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ON THIS DAY – JULY 7, 1948

CHARGED with having wounded Francis Gerald Ryan with intent to murder him, Eugene Francis Fitzpatrick, medical practitioner, of Como pde, Mentone, appeared before the Geelong City Court yesterday. He pleaded not guilty. Ryan, a fish merchant, of Derby st, Kensington, said that he and George Sevior went to Barwon Heads on July 6, and soon afterwards went to see Dr and Mrs Fitzpatrick, whom he had known for six or seven years, and who invited them to have tea with them. After tea he and Sevior, with the Fitzpatricks, went to his (Ryan’s) house and had some liquor. Later Mrs Fitzpatrick remarked that the doctor had had too much liquor, and should go to bed. Ryan offered to take the doctor home. After showing some resentment Fitzpatrick was assisted to the back door of his house. Mrs Fitzpatrick had remained behind so that her husband might drop off to sleep before she went in. Ryan returned home, and soon afterward, as he and Mrs Fitzpatrick were talking, he heard a row and a gunshot at the back of the house. He went to the back door and was shot in the right elbow.

“WERE GREAT FRIENDS”

To Mr R. V. Monahan, KC (for Fitzpatrick), Ryan said that he and the doctor were great friends, and no reason was given for the doctor wanting “to harm him.

George Francis Sevior, fish hawker, of Altona, said he went to bed about midnight. Ryan rushed into his room and said, “Get up quickly. Someone is shooting through the back door.” He heard several shots. Ryan went to the back door. A shot was fired, and Ryan was shot. He heard five shots fired.

“COME OUT, RYAN”

Senior-constable Simpson said he was called at 2am on July 7 by Ryan, who was accompanied by Sevior and Mrs Fitzpatrick. Five minutes later he heard a noise on the front verandah, and Fitzpatrick called out, “Open the door. I know Ryan is here. Come out, Ryan, you aren’t going to do that to me and get away with it.” Through the door he asked Fitzpatrick what was the matter. Fitzpatrick replied, “Let me in. I’ve shot Ryan, and I’ll shoot him again.” Witness opened the door and saw Fitzpatrick holding a gun. He seized him and took the gun away. At the Geelong detective office Fitzpatrick, when told that Ryan had been shot, said he “could not remember a thing about it.” The hearing was adjourned.

ON THIS DAY – June 2, 1921

PATRICK DUFF – MORDIALLOC

Arthur Ernest Dowling 17 years, who was convicted of the manslaughter of Patrick Duff by shooting him at Mordialloc on June 2, was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour, until at the conclusion he is to be detained in a reformatory during the Governor’s pleasure.

ON THIS DAY – December 22, 1912

ALBERT PARK
DEATH SENTENCE FOR MURDER.

At the Criminal Court Joseph Victor Pfeffer, 32, butcher’s assistant, was charged with having on the 22nd of December, at Albert Park, murdered Florence Victoria Whitley, aged 23, domestic servant and sister-in-law of the accused. The Crown Prosecutor stated that the murdered girl had for three or four years prior to the tragedy been living at the accused’s house. During lunch hour on December 12 Pfeffer clambered over the back gate of Kennett’s house, in Mill-street, Albert Park, and made his way into the kitchen, where the maid and her mistress were seated at a table together. Then the accused shot the girl. Evidence in support of the Crown case was given by a number of witnesses, and the defendant made a statement from the dock. He said, ‘From when I woke up on the morning of the murder until I saw the police I remember nothing of what happened. I have my brother here in court. He has wandered out of his mind, and has roamed about the country in that condition for three weeks before being arrested. At Geelong I had an accident before I went to the war. and was laid up in the hospital for a fortnight. While in South Africa, I had several bullet wounds, and was hurt inwardly through the fall off a horse. Another time when taken prisoner I was hit on the head with the butt end of a rifle, and I have since suffered from headaches off and on, and I really think there are times when I don’t know what I am doing. There was insanity on my father’s side and on my mother’s. One or my relatives hanged himself, another shot himself, and my brother has been in a lunatic asylum for some years. I do not remember anything at all about the murder. After rather more than an hour’s retirement the jury returned with a verdict of guilty, adding a rider expressing regret that in view of the character of the defence, no evidence had been brought forward to settle the question of the accused’s sanity. Mr. Woinarski said the Crown, was in a position to rebut any evidence on that point that might have been brought forward. His Honor would take a note of the jury’s rider. He then passed sentence of death upon the accused,

 

