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Thread: Julia Wallace Murder Case

  1. #1441
    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    50 pages and no meat yet?

    I'm not sure i'm too interested in the background of the bit part players relatives etc but then Marsden I think is being fingered here as possibly the main suspect?

    Although i'm getting it tomorrow, i'm out all day with the band then off to Runcorn so it'll be Sunday or even monday before I get to start it.
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  2. #1442
    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    I thought this thread would be abuzzing by now - am most disappointed! Still no signs of Amazon delivering my copy of the book. Could be next month the way things are going.

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    I'm afraid John that the books haven't hit the shelves of Waterstones as yet. Fearing that my local one in Ormskirk was a backwater let down for not having it in, I went to the one in Liverpool1 today to be told they won't have it in until 28th. Sack your publisher

    I'm sure it'll be worth the wait. I don't think i'll look in on this thread again until i've rad it in case it prejudices my thoughts on it. But, be sure, i'll be back to comment on it afterwards.
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  4. #1444
    Senior Member IAN DAVID FRYER's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you havnt got the new book yet GED...WATERSTONES in Liverpool had it last week..so they must have sold out...(the Ormskirk branch is my LOCAL shop too,but I dont think they stocked it)..what about trying PRITCHARDS where Rod got his copy? I've still only read the first 8 chapters & the detail is amazing...a lot of new info. that I cerainly wasnt aware of & I still havnt read about MARSDEN yet except where he was named to the police by a Mr R.J QUALROUGH...real person!!! as RAYMOND CHANDLER said THE WALLACE CASE IS UNBEATABLE!!! More when I finish it..IAN(FJumble)

  5. #1445
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    IAN, I am still waiting for my copy of the book. I am practically chopping at the bit. I can't wait to have a discussion, once you are finished. I agree this case is unbeatable...but we can hope this book will have conquered it.

  6. #1446
    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    Had an email from Amazon - my book has been despatched. Should be delivered by Friday - but hoping it's tomorrow!

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    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    Got my book today - Amazon is the best online retailer ever!

    However.......

    Had a quick look at the book - and was very disappointed to see some post mortem photos of Mrs Wallace. Whilst I understand that a researcher would need to see such photos, I don't think they should be available for general public consumption. I think it's disrespectful to Mrs Wallace who was an elderly woman, who met a horrible end. Surely a description of the injuries would have been more appropriate.

    Perhaps John you can comment on why such pictures needed to be included?

    I'd also be interested to know what others think of these photographs because I really feel strongly about the lack of privacy shown to Mrs Wallace.

  8. #1448
    Senior Member IAN DAVID FRYER's Avatar
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    Hi BURKHILLY.glad you have got your copy,AMAZON'S service is excellent for books,though The W.H.SMITH service that ROD highlighted was unbeatable for me!..I have now read the book which I really enjoyed.I take your point about the 3 morg.photos.being disrespectful,although the book doesnt show the complete photographs(as shown on this thread a few months ago) of the entire body,but only the head & shoulders & highlights the amount of violence used by the killer..you can clearly see her head is battered out of shape in an attack that clearly was planned & deliberate rather than a random assault. I think the new book moves things on..it consolidates my long-held belief that WHW could not possibly have carried out the attack himself..but was clearly involved! PARRY was R.M.QUALTROUGH..but didnt murder JULIA. I think MARSDEN is a very plausible candidate for the killing,but there isnt enough real hard evidence, except circumstantial, to make me certain!!!Shame there is no photo.of MARSDEN .JOHN GANNON's research & attention to detail are amazing & a lot of misunderstandings are clarified..ie.WHW was a stranger to the Allerton area,he clearly wasnt! WHW "nobbled" Joseph Crewe about the times he actually visited his house in the area..& he tried to do the same to BEATTIE in N.John St.(a most interesting section)Also LILY HALL's most important witness statement is shown in a proper light..there are numerous points like this that are clarified & now make more sense...IAN(FJumble)

  9. #1449
    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    Ian - I did start to read your post above, but stopped because I want to form my own views on the book. Certainly having read just three chapters I think I can see where the book is going, which doesn't make me happy, as I believe Mr Wallace to be innocent. Having said this, I could be wrong so will comment more when I read more.


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  10. #1450
    Senior Member IAN DAVID FRYER's Avatar
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    Thanks BURKHILLY..I think you are very wise...perhaps I should have kept stum like ROD sensibly did..until a few more have read it!! IAN

  11. #1451
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    Just read the book. I think it is absolutely wonderfully done. A plethora of new information that has been unearthed.

    I believe this book proved that William Herbert Wallace was in effect guilty of the murder of his wife Julia. And that Parry was Qualtrough. As far as Marsden being the culprit...very probable but not proved in my opinion. So I agree with you, Ian, in that. Let's get a discussion of the finer points of the book going.

