On This Day – April 18, 1913

In the Criminal Court today, Frank Claffey was charged with the manslaughter of Henry McNamara. McNamara was assaulted and robbed on April 18 at Fitzroy, on a vacant piece of land known as the Swamp. Dr. Mollison said that death was due to acute peritonitis, and that the rupture of the bowels was consistent with a kick. The further hearing of the case was adjourned until tomorrow.

ON THIS DAY …….. 6th April 1929


The circumstances of a tragedy in a house in Little Gore-street, Fitzroy, on this day in 1929, were narrated by Peggy Lilian Turner, a 9 year old girl, in the Melbourne Criminal Court. Arthur Cable Sullivan, aged 29, was charged with the murder of Ellen Turner by slashing her with a razor. The child said that she saw Sullivan take a razor from a shelf in the kitchen. Sullivan, whom she described as “Uncle Arthur,” told her to go upstairs. She heard Sullivan and her mother quarrelling, and looking into the bedroom she saw Sullivan fighting her mother. He was holding her against the wall trying to get at her throat. Sullivan, when he saw her, said “Get out, or I will chuck you out ” She went to the front door, but it was locked. Returning to the bedroom, she saw her mother lying on the floor bleeding. Later Sullivan said to her: “If anyone asks you about this, tell them that your mother fell on a broken bottle,” Sullivan said that Mrs. Turner was the first to get the razor. He thought she intended to do herself an injury, and tried to take it from her. He broke the blade against the wall, and a piece of it struck Mrs. Turner on the arm, severing the arteries. He had no intention of injuring her. When she saw her arm was bleeding she said to him, “Say I did it on a place of glass.”The jury announced that they desired to hear no further evidence. They returned a verdict of not guilty of either murder or manslaughter.


ON THIS DAY …… 29th March 1947


Pleading that he acted in self-defence, Chang Gooh Kong aged 34, Chinese seaman, was acquitted in the Criminal Court of the murder of Douglas Vivian Alcock aged 21, labourer, of Brunswick St., Fitzroy, on this day in 1947.


ON THIS DAY ……… 17th March 1926


The City Coroner, Mr. D. Berriman, committed for trial Assis Dihood on a charge of the manslaughter of Kathleen Booth, aged 4 1/2 years. The evidence presented, to the Coroner was that the child, in company with her mother, was knocked down by a motor car driven by Dihood when passing from a tram to the footpath in Gisborne street, Fitzroy on this day in 1926. Both were severely injured, and the child died from the injuries received.



ON THIS DAY ……… 15th March 1907



On this day in 1907, Henry Pickett died from injuries received while cycling, in a collision with a horse draw vehicle driven by James Howie in Nicholson-street, Fitzroy. At the inquest it was found that James Howie was at fault, and he was charged of manslaughter. Evidence had been given by William John Wilson, who had witnessed the collision that Howie who was driving a jinker, had called out warning to Pickett, but the latter, who was riding fairly fast, with his head down, apparently did not hear the cry.



ON THIS DAY ………. 14th March 1913


The Coroner held an enquiry into the tragedy which occurred in George street, Fitzroy, on this day in 1913. Walter Edgar Erfurth, a labourer aged 23 years, killed Ada Doalman, aged 21, and wounded her baby, before shooting himself. William Lawrence, who lived at the same house as deceased, said that on the 14th March Erfurth came home slightly intoxicated. He went out again, and upon his return retired to his bedroom. Witness heard a muffled dispute between him and Doalman, which was followed a few minutes later by a scream. He tried to open the door, but it was locked. Lawrence then went into the street and returned with a constable, who forced the door. He then saw the bodies of Erfurth and Doalman stretched on the bed, and the baby, with a wound in its mouth, was lying across the woman’s arm. Erfurth had a bullet wound in the forehead, and the woman had been shot in the breast. Grace Erfurth said she believed Doalman to be her son’s wife. He was arrested two years ago for the maintenance of an illegitimate child, but the Drouin Court dismissed the case. The matter may have preyed on his mind. A verdict of murder and suicide was returned.



