ON THIS DAY – January 3, 1928

Following the arrest of Ernest Ambrose Kleinhert, orchard labourer, aged 20 years, of Mitcham. He was charge of having murdered Iolene Mary Sampson, married woman, also of Mitcham, on the 3rd of January. At the City Court Detective James Leonard McKeogh said: About 1030pm, in company with Senior detective McKerral, I arrested Kleinhert on a charge of having murdered Iolene Mary Sampson. Early on the morning of January 3, Mrs Sampson was found in an unconscious condition on the footpath of Mitcham road, Mitcham, a short distance from her home. She was lying in a pool of blood, and her head was badly injured. She was removed to the Melbourne Hospital, where she died at 1120am on the same day without having recovered consciousness. When Kleinhert went to the Mitcham police station to report the finding of Mrs Sampson on the roadside at 525am on the morning of January 3, there were blood stains on his face and clothes, in respect of which he could give no satisfactory explanation. During the trial he protested his innocence, claiming a motor car had hit Mrs Sampson. Kleinhert was acquitted of the charge. On the 21st of July, 1928, Kleinhert was himself attacked and stabbed in the neck just missing the jugular vein. His attacker, Edward Augustus Sampson, aged 34, an orchardist, and the husband of Mrs Iolene Mary Sampson!


ON THIS DAY – January 3, 1944

Following upon a fight between two men, James Reafer Ralston died from a fractured skull at Bruthen on this day in 1944. Subsequently Cecil James Beard, who is described as a discharged sailor, appeared at the Bruthen Court on a charge of murder. He was admitted to bail on a bond of £300.


ON THIS DAY – January 3, 1983

Victoria reels from six days of crime

The brutal murder of a 24 year-old call girl in a hotel-motel in the outer Melbourne suburb of Doveton on New Year’s Eve set the pattern for six days of crime almost without precedence in Victoria. Nine people were murdered and seven prisoners escaped from custody during the period. The head of the Victorian CIB, Detective-Chief Superintendent Phil Bennett, said the Christmas-New Year period had been “absolutely phenomenal for violence”. But what sparked the violence? The consultant psychiatrist at Pentridge gaol, Dr Allen Bartholomew, said a combination of the weather, free time and alcohol could be responsible for the outbreak of violence. Dr Bartholomew said that “most people would expect that in the summer months with people on holidays, and doing a lot more drinking outside, violence would increase”. The following is a list of the major crimes during the six days of violence: December 31: Call girl Dale Lockwood was found bashed and murdered in the Prince Mark hotel-motel at Doveton. January 1: Mr Tomo Hizenjai, 51, of Walmer Avenue, St Albans, was found shot through the head at his home. January 2: Police said Mr Frank Ingle, 50, had splashed petrol over members of his family, killing his three children, Heather, 16, Jacqueline, 14, and Hugh, 11, and their grandfather, Mr Eric Graham, 80. Mr Frank Ingle died two days later in Gippsland Base Hospital. His wife, Elizabeth, 50, is in a stable, but serious condition in Melbourne’s Alfred hospital with extensive and severe burns. January 3: Former painter and docker, Mr Ian Revell Carroll, 35, was shot in the backyard of a house at Mount Martha, on Mornington Peninsula. Two “dangerous” prisoners escaped from Pentridge Gaol in a clever escape planned to coincide with a change of guards at a watchtower. Mr Timothy Michael Neville, 26, was serving a nine-year term for armed robbery and Mr David McGauley, 26, was serving a life term for the murder of a one-legged man in 1978. January 4: Vietnam veteran Mr Trevor Anderson, 33, a former light-heavyweight boxing champion, shot and killed his estranged wife, Pam, 26, at Greensborough Shopping Centre then shot and killed his wife’s flatmate, Jan Toll, 24, and then shot and killed himself. Four prisoners, one described as extremely dangerous, escaped from Ararat medium-security prison in north-west Victoria. All of them had been recaptured. January 5: Police said that three other prisoners had escaped from custody during the previous 48 hours. Two men had escaped from the Turana Youth Training Centre and a third man had escaped from police while handcuffed after being detained after a breaking offence at Prahran. Police said the investigation of Mr Carroll’s murder at Mount Martha on January 3 was revealing a “Pandora’s box of major crime”. Mr Carroll had had extensive underworld contacts and had been regarded as a “stand-over” man in gambling circles. Police had seized a large number of firearms from the house and wanted to question one of Australia’s most dangerous criminals about the killing. Police have charged Mr Leslie John Ford, 20, of West Footscray, following the murder in St Albans on January 1 and Mr Roy Leslie Rhodes, 38, has been charged with murder after the killing in Doveton on December 31. The search for the two Pentridge escapers was continuing at the weekend. One of the escapers from the Turana Youth Training Centre had been recaptured.


On this day …… 2nd January 1936


The pilot of an Autogyro has reported having sighted floating wreckage to the south of the Cape Otway lighthouse. A ship will proceed to the spot to investigate, in view of the possible connection of the wreckage with the steamer Paringa which was lost on Boxing Day.

