The town of Nhulunbuy lies in a remote corner of the Northern Territory and is surrounded by bush land where wild buffaloes roam free. In May 2005 a 46 year old man was killed on the town’s outskirts by a wild buffalo when he went for a walk to check the water supply line to his house. He had his two dogs with him that survived and returned to the house, which alerted his family that something had to be wrong. Unfortunately there was a bush fire in the area at the same time which hindered the search and burned the man’s body before it could be found. Police have started hunting buffaloes as this was far from the first incident, other people had been attacked, although nobody had been killed by buffaloes in the town since April 1993. In September 2007 a 49 year old woman from Melbourne was holidaying at Peppers Seven Spirit Bay resort on the Cobourg Peninsula and while she was enjoying a nice stroll along the beach with a couple of friends a wild buffalo charged them and attacked her. A tour guide that was with her at the time gave her first aid and she was flown to Darwin hospital by helicopter.


On this day …….. 4th of July 1954

Women ran screaming from a Durban circus on this night in 1954, as six lions fatally mauled their tamer. The lions injured two men who went to the tamer’s aid. The tamer, Willian Coetzee, died in hospital three hours after the attack. The six lions mauled him after he had bitten him behind he ear. As he lay helpless his best friend, a juggler named Drodsky, who is frightened of animals, leapt into the cage armed only with a chair and tried to fight off the lions. The lions began to chase Drodsky around the cage and he was joined by ring master Denis Wood. Both the men grabbed clubs and helped drive back the snarling beasts. Then Wood scared a chair and held the lions at bay while Drodsky dragged Coetzee out of the cage. Both Drodsky and Wood wore wounded. As Coetzee was being rushed to hospital, Drodsky, his wounds un bandaged, went on with his juggling act. In the horror stricken audience was Drodsky’s wife. Coetzee was believed to have been apprehensive about only one lion, Caesar, which had once clawed him. The lion that started the attack was the smallest one, which was looked on as the tamest beast in the act. Circus men said Coatzee earlier that day had trained lionesses. They believed that when the lions smelt the scent of lionesses on the trainer they went mad.


ON THIS DAY – June 20, 1966


15 lights of a semi-trailer rammed by a passenger bus near Chiltern should have been visible to anyone following it, the prosecutor, Mr J. F. Howse, said in the Supreme Court. He said that shortly before the crash, in which five passengers in a Red line Bus were killed, the transport had been negotiating a long, sweeping bend. This meant the truck’s eight rear lights and six or seven sidelights would have been visible lo anyone following. Mr Howse was opening the trial of Clarence Joseph Cook, 43, of Walker Street, Yass. bus driver, who has pleaded not guilty to five charges of manslaughter. Cook was driving the bus from Yass lo Melbourne on June 20 when it ran into the rear of a transport driven by Ian Robert Sams, of Hinnema Street, Panania, Sydney. The jury was taken by bus lo inspect the crash scene and the section of the Hume Highway leading to the area, 172, miles from Melbourne, this afternoon. The trial will continue be fore Mr Justice Lush tomorrow.


On this day …….. 17th of June 1982

The driver and a fireman of a goods train were killed on this day in 1982, when their train ran into the rear of the Spirit of Progress in thick fog. Barnawartha in North East Victoria was shaken awake by the collision, which happened a 7:50am. The Spirit of Progress had been delayed by engine problems, and the guards had just time to jump for safety as the goods train hit. Had the goods train been fully laden it’s impact could have demolished a number of the passenger carriages of the Spirit. Barnawatha was wondering why so much drama happened in its neighbourhood. Less than a month before, there had been a head on collision between two semi trailers in which both drivers had been killed. A month after the rail tragedy, another semi trailer driver lost his life in an early morning crash at Black Dog Creek.

ON THIS DAY…….. 12th June 1921

Two men were detained by the police on this day in 1921 on connection with the double murder at Beaconsfield, when an aged couple Mr. Frederick Sheard and his wife, were killed in their bed. The police also took into their possession a yellow motor-car.


On this day …….. 9th of June 1979

On the 9th of June 1979, the park’s Ghost Train caught fire. The fire quickly destroyed the ride, which was understaffed and not adequately covered by the park’s fire hose system, although it was contained before spreading to the nearby Big Dipper and River Caves. Searches of the charred rubble revealed the bodies of six children and one adult. The park was immediately shut down. A coronial inquest was unable to establish the cause of the fire, but concluded that Luna Park’s managers and operators had failed in their duty of care towards the park’s patrons.

