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ON THIS DAY …….3rd August 1943

At the close of the inquest today into the death of Mrs Clarice Anasthasia White, 30, of Dawson st, Ballarat, Mr G. S. Catlow, coroner, committed the woman’s husband, Kenneth Geoffrey White, 34, fitter, for trial on a charge of murder. White was present in custody on a charge of having murdered his wife and having attempted to murder Jonathan Stephen Falla, 23, AIF soldier. Jonathan Stephen Falla said he was in bed with Mrs White, and was awakened about 5am by her saying something about getting up to see the time. She got up, and in the darkness he then heard a crash and the sound of a body falling. He sat up in bed, and next thing he knew was he was hit across the head with what he thought was a piece of wood. He did not know then nor could he identify now who it was who had hit him. He was hit several times on the face and stomach. He heard another crash, and started to walk to where he thought Mrs White must be lying on the floor, when he was confronted by a man with the razor. The man thrust at his throat. Witness lifted his left arm, which was in plaster, and the man hit the plaster with his arm at the same time as he cut the left side of his, witness’s, throat with the razor. The man, who had said nothing up till then, then said, “Lay down on the bed.” To Sup Jacobe Falla admitted that the only thing the man said to him was, “You’ll have a lot of explaining to do.” Falla said that he did not see Mrs White at all from the time she got up. He could not see what happened to her. In reply to Mr N. Boustead, Falla said he had only known Mrs White a week, and had gone to the house in response to her invitation.

ALLEGED STATEMENT TO POLICE Const M. O’Leary said that when he and Sen-const Brady went to the house at 5.20am White was in the passage. He said, “They are down there. I have done them up pretty bad. In the bedroom the dead woman was lying with her throat cut on both sides, and her body covered with a military overcoat. Falla was lying on the bed with a gash in his throat. White said, “I done it with a razor,” and produced a razor from his hip pocket. “I found them in bed together,” White continued, “and I intended to give them something to remember for life. She had been carrying on with men for several years. It has been preying on my mind, and I could not stand it any longer.” O’Leary said that White then told him he had left the house the previous afternoon to go back to his job at Ford’s at Geelong, but did not do so. He left pretending to go to the train, and his wife saw him off at the gate. He returned at 7pm, and through the kitchen window he saw his wife take a soldier in. About 9.30pm. they went into the bedroom. Then he went for a walk to try to ease his mind. He returned about 1.30am and stood in the backyard until 5 am, when he got in through the kitchen window. His wife’s bedroom door was locked. He went to the children’s room and told his daughter Carmel to call her mother, and she did so, saying, “Mummy, I’m sick.” Witness stood outside his wife’s bedroom door. The door opened and he struck the person on the head with a file. At that time he did not know who it was. He then made a swing at the soldier who was in the room. His wife caught hold of him, and he lost the grip on the file. He then turned around and slashed his wife’s throat with the razor. He then slashed the soldier with the razor on the left side of the neck, and sent his daughter for a neighbour to go for the police. Sen-det L. H. Thomas said he found the file in the bedroom. White said, “You don’t know what I have put up with. I have not been on friendly terms with my wife for 8 years. She left me and the children twice,” Witness said White told him that when he tried to strike the soldier with the file his wife caught hold of him and tried to stop him. “I could not throw her off,” White is alleged to have said, “and I took the razor from my pocket and cut her on the throat, and she dropped to the floor. Rather than see the soldier get off scot free I decided to give him a nick. I leaned over the side of the bed and gave him a nick with the razor.”  The coroner found that the woman’s death was due to the wounds inflicted by White, and committed him for trial on a charge of murder at the Ballarat Supreme Court on August 3.

 

ON THIS DAY – November 14, 1900

A farmer named Hugh Lavery, a resident of Beulah, was found this morning dead in his bed, with his skull fractured in two places. This evening a German farm hand named Chas. Gluck gave himself up to the police at the township of Brim. He said he wished to give himself up for a murder committed near Beulah. He did not know why he committed the crime, nor the same at his victim, until he saw him lying dead, He did not realise what he had done, The prisoner is a strongly built young fellow, about twenty-five years of age. A blood-stained razor was found in his possession. He said he used the razor and then finished the work with an axe.

