John Stacey, was charged with the murder of a child named Daniel McDonnell, at Emerald Hill, (South Melbourne) on the 28th of February 1865. Stacey was sentenced to be executed at the old Melbourne Gaol.



On this day ………… 28th February 1790

John Irving, was born around 1760. He came to the penal colony of New South Wales with the First Fleet in 1788, after being sentenced in 1784 to seven years for stealing a silver cup. Irving proved an able surgeon’s assistant, both on the voyage to New South Wales, and once the settlement was established. His hard work and “unremitting good conduct and meritorious behaviour” earned him an early reprieve from his sentence. Governor Phillip signed his Warrant of Emancipation on 28 February 1790, making Irving the first convict to be freed. He accompanied surgeon Dennis Considen to Norfolk Island, where he remained as surgeon’s assistant for over a year before returning to Port Jackson in May 1791. He was then awarded 30 acres of land at Parramatta.



Arthur Pattison, a farmer at Caniambo in North East Victoria was charged with the murder of his three children. In February 1892 Pattison, massacred his three young children, Arthur aged five, Florence aged six, and Margaret, aged eight, whilst they lay in bed. The instrument used was an axe, which was taken with difficulty from Pattison. It was shown that monetary troubles had, unhinged prisoner’s mind. In court the jury acquitted Pattison on the ground of insanity, and he was ordered to be detained in the Beechworth gaol during the Governor’s pleasure.



On this day ………… 28th February 1921

A sensational escape from custody occurred on this day in 1921. James Davis, committed for trial at Devonport, Tasmaina on the previous day on several charges or robbery, was being escorted to Launceston by train, with three prisoners. “When the train was passing the Launceston cricket ground, Davis took a header through an open window. The train was travelling at about 20 miles an hour, but, fortunately for himself, he landed on soft ground. After turning the bend, the train was pulled up, but when one of the escorting constables ran back, Davis was nowhere to be found.



ON THIS DAY – February 28, 2002

Kade Hall was last seen in Croydon around 10pm on the 28th of February 2002, before being picked up by an unknown person. Hall received a call from a pay phone outside Mooroolbark KFC at 10.10pm. Hall was shot and dumped on the side of Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd. His body was found 15 days later. Police believe the murder was the work of three men known to Mr Hall. Police have put a $1 million reward on the table for anyone who can help successfully prosecute the killer or killers.




The trial of Patrick and Margaret Geary for the murder of a shepherd in 1854, was commenced at the Old Court House, Melbourne. Mr Adamson prosecuted on behalf of the Crown, and Messrs Molesworth and Sirr represented the prisoners respectively. The presiding judge was his Honour Mr Justice Pohlman. Mr Adamson opened the case in a concise address to the jury, in which he explained the circumstances of the crime with which the prisoners were charged, and the evidence which would be called to endeavour to substantiate it. Andrew Murray was the first witness called. He stated: I am a squatter residing at St.Kilda, and had a brother named Hugh Murray. His station was situated on the Corangamite, and was north of mine. Beyond his was Mr Calvert’s station. I knew a man named Thos. Brookhouse, who was a shepherd in the employ of my brother Hugh. I know the prisoner Patrick Geary, who was also employed by my brother as a shepherd. Geary and Brookhouse were both in my brother’s employ in 1854. Geary’s hut was nearest to the home station, and about three quarters of a mile from Brook- house’s. The hut occupied by Geary was 11 or 12 miles from the home station. On the west, Lake Corangamite was about three miles from both huts. The huts are no longer in existence, but I have pointed out the site of them to constable Killen. I remember Brook- house being missing. He had a sheep dog. When Brookhbuse was reported missing, I went with others in search of him, and spent about a fortnight in the search. On the morning that we first set out, I visited Brookhouse’s hut, which then presented the appearance of his having left it with the intention of returning as usual. The breakfast things had not been removed, and the place appeared to be undis- turbed. The dog was about the hut. We followed the dog, thinking that he might lead us to where Brookhouse would be found, but he frequently stopped, and we ultimately gave up the search. My brother and myself, as well as the owners of all the neighbouring stations, lost a large number of sheep that year. On the 31st of August, 1869, constable Killen came to me, and in consequence of what he said to me I ac- companied him to the spot where Brookhouse’s hut had stood. We also went to a man named George Ball, who was engaged in building a stone wall about half a mile distant. He, and a hoy in his employ named Bayliss, took us to the place where the bones of a man had been found, and which a constable took possession of. Brookhouse was a small, natty tidy little man, having thin sharp features and a prominent chin. He was about 50, or perhaps more. John Shayp, a farmer, living near Ondit, about 12 miles from Colac, deposed: I know the two prisoners. In 1854 I was in the em- ploy of Mr John Calvert, as shepherd. I visited Brookhouse’s hut when the search was commenced, and saw a tea cup, and saucer, a basin, a teapot, and, I think, a knife on the table. The hut was swept clean, and every- thing in order, as if he had not been long ab- sent. When we approached the hut the dog ran away, I think in the direction of south. Brookhouse, I should say, was forty-eight or fifty years of age. He was about as old as I am now. I left home when I was twenty-four years of age, and have been in this country thirty-two years. I am 6ft 8in in height, and he was within an inch lower. We often com- pared our height, and I told him he would never do for a soldier. (A laugh.) He used to wear a blue serge shirt outside, and a black red- striped silk handkerchief. His hat was usually a sou’-wester. The clasp-knife produced is like one he used to have slung to his pocket. He used also to carry a similar knife. The piece of striped cotton produced is like the inside shirt he used to wear. The piece of neckerchief produced is similar, I believe, to the one he used to wear. I can observe the stripe. The bit of hat shown me appears to be a bit of a sou’-wester. At Colac I saw the skeleton found, with the boots on, and at once recognised the remains as those of Brookhouse. The boots on the bones produced I have not the slightest doubt were worn by Brookhouse. He used to have the lace-holes very close to each other. In 1854, a stranger would not pass my hut perhaps for two months. Two other witnesses were examined, and the case was not concluded when the court rose.

