INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Blast From the Past
Volunteers in Action
Next Month's Meeting
THE TOM ROBERTS ‘FJ’
The FJ Holden keys were officially handed over to the Society
by Mrs Pat Roberts at the November 6th, 2009 Monthly Meeting.
October has been a very hectic month. We have been working on plans for the removal of our records and artefacts for asbestos removal and this has proved to be very difficult. Decisions are still to be made with regard to suitable storage whilst this process is going on. It is now likely that the material will be moved to a repository for temporary storage. We have had 3 Sunday tours in a row (see stories in this issue) and the uniform project is in full swing with Bethany Boucher, Helen Ward, Diane Lugg , John White and Dave Aylett well into the project.
The Mosaic project is moving forward with the arrival of a dedicated server which will soon be loaded with software. This machine has proved to be very noisy and will require some noise suppression in the near future. Tony Kaukas is monitoring this project.
Jim Sykes has been on the sick list and is now recovering and has done a wonderful job of mounting the next set of batons for sale as Series 2 has almost sold out. This is a fantastic job when considering that Jim has not been well. We congratulate Jim on his workmanship and dedication to this project.
Allan Peters has also been unwell and is now back in his role as researcher ably assisted by Audrey Walker.
The vehicle section has been very busy with Bay to Birdwood and other events. However the biggest and happiest news is the FJ Holden is now registered and on the road in full working order for the Christmas functions. The BSA that broke down in the Bay to Birdwood Parade was stripped down by experienced BSA motor cycle person and new team member, Ross Edwards. Ross identified the problem and is expected to have the motor cycle up and running for the forthcoming Christmas Pageants. We appreciate the time and effort that Ross has put in to get this motor cycle mobile again.
Heather and I will be cruising around New Zealand as you read this article and Kevin Beare will be looking after the shop in my absence. I look forward to catching up with everyone at our final meeting for 2009—The Annual Christmas Celebration Dinner on Saturday the 5th December at 7.00 pm at the Police Club.
On Friday 6th November 50 members and guests attended our Monthly meeting when guest speaker Tony Ey gave us a very entertaining an informative insight into Road Safety for Seniors, featuring slides & videos. Everyone received an R.A.A. ’Show Bag” and Tony was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a copy of Tales of the Troopers. Tony assisted by drawing the first winning prize ticket for the raffle , which raised a fabulous $90.00.
It was a very special night for the Society. After many years the ‘Tom Roberts F.J.” Holden is now registered and fully operational. The Roberts family, including Terry, Linda, Matthew, Neville, Dennis and Tom joined members to witness the key handover ceremony. Acting President Kevin Beare accepted the keys from Mrs. Pat Roberts (wife of the late Tom Roberts) and expressed the Society’s sincere thanks for her generosity and patience. Many hundreds of hours of hard work have been involved in this restoration and the vehicle teams, both past and present, are to be congratulated on a job well done.
Particular thanks must go to former team leader Rex Greig and current co-coordinator Kevin Johnson
for their untiring efforts on behalf of the Society. It is great to see this very special vintage vehicle up and running; a very welcome addition to our historical vehicle fleet. The Tom Roberts FJ will now take pride of place in our vehicle displays and the many upcoming Community Christmas Pageants.
The Sundown Murders &
by Reuben Goldsworthy.
After breakfast we were told that tyre marks showed where the offender’s vehicle had parked and we went to the site, which was just off the highway. The tyre marks were clearly visible in the soft sand. We also saw that a two-wheeled trailer had been towed; there were three pairs of wheel marks. However, we could not tell which pair was made by the caravan and which by the car, and consequently did not know whether the car was going south towards Adelaide or north to Alice Springs. Near the site was a discarded piece of bagging, which was photographed and retained.
Where Bailey had abandoned deceased's car after disposing of bodies. Tin in foreground had contained water and used by offender to wash car to remove fingerprints.
We then followed footprints to the Bowman’s car, which was some 150 yards from the highway and on the opposite side from where the offender’s vehicle and caravan had stopped. The interior of the car was in disarray, and there was blood on the inside trims and rear floor. A purse containing a diamond ring and thirty pounds in notes was also found. Nearby was an empty 4 gallon drum.