  12. #1452
    Senior Member IAN DAVID FRYER's Avatar
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    Thanks JON.I agree with you 100%!! I think the new book moves things on considerably. however the reason for the blackmail threat dosnt fit for me ..I think revealing the stealing from The PRUDENTIAL is far more likely than her paying them for sex..she was nearly 70 after all! I find the mystery of JULIA WALLACE herself almost as baffling as the murder itself!! I surmised on the thread a while back that maybe there were in fact 2 different ladies..the original JULIA DENIS died & JW took her identity.Its hard to believe that an experinced pathologist like McFaul(admittedly awful!!)could put a woman of nearly 70 as in her early 50's. Also,why did her sister,AMY DENIS just appear after the murder,request the fur coat & go straight back home..in fact it's very odd that NONE of her family attended either her wedding or her funeral!! AMY DENIS was 3 years younger than JULIA her older sister...yet she was expected to accept JULIA was about 14 years younger than she was!! AMY DENIS is very formal in her dealings with WHW..but doesnt seem to have a problem with him..only JW!!
    The new book clarifies so many misnomers about the case...especially as I stated earlier regarding LILY HALL, BEATTIE & James Crewe..amongst many others!! Regards IAN(FJumble)

  13. #1453
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    Yes IAN,

    The book to me is now the seminal work on this case. Even if one disagrees with aspects of the theory, I think it does a very good job of tying together the Wallace and Parry working together angle. This had been suggested before cleverly by Richard Waterhouse in the Insurance Man But John has the facts and research to really back it up. The writing style is as good as Murphy, but with Goodman's honesty of research. (No withheld statements!) And boy is there a lot of great info in this book!

    IAN, I agree; Julia Wallace did seem to be a bit of an anomaly. The age discrepancy is truly incredible, and I have never felt completely satisfied with the current, seemingly accepted explanation about that. She did seem to have a strained relationship with her family as well as did WHW, although apparently not quite as much.

    I think your theory about assuming another's identity, or something of that nature is actually quite plausible when one stops to consider who Julia Wallace was. She was clearly trying to be much younger than her true age, and had apparently isolated herself either thru choice, or actions from every member of her family including distant family. This is evidenced by the attendance at the wedding or funeral.

    The personal angle of this case is what is so fascinating to me. I remember in the first book I read about the case, a chapter in a book called Guilty or Innocent, they portrayed Wallace as a stoic, but nice old man and Julia as a sweet old lady. I was 10 at the time, scared badly by the book and this case in particular. Then there was a picture of Parry, his mugshot straight-on one, looking sinister and mean. The book hinted at Parry being the guilty party, and acting alone. I remember thinking how awful it was; and how sweet Wallace and his wife were. From studying the case over many years, I have a far different opinion of their personalities. I think Wallace was a fastidious, stoic-bordering on mean, somewhat nerdy but quite sharp and very bitter man. He had seemingly found his match in the supposedly earthy, well-travelled Julia Denis. But she was a vain, vapid, wannabe social climber who didn't share Wallace's scientific interests and had lied to him about his age. (I'm sure he discovered this early on.) He just grew tired of her, her intellectual inferiority, and increasing illness with her lied about age, and his personality and core drove him to be OK with, and even delight in the planning of, the perfect murder!!

    As far as Parry goes, I think he was far less of a hardened criminal, and much more of a 'wide boy.' Expedient, short-sighted in goals, and obsessed with his personal comfort and satisfaction. Basically, a brat.

  14. #1454
    Senior Member IAN DAVID FRYER's Avatar
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    THANKS JOHN...the more you read about the case,the more it intrigues!! I've been fascinated by it all my life as was my father. As a boy,he was attending school at St.Margarets School where WHW caught his first tram on the murder night! I was raised in a house which was almost identical to Wolverton Street and the front room(the parlour) was out of bounds...it was only used for visitors & would have been cold in January..hence the fire beng it! Reading "The Devil..",the meticulous disection of the murder scene & the actual execution is outstanding research,JOHN proves the body was moved & that the "official" murder scene photographs are at best very misleading! Its now surely difficult to believe anyone still thinks WHW actually battered poor JULIA himself.... as MURPHY etc. claimed!!! The point about the money(notes) being kept in JULIA'S corset is not I think odd or unusual..I know my Grandmother & my mother both did this!! IAN(FJumble)

  15. #1455
    Senior Member Brian-P's Avatar
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    The book arrived yesterday.

    Is it just me or is the print exceptionally small?

    Is this what it's like getting old?

