|INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Presented by President Geoff Rawson.
SAPHS Annual General Meeting.
Friday 5th February, 2010.
It is with much pleasure that I present the 33rd Annual Report of the South Australian Police Historical Society for the year 2009-2010, my sixth annual report as President of the Society.
This year’s Annual Report provides a detailed overview of the many activities of this Society over the last 12 months and will include ambitions for the future.
As in the past 30 years, the strength of the Society has been in the enthusiasm, dedication and strong commitment by its members and in particular our volunteers without whom little could be achieved. The following is a list of many of the positive outcomes achieved.
We mourn the passing of the following members-
Edwin (Eddie) Trotter, John Gordon, Doug White, Joe Morris, Barry Lugg, Kon Reintals, *Stan Lockwood, Verity Elizabeth McKinna, Jim Furnell, Ian Radford and Shirley Hayward
Some highlights of this past year include:
· Police Foundation Day –
· National Police Remembrance Day –Public Sector week – “Behind the Badge”
· Police Anzac Day
· Tour down under
· Public Sector Day
· Involvement with the Bay to Birdwood run
· Attendance at a variety of special celebrations at Country Police Stations.
· Christmas party
· Christmas Pageants
As in previous Annual Reports, I recognise the outstanding contribution made by the “Thursday Group” of dedicated volunteers.
· The Transport Group with Mark Dollman, Ross Edwards, Ian Grose, Dennis Irrgang, Ernie McLeod, Peter Moller & Ray Freak, led by Kevin Johnson, has again achieved a great deal in the past year, with the registration of the FJ Holden and continuing to attend the many parades and displays. The EJ was to have the bodywork cleaned and repaired of rust however this has been unavoidably been delayed by other projects. Now that the FJ has been completed, the Chrysler problems overcome and the BSA engine repairs just about complete it is hoped this project can move ahead. The renovation of a Honda motorcycle, is well underway and should be ready for registration and use early 2010
· Kevin Johnson also used his entrepreneurial skills to organize our very first Society lottery which gave a substantial boost to our general funds.
· The Hue and Cry, which continues to improve thanks to the hard work by our editor Elees Pick and the support of the many contributors, together with Colin and Joyce Beames who prepared the magazines for postage. Elees has indicated that she will not be able to continue as editor for this year and I will perform this task until another volunteer can take over.
· Photographic collection led by Dorothy Pyatt, with Kate Woodcock and Audrey Wallace – The use of a high quality camera supplied by SAPOL has been held up by the failure of support equipment but will be back on track early 2010. This will allow the use of a copying stand to photograph large format photographs and artefacts.
· The uniform collection led by Dave Aylett has been transformed with the preservation project involving excellent work by John White, Bethany Boucher, Helen Ward Di Lugg , Mary Furnell and Tony Kaukas (project manager). Thanks to the grants obtained by Tony, shelving, racking, archive boxes and other equipment has been used to properly store uniforms. This project is well under way and nearing completion.
· The Museum group, with Kevin Beare, Max Griffiths and John White continue with the upgrading of museum galleries. Max Griffiths has done a wonderful job in re-painting the doors to the galleries, and the trio have transformed the badge room over the last year. The Security Cabinet project for our medals has not been successful because the committee was not satisfied with the quality of the workmanship and the lack of security devices. We have had legal advice on this issue and it is hoped that the matter can be resolved early this year, allowing another more suitable cabinet to be built. None of the funds allocated to this project have been used.
· The museum volunteers are looking for more assistance in this area and additional volunteers would be welcome as the job of maintaining the 4 galleries is proving to be a challenge.
· Bob Ward, indexing the new artefacts and documents.
· Data entry of newspaper clippings by Isabel Brooks prepared by Shirley Hayward. With the loss of Shirley this is another task for a volunteer to work on in 2010. Isabel is also well into the data entry of older police member records and maintaining the library records which Jim Sykes designed to provide the full location and details of a book in the library.
· Helen Ward continues with the onerous task of transferring our video collection to DVD.
