The Killing of Julia Wallace

Description This classic work of true crime about the 1931 murder of Julia Wallace in Liverpool, England, established Jonathan Goodman as one of Britain’s most influential crime history writers. William Herbert Wallace was convicted of the brutal murder of his wife Julia and sentenced to death after a single hour of deliberation. In an unprecedented move, in May 1931, the Court of Criminal Appeal overturned the verdict on the grounds that it was "not supported by the weight of the evidence," and Wallace walked free—the first instance in British legal history where an appeal had been allowed after re-examination of the same evidence.

In his book, Goodman presents a close analysis of the evidence and the investigation conducted by the Liverpool police. First published in 1969, The Killing of Julia Wallace was immediately hailed as "the clearest, most balanced, and most readable dissection of a murder case that I have yet had the pleasure of reading," by Michael Gilbert in The Sunday Telegraph. The book points to a different suspect based on Goodman’s analysis and also provides a vivid social history of life in Liverpool during the 1930s.

Following Goodman’s death in 2008, Special Collections and Archives was able to purchase his personal papers and his estate sought out the Kent State University Press to publish new U.S. editions of several of his books, including The Killing of Julia Wallace. That is seen here along with the first edition, one of the published illustrations, and Goodman’s original manuscript for the book.

--Curated by Kathryn Clements
Author/Photographer Goodman, Jonathan
Publisher London: George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd.
Date 1969
Extent 323 pages, [18] pages of plates
Institution Kent State University
Repository Special Collections and Archives
Provenance/Collection From the library of Albert and Helen Borowitz
LC Classification Number KD373.W3 G66 1969
Portion Digitized Image of 1969 edition in dust jacket together with Goodman's holograph manuscript and the Kent State University Press paperback reprint edition published in 2017.
Access Rights This digital object is owned by Kent State University and may be protected by U.S. Copyright law (Title 17, USC). Please include proper citation and credit for use of this item. Use in publications or productions is prohibited without written permission from Kent State University. Please contact the Department of Special Collections and Archives for more information.
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Format of Original book


Curated by Kathleen Siebert Medicus with guest contributors