ON THIS DAY – July 25, 1942

Following exhaustive inquiries, detectives arrested and charged Frederick Francis Green, 32, timber worker of Lygon Street, Carlton, with the murder of Mrs. Catherine, Whitley, 65, in a lane off Elizabeth Street, city, on July 25. Mrs. Whitley was discovered unconscious in the lane on July 25 and died two days later, from a fractured skull.

ON THIS DAY – July 21, 1943

On a charge of murdering a man who had every bone in his face broken, a soldier, Cecil John Freeman, was committed for trial in the Coroner’s Court. Freeman appeared in custody at the inquest on Ian Gordon Jeffrey, 25, who was injured in a disturbance on July 21 and died in hospital on August 4. Death was due to a fracture of the skull, acute meningitis and pneumonia. Police alleged Freeman had blood on his boots. Freeman has alleged he said he attacked Jeffrey because he was paying attention to Mrs. Freeman.

ON THIS DAY – June 30, 1906

On Saturday, Detective Burvett took charge of the investigations into the murder of Patrick O’Rourke who died in the Alfred Hospital on June 30 from injuries received at St Kilda on the night of June 23. Burvett made three visits to St Kilda on Saturday, and carefully went over the supposed scene of the murder. Then he inspected the dead mans clothing but failed to find anything that would serve as material for any theory as to the murder

O’Rourke when he died had a pronounced black eye. This has been regarded as showing that he was attacked and struck in the eye before receiving the injury that proved fatal. The blow in the eye has also been advanced to account for O’Rourke’s hat having been off when his skull was fractured. Burvett has, however, proved that the black eye was not the result of a separate blow. The fracture of the skull had been very slight and was somewhat below the cut on forehead. The ecchymosis of the eye was the result of this fracture, and did not develop for some days. When O’Rourke was admitted to the hospital no signs of a blow on the eye were discernible.

Detective Sexton and Plain-clothes Constable White are assisting Detective Burvett in his inquiries but very little can be done until the Government analyst has given his opinion with regard to the supposed blood-stained board and O’Rourke’s clothes all of which have been submitted to him.

ON THIS DAY – June 13, 1916

Daniel O’Callaghan, 36, married, with five children, of Edward street, Brunswick, died in the Melbourne Hospital on June 13 as the result of a fracture of the base of the skull. William Douglas, 37, married, and father of five children, a wardsman at the Mental Hospital, Royal Park, has been arrested on the charge of murder. O’Callaghan’s injuries were received, it is stated, when he fell in the channel in Charles street, Brunswick, on Friday night, after an argument arising from a game of cards that had been played that evening. O’Callaghan made an accusation of cheating, and as a result of what followed he fell and became unconscious. He was taken to the hospital, and remained insensible until his death. Douglas was on remand to appear before the Brunswick Court on June 21, on the charge of having assaulted O’Callaghan, but following the death of O’Callaghan, Douglas was arrested on the capital charge.

ON THIS DAY – April 21, 1933


After inquiring into the death of Ivor Charles Waite, wharf labourer, who died of a fractured skull after a fight in Little Bourke-street on April 21. the Acting City Coroner, Mr O’Callaghan. P.M.. found that death was due to injuries inflicted by Alfred Monar, labourer. Monar was committed for trial on a charge of manslaughter.


ON THIS DAY – December 21, 1890


The adjourned inquest into the circumstances attending the death of William Hughes on December 21, last year was held at the Morgue by Dr Youl. The two men implicated were present in custody. Their names are Patrick M’Ginley and John Harmer, and they are at present undergoing sentences of imprisonment at Pentridge for an assault committed by them upon Hughes on the 27th September. The circumstances of the case, according to the evidence at the previous trial, are briefly these Harmer and M’Giniey attacked Hughes, whom they suspected of giving information to the police, at Swanston street. A man named John O’Neil interfered, and the assailants made off as the police appeared. O’Neil escorted Hughes to his home, in Little Lonsdale street, and afterwards went out with him again, when the same two men rushed at them, and Harmer struck Hughes a violent blow on the head with a slingshot, while O’Neil was also severely maltreated the assailants were afterwards arrested by Constable Lowry and Constable M’Leod, and were found guilty at the Criminal Sessions of an assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. M’Ginley was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, and Harmer to two years Hughes never recovered from the injuries which he received, and died on the 21st ult. from an abscess on the brain brought about by fracture of the skull. The men who had inflicted the injuries upon him were therefore arraigned on the capital charge. Mr. Finlayson conducted the examination for the Crown, and the prisoners were not represented by counsel. John O’Neil, who was with Hughes on the evening of the 27th of September, described the circumstances of the assault, and identified the convicts Harmer and M’Ginley as the men who had committed it, evidence relating to the previous trial at the Criminal Court was tendered by Mr Daniel Berriman, of the Crown Law department Dr. Stirling, Dr Syme, and Dr Rudall supplied the medical evidence, which went to show that death was due to an abscess on the brain, produced by a fracture of the skull. Witnesses were also called to show that the deceased had not suffered any subsequent injuries to the head. The Coroner, in summing up to the jury, stated that if they believed the evidence which had been adduced it was their duty to find the prisoners guilty of the capital charge. After an absence of a few minutes a verdict was returned to the effect that both convicts were guilty of wilful murder. They were removed in custody, and will be brought up at the criminal sittings of the Supreme Court in February.


