Full article by Richard Gordon Parry appearing in Empire News, regarding William and Julia Wallace, and various other alleged facts.
Transcribed by John Gannon:
Empire News Article – 5 November, 1933.
WALLACE ACCUSED ME!
Unsolved Murder Case Disclosures.
“Now let me say this, I know the murderer … He must realise I suspect him … I fear I let him see clearly what I thought … Although I am convinced —— killed her, yet it is difficult to get proof”. Extracts from the Diary and last writings of William Herbert Wallace.
These terrible disclosures appear in the new book, “Trial of William Herbert Wallace,” just published by Victor Gollance Limited. Wallace had the unique experience of being condemned to death at Liverpool Assizes for the murder of his wife and then of being acquitted by the Court of Appeal. It is described as “one of the most baffling murders in human history,” and here is what a man suspected and accused by Wallace has to say about it.
NARRATED TO PAUL TRENCH.
Am I the man suspected and accused by Wallace? Not if we are to accept all the statements in his last writings. For instance, in one passage he makes the entry: Today a report reaches me that his appearance suggests mental disturbance and deterioration. That description of the suspect does not fit me at all. But I do know that I was suspected and accused by Wallace, and what I am writing is the true story of my association with him.
Wallace, in his business capacity, his social life and his personal pleasures was a fine man. I am, perhaps, the only one who really knew him as he was and now that his last writings state plainly – “I know the murderer” – it is plainly my duty to place before the pubic certain facts concerned with the private and intimate life of Wallace.
Wallace always suspected me of the murder of his wife. I am not the man who was detained by the police and questioned. That man proved his absolute innocence, and he will not enter this narrative. I am the man Wallace suspected, and even accused. And I feel it is up to me to come forward with my version.
Wallace had three grievances against me. He was worried about his physical condition. I, and only I, knew that he had consulted there specialists and had been given certain serious advice. I knew this because as his friend I had recommended the specialists from time to time. That was one of the grievances Wallace had against me. I knew too much about him.
The next grievance was concerned with a quite innocent visit I made to his house, thinking to do him a good turn. I was, and still am, interested in certain investments. I told Wallace on a certain occasion that I would let him know when certain stocks would be a profitable investment and called around to his house to give him some useful information. He was not at home, and it took a bit of time, and much persuasion, to bring his wife to the door. Eventually, I was admitted to the house, and the first thing that struck me was an unpleasant smell. I stood and could not help sniffing, and Mrs Wallace explained that it was “the drains”.
However, after I had explained that I was a friend of her husband and one also interested in insurance, I got as far as the parlour. Here I took a seat, and here I discovered that the smell I had got at the door was more pronounced. I said nothing, but used my eyes. The result was that I knew immediately that the smell was not altogether connected with the drains. The woman herself was, to my mind, untidy. The house was without doubt neglected. Piles of dishes lay all over the room – unwashed. I chatted for about a quarter of an hour and was about to take my leave when the front door opened and Wallace walked in. I stood up as he entered the room; the wife was reclining on the couch. There was a look of sneering discovery in the eyes of the man and my reply was a glance at the untidy figure on the couch. I spoke of the business I had called to discuss and after a while he covered up his temper and we talked of the matter in hand.
Later I left the house – relieved to do so. The woman had not moved from the couch, and there was not the slightest indication of a meal. Wallace came to me the next day in Dale Street, Liverpool, and invited me to lunch. We chatted over our mutual business. Incidentally, he tried to find out what I thought of the house and his wife, but I said nothing committal. However, Wallace knew I knew – and his hatred grew against me.
I was, at that time, in the insurance business, but with a company not antagonistic to Wallace, but certainly out to get as much business as I legitimately could. In addition to the matter of insurance I did – as I still do – quite a little business on “chance”. Wallace discovered I was a lucky punter and had asked me to give him some tips. I had called at his house to give him the best tip I had, and found the condition of things as I have briefly described. But unfortunately, in a spirit of sympathetic friendship I mentioned – gossip to gentlemen, as I thought – what I had seen, and within a few days gossip spread all over the office. Wallace heard this and blamed me. I tried to undo what my tongue had started, quite innocently, but the story grew, and Wallace’s anger and hatred grew with the story.
Wallace hated me because I was successful in business where he failed. I gave him tip after tip, but he was at that time obsessed with chess, and too late he would try to engineer certain business which I had already worked with success. My success added fuel to the fire of his hatred, and he never tried to hide this from me.
Mrs Wallace was a good and pure woman who had suffered disappointment. Wallace, poor fellow, was not to blame. But his wife appeared to lose heart as the years went by. I, perhaps, of all their acquaintances knew the circumstances.
Gradually, Wallace began to look on me as an enemy. Not only as an enemy but as a persistent danger to his home life. He could not see the utter absurdity of his conclusions in this respect, for of all the women I have ever met, his wife, at the time I knew her, was to me the least attractive.
Soon after the tragedy that sent the Liverpool police to the top of their efforts. I met this man. He looked at me and grew red and then pale. His jaws set in a terrible struggle with the unspoken words, but all his efforts could not hold him dumb, for as we passed he turned his head and said, “They’ll get you – you devil.” I stood and looked after him. I was not perturbed, for I knew he must be distraught. I shrugged my shoulders and went about my business, but his words kept coming back to me, and I felt uneasy to say the least of it. “They’ll get you – you devil.” It was only after his trial and exoneration that I came to realise just what Wallace had meant by the bitter words.
After he came back to Liverpool, I managed to see him. He smiled grimly as I stopped him, and a look of utter hatred came over his face. He was working, and, as far as I could see, going on well. His workmates had stuck to him, and as he paused to exchange a few words with me I asked him where he was then living. Me query was casual, and I only meant to convey the impression that I was genuinely interested in his welfare. But he went livid, and turning down an ally beckoned me to follow. When we were alone, he turned upon me saying: “Do you want to add another to the crime you have committed? Try – try, you cur! I have taken all precautions against you. I know you want me out of the way and that you will do your best to get me. I have told the police, and if I am found murdered as was my poor dear wife they (the police) will know who to pace in the dock.” He turned and left me. I was too astounded to say or do anything, but on the advice of my lawyer I told the police. It was about that time that he put in all the gadgets at his house. Switches that illuminated the outside and the interior. He was, I do believe, in mortal dread of being murdered – and that he regarded me as the only possible assassin.
I tried over and over again to get into touch with him to try to convince him of my good will, but he died believing that I was the murderer of his wife, and that I had deadly designs upon himself.
“I KNOW ——”
Was it to me he referred when he wrote: “What strange creatures we human beings are! Before I was the quarry of detectives myself I had practically no interest no interest in this sort of literature. Rather I despised it. And now, I obtain endless fascination by following the detectives of these fictitious investigations of crime and their blunderings before they alight on the right man. At the end I put down the book … but I am still searching for a murder mystery more extraordinary than the one that has broken my life to pieces. Let me say this: I know the murderer.”
And again: “In the porch of the front door of this lonely home of mine I have fitted an electric switch and lamp … These things have been placed there to safeguard my life. Each night when I return home from business, I am on the alert for attack … every recess where an assailant may be lurking in lit up. The figure which one day I fully expect to see crouching and ready to strike will be that of the man who murdered my wife.”
These are the pitiful, moving words of a man I always tried to help, but it seems that his words reach out from the grave to hurt one who never hurt him or his.