The Kananook Creek Murder At Frankston, Victoria, Australia
After thee Discovery of a Womens Body in Kananook Creek by Kangaroo Hunters, a Reward was offered
22nd March 1855, The Argus
A CHARGE OF MURDER,
A man named John Davey was brought before Captain Vignolles, at the District Police Court,yesterday, on suspicion of being guilty of murder. Mr. E. Pufton Smith defended the prisoner. Mr. Inspector Freeman stated that in December last the body of a female, in a decom- posed state, was found floating in the Cannanook Creek. There was a hole in the head, apparently caused by a bullet. Although the body was never identified, circumstances arose which led to the apprehension of the prisoner. Constable Hervey, of the mounted police, who apprehended the prisoner, prayed for a remand: he should be prepared with evidence at the next examination. The prisoner was charged with the murder of his late wife. He had, however, it was thought, again married. Witness found a horse in the possession of the prisoner on his arrest. Mr. T. Smith applied, in behalf of prisoner's wife, for tho restoration of the horse. Capt. Vignolles said if the woman in question came forward, the charge would fall to the ground. Notwithstanding this intimation, she was not produced, although understood to be in the court. The horse was ordered to be given up, and the prisoner was remanded for seven days.
19th May 1855 the Argus
SUSPECTED MURDER.The two aborigines, Benjy and Toby, suspected of having murdered the woman whose body was recently discovered in the Kananook Creek, perforated by gunshot wounds, were yesterday brought up for examination at the District Court. Benjy was admitted approver, and his evidence was re- ceived through the medium of an interpreter, Mr. Lacy, a builder, residing at Prahran. Benjy .deposed : I know a man named John Davey. I have known tho prisoner Toby since he was a small boy. I do not know his house, but himself, I was at James Davey's house about three months ago. There were only blacks there at the time. They were spearing eels. At that time I heard something about John Davey's wife. I saw it. I saw John Davey shoot his lubra while I was spearing eels. There were a great many blacks there at the time. Toby, the prisoner, was there, spearing eels too. There was a white man named Jem, with a pock- marked nose, there, shooting ducks. It was about twelve o'clock in the day. John Davey was drunk at the time. He shot the woman with a pistol. I did not see the prisoner Toby have anything to do with it. After Davey shot his wife I went to another station. I left Toby at Kananook. The man Jem was close by. There was another white man there. A boy named Willy saw what happened. (On tho question being repeated, the witness qualified his answer.) The boy only heard it, and told me of it. The boy showed me the body in the creek. He did not say who it was. The boy told mo no- thing at dinner-time (The witness then made thee following statement voluntarily to the inter- preter, without any previous interrogations)
I saw Davey shoot his wife with the pistol, After he shot her, he ran away to his house. Davey put the body into tho creek. (The witness here went back to a circumstance of prior occur- rence, and resumed) Davey then took his wife up and threw her into the creek. I never saw Toby have anything to do with the matter. At the conclusion of this witness's evidence, Inspector Smith applied for a remand, as he hoped to be able to bring foward another black man whose
evidence would corroborate that of Benjy.
2nd June 1855 The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser
The WESTERN PORT MURDER. - Some time ago a party who had proceeded to Western Port, for the purpose of enjoying the sport of kangaroo hunting, accidentally discovered the body of a woman in Kanka- non Creek, situated not far from the residence of one Davey, who bas a very bad character. Information having been given to the police, it was ascertained that a report was current among the tribe of Western Port blacks, that John Davey had shot his wife, in the presence of two of the tribe, known as Toby and Benjy, who had received £1 in cash and two bottles of rum to keep the mat- ter secret ; and on further inquiries it was found that Davey's wife had suddenly disap- peared, and that he had shortly after married the widow of a person named Smith. Davey was then arrested, but Toby and Benjy dis- appeared from their tribe. After a search of several weeks tbey were at last discovered, in a spot which fully justified the conclusion that they had been concealing themselves ; but in the meantime Davey through his soli- citor, offered to produce the wife he was charged with murdering, stating that they had lived unhappily, and had agreed to Bepa- rate, he having since married Mrs. Smith, and she marrying a storekeeper on one of the gold fields. Mrs. Davey was accordingly produced and identified, and the prisoner was discharged ; but Inspector Smith, believ- ing that there was still something in the back ground, again arrested Davey on a charge of bigamy, which, being substantiated, be was committed for trial, and bail refused. The blacks having been found, were examined before the court, and stated that they saw Davey shoot his wife, and then throw her body into the creek; and that a white man named Jem saw it also. This white man the police have discovered was there at the time, and was in close intimacy with the pri- soner, but Davey's friends were anxious to create a belief that he had gone to Sydney. A clue to the mystery bas now been ob- tained. About the time of the murder Davey put up at a public house at Prahran, with a female whom be represented to be his wife, and in the morning sbe was heard sobbing bitterly, and upbraiding him for not having
previously told her that be was a married man. In the course of the day Davey prevailed on her to drink to excess, and then,drove off with her to his own residence in the
dray. The police are using every exertion to discover who the female was.-Abridged from M. M. Herald, May 21
17th April 1855 The Argus
BIGAMY.- Yesterday, at the District Court, John Davey, who, it will be rememberedFix this text was originally charged with the murder of a woman at Western Port, but was discharged and subsequently brought up on a charge of bigamy, appeared on remand. James Davey, the prisoner's brother, in course of examination, stated that the prisonor was, on the 4th of April last year, married at the English Church, Melbourne, to Amelia Smith. Witness was pre- sent on the occasion, and signed the register. Sub-Inspector Smith, who as on tho pre- vious occasion, conducted the prosecution, stated that although he had used every effort to find the woman, he had not succeeded, as he lost all traces of her when she left the court after the previous examination. The prisoner was fully committed to take his trial, the Bench refusing
to accept bail.