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Frederick Bayley Deeming was one of 14 children born to Thomas and Ann Deeming in Leicestershire, England.

Frederick would first get into trouble with the law aged just 15 years old  for throwing rocks at a train.  At 16 he ranaway to see and began his life of crime with stealing and obtaining money by deception – something which would be a common thread for the rest of his life.

The beginning of the end for Deeming began with the discovery of Emily Lydia Mather’s decomposing body buried beneath the hearth of the second bedroom at 57 Andrew Street, Windsor on March 3, 1892.

Emily had married Deeming, who was know as Albert Williams in Rainhill, Lancashire in 1891 before the young couple set out for Australia.  They arrived in Melbourne in November 1891 and stayed for a short time in the city of Melbourne before heading to the rented property in Windsor.  Emily was not to know that this house would become her coffin!

On Christmas Eve, Deeming murdered Emily and in a well prepared plan buried her remains within the house before heading back to Melbourne.  He had paid up the rent for a couple of months so it wasnt until a new prospective tennant inspected the property that Emily’s remains were discovered.

By this time, Deeming had headed to Sydney and enticed Kate Rounsfell to marry him and move to WA with him.  Luckily for her Deeming left first and Kate only made it as far as Melbourne before news broke of her fiancee’s evil deeds.

But Emily was not the first murder Deeming had committed.  During the investigation into the death of Emily, it came to light that Deeming had been married before and had 4 children.  Marie and the children were found murdered and cemented under the kitchen floor at the property Deeming had rented in Rainhill.

Deeming was finally caught out by clever detective work and his boasting of his accomplishments.

Deeming was sentenced to death and was executed on May 29, 1892 at the Old Melbourne Gaol.

Before his death, a telegram was sent from London, requesting that Deeming be interviewed over the Whitechapel murders of 1888.  It would join numerous requests from police forces around the world asking if he could have been responsible for as many as 18 murders.

 

A rare photo of Ned Kelly not seen by the public in 138 years has resurfaced

A RARE photo of outlaw bushranger Ned Kelly not seen by the public for 138 years went under the hammer at auction in February 2016. The photo has only previously been seen by a select few when Lawsons auction house sold it in 1988. The photo formerly belonged to descendants of William Turner, the 1878-9 Mayor of Launceston in Tasmania and since its 1988 sale it has been kept in a private Sydney collection. It has now resurfaced and will go under the hammer once again. The photo taken in December 1878 shows a relaxed Ned Kelly, centre, standing with his brother Dan Kelly on the left and gang member Steve Hart on the right. The photo was signed by all three men but the signatures were written by Joe Byrne, a Kelly Gang member, as none of the other men could read or write. Tom Tompson, a publisher and specialist for auction houses, told News Corp Australia the photo was taken in the town of Euroa on the day the Kelly Gang robbed the local bank. This was the Kelly’s first bank robbery and a means to support themselves while in hiding from authorities. Tompson said the photo was taken as an attempt for the men to gain support from sympathisers. “Ned was compiling letters, which Joe Byrne actually wrote for him, and these were put to newspapers who in the main would not publish them because the Victorian police were coming down hard on anything that looked like sympathetic treatment of outlaws,” Tompson said. Tompson said the photo shows the three men deliberately portraying a different image of themselves having gotten rid of their old clothing. “You can see a larrikin streak which is obviously there, they’ve got their new duds (clothes), they’re making their mark and it’s a very likeable shot of the Kellys instead of the dour, dark and troubling ones that exist,” he said. The photo has been pasted on a Tasmanian photographer’s card, then glued to 1920s Kodak paper. The photo has now been published in the new edition of George Wilson Hall’s book The Kelly Gang, Or, Outlaws of the Wombat Ranges. Tompson said there is huge historic value to the photo. “The Kellys are very much part of a mythical Australia,” he said. “At the time the Irish were being treated incredibly badly, they weren’t allowed to have schooling or own horses. “They bought out the Irish police to create the Victorian police force to keep a form of class distinction,” he said. The Kelly Gang became a Robin Hood-type myth for a lot of people who were struggling with their life in Australia, he added. Tompson said photos such as this one were traded between sympathisers and photographers for years. Lawsons auction house expects the photo to sell for between $10,000 and $15,000 but Thompson predicts it could go for much more. The photo was taken just over a year before the Kelly Gang’s last stand with police at the siege at Glenrowan where Ned and others wore their homemade metal armour. Ned Kelly was the only one of his gang to survive the siege and was hung at Melbourne Gaol in 1880 where he uttered “such is life” before he was hung.

