At our monthly meeting on Friday 4th July we were privileged to have as our speaker, Justin Hogan, whose subject was Mount Everest. This is timely given that it is the 50th Anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s team climb to the summit.
Justin spoke of his adventure as part of a support team, and referred to a short video, and climbing equipment. The talk was well received by all present and was followed by some very interesting questions. The dangers of high altitude climbing were discussed and we were more aware of the difficult conditions the teams have to live in even at base camp. There was even the story of a climber who made it to the summit and snow-boarded back!
Eddie Trotter brought his neighbour Malcolm Henderson along to the meeting. Malcolm is the grandson of Herbert Henderson, who was the first president of the Police Association in those early days. He was featured in a recent Police Journal (centre spread) and Malcolm presented the society with Police Journals from 1918 and an annual report from that same year. Many thanks Malcolm.
Next months meeting will feature ? as guest speaker.
The society will be involved in this years Police Tattoo. Our motorcycle outfit will be used and there will be a static display in the foyer which will include the Chrysler Royal. Tickets are selling fast so don’t delay
Mounted Constable Roy Harvey at Callington (thought to be 1925/1926) performing South Australian Railways Payroll Escort Duty. The vehicle details are as follows:-
DORT - M.I.C. (Mechanical Inspection Car) - Identification Number 114.
4 cylinders, 3 1\2 " x 5" stroke; 19 Horse Power.
Capacity 5 passengers + passenger luggage. Commenced service with S.A.R. 1923. Engine built by Lycoming Engines, Flint Michigan (USA), body work by Murray Aunger Motor Co. Flinders Street Adelaide.
Original Cost £512.17.0.
Discussion re Dorothy Pyatt and Geoff Rawson attendance of History Trust meeting re accreditation of our museum.
Currently registered with the trust but to gain full accreditation, huge amount of work needs to be done. Mission Statement, Aims Goals, Strategic plan for 3-5yrs. Constitution needs to be updated as a result.
Draft Constitution copies to all members to study.
Report re new carpet, sound system, electric urn, flags and meeting room repainting.
Discussion re possible closure to public of Adelaide Gaol. Decision to support their organisation in any way possible.
THE TRAUMA CAUSED BY A PERVERTED FATHER
A murder occurred in 1959, with disastrous consequences to a family. It involved an English migrant, who had been living in Australia for approximately 15 years. He was a motor mechanic and well respected in a small country town where he was a member of the local Pistol Club. However, there were domestic problems, and he and his wife separated and she and her 18 year old daughter came to live in Adelaide.
After a few months separation, and the husband’s frequent suggestions of renewing their relationship, the wife agreed, and the husband moved into the home she was sharing with her daughter in College Park, Adelaide. There was another married daughter living in Sydney, and a son who was still residing at the small country town where the family previously resided.
However, within a few days of renewing the relationship, the wife suddenly disappeared and the husband sexually abused his single daughter for several days and locked her in the house where the family was living. The daughter eventually escaped through a bathroom window and telephoned her elder married sister in Sydney and advised her that her mother was missing and that the father had been sexually abusing her since she was eleven years of age.
The daughter in Sydney immediately rang the St. Peters Police Station in Adelaide and reported the matter, and I was instructed to investigate.
I interviewed the grief stricken daughter and she corroborated what her sister had reported to the St. Peters Police and she also advised that her mother had been missing for two days.
In the meantime the husband had been located and detained. He was subsequently interrogated regarding the absence of his wife and after several futile attempts to deny any knowledge of her whereabouts, he admitted that they had had an argument whilst they were sitting in his motor vehicle when it was located in a lonely and desolate spot near the Parafield Aerodrome. A struggle ensued in which he produced his licensed pistol and it discharged accidentally, killing her. He advised he then panicked and drove to an isolated spot in the Sandy Creek area near Gawler and had hidden the body amongst bushes.
The body of his wife was found at a concealed and desolate location where it could have remained for years without anyone discovering it. It was wrapped in plastic and rubber matting from the floor of the husband’s motor vehicle.
A post-mortem conducted on the deceased revealed she had been shot on three separate occasions whilst she was sitting in the front passenger seat, and that the bullets had been discharged by a person in the drivers seat. The main injury was a bullet wound in the top of the head. The bullet had passed through her body and lodged in the front passenger seat.
The other shots had been fired at an angle and the bullets, after penetrating the body had entered the floor and side of the vehicle.
It was evident it was a premeditated murder, and that the husband had planned it carefully, and was probably enroute to the location where the body was later found. His wife may have suspected his behaviour when near the Parafield Aerodrome where the murder was apparently committed, and she had objected to him driving her to an isolated area. This probably resulted in the shooting occurring where it apparently did. It was also evident the husband had previously selected the site where he intended concealing the body, as it was not possible to drive there at night without previous knowledge of the area. His sexually perverted actions in returning to the family home and continuing his incestuous relationship with his daughter immediately after killing his wife and then disposing of her body in such a despicable manner was indefensible to say the least.
The daughter was a quiet, good looking girl with a very pleasant manner, but was lacking in confidence in herself. This was probably due to the influence her father had over her for most of her formative years where he had continually threatened her should she be tempted to divulge information concerning his incestuous conduct.