· Maps and Plans with, Audrey Walker and Peter Malpas. This team has managed to preserve and identify a large percentage of the maps and plans held by the society, most of which are now suitably stored and indexed on computer. Audrey has also been helpful to Allan Peters with his research
· Alan Hyson continues his work with videos & films. We have now acquired a large collection of movie films and videos from the Mounted Section which will keep Alan busy for some time to come.
· Stewart Munro has been busy ensuring our stationery supplies have been maintained and supervising the ground floor area. Stewart also acts in the unenviable position of Society telephonist.
· Research by Alan Peters. Alan has had an extremely busy year and despite illness has performed his tasks admirably. He is receiving an increasing number of requests for information and there is a need for a full time assistant. Alan is to be congratulated for the books that he has published and others he his working on.
· Tony Kaukas once again has been extremely successful in winning various grants, amounting this year to $17,600 - providing for preservation of uniforms, upgrade of our software, etc. Tony has become the project manager for the uniform project, together with the Mosaic project for which we now have a dedicated server and software.
· Speaking engagements for various organisations by Kevin Beare, Bob Boscence and myself which included a follow up speaking engagement in Whyalla.
· Memorabilia Sales by Max Griffiths assisted by Allan Peters.
· Since moving to Victoria Ros and Holger Kruse have been flying the Society’s flag as our Ambassadors to Mildura.
· Our Treasurer Tony Woodcock, continues to serve and manage the financial affairs of the Society, under the eagle eye of our honorary Auditor Stewart Munro.
· Secretary Owen Bevan has provided us with a wonderful selection of speakers over the past year. Our monthly meetings have been well attended with an average of 50 members attending each month. Thanks to Member’s donations our monthly raffles raised $934.25 including $249.00 at the Christmas Dinner.
· Kevin Beare has provided great support as Vice President, taking over the reins during sickness and holiday breaks.
I sincerely thank all the executive team for their outstanding efforts & support throughout the year.
I have kept a spreadsheet of the various tours to the museum during the past year and have the following summary:
Total Volunteers used for tours 169 (43 more than 2008)
Total number of Visitors 528 (almost 50 more than 2008)
Entrance Fees $2,534.00
This is an excellent effort from all those who assisted, amounting to almost 676 hours of volunteer time. A special thank you must go to the members involved with the
DevonshireTeas, making scones and preparing and serving them to our very appreciative visitors.
Our first 5 year plan expires this year and I have drafted a Strategic Plan for the next 5 years for the Executive to consider. It is interesting to note the number of matters completed. Most plans of this type include many wish lists of things that it would be good to achieve, but I was thrilled to realise that, in fact, 90% of our list has been achieved including the re-opening of the museum.
This year SAPOL has appointed a Senior Sergeant who will be responsible for all volunteers including Historical Society volunteers and most of our regular volunteers are now registered with SAPOL and have received training. Time sheets that we started using last year will be replaced by individual sheets for each volunteer and will include the time for work done away from Barracks.
The establishment of the monthly Volunteer Committee Meeting to provide feedback to the Executive has been an excellent development by Kate Woodcock, and has resulted in other issues being addressed.
The next 12 months will provide real challenges for the new Executive and our volunteers with the asbestos problems still to be resolved, measures to achieve the requirements of the Preservation Assessment Report and the re-organisation of our record storage area after the Asbestos Removal program has been completed. The SAPOL Volunteer program has involved formal listing of all volunteers with training and Occupational Health and Safety information.
As our workload is increasing, we are looking for additional volunteers to join our Thursday group as there are many areas needing assistance particularly in the museum, and research areas. I welcome our most recent volunteers Di Lugg and Mary Furnell who have already proved to be extremely valuable to our Thursday Group
I will be standing down as President this year but will be available as a normal volunteer in whatever capacity is required.
