On this day …….. 14th of December 1935

Arrested in a police raid early in the morning, William Sylvester John Barrett, 22, labourer, of Drummond Street, Carlton, appeared in the City Court charged with having murdered, on or about December 7, William Herbert Irwine York, at St. Kilda. Barrett was remanded to December 23, and in compliance with a police request bail was refused. Having given evidence of Barrett’s arrest, Detective William Ferguson said, it is alleged, that about midnight on December 7, York was walking along Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda. Later he was found unconscious near St. Kilda Road. He was taken into the Alfred Hospital, where he was kept under observation and allowed to return home. His injuries took a serious turn on the following day and he died early on the morning of December 9, as a result, it is alleged, of injuries he received. A post-mortem examination showed that death was due to a number of fractures of the skull.’ Barrett had made a statement about the matter. Detective Ferguson concluded. Barrett, a well-built young man, was not represented by counsel.

ON THIS DAY – December 5, 1915

In the Court of General Sessions on Tuesday Robert Poole, labourer, was charged with the manslaughter of Hugh Kelly, at Carlton, on December 5. The jury found accused not guilty, and he was discharged

ON THIS DAY – December 2, 1923

On the night of the 1st December, 1923, Kathleen Price and Charles Johnson arrived home about 11pm to the boarding house where they lived at 230 Lygon Street. The boarding house was run by Mrs Clara Aumont, and Charles, Kathleen and Doris, Kathleen’s 9 year old daughter, had been residing there for about a month as a family unit in 2 rooms upstairs. Johnson was drunk and had been witnessed by Mrs Aumont sniffing a substance, thought to be cocaine, earlier in the parlour room. Doris had been in her mother’s bed reading her school books when the couple arrived home. Kathleen ushered her into her own room with a kiss goodnight, where she fell asleep. Johnson was drunk and in a foul mood because Kathleen had refused to give him money earlier in the day.

At around 1.45am on Sunday morning, Doris was awakened by her mother’s screams. She went into her mother’s bedroom to find Johnson had Kathleen by the hair and a table knife to her throat, threatening to cut her. Doris was hit across the face by Johnson as she tried to intervene. Johnson threw away the first knife as it wasn’t sharp enough, and retrieved another from the drawer. Kathleen had rolled under the bed to get away from Johnson but was pulled out by her legs. Johnson threw Kathleen against the side of the bed, kicked her in the head, before cutting her throat with the sharp table knife and throwing her face down on the floor. Doris ran down and wakened Mrs Aumont who told her to go for the police. When Johnson came downstairs, Mrs Aumont asked him what he had done, to which he replied “She is as dead as Julius Ceaser, I will go to the gallows for her as I love that woman”.

When Senior-Constables Murray and Crawford arrived at 2.25am, Johnson met them at the front door. The police noticed his bloodstained hands and suit, and that he was drunk. He was asked what had happened, to which he replied, “come upstairs and see”. Johnson showed them where Kathleen’s lifeless body lay in a pool of blood on the floor of the front bedroom. When asked had he done it, Johnson replied “there she is, she is dead alright”. Senior-Constable Murray later described the room as “bespattered with blood and a desperate struggle having taken place”. The heel of Kathleen’s shoe was torn off and her false teeth were found 3 feet from the body.  Johnson was arrested and placed in the City Watch House while Kathleen’s body was removed to the morgue.

The post mortem reported that Kathleen Price was aged 30 years, “a well built and well nourished woman of 5 feet, 4 inches tall”. Blood was splattered from her neck to her feet. She had numerous cuts and bruises and her right thumb had been almost severed at the first joint. There were cuts on her chin, her elbow and right breast. Her lips were swollen and bruised, along with both eyes and her left cheek. A wound in Kathleen’s throat which measured 5 ½ inches in length and was gaping 2 ½ inches was her cause of death. The cut had severed many of the vessels and muscle in the neck and had opened her windpipe. Hair was found clutched in Kathleen’s hand.

