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On This Day ……. 1st of August 1953

Donald Maxfield was reported missing from Colac on the 13th of May, 1953. He was a 22 year old labourer. On this day in 1953, the torso of a man was pulled from the Barwon River. Divers would eventually find the rest of Maxfield’s body, which had been dismembered and placed in kerosene tins and sunk in the Barwon River. It was believed the Maxfield was attacked and bashed in a garage in Colac by Andrew Kilpatrick and Russell Hill, aged 33 and 22 respectively, both from Colac. The men had placed the unconscious body of Maxfield in the boot of a car and had driven to Geelong. Maxfield regained consciousness and was again bashed to death on the banks of the Barwon. It was reported that this was a payback as it was believed that Maxfield had spoken to police about some of Kilpatrick’s dealings
Kilpatrick and Hill were arrested on the 1st August 1953 for the murder of Maxfield. Hill had confessed that with Kilpatrick, they had beaten Maxfield to death with an iron bar and then dismembered his body and thrown it in the Barwon. Information from Hill led to the divers recovering the torso after a 5 hour search of the river. The torso had been covered in an oat sack, wrapped in wire and weighed down with stone weights so that it was roughly 100lbs. The head and hands were later discovered in kerosene tins in the river. Both men were charged with murder and sent to trial in October 1953. Both Kilpatrick and Hill were sentenced to death. This was later commuted to life imprisonment with no remissions for Kilpatrick and 20 years with no remissions for Hill. Kilpatrick served his sentence in Pentridge, where he was a notorious figure because of his crime. He later became an ideal prisoner and was released on parole in 1976 after serving 23 years. Hill served his 20 years in the Geelong Gaol working in the prison library and other jobs.

 

On This Day ……. 1st of August 1930

John Taylor had been found battered to death on the floor of his Fitzroy shop on the corner of Argyle and Fitzroy Streets at 6am on the 7th of June 1930. It was believed that Taylor had been killed shortly after closing time on Friday, when the thief entered the shop, killed Taylor and left with a large sum of money. A post mortem revealed that Taylor, and 80 year old man, suffered a broken jaw, 4 broken ribs, an injury to his throat as well as various bruises and lacerations. Arthur Skerritt was arrested on Friday the 13th of June, 1930. He was arrested as he had goods that had been brought at Taylor’s shop and it was also alleged that some of Taylor’s property was discovered in the house where Skerritt lived. Much was made in the newspapers of the fact that Skerritt was a coloured man. Evidence presented at the inquest stated that Skerritt was drunk and had left home with nothing but had returned with a sugar bag full of goods and a quantity of coppers and a sovereign. The accused lived a few doors down from Taylor’s shop. Skerritt was heard to remark that he must of done it as he was drinking. The trial for murder took place in July and on this day in 1930, Skerritt was found guilty of wilful murder and sentenced to death. An appeal was lodged but was dismissed. The Government of the day stepped in as the Labour party was opposed to capital punishment. Skerritt’s life sentence was commuted to life imprisonment for the term of his natural life without benefit of regulation. Skerritt was originally incarcerated at Pentridge prison but was transferred to Geelong Gaol at some stage. Pleas for his release because of his age began in 1946 and were still going in 1949. Authorities described him as crafty and unscrupulous and saw no reason to release him, fearing that he would continue to steal and would end up back in prison. Skerritt died of cardiac failure in 1953 still incarcerated in the Geelong Gaol.

 

On This Day ……. 26th of June 1941

In the Geelong Court of Petty Sessions on this day in 1941, James Joseph Badilatti, labourer, of no fixed place of residence, was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment in Geelong gaol on a charge of vagrancy.

On This Day ……. 24th of June 1935

The deputy coroner Mr Young, was informed of the death at the Geelong gaol of Andrew McGlashan aged 63 years. At the inquest it was said that McGlashan on April 12 had been sentenced to imprisonment for six months for having had insufficient means of support. When he was received into the gaol he was in a weak condition and he was transferred to the gaol hospital where he died on this day in 1935. The gaol medical officer said that McGlashan had died from heart failure following chronic alcoholism and premature senility.
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On This Day ……. 15th of June 1901

A man named Joseph Laithwaite, was convicted at Colac on a charge of unlawful assault was lodged within the confines of the Geelong gaol.

 

On This Day ……. 7th of August 1871

Three young men were arrested by the Geelong police on a serious charge, on this day in 1871. A woman named Emily Morgan, about twenty years of
age, has charged John James Le Sueur, aged 17, Frederick Martin, aged 18, and
Peter Shepherd, 18, with having criminally assaulted. Tho statement was to the effect that she was held forcibly on tho ground by two of her assailants, while each of the others accomplished his purpose, she being prevented from screaming or giving any alarm. In consequence of being gagged with a pocket hand-kerchief. Information of the brutal outrage was given to the police by a man who was accidentally passing the spot, who heard cries for assistance and saw some persons running away. Sergeant Toohey and constable Madden then went in
pursuit of tbe prisoners, and from information received, arrested the three young men the following day, when they were lodged in the watch-house, and were placed in the dock to answer the capital charge. The bench refused the application. The prisoners were then handcuffed, and taken to tho Geelong gaol, escorted by at least 500 roughs and larrikins.

