On This Day ……. 27th of July

Mr. G. Read Murphy, P.M., paid an official visit to the Geelong gaol on this day in 1911. Amongst the generally orderly lot of old and infirm prisoners there he found few complaints of any moment, and no cases, of insubordination were brought under his notice.

 

ON THIS DAY – July 26, 1933

 

At the inquest into the death of Katherine Dorman, 24, machinist, on July 26, following an attack and injuries inflicted with an iron pipe while in her bedroom at Windsor the Coroner found John Boles murdered her and ordered a warrant for his arrest after hearing the evidence of Miss Dorman’s land-lady, Mrs. Nellie Burke, that Boles had repeatedly hit Dorman over the head with the pipe. Boles, who is a married man left a letter saying that he had lost his employment, which meant his means for getting a divorce had gone. This seemed to unhinge his overstrung nerves and then he simply wanted to die and take the dear girl with him.

On this day …….. 26th of July 2011

Two Australian police officers in Canberra, used pepper spray to fight off a rogue kangaroo that had attacked an elderly woman in her backyard in an Outback town, on this day in 2011. The 94-year-old victim, Phyllis Johnson, was taken to a hospital for treatment for cuts and bruises after the attack Sunday afternoon. She told The Courier Mail newspaper that she tried unsuccessfully to fight the kangaroo off with a broom after it attacked her while she was hanging her laundry. “I thought it was going to kill me,” she told the newspaper from her bed in Charleville Hospital on Monday. “It was taller than me and it just plowed through the clothes on the washing line straight for me.” She said the kangaroo knocked her to the ground before she crawled to her house, where her son called police. Perkins said the first police officer to reach the backyard was forced to spray the kangaroo to avoid being injured. “The animal jumped away, then saw another officer at the back of the police car and went for that officer, and he also had to deploy his capsicum spray – so the roo had to get sprayed twice,” he said. “After that, it hopped away from the scene, but police could still monitor its location – it didn’t go too far.”

 

On this day …….. 26th of July 1882

This day in 1882 saw Yarrawonga covered with snow. When Mr Gourlay brought his Cobb and Co coach into town from Benalla, he had to runa gauntlet of snowballs, pelted by the young of the town. The snowfall, by the time it had finished, covered much of south eastern Australian.

 

EXECUTED THIS DAY – July 26, 1859

 

Richard Rowley, who was sentenced to death at the Supreme Court on the 18th instant, for a violent and premeditated assault, with intent to murder, committed by him on Denis Kilmartin, one of the overseers at the Pentridge Stockade, on the 25th of June, suffered the extreme penalty of the law at 10 o’clock yesterday morning at the Melbourne Gaol.  The unhappy man, since his conviction has been attended by the Rev. Mr. Studdert, the Gaol Chaplain, and the Rev. Mr. Bryan, the Chaplain at Pentridge. He expressed a deep contrition for the offence of which he was found guilty, and at the last moment died penitent. On being summoned by the Sheriff from his cell, precisely at 10 o’clock, he walked out, pale, but with a firm step. His arms having been pinioned by the executioner, the mournful procession walked slowly down the passage towards the scaffold, the Burial Service being read by Mr. Bryan. Rowley mounted the steps leading to the drop without hesitation or apparent fear; he had evidently braced his nerves and summoned all his resolution to meet his impending fate with firmness. On reaching the drop he knelt and prayed. When he rose his countenance was blanched, but apparently not from terror at the dreadful apparatus of death on which he stood. He turned round to his minister, and bade him good-by, and then, noticing the Governor of the Gaol, said, “Goodby, Mr. Wintle.” These were the last words he uttered. A white cap was then drawn down tightly over his face, and a few moments later — the only sound now heard being the solemn voice of the clergyman repeating the service for the dead—the bolt was drawn, and the wretched man was launched into eternity. A slight convulsive shudder ran through his frame, and in a few moments he ceased to live, death taking place in 42 seconds from the time of his fall. He was cut down at 11 o’clock. Shortly afterwards, an inquest was held on the body by the City

