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ON THIS DAY …….3rd August 1943

At the close of the inquest today into the death of Mrs Clarice Anasthasia White, 30, of Dawson st, Ballarat, Mr G. S. Catlow, coroner, committed the woman’s husband, Kenneth Geoffrey White, 34, fitter, for trial on a charge of murder. White was present in custody on a charge of having murdered his wife and having attempted to murder Jonathan Stephen Falla, 23, AIF soldier. Jonathan Stephen Falla said he was in bed with Mrs White, and was awakened about 5am by her saying something about getting up to see the time. She got up, and in the darkness he then heard a crash and the sound of a body falling. He sat up in bed, and next thing he knew was he was hit across the head with what he thought was a piece of wood. He did not know then nor could he identify now who it was who had hit him. He was hit several times on the face and stomach. He heard another crash, and started to walk to where he thought Mrs White must be lying on the floor, when he was confronted by a man with the razor. The man thrust at his throat. Witness lifted his left arm, which was in plaster, and the man hit the plaster with his arm at the same time as he cut the left side of his, witness’s, throat with the razor. The man, who had said nothing up till then, then said, “Lay down on the bed.” To Sup Jacobe Falla admitted that the only thing the man said to him was, “You’ll have a lot of explaining to do.” Falla said that he did not see Mrs White at all from the time she got up. He could not see what happened to her. In reply to Mr N. Boustead, Falla said he had only known Mrs White a week, and had gone to the house in response to her invitation.

ALLEGED STATEMENT TO POLICE Const M. O’Leary said that when he and Sen-const Brady went to the house at 5.20am White was in the passage. He said, “They are down there. I have done them up pretty bad. In the bedroom the dead woman was lying with her throat cut on both sides, and her body covered with a military overcoat. Falla was lying on the bed with a gash in his throat. White said, “I done it with a razor,” and produced a razor from his hip pocket. “I found them in bed together,” White continued, “and I intended to give them something to remember for life. She had been carrying on with men for several years. It has been preying on my mind, and I could not stand it any longer.” O’Leary said that White then told him he had left the house the previous afternoon to go back to his job at Ford’s at Geelong, but did not do so. He left pretending to go to the train, and his wife saw him off at the gate. He returned at 7pm, and through the kitchen window he saw his wife take a soldier in. About 9.30pm. they went into the bedroom. Then he went for a walk to try to ease his mind. He returned about 1.30am and stood in the backyard until 5 am, when he got in through the kitchen window. His wife’s bedroom door was locked. He went to the children’s room and told his daughter Carmel to call her mother, and she did so, saying, “Mummy, I’m sick.” Witness stood outside his wife’s bedroom door. The door opened and he struck the person on the head with a file. At that time he did not know who it was. He then made a swing at the soldier who was in the room. His wife caught hold of him, and he lost the grip on the file. He then turned around and slashed his wife’s throat with the razor. He then slashed the soldier with the razor on the left side of the neck, and sent his daughter for a neighbour to go for the police. Sen-det L. H. Thomas said he found the file in the bedroom. White said, “You don’t know what I have put up with. I have not been on friendly terms with my wife for 8 years. She left me and the children twice,” Witness said White told him that when he tried to strike the soldier with the file his wife caught hold of him and tried to stop him. “I could not throw her off,” White is alleged to have said, “and I took the razor from my pocket and cut her on the throat, and she dropped to the floor. Rather than see the soldier get off scot free I decided to give him a nick. I leaned over the side of the bed and gave him a nick with the razor.”  The coroner found that the woman’s death was due to the wounds inflicted by White, and committed him for trial on a charge of murder at the Ballarat Supreme Court on August 3.

 

ON THIS DAY – July 29, 1949

Following the finding of Mrs. Mary Rebecca Woodbury (47) lying on the floor of the bathroom of her home in Egmont street, Benalla, with fatal throat wounds, caused by a blade razor, detectives early to-day arrested Denis Woodbury (47), and charged him with the murder of his wife. On arrival at the house yesterday, the police said there were signs of a struggle in several rooms, and that a handle had been broken off one of the doors. It was stated that the couple had been married for three years.

On This Day – November 12, 1896

Charles O’Brien, a young man, was to-day arrested on a charge of attempting to murder Julia O’Donoghue by cutting her throat on November 12. O’Brien had previously been living with the woman. On the evening of the date mentioned he met her on City-road.South Melbourne, and asked her to renew their former relations. She declined, whereupon he cut her throat. O’Brien was remanded to appear at South Melbourne on Friday next O Brien has admitted his guilt to the police. He stated that he had been impelled to attack the woman through jealousy. He expressed contrition, and was glad the woman was not dead. She had been hiding near Malvern, and had been nearly starved out.

