The Enigmatic Wallace Murder Part 1
About the enigmatic Wallace murder of Mr. William Herbert Wallace's wife, history of the crime that took place in England.
THE ENIGMATIC WALLACE MURDER (1931)
The Murder: On January 19, 1931, a man named Qualtrough tried to put through a call to William Herbert Wallace at his chess club. He had trouble getting the number, and called the operator, a Miss Kelly. She later testified, "It was quite an ordinary voice. It was a man's voice. He said, 'Operator, I have pressed Button A but have not had my correspondent yet.'
I did not have any further conversation with the person in the box. I afterwards connected Anfield 1627 with Bank 3581." Wallace was not at the chess club, and Samuel Beattie, the club manager, took the call. Qualtrough left a message that Wallace should come to his house at 25 Menlove Gardens East the next night at 7:30 P.M.
Who was Qualtrough? When Wallace showed up later at the club, he said that he had never heard of him. But since Wallace was an insurance man, it might have been a business call.
The next night, Wallace went to look for Qualtrough and found that the address, 25 Menlove Gardens East, did not exist. He asked several people for advice, including a constable, but got nowhere. Alarmed, thinking a trick had been played on him, he headed for home.
He tried the key in the front door lock. It wouldn't open, which meant that the door had been bolted from the inside. Surprised, he went and tried the back door to find it locked too. He knocked twice, a signal for his wife, but no one came to the door.
His next-door neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. John Johnston, came out of their house about then, and he asked their advice. Mr. Johnston suggested that Wallace try the Johnston key in the back door. This time, Wallace was able to open the door--without the Johnston key. He went into the house, and the Johnstons saw a light go on upstairs. A minute or so later, he came out and said to them, "Come and see; she has been killed."
Lying on the floor of the little-used sitting room, face down, was Mrs. Wallace. There was a gaping 3" wound in front of her left ear. Underneath her body was a mackintosh--Wallace's mackintosh. Wallace searched the house to see if anything was missing but nothing was. Twice he put his hands to his head and sobbed. "They have finished her," he said. "Look at the brains."
It wasn't long before Constable Williams of the Liverpool City Police arrived. He questioned Wallace and searched the house, finding the main bedroom in some disorder. He found no sign of forcible entry or struggle, no murder weapon. (A charwoman, however, was to say later that an iron bar which was usually kept by the stove was missing.) Wallace, Constable Williams said, was acting in an "extraordinarily cool and calm manner."
Just before 10 P.M., Prof. J. E. W. McFall, a specialist in forensic medicine, arrived. He examined the body and said that death had taken place at 6 o'clock that evening and that she had been hit 11 times, even though the 1st blow probably killed her. He found blood and charring on the mackintosh.
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