The deceased was a native of Greenwich, and was born in 1824. At 13 years of age, having been tried and convicted of a robbery, committed by him in London, he was transported to Van Diemen’s Land for a period of seven years. He has since repeatedly been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment in this colony for numerous thefts. At the time of his committing the offence which has led to his execution he was confined in the Pentridge Stockade under cumulative sentences, altogether making a term of 32 years’ imprisonment. It would seem to be the knowledge of this fact, and despair of ever regaining his liberty, which led him to the commission of the deed for which he suffered. The unhappy man stated that he had been brutally ill-treated by his overseer Kilmartin, at the Stockade. There do not, however, appear to be any grounds for supposing such a statement to be correct, and it will also be remembered that Rowley made this statement in a moment of great excitement at his trial, but he never subsequently alluded to it in calmer moments. Kilmartin was frightfully injured in the desperate affray, in which also Mr. Mitchell, another overseer, was severely wounded by the wretched criminal.

ON THIS DAY – July 26, 1943

Giving evidence in his defence on a charge of murdering Pearl Oliver at Fitzroy on July 26, Harold Nugent, truck-driver, said in the Criminal Court today that he did not shoot the girl and did not have a weapon of any sort in his possession. Nugent said he was driving two other men to St. Kilda when, in Fitzroy. He saw Joseph Fanesi, a drinking acquaintance, with a girl and an American sailor. He stopped and asked Fanesi to have a drink with him. Fanesi declined, but as Nugent was walking back to the car, he heard two shots and saw Fanesi fall. He then saw his companion, Leslie Brown, and the sailor fighting. Brown joined him in the car and they drove away. He did not know the girl was shot until he read it in the paper the next day.

On This Day ……. 26th of July

Mr. G. Read Murphy, P.M., paid an official visit to the Geelong gaol on this day in 1911. Amongst the generally orderly lot of old and infirm prisoners there he found few complaints of any moment, and no cases, of insubordination were brought under his notice.

 

ON THIS DAY – July 25, 1942

Following exhaustive inquiries, detectives arrested and charged Frederick Francis Green, 32, timber worker of Lygon Street, Carlton, with the murder of Mrs. Catherine, Whitley, 65, in a lane off Elizabeth Street, city, on July 25. Mrs. Whitley was discovered unconscious in the lane on July 25 and died two days later, from a fractured skull.

EXECUTED THIS DAY – July 25, 1855

James McAllister, convicted at the last Criminal Sessions of the murder of Jane Jones, a woman with whom he formerly cohabitated, was executed at the Melbourne Gaol. About 500 persons were present outside the gaol to witness the execution. McAllister was transported out to Van Diemans Land in 1842 being then about fourteen or fifteen years of age.

On this day …….. 25th of July 1851

From the mid 1800s, writings about strange ape-like creatures in Australia abounded. One of these was a diary entry from the Connondale region of southeast Queendland, written on the 25th of July 1851, which stated:
“They are short, stout and of very muscular appearance. They are covered in thick black hair…Their hair and beards are long…They are completely naked…the stench of their body is unbearable…great hunters of the forests and jungles…They come and go without being seen. They can hide in the undergrowth in such a manner that one can be touched or struck without their person being visible. I am to wonder if these are the same people…who take people away when they dare enter the forests and jungles…the women made grunt-like expression during contact…the child hung to its mother on the breast in the manner of an ape. These were the Woningityan/Won-ingee-tyan – the shadow men creatures of the jungles and forests…”

 

On This Day ……. 25th of July 1910

Three prisoners will be transferred from tho Geelong gaol to Pentridge on this day in 1910. Two of them are for discharge, and the other, a man, who was sentenced to a long term of imprisonment for shooting, at Constable Salisbury at Portarlington
some years ago, is being taken down for medical examination.

 

ON THIS DAY – JULY 25, 1916

Antoine Picone the Italian who shot and killed Joseph Luricella, a compatriot, in Queen Victoria Market on July 25, was hanged in Melbourne Gaol. Picone had been attended until the last minute by Father J. Donovan, and when led on to the scaffold carried his hand a small photograph and a paper containing a lock of hair. He asked that they might be buried with him. The sheriff promised him the request would be granted, and then asked him if he had anything further to say. Picone said something in a low, inaudible tone. The lever was then released, Death was instantaneous. Luricella was shot through the head with an automatic revolver as the result of a quarrel with Picone. The tragedy occurred in the early morning.