On this day …….. 25th of December 1925

Clarice Hurst (32) a single man, sustained fatal head injuries when he was riding on the scenic railway at Luna Park on Christmas night. The trolly in which he was seated at rear jolted Hurat from his seat and his head struck the scaffolding above. The carriages were stopped, and the sufferer was conveyed to hospital suffering from lacerations and a fractured base of the skull. He succumbed to his injuries early.


On this day …….. 22nd of December 1923

Madge Bolton, 21 years, was injured at Luna Park on this night in 1923, her forehead being badly cut and her nose smashed and cut, and her forehead requiring 14 stitches. Lorna Eyres got into the water chute boat at about 10.30 pm the seat at the other end being occupied by Robert Williams, 27 years, and Bolton. The boat after leaving the water, landed safely, but in negotiating a sharp turn, after landing, the occupants were, jolted out of their seats. Each clung to the hand rail, but Miss Bolton’s head-struck a beam. When the boat pulled up she was lying unconscious, huddled in a corner, her head hanging over the side. Miss Eyres was slightly injured about the head, and Williams had two teeth knocked out.


On this day …….. 21st of December 1936

Falling from one of the cars of the ‘big dipper’ at Luna Park, St. Kilda, on this day in 1936, Harry Maltby (22), of Albert Park, was struck by another car and was so severely injured that he died. Maltby, who was accompanied by Vincent Clancy of Albert Park, was riding in one of the three cars of the ‘big dipper’ train. He stood up and fell onto another track of the ‘big dipper.’ The brakeman applied the brakes and then rushed across and tried to drag Maltby clear of the rails, but Maltby’ s clothing was entangled in the brake slides. Another train struck Maltby, and then struck the rear of the train from which he had fallen.


ON THIS DAY – December 15, 1926



Henry Tacke 1926

After three hours’ retirement, the jury to-night returned a verdict of manslaughter In the case of Henry Tacke (65, importer) who was charged in the Criminal Court with having murdered Mrs. Rachel Currell (35) at Mary-street, St. Kilda, on December 15. Five bullets were found in Mrs. Currell’s body. The jury added a recommendation to mercy, and Tacke was remanded for sentence. Frederick Currell, barman, husband of the dead woman, said that he had known Tacke for 21 years. He knew that his wife and Tacke had been to Adelaide and Sydney several times on business. Tacke had paid 90 guineas for an operation for Mrs. Currell before the shooting. Tacke had told witness that he wished to make an appointment to apologise to Mrs. Currell for the way he had spoken to her. He did not see Tacke again until Decemnber 15, when he was awakened by him at about 10.15 p.m. Tacke said he wanted to see Mrs. Currell. Witness refused, but Mrs. Currell then came out, and Tacke went inside. He then knocked witness behind the ear, and pulled out a revolver and fired at Mrs. Currell. Witness ran away, and Tacke fired at him without effect.  Under cross-examination Currell said that he did not inquire from his wife what her relations were with Tacke when they went away together. He knew that Tacke was giving her money, and supposed that it was for the secretarial work which she did for him. When Mrs. Currell was ill Tacke had sent her delicacies. Currell admitted that Tacke might have paid for a holiday that Mrs. Currell had at Daylesford after her operation. When Tacke and Mrs. Currell went away money was left for him to live on, as he had been out of work for some time, but he did not know where the money came from. Witness said that he did not know that while he was out of work Tacke was giving his wife £5 a week. He did not suspect, and never would, that there was any intimacy between Tacke and his wife. He had been married for 15 years. and was on affectionate terms with his wife.  Henry Tacke, in giving evidence, said that he met Mrs. Currell in February, 1925, and mlsconduct continued between them until October last. Accused said that Mrs. Currell went for a holiday at his expense, and that he had paid for an operation she had. When her husband was out of work he (accused) gave her £5 a week. He also gave her £75 worth of clothes.  On the night of December 15 he went down to see Mrs. Currell about an account. He had had to borrow some money that day to keep himself going. Currell was on the verandah. He was in a fighting attitude, and accused struck him. Mrs. Currell ran over and hit him (accused) three heavy blows. As he was pulling out a revolver with the intention of frightening Mrs. Currell it went off. She ran inside. He fired four more shots into the hall to frighten her. He also fired wide at her husband as he ran away. Witness then went into the hall and had a look round to see that every thing was all right. He did not see Mrs. Currell. In answer to a question, Tacke said that he thought that the intimacy Between Mrs. Currell and himself ended in October because he had no more money.

On this day …….. 14th of December 193512380029_222360064761796_1657025283_n

Arrested in a police raid early in the morning, William Sylvester John Barrett, 22, labourer, of Drummond Street, Carlton, appeared in the City Court charged with having murdered, on or about December 7, William Herbert Irwine York, at St. Kilda. Barrett was remanded to December 23, and in compliance with a police request bail was refused. Having given evidence of Barrett’s arrest, Detective William Ferguson said, it is alleged, that about midnight on December 7, York was walking along Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda. Later he was found unconscious near St. Kilda Road. He was taken into the Alfred Hospital, where he was kept under observation and allowed to return home. His injuries took a serious turn on the following day and he died early on the morning of December 9, as a result, it is alleged, of injuries he received. A post-mortem examination showed that death was due to a number of fractures of the skull.’ Barrett had made a statement about the matter. Detective Ferguson concluded. Barrett, a well-built young man, was not represented by counsel.

