John Parkes Radio City Transcript

Transcript by Gerard “Ged” Fagan.

From “Radio City”, 1981, Parkes states:

“Oh I knew him very well, very well. I knew him at school and knew him off school. I knew him exceptionally well. I remember him as a ladies man. He always went around in a dress suit and a collar, very smartly dressed. He said to me ‘Do you like me’ I said I don’t trust you. He came up the stairs into the kitchen, he was in insurance business, he was after business but his mind was always on other things. He tried to rob the son, he was caught going through a wardrobe where the son kept money. After that the boss said, we were told to close the door at night and not let him in. (His car) I think was a Swift, a little Swift and that’s a fact, the Atkinson’s overhauled the engine for him and never got paid because he never had the money to pay him, you had great difficulty getting money off him.

He came in the garage (PC Ken Wallace) he said ‘hello there John’ and I said ‘hello Ken’. He said ‘there’s been a bit of trouble there in Wolverton street in Anfield’. I said ‘why what’s gone wrong Ken?’ So he said ‘there’s been a murder committed and Mr Wallace has been charged with it’ (he hadn’t) So I said ‘that’s Parry’s friend’ and he said ‘that’s right’ and he said ‘I won’t discuss it too much with you because I’m a policeman’.

Later that night or early morning Parry came in with his car. I was busy in the garage I was washing some cars down in the garage and he says to me, ‘brought the car in, I want you to wash my car down’.

Well his car was clean as far as I can remember but I got the high powered, high pressure hose and I went all over the car, underneath, on top, inside, all the back, everywhere and I seen the glove there and I pulled it out as it would get wringing wet and he snatched it up and it was covered in blood and he said to me ‘if the police found that’ he said, ‘that would hang me!’ So I was a bit dubious about things you know and after that starts grabbing it and the bar, and about the bar he says he’s ‘hid the bar in a doctors house’ and he said he ‘dropped the bar down the grid outside a doctor’s house in Priory Road’. He was in an agitated state I can remember that I could tell by what he said and when I was washing the car down I knew why I was washing it down and I daren’t say anything and he said I want all that washed down with the high pressure hose and I realised me washing that car down I was washing everything away, the evidence was gone. The evidence was there on the glove, blood on the glove. If there’d been a witness there, him saying all that, would get me hanged that. I remember that as clear as daylight.

Yes yes without a shadow of doubt every partical of the car was washed where in other places they don’t wash and he stood over me while I did it and was telling me where to do and what to do and I went all over it completely all over it and the only surprising thing I saw was that glove and it had blood on it and it would hang him. Parry snatched it out my hand. I realised then he wanted me to swill the box out and the glove and all. It was a thumb and all fingers, this part was all fingers or just a thumb and I’m not sure now, I think it had a little tear in it and I had thigh boots on so I didn’t get wet. Any blood stains on it went down the grid.

Sometimes he’d come to the garage and be there until three or four in the morning then go home.

When I found the glove that made me more afraid, I thought I’ll have to be careful here now so I couldn’t say. He told me where the bar was, I couldn’t pick that up on conjecture, he told me where it was hidden down a grid outside a doctors surgery in Priory Road. Well I don’t know how many doctors were in Priory Road, he was in a state of insanity, he had to tell somebody, he had to tell somebody what he’d done he was that way gone and he told me everything. Now if I’d been a bit more wide awake I’d have got more out of him, he’d probably tell me more but all Parry was concerned with was me washing that car down thoroughly and he guarded over it and watched what I was doing and I remember that glove like I’m remembering you now and him telling me about the bar.

He was such a liar he could spin a yarn and get away with it and he used to have a bad habit. He’d come up into the kitchen where we were and he’d pick the phone up and he’d ring someone up who he never knew, he’d ring them up and talk to them and I’d say ‘you don’t want to do that Gordon, you’re getting people a bad name’ and he was in the dramatics society an all Gordon Parry and it was nothing to him to alter his voice. He could alter his voice like you changing a shilling. After the murder and he opened his mouth to me he suddenly came round with another chap then Mr Atkinson and his sons said to me ‘You come down the back entry of a night don’t you to work’ and I said ‘yes in the dark’ because I used to start about half past eleven. He said ‘don’t come down that way anymore in the dark’.

They didn’t want to get involved. There was a driver at Ellis’s, he knew and he didnt want to get involved, the policeman knew and he didnt want to get involved, all the Atkinsons knew and didnt want to, and people I spoke to, if someone had only backed me up and come forward I’d have cleared Wallace. Wallace would never had been convicted, the blood on the glove alone never mind.”

Mike Green who worked on the Radio City broadcast has the following to say, sent via Wilkes:

“I spoke to Mike Green who has a copy of the unedited interview with John Parkes, and he listened through to it for me, sending me the following notes:

John Parkes talks about the bloody glove and hosing the car down inside and out. He also says that the police later took possession of the car and examined it for blood, but found nothing.

He says Parry claimed to have dropped an iron bar down a drain in front of a doctor’s house in Priory Road. There’s no description of the bar (or where it came from) and Parkes said he saw nothing else in the vehicle apart from the bloody glove, which he says was like a leather mitten.

He claims he was told that Parry borrowed thigh boots and a mac from two people before the murder, but he was dressed “normally” when he visited with the motor car, a “dicky” Swift. He says the car was Parry’s own, not his father’s and he often brought it round.

Interestingly, he claims that the police staked out the garage after the murder and warned him that he needed to be careful using the back alley from his house, implying they were suspicious of Parry.

He also says Parry turned up a few days later with a man of similar age and implies that he might have been an accomplice.

Parkes says he told Gordon Atkinson and his two sons what had happened the day after Parry visited. He does not mention Dolly.

If you use any of this, please credit Mike Green as the interviewer.

Hope this is of some use.”

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135 Responses to John Parkes Radio City Transcript

  1. Josh Levin says:

    This is a joke, right?

    Reads like National Enquirer

  2. Michael Fitton says:

    Hi Ged.
    Thanks a lot for transcribing Parkes’ story from the Radio City recording. Its much more convenient to examine it line by line from the printed page.
    In the final paragraph Parkes says “if someone had only backed me up”. To me this is a sign that his story (unsurprisingly) was greeted by disbelief by anyone he told it to. He gives a list of people who “didn’t want to get involved” including Ken Wallace the policeman! These people in my view didn’t want to take it further or”get involved” because they they thought the tale was made up.
    I think the only options are a complete fabrication of the story by Parkes – Parry never came in on that night. Or Parkes’ story is true but he mistakenly identified the stains on the glove as blood which gave Parry the cue to lead the gullible along saying the glove could get him (Parry) hung.
    If it really was a blood-stained glove it would be down a drain somewhere by then.

    • Josh Levin says:

      The story is a complete fabrication. It’s a joke really. Also please note Parry’s police interview which ran past midnight was NOT on the night of the murder so that lends even less credecence to this bizarre tale.

      • R M Qualtrough says:

        How comes the interview being after the night of the murder reduces the credibility?

        • Michael Fitton says:

          I too can’t see how the date of Parry’s police interview has anything to do with Parkes’ story.

          • R M Qualtrough says:

            He means because he thinks Gordon went to the garage after his police interview, having his car washed due to the panic of being suspected and brought in for questioning.

  3. Michael Fitton says:

    Thanks. I never thought of that.

  4. GED says:

    Firstly, if Parry is involved he doesn’t need to be questioned first in order to want to get the car hosed down, he knows he could be a suspect by the very nature that he is involved.

    Secondly, it is my belief that he may not even know the glove is there until Parkes finds it which then results in the hurried snatching and explanation which he never had prepared for. Imagine if Parry collected his accomplice/s after they ran down Hanwell st (3 witnesses see these 2) The car is pointing towards Priory Road, the accomplices say ‘It’s all gone wrong, we’ve had to kill the old woman’ Parry races to the first grid he sees or knows of which is just there on the left past the lights at the junction of Rochester Road/Townsend Lane/Priory Road – seconds away – not even minutes. The murder weapon is deposited here, outside the Drs surgery. Parry may even have collected them after he left the Brines, if in fact he was there at all.

    Lily Lloyd says (in 1981) she was playing at the Clubmoor cinema that night (another thing the Police decided not to check on) and Parry picked her up and took her home. Lily, Josephine (her mother) and Parry never mention this in their statements – why?
    Parry’s statement is very (overly) detailed for the friday night yet no mention of the cinema. We know his monday night statement is a lie (at the Lloyds from 5.30pm til 11.30pm) again not noticed by the police against those statements given by Lily or her mother.

    Parry and the Lloyds both say on the murder night, Parry called by from 9pm until 11pm (not that he picked Lily up from the cinema) If he did leave the Lloyds at 11pm this could also fit in with him even meeting the accomplices then, getting his pay off, finding out about the murder, dumping the iron bar and heading to Atkinson’s garage for midnight or just after.

    What will it take for people to see we have lies here in front of us, even in Police statements yet we have Parkes as the liar who stands to gain nothing from this and in fact put his safety in danger.

    I can’t collate that his story is met with disbelief. He tells the Atkinson’s who say leave it. (They verify they were told during the phone in – they don’t do the easy thing and say sorry, what are you on about, never heard this story before) Ken Wallace may be worried he’s been telling Parkes things he shouldn’t and Supt Moore is taking charge of this, he has his man, he tells one officer that Alan Close is mistaken about the time, he doesn’t want anything in the way of his assumption Wallace is the killer. It is nearly 2 weeks now and there is pressure for an arrest. There was a rumour mill, Ellis’s driver, the oilskins (sounds nothing more than a rumour) but this isn’t Parkes first hand knowledge. If Parkes is lying why not just make an even more fanciful story up such as Parry said ‘I did it, say anything and i’ll kill you too’.

    A Question just so it is clarified on here as I thought it was clarified.

    Mike, RMQ, Josh, anybody else. Who is Q, who made the call?

    If it’s not W, then W is innocent.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      “yet we have Parkes as the liar”
      Yes correct he is a fraud. Slemen’s Stan also had a story about the crime but it was actually backed up by obscure case facts which demonstrate intricate knowledge of the case. Parkes is just spewing common rumours about iron bars and storm drains.

      His story won’t stop being a hoax if Gordon did it, it’s just clearly fraudulent and must be binned.

      “If it’s not W, then W is innocent.”
      Doesn’t follow.

    • Michael Fitton says:

      Hi GED,

      Even if Parry didn’t know the glove was there he knew it could incriminate him.

      PC Wallace not wishing to counter Inspector Moore’s conviction that Wallace had done it:
      On the Tuesday night I believe Moore was more open to alternative suspects than he later became. It was on Thursday 22 January that his suspicion of Wallace took a big leap forward with the welcome news that the Q call had been traced to Wallace’s local phone box. PC Wallace would get considerable kudos by reporting Parkes’ story whether he believed it or not.

      My own view: either that Parkes’ story is complete balderdash from start to finish or it is true but he mistakenly identified the stains on the mitten as blood and Parry, knowing Parkes to be gullible, let him believe it. In one sense it doesn’t matter which of these (if any) are true because they both fail to incriminate Parry.

      Ged, I have the impression that you believe Parkes’ story to be true in all respects. We, (Josh, RMQ, and myself) have given our judgement on it. What is yours?

      Best regards,


    • Josh Levin says:

      “Ged, tou staterd: “Mike, RMQ, Josh, anybody else. Who is Q, who made the call?

      If it’s not W, then W is innocent.”

      Sorry, logic doesn’t follow

  5. GED says:

    Sorry I say friday night in my last post, of course I mean tuesday night.

    I could go on and on. Parry’s dad telling him not to mention anything to anyone not even for £1000, Ada Pritchard. If W is in collusion with anyone, his alibi could send him to MGE straight from work, he wouldn’t even have to come home. If he’s setting up the parlour for a phony musical evening (but actually to murder J) then why tell Julia earlier about the Q message and he is going up to Calderstones on business? Too many things he doesn’t have to do and too many things he should have done but didn’t if he was the murderer. Why not timestamp the first tram, that’s the important one. Why didn’t the police time the trams for Monday night, or did they but it helped the defence?

  6. GERARD FAGAN says:

    In reply to RMQ. Who do you think made the call? Then i’ll tell you how it follows.

  7. Michael Fitton says:

    Hi GED,
    In response to your request for opinions on who made the call, here is mine:

    I believe Wallace himself made the Qualtrough phone call. Supporting circumstantial evidence is:
    1. Only Wallace knew for sure he would attend the club that evening.
    2. By phoning from Anfield Wallace gave himself the longest time interval before he would have to speak again with Mr Beattie and risk recognition of his voice. He further extended this interval by arriving unnoticed at the club.
    3. The “start by 7.45pm” rule was hardly enforced and you could not be penalised for starting later. Wallace had enough time to make the call and arrive at the club shortly after 7.45. His arrival time is unknown but it must have been late enough for him to conclude that his scheduled opponent Mr Chandler was not going to show up, so he played against Mr McCartney.
    4. Gladys Harley, the waitress, who in her job spoke face to face with people from all walks of life said in her statement that the caller was in her opinion “an elderly gentleman” using this term twice. All the others who spoke with Qualtrough described only the voice and gave no opinion on the type of person it sounded like.
    5. On receipt of the message, Wallace did not ask Mr Beattie if Qualtrough had left his phone number.
    6. Instead of being upset that a business call for him had interrupted the games of Beattie and McCartney and quickly writing down the MGE address with apologies, Wallace “misheard” West for East, repeated the name Qualtrough several times, asked around for directions to MGE, making the event more memorable in the minds of potential witnesses. A technique he repeated on the trams, in Menlove Gardens, and on his return home with the Johnstons.

    The potential failure points of the Qualtrough plan:
    1.Wallace taking the tram to visit a friend,
    2. Not receiving the message,
    3. Deciding not to follow it up,
    4. Having an engagement on the Tuesday evening,
    5. Being ill,
    6. Making enquiries and finding MGE didn’t exist (a very real risk for a non-Wallace Qualtrough),
    7. Being unwilling to leave the ailing Julia alone in the house,
    8. Justified suspicion on receiving a business call at his chess club and the fixed inflexible details of the appointment.

    All these uncertainties become certainties if Wallace, and only Wallace is the caller.

  8. GED says:

    Thank you Michael, very detailed, just how I like it. Incidentally, 7 of us enthusiasts of the case took a car ride up to Menlove last night, following the tram route and W’s walking route. It actually surprised me how natural his enquiries were when you see the lay out of the Gardens but I digress.

    In answer to your paragraphs I would counter these as follows and just how the defence did. The pointers are only circumstantial which Justice Wright agreed with (more or less directing the jury to a not guilty verdict) and eventually the Appeal Judges, in fact I am astounded that Roland Oliver did not out rightly just say to Justice Wright. There is no case to answer here and this case should be thrown on the same grounds.

    1) The notice board says otherwise and though he hadn’t attended some games, an untrained eye would need to delve into the workings out and system used. If Q was P then he had every reason to think he would be there when it says so as he’d seen him there on occasions in the past (even Thursdays) and probably didn’t even know he hadn’t attended nights that he should have. Beattie is quite adamant that the voice was not W’s. You cannot say at one point it was elderly (Like W) and then at another it was not likes W’s own voice to Beattie unless we believe W had the dramatic society skills of P.

    2) If W phoned from that box he took an enormous risk in being seen. He is distinctive in the area, he has 600 clients, there are two pubs and a cinema within yards of the box. He would want to be in and out of that box, speaking as shortly as possible so as not to be rumbled, not faffing about over tuppence (A Parry trick of course) The call started at 7.20, the second one, put through 3 minutes later – a 4 minute call according to Goodman and so at 7.27 W has to walk to the Corner of Townsend Lane to a stop he doesn’t normally use (and has been doing this route often for years from the corner of Belmont Road) so here he could easily be noted by passengers, acquaintances, clients, the clippie or driver and who knows who might get on at his normal stop and be surprised to see he’s already on it. Furthermore the tram has to be virtually there waiting for him and there is also the subsidence detour from Dale st to contend with.
    Are we to believe that the police did not do a tram timings test here also but it did not find it’s way into the prosecution case because it favoured the defence?

    3) At 7.50 W’s chess game against McCartney was interrupted, it is said that this game was about 4 minutes old. He had already had to find out (by looking or asking) if his planned opponent Chandler was there and Chandler would have to be given the opportunity to turn up by at least 7.45 and even later (though he may face a penalty) before a replacement game begins. How can a person arrive anywhere not knowing they’ve been noticed? How could he arrive purposely unnoticed when he has to ascertain firstly if Chandler is there or to seek out McCartney to play a game with him instead. Caird knew he was there, he was only unnoticed by Beattie because he was deep in thought playing a game.

    4) If P is purposely imitating W (which is why he may have used that call box or that could just have been a fortuitous coincidence for P) then yes, he would play act a voice. Don’t forget P attended the same cafe so Gladys Hartley may know his natural voice too.

    5) This is the only puzzler but it may be that W has assumed that if the caller had provided a phone number, then Beattie would have also provided it, notice how Beattie also didn’t ask the caller for it??? How many people had private phones back in 1931, perhaps it was natural to assume the caller was phoning from one of the ample supply of phone boxes around the city.

    6) I don’t get why W would have to be upset. I play in a pool league and if someone took a phone message for me at the pub they’d call me to it if is was live or if it was a message from before i’d arrived I would not be upset if they came over and gave me the message, why would I be, would you?

    Let’s see the facts from the MGE trek. He has 15 minutes (the police’s timescale) to commit the murder, clean himself of blood (ALL experts agree there would be blood incl McFall) and dispose of the murder weapon. This is assuming he left his house at 6.50 and ran like the Anfield Harriers tram time testers of course. W says he left at 6.45. The time can only ever work against W if you are claiming Alan Close lied for which we have no proof so we have only his testimony under oath to go off. Yes he may have been a bit embarrassed about singing the missing link with his thumbs tucked into his braces but he doesn’t mind denying that but not the actual facts that matter, that he not only saw, but spoke to Julia at 6.35pm.

    W does not timestamp the most important tram, the first one. This is the natural one to timestamp if you’re making your ‘alibi’ count. He doesn’t timestamp it or ask questions because he knows this route on tram 1. On tram 2 onwards, he is used to travelling to Joseph Crewe’s house (2 years earlier) by taking the tram directly from Lodge Lane to Allerton Road – NOT Menlove Avenue. So therefore he is wondering does this tram go straight there, do I have to change, what do I do, it’s quite natural. Seven of us did the trek last night as it happens (see our facebook group) and his enquiries up there seemed so natural. Conductor Arthur Thompson on his 3rd tram, the 5A says to W as he points… this is Menlove Gardens West, you will probably find that MGE is up there somewhere. So W goes up MGW, up to near the top and at it’s junction with MGN sees a woman come out of a house about 7 or 8 houses along and asks about MGE. She bladdy lives there an doesn’t even say there isn’t one. She says to keep on walking up MGW and it may be the continuation. W then says he reached ‘I think it was called Dudley Road’ – it is actually Dudlow Lane (the incorrect name further proving he didn’t know this particular area) At this point he sees a tall fair man who turns out to be Sidney Hubert Green who says there is no such place. W believing the address has been taken down incorrectly heads to 25 MGW where he speaks to Katie Mather. No joy there so he walks along MGS but they are only even numbers until it becomes MGN and notices these too are only even numbers and then he comes out onto Menlove Avenue and notices Green Lane across the road. Realising it is where Crewe lives (but he only normally approached it from the Allerton Road end as it’s a lot nearer) he heads there. Crewe is out but in his mind and probably giving it up as a lost cause he heads down onto his more familiar Allerton Road where fortuitously he meets a policeman who has just left Allerton Road police station. He says there is no MGE and no Q he knows of and he could try 25 Menlove Avenue. (Now that is a big hike back up the lengthy Green Lane and practically where he got off the tram) so W asks about the directory and is pointed towards the post office. W time checks with the policeman he still has time to go there, thinking it will close at 8pm and heads that way. Now let’s look at this in more detail. He has only been on foot for 25 minutes, not a great time we found if you are looking for somewhere and as the post office is in the direction of the Plaza Cinema and his tram stop home it is no big deal. He is only minutes in the post office and Allday’s newsagents facing before giving up the ghost.

