Murder of Sarah Leahy

ON THIS DAY – November 16, 1840 Thomas Leahy, cooper, at Portland Town, was then put to the bar, charged with the wilful murder of his wife Sarah Leahy, by having on the 16th of November last wounded her with a bayonet, thereby causing almost instant death.  John Horne, a native of China, sworn after […]

The Wangaratta Child Murder

ON THIS DAY – November 15, 1892 The Governor-in-Council, acting on the advice of the Cabinet, commuted the death sentence passed upon the young woman Mary Fitzgerald, by Mr. Justice Hood, to imprisonment for three years with hard labor. The prisoner was found guilty at the Benalla sessions of the murder of her newly-born child […]

Death for Murder of Sister

ON THIS DAY – July 19, 1948 John William McRae, 19, was sentenced to death in the Sale Supreme Court today for the murder of his sister, Hazel Mary McRae, Bairnsdale beauty queen, on July 19. The jury returned a verdict of guilty after a retirement lasting exactly an hour. Some of the large crowd, […]

Executions in Australia 1788-1967

Executions have been a part of Australian history since the beginning. The indigenous people had death sentences that were carried out under Aboriginal customary law. The first executions carried out under European law in Australia took place in Western Australia in 1629, when Dutch authorities hanged the mutineers of the Batavia. The first execution after […]

Murdering a Brother

ON THIS DAY – March 21, 1884 WILLIAM HAWTHORNE – BRIGHTON The trial of James Hawthorne, for the murder of his brother William Hawthorne, near Brighton, on March 21, was concluded in the Central Criminal Court, before the Chief Justice to day. His Honor, in charging the jury, said that at the outset he would […]

Death Sentence Imposed

ON THIS DAY …… 18th March 1943 Norman Morris Searle aged 25, of Burnley, was found guilty in the Criminal Court of the murder of Senior Constable Frederick Jones on this day in 1943. The jury made a strong recommendation for mercy. The Chief Justice, Sir Frederick Mann, pronounced the death sentence, and told the […]

A Wife Poisoner

ON THIS DAY – February 1, 1925 AGNES MARSHALL – COWWARR William Patrick Marshall, a contractor, of Cowwarr, Victoria, aged 26 years, was found guilty in the Criminal Court, of having, at Cowwarr, on February 1, caused strychnine to be administered to his wife, Agnes Marshall, with intent to murder her. He was also found […]

Father Kills Son by Arson

ON THIS DAY – January 5, 1902 At 11pm on the evening of 5th of January, 1902, Albert McNamara left his home and shop to deliver a letter. By the time he returned at 11.45pm, his home was on fire and his 4 1⁄2 year old son would be burnt and pronounced dead. Catherine McNamara […]

Murder of Sarah Leahy

ON THIS DAY – November 16, 1840 Thomas Leahy, cooper, at Portland Town, was then put to the bar, charged with the wilful murder of his wife Sarah Leahy, by having on the 16th of November last wounded her with a bayonet, thereby causing almost instant death.  John Horne, a native of China, sworn after […]

The Wangaratta Child Murder

ON THIS DAY – November 15, 1892 The Governor-in-Council, acting on the advice of the Cabinet, commuted the death sentence passed upon the young woman Mary Fitzgerald, by Mr. Justice Hood, to imprisonment for three years with hard labor. The prisoner was found guilty at the Benalla sessions of the murder of her newly-born child […]

Death for Murder of Sister

ON THIS DAY – July 19, 1948 John William McRae, 19, was sentenced to death in the Sale Supreme Court today for the murder of his sister, Hazel Mary McRae, Bairnsdale beauty queen, on July 19. The jury returned a verdict of guilty after a retirement lasting exactly an hour. Some of the large crowd, […]

Executions in Australia 1788-1967

Executions have been a part of Australian history since the beginning. The indigenous people had death sentences that were carried out under Aboriginal customary law. The first executions carried out under European law in Australia took place in Western Australia in 1629, when Dutch authorities hanged the mutineers of the Batavia. The first execution after […]