Jonathan Goodman’s Notes on his Interview with Gordon Parry

Jonathan Goodman writes the interview slightly differently in his book, using the term “sexually odd”, here it appears Parry was suggesting bondage. This may be of possible interest, as Wallace stated a dog whip had been missing for a year, and a British politician reported that while in Malaya, Amy Wallace indulged in bondage by “whipping black boys” (found in Colin Wilson’s book). Joseph Wallace stayed in Malaya while Amy stayed in Liverpool, England.

First writeup, translated from handwritten notes:

Opening remark (before we had spoken): Is it something to do with the election?

After explanation that we were trying to trace everyone connected with, or with knowledge of, W(allace) Case:

A difficult job – most people who could help are dead. mentioned Crew, Close, Edwin (Dr) Wallace [How did he know of Edwin Wallace’s death: he mention in L’pool Press: only in Barrow in Furness paper]

Said that he joined Army soon after W case: Asked Directly, after working for Standard Life; replied that it was not directly after. Mentioned Tanks – Tank Corps?

Said that he was at present in government service: was going on duty later. Said that he was well-off: owned house and other property.

Said that he hoped that daughter would go to university.

Refused to give information, said reason was father’s health.
Said that ‘somebody had called on father and found his address under false pretences [UNTRUE]
Said that trouble over W Case had ‘definitely shortened mother’s life’, and that father, terribly upset, had telephoned him, saying: Gordon, you shouldn’t tell them anything: he had assured father that he would not say anything: What if they offer two or three thousand pouds father asked. Not even for 2 or 3 thousand, he replied.

Mentioned that author’s agent had approached him several years before with cash offer: implied that he had then been let down. Agreed that author was John Rowland. [I can check this] Said that after father’s death, he might change his mind, and that there were certain facts which only he knew about W and case.

Said that Joseph Crewe knew certain things which could have condemned W: Said, too, that Crewe was convinced of W’s guilt [UNTRUE]. He had no doubt that W was guilty: implied, when asked W’s motive (?), that he was sadist, pervert, but refused to give details.

Said that he told Hubert Moore certain things after case which convinced Mooreof W’s guilt. Said that he knew Julia well – ‘a sweet and charming woman’. He had often had tea with her and had often been in parlour with her, he singing, she accompanying on piano [Wallace DID Not know this]

Referred to criminal background as youthful pranks of a ‘young tearaway’. Said that case in which he was bound over for stealing car was post-party prank. Car belonged to Army officer.

Said that his criminal background (^_ to W case) was blown up: When told that his criminal record showed offences after case, he shut up.

Asked about MISS LLOYD, refused to give her Christian ___(name?).

R W-E said she was in B’ham a few years ago, and he said she was now in Llandudno – He was still in touch with her. Blamed trouble over W case for causing rife between them.

Told that Miss L had retracted alibi statement afterwards, said he did not deny this (?), in any case, he was also at birthday party that night.

[BIRTHDAY – Tie in with Q’s daughter’s birthday? Own birthday week before WAS MISS L’S BIRTHDAY NEAR?]

[Birthday party alibi; father’s reference to charging battery in Breck Road (P couldn’t remember this) and Miss Lloyd – an embarassment of alibis?]

Said that he had no objection to facts about himself and his connection with W case appearing in book, as long as his name was not mentioned.


Very plausible, blank: had control allw ay through interview – except for one moment when remark by R W-E caused clenching of fist. Smiling all the time.

Piercing grey-blue eyes
slight downward cast
tall, moustache, military bearing
perfect car salesman type

Large hands – clammy handshake

N Wales last known to police – check with own information

6_ C Z record

Me___ Kelly’s – Sommerset House
Get No 2 script to R W E

told __

Typed interview, possibly a draft for the book:

(I have included crossed out writing).

30th March, 1966.

Jonathan Goodman and Richard Whittington-Egan met Richard Gordon Parry who is now living in the ground-floor flat at Number 39 Grove Hill Road, London, S.W.5, (Telephone: BRIxton 7240) of a small Victorianterracehouse in an upper working class district which is divided into two flats.

Parry, who now works for “the government” (telephone operator) and was about to go on night duty, is married to a plump woman who appears some years younger than himself (he is fifty-seven), and has a daughter who is just about to go to university.

