On this day …….. 29th of July 1989

Writing in the Lancet Medical Journal of the 29th of July 1989, two Sydney doctors described the curious case of a 70 year man who had suffered from hiccups for 30 years and how they had successfully cured him with a muscle relaxant. The man endured bouts of hiccups that lasted for up to two weeks. He would hiccup twenty seven times a minute and sometimes vomited during the attacks. While doctor James Lance and Gerald Bassil we retreating him, they discovered that his grandfather, father, aunt, uncle, sister and brothers also suffered from hiccup attacks. The man’s first attack began when he was forty years of age, and from then on he was never at peace.

 

ON THIS DAY – July 29, 1991

A judge, his voice cracking with emotion and with tears in his eyes, sentenced a former ‘ church elder to life imprisonment for the “terrible” murder of a six-year-old girl. “Life means life,” Justice Philip Cummins said, as he sentenced Robert Arthur Selby Lowe, 57, for the murder of Sheree Beasley. The judge did not set a minimum term. What you did was every child’s fear and every parent’s nightmare,” Justice Cummins said. Lowe was found guilty on Wednesday of kidnapping and killing Sheree at Rosebud, on the Mornington Peninsula, south-east of Melbourne, on June 29, 1991. Justice Cummins also sentenced Lowe to 15 years’ jail for kidnapping. Sheree disappeared while running an errand for her mother near her home. Her remains were found in the nearby suburb of Red Hill three months later. Justice Cummins said he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Lowe had sexually attacked Sheree and that she had choked to death. Lowe had then forced her body down a drain. After Justice Cummins sentenced Lowe, the public gallery erupted in cheers and people yelled, “Suffer* Lowe”, “Sheree got the life sentence”, and “You’ve still got your life”. There were similar scenes on Wednesday, when the verdict was announced. In his sentencing comments yesterday Justice Cummins said the trial had been one of the most harrowing he had experienced.  Before sentencing, Lowe’s previous convictions, including ones for indecent assault and offensive behaviour dating back to 1956, were read to the court. Justice Cummins said Lowe’s “sexual interests” had been fuelled by the abduction of Karmein Chan, 13, who was kidnapped from her, home in Templestowe, in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, in April 1991 — two months before Sheree’s murder. The judge said he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt with evidence given by a cell-mate of Lowe’s. Lowe had told the prisoner that he had forced Sheree to do “dirty acts”. “She choked to death,” Justice Cummins said. “You were uncomfortable with the words oral sex — you used the words ‘dirty acts’.” Justice Cummins said Lowe had first seen Sheree when he had been in Rosebud the weekend before she was murdered. He had returned on June 29 and had forced her off her bicycle and into his car before speeding off. Witnesses said, they had seen a fearful Sheree in the car. Justice Cummins said Lowe had been articulate and manipulative in his lies to police, whom he commended for their persistence.”Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive,” the judge told Lowe. “And you wove a tangled web around yourself which eventually captured you.” Justice Cummins said Lowe had shown no remorse for his crimes and had even been excited when he had gone to the scene of the crime with his psychotherapist. Lowe stood impassively as Justice Cummins sentenced him. He held an envelope to the side of his face, to hide it from journalists sitting near the dock. Sheree’s grandfather, Neil Greenhill, told reporters the sentence was what the family had hoped for. “You can’t replace what’s been taken away,” he said. “I hope he gets no peace … we hope he rots in hell. There’s no forgiveness … none at all.”

On this day …….. 28th of July 1923

The Sydney Harbour Bridge connects the Sydney CBD with the North Shore commercial and residential areas on Sydney Harbour. It is the largest steel arch bridge in the world, though not the longest, with the top of the bridge standing 134 metres above the harbour. In 1912, John Bradfield was appointed chief engineer of the bridge project, which also had to include a railway. Plans were completed in 1916 but the advent of WWI delayed implementation until 1922. Workshops were set up on Milson’s Point on the North Shore where the steel was fabricated into girders. Granite for the bridge’s construction was quarried near Moruya. Construction of the bridge began on the 28th of July 1923, and took 1400 men eight years to build at a cost of £4.2 million. Sixteen lives were lost during its construction, while up to 800 families living in the path of the proposed Bridge path were relocated and their homes demolished when construction started. The Premier of New South Wales, Jack Lang, opened Sydney Harbour Bridge on the 19th of March 1932.

 

On This Day ……. 28th of July 1926

Royston Rennie, the young Geelong man who is awaiting death for having murdered John Greville, a bank clerk, made an unsuccessful application to
the Court of Criminal Appeal on this day in 1926, for leave to appeal against his execution.

