On This Day – July 23, 1950

Allegations that Raymond Murray Baillie, 43, military pensioner, killed his wife and wounded his two sons with a rifle on July 23 last were made in the Criminal Court yesterday.

Baillie, of Nicholson-street, North Fitzroy, pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife, Laurel, Frances Baillie. Outlining the case for the Crown before the Chief Justice (Sir Edmund Herring) and a jury, Mr. F. Nelson said Baillie had determined to resolve his domestic difficulties by ending the lives of his wife and sons, and then, ending his own life.  This determination was not fulfilled, because he was disarmed by his sons.  Mr. Nelson said there had apparently been domestic difficulties between Baillie and his wife and sons, aged 17 and 20 years, for some time before July 23. On the night in question the mother and sons decided to leave him and were packing suitcases, when Baillie got a rifle and shot his wife in their bedroom. He levelled the rifle at his two sons, one of whom was shot in the shoulder, and the other in the chest.

“We’re Leaving”

In a statement alleged to have been made to the police, Mr. Nelson said Baillie said his sons and wife started to abuse him, and his wife said to the boys; “Come on. Pack up, boys; we’re leaving.” In the alleged statement Baillie said he picked up a loaded rifle. He did not take aim, but pulled the trigger and the gun went off. He said his wife fell on the floor, and he went out to shoot himself. He realised the boys were going to attack him, so he fired three or four shots. The boys took the rifle from him and prevented him from carrying out his intention to shoot himself. Vance Baillie, who was wounded in the shoulder, said he was wakened by an argument between his mother and father, and went to his father’s bedroom after the argument quietened. He said his mother pushed his father through a window. After some discussion with his mother and brother they decided to pack and leave the home. Shortly afterwards he heard a shot and a groan. He and his brother rushed along the passage. There was a shot, and his brother fell.

Hit in Shoulder

Vance Baillie said he jumped for the kitchen door, and a shot hit him in the shoulder. Cross-examined by Mr. R. V. Monahan, K.C., for the father, Vance Baillie said, as far as he could remember, he had only “belted” his father once. About 18 months ago, he said, he got a Judo hold on his father and tossed him over his head on to a brick wall. The incident had followed a fight between his father and grandfather. He agreed with Mr. Monahan that at one time he had said he would kill his father. The hearing will be continued today.Mr. Mr. F. Nelson appeared for the Crown. . Mr. R. V. Monahan. K.C.. with Mr. J. P. Moloney (Instructed Dy Mr. R. Dunn), appeared for Baillie.