Bendigo Advertiser
4 January 1887

Referring to the recent murderous assault by a daughter upon her mother at Horsham, the “Horsham Times” says that a man named Clarke had been living with a woman named Emma Marquadt, who passed as his wife, and her daughter, Mary, aged sixteen years.

The Attack

On Wednesday afternoon, when going into his house after leaving his work, he found his paramour lying on a bod, having been assaultod about the head and body in a horrible manner by an axe, and the girl, her daughter, bathing the wounds. The woman was senseless, or so nearly so that she could not give any account of the matter, her daughter, upon being questioned, said she knew nothing whatever of it, but that she had been up into town to make some purchases, and returned with the articles she had bought, when all was right she went out again, and on her return the second time found her mother lying on the floor weltering in her blood from the wounds, and an axe lying beside her.

Dr C. Pardy was immediately sent for, and information conveyed to the police. When the former arrived he found the woman speechless and in a very dangerous state, but did what be could to afford relief to the sufferer.

Police Interview

On the police interviewing the girl she persistently adhered to her original story for a length of time, but the officers were not satisfied, and Sub-inspector O’CalLaghan, Sergeant Lirkan, Constables M’Bride and Cameron continued their inquiries apparently to little purpose, until at length the wavering of the girl’s story caused suspicion to turn towards herself, and culminated in her making a clean breast of it to Sergeant Larkan yesterday morning, when, of course, she was immediately arrested, and conveyed to the lockup.

Her storythen was that she went into tho town between 1 and 2 o’clock and made her purchases, and returned to the house, and afterwards, when sitting on an inner step in a doorway in the room, her mother and she had some words, and then she went out into the yard, got the axe, brought it unobserved, and struck her mother several blows from behind, causing the gashes in her head and ab0ut her body, there evidently being some six or eight blows struck. The woman, it seems, struggled to get up, and exclaimed “What have I done to you that you would do this to me!” and the girl replied “I’ll tell you by-and-bye.”

The woman seems then to have staggered to the bed on which she was found, with the assistance of the girl, who then proceeded to wipe up the blood on the floor, and bathe the wounds of the injured woman, at which she was observed when the horrible discovery was made.


When questioned as to what led her to commit such an act, the girl informed Sergeant Larkan that it was because the man Clark had taken advantage of her,the consequence being that she was encainte by him. On being asked if she would repeat this statement in the presence of Clarke she replied in the affirmative, and on his being called in she reasserted several times, but it is only fair to add that Clark absolutely denied it.

The girl was presented at tho Police court before Messers Cameron and Bolton, JPs, when she was charged with ” wounding with intent to murder.” The prisoner, who has hard set features, conducted herself in the coolest manner possible, apparently not realising the awful position in which she stood.

Police Court

At the police court, before Mr Hutchinson, the policn magistrate, the girl Mary Marquardt was charged with assaulting her mother, with intent to do her grievous bodily harm. A more serious charge of intent to murder was withdrawn. Several witnesses were examined, from whose evidence it appeared as if the girl assaulted her mother with an axe, but the main evidence in that of her own confession to the man Clark and the police. She made no statement of any kind in court. She was committed for trial at the General Sessions in February.

ON THIS DAY – July 17, 1946


The Coroner (Mr Marwick) . at the inquest today into the death oF Philip Elmore Johnson, 65, labourer, near Mornington on July 12 committed Trevor McKenzie, tailor, of Melbourne, for trial on a charge of murder. Johnson’s body was found under a sheet of iron near a hut on July 17. Detective J. Heath of Fitzroy, said that McKenzie telephoned him on July 17 and said: “I have murdered a man. It is awful.” Later at the Fitzroy police station he said that McKenzie told him that the murdered man was a man with whom he had been living at Hastings.


Detective C. H. Petty said that McKenzie made a statement to the police in which he said: “Johnson lived on next to nothing and when I ordered more food he growled. He would not let me listen to anything humorous on the wireless. On July 17 we had an argument about food. He went crook on me for sitting in front of the fire. He went outside and I got a gun and put two cartridges in it. I saw him come around a tree. I aimed and must have pulled the two triggers at the same time. I got an axe but do not remember whacking him with it.”

ON THIS DAY – July 12, 1946

In the Criminal Court yesterday it was alleged that a man had confessed he killed another man because he irritated him by listening to horror stories on the radio. Before the court was Trevor Francis Sanderson McKenzie, sailor, charged with murdering Phillip Hilton Elmore Johnson, 65, invalid pensioner. The Crown alleges that Johnson was shot with a shotgun and beaten with an axe near Hastings on July 12.