 

EXECUTED THIS DAY – July 26, 1859

 

Richard Rowley, who was sentenced to death at the Supreme Court on the 18th instant, for a violent and premeditated assault, with intent to murder, committed by him on Denis Kilmartin, one of the overseers at the Pentridge Stockade, on the 25th of June, suffered the extreme penalty of the law at 10 o’clock yesterday morning at the Melbourne Gaol.  The unhappy man, since his conviction has been attended by the Rev. Mr. Studdert, the Gaol Chaplain, and the Rev. Mr. Bryan, the Chaplain at Pentridge. He expressed a deep contrition for the offence of which he was found guilty, and at the last moment died penitent. On being summoned by the Sheriff from his cell, precisely at 10 o’clock, he walked out, pale, but with a firm step. His arms having been pinioned by the executioner, the mournful procession walked slowly down the passage towards the scaffold, the Burial Service being read by Mr. Bryan. Rowley mounted the steps leading to the drop without hesitation or apparent fear; he had evidently braced his nerves and summoned all his resolution to meet his impending fate with firmness. On reaching the drop he knelt and prayed. When he rose his countenance was blanched, but apparently not from terror at the dreadful apparatus of death on which he stood. He turned round to his minister, and bade him good-by, and then, noticing the Governor of the Gaol, said, “Goodby, Mr. Wintle.” These were the last words he uttered. A white cap was then drawn down tightly over his face, and a few moments later — the only sound now heard being the solemn voice of the clergyman repeating the service for the dead—the bolt was drawn, and the wretched man was launched into eternity. A slight convulsive shudder ran through his frame, and in a few moments he ceased to live, death taking place in 42 seconds from the time of his fall. He was cut down at 11 o’clock. Shortly afterwards, an inquest was held on the body by the City

The deceased was a native of Greenwich, and was born in 1824. At 13 years of age, having been tried and convicted of a robbery, committed by him in London, he was transported to Van Diemen’s Land for a period of seven years. He has since repeatedly been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment in this colony for numerous thefts. At the time of his committing the offence which has led to his execution he was confined in the Pentridge Stockade under cumulative sentences, altogether making a term of 32 years’ imprisonment. It would seem to be the knowledge of this fact, and despair of ever regaining his liberty, which led him to the commission of the deed for which he suffered. The unhappy man stated that he had been brutally ill-treated by his overseer Kilmartin, at the Stockade. There do not, however, appear to be any grounds for supposing such a statement to be correct, and it will also be remembered that Rowley made this statement in a moment of great excitement at his trial, but he never subsequently alluded to it in calmer moments. Kilmartin was frightfully injured in the desperate affray, in which also Mr. Mitchell, another overseer, was severely wounded by the wretched criminal.

ON THIS DAY – JULY 25, 1916

Antoine Picone the Italian who shot and killed Joseph Luricella, a compatriot, in Queen Victoria Market on July 25, was hanged in Melbourne Gaol. Picone had been attended until the last minute by Father J. Donovan, and when led on to the scaffold carried his hand a small photograph and a paper containing a lock of hair. He asked that they might be buried with him. The sheriff promised him the request would be granted, and then asked him if he had anything further to say. Picone said something in a low, inaudible tone. The lever was then released, Death was instantaneous. Luricella was shot through the head with an automatic revolver as the result of a quarrel with Picone. The tragedy occurred in the early morning.

EXECUTED ON THIS DAY ……………. 11th of July 1861

Henry Coolley, sentenced to death for the murder of his wife at Heathcote, was executed on the 11th inst., at the Central Gaol, Melbourne. On the previous night he made a full confession, a copy of which We append:—”Central Jail, Melbourne, “Wednesday evening, 10th July, 1861. “I, Henry Cooley, by the faith of redemption through our Saviour Jesus Christ, before appearing in the presence of my Maker, desire voluntarily, and of my own free will and accord, to make the fullest statement I can in the world for my heinous crime by confession and acknowledgment of the justice of the sentence of death passed upon me for taking the life of my lamented wife Harriet Cooley.

“Incompatibility of temper was unfortunately for us a source of constant disagreement. On the 15th of March, the day previous to this last occurrence, my wife had been to McIvor races, and we quarrelled between 8 and 9 o’clock in the morning about her having been in company with another woman whose company it was not proper of her to keep, when, instead of curbing my temper and enduring with patience, trouble and affliction, exasperated by passion, I raised the axe and struck my wile on the head—her death was instantaneous. When I found life was gone I did not know what to do. At last I made up my mind to conceal the body. I took the lighted candle off the table, harnessed my horse, in the spring cart, and carrying the lighted candle in my hand, led the horse into the bush about half a mile, and concealed the remains amongst the branches of a fallen ironbark tree. I heard the voice of some person cooeying in the direction of the hut, and drove off in a fright, leaving the candle burning on the ground. I returned home, and walked about the hut all night in great distress. Next morning (Sunday) I went back to the place and found that the candle had set fire to the grass about the tree and consumed the body. I did not then in any way disturb the remains, but turned in horror from the spot. About ten days after this, on hearing that I was about to be apprehended, I went again to the place and scattered the remains.  “The evidence adduced of the remains having been re-burnt is not true, for to my knowledge they were not. The piece of burnt while metal, supposed to have been a ‘billy’ was what was left of the tin candlestick.