It was significant that the outside of the car was reasonably clean considering the country which had been traversed, indicating that it had been washed so as to remove fingerprints. None were found.
The offender had obviously driven the Bowman’s car to the site, and it was clear from three sets of footprints that he had walked back to his own vehicle and then returned, after which he had returned to his own car again.
We were then taken south along the highway to a position where footprints led through the bush on the northern side of the Bowman’s camp site, which was in a clearing in the bush. We saw the remains of a camp fire and were directed to an area nearby where there appeared to be blood, and where several 0.22 calibre rifle shells were found. We were also shown the dehydrated remains of two dogs near the base of a tree, presumably the pets that accompanied the Bowmans. In addition, the hub cap of a car was found buried in an ant nest. It had been the custom of the Bowmans when motoring to use a hub cap to hold water for the dogs to drink. The scene was photographed and the shells and hub cap retained.
View of murder scene. Extreme left shows position of hub cap found buried in mulga ants nest.- Bowmans had removed hub cap to water dogs.
We then went to a place where the tracks of a vehicle led off the highway and through mulga trees, and we followed these tracks to a place where we found something covered with canvas and blankets. A photograph was taken and the covering was removed. The remains of the victims were found in a decomposed state underneath. Two 0.22 calibre rifle shells, two pieces of bagging (which had been fashioned into ‘moccasins’ with electric wiring) and a canvas rifle case were also found. These were retained. No footprints ere found at the site; the use of the moccasins must have been successful. The murderer was probably aware that the aborigines themselves used a similar method of cov erring their feet in order to escape detection.
The scene was thoroughly seared and photographed, and the bodies were then wrapped carefully in blankets and placed separately in the lead-lined coffins to be sent to Adelaide for pathological examination.
The aborigines in our party were able to show use the tracks left in the sand by the person who must have been the murderer, but their knowledge of English was limited, so communication with them was difficult. However, I felt that I needed their evidence to present in court, and therefore had to find a way to overcome the difficulty. After some thought, I decided to ask them to draw a diagram. I started by making a line in the sand to represent the road. They were then able to mark in the various tracks taken by the murderer to and from the murder scene. Flour was sprinkled into these lines and a photograph taken.
Interpretation of tracks left by Murderer after committing murder and disposing of bodies. This map was drawn by Blacktrackers and station owners who assisted in tracking and all were in agreement. This map was made two days after the bodies were discovered and when Bailey was interviewed at Mount Isa approximately six weeks later he drew an identical map when showing the course he took in committing the murders and disposal of the bodies.
Witness Noel Coulthard standing by map
Because of the intense heat in the middle of the day, it was impossible to continue the investigation, and we gathered under a canvas awning, which the local people had erected for everyone’s protection during the hottest part of the day. Even they, more used to intense heat than my colleagues and I, found it necessary to shelter from the sun. We resumed the investigation shortly after 4 pm, when it was slightly cooler.
Although we had a portable pedal type radio, we did not relay any reports to neighbouring properties in case the off ender had a receiver and would be listening in.
The whole area was searched again, and a small pocket sized calendar was found near where the offender’s vehicle had been parked. It had been printed for a tailor in Dubbo. It seemed likely that the calendar was associated with the offender.
The information about the offender’s car and trailer was conveyed to Mr. Wilkinson at Kulgera, and he stated that an oyster grey Zephyr car, towing a trailer, had called sometime after the Bowmans had, and like the Bowmans had also travelled south.
Following receipt of this information, and national media release was issued in the hope of tracing this vehicle, but without success. It was now ten days since the victims were seen at the roadhouse. There could be no doubt that a vehicle of the description given by Mr. Wilkinson had called at the roadhouse, but in view of the time lapse, there was some doubt whether it was the one being sought.
On the third day at the scene, a Mr. Staines from the Eridunda Station arrived. He had been taught tracking as a boy. He asked if he could look at the offender’s footprints. When taken to the Bowman’s campsite, he noticed that the footprints were covered with indentations. This showed that a light shower had fallen earlier. However, the prints found near the victim’s car were free of indentations, indicating that they had been made after the shower. We, therefore, concluded that the murder had been committed before the car was washed.
(Mrs. Oldfield, a person interviewed later in Alice Springs, was able to confirm that a shower had fallen in the area that night).