LIST OF ACTIVITIES BY SA POLICE HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOR 2009
January Re dedication of the grave of William Hyde at
4/1 West Tce Cemetery
Tour down under
February Glengowrie Neighbourhood Watch speech – Rawson
Campbelltown Probus Club – Museum Tour – DT
Probus Club – Museum Tour DT Ascot Park
Tour McLaren Vale Museum
Masonic Lodge Mens Prostate Cancer run Port
Adelaideto Port Adelaide
Lockleys Oval static display of vehicles
March Preservation Survey
April Power past event Mt Barker Oval – vehicles
Chrysler Royal Sporting Car Club of SA
Men’s Health – Semaphore foreshore
Traffic Training Unit static display Entertainment Centre
Willunga Neighbourhood Watch tour museum
Somerton Breakaway Group and AAA Ladies tour museum
tour museum Renmark High School
Neighbour Watch meeting speaking Rawson Brooklyn Park
Foundation Day – Lady Dennison tragedy
Anzac Day Memorial Service – Brendon John Davis
May Vehicles – Static display
National History Machinery Show Murray Bridge
Brooklyn ParkProbus Club – Tour Museum
Armstrong Siddley Car Club tour museum
June Launch of first major raffle.
Hillman Car Club – Tour museum
Bowling Club – talk Rawson – Sundown Murders Ascot Park
Rapier Retirement Group – Museum tour
Law Students from Whyalla museum visit. Samaritan College
Day at Sunnybrae – static display. International Museum
History Week open day - museum
July Resthaven Marion – Speech Rawson – Sundown murders
tour Vintage Sporting Car Club Museum
East TorrensHistorical Society 75th Anniversary display –vehicles
tour museum and mounted division. Lameroo Hich School
Club Tour Museum
August Riley and Early
clubs tour museum Fort V8
September Drawing of our major raffle
talk Rawson Sundown Murders Active Elders Association Ascot Park
Tea Tree Gully Probus Club museum tour.
Rock and roll Festival static display Victor Harbor
Banrock Station – Holger and Ros Kruse Remembrance Day
Whyalla History Group – Rawson talk History Women Police
Remembrance Day Academy
Bay to Birdwood –vehicles
November FJ Holden registered and on road. Blackwood Ladies probus club – museum tour.
Walkerville Historical and Klemzig National Seniors museum tour
Childrens safety week
Morphett Vale static display vehicles Coorara Primary School
December Pageants – Tea Tree Gully, Onkaparinga and Port
Adelaide, Glenelg, . Commissioned Officers Christmas Party, Museum Norwood Tours- Probus Club, International Police Association – Holy Trinity Mens Group, Public Sector Week (Behind the Badge) Coonalpyn Centenary Celebrations. 2009 Christmas Dinner Marion
MONTHLY MEETING SPEAKERS FOR 2009
MARCH – Assistant Commissioner Tony Harrison – Organised Crime and Bikie legislation
APRIL – Ray Buttery – When the war came to
MAY – John Hardy – Flight Angels
JUNE – Dr Tony Rogers – Weather Prophets of SA
JULY – Inspector Paul Barr – DNA as an investigative tool.
AUGUST – Don Thorpe – sailing race on
SEPTEMBER – Assistant Commissioner Tony Harrison – Law reforms
OCTOBER President Rawson – Sundown murders
NOVEMBER – Tony Ey-RAA public affairs – Years ahead
On Friday the 5th February 51 members and one visitor attended the Annual General Meeting of the S.A Police Historical Society Inc.
Tony Woodcock and Allan Peters were very worthy recipients of Life Membership (long overdue) and the following members received awards for their diligent service.
Kate Woodcock, John White, Kevin Beare, Bob Boscence, Tony Kaukas, Stewart Munro, & Kevin Johnson Recognition Awards were also made to Bethany Boucher, Ross Edwards, Max Griffiths and Elees Pick.
Bill Prior nominated for the position of President and was elected un-opposed as were Kevin Beare (Vice President) Owen Bevan (Secretary) and Tony Woodcock (Treasurer)
As there were 7 nominations for the 6 positions on committee. A ballot was held and the following members were successful. Allan Peters, Di Lugg, Kate Woodcock, Max Griffiths, Bob Boscence and Kevin Johnson.
Elees is no longer able to continue with the Hue and Cry and I will take on that responsibility until someone else becomes available.
Kathryn Woodcock presented Elees with a box of chocolates and spoke of the wonderful work and effort by Elees in her volunteer work.
Things became even more embarrassing for me when Tony Woodcock made a speech and presented me with a very large box of chocolates (I am trying to lose weight!) which was followed by another speech by John White and I was presented with a framed certificate of my Life Membership by Kevin Beare, thanks to the generous gesture by Bill Rojas in Canberra who paid for the framing.