ON THIS DAY – December 7, 1936

The City Coroner Mr. Grant on Friday, committed Sylvester John Barrett labourer, for trial on a charge of having murdered William Herbert Irvine York, 26, tailor of St. Kilda. It was alleged at the inquest that during a street brawl at St. Kilda at midnight on December 7, York was struck on the head by Barrett and died from a fractured skull on December 9. Peggy Berry, a domestic, told the Court that on December 7 she saw Barrett, whom she had known for eight years, jump off a tram car and hit a man. Barrett then kicked the man three times In the head. When she got home Barrett was lying on her bed. He said. ‘We had some fun to-night. We knocked a man down.’ In a police statement read in Court, Barrett stated he had been attacked and acted in self defence. Barrett, who reserved his defence was committed for trial to the Supreme Court on February 17.

ON This Day – 17th November 1895

At Bendigo on the 17th November 1895, a Spaniard named Salvador Sapana, aged 27, informed Constable Green that he had murdered a compatriot named Francois Ferrandaz by breaking his skull with a sapling. Constables Reilly and Green proceeded to a small holding occupied by the two Spaniards, on which they raised vegetables, and found the dead body of Ferrandaz behind a bush some fifty yards from the hut. The whole of the left part of the head and face was broken in, as if the deceased had been struck repeated blows. The police found an iron bar eighteen inches long covered with blood, and this u believed to have been the weapon used. In a corner of a hut was a rough mattress saturated with blood, and the police believe that Ferrandaz was lying asleep on that mattress when the murder was committed.



MURDERED ON THIS DAY ………. 13th October 1904

A shocking murder was committed at 1.30am on the 13th of October 1904 in Lydiard street, Ballarat, near the Mining Exchange, The victim was Miss Kate Beazley, a resident of Daylesford. It appears that the young woman was being maintained at an hotel in Lydiard by James Rowan, a young man. At about 1 o’clock in the morning the pair had a quarrel, in the course’ of which Rowan made an attack on the woman, who ran across the street, hoping either to get out of his way or to find protection. Rowan followed her, carrying in his hand an axe. Finding that every place was closed, and that no person was at hand to whom she could appeal for protection, Miss Beazley, sought refuge in a doorway, where, it is alleged, Rowan attacked her with an axe, smashing in her skull. Death was, of course, instantaneous. The cries of the woman attracted the attention of Constables Deverall and Cherry, and on proceeding to the doorway they found Miss Beazley lying dead in a pool of blood. Subsequently Rowan, who is 25 years of age, made off, but he was captured in a semi nude condition. He asked if Miss Beazley, was dead and on being answered in the affirmative cried bitterly. Rowan was arrested and lodged in the city lockup. He made no statement. The body of Miss Beazley was conveyed to the morgue.

On This Day – September 9, 1938

The death occurred yesterday morning at the Mildura Base Hospital of William Henry Higgs, 54 years of Billabong

Higgs on September 9, was found unconscious on the doorstep of his home. He was admitted to hospital with a fractured skull.

A man who had been arrested and charged with having inflicted grievous bodily harm and was admitted to bail was re-arrested after Higgs’ death and charged with murder. He will appear in court to-morrow.

ON THIS DAY…… 7th September 1889

The body of Sherlock was exhumed on this day in 1889, and the examination shows that it was shot on the right side of the jaw. The bullet travelled upward, coming out below the left ear. Professor Allen took away the head for the purpose of examination, and the result showed that fracture of the skull was due to a shot, and not to a blow.

ON THIS DAY – July 25, 1942

Following exhaustive inquiries, detectives arrested and charged Frederick Francis Green, 32, timber worker of Lygon Street, Carlton, with the murder of Mrs. Catherine, Whitley, 65, in a lane off Elizabeth Street, city, on July 25. Mrs. Whitley was discovered unconscious in the lane on July 25 and died two days later, from a fractured skull.