who murdered HARRY SATHERLEY - Blenheim 1897
HENRY 'Harry' SATHERLEY (1855-1897) was born in Somersetshire, England, the first of 13 known children of George SATHERLEY & Harriet MARTIN. They emigrated to New Zealand in July 1958 on the Queen of the Avon
Harry Satherley married Annie HATHAWAY (1863-1887) on 30 June 1881, probably in Marlborough - they had 4 known children:
* 1881 - 1966 Edith Emily Satherley
... Edith married Alfred John GIFFORD in 1900
* 1883 - 1957 Albert Percy Satherley
... Albert married Cecilia in 1909
* 1885 - 1967 Leonard Henry Satherley
... spouse not found
* 1887 - 1953 Winifred Annie Satherley (see her notes at above link)
... Winifred married Charles Arthur John ELLISTON in 1905
... she married Alexander HOBSON
ANNIE died 25 June 1887 in Blenheim aged 24
Harry next married Mary Christina CALVIN (1863-1958) 15 August 1889 at Spring Creek - they had 4 known children:
* 1890 - 1977 Harriet Alice Satherley
... Harriet married Gustave Edwin PEARSON in 1907
* 1892 - 1892 unnamed son Satherley
... the son was born still
* 1895 - 1965 Harry Gilbert Bernard Satherley
... Harry died in Palmerston North
* 1897 - 1936 Clarence Daniel Satherley
(born 3 months before his father disappeared)
... Clarence married Mary Margaret DOYLE in 1921
......... The SATHERLEY MYSTERY
Harry Satherley was a well known Horse Trainer/Owner in Marlborough.
On Friday, the 9th July 1897 he did the rounds of a few Hotels in town and had a number of gins, at some stage he procured a large sum of money. His wife said he didn't, as far as she knew, have any money in the morning. It was said he sold his half share in the racehorse 'Iota' but his wife said he couldn't as he didn't have the authority to do so. Matthew Beattie 'lost' ?87 (July 2013 equivalent of $15,800) and, not remembering much of the night's proceedings (suggesting he was slipped a mickey), asked a number of drinking mates if he had given it to them. They all pointed their figure at Satherley (because he was flashing money around). This was proved incorrect (see 29th Sep). There were a couple of men back in town who had just been released from 6 years in Wellington gaol (Harry had been an important witness against them), one of them fitted the description of a man seen putting a body into a boat that night. After visiting a number of the local hotels that day Harry was unsteady on his feet and could easily have fallen into the river (post mortem revealed he was alive when he entered the water). HOWEVER, his body (recovered a couple of months later) was found upstream, as some locals suggested early on that it would be! --- whatever happened, after he left the Marlborough Hotel at 10p.m. that Friday night, Harry Satherley was never seen alive again ...
many, many articles were written in the newspapers of the day about the mystery of Henry's disappearance. He was missing for weeks and caused a sensation. Theories abounded and everyone became an amateur detective with their own opinion. I have transcribed only the most relevant clippings but have added links to other good reading
Marlborough Express, 12 July 1897 3 days later
Supposed To Have been Drowned
... Some sensation was caused in town on Saturday by the news that Mr Harry Satherley was missing, and that it was supposed he had been drowned. Satherley had been drinking in some of the hotels on Friday might, and, as far as is known, was last seen by Mr Victor OHLSEN, who accompanied him from the Marlborough Hotel to the corner of Messrs Clouston and Co.'s premises a few yards further along the street. Satherley was then in an intoxicated condition, but was not 'incapable' and insisted on walking home by himself. His residence is situated in Manse Road, and he went in that direction at 10 p.m. It is surmised that he crossed the Lock-up Creek bridge, and then, having formed the intention of returning to town, attempted to cross the Omaka railway bridge, and fell off the structure into the river. Another theory is that he went to Fell's wharf (the steamer was not lying there at the time) with a vague kind of an idea of taking a passage to Wellington to attend the races, and fell off the wharf into the water.
