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On This Day – November 26, 1924

Albert James Barter, aged 44, was committed for trial on a charge of murdering Mrs Catherine Lanson, aged 68, his mother-ln-law in Melbourne on the 8th November 1924. Mrs Lawson was killed by blows from a tomahawk. Barter was sent to Geelong gaol, so he could be mentally examined.

ON THIS DAY – November 9, 1924

 

At the Melbourne Criminal Court on March 26 the jury returned a verdict of not guilty in the case of Albert James Barter (41), carter, who was charged with the murder of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Catherine Dawson, widow, at Yallourn, on November 9. On that date the woman was found mutilated and dead in her hut, and near her was a tomahawk, with which it was believed she had been done to death.

 

ON THIS DAY – November 8, 1895

STRANGE CONVICTED OF WILFUL MURDER.

At the Supreme Court to-day, before Mr. Justice Hodges, Charles Henry Strange, aged 22 years, was charged with the murder of his mate, Frederick Dowse, at Cunninghame on November 8. Sir Bryan O’Loghlen, instructed by Mr. David Gaunson, defended the prisoner. The particulars of the case have already been published in The Argus. The prisoner and Dowse travelled from Orbost to Cunning- hame, Dowse paying their way, and Strange subsequently confessed to the police that he killed Dowse with tomahawk, sticking a knife in him to stop his groaning. Sir Bryan O’Loghlen urged in defence that the prisoner was affected with homicidal insanity, and the case was one only of manslaughter. He called William Henry Strange, of East St. Kilda, coachsmith, father of the accused, who gave evidence as to the insanity of the grandparents of the accused and some of their relatives, who were confined in lunatic asylums in England. Prisoner was apprenticed to a bootmaker, and at 11 years of age ran away. He saw him about three months ago, when he appeared strange in his manner.  The prisoner was also sworn, and gave evidence on his own behalf. He said he had been working near Colac about January or February potato-digging, when he had an epileptic fit, and it took five men to hold him down. In regard to killing Dowse he said when they woke that morning and while lying in bed Dowse called him by a most opprobrious name, and said that a girl of his acquaintance was immoral. This so enraged him that he reached out and struck Dowse with the tomahawk. He did not remember what happened after that. In cross-examination he said that he took deceased’s money as he did not think it worth while leaving it behind. His Honour said that he could not present a plea of insanity to the jury. Insanity, in the eye of the law, must be evidence that the man was not aware of the consequences of his acts. There had been no evidence to put to them on that plea. It was for the jury to say whether the case was one of manslaughter or murder. If they believed prisoner’s story that the deceased provoked him, that might justify one blow with the hand, but not the blows with the tomahawk and the knife. The jury after about 15 minutes’ deliberation returned a verdict of guilty of murder. The prisoner had nothing to say in answer to the usual question, and sentence of death was then passed on him.

 

 

 

On This Day – September 17, 1902

The inquest on the body of the Chinese market-gardener, Lue Tuck, who was found lying dead on the floor of his hut at Hopetoun, on September 17, was concluded on Saturday, Benjamin Patterson Jones, who is supposed to have been concerned in the the death, being present. The jury, after a short retirement, found that Lue Tuck was wilfully murdered by Benjamin Patterson Jones, and that death was caused by blows inflicted with a blunt instrument such as a tomahawk. Accused was committed to take his trial at the Supreme Court, Stawell, on the 14th inst.

On This Day – September 5, 1948

A Ukranian migrant killed with a tomahawk at Broadmeadows camp on September 5 made violent love to the 18-year-old wife of another migrant, and invited her to poison her husband and run off to Tasmania, the Criminal Court was told today. This evidence was given by Mrs. Vera Kolacz, wife of Stefan Kolack, 29, former tramway employee, who is accused of having murdered Michael Motyl, 27, a PMG-employee.