    The potential failure points of the Q plan:

    This is explained easily and I think it has been before. P & maybe his accomplice (possibly his friend William Denison, nephew of Olivia Brine) having seen the notice board wait in the car park of the Cabbage Hall and see W exit Richmond Park heading for his tram stop. They use this vantage point as it covers all of W’s routes. If he doesn’t go the chess club that night, no big deal, just a bit of time wasted and will try another night. Upon seeing W en route P makes the call. P then drives to Lily Lloyd’s to see her but she is busy with a student and says he’ll call back as he is going to Park Lane on a message. (see Josephine/Lily Halls statements – P actually lies to the Police saying he was with Lily all night – never checked out – why?) He drives to Park Lane or thereabouts which is very close to North John st and either he or the unknown Denison just makes sure W is at the chess club and therefore will probably have received the message. The following night W is seen leaving for MGE and the deed can be done, we just need to work out now what happened next.
    1) Do P & D call together, they would be admitted as P is there.
    2) Does P call, get admittance and sneak D in whilst P keeps Julia occupied
    3) Does D call as Q to gain admittance and P is just the get away driver aghast at what goes wrong and panicking later takes the car to be hosed down but doesn’t know the bloodied glove is in there until Parkes finds it and is taken by surprise babbling on about it getting him hanged and what’s just happened.

    If W is not the caller then W is innocent because either the caller or his accomplice did the murder and IF W was in cohoots with anyone then they’d have just sent him to MGE straight from work doing away with the possibility of W even being in the frame.

  9. GED says:

    Mike, in answer to your Q about Parkes story.

    If he came forward in 1981 of his own volition as an attention seeker, and why wouldn’t he come forward before then, then yes I ‘d say balderdash.

    But the fact is he DID tell the Atkinson’s as they confirm this!

    Do I believe the Captain Birdseye story – No. But then it doesn’t sound like the interviewer believes that bit either, i’ll have to read Wilkes take on that bit again.

    So what does Parkes have to gain in 1931 by revealing this tale – nothing, in fact he only has to fear for his safety. They may not have gone to Hector Munro because they did not know the name of the defence solicitor and thought that talking to the man in charge, Hubert Moore is the thing to do.

    I’m not 100% on Parkes but even without that we have:

    Parry’s statement lie for the Monday night – I reiterate, not checked out by the police.

    Once this is given and the police are somehow satisfied – Why??? then in their eyes P cannot be the killer as the police inexplicably tie the caller in as being the killer.

    YET. Why does P say the police were in and out of his house for 2 days. Surely he would have to have been a suspect then. Why was he such a strong suspect?

    What do you all think about Ada cook (Pritchard’s) story? Is that fake too. Are only the stories that go against P fake?

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Nobody has ever said he came in wearing waders, it was speculation by the locals because he had borrowed such an item and never gave it back. Which is exactly the sort of thing someone with that kind of personality would do (“””borrow””” things).

      There isn’t evidence against Gordon except that he falsified his whereabouts and movements for the 19th (call night).

  10. GED says:

    The waders is not Parkes first hand knowledge and is just a load of codswallop.

    There is no evidence against W as agreed by Justice Wright and the Appeal judges.

  11. Michael Fitton says:

    Hi GED,
    “If Q wasP he had every reason to think he (W) would be there” I disagree. Even Beattie was not sure W would attend that evening as he told Q.

    Beattie was asked “Did you at the time think the voice….” and he replied “No.” Beattie never considered for a second that it might be Wallace using a false name to ring himself. It was this context rather than the voice itself which led to his firm reply “No.”

    The phone box was dark, unlit and W would have his back to passers-by hurrying home on a winter’s evening.

    W arriving at the chess club discreetly: he could, as you say, check out if Chandler had arrived, nod to Mr Caird, start his game with McCartney – all this as long he kept away from Beattie for as long as possible giving him maximum time since B had spoken with Q.

    Wallace didn’t ask if Q had left his phone number. Neither, as you point out Ged, did Beattie, but Wallace didn’t know that. B may have asked and been told Q was using a public phone. He didn’t pass this detail on to Wallace so its surprising that Wallace didn’t ask about it. Q, living in leafy Menlove Gardens, a family man with a 21 year old daughter and affluent enough to be taking out an assurance policy might well be just the kind of fellow to have a newly-installed phone at home.

    Wallace unapologetic at interrupting several chess games: a chess game is characterised by long periods of deep thought regarding the next move, conversation is discouraged and silence is preferred. Above all, an interruption to the game is most unwelcome. It is, with respect, a very different atmosphere to a pool game in a pub.

    Finally, to return to W’s encounter with Beattie at the tram stop. Wallace’s first words are that he’s just come from the police (true) and that they have cleared him (untrue.) He then questions Beattie about the exact time of the call, is unhappy with Beattie’s estimate of “shortly after 7 o’clock,” and asks “Can’t you get it closer than that?”
    This is strange behaviour for a man who has just been cleared by the police. Wallace said the timing is “important to me.” Why, if he’s just been cleared?
    Beattie who was able to read Wallace’s mood and demeanour advised him to stop this line of questions “because it might be misconstrued “ Code for “You’re behaving like a guilty man.”

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Are the quotes as you put them complete? Did Beattie tell him “shortly after 7 o clock”? Wallace ought not know that, say, 7.05, is not close enough to the real time (as he isn’t meant to have knowledge that the message came at 7.15+). Perhaps he was asking for precision with an actual number.

      There is nothing by the chart that anyone browsing the board could use to determine William hadn’t been in X number of weeks. The game results were backdated for one thing, so if you played someone in Jan but were scheduled to match the December gone, the result would be marked in under December as though you had been there.

      I remember it working something like that.

      Not only, but the club met twice a week anyway… William didn’t only turn up when matches were due, people would just show up each Monday, it’s almost a social club for them. I even think William occasionally turned up on Thursdays but not very commonly… Anyone with knowledge that William was a member of the chess club, and knowledge that it met each Monday and Thursday, would not be acting strange to leave a message on that day and expect William to be there. They might do it even on weeks not marked on the chart. I’m sure you have been a member of or known someone who is a member or clubs which meet each week, and you will know that you turning up there every week is probably the norm.

      But please do check the day Parry had seen him there, because it is probably Thursdays only:

      “previous to the production of “John Glaydes Honour” on November 17th 1930, at Crane Hall, we were rehearsing at the City Cafe every Tuesday and Thursday. It was during these rehearsals that I saw Mr. Wallace at the City Cafe on about three occasions.”

      His own club stopped meeting before the new year even. So people are saying Gordon went there specifically to refresh his memory of the chart schedule to make that telephone call perhaps? Because I don’t know that Gordon is a regular at that cafe. Seems he just went for his theatre group for a brief stint, more than 2 months before the call was placed. Not the case where Gordon is at the cafe for theatrical practice on the Thursday just a few days prior to the call, then hatching the idea and enacting it on Monday.

      Not that important compared to the physical evidence etc.

  12. Michael Fitton says:

    Hi RMQ,
    I said:- “About 7 o’clock”. He said:-“That’s not near enough for me” or “I’d like to get nearer than that if you can remember“. I replied:- “I’m afraid I can’t”.

    This is from Beattie’s statement in answer to Wallace’s query about the time of the call from Qualtrough. As you say, an innocent Wallace would not know when the call came through. It would only be of interest to him if Beattie mistakenly said “Oh, it was about 7.30 or shortly after that.” Wallace could then claim to have been on the tram to town at that time and therefore was not the caller. But, and this must have infuriated a guilty Wallace, Beattie erred in the opposite sense giving an earlier time (~ 7.00pm) and it was this that prompted W’s supplementary question. It wasn’t because he hoped Beattie would say “Come to think of it, it was 7.03 pm”. He was hoping Beattie would give a later time giving him (W) a tight time window between the call and arriving at the club.
    Far from being “cleared,” I think Wallace was shaken by the police telling him the call had been traced and the time recorded. Why they told him the call was around 7.00 pm is a minor mystery, unless it was done deliberately to unsettle him. If so, it worked and he quizzed Mr Beattie at the tram stop. A meeting which was not by chance; Wallace knew the Thursday evening routine.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      “I think Wallace was shaken by the police telling him the call had been traced and the time recorded”

      He was told this?

      • Michael Fitton says:

        My source for this is “Checkmate” by Mark Russell. Its likely the details were sketchy at that point on the Thursday. The phone operators weren’t questioned until later. This could account for Wallace being told the call was at ~ 7.00 pm instead of the time recorded at the exchange: 7.20 pm. This prompted his close questioning of Mr Beatttie at the tram stop.

  13. GED says:

    It is wrong to equate what one would ask in 2023 as to what one would ask in 1931. I lived in the 1970s in what was the most innovative council flats of their time, the art deco tenements built in the 30s which had indoor toilets, hot and cold running water, gas and electricity. Far removed from what people were still living in back in the 30s which were dank, damp, dark cellar courts. In the mid 70s only 2 people (from 398 flats) had telephones and only 6 people had cars, and I can still probably name those people, these luxuries were that rare. If Beattie isn’t offering the phone number, then he doesn’t have it and it would not be natural in 1931 to assume anybody would have a private domestic telephone. This answers the question as to why B does not ask Q and likewise why W does not ask B. It’s almost like why they didn’t consult google maps.

    B could not be sure W would be there because he knew he had missed other occasions because they are all part of the chess tournament but an uninterested (in chess) P wouldn’t necessarily know that. W would know there would be no evading B on the night (if he was guilty) because B would definitely be seeking him out to give him the message, seeking him out as near to 7.45pm as possible, which he did. A mere 20 minutes or so after putting the phone down on him. Back then people trusted people more, recommendations and word of mouth counted for a lot. Nobody seems that surprised, not even B that a call of this nature comes in for W.

    The tram is not dark even if the phone box is and there was a streetlight nearby. What if somebody getting on or off the tram at either stop spot W and can identify him as lieing when the police put out the feelers. Why didn’t the Police do tram time tests here, or did they but they proved W innocent?

    I can assure you that in the pool pub league I attend, there is a strict no talking, barracking, encouraging, distracting rule as players likewise are studying and thinking two or three shots ahead. one false move and the opponent is in to finish you off. Let’s not forget it is B who interrupts the chess game here, not W. W is obviously quite unaware of the message until B brings him it. B probably does so so quickly as not to leave it until later and forget all about it, but this isn’t W’s doing.

    When the Police at Dale st advise W of the 7pm Q call, why is it not natural for W to want to have that qualified by B? If 7pm is accurate then W who left his house at 7.15 is innocent! I don’t see how that counts against him and W should have explained this to B and the police which actually goes in his favour. W says he’s been cleared is simply because, if the call was 7pm, he could no longer be in the frame (unless he lied about leaving the house at 7.15pm) but nobody comes forward, not passers by or the tram driver or clippie to say he is lieing here.

    There are lots of things that a guilty W, this master planner could have done to go in his favour but didn’t (because he’s innocent) He must have thought in advance that he’d have to rouse neighbours once back at Wolverton st so why didn’t he bang like hell at the front door, why leave it to chance that the Johnston’s like never before are leaving their house at 7.45pm to go to their daughters? Why didn’t W, in the company of the J’s pretend to struggle to get into the back door instead of just saying ‘Oh, it opens now’. Why didn’t W upon opening the front door from inside just say to Fred Williams, ‘Look, the bolt was on, no wonder I couldn’t get in’ – We know Mrs J couldn’t even open the front door which is just like the one she has next door. Also, previous to all this, why didn’t W time stamp the first tram, the most important one for his alibi, which isn’t really an alibi anyway (only Alan Close makes it one)

    If as you think Mike, that W is guilty, we still have the 7.35 to 7.50 timeline (i’m being generous here) where he has to commit the murder, clean up, dispose of the weapon and make it, unruffled and calm, onto that first tram. If the only way is to say Close didn’t see Julia then that is changing known facts.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      About 50% of this is not particularly relevant. What you suspect a “master planner” would do, has no relevance on the case. The “plan” proposed is particularly bad for starters, which stands irrespective of the guilty party.

      These are irrelevant peripheral factors like the fact that Gordon is meant to have gone to the cafe to study the chart (which is basically nonsensical symbols apart from the dates) months after his theatrical group stopped meeting there. The group’s final rehearsals at the cafe were before the 17th of November. These things aren’t very important as compared to core elements.

      Gordon’s alibi with Olivia Brine has been called into question, that is also, supposedly, a “known fact”. If there is even one supposed “known fact” that is actually just a crock, then little wonder a case would be seemingly “unsolvable”. Is Gordon really going to be building an alibi for a simple robbery? Julia would be alive and able to verify he wasn’t there, so there wouldn’t be any need at all to artificially extend his stay at Olivia’s until 8.30. Not like the crime ought to even take as long as that… If that alibi isn’t factually accurate, then quite frankly he could very easily have carried out the crime himself. It would not be the same as a proposition of a stranger going in and burgling the place, because such a person could not be identified by Julia, but also a stranger to Julia has absolutely zero need to cave her skull in even if caught.

      (Though on another note, of course even if Gordon murdered Julia, Parkes’ story is still by all indications entirely fraudulent, and should not be used).

    • Michael Fitton says:

      Yes, domestic phones were rare but the number was growing quickly among the more affluent in 1931. Qualtrough may have been phoning from his work place, a pub with a public phone, a cafe, a friend’s house where he was spending the evening etc. Asking Beattie if he had left a number where he could be reached was admittedly a slim chance but well worth a punt for an innocent Wallace for reasons given previously – confirmation of appointment, directions to MGE etc. But he didn’t do it.

      There was no attempt by Wallace to “evade” Beattie at the club. Indeed their meeting was an essential part of the plan. It just had to be delayed so that Beattie’s memory of the Qualtrough voice faded as much as possible. Beattie did not, as you say, “seek Wallace out”. It was Caird who alerted Beattie to Wallace’s presence and it wasn’t “20 minutes after he had put the phone down” because we don’t know what time it was.

      Wallace, after making the call, may have walked to his usual tram stop when going into town. The stop he said he had used that night.

      Once he has been alerted by Caird to Wallace’s presence Beattie, has no alternative but to interrupt Wallace’s game. What else can he do? Wait until Wallace’s game has finished? Or his own game ending when Wallace may still be playing?

      We have only Wallace’s word that he left the house at 7.15. He could have nipped out earlier (~7.00) to do it. So hearing 7.00 from the police leaves him firmly in the frame. Its not just that he asks Beattie for his recall of the time. He gets ~7.00 from the police AND Beattie, both of whom on the face of it are best placed to know, and STILL he presses Beattie to “Get it closer than that.” Not what an innocent man would do. An innocent man would shrug his shoulders saying “Well, the call was at 7.00 pm so they could still think it was me. But it wasn’t me so they can’t prove it was.”

      It wasn’t only Lily Lloyd who said Parry arrived at her home at ~ 9.00 pm on the murder night. It was also Lily’s mother who confirmed it. Are they both lying to provide a false alibi in a brutal murder case for Lily’s intended? Parry: “Is the engagement still on?” Ha! Ha!

      We can all put ourselves in the perpetrator’s shoes and say how we would have done it differently. But these alternative scenarios do not change the fact that it was done as it was done with all its obvious imperfections. The facts of the case have to be hung on this framework which is rickety enough without any flimsy additions.

  14. GED says:

    Let’s look at the FACTS then RMQ.
    W cannot commit the murder in the timescale allowed as it is a FACT that Close saw and spoke to Julia at around 7.35-7.40
    W has no motive and no payment bounty lined up for an accomplice. Nothing to gain as we see after the murder.
    I don’t say P studies any chart, I say he just sees when W is due there, not a farce about how many times he’s not shown up.
    Fact – Gordon was at Brines. Awaiting to go and collect his accomplice.
    Why then does he leave at 8.30pm and yet not see Lily until she finishes the Clubmoor cinema at 10pm – though she is told by Parry to say 9pm which she later retracts. Are you getting it yet. He lies on the Monday when he makes the call which W has no time to faff about with and still make it to Cottles and then he gets Lily to lie about how soon he saw her on the tues – why? There is actually more circumstantial evidence to link P to this than W. Perhaps also you need to take a look at your own ‘My Solution’ which funnily enough says all this anyway 🙂

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      I know, because I wrote those things. Your first fact is inaccurate:

      “W cannot commit the murder in the timescale allowed”

      Consider, he could have smashed his wife’s skull in and run out the door waving a blood-soaked implement around in his hand within perhaps a minute. The issue of time has nothing at all to do with whether he could physically have slaughtered his wife with a blunt object in the alotted 10 minutes, really what you are talking about is the perception of doing this and running out the door NOT simply soaked in blood.

      I shared a forensic report some time ago with Antony, I was only allowed to share a bulleted rewrite on this site but I covered them here:

      That person specializes in blood specifically. The amount of spray is not expected to be very much.

      P is going down to the club specifically to look at a chart notice near the door. What I am saying is that there is an idea of Gordon being at his club the week just gone and checking out the chart then enacting the plan on Monday. When actually there’s nothing to say he’d been there at all since over 2 months prior. His club didn’t meet there since before 17th November, and by the way he is seeing William repeatedly on Thursdays (the days of Gordon’s theatrical rehearsals at the cafe), he doesn’t necessarily have any awareness that their club ever meets on Mondays at all. You would have to figure that by the dates on the charts aligning with Mondays.

      Parry isn’t waiting at Olivia’s until 8.30 to go collect his accomplice by the way. That is clearly false. His alleged accomplice would not be just leaving Wolverton Street as late as that if it’s a robbery. I would expect them actually, to turn up at 7.30 and be out by 7.45. This is why previously I put Olivia’s relative as the murderer to provide motive as to why she would falsify an alibi.

      W has a sick elderly wife draining family money with her sicknesses and medical bills. He is a miser and has issues with money, see diary entry less than a year prior about struggling with money. His wife has to sew money into secret pouches in her dresses because she is afraid of him knowing she has a few pounds of her own. His wife will not even do her household duties so he has to pay money to hire a maid to do what she herself ought to be doing as a housewife, is he happy with this expense? His wife owned a big house in beautiful Harrogate with tenants back when he married her, she had an active social life, but he had her sell it and moved her into a poor Liverpool slum (Clubmoor district at first). Where did all her money go?… Julia is forced to craft her own clothes and wear rags while William is buying expensive lab equipment. She used to be a painter, have friends over for music. Not anymore. No easel in sight though the entire back bedroom is turned into a lab for William’s sad scientific endeavours…

  15. GED says:

    RMQ says:
    Is Gordon really going to be building an alibi for a simple robbery? Julia would be alive and able to verify he wasn’t there, so there wouldn’t be any need at all to artificially extend his stay at Olivia’s until 8.30. Not like the crime ought to even take as long as that… If that alibi isn’t factually accurate, then quite frankly he could very easily have carried out the crime himself. It would not be the same as a proposition of a stranger going in and burgling the place, because such a person could not be identified by Julia, but also a stranger to Julia has absolutely zero need to cave her skull in even if caught.