We found him a bland, plausible man who was not made in any way uncomfortable by our questioning. He has gray hair, smoothed sleekly back, and a neat-clipped military style moustage. He is of medium height and is neither fat nor thin. He appears to be in very robust health, wiry and well-preserved for his age. He is of reasonably powerful build, has noticeably large hands, and a loose, damp and rather fleshy handshake. His eyes, which are of that bold blue which is traditionally associated with ‘sex maniacs’, are penetrating and alternately shifty and too-candid. He exhiits certain lack of affect. He engenders an air of spurious authority of the kind that one encounters in the knowing, self-possessed and self-satisfied kind of jailbird. It was an air of authority that made of think of the type of ex-army non-commissioned officer who became a commissionaire.

He also exudes a false trowel-layed-on charm, which can easily beguile, but is as bogus as the bonhomie of a car salesman. This manner masks, in our opinion, considerable firmness – even ruthlessness. He would be a nasty man to cross. Despite an obvious and quite attractive sense of humour, one suspects that just below the surface there lurks a considerable capacity for unpleasantness. We would sum him up as a tricky, position-shifting individual of the con man type. He is evasive, manipulative, sharp, on-the-ball and clever. He is quite well-spoken, and throughout the interview kept a self-satisfied and inappropriate smile on his face.

He hinted that, if he chose, he could reveal much about Wallace, whom he described as a “very strange man,” and implied that he was sexually odd. He further said that he knew why Wallace might have killed his wife, and added that he could think of no-one else who would have been likely to have done so. He emphasised that women clients from whom Wallace collected insurance payments were afraid of him and that they did not like to admit him to their houses. Again he explained that Wallace was a “very peculiar looking man – and insanely tall.”

Julia Wallace he descibed as a “very sweet, charming woman.”

Parry believes, he says, that Wallace murdered her.

Parry vigorously denied that Wallace named him as his prime suspect. He claims that all Wallace said was that he (Parry) was the person that Julia would be most likely to admit to the house.

Parry was not unpleasant, but he was adamant in his refusal to talk about his part in the Wallace Case. He displayed the same kind of implacability that one of us (R.W.H.) encountered in discussion with Mrs. Grace Duff of the Croydon Poisoning Case.

He was quite ready to admit that, as a young man, he was what he called a “tearaway.” But he makes little of the various criminal charges against him. Just youthful high spirits. No real harm done. “It was very awkward for me having my little misdemeanours dragged up at the time of the case,” he remarked.

We pointed out that it was not until after the trial that he had got into trouble with the police. He replied that there had been other little incidence. (This presumably refers to the fact that he embezzled £30 from the Prudential Insurance Society, which his father repaid to Parry’s superintendent, Mr. Crewe.)

Referring to the fact that he was given three months’ imprisonment for taking a car and driving it away without the owner’s consent, he says that it was only a little joke – that he had “borrowed it for fun” from an officer in the tanks.

Pressed about the other car, which he had also driven away without the owner’s consent on a previous occasion, and in respect of which offence he had been bound over, he blandly replied that that was only a little joke too.

He agreed that he had stolen various sums of money, and concurred immediately and wholeheartedly with the proposition which we put forward that he had simply been “a young man with tastes that exceeded his unaided financial capacity to indulge them.”

The police, he said, were in and out of his house in Liverpool by the minute for two days at the time of the investigation, but they finally seemed ^were satisfied as to his innocence of the Wallace murder when he was able to produce some people with whom he had spent the evening of the murder “arranging a birthday celebration.”

(This we considered interesting and perhaps significant in view of the fact that Mr. Qualtrough spoke on the telephone of being busy with his girl’s twenty-first birthday party. Remember Parry was an amateur actor, a member of the Merseyside dramatic society, and had he been impersonating Qualtrough on the telephone this bit about the birthday party would have been just the sort of haphazard embroidery that a talented actor might well add to his preference to lend atmosphere and verisimilitude. Also Parry’s acting ability might lend him the considence to believe that he could adequately disguise his voice on the telephone.)

Parry claimed that John Rowland’s agent called to see him, circa 1958-59, when Rowland was writing his book on the Wallace case, and that he was promised money – but got nothing. Incidentally, he thought Rowland’s book poor.

