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ON THIS DAY – July 27, 1924

At the Detective Office yesterday afternoon a telephone message was received from the Benalla police, stating that the body of Miss Bridget Enwright, who has been missing, from her home at Staghorn Flat since July 27, was found partly covered with clay, at Staghorn Flat, in circumstances indicating foul play (says a Melbourne message in the “News”). A detective has been dispatched to investigate the matter.

Miss Enwright (as briefly reported in yesterday’s “Miner”) was 69 years of age, and lived alone on her farm, which is in the Yackandandah district, and ís 198 miles from Melbourne. Her prolonged absence from home caused concern among residents, and search parties were organised to examine the surrounding country. Until yesterday morning their efforts were unsuccessful. At one time 50 mounted men were searching. Miss Enwright was seen talking to a young man about two miles from her home on July 27, and though she is believed to have returned to the house she was not again seen alive. Two weeks ago, however, a constable from Kiewa and local residents visited her home, and found signs that a robbery had been committed. The back door was unlocked, and one of the bedrooms was in disorder. Among other things discovered were an empty purse and handbag. In the house, however, there were no signs of struggle.

ON THIS DAY……19th December 1891

A young man named William Trask was brought up on remand on the charge of assaulting and robbing a shearer, named Robert Stewart, of £6 17s. Trask was remanded to the Geelong Gaol for three months.

 

ON THIS DAY – October 15, 1872

Living on the goldfields was hard and the threat of bush rangers was constantly on one’s mind. On the evening of the 15th of October three bushrangers named James Smith, Thomas Brady and William Heppanstein bailed up the Wooragee Post Office robbing them of their takings. They then rode to the Hotel next door. When John Watt, the publican of the Wooragee Hotel, opened the door he was confronted with three men with their faces covered. “Bail Up, Your money or your life”. When John refused he was shot, stumbling back into the kitchen where he fell on the floor, and standing back up he fell again, knocking chairs over. His wife then sat him up against the wall and sent a worker for the doctor. On the doctor’s arrival he was amazed that John was still alive. The exit wound on John’s back below his shoulder blade was large enough for a man’s clenched fist to fit into. Unbelievably, John lived for another nine days. Brady and Smith were charged with the murder and sentenced to hang on the 12th of May 1873 in the Beechworth Gaol. On the morning of the execution, Smith handed the Sheriff a hand written statement in the defence of both Smith and Brady. The hangman Bamford, bought up from Melbourne for the occasion, placed a white cape over their faces and the rope around their neck. Brady died straight away. However Smith struggled for minutes after his drop. It was a terrible sight, witnessed by sixty people.

ON THIS DAY…… 20th September 1982

A 51 year old woman who was robbed and fatally shot on this day in 1982 at her Mordiallioc hardware store raised the alarm by telephoning her husband at home and saying “I’m shot Dick, I’m dying”

Mrs Mildred Hanmer was about 2 1/2 metres from the phone when she was shot through the right breast by a bandit about 12.50pm.  After making the call she collapsed and was still clutching the receiver when found by staff from a nearby shop.

In the meantime her husband had called the police.

Mrs Hanmer of Alison Road, Mt Eliza died in the Alfred Hospital 2 1/2 hours after the robbery of the hardware store and State Bank agency in Warren Road.

It is the first time in almost four years that anyone has been killed in an armed holdup in Victoria.  The description of the robber given to police by the dying woman was a ginger haired, freckled man in his mid 20s.

Detectives last night said there was no obvious motive for the killing.  “It’s a hold up gone wrong” said Detective Sergeant Geoff Burrows of the homicide squad.  “What caused a shot to be fired we don’t know”.

Two safes were opened in the robbery, both by key; $3000 was missing – but police do not know whether Mrs Hanmer was shot before or after the robber got the money.

Police believe she was alone when robbed. Detectives said the man would have left through the front door, but no one saw him although the shop is in a block of about 10 small businesses.

A woman who lives in a flat behind a neighbouring shop has told police that she had heard a shot and a cry for help.  The woman told the staff of a hairdressing salon who called for an ambulance.  A hairdresser, 18, checked the hardware store to see if the cry for help had come from there and found Mrs Hanmer lying behind the counter clutching the telephone receiver.

