ON THIS DAY – December 26, 1900

William Robert Jones, was charged with the murder of Olive Rita Lilian Jones, at Broadford, on December 26. The victim was a little child eight years of age, and although bearing the same name as the accused was not related to him. When asked to plead, the prisoner, who is apparently under 40 years of age, said – in a firm, clear voice, “I am not guilty, sir.” The little girl left the house of her grandmother, at Broadford, where she was staying and went down the street to buy lollies and apricots. She was seen between half past 12 and 1 o’clock in the neighbourhood of Doherty’s butcher’s shop, which was half-way between her grandmother’s house and the shop at which she made her purchases. It was the last time she was seen alive. Two days afterwards her charred remains were discovered in a fowl house at the back of Doherty’s butchering establishment, where the accused was employed as a butcher’s assistant. On examination, it was ascertained that the cause of the child’s death was suffocation, and that prior to death she had been assaulted. Evidence was given that the accused was seen about Doherty’s shop on the morning in question. After the summing up the jury, at their own request, were taken to inspect the scene of the crime at Broadford. On returning to the court, the jury brought in a verdict of guilty, and Jones was sentenced to death. He listened apparently unmoved, merely remarking, “I am innocent.”

 

ON THIS DAY – December 26, 1969

Helmut Masin aged 25, of Dee Why, NSW, appeared in the Melbourne City Court charged with the murder of a 14 year-old schoolgirl, Ella Rosvoll, of Mt Waverley. The court was told that Masin shot the girl on December 26 on the Murray Valley Highway, near Wodonga.

 

On This Day …… December 26, 1949

Rupert Francis Asquith 42 years of age escaped on Boxing Day from Beechworth Mental Hospital. Squads of police, armed with revolvers combing dense undergrowth near the Beechworth Mental Hospital, for Asquith, and another patient called John Greenwood who at first were believed to be hiding in the bush within five miles of the town. Police immediately threw a cordon around the district for the men. They were warned that the men were dangerous and could become violent. On the 28th of December 1949 at Eldorado, 15 miles from Wangaratta, Asquith was court. He had travelled about 40 miles by foot. A resident of Eldorado saw Asquith about 4am, and then again the following morning. Asquith had tried to enter the house looking for food and clothing. The police brought him back to the hospital.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 26th December 1903

Mr. M. J. Cody on this day in 1903, attended the Geelong gaol and instructed the officials as to details of the Galton system of identification by finger prints, and arrangements have been made for it to come into use in the Victorian gaols on and after 1st of January 1904.

 

On this day …….. 26th of December 1916

A single man named David Skelly, 26 years, of Albion street, Brunswick, caught one of his feet in the cog wheel of an aeroplane ride at Luna Park on this day in 1916. He was conveyed to the Alfred Hospital, where two of his toes were amputated.

 

On this day …….. 26th of December 1951

A young man has been charged with breaking into Pentridge gaol. The man was discovered about midday on the 26th of December 1951, in a building In the reformatory section of the gaol. He told warders he was familiar with the layout of the building, because he had recently served a long term there. Early this morning he had climbed over a 20 foot wall surrounding the gaol, and spent the morning distributing Christmas gifts of tobacco and cigarettes to his friends.

 

ON THIS DAY – December 25, 1930

Joseph Alexander Isaac Smith, aged 40 years, carrier, of Inglewood, was charged at the Bendigo Court with having, at Marong on Christmas Day, murdered Edward James McLeod, aged 68 years, a prospector, of Echuca. In asking for a remand, Senior Plain clothes Constable McMillan said that on Christmas morning McLeod was knocked down by a motor-truck and killed. The driver of the truck did not stop. Smith was remanded until January 23, bail being allowed in his own surety of £500 and two other sureties of £250 each.

 

ON THIS DAY – December 25, 1893

On Christmas Day 1893, an unknown male child was found wrapped in brown paper in Park Street, Brunswick. The coroner found that the child had been murdered by a person unknown.

 

ON THIS DAY – December 25, 1994

PHILLIP ISLAND

Alfred Alexander Hunt, 60, of Cape Woolamai, on Phillip Island, was charged in Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday with the stabbing murder of his son on Christmas night. He was remanded in custody to appear there again on January 10. Police found the body of Shane Hunt, 29, about 10pm on Christmas Day at his father’s home.

ON THIS DAY – December 25, 1975

Geoffrey Leonard Hooper aged 26, was charged with having murdered Mrs Wendy Elizabeth Spicer aged 19, of West Footscray, who was stabbed in the back while waiting for a taxi at South Yarra Post Office on Christmas Day 1975. Hooper alleged to have told police he “put two and two together” and knew he had killed a woman. Hooper had said he heard on the radio that someone had been killed and that he had seen “a couple of thing in the paper about it”. He had read, the description “and it sounded like, me and I remembered the blood on the knife and I put two and two together. I knew it was me”. Mr Galbally, Lawyer said that Mr Hooper had been “under specialised medical, treatment”.

 

ON THIS DAY – December 25, 2008

Point Leo Road, Merricks

The body of Mavroidis “Blacky” Karpetis aged 78, was found in grassland at Point Leo Road, Merricks, on Christmas Day 2008. He had been choked. He was last seen two days earlier in Tootgarook, 20km away. An inquest in 2012 was told men were heard shouting around 4.30am on December 24, near where Mr Karpetis’s body was found. In 2009 his wallet was found by a Tuerong farmer. He was last seen going for a walk after a family argument. This is still an unsolved murder.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 25th December 1906

The hundred odd prisoners in the Geelong Gaol were granted a little indulgence on Christmas Day, when, a good Christmas dinner of roast beef, vegetables, and plum pudding was supplied them. Most of the inmates are advanced in years, and the latest arrival (Daniel McLaughlin) probably holds the record, with 89 years to his credit.