On this day …….. 27th of December 1902

The strange conduct of the young man Frank Dunnemann, who on the 27th December, at Fitzroy, shot at and wounded a young lady, formed the subject of his trial for attempted murder at the Supreme Court. It will be remembered that the young people met first in Broken Hill, where Miss Elkins was appearing with a variety company, and residing at an hotel kept by the accused mother. Then she went to Adelaide, and accused followed her. She came across to Melbourne in December, pursued still by her ardent lover. She tried to be cool with him, and finally refused to have anything to do with him. She confessed to having written letters couched in loving terms to the accused. One night, while she was returning to her home in Fitzroy, the accused met her in a quiet street, and in the course of an altercation a revolver he was carrying exploded, the bullet striking the young lady on the forehead. The young man was chased by a bystander, whom he shot at, and missed. Then he pointed the revolver at his own head, and, firing twice, inflicted two wounds in the forehead. He was found lying behind a bush, and subsequently near the same spot a letter, signed by the accused, was discovered. It was addressed to Miss Elkins’s mother, and bade ‘farewell to all.’ It was full of curiously misspelt words, and aimed at in forming the world of the accused’s love for ‘his Connie, without whom I cannot live, and so I want to make sure she is dead.’ For the defence it was stated that the accused, who is only 20 years old, was subject to fits, and had been hit on the head some years ago. The plea of impulsive insanity was accordingly put forth. The jury brought in a verdict of wounding with intent to murder, and Judge Hodges recorded a sentence of death, saying that he did not feel justified in passing it.