He pointed to some footprints which led in a westerly direction, and that at one point he had thrown something away. He said that this was indicated by a footprint which showed that the offender had turned and twisted. Another footprint indicated that he had also thrown something else. As a result a close search was made, and we found a small travelling clock and, in another part of the area, dog chains. These were found despite the fact that they were not visible because they had slid under the dust and sand. For evidentiary purposes a statement was taken from Mr. Staines.
We then went back and walked from the road to the abandoned car. Mr. Staines immediately remarked that the offender had carried something heavy from the roadway to the vehicle, because the steps were much shorter than those made when he returned. It then it became obvious that the 4 gallon can, which we had found, had been carried to the Bowman’s vehicle in order to wash it to remove fingerprints and that he had left the can on the site.
Piece of bag in foreground left after murderer had made moccasins to cover his shoes.
Note. Position of Bowman's car in background.
It was obvious that the white tracker had skill superior to those of the aborigines, and we were told that he was not the only white man in the outback who could more than match his aboriginal teachers when it came to tracking.
Soon after Mr. Staines’ reconnoitre, we left for Kulgera Station, by which time we had a picture, although not in complete detail of what had occurred, and this was the result of a team effort. We knew where and how Mr. Whelan, Mrs. Bowman and her daughter had been killed, and we knew that the murderer had taken the bodies away and had attempted to conceal them. We also knew that he had later driven the Bowman’s vehicle to the place where it was found, and that this was not far from where he had parked his car and trailer. Finally , we knew that he had washed the Bowman’s car in order to remove fingerprints.,
We also had in our possession, the items which we had collected at each site visited by the murderer, and that these items contributed to our knowledge of what had occurred, and would in all likelihood be valuable clues in our pursuit of the killer.
However, at this stage these items were merely parts of a jigsaw, and the other parts were missing. The items we had were sent to Adelaide in the hope that their examination would give us other parts of this jigsaw. We could not be confident that the case would be solved. We did not know in which direction the offender’s car went, we did not have any fingerprints, and of course we had little idea why the crime had been committed. Finally, much time had elapsed since the murder, thus further reducing our chances of success.
The Bowman brothers were not short of money, and shortly after the murders, Peter Bowman offered a reward of ₤1,000 for any information leading to the identity and conviction of the offender. The Advertiser offered an additional ₤500. After some time Bryan Bowman offered a further ₤4,500, making a total of ₤6,000, a huge sum in those days, and the highest ever offered in South Australia. This was given national media coverage, and reward posters were printed and distributed to all police stations for circulation and display. Despite this national appeal for information, none was forthcoming.
The fact that the brothers were grandsons of Edmund Bowman, a member of a well known and wealthy family of early pastoralists in South Australia, added to public interest in the murders. Edmund and his brothers had owned sheep runs at Dry Creek, Port Wakefield, Crystal Brook and Narrung. He himself had built a palatial thirty-nine room mansion, Barton Vale Hall at Enfield, which is now listed as a Heritage Building, and his son, also Edmund (Bryan and Peter’s uncle) built the well known Martindale Hall at Mintaro, used as the school in the making of the film Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Naturally, there was also intense interest in Central Australia, where Bryan had become something of a legend as a hardy bushman: he spent much more time camping out than living in the homestead, and could live off the land like an aborigine. Although wealthy, he never stayed at a hotel when in Alice Springs, preferring to doss down in the bed of the Todd River. At the same time, he was no scrooge and gave generously to worthy causes. He was one of Central Australia’s characters.
After spending a night at Kulgera, Detectives Palmer, Moran and I drove to Oodnadatta with Mr. Jack Hanney, a police officer who had been Officer in Charge there. The distance was some 300 miles. The road was so rough that a four-gallon can of water, which was on the back set, fell forward and damaged the back of the seat in front.
On the way we stopped at the De Rose Hill Station, and stayed there for a few hours because of the intense heat. In fact, it was so hot that native birds were flying in under the verandah and dropping dead from exhaustion. Due to Mr. Hanney’s skilful driving and knowledge of the roads, we arrived in Oodnadatta just in time for a scheduled radio contact with police headquarters in Adelaide. The four of us had consumed two gallons of water each enroute.
