Australian executions 1870 - 1967. 

 

The details of the men and women hanged between 1870 and 1899 together with the 135 men and two women hanged between 1900 and 1967. 

This list has been compiled, written and collated by my friend Christian Schrepper from the sources stated. 

The information for some of the early cases is incomplete.  Please email me if you can supply any further details or corrections.

 

7 March 1870

Gee Lee (age: 37 / Asian) – Queensland – Toowoomba

murder – victim: Louis Vernon – committed on 19 December 1869 – sentenced on 2 February 1870

Gee Lee was a Chinese cook at the wool scourers on Caroline sheep station on the Burenda run, in the Warrego district. Around six o'clock on the evening of 19 December 1869 several men, including Gee Lee, another Chinese labourer named Sam, Louis Vernon, and John Flynn, where just outside the wool-scourer's hut, sitting at a table. Gee Lee was engaged in a fierce argument with Louis Vernon (a Dane) sitting near Sam. After a time Vernon got up, seized a tin billy which was on the table, and was about to throw it at Gee Lee. Sam put his hand on the shoulder of Vernon as if to stop him, and said something, upon which Vernon laid down the billy, and sat down again. But soon after, Gee Lee and Vernon got up again, having some more angry words, being two or three feet apart. Gee Lee suddenly seized a knife from the table, and Vernon took hold of a stool to shield himself, but when he raised it Gee Lee stabbed him under the left breast. Gee Lee moved away, Vernon following him, lifting up the billy lying on the table and threw it at Gee Lee. Vernon then picked up the stool again and walked after Gee Lee four paces, when the stool dropped from his hands, and he broke down and fell to the floor dead. After washing his hands, knife and hat in a bucket of water, Gee Lee was bound by the other men. Gee Lee was charged with murder and was tried and convicted at the Toowoomba Circuit Court on 2 February 1870. He was hanged at the Toowoomba Gaol at 8 a.m. on 7 March 1870, along with John Whitton. (Gane, The Hungry Ghosts of Boggo Road, p. 51; Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 39 + 41; The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 21 March 1870, p. 6)

 

7 March 1870

Whitton, Jacky (age 25 / Aborigine) - Queensland - Toowoomba

rape - victim: Henrietta Reiss- committed on 6 December 1869 - sentenced on 31 January 1870

Jacky Whitton was charged at the Toowoomba Circuit Court on 31 January 1870 "with committing an indecent assault on Henrietta Reiss, a girl about 13 years of age, at Bodumba, on the 6th December last." Henrietta had left home early on the morning of 6 December to go to the head station of Bodumba, a distance of four or five miles, and arrived there at 11 a.m.; she started home again about 2 p.m., and when about a quarter of a mile from the head station she saw an Aborigine, commonly known as Jacky Whitton, sitting on a log; he greeted her, but then made some very low remarks to her; she made no other reply than saying she was going home to her mother, but got frightened and turned back to go to the head station. He followed her, and when he came to her he caught her in his arms and carried her away to a gully not far off and raped her there. She afterwards went to the station and reported the crime to Mr. J. Selke, Esq., and was examined by Mrs. Nicholl and Mrs. Goodrich, Henrietta's stepmother, who found that she had been grossly assaulted and had several bruises about her person. Whitton, who left the station, was arrested some fourteen days later at Franklyn Vale, 140 miles from Leyburn, and partly admitted committing the crime. He was convicted of rape and sentenced to death on 31 January 1870. Jacky Whitton was hanged at the Toowoomba Gaol at 8 a.m. on 7 March 1870, along with Gee Lee. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 40-41; The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 10 January 1870; Tuesday, 1 February 1870; Monday, 21 March 1870, p. 6)

 

28 March 1870

Prendergast, William (age 28 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder - victim: Patrick Hartnett - committed on 2 January 1870 - sentenced on 28 February 1870

William Prendergast (alias Pender) was "charged with having, at Fortitude Valley, on the 2nd January, 1870, feloniously and with malice aforethought, killed and murdered one Patrick Hartnett." On the morning of Monday, 3 January 1870, three lads who were rowing down the Brisbane River discovered the dead body of a man lying on a ledge of mud-covered rocks, about ten yards from an old boat-shed, near the residence of Mr. Raff, at New Farm. The body was quite naked, and had a rope around the neck, and some stones tied in front of the body. The man had been killed only several hours before, by several heavy beatings with a tomahawk, crushing all bones of the skull. The tomahawk was also found near the body. The body was identified as that of Patrick Hartnett, a carpenter, who had resided at Parcell's Brunswick Hotel, Fortitude Valley. By and by information was collected which led to the arrest of William Prendergast, who had been in the employ of Mr. Raff, residing on Tamrookum Street. Hartnett had taken one Julia Lane home and passed Prendergast's home on his way back. Prendergast had been jealous of Hartnett, who had put up a building for him, and who had spent an evening with Mrs. Prendergast, whom he had known before she married Prendergast. Prendergast had threatened to "knock his brains out if I catch him about the house." He was convicted at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Brisbane and was sentenced to death on 28 February 1870. Prendergast was hanged at Brisbane Gaol on 28 March 1870, shortly after 8 a.m. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 42-43; The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 21 March 1870, p. 6; Tuesday, 29 March 1870, p. 2)

 

23 May 1870

Ah Pew (age unknown / Asian) – Victoria – Castlemaine

murder – victim: Elizabeth Annie Hunt – committed on 18 February 1870 – sentenced on 27 April 1870

Ah Pew was charged at the Castlemaine Circuit Court on 26 April 1870 "with having, at Glenluce, wilfully murdered Elizabeth Ann Hunt." On 18 February 1870, 9-year-old Annie with her sister and brother went to De Forest's school at Glenluce, which they left at 4 p.m. Annie did not return in the evening, and her father searched for her almost all night, and commenced again with others at daybreak the following morning. He found her body in a hole 6 feet deep near Emu Gully on 19 February. Her body was considerably bruised, covered over with contusions, two wounds on the side of the head. Annie had died from the multiplicity of injuries and suffocation by clay being packed in her mouth. There were appearances of attempted violation. On the place of murder, a hat and a European pipe was found, which belonged to Ah Pew. He had been well known to the children, and always brought them lollies when he came to their parents' home to buy produce. On 18 February Annie had come to his hut and asked him if he had sold his boiler. She left after several minutes, but Ah Pew followed her. He was arrested on 24 February and was charged with murder at the Police Court at Castlemaine on 11 March. He was convicted at the Criminal Session of the Circuit Court at Castlemaine and was sentenced to death on 27 April 1870. Ah Pew was hanged at Castlemaine Gaol at 10 a.m. on 23 May 1870. (The Argus, Monday, 14 March 1870, p. 6; Wednesday, 27 April 1870, p. 6; Thursday, 28 April 1870, p. 6; Tuesday, 24 May 1870, p. 7; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 27 May 1870, p. 794)

 

28 June 1870

Regan, John (age: 46 / White) – Tasmania – Launceston

murder - victim: Emma Regan - committed on 29 March 1870 - sentenced on 10 June 1870

On 29 March 1870, John Regan and his 16-year-old wife, Emma, from Hagley, along with her younger sister, Ellen Lyncham (aged about 11 or 12), had driven into Launceston in a chaise-cart, to get Regan's money out of the bank, and made their way back home in the late afternoon. When they reached Ashburner's Forest on the Westbury Road at about half past eight, Regan asked his sister-in-law to hold the reins and he sat in the cart with his wife. They had a few words, he reproaching her of squandering his money, and on her reply, struck her a blow in the face with his fist. He then put his thumb down on her throat after which he opened a pen-knife and savagely attacked his wife, inflicting seven stabs in her neck, two of them in vital parts, which caused immediate death. Ellen Lyncham managed to escape in the darkness, and Regan fled to the other direction by foot. The girl, seeing this, returned to the chaise-cart, and drove it on until she reached Sillwood toll-bar, where she got help. On 7 April Regan turned to Father Walsh of the Church of the Holy Apostles at Launceston, who persuaded him to give himself up to the police. Regan was convicted of murder at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Launceston on 7 June 1870 and was sentenced to death on 10 June 1870. He was hanged at Launceston Gaol on 28 June 1870, shortly after 8 a.m. (Launceston Examiner, Thursday, 31 March 1870, p. 3; Saturday, 2 April 1870, p. 5; Saturday, 9 April 1870, p. 5; Thursday, 9 June 1870, p. 5; Thursday, 30 June 1870, p. 5)

 

4 August 1870

Smith, Patrick (age: 36 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Mary Smith – committed on 9 July 1870 – sentenced on 21 July 1870

Patrick Smith was a native from Clontarf, Ireland, where he married a woman 9 years his senior. It was said that he received £200 with her. They arrived at Melbourne in 1855, and he held several situations as a labourer, and was also employed at the Footscray Soap Factory. But his drunken habits unfitted him for any permanent occupation, and finally he earned a livelihood by fishing in the Saltwater River, his wife often disposing of the fish which he caught. On the occasions when she was endeavouring to sell the fish she often complained of the cruel manner in which he beat and ill-used her, and on the day before her death, she told several persons in Hotham that she had a strange feeling of fear upon her, and felt sure that her husband was going to kill her. On 9 July, neighbours observed the couple quarrelling for hours, hearing him yelling that he would murder her as he wanted a younger wife. Several heavy falls were heard immediately afterwards, and then all was still. In the evening, their 14-year-old son, Patrick, found his mother lying on the floor in the centre room of the house, her head all covered with blood, hardly breathing. His father was washing her wounds, but she died a short time later. Smith asked his son to accompany him to the police, where he was arrested and charged with murder. He was convicted at the Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court at Melbourne on 16 July and was sentenced to death on 21 July 1870. Smith was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 4 August 1870, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Wednesday, 13 April 1870, p. 6; Monday, 18 July 1870, p. 7; Friday, 22 July 1870, p. 6; Friday, 5 August 1870, p. 6; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 12 August 1870, p. 1169)

 

15 August 1870

Vair, Andrew (age: 34 / White) – Victoria – Ararat

murder – victim: Amos Cheale – committed on 12 January 1869 – sentenced on 20 July 1870

On 12 January 1869, at about 2 p.m., the report of a gun was heard by John Smith, a mining manager, at St. Arnaud. When he reached the spot from where he had heard the shooting, he found Amos Cheale lying on the ground. Cheale was just able to say that Andrew Vair had shot him. Smith assisted him to the house of J. Cadzow, another mining manager, nearby. Two holes were found perforated in his body. He died after half an hour. After being arrested at Dairy flat, 50 miles from Adelaide, Vair admitted to Inspector Bee that he had committed the crime. The depositions of a coach-driver, William Slaughter (who died a short time later), showed that he had met Vair in the bush two days after the murder, and had received some letters from him. These letters were read in court, and in them the crime was acknowledged, and a rambling statement made of real or supposed injuries received from Cheale. Vair had warned Cheale several times that he would kill him, and had asked him what he would do with a man that robbed him of all his property. Vair was convicted at the Criminal Session of the Circuit Court at Ararat and was sentenced to death on 20 July 1870. He was hanged at Ararat Gaol on 15 August 1870, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Wednesday, 13 April 1870; Friday, 22 July 1870, p. 7; Tuesday, 16 August 1870, p. 5; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 26 August 1870, p. 1265)

 

29 August 1870

Brown, William (age: 20 / White) – Queensland – Toowoomba

robbery - victim: William Baker - committed on 2 December 1869 - sentenced on 25 July 1870

William Brown (alias Bertram, alias Burchill, alias Halgar), a native from Germany, was a reputed horse-stealer in New South Wales and came to Queensland in November 1869. On 1 December, about noon, he called at Baker's public-house, at Mangalore, where he stayed chatting and drinking, but not paying, until the following morning. William Baker, on the morning of 2 December, had gone, as was his usual business, to milk his cows, when Brown joined him and proclaimed himself a member of the "stand and deliver" fraternity, demanding at the same time black male to the amount of £30. Baker told him he was ready to pay some money, but stated that he didn't have more than about 25 or 30 shillings. After milking the cows, Baker went back to his house, and went into his bedroom. Brown later followed him and asked Mrs. Brown where her husband was. He then thrust her before him into the bedroom, and keeping her before him, he began firing at Baker without further parley, two bullets hitting Baker. Taking about 35 shillings from the cash-box he passed into the bar, and took a silver watch and left on his horse. When trying to change horses at Dellalah he was secured by several men. Brown was convicted of robbery under arms and wounding at the Toowoomba Circuit Court and was sentenced to death on 25 July 1870. He was hanged at Toowoomba Gaol on 29 August 1870, at 8 a.m. Shortly before his execution, he confessed to several robberies committed in New South Wales in 1868 and 1869. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 44-45; The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 29 December 1869, p. 3; Saturday, 5 February 1870, p. 5; Tuesday, 26 July 1870, p. 2; Thursday, 25 August 1870, p. 3; Friday, 2 September 1870, p. 2)

 

30 August 1870

Cusack, James (age: 33 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Anne Cusack – committed on 28 June 1870 – sentenced on 15 August 1870

James Cusack (or Cusick) was charged at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Melbourne "for the wilful murder of Anne Cusack, his wife, on the night of Tuesday, June 28." On that day Cusack, returned to his home at Gooley's Creek at 7 p.m. A short time later screams were heard from Mrs. Cusack, but as they were in the habit of continually quarrelling, little notice was taken of them. At about 9 p.m. Mrs. Cusack was seen running with her hair down over her face and shoulders into the house of a neighbour named Elliott, seeking shelter after her husband had beaten her. She was afraid that he would kill her. After some time she went home and her husband was observed trying to buy some gin. Shortly before midnight more screams were heard from the direction of Cusack's house, Mrs. Cusack seeking shelter at another neighbour's, Patrick Malone. Her husband followed her, starting a row with Malone, striking him in the face, after which Malone beat him in return. Mrs. Cusack went home, and on the following morning, her dead body was found in her bed. The face was black and the whole of the body was one mass of bruises. Her husband had literally beaten her to death. Cusack was convicted of murder at the Criminal Session of the Supreme Court at Melbourne and was sentenced to death on 15 August 1870. Cusack was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 30 August 1870, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Wednesday, 17 August 1870, p. 6; Wednesday, 31 August 1870, p. 7; The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 22 July 1870, p. 4; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 2 September 1870, p. 1302)

 

14 November 1870

Seery, James (age: 33 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: August Tepfar – committed on 16 September 1870 – sentenced on 25 October 1870

August Tepfar, "an honest, quiet, inoffensive man" of German descent, had been working for wages in the claim of Messrs. Klentz and party at Good Luck Creek, up to the night of Thursday, 16 September. On the following morning he was missed from the claim. No notice was taken of this until a hut inhabited by Irishman James Seery was observed to be in flames, the hut burning to the ground. As Seery was also missing, the hut was examined on the following morning, when amidst the smouldering embers a human skull was discovered. Constable Coleman of the police of Grant was called, and down the creek he found the headless corpse of the murdered man in a hole covered with some fresh-turned earth. The body was that of August Tepfar. In the left side of the corpse was a deep stab, inflicted by a heavy knife, and sufficient of itself to cause death. To avoid detection, Seery had also stripped his victim naked, and had burned the clothes together with Tepfar's head in his own hut. As suspicion fell at once on Seery, Constable Lloyd followed his tracks up to the Twenty-five Mile Creek, where he was arrested near the house of Mr. Fraser. At the Grant lock-up, Seery violently resisted his shirt being taken away, which was covered with blood. Several little parcels of gold and money was found on his person, which were supposed to have belonged to Tepfar. Seery was convicted at the Criminal Session of the Circuit Court at Sale and was sentenced to death on 25 October 1870. He was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 14 November 1870, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Saturday, 24 September 1870, p. 6; Saturday, 15 October 1870, p. 6;  Saturday, 29 October 1870, p. 5; Tuesday, 15 November 1870, p 5; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 25 November 1870, p. 1726)

 

21 November 1870

Ross, Donald (age: 26 / White) - Queensland - Rockhampton

murder - victim: George Rose - committed on 4 March 1870 - sentenced on 6 October 1870

Donald Ross and Sarah Burgess Rose were charged at the Criminal Sittings of the Rockhampton Circuit Court on 3 October 1870 with the murder of George Rose, committed on 4 March 1870 at Springsure. Ross was a teamster, and lodged with his fellow-worker George Rose and his wife, Sarah Burgess Rose, in a hut close to a well. It appeared that a sexual relationship between Ross and Mrs. Rose had developed. Sarah Rose was in delicate health, and Donald Ross, during her illness, paid her unusual attention, washing and ironing for her. He was frequently in her bedroom. On the evening of the murder George Rose was at the boarding-house of Ah Lee, and he went away with Ross to take him home. That was the last time Rose was seen alive. On the morning of 4 March, his body was discovered in the well, a sack having been drawn down over the head. On his neck there were two large wounds which had been inflicted by a blow behind, from a tomahawk, almost severing the head from the body. Donald Ross, after trying to incriminate Jimmy Ah Nee, was convicted of murder and was sentenced to death on 6 October 1870, while Sarah Rose was acquitted. Ross was hanged at the Rockhampton Gaol on 21 November 1870, at 8 a.m. He left a written confession that he had committed the crime and exonerated Jimmy Ah Nee, at the same time stating that Sarah Burgess Rose had been the cause of the murder. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 46-47; The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 31 October 1870, p. 7; Saturday, 26 November 1870, p. 6; Rockhampton Bulletin, Tuesday, 4 October 1870, p. 2; Wednesday, 5 October 1870, p. 1; Thursday, 6 October 1870, p 2,3; Friday, 7 October 1870, p. 1; Tuesday, 22 November 1870, p. 2)

 

10 January 1871

Campbell, Robert (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Wagga Wagga

murder – victim: John Pohlman – committed on 13 March 1868 – sentenced on 4 October 1870

Robert Campbell (alias Robert Palmer) was charged at the Wagga Wagga Circuit Court on 4 October 1870 "with the wilful murder, at Yanco, Near Narandera, of John Pohlman, on or about the 13th March, 1868." Campbell was arrested at the Sheepwash Hotel, Oxley, on 10 July 1870, for the murder of the Pohlman brothers, John and Louis, because he answered the description of the murderer given in the search warrant. John and Louis Pohlman were two hawkers of German descent, who were last seen alive at Yanco on 13 March 1868. Their cart was found several days later abandoned near the road, the goods in the cart were much upset. A very large camp fire had been lit some 150 yards from the cart, the remains of which were examined and a quantity of buttons and pieces of human bones from two persons were found in it. Campbell had been seen in the neighbourhood at the time of the murder, accompanied by two other men, named Brett and Glover. In the days after 20 March he offered many goods, including watches,  to several people in the area, goods which resembled the ones offered by the Pohlman brothers. Henry Solomon of the firm of Myers and Solomon, Sydney, had sold them several double-cased geneva watches and recognized them at the trial. Robert Campbell was convicted of murder, and was sentenced to death on 4 October 1870. He was hanged at Wagga Wagga Gaol on 10 January 1871, at 9 a.m. Although he freely admitted deserving his sentence, he did not confess to the murder of the Pohlman brothers. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday, 14 January 1871, p. 5)

 

14 April 1871

Fannin, James (age: 40 / White) - Western Australia – Perth

rape – victim: Mary Dawes – committed on 24 November 1870 – sentenced on 5 April 1871

James Fannin (or Fanning), a conditional pardon man, was charged with the rape of 13-year-old Mary Dawes near the 23 Mile Station on the Albany road. Mary had been sent by her mother into the bush with her father's dinner and on her return Fannin, one of her Father's employees, met her, and having tied her to a tree with ropes committed the assault. Before releasing the girl he exacted from her a promise that she would not tell anybody about it, not even to her parents. Mary, however, told her parents immediately about the crime, after which Fannin absconded, taking with him a double-barrel gun. He lived in the timber ranges the life of an outlaw, until on 24 January 1871 he was captured by Constable Archdeacon, of the Canning. Fannin was convicted of rape at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 5 April 1871 and was sentenced to death. He was hanged at Perth Gaol on 14 April 1871. Fannin was the last man hanged for rape in Wester Australia and at the same time his execution was the first "private" one in that colony. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 21; The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times, Friday, 3 February 1871; Friday, 7 April 1871, p. 3; Friday, 14 April 1871)

 

15 May 1871

George (age unknown / Aborigine) - Rockhampton - Queensland

rape - victim: Ellen Manning - committed on 18 December 1870 - sentenced on 27 March 1871

George, an Aboriginal, was indicted at the Criminal Sittings of the Rockhampton Circuit Court on 27 March 1871, "for that he on the 18th day of December, 1870, at Gracemere, did feloniously and violently assault one ellen Manning." Ellen Manning, the wife of Peter Manning, met George on the railway line, near Gracemere, who there dragged her to the roadside, and raped her, threatening her life with a knife if she made a noise. After he let her go, she went to the house of William Davis, a railway labourer, and asked him for help. She was examined at her home by Dr. Salmond on the same day. Dr. Salmond found her much bruised, complaining at the same time of being in great pain.

George was arrested on the same day and was brought before the Police Magistrate on 19 December. When Sergeant Judge reported the details of the crime, Mr. Manning, who was one of the spectators, in a frenzy of excitement suddenly rose, seized the iron spikes that line the back of the dock, clambered up, and struck George once or twice violently on the head with his flat. The knife George had threatened Mrs. Manning with was later found in Mr. O'Rourke's stable. George was convicted of rape at the Rockhampton Assizes on 27 March 1871 and was sentenced to death. He was hanged at Rockhampton Gaol on 15 May 1871. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 48-49; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 28 March 1871, p. 2; Saturday, 27 May 1871, p. 4; Rockhampton Bulletin, Tuesday, 20 December 1870, p. 2; Friday, 23 December 1870, p. 1; Tuesday, 28 March 1871, p. 2; Tuesday, 16 May 1871, p. 2)

 

6 June 1871

Chong Gow (age unknown / Asian) – New South Wales – Deniliquin

murder – victim: Tommy Ah Gun – committed on 5 November 1870 – sentenced on 4 April 1871

Tommy Ah Gun, Wong Gee, Chong Gow, and Ah Yep were gardeners, living in a cottage near Hay. In mid-October, Gow, in the course of a dispute, said he was going to kill Tommy. Gow, on that occasion, wanted everyone to cut his own share of cabbages, and throw them into the river, and Tommy refused. On 5 November, Gee, on proceeding to dispose of cabbages, left Gow and Tommy in the garden; they were not quarrelling, but when he had got back to the gate after selling the cabbages, and had just entered the gate, Gow struck him on the side of the head with a spade, and following him to the back gate, struck him several other blows about the neck and head. He stopped only when some white people came up, to whom he stated that he had killed Tommy Ah Gun. The victim was found with a deep cut in his head. Gow seemed quite pleased that he had killed Gun, and asked the people to send for the police. He was charged with murder and was convicted at Deniliquin Circuit Court and sentenced to death on 4 April 1871. He was hanged at Deniliquin Gaol at 9 a.m. on 6 June 1871. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 17 November 1870, p. 4,5; Wednesday, 23 November 1870, p. 4; Saturday, 15 April 1871, p. 9; Tuesday, 13 June 1871, p. 5)

 

15 July 1871

Cody, Margaret (age unknown / White)

Davis, William (age unknown / White) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: James Holditch – committed on 4 March 1871 – sentenced on 6 July 1871

Margaret Cody and William Davis, murdered James Holditch, a Conditional Pardon man, at Fremantle on 4 March 1871. Holditch was an odd job man about the town, who occasionally saw Margaret Cody when Davis was absent. He had been employed by George Barker at the same time as Davis, and Davis was aware that Holditch had some money hidden away. Cody and Davis bashed him over the head with an axe and robbed him in their home, about Ό mile up from the Fremantle traffic bridge on the south side of the river. They left his body lying in the Swan River, where he was discovered in the morning by a woman driving cattle along the bank of the river. After the murder, they whitewashed their home of all bloodstains. Mrs. Cody was arrested on 19 March for being drunk, and Davis was arrested on the same day on the suspicion of having murdered Holditch. Mrs. Cody tried to incriminate a neighbour, Lavery, who proved to be innocent. After searching their home, the police found several pieces of clothes which had belonged to Holditch, as well as his spectacles. Cody and Davis were convicted of murder at the Criminal Session of the Supreme Court at Perth and were sentenced to death on 6 July 1871. They were hanged at Perth Gaol, Cody going to her death first and Davis about half an hour later. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 21-2; Perth Gazette and West Australian Times, Friday, 7 July 1871, p. 3)

 

13 October 1871

Briley (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Charley – committed on ? – sentenced on 5 October 1871

Briley (or Briarly), an Aborigine, was sentenced to death on 5 October for the murder of Charley, alias Wickin, also an Aborigine, committed in the Albany District. He was hanged at Perth Gaol at 8 a.m. on 13 October 1871, in the presence of the victim's wife. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 22; Perth Gazette & Western Australian Times, Friday, 6 October 1871; Friday 20 October 1871)

 

13 October 1871

Noorbung (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Margaret Mary McGowan – committed on 30 June 1871 – sentenced on 5 October 1871

Noorbung (or Noorabung) murdered 38-year-old Margaret Mary McGowan, wife of Philip John McGowan, mother of four children, on 30 June 1871, at Bojunup, in the Wellington District. She had been speared several times and was found by her husband behind the stables. Before the murder, Noorbung had met Philip McGowan in the field and asked him for food. McGowan had advised him to go to his house and ask his wife. Noorbung was sentenced on 5 October 1871 and was hanged at Perth Gaol at 8:30 a.m. on 13 October 1871. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 22; Perth Gazette & Western Australian Times, Friday, 6 October 1871; Friday 20 October 1871)

 

10 November 1871

Quinn, James (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Beechworth

murder – victim: Ah Woo – committed on 27 August 1871 – sentenced on 14 October 1871

Ah Woo and Ah Cow, Chinese pig dealers, travelled together in their cart from Bright to Myrtleford on Sunday, 27 August 1871, and in the afternoon went further along the road to Beechworth. Ah Woo was driving. After about 200 or 300 yards they were approached by James Quinn, who asked them for a ride for one mile. But Ah Woo replied that the horse was very tired, and they drove on, passing Quinn. Suddenly, Quinn jumped on the back of the cart, and got into it, kicking against a box. Ah Woo told him the box had something in it, and that he must not break it, handing him a bag of chaff to the back of the cart, telling him to sit upon it, which he did. They had gone about 10 yards when Ah Cow was struck by Quinn from behind with a piece of iron. When he came to his senses he saw that Quinn had taken hold of Ah Woo's tail, wielding a tomahawk in his other hand. Quinn chopped Ah Woo, who was standing on the road behind the cart, on the head twice. Ah Cow ran down the hill, meeting Constable Hogan, who immediately went to the place of the crime. Ah Cow had about £40 on his body in a belt, which were missing after Quinn's attack. Quinn had previously enquired for the cart and had obviously waited for the two men to rob them. James Quinn was convicted of murder at the Criminal Session of the Circuit Court at Beechworth and was sentenced to death on 14 October 1871. He was hanged at Beechworth Gaol 9 a.m. on 10 November 1871, protesting his innocence. (The Argus, Friday, 1 September 1871, p. 5; Monday, 11 September 1871, p. 5; Tuesday, 17 October 1871, p. 6; Tuesday, 14 November 1871, p. 6; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 17 November 1871, p. 2028)

 

10 November 1871

Jung, Carl (age: 35 / White) - South Australia - Mount Gambier

murder – victim: Thomas Garraway – committed on 29 June 1871 – sentenced on 20 October 1871

On 28 June 1871, Thomas Garraway, acting as an assistant bailiff of the Local Court of Mount Gambier, was sent to levy a distress warrant on the goods of Carl Jung, a German wine shopkeeper, residing near Blackwood Flat, a man with whom he had previously quarrelled. Garraway did not return to Mount Gambier, and enquiries resulted in the discovery that he had been murdered by Jung on 29 June, at a place about three miles from Jung's residence, called the Deep Gully. Garraway's body was found on 2 July with gunshot wounds in his head and side. The marks of Jung's feet were also discovered. He had followed Garraway, who was driving away the seized goods in a cart, to that point. Jung was arrested on 4 July and confessed to the murder in detail. On the day of the murder, after Garraway had arrived at his house, Jung had asked him to wait until he had gathered enough money to pay the demanded sum of £9, but when Jung left the house, Garraway took away his horse, cart and two pigs. Jung was convicted of murder at the Mount Gambier Circuit Court and was sentenced to death on 20 October 1871. Jung was hanged at Mount Gambier Gaol at 8 a.m. on 10 November 1871. (The South Australian Advertiser, Thursday, 6 July 1871, p. 2,3; Saturday, 11 November 1871; South Australian Register, Tuesday, 4 July 1871, p. 5; Tuesday, 11 July 1871, p. 3; Monday, 17 July 1871, p. 3; Wednesday, 25 October 1871, p. 3; Saturday, 11 November 1871, p. 5; Tuesday, 14 November 1871; Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 60)

 

4 December 1871

Geary, Patrick (age: about 50 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Thomas Brookhouse – committed on 28 Feb. 1854 – sentenced on 18 November 1871

Patrick Geary was "charged with the willful murder of a shepherd named Thomas Brookhouse, on February 28, 1854. Margaret Geary, his wife, was arraigned with him on a charge of being an accessory after the fact." In 1854 Brookhouse and Geary were shepherds in the employ of Mr. Hugh Murray, the owner of the Tea-tree station. Brookhouse was entrusted with the car of a flock of wethers, and it was his duty to occasionally supply Geary, who was camped about a mile from him in charge of a flock of lambing sheep, with mutton. About this time it was observed that sheep were constantly missing from this part of the run, and Brookhouse appeared to have complained on the subject. Suspicion fell on Geary, and he was observed by Mr. Murray. Shortly afterwards Brookhouse was missing from the station and no trace of him was found. After a time the search was discontinued. In 1869 it was determined to fence in the run, and a man and a boy, employed in erecting a stone fence, discovered, concealed under a number of stones, a human skeleton, which presented many of the peculiarities which it was known the missing man possessed. The police established a strong circumstantial case against Geary, who was convicted at the Criminal Session of the Supreme Court at Melbourne and was sentenced to death on 15 November 1871. Margaret Geary was acquitted. Patrick Geary was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 4 December 1871, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Saturday, 18 November 1871, p. 7; Monday, 20 November 1871, p. 6; Tuesday, 5 December 1871, p. 6; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 18 April 1871, p. 4; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 8 December 1871, p. 2153)

 

12 December 1871

McMahon, Michael (age: 60 / White) – New South Wales – Maitland

murder - victim: John Jones - committed on 5 June 1871 - sentenced on 21 October 1871

Michael McMahon (alias Mannion) was charged at the Maitland Circuit Court on 21 October 1871 "with having on the 5th June, 1871, at Hall's Creek, of malice aforethought, killed and murdered one John Jones." McMahon was arrested by Constable Michael Doyle on 7 June at Denman on the suspicion of having murdered John Jones. Jones was last seen alive in the company of McMahon. On being informed about the murder, Constable Doyle went to Hall's Creek, where he found a bullock dray and a wagon. Underneath the wagon was the dead body of Jones, concealed by blankets hanging from the top of the waggon. The victim's head showed three cuts, inflicted by an axe, which was found on the bullock dray. Jones had been killed at a camp fire some fifty yards from the road, and McMahon had drawn his body under the waggon. McMahon spent much money at Denman, paying with £1 notes, although he had plenty of silver coins, whereas before the murder he obviously didn't have any money. In his possession a coat, trousers and boots where found, which formerly belonged to Jones. He also passed a cheque he had obtained from Jones. McMahon was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 21 October 1871. He was hanged at Maitland Gaol on 12 December 1871, at 9 a.m. (The Maitland Mercury, Tuesday, 24 October 1871, p. 2; Thursday, 14 December 1871, p. 2; The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 25 October 1871, p. 2; Friday, 15 December 1871, p. 6)

 

2 January 1872

Kelly, Thomas (age: 27 / White) – New South Wales – Sydney

att. murder - victim: William McLaren - committed on10 August 1871 - sentenced on 13 November 1871

Thomas Kelly was convicted of highway robbery and was sent to Parramatta Gaol to serve his sentence as a stone-cutter under the charge of William McLaren. On 10 August 1871, a few minutes after nine a.m., McLaren entered the yard and called Kelly's attention to the fact that some stone he was breaking was not sufficiently reduced in size. Apparently he did not address him in any very harsh manner, but as McLaren turned to leave the spot, Kelly, without a word of warning, swung aloft the heavy stone-breaker's hammer he was using and struck McLaren with it upon the head, inflicting a frightful wound, and at once felling him to the ground. Kelly then struck him a second heavy blow upon the lower part of the face, completely smashing in the jaw. Any further violence was prevented by one of his fellow prisoners, who secured him until the warders came up. McLaren was in danger of his life for several weeks, and up to the last week of September he continued discharging brain matter. Kelly was charged at the Central Criminal Court on 13 November 1871 with wounding with intent to murder and was convicted and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol on 2 January 1872. Kelly maintained a stolid indifference to his fate, but when the executioner, Bull, was adjusting the rope round Kelly's neck Kelly turned round and kicked him violently in the stomach, and began to struggle. It took several warders to secure him. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday, 11 August 1871, p. 5; Tuesday, 14 November 1871, p. 5,6; Wednesday, 3 January 1872, p. 4)

 

15 February 1872

Charcoal (age unknown / Aborigine)

Tommy (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Samuel Wells Lazenby – committed on 7 August 1871 – sentenced on 7 February 1872

On 5 August 1871, Samuel Lazenby went in a dingy to Bedun Island about 5 miles off the North West Coast, near Onslow, along with his servant, Joe Murray, and three other Aborigines from the Ashburton area, Charcoal, Tommy, and Johnny. Although Lazenby intended to return on the following day, he was never seen alive again. Johnny returned to the cutter of Thomas Roberton, from where Lazenby had started his journey, on 12 August, telling Roberton something which aroused his suspicion. Charley, another  Aborigine, later testified at the trial, that he was told that Tommy had attacked the sleeping Lazenby with an axe, hitting him over the head and beating him to death. They also cut off his feet. Corporal Richard Vincent arrested Charcoal, and later, on 30 October, Tommy, and finally Charley. With them he went to Bedun Island and found the body of Lazenby, with two large fractures in his skull inflicted by an axe. Joe Murray was also never seen again alive, he probably drowned in the sea when the dingy overturned near the coast. Corporal Vincent did not succeed in arresting Johnny. Charcoal and Tommy were convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Special Session of the Supreme Court at Perth on 7 February 1872 and were hanged at Perth Gaol eight days later. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 22; The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times, Friday, 9 February 1872, p. 3)

 

14 May 1872

Feeney, Edward (age: 38 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Charles Marks – committed on 5 March 1872 – sentenced on 17 April 1872

Edward Feeney was indicted at the Melbourne Criminal Sessions on 16 April 1872 for the murder of Charles Marks in the Treasury Gardens on 5 March, 1872. Feeny and Marks had been wardsmen at the Melbourne Hospital, and both left about the beginning of February. Marks became a steward on board the Edina steamer. About the same time Feeney tried to commit suicide by taking laudanum, and there was great difficulty in saving his life. Feeney and Marks were seen constantly together, being very good friends. On the afternoon of 5 March, the report of a pistol was heard in the Treasury Gardens. Feeney and Marks were found lying on their backs, Feeney smoking a cigar, but Marks was quite dead. Feeney declared that they had come there to die together, but that Marks had not been able to shoot Feeney. From several letters between the two men it became apparent that Marks had a hold over Feeney, and that Feeney was desirous of getting Marks out of the way. Feeney seemed to be completeley the tool and under the control of Marks, who was the directing person in all transactions. It was also observed that there was an unusual fondness on the part of Marks towards Feeney. Feeney was convicted of murder and was sentenced to death on 17 April 1872. He was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 14 May 1872, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Wednesday, 6 March 1872, p. 5,6; Thursday, 7 March 1872, p. 6; Friday, 8 March 1872, p. 6; Thursday, 18 April 1872, p. 6; Wednesday, 15 May 1872, p. 5; Victoria Government Gazette, Thursday, 23 May 1872, p. 461)

 

20 May 1872

Wilkie, James (age: 28 / White) – Victoria – Castlemaine

murder – victim: Henry Pensom – committed on 27 February 1872 – sentenced on 24 April 1872

James Wilkie was charged at the Criminal Sessions of the Circuit Court at Castlemaine on 23 April 1872 with the murder of Henry Pensom, committed at Daylesford on 27 February 1872. The body of Henry Pensom, a young wood-carter of Raglan Street in Daylesford, was found murdered in the abandoned shaft of the Fountain Head G. M. Company on 28 February. He had evidently been killed by a fearful blow with a blunt instrument behind the left ear and then tumbled into the excavation. In falling the legs had crossed the centreing, and so held him up. Suspicion pointed to Pensom's cousin, James Wilkie, residing with Pensom, who was arrested immediately. Wilkie had told Pensom's brothers that he had paid him on Tuesday night £150 for a share in the business. Wilkie, however, could not explain where he had obtained this amount, nor produce a receipt. Wilkie had closed his bank account on 27 November 1871, and probably had no money at the end of February 1872. He was last seen in company of his victim and his clothes were found to be unusually dirty when he returned home. He produced a purse which had belonged to Pensom, saying Pensom had borrowed him that purse the night before. Wilkie was convicted of murder and was sentenced to death on 24 April 1872. He was hanged at Castlemaine Gaol on 20 May 1872, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Saturday, 2 March 1872, p. 1; Tuesday, 5 March 1872, p. 6,7; Friday, 26 April 1872, p. 7; Tuesday, 21 May 1872, p. 4,5; Wednesday, 22 May 1872, p. 4,5; Victoria Government Gazette, Thursday, 23 May 1872, p. 461)

 

28 May 1872

Dugald (age: about 22 / Aborigine) - Queensland - Brisbane

rape - victim: Mrs. Hutchinson - committed on 23 March 1872 - sentenced in late April 1872

In the morning of 23 March 1872, Mrs. Hutchinson, living on the Imbil Road between Gympie and Maryborough, saw four Aborigines coming down the hill from above her house. Two of them, named Dandine (alias Sandy) and Dugald (alias Johnny), came into the yard and asked her for flour and tobacco, which she gave them, the other two remaining some distance away. Upon receiving the goods they gave them to the other two, sending them on to the Imbil Road. Dandine and Dugald then returned to the house and after staying there for two hours, Dandine began to talk to Mrs. Hutchinson in an improper manner, and made an indecent proposal, after which they were ordered out of the yard. Soon after Dandine caught her by the shoulder, knocked her down, struck her her across the shoulders with a waddy, and dragged her to the door of the house, Dugald helping him to drag her into the bedroom. One of them raised a tomahawk over her, and threatened to kill her. Dugald then raped her, Dandine keeping her children (aged 6 and 4) out of the way. After this they sent her out of the house and plundered her premises, taking away a silver watch  and other goods. Mrs. Hutchinson went to the next neighbours, but on returning the men had left. They were soon arrested and convicted and sentenced to death at the Maryborough Circuit Court in late April. While Dandine's sentence was commuted to penal servitude for life, Dugald was hanged at Brisbane Gaol on 28 May 1872, at 8 a.m. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 50-51; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 30 March 1872, p. 4; Saturday, 18 May 1872, p. 4; Wednesday, 29 May 1872, p. 2,3; The Queenslander, Saturday, 4 May 1872, p. 4)

 

29 May 1872

Collins, Patrick (age: 27 / White) - Queensland - Brisbane

murder - victim: Simon Zieman - committed on 21 November 1871 - sentenced on 14 May 1872

Patrick Collins was charged at the Circuit Court at Toowoomba on 6 May 1872 "for that he, on the 21st November, 1871, at Gunda-Gunda Creek, did feloniously kill one Simon Zieman." Simon Zieman was a storekeeper at St. George, in partnership with his brother, Lewis Zieman. He left the place on the morning of 20 November on foot, for the purpose of visiting Wagaby station, situated about half a mile distant from St. George, and was never seen alive again. His body was found floating in the Gunda-Gunda Creek, face downward, on 26 November. Near the creek, the tracks of a man and horse were found. These tracks led the police to Collins, who had left his boots with a shoemaker named Overs for repairs. Zieman's shirt, trousers and bridle were taken from Collins' sister, Catherine Beckett, on 27 November. Collins had tried to cash an unsigned cheque over £33, which had belonged to Simon Zieman. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 14 May 1872. It was only after his trial that Collins confessed that he waylaid Zieman at Gunda-Gunda Creek, on the afternoon of 21 November, and, presenting a pistol at him, demanded his money, and ordered him to strip. After he received the clothes, he struck Zieman at the back of his head with the pistol, killing him instantly. He rifled the body, expecting in vain to find some £800. He later returned to the place and disposed of the body and several articles belonging to Zieman, where they were later found. Patrick Collins was hanged at the Brisbane Gaol on 29 May 1872, at 8 a.m. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 52-53; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 11 May 1872, p. 5,6; Monday, 13 May 1872, p. 3; Tuesday, 14 May 1872, p. 5; Thursday, 16 May 1872, p. 2 + 3;  Friday, 17 May 1872, p. 2 + 3; Thursday, 30 May 1872, p. 3)

 

4 June 1872

Conn, John (age: 59 / White) – New South Wales – Bathurst

murder - victim: Emmeline Littler - committed on 7 March 1872 - sentenced on 30 April 1872

John Conn, alias Coyne, a native from Galway, Ireland, was indicted at the Bathurst Circuit Court on 30 April 1872 "for that he, on the 7th day of March, 1872, near Windeyer, did feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, kill and murder one Emmeline Littler." On 7 March 1872, Conn came into Windeyer, and told senior constable McEvoy the strange story that he had been travelling about an hour before in a one horse cart accompanied by an old woman, whom he did not know, and whom he had picked up two miles from Gulgong, his wife and daughter travelling in advance of him; on top of the hill, the old woman fell on the weel, clasped the pike of the wheel and grasped it; the horse moved on, the wheel turning round twice, tearing her to pieces and killing her at once; he put the body in the back of the cart and covered it with a tarpaulin. Upon examining the body, a hole at the back of the woman's right ear was observed, and McEvoy later found a tomahawk on the cart, which had been washed, but blood stains were visible on the blade and handle. Stains of blood were also seen on Conn's clothes, therefore McEvoy arrested Conn on 8 March. Two days later Conn tried to incriminate his wife of killing Mrs. Littler. Conn was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 30 April. He was hanged at Bathurst Gaol on 4 June 1872, at 9 a.m. Conn was decapitated by the force of the drop his body falling into the pit, while the head was left dangling in the noose. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 5 June 1872, p. 5; Friday, 7 June 1872, p. 6)

 

18 June 1872

Lester, Alfred (age: 20 / White)

Nichols, George Robert (age: 36 / White) – New South Wales – Sydney

murder - victim: William Percy Walker - committed on 13 March 1872 - sentenced on 21 May 1872

George Robert Nichols and Alfred Lester (alias James Fronde) were jointly indicted at the Central Criminal Court at Sydney on 20 May 1872 "for that they, on the 13th day of March last, on the Parramatta River, did feloniously kill and murder one William Percy Walker." Nichols lured Walker in a letter written by himself, signed with the name of Arthur T. Norton, to the Parramatta River Wharf under the pretense of offering him a job for the salary of 30 s. a week. On 13 March, Walker arrived there in a cab, taking with him a trunk, hailed by Lester and Nichols. Walker was to be taken in a boat to the presumed premises of the Norton family, who did only exist in the makeup of Nichols and Lester, leaving behind his trunk at a public house, as it was ostensibly too big for the boat. Walker's body was found six days later at Five Dock Bay, on the Parramatta River, in shallow water, the head downwards. A deep wound was found on the back of his skull, inflicted by a "life preserver," later found in possession of Nichols and Lester. Blood was found on the sails of the boat the two men returned on 14 March to its owner. Both men called at the public house and took away the trunk; they rifled it and store it away at a house at Holt Street in Strawberry Hills, giving a false account of themselves there. Nichols was arrested on 16 March, and Lister five days later. A watch, owned by Walker, was found in Nichols possession. Both men were convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 21 May 1872. Lester and Nichols were hanged at Darlinghurst gaol on 18 June 1872, at 9 a.m. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 21 May 1872, p. 2; Wednesday, 22 May 1872, p. 2,3; Wednesday, 19 June 1872, p. 5; Queanbeyan Age, Thursday, 27 June 1872, p. 3)

 

12 October 1872

McKean, Peter (age: 43 / White) - Western Australia – Albany

murder – victim: William Marriott – committed 30 June 1872 – sentenced on 25 September 1872

Peter McKean (alias William McDonald), a bond man, was convicted and sentenced to death at Albany Circuit Court on 25 September 1872 for the murder of William "Yorkie" Marriott, a Ticket of Leave man, committed on 30 June 1872. Both men had been employed by Thomas Norrish of Eticup near Broomehill. McKean had been living together with Marriott for about two or three weeks but supposedly went to Albany to transact some business. Marriott was reputed to be very careful with his money and had a considerable amount hidden away. After robbing Marriott, McKean killed him with an axe. Marriott's body was found on 8 July 1872, lying behind a cart not far from his hut. His head was gnawed away by dogs, so Marriott was only recognized by the loss of a finger on the right hand. After his arrest McKean stated that Marriott had been killed by "a vicious horse," but couldn't prove it. He was hanged at Albany on 12 October 1872 by a fellow convict, George Marshall, in the presence of many spectators, including schoolchildren. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 22-3; Albany Public Library, MD 2005.655, information collected by Dora Bulbeck; Scoop, Autumn 2009, p. 74)

 

11 March 1873

Wright, Samuel (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Castlemaine

attempted murder – victim: Arthur Hagan – committed on 2 August 1872 – sentenced on 17 February 1873

In the morning of 2 August 1872, Arthur Hagan, a digger living in a hut at Dead Horse Flat, heard a woman screaming "murder" and went down to where he heard the screams - about 100 yards away form his hut. He saw Samuel Wright having hold of a young woman named Anastasia Maher, his former paramour, and beating her with a hammer-headed driving pick. He told Wright to leave her alone, and Wright made at him with the pick, holding it with both hands. Hagan being unarmed, he retreated some 10 or 15 yards, but Wright struck him on the head, and knocked him down. Then Wright struck him a second blow on the left shoulder, and was about striking him a third blow when a man named West came and knocked Wright down, sat on him, and held him by each wrist. Hagan got up, and struck Wright three or four times on the mouth, as he was trying to bite West's hand. A group of diggers then came up and tied Wright. Hagan was taken to a doctor and next found himself in hospital, having a compound fracture on the right side of his skull; his left arm remained paralysed. Wright was convicted of wounding with intent to murder at the Criminal Sessions of the Circuit Court at Sandhurst and was sentenced to death on 17 February 1873. He was hanged at Castlemaine Gaol on 11 March 1873 at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Monday, 6 January 1873, p. 2; Wednesday, 12 March 1873, p. 6; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 14 March 1873, p. 461)

 

8 April 1873

McCrow, William (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Sydney

murder - victim: Margaret Ward - committed on 4 December 1872 - sentenced on 21 February 1873

William McCrow was charged at the Central Criminal Court on 21 February 1873 "with having, on the 4th of December last, at Sydney, in the colony of New South Wales, wilfully, maliciously, and of his malice aforethought, killed and murdered one Margaret Ward." McCrow was lodging at the house of Margaret Ward and her husband, John, at Woolloomooloo. On the night of 4 December, about 9 o'clock, all were together in the house. Mr. Ward went to bed, leaving the two down below. His wife then apparently went into the front room to make up a bed for McCrow. Shortly afterwards Ward heard McCrow call out to him that he had cut his wife's throat. When Ward came down to see for his wife, he saw McCrow bleeding from the throat and found his wife with her head nearly severed from the cut. A doctor was called, and McCraw was taken to the Infirmary after his wound had been sewn up. There he made a statement, written down by a constable sitting at his bed. The reason for the murder apparently was McCrow's jealousy of Mrs. Ward's alleged intimacy with a man named Houghton. Mr. Ward had noticed nothing of it, and the relationship was highly unlikely. McCrow probably suffered from delusions and monomania. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 21 February 1873. William McCrow was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol on 8 April 1873, at 9 a.m., along with Thomas Scource. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday, 22 February 1873, p. 8; Wednesday, 9 April 1873, p. 4,5)

 

8 April 1873

Scource, Thomas (age: about 45 / White) – New South Wales – Sydney

murder - victim: Elizabeth Bodelia Lee - committed on 1 Feb. 1873 - sentenced on 18 February 1873

Thomas Scource was charged at the Central Criminal Court on 18 February 1873 "for that on the 1st February, 1873, in the harbour of Port Jackson, he did feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, kill and murder one Elizabeth Bodelia Lee." 55-year-old Mrs. Lee had taken several drinks at Queen's Warf, on the evening of Saturday, 1 February 1873, and was last seen alive stepping into the boat of one Mr. Dower, in which boat Thomas Scource was sitting. He had told several people that he was about to take Mrs. Lee to the North Shore. However, on the following morning, her dead body was found at the beach of Cremorne. Her head showed thirteen wounds, including one deep cut on the centre of her forehead, inflicted by a blunt instrument, probably the sculls which were later found apart from the boat. Mr. Dower's boat was besmeared with blood from stem to stern, and there were large patches of blood in it. Scource was immediately interrogated but stated that he didn't know anything about how the blood came into the boat. There was, however, blood on his own clothes, and he had been seen stepping out of the boat on early Sunday morning. Two men on different boats had heard Mrs. Lee's cries, and one also recognized Scource's voice, who had assured him that Mrs. Lee simply was tipsy. Scource was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 18 February 1873. He was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol on 8 April 1873, at 9 a.m., along with William McCrow. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 19 February 1873, p. 9; Wednesday, 9 April 1873, p. 4,5)

 

12 May 1873

Brady, Thomas (age unknown / White)

Smith, James (age: about 33 / White) – Victoria – Beechworth

murder – victim: John Watt – committed on 15 October 1872 – sentenced on 18 April 1873

John Watt kept a hotel at Woragee. In the evening of 15 October 1872, his wife observed two men coming along street, and a short time later, she heard someone knocking at the door of the hotel. Her husband opened, and she could hear him arguing with someone, and then heard him coming fast back again and immediately after it she heard the report of a gun. John Watt was shot in his breast, mortally wounded, and he died on 25 October. John Alexander Kennedy, who had been standing several feet behind Watt, was also wounded in the arm from the same shot. Thomas Brady, James Smith and William Happenstein were arrested on 19 October and first charged with wounding with intent to murder, which was later changed to a charge of murder. Watt on his deathbed identified Smith as one of his assailants, and declared that Happenstein was very like one of the men. Circumstantial evidence was brought together to prove their identity, and at their trial, Brady and Smith were found guilty upon the testimony of Happenstein, who was also involved in several of other crimes they committed. Brady and Smith were convicted at the Criminal Session of the Circuit Court at Beechworth and were sentenced to death on 18 April 1873. They were hanged at Beechworth Gaol on 12 May 1873, shortly after 7 a.m. (The Argus, Thursday, 24 October 1872, p. 7; Wednesday, 30 October 1872, p. 7; Monday, 4 November 1872, p. 1; Tuesday, 5 November 1872, p. 6; Tuesday, 22 April 1873, p. 6; Thursday, 15 May 1873, p. 2; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 16 May 1873, p. 862)

 

20 May 1873

Borbun, Pierre (age: about 35 / White) – Victoria – Castlemaine

murder – victim: Sarah Smith – committed on 30 March 1873 – sentenced on 29 April 1873

At about half past 11 a.m. on 30 March 1873, Mounted-constable Lee, stationed at Kangaroo Flat, was accosted by a man labouring under great excitement who informed him that "the damned Frenchman had come back to his house again and had shot his wife." The man was Charles Smith, who kept a public house called the White Swan at Sunrise Gully, and who had been married to Sarah Smith since 1859. The Frenchman was Pierre Borbun (or Barburn / Borhuu, a native of Guernsey), a miner, who had had constant drinking bouts for three years at Smith's pub, and who had caused endless rows and disturbances there. Constable Lee found the body of Sarah Smith at the back door of the pub, lying doubled up, on her face and hands, surrounded by blood. The bullet had shattered her left hand and penetrated her chest. A double-barrelled pistol recently discharged was found in front of Borbun's hut. Lee apprehended Borhun shortly afterward, who readily admitted that he had shot Mrs. Smith. He had gone to the pub, carrying the loaded pistol with him, and kicked at the door, asking to be supplied with drink. Smith refused to serve him anything, and Borhun then broke in the door, on which Smith went for the police, leaving his wife alone in the house. It was alleged that Borhun and Sarah Smith had had a sexual relationship, and they probably had a quarrel, she desiring no more of his society. Borhun was convicted at the Criminal Session of the Circuit Court at Sandhurst and was sentenced to death on 26 April 1873. He was hanged at Castlemaine Gaol on 20 May 1873, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Tuesday, 1 April 1873, p. 2; Wednesday, 2 April 1873, p. 7; Wednesday, 21 May 1873, p. 7; The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 30 April 1873, p. 5; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 30 May 1873, p. 977)

 

1 July 1873

Krauss, Wilhelm (age: 34 / White) – New South Wales – Sydney

murder – victim: James Longmuir - committed on 16 March 1873 - sentenced on 2 June 1873