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY – October 27, 1856

At around 4am on the morning of October 27th, 1856, Sergeant-Major Cahir discovered a woman coming along Bellarine Street from the direction of the Barwon River. He recognised her as Catherine Finnegan, the wife of Sergeant Owen Finnegan. Cahir asked her why she was out so early and she admitted to murdering her two youngest children, 3 week old twins John and Judith. Mrs Finnegan was known for her eccentric behaviour, and so Cahir escorted her back to her Bourke Crescent home, where he found Sergeant Owen Finnegan in distress. Finnegan asked his wife what she had done with the children, which she wouldn’t answer. Cahir and the Finnegan entered the property and soon discovered a bloody razor on the foot of the little bed where the children had lain. Mrs Finnegan was conveyed to the watch house and a more thorough search was made for the children. The foot of Mrs Finnegan’s bed was found to be saturated with blood although the covers had been drawn over the mess. The bodies of the children were found at the bottom of the water closet, when blood stains were discovered at the top. Around 6am Constable Grant went down and retrieved the children’s bodies. Both infants had their throats cut, from their ears to the centre of the throat and John also had a deep cut to one of his hands.  The inquest into the children’s death was conducted at the Portarlington Hotel on the same day, the 27th October 1856. At the conclusion of the inquest, Forster Shaw, the district Coroner, returned a verdict that the children had been “put to death by their mother who was at the time insane”. Catherine Finnegan was committed to trial.

ON THIS DAY …….3rd August 1943

At the close of the inquest today into the death of Mrs Clarice Anasthasia White, 30, of Dawson st, Ballarat, Mr G. S. Catlow, coroner, committed the woman’s husband, Kenneth Geoffrey White, 34, fitter, for trial on a charge of murder. White was present in custody on a charge of having murdered his wife and having attempted to murder Jonathan Stephen Falla, 23, AIF soldier. Jonathan Stephen Falla said he was in bed with Mrs White, and was awakened about 5am by her saying something about getting up to see the time. She got up, and in the darkness he then heard a crash and the sound of a body falling. He sat up in bed, and next thing he knew was he was hit across the head with what he thought was a piece of wood. He did not know then nor could he identify now who it was who had hit him. He was hit several times on the face and stomach. He heard another crash, and started to walk to where he thought Mrs White must be lying on the floor, when he was confronted by a man with the razor. The man thrust at his throat. Witness lifted his left arm, which was in plaster, and the man hit the plaster with his arm at the same time as he cut the left side of his, witness’s, throat with the razor. The man, who had said nothing up till then, then said, “Lay down on the bed.” To Sup Jacobe Falla admitted that the only thing the man said to him was, “You’ll have a lot of explaining to do.” Falla said that he did not see Mrs White at all from the time she got up. He could not see what happened to her. In reply to Mr N. Boustead, Falla said he had only known Mrs White a week, and had gone to the house in response to her invitation.

