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ON THIS DAY – July 31, 1943

On a charge of murder, Cecil John Freeman, a fiddler, was committed for trial by the City Coroner. Freeman appeared in custody at the inquest on Ian Gordon Jeffrey, 25, who was injured in a disturbance on July 31 and died in hospital on August 4. Police alleged that Freeman said he attacked Jeffrey because he was paying attention to Mrs. Freeman.

EXECUTED THIS DAY – JULY 6, 1865

The execution of Peter Dotselaere, for the murder of Catherine Sarah Jacobs, took place at the gaol yesterday morning. It will be remembered that the prisoner was convicted and sentenced to death at the last Criminal Sittings, for having on the night of the 28th of May, murdered a woman with whom he had for some time been living at a house in Latrobe-street east. It appeared that the deed was instigated by feelings of jealousy, arising from the fact that this woman was about to be married to some young man with whom she had become acquainted in the country. A petition was presented to the Executive on behalf of the prisoner, but after he was made acquainted with the decision, that the sentence passed upon him would be carried out, he awaited his fate with great apparent resignation. He was attended early yesterday morning by the Rev. D. Lordon, and the last duties of a spiritual attendant were performed by the Rev. Dr. Bleasdale, who was present at the time of execution. At the appointed hour (ten o’clock), the door of the prisoner’s cell was opened, and he was pinioned outside the cell by the executioner. During this operation, and while standing on the drop, he made no remark of any kind, seemed utterly passive, and his attention appeared to be totally absorbed in listening to the prayers which were recited by the clergy-man. He appeared very pale, but showed no other sign of emotion or fear. Life appeared to be extinct almost instantly after the fall of the drop. The formal inquest was held upon the remains in the afternoon; and the usual verdict returned. Dotselaere is entered in the gaol books as having arrived in the ship Suttleyoung in 1861. He is described as aged thirty-four years, a native of Belgium, a Roman Catholic, by calling a sailor. It appears that immediately after his arrival here, in February, 1861, he met with an accident on board the vessel in the bay, and received an injury to the leg, which necessitated his removal to the hospital. He remained there for eighteen months as a patient, and was afterwards employed as servant and bedmaker up to the time of the murder. He was regarded as a steady inoffensive man while he lived in the hospital, and nothing was known by the hospital authorities with reference to his conduct since he has been residing outside. This change took place in consequence of his having represented that he was about to be married.

On This Day – November 12, 1896

Charles O’Brien, a young man, was to-day arrested on a charge of attempting to murder Julia O’Donoghue by cutting her throat on November 12. O’Brien had previously been living with the woman. On the evening of the date mentioned he met her on City-road.South Melbourne, and asked her to renew their former relations. She declined, whereupon he cut her throat. O’Brien was remanded to appear at South Melbourne on Friday next O Brien has admitted his guilt to the police. He stated that he had been impelled to attack the woman through jealousy. He expressed contrition, and was glad the woman was not dead. She had been hiding near Malvern, and had been nearly starved out.

On This Day – November 6, 1880

A resident of Ondit, near Colac, named Martin Tenas, a Belgian, aged 60, stabbed his wife, Bridget Theresa Tenas, aged 45, in four places on November 6, and afterwards cut his own throat. The persons had been married 20 years, and have six children. The man alleges jealousy as the cause of his action, but there appears no foundation for it. The wounded woman died two days afterwards, and the murderer subsequently made a voluntary statement, accusing his wife of infidelity, and stating that on the night when he stabbed her he heard a noise in the paddock, and went out, thinking it was the man he suspected. On his return his wife laughed at him, and he stabbed her. He afterwards cut his own throat, as he loved her and his children, and thought they had better die together. The prisoner has been committed for trial for wilful murder.

ON THIS DAY – October 17, 1898

 

At the Bendigo Assizes today, before Mr. Justice Williams, Thomas Waters, aged 39, was presented on a charge of murdering his wife at White Hills on October 17. After a long retirement the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter. Prisoner was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment with hard labour.

