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In April 2007 thirteen year old Ella Murphy was standing on her surfboard tow-surfing behind a boat near Lancelin, north of Perth. Unexpectedly a 300kg sea lion burst out from the water, grabbed her by the head and knocked her off her surf board. As she lay in the water the monster seemed to be preparing for a second charge but the driver of the boat managed to put the boat between her and the sea lion. Ella ended up with a broken jaw, a big wound under her chin, and three missing teeth.

 

On this day …….. 18th September 1876

Reports have abounded of sightings of sea monsters for thousands of years. Usually such sightings involve only a small number of witnesses. However, occasionally such creatures have been seen by large numbers of people. On 18 September 1876, the ‘Straits Times Overland Journal’ ran an editorial, reporting on an unusual sea creature which had been seen by a Captain and his shipload of passengers one week earlier. The “monster” was seen in the Malacca Straits, which link the Indian and Pacific Oceans between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. In his log, John W Webster, Captain of the SS Nestor, described the creatures as having a body which was “quite fifty feet broad” and its total length “over two hundred feet”. Its head “was about twelve feet broad and appeared … about six feet above the water.” It had a “long dragon tail with black and white scales”. The monster continued its course alongside the ship, taking no note of either ship or occupants, who were entertained by its presence for about half an hour.

 

In April 2007 thirteen year old Ella Murphy was standing on her surfboard tow-surfing behind a boat near Lancelin, north of Perth. Unexpectedly a 300kg sea lion burst out from the water, grabbed her by the head and knocked her off her surf board. As she lay in the water the monster seemed to be preparing for a second charge but the driver of the boat managed to put the boat between her and the sea lion. Ella ended up with a broken jaw, a big wound under her chin, and three missing teeth.

 

On This Day ……. 22nd April 1856

This criminal suffered the penalty of his crimes on this day in 1856, at 8am. Pursuant to the provisions of the Act which abolishes the old mode of public execution, the affair was witnessed by certain officials only, to see that the sentence was duly carried out. An inquest on the body was, in conformity with the act, held in the goal, at twelve noon. A jury was impanelled in the usual way. By direction of the coroner, they proceeded to view the body, and then returned to hear evidence. The coroner read the warrant of his Excellency the Acting Governor. The sheriff gave evidence as to the identity of the person named in the warrant, and the dead body the jury had just seen. The sentence had been carried out in the usual way. The district surgeon was examined as to the same facts. The head goaler testified that the body which the jury had viewed was that of James Ross, who was sentenced to die at the last criminal sessions, and for whose execution a warrant had been produced by the sheriff. The sentence had been duly carried out. This closed the evidence, and the jury unanimously returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased James Ross had been duly executed in pursuance of sentence passed upon him by Sir William A’Beckett, judge of the Supreme Court. It was remembered by most of our readers that James Ross was convicted of the most brutal murder of his own child, and also for the murder of a Mrs Sayers. Ross intended to murder his own wife also, and left her for dead; but she recovered, and is still alive at Horsham. Seldom in the annals of crime has there occurred so atrocious a case—a crime of so black a dye, committed without any apparent adequate motive. From the time of his commitment to the last hour of his existence, Ross admitted the crimes of which he stood charged. He did not wish to live, and repeatedly, since sentence was passed, expressed impatience for the time of execution to be fixed. He spent much time in reading the Bible and other devotional books, and was assiduously attended by the Rev Mr Goodman and the gaol chaplain. Ross’s conversation and demeanour, however, so far as we could judge or learn, was by no means indicative of sincere regret. The culprit, a few days ago, wrote a letter to his wife, who is still an invalid from the cruel injuries she received from her husband. Ross, or Griffiths, was a native of Limerick, his father was Welsh. His crimes were of so deep a dye that even the most enthusiastic abolitionist of capital punishment will admit that the world is well rid of such a monster.

