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Frederick Bayley Deeming was one of 14 children born to Thomas and Ann Deeming in Leicestershire, England.

Frederick would first get into trouble with the law aged just 15 years old  for throwing rocks at a train.  At 16 he ranaway to see and began his life of crime with stealing and obtaining money by deception – something which would be a common thread for the rest of his life.

The beginning of the end for Deeming began with the discovery of Emily Lydia Mather’s decomposing body buried beneath the hearth of the second bedroom at 57 Andrew Street, Windsor on March 3, 1892.

Emily had married Deeming, who was know as Albert Williams in Rainhill, Lancashire in 1891 before the young couple set out for Australia.  They arrived in Melbourne in November 1891 and stayed for a short time in the city of Melbourne before heading to the rented property in Windsor.  Emily was not to know that this house would become her coffin!

On Christmas Eve, Deeming murdered Emily and in a well prepared plan buried her remains within the house before heading back to Melbourne.  He had paid up the rent for a couple of months so it wasnt until a new prospective tennant inspected the property that Emily’s remains were discovered.

By this time, Deeming had headed to Sydney and enticed Kate Rounsfell to marry him and move to WA with him.  Luckily for her Deeming left first and Kate only made it as far as Melbourne before news broke of her fiancee’s evil deeds.

But Emily was not the first murder Deeming had committed.  During the investigation into the death of Emily, it came to light that Deeming had been married before and had 4 children.  Marie and the children were found murdered and cemented under the kitchen floor at the property Deeming had rented in Rainhill.

Deeming was finally caught out by clever detective work and his boasting of his accomplishments.

Deeming was sentenced to death and was executed on May 29, 1892 at the Old Melbourne Gaol.

Before his death, a telegram was sent from London, requesting that Deeming be interviewed over the Whitechapel murders of 1888.  It would join numerous requests from police forces around the world asking if he could have been responsible for as many as 18 murders.

 

In 1938, a double murder took place in the now defunct Windsor Castle Hotel in Dunolly.  One of the last sightings of the murdered men and their murderer was in the bar of the Railway Hotel in Dunolly.  Join Twisted History for dinner and a paranormal investigation here on February 23, 2019.

Noise Said To Have Led To Deaths

December 13, 1938

An alleged statement that he had killed a man because he was making a noise upstairs, and that he had killed another man because he did not want him to be a witness, was read in the Supreme Court today when Thomas William Johnson, 40, of no fixed address, was charged with the murder of the two men.

The victims of the tragedy were: —
Robert McCourt Gray, 73, returned soldier and pensioner
Charles Adam Bunney, 61, war pensioner

They were found in a padlocked upstairs room of the delicensed
Windsor Castle Hotel at Dunolly on October 6 with their heads battered.

Johnson pleaded not guilty to the charges of having murdered Bunney and Gray.

Mr Cussen said that on October 3 there were five people living in the hotel.  Gray and Bunney had lived there for years. On September 26 Johnson arrived there. He said that he was on sustenance and wanted to live there, but could not pay.

On Monday morning, October 3, Gray was seen alive and Bunney was seen alive about 5.15 p.m. by the postmaster.  After that neither of the men was seen until the Thursday. In the meantime Bunney’s room, although it was open, had not been used. Gray’s room was
padlocked.

Two men looked for Gray and Bunney on the Thursday. One of them
climbed to the verandah and saw the men lying dead side by side. When entrance was gained the two men were found with their heads battered. A bloodstained axe was found in the corner.

Johnson, on the Monday, had no money. On the Tuesday he was seen on the road to Maryborough, and got a ride, for which he paid 1/. He returned later, and this time paid 2/6.  When he walked into the Dandenong police station on the Friday he made a statement, although he was warned he need not make it.