For some time now the Executive Committee has expressed concern over the fact that appropriate names had been given to the four Museum Galleries, but the Vehicle Display area was only affectionately known as “The Shed”. Several names were suggested and, after much discussion, it was agreed that the vehicle museum should be known as “The Bruce Furler Vehicle Gallery.”
In next month’s edition of the Hue & Cry we will include a story on Bruce Furler & his career with SAPOL.
The Speaker at our March Meeting will be the Bush Poet Bob Magor & his subject “Stories of a Bush Poet” Bob comes highly recommended & we look forward to seeing you at the meeting on the 5th March.
THIEF PICKS THE WRONG ITEM TO STEAL.
Police say tracking this thief was a snap. The loot was a computerized tracking device that uses the global positioning system and Internet technology to keep track of jail prisoners on home detention.
"He apparently didn't know what he had because he would be awfully stupid to steal a tracking device," said correctional officer Thomas Roth, who runs the home detention program at the Rock County Jail.
The $2,500 device was temporarily placed outside a home by a woman serving home detention. The device, which is a little bigger than a brick in size, has a built-in GPS satellite receiver. Prisoners wear a transmitter about as big as a cigarette pack on the ankle, and it acts as a 100-foot tether to the portable tracking device.
By the time the prisoner called to report the theft Monday night, the device had automatically notified the jail that it had been taken outside the prisoner's home area. Roth then tracked the device through the Internet on his home computer. A trail of electronic dots led authorities to an apartment building.
Lem Lom, 40, of Janesville was arrested as he left the building. He was charged with theft.
Mr. J. aged 82, was not a poor man. But he was an eccentric and a miser. He was a bachelor, was well educated and has served in the Boer War. He lived a hermit’s life in a shed at K8ilburn, and the shed had formerly been a dairy. However, because of post-war urban development, by the end of the 1950’s it was sited on a normal building block in a residential area with occupied homes on the adjoining allotments.
He was often seen scavenging for scraps of food in garbage bins, and he also collected items of discarded property. Hence over many years there were large piles of junk on the property. In the ‘house’ the junk piles were about 5 feet (1.5m) high with two meandering corridors going through. He slept on a mattress in a bath which was turned on its side. In effect he was a hermit leading a very secluded and unusual life.
He did not like anyone entering his property. And he was known to become aggressive if an entry was attempted, even to the extent of producing a gun. Entry to the building could be made only by crawling through a hole in the wire spring of a bed, which was secured over the doorway.
On the 9th August, 1960, a sixty nine year old woman, Mrs. S., who lived next door, went to visit him a about 12.30 pm. According to her she entered the building and saw him slumped forward in a kneeling position. She, therefore, returned home and asked her husband to call a doctor. The doctor arrived at about and, on finding the man, called the local police.
The doctor informed the police that he believed that death had occurred that morning, because rigor mortis had set in. The local police attended and found the body near a stove. They soon saw that the deceased had a lacerated head, which they concluded had been caused by a fall, since the body was slumped forward.
The body was then moved to the City Mortuary for examination by the Government Pathologist, Dr. John Dwyer. Dr. Dwyer performed an autopsy which showed that multiple blows to the head had fractured his skull. He also reported that the injuries had been caused by a weapon with a curved edge.
At this stage I was detailed to investigate the matter.
At interview Mrs. S. said that she had felt sorry for the old man, and that for the past two years she had befriended him and provided him with cooked meals. She said that in return he had made her the sole beneficiary of his will. She also stated that she had last seen him alive the previous evening at about , when she went to his home with something for him to eat.
According to Mrs. S., she did not get out of bed the following morning until about , after which she had gone to the city. She stated that on hr return she asked her husband whether he had seen the old man, and that he replied that he had not. She said that she then changed her clothes and went to check on him. She said further that she had changed into old clothes because she thought that she might have to attend to him, since on a previous occasion he had fallen and injured himself.
An examination of the man’s home showed that he had indeed been living in squalor, and that the premises were badly infected with fleas. This was not surprising, particularly because he had previously kept guinea pigs.
