ON THIS DAY – June 29, 1951

A doctor told a Criminal Court jury today that a young doctor’s widow, charged with the murder of her five months old blind daughter, had said she had been extremely unhappy in her married life, and did not want any association in her home with the baby. The widow, Joan Isobel Gorr, 27, of Gore Street, Fitzroy, has pleaded not guilty to having murdered her baby daughter in Melbourne on June 30. Yesterday, the Crown Prosecutor (Mr. P. R. Nelson) told the jury that Mrs. Gorr had admitted to police she had suffocated her child because she did not want it to go through life blind. A post-mortem revealed that the baby had been asphyxiated. Sister Evelyn Constance Ross, Matron of Tweedle Hospital, Footscray, said today that on June 29, Mrs. Gorr told her she was very pleased that she was able to take he baby away from the hospital. Mrs. Gorr arrived next day to take the child away, but fainted as she was carrying it away. Both Mrs. Gorr and the child were kept at the hospital for a couple of hours. Sister Ross said she believed Mrs. Gorr had had a curette operation a day or two before June 30. Mrs. Gorr had made no comment about the child looking ill when she again left with it later in the day. Stannus Hedger, of the Royal Institute for the Blind, and Dr. C. W. Bennett, the institute’s hon. doctor today gave evidence of a conference with Mrs. Gorr at which it was suggested that the child should be taken permanently into the institute. Dr. Bennett said Mrs. Gorr had told him she could not bear to look at the blind child, but the reason she gave him why she did not want it was that she had been extremely unhappy in her married life, and did not want any association in her home with the baby. He said Mrs. Gorr seemed to discuss matters calmly, but he did not think she was in a frame of mind fit to make any decision about the future of the child.

ON THIS DAY – June 29, 1908

The fourteenth execution in the Ballarat Gaol took place at 10 o’clock this morning, when Charles Henry Deutschmann paid the supreme penalty for having murdered his wife.

The crime took place at Dobie, a few miles from Ararat, on Saturday evening, April 11. Mrs. Deutschmann, who had been married in 1890, was stopping with her stepfather. Her husband travelled from Melbourne to Ballarat, and there purchased a revolver and 25 cartridges. He continued his journey to Ararat, and arrived there at 9 o’clock, to the surprise of his wife, who expected him on the Monday. He was under the influence of drink, and a quarrel ensued. The stepfather endeavoured to pacify him, when he drew the revolver, and shot his father-in- law. Deutschmann then returned to his wife’s room, and fired two shots at her, the second striking her in the breast, and killing her immediately. He was arrested next morning by Sergeant Hancock. The old man recovered from his wounds.  A defence of insanity was unsuccessfully raised at the trial at Stawell.

Since he came to the Ballarat Gaol Deutschmann behaved quietly, and appeared to realise the enormity of his deed. He was attended by the Rev. Charles Cameron, whose ministration he listened to with interest. Just on the stroke of 10 o’clock the sheriff demanded the body of Charles Henry Deutschmann, and, in response to the demand of the governor, produced his warrant. Deutschmann walked steadily on to the drop, and was asked by the sheriff if he had anything to say. He replied slowly, and with emotion, “No, sir; I have nothing to say. God have mercy on me. Good-bye, good-bye.” Death was instantaneous. Deutschmann made no private statement further than expressing his deep regret for the crime, and commending himself to God’s mercy. Deutschmann was a native of Ararat, and was 41 years old.

ON THIS DAY – June 29, 1905


Dr. R. H. Cole, the district coroner, yesterday concluded the inquest into the death of Emily Eden Lilias Chandler, a waitress, 28 years of age, who died in the Melbourne Hospital on July 3 from septicaemia, the result of a premature birth, which had taken place about fortnight previously. Mrs. Elizabeth Downey, who was arrested on a charge of the wilful murder of the deceased, was present as a witness for the Crown. Mr. E. J. Corr appeared to watch the proceedings on her behalf.

Evidence was given to show that Miss Chandler came to Melbourne in the beginning of June. She was staying with Mrs. Elizabeth Sefton, in Sydney-road, Carlton, and was so ill on June 29 that Mrs. Sefton called in Mr. J. H. Nattrass, M.D. Mr. Nattrass examined the girl, and she told him that she had been operated on by some nurse, but refused to divulge the name. He ordered her removal to the Melbourne Hospital. She was admitted to the Hospital on July 1, and said that she was suffering from a severe cold. She admitted afterwards that an instrument had been used. The police were informed, and Detectives Burvett and Sexton brought Elizabeth Downey to the Hospital. Miss Chandler said that she knew the woman, and the detectives arrested Mrs Downey on a charge of unlawfully using a certain instrument. Then in the presence of Mrs. Downey the dying depositions of Emily Chandler were taken by Mr. J. R. Andrews, J.P. In the depositions she said :— “I am quite certain that the accused is the person who performed the operation on me.” She rambled a good deal in her statements whilst the depositions were being taken, and spoke of having gone to the nurse’s house with her sister “Millie.” The evidence of Mrs. Chandler showed that there was no such person as “Millie.” She was very irritable, and in great pain all the time. Mrs. Downey was called as a witness. She stated:— I have nothing to say. I don’t know the party at all. I never saw her in my life. That is all I have to say.

The Coroner said that it was plain that an infamous crime had been committed. He did not think it likely that deceased performed the operation herself. The depositions were mainly the result of monosyllabic answers given by deceased, and they consisted of a mixture of falsehood and truth, in which the falsehood seemed to predominate. Deceased merely said “Yes” to Detective Burdett when he asked her, “Is this the woman?” This seemed a very slender piece of evidence. He found that Emily Eden Lilias Chandler had died from blood-poisoning, the result of an operation, wilfully caused by some person or persons unknown, and that the said person or persons were guilty of wilful murder.

