Prudential Client Statements (Mostly from the Murder Day)

Transcriptions by Michael Banks:

15:20 – 15:30 (“Definitely here before 3.30pm”):

Mrs Letitia Harrison of 11 Pennsylvania Rd Liverpool
Will say:-

I have known Mr Wallace for about 3 years as an agent. He was always gentlemanly in his manners. He always spoke very highly of his wife and he appeared to be very devoted to her. He called here on Tuesday the day of the murder at about 3.20 – 3.30 p.m. I remember very distinctively he wore a dark overcoat. He was definitely here 3.30 p.m. There was nothing unusual about him, he certainly did not appear to have been crying in fact he was laughing & smiling.

L. Harrison

[Sighting of Wallace crying reported by Rothwell (who cycled by him) a minute or two after 15:30 at Maiden Lane.]

~15:30:

Mrs Jane Elizabeth Harbord of 15 Worcester Drive Liverpool will say:-

I know Mr Wallace as the Prudential Insu Agent. He has been calling here for many years. I have always found him very pleasant & jolly. I remember he called on Tuesday the day of the murder about 3.30 pm. He was his usual self and I noticed no change in his manners whatever. He joked with me and we spoke about the weather. I am not certain what we wore. He called on the following Tuesday. He seemed pale and worried He did not appear to be afraid of anything. He said to me that all he hoped for that they would find the man. He seemed to me as if he had received a staggering blow.

Jane E. Hardord

~15:30:

Mrs Alice Addey of 32 Pennsylvania Road Liverpool will say:-

Mrs Wallace has been calling here about 16 years. I have always found him a gentleman, never had any cause to complain. I called on one or two occasions at his house. I saw Mrs Wallace on these occasions and each of them spoke very affectionately of the other. I remember he called on Tuesday the day of the murder at about 3.30. But I cannot say any more. I remember he called on the following Tuesday. He seemed very much upset.

A Addey

15:30 – 15:40:

Mrs Emily McParlin of 5 Worcester Drive will say:-

Mr Wallace has been collecting at my house for the last 14 years. I have always found him quite alright. I remember Tuesday, the day of the murder, I opened the door for Mr Wallace. He called about 3.30 – 3.40. He always called about this time. He was his usual self pleasant and nice. He generally wore a dark overcoat and a soft hat, I can’t remember what he wore on this day. It was a well known thing in this district that he was on the best of terms with his wife.

E McParlin

15:45:

Mrs Lottie Lowry of 40 Worcester Drive Liverpool will say:-

I have known Mr Wallace as an Insurance Agent for about 12 years. He always appeared to me to be a gentleman & very polite. I remember the Tuesday the day on which the murder occurred. He called at my house about 3.45 p.m. He seemed perfectly normal and there did not appear to be anything unusual about his demeanour. I remember we passed remarks about the weather saying it was like spring. I didn’t notice what he wore.

Lottie Lowry

~16:00:

Mrs Blanche Elizabeth Richards at 17 Worcester Liverpool will say:-

I know Mr Wallace as an insurance agent for the Prudential Insurance Co. I remember he called on the Tuesday the day of the murder. He appeared to be quite composed and I noticed nothing unusual. I don’t remember what he wore. He called to the above address about 4 o clock. He passed a remark about the flowers which I had in my window saying ‘they were very beautiful.’

Blanche E Richards

~16:00:

Mrs Maud Muir of 42 Pennsylvania Road Liverpool will say:-

I know Mr Wallace as an Insurance agent. I have always considered him as a quiet & unassuming man. He always spoke very highly of his wife. He called at the above address on Tuesday the day of the murder at about 4 o clock. He appeared to be his usual self and there were no signs of excitement or agitation. I cannot say what he wore.