During the next day and a half reports of our observations, the statements of witnesses and so on were typed. I then flew to Adelaide on the DC3 domestic flight, taking with me the exhibits collected at the crime scene. They included the spent rifle shells, the rifle case, calendar and pieces of bagging, together with the makeshift moccasins when the offender had fastened with electric wiring.
This flight had to be experienced to be believed. At the outset, the passengers were given bags into which to vomit in case of airsickness. It was just a s well; there was severe turbulence as the plane fell sharply when hot air ‘pockets’ were encountered, and in addition it swayed from side to side. Fortunately I was unaffected. All the other passengers were ill and vomited, except for an elderly man sitting near me at the back of the plane. The attendants could not assist; they were confined to their seats for safety reasons, and they too were vomiting. Mr. Staines told me later that on one occasion he stayed in Adelaide for a month rather than fly back while the weather was too hot. In fact, while we were stopped a Leigh Creek, we were told that the heat was so extreme that the Ghan had been delayed because of the buckling of the rails, which was a relatively rare occurrence.
Back in Adelaide it was a relief at last to be able to discard the blue overalls that I had worn for some ten days after leaving Port Augusta. With the heat and dust, as well as wear and tear, they were not in good condition. I returned in time to celebrate Christmastide with my wife and our friends, and to enjoy a welcome break from the investigation.
FROM THE EDITOR:
NEXT ISSUE: A SHELL FISH, SMALL PIN FEATHER & 0.22 CALIBRE RIFLE SHELLS
The Public Actuary during the following months compiled a report for the Government, as to the cost of the proposed pensions bill, the cost embodied in this report caused the Association to call a meeting on October 9, 191. It was deemed advisable by the members attending this meeting to employ a competent man to frame a pension bill as early as possible, using what cash was in the Association funds for this purpose. It was decided that no time be lost in getting the bill before the House of Assembly, as the Government would not pass the bill on the figures put forward by the Public Actuary.
That the efforts of the Association were successful is borne out by the fact that in December, 191, the president stated that the funds held by the public service fund would probably be refunded, that the retiring age should be fixed at 60 years, with no provision for the Commissioner or anyone else to extend it under any circumstances. The clause in the bill allowing extension was unsatisfactory to the whole force and unjust to the younger members. Meetings following this discussed various aspects of the Pensions Bill until on August 17, 1916, when a special general meeting was called, Officers present at this meeting were Acting Commissioner Superintendent Priest, Inspector Bushell,
Sub-Inspectors Blade, Fraser, O’Connor, Wellington and (newly promoted) Beare.
Two hundred other ranks were also present, which is a fair indication of the importance of the occasion. The Public Actuary explained the conditions of the proposed Pension Bill, also those appertaining to the Public Service Superannuation Bill, as he had been instructed to do by the Chief Secretary.
He was given a very attentive hearing by the members present, who afterwards were addressed by Superintendent Priest. A proposal made by Superintendent Priest that the meeting request the Government to proceed with the proposed Police Pension Bill as already prepared, thereby fulfilling the desire of the force as whole for a separate permanent Police Pension Scheme. This proposal was carried unanimously by all present with no dissenters,
At the next annual general meeting only twenty five members attended and it was again urged that the Government be approached to pass the Pension Bill. On the 15th March, 1917, the committee resigned. The resignations were accepted by the members who gave the outgoing executive a vote of thanks for past services.
It was in this way that the first phase of the Association ended, with a change of executive, a new Commissioner and high hopes for the future.
POLICE ACT 1869-70.
SEC. 104 POLICE MOIETY OF FINES ETC. TO GO TO A FUND FOR SUPERANNUATION PURPOSES.
When any person employed in the said police force shall be entitled to whole or any portion of any forfeiture, penalty or seizure under this or any other Act in force, within the said province, the amount of the proceeds thereof shall go to a general fund, to be called the “Police Fund” and all moneys which at the commencement of this Act have accumulated in respect of any such forfeitures, penalties or seizures shall be transferred to the said “Police Fund”. The said “Police Fund” shall be invested from time to time in the names of the Commissioner of Police, the Under Secretary, and the Under Treasurer for the time being, who shall, in all matter s in relation to the said fund, act in obedience to such regulations as may from time to time be made by the Governor-in-Council in respect to the said fund; and the Governor-in-Council may made regulations ….
