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During the morning of May 19, 1905, Mrs. Tierney, who lived with her husband at his farm at Gymbowen, complained of a feeling of weakness and the loss of the use of her legs. Not much importance was attached to the attack, as in a few hours, Mrs. Tierney was well again, and performed her household duties as usual. During the afternoon the same feeling came over her, this time accompanied by twitchings of the body. ⁣

Her husband drove her to Dr R. K. Bird, of Natimuk, who examined her. When questioned by the doctor she stated that she had partaken of some tart for breakfast. Portions of the tart had a bitter taste, and the tea she had at that meal also had a bitter taste. The doctor suggested that some poison was in the tart and advised her not to eat anymore of it. Mrs. Tierney by this time had quite recovered, and with her husband drove home the following morning. ⁣

In the evening Mr. Tierney killed a sheep, and his wife, who had been watching him, went towards the house, but when she had gone about 50 yards she collapsed. Her husband ran to her assistance, and she died in his arms. Miss Bertram, who was employed as a domestic servant in the Tierney family, also complained of feeling ill after breakfast, but after vomiting she recovered.⁣

Mrs Tierney had only been married for 2 months and was a well loved teacher in the area.  Her friend and domestic, Mary Bertram was arrested for the death but was later discharged due to no evidence indiciating she was involved. ⁣

 

ON THIS DAY – July 15, 1908

MURDER AND SUICIDE.

The inquiry into the death of Charles Groves and Mary Walkington, who died from poison on July 15, at Toorak, was concluded on Saturday at the Morgue by the coroner (Dr. Cole).  Little fresh light was thrown upon the particulars already published. A conjecture tinged with certainty became a certainty after hearing the evidence of the analysts, who set all possible doubt at risk as to the kind of poison used – strychnine. The chemist who sold the poison in the man who signed the poison-book as witness cleared up a point as to the purchase of the stuff. Miss Walkington was found by a cyclist named Hall, dying. She was recognised then taken to her room at “Cloverdale,” a private hospital in Toorak. Not far from where she was found Groves was discovered groaning. The deaths of both of them followed rapidly, and poison was obviously the cause. Molly Doherty’s story is that Mary Walkington was a friend and fellow employee. The dead girl confided in her that she did not love Groves, but would marry him for a home. On the night of her death the two young women were to have gone out together, but “that brute,” as the deceased called her lover, appeared, and shortly afterwards the tragedy occurred.  When Constable Fitzgerald found the dying man, the latter said that he had taken poison, and that Mary Walkington had taken it too, attributing a voluntary act to the girl, which the coroner’s verdict denied. Amongst the girl’s letters were some from her lover (who, as Detective Coonan testified, was of a “morose disposition”). In these letters were vows of love and hints of poison oddly mixed together. Contrary to natural expectation, a post-mortem examination disclosed no lesions or abnormalities in Groves’s brain. The Coroner, in delivering his verdict, said that no doubt Groves had bought the strychnine with express intent to use it in the way he had used it. It did not appear a case of mutual suicide – rather one of murder and suicide. So he found that on July 15 Charles Alfred Groves and Mary Walkington died from strychnine poisoning, the poison having been wilfully administered to both by Groves.

On This Day ……. 3rd June 1904

At the morgue the inquest into the circumstances relating to the death of the postal employe Thomas Best, was continued. ‘The particulars of the case were that Best, who was arrested on a charge of larceny, died through taking an alleged doss of strychnine. The inquiry was adjourned last Friday in order to ascertain further evidence with regard to the purchase of the strychnine. The evidence of Best’s wife was to the effect that when he became very ill she wanted to send for a doctor, but hen husband objected, sating that he would soon be better. He appeared to become better for a short time, but he rapidly became worse, and died at ten minutes past 1 on Thursday last. On being cross-examined she stated that she knew her husband bought some strychnine some time ago to poison rats, and she had thought it was used for that purpose. Shortly before his death he stated that if anything ever happened to him, he would never go to gaol. Mrs. Vale, of Kensington, who carried on business as a pharmaceutical chemist in that suburb, gave evidence relating to the purchase of the strychnine at her dispensary. On Tuesday last, he asked her for the poison for the purpose of destroying a dog. His signature in the book was witnessed by her son. According to the evidence of Dr. Mollison, death was, he believed, due to poisoning by strychnine. The brain appeared to be of an unhealthy nature. The deceased’s father, James Best, of Geelong, gave evidence to the effect that when deceased was a child his brain was unhinged through au accident. The finding of the coroner was that- death was due to poisoning by strychnine, and was self administered, and according to the evidence deceased was unsound in his mind at the time.

