ON THIS DAY …….6th August 1938

After a retirement of four hours a jury in the Criminal Court found Edward Allan May aged 30, laborer, not guilty of having murdered Mrs. Yoland Joan Shirley Bordin aged 21, of Carlton, but guilty of manslaughter. He was remanded for sentence after having admitted to prior convictions, including a gaol sentence of five years for armed assault with intent to rob. Mrs. Bordin, who was living apart from her Italian husband, was found bleeding to death from a knife wound at Carlton early on this day in 1938. Some distance away was a long-bladed hunting knife.

ON THIS DAY – July 30, 1993

A body found in Melbourne’s outer south-east on Friday night was that of the missing Frankston school girl Natalie Jayne Russell, 17, police confirmed yesterday.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Halloran, of the Homicide Squad, said there were similarities between the killing and the stabbing murders of two women in the Frankston area in the last seven weeks. “Examinations show that she died as a result of stab wounds or knife wounds to the upper body,” Inspector Halloran said. “At this early stage we are open-minded about it but there are similarities between this and the two recent murders,” he said. Debbie Fream, a 22-year-old mother, was found slain in the area three weeks ago, and the body of an 18-year-old student, Elizabeth Anne-Marie Stevens, was discovered in June. Both died as a result of stab wounds.Inspector Halloran said there were no signs of sexual assault in any of the three killings. Natalie Russell’s body was found by two State Emergency Service workers at about 11pm on Friday night in a heavily wooded area. She was lying face down, in thick scrub about 3m from a bike track. About 150 detectives door-knocked almost 5000 houses in the Frankston area yesterday, as part of Operation Pulsar, in relation to the murder of Debbie Fream and the other crimes.

On This Day – June 19, 1980

Theresa Crowe, a vivacious young woman, had been found in her loft apartment, wrapped in a blanket, her body slashed from throat to groin. Despite the horrific wounds that prompted speculation that she had been killed in a satanic ritual, the cause of death was strangulation.

Malcolm Clarke knew her. They had met at a disco, Chaser’s, the year before.

A medical examiner found Crowe had been dead for 12 to 15 hours before she was found, on June 25, 1980. Clarke had an alibi for that period. She had in fact been dead five days, but the bitter winter cold and her unheated apartment had acted like a refrigerator, confusing the pathologist.

Clarke would finally confess to Theresa Crowe’s slaying and was sentenced to 11 years for manslaughter and a separate assault and rape.  Clarke would later be convicted of the murder of 6 year old Bonnie Clarke in 1982

ON THIS DAY – June 17, 1980

The fact the killer used a knife from Ms James’s kitchen to stab her 68 times suggests he didn’t come armed.

Fitzroy town clerk John James was listening on the telephone when his former wife was attacked by the killer in her Thornbury bookshop about noon on June 17, 1980.

She had a good relationship with her former husband and often rang him if she needed assistance with something, or wanted to talk to him about their two sons Mark and Adam.  Ms James rang Fitzroy Town Hall about 11.50am on the day she died and tried to speak to John James.  She was told by her former husband’s secretary, Isabella Fabris, that he was not at his desk.

Ms James said: “There’s someone in the shop. Tell him to ring me.”  Her former husband rang her back about five minutes later.  “Maria answered the phone and said `hang on please’,” Mr James said in his statement to police.  “I then held on and while doing this I heard discussion in the background and then a bit of a scream and then there was more discussion and then silence.  “I then started to get edgy and started to whistle into the phone to attract someone’s attention.  “I could then still hear the conversation in the background and I couldn’t hear the exact words but Maria was talking fairly loudly.  “I then heard a second scream. I then really thought something was wrong so I decided to go to the shop to see what was up.”

Mr James took about 15 minutes to get to the shop at 736 High St, Thornbury.

The front door was locked and a customer was standing outside.

Mr James and the customer looked through the window and both saw movement of the curtain that separated the shop from the rear living quarters, as though somebody was peeking through it.  Really worried by this time, Mr James went round the back and climbed through the kitchen window and started yelling, “Is anybody home?”  He opened the back door in case he needed to run out in a hurry.

“I then crept along the passage and on the left is my son’s room and I glanced in there and couldn’t see anything,” his statement to police said.  “I then reached over and turned the light on in her room and I saw her on the floor.  “Her eyes were open and there was blood all over the place. I knew she was dead.”

Mr James ran to a neighbour and phoned police.

He then went back to the front of the shop and was stunned to find the previously locked door was open and there was a woman customer browsing the bookshelves.  It appears certain the killer was still in the shop when Mr James arrived and left through the front door as Mr James was climbing in through the back window.

The killer left Ms James, fully clothed, lying on her back with her hands tied in front of her with twine.

ON THIS DAY – June 16, 1907

Dominic Tarrabouchier, an Austrian fisherman, who stabbed Constable Cawsey, who in turn shot him, at Portarlington on June 16, was before the City Court, charged with wounding and assaulting with intent to murder May Mitchell. The accused was remanded.


ON THIS DAY – June 8, 1968

Mr Justice Lush pronounced the death sentence for the second time in a week in the Criminal Court yesterday, when a labourer, 20, was found guilty of murdering his 17 year old former girlfriend.

The youth, Leigh Robinson, of Markham Avenue, Ashburton,  sat down when he heard the death sentence, put his head in his hands and wept silently.