M Muir

16:00 – 16:15:

Mrs Edith Earnshaw of 8 Londonderry Road Liverpool will say:-

Mrs Wallace has been calling regularly every week at the above address for the last 15 years. I have always found him a perfect gentleman. He often spoke to me about his wife, how happy they were and where they spent their holidays. I have never met his wife but it seemed to me as if he was a devoted husband. Mr Wallace called on Tuesday the day of the murder about 4 – 4.15 pm. I did not see him. I could not think that Mr Wallace was capable of committing such a crime.

Edith Earnshaw

16:00 – 16:30:

George Boyd of 6 Worcester Drive (Unemployed Jeweller) will say:-

I have known Mr Wallace for the last 4 years. He calls at the above address every Tuesday. I always found him a most pleasant and gentlemanly person. I remember the Tuesday on which the murder occurred. I opened the door for him. I passed the time of day with him. He appeared to me to be his usual self and quite composed. I remember he had on his dark overcoat. I cannot say what kind of a hat he wore. He called between 4 – 4.30 pm. I cannot say the exact time.

George Boyd

16:30 – 16:45:

Mrs Gertrude Phythian of 10 Worcester Drive will say:-

I am on Mr Wallace’s list. I remember he called on Tuesday the 20th January on the day of the murder. I opened the door for him. The time was about 4.30 – 4.45. I passed the time of day with Mr Wallace and he appeared to be the best of spirits – his usual demeanour. I don’t remember whether he wore a raincoat. He was always exceptionally nice.

G Phythian

16:45:

Mrs Amy Lawrence of 16 Londonderry Road Liverpool will say:-

I have known Mr Wallace for some months. He was always courteous and I found him a very pleasant man. He called on the Tuesday, the day of the murder. He came into the house and he had a cup-of-tea with my husband. He was just his usual self and he was quite composed. I do not remember what he wore. He called about 4.45 pm. He spoke of his wife on some occasions and appeared to be alright.

A Lawrence

“After” 16:00:

Mrs Matilda Smith of 8 Worcester Drive Liverpool will say:-

I have known Mr Wallace for about 10 months as an insurance agent. I often opened the door for him and spoke to him. In my opinion he was always a gentleman and I found him very nice to speak to. Mr Wallace called to the above address on Tuesday, the day of the murder. I opened the door for him. He appeared to be the same as usual and was not in any way agitated. He made arrangements with me to call in another three weeks. He wore an overcoat but I cannot say what colour it was. I cannot say the exact time he called but it was definitely after 4 o clock.

M Smith

17:00 – 17:15:

Mr John Burton of 64 Glengariff Street Liverpool will say:-

I have known Mr Wallace for a few months Asan Insurance Agent. He always appeared to be a gentlemanly sort of person and very pleasant. I remember that he called on the Tuesday the day of the murder. He appeared to be his usual self, nothing out of the ordinary in his attitude. He called about 5 – 5.15 pm. I cannot say definitely what he wore but I think it was an overcoat.

John Burton

17:30 – 17:50:

Mrs Margaret Martin of 19 Eastman Rd Liverpool will say:-

I have known Mr Wallace for about 2 years as an Insurance Agent. I have always found him a nice man but very reserved. He called on Tuesday the day of the murder. This is not his usual collecting day. But he came to see me about the surrendering of a policy. I judged that he called between 5.30 – 5.50. But I cannot give the exact time. He left me a form to sign and made an appointment to call on the following day at 5 o clock, for the purpose of paying over the value of the policy. I think he had a fawn raincoat on and a grey soft hat but I cannot swear to it. He was just his usual self and did not appear to be disturbed in any way.

M Martin

18:00:

Mrs Ann Miller of 4 Brookbridge Road Liverpool will say:-

I have known Mr Wallace for many years. I have never really met a nicer man and a perfect gentleman. He called on the Tuesday the day of the murder. I saw him. He came into the house a passed some jovial remarks. He asked me the time. I looked at the clock and it was y o clock. I told him however that it was ¼ of an hour fast. It was a constant habit of his to ask the time although the clock was in full view. He was perfectly normal and just his usual self.

