ON THIS DAY – December 9, 1925

At the conclusion of the inquest today into tho death of Ernest Napoleon Williams electrician, who was allegedly shot dead in King-street, about midday on December 9, the City Coroner committed William Richard Wallace for trial on a charge of having murdered Williams. Bail was refused and the coroner refused to consider a submission by Wallace’s counsel that the committal, if any should be for manslaughter. Counsel said that since the case had been first reported it had transpired that Wallace had been attacked and had acted In self-defence It was alleged by the Crown witnesses that after a trifling argument in a cafe over the matter of smoking a clgarette, Williams and a friend had waited for Wallace outside the cafe and called on him to apologise. Wallace had threatened to shoot him and when Williams caught his arm, had kicked Williams in the groin. When Williams had again made an attempt to clutch his arm, Wallace had fired. One witness, who claimed to have witnessed the shooting, said that when Wallace kicked Williams several of the crowd had attacked him and that it was then that he had drawn his revolver and fired Detective West said that Wallace had made a statement that he had not meant to shoot Williams. The crowd, he said, had attacked him and he had fired to protect himself.


ON THIS DAY – December 9, 1911


An inquest on the body of Mrs, Lilian May Ellen Holditch, aged 24. who died n the Wimmera Hospital on December 9, disclosed evidence of an illegal operation. Mary Ann Parker, a married woman, was committed on a charge of wilful murder. Bail of £200 was allowed.

On this day …….. 9th of December 1938

An elephant escaped from a circus at Bentleigh on this night in 1938, and walked into the yard of Mr. and Mrs. Mall. The elephant made a great mess of the garden before mounting the front verandah and tried to turn around an electric light fitting. While It stood there Mr. and Mrs. Mall made “shoo” noises and tried unsuccessfully to raise the local police. The elephant walked off and entered Mr. F. E. Humphrey’s garden next door. There it was secured and was taken home.

ON THIS DAY – December 9, 1944


On a charge of having murdered Iris Lorna May Jeffreys, 19, of South Melbourne at Olinda, on December 9, Darrel Ainslee Sutton, 19. of Stockton, Newcastle (New South Wales) was remanded in the City Court today until December 18. The Police Prosecutor (Sub-. Inspector Ainsworth) said it was alleged that Sutton met Miss Jeffreys at St. Kilda, on November 28, and travelled with her to Ferntree Gully. Both slept in various places in the bush until December 9, when. following something Miss Jeffreys said, Sutton hit her with a stone and choked her to death.


On this day …….. 9th of December 1873

Daniel Lynch a labour working in Euroa had a turn while at work and was found to be suffering insanity. Lynch was taken to Beechworth by train and transferred to Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum on the 20th of August 1871, on admission it was not known where his family was. Lynch escaped on the 9th of December 1873. Lynch remained at large until the 14th of March 1881, when he found him self incarcerated in the Beechworth Gaol on miner charges. Lynch was transferred to the Asylum where he died on the 17th of August 1882.

On This Day – 8th December, 1910

At the inquest on Margaret Whiteside, who died on November 19 from burning, it was shown that she had lived with a man named Ernest Sims, and evidence was given by the son, Ernest Sims, a boy four years of age, who said the deceased was his mother, and that his daddy had set mamma on fire by throwing a lamp at her. Sims was found guilty of wilful murder.


On this day …….. 8th of December 1903

The residents of Snake Valley, in the Ballarat district, have been troubled, lately by a fowlyard thief, who is carrying on operations under the protecting influence of the flowing white robes of the traditional ghost. On this night in 1903 John Ryan endeavoured to recover a bird stolen from his yard, by pursuing the ghost with a stout stick. When the thief found his pursuer gaining upon him he drew a revolver and threatened to shoot if Ryan advanced. As the ghost apparently meant business, Ryan returned home

On This Day – December 8, 1924

The State Government has decided to offer a reward of £600 for the apprehension of Alexander Thomas, whom the Coroner declared guilty of the murder of Miss Bridget Enright at staghorn Flat, near Wodonga.


On this day …….. 8th of December 1932

Shortly after the arrival at the Melbourne Zoo of a pair of young chimpanzees, two keepers each received a smack in the eye. Another was pulled off a ladder, and a fourth attendant narrowly escaped a blow from a billet of wood. The director of the zoo (Mr. Wilkie) said that he was sure the new arrivals would shortly be “star” performers at the zoo. The newcomers rose with the dawn on this day in 1932, and immediately howled loudly for their breakfast. Mr. Wilkie heard the noise from his home, and hurried down with four raw eggs, two slices of bread and jam, two pieces of cake, several bananas, and two oranges.

ON THIS DAY – December 7, 1915

On December 7, at Yanac North, near Nhill, Annie Sophia Thiele, 26, wife of Edward Reinhold Thiele, locked herself in a room with her two children. Subsequently the door was burst open, and it was discovered that the children—a boy aged one year and nine months and an infant aged five months — had been killed with a knife. Mrs Thiele was lying wounded, and was found to be past help.

It was surmised that she took the lives of her two children and her own while temporarily insane. Mrs Thiele had been packing up, preparatory to journeying to Forrest, on a visit to friends. She had not been in good health recently.

An inquest was opened.


ON THIS DAY – December 7, 1972

A 54 year-old labourer appeared in the City Court today on two charges of murder and four of attempted murder. Mr Enver Yazxhi, of North Fitzroy, was charged with having murdered Diedy Elizabeth Lewis, 7, and Tracey Leanne Lewis, 4, on Tuesday. He was charged also with having attempted to murder Mr Noel Francis Turner 31, tram driver, Dianne Lee Lewis, 27, Serena Jane Turner- three weeks, and Brian Kevin Lewis, 4, of North Fitzroy on the same day. The bodies of Diedy and Tracey Lewis were found in their home after it had been badly damaged by fire on Tuesday. Mr Yazxhi made no plea and was remanded in custody to the City Court on December 7. Mr H. Sali, appearing for Mr Yazxhi, said he could not put any exceptional circumstances before the court to justify bail. “His condition is delicate and if he deteriorates I would ask for the right to have him brought back at any time”, he said. “I understand his specialist, whose care he is under, is at the moment making representations”. Mr Cuthill, SM, remanded Mr Yazxhi on the first charge of murder and adjourned the second charge to the same date. He adjourned the four other charges to a date to be fixed.

ON THIS DAY – December 7, 1936

The City Coroner Mr. Grant on Friday, committed Sylvester John Barrett labourer, for trial on a charge of having murdered William Herbert Irvine York, 26, tailor of St. Kilda. It was alleged at the inquest that during a street brawl at St. Kilda at midnight on December 7, York was struck on the head by Barrett and died from a fractured skull on December 9. Peggy Berry, a domestic, told the Court that on December 7 she saw Barrett, whom she had known for eight years, jump off a tram car and hit a man. Barrett then kicked the man three times In the head. When she got home Barrett was lying on her bed. He said. ‘We had some fun to-night. We knocked a man down.’ In a police statement read in Court, Barrett stated he had been attacked and acted in self defence. Barrett, who reserved his defence was committed for trial to the Supreme Court on February 17.