Happy new year to all our members.
There is another exciting year ahead for the Society with the Annual General Meeting in February 6th, a new Constitution waiting for approval, progress with the museum and many challenges.
We have started a new segment for the year, which I hope you will enjoy, entitled “Profile of a Volunteer” which, in this issue, focuses on Shirley Hayward. Each month we will focus on a different volunteer. The Society would not survive without the dedicated contribution made by these volunteers who turn up every week come rain or shine.
New volunteers are always welcome and if you have a few hours to spare on a Wednesday or Thursday, please join us at the Police Barracks between 9.00 a.m. & 3.00 p.m.
The police Historical Society’s Web site ( www.sapolice.org/historical ) has been unavailable for many months due to circumstances beyond our control. We apologise to all members for any inconvenience caused , however, we are continuing to press for the restoration of the web site soon as possible.
We note the sad passing of Ev Hall following a long illness, she will be greatly missed. (Vale this issue)
Hope to see you all at the Annual General Meeting.
Passed Away 12th December, 2003
Valued member of the S.A. Police Historical Society
May she rest in peace
UNIFORMED MOUNTED AND FOOT POLICE
Uniformed Mounted and Foot Police (25) outside Cell Block in 1933
Foot police wearing "London Bobby" helmets. Mounted wearing kepis
Water police wearing cap and jacket identified as Kenneth Henry Bacon - joined 30/6/30 and retired 30/6/64- born Brixton U.K. 1904- Commendations:- commended, mention, honourable mention.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING:
PLEASE NOTE :-
Nominations for the Executive Committee are required to be submitted prior to the Annual General Meeting on the 6th February, 2004.
Nomination forms are available on request from the Secretary of the South Australian Police Historical Society Inc. at the Police Barracks or by telephoning 82074099 or Mobile 407610755.
The revised draft new constitution will be presented to the Annual General Meeting on Friday the 6th February 2004 for approval by members. It will be available for perusal at Historical section Police Barracks Port Road Adelaide or can be made available upon request. If you would like to view a copy please feel free to contact the Society either by telephone, facsimile or e-mail and a copy will be provided.
‘Subscription time’ is upon us again.
“Fees remain unchanged for 2004”
SINGLE MEMBERSHIP - $10.00
FAMILY MEMBERSHIP - $15.00
Attached to this copy of the ‘Hue & Cry’, you will find your ‘subscription form’ for the year 2004. Would you please complete the renewal section of this form, DETACH where indicated and return it to the Society office, together with your payment.
‘Early attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated.’
PLEASE DO NOT SEND ‘CASH’ THROUGH THE POST
In order to save administrative time and costs, provision has been made on this renewal form for any member who may wish to pay their subscriptions for a year or more in advance (maximum 2 years). If you would like to make an advance payment, please indicate in the area provided. In the event that subscriptions may increase in these years, those members who have taken advantage of this advance payment provision, will of course not be expected to pay any increased amount.
To those members who made advance payments in 2003, please disregard this notice.
If you have any query as to the status of your membership, please do not hesitate to contact our Treasurer, Tony Woodcock, on any Thursday at the Police Barracks, between 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. on 8207 4098.
"KIKER THE KILLER"
There is an old saying that lightning never strikes twice in the same place - this could also be said of a murder happening twice in a family, but it did occur. A father and his son, both taxi drivers, were murdered approximately 40 years apart.
At approximately 7.30 am on the 28th of March, 1959, a man was exercising his dog at Elizabeth, when he discovered a body of an man near houses which were under construction. I was detailed to investigate and others later assisted me.
The body was later identified as that of Sydney Harold Jacques, aged 40 years, a taxi driver, who had been reported missing that morning. The victim had been shot through the back of the head. He had money in his possession and his taxi was missing. The scene was photographed and the body removed to the City Mortuary. The area where the victim was found was being developed and there were few residents. It was in close proximity to where the Lyall McEwen Hospital is now located. [ Approximately three years earlier, another taxi driver [Hearn] was murdered about a mile away in very similar circumstances].
