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ON THIS DAY ……… 24th August 1940

A girl who caused a sensation in Melbourne Court by shouting ‘Good-bye Sweetheart!’ when boyfriend Frederick James Anderson was committed for trial on a charge of murder, was freed of a sentence imposed upon her on a vagrancy charge.

She appealed against the sentence of one month, and when the appeal was heard before Judge Foster the conviction was repealed. Mr. A. Sacks represented Mary Eugene, who bad been arrested on the charge of having insufficient means of support after her boyfriend was arrested. Senior Detective S. McGuffie said that while inquiring into the murder charge against Anderson he had taxed Mary with the suggestion that she was keeping Anderson on her earnings. This Mary hotly denied she insisted that she was not working and that Anderson had been keeping her. It was also stated by the police that Mary was known to be an associate of thieves and suspected thieves. In addition to which she had been seen in a house of ill fame in Fitzroy by the police.

Mary, who appeared in the Court decked with what was described as a ‘wonderful collection of gold and diamond rings’ said she had been living with Anderson for more than two years. Since they came to Melbourne about last May, Anderson had given her a regular amount each week for housekeeping and also about £30 out of a win he had at gambling. Out of that £30 she bought the rings.  In answer to the evidence of the police that they had not seen the rings in their search of the house before Anderson’s arrest, she answered that they had been there just the same. She denied the suggestion that they had been borrowed for the occasion.

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY – May 19, 1934

BODY UNDER CULVERT

A Coroner’s inquiry was opened concerning the death of the Italian laborer named Rocco Petaulla, whoso charred body was found under a culvert at Balwyn by some children. Dr. D.H. Mollison, Government Pathologist, expressed the opinion that death was due to suffocation and haemorrhage following a blow on tho head. The witness said the face was almost unrecognisable, and the trunk was much charred, while on the left side of the frontal bone of the head there was a hole three-quarters of an inch in diameter. There was no evidence of a bullet in the skull. The injury could have been caused by the rounded end of a small tomahawk.  Two Italians named Antonio Chiodo and Antonio Audino, who have been charged with the murder of Petaulla, were present in custody. James Dallis, 28, motor-cycle wrecker of North Melbourne, said that he had done carrying work for Audino and Chiotlo. They came, to him on May 19 and told him that they had been robbed of £92. That night Chiodo returned, and said, that his brother wanted witness to take a parcel to Olinda, to raise some money. He would be paid £2 for the job.  When he went to the shop four Italians were talking excitedly in Italian. He waited a little while and was given £2. When he went outside, his cycle had been pushed up a small lane. There was a big tarpaulin on the trailer, and all he could see was a big, bulky object under, it. Chiodo and Audino sat on top, and they travelled to Balwyn, Chiodo told him to pull up, and they then lifted the object from the trailer. It was very dark. witness then returned home.  Chiodo replied that there was nothing wrong, and nothing that concerned him. “If anybody asks you, you know nothing about us,” he said to witness. They then left, and on the following Friday witness reported to Detective McGuffie.

POLICE EVIDENCE

Senior Detective McGuffie described the various pieces of clothing found burned in the culvert and the piece of hessian, and Italian dictionary also recovered.

Detective Rosewarne said that he recognised the clothing, when he previously searched Petaulla at the Detective Office. McGuffie related how he interviewed Trixtino and Chiodo, and told them that the police believed that the charred body was that of Petaulla, who had been murdered at Chiodo’s shop. Chiodo denied this, and also denied having given Dallis £2 to remove the body. When Audino came in he denied that Petaulla had been at the shop since the day he went to the detective office.  The inquest is not completed.

ON THIS DAY – February 2, 1923

A nude decomposed and decapitated body of a young woman in a bag in the River Yarra, was found on this day in 1923. The body was recovered by Detective McGuffie and two constables after they had dragged the river for three hours. A communication was received at police headquarters that two men had been seen at 11pm driving onto the Anderson-Street bridge. A witness Mr. Harold Montrose Sharkey Lloyd, of West Melbourne, told the police that he was about to cross the bridge at 11pm when he saw two men drive up in a motor car and stop suddenly near the kerbstone close to the bridge on the south side of the Yarra. The rear light of the car was obscured by a piece of cloth or bag and the headlights were dimmed. Soon after the car stopped two figures. Mr. Sharkey Lloyd says, emerged from the shadows of the bridge carrying a heavy object. The engine of the motor car was running at high speed. Mr. Sharkey Lloyd saw in the actions of the men something ominous and walked back to the end of the bridge where he hid himself in the darkness. Soon afterwards he saw the men lift what he thought was a coffin, to the railings of the bridge, they looked round to see that no one was watching and then threw the object into the river. There was a loud splash as the object struck the water. Immediately afterwards the men walked hurriedly off the bridge and jumping into the car drove off rapidly towards Richmond. Mr. Sharkey Boyd suspected that the men had committed a murder and had disposed of the body by throwing it into the river. He ran along the road and communicated with the criminal investigation department. After three unsuccessful attempts to bring this object to the surface he recovered a heavy bag which was taken to the river bank and opened. Spectators who had gathered were horrified at the discovery, that it contained the decomposed body of a woman, thought to be aged from 15 to 18 years. The body had been decapitated and the head was found inside another bag. The dead woman’s hair appeared to be auburn or dark brown and was plaited. In the bag were also about a hundredweight of blue stone, used as a sinker. The state of the body indicated that death had taken place some months previous. From evidence obtained it was determined the body was that of Bertha Coghlan who was buried shortly after her death, and that fearing discovery of the crime its perpetrators had it brought to the city and thrown into the Yarra.

