12319797_219974051667064_1739151403_nMrs. Elizabeth Patrick, 59, of East Prarhan, was shot dead while coming out of Luna Park on the night of the 20th of October 1940 with her husband. A brawl was in progress nearby when a shot was fired, hitting Mrs. Patrick in the stomach. She was, dead when taken to hospital. The police were informed that an attendants from sideshows attempted to quell the disturbance. It is alleged that one of the attendants drew a pistol to frighten the brawlers, and that it exploded. A man has been detained. During the disturbance a man, who was standing nearby received a bullet wound in the hand, while a Luna Park attendant received a flesh wound in the leg.

imageThank you to the couple who joined Mrs Ashley on an Escapes tour this morning of the Geelong Gaol, hearing the tales of the men, women and children who managed to escape from the walls of the most intact 19th century prison! If you would like to join us on an Escape tour, please call 1300865800


Thank you to the group who joined me in the most dangerous street in the colony, Little Bourke street, hearing of murder, crime, drugs and prostitution. I do hope you enjoyed your journey to the darker side of history ~ Madam



imageMelbourne Zoo officials were startled on the 3rd of August 1932, when Queenie the elephant, who had been breakfasting peacefully, suddenly stamped and trumpeting loudly from her house. Quivering from head to foot, her trunk raised aloft, she presented a picture of absurd dismay. The cause of her hysteria was a small possum which had dropped from the beams of the elephant house on to her back.


A remarkable sea monster was caught in Port Fairy on this day 1902 by J. and .W. Evans and R. McWilliam three fishermen. It was 9 ft 8 in. in length, had a tail resembling that of a screw tailshaft, no teeth, a nose like a rhinoceros, a head like an elephant, two dorsal fins, four side fins, and two steering fins. Even fishermen of over 40 years’ experience could not determine the species. It was sent to the Melbourne Museum.

imageThe 11 feet dinghy in which Frederick Swan, 40, fisherman, Parkdale went fishing on this day in 1936, was found lying awash 41 miles off Parkdale shore with a jagged hole, three feet by two torn in its side by a shark. There was no trace of Swan, When the boat was brought ashore teeth from the upper and lower jaw of a shark were found embedded in the planking around the hole. It is surmised that Swan, who was fishing for snapper, was landing a fish when a shark followed it up, leaped from the water, and crashed into the boot snapping a large piece from the side. When the police were dragging for Swan’s body at midday at the spot where the dinghy was found, a shark more than 20 feet long appeared a short distance away.

12351712_10207402284837351_1734857684_oSUPPOSED WIFE MURDER.

With reference to the arrest of Robert Hawkins for the murder of his wife at Bealiba, near Maryborough, on December 6 (particulars of which were wired on Saturday), the police have also ascertained that the life of Mrs. Hawkins was insured for £500, of which one year’s premium had been paid. The post mortem showed that the theory of the accident was quite inconsistent with the appearance of the body. There was a gunshot wound on the thumb which the police suppose was caused by the deceased putting her hand over her face to shut out the sight of the weapon which was pointing at her. The two wounds were quite distinct, and both barrels must have been discharged separately at close quarters, apparently by someone who was taller than deceased, as both charges had a downward course.


12348707_219664928364643_415196546_nThe Wirth Bros., circus and menagerie, arrived in Dandenong on this day in 1917, for one night only, the claiming the huge menagerie being the best ever scene in Australasia. One of the major displays of the menagerie was 12 white polar bears, the largest group of polar bears in captivity at the time who would perform with 3 grizzly bears and 2 boarhounds! The performance included a comedy sketch known as the Teddy Bears picnic, Teddy Bear Clowns and Nurses, Teddy Bear globetrotters, Teddy Bear nurse taking a baby bear for a walk, amongst others. The polar bears were captured as cubs and brought up in the circus.

12348627_219662955031507_1473867569_nESCAPE FROM VEGETABLE GARDEN 1893

Robert Barclay Findlay escaped the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum on the 6th of December 1893 while working on the hospital veritable garden. Findlay headed north to the hills behind the asylum passing through the mining settlements where he was seen in the town of Stanley. Findlay was recaptured in Myrtleford on the 15th of December, still wearing his asylum uniform and taken back to the institution.


12335991_219661058365030_1964192791_nMurder behind Luna Park

John Joseph McCarthy aged 45, of Elwood, civil servant, died in hospital on the 6th of December 1938 from injuries received when, it is alleged, he was assaulted in a reserve behind Luna Park. Desmond Patrick Toole a salesman, of Elwood, who was released on bail after having been charged with assault, was rearrested and charged with murder

More sensations have occurred at the Geelong gaol on this day in 1901, and it is expected that the authorities will now hold a searching inquiry into the causes of the recent disturbances. A prisoner named Ramage ga

Percy Ramage

Percy Ramage

shed his throat, for which he received a time in irons. Another prisoner, named Godfrey, was stopped by a warder from wounding himself, and another prisoner, John Gambil was also brought before the visiting justices for a minor offence, and remanded, as he behaved like a lunatic.

imageThe youth Herbert Elliott, was committed for trial at the Ballarat court on the 8th of December 1903, for a serious offence under the Crimes Act, was brought down from Camperdown on this day in 1903, by Senior-constable Arthur, and admitted to the Geelong gaol, where he will remain pending his trial.