I have a passion for reading century old newspaper records. I love that many have been preserved and are now accessible online. It has made the work of tracing family records and accessing eyewitness accounts to historical events so much easier. There may have been no forensic scientists in 1909, but a man could still be convicted based on the smell of the deceased on money in the possession of the accused.
ON THIS DAY – June 4, 1909:
CHARGE OF MURDER – CONVICTED OF MANSLAUGHTER:
At the Shepparton Supreme Court today Ernest Carmody, aged 17 years, was charged with the wilful murder, on June 4, of an elderly man named John Robinson. The accused pleaded not guilty. The deceased resided in a hut at Youanamite, near Katamatite, and was in receipt of an old-age pension. On June 4 his hut was discovered to be in flames and later on, a few charred bones were found. Inquiries made by the police led to the arrest of the accused, who had been in the employ of a Katamatite storekeeper and was accustomed to leave bread at the old man’s hut. Mr. Gurner, in opening the case for the Crown, said that shortly after the old man had been burned to death the accused suddenly became affluent and the bank-notes which he had in his possession gave forth a peculiar odour of a complaint from which the deceased had suffered. One of these bank-notes bore a private mark of a farm labourer, who had paid it to Robinson. The jury found, the prisoner guilty of manslaughter, with a recommendation to mercy, on account of his youth.
Australian rural-lit and historical fiction author and artist Ryn Shell
Author, artist, Ryn Shell is the chief blogger, site sponsor, and volunteer author's cross-promotion manager for the historical fiction authors whose blogs appear on this website.
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