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ON THIS DAY…….2nd August 1904

An inquest was held at the Morgue yesterday morning concerning the death of a newly born male child whose body was found on August 2 on a vacant allotment near Howe crescent, South Melbourne. The child is fully developed and had been killed by being strangled with a piece of string which was tied round the neck.

There were (in the opinion of Mr J Brett MRCS who made a post mortem examination) evidence that skilled attention had been given to the mother when the child was born. The Coroner (Dr H Cole) recorded a verdict of wilful murder by some person or persons unknown. Detectives Bannon and Mercer are making enquiries into the case.

ON THIS DAY – July 28, 1934

After having heard evidence at an inquest today into the death of a newly-born male child, whose body was found by a railway employee while cleaning out a carriage at the Joilmont yards on July 28. The coroner (Mr. Grant) committed Edith Clyne, aged 20, formerly a nurse employed at the Queen’s Memorial Hospital, Fairfield, for trial at the Supreme Court on a charge of murder.

ON THIS DAY – June 29, 1951

A doctor told a Criminal Court jury today that a young doctor’s widow, charged with the murder of her five months old blind daughter, had said she had been extremely unhappy in her married life, and did not want any association in her home with the baby. The widow, Joan Isobel Gorr, 27, of Gore Street, Fitzroy, has pleaded not guilty to having murdered her baby daughter in Melbourne on June 30. Yesterday, the Crown Prosecutor (Mr. P. R. Nelson) told the jury that Mrs. Gorr had admitted to police she had suffocated her child because she did not want it to go through life blind. A post-mortem revealed that the baby had been asphyxiated. Sister Evelyn Constance Ross, Matron of Tweedle Hospital, Footscray, said today that on June 29, Mrs. Gorr told her she was very pleased that she was able to take he baby away from the hospital. Mrs. Gorr arrived next day to take the child away, but fainted as she was carrying it away. Both Mrs. Gorr and the child were kept at the hospital for a couple of hours. Sister Ross said she believed Mrs. Gorr had had a curette operation a day or two before June 30. Mrs. Gorr had made no comment about the child looking ill when she again left with it later in the day. Stannus Hedger, of the Royal Institute for the Blind, and Dr. C. W. Bennett, the institute’s hon. doctor today gave evidence of a conference with Mrs. Gorr at which it was suggested that the child should be taken permanently into the institute. Dr. Bennett said Mrs. Gorr had told him she could not bear to look at the blind child, but the reason she gave him why she did not want it was that she had been extremely unhappy in her married life, and did not want any association in her home with the baby. He said Mrs. Gorr seemed to discuss matters calmly, but he did not think she was in a frame of mind fit to make any decision about the future of the child.

ON THIS DAY – June 24, 1933

 

At the inquest yesterday on a newly born male child found on the St. Kilda beach on June 24, witnesses gave evidence that the child was born to Irene Williams, 21, single, waitress, on June 23, and that on June 25 the mother was admitted to the Women’s Hospital. In statements to the police Miss Williams is alleged to have said the child was still-born. She threw the body from the jetty into the bay. She also stated that on the day prior to the birth she had fallen downstairs. The Government Pathologist, Dr. Mollison, said the child died from injuries to the head, which included a fracture of the skull. The Coroner, Mr. D. Grand, found the child died from Injuries inflicted by Miss Williams, who was committed for trial.

ON THIS DAY – November 7, 1904

Detective-sergeant O’Donnell and Detective Carey arrested in Canada place— a small street running between Cardigan and Madeline streets, Carlton, Melbourne — a young woman named Maude or Margaret Anne Woods, and charged her with vagrancy. That charge, however, was laid only to secure her identification with a girl named Maude Woods, who was wanted in Sydney on a charge of murder.

She was alleged to have murdered her 10 days old son on November 7, 1903. Senior constable F Allen arrived from Sydney, and identified the accused, and the charge of murder was then preferred against her. The woman has made a confession, giving the whole history of the crime. The story is one of dreadful callousness from beginning to end. Her statement is that on November 7 she threw the child over the fence into Ah Sang’s backyard, but then went again in search of it. She then put her hand over its mouth, and held it by the throat until it was dead. She put the body in a box, and left it in the yard all night, spending that night with her paramour. Next day she removed the body from the box and pushed it under the house (which is built on low piles) as far as she could, and the body lay there for nearly three months. In the end of January An Sang and a fellow countryman named Ah Hung were clearing away weeds from under the house, and came upon the body of the child. They drew it out, put it into a bag, and threw the bag into Botany River. Soon afterwards they came to Melbourne.

The photograph which she sent to Sydney was taken in Melbourne, and the child in her arms was one which she borrowed for the occasion from a friend, who was living with a Chinese in Commercial-lane, of Bourke street. The accused does not look more than 19 years. She is a girl below medium height, with brown hair and blue eyes. She was brought before the City Court, Melbourne, and was then taken back to Sydney