ON THIS DAY – July 12, 1950

A Criminal Court  jury found Winifred Therese Walford, 42, of Gordon Street, Deepdene, not guilty of the murder of her husband on July 12, on the ground of insanity. The Crown alleged, that she struck Keith Hartley Walford, 51, company secretary, on the head with an axe while he was reading a paper in the dining-room. The jury took less than half an hour to arrive at a verdict. Mr. Justice O’Bryan sentenced Mrs. Walford to custody at Pentridge Jail during the Governor’s pleasure.  A quiet plea of “not guilty” was all that Mrs. Walford said, throughout the trial. She was not called to give evidence. Three medical witnesses called by the Crown and the defence save evidence that she suffered from’ depressive psychosis following the birth of a child 12 years ago. In their opinion she would not have known that she was doing wrong when she struck her husband with the axe eight times, but she would have known the nature of the act. Detective J. Oakes said that soon after the husband’s death Mrs. Walford told him she must have been crazy. She said they had always been happy together and he was a loving man, who had been extremely considerate of her. Her doctors had told her that she must have more hospital treatment and this was worrying her.

EXECUTED ON THIS DAY ……………. 11th of July 1861

Henry Coolley, sentenced to death for the murder of his wife at Heathcote, was executed on the 11th inst., at the Central Gaol, Melbourne. On the previous night he made a full confession, a copy of which We append:—”Central Jail, Melbourne, “Wednesday evening, 10th July, 1861. “I, Henry Cooley, by the faith of redemption through our Saviour Jesus Christ, before appearing in the presence of my Maker, desire voluntarily, and of my own free will and accord, to make the fullest statement I can in the world for my heinous crime by confession and acknowledgment of the justice of the sentence of death passed upon me for taking the life of my lamented wife Harriet Cooley.

“Incompatibility of temper was unfortunately for us a source of constant disagreement. On the 15th of March, the day previous to this last occurrence, my wife had been to McIvor races, and we quarrelled between 8 and 9 o’clock in the morning about her having been in company with another woman whose company it was not proper of her to keep, when, instead of curbing my temper and enduring with patience, trouble and affliction, exasperated by passion, I raised the axe and struck my wile on the head—her death was instantaneous. When I found life was gone I did not know what to do. At last I made up my mind to conceal the body. I took the lighted candle off the table, harnessed my horse, in the spring cart, and carrying the lighted candle in my hand, led the horse into the bush about half a mile, and concealed the remains amongst the branches of a fallen ironbark tree. I heard the voice of some person cooeying in the direction of the hut, and drove off in a fright, leaving the candle burning on the ground. I returned home, and walked about the hut all night in great distress. Next morning (Sunday) I went back to the place and found that the candle had set fire to the grass about the tree and consumed the body. I did not then in any way disturb the remains, but turned in horror from the spot. About ten days after this, on hearing that I was about to be apprehended, I went again to the place and scattered the remains.  “The evidence adduced of the remains having been re-burnt is not true, for to my knowledge they were not. The piece of burnt while metal, supposed to have been a ‘billy’ was what was left of the tin candlestick.

“This is my last confession, and the true statement of the murder of my wife and the concealment of her remains; and may God be merciful unto her, a sinner, hurried into eternity, and pardon her sins. A few faults she had, but her good qualities were many; and I earnestly pray that God will forgive her. Husbands and wives, love one another; children, obey your parents; and blessed are they who keep the Lord’s commandments, and through salvation inherit-eternal life. While I deeply deplore and lament the murder of my wife, I do not now regret to quit this earthly scene and term of trial and tribulation to fit us for a better and a happier state. I deserve and am resigned to my fate, and I earnestly pray that others may take warning by my untimely end. “Farewell? May grace be unto all; and the Lord have mercy on my soul!


ON THIS DAY – July 9, 1944


John Turnbull, 28, soldier, who is appearing before Mr. Justice Martin on a charge of murder, told the court to-day that when he struck Ernest Price, 32, with an axe he was acting in self-defence. It was alleged that Turnbull killed Price in a dark alley-way in Clifton Hill on July 9 and robbed him of a watch and £15 in notes.

ON THIS DAY – June 24, 1907

A Charge of Murder

William Smith and Martha Ellen Webb were charged at the Melbourne Criminal sessions on June 24 with having murdering John Geoghegan at Lilydale on May 15. The allegations were that during a drunken squabble the deceased was struck on the head with an axe, and 16 days later succumbed to his injuries. The jury acquitted the accused; who were discharged.

