ON THIS DAY – January 20, 1901

A middle-aged man named Edward Charles Holland was arrested on a charge of the wilful murder, at North Melbourne of a child, Frederick Gladstone Geach, aged two years and a half. Mrs. Geach, who is about 42 years of age, and has five children, ranging in age from 15 years to two and a half years’ has been living apart from her husband since 1895. She received from her husband an allowance of £1 per week, and she supplemented this with earnings as a charwoman. Geach being desirous of obtaining a divorce, commissioned Holland, who is a waiter by occupation, to collect the necessary evidence. Holland entered Mrs. Geach’s house as a lodger, and within a few weeks Mr. Geach dispensed with Holland’s services, but Holland continued to reside at the house. Recently, he became somewhat eccentric in his manner, and was inclined to be quarrelsome. On the evening in question he called the youngest child into the bedroom, and, after playing a little while with him, produced an iron wedge, which he had obtained from the yard. He struck the little fellow several violent blows on the head, fracturing the skull in two places and causing other serious wounds. Holland then left the house, and excitedly informed a police man what he had done. The child was removed to the hospital, and died there on this day in 1901.