ON THIS DAY – December 18, 1945

YARRA RIVER

Leo Clinton Cartledge aged 23, of George Street, Fitzroy, labourer, was charged with the murder of Raymond Theodore Combs, aged 20 an American negro seaman. He was remanded until January 9. Combs’ body was found in the Yarra at Studley Park on December 24. Police allege that his skull was smashed by blows from beer bottles in an argument at a house at Fitzroy on December 18, and that he was later taken in a cab to the Yarra, where the body was thrown in. A pathologist’s report indicated that Combs was still alive when he entered the water. Combs deserted from a U.S. merchant ship in Melbourne on December 17. Motive for the crime, police say, was robbery.