On This Day ……. 28th June 1901

A solicitor named Joseph Henry Grey has been found guilty of fraud at Geelong, and sentenced to five years gaol.

On This Day……. 28th June 1913


It was reported to the police on the morning of the 28th June 1913, that Michael Coglilan, an inmate of Yarra Bend Asylum, who escaped from the institution. The escaper was described as 40 years of age, 5 feet 16 Inches in height, slight of build, with black whiskers. He was wearing a brown tweed- suit, with long cut coat, and a brown felt hat.


On This Day – June 28, 1938

A jury in the Criminal Court today found Thomas William Loe (40), of Mooroopna, not guilty of the murder of his wife, Amelia Jane Loe (32) on the ground that he was temporarily insane at the time of the commission of the offence on May 4.
The evidence showed that Loe throttled his wife and hit her twice on the head with a hammer at a time when two or
their seven children were sleeping in the room.
Relatives of deceased said that until the tragedy Loe and hid wife had been devoted to each other.

On this day …….. 28th of June 1880

Alexander Graham Bell’s demonstration of the first practical telephone in 1876 had ramifications worldwide within a very short period of time. For a continent separated by thousands of kilometres from Bell’s achievements, Australia was very quick to embrace telephony. The concept of one’s voice being carried over long distances, and the fact that a telegraph operator trained in Morse Code was no longer required to decode telegraph signals in order for messages to be relayed promised major benefits to the colonies which had grown up with a sense of isolation from the rest of the world. Experimentation with the telephone commenced in Australia between 1786 and 1788. Early tests were conducted by Charles Todd, South Australian Government Astronomer and Postmaster General, and a leading figure in the development of telegraphy and telephony in Australia. Transmissions enabling the human voice to carry over distances of up to 400 kilometres were successfully trialled. In 1877, Bell published the details of his telephone in the “Scientific American”. Following this publication, people from around the world – including the Australian colonies – were quick to develop their own telephones. Melbourne was the first Australian city to install a commercial telephone. This was undertaken by engineering firm Robison Bros between their office in Melbourne city and their South Melbourne foundry. The first telephone exchange was also opened in Melbourne on 28 June 1880. When the Melbourne Telephone Exchange Company was formed by W.H Masters and T.T. Draper, with 100 lines, line no. 1 was assigned to Robison Bros. Brisbane was the next city to open a telephone exchange, and by 1887 each of the capital cities had its own exchange.

ON THIS DAY – June 28, 1842

Charles Ellis (alias Yanky Jack), Martin Fogarty , Daniel Gepps (Jepps) and Jack Williams, were raiding farm houses and robbing people around the Dandenong area, when it became too hot there they moved over to the Plenty River area. They made a raid on Campbell Hunters house on the Plenty river. They made a mistake and stayed to have breakfast, and the Law caught up with them. Gang member Jack Williams was shot dead by Oliver Gourlay, after a hand to hand fight. After the gun battle that lasted one hour , Ellis, Fogarty and Jepps surrendered and all 3 were hanged on the hill beside the Old Melbourne Gaol north of Melbourne. All  4 buried together.

On This Day – June 28, 1975

On June 28, at 4.45pm, Terry left the Avoca post office where he was playing Monopoly with a friend. He was running 15 minutes late for his ride home.  That 15 minutes cost him his life.

Three witnesses, all locals, saw a fawn-coloured panel van that afternoon. One saw the van stopping in front of Terry as he waited on the coroner of Birdport and Barnett streets; another saw the van on the side of the Pyrenees Highway out of town with Terry standing at the back of it.

A third witness, a nurse driving home from work along the highway, saw the van turning into Box Flat Track, the road that leads to a mine shaft where Mr Floyd believes his brother’s body was dumped.

Raymond Jones, a convicted pedophile, who was on bail for indecently assaulting a boy in a Ballarat toilet block at the time, owned a fawn-coloured panel van and has admitted being on the same highway, travelling from Avoca to Maryborough, at the time.

Jones, who is believed to be living in northern Victoria, has previously denied any involvement in the disappearance.

This case is still unsolved


On this day …….. 28th of June 1836

Regular snow in Australia is restricted to the Snowy Mountains and high country of the southern states. Snowfalls have occurred during unusual weather patterns in southwest Western Australia and southern Queensland, but given the size of the continent, snow is very limited. Of all Australia’s capital cities, the one most likely to receive snowfalls is Canberra. While snow is not uncommon in the Blue Mountains and west to Orange, it rarely hits the New South Wales capital. Sydney recorded its first and only significant snow event on the morning of 28 June 1836. On this day, snow began around 6:00 am and continued through to mid-morning, coating the hills in white. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “the terrified state of the natives indicated the rare nature of such a visitation”. Snow fell again to a lesser degree on 2 July and 5 July, as it was a particularly cold winter.

ON THIS DAY – June 28, 1903

An arrest was made to-day in connection with the death of an old man named William Ford in a hut near Dandenong. The suspect gave the name of Charles Sadi Fossard, aged 21, a Frenchman by birth. It was reported that at the time of Ford’s death a man had been seen prowling about the vicinity of  Ford’s hut, and information was received on Sunday by the police that the suspect was in the vicinity of Thomson’s-lane, between Cranbourne and Dandenong roads. Two black trackers were put on to the trail, and as the result of their work the arrest was made. The suspect is charged with vagrancy.

On This Day ……. 27th of July 1913

At the Birregurra Police Court on this day in 1913, a young man named Roy Thomlinson, arrested in Geolong, was charged with larceny of £10 from H. A Brady. a local hotelkeeper. He pleaded guilty, and the bench, sentenced him to two months’ imprisonment at Geelong gaol.