 

ON THIS DAY – July 28, 1934

After having heard evidence at an inquest today into the death of a newly-born male child, whose body was found by a railway employee while cleaning out a carriage at the Joilmont yards on July 28. The coroner (Mr. Grant) committed Edith Clyne, aged 20, formerly a nurse employed at the Queen’s Memorial Hospital, Fairfield, for trial at the Supreme Court on a charge of murder.

ON THIS DAY – July 28, 1936

 

Charged with having murdered his twin sister, Adelaide Bek, on July 28, Charles Bek, farmer, of Kooroocheang, was remanded at the Ballarat City Court to day until August 28. It was alleged that Bek had an altercation with his sister, struck her several blows on the head with a hammer and threw her body into a dam on his farm. He was arrested last night. The body was recovered from the dam on August 14. Bek is little more than five foot high, and is slightly built.

On this day …….. 28th of July 1921

On the 28th of July 1921 an employee at the railway station at Bundarra, New South Wales, placed a few loose bullets in his pocket after he had used his riffle. He kept tobacco in the same pocket and later put some into his pipe, unaware that one of the bullets had got mixed up with it. He sat down in his living room and lit his pipe to have a smoke. Heat from the tobacco exploded the bullet and the pipe was blown to pieces in the mans hands. The bullet lodged in the ceiling while the smoker was left shocked by his narrow escape but suffered only minor cuts.

 

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 …….. 27th of July 1836

Kangaroo Island is a protected and unspoilt island off the coast of South Australia. Australia’s third-largest island after Tasmania and Melville Islands, it is 112 km southwest of the state capital, Adelaide. The first European to land on the island was Matthew Flinders, doing so in 1802, and it was he who named it, after his starving crew was saved by the abundance of kangaroos they found there. The island narrowly missed becoming a French colony, as Nicolas Baudin arrived shortly after Flinders departed, and named the island L’Isle Decres. From 1803, Kangaroo Island was frequently used as a base by sealers and whalers. Escaped convicts and ship deserters also made the island their home. While farmers and other settlers established themselves on Kangaroo Island from around 1819, these were not official settlements. The South Australia Act, enabling the founding of the colony of South Australia, was passed by British Parliament in 1834. In 1835, Scottish businessman and wealthy landowner, George Fife Angas, formed the South Australian Company to assist settlers to the new colony. The first emigrants bound for South Australia left in February 1836. On the 27th of July 1836, the first of the South Australian Company’s ships, the Duke of York, arrived at Reeves Point on Kangaroo Island’s north coast. The first ‘official’ settler to step foot on the island was two-year-old Elizabeth Beare.

 

On This Day ……. 27th of July 1907

Escaped Lunatic – James Ryan

A lunatic named James Ryan escaped from the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum some time on Friday. Ryan was found guilty of endeavouring to derail a train on the Broadmeadows line some time ago, and on the medical evidence he was ordered detention during the pleasure of His Excellency the governor. He is a criminal lunatic, and was convicted for prior offences. When he escaped he was dressed in asylum clothes, and wore a black felt hat and blucher boots. Ryan is 47 years of age, 5ft. 10in. in height, stoutly built, and is full faced, with black hair and moustache turning grey. Some teeth are missing in the upper jaw.

 

ON THIS DAY – July 27, 1924

At the Detective Office yesterday afternoon a telephone message was received from the Benalla police, stating that the body of Miss Bridget Enwright, who has been missing, from her home at Staghorn Flat since July 27, was found partly covered with clay, at Staghorn Flat, in circumstances indicating foul play (says a Melbourne message in the “News”). A detective has been dispatched to investigate the matter.

Miss Enwright (as briefly reported in yesterday’s “Miner”) was 69 years of age, and lived alone on her farm, which is in the Yackandandah district, and ís 198 miles from Melbourne. Her prolonged absence from home caused concern among residents, and search parties were organised to examine the surrounding country. Until yesterday morning their efforts were unsuccessful. At one time 50 mounted men were searching. Miss Enwright was seen talking to a young man about two miles from her home on July 27, and though she is believed to have returned to the house she was not again seen alive. Two weeks ago, however, a constable from Kiewa and local residents visited her home, and found signs that a robbery had been committed. The back door was unlocked, and one of the bedrooms was in disorder. Among other things discovered were an empty purse and handbag. In the house, however, there were no signs of struggle.

ON THIS DAY – July 27, 1932

Walter Henderson. (48), farmer, was charged late today with having on July 27, at Albert Park murdered his mother Mrs Sarah Henderson.

MURDER CHARGE FAILS.

The third trial of Walter William Henderson 47, farmer, on a charge of having murdered his mother at their home at Albert Park on July 27, was concluded in the Criminal Court to-night. The Jury found Henderson not guilty and he was discharged. Soon after his acquittal Henderson was arrested on a charge of bigamy.