ON THIS DAY – DECEMBER 14, 1956
The finding of the battered bodies of two women in their home in North Fitzroy yesterday has provided Melbourne police with the greatest murder mystery since the killing of teenager Shirley Collins, three years ago. The dead women were Mrs, Mary Boanas, 82, and her daughter, Mrs. Rose Fisher, 52, of Brunswick st, North Fitzroy. Robbery is believed to be the motive for the killings. Det. Inspector G. Petty, in charge of homicide at Russell Street, said tonight that they had no definite lead in the case. “The crime could have been committed by anyone but it is more likely that someone who knew that the women had a lot of money in the house was responsible,” he said.Mrs. Boanas, an invalid, lived with her daughter in a neat, well-kept two bedroom house in North Fitzroy. Police said the killer missed £1,037 which had been hidden in drawers, but there may have been several thousand pounds taken by him.Detectives were told that women led a life of almost complete detachment from the neighbours and were rarely seen outside the house, The time of the killings been set between 8am, and 8 p.m. on Friday The bodies were not found until 4.30 yesterday noon. Mrs. Boanas’ sister, Mrs. R. Moss, became suspicious when she found a parcel of eggs which had been left on the doorstep by another sister on Friday. After letting herself in, Mrs. Moss found Mrs. Boanas dead in a bed in her ground floor bedroom. There was a severe wound behind Mrs, Boanas’ left ear. There were no signs of a struggle. The body of Mrs. Fisher was found face down on the floor of the kitchen, with severe head wounds. Police believe the killer had crept up on her, as there were no signs of a struggle. The murder weapon has not been found, but it is believed to be a blunt instrument, such as a wrench. The two women had lived for many years in Peking (China) but came to Australia after the Japanese attack in 1936. Mrs. Fisher’s husband, a proprietor of a newspaper, stayed there and was killed. Police do not think the killings had any association with their life in China. It is thought that the women distrusted banks, and that this was the reason for the large sum of money being hidden in the house.