The area where the victim was found was closely examined. An old beret when he normally wore was found, and this was covered with blood stains, and hair was found on a portable cooker nearby. An old enamel saucepan was also found nearby and the handle was bent near its base. The enamel was fractured and it, therefore, appeared that his was due to the force used in striking the victim’s head. It appeared that the enamel had been fractured quite recently. There was blood adhering to the edge of the saucepan.
The whole area was photographed and the suspected weapon and other items believed to be linked to the crime were taken as exhibits.
The Central Board of Health was asked to fumigate the premises and this was done. For some two days afterwards a cloud of fumes could be seen billowing from the building. However, when we re-entered and lifted a newspaper, we found dozens of fleas, obviously unaffected by the fumes. It was impossible to prevent them from attaching themselves to our clothes, but surprisingly no-one searching the premises appeared to have been bitten. Incidentally, I was barred from entering my home until I had removed my clothes and they had been sprayed and aired.
Although the building seemed likely to have been a haven for rats, there was no evidence of their presence. We were told that this was because guinea pigs had been there, and that orchardists in the
kept guinea pigs to stop rats from entering their packing sheds. Barossa Valley
All persons in the vicinity were interviewed and all confirmed that the man was eccentric that he did not like strangers entering his property and that if they did he would certainly try to deter them. They also informed us that the victim used to take off his clothes and then roll in the dirt to rid himself of fleas, that this had been reported to the police because of his indecent behaviour and that the police had warned him against re-offending.
In view of the fact that there was no apparent motive and that any intruder would have had difficulty in reaching the victim, it was clear that the victim knew his assailant.
Then important new information was given to us. Mrs. S. had been sighted in front of the victim’s house on the morning the body was discovered, which she had previously denied, and a schoolgirl had seen Mrs. S. climbing over the 5 foot high galvanized iron fence which separated her house from that of the victim. In addition, the girl said that when she was returning home at lunch time, she had seen Mrs. S. in the street near her home, and that her legs were bandaged, but that they had not been bandaged when the girl had gone to school earlier.
Then a neighbour informed us that she had seen Mrs. S. with an old saucepan which was identical to what we believed to be the murder weapon. Mrs. S. was questioned about this, and told us that she had once had an old saucepan in which she used top cook food for her fowls. And that she had thrown it over the fence into the deceased’s yard some weeks before.
Not long before the investigation, the police were making use of forensic science for the first time, and with some success, particularly in relation to paint of motor vehicles left at the scene of a crime. It was, therefore, decided to interview Mrs. S again in order to see whether any material from the scene of the crime, such as enamel chips, had lodged in her clothing. She handed over a dress which was tested and found to be free of enamel chips, but other articles of clothing were taken from her wardrobe, and it was found that a maroon coloured dress and a blue cardigan had particles of enamel adhering to the. Mrs. S was also asked if she would allow her hair to be combed by a woman police officer; she complied, but no traces of incriminating material were found. However, Mrs. S was unable to account for the splinters of enamel found on her garments. When the splinters of enamel wee examined microscopically, it was found that each fragment had jagged and hooked points. This explained how they adhered to rough surfaces, in this case, to the woman’s clothing.
Police cadets assisted us to search the victim’s premises. We were more than surprised at what was found. Large packing cases were filled with thousands of tobacco and cigarette tins, apparently gathered from a nearby rubbish dump. Many of these contained pieces of paper and cardboard on which the victim had written notes as reminders to himself.
Other tins contained money. Most of this was in the form of old notes, printed during the reign of King George VI, and these had been out of circulation for at least eight years. In addition many were rust stained, probably because of condensation in the old building.
Pension cheques were also found. All together about 800 pounds was recovered – a considerable sum in those days.
During the investigation, a lawyer informed us that Mrs. S had brought the victim to his office less than six weeks before the murder, and that the victim had made out a will making her the sole beneficiary. It turned out that Mr. J. had done this on a previous occasion, but he later cancelled the will, apparently because Mrs. S had asked him for money, and he refused, whereupon an argument ensued. The disagreement must have been resolved by the time they went back a second time.
All of the remaining enamel saucepans in the old man’s house were tested, as were saucepans belonging to Mrs. S. However, they were of a different composition.
