EXECUTED THIS DAY – September 13, 1897
Charles John Hall who murdered his wife Minnie at Eaglehawk on February 11th was executed at the Bendigo Gaol this morning. Hall’s parents spoke to him for the last time on Saturday evening, and the parting was a most painful sight, moving the warders to tears.
One warder told me today that he does not want to see such a scene again, and pronounced the sight as worse than witnessing the actual execution. The mother and father were in a prostrated condition, the mother shrieking in tones that could be heard all over the gaol, “My poor boy, my Charlie”. She was assisted to a cab and driven home and was at once put to bed. Both the parents were in a state of collapse with grief, received kind attentions from their neighbours. Hall broke down himself and the clergymen, Revs Kelly and Crawford, Anglican ministers who attended him, said he very pentinent towards the very end.
Hall passed a bad night and rose at half past seven, when he ate sparingly of bread and butter and drank tea for breakfast. About nine o clock, the clergymen entered his cell and remained with him until his body was demanded by the Sherriff, spending time in religious exercises.
The prisoner when transferred from Castlemaine Goal weighed 11st 13lbs and today weighed 11st 12lbs. He walked very firmly to the scaffold and looked calmly at the hangman Smith as the latter fixed the fatal noose around his neck. When asked by the Sherriff if he had anything to say he replied in a low but firm tone “I commit my soul to God”. He had a drop of seven feet and death was instantaneous.
At the customary inquest a verdict of judicially hanged was returned.
A large crowd of people assembled outside the gaol, the greater portion being women and children. Much feeling was shown against the murderer and great sympathy was expressed for the parents.