ON THIS DAY…… 29th September 1888

The Police Court building in Geelong was well crowded with an eager throng of people eager hear the occasion of the initial proceedings taken by the police against a young woman named Lizzie Splatt, who was charged with having murdered her illegitimate male child. It was stated that in September the dead body of a male child was found floating in a waterhole right opposite the house where the prisoner resided at East Geelong. The result of the police inquiries was that it had been ascertained that Miss Splatt, who now said that she had been married to a farm laborer named Peter Jennings a week since, had about eight mouths since gone to reside at Jennings’ house. According to the information of residents of East Geelong. Miss Splatt was two months ago to visit the Lying-in-Hospital in Melbourne, Miss Splatt returned to her house at East Geelong one night about nine o’clock with out any child, but she carried to the house a child’s cape and hat. She told the neighbours that she had been confined in the lying-in-hospital of a child, which died a few hours after its birth, but the police had evidence to show that Miss Splatt had a child In her arms when she arrived in Geelong. The authorities at the Lying-in- Hospital had informed the police that the young woman was confined with a male child in the institution. One of the women at the hospital told Constable Quilty that she saw the prisoner safely on board the steamer going to Geelong, and that she was then carrying a baby in her arms. A blanket and a flannel found on the body of the infant on the 10th September had been shown to the attendants at the hospital in Melbourne, and they identified the clothing as that given to a young woman who was going to Geelong with a child. The prisoner had admitted to the constable that she had been confined of a child, but said that it was a female. The prisoner, it would be proved, had been twice seen to walk round the water hole where the body of the child was discovered,and each time she had remained about the locality for about ten minutes. Mr Price said that the young woman had admitted that she had given birth to a child, but she had instructed him that it died before she left the hospital. He did not object to the remand, but asked that the prisoner should be admitted to bail. The young woman was married, and had to look after several children. The bench declined to allow the prisoner out on bail, and remanded the young woman to appear at the court, 4th October, to answer the charge of having murdered a male child.


On this day …….. 29th September 1853

Government Gazette this reward is offered for the apprehension of a prisoner of the Crown, who affected his escape from the Collingwood Stockade, on the morning of the 29th Sept. Personal description -Name, Thomas Quinn, ship to the Colony, Cadet, offence, robbery, age, twenty three years, height, five feet six inches, complexion, fresh, hair, dark brown, eyes, grey particular marks Mary Fanny, on his left arm, nine blue dots left thumb, star or cross above M right arm, date of conviction, 10th February 1853, sentence, seven years on the road’ Remarks – Married, wife and child in Melbourne opposite the Catholic Chapel.


On this day …….. 29th September 1940

On 29 September 1940, a mid-air collision occurred over Brocklesby, New South Wales, Australia. The accident was unusual in that the aircraft involved, two Avro Ansons of No. 2 Service Flying Training School RAAF, remained locked together after colliding, and then landed safely. The collision stopped the engines of the upper Anson, but those of the machine underneath continued to run, allowing the pair of aircraft to keep flying. Both navigators and the pilot of the lower Anson bailed out. The pilot of the upper Anson found that he was able to control the interlocked aircraft with his ailerons and flaps, and made an emergency landing in a nearby paddock. All four crewmen survived the incident, and the upper Anson was repaired and returned to flight service. The Ansons were at an altitude of 1,000 feet (300 metres) over the township of Brocklesby, near Albury, when they made a banking turn. Fuller lost sight of Hewson’s aircraft beneath him and the two Ansons collided amid what Fuller later described as a “grinding crash and a bang as roaring propellors struck each other and bit into the engine cowlings”. The aircraft remained jammed together, the lower Anson’s turret wedged into the other’s port wing root, and its fin and rudder balancing the upper Anson’s port tailplane. Both of the upper aircraft’s engines had been knocked out in the collision but those of the one below continued to turn at full power as the interlocked Ansons began to slowly circle. Fuller described the “freak combination” as “lumping along like a brick”. He nevertheless found that he was able to control the piggybacking pair of aircraft with his ailerons and flaps, and began searching for a place to land. The two navigators, Sinclair and Fraser, bailed out, followed soon after by the lower Anson’s pilot, Hewson, whose back had been injured when the spinning blades of the other aircraft sliced through his fuselage. Fuller travelled five miles (eight kilometres) after the collision, then successfully made an emergency pancake landing in a large paddock 6 kilometres (4 mi) south-west of Brocklesby. The locked aircraft slid 180 metres (200 yards) across the grass before coming to rest. As far as Fuller was concerned, the touchdown was better than any he had made when practising circuits and bumps at Forest Hill airfield the previous day. His acting commanding officer, Squadron Leader Cooper, declared the choice of improvised runway “perfect”, and the landing itself as a “wonderful effort”. The RAAF’s Inspector of Air Accidents, Group Captain Arthur “Spud” Murphy, flew straight to the scene from Air Force Headquarters in Melbourne, accompanied by his deputy Henry Winneke. Fuller told Murphy:

“Well, sir, I did everything we’ve been told to do in a forced landing—land as close as possible to habitation or a farmhouse and, if possible, land into the wind. I did all that. There’s the farmhouse, and I did a couple of circuits and landed into the wind. She was pretty heavy on the controls, though!”