Ann Miller

Did not see Wallace that day:

Mrs Minnie Palmer 27 Missouri Road Liverpool will say:-

I have known Mr Wallace for about 14 years. He was always nice and I found him a thorough gentle man. I did not see him on the Tuesday of the murder.

Minnie Palmer

Refutation of crying claim:

Mrs Caroline Keill of 6 Worcester Drive North Liverpool will say:-

Mr Wallace has been calling at my house for the last three years. Latterly, I did not open the door for him and did not speak to him. I have on many occasions passed Mr Wallace along Maiden Lane and seen him put his handkerchief to his eyes. It was not unusual for him to be seen wiping his eyes and his nose, especially during the cold weather.

Caroline Keill

Marked as being the wife of P.C. “D”304 Prince:

Mrs Margaret Prince of 8 Pennsylvania Rd Liverpool will say:-

I have known Mr Wallace for about 4 years. My candid opinion of Mr Wallace is that he would be the last man in the world to do such a thing. He spoke on a number of occasions of his wife and he appeared to be very affectionate and devoted to her. I did not see him on the Tuesday of the murder.

Margaret Prince

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3 Responses to Prudential Client Statements (Mostly from the Murder Day)

  1. Peter Kerin says:

    Hi Qualtrough, (sorry for the long post)

    Love the website. Such a great centralised area for info.
    For some reason, i decided to analyse the info regarding Constable Rothwell’s statements and the customer statements from the Tuesday afternoon, so here’s the data, my analysis and some questions for you –

    Worcester Drive runs Northeast up from Pennsylvania Road to Maiden Lane.
    The T intersection of Worcester Dr and Maiden Lane is approx. 250 yards South of Townsend Lane
    Rothwell initially said he saw William about 30 yards south of Townsend Lane.

    11 Pennsylvania Road – Definitely here before 3.30 – I remember very distinctly he wore a dark overcoat.
    15 Worcester Drive – About 3.30 – I am not certain what he wore
    32 Pennsylvania Road – About 3.30 – no mention of clothing
    5 Worcester Drive – 3.30 to 3.40 – “he always called about this time”- He usually wore a dark overcoat and a soft hat. I can’t remember what he wore on this day.
    40 Worcester Drive – about 3.45 – I didn’t notice what he wore
    17 Worcester Drive – about 4 – I don’t remember what he wore
    42 Pennsylvania Road – about 4 – I cannot say what he wore
    8 Londonderry Road – 4 to 4.15 – although he called that day someone else must have answered the door – “I did not see him”
    *6 Worcester Drive – 4 to 4.30 – I remember he had on a dark overcoat (see 2nd statement below from same address)
    10 Worcester Drive – 4.30 to 4.45 – I do not remember whether he wore a raincoat or an overcoat
    16 Londonderry Road – about 4.45 – I do not remember what he wore
    8 Worcester Drive – after 4 – he wore an overcoat but I cannot say what colour it was
    64 Glengarrif St – 5 to 5.15 – I cannot say definitely what he wore but I think it was an overcoat
    4 Brookbridge Road – 5.45 – no mention of clothing
    19 Eastman Rd – 5.30 to 5.50 (this is a fair distance north of Brookbridge Rd where the customer statement says William asked for the time. The clock said 6 but the customer said it was 15 minutes fast. I think he had a fawn raincoat on and a grey soft hat, but I cannot swear to that.
    This address is also a fair distance from William’s home, so to get home by 5.50 – 6pm would be difficult (1 km as the bird flies)…it’s a 30 minute walk at least… and far enough from tramlines to make the time shorter.

