ON THIS DAY – July 19, 1913

A young domestic servant named Ellen Muston, was charged in the Criminal Court yesterday before Mr Justice Cussen with the wilful murder of her female child at Brighton on July 19. The Crown prosecutor (Mr Womarski, KC) conducted the case against the accused, who pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr E J Corr (of Messrs Corr and Corr) The accused gave evidence on her own behalf and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on the grounds of insanity, and Muston was ordered to be detained in strict custody at the Church of England Home, Cheltenham, until the Governor’s pleasure was known.

ON THIS DAY – December 21, 1908


An examination by Dr. Brett has disclosed a peculiarly, revolting case of infanticide: The victim was a child who, on the 21st December, was found on a vacant allotment opposite the mint. When found the body was wrapped in a piece of towelling, and enclosed in a card board boot box. A piece of towelling had been forced into the wind pipe of the child, who had thus been choked to death. Wounds were also found upon the front portion of the head, obviously caused by some sharp instrument. There is not the slightest clue to the perpetrators.


ON THIS DAY – 20th December 1908

A little boy named Christian Bulguard informed his parents on this day in 1908, that there was a parcel behind some scaffolding of William St, Melbourne. The matter was brought under the notice of the police, Constable Porter, made an examination and discovered that the parcel contained the body of an infant child, with n piece of calico lightly tied round the neck. The body was removed to the morgue, where an inquest was held.


ON THIS DAY – December 18, 1902

Margaret Thomas, a domestic servant, aged 22 years, was committed for trial at the Gordon Police Court on a charge of murdering her illegitimate child at Egerton on December 18. Evidence was given by Thomas Stevens as to the finding of the body of a child in an outhouse at the Rose Hotel on the morning of December 19, and Mr. Gowan, M.B., who made the post mortem examination, stated that death was duo to suffocation. The accused reserved her defence, and was committed for trial. Bail was allowed in two sureties of £200 each.

ON THIS DAY…… 14th December 1900

A tragic occurrences are reported from Mortlake, one of which, the murder of an infant child, has resulted in the arrest of a girl named Bumas, who was employed at Mr Dennis’ station, ” Eeyeuk.” The child was found with its throat cut, and the young woman has confessed that she did it. The police have obtained possession of the instrument with which -the infanticide was committed, and the girl is to he brought down to the Geelong gaol hospital as soon as she is fit to travel.

ON THIS DAY – 12th December 1913

The detectives are continuing their search at the house and ground in Malcolm road, Mordialloc, lately occupied by Mrs. Isabella Newman. Mrs, Newman left in her bedroom whither she had gone to change her clothes before going to the lockup, two notes. One of them was as follows : — “My dear , husband and children, forgive me for what I have done. I am innocent of the offence charged against me. God forgive me and help me in my hour of trial. Your loving wife and mother.” On the back of the note there was a second message which was apparently intended for the detectives which read: “A last word, my husband and children don’t know ” anything about it. He thinks I am getting £10 per week to keep the babies. That is all I know, so help me God.” Mrs. Newman was well-known in athletic circles some years ago as Madame Isa Bell. In March 1908, she issued a challenge to race any woman in Australia for the championship. Miss Ivy Evans, of Bendigo, responded to the challenge, and succeeded in defeating her.


ON THIS DAY – December 7, 1915

On December 7, at Yanac North, near Nhill, Annie Sophia Thiele, 26, wife of Edward Reinhold Thiele, locked herself in a room with her two children. Subsequently the door was burst open, and it was discovered that the children—a boy aged one year and nine months and an infant aged five months — had been killed with a knife. Mrs Thiele was lying wounded, and was found to be past help.

It was surmised that she took the lives of her two children and her own while temporarily insane. Mrs Thiele had been packing up, preparatory to journeying to Forrest, on a visit to friends. She had not been in good health recently.

An inquest was opened.


On This Day – November 28, 1898


An inquest on the body of the five months old child, who died from a dose of spirits of salts, administered by its mother, Ellen McNabb, was formally opened today. The latter was present in custody, charged with murder.



Mrs. Ellen McNabb. a young woman, was placed on trial at the Criminal Court today for the murder of her infant child at Footscray on November 20. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter but strongly recommended the accused mercy on account of the provocation she had received.

The Chief Justice in passing sentence found the prisoner had been deserted by a villainous husband, who did not care what became of her or the child.  She had been illtreated and starved by her husband.  He would give full weight to the recommendation.  The prisoner was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.

ON THIS DAY – November 15, 1892

The Governor-in-Council, acting on the advice of the Cabinet, commuted the death sentence passed upon the young woman Mary Fitzgerald, by Mr. Justice Hood, to imprisonment for three years with hard labor. The prisoner was found guilty at the Benalla sessions of the murder of her newly-born child at Wangaratta by drowning it in a waterhole.





ON THIS DAY – October 8, 1889


Catherine M’Donald and John M’Dougall were brought up on remand at the Murtoa Police Court on Thursday on a charge of the wilful murder of their infant at Lubeck early last month. The Bench considered that a prima facie case had been made out, and committed the prisoners to take their trial at the Supreme Court at Horsham on October 8.



ON THIS DAY…… 29th September 1888

The Police Court building in Geelong was well crowded with an eager throng of people eager hear the occasion of the initial proceedings taken by the police against a young woman named Lizzie Splatt, who was charged with having murdered her illegitimate male child. It was stated that in September the dead body of a male child was found floating in a waterhole right opposite the house where the prisoner resided at East Geelong. The result of the police inquiries was that it had been ascertained that Miss Splatt, who now said that she had been married to a farm laborer named Peter Jennings a week since, had about eight mouths since gone to reside at Jennings’ house. According to the information of residents of East Geelong. Miss Splatt was two months ago to visit the Lying-in-Hospital in Melbourne, Miss Splatt returned to her house at East Geelong one night about nine o’clock with out any child, but she carried to the house a child’s cape and hat. She told the neighbours that she had been confined in the lying-in-hospital of a child, which died a few hours after its birth, but the police had evidence to show that Miss Splatt had a child In her arms when she arrived in Geelong. The authorities at the Lying-in- Hospital had informed the police that the young woman was confined with a male child in the institution. One of the women at the hospital told Constable Quilty that she saw the prisoner safely on board the steamer going to Geelong, and that she was then carrying a baby in her arms. A blanket and a flannel found on the body of the infant on the 10th September had been shown to the attendants at the hospital in Melbourne, and they identified the clothing as that given to a young woman who was going to Geelong with a child. The prisoner had admitted to the constable that she had been confined of a child, but said that it was a female. The prisoner, it would be proved, had been twice seen to walk round the water hole where the body of the child was discovered,and each time she had remained about the locality for about ten minutes. Mr Price said that the young woman had admitted that she had given birth to a child, but she had instructed him that it died before she left the hospital. He did not object to the remand, but asked that the prisoner should be admitted to bail. The young woman was married, and had to look after several children. The bench declined to allow the prisoner out on bail, and remanded the young woman to appear at the court, 4th October, to answer the charge of having murdered a male child.