ON THIS DAY – March 6, 1959


Two youths were today found guilty of manslaughter of a Fitzroy newsagent by a Supreme Court jury, which acquitted them of murder. They were Kenneth Graham Wilson, 17, labourer, of Jarvie Street, East Brunswick, and John McLaren Hazeldine, 19, labourer, of Barkley Street, Brunswick. The jury acquitted Michael John Anthony Corcoran, 15, of both murder and manslaughter. The jury added a rider requesting that Wilson’s and Hazeldine’s ages should be taken into consideration when the penalty was being fixed. Mr. Justice Lowe remanded both for sentence after saying he would call for pre sentence reports on them. All three had pleaded not guilty to having murdered John Colin Beadles, 43, news agent, of Nicholson Street, Fitzroy. Beadles died in hospital on March 8 from injuries which, the Crown claimed, were inflicted when he was battered on the head at his shop on March 6.



ON THIS DAY – March 5, 1950


Stanley Henry Shaw, at Fitzroy, was arrested and charged with murder of a woman more than 14 months earlier. She was Sylvia Holmes, 22, who was strangled in the bedroom of a house in Cremorne St., Fitzroy, on March 5.



ON THIS DAY – February 9, 1896


William Mackay, aged 27, residing with his parents at 32 Mill-street, North Carlton, was murdered under what appear extraordinary circumstances on this night in 1896. Joseph Frances Shiel, a labourer residing at Fitzroy, states that he was with Mackay the greater part of the day, and they were drinking together. At about 10pm they were both under the influence of liquor, and were walking down Nicholson-street towards Johnson-street when they were met by four men coming from the direction of Melbourne. Shiel says one of the men said ‘Good night,’ and then struck him on the jaw, knocking him down on the footpath. When he recovered Mackay was lying on tho footpath beside him. George Howes, a labourer, came up, and, knowing Mackay, tried to get a word from him, but unsuccessfully. He then carried him to the hospital, where he was found to be dead. The stab of a penknife was found in the side, but it was not known whether it touched the heart. No trace of the men can be found. Shiel has been arrested on a charge of murder, as blood was found on his clothes. George Howes was charged at the Carlton Court with the murder of William Mackay, Thomas Kneale with insulting behaviour, and John Noonan with vagrancy. The two latter were said to be indirectly concerned in the murder of Mackay. They were all remanded. Noonan afterwards stated that he had been in company with several of the others last night, but when he saw quarrel brewing he left. He further stated that the crowd had been drinking heavily, and that Mackay was very drunk.


On This Day – 9th February 1904

A man giving the name of John Buck was arrested as he was crawling through a fanlight in Kearney’s boot factory, in Kardini. At the police court, he pleaded guilty to being found by night on the premises without lawful’ excuse. Accused admitted eighteen previous convictions, with sentences aggregating twenty five years, under the names of Clements and Koss, his first conviction being at Fitzroy in 1874. The Police Magistrate said that accused was evidently a dangerous criminal, and sent him to Geelong gaol for twelve months.



ON THIS DAY – January 31, 1931

Relatives or any person knowing the identity of the man who died on January 31 in a lodging-house in Palmer street, Fitzroy, were asked to communicate with Senior Detective Bell or Detective McKenna at police headquarters. It is alleged that the man died after having been struck by another lodger who was subsequently charged with murder. To all persons in the house the dead man was known as William Rowan, but the detectives now believe that his correct name was Jack Lambert and that he was living away from his wife, son and daughter. The detectives understand that Mrs. Lambert lived in Punt road, Windsor, near Raleigh street, about 15 years ago.



ON THIS DAY – January 29, 1920

Angelo Gaston Lembo (49) shot Stella Norris (21) at a lodging-house in William street, Melbourne and then committed suicide. The lodging-house keeper, Mrs. Findlay, was in the kitchen with Miss Norris when Lembo came home and went up to his room. Shortly afterwards Miss Norris went to hers, but she presently rushed screaming downstairs, crying to Mrs. Findlay, ‘Angelo has shot me.’ Blood was pouring from wounds in the girl’s arm and back. Mrs. Findlay attended her, then ran for assistance. Police broke into Miss Norris’ room and found Lembo stretched dead upon the floor, amid a pool of blood. The shot had pierced his left ear. He and Miss Norris had been engaged and had been living in the name lodging-house, occupying separate rooms. He told an Italian friend over a week ago that he intended to kill himself because he was unhappy. Originally a wood contractor, Lembo served three years at the war. When he returned he won a big sweep, from the proceeds of which he purchased a hotel at Fitzroy. Eventually he sold the hotel and had been living on the money so obtained up to the time of the fatality.