The proprietor of a nearby milkbar bathed the wounded woman’s forehead with a cloth.  He said Mrs Hanmer appear to have dragged herself from where she was shot but had collapsed at the telephone.  He said the couple had 3 children and had run the shop for about 18 months but Mr Hanmer had not been there when the robbery occurred because he was ill.

On 18 August 2000, Gregory John “Bluey” Brazel voluntarily confessed to the 1982 murder, seeking to make a deal with police officers that no life term would be imposed before agreeing to make a statement.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 18th September 1854

When gold was first discovered in Beechworth in 1852, John Edward Cox was one of the first to arrive and set up business. He quickly became well known in the Spring Creek Digging as a reliable and trusted gentleman. With his business growing almost overnight with more and more miners arriving in the search for gold, John made his money selling mining equipment to the miners. On an outing to Albury, John had partaken in a day’s gambling where he won 1200 pounds. In a time where you’re lucky to make a pound a week this was considered quite a windfall. On the way back to Beechworth John was robbed by a bushranger. He was made to pull his horse and cart over to the side of the road where he was hit repeatedly over the back of the head with a sharp object which punctured his skull. The front of his face was so badly fractured that he was almost unrecognisable. He then had a rope tied around his neck, the rope thrown over a branch and tied to his horse. By slapping the horse on the rump the animal walked forward and John was slowly lifted off his seat and hanged. This is known as a short drop hanging and was very common on the American gold fields. He was then robbed of his money. It was strongly believed that the killer had watched him win. Stranger though was that, almost 2 years to the day, another man was murdered in the same place and in the same manner. John’s murderer was never found. John was buried in the first Beechworth Cemetery, only to have his body exhumed in three years and moved to the current cemetery. At his funeral almost 3000 were in attendance.

 

 

ON THIS DAY …….17th August 1958

Four young married men were found guilty of unlawfully killing a man they enticed to a vacant allotment to rob him, on this day in 1958.  The Criminal Court jury convicted them of the manslaughter of Geoffrey Moon, 41, who was known as “Tom the Singer.”  The prisoners were acquitted of murder. Mr. Justice Lowe remanded them for sentence.  They are George Furlong, 23, of East Preston; Raymond Watts, 27, painter, of East Preston; Francis Lever, 35, sander, of East Preston and Grahame Best, 22, driver, of Ascot Vale.

ON THIS DAY – July 27, 1924

At the Detective Office yesterday afternoon a telephone message was received from the Benalla police, stating that the body of Miss Bridget Enwright, who has been missing, from her home at Staghorn Flat since July 27, was found partly covered with clay, at Staghorn Flat, in circumstances indicating foul play (says a Melbourne message in the “News”). A detective has been dispatched to investigate the matter.

Miss Enwright (as briefly reported in yesterday’s “Miner”) was 69 years of age, and lived alone on her farm, which is in the Yackandandah district, and ís 198 miles from Melbourne. Her prolonged absence from home caused concern among residents, and search parties were organised to examine the surrounding country. Until yesterday morning their efforts were unsuccessful. At one time 50 mounted men were searching. Miss Enwright was seen talking to a young man about two miles from her home on July 27, and though she is believed to have returned to the house she was not again seen alive. Two weeks ago, however, a constable from Kiewa and local residents visited her home, and found signs that a robbery had been committed. The back door was unlocked, and one of the bedrooms was in disorder. Among other things discovered were an empty purse and handbag. In the house, however, there were no signs of struggle.

By 1800s in Victoria there were 160 crimes that were punishable by death, here is a list of some crimes.

Accessory to homosexuality
Adultery
Armed robbery
Arson
Arson in royal dockyards
Assisting the enemy
Attempted suicide

Being illegally at large
Being in the company of Gypsies for one month
Blacking the face whilst committing a crime
Burglary

Capital murder
Carnal knowledge of a child
Cattle Stealing
Causing a fire or explosion in a naval dockyard
Causing a fire or explosion in a ship
Causing a fire or explosion in a magazine
Causing a fire or explosion in a warehouse
Child abuse
Course of robbery which involves the use of offensive weapons
Course burglary which involves the use of offensive weapons
Cutting down trees in an avenue of honour
Cutting down trees in a private orchard
Cutting down trees in public place.

