One of a number of real life cases from an era when juries listened with rapt attention to evidence of exact times, distances, estimates of speed and even in some cases whether a clock was fast or slowfrom witnesses whose recollections might be first-rate, mildly inaccurate, mistaken or wholly unreliable. A reading of Old Bailey and other Assize court cases from the time suggests there may have been an entire industry centring on the creation of ambiguity, smokescreens and sometimes false alibis. Advocates demonstrated skill, ingenuity and persistence in constructing explanations, favourable or unfavourable, according to whether they acted for prosecution or defence. The Telephone Murder of 1931 in Liverpool, when William Wallace was acquitted on appeal of his wifes murder, is a poignant reminder of those days. The story is further spiced because prosecuting counsel was a man fighting to restore his professional reputation.
This second edition
contains a new Preface as well as a number of textual explanations, enhancement and a fresh index. It complements the authors series of books on famous cases.
Describes how a man narrowly escaped the gallows in one of the UKs most famous murder acquittals. Peppered with snapshots of the times. Analyses competing views on Wallaces story. A key case in the annals of UK legal history.
Mr Bartle has done a careful job in examining the evidence with his evident criminal expertise. He takes apart a number of previous theories
an interesting introduction to the case for first time readers and some stimulating material which aficionados
may ponderCriminal Law & Justice Weekly
Ronald Bartle was Deputy Chief Stipendiary Magistrate (now District Judge) for Inner London. His books include The Police Witness: A Guide to Presenting Evidence in Court (New Police Bookshop, 1984 onwards), Lizzie Borden and the Massachusetts Axe Murders
(Waterside Press, 2017), Three Cases that Shook the Law
(Waterside Press, 2016) and Bow Street Beak
(Foreword Lord Hurd of Westwell) (Waterside Press, 2016).