ON THIS DAY…… 4th September 1934

On the 4th of September 1934, Florence Lillian Thrower, of Orrong crescent, Caulfield, was charged with the murder of Ivy Winifred Rose McDonnell at Mooroopna on the 1st of July. The prosecution alleged that

Mrs. McDonnell died as a result of an illegal operation.



On This Day – August 28, 1933

A GRAPHIC story of events associated with the fatal shooting of Betty Martin, 33, of Wrexham Road, Windsor; the wounding of her husband, Henry Martin, traveller; and the suicide of Isaac John Cohen Jedwab, 57, manufacturer. of Glen Eira Road, Caulfield, was told at the inquest at the Morgue on October 3. Jedwab turned the revolver on himself after he had shot the others in the kitchen of their home on the morning of August 28.

The Coroner (Mr D. Grant, P.M.) found that Betty Martin had been murdered by Jedwab, who then committed suicide. Harry Hirsch, cutter and designer, of Fenwick Street, North Carlton, said that he had been employed by Jedwab during the past six months. The business had been failing and Jedwab had not been attending to it properly. “Jedwab had been betting on race-horses’ said Hirsch, ‘About three months ago. after a meeting of creditors at the factory, Jedwab said to me; If Martin goes again me, or into partnership with anybody else, I’ll shoot him. “Later he came to my table in the workshop and said, ‘Martin is against me, ruins me.  He told me to watch Martin, as he was thieving.”

Hella Jedwab, widow, said that about 6.30 a.m. on August 28, her husband got up, and after having had a cup of tea, he took her one. He told her that he was up early because he wanted “to go in early.” Before he left the premises he went to the bedroom window and said he would not take the car. It was usual for him to go into the city by car. He said he would be home early. He had been very worried of late and had been losing money. “He had often told me,” continued Mrs Jedwab, “that the Martins— Henry Martin and Betty Martin, the former ot whom was employed by, and had an interest in, my husband’s business— had been robbing him. “He said several times that he would kill Martin. About two years ago he took out his revolver to shoot Martin and I caused the gun to be taken away from him.”

Lawrence Reginald Hill, carpenter, of Candy Street, Westgarth, who was working on a new building near the Martins’ home on August 28, said that he could overlook the yard and kitchen of the Martins’ place. About 8.40 a.m. he heard a gunshot and a woman screamed. Two more shots followed in quick succession. He got off the scaffolding and with Jack Jones, who was working with him, ran around into Wrexham Road. When opposite the Martins’ home he saw Martin staggering down the path at the side of the house. Martin, who had his hands to his face and was bleeding freely, said: “Please help me; there has been an explosion. Get a doctor and see if my wife is all right. My uncle is in there, too. I was taking medicine and there was an explosion.”

With his face heavily bandaged, Henry Martin, husband of the dead woman, was helped into the Court. He said that he was a director of the London and Parisian Pleaters, of Brien Lane, City. Jedwab was the proprietor. On August 28 Jedwab arrived at the house about 8 a.m. It had been usual during the fortnight before the shooting for Jedwab to call and for them to go to the city together. “After he arrived,” said Martin, “I repaired a puncture in the tyre of one of the wheels of my car. Jedwab assisted me and we discussed only the job we were doing. He was quite friendly. “Then we went into the kitchen, and my wife gave him and me a cup of tea. She then poured me out a dose of medicine. “I was standing near the sink arid had raised the glass to drink it when I heard an explosion near my head.” “I seemed to go blind, and I staggered out of the kitchen. I heard another explosion just before I left, and a scream.”  Martin said that he did not know Jedwab had a gun with him that morning, although he did know that he often carried one. About three or four weeks before the tragedy witness had been warned by Hirsch that Jedwab had made a threat to shoot him (Martin). Continuing Martin said that he had been employed by Jedwab for seven years, and for the past four years had been a director of the firm. He had had several differences with Jedwab as to his manner of running the business. They were not serious differences, however.”I know the business was in a bad way,” said Martin, “the reason being that Jedwab had, during the last 12 months, withdrawn hundreds of pounds from the business to bet on horses. I used to sign cheques in blank as I was out most of the day getting orders. “I spoke to him about it and he resented it. He never accused me of robbing him. “About three weeks before the affair I was fed up with Jedwab and told him I would leave. He begged me not to go. “In June last, Mr Hirsch and I entered into an agreement that if one of us left Jedwab, the other would leave also, and we were to start in business together. Two or three days before the shooting I had an idea that Jedwab knew something about the agreement.” Martin added that he did not think that Jedwab had any quarrel with Mrs Martin. She was Jedwab’s niece. In 1925 or 1926. while in London, Jedwab had taken poison after matrimonial troubles.

A finding of murder and suicide, was recorded.

