ON THIS DAY – March 9, 1911


An inquest was held concerning the death of Ettie Smith, 4 1/2 years of age, whose throat was cut by her father, William Thomas Smith, at North Melbourne, on the 9th of March 1911. The Coroner returned a verdict of wilful murder against Smith, and committed him for trial.



ON THIS DAY – March 7, 1932


An inquest was held today on the bones of an infant child which, it was alleged by the police, were found under a copper in the backyard of a house in Lisson Grove, Hawthorn, on March 7. The coroner committed Clarice Edith Mills, 23, nurse, and Sidney Wightwick, 29, for trial on a charge of murder.

Clarice Mills would be acquitted while Sidney Wightwick would be sentenced to 2 years of which he would serve 12 months


On This Day – 6th March 1854

A coroner’s inquest was held at the Geelong Gaol on this day in 1854, at 1pm. Coroner, Mr Forster Shaw and a respectable Jury, view the body of Ann Connelly, late a prisoner lunatic. George Coward, colonial assistant surgeon, being sworn. The deceased, Ann Connelly, had been in the Gaol since the 24th of January 1855, committed as a lunatic, she has been suffering from diarrhoea and dysentery the last few days of her life, with typhoid symptoms appeared.



On this day ………… 2nd March 1908

A fatal accident happened to Mr. Albert Sparks, 42 years of age, hotel keeper, of Stawell, on the 2nd of March 1908. The deceased, while proceeding to his bedroom, fell down the hotel stairs, and received such injuries that he expired soon afterwards. Sparks body was taken to his own cellar to keep cold and fresh until the coroner could arrive.



ON THIS DAY – February 1, 1980

Three men were committed for trial for the murder of missing businessman Mr Roger Wilson. After the decision one of the accused, Mr Christopher Dale Flannery, called the coroner’s inquest a “kangaroo court”. The coroner, found that Mr Wilson, 32, was murdered on the 1st of February at Pakenham, outside Melbourne. Mr Hore found that he died of gunshot wounds “unlawfully, maliciously, and feloniously” inflicted by Mr Mark Alfred Clarkson, 29, Mr Christopher Dale Flannery, 31, and Mr Kevin John Henry Williams, 39. Mr Hore agreed with counsel assisting the inquest, Mr John Hassell, that there was insufficient evidence to commit Mrs Kathleen May Flannery, 29, for trial on a charge of murder. The coroner said the six-week-old inquest had sat for 30 days and he was not troubled by his findings. Asked if he had anything to say, Mrs Flannery said: “I have nothing to say, except that I am not guilty of these charges. This has been a kangaroo court and if you want to get me for contempt, away you go”. Photo of Christopher Dale Flannery known as Mr Rent a kill.


On This Day –  January 2, 1951

Mrs. Shirley Rose Miller (21) and Kevin James Miller (32), of Buxton, were present in custody at an inquest to-day charged with having murdered their 12-month-old daughter at Buxton on January 2.

The Coroner (Mr. Burke. S.M.) who was inquiring into the death of Hazel Elaine Miller, adjourned the hearing until next Wednesday, after medical evidence had been heard.

Mrs. Miller was also on remand on a charge of having murdered another child, Arthur Jackson, three months, at Redcliffs on March 26, 1948.

Mr. Burke was told that the body of Hazel Miller was sewn up in a calico bag with white cotton and the legs tied with string.

Dr. Bowden, Government Pathologist, detailed the extensive injuries to Hazel Miller, alleged to have been cause by a hot-water bottle placed on the child’s stomach. The girl’s body was extensively bruised, and, in his opinion, death was due to a fractured skull. Most of the bruises could have been caused by hitting with the open hand or punching.