  16. #1456
    Senior Member IAN DAVID FRYER's Avatar
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    I agree ..I thought the title warrented a proper hardback book with a dustjacket given the massive interest in the case & the fact that its over 10 years since MURPHY. I felt AMBERLEY cut corners with the quality of the paper, which is not exactly bleached white ,the small print & even the font makes reading not as comfortable as it should have been given the cover price.Lets hope it sells well & we get a better 2nd edition!!
    GED..have you got your copy yet..any thoughts??
    JOHN..just re-reading the section where the police(UNBELIEVABLY!)allowed WHW to stay overnight in Wolverton St...still an active crime scene..because he couldnt stay in Ullet Road. Do you think he may have had the axe/hatchet in mind for the murder weapon,but instead the iron bar was used? As the "missing" axe was now not incriminating..he suddenly "discovers" it under some rags in a cupboard..surely even MOORES men couldnt have missed that!! IAN(FJumble)

  17. #1457
    Senior Member RodCrosby's Avatar
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    Came across this very interesting 1932 book, Murder Most Mysterious, by Hargrave Lee Adam.
    http://www.archive.org/stream/murder...e/182/mode/2up

    I've never heard of it before. Interestingly, "Mr. P" and "another person" get a mention as suspects...
    Celeriter Nil Crede

  18. #1458
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    ROD,

    Do you still stick by your 'Parry and Another theory?' With Wallace being innocent?

  19. #1459
    Senior Member RodCrosby's Avatar
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    Yes. Nothing in Gannon's book changes my mind. It's a bad book. Badly written, badly sourced, full of tedious padding, irrelevancies, rhetoric, rambling....

    But I give him a point for unearthing a Qualtrough-Prudential-Marsden connection. And the little nugget that Wallace actually founded the Central Chess Club (with Caird), which was new to me...
    Celeriter Nil Crede

  20. #1460
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    ROD,

    I have to disagree with your assessment of the book. I thought it was very engagingly written. Filled to the brim with new facts, connections and chock-full of unknown information. It is true; it is not a straightforward dissection of the case like Edgar Lustgarten or the account you generously posted (from 1932). That has already been done to death.

    I guess you want to wait awhile (although I am dying to dissect some finer points) to discuss specific content. But it just baffles me how, in light of all the new information and intricacies of the case, one can think Wallace was not behind it. So many things to explain away...

  21. #1461
    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    SPOILER!!!


    Well I finished the book last night and was extremely disappointed with its conclusion.

    In a nutshell what it says is that Wallace blackmailed Marsden and Parry to become involved in his plan to murder Julia. Parry made the call and Marsden killed Julia. The blackmail was because both Marsden and Parry had paid Julia for sex. This is the most ridiculous theory ever!

    As for implicating Marsden with a link to him being a prudential agent three years previously and visited a customer with the name of Qualtrough, again a very weak link……with the added information that he wasn’t fully investigated because his uncle was a bigwig in the Police.

    Clearly there has been lots of research – but some of the information contained within the book was totally irrelevant. This included using people’s full names and letting the reader know where/when they were born; who their parents were; what they did for a living. I did find all the names being used quite irritating!

    Where the book also failed for me was its failure to have an essence of the period and the personalities of those involved, which to be fair would be difficult, given that all the main players are dead and there’s no one who can give a first hand account of those involved.

    The chapter on “Family Wipe Out” was boring. I couldn’t see this related to the Wallace case as a theory for the motive. From what we’ve all read Mr Wallace was of a stoic character, but at that time people were anyway.

    This book hasn’t answered any questions for me. I think that Julia was let down right at the start of the investigation by the Police, including the police surgeon because things appear not to have been done properly. More medical investigation could have been done, for instance when Mrs Johnson touched Julia’s arm it was still warm. Given it was a cold night, how long does a dead body take to cool – not something I’d like to investigate.

    There were too many “Maybe….” , “Perhaps…..”, “Possible….” in the book.

    There is much more to say about the book – but I wouldn’t want to hurt JG’s feelings because he clearly has worked extremely hard in its production and I for one couldn’t have done it – so thank you John for your attempt at solving this fascinating case, I did enjoy reading most of your book.

  22. #1462
    Senior Member RodCrosby's Avatar
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    The honest truth is we will almost certainly never know who killed Julia Wallace. It's a liberty for Mr. Gannon to accuse Marsden of murder based on no evidence whatsoever, just a fanciful theory, and trumpet this skein of irrelevancies as some kind of "solution." It's an outlandish theory and nothing more.

    I found the book very inaccessible. For those who are not already intimately acquainted with the case and its characters, I imagine it would be very heavy going. There seems no logical exposition of either the background to the case or the theory. Instead of genuine footnotes or sources, we have an appendix of family trees of the walk-on players, going back 200 years! Seriously, wtf is that all about? It can only be padding to cover the fact that at the heart of this book, there really is next to nothing...
    </rant>

    But I am reading it a second time, and in fairness will mention anything of note if and when I find it.