... On Saturday, a boy, the son of Mr J. D. Iremonger, found a five pound note lying inside a small paddock situated on the bank of the Opawa river, and abutting on Customhouse Street. Did Satherley drop the money, it is being asked, in getting through the fence, or, was it dropped in flight by a person who decided or helped to decide Satherley's fate? Still another person, we are told, came forward with the statement that he heard the sound of men's voices, raised as though in altercation, proceeding from the vicinity of Clouston's wharf
... It is being whispered that a dire tragedy, in which the motive was robbery, was enacted on Friday night. The locality is overgrown with willows
... Mr Satherley, who was a middle-aged man (42), has a wife and a number of young children, and they will have much sympathy in their distress. He was not known as a heavy drinker, and had the reputation of being an honest and respectable man. He was a successful horse trainer, some of the best racers in the place, including Sing Song, having passed through his hands.
Marlborough Express, 16 August 1897 7 days later
... The Satherley mystery is as obscure as ever. An attempt was made yesterday morning to explore the bottom of the river by means of glass and reflectors; but the contrivance was not a success, and had to be abandoned. It has been suggested that a large public search party should be organised for the thorough exploration of the river and its banks. Considering the peculiar circumstances of the affair, and the strength of the suspicion that Satherley met with foul play, it is certainly to the interests of the public to do all in their power for the eclaircissement of the mystery
Marlborough Express, 19 July 1897 10 days later
... The Satherley mystery deepens. Alive or dead, where is he? An unremitting search has been kept up in connection with the disappearance of Mr Satherley. The police and residents are exploring the river day and night. No trace has been discovered so far, and the public mind, suspecting foul play, is much excited by the mystery
Marlborough Express, 22 July 1897 13 days later
THE SATHERLEY AFFAIR
... The ?10 note that was picked up yesterday morning by young Purser in the paddock in Custom-house Street where the other bank not was found, was submitted to the Bank officials by the police for examination. They express the opinion that the note has been exposed to the weather, as the ink had started to run slightly, and it has lost that crisp felling that a note has which has not been much used or been wet.
Marlborough Express, 26 July 1897 17 days later
... As far as we know, the Satherley mystery is not yet receiving the attention of a detective. It is quite possible that the police authorities have made a secret appointment, and that there is an incognito Sherlock Holmes among us, but we do not think so. We have good grounds for supposing that a detective has not yet arrived. It is hard to understand the indifference that the Department seems to have displayed in this matter.
Marlborough Express, 27 July 1897 18 days later
... Local wise-acres have been badly beaten this time. They have been grumbling and wondering at the apathy of the Police Department in not sending a detective to investigate the Satherley mystery, and all the time a disciple of Sherlock Holmes has been busily investigating and making enquiries into the affair. He has been here now for over a week, and even the police were ignorant of the fact until a day or so ago
... A large number of men are employed in the search, removing earth from an embankment, and searching other localities. Some person are of opinion that the bank-notes found were placed where they were discovered to throw the police off the scent
Marlborough Express, 5 August 1897 27 days later
Letter To The Editor
... Sir, There is a general feeling abroad that the time has come for the Government to take some steps to discover the whereabouts of the missing man - Henry Satherley. The Pelorus Guardian, which is usually well informed as to the action of our member of Parliament, says he has asked the Government to advertise a reward. I hope this is correct, and if it be, I would like to know why the Government does not take immediate action in the matter. As to the theory held by some that the missing man has gone away voluntarily, I do not think such a thing very likely; but, even if it were so, no doubt his friends would be willing to guarantee - say - £50 to the Government for his discovery. The Government ought now to offer a reward of £500 and a free pardon to anyone, not being the actual culprit, who will come forward and give Queen's evidence. - I am, &c., JUSTICE
Nelson Evening Mail, 6 August 1897 28 days later
THE BLENHEIM MYSTERY
Suspicion of Foul Play Dismissed - Satherley Seen After His Disappearance
... Detective Cox, who has been investigating the sudden disappearance of Henry Satherley, a horse trainer, from Blenheim, expresses the belief that the man was not drowned, as at first supposed, and he states that a friend of the missing man saw him the day after he was reported to have disappeared. The suspicion of foul play is not entertained by the police
Nelson Evening Mail, 13 August 1897 35 days later (more at this link)
POLICE HAVE DROPPED THE INQUIRY
... For several weeks the town of Blenheim was in a state of excitement in consequence of the mysterious disappearance of a horse trainer named Harry Satherley; and as he and his family are well-known throughout the Nelson province, interest in the case has been taken here too. The circumstances of the disappearance are very strange; but the detective who was sent to investigate the matter has come to the conclusion that no foul play can be suspected, and the police have apparently dropped the inquiry, though no trace of Satherley has been found beyond a statement by some person that he was seen after the 9th ult., the day he vanished. The detective police have ways of their own, and the publication of their resolution to proceed no further with the investigation may be intended as a "blind" ...