ON THIS DAY…… 22nd September 1885

Our readers will remember that some time since the bodies of a woman and child were found not far from Edenhope, a township in the Western District, on this side of the South Australian border. Much mystery surrounded the case, but eventually the remains were identified as those of Maria Cook, a married woman, and her infant. It was subsequently ascertained that some months prior to the discovery of the remains the deceased woman, with her husband and child, left her father’s selection on the other side of the South Australian border, the man intending, as he said, to take up a selection in the Wimmera district, Victoria. They travelled in a spring cart but soon after leaving the place of the woman’s father, all trace of them was lost, and nothing more was heard of them until the remains of the woman and child were found some little distance off the road not far from Edenhope, At the inquest it was elicited that Mrs, Cook’s child was illegitimate, and born before the marriage, Cook not being the father. He was at the time a farmer’s hand on Mrs. Cook’s father’s selection and he was induced to marry the woman. Their relations to each other were far from being of the most affectionate character. Nothing could be heard of Cook, and at the inquest a verdict of wilful murder against him was returned. Since then the police have been trying without avail no trace him, but recently they have obtained what they regard as an important clue. It has come to their knowledge that not very long since a man answering the description of Cook was employed on the Avoca Run (Short’s), at the Billabong. New South Wales, Papers very rarely reached the spot, and the people on the station were unaware of the murder. The man in question, however, while on the station, said his name was Cook, and that his friends resided at Lawloit. He added that as he was travelling overland from Mount Gambier to Horsham in a trap his wife died, and after that he went to one of the mining districts (supposed to be Sandhurst), and there sold the horse and cart and travelled on to New South Wales, Upon this information reaching the police, a photograph of Cook was submitted to one of the men, who was on the station at the time, and he has declared it to be a photograph of the man who was employed on the run. The detectives regard the clue as an important one, and hope to be able to trace the man.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 8th September 1910

On this day in 1910, the police found the dead body of an infant in a dress basket at a coffee palace in Warrnambool. At the inquest, a girl named Mary Jane Watson, employed at the coffee palace, was committed for trial on a charge of wilful murder. To the police she admitted having given birth to a child. She tied a flannel bandage across its nose and mouth, and then put it in the dress-basket. Death was due to suffocation.

ON THIS DAY…… 3rd September 1897
At an inquest on the body of a newly born female child, found in the public reserve at Fitzroy, a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown was returned.

ON THIS DAY…… 1st September 1885

A young woman named Martha Jane Heffer, in the employ of Mr. H. M. Sutherland, of the Commercial Bank, Dandenong, was arrested on a charge of having wilfully murdered her female infant, whose body was found in the Dandenong Creek on this day in 1885. While being escorted to the lock up by Mounted-constable Mills the girl admitted that she was the mother of the child. At the lock-up also she confessed to having taken the child and thrown it into the creek about a fortnight ago at 4 o’clock in the morning, and added that she did not know what she was doing. At the inquest, Dr. Moore, who made the post-mortem examination, deposed that the cause of death was strangulation by a neckerchief being tightly tied round the neck not less than 10 minutes after the child had been born, and breathed strongly. A verdict of wilful murder was returned against the prisoner, who was there upon committed to take her trial at the Melbourne Criminal Sessions on September 15. During the inquiry she seemed to be quite oblivious as to what was going on.”

 

ON THIS DAY…….2nd August 1904

An inquest was held at the Morgue yesterday morning concerning the death of a newly born male child whose body was found on August 2 on a vacant allotment near Howe crescent, South Melbourne. The child is fully developed and had been killed by being strangled with a piece of string which was tied round the neck.

There were (in the opinion of Mr J Brett MRCS who made a post mortem examination) evidence that skilled attention had been given to the mother when the child was born. The Coroner (Dr H Cole) recorded a verdict of wilful murder by some person or persons unknown. Detectives Bannon and Mercer are making enquiries into the case.

ON THIS DAY – July 28, 1934

After having heard evidence at an inquest today into the death of a newly-born male child, whose body was found by a railway employee while cleaning out a carriage at the Joilmont yards on July 28. The coroner (Mr. Grant) committed Edith Clyne, aged 20, formerly a nurse employed at the Queen’s Memorial Hospital, Fairfield, for trial at the Supreme Court on a charge of murder.

ON THIS DAY – June 29, 1951

A doctor told a Criminal Court jury today that a young doctor’s widow, charged with the murder of her five months old blind daughter, had said she had been extremely unhappy in her married life, and did not want any association in her home with the baby. The widow, Joan Isobel Gorr, 27, of Gore Street, Fitzroy, has pleaded not guilty to having murdered her baby daughter in Melbourne on June 30. Yesterday, the Crown Prosecutor (Mr. P. R. Nelson) told the jury that Mrs. Gorr had admitted to police she had suffocated her child because she did not want it to go through life blind. A post-mortem revealed that the baby had been asphyxiated. Sister Evelyn Constance Ross, Matron of Tweedle Hospital, Footscray, said today that on June 29, Mrs. Gorr told her she was very pleased that she was able to take he baby away from the hospital. Mrs. Gorr arrived next day to take the child away, but fainted as she was carrying it away. Both Mrs. Gorr and the child were kept at the hospital for a couple of hours. Sister Ross said she believed Mrs. Gorr had had a curette operation a day or two before June 30. Mrs. Gorr had made no comment about the child looking ill when she again left with it later in the day. Stannus Hedger, of the Royal Institute for the Blind, and Dr. C. W. Bennett, the institute’s hon. doctor today gave evidence of a conference with Mrs. Gorr at which it was suggested that the child should be taken permanently into the institute. Dr. Bennett said Mrs. Gorr had told him she could not bear to look at the blind child, but the reason she gave him why she did not want it was that she had been extremely unhappy in her married life, and did not want any association in her home with the baby. He said Mrs. Gorr seemed to discuss matters calmly, but he did not think she was in a frame of mind fit to make any decision about the future of the child.