When I was returning to the City, a message was received that the missing taxi had been found abandoned on vacant land diagonally opposite the Gepps Cross Hotel. A check of the vehicle failed to reveal any clue to the identity of the offender.
Later, on arriving at Police Headquarters I was advised that another taxi driver, named Robarts, had been threatened by a passenger with a pistol at Morphettvale shortly after midnight. I re-interviewed Mr. Robarts, who was a driver of a cab operated by the Yellow Cab Company. He advised that he had been hailed by a man near the intersection of Wakefield and Hanson Streets in the City at approximately midnight, and requested to be driven to Currie Street where he hoped to see some friends. En route he advised that if he could not locate his friends he wanted to be driven to Victor Harbour and asked the cost of the fare. Robarts told him he wanted five pounds and the money was to be paid before he started on the journey.
On arrival at the premises in Currie Street, the passenger left the cab but was only absent for a short time and advised that he could not locate his friends, and requested to be driven to Victor Harbor and handed the driver two pounds. En route, Robarts stopped at a phone booth and phoned his wife. Later when travelling near Morphettvale, the passenger requested the driver to travel down a side road stating that he believed a cousin lived there. .
The passenger had a plaster cast on one arm and was carrying a parcel wrapped in brown paper. Robarts refused to drive into the darkened roadway. The passenger produced a pistol from the brown paper parcel he was carrying and said "I am doing the shooting. Give me your money". A short struggle ensued and the passenger endeavoured to discharge the pistol.
Robarts heard the cocking mechanism of the pistol click, but the passenger was hampered with his hand in the plaster cast and the paper jammed on the cocking mechanism of the pistol.
During the struggle, Robarts was able to push the offender from the cab, and although its engine stalled momentarily, he drove off and returned towards Adelaide. En route he stopped a passing Police Car near the Flagstaff Hotel, Darlington, and reported the incident. Robarts described his assailant as approximately 25 years, 6' 2", strong build, rugged appearance, black straight hair and side burns. He also advised that he believed the offender had attended a dance prior to hailing his cab.
We ascertained that the nearest dance to the point where the taxi had been hailed, was one organised by an Amateur Football Club in the South Australian Homing Pigeon Club Rooms in Pulteney Street, situated between Wakefield and Flinders Streets. The Organiser was contacted and we advised him of the description we had been given of the offender, and in particular that he had a plaster cast on one arm. As a result of contacting various persons known to the organiser as having attended the function, we were able to contact others, and they in turn advised us of the names of people who were present. Because of this method, we were eventually able to contact most people who had attended the dance, but in doing so, we discovered that three persons who were in attendance had a plaster cast on one arm. I remember that one was a young fireman.
We were eventually successful in contacting a woman who worked as a house maid at the Duke of York Hotel in the City. She stated that she met a man at the dance who fitted the description of the offender. She had drunk beer with him and also had danced with him, but she did not know his name.
"KIKER THE KILLER" Cont…...
She stated that he had stayed at the Duke of York Hotel approximately 12 months previously, and he was then in company with a fencing contractor from Queensland.
A visit was made to the Hotel and a check of the Register of Lodgers revealed that our suspect was named Kiker.
Media coverage was given on the new information, particularly in relation to his description. In due course, a person reported seeing a man answering the description of the suspect walking along the beach at Brighton in the early hours of the morning following the attempted armed hold-up of the taxi driver at Morphettvale. Also a driver of a public bus reported conveying a person answering the description of the suspect from near the Gepps Cross Hotel to the City at approximately 8.30 p.m. on the night Jacques was murdered. A woman employed at the Moulin Rouge Night Club also advised that she had spoken to him at the Club at approximately 9.30 p.m. She advised that she knew him and shortly afterwards, she noticed he had left.
Information was also received that the suspect was staying with people at an address at Findon.
However, when we visited that address, there was no one in attendance. We waited all night, and when the occupants returned the following morning, they stated that they had been attending a party and did not know the suspect, and claimed that they had only recently moved to the address. They also stated that the previous owner, who lived nearby, may be able to assist.