Mr Cussen then read the statement alleged to have been made by Johnson. In it Johnson is alleged to have said that he was asleep on the ground floor of the delicensed hotel about 3 p.m. on October 3 when he heard Gray, who was on the top floor, hammering and making a loud noise. He took an axe upstairs and hit Gray on the head. Gray fell to the floor, Bunney came into the room, and he hit him on the head. He then locked the room with a padlock and
threw the key away.

His only excuse for killing Gray was because he was making a noise while he was trying to sleep. He had killed Bunney because he did not want him to be a witness.

He often became bad tempered, and he was in a bad temper when he killed Gray.  He stayed at the hotel for two nights afterward. He then walked to Maryborough, rode on a transport to Melbourne on October 6, stayed in the city that night, and walked to Dandenong
the next day.

One of the witnesses was Elizabeth Whelan, the licensee of the Railway Hotel in Dunolly who testified that Cazneau, Johnson and a man named Alexander and Bunney were in the bar on the Monday morning. Bunney bought Johnson two drinks and left.  Gray came into the hotel at 10.30 and bought a quart bottle of wine, but did
not drink it with the other men. He gave a £1 note and received his change in small silver. Gray took a quart bottle of wine a month.
Johnson had four pots of beer up to 11 a.m., when he left, and he had one again at 2 p.m.

Thomas William Johnson would be found guilty of the murders of Robert McCourt Gray and Charles Adam Bunney and was sentenced to death.

Johnson was executed at Pentridge Prison on January 23, 1939.  When asked by the Sheriff in the condemned cell whether he had anything to say, Johnson shook his head and indicated that he wanted the execution to proceed.

ON THIS DAY …….4th August 1863

A dreadful murder was perpetrated at Warrnambool on this day in 1863, by a prisoner called James Murphy, on a Constable named Daniel O’Boyle. The murder was committed in the Court house, while O’Boyle was stooping down it is presumed to light the fire in the room of the Clerk of Petty Sessions, Murphy struck the deceased, while in the stooping posture indicated, a blow on the right side of the head with a heavy stone hammer, which caused immediate insensibility—of which the prisoner took advantage in making his escape. O’Boyle who had just completed his 27th birthday only survived the attack twenty-two hours. The Warrnambool papers state that Murphy has been since apprehended, and is now lodged in the Geelong Gaol awaiting his trial for the murder.

Murphy was executed in the Geelong Gaol, the hangman William Bamford was an old mate and fellow convict ……… Could you hang your mate?

 

 

After a failed attempt to derail a police train, and the shootout that followed, Ned Kelly was taken into custody at Glenrowan in June 1880. To capitalise on his capture, photographer William Burman staged a re-enactment within weeks, having replicated the notorious bushranger’s homemade suit of armour. The copyright laws at the time meant that photographers could patent their images and charge for each individual use. Kelly remained a subject of intense public interest until his execution, 13 days after his trial, on November 11, 1880.

 

EXECUTED ON THIS DAY ……………. 11th of July 1861

Henry Coolley, sentenced to death for the murder of his wife at Heathcote, was executed on the 11th inst., at the Central Gaol, Melbourne. On the previous night he made a full confession, a copy of which We append:—”Central Jail, Melbourne, “Wednesday evening, 10th July, 1861. “I, Henry Cooley, by the faith of redemption through our Saviour Jesus Christ, before appearing in the presence of my Maker, desire voluntarily, and of my own free will and accord, to make the fullest statement I can in the world for my heinous crime by confession and acknowledgment of the justice of the sentence of death passed upon me for taking the life of my lamented wife Harriet Cooley.