On this day …… 1st January 1945

About 300 holiday campers fled in alarm on this night in 1945 when bush fires swept towards Anglesea and onto Cape Otway. A change of wind about mid night turned the fire when it was within a quarter of a mile of Anglesea. Taking all their belongings they could gather, men, women, and children cleared out in caravans, cars, and other vehicles. They swept along the coast road towards Lome to escape the flames which seemed certain to overwhelm tho camping area. Most of the campers slept on
the beach after the danger had passed. No homes were destroyed, but few residents of Anglesea thought the township could be saved. About 1000 acres of pine and wattle plantations were destroyed.

On this day …….. 2nd of January 1925

A “ghost” has reappeared in the Victorian Land Titles Office, in Lonsdale-street. Many years ago rumblings, as if a horse were galloping up and down the corridors, used to be heard, so loud that a constables who kept watch in the dark trembled so much that he fired his revolver and shot himself in the arm. Constable W. C. Lawson, of police headquarters, made the following report on this day in 1925 :—” Early this morning I found that a heavy grating over a coal hole outside the office was open. I closed and locked it securely and went to tell the caretaker. When we returned the grating was open again. To open the grating it is necessary to push it from the inside, although the bolts are outside.” A large squad of police surrounded and entered the building. They switched on the lights and made a thorough search without finding anyone. While they were scattered through the building, the lights were mysteriously switched off. A further search was fruitless, as was the careful watch kept over the building until day light.


On this day …….. 2nd of January 1905

A strange light was witnessed by residents of Northwood, near Seymour. It resembled a large star, moving about paddocks with great speed, keeping close to the ground and occasionally disappearing from sight. Mr O’Shea had taken a shot at the thing, and a fire broken out when it had crossed Mr N Hogan’s paddock.


On This Day – January 2, 1951

The battered body of Kelham Malcolm Young, 50, was found outside a hut at Camp Pell early to-day. Young lived at the camp till a few months ago. Police are searching for a man who they think, attacked Young when he went to a hut at the camp. A fight between the two men is believed to have followed a refusal by Young to leave the camp. Police took possession of, a heavy piece of timber with which they think Young was battered to death. They are also working on the theory that a pistol was used to scare Young away. Camp residents were awakened by a shot about 5 a.m., and later Young’s body was found near the hut. A preliminary examination of the body failed to show any trace of a bullet wound.

ON THIS DAY…… 2nd January 1895

Joseph Clark, a noted criminal, who in had attempted to escape from the Geelong gaol on two other occasion. Clark was believed to be one of the hardest convicts in the colony, and in his life of crime had been flogged 400 times with the cat of nine tales that’s a total of 3,600 cuts on his back. On the night of the 2nd of January 1895, Clark made another determined attempt to escape by smuggled a large jemmy bar into his cell. The idea was to use the bar to brake through the brick ceiling on the third floor and crawl in to the attic space. Clark almost succeeded in breaking, through the roof when he was discovered. He had another 6 months adding to his sentence.


On This Day – January 2, 1933

On January 2, John Johnson disappeared from his lodgings in Perth. To-day a wanderer hunting in the sandhills on the coast near Perth reported the discovery of signs of an old fire which appeared to contain human remains. Investigation indicated that Johnson had built a huge pile of wood and set fire to it, and then, shot himself so that his body would fall into the heart of the fire. Parts of the gun, bones and papers in Johnson’s handwriting reconstruct the story of one of the most amazing suicides recorded in this State. Hanging on a tree was a small luncheon bag containing a note in Johnson’s handwriting addressed to a woman asking the finder to inform the addressee “that he had taken a single ticket on a very long journey as he was tired of fighting the depression.”

ON THIS DAY – January 2, 1900

On the morning of January 2 a man named Walter Doolan was found dead close to Pralma’s Hotel, at Boolarra. A magisterial inquiry was held before Mr. J. Hall, J.P., when a verdict of murder was returned against some person or persons unknown. Sergeant-detective Dungey arrived and proceeded to the scene of the supposed murder, and will be assisted in his inquiries by the local police.


On This Day –  January 2, 1951

Mrs. Shirley Rose Miller (21) and Kevin James Miller (32), of Buxton, were present in custody at an inquest to-day charged with having murdered their 12-month-old daughter at Buxton on January 2.

The Coroner (Mr. Burke. S.M.) who was inquiring into the death of Hazel Elaine Miller, adjourned the hearing until next Wednesday, after medical evidence had been heard.

Mrs. Miller was also on remand on a charge of having murdered another child, Arthur Jackson, three months, at Redcliffs on March 26, 1948.

Mr. Burke was told that the body of Hazel Miller was sewn up in a calico bag with white cotton and the legs tied with string.

Dr. Bowden, Government Pathologist, detailed the extensive injuries to Hazel Miller, alleged to have been cause by a hot-water bottle placed on the child’s stomach. The girl’s body was extensively bruised, and, in his opinion, death was due to a fractured skull. Most of the bruises could have been caused by hitting with the open hand or punching.