For the disposal of the said fund, by providing for the retirement of members of the said Force, who may have retired after the twenty-ninth day of November, 1869, on the principles provided for the retirement of officers of the Civil Service of the said Province under Act No. 9 of 1865-66, “An Act to Amend the Law relating to the Retirement of Officers in the Civil Service for Other Purposes”. (Note: this was at the rate of one month’s pay for every year served).
For the reimbursing to any member of the said force the costs and expenses which he may have incurred in defending himself in any action or prosecution which may be instituted against him, in respect of any act done by him in the discharge of his duty as a member of the said force, or any damages awarded to be paid by such member be he not blame-able in respect of the subject matter of such action (Note: Even if such an action was right the members still had to pay for it, indirectly, for their own fund.)
And for paying to any member such sum of money as a reward for any specially meritorious service as the Governor-in-Council may award (Note: Any reward for service was also paid indirectly by the members).
But no member of the said force, who shall be on the fixed establishments of the Civil Service, within the terns of the said Act No. 9 of 1865-66, shall be entitled to any retiring allowance or compensation out of the said fund (Note: This would probably apply to the Commissioner and his officers).
Provided, however, that no person shall have any claim against the Government or revenue of the said Province in the event of the said fund proving insufficient to satisfy all demands upon it. (Note: Though I could not find specific evidence of this clause being invoked, it is apparent that from the general tenor of reference in the papers and data researched that this fund did, at times, fall short of the amounts required. Mainly owing to the fact that the Under Treasurer was forced to use some amounts for other purposes).
NEXT MONTH: GATHERING CLOUDS.
David & Elaine Eason …
We Welcome you …….
Have you returned your booking slip & payment ?
There are still a few seats available, but you will have to be quick!!
Any donations toward our Christmas Raffle prizes would be greatly appreciated.
From the American Publication "Final Exits"
Provided by Society Historian - Alan Peters.
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT The death penalty is one of the most controversial topics today, but throughout history, public executions were the biggest social events of the year and a great excuse to party. The uneducated and the elite would mingle to watch a fellow human die. Pastries, meats, fruits, souvenirs, and trinkets were hawked, similar to the fanfare surrounding a modern sporting event.
The total number of legal executions in America since colonial times exceeds 19,200. Most were convicted of murder; 1,086 were convicted of rape; and 1,300 were convicted for neither murder nor rape, but for slave revolt, piracy, adultery, witchcraft, theft, poisoning, sodomy, concealing birth, treason, espionage, counterfeiting, horse stealing, forgery, desertion, kidnapping, aiding a runaway slave, guerrilla activity or rioting.
Judicially condoned (non lynching) hanging has claimed the lives of 13,350 people. Today, hanging is still an option as a method of execution in the states of Washington and Delaware. The last hanging, prior to the temporary suspension of the death penalty, happened in Kansas in 1965 when George Lock and James Latham were hung for murdering seven people, while serving in the army.
The last gala public hanging, of murderer Rainey Bethea, twenty-two, in 1936, was attended by twenty-thousand people. After the execution, souvenir hunters tore off pieces of her clothing.
Another well-attended multiple hanging was the Lincoln conspirators’ execution. President Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865, and by July 7 four were up on the gallows. Four thousand people, munching cakes and sipping lemonade, showed up for the execution of President Garfield’s assassin, the legally insane Charles Guiteau, thirty-nine, in 1881. The largest multiple hanging in U.S. history occurred on December 26, 1862, when thirty-eight Sioux Indians were hanged simultaneously in Minnesota in retaliate for an attack in which hundreds of men, women and children dies.
The execution of women made men uncomfortable. One colonial era scholar, William Blackstone noted “As decency due to the sex forbids the exposing and publicly mangling of their bodies, their sentence is to be burned alive.” Burning at the stake allowed women to keep their clothes on, while hanging, with all that twitching, was seen as very unseemly and unladylike. All the same twenty four women were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, for witchcraft and adultery. After 1736, no one was legally persecuted for being a witch in the American colonies, and witchcraft was removed as a crime punishable by death.