    (Though on another note, of course even if Gordon murdered Julia, Parkes’ story is still by all indications entirely fraudulent, and should not be used).

    Answers: Yes, he would love to make another prank call with the end result possibly being £3500 in todays money if the expected bounty is in the cashbox

    I agree the crime shouldn’t be taking over an hour so if W is guilty why is he walking the Liverpool Marathon up at MGE – see it works both ways. He could have come back before asking the policeman or going the post office or the newsagents as he’d made his mark up at MGE well before.

    So strangers don’t cave heads in. You’ve been researching and banging on about burglars of the time doing just that, all your newspaper cuttings are here, have you forgotten about them. Even if a stranger, let’s say Denison was caught, he might still not want to be identified.

    Yes, you’re right, he might well have done it himself (P) IF the Brine statement is incorrect. Why does he never offer that alibi to nosy journalists like Goodman or Egan – if he does, and it’s correct, he’ll never be bothered again will he?

    As for Parkes account being entirely fraudulent. That is your take on it but does not make it the same for others. It is now ‘out there’ it is as relevant in the case as anything else put forward.

  16. GED says:

    Morning Campers.

    Let me rephrase for you RMQ. W could have done the murder in 5 minutes if he’d then ran outside waving a bloodied iron bar RMQ, of course he could but let’s not be silly about it as he obviously didn’t do that because what about the clean up, the re-dressing, the weapon disposal etc. As Mike says we must go on what we know happened and not what didn’t happen. The fact remains that Alan Close time stamps Julia alive at 7.35/7.40 and those times are further time stamped by Wildman and Wright who saw Close there. We know the Anfield Harriers couldn’t make the timings so on that point alone W is innocent.

    We also know the first call was at 7.15 and the second call was logged as 7.20. Goodman goes through what happened next quite thoroughly which would have taken 4 minutes, so all told, the phone goes down at 7.24. You say we don’t know what time the phone call ended Mike but we pretty much do. Now we are expected to believe that W not only had to walk to Townsend Ave stop which is closest and still make it into the chess club for 7.45 (Impossible) but now you say he walked all the way up to his usual Belmont Road stop (doubly impossible in that timeframe and only offered now, for the very first time because i’ve called out how it would have been so unusual and possibly noteworthy of others knocking about, for W to get on the tram anywhere other than his usual stop. I still cannot believe the Police didn’t also check this out and I think they did also found it impossible so therefore that would not appear in any files or make it to the case just like their questioning of the boys did not make it into the prosecution case because it did not help their case, only hinder it.

    This big house Julia is supposed to have had in Harrogate and all this money. Is there any evidence for this plush lifestyle. J also worked as a live in ‘nanny’ in smog filled London, her life wasn’t a bowl of cherries, in fact she had to fabricate her past – ie French mother etc… Did W drag her screaming and kicking down the aisle, she did have a choice you know.

    We also have W as a miser on one hand and yet buying expensive lab equipment on the other, make your mind up RMQ. This character assassination is laughable. J kept some coins in a pocket in an undergarment. Both died having quite a sum in the bank.

    We still have W being questioned as to why he doesn’t ask for a phone number yet B isn’t questioned for not asking Q for it? It’s because it was as common as asking somebody for their mobile phone number in 1985. The fact is Beattie made the first enquiry in looking for Wallace and Caird says he is over there. This all happens within minutes of W being in the cafe, it’s not at 7.55 or 8pm – it’s as close as he is noticed so it is indeed within 20 minutes of that phone going down in Rochester Road and that is why it is impossible for W to have made that call and be sat playing his game so soon afterwards after first establishing Chandler isn’t there and asking McCartney to play and then having made some moves. Are you saying Mike that post murder, B wouldn’t be questioning ‘hang on a minute, was that really not W on the phone’ He still says he had no doubt, even all after this comes out. I agree B has to interrupt the game, I was merely correcting you as a few posts back you were saying it was W doing the interrupting. At 4.03 on 27/9 you posted this Mike
    ”Wallace unapologetic at interrupting several chess games: a chess game is characterised by long periods of deep thought regarding the next move, conversation is discouraged and silence is preferred. Above all, an interruption to the game is most unwelcome.” ….. but as i’ve stated, it wasn’t W doing any interrupting. What would he be interrupting about, he didn’t know a call had come into the chess club for him until B interrupting HIS game.

    Justice Wright is correct in saying all of W’s statements are consistent. However, all of Parry’s are not. He lies about Monday night, he says he was at the Lloyd’s at 9pm on the Tuesday when he wasn’t and he asks/tells Lily to say she was with him sooner than she actually was. She says herself (not conjecture) that if the Police had bothered to check, they would have found out that she was playing at the Clubmoor Cinema at the time P said he was with her. I’m in no doubt that Lily and her mother would have obviously discussed this and had to agree with each other.

    let’s not forget, W could have done this murder on the Monday. He has even more time out of the house and half an hour more to do the murder in, the money in the box doesn’t matter to him. If he is doing it on the Tuesday to make it look like P or Marsden then he is lowering the suspect pool to 2 – laughable. On the Monday, Wallace has the same time to commit the murder between coming home from work and going to the chess club as he has on the Tuesday, perhaps 30 minutes more.

    The Motive. Hardly ever discussed. W had none. P had 2 or 3 (Opportunity/Revenge/Robbery – maybe even another unknown.

    Nah, for me, Justice was done but i’m glad of the debate. 🙂

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      What? The man is only willing to spend on himself. His wife has nothing at all, she’s living in rags she has to sew for herself, with money hidden in her undergarments lest her husband find out she has a little extra. She is a financial burden on the household with her illnesses and resulting medical bills and contributes nothing (the house is disgusting), the financial burden goes away if she is dead.

      This case has been butchered by greedy talentless authors looking to capitalize for a few bucks. Way more than any police detective ever butchered it. Let’s see one of the critical elements I now find I have ignored due solely to taking these compendiums of crap as actual evidence:

      There’s blood upstairs. The killer went upstairs, either touched or deposited notes into the vase in the bedroom, then went into the bathroom (perhaps to wash themselves). Whoever did it, did go upstairs. Which makes the lack of things stolen and the lack of disturbance more surprising, because it’s NOT the case that someone killed Julia then sprinted out in a panic, aborting the idea of robbing the joint. That is not the case, they went upstairs and into the bathroom, and by the looks of it also into the middle bedroom, and MAYBE the front room. Gannon claims the front room is disturbed because Julia was mending a bedsheet, he just invented that in his mind, the garment on the kitchen table actually looks like a dress of some sort. There’s blood in William’s right trouser pocket, tiny bloodstains, old? But then the clothes weren’t collected into evidence or handed over for testing for days. And not until after the man spent a night at the house with those clothes in the house, alone and unsupervised. If I can be bothered I will research how long it takes for a bloodstain to age. I have some recall that its age was tested by eyesight.

      Since the drains could have been used there’s not issue with rinsing off faces, hands, forearms while up there. Another factor which was thrown out as impossible based on nothing but some claims in trash books.

      Without introducing hack-writer claims into evidence, it’s not even the same case. It’s literally so different as to not even be the same case…

      On another note since this was ignored again, Gordon goes to his club on Tuesday and Thursday, he sees William on Thursdays only (chess club meets weekly every Monday and Thursday). He has no reason to have awareness that the chess club even meets on Mondays at all as he’s there on Thursdays, and he hasn’t been there recently to be studying the chart and aligning the dates listed to days. Lest he hatch the plan in November and wait months to enact it? He is last proven to have been there before the 17th of November (17th is the Glayde’s performance).

    • Josh Levin says:

      Wow, Ged it seems like you’re too out of it to even grasp that the point of the call and alibi is to make it seem like there’s a third party suspect.

      It is predictable but sad that these club meet ups have become a circle-jerk of autistic ideas thru a haze of coca-cola.

    • Michael Fitton says:

      HI Ged,
      I didn’t say we don’t know when the phone call ended. The doubt is at the other end: we don’t know what time Wallace arrived at the chess club. Beattie made enquiries among the members and said Wallace did not arrive before 7.45.

      Wallace walking to his usual tram stop after making the call does shave several minutes from this tight time window and this is against it having happened. But it would be very useful to Wallace if he encountered Mr Caird or any neighbour who knew him boarding at the Belmont Road stop.

      I agree with RMQ that Julia had come down in the world by marrying William. Her only social life seems to have been the Church on Sundays. For the rest of the week she mooched around No 29 dressed in home-made clothing as her surroundings got even more shabby. Did you see that bath? Wallace was a skinflint but didn’t stint when it came to buying his microscope and photographic equipment for himself.

      Qualtrough told Beattie that he was too busy to call back later. Beattie therefore didn’t bother to ask if he (Q) had a phone number where he could be reached. The detail about “being too busy” wasn’t passed on to Wallace who, if innocent, had many reasons for wanting to speak to Qualtrough before their meeting.

      Assuming Wallace to be innocent I would expect him to be embarrassed that, even though its not his fault, the games of Beattie, McCartney and Deyes were interrupted because Q called about Prudential business. I would expect him to quickly take the details from Beattie, apologise for the interruption and get back to his game . Instead he starts a discussion about not knowing Qualtrough, and the best way to get to MGE! All in my view to seal the event in the memory of those present.

      Luring Wallace away from home to seek a false address has many weak points. The main one is that Wallace, not being able to reach Qualtrough by phone, might consult a street map. a directory, or phone the Pru office for advice and discover the deception. He did none of these. Instead he set out with the vague knowledge that MGE must be somewhere near Menlove Avenue which is about 3 miles long. MGE could be on either side of it or set back from the Avenue. This is like being given an address in Mersey Close then taking a tram to the river and starting your search. And yet this is what Wallace did, claiming to be “a complete stranger” to that district.

      • R M Qualtrough says:

        Little repeated fact, but I think Wallace actually stated originally that he arrived at the chess club at 7.50. Please check, this is Gannon’s photography so please don’t blame me for this quality lol:

        Of course if there existed some strict 7.45 rule that was always enforced, he should be very aware based on whether or not he had received said penalty, whether he arrived before or after 7.45.

        You won’t hear that again but you will see it there in Munro’s first statement taken. This was important to me as I was trying to prove William unable to get to the club after placing the call, but that is assuming an arrival of 7.45 when the man himself initially claims 7.50 (a much more specific time to give than any intervals of 15, 30, or o’clocks). I stopped bothering then because it threw a spanner in the works regarding whether he really did arrive at or before 7.45, that he would himself state he arrived later (and of course, that makes getting to the club after the call pretty trivial).

        Munro who took these statements from Wallace was accused of manipulating witnesses by Hugh Moore, by the way: Moore thinks Munro is the reason that Crewe lied under oath that William had only been to his house for violin lessons about 5 times, and that the Johnstons altered their committal trial statement to claim that they told William they’d wait while he looked around (the initial statement agreeing with William’s, that William asked them to wait). This is in Moore’s police report which is on this site and those are the two elements he zones in on in particular.

        Regarding your tram stop statements: I want to say that William would not necessarily be aware that any time will be logged, so boarding whatever tram should not provide any form of alibi. As far as he would be concerned, the call box could be pretty much any box in the entirety of Liverpool. It wouldn’t help to be seen boarding any tram at any time in that case. Only to be far from any phone box within any sort of window around the time the call really did happen. If there’s a box near the other tram stop too, it really helps zero to claim to have boarded there except due to the luck that the thing was traced. I don’t think it’s that likely people would know the protocols of the exchange centers regarding call logging.

        However… I am given pause wondering, did people at that time know that the operators could see the box they are calling from? Because if so, the above is moot, as obviously it would take about one day of canvassing the exchange staff to come forward if they remember putting through any calls to the cafe on the night of the 19th. It is not quite as severe as being logged in writing, but it’s still a risk just to speak to exchange staff if they can see the box number… I just don’t know if that would be common knowledge.

  17. GED says:

    Ha ha I have to laugh at your smears Josh but let me counter RMQ’s claims here:

    I’ll wipe out your first 2 paragraphs by simply reminding you that J had £90 in her bank account in January 1931, the equivalent of over £7,840 today.

    If W is doing this murder he just takes the money from J’s handbags and the £4 upstairs. So simple really. He could quite simply have blood on his hands from having checked J’s pulse and slightly moved her, all in the presence of the Johnston’s.

    RMQ – It is reported and acknowledged by all parties that the drains were checked. Let’s stick to the facts.

    Julia was seen in that front bedroom earlier in the day across the bay windows by the Johnston’s daughter/in-law. You might need to re-read your own website. 🙂

    So ha ha, are you saying RMQ that P could not have read the notice board on any tuesday or thursday, he doesn’t have to be reading it on a Monday you know lol.

    Josh. I’ll give you 2 minutes now. So W’s masterplan you keep saying is to make it look like someone wanted him out of the house, yet i’ve already established to you all that not only does he not have time to make a call that finishes in Anfield around 7.27 and make it within 18 minutes to be playing his game but he has no time to commit the murder, wash up (as RMQ claims) re-dress, hide the murder weapon and make it to the first tram.

    Considering P isn’t suddenly involved in all of this anymore according to you, why does he keep involving himself in it (My father said not for £2000 / I could say a lot more / False alibis and times / Keeping tabs on who is dead such as the not reported Edwin Wallace etc)

    Come on, considering you are both stone cold sober, you must really do better than this. 😉

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      “RMQ – It is reported and acknowledged by all parties that the drains were checked. Let’s stick to the facts.”

      Proof? I looked for this as I’m building from the ground up discarding all the garbage put out by the various low quality authors and hack profit hunters. Where is the proof the drains of the house were checked for blood in any capacity?

      I believe you recently appealed for proof of the “benzidine testing” on these and received nothing (not that benzidine would even be effective in checking water pipes? So why does this myth even exist at all?).

      If there is no proof no drains in the house were used, then there is no issue with someone washing off in the sink or even in the toilet (where there’s blood on the rim).

      “Julia was seen in that front bedroom earlier in the day across the bay windows by the Johnston’s daughter/in-law. You might need to re-read your own website.”

      I know obviously, what is this to do with her mending a bedsheet? The idea she took sheets off the bed to mend them and that the sheet is on the kitchen table is fabricated entirely. On the kitchen table it looks like a skirt of some sort. It’s made up and can be discarded unless there is proof otherwise.

      I recall Julia was allegedly spotted from the person’s own window rather than the street, is that right? Remind me what they said she was doing. Was she just opening the curtains for the day? Look at your neighbor’s bay window from your own and see if you could spot them doing anything else in there in any case.

      “are you saying RMQ that P could not have read the notice board on any tuesday or thursday”

      Which would be back before November the 17th, a touch over 2 months before the crime. What is the suggestion? He’s planning it since November?

      “He could quite simply have blood on his hands from having checked J’s pulse and slightly moved her, all in the presence of the Johnston’s.”

      He checked her pulse? There’s also a drip of blood on the toilet rim, which would sit underneath the toilet seat if it were closed after it was dropped (I think McFall comments on whether the seat was up or down when they arrived – please check). There’s blood both on money in the vase as well as a splash of blood on the toilet rim.

      I believe Mrs. J also touched Julia (?) but didn’t leave smears.

      The blood upstairs is left by the person who killed Julia, check if the toilet seat was down on the police arrival and revert back. I think it was up but I might be wrong. Someone going upstairs after the slaying betrays the idea that anyone was concerned about the husband coming home, or concerned about sounds that a neighbour may have been alerted by during the robbery or killing, or panicked to that high of a degree after killing the woman. Which suggests a more clinical and pre-planned approach to the murder.

  18. GED says:

    Good Morning All.

    First to Mike. We know that from the time that call ended to when W arrived could only be 23 minutes (If W was at the later time of 7.50 and not 7.45

    If W made the call and walked up to Belmont road, what if, as you say Caird or a neighbour saw him on the part of his walk from the phone box to Richmond Park as he should not be there if he is coming straight from his house to the Belmont road stop – too risky.

    Q told B he was too busy to ring back (he could only ring back that evening) but that should not prevent B asking Q for his number so that W may clarify any points with him on Tuesday day.
    I’m told on here you cannot say what you would ‘expect’ an innocent W to be, do or say (as in being embarrassed) I have been shot down on here for saying I would ‘expect’ W to have made a noise upon his return to Wolverton st to alert the neighbours and not leave it to the million to one chance of encountering them. I said I would ‘expect’ W to say to Fred Williams, ‘Oh look, the bolt was on’ etc etc.
    Menlove Avenue is long and adds credence as to why W (who was only familiar with Green Lane via Allerton Road) should ask the clippies to put him off at MGE and indeed Arthur Thompson says ‘Here is MGW, MGE should be somewhere up there’
    RMQ – It stinks a bit that Moore says witnesses were manipulated when this is exactly what he did to Alan Close and therefore in a stroke, also negating Wildman’s and Wright’s statements. He also pooh poohed Parkes as these were spanners in his works as was Parry’s lie in his Monday night statement. Also notice how he interviewed the children but kept their testimonies from the defence council as they assisted the defence.
    It is up to the prosecution to prove about blood being in the drains, not for the defence to prove there wasn’t any. We are told (i’ll see if I can find where it’s said) that the drains were checked, the fireplace removed, grids in the area checked etc – but all to no avail) Now, because these findings did not assist the prosecution, they would not find their way into the case (as for instance, exhibits, photos of the blood in the drains etc) – that is why you cannot find them but rest assured that if they assisted the prosecution case, they would be there, that’s how it works. Nothing found – nothing to show.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Parkes’ story is fabricated or the ramblings of a delusional fool (like Carr who kept writing cops telling them he saw Amy and William getting a tram to the docks). It isn’t a real story at all. The man is on death row, he makes no effort to seek the defence solicitors or anyone else like Ken Wallace, whoever, since he claims he has this amazing evidence that would prevent a man being wrongfully executed.

      The bedside-book authors have claimed the drains were definitely not used. Even though there is blood in the bathroom which is highly significant if that claim is untrue, because it suggests someone went in there to wash after killing Julia (no burglar would be in there searching for valuables).

  19. GED says:

    Oh i forgot to add RMQ. W was familiar with using phone boxes so he knew what happened if you pressed button A or B. there is nothing to suggest P was familiar with anything to do with phone boxes other than thieving from them. Are you suggesting that W on a tight schedule faffed about over trying to thieve tuppence – come onnnn.
    Also Are you seriously suggesting that P only ever went to Cottles just for rehearsals and never went again afterwards, not even when a few thousand pounds in todays money was going begging if he could find when W would probably be out. We know for instance that Parry was in North John street on 27/1/32 stealing a car, we know he was around the corner in Castle st on 10/2/32 stealing from, oh here we are, a phone kiosk. Is it all fitting in yet?