“Incompatibility of temper was unfortunately for us a source of constant disagreement. On the 15th of March, the day previous to this last occurrence, my wife had been to McIvor races, and we quarrelled between 8 and 9 o’clock in the morning about her having been in company with another woman whose company it was not proper of her to keep, when, instead of curbing my temper and enduring with patience, trouble and affliction, exasperated by passion, I raised the axe and struck my wile on the head—her death was instantaneous. When I found life was gone I did not know what to do. At last I made up my mind to conceal the body. I took the lighted candle off the table, harnessed my horse, in the spring cart, and carrying the lighted candle in my hand, led the horse into the bush about half a mile, and concealed the remains amongst the branches of a fallen ironbark tree. I heard the voice of some person cooeying in the direction of the hut, and drove off in a fright, leaving the candle burning on the ground. I returned home, and walked about the hut all night in great distress. Next morning (Sunday) I went back to the place and found that the candle had set fire to the grass about the tree and consumed the body. I did not then in any way disturb the remains, but turned in horror from the spot. About ten days after this, on hearing that I was about to be apprehended, I went again to the place and scattered the remains.  “The evidence adduced of the remains having been re-burnt is not true, for to my knowledge they were not. The piece of burnt while metal, supposed to have been a ‘billy’ was what was left of the tin candlestick.

“This is my last confession, and the true statement of the murder of my wife and the concealment of her remains; and may God be merciful unto her, a sinner, hurried into eternity, and pardon her sins. A few faults she had, but her good qualities were many; and I earnestly pray that God will forgive her. Husbands and wives, love one another; children, obey your parents; and blessed are they who keep the Lord’s commandments, and through salvation inherit-eternal life. While I deeply deplore and lament the murder of my wife, I do not now regret to quit this earthly scene and term of trial and tribulation to fit us for a better and a happier state. I deserve and am resigned to my fate, and I earnestly pray that others may take warning by my untimely end. “Farewell? May grace be unto all; and the Lord have mercy on my soul!

Amen, “HENRY COOLEY.”

ON THIS DAY….. 10th July 1858

GREEN TENT NEAR MEREDITH

Elizabeth Lowe was buried on the side of the creek, near to where she was murdered. A white picket fence was built around her burial site, which remained until a bush fire in the 1920s. Today nothing is left to suggest that a community once stood here or even a public house where weary travellers would stop. The man Owen McQueeny, charged on suspicion as the murderer of Elizabeth Lowe, at the Green Tent, was examined at the Police-office this morning. The prisoner is rather a forbidding looking man, an Irishman apparently, from his dialect, and is of dark complexion, with dark hair, and a defect in his right eye similar to what among horses is denominated a “wall-eye.” Among the property missing from deceased’s tent, the purse, or portemonnaic, has been fully identified, also the bowie-knife and small flute. The wedding-ring produced is sworn to by her brother as being hers, to the best of his belief, being remarkable for the depth of impression of the Goldsmith’s hall stamp on the inner side. The keeper of the wedding-ring has not yet been found. The two principal links yet wanting to connect the prisoner more fully with the terrible crime are the time when Mrs. Lowe was last seen alive on Friday, 9th July, and the time the prisoner was last seen about her tent. During the examination the prisoner tried frequently to joke on the evidence, and repeatedly laughed at the questions he put; but there can be little doubt, from his efforts, that these were forced. The Inspector of Police applied for a remand for seven days, to enable him to produce the doctor who had attended the inquest, and to collect further evidence. Remand granted. Owen McQueeney was found guilty of the wilful murder of Elizabeth Lowe and was hanged at the Old Geelong Gaol on the 20th October, 1858.

 

