On This Day ……. 3rd of August 1887

David Craweonr, pawnbroker, pleaded guilty on the charges of using false
pretences, on this day in 1887. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment in the Geelong gaol with hard labor. His Honour said that due to the prisoner’s age he would refrain from adding to the sentence terms of solitary confinement.

 

ON THIS DAY …….3rd August 1943

At the close of the inquest today into the death of Mrs Clarice Anasthasia White, 30, of Dawson st, Ballarat, Mr G. S. Catlow, coroner, committed the woman’s husband, Kenneth Geoffrey White, 34, fitter, for trial on a charge of murder. White was present in custody on a charge of having murdered his wife and having attempted to murder Jonathan Stephen Falla, 23, AIF soldier. Jonathan Stephen Falla said he was in bed with Mrs White, and was awakened about 5am by her saying something about getting up to see the time. She got up, and in the darkness he then heard a crash and the sound of a body falling. He sat up in bed, and next thing he knew was he was hit across the head with what he thought was a piece of wood. He did not know then nor could he identify now who it was who had hit him. He was hit several times on the face and stomach. He heard another crash, and started to walk to where he thought Mrs White must be lying on the floor, when he was confronted by a man with the razor. The man thrust at his throat. Witness lifted his left arm, which was in plaster, and the man hit the plaster with his arm at the same time as he cut the left side of his, witness’s, throat with the razor. The man, who had said nothing up till then, then said, “Lay down on the bed.” To Sup Jacobe Falla admitted that the only thing the man said to him was, “You’ll have a lot of explaining to do.” Falla said that he did not see Mrs White at all from the time she got up. He could not see what happened to her. In reply to Mr N. Boustead, Falla said he had only known Mrs White a week, and had gone to the house in response to her invitation.

ALLEGED STATEMENT TO POLICE Const M. O’Leary said that when he and Sen-const Brady went to the house at 5.20am White was in the passage. He said, “They are down there. I have done them up pretty bad. In the bedroom the dead woman was lying with her throat cut on both sides, and her body covered with a military overcoat. Falla was lying on the bed with a gash in his throat. White said, “I done it with a razor,” and produced a razor from his hip pocket. “I found them in bed together,” White continued, “and I intended to give them something to remember for life. She had been carrying on with men for several years. It has been preying on my mind, and I could not stand it any longer.” O’Leary said that White then told him he had left the house the previous afternoon to go back to his job at Ford’s at Geelong, but did not do so. He left pretending to go to the train, and his wife saw him off at the gate. He returned at 7pm, and through the kitchen window he saw his wife take a soldier in. About 9.30pm. they went into the bedroom. Then he went for a walk to try to ease his mind. He returned about 1.30am and stood in the backyard until 5 am, when he got in through the kitchen window. His wife’s bedroom door was locked. He went to the children’s room and told his daughter Carmel to call her mother, and she did so, saying, “Mummy, I’m sick.” Witness stood outside his wife’s bedroom door. The door opened and he struck the person on the head with a file. At that time he did not know who it was. He then made a swing at the soldier who was in the room. His wife caught hold of him, and he lost the grip on the file. He then turned around and slashed his wife’s throat with the razor. He then slashed the soldier with the razor on the left side of the neck, and sent his daughter for a neighbour to go for the police. Sen-det L. H. Thomas said he found the file in the bedroom. White said, “You don’t know what I have put up with. I have not been on friendly terms with my wife for 8 years. She left me and the children twice,” Witness said White told him that when he tried to strike the soldier with the file his wife caught hold of him and tried to stop him. “I could not throw her off,” White is alleged to have said, “and I took the razor from my pocket and cut her on the throat, and she dropped to the floor. Rather than see the soldier get off scot free I decided to give him a nick. I leaned over the side of the bed and gave him a nick with the razor.”  The coroner found that the woman’s death was due to the wounds inflicted by White, and committed him for trial on a charge of murder at the Ballarat Supreme Court on August 3.

 

On This Day ……. 2nd of August 1887

An aged inmate of the Geelong gaol named John Lynch, died at about 7:30pm on this day in 1887, in the hospital attached to that institution. An enquiry will be held upon the remains at 9 o’clock in the morning, before Mr Pardey, J.P.

