordinary.
                7. The 'alibi' forming in the Menlove area was overdone (often argued to point to his guilt) but it might also be argued that if he had been guilty he would have been more measured so as not to make his alibi suspicious.

                Are there any other aspects which positively point towards Wallace being innocent?


                Comment


                • Originally posted by etenguy View Post
                  There are not many posts in this thread that make the case for Wallace's innocence and/or Parry's guilt. When I have provided my reasons for thinking it more likely that Wallace murdered his wife, I have focussed on those things that suggest his guilt. But those reasons taken together, although in my view quite convincing, are insufficient for certainty. Given that uncertainty, it is also worth considering the elements of the case which point to Wallace's innocence. And there are a number of things which do that.

                  All fair points Eten,

                  1. Beattie swore the voice he heard on the phone call was definitely not Wallace, even under questioning at the trial - he never showed any doubt in that conviction.

                  True, but I’d say that, apart from the fact that 1930’s phones might not have had such clear sound quality as today’s, we have to consider that Beattie wouldn't for a second have suspected a prank call. He was a businessman answering a call on a business matter and so would be focusing on the content rather than scrutinising the voice. The words ‘gruff’ and ‘peremptory’ were used to describe the caller which implies someone who wants to say as little as possible. It’s also a point that the operators didn’t say that the caller had a gruff voice which might indicate that the caller exaggerated his voice even more when speaking to Beattie. Wallace knew Beattie of course. I think that it’s also worth mentioning that Wallace was on trial for his life so even if Beattie had considered even for a second that Wallace might have been the caller would he have said something which might have had such dire consequences?

                  2. There was not a single drop of Julia's blood found on Wallace.

                  True enough but I think he used protection plus it’s not certain that he would have got blood on him. He might have expected to have got blood on him but he was just fortunate.

                  3. Wallace's diary and the view of most people asked, point to a close, loving relationship between Julia and Wallace.

                  True again. Although from the snippets that we have Wallace didn’t appear entirely satisfied with his life and he suffered from depression.

                  4. No motive for Wallace to commit the murder has ever been proven, instead there is speculation about the state of the marriage based on limited evidence.

                  I’d ask how many people are on record as saying the Wallace’s were happy? It’s not many.

                  5. The time available for Wallace to commit the crime (book ended by the milk boy and the tram conductor) was extremely limited to the point where it has to be questioned that it was sufficient (also true in respect of making the Qualtrough call).

                  I reckon that he had around 11-12 minutes. I think that he could have done it in 5.

                  6. No-one at the chess club nor on his insurance round noted anything about of his behaviour out of the ordinary.

                  True, but if Wallace was the type to go back into the parlour of his own volition and examine Julia’s wounds closely and say ‘look at her brains,’ or again enter the room while McFall was examining the body and casually lean across to flick the ash from his cigarette, then this seems quite a cool (even cold) person to me. How many men would want to have slept in that house on that night? Wallace wanted to.

                  7. The 'alibi' forming in the Menlove area was overdone (often argued to point to his guilt) but it might also be argued that if he had been guilty he would have been more measured so as not to make his alibi suspicious.

                  You won’t be surprised the hear that I favour the former explanation Eten.

                  Are there any other aspects which positively point towards Wallace being innocent?

                  My biggest doubt is concerning the Monday evening and the risks that Wallace took. Of being seen in or near to the call box. Or of being seen getting on the tram near the call box. Or of someone getting on at the Belmont Road stop and seeing Wallace already seated?

                  Regards

                  Herlock



                  Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                    My biggest doubt is concerning the Monday evening and the risks that Wallace took. Of being seen in or near to the call box. Or of being seen getting on the tram near the call box. Or of someone getting on at the Belmont Road stop and seeing Wallace already seated?
                    That is a good point - whoever made the call was accepting some risk.

                    5. The time available for Wallace to commit the crime (book ended by the milk boy and the tram conductor) was extremely limited to the point where it has to be questioned that it was sufficient (also true in respect of making the Qualtrough call).

                    I reckon that he had around 11-12 minutes. I think that he could have done it in 5.
                    I am thinking about the timing, and you are right that Wallace must have left his house about 11-12 minutes after the milk boy's visit at the latest. We know some (a small amount) time was taken up with Julia storing the milk and she had also gone into the parlour and lit the fire. We don't know how much time transpired between receiving the milk and lighting the fire, but it may not have been more than a minute or so.

