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Thread: Julia Wallace Murder Case

  1. #1456

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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)

  2. #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

  3. #1458

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    ROD,

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

  4. #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

  5. #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...

  6. #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.

  7. #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

  8. #1463

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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.)

  9. #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.

  10. #1465

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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.

  11. #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!

  12. #1467

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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.

  13. #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

  14. #1469

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

    I have been called to serve on a jury before

  15. #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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