 

On This Day ……. 1st of August 1953

Donald Maxfield was reported missing from Colac on the 13th of May, 1953. He was a 22 year old labourer. On this day in 1953, the torso of a man was pulled from the Barwon River. Divers would eventually find the rest of Maxfield’s body, which had been dismembered and placed in kerosene tins and sunk in the Barwon River. It was believed the Maxfield was attacked and bashed in a garage in Colac by Andrew Kilpatrick and Russell Hill, aged 33 and 22 respectively, both from Colac. The men had placed the unconscious body of Maxfield in the boot of a car and had driven to Geelong. Maxfield regained consciousness and was again bashed to death on the banks of the Barwon. It was reported that this was a payback as it was believed that Maxfield had spoken to police about some of Kilpatrick’s dealings
Kilpatrick and Hill were arrested on the 1st August 1953 for the murder of Maxfield. Hill had confessed that with Kilpatrick, they had beaten Maxfield to death with an iron bar and then dismembered his body and thrown it in the Barwon. Information from Hill led to the divers recovering the torso after a 5 hour search of the river. The torso had been covered in an oat sack, wrapped in wire and weighed down with stone weights so that it was roughly 100lbs. The head and hands were later discovered in kerosene tins in the river. Both men were charged with murder and sent to trial in October 1953. Both Kilpatrick and Hill were sentenced to death. This was later commuted to life imprisonment with no remissions for Kilpatrick and 20 years with no remissions for Hill. Kilpatrick served his sentence in Pentridge, where he was a notorious figure because of his crime. He later became an ideal prisoner and was released on parole in 1976 after serving 23 years. Hill served his 20 years in the Geelong Gaol working in the prison library and other jobs.

 

On This Day ……. 1st of August 1930

John Taylor had been found battered to death on the floor of his Fitzroy shop on the corner of Argyle and Fitzroy Streets at 6am on the 7th of June 1930. It was believed that Taylor had been killed shortly after closing time on Friday, when the thief entered the shop, killed Taylor and left with a large sum of money. A post mortem revealed that Taylor, and 80 year old man, suffered a broken jaw, 4 broken ribs, an injury to his throat as well as various bruises and lacerations. Arthur Skerritt was arrested on Friday the 13th of June, 1930. He was arrested as he had goods that had been brought at Taylor’s shop and it was also alleged that some of Taylor’s property was discovered in the house where Skerritt lived. Much was made in the newspapers of the fact that Skerritt was a coloured man. Evidence presented at the inquest stated that Skerritt was drunk and had left home with nothing but had returned with a sugar bag full of goods and a quantity of coppers and a sovereign. The accused lived a few doors down from Taylor’s shop. Skerritt was heard to remark that he must of done it as he was drinking. The trial for murder took place in July and on this day in 1930, Skerritt was found guilty of wilful murder and sentenced to death. An appeal was lodged but was dismissed. The Government of the day stepped in as the Labour party was opposed to capital punishment. Skerritt’s life sentence was commuted to life imprisonment for the term of his natural life without benefit of regulation. Skerritt was originally incarcerated at Pentridge prison but was transferred to Geelong Gaol at some stage. Pleas for his release because of his age began in 1946 and were still going in 1949. Authorities described him as crafty and unscrupulous and saw no reason to release him, fearing that he would continue to steal and would end up back in prison. Skerritt died of cardiac failure in 1953 still incarcerated in the Geelong Gaol.

 

On This Day ……. 26th of June 1941

In the Geelong Court of Petty Sessions on this day in 1941, James Joseph Badilatti, labourer, of no fixed place of residence, was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment in Geelong gaol on a charge of vagrancy.

On This Day ……. 24th of June 1935

The deputy coroner Mr Young, was informed of the death at the Geelong gaol of Andrew McGlashan aged 63 years. At the inquest it was said that McGlashan on April 12 had been sentenced to imprisonment for six months for having had insufficient means of support. When he was received into the gaol he was in a weak condition and he was transferred to the gaol hospital where he died on this day in 1935. The gaol medical officer said that McGlashan had died from heart failure following chronic alcoholism and premature senility.
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On This Day ……. 15th of June 1901

A man named Joseph Laithwaite, was convicted at Colac on a charge of unlawful assault was lodged within the confines of the Geelong gaol.

 

On This Day ……. 7th of August 1871

Three young men were arrested by the Geelong police on a serious charge, on this day in 1871. A woman named Emily Morgan, about twenty years of
age, has charged John James Le Sueur, aged 17, Frederick Martin, aged 18, and
Peter Shepherd, 18, with having criminally assaulted. Tho statement was to the effect that she was held forcibly on tho ground by two of her assailants, while each of the others accomplished his purpose, she being prevented from screaming or giving any alarm. In consequence of being gagged with a pocket hand-kerchief. Information of the brutal outrage was given to the police by a man who was accidentally passing the spot, who heard cries for assistance and saw some persons running away. Sergeant Toohey and constable Madden then went in
pursuit of tbe prisoners, and from information received, arrested the three young men the following day, when they were lodged in the watch-house, and were placed in the dock to answer the capital charge. The bench refused the application. The prisoners were then handcuffed, and taken to tho Geelong gaol, escorted by at least 500 roughs and larrikins.