ON THIS DAY…….2nd August 1924

The inquest into the death of Irene Tuckerman, who was found murdered at Caulfield on this day in 1924, was opened on September 17. Mr. Elsbury, for the Crown, said that suspicion rested in two-quarters, but it had been deemed advisable simply to bring the suspected persons before the Court, as witnesses, and to leave further action, to the coroner. Mr. W. S. Doris appeared for Thomas Cheshire, newsagent, of 200 Balaclava road, Caulfield, and Sir. Scott Murphy and Mr. Healy for the relatives of Irene Tuckerman, and for William Robinson, a boarder at the home of the child.  Mrs. Tuckerman, after having given evidence of the child’s disappearance, in cross examination by Mr. Elsbury, said that Irene had sold papers in Cheshire’s shop without her knowledge. She would not have allowed this had she known. The relations between her eldest son, Harold, and Irene were affectionate.  Robert Harold Tuckerman, baker, accounted for his movements on August 2. He denied that he had sent his sister to Cheshire’s shop. He had no quarrel with his sister, and denied that he had a bad temper.  William Robinson, gas-worker, was questioned by Mr. Klsbury as follows:— Between a quarter and half-past 11 o’clock on the night of August 2 did Irene Tuckerman not walk into the house?—Certainly not. I did not see her from the previous night.  I suggest that she entered by the back door before half-past 11 o’clock?—She did not. That she took her coat off?—She did not come home to take it off.  Have you ever heard Ivy Tuckerman say anything about Cheshire?—No. About the man in the paper-shop?—Yes, I have heard them say about getting papers there. Has Ivy ever said anything about the man in the paper shop?—I could not — I think she has- She has made a suggestion that when she went into his shop he closed the door and complained of draught. She got a bit frightened. What did he do to them?—I could not say. Oh, come on, sir, I have a statement here over your signature. The Coroner (addressing Robinson).— You are not impressing me at all. If you prevaricate again I will send you to gaol. I feel inclined to commit you for contempt of Court. Mr. Elsbury.—Did you make any statement to Detective O’Keefe as to what Ivy had told you regarding the man in the paper shop ? Witness.—Not that I remember. Did you say this: “I have not heard Irene Tuckerman complain about strange men speaking to her. I heard Ivy say that the man in the paper shop is a nasty man, that he would tickle them under the chin, and squeeze their hands, and would be unduly familiar with the young girls”?—That is what they told me John Francis O’Callaghan, tramway gripman, and Edmund Charles Phillips, tramway conductor, stated that on August 2, about half-past 1 o’clock, they saw Cheshire on a tram in Wellington street, St. Kilda with a girl dressed similarly to Irene Tuckerman. The couple alighted from the tram on the St. Kilda Esplanade and walked toward the beach. Detectives Piggott and Ethel detailed conversations with Cheshire, in which, they stated, Cheshire maintained his innocence of any part in the death of Irene Tuckerman. After interviews with a man, a woman, and a youth, they were satisfied that there was no ground for further action against those persons. Cheshire said that he was at his shop throughout August 2, though he closed it from half past 1 o’clock to half-past 4 o’clock. He closed at half-past 8 o’clock and slept at the shop that night. He rose at 9 o’clock on August 3, and went to his son’s place at Surrey Hills. The Tuckerman girls visited his shop occasionally to buy papers. He denied that he was on a tram with Irene Tuckerman on August 2. Cheshire was invited to give evidence but at the instance of his counsel he declined. The coroner committed Cheshire for trial on a charge of the murder of Irene Tuckerman.


ON THIS DAY – July 1, 1934


Before Mr. Justlce Lowe, in the Supreme Court, at Shepparton today, Florence Lillian Thrower, of Orrong crescent, Caulfield, was charged with the murder of Ivy Winifred Rose McDonnell at Mooroopna on July 1. The prosecution alleged that Mrs. McDonnell died as a result of an Illegal operation. The case for the prosecution is part heard.


60 years of Australian TV

Labassa is an outstanding Victorian era mansion with opulent architectural features at 2 Manor Grove, Caulfield. Labassa was the filming location for the home of Squizzy Taylor and Lorna Kelly in the highly popular Underbelly series. Set between 1915–1927 in Melbourne and tells the story of one of the city’s most notorious criminals, Squizzy Taylor, who made an appearance in Underbelly: Razor, which was set in 1920s Sydney. Justin Rosniak did not reprise his role as Squizzy as Jared Daperis took over the role.

ON THIS DAY ……….. 11th of March 1948



Reginald Gilford Mann aged 52, barman, of Caulfield was sentenced to seven, years gaol by Justice Martin, for the manslaughter of his de facto wife. Mann was acquitted on a capital charge of having murdered Mrs. Isobel Davis aged 40, also known as Nurse Duff, of Caulfield who was found strangled by a cord at her home on this day in 1948. In two earlier trials the juries had failed to agree, but in the third hearing the jury convicted Mann after a retirement of about an hour. Justice Martin said that it seemed that the jury had concluded that Mann was so drunk on the night of Mrs. Davis’s death that it was impossible for him to have formed any intention that would make him guilty of murder.



ON THIS DAY – January 30, 1952

William O’Meally, 28, labourer, was charged at the City Court with having murdered Constable George Howell, 26, at Caulfield on the 30th of January. On the night in question, Constable George Howell rode his police bicycle to the Crystal Palace Theatre, Dandenong Road, Caulfield. He had been assigned to investigate and prevent numerous thefts from cars which had recently occurred in the vicinity. At about 10.35 pm, Constable Howell intercepted a man interfering with a Morris Minor. According to witnesses, after a struggle the Constable ran after the offender to the far side of a viaduct. The Constable was then shot in the stomach at point blank range with a sawn-off .22 calibre rifle. Although unarmed and mortally wounded, Constable Howell continued to chase the offender. He collapsed in the centre of Normanby Road, and the offender escaped. Although in shock and terrible pain as well as lapsing in and out of consciousness, he was able to give a description of his assailant to citizens who assisted him and to other police who arrived shortly after. Crucially to the later trial, he identified a hat and other items as belonging to the offender. Rushed to the Alfred Hospital for emergency surgery, Constable George Howell died in the early hours of 1st February, 1952. Even at the hospital he attempted to look at a line-up of men and identify his attacker. A skilful investigation primarily based on articles found at the crime scene and information from Constable Howell, led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of a well known and active criminal. Constable George Howell was appointed in May, 1948. He served at Russell Street, Malvern and (since 1949) East Malvern.




42-year-old stand-over man Charles Hegyalji, known as “Mad Charlie”, was killed at his Caulfield home on 23 November. He was an acquaintance of Chopper Read and had been associated with the amphetamine industry. Dino Dibra was linked to the killing, which was believed to be either drug or debt related.