ON THIS DAY – October 21, 2002

The Monash University shooting refers to a shooting in which a student shot his classmates and teacher, killing two and injuring five. It took place at Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 21 October 2002. The gunman, Huan Yun Xiang, was acquitted of crimes related to the shootings due to mental impairment, and is currently under psychiatric care. Several of the people present in the room of the shootings have been commended for their bravery in tackling Xiang and ending the shooting. At 11:24 a.m. on 21 October,Huan Yun “Allen” Xiang a commerce student at the university, armed with six loaded handguns, opened fire in room E 659 of the Menzies Building on Monash’s Clayton campus in an econometrics class containing twelve students. People in the classroom were initially confused by the noise and by Xiang screaming “You never understand me!” from the desk he was standing on. Xiang killed two students in the room: Xu Hui “William” Wu, an international student from Hong Kong and neighbour of Xiang’s in Melbourne; and Steven Chan, a student from Doncaster. Xiang wounded five others: lecturer Lee Gordon-Brown, who was shot in the arm and knee; student Daniel Urbach, who was wounded in the shoulder and arm; student Laurie Brown, who was wounded in the leg and abdomen; student Christine Young, who was shot in the face; and student Leigh Dat Huynh, who was discharged from hospital within a day. When Xiang stopped shooting and moved to switch weapons, Lee Gordon-Brown, the injured lecturer, grabbed Xiang’s hands as he reached into his jacket. Gordon-Brown and a student in the room, Alastair Boast, a trained wing chun practitioner, tackled him. Bradley Thompson later entered the room and discovered five guns in holsters around Xiang’s waist, including two Berettas, a Taurus, and two revolvers, as well as two magazines from near his hip. Gordon-Brown and Boast were assisted by a passing lecturer from a nearby room, Brett Inder, to restrain Xiang for thirty minutes until police arrived, while Thompson and university administrator Colin Thornby, provided first aid. They both received Red Cross “Community Hero” awards for their assistance. At least one injured student reportedly left the room and sought help for his injuries from security staff. Xiang was deemed by police to be unfit for interview but wrote a note referring to William Wu after his arrest saying “I finally ended WW’s life.” All classes in the Menzies Building were cancelled for the rest of the day and the university set up counselling stations.

 

 

ON THIS DAY…… 21st September 1914

On the 21st September, 1914 at 6.40pm, a man named Hugh Brown entered the bar of the Rifle Brigade Hotel. He was served a beer by the barmaid, 24 year old Annie Foley. While drinking, he asked to see the licencee, Mrs Frances Jefferson. Annie went off to the dining area where Frances and her mother, Caroline Ashley were having tea, and relayed the message. In the meantime, barman George Davis took over the bar from Annie. Brown asked again to see Mrs Jefferson. Brown went to the dining room to find Mrs Jefferson, who was now alone in there as Mrs Ashley and Annie had gone upstairs. Mrs Jefferson met Brown in the bar and enquired how he was finding the camp. Although Brown was a chauffeur he had enlisted in the Army. Mrs Jefferson and Brown had known each other for a long time. Brown answered that camp was fine but that he had tried to enter the hotel at 11.30pm the other night and that Mrs Jefferson had not let him. He stated to Mrs Jefferson “that you have not been fair to me tonight” and with that drew an automatic pistol from his suit pocket and fired at the woman. Mrs Jefferson ran into the bar parlour, the shot missing her, she then ran upstairs calling out “Mother”. When she reached the top of the stairs, she fell, crying out “I’m shot”. Mrs Ashley and Annie came to see what was going on. Brown reached the top of the stairs and Annie pushed past him and ran downstairs. Brown turned and fired a shot at Annie. Brown then attempted to shoot himself but Mrs Ashley grabbed his arm, and the shot missed. Brown went down the stairs finding Annie, fired again at her, this time hitting her in the right hand and the left breast. The barman Davis caught hold of her and placed her in a chair in the parlour. Brown was also in the parlour and fired two shots at himself, one in the left breast and on in the head, killing himself. When the police arrived they found Annie and Hugh Brown dead in the parlour from gunshot wounds of a Browning revolver.

On This Day – September 10, 1943

Arising out of the shooting of John W. Biencourt, 46, garage proprietor, of East Malvern, on September 10, two young boys were committed to trial by the Coroner today on charges of murder. They are: Douglas Carpenter, 18, dairy hand, and Eric Mattison, 10, schoolboy. The Coroner found that Biencourt was wilfully and maliciously shot by Carpenter, aided and abetted by Mattison.

Mrs Irene Biencourt said noises were heard in the garage early on the morning of September 10. Her husband went towards the garage, carrying a shot gun. She heard two shots and her husband fell, saying, ‘He got me in the stomach.’ Detective Bateman said he went to a house in Malvern and saw two boys on a bed together. He took a pistol from under the bed. Both admitted they had been in the garage, and they made a signed statement

ON THIS DAY – JULY 7, 1948

CHARGED with having wounded Francis Gerald Ryan with intent to murder him, Eugene Francis Fitzpatrick, medical practitioner, of Como pde, Mentone, appeared before the Geelong City Court yesterday. He pleaded not guilty. Ryan, a fish merchant, of Derby st, Kensington, said that he and George Sevior went to Barwon Heads on July 6, and soon afterwards went to see Dr and Mrs Fitzpatrick, whom he had known for six or seven years, and who invited them to have tea with them. After tea he and Sevior, with the Fitzpatricks, went to his (Ryan’s) house and had some liquor. Later Mrs Fitzpatrick remarked that the doctor had had too much liquor, and should go to bed. Ryan offered to take the doctor home. After showing some resentment Fitzpatrick was assisted to the back door of his house. Mrs Fitzpatrick had remained behind so that her husband might drop off to sleep before she went in. Ryan returned home, and soon afterward, as he and Mrs Fitzpatrick were talking, he heard a row and a gunshot at the back of the house. He went to the back door and was shot in the right elbow.