We then visited the address given, which comprised of a large house in the centre of a large flower nursery. It was then 7.30 am and we spoke to a woman who was washing clothes at the rear of the premises. She stated that the suspect, her husband and several other men, had gone shooting rabbits near Cape Jervois. Shortly afterwards she said, "I'm not sure whether he went with them [referring to the suspect], he may be in bed". She then directed us to a bedroom. We entered with pistols drawn and found him in bed and discovered the .45 calibre pistol, containing six bullets, under the bed. He stated that he had paid ten pounds for it in Melbourne. He admitted his involvement in the attempted hold-up of Robarts, and advised that he had walked from Morphettvale to the beach and followed it along to Glenelg.
When questioned about the murder of Jacques, he stated that he had been drinking excessively all day and he said that after having his evening meal at his friend's place at Findon, he had gone to the City and hailed a taxi near the Gresham Hotel [corner of King William Street and North Terrace] and asked to be driven to a night club, but the taxi driver told him that he knew where there was a party and asked whether he wished to attend. He agreed, and the driver drove to the Elizabeth area and drove into a darkened street. He then stopped to urinate. When they both got out of the car, he said Jacques had propositioned him to commit a homosexual act. He had then gone to the taxi to retrieve his pistol with the intention of frightening him. However, he said that Jacques lunged at him and he shot him [most unlikely as the victim was shot in the back of the head] He claimed he did not intend to kill him.
When questioned concerning his vision of Jacques, he admitted that it was very dark and it was difficult to see him [a nearby resident later advised that he had seen the taxi stop and the tail lights were left on and said that he had heard a noise [probably the shot] and had put his house front light on. The vehicle then drove off. It was evident that the nearby resident's action in illuminating the front of his home, scared the offender and prevented him from stealing the victim's money.
The suspect stated that he drove the cab towards Adelaide and abandoned it. He then caught a bus to the City. [This was later confirmed by the bus driver]. KIKER continually advised that he was drunk and could not remember much of what had happened. However, numerous witnesses advised that he was not affected by liquor including the bus driver, an employee at the night club, the woman at the dance [who had two dances with him] and also Robarts, the taxi driver.
The offender made a statement concerning his involvement, and altered it in several places before finally signing it. He claimed that he was affected by liquor at the time and could not recall the full details.
Kiker was arrested and charged with the murder of Jacques, and also when armed with an offensive weapon, of attempting to rob Robarts.
It was later revealed that the defendant had travelled to Peterborough on the 19th of March [nine days prior to the murder] in a car driven by a man named Woods. En-route, the glove box was opened in the car revealing a .45 calibre pistol.
They returned to the City the following day and Woods removed the seven bullets from the pistol and placed them on his dressing table in his bedroom. [He had taken the pistol with him in the event that if he saw a kangaroo, he intended to have a shot at it] A few days after their return, Kiker visited Woods at his home and stated that he wanted to purchase the pistol. Woods refused. Kiker then asked for a loan of it. He was again refused. He then asked Woods if he would give him the ammunition for it, and he obliged. Woods advised some time after that date that his car was interfered with when parked in his driveway and the pistol was removed from the glove box.
The pistol removed from the car was the one found in the defendant's possession. It was also shown to have been the one which was used to shoot Jacques. There were six bullets in the pistol when we recovered it.
The defendant was ultimately committed for trial in the Supreme Court, Adelaide. Mr. W.A.N. Wells appeared for the Crown, Messrs H. Alderman Q.C. and C. Villeneuve-Smith for the defendant. Twenty six witnesses were called to give evidence for the prosecution. The trial lasted 5 days and the defendant was convicted and sentenced to the death penalty. Later Executive Council commuted his sentence to 14 years imprisonment.
This offender was probably the most despicable criminal whom I had encountered during my years of service in the Criminal Investigation Branch. His crimes were premeditated, as can be seen by his endeavours to obtain a weapon, and in the manner he organised for the two taxi drivers to travel to remote areas so that he could kill and rob them. However, his real character can be gauged by the fact that when he realised he would have to answer for his criminal activities, he decided to claim that he was affected by liquor. It was also very evident to everyone that Kiker's allegations concerning his victim's conduct were also false. However, the poor victim [Jacques] was unable to refute his killer's claim that he was a homosexual.