On this day …….. 29th September 1920

The 7th Prime Minister of Australia Mr W. M.Hughes met with an accident, fortunately unattended by serious consequences, on this day in 1920. The Prime Minister was riding with a member of his staff in Centennial Park, Sydney. Setting his horse at a gallop, Mr Hughes left his companion behind. A few minutes afterwards he was seen to fall off his horse. It was found that one of the stirrup-irons had carried away. The Prime Minister was rendered unconscious for 3 minutes, but rapidly recovered, and motored back to the city. Where he sequently attended a complimentary luncheon at Paris House, and went through the day’s engagements. Beyond a slight abrasion on the bridge of the nose, Mr Hughes, who returned to Melbourne, showed no signs of his accident. His general demeanour for the rest of the day, however, was evidence of the fact that he had been considerably shaken.


ON THIS DAY…… 29th September 1906

The eccentric conduct of a Chinaman named Hey Soon, a month ago led lo his being sent to the Geelong gaol, and he became so much enamoured of that establishment that when his term of imprisonment expired on this day on 1906 he refused to leave. He would not even part with his prison clothes, and when an attempt was made to dispossess him of tho garments he became, so excited that it was not deemed advisable then to release him. He was formally charged with offensive behaviour at the police court, and remanded for one week.


On This Day – September 28, 1928

Inquest on Victim

The inquest into the death of Margaretta Williams, who was found dead with her throat cut at her brother’s  house at Wonthaggi on September 28, was commenced today.

William Watson Carr, English migrant, 24, who is charged with the murder, was present in custody.

The girl’s brother said that Carr was their neighbour in England, and had company with the girl for four years.

Elsie Williams said that Margaretta had told her that she had broken off her engagement with Carr because he would not work.

Witness said that Carr tried to get her out of the house by telling her that a neighbour wanted to see her. She left some time later to do some shopping. As she left the house she heard cries and ran back and saw Margaretta lying on the floor in a pool of blood.

On This Day – September 28, 1901

John Sloane charged with an attempt to murder Emma Mansfield at Horsham on September 28 by cutting her throat, was to-day committed for trial at the Ballarat Assizes.

Miss Mansfield, who fainted while giving evidence, said she never offended or encouraged accused in any way, and if it were said that he was her sweetheart it was not true.

Prisoner said that he had no recollection of the affair.

ON THIS DAY…… 28th September 1890

A terrible murder was committed on this day in 1890 in Golden Square, Sandhurst, the victim being Richard Whitford, a miner, aged 60, and the perpetrator his wife, Catherine, aged 55. On the previously Saturday night Whitford, who had been drinking heavily, went to bed in a drunken sleep. Mrs Whitford get an axe from the yard and struck him a heavy blow on the head, and then quietly lay down on a sofa. Some of the children coming in found their father lying bathed in blood. The alarm was given and the man was removed to the Hospital, where it was found that his skull had been split open. He lingered till the evening and then died. Mrs Whitford was arrested. She displayed signs of mental aberration, and after medical examination was committed to the lunatic ward of the Bendigo Hospital.


Twisted History is proud to be a part of the inaugural National Ghost Hunting Day taking place on October 1, 2016 in North America.

This is to be the World’s Largest simultaneous Ghost Hunt! At 10pm EDT (in Australia it is 1pm on Sunday October 2nd), paranormal investigation teams will investigate in a number of locations around the world with a shotgun start!!

Here in Victoria, Australia, Twisted History will have 2 locations in which you can take part!  Sutton’s House of Music in Ballarat and the Geelong Gaol in Geelong. This is non profit event with all proceeds being donated to local animal causes – Geelong Animal Welfare Society and Ballarat Wildlife Park.

A 2 hour investigation will take place at each location to which members  of the public can attend for a $10 donation.

To join us, give us a call on 1300865800 or email limelighttours@gmail.com


On this day …….. 28th September 1860

William Haynes, a prisoner of the Crown, was charged on this day with being Illegally at Large after having escaped from Collingwood Stockade.


ON THIS DAY…… 28th September 1904

Mary Bowman, the female swindler whose career in the Geelong district was short but lively, appeared at the police court before the police magistrate Mr. Patterson and Messrs. Pardey and Douglass, J’s.P. The prisoner, whose original name appears to be Mary Jean Sinclair, was charged with having, by false representations, obtained the sum of £1 from Mrs. Augustina Ran. of Germantown, and being a rogue and a vagabond. There were several other charges against her. and after a discussion with the P.M. as to the penalty she was liable to, it was decided by the police to rely on the one charge. The defendant, who presented a sullen attitude in the box, and would, not face the court, pleaded guilty. Augustina Ran gave evidence that she had a farm of four acres at Germantown. Accused came to her place on 19th September, and said she wanted to purchase a farm. Witness said the price was £325, and told her to do business with her son. Accused remained at the house that night and said she had a groat big station behind Colac, and gave her a cheque for £70 as part of the”purchase money. She said she had not enough money to pay a small account, and asked the witness for the loan of £1. promising to return two pounds for the one. “Witness said to her, “I don’t want two; I only want my own back.” Accused left next morning, and she did not get her pound back, and found the cheque valueless. Sergeant Hore, admitted that the accused, showing that she had been 17 years in gaol out, over the last 25 years in the country since she arrived from Glasgow. See was sent to Geelong Gaol.


On this day …….. 28th September 1973

The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, sits on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour. Designed by Danish architect Joern Utzon in 1955, it has become one of the most famous performing arts venues in the world. Utzon arrived in Sydney to oversee the project in 1957 and work commenced on the opera House in 1959. The building was completed in 1973, at a cost of $102 million, and formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 20 October 1973. The opening was celebrated with fireworks and a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Prior to this, however, Sergei Prokofiev’s ‘War and Peace’ was played at the Opera Theatre on 28 September 1973. The following day, the first public performance was held, with a programme performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Charles Mackerras and with accompanying singer Birgit Nilsson.