 

Gerry Gee would only talk if he is positioned on the ventriloquist’s Ron Blaskett right hand. Ron, who describes himself as the `straight man’, said: “It seems my brain just can’t carry on a conversation with Gerry if he’s on my left hand. It’s not a problem with the likes of Adolphus, only Gerry.” Ventriloquism, he says, is an art interpreted differently by each performer. “Some guys do clever things with their voice and the doll is adjunct to their talents, others develop a comedian as a figure. Me … I developed a comedy character acceptable to people. I can make people laugh without offending anyone and therefore, can appeal to all age groups. It has worked well for me,” Ron said.

 

On this day …….. 2nd of August 1941

Isodore Skarvelis, a Greek seamen in Adelaide, had sore chest, so he rubbed it with methylated spirits. He them struck a match to light a cigarette and set himself on fire. He ended up in hospital with severe burns.

 

On This Day ……. 2nd of August 1875

A prisoner named George Buckley, undergoing a sentence of 12 months for vagrancy, and who was transferred from the Melbourne Gaol in April last died at the Geelong Gaol on this day in 1875 from phthisis. An inquest was held, and a verdict returned in accordance with the facts of the case.

 

ON THIS DAY…….2nd August 1924

The inquest into the death of Irene Tuckerman, who was found murdered at Caulfield on this day in 1924, was opened on September 17. Mr. Elsbury, for the Crown, said that suspicion rested in two-quarters, but it had been deemed advisable simply to bring the suspected persons before the Court, as witnesses, and to leave further action, to the coroner. Mr. W. S. Doris appeared for Thomas Cheshire, newsagent, of 200 Balaclava road, Caulfield, and Sir. Scott Murphy and Mr. Healy for the relatives of Irene Tuckerman, and for William Robinson, a boarder at the home of the child.  Mrs. Tuckerman, after having given evidence of the child’s disappearance, in cross examination by Mr. Elsbury, said that Irene had sold papers in Cheshire’s shop without her knowledge. She would not have allowed this had she known. The relations between her eldest son, Harold, and Irene were affectionate.  Robert Harold Tuckerman, baker, accounted for his movements on August 2. He denied that he had sent his sister to Cheshire’s shop. He had no quarrel with his sister, and denied that he had a bad temper.  William Robinson, gas-worker, was questioned by Mr. Klsbury as follows:— Between a quarter and half-past 11 o’clock on the night of August 2 did Irene Tuckerman not walk into the house?—Certainly not. I did not see her from the previous night.  I suggest that she entered by the back door before half-past 11 o’clock?—She did not. That she took her coat off?—She did not come home to take it off.  Have you ever heard Ivy Tuckerman say anything about Cheshire?—No. About the man in the paper-shop?—Yes, I have heard them say about getting papers there. Has Ivy ever said anything about the man in the paper shop?—I could not — I think she has- She has made a suggestion that when she went into his shop he closed the door and complained of draught. She got a bit frightened. What did he do to them?—I could not say. Oh, come on, sir, I have a statement here over your signature. The Coroner (addressing Robinson).— You are not impressing me at all. If you prevaricate again I will send you to gaol. I feel inclined to commit you for contempt of Court. Mr. Elsbury.—Did you make any statement to Detective O’Keefe as to what Ivy had told you regarding the man in the paper shop ? Witness.—Not that I remember. Did you say this: “I have not heard Irene Tuckerman complain about strange men speaking to her. I heard Ivy say that the man in the paper shop is a nasty man, that he would tickle them under the chin, and squeeze their hands, and would be unduly familiar with the young girls”?—That is what they told me John Francis O’Callaghan, tramway gripman, and Edmund Charles Phillips, tramway conductor, stated that on August 2, about half-past 1 o’clock, they saw Cheshire on a tram in Wellington street, St. Kilda with a girl dressed similarly to Irene Tuckerman. The couple alighted from the tram on the St. Kilda Esplanade and walked toward the beach. Detectives Piggott and Ethel detailed conversations with Cheshire, in which, they stated, Cheshire maintained his innocence of any part in the death of Irene Tuckerman. After interviews with a man, a woman, and a youth, they were satisfied that there was no ground for further action against those persons. Cheshire said that he was at his shop throughout August 2, though he closed it from half past 1 o’clock to half-past 4 o’clock. He closed at half-past 8 o’clock and slept at the shop that night. He rose at 9 o’clock on August 3, and went to his son’s place at Surrey Hills. The Tuckerman girls visited his shop occasionally to buy papers. He denied that he was on a tram with Irene Tuckerman on August 2. Cheshire was invited to give evidence but at the instance of his counsel he declined. The coroner committed Cheshire for trial on a charge of the murder of Irene Tuckerman.