ON THIS DAY – July 15, 1908

MURDER AND SUICIDE.

The inquiry into the death of Charles Groves and Mary Walkington, who died from poison on July 15, at Toorak, was concluded on Saturday at the Morgue by the coroner (Dr. Cole).  Little fresh light was thrown upon the particulars already published. A conjecture tinged with certainty became a certainty after hearing the evidence of the analysts, who set all possible doubt at risk as to the kind of poison used – strychnine. The chemist who sold the poison in the man who signed the poison-book as witness cleared up a point as to the purchase of the stuff. Miss Walkington was found by a cyclist named Hall, dying. She was recognised then taken to her room at “Cloverdale,” a private hospital in Toorak. Not far from where she was found Groves was discovered groaning. The deaths of both of them followed rapidly, and poison was obviously the cause. Molly Doherty’s story is that Mary Walkington was a friend and fellow employee. The dead girl confided in her that she did not love Groves, but would marry him for a home. On the night of her death the two young women were to have gone out together, but “that brute,” as the deceased called her lover, appeared, and shortly afterwards the tragedy occurred.  When Constable Fitzgerald found the dying man, the latter said that he had taken poison, and that Mary Walkington had taken it too, attributing a voluntary act to the girl, which the coroner’s verdict denied. Amongst the girl’s letters were some from her lover (who, as Detective Coonan testified, was of a “morose disposition”). In these letters were vows of love and hints of poison oddly mixed together. Contrary to natural expectation, a post-mortem examination disclosed no lesions or abnormalities in Groves’s brain. The Coroner, in delivering his verdict, said that no doubt Groves had bought the strychnine with express intent to use it in the way he had used it. It did not appear a case of mutual suicide – rather one of murder and suicide. So he found that on July 15 Charles Alfred Groves and Mary Walkington died from strychnine poisoning, the poison having been wilfully administered to both by Groves.

On This Day ……. 3rd June 1904

At the morgue the inquest into the circumstances relating to the death of the postal employe Thomas Best, was continued. ‘The particulars of the case were that Best, who was arrested on a charge of larceny, died through taking an alleged doss of strychnine. The inquiry was adjourned last Friday in order to ascertain further evidence with regard to the purchase of the strychnine. The evidence of Best’s wife was to the effect that when he became very ill she wanted to send for a doctor, but hen husband objected, sating that he would soon be better. He appeared to become better for a short time, but he rapidly became worse, and died at ten minutes past 1 on Thursday last. On being cross-examined she stated that she knew her husband bought some strychnine some time ago to poison rats, and she had thought it was used for that purpose. Shortly before his death he stated that if anything ever happened to him, he would never go to gaol. Mrs. Vale, of Kensington, who carried on business as a pharmaceutical chemist in that suburb, gave evidence relating to the purchase of the strychnine at her dispensary. On Tuesday last, he asked her for the poison for the purpose of destroying a dog. His signature in the book was witnessed by her son. According to the evidence of Dr. Mollison, death was, he believed, due to poisoning by strychnine. The brain appeared to be of an unhealthy nature. The deceased’s father, James Best, of Geelong, gave evidence to the effect that when deceased was a child his brain was unhinged through au accident. The finding of the coroner was that- death was due to poisoning by strychnine, and was self administered, and according to the evidence deceased was unsound in his mind at the time.

ON THIS DAY – February 1, 1925

AGNES MARSHALL – COWWARR

William Patrick Marshall, a contractor, of Cowwarr, Victoria, aged 26 years, was found guilty in the Criminal Court, of having, at Cowwarr, on February 1, caused strychnine to be administered to his wife, Agnes Marshall, with intent to murder her. He was also found guilty of having caused strychnine to be administered to his wife at Heyfield on February 6. There were two alternative charges of having caused strychnine to be administered to his wife, thereby endangering her life. Sentence of death was recorded against the accused.

Mr James McArthur, after the jury had returned a verdict of guilty on the first count and the first two charges acted under section 504 of the Crimes Act and instead of pronouncing sentence of death, ordered to be entered on the record. The case will now be considered by the Executive Council.

 

ON THIS DAY – July 15, 1908

MURDER AND SUICIDE.