ON THIS DAY – May 19, 1934

BODY UNDER CULVERT

A Coroner’s inquiry was opened concerning the death of the Italian laborer named Rocco Petaulla, whoso charred body was found under a culvert at Balwyn by some children. Dr. D.H. Mollison, Government Pathologist, expressed the opinion that death was due to suffocation and haemorrhage following a blow on tho head. The witness said the face was almost unrecognisable, and the trunk was much charred, while on the left side of the frontal bone of the head there was a hole three-quarters of an inch in diameter. There was no evidence of a bullet in the skull. The injury could have been caused by the rounded end of a small tomahawk.  Two Italians named Antonio Chiodo and Antonio Audino, who have been charged with the murder of Petaulla, were present in custody. James Dallis, 28, motor-cycle wrecker of North Melbourne, said that he had done carrying work for Audino and Chiotlo. They came, to him on May 19 and told him that they had been robbed of £92. That night Chiodo returned, and said, that his brother wanted witness to take a parcel to Olinda, to raise some money. He would be paid £2 for the job.  When he went to the shop four Italians were talking excitedly in Italian. He waited a little while and was given £2. When he went outside, his cycle had been pushed up a small lane. There was a big tarpaulin on the trailer, and all he could see was a big, bulky object under, it. Chiodo and Audino sat on top, and they travelled to Balwyn, Chiodo told him to pull up, and they then lifted the object from the trailer. It was very dark. witness then returned home.  Chiodo replied that there was nothing wrong, and nothing that concerned him. “If anybody asks you, you know nothing about us,” he said to witness. They then left, and on the following Friday witness reported to Detective McGuffie.

POLICE EVIDENCE

Senior Detective McGuffie described the various pieces of clothing found burned in the culvert and the piece of hessian, and Italian dictionary also recovered.

Detective Rosewarne said that he recognised the clothing, when he previously searched Petaulla at the Detective Office. McGuffie related how he interviewed Trixtino and Chiodo, and told them that the police believed that the charred body was that of Petaulla, who had been murdered at Chiodo’s shop. Chiodo denied this, and also denied having given Dallis £2 to remove the body. When Audino came in he denied that Petaulla had been at the shop since the day he went to the detective office.  The inquest is not completed.

On This Day – November 26, 1924

Albert James Barter, aged 44, was committed for trial on a charge of murdering Mrs Catherine Lanson, aged 68, his mother-ln-law in Melbourne on the 8th November 1924. Mrs Lawson was killed by blows from a tomahawk. Barter was sent to Geelong gaol, so he could be mentally examined.

ON THIS DAY – November 9, 1924

 

At the Melbourne Criminal Court on March 26 the jury returned a verdict of not guilty in the case of Albert James Barter (41), carter, who was charged with the murder of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Catherine Dawson, widow, at Yallourn, on November 9. On that date the woman was found mutilated and dead in her hut, and near her was a tomahawk, with which it was believed she had been done to death.

 

ON THIS DAY – November 8, 1895

STRANGE CONVICTED OF WILFUL MURDER.

At the Supreme Court to-day, before Mr. Justice Hodges, Charles Henry Strange, aged 22 years, was charged with the murder of his mate, Frederick Dowse, at Cunninghame on November 8. Sir Bryan O’Loghlen, instructed by Mr. David Gaunson, defended the prisoner. The particulars of the case have already been published in The Argus. The prisoner and Dowse travelled from Orbost to Cunning- hame, Dowse paying their way, and Strange subsequently confessed to the police that he killed Dowse with tomahawk, sticking a knife in him to stop his groaning. Sir Bryan O’Loghlen urged in defence that the prisoner was affected with homicidal insanity, and the case was one only of manslaughter. He called William Henry Strange, of East St. Kilda, coachsmith, father of the accused, who gave evidence as to the insanity of the grandparents of the accused and some of their relatives, who were confined in lunatic asylums in England. Prisoner was apprenticed to a bootmaker, and at 11 years of age ran away. He saw him about three months ago, when he appeared strange in his manner.  The prisoner was also sworn, and gave evidence on his own behalf. He said he had been working near Colac about January or February potato-digging, when he had an epileptic fit, and it took five men to hold him down. In regard to killing Dowse he said when they woke that morning and while lying in bed Dowse called him by a most opprobrious name, and said that a girl of his acquaintance was immoral. This so enraged him that he reached out and struck Dowse with the tomahawk. He did not remember what happened after that. In cross-examination he said that he took deceased’s money as he did not think it worth while leaving it behind. His Honour said that he could not present a plea of insanity to the jury. Insanity, in the eye of the law, must be evidence that the man was not aware of the consequences of his acts. There had been no evidence to put to them on that plea. It was for the jury to say whether the case was one of manslaughter or murder. If they believed prisoner’s story that the deceased provoked him, that might justify one blow with the hand, but not the blows with the tomahawk and the knife. The jury after about 15 minutes’ deliberation returned a verdict of guilty of murder. The prisoner had nothing to say in answer to the usual question, and sentence of death was then passed on him.

