The Enigmatic Wallace Murder Part 2

About the enigmatic Wallace murder of Mr. William Herbert Wallace's wife, history of the crime that took place in England, biography of accused.

THE ENIGMATIC WALLACE MURDER (1931)

The Hunt: When questioned, Wallace said that he had gotten home "possibly 5 minutes past 6" on the night of the murder. Mrs. Wallace had given him tea. He left the house about 6:45 P.M. to meet with the elusive Qualtrough. (But according to McFall, Mrs. Wallace had died at 6 P.M.)

The police looked for Qualtrough, too. They couldn't find him. Later, during the trial, a song went around the bars:

They seek him here, they seek him there

(Is he alive, do you know?)

Or in hell . . . or the Pruden-shell

That damned elusive Qualtrough.

Alan Close, a 14-year-old boy who delivered milk to the Wallaces, said he had seen Mrs. Wallace take in the milk at 6:30 that night. The paper was delivered at 6:35 P.M. The police found it spread out on the kitchen table as if someone had been reading it. A locksmith found both locks in somewhat bad condition.

On February 2, 1931, Wallace was arrested for the murder of his wife.

The Accused: William Herbert Wallace, who was apprenticed in the draper's trade at an early age, had a streak of intellectualism and adventure that belied his quiet, respectable, dull appearance. He enjoyed reading Marcus Aurelius and was interested in the Greek Stoics. He decided that in order to be a good prospective stoic, he needed to go abroad. He took jobs in India and Shanghai, where he led a singularly routine life, before returning to Manchester. There he was given a political job, which he liked very much. He met all kinds of people, including Julia Thorp, a dark-haired, pleasant woman who also had an intellectual streak. She read and spoke French, and dabbled in art and music. In 1913, 2 years later, she and Wallace were married. The marriage, according to Wallace's diaries was blissful, quiet, and without quarrels.

In August, 1914, Wallace found himself out of work so he took a job with the Prudential Assurance Company. Though he wasn't particularly gregarious, he was conscientious and his customers liked him.

He was a mild-faced man who wore glasses and had an untidy moustache. He didn't drink and smoked very little. His only recreation was chess, at which he was an average player.

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