    Instead we have W with an exemplary record, consistent statements, character references, a honest solid job handling money, a healthy bank balance (as does his wife) and importantly – NO MOTIVE et al in the frame for this.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      I tried hard to determine if there was an attempt to thieve coins from the box. It was not possible for me to determine if that was the case based on the statements… Please check all the telephone operator statements and their testimony on trial. Wilkes book I think also contains a very brief statement from one of the exchange operators and I read that also trying to find evidence, regarding whether there was an attempt to actually con the box or a real technical error.

      You can try to reach out to a telephone museum of some sort. I did try in the past but received no response.

      If Gordon doesn’t just regularly go to the cafe, I think the suggestion you are bringing up starts to become unfeasible. That he just suddenly thought to rob the man and with that, thought he should go down to the cafe to check one of many notices on a bulletin board that he had no prior reason to even pay attention to or remember.

      You are rending your opinion on the Wallace’s quite healthy accounts (Wallace has £152, and stands to gain £110 from his wife’s death by the way: her account + life insurance) but the man himself expressed monetary concerns in his diary entries. Various medical professionals including those commissioned by the defence suggested Julia was suffering a chronic illness (Dr. Coope for example, see his report), this would involve similarly chronic outgoing costs.

  20. GED says:

    More a case of trying to get the call put through for no cost than actually robbing what was already in the box itself. Something more likely by P than W wouldn’t you agree. The operators clearly say he didn’t press the button he said he did as it would light up in the exchange. However Gladys Harley says nobody rang the phone in the chess club for the last half an hour so it looks like the first call was put through to an incorrect number.

    Regarding what W stands to gain from J’s account. He claims to not know what she even had in it and the life policy was next to nothing. What risk to add an unknown amount to £152 (£13250) already sat in your account doing nothing, especially if we expect J would be using her own money to pay for her coughs and colds – of which W had plenty if we go by what Sarah Draper and others have said about the tit for tat nature of these illnesses between these two.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      It isn’t as clear as you are saying, please read all the transcripts. They claim the cafe picked up first time (maybe it’s just not Gladys who picked it up? Or it was patched to the wrong location).

      This warrants full analysis (all statements) by someone with expertise in this area. I did reach out but didn’t hear back. Maybe someone else can try. There aren’t many museums in the UK which deal with these phone boxes.

      Antony actually understands these boxes more than me. It doesn’t appear to be a definitive thing that someone was scamming a free call. I spent a lot of time trying to prove that it was.

  21. Michael Fitton says:

    Hi Ged / RMQ,

    The fact is that we do not know what time Wallace arrived at the chess club. Beattie canvassed the recollections of members and stated it was not before 7.45. So to suggest it was “at the later time of 7.50” or that he had been playing chess for 4 minutes when approached by Beattie is pure hypothesis.

    The “deadline” of 7.45 for the start of the chess games was theoretical and advisory rather than a rigidly-enforced rule. Beattie said you could not be penalised for starting after 7.45. So I think Wallace was rather casual about the time of the phone call and getting to the club before 7.45. He didn’t think the call would ever be traced, otherwise he would have used a box away from his home. If this is so, he could take his time and could have walked to the Belmont Road stop. If anyone recollected seeing him he could say, as RMQ suggests, that he had detoured to post a letter.

    I cannot see what possible connection there is between Wallace not asking Beattie if Q had left his phone number, and Beattie failing to ask Q for his number. Beattie was only the messenger. Yes, ideally he could have asked about the number but he didn’t think to do so. Wallace on the other hand had many reasons for wanting to speak with Q before setting off to MGE. It was slim chance that Q was on the phone but worth a punt.

    I think it is perfectly legitimate to expect people to behave in a certain way in specific situations. Although people differ from each other there are circumstances where the response can be predicted with some confidence. Its when you have a sequence of unusual behaviour rather than just a single event, as with Wallace, that suspicion is aroused.

    “There was nothing to suggest that Parry was familiar with phone boxes other than thieving from them.” One of the ideas supporting Parry as Qualtrough is that he tried to get put through without paying – just the kind of thing he would do. Now it is suggested that he didn’t know what buttons A and B were for. Which is it?
    People claiming to have pressed button A without being connected did not mean they were connected by the operator for free. Qualtrough paid for is call: Gladys Harley clearly heard the operator tell the caller to put his pennies in the slot. So I don’t think there was an attempt to get a free call.

    I don’t think there was any attempt to steal the contents of the cash box in the phone kiosk. This could only be done by wrenching the box away from it’s moorings – vandalism. The box was checked by phone engineers and this had not happened.


  22. GED says:

    Let’s pretend W is the caller though we have the fact that B said he wasn’t and let’s pretend P never used cottles other than for rehearsals, though he was in the very street on at least 1 other occasion we know of and the vicinity on other occasions and lets pretend W had a motive and P never and let’s pretend W arrived to play chess at some outlandish time like 8pm and let’s pretend P never made a false alibi for the monday and let’s pretend lots of other things. How then did W commit the murder, wash, dry, dress, dispose of the weapon, not make a fuss on the first tram but was at the 2nd tram by 7.06? Then of course thereafter, we have to pretend the appeal judges got it wrong too 🙂

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      You’re not “pretending” he wasn’t a regular, it has not been said by anyone that he had ever been there on any other occasion. You are merely guessing that he would have been in the cafe between November 17th and January 19th. Maybe he did go in there, maybe he didn’t.

      William claimed to arrive at 7.50 initially. Everyone from the chess club Beattie asked said W did not arrive “before” 7.45. So really if you actually accept these people have accurate recall, we are discussing 7.45 on the dot at the earliest (“not before” is vague and simply posits the earliest marker of time). No member even mistakenly claimed 7.40 or 7.35 or anything like that – everyone quizzed says NOT before 7.45. So we have 7.45 and then W says 7.50 rendering the mathematical games moot because now it is trivial to make that trip. The voice not being recognized is more important to whether he placed the call, the arrival time is not reliable.

      The 7.50 claim is of extra significance because it shows there is unlikely a strict 7.45 cut-off that is followed (else the man could not mistakenly believe he arrived later, because he would know he’d have gotten a penalty if he did). I knew this because I spent ages trying to prove it would be actually impossible to make the time. One thing about 7.50 which could strengthen its reliability is the specificness of the figure (like the “6.37” claimed by the boy who saw Allan). Typically people use quarter pasts, half pasts, and o’clocks as more general markers to describe a time when they aren’t too sure of specifics.

      What you’re saying about appeal judges is just non-sequitir and you probably know it. Since the point is not for them to claim a man innocent but to decide there isn’t proof beyond reasonable doubt. You’re also adding to the list of things a killer would be doing (like dressing) and you probably know that too.

  23. GED says:

    Right. I have looked back at the relevant statements and trial questions and here is what I find so as to not rewrite history as seems to be the case on some comments i’ve replied to lately.

    Gladys Hartley is positive that the phone in Cottles was not in use for half an hour before that one and only call came through so if the operators are sure they put a call through initially, then it wasn’t to the correct no.

    Beattie changes his statement, after giving it some thought overnight, that W didn’t come into the chess club at about 7.30 but more like not before 7.45. Initially he said Mr Caird came along and said good evening to meat 7.30. I asked him would he be seeing Mr W and he said Mr W is here. Both Beattie and Caird say at trial that W was there at 7.45.

    You need to re-read the 8.45 rule, it is fuddled by over questioning but you can see that 7.45 is the rule and Beattie says you can start at 7.30 by arrangement but you cannot be penalised for starting after 7.45 but he clearly means cannot be penalised for starting before that time because Q 279 ends, That is good enough for me, you have got to start at a Quarter to 8 but you might start earlier which is confirmed. (otherwise what is the use of the rule, it is no rule at all)

    W says on his statement that he’d been playing for 10 minutes when B came over with the message. This fits in with B’s own recollection, just the day after the call while it’s still fresh in his mind that W was there at least within half an hour of the call. The only reason Moore would not have presented evidence otherwise is because he knows this would have scuppered his ideas.

    The notice board is clearly there for months with the chess information on there and is therefore there during the times P is there rehearsing. Even so, it is not guesswork that P may go there as a matter of fact anyway, it is a possibility, maybe even a probability (What was he doing in North John st when stealing a car to go home in) and no more guesswork than guessing that the W’s finances are in trouble when we know they had a small fortune in their accounts. So much so, the police didn’t even consider a monetary motive.

    The Police and the prosecution also do not ask B or W why a telephone number for Q was not requested, such would be the unusual act of this being even thought of. If this is to go against W then surely it would have been picked up on. We need to stop comparing what one would say in this day and age. B could have said, I will get W to call you tomorrow when you are less busy, what is your number please.

    Q: What was P really up to between 9pm and 10pm on the Monday. There is only the lie of he was at the Lloyds during this time. He left the Brines at 8.30, went to get cigarettes, the newspaper, his battery then spent 10 mins at the Williamsons. I am being generous in giving this a 30 min time frame as these places are all close by and we know Lily didn’t finish at the Cinema until 10pm which fits in with Lily going to Munro and the Clubmoor cinema manager phone call to Radio City. So we have 2 lies, one for the Monday and one for the Tuesday.

    Regarding W could have been posting a letter on his way from the call box to the tram stop. He does not have to be anywhere near the call box to do this as W states the pillar box was by the library which is on his normal route from Richmond Park to the Belmont road stop.

    Caird confirms W’s frail health when visiting him after W comes out of yet another hospital stay (The Royal Southern Hospital) J kept saying Herbert sit down, sit down as he was ill. So i’ll in fact he lasts less than 2 years as a free man after his appeal is allowed.

    This leaves, as the appeal judges rightly say, nothing but circumstantial evidence and not a lie in sight, unlike the statements of Mr. P.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Lily wasn’t working at the cinema that night. At least, someone (George P. Johnston) wrote to Wilkes claiming he used to be part of the orchestra Lily played for, and said:

      “In 1926 (as a young man of twenty) I was told by my old Liverpool Collegiate School friend Charlie Olden (later to become Ted Ray and my brother-in-law) that there was a vacancy for a pianist at the Clubmoor Cinema. I saw the manager (Frank Prendergast), secured the job and remained with the orchestra a pianist until the ‘talkies’ took over in 1929. There was a matinee and two separate performances during the evening. Between the shows the band had a ‘break’ – usually at the Farmers Arms, a nearby pub, and Lily Lloyd was the ‘relief pianist’ and played during the interval … When, in 1929, the band was dissolved I can’t remember whether Lily left with us as there was no further need for a band relief … mechanical music has also been installed so I find it difficult to accept the assumption that at the time of the Wallace affair she was still engaged as a relief for an orchestra that no longer existed. Not since September 1929 …”

      Both claims are equally unverified so there’s that. I am trying not to use any of these tabloid level ramblings, but the claim she was working at the cinema is disputed by equal evidence. And more strongly of course by Lily’s mother which is an actual statement at the time rather than garbage churned out in tabloid publications, so she would have to be aware of the lie and support it too.

      The chess tournament notice is there for about three rehearsals Gordon would have been at. Wallace seems to imply he sees the notice posted on the 6th of Nov 1930 (check diary entry) which is a Thursday. You are already relying on the idea of Parry even noticing and remembering this little chart on the bulletin board (there are various notices on the board, see the photo of it, Wallace’s specific page is just one small notice among various). He would be under the assumption that the chess club meets every Thursday and that Wallace attends then, without knowledge yet that the chess club ever meets on a Monday. If he checked the chart specifically due to planning to use it to commit a robbery, he would initially be expecting to leave a call on Thursday (of note, W typically paid in on Thursdays, P having worked for W may know this). Finding a Monday listed on the chart would then be a pleasant surprise.

      Any time between the 17th of November and 19th of January is just guessing as to whether Gordon went there. We know he went on Tuesday and Thursday for some period up to the 17th Nov 1930, we don’t know any more than that. William has written that he is struggling with money. That is written rather than abduced. His own claim that he feels a sense of financial strain overrides any notion we ourselves have about his decent bank balance. We know that Julia walks about in rags, she dresses as though she lives in poverty. Amusingly, the very first diary entry taken into record, is Wallace admonishing his wife for buying too many newspapers.

      The 7.45 start time rule is not really adhered to: if it was, William would know he didn’t arrive after 7.45. He would never claim 7.50 because based on the strict start time and penalty rule, he could be certain it was 7.45 or earlier. But he does claim 7.50 as his first statement.

  24. GED says:

    You are skirting the issue and ignoring pertinent questions.

    Lily herself says she gave P a false alibi stating she only saw him later than what she said. She says this during the Radio City broadcast and says she was playing at the cinema.

    How can W imply anything, isn’t he only guessing then too. He can’t know whether P (planning this robbery) doesn’t see the notice board during any of his 3 rehearsal dates. I’m glad we sorted that out as you were trying to make it look like the play was over and done with before the notice went up and that I was guessing he’d go the cafe anyway afterwards, but the notice and P were both there together as fact. It is even part of the defence that anyone (P) could have seen that notice board. P wouldn’t be looking at any other notices, as the robbery plan only concerns him seeing what dates W might be there and then a stake out on that Monday is no biggie, he either goes or he doesn’t, nothing lost but a bit of time – try again some other date if it doesn’t work.

    We now know through me looking back that there is nothing in anybody’s statement to say W definitely wasn’t there by 7.45, they only say not before. It may well be that the detour added on 5 minutes or so but it is still easily within half an hour of that phone going down at 7.27 which fits in with what B says. Please don’t re-write the case to suit your own agendas such as Alan Close didn’t see Julia etc. Why would he be standing there waiting (Wildman/Wright testimony) if the empty jug was sat there in the hallway inside an open door. He is clearly waiting for J to come back with it.

    I am all for somebody having a different opinion of who the murderer is and how it happened, lord knows you’ve change your My Solution enough times but since YoLiverpool in 2005 i’ve only ever seen that the facts can only point to an innocent W or at least how they stand, cannot point to his guilt.

    Up to now we have a liar, thief, woman beater and criminal who is in the clear and an upstanding citizen who is the pillar of his local community spuriously suspected. I’m still reading some of the case again and trying to find where it might say the drains etc were examined. You mentioned in an earlier reply to me that i’m adding he also had to get dressed etc. If he was in this mackintosh as you say, are you saying he got on the trams in the nude? 🙂

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Apart from the first thing, this is largely inaccurate. I will address anyway:

      1. Please provide the quote that she says she was at the cinema. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the claim but I’d like to have proof of it and the full quote so I can address it proper. She is implying her mother was also complicit in this action.

      2. I said his diary implies the notice is posted because he mentions the tournament listings being up. He doesn’t specifically say the notice is up on a board but by his diary statement it sounds like it is. That entry is Nov 6 1930.

      I never said such a thing about the play already being over. Please check back and see for yourself that I said he was either planning the crime since November, which is when he could have seen the notice, or you are relying on him back then at that time, before planning such a crime, to for unknown reasons take note of and remember this unimportant notice on a large bulletin board among which various notices are posted… Then return some time later when he IS planning it, specifically to check this noticeboard, and by luck find that there are Mondays listed as days of play which would aid in the robbery bounty.

      One thing I should mention about the notice board is that William’s diary says he sees he is in the 3rd class tourney, but the notice we see is 2nd class. So whether it was a different chart on the 6th Nov and then a new chart went up after and the matches are backdated, I don’t know. Or the entire roster was bumped up to 2nd… He could also simply be mistaken in thinking he is in the 3rd class division.

      3. Nobody says he is nude in a mackintosh, that’s a theory by Hemmerde which has never been mentioned since 1931 when he first proposed it. William’s John Bull possible-confession would suggest he wacked his wife with a spanner, then stepped into the hall, grabbed the jacket, and held it up shield-like to prevent the upward spatter of blood as he belabored her to death.

      4. I don’t necessarily propose that Allan didn’t see Julia, I suggested the possibility based on numerous reasons given (primarily: hesitance to go to the police, lack of mention to police when taking milk to them at the murder house, and – I have not seen this considered previously – William being allegedly unaware of the milk boy having visited at all despite leaving home at 6.45, which could suggest there was no knock on the door).

      Further to that I should note that the oldest witness is Wildman. His age may increase reliability. He claims to have seen Allan on the doorstep as you know (at 6.35 to 6.40), but oddly also claims Elsie Wright is waiting for him in the street – she ought to be positioned then to give the most accurate account as she was apparently watching: “In the street there was a girl waiting for the milk boy, who seemed to be carrying some cans. I have seen the boy before, delivering milk.” Even though Elsie herself does not mention this? One wonders why and what is going on there.

  25. GED says:

    Morning RMQ. The Mac in the nude was also put forward by a member of the panel on Radio City in 1981 as well as mentioned in books since 1931. Also the ludicrous claim that Close spoke to W dressed up as J 🙂

    How would holding the mac up after committing the first blow prevent blood spatter going upwards when clearly it did go upwards as witnessed (and spoken about frequently even by you on your site) up the walls and onto the ceiling. All the experts seem to think the murderer will be full of blood, McFall, Moore in his APB etc…

    I know Goodman and Wilkes in their books talk about Lily Lloyd confirming with them that she gave an incorrect alibi for P as she actually only saw him later than that. Whether she was at the Cinema then becomes irrelevant. I expect therefore she is getting her story straight with her mother. P could have told her for instance, I was sitting in my car reading the paper i’d just bought, having a smoke with the ciggies i’d just bought but I have no witnesses to this and the police will try and frame me so please just say I was here because obviously I didn’t kill this woman. He didn’t make any such story up in advance with her for the Monday as he wasn’t expecting to be quizzed over that.

    I think we can agree then, unless you are being obstinate that the notice board containing those details was there whilst P was in attendance and we don’t have to ‘guess’ that he could just have gone there anytime to sneak a look, though that wouldn’t be difficult.

    Regarding the drains and fireplace removal. I remember reading that W asked to be allowed back into the house to sleep there on the Thursday. (He was inexplicably allowed to stay there on the Wednesday night) For the Thursday though he was told the house was inhabitable due to the toilet/bath/fireplace removal. I’m looking for it now.

    Also Mike mentions the phone box was unlit. There is much confusion over this at the trial and the engineer under questioning basically doesn’t know but Roland Oliver seems to suggest it is lit. In any case it is said that were phone boxes are unlit they are near to street lights.

    Elsie Wright only answers questions put to her. She doesn’t elaborate and could have been in the street waiting for him but not directly in the sight line of the hallway etc. I also notice that Close says his round’s normal time in getting to No.29 would be 7 or 8 minutes but under the Police re-creation of his round it was 6 minutes and then the second go is 5 minutes. The police no doubt then hurrying him along or Close feeling under pressure to hurry, if suddenly he can knock up to 3 minutes or nearly 50% of the normal time off.

    Let’s look at Lily Halls trial testimony.
    I last saw W on the 19th.
    Q: That was the Monday
    No the Tuesday
    Q: Tuesday the 20th
    Q: What time was that?
    About 20 past 9
    Justice Wright: 20 past 9?
    Inexplicably, Justice Wright, Hemmerde nor Oliver pick her up on that because 20 past 9 renders her statement useless.
    Q: What made you notice the time?
    I was going to the pictures
    She then says she noticed the Trinity clock at 8.35 so this sighting would have been ten to 9. She then says she told her sister about seeing W on the tuesday day, fell ill on the thursday but didn’t make the statement to her dad until later whilst ill in bed.
    Q: How many of you are at home
    My Mum, Dad, Sister and me.
    This lady cannot even count. No wonder the judge set aside her account as unreliable.

