ON THIS DAY – January 23, 1933

John Barber, aged 24, attacked his wife, failing in an attempt to murder her, in a house at Mount Evelyn on this day, John Barber, fatally wounded himself with a sawn-off pea-rifle. Barber’s wife was working as a domestic at Mount Evelyn, and he went to see her. A quarrel occurred, and Barber produced a pea-rifle and aimed it at his wife, who was nursing a baby. She struck the barrel upwards, with her arm, and the bullet lodged in the ceiling. Barber then struck at his wife with the stock of the rifle. She fled, and on hearing another shot she returned to the house, and found her husband lying seriously wounded on the floor.



ON THIS DAY – December 28, 1915

Francis Elliott (34) was, at the Criminal Court, convicted on a charge of attempting to murder Arthur Henry Mace, driver, at Box Hill on the 28th of December. It was alleged that the accused, on the evening of December 28, called at Mace’s house and a disturbance took place. He left after threatening to shoot Mace and Mrs. Mace. Mace and his wife went to bed and were aroused about midnight by the report of a gunshot. The walls of the house were marked with gunshot pellets. The accused was remanded for sentence. Elliott received 5 years hard labour.

On this day …….. 27th of December 1902

The strange conduct of the young man Frank Dunnemann, who on the 27th December, at Fitzroy, shot at and wounded a young lady, formed the subject of his trial for attempted murder at the Supreme Court. It will be remembered that the young people met first in Broken Hill, where Miss Elkins was appearing with a variety company, and residing at an hotel kept by the accused mother. Then she went to Adelaide, and accused followed her. She came across to Melbourne in December, pursued still by her ardent lover. She tried to be cool with him, and finally refused to have anything to do with him. She confessed to having written letters couched in loving terms to the accused. One night, while she was returning to her home in Fitzroy, the accused met her in a quiet street, and in the course of an altercation a revolver he was carrying exploded, the bullet striking the young lady on the forehead. The young man was chased by a bystander, whom he shot at, and missed. Then he pointed the revolver at his own head, and, firing twice, inflicted two wounds in the forehead. He was found lying behind a bush, and subsequently near the same spot a letter, signed by the accused, was discovered. It was addressed to Miss Elkins’s mother, and bade ‘farewell to all.’ It was full of curiously misspelt words, and aimed at in forming the world of the accused’s love for ‘his Connie, without whom I cannot live, and so I want to make sure she is dead.’ For the defence it was stated that the accused, who is only 20 years old, was subject to fits, and had been hit on the head some years ago. The plea of impulsive insanity was accordingly put forth. The jury brought in a verdict of wounding with intent to murder, and Judge Hodges recorded a sentence of death, saying that he did not feel justified in passing it.


ON THIS DAY – December 23, 1924


Charged with having attempted to murder his wife, Beatrice Miller, on the 23rd of December, Walter Wells Miller (48), painter of Earl-street Windsor, was placed on remanded by Mr. F. Wilmot to appear at the Prahran Court on the 2nd of January. Bail was fixed at £200 with one surety of £200. Detective-Sergeant Piggot asked for the remand until the 2nd of January, when, he said he expected to be able to proceed. ‘There have been strained relations’ he stated, ‘between this man and his wife. She sued him for maintenance. He went away for a few weeks but returned to her and they have recently been getting on fairly well, though there is another woman in the case. Two other people— a man and a woman— occupy front rooms in the house. They were still in bed when Miller got up a few minutes before his wife on Tuesday morning. She prepared the morning meal, pouring some milk into her own cup. She says that her husband poured the tea into the cup. He says that he is not sure about this. It may have been that morning or the previous day, that he poured out the tea. Mrs. Miller left the room for a few minutes, and, on returning, took a sip of tea. Miller then went to work, and she drank the major portion of the tea. Almost immediately, she felt ill. As she grew worse, and showed symptoms of poisoning, she called out for assistance, and the man and woman in the front rooms gave her an emetic. In this way she got rid of most of the poison. A doctor was sent for and he took possession of the cup, which contained a white or greyish mixture. It was sent to the Government analyst, who has reported that it contained a poison. The woman was sent to the Alfred Hospital, where she is how out of danger. Mrs. Miller states that, on at least two previous occasions, she has experienced symptoms of poisoning. Asked by Mr. Wilmot if he had an objection to the remand, Miller replies ‘I am not guilty. That’s all I know.’




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.




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.


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 sit Bacchus Marsh.



At Bendigo to-day Edward Jas. Slattery, 20 was charged with having on November 15 shot at Wm. Knight at Axe Creek. with intent to murder him.

Wm. Knight, railway employee, said that accused was his son-in-law. He was one of a party that went fishing. They were all skylarking, and accused shot at witness’s hat, which had been thrown in the water. Afterwards they were pushing one another in the water and accused, who was frightened of the water as he could not swim, picked up a gun, and said, “I’ll shoot you, you -.” He then fired over witness’s head, and went back a few paces, and again said “I’ll shoot you” He fired, and a shot struck witness in the left side. Accused was under the influence of liquor. Witness believed the affair was a pure accident.