    *6 Worcester Drive – no time given = Mrs Caroline Keill – Latterly I did not open the door to him… My daughter usually pays him (Strange statement this one…she mentions seeing William on many occasions on Maiden Lane and often wiped his eyes with his handkerchief especially when cold as distinct from Rothwell’s sleeve claim) – There is another statement above from this same address, Mr George Boyd, an unemployed jeweller, (perhaps a border, with a separate entrance? Although Google Street view would suggest otherwise…but still, they got two conflicting statements)

    27 Missouri Road – Did not see William that day – Missouri is off Pennsylvania Rd
    8 Pennsylvania Road – did not see William that day (Wife of a Policeman)

    Based on these times William is all over the place (that or the timings claimed). Why would he walk up and down a street several times? (i.e., there is an hour’s difference between numbers 5 (3.30 to 3.40) and 10 (4.30 to 4.45) Worcester Drive with No. 8 halfway between at 4pm.) Either way, it would appear that he was not on or near Maiden Lane between 3.20 and 4pm. He would have been on Maiden Lane for a less than a minute as he walked down from Worcester Drive to Londonderry Road.
    Even on Londonderry Road, No’s 8 and 16 are only 5 townhouses away from each other but at least a 30 minute difference.

    Statement by Constable James Rothwell (a customer of Williams)-
    Left Home for work on his bicycle @ 3.30 to be at work by 3.45
    Path to work – 30 Craigs Rd, head north up Antrim St, left at Finvoy Rd, right into Knoclaid Rd then veer left onto Maiden Laen heading north up to Townsend Lane…and then another 10 minutes or so to get to work in Anfield Road by 3.45
    Saw William heading South along Maiden Lane, 30 yards from Townsend Lane. Rothwell would have been at this position at approx. 3.32 to 3.35 – this from his statement dated 30/1
    “I saw the accused about 30 yards distant coming along Maiden Lane.” (from Trial transcript) This could mean he saw him anywhere along Maiden Lane … he was simply 30 yards from when he first saw him or was William 30 yards from Townsend Lane (which William would not have been).
    William was wearing “…a light fawn coat or mackintosh.” – This statement dated 20th Feb (Evidence interview) Mr Scholefield Allen was representing the accused. On being re-examined by the prosecutor Rothwell said “I made a report to my Superior Officer on the night of the murder.” (This would have been done after he found out about the murder whilst still at work.) This re-examination was objected to by Mr Scholefield Allen. There are no notes as to why and I have not seen this alleged Report.

    Rothwell’s statement on the 30th January said William’s head was down and his hands were in his pockets of his coat (If his head was down and he was wearing a hat how could Rothwell see that he was or had been crying ?)
    In Rothwell’s evidentiary interview on 20th February, he states that William was dabbing his eyes with his sleeves. Would you dab your eyes with a plastic/rubber mackintosh? William had stated that because it had stopped raining he changed at dinner time to his (darker) overcoat.

    So… a couple of questions –
    Are there any other statements from customers before 3.20pm? This would help track William’s path a bit better. A few from say, 2.30pm.
    Was Rothwell’s report to his Superior Officer on the night of the murder found?
    Can it be found?

    Summary –
    The timings claimed by customers , for the most, part are obviously out (I’m not sure when these statements were taken as it is not noted on the statements).
    Was it the Prosecution or Defence that sought the statements?
    Rothwell may have mentioned that he was a customer of William and so asked to claim that he saw him.

    At the end of the day, whatever is decided doesn’t really change anything , except that the police tried to implicate William.
    It really doesn’t matter what coat he was wearing in the afternoon. Although ALL the customer statements says he acted as per normal. No sign of tears and even most jovial.
    Thanks
    Ven

    • R M Qualtrough says:

      Yes this list I think shows how fallible people’s times could be. I think this is all of the client statements. There might be another on a separate post but I think they are all in fact here.

      Every single case file is online here apart from John Goodman’s, which are held at a university library in Ohio. If anyone living there would be so kind as to photograph those files I would be willing to pay for their time, and be able to then put those online too.

  2. Peter Kerin says:

    Thanks Qualtrough,
    as stated, any statements before 3.20 would greatly help tracking William…and debunking Rothwell’s claims.
    Thanks
    Ven

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