ALLEGED STATEMENT TO POLICE Const M. O’Leary said that when he and Sen-const Brady went to the house at 5.20am White was in the passage. He said, “They are down there. I have done them up pretty bad. In the bedroom the dead woman was lying with her throat cut on both sides, and her body covered with a military overcoat. Falla was lying on the bed with a gash in his throat. White said, “I done it with a razor,” and produced a razor from his hip pocket. “I found them in bed together,” White continued, “and I intended to give them something to remember for life. She had been carrying on with men for several years. It has been preying on my mind, and I could not stand it any longer.” O’Leary said that White then told him he had left the house the previous afternoon to go back to his job at Ford’s at Geelong, but did not do so. He left pretending to go to the train, and his wife saw him off at the gate. He returned at 7pm, and through the kitchen window he saw his wife take a soldier in. About 9.30pm. they went into the bedroom. Then he went for a walk to try to ease his mind. He returned about 1.30am and stood in the backyard until 5 am, when he got in through the kitchen window. His wife’s bedroom door was locked. He went to the children’s room and told his daughter Carmel to call her mother, and she did so, saying, “Mummy, I’m sick.” Witness stood outside his wife’s bedroom door. The door opened and he struck the person on the head with a file. At that time he did not know who it was. He then made a swing at the soldier who was in the room. His wife caught hold of him, and he lost the grip on the file. He then turned around and slashed his wife’s throat with the razor. He then slashed the soldier with the razor on the left side of the neck, and sent his daughter for a neighbour to go for the police. Sen-det L. H. Thomas said he found the file in the bedroom. White said, “You don’t know what I have put up with. I have not been on friendly terms with my wife for 8 years. She left me and the children twice,” Witness said White told him that when he tried to strike the soldier with the file his wife caught hold of him and tried to stop him. “I could not throw her off,” White is alleged to have said, “and I took the razor from my pocket and cut her on the throat, and she dropped to the floor. Rather than see the soldier get off scot free I decided to give him a nick. I leaned over the side of the bed and gave him a nick with the razor.”  The coroner found that the woman’s death was due to the wounds inflicted by White, and committed him for trial on a charge of murder at the Ballarat Supreme Court on August 3.

 

ON THIS DAY …….. 6th April 1929

CHILD’S STORY IN COURT – FITZROY

The circumstances of a tragedy in a house in Little Gore-street, Fitzroy, on this day in 1929, were narrated by Peggy Lilian Turner, a 9 year old girl, in the Melbourne Criminal Court. Arthur Cable Sullivan, aged 29, was charged with the murder of Ellen Turner by slashing her with a razor. The child said that she saw Sullivan take a razor from a shelf in the kitchen. Sullivan, whom she described as “Uncle Arthur,” told her to go upstairs. She heard Sullivan and her mother quarrelling, and looking into the bedroom she saw Sullivan fighting her mother. He was holding her against the wall trying to get at her throat. Sullivan, when he saw her, said “Get out, or I will chuck you out ” She went to the front door, but it was locked. Returning to the bedroom, she saw her mother lying on the floor bleeding. Later Sullivan said to her: “If anyone asks you about this, tell them that your mother fell on a broken bottle,” Sullivan said that Mrs. Turner was the first to get the razor. He thought she intended to do herself an injury, and tried to take it from her. He broke the blade against the wall, and a piece of it struck Mrs. Turner on the arm, severing the arteries. He had no intention of injuring her. When she saw her arm was bleeding she said to him, “Say I did it on a place of glass.”The jury announced that they desired to hear no further evidence. They returned a verdict of not guilty of either murder or manslaughter.

 

ON THIS DAY ………… 14th March 1933

BRUNSWICK

The body of Grace Weston, aged 31, was found in a bedroom of her home on this day in 1933, with her throat cut. John McKenzie Weston, a butcher of Brunswick, was committed for trial by the Coroner, for the murder of his wife. The police alleged that in a signed statement he made to them Weston accused his wife of going out with another man. She promised to have nothing more to do with the man, but on the. 14th of March the man drove his wife home in a car. She told him she was going away with the man. That night he pushed her into the bedroom, locked the door, and cut her throat with a razor. A constable then smashed the door in and took him outside.

THE OTHER “MAN.”

Murray McWilliams, a furrier, of North Melbourne, said he had known Mrs. Weston for about six months, and had seen her two or three times a week. He had taken her for drives in his car, but had done nothing improper. He promised Weston that he would not see her again, but on March 14 he saw her by chance, and offered to take her home, where she had an appointment. Later they had tea at St. Kilda, and drove to Black Rock. Mrs. Weston, did not appear to want to go home. On the way back, when they were nearing Weston’s home. Weston jumped on to the running board. Weston laid his hands on his wife. She screamed for help, and McWilliams struck Weston.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – November 14, 1900

A farmer named Hugh Lavery, a resident of Beulah, was found this morning dead in his bed, with his skull fractured in two places. This evening a German farm hand named Chas. Gluck gave himself up to the police at the township of Brim. He said he wished to give himself up for a murder committed near Beulah. He did not know why he committed the crime, nor the same at his victim, until he saw him lying dead, He did not realise what he had done, The prisoner is a strongly built young fellow, about twenty-five years of age. A blood-stained razor was found in his possession. He said he used the razor and then finished the work with an axe.