“This is my last confession, and the true statement of the murder of my wife and the concealment of her remains; and may God be merciful unto her, a sinner, hurried into eternity, and pardon her sins. A few faults she had, but her good qualities were many; and I earnestly pray that God will forgive her. Husbands and wives, love one another; children, obey your parents; and blessed are they who keep the Lord’s commandments, and through salvation inherit-eternal life. While I deeply deplore and lament the murder of my wife, I do not now regret to quit this earthly scene and term of trial and tribulation to fit us for a better and a happier state. I deserve and am resigned to my fate, and I earnestly pray that others may take warning by my untimely end. “Farewell? May grace be unto all; and the Lord have mercy on my soul!

Amen, “HENRY COOLEY.”

EXECUTED THIS DAY – JULY 6, 1860

The murderer of the Hunts, George Waines, was executed yesterday morning, in the Melbourne gaol. No further confession than that already published was made by the unfortunate man. Up to the last moment he was attended by the Rev. Mr. Stoddart, who states that he appeared deeply penitent for his crime. A few minutes after ten o’clock the cell door was opened, by order of the sheriff, and after a few moments delay Waines came out into the corridor, looking firm, collected, and resigned. After casting a glance round at the small crowd grouped behind him, and wiping away a few tears, he submitted himself to be pinioned without a word or a murmur escaping his lips. During the operation he remained apparently unmoved, and upon its completion marched with a firm step to the foot of the drop, the stairs of which he ascended in like manner. Hardly a minute elapsed before the fatal bolt was drawn, and Waines launched into eternity. The last words of the chaplain, “Man hath but a short time to live” must have been ringing in the wretched culprit’s ears as he fell. A few muscular spasms of the limbs ensued, but there was no sign of suffering; in fact,a more merciful execution, if any can be merciful, could not have taken place. After hanging the usual time, the body was cut down. The one redeeming feature in Waines’ character appears to have been his affection for his wife, of whom he frequently spoke to Mr. Stoddart, In the letter he wrote her it was his wish that a lock of his hair should be enclosed. This last injunction has, of course, been observed. He also gave to an old acquaintance a religious book, put into his hands by the chaplain, accompanied by a request that its contents might be earnestly studied. The story that Waines had been previously convicted for manslaughter, and transported, he was anxious should be contradicted. By the prison books we find that he arrived in the colony a free man, in the year 1853, by the ship Duke of Richmond, from Liverpool, and that he was born at Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, in 1823. His English as well as his colonial occupation was that of a farmer.

EXECUTED THIS DAY – July 1, 1895

ARTHUR BUCK – MELBOURNE GAOL

Arthur Buck, who murdered Catherine Norton at South Melbourne on the 28th April last, was executed in the Melbourne Gaol last Monday morning at 10 o’clock. The arrangements made by the governor of the gaol, Captain Burrows, and the medical officer, Dr. Shields, were perfect, and the execution passed off without a hitch. The murderer met his death calmly, and at his own request the usual prayers and devotional exercises were dispensed with. Though the chaplain, the Rev. H. F. Scott, had been respectfully received by the prisoner, his ministrations fell on an unresponsive ear, and the man died as he had lived, an atheist. The recently appointed sheriff, Mr. A. McFarland, was present in his official capacity, and the attendance of the public totalled seven, the smallest number recorded at an execution in Melbourne for years past.

The crime for which Buck suffered the extreme penalty of the law was a diabolical one, unrelieved by a single redeeming feature. The victim, Catherine Norton, had a short and an usually wretched existence. She married a labourer when only 17 years old, and within 12 months was not only situated in the most squalid surroundings, but was continually quarrelling with her husband. At length her home became unbearable, and she left it to live with Buck, who was about her own age. After a few months Buck went to New South Wales, Norton meantime going as housekeeper to a labourer named Thorpe in South Melbourne. Buck returned to Melbourne in April, sought out Norton, and having vainly endeavoured to persuade her to go away with him, he cut her throat. The dying woman staggered towards her residence, and Buck stood by in a dark corner while the people gathered and doctors and police were summoned. Then he walked to his home in Richmond, went to bed, and slept till Detectives Cawsey, Dungey, and Carter sought him later in the day. He callously admitted the deed, gave the whole of the horrible details, but expressed no word of sorrow for the victim or remorse for the act.

An hour and an half subsequent to the execution a formal inquest was held by the City Coroner, Dr. Youl, when a verdict of “death from judicial hanging” was recorded. At sunset the body was buried in quicklime in the gaol yard.

