ON THIS DAY – July 2, 1900

John Ferrier, charged with the murder of Alice Elizabeth Aubrey at Dawson on July 2 was before the Sale Supreme Court today. Mr. Maxwell, who appeared for accused, intimated that the defence would be insanity, and asked for an adjournment of the case till September to admit of Ferrier being observed and examined, and other enquiries being made. The application was granted.

ON THIS DAY – May 13, 1900



The trial of Patrick John O’Keefe, on a charge of the murder of his brother-in-law (Frederick Richard Cohen) during a domestic scuffle at Drouin on May 13, concluded at Sale court house. The jury, after deliberating for an hour and a half, returned a verdict of not guilty.

Patrick O’Keefe shot his brother-in-law, F. R. Cohen, the licensee of the Royal Hotel.  A dispute is said to have occurred between Cohen and his wife, and O’Keefe entered the room in response to the request of his sister. A violent quarrel is said to have followed, and O’Keefe is alleged to have seized a breechloader and deliberately aimed at Cohen, and the charged entered the deceased’s neck. O’Keefe subsequently gave himself up, saying, ”I’ve murdered my brother-in-law.” He was arrested on his own accusation. The accused is 21 years of age, and is described as being of a quiet, inoffensive disposition.

ON THIS DAY – May 3, 1898



The trial of Ah Wing for the murder of Quong See, with an axe, on May 3, takes place at Sale on Thursday next, and 15 European and Chinese witnesses left here this morning by special coach for Sale. Mr. Conant, retained by the Crown, will appear for Ah Wing. The prisoner, who attempted to commit suicide by jumping down a shaft 100 ft. deep, sustaining severe injuries, left last week. In charge of Sergeant Pfundt. The defence will be that the prisoner was insane at the time the murder was committed.

ON THIS DAY – February 17, 1947


At the Sale watchhouse James Napper, 24, was charged with the murder of his father, Harry Napper, 56, and his sister, Phyllis Napper, 20. Napper was questioned by the police after his discharge from the Sale Hospital, where he had been admitted for treatment following his taking an overdose of aspirin. At the inquest a neighbour told of quarrels between Napper senior and Napper junior during the last few days before the murder. This neighbour told how he followed the arrested man to Napper senior’s home after an argument about the administration of the farm, which they worked on shares.


ON THIS DAY – January 22, 1893

John Conder was charged with the murder of an Indian hawker, Kaizi Singh, near Buchan on the 22nd January 1893. Conder it is believed to have shoot Singh before dismembering him, before burning the body in his hut fire. After a retirement of about two hours the jury returned a verdict of guilty. The prisoner, on being asked if he had anything to say, said that he was as innocent as a child, and that no murder had been committed at his place. Sentence of death was then passed. The judge said that he entirely agreed with the verdict and he held out not the slightest hope of the prisoner escaping the gallows. Conder listened attentively to all that the judge said and exclaimed, “I am innocent, your Honour.” He was taken at once to the condemned cell in the Sale gaol, and will be removed to Melbourne in a few days.




Murder Charge.

The trial of Walter James Anderson for the murder of Fred Flint, who met his death by poisoning at Merriman’s Creek, on Tuesday, December 10, took place on Wednesday at the Sale Supreme Court, before Mr Justice Hood. Mr Leon prosecuted for the Crown and Mr G. A. Maxwell, instructed by Mr Rice, appeared for accused. The following jury was empanelled — M, Taylor (foreman), A. Hogg, W. ; Elaton, T. J. Austin, J. M. Murphy, H. M’Lean, S. R. Lyndon, L. L. Atkinson, A. H. Latham, Clive Lett, F. Andrews, and J. Buchan. The evidence given at the inquest, with which our readers are conversant, was repeated. The jury retired to consider their verdict at 5.27 p.m., and six hours later, not having agreed, they were called into court. His Honour said he understood there was no chance of the jury agreeing. The Foreman : Not the slightest, your honour. His Honour then discharged the jury, remarking that they had no doubt considered the evidence carefully. Prisoner was then remanded for trial at Bairnsdale on 15th April.