Thursday, 5 October 2017
The Unsolved Murder of Julia Wallace
This is a cold case from my hometown Liverpool, the crime took place in 1931. It remains to this day unsolved.
19th January 1931
On 19th January 1931 William Wallace attended a chess meeting. He received a message that someone had called and asked him to attend a meeting the following evening. Wallace was a collections agent for the Prudential and a part time lecturer. The caller said his name was "R.M. Qualtrough" and that he wanted to talk about insurance. The address that was given for the meeting was 25 Menlove Gardens East and the time was to be 7.30pm.
20th January 1931
On the 20th January, 1931 Wallace left his wife at home in Anfield to attend the meeting. When he arrived at the area of the meeting he discovered there was no Menlove Gardens East, he asked locals and also a policeman. He searched the area for a while but only found they was a Menlove Garden North, South and West but no East so headed back home.
When he arrived home he couldn't gain entry the front door was bolted from the inside, so he went round to the back and tried his key but found that door bolted as well. He tried the front door again and had no luck so went round to back door again, on this second attempt he found he could gain access with his key.
He entered the home and switched the lights on, and he soon discovered his wife's body, she had been beaten badly. He shouted for a neighbour who informed the Police.
The police found few clues but a metal bar and poker seemed to be missing. They believed these could have been used in the attack. Because the police didn't believe that robbery was a motive, although some money had been taken, they started to suspect William had committed the crime. They believed that it had been Wallace who had placed the call to the chess club 20 minutes before he arrived. Even though the policeman and other people he had spoke to confirmed his story of his alibi, police believed he still could have committed the crime and caught the tram to Menlove Gardens. No trace of blood was found on the suit he was wearing on the night of discovering his wife's body. The police countered this by saying a mac that was found under Julia's body was used to stop bloodstaining. Police also said he seemed detached and unaffected by his wife's murder.
Trial and Appeal
Wallace denied repeatedly that he had killed his wife. He stood trial and was found guilty and was sentenced to hang for the crime.
The court of appeal ultimately reversed the decision and the conviction was quashed. After the appeal William Wallace moved away from the area, he died in 1933 aged 54.
In 1980 another suspect for the crime was put forward, a co-worker of Wallace. The co-worker had been given an alibi at the time by his girlfriend, although she later said he in fact wasn't with her. Other evidence that was put forward in a radio programme was that someone had said they witnessed a bloody glove in his car on the night of the murder, and that the co-worker was always short of money and he would know that Wallace had his takings for the day at his home. There was also a belief that Wallace had reported the man to their boss.
I don't believe that William murdered his wife, I believe he was set up by someone. Probably not to kill his wife maybe they thought his house would be empty, and then killed her when they found her there to cover up what they had done. There were several witnesses that saw Wallace, including a policeman, at the believed time of the crime. I think the co-worker is a likely suspect, maybe revenge for the alleged report to his boss. Sadly no-one will probably ever know who killed Julia as nearly everyone involved is deceased. There certainly wasn't enough evidence against Wallace to execute him for the crime, so I believe the Appeal court was correct to reverse his conviction, although he sadly died not long after all this happened.
If you have any views on this case please let me know in comments.
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