 

 

 

On This Day – September 17, 1902

The inquest on the body of the Chinese market-gardener, Lue Tuck, who was found lying dead on the floor of his hut at Hopetoun, on September 17, was concluded on Saturday, Benjamin Patterson Jones, who is supposed to have been concerned in the the death, being present. The jury, after a short retirement, found that Lue Tuck was wilfully murdered by Benjamin Patterson Jones, and that death was caused by blows inflicted with a blunt instrument such as a tomahawk. Accused was committed to take his trial at the Supreme Court, Stawell, on the 14th inst.

On This Day – September 5, 1948

A Ukranian migrant killed with a tomahawk at Broadmeadows camp on September 5 made violent love to the 18-year-old wife of another migrant, and invited her to poison her husband and run off to Tasmania, the Criminal Court was told today. This evidence was given by Mrs. Vera Kolacz, wife of Stefan Kolack, 29, former tramway employee, who is accused of having murdered Michael Motyl, 27, a PMG-employee.

ON THIS DAY – May 19, 1934

BODY UNDER CULVERT

A Coroner’s inquiry was opened concerning the death of the Italian laborer named Rocco Petaulla, whoso charred body was found under a culvert at Balwyn by some children. Dr. D.H. Mollison, Government Pathologist, expressed the opinion that death was due to suffocation and haemorrhage following a blow on tho head. The witness said the face was almost unrecognisable, and the trunk was much charred, while on the left side of the frontal bone of the head there was a hole three-quarters of an inch in diameter. There was no evidence of a bullet in the skull. The injury could have been caused by the rounded end of a small tomahawk.  Two Italians named Antonio Chiodo and Antonio Audino, who have been charged with the murder of Petaulla, were present in custody. James Dallis, 28, motor-cycle wrecker of North Melbourne, said that he had done carrying work for Audino and Chiotlo. They came, to him on May 19 and told him that they had been robbed of £92. That night Chiodo returned, and said, that his brother wanted witness to take a parcel to Olinda, to raise some money. He would be paid £2 for the job.  When he went to the shop four Italians were talking excitedly in Italian. He waited a little while and was given £2. When he went outside, his cycle had been pushed up a small lane. There was a big tarpaulin on the trailer, and all he could see was a big, bulky object under, it. Chiodo and Audino sat on top, and they travelled to Balwyn, Chiodo told him to pull up, and they then lifted the object from the trailer. It was very dark. witness then returned home.  Chiodo replied that there was nothing wrong, and nothing that concerned him. “If anybody asks you, you know nothing about us,” he said to witness. They then left, and on the following Friday witness reported to Detective McGuffie.

POLICE EVIDENCE

Senior Detective McGuffie described the various pieces of clothing found burned in the culvert and the piece of hessian, and Italian dictionary also recovered.

Detective Rosewarne said that he recognised the clothing, when he previously searched Petaulla at the Detective Office. McGuffie related how he interviewed Trixtino and Chiodo, and told them that the police believed that the charred body was that of Petaulla, who had been murdered at Chiodo’s shop. Chiodo denied this, and also denied having given Dallis £2 to remove the body. When Audino came in he denied that Petaulla had been at the shop since the day he went to the detective office.  The inquest is not completed.