Disguise one self whilst committing a crime

Espionage

Failure to suppress a mutiny with intent to assist the enemy.
Forgery

Giving false air signals
Grand larceny – theft of goods worth more than 12 pence

High Treason
Horse Stealing
Homosexuality
Homosexual behaviour

Impersonating an Egyptian
Incest
Incitement to mutiny
Infanticide

Kidnapping
Killing a person consider to be evil
Knowingly and intentionally killing another person

Manslaughter
Murder
Murder of a child
Murder in the course or furtherance of theft
Murder by shooting or causing an explosion
Murder while resisting arrest or during an escape
Murder of a police officer
Murder of a police officer during the course of his duties
Murder of a prison officer by a prisoner
Mutiny

Obstructing operations

Petty theft
Piracy with violence
Premeditated killing of another person
Prostitutes who is the daughter of priests

Rape
Rape of a child
Robbery

Sexual Assault
Serious misconduct in action
Shoplifting
Sodomy
Strong evidence of malice in a child aged 7–14 years of age

Treason
Turned a blind to homosexuality

ON THIS DAY – May 3, 1942

IVY McLEOD

ALBERT PARK 1942

40 year old Ivy Violet McLeod, was found strangled in Victoria Avenue, Albert Park in Melbourne on 3 May 1942. She was partly naked and had been badly beaten by her attacker. An American soldier had been seen in the area just before her body was discovered. Robbery did not appear to be the motive for the crime as her purse still contained about one Pound’s worth of small change.

At the City Police court on the 15th of March 1870, Joseph Brown, John Smith and George Brown, alias Walsh, were charged with stealing from the till at the Mistletoe hotel, McKenzie street, Melbourne. On the 2nd of March the prisoners went into the bar, and called for some drinks. After being served the barmaid had occasion to leave the bar for a few minutes, and upon her return noticed that the till was opened, and all the money (about 5shillings) gone. She accused the prisoners of having taken the money, but they denied all knowledge of it. She, however, called a policeman, who searched the prisoners, and found some money on them, one shilling and one sixpence being identified by both the barmaids as having been in the till a short time prior to the robbery. The constable took the prisoners into custody, and hand cuffed John Smith and George Brown together but, on the road to the lock-up they managed to slip their handcuffs and escape. Both men were afterwards ultimately arrested in Geelong.

Photo showing the archeological dig of Mistletoe Hotel

EXECUTED THIS DAY – March 1, 1858

On the 1st of March 1858, at 8am the convicts Edward Brown and William Jones, who were found guilty at the Ballarat Sessions of the crime of robbery with violence, were executed at Melbourne Gaol. Edward Brown, who belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, was attended in his last moments by the Rev. Mr. Stack, and had, on the previous day, received the Sacrament of confirmation from the Right Rev. Dr. Goold. He was the elder man of the two prisoners, having been born in London in the year 1831. He arrived in this colony free by the ship Othello, in 1852, but had been sent bond to Van Diemen’s Land previously. He was a labouring man. The younger convict, William Jones, arrived in the colony free, in the Andromache, in the year 1849, and was but 23 years of age, having been born in 1835, at Towersley, in Buckinghamshire. He was a member of the Baptist persuasion, and was attended by the Rev. Mr. Taylor, Baptist minister, and at the scaffold by the Bev. Mr. Stoddart, chaplain of the gaol. The prisoner Brown had been twice convicted prior to the commission of the crime for which he suffered, namely, of vagrancy, in 1853, for which he received a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, and again of the same offence in 1857. Jones was once convicted of horse-stealing and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Very few persons besides the proper authorities were present at the execution. Neither of the unhappy men spoke a word, but seemed much downcast. They appeared to suffer when the drop fell for some moments. The bodies, after hanging the usual time, were cut down, and the formal inquest having been held upon them, were interred at the Melbourne cemetery at a late hour in the afternoon.

 

 

ON THIS DAY……19th December 1891

A young man named William Trask was brought up on remand on the charge of assaulting and robbing a shearer, named Robert Stewart, of £6 17s. Trask was remanded to the Geelong Gaol for three months.