Wilhelm Krauss (or William Cross, a native from Germany) was indicted at the Central Criminal Court on 2 June 1873 "for the wilful murder of James Longmuir, on board the British ship Rifleman, on the high seas on the 16th March, 1873." Krauss had joined the ship a few days before she left London, and acted as steward. James Longmuir was captain of the Rifleman. On the morning of 16 March (in latitude 31.35 S., longitude 34 W.), Krauss came to the chief officer, George Morgan, and told him the captain wanted to see him. When Morgan entered the captain's cabin, he received two violent blows on his head. Despite his wounds Morgan was able to grapple with him and flung him down. When he told the boatswain, John Nicoll, to hold on Krauss' hands; but instead, Nicoll held him by the collar, and then Krauss drew a pistol and shot Nicoll. Other members of the crew came and overpowered Krauss. After this they discovered the captain in his bed, with a large cut over his head, and a piece of log-line twice round his neck, murdered in his sleep. On the day before, there had been a quarrel between Longmuir and Krauss. The captain had struck Krauss, who then threatened him, telling him he would have to look out for himself. Krauss probably planned to kill the whole crew, as seven log-lines and two pistols were found on him. He was taken to Sydney, where the ship arrived on 9 May, and was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 2 June. Krauss was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol on 1 July 1873, shortly after 9 a.m. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 20 May 1873, p. 4; The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 3 June 1873, p. 2; Wednesday, 2 July 1873, p. 4,5)

 

11 August 1873

Wallace, Oscar (age unknown / Black) – Victoria – Ballarat

rape – victim: Mary Cook – committed on 4 July 1873 – sentenced on 24 July 1873

Mary Cook and her husband lived at Mount Beckworth, six miles from Clunes. On 4 July 1873, Samuel Cook left his wife and children in the morning, working as a clerk and herdsman. About a quarter of an hour later, Oscar Wallace (or James, alias Hasker, a "Negro," probably a native from the Danish Virgin Islands) stood at the door, head and waist covered by two bags, demanding entrance. He threatened Mrs. Cook, who was holding her baby on her arms, with a knife, and had all doors shut. He asked for a gun, which was delivered to him. Then he forced her daughter Mary to take the baby and he took Mrs. Cook to another room, where he raped her. He left the house with the gun. Mrs. Cook went to the nearest neighbour's house and made a complaint there. Her husband returned in the afternoon and she told him about the crime and  described the man, whom she had been able to see through the bag he tried to use to conceal his face with. Wallace, who committed a shooting with intent to murder on 6 July and a highway robbery on the following day, was arrested on 10 July and committed to the Ballarat Circuit Court on each charge. He was convicted of rape and was sentenced to death on 24 July 1873. Oscar Wallace was hanged at Ballarat Gaol on 11 August 1873. On the night before his execution, "he indulged in whistling, singing, and dancing, or in the use of the foulest of language," and "danced a kind of jig to a tune he hummed to himself." (The Argus, Wednesday, 9 July 1873, p. 1; Friday, 11 July 1873, p. 5; Friday, 18 July 1873, p. 3; Wednesday, 23 July 1873, p. 7; Saturday, 26 July 1873, p. 6; Tuesday, 12 August 1873, p. 6; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 29 August 1873, p. 1530)

 

16 October 1873

Garadie (age unknown / Aborigine)

Muregelly (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Francis Dunn – committed on 5 October 1865 – sentenced on 3 October 1873

3-year-9months-old Francis Edward William Dunn from Yanganoowa was last seen alive on 3 October 1873, when he dined with his parents. The boy had active habits and wandered several hundred yards away from home, and did not return in the evening. Despite an extensive search, the boy could not be discovered. It was only in April 1866, that parts of his body were found in the Megrew Well, 16 miles distant from Yanganooka. And it took until July 1873, that Muregelly was arrested on a charge of being concerned in the boy's murder. He confessed, saying that he and three other Aborigines, among them Garadie and Billon, were coming from the Geraldine Mine, and they saw little Francis picking gum. Garadie went up to the boy and caught him by the back of the neck; Francis began to scream, and the man hit him with a dowak, killing him on the spot. They then made a fire and roasted him; three of them held him while the other cut him up, and they all eat a portion of him. Some of the larger bones, the skull and the feet, were collected and put in the child's clothing and thrown down Megrew Well. Garadie and Billon were arrested on 9 August 1873 and they were charged with murder, together with Muregelly. At their trial at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 3 October 1873, Billon turned evidence against the other two, who were convicted and sentenced to death. Garadie and Muregelly were hanged at Perth Gaol on 16 October 1873. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 23-4; Perth Gazette and West Australian Times, Friday, 10 October 1873, p. 3; Friday, 17 October 1873, p. 3)

 

23 December 1873

Jarvis, Henry Vincent (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Sydney

murder - victim: James Moggeridge - committed on 23 July 1873 - sentenced on 21 November 1873

Henry Vincent Jarvis was indicted at the Central Criminal Court on 19 November 1873 "for that he, on the 23rd of July, 1873, at Vittoria, on the Orange Road, did feloniously kill and murder one James Moggeridge." Jarvis was arrested on 29 July. He told the constable that he had left his employer  Moggeridge near Baker's on the Orange Road, after a quarrel with Moggeridge, calling him a disagreeable old fellow. The remains of James Moggeridge were found on 26 July in a fire on the Orange Road, close to where an encampment of two drays had recently been made. He had been killed with an axe also found on the premises, and then been charred. Several bones were secured out of the ashes. A second fire had been made to burn Moggeridge's clothes. A chain of circumstantial evidence connected Jarvis with the murder, being the last man to be seen in company of his victim. The most important piece of evidence was the pocket-book, which had shortly before been mended by Mrs. Sarah Thompson, and which was seen afterwards in the hands of Jarvis. When Jarvis left Bathurst gaol in May after serving time for larceny he had no money, but after 23 July, he spent a lot of money. Moggeridge was known to have plenty of money on his person, just having cashed in a cheque for £17 11s. 5d. in Orange. Vincent was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 21 November 1873. He was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol on 23 December 1873. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 20 November 1873, p. 7; Friday, 21 November 1873, p. 6; Saturday, 22 November 1873, p. 5; Wednesday, 24 December 1873, p. 5)

 

30 December 1873

Woolcock, Elizabeth Lillian (age: 26 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Thomas Woolcock – committed on 4 Sept. 1873 – sentenced on 4 December 1873

Elizabeth Woolcock married Thomas Woolcock, a miner, at North Yelta, in the Moonta district, in May 1867 against the advice of her stepfather and soon discovered that her husband was a heavy drinker. Woolcock maltreated his wife, wouldn't allow her to leave the house and didn't give her enough money to keep household. She bought some poison, mercury, which she gave into his food over the period of at least three months. Several medical practitioners attended Woolcock in July and August, he suffering from fever and vomiting. He died on 4 September 1873. There were immediate rumours that he was poisoned. On the following day his home was searched, and several bottles were secured. In the medical examination, an excessive amount of mercury (one and a half grain) was found in Woolcock's liver.  Elizabeth Woolcock was charged with murder, found guilty and sentenced to death at the Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court at Adelaide on 4 December 1873. The jury recommended mercy on account of her youth. Elizabeth Woolcock was hanged at the Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 30 December 1873. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 61-2; The South Australian Advertiser, Wednesday, 3 December 1873, p. 5; Thursday, 4 December 1873, p. 2,3; Friday, 5 December 1873, p. 2; Saturday, 20 December 1873, p. 2; Wednesday, 31 December 1873, p. 2; South Australian Register, Wednesday, 31 December 1873, p 5)

 

1 January 1874

Ridgway, William (age: 19 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Frederick Burt – committed on 5 June 1873 – sentenced on 11 December 1873

William Ridgway killed Frederick Burt (aged about 41) at Coonatto on 5 June 1873. They had been employed at Stoke's Run near Coonatto since December 1872, and both left the employ on the morning of 5 June 1873. Burt received a cheque over £13 19s 10d. Ridgway and Burt had one horse between them carrying both their swags. Ridgway was next seen at about 3 p.m. at Pinda, alone on horseback, with one swag in front of him. Blood was noticed on his trousers. It was not until 23 July that Burt's dead body was found by police-troopers, after a boy found it accidentally four miles south of Coonatto. Burt had been killed with a stirrup iron as he walked with Ridgway side by side through the scrub. Ridgway concealed Burt's body under some bushes, and put his swag to a fence. He stole Burt's cheque and  changed it on 9 June at Mr. Marshall's store in Melrose. This cheque was produced at his trial as evidence for the murder. Ridgway stood trial at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Adelaide, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 11 December 1873. He was hanged at Adelaide gaol shortly after 8 a.m. on 1 January 1874. William Ridgway was the youngest man hanged in South Australia. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 63; The South Australian Advertiser, Wednesday, 10 December 1873, p. 2; Thursday, 11 December 1873, p. 2,3; Friday, 12 December 1873, p. 2,3; Friday, 2 January 1874, p. 7; South Australian Register, Friday, 2 January 1874, p. 5)

 

13 January 1874

Goswell, Robert (age: 39 / White) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Mary Ann Lloyd – committed on 1 December 1873 – sentenced on 26 December 1873

Goswell, a bond man, murdered 20-year-old Mary Ann Lloyd at Beverley on 1 December 1873. He had been living with her for some time, but she left him to live with a sandalwood cutter, John Doran. On the day of the murder he went to the house where Lloyd and Doran lived at York and ostensibly demanded money he had given her to be returned. She laughed at him, after which he shot her to death with his gun. He immediately went to York giving himself up to the Police, and made a full confession of his crime. He stood trial at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth and was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 26 December 1873. Goswell was hanged at Perth Gaol on 13 January 1874. He went willingly to his death. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 24; The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times, Friday, 5 December 1873, p. 3; Friday, 2 January 1874, p. 3)

 

10 March 1874

Garbett, John (age: 36 / White) - Queensland - Brisbane

murder - victim: Thomas Conroy - committed on 8 September 1873 - sentenced on 5 February 1874

John Garbett was charged at the Toowoomba Circuit Court on 2 February 1874 "that he did on Monday, the 8th September 1873, feloniously, and with malice aforethought, murder one Thomas Conroy, at Bungaban station. Garbett and Conroy were employed with Mr. Charles Bell, and were paid off in the first days of September 1873. They left Bungaban on 8 September, Conroy walking the telegraph line to Carrabah with a dark roan horse and a filly about the same colour, while several fellow-workers took the longer dray road. Garbett joined him with his dark roan mare. Michael Bray (or Brady), the owner of the filly, met Garbett on the following day, dressed in Conroy's best Sunday clothes, being in possession of all three horses. On being asked about the whereabouts of Conroy, Garbett told Bray that Conroy was drinking at Taroom. Bray became suspicious and on 10 September, he went to Taroom, and inquired for Conroy, but couldn't find him. On the next day, James Porter, a stockman from Carrabah, detected a fire about one mile from the station, some bones sticking out of the fire, and a pool of blood on one side of it. Garbett had obviously battered Conroy's head in, and two days later burned his body to ashes. His tracks were found near the fire. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 5 February 1874. Garbett was hanged at Brisbane Gaol on 10 March 1874, at 8 a.m. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 54-55; The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 4 February 1874, p. 3; Thursday, 5 February 1874, p. 3; Friday, 6 February 1874, p. 2; Wednesday, 11 March 1874, p. 2,3)

 

4 April 1874

Gill, John (age: 50 / White) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: William Foster – committed on 13 February 1874 – sentenced on 18 March 1874

John Gill, alias James Goodall, a Bond man, was employed by William Foster at the Narrogin Arms (now Armadale). Foster's daughter, Matilda, deposed that Gill complained to her that the meat given to him to eat was not satisfactory. Gill had been in a discontented mood for some days previously. Matilda Foster told Gill that the food was the same as the family had been partaking of, but Gill expressed a desire to leave. He spoke to Foster on the subject and showed him a piece of meat on the end of a fork which he thrust in his face. Foster took the meat off the fork and threw it at Gill, who said he would never leave anyone to strike him twice. Later in the day all ill feeling on the part of Gill appeared to have subsided, and he expressed a desire to let bygones be bygones. After ten, Gill was found missing, and Foster took a lighted lantern and went across the yard to search for Gill. He had not gone many yards in the direction of Gill's bedroom when his daughter saw the flash and heard the report of a gun. Foster had been struck by a bullet in his side and was staggering about with the lantern still in his hand, exclaiming that he had been shot by Gill. Foster died early on the following morning. Gill was arrested three days later and was charged with murder. He was convicted at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth and was sentenced to death on 18 March 1874. He was hanged at Perth Gaol on 4 April 1874. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 24-6; The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times, Friday, 20 March 1874, p. 3)

 

19 May 1874

Glover, John (age: 21 / White) – New South Wales – Goulburn

murder – victim: William Piety - committed on 6 December 1873 - sentenced on 8 April 1874

On 6 December 1873 Alexander Barrett, a magistrate at Bolairo (thirty miles from Cooma), received information by Frederick Glover that his son, John Glover, had killed a man named William Piety (or Petty), a "half-caste" and went to arrest John Glover on the same day. The young man readily admitted that he had killed Piety and took Barrett to the hole, a portion of the creek, where he had hidden Piety's dead body. Piety had one wound across the bridge of the nose to the cheek bone, inflicted by an axe, which had caused immediate death. Glover had killed him in his own bedroom, for no apparent reason. A cheque for £5 3s. 5d. was found on Piety's body, so the motive of robbery could be ruled out. Glover's sister as well as his former employer, Mr. Davis, testified that John Glover had not been in his right mind in the last two years, threatening to kill his father, mother and sister. He had once been sent to Cooma for "being of unsound mind."  However, Dr. Selby Mars Morton testified that upon examination he had not been able to detect any traces of insanity in Glover. John Glover was convicted of murder at the Goulburn Circuit Court and was sentenced to death on 8 April. Two surgeons were appointed to make an enquiry about his sanity, and both found him sane. John Glover was hanged at Goulburn Gaol on 19 May 1874, shortly after 9 a.m., along with John Hawthorne. On the scaffold he struggled violently and resisted to the last. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 4 May 1874, p. 3,4; The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday, 11 April 1874, p. 5; Wednesday, 20 May 1874, p. 5; The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 21 May 1874, p. 2; Queanbeyan Age, Saturday, 23 May 1874, p. 2)

 

19 May 1874

Hawthorne, John (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Goulburn

Attempted murder – victim: James Slocombe - committed on 5 January 1874 - sentenced on 9 April 1874

On 5 January 1874, James Slocombe, a cattle dealer, went from Goulburn to the Bland; on the road to Wheeo he met John Hawthorne near Knox's Hill and passed him without exchanging words, but Hawthorne came on shortly afterwards and they began a conversation; after going a mile together Slocombe pushed on and Hawthorne cantered off with him for some time, but Hawthorne suddenly rode up to Slocombe's side and pointed a revolver at him, ordering him to get off his horse and to make off into the bush, which Slocombe did. He tied him to a tree, took all his money, watch and chain,and a gold signet ring and finally tied his eyes and mouth with handkerchiefs, beginning to cut his throat. Slocombe struggled and managed to get free, but Hawthorne fired two shots at him, one ball striking his pocket-book. Slocombe hid behind a tree, bleeding a great deal from four cuts in his neck, but Hawthorne rode away without seeing him. After Slocombe reached Wheeo on his own horse, he informed the postmaster about the crime. Sergeant Cotter was sent out to find Hawthorne, who was arrested on the following day at Kangaleela Creek, in possession of the valuables taken from Slocombe. He was convicted of feloniously wounding with intent to murder at the Goulburn Circuit Court and was sentenced to death on 9 April 1874. John Hawthorne was hanged at Goulburn Gaol on 19 May 1874, shortly after 9 a.m., along with John Glover. Shortly before his execution, he confessed to having committed four murders. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday, 13 April 1874, p. 3; Wednesday, 20 May 1874, p. 5; The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 21 May 1874, p. 2; Queanbeyan Age, Saturday, 23 May 1874, p. 2)

 

23 June 1874

Eichhorn, Gottlieb (age: 17 / White) – New South Wales – Armidale

rape – victim: Charlotte Chapman – committed on 8 March 1874 – sentenced on 10 April 1874

Mrs. Charlotte Chapman, a 72-year-old midwife, returned home on 8 March 1874 and was brought in a spring-cart to a lane which led directly to her residence at Saumarez Ponds near Armidale. She got down there, and had proceeded only a short distance, when 17-year-old Gottlieb Eichhorn came through the fence which lined the lane. He spoke to her in very rude terms and knocked her down, attempting to assault her. In answer to her cries that he would kill her, he replied that he did not care. She was rescued by a spring-cart coming along the road, and Eichhorn left Mrs. Chapman half-smothered in a mud-hole. Eichhorn was speedily arrested and was brought to Court on the following day. He was well known in Armidale and was generally looked on as a half-simpleton, having no education at all. He showed no signs of regret for his crime, and apparently considered it as nothing. He was charged with rape at the Armidale Circuit Court and was sentenced to death on 10 April 1874. Mrs. Chapman suffered from a severe shock and was "in delicate health" after the crime. She died on 2 May 1874. Gottlieb Eichhorn was hanged at Armidale Gaol on 23 June 1874, shortly after 9 a.m. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 17 March 1874, p. 4; Saturday, 11 April 1874, p. 7; Tuesday, 12 May 1874, p. 5; Tuesday, 30 June 1874, p. 5; The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 16 April 1874, p. 3; Queanbeyan Age, Saturday, 4 July 1874, p. 4)

 

29 December 1874

Alick (age: 26 / South Sea Islander) - Queensland - Brisbane

rape - victim: Gertrude Brauer - committed on 1 September 1874 - sentenced on 3 December 1874

Alick (or Alec, alias Johnny), a South Sea Islander, was charged at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Brisbane "with committing a rape on Gertrude Brauer, a girl 11 years and 6 months old, near Doughboy Creek, on the 1st of September last." Gertrude had attended the Primary School at Tingalpa on 1 September, and in the afternoon, while she was returning from school to her father's residence, she heard a step two or three yards behind her, and looking round saw Alick, who was barefooted, close upon her. He caught hold of her, and holding her mouth closed with one hand, dragged her from the path into the bush. She screamed, and he threatened to kill her, after which he raped her. When she came home she told her mother about the rape, and Dr. Bancroft examined her.  Alick was arrested after three days' search at James Johnston's sugar-mill at Doughboy Creek on 5 September, where he had been employed for several months. Gertrude identified Alick in the police yard, he standing among three Aborigines, and in Court she swore positively that he was the man who had assaulted her. Alick had stood trial in May for a similar offence on Fanny Besserer at Beenleigh, but was acquitted. He was convicted of the rape of Gertrude Brauer and sentenced to death on 3 December 1874. Alick was hanged at Brisbane Gaol on 29 December 1874 at 8 a.m. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 56-57; The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 7 September 1874, p. 2,3; Saturday, 12 September 1874, p. 6; Friday, 4 December 1874, p. 2,3; Wednesday, 30 December 1874, p 2)

 

14 April 1875

Clayson, Johnny (age unknown / Aborigine) - Queensland - Rockhampton

rape - victim: Johanna Kopp - committed in November 1874 - sentenced 22 February 1875

Johnny Clayson, a member of the Native Police, was charged with the rape of a Danish woman named Johanna Kopp at the Palmer river. She later recognised him as her attacker, and finally he admitted the crime and confessed to a similar crime. Clayson had been sentenced before for "an assault with intent to commit rape" in the vicinity of Brisbane and had spent two years in prison for that crime. After being released he joined the Native Police and was stationed near the Palmer River. Clayson stood trial at the Criminal Sittings of the Northern Supreme Court at Townsville, commencing on 12 February, and was convicted and sentenced to death on 22 February 1875. Johnny Clayson was hanged at Rockhampton Gaol on 14 April 1875, at 8 a.m. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 58; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 6 March 1875, p. 7; Thursday, 15 April 1875, p. 2; Rockhampton Bulletin, Thursday, 10 December 1874, p. 7; Monday, 8 March 1875, p. 2; Thursday, 15 April 1875, p. 2)

 

22 April 1875

Bobbinett (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: William A. Armstrong – committed on 14 January 1875 – sentenced on 9 April 1875

Bobbinett shot and killed Lance-Corporal William Archibald Armstrong on 19 January 1875 near Kojonup. Armstrong had left Kojonup with P. C. Michael Fahey and Jackey Brown, a native assistant, to arrest Bobbinett on a warrant. When they discovered a group of Aborigines at a bullrush swamp near the sheep station of Tinjarrah, Armstrong arranged with Fahey that Fahey should remain on the edge of the swamp to cut off the retreat of the group, while Armstrong and Brown galloped on to the native camp, thinking to find Bobbinet there. This plan was carried out, although Fahey objected to it, as Armstrong did not know Bobbinet, whereas Fahey did. When they had gone, Fahey observed an Aborigine with a red handkerchief round his head enter the swamp, and believing him to be Bobbinet he cooed to Armstrong to return, which he did. When he was within 30 yards from Fahey, the report of a gun was heard, fired from a man behind a tree. Armstrong was shot and fell from his horse. He died within 10 minutes. Several witnesses identified Bobbinet as the man who killed Armstrong. He was convicted of murder at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth and sentenced to death on 9 April 1875. Bobbinet was hanged at Perth Gaol on 22 April 1875, along with Wanaba and Wandagary. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 26; The Western Australia Times, Tuesday, 13 April 1875, p. 5,6; Tuesday, 27 April 1875)

 

22 April 1875

Wanaba (age unknown / Aborigine)

Wandagary (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Tommy Moul – committed on 10 July 1874 – sentenced on 12 April 1875

Wanaba (or Wallaby) and Wandagary (or Waldigerry), two Aborigines, were sentenced to death at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 12 April 1875 for the murder of Tommy Howell (or Moul), P.C. Watson's native assistant, at Howard and Shenton's sheep station at Chitham, about 180 miles east of Geraldton, on 10 July 1874. The murder appears to have been committed in pursuance of a tribal custom rather than any other assignable cause. Tommy Howell belonged to another tribe, and the prisoners resenting the appearance of a stranger, speared him to death. Wanaba and Wandagary were the actual perpetrators of the deed, Ben and Bellinga being accessories to the fact. The four men were sentenced to death, but Ben and Bellinga were recommended to mercy and had their sentences commuted. Wanaba and Wandagary were hanged at Perth Gaol on 22 April 1875, the same day as Bobbinett. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 26, The Western Australia Times, Friday, 16 April 1875 and Tuesday, 27 April 1875)

 

31 May 1875

Smith, Job (age: 55 / White) - Tasmania - Hobart

rape - victim: Margaret Ayres - committed on 27 February 1875 - sentenced on 12 May 1875

Job Smith was charged at the Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court at Hobart on 12 May 1875 "with feloniously and violently assaulting Margaret Ayres, at Port Arthur, on the 27th of February last." He was a prisoner at the Penal Establishment at Port Arthur, and his victim, a young woman, worked as a housemaid in the service of the Rev. Mr. Hayward, the Anglican Chaplain to the establishment. Smith had served a considerable portion of his sentence, and had conducted himself so well that he was placed in the position of inside wardsman, and allowed a certain amount of liberty. Shortly before 5 p.m. on 27 February, at a time when the prisoners should have been all lodged in security, Margaret Ayres went into the bush in search of her master's cow, and on the way she met Smith. She asked him if he had seen Mr. Heyward's cow and he replied that he had, and pointed in a certain direction. When Miss Ayres went further into the bush, she observed that Smith was following her, and retraced her steps, but her foot slipping, she fell to the ground. Smith, using considerable violence, raped her, and afterwards threatened to kill her if she told anybody about the crime. However, she met a man named Edwin Hall on her way home and told him that she had been assaulted. Smith was soon apprehended and charged with rape. He was convicted and sentenced to death. Job Smith was hanged at Hobart Gaol on 31 May 1875, at 8 a.m. (The Mercury, Thursday, 13 May 1875, p. 2,3; Tuesday, 1 June 1875, p. 2)

 

9 August 1875

Ah Cat (age unknown / Asian) – Victoria – Castlemaine

murder – victim: Frederick Renzleman – committed on 2 April 1875 – sentenced on 15 July 1875

Frederick Renzleman had numerous quarrels with his wife Louisa as to her alleged intimacy with Ah Cat, and for the last six months of his life did not live with her. He had threatened violence to Ah Cat if he caught him in his house. On the night of 2 April 1875 a great row was heard at Renzleman's at Bet Bet Reef, and Mrs. Renzleman ran to an adjacent house in her night clothes, stating that her husband had broken open the door. Two days after this the body of Fred Renzleman was found, his head greatly battered and beaten, down an abandoned shaft, and suspicion fell on Ah Cat, who also had wounds on his head, as well as Louisa Renzleman, and Jim Pong, who also lived with Mrs. Renzleman. They stood trial at the Criminal Sessions of the Circuit Court at Maryborough. Ah Cat was convicted and sentenced to death on 15 July 1875, while the jury acquitted Jim Pong and Louisa Renzleman. The conviction based on the contradictory evidence given by 7-year-old Wilhelmina Renzleman, who told the court that she saw Ah Cat beating her father to death with a poker. Ah Cat and Jim Pong then threw the body and the poker down the shaft close to the house. Her mother had left the house before the final and fatal blow fell. Ah Cat was hanged at Castlemaine Gaol on 9 August 1875, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Wednesday, 7 April 1875, p. 9; Saturday, 19 June 1875, p. 11; Wednesday, 14 July 1875, p. 5; Thursday, 15 July 1875, p. 7; Friday, 16 July 1875, p. 5; Tuesday, 10 August 1875, p. 4,5; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 13 August 1875, p. 1556)

 

30 August 1875

An Gaa (age: 54 / Asian) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Poey Waugh – committed on 12 June 1875 – sentenced on 16 July 1875

Poey Waugh was discovered murdered in his hut at Vaughan, near Maryborough, on 12 June 1875. He was found in his bed with his throat cut from ear to ear. Poey Waugh and two other Chinese men had been working very successfully on a claim on the banks of the Loddon, near Vaughan, and had recently divided £27 amongst them as the proceeds of one week's work. All three men lived together in one hut and appeared to be comfortable and contented. On 11 June, Ah Hoah left the hut and returned on the following day, and to his horror found Poey Waugh murdered in his bed. An Gaa, who had been present in the other room of the hut, at once gave alarm and the police was sent for. He betrayed utter indifference and continued eating the meal he was engaged in, sitting on his own bed, and basin in hand finished his food close to the dead body. The examination showed that Poey Waugh had been killed in his sleep and had received heavy blows on his head which crushed the side of his skull and also broke the neck. No quarrel between An Gaa and Poey Waugh was disclosed, and the victim had still £3 on his body when it was examined. An Gaa was convicted of murder at the Criminal Session of the Circuit Court at Castlemaine and was sentenced to death on 16 July 1875. He was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 30 August 1875, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Tuesday, 15 June 1875, p. 6; Thursday, 17 June 1875, p. 7; Thursday, 22 July 1875, p. 6,7; Tuesday, 31 August 1875, p. 4,5; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 3 September 1875, p. 1667)

 

14 September 1875

McGrath, John (age unknown / Aborigine) – New South Wales – Darlinghurst gaol

rape - victim: Sarah Murfin - committed on 16 May 1875 - sentenced on 10 August 1875

John McGrath, an Aborigine, was charged at the Central Criminal Court on 10 August 1875 "with having on the 16th of May last, at Warragubra, in the colony of New South Wales, committed a rape upon one Sarah Murfin." The crime was committed at night, at Warragubra, three miles from Bega, when Mrs. Murfin was alone, and her husband and daughter were at church at Bega. John and Martha Murfin returned to the house before John McGrath had left its neighbourhood. McGrath was arrested soon after by Constable Preston, and he was charged with rape. He was convicted and sentenced to death on 10 August 1875. John McGrath was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol on 14 September 1875, at 9 a.m. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 11 August 1875, p. 7; Thursday, 16 September 1875, p. 7; The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 16 September 1875, p. 3)

 

4 October 1875

Howard, Henry (age: 52 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Elizabeth Wright – committed on 14 August 1875 – sentenced on 20 September 1875

Henry Howard was charged at the Central Criminal Court at Melbourne "for having wilfully and deliberately and with malice aforethought murdered one Elizabeth Wright, at the Frankston Hotel, Frankston, on the night of the 14th August last." Elizabeth Wright was the licensee of the Frankston Hotel, Henry Howard being in partnership with her for about 12 years. About four weeks before the murder, Howard wanted Mrs. Wright to take £100 and leave the hotel, as she drank. She would not agree to this, but finally signed a paper which gave Thomas Harman, a neighbour, authority to act on her behalf and take entire charge of the bar. A week before the murder Howard said to Mrs. Wright that he would hang for her; that it would be war to the knife, and the knife to the hilt. On 14 August 1875, Howard took a knife, normally used for cutting the meat, which he had sharpened shortly before, and stabbed Thomas Harman in the breast. Harman ran out of the house and broke down, dying immediately. Shortly before that, Howard had also stabbed Elizabeth Wright in the dining room in the presence of her 12-year-old son, Frank. She died from injuries to her heart. Howard was immediately arrested and was convicted of the murder of Mrs. Wright and sentenced to death on 20 September 1875. He was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 4 October 1875, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Tuesday, 21 September 1875, p. 7; Tuesday, 5 October 1875, p. 7; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 8 October 1875, p 1902)

 

27 October 1875

Page, William (age 23 / White) - South Australia - Mount Gambier

murder – victim: Mary Julia Buchan – committed on 11 July 1875 – sentenced on 6 October 1875

Eight days before his execution, William Page, alias Walker, confessed to the murder of Mary Julia Buchan, although he said he had not intention of committing murder. Miss Buchan went missing after 11 July 1875, and she was last seen in company of William Page, with whom she had a special relationship. She had expected him to marry her on the following Monday. It was only later known that Page was already married, his wife living in Adelaide. Suspicion fell on Page, who acted strangely on the day after Miss Buchan disappeared. Spots of blood were observed on his clothes, and he borrowed a spade, presumably to bury some broken bottles that might be dangerous. To quite a number of people who asked him about Miss Buchan, he stated that she was all right, but that she would never come back to Mount Gambier again. Her body was finally found after a thorough search on 2 August at Hedley Park at a depressed spot near the edge of a field of wheat, covered by about 18 inches of soil. Her head showed three bruises, inflicted by Page's whip-handle, which had a knob of iron. Page was tried at the Mount Gambier Circuit Court Sittings on 6 October 1875. He pleaded guilty, and insisted on his plea after the Judge's questions, and was sentenced to death. He was hanged at Mount Gambier Gaol shortly after 8 a.m. on 27 October 1875. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 64-5; The South Australian Advertiser, Tuesday, 3 August 1875, p. 5; Thursday, 7 October 1875, p. 5; Thursday, 28 October 1875, p. 5; South Australian Register, Wednesday, 4 August 1875, p. 5)

 

6 December 1875

Weechurch, John (age: 45 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

attempted murder – victim: Patrick Moran – committed on 7 Oct. 1875 – sentenced on 20 Nov. 1875

John Weechurch (or Weachurch), real name John Taylor, was tried on 16 September 1872 for wounding Mr. G. G. Duncan, the inspector-general of penal establishments, with intent to murder him. He was found guilty and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life with hard labor, the first three years in irons. On 7 October 1875, Weechurch was in his cell at Pentridge, when Warders Moran and Gaynor went in to examine his irons. Moran was kneeling down when the prisoner suddenly struck him a blow in the face, inflicting a wound near the eye. The wound was caused by the sharp point of the handle of the bucket, which had been wrenched off the bucket. Moran grappled with Weechurch and received another blow on the head, inflicting two wounds. The wound were in such a place that with a little more force they would have penetrated the brain and caused death. Weechurch was again convicted of wounding with intent to murder at the Central Criminal Court at Melbourne and was sentenced to death on 20 November 1875. He was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 6 December 1875, at 10 a.m. On the scaffold he said he had been a professional thief for years and had never known a thief die worth a shilling. He had been "in trouble" since 1850. (The Argus, Saturday, 20 November 1875, p. 5; Monday, 22 November 1875, p. 9; Tuesday, 7 December 1875, p. 6; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 10 December 1875, p. 2288)

 

7 December 1875

Rope, George (age: 53 / White) – New South Wales – Mudgee

murder - victim: Hannah Jane Rope - committed on 12 April 1875 - sentenced on 14 October 1875

George Rope was charged at the Criminal Sittings of the Circuit Court at Mudgee on 14 October "with the wilful murder of Hannah Jane Rope, his brother's wife." George Rope and his brother, Robert, resided at Lawson's Creek, near Mudgee, their homes being about 175 yards apart. On 12 April 1875, George came to his brother's place and invited him to take a glass of grog, which Robert accepted. George said he would bring a quart of rum over, which he had at home. This was overheard by his sister-in-law, who told him not do fetch the rum. George replied: "I see you have got a down on me; I'll soon put an end to you." He went home and returned with a loaded gun, cocked. He threatened his nephew, who had asked him not to shoot anybody in the house. On hearing this, Mrs. Rope came out of the next room and intervened, but she was immediately shot by her brother-in-law. The bullet entered the left side of the abdomen, and she died the following day. Her son instantly snatched up the gun and broke it over his uncle's head. Both lying on the ground, he still cursed her, wishing to cut her open with a knife. He was arrested the following day and placed in the lockup at Mudgee. George Rope was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 14 October 1875 and he was hanged at Mudgee Gaol on 7 December 1875, at 9 a.m. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 21 October 1875, p. 6; Thursday, 9 December 1875, p. 9; The Maitland Mercury, Tuesday, 19 October 1875, p. 2; Thursday, 9 December 1875, p. 2; Queanbeyan Age, Wednesday, 20 October 1875, p. 2)

 

18 April 1876

Ah Chong (age: 38 / Asian) – New South Wales – Parramatta

murder - victim: Po Tie - committed on 18 January 1876 - sentenced on 14 February 1876

Ah Chong (born in 1838 at Macao) was charged at the Central Criminal Court on 14 February 1876 "with having, on the 18th of January, 1876, at Parramatta, feloniously and wilfully and of his malice aforethought killed and murdered one Po Tie." On 18 January, at the ordinary dinner hour, in Parramatta Gaol, the prisoners of the gaol were together in the gaol yard, sitting down to dinner, when suddenly Ah Chong stood up, seized a knife with his right hand, and thrust it into the right breast of Po Tie, who was sitting near him, wounding him so severely that he died about a quarter of an hour afterwards. There had been no apparent provocation from Po Tie, nor any words between the two men before the crime. Next, Ah Chong tried to stab another prison, Ho Su, but was prevented from touching him by the intervention of James Frost, who secured Ah Chong and caused him to drop the knife. Ah Chong was described as a quiet man with a pretty middling character. The reason for attacking his fellow prisoners remains unclear. He had been sentenced at Mudgee Quarter Sessions on 10 February 1874 for attempted suicide, and was further sentenced, on 17 April 1876, to five years on the grounds for wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Ah Chong was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 14 February 1876. He was hanged at Parramatta Gaol on 18 April 1876 at 8 a.m. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday, 21 January 1876, p. 7; Tuesday, 15 February 1876, p. 5; Wednesday, 19 April 1876, p. 5)

 

22 May 1876

Duffus, John (age: about 50 / White) – Victoria – Castlemaine

rape – victims: Mary Ann Duffus – committed on 27 January 1876 – sentenced on 29 April 1876

On 29 February 1876, Mrs. Duffus, who was living isolated with her family of husband and three daughters at the Bendigo Creek, near Goornong, gave information to the police that her husband, John Duffus, had criminally assaulted his own daughter, Mary Ann, 11 years of age. Mounted Constable Clark arrested Duffus, who was formally placed in the dock at the City Police Court at Sandhurst (now Bendigo) on 2 March. He was charged at the City Police Court on 16 March to stand trial for carnally knowing a girl under 12 years of age, a capital crime. Duffus not only had assaulted his youngest daughter on 27 January or 17 February for the last time, but also had incestuous relationships with his elder daughters, at that time 22 and 15, who both became pregnant. The youngest daughter affirmed that her father had abused her for a period of over four years, which was confirmed by a medical officer who examined her. The isolated condition of the family and the thorough control which Duffus obviously exercised over all family members was the reason why his crimes had been detected earlier. John Duffus was convicted of rape at the Criminal Sessions of the Assize Court at Sandhurst, and was sentenced to death on 29 April 1876. He was hanged at Castlemaine Gaol on 22 May 1876, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Friday, 3 March 1876, p. 7; Friday, 17 March 1876, p. 3; Monday, 1 May, 1876, p. 7; Tuesday, 23 May 1876, p. 5; Victorian Government Gazette, Friday, 26 May 1876, p. 1019)

 

10 June 1876

Brown, Kenneth (age: 39 / White) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Mary Anne Brown – committed on 3 January 1876 – sentenced on 29 May 1876

Brown murdered his wife Mary Anne one 3 January 1876. The family was living in a house at Geraldton, and they had to clear out of it, so Mrs. Brown was busy packing, with the help of George Simpson. Simpson later reported that Brown looked very wild that day and seemed to be either drunk or mad. He threatened his wife with a gun at about 3:30 p.m., but Simpson interfered and Brown gave him the gun, which Mrs. Brown stored away. Next the couple quarrelled over a pair of children's boots. Mrs. Brown threw them out and Brown retrieved them. Somewhat later Brown was seen aiming his gun toward the kitchen. The gun went off and Mrs. Brown was shot. She left the house, was shot a second time and fell to the ground and died. Brown was a heavy drinker and had been violent towards his wife on several occasions. At his first trial at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 5 and 6 April 1876, the jury could not agree on a verdict. A new Jury was empanelled on 17 May and a trial conducted through 26 May resulted again in a discharge of the jury after they could not agree. After several hours, a third jury was empanelled, who rendered a verdict of guilty of wilful murder on 29 May, after which Brown was sentenced to death. Brown was hanged at Perth Gaol on 10 June 1876. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 27; Western Australian Times, Friday, 7 April 1876, p. 2,3; Tuesday, 11 April 1876, p. 1,2; Friday, 19 May 1876, p. 2; Tuesday, 23 May 1876, p. 2; Friday, 26 May 1876, p. 2; Tuesday, 30 May 1876, p. 2; Tuesday, 13 June 1876, p. 2)

 

21 June 1876

Pitt, George (age unknown / White) - New South Wales – Mudgee

murder - victim: Ann Mary Martin - committed on 25 December 1875 - sentenced on 18 April 1876

Mrs. Ann Mary Martin, a widow, kept the Travellers' Rest Inn, at Guntawang, and George Pitt had been lodging there for some time. A certain degree of intimacy seemed to have existed between them, and the prisoner had been heard, on one occasion at least, asking Mrs. Martin to marry him, which she refused to do, stating she would never marry again. On 25 December 1875 Mrs. Martin had also been heard telling Pitt that he would have to get work and clear out of the place. When she was retiring for the night, in company with her niece, Kate L'Estrange, Pitt came to the bedroom door and asked her to come out into the passage as he wished to speak to her. Miss L'Estrange heard her aunt call her shortly afterwards, and on going to the bedroom door saw Pitt at it with a knife in his hand, both the knife and his hands being covered with blood. He stated that he had just cut Mrs. Martin's throat and threatened Miss L'Estrange too, who got out of the window and ran to the front of the house for help. On returning with one of the lodgers, Mrs. Martin was found dying, and Pitt made a very mild attempt to cut hiw own throat. He was immediately arrested and stood trial at the Circuit Court of Mudgee. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 18 April 1876. George Pitt was hanged at Mudgee Gaol on 21 June 1876 (The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 27 April 1876, p. 6; Thursday, 22 June 1876, p. 5; Thursday, 29 June 1876, p. 3)

 

28 June 1876

Connelly, Michael (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Tamworth

murder - victim: Mary Connelly - committed on 24 December 1875 - sentenced on 8 April 1876

Michael Connelly (or Connolly) was arraigned at the Tamworth Circuit Court on 8 April 1876 "for that he did on the 24th December, at Carrol Gap, murder his wife Mary Connolly." Connelly had ill-used his wife systematically for the preceding four years. He had beaten her with a spade, a stick, and a tomahawk, and even lifted up a pickle to strike her. He had often threatened to kill her. Mrs. Connelly, in consequence of these beatings became demented and was sent to Gladesville, where she remained a year. Connelly became ill in late 1875, and became an inmate of the Tamworth Hospital, which he left on 23 December 1875. Before he left the hospital his wife returned from Gladesville, and with the help of several neighbours got the crop of wheat in on the farm. On the following morning Connelly told another neighbour, named Chapman, that his wife was dead. He said that he had left the house for about fifteen minutes, and on returning found his wife with a hole in her head. Mrs. Connelly was found lying on the floor of the hut with the top of her head almost beaten in. Connelly was arrested and charged with murder. He was convicted and sentenced to death on 8 April 1876. Michael Connelly was hanged at Tamworth Gaol on 28 June 1876, shortly after 9 a.m. It was the first execution in Tamworth. (The Maitland Mercury, Saturday, 15 April 1876, p. 6; Tuesday, 4 July 1876; Queanbeyan Age, Wednesday, 19 April 1876, p. 2; The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 29 June 1876, p. 5)

 

19 July 1876

Boon, Daniel (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Wagga Wagga

murder – victim: Alexander McMullan - committed on 10 January 1876 - sentenced on 5 April 1876

On 10 January 1876, at about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, Daniel Boon, the landlord of the Home Hotel, was seen entering Alexander McMullan's yard at North Wagga with a double-barrelled gun in his hand. McMullan, a blacksmith, was then going out of the door of the shop, and on seeing Boon greeted him in the usual way. Boon simply asked whether McMullan would pay him his rent, upon which McMullen replied that he didn't have money with him now, and that there were no occasion to bring a gun to settle such little affairs. They went on talking about the affair, and McMullan went towards a dray and began screwing a bolt on the dray, while Boon still demanded his rent. He finally raised his gun and fired at McMullan, wounding him in the neck. McMullan died seven days later and Boon was charged with murder. When he was arrested, he freely admitted shooting McMullan and said that he intended to kill him. He stood trial at the Wagga Wagga Assizes on 5 April 1876 and was convicted and sentenced to death, the jury recommending mercy on the ground that Boon was drunk when he committed the crime. However, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction, stating that drunkenness was no excuse for crime. Daniel Boon was hanged at Wagga Wagga Gaol on 19 July 1876 (The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday, 21 January 1876, p. 7; Thursday, 27 January 1876, p. 2,3; Friday, 14 April 1876, p. 3; Monday, 19 June 1876, p. 3; Thursday, 20 July 1876, p 5; The Maitland Mercury, Saturday, 8 April 1876, p. 10; Queanbeyan Age, Thursday, 27 July 1876, p. 3)

 

21 August 1876

Ashe, James (age: 36 / White) – Victoria – Ballarat

rape – victim: Elizabeth Reece – committed on 4 April 1876 – sentenced on 24 July 1876

Mrs. Elizabeth Reece, who was exceedingly deaf, left her house at Burrumbeet in the evening of 4 April 1876 to go after some cows. She went to Mr. Burrows' to milk the cows, about three-quarters of a mile from her home. On the road she met two men, and one of them, James Ashe (alias Donegal Jim), afterwards came to her when she left the road and got into Burrows' paddock. He laid hold on her and threw her down, raping her three times in the space of about three hours. Each time she managed to get away from him for a shirt time he came after her and threw her down again. He tore away all her clothing, and her body bore a great number of bruises and scratches. Finally he let her go and she reached her home. Her daughter helped her to bed, to which she was confined for nine days. Mr. Bunce, a surgeon, examined her three days later and gave evidence at Ashe's trial, which took place at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Ballarat on 24 July 1876. Ashe was convicted of rape and was sentenced to death. He was hanged at Ballarat Gaol on 21 August 1876, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Tuesday, 25 July 1876, p. 6; Tuesday, 22 August 1876, p. 7)

 

29 August 1876

Wenzell, John (age: 54 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Joel Archibald Martin – committed on 8 March 1876 – sentenced on 25 July 1876

German immigrant John Wenzell was working as a gardener for Dr. William Nelson, a Presbyterian minister at Gabbinbar. Also working around the house was Joel Martin, a carpenter who shared a nearby hut with Wenzell and another worker. The men were on friendly terms until one day, on 7 March 1876, when Wenzell accused Martin of stealing a gun from him. Although Martin denied the charge, Wenzell was not satisfied. On the following day, after having some wine, Wenzell accompanied the drunken Martin to a barn near the minister's house and stabbed him with a knife in the abdomen. Martin died several days later and was able to tell the police how the crime had been committed. Wenzell was charged with murder, convicted and sentenced to death at the Towoomba Assizes on 25 July 1876. He was hanged at Petrie Terrace Gaol in Brisbane on 29 August 1876, at 8 a.m. (Dawson, The Prisoners of Toowong Cemetery, p. 39-40; The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 10 March 1876, p. 2,3; Monday, 13 March 1876, p. 2,3; Monday, 31 July 1876, p. 2,3; Tuesday, 25 July 1875, p. 2; Wednesday, 30 August 1876, p. 2,3)

 

16 October 1876

Yarndu (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia - Perth

murder – victim: unknown – committed on ? – sentenced on 5 October 1876

Yarndu was hanged for murder on 16 October 1876. "This execution was not reported in the newspapers. The only information available is in restricted files and therefore confidential." (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 27)

 

11 December 1876

Bondietto, Basileo (age: about 50 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Carlo Comisto – committed on 7 September 1876 – sentenced on 18 November 1876

Carlo Comisto, an Italian, had resided on a selection in the neighbourhood of Sandy Creek, near Seymour, for four years, and Basileo Bondietto, a Swiss, entered into partnership with him in early 1876. Their principal occupation was charcoal burning. However, Comisto told his neighbours that he didn't like Bondietto, and that he had simply taken him out of charity. On 7 September 1876, Comisto informed his neighbour, Mrs. Sharp, that he was going to Melbourne and that he would return in a day or two. But he was never seen again. In the night, another neighbour heard cries from the direction of Comisto's hut, but he couldn't find the source of it. After Comisto disappeared, the neighbours asked Bondietto of the whereabouts of Comisto, but he told them that he had left, and that he was a bad man. In fact, a small kiln of charcoal was found beneath the usual big kiln of charcoal, and the police detected human bones in the ashes of that kiln, as well as in the fire-places of both huts which had been inhabited by the two men. A quantity of blood stains was found in one of the huts. Bondietto was arrested on 2 October and was charged with murder. He was convicted on circumstantial evidence at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Melbourne and was sentenced to death on 18 November 1876. Basileo Bondietto was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 11 December 1876, at 10 a.m. (The Argus, Monday, 20 November 1876, p. 7; Tuesday, 12 December 1876, p. 6; Victoria Government Gazette, Friday, 15 December 1876, p. 2284)

 

14 March 1877

Hastings, William (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Ann Hastings – committed on 1 December 1876 – sentenced on 15 February 1877

William Hastings was charged at the Central Criminal Court at Melbourne "with the wilful murder of his wife, near Frankston, on the 1st December last." William and Ann Hastings had very peculiar relations. Quarrels had taken place between them arising through Hastings' incestuous intercourse with his own daughter, a girl of 15 years of age. To prevent a continuance of this, Mrs. Hastings sent her daughter to service, and her husband strongly insisted that the should return home. This the mother wound not consent to. On 12 December 1876, Mrs. Hastings' decomposed body was found at Grice's paddock, near the mouth of an old coal-shaft. Her head was completely smashed in, caused by three or four blows. It was only on 4 December that Hastings reported to the police that his wife had been missing for three days. He was arrested on the same day her dead body was found. Evidence was produced at his trial that he had killed his wife at their home and during the night took her body to Grice's paddock. Human blood was found on boards taken from his hut and on his shirt he wore on that day. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 24 February 1877. William Hastings was executed at Melbourne at 10 a.m. on 14 March 1877. (The Argus, Friday, 23 February 1877, p. 6; Saturday, 24 February 1877, p. 8; Monday, 26 February 1877, p. 7; Thursday, 15 March 1877, p. 6; Victoria Government Gazette, 16 March 1877, p. 514)

 

18 May 1877

George (age unknown / South Sea Islander)

Tommy (age unknown / South Sea Islander) - Queensland - Maryborough

rape - victim: Annie McBride - committed on 19 November 1876 - sentenced on 22 April 1877

On Sunday night, 19 November 1876, Mrs. Annie McBride, living with her family in a small cottage on the Iindah Road, about four miles from Maryborough, heard some person moving in her bedroom. She struck a match, but it had hardly time to ignite, when she received a heavy blow on her left jaw, which rendered her insensible. In a brief glance she had seen two South Sea Islanders in her room. Next she opened her eyes she was lying on the road, and she saw a South Sea Islander running away. She was able to crawl to her father's house, situated over a quarter of a mile from her own home. The blow on the jaw had evidently been administered with an axe or tomahawk, and had severed the bones. She also received several other wounds on her arm and body, breaking at least two bones. She had been raped twice. George and Tommy were charged with rape on 15 December and were committed for trial. They were convicted of rape at the Special Sitting of the Supreme Court at Maryborough and were sentenced to death on 22 April 1877. George and Tommy were hanged at the Maryborough Gaol on 18 May 1877, in the presence of fourteen Europeans and six Polynesians. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 59-61; The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 29 November 1876, p. 5; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 25 November 1876, p. 5; Saturday, 16 December 176, p. 5; Monday, 23 April 1877, p. 2,3; Wednesday, 2 May 1877, p. 3; Saturday, 19 May 1877, p. 4)

 

30 May 1877

Newman, Thomas (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Dubbo

murder - victim: Mary Ann McGregor - committed on 18 February 1877 - sentenced on 5 April 1877

Thomas Newman was charged at the Dubbo Circuit Court on 5 April 1877, "with having, at Ulamambri, near Coonabarabran, on the 18th February, 1877, wilfully, feloniously, and of malice aforethought, killed and murdered one Mary Ann M'Gregor, a little girl, aged 12 years." The body of little Mary Ann McGregor was discovered on 19 February at a woolshed, lying on the back, covered over with some boughs, a rope around her neck. Thomas Newman, who had been in the neighbourhood only four days, was feeding his flock of sheep, about 200 yards from the woolshed. He told Mary Ann's brother, David McGregor, that he had found the girl, after the young man had been searching for her on the previous evening. Newman was immediately questioned by the police. After a piece of rope, corresponding to the one on Mary Ann's neck, as well as blood stains on Newman's trousers and other suspicious items were found, he was arrested. He was convicted of murder on circumstantial evidence and was sentenced to death on 5 April 1877. Thomas Newman was hanged at Dubbo Gaol on 30 May 1877. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday, 9 April 1877, p. 7; Thursday, 12 April 1877, p. 5; The Maitland Mercury, Saturday, 14 April 1877, p. 10; Saturday, 2 June 1877, p. 7)

 

24 July 1877

Streitman, Charles (age: 48 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Robert Woodhead – committed on 18 April 1877 – sentenced on 26 June 1877

Charles Streitman (a Dutch immigrant), killed under-bailiff Robert F. Woodhead at Wallaroo on 18 April 1877. Woodhead came to Streitman's house on duty, presenting him an execution warrant issued out at the Wallaroo Court at the instance of Matthew Lower against Streitman's goods and chattels for £11 3s. After discussing the matter with bailiff Lucas Sharples and stating it to be an injustice, they went to see the court's clerk, Mr. Gold, to clarify the matter. Streitman asked them to wait for payment until the next morning, which was granted. Woodhead was ordered to stay at Streitman's place during the night with the warrant on hand. His body was found on the following morning with wounds on his neck and arm. He had been stabbed by Streitman with a knife suddenly while he was sitting on a sofa. Woodhead died from the effects of the wounds on 19 April. Streitman stood trial at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Adelaide, and he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 26 June 1877. He was hanged at Adelaide gaol shortly after 8 a.m. on 24 July 1877. After the trap was sprung, he dropped about three feet, but immediately rebounded and got his feet on the platform, from which they had to be removed. It took him about 22 minutes to die from suffocation. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 66-7; The South Australian Advertiser, Wednesday, 27 June 1877, p. 6,7; Wednesday, 25 July 1877, p. 6; The South Australian Register, Wednesday, 27 June 1877, p. 3; Wednesday, 25 July 1877, p. 5)

 

19 November 1877

Bishnahan, John (age: 46 / White) - Tasmania - Launceston

murder - victim: Thomas Rudge - committed on 20 August 1877 - sentenced on 18 October 1877

Brishnahan and Rudge, a cook, were working on a farm at Evandale, belonging to John Pearson, but they did not seem to be on the best of terms, and were constantly quarrelling. On 18 August 1877 Brishnahan was discharged from service by Pearson. On the morning of 20 August he went back to the farm, talked to Rudge and other persons, and he announced that they would "hear something in the morning, or to-morrow," repeating that expression when he left. After drinking throughout the day, he returned to the farm in the night, where Rudge was in the cook-house mending some clothes, and Brishahan there got a gun belonging to Pearson's brother, and shot Rudge. Brishnahan afterwards went back to the Royal Oak Hotel, at Evandale, where he was given a bed, but confessed to the proprietor that he had just shot Rudge. The police was alarmed, and they found Rudge's dead body lying before the fire-place in the cook-house, his face blown off. Brishnahan was immediately arrested and stood trial at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Launceston on 18 October 1877. The Judge, in summing up, said that if a plea of drunkenness was to be allowed there would be no safety for life or property. Accordingly, the jury found Brishnahan guilty of murder, and he was sentenced to death. John Brishnahan was hanged at Launceston Gaol at 8 a.m. on 19 November 1877. (Launceston Examiner, Saturday, 20 October 1877, p. 4; Tuesday, 20 November 1877, p. 2; The Mercury, Monday, 22 October 1877, p. 3; Tuesday, 20 November 1877, p. 2)

 

18 December 1877

Murdick, Peter (age: 40 / White) – New South Wales – Wagga Wagga

murder – victim: Henry Ford - committed in March 1877 - sentenced on 3 October 1877