Parry said that he used to sing as a young man, and would often go to tea to Wallace’s house, where Julia would accompany him singing on the piano or the violin INSERT: ( WALLACE KNEW NOTHING OF THIS.)

He REFUSED to talk about the Wallace case – “Not if you were to offer me £2,000,” – because, he said, he had promised his (73-year-old) father that he would not talk to anyone about it.

He REFUSED to divulge Lily Lloyd’s christian name – Who was his fiancé at the time of the trouble. He did, however, let it slip that he is still in touch with her and that she is now living in Llandudno. But he would not say where.

He DID NOT REMEMBER if he was in Breck Road (close to Wolverton Street, where the Wallaces lived) on the night of the murder having the batteries of his car recharched. (Although this information was given to J.G. by Parry’s father) when J.G. saw him in Liverpool on March 27th, 1966).

He said…that the worry of it all shortened his mother’s life.
… that the incident broke up his engagement to Miss Lloyd.
… that he “quite liked” Wallace.
… that Mr. Crew the Prudential superintendent (now conveniently dead) was utterly convinced of Wallace’s guilt. (This we know to be UNTRUE)
… that he was in the army after 1931.

We were surprised to find that he knew of the deaths of Crewe, Close (the milk boy) and Dr. Wallace, (that latter was Wallace’s nephew and his death was not at all widely reported. This suggests to us the probability that Parry watches everything that appears in connection with the 35-year-old mystery.)

Our initial impression was that Parry was the type of man who, manifestly, could have comitted the crime.

“I won’t discuss it at all,” he told us, and his manner made it plain that there was nothing that we could do to influence him. Without saying as such, he gave us the impression that he had fooled ‘better people’ than us. There was an air of slightly insolent, slightly amused and contemptuous superiority about him.

He claims that he is now quite well off – “I own property” – and is not in need of money.

He said that in his opinion it was writers who had ruined Christine Keeler’s marriage and chance of a happy life. (Still the old sex interest!), adding, “Anyway, that’s what I believe, and I’m the man in the street.” ( – Wolverton Street ? ! !!)

It was, then, impossible to budge him, but he did say that once his father is dead he might be prepared to talk, subject to financial arrangements being made.

He told us that he is not Welsh, despite his name, and that he has traced his family back for 600 years without finding a drop of Welsh blood.

In my view (R.W.E.) he exhibited definite psychopathic personality, and he tried constantly to put us in the position of being in the wrong, of having acted with less than honesty in endeavouring to trace him. He suggested that JG had upset his father and endangered his heart! But even this was done in an oblique sort of way, by saying that “someone had called on his father in Liverpool and upset him.” Parry affected, at first, not to know who we were. “Is it about the election you want to see me ?” he inquired blandly when we first appeared at the door. But he must have had a very good idea who we were, as his father had telephoned him on the previous Sunday night and told him of J.G.’s call and enquiry.

Finally, Parry said that he has no objection to the retelling of the facts in the book providing his anonymity is preserved. BUT if his name or whereabouts or disclosed he will take immediate action. We are both CERTAIN that he would NEVER confess to any guilty implication in the killing of Julia Wallace.

We then departed, resisting the temptation to say, “Good-night Mr. Qualtrough.”

I should add that on another occasion I telephoned him – resisting the temptation to say: ‘This is Mr Qualtrough speaking’. Parry was viciously angry that I had called, and – though I’m pretty broad-minded – I was astonished by the breadth of his vocabulary of foul language. Many of the obscenities were new to me. The odd thing, though, was that I had the feeling that he was enjoying his outburst. Perhaps a psychiatrist could eplain that. I can’t.


7 miled from ____ Derbyshire.

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10 Responses to Jonathan Goodman’s Notes on his Interview with Gordon Parry

  1. Ged says:

    Another Parry lie, he is a compulsive liar for sure:

    ”He told us that he is not Welsh, despite his name, and that he has traced his family back for 600 years without finding a drop of Welsh blood.” Says Goodman.

    According to John Gannon’s book which is (overly imho) full of Genealogy on the main players.

    Parry’s paternal grandfather John Parry was born in Connah’s Quay, Flintshire, N. Wales in 1864.