12366740_222048201459649_246887403_nOn this day …….. 23rd of November 1930

Two business girls who share a flat in South Yarra were distressed when they found their pet cat dead. As their ‘yard’ consisted of a square or concrete, they could not give the body proper burial, and they did not like consigning it to the dust bin. After much debate, they decided to consign it to the sea, so they wrapped it up and put it in an old suit-case no longer required, together with a couple of bricks. On The 23rd of November 1930, they journeyed to Brighton, but the band was playing on the pier and the place was crowed with people no chance of getting rid of pussy there. So they went back to St. Kilda, determined to drop it off the end of the pier. Halfway along the pier a man spoke to one of them: ‘Excuse me, but are you Miss Jones?’ ‘No, certainly not,’ she replied, and was turning away when he snatched the suitcase and ran. The girls were too surprised to move for a moment, and then they laughed them selves to tears as they watched the man still running hard, disappear into the crowd on the Esplanade with the body




Barrett Committed for Trial.

12348579_219964965001306_458085827_nThe City Coroner Mr. Grant on Friday, committed Sylvester John Barrett labourer, for trial on a charge of having murdered William Herbert Irvine York, 26, tailor of St. Kilda. It was alleged at the inquest that during a street brawl at St. Kilda at midnight on December 7, York was struck on the head by Barrett and died from a fractured skull on December 9. Peggy Berry, a domestic, told the Court that on December 7 she saw Barrett, whom she had known for eight years, jump off a tram car and hit a man. Barrett then kicked the man three times In the head. When she got home Barrett was lying on her bed. He said. ‘We had some fun to-night. We knocked a man down.’ In a police statement read in Court, Barrett stated he had been attacked and acted in self defence. Barrett, who reserved his defence was committed for trial to the Supreme Court on February 17.

12319797_219974051667064_1739151403_nMrs. Elizabeth Patrick, 59, of East Prarhan, was shot dead while coming out of Luna Park on the night of the 20th of October 1940 with her husband. A brawl was in progress nearby when a shot was fired, hitting Mrs. Patrick in the stomach. She was, dead when taken to hospital. The police were informed that an attendants from sideshows attempted to quell the disturbance. It is alleged that one of the attendants drew a pistol to frighten the brawlers, and that it exploded. A man has been detained. During the disturbance a man, who was standing nearby received a bullet wound in the hand, while a Luna Park attendant received a flesh wound in the leg.

12335991_219661058365030_1964192791_nMurder behind Luna Park

John Joseph McCarthy aged 45, of Elwood, civil servant, died in hospital on the 6th of December 1938 from injuries received when, it is alleged, he was assaulted in a reserve behind Luna Park. Desmond Patrick Toole a salesman, of Elwood, who was released on bail after having been charged with assault, was rearrested and charged with murder



Edward Leeming. aged 19 years, salesman, of Bon Beach, was committed for trial on charge of attempted murder. Clarence Holford, commercial traveller, said that Leeming and he had been at St. Kilda on December 4.  Leeming had a revolver, and witness tried to get him to put it in his pocket. They walked along Carlisle-street, and Leeming said that he would throw the revolver, over a fence. Instead of doing so he fired at Holford, and the bullet entered his abdomen. A statement alleged to have been made by Leeming was read in court, Leeming stating the revolver had exploded accidentally. Leeming was also committed for trial on two charges of housebreaking and stealing.




Story of Incident In St. Kilda Reserve


While he was gathering bottles about 3.15 a.m. on December 4 in Spencer street, St. Kilda, Claude Fox, rubber worker, of St. Kilda, saw a man grab another man, pick him up and drag him beneath the wires of a fence towards a reserve. This was portion of the evidence given today at an inquest into the death of John Joseph McCarthy, 45, public servant, of Elwood. Desmond Toole, 27, of Elwood, a salesman, was committed for trial on a charge of murder.  McCarthy died in the Alfred Hospital on December 5. Toole. who was present at the inquest, did not give evidence. He was allowed bail in £500 with two sureties of £250 each. Fox, in evidence. said he called out to the man dragging the other one, but there was no reply. He continued dragging the other away into the reserve. Witness could hear groans coming from the man being dragged. Fox said That he called two constables, and they saw Toole moving away from where McCarthy was lying on the ground. McCarthy’s right-hand trouser pocket was turned inside out and his shoes and socks were lying about 15 yards away.

Accused’s Story

Constable Cock, of St. Kilda. said that when he arrived at the reserve McCarthy was lying on the ground unconscious, his face covered with blood. When he asked Toole what had happened, Toole said the man on the ground was a pervert and had attacked him, and he had given the man a good hiding. He had later undone the man’s collar and tie and taken off his shoes and socks in an attempt to revive him There was no money in McCarthy’s pockets. Toole’s hair and clothing were not damaged. Dr. R. S. Smibert, who examined McCarthy at the hospital on December 4, said death was due to cerebral haemorrhage, and the injuries were consistent with McCarthy’s having received a pummelling about the face. Charles Hope, of East St. Kilda traveller, said he met McCarthy and a friend on December 30. They visited some hotels, and after having supper at a cafe he left McCarthy at 130 a.m. to go home. McCarthy was then quite sober.