The inquiry into the death of Charles Groves and Mary Walkington, who died from poison on July 15, at Toorak, was concluded on Saturday at the Morgue by the coroner (Dr. Cole).  Little fresh light was thrown upon the particulars already published. A conjecture tinged with certainty became a certainty after hearing the evidence of the analysts, who set all possible doubt at risk as to the kind of poison used – strychnine. The chemist who sold the poison in the man who signed the poison-book as witness cleared up a point as to the purchase of the stuff. Miss Walkington was found by a cyclist named Hall, dying. She was recognised then taken to her room at “Cloverdale,” a private hospital in Toorak. Not far from where she was found Groves was discovered groaning. The deaths of both of them followed rapidly, and poison was obviously the cause. Molly Doherty’s story is that Mary Walkington was a friend and fellow employee. The dead girl confided in her that she did not love Groves, but would marry him for a home. On the night of her death the two young women were to have gone out together, but “that brute,” as the deceased called her lover, appeared, and shortly afterwards the tragedy occurred.  When Constable Fitzgerald found the dying man, the latter said that he had taken poison, and that Mary Walkington had taken it too, attributing a voluntary act to the girl, which the coroner’s verdict denied. Amongst the girl’s letters were some from her lover (who, as Detective Coonan testified, was of a “morose disposition”). In these letters were vows of love and hints of poison oddly mixed together. Contrary to natural expectation, a post-mortem examination disclosed no lesions or abnormalities in Groves’s brain. The Coroner, in delivering his verdict, said that no doubt Groves had bought the strychnine with express intent to use it in the way he had used it. It did not appear a case of mutual suicide – rather one of murder and suicide. So he found that on July 15 Charles Alfred Groves and Mary Walkington died from strychnine poisoning, the poison having been wilfully administered to both by Groves.

On This Day ……. 3rd June 1904

At the morgue the inquest into the circumstances relating to the death of the postal employe Thomas Best, was continued. ‘The particulars of the case were that Best, who was arrested on a charge of larceny, died through taking an alleged doss of strychnine. The inquiry was adjourned last Friday in order to ascertain further evidence with regard to the purchase of the strychnine. The evidence of Best’s wife was to the effect that when he became very ill she wanted to send for a doctor, but hen husband objected, sating that he would soon be better. He appeared to become better for a short time, but he rapidly became worse, and died at ten minutes past 1 on Thursday last. On being cross-examined she stated that she knew her husband bought some strychnine some time ago to poison rats, and she had thought it was used for that purpose. Shortly before his death he stated that if anything ever happened to him, he would never go to gaol. Mrs. Vale, of Kensington, who carried on business as a pharmaceutical chemist in that suburb, gave evidence relating to the purchase of the strychnine at her dispensary. On Tuesday last, he asked her for the poison for the purpose of destroying a dog. His signature in the book was witnessed by her son. According to the evidence of Dr. Mollison, death was, he believed, due to poisoning by strychnine. The brain appeared to be of an unhealthy nature. The deceased’s father, James Best, of Geelong, gave evidence to the effect that when deceased was a child his brain was unhinged through au accident. The finding of the coroner was that- death was due to poisoning by strychnine, and was self administered, and according to the evidence deceased was unsound in his mind at the time.

ON THIS DAY – February 1, 1925

AGNES MARSHALL – COWWARR

William Patrick Marshall, a contractor, of Cowwarr, Victoria, aged 26 years, was found guilty in the Criminal Court, of having, at Cowwarr, on February 1, caused strychnine to be administered to his wife, Agnes Marshall, with intent to murder her. He was also found guilty of having caused strychnine to be administered to his wife at Heyfield on February 6. There were two alternative charges of having caused strychnine to be administered to his wife, thereby endangering her life. Sentence of death was recorded against the accused.

Mr James McArthur, after the jury had returned a verdict of guilty on the first count and the first two charges acted under section 504 of the Crimes Act and instead of pronouncing sentence of death, ordered to be entered on the record. The case will now be considered by the Executive Council.

 

ON THIS DAY – December 19, 1930

OUYEN

Amelia Alice Flanagan, 40 years, widow, of Thomas Henry Flanagan, farmer, of Ouyen, who died on December 19 as the result of having drunk poison, was charged at the Ouyen Police with murder. Heavily veiled, the woman appeared much distressed while in the box, and her son was allowed to stand beside her. At the inquest the Analyst’s report showed that strychnine poisoning was the cause of death and that the accused had handed Flanagan the dose of herbs which contained the poison.