Murder of Kate Beazley

MURDERED ON THIS DAY ………. 13th October 1904

A shocking murder was committed at 1.30am on the 13th of October 1904 in Lydiard street, Ballarat, near the Mining Exchange, The victim was Miss Kate Beazley, a resident of Daylesford. It appears that the young woman was being maintained at an hotel in Lydiard by James Rowan, a young man. At about 1 o’clock in the morning the pair had a quarrel, in the course’ of which Rowan made an attack on the woman, who ran across the street, hoping either to get out of his way or to find protection. Rowan followed her, carrying in his hand an axe. Finding that every place was closed, and that no person was at hand to whom she could appeal for protection, Miss Beazley, sought refuge in a doorway, where, it is alleged, Rowan attacked her with an axe, smashing in her skull. Death was, of course, instantaneous. The cries of the woman attracted the attention of Constables Deverall and Cherry, and on proceeding to the doorway they found Miss Beazley lying dead in a pool of blood. Subsequently Rowan, who is 25 years of age, made off, but he was captured in a semi nude condition. He asked if Miss Beazley, was dead and on being answered in the affirmative cried bitterly. Rowan was arrested and lodged in the city lockup. He made no statement. The body of Miss Beazley was conveyed to the morgue.