 

On This Day …..14th April 2007

Ella Murphy was mauled by the huge animal – said to weigh more than 300kg – as she was standing on her surfboard being towed behind a boat on Friday at Lancelin, a small fishing town 110km north of Perth. The sea lion jumped from the water and went for her throat. It narrowly missed inflicting fatal injuries. It was coming back to strike again when the boat’s driver managed to get the boat between them and drag her to safety. The young surfer had a hole gashed under her chin, her jaw fractured and three teeth knocked out. Her mother, Michelle Forbes, said Ella was just millimetres from death. “It was quite close to her carotid artery, we could have lost her,” she said. The boat driver, family friend Chris Thomas, 40, told how he thought she would die in the attack. “You can only describe it as like a white-pointer jumping out of the water,” he said. “It was really sort of movie-like. “She popped up, and its head popped up out of the water about 10m away. “I had this horrible feeling I was not going to make it back in time.” Ella was in a stable condition last night after surgery in Perth’s Princess Margaret Hospital.

 

On this day …….. 18th September 1876

Reports have abounded of sightings of sea monsters for thousands of years. Usually such sightings involve only a small number of witnesses. However, occasionally such creatures have been seen by large numbers of people. On 18 September 1876, the ‘Straits Times Overland Journal’ ran an editorial, reporting on an unusual sea creature which had been seen by a Captain and his shipload of passengers one week earlier. The “monster” was seen in the Malacca Straits, which link the Indian and Pacific Oceans between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. In his log, John W Webster, Captain of the SS Nestor, described the creatures as having a body which was “quite fifty feet broad” and its total length “over two hundred feet”. Its head “was about twelve feet broad and appeared … about six feet above the water.” It had a “long dragon tail with black and white scales”. The monster continued its course alongside the ship, taking no note of either ship or occupants, who were entertained by its presence for about half an hour.

 

In April 2007 thirteen year old Ella Murphy was standing on her surfboard tow-surfing behind a boat near Lancelin, north of Perth. Unexpectedly a 300kg sea lion burst out from the water, grabbed her by the head and knocked her off her surf board. As she lay in the water the monster seemed to be preparing for a second charge but the driver of the boat managed to put the boat between her and the sea lion. Ella ended up with a broken jaw, a big wound under her chin, and three missing teeth.

 

On This Day ……. 22nd April 1856

This criminal suffered the penalty of his crimes on this day in 1856, at 8am. Pursuant to the provisions of the Act which abolishes the old mode of public execution, the affair was witnessed by certain officials only, to see that the sentence was duly carried out. An inquest on the body was, in conformity with the act, held in the goal, at twelve noon. A jury was impanelled in the usual way. By direction of the coroner, they proceeded to view the body, and then returned to hear evidence. The coroner read the warrant of his Excellency the Acting Governor. The sheriff gave evidence as to the identity of the person named in the warrant, and the dead body the jury had just seen. The sentence had been carried out in the usual way. The district surgeon was examined as to the same facts. The head goaler testified that the body which the jury had viewed was that of James Ross, who was sentenced to die at the last criminal sessions, and for whose execution a warrant had been produced by the sheriff. The sentence had been duly carried out. This closed the evidence, and the jury unanimously returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased James Ross had been duly executed in pursuance of sentence passed upon him by Sir William A’Beckett, judge of the Supreme Court. It was remembered by most of our readers that James Ross was convicted of the most brutal murder of his own child, and also for the murder of a Mrs Sayers. Ross intended to murder his own wife also, and left her for dead; but she recovered, and is still alive at Horsham. Seldom in the annals of crime has there occurred so atrocious a case—a crime of so black a dye, committed without any apparent adequate motive. From the time of his commitment to the last hour of his existence, Ross admitted the crimes of which he stood charged. He did not wish to live, and repeatedly, since sentence was passed, expressed impatience for the time of execution to be fixed. He spent much time in reading the Bible and other devotional books, and was assiduously attended by the Rev Mr Goodman and the gaol chaplain. Ross’s conversation and demeanour, however, so far as we could judge or learn, was by no means indicative of sincere regret. The culprit, a few days ago, wrote a letter to his wife, who is still an invalid from the cruel injuries she received from her husband. Ross, or Griffiths, was a native of Limerick, his father was Welsh. His crimes were of so deep a dye that even the most enthusiastic abolitionist of capital punishment will admit that the world is well rid of such a monster.