Peter Murdick (or Murdoch, alias Higgins) was charged at the Wagga Wagga Assizes on 3 October 1877 with the murder of Henry Ford, whose body was found on 14 March 1877 in the Murrumbidgee River, with the skull battered in behind. Murdick and Ford had been working at Barmedman station, and leaving that place together, travelled to Wallacetown, where they were seen drinking at Willett's public-house. At their next stop, Tewkesbury Hotel at Cartwright's Hill, Ford was observed to change a cheque for £31 10s., the cheque being drawn by Mr. Lachlan Robertson, of Barmedman. Ford wanted to stay at Tewkesbury, but was overruled by Murdick, who said they could get on, and camp by the river that night, and go into Wagga in the morning. Several days later Tewkesbury met Murdick at Wagga alone, and asking him about Ford, got the information that Murdick hadn't seen him for several days. No one had seen Ford after he left Tewkesbury's. Murdick then bought a saddle and bridle in Wagga, and paid for it with the cheque that was seen in Ford's possession. Later, a watch was found in Murdick's possession, which belonged to Ford. When Murdick was arrested he maintained that Ford was still alive and he disputed all evidence to the contrary. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 3 October 1877. Peter Murdick was hanged at Wagga Wagga Gaol on 18 December 1877, at 9 a.m. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday, 5 October 1877, p. 5; Thursday, 11 October 1877, p. 3; Friday, 21 December 1877, p. 6; The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 27 December 1877, p. 7)

 

14 January 1878

Cunningham, James (age: 23 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Frank Steinbrecher – committed on 23 August 1877 – sentenced on 12 December 1877

In August 1877 James Cunningham escaped from the Thornborouch lockup, where he was serving a six-month sentence for stealing a watch. He made his way to a miner's camp where he stole a revolver on 20 August. Next he was seen travelling with Austrian miner Frank Steinbrecher, who had a pouch of money on his belt. They set up camp near a creek, and were heard arguing later that night before two shots were fired, on 22 or 23 August. Steinbrecker was later found shot, his belt missing. Cunningham spent a large amount of money in Smithfield before heading down to Brisbane on a steamer. He was arrested, still travelling on the steamer, and was charged with murder. He was convicted and sentenced to death at the Cooktown Circuit Court on 12 December 1877 and was hanged at Petrie Terrace Gaol at Brisbane on 14 January 1878. (Dawson, The Prisoners of Toowong Cemetery, p. 41; The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 24 December 1877, p. 3; Monday, 14 January 1879, p. 2,3; Tuesday, 15 January 1878, p. 2; Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, Friday, 18 January 1878, p. 3)

 

16 April 1878

Fagan, Hugh (age: 59 / White) – South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Patrick Bannon – committed on 26 November 1877 – sentenced on 19 March 1878

Hugh Fagan (alias James Lynch, a bushman) killed his mate Patrick Bannon at Saltia on 26 November 1877, with an axe. Fagan lived in a wurley near the tent of Maria and Charles Kerslake at Woolshed Flat, 16 miles from Port Augusta. Mrs. Kerslake kept a boarding-tent. Fagan and Bannon came to Mrs. Kerslake's tent on the afternoon of 26 November 1877. Mrs. Kerslake heard Fagan speaking angrily, accusing Bannon of burning down his mia-mia, which Bannon denied having done. They remained in the tent about a quarter of an hour and were ordered to leave after Fagan threatened Bannon, saying that he should die that night. A short time later Fagan returned and asked for an axe, saying he wanted to build himself a place to sleep in. He left the tent and Mrs. Kerslake heard his voice and then she heard a blow. The axe was returned, full of blood. Fagan had killed Bannon with two blows from the eaxe on his head behind the ear. Bannon's body was found lying in a hollow. Fagan was apprehended by Charles Kerslake and handed over to the police. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Adelaide Criminal Court on 20 March 1878 and was hanged at Adelaide Gaol on 16 April 1878. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 67; The South Australian Advertiser, Thursday, 18 April 1878, p. 2; South Australian Register, Wednesday, 20 March 1878, p. 1)

 

28 May 1878

Ing Chee (age unknown / Asian) - New South Wales - Goulburn

murder - victim: Li Dock - committed on 18 December 1877 - sentenced on 10 April 1878

On the morning of 18 December 1877, at about 11 o'clock, Li Hock was found on the ground in his boarding-house. His face was hacked about in a frightful manner, as if with a sharp tomahawk. The cuts were so clean and delivered with such precision as to prompt the supposition that the first injuries must have been inflicted when the victim was asleep. Li Hock was still living, and a doctor attended him, but Li Hock died a short time after the doctor arrived. At the same time Ing Chee was observed at Mr. Payten's Royal Hotel, washing off blood which was copiously sprinkled on his coat, vest, and trousers. He was arrested by constable Wheally when he endeavoured to leave the Royal Hotel. He was at once confronted his dead victim, and was obviously very pleased to find Li Dock dead. He stated that he and Li Dock had been gambling, when they quarrelled, and Li Hock tried to take his money unfairly. However, all other Chinese in the neighbourhood denied this, saying that no gambling had taken place. It was no robbery, because all of Li Dock's money was still in his pockets. Ing Chee was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at Goulburn Circuit Court on the late evening of 10 April 1878 and he was hanged at Goulburn Gaol at 9 a.m. on 28 May 1878. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 20 December 1878, p. 3; Monday, 24 December 1877, p. 4; Thursday, 11 April 1878, p. 5; Friday, 12 April 1878, p. 5; Thursday, 30 May 1878, p. 5)

 

16 July 1878

Prest, Jonathan (age: 50 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Mary Prest – committed on 12 March 1878 – sentenced on 18 June 1878

Jonathan Prest killed his wife, Mary Prest, at Portland Estate on 12 March 1878. On 8 March, Mrs. Prest laid an information against her husband for unlawful assault. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Prest, and he was brought before the Police Court on the following day, pleading guilty. The case was adjourned until 12 March, Prest being released on a £10 bond. His case was postponed on behalf of Mr. Wallace, who appeared for Mary Prest, and adjourned to 14 March. When Prest left the court on 12 March, he said in a loud voice that his wife would not appear against him. About three-quarters of an hour later, Prest came to the Police Station and admitted that he had just killed his wife. Mrs. Prest had returned home at about 11 a.m. and started ironing some clothes, when her husband urged on her not to appear against him at Court on 14 March. After she replied that she had to, and said that she defied him to call her names as he did on 8 March, he took two tongs which were in the fireplace, and beat her with them repeatedly on her head. Her daughter Elizabeth tried to stop him in vain. Mary Prest died immediately. Prest was convicted and sentenced to death at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Adelaide on 18 June 1878, and he was hanged at Adelaide Gaol shortly after 8 a.m. on 16 July 1878. Shortly before his execution, he admitted being a heavy drinker. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 68-9; South Australian Register, Tuesday, 18 June 1878, p. 3; Wednesday, 19 July 1878, p. 3; Wednesday, 17 July 1878, p. 6; The South Australian Advertiser, Wednesday, 17 July 1878, p 6)

 

19 August 1878

Sam Ah Poo (age: about 40/50 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: J. Fisher McMichael – committed on 24 April 1878 – sentenced on 22 July 1878

On 24 April 1878, just before supper, Chinese cook Sam Ah Poo attacked 25-year-old superintendent J. Fisher McMichael at the Bundaleer drafting-yards, while he was bending over a basin of water washing himself. Ah Poo struck him three times on the chest and back with an American axe, before he could be secured by Michael Kelly, one of the drovers. It was suggested that Sam Ah Poo had killed McMichael because he feared that McMichael might kill him. The wounds inflicted were severe, and the blow on the back was supposed to be the fatal one, as it was believed it caused mortal injuries to the lung, and after being taken to the station, McMichael died within four hours. Sam Ah Poo was charged with murder and convicted at the Toowoomba Winter Assizes on 22 July 1878 and sentenced to death. He was hanged at the Petrie Terrace Gaol at Brisbane, shortly after 8 a.m. on 19 August 1878. (Dawson, The Prisoners of Toowong Cemetery, p. 42-3, citing The Week, 21 August 1878; Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, Thursday, 15 August 1878, p. 2; Wednesday, 21 August 1878, p. 2; Tuesday, 27 August 1878, p. 2; The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 3 May 1878, p. 2,3; Monday, 13 May 1878, p. 2; Friday, 26 July 1878, p. 3)

 

21 October 1878

Copping, Richard (age 19 / White) - Tasmania - Hobart

murder - victim: Susannah Stacey - committed on 12 May 1878 - sentenced on 24 September 1878

Richard Copping was arraigned at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Hobart "on a charge of murdering a young woman named Susannah Stacey at Bream Creek on Sunday, May 12." On the day named, Copping came to the home of the Stacey family. He was keeping company with 18-year-old Susannah Stacey and came to see her. He was observed by her father kissing Susannah, but when Robert Stacey returned some 20 minutes later, his daughter Mary Jane told him that Copping was killing Susannah. Copping had struck her on the head with an axe, causing immediate death. Copping told her father that the reason for killing Susannah was that she had deceived him. Copping was found in the afternoon in the barn of farmer George Past. He had tried to commit suicide by shooting himself three nails into the lower part of his face. He recovered from his wound and was charged with murder. At his trial his mental health was discussed, as he had sought medical treatment already in December 1877. "Softening of his brain was the result of drinking and immoral habits." He was declared sane enough to be held responsible for the crime. Copping was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 24 September 1878, and he was hanged at Hobart Gaol on 21 October 1878. (Timaru Herald, N.Z., 6 June 1878, p. 5; The Mercury, Hobart, Wednesday, 25 September 1878, p. 3; Tuesday, 22 October 1878, p. 2; Launceston Examiner, Wednesday, 23 October 1878, p. 2)

 

23 December 1878

Eroora (age: 25 – South Sea Islander) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Charles Andrews – committed on 26 May 1878 – sentenced on 9 October 1878

South Sea Islander Eroora (or Evora alias Johnny, from Apia) was arrested on June 4, 1878, after the body of Charles Andrews (alias Charley the Swede) had been found murdered at the road going to Tambo, at Nive River, on 27 May 1878. Andrews' skull had been smashed in with a wooden batten on the day before. Evoora had left his employment at a station 50 miles away, and his footmarks were found at the murder site. He was found with money, a pocket book, and a gold watch known to have belonged to Andrews. Eroora was charged with murder and was convicted and sentenced to death at the Rockhampton Assizes on 9 October 1878. He was hanged at Petrie Terrace Gaol at Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 23 December 1878, in the presence of several South Sea Islanders who had been forcefully gathered to watch the execution to give them a harsh lesson in British law. (Dawson, The Prisoners of Toowong Cemetery, p. 44; The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 11 October 1878, p. 2,3; Tuesday, 24 December 1878, p. 2,3; Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, Thursday, 10 October 1878, p. 2,3; Tuesday, 24 December 1878, p. 2)

 

29 April 1879

Chilagorah (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Pentagorah – committed on 31 January 1879 – sentenced on 3 April 1879

Chilagorah, (or Chingarrah, alias Charley), murdered an Aboriginal woman, Pentagorah, at or near Cossack on 31 January 1879, by stabbing her with a large bread-knife. No less than nine mortal wounds were inflicted on her body. Chilagorah was found guilty of murder at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth and sentenced to death on 3 April 1879 and was hanged at Perth Gaol on 29 April 1879. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 27; Western Australian Times, Friday, 2 May 1879)

 

9 June 1879

Hogan, Thomas (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Beechworth

murder – victim: James Hogan - committed on 16 February 1879 - sentenced on 6 May 1879

Thomas Hogan had killed his brother James at Yarrawonga. They had been to town on Saturday night, and a dispute over a bill of sale arose between them. On Sunday morning, 16 February, the quarrel was renewed, and Thomas Hogan, who had a gun in his hand, deliberately levelled it at his brother James and shot him dead. Thomas Hogan was arrested on a charge of murder. He was convicted and sentenced to death at the Criminal Sessions of the Assize Court at Beechworth on 6 May 1879. Thomas Hogan was hanged at Beechworth Gaol at 9 a.m. on 10 June 1879. It was the eleventh execution at Beechworth Gaol. (The Argus, Tuesday, 18 February 1879, p. 5; Tuesday, 10 June 1879, p. 5; Western Australian Times, Friday, 13 June 1879, p. 3; The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 18 June 1879, p. 5; Victoria Government Gazette, 13 June 1879, p. 1521)

 

9 June 1879

Mutter, Joseph (age: 53 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Maria Steffen – committed on 6 December 1878 – sentenced on 17 May 1879

German immigrant Joseph Mutter was convicted of the murder of his countrywoman Maria Steffen at the Criminal Sittings of the Northern Supreme Court at Townsville on 17 May 1879 and was sentenced to death. She was the wife of a man he had been boarding with for three months while he worked as a miner at Ravenswood. While Mr. Steffen was out of house on the afternoon of 6 December 1878, Mutter apparently insulted Mrs. Steffen and she slapped him. He stormed angrily away, drank some schnapps, and returned with a large butcher's knife before stabbing her repeatedly and burying the knife into her ribs up to the hilt. Her husband returned to the hut on her screams, but she died shortly afterwards. Mutter was arrested, still holding the knife in his hands. He was hanged at Brisbane on 9 June 1879. His execution was awfully bungled, his head being torn from his body. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 7 December 1878, p. 4; Monday, 16 December 1878, p. 2; Monday, 19 May 1879; Tuesday, 10 June 1879; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., Monday, 9 June 1879, p. 3; Dawson, The Prisoners of Toowong Cemetery, p. 45-7)

 

10 June 1879

Alfred (age 24 / Aborigine) – New South Wales – Mudgee

rape – victim: Jane Dowd - committed in February 1879 - sentence on 16 April 1879

Alfred, a native of Queensland, was a horsebreaker at Orange, and subsequently worked in the police force at Mudgee, from which he was discharged, however. He gave way to drink very much. On a day in February 1879, he broke into the house of 64-year-old Mrs. Jane Dowd, and raped her, at Three-mile Flat, near Wellington. Alfred was arrested by Senior Constable Chiplin at an Aborigines'  camp near Wellington on 18 February 1879. He was convicted of rape at the Criminal Court at Mudgee and was sentenced to death on 16 April 1879. Alfred was hanged at Mudgee Gaol on 10 June 1879. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 17 April 1879; Wednesday, 11 June 1879, p 5; Queanbeyan Age, Saturday, 22 February 1879, p. 3; Saturday, 14 June 1879, p. 3)

 

16 July 1879

Tampin (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Rottnest

murder – victim: John Moir – committed on 29 March 1877 – sentenced on 5 July 1879

Tampin murdered John Moir at Fanny's Cove, near Albany, on or about 29 March 1877. Tampin and Bower, another Aborigine, hat burned a hut belonging to Moir and taken the rations of his employee, Edward Reece. Reece had captured them and taken them to the homestead where Moir chained them to the rafters of another hut on the property. A native girl by the name of Emily slipped a knife into her belongings unseen by Moir, but to the knowledge of Tampin and Bower. Shortly after dark they asked to be allowed to relieve themselves and picked up the knife as they moved outside. Once out in the dark and unobserved by Moir, the produced the knife which they then used to stab him to death. Tampin was arrested much later, and Bower was shot by a native constable. Tampin was sentenced to death on 5 July 1879 and hanged at Rottnest on 16 July 1879. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 28; Western Australian Times, Tuesday, 8 July 1879 and Friday, 18 July 1879)

 

20 January 1880

Rogan, Thomas (age: 23 / White)

Scott, Andrew George (age: 37 / White) – New South Wales – Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Edward Mostyn Webb-Bowen – committed on 17 November 1879 – sentenced on 11 December 1879

After serving a prison sentence for robbery at Pentridge gaol, Andrew Scott (alias Captain Moonlite) was released in March 1879, and on 16 November 1879, with a gang of five men he held up Wantabadgery sheep station near Wagga Wagga for two days. He used the two children of the near-by hotelkeeper as hostages, separating them by force from their parents. Two of the gang, James Nesbitt and Augustus Wernicke (a boy of 15), and one trooper, Constable Bowen, were killed when the police attacked the homestead at noon on 17 November. Constable Bowen of Gundagai was wounded in the neck and died on 23 November. Scott, Thomas Rogan, Thomas Williams and Graham Bennett were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death at the Central Criminal Court on 11 December 1879. Williams and Bennett were reprieved and their sentences commuted to life imprisonment. Rogan and Scott were hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9 a.m. on 20 January 1880. Thomas Williams was hanged for another crime on 14 July 1885. (Australian Dictionary of Biography; www.policensw.com; The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 21 November 1879; Monday, 24 November 1879; Tuesday, 25 November 1879; Friday, 28 November 1879; Saturday, 13 December 1879; Wednesday, 21 January 1880; Timaru Herald, N.Z., 3 February 1880; 9 February 1880)

 

22 March 1880

Wells, Joseph (age: 22 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

Attempted murder and robbery – victim: William Murphy – committed on 16 January 1880 – sentenced on 17 February 1880

On 16 Januar 1880, Joseph Wells attempted to stick-up the Queensland National Bank at Cunnamula. After entering the banking-room at 10 a.m., he threatened the manager, Joseph Berry, with a revolver, demanding money. Mr. Berry opened the safe and Wells took a parcel of bank notes and a box with gold and silver coins valued about £175. When Berry managed to escape to the street, he heard a shot fired in the bank. William Murphy from the neighbouring store had entered the banking-room, where he encountered Wells. He tried to seize Wells' revolver, but was shot at the left side of his head and shoulder during a short fight, after which Wells fled. Wells was arrested about three-quarters of a mile distant from Cunnamulla. He was convicted of robbery under arms and shooting with intent to murder, at Toowoomba Criminal Assizes, and was sentenced to death on 17 February 1880. Wells was hanged at Brisbane gaol on 22 March 1880. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 19 January 1880; Wednesday, 18 February 1880; Friday, 20 February 1880; Tuesday, 23 March 1880; Thursday, 25 March 1880)

 

26 May 1880

Albert (age: 22 / Aborigine) – New South Wales – Dubbo

murder – victims: Nugle Jack – committed on 15 March 1880 – sentenced on 3 April 1880

Albert (or Alfred) shot to death Nugle Jack at an Aboriginal camp at Barandine. The murder resulted from a quarrel between the two men concerning a woman named Sally. Albert crawled up to the sleeping pair in the night and shot Nugle Jack. He later stated that if he had not killed Nugle Jack the latter would have killed him. Other circumstantial evidence proved that the shot was fired from Albert's gun. Albert was convicted of the murder of Nugle Jack and sentenced to death at Dubbo Circuit Court on 3 April 1880, and he was hanged at Dubbo Gaol on 26 May 1880. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 5 May 1880; Monday, 24 May 1880; The Maitland Mercury, Tuesday, 13 April 1880, p 2;  The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 27 May 1880; Daily Liberal, 12 January 2008)

 

31 May 1880

Jimmy Ah Sue (age unknown / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Ah Coo – committed on 18 March 1880 – sentenced on 22 April 1880

Ah Coo was killed by Jimmy Ah Sue at Nuggetty Gully, near Copperfield, on 18 March 1880. The men had quarrelled about some rice, which Ah Sue alleged Ah Coo stole from him, and in the row Ah Coo received wounds in the head with a hammer, from which he died two hours later. Ah Sue gave himself up to the police immediately after the crime. He was committed for trial at the Rockhampton Circuit Court, where he was convicted after two days and sentenced to death on 22 April 1880. He was hanged at Brisbane gaol at 8 a.m. on 31 May 1880, together with James Elsdale. (The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 20 March 1880; Wednesday, 24 March 1880; Friday, 23 April 1880; Saturday, 1 May 1880; Tuesday, 1 June 1880)

 

31 May 1880

Elsdale, L. James (age: 34 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Michael McEvoy – committed on 24 November 1879 – sentenced on 20 April 1880

Michael McEvoy was travelling with his team in company with other teams between Aramac and Belltopper Creek on 24 November 1879. James Elsdale (alias James Munroe) was on another team. On their way Elsdale talked about McEvoy and said that he couldn't drive a team of horses and that he would show him how to drive them. He was warned not to interfere with McEvoy's horses, but in spite of that he whipped two of the horses, on which a fist fight ensued between the two men. They were separated by the other men, but Elsdale harbored a certain kind of hatred against McEvoy, and went to one of his horses and returned on horseback with a revolver in his hand. When within fifty yards of McEvoy Elsdale fired several shots at the former, the final bullet hitting McEvoy, who later died at Aramac. Elsdale stood trial at the Rockhampton Circuit Court and was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 20 April 1880. He was hanged at Brisbane gaol at 8 a.m. on 31 May 1880, together with Jimmy Ah Sue. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 21 April 1880; Friday, 23 April 1880; Tuesday, 1 June 1880)

 

11 June 1880

Dan King (age unknown / Asian) – New South Wales – Tamworth

murder – victim: Elizabeth Hart – committed on 27 December 1879 – sentenced on 3 April 1880

Elizabeth Hart (or Rolk, or Betts, called Lizzie) was killed at Tamworth on 27 December 1879 by Dan King, a Chinese man, with whom she had been living for some months on the tin mines in the neighbourhood of Inverell. She had left him and came to Tamworth, whe she took up with another Chinese man, named Charley Hung Yung, with whom she was living at the time she was murdered. Dan King came to Tamworth and wished to get Lizzie to return to him, but she refused, preferring to live with Charley Hung Yung. About nine p.m. on 27 December, at the rear of the "Town and Country" Hotel, screams were heard, and a few minutes afterwards Lizzie Hart was found dead. She had several fatal wounds in her neck and on her body. Dan King had threatened to kill her and was observed by witnesses on the scene of the murder. Dan King was convicted of murder at the Tamworth Circuit Court and sentenced to death on Saturday 3 April 1880. He was hanged at Tamworth Gaol on 11 June 1880 at 9 a.m. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 30 December 1879; Tuesday, 6 April 1880; Wednesday, 19 May 1880; Saturday, 12 June 1880; The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 6 April 1880, p. 5; Saturday, 12 June 1880, p. 5; The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 8 April 1880, p. 6)

 

21 June 1880

Gomez, Maximo (age: 36 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: William Clarke – committed on 24 December 1879 – sentenced on 30 April 1880

Maximo Gomez (alias Pedro Gomez), a Filipino, killed William Clarke at Possession Island, Torres Straits, on 24 December 1879. From the evidence published, it appeared that the crime arose out of a drunken quarrel, Gomez having stolen up behind his victim and struck him on the head with a piece of wood. He stood trial at the Rockhampton Supreme Court and was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 30 April 1880. After his trial, sentence was respited to decide on the jurisdiction of the court. Possession Island had only recently been annexed to Queensland, and the Court decided that Rockhampton Supreme Court had jurisdiction over Possession Island. Gomez was hanged at Brisbane gaol at 8 a.m. on 21 June 1880. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 3 May 1880; Saturday, 15 May 1880; Monday, 21 June 1880; Tuesday, 22 June 1880)

 

16 August 1880

Kagariu (age unknown / Aborigine) – Queensland – Brisbane

rape – victim: Jane Macalister – committed on 10 February 1880 – sentenced on 28 July 1880

Kagariu (known to his contemporaries as Johnny Campbell) terrorized the Upper Brisbane and Wide Bay districts and committed a rape upon 15-year-old Jane Macalister at Kipper Creek, Northbrook, on 10 February 1880. On that day, Kagariu came to the house of Jane's sister, a married woman, and after remaining for some two hours, and ascertaining that there were no men about the place, he made "his unlawful desires known", and threatened to shoot both women if they refused him. Holding his revolver to the married sister's head, he went with Jane away from the house towards the creek, where he raped her, under intimidation, having his revolver beside him, the sister being an unwilling witness. After his arrest, he was first tried at Maryborough and convicted of assault and robbery and sentenced to fourteen years' imprisonment on 3 April 1880. In May, on application of the Crown Solicitor's Office, an order was made to produce Kagariu before the bench of magistrates at Ipswich on a charge of criminal assault. He stood trial at the Ipswich Circuit Court and was convicted of criminal assault and sentenced to death on 28 July 1880. Kagariu was hanged at Brisbane gaol on 16 August 1880. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 17 March 1880; Monday, 5 April 1880; Tuesday, 18 May 1880; Wednesday, 28 July 1880; Thursday, 29 July 1880; Tuesday, 17 August 1880)

 

11 November 1880

Kelly, Edward "Ned" (age: 25 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Thomas Lonigan – committed on 26 October 1878 – sentenced on 29 October 1880

Ned Kelly, from age 14 on, served several prison sentences for larceny, especially horse theft. The Kelly family saw themselves as victims of police persecution, but as they grew up, Ned and his younger brothers James and Dan were heavily involved in the organized thefts of horses and cattle. On 15 April 1878 a police trooper named Fitzpatrick went to Mrs. Kelly's home to arrest Dan. He later claimed that he was shot by Ned Kelly, although it was never satisfactorily established that Ned Kelly had been present. Mrs. Kelly and two male relatives were convicted of aiding and abetting the attempted murder of Fitzpatrick and were sentenced to prison terms. Ned and Dan Kelly went into hiding, and Sergeant Kennedy and Constables Lonigan, Scanlon and McIntyre set out to capture them. On 25 October they camped at Stringybank Creek where they were attacked on the next day by the Kelly boys. Ned Kelly shot and killed Lonigan and Scanlon, and mortally wounded Kennedy, whom he later shot in the heart, claiming it was an act of mercy. McIntyre, who had surrendered, escaped to Mansfield and reported the killings. On 15 November 1878 the Victorian government issued a proclamation of outlawry and offered rewards of £500 for each of the gang, dead or alive. After the gang (including Joe Byrne and Steve Hart) held up several banks, the reward was increased to £2000. At last, after taking possession of the hotel run by Mrs. Ann Jones at Glenrowan and detaining sixty people, they planned to rob a train, but the scheme came to nothing. On 28 June 1880, the police surrounded the hotel and shooting began. Almost all hostages managed to flee, but Byrne was shot and bled to death, Ned Kelly was captured, and his brother Dan and Steve Hart took poison and were burned in the hotel. Ned Kelly was tried at Melbourne for the murder of Constable Thomas Lonigan and was convicted and sentenced to death on 29 October 1880. He was hanged at Melbourne gaol on 11 November 1880. (Australian Dictionary of Biography; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 29 June 1880; Monday, 8 November 1880; The Maitland Mercury, Saturday, 30 October 1880; Saturday, 13 November 1880; The West Australian, Tuesday, 23 November 1880)

 

29 March 1881

Brown, William (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Darlinghurst gaol

rape – victim: Ann Brown – committed on 23 January 1881 – sentenced on 21 February 1881

William Brown, a farmer of Yappa Brush, Manning River, was arrested on 25 January 1881 and charged with criminally assaulting his 12-year-old daughter Ann Brown. The crime took place at his residence and was witnessed by his son, William, and his daughter, Bridget, who later gave evidence at his trial. Brown had been separated from his wife for six years. He protested his innocence to the last and stated that his children had conspired together to take his life. His trial took place at the Central Criminal Court at Sydney, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 21 February 1881. Brown was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9 a.m. on 29 March 1881. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 30 March 1881; The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 3 February 1881; Thursday, 24 February 1881; Thursday, 31 March 1881; Poverty Bay Herald, N.Z., 25 March 1881)

 

1 June 1881

Wilkinson, Henry (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Albury

murder – victim: Mary Pumpa – committed on 7 December 1880 – sentenced on 13 April 1881

Henry Wilkinson killed Mary Pumpa at Lyster's Gap, near Jindera, on 7 December 1880. At 3 a.m. Wilkinson entered the house of Pumpa's father, Martin Mentz, entered Pumpa's room, and took some shillings from her. He then fired two shots with a revolver, inflicting mortal wounds in her lungs and head. Wilkinson then went to the room of Martin Mentz, and fired two more shots. Mary Pumpa meanwhile slipped out of the house, and, drenched in blood, reached a neighbour's dwelling. Immediately afterwards Mentz's house was seen burning, and it was ultimately completely destroyed, Mentz's body being charred to cinders. Mary Pumpa died a week later, but was able to identify Wilkinson. Two bullets were found in her body, as well as in the skull of Mentz. Wilkinson was arrested on the day he committed the crime and was later charged with the murder of Mary Pumpa. His trial took place at Albury Circuit Court, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 13 April 1881. Wilkinson was hanged at Albury gaol at 9 a.m. on 1 June 1881. (The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 14 April 1881; Saturday, 14 May 1881; Thursday, 2 June 1881; The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 2 June 1881)

 

6 June 1881

Rohan, Robert (age: 24 / White) – Victoria – Beechworth

murder – victim: John Shea – committed on 23 January 1881 – sentenced on 6 May 1881

The body of John Shea was found murdered in a well at Yalca, and Robert Rohan (alias Ernest Smith) was last seen in his company on 23 January 1881. Rohan, after serving fourteen days' imprisonment for larceny , was arrested on his discharge from gaol at Deniliquin and was remanded to Shepparton on a charge of wilful murder. His trial took place at Beechworth Criminal Court, where he was convicted with a recommendation to mercy and sentenced to death on 6 May 1881. Rohan was hanged at Beechworth gaol at 10 a.m. on 6 June 1881. (The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 7 May 1881; Tuesday, 24 May 1881; The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 17 February 1881; Saturday, 11 June 1881)

 

18 November 1881

Nugent, Robert (age unknown / White) - South Australia - Mt. Gambier

murder – victim: Harry Edmond Pearce – committed on 17 May 1881 – sentenced on 21 October 1881

Police Trooper Harry Edmond Pearce was assaulted and stabbed during the arrest of Robert Nugent (alias Robert Johnston) on 17 May 1881, who had been charged with supplying liquor to Aborigines. Pearce died of his wounds, and Nugent was charged with murder. He stood trial at the Naracoorte Circuit Sessions, was found guilty and sentenced to death on 21 October 1881. Nugent was hanged at Mount Gambier gaol at 8 a.m. on 18 November 1881. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 70-1; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 19 November 1881; The Maitland Mercury, Tuesday, 22 November 1881)

 

12 December 1881

Ah Que (age: 23 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Ah Chen – committed on 13 August 1881 – sentenced in November 1881

Ah Que killed Ah Chen at the One-mile Camp, near Palmerville, on 13 August 1881. He was arrested, charged with murder and tried at the Cooktown Circuit Court. He was convicted and sentenced to death by Judge Sheppard in mid-November 1881. Ah Que was hanged at Brisbane gaol on 12 December 1881. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 22 November 1881; Monday, 12 December 1881; Tuesday, 13 December 1881)

 

22 May 1882

Byrne, George (age: 32 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

rape – victim: Susan Isaacs – committed on 15 January 1882 – sentenced on 30 March 1882

George Byrne raped 16-year-old Susan Isaacs at the European boarding-house at Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, on 15 January 1882. He stood trial at the Brisbane Supreme Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 30 March 1882. Byrne was hanged at Brisbane gaol at 8 a.m. on 22 May 1882. (The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 31 March 1882; Tuesday, 23 May 1882)

 

5 June 1882

Towater, Jimmy (age: 22 / South Sea Islander) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Jeremiah Worth – committed on 8 January 1882 – sentenced on 29 April 1882

Jeremiah Worth, a 70-year-old bailiff residing on the farm of Dr. Hamilton near Bundaberg, was attacked on 8 January 1882 by four men, apparently South Sea Islanders, sitting on his doorstep enjoying his pipe, and was killed. He was found the next day with his head split in half by a tomahawk. There was no apparent cause or reason for the murder. Jimmy Towater (or Towolar) and two other men were arrested about a week later, the other men being discharged later. Towater was charged with murder and committed for trial on 30 January. His trial took place at the Circuit Court at Maryborough, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 29 April 1882. He was hanged at Brisbane gaol on 5 June 1882. He resisted violently, and could not be made to stand while the hangman made his preparation for the execution. He was lying down when the bold was drawn and the drop fell. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 10 January 1882; Friday, 13 January 1882; Tuesday, 31 January 1882; Monday, 1 May 1882; The Maitland Mercury, Tuesday, 6 June 1882)

 

10 July 1882

Braxton, George (age: 60 / White) – Tasmania – Launceston

murder – victim: Ellen Snezewell – committed on 29 April 1882 – sentenced on 15 June 1882

On 29 April 1882, George Braxton, a "sixty-year-old relic of the convict era" killed 34-year-old Ellen Snezewell (or Sneezwell), a semi-paralyzed invalid, in her brothel at York Street, Launceston. She died almost immediately from one bullet shot in her breast. There was no obvious motive for the murder, and Braxton was described as a quiet and inoffensive man doing odd jobs at the theatre. Braxton stood trial at the Criminal Jurisdiction of the Tasmanian Supreme Court at Launceston and was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 15 June 1882. Shortly before his execution, Braxton tried to commit suicide by cutting his own throat, but survived to be hanged at Launceston by executioner Solomon Blay on 10 July 1882, shortly after 8 a.m. (Davis, The Tasmanian Gallows, p. 69; The Mercury, Hobart, Friday 16 June 1882, p. 2,3; Tuesday, 11 July 1882, p 3; Launceston Examiner, Tuesday, 11 July 1882, p. 2)

 

22 November 1882

McGuan, John (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Armidale

murder – victim: Thomas Smith – committed on or about 12 May 1881– sentenced in October 1882

The body of 55-year-old shoemaker Thomas Smith was found on or about 12 May 1881 lying on the hearth of his house at Inverell where he lived alone. There was a hole in his skull as if from the blow of a hammer, and a gash in the throat 4 inches long. It was generally supposed that Smith, who was a first-rate, industrious workman, kept a large amount of money in the house. A desk in the loft was broken open ans was rifled. John McGuan was arrested as a suspect in early June 1881. A hammer was found in his dray with some blood on. The head of the hammer exactly fitted the wound in the murdered man's head. After two important witnesses against him died under suspicious circumstances, and after two trials at which the jury could not agree, McGuan was finally convicted at Armidale Circuit Court in October 1882. He was hanged at Armidale gaol on 22 November 1882. (The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 6 May 1882; Tuesday, 7 November 1882; The Maitland Mercury, Saturday, 14 May 1881; Thursday, 9 June 1881; Saturday, 10 December 1881; Thursday, 23 November 1882)

 

18 January 1883

Burns, William (age: 35 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Henry Loton – committed on 23 September 1882 – sentenced on 21 December 1882

William Burns, a seaman of the ship "Douglas", killed Henry Loton, the second mate of that vessel, on the High Seas on 23 September 1882. The hands were engaged in furling sails, and Burns asked why the chief officer did not take in the lower stun-sails. The mate replied that he wanted none of his insolence. Burns at once stabbed him in the neck with a sheath knife, severing the carotid artery. Loton staggered and fell dead in less than five minutes. After arriving at Adelaide on 10 December 1882, Burns was committed for trial on a charge of murder. He was convicted at the Adelaide Criminal Court and sentenced to death on 21 December 1882, and was hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 18 January 1883. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 72-4; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 23 December 1882; The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 14 December 1882; Saturday, 20 January 1883)

 

27 January 1883

Ah Kett (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Foo Ah Moy – committed on 2 July 1882 – sentenced 5 January 1883

Ah Kett and Foo Ah Moy were employed by Wallace D. McLeod on his Cheritah property, 30 miles form Roebourne. McLeod had several Chinese working for him, who did the fencing. At 11 p.m. on 2 July 1882, McLeod was awakened by screams coming from the hut where the Chinese men slept. Investigating, he called on Ah Kett to come out, then the other Chinese. On entering the hut he found Foo Ah Moy with three distinct wounds at his throat, almost severing the head from the body. His breast bone was divided in two, and there were several other cuts about the body and on top of the head. A bloodstained tomahawk was found outside the hut. Foo Ah Moy had enough time to tell McLeod that Ah Kett had attacked him, and his wounds being washed, he died shortly afterwards. Foo Ah Moy had given information concerning a sheep stealing, resulting in the arrest of one of his Chinese co-workers. The trial of that man was to take place a day or two after the murder took place. It can be assumed that the motive for the murder was revenge. Ah Kett simply stated that he and Foo Ah Moy didn't like each other. He was sentenced to death at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 5 January 1883, confessing to his crime on that day. He was hanged at Perth Gaol at 8 a.m. on 27 January 1883, along with John Collins. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 28; West Australian, Tuesday, 9 January 1883; Tuesday, 30 January 1883)

 

27 January 1883

Collins, John (age: 52 / White) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: John King – committed on 2 October 1882 – sentenced on 18 January 1883

John Collins, a Bond man, murdered John King at the Kalgan River near Albany, on 2 October 1882. Both men were sandalwood cutters. King's body was found with the head and legs cut off. King was last seen alive in the company of Collins, both driving their teams with sandalwood from Albany to the Kalgan River. They arrived at the so called "Sinkings" on 1 October and stayed there that evening. A Mr. Warburton, passing by at about midnight, saw them sitting down by a fire, and talked to them. One of Mr. Warburton's men came to their camp at about 4 a.m. on 2 October, but only Collins was present, though two teams were ready. Collins took King's team to Albany and said he had purchased it from King, but told several persons different stories about it. On the following day Collins took his own team to Albany, but nobody noticed the different versions of his stories and nobody became suspicious at first. Some time later, King's dead body was accidentally discovered on 11 November at the "Sinkings," and Collins was arrested. Collins' trial took place at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 15 January 1883, and he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 18 January. John Collins was hanged at Perth Gaol at 8 a.m. on 27 January 1883, along with Ah Kett. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 28-9; West Australian, Friday, 19 January 1883, p. 2,3; Tuesday, 30 January 1883; The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday, 20 January 1883, p. 14)

 

23 May 1883

Rushborne, George (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Armidale

murder – victim: Jimmy Young – committed on 16 March 1883 – sentenced on 14 April 1883

George Rushborne (or Ruxbourne), a Maltese immigrant, sent 13-year-old George Scarr to fetch Jimmy Young, a Chinese doctor, under the pretense that a girl was ill. The boy led the doctor through Dumaresq Street, Armidale, to a creek, where Rushborne ran up behind him and hit Young with an axe at the back of the neck; the doctor fell with a moan. Rushborne chopped the doctor twice again as he lay on the ground, while he told George Scarr to watch out if anybody would be coming near. Rushborne drew the body up under the bank and instructed the body not to tell anybody and promised him to take him to Melbourne. He stood trial at Armidale Circuit Court, George Scarr being the principal witness, and was convicted and sentenced to death on 14 April 1883. Rushborne was hanged at Armidale gaol on 23 May 1883. (The Maitland Mercury, Tuesday, 10 April 1883; Tuesday, 17 April 1883; Thursday, 24 May 1883; The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 24 May 1883)

 

4 June 1883

Ogden, James (age: 20 / White)

Sutherland, James (age: 18 / White) – Tasmania – Hobart

murder – victim: William Wilson – committed on 9 April 1883 – sentenced on 15 May 1883

On 9 April 1883, William Wilson, a repairer on the line who lived with his wife, four children, and his guest, Mrs. Borham, near Cleveland, was awakened by stones being thrown on his roof. He went out, and his wife heard a shot, and also ran outside. Her husband staggered past her saying that he had been shot. He collapsed outside and died on the spot from wounds in the head, breast, and groin. James Ogden and James Sutherland then robbed Mrs. Wilson, wounded Mrs. Borham, and set the house on fire. They were both recognized by Mrs. Wilson. On 11 April, Ogden and Sutherland also shot dead Alfred Holman, who was driving a lemonade cart from Launceston, near Epping. They took the cart into the bush, which led to their arrest on the same day. They stood trial at the Hobart Supreme Court and were convicted of the murder of William Wilson and sentenced to death on 15 May 1883. Ogden and Sutherland were hanged at Campbell Street gaol, Hobart, at 8:10 a.m. on 4 June 1883. (Brand, Executions at Campbell Street Gaol; Davis, The Tasmanian Gallows, p. 69-71; Timaru Herald, N.Z., 19 April 1883; The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 19 April 1883; Tuesday, 24 April 1883; The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 23 April 1883; Wednesday, 6 June 1883; Otago Witness, N.Z., 30 June 1883)

 

18 June 1883

Guerhilla (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Rottnest

murder – victim: Anthony Cornish – committed on 13 December 1882 – sentenced on 9 May 1883

On the morning of 13 December 1882, Guerhilla, a Kimberley native, with Anthony Cornish and another Aborigine, Winny, went to go with a flock of "weaners" (young sheep) from a place known as Lulingi. He shortly returned back to the station because he had forgotten paper and pencil and gave Guerhilla his sharp American pattern axe to carry. On the next day at about six miles from the station Cornish's body was found lying on it's back in a large pool of blood. There was a deep cut to the side of the neck which severed the jugular and a spear wound to the right breast. Guerhilla admitted he hit Anthony Cornish with the axe after he was arrested by P. C. James Hackett. He stood trial in Perth an was sentenced to death on 9 May 1883. Guerhilla was hanged at Rottnest on 18 June 1883, along with Wangabiddy. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 29-30; West Australian, Friday, 22 June 1883)

 

18 June 1883

Wangabiddy (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Rottnest

murder – victim: Charles Redfern – committed about 6 May 1882 – sentenced on 18 January 1883

Wangabiddy murdered Charles Redfern at the Upper Gascoyne at the junction of the Lyons River. Redfern was last seen alive on 5 or 6 May 1882. Wangabiddy's two wives found Redfern's bloody body and an axe lying in a nearby gully with fresh blood and asked Wangabiddy why he had killed him. Wangabiddy told them that Redfern had insulted him. He was sentenced to death at Perth on 18 January and hanged at Rottnest on 18 June 1883, along with Guerhilla. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 29; The West Australian, Friday, 22 June 1883)

 

30 July 1883

Nannacaroo (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Rottnest

murder – victim: Charles Brackell – committed on 31 July 1882 – sentenced on 13 July 1883

Nannacaroo, (or Narracoori) alias Billy, an Aborigine, killed Charles Brackell (or Brackle, Bracknell) at the Gascoyne. Brackell was a cook for J. H. Smith on the property of Marsh and Wheelock at Minilya River. Brackell, James Henry Smith, a boy named Roach, and Nannacaroo and his wife Jenny were camped about four miles from Gooch and Wheeler's camp, looking after a flock of sheep. On the evening of 31 July 1882, Smith and Roach went to Gooch's camp leaving Brackell, Nannacaroo and Jenny in the camp. Smith returned at about midnight and found Brackell in his bed wrapped up in his blanket with his head covered. He uncovered him and discovered two large wounds to the side of the head. Brackell was dead. Nannacaroo had lost a lamb on that day and Brackell told him if he lost one again he would shoot him. Nannacaroo was sentenced at Perth and hanged at Rottnest on 30 July 1883. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 30; The West Australian, Tuesday 17 July 1883)

 

25 September 1883

Burns, Robert Francis (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Ararat

murder – victim: Michael Quinlivan – committed in June 1880 – sentenced on 23 July 1883

On 1 July 1880, the body of an unknown man was found in the bush near Wickliffe, the top of his skull having been smashed in as if by a blow from a hammer. The remains were buried without being identified, the clothes and an empty purse found alongside the body remaining in the possession of constable McCracken. When Robert Francis Burns was arrested for another murder, McCracken recollected a man answering his description and was later able to identify the murdered man as being Michael Quinlivan, who had been robbed of a sum of £80. Burns and Quinlivan had been working at Reedy Creek, near Wickliffe. Burns had induced Quinlivan to withdraw the money at Dunkeld, and several days later Quinlivan was not to be found. Burns was first charged with the murder of Charles Forbes at Deep Lead, but was acquitted and immediately re-arrested and charged with the murder of Michael Quinlivan and was remanded to Hamilton on 28 August 1882. His first trial ended on 2 March 1883, the jury being unable to agree. On his second trial at Hamilton, Burns was convicted and sentenced to death on 23 July 1883. He was hanged at Ararat gaol at 9 a.m. on 25 September 1883. Shortly before his execution he confessed that he had committed eight different murders, five in Victoria and three in New South Wales. (The Maitland Mercury, Tuesday, 13 June 1882; Tuesday, 22 August 1882; Thursday, 31 August 1882; Saturday, 3 March 1883; Thursday, 26 July 1883; Thursday, 27 September 1883; The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 18 September 1882; Hawera & Normanby Star, N.Z., Thursday, 27 September 1883; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 21 February 1884)

 

15 October 1883

Gardiner, James (age: 19 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Ada Gardiner – committed on 22 August 1883 – sentenced on 19 September 1883

James Gardiner (alias McMahon) had been living with 32-year-old Ada Gardiner (alias German Ada) at Rockhampton, "participating in the earnings of her shame." They frequently quarrelled, and on the night of 21 August 1883 the quarrel was of a more serious character, and in the early morning hours, in his drunken rage he kicked and stamped the life out of the woman. His trial took place at Rockhampton Supreme Court and he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 19 September 1883. Gardiner was hanged at Boggo Road gaol, Brisbane, at 8 a.m. on 15 October 1883, along with George and Jango. (The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 7 September 1883; Thursday, 20 September 1883; Friday, 21 September 1883; Tuesday, 16 October 1883)

 

15 October 1883

George (age: 25 / Aborigine) – Queensland – Brisbane

rape – victim: Johanna Anderson - committed on 21 August 1883 – sentenced on 18 September 1883

On 21 August 1883, George ran after a 13-year-old girl named Johanna Anderson at Gracemere. Having caught her, he brutally raped her. He was convicted at Rockhampton Supreme Court and sentenced to death on 18 September 1883. George was hanged at Boggo Road gaol, Brisbane, at 8 a.m. on 15 October 1883, along with James Gardiner and Jango. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 19 September 1883; Tuesday, 16 October 1883)

 

15 October 1883

Jango (age: 17 / Aborigine) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Eliza Mills – committed on 10 July 1882 – sentenced on 18 September 1883

Jango was known as a wild youth in the district immediately surrounding Dingo. In early 1882 he became notorious for an assault of a most serious character upon a boy. On 10 July 1882, he was again heard of as having committed a murderous assault with a tomahawk upon young Mrs. Eliza Mills at Dingo. For some days she lingered between life and death, and Jango, who had been caught in the meantime, was remanded from time to time to Rockhampton gaol. He managed to escape from gaol, but was recaptured within an hour. Jango's trial took place at Rockhampton and he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 18 September 1883. He was hanged at Boggo Road gaol, Brisbane, at 8 a.m. on 15 October 1883, along with George and James Gardiner. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 19 September 1883; Tuesday, 16 October 1883)

 

25 October1883

Maroney, John (age: 42 / White)

Watkins, William (age: 44 / White) - Western Australia - Perth

murder – victim: James Watson – committed on 1 May 1883 – sentenced on 6 October 1883

John Maroney and William Watkins (alias Mathuis or Mathews), both Bond men, were sandalwood cutting at Yellenup, not far away from Kojonup. The was considerable ill feeling between them and James (Pigman) Watson who felt the other two were stealing his wood. On 1 May 1883 the partly burned body of Watson was found in the remains of a large fire and investigations pointed towards Watkins and Maroney, who were arrested and taken to Perth to face trial. They were sentenced to death on 6 October 1883 and hanged at Perth on 25 October 1883. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 30-1; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 27 October 1883)

 

10 November 1883

Mah Poo (age: 26 / Asian) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Tommy Ah Fook – committed on 10 August 1883 – sentenced on 13 October 1883

Mah Poo (alias Charlie Bow, a Chinese cook) killed his employer Tommy Ah Fook on 10 August 1883 in Hindley Street, Adelaide. Ah Fook died from one bullet shot into his head. His body was found on 14 August in a cesspit on the premises of Hindley Street. Mah Poh stood trial at the Adelaide Criminal Court on 9 October 1883, but on 11 October, one juror was declared to be uncapable to perform his proper functions as a Juryman, and a new Jury had to be empanelled. Mah Poo was convicted and sentenced to death on 13 October. He was hanged at Adelaide gaol at 8 a.m. on 10 November 1883. Several days before his execution, Mah Poo admitted killing Ah Fook, because he "was always cursing and swearing" at him, so Mah Poo lost his temper and shot him. He claimed that he did not rob him. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 75-8; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 13 November 1883)

 

23 January 1884

Haynes, Henry Benjamin (age: 46 / White) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Mary Ann Haynes – committed on 12 October 1883 – sentenced on 7 January 1884

Haynes, a Bond man and tailor, brooded over his past. It was constantly on his mind that it would become public knowledge that he had been transported for murder (in 1859, was granted a Ticket of Leave on 4 August 1861 and a Conditional Pardon on 16 August 1871); he also had a drinking problem of which he was deeply conscious. After a short sentence for stealing some cloth he became depressed and argumentative and began to drink heavily once again. On 12 October 1883, Haynes returned home and demanded money for beer, which his wife ostensibly ignored. Following an argument about the money for beer, Haynes hit Ann over the head with a hammer, not once but several times. She died that night in hospital. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 7 January 1884 and was hanged at Perth at 8 p.m. on 23 January 1884. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 31-2; The West Australian, Tuesday, 8 January 1884; Thursday, 24 January 1884)

 

23 April 1884

Rice, William (age: 23 / White) – New South Wales – Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: James Griffin – committed on 28 February 1884 – sentenced on 12 March 1884

William Rice, a butcher who lived in a house at Phelps street on Surry Hills with Sophia Holmes, a young married woman, as his housekeeper, returned home on 28 February 1884 in company with 23-year-old James Griffin, who had also been living at the house for a week. Mrs. Holmes followed Griffin into his bedroom, and Rice, who had procured a revolver in the meantime, subsequently shot Griffin dead, from motives of jealousy. Two shots had taken effect, killing Griffin at once. Rice was immediately arrested in the neighbourhood and was charged with murder. His trial took place at the Central Criminal Court and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 12 March 1884. Rice was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol on 23 April 1884. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 4 March 1884; Thursday, 13 March 1884; Thursday, 24 April 1884)

 

6 June 1884

Morgan, Henry (age: 45 / White) – Victoria – Ararat

murder – victim: Margaret Nolan – committed on 17 November 1883 – sentenced on 10 May 1884

Henry Morgan raped and then killed 10-year-old Margaret Noland to hide his offence on 17 November 1883 at Panmure. His trial took place at Warnambook, where he was convicted and sentenced to death on 10 May 1884. Morgan was hanged at Ararat gaol at 9 a.m. on 6 June 1884. Shortly before his execution he confessed to his guilt. He had seen her on the day before and was rather drunk when he asked her to hold his horse. He raped her, and she struggled so violently that he killed her at once. (The West Australian, Thursday, 5 June 1884; Northern Territory times and Gazette, Saturday, 14 June 1884; Saturday, 5 July 1884; The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 9 June 1884; Otago Witness, N.Z., 21 June 1884)

 

13 June 1884

Cordini, Joseph (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Deniliquin

murder – victim: George Mizon – committed on 10 October 1883 – sentenced in April 1884

The body of George Mizon, a hawker, was found on 12 October 1883 on the road to Hay, near Deniliquin, covered with sheepskins, alongside of a wagon. Indications in the vicinity of the wagon pointed to the fact that Mizon was sitting in the vehicle when the fatal blow was struck, and the body was dragged to the opposite side of the waggon from the road. The head was horribly crushed with a heavy club, and then further mutilated with a tomahawk. Mizon had been in possession of a sum of money in cheques, notes and coins some time previous to the discovery of the body, but no money was found on him. Joseph Cordini (alias Joseph Gordon), a French hawker, had previously to the murder threatened to kill Mizon in the presence of other witness, and was the last to be seen in Mizon's company. He was arrested some days later, charged with the murder. Cordini was convicted and sentenced to death at Deniliquin Criminal Court in April 1884 and was hanged at Deniliquin gaol on 13 June 1884. He protested his innocence to the last. After his execution there were unfounded rumours that Stevenson, the principal witness at Cordini's trial, had confessed to the murder. Even five years later a newspaper reported that a man named Harrison was by many people believed to be the real murderer.