Around Christmas last year, in consequence of the accused’s conduct towards his wife, she separated from him. On several occasions, in consequence of his conduct, the woman and children had to leave the house and sleep in the bush. Those violent fits generally occurred when accused was under the influence of liquor. Although practically separated since Christmas, accused used to go and see his wife on Saturdays and Sundays, and the children would say that when he was drunk he ill-treated her.

Coming home on Saturday night, 15th October, he was under the influence of drink, and he ill-treated his wife shamefully. On the Sunday night he left apparently to go his work at Jackass Flat, where he was mining, taking with him one of the children’s boots to repair it. He had apparently no intention of returning until the next Saturday night. However, on the Monday morning it appeared that a man took some washing to Mrs. Waters’s house for the first time. The accused also went working, and he found some gold for which he obtained £1 10s. Having got that he decided to return home.

Apparently he saw the man who had left the washing near the place, and this appeared to have aroused his jealousy and he started to drink. The drink worked on him and made him go home and beat his wife to death. The elder boy, in consequence of his father’s treatment, refused to live with him, but he used to see his mother at times and give her money. On that same night the younger boy George returned home and heard sounds of a quarrel. He looked through a window as shown in the photo of the house he produced. It was a very makeshift sort of a place and had no comforts. He saw his mother lying on the floor. Her husband was beating her, and she cried out, ” Oh, Thomas, don’t,” but he only replied by using a horrible expression. The boy was so alarmed that he went away and slept in a house nearby.

In the early morning of  Tuesday, 17th October, accused, having found his wife dead, went and alarmed some of the neighbors. They saw what, had taken place and communicated with the police. Constable Coffey came and a conversation took place between him and accused. There were no clothes upon her but a chemise, the others having been torn off her.

He told the constable that when be came home on Saturday his wife was very drunk and on Monday she was again in a state of intoxication. He went out and on his return found her lying on the floor with her face cut and injured in the manner the constable found her. He lifted her up and placed her on the bed. He thought she was dead drunk, but be found afterwards that she was dead. Shortly afterwards Dr. Gafiney arrived with  Constable Davidson. The accused told the constable that he did not strike his wife; he had never struck her in his life. The only account he could give of the marks on her face was that she received them by falling. By a post-mortem examination the doctor found that the woman had a small heart, which made her less liable to withstand violence. Her death, he said, resulted from the shock produced by violence used towards her.

 

 

MURDERED ON THIS DAY ……….. 14th October 1915

Maria Black aged 29 was charged at the City Court with having murdered Mabel Weston aged 45 at West Melbourne on the 14th of October 1915. It was alleged that Black went to a house in Capel-street, West Melbourne, occupied by Mrs. Mabel Weston, and her family. Black entered the house at the back, when Mrs. Weston, her family and a Spanish lodger named Valdo Pinsack were at dinner. Black opened the kitchen door, and fired at Mrs. Weston, who fell from her chair to the floor. Pinsack seized Black’s hand and while he held her she fired again. When she was arrested Black said she had known the Weston for three years. They had lived next door to one another. Pinsack became infatuated with her, and although she did not return his affection she pretended she was in love with him. Mrs. Weston, however, came between them, and did all she could to keep them apart. She (Black) had received letters in a filthy condition, which she said had been sent at the instigation of Mrs. Weston. Black added that she found in a drawer at her home a revolver that had belonged to a man who had gone to the front. She took the revolver to Weston’s house, so as to frighten her. After entering the Weston’s kitchen her mind was a blank ‘until she was conscious of Pinsack taking the revolver from her.

 

 

ON THIS DAY…… 3rd September 1890

A Magisterial enquiry has been held concerning the death of the little girl named Veronica O’Neill on this day in 1890, after being severely beaten with a stick about the head and body by her elder sister Eleanor, aged nine and a half years. The latter at the enquiry detailed the circumstance, and said she had always hated the deceased, because she always got everything that came into the house and was always getting witness into trouble. The Magistrate ordered her to be charged with the wilful murder of her sister.

