ON THIS DAY ………. 4th of May 1988

A disturbed man, who had previously escaped from a mental health facility, cooked and ate pieces of his victim and left body parts strewn in public places. David William Philip, then 32, stood trial in the Supreme Court in December 1989 charged with the murder of 42-year-old vagrant Kyung Eup Lee. The court heard Philip killed, cooked, and ate parts of Mr Lee in May 1988 after an argument over squatting in a disused South Melbourne factory. Philip stabbed Mr Lee in the stomach and cut his throat. He then severed the dead man’s genitals, and sliced flesh from his thighs before burning the body overnight, the court was told. Philip had cooked flesh from the man’s thigh in a wok and eaten it. He burned the body on a fire fuelled by rail sleepers. He later left Mr Lee’s penis in the foyer of the female toilets at Flinders St Railway Station, where a woman had found it. His scrotum was located by police on tram tracks in South Melbourne. New Zealand customs officials intercepted a letter written by Philip inside an Australia Post Postpak, in which he detailed aspects of the killing and bragged that he had “done in a Korean”. When they went to the South Melbourne warehouse they found bones, a pile of ash and weapons including a knife stained by blood and with human hairs still attached. The ash was piled up in front of an armchair. Philip had been seen driving Mr Lee’s car after the killing, and police later found his birth certificate inside it. In a video-taped record of interview Philip admitted he killed Lee after Lee tried to move into his home at a disused factory in Normanby Rd. Mr Lee, a Korean national, had been living in his 1980 Toyota station wagon in the months before his death. The day before his murder, he told an accommodation service he had found “a nice place to stay” in South Melbourne. The warehouse was popular with squatters, but had no running water or electricity. Supreme Court Justice O’Bryan told the jury “not to be angry at the horrifying aspects of the case”. Instead they must bring down a verdict which took into account evidence relating to Philip’s paranoid schizophrenia, he told them. Several months before the killing, Philip had escaped from a Parkville facility after being certified. It took the jury of 12 just 20 minutes to find Philip was insane during the attack and dismemberment, rending a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. Philip was ordered to be held in strict security at J Ward’s Aradale Hospital for the criminally insane until and unless deemed safe for release by government clinicians.

ON THIS DAY – May 4, 1938


A jury in the Criminal Court to day acquitted Thomas William Loe (40) a labourer, of a charge of murder, on the ground of temporary insanity. Mr. Justice MacFarlan ordered that Loe should be kept in custody during the Governor’s pleasure. Mrs. Emelia Jane Loe (32) was found dead at her home at Moroopna on May 4, with wounds in the side of her head and two pieces of cord tied around her throat. She was the mother of seven children. No statement was made by Loe, and no evidence was called on his behalf. Mr. Gorman, K.C.. told the jury that Loe had returned from the war invalided, and lived in poverty. He had no theories to put forward regarding what had happened, but he did not invite a verdict of insanity. He suggested that there were two alternatives for the jury to consider, manslaughter or acquittal.

ON THIS DAY – May 4, 1907


William Grace (20) on Saturday night week rushed to protect a woman, who screamed that a man was assaulting her. Grace struck the woman’s assailant, Arthur Hayes (20), killing him. Grace was yesterday committed for trial by the coroner on a charge of wilful murder. The evidence at the inquest did not bring out any additional details of importance. Two witnesses said that Grace was drunk at the time. It appeared he knew the woman assailed, Mrs. Norah Inell (living apart from her husband) well enough to address her by her Christian name. He also knew Hayes, but did not recognise him at the time he struck him. He heard Inell call for assistance, and he hit the man on the eye, the blow, according to the post-mortem, causing extravasation of blood on the surface of the brain. The coroner said that even if Grace’s own account were accepted, he was guilty of manslaughter, and the jury might consider him guilty of murder.