(The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 16 October 1883; Saturday, 24 May 1884; Wednesday, 11 June 1884; Saturday, 14 June 1884; Tuesday, 14 October 1884; New Zealand Tablet, 11 July 1884; Te Aroha News, N.Z., 30 March 1889)

 

21 August 1884

Hawthorn, James (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: William Hawthorn – committed on 21 March 1884 – sentenced on 27 July 1884

William Hawthorn was asleep in bed in his home at Brighton on 21 March 1884, when the window of the room was gently opened, the barrel of a gun put through close to the sleeping man's shoulder, and the gun fired, Hawthorn receiving a terrible wound in the shoulder. The police were informed and sent "black trackers" out, who tracked footprints from the window to the house of Hawthorn's brother, and the latter, James Hawthorn, was arrested. The brothers had some litigation about a piece of land, and James Hawthorn had threatened to settle his brother shortly before committing the murder. William Hawthorn died shortly after, and his brother was charged with murder and tried at the Melbourne Criminal Court. At his first trial, the jury were unable to agree, but at his second trial, the jury found him guilty and recommended him to mercy on account of his excited state of mind when the deed was committed. He was sentenced to death on 27 July 1884. James Hawthorn was hanged at Melbourne gaol on 21 August 1884. The knot was badly adjusted by the hangman, and Hawthorn's arms and legs kept contracting spasmodically for two minutes after the drop fell. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 25 March 1884; Wednesday, 2 April 1884; Friday, 22 August 1884)

 

13 October 1884

Stock, Henry (age: 22 / White) – Tasmania – Hobart

murder – victims: Elizabeth Keats and her child – committed on 4 April 1884 – sentenced on 23 September 1884

Henry Stock had been married to seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Keats for about 2 years. She had a daughter before they were married, but Stock was not the father, which was a constant source of troubles between them. After separating twice, he agreed to take her back but not the child. They were last seen at Stock's hut on 4 April 1884, but when her brother called two days later there was no sign of them. On 22 April he organized a search party and their bodies were found the following day in a dense scrub. Each had been shot. Stock was arrested and charged with murder. After the first trial, at which the jury failed to reach a verdict, he was convicted in a second trial at the Hobart Supreme Court and was sentenced to death on 23 September 1884. Stock was hanged at Campbell Street gaol, Hobart , on 13 October 1884. His execution was botched, and he died from suffocation. (Brand, Executions at Campbell Street Gaol; Davis, The Tasmanian Gallows, p. 71; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 14 October 1884)

 

23 October 1884

Carbury, Thomas Henry (age: 44 / White) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Constable Hackett – committed on 12 September 1884 – sentenced on 3 October 1884

Thomas Henry Carbury (or Carberry), a Bond man, and Andrew Miller, another Ticket of Leave man, were arrested on 12 September 1884 for being drunk in the Settlers Arms Hotel. Miller paid his bail money and Carberry was to return with a pound as his bail by 8 p.m., but did not do so. Constable Hackett went to do his "rounds" later in the evening but did not return. A search next morning found Hackett with his head smashed in and his pockets turned out. He had been killed near the show grounds and his body dragged 15 yards to a fence and left there. Carberry and Miller had absconded, but were confronted by police at the Dale. A gun fight broke out, Miller was shot and told Detective Police Constable John McKenna that he and Carberry had killed Hackett. Carberry was not arrested until 19 September and brought to trial, which took place on 3 October 1884. He was sentenced to death and hanged at Perth gaol on 23 October 1884. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 32; The West Australian, Thursday, 18 September 1884, Thursday, 23 October 1884, p. 3; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 25 October 1884; The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday, 25 October 1884, p. 14)

 

24 October 1884

O'Brien, William (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Peter McCansh – committed on 23 July 1884 – sentenced on 23 September 1884

William O'Brien was arrested on 27 July 1884, charged with the murder of Peter McCansh, a farmer, who had been shot on the road near his reasidence, about two miles from Lancefield, on 23 July. The "black trackers" found footmarks corresponding to those of O'Brien between the place where McCansh was shot and O'Brien's hut, in which was found a single-barrelled gun recently discharged. O'Brien had formerly held a farm from McCansh, but got into difficulties, and it was alleged that he cherished a feeling of hatred against McCansh for taking it from him. His trial took place at the Melbourne Criminal Court, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 23 September 1884. O'Brien was hanged at Melbourne gaol on 24 October 1884. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 28 July 1884; Friday, 19 September 1884; Wednesday, 24 September 1884; Saturday, 25 October 1884)

 

29 October 1884

Sing Ong (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia - Geraldton

murder – victim: Chung Ah Foo – committed on 11 May 1884 – sentenced on 9 October 1884

Sing Ong was sentenced to death at Geraldton Supreme Court on 9 October 1884 for the murder of Chung Ah Foo. The cause of quarrel between murderer and victim appeared to have been that Ah Foo employed a man whom Sing Ong considered to be his servant. Mr. E. W. Butcher, of Sharks Bay, heard pistol shots on the evening of 11 May and subsequently found the dead body of Ah Foo with a gunshot wound below the chest. Ah Chee, a carpenter, was a direct witness to the murder and saw Sing Ong firing two shots at Ah Foo from a small revolver, one of them penetrating his body just below the chest, the other wounding him in the hip. After the trial, the residents of the Victoria District presented a Petition claiming that Sing had not had a fair trial. Sing Ong was hanged at Champion Bay (Geraldton), on a portable gallows which had been shipped up from Fremantle, on 29 October 1884. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 33; The West Australian, Thursday, 17 July 1884)

 

28 January 1885

Duffy, John (age: 68 / White) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Mary Sultana McGann – committed on 21 November 1884 – sentenced on 8 January 1885

Duffy, a Bond man, lived with Mary Sultana McGann at Cantonment Street at Fremantle, from where he operated a business as "John the Woodcutter". He was sixty-eight years of age, but she only 26. He killed on the morning of 21 November 1884 in their house. Her body was found by little children in a pool of blood. Duffy said after his arrest that he had killed McGann because she had given him "a bad disease". He was found guilty at the Supreme Court and sentenced to death on 8 January 1885. He was hanged at Perth gaol at 8 a.m. on 28 January 1885 (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 33; The West Australian, Thursday 29 January 1885 and Saturday 31 January 1885)

 

14 April 1885

Watson, Charles (age unknown / White) – New South Wales – Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: William Matthews – committed on 26 July 1884 – sentenced on 6 March 1885

Charles Watson killed a hawker named William Matthews at Urgandra on 26 July 1884. Matthews' body was found in the Lachlan River, a short distance from Cowl Cowl station, with the skull smashed in, probably on 6 November 1884. Watson's trial took place at the Central Criminal Court at Sydney. Circumstantial evidence showed beyond a shadow of doubt that Watson was the murderer. He was convicted and sentenced to death on 6 March 1885. Watson was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, on 14 April 1885. (The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 7 March 1885; Wednesday, 15 April 1885)

 

15 May 1885

Barnes, William (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Joseph Bragge Slack – committed on 9 September 1884 – sentenced on 17 April 1885

On 11 September 1884 Joseph Bragge Slack was found in his home at South Melbourne, lying on the bed with his throat cut, and holding a razor covered with blood in his left hand. The deceased was a well-known and eccentric character. The particular form that his eccentricity took was a morbid love of litigation. He was always involved in lawsuits, and he always conducted his own cases. An inquest was held, and a verdict was returned that Slack had committed suicide, which was not substantiated with any examination. William Banres, a notorious criminal serving a sentence of imprisonment at Pentridge gaol, on 14 December 1884 asserted that he murdered Slack, placed the razor in his hand to avert suspicion, and stole a quantity of jewellery from his safe. Slack's body was exhumed and it was found that he died by strangulation. Barnes was tried at the Melbourne Criminal Court, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 17 April 1885. He was hanged at Melbourne gaol on 15 May 1885. Before his execution he admitted his guilt and confessed to many other crimes. (The West Australian, Tuesday, 30 December 1884; The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 29 April 1885; Tuesday, 26 May 1885)

 

14 July 1885

Johns, Frank (age: 23 / White) – New South Wales – Darlinghurst gaol

Att. murder – victim: William Roberts – committed on 18 February 1885 – sentenced on 28 May 1885

Frank Johns (alias Thomas Williams) was twice sentenced to death. As a young man he was a member of the gang of Captain Moonlight, who was hanged on 20 January 1880, Johns being reprieved to imprisonment for life. On 27 March 1884, Johns was removed to the Parramatta gaol. His conduct was exemplary. However, in the afternoon of 19 February 1885 one of the table knives were missed, and strict search everywhere made for it, but without success. About 4 p.m. two prisoners, Watkins and William Roberts, were walking together when Johns came up to Roberts and demanded to know what Watkins had just told him about himself. When the unsuspecting Roberts replied "Nothing" he was called a liar by Johns, who revealed a large table knife sharpened to the point and plunged it to the handle in Roberts' breast. Roberts was severely wounded, but survived. Johns was charged with the capital offence of wounding and stood trial at the Central Criminal Court, where he was convicted and sentenced to death on 28 May 1885. He was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9 a.m. on 14 July 1885. (The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 2 July 1885; Wednesday, 15 July 1885; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 20 June 1885; Saturday, 18 July 1885; The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday, 30 May 1885, p. 13,14; Wednesday, 15 July 1885, p 6)

 

3 September 1885

Bushby, Charles (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Ballarat

Attempted murder – victim: Detective Hyland – committed on 12 December 1884 – sentenced on 27 July 1885

On 12 December 1884 the police received information that Charles Bushby (alias Baker) was connected with a robbery of wool from a farm near Kyneton. Detective Hyland and two other policemen drove in the direction of the Gong Gong Reservoir, and met Bushby walking towards Ballarat. Hyland called to him, but he declined to stop, and then he turned suddenly round, drew a revolver and fired. The ball struck Hyland in the back, and was not removed for some days. Bushby was secured and afterwards put upon his trial for (attempted) murder. The jury disagreed, and he was remanded. He was convicted at Ballarat on 24 July 1885 and sentenced to death three days later. He was hanged at Ballarat gaol at 10 a.m. on 3 September 1885. (The West Australian, Saturday, 1 August 1885; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 25 July 1885; Friday, 4 September 1885; Saturday, 12 September 1885; Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Saturday, 14 November 1885)

 

26 October 1885

Gordon, Walter Edward (age: 28 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Walter Running – committed on 2 May 1885 – sentenced on 16 September 1885

Mr. Walter Bunning, manager of Darr River Down station, declined on 1 May 1885 to take Walter Edward Gordon, who had been employed on the station for three weeks wood-washing, to the Muttaburra Hospital because Gordon was only suffering from a fever then prevalent on the station. He gave him some medicine instead. The following day Gordon's bitterness towards Mr. Bunning increased and he stole a revolver and two cartridges from the tent of a fellow worker, walked to the station (a mile from where he was working) and entering the store shot Mr. Bunning in the back, killing him almost instantly. Gordon was convicted and sentenced to death at Rockhampton Circuit Court on 16 September 1885, with a recommendation to mercy on account of his weak state of health at the time he committed the deed.. Gordon was hanged at Brisbane gaol at 8 a.m. on 26 October 1885. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 20 May 1885; Thursday, 17 September 1885; Friday, 16 October 1885; Tuesday, 27 October 1885)

 

27 October 1885

Sherry, Henry (age: 47 / White) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Catherine Waldock – committed on 16 Sept. 1885 – sentenced on 7 October 1885

Sherry, a Bond man, murdered Catherine Waldock on 16 September 1885 at "The Williams". She was the wife of a local farmer at the Williams, and Sherry was also a farmer living in the neighbourhood. Sherry and the Waldocks seemed to have been on friendly terms and he appeared to have formed an attachment towards Mrs. Waldock. On the night of the murder, Mrs. Waldock went out to shoot some possums, accompanied by her two sons, Thomas (aged 10) and William (aged 12), when she was approached by Sherry with a gun. They had a short discussion, observed by the boys. He then pointed the gun at her, and when she turned away he fired, shooting her in the back. The boys alarmed their father and the neighbours, and Sherry was arrested on the same night. It seems that Mrs. Waldock had refused to elope with him, which had enraged him. He was sentenced to death at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 7 October 1885 and was hanged at Perth Gaol on 27 October 1885. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 33-4; West Australian, Thursday, 8 October 1885, p. 3; Wednesday 28 October 1885)

 

27 November 1885

Hunter, Edward (age: 72 / White) – Victoria – Bendigo

murder – victim: James Power – committed on 16 September 1885 – sentenced on 22 October 1885

On 16 September 1885, James Power was sitting on a form in the bar of the Golden Fleece Hotel at Charlton, when Edward Hunter (alias The Fiddler), a resident of Wychetella, came in and demanded some money back he had presumably given to Power. The latter replied that he didn't have it. Hunter then went out, and returned with a sheath knife, which he plunged into Power's breast. Power died in fifteen minutes. Hunter, who was immediately arrested, expressed his hope that he had killed the man. He had been transported to Tasmania in 1836 and had been frequently convicted since of various offences. He was charged with murder and was tried at Bendigo (then Sandhurst). Hunter was convicted and sentenced to death on 22 October 1885. He was hanged at Bendigo gaol on 27 November 1885. (The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 17 September 1885; Saturday, 19 September 1885; Saturday, 24 October 1885; Monday, 30 November 1885; The West Australian, Tuesday, 1 December 1885)

 

10 December 1885

Friske, Matthew (age: 67 / White) – New South Wales – Grafton

murder – victim: Matt Matteson – committed in early August 1885 – sentenced on 16 October 1885

The body of 26-year-old Matt Matteson (a native from Finland) was found charred in a smouldering fire in a hollow tree, about 500 yards from the hut he had occupied, at Coff's Harbour. His mate, Matthew Friske (also a native from Finland), was arrested on suspicion, and he soon confessed to murdering Matterson by striking him on the head with an axe, and then burning the body. The two Finns had been partners as selectors, and it was believed a will was made by them to the effect that, on the death of one, his property should be owned by the survivor. Friske was committed for trial at Grafton Circuit Court, where he was convicted and sentenced to death on 16 October 1885. He was hanged at Grafton gaol on 10 December 1885. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 17 August 1885; Saturday, 22 August 1885; Saturday, 17 October 1885; Thursday, 26 November 1885; Saturday, 12 December 1885; Friday, 18 December 1885)

 

7 January 1886

Morell, Freeland (age: 39 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: John Anderson – committed on 15 November 1885 – sentenced on 15 December 1885

Freeland Morell (a native of Connecticut, USA) killed John Anderson, second mate of the American barque Don Nicholas at Port Melbourne on 15 November 1885. Anderson (a 38-year-old native of Hanover, Germany) was walking along the pier with Alfred Petersen, another seaman, when Morell, one of his crew, came up with a long knife concealed in his hand, and, after using bad language to Anderson, plunged the knife downwards into his heart. Anderson fell down and died almost immediately. Morell reported the case to the captain, was arrested on the scene, and was charged with murder. It appears that on the passage out Anderson was not satisfied with the way in which Morell did his work, and a dispute over the matter resulted in ill feeling. Morell's trial took place at the Melbourne Criminal Court, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 15 December 1885. Morell was hanged at Melbourne gaol at 10 a.m. on 7 January 1886. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 17 November 1885; Tuesday, 24 November 1885; Saturday, 16 January 1886; Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Saturday, 2 January 1886)

 

5 April 1886

Tim Tee (age: 30 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Jimmy Ah Fook – committed on 26 February 1886 – sentenced on 10 March 1886

Tim Tee, a cook at Falconer's boring camp at Dulbydilla (a native from Amoy / Xiamen, province of Fujian) shot baker Jimmy Ah Fook on 26 February 1886. Ah Fook lived just long enough to give the name of his murderer, but died on his way to the Roma Hospital. At the post-mortem, forty shot wound were found in his body. Tim Tee was arrested and charged with the murder. Reports were current to the effect that the shooting was the result of a gambling quarrel about £10. Tim Tee's trial took place at the Roma Circuit Court, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 10 March 1886. He was hanged at Boggo Road gaol at 8 a.m. on 5 April 1886. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 1 March 1886; Tuesday, 16 March 1886; Saturday, 27 March 1886; Monday, 5 April 1886; Tuesday, 6 April 1886)

 

8 June 1886

Liddiard, William (age unknown / White) - New South Wales – Grafton

murder – victim: Patrick Noonan – committed probably in May 1885 – sentenced on 20 April 1886

In early June 1885, the government of New South Wales offered a reward of £25 for the identification of a man found murdered in a bag at Wardell, Richmond River, and £75 for the arrest and conviction of the murderer. It seems that it took several months before the victim was identified as Patrick Noonan. William Liddiard and his wife were arrested, Liddiard was charged with murder on 13 February 1886. Noonan had been in the employ of Liddiard. The motive for the murder was said to be jealousy on the part of Liddiard towards Noonan. After Liddiard's recovering from a suicide attempt, his trial took place at Grafton District Court, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 20 April 1886. He was hanged at Grafton gaol on 8 June 1886. Standing on the scaffold, he made a short statement admitting that he was guilty as an accessory by the concealment of the body. He implied that another man, Herlsford, who had turned Queen's evidence at Liddiard's trial, had struck Noonan from behind, killing him with several blows on the head. (The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 4 June 1885; Tuesday, 16 February 1886; Friday, 9 April 1886; Saturday, 27 February 1886; Wednesday, 9 June 1886; The West Australian, Thursday, 10 June 1886)

 

21 June 1886

Wong Tong (age: 35 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Cock Tow – committed on 25 April 1886 – sentenced on 6 May 1886

On 25 April 1886 Cock Tow was in the company of several Chinese employed at a plantation near Bundaberg, when Wong Tong came to the hut in which the men were, and demanded payment from Cock Tow of a debt alleged to be due. A reply was made, postponing payment, when Wong Tong said, that he Cock Tow wouldn't pay, he would shoot him. Cock Tow attempted to run away, when Wong Tong followed him with a gun and fired a heavy charge of shot into his head, causing death in fifteen minutes. He was arrested soon afterward and was charged with murder. His trial took place at Maryborough Circuit Court, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 6 May 1886. Wong Tong was hanged at Boggo Road gaol, Brisbane, at 8 a.m. on 21 June 1886. See also the case of his brother, Wong Ming, who was hanged on 13 December 1898 at Dubbo. It was alleged that Wong Ming was the murderer of Cock Tow. (The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 13 May 1886; Tuesday, 22 June 1886)

 

8 October 1886

Reynolds, Alfred (age: 26 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Rhoda Caroline Reynolds– committed on 13 August 1886 – sentenced on 31 August 1886

Alfred Reynolds, a stone mason, had compelled his wife, 24-year-old Rhoda Caroline Reynolds, to take a dose of opium, in their home at Newtown, on 12 August 1886. Mrs. Reynolds died on the following day. Reynolds was described as a hot-tempered and cruel husband, who was often drunken, and who had been in the habit of ill-treating his wife, who was a respectable woman and a good housewife. They had been married for about seven years and had four children. Shortly before committing the crime, Reynolds forced his wife to write a letter confessing she had done a great wrong, deceived her husband, and stating her intention to commit suicide. After he was arrested, he was committed to hospital , suffering from the effects of narcotic poison, having attempted suicide. He was charged with murder, and pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to death after a hearing at the Central Criminal Court on 31 August 1886. It was obvious that he wanted to die as soon as possible. Reynolds was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, on 8 October 1886. (The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 14 August 1886; Tuesday, 17 August 1886; Tuesday, 31 August 1886; Wednesday, 1 September 1886; Monday, 6 September 1886; Saturday, 9 October 1886; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 27 August 1886; The West Australian, Monday, 11 October 1886)

 

7 January 1887

Boyce, William (age: 19 /White)

Duffy, George (age: 17 / White)

Martin, George (age: 17 / White)

Reed, Robert George (age: 19 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

rape – victim: Mary Jane Hicks – committed on 9 September 1886 – sentenced on 27 November 1886

Nine young men were sentenced to death on 27 November, 1886 for the gang-rape of 16-year-old servant Mary Jane Hicks in a waste piece of country in the vicinity of Randwick, on September 9, 1886: William Boyce, Michael Donnellan, George Duffy, William Hill, George Keegan, George Martin, Hugh Miller, William Newman, Robert George Read; Thomas Oscroft and Michal Mangan were acquitted; five of those sentenced to death were reprieved, Boyce, Duffy, Martin, and Reed, were hanged in the prison yard at Darlinghurst gaol at 9:35 a.m. on 7 January 1887 (Sydney Morning Herald, Monday, 29 November, 1886; Saturday, 8 January 1887; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 8 January 1887; Tuesday, 11 January 1887; The West Australian, Saturday, 8 January 1887; Te Aroha New, N.Z., 15 January 1887)

 

10 January 1887

Walker, Timothy (age: 76 / White) – Tasmania – Hobart

murder – victim: Benjamin Hampton – committed on 2 December 1886 – sentenced on 15 December 1886

23-year-old Elizabeth Woods was living with her Aunt Harriett Hurley and Benjamin Hampton in Barracks Street, Deloraine in December 1886. Timothy Walker lived in Morgan’s Row, Deloraine. He and Woods had lived together until she had left him in late October after a quarrel. About 6.30 p.m. on 2 December 1886, Woods saw Walker in Barrack Street and he asked her if they were still friends. When she said "No" he lifted his double-barrelled gun and said he’d knock her brains out. Hampton came out of the house and asked Walker to leave quietly. Walker shot him in the left arm and fired the second barrel into his left side. Walker's trial took place at the Hobart Supreme Court on 15 December 1886 on a charge of wilful murder. Walker argued that the gun had gone off during a struggle, but witnesses agreed that there was no such struggle. Walker was sentenced to death. He had been transported to Van Diemen’s Land and had committed a number of offences there between 1833 and 1837. Walker was hanged at Hobart gaol on 10 January, 1887. (Brand, Ian: Executions at Campbell Street Gaol, 1857 – 1946; The West Australian, Thursday, 6 January 1887; The Maitland Mercury, Thursday, 20 January 1887)

 

4 April 1887

Erdmann, Franz (age unknown / White) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: Anthony Johnson – committed on 27 October 1886 – sentenced on 15 March 1887

Franz Erdmann, alias Frank Hornig, murdered Anthony Johnson (Johanson) at McPhee's Creek in the Kimberley in October 1886. Erdmann and Johnson became partners in a visit to the diggings at Kimberley. On 27 October 1886 they were campted at a place near Mount Barratt called the Springs During the night, Johnson, when lying in bed, was shot dead by Erdmann, the bullet entering the back of the head. Erdmann buried the body and then took flight with all Johnson's horses, money and effects. The crime was discovered by a digger named McAlister. Erdmann was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 15 March 1887, and was hanged at Perth Gaol at 8 a.m. on 4 April 1887. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 34; West Australian, Tuesday, 15 March 1887; Wednesday, 16 March 1887; Tuesday, 5 April 1887)

 

30 May 1887

Pickford, Christopher (age: 31 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Martin Emmerson – committed on 20 February 1887 – sentenced on 25 April 1887

On the night of 20 February 1887 Pickford was seen in the company of his mate Martin Emmerson and several other men, who were all engaged in the work of constructing the deviation of the Northern Railway accross the Main Range. They were drinking together at different hotels at Ravenswoord Junction until 9:20 p.m., when Pickford and Emmerson, carrying a bottle of whiskey, were last seen going together along the railway on the Townsville side of the Junction. Emmerson was subsequently found unconscious, and lying in a pool of blood, with several wounds on his head, which were inflicted by a crowbar lying a few yards away. As Pickford had several spots of blood on his trousers, he was arrested on the same night and charged with murder. His trial took place at the Charters Towers Circuit Court and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 25 April. Pickford, a navy, confessed his guilt shortly before he was hanged at Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 30 May 1887, and attributed the crime to drink. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 26 April 1887; Tuesday, 31 May 1887; The Maitland Mercury, Tuesday, 31 May 1887)

 

13 June 1887

Harrison, John (age: 27 / White)

Thomson, Ellen (age: 41 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: William Thomson – committed on 22 October 1886 – sentenced on 6 May 1887

William Thomson was shot dead in his home at Port Douglas on the night of 22 October 1886. His wife alarmed neighbours and tried to give the impression that her husband had shot himself accidentally or in the course of suicide. However, Mrs. Thomson and her paramour, John Harrison, were arrested on a charge of wilful murder, Mrs. Thomson having instigated Harrison to kill her husband. At their trial at the Northern Circuit Court at Townsville, she insisted that she had tried to calm down a quarrel between the two men, in which course Harrison accidentally or in self-defence shot Thomson, who had threatened to kill him. They were convicted and sentenced to death on 6 May 1887. At their hanging at Boggo Road gaol, Brisbane, on 13 June 1887, the rope severed the jugular vein and the blood flooded out in both cases all over their clothes and dripped on the floor. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 11 May 1887; Tuesday, 14 June 1887; The Maitland Mercury, Tuesday, 14 June 1887)

 

18 November 1887

Conroy, William (age: 30 / White) - Western Australia – Perth

murder – victim: John Snook – committed on 23 June 1887 – sentenced on 7 October 1887

Conroy shot and killed Fremantle Town Councillor John Snook. On 23 June 1887 Conroy went to the Fremantle Town Hall where there was a children's ball in progress He demanded entrance, as he was a licensee of the "National Arms", but was told by Snook that only ladies and children were to be admitted. He persisted in his demands and finally the door was slammed on him. Conroy later gained admittance to the Town Hall. When Snook left the Supper Room, Conroy followed him, drew a revolver from his pocket, shot Snook and put the gun back in his pocket. Snook died several weeks later. Conroy was arrested immediately. His trial took place at Perth and he was sentenced to death on 7 October 1887. He was hanged at Perth gaol at 8 a.m. on 18 November 1887. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 34-5; West Australian, Saturday, 19 November 1887)

 

29 May 1888

Grace, John (age unknown / White) - New South Wales – Armidale

murder – victim: John Stapleton – committed on 26 January 1888 – sentenced on 10 April 1888

On 26 January 1888 the body of John Stapleton was found at the Hillgrove mines by a party of men who were out opossum shooting. His throat was cut from ear to ear, and his skull battered in. Stapleton was a prospector (over 50 years old), who was supposed to have had a large sum of money in his possession. Four days later, the suspected murderer, John Grace, was arrested. He was charged with murder, stood trial at Armidale District Court, and was convicted and sentenced to death on 10 April 1888. Grace was hanged at Armidale gaol on 29 May 1888. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 6 February 1888; Wednesday, 11 April 1888; Wednesday, 30 May 1888)

 

13 June 1888

Cubbergeran (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Rottnest

murder – victim: Indyco – committed on ? – sentenced on 5 March 1888

Cubbergeran, (or Cabbergerana / Calabungamarra / Carlaboongumbuna / Carlboongumbarra) alias Witcheramane alias Arthur, an Aborigine of the North West, was sentenced to death at Roebourne on 5 March 1888 for the murder of a Chinese man with the unlikely name of Indyco, who was a shepherd, guarding sheep on his own on the Hamersley. The only reason Cubbergeran gave for committing the crime was that he wanted the shepherd's rations. Cubbergeran was executed at Rottnest on 13 June 1888. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 34; West Australian, Friday, 6 April 1888; Monday, 16 April 1888; Monday, 4 June 1888; Thursday, 14 June 1888)

 

11 September 1888

Hewart, Robert (age unknown / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Thomas Park – committed on 25 May 1888 – sentenced on 3 August 1888

Robert Hewart horribly mutilated a fellow-prisoner, Thomas Park, in a cell at the Central Police Court on 25 May 1888. His trial took place at the Central Criminal Court at Sydney, where he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 3 August 1888, with a recommendation to mercy. Although nine of the twelve jurymen petitioned the Governor to spare Hewart, the Executive saw no reason to alter its opinion and let the law take its course. Hewart protested innocence to the last, on the grounds of being incapable at the time of the crime through drunkenness. He was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9:10 a.m. on 11 September 1888. The assistant executioner hesitated for several seconds, so that executioner Howard had to pull the lever himself. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 10 September 1888; Wednesday, 12 September 1888; The West Australian, Thursday, 13 September 1888; Te Aroha News, N.Z., 22 September 1888; Taranaki Herald, New Plymouth, N.Z., 27 September 1888)

 

8 November 1888

Symes, George (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Elizabeth Clifford – committed on 2 October 1888 – sentenced on 19 October 1888

George Symes, a blacksmith, killed his mother-in-law, Mrs. Elizabeth Clifford, at Lilydale, in a quarrel over some family dispute, on 2 October 1888. Symes, who had been separated from his wife for some time, went to the house where she resided, and which belonged to Mrs. Clifford. After some altercation, he fired four shots from a revolver at Mrs. Clifford, one of them taking effect, the bullet passing through her arm into her left side. Mrs. Clifford died shortly afterwards. Symes was immediately apprehended, and was charged with murder. His trial took place at Melbourne Criminal Court, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 19 October 1888. The jury recommended mercy, as two of the jurors were opposed to capital punishment. Symes was hanged at Melbourne gaol on 8 November 1888. (Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 3 October 1888; North Otago Times, N.Z., 10 October 1888; The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 22 October 1888; Friday, 9 November 1888; The West Australian, Monday, 8 October 1888; Saturday, 20 October 1888; Monday, 12 November 1888)

 

12 November 1888

Duhamel, Edmond (age: 37 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Sarah Ann Descurry – committed on 18 August 1888 – sentenced on 16 October 1888

Mrs. Sarah Ann Descurry had been living with Edmond Duhamel (a Frenchman) for some years but lately had been in service at Wheeler's Hotel, Cork Creek, Croydon. On 18 August 1888 Duhamel found her at Wheeler's in bed with a man named Alfred Ginn. He took her home and cut her throat in three places. She tried to flee, but he catched her and brought her back. He afterwards took two large doses of strychnine. A coachdriver passing Duhamel's home saw them lying covered with blood and informed the police. The doctors saved him from the effects of the poison, and he was charged with murder. His trial took place at Normanton Circuit Court, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 16 October 1888. Duhamel was hanged at Boggo Road gaol, Brisbane, at 8 a.m. on 12 November 1888, together with Sedin. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 20 August 1888; Wednesday, 17 October 1888; Tuesday, 13 November 1888)

 

12 November 1888

Sedin (age: 24 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victims: John Fitzgerald – committed on 14 June 1888 – sentenced on 15 October 1888

Sedin, a Malay, ran amok in Normanton, and killed three men, John Fitzgerald, a carpenter, Christian Mariager (or Meriga), a labourer, and J. P. Davis, also a carpenter. There was a festival among the Malays on the night of 14 June 1888, and it was supposed that Sedin with others afterwards ran amok. The murdered men were lying at their tents near the town lagoon, not far from the Malay camp. The weapons used were Malay daggers. A riot ensued on the following days, the mob burning down houses of coloured people. Sedin was charged with the murder of John Fitzgerald and Christian Mariager. His trial took place at Normanton and he was convicted of the murder of John Fitzgerald and sentenced to death on 15 October 1888. Sedin was hanged at Boggo Road gaol, Brisbane, at 8 a.m. on 12 November 1888, together with Edmond Duhamel. (The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 16 June 1888; Monday, 18 June 1888; Saturday, 30 June 1888; Tuesday, 13 November 1888)

 

8 January 1889

Collins, Louisa (age 40 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Michael Peter Collins – committed on 8 July 1888 - sentenced on 8 December1888

In February 1887 Louisa Collins' first husband, Charles Andrews, became ill and died after prolonged suffering. Louisa married her second husband, Michael Peter Collins, shortly afterwards and collected her first husbands life insurance of £200. In June 1888, Michael also became ill and died at Botany on 8 July. Suspicion was now aroused and Louisa Collins was arraigned on murder for the deaths of both husbands; in two trials juries could not agree, in the third trial concerning the murder of Andrews on 19 November the jury could also not agree, but in the fourth trial on 8 December 1888 she was found guilty of the murder of Collins and sentenced to death. Her execution at Darlinghurst gaol at 9 a.m. on 8 January 1889 was dreadfully bungled. In the first round there was no fall of the drop, because the bolt pin, which allows the lever to operate, had not been removed. The second round was even worse. She was a woman of some weight (11 st 3 lb), and a drop of five feet had been allowed. When her body came up with a jerk at the end of the fall the rope literally cut her throat. An awful gash was visible on her neck, from which a great gush of blood spread over the lower part of the white cap, while a small stream trickled away down her dark prison garb and fell in fitful drops into the pit below. (Newcastle Morning Herald, Wednesday, 9 January 1889; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 24 July 1888; Tuesday, 7 August 1888; Tuesday, 6 November 1888; Friday, 23 November 1888; Thursday, 6 December 1888; Tuesday, 11 December 1888; Wednesday, 9 January 1889; The Observer, Auckland, N.Z., 12 January 1889; Poverty Bay Herald, Gisborne, N.Z., 21 January 1889; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 24 January 1889; The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 6 December 1888, p. 6; Friday, 7 December 1888, p. 4; Saturday, 8 December 1888, p. 16; Monday, 10 December 1888, p. 11; Wednesday, 9 January 1889, p 7)

 

2 March1889

Long Jimmy (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia - Fremantle

murder – victim: Claude Buchanan Kerr – committed on 7 September 1888 – sentenced on 21 January 1889

Long Jimmy, alias Jimmy Long, a Malay of Penang, murdered Claudius Buchanan Kerr on the schooner Dawn at Cossack. Kerr had been pearling in the area for sime time and Long Jimmy was his Head Serang. Kerr was leaving the Dawn for the alluvial gold fields to try his luck. On 7 September 1888, he went on board to pack up. After packing, Long Jimmy went into the cabin where Kerr was and cut his throat. Long Jimmy drank nearly two bottles of arrak and was too drunk to resist arrest. He was sentenced to death at a Special Supreme Court at Roebourne on 21 January 1889, and was hanged at Fremantle gaol at 8 a.m. on 2 May 1889. It was the first execution in that gaol. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 35; The West Australian, Tuesday, 2 October 1888; Thursday, 7 February 1889; Monday, 25 February 1889; Monday, 4 March 1889)

 

18 March 1889

Harrison, William (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Bendigo

murder – victim: John Duggan – committed on 30 May 1888 – sentenced on 23 February 1889

Harrison murdered his victim, an old bushman, named John Duggan, on 30 May 1888 by dealing him two tremendous blows with an axe which smashed his skull in. A sum of money and bank receipts of £670 were stolen from Duggan's hut. Harrison stood trial at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Sandhurst (now Bendigo) on 6 December 1888, but the jury could not agree and were discharged. Harrison was found guilty in the second trial  on 23 February 1889. There was strong suspicion that this tragedy was not Harrison's first murder. He was believed to have killed a man at Grossy Flat a few years before. It was also believed that the celebrated Deniliquin case, in which a man named Cordini was hanged for murdering a hawker, was really the work of Harrison. The case caused a good deal of excitement in Sydney, where the matter was brought before the New South Wales Parliament by Mr. James Fletcher, M.P., who maintained that the murder was not the work of Cordini. Harrison was hanged at Sandhurst Gaol (now Bendigo) on 18 March 1889 at 10 a.m. (Newcastle Morning Herald, Tuesday, 19 March 1889; The West Australian, Tuesday, 26 February 1889; Saturday, 9 March 1889; Wednesday, 20 March 1889; The Argus, Friday, 7 December 1888, p. 8; Saturday, 8 December 1888, p. 12; Monday 10 December 1888, p. 5; Friday, 22 February 1889, p. 5; Monday, 25 February 1889, p. 8; Tuesday, 19 March 1889, p. 6)

 

20 August 1889

Morrison, James (age: 25 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: David Sutherland – committed on 3 June 1889 – sentenced on 19 July 1889

About 2 a.m. on 3 June 1889, 26-year-old Constable David Sutherland was found lying fatally wounded in Macleay Street, Potts Point. He was conveyed to the hospital in a dying state and was able to report that he had tried to apprehend cabinetmaker John Morrison, who had entered the gates of an adjacent house and pass toward the rear of the premises, obviously with burglary on his mind. Morrison had shot him twice. He was arrested on the same day, because his clothes were saturated with blood, and after Sutherland's death he was charged with murder at the Water Police Court. His trial took place at the Central Criminal Court in Sydney, where he was convicted and sentenced to death on 19 July 1889. Morrison was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol on 20 August 1889. (The West Australian, Wednesday, 5 June 1889; Tuesday, 23 July 1889; Wednesday, 21 August 1889; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 4 June 1889; Wednesday, 21 August 1889)

 

16 September 1889

Castillo, Filipe (age: 20 / Asian) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Annie Thornton – committed on 8 July 1889 – sentenced on 20 August 1889

On the evening of 17 July 1889, 29-year-old Annie Gorrie Thornton was found at her residence in Somerset place, Carlton, with her throat cut from ear to ear. She had been dead for a week. Mrs. Thornton had been living separated from her husband, who was earning his money in the country, while she "took to an immoral life, and kept company with a man named Hilton." At first there was strong suspicion that Hilton had killed Mrs. Thornton, but on 21 July Philip Costello, a Filipino cook, was arrested. He had gone home with Mrs. Thornton to Carlton, when a row ensued and she struck him. He cut her throat and took her watch and two rings. He was charged with wilful murder and stood trial at Melbourne Criminal Court, where he was convicted and sentenced to death on 20 August 1889. Castillo was hanged at Melbourne gaol at 10 a.m. on 16 September 1889. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 23 July 1889; Wednesday, 31 July 1889; Wednesday, 21 August 1889; Tuesday, 17 September 1889; Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Saturday, 24 August 1889; The West Australian, Friday, 19 July 1889; Saturday, 20 July 1889; Tuesday, 23 July 1889; Wednesday, 18 September 1889)

 

16 October 1889

Landells, Robert (age: 52 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Peter James Sherlock – committed on 20 July 1889 – sentenced on 25 September 1889

On 21 August 1889, human remains were discovered in a paddock, about four miles beyond Ringwood. The case remained a mystery until 2 September, when civil engineer Robert Landells was arrested on a charge of having murdered Peter James Sherlock. Sherlock had boarded with Landells, who was the first to give information to the detectives as to the murdered man's identity. No suspicion at first pointed to him as the murderer, but as the detectives proceeded with their enquiries, the evidence against him grew so strong that they felt justified in applying a warrant for his arrest. Landells confessed to the murder, but stated that it was due to an accident. He stood trial at Melbourne Criminal Court. A number of witnesses testified that the property entrusted to them by the victim had been applied for by Landells. He was convicted and sentenced to death on 25 September 1889. Landells was hanged at Melbourne gaol on 16 October 1889. Death was instantaneous, but the drop was too long; an artery of the neck was severed, and the blood gushed out, causing a sickening spectacle. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 3 September 1889; Wednesday, 25 September 1889; Thursday, 26 September 1889; Thursday, 17 October 1889; The West Australian, Thursday, 26 September 1889)

 

6 November 1889

Riley, Thomas (age: 21 / White) - New South Wales - Wagga Wagga

murder – victim: Christian Eppel – committed on 15 September 1889 – sentenced on 27 September 1889

Christian Eppel, a 40-year-old drover of German descent living at Toowoomba, was found murdered about 8 a.m. on 15 September 1889, on the Wagga Common, some four miles from Wagga. He had been shot while sleeping. Eppel was in charged of 950 bullocks, which had been sold on 6 September at Albury. Eppel, with six drovers, including Thomas Riley, and a cook, camped at Wagga Common, Eppel sleeping in his own tent. In the morning of 15 September, a shot was heard, and a boy saw Riley running to get a horse and ride away very fast. After a chase, Riley was arrested by the police on the same day, and as he was found with a watch belonging to Eppel in his possession, he was charged with wilful murder. His trial took place at Wagga Wagga District Court, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 27 September 1889. Riley was hanged at Wagga Wagga gaol at 9:20 a.m. on 6 November 1889. (Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday, 25 October 1889; The West Australian, Monday, 30 September 1889; The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 7 November 1889; Saturday, 9 November 1889)

 

8 November 1889

Pres, Harry (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Louie – committed on 9 June 1889 – sentenced on 18 October 1889

Harry (or Arle) Pres, a Malay from Singapore, and Louie, a Filipino, had been working together in the Kimberley district, cutting grass for a man named William Hibbard. They were employed for seven weeks up to 8 June, and received £2 a week. Three days after pay-day, a teamster found Louie's body so far burned as to be almost unrecognizable. An autopsy showed the cause of death to be a fractured skull. Pres had last been seen in Louie's company at a hotel at Hall's Creek, which they left at 11.30 a.m. on 9 June. Blacktrackers identified Pres by his boot marks and when he was arrested on 12 June he was found in possession of property owned by Louie. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 18 October 1889, and was hanged at Fremantle Gaol at 8 a.m. on 8 November 1889. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 35-6; The West Australian, Friday, 18 October 1889, p. 4; Saturday, 19 October 1889, p. 4; Saturday, 9 November 1889)

 

2 June 1890

Barry, Michael (age: 46 / White) – Queensland – Rockhampton

murder – victim: Mary. Barry – committed on 26 February 1890 – sentenced on 24 April 1890

Michael Barry, an industrious carpenter but also a heavy drinker, killed his 31-year-old wife, Mary Barry, on the morning of 26 February 1890 at his home in Rockhampton. The doctor's examination showed that the whole surface of the woman's body had been beaten to such an extent that the nervous system had broken down, and so death resulted. On the night previous to the murder Barry was drunk, as he had been so often before and had to be taken by his wife in a cab to their home on the Range. In the morning he accused his wife of stealing his purse, but Mrs. Barry stated that she had not got it. Barry then seems to have slowly killed his wife, striking her with two different pieces of wood, and then with an axe-handle until she expired. His 11-year-old daughter was the principal witness of the murder. He sent one of his children for a policeman, to whom he gave himself up. His trial took place at Rockhampton on 23 April 1890, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on the following day. Barry was hanged at Rockhampton gaol at 8 a.m. on 2 June 1890. (Dawson, Swinging in the Sixties, p. 64-65; The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 27 February 1890; Friday, 28 February 1890; Friday, 25 April 1890; Tuesday, 3 June 1890)

 

18 November 1890

Schmidt, Albert (age: 30 / White) - New South Wales - Wagga Wagga

murder – victim: John Young Taylor – committed on 7 April 1890 – sentenced on 29 September 1890

John Young Taylor, aged 60, and Albert Schmidt, a German immigrant, left Wagga Wagga on Easter Monday, 7 April 1890, in a waggonette, ostensibly to go to Cumminaroo, about twelve miles from Wagga. They had been close companions for some months, Schmidt being employed by Taylor as the driver of a dray. Schmidt arrived at Lake Albert alone, no trace of Taylor was found, but Schmidt was seen trying to wipe outblood marks of the waggon. He was arrested, and Taylor's head was found at Old Junee on 11 April, his body on 13 April. Schmidt confessed that he had killed Taylor after a drunken quarrel. Taylor made several derogatory remarks towards him and called him a liar. He then struck Taylor with a tomahawk, knocking him out of the waggonette in which they were, and killing him. Schmidt afterwards cut Taylor's throat with a razor. He was charged with murder; his trial took place at Wagga Wagga, and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 29 September 1890: Schmidt was hanged at Wagga Wagga gaol on 18 November 1890. He was supposed to have murdered two other men, but he remained silent on those cases. (The West Australian, 11 April 1890; The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 10 April 1890; Saturday, 12 April 1890; Monday, 14 April 1890; Friday, 18 April 1890; Thursday, 1 May 1890; Tuesday, 30 September 1890; Wednesday, 19 November 1890; Tuesday, 25 November 1890; Taranaki Herald, N.Z., 19 April 1890)

 

16 March 1891

Phelan, John Thomas (age: 30 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Ada Charlotte Reynolds Hatton – committed on 15 January 1891 – sentenced on 23 February 1891

John Thomas Phelan, an engine driver on the railways, had been cohabiting with 25-year-old Ada Hatton for two years, when she left him, presumably for another man. On 15 January 1891 Phelan found Miss Hatton at her new home at South Yarra alone, and cut her throat from ear to ear with a table knife. He was in the act of cutting his own throat, when some neighbours rushed on the scene and prevented him. He was charged with murder and stood trial at Melbourne Criminal Court. He was convicted and sentenced to death on 23 February 1891, the jury recommending him to mercy on the ground that he had received great provocation. Phelan was hanged at Melbourne gaol on 16 March 1891. (The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 16 January 1891; Wednesday, 28 January 1891; Tuesday, 24 February 1891; Tuesday, 17 March 1891; Otago Witness, N.Z., 29 January 1891; West Coast Times, Hokitika, N.Z., 16 February 1891; The West Australian, Wednesday, 25 February 1891)

 

23 March 1891

Wilson, John (age: 23 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Stella Leah Marks – committed on 25 January 1891 – sentenced on 25 February 1891

John Wilson, a tram conductor, was engaged to 24-year-old domestic servant Stella Leah Marks. On 24 January 1891, he saw her walking arm in arm with another man at Bourke street and on seeing this he became jealous. On the next day he demanded an explanation, and some words passed between them. In the evening, he accompanied her to her home at Clifton Hill and asked her to go for a walk. He again demanded explanation about the other man and became enraged. He cut her throat, killing her instantly. Then he tried to commit suicide, but lacked courage to do so. He was charged with murder, stood trial at the Melbourne Criminal Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 25 February 1891. Wilson was hanged at Melbourne gaol at 10 a.m. on 23 March 1891. (The West Australian, Wednesday, 28 January 1891; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 27 January 1891; Wednesday, 25 February 1891; Thursday, 26 February 1891; Tuesday, 24 March 1891)

 

16 April 1891

Ah Chi (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Ah Gui – committed on 3 March 1891 – sentenced on 3 April 1891

Ah Chi (or Long Li Ha / Li Ki Hong) attacked Ah Gui (or Ah Gin) with a tomahawk, killing him instantly, at 3 a.m. on 3 March 1891. They were both working, together with other Chinese workers, for Mr. J. H. Monger at Manning's paddock, close to Daliak, six miles from York. Shortly before that murder, Ah Chi had attacked two other workers and wounded them so badly it was at first thought it was a triple murder. The two men were found wounded, their heads covered with blood, and were taken to York. Ah Gui had allegedly stolen £5 of Ah Chi's money. Ah Chi went to the Police and gave himself up. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 3 April 1891, and was hanged at Fremantle Gaol at 8 a.m. on 16 April 1891. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 36; The West Australian, Saturday, 4 April 1891, p. 4; Friday, 17 April 1891)

 

20 April 1891

Bourke, Cornelius (age: 73 / White) – Victoria – Ballarat

murder – victim: Charles Stewart – committed on 23 February 1891 – sentenced on 12 March 1891

Cornelius Bourke kicked to death his fellow-prisoner, 76-year-old Charles Stewart, on 23 February 1891 in the Hamilton gaol. They had arrived there from Warrnambool on their way to Portland gaol to serve six-month terms of hard labour for vagrancy. Stewart was ill, and the prisoners were placed in one cell, so that Bourke might attend to him. After hearing great noise in the cell and Stewart calling out, a constable found Stewart lying on the floor, which was all covered with blood, flowing from wounds on his head and face. Stewart died two hours later. Bourke had a long history of crime, served over fifty years in gaol and was transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1841. His trial took place at Ballarat and he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 12 March 1891. Bourke was hanged at Ballarat gaol on 20 April 1891. Standing on the trap, although his elbows being pinioned, he was able to grasp the iron rail in front of him twice and the coil of the rope once before the white cap was pulled down over his eyes. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 25 February 1891; Thursday, 26 February 1891; Tuesday, 21 April 1891; Friday, 24 April 1891; West Coast Times, Hokitika, N.Z., 10 March 1891; The West Australian, Friday, 13 March 1891)

 

27 April 1891

Chand, Fatta (age: 21 / Asian) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Mur Juggo Mull – committed on 22 November 1890 – sentenced on 24 March 1891

Fatta Chand, an Indian hawker, killed Mur Juggo Mull, another Indian Hawker, at Healesville on 22 November 1890. The two were business partners and good friends and had just sold most of their stock. The victim was obviously attacked while he was asleep. His badly battered and mutilated body was found in a shallow grave on 27 November. Chand was arrested two days later and was charged with murder. His trial took place at Melbourne Criminal Court on 26 February, but the jury was not unanimous and had to be dismissed. Chand was convicted and sentenced to death after a second trial on 24 March 1891. He was hanged at Melbourne gaol at 10 a.m. on 27 April 1891. Until his last hour he protested his innocence. (The West Australian, Tuesday, 2 December 1891; Friday, 27 February 1891; Tuesday, 3 March 1891; Thursday, 26 March 1891; Tuesday, 28 April 1891; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 2 December 1890; Tuesday, 28 April 1891; Tuapeka Times, Lawrence, N.Z., 13 May 1891; Marlborough Express, N.Z., 14 May 1891; Main, Hanged, p. 101-2)

 

11 May 1891

Wilson, John (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Ballarat

Carnal knowledge – victim: unidentified girl – committed on 22 February 1891 – sentenced on 13 April 1891

John Wilson committed rape on a girl six years of age. On Sunday morning, 22 February 1891, the child was playing in the Eastern Oval at Ballarat, when Wilson accosted her, and offered her some lollies if she would accompany him to a lonely part of the reserve. The little girl refused, whereupon Wilson seized her, dragged her under a palm tree, and raped her. He was captured immediately after by Mr. Samuel Whiteley, who passed through the reserve, and charged with criminal assault of a girl under the age of ten. He stood trial at the Ballarat Supreme Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 13 April 1891. At his trial evidence was shown that he had been punished twice for a similar offence, at Melbourne in 1875, and at Collingwood in 1889. Wilson was hanged at Ballarat gaol at 10 a.m. on 11 May 1891. (The West Australian, Tuesday, 14 April 1891; Tuapeka Times, Lawrence, N.Z., 29 April 1891; The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 30 April 1891; Tuesday, 12 May 1891; Otago Witness, N.Z., 21 May 1891)

 

18 May 1891

Johnston, James (age: 30 / White) – Victoria – Ballarat

murder – victim: Mary Gourlay Johnston and four children – committed on 8 December 1890 – sentenced on 10 April 1891

James Johnston, a well-known stock and station agent, killed his four children (Queenie, 8 years; Ruby, 7 years; Gordon, 3 years, and Pearl, 2 years) by smothering them in their beds, on 8 December 1890. He then shot his wife, Mary Gourlay Johnston, through the head, and finished by poisoning himself. Mrs. Johnston died shortly afterwards, and Johnston stayed in hospital for more than two months in a critical condition. He was charged with murder on 11 March 1891 and stood trial at Ballarat Supreme Court. He was convicted and sentenced to death on 10 April 1891. His execution was set for 11 May 1891, but as doubts arose as to his sanity, his execution was postponed and Johnston was examined by a medical board. The three doctors pronounced him to be quite sane on 13 May. Johnston was hanged at Ballarat gaol at 10 a.m. on 18 May 1891. (The West Australian, Monday, 9 February 1891; Friday, 13 March 1891; Monday, 13 April 1891; The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 10 December 1890; Wednesday, 13 May 1891; Thursday, 14 May 1891; Tuesday, 19 May 1891)

 

2 June 1891

Hansen, Lars Peter (age unknown / White) - New South Wales – Dubbo

murder – victim: Charles Duncker – committed on 28 September 1890 – sentenced on 14 April 1891

Lars Peter Hansen (a Dane) killed Charles Duncker (a German) at Peak Hill on 28 September 1890. He was arrested on 4 October. Hansen confessed his crime on 19 January 1891, and told the judge that he had met Duncker at Peak Hill and that they had camped together. They allegedly had a row, and Duncker fired a revolver at him, and he cut him down with a tomahawk. However, after Duncker's body had been discovered by the police, they concluded from evidence that Duncker had been murdered in his sleep. Hansen was charged with wilful murder. His trial took place at Dubbo Circuit Court and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 14 April 1891. Hansen was hanged at Dubbo gaol on 2 June 1891. (The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 2 October 1890; Friday, 3 October 1890; Monday, 6 October 1890; Friday, 17 October 1890; Tuesday, 20 Janaury 1891; Thursday, 22 January 1891; Thursday, 16 April 1891; Wednesday, 3 June 1891; The West Australian, Friday, 17 April 1891; Thursday, 4 June 1891)

 

17 August 1891

Cooley, Arthur (age: 19 / White) – Tasmania – Hobart

murder – victim: Mary Ogilvie – committed on 14 May 1891 – sentenced on 30 July 1891

On 14 May 1891 Mrs. Mary Ogilvie from Richmond went into a field to gather mushrooms. She was later found dead with her head partially blown off by a gunshot. Her body had been thrown into the river. Arthur Cooley was soon arrested. The supposed motive was that the victim's husband, a well-known and respected magistrate, had been subpoenaed as a witness in a criminal charge pending against Cooley, who was out on bail. Cooley's trial took place at Hobart Supreme Court and he was convicted and sentenced to death on 30 July 1891. He was hanged at Campbell Street gaol, Hobart, on 17 August 1891. (Marlborough Express, N.Z., 19 May 1891; Wanganui Herald, N.Z., 29 May 1891; The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 19 August 1891; Tuapeka Times, Lawrence, N.Z., 2 September 1891; Davis, The Tasmanian Gallows, p. 72)

 

24 August 1891

Colston, William (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Mary Elizabeth Davis – committed on 20 February 1891 – sentenced on 18 July 1891

At Narbethong, William Davis and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Davis, were murdered on the night of 20 February 1891. Mr. Davis was found near the main road, his head and face battered past all recognition, his throat was cut. Mrs. Davis was found dead on her bed at the house. Her head had received a stunning blow, and her throat was horribly gashed. Suspicion soon fell on Colston, but he was not arrested until 31 March at Yarra Glen. He was charged with wilful murder of Mary Elizabeth Davis and stood trial at Melbourne Criminal Court. He was found guilty and sentenced to death on 18 July 1891. Colston was hanged at Melbourne gaol at 10 a.m. on 24 August 1891. From his confession it seems that the murder was an act of revenge on Mrs. Davis. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 24 February 1891; Thursday, 2 April 1891; Monday, 20 July 1891; The West Australian, Wednesday, 25 February 1891; Thursday, 5 March 1891; Tuesday, 7 April 1891; Friday, 17 July 1891; Tuesday, 21 July 1891; Tuesday, 25 August 1891; Poverty Bay Herald, N.Z., 20 August 1891)

 

17 November 1891

Dalton, Maurice (age: 72 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Catherine Dalton – committed on 14 April 1891 – sentenced on 5 October 1891

Maurice Dalton, living at Foveaux Street, Surry Hills, battered his wife Catherine to death with a branding iron, on 14 April 1891. On that day, Mrs. Arthur, one of Mrs. Dalton's lodgers, heard the couple quarrelling, but left the house. Upon her return, she found Mrs. Dalton lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. Her skull had been broken in several places. Two days before her death Mrs. Dalton (who was about 50 years old) had definitely stated that she would not support her husband any longer. He had been living upon his wife's exertions. She took in lodgers and also did a good deal of needlework. In spite of this the vigorous but idle man was anything but grateful, and there was continual bickering between the pair. Dalton was charged with wilful murder, and stood trial at the Central Criminal Court at Sydney. He was convicted and sentenced to death on 5 October 1891. Dalton was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9 a.m. on 17 November 1891. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 15 April 1891; Wednesday, 18 November 1891; The West Australian, Thursday, 16 April 1891; Wednesday, 18 November 1891)

 

26 November 1891

Mallalieu, Harold Dutton (age 19 / White) - New South Wales – Dubbo

murder – victim: Jerome Carey – committed on – sentenced on 9 October 1891

Harold Dutton Mallalieu (alias Harold Massey, alias Michael Black, a native of California) killed Jerome Carey (alias John Wilson) on the Monagee Road near Nyngan. Both were young men, travelling the country in search of shearing. Mallalieu confessed to the murder, stating that they had a quarrel about being union or non-union. In the course of that quarrel, Carey allegedly made a rush a Mallalieu with a sheath knife, cutting his hand. Mallalieu then snatched the knife from Carey and stabbed him in the breast, killing him almost instantly. He subsequently attempted to burn the body on a camp fire, and then cleared out with the horses and Carey's property. Mallalieu was charged with wilful murder. His trial took place at Dubbo Circuit Court, and evidence disproved Mallalieu's statement that Carey had been killed in a quarrel. Mallalieu was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 9 October 1891. He was hanged at Dubbo gaol on 26 November 1891. (The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 4 April 1891; Saturday, 10 October 1891; Friday, 27 November 1891; Otago Witness, N.Z., 9 April 1891; West Coast Times, Hokitika, N.Z., 9 November 1891)

