Verdict of Murder

ON THIS DAY – October 29, 1893 MOONEE PONDS Moonee Ponds Shooting Case. VERDICT OF MURDER. The coroner’s inquest concerning the death of Caleb Bennett, an auctioneer, who was shot by Lieutenant William Henry Main in mistake for a burglar at Moonee Ponds on Sunday, October 29, was concluded yesterday. The jury found that deceased […]


ON THIS DAY….. 10th July 1926 When Bertha Elizabeth Ross (33) was charged, in the Criminal Court with having attempted to murder William Woods, builder and contractor, on July 10, Mr.. W, S. Sproule, for the Crown, suggested that there were two probable motives. In the first place they had been living on intimate terms […]

Murder at the Southern Cross Hotel

ON THIS DAY – June 19, 1894 The trial of Cecilia Anderson for the murder of John Fraser at the Southern Cross Hotel, Bourke-street, on 19th June, was held on Thursday at the Criminal Court, Melbourne, before the Chief Justice. Mr. Walsh, QC., stated the case for the Crown. He said that on Mrs. Anderson’s […]

A Melbourne Murder Charge

ON THIS DAY – 19 June 1921 MELBOURNE In the Criminal Court, Henry Slater was charged with the murder, of Peter Monaghan on June 19. Peter Monaghan, the father of the deceased, stated that on the night of the tragedy, some men came to his house in Campbell street. One of the men Carmody, held […]

Clerk Sentenced to Death for Murder of Girl

ON THIS DAY – June 19, 1954 FLEMINGTON Ronald Eugene Smith was sentenced to death in the Criminal Court for the murder of a six-year-old girl at Flemington on June 19. Smith, who sat motionless in the dock during the whole of the four-day trial, his head bowed so that only his black, wavy hair […]


ON THIS DAY – June 17, 1913 A tragic affair at the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum on June 17 when a patient was killed with an axe handle as the result of a sudden attack by another inmate culminated in the presentment of Arthur Dowell at the Criminal Court charged with the murder. John Joseph […]


ON THIS DAY – June 17, 1929 Charged with the manslaughter of John Brown, a labourer of Footscray, at Benalla on June 17 Ernest Walker of Footscray, a labourer, aged 34 years appeared before Mr Justice Wasley in the Criminal Court. Mr Book, Crown prosecutor, appeared for the Crown, and Walker was defended by Mr […]

A Detective charged with manslaughter – MELBOURNE

ON THIS DAY….. 28th May 1895 A charge of manslaughter against Detective John Roche was heard at the Criminal Court. Roche on this day in 1895, in company with Detective Brown, went into the shop of Ernest Arthur Gill, in Devonshire-street, Footscray and arrested him on a charge of receiving stolen property. Resistance was offered […]

Smiles Found Guilty Of Manslaughter – FOOTSCRAY

ON THIS DAY……. 24th May 1935 Found guilty in the Criminal Court of the manslaughter of his wife and child, Clifford Smiles, aged 31 formerly of West Footscray, was remanded for sentence. Smiles had been presented on two charges of murder. One concerning his wife Edna on May 24 and the other concerning his daughter […]

Child Starved to Death – MELBOURNE

ON THIS DAY……. 14th May 1907 At the Criminal Court Elizabeth Perry was charged with manslaughter. The evidence showed that on May 14 a male child about six weeks old died at Mrs. Perry’s house, she having adopted it for a small consideration. The medical evidence proved that the child had died from starvation, and […]

Seven Years Gaol for Manslaughter – WEST MELBOURNE

ON THIS DAY……. 14th May 1948 “You are lucky not to have been found guilty of a more serious charge,” Mr. Justice Gavan Duffy told Leo Vincent Kinsella (35), labourer, when he sentenced him In the Criminal Court to seven years’ hard labour after he bad been found guilty of manslaughter. A Jury found Kinsella […]

Death Sentence For Murder Of Crippled Wife

ON THIS DAY – April 30, 1950 NORTH MELBOURNE Five hours after retirement, a Criminal Court jury found James Raymond O’Keefe, 58, barrister, guilty of the murder of his crippled wife at their home in North Melbourne on this day in 1950. Mr. Justice Gavan Duffy sentenced O’Keefe to death. He said he would pass […]