    Fred Williams under oath. ‘I knocked at the front door, after a few seconds fumbling by somebody inside, the front door was opened by W’
    Why is he fumbling? Here, if guilty, was his sure fire way of confirming the bolt was on. In his planning he would surely have made sure that he’d make his reason for not getting in the front being the fact the bolt was on and then inside he would make it look to Florence Johnson that the bolt was on and say so to subsequent officers such as Williams. In fact he could even put it ON before the murder and escape out the back.

    To me it’s all irrelevant anyway. Let’s rewind and he had no time to commit the murder and if he is not relying on Close (and he wasn’t because he didn’t know he was going to come forward) then he would have committed this murder sooner than 10-15 minutes before he is leaving as he was in the house with her from 6.05.

  26. R M Qualtrough says:

    I hired perhaps a year or two back a blood spatter professional to look over the evidence and I received a full report. She is one of the leading experts in thie field of blood spray analysis. I could send this report to you if you leave an email, but can’t publish publicly. She has said that idea of a blood soaked attacker is wrong. I published a bullet pointed summation when I received that report, which she agreed to allow. She said more to me over emails not in the report I could also bullet point. Since then I did not bother much regarding the idea of a killer soaked in blood.

    I guess the Lily Lloyd statement does not make mention of the cinema? I have Wilkes’ book and I have read the interview with her. I did not ever bother with it because the window of time she gave Gordon is not the relevant window, and also because it sounds much like she was just angry she got jilted. She says stuff about the case “dying with her” in a purposefully mysterious way, like when Gordon implies he “could” tell you much about “peculiar” Wallace, and one of the detectives (I think it was Gold), in a newspaper interview claiming he had “secrets” about the case. Mark R also claimed to have found “secrets” in the case files that proved William did it. His book came out and there are no such secrets. There were other detectives aside from Gold who made similar claims in newspapers. All of these weird “mysterious” claims where people don’t want to actually reveal the hidden information they allegedly have, are pretty much always bogus.

    Lily Hall’s sighting is highly reliable since she described W’s outfit correctly just as the Menlove area witnesses did, and described the appearance of another man who was in the area around the time she saw W. This is why Greenlees who went to Munro, was not called by the defence in the trial, because his sighting of a similar looking stocky man in a hat at around the same time, strengthens the reliability of Lily Hall’s sighting. It is a genuine sighting. I have come up with ideas to circumvent the implications of it previously, but the actual validity of it seems clear given the two factors mentioned above.

    Allan has maintained consistently that he was “hurrying” on his round that night.

    “I think we can agree then, unless you are being obstinate that the notice board containing those details was there whilst P was in attendance and we don’t have to ‘guess’ that he could just have gone there anytime to sneak a look, though that wouldn’t be difficult.”

    I think you are not quite understanding the issue raised. When Gordon was in attendance it was November, unless he is at that time planning the crime he has no reason to pay attention to this notice on the board or remember that it exists at all by the time January rolls around. For example, it isn’t like he is at the drama club short of money on the Thursday just before the crime, then sees the notice and a lightbulb goes off. Because it is actually that he would see the notice in November and have no reason to commit it to memory… I could write more, the days Gordon went to rehearsals is also important. I assumed previously that the call was placed simply because Gordon (or whichever guilty party) knew chess club met every Monday at the cafe, NOT from any checking of a chart, but I see now he has no reason to know this without studying the chart because he only saw W and the club on Thurs. Overall, the proposal doesn’t make much sense unless he is planning the crime since November, or we guess that he was at the cafe more recently than the 17th of November. Which is possible but it is a guess.

    It is much easier and less convoluted to accept a thought process of “chess club meets every Monday, William goes to chess club, I can call chess club on Monday and leave him a message.” Why someone would actually go and check a chart I don’t know. Clubs tend to meet each week and it is the natural assumption to believe a member of that club will turn up when the club meets. Like without even looking at any “drama club chart”, I assume Gordon turned up every Tuesday and Thursday because that’s when the drama society met there. This is a normal assumption. If I wanted to trick him out in the same way I’d leave a message on Tues or Thurs, and I’d feel confident he will be there every time.

  27. GED says:

    Thanks RMQ. In reply I would say regarding the blood spatter which is so obviously on the walls and ceiling and therefore agreed by all the experts then and since that it would only take 1 minute drop of blood on W to convict him and he could not know for sure that he didn’t have one on him.

    Lily Lloyds false alibi might not be relevant to the murder time but it is still relevant in that for the two days now, we have P lieing and one of those days has him requesting Lily to falsify it for him so just what was he up to then? Meeting with his accomplice? Expecting to pick up his share of the booty? Finding out more about what is going on in the rumour mill surrounding the murder? We know that even for many years afterwards he kept tabs on who had died and who was still alive regarding this case, why?

    Why would W be gabbing away a few yards from where he’d just killed his wife with the risk of, and in actual fact, according to you the knowledge that he’d been seen, moreso why didn’t he scarper when he saw Lily Hall approaching along the long road which Richmond Park is? It is not even accurate that Greenlees and Hall saw the same man and is no more compelling than Anne Parsons and Jane Smith and some man whose name I can’t remember, having seen two men running down Hanwell st or around Priory Road just around the same time that the murder could have happened. Look at it all rationally, which makes the more sense as that will be the correct conclusion to come to.

    I agree with your last paragraph that P knew W went there every Monday and so didn’t even need to check the noticeboard but we have to remember that the defence still have to make the Jury aware that anybody interested in murdering J could have seen it as they’re not just pinning their hopes on lowering the suspect pool to just P. It’s also important to remember that just because W says HE saw P there on a thursday does not mean that P could not have seen W there at any other time which went un noticed by P, possibly even on the Monday evening to make sure he went and therefore the likelihood of him receiving the message.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      You would imagine, but his clothing was not taken in for examination until a day after he’d been allowed to stay in the home with those clothes. I think this is another area where book claims have became melded with case fact, where there is a mental image of the police on the night his wife died, seizing his outfit and so on.

      I don’t want to make too much of it, because it’s not W’s fault that this happened, but without the outfit being seized at the time, and being left alone in that house before such an event even, you wonder how difficult it would be to wash clothing/dispose of clothing (Lizzie Borden shoved hers in the fire). And if W was asked to hand over clothing, “oh the outfit I wore that night? Oh yes sure, it was definitely this plain shirt here” and hand over a different one. As I said I don’t want to make too much of it because it is unfair.

      Not an unfair assessment though: you definitely wonder why he was so eager to go and stay in the house where his wife was murdered so shortly after the crime, and to do so without police protection. Especially since there is supposed to be a murderer on the loose who killed your wife and for all you know has reason to come back and finish you off. Years after, he claims he had electric lights installed in his home because he’s so nervous the killer (so he means Parry) will be lurking in the shadows ready to kill him. Clearly a fear which was not present at the time.

      Passing on from that we must be careful: Lily never says Gordon asked her to lie for him does she? You might deduce that but I wouldn’t like to add it as a confirmed event. Especially since Lily’s revelation that she lied about the time he visited supposedly first occurred straight after Gordon dumped her.

      Significantly: This is all before the case files are released. What is the public perception? Does the public believe that Gordon’s alibi for actually killing Julia is that he was with Lily Lloyd and not the Brines? Wilkes and co. seem to have thought so, as they claim without Lily’s alibi Gordon must have committed the murder. The “later in the evening” she references may well be the actual time she provided to police. There could be a public perception she was with him during the murder window and she may be playing that up, in other words speaking as though she really had given him an alibi for the murder itself but revealing the fact she didn’t see him during the murder window, but later in the evening (later being the correct time she gave to police that never became public knowledge). I hope you understand what I mean.

      Hall’s sighting is genuine, it is actually strong. There is a stocky man in a hat who approaches Mr. Greenlees. Hall sees a stocky man in a hat around this same exact time. Are they two different stocky men in hats talking to people around the exact same time in the same street? She correctly describes W’s outfit which she ought not have got correct. I will propose a rational explanation: There is a stocky man in a hat wandering the neighborhood looking for 54 Richmond Park, he asks Mr. Greenlees for directions. Mr. Greenlees says there isn’t such an address… Does the man only ask one person? W spent almost an hour seeking Menlove Gardens East, and was himself told there is no such address by Sidney Hubert Green, and I think Sargent the policeman but I need to search for the statement as it appears missing from my site… So a rational suggestion then: The man looking for 54 Richmond Park asked for directions from Mr. Greenlees, who could not help, so kept looking. Just after this, Wallace emerges, and the same man approaches W and asks for help just the same. This is what Hall sees. This man will never come forward because it is an incredibly suspicious coincidence and places him right beside the murder scene as well.

      The point is this: given such a frightening coincidence (asking a fake address right by the murder house during the window of J’s death, given the Wallace case is all about a man being tricked out with a fake address), and the man’s proximity to the house in any case, how is it that W never notes the existence of this man? I propose that he didn’t bother to take note of the man who was asking suspicious questions, right by the house where his wife lay dead, because he KNOWS who killed his wife and thus knows it was not this stocky man and hence the man is inconsequential.

      “P knew W went there every Monday”

      Is not right to claim, Parry sees William there on Thursdays when Parry is there at his drama club. He has no reason to believe the chess club ever meets on a Monday unless he actually studies the chart and aligns the dates with days. And why is he studying the chart like this when not yet planning the crime? Before planning this robbery, he has no reason to take note of or remember this notice on a large bulletin board surrounded by all manner of things.

  28. Michael Fitton says:

    Hi Ged, RMQ,
    Just a few points on your postings today:
    !. Wallace could claim he must have picked up any blood found on his clothing while he leaned over his wife and checked for “signs of life.” In most accounts of the case I think the amount of blood spray/spatter has been over-done. There were spots on the wall and ceiling to the left of the fireplace with the majority pooled around Ms Wallace’s head on the floor. Which fits with most of the blows falling when she was already on the floor.

    2. Lily Lloyd did say she lied about the time Parry arrived at her house on the murder night. We don’t know that Parry asked her to, but its a reasonable assumption.By her own admission she was deeply in love with Parry at the time. She also said she was terribly upset when the relationship ended which might imply that he dumped her or she found out about another woman and dropped him.
    I too wonder, like GED, when Parry had arranged to meet up with the actual thieves, hear their account of how it went and divide the booty. If it was after Brine but before Lloyd you would expect him to be a shattered man on hearing the bad news but nobody mentions this.

    3. I tend to agree with RMQ that Mr Greenlees and Lily Hall saw the same man. Why Wallace denied talking to him is a mystery. It is indeed a “frightening coincidence” that probably the only two men in Liverpool who were each seeking a bogus address on that very evening should meet by accident.
    Incidentally and probably irrelevant: Lily Hall’s father committed suicide by gassing himself around the time of Wallace’s trial.

    4. Regarding Parry keeping tabs over the years on the main players in the Wallace case. We could also ask why Russell Johnston continues to follow developments and attend get-togethers after all these years. I don’t find anything sinister in it.


    • R M Qualtrough says:

      “Incidentally and probably irrelevant: Lily Hall’s father committed suicide by gassing himself around the time of Wallace’s trial.”

      For context it seems to be after the trial which was on the 22nd of April. It seems he committed suicide in June.

  29. GED says:

    Morning Mike and RMQ. I can’t disagree with most of what you have said there. So what do we deduce from it all.

    We cannot surely suggest that Lily Lloyd made the inaccurate statement of P’s time with her from her own volition because how would she know what times to say and which to avoid unless she was coerced. I agree that before the case files were released, Goodman and Wilkes mistook Lily Lloyds false alibi to mean he was not with her during the crucial time but he did not know about the Brine’s alibi at that point. In that case why ask Lloyd to make him a false alibi at all and yet it seems he did, so what was he up to? Perhaps his calmness was because he wasn’t told about the killing until after he left her and at this point, just past midnight into the early hours is his frantic trip to Atkinsons garage?

    Regarding Lily Hall. If W knows he is seen, and Richmond Park is a long road, then why he didn’t just say oh yes, there was a man asking for directions, or a light, or for the nearest phone box or pub etc is baffling.

    We know that W’s clothes were examined on the spot, though not forensically, but blood spatter is quite different from a smudge (as in the handling of the body in checking the pulse) or old dried blood. You see W is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. No blood means he knew the body was there and walked around it, Blood means he done it.

    We can all agree it was strange for the Police to let him stay in the house on the Wednesday night and yet another cock up of theirs but maybe not too strange for a man wanting a change of clothes and to maybe get his work papers to carry on about his business (do we know for sure if he did?)

    Regarding when P may or may not see the notice board is all conjecture as he was not excluded from being there as a cafe on any day and it is the defence’s point that Anybody (including, but not just solely P) could have seen when W was expected there without knowing the facts of when he’d failed to turn up previously.

    Another elephant in the room is Imelda Moore. Daughter of Hubert and typist/P.A. to Parry’s dad. Surely they spoke about the case. HM and JP would surely have know/known of each other.

    We all dismiss Ada Cook’s part in this (she appears twice) What do you make of that?

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      It is not likely that killers fleeing the scene of a crime would hold onto the murder weapon for many hours, waiting to hand it to Gordon at past 11 PM. Parkes’ story includes Gordon being lumbered with both the murder weapon and a blood soaked mitten.

  30. GED says:

    Unless P and/or his car never had the murder weapon in the first place. The 2 men were seen running down Hanwell st towards where the phone box is, the continuation of that street is Priory Road and the grid is just there past the junction. Murder weapon disposed of, Parry picks them up, glove shoved in box. Parry never tells Parkes he was ever in possession of the iron bar, just that it was shoved down a grid outside a doctors in Priory Road. Who would know such a Drs existed. Parkes says he doesn’t but maybe someone local like the murderer and his accomplice (Parry/Denison) would. This is the night don’t forget where Lily tells Parry he is late – how late? He has already promised to see Lily afterwards, it would be suss if he didn’t and then the murder rumour mill goes into full flow with his unaccounted time so he has to calm himself, he has no blood on him anyway and he knows he didn’t commit the crime so nothing to be worried about. Then Parkes finds the glove and Parry isn’t expecting this so doesn’t have his spiel worked out and grabs it off him etc. I doubt you’d be putting it about to anyone that this is the blood of J and bringing suspicion upon yourself to somebody who has already told you to your face they don’t trust you and by the way, who said Parkes was gullible anyway as has been said by you before. The Atkinsons say Pucker was like family to them.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Parkes claims Gordon said he was in possession of the bar, and confessed to personally disposing of it himself. The quote is:

      “and about the bar he says he’s ‘hid the bar in a doctors house’ and he said he ‘dropped the bar down the grid outside a doctor’s house in Priory Road’.”

      You will notice that Gordon is interviewed on the night of the 23rd of January. Both Lily and her mother are interviewed 2 and a half to 3 days later on the 26th. Gordon will be aware that he has lied about being with Lily all day on the 19th by the time they give their statements, so if any coercion was involved you would expect Lily to be asked to flub her statement for the 19th also.

      The crime is also in general not Gordon’s M.O. Gordon is an opportunistic and impulsive criminal, none of the crimes he is known to have committed (of which there are several) have involved any planning. They are all spur of the moment acts such as rifling drawers, stealing cars, robbing telephone boxes, and rape.

  31. Michael Fitton says:

    The mind boggles at the thought of Imelda Moore discussing the latest developments in the case with Parry’s father. She should have been assigned to other duties until the case was over.
    Regarding the Greenlees mystery man Mr X: I toyed with the idea that Qualtrough, whoever he was, made another phone call e.g. to answer a newspaper advertisement of something for sale e.g .a watch (Price £5). He tells Mr X that he wants to buy it and has the cash ready. Then he gives the false address close to Wallace’s home. Mr X, totally innocent and a stranger in the district, encounters Mr Greenlees, then Mr Wallace to ask directions. The motive: To sow confusion in the inevitable investigation but it didn’t work because Mr X never identified himself.
    Don’t tell me its crazy – I know that already!

  32. GED says:

    So this isn’t the M.O. of Parry but it is the M.O. of the previously impeccably behaved W right? That is more crazy 🙂 Anyhow, none of us seem to have P as the killer so could it be the M.O. of his accomplice though???

    Why would P be getting his 19th story straight with Lily or her mother when the phone box issue doesn’t come up until Thursday 22nd and only W is told this and then shadowed that evening onwards. P has no need to think his Monday night shenanigans are being called into question at this point if the police did their questioning correctly.

    As it is and there is no denying this. The police had 3 statements for the 19th and either didn’t cross reference them or they did but decided to turn a blind eye to it. They also had 3 statements for the 20th (P/OB/HD) and didn’t delve any deeper than a 1 paragraph alibi which all looked very similar. The police were known to be corrupt, there’s even a letter from a serving officers wife. They were mass recruiting in the years just prior to this due to the strike sackings. Moore thought he had his man, Parry’s dad would know all the latest inside news. Did he even pay Moore off. Do we totally disregard Ada Cooks story (yet another one we have to just disregard)

    Food for thought 😉

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      “Why would P be getting his 19th story straight with Lily or her mother”

      Because he has spoken to the police on the 23rd and been quizzed about his movements on the 19th and told them he is with Lily. Lily and Josephine are not quizzed until the 26th. If he has lied to the police on the 23rd/24th, he can “get his story straight” with Lily prior to her interview on the 26th. He sees her on the 24th which is before her interview.

  33. GED says:

    Forgive me if I’ve muddled it a bit previously. What I mean is, if the police are doing their questioning properly, they will not tell P on Fri 23rd why they are interested in his movements on the Monday and that they have located the time of the call and the call box (information known to police the previous day Thurs 22nd) P lies about where he was but the police choose to ignore this vital discrepancy.

    P goes on to say that on the Tues he is at the Lloyd’s from 9pm but Lily later says this also was not correct so indeed he has had time by now to get his story straight in that as straight as can be to give him a free hour or so to be up to something or other. I wonder what it was – any ideas?

    I also wonder why, if he was a chief suspect, the police left it so long to interview both P and the Lloyds. I wonder if the Police were actually taking any other suspect seriously as Moore who for some reason is sure he has his man will be giving out the directives as to who and when to interview.

    The M.O.s and Ada Cook mentions are ignored once again as is the Parry/Moore relationship. This would prejudice the case these days so why not then?

    What of P’s dad offering yet another alibi for his son, about the broken down car on Breck Road (at least proving P was out and about driving that evening) and how about the ‘Not for £2000 would I disclose any more as I promised my dad’ Too many grey areas and loose connections to have not been involved somewhere in this.

    Present this to the police now and it changes everything. P becomes more of a suspect than W just as he should have done back then. For instance. P and W put in an i.d. parade for Anne Parsons of Miss Smith.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      I don’t know what you mean, we know the dates the statements were made, the made up movements for the 19th are provided by Gordon on the interview on the 23rd/24th. Gordon says he has no problem with his movements being checked for both the Tuesday AND Monday. He is aware he made up his movements on the 19th, and that he claimed he was with Lily, and the topic of checking his movements on these two days has been broached in the interview.

      After this, and before Lily or her mother is questioned, he sees her. If he has coerced her into lying about his whereabouts on the 20th, he didn’t bother to have her do the same for the 19th despite knowing he gave false information and he will be caught having done so? He had the opportunity to coerce her before she or her mother gave interviews.

      I’m not really sure why you are talking about Gordon’s dad bribing the detectives?

  34. GED says:

    It’s quite simply really RMQ, Even Mike mentioned the Imelda Moore connection to both John/Gordon Parry and Supt Moore.