    Parry’s mother’s maiden name was Evans, his grandad married a woman whose names was orginally Owen and yet there’s not a drop of Welsh blood in him.

    Where does he then move to circa 1968 after being found in London in 1966 by JG and RWE – a remote village called Llangernyw in the middle of nowhere.

  2. Josh Levin says:

    Hi Ged,

    Thanks for this.

    Yeah Gannon’s book is a great resource on the case info, probably the definitive one (although with a few incorrect facts sprinkled in) but it is way too genealogically centered. I have no reason to believe the genealogically is inaccurate though.

    John was personally very nice to me when I asked for info on the case so I think he’s a good guy but his book could definitely have used an editor.

    Anyways, it always seemed to me both from his name and somewhat his appearance that Parry was probably Welsh. That is an odd thing to lie about. It appears from the Gannon’s genealogy research compendium that he is partially to mostly Welsh on both sides of his family so at the very least it comprised a high percentage of his ethnic background. The last name Lloyd is Welsh too I believe.

    I wonder what his motivation was to lie here. Perhaps he planned to retire to Wales as he did and not be traced/bothered again there by these hacky journalists so he pretended he had nothing to do with the place? That might make sense if you think about it.

    As an American, I am not really familiar with ethnic stigmas, nowadays in America most white people are so mixed from all over Europe, but I know back in the day of an Irish American stigma (doesn’t really exist anymore) and I know the history of England/Ireland ethnic tensions. Did being Welsh ever carry some outdated racial stigma? Hard to imagine but I wouldn’t know about these slight distinctions in people from very close geographical areas. I might also guess Liverpool’s location would lend itself to having a larger Irish population than most towns in England.

    I do think Parry seems like a compulsive liar/type of guy who might lie about something for no good reason at all, just for the heck of it which I think is what you are getting at (and is probably associated with a form of sociopathy).

    But I still think Wallace murdered his wife 🙂

  3. Ged says:

    Hi Josh. There was a huge Welsh/Liverpool connection in the late 1800s and early 1900s, in fact one row of streets in the Walton district near to Everton’s football ground even spells out the names of their Welsh builders with the initial letter of each street. Also in the Dingle area of Liverpool where Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was born, they are called the Welsh streets, with Welsh town names and built by Welsh builders. There is an area near to the City Centre that once housed St Paul’s Church which was a Welsh stronghold. There are still many families with Welsh names such as Parry, Lloyd, Thomas, Evans, Owens, Davies etc. I took a look in Llangernyw churchyard and there are some Parry’s but no connection to R.G.P. and many of the Welsh surnames mentioned above.

    During the Irish famine of the mid 1800s, millions of Irish fled across the Irish sea to Liverpool, many dying en route on what were called coffin boats and many dying soon after reaching here. Some of these made it onto ocean liners destined for the USA. Irish Catholics were treated abysmally in Ireland and were too in Liverpool with lodging houses putting out signs saying no blacks, no dogs, no Irish. Many Catholic churches were built due to the numbers of people, remember until 1922 Ireland was part of Great Britain / United Kingdom – all ruled from London so it was not immigration. Many Irish surnames beginning with O such as O’Connor, O’Neill, O’Shaunessy, O’Brien were anglicised with the prefix ‘O’ being dropped so that people would not be aware of their Irish background. Up until as recently as the 1970s there was Catholic-Protestant conflicts during orange lodge parades in Liverpool with Pros actually marching through Catholic areas causing provocation but gladly, people have ‘grown up’ and tolerance and mixed marriages are now normal.

  4. Josh Levin says:

    Thanks GED,

    That’s interesting. Glad to hear people have reached a more enlightened epoch than some of the petty and silly tribal stuff of the past.

    In America too it’s mostly this way IMO (despite what you might see on the news lol)

    Fascinating about the Welsh connection in Liverpool, I wonder what the cause of it was

    Back to the case and Parry, do you think he was a full on sociopath? Regardless of guilt or innocence (and your favored theory as him as the planner of a robbery not a cold blooded murderer anyway, I can’t tell. A very fascinating Jekyll and Hyde personality and it’s hard to tell if his behavior comes from sociopathy or inadequacy as a person.

    Many people who have difficulty coping with certain things or never fully grow up in some ways but are also intelligent and manipulative act in the way Parry did. The stealing in youth is forgivable but if he really raped Lily Fitzsimmons, that is less so.