Johnson was sent to trial at the Melbourne Supreme Court on the 15th February 1924, after the coroner found him responsible for Kathleen’s death on the 7th December 1923. Much of the defence rested on whether Johnson was of sound mind or not due to both cocaine use and alcohol consumption. The jury deliberated well into the night before reaching a guilty verdict at 10pm, with a recommendation for mercy. Johnson was sentenced to death but this was later commuted to life imprisonment without benefit of regulation or remission.

Initially incarcerated in Melbourne Gaol, he was later transferred to Geelong Gaol in January 1935 for treatment of hemiplegia and aterio sclerosis. It was attempted to have him released to his sister’s care in Coburg in early 1939 as Johnson had become bedridden and was not expected to live much longer. He died in Geelong Gaol in 1939.

On This Day – November 25, 1935

Dr. Bothamley, charged with the murder of Dr. Loughnan at Carlton on November 25, was to-day further remanded for a week, bail being extended on the same conditions, defendant reporting daily to the police.

On This Day – November 21, 1910


George Kelland, aged 37, was charged at the Carlton Police with the wilful murder of Henry John Morris, laborer, as the result of a fight. The accused admitted to Constable Aheolem that he had knocked the deceased out. Kellands bail was refused.

ON THIS DAY – November 15, 1942


On a charge of having murdered a newly born baby at Carlton on November 15, Lillian Shore, 22, single, of Carlton, was to-day committed for trial by the City Coroner (Mr. Tingate). The baby was found in the front garden of a house in Carlton, with its throat cut. The body was wrapped in a newspaper.  Florence Parker, who conducted an apartment house at which Shore was staying, said she did not know Shore had given birth to her child. Shore went to bed early that night and next day had assisted in the housework.



ON THIS DAY – November 10, 1910

George James Keliand, labourer, was yesterday acquitted on a charge of the manslaughter of Henry John Morris, labourer, of Carlton, who died on November 10, after he and the accused had fought.  The accused stated that the deceased picked a quarrel with him, and forced him to fight. When the fight was over deceased said to the accused ” I’ll kill you”







ON THIS DAY – November 7, 1904

Detective-sergeant O’Donnell and Detective Carey arrested in Canada place— a small street running between Cardigan and Madeline streets, Carlton, Melbourne — a young woman named Maude or Margaret Anne Woods, and charged her with vagrancy. That charge, however, was laid only to secure her identification with a girl named Maude Woods, who was wanted in Sydney on a charge of murder.

She was alleged to have murdered her 10 days old son on November 7, 1903. Senior constable F Allen arrived from Sydney, and identified the accused, and the charge of murder was then preferred against her. The woman has made a confession, giving the whole history of the crime. The story is one of dreadful callousness from beginning to end. Her statement is that on November 7 she threw the child over the fence into Ah Sang’s backyard, but then went again in search of it. She then put her hand over its mouth, and held it by the throat until it was dead. She put the body in a box, and left it in the yard all night, spending that night with her paramour. Next day she removed the body from the box and pushed it under the house (which is built on low piles) as far as she could, and the body lay there for nearly three months. In the end of January An Sang and a fellow countryman named Ah Hung were clearing away weeds from under the house, and came upon the body of the child. They drew it out, put it into a bag, and threw the bag into Botany River. Soon afterwards they came to Melbourne.

The photograph which she sent to Sydney was taken in Melbourne, and the child in her arms was one which she borrowed for the occasion from a friend, who was living with a Chinese in Commercial-lane, of Bourke street. The accused does not look more than 19 years. She is a girl below medium height, with brown hair and blue eyes. She was brought before the City Court, Melbourne, and was then taken back to Sydney

ON THIS DAY – November 7, 1949 

Pop Kent was an elderly SP Bookmaker targeted by Jean Lee, Norman Andrews and Robert Clayton because of a roll of cash Pop was seen with in the University Hotel in Carlton. Inviting the trio back to his home, he would be beaten to death.  Lee, Andrews and Clayton would be found guilty and sentenced to be executed at Pentridge prison.  Jean Lee would become the last woman executed in Australia in February 1951.



