Australian Crimes
The Aussie Criminal Record
True Australian crime stories
from newspaper reports
and historic crime records.
Thursday 24th January 1924:
Melbourne Shooting Tragedy
-A mad-man in the Botanic Gardens yesterday evening fatally shot two women and one man, and seriously wounded another man and woman. Several groups of people were sitting enjoying the last moments of sunshine, when a man appeared, produced a gun, and suddenly killed three people with three shots while those nearby sat stunned on benches, unable to comprehend what they had witnessed. more »
Friday 28th October 1927:
Suspicious Death Of Squizzy Taylor
-Joseph 'Squizzy' Taylor, aged 43, one of Australia's most notorious criminals, was gunned down in a house in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton yesterday evening. A gun battle occurred between Taylor and another known criminal, 'Snowy' Cutmore, who was also killed. Police alledging each shot the other over a long standing fued. more »
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Tuesday 29th May 1951:
The Notorious Sydney Gunman
-Ziegfield's Restaurant in King Street Sydney was no place for anyone who wanted to steer clear of trouble. Seated at a table there was ex-boxer John (Bobby) Lee, well known in Sydney's underworld. Rumour had it that he was gunning for Chow Haynes --and any man after Chow was either very brave or very stupid. Lee had already made one unsuccessful attempt and had killed the wrong man: Chow's nephew. more »
Tuesday 30th November 1886:
Judge Orders 9 Rapists Hung
-Nine youths, found guilty of raping a 16-year-old servant girl on 9th September at Moore Park, Sydney, have been sentenced to hang. The extraordinary week-long trial has involved sittings of up to 18 hours a day. Just before midnight last night Judge Sir William Windeyer brought down the death-sentences on William Hill, Hugh Miller, George Keegan, George Duffy, William Newman, Michael Donnellan, Joseph Martin, William Boyce and George Read. Cab driver Charles Sweetman was sentenced to 14 years gaol and 50 lashes for his part in the crime. more »
Tuesday 27th September 1927:
Federal Police Force Formed
    -A new police force has been established for the Australian Capital Territory under Commonwealth legislation.
   From tomorrow, members of the New South Wales police force at present in Canberra will join the new organisation, whose powers are expected to be more wide-ranging than those currently conferred upon state police forces.
Saturday May 25, 2002:
The Man Who Just Vanished
    A coronial inquest next month will investigate the fate of an English migrant who vanished in Sydney 32 years ago.
    After landing in Perth in May 1969, Bill Day, 23, made his way to Sydney where he crossed paths with another Englishman, Peter Macari.
    Two years later Macari would hit the headlines as Mr Brown, the infamous extortionist who extracted $500,000 from Qantas, claiming he had placed a bomb on a plane. more »
More Recent Australian Crime News
Wednesday 26th September 1971:
Doomsday Flight Bomb Hoax
-Half a million dollars against the lives of passengers on a Hong Kong-bound Qantas flight -- these were the stakes in a tense extortion drama played out in Sydney today.
Soon after noon, a man rang the Commonwealth Police in Sydney claiming that Qantas flight 755, a Boeing 707 which had just left for Hong Kong, carried a time-bomb on board. The man, calling himself 'Mr Brown', said the bomb would explode once the jet had descended below 6,500 metres. more »

Thursday 14th March 1935:
A Young Murder In Moonee Ponds
-On what should have been a calm and peaceful morning for nine-year-old Allan Richter, it soon turned into a suburban tragedy of the saddest proportion. Feeling unwell Allan had been kept home from school and spent the morning with his mother and grandmother but neighbours heard piercing screams just before noon. more »
Sunday 22nd November 1978:
The Magnetic Drill Gang
-Striking quietly and precisely this job was carried out at the Bank of New South Wales branch in Murwillumbah, on the New South Wales far north coast. At the time it was the biggest bank robbery in Australian history raking in more than 1.7million dollars -- and, it has never been recovered! more »