ON THIS DAY – June 28, 1842

Charles Ellis (alias Yanky Jack), Martin Fogarty , Daniel Gepps (Jepps) and Jack Williams, were raiding farm houses and robbing people around the Dandenong area, when it became too hot there they moved over to the Plenty River area. They made a raid on Campbell Hunters house on the Plenty river. They made a mistake and stayed to have breakfast, and the Law caught up with them. Gang member Jack Williams was shot dead by Oliver Gourlay, after a hand to hand fight. After the gun battle that lasted one hour , Ellis, Fogarty and Jepps surrendered and all 3 were hanged on the hill beside the Old Melbourne Gaol north of Melbourne. All  4 buried together.

On This Day ……. 23rd June 1910

In the Criminal Court before Mr Justice Hood, and a jury, the trial was concluded of Elizabeth Downey, Clara Pennington, and Minnie Long, who were charged with murdering Isabella Nelson McCallum, on the 7th of May last. Mr Maxwell addressed the court on behalf of Mrs Downey, and argued that there was no case against her. No evidence was called on behalf of Mrs Downey, nor did she make a statement. Mr Purves then addressed the court on behalf of Pennington and Long, urging that they were in no part connected with any illegal operation. His Honour, in summing, up, said the Crown did not attempt to bring direct evidence, as such crimes were done in secret. No injustice had been done to Mrs Downey by having her case heard along with the others. If the jury were satisfied that the girl did not die from an illegal operation, then there was an end to the case. Dr. Mollison had said that death was due to a certain cause, and that it was extremely improbable that the girl had done it. As regarded Long the case started with the testimony of witness McCarthy, who in the box, admitted that he committed perjury at the Coroner’s Court. It was necessary for his evidence to be corroborated, and the letters written by accused Long supplied this. The case against Mrs Long rested on the telegrams and letters written and sent by her. Then the statements of the accused Pennington were at variance with her protestations. As regards Mrs Downey, the girl died in her place on the 7th of May. There was no satisfactory explanation for her presence there. According to Mrs Butler, the girl was at Mrs Downey’s house on 5th May, while Mrs Downey said she came the night before her death. Was it credible that she was there without Mrs Downey’s knowledge? On the Friday night, according to Mrs Butler, Mrs Downey wanted to send the girl to a hospital. Why ? Was it because the girl was moribund. Why was a doctor not called sooner ? If the jury decided that Mrs Downey performed the operation, then the other two accused were accomplices, and they were equally guilty. At 1pm the jury retired to consider their verdict, and at 2.30pm returned into Court with a verdict that the three accused had been guilty of murder, and Clara Pennington was recommended to mercy. Asked if they had anything to say a why- they should not be sentenced, each accused said she knew nothing of the illegal operation.

His Honour said:

You three women have been found guilty by the jury on the facts, and have to say that I roughly agree with the verdict. The only conclusion I draw is that you have been carrying on this abominable traffic for some time. Whether the sentence will be carried out or not does not rest with me, but the Governor-General will determine that. I now order that, you be taken to the Melbourne Gaol, and from there to such place as the Governor-in-Council may direct, then be hanged by the neck until you are dead. God have mercy on your souls. On the declaration of the sentence, several women in Court burst into tears and rushed from the Court. The prisoners were then removed back to the Geelong Gaol.

ON THIS DAY – June 1, 1857

JAMES WOODLOCK – MELBOURNE GAOL

This unhappy man underwent the extreme penalty of the law yesterday morning, at eight o’clock, in the Melbourne gaol. James Woodlock formerly kept the Rose, Shamrock, and Thistle public-house, in Elizabeth-street, but at the time of his commission of the crime which led to his death, was living at Castlemaine. He had a wife and five children, and, it appears, had conceived a jealousy of a man named Charles Vick, whom he believed to be the lover of his wife, and slabbed him. Committed for trial by the coroner, he subsequently absconded from his bail, but was again arrested by the detective police in February last, at Kilmore. He died with firmness, and suffered apparently but little.  He was about forty years of age, and a member of the Catholic faith.

On This Day ……. 30th May 1914

Mr. W Furnell as governor of the Geelong gaol, was promoted to Melbourne to the Governor of the Melbourne gaol (old Melbourne gaol). Until his replacement Mr Finnish arrives from Beechworth, Mr. M. Hayward will take charge.

ON This Day – 31st March 1908

It was arranged by the Penal authorities, that Mr. R. Paterson, governor of the Geelong gaol, shall take over, the charge of the Melbourne Gaol on this day in 1908. He return to Geelong in the evening, and hand over the care of the Geelong gaol to Mr Furnell, of Beechworth, who has been appointed to succeed him. Mr. Paterson was extremely popular with his staff, who regret his departure from Geelong.