Marlborough Express, 18 September 1897 71 days later
MAN'S BODY FOUND IN THE OPAWA RIVER
Believed to be Satherley - No One Allowed To Inspect The Body
... Considerable excitement was caused in town this morning by the news that the body of Harry Satherley, the horse trainer, who has been missing since the 9th of July last, had been found. Two boys, named DAY and LESLIE, who were whitebaiting, discovered a body partly lying in the water in the Opawa above Mr P. MEEHAN's place, and reported it at once to the police.
The body was discovered in a small channel near what is known as Meehan's Island, about ten chains above Mr Meehan's house.
Last Summer a small bridge had been built across the channel, and this had subsided, making a dam over the channel. The body was lying with the feet on the bank of the river and the upper portion caught in the obstruction. Evidently it had been carried there by the current.
On being communicated with, the police immediately took possession of the body and removed it to the Commercial Hotel.
Dr CLAGHORN made a cursory examination of the body, and, assisted by Dr ALEXANDER, will make a post mortem examination this afternoon; meanwhile no one is allowed to see it. Various articles were found on the body when searched by the police, including a stop watch, chain, and curious pendant, so that it is believed there will be no difficulty in identifying the body. The remains have evidently been in the water some time, but are intact and in a fair state of preservation, although the features are unrecognisable, The clothes are at present too much grimed with silt for anyone to identify them as the clothes Satherley was wearing.
It seems to be conclusive from the articles found on the body that it is that of the missing man, Harry Satherley. An inquest on the remains will be held on Monday morning at 10 o'clock.
A strange part of the whole mystery is the locality where the body was discovered. The place is quite a mile and a half above Fell's wharf, and from the fact that it was found above the obstruction it seems very evident that it has come down stream, the theory that it could have drifted up the river being extremely improbable. There is also another conjecture that the body has been conveyed up the river in a boat and buried on the island, and that the recent fresh in the river has washed it out.
Several persons had intimated their belief, while the interest in the disappearance of Satherley was at its height, that the body would be found up the river, and not down, and the discovery now confirms their conjecture.
The immediate vicinity of Meehan's island is all covered with rough growth of flax, toetoe, etc., and there are no houses in the neighbourhood. At the spot where the body was found the stream runs strongly, and it cannot have lain there long as there are footmarks near at hand where boys have been whitebaiting.
At this juncture it will be interesting to recall a few facts concerning the mysterious disappearance of Harry Satherley:- He was last seen alive on the night of Friday, July 9th, when he left the Marlborough Hotel presumably for his home, although a young man name GAMBLE is positive he saw him alive next morning in Manse Road about 9 a.m. When he disappeared Satherley had in his possession a sum of about ?87 in National Bank notes. Suspicions of foul play were entertained, and a vigorous search was kept up for a considerable time. The first results of the search were the discovery on the Saturday of a ?5 National bank note and a stick of tobacco in a paddock in Custom-house Street, and later on the public interest was further revived by the discovery on the 21st of July of a ?10 bank note in the same paddock. Since that date, although the search was kept up, nothing was elicited until a woman in Christchurch who knew Satherley well, maintained in a letter to a Blenheim friend, that she had passed him in Christchurch on the 24th July.
A detective was sent over from Wellington and spent some time investigating the affair, but as far as was known his enquiries did not tend to clear up the mystery of the unfortunate man's disappearance.
Manawatu Herald, 20 September 1897
POST MORTEM OF SATHERLEY'S BODY
... The post mortem examination on the body of Satherley was concluded yesterday, which revealed a deep wound in the forepart of the head. Thirteen shillings in silver were found, and one pocket was turned inside out. The police searched the river and locality where the body was found, but did not reveal anything further. The community is much excited. The conviction is generally entertained that Satherley met with foul play.