    Nonetheless, I think it should be noted after another incident later that year of robbery when he was place in irons, he never got in trouble again (1936, aged 27).

  5. Michael Fitton says:

    The notes made by Jonathan Goodman after his interview with Parry make for interesting reading. In fact they tell me more about JG than they do about Parry.
    It is obvious that JG/RW-E did not approach this encounter with open minds; they had already decided Parry was guilty. All Parry’s remarks, his personality and attitude are interpreted in this negative light with a good dollop of cod psychology thrown in for good measure.

    “His eyes, which are of that bold blue which is traditionally associated with ‘sex maniacs.”

    “This manner masks, in our opinion, considerable firmness – even ruthlessness”

    “….just below the surface there lurks a considerable capacity for unpleasantness.”
    “Parry was the type of man who, manifestly, could have committed the crime.”

    After 20 minutes of this doorstep psychoanalysis , all their former suspicions of Parry are confirmed – they are convinced more than ever that they have just spoken with the killer of Julia Wallace!

    It seems that everything Parry said was taken as Holy Writ and this has led to a mini industry of extrapolation and interpretation ever since. What did he mean by “sexually odd ?” etc. etc.

    Parry was the proverbial “black sheep” of a middle class family. He was articulate, brimming with self confidence and clever (at least they got that right). He saw this as an opportunity to see what these writers knew without giving anything away himself and as an opportunity to throw in a few tit bits which should keep them occupied for a while. He played with their feet and they fell for it.
    I suppose he was anxious to get back to his study of 13 th century manuscripts detailing his family history.

  6. Josh Levin says:

    Mike I tend to agree,

    Seems that they came there with a conclusion in mind and tried to work backwards from their experience with Parry (and everything else really) leading up to the 1981 radio city interview. I think Parry was for sure a shady character, at least in young adulthood but I don’t think he was involved in Julia Wallace’s death at all.

    It is interesting to note in a 2011 book co authored with his wife RWE points the finger at Wallace as the likely killer.

    Roger Wilkes I thinks lacks integrity because he endorsed Gannon”s book strongly and its theory then in the last couple years rewrote a foreword to his book re endorsing the Parry alone theory.

  7. Ged says:

    I certainly don’t think being a published author, journalist or aficionado on the case gives anyone the right to conclude their version of events in the correct one, not in this case anyway. Yes, some of JG/RWE’s conclusions of Parry just from his sight, sound and manner are speculative.

    However, we still have the ‘I could say a lot more but I promised my father’….. statement. The ‘I used to visit Julia without Wallace knowing’ statement, and the failure to ever mention Olivia Brine by name in his defence which could have got the pesky journos off his back forever.

    Then, and only since come to light since Gannon’s book we have the Ada Cook revelations.

    Then the coercing of Lily Lloyd to time his arrival to hers much earlier than he actually did arrive on the Tues night , even though he was covered by the Brine’s none detailed statement for the time of the murder anyway. Coercing is the only thing that could have happened otherwise why did she later refute the alibi to a later time even though by then she’d know it mattered not one jot. She was working at the cinema playing piano until around 10pm.

    Then the false alibi for the Monday night, conveniently (maybe) not acted upon by the Police. And, since they didn’t act upon it, who is to say it is true they never acted upon the Parkes statement (which doesn’t exist in the file) for the same reasons.

    We also have Parry’s sister being Supt Moore’s secretary which was a possible conflict of interest in this case and if she is taking notes down from her superior as would be her job, then you’re not telling me this isn’t possibly getting back to Parry.

    All evidence as far as I can see points to a violent action against Lily Fitzsimmons, the red marks on her face, the earring found on the debris where his car had been parked.

    Also Josh. You say he never got in trouble again after 1936. That doesn’t mean he didn’t do things he was just never caught for or were not recorded in the press like the rest were. Ringo Starr (him again) smoked just as much pot and worse as the other 3 but was never caught so has no convictions for it (self confessed).

    There are other things, the amateur dramatics, the Atkinsons, the opportunity (car – and he was in the district both nights), the motive……..

    I’m yet to come across the book by RWE that changes his mind on Wallace – any links please?

