ON THIS DAY …….5th August 1947

Twin brothers were in the City Court on this day in 1947, one charged with attempted murder and the other with having conspired to murder. The charge followed the shooting of Keith Kitchener Hull, at St. Kilda on the 27th of July. The men are Charles Martin (26), of St. Kilda, who faced the charge of attempting to murder Hull, and Ernest Alfred James Martin, of South Yarra. who was charged with having conspired to murder Mrs. Thelma Hull, on the 30th of July.  George Barrett (34), of St. Kilda, was also charged with having attempted to murder Hull. Bail was refused on the attempted murder charge, but Ernest Martin was allowed bail. Detective H. R. Donnelly, in evidence, said that Hull would not tell the police who shot him. The accused were remanded to August 12.

ON THIS DAY – July 31, 1922

In the Malvern Police Court Robert Albert Scott, a French polisher, was charged with having, at Malvern, on July 31 shot Marie Dorothy Victoria Frith, a widow, aged 32 years, with intent to murder her.

Marié Dorothy Victoria Frith said that she had known Scott for about 14 months. They had been on friendly terms. On the evening of July 31 she met him by appointment at the Malvern Town Hall, and they walked along High-street until they came to a seat near the reserve at the corner of Edgar-street, where they sat down. In reply to a request by Scott that he should be allowed to continue to meet her witness said : “No, we have talked the matter over before and I am still of the same mind. I do not wish to talk about it any more.” Scott was silent for a few minutes. He then said: “Well if I can’t have you no one will. This ends it.” He drew a revolver and fired at her. The shot missed. Witness ran to the middle of the road. He then pointed the revolver at her face and fired four shots. She put up her left arm to shield her face. She thought that two shots entered her arm. She cried out: “What are you shooting me for? Stop shooting me.”

Witness noticed about half a dozen people standing on the footpath. A carrier’s van passed. The carrier looked out at the side and slowed down, but he passed on. Nobody came to her assistance. Scott said: “What are you making all this fuss about, you silly woman?” He then drew the revolver again and fired about four more shots. . He hit witness three times. One shot was in the left arm, which she had again put up to protect her face. She said to Scott: “You said that you would not shoot again” He said: “I intend to finish you.” Witness tried to run to the road again, but he grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground. Scott fired again, the bullet striking witness in the neck. Witness struggled with her arms over her face and another shot struck her in the elbow. She was trying to scream, but could not, as blood was flowing from her mouth freely. Scott took her further down the paddock and sat her down against a fence in a lane, saying: “Now don’t you move.” He then went to look for witness’s hat and glasses, and returned with the hat. Witness felt very weak and was in great pain. She was bleeding freely from the neck and arm. Scott next took her by the arm, and she said “Now let me get home. Will you stop following me any more? Will you stop shooting me?” They walked towards her home and be held her by the arm. She was holding his other hand so that he could not use the revolver. They walked up Tooronga-road to Wattle Tree-road, where witness resides. He said to her: “Will you promise me not to inform the police or tell anyone?” She said: “No, I will not tell the police.” Witness was terrified. He said “Will you meet me on Wednesday night?” Witness said “Yes,” not meaning, however, to keep her promise. He kissed her goodnight and said again. “Will you meet me on Wednesday night?” .She answered “Yes” and then said suddenly “There is your tram,” and left him. Witness complained to Mr and Mrs. M’Call, where she was boarding. Subsequently she was taken to the hospital. Scott was committed for trial.

ON THIS DAY – July 27, 1947

A slim, blue-eyed blonde, smartly dressed in a light brown coat, Dulcie Markham, of Fawkner Street, St. Kilda, appeared in the City Court this morning charged with conspiracy to murder. It was alleged that at St. Kilda on July 31, she conspired with Ernest Alfred James Markham to murder Valma Edith Hull, wife of Keith Kitchener Hull, who was wounded in St. Kilda on July 27. Mr. J. Galbally, who appeared for Dulcie Markham said she went voluntarily to Russell Street on Saturday and said, “If there is any charge, I am here to answer it.” Mrs. Markham was remanded to the St. Kilda Court on August 15. Bail was fixed at £300, with a £300 surety.