The death penalty for a conviction for murder was still Statute law at the time of Kiker's trial which occurred in the wake of the Royal Commission which had been instituted following the trial of an aborigine named Rupert Max Stuart for murdering a school girl at Thevenard on Eyre Peninsula. This murderer had many sympathisers who considered, due to his background, that he should not be subjected to the consequences of British Law.
He also received favourable media coverage from a local newspaper. This was despite the fact that he had spent his early life at a Church Mission and later travelled and worked throughout the State. At the time of the offence he was employed as a Circus Hand. He was finally sentenced to imprisonment. It was this factor which saved Kiker from a death sentence.
On Kiker's release he married a wealthy widow with a grazing property in the South East of South Australia.
As previously mentioned, it was the second murder in the Jacques family. The victim's father, who was also a taxi driver, was murdered at Port Pirie in the mid 1920's by a man named Budd.
On 7th December, 1959, we received a commendation in the form of a Mention for our efforts during the investigation. It read: 'For tenacity and devotion to duty displayed in the investigation into the murder of Sydney Harold Jacques on 29/3/59, leading to the arrest and conviction of Raymond Thomas Kiker for this offence'.
A MEMORABLE MEDAL
At 7.30 a.m. on Tuesday, 24th September, 1957, passengers alighted from an M.T.T. bus opposite City Bricks Ltd on Glen Osmond Road when a man rushed forward brandishing a .22 calibre rifle. A man who had alighted from the bus rushed towards the man with the rifle, but as he did so, the rifle was discharged and he was shot in the chest, but he continued to grapple with the attacker. Another man went to the victim's aid and endeavoured to disarm the assailant, but the rifle again discharged and he was shot in the stomach. The gunman immediately left the scene in a motor utility which was parked nearby. The victims were taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for treatment by St. John Ambulance personnel. I was detailed to investigate the matter.
The victim who had first been shot was named Karl Heinz Berg, a supervisor at City Bricks Ltd and he was proceeding there to commence work when the incident occurred. He stated that he knew his assailant as Bernard Zabinski, a Polish National, and that there had been a disagreement between them over the delivery of bricks which were a scarce commodity at that time. He had been shot in the chest but luckily the bullet did not damage any vital organ.
An all patrol alert was made in an effort to apprehend the offender, and he was eventually detained driving his vehicle at Rose Park.
The second victim of the shooting was William Bowering, 40 years, a Scottish migrant who had recently arrived in South Australia. He advised that he had been employed in his homeland by an elderly lady ever since he had left school until he migrated, and he had been paid two pounds a week and given his board. He also advised that his employer did not approve of his migrating, but she wished him well and he corresponded with her regularly. He was employed at the Brickworks, and when he went to the aid of Berg, he was shot in the stomach. His condition was considered to be serious in the initial stages.
When I spoke to the offender, he readily admitted his involvement and stated that Berg had failed to meet a business agreement which he had made with him. Zabinski appeared rational, and advised that he had thrown the rifle into the River Torrens from the University Bridge. He was a single man, 35 years of age, and had his own plumbing business. He had been living in Australia for a number of years, and had a good reputation with the few people who knew him, although they said that the disagreement with Berg had changed him.
Up until that time, the only means available of recovering property from the water was by the use of grappling irons. However, they were not usually reliable for recovering weapons, as there was nothing to which the prongs could grip in order for this type of property to be retrieved. As advice had been circulated that an Under Water Recovery Squad had been formed, I enquired if they could assist. It transpired that the Squad had received their diving suits and other gear that day and they attended and the weapon was recovered.
The offender was eventually charged with the offence of attempted murder.
It was then the practice for offenders arrested on crimes of this nature, to be psycho-analysed before appearing in Court. It was done on this occasion and the offender was found to be mentally unstable to the extent that he was deemed to be unfit to stand trial. He was detained in a mental institution.