Patrick Geary, Margaret Geary, Old Court House, Melbourne, Molesworth, Mr Justice Pohlman, Mr Adamson, Andrew Murray, St.Kilda, Hugh Murray, Calvert’s station, Patrick Geary, Lake Corangamite, constable Killen, shot, murder, George Ball, Bayliss, John Shayp, Ondit, John Calvert, shepherd, Colac, skeleton, Brookhouse


On this day ………… 28th February 1871

A shocking accident involving Mr. Hoyle, the coach driver, who died as the result of his injuries. At 4am on the morning of the 28th, the coach was preparing to star from Baddaginnie, North East Victoria, when the horses suddenly took fright and bolted. The driver Tommy Hoyle, in his effort to rein in the team, was dislodge from the box and was crushed under the wheels of the coach. Four passengers where thrown out in the accident, none were seriously injured. His funeral in Beechworth was well attended. The accident caused renewed agitation for the fitting to coaches of a safety bolt which could be withdrawn by the driver in an emergency, allowing the horses to become detached from the body of the coach so that it could be brought safety to a stop under brakes.



On this day ………… 28th February 1928

A strange mirage was witnessed by citizens of Cairns, Queensland, on this day in 1928. Shortly after 5pm, onlookers were amazed to see an astonishing image on the horizon. A blue range of hills clearly visible. The wonderful mirage was so vivid that eyewitness commented that it looked as if an island had suddenly sprung out of the ocean.



On this day ………… 28th February 1932

“Myrtleford, in the Mount Buffalo district of North East Victoria, has a mysterious animal, which stands like a human being, and is described as being 7ft high, with a large round hairy head, carrying four tusks. Search parties tried to capture the creature, but an all-night search failed to locate it. That the animal does exist and that it is savage is vouched for by Mr. William Nutall of Myrtleford. “He was returning home from Brighton with his sister and a companion, when, nearing Europa railway station, he alighted from his horse to adjust the saddle gear, the others riding on. Suddenly, he said, he was attacked by the strange animal. It snarled at him and charged, tearing his shirt to ribbons.” While the startled rider’s horse managed to break free, poor Nutall was chased onto the railway line. Luckily, for Nutall, the animal was prevented from continuing the pursuit by a wire fence, through which the terrified man made good his escape.



On this day ………… 27th February 1891

On the 27th of February 1891, the South Australian Register reported on the death in gaol of the Reverend Dr Keating. It appears he knew beforehand that he would soon die in gaol. The Rev. Dr. Oswald Keating, who was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for assault on a little girl, died in Darlinghurst Gaol, from cerebral apoplexy. After sentence had been passed upon him he asked to be allowed to see his wife for a few moments, and was permitted to have a short interview. During the conversation, Mrs. Keating displayed considerable emotion, and her husband enjoined her to be calm, as it was probably the last opportunity she would have of seeing him. From the time he entered the gaol he seemed to be convinced that he would not live long, and just before he was seized with the fit, which ended in his death, he wrote an affectionate farewell letter to his wife.



ON THIS DAY – February 27, 1932

Reginald Barker aged 17, a prisoner at the Pentridge Gaol, at Coburg, Melbourne, attempted to escape on the 27th of February 1932. During his attempt Barker wounded Warder Dowd and himself was shot dead. After hearing the evidence the coroner recorded a finding of justifiable homicide. Warder Dowd, who was shot in the stomach by Barker, remained in hospital for another three months.



On this day ………… 27th February 1996

Swedish backpacker Magnus Carlstedt received a rude awakening on this day in 1996 when a cockroach crawled into his ear and refused to move. When Carlstedt’s attempts to remove the insect failed, the 19 year old was forced to call an ambulance to the Jolly Swagman Youth Hostel in Sydney’s King Cross. Ambulance officers reached into his ear and pulled out a four centimetre long cockroach. It was moving nearly all the time, that was the scary thing, Carlstedt told channel 10 TV news. ‘When he moved, I could hear everything’.