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On This Day – April 8, 1909

A boy named Sydney Reynolds, nine years of age, son of the stationmaster at West Footscray, met with a remarkable accident yesterday evening.

At about half-past 5 o’clock he was with another boy playing on the West Footscray station. He had a rope tied round his waist, and the other boy was driving him. Reynolds’s companion let go the rope when the train from Sunshine to Melbourne came in, and Reynolds went to the edge of the platform, and dangled the rope over the kerb of the platform as the train was proceeding. All went well until the last carriage came along, then the rope was caught by the carriage, and the boy was dragged about 300 yards along the track. His head was injured by violent contact with the sleepers.

At Dr. Webb’s surgery at Footscray, it was found that he had sustained a fracture of the base of the skull. He was removed to Nurse Drysdale’s private hospital, where he died at about 9 o’clock last night.

ON THIS DAY – August 14, 1931

Coroner’s Finding. Details of the domestic tragedy at West Footscray on August 14, when Sarah McDonnell, 33, was found murdered, and Alexander Webster, 39, was found with his head blown off, were related at the inquest to-day The Coroner found Webster murdered McDonnell, and then committed suicide. Webster and McDonnell had been living as man and wife for nine years. Charles Furness, a quarry foreman, said on the day before the tragedy, when he asked Webster how his wife was. he replied, ‘she is going away.’ Elsa Lenowry, married, said Webster was a very jealous man. During quarrels she heard him say to Mc Donnell, ‘I will choke you.’ He often complained of McDonnell being out with witness’ husband.

ON THIS DAY……. 24th May 1935

Found guilty in the Criminal Court of the manslaughter of his wife and child, Clifford Smiles, aged 31 formerly of West Footscray, was remanded for sentence. Smiles had been presented on two charges of murder. One concerning his wife Edna on May 24 and the other concerning his daughter Norma, aged four months who was found dead in the gas-filled kitchen of their home on June 14.

 

ON THIS DAY – February 9, 1911

At West Footscray on this day in 1911, Frank Polley, aged 25, after firing at a young woman named Violet Biddle, fortunately missing the mark, turned a double-barrelled gun on himself, and shot himself dead. The shot blew the top of his head off. Five months ago Polley arrived from Warburton, and lodged with Mrs. Biddle at West Footscray. He has been acting in a strange manner for several days.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – December 25, 1975

Geoffrey Leonard Hooper aged 26, was charged with having murdered Mrs Wendy Elizabeth Spicer aged 19, of West Footscray, who was stabbed in the back while waiting for a taxi at South Yarra Post Office on Christmas Day 1975. Hooper alleged to have told police he “put two and two together” and knew he had killed a woman. Hooper had said he heard on the radio that someone had been killed and that he had seen “a couple of thing in the paper about it”. He had read, the description “and it sounded like, me and I remembered the blood on the knife and I put two and two together. I knew it was me”. Mr Galbally, Lawyer said that Mr Hooper had been “under specialised medical, treatment”.

 

ON THIS DAY – August 14, 1931

Coroner’s Finding. Details of the domestic tragedy at West Footscray on August 14, when Sarah McDonnell, 33, was found murdered, and Alexander Webster, 39, was found with his head blown off, were related at the inquest to-day The Coroner found Webster murdered McDonnell, and then committed suicide. Webster and McDonnell had been living as man and wife for nine years. Charles Furness, a quarry foreman, said on the day before the tragedy, when he asked Webster how his wife was. he replied, ‘she is going away.’ Elsa Lenowry, married, said Webster was a very jealous man. During quarrels she heard him say to Mc Donnell, ‘I will choke you.’ He often complained of McDonnell being out with witness’ husband.

ON THIS DAY……. 24th May 1935

Found guilty in the Criminal Court of the manslaughter of his wife and child, Clifford Smiles, aged 31 formerly of West Footscray, was remanded for sentence. Smiles had been presented on two charges of murder. One concerning his wife Edna on May 24 and the other concerning his daughter Norma, aged four months who was found dead in the gas-filled kitchen of their home on June 14.

 

ON THIS DAY – February 9, 1911

At West Footscray on this day in 1911, Frank Polley, aged 25, after firing at a young woman named Violet Biddle, fortunately missing the mark, turned a double-barrelled gun on himself, and shot himself dead. The shot blew the top of his head off. Five months ago Polley arrived from Warburton, and lodged with Mrs. Biddle at West Footscray. He has been acting in a strange manner for several days.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – December 25, 1975

Geoffrey Leonard Hooper aged 26, was charged with having murdered Mrs Wendy Elizabeth Spicer aged 19, of West Footscray, who was stabbed in the back while waiting for a taxi at South Yarra Post Office on Christmas Day 1975. Hooper alleged to have told police he “put two and two together” and knew he had killed a woman. Hooper had said he heard on the radio that someone had been killed and that he had seen “a couple of thing in the paper about it”. He had read, the description “and it sounded like, me and I remembered the blood on the knife and I put two and two together. I knew it was me”. Mr Galbally, Lawyer said that Mr Hooper had been “under specialised medical, treatment”.