 

18 February 1892

Corrondine (age unknown / Aborigine)

Tchawada ( age unknown / Aborigine)

Terribie (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia - Mt. Dockerell

murder – victim: Mr. Millar – committed on 27 June 1891 – sentenced on 4 November 1891

Terribie, alias Tomahawk, Tchawada, alias Jumbo, and Corrondine, alias Dick, had murdered William Scott while he was digging a hole in the bed of a creek fossicking for gold. They clubbed and speared him, throwing his body behind a ridge. Police tried to arrest them on 10 January 1888, but were not successful. A second Police expedition was sent out after the murder of Mr. Millar on 27 June 1891 and was more successful, and the three were taken to Roebourne, where a trial was held and all three were sentenced to death on 4 November 1891. They were hanged at Mount Dockerell, near the murder site, on 18 February 1892, in the presence of 67 Aborigines. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 37-9; The West Australian, Wednesday, 19 August 1891; Thursday, 24 March 1892; Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday, 25 December 1891; Friday 25 March 1892; The West Australian, Monday, 2 May 1892 <citing Northern Territory Times of 25 March 1892>)

 

25 April 1892

Donald (age: 29 / Aborigine) – Queensland – Brisbane

rape – victim: Eva Scott – committed in December 1891 – sentenced on 23 March 1892

Donald, a Cangooloo Aborigine, pleaded guilty on 14 January 1892 to having committed a rape on Mrs. Eva Scott, of Hornet Bank. He had been working at Hornet Bank Station, doing odd jobs about the yard of a house, occupied by a stockman, Mr. T. Scott, his 23-year-old wife Eva and two little children. One night, while her husband was getting drunk up at the head station, Mrs. Scott went to bed with the doors and windows open, it being a hot night. When she awoke about one hour later, there was another man in bed next to her, who raped her. She struggled and eventually escaped, running 300 yards to the head station where she raised the alarm. Donald was apprehended on the following day, hiding underneath some hay. He was committed for sentence and escorted to Roma, where he was sentenced to death at the Supreme Court by Mr. Justice Real, on 23 March 1892. Donald was hanged at Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 25 April 1892. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 20 January 1892; Thursday, 24 March 1892; Tuesday, 26 April 1892; Wednesday, 4 May 1892; Dawson, A Pit of Shame – Boggo Road's Executed Prisoners, p. 31-2)

 

29 April 1892

Chew Fang (age unknown / Asian)

Lyee Nyee (age unknown / Asian)

Young Quong (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Ah Ping – committed on 23 December 1891 – sentenced on 14 March 1892

Young Quong (or Yang Turk), Chew Fang (or Choo Fong / Chow Yang) and Lyee Nyee (or Hing Nye / See Nigee) murdered Ah Ping (or Pang) at Mekka station on 23 December 1891. They were observed arguing on that day, and a short time later, Peter Gibbons, the assistant manager of the station, found Ah Ping lying in a pool of blood. He had a deep gash on his temple and his right foot was almost severed. Both blows had been inflicted with a heavy axe. The three were sentenced to death at Geraldton on 14 March 1892, and were hanged at Fremantle on 29 April 1892. Chew Fang was hanged with Sin Cho Chi (who had murdered George Fairhead), and Lyee Nyee and Young Quong were hanged half an hour later. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 40; The West Australian, Tuesday, 15 March 1892; Saturday, 30 April 1892)

 

29 April 1892

Sin Cho Chi (age unknown / Asian) – Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: George Fairhead – committed probably in September 1891 – sentenced on 3 March 1892

Sin Cho Chi (or Chan An / Lin Chi Chew) murdered George Fairhead at Millstream. Fairhead was said to have been a good natured man who lived at an outcampt on Millstream Station. Sin Cho Chi attacked him with a tomahawk and butcher's knife and hacked him to death. He hid in the bush for two months before he was arrested and charged. He stood trial at Roebourne before Commissioner Roe and was sentenced to death on 3 March 1892. He was hanged at Fremantle at 8 a.m. on 29 April 1892, along with Chew Fang. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 39-40; The West Australian, Friday 27 November 1891; Monday, 7 March 1892; Saturday, 30 April 1892)

 

23 May 1892

Deeming, Frederick Bayley (age: 38 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Emily Mather Deeming – committed on 24 December 1891 – sentenced on 2 May 1892

Frederick Bayley Deeming (born at Birkenhead, Cheshire, England) married Marie James on 28 February 1880. The couple had three daughters, Bertha, Marie, and Martha, and a son, Sidney. Deeming was working under different names in different places in Australia, England and South Africa, and several times served prison terms for fraud. In Beverley, Yorkshire, he married Miss Helen Matheson on 18 February 1890, and was convicted of fraud, but not of bigamy. On 22 September 1891 at St. Anne's, Rainhill, Deeming married Emily Lydia Mather, under the name of Williams, and rented a cottage at 57 Andrew Street, Windsor (Victoria), where on 24 December 1891 he battered his wife round the head, cut her throat and buried her under the second bedroom hearthstone, cementing her body in with materials he had bought a week earlier. On 3 March 1892 a disagreeable smell at 57 Andrew Street led to the discovery of Emily Mather's body. Deeming was arrested on 11 March. Further investigations led to the discovery of the bodies of his wife Marie and their four children, who had been buried under the cemented floor of the Dinham Villa kitchen, at Rainham, Lancashire, on 10 August 1891. Deeming had strangled to death his wife and Bertha and cut the throats of his younger children, to get rid of evidence of his first marriage. He was charged with the murder of Emily Mather and stood trial at the Melbourne Criminal Court, where he was convicted and sentenced to death on 2 May 1892. Deeming was hanged at Melbourne gaol at 10 a.m. on 23 May 1892. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 24 May 1892; The West Australian, Tuesday, 24 May 1892, p. 4-7; Wednesday, 25 May 1892; Australian Dictionary of Biography)

 

26 September 1892

Horrocks, Frank Charles (age: 17 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Rudolph Weissmόller – committed on 5 April 1892 – sentenced on 2 September 1892

20-year-old Rudolph Weissmόller arrived in Queensland on 31 March 1892 by the R.M.S. Tara. He had no personal friends nor relatives in the colony, but had a quiet and amiable disposition and had assisted the surgeon-superintendent on the voyage, receiving an allowance of £5. Weissmόller took up his quarters at a boarding-house on the south side of the river at Brisbane, kept by Mrs. Mόhl, where he became acquainted with Frank Charles Horrocks. Horrocks had left his parents' home and was living a "precarious kind of existence". On 5 April Weissmόller left the boarding house and was last seen alive in the company of Horrocks at Mooraree railway station. Weissmόller's body was found with deep gashes in the back of his head, a little way from the station. Horrocks was arrested on 9 April near Tallebudgera. Bloodstains were found on his clothes, stemming from the wounds he inflicted on his victim with a tomahawk. Horrocks stood trial at the Brisbane Supreme Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 2 September 1892. Horrocks was hanged at Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 26 September 1892. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 27 September 1892; The West Australian, Wednesday, 28 September 1892)

 

24 October 1892

Gleeson, Charles (age: 27 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Patrick McKiernan – committed on 11 May 1892 – sentenced on 23 September 1892

Charles Gleeson (a Eurasian of Calcutta) killed 24-year-old diver Patrick McKiernan on 11 May 1892 at Prince of Wales Island, situated a little to the southeast of Thursday Island. The before the murder an unhappy difference arose between Gleeson and one of the owners of the pearlshelling stations at which he was employed, and which belonged to the brothers Cussens. Gleesons was angered by a reprimand and did not seem to have got over it by the next morning. He expressed his determination to go over to Thursday Island but was forbidden to do so by Mr. Cussens. This did not improve matters, and after a short absence from the station he returned in a bad frame of mind, in possession of a gun. Patrick McKiernan and a second man met Gleeson on the veranda, retreated when they saw the nasty disposition which Gleeson manifested, and McKiernan took up an old but unloaded revolver, with which he confronted Gleeson, who at once fired twice, one shot passing through McKiernan's neck and the other through his heart. Death was instantaneous. Gleeson immediately after committing the murder expressed his horror at what he had done, as he didn't really harbour any bad feelings against the man he had just killed. Gleeson was charged with murder and stood trial at Cooktown, where he was convicted and sentenced to death by justice Noel. Gleeson was hanged at Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 24 October 1892, along with Leonardo Moncado. (The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 12 May 1892; Saturday, 24 September 1892; Monday, 3 October 1892; Tuesday, 25 October 1892)

 

24 October 1892

Moncado, Leonardo William (age: 42 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Bob – committed on 24 May 1892 – sentenced on 23 September 1892

Moncado (a native of Chile) was engaged as a cook on board the barque Sketty Belle, a vessel engaged in the Northern coasting trade, and his victim, Bob, an aboriginal boy from South Australia, was also on board as a cabin-boy at the time of the murder. The newspapers stated that it was "impossible to speak of the nature of the relations which existed between Moncado and Bob" , and that it was "equally impossible to speak of the crime for which Moncado paid the last penalty of the law." After murdering his victim on 24 May 1892 he chopped the remains to pieces. The hacked portions of the body were thrown overboard, with the exception of some pieces afterwards found in Moncado's bunk. At first it appeared as if Moncado would escape the penalty as the pieces of Bob's body could not be retrieved from the sea. But awaiting his trial he was incarcerated with Charles Gleeson, to whom he confessed the murder and the reasons for committing it, "which were perhaps more horrible than the murder itself." Moncado was convicted and sentenced to death after a two days's trial at Cooktown He was hanged at Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 24 October 1892, along with Charles Gleeson. (The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 26 May 1892; Monday, 30 May 1892; Saturday, 24 September 1892; Tuesday, 25 October 1892; The West Australian, Thursday 9 June 1892)

 

29 November 1892

Jimmy Tong (age unknown / Asian) - New South Wales – Armidale

murder – victim: Harry Hing – committed on 7 November 1891 – sentenced on 11 October 1892

On 8 November 1891 a Chinese fruiterer named Harry Hing, who had the reputation of being quiet and inoffensive, was found in his hut at Walcha with his head terribly battered in, apparently with a tomahawk. The police arrested another Chinese man, Jimmy Tong, who had numerous marks of blood on his clothing. Jimmy Tong was charged with wilful murder and stood trial at the Armidale Circuit Court on 20 April 1892. The trial lasted two days, and the jury was locked up all night, but as they couldn't agree, they were discharged. Jimmy Tong had a second trial on 11 October, and this time he was convicted and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Armidale gaol on 29 November 1892. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 10 November 1891; Tuesday, 17 November 1891; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 20 November 1891; Wednesday, 30 November 1892; The West Australian, Thursday, 1 December 1892; The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 17 November 1891, p. 4; Friday, 14 October 1892, p. 5; Wednesday, 30 November 1892, p. 8; Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, Thursday, 21 April 1892, p. 3)

 

20 March 1893

Cooperabiddy (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Roebourne

murder – victim: James Coppin – committed on 12 August 1892 – sentenced on 8 December 1892

Cooperabiddy (alias Billy) was charged, together with Midderabing, Cuggerubing (alias Georgie), and Chulba (alias Mick) with the murder of James Coppin, a "half-caste", at Hamersley Range, on 12 August 1892. Although witnesses stated that all four were directly implicated in the murder, Chulba, who set up an alibi, was found not guilty, and the other three guilty and sentenced to death at the Special Sessions at Roebourne on 8 December 1892. Cooperabiddy was hanged at Roebourne at 8 a. m. on 20 March 1893. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 40; The West Australian, Friday 9 December 1892 and Wednesday, 22 March 1893)

 

13 June 1893

Smedley, Edward (age unknown / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Phoebe Smedley – committed on 20 February 1893 – sentenced on 13 April 1893

On 20 February 1893, Edward Smedley, a cook at the Volunteer Arms Hotel in Quirindi, stabbed his wife death. He suddenly and apparently without provocation attacked his wife, Phoebe Smedley, who was engaged in the kitchen washing up, with a carving knife, and stabbed her in the back. She immediately rushed from the kitchen into the dining room, followed by her husband, who, seizing her, placed her neck across his knees and cut her throat. The scuffle attracted the attention of some people who were standing outside the house, and one of them, John Johns, a blacksmith, felled Smedley with two large stones, rendering him unconscious. Smedley was immediately arrested and charged with murder. He stood trial at the Tamworth Circuit Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 13 April 1893. Smedley was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9 a.m. on 13 June 1893. (The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 23 February 1893; Thursday, 13 April 1893; Wednesday, 14 June 1893; The West Australian, Wednesday, 22 February 1893; Friday, 14 April 1893; Thursday, 15 June 1893)

 

11 July 1893

Archer, George Martin Walter (age unknown / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Emma Harrison – committed on 26 March 1893 – sentenced on 10 June 1893

The body of 36-year-old dressmaker Emma Harrison was found in her bedroom at the residence of John Osborne at Burton Street, Woolloomooloo, on 26 March 1893. George Archer, Mr. Osborne's son-in-law, who was also living in that house, was arrested on the next day. Blood stains were found on his shirt and trousers. He had raped Miss Harrison and strangled her to death. He stood trial at the Central Criminal Court and was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 10 June 1893. He was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9 a.m. on 11 July 1893. When his body fell, the rope had slipped, and the knot came directly under the chin. Archer struggled for several minutes, groaning and violently kicking about, before he died. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 28 March 1893; Wednesday, 29 March 1893; Saturday, 8 April 1893; Tuesday, 11 April 1893; Wednesday, 12 April 1893; Thursday, 13 April 1893; Saturday, 15 April 1893; Tuesday, 13 June 1893; Wednesday, 12 July 1893; The West Australian, Monday, 24 July 1893)

 

15 July 1893

Charles Flannagan (age unknown / Aborigine) – Northern Territory – Darwin

murder – victim: Samuel B. Croker – committed on 19 September 1892 – sentenced on 16 February 1893

Charles Flannagan (or Flannigan), alias McManus, an Aboriginal "half-caste" from Queensland, killed Samuel Croker, manager of Auvergne Station. On 10 September 1892, Flannagan rode up to the station in quest of a job. He was subsequently installed as a hand on the station, and all went well until 19 September. In the evening of that day Croker, John PcPhee, Joe Ah Wah and Flannagan spent some time playing cribbage; after playing three plays, Flannagan rose from the table and went to get a drink of water from a cask on the veranda. The next thing heard was a rifle shot, and Croker staggered, being shot. The other two ran to shelter and heard a second shot, Flannagan finishing Croker. Flannagan was tried at the Circuit Court at Darwin on 16 February 1893 and was sentenced to death. He was hanged at Fannie Bay gaol near Darwin at 9 a.m. on 15 July 1893. This was the first hanging in the Northern Territory (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 21 February 1893; West Australian, Monday, 17 July 1893; Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday, 9 December 1892; Friday, 21 July 1893)

 

25 July 1893

Wandy Wandy (age unknown / Aborigine) – Northern Territory – Malay Bay

murder – victims: six unidentified Malays – committed in May 1892 – sentenced on 14 February 1893

Wandy Wandy, an aged Aborigine, played a leading part in the massacre of the captain and five members of his crew of a shipwrecked proa at Mandool, Malay Bay, on an unspecified day about May 1892. The Malays had asked the Aborigines to direct them to Tingha's camp at Port Essington, and after walking a long distance, the Aborigines suddenly turned on the six Malays and killed them. They returned to the proa, which they looted and burnt. Eight Aborigines were tried for the murder at Palmerston Circuit Court, Wandy Wandy, Goolarduo, Capoonda, Minaedge, Ingeewaraky, Dooramite, Angareeda, Marakite, Mangerippy, and all of them were sentenced to death on 14 February 1893. The Executive confirmed the death sentences of the first four men, but on 19 July decided that only Wandy Wandy should hang. The Deputy Sheriff left Port Darwin by steamship on 23 July 1893 with Wandy Wandy to be hanged at Malay Bay. The portable gallows was landed and erected at a camp much frequented by Aborigines and Malays. The execution took place on the evening of 25 July in the presence of about 30 Aborigines. (Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday, 17 February 1893; Friday, 7 July 1893; Friday, 21 July 1893; Friday, 28 July 1893; Friday, 11 August 1893; Friday, 15 January 1904)

 

15 August 1893

Makin, John (age: 48 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victims: Horace Murray and a second unidentified infant – committed on 29 June 1892 – sentenced on 30 March 1893

Baby farmers John Makin and his wife Sarah came to police attention in October 1892 when workmen uncovered the bodies of two children at Burren Street, Macdonaldtown. John and Sarah Makin, who were charged with their teenage daughters Blanche and Florence, swore that there had been only one infant in their care while there and it had been returned to its parents. A coronial jury returned open verdicts. But five more bodies were found at Burren Street and police dug in eleven backyards were the Makins had lived since 1890, recovering thirteen bodies in all. In December inquests were held into the deaths of four more of the infants, one of whom was Horace Murray, born on 30 May 1892, the illegitimate son of Amber Murray, who advertised for someone to adopt the baby. After Makin accepted £3, his daughter Blanche collected the healthy baby on 27 June, two days before the family departed suddenly for Burren Street. Horace was obviously poisoned and died on 29 June 1892. John and Sarah Makin stood trial at the Central Criminal Court and were found guilty of the murder of Horace Murray and another baby on 9 March 1893 and were sentenced to death on 30 March. Sarah Makin's sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Executive Council on 11 April. John Makin was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9 a.m. on 15 August 1893. (The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 5 November 1892; Tuesday, 8 November 1892; Wednesday, 9 November 1892; Thursday, 10 November 1892; Friday, 11 November 1892; Tuesday, 15 November 1892; Thursday, 17 November 1892; Friday, 18 November 1892; Tuesday, 29 November 1892; Thursday, 22 December 1892; Tuesday, 7 March 1893; Saturday, 11 March 1893; Wednesday, 16 August 1893; Saturday, 19 August 1893; The West Australian, Saturday, 1 April 1893; Thursday, 13 April 1893; Wednesday, 16 August 1893; Australian Dictionary of Biography)

 

28 August 1893

Conder, John (age: 58 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Kaiza Singh – committed on 22 January 1893 – sentenced on 27 July 1893

John Conder, a selector at Gippsland, was arrested on 14 April 1893, charged with larceny of the horse and goods of Kaiza Singh, an Indian Hawker, who had been missing since 22 January 1893. On the following day charred bones were discovered at Conder's house at Buchan, along with buttons and a belt buckle, which were also identified as belonging to Kaiza Singh by his former traveling mate J. J. Mahommet. The Police Court at Bruthen charged Conder with the murder of Kaiza Singh, and he stood trial at the Sale Criminal Court and was found guilty sentenced to death on 27 July 1893. Conder was hanged at Melbourne gaol at 10 a.m. on 28 August 1893. Up to his last hour he protested his innocence. (Tuapeka Times, N.Z., 3 May 1893; 16 August 1893; The West Australian, Friday, 28 April 1893; Saturday, 29 July 1893; Tuesday, 29 August 1893; The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 11 May 1893; Tuesday, 29 August 1893)

 

23 October 1893

Blantern, George Thomas (age: 35 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Flora Macdonald – committed on 7 May 1893 – sentenced on 21 September 1893

George Blantern killed Flora Macdonald on 7 May 1893 with an American axe, fracturing the skull of the young woman while she was sleeping in her room at Marlborough station, in the Central district. Her clothes and bed-sheets showed marks of a fire extinguished with water. Blantern was at once suspected and arrested several hours later. He readily admitted the murder, but stated that he didn't know what possessed him to do it. Miss Macdonald had told him shortly before she was killed that she had changed her mind and would not marry him. He stood trial at the Rockhampton Supreme Court, first pleaded guilty but on the advice of his solicitor alter the plea to one of not guilty. He was convicted and sentenced to death on 21 September 1893. Blantern was hanged at Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 23 October 1893. (The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 19 May 1893; Tuesday, 24 October 1893)

 

24 November 1893

Woy Hoy (age unknown / Asian) - New South Wales – Mudgee

murder – victim: Ah Fook – committed on 4 July 1893 – sentenced on 27 September 1893

Ah Fook, a shopkeeper in Lewis Street, Mudgee, and Woy Hoy (alias Jimmy Hoy, a converted Chinese Christian) had been living together for three months, when on 4 July 1893 Woy Hoy attacked Ah Fook with an American axe and struck him in the throat, knocking him down. There were deep gashes on the check and also on the neck. The body lay in a great pool of blood for some hours, and was then dragged by Woy Hoy into his own room, where it was discovered on the next day. Ah Fook was generally respected, while Woy Hoy was called "a little eccentric". He stood trial at Mudgee Criminal Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 27 September 1893. Jimmy Hoy was hanged at Mudgee gaol at 9 a.m. on 24 November 1893. (The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 8 July 1893; Saturday, 25 November 1893; The West Australian, Thursday, 9 November 1893; The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 6 July 1893, p. 5; Friday, 29 September 1893, p. 6; Saturday, 25 November 1893, p. 9)

 

29 November 1893

Glasson, Edwin Hubert (age unknown / White) - New South Wales – Bathurst

murder – victims: John William Phillips and Frances Letitia Cavanagh – committed on 24 Sept. 1893– sentenced on 21 Oct. 1893

Edwin Hubert Glasson, a stock and station agent at Carcoar, being short of money and having overdrawn his account at the City Bank of Carcoar for more than £49, entered that bank by a back window which had been left unfastened, on the night of Sunday, 24 September 1893, with a mask over his face. His object was robbery but he had provided himself with an axe which had a razor-like edge. He was confronted by the manager, Mr. John William Phillips, who had a revolver, accompanied by his wife. Glasson knocked the candle out of her hand and began striking heavy blows on Mr. Phillips, killing him. Mrs. Phillips fled to her bedroom, but was also struck a violent blow on her head, wounding her severely. Glasson demanded the keys of the safe, but they were not in the house. He spared Miss Stoddard (Mrs. Phillips's sister), but Miss Frances Cavanaugh, who also lived in the house, had met Glasson on the staircase with a baby on her arms, and was killed in the same way as Mr. Phillips. Mrs. Phillips had been able to pull the mask from Glasson's face, recognized him and gave evidence to identify him. He stood trial at Bathurst Circuit Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 21 October 1893. Glasson was hanged at Bathurst gaol at 9 a.m. on 29 November 1893. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 26 September 1893; Wednesday, 27 September 1893; Friday, 29 September 1893; Saturday, 30 September 1893; 20 October 1893; Saturday, 21 October 1893; Monday, 23 October 1893; Thursday, 30 November 1893; The West Australian, Thursday, 30 November 1893)

 

15 January 1894

Knorr, Frances Lydia Alice (age: 26 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: unidentified baby girl – committed on or about 11 April 1893 – sentenced on 15 December 1893

Frances Knorr (also known as Minnie Thwaites) was arrested on 6 September 1893 following the discovery of the corpses of three infants in premises in Moreland Road at Brunswick, Melbourne, that she had occupied. She had turned to "baby farming", without being licensed, during the financial depression in 1892, while her husband, Rudolph Knorr, was serving a gaol term in Adelaide for selling off the family's partially paid-for furniture. It was impossible to find out the accurate number of children she had taken in care, but police estimated the number at twelve to thirteen. She stood trial for the murder of one female baby at the Melbourne Criminal Court and was convicted on 2 December 1893. After the Full Court rejected her appeal, she was sentenced to death on 15 December. Mrs. Knorr was hanged at Melbourne at 10 a.m. on 15 January 1894. (The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 7 September 1893; Friday, 8 September 1893; Saturday, 9 September 1893; Saturday, 23 September 1893; Friday 13 October 1893; Tuesday, 9 January 1894; Tuesday, 16 January 1894; The West Australian, Wednesday, 29 November 1893; Friday, 1 December 1893; Saturday, 2 December 1893; Monday, 4 December 1893; Saturday, 16 December 1893; Monday, 18 December 1893; Tuesday, 16 Januar 1894; Thursday, 25 January 1894; Australian Dictionary of Biography)

 

19 March 1894

Knox, Ernest (age: 21 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Isaac Samwell Crawcour – committed on 12 Jan. 1894 – sentenced on 17 February 1894

In the early morning hours of 12 January 1894, two burglars entered the house of Mr. Michael Crawcour, a pawnbroker and financial agent, in Nelson Place, Williamstown. Mr. Crawcour was alarmed by electric burglar alarms in his bedroom and came downstairs with a bulldog revolver to catch the burglars. One of the men, Charles Jent, managed to escape, the other one, Ernest Knox (alias Walter Jamieson) had a fight with young Isaac Crawcour in which the latter was wounded by one bullet. Knox was arrested immediately and Jent shortly afterwards. Young Crawcour died of his wounds on the next day. Knox and Jent were arrested on 13 January, and found a revolver and 11 charges of cartridges in his box in Jent's bedroom. Knox immediately admitted that he fired two shots at somebody who came downstairs in Crawcour's place, which Jent corroborated. They were charged with murder, stood trial at the Supreme Court in Melbourne, and were convicted on 17 February 1894, Knox being sentenced to death and Jent to three years imprisonment with hard labour. Knox was hanged at Melbourne at 10 a.m. on 19 March 1894. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 17 January 1894; Friday, 16 February 1894; Tuesday, 20 March 1894; The West Australian, Monday, 19 February 1894; Tuesday, 20 March 1894; The Argus, Friday, 16 February 1894, p. 5; Tuesday, 20 March 1894, p. 6)

 

28 May 1894

Abe, Hatsuro (age: 31 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Omatzie – committed on 27 January 1894 – sentenced on 24 April 1894

Hatsuro Abe, a Japanese sailor and diver, killed a young Japanese widow named Omatzie on Thursday Island. Abe had become very much smitten on her and made overtures to marry her, but these she resolutely declined to listen to. He pestered her but she steadily declined his advances and finally on 27 January 1894, he took a Japanese dagger and killed the young woman, stabbing her in the breast. He tried unsucessfully to commit suicide, but his wounds were not severe. He stood trial at Cooktown and was convicted and sentenced to death on 24 April 1894. Abe was hanged at Brisbane at 8 a.m. of 28 May 1894. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 29 January 1894; Tuesday, 24 April 1894; Wednesday, 25 April 1894; Tuesday, 29 May 1894; Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society)

 

31 May 1894

Montgomery, Charles (age: 30 / White)

Williams, Thomas (age: 21 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

Attempted murder – victim: Constable Bowden – committed on 2 February 1894 – sentenced on 3 April 1894

In the early morning of 2 February 1894, Constables Ball, McCourt, and Lyons saw three men leaving the Union Company's offices in Bridge Street, Sydney, and being suspicious of their appearance, they followed the men. When the constables got close in them the men suddenly turned round. Drawing heavy iron jimmies, they each aimed terribly effective blows a the heads of the constables. Constable Ball was the only one escaping severe wounds, and he continued pursuing the men, crying for the help of other policemen. In Phillip Street, at the Water Police Station, Montgomery and Williams were captured after severe struggles with the policemen, several of whom were inured, and two men suffered severely from fracture of the skull, including Constable Bowden. The third man escaped and was never captured. Montgomery and Williams were charged with wounding Constable Bowden with intent to murder. They stood trial at the Central Criminal Court and were convicted and sentenced to death on 3 April 1894. Montgomery and Williams were hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, on 31 May 1894. On falling, Williams' arm was caught in the rope, which caused severe struggles. The assistant hangman had to shake the rope violently to release it from the arm. Williams died slowly of suffocating, while Montgomery's death was instantaneous. (The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 3 February 1894; Wednesday, 4 April 1894; Friday, 1 June 1894; The West Australian, Thursday, 5 April 1894; Tuesday, 6 February 1894; Friday, 1 June 1894)

 

20 July 1894

Cummins, John (age unknown / White)

Lee, Alexander (age unknown / White) - New South Wales – Tamworth

murder – victim: W. C. McKay – committed on 18 April 1894 – sentenced on 21 June 1894

John Cummins and Alexander Lee killed the manager of the branch bank of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney at Barraba on 18 April 1894. During the dinner hour they rode up to the bank, entered the banking room and called fort 38-year-old Mr. W. C. McKay. They induced him to take £800 out of the safe and then tried to seize the money, which McKay resisted. After a short, but fierce struggle they shot him dead. They were proceeding to rob the bank when they were disturbed and they fled. Cummins was arrested on 20 April, Lee on 26 April. At their trial at Tamworth, Lee stated that Cummins was innocent, as he had no part in the bank robbery and murder, but Cummins was convicted by circumstantial evidence. They were both found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 21 June 1894. Efforts were made in vain to postpone Cummins' execution. Cummmins and Lee were hanged at Tamworth at 9 a.m. on 20 July 1894. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 23 April 1894; Friday, 27 April 1894; Thursday, 21 June 1894; Friday, 22 June 1894; Saturday, 23 June 1894; Monday, 25 June 1894; Saturday, 21 July 1894; The West Australian, Friday, 20 April 1894; Saturday, 21 April 1894; Monday, 25 June 1894; Tuesday, 3 July 1894; Friday, 20 July 1894; Saturday, 21 July 1894)

 

20 August 1894

Jordan, Frederick (age: 30 / Black) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Minnie Hicks – committed on – 6 July 1894 – sentenced on 21 July 1894

On 6 July 1894 Frederick Jordan (an African American wharf labourer) reported to the police at Port Melbourne that he found his common-law wife, 21-year-old Minnie Hicks, dead on her bed. The police discovered that the woman had been murdered. Her body was dreadfully mutilated, and she had presumably died from suffocation. On the previous evening, Jordan had found Hicks in a neighbouring house after a quarrel, and, she being disinclined to go home, dragged her there by her hair, also kicking and beating her. He was charged with wilful murder and stood trial at the Melbourne Criminal Court. Jordan was convicted and sentenced to death on 21 July 1894. He was hanged at Melbourne at 10 a.m. on 20 August 1894. (The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 7 July 1894; Wednesday, 11 July 1894; Monday, 23 July 1894; Tuesday, 21 August 1894; The West Australian, Saturday, 7 July 1894; Tuesday, 21 August 1894)

 

24 August 1894

Brown, William (age: 39 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: George Morowsky – committed on 12 April 1894 – sentenced on 27 July 1894

William Brown (alias Allen, alias Lane, an immigrant from Ireland) killed his mate George Morowsky (or Moriski) at Lovely Gully or Wankaringa on 12 April 1894. Morowsky was a prospector, and Brown shot him to death as the result of a quarrel. Brown was not arrested until 15 May after the publication of a full description of him. He was convicted of wilful murder at the Gladstone Criminal Court and sentenced to death on 27 July, and was hanged at Adelaide gaol at 8 a.m. on 24 August 1894. Shortly before his execution, Brown made a full confession to the gaol chaplain, saying that the murder was committed under great provocation. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 79-81; The West Australian, Thursday, 17 May 1894; Monday, 21 May 1894; Saturday, 28 July 1894; Saturday, 25 August 1894; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 25 August 1894)

 

22 October 1894

Needle, Martha (age: 30 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Louis Juncken – committed on 15 May 1894 – sentenced on 27 September 1894

Martha Needle, a widow, residing at 137 Bridge Road, Richmond, was arrested on 13 June 1894, charged with having administered poison to Herman Juncken, with intent to commit murder. Herman Juncken's brother, Louis Juncken, had commenced business as a saddler in the front of a two-story building at 137 Bridge Road, and sublet the remainder of the house to Mrs. Needle in 1892, who kept boarders, among them Louis Juncken and his brother Otto, both unmarried. Otto Juncken and Martha Needle became engaged to be married, but his brother Louis and the entire family in Adelaide objected to the marriage. On 26 April Louis became ill, suffering from severe abdominal pain and violent retching. He died on 15 May 1894. After his funeral, Herman Juncken returned to Melbourne to settle the affairs of his deceased brother. Although being in excellent health at that time, he became ill three times several days later after partaking of meals cooked and served by Mrs. Needle. Upon examination, arsenic was found. Louis Juncken's body was exhumed in early July, and arsenic was found as well. Arsenic was also found in the bodies of her husband and two daughters, Henry, Elsie and May Needle, upon exhumation. Mrs. Needle was charged with wilful murder of Louis Juncken and stood trial at the Criminal Court at Melbourne. She was convicted and sentenced to death on 27 September 1894 and was hanged at Melbourne on 22 October 1894.(The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 19 June 1894; Wednesday, 20 June 1894; Wednesday, 4 July 1894; Friday, 6 July 1894; Wednesday, 11 July 1894; Friday, 13 July 1894; Saturday, 14 July 1894; Tuesday, 17 July 1894; The West Australian, Friday, 20 July 1894; Wednesday, 26 September 1894; Saturday, 29 September 1894; Wednesday, 24 October 1894)

 

12 November 1894

Cockcroft, Elijah (age: 20 / White) – Victoria – Ballarat

murder – victim: Fanny Mott – committed on 2 September 1894 – sentenced on 16 October 1894

Fanny Mott, aged 19, daughter of a farmer at Darragan, near Horsham, was found dead on 3 September 1894 near her brother's farmhouse. She had gone out the night before with Elijah Cockroft, a jockey, to whom she was engaged, and never returned. Her throat was cut from ear to ear, and there were signs of a very severe struggle. Cockroft was arrested three days later, and fully admitted the crime on the next day. The motive behind the murder was not clear. He stood trial at Stawell Criminal Court, and was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 16 October 1894. Cockroft was hanged at Ballarat gaol on 12 November 1894. (The West Australian, Wednesday, 5 September 1894; Friday, 7 September 1894; Saturday, 8 September 1894; Thursday, 18 October 1894; Tuesday, 13 November 1894; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 13 November 1894)

 

11 December 1894

Dennis, Frederick (age unknown / White) - New South Wales – Bathurst

murder – victim: John E. Hall – committed in May 1894 – sentenced on 4 October 1894

Hall, with some other men, forced his way into a shop owned by a man named Metcalf, which had been broken into. Frederick Dennis was seen near the counter. He fired two shots from a revolver and Hall was struck by a bullet and died. Dennis took to the bush, but was arrested one day later. He stood trial at the Bathurst Criminal Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 4 October 1894. Dennis was hanged at Bathurst at 9 a.m. on 11 December 1894. (The West Australian, Friday, 5 October 1894; Thursday, 13 December 1894; The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 12 December 1894)

 

17 January 1895

Moolooloorun (age unknown / Aborigine) - Northern Territory – Crescent Lagoon

murder – victim: an unidentified Chinese man – committed in June 1894 – sentenced on 7 August 1894

Moolooloorun and Nyanko, two Aborigines, were sentenced to death on 7 August 1894 at the Palmerston Circuit Court by Justice Dashwood for the murder of an unidentified Chinese man near the Roper River about two months before. Moolooloorun killed the man with a nulla nulla after asking him in vain for tobacco. He talked about his deed at a corroboree, at which Nyanko talked about a similar murder, except that his victim survived and managed to escape. Parts of the body of one Chinese man was found by the police in the surrounding indicated by Moolooloorun and Nyanko. Nyanko's death sentence was commuted by the Governor of South Australia, but Moolooloorun was hanged at Crescent Lagoon, which was situated about nine miles from the scene of the murder, on 17 January 1895, in the presence of about 30 to 40 Aborigines. (Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday, 10 August 1894; Friday, 28 December 1894; Friday 1 February 1895; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 29 January 1895)

 

31 January 1895

Grenon, Alfred (age unknown / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Thomas Heavey – committed on 14 October 1894 – sentenced on 10 December 1894

Alfred Grenon (a French prisoner escaped from New Caledonia) was accosted by Thomas Heavey, a watchman at Potts's Point, early on the morning of 14 October 1894, and as he could not give a satisfactory account of himself, Heavey sought to detain him, whereupon Grenon drew a revolver and shot him in the breast, severely wounding him. Grenon was charged at the Central Criminal Court with wounding with intent to murder, and was found guilty and sentenced to death on 10 December 1894, the jury recommending him to mercy. He was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, on 31 January 1895 (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 15 October 1894; Friday, 1 February 1895; The West Australian, Wednesday, 2 January 1895; Friday, 1 February 1895)

 

20 May 1895

Miore (age: 29 / South Sea Islander)

Narasemai (age: 23 / South Sea Islander) - Queensland - Brisbane

murder – victim: Francis Macartney – committed on 30 December 1894 – sentenced on 18 April 1895

Francis Macartney arrived at Avondale Railway Station on 30 December 1895 and sold a handkerchief to one South Sea Islander there. The man happened to have a look at Macartney's purse, which contained several gold coins. When Macartney left the Railway Station and went on, he was followed by at least seven South Sea Islanders, who all had made up their minds to murder and rob him of his gold. He was killed about 5 p.m. on that day, on the Baffle Creek Road, his pockets rifled and his body dragged into an adjoining paddock. His body was found not until 3 January 1895, after several days of heavy rain. Six South Sea Islanders were convicted and sentenced to death at Bundaberg on 18 April 1895: Miore, Narasemai, Many Many, Ohasbiby, Forka, and Qui-Tong-tong. The sentences of the latter four were commuted to imprisonment for life. Miore and Narasemai were hanged at Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 20 May 1895 (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 9 January 1895; Friday, 11 January 1895; Thursday, 24 January 1895; Friday, 19 April 1895; Tuesday, 23 April 1895; Tuesday, 9 May 1895; Tuesday, 21 May 1895; The West Australian, Wednesday, 22 May 1895)

 

1 July 1895

Buck, Arthur (age: 27 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Catherine Norton – committed on 28 April 1895 – sentenced on 29 May 1895

Catherine Norton (27) was a married woman whose husband spent three years in the prison for larceny. She was living with a labourer named Thorpe, when on 27 April 1895 she met a former lover, Arthur Buck, and spent the night with him. Buck tried to persuade her to leave Thorpe, and share his fortunes, and on her refusing to do so he attacked her with a razor, and inflicted injuries which caused her death one and a half hour later. Buck was arrested shortly after and confessed to the crime, even admitting that he pawned some articles of clothing in order to buy the razor. He was charged with murder and pleaded guilty at the Melbourne Criminal Court on 15 May 1895, and was sentenced to death by Justice Holroyd on 29 May 1895. Buck was hanged at Melbourne at 10 a.m. on 1 July 1895, never expressing sorrow or remorse for what he had done. (The West Australian, Saturday 4 May 1895; Friday, 17 May 1895; Friday, 31 May 1895; Tuesday, 2 July 1895; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 30 April 1895; Thursday, 16 May 1895; Thursday, 30 May 1895; Tuesday, 2 July 1895)

 

22 July 1895

Sayer (age: 25 / South Sea Islander) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Peter Anderson – committed on 7 July 1894 – sentenced on 19 June 1895

In July 1894, a man named Peter Anderson was found dead near the remains of his tent in the neighbourhood of Etowrie. His head was battered, his clothes were nearly all destroyed by fire. The crime resembled two previous murder in the same part of the district. It was not until 20 December 1894 that Sayer (or Safhour) was arrested by the Mackay police, after he had boasted of the murder in the presence of other South Sea Islanders. Sayer confessed on 15 January 1895 to the murder, which he committed on 7 July 1894 with another man named Marimy. He was charged with the murder and stood trial at the Mackay Supreme Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 19 June 1895. Sayer was hanged at Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 22 July 1895. (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 24 December 1895; Thursday, 20 June 1895; Tuesday, 9 July 1895; Tuesday, 23 July 1895; The West Australian, Wednesday, 24 July 1895)

 

4 November 1895

Jackey (age: 31 / Aborigine) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Jacky Williams – committed on 14 May 1895 – sentenced on 24 September 1895

Jackey (an Aborigine) wanted a young woman who was living with Jacky Williams (a Javanese), and several times told her that he would kill Williams. On 14 May 1895 Jackey came to Williams' hut near Mount Morgan and, after asking for food and receiving it, he walked into the hut for lighting his pipe. At that time Williams was bending over the fire lighting a cigarette. When he rose, Jackey struck him across the face with a tomahawk, burying the implement in his jaw. He also struck him several blows on the top of the head, smashing his skull in five places and fled. Williams was taken to the Mount Morgan hospital, but died two days later. Jackey was arrested on that day and was charged with murder. He stood trial at the Rockhampton Supreme Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 24 September 1895. Jackey was hanged at Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 4 November 1895, along with Frank Tinyana (The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 17 May 1895; Thursday, 23 May 1895; Wednesday, 25 September 1895; Tuesday, 5 November 1895; The West Australian, Wednesday, 6 November 1895)

 

4 November 1895

Tinyana, Frank (age: 37 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Constable Conroy – committed on 2 July 1895 – sentenced on 30 September 1895

Frank Tinyana (a Filipino) suspected his wife Amelia of infidelity and attacked her on 2 July 1895 in a house on Thursday Island with a knife, ripping her arm. Senior-constable Conroy, hearing screams, ran into the house and pursued Tinyana. He caught him in the back yard, when a deadly scuffle ensued. Conroy secured Tinyana and dragged him through the house, but when they reached the front door he handed the prisoner to another constable and fell back unconscious, bleeding profusely. He died shortly afterward in the hospital. Frank Tinyana was charged with murder and attempted murder and stood trial at the Cooktown Circuit Court. He was convicted and sentenced to death on 30 September 1895. Tinyana was hanged at Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 4 November 1895, along with Jackey. (The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 4 July 1895; Monday, 15 July 1895; Tuesday, 1 October 1895; Tuesday, 5 November 1895; The West Australian, Wednesday, 6 November 1895)

 

4 November 1895

Williams, Emma (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: John Williams – committed on 11 August 1895 – sentenced on 24 September 1895

Emma Williams killed her 2-year-old son John on 11 August 1895. She was the widow of a labourer who died in the Melbourne Hospital in November 1894. They had been married in 1887, but separated a year after their marriage. Little John had been taken care of by his father until his death. Mrs. Williams took the child down to the pier at the Lagoon, where she got a stone and took some braid off her dress. With this she tied a stone to the child and pitched him into the water. She stopped there about twenty minutes. As the body did not rise she went home. She killed the child because he hampered her. She had tried before to get rid of the toddler. The body was found in the Lagoon at Port Melbourne on the next day. Emma Williams was arrested, confessed to the murder and stood trial at the Melbourne Criminal Court. She was convicted and sentenced to death on 24 September 1895. Mrs. Williams was hanged at Melbourne at 10 a.m. on 4 November 1895. (The West Australian, Thursday, 15 August 1895; Friday, 16 August 1895; Saturday, 17 August 1895; Wednesday, 25 September 1895; Tuesday, 5 November 1895; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 5 November 1895)

 

6 November 1895

Lynch, George Horace (age: 40+ / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Donald McPhee Ross – committed on 24 August 1895 – sentenced on 9 October 1895

George Horace Lynch killed Donald McPhee Ross at Balaklava on 24 August 1895. Donald was a young fellow who it was believed had run away from his home in Victoria, and Lynch, finding the boy unprotected in Bendigo, made a companion of him, and they travelled together, working at various places, until finally they got some masonry work to do at the house of a settler named Dunn at Balaklava. Donald appeared to be a quiet, inoffensive youth, but Lynch had fits of ill-temper, and openly quarrelled with him. On the day of his murder, Donald was seen running away from Lynch, pursued by Lynch, who fired two shots from a revolver at him. Donald Ross died immediately. The South Australian Register (7 Nov. 1895) mentioned "There were other elements in the case of too revolting a nature to be more than hinted at", which certainly implies that the two had had a sexual relationship. Lynch was convicted at the Criminal Court at Adelaide and sentenced to death on 9 October 1895, and was hanged at Adelaide gaol at 8 a.m. on 6 November 1895. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 82-7; The West Australian, Tuesday, 27 August 1895; Thursday, 10 October 1895; Thursday, 7 November 1895)

 

7 January 1896

Sheridan, Thomas Meredith (age: 45 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Jessie Amelia Nicholls – committed on 30 August 1895 – sentenced on 21 November 1895

On 1 September 1895 the mutilated body of a woman in a case was discovered at Woolloomoolloo Bay. The woman was identified as 23-year-old Jessie Amelia Nicholls, daughter of respectable farmers at Windsor. She had been pregnant, and entered the British Medical Institute in Elizabeth Street, Sydney, on 27 August, and on 30 August, she was dead. She died from an operation at her abdomen after a failed attempt of abortion. Thomas Meredith Sheridan, the proprietor of the British Medical Institute, was arrested. At the inquest on 28 September, Sheridan was charged with wilful murder of Miss Nicholls. He stood trial at the Central Criminal Court and was found guilty and sentenced to death on 21 November 1895. A man named John Sewell was found guilty of being an accessory after the fact. Sheridan was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9 a.m. on 7 January 1896. (The West Australian, Wednesday, 4 September 1895; 30 September 1895; Friday, 22 November 1895; Wednesday, 8 January 1896; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 26 November 1895; Saturday, 14 December 1895; Wednesday, 8 January 1896)

 

13 January 1896

Strange, Charles Henry (age: 22 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Frederick Dowse – committed on 8 November 1895 – sentenced on 4 December 1895

Charles Henry Strange and Frederick Dowse (or Joseph Docey) camped close to a hotel at Cunninghame, Gippsland, on 8 November 1895. They quarelled about a girl, and Dowse made some disparaging remarks about her. Strange retaliated with strong language, whereupon Dowse struck him in the face. Strange became enraged, and picking up an axe dealt Dowse a death blow. His body was found on the next day in the bush under a blanket. He had been twice stabbed through the heart, and his head was also smashed in. Strange was arrested on the same day and confessed his guilt. He was found guilty at the Supreme Court in Melbourne and was sentenced to death on 4 December 1896. Strange was hanged at Melbourne Gaol at 10 a.m. on 13 January 1896 (The Brisbane Courier, Monday, 11 November 1895; Thursday, 5 December 1895; Tuesday, 14 January 1896; Marlborough Express, N.Z., 12 November 1895; North Otago Times, N.Z., 26 November 1895; Hawera & Normanby Star, N.Z., 15 January 1896; The Argus, Thursday, 5 December 1895, p. 5; Tuesday, 14 January 1896, p. 5)

 

2 May 1896

Mahomet, Goulam (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Tagh Mahomet – committed on 10 January 1896 – sentenced on 8 April 1896

Goulam Mahomet, an Afghan, shot Tagh Mahomet, a wealthy merchant, to death in the Mosque at Coolgardie during morning Prayer on 10 January 1896. Tagh Mahomet was kneeling facing west with his back to the door and Goulam came up behind him and produced a revolver and shot him in the back. Tagh turned and looked at Goulam and fell back. Goulam left at once. He went to the Police and gave himself up. He later claimed that he had been threatened by Tagh and got in first. His trial was held at Coolgardie and he was sentenced to death on 8 April 1896. Goulam Mahomet was hanged at Fremantle at 8 a.m. on 2 May 1896. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 40-1; The West Australian, Thursday, 23 April 1896; Monday, 4 May 1896)

 

28 December 1896

Durrigilla (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Roebourne

murder – victim: John Horrigan – committed 28 March 1896 – sentenced on 28 September 1896

Durrigilla (or Doulga alias Dicky) came to a camp at Warraba Well on 28 March 1896 and was observed wearing John Horrigan's (or Hourigan's) clothes and riding his horse. He stated that two other men had speared Horrigan at Yinnadong Station. Durrigilla was arrested. The Police backtracked him and found Hourigan's body buried in some sand hills at Nambeet Well, on the La Grange Bay – Condon Road, with a wound to the head made with a tommy axe. The body had been wrapped in a blanket and then in a calico tent. Horrigan had been asleep in his tent when he was killed. Durrigilla was tried at Roebourne on 28 September 1896 and hanged there on 28 December 1896. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 41; The West Australian, Tuesday, 14 April 1896; Thursday, 29 October 1896; Wednesday, 30 December 1896)

 

30 March 1897

Khan, Jumna (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: William Griffiths – committed on 3 December 1896 – sentenced on 3 March 1897

Jumna Khan killed William Griffiths, an innocent bystander, when he ran amok at Fremantle on 3 December 1896. Imbued with the idea that he had been robbed and insulted by a European, he gave vent to his feelings of hatred against all whites by running amok in High-street, Fremantle. Seizing an axe from the doorway of an ironmongery establishment, he rushed up to the unfortunate wharf lumper, Griffiths, who happened to be leaning against the veranda post and struck him a murderous blow on the back of the head, which killed him almost instantly. The appearance of Constable Normoyle prevented further bloodshed. Khan was arrested and charged with murder. His trial took place at a special sitting of the Criminal Court, and he was sentenced to death on 3 March 1897. Khan was hanged at Fremantle gaol at 8 a.m. on 30 March 1897. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 41; The West Australian, Thursday, 4 March 1897; Wednesday, 31 March 1897)

 

21 May 1897

Hines, Charles (age unknown / White) - New South Wales – Maitland

rape – victim: Mary Emily Haynes – committed on 1 May 1896 – sentenced on 31 March 1897

Charles Hines raped his stepdaughter, Mary Emily Haynes, on 1 May 1896. He stood trial at the Maitland Criminal Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 31 March 1897. Hines was hanged at East Maitland gaol at 9 a.m. on 21 May 1897, claiming his innocence to the last. (The West Australian, Thursday, 1 April 1897; Saturday, 22 May 1897)

 

24 June 1897

Moore, Thomas (age: 65 / White) - New South Wales – Dubbo

murder – victim: Edwin Smith – committed on 9 November 1896 – sentenced on 9 April 1897

In late November 1896 a sensation was created at Bourke by the discovery of the mutilated remains of a man at Brennan's Bend, in the river below Bourke, who was later identified as Edwin Smith. Thomas Moore, a hawker, was arrested on 25 November and charged with his murder. At the inquest, a number of witnesses who had been engaged at the adjoining shearing sheds identified articles found in the possession of Moore as being identical with those which had belonged to Smith. Moore was also under suspicion of having murdered another hawker, Thomas Anderson, in March 1896, whose body was found in the Namol River at Yarradool, enclosed in a sack. He stood trial for the murder of Smith at the Dubbo Criminal Court and was found guilty and sentenced to death on 9 April 1897. Moore was hanged at Dubbo gaol at 9 a.m. on 24 June 1897. When the bolt was drawn his body shot through the trap, but the head was completely severed from the body, and the head and body fell in two separate places in the pit. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 25 November 1896; Thursday, 17 December 1896; Saturday, 2 January 1897; Saturday, 10 April 1897; Friday, 25 June 1897; The West Australian, Friday, 9 April 1897; Friday, 25 June 1897)

 

10 July 1897

Beard, Joshua (age: 40 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Walter Newman Richards – committed on 11 January 1897 – sentenced on 12 June 1897

Joshua Beard, a kangaroo hunter, killed his mate, Walter Newman Richards, a young man aged 21, on 11 January 1897, at Mt. Hall, Streaky Bay. Richards' death was caused by a rifle-bullet. Beard was also charged with the murder of Joseph Marlo. He stood trial for the murder of Richards at the Criminal Court at Adelaide and was convicted and sentenced to death on 12 June 1897. Judge Bundey called it the most cowardly and atrocious murder that had come within his experience. Beard was hanged at Adelaide gaol, at 8 a.m. on 10 July 1897. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 88-93; The West Australian, Wednesday, 28 April 1897; Monday, 14 June 1897; Monday, 12 July 1897)

 

16 July 1897

Butler, Frank (age: about 45 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Lee Millington Weller – committed on 31 October 1896 – sentenced on 16 June 1897

Butler's procedure was to represent himself as a prospector anxious for a man with some amount of capital to accompany him on a tour in search of the precious metals. Three of his victims had been discovered, and two verdicts of wilful murder were returned against Frank Butler (alias Frank Harwood, alias Richard Ashe) at an inquest at Sydney on 8 December 1896. The body of Lee Weller was decomposed, Weller being dead about five weeks. Death was caused by a gunshot wound at a lonely spot near Glenbrook. Arthur Thomas Osborne Preston met a similar fate at Penrith. A third verdict was returned against Butler on 28 January 1897 in the homicide case of Burgess, who was last seen in Butler's company on 8 August 1896. Butler was not arrested until 2 February 1897, on board the collier Swanhilda, at San Francisco. He was extradited and sent back to Australia on the steamer Mariposa. He arrived at Sydney on 27 April 1897. He stood trial at the Central Criminal Court for the murder of Lee Millington Weller, and was convicted and sentenced to death on 16 June 1897. On that morning Butler attempted to commit suicide with the sharp point of a tobacco tin tag, but he was only slightly injured. Butler was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9 a.m. on 16 July 1897. On the night before his execution, he confessed to all three murders. (The West Australian, Wednesday, 9 December 1896; Friday, 29 January 1897; Thursday, 4 February 1897; Tuesday, 9 February 1897; Monday, 15 February 1897; Wednesday, 7 April 1897; Wednesday, 28 April 1897; Tuesday, 15 June 1897; Thursday, 17 June 1897; Friday, 16 July 1897; Saturday, 17 July 1897; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 17 July 1897)

 

13 September 1897

Hall, Charles John (age: 25 / White) – Victoria – Bendigo

murder – victim: Minnie Hall – committed on 11 February 1897 – sentenced on 30 July 1897

Mrs. Minnie Hall was found dead in her house at Pansons Street, Eaglehawk, on 11 February 1897, with her head and hands in a large tub of water. At first, a verdict of accidental death was returned and the body was interred, but the neighbours then began to talk, and the police got to hear of suspicions and ordered the body to be exhumed. The result of the post-mortem being death due to suffocation by homicidal compression. On 24 February 1897, her husband, Charles John Hall, was arrested and charged with murder. At his first trial at the Bendigo Criminal Court, the jury could not agree and were discharged on 28 June. Hall stood again trial at Castlemaine Criminal Court, and was convicted and sentenced to death on 30 July 1897. He was hanged at Bendigo gaol at 10 a.m. on 13 September 1897. (The West Australian, Tuesday, 29 June 1897; Thursday, 9 September 1897; Tuesday, 14 September 1897; The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 26 February 1897; Tuesday, 14 September 1897)

