ON THIS DAY – June 1, 1941

Charged with the murder of his wife, Beatrice May Stroud, aged 16 years and 10 months, Albert Edward Stroud, 20, of Wellington st. Collingwood, appeared before Sir Frederick Mann, Chief Justice, and a Jury in the Criminal Court yesterday.

In opening the Crown case, Mr. C. H. Book, KC, said that the accused had married his wife on December 21 last year. At that time he was In camp, but obtained leave for some days. After the marriage, they lived for a time with Mrs. Humphrey, mother of Mrs. Stroud, at St. Andrews, near Hurstbridge. Then they went to Mr. Whittick’s house in Wellington st., Collingwood. Stroud had told Mrs. Humphrey that if he ever saw his wife talking to another man except himself he would shoot her. On June 1 the Stroud’s were the only people In the house, as the Whitticks had gone away for the weekend. That morning accused stopped a motorist and asked him to take his wife to the hospital, as she had been accidentally shot. She died from severe internal hemorrhage due to a bullet wound.

After witnesses for the Crown had given evidence, accused gave evidence on oath. He said that up to June 1 he had never threatened to shoot his wife. On the morning of June 1 he got out of bed and went to the front room and got the rifle. His wife came into the room. He went to the dressing table and got a bullet, and she saw him put It in the rifle. He had hold of the stock and she took hold of the barrel, He went to drag the gun away from her. He told her it was loaded, and might go off.

He dragged it away from her and it swung her down on the bed. He had a finger on the trigger and one on the barrel. As he took the finger off the hammer it went off. He did not intend to shoot her, or shoot at her.

Stroud would be acquitted of all charges.

ON THIS DAY – June 1, 1857

JAMES WOODLOCK – MELBOURNE GAOL

This unhappy man underwent the extreme penalty of the law yesterday morning, at eight o’clock, in the Melbourne gaol. James Woodlock formerly kept the Rose, Shamrock, and Thistle public-house, in Elizabeth-street, but at the time of his commission of the crime which led to his death, was living at Castlemaine. He had a wife and five children, and, it appears, had conceived a jealousy of a man named Charles Vick, whom he believed to be the lover of his wife, and slabbed him. Committed for trial by the coroner, he subsequently absconded from his bail, but was again arrested by the detective police in February last, at Kilmore. He died with firmness, and suffered apparently but little.  He was about forty years of age, and a member of the Catholic faith.

ON THIS DAY – June 1, 1936

ARNOLD SODEMAN – PENTRIDGE GAOL

Arnold Karl Sodeman 39 was hanged in the Pentridge Gaol this morning for the murder of June Rushmer, aged 6½ years, at Leongatha, on December last. Asked by the Sheriff whether he had anything to say, Sodeman replied: “Nothing, sir.” He walked to the scaffold, apparently unmoved. His last words to the Governor of the Gaol last night were: “I am glad it is nearly over.” Sodeman confessed to the murders of three other girls during the last five years. He had not wanted a reprieve because of the fear that if he lived he may have committed more murders. Sodeman spent a good deal of yesterday playing draughts with Edward Cornelius, who is under sentence of death for the murder of the Rev. Cecil in Fitzroy in November of last year.

On This Day ……. 1st June 1927

Clive Frankston, aged 36 years, was charged on the 1st of the June 1926, with larceny and sentenced to two years in Pentradge. On the 28th April 1927, the Penal Authorities at Pentridge decided to transfer Frankston and another prisoner, Henry Tacke, to the Geelong Gaol. The two prisoners were escorted by Senior Constable Matthews and Constable Springfield, took the two prisoners from Pentridge Gaol to the Flinders street station in a prison van. Frankston was placed in a carriage on the Geelong train at No. 1 platform, and the two police officers returned to the van to carry Tacke, who was disabled by an injured leg, to the train. Upon reaching the carriage they found that’ Frankston was gone. Frankston seeing an opportunity to escaped from the carriage while the police escort was carring Tacke who was disabled to the police van out side the station. He dashed from the carriage and rushing through the ticket barrier and disappeared among the crowds in the street. On the 14th of May 1927, following up inquiries detectives raid a house in Napior street, Fitzroy owned by Frankstons wife. Inside Frankston was recaptured, he offered no resistance, he was so weak from illness that he could scarcely stand. He told the police that he was glad to get back to gaol and that he was suffering badly from consumption and that that he believed that the sea air at Geelong would kill him. Frankston received an extra 6 months to his sentence.

On this day …….. 1st of June 1903

Walter Sovereign former warden at Beechworth Lunatic Asylum now a wood cutter. Sovereign was camping not far from Bright, North East Victoria, on the 1st of June 1903 and while boiling a billy in tho darkness after work he was surprised to find a man standing behind him. The man was wearing only a canvas bag and had no shoes. Several questions were put by Sovereign to the man who gave no intelligent continually muttering ‘ Knife” Murder and when asked questions answer simply repeating the words after him . On Sovereign picking up a knife for fear of being attacked the man disappeared in the forest. Police have since scoured the country without finding any trace of the man. He is believed to be one of two escaped lunatics.