On This Day ……. 19th April 1930

In the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1930, Erie Harris Brockwell aged 24, was charged with having murdered Horace Thomas Walpole on the 28th of April 1929. Walpole’s body was found in his motor car on the Queenscliff-road. There were injuries to the head, and a post mortem examination disclosed a bullet in the brain. Walpole had been shot from behind. Senior Detective Siekerdick said that when he interviewed Brockwell on the 29th April, Brockwell admitted that he fired two shots at Walpole. Witness added that Brockwell asked to be “saved from the rope”. He did not mind doing 15 years. Walpole had called him a gaol bird, and he (Brockwell) had fired at him. Brockwell later signed a statement in which he admitted having killed Walpole. Brockwell, in a statement from the dock, said that he was too drunk to remember the incident. He had intended to kill himself, because he was depressed and in ill-health. He engaged Walpole to drive him to Queenscliff, and there had been a quarrel, but he had not fired to hit. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and Brockwell was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. “The jury took a very lenient view,” remarked the Chief Justice, in passing sentence. Brockwell was sent to Geelong Gaol and released in 1941.


ON THIS DAY ……. 9th April 1927

Neville Currey, aged 29 years, manufacturing chemist, was charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of William Charles Lyte on this day in 1927. Evidence was given that Currey was driving a car at Malvern when he knocked down and killed Lyte, who was 60 years of age. After the accident Currey continued on and was pursued for a distance of two miles by another car driven by Miss Florence Mitchell. Currey’s car number was obtained, and he was later arrested by the police. In evidence Currey said that he was unaware of the fact that his car had knocked the old man down. He had a quantity of tackle in the rear of his car, and he suggested that the noise of this rattling had prevented him from hearing the noise of the collision. It was contended by the Crown that Currey was guilty of negligence in not keeping a proper look out when driving. After a brief retirement the jury returned a verdict if not guilty and Currey was discharged.


On This Day……… 9th April 1855

On this day in 1855, at about 9am the boiler of a steam engine, on the road leading from Bakery Hill towards the bridge in Ballarat, burst with a loud explosion. Numerous parties of men were at work all round it, and yet, strange to say, in every instance escaped unhurt, with the exception of a few comparatively trivial scalds. Sadly a dog was killed, and the windows of Messrs. T. and J. Bray’s, which were immediately opposite, smashed.



ON THIS DAY ……. 30th March 1870

A fearful explosion of gunpowder occurred at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, at Martin’s Gap, twelve miles from Mansfield. Two waggons were proceeding to Jainieson with a general cargo of merchandise. One of the waggons was loaded with seventy-five kegs of gunpowder, which, by some unexplained cause, exploded. The waggon was smashed to atoms, and the effects of the explosion were felt at a distance of three
miles. William Jewell, the driver, was literally blown to pieces. The head and arms were found in one direction, and the legs were shot into a tree forty feet from the ground, and 150 yards from the scene of the accident — Five horses belonging to Jewell were killed on the spot.
Cruikshank, the driver of the other waggon escaped without injury, but the horses were terribly burned, and the waggon knocked to pieces.


ON THIS DAY…… 18th November 1879

One of Australia’s youngest bushrangers, a fifteen-year-old member of Captain Moonlite’s gang, is shot and killed.

Augustus Wernicke was one of Australia’s youngest bushrangers, and part of Captain Moonlite’s gang. Captain Moonlite, aka Andrew George Scott, became a bushranger upon his release from gaol, eight years after robbing the bank at Mount Egerton, Victoria. He recruited several other gang members, among them 15-year-old Wernicke, and walked to New South Wales, hoping to find employment at Wantabadgery Station, well known for its hospitality. Being in the grip of a severe drought, and also having changed hands, Wantabadgery could offer them nothing. In desperation, Moonlite took 35 people hostage. In the resultant shootout with police on 18 November 1879, gang members James Nesbitt and Augustus Wernicke, together with Constable Bowen, were all shot dead. Moonlite and the surviving gang members were tried and charged with the murder of Constable Bowen. Moonlite himself was hanged on 20 January 1880 at Darlinghurst Court.

On this day …….. 24th of August 2005

On the 24th of August 2005, 23-year-old marine biologist Jarrod Stehbens was killed while scuba diving on the Glenelg tyre reef, South Australia. He was collecting cuttlefish eggs for research and was not wearing a Shark Shield. The shark was approximately 5 metres long. Jarrod’s father said that Jarrod would not have wanted the shark involved in the attack to be killed.