He was subsequently arrested and charged with the murder of his wife, and on the sexual offences with his daughter. He was ably defended by the late John Bray, Q.C. who endeavoured to establish the cause of death to the wife was through his error in using the pistol. However, after a lengthy trial in the Supreme Court he was found to be guilty by the Jury. He was finally sentenced to a substantial term of imprisonment.
Preceding and during the court trials, I was closely associated with the two daughters of the offender, as they were to give vital evidence to the criminal trial, and a close bondship developed which lasted after the completion of the trials.
The younger girl went to live with her sister in Sydney, and both girls sent me letters at intervals advising me of their problems and lifestyles. However, within twelve months of the termination of the trial, the younger daughter had bouts of depression which necessitated her admittance to several psychiatric clinics. She would rally but later deteriorate again, until finally her elder sister advised she ultimately took her own life due to the trauma of her mother’s death, and the shocking and depraved actions of her sexually perverted father for all of her teenage years.
She wrote to me on one occasion and although she made one attempt to take her own life, she appeared to have overcome that tendency as you will see after reading her letter hereunder:-
Dear Hoppy, Gosh it was so lovely to hear from you again. Thank you so very much for the photo of you. I think it is really beaut. I have it framed and it is sitting in front of me now. I will always treasure it and I tell everyone that you’re my ‘adopted Dad’ and I feel very proud of you.
I’m so glad you received the doggy painting and liked him. As you have asked I will tell you that for 2 years I was in the Air Force and then I was in and out of 3 different office jobs and couldn’t settle in so I took up Psychiatric Nursing and stayed 5 months until I took an overdose and landed here. They have all been extremely kind and helpful to me during my stay but to be perfectly honest your faith in me and the fact that I didn’t want to disappoint you has really made me run uphill and now I feel just fine. I have been here 3 months and on Tuesday I commence at The Sunshine Home as a Nursing Assistant for sub-normal kiddies. I will live-in and see my doctor every 2 weeks.
I feel very happy and am looking forward to giving those children a little ray of sunshine from me if I can.
All I want to do is help people in this world. If I can help somebody as I pass along then my living will not be in vain.
I’ll never get married especially after what my father did but I am very fortunate to have such wonderful friends as you for instance, to help me on the way.
And I also own a Vespa motor scooter which I have had for over 2 years now. It’s very handy for scooting about on.
I hope one day to see you again Hoppy, but until then God bless you and your wife and thanks for all your help.
With kindest regards
Then on April 28th 1965 I received this letter from “Tony” as follows:-
“Mr. C. Hopkins,
You do not know me but I have heard quite a deal about you from my fiancée,*********.
To attempt to thank you for all the help you have given her would be impossible.
********* is now a very well girl due I feel to the compassion, understanding and help you were able to give her during that crucial period. I promise you I shall give her all my love, and never hurt her.
As I am not fortunate enough to know you I cannot write in length, but indirectly we both owe our happiness to you.
I am yours in humility and thanks,
It is amazing that with our criminal justice systems, which are naturally controlled by persons with a legal background, e.g. Attorney’s General, there are so many who are very vocal in calling for the reduction in penalties for serious crimes, and the rehabilitation of offenders. However, little mention is made to the trauma and suffering of the victims of these horrific crimes. Even in this instance, in letters written to me by both daughters, they expressed the fears of their father harassing them when he was released from prison.
This would have been less than ten years when taking good behaviour remissions into consideration, as this normally reduces the penalty by a third in such circumstances.
JULY MYSTERY PHOTOGRAPH
Can you help solve this
for Dot Pyatt.Who are the trainees
in this photo?
THANKS FOR THE MEMORY
Old photos evoke old memories. Last months mystery photo of the kangaroo doing a highland fling brought responses from several members.
Fay Leditschke and Wally Budd among others identified the man on the right as Mal Masters, who was in Port Adelaide C.I.B. before resigning to become an Inspector in the R.S.P.C.A. The identity of the Kangaroo is unknown but is rumoured to be the famous “Skippy the bush kangaroo” of T.V. fame.
The man on the extreme right of the photo was the late Mr Lancaster, a popular Director of the Adelaide Zoo. When the “Big Cats” saw him coming they would to the front of their cage, rubbing their faces against the bars and purring, while the Director scratched behind their ears.
Thanks to Rex and Gloria Greig, also Len Coghlan for donations of covers for our valuable collection of Police Badges.
Many members will have fond memories of using the Link Trainer to test their reflexes. It was stationed in the Traffic Training building, (now museum) with other useful items including cut away motors showing moving parts.
Link Trainer - Bob Cock, Stan Lockwood.
Link Trainer - Identity not known
29th September 2003
All members of the South Australian police Historical Society
Are invited to attend the National Remembrance Day memorial Service, in memory of police officers who were killed in the execution of their duty.
The 40 minute Service will be followed by morning tea served in the Academy Mess.
Parking will be available in the Academy’s Gym Car park located immediately to the right, after entering the main gates.
In case of wet weather, the service will be relocated to the Academy’s Auditorium, located upstairs in the Mess building.
Enquiries to: Bill Rojas, Assistant Secretary, Tel (w) 8204 2229
The “HUE & CRY” is published by the
South Australian Police Historical Society Inc.,
C/- Box 1539
GPO ADELAIDE 5001
Web Site :
email > firstname.lastname@example.org