    To be clear. Do you concur that P’s statement for the 19th is a lie and that he wasn’t with the Lloyds like he says he was because Lily had a student.

    Do you concur that for the 20th, Parry says he was with Lily from 9pm but he wasn’t.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      “Do you concur that P’s statement for the 19th is a lie”

      That is an accurate assessment.

      “Do you concur that for the 20th, Parry says he was with Lily from 9pm but he wasn’t.”

      I don’t buy into that claim. I think the “later in the evening” she references IS the ~9 PM. When she says that, I think she’s playing into the notion that she provided his alibi for the window of the murder itself. I also think she’s a jilted ex out for blood. She’s still heartbroken about Gordon 50 years later and finds it too hurtful to discuss him? That’s demented.

  35. Michael Fitton says:

    To return to our discussion of Wallace’s arrival time at the chess club. From a reading of the Tournament Rules in the Photo section of this site it appears that “Tournament” is an umbrella term beneath which there are several “Championship” matches. Wallace was in the 2nd class championship.

    It is firmly stated under “Tournament Rules” that games must start by 7.30 pm! Not only that but if a game doesn’t start by 7.30 pm the players’ clock will be started anyway at that time. Games must finish by 10.10 pm so this would effectively penalise the late starters.
    The whole tone of this notice is one of rigid adherence to the rules.

    All this of course completely contradicts Beattie’s account of games starting by 7.45 pm “but you can’t be penalised if you don’t start before 7.45 pm.”

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      So basically you can turn up any time you want as long as you don’t mind being slightly disadvantaged by the loss of time?

      • Michael Fitton says:

        That is the only way this can be interpreted. But why was Mr Beattie’s version, given under oath, so different?
        It also opens another possibility in that a non-Wallace/ non-Parry Qualtrough seeing the “start by 7.30” rule on the notice board really did, by ringing at 7.20, expect to speak to Wallace personally if he had arrived in time for the 7.30 start of his game with Mr Chandler.
        This implies that this Qualtrough was either unknown to Wallace or sufficiently confident that his voice would not be recognised.

        • R M Qualtrough says:

          It would also mean a potential “stakeout” on Monday would be expected to begin at least quarter of an hour earlier than it otherwise might have. So the person doing the staking out would be waiting roughly the time they already did do, plus an additional 15 minutes.

          The person “staking him out” would probably expect him to be a bit more punctual than he was in any case, rather than showing up right on the dot of whatever the club rule time was, like dead on 7.45 (or 5 minutes late by W’s 7.50 claim).

          It seems less likely in the case that it’s a 7.30 start, that there was a stakeout. Because if W is that late the person doing the staking out would probably assume he wasn’t going and give up/leave earlier. More likely the person simply assumed he would turn up. Which is natural I think, if someone is a member of a club and that club meets on X and Y days, I’d expect a person to be there on those days. Especially with a match scheduled. However, of course, if you knew when the club met and what time, you would probably think W would be there if you were on the phone at 7.20, since 7.30 is the LATEST a person can show up.

          So the phone box which was used might just be incidental rather than a result of someone stalking William waiting outside his home. Perhaps because it’s the booth closest to the caller’s home (private one, there are also far more public and exposed booths nearby which would be unsuitable for criminal use), or the caller was in the area for other reasons.

  36. Michael Fitton says:

    “Perhaps because its the booth closest to the caller’s home” brings Mr Johnston into play. Although I think he might prefer to reach Wallace through an intermediary e.g. Beattie, rather than speak with Wallace directly because of voice recognition. That said, I do think the risk of voice recognition is small due to the poor quality sound in phones of that era, the context where Qualtrough clearly emphasises his unusual name, and the likelihood that Johnston had never spoken with Wallace on the phone previously. The advantage of a direct conversation with Wallace is that Mr Q could be more definite that Wallace would take the bait. Johnston’s plan would be for robbery on his last night at No 31, not murder, but things went wrong.
    Just one theory among many…..

  37. GED says:

    All good points. I cannot read the Tournament Rules as they are too tiny. It’s certainly strange that Beattie should give the rule times as different and again even stranger (though maybe not, given the inadequacies of the police and Councils in this case) that this was not picked up on. If it is the case that a later time was tolerated it could well be that some members complained that it was too early a start after finishing work etc and by appeal and or orally, the Captain just called everyone to the tables one day to say although the printed rule is 7.30pm we have now agreed that 7.45 is ok, I dunno, things like that can happen. However, anybody not being intimate with the chess club and their rules wouldn’t know this anyway, as in they would still see the 7.30pm as the marker. It still doesn’t change the killer from being W for those that think it is. I expect anyone doing a possible stake out may well start it about 7pm anyway, I would. 😉

    • Michael Fitton says:

      Yes, an informal change from 7.30 pm to 7.45 pm crossed my mind too but wouldn’t you think that 7.30 pm had been floated among the members for their agreement before making it official? Also, even with a 7.30 start, late arrivals are tolerated but with a time penalty.
      I can’t believe that Beattie, club captain and likely author of the Tournament Rules notice gave 7.45 pm in court as a genuine mistake. Not to mention late starters “not being penalised” whereas they clearly are, with reduced play time. So what conclusions do we draw from this discrepancy?

      • R M Qualtrough says:

        Unless the criminal is related directly to the club (e.g. a club member) they would not know of this change. The journey from 29 Wolverton Street to the chess club was tested by Maddock, even if William left his door at 7.10 he is destined to be late for the match time listed. Maddock got 24 minutes and 23 and a half, with zero tram wait times added. Trams came around every 8 minutes I believe, and an average waiting time it’s more like 28 minutes.

        There are closer stops but they don’t help enough, it’s a 5’20” walk to the stop he allegedly used so even shaving that down, by 7.10 anyone waiting to see him leaving his house could conclude he was not going to his club. I mean it’s talking crossing town in 20 minutes by public transport. That’s being generous on the time he left home.

        Stakeouts did not occur.

        And further as you have said, without a stakeout (so you know he is not yet there at the club, since you see him leave home), speaking to the club at 7.20 and asking for William poses a significant risk he will already be there and come to the phone.

  38. Michael Fitton says:

    HI Ged, Sorry to hear you have difficulty with the fine print of the Tournament rules. Here is a transcript of the relevant parts:

    The game must be played not later than the dates arranged by the Committee as per table. Play commences at or before 7.30 pm.

    1. Should any player fail to commence his game by 7.30 pm on the appointed evening the steward shall start his clock against him. except in the following special circumstances:

    2. When players mutually agree to play on an evening than that appointed, which must be within ten days of the original date, the Club Secretary must be notified of such arrangement before 7 pm on the original date otherwise both players will be marked as losers.

    3. Clocks are compulsory….

    4 Any player who finds himself through illness or any reasonable unforeseen cause play on the night arranged shall be granted the right to play within the next ten days provided he notifies the club secretary not later than 7 pm on the original date.

    5 The record of any player failing to complete 75% of games shall be expunged.

    6. All tournament games must be played in the club room.

    7 Play to cease at 10.10 pm and the player whose turn it is to move must seal same not later than 10.15 pm.

    These rules will be strictly enforced.

    Detail of the appeal process….

  39. Michael Fitton says:

    Hi Ged,

    Here’s my transcript of the Chess Club Rules notice with irrelevant bits left out. I hope this is kinder to your eyes than the original.

    The game must be played not later than the dates arranged by the Committee as per table. Play commences at or before 7.30 pm.

    1. Should any player fail to commence his game by 7.30 pm on the appointed evening the steward shall start his clock against him. except in the following special circumstances:

    When players mutually agree to play on an evening other than that appointed, which must be within ten days of the original date, the Club Secretary of such arrangement before 7 pm on the original date otherwise both players will be marked as losers.

    2. Clocks are compulsory….

    3 Any player who finds himself through illness or any reasonable unforeseen cause play on the night arranged shall be granted the right to play within the next ten days provided he notifies the club secretary not later than 7 pm on the original date.

    4 The record of any player failing to complete 75% of games shall be expunged.

    5. All tournament games must be played in the club room.

    6. Play to cease at 10.10 pm and the player whose turn it is to move must seal same not later than 10.15 pm.

    These rules will be strictly enforced.

    Detail of the appeal process….

  40. GED says:

    Thanks Mike. Am I missing this photograph, how/where did you find it. I can only see a notice board with all other notices on it on the photographs on here.

    RMQ. Why would the average wait time for a tram be more like 28 mins, do you mean the average transit time door to door. If W left his house at 7.15 he can’t be hoping to get to the club by 7.30 but 7.45 yes he could. If you don’t know the route, it was straight up Breck Road, turned left onto Everton Road then down Fitzclarence st (which isn’t there anymore) and then you are pretty much at the top end of the city centre. Granted, Dale st is closed so there is a diversion. So not only does this not disqualify a stakeout but remember, Parry told the Lloyd’s he was off to Park Lane/Lark Lane. If it was Park Lane, then this is the continuation of North John st/South John st. It puts him in the area for either he or his accomplice to just make sure W has turned up.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Because a Gordon who studied the noticeboard (as is claimed) would think attendees have to turn up at 7.30, not 7.45. W is extremely late for the match. According to himself, he is 20 minutes late (7.50) but even at best is 15 minutes late. Even if he didn’t use the ridiculous tram stop at Belmont Road and used the one near the top of Richmond Park (243 yards) and stepped straight onto a waiting tram, he is late for the 7.30 time that the alleged stalker would believe he has to be there by (BY, since matches must start AT that time at the latest).

      It’s 18’20” to 18’40” if he teleported from his back door to the tram stop and would STILL most probably be late considering trams come by every 8 to 9 minutes. With a walk up to the top of Richmond Park he is late.

      These are the most generous times possible.

      Gordon told Josephine Lloyd to her face what street he was going to, Lily overheard him at the doorstep while she herself was over at the piano with a student. You can decide which is more reliable.

  41. Michael Fitton says:

    If you click on Photos on the top menu of this site then choose Official Police and Munro File photos you will find the Chess Club Rules photo just after the picture of the Central Chess Club notice board.

  42. GED says:

    Thank you Mike, ah yes the wording is much larger on these photos than on the notice board photo I was looking at previously. Well done for spotting it.

  43. David Metcalf says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Not posted for a while!! Hope you’re all fine. I just want to say that I don’t believe for a second that Wallace, even if he did make the telephone call to the City Cafe himself, would have been crazy enough to make it from such an open, conspicuous and busy area.As has been pointed out before, that call box stood barely 20 yards from the front doors of both a cinema and a pub.There was also another pub only about 80 yards away (the one we meet up in!!).There were also several shops nearby, including the newsagents used by the Wallaces.On top of this, it needs to be remembered that this call box also stood on a busy four road junction.There would have been people travelling past it in trams, cars, taxis, bicycles and motorcycles pretty much constantly.And don’t forget ordinary pedestrians who could have been walking in the vicinity, or even people walking their dog!! For Wallace to make the call from here, which I don’t believe he did anyway, borders on lunacy!! The fact is that he can have absolutely no way of knowing for certain that somebody known to him hasn’t spotted him going into that kiosk, or leaving it.They may have been on a tram, in a car or taxi, heading towards the city centre or Clubmoor, where he did his collections, and was less than a mile away!! Any of his neighbours going for a pint, going to the cinema, walking their dog in the small area of grassland the kiosk stood on the corner of could have noticed him.As well as anyone going to one of the shops or even someone simply stretching their legs and getting some fresh air.If making the call from here was part of his plan to kill Julia, he’s taking an incredibly stupid risk of his plan going pear shaped right from the start!! And a totally unnecessary risk.Don’t forget either, if he DID make the call and then boarded a tram from the stop on Townsend Lane, which stood about 20 yards from the kiosk, he’s also then running the risk of the conductor recognising and remembering him, and later telling the police.Wallace was adamant throughout that he boarded the tram on that Monday evening from the stop at the corner of Belmont and Breck Road.So…does all this this really sound like something an apparently calculating, cautious, intelligent and methodical man like Wallace would do if he was planning to kill his wife?? Personally, I just can’t see it.
    I’m still convinced that Parry made that call after seeing Wallace emerge onto Breck Road from Richmond Park at about 7.17pm on that Monday evening.Wallace said he left his back door at about 7.15 that night, and it takes just over two minutes to walk from there to Breck Road.I’ve timed it!! So he would have come into Parry’s view at 7.17.Parry then immediately heads for the kiosk and makes the call, which is said to have begun at about 7.18/19.The fact that it appears the caller seems to have attempted to scam a free call also points at Parry.Antony Brown explains in his updated version of Move to Murder just how easily this could be done.And who’s more likely to be attempting to scam a free telephone call…Parry or Wallace? I think that’s a bit of a no-brainer!! As I’ve said before, I think it’s likely that Parry and an accomplice (William Denison?) have been watching and waiting for several weeks on Monday and Thursday evenings to see if Wallace went to his chess club.They park themselves on a stretch of Breck Road at about 7pm, where they can very easily see which tram stop William is heading to.If there’s no sign of him by about 7.30, they assume he’s not going, and simply leave it and try another day until they DO see him.What’s 30 minutes out of their lives, when if this plan comes to fruition, they’ll be making a very, very tidy sum indeed? And as far as Parry is concerned, at very little risk to himself!!
    There’s something else that I’ve been thinking about too.I used to harbour serious doubts about Parry’s Olivia Brine alibi, but now I think it was genuine.But it was also not genuine!! By that,I mean that Parry was there, but NOT for genuine reasons.He’s plonked himself at 43 Knoclaid Road for three hours for one reason only…to give himself the alibi because he knows Wallace is very likely to give his name to the police as someone who Julia would admit to the house, and also as someone who knew where he kept the cash box.Even though Julia would have to tell the police, assuming the robbery had been successful, that “Qualtrough”, who knocked at the front door at 7.30 on Tuesday evening, obviously wasn’t Parry.I also think that’s why Harold Denison turns up at Knoclaid Road at 6pm, half an hour after Parry’s arrival.I suspect William Denison and probably Parry himself have asked him to do this to add a bit of substance to the alibi.I’ll be curious to know what others think about this possibility.
    Anyway, I need a cuppa now!! But look forward to hearing from you!!


    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Wallace made the claim that he arrived at the chess club on the 19th at 7.50 PM. That was the first statement on the matter that he made. This makes it possible for Wallace to walk all the way to Belmont Road and board a tram over there, even if he had placed the call as “Qualtrough”. Beattie stated that W did not arrive “before” 7.45 and W says 7.50 originally. So we can take a window of 7.45 to 7.50 PM.

      Speculating, there are two request stops on the way to Belmont Road. The closest is at the top of Richmond Park. This is right near the postbox. Since William unnecessarily mentions thinking he “maybe” stopped on his trip to the club to mail a letter at that postbox, it’s possible he was mentioning it to excuse any possible sightings of him loitering that area while waiting for the tram. The Breck Road Library in 2023 is further along in a much different location, old maps show the original spot.

      7.30 was the time listed for matches on the chess club noticeboard. It is stated the rules are strict. If the rule was changed, it would only definitely be known to members of the club, since the notice on the board was not updated to reflect that. Therefore if William emerged even as early as 7.10 PM it would be impossible for him to arrive at his club for the match time shown on the schedule.

      Other telephone boxes nearby were in far less discreet areas, as they were actually inside public buildings.

      All witnesses claim the call came in at 7.15. Antony is guessing I think, unless you can find the testimony stating otherwise. 7.17 was the time the second operator picked up the call after the first had already failed. The operators had genuine difficulty connecting the call which is why the second operator asks if he believes there should be a response, and why she herself then tries and is unable to get a reply. Hence the error noted: N.R. for “No Reply”.

      There is no evidence Julia had caught any burglar. She was found dead in the parlour and was evidently struck down near the fireplace. The cash box is in the kitchen.

  44. Dave Metcalf says:

    Hi RM!!
    I think the situation regarding the rules of start times for matches is being a bit overplayed here.The likes of Beattie, Wallace’s friend Caird, and Wallace himself make no reference in any of their statements about matches definitely HAVING to start by 7.30.If this rule was so strict, why haven’t any of them mentioned it? I think there’s a degree of leeway going on here.These are grown men who’ve been meeting up and playing chess for years.Are they really likely to be acting like dictators towards each other over the rules, even if they are on the notice board? Especially if they’ve also had work commitments that day that could have delayed their arrival.Caird himself would arrive at the club straight from his shop.I’ve been involved in social activities in the workplace over the years…football sweeps,Grand National sweeps,National Lottery bonus ball…sometimes the “rules” would be put on a notice board, or even e-mailed to colleagues, basically if you didn’t pay, you couldn’t go in it!! But there was always a degree of give and take.After all, who wants to be known as a miserable so and so who strictly follows the rules and doesn’t let someone pick a horse from the Grand National sweep because they haven’t got a spare couple of pounds that day? I know I didn’t!! So as I said, I think there’ll have been some leeway regarding start times.And there certainly doesn’t appear to be any evidence that this 7.30 rule was unfailingly applied.

    I’m sorry RM, but your comments about the telephone kiosk still don’t take into account the fact that if Wallace DID make the call, then he has absolutely no way of being certain he hasn’t been spotted.The issue of posting the letter is irrelevant…if just one person who is acquainted in any way with Wallace happens to see him either entering or leaving that telephone kiosk at between 7.15 and 7.20, he’s in huge trouble if he then proceeds to kill his wife.And as I said in my earlier post, how can he possibly know he hasn’t been seen?? How can he know none of his customers weren’t on a tram, in a car or taxi driving past the kiosk? How can he be sure none of his neighbours weren’t going in or coming out of any of the pubs, shops or cinema near that kiosk, and noticed him? I’m sorry, but it’s nigh on impossible that even if Wallace DID make the call, that he could be 100% certain that absolutely nobody he knew or was acquainted with hadn’t seen him.If this truly WAS part of the plan to murder his wife and attempt to get away with it, it’s an incredibly stupid and unnecessary risk he’s taking.And very much out of character for a man with Wallace’s personality and apparent attention to detail.

    As regards Julia not catching a burglar and being found dead in the parlour…well, that doesn’t mean she didn’t HEAR a burglar.I think she’s possibly heard either the cabinet door falling off, or the sound of coins being dropped at some time between about 7.40 and 8pm.I’m convinced this has been a distraction robbery initiated by Parry.Distraction robberies are as old as time.Indeed, my Mum and her boss were the victims of one when she worked in a fruit shop back in 1988!! Someone masquerading as Qualtrough has knocked at the front door.Upon his gaining access, someone else has headed for the back door (Quite possibly William Denison, in my opinion).Parry’s friend, mentioned by Olivia Brine in her statement, yet seems to have gone completely under the radar.Denison’s job is to get the cash while Qualtrough keeps Julia talking.Of course, we have absolutely no idea who “Qualtrough” actually was.But something goes wrong between the times I’ve stated, and Julia is killed before she can get out of the parlour.I think everything at this point is pure speculation.I doubt we’ll ever know who actually killed her, or how it exactly happened.”Qualtrough” could have gone on to commit more crimes, but unless we know his real name, we just don’t know.But I’m also convinced the two men Anne Parsons saw running at speed down Hanwell Street at about 8.15 pm towards Lower Breck Road were William Denison and “Qualtrough”…whoever he was!! And they were on their way to meet Parry, who would have had no idea at this juncture at just how horribly wrong his little plan had gone.