 

On this day …….. 2nd of August 1997

After three days Stuart Diver is pulled alive from the rubble of the collapsed Thredbo resorts.

For three days after the collapse of the Alpine Way in Australia’s high country in 1997 (see July 30), Stuart Diver, 27, lay trapped between two concrete slabs, under mud, rubble and snow. The rescue operation was made all the more dangerous by the instability of the debris and the land. Heavy rain, melting snow and landfill had resulted in 2000 square metres of liquefied soil rushing down the mountainside. 1350 volunteers and specialists in rescue operations worked in shifts around the clock to clear the rubble and find survivors. The focus changed for the rescue workers when Stuart Diver was found alive. Michael Featherstone, 52, was the paramedic who stayed beside Diver through the twelve hour rescue ordeal. Diver had been buried for 66 hours, and was suffering severe hypothermia and poor circulation. Internal injuries had caused his body to release toxins into his bloodstream, and workers had to ensure that each step of the rescue was taken slowly and carefully: even moving Diver from a prone to vertical position was delicate and life-threatening as it could have caused a toxic shock. When Diver was finally lifted from his concrete and rubble prison on 2 August 1997, a resounding cheer rang across the mountainside, and probably also from the tens of thousands of Australian viewers who had been watching the rescue on television.

 

Despite dubbing himself with a title more fitting for a comic book hero than an Australian bushranger, ‘Captain Thunderbolt’ Frederick Ward recruited children for armed holdups and shootouts with police. Originally a drover from Paterson River, New South Wales, Ward was charged with horse thievery and sent to Cockatoo Island, Sydney harbour in August 1856 to serve 10 years of hard labour. After escaping on 11 September 1863, he settled into a life of armed robbery. Among Ward’s juvenile accomplices was 16-year-old John Thomson, who was shot and captured by police during an armed robbery, 16-year-old orphan Thomas Mason, who was captured by police and convicted of highway robbery, and 13-year-old runaway William Monckton. On 25 May 1870, Ward was shot-dead by Constable Alexander Walker at Kentucky Creek, Uralla.

 

ON THIS DAY……. 2nd August 1949

In the Ballarat Supreme Court, John Lilley, former licensee of the Commercial Hotel, Hopetoun, denied having kicked his wife in the head when he assaulted her at the hotel on this day in 1949, but admitted having struck her in the face and kicked her in the buttocks.  Lilley was giving evidence in his own defence.  After a retirement of 21 hours the jury found him not guilty of having murdered his wife Amelia Hilda Lilley and he was discharged by Mr Justice Martin. Mrs Lilley died in the Hopetoun hospital on August 12, 10 days after she had been assaulted.

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY…….2nd August 1904

An inquest was held at the Morgue yesterday morning concerning the death of a newly born male child whose body was found on August 2 on a vacant allotment near Howe crescent, South Melbourne. The child is fully developed and had been killed by being strangled with a piece of string which was tied round the neck.

There were (in the opinion of Mr J Brett MRCS who made a post mortem examination) evidence that skilled attention had been given to the mother when the child was born. The Coroner (Dr H Cole) recorded a verdict of wilful murder by some person or persons unknown. Detectives Bannon and Mercer are making enquiries into the case.

The town of Nhulunbuy lies in a remote corner of the Northern Territory and is surrounded by bush land where wild buffaloes roam free. In May 2005 a 46 year old man was killed on the town’s outskirts by a wild buffalo when he went for a walk to check the water supply line to his house. He had his two dogs with him that survived and returned to the house, which alerted his family that something had to be wrong. Unfortunately there was a bush fire in the area at the same time which hindered the search and burned the man’s body before it could be found. Police have started hunting buffaloes as this was far from the first incident, other people had been attacked, although nobody had been killed by buffaloes in the town since April 1993. In September 2007 a 49 year old woman from Melbourne was holidaying at Peppers Seven Spirit Bay resort on the Cobourg Peninsula and while she was enjoying a nice stroll along the beach with a couple of friends a wild buffalo charged them and attacked her. A tour guide that was with her at the time gave her first aid and she was flown to Darwin hospital by helicopter.