On This Day ……. 4th May 1955

Joseph Stanley Bundy, labourer, served two years and seven months’ imprisonment, pleaded guilty in Geelong City Court on this day in 1955 to a charge of having at Geelong on June 24, 1954, driven a car while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. He was fined £25, in default imprisonment for six weeks in a Geelong Gaol, and had his licence suspended for two years.



John Kelly was convicted at the last Circuit Court holden at Beechworth, of having, on the 26th November last, at Wangaratta, committed an unnatural offence on a male child aged only eighteen months. From the time of his conviction, Kelly has been assiduously attended by the Rev. W. Tierney CC. The unhappy man was quiet in his demeanour, and apparently attentive to the Rev. father’s teachings, yet it was evident his mind was dwelling on one idea —the hope of his life being spared. It was consequently impossible to bring him to the state feeling his position so imperatively demanded, and the good clergyman’s efforts were continually interrupted by Kelly’s appeals to him to get up a petition to save his life. The day after he was sentenced Kelly obtained permission to make a statement to the Executive Council. This was taken down to his dictation by a fellow prisoner. It contained simply protestations of innocence, without a title of argument in their support, consistent with the sworn evidence given against him, which left not a shadow of doubt of his guilt on the minds of those present at the trial. The poor wretch, however, clung to the idea that his statement would be favourably received and his life spared in consequence. While undergoing cumulative sentences of six years at Pentridge, for robbery and larceny, of which offences he was convicted at Kyneton, under the name of Edward Ryan, he went to the assistance of an overseer of labour named Williams, who was attacked by a prisoner; for this service Kelly was rewarded with a remission of twelve month of his sentence. The prisoners in the gaol, who were at Pentridge at the time this occurred, declared the attack was planned by Kelly himself, and that he egged on a man, who was punished through the officer, to strike him, being determined all the while craftily to “sell” his mate and bring himself under the favourable notice of the authorities. The prisoners at the time openly accused Kelly of his treachery, and one of them knocked him down with a pick handle in the quarry in which they were employed. Whether Kelly was or was not honest in the assistance he gave the overseer Williams, he at any rate had much confidence in that officer’s gratitude, and hoped much from a letter he was allowed to send him, imploring him to use his influence in obtaining a remission of his sentence. The governor of the gaol endeavoured to reason with Kelly on the folly of putting trust in Williams being able to save his life, however willing that officer might be to do him justice. Argument was, however, useless; the unhappy wretch still clung to the belief that his miserable existence would be spared. Imprisonment for life had no terrors for him compared with the punishment of death. On Friday, 26th April, Kelly was aroused, and, we conceive, felt for the first time that he was condemned. The sheriff, with the governor of the gaol, on that day proceeded to his cell, and solemnly assured him his dread sentence would be carried into effect on the morning of Saturday, 4th May, at 9 o’clock. With blanched face, and the chains clanking from the trembling of his limbs, Kelly received the intelligence of his doom, and, after a pause, asked in a low voice and with a stupefied manner, if it was to be next Saturday. The sheriff replied, “Not till the Saturday after.” The sheriff moved to leave the cell, saying, “Anything we can do for you Kelly, consistent with duty shall be done.” The prisoner, turning to the governor of the gaol, said in a hoarse and broken tone of voice, “I want to know about that letter to Mr Wiiliams.” Mr Castieau replied, “It was sent to him, Kelly, but do not rely upon its being of the slightest service to you; it will not, or cannot do you any good; cease to think of anything that belongs to this world.” The sheriff said a few words to the same effect. Kelly, nodding his head up and down as one bewildered, muttered, “I will, I will; send for Father Tierney.” It was promised a note should at once be forwarded to the reverend gentleman, and the unhappy felon was left with the prisoner appointed to remain with and read to him. Several days passed without much change in Kelly; he gave no trouble, and, with the exception of asking to be allowed a little tea and butter, made no request. Among the prisoners in the gaol is one we will call “Tom,” undergoing sentence for robbery. This man had known Kelly in Tasmania, where he (Tom) was soldiering, and Kelly working in a prison gang. Tom professed much sympathy with the condemned prisoner, and asked permission to see him. The authorities agreed to allow him an interview if Kelly desired it, and as he made no objection the two met. They had very little, however, to say to each other beyond “Sorry to see you like this Jack,” and “How are you, Tom?” Soon they shook hands and separated. Tom, do doubt, felt very much for Jack, yet patriotism was stronger than friendship; and when called upon he readily agreed to act as hangman, and it was he who on Saturday pinioned the doomed man, adjusted the noose, and pulled the fatal bolt. Father Tierney had most zealously continued his endeavours to prepare Kelly for his fate, and at length a wonderful change came ever him. He threw off his gloomy looks, became cheerful, and regained the colour of his cheeks. To a turnkey on duty in the yard in which he was taking exercise three or four days before the time fixed for his execution, he said, “I have done many things for which I know I deserved death, and I am prepared to meet my fate.” Then he detailed an incident in his life in which he was in imminent peril of being drowned. “Had I then died,” said Kelly, “I should have gone to hell. My being brought here has saved my life, and I am thankful.” Kelly declined to make any statement or to acknowledge his guilt, stating he did not wish to say anything, he had said all to the priest. A turnkey remained with Kelly and his prisoner companion the whole night of Friday last—the night previous to the execution. Kelly appeared resigned and cheerful. About three o’clock in the morning he went to bed, and slept soundly till half-past six o’clock. His irons were then removed, and soon after Father Tierney arrived and remained till the sentence was carried out. At nine o’clock the sheriff proceeded to the condemned cell and demanded of the governor of the gaol the body of John Kelly. The signal for the executioner was given. He at once appeared, and without delay pinioned the prisoner, who was very pale and dull-looking, seeming scarcely to fully understand what was going on, but yet looking up with a swift enquiring glance at the entrance of each of the few persons whose duty brought them to the condemned cell. But whether or not some last forlorn hope caused these sudden looks, they were as quickly bent upon the floor again as he quietly submitted to his fate. Mr Castieau then said, “Do you wish to say anything, Kelly?” He replied, “No, except Lord have mercy on my soul.” It is but a few steps from the cell to the gallows, to which the executioner now conducted Kelly—who walked without assistance— and placed him on the drop. Father Tierney, praying aloud, was immediately behind the prisoner, sustaining him to the last with religious comfort. The rope was soon adjusted, a white cap drawn over the felon’s face, and then the bolt was drawn. The body fell at least four feet below the trap, and stopped with a fearful jerk. Death was instantaneous, not a muscle in the body being seen to move. From fifty to sixty persons were present, and although there was not the slightest levity among them there was —no doubt on account of the horrible nature of the offence—not a shadow of sympathy evinced for the victim in any way. The mail that arrived at midday on Saturday brought, we understand, a letter addressed to Kelly from Mr Williams, of Pentridge, in which he stated that he had done what he could for Kelly through the head of his department, but unfortunately without effect. In bidding him adieu, the officer again thanked the prisoner for the information, which had, he said, most probably saved his life.



