Bluey was an Australia police drama series made by Crawford Production in Melbourne for the Seven Network. Which ran from the 2nd of August 1976 to the 25th of April 1977.

Stand-up comedian Lucky Grills was cast as the titular Det. Sergeant “Bluey” Hills.

Hills character was different to other detectives seen in Crawford’s previous shows. Being obese, heavily drinking, smoking, visited prostitutes, Hills character took on a life of its own.

Bluey was set at Melbourne’s Russell Street Police Headquarters, and many scenes were shot around South Melbourne.

“Bluey” Hills heading his own squad (“Department B”), due to his inability to work within the existing police squads.

Department B was given cases which the other departments could not solve by conventional means.  Hills applying his unconventional methods to bring about their resolution.

Bluey was supported in his investigations by newly assigned Det. Gary Dawson (John Diedrich) long-time cohort Sgt. Monica Rourke (Gerda Nicolson), and undercover officer Det. Sgt. Reg Truscott (Terry Gill), who spent his time ostensibly working as a small-time burglar, and supplying Bluey with information on the activities of local criminals. 

Unlike other Australian TV series at the time the entirely show shot on colour film.

The final episode “Son Of Bluey” featured an appearance by actor Don Barker as Det. Sgt. Harry White – the same character he played in Homicide television series.

Bluey found a new audience two decades later when the dubbed clips from the show formed the basis for the popular The Late Show comedy sketch “Bargearse”.

In addition to two guest appearances as himself, Grills also reprised his role as Bluey on The Late Show in order to protest the airing of the last Bargearse sketch.

Another enduring element from the show, the theme music, is now best associated with coverage of cricket from Nine Network’s Wide World of Sports.

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

Donald Maxfield was reported missing from Colac on the 13th of May, 1953. On the 1st of August 1953, the torso of a man was pulled from the Barwon River. Divers would eventually find the rest of Maxfield’s body, which had been dismembered and placed in kerosene tins and sunk in the Barwon River. ⁣

It was believed the Maxfield was attacked and bashed in a garage in Colac by two men. The men had placed the unconscious body of Maxfield in the boot of a car and had driven to Geelong. Maxfield regained consciousness and was again bashed to death on the banks of the Barwon. It was reported that this was a payback as it was believed that Maxfield had been a police informant against one of the men.⁣

The two men would later be arrested and information from them would lead to finding the rest of Maxfields body by divers recovering the torso after a 5 hour search of the river. The torso had been covered in an oat sack, wrapped in wire and weighed down with stone weights so that it was roughly 100lbs. The head and hands were later discovered in kerosene tins in the river. ⁣

Both men were charged with murder and sentenced to life imprisonment and 20 years respectively.⁣

On the 15th September 1904, an accident occurred in Elizabeth Street where Sarah Ann
Robins, her husband James and her 27 year old daughter, Rosina Hubbard, who was
described as a dwarf, were thrown from a cart. This accident set in a motion a series of
events that would leave only James still alive 12 months later.

Nursed by her Daughter

Sarah required attention for her injuries, and was nursed at home by her daughter,
Rosina. However doctors became concerned by her unusual symptoms and engaged a
nurse to assist the family in caring for her. Sarah continued to decline and was admitted
to the Melbourne Hospital.

Nurse Flower, who had been engaged to look after Sarah before she was admitted to
hospital, deposed at the inquest that she witnessed Rosina administer some medicine to
her mother. When the nurse rinsed the glass it turned her rings black. Sarah was heard
to remark “they won’t prosecute my Rosie will they?” after doctors accused her of
poisoning her mother. Rosina maintained that her mother wanted to commit suicide
which was why she had given her the arsenic and quicksilver.

Sarah died in the Melbourne Hospital on September 30, 1904. Doctors asked Sarah
before she died whether she had taken anything, which she denied but doctors felt she
was holding something back. After her death, analysis showed arsenic in every organ that
was examined.