EXECUTED THIS DAY – JULY 6, 1860

The murderer of the Hunts, George Waines, was executed yesterday morning, in the Melbourne gaol. No further confession than that already published was made by the unfortunate man. Up to the last moment he was attended by the Rev. Mr. Stoddart, who states that he appeared deeply penitent for his crime. A few minutes after ten o’clock the cell door was opened, by order of the sheriff, and after a few moments delay Waines came out into the corridor, looking firm, collected, and resigned. After casting a glance round at the small crowd grouped behind him, and wiping away a few tears, he submitted himself to be pinioned without a word or a murmur escaping his lips. During the operation he remained apparently unmoved, and upon its completion marched with a firm step to the foot of the drop, the stairs of which he ascended in like manner. Hardly a minute elapsed before the fatal bolt was drawn, and Waines launched into eternity. The last words of the chaplain, “Man hath but a short time to live” must have been ringing in the wretched culprit’s ears as he fell. A few muscular spasms of the limbs ensued, but there was no sign of suffering; in fact,a more merciful execution, if any can be merciful, could not have taken place. After hanging the usual time, the body was cut down. The one redeeming feature in Waines’ character appears to have been his affection for his wife, of whom he frequently spoke to Mr. Stoddart, In the letter he wrote her it was his wish that a lock of his hair should be enclosed. This last injunction has, of course, been observed. He also gave to an old acquaintance a religious book, put into his hands by the chaplain, accompanied by a request that its contents might be earnestly studied. The story that Waines had been previously convicted for manslaughter, and transported, he was anxious should be contradicted. By the prison books we find that he arrived in the colony a free man, in the year 1853, by the ship Duke of Richmond, from Liverpool, and that he was born at Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, in 1823. His English as well as his colonial occupation was that of a farmer.

EXECUTED THIS DAY – July 1, 1895

ARTHUR BUCK – MELBOURNE GAOL

Arthur Buck, who murdered Catherine Norton at South Melbourne on the 28th April last, was executed in the Melbourne Gaol last Monday morning at 10 o’clock. The arrangements made by the governor of the gaol, Captain Burrows, and the medical officer, Dr. Shields, were perfect, and the execution passed off without a hitch. The murderer met his death calmly, and at his own request the usual prayers and devotional exercises were dispensed with. Though the chaplain, the Rev. H. F. Scott, had been respectfully received by the prisoner, his ministrations fell on an unresponsive ear, and the man died as he had lived, an atheist. The recently appointed sheriff, Mr. A. McFarland, was present in his official capacity, and the attendance of the public totalled seven, the smallest number recorded at an execution in Melbourne for years past.

The crime for which Buck suffered the extreme penalty of the law was a diabolical one, unrelieved by a single redeeming feature. The victim, Catherine Norton, had a short and an usually wretched existence. She married a labourer when only 17 years old, and within 12 months was not only situated in the most squalid surroundings, but was continually quarrelling with her husband. At length her home became unbearable, and she left it to live with Buck, who was about her own age. After a few months Buck went to New South Wales, Norton meantime going as housekeeper to a labourer named Thorpe in South Melbourne. Buck returned to Melbourne in April, sought out Norton, and having vainly endeavoured to persuade her to go away with him, he cut her throat. The dying woman staggered towards her residence, and Buck stood by in a dark corner while the people gathered and doctors and police were summoned. Then he walked to his home in Richmond, went to bed, and slept till Detectives Cawsey, Dungey, and Carter sought him later in the day. He callously admitted the deed, gave the whole of the horrible details, but expressed no word of sorrow for the victim or remorse for the act.

An hour and an half subsequent to the execution a formal inquest was held by the City Coroner, Dr. Youl, when a verdict of “death from judicial hanging” was recorded. At sunset the body was buried in quicklime in the gaol yard.

ON THIS DAY – June 29, 1908

The fourteenth execution in the Ballarat Gaol took place at 10 o’clock this morning, when Charles Henry Deutschmann paid the supreme penalty for having murdered his wife.

The crime took place at Dobie, a few miles from Ararat, on Saturday evening, April 11. Mrs. Deutschmann, who had been married in 1890, was stopping with her stepfather. Her husband travelled from Melbourne to Ballarat, and there purchased a revolver and 25 cartridges. He continued his journey to Ararat, and arrived there at 9 o’clock, to the surprise of his wife, who expected him on the Monday. He was under the influence of drink, and a quarrel ensued. The stepfather endeavoured to pacify him, when he drew the revolver, and shot his father-in- law. Deutschmann then returned to his wife’s room, and fired two shots at her, the second striking her in the breast, and killing her immediately. He was arrested next morning by Sergeant Hancock. The old man recovered from his wounds.  A defence of insanity was unsuccessfully raised at the trial at Stawell.

