Australian Crimes
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Murder In Moonee Ponds
Thursday 14th March 1935:
A Young Murder In Moonee Ponds
    It was a quiet, peaceful morning in the inner western Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds in March 1935. For little Allan Carl Richter, just nine years of age, it should have been just another day at school. Big brother Leonard, thirteen years of age, went to school as usual, but Allan had complained of a minor illness and his father allowed him to stay home.
spent the morning with his mother...
    Allan spent the morning with his mother and grandmother, but neighbours heard piercing screams from the Richter laundry just before noon. A neighbour rushed to investigate and found the grandmother, invalid pensioner Mrs Mary Egan, in a terrible state of confusion.
    She told the neighbour that Mrs Alma Richter had confessed to killing her son. The neighbour immediately called police, who found Allan's body in a pool of blood in the laundry shed at the back of the house. He had been hit several times across the neck and head with an axe and he had all but been decapitated. Mrs Richter was sobbing uncontrollably in her bedroom, where she was interviewed and charged with murder.
    The bloodstained axe was found in the laundry shed.
a nervous break-down...
   At the inquest into Allan's death, before Deputy Coroner Mr Hauser PM, Mr John Richter said that for several months his wife had been approaching a nervous breakdown. He said she had suffered from delusions and was worried that 'something terrible' would happen to her sons. Mrs Richter had been having medical treatment, but her husband never suspected that she would have such a tragic and total mental breakdown. Neighbours told Mr Hauser that Mrs Richter had been a devoted mother and was particularly house-proud. Her actions were inexplicably out of character.
   Mr Hauser found that Allan Richter had died from injuries inflicted by his mother at a time when she 'was of unsound mind'. Mrs Richter was later placed in a mental hospital. It had been a suburban tragedy of the saddest proportions.
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