                    So the question that raises in my mind, is why did Julia light the fire in the parlour? The intruder (Qualtrough or other) theory would suggest the fire was lit to receive a guest. The Wallace theory would suggest the fire was lit to suggest a guest being entertained. So if Wallace was guilty, he would need to offer a reason to Julia to light the fire (perhaps suggesting they retire there for some musical interlude).

                    We also know the fire in the kitchen was alight and must have been fairly newly lit or topped up as the fire was still alight when Wallace returned from the Menlove Gardens area. It might be argued it would be unlikely they would top up the kitchen fire just before lighting the parlour fire, therefore a very slight pointer that Wallace was innocent.

                    If Wallace was guilty, then he had to have a plan to keep clean from Julia's blood - this suggests possibly a stabbing might be a more appropriate method for Wallace to use. The mackintosh shield would have been risky in this regard and Wallace would not have had time to clean up and or change before leaving (and potentially discard some clothes as well as a weapon). So does the actual method of murder suggest someone other than Wallace committed the crime?

                    A little bit mixed and rambling - but trying to think what evidence supports an innocent Wallace.






                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by etenguy View Post

                      That is a good point - whoever made the call was accepting some risk.



                      I am thinking about the timing, and you are right that Wallace must have left his house about 11-12 minutes after the milk boy's visit at the latest. We know some (a small amount) time was taken up with Julia storing the milk and she had also gone into the parlour and lit the fire. We don't know how much time transpired between receiving the milk and lighting the fire, but it may not have been more than a minute or so.

                      From the trials we know that Wallace needed to have left the house by 6.49 at the latest.

                      So the question that raises in my mind, is why did Julia light the fire in the parlour? The intruder (Qualtrough or other) theory would suggest the fire was lit to receive a guest. The Wallace theory would suggest the fire was lit to suggest a guest being entertained. So if Wallace was guilty, he would need to offer a reason to Julia to light the fire (perhaps suggesting they retire there for some musical interlude).

                      Its been suggested that, if guilty, Wallace might have told Julia that he’d decided not to go and that they’d planned a musical evening together. I’ve also suggested that maybe Julia had decided to play the piano while Julia was out. You’re suggestion that a guilty Wallace put the fire on to suggest a visitor is a good one though.

                      We also know the fire in the kitchen was alight and must have been fairly newly lit or topped up as the fire was still alight when Wallace returned from the Menlove Gardens area. It might be argued it would be unlikely they would top up the kitchen fire just before lighting the parlour fire, therefore a very slight pointer that Wallace was innocent.

                      Was the kitchen fire alight?

                      If Wallace was guilty, then he had to have a plan to keep clean from Julia's blood - this suggests possibly a stabbing might be a more appropriate method for Wallace to use. The mackintosh shield would have been risky in this regard and Wallace would not have had time to clean up and or change before leaving (and potentially discard some clothes as well as a weapon). So does the actual method of murder suggest someone other than Wallace committed the crime?

                      I’d have thought that if he’d have stabbed Julia he’d have been less likely to have gotten blood on him but maybe he felt that Julia might have screamed? Whereas a hard blow to the head would have stunned her before she could have made a sound.

                      A little bit mixed and rambling - but trying to think what evidence supports an innocent Wallace.

                      Another point to raise in regard to a Mr X as the killer is that if he was a ‘sneak thief’ ie that he intended to steal the cash and then leave without Julia realising, then being identified by Julia after the event would have been par for the course. So we have to assume an unreasonable outburst of rage for our killer to have bludgeoned her to death. We have to ask why, when discovered, didn’t he simply run? Julia was hardly likely to have chased after him? There was no phone in the house (few people had phones at home of course) so by the time she had raised the alarm and the police had finally turned up our Mr X would have been miles away. So we have to expect a rather pointless murder.

                      Following on from that, a spur of the moment killer, wouldn’t have used protection. This would surely have increased the chances of blood contamination outside the room? Did he put on gloves? If so he couldn’t really have gotten blood on them as there was none on the gas jets or door handles unless he took them off and then used something to rub out fingerprints?


                      It’s always worth looking at the other side Eten. I’m probably the strongest advocate of William’s guilt. By that I don’t mean that I’ve make the best case, but that I probably have fewer doubts than others that favour Wallace (although I’d have add Mark Russell now of course) I still accept that he might have been innocent. If I could dismiss the Monday evening doubts I’d be at 95% or so.
                      Regards

                      Herlock



                      Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                        My biggest doubt is concerning the Monday evening and the risks that Wallace took. Of being seen in or near to the call box. Or of being seen getting on the tram near the call box. Or of someone getting on at the Belmont Road stop and seeing Wallace already seated?
                        Hi Herlock,

                        Wallace would have had some idea, once he reached the chess club, of how likely it was that he had been seen in the wrong places and could be identified later. So he had time to consider his options, and to tailor the account he would give of his movements accordingly, if he felt confident enough to go ahead with his plan the following evening.