ON THIS DAY – JULY 7, 1948

CHARGED with having wounded Francis Gerald Ryan with intent to murder him, Eugene Francis Fitzpatrick, medical practitioner, of Como pde, Mentone, appeared before the Geelong City Court yesterday. He pleaded not guilty. Ryan, a fish merchant, of Derby st, Kensington, said that he and George Sevior went to Barwon Heads on July 6, and soon afterwards went to see Dr and Mrs Fitzpatrick, whom he had known for six or seven years, and who invited them to have tea with them. After tea he and Sevior, with the Fitzpatricks, went to his (Ryan’s) house and had some liquor. Later Mrs Fitzpatrick remarked that the doctor had had too much liquor, and should go to bed. Ryan offered to take the doctor home. After showing some resentment Fitzpatrick was assisted to the back door of his house. Mrs Fitzpatrick had remained behind so that her husband might drop off to sleep before she went in. Ryan returned home, and soon afterward, as he and Mrs Fitzpatrick were talking, he heard a row and a gunshot at the back of the house. He went to the back door and was shot in the right elbow.

“WERE GREAT FRIENDS”

To Mr R. V. Monahan, KC (for Fitzpatrick), Ryan said that he and the doctor were great friends, and no reason was given for the doctor wanting “to harm him.

George Francis Sevior, fish hawker, of Altona, said he went to bed about midnight. Ryan rushed into his room and said, “Get up quickly. Someone is shooting through the back door.” He heard several shots. Ryan went to the back door. A shot was fired, and Ryan was shot. He heard five shots fired.

“COME OUT, RYAN”

Senior-constable Simpson said he was called at 2am on July 7 by Ryan, who was accompanied by Sevior and Mrs Fitzpatrick. Five minutes later he heard a noise on the front verandah, and Fitzpatrick called out, “Open the door. I know Ryan is here. Come out, Ryan, you aren’t going to do that to me and get away with it.” Through the door he asked Fitzpatrick what was the matter. Fitzpatrick replied, “Let me in. I’ve shot Ryan, and I’ll shoot him again.” Witness opened the door and saw Fitzpatrick holding a gun. He seized him and took the gun away. At the Geelong detective office Fitzpatrick, when told that Ryan had been shot, said he “could not remember a thing about it.” The hearing was adjourned.

ON THIS DAY – June 14, 1913

MELBOURNE MURDER CONSPIRACY CHARGE – TWO YOUNG WOMEN ARRESTED – WIFE’S EXTRAORDINARY STORY

Few more remarkable cases have come before the Criminal Court than that which was heard in Melbourne on June 14, when Elizabeth Louisa Barry, aged 28 years, an employee in a tearoom in “The Block,” and Clarice Cowell, aged 20, a saleswoman at Cole’s Book Arcade, were charged before Mr. Dwyer, P.M., at the City Court, with having conspired to murder Florence May Ring. Mrs. King, Who lives at Ascotvale, and who is the wife of a clerk in the parcels office, at Flinders street station, when interviewed on the previous day, told an extraordinary story. “On Saturday night, June 7,” she said, “a strange woman knocked at my front door, and explained that she had brought a parcel for me from my husband’s sister. I took her inside, and the parcel contained blouses for myself and a jumper for my little baby, Bruce. She complained of not having had any tea, though it was after 8 o’clock at night. My little, boy jumped out of bed and ran into the dining room to us. The woman at once declared that she did not like children. I then took her into the breakfast-room, and set the table to give her some tea. My little boy meanwhile played about the house. She gave him a date cream, but he did not eat it. She begged me to join her in the tea, and I poured myself out a cup. When I did this she looked at Bruce and said, ‘It’s time you were in bed.’ I took the hint, and carried him into his room, being only away from the woman for a few minutes. “When I returned she was still eating, and, on sitting down at the table again, “I noticed that my tea, which did not contain milk, had a peculiar scum floating on the top of it.” I sipped it, “and remarked, “What a horrible bitter taste this tea has.’ I noticed a peculiar pink powder around the cup on the tray cloth, and I at once be came suspicious. This, with the bitter taste of the tea, prompted me not to touch it, and when the woman went away, soon afterwards, I left it on the table just as it was until my husband came home from work. I then told him of my suspicions. On the Monday following my husband took the powder to the Government analyst, who stated that it contained enough strychnine to poison ten men. “On Tuesday I went to Cole’s Book Arcade, and asked for a young-woman assistant there, and when she came I said to her, ‘I am not dead yet.’ She said, ‘I don’t understand you.’ I replied, ‘No; but you will before long.’ Then I went to the Detective Office, and told them exactly what I am saying now. “I have only one woman enemy in the world, and she will be so until I die. About six weeks ago Cowell came to the house, and almost banged the front door in. When I went to the front she was standing with her back to the fence, and, of course, we had a fight. Blows were struck, and the woman fainted. Then my husband said for his sake to bring her inside. I did, and when she recovered we continued the fight in the dining-room. She pulled my hair out, and the silk blouse she was wearing was torn to pieces, and before she was able to leave the place I had to patch it together for her. My husband first met her 12 months ago. He is in a position at the window in the parcels office, where he is meeting strange people all day.” As a result of allegations similar to the above the arrests were made. A distressing scene occurred when the accused women were brought into court. They were weeping hysterically, and their cries could be heard beyond the precincts of the courtroom. Eventually they were both in a state of collapse. Detective Napthine stated that he had obtained a confession from Barry that she had conspired with Cowell to poison Mrs. King. Cowell admitted afterwards to him that this was true. She told the detective that King had ruined her, and had absolutely broken her heart.  A remand was granted till June 20, and the women were then sent to the gaol hospital for treatment.