Mr Justice Lush asked him if he had anything to say. “No Sir”, Robinson replied.

Robinson was charged with having murdered Valerie Ethel Dunn at her home in Margot Street, Chadstone on June 8.

Evidence was given that the girl was stabbed 16 times and that a youth who tried to rescue her was also stabbed by Robinson.

The jury retired at 11.42am and returned a verdict of guilty at 12.40pm.

Robinson pleaded not guilty at the beginning of his trial, which started on Monday – four days after Mr Justice Lush had sentenced Irwin Richard Hans Weise to death for the murder of his wife.

On This Day …….. 21st April 1858

One of the most shocking murders which has ever been seen in Beechworth occurred at Chinaman’s Flat. Luke Lyons and Patrick Saxton arrived in the Colony together and were believed to be sharing a claim. The murderer and his victim were mates and up until the time of the fatal occurrence lived next to each other on terms of great friendship. On the evening of the murder the men were drinking together, in the company of Patrick’s family. After two bottles of brandy were drunk, the conversation turned to arranging a marriage alliance between Luke and Patrick’s sister. After all the brandy was finished, Luke left the tent for the purpose of procuring more brandy. Instead of going for the liquor as he intended he loitered outside the tent, and heard himself spoken of by the Saxton’s in terms of disparagement. Rushing into the tent, Luke started a violent rant before leaving the tent. Patrick followed and the fight began. The argument was taken into Luke’s tent and whilst in the tent Patrick was stabbed by Luke. When they both struggled out together, it was discovered that a wound from a knife, or another sharp instrument, had been inflicted, and that Patrick’s entrails were protruding some inches from his stomach. A blow was also made at Patrick’s brother with a knife by Luke, but he was only slightly hurt. Patrick died in front of his tent. Luke, having run off in the bush, was apprehended about an hour afterwards by Detective Alexander. An inquest was held on the body of Patrick Saxton, and after hearing the evidence, the Jury was divided in opinion but a majority concurred in the verdict of wilful murder, and the prisoner was committed for trial. On July the 21st, Luke Lyons was found guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced to three years hard labour on the roads.


ON THIS DAY – November 14, 1902

An inquest was made on the 14th of November 1902, concerning the death of Michael Wynne, aged 35, who died on the 7th of November from a stab with a knife in the abdomen. The jury found that death was due to a stab inflicted by Patrick Gibbons, who was guilty of wilful murder. Gibbons, who is an elderly man, was committed for trial.


On This Day – November 6, 1880

A resident of Ondit, near Colac, named Martin Tenas, a Belgian, aged 60, stabbed his wife, Bridget Theresa Tenas, aged 45, in four places on November 6, and afterwards cut his own throat. The persons had been married 20 years, and have six children. The man alleges jealousy as the cause of his action, but there appears no foundation for it. The wounded woman died two days afterwards, and the murderer subsequently made a voluntary statement, accusing his wife of infidelity, and stating that on the night when he stabbed her he heard a noise in the paddock, and went out, thinking it was the man he suspected. On his return his wife laughed at him, and he stabbed her. He afterwards cut his own throat, as he loved her and his children, and thought they had better die together. The prisoner has been committed for trial for wilful murder.

Two murders have happened in the small town of Beech Forest, in the Colac Otway Shire, of Victoria. The first was between to Russian immigrants. John Friedman, was arrested on a charge of having wilfully murdering Charles Nunn, at leaver’s Hill, Beech Forest, on the 9th May 1912. Friedman and Nunn were both new immigrants and had only recently arrived in Australia. During a fight Friedman with a butcher’s knife stabbed Nunn under the ribs on the left side. Death occurred from the wound some hours later. Friedman claimed that Nunn and he had a quarrel, and Nunn caught him by the throat. He had a knife in his hand at the time and did not know that Nunn had been stabbed until told so afterwards. The second was happened on the 14th of Match 1916. A 4 year old girl named Foley, daughter of a waitress at the Ditchley Park Hotel went missing and was found the following day behind the hotel. Foley had her throat cut from ear to ear. A man by the man of George Henry Leake was found guilty of her murder. Both men where housed in the old Beech Forest police lockup which today stands in the town park.

‪ON THIS DAY – October 19, 1945


A mother of six children was charged in the Bendigo Supreme Court today with the murder of her husband who, according to the Crown, was stabbed in the abdomen on October 19 after he arrived home ‘drunk and in raging temper.’ The accused is Mrs. Dorothy Franklin (42) and the husband was Eric Franklin (41), a railway fitter who died in hospital on October 20. The Crown Prosecutor said that the statement made by Mrs. Franklin declared that her husband struck her several times and attempted to kill her. When he struck her again she seized a bread knife and threatened to run it into him if he came near her. The next thing she knew was that he had been stabbed. In hospital her husband told her to say that he had tripped and fallen against the knife. After 20 minutes consideration the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

ON THIS DAY – October 10, 1943


After 20 minutes consideration, the jury at the Bendigo Supreme Court today acquitted Mrs. Dorothy Frances Franklin, 42. of a charge of murdering her husband. Eric Franklin. 42. rail fitter, at Castlemaine on October 10. The Crown alleged that during the quarrel at their home, Franklin struck his wife. who stabbed him with a large breadknife while they struggled.