    • Michael Fitton says:

      Assuming, only for a moment, that everything Parry said is true:

      Parry’s touching concern for his father’s health is rather late in the day considering the stress and shame this middle class family must have gone through with Parry’s known record and convictions – embezzlement, car theft, and an indecent assault accusation which did get as far as a courtroom. And as you say Ged, below this scum there is the rancid pool of his activities which didn’t end up in court: swindling people on insurance policies etc. At one point he turned up at the Prudential offices, although no longer an employee, and asked a Mr Brown, who shared an office with Wallace if he could take away a sheaf of notepaper bearing the Pru letterhead!

      I think it quite possible that Parry called on Julia in the afternoon for a chat / cup of tea. The neighbours heard no music. Parry liked being around women, not necessarily for seduction, but just to be in their company (Mrs Brine?). Was this the final straw for Wallace?

      He didn’t mention Mrs Brine to JG/RW-E because in 1966 sleeping dogs should not be disturbed.

      It is hard to believe that both Lily Lloyd and her mother would lie in their police statements when Parry, engaged to Lily, was at that point a suspect in a brutal murder.
      Hardly a suitable husband-to-be if he was involved.

      The Ada Cook story may reflect a decision taken by Parry’s father that something (at last) had to be done about young Gordon to straighten him out. The reported request to get him onto a ship, often taken as an attempt to flee the scene, could be a desperate plan to get him out of Liverpool, away from his cronies and possibly into the Navy – merchant or Royal.. It didn’t come to anything but I do agree that Parry joining the army was not his own idea. This got him away but as we know the leopard didn’t shed his spots even there.

      Do we know what Parry did during World War 2? Wouldn’t surprise me if Dad, with his connections, found Gordon a safe reserved occupation which exempted him from military service.

  8. Josh Levin says:

    Hi GED, it’s in this book which is not as widely available as it used to be:

    It’s also on google books:

  9. Michael Fitton says:

    Alternative roles for the mac:
    1. Julia admitted the killer to No 29 with the mac around her shoulders for warmth.
    This accounts for the mac being found in the parlour near the body. However it does not explain the blood stains, particularly their distribution on the mac. There is one relatively large patch of bloodstain and many subsidiary ones scattered around. The large stain could not be produced by the mac being around the shoulders when she was struck with the weapon. It suggests close contact of the mac with the head wounds at the time these wounds were produced. The alternative of the mac being left by chance in contact with the head wounds on the floor is negated by the position of the mac when found – the head was not covered by it.

    2. The mac was used as a shield against blood spatter by holding it as a matador would hold his cape.
    If this were the case the mac wold be stained only with spray and spatter, shielding the killer. The extent and distribution of the bloodstains rule this out quite apart from the physical difficulty of holding a cape while belabouring the poor woman with the weapon.

    3. The mac was thrown over her head before the fatal blows were delivered.
    Against this is the absence of impact marks on the mac. But how sure can we be that here would have been any? No tests were done in this regard. And only the first
    blow(s) have to be considered, the remainder were delivered when she was on the floor and had been dragged away from the gas fire causing the mac to come adrift from the body, accounting for the blood spatter on the walls and elsewhere.
    This would account for the heavily stained patch – the part in contact with the head wound.

    4. The position of the mac when found.
    It was parallel to the body, close to it on the right hand side, and gave Mrs Johnston the impression it had been “tucked in.” Inspector Moore also said it had been “tucked in” and he went further :”.. it was arranged as if to make a living person more comfortable.”
    This “arranged” position of the mac did not happen by chance. A mac cast to the ground after serving as a shield would not fall in this neat configuration. So what happened?

    5. A suggestion.
    I believe Wallace killed Julia. He was hoping the pathologists would give an estimated time of death around say 8 pm when he was undeniably in Menlove Gardens. To help them come to this erroneous conclusion he
    (a) left the Liverpool Echo open at the central pages on the kitchen table,
    (b) left the parlour gas fire on a low flame to delay cooling of the room and the body,
    (c) used the mac as a blanket to cover the body while he was away to delay cooling.Wallace quickly peeled it back into it into it’s “as-found” position (“tucked in”) on his “discovery” of Julia’s body. No part of the mac, according to Inspector Moore, was trapped under Julia’s body.

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