ON THIS DAY – June 4, 1913

On the 4th of June, 1913, Arthur Dowell an inmate of the Yarra Bend Asylum inflicted with an axe handle such serious injuries on another patient John Joseph Tissear that he died on the 7th of June. At the time of he savage attack several inmates were milking in the cow yard when the Dowell suddenly jumped from his stool, grabbed an axe handle, and began fiercely attacking everybody within his reach. Most of those present were fortunate enough to get clear of the infuriated madman, but Tissear was struck heavily across the head. He fell to the ground, where he lay until picked up by attendants. Dowell then turned his attention to the carter, Michael Carlson who received the axe handle on one of his elbows. As there was nobody else to attack, Dowell then tried to escape, but was captured by George Maloney an attendants. The injured ones were taken to the asylum hospital, where it was found that Tissear had sustained a fracture of the skull and after having lingered for three days he died. Carlson’s injury was also found to be of a somewhat serious nature, Dr Stell, medical superintendent considers it necessary to put the arm under the X rays. During the seven years that he has been an inmate of the asylum the Dowell who used the axe handle conducted himself well, and the authorities had gained the impression that he was not dangerous. Dowell was 32 years of age and the deceased was years older. The coroner found that Tissear died from injuries wilfully, feloniously and maliciously inflicted by Arthur Dowell, of which he was found guilty of wilful murder. Dr Stell, medical superintendent of the Yarra Bend Asylum, made application to have Dowell removed to the criminal ward at Ararat.

ON THIS DAY  – 12th December 1931

Mrs. Louise Cherry was murdered in the kitchen of her home near Bendigo on the 12th of December 1931. She was in the kitchen preparing the midday meal with her 16 years-old girl, when a man entered carrying an axe, and offered her a bunch of flowers. She told him to go away, but he then attacked her with the axe and killed her and made his escape into the bush. A man named William Daly, whose clothes and an axe he was carrying were bloodstained, was arrested two miles away from the scene of the tragedy. He has been charged with murder.


ON THIS DAY – November 14, 1900

A farmer named Hugh Lavery, a resident of Beulah, was found this morning dead in his bed, with his skull fractured in two places. This evening a German farm hand named Chas. Gluck gave himself up to the police at the township of Brim. He said he wished to give himself up for a murder committed near Beulah. He did not know why he committed the crime, nor the same at his victim, until he saw him lying dead, He did not realise what he had done, The prisoner is a strongly built young fellow, about twenty-five years of age. A blood-stained razor was found in his possession. He said he used the razor and then finished the work with an axe.




, On This Day – October 23, 1897

The inquest concerning the death of Mrs, Lyfield, whose body was found in the Merri River on October 23, was concluded at Warrnambool on Tuesday. Henry Lyfield, husband of the deceased, was present in custody. Mrs. Snell, daughter of Lyfield, re-examined, gave important evidence. She said that on one occasion during last harvest Lyfield came home drunk. He first struck deceased with a horse-collar, after which she ran into her room and locked the door. He followed and struck the door with an axe, sending it through. She then opened the door, and he first struck her with his fist and then on the head with an axe, inflicting a wound from which blood flowed freely. At the same time he threatened to kill her. On the following day deceased went away, and did not return home for about a month, witness further said. It was on Tuesday, 13th October, she heard the screams and struggling in the room occupied by deceased and her husband. On the Friday following she saw the body in the straw-shed. Before leaving the house that night her father said to her and her daughter, ‘Don’t speak to anyone about your mother. If anyone asks about her say she went away on the Tuesday. If you do not I will serve you as I served her.’ The coroner then summed up the evidence at length, and the jury, after retiring for 10 minutes, brought in the following verdict :— ‘That on the night of Tuesday, 13th October, at Rosebrook, the deceased, Catherine Lyfield, came by her death by violence at the hands of Henry Lyfield; also, that Henry Lyfield, feloniously, wilfully, and with malice aforethought, did murder the said Catherine Lyfield.’ The accused was then committed for trial at the Supreme Court at Port Fairy on November 17.

On This Day – October 16, 1947

Robert Woodbine Whinfield, 59, of Dorset-road, Croydon, retired auctioneer, was yesterday committed for trial on October 16 at the Supreme Court on a charge of having wounded William Roy Coles; 50, of Bayswater-road, Bayswater, poultry farmer, with intent to murder.

Dr. Ian Thomas Cameron, of Croydon, said he received a telephone call from Whinfield, and went with Constables Grieves and Belbin to Whinfield’s home.

Coles was found under the archway of a hedge. There was a wound on his head, which could have been caused by an axe produced. Whinfleld had said he and Coles had been attacked and robbed. Leslie Bennett, of Dorset-road, Croydon, laborer, said on the night of the wounding he had seen Colas asleep on the couch at Whinfleld’s house. Coles had been annoyed when awakened by Whinfleld. Both men had been drinking. Mr. M, M. Gorman appeared for Whinfield.