ON THIS DAY – January 20, 1901

A middle-aged man named Edward Charles Holland was arrested on a charge of the wilful murder, at North Melbourne of a child, Frederick Gladstone Geach, aged two years and a half. Mrs. Geach, who is about 42 years of age, and has five children, ranging in age from 15 years to two and a half years’ has been living apart from her husband since 1895. She received from her husband an allowance of £1 per week, and she supplemented this with earnings as a charwoman. Geach being desirous of obtaining a divorce, commissioned Holland, who is a waiter by occupation, to collect the necessary evidence. Holland entered Mrs. Geach’s house as a lodger, and within a few weeks Mr. Geach dispensed with Holland’s services, but Holland continued to reside at the house. Recently, he became somewhat eccentric in his manner, and was inclined to be quarrelsome. On the evening in question he called the youngest child into the bedroom, and, after playing a little while with him, produced an iron wedge, which he had obtained from the yard. He struck the little fellow several violent blows on the head, fracturing the skull in two places and causing other serious wounds. Holland then left the house, and excitedly informed a police man what he had done. The child was removed to the hospital, and died there on this day in 1901.



On This Day – January 10, 1977

The Easey Street murders is one of the most famous unsolved murders in Victoria. refer to the killings of Suzanne Armstrong and Susan Bartlett, who were stabbed to death on the 10th of January 1977 in their home at 147 Easey Street in the inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwood. The crime remains unsolved as of 2016. The women were stabbed multiple times. Armstrong’s 16-month-old son, Gregory, was unharmed. The women’s bodies were discovered three days after they were killed. Neighbours had heard the baby whimpering. The murders were later linked to the disappearance and probable murder of Julie Garciacelay, a librarian originally from Stockton, California. Garciacelay had disappeared from her North Melbourne, Victoria apartment on the 1st of July 1975.



ON THIS DAY – December 29, 1937


A graphic story of events leading up to and following the killing of Mrs. Edith Rachel Praetz or Walker at her secondhand shop in North Melbourne on December 29, was told by Jean Richards, a young woman who said she was living with an Italian labourer, Antonio Barbara, 35, at the time. Barbara was committed for trial on a charge of murder. Richards told the coroner that after she and Barbara had run away from Mrs. Praetz’ shop, he attacked her with a knife, but it slipped. She grabbed it, threw it away and then escaped herself.

The City Coroner (Mr. Tingate. P.M.) found that at North Melbourne on December 29 Mrs. Edith Rachel Praetz (or Walker) died from the effects of knife wounds in the neck. feloniously and maliciously inflicted by Barbara.

Application for bail was refused. Evidence was given that detectives investigating” the case had been handed the following letter, signed by Barbara: “Sir – Regards Italian you are seeking for in connection with the Victoria street murdered. I am personally writing to you. So you can rely I will call at headquarters. Russell street. not later than noon. Monday, January 4, 1937. “Being a sport follower. I would like to know how the third Test. England v. Australia, starts, as I hope Australia wins the toss, also the match. Wishing you a happy new years. with best respects. Barbara, Antonio.”

Jean Richards. single. said she had known Mrs. Walker for four years, and had stopped at her place several times.. On December 29 she was living with Barbara in North Melbourne. He returned home about 3.30 p.m.. and after an argument about money had become enraged and struck her as she lay on a bed. He had been drinking. She left the house, taking her baby with her and as she was walking along the street Mrs. Walker asked her to go inside. While she was in the kitchen Mrs. Walker came in from the front and told her that someone had gone to tell Tony she was there. “I said I had better go.” continued witness. “but as I was leaving Tony came in. Mrs. Walker asked him ‘What are you doing in my shop? Haven’t the police told you not to come in?’ “Tony replied. ‘You are going to be a copper again.’ Then he knocked her down. “‘I then ran out of the shop.” witness went on. “When I returned Tony had one hand on Mrs. Walker’s shoulder. He picked up a knife from the dresser. and I called out. ‘Tony, don’t. Stop.’ He turned towards me and I ran out on to the footpath. Then Tony came out. took my arm, and told me to come home. He said. ‘Look what she made me do.’ “I turned, and could see Mrs. Walker’s legs protruding from the door. They were bloodstained.

Struggle in Kitchen

On the way home Richards said that Barbara told her he was going to do for her. too. When they reached his house there were about 10 men in the dining room. Barbara ran into the kitchen and returned with a knife. He pushed witness and her baby to the floor. He held her by the throat with one hand and the knife in the other, but the knife slipped, and, grabbing it, she threw it among the men standing in the room. Two of them tried to drag Barbara away, and while they held him she left the house. Next day she went to the police.

In a statement read by Detective Adam and alleged to have been made by Barbara, the Italian stated that Mrs. Walker had sent for him, and when he went round, she had run at him with the knife. He stepped aside. and she again rushed at him. He grabbed her. and they struggled near the stove. Then he saw blood on her neck, and he and Jean Richards ran away. He met another Italian. who drove him to Werribee. and when he returned to Melbourne he heard that Mrs. Walker had died. He then went to Oakleigh by taxi and wandered round in the bush.

