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 3rd February 1967:
Ryan Hanged
Convicted murderer Ronald Joseph Ryan was hanged this morning in Melbourne's Pentridge Gaol. After months of Australia-wide debate and futile attempts at last-minute reprieves. Ryan died in the hangman's noose at 8.00am paying the penalty for allegedly murdering prison warder George Hodson on 19th December 1965 while escaping from prison. Many maintain that Ryan was innocent of the charge.
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Sunday 18th August 1991:
7 Dead In Strathfield
-Strathfield Plaza echoed with the sounds of screams and gunfire yesterday as a man armed with an AK-47 rifle killed six people before turning the gun on himself. Also wielding a knife and a machete, the man wounded and hospitalized another seven people, four of which remain in a critical condition tonight. more »

Thursday 30th April 1981:
Man Charged With Kiama Murder
-A Wollongong coal miner appeared in court today, charged with the murder of a woman whose headless, fingerless body was found near Kiama on 8th February this year. The man, Mr Graham Gene Potter, 23, was refused bail, after denying the allegations.
  The murdered woman's decapitated body was found on a ledge under Jamberoo Lookout. On 28th February, the skull was located and a post mortem examination confirmed that she had died from severe blows to the head.
  The victim was last seen leaving a Wollongong disco with the accused on 6th February, two days before the body was discovered.

Thursday 18th December 1980:
Turkish Consul Assassinated
    -The Turkish Consul-General and his bodyguard became the victims of Australia's first political assassinations shortly before 10.00am yesterday. Mr Sarik Arlyak, 50, and Mr Engin Sever, 28, a guard specially assigned to the diplomat in response to terrorists threats, were shot dead in the street outside the consulate in Dover Heights, Sydney. The international terrorist army, the 'Justice Commandoes of Armenian Genocide' claimed responsibility for the deaths only 20 minutes later. more »

Saturday 16th July 1977:
Anti-drugs Campaigner Feared Murdered
-Anti-drug campaigner Donald Mackay is missing and feared murderd after police found his deserted van stained with blood in Griffith, NSW, early this morning. Mackay, a liberal party branch president and vocal campaigner against the thriving marijuana-growing business in the area, was last seen at 6.30pm last night when he bought a cask of wine at the Griffith Hotel bottle shop. 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 »
Friday 25th May 1979:
Truro Murders, Man Charged
An Adelaide man appeared in court today charged with the murders of four young women whose bodies have been found in the Truro area, 100kms north-east of Adelaide. A fifth body has been found and police are searching for two more bodies, bringing the number of victims to a total of seven. James William Miller, 39, of no fixed address, stood silently in the dock at the Adelaide Magistrate's Court as the charges were read. more »

Wednesday 9th December 1987:
Melbourne Office Massacre
-A military style random shooting attack in a Melbourne office building has left nine people dead and five more seriously injured.
  A 22-year-old gunman shot visitors and staff randomly as he stalked through offices in the Australia Post Building in Queen Street yesterday before attempting to jump to his death from the 11th floor. 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.

Monday 3rd September 1984:
Massacre At Milperra
    -Seven people are dead and 20 injured after a motorcycle enthusiasts' picnic went horribly wrong in Sydney's south-west yesterday. The recreation day, organised by the British Motorcycle Riders Club at the Viking Tavern in Milperra, broke out into a wild brawl just before 2.00pm. More than 30 men were arrested and police have already questioned over 500 witnesses in what is being described as 'the Milperra massacre'. Although no charges have been laid, many are exopected in the immediate future.
  The Tavern's carpark exploded into violence when two bikie gangs, the Comancheros and the Bandidos, arrived there at around 2.00pm The previously peaceful meeting turned into chaos as two shots rang out. more »

Thursday 5th July 1984:
Judges Wife Murdered
-The wife of Justice Raymond Watson was killed in Sydney yesterday in yet another act of violence against a Family Court judge. Mrs Pearl Watson died instantly as a result of injuries caused by a bomb which exploded as she opened the door to the Watsons' unit in the northern suburb of Greenwich. Justice Watson narrowly escaped death and, though knocked unconscious by the blast, is in a stable condition.
  This bombing is the latest in a series of attacks directed at the Family Court. The Police Scientific Squad are investigating links between previous cases. Each of the bombings have involved the use of gelignite and been connected to the Parramatta registry. The attack on Justice Watson is also seen as an assault on the whole system of family law.

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 10th August 1987:
Hoddle Street Killings
-Six people are dead and eighteen wounded after a teenage gunman opened fire at random in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill last nght. At about 9.50pm, the man began shooting at motorists and motorcyclists in Hoddle Street. At 10.20pm, after 30 minutes of terror, police arrested Julian Knight, 19.

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 »
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Sunday 21st June 1987:
'Top-End' Killer Slain
-Police have shot dead the 27 year old German tourist believed responsible for shooting dead five people in the Northern Territory and north-west Western Australia. Joseph Schwab was in a heavily camouflages campsite when a large police tactical team ambushed him. As police approached Schwab opened fire but police killed him with a bullet in the chest.

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