On This Day – May 9th, 1889

On May 9th, 1889, a man named Walter Brooks, an insurance agent, attempted to murder a woman with whom he had been living, named Matilda Thompson, at Earl-street, North Carlton.  Brooks was charged with wilful trespass at the house of Mrs Thompson’s son the week before. He went to gaol, and was liberated on the 8th of May.

On the morning of the 9th of May, he again went to the house of Mrs Thompson’s son, in Earl street, and knocked at the door.  He was refused admittance, and immediately placed a small six chambered revolver at the keyhole and fired two shots. A young woman, named Emily Spooner who was in the house with Mrs Thompson, and on hearing the shot she rushed out the back door. Brooks met her at the door as she was going out, and rushed into the house. Mrs Thompson was in the front room, and Brooks went to where she was and caught her by the neck and threw her across his knees and threatened to blow her brains out, at the same time placing the revolver at her head. At this moment Mrs Liddy, who is the landlady of the house, and Constables Reidy and Lowry, who had been attracted by the sound of the gunshot, arrived on the scene, and Brooks, who was struggling with Mrs Thompson, released her and let her go to answer the door. As soon as the door was opened Mrs Thompson rushed out. Brooks followed her to the door, and on seeing the constables drew back and closed the door.

Almost immediately, another shot was heard, and on the police entering the property, they found the man lying on a bed in the bedroom, with the revolver clutched in his hand, whilst the blood was flowing profusely from his mouth and nose.

In the deceased’s hand was found a portrait of Mrs Thompson, and also a letter in which he stated that he and Mrs Thompson had been living together as man and wife for some time. All was alright until about three weeks ago when she had neglected his children, which were by his late wife, and had then left him. He stated that he loved her better than his soul and intended to murder her and then commit suicide, and prayed that God would assist him to complete it.