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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 THIS DAY – October 27, 1856

At around 4am on the morning of October 27th, 1856, Sergeant-Major Cahir discovered a woman coming along Bellarine Street from the direction of the Barwon River. He recognised her as Catherine Finnegan, the wife of Sergeant Owen Finnegan. Cahir asked her why she was out so early and she admitted to murdering her two youngest children, 3 week old twins John and Judith. Mrs Finnegan was known for her eccentric behaviour, and so Cahir escorted her back to her Bourke Crescent home, where he found Sergeant Owen Finnegan in distress. Finnegan asked his wife what she had done with the children, which she wouldn’t answer. Cahir and the Finnegan entered the property and soon discovered a bloody razor on the foot of the little bed where the children had lain. Mrs Finnegan was conveyed to the watch house and a more thorough search was made for the children. The foot of Mrs Finnegan’s bed was found to be saturated with blood although the covers had been drawn over the mess. The bodies of the children were found at the bottom of the water closet, when blood stains were discovered at the top. Around 6am Constable Grant went down and retrieved the children’s bodies. Both infants had their throats cut, from their ears to the centre of the throat and John also had a deep cut to one of his hands.  The inquest into the children’s death was conducted at the Portarlington Hotel on the same day, the 27th October 1856. At the conclusion of the inquest, Forster Shaw, the district Coroner, returned a verdict that the children had been “put to death by their mother who was at the time insane”. Catherine Finnegan was committed to trial.

ON THIS DAY – May 13, 1953

GEELONG

The headless, dismembered body of Donald Maxfield was recovered on August 1, 1953 from the Barwon River. Russell Hill and Andrew Kilpatrick were both charged with murdering Maxfield at Geelong on May 13, 1953. Donald Maxfield was reported missing from Colac on the 13th of May, 1953. He was a 22 year old labourer. 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 Andrew Kilpatrick and Russell Hill, aged 33 and 22 respectively, both from Colac. 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 spoken to police about some of Kilpatrick’s dealings

 

ON THIS DAY – February 11, 1876

There was great excitement in Geelong on this day in 1876, with respect to the horrible murder and suicide by William Stenton. An inquests were held on the body of the maniacal murderer and his unfortunate victim. The jury found that Mrs. Stenton had been killed by her husband whilst he was in a state of insanity, and that the murderer committed suicide whilst temporarily insane. With regard to the lunatic the jury expressed regret that the authorities at the Kew Asylum had allowed Stenton to leave so soon after his admission about a month or so. The evidence which was adduced at both inquests showed showed that Stenton had been very morose since his return from Kew, but although he was sullen and avoided strangers, his actions over aroused any suspicion that he would commit such a desperate murder as that enacted on the banks of the Barwon river.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – October 27, 1856

At around 4am on the morning of October 27th, 1856, Sergeant-Major Cahir discovered a woman coming along Bellarine Street from the direction of the Barwon River. He recognised her as Catherine Finnegan, the wife of Sergeant Owen Finnegan. Cahir asked her why she was out so early and she admitted to murdering her two youngest children, 3 week old twins John and Judith. Mrs Finnegan was known for her eccentric behaviour, and so Cahir escorted her back to her Bourke Crescent home, where he found Sergeant Owen Finnegan in distress. Finnegan asked his wife what she had done with the children, which she wouldn’t answer. Cahir and the Finnegan entered the property and soon discovered a bloody razor on the foot of the little bed where the children had lain. Mrs Finnegan was conveyed to the watch house and a more thorough search was made for the children. The foot of Mrs Finnegan’s bed was found to be saturated with blood although the covers had been drawn over the mess. The bodies of the children were found at the bottom of the water closet, when blood stains were discovered at the top. Around 6am Constable Grant went down and retrieved the children’s bodies. Both infants had their throats cut, from their ears to the centre of the throat and John also had a deep cut to one of his hands.  The inquest into the children’s death was conducted at the Portarlington Hotel on the same day, the 27th October 1856. At the conclusion of the inquest, Forster Shaw, the district Coroner, returned a verdict that the children had been “put to death by their mother who was at the time insane”. Catherine Finnegan was committed to trial.

ON THIS DAY – May 13, 1953

GEELONG

The headless, dismembered body of Donald Maxfield was recovered on August 1, 1953 from the Barwon River. Russell Hill and Andrew Kilpatrick were both charged with murdering Maxfield at Geelong on May 13, 1953. Donald Maxfield was reported missing from Colac on the 13th of May, 1953. He was a 22 year old labourer. 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 Andrew Kilpatrick and Russell Hill, aged 33 and 22 respectively, both from Colac. 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 spoken to police about some of Kilpatrick’s dealings

 

ON THIS DAY – February 11, 1876

There was great excitement in Geelong on this day in 1876, with respect to the horrible murder and suicide by William Stenton. An inquests were held on the body of the maniacal murderer and his unfortunate victim. The jury found that Mrs. Stenton had been killed by her husband whilst he was in a state of insanity, and that the murderer committed suicide whilst temporarily insane. With regard to the lunatic the jury expressed regret that the authorities at the Kew Asylum had allowed Stenton to leave so soon after his admission about a month or so. The evidence which was adduced at both inquests showed showed that Stenton had been very morose since his return from Kew, but although he was sullen and avoided strangers, his actions over aroused any suspicion that he would commit such a desperate murder as that enacted on the banks of the Barwon river.