The execution of Joseph Brown, who at the last Criminal sitting of the Supreme Court was sentenced to death for the murder of Emanuel Jacobs on March 22, at the Whittington Tavern Bourke-street, took place at the Melbourne gaol, in presence of about twenty spectators. At an early hour the prisoner was removed from the cell which he had been occupying since sentence was passed to one adjoining the new drop, and he was attended by the gaol chaplain up to the moment of execution. At ten o’clock the deputy-sheriff (Mr. L. Ellis), accompanied by the governor of the gaol, entered the cell of the prisoner, and informed him that the hour had come. He stepped outside on to the gallery, where he was pinioned by the hangman. After he had taken his place upon the drop, and the rope had been adjusted, he asked if he might speak a few words, and being answered in the affirmative, he offered a prayer that he might be strengthened in what he had to pass through. Then addressing the persons present as “good people,” he declared that he was as guilty as ever a man was, but in so far as intention to kill the man was concerned, be was as innocent as a child unborn. He had no recollection whatever of the act, and could not think how he came to bare the knife in his hand. He was in the habit of smoking, and supposed that be had been cutting tobacco. After alluding to the statement of one of the witnesses, who at the inquest had said that he (prisoner) was not drunk at the time, a statement which he said was untrue, he hoped that he would be forgiven for what he had said. He complained that he had been represented to have had something to do with the robbery about which the quarrel arose. He had had nothing at all to do with it, although he was standing at the door, and saw what passed. The landlord saw it as well as he did, and would have told the troth about it, had he not been afraid of losing his licence. The prisoner’s manner was marked by great trepidation; he trembled very much, and at times his remarks became confused and almost inaudible. At the conclusion of his observations the chaplain repeated the burial service aloud. The bolt was immediately drawn by the executioner, and death took place instantaneously, scarcely even the slightest spasmodic action being visible after the drop fell. The body was allowed to hang for the usual time, after which the inquest was held, and the ordinary formal verdict retained. The prisoner was described in the gaol books as aged forty-three years. Ha arrived in this colony in 1842. He was a native of England and his calling was that of labourer.