Marlborough Express, 21 September 1897
ARREST WARRANT KEPT QUIET
... Very few people were aware of the existence of a warrant for the arrest of Satherley. The warrant was issued, and despatched to the various town in the Colony, some weeks ago. It was based on a police information that Satherley had stolen a sum of money from Mr M. Beatty, and the fact that it had been issued was kept pretty well secret as far as the general public was concerned. The existence of such a document was not intimated to the public until yesterday, when we mentioned it in our account of Mr PURSERS's interview the the Minister of Justice
Marlborough Express, 21 September 1897
TODAY'S EVIDENCE - on resuming at 11 a.m.
NOTE very long enquiry which you can read here.
... Christopher REIDY, jockey, sworn, said he remembered the night of July 9th. He was in the Marlborough Hotel all day. He saw Satherley and Sheridan there about 4.30 p.m. Ted Satherley and E. Morgan also came in ...
... He said to Ohlsson "Harry is a fool when he has a drink or two" Ohlsson replied, "I gave him a pound or two this afternoon, I expect he is playing it up" ...
... John CARKEEK said he knew the deceased; he saw him on Friday, July 9th, at about 5 p.m. between Jackson's and the Criterion Hotel. He came out of the Criterion with Sheridan and others, He never saw Satherley again ...
... Beattie's purse was laying on the floor, he picked it up at Beattie's request and gave it to him. Beattie thanked him, he never made a complaint till the next morning when he came into the billiard room and said "Come on, give me that money I gave you yesterday.' Witness said "Aren't you going to back the horses in Wellington to-day?" He said "I don't mean that at all, I mean the ?40 I had in my purse." Witness said "You never gave it to me." Beattie asked if he had seen him in company with anyone that afternoon. He told him Satherley had been speaking to him, Beattie said "I must have given the money to Satherley" ...
Marlborough Express, 21 September 1897
THE SATHERLEY INQUEST
YESTERDAY'S PROCEEDINGS - on resuming at 2.15
... 'Thomas H. GILLETT, horse trainer, said he knew deceased well. Saw him on Friday, 9th July, while standing at the door of the Marlborough Hotel a little after 9 p.m. He was under influence of liquor, and was coming from town. He was by himself, and came towards the hotel. "Scotty" SIMPSON and O'SULLIVAN were standing at the hotel door when Satherley came up. They all went into the hotel to have a drink, Satherley paying for it with a ?1 note. Then Satherley went into a parlour behind the bar, and after five or ten minutes, came back into the bar and wanted them to have another drink. They were just having the drinks when Victor OHLSSON and Chris REIDY came in. As Ohlsson came in to the bar he said:- "I've found you at last. I've fed your horses, and been all round town looking for you to take you home." Satherley said "You'd better have a drink," Victor said "Alright, and I'll shout after." They had the drinks. Then Victor Ohlsson "shouted" and afterwards he and Satherley went out of the hotel. Ohlsson came back in about five minutes. He (witness) did not see Satherley again. As Victor came in he said he had seen Satherley as far as CLOUSTON's corner, and the latter had said he would go home by himself. Then Ohlsson and witness went away from the Marlborough to the Criterion. He did not see Satherley flashing money. Shortly after Satherley and Ohlsson left the hotel together BUSH left. Ohlsson was not quite sober. It would be close on ten o'clock when he left the Marlborough with Ohlsson to go to the Criterion. They went straight to the hotel. They went into the parlor of the Criterion hotel.
... By the Foreman - What time elapsed from the time Satherley and Ohlsson left the hotel to the time Ohlsson returned.
... Witness: About five minutes. Didn't think it was that
... Mrs RAYNER, continuing her evidence, said that after they left the room Victor Ohlsson asked Satherley to come out into the passage, as he wanted to speak to him. He had been out in the passage a minute or so, and then came to the bar. Witness said to Satherley "Now, Harry, you are going home. He then said "Good might, Mrs Rayner. If you want a pound or two I'll let you have it." She said "I don't want any money." He answered "Alright; if you want it you can always have it from me."