Mrs. S. was further questioned about the enamel fragments found on her clothing, but she could not account for them, and she continued to deny any involvement on the murder. In fact, at that interview, she stated that she had been into the victim’s premises on only two occasions, once when she gave him a mattress to sleep on, and the other when she found him dead. It was, however, clear to us that her claims were false.
She was arrested and charged with murder.
Inquiries were made about the manufacture of the old saucepan (the murder weapon) and it was discovered that it had been made by Judds in
in 1930. We were told by those in the trade that in 1932 the composition of all enamel was changed and the coating was made thinner, to enable it to withstand higher temperatures and to be less likely to chip. Thus we had confirmation that the enamel coating on the saucepan used to kill Mr. J. was different from that on the saucepans owned by Mrs. S. England
the 19th September, 1960, Mrs. S. appeared before Mr. R.J. Coombe in the Adelaide Magistrates Court. Mr. McCarthy, the Assistant Crown prosecutor, led the prosecution and Mr. L.J. Elliott appeared for the defendant. In opening the prosecution, Mr. McCarthy indicated that most of the items of material evidence to be submitted resulted from a ‘marathon’ scientific examination and that there would 17 witnesses.
Among the exhibits were saucepans found in the victim’s home, together with numerous specks of enamel found on the beret which he had been wearing, together with eleven pieces found on Mrs. S’s dress and cardigan. Most of these specks were no bigger than a match head. They had been photographed, and a slide projector was used to show them in court.
The hearing lasted for five days, and the magistrate ruled that there was sufficient evidence to justify Mrs. S. being committed for trial in the Supreme Court.
The Assistant Crown Prosecutor’s presentation of the evidence had been excellent. He had prepared his case thoroughly, and understood that the material evidence was crucial.
However, when the trial commenced, the Crown Prosecutor advised the presiding judge that he himself could not understand the scientific evidence, and that he could not expect the trial to proceed. Accordingly he asked the judge to bring in a verdict of “Not Guilty”, whereupon Mrs. S. was quitted. This was more than a surprise to put it mildly; all of our work had come to nought.
The Crown Prosecutor had never before handled a case involving the use of scientific evidence, and he did not consult us before making his impetuous decision. He also made it known that he had no intention of turning the court into a picture theatre, referring to the slide presentations made during the preliminary hearing. Naturally the police and scientific experts, who had worked so conscientiously to prepare the case, were despondent; particularly in view of the fact the Mr. McCarthy had made such a splendid presentation in the lower court.
Soon after this case, the use of scientific evidence came to be widely accepted, so that everyone involved in a trial, including members of a jury, could understand the material evidence. It was ironic that, a few weeks after the acquittal, forensic evidence was used in a
Court in the trial of Stephen Leslie Bradley, for the murder of Graeme Thorn. In this trial there was very much more scientific evidenced, which included grass seeds, dog hair, flower pollen and soil. There was a conviction, and the presentation of the evidence was recognized and acclaimed internationally. New South Wales
Several of our dedicated volunteers braved the very hot conditions to lead the Tour Down Under entourage.
Dennis Irrgang and Kevin Johnson took the FJ for a few spins around the City circuit for the Cancer Helpline Classic
The old girl performed very well and attracted an enormous amount of attention and interest.
While Ernie McLeod & Mary Furnell took the Chrysler Royal on the Gawler to Hahndorf leg.
The Chrysler Royal travelled the Norwood to Goolwa leg with Kevin & Kay Johnson and Dennis & Dot Irrgang
Snapper Point to Willunga with the Chrysler Royal manned by Bob Boscence & Ernie McLeod
And finally—Adelaide City Circuit in the FJ with Bob Boscence & Kevin Beare.
On Sunday 24th January the vehicle team attended the Power of Yesterday Event at Milang. Kevin Johnson, Ernie McLeod, Roscoe Edwards, Dianne Lugg and Dennis Irrgang provided a static vehicle display together with a memorabilia stall. A very successful day was topped off by our A10 BSA winning the trophy for most original motor cycle. (the A10 is the one that has the rebuilt motor) The vehicles once again created a great deal of interest in both SAPOL & the Society.
The “HUE & CRY” is Published by the
South Australian Police Historical Society Inc.,
Thebarton Police Barracks
C/- G.P.O. Box 1539