 

21 November 1898

Archer, Alfred (age: 32 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: William Matthews – committed on or about 10 September 1898 – sentenced on 20 October 1898

At Strathmerton, near Numurkah, the remains of William Matthews sewn up in a bag were found on 20 September 1898 in the Ulupua Creek. His skull was fractured, the neck badly gashed by stabbing. Alfred Archer had been last seen with Matthews, and had sold horse and cart, which was bloodstained. Archer was arrested on 25 September and charged with murder. Both men had been employed by Mr. Stidwell (or St. Idwell), and had become friendly. Archer stood trial at Benalla Criminal Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 20 October 1898. He was hanged at Melbourne at 10 a.m. on 21 November 1898. Shortly before his execution, he confessed the murder to the Rev. Robert Elliott. From this it appears that Archer thought he might murder his mate and take off the property which belonged to them conjointly. He waited until Matthews was asleep and then drove a pick-like implement deep into Matthew's brain. He also took up a butcher's knife and stabbed him twice in the throat. (The West Australian, Thursday, 22 September 1898; Friday 23 September 1898; Monday, 26 September 1898; Friday, 21 October 1898; Tuesday, 22 November 1898)

 

13 December 1898

Wong Ming (age: 40 / Asian) - New South Wales – Dubbo

murder – victim: Joe Mong Woung – committed on 16 August 1898 – sentenced on 6 October 1898

On 16 August 1898, a disturbance arose in a Chinese camp at Warren, and Wong Ming stabbed a woman named Alice Spong. Joe Mong Woung interfered and chased Wong Ming down a street where Ming fatally stabbed him in the abdomen. Wong Ming then attempted to commit suicide by stabbing himself in the abdomen. He survived and was arrested and charged with murder. He stood trial at Dubbo Criminal Court and was convicted and sentenced to death on 6 October 1898. Wong Ming was hanged at Dubbo gaol on 13 December 1898. A rumour was current that Wong Ming committed murder in Queensland, and that he allowed his brother to be hanged for the crime. Wong Tong was hanged on 21 June 1886 at Brisbane. (The West Australian, Friday, 7 October 1898; Wednesday, 14 December 1898; The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 14 December 1898)

 

5 April 1899

Briggs, Stuart Wilson Christopher (age: 24 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Maggie Dutt – committed on 14 December 1898 – sentenced on 17 February 1899

Stuart Briggs had a quarrel with his sweetheart, Maggie Dutt (21), on 11 December 1899, and he beat her, knocking one of her teeth out. When Briggs came to Miss Dutt's home at Douglas Street at Petersham on 14 December, her grandmother, Mrs. Margaret Miller (60), remonstrated with him upon his cowardly behaviour (he stood 6 ft and weighed 14 stones). About five minutes later she called for her granddaughter, who was shot to death by Briggs on her arrival, as well as Mrs. Miller. Briggs immediately left the house, and unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide by throwing himself into Sydney harbour. He was soon arrested and charged with murder. He stood trial at the Central Criminal Court for the murder of Maggie Dutt, and was found guilty and sentenced to death on 17 February 1899. Briggs was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, on 5 April 1899. (The West Australian, Friday, 16 December 1898; Wednesday, 21 December 1898; Friday, 17 February 1899; Saturday, 18 February 1899; Thursday, 6 April 1899; The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 6 April 1899)

 

10 August 1899

Chung Yeung (age unknown / Asian)

Lem Kai (age unknown / Asian) – Northern Territory – Darwin

murder – victim: Chee Bung – committed about 23 July 1898 – sentenced on 22 March 1899

Sometime between 22 and 24 July 1898, Chee Bung was killed by Chung Yeung and Lem Kai at Yam Creek. He was missed by his friends, who searched for him, and who came upon Lem Kai and Chung Yeung scattering the remains of a fire with shovels. The two ran away, and the men examining the ashes, found parts of a human skeleton. Police arrested Lem Kai first shortly after, and Chung Yeung several weeks later. Chung Yeung had been overheard complaining of having rations stolen from his hut, and that Chee Bung had stolen them and that he would shoot him and burn his body. They stood trial at Palmerston, were found guilty of the murder and sentenced to death on 22 March 1899. Chung Yeung and Lem Kai were hanged at Fannie Bay Prison, Darwin, on 10 August 1899 (Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday, 12 August 1898; Friday, 18 August 1899; The West Australian, Saturday, 13 August 1898; Thursday, 10 August 1899)

 

21 October 1899

Lillimarra (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Derby

murder – victim: Thomas Jasper – committed on 17 March 1897 – sentenced on 20 July 1897

Lillimarra (alias Jacky) was one of a gang of which the notorious "Pigeon" was a member. On 17 March 1897, this gang shot dead Thomas Jasper, at Collin's station, 13 miles from Fitzroy. They had beside previously murdered a man named Burke, a constable named Richardson, and others, the gang being kept supplied with ammunition by natives employed on stations. Lillimarra and three other Aborigines were tried at Derby and sentenced to death on 20 July 1897. The Executive Council decided on 8 September 1897 that Lillimarra should be hanged, but commuted the death sentences of Pyharra, Jewanna, and Marrina to prison terms. On 16 August 1897, Lillimarra and four other prisoners managed to escape from the gaol. Lillimarra was not captured until two years later, and was hanged at Derby gaol at 8 a.m. on 21 October 1899, in the presence of about 50 Aborigines. (The West Australian, Monday, 22 March 1897; Thursday, 9 September 1897; Saturday, 2 October 1897; Monday, 4 October 1897; Thursday, 14 September 1899; Tuesday, 24 October 1899)

 

17 January 1900

Singh, Lollie Kaser (age: 40 / Asian) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Sunda Singh – committed on 1 November 1899 – sentenced on 20 December 1899

Lollie Kaser Singh, a hawker from Lahore, Punjab, and Sunda Singh arrived at Denial Bay on 31 October 1899 with a hawker's van. They camped adjacent to a store kept by Kaiser Singh and appeared to be on friendly terms. On the following day, however, Lollie Singh engaged in an altercation with Sunda with regard to some article he was unable to find in the van, during which he took up an axe and struck Sunda Singh about the head, inflicting heavy wounds causing instantaneous death. Two men witnessed the murder and ran for help. Lollie Singh later stated that Sunda Singh was a bad man who wanted to take all the money he had earned. He readily admitted that he had killed Sunda Singh and was speedily arrested. He was found guilty of murder at the Adelaide Criminal Court and sentenced to death on 20 December 1899. Singh was hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 17 January 1900. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 94-5; West Australian, Thursday, 21 December 1899, p. 5; Thursday, 18 January 1900, p. 6,7)

 

26 March 1900

Jones, William Robert (age: under 40 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Rita Jones – committed on 26 December 1899 - sentenced on 21 February 1900

The charred and mutilated body of eight-year-old Olive Rita Lillian Jones was discovered at Broadford on 28 December 1899. She had been raped, strangled, and her skull was smashed to pulp. Rita had stayed with her grandparents and left home on 26 December for the purpose of buying lollies and apricots at a shop half a mile distant, but did not return. She was last seen near Doherty's butcher's shop, halfway between her grandparents home and the shop. Her dead body was found in a fowlhouse at the back of Doherty's butchering establishment. William Robert Jones, a butcher employed at Doherty's (and not related to the victim), was at once under suspicion of the murder and was arrested on 2 January 1900. Jones had been seen in the fruit shop, asking Rita her name and tickling her under the chin. A neighbour sitting on her veranda overlooking Doherty's premises later observed that smoke was coming from the chimney attached to the boilers, more than usual, and that Jones was about the boiling-down house. Jones was found guilty of murder at the Criminal Court in Melbourne and sentenced to death on 21 February 1900. He was hanged at Melbourne Gaol at 10 a.m. on 26 March 1900. (The West Australian, Friday, 29 December 1899, p. 5; Saturday, 30 December 1899, p. 5; The Argus, Melbourne, Tuesday, 20 February 1900, p. 3; Wednesday, 21 February 1900, p. 4; Thursday, 22 February 1900, p. 7; Tuesday, 27 March 1900, p. 6)

 

14 April 1900

Caroling (age unknown / Aborigine)

Poeling (age unknown / Aborigine)

Weddibung (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Roebourne

murder – victim: Dr. Edward Vines – committed on 9 September 1899 – sentenced on 5 February 1900

Caroling (alias Friday), Poeling (alias Tharfier), Bullabarong (alias Jimmy) and Weddibung (or Widdebong, alias Willie), along with seven other men, raided Braeside Station on the Oakover River on the early morning hours of 9 September 1899. They attacked Herbert Hodgson with their spears, hitting him five times. Hodgson called for help, and when his wife, Isabella Hodgson, and Edward Vines, armed with a revolver and an unloaded gun, came around the corner of the veranda, they met a shower of spears. Two of them hit Vines in the chest. He died within a few minutes. Mrs. Hodgson fired her revolver, and the aborigines fled. Four of them were identified and arrested. Their trial was held at the Supreme Court Special Sessions at Roebourne on 5 February 1900. Bullabarong was acquitted, but Caroling, Poeling and Weddibung were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. They were hanged at Roebourne Gaol on 14 April 1900. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 42; The West Australian, Tuesday, 12 September 1899, p. 5; Tuesday, 6 February 1900, p. 5; Monday, 16 April 1900, p. 4)

 

12 May 1900

Mullabudden (age unknown / Aborigine)

Nooluillinah (age unknown / Aborigine) - Western Australia – Derby

murder – victim: John Dobbie – committed on 12 March 1899 – sentenced on 22 February 1900

Mullabudden and Nooluillinah (or Woormellerk / Woonmillinn / Woolmillanah) murdered prospector John Dobbie (or Dobie) at Mount Broome on 12 March 1899. His body was found on 20 March with three spear wounds in the back and one in the chest. The police had warned Dobbie of the danger attendant on the practice of travelling alone, surveying the landscape, but he disregarded their advice and was attacked at his camp and killed. Mullabudden and Nooluillinah were members of the "notorious" Pigeon (Jandamurra) group. Mullabudden was said to have been responsible for four other murders, of white men with name Richardson, Gibbs, Burke and Jasper. They were arrested in late December 1899 and charged with the crime. They stood trial at the Supreme Court Special Sessions at Derby and were convicted and sentenced to death on 22 February 1900. Both were hanged at Derby Gaol at 8.am. on 12 May 1900 in the presence of all the Aborigines in the gaol. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 42; The West Australian, Wednesday, 22 March 1899, p. 4; Friday, 29 September 1899, p. 7; Friday, 29 December 1899, p. 4; Saturday, 24 February 1900, p. 5; Monday, 14 May 1900, p. 5)

 

11 June 1900

Broome, William (age: 30 / Aborigine) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Mary Le Blowitz – committed on 26 December 1899 – sentenced on 27 April 1900

On Boxing Day in 1899, 13-year-old Mary Le Blowitz was sent out to collect wood near her family's remote home at Stanton Harcourt, near Bundaberg, in central Queensland, but didn't return. For several days her father scoured the local countryside on horseback, often with Aboriginal tracker Willie Broome. Eventually, her butchered body was found on 30 December by someone else just 400 yards away from her home. She had died from stabbing wounds at her neck, inflicted by a sharp-bladed instrument, causing immediate death. The medical officer was not able to say if an outrage was committed. Broome's behaviour during the search had created some suspicion, and after the police searched his camp they found a bloodstained knife and clothing. Broome was arrested on 1 January 1900 and charged with the murder, but he vigorously maintained his innocence to the end, instead incriminating Billy Brett, a neighbour of Le Blowitz'. He was convicted and sentenced to death at Bundaberg Circuit Court on 27 April 1900. William Broome was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane on 11 June 1900, shortly after 8 a.m. (Dawson, A Pit of Shame – Boggo Road's Executed Prisoners, p. 50-1; The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 6 January 1900; Saturday, 28 April 1900, p. 10; Tuesday, 1 May 1900, p. 8; Tuesday, 12 June 1900, p. 2)

 

19 July 1900

De La Cruz, Pedro (age unknown / Asian)

Perez, Peter (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victims: John Arthur Reddell – committed on 19 October 1899 – sentenced on 16 June 1900

Pedro De La Cruz, Peter Perez (alias Pedro Pailis), and four other men (all Filipinos) murdered, on 19 October 1899, near the port of Broome, John Arthur Reddell, the owner and master of the pearler Ethel, his 19-year-old son Leslie and the ship's mate and carpenter, a man named Jim Taylor. Leslie Reddell's head had been chopped with a tomahawk, and his father was stabbed with a knife and when Taylor tried to get a gun to help them, he was tomahawked as well by De La Cruz and Perez. Their bodies were chained together on the following day, weighted with an anchor, and cast into sea. A week later, Perez also shot to death another member of the crew, Jimmy, an Aborigine boy of 19 years. Two days later, a Japanese member of the crew, Ando, was also killed with a tomahawk by De La Cruz. When they landed at the Tenimber Islands, the Chinese cook went to the authorities and told them of the murders. The six men were arrested and extradited. They stood trial at the Supreme Court at Perth. Sebio Garcia was acquitted, but Maximino Royaz, Dijon Bautista, Hugo Magdalogo, De La Cruz, and Perez were convicted of the murder of J. A. Reddell and sentenced to death on 18 June 1900. De La Cruz and Perez were hanged at Fremantle Gaol at 8 a.m. on 19 July 1900. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 42-3; The West Australian, Wednesday, 13 June 1900, p. 6; Friday, 15 June 1900, p. 7; Saturday, 16 June 1900, p. 10; Monday, 18 June 1900, p. 2; Friday, 20 July 1900, p. 5)

 

5 December 1900

Sleigh, John (age unknown / White) - New South Wales - Goulburn

murder – victim: Frank Curran – committed on 25 August 1900 – sentenced on 11 October 1900

Sleigh shot dead 49-year-old Frank Curran at Back Creek, near Bombala, on 25 August 1900, and tried to burn the victim's body on the following day. Curran was working in a paddock, when Sleigh approached him, levelled his gun at him and shot him twice. Sleigh was arrested on 26 August and said that he had shot Curran accidentally. Jane Woolfe reported that Sleigh had been very excited and confessed to her that he had shot Curran, but didn't say that it was an accident. He wanted to give himself up or shoot himself. Sleigh was said to be melancholy and epileptic, but there was no sound investigation into an alleged insanity. The motive for the murder remains unclear. He was put on trial at the Goulburn Circuit Court and was sentenced to death on 11 October 1900. John Sleigh was hanged at Goulburn Gaol at 9 a.m. on 5 December 1900. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 11 October 1900, p. 9; Friday, 12 October 1900, p. 3; Thursday, 6 December 1900, p. 5)

 

14 January 1901

Underwood, Jackie (age unknown / Aborigine) - New South Wales – Dubbo

murder – victim: Percival Mawbey – committed on 20 July 1900 – sentenced on 2 October 1900

Jackie Underwood was charged with the murder of 14-year-old Percy Mawbey at Breelong on 20 July 1900. He had been at the home of the Mawbey family with Jimmy Governor, who had an altercation with Mrs. Mawbey, in the course of which both men killed Helen Josephine Kerz, Mrs. Grace Mawbey, her daughter Grace Mawbey, Percival Mawbey, and Hilda Mawbey. Underwood stood trial at the Dubbo Circuit Court on 2 October 1900 and was convicted of the murder of Percy Mawbey and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Dubbo Gaol at 9 a.m. on 14 January 1901, by hangman Howard. Before his execution, he said he expected to be in heaven by dinner time. => Jimmy Governor, 18 January 1901, for details (Australian Dictionary of Biography; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 14 November 1900; The Maitland Daily Mercury, Monday, 14 January 1901; The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 3 October 1900, p. 7; Tuesday, 15 January 1901, p. 5)

 

18 January 1901

Governor, Jimmy (age: 26 / Aborigine) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Helen Josephine Kerz – committed on 20 July 1900 – sentenced on 23 November 1900

Jimmy Governor, son of an aboriginal man and an Irish woman, had married Ethel Mary Jane Page, a 16-year-old white woman, but their marriage was not happy. Governor was touchy about his colour and was stung by reports that Mrs. Mawbey, his employer's wife, and Helen Josephine Kerz, a schoolteacher who lived with the Mawbeys, had taunted his wife for marrying a "black fellow". With his co-worker Jackie Underwood (14 January 1901) he confronted the women, who were alone in the house at Breelong, near Gilgandra with seven children and Mrs Mawbey's 18-year-old sister Elsie Clarke, on the night of 20 July 1900. Governor alleged that the women laughed at him. Losing all control, the two, with nulla-nullas and tomahawk, killed Mrs Grace Mawbey, Helen Kerz, and Grace (16), Percival (14) and Hilda Mawbey (11); Elsie Clarke was seriously injured. Underwood was quickly caught but Jimmy Governor and his brother Joe went on a fourteen-week, 2000-mile rampage, terrorizing a wide area of north-central New South Wales. They killed another four people. Jimmy Governor was finally caught on 27 October, his brother Joe was shot dead on 31 October. Governor stood trial on 22-23 November in Sydney for the murder of Helen Kerz. He was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol at 9 a.m. on 18 January 1901, by hangman Howard. (Australian Dictionary of Biography; The Maitland Daily Mercury, Friday, 18 January 1901; The Sydney Morning Herald, ; Friday, 23 November 1900, p. 7; Saturday, 24 November 1900, p. 7; Saturday, 19 January 1901, p. 9)

 

8 April 1901

Jimmy (age unknown / Aboriginal) – Northern Territory – Shaw's Creek

murder – victim: John Larsen – committed on 11 July 1900 – sentenced on 25 September 1900

Three Aborigines, George, Jimmy, and an unidentified man, killed John Larsen on the launch Wunwulla, at Daly River, on the night of 11 July 1900, after throwing the engineer, Ivan, overboard. They took the launch to a creek nearby, looted her, carried off the firearms and provisions, and returned to their homeland on the Victoria River. George and Jimmy were arrested on 18 and 23 August resp., and the third man was shot whilst resisting arrest on the Victoria River. The two were indicted at the Palmerston Circuit Court on 25 September 1900, but George was discharged on account of his youth and used as a witness against George, who was sentenced to death. The steamer Thomaz Andrea left Port Darwin for Victoria River on 2 April 1901 with the Deputy Sheriff and a party, for the purpose of hanging George at Shaw's Creek, Victoria River. The gallows was erected within a few hundred yards of Bradshaw's station, and George was duly hanged at the appointed hour on 8 April 1901 in the presence of some 50 Aborigines. (Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday, 20 July 1900, p. 3; Friday, 7 September 1900, p. 3; Friday, 28 September 1900, p. 3; Friday, 29 March 1901, p. 2; Friday, 12 April 1901, p. 3; The Advertiser, Tuesday, 24 July 1900, p. 5; Monday, 6 August 1900, p. 5; Monday, 1 October 1900, p. 5; South Australian Register, Saturday, 29 September 1900, p. 7; The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday, 15 April 1901, p. 7)

 

13 May 1901

Beckman, Charles (age: 42 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Alfred Anderson – committed on 16 November 1900 – sentenced on 7 March 1901

German immigrant Charles Beckman killed his companion Alfred Anderson on 16 November 1900 at Bowen by battering his head in. Beckman was arrested on 1 February 1901 near Bowen on a charge of horse stealing. As the police Sergeant rode with him back to Bowen, Beckman asked if he had been searching for the body of Alfred Anderson, and gave him a detailed but unlikely description of his accidentally shooting Anderson. After the dead man's body was found on 7 February, it was discovered that Anderson did not die from a gunshot wound, but had been killed with an instrument like an axe. Anderson's skull had been smashed into many little pieces. Beckman was charged with murder and stood trail at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Townsville. He was convicted and sentenced to death on 7 March 1901. Beckman was hanged at the Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane on 13 May 1901, shortly after 8 a.m. (Dawson, A Pit of Shame – Boggo Road's Executed Prisoners, p. 51-2; The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 8 March 1901, p. 6; Tuesday, 14 May 1901, p. 2)

 

27 May 1901

Wandee (age: 20 / South Sea Islander) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Alfred Burnstead – committed on 25 December 1900 – sentenced on 5 March 1901

Wandee (or Wantee) was a labourer on a plantation near Ar, 75 km from Townsville. On Christmas Day 1900 he was one of five South Sea Islander labourers who decided to take a walk after dinner. They crossed a creek towards the hut of an old white man called Alfred Burnstead. Wandee announced to his companions that he would kill Burnstead: He went to the hut and greeted Burnstead, who replied friendly. Without warning, Wandee stepped behind him and attacked him with a tomahawk, cutting him on his head, neck, and arm. Two of his companions, Bowrie (or Bowlea) and Guay (or Neagh) then struck at Burnstead with their tomahawk and axe, before leaving the scene. The three men were arrested two days later, and the community was shocked at the senselessness of the murder, as the men admitted that they did it "for nothing." All three stood trial at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Townsville, one of their companions, Alalier, being the main witness, and were convicted and sentenced to death on 5 March 1901. Bowrie and Guay were reprieved, but Wandee was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 27 May 1901. (Dawson, A Pit of Shame – Boggo Road's Executed Prisoners, p. 53-4; The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 8 March 1901, p. 7; Tuesday, 28 May 1901, p. 7)

 

30 September 1901

Rheuben, John (age: 55 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Fanny Hardwick – committed on 2 June 1901 – sentenced on 28 August 1901

John Rheuben (or Rueben, a Portuguese) killed 23-year-old Fanny Hardwick at Rockhampton on 2 June 1901, by stabbing her fatally. Rheuben, a married man, and Hardwick had been living together, with her mother and her child, but one month before the murder, Rheuben turned them out, and the three,  "went to live at an establishment kept by Mrs. Kelleher, No 2 Carpenter's Buildings, Denison Street, at Rockhampton." After a short time Rheuben, tired of living alone, tried to get Fanny Hardwick to return to him, but in the meantime, "she had taken up with a coloured man named Charley Price, a cook, with whom she occupied the same room at Mrs. Kelleher's house. Rheuben became angry about his failure, and three weeks before the murder, he violently assaulted Charley Price, and beat him again on 31 May, urging him to leave Fanny Hardwick. He was warned by the police to leave Fanny Hardwick alone, but on 2 June 1901, at about 7 in the evening, Rheuben went to the house where Hardwick was living, and tried to talk to her again. She was next seen fleeing through the house, Rheuben on her heels. He caught her, forced her into the back bedroom and stabbed her in her breast five or six times with a small sharp instrument. She died shortly afterward.

Rheuben was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death at Rockhampton on 28 August 1901. He was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 30 September 1901. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 27 August 1901, p. 6; Wednesday, 28 August 1901, p. 3; Tuesday, 1 October 1901, p. 7)

 

3 December 1901

Arafau (age: 22 / South Sea Islander) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Morris Summers – committed in late July 1901 – sentenced on 31 October 1901

Arafau (or Orifough), from the Malaita Island (Solomon Islands), was working on a sugar plantation near Farleigh, near Mackay. Morris Summers, a 35-year-old white man from Melbourne, was working locally on a railway as well as labouring on the same estate as Arafau. On an unknown day after 27 July 1901, Arafau had been 'making a row' outside Summers' house one night, and Summers was unhappy at being kept awake and swore angrily at him. This upset Arafau, who went away before returning with an axle off a sugar cane wagon. Taking this heavy iron bar he crept inside the hut where Summers was now sleeping, and battered Summers to death. After this he dragged the body to a lantana patch, where the badly decomposed body was found on 20 September. After investigating about one week, the police arrested Arafau, who had made the mistake of boasting about the murder to his friends. At last he confessed to the murder. He stood trial at the Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court at Mackay and was convicted and sentenced to death on 31 October 1901. Arafau was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane on 3 December 1901. (Barber, Capital Punishment in Queensland, p. 196; Dawson, A Pit of Shame – Boggo Road's Executed Prisoners, p. 56-7; The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 4 December 1901, p 7)

 

9 December 1901

Brown, David Alexander (age: 55 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Graham Haygarth – committed on 10 July 1901 – sentenced on 7 November 1901

David Alexander Brown shot to death Graham Haygarth at Charters Towers on 10 July 1901. Haygarth was chairman of the Gold Extracting Company of which Brown was manager. On the date mentioned Haygarth was presiding at a meeting of shareholders of the Charters Towers Pyrites Company. In the morning the directors had notified Brown that his salary was to be reduced from £8 to £6 per week. Before the meeting of shareholders opened, Brown entered and asked for the production of the minutes of the directors meeting at which it had been decided to reduce his salary. Haygarth refused to have these produced. Brown, scolding him, pulled out a revolver and shot Haygarth from a distance of 2 feet, the bullet entering the right temple. Brown then shot himself, but survived his wounds. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Charters Towers on 7 November 1901. Brown was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane on 9 December 1901. A week before his execution, he was married in gaol. (Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 11 July 1901; 10 December 1901; Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday, 9 August 1901; Friday, 13 December 1901; The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 10 December 1901, p. 2)

 

20 December 1901

Campbell, Joseph (age 24 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

rape – victim: Violet Evelyn Oldfield – committed on 24 Oct. 1901 – sentenced on 20 November 1901

Joseph Francis Aloysius Campbell was charged with carnally knowing a girl under the age of ten years, namely Violet Evelyn Oldfield, aged 9 years and 11 months, in the bush at Queanbeyan, on 24 October 1901. He was arrested on the same day, his shirts, underpants and trousers were bloodstained. Violet and her friends, Maud and May Ward, had been lured by Campbell to a place in the bush where he couldn't be observed. He put his hands round her throat, choked her and assaulted her twice badly, so that she was bleeding profusely. The girls identified Campbell from a row of nine men. He was convicted and sentenced to death at the Central Criminal Court at Darlinghurst on 20 November 1901. On 27 November 1901, Campbell was called upon at the Central Police Court to answer another charge of assaulting with intent a girl of 8 years of age on October 1 at Ramsay's Bush. The charge was withdrawn as Campbell was sitting at Darlinghurst Gaol under sentence of death. Campbell was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, on 20 December 1901. He left a statement confessing to the committal of both rapes. (Queanbeyan Age, Saturday, 2 November 1901, p. 2; Wednesday, 6 November 1901, p. 3; Saturday, 23 November 1901, p. 3; Wednesday, 25 December 1901, p. 3; The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 21 November 1901, p. 3; Thursday, 28 November 1901, p. 4; Saturday, 21 December 1901, p. 10)

 

14 April 1902

McNamara, Albert Edward (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

arson – victim: Albert McNamara – committed on 5 January 1902 – sentenced on 19 March 1902

On 5 January 1902, Albert Edward McNamara took his wife and children for a long walk, and when they returned he gave his wife some gin and then she and the children went to bed. McNamara then set fire to his house at Carlton by soaking a number of rags in kerosene and lighting them. The motive of the crime was to secure insurance money of £350, the life of Mrs. McNamara having been insured, as McNamara was in financial difficulties. His wife, Catherine, woke up in time and managed to rescue her 6-year-old daugher, but 4-year old Albert had already been severely burnt before she could carry him outside and died a few minutes after being admitted to hospital. McNamara was charged with arson at the Criminal Court at Melbourne on 18 February 1902, but the jury disagreed and were discharged. A second trial was held on 19 March 1902, and this time the jury found McNamara guilty and he was sentenced to death. He was hanged at Melbourne on 14 April 1902. Shortly before his execution he attempted suicide by dashing his head against the bar of his cell. (Main, Hanged – Executions in Australia, p. 300-4; The Argus, Melbourne, Thursday, 20 February 1902, p. 6; Thursday, 20 March 1902, p. 7; Tuesday, 15 April 1902, p. 6)

 

9 September 1902

Peters, Samuel (age 48 / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Trevenna Peters – committed on 3 July 1902 – sentenced on 7 August 1902

Samuel Peters, a native of Madras, murdered his wife Trevenna Peters, a "half-caste native", at Richmond Street in Leederville. Their marriage was not happy, he accusing her of relationships with other men, and they quarrelled in the early morning hours of 3 July 1902. Neighbours found her body lying in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor, her husband sleeping fully clothed in another room. Mrs. Peters had been literally hacked to death with a tomahawk. Her head was almost severed from her body. Peters immediately admitted that he had killed his wife. He was convicted of murder at the Criminal Court in Perth and sentenced to death on 7 August 1902. Samuel Peters was hanged at Fremantle Gaol at 8 a.m. on 9 September 1902. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 43; The West Australian, Friday, 8 August 1902, p. 3Wednesday 10 September 1902, p. 3)

 

20 October 1902

Tisler, August (age 26 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Edward Sangal – committed on 8 August 1902 – sentenced on 25 September 1902

August Tisler and Selina Sangal had had a relationship for twelve months and resolved to get rid of Mrs. Sangal's husband, Edward Christopher Sangal (all of them German immigrants). Tisler had been employed at Sangal's farm, but was dismissed after a quarrel with his employer. Mrs. Sangal arranged that he should come to her house at Dandenong on the night of 8 August 1902, and that she would show a light in a window when her husband was asleep. He did so, and was admitted to the bedroom, and Mrs. Sangal stood at the door, and watched him beat her sleeping husband to death. Sangal died of severe wounds inflicted on his head, also his throat being cut deeply. Then she assisted to throw the body into a well, cleaned up the blood an concocted a story of Sangal's suicide. Tisler was later to return and live with her. After his arrest, Tisler confessed that he had killed Sangal, because Mrs. Sangal had pestered him into killing her husband, and constantly declared that her life was miserable with him. Tisler and Mrs. Sangal were convicted of murder at the Criminal Court in Melbourne and were sentenced to death on 25 September 1902. The jury recommended Mrs. Sangal to mercy on account of Tisler's influence. Tisler was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 20 October 1902. (The Argus, Melbourne, Tuesday, 23 September 1902, p. 8; Wednesday, 24 September 1902, p. 10; Thursday, 25 September 1902, p. 7; Tuesday, 21 October 1902, p. 7)

 

12 January 1903

Kenniff, Patrick (age: 39 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: George Doyle – committed on 30 March 1902 – sentenced on 8 November 1902

Patrick Kenniff (born 28 Sept. 1863) and his brother James were charged at the Brisbane Criminal Court on 3 November 1902 with the murder of Constable George Doyle of the Upper Warrego police station. Doyle had set out during Easter 1902 to arrest the Kenniff brothers for horse stealing, at Lethbridge's Pocket near Carnarvon, on 30 March 1902. The brothers were not arrested until 23 June 1903. They had originally also been charged with the murder of Albert Christopher Dahlke, manager of Carnarvon Station, but as the Crown Prosecutor found that he could not prove that the murders took place at the same time and place he limited the charge to the murder of Constable Doyle. The brothers were convicted and sentenced to death on 8 November. James Kenniff's death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, while Patrick Kenniff was hanged at Brisbane gaol on 12 January 1903. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 4 November 1902, p. 7; Monday, 10 November 1902, p. 4; Tuesday, 13 January 1903, p. 6; Newcastle Morning Herald, Tuesday, January 13 1903; Taranaki Herald, N.Z., 7 January 1903; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 13 January 1903; Australian Dictionary of Biography)

 

14 April 1903

Moore, Thomas (age unknown / Aborigine) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Janet Irene Smith – committed on 23 December 1902 – sentenced on 25 February 1903

On 23 December 1903, Thomas Moore, an Aborigine from Queensland, met 10-year-old Janet Irene Smith at Ramsay's Bush, Ashfield, an unpopulated stretch of country near Summer Hill. She had gone with some companions into the bush to gather Christmas greenery. After raping her he battered her head with a stone. She was found unconscious but alive after she had been reported missing, but she died in the Lewisham hospital. Moore had recently been discharged from prison and was found hiding at a quarry at Pyrmont, and was arrested. He had been seen talking to Janet near Ramsay's Bush and was afterwards seen on the Weston Road, Balmain, coming from the direction of Ramsay's Bush alone. Moore admitted that he had assaulted the girl and described who he had beaten her with a stone. He later signed a written confession. He was found guilty of murder at the Central Criminal Court at Darlinghurst and was sentenced to death on 25 February 1903. Thomas Moore was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9 a.m. on 14 April 1903. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 26 February 1903, p. 3; Wednesday, 15 April 1903, p. 8; Wanganui Herald, N.Z., 17 January 1903; Otago Witness, N.Z., 31 December 1902 )

 

15 April 1903

Psichitsas, Stelios (age: 22 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Sophia Psichitas – committed on 20 December 1902 – sentenced on 18 March 1903

Psichitas, a young Greek, murdered his brother's wife and child at Lawlers on 20 December 1902. His brother John ran a fruit and vegetable shop in the town and had left Stelios with his family to look after things and protect his nervous wife Sophia, aged 22, and the 12-months-old child. The main person Sophia needed protection from was Stelios. He raped her, struck her with a tomahawk about her head and cut her throat and then the child's with a razor. A neighbour noticed a pool of blood through the open door and called the Police. Stelios Psichitas was found in the afternoon, lying in the bed of the Lawler's Creek, with a handkerchief over his face and a rope on his neck. On his being searched at the police station a bloodstained razor was found in his trousers pocket, and his drawers and vest were bloodstained in several places. Psichitas was convicted of the murder of his sister-in-law and was sentenced to death at the Kalgoorlie Circuit Court on 18 March 1903. He was hanged at Fremantle Gaol at 8 a.m. on 15 April 1903. On the day before his execution, he made a full confession, telling the Rev. G. O'Halloran that ill feelings between him and his sister-in-law developed over money. She had frequently told him to "clear out." In the early morning of 20 December 1902, he awoke with the sudden desire to get rid of Sophia, so he killed her and her child. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 43; The West Australian, Thursday, 16 April 1903, p. 5; Kalgoorlie Western Argus, Tuesday, 24 March 1903, p. 11; Tuesday, 21 April 1903, p. 32)

 

21 April 1903

Mailliat, Frederick (age: 28 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Louis Lauffer – committed on 4 February 1903 – sentenced on 13 March 1903

Frιdιric Mailliat, a Frenchman, killed Charles George Louis Lauffer, a 38-year-old Swiss, at Smith's Mill on 4 February 1903. Mailliat was with a party of people who arrived at Smith's Mill by train. After drinking much wine, they went to Lauffer's to buy one more bottle of wine. Lauffer didn't want to sell just one bottle of wine, an argument broke out, the party of five men and three women punching and kicking Lauffer, knocking him to the ground. Mailliat was standing to one side watching, a revolver in his hand. He deliberately fired at Lauffer from only about two yards away, killing him. At the trial at the Criminal Court at Perth, six of the party were found guilty and were sentenced to death on 13 March 1903. The death sentences of Raoul Lintauf, Eugθne Lechoix, Marie Fontain, Lucienne Volti and Marie Dean were commuted. Mailliat was hanged at 8 a.m. on 21 April 1903 at Fremantle Gaol. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 43-4; The West Australian, Wednesday, 11 March 1903, p. 9; Thursday, 12 March 1903, p. 5; Friday, 13 March 1903, p. 5; Saturday, 14 March 1903, p. 7; Wednesday, 22 April 1903, p. 5)

 

22 June 1903

Sow Too Low (age: 27 / South Sea Islander) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victims: John Martin and Sergeant David Johnston – committed on 29 March 1903 – sentenced on 12 May 1903

Sow Too Low (or Sotulo, from Malaita Island) had been employed as a cane cutter on a plantation near Mackay. He saw 12-year-old Alice Gunning riding home alone from morning Mass when he approached her on the roadside, making "improper proposals". She insulted him, and he angrily threw a large rock that struck her head and left her unconscious. He dragged Alice into the scrub before smashing in her skull with a larger rock. Alice's body was found that evening. Sow Too Low came under suspicion after he was reported as being missing from work. He was arrested several days later and was committed to Mackay Gaol. On the afternoon of 29 March 1903, Sergeant David Johnston was on his shift at that gaol, when he saw prisoners running in panic. One of them told him that another prisoner, Sow Too Low, had split the head of another prisoner with a firewood axe. Johnston rushed into the yard, and leaned over the dead body of the prisoner there. As he paused, Sow Too Low ran out with the axe and killed him in a frenzied attack. He stood trial at Mackay and was sentenced to death for the murder of fellow prisoner John Martin and Sergeant Johnston. He was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol, Brisbane, at 8 a.m. on 22 June 1903. (Dawson, A Pit of Shame – Boggo Road's Executed Prisoners, p. 64-5; The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 14 May 1903, p. 2; Tuesday, 23 June 1903, p. 6)

 

7 July 1903

Grand, Digby (age:33 / White)

Jones, Henry (age 37 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Constable Samuel Long – committed on 19 January 1903 – sentenced on 19 May 1903

Digby Grand (alias Henry Newbold, from New Zealand) and Henry Jones (alias James Maguire, Englishman) killed Constable Samuel Long at the Royal Hotel, Auburn, about 2 a.m. on 19 January 1903. Grand and Jones had broken into the Royal Hotel on that night, but five minutes later Constable Long approached, and finding the door unfastened entered. He was shot to death immediately, dying of a single bullet in his head. The burglars fled at once, but had been observed by Thomas Woolford, employee at the hotel, who was acquainted with Grand. Digby and Grand stood trial at the Central Criminal Court, but the trial had to be postponed due to the remarkable lapse of memory on the part of Thomas Woolford, the principal witness for the Crown, who had been arrested on a charge on burglariously breaking and entering the Royal Hotel at Auburn, as he had given an impression of the key of the licensee's safe. The trial recommenced on 12 May and Grand and Jones were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 19 May 1903. The jury added a recommendation to mercy, on the ground that there was no evidence to show who fired the shot which killed Long. Grand and Jones were hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, on 7 July 1903. (Otago Witness, N.Z., 4 February 1903; 22 April 1903; Taranaki Herald, N.Z., 11 February 1903; 10 June 1903; The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 7 April 1903, p. 3; Tuesday, 12 May 1903, p. 7; Thursday, 14 May 1903, p. 3; Friday, 15 May 1903 p. 7; Saturday, 16 May 1903, p. 11; Monday, 18 May 1903, p. 3; Tuesday, 19 May 1903, p. 7; Wednesday, 20 May 1903, p. 4; Wednesday, 8 July 1903, p. 6)

 

7 July 1903

Rokka, Sebaro (age: 32 / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victims: Dellah and unidentified Malay – committed on 20 February 1903 – sentenced in early June 1903

Sebaro Rokka (or Rocca), a Filipino, murdered two Malays at Point Cunningham near Broome on 20 February 1903. He was a tender on the lugger “Idalia” and went ashore with some Malays to gather firewood. He hit Dollah and another unnamed Malay over the head with a piece of wood, then stabbed them to death with a knife, killing them. He made off towards Beagle Bay, but was soon apprehended. He was tried by Commissioner Warton and a jury at Broome  and sentenced to death on a day before 4 June 1903. Rokka was brought to Fremantle on the S. S. Saladin, in charge of Constable Parker. He was hanged at Fremantle Gaol at 8 a.m. on 7 July 1903. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 44; The West Australian, Tuesday, 3 March 1903, p. 4; Thursday, 11 June 1903, p. 4; Wednesday, 8 July 1903, p. 9; Kalgoorlie Western Argus, Tuesday, 10 March 1903, p. 33; Tuesday, 9 June p. 33)

 

11 January 1904

Ah Hook (age: 30 / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Yanoo – committed on 26 August 1903 – sentenced on 3 December 1903

On 26 August 1903, Ah Hook, a 30-year-old Chinese man, bought a revolver and cartridge and in the evening shot to death a Chinese man named Ah Kee, Tunnie, a Japanese girl, and Yanoo, a Japanese laundryman, at Carnarvon, presumably in a row concerning Tunnie. He first shot Ah Kee over a money dispute, and then he shot Tunnie. In the melee the lamp was overturned, and the house, together with the body of the girl, was destroyed by fire. Ah Hook next proceeded to Yanoo's laundry, where he shot Yanoo, who died from five bullet wounds. He drew on a constable, Edward O'Loughlin, but the revolver missed fire. The infuriated man thereupon stabbed the constable in the chest with a knife. Ah Hook stood trial at the Criminal Court in Perth on 3 December 1903, and was convicted of the murder of Yanoo and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Fremantle Gaol at 8 a.m. on 11 January 1904. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 44-5; The West Australian, Friday, 4 December 1903, p. 3; Tuesday, 12 January 1904, p. 2)

 

4 May 1904

Mianoor, Mahomet (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Meer – committed on 16 November 1903 – sentenced on 17 March 1904

On the night of 16 November 1903 four Afghans, Meer, Shakoor, Goolam Mohamet and Ismael were having their evening meal at Bicton Valley, near Menzies, when Mianoor rode up on horseback. He came to the kitchen door and spoke to Meer about a camel. Meer replied that he had not seen the animal. Mianoor replied that Meer's men were giving him trouble all the time with his (Mianoor's) camels. Meer and Goolam Mohamet invited Mianoor to join them in their meal, and asked him to point out the man who had given the trouble. Mianoor refused, and pointing a revolver at Goolam, saying, he was one of them, Mianoor fired the weapon, the bullet striking Goolam below the left eye. He then fired at Ismael, wounding him on the temple. Mianoor fired another shot at Meer, the bullet entering his head, with the result that he died a short time later. Shakoor managed to escape without being shot at. Mianoor rode away, but was arrested on the following day. He was convicted of the murder of Meer and sentenced to death at the Kalgoorlie Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court on 17 March 1904. Mahomet Mianoor was hanged at Fremantle Gaol at 8 a.m. on 4 May 1904. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 45; The West Australian, Friday, 18 March 1904, p. 5; Thursday, 5 May 1904, p. 6; Kalgoorlie Western Argus, Tuesday, 22 March 1904, p. 14; Tuesday, 10 May 1904, p 29)

 

12 May 1904

Horton, Thomas (age: 24 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Florence Eugena Horton – committed on 27 February 1904 – sentenced on 14 April 1904

Thomas Horton, a boot-maker, killed his wife, Florence Eugena Horton, on the night of 27 February 1904. They had just married on 5 November 1903, but Horton treated her so cruelly that she returned to her mother, being afraid that he might kill her. Several times Horton tried to induce his wife to live with him again, but she refused. Mrs. Horton and two other women were walking in the city on the night of 27 February, when they were joined by Horton, who called his wife away and tried to entice her to a little dark lane. She refused and walked on with her friends. When they arrived at Comley's ham shop in Rundle Street, Horton, at close quarters, fired three shots into his wife's back and ran away. Mrs. Horton died a few minutes later, and her husband was soon apprehended and charged with murder. He stood trial at the Criminal Court in Adelaide and was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 14 April 1904. Thomas Horton was hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 12 May 1904. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 96; The Advertiser, Friday, 15 April 1904, p. 7; Friday, 13 May 1904, p. 6)

 

28 June 1904

Ah Check (age unknown / Asian) - New South Wales – Dubbo

murder – victim: William Tregaskis – committed on 17 February 1904 – sentenced on 14 April 1904

On 17 February 1904, Ah Check surrendered to the police at Peak Hill stating that he shot William Tregaskis, during a row over money, at Bulgandramine. Tregaskis' body was found terribly hacked by an axe, the head almost severed.  Violent scenes were witnessed in the Courthouse at Peak Hill during the inquest on 22 February. As Ah Check entered the Court, Oxley, a Justice of the Peace and a son-in-law of the murdered man, struck Ah Check a terrible blow on the mouth, and felled him to the ground. The inquest proceeded quietly until the deceased's son was giving evidence, when he hurled a large stone, striking Ah Check in the face and inflicting an ugly wound. Friends of the dead man strenuously endeavoured during the general confusion to get possession of the prisoner, who was defended by the police and the jury. Oxley and Tregaskis were sentenced at the Quarter Sessions at Dubbo on 16 April to one year's imprisonment, which was suspended under the First Offenders' Act. Ah Check was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death at the Dubbo Circuit Court on 14 April 1904. He was hanged at the Dubbo Gaol on 28 June 1904. (The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 18 February 1904, p. 6; Tuesday, 23 February 1904, p. 4; Wednesday, 24 February 1904, p. 10; Friday, 15 April 1904, p. 5; Monday, 18 April 1904, p. 8; Wednesday, 29 June 1904, p. 8; The Argus, Melbourne, Friday, 15 April 1904, p. 5)

 

8 September 1904

Williams, James (age: 19 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Mary Ann Veitch – committed on 10 July 1904 – sentenced on 17 August 1904

Mrs. Mary Ann Veitch was the wife of a baker at Clifton Hill, Melbourne, and Williams was one of her husband's employees. On 10 July 1904, she brought him some milk to the bread-room, on which he remarked something improper. She reprimanded him, but he continued in his nasty way. She went inside the house, and came back with a whip and a carving-knife. He took the carving-knife, followed her to the house and turned on her savagely, stabbing her with a carving-knife, cutting her neck, almost severing her head. He stood trial at the Melbourne Criminal Court, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 17 August 1904. Williams was hanged at Melbourne Gaol at 10 a.m. on 8 September 1904. He left a confession, stating that he committed the crime in a fit of passion. (The Argus, Melbourne, Thursday, 18 August 1904, p. 6; Friday, 9 September 1904, p. 6)

 

5 January 1905

Bonfield, Albert William (age: 23 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Caroline Elizabeth Hinds – committed on 28 October 1904 – sentenced on 8 December 1904

Bonfield killed his sweetheart, Caroline Elizabeth Hinds (aged almost 18), at Kensington Park on 28 October 1904. She was admitted to the Adelaide Hospital with three bullet wounds in her left side, near the breast. She died of her wounds three days later. Bonfield's act was attributed to jealousy. The dying girl reported that Bonfield was of an exceedingly jealous disposition in regard to almost everything, and had several times threatened to shoot her if she spoke to or danced with anyone but himself. He had a club foot, and was practically a cripple. Miss Hinds' parents objected to the relationship and the prospect of her marrying a man who wouldn't be able to support her, but she insisted on "sticking" to him. Bonfield had sworn that if he did not marry the girl, nobody else should. A fortnight before the murder, the two had a quarrel, and she hadn't spoken to him in the meantime.  He was convicted of murder at the Criminal Court in Adelaide and sentenced to death on 8 December 1908 and was hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 5 January 1905. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 97; Wanganui Herald, N.Z., 18 November 1904; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 6 January 1905; The Advertiser, Friday, 9 December 1904, p. 5,6; Friday 6 January 1905, p. 8)

 

17 April 1905

Gosano (age: 30 / South Sea Islander) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: John Parsons – committed on 27 November 1904 – sentenced on 28 February 1905

Gosano, (also called "Kanaka Charlie"), from Malaita Island (Solomon Islands) killed a Portuguese named John Parsons, at Ingham, on 27 November 1904. Parsons had taken temporary charge of a billiard saloon on the day before, but went home in the late evening. He lived in a humble hut, a humpy. About 2 a.m., a neighbour heard a "rustling" noise, and sat up. He saw two "Kanakas" squatting close to his head, and spoke to them, but noticed nothing wrong about the camps, so he went to sleep again. The unsuspecting man slumbered within ten yards of where Parson's body lay with a tomahawk wound three inches long above his left ear, and a cane-knife wound five inches in length extending from the back of the neck to the left side of the head. His dead body was discovered in the early morning. On 11 December Gosano and another South Sea Islander, called Harry, were arrested. Other South Sea Islanders testified that Gosano had spoken of the murder he committed. He had lent Parsons £1, which was not returned after three weeks. Instead Parsons called him names. Gosano felt cheated and killed Parsons with his tomahawk. At his trial at the Townsville Circuit Court, Charlie pleaded guilty, but Mr. Justice Chubb ordered a plea of not guilty to be entered, and the trial to proceed. Gosano was convicted and sentenced to death on 28 February 1905 and was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 17 April 1905. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 18 April 1905, p. 2; The Advertiser, Tuesday, 18 April 1905, p. 5; Morning Post, Cairns, Thursday, 2 March 1905, p. 3)

 

17 July 1905

Warton, James (age: 57 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: William Munday – committed on 23 March 1905 – sentenced on 24 May 1905

On the night of 23 March 1905, William Munday was proceeding to a lodge meeting at Toowong, when he was bailed up by Warton, who demanded money. Munday closed with his assailant, who drew a revolver, and shot Munday, inflicting injuries in the stomach from which he died at the Brisbane Hospital a few days later. Warton was arrested several hours later and stood trial for murder at the Supreme Court at Brisbane. He was found guilty and sentenced to death on 24 May 1905. Warton was identical with a well-known criminal from Victoria, variously named Robert Butler, James Wilson, George Lee, Robert Donnelly, and Robert Medway. He earned several sentences totalling to 13 years imprisonment in his early years. In 1880 he was charged with the murder of James and Elizabeth Dewar and their nine-months-old daughter at Dunedin, N.Z., but was acquitted due to his own eloquence in his six-hour speech to the jury. But he was convicted of arson and spent a long prison term in New Zealand. Warton returned to Victoria in 1896 and received prison sentences for being at large and for housebreaking. He was discharged in early 1905. Warton was hanged at Brisbane on 17 July 1905. When the rope became taut a gash appeared in the neck of the suspended man, and great streams of blood poured down the clothes and formed a large pool on the floor at his feet. When the rope was removed it was seen that the head had been almost severed from the body.(The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 23 May 1905, p. 6; Thursday, 25 May 1905, p. 6; Tuesday, 18 July 1905, p. 2; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 29 July 1905; Otago Witness, N.Z., 7 June 1905; 19 July 1905; Hawera & Normanby Star, N.Z., 19 September 1905; Newcastle Morning Herald, Tuesday, 18 July 1905)

 

14 December 1905

Espada, Simeon (age unknown / White)

Hagen, Charles (age unknown / White)

Marquez, Pablo (age unknown / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Mark Lieblig – committed on 30 August 1905 – sentenced on 11 November 1905

Charles Hagen (from Norway), Pablo Marquez, and Simeon Espada (both from the Philippines) conspired to rob Mark Lieblig of a sum of money and at the same time keep a "snide" pearl. Lieblig was decoyed, on 30 August 1905, on board a lugger off shore at night, on the pretext that the three had a valuable pearl to sell him. On the lugger Lieblig was hit over the head and tossed in the water, where he drowned. He had a large sum of money in his possession, but his cries when attacked were heard by the people on the shore. The three stood trial in Perth and were sentenced to death for Wilful Murder on 11 November 1905, and were hanged at Fremantle Gaol on 14 December 1905, Hagen first, followed by Espada and Marquez. On the scaffold, Espada twice freed his hand and grasped the rope. On the second occasion Chief Warder Webster, who stood by the trapdoor, took the rope from him. At the same moment the hangman pulled the lever, with the result that Webster dropped through the opening with Espada. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 45; The West Australian, Wednesday, 8 November 1905, p. 4; Thursday, 9 November 1905, p. 2; Friday, 10 November 1905, p. 2; Friday, 15 December 1905, p. 8; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 15 December 1905; Grey River Argus, N.Z., 15 December 1905; Hawera & Normanby Star, N.Z., 15 December 1905; Wanganui Herald, N.Z., 2 January 1906)

 

21 December 1905

Tommy (age: about 25 / Aborigine) - Northern Territory – Darwin

murder – victim: Henry Edwards – committed on 11 January 1905 – sentenced on 5 July 1905

Tommy, a young Aborigine from Alligator River, shot to death Henry Edwards (about 45), Richard Frost, and Nowra (20), near Longreach, Victoria River, on 11 January 1905. He also tried to shoot Henry Benning, who managed to flee and was the principal witness at Tommy's trial. Tommy was arrested on the night of 12 February at the Great Western Mine. He was charged with the murder of Henry Edwards, found guilty and sentenced to death at Palmerston Circuit Court on 5 July 1905. On 10 July 1905, Tommy escaped from prison, but was apprehended on 12 July in the yard of Palmerston Police Station, after he was recognized by one of the jurors who had convicted him a week before. Tommy did not file an appeal to the High Court and was hanged at Fannie Bay Gaol, Darwin, at 9 a.m. on 21 December 1905. (Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday, 10 February 1905; Friday, 17 February 1905; Friday, 10 March 1905; Friday, 14 July 1905; Friday, 21 July 1905; Friday, 1 December 1905; Friday, 22 December 1905)

 

14 May 1906

Johannes (age: 39 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Albert G. Price – committed on 23 December 1905 – sentenced on 28 March 1906

Johannes, a native from Ceylon, was sentenced to death for the murder of Constable Albert Price at Mackay. He had been in Australia since 1882, and by December 1905, he owned a small fruit shop in Mackay. Constable Cameron believed that he was selling liquor illegally. Johannes believed that Cameron was continually harassing him and was so angry about it that he had made threats in the past about killing him. On 23 December 1905, Johannes was upstairs in a bedroom with a woman, when Cameron and Constable Albert Price arrived. They brought Johannes out of the shop and Price chastised him. As Cameron left the scene Johannes lost his temper and stabbed Price in the chest with a butcher's knife, killing him. After his arrest, a lynch mob arrived at the police lock-up that night demanding Johannes. They were turned away, and Johannes stood trial at the Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court at Mackay and was convicted and sentenced to death on 28 March 1906. He was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane on 14 May 1906, along with Twadiga (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 26 December 1905, p. 5; Wednesday, 28 March 1906, p. 5; Thursday, 29 March 1906, p. 5; Tuesday, 15 May 1906, p. 6; Dawson, A Pit of Shame – Boggo Road's Executed Prisoners, p. 71-2)

 

14 May 1906

Twadiga (age: 30 / South Sea Islander) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: William Baulch – committed on 21 January 1906 – sentenced on 29 March 1906