Satherley and Victor then went out. Victor was away five or seven minutes. When he returned REIDY ask Ohlsson "Where is Harry?" Victor replied "He's at home." Reidy said "He couldn't get home in this short time." Victor said "He's on his way home." Reidy said "If he's at home you must have put him in a cab." Victor replied that he did not; that Satherley would not let him see him home. Witness told Reidy to look out and see if he could see anything of Satherley. Reidy went outside, and on returning said he did not see him. Willie Bush left about five minutes after Satherley, going out the back way. She had seen Satherley worse for liquor than he was on that night. Satherley was drinking gin. She was not quite sure what Ohlsson was drinking; she thought it was spirits. Satherley was in the habit of coming in at night and having a game of crib before going home. Ohlsson did not frequent the hotel. He had only been in the house four or five times altogether since Mr Rayner had taken over the Marlborough.
... Richard SIMPSON, cab driver, generally known as 'Scottie," said he worked at the Criterion Stables, where Satherley kept his horses. Satherley was in charge of four horses. He kept a boy named REARDON to look after them. He saw Satherley in the Marlborough Hotel on Friday evening. He was standing at the door of the hotel with GILLETT when Satherley came up. Satherley was 'fairly well on'. Witness corroborated the foregoing evidence. When Ohlsson came into the hotel with Reidy he said "Well, you old b--, I've found you at last. I've fed and rugged your horses." It was not true that Ohlsson fed the horses. The boy did so. Ohlsson said he had been looking everywhere for Satherley. While in the room off the bar Satherley took some money out of his right hand trousers pocket and started counting it at the table. The money consisted of notes, but witness was not close enough to tell what kind they were or what was their number. There seemed to be a fair number of them. Satherley put the money back into his pocket and came to sit by the fire. Witness was looking round and saw a piece of paper lying on the floor between the fire and the place where the money was counted. He picked it up, and found that it was a ?10 note. He said to Satherley "Here's a ?10 note you have dropped." Satherley said "Is it mine?" Witness replied "Yes, it must be; I haven't seen anyone else with money; put it away carefully this time and don't drop it again."
Satherley then put his hand into his pocket and offered him 5s. Witness refused the money. He thought that Satherley put the bulk of the money back into the pocket from which he took it. The ?10 note he put into his left hand pocket. A man in Satherley's position, amongst racehorses, would sometimes have plenty of money and sometimes very little. They afterwards went out into the bar again. Satherley went away with Ohlsson about 9.30 or 9.45. Ohlsson was away not more than five minutes, Satherley did not turn up at the stables next morning as usual. Ohlsson came to enquire for him. Ohlsson had made such enquiries on previous occasions. Witness left the Marlborough to go home and called in at the Royal Hotel. He did not remember telling anyone there about the ?10 note incident.
On the application of Mr McCallum the Court adjourned till 11 o 'clock this morning
Manawatu Herald, 21 September 1897
... The strange circumstances of the death of Henry Satherley - who disappeared from Blenheim about two months ago, and whose body was found in the Opawa River last Saturday morning - were made public at the inquest held at Blenheim at the beginning of this week. To the Marlborough papers we are indebted for the particulars.
... Constable PRICE, in examining the body, found that the right-hand trousers pocket and the right hand coat pocket were turned inside out. There was no mark on the clothes, and some loose change, as well as a watch and chain, was found in the pockets. There was a mark on the head over the right eye.
... Mrs SATHERLEY, wife of the deceased, last saw her husband on the afternoon of the 9th July, and expected him to return between 5 and 6 p.m. for tea. Her husband had no money that day as she was aware.
... William GAMBLE, an expressman, said that he had seen Satherley alive shortly after 9 o'clock on the 10th - the following day. He saw Satherley distinctly 40 yards away. Deceased appeared to be coming from his home.