“WERE GREAT FRIENDS”

To Mr R. V. Monahan, KC (for Fitzpatrick), Ryan said that he and the doctor were great friends, and no reason was given for the doctor wanting “to harm him.

George Francis Sevior, fish hawker, of Altona, said he went to bed about midnight. Ryan rushed into his room and said, “Get up quickly. Someone is shooting through the back door.” He heard several shots. Ryan went to the back door. A shot was fired, and Ryan was shot. He heard five shots fired.

“COME OUT, RYAN”

Senior-constable Simpson said he was called at 2am on July 7 by Ryan, who was accompanied by Sevior and Mrs Fitzpatrick. Five minutes later he heard a noise on the front verandah, and Fitzpatrick called out, “Open the door. I know Ryan is here. Come out, Ryan, you aren’t going to do that to me and get away with it.” Through the door he asked Fitzpatrick what was the matter. Fitzpatrick replied, “Let me in. I’ve shot Ryan, and I’ll shoot him again.” Witness opened the door and saw Fitzpatrick holding a gun. He seized him and took the gun away. At the Geelong detective office Fitzpatrick, when told that Ryan had been shot, said he “could not remember a thing about it.” The hearing was adjourned.

ON THIS DAY – June 2, 1921

PATRICK DUFF – MORDIALLOC

Arthur Ernest Dowling 17 years, who was convicted of the manslaughter of Patrick Duff by shooting him at Mordialloc on June 2, was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour, until at the conclusion he is to be detained in a reformatory during the Governor’s pleasure.

ON THIS DAY….. 28th May 1892

Peter Smith was charged with shooting with intent to murder a man named Taylor at Bullarto. Both men were “spielers,” and had a difference. Smith waylaid Taylor on May 28 and fired several shots at him. Taylor escaped, but was severely wounded. The jury found Smith guilty, and the death sentence was recorded.

 

ON THIS DAY – May 12, 1919

MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE SHOOTING

Henry Stokes, was charged with having wounded, with intent to murder, Henry Slater, in Little Collins-Street on May 12, was granted bail by Mr. Justice Hood. Slater is in the Melbourne Hospital as a result of having been shot with a revolver. Bail was refused by the City Court Bench last week, and on the same day an application was made to Mr. Justice Hood, who then declined to grant bail. This afternoon a further application was made, and this was supported by fresh affidavits. Stokes, in an affidavit, stated that immediately after his arrest, he informed the police that he acted in self-defence in an encounter with Slater. Mr. Justice Hood granted bail, which was fixed at the accused’s surety of £L000, and one surety of £1,000, or two of £500 ea. It was made a condition of the bail that the accused should report to the detective office each day.

ON THIS DAY – May 1, 1967

A man on remand until to-morrow on an extradition hearing appeared in the Central Court today charged with having murdered a woman in Melbourne on May 1.

He is Raymond Patrick O’Connor, meat worker, of Castlereagh Street, City, who is charged with the murder of Shirley Bowker, 31, of Dight Street, Collingwood, Victoria.

The court was told that Mrs Bowker was fatally wounded after several shots were fired into a crowd following a brawl outside a Richmond hall.

Raymond Patrick O’Connor was again refused bail when he appeared in the City Court today charged with the murder of Mrs Shirley Bowker, 31, on May 1. He was remanded to May 31. Mr K. Colenian, for O’Connor, said his client would report to police twice daily if allowed bail.

 

 

On This Day – April 28, 1996

Today marks the anniversary of 35 people who lost their lives at the hands of a gunman at the beautiful Port Arthur Historic Site in Tasmania, Australia.  Their deaths changed Australia forever.

In Memory Of:

Winifred Aplin
Walter Bennett
Nicole Burgess
Sou Leng Chung
Elva Gaylard
Zoe Hall
Elizabeth Howard
Mary Howard
Mervyn Howard
Ronald Jary
Tony Kistan
Leslie Lever
Sarah Loughton
David Martin
Sally Martin
Pauline Masters
Alannah Mikac
Madeline Mikac
Nanette Mikac
Andrew Mills
Peter Nash
Gwenda Neander
Mo Yee William Ng
Anthony Nightingale
Mary Nixon
Glenn Pears
Russell Pollard
Janette Quin
Helene Maria Salzmann
Robert Salzmann
Kate Scott
Kevin Sharp
Raymond Sharp
Royce Thompson
Jason Winter