                        Love,

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


                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by caz View Post

                          Hi Herlock,

                          Wallace would have had some idea, once he reached the chess club, of how likely it was that he had been seen in the wrong places and could be identified later. So he had time to consider his options, and to tailor the account he would give of his movements accordingly, if he felt confident enough to go ahead with his plan the following evening.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X
                          Hi Caz,

                          The more that I think about the more I go for this explanation. Would it have been that disastrous if he’d been seen, unless he’d been seen without knowing it? If he’d been seen how disastrous for him would it have been to have told the police that he’d caught the tram near the phone box? He’d have still said that he hadn’t used the phone. He might even have said that, as he was standing at the tram stop, he saw a man come out of the phone box; or go in the phone box? The Defence could easily have argued that someone was watching Wallace. If he didn’t feel that it was safe enough then he tries again next week.
                          Regards

                          Herlock



                          Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                            It’s always worth looking at the other side Eten. I’m probably the strongest advocate of William’s guilt. By that I don’t mean that I’ve make the best case, but that I probably have fewer doubts than others that favour Wallace (although I’d have add Mark Russell now of course) I still accept that he might have been innocent. If I could dismiss the Monday evening doubts I’d be at 95% or so.
                            Thanks Herlock

                            I am in the Wallace was the most likely killer camp too, but trying to challenge that to see if it stands up, Not sure I am a good person to undertake that challenge though. Each time I think of something that may be a challenge, even as I type, I am also thinking of a rebuttal to the challenge.

                            Regarding the kitchen fire, Florence Johnstone said

                            The kitchen fire was nearly out and Mr. Wallace and I put some wood on and he helped me to get it going by stirring the few live embers at the bottom. Mr. Wallace put the coal on after the chips had caught. From the appearance of the fireplace when I went in it looked as if there had been a good fire and that it had burned out.
                            Only guessing how long the fire would take to burn out (my old coal fire lasted up to a couple of hours before burning out), but by 9.00pm it was on its last legs. But I think it must therefore have been a good fire at the time Wallace left for MGE and had not long been lit or topped up - or, if a small fire, it would have to have been topped up/lit while Wallace was out and about, suggesting Julia may have been alive while Wallace was out. Its too tenuous a clue, but I am looking for anything that might point to Wallace's innocence.


                            Last edited by etenguy; 02-24-2021, 07:51 PM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by etenguy View Post

                              Thanks Herlock

                              I am in the Wallace was the most likely killer camp too, but trying to challenge that to see if it stands up, Not sure I am a good person to undertake that challenge though. Each time I think of something that may be a challenge, even as I type, I am also thinking of a rebuttal to the challenge.

                              Regarding the kitchen fire, Florence Johnstone said



                              Only guessing how long the fire would take to burn out (my old coal fire lasted up to a couple of hours before burning out), but by 9.00pm it was on its last legs. But I think it must therefore have been a good fire at the time Wallace left for MGE and had not long been lit or topped up - or, if a small fire, it would have to have been topped up/lit while Wallace was out and about, suggesting Julia may have been alive while Wallace was out. Its too tenuous a clue, but I am looking for anything that might point to Wallace's innocence.

                              I’d forgotten about that Eten cheers. I don’t know anything about these fires though. If it was blazing at 6.30 is it unlikely that it was as Mrs Johnston said 2.5 hours later?

                              ps why don’t computers have a way of properly typing fractions? 1/2 is crap.
                              Regards

                              Herlock



                              Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                              Comment


                              • Hi Herlock

                                Found the quote below from a later (February) statement by Florence Johnston

                                The gas fire in the front room was not lit, but the fire in the kitchen had burned very low, and there were just one or two embers. It would take about two hours to burn so low. I got some wood out of the oven and lit the fire while waiting for the Police. Mr. Wallace sat in Mrs. Wallace’s armchair, and when he saw I was having difficulty he helped to stir the embers together. He seemed to me to be wanting to do something to keep his mind off the tragedy.
                                I think this likely means Wallace set the fire just before he left for MGE or Julia added coal to the fire at around 7.00pm. We cannot be precise about the time the fire was set, but it does certainly suggest it had just been set before Wallace left at the earliest. The more I think about this, the more it seems unlikely Julia would have lit the fire in the parlour while Wallace was at home. It is much more suggestive of a guest arriving.

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