ON THIS DAY – December 30, 1877

A most horrible murder happened in Sandhurst on this day in 1877, by a man named James Windrum, in High-street. The victim was Maud Crutchly, aged 25. It appeared that the woman was married, but at times cohabiting with Windrum and his daughter when her husband was away from home. On this day in question Windrum went to the woman’s house. On finding his daughter there he sent her to buy beer, which he and the woman drank. When the girl returned he sent her home. It was believed by police that Windrum was become jealous of the woman’s living arrangements, and during an argument struck her on the head with an axe, and she, in trying to save her head, had her fingers cut off. The axe, however, inflicted so severe a wound that she died in two hours after being admitted into the Bendigo Hospital. The men, on being arrested, presented a frightful spectacle, his clothes being covered with blood. He did not deny his guilt, but said that he committed the deed. Windrum had been drinking heavily.