ON THIS DAY – November 2, 1937

William James Sharkey, of Medway street, Box Hill, was charged at the City Court yesterday with having attempted to murder Ruth Mary White, of the same address, on November 2. He was remanded by Mr. Hauser, P.M., to Box Hill Court on December 23. Bail as fixed at £350, with a similar surety. In applying for the remand, Sergeant Madin said Sharkey was arrested yesterday.  Senior-Detective Frank Simpson said Sharkey was alleged to have attempted to cut Ruth White’s throat at his home in Medway street on November 2, and then tried to commit suicide. An argument occurred over a young man who had been associated with the woman, said Detective Simpson. The woman was taken to hospital, but had returned home, and was practically normal again. She had been living at Sharkey’s house in Medway Street for some years

ON THIS DAY – September 29, 1900

Edward Harrison, accused of murdering his paramour, Sarah Ann Johnson, at King- street, East Brunswick, on Saturday evening last, by cutting her throat, was before Messrs. J Manning and Stranks, J.P.’s at the local court yesterday. Sergeant Muldarry asked for a remand for a week. The prisoner did not speak. In court he looked the picture of wretchedness and dejection. He is a thin, undersized man, and had on a blue striped shirt, a very ragged brown coat, of which little more than the lining was left, tweed trousers, patched with moleskin at the knees. The bench remanded accused, to appear again before the court on Monday next.

ON THIS DAY…… 21st September 1886

A terrible tragedy was enacted on this day in 1886 at Holders’ oyster shop, Elizabeth street, Melbourne. William Williams, brother in law to the owner of the shop, murdered his wife by cutting her throat, and then destroying himself in a similar manner. It appears that Williams, after sending the shop assistant away with a letter, walked into a sitting room where his wife and her mother. Mrs Ludwig, were, and, without saying one word, he pulled out a large carving knife, and stuck it into his wife’s throat, when the poor woman fell to the floor. He then attacked her again, and nearly severed her head from her body, and afterwards he sat down in a chair and cut his own throat. Mrs Ludwig, who was the only other person in the building on seeing her daughter murdered. Both Williams and his wife were found to be dead on their removal to the hospital. Williams was about 30 years of age and his wife 20, and they had been married 11 months. Lately Williams had taken to drink, and jealousy is said to have been the cause of the crime.

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY …….3rd August 1943

At the close of the inquest today into the death of Mrs Clarice Anasthasia White, 30, of Dawson st, Ballarat, Mr G. S. Catlow, coroner, committed the woman’s husband, Kenneth Geoffrey White, 34, fitter, for trial on a charge of murder. White was present in custody on a charge of having murdered his wife and having attempted to murder Jonathan Stephen Falla, 23, AIF soldier. Jonathan Stephen Falla said he was in bed with Mrs White, and was awakened about 5am by her saying something about getting up to see the time. She got up, and in the darkness he then heard a crash and the sound of a body falling. He sat up in bed, and next thing he knew was he was hit across the head with what he thought was a piece of wood. He did not know then nor could he identify now who it was who had hit him. He was hit several times on the face and stomach. He heard another crash, and started to walk to where he thought Mrs White must be lying on the floor, when he was confronted by a man with the razor. The man thrust at his throat. Witness lifted his left arm, which was in plaster, and the man hit the plaster with his arm at the same time as he cut the left side of his, witness’s, throat with the razor. The man, who had said nothing up till then, then said, “Lay down on the bed.” To Sup Jacobe Falla admitted that the only thing the man said to him was, “You’ll have a lot of explaining to do.” Falla said that he did not see Mrs White at all from the time she got up. He could not see what happened to her. In reply to Mr N. Boustead, Falla said he had only known Mrs White a week, and had gone to the house in response to her invitation.