    There’s something else I also find interesting.Everyone seems to accept that the pathologist McFall made some basic errors in connection to the murder, the obvious one being his failure to take Julia’s body temperature.As we know, he relied far too heavily on the notoriously iffy method of checking rigor mortis.But McFall stated shortly after his arrival at Wolverton Street at 9.50pm that he believed Julia had been dead for two hours…meaning she’d been killed at about 7.30 to 8 o’clock.Which is when I think this attempted distraction robbery would have been in progress.Could it possibly be that for all his apparent errors, and alleged rather arrogant conduct, McFall’s initial reaction of a time of death of about 7.45pm may actually have been correct?

    Anyway, this is my take on the case, and I’m sticking to it, lol!! But no doubt someone will come along with something to make me think again!! Mike Fitton immediately comes to mind!! Hope you’re well Mike!!

    Cheers everyone, and thanks for indulging me!!


    • R M Qualtrough says:

      It isn’t relevant that the rule was 7.45, because the noticeboard doesn’t show 7.45. Someone who ascertained when members turned up to the club by the noticeboard would believe matches start at 7.30 because the time shown on the noticeboard was 7.30. It was never updated to 7.45. Nobody but a chess club member would definitely be aware that matches start at 7.45 because an outsider would only be able to see 7.30 on the board.

      Gordon has no proven knowledge of the club meeting on Mondays, and no proven attendance at the cafe for over two months. To gain knowledge of the club meeting on Mondays, without speculating he just showed up there on Mondays all the time etc, he has to have gained the knowledge from the noticeboard. The same noticeboard where the match start time is listed as being 7.30. It is impossible for Wallace to get to the club for the time someone who studied that noticeboard would believe he must arrive by (if they are stalking the house to make sure he actually goes there). Because someone who studied the noticeboard could see the match start time listed as 7.30. They would not see 7.45 anywhere, they would see 7.30 because that is what is written on the board.

      We know that the person who committed this crime has created a terrible plan. It is a bad plan both for William and for a burglar, because the fake address is entirely irrelevant and only reduces the odds he will actually go on the trip.

      The time of death estimate is impossible. Even with the most modern forensic techniques, which are infinitely more advanced than those in 1931, it is completely impossible to narrow down the time of death to such a window.

      Two burglars, Gordon in the back and William Denison in the front, is plausible. But re-establishing the case facts, there is no reason to dismiss some of the elements upstairs such as the disordered front bedroom or the blood on the notes. I have emailed the blood expert about the toilet clot for a more definite opinion on that. It appears someone went upstairs in the house and that would be very different from a panicked killer fleeing after a robbery went bad. And without a panic, the overkill is surprising.

    • Michael Fitton says:

      The proposed distraction robbery by Parry/Dennison or anybody else falls down on a number of points:

      Parry’s supposed skill at changing his voice was irrelevant if he had never spoken with Mr Beattie previously.

      Parry was a petty thief (phone boxes, employer’s cash, car theft). He operated alone, without much planning, and for immediate gain. The Qualtrough / robbery caper was collaborative, planned, and for a gain which was far from certain.

      Parry is supposed to have known Wallace’s routine regarding his collections. But he failed to take account of Wallace’s frequent periods of illness, especially in winter, when he couldn’t collect. Also Parry is said to have chosen the Tuesday evening rather than the Monday expecting a bigger haul. But he didn’t wait for a Monthly week when Wallace took in Monthly premiums. That would guarantee a substantial gain, but Parry with his supposed intimate knowledge of Prudential business practices didn’t do it.

      Believe it or not (and the police did believe it) Parry had a solid alibi for the murder period.

      Mrs Wallace’s body was in the parlour. not in the kitchen near the cash box.

      The savagery of the attack indicates overkill. Eleven blows!

      For these reasons and others I believe W H Wallace murdered his wife Julia.

    • Michael Fitton says:

      Re time of Julia’s death, I have always found it surprising that Julia’s hand was described as being “slightly warm” according to Mrs Johnston (~8.45 pm) and Inspector Moore (~ 10.00 pm). This could indicate death after Wallace left the house or Wallace may have left the gas fire on a low light to delay cooling of the body. The almost staged position of the mac by her side suggests it may have been used as a blanket to further insulate the body from cooling and was put to the side during Wallace’s first visit to the parlour.
      Mc Fall may have been correct in his estimate of death apparently occurring at ~ 7.45 pm but only in the sense that a stopped clock gives the correct time twice in 24 hours.

  45. GED says:

    Firstly the post box is near to Holy Trinity church so the mention of the posting of a letter does not create a reason for W being anywhere near the phone box.
    Secondly W could have used a phone box in town after alighting the tram then calmly walked into the chess club 5 or 10 minutes later.
    I also don’t see how the 7.30 or 7.45 start really alters matters as far as the stalker is concerned. A stalker even seeing the 7.30 start would be on guard from about 6.50-7pm until maybe 7.20 just in case W was late. Therefore he/they would still see him emerge from Richmond Park at 7.17.
    To me, the John Bull article of the gas fire flame being a freshly lit whoosh onto the mac is the most plausible. In the 70s we had a Robinson Willey gas fire with white clays in it, visible through a silver barred grill. It doesn’t look like the Sunbeam fire had this so can anyone answer how the fire/clay marks were on Julia’s skirt. If fresh, the mac and skirt event could only have happened at the same time.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      The post box is near the Richmond Park request stop, I’m talking about a means to excuse possible sightings of him standing near the Richmond Park request stop if he had waited and boarded a tram there instead.

      He could arrive at the club in the window of time proposed via any tram stop. The one near the phone box, the Richmond Park request stop, the request stop further down the road but before Belmont Road, and also Belmont Road where he alleges to have boarded. Any stop would have been possible to board after putting the phone down at the phone box near Priory Road, and he could still arrive at the club within the proposed window.

      I tried to hunt down a Sunbeam and couldn’t find one. Why the woman would pick up and put a damp raincoat around her shoulders (it was left hanging in the hall to dry after the much earlier rounds?) is incomprehensible and didn’t happen, especially since she would almost certainly have her own coats. Wallace’s account in John Bull of someone taking two strides into the hall to grab it to hold up as a shield makes more logical sense. It is irrelevant whether the shield would even work, it is only relevant what is in the mind of the killer who thought to grab it. Clearly if she had only just lit the fire when hacked down, there was no burglar she had caught, they’d only just arrived. Then her killing would be the result of a premeditated attack on her which began almost as soon as they were taken into the parlour.

      The phone box used is the most private available in the area. If you think that area would be too busy, the idea that a box in the main town wouldn’t have people queuing to use it and heavy foot traffic passing by is difficult to understand. It also creates an unexplained gap of time between exiting the tram and getting to the club. By calling through first, any tram witness will put him on a tram that arrives at the chess club at the given time. Calling after the tram ride means he might be placed on a tram that turned up in town significantly earlier than he arrived at the club, which would have to be explained.

      So you are aware, what you proposed in particular means a delay after leaving the tram to make the call itself but then also a further 5 to 10 minute delay on top of that, spent hanging about before walking into the club.

    • Michael Fitton says:

      I cannot imagine that the scorch marks on Mrs Wallace’s skirt and on the mac arose from the initial whoosh of flame as she lit the gas fire. For one thing Mrs Wallace would be very familiar with that fire and if it did shoot flames out above the fire clays when lit she would expect this and keep well away. In my view she fell onto the hot fire clays when struck from behind. She was either turning the fire down or off. Or she was simply standing in front of it warming her hands. The fire had been on for sufficient time for the fire clays to be hot enough to scorch the garments. And, as RMQ reminds us, the mac was probably still damp from the afternoon rain so it would take more than a short contact with the whoosh flame to scorch it. Finally, the matches were found on a side table – nowhere near the body.

  46. Michael Fitton says:

    Its interesting that Wallace never asked Mr Beattie for details of Qualtrough’s voice. These details were brought out at the trial by both defence and prosecution (“gruff” “sure of himself” etc). By Thursday 22 January Wallace, if innocent, knew that Qualtrough was almost certainly the man who murdered Julia yet he didn’t tempt fate by raising these questions – young or old?, rough or refined?, any accent? – with Beattie at the tram stop. Too risky. Only the time (“It is important to me”) interested him. In my view for two reasons:

    1. He was hoping Beattie would have accurate recall of the time as being ~ 7.20 pm because of the narrow time window it gave him to reach the club by 7.50 as he seems to have done.

    2. Wallace was trying to build an image of a Qualtrough who had been to Cottles Cafe, noted that chess matches started at or before 7.30 pm according to the notice board, and would therefore ring up at ~7.20 on the Monday, precisely the time when Wallace could be expected to be there ready for his scheduled match with Mr Chandler. This was the additional reason why ~ 7.20 pm was important to Wallace: it reinforced the image of a cunning Qualtrough who really did expect to speak with Wallace personally at 7. 20 pm.

    Re the point raised by Dave and others about Wallace being spotted making the “Qualtrough” call. Wallace freely admitted using that phone box regularly. It was a dark mid-winter’s evening and Qualtrough in the phone box had his back to the passers-by. Anyone claiming to have seen Wallace using that phone at 7.20 pm on the 19 th January 1931 would be torn to pieces by any half-competent defence attorney:
    “How did you recognise him with his back to you?”
    “Did he turn around and wave to you?”
    “You use that tram regularly. How can you be sure it was the Monday?”
    “Why did this particular sighting register with such apparent clarity? Was it it any way unusual?”
    “Who else from the neighbourhood did you see on that evening as you walked home from the tram?”
    etc. etc.
    Dave is quite right in that Wallace could not be sure he hadn’t been seen but he was a familiar and distinctive member of the local community, seen daily out and about by dozens of people who recognised him. It is likely that he had been seen using that phone on several occasions without any particular notice being taken. People had enough to pre -occupy their minds without registering every single sighting of him or any other neighbour. By choosing his moment for entering and leaving the kiosk there was little risk.
    Nobody came forward who had seen Wallace waiting for-, or on board any tram going to the chess club. Likewise for his first tram on the 20th January. It seems that when he didn’t want to be remembered, he wasn’t.

  47. GED says:

    Parry would change his voice just for effect, just in case it was ever noticed, maybe even to mimic W, maybe because he thought it might be traced, he is an amateur dramatics person so he’d be used to doing it even for fun. Why would W ask B what the voice sounded like, what’s that going to tell him?

    P new what type of monetary gain lay in store and although he knew W’s paying in dates, by now he may not know his monthly collection dates and couldn’t very well ask him could he?

    Add assault – sexual assault to that list of Parry’s too. Everyone knows he did it, they even found the girls earring on the waste ground next day.

    As for the mac, if you’re saying it’s only relevant as to what is in the killers mind, then if it were W and a planned killing then he’d know he was going to use the mac.

    Ref – the phone box. The above is dovetailing something to fit the crime. On trial Question 3424. Wallace used that box once or twice and both sides were happy with that – This is not regular use!!!

    Ref – why W asks B to clarify the time. W explains his reasoning behind this in court which makes sense. Q 3262

    Ref – Use of a phone box absolutely anywhere else other than the one used. It would cause a 5 minute delay and as you’ve always said W could have left the house even sooner than 7.15 to do this and of course you could even blame any delays that night on the diversion due to the tunnel subsidence.

    Ref- The burns from the fire. Of course J would keep well away from a newly lit fire but of course you’ve got to be near enough to it to actually light it and then comes the blow so she falls into it catches fire and is pulled away backwards by her hair – the chignon found out of her head. Even CJ/Josh seem to agree with this.

    Plus and what nobody has mentioned for a long time is: If these secret liaisons between P and J are correct. What if J told P that W was going to the club that night. She leaves the door on the latch for P to come in and that’s why nobody hears anyone knocking that night – I mean somebody was in there making a noise.

    Keep well all, until the next time and bear in mind everything that anybody since has put forward is still only circumstantial evidence that could not hang a man so the appeal judges were quite correct in setting W free.

    • Michael Fitton says:

      Wallace met Beattie for the first time since the Qualtrough call at the tram stop. I would expect him out of general curiosity to know as much as possible about the man who conceivably murdered his wife including whether he sounded excited, nervous, hesitant etc.

      If Parry, as you say, knew what type of monetary gain lay in store then the whole caper was planned for a gain of 4 quid split three ways?

      Using the mac as a shield against blood spray and possibly as a means of delaying body cooling was part of the plan. Nobody else could have foreseen the mac on the hall stand.

      Wallace said he had used that phone box only once or twice at the trial. Only once or twice in all the years he had lived in Wolverton street! Without evidence to the contrary both sides accepted this. They had to.

      Wallace seemed to think that his leaving home at 7.15 pm on the 19th January would clear him of making the Qualtrough callas ~ 7.00 pm. But we have only Wakkace’s word that he did leave home at 7.15 pm, it may, as I have said, have been earlier so without independent verification it doesn’t clear him at all. Most unsatisfactory reasoning for pressing Beattie about the time.

      The key thing about the scorched garments is that the fire clays were hot. The fire was not freshly-lit. Her knees buckled on the first blow and she fell onto the hot clays. She was then dragged into the position where she was found.

      I completely agree that Wallace’s appeal judgement was correct. There is not enough evidence to sustain a guilty verdict.

  48. GED says:

    Hi Mike

    Obviously the plan by P wasn’t just to gain £4, He could not know W had been ill and not collected his usual bounty. The mac may not be foreseen by anyone else (but may be) but what if J did answered the door with it around her shoulders as has been mooted before.

    That’s why I asked previously about the clay burns, were they fresh from this night and does that fire even have clays, I cannot see them on the photos of this Sunbeam fire, unlike the Robinson Willey later versions we had. I guess it’s too much of a coincidence for them not to be from the same incident but then as you say Mike, it would have to have been a fire hot enough to create that pattern. If Q called at 7.30, the fire lit and then the robbery goes array at 8pm ish – the murder then the Hanwell st sighting all fit in.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      I don’t understand how the fireplace works at all, and I am sure we could find someone who does know? It surely wouldn’t take much effort in those Liverpool history Facebook groups or something, to inquire about these types of fires.

      It’s a “Sunbeam”, I have seen various advertisements for it in the newspaper archive which did not shed light.

      Frankly I can’t see a mackintosh going up in flames like that without actually coming into contact with a flame. The idea of a jacket bursting into a big ball of flames (it’s significantly burned not just scorched) from touching some fireclays just doesn’t ring true.

      I think maybe the top is not sealed but an array of fake coals, and before regulation of the gas flames would rise past these fake coals. And it would be in a grid pattern because the fake coals block the flame from rising, it can only rise through the openings each side of them. It must be like this:

  49. Michael Fitton says:

    From a close study of the crime scene photos on his site it seems clear that this model of gas fire consists of a bank of fire clays with the familiar waffle pattern to maximise surface area. The bank of fire clays is at about 45 degrees to the horizontal with a copper cowl above. It is not clear from the photo whether there is a wire fire guard structure above the clays to prevent accidental contact with them. I suspect there is nothing to prevent direct contact with the hot clays.
    There is no sign of fake coals on this fire. Any combustible material would enflame as opposed to merely scorching if it was in contact wth the hot clays for more than a few seconds in my view. In normal operation the flames do not reach above the bank of fire clays. There will of course be a whoosh when the fire is lit and experienced users make sure they light the gas jets asap after turning on the gas in order to avoid a mini explosion.

  50. Michael Fitton says:

    When lighting any gas jet whether the coal gas of the 1930’s or the more modern propane it is advisable to have a lighted match or taper at the ready to light the gas the moment it is turned on. Any delay in lighting the gas causes a “whoosh” and a flash of flame as the gas which has already been released ignites.
    I’m guessing here but I think the flames did not extend above the top surface of the ceramic fire clays. You could light a taper or spill as we called them by poking it between the fire clays to contact the flames beneath.
    Very interesting that Wallace in his article “speculated” that the gas fire was at full blaze i.e. it had been on for some time which does not fit with Mrs Wallace welcoming a recently-arrived visitor into the seldom-used parlour by lighting the fire. I think that article was pure braggadocio on Wallace’s part.

  51. Michael Fitton says:

    Yes, I think your interpretation is the most likely one: Mrs Wallace returned to the parlour to turn the gas fire either down or off when she was struck down. This would be consistent with Wallace suggesting a musical evening, then “changing his mind” and deciding to go to Menlove Gardens instead.
    It still leaves unexplained why he wanted the parlour to be the murder scene rather than the kitchen, close to the cash box, if a robbery was to be simulated.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      It is easily explained because the parlour simulates the room a visitor would most likely be found in. It is also less cluttered and doesn’t border the Johnston’s main living area.

      The idea wasn’t to stage a discovery of robbery. It’s meant to look like someone killed her after being admitted, then robbed the house afterwards.

  52. Michael Fitton says:

    Yes, that does sound plausible.

  53. GED says:

    Yet they left her bag and the upstairs cash in plain sight. Not a very good plan. If W were doing this he’d have time to get all the cash in the house in his pocket before even murdering her never mind afterwards. And of course, he seems to have left all this until the last minute (post 6.40) after being home since 6.05.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Yeah, clearly he’s not as smart as he thought. But he at least managed to do better than 90% of staged burglaries where literally nothing is stolen. Though arguably the £4 upstairs is the cash box money, in which case nothing is stolen… But at least he ATTEMPTED to make things look stolen unlike most killers who fake a burglary.

    • Michael Fitton says:

      These are all good points which cast doubt on Wallace’s guilt. Why didn’t he wait until the cash box was full e.g. a Monthly collection, which would give more credibility to the robbery motive. The cash in the jar upstairs: was this the same four pounds which was “missing” from the cash box downstairs? If so, why? Leaving it to the last minute and creating doubt about the tight time window between murder and tram seems to have been deliberate if Wallace was guilty.

      • R M Qualtrough says:

        Because a burglar wouldn’t know how much is in the box until he robbed it. William had to pay in the collection sum to the Pru, out of his own pocket, even though his wife’s dead and cash box looted. He probably collected less on purpose in anticipation of having to pay out of his own bank account for whatever was “stolen”.

  54. Michael Fitton says:

    True, but if Wallace wanted to create the illusion of a robber with some knowledge of the Pru collection schedule, waiting for a “Monthly”week might be a good idea as well as providing Wallace with a nice contribution towards his defence costs if or when needed. Or cash to reimburse the Pru for the “stolen” money.
    I didn’t know that agents had to make good any loss to the Pru through robbery etc. It seems unfair.That Pru agents kept substantial amounts of cash in their homes must have been widely known among thieves. And in Wallace’s street, where duplicate keys were common! Some of the figures quoted for Wallace’s “Monthly” collections, several thousand pounds in today’s money, make one wonder why home invasions and robbery/assaults on Pru agents were not more common than they were.

  55. GED says:

    It would be of no benefit to W to leave the murder until the last minute and in fact only a hindrance (no time to get washed or dispose of the weapon. If doing this and you are home from 6.05 why leave it until post 6.40 knowing you have to be out the house by 6.50 ish to make those trams.

    Regarding the paying in of the money by W. How do we know he was not reimbursed. I find it not only incredible but unbelievably ludicrous that the victim of a crime would have to pay back the money out of their own pocket and these amounts would be insured by the Insurance company, I mean insurance IS what they do after all.

    I personally know someone who worked in an off licence and it was robbed, the person was NOT held responsible for the missing cash, I mean, how could they be.