Twadiga (or Daniel), from Gawa Island (Solomon Islands), was sentenced to death for the murder of William Baulch, a boy, at Homebush, near Mackay. In January 1906 he began work as a contract labourer in Six-Mile Homebush, near Mackay. A week later, he fell into disagreement with his boss, Charles Baulch, after telling him that he wanted to break the agreement. Faulch and his wife lived with their 5-year-old grandson William. When Faulch was out mustering some cows, on 21 January, Twadiga turned up at the house with an axe and a rifle. Mrs. Baulch tried to stop him, but he went into the kitchen and she heard a heavy thud. Twadiga had bludgeoned William's skull with the axe, and the boy was dead. He was arrested on the same afternoon and stood trial at Mackay, where he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 29 March 1906. He was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane on 14 May 1906, along with Johannes. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 23 January 1906, p. 6; Thursday, 29 March 1906, p. 5; Friday, 30 March 1906, p. 5; Tuesday, 15 May 1906, p. 6; Dawson, A Pit of Shame – Boggo Road's Executed Prisoners, p. 73-4)

 

16 November 1906

Natalla, Habibulla (age: 34 / Asian) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Edith E. M. Natalla – committed on 12 August 1906 – sentenced on 20 October 1906

Habibulla Natalla killed his wife, Edith Ellen Mary, in Bristol street, Adelaide, on 12 August 1906. He strangled her to death, and then cut her body to pieces, which he put in sugar sacks and threw them into the river. The remains were found at different places in the surrounding of Natallas's home on 16 August, and suspicion immediately fell upon the husband. Blood, pieces of bone and fragments of human skin was found within the house. Natalla was seen conducting a pony with a trap, which were identified, and blood was found on the rug in the trap. He had used the trap to take the remains of his murdered wife away. The victim was a white woman, who had married Natalla in April 1906. Before her marriage she had been on very intimate terms with another man named Shere Mohammed – relations that were allegedly continued after the marriage. On 27 July, the couple quarrelled, she calling him names, and he banging her head against the wall. Natalla was found guilty and sentenced to death at Adelaide Criminal Court on 20 October 1906, the jury adding a recommendation to mercy. He was hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 16 November 1906. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 98-9; The Advertiser, Wednesday, 17 October 1906, p. 7,8; Thursday, 18 October 1906, p. 7,8; Friday, 19 October 1906, p. 5,6; Saturday, 17 November 1906, p. 7; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 17 November 1906)

 

19 November 1906

Sala, Antonio (age unknown / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Battista Gregorini – committed on 13 September 1906 – sentenced on 15 October 1906

Sala and Gregorini were Italian wood cutters originally in partnership, but, even though they had split up, continued to share the same tent at Mount Jackson, north of Southern Cross. Each cut for himself and kept all transactions each to his own. Occasionally, they were overheard having words and speaking angrily to one another. In the early morning hours of 13 September 1906, Sala hit Gregorini about the head with an axe. Gregorini was found several hours later, unconscious and dying in the tent, lying on his own bed, with blood all over his head. He had wounds in several parts of his head. Sala's footsteps were tracked and he was arrested in the afternoon. Sala said that Gregorini had attacked him with a knife, and the he simply had to defend himself. However, the jury at his trial did not believe his version of the story. Sala was found guilty of murder at the Criminal Court in Perth. He was sentenced to death on 15 October 1906 and hanged at Fremantle Gaol at 8 a.m. on 19 November 1906. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 46; West Australian, Tuesday, 16 October 1906, p. 3; Tuesday, 20 November 1906, p. 3)

 

11 December 1906

Brown, John Raymond (age: 18 / White) - New South Wales – Grafton

murder – victim: Margaret O'Keefe – committed on 15 July 1906 – sentenced on 9 October 1906

John Raymond Brown killed Daniel O'Keefe and his wife, Margaret O'Keefe, his benefactors, and farm labourer Patrick Gillick, on their farm, near Ballina at German Creek, about 330 km north of Sydney, on 15 July 1906. Brown had been formerly employed on that farm and attacked the three persons with an axe, a tomahawk, a bushhook and a bayonet and literally butchered them to death. Their bodies were not found until the next morning by young Tim O'Keefe, who had also been attacked after he returned from church, but was only stunned. Brown wanted to rob the O'Keefes in order to raise funds for a campaign for a "White Australia". He was found guilty of the murder of Margaret O'Keefe and was sentenced to death at Lismore Circuit Court on 9 October 1906. Brown was hanged at Grafton on 11 December 1906. He expressed contrition for killing the people who had been kind to him. (Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 17 July 1906; Hawera & Normanby Star, N.Z., 12 December 1906; Otago Witness, N.Z., 19 December 1906; New South Wales Police Gazette, 1906, p. 245; The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 9 October 1906, p 6; Wednesday, 10 October 1906, p. 10; Wednesday, 12 December 1906, p. 9)

 

31 December 1906

Look Kow (age: 62 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Lee Chay Yuen – committed on 26 August 1906 – sentenced on 20 November 1906

Chinese Look Kow (or Lee Kow), was sentenced to death at Townsville Circuit Court on 20 November 1906 for the murder of a Chinese named Lee Chay Yuen, in Flinders Lane, Townsville, committed on 26 August 1906. The two had been gambling together, playing "dow now," a game in which dice take a prominent part. They had some difference of a threepenny stake. Look Kow, accompanied by three other men, went to Lee Hoy's shop and bought some cake and tea. At the shop they met Lee Chay Yuen. After they left Lee Hoy's shop, Look Kow hit Lee Chay Yuen over the head with a tomahawk. The victim called out and asked for his life, but after he fell to the ground, Look Kow continued beating him with the tomahawk. Lee Chay Yuen died about twenty minutes later. Look Kow went to the Ambulance Brigade depot and asked for the police, saying that he had killed a man. He was obviously still angry at his victim, saying Lee Chay Yuen had cheated him and tried to take his money. Look How was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 31 December 1906 (Newcastle Morning Herald, Tuesday, 1 January 1907; The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 21 November 1906, p. 4; Tuesday, 1 January 1907, p. 2)

 

11 June 1907

Sadeek, Peter (age unknown / Asian) - New South Wales - Broken Hill

murder – victim: Mary Jewson – committed on 29 January 1907 – sentenced on 22 April 1907

Peter Sadeek, an Afghan, was convicted and sentenced to death by the Circuit Court at Broken Hill for the murder of Mary Jewson (or Cooney), at White Cliffs, on 29 January 1907. He was seen by two Chinese men, Chong Long and Charlie Ah You, flogging and kicking her at the front of her house, and dragging her into her house, locking the door. Her dead body was later found with her throat cut, altogether 26 wounds were observed, two of them fatal. Mary Jewson had married about five years before, but the couple soon separated, as she was much addicted to drink "and was of loose moral habits." She lived alone in a house at the Wileannia Road, and at times men used to frequent the place. Sadeek had been on familiar terms with Mrs. Jewson. When he was found in the house on the same evening, he readily admitted that he had committed the crime. He later told the police that he had been jealous of the woman. Peter Sadeek was hanged at Broken Hill Gaol at 9 a.m. on 11 June 1907. (The Maitland Daily Mercury, Tuesday, 23 April 1907; Tuesday, 11 June 1907; The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 23 April 1907, p. 6; Wednesday, 12 June 1907, p. 9; Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, Monday, 22 April 1907, p. 2; Tuesday, 23 April 1907, p. 2; Tuesday, 11 June 1907, p. 1 + 2)

 

23 October 1907

DeKitchilan, Augustin (age: 21 / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Leah Fouracre – committed on 15 or 16 August 1907 – sentenced on 5 October 1907

Augustin John Berchman DeKitchilan, a "Cingalese", was hanged in the morning of 23 October 1907 at Fremantle Gaol for the murder of 44-year-old Leah Fouracre. She was shot from behind with her own rifle in a field, and the body placed in the farmhouse of her "Peppermint Grove Farm" on the Mandurah to Bunbury Road, west of Waroona, which was then set on fire, on 15 or 16 August 1907. Two days later the burned house was detected by a neighbour, who alarmed the Police. De Kitchilan had arrived at Miss Fouracre's farm on 12 August, and after a man named Pavey left on the morning of 14 August, he and Miss Fouracre were the only persons on the farm. DeKitchilan drew attention to himself by his suspicious behaviour. He had in his possession several personal items belonging to Miss Fouracre and had most unlikely tales to tell of how he came into their possession. He was convicted of murder at the Criminal Court in Perth and was sentenced to death on 5 October 1907. (The Armidale Express, Friday, 25 October 1907; The West Australian, Wednesday, 2 October 1907, p. 4; Thursday, 3 October 1907, p. 3; Friday, 4 October 1907, p. 3; Saturday, 5 October 1907, p. 2; Monday, 7 October 1907, p. 7,8; Thursday, 24 October 1907, p. 7,8)

 

29 October 1907

Baxter, Nicholas (age: 42 / White) - New South Wales - Darlinghurst gaol

murder – victim: Mary MacNamara – committed on 8 July 1907 – sentenced on 28 August 1907

Nicholas Baxter murdered Mrs Mary MacNamara, an old lady 73 years of age, at Enmore (near Newton) in the night of 8 July 1907; he had been employed for six years as a night-watchman at Hardman's biscuit factory, in Sarah-street, Newton, and he lived in a cottage close to the factory, while Mrs MacNamara resided in a house adjacent. The accused had a position of night-watchman, until 7 June, leaving on his own accord. Mrs MacNamara, who had some money, lived in a quiet little way. The keys of the factory were left with her, and the watchman had to call there for them, so that suspicion fell on Baxter, when the crime was discovered. Some articles belonging to deceased were found in his possession. He was convicted at the Central Criminal Court at Darlinghurst and sentenced to death on 28 August 1907 and was hanged at Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney, at 9 a.m. on 29 October 1907. (The Armidale Express, Friday, 30 August 1907; Tuesday, 29 October 1907 + Friday, November 1, 1907; Maitland Daily Mercury, Tuesday, 29 October 1907; Evening Post, Wellington, N.Z., 29 October 1907; The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 28 August 1907, p. 6; Wednesday, 30 October 1907, p. 8)

 

26 November 1907

Toffts, George (age unknown / White) - New South Wales – Tamworth

murder – victim: Maud Fletcher – committed on 29 July 1907 – sentenced on 11 October 1907

On 29 July 1907, George Toffts was angry at 17-year-old Eliza Maud Fletcher at Quirindi, because she had spent the previous evening with another man. He beat her in the face at her uncle's house and later slapped her mother in the face and again kicked Maud at the head, knocking her down. Mrs. Fletcher and Maud fled to a neighbour's place, where they stayed until it became dark. When they wanted to return home with Maud's little brothers and sisters, they saw George Toffts coming up. They fled to a wheat paddock behind a fence, but he followed them and put his gun out of his coat. He put the gun on top of the wire fence, took good aim and shot at the children and Maud, who received a bullet in her buttock. Toffts rushed through the fence, and hit Maud with the gun. He then ran away. Maud's skull was fractured, and her death was caused by haemorrhage. The metal part of the breech of a gun obviously caused the fracture. Toffts was arrested on 6 August. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at Tamworth Circuit Court on 11 October 1907 and was hanged at Tamworth Gaol at 9 a.m. on 26 November 1907. (The Maitland Daily Mercury, Saturday, 12 October 1907; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, Wednesday, 27 November 1907; Taranaki Herald, N.Z., 27 November 1907; The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 27 November 1907, p. 10)

 

16 December1907

Millewski, August (age: 52 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Wallum Nabby – committed on 8 August 1907 – sentenced on 17 October 1907

German immigrant August Millewski was convicted and sentenced to death at Maryborough on 17 October 1907 for the murder of the Hindu Wallum Nabby at Booie Road near Nananga on 8 August 1907. Wallum Nabby and August Millewski were neighbours and shared an acrimonious history. In 1905 Nabby had been charged with burning Millewski's barn. One of the witnesses against him was another Indian man named Johnny Doo, who later claimed that Alice Millewski (August's daughter) had tried to persuade him to give false evidence against Nabby. Nabby escaped the charge and was released, but one month later was under arrest again for the murder of Johnny Doo, whose body was found near the front of Nabby's house. However, Nabby was released again. Millewski wanted to get rid of him, because he claimed that Nabby had threatened to blow up the Millewski house. Along with his wife, Emily, and 17-year old son Alex, he went to Nabby's hut after midnight on 8 August 1907 and shot him three times. Nabby tried to flee, but was beaten to death in his front garden. The three hid the body and returned home. Emily Millewski was tried with her husband, but was found not guilty. Millewski was hanged at Brisbane on 16 December 1907. (Newcastle Morning Herald, Tuesday, 17 December 1907; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, Tuesday, 17 December 1907; The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 16 October 1907, p. 3; Thursday, 17 October 1907, p. 2; Friday, 18 October 1907, p. 5; Tuesday, 17 December 1907, p. 6; Dawson, A Pit of Shame – Boggo Road's Executed Prisoners, p. 77-9)

 

23 March 1908

Smith, Harry Goninon (age unknown / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: William John Clinton – committed on 5 January 1908 – sentenced on 6 March 1908

Smith was charged, along with James Potter and George Christopher Bloomer being accessories after the fact, with the murder of William John Clinton at Day Dawn. The murder had been planned some days ahead by Smith who had been invited to the Clinton house by a friend. Smith shot Clinton, who was lying in his bed, in the back and head about 4 a.m. on 5 January 1908. Clinton's body was thrown down a mineshaft with the help of Potter and Bloomer, and Smith told a number of people that Clinton had left unexpectedly. Potter and Bloomer confessed to the local Police, Clintons body was found in the mine shaft on 6 January 1908 and Smith was charged with murder. The motive for the murder was a relationship between Clinton's wife and Smith, which lasted at least two years. Evidence presented by the defence suggesting Smith's paranoia was set aside by the jury, who found Smith guilty of murder. He was sentenced to death on 6 March 1908 at the Criminal Court at Geraldton, and was hanged at Fremantle Gaol at 8 a.m. on 23 March 1908. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 47; The West Australian, Wednesday, 4 March 1908, p. 7; Thursday, 5 March 1908, p. 5; Friday, 6 March 1908, p. 7; Saturday, 7 March 1908, p. 11; Tuesday, 24 March 1908, p. 3)

 

29 June 1908

Deutschmann, Charles Henry (age: 40 / White) – Victoria – Ballarat

murder – victim: Jane Isabella Deutschmann – committed on 11 April 1908 – sentenced on 5 June 1908

Deutschmann was married in October 1890 to Jane Isabella Jackson, a step-daughter of John Collie, a well-to-do farmer at Dobie. For some time he lived at Ballarat separated from his wife, who cared for her mother, who had broken her arm. On 11 April 1908 he purchased at Ballarat a six-chambered revolver and 25 cartridges, and returned to Dobie to Collie's farm. In the night he quarreled with his wife under the influence of liquor. Her step-father intervened to pacify Deutschmann and Deutschmann shot him with his revolver (Collie survived). He then turned on his wife, killing her with two shots, including a fatal one in her breast, crying: "I'll hang for both of you." He was arrested on the following morning. Deutschmann was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death at the Stawell Supreme Court on 5 June 1908. His execution took place at Ballarat Gaol on 29 June 1908. (Wanganui Herald, Wednesday, 22 April 1908, p. 7; Otago Witness, Wednesday, 10 June 1908, p. 31; Wednesday, 1 July 1908, p. 32; The Argus, Melbourne, Monday, 13 April 1908, p. 7; Tuesday, 14 April 1908, p. 5; Friday, 5 June 1908, p. 6; Tuesday, 30 June 1908, p. 8)

 

2 July 1908

Coleman, James Albert (age: 55 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Albert Edward Ring – committed on 29 March 1908 – sentenced on 4 June 1908

Coleman was locked up at about 2:45 a.m. on 28 March 1908 at Glenelg station for being drunk and quarrelsome, but at 9 p.m. was fined 5s by the magistrate and set at liberty, as he was sober and anxious to get away on a fishing cruise. However, after he obtained his freedom he seemed to have knocked about Glenelg and imbibed more liquor. He expressed his determination to revenge himself on the police officer, Albert Edward Ring, for having locked him up for drunkenness. Coleman was a respected and well-like man, who had been a resident of Glenelg for thirty years. He finally met Ring again, shortly after midnight of 29 March, and quickly raised a single-barrelled muzzle-loading gun and emptied the full charge into Ring's breast. Ring died on the scene, which was observed by several bystanders. Coleman managed to flee and was not arrested until 14 April. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Criminal Court at Adelaide on 4 June 1908, and was hanged at the Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 2 July 1908. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 100; The Advertiser, Friday, 5 June 1908, p. 9; Friday, 3 July 1908, p. 7,8)

 

27 October 1908

Oki, Iwakichi (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: James Henry Shaw – committed on 23 August 1908 – sentenced on 8 October 1908

Shaw and Oki (a Japanese) were partners in a fishing and gardening venture at Mandurah or Pinjarrah which was not going too well. On a couple of occasions Shaw had to try to obtain a job to keep things going. During his enforced absences Oki had kept Mrs. Mary Shaw and the children fed and clothed from the meagre income from the garden and fishing ventures. Oki and Shaw had words over this, and Oki said that since he was the principal "earner", Mary Shaw was his. Shaw had plans to move to Fremantle, break up the partnership  and pay Oki his money. Oki would hear nothing of the going away, and also refused to keep on the place alone, as he was not strong enough to fish. On the night of Sunday 23 August 1908 the two men had another disagreement and Oki shot Shaw in the neck with a single bullet from a double barrelled shotgun. Shaw died on the morning of the same day. Oki was apprehended two days later and arrested by the police. Oki was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Criminal Court at Perth on 8 October 1908, and he was hanged at Fremantle Gaol on 27 October 1908 at 8 a.m. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 47-8; The West Australian, Thursday, 8 October 1908, p. 2; Friday, 9 October 1908, p. 3; Wednesday, 28 October 1908, p. 9)

 

19 April 1909

Bismarck (age: 23 / Aborigine) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Janet Evitts – committed 14 January 1909 – sentenced on 3 March 1909

On 14 January 1909, 29-year old Mrs. Janet Evitts, a widow who lived at Jundah, went to a paddock to seek some stock. She disappeared, and her body was afterwards found in the river, with the head battered to a pulp. The evidence were that she had been raped and then murdered. Bismark, a black-tracker, was arrested and confessed to the crime. She had met him engaged in driving sheep on her routine afternoon horse ride. She thought he was stealing the sheep and insulted him. An argument ensued during which Bismarck lost his temper, pulled her off her horse and then hit her on the head with a stick. She fell, but managed to rise, then called for help and ran for her life. Bismarck followed, and struck her on the neck with a branch of a tree. She again fell and Bismarck broke several heavy sticks on her head. Finally, to make sure of her death, he picked up two large stones, and with these battered the woman's face. On the same night he returned to the scene of his crime and dragged the body to the river, where he dropped it into a deep waterhole. Suspicion fell on Bismarck, because he as a black-tracker pretended to be not able to follow Mrs. Evitts' tracks. Bismarck was convicted and sentenced to death at Rockhampton Circuit Court on 3 March 1909. Bismark was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane on 19 April 1909. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 3 March 1909, p. 4; Thursday, 4 March 1909, p. 5; Tuesday, 20 April 1909, p. 2; Barber, Capital Punishment in Queensland, p. 197; Dawson, A Pit of Shame – Boggo Road's Executed Prisoners, p. 80-1)

 

7 June 1909

Ross, Arthur (age: 21 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: James Muir – committed on 18 October 1908 – sentenced on 30 April 1909

In the late evening of Sunday 18 October 1908, James Edmund Muir, junior clerk at the Gayndah branch of the Commercial Banking Co. of Sydney, was found shot in the head at the back of the bank premises. His body bore four revolver wounds, and a fifth shot had gone through one of the hands. The manager was temporarily absent, and Muir intended to take his place sleeping at the bank. Arthur Ross had entered the bank before him to empty the safe, but was surprised by the unarmed and unsuspecting Muir. Several neighbours heard the shots and Muir calling out, one woman saw a man leaving the bank. The only clue for the identity of that man was a brownish green felt hat left at the premises, which belonged to Ross. Police entered his room at the boarding-house across the street, and found it empty, the bed being undisturbed. Ross, when captured on 19 October on a river bank near Gayndah, had a six-chambered revolver in his possession. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at Maryborough Circuit Court on 30 April 1909. Arthur Ross was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol in Brisbane at 8 a.m. on 7 June 1909. (The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday, 21 April 1909, p. 4; Thursday 22 April 1909, p. 5; Friday, 23 April 1909, p. 5;  Saturday, 24 April 1909, p. 5; Monday, 26 April 1909, p. 5; Wednesday, 28 April 1909, p. 5; Saturday, 1 May 1909, p. 5; Tuesday, 8 June 1909, p. 5)

 

6 October 1909

Rendell, Martha (age: 38 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Arthur Morris – committed on 8 October 1908 – sentenced on 14 September 1909

Martha Rendell (or Rendall) lived with a carpenter named Thomas Nicholls Morris, who was separated from his wife, and his children. In July 1907 9-year old Annie Morris died of a "throat infection" and in October another child, 7-year-old Olive, died of a similar complaint, and finally 15-year-old Arthur died on 8 October 1908. Nearly a year after Arthur's death, his brother George ran away from his father to his mother and complained that he didn't want to stay to be poisoned like the rest. Police investigated and the bodies of the three children were exhumed. It was found that Rendell for years had been painting the throats with diluted hydrochloric acid, ostensibly to prevent diphtheria. She had spiked the children's drinks with small amounts of the acid and, when they complained of sore throats, had used this as an excuse to paint their throats with a much stronger amount. Although no arsenic was found on the children's bodies, Rendell was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Arthur James Morris at the Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court at Perth on 14 September 1909, and she was hanged at Fremantle Gaol on 6 October 1909 at 8 a.m. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 48; Main, Hanged, p. 339-41; Otago Witness, Wednesday, 13 October 1909, p. 25; The West Australian, Wednesday, 11 August 1909, p. 2; Tuesday, 17 August 1909, p. 3; Wednesday, 8 September 1909, p. 5; Wednesday, 15 September 1909, p. 2; Thursday, 7 October 1909, p. 6)

 

My friend Cate Smith in Australia has spent 16 years researching this case and is close to finishing a full length book on it. In her opinion Martha’s execution was a total miscarriage of justice.

Politics were involved in ensuring that she hanged despite the fact that there was no actual evidence that Martha had applied anything to any child’s throat, except Bismuth, which was used as a throat wash, containing glycerine, for throat complaints at the time. Bismuth is still used today in complicated dental procedures.

When the children’s bodies were exhumed and extensively examined, including samples taken from all organs, teeth, hair and nails, no trace of arsenic was found. Arsenic never leaves bodily remains and therefore the children could not have died from arsenic poisoning.

 

9 February 1910

Robustelli, Peter (age unknown / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Giovanni Forsatti – committed on 19 October 1909 – sentenced on 13 January 1910

Robustelli and Giovanni Forsatti had had a fight some two years previously to the murder in the Cremorne Wine Saloon in Kalgoorlie, when Fossatti had stabbed Robustelli with a knife. When the two met again just two weeks before the murder they again fought each other. On 19 October 1909 in the early hours of the morning at Little Woodward Street at Coolgardie, the body of Forsatti was found with the temple bashed in and his skull practically lifted away. Robustelli was arrested on suspicions based to some extent on the fact that his clothing showed a liberal besprinkling of blood. He told a friend and later admitted in court, that he had been attacked with an iron bar and had taken it from Forsetti and used it to defend himself. He was sentenced to death at the Kalgoorlie Criminal Court on 13 January 1910, and hanged at Fremantle on 9 February 1910, at 8 a.m. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 48; The West Australian, Thursday, 13 January 1910, p. 7; Friday, 14 January 1910, p. 5; Thursday,10 February 1910, p. 5)

 

16 March 1910

Robins, John (age: 44 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Robert Ownsworth – committed on 24 Dec. 1909 – sentenced on 17 February 1910

John Robins was charged at the Criminal Court in Adelaide "with having at Adelaide on the night of December 24 kill Robert Ownsworth, a baker, by cutting his throat with a razor." Prior to marrying Robins, his wife had a son by 53-year-old Robert Ownsworth. This caused constant unhappiness. Robins had threatened to murder both her and Ownsworth. He had been drinking heavily when on 24 December 1909, he fatally cut the throat of Ownsworth at Moonta Street, Adelaide. Ownsworth managed to escape to the street, blood pouring from his throat, shouting for help, but he soon broke down and died. Robins was seen at the spot and was arrested by two Constables who arrived at once at the scene of the crime. Robins readily admitted his crime. He was sentenced to death on 17 February 1910, the jury strongly recommending mercy. John Robins was hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 16 March 1910. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 101; The Advertiser, Wednesday, 16 February 1910, p. 6; Thursday, 17 February 1910, p. 6 + 8; Thursday, 17 March 1910, p. 11)

 

5 April 1910

Khan, Hadji – (age: 48 / Asian) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Said Mahomet – committed on 20 November 1909 – sentenced on 8 March 1910

Hadji Khan, an Afghan, killed Said Mahomet, a fellow-countryman, on 20 November 1909, at Frome Creek. Mahomet died from three bullet wounds, one of which had smoke marks. The bullet passed through the eye and entered the brain, causing death. Several witnesses at his trial said that they had seen him cleaning his rifle on the evening of the day of murder. Khan's eight-year-old son, who was not sworn, deposed that his father had told him that he had shot Mahomet and that he feared the police would get him. No motive for the murder was given. Khan was sentenced to death at the Port Augusta Circuit Court on 8 March 1910 and hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 5 April 1910. (The Advertiser, Tuesday, 8 March 1910, p. 10; Wednesday, 6 April 1910, p. 8; Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 101)

 

5 May 1910

Bonello, Carlos Augusto (age: 30 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Emma Norma Plush – committed on 5 March 1910 – sentenced on 7 April 1910

Carlos Bonello, a Portuguese painter, born at Jamaica, fatally shot 12-year-old Emma Norma Plush at Siegersdorp, near Tanunda, on 5 March 1910. Bonello was employed by Seward Plush, a fruit grower and vigneron, to pick fruit, and worked for him for about a month. On the place was another workman, named Otto, and Norma, the 13-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Plush. Bonello was jealous of Norma's attachment for Otto, which he considered was unduly familiar, and made charges against her, which the parents didn't believe. Prior to this he had purchased a revolver from Otto, and when he was told to quit the premises after being dismissed from Mr. Plush's employ, he took the weapon with him as he went up to the kitchen to return a jug. He first fired an ineffective shot while the girl was reading; then, after a struggle with her mother, he fired a second shot, which proved fatal. Bonello was sentenced to death at the Criminal Sessions at Adelaide on 7 April 1910, and hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 5 May 1910. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 102; The Advertiser, Friday, 8 April 1910, p. 6; Friday, 6 May 1910, p. 7)

 

13 June 1910

Bradshaw, Alexander Joseph (age: 28 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victims: George and Mrs. Sutherland – committed on 18 Sept. 1909 – sentenced on 9 April 1910

On 20 September 1909 Alexander Joseph Bradshaw surrendered himself to the police of Croydon for shooting a woman named Eliza Proberts (with whom he lived at Carron) in the leg. When police visited the place, they found the woman's mother, Alice Sutherland, dead, and Mr. Sutherland dangerously wounded. Both were shot in the abdomen. Sutherland subsequently succumbed. The girl was in a critical condition, being shot in the thigh. Bradshaw was prompted by jealousy to commit the crime. Eliza Proberts, who was married but separated from her husband, had been living with Bradshaw. She then turned religious, and decided to end her relationship with Bradshaw. She therefore went to live with her parents, and refused to have anything more to do with Bradshaw. In a fit of temper and jealousy Bradshaw visited the Sutherlands' home, first shot Mrs. Sutherland and Mrs. Probert, and then coolly waited for George Sutherland's return and shot him as well. Bradshaw was found guilty of the murder of George Sutherland at the Normanton Circuit Court and sentenced to death on 9 April 1910, and he was hanged at the Boggo Road Gaol at Brisbane on 13 June 1910. The drop proved too long, and his neck was very badly torn by the rope. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 12 April 1910, p. 4; Tuesday, 14 June 1910, p. 3)

 

7 March 1911

Smart, Alexander Wilson (age unknown / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Ethel May Harris – committed on 10 March 1909 – sentenced on 16 February 1911

Smart and Ethel May Harris had been living together for four years at 5 Cowle Street, West Perth, as man and wife and were known to the locals as Mr. & Mrs. Wilson. Smart had first married in 1878, and his wife was still living; since about 1907, Smart was also courting Mary Jane Pemberthy at the same time and was, in fact, in the process of marrying her, the wedding being fixed for 15 March. Smart wanted to get rid of Ethel Harris and he killed her on 10 March 1909 and buried her under the ashes of the smithy behind Hoskins Foundry in Murray Street. After the ashes in the smithy had been examined it was decided to excavate, and Harris's body was discovered in mid-December 1910. She had been struck with a blunt instrument causing instant death. Smart was sentenced at a special sitting of the Perth Criminal Court on 16 February 1911 and hanged at Fremantle Gaol, at 8 a.m. on Tuesday 7 March 1911. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 49; Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday, 23 December 1910; Friday, 24 February 1911; The West Australian, Tuesday, 14 February 1911, p. 6; Wednesday, 15 February 1911, p. 4; Thursday, 16 February 1911, p. 2; Friday, 17 February 1911, p. 5,6; Wednesday, 8 March 1911, p. 7)

 

25 July 1911

Smithson, David Horatio (age unknown / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Frances Compton – committed on 13 May 1911 – sentenced on 6 July 1911

Smithson strangled to death 18-year-old Francis Elizabeth Compton, at a property in Welshpool Road, Woodlupine, after raping her. Miss Compton had been on her usual way home from work, and her father was waiting in vain for her at the railway crossing in the evening of 13 May 1911. She died of heart failure, shock, and partial suffocation. Her body was found on 14 May in the scrub near the Welshpool Road. Suspicion fell on Smithson, a young man, who answered the description of a man who had been seen in the locality on the date of the murder. After an extensive search, Smithson was found by Constable Alliss on 23 May and was arrested. Smithson was sentenced to death at the Perth Criminal Court on 6 July 1911, and was executed at 8 a.m. on Tuesday 25 July at Fremantle Gaol. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 49-50; The West Australian, Wednesday, 5 July 1911, p. 7,8; Thursday, 6 July 1911, p. 8; Friday, 7 July 1911, p. 8Wednesday, 26 July 1911, p. 8)

 

29 April 1912

Pfeffer, Joseph Victor (age 32 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Florence Whitely – committed on 12 December 1911 – sentenced on 15 February 1912

Joseph Victor Pfeffer shot to death his 23-year-old sister-in-law, Florence Whitely. He had been paying the young woman unwelcome attentions and she sought police protection. Pfeffer entered the house of Mrs. Kennett, at 102 Mills Street, Middle Park, where Whitely was living, at dinner time on 12 December 1911. He put his arm around her neck. The mistress of the house rushed out alarmed, and the shooting followed immediately. Pfeffer surrendered to the police. He was sentenced to death at the Melbourne Criminal Court on 15 February 1912 and was hanged at Melbourne Gaol at 10 a.m. on 29 April 1912. (The Argus, Friday, 16 February 1912, p. 8; Tuesday, 30 April 1912, p. 5; Grey River Argus, N.Z., Wednesday, 1 May 1912, p. 2)

 

10 June 1912

Silva, George David (age: 28 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Maud Ching – committed on 17 November 1911 – sentenced on 21 March 1912

George David Silva, a "Cingalese", killed Agnes Ching and her five children at Alligator Creek on 17 November 1912. Silva had been working on Mr. Ching's farm, and shot Mrs. Ching and her 17-year-old daughter Maud and smashed in the skulls of four-year-old Hugh and 20-mont-old Winnie, and finally shot to death 10-year-old Teddy and 8-year-old Dolly, after they returned from school, about a mile and a half away from the house. When Ching returned in the afternoon, he found no one of his family, and the house was locked. Entering through the window, he discovered the bodies of his wife and three children, and later found the bodies of Teddy and Dolly. Suspicion soon fell on Silva, who tried to implicate Dooley Khan and another man, Butler, in the murders, but they presented alibis. He said that he wanted Maud, but that her mother objected. Silva was convicted of the murder of Maud Ching and was sentenced to death at the Mackay Circuit Court on 22 March 1912. He was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol at Brisbane on 10 June 1912 at 8 a.m. (The Brisbane Courier, Friday, 22 March 1912, p. 5; Tuesday, 11 June 1912, p. 3)

 

17 June 1912

Ball, William Frederick (age: 23 / White) - New South Wales – Armidale

murder – victim: Louisa Ball – committed on 16 January 1912 – sentenced on 23 April 1912

William Frederick Ball, a young Englishman, murdered his wife, Lois or Louisa Ball, at The Hill, near Bingara, on 16 January 1912. The couple had arrived from England some weeks before the murder and had been employed at Mr. Mack's hotel at Bingara. After being five weeks there, during which Ball behaved in a most brutal manner to his wife, Mr. Mack left with his family for another station, leaving the couple in charge. On returning a few days later Mr. Mack found the homestead deserted and he informed the police. On 17 January, Louisa Ball's charred remains were found in the bush, showing evidence of having been killed with blows, and attempt made to destroy traces of the tragedy. Ball was sentenced to death at the Armidale Circuit Court on 23 April 1912. His defence was that his wife had been suffering agony owing to illness. He shot her because he pitied her suffering. He was hanged at Armidale Gaol on 17 June 1912 at 9 a.m. (Newcastle Morning Herald, Tuesday, 18 June 1912; The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 24 April 1912, p. 23; Tuesday, 18 June 1912, p. 10)

 

5 May 1913

Deen, Charles (age: 48 / Asian) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Peter Dinch – committed on 1 February 1913 – sentenced on 5 March 1913

Charlie Deen, a "Cingalese," had killed his countryman Peter Dina, at Innisfail, on 1 February 1913. Deen was working as a cook in the town of Innisfail, and had already served two prison terms for unlawful wounding and assault, so when he became involved in an argument with his fellow worker Peter Dina, it was no surprise that they came to bows. Dina was younger, about 30 years of age, and landed a few punches on him before Deen sullenly walked away from the fight, going to the back of the cook-shop of Kum Poong in Ernest Street, Chinatown of Innisfail, where they worked. One hour later he re-emerged with a large butcher's knife, walked up behind Dina and drove the knife deep to the hilt into his right side. Dina died two days later, and Deen was charged with murder. He stood trial at Townsville Supreme Court where he was convicted and sentenced to death on 5 March 1913. Deen was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol at Brisbane on 5 May 1913 at 8 a.m. (The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 6 May 1913, p. 5; Dawson, A Pit of Shame – Boggo Road's Executed Prisoners, p. 88-9)

 

1 July 1913

Spargo, Charles Herbert (age 37 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Gilbert Pickering Jones – committed on 23 January 1913 – sentenced on 28 May 1913

Spargo and Jones had travelled together to Broome on the steamer "Western Australia" and were seen together near the town in a mangrove swamp on 23 January 1913, where Jones' dead body was found shot three weeks later.  Spargo re-boarded the ship on the same day and went on to Derby where he used Jones' bankbook to obtain eighty pounds at the post office. Spargo had a police record going back 16 years and he was renowned as a dangerous criminal. A chain of circumstantial evidence connected Spargo with the murder. He was sentenced to death at the Criminal Court at Broome on 28 May 1913 and hanged at Fremantle Gaol on Tuesday, 1 July 1913 at 8 a.m. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 50; The West Australian, Wednesday, 28 May 1913, p. 7; Thursday, 29 May 1913, p. 6; Wednesday, 2 July 1913, p. 8; The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday, 30 May 1913, p. 9)

 

15 July 1913

Koppio (age unknown / Aborigine) – Northern Territory – Darwin

murder – victims: Ching Loy and Lo Sin – committed about 19 November 1912 – sentenced on 10 March 1913

On 26 November 1912, fruit and vegetable hawker Ah Lin found the bodies of his friends Ching Loy (70) and Lo Sin (65) at a Chinese garden near the old Howley mine. They appeared to have been dead for about a week, the bodies being partly decomposed. Lo Sin had a wound between the shoulder blades about two inches long. Ching Loy had been similarly wounded. The wounds appear to be such as would be caused by what were known as "shovel" spears, presumably used by Aborigines. Koppio and Ketterinyan were arrested several weeks later and were charged with the murder at the Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory. They managed to escape from Fannie Bay Gaol in January but were recaptured several days later. Koppio was found guilty and sentenced to death on 10 March 1913. He was hanged at Fannie Bay Gaol, Darwin, on 15 July 1913. (Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Thursday, 5 December 1912; Thursday, 23 January 1913; Thursday, 13 March 1913; Thursday, 17 July 1913)

 

22 September 1913

Austin, Ernest (age: 23 / White) – Queensland – Brisbane

murder – victim: Ivy Alexandra Mitchell – committed on 9 June 1913 – sentenced on 29 August 1913

Austin, a young farm labourer, killed 11-year-old Ivy Alexandra Mitchell on 9 June 1913. Ivy had been visiting friends two miles distant and started for home early in the afternoon. Not returning before dark, her father and brother searched for her and discovered the dead body in thick scrub near Cedar Creek Road, at Samford. Her throat had been cut, and she had died from haemorrhage. Austin was arrested on suspicion, having stains of blood on his shirt. Large-sized blucher boot tracks were found near the victim's body, leading to the road. The boots belonged to Austin. He was tried at the Brisbane Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court and found guilty on 29 August 1913 and was hanged at Brisbane on 22 September 1913. (The Brisbane Courier, Thursday, 28 August 1913, p. 9; Saturday, 30 August 1913, p. 16; Tuesday, 23 September 1913, p. 8)

 

14 January 1914

Odgers, Charles Henry (age: 57 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Edith Molyneaux – committed on 3 October 1913 – sentenced on 11 December 1913

Odgers had a relationship with Mrs. Edith Molyneaux, whose husband had obtained a job on a farm and left his family at Perth. Finally her husband ordered her to join him moving to Dandalup, which she did, but Odgers continued to call on her in the hopes of winning her back. On the morning of 3 October 1913 he rode up to the house at Balgobin, near Dandalup, and after an argument shot Mrs. Molyneaux in the breast, causing instantaneous death, while her husband was running for his life with his little children. Odgers then took to the bush where he attempted suicide by exploding a detonator in his mouth. When found he was in a pitiful condition with part of his lower jaw blown away. Odgers was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Perth Criminal Court on 11 December 1913, and he was hanged at Fremantle Gaol on 14 January 1914. Due to his attempted suicide, it was decided that he would not be capable of the full "drop" and it was reduced to 4 feet 6 inches, but even this was too much and his head was severed from the body. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 50; The West Australian, Thursday, 11 December 1913, p. 4; Friday, 12 December 1913, p. 7; Thursday, 15 January 1914, p. 8)

 

11 March 1914

Belbin, Joseph Henry (age: 19 / White) - Tasmania – Hobart

murder – victim: Margaret Catherine Ledwell – committed on 24 Oct. 1913 – sentenced on 16 Feb. 1914

16-year-old Margaret Ledwell left her home at Cheshunt, Deloraine, on 24 October 1913 to visit a neighbour 3 km away. Shortly afterwards, her neighbour Joseph Belbin also left his home carrying his gun. He met her on the Government Road and tried to rape her, then shot her to death with his gun. The top of her head had practically been blown away. Belbin informed Special Constable George McCarthy that a girl was murdered, and they went to the place of the crime. Belbin on 29 October admitted that he had shot Miss Ledwell, but stated that it was an accident. It was proven, however, that the brains could not have been scattered as they were, and she been shot while standing up. She had rather been lying on the ground, her clothes being disarranged. Belbin was arrested and stood trial in the Tasmanian Supreme Court on 13 February 1914; he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. His execution took place at Hobart Gaol at eight a.m. on 11 March 1914, the executioner being from New South Wales. He left a written confession admitting he had shot her when she was resisting rape. (Brand, Executions at Campbell Street Gaol; Newcastle Morning Herald, Wednesday, 11 March 1914; The Mercury, Hobart, Saturday, 14 February 1914, p. 7; Monday, 16 February 1914, p. 2; Tuesday, 17 February 1914, p. 2; Thursday, 12 March 1914, p. 8)

 

12 April 1915

Sacheri, Andrea (age: 27 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Jean Bell - committed on 12 January 1915 – sentenced on 9 March 1915

Sacheri, alias Joseph Cutay, a Maltese, was employed by Mr. Bell at Marrinup as an orchard labourer. One day before the murder Sacheri interfered indecently with a younger sister of Jean Bell, and was reprimanded by the mother. On the following morning of 12 January 1915, at 1:30 a.m., he brutally murdered 11-year-old Jean Bell with an axe when she was sleeping on the veranda of the house. Her skull was completely shattered. At the time of the murder Sacheri stated he was under the impression that he had murdered the father of the girl. Sacheri was found guilty of murder on 9 March 1915 and sentenced to death at Perth, and he was hanged at Fremantle on 12 April 1915 in the presence of nine witnesses. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 50-1; The Argus, Melbourne, Wednesday, 13 January 1915; Thursday, 11 March 1915; Tuesday, 13 April 1915)

 

24 January 1916

Jackson, John (age: 51 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Constable David Edward McGrath – committed on 1 October 1915 – sentenced on 26 November 1915

Jackson, together with Richard Buckley and Alexander Ward, all three hardened criminals, broke into the Tradeshall, Carlton, on 1 October 1915, and were disturbed by the police while wrecking the safe in the Typographical Union's office. Seven police, including Sub-Inspector McKenna, surprised the safe-breakers, during which Constable McGrath was shot dead with an automatic pistol, which proved to be Jackson's. Jackson was shot in the ankle, disabling him. Buckley and Ward had three trials, two consecutive juries disagreeing as to murder, and the third recommending them to mercy on a minor charge. Jackson was thought to have been concerned in several safe robberies, and the robbery of £500 worth of gold from the Melbourne Mint some years before. He was sentenced to death at Melbourne on 26 November 15 and hanged at Melbourne at 10 a.m. on 24 January 1916. (The Argus, Melbourne, Saturday, 2 October 1915; Friday, 12 November 1915; Friday, 26 November 1915; Saturday, 27 November 1915; Tuesday, 18 January 1916; Tuesday, 25 January 1916; The Mercury, Hobart, Tuesday, 25 January 1916)

 

18 September 1916

Picone, Antonio (age: 36 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Giuseppe Lauricella – committed on 25 July 1916 – sentenced on 17 August 1916

Giuseppe Lauricella was a fruit and vegetable dealer in a prosperous way of business at North Carlton. He was in the Victoria Market at about 4 a.m., and Antonio Picone was seen to fire an automatic pistol at him from behind. Several shots were fired, and two took effect in the head, one proving fatal. Picone was overtaken by Frederick W. Bond, an electrician. Lauricella and Picone were both naturalised Italians, and had been engaged in business with their respective fathers in Melbourne several years before the murder. A dispute of some kind had arisen, and the two Picones subsequently withdrew from the business. Picone was found guilty and sentenced to death on 17 August 1916 and hanged at Melbourne on 18 September 1916. (The Argus, Melbourne, Wednesday, 26 July 1916; Friday, 18 August 1916; Tuesday, 19 September 1916; The Mercury, Hobart, Tuesday, 19 September 1916)

 

20 December 1916

Franz, Frank (age: 28 / White)

Kennedy, Roland Nicholas (age: 20 / White) - New South Wales – Bathurst

murder – victim: Constable George Joss Duncan – committed on 26 September 1916 – sentenced on 18 October 1916

Franz Frank and Roland Nicholas Kennedy were members of the Tottenham branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) They were found guilty at the Bathurst Circuit Court of the murder of Constable George Joss Duncan, who was shot in his office at Tottenham on 26 September 1916 and were sentenced to death on 18 October 1916. Kennedy admitted shooting Duncan once, and said that Franz shot him twice. Franz, however, said that Kennedy shot Duncan twice, and that he only shot him once, because he had been forced into it by Kennedy. They were hanged at Bathurst Gaol at 9 a.m. on 20 December 1916. (Newcastle Morning Herald, Thursday, 21 December 1916; The Mercury, Hobart, Tuesday, 10 October 1916; Friday, 20 October 1916; Friday, 1 December 1916; Friday, 22 December 1916; The Argus, Melbourne, Tuesday, 10 October 1916; Thursday, 21 December 1916; Australian Anarchist History No. 3 by home.vic.net.au; The Tottenham Tragedy by www.takver.com)

 

31 May 1917

Wilson, James (age unknown / White) - New South Wales - Long Bay Gaol

murder - victim: George Pappageorgi – committed on 4 April 1916 – sentenced on 21 March 1917

Wilson murdered George Pappageorgi, a Greek keeper of the Allies Cafι, George-street, Haymarket, on 5 April 1916, probably by strangling him with a rope, and broke the cash-register open. Pappageorgi's body was found early next morning. Wilson was not arrested until several months later for another offence. When in Tamworth Gaol, Wilson was one of the men who made a murderous attack upon a warder and escaped by climbing over the wall. He was recaptured, and while in gaol was charged with the murder of Pappageorgi, because one of his finger prints had been found on the cash register in the cafe. At his trial at the Central Criminal Court at Sydney on 21 March 1917, he pleaded guilty of murder, even after Mr. Justice Sly told him that something might come out in the evidence which might reduce the case to one of manslaughter. He was sentenced to death and was hanged at Long Bay Gaol on 31 May 1917. (Newcastle Morning Herald, Friday, June 1, 1917; The Argus, Melbourne, Thursday, 21 December 1916; Thursday, 22 March 1917; Thursday, 3 Mays 1917; Friday, 1 June 1917)

 

16 June 1917

Benzing, Christian William (age unknown / White) - New South Wales - Long Bay Gaol

murder – victim: Dorothy Myra Small – committed on 12 January 1917 – sentenced on 22 March 1917

Benzing, a young man, murdered 11-year-old Dorothy Myra Small on 12 January 1917. Dorothy was playing on the afternoon of that day with other children near Rocky Point road at Rockdale, and Benzing lured her into some bushes near by and raped her, also maltreating her to such an extent that she died the same day. She was found seriously injured and taken to a house. A doctor was sent for, but Dorothy died before he arrived. Benzing was tried at the Central Criminal Court at Sydney on 22 March 1917 and was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Long Bay Gaol on Saturday, 16 June 1917. (Newcastle Morning Herald, Monday, 18 June 1917; The Mercury, Hobart, Friday, 23 March 1917; The Argus, Melbourne, Friday, 23 March 1917; Monday, 18 June 1917)

 

29 January 1918

Budd, Albert Edward (age: 39 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Annie Elizabeth Samson – committed on 19 October 1917 – sentenced on 13 December 1917

Budd had killed his foster-sister, Mrs. Annie Elizabeth Samson, at Port Melbourne on 19 October 1917. She was found on the morning of 20 October with her head almost severed from her body at her home, 127 Princes street. Her husband was at the front, and she had taken an active part in Red Cross and other Women's Welcome Committee work. It was stated that Budd had become infatuated with Mrs. Samson, who resented his persistent attentions, and had ordered him shortly before the murder out of her home. A cut on the woman's left arm suggested that there had been a struggle on her part. Budd attempted to end his life by also cutting his throat on the morning following the murder, but he recovered to be charged with murder. His trial took place at the Melbourne Criminal Court on 12 December 1917, and he was found guilty and sentenced to death on 13 December 1917. Budd was hanged at Melbourne at 10 a.m. on 29 January 1918. (Newcastle Morning Herald, Wednesday, 30 January 1918; The Argus, Melbourne, Monday, 22 October 1917; Thursday, 15 November 1917; Thursday, 13 December 1917; Friday, 14 December 1917; Wednesday, 30 January 1918)

 

15 April 1918

Oldring, Arthur Geoffrey (age unknown / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victims: Margaret and Rose Taylor – committed on 12 November 1917 – sentenced on 22 February 1918

Oldring, alias George Farrow Blunderfield, a fugitive criminal from Western Australia and a machine-gunner in the A.I.F., shot to death Margaret Taylor and her daughter Rose, at Trawood, in the early morning of 12 November 1917. Mrs. Taylor had first met Oldring in May 1917, when she had been staying with another daughter, and a close acquaintanceship was formed between the two. When the troops were transferred to Seymour in October Mrs. Taylor and her daughter Rose removed to that place, where she was several times visited by Oldring. On 10 November, they were driven in a rush to Trawool Bridge, taking all their luggage with them. Their bodies were found in the Goulburn river on 18 and 21 November resp. robbery was plainly not the cause of the murder, as the sum of £151 was found in Mrs. Taylor's clothing. It was suggested that she wanted to marry him, urged him to desert and threatened to have him apprehended at the last moment before embarkation, which he resented. Oldring was tried at the Melbourne Criminal Court, found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 22 February 1918. He was hanged at Melbourne on 15 April 1918. (The Argus; Melbourne, Wednesday, 20 February 1918; Thursday, 21 February 1918; Friday, 22 February 1918; Saturday, 23 February 1918; Tuesday, 16 April 1918)

 

24 April 1919

Budd, Percival William (age: 25 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Harold Sydney Jacques – committed on 25 November 1918 – sentenced on 27 March 1919

Budd engaged Harold Sydney Jacques, a motor driver, to drive him to Port Pirie, where he hit Jacques on the head with a bludgeon, and buried the body in a hole in the yard of the house in which he was living. Budd was charged on 11 December with the unlawful possession of a motor-car, which was Jacques' car. After the court proceedings the detectives went to the residence of James Brown, in Second street, Port Pirie, where Budd had lodged. In the yard, they unearthed the body of Jacques, in a decomposed condition, fully clothed. The head was battered in, as though by blows delivered from behind. With the body was a piece of iron 15 in. long with a formidable head and a strap at the end. Budd was tried at the Gladstone Circuit Court and was sentenced to death on 27 March 1919. He was hanged at Adelaide on 24 April 1919. (The Argus, Melbourne, Thursday, 12 December 1918; Thursday, 27 March 1919; Friday 28 March 1919; Friday, 25 April 1919; Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 103-4)

 

15 July 1920

Lee, Alexander Newland (age: 31 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Muriel Estelle Lee – committed on 31 March 1920 – sentenced on 17 June 1920

On 1 April 1920, four members of the Lee family at Rhynie were found dead from poison: Mrs. Muriel Estelle Lee, and her children Ray, aged 6, Walter, aged 5, and Ina, 3. Two girls, aged 8 and 2, survived. The four died after drinking poisoned milk. Their husband and father, Alexander Newland Lee, was arrested on 4 April 1920, on a charge of murder. At the inquest Miss Ida Vera Scholz admitted that she had a love affair with Lee, and that he told her his wife won't live long. Lee stood trial at the Adelaide Criminal Court, his daughter Amelia being witness against him; he was found guilty and sentenced to death on 17 June 1920. He was hanged at Adelaide on 15 July 1920 (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 105; The Argus, Melbourne, Saturday, 3 April 1920; Tuesday, 6 April 1920; Saturday, 17 April 1920; Wednesday, 9 June 1920; Friday, 11 June 1920; Friday, 18 June 1920; Friday 16 July 1920; Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Tuesday, 15 June 1920)

 

24 April 1922

Ross, Colin Campbell (age: 29 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Alma Tirtschke – committed on 30 December 1921 – sentenced on 26 February 1922

On 31 December 1921 the raped, strangled and naked body of 12-year-old Alma Tirtschke was found in a right-of-way off nearby Gun Alley. Colin Ross, one of many people routinely interviewed, was arrested and remanded on 12 January. At the inquest Florence Matthews, a woman who was formerly Ross's partner at his wine cafι, gave evidence of an alleged admission by Ross that he had assaulted Alma on 30 December and that she had died from the effects of the ill-treatment. Ross stood trial at the Melbourne Criminal Court, was found guilty and sentenced to death on 26 February 1922. In spite of his protests of innocence, he was hanged at Melbourne on 24 April 1922. After Kevin Morgan published his book "Gun Alley – murder, Lies, and Failure of Justice" in 2005, which raised serious doubts about the Ross conviction, Ross was finally pardoned by Governor David de Kretser on 27 May 2008. (The Argus, Melbourne, Friday, 13 January 1922; Thursday, 26 January 1922; Monday, 27 February 1922; Tuesday, 11 April 1922; Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Tuesday, 25 April 1922; Australian Dictionary of Biography; Sydney Morning Herald, 28 May 2008)

 

27 December 1922

Carpenter, George (age: 27 / White) – Tasmania – Hobart

murder – victim: Thomas Filbee Carpenter – committed on 10 October 1922 – sentenced on 8 December 1922

Edward Duncombe, known as “Old Deafy Duncombe”, lived about 6 kilometres from Swansea towards the Eastern Tiers. He ran a market garden and a small orchard. He was stone-deaf and very short-sighted and had only one leg. The locals believed that he had a substantial amount of money in his house. He was found shot dead on 10 October, 1922 and his house had been ransacked. On the same day, Thomas Filbee Carpenter, a 37 year old labourer of Swansea, was also found shot along with his dog. The following morning, Trooper Frederick Henderson was guarding Dumcomb’s hut when the murderer appeared. When Henderson moved to arrest Carpenter, he too was shot and killed. George Carpenter, a 27 year old man was arrested and charged with killing his cousin, Thomas Filbee Carpenter by shooting. Footprints found near the body were made by the accused’s boots. He was tried in Hobart and found guilty and sentenced to death on 8 December 1922. He was executed on 27 December, 1922. The gaol chaplain later reported that Carpenter had confessed to both murders, but denied killing Henderson intentionally. (Brand, Executions at Campbell Street Gaol; Newcastle Morning Herald, Thursday, 28 December 1922; The Argus, Melbourne, Thursday, 12 October 1922; Friday, 13 October 1922; Saturday, 14 October 1922; Tuesday, 21 November 1922; Thursday, 7 December 1922; Saturday, 9 December 1922; Friday, 29 December 1922; Saturday, 30 December 1922)

 

12 March 1923

Rosland, Frank Matamin (age unknown / Asian) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Zareen – committed on 27 August 1922 - sentenced on 19 January 1923

The body of Zareen, a well-to-do Afghan horse and camel dealer, was found on 14 October 1922 in an advanced state of decomposition, having been buried in a fowl run at Rosland's camp at Nullaginefor about two months. Zareen had been missing since 27 August 1922. Rosland, a "half-caste" Malay, hit Zareen across the head with an iron bar, fracturing his skull and killing him instantly. Rosland was charged with Zareen's murder at Cue, found guilty and sentenced to death on 19 January 1923, but managed to escape on 29 January from the train when he was escorted to Fremantle for his execution. Rosland was found three days later lying under a tree in a bad condition for want of food and water. He was hanged at Fremantle on 12 March 1923. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 51; The Argus, Melbourne, Friday, 3 November 1922; Friday, 19 January 1923; Tuesday, 6 February 1923; Friday, 9 February 1923; Saturday, 3 March 1923; Tuesday, 13 March 1923)

 

14 April 1924

Murray, Angus (age: 42 / White) – Victoria – Melbourne

murder – victim: Thomas Reginald Victor Berriman – committed on 21 October 1923 – sentenced on 22 February 1924

Thomas Reginald Victor Berriman, manager of the Glenferrie branch of the Commercial Bank, at East Melbourne, was attacked at Glenferrie railway station on 8 October 1923, as he was carrying a bag containing notes to the value of £1,850. Angus Murray (alias James Henry Donnelly) grabbed the bag, while Richard Buckley (60) shot Berriman. The robbers fled, but Murray was arrested soon after and identified by the victim. Berriman died on 21 October, and Murray was charged with murder. He stood trial at the Melbourne Criminal Court, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death, although not being the triggerman. He was hanged at Melbourne at 10 a.m. on 14 April 1924. Buckley, the triggerman, was not arrested until 1930. He stood trial for murder and was sentenced to death on 27 November 1930. Considering the long time between murder and death sentence, and with respect to his advanced age, Buckley's death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the State Executive Council on 9 December 1930. Buckley was released in 1946 due to his ill-health and died a free man in 1953.(The Argus, Melbourne, Thursday, 21 February 1924; Saturday, 23 February 1924; Tuesday, 1 April 1924; Tuesday, 15 April 1924; Saturday, 29 November 1930; Wednesday, 10 December 1930; Main, Hanged – Executions in Australia, p. 317-21)

 

29 April 1924

Williams, Edward (age: 56 / White) - New South Wales - Long Bay Gaol

murder – victims: three children – committed on 4 February 1924 – sentenced on 20 March 1924

Edward Williams was charged with having murdered his 5-year-old daughter Rosalie Eileen Williams, at Paddington, Sydney, on 4 February 1924. Rosalie and her sisters Mary (3), and Cecilia (2) were found with their throats cut lying on a bed in a house in Underwood Street, Paddington, on 6 February. Two days later Williams walked into the police station at Newcastle and confessed that he had killed his daughters, because he loved them. He had been resolved to send them to heaven, so that they would escape the perils and hardships of an earthly life. The children's mother was at that time an inmate of the Callan Park Asylum for Insane, and Williams, being a music teacher, was frequently absent from home and could not care properly for his children. He allegedly owed his first wife, who was living in England, a sum of £700. Williams was found guilty of Rosalie's murder and sentenced to death at the Central Criminal Court on 20 March 1924. He was hanged at Long Bay Gaol at 9 a.m. on 29 April 1924. (The Argus, Melbourne, Wednesday, 13 February 1924; Tuesday, 26 February 1924; Friday, 21 March 1924; Wednesday, 30 April 1924)

 

10 December1924

Simpson, William George Gordon (age: 34 / White) - New South Wales - Long Bay Gaol

murder – victim: Guy Chalmers Clift – committed on 9 March 1924 – sentenced on 6 June 1924 & 2 September 1924

William Simpson was arrested by Constable James Flynn on a charge of having broken and entered a store on 9 March 1924. With the help of Guy Chalmers Clift, who was resident engineer of the Cordeaux dam, he placed Simpson in a car to take him to the police station at Campbelltown, Clift driving. On a lonely road between Appin and Cordeaux, Simpson first shot dead Constable James Flynn, and then shot Clift, who was able to drive to Appin to obtain help. Clift died in the Camden Hospital early the following morning. Simpson was only charged with the murder of Clift. He had two trials at the Central Criminal Court. After his first trial, which resulted in a guilty verdict and death sentence on 6 June 1924, he lodged an appeal, which was granted. The second trial on 2 September 1924 resulted in the same verdict and sentence. He was hanged at Long Bay at 9 o'clock on 10 December 1924. (The Argus, Melbourne, Friday, 6 June 1924; Tuesday, 2 September 1924; Wednesday, 3 September 1924; Thursday, 11 December 1924)

 

2 August 1926

Rennie, Royston (age: 26 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: John Roger Greville – committed on 3 June 1926 - sentenced on 14 July 1926

Royston Rennie killed John Roger Greville on a train from Guildford to Perth on 3 June 1926. Greville was a bank messenger carrying money to Perth from one of the branches of the National Bank. Rennie boarded the train at Maylands and near the Pier Street crossing, shot Greville in the temple and near the heart. He also hit Greville's companion, Fauvas, with the gun, knocking him unconscious, and escaped with a bag containing about £170. Greville died the same evening, and Rennie arrested on the overland express. He was tried at the Criminal Court at Perth, found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 14 July 1926, and was hanged at Fremantle at 8 a.m. on 2 August 1926.

(Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 51; The Argus, Melbourne, Wednesday, 14 July 1926; Thursday, 15 July 1926; Friday, 23 July 1926; Tuesday, 3 August 1926)

 

25 October 1926

Coulter, William Charles (age: 42 / White)

Treffene, Phillip John (age 52 / White) - Western Australia - Fremantle

murder – victims: John Joseph Walsh (and Alexander Henry Pitman) – committed on 28 April 1926 – sentenced on 15 Sept. 1926

Coulter and Treffene were treating illicit gold with another man, Evan Clarke. Two Policemen, Detective-Inspector John Joseph Walsh and Detective-Sergeant Alexander Henry Pitman from the gold stealing branch at Kalgoorlie, surprised Coulter and Treffene when they came upon them at a place called Miller's Find, six miles out on the Calgoorlie road. Treffene shot Pitman, and when Walsh attempted to run for safety Coulter ran after him and shot him, too. They afterwards told Clarke about the murder, who in turn told his wife. On 28 April Coulter returned to the scene and in the presence of Clarke cut up the bodies, attempted to burn them, and then threw them down a mine shaft. Coulter and Treffene were charged with the murder of Walsh, found guilty and sentenced to death at Perth on 15 September 1926, and were hanged at Fremantle at 8 a.m. on 25 October 1926. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 51-2; The Argus, Melbourne, Tuesday, 8 June 1926; Tuesday, 17 August 1926; Wednesday, 15 September 1926; Thursday, 16 September 1926; Wednesday, 27 October 1926)

 

22 November 1927

Francis, William Henry (age: 24 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Myra Elizabeth Francis – committed on 8 August 1927 – sentenced on 25 October 1927

William Henry Francis killed his wife, Myra Elizabeth Francis (age 23), at Mount Gambier on 8 August 1927. The couple had been married since March 1927, and a short time before the murder, Richard James Taylor, an uncle of Myra Francis, observed Francis trying to stuff a handkerchief in her mouth. When he intervened, Francis hit him under the ear. Myra Francis showed him a knife and said her husband had just tried to kill her with it. On 8 August, Francis finally killed his wife by stabbing her in the throat. She was found in the evening hours in their home at Rosaville, a suburb of Mount Gambier, on her bed, with a deep gash in her throat, her husband lying beside her. Francis also attempted suicide by cutting his throat, but was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife. He was found guilty of murder at the Mount Gambier Circuit Court and was sentenced to death on 27 October 1927. Francis was hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 22 November 1927. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 106-7; The Argus, Melbourne, Wednesday, 23 November 1927; The Advertiser, Tuesday, 25 October 1927, p. 15; Wednesday, 26 October 1927, p. 13; Wednesday, 23 November 1927, p. 15)

 

16 December 1927

Haines, William Ephraim Peter (age: 25 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Devina Nellie Schmidt – committed on 12 October 1927 – sentenced on 18 November 1927

William Haines killed 18-year-old Devina Nellie Schmidt at a picnic at Bridgewater on 12 October 1927. She was shot five times through the head. Haines, after having attempted to shoot himself, was arrested on a charge of murder. Haines, who was unemployed, had for a considerable period been paying attention to Miss Schmidt and had followed her party of a dozen young people to their picnic at Bridgewater. After some time he approached Miss Schmidt and asked her to withdraw with him, which she refused. He then drew a .22-calibre revolver and shot her. He was convicted in the Adelaide Criminal Court on 18 November 1927. Haines was hanged at Adelaide at 8 a.m. on 16 December 1927. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 108; The Argus, Melbourne, Thursday, 13 October 1927; Monday, 24 October 1927; Friday, 18 November 1927; Saturday, 19 November 1927; Saturday, 17 December 1927)

 

21 May 1928

Milner, John Sumpster (age: 30 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Ivy Lewis – committed on 28 February 1928 – sentenced on 20 April 1928

On 28 February 1928 Milner, an English farm labourer, abducted, raped and then shot to death 11-year-old Ivy Lewis, of Darkan, with a 12 gauge shotgun, concealing her body behind some bushes. Later, when the girl was reported missing and concern was felt for her safety, the Police organised a search party. Milner joined in with the party, finally leading a Police Constable to the place of the murder and then to the body. Milner had something of a drink problem and at times had more than was good for him. He was sentenced to death at the Criminal Court at Perth on 20 April 1928 and was hanged at Fremantle at 8 a.m. on 21 May 1928. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 52; The Canberra Times, Tuesday, 22 May 1928; The Argus, Melbourne, Thursday, 1 March 1928; Friday, 2 March 1928; Friday, 20 April 1928; Saturday, 21 April 1928; Wednesday, 23 May 1928)

 

3 September 1928

Hulme, Clifford (age: 29 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Harold Eaton Smith – committed on 22 June 1928 – sentenced on 7 August 1928

English immigrant Clifford Hulme worked for Harold Eaton Smith, a 38-year-old farmer of West Wubin, as a farmhand. On 22 June 1928, the two men were clearing some scrub on the property, Smith driving a tractor and scrub roller and Hulme chopping with an axe. For some unknown reason Hulme "saw lights" before his eyes and shot Smith and battered him with an axe. He later tied up and raped Mrs. Flora Margaret Smith at her house and also treated their three children brutally, two of them having their skulls fractured. Somewhat regaining his senses, he went into Wubin where he caught the train to Dalwallinu and gave himself up to the Police. Hulme was sentenced to death at Perth on 7 August 1928 and was hanged at Fremantle on 3 September 1928. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 52-3; Canberra Times, Wednesday, 8 August 1928; Northern Territory Times, Tuesday, 4 September 1928; The Argus, Melbourne, Friday, 20 July 1928; Wednesday, 8 August 1928; Tuesday 4 September 1928)

 

12 November 1929

Carr, Frederick (age: 42 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Maude Harriet Carr – committed on 29 June 1929 – sentenced on 15 October 1929

Carr murdered his wife, Maude Harriet Carr (35), at their home in Marguerite street, Birkenhead, about 3 a.m. on 29 June 1929. She was found lying across a bed, her throat being cut, and a razor was found at the side of the bed. Mrs. Carr had called at the Birkenhead police station on the night of 28 June and asked to be allowed to sleep in a cell, but she was advised to got to Port Adelaide and ask the police there to assist her. Carr first pretended that his wife had committed suicide, but was immediately arrested and charged with the murder. He was found guilty and sentenced to death at the Adelaide Criminal Court on 15 October 1929. Carr was hanged at Adelaide at 8 a.m. on 12 November 1929 (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 109-10; The Argus, Melbourne, Monday, 1 July 1929; Friday, 11 October 1929; Wednesday, 16 October 1929; Wednesday, 13 November 1929)

 

9 January 1930

Blyth, Thomas (age: 39 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Sarah Louisa Blyth – committed on 30 September 1929 - sentenced on 12 December 1929

Thomas Blyth, a tramway employee, killed his wife, Sarah Louisa Blyth (36), at her residence, Wattle Street, Unley, on 30 September 1929. Mrs. Blyth died shortly after she had been shot twice with a revolver. After the shooting Blyth made a statement that another man had broken up his home. He stood trial and was sentenced to death at Adelaide Criminal Court on 12 December 1929. The jury entered a strong recommendation to mercy. He was hanged at Adelaide at 8 a.m. on 9 January 1930. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 111; The Argus, Melbourne, Tuesday, 8 October 1930; Friday, 13 December 1930; Friday, 10 January 1930; The Canberra Times, Friday, 10 January 1930)

 

18 May 1931

Fanto, Antonio (age: 26 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Cosimo Nesci – committed on 20 March 1931 – sentenced on 24 April 1931

Although Antonio Fanto and Cosimo Nesci (26) had previously worked together, the two men had not been on friendly terms for some time, and when a contract for some "burning-off" became available, Nesci would not let Fanto have a hand to do it. On the morning of 20 March 1931 Fanto was seen to leave his camp with a gun. He waited on the roadside in a prepared ambush and shot Nesci as he came along the road on a bicycle. When Nesci collapsed Fanto emerged from his ambush and fired two shots from close quarters. Early in the afternoon Fanto told Giovanni Marapodi that if he wanted to see Nesci he could find him along the road. He said he shot in self-defence as he thought Nesci was trying to pull a revolver from his pocket. The jury did not think much of his stories and returned a verdict of Guilty. Fanto was sentenced to death at the Perth Criminal Court on 24 April 1931 and hanged at Fremantle on 18 May 1931. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 53; The Argus, Melbourne, Tuesday, 24 March 1931; Monday, 6 April 1931; Saturday, 25 April 1931; Tuesday, 19 May 1931)

 

13 June 1932

Smith, John Thomas ( age: 26 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Louis George Carron – committed on or about 20 May 1930 – sentenced on 19 March 1932

Smith, alias Stanley (Snowy) Rowles, killed Louis George Carron (27), alias Leslie George Brown, on or about 20 May 1930 in the Murchison district at the rabbit reserve near the 183 mile gate on the rabbit proof fence. Smith was employed as a dingo and fox trapper near Wydgee and said he was lonely and in need of a mate. Carron, who had just quit his job and received a cheque of about £25 said as he was doing nothing he would be happy to go with Smith. They left Narndee Station together on 18 May 1930 and about two days later, Carron disappeared. A friend of him, Lemmon, became concerned and alarmed the Police, who found several heaps of ashes containing what were thought to be human bones near the rabbit proof fence. Smith was arrested after several articles belonging to Carron were discovered in his possession; he had cashed the £25 cheque to buy some beer. He stood trial in the Criminal Court in Perth and was sentenced to death on 19 March 1932. Smith was hanged at Fremantle on 13 June 1932. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 53-4; The Argus, Melbourne, Tuesday, 15 March 1932; Thursday, 17 March 1932; Saturday, 19 March 1932; Monday, 21 March 1932; Monday, 6 June 1932; Tuesday, 14 June 1932; The Canberra Times, Tuesday, 14 June 1932)

 

17 August 1932

Moxley, William Cyril (age: 34 / White) – New South Wales – Long Bay Gaol

murder – victims: Dorothy Ruth Denzel and Frank Barnby Wilkinson – committed on 5 April 1932 – sentenced on 16 June 1932

On 5 April 1932, Frank Wilkinson drove Dorothy Denzel in a motor-car from Burwood to the neighbourhood of the Strathfield golf links, where the car was parked. They engaged in conversation, when William Moxley, driving his own lorry, approached them. Moxley demanded money, and they gave him 7 shillings sixpence. Wilkinson was then overpowered by Moxley, trussed up, and put in the "dickey" seat of Wilkinson's own car. Miss Denzel was forced into Moxley's lorry and was then driven away by him. Both Wilkinson and Miss Denzel were taken into wild bracken-covered country and were there shot at close range in the head at Moorebank. Wilkinson's body was found on 11 April, Miss Denzel's body on 13 April. Miss Denzel had probably been raped by Moxley before her death. Moxley was captured after a man hunt at French's Forest on 21 April, arrested and charged with murder. He stood trial at the Central Criminal Court and was found guilty and sentenced to death on 16 June 1932. Moxley was hanged at Long Bay Gaol at 8:30 a.m. on 17 August 1932. (The Argus, Melbourne, Wednesday, 4 May 1932; Thursday, 5 May 1932; Tuesday, 14 June 1932; Wednesday, 15 June 1932; Thursday, 16 June 1932; Friday, 17 June 1932; Thursday, 18 August 1932; The Canberra Times, Friday, 22 April 1932; Thursday, 5 May 1932; Thursday, 16 June 1932; Friday, 17 June 1932; Saturday, 23 July 1932; Thursday, 4 August 1932; Thursday, 18 August 1932)

 

26 September 1932

Bennett, David (age: 59 / White) – Victoria - Pentridge gaol

rape – victim: unidentified little girl – committed on 3 July 1932 – sentenced on 16 August 1932

A little girl of four years, accompanied by her six-year-old brother, was returning to her home at North Carolton on Sunday, 3 July 1932, when she was enticed by David Bennett into an empty house in Drummond Street. Bennett raped the little girl and was immediately apprehended after he left the house and handed over to the police. The little girl was found by her mother on the street and was taken to a hospital. Bennett war charged with rape, a capital offence, and stood trial at the Criminal Court in Melbourne. He was found guilty and sentenced to death on 16 August 1932. At his trial, Bennett admitted that he had received a sentence of life imprisonment, with nine lashes of the cat-o'nine-tails, for an offence against a girl, in Western Australia. Bennett was hanged at Pentridge gaol, Coburg, at 10:07 a.m. on 26 September 1932. On the scaffold he made a statement which lasted nine minutes, the longest speech ever held by a condemned man in Victorian history, which contained no admission of his guilt. (The Argus, Melbourne, Monday, 4 July 1932; Saturday, 30 July 1932; Wednesday, 17 August 1932; Tuesday, 27 September 1932; The Canberra Times, Wednesday, 17 August 1932; Tuesday, 6 September 1932; Tuesday, 27 September 1932)

 

14 May 1936

Hickey, Edwin John (age: 18 / White) - New South Wales - Long Bay Gaol

murder – victim: Montague Henwood – committed on 4 November 1935 – sentenced on 16 December 1935

The body of Montague Henwood (63), a Conciliation Commissioner, was found beside the railway line near Linden on 4 November 1935. His head showed injuries caused by a glass water-bottle similar to those carried in railway carriages. Henwood had been thrown out of a train after being robbed and killed. Edwin John Hickey, a dairy hand and 17 at the time of the crime, was arrested on the next day and charged with the murder. He stood trial at the Central Criminal Court, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 16 December 1935. Hickey admitted his crime in a letter dated 28 April 1936. After a dramatic debate, the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales on 12 May 1936 defeated by 45 votes to 30 a motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition (Labour Party), which stated that a person committing a crime under the age of 18 should not be executed. Hickey was hanged at Long Bay Gaol at 8:30 a. m. on 14 May 1935. (The Canberra Times, Thursday, 7 November 1935; Tuesday, 19 November 1935; Wednesday, 20 November 1935; Tuesday, 17 December 1935; 4 April 1936; Friday, 24 April 1936; Wednesday, 29 April 1936; Saturday, 9 May 1936; Wednesday, 13 May 1936; Friday, 15 May 1936; Newcastle Morning Herald, Friday, 15 May 1936)

 

1 June 1936

Sodeman, Arnold Karl (age: 36 / White) – Victoria - Pentridge gaol

murder – victim: June Rushner (6) – committed on 1 December 1935 – sentenced on 18 February 1936

On the morning of 2 December 1935 the body of 6-year-old June Rushmer was discovered, lying face-down in a patch of swordgrass, outside the township of Leongatha in Gippsland. She was bound and gagged, and had died from suffocation. The crime resembled thee earlier unsolved killings: 12-year-old Mena Griffiths at Ormond on 8 November 1930, 16-year-old Hazel Wilson at Ormond on 9 January 1931, and 12-year-old Ethel Belshaw at Inverloch, Gippsland, on 1 January 1935. As a result of information received from a suspicious workmate, Sodeman was arrested and questioned about Rushmer's death. After twelve hours interrogation he broke down and confessed to all four murders. He was tried at the Melbourne Criminal Court in February 1936 for the murder of Rushmer, convicted and sentenced to death on 18 February 1936, and was hanged at Pentridge gaol at Coburg on 1 June 1936. (Australian Dictionary of Biography; Newcastle Morning Herald, Tuesday, 2 June 1936; The Canberra Times, Friday, 6 December 1935; Wednesday, 1 January 1936; Tuesday, 18 February 1936; Wednesday, 19 February 1936; Tuesday, 2 June 1936)

 

15 June 1936

Massey, James Leighton (age: 21 / White) - New South Wales - Long Bay Gaol

murder – victim: Norman Stead – committed on 10 February 1936 – sentenced on 30 March 1936

Norman Samuel McLaren Stead (26) was shot dead during a hold-up at his father's service station in Darlinghurst on 10 February 1936. He died from a shot near the heart within a few minutes. John Lighton Massey and Aubrey Potter (20), both motor mechanics, were charged with murder. They stood trial at the Central Criminal Court and were sentenced to death on 30 March 1936. The Executive Council decided to commute Potter's death sentence to 15 years hard labour, as he did not actually commit the crime. Massey was hanged at Long Bay Gaol at 8:30 a.m. on 15 June 1936 after expressing deep regret at the dishonour he had brought on his family, and the pain caused to the victim's family. (The Canberra Times, Friday, 28 February 1936; Tuesday, 31 March 1936; Tuesday, 2 June 1936; Tuesday, 16 June 1936; Newcastle Morning Herald, Tuesday, 16 June 1936)

 

22 June 1936

Cornelius, Edward (age: 29 / White) – Victoria - Pentridge gaol

murder – victim: Rev. Harold Laceby Cecil – committed on 12 December 1935 – sentenced on 26 March 1936

The Rev. Harold Laceby Cecil of St. Saviour's Church of England at Collingwood was found at the vicarage on the evening of 12 December 1935 with his head terribly battered. There were indications that he had been savagely attacked, as he had 17 wounds on his head and 13 abrasions on the neck, arms, and body. A blood-stained motor spanner was found on the next day, being the weapon used in the attack on the vicar. Cecil had been scared of thieves for some time and had been attacked by intruders four times in the months preceding. There was a suggestion that the crime had been committed by someone who came to the vicar pretending that he wanted to arrange a marriage, as the marriage bonds were found open on a table in the hall. Mechanic Edward Cornelius was charged with the murder on 13 February 1936. He had sold a gold watch chain and gold cross which he had robbed after the murder. Cornelius stood trial at the Melbourne Criminal Court and was found guilty and sentenced to death on 26 March 1936. He was hanged at Pentridge gaol on 22 June 1936. (The Canberra Times, Saturday, 14 December 1935; Friday, 14 February 1936; Friday, 28 February 1936; Saturday, 29 February 1936; Wednesday, 25 March 1936; Friday, 27 March 1936; Tuesday, 23 June 1936)

 

26 May 1938

Spicer, Alfred (age: 65 / White) - New South Wales - Long Bay Gaol

murder – victim: Marcia Hayes (6) – committed on 24 December 1937 – sentenced on 24 March 1938

Alfred Spicer, a gardner, killed 6-year-old Marcia Hayes at Windsor, on 24 December 1937. He had met his little neighbour playing with another girl and gave both girls a penny. He lured Marcia to his house, where he raped and strangled her to death. The body of the little girl was found tied in a sack in 8 feet of water in the South Creek at Windsor, near Spicer's home, on the next day. A piece of cord around the neck was revealed, with which she had been strangled to death. Alfred Spicer was arrested on 27 December. He stood trial at the Central Criminal Court, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 24 March 1938. He was hanged at Long Bay Gaol on 26 May 1938. Shortly before his execution he admitted the murder and said he would die willingly to pay his debt to society. (The Canberra Times, Tuesday, 28 December 1937; Tuesday, 18 January 1938; Friday, 25 March 1938; Wednesday, 11 May 1938; Wednesday, 18 May 1938; Thursday, 19 May 1938; Thursday, 26 May 1938; Friday, 27 May 1938; Newcastle Morning Herald, Friday, 27 May 1938)

 

11 August 1938

Watherston, James Mark (age: 27 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Elizabeth Mary Nielson – committed on 3 June 1938 – sentenced on 14 July 1938

James Mark Watherston (or Weatherston), a labourer of Monash, murdered 12-year-old Elizabeth Mary Nielson at Monash on 3 June 1938. Her body was found in a sack in the scrub about 300 yards behind her home at Monash about noon on 5 June 1938. She had been raped and strangled to death with a sheet wrapped around her neck. The girl had been sent on a message, together with another girl. Jimmy James, a black tracker employed by the police, followed the tracks made by Watherston's boots, which were found near the victim's body to Watherston's house. On 7 June the police visited Watherston's home, telling him they were enquiring into the girl's death. When requested, Watherston produced the boots in question, and he was cautioned. After Detective-Sergeant Walters explaining the situation to him, Watherstone voluntarily confessed to the crime. He had met the girl in the afternoon, lured her to his home, where she raped and killed her. In the late evening her put her in a chaff bag and took her to the scrub, where her body was found. Watherston was sentenced to death at the Adelaide Criminal Court on 14 July 1938, and he was hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 11 August 1938. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 112; The Canberra Times, Thursday, 14 July 1938; Friday, 12 August 1938; The Advertiser, Thursday, 14 July 1938, p. 10; Friday, 15 July 1938, p. 34; Friday 12 August 1938, p. 25)

 

23 January 1939

Johnson, Thomas William (age: 40 / White) – Victoria - Pentridge gaol

murder – victims: Robert Gray and Charles Bunney – committed on 3 October 1938 – sentenced on 14 December 1938

Thomas William Johnson killed Charles Adam Bunney (aged 61) and Robert McCourt Gray (aged 73) in the old delicensed Windsor Castle Hotel at Dunolly in which they had lived for years, on 3 October 1938. Johnson had obtained lodging at the same house on 26 September, and left on 5 October. On 6 October William Henry Radley and Frederick Henry Douglas, two other men living at the hotel, found the dead bodies in Gray's room, which had been locked. The police was informed, who found that both men had been dreadfully battered about the head, and there was a bloodstained axe near the wall. Evidence would be given that on the Monday afternoon (3 October) Johnson had no money, but that on Tuesday he did have some. On 7 October, Johnson walked into the Dandenong police station stating that he was the man they were looking for in the Dunolly murder. He voluntarily made and signed a statement confessing to the crime, saying that he had been angry because Gray was hammering, so he took the axe in the room and killed the two men. Johnson was found guilty of murder by the Ballarat Supreme Court and sentenced to death on 14 December 1938. He was hanged at Pentridge gaol at 8 a.m. on 23 January 1939. (The Canberra Times, Wednesday, 14 December 1938; Thursday, 15 December 1938; Tuesday, 10 January 1939; Tuesday, 24 January 1939; The Argus, Melbourne, Wednesday, 14 December 1938, p. 3; Tuesday, 24 January 1939, p. 9)

 

17 April 1939

Green, George (age: 38 / White) – Victoria - Pentridge gaol

murder – victims: Annie Wiseman and Phyllis Wiseman – committed on 12 November 1938 – sentenced on 24 February 1939

George Green killed Annie Constance Wiseman (aged 62) and her niece, Phyllis Vivian Wiseman (aged 17) at their home at Glenroy on 12 November 1938. Their bodies were found on the following day. The girl had been raped and then killed by her neck having been forced against something hard, perhaps the iron bedstead. Her aunt was throttled to death by the murderer's hands. No money was found about in the house. Green had presumably entered the house to steal something. The most important evidence was a portion of a milk bill, on the back of which had been written the address of Miss Hewitt, 118 Collins Street, Thornbury. This had been given to Green on the Monday before the murder by a Mrs. Thomas and was left inadvertently by Green on the scene of the crime. He was charged with murder, found guilty at the Melbourne Criminal Court and sentenced to death on 24 February 1939. He was hanged at Pentridge Gaol at 8 a.m. on 17 April 1939. (The Canberra Times, Tuesday, 20 December 1938; Wednesday, 21 December 1938; Tuesday, 21 February 1939; Friday, 24 February 1939; Saturday, 25 February 1939; Thursday, 6 April 1939; Tuesday, 18 April 1939; The Argus, Tuesday, 21 February 1939, p. 4; Wednesday, 22 February 1939, p. 4; Thursday, 23 February 1939, p. 3; Friday, 24 February 1939, p. 4; Saturday, 25 February 1939, p. 1; Tuesday, 18 April 1939, p. 11)

 

24 August 1939

Kelly, John Trevor (age: 24 / White) – New South Wales - Long Bay Gaol

murder – victim: Marjorie Constance Sommerlad – committed on 4 February 1939 – sentenced on 3 May 1939

Miss Marjorie Constance Sommerlad (35) was found battered to death lying in the doorway of her house near Tenterfield, while her brother Eric Alfred Sommerlad (25) was found in a semi-conscious state in his bed. They had been attacked with an axe and had severe wounds at the head. Trevor John Kelly, a farm hand employed by the Sommerlads, who had shortly before been released from gaol, was arrested for theft of a motor truck owned by Eric Sommerlad and was charged with murder and attempted murder. Kelly was obviously angry because he believed that Sommerlad had dismissed him for being drunk. Sommerlad, however, later denied that he had dismissed him. Kelly was committed for trial after an inquest held on 8 March 1939. He was found guilty at Armidale Circuit Court and sentenced to death on 3 May 1939. The Supreme Court dismissed his appeal on 26 May 1939. Kelly was hanged at Long Bay Gaol on 24 August 1939. He was the last man hanged in New South Wales. (The Canberra Times, Monday, 6 February 1939; Tuesday, 7 February 1939; Thursday, 9 March 1939; Saturday, 27 May 1939; Tuesday, 4 July 1939; Thursday, 10 August 1939; Friday, 25 August 1939; The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 3 May 1939, p. 17; Thursday, 4 May 1939, p. 12)

 

22 December 1941

Bye, Alfred (age: 42 / White) – Victoria - Pentridge gaol

murder – victim: Thomas Edward Walker – committed on 27 September 1941 – sentenced on 19 November 1941

Private Thomas Edward Walker (aged 45), of the Garrison Battalion at Broadmeadows, was found dead behind the Treasury Gardens at the State Public Offices in Melbourne, on 27 September 1941. A sheaf knife, with which he had been stabbed, was found near the scene of the crime. Private Alfred Bye, a military transport driver, of Railhead Camp, Bacchus Marsh, was arrested on 29 September and charged with murder. At his trial Bye explained that there had been an altercation about one Miss Ogier on the same day, Walker putting his hands up as if to strike Bye, so Bye struck him first. The two men later met again and went into the gardens, where they took off their coats. Walker began striking Bye, who fell on his back. Walker took Bye by the throat with his two hands and pressed his thumbs into Bye's windpipe, calling him names. Bye reached for his knife in his pocket and stabbed Walker in the back, leaving him dying on the spot. Bye was found guilty and sentenced to death by the Melbourne Criminal Court on 19 November 1941. Bye did not appeal and was hanged on 22 December 1941 at Pentridge Gaol. (The Canberra Times, Tuesday, 30 September 1941; Friday, 12 December 1941; Tuesday, 23 December 1941; The Argus, Thursday, 20 November 1941, p. 5; Tuesday, 23 December 1941, p. 3)

 

9 November 1942

Leonski, Edward Joseph (age: 24 / White) US Military - Pentridge gaol

murder – victims: Mrs. Ivy Violet McLeod – committed on or about 3 May 1942

                              Mrs. Pauline Thompson – committed on or about 9 May 1942

                              Miss Gladys Lilian Hosking – committed on 18 or 19 May 1942 – sentenced on 17 July 1942

Private Edward Joseph Leonski of the United States Army, a heavy drinker, raped and strangled to death with his own hands three women in Melbourne: about 3 May 1942, he killed 40-year-old Mrs. Ivy Violet McLeod, about 9 May 31-year-old Mrs. Pauline Thompson, and on about 18 May 41-year-old Miss Gladys Lilian Hosking. He was arrested on 22 May, was tried by an American Court Martial and sentenced to death for triple murder on 17 July 1942. It was the first and only time that the citizen of another country was tried and sentenced to death in Australia under the law of his own country. Leonski expressed himself to be lucky with his death sentence. In spite of this, he was declared sane, and was hanged at Pentridge gaol on 9 November 1942. (The Canberra Times, Wednesday, 10 June 1942; Thursday, 11 June 1942; Tuesday, 14 July 1942; Thursday, 16 July 1942; Wednesday, 15 July 1942; Friday, 17 July 1942; Saturday, 18 July 1942; Saturday, 25 July 1942; Thursday, 13 August 1942; Tuesday, 10 November 1942; Australian Dictionary of Biography)

 

26 April 1944

Box, Harold James (age: 45 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Lance Brown – committed on 17 February 1944 – sentenced on 29 March 1944

Box killed 50-year-old Lance Brown, city company director, on 17 February 1944. He walked into Brown's office at Gawler Place, Adelaide, and threatened to shoot Albert Edmund Brown, proprietor of Motor Credit Company, but the revolver misfired and the intended victim jumped aside. Box then pointed the revolver at Lance Brown, who happened to stand behind his brother. Lance Brown was fatally wounded. It was alleged that Box had a grievance against the Browns when he got into arrears on loan repayments. His bicycle had been repossessed as he had failed to pay the instalments on it. After the crime, Box went to the City Watchhouse charge room, threw his gun and cartridge on a desk and told the surprised officers that he had "cleaned up one of the Browns" and that he was sorry he did not get both of them. Box was sentenced to death at the Adelaide Criminal Court on 29 March 1944. The jury added a recommendation of mercy. In spite of that recommendation, Box was hanged at Adelaide at 8 a.m. on 26 April 1944. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 113-4; The Canberra Times, Thursday, 30 March 1944; Thursday, 27 April 1944; The Advertiser, Wednesday, 29 March 1944, p. 8; Thursday, 30 March 1944, p. 3; Thursday, 27 April 1944, p. 5)

 

14 February 1946

Thompson, Frederick Henry (age: 32 / White) – Tasmania – Hobart

murder – victim: Evelyn Mary Maughan – committed on 8 July 1945 - sentenced on 11 December 1945

Evelyn Maughan, an 8 year old girl, disappeared after leaving her home at 100 Goulburn Street, Hobart, to go to mass, on 8 July 1945. On 5 October, Edmund Mead of Goulburn, New South Wales, was visiting Queenborough Cemetery looking for his father’s grave when he found a child’s body in the lattice enclosure. It was identified as Maughan’s. Her hands were tied in front of her and, because of the decomposition, the doctor was unable to state the cause of death. The evidence, however, was consistent with suffocation. Suspicion fell on Frederick Thompson, whom some witnesses claim to have seen carrying a heavy bath on his shoulder and later, wheeling a child’s pusher in Nelson Road near the Queenborough Cemetery. Thompson appeared in the Supreme Court at Hobart on 11 December 1945, charged with Evelyn Maughan’s murder. He was sentenced to death and was hanged at Hobart Gaol on 14 February 1946 at 6 a.m. He was the last person to be executed in Tasmania. (Brand, Executions at Campbell Street Gaol; The Canberra Times, Monday, 8 October 1945; Wednesday, 12 December 1945; Friday, 15 February 1946; The Mercury, Hobart, Wednesday, 12 December 1945, p. 11; Friday, 14 December 1945, p. 8; Tuesday, 18 December 1945, p. 1; Friday, 15 February 1946, p. 1)

 

14 November 1946

O'Leary, Charles Patrick (age: 34 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Walter Edward Ballard – committed on 7 July 1946 – sentenced on 17 October 1946

Charles Patrick O'Leary and 58-year-old Walter Edward Ballard worked at a timber camp at Nangwarry Government saw mill, and they lived with other employees in the single men's huts. In the early morning of 7 July 1946, Ballard's hut was found on fire. O'Leary and a man named O'Toole went into the hut and found Ballard lying on the bed unconscious, but groaning. They dragged him outside and it was found that his head had been battered and that his face had been cut with a broken bottle. They removed part of his clothing that was burnt and O'Leary allegedly proposed to get an axe and finish him off. Ballard died at hospital in the afternoon. O'Leary stood trial at the Mount Gambier Circuit Court. The Crown Prosecutor said in his opening speech that "witnesses for the Crown would show that Ballard was murdered wantonly by a man who did it to get some pleasure out of inflicting dreadful violence." O'Leary, who was having a party with several other men, hit Brian Alfred Kimber and a man named Hollywood mercilessly during the evening of 6 July. O'Leary was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 17 October 1946. He was hanged at the Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 14 November 1946. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 115; Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, NSW, Monday, 8 July 1946, p. 1; The Canberra Times, Tuesday, 9 July 1946; Wednesday, 13 November 1946; The Advertiser, Thursday, 25 July 1946, p. 8; Friday, 26 July 1946, p. 14; Thursday, 17 October 1946, p. 5; Friday, 18 October 1946, p. 5; Friday, 15 November 1946, p. 1)

 

22 March 1950

Griffin, Alfred Coates (age: 37 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Elsie May Wheeler – committed on 26 December 1949 – sentenced on 22 February 1950

Griffin killed Elsie May Wheeler (aged 40) in a boarding house at Hutt street, Adelaide, in the early morning hours of 26 December 1949. She was found with her throat cut. The police found Griffin at a suburban brickyard with a gash in his throat and his wrists slashed. Griffin was admitted to hospital and placed under a police guard. Griffin and Mrs. Wheeler had had a three-year relationship, and Griffin told his sister a fortnight before Christmas, that he intended to save up to buy a block of land and also planned to marry Mrs. Wheeler. But obviously Mrs. Wheeler did not intend to marry Griffin, who shortly before Christmas told her he would throw himself under a train. Mrs. Wheeler had simply replied that she had heard that so often before that she took no notice of it. Griffin became so desperate that he entered Mrs. Wheeler's bedroom, hid under her bed and after she went to bed, wanted to talk to her but finally killed her. He also threatened her room mate, Mrs. King, and urged her not to scream out. Griffin was found guilty of murder at the Supreme Court and sentenced to death on 22 February 1950. He was hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 22 March 1950. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 116-7; The Canberra Times, Wednesday, 28 December 1949; Thursday, 23 February 1950; Thursday, 23 March 1950; The Advertiser, Wednesday, 22 February 1950, p. 5; Thursday, 23 February 1950, p. 1; Thursday, 23 March 1950, p. 3)

 

19 February 1951

Andrews, Norman (age: 38 / White)

Clayton, Robert David (age: 32 / White)

Lee, Jean (age: 31 / White) – Victoria – Pentridge gaol

murder – victim: William Kent – committed on 7 November 1949 – sentenced on 25 March 1950

William Kent was a 73-year-old starting-price bookmaker, who was killed in his room at an apartment house in Dorrit Street at Carlton on 7 November 1949. The police alleged that Clayton, Andrews and Lee had accompanied Kent to his home, bashed him, tortured him to find where he had hidden his money, and finally strangled him. They were found guilty and sentenced to death in the Criminal Court at Melbourne on 25 March 1950. Their conviction was quashed by the Criminal Court of Appeal on 19 May 1950, and a re-trial was ordered, but the Crown appealed to the High Court and the conviction was upheld. Andrews, Clayton and Lee tried to appeal to the Privy Council and ask for State financial aid, but this was refused by State Cabinet on 17 July 1950. On 11 December 1950, the Executive Council confirmed their death sentences and fixed the date of execution for 8 January 1950. After two further reprieves, all three were finally hanged at Pentridge gaol on 19 February 1951, Lee at 8 a.m., Andrews and Clayton followed at 10 a.m. (The Canberra Times, Tuesday, 12 December 1950; Wednesday, 13 December 1950; Tuesday, 19 December 1950; Wednesday, 31 January 1951; Saturday, 3 February 1951; Tuesday, 20 February 1951; The Argus, Melbourne, Tuesday, 20 February 1951, p. 1; The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 20 February 1951, p. 4; Australian Dictionary of Biography – Jean Lee)

 

23 June 1952

Tapci, Karol (age: 22 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Norman Alfred Perfect – committed on 17 March 1952 – sentenced on 16 May 1952

Karol Tapci, a Czech migrant and yardman at the Wubin Hotel, had been drinking and playing cards with 48-year-old Norman Alfred Perfect, a retired farmer, on 17 March 1952. They decided to make a trip to Dalwallinu and on the way an argument ensued as to who would drive Perfect's car. The two stopped the car and got out and fought. Perfect being knocked to the ground Tapci picked up a large gravel stone and used it to hit Perfect on the head. The body was dragged 124 feet into the scrub and Tapci then drove off in Perfect's car. On locating the body the Police started a Statewide search resulting in the arrest of Tapci. He stood trial at the Perth Criminal Court and was sentenced to death on 16 May 1952. He was hanged at Fremantle Gaol on 23 June 1952 at 8 a.m. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 54; The Canberra Times, Thursday, 20 March 1952; Saturday, 7 June 1952; The West Australian, Friday, 16 May 1952, p. 6/9; Tuesday, 24 June 1952, p. 1)

 

7 August 1952

Koci, Jaroslav (age: 20 / White)

Novotny, Jan (age: 19 / White) – Northern Territory – Darwin

murder – victim: George Thomas Grantham – committed on 17 April 1952 - sentenced on 12 June 1952

Jaroslav Koci and Jan Novotny, two Czechoslovakian immigrants, killed taxi-driver George Thomas Grantham (aged 42), on 17 April 1952. He had been shot in the face and died from a bullet wound in the head. The two young men dragged their victim's dead body into the bush and shot at him again twice. Koci had been in trouble before the murder over an accident in which a small boy had been killed. They wanted to get a taxi, shoot the driver and then got to Victoria and get a ship back to Europe. Koci and Novotny were arrested three days after they committed the crime. They were tried at the Northern Territory Supreme Court at Darwin, found guilty and sentenced to death on 12 June 1952. Both were hanged side by side at Fannie Bay Gaol, Darwin, on 7 August 1952 at 8 a.m. (The Canberra Times, Monday, 21 April 1952; Thursday, 8 May 1952; Tuesday, 5 August 1952; The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday, 13 June 1952, p. 1; Friday, 8 August 1952; Northern Standard, Darwin, Friday, 13 June 1952, p. 1, 10; Friday, 8 August 1952, p. 1)

 

26 August 1953

Balaban, Joan (age: 29 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Zora Kusic – committed on 5 December 1952 – sentenced on 29 July 1953

Joan (or John) Balaban, a Rumanian industrial chemist, killed 29-year-old Zora Kusic at her shack at Torrensville on 5 December 1952. It was said to be one of the most sadistic killings in South Australia. She was found with her throat cut and her body mutilated after death. Balaban had also attacked with a claw hammer and killed his wife, Thelma Joyce Balaban (30), at her cafι at Gouger Street, Adelaide, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Susan Ackland (66). Critically hurt was Mrs. Balaban's son of a previous marriage, Philip Cadd (6), and waitress Verna Marnie, on 12 April 1953. Balaban had been discharged by the Police Court in January because there had been insufficient evidence against him. But after his arrest in April he admitted killing Miss Kusic. He was tried at the Criminal Court at Adelaide for the murder of Zora Kusic, found guilty and sentenced to death on 29 July 1953. While in the death cell, Balaban savagely attacked a prison warder whom he tried to throttle. Balaban was hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8 a.m. on 26 August 1953. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 118; The Canberra Times, Tuesday, 13 January 1953; Monday, 13 April 1953; Tuesday, 14 April 1953; Tuesday, 5 May 1953; Thursday, 30 July 1953; Tuesday, 25 August 1953; The Advertiser, Thursday, 23 July 1953, p. 5; Saturday, 25 July 1953, p. 16; Tuesday, 28 July 1953, p. 6; Wednesday, 29 July 1953, p. 9; Thursday, 30 July 1953, p. 13; Thursday, 27 August 1953, p. 3; Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, NSW, Wednesday 26 August 1953, p. 1)

 

23 March 1956

Feast, William Henry (age: 42 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Eunice Flora Gwynne – committed on 22 December 1955 – sentenced on 24 February 1956

William Feast, a wharf labourer, went to work on the evening of 22 December 1955, but decided to have a drink before. He met 79-year-old widow Mrs. Eunice Flora Gwynne of St. Peters by chance and drove her to an area behind the Port Adelaide rifle range. There he sexually assaulted and beat the woman, and finally pushed her into a tidal pool where she drowned. After that he went to work. Feast later told the police that he was not aware that he had killed the woman until he read about it in the newspapers. He fled to Melbourne, but was arrested there and was brought back to Adelaide to face a charge of murder. Feast claimed that he was "blind drunk" on the evening, but two foremen stated that neither Feast nor any of his fellow-workers were drunk on that evening. He was convicted at the Criminal Court and sentenced to death at the Supreme Court on 24 February 1956. Feast was hanged at Adelaide at 8 a.m. on 23 March 1956. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 119; Main, Hanged – Executions in Australia, p. 165-7; The Straits times, 8 April 1956, p. 15)

 

24 June 1958

Bailey, Ray John (age: 25 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder – victim: Thyra Bowman – committed on 5 December 1957 – sentenced on 24 May 1958

Hubert Bowman, his wife Thyra, his daughters Wendy and Marion, along with radio technician Thomas Whelan set off in a Vangard motor vehicle from Glen Helen Station on 3 December 1957. They spent a night at Alice Springs and then divided. Hubert Bowman flew with Marion to Adelaide, while Thyra Bowman, Wendy and Whelan continued their journey to Adelaide in the Vanguard. They were expected in Adelaide on 6 December, but when they didn't arrive at all, Bowman called the police. A search was launched, and on 13 December 1957, the bodies of the three missed persons were found dead in a patch of scrub miles from any road. They had been shot dead on 5 December. Police reconstructed the murders as an attempted robbery under arms that went wrong. Although Raymond Bailey tried to blur his footprints by tying hessian bags to his feet, he soon fell under suspicion because he had been seen in the area. After being arrested, it didn't take long before he broke down and confessed to the murders, telling the police he had shot Whelan by accident and then killed the women to cover up what he had done. Bailey was found guilty at the Criminal Court of the murder of Mrs. Bowman and was sentenced to death on 24 May 1958. He was hanged at Adelaide at 8 a.m. on 24 June 1958. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 120; Main, Hanged – Executions in Australia, p.)

 

18 June 1960

Thomas, Robert Jeremiah (age: 23 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Keith Mervyn Campbell Wedd – committed on ? – sentenced on 10 March 1960

Robert Jeremiah Thomas murdered Keith Mervyn Campbell Wedd, a 54-year-old taxi driver, in the summer of 1959, at Claremont. He was convicted and sentenced to death twice at the Perth Criminal Court, the second time on 10 March 1960. Thomas was hanged at Fremantle Gaol on 18 June 1960. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 54; The Singapore Free Press, Friday, 11 March 1960. p. 1)

 

6 June 1961

Fallows, Mervyn A. (age unknown / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Sandra D. Smith – committed on or before 29 December 1960 – sentenced on ?

Fallows raped 11-year-old Sandra D. Smith and tied a stocking around her neck and left her in the bush at North Beach. Her body was found on 29 December 1960. He had a long criminal record and was hanged at Fremantle prison at 8 a.m. on 6 June 1961 (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 54 / True Crime Library – Worldwide Hangings)

 

20 January 1964

Robinson, Brian William (age: 24 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: Noel Iles – committed on 9 February 1963 – sentenced on 29 May 1963

Brian William Robinson was convicted and sentenced to death at Perth Supreme Court on 29 May 1963 for the murder of Constable Iles at Belmont; it began with a domestic dispute in the home of George Robinson in Belmont, who rebuked his son for not having a job in a time of high employment. On the following day, 9 February, the two quarrelled over the possession of a gun, and the police was called. When Constable Iles arrived at the house Brian Robinson fired at him from the front room. Iles collapsed to the ground, but Robinson came out of the house and from point blank range fired a second shot, killing Iles. Robinson then ran down the road and stopped a car, and tried to get in. Andrew McDougall, a passenger in the back seat grappled with Robinson who shot McDougall in the head. He forced a taxi driver to take him with his car. At Gnangara Road, at a pine plantation, the taxi driver deliberately bogged his vehicle. When a light aircraft flew over the area, Robinson panicked and ran off into the bush. A manhunt was started, and Robinson was apprehended on the following day, after being shot in the stomach and in the arm. Robinson was hanged at Fremantle Gaol on 20 January 1964. (Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 55; True Crime Library – Worldwide Hangings; Western Australian Television History)

 

26 October 1964

Cooke, Eric Edgar (age: 33 / White) - Western Australia – Fremantle

murder – victim: John Lindsay Sturkey - committed on 27 January 1963 – sentenced on 27 November 1963

In the early hours of 27 January 1963 a series of random shootings with a .22 inch rifle occurred in the suburbs of Perth. The victims were a couple who were wounded in a parked car at Cottesloe, a male accountant, fatally wounded by a single shot to the head while asleep in a flat nearby, an 18-year-old student (John Stirkley or Sturkey), killed by a single bullet to the head while sleeping on the veranda of a boarding house at Nedlands, and a retired grocer who was similarly murdered when answering the bell of his front door in the next street. January's pattern and fears returned in August when an 18-year-old female student was killed by a single shot to the head while babysitting at Dalkeith. It was for this murder that Cooke was captured by police on 1 September when he attempted to retrieve the hidden weapon. In addition to the four mentioned above, Cooke was acknowledged by the state to be responsible for the murders of a South Perth beautician, stabbed on 30 January 1959, and of a female social worker, strangled in West Perth on 16 February 1963. Eric Edgar Cooke (born on 25 February 1931) was brought to trial at Perth on 25 November 1963 for the murder of Sturkey and found guilty. The death sentence was pronounced on 27 November. He was hanged at Fremantle prison on 26 October 1964. (Australian Dictionary of Biography; Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, p. 55)

 

24 November 1964

Valance, Glen Sabre (age: 23 / White) - South Australia – Adelaide

murder - victim: Richard David Strang – committed on 16 June 1964 – sentenced on 17 September 1964

In the early morning hours of 16 June 1964, Valance entered the home of his former employer, 37-year-old Richard David Strang, at Kooroon Station, near Senior in the south-east of South Australia. He shot him to death with a rifle while he was asleep with his wife at his side. Valance then raped Mrs. Suzanne Strang as she lay alongside her husband's dead body. Before entering the house, Valance had tied up three station hands so that he would not have any trouble getting to the bedroom. After he left, Mrs. Strang at once called the police. They stopped every car at a road block outside Murray Bridge and finally came across the car driven by Valance. He had a rifle on the front passenger seat, which later was proven to be the murder weapon. At his trial Valance told the court in an unsworn statement that he that he thought he was justified in shooting Strang. He complained about Strang exploiting him and claimed that Strang owed him wages. Strang was also responsible for Valance's car being repossessed. Finally, Valance was arrested on 11 June over the theft of a record player. After being released on bail, he thought of frightening Strang into dropping the charge and went to his home on the night of 16 June. Valance was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to death on 17 September 1964 and hanged at Adelaide at 8 a.m. on 24 November 1964. (Towler & Porter, The Hempen Collar, p. 121-3; Main, Hanged - Executions in Australia, p. 431-4)

 

3 February 1967

Ryan, Ronald Joseph (age: 41 / White) – Victoria - Pentridge gaol

murder – victim: George Henry Hodson – committed on 19 December 1965 – sentenced on 30 March 1966

Ronald Joseph Ryan (born 21 February 1925) was a professional criminal by 1959, leading a gang that broke into shops and factories. He was captured by the police in April 1960, and pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Court of General Sessions to eight charges of breaking and stealing. He was sentenced to eight and a half years imprisonment. After being released on parole in August 1963, he soon returned to crime and received an eight-year-sentence on 13 November 1964 for a series of factory-breakings and safe-blowings in Melbourne. Ryan and another prisoner, Peter John Walker, escaped from Pentridge gaol on 19 December 1965; during the break-out, he seized a rifle with which he shot dead prison officer George Henry Hodson. Four days later they robbed a bank at Ormond and Walker killed Arthur James Henderson, who had recognized Ryan, at Albert Park the next day. They were captured on 5 January 1966. On 30 March the jury convicted Walker of manslaughter, but Ryan was found guilty of the murder of Hodson and sentenced to death. Ryan was eventually hanged at 8 a.m. on 3 February 1967 in Pentridge gaol. He was the last person to be judicially executed in Australia. (Australian Dictionary of Biography; Dickins, Barry: "Guts and Pity – The Hanging that ended Capital Punishment in Australia")

 

Australia’s hanging prisons. (with special thanks to Nick Short for supply the information).

 

Victoria : Originally Melbourne was the sole place of execution but in the mid-19th century six regional gallows were installed, these being at Ararat, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Beechworth and Castlemaine. A large regional population, swelled by thousands of gold miners, made building regional prisons necessary.

 

Western Australia had eight hanging prisons, but with a tiny and scattered population.  They were at Albany, Perth Roundhouse, Perth, Rottnest (Aboriginal hangings only), Fremantle, Geraldton Gaol, Derby (Aboriginal only), Roebourne (Aboriginal only).

 

South Australia also had regional prisons, including the large Gladstone Gaol, but chose to hang only in Adelaide, apart from the three executions at Mount Gambier.

 

New South Wales had hanging prisons at Darlinghurst (now a college), Dubbo, Broken Hill, Grafton, Long Bay, Berrima, Bathurst, Tamworth, Maitland and Armidale.

 

Queensland’s hanging prisons were at Brisbane (Boggo Road), Maryborough, Rockhampton and Toowoomba. There may have been an earlier prison in Brisbane.

 

In the Northern Territory only Darwin Gaol carried out hangings, the rest being country hangings.

 

Tasmania : the only hanging prisons were Hobart (old gaol, now demolished, and afterwards the existing Penitentiary), Launceston and Oatlands.

 

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