ON THIS DAY – November 2, 1887

At 9.30am on the morning of November 2, 1887, the still breathing body of Jane Sanders was found by James Coghill in his front yard at 59 Cardigan Street. She had terrible injuries including a hole above the right temple where the skull had been crushed inwards and from which a constant stream of blood flowed. Her right cheek was almost separated from the bone, the result of a number of heavy blows and her right arm was covered in blood as she had tried to protect herself.

Jane and her husband had lived in a 2 roomed brick cottage opposite in Cardigan Street. Jane was described as a middle aged woman who was occasionally given to drink but was not immoral! Her husband Frederick William Sanders was described as respectable man of 45 who was subjected to fits of malady when drinking and liable to wander in the mind while under the influence. He was described by neighbours as docile and kind. Frederick was employed as a clerk in a lawyer’s office but all his wages were given to his wife. Jane used to leave Frederick ill alone in the house with no money and no food for long periods of time.

Such an episode occurred on the night before Jane’s murder. At 9.30pm on the night before the murder, a neighbour inquired of Frederick whether his wife was at home. When he replied that she wasn’t, the neighbour told Frederick he would find his wife at the house of John Johnson. Frederick asked another neighbour “do you know where my missus is” to which she replied she didn’t. The neighbour did know but did not want to be involved! Frederick asked for the police to assist him in retrieving his wife from Johnson, but was told they could not assist. Jane at this time was out drinking with the money Johnson had given her for beer. She returned to Johnson’s house under the influence and when Mrs Adams attempted to help her home, Johnson stated that she was a friend of his and she could sleep on the sofa. She was heard speaking in Johnson’s bedroom the following morning. Frederick eventually went to Johnson’s house himself after asking several constables to help him get his wife. Johnson told Frederick that “he would do for him” if he did not return to his own house. Frederick becoming afraid armed himself with an iron bar and paced his house for the rest of the night with no sleep.

Neighbours witnessed Frederick the following morning being calm and not looking dangerous, and on being asked if his wife had returned, stated that “she would never darken my doors again”. Jane was seen staggering home the next morning, as though still intoxicated, at around 8.30am.  When arrested for his wife’s murder, Frederick stated that she had been out all night and when she came home, they had argued and he hit her several times with an iron bar and told her to go back where she came from. Police found the blood stained iron bar under some carpets in the yard and in a bedroom a blood stained towel in the house.  Jane died at 1pm that afternoon of the injuries that had been inflicted by her husband.  Frederick was sent to trial before Justice A’Beckett and was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was sentenced to gaol at the Governor’s pleasure. Evidence during the trial stated that Sanders had frequently been subjected to epileptic fits while in gaol and did not know the difference between right and wrong.

ON THIS DAY – October 27, 1927

Hailing a taxi-cab in Lonsdale Street at 5 o’clock on October 27, 1927, Squizzy Taylor, accompanied by two men, ordered the driver, John Hall, to go to Carlton. When he hailed the cab Taylor gave no indication of his destination beyond saying that he wished to visit a hotel in Carlton. Calls were made to several hotels in the vicinity of Rathdowne, Lygon, and Elgin streets. The movements of the men indicated that they were in search of another person or persons. Their conversation, however, gave no clue as to whom they were seeking. Eventually Taylor told the driver to go to Barkly Street. Turning from Rathdowne Street the cab had only travelled a few yards in a northerly direction along Barkly street, when the driver was told to stop. Taylor, accompanied by one of his friends left the cab, and walking some distance along the northern side of the street went into one of a terrace of houses.

The house belonged to Bridget Cutmore, mother of Snowy Cutmore.  Cutmore’s bedroom would be the scene of the final shootout with Snowy dying in his bed and Squizzy dying in St Vincents Hospital a few hours later.



ON THIS DAY – October 25, 1933


On the application of Sergeant de la Rue at the City Court yesterday, Robert Ernest von Geyer painter aged 50 years of Argyle Square Carlton and Albert Lewis; labourer aged 49 years of Peel street North Melbourne who were charged with having murdered Maurice Langley pawnbroker of Elizabeth street city on October 25 were remanded to appear before the City Court on November 17.  Sergeant de la Rue explained to Mr Bond P M that no date had been fixed for the hearing of the inquest.