    • Michael Fitton says:

      Re your first paragraph Ged: Wallace only left it “to the last minute” if we think of his 7.30 pm appointment with Qualtrough as definitive i.e. he must be there at 25 MGE by 7.30 pm. But the appointment is false and Wallace knows it so he didn’t really have to be out of the house by 7.50 pm to make those trams. That’s why he could afford to wait until A Close had delivered the milk. Even if it had been at 7.00 pm he would have done the deed and said to anyone who enquired about his lateness for the 7.30 pm appointment that he was undecided about the trip / wasn’t feeling well etc. His casual attitude to the 7.30 pm time is confirmed by his still “enquiring” about this mythical address at 8.oo pm.
      I too was shocked to read that if Pru agents lost Pru cash in a robbery, they had to reimburse the Company from their own pocket. Can this be correct? Parry making up the shortfalls in his remittances to the Prudential is quite different. Here, we know where the money went and, weak excuses notwithstanding, we want it back.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Theoretically they could have some responsibility if it was deemed they didn’t store the cash in a safe way. E.g. if they left the money outside on their doorstep and someone stole it, of course they’d be responsible for that. Julia actually admitted this person into their home so it isn’t as clear cut as a robbery where someone breaks in the door at night.

      There would also undoubtedly be some process of verification, like the company would have to determine it’s a real burglary and you didn’t just say “oh yeah the money’s vanished”.

      Milk was not delivered until 7.37 – 7.41 range. Wacking is afterwards. The window of opportunity for the wacking is around five to ten minutes. If you don’t think this is enough time to beat someone to death, put on “I Want to Know What Love Is” and listen right through. And then repeat it. It’s a 4’55” track, so one to two plays.

  56. GED says:

    Hi Mike. To say after a murder in your own parlour, I left late as I was undecided etc is bang on and puts you right in the mire as it then gives you the time scale. Don’t you see that Alan Close having spoken to Julia makes all the difference.

    Regarding you were shocked to read that robbed Pru agents HAD to pay it back out of their own money, where did you read that. All you’ve seen is that W paid the money in afterwards but we are not privy as to their internal situation with W about re-imbursement. Yes stealing it yourself as Parry did is totally different.

    Hi RMQ. If the Pru’s working system is that agents collect money then take it home, of course it could not be the responsibility of the agent if a real crime with a crime number etc were to happen. It’s like if you’re robbed at home now, your insurance company want proof by way of a crime number. As for Julia letting them in so it’s not a robbery. That doesn’t wash either because you are entitled to have absolutely anything lying around your home by law, in England anyway, and not expect any invited guest to nick it. What if a workman robbed your car keys and stole it while you went the toilet, you are not culpable. Another instant that happened very unfortunately to a friend of mine. Also one of the reasons the Pru paid for Wallace’s defence was that technically he was at work that night when this happened so I hardly think they’re going to be petty over a few pounds.

    As for W killing J and having time to commit the murder, wash, dispose of the weapon, put his 1984 music on and pulling himself together to be able to act like nothing like this has happened in front of tram clippies, witnesses and a policeman, have you not read the trial that even the police, the Anfield harriers and both councils could not make this time fit, even after making Close change his time from 6.45 to an earlier time to fit Moore’s clearly corrupt ideas.

    • Michael Fitton says:

      I don’t see that Wallace waiting until Alan Close had delivered the milk before killing Julia drops him especially into the mire. It is incontrovertible that Wallace, if guilty, can never have a cast iron alibi which proves beyond any doubt that he’s innocent. In assessing his guilt or innocence the fact that alibi-wise he could have done it (just about) is countered by his clean record, lack of apparent discord in the marriage, no blood on him, no financial or “other woman” motive etc etc so Wallace has to accept that the lack of an alibi counts against him but hopes that this single factor is outweighed by the many in his favour. The appeal court judges agreed with this.

      As regards the source of the info that Prudential agents had to reimburse the company for any losses e.g by robbery I refer you to RMQ’s posting of 23 October. Sorry to drop you in the mire RMQ!

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      The defence witness P Julien Maddock did the trip to Smithdown by St Margaret’s Church faster than any police witness. You wasn’t aware of that before? By Maddock, leaving home at 6.50 is possible.

      They weren’t just all corrupt evil people. A large # of cops did the tests. The books are honestly rubbish and they should be pulped, stop reading them. Did you download the Goodman Files I posted a few days ago? Outside of Munro and one cop claiming he was there, his work is like The Sun tier tabloid slop. His witnesses are like Mrs. Smith down the road who heard from a friend of a friend that X, Y, Z.

      Look at the police test paces, you have the distance of the walk to the first stop, it’s 605 yards. The tram judging by Maddock takes 10 or 11 minutes according to his tests so to get to Smithdown it departs SMC at most 6.55. The 605 yard Maddock did in 5½ mins (that’s 3.75 mph) and also another time slower at 6 mins. By Maddock you are talking about 17 minutes which is the corrupt officer’s best time OR better.

      Alan WASN’T at the door at 6.45. His own watch says he wasn’t. So they are correct to have run tests etc with the boy. 6.45 is demonstrably wrong.

  57. GED says:

    You are trying to re-write history to suit your own agenda tho RMQ. It is a stated and laughable fact that the police tram time testers were nicknamed the Anfield Harriers (A local running club) because that is exactly what they had to do to make these tram times come anywhere close. They even jumped on the open back of 1 moving tram and took another at a request stop at the top of Castlewood Road. Also, the first tram time is the real vital one yet W didn’t do any asking on this one, why not, because on this one he knew exactly where he was going but still could have time stamped it by say causing a scene to be remembered, maybe dropping all his loose change whilst paying the driver etc.

    The other kids are adamant that Alan Close told them he got to see and talk to J at 6.45. Borne out also by timings that Elsie Wright and James Wildman gave. It was the police who after questioning him got him to change the time.

    Even if it were 6.40, it leave W only 10 minutes to do everything when he’s been home since 6.05 and could have taken 45 minutes and played that music you mentioned 10 times over 😉

    Mike, the paying in slip, to balance his books still doesn’t exclude the possibility of the Pru re-imbursing W as we don’t know the intricacies of what was discussed internally in the office when he paid it in. W tried to claim compensation from the police and asked for his things back so I don’t see him letting the Pru get away with him having to pay stolen money back for good.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      6.45 is demonstrably wrong, please don’t confuse people with misinformation. I have provided all evidence for this and it can be seen by anyone in the witness statements. Alan’s witness statement has him check his watch and see 6.45 down in Redford Street after the delivery, having walked via Richmond Park. Incidentally your witness Allison Wildman places Alan at the doorstep at 6.37 to 6.38.

      According to William, his wife is walking him down the garden at 6.45 so even by William 6.45 is false information.

      The defence witness got to Smithdown by SMC faster than the police. The walking time was documented by him and taken to be 3.75 mph or less (i.e. not running) to reach the tram stop at SMC within 5½ to 6 minutes from the back door. The trip to the second stop was taken by the defence witness to be 10 or 11 minutes. This is all provided in his written report. His report beats the police and establishes a minimum time of 15½ minutes as opposed to their 17.

      This is a defence witness who established these times not the police detectives. Goodman’s tabloid slop, which I uploaded files for (I found a few more I need to add at some point) did not mention this fact.

      William’s own statement of waiting for the first tram for 3 or 4 minutes, if we add the maximum of everything mentioned, longest walk, longest time to Smithdown, longest wait, it is 21 minutes. The fastest established time by his own claims would be 18½. Meaning he left home at 6.45 to 6.47½.

      He can’t slaughter his wife at 6.05 if he knows that there are milk deliveries due. His inquiries to tram drivers are to help corroborate that he was looking for the address and was lost etc. A “stranger to the district” he told them both.

      Of course William would be unable to play a song which was released in – was it the 80s? – the point is for you to play it through to understand how long five to ten minutes is. Once through is 5 mins, twice through is 10. It’s a five minute track.

  58. GED says:

    It’s just a good job we didn’t hang people in this country on the ‘He could have just about done it’ theory isn’t it then. Oh wait, maybe we did if you look at why it was scrapped. W claims to not know if the milk was delivered or not by the time he left. You will say ‘Well he would say that wouldn’t he’ So then we have the masterful planning again yet he couldn’t plan to make a rumpus at his front door or couldn’t plan to make sure the front door bolt was on. Sorry, not having it.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      He “thinks” it was delivered but he’s not sure, he says. Which element of this plan do you consider masterful?

  59. Michael Fitton says:

    Hi Ged / RMQ,
    There is clearly some confusion over whether Prudential agents had to reimburse the Company for loss due to robbery. As you have said Ged, the Prudential being in the business would be insured against such eventuality. Once the Prudential were satisfied it was a genuine robbery and not an inside job I can’t believe their employee would be liable for the loss.

    Sadly quite a few people have been hanged because a jury thought they “could just about have done it” especially when, at the time, there is no obvious alternative explanation or suspect. Timothy Evans and H H Crippen are examples.

    I agree with RMQ that “masterful” is not a word i would use to describe Wallace’s plan. “Shambolic” maybe.
    Also It is instructive to set a kitchen timer for ten minutes and to imagine all that could be done in that time frame.

    Ludovic Kennedy wrote that “It is the habit of the police never to admit to the least departure from correct procedure.” I wonder if this also applies to tram drivers who quote with absolute precision the times at which a given tram on a given evening arrived and departed from a given tram stop. The time of 7.06 pm for the second tram has the status of Holy Writ in the Wallace case but how reliable is it? Wasn’t there a specified period from 7,06 to 7,10 for that tram’s departure? And how sure can we be that this was observed?


    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Crippen is also extremely guilty of murder. The “Innocence Project” type books about his innocence declare him innocent on the basis that – get this – the dead dismembered body buried with parts of his pyjama jacket beneath his floor was a man.

      So stop the presses, he didn’t kill his vanished wife, he just killed and dismembered an unknown man instead. Ha! And also something about how he lacked the surgical skills to dismember a body. I wonder what fantasy world some of these authors live in, when random unemployed hicks frequently cut up their victims after committing murder.

      I haven’t exactly researched the case much but it seems from a cursory glance that the evidence exonerating him does nothing except suggest he might have had a second victim, lol!

      I assume tram times were judged by the timetable. It is heavily implied. The tram conductors refer to it as “the” 7.06 car etc.

      • Michael Fitton says:

        As regards the Crippen case I recommend “Dr Crippen, Cora, and the body in the basement” by Matthew Coniam. The book makes a strong case for Crippen’s innocence even without the DNA evidence which is seen as the icing on the cake.
        There was no body in the basement just some bits and pieces of flesh and internal organs. Cora’s corpulent body had vanished and was never found alive or dead. Why bury a few bits which would fit into a carrier bag or a furnace.? Why poison someone then dismember them instead of passing the death off as natural causes? It isn’t only the remains which stink in the Crippen case.

        • R M Qualtrough says:

          What’s meant to be the innocent explanation for him having internal organs and dismembered body parts/flesh wrapped in his pyjama top hidden in his basement under quicklime?

          • Michael Fitton says:

            Dug up from under the cobbles of the coal cellar were
            1. Internal organs, some flesh, no bones,
            2. Crippen’s pyjama top
            3. Cora’s underwear/curlers.
            2 and 3 alone are not incriminating so why bury them? In order to associate Crippen with the remains.
            Chief Inspector Dew had access to Crippen’s home after he fled with Ethel. Dew had access to body parts from mortuaries and hospitals. He was sure Mrs Crippen had been murdered by her husband but had absolutely no evidence. He “found” the remains nicely packaged with the supporting evidence 2 and 3.
            After Crippen was sentenced to hang, Dew, at the peak of his career and now with a worldwide reputation as a sleuth, “resigned” from the police even though he was only in his 40’s. In my view his superiors knew what he had done but could not expose him without severe damage to the Yard’s reputation, then at it’s height. Dew waited 28 years before publishing his vainglorious account of the case. There was nobody to contradict his version; his superiors were all dead by then which may be why he waited so long.

          • R M Qualtrough says:

            Which part of such a police conspiracy caused him to try to flee the country with his mistress disguised as a boy? He killed his wife man, lol.

          • Michael Fitton says:

            Re Crippen’s fleeing to the USA. The “he ran away therefore he did it” logic has influenced juries down the years, not always in the right direction. Timothy Evans “fled” to South Wales on finding his wife dead.
            Crippen left with Ethel before the remains were found. He had lied about Cora dying in the USA and this was going to come out. His main concern was Ethel so he foolishly left the UK with Ethel in disguise leaving behind what was only a missing person enquiry at that point.
            I recommend the book by Matthew Coniam.

  60. GED says:

    I am referring to the fact there are a number of books and websites alluding to a chess and phone call masterstroke of planning, W being one step ahead and all that. Two books called Checkmate (F. Tennyson Jesse Harwood and Mark Russell), a chess website called Chess and the Wallace murder by Edward Winter. The Telephone Murder by Ronald Bartle and testimonies to its cunning plot by Agatha Christie, Edgar Lustgarten and Raymond Chandler.

    The plan to get him out the house was cunning and done with what one might consider so little time for a busy W to check out its authenticity that night and following day. The worst that could happen in his mind may be a wasted journey but it may also result in £100 commission for a few hours work. A no brainer really and like he said ‘I have a tongue in my head’.

    The execution may have been haphazard. Parry probably thought the operators wouldn’t make a fuss and end up putting his call through free of charge – another successful scam, but as it was it inadvertently did Parry’s case no harm and in fact nearly helped nail his victim, Wallace.

    The rest of the barmy happenings were because Wallace is innocent, as i’ve said, a guilty Wallace planning this wouldn’t have left all the loose ends that nearly cost him his life. We have to assume due to his character references from colleagues, friends, acquaintances, customers and family that he was at least honest, consistent and astute in everything he did. He wouldn’t be mumbling and fumbling about how loud he knocked or door locks etc, he would make sure all bases were covered.

    After his release: He still talks to people about his loss, he still puts in diary entries about his loss, he still worries about the perpetrator, he still has no secret lover, he still receives no Julia insurance bounty, a few pounds. It’s not just he doesn’t look or act like a killer, he has no motive, he is a sick man, he dies soon afterwards. There is nothing put against him that proves anywhere near that he did it.

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Various authors may have claimed that but I don’t see where it’s true? I can’t find any indication of criminal intelligence in the crime. Actually, real murderers are often caught due to stupid errors, would it be right to free them on the basis that they “wouldn’t have made those mistakes”? Going by that, and what killers in your mind look and act like, highlights flaws in human thinking…

      His life considering he was completely shunned is not necessarily indicative of what it would have been like if he got away with it (not arrested) and it never became such a huge story. See OJ Simpson, maybe if he was never arrested he’d still be the Hertz guy.

      I’m aware these people had money but there definitely appears to be tensions in the marriage regarding money and illness. I doubt it’s purely coincidental that most of the bad character witnesses are medical staff.

  61. Michael Fitton says:

    Wallace was unlucky in having chess and experimentation as an amateur scientist as his hobbies. To most people, non-chess players, the game is one of cunning plans, strategy, psychology, and attempts to predict the moves of one’s opponent. Just the kind of things consistent with the planning of a murder.
    He had converted his small bedroom into a so-called “laboratory.” Again, to most people this word conjures up images of bubbling flasks, electrical discharges and the obligatory “mad scientist” in charge.
    In a former life I was an industrial chemist very familiar with laboratories. When I mentioned this to a young woman at a party she recoiled away from me saying “Do you experiment on animals?” I assured her we did nothing of the kind but you see the effect the word “laboratory” has among the ignorant: abandon of all moral constraints in the pursuit of science.
    These ill-considered views of chess and Wallace’s “laboratory” have been echoed in the books mentioned with Wallace being assigned qualities as the an amoral super-planner which clearly he wasn’t.

  62. Michael Fitton says:

    Many of the points raised to support Wallace’s innocence fall under the heading “I wouldn’t have done that..” and in many cases neither would I. So Wallace not “making a fuss” at his front door by yelling through the letter box, not claiming the front door was bolted, not making sure that 25 MGE existed, not giving himself more time for the murder are all things that most people would have done but the fact that Wallace didn’t indicates poor planning rather than innocence.
    Wallace knew he would be the chief suspect in his wife’s murder. No plan could completely exonerate him if guilty so his objective was to create, if it came to a trial, as much doubt as possible.

  63. GED says:

    I can’t disagree with anything you have both said but we must all agree he was meticulous in his every day job, every penny accounted for, he caught out Parry easily enough. Gave Parry motives for revenge actually. I cannot help but imagine that such meticulousness would certainly carry over into something as simple as making sure the front door was bolted from inside, maybe he did and it was just that Florence Johnston didn’t notice it. He does say in court it was bolted. It is also agreed by everyone including Justice Wright that his many statements are consistent and do not waiver at all. The same can’t be said for our friend. I wonder just why that is?

    • Michael Fitton says:

      I tend to think of Wallace as the “absent-minded professor” type who is meticulous in his chosen career but who regularly loses his glasses or leaves his key in the front door (a habit of Mrs Wallace incidentally.)
      I think the “Parry taking revenge” angle has to answer why he took so long over it having been short in his remittences some 3 years previously and even then this was settled without Wallace bringing it to the Pru’s attention.
      As for inconsistent statements to the police by Parry, this certainly raises an eyebrow but people tell lies for all kinds of reasons, often to avoid revealing embarrassing behaviour unrelated to the crime being investigated.

      • R M Qualtrough says:

        It’s interesting his false alibi encompasses such a wide window. If he made the call he ought to know the time it was made and shouldn’t need to fake his whereabouts before around 7 PM.

        However if he didn’t make the call he can’t know when it was made and thus might just make a huge window block like that, since he can’t know whether or not a real alibi covers him. E.g. if he was driving around when the call was made, it’s conceivable he could have stopped at a phone box. He wouldn’t be aware it has been traced to Anfield 1627.

        • Michael Fitton says:

          Yes, it is strange that Parry in his first alibi statement on the 24 January said he was with Lily on the 19th from 5.30 pm to 11.30 pm. He later changed his story about this time period. I can’t give a reason why but I think Parry made a genuine mistake in giving the first version several days after the event. I don’t think there was an intent to mislead or deceive which would have been extremely foolish anyway.
          There is still some “slack” in the alibi he eventually gave so my attitude has always been that based on alibi alone, Parry could have been the caller. However, taking into account all the other factors, I believe it was Wallace himself posing as Qualtrough.

  64. GED says:

    Yes, it’s strange the amounts of genuine mistakes, none intentions to mislead or deceive and just covering for other behaviour not related to the crime we allow Parry as opposed to W isn’t it 😉

    • Michael Fitton says:

      There is much in Wallace’s behaviour that can have an innocent explanation which is why I could not find him guilty if I was a jury member. His initial vagueness about whether the door was bolted, then his statement that it was at the trial. You would expect him to be quite definite (“It was bolted”) on that point if he was guilty. Likewise his extended time around Menlove Gardens making enquiries is quite consistent with how he spent every day of his working life: talking face-to-face with people. “I have a tongue in my head” – it was part of his personality. And as Justice Wright remarked “All his statements are consistent with each other.” Unlike the Johnstons who claimed at trial that they had only been in Wallace’s parlour on 3 occasions since the Wallace’s moved in.
      However, all things considered, Wallace remains my front runner as the guilty party.

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