Thursday 25th April 1935:
The Arm In The Shark Case
-On Anzac Day in 1935, eight days after it had been captured, a 4.3 metre tiger shark in the Coogee Aquarium began a series of violent writhings. The shark disgorged a foul mess from its stomach that turned the heads of onlookers -- floating to the surface came a human arm, well-preserved and with a length of rope attached to the wrist. more »
Wednesday 16th April 1986:
Bazley Gets Life In Prison
    -James Frederick Bazley was convicted of conspiring to murder Griffith anti-drugs campaigner Mr Donald Mackay and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Victorian Supreme Court today. Bazley was also found guilty of the murders of Mr Asia drug couriers Douglas and Isobel Wilson in April 1979 and the theft of 260,000 from a security van in Melbourne in 1978. Donald Mackay had been killed nine years earlier.
    The jury were convinced of the evidence alledging Bazley had acted on orders from Robert Trimbole, head of the Griffith-based Honoured Society La Famiglia to kill Mr Mackay and the Wilsons. Bazley was paid $10,000 for Mackay's murder and $20,000 for murdering the Wilsons after Trimbole discovered they had spoken to police about the Mr Asia drug syndicate.
Wednesday 31st March 1892:
'Baby Farming' Now Illegal
    -'Baby farming' has been outlawed under the newly passed Children's Protection Act of NSW.
    The widely condemned practice of unlicensed fostering of children has caused much misery both here and in England. This practice of finding homes for unwanted children has led to the murder of several babies.
    Intense lobbying from a number of charity groups as well as the strong commitment of the State Children Relief Board (SCRB) has helped the push to stamp out the practice. The Act is especially concerned with children under three years of age who are secretly boarded out by their own mothers, independent of the SCRB.
    Under the new law, the cleanliness of homes and fitness of foster parents is subject to careful inspection.
Sunday 28th March 1886:
Convict System Closes
-The convict system in W.A. has been disbanded due to the drop in crime rate in Great Britain and Northern Ireland as trial rates have dropped by 75%. more »

Sunday 17th May 1903:
Dentist Kidnapped
-Dentist George Henry Webb was kidnapped, beaten and held hostage at the Civic Club in Sydney after he refused to marry a Miss Cheesebrough. The perpetrators, her brother and a friend, took him to an agency the next day where they were married amidst much struggling. He fled at the end of the ceremony straight to his solicitor and the brother and his accomplice were arrested soon after.
Thursday 26th June 1986:
Five Charged In Cobby Murder
-Five men have been charged with the abduction, rape and murder of 26-year-old nurse Anita Cobby on 2nd February. Ms Cobby, a nursing sister at Sydney Hospital, disappeared on her way home to Blacktown on the night of February 2nd. Her body was found 2 days later face down in the mud, having been savagely beaten, and her throat was slashed three times, possibly by an axe. more »
Monday 14th October 1940:
'Shocking' Crime
-Not far from the Gosford Boys Home in New South Wales railway workers set up a line of copper wire. Within a few hours a length of 2,000 yards of the wire was cut down and carted away. The ground below where the cable had run was scorched, suggesting the theives had narrowly escaped electrocution. It seems the copper line, which had not been activated, had fallen on a live line when cut; this caused a short-circuit and electrified the copper line. The theives escaped with the wire, valued at £90, no doubt shaken by their brief flirtation with death.
Tuesday 22nd August 1922:
Victoria's Worst? Domestic Tragedy
-To all intents and purposes, Dr George Cranstoun was a pillar of society in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Hampton. He lived in an extremely comfortable Queen Anne villa in Station Street, just 50 metres from the Hampton railway station, and had a thriving practice. His wife regularly attended the local Congregational Church and their five children went to Sunday School. more »
Thursday 24th January 1924:
Escape from Bendigo Gaol.
    PERTH, Wednesday. - In connection with the robbery under arms at the West Perth Post-office on January 17, Paul Lempriere, aged 29 years, electrician, was arrested by detectives at his lodgings in Francis street. A nugget of gold and an automatic revolver, with a large number of cartridges, were found in his possession. Lampriere was charged with having on January 15 pointed a revolver at George Norvel, manager of the Melbourne Loan Office, and with having, while armed with a loaded revolver on January 17, stolen from the West Perth Post-office the sum of 42, the property of the Postmaster-General. Other minor charges will probably be preferred against him.
    Inspector Condon, the chief of the Detective department stated tonight that Lempriere admitted that he is Claude De Vere, who escaped from the Bendigo Gaol, and also admitted the two charges pre- ferred against him.
De Vere's Escape.
    Claude De Vere, alias Vaughan, who is aged 27 years, escaped from the Bendigo Gaol on November 27, in company with Walter Osborne, alias Phillips alias Shan- non. They broke a padlock on a gate during meal-time, and climbed the outer gaol wall.
    De Vere was serving a sentence of four years' imprisonment for safe-breaking.
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