The very first condemned to death in North America was George Kendal, shot by firing squad for espionage in Virginia in 1608. The first North American hanging was one Daniel Frank in Virginia, 1622, for stealing, quartering and eating a cow. The first public hanging was in 1630, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, John Billington, who arrived on the Mayflower, was hanged for shooting another settler.
AS OF 2005, A TOTAL OF 551 U.S. WOMEN HAVE BEEN EXECUTED, OF WHOM 505 WERE HANGED.
GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!
Multiple hangings were sure to draw the largest crowds. Old West judge Isaac Parker (below), was the consummate “hanging judge”” An impatient Bible-toting judiciary, he viewed all who stood before his bench as sinners. In his twenty year career he presided over 13,400 cases and sent 161 to the gallows. (intolerant of lawyerly wrangling or appeals, it seemed Judge Parker often left the judicial notion that the accused must be guilty :beyond a reasonable doubt” to be decided by a heavenly court). In 1875, more than five thousand came to watch three white men, two Indians and one black man all hanged at the same time; Judge Parker had convicted them all of murder and was up on the scaffold to give the signal to release the trapdoor on which the men stood.
The youngest person hanged in America was twelve year old Hannah Ocuish, in 1789, for beating to death a six year old. A total of 159 juveniles have been executed in America.
The Electric Chair has taken 4,281; the Gas Chamber 582; and Lethal Injection claimed another 918. Four pirates and seven slave revolters were Hung by chains (wrapped in chains and hung from a tree at a crossroad). Twelve were executed for murder and adultery between 1712 and 1754 by breaking on the Wheel (a person was laid on the rim of a large wheel, spread eagle, naked, and ties to the spokes, then hoisted and left to the elements and scavengers.) Two persons were legally Bludgeoned (hit with clubs until dead): one soldier, Pichon Bartellemy, in Michigan in 1707; and one Indian by the name of Leather Lips of Ohio in 1810.
In America, sixty six people (sixty five of them escaped slaves) were executed by Burning at the Stake, ten in New York in the summer of 1741, and one (for witchcraft) in Illinois in 1779. Seven pirates were Gibbeted (covered in tar and then place in a suspended iron cage at a crossroad and left to starve. One person was executed by Pressing.
In 1624, Richard Cornish, accused of “unnatural sexual relations,” became the first man to be hung for a homosexual offence in America.
Since the Supreme Court reaffirmed the death penalty in 1976 there have been 6,943 persons put on death row and 1,022 have been executed: 854 were by lethal injection, 152 by electrocution, eleven by lethal gas, three by hanging (two in Washington State and one in Delaware) and two by firing squad (both in Utah).
The International Police Association will be visiting us on Sunday 22nd November (9.30 am start) There will be a large group of some 50 visitors joining us for a lunch time barbecue & tour. Giving us an opportunity to showcase our Museum and the Society internationally.
On Tuesday the 17th and Tuesday the 24th we have additional smaller tours & would appreciate any assistance from members for these events.
On Sunday the 11th October we hosted the Blackwood Ladies Probus Club of 15 visitors with 6 Volunteers and on the 18th the Friends of the SA Museum with 22 Visitors and 10 Volunteers.
On Sunday the 25th the Walkerville Historical and Klemzig National Seniors visited with 26 visitors. Our volunteers were Kevin and Wendy Beare, Audrey Wallace, Max Griffiths, Bethany Boucher, Glen Mattingly Ian Radford, Kev Johnson Val Harvey and Ray Freak.
We were very fortunate to see two new horses in the stables recently purchased yearling and a 2year old who proved to be very friendly and curious about our visitors. They were addressed by Val Harvey in the Badge Room who spoke about his father Roy’s magnificent collection. Pam Mattingly and Geoff Rawson shared the scone making between us and our visitors expressed their appreciation of the work of the volunteers.
At the Children's Safety Week event held at the Coorara Primary School, Morphett Vale on Thursday 29th October 2009, Max Griffiths, Ernie McLeod and Kevin Johnson provided a static display of the Bedford Prison Van, Commodore and BSA motor cycle. They also provided continuous sessions, informing about 600 very enthusiastic children from grades 1 to 7, on the historical Police vehicles.
The “HUE & CRY” is Published by the
South Australian Police Historical Society Inc.,
Thebarton Police Barracks
C/- G.P.O. Box 1539