On this Day – April 11, 1914

ACCUSED MAN REMANDED. MISS BASS TELLS STORY.

By the train which arrived at Ballarat at 3 o’clock on Tuesday from Linton, James Williams came under escort as a prisoner, charged with the attempted murder at Linton on Monday afternoon of Sarah Bass. He had been brought before Mr. F. Kennedy, J.P., and remanded to appear at Ballarat next Tuesday. Williams was lodged in the Ballarat gaol. Sergeant Rogerson states that Williams told him he came from Bite Bite station, in the Ararat district, some days ago, and, beyond giving his name, refused to say anything further.

It appears that Mr. C. McCook, manager of the Mount Bute estate, near Linton, engaged Williams as a general hand, to start work on Tuesday, but on Monday Williams was required to relieve another member of the staff, who had gone to the races. By direction he drove to Linton and brought the mail in. About a quarter past four, after inquiring of Archibald McCook, 12, and Clarice McCook, 13, son and daughter of the manager, if their parents were at home, and receiving a negative reply, Williams learned from the children that the housekeeper, Sarah Bass, was in the kitchen, and he walked in that direction. Soon after this Williams was seen approaching the men’s hut, from the direction of the homestead. He was holding his head with his hands, saying, “My poor head is splitting.” It was then discovered that Miss Bass was badly cut on the head, and was lying unconscious in the kitchen. Williams was secured and handed over to the police.

To-day (Tuesday) Miss Bass is cheerful, and appears to be out of danger. One wound at the back of her neck is four inches long, and required six stitches to be inserted by Dr. Donaldton. There are four other wounds in the back of the head, three exposing the bone, which was also cut. Miss Bass states that Williams asked her for a drink of hot milk and water as he had heartburn. She supplied him, and he called for a second drink. While he was getting this she saw Williams take down a butcher’s meat chopper from the wall, but she did not guess his purpose. Immediately afterwards she received a blow on the back of the neck, and remembered no more until some time afterwards.

On This Day – January 30, 1947

Melbourne’s ‘Chinatown’ has been subjected to an Intense search by many detectives and police since the murder last night of Yung Shlng, 53 year old bosun of the freighter Fort Abltiba.

Shlng was shot dead In a taxi at point blank range. The owner-driver of the taxi, Robert Sydney Pack, was shot in the abdomen and the leg and was admitted to hospital in a critical condition. Pack told detectives that both he and Shlng were shot when they refused an order by two other men to hand over their money, but detectives are puzzled by the fact that the killers did not touch £156 in Shing’s pocket, and also left behind £10, which police found in the seat of the taxi.

The killing was discovered when detectives Investigated a taxi parked in the middle of the road with the motor still running. They found Shlng dead in the front seat and Pack lying wounded in the back seat. Pack told the police that while driving the four men to the docks one pressed a revolver against his’ ribs and ordered him to get into the back seat. He said one of the others joined the gunman and shots were fired. Police believe that the shooting is a prelude to gang warfare, involving customers of a Chinese gambling den.

Inquiries have disclosed that Yung Shlng had won between £5000 and £8000 In gambling over the past two months.

William John O’Meally was a career criminal who was convicted of the murder of Constable George Howell at Caulfield in 1952

O’Meally was born in 1920 as Joseph Thompson in Young, NSW.  The family moved to Sydney when he was 11 but his parents marriage dissolved not long after, and up to 14 years of age, O’Meally was a ward of the state.  O’Meally claimed to be the grandson of Johnie O’Meally, a member of the infamous Ben Hall gang.

O’Meally began his life of crime early and by 16 years had recorded his first assault against a police officer.  He was labelled as uncontrollable and sentenced to the Gosford Reformatory.  He made his first escape from here and became lost in the mangroves for a week before being recaptured.

By the time of Constable Howell’s murder in 1952, O’Meally had racked up 42 convictions including 5 for assault against police.

O’Meally claimed to be innocent of the policeman’s murder claiming he had been home with his wife at Bonbeach, a claim his wife supported.  He also claimed that Howell knew him and so would be able to identify him.  Despite these claims, O’Meally was found guilty and initially sentenced to be executed for the murder.  The newspapers reported that he cried when the verdict was read and again declared his innocence.

