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Walter Graham ROWLAND

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Labourer who was twice convicted of murder
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: 1934 / 1946
Date of arrest: October 1946
Date of birth: 1907
Victims profile: Mavis Agnes, 2 (his daughter) / Olive Balchin, 40 (prostitute)
Method of murder: Hitting with a hammer
Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Status: Executed by hanging at Strangways prison on February 27, 1947
 
 

 
 

On October 20, 1946, Olive Balchin, age 40, was found dead at a World War II bomb site in Manchester, England, her skull crushed with a hammer left at the scene. Descriptions of a suspect seen with the woman led authorities to Rowland, whose criminal record included a prior conviction for child-murder.

At his trial, Rowland was convicted of the slaying despite a confession from Liverpool jail inmate David John Ware. Sentenced to die, Rowland was hanged at Strangways prison on February 27, 1947. Ware, his would-be benefactor, was confined to an asylum in 1951, after trying to murder another woman.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans


Rowland, Walter Graham

Walter Graham Rowland was a 39-year-old labourer who was twice convicted of murder. On 20th October 1946 the body of 40-year-old Olive Balchin was discovered on a bomb-site in Manchester. The murder weapon was a bloodstained leather-beater's hammer which lay nearby.

A description of the purchaser of the hammer by the shopkeeper who sold it, coupled with a description of a man seen with Olive Balchin on the night of her death, led police to interview Rowland. He admitted that he knew the woman but denied killing her. Forensic examination of his clothes showed up bloodstains that matched the blood group of the dead woman and particles of dust that had come from the bomb-site.

He was tried at Manchester Assizes in December 1946 and found guilty. It was later disclosed that he had previously been convicted of the murder of a child, but had been reprieved. While Rowland awaited his appointment with the gallows David John Ware, an inmate at Walton Jail, Liverpool, confessed to Olive Balchin's murder.

Rowland appealed but the appeal was dismissed. Ware admitted to a Home Office inquiry that his confession had been false and the original sentence was confirmed. Rowland was executed at Strangeways Prison by Albert Pierrepoint on 27th February 1947. 

Real-crime.co.uk


Walter Graham Rowland

Rowland was a 39-year-old labourer, from Mellor in Derbyshire, who was twice convicted of murder. On 20th October 1946 the body of Olive Balchin was discovered on a bombsite in Cumberland Street, Deansgate, Manchester. The dead woman was a forty-year-old prostitute from Birmingham. The murder weapon was a bloodstained leather-beater's hammer that lay nearby.

A description of the purchaser of the hammer, by Edward MacDonald the shopkeeper who sold it, coupled with a description of a man seen with Olive Balchin on the night of her death, led police to interview Rowland. He admitted that he knew the woman but denied killing her. Forensic examination of his clothes showed up bloodstains that matched the blood group of the dead woman and particles of dust that had come from the bomb-site.

Rowland was tried at Manchester Assizes in December 1946 and found guilty and sentenced to death. It was later disclosed that he had, in 1934, been convicted of the murder of his two-year-old daughter, Mavis Agnes, and sentenced to death but had been reprieved

While Rowland awaited his appointment with the executioner for the Balchin killing, David John Ware, an inmate at Walton Jail, Liverpool, confessed to Olive Balchin's murder. Rowland appealed but the appeal was dismissed. Ware admitted to a Home Office inquiry that his confession had been false and the original sentence was confirmed. Rowland was executed Albert Pierrepoint at Strangeways Prison on Thursday 27th February 1947.

On 10th July 1951 David Ware bought a hammer and tried to kill a woman, Phyllis Fuidge, in Bristol. He told police "I don't know what is the matter with me. I keep having an urge to hit women on the head." On 16th November he was found guilty but insane and sent to Broadmoor. He hanged himself there on 1st April 1954.

Murder-UK.com


Walter Graham Rowland

Walter Graham Rowland, hanged on February 27th 1947 for the murder of his lover, Olive Balchin, whose body was found at a bomb site battered to death with a hammer.

Walter's alibi included a police sergeant and two of his officers who were drinking in the same pub as him at the same time as the murder and the landlord of the place he was staying, including the signing in book (which was common at the time) detailing when he got home. These eye witnesses placed him well away from the murder scene.

However, Walter had form. He'd been convicted of killing his daughter in 1934 when he was reprieved from the noose and eventually released from prison. The jury convicted him despite there being no evidence and what would look like a water tight alibi.

When waiting on death row someone else confessed to the murder. David Ware, who was now in jail for robbing the Salvation Army, made a detailed confession to the police - but an inquiry decided Ware was lying and that Walter was unquestionably guilty... he was executed on February 27th 1947.

David Ware on July 10th 1951 murdered another woman in a hammer attack, an attack he was arrested for, he went on to hang himself in his cell. Walter's case was never re-opened and he remains, in the eyes of the law, guilty.

Jimjay.blogspot.com


SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: T MOTIVE: PC

DATE(S): 1930s-46

VENUE: Manchester, England

VICTIMS: Two

MO: Killed a child and a 40-year-old woman

DISPOSITION: Imprisoned on first count; hanged on second count, Feb. 27, 1947.



Walter Graham Rowland

 

The body of Olive Balchin

 

David Ware

 

 

 
 
 
 
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