The two victims eventually recovered from their injuries, and I made a recommendation to the Royal Humane Society for William Bowering to be considered for a commendation for his bravery in going to the aid of Berg, and endeavouring to disarm the offender. At the time, Mr. W.C. Veale, Town Clerk of the Adelaide City Council, was the Chairman of the Royal Humane Society. When I forwarded my recommendation, I included a copy of the complete Court file which I considered would have contained sufficient detail to enable a decision to be made on the matter. However, Mr. Veale was a stickler for detail, and the file was returned on approximately four occasions before he was satisfied. At the same time I was getting slightly frustrated at his continuing requests for more detail, to the extent that I was beginning to question my initiative in suggesting the recommendation.
Several years after this investigation, my colleague, Detective Moran and myself were visiting a number of City Hotels on a Saturday afternoon performing what was known as a consorting patrol. It involved identifying criminals and their associates in order to prevent innocent victims getting involved in crime. The associates were informed of the criminals reputation. Should the associate persist in associating with criminals he could have been charged with consorting with criminals. When performing this duty, we visited the Earl of Zetland Hotel in Gawler Place, City, and a man approached me in a very excited state. At first I did not recognise him. It was William Bowering. I had not seen him since I spoke to him in Hospital when he was injured. He was very elated to see me, and to my astonishment produced his bravery medal awarded to him by the Royal Humane Society. It was very evident from his remarks and actions that he greatly treasured his award, and that he carried it with him at all times. This incident certainly gave me great satisfaction to have been involved in ensuring the actions of this brave man were recognised, and also of the necessity of the close detail required by Mr. Veale in order that each recommendation received close scrutiny.
In the mid 1960's I received a telephone call at my home to warn me that Bernard Zabinski had escaped from the Mental Institution and it was thought that he may endeavour to seek me out as I was responsible for his arrest. Nothing was heard of him until his remains were discovered approximately six months afterwards in a thickly wooded area adjacent to the Mount Osmond Golf Course. It was evident that he had walked to the site immediately after escaping and had taken his life by hanging. This information amazed me to think that golfers had not discovered his body earlier, as my association with the game had always shown that players spent more time in the thickly wooded areas adjacent to the course than on it.
This was a tragic investigation, and although there was no evidence to substantiate the reason for the offender's mental instability, it was possibly due to the treatment and experiences he had undergone in his homeland during World War 11 which terminated a short time prior to his migration. I had encountered similar incidents with other Polish Nationals during this era.
Dead dogs do tell tales?
On solo patrol one wintery night in 1962, I was sent to an accident between a motor car and a dog. The dog appeared to be badly injured and was being cared for by a nearby resident in his side garden. As it was apparent the dog should be destroyed I drew my pistol and shot it in the head. It fell to the ground without a sound. I then arranged for the carcass to be picked up by the local Council.
About 30 minutes later I was told to return to the accident scene where I saw a confused Council employee who explained he could not find the dog. I took him to the spot where the dog was left and found the same man there who had helped the dog earlier. He too was puzzled as he thought the dog had been picked up without his knowledge.
On making a close examination of the scene I located a .38 calibre bullet which had obviously come from my gun. It was undamaged, indicating it had not come into contact with any hard object. I could only surmise that the old ammunition I was using had only enough power to stun the dog and had then fallen to the ground.
The dog apparently recovered consciousness and run off. Despite numerous enquiries I never found the dog or heard any more about the incident.
PROFILE OF A VOLUNTEER
Older members will remember the reception area of the Angas Street Headquarters where Shirley worked for many years and virtually ran the place.
She is a tireless worker for the Society having worked with the Thursday Group for many years. She patiently clips relevant items from the local newspapers, preparing them for data entry.
As a seasoned traveller she often entertains our Thursday group with tales of her overseas exploits and ballroom dancing prowess.
Shirley has a heart of gold, is always ready to assist at Historical Society functions and, as a very active octogenarian, leaves the younger members in her wake.
Published by the South Australian
Police Historical Society Inc.,
Thebarton Police Barracks
C/— Box 1539 S.A. 5083
G.P.O. Adelaide 5001