    For me, Wilkes' book "The Final Verdict" remains the tour de force of the case, although I don't quite share the conclusion. Atmospheric, humane, logical, emotive, crusading, the last to interview first-hand witnesses; two detective stories in one, gripping, edge-of-the-seat stuff... Unputdownable...

    Find it if you can...
    Celeriter Nil Crede

  23. #1463
    Member Acrosstheuniverse's Avatar
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    Burkhilly,

    I'm not sure you even read the book comprehensibly, since your opening 'In a nutshell' paragraphs contains numerous factual errors. I almost thought you did it on purpose, so I re-read a few times and now I can't tell if it was carelessness or actually what you took away from the book. If you didn't like the book; fine. But what is up with the criticism of detail and new information. People have been literally begging for new information on this case and this book is filled to the brim with it. Also, Wallace was noted as being stoic and strange by his contemporaries, so that paragraph you wrote is needlessly dismissive. I really think some on this forum don't want this case to be solved.

    Rod,

    Shame you can't enjoy how far forward this book has moved the case. Wallace's guilt seems beyond doubt.

    I've read the Final Verdict, and yes it is a very good book. However, it is also full of theories that to my mind are far less supportable by evidence. Same with Goodman's Mr. X numerous theories. Not sure what you all wanted out of this book. I read it and was fully ready to criticize it and let Mr. Gannon know if it wasn't up to par. After all, he had been promising a lot. I really felt he delivered. Were you expecting a videotape of the crime? Did this not persuade anyone, that at least Wallace definitively was guilty? (at least in planning the murders.)

  24. #1464
    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    The book was over 200 pages long I've responded in a couple of paragraphs. Of course the book has more substance in it than what I've put, but like Rod, I believe there is no real evidence provided that can possibly point the finger at Marsden. As for the blackmail and the reasons behind it, that, IMO, is a ridiculous theory, but a theory nonetheless.

    We on this thread do have opinions, which will not necessarily be the same as yours - and this is part of the debate. You seem to think that we haven't read the book properly - which is not for you to decide. I would admit that with me, I do need to read the book a second time. If my "nutshell" description is correct - can you tell me how?

    Oh - and let's keep things polite and friendly - even if opinions do differ.

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    You said Parry and Marsden paid Julia for sex; it was the other way around. Also Wallace didn't blackmail Parry, only Marsden. That's an important distinction.

    Wallace was seen as a stoic and odd character by his contemporaries, so explaining that way by the time period is a non sequitur.

  26. #1466
    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    Yes you're correct - I misunderstood. However, that does not change my view that this theory is highly unlikely. Julia was nearly 70 years old and by all accounts acted and looked her age.

    With regards to Wallace's personality - there's been that many various accounts - it's difficult for anyone to say what he was really like. The descriptions range from a "nice gentleman" to "a cold and strange man". That's one of the difficulties an author must have when all witnesses from the time are dead.

    I think John has done a lot of good work on the book, for which he is to be congratulated. It is certainly a task I would never undertake. He was always going to get flak no matter who he named, given there are many on the thread who have studied the Wallace case for years and are very knowledgeable.

    NB - I had to look up your Latin phrase!

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    Burkhilly,

    Apologies if my earlier post was unnecessarily mean-spirited. I just am surprised by the negative reviews and reception here as compared to other places, especially since I enjoyed the book so much.

    Julia was passing as, and known as, a woman in her early 50's. I think she looked anywhere from 55-70. I don't find this inconceivable at all.

    Wallace was mainly described, even by those who liked him as stoic, sensible, mild-mannered etc. The flip side of that coin would be bitter, passive aggressive, soured etc. But the picture of him is quite consistent I think.

  28. #1468
    Senior Member RodCrosby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acrosstheuniverse View Post
    Shame you can't enjoy how far forward this book has moved the case. Wallace's guilt seems beyond doubt.
    I hope to God you are never called to serve on a jury...
    The testimony of an honest man who knew and worked with Wallace demonstrates that, for all intents and purposes, Wallace committed suicide in 1933, through grief at his loss and subsequent ordeal...
    Celeriter Nil Crede

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    LOL! Yeah good old Brownie. Very reliable. Like John Parkes.

    I have been called to serve on a jury before

  30. #1470
    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    I'm just re-reading the thread (a marathon task) and note that John Gannon's posts have gone! I could have sworn he posted just a couple of weeks ago. What a shame if he's no longer posting - I'm sure there's questions we would have liked to have asked.

    Any ideas why he stopped posting?

    ---------- Post added at 09:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:39 PM ----------

    Just finishes re-reading the thread - everything is now very clear in my head - as clear as mud!!

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