 

 

ON THIS DAY ……… 24th August 1940

A girl who caused a sensation in Melbourne Court by shouting ‘Good-bye Sweetheart!’ when boyfriend Frederick James Anderson was committed for trial on a charge of murder, was freed of a sentence imposed upon her on a vagrancy charge.

She appealed against the sentence of one month, and when the appeal was heard before Judge Foster the conviction was repealed. Mr. A. Sacks represented Mary Eugene, who bad been arrested on the charge of having insufficient means of support after her boyfriend was arrested. Senior Detective S. McGuffie said that while inquiring into the murder charge against Anderson he had taxed Mary with the suggestion that she was keeping Anderson on her earnings. This Mary hotly denied she insisted that she was not working and that Anderson had been keeping her. It was also stated by the police that Mary was known to be an associate of thieves and suspected thieves. In addition to which she had been seen in a house of ill fame in Fitzroy by the police.

Mary, who appeared in the Court decked with what was described as a ‘wonderful collection of gold and diamond rings’ said she had been living with Anderson for more than two years. Since they came to Melbourne about last May, Anderson had given her a regular amount each week for housekeeping and also about £30 out of a win he had at gambling. Out of that £30 she bought the rings.  In answer to the evidence of the police that they had not seen the rings in their search of the house before Anderson’s arrest, she answered that they had been there just the same. She denied the suggestion that they had been borrowed for the occasion.

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY – May 19, 1934

BODY UNDER CULVERT

A Coroner’s inquiry was opened concerning the death of the Italian laborer named Rocco Petaulla, whoso charred body was found under a culvert at Balwyn by some children. Dr. D.H. Mollison, Government Pathologist, expressed the opinion that death was due to suffocation and haemorrhage following a blow on tho head. The witness said the face was almost unrecognisable, and the trunk was much charred, while on the left side of the frontal bone of the head there was a hole three-quarters of an inch in diameter. There was no evidence of a bullet in the skull. The injury could have been caused by the rounded end of a small tomahawk.  Two Italians named Antonio Chiodo and Antonio Audino, who have been charged with the murder of Petaulla, were present in custody. James Dallis, 28, motor-cycle wrecker of North Melbourne, said that he had done carrying work for Audino and Chiotlo. They came, to him on May 19 and told him that they had been robbed of £92. That night Chiodo returned, and said, that his brother wanted witness to take a parcel to Olinda, to raise some money. He would be paid £2 for the job.  When he went to the shop four Italians were talking excitedly in Italian. He waited a little while and was given £2. When he went outside, his cycle had been pushed up a small lane. There was a big tarpaulin on the trailer, and all he could see was a big, bulky object under, it. Chiodo and Audino sat on top, and they travelled to Balwyn, Chiodo told him to pull up, and they then lifted the object from the trailer. It was very dark. witness then returned home.  Chiodo replied that there was nothing wrong, and nothing that concerned him. “If anybody asks you, you know nothing about us,” he said to witness. They then left, and on the following Friday witness reported to Detective McGuffie.

POLICE EVIDENCE

Senior Detective McGuffie described the various pieces of clothing found burned in the culvert and the piece of hessian, and Italian dictionary also recovered.

Detective Rosewarne said that he recognised the clothing, when he previously searched Petaulla at the Detective Office. McGuffie related how he interviewed Trixtino and Chiodo, and told them that the police believed that the charred body was that of Petaulla, who had been murdered at Chiodo’s shop. Chiodo denied this, and also denied having given Dallis £2 to remove the body. When Audino came in he denied that Petaulla had been at the shop since the day he went to the detective office.  The inquest is not completed.

ON THIS DAY – February 2, 1923

A nude decomposed and decapitated body of a young woman in a bag in the River Yarra, was found on this day in 1923. The body was recovered by Detective McGuffie and two constables after they had dragged the river for three hours. A communication was received at police headquarters that two men had been seen at 11pm driving onto the Anderson-Street bridge. A witness Mr. Harold Montrose Sharkey Lloyd, of West Melbourne, told the police that he was about to cross the bridge at 11pm when he saw two men drive up in a motor car and stop suddenly near the kerbstone close to the bridge on the south side of the Yarra. The rear light of the car was obscured by a piece of cloth or bag and the headlights were dimmed. Soon after the car stopped two figures. Mr. Sharkey Lloyd says, emerged from the shadows of the bridge carrying a heavy object. The engine of the motor car was running at high speed. Mr. Sharkey Lloyd saw in the actions of the men something ominous and walked back to the end of the bridge where he hid himself in the darkness. Soon afterwards he saw the men lift what he thought was a coffin, to the railings of the bridge, they looked round to see that no one was watching and then threw the object into the river. There was a loud splash as the object struck the water. Immediately afterwards the men walked hurriedly off the bridge and jumping into the car drove off rapidly towards Richmond. Mr. Sharkey Boyd suspected that the men had committed a murder and had disposed of the body by throwing it into the river. He ran along the road and communicated with the criminal investigation department. After three unsuccessful attempts to bring this object to the surface he recovered a heavy bag which was taken to the river bank and opened. Spectators who had gathered were horrified at the discovery, that it contained the decomposed body of a woman, thought to be aged from 15 to 18 years. The body had been decapitated and the head was found inside another bag. The dead woman’s hair appeared to be auburn or dark brown and was plaited. In the bag were also about a hundredweight of blue stone, used as a sinker. The state of the body indicated that death had taken place some months previous. From evidence obtained it was determined the body was that of Bertha Coghlan who was buried shortly after her death, and that fearing discovery of the crime its perpetrators had it brought to the city and thrown into the Yarra.