ALLEGED STATEMENT TO POLICE Const M. O’Leary said that when he and Sen-const Brady went to the house at 5.20am White was in the passage. He said, “They are down there. I have done them up pretty bad. In the bedroom the dead woman was lying with her throat cut on both sides, and her body covered with a military overcoat. Falla was lying on the bed with a gash in his throat. White said, “I done it with a razor,” and produced a razor from his hip pocket. “I found them in bed together,” White continued, “and I intended to give them something to remember for life. She had been carrying on with men for several years. It has been preying on my mind, and I could not stand it any longer.” O’Leary said that White then told him he had left the house the previous afternoon to go back to his job at Ford’s at Geelong, but did not do so. He left pretending to go to the train, and his wife saw him off at the gate. He returned at 7pm, and through the kitchen window he saw his wife take a soldier in. About 9.30pm. they went into the bedroom. Then he went for a walk to try to ease his mind. He returned about 1.30am and stood in the backyard until 5 am, when he got in through the kitchen window. His wife’s bedroom door was locked. He went to the children’s room and told his daughter Carmel to call her mother, and she did so, saying, “Mummy, I’m sick.” Witness stood outside his wife’s bedroom door. The door opened and he struck the person on the head with a file. At that time he did not know who it was. He then made a swing at the soldier who was in the room. His wife caught hold of him, and he lost the grip on the file. He then turned around and slashed his wife’s throat with the razor. He then slashed the soldier with the razor on the left side of the neck, and sent his daughter for a neighbour to go for the police. Sen-det L. H. Thomas said he found the file in the bedroom. White said, “You don’t know what I have put up with. I have not been on friendly terms with my wife for 8 years. She left me and the children twice,” Witness said White told him that when he tried to strike the soldier with the file his wife caught hold of him and tried to stop him. “I could not throw her off,” White is alleged to have said, “and I took the razor from my pocket and cut her on the throat, and she dropped to the floor. Rather than see the soldier get off scot free I decided to give him a nick. I leaned over the side of the bed and gave him a nick with the razor.”  The coroner found that the woman’s death was due to the wounds inflicted by White, and committed him for trial on a charge of murder at the Ballarat Supreme Court on August 3.

 

ON THIS DAY – July 29, 1949

Following the finding of Mrs. Mary Rebecca Woodbury (47) lying on the floor of the bathroom of her home in Egmont street, Benalla, with fatal throat wounds, caused by a blade razor, detectives early to-day arrested Denis Woodbury (47), and charged him with the murder of his wife. On arrival at the house yesterday, the police said there were signs of a struggle in several rooms, and that a handle had been broken off one of the doors. It was stated that the couple had been married for three years.

ON THIS DAY – February 9, 1908

At the Supreme Court John Charles Manning was charge with having murdered his wife, Mary Ada Manning, at Golden Square, Bendigo. On the February 9, Manning sliced his wife’s throat. Manning, who is of small stature, presented a haggard and aged appearance, and appeared to have aged in looks since the inquest. He still wore a bandage round his throat, thus covering the wounds which, after he was found alongside the dead body, of his wife, he acknowledged had been self-inflicted. George Rowley Manning, son of the prisoner and deceased, said his mother was a good, religious woman. He denied the truth of the accusations that had been made by the prisoner against, his mother in his diaries. The jury retired at 12 minutes past 4 o’clock, and returned with a verdict of guilty of murder at seven minutes to 6 o’clock. Prisoner staggered when asked if he had anything to say. He shook his head, and said in a weak voice, “I don’t plead guilty in my own conscience.” Mr. Justice Cussen, without changing his wig for the black cap, and still wearing his scarlet and ermine robes, then passed the sentence of death. The prisoner for a moment was motionless. Then he buried his face in his hands. When removed to the cells, however, he walked with a steady step.

Manning’s sentence of death was commuted to life imprisonment

 

On This Day – November 12, 1896

Charles O’Brien, a young man, was to-day arrested on a charge of attempting to murder Julia O’Donoghue by cutting her throat on November 12. O’Brien had previously been living with the woman. On the evening of the date mentioned he met her on City-road.South Melbourne, and asked her to renew their former relations. She declined, whereupon he cut her throat. O’Brien was remanded to appear at South Melbourne on Friday next O Brien has admitted his guilt to the police. He stated that he had been impelled to attack the woman through jealousy. He expressed contrition, and was glad the woman was not dead. She had been hiding near Malvern, and had been nearly starved out.

ON THIS DAY – November 2, 1937

William James Sharkey, of Medway street, Box Hill, was charged at the City Court yesterday with having attempted to murder Ruth Mary White, of the same address, on November 2. He was remanded by Mr. Hauser, P.M., to Box Hill Court on December 23. Bail as fixed at £350, with a similar surety. In applying for the remand, Sergeant Madin said Sharkey was arrested yesterday.  Senior-Detective Frank Simpson said Sharkey was alleged to have attempted to cut Ruth White’s throat at his home in Medway street on November 2, and then tried to commit suicide. An argument occurred over a young man who had been associated with the woman, said Detective Simpson. The woman was taken to hospital, but had returned home, and was practically normal again. She had been living at Sharkey’s house in Medway Street for some years

ON THIS DAY – September 29, 1900

Edward Harrison, accused of murdering his paramour, Sarah Ann Johnson, at King- street, East Brunswick, on Saturday evening last, by cutting her throat, was before Messrs. J Manning and Stranks, J.P.’s at the local court yesterday. Sergeant Muldarry asked for a remand for a week. The prisoner did not speak. In court he looked the picture of wretchedness and dejection. He is a thin, undersized man, and had on a blue striped shirt, a very ragged brown coat, of which little more than the lining was left, tweed trousers, patched with moleskin at the knees. The bench remanded accused, to appear again before the court on Monday next.