Execution of Deutschmann

ON THIS DAY – June 29, 1908 The fourteenth execution in the Ballarat Gaol took place at 10 o’clock this morning, when Charles Henry Deutschmann paid the supreme penalty for having murdered his wife. The crime took place at Dobie, a few miles from Ararat, on Saturday evening, April 11. Mrs. Deutschmann, who had been […]

Faces Gallows With A Smile

On This Day – June 22, 1936 Edward Cornelius (29), mechanic, to-day walked to the gallows with a smile on his face to be hanged for the murder of Rev. Harold Laceby Cecil. When the sheriff asked him if he had anything to say he shook his head and said, “No; I am all right.” […]

EXECUTION OF HOGAN – BEECHWORTH

EXECUTED ON THIS DAY……….. 9th of June 1879 The execution of Thomas Hogan, for the murder of his brother at Yarrawonga, took place at 9am, on this day in 1879. The prisoner, who had been spiritually attended since he was condemned, by Father O’Connor, was very calm, and walked on to the drop with a […]

Execution of Rohan Smith

ON THIS DAY – June 6, 1881 ROBERT ROHAN SMITH – BEECHWORTH GAOL The Yalca Murder – EXECUTION OF ROHAN.  THE ARGUS correspondent at Beechworth wired on Monday the following account of the execution of Robert Rohan for murder:—Robert Rohan, alias Smith, the murderer of John Shea, at Yalca, near Shepparton, on the 23rd January […]

Execution of the Convict Woodlock

ON THIS DAY – June 1, 1857 JAMES WOODLOCK – MELBOURNE GAOL This unhappy man underwent the extreme penalty of the law yesterday morning, at eight o’clock, in the Melbourne gaol. James Woodlock formerly kept the Rose, Shamrock, and Thistle public-house, in Elizabeth-street, but at the time of his commission of the crime which led […]

Execution of the Schoolgirl Strangler

ON THIS DAY – June 1, 1936 ARNOLD SODEMAN – PENTRIDGE GAOL Arnold Karl Sodeman 39 was hanged in the Pentridge Gaol this morning for the murder of June Rushmer, aged 6½ years, at Leongatha, on December last. Asked by the Sheriff whether he had anything to say, Sodeman replied: “Nothing, sir.” He walked to […]

EMILY MATHER’S SKULL

IT BECOMES A SURGICAL TROPHY Some curiosity has been expressed as to what would be the ultimate destination of the skull of the unfortunate Emily Mather, the victim of the Windsor murder. It will be remembered that it was an exhibit at the trial of Deeming, and now that it is not required further as […]

William Thoroughgood – MELBOURNE

EXECUTED THIS DAY…… 23rd May 1854 An execution which took place at Melbourne on the this day in 1854, was reported by the Argus newspaper:—”William Thoroughgood, convicted last criminal sessions of rape upon a child of tender years, was executed yesterday at the common gaol, at 8am. The convicted man was a Wesleyan Methodist, and […]

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 […]

The Last Executions in Australia

Executions in Australia were abolished by most of the states in the 1960s – 1980s, excepting Queensland who had abolished the death penalty in 1922. Queensland’ final execution was that of Ernest Austin on 22nd September 1913. Austin was executed for the rape and murder of 12 year old Ivy Mitchell near Sanford.  He was […]

Executions at Old Melbourne Gaol

During its operation, the gaol was the setting for 133 hangings. The most infamous was that of bushranger Ned Kelly at the age of 25, on 11 November 1880. After a two-day trial, Kelly was convicted of killing a police officer. As stated by law at the time, executed prisoners were buried (without head) in […]

Execution of Feeney – MELBOURNE

EXECUTED THIS DAY……. 14th May 1872 The execution of Edward Feeney for the murder of Charles Marks in the Treasury gardens on the 6th March last, took place in the morning at the Melbourne Gaol at the appointed hour of 10. The sheriff (Mr. W. Wright) was present, as were also the governor of the […]