Rosina Arrested

Rosina on her arrest for the wilful murder of her mother, Sarah, was heard to
exclaim “me murder my mother!” And then swooned. When she recovered, Rosina stated
that she did not murder her mother, that Sarah had asked for it. During the inquest,
Rosina was described as a “cunning shrewd little woman” but it was not certain she had
her “wits” about her. However, evidence was brought that it was James Robins who
had purchased the arsenic to poison a dog who had bitten someone.  The inquest concluded
with a verdict of wilful murder due to arsenic poisoning, wilfully and maliciously
administered by Rosina Hubbard.

During the murder trial, it was revealed that James Robins had also buried his two
previous wives! One wife died in Launceston about 15 years previously and the second
wife in Melbourne about 16 years previous. It was also alleged that James had fed his
wife oysters sprinkled with white powder. This was denied by James which caused an
outburst by Rosina, screaming that he did! It was also revealed that James did not have
much money to his name when he married Sarah, who herself owned properties. James
would gain the money from these properties on his wife’s death. It was also alleged that
James was the father of Rosina’s infant and that there had been improper relations
between the two.

Confession

In March, 1905, the Government was unhappy that Rosina had been acquitted for the
matricide of her mother Sarah. They deputised Detective McManamny to make further
inquiries in to the case. On re-interviewing, Rosina admitted that she had poisoned her
mother using quicksilver and arsenic. Her reasoning was that her mother knocked her
about and had accused her of relations with her stepfather. However, she also admitted
to the detective that James Robins was the father of her child. As Rosina had been
acquitted of the murder, she could not be retried!

Rosina’s Death

Rosina was not to enjoy her freedom for very long. She died in the Melbourne Hospital on
the 24th May 1905, after being hospitalised since the 5th. Her inquest was again
sensational, as it was originally suspected that Rosina had killed herself by taking the
same poisons as she had administered to her mother! Dr Mollison, the coroner described
Rosina as a congenital dwarf whose arms and legs were considerably smaller than the
rest of her body. She was 3 feet 10 inches in height and her head measured 22 inches.
there were no marks of violence and samples of her organs, muscles and bones were
taken for further analysis. After analysis, the official cause of death was exhaustion due
to ulceration of the intestines.

You would think that would be the end of the story! But there was one more twist!

Rosina’s will was contested on the grounds of her sanity when it went to probate.
Evidence was brought to court on how James Robins held a magnetic influence over
Rosina. It was stated that Robins banned anyone from seeing her in hospital especially
the “black fellow”, who was her half sister, Isabella Webster, Indian husband. Isabella
had described her father as a “brute”. The Chief Justice was to dismiss the content
stating there were no grounds on which to contest.

Madge Connor was born in Waterford, Ireland in 1874.  She married Edward Connor at 16 years of age and the young couple made their way to Melbourne, Victoria.
Edward died in 1916 and it whilst registering his death in 1916 that she came to the attention of the Victoria Police.  Madge began working for them later that year investigating illegal gambling and going undercover to gather evidence in the boarding house of a notorious criminal.
In 1917, after a campaign by women’s groups to appoint female police members, Madge became the first police agent. In effect, a special Constable with no uniform, no powers of arrest and no weapons.
Madge would become part of a group who advocated for the appointment of female police members.  This came to fruition in November 1924, when Madge and 3 other women were sworn in as the first female Police Officers.
 Madge was forced to retire due to age regulations in 1929 and was ineligible for a pension as she hadn’t served the requisite 15 years.  She went on to become a private investigator instead.
Madge died in October 1952 and is buried at the Booroondoora Cemetery in Kew.

On This Day – April 21, 1928

“Spite” Against Police Sergeant

Ellen Mcpherson, aged 50 years, of ,Evandale road, Malvern, was charged at the Malvern Court on Monday with having on April 13 and on April 21 placed grease and garbage in a public place. Senior constable Langslow prosecuted. There was no appearance of McPherson. With Mr C.J. Rogers, PM , on the bench, were Messrs W.T. Hattam,  T. Patterson,  A.R. Bailey and Dr. Player, JPs.

