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.

By 1800s in Victoria there were 160 crimes that were punishable by death, here is a list of some crimes.

Accessory to homosexuality
Armed robbery
Arson in royal dockyards
Assisting the enemy
Attempted suicide

Being illegally at large
Being in the company of Gypsies for one month
Blacking the face whilst committing a crime

Capital murder
Carnal knowledge of a child
Cattle Stealing
Causing a fire or explosion in a naval dockyard
Causing a fire or explosion in a ship
Causing a fire or explosion in a magazine
Causing a fire or explosion in a warehouse
Child abuse
Course of robbery which involves the use of offensive weapons
Course burglary which involves the use of offensive weapons
Cutting down trees in an avenue of honour
Cutting down trees in a private orchard
Cutting down trees in public place.

Disguise one self whilst committing a crime


Failure to suppress a mutiny with intent to assist the enemy.

Giving false air signals
Grand larceny – theft of goods worth more than 12 pence

High Treason
Horse Stealing
Homosexual behaviour

Impersonating an Egyptian
Incitement to mutiny

Killing a person consider to be evil
Knowingly and intentionally killing another person

Murder of a child
Murder in the course or furtherance of theft
Murder by shooting or causing an explosion
Murder while resisting arrest or during an escape
Murder of a police officer
Murder of a police officer during the course of his duties
Murder of a prison officer by a prisoner

Obstructing operations

Petty theft
Piracy with violence
Premeditated killing of another person
Prostitutes who is the daughter of priests

Rape of a child

Sexual Assault
Serious misconduct in action
Strong evidence of malice in a child aged 7–14 years of age

Turned a blind to homosexuality

ON THIS DAY – January 27, 1934

Following the finding of the body of a newly born child under a house in Paisley street, Malvern on January 28, a 22-year-old girl was charged in the City Court today with having murdered an infant on January 27. Mr Hauser. P.M. remanded the girl until February 13, and allowed bail in her own recognisance of £200.

ON THIS DAY – January 3, 1914

The magisterial inquiry into the death of a newly-born child found buried at Elliminyt, near Colac, a fortnight ago was concluded on this day in 1915. Constable Nankervis gave evidence to the effect that he interviewed Emma Ruby Donohue, a young married woman, who at first denied giving birth to the child, but subsequently said she dug a hole in the back yard and buried it. She said the child made no sound, and she did not feel it move. The body was buried a foot below the surface of the yard. A post mortem examination did not reveal external marks of violence, but the doctor was of opinion the child was born alive and had breathed. Death was due to suffocation. Mr. Walter Selwood, the acting coroner, found the child had been wilfully murdered, and committed Emma Donohue for trial on a charge of murder at the February sittings of Geelong Supreme Court.


On This Day – December 31, 1912

The mystery concerning the body of a child at Lake Guthridge on December 31 was cleared up today when Sergeant Neill and Constable McCorkell arrested a young woman, aged 23 years, named Violet Daisy Jane Elizabeth Guy at the Turf Hotel this morning on a charge of wilful murder.  Accused admitted her parentage and said that on the morning following the birth of the child, she resumed her duties as a domestic servant.  She stated the child was born dead and that she kept the body in a box for two days and then put it in the lake.  Accused was brought before the Mayor and was remanded until February 24.


ON THIS DAY – December 30, 1908

A small wooden box containing the body of a newly born male infant was found on a vacant allotment in William-street, Melbourne on this day in 1908 by a boy. A postmortem examinations of the body showed that a piece of the towelling, which was tied tightly round the neck, had been thrust partly down the throat of the child, and that the cause of death was suffocation. The examination also showed that there were three clean large cutes on the child’s face.


ON THIS DAY – December 25, 1893

On Christmas Day 1893, an unknown male child was found wrapped in brown paper in Park Street, Brunswick. The coroner found that the child had been murdered by a person unknown.


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.

12083796_222306571433812_984401206_nA 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

12380054_221589751505494_2138157009_nThe 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.