Since he came to the Ballarat Gaol Deutschmann behaved quietly, and appeared to realise the enormity of his deed. He was attended by the Rev. Charles Cameron, whose ministration he listened to with interest. Just on the stroke of 10 o’clock the sheriff demanded the body of Charles Henry Deutschmann, and, in response to the demand of the governor, produced his warrant. Deutschmann walked steadily on to the drop, and was asked by the sheriff if he had anything to say. He replied slowly, and with emotion, “No, sir; I have nothing to say. God have mercy on me. Good-bye, good-bye.” Death was instantaneous. Deutschmann made no private statement further than expressing his deep regret for the crime, and commending himself to God’s mercy. Deutschmann was a native of Ararat, and was 41 years old.

On This Day – June 22, 1936

Edward Cornelius (29), mechanic, to-day walked to the gallows with a smile on his face to be hanged for the murder of Rev. Harold Laceby Cecil. When the sheriff asked him if he had anything to say he shook his head and said, “No; I am all right.”

He stood quite steady on the drop until the lever was pulled.

Archbishop Head visited the condemned man yesterday, and spoke with him for more than 10 minutes. Cornelius had breakfast of bacon and eggs, and spent three-quarters of an hour in the company of a chaplain.

EXECUTED ON THIS DAY……….. 9th of June 1879

The execution of Thomas Hogan, for the murder of his brother at Yarrawonga, took place at 9am, on this day in 1879. The prisoner, who had been spiritually attended since he was condemned, by Father O’Connor, was very calm, and walked on to the drop with a firm step. When asked by the sheriff if he had anything to say, he replied “No.” Gately then drew the bolt and the body fell a lifeless corpse. It was left hanging for two hours, and was then cut down, and the customary inquest was held upon the remains, when the usual evidence was adduced, and a verdict of “death by hanging” was returned. The body was buried in quicklime, in the same grave as that containing the remains of the murderers Smith and Brady, who were executed here five years ago. The arrangements were most complete. Gately left for Melbourne, accompanied by a warder.

 

ON THIS DAY – June 6, 1881

ROBERT ROHAN SMITH – BEECHWORTH GAOL

The Yalca Murder – EXECUTION OF ROHAN. 

THE ARGUS correspondent at Beechworth wired on Monday the following account of the execution of Robert Rohan for murder:—Robert Rohan, alias Smith, the murderer of John Shea, at Yalca, near Shepparton, on the 23rd January last, was executed in Beechworth gaol this morning by Upjohn at 10 o’clock. The condemned man walked on to the scaffold in a calm, deliberate manner, chewing a piece of tobacco, and when asked by the sheriff whether he had anything to cay, replied, “I have been convicted of the murder, and am prepared to hang for it.” The previous evening he said to the governor of the gaol and the Revs. Wm. Brown and Donnes, Wesleyan clergyman, “I have committed several crimes that I ought to have been hanged for, but I never committed this.”  All being ready, the executioner pulled the bolt, and the convict was launched into eternity. Death was instantaneous. After remaining the usual hour the body was cut down, and an inquest held upon it by Mr W. H. Forster, P.M., and a jury, who found a verdict of death by hanging. The prisoner, who was 24 years of age, had served several sentences both in Victoria and New South Wales, including one of 12 months in Beechworth gaol for larceny at Benalla in 1876, and another of two years and a half in Pentridge for robbery at Sandhurst in 1878, under the name of Ernest Smith, alias Rohan. The night before his execution he slept calmly, and ate a hearty breakfast and smoked a pipe next morning, and on being informed by the gaoler that his time had come, he answered, “All right, sir,” and appeared but little affected by the near approach of death.