John Stacey, was charged with the murder of a child named Daniel McDonnell, at Emerald Hill, (South Melbourne) on the 28th of February 1865. Stacey was sentenced to be executed at the old Melbourne Gaol.



On this day ………… 28th February 1932

“Myrtleford, in the Mount Buffalo district of North East Victoria, has a mysterious animal, which stands like a human being, and is described as being 7ft high, with a large round hairy head, carrying four tusks. Search parties tried to capture the creature, but an all-night search failed to locate it. That the animal does exist and that it is savage is vouched for by Mr. William Nutall of Myrtleford. “He was returning home from Brighton with his sister and a companion, when, nearing Europa railway station, he alighted from his horse to adjust the saddle gear, the others riding on. Suddenly, he said, he was attacked by the strange animal. It snarled at him and charged, tearing his shirt to ribbons.” While the startled rider’s horse managed to break free, poor Nutall was chased onto the railway line. Luckily, for Nutall, the animal was prevented from continuing the pursuit by a wire fence, through which the terrified man made good his escape.



On this day ………… 28th February 1928

A strange mirage was witnessed by citizens of Cairns, Queensland, on this day in 1928. Shortly after 5pm, onlookers were amazed to see an astonishing image on the horizon. A blue range of hills clearly visible. The wonderful mirage was so vivid that eyewitness commented that it looked as if an island had suddenly sprung out of the ocean.



On this day ………… 28th February 1790

John Irving, was born around 1760. He came to the penal colony of New South Wales with the First Fleet in 1788, after being sentenced in 1784 to seven years for stealing a silver cup. Irving proved an able surgeon’s assistant, both on the voyage to New South Wales, and once the settlement was established. His hard work and “unremitting good conduct and meritorious behaviour” earned him an early reprieve from his sentence. Governor Phillip signed his Warrant of Emancipation on 28 February 1790, making Irving the first convict to be freed. He accompanied surgeon Dennis Considen to Norfolk Island, where he remained as surgeon’s assistant for over a year before returning to Port Jackson in May 1791. He was then awarded 30 acres of land at Parramatta.


On this day ………… 28th February 1871

A shocking accident involving Mr. Hoyle, the coach driver, who died as the result of his injuries. At 4am on the morning of the 28th, the coach was preparing to star from Baddaginnie, North East Victoria, when the horses suddenly took fright and bolted. The driver Tommy Hoyle, in his effort to rein in the team, was dislodge from the box and was crushed under the wheels of the coach. Four passengers where thrown out in the accident, none were seriously injured. His funeral in Beechworth was well attended. The accident caused renewed agitation for the fitting to coaches of a safety bolt which could be withdrawn by the driver in an emergency, allowing the horses to become detached from the body of the coach so that it could be brought safety to a stop under brakes.



On this day ………… 28th February 1921

A sensational escape from custody occurred on this day in 1921. James Davis, committed for trial at Devonport, Tasmaina on the previous day on several charges or robbery, was being escorted to Launceston by train, with three prisoners. “When the train was passing the Launceston cricket ground, Davis took a header through an open window. The train was travelling at about 20 miles an hour, but, fortunately for himself, he landed on soft ground. After turning the bend, the train was pulled up, but when one of the escorting constables ran back, Davis was nowhere to be found.



On This Day – 27th February 1890

A warder who was in charge of five convicts, left the gaol on the 27th of February 1890, to escort the prisoners to the Botanical Gardens, where they were to work. When it became time to leave, the warden noticed that he was missing a prisoner. He decided that he would take the four remaining prisoners back to the gaol, he would then come return to the gardens and look for the escapee. The warden knowing that he was going to lose his job, for losing a prisoner, was worried. As they were leaving the missing prisoner run up to the group in a state of breathlessness, exclaiming ” I was awfully afraid 1 was left behind. I went to sleep behind a tree, and thought I would have awoke in time. So glad I caught you. Mother prisoner were taken back to the gaol.




Former South Australian horse trainer Les Samba was shot dead in what appears to be a targeted attack, on this day in 2011. The 60-year-old was shot about 9.40pm on Beaconsfield Parade, in the suburb of Middle Park, after an argument with another man. Detective Inspector John Potter from the Homicide Squad says police believed Mr Samba had parked and locked his car, a 2010 silver Hyundai sedan, and set off to attend a meeting. He was seen running down Beaconsfield Parade near his car as he was shot several times in the body and head. Mr Samba was in Melbourne for the thoroughbred yearling sales. While he trained many winners, Samba, who lived in Sydney, also enjoyed much success as an owner. He raced Gorky Park, which won the Geelong Classic and ran second behind Efficient in the 2006 Victoria Derby.



ON THIS DAY – February 27, 1932

Reginald Barker aged 17, a prisoner at the Pentridge Gaol, at Coburg, Melbourne, attempted to escape on the 27th of February 1932. During his attempt Barker wounded Warder Dowd and himself was shot dead. After hearing the evidence the coroner recorded a finding of justifiable homicide. Warder Dowd, who was shot in the stomach by Barker, remained in hospital for another three months.



ON THIS DAY – February 27, 1927

Robert Brown, barman of the Wayside Inn, South Melbourne, was committed for trial at the Criminal Court on a charge of murder following an inquest into the death of Stanley Brockenshire, aged 47 years, of Cliff-street, Essendon, in the Melbourne Hospital, on this day in February 1927. Evidence was given that Brown attacked Brockenshire without any provocation and punched him until he fell, striking his head heavily on the pavement. Previously Brown had been charged with manslaughter.



On this day ………… 27th February 1996

Swedish backpacker Magnus Carlstedt received a rude awakening on this day in 1996 when a cockroach crawled into his ear and refused to move. When Carlstedt’s attempts to remove the insect failed, the 19 year old was forced to call an ambulance to the Jolly Swagman Youth Hostel in Sydney’s King Cross. Ambulance officers reached into his ear and pulled out a four centimetre long cockroach. It was moving nearly all the time, that was the scary thing, Carlstedt told channel 10 TV news. ‘When he moved, I could hear everything’.



On this day ………… 27th February 1891

On the 27th of February 1891, the South Australian Register reported on the death in gaol of the Reverend Dr Keating. It appears he knew beforehand that he would soon die in gaol. The Rev. Dr. Oswald Keating, who was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for assault on a little girl, died in Darlinghurst Gaol, from cerebral apoplexy. After sentence had been passed upon him he asked to be allowed to see his wife for a few moments, and was permitted to have a short interview. During the conversation, Mrs. Keating displayed considerable emotion, and her husband enjoined her to be calm, as it was probably the last opportunity she would have of seeing him. From the time he entered the gaol he seemed to be convinced that he would not live long, and just before he was seized with the fit, which ended in his death, he wrote an affectionate farewell letter to his wife.