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY – October 27, 1856

At around 4am on the morning of October 27th, 1856, Sergeant-Major Cahir discovered a woman coming along Bellarine Street from the direction of the Barwon River. He recognised her as Catherine Finnegan, the wife of Sergeant Owen Finnegan. Cahir asked her why she was out so early and she admitted to murdering her two youngest children, 3 week old twins John and Judith. Mrs Finnegan was known for her eccentric behaviour, and so Cahir escorted her back to her Bourke Crescent home, where he found Sergeant Owen Finnegan in distress. Finnegan asked his wife what she had done with the children, which she wouldn’t answer. Cahir and the Finnegan entered the property and soon discovered a bloody razor on the foot of the little bed where the children had lain. Mrs Finnegan was conveyed to the watch house and a more thorough search was made for the children. The foot of Mrs Finnegan’s bed was found to be saturated with blood although the covers had been drawn over the mess. The bodies of the children were found at the bottom of the water closet, when blood stains were discovered at the top. Around 6am Constable Grant went down and retrieved the children’s bodies. Both infants had their throats cut, from their ears to the centre of the throat and John also had a deep cut to one of his hands.  The inquest into the children’s death was conducted at the Portarlington Hotel on the same day, the 27th October 1856. At the conclusion of the inquest, Forster Shaw, the district Coroner, returned a verdict that the children had been “put to death by their mother who was at the time insane”. Catherine Finnegan was committed to trial.

ON THIS DAY …….3rd August 1943

At the close of the inquest today into the death of Mrs Clarice Anasthasia White, 30, of Dawson st, Ballarat, Mr G. S. Catlow, coroner, committed the woman’s husband, Kenneth Geoffrey White, 34, fitter, for trial on a charge of murder. White was present in custody on a charge of having murdered his wife and having attempted to murder Jonathan Stephen Falla, 23, AIF soldier. Jonathan Stephen Falla said he was in bed with Mrs White, and was awakened about 5am by her saying something about getting up to see the time. She got up, and in the darkness he then heard a crash and the sound of a body falling. He sat up in bed, and next thing he knew was he was hit across the head with what he thought was a piece of wood. He did not know then nor could he identify now who it was who had hit him. He was hit several times on the face and stomach. He heard another crash, and started to walk to where he thought Mrs White must be lying on the floor, when he was confronted by a man with the razor. The man thrust at his throat. Witness lifted his left arm, which was in plaster, and the man hit the plaster with his arm at the same time as he cut the left side of his, witness’s, throat with the razor. The man, who had said nothing up till then, then said, “Lay down on the bed.” To Sup Jacobe Falla admitted that the only thing the man said to him was, “You’ll have a lot of explaining to do.” Falla said that he did not see Mrs White at all from the time she got up. He could not see what happened to her. In reply to Mr N. Boustead, Falla said he had only known Mrs White a week, and had gone to the house in response to her invitation.