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY – August 14, 1931

Coroner’s Finding. Details of the domestic tragedy at West Footscray on August 14, when Sarah McDonnell, 33, was found murdered, and Alexander Webster, 39, was found with his head blown off, were related at the inquest to-day The Coroner found Webster murdered McDonnell, and then committed suicide. Webster and McDonnell had been living as man and wife for nine years. Charles Furness, a quarry foreman, said on the day before the tragedy, when he asked Webster how his wife was. he replied, ‘she is going away.’ Elsa Lenowry, married, said Webster was a very jealous man. During quarrels she heard him say to Mc Donnell, ‘I will choke you.’ He often complained of McDonnell being out with witness’ husband.

ON THIS DAY – July 31, 1943

On a charge of murder, Cecil John Freeman, a fiddler, was committed for trial by the City Coroner. Freeman appeared in custody at the inquest on Ian Gordon Jeffrey, 25, who was injured in a disturbance on July 31 and died in hospital on August 4. Police alleged that Freeman said he attacked Jeffrey because he was paying attention to Mrs. Freeman.

EXECUTED THIS DAY – JULY 6, 1865

The execution of Peter Dotselaere, for the murder of Catherine Sarah Jacobs, took place at the gaol yesterday morning. It will be remembered that the prisoner was convicted and sentenced to death at the last Criminal Sittings, for having on the night of the 28th of May, murdered a woman with whom he had for some time been living at a house in Latrobe-street east. It appeared that the deed was instigated by feelings of jealousy, arising from the fact that this woman was about to be married to some young man with whom she had become acquainted in the country. A petition was presented to the Executive on behalf of the prisoner, but after he was made acquainted with the decision, that the sentence passed upon him would be carried out, he awaited his fate with great apparent resignation. He was attended early yesterday morning by the Rev. D. Lordon, and the last duties of a spiritual attendant were performed by the Rev. Dr. Bleasdale, who was present at the time of execution. At the appointed hour (ten o’clock), the door of the prisoner’s cell was opened, and he was pinioned outside the cell by the executioner. During this operation, and while standing on the drop, he made no remark of any kind, seemed utterly passive, and his attention appeared to be totally absorbed in listening to the prayers which were recited by the clergy-man. He appeared very pale, but showed no other sign of emotion or fear. Life appeared to be extinct almost instantly after the fall of the drop. The formal inquest was held upon the remains in the afternoon; and the usual verdict returned. Dotselaere is entered in the gaol books as having arrived in the ship Suttleyoung in 1861. He is described as aged thirty-four years, a native of Belgium, a Roman Catholic, by calling a sailor. It appears that immediately after his arrival here, in February, 1861, he met with an accident on board the vessel in the bay, and received an injury to the leg, which necessitated his removal to the hospital. He remained there for eighteen months as a patient, and was afterwards employed as servant and bedmaker up to the time of the murder. He was regarded as a steady inoffensive man while he lived in the hospital, and nothing was known by the hospital authorities with reference to his conduct since he has been residing outside. This change took place in consequence of his having represented that he was about to be married.

ON THIS DAY – May 3, 1910

MELBOURNE

Melanie Dean, whose throat was cut on May 3 by John Tunks, died yesterday in the Melbourne Hospital. Tunks and Mrs Dean had been living together, and in a fit of jealousy or temper he cut her throat at the Sir Walter Scott Hotel, in Elizabeth street, and then committed suicide by cutting his own. The body was removed to the Morgue

On This Day – November 12, 1896

Charles O’Brien, a young man, was to-day arrested on a charge of attempting to murder Julia O’Donoghue by cutting her throat on November 12. O’Brien had previously been living with the woman. On the evening of the date mentioned he met her on City-road.South Melbourne, and asked her to renew their former relations. She declined, whereupon he cut her throat. O’Brien was remanded to appear at South Melbourne on Friday next O Brien has admitted his guilt to the police. He stated that he had been impelled to attack the woman through jealousy. He expressed contrition, and was glad the woman was not dead. She had been hiding near Malvern, and had been nearly starved out.