On this day …….. 4th May 1878

On this day in 1878, Henry Audin attached a locally made telephone to the telegraph wire and sent a message across the border (Murray River) to Wahgunyah through Chiltern and Wodonga to arrive in Albury in the blink of an eye.  The listener at the other end of the phone heard the word …………. Cooeeee. This was the second interstate phone to ever be made. The first inter state phone call to be made was done three months earlier by Mr. McGuaran manager of the Albury telegraph office to Mr Cheyne of the Wodonga telegraph office.

On this day …….. 4th May 1972

A runaway circus elephant charged a truck and tore up fencing in a four-hour chase across farms and along back roads in the Adelaide hills today. The elephant, Gi Gi, from the German National Circus, eventually surrendered quietly when her mother, Abu, and sister, Kinder, were led to her side. An earlier attempt to lure the runaway with the two other elephants failed when blasting at a pyrites mine sent Gi Gi running across the countryside again. Mr Merv Ashton, of Ashtons Circus, which was carrying Gi Gi for the National Circus, said Gi Gi had got out of a safety chain and had jumped from the back of a slowly-moving truck. Gi Gi, a 14-year-old Indian elephant, weighs three tons. Mr Ashton said she could run at between 30 and 40mph.

On This Day ……. 4th May 1914

Mr. Finnis, who was transferred to charge of the Geelong Gaol, was entertained at a farewell gathering by 60 of his friends and colleges from the Beechworth Gaol, and was presented him with a Tantalus stand, and Mrs Finnis with silver rose bowl.

ON THIS DAY – May 3, 1942



40 year old Ivy Violet McLeod, was found strangled in Victoria Avenue, Albert Park in Melbourne on 3 May 1942. She was partly naked and had been badly beaten by her attacker. An American soldier had been seen in the area just before her body was discovered. Robbery did not appear to be the motive for the crime as her purse still contained about one Pound’s worth of small change.

ON THIS DAY – May 3, 1946


In the city hotel room from which a man disappeared on May 3 was a book by Ellery Queen, a murder suicide mystery, which he had apparently been reading. A few days later clothing was found on the end of Frankston pier. The name of John Wilson was on an envelope in a coat pocket. Description of the missing man is: 5ft 8in, blue eyes, dark hair, sallow complexion. He is a diabetic, and may be suffering from loss of memory. Russell st police are seeking information.

ON THIS DAY – May 3, 1910


Melanie Dean, whose throat was cut on May 3 by John Tunks, died yesterday in the Melbourne Hospital. Tunks and Mrs Dean had been living together, and in a fit of jealousy or temper he cut her throat at the Sir Walter Scott Hotel, in Elizabeth street, and then committed suicide by cutting his own. The body was removed to the Morgue