O’Meally would have his sentence commuted to life imprisonment without the benefit of parole.  He would be taken to Pentridge prison where he would escape in 1955 from H Division.  He would only be at large for a day before being recaptured in Coburg.

In 1957, O’Meally again attempted to escape from Pentridge, this time with an accomplice John Taylor.  Armed with a .38 pistol, the two men ran out of the main gates, shooting a warden in the process breaking his leg.  A gun battle ensued with other warders an the two men were recaptured just 13 minutes after escaping.

At the trial, the Judge stated “You are both clearly beyond hope of reform. Simply to sentence you to a further term of imprisonment would be to impose a totally inadequate form of punishment, and would provide no real deterrent against further attacks of a like character.”

Both had a further 10 years added to their sentences and were ordered to be given 12 strokes of the cat o nine tails in one session, the first flogging in Victoria since 1943.  On April 1st, 1958 the flogging sentence was carried out with O’Meally becoming the final man to be flogged in Victoria.  He would claim it had taken him 3 months to recover and no medical assistance was given.

O’Meally would become Victoria’s longest serving prisoner, serving 27 years before being released on parole on 5th July 1979.

 

 

Well we might be a little bit late to the new year this year!!  But nevertheless Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

In our defence we have been busy in the background finding and securing some new adventures for the Twisted History for this year, some we will be letting you know about very soon!  As well as busily providing ghost tours and paranormal investigations at Geelong Gaol and murder tours in Melbourne’s Chinatown.

Back to our blog!!  This year we will be doing things a little differently.  For the past couple of years we have been blogging snippets from history that happened “On This Day.  This year we will be doing “Sunday Spotlights” instead.  This will allow us to provide more details (where we can!) on some of the events we will be writing about.

But we would like your input!

As some of you would know we have a few different categories that we blog about – these include Murders, Goals, Hotels, Pop Culture and of course Twisted History.

This year we want to hear from you! Which Australian murder cases fascinate you?  Is there a particular Australian movie or TV show you want to know more about?  Is there an urban legend that gives you a chuckle?  Or even a good ghost story we haven’t heard?  Is your local hotel haunted?  Is there something paranormal you want to discuss?  We want to hear it all!

If you have some ideas for blog articles – get in touch!  You can email us at twistedhistoryvictoria@gmail.com, you can inbox us on any of our facebook pages or give us a call on 1300865800.

We do have some stories going up starting tonight and we look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Welcome to 2018!!

 

 

ON THIS DAY – December 4, 1931

Edward Leeming. aged 19 years, salesman, of Bon Beach, was committed for trial on charge of attempted murder. Clarence Holford, commercial traveller, said that Leeming and he had been at St. Kilda on December 4.  Leeming had a revolver, and witness tried to get him to put it in his pocket. They walked along Carlisle-street, and Leeming said that he would throw the revolver, over a fence. Instead of doing so he fired at Holford, and the bullet entered his abdomen. A statement alleged to have been made by Leeming was read in court, Leeming stating the revolver had exploded accidentally. Leeming was also committed for trial on two charges of housebreaking and stealing.

 

On This Day – November 29, 1946

A young returned soldier who is alleged to have chased and threatened to kill his former fiancee with a Japanese Samurai sword, was committed for trial in the Fourth District Court yesterday.  Charles Francis Wright (22) docker and painter. Spencer St., West Melbourne, was charged with having entered a dwelling by night with intent to commit a felony. Mr Addison, P.M., committed him to the Supreme Court on December 9 with bail of £50 and surety for the same amount.  Greta Marie Watkins, porteress, Parliament Pl., East Melbourne, to whom Wright was once engaged to be married, broke down while giving evidence and wept bitterly. She said that at 11.15 p.m. on November 29, as she was walking in Parliament Pl. Wright grabbed her by the arm and said, “I want to take you to a beautiful spot to see the Crucifix.” She refused to go with him. Wright said. “I will come back with a couple of hand grenades and I will kill you.” Later as she was sitting outside the guest house she saw Wright coming down the stairs with something in his hand. As he chased her she ran into Gisborne St. He yelled. “I’ll get you.” She ran about 200 yards before she heard someone call “stop” and a shot was fired. Wright pleaded not guilty and reserved his defence.

On This Day – November 19, 1938 

Richard Clarence Skinner, 21, of South Melbourne, was arrested on a charge with having at Bacchus Marsh on November 19, with intent to murder, Arthur Edwards, a farm hand, of Balwyn. He had a severe wound on the chin and was unable to speak. By writing answers to questions by the detectives Edwards stated he had been shot while entering a car on the Ballarat Road at Bacchus Marsh.