ALLEGED STATEMENT TO POLICE Const M. O’Leary said that when he and Sen-const Brady went to the house at 5.20am White was in the passage. He said, “They are down there. I have done them up pretty bad. In the bedroom the dead woman was lying with her throat cut on both sides, and her body covered with a military overcoat. Falla was lying on the bed with a gash in his throat. White said, “I done it with a razor,” and produced a razor from his hip pocket. “I found them in bed together,” White continued, “and I intended to give them something to remember for life. She had been carrying on with men for several years. It has been preying on my mind, and I could not stand it any longer.” O’Leary said that White then told him he had left the house the previous afternoon to go back to his job at Ford’s at Geelong, but did not do so. He left pretending to go to the train, and his wife saw him off at the gate. He returned at 7pm, and through the kitchen window he saw his wife take a soldier in. About 9.30pm. they went into the bedroom. Then he went for a walk to try to ease his mind. He returned about 1.30am and stood in the backyard until 5 am, when he got in through the kitchen window. His wife’s bedroom door was locked. He went to the children’s room and told his daughter Carmel to call her mother, and she did so, saying, “Mummy, I’m sick.” Witness stood outside his wife’s bedroom door. The door opened and he struck the person on the head with a file. At that time he did not know who it was. He then made a swing at the soldier who was in the room. His wife caught hold of him, and he lost the grip on the file. He then turned around and slashed his wife’s throat with the razor. He then slashed the soldier with the razor on the left side of the neck, and sent his daughter for a neighbour to go for the police. Sen-det L. H. Thomas said he found the file in the bedroom. White said, “You don’t know what I have put up with. I have not been on friendly terms with my wife for 8 years. She left me and the children twice,” Witness said White told him that when he tried to strike the soldier with the file his wife caught hold of him and tried to stop him. “I could not throw her off,” White is alleged to have said, “and I took the razor from my pocket and cut her on the throat, and she dropped to the floor. Rather than see the soldier get off scot free I decided to give him a nick. I leaned over the side of the bed and gave him a nick with the razor.”  The coroner found that the woman’s death was due to the wounds inflicted by White, and committed him for trial on a charge of murder at the Ballarat Supreme Court on August 3.

 

ON THIS DAY …….. 6th April 1929

CHILD’S STORY IN COURT – FITZROY

The circumstances of a tragedy in a house in Little Gore-street, Fitzroy, on this day in 1929, were narrated by Peggy Lilian Turner, a 9 year old girl, in the Melbourne Criminal Court. Arthur Cable Sullivan, aged 29, was charged with the murder of Ellen Turner by slashing her with a razor. The child said that she saw Sullivan take a razor from a shelf in the kitchen. Sullivan, whom she described as “Uncle Arthur,” told her to go upstairs. She heard Sullivan and her mother quarrelling, and looking into the bedroom she saw Sullivan fighting her mother. He was holding her against the wall trying to get at her throat. Sullivan, when he saw her, said “Get out, or I will chuck you out ” She went to the front door, but it was locked. Returning to the bedroom, she saw her mother lying on the floor bleeding. Later Sullivan said to her: “If anyone asks you about this, tell them that your mother fell on a broken bottle,” Sullivan said that Mrs. Turner was the first to get the razor. He thought she intended to do herself an injury, and tried to take it from her. He broke the blade against the wall, and a piece of it struck Mrs. Turner on the arm, severing the arteries. He had no intention of injuring her. When she saw her arm was bleeding she said to him, “Say I did it on a place of glass.”The jury announced that they desired to hear no further evidence. They returned a verdict of not guilty of either murder or manslaughter.

 

ON THIS DAY ………… 14th March 1933

BRUNSWICK

The body of Grace Weston, aged 31, was found in a bedroom of her home on this day in 1933, with her throat cut. John McKenzie Weston, a butcher of Brunswick, was committed for trial by the Coroner, for the murder of his wife. The police alleged that in a signed statement he made to them Weston accused his wife of going out with another man. She promised to have nothing more to do with the man, but on the. 14th of March the man drove his wife home in a car. She told him she was going away with the man. That night he pushed her into the bedroom, locked the door, and cut her throat with a razor. A constable then smashed the door in and took him outside.

THE OTHER “MAN.”

Murray McWilliams, a furrier, of North Melbourne, said he had known Mrs. Weston for about six months, and had seen her two or three times a week. He had taken her for drives in his car, but had done nothing improper. He promised Weston that he would not see her again, but on March 14 he saw her by chance, and offered to take her home, where she had an appointment. Later they had tea at St. Kilda, and drove to Black Rock. Mrs. Weston, did not appear to want to go home. On the way back, when they were nearing Weston’s home. Weston jumped on to the running board. Weston laid his hands on his wife. She screamed for help, and McWilliams struck Weston.