John Robert Chamberlain sergeant of police, in charge of the police of the superintendent of the south-eastern police district, said -I live in Evandale road, Malvern. I left my home at 7 o’clock on the evening of April 15, and the foot path in front of the house was then clean.  When I returned about 10 minutes to 8 o’clock I saw grease spots on the footpath extending the whole length of the front of my house.  The grease was of a green in colour, and had evidently been boiled.  On April 21 I saw on the footpath household garbage including bread, tea leaves, potato peeling, mutton bones, and what appeared to be oil, in a zigzag course on the footpath in front of the house. There was a very disagreeable odour from the grease. I reported the matter to the Malvern police.

Plain clothes Constable Leopold Barnes said -On April 23 I questioned Mrs McPherson, who said that she did not know anything about the matter. Later she admltted having placed the oil and grease on the footpath.  When I asked her why she did it she said I suppose it was for spite. I am a sick woman.

In answer to Mr Rogers, Constable Barnes said – It appears that two years ago the woman had an accident and reported the matter to Sergeant Chamberlain who not take up the case.  He is not stationed at Malvern

McPherson was fined £2 in default imprisonment for 14 days on each charge.

Shortly after 3 p.m. on Sunday, 9th January 1921, the motor launch “Nestor” sank in the Hopkins River, near Warrnambool

The boat had set out with 80 passengers aboard heading 5 kilometers upstream to Jubilee Park.  The Nestor had only gone about 1700 feet (518 meters) when the first alarm was raised that she was taking on water.  The owner of the boat, Edward Geary made attempts to beach the boat and had sent two boys ashore to fasten it off but it unfortunately did not hold. Ten people would ultimately drown.  Geary would be charged with manslaughter but the charges would later be dropped.

Constable William Sharrock was on duty on board the Nestor to keep order.  However he died a hero saving three people, including his sister in law Eleanor and her child, before succumbing to the water.  He was later found to have died by strangulation caused by the neck on his coat being too tight.  His body was recovered the next day.

Constable William Sharrock had joined the police force in 1901, having been a labourer before he joined.  He had spent his 20 years in the force mostly in South Melbourne and then Warrnambool.  Sharrock was a well respected and liked officer.  In 1921, William was a widower, with his wife having passed away two years before leaving behind 5 children.  The youngest child was just two years old at the time of his fathers death.  The children were taken in and raised by William’s brother Joseph.

Sharrock was awarded a posthumous Valour Badge for his actions on the day of his death.  He lay in an unmarked grave in Warrnambool cemetery until 1998 when a headstone was erected and unveiled by former Chief Commissioner Neil Comrie.

In 2017,  Sharrock was one of the policemen recognised in Warrnambool for losing their lives while on duty with a new memorial behind the Old Courthouse.

On January 11, 1881, the Hereford ran aground at Inglesby Reef near Port Phillip Heads, close to Point Lonsdale, Victoria, Australia.  The 1456 ton ship would remain stranded until she would be finally towed off the reef on March 12, 1881.

But her running aground would lead to the deaths of 2 men – Constable David Digby and Lumper Frank Wright.

On January 17, 1881, a police presence was requested aboard the wreck of the Hereford and Mounted Constable Purcell and Foot Constable Digby were transported out to the ship.  There were about 30 other persons on board looking after the safe removal of the cargo and those in charge of the ship.

Once the policemen were aboard the ship, the weather took a turn for the worst.  It was decided that the seas were too rough for the two constables to return to shore.  But overnight, the weather became tempestous! Waves were breaking over the ship and water was running into the cabins, the ship was bumping horribly against the reef.  All on board were fearful for their lives.  At 7.30am the following morning it was decided to launch the remaining boat in an attempt to find the boat that had come loose in the night and to return the policemen to the shore.

The two Constables, a crew of five and seven lumpers began the journey from the Hereford to shore.  Everything was going to plan until about 50 yards from shore the boat run onto a sandbank.  All the men were instructed to jump overboard but unfortunately a large wave capsized the boat.  Most of the men would manage to grab the upturned boat to avoid being swept out to sea by the receding wave, but Constable David Digby and Frank Wright were not so lucky.  Constable Purcell was brought to shore with great difficulty.

A search was undertaken for the missing men but was called off around 11am with no sign of the two men.  Their bodies were not recovered.

Constable David Digby was aged 50 years and left behind a wife and a large family to mourn his loss.

Constable Digby is listed on the Police Honor Roll for those who lost their lives while doing their duty.