Albert Rainsford, 43, butcher, of North Melbourne, said that the dead woman, who was 51, was his sister. Before her marriage her name was Walker, while she had also been known as Sutcliffe. She conducted a secondhand shop in North Melbourne. Walter Boyce, who said he had been living at Mrs. Walker’s place, stated that after taking a mesage to Barbara that Mrs. Walker wanted to see him, he went for a walk. When he returned he saw Barbara and a woman named Jean Richards running out of the front door. Mrs. Walker was following them and she called out to witness to get the police, as Tony had stabbed her She then fell on the footpath

Newman Spielvogel. pawnbroker, told of his discovery of Mrs. Walker lying on the footpath. He had heard rows and fights at Mrs. Walker’s premises. Death was due to a wound in the neck, which could have been caused by a knife, was the evidence of Dr. Mollison. Government Pathologist. According to First Constable Myers a trail of blood led from the spot where the woman’s body was found to the kitchen of her house, where there was a large pool. In the kitchen he found a large bloodstained knife. on the blade of which there was human hair.

ON THIS DAY – December 24, 1926


Dominica Condello, 33, quarry man, who was charged with having murdered Constable Thomas Clare at North Melbourne on December 24, was acquitted, on the grounds that he acted in self-defence.



On a charge of having murdered Dizedes Messerschmidt, 27, a Czecho Slovakian, of North Melbourne, on December 11. Jozef Thur, 33, a fellow countryman, was committed for trial today by the coroner. The police alleged that Thur made a statement to them, admitting having stabbed Messerschmidt.


ON THIS DAY – October 29, 1927



Charge of Attempted Murder.

Walter Lew Shing (19), fruiterer, and Leslie Coe (19), labourer, were charged at the City Court to-day with having, on October 29, at North Melbourne, attempted to murder Richard Dunstan.   Senior-Detective Bruce said that it was alleged that accused are members of the ‘Wanderers’ Push,’ and that on Saturday Coe stole a motor car and went with Shing to North Melbourne. An altercation over some girls took place with some members of another ‘push’ known as the ‘Hawk Eyes’. In the course of the altercation Dunstan was shot in the stomach. Dunstan was now in the Melbourne Hospital in a serious condition. Shing and Coe were each remanded to November 7. Bail in each case was fixed at £30 and a surety of £500.



ON THIS DAY – October 28, 1933


Albert Lewis (59), labourer, of Peel street, North Melbourne, was charged in the City Court to-day with having, on October 28, murdered Maurice Langley (75), pawnbroker, of Elizabeth-street. Lewis had been detained on a vagrancy charge, as he was suspected of having been one of two men alleged to have been in the pawnshop when the pawnbroker was shot Detective J. E. M’Keogh said that at 1.35 pm. on October 28, Langley was shot in his shop in Elizabeth street. Two men were seen in the shop at the time, and after a struggle a brother of the dead man captured a man named von Geyer, who was charged with murder. The second man escaped. Late that night, Lewis was arrested at West Melbourne and charged with vagrancy. He since had been identified as one of the men who were in the shop, and later was charged with murder. Lewis was remanded to appear at the City Court on November 5.



ON THIS DAY – October 25, 1933


On the application of Sergeant de la Rue at the City Court yesterday, Robert Ernest von Geyer painter aged 50 years of Argyle Square Carlton and Albert Lewis; labourer aged 49 years of Peel street North Melbourne who were charged with having murdered Maurice Langley pawnbroker of Elizabeth street city on October 25 were remanded to appear before the City Court on November 17.  Sergeant de la Rue explained to Mr Bond P M that no date had been fixed for the hearing of the inquest.

Mona Vale mansion, at Ross in Tasmania, was built in 1868 for the wealthy land owner and Tasmanian Parliamentarian Robert Quayle Kermode and he entertained the Duke of Edinburgh there shortly after it was completed. The stained glass windows were created by the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company of North Melbourne and were selected by the architect of Mona Vale, Henry Hunter, during a visit to Victoria in 1867.

Has 365 windows – for each day of the year
Has 7 entrances – for each day of the week
Has 12 chimneys – for each month of the year
Has 52 rooms – for each week of the year


ON THIS DAY……. 1st August 1953

Two men were charged in the City Court on this day in 1953 with the murder of Ernest Clarkson, 69, of Gordon-avenue, Tecoma. Charged were two Cypriots, Vassos Socratous, 24, of Flemington-road, North Melbourne, and Lenndras Yiannakou, 39, of Rathdown street, Carlton. Both men were remanded to the City Court on  the 11th of August. He refused bail. Clarkson, chief steward of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club was found dead on the promises in Cheltenham-road, Black Rock, on this day in 1953. He had been battered about the head.  Senior . Detective Graham Davidson told the Court that Clarkson’s body was found on the floor of the golf club’s locker room. Police took possession of a bloodstained hammer. Davidson said the men in the dock were detained and questioned early today. They had made admissions before being charged.. Socratous is a short slim man with dark, curly hair. He was neatly dressed, Yiannakou is taller and is heavily built, with black, woolly hair, and olive complexion.

On This Day ……. 27th May 1908

A prisoner named James Wilson, aged 66 years, died in Geelong Gaol on this day in 1908, from pneumonia. Wilson was sentenced at North Melbourne in November last to six months imprisonment. His sentence expired on May 1, but he was in such a bad state of health that he had since been brought before the Court from week to week, and had been further sentenced.

ON THIS DAY….. 26th May 1915

Charged with the manslaughter of Denis McSweeney, at North Melbourne, on this day in 1915, Andrew McGough, withdrew his plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty. The accused assaulted McSweeney without warning. The Chief Justice, in passing sentence of three years imprisonment, said that McGough had acted like a tiger. Looking at the facts of the case he asked himself why McGough was not charged with murder. He thought that the case was one for the full penalty prescribed by the, Act, but taking into account the fact that McGough was a hard working man and only gave way occasionally to bursts of intemperance, he would impose a sentence of three years.