... Mrs Alfred RAYNER, wife of the licensee of the Marlborough Hotel, said that Satherley left with a man named MORGAN at 6.45 p.m. on the 9th July. He had been drinking before he left. He came back at 9 p.m. with Bert GILLETT and 'Scotty' SIMPSON. Gillett was talking to Simpson outside the door when Satherley came up. Satherley called for drinks for all, and as they were having them Christopher REIDY and Victor OHLSSON came in; O'SULLIVAN was also there. Ohlsson, who was very much excited, went up to Satherley, who was standing in the bar, and put his hand on deceased's arm and said, "Now, you --, I've found you; I've been looking everywhere for you." Satherley said, "What do you want me for?" and Ohlsson said, "To take you home." Deceased said, "I'm quite capable of taking myself home. I don't want you or anyone else to see me home." Ohlsson then said, "Well, let us have drinks, and then we'll go home," or something to that effect. Satherley "shouted" for various persons, and changed two ?1 notes. He went to a table to count his money, and while doing so dropped a ?10 note on the floor, which Simpson picked up and returned to him. Ohlsson offered to see Satherley home, but deceased said, "I don't want any of them to see me home," Satherley and Ohlsson then went out together, and the latter returned in five or seven minutes. When he returned Reidy asked, "Where is Harry?" Ohlsson replied. "He's at home." Reidy said, "He couldn't get home in this short time." Victor said, "He's on his way home," and added that Satherley would not let him see him home. Satherley was in the habit of coming in at night and having a game of crib before going home. Ohlsson did not frequent the hotel.
... Thomas H. GILLETT, a horse-trainer, said that when Ohlsson returned he said he had seen Satherley as far as CLOUSTON's corner, and that Satherley had said he would go home by himself. A cab-driver name Richard 'Scotty' Simpson said that Satherley went away with Ohlsson at about 9.30 or 9.45, but was not away more than five minutes.
... Christopher REIDY, a jockey, gave evidence showing that Ohlsson had sought Satherley at three hotels that night,
... John CARKEEK, said that he took part with Ohlsson and two others in a game of billiards after the latter's return from seeing Satherley home. Ohlsson was ultimately carried off to bed, as he was not able to look after himself.
... Victor OHLSSON, billiard-maker, said that he had been told that Satherley was drunk and 'slinging' money about. Witness had looked for Satherley before and had taken him home. Satherley had previously told witness he expected money from Mr GRIFFITHS, and witness said to him, "You've got the money from Griffiths, don't chuck it away, come away home." Satherley said he wanted a drink and then he would come. After he had the drink witness took him by the arm and drew him out, and helped him down the steps. When they came outside deceased seemed to walk all right, and when they got round Clouston's corner deceased told him to go back as he wanted him to go no further. Witness said good night to Satherley and stopped to see of he was going home, and when he saw him going over Lock-up Creek bridge he returned to the Marlborough. Never saw him again alive. He did not recollect telling anyone that day Satherley had money. When he left deceased he saw no one about.
... William BUSH, compositor, deposed that he left the hotel about 10 minutes after Satherley had gone, and five minutes after Ohlsson's return. Satherley, when he left, was under the influence of liquor, but could have got home all right. Witness expected to overtake him on the way home, He saw a man going down the road leading to the Neptune's wharf. Witness did not take particular notice of him, and did not know him. He had dark clothes on. It was not Satherley. He reached home as the clock struck 10. It would take six minutes for him to walk home, The man on the wharf road was half way towards the wharf, and was steady in his walk.
... The medical evidence (that deceased met his death by a heavy blow on the right side of the head, inflicted with a blunt instrument, and that there were no signs of drowning about the body) and the verdict of murder by some person of persons unknown have already been published.
... A curious fact in connection with the nurder is that there is in existence a warrant for the arrest of Satherley. The warrant was issued, and despatched to the various towns in the colony, some weeks ago. It was based on a police information that Satherley had stolen a sum of money from Mr M. BEATTY.
Marlborough Express, 21 September 1897
... The jury returned and the foreman stated that they were satisfied that the body they had viewed at the Wairau Hospital was that of Harry Satherley, and the verdict was that 'the said Harry Satherley was murdered by some person or persons unknown'
There is a fairly good list now of persons murdered in this colony by some persons unknown. It's time it was cleared up.
Marlborough Express, 25 September 1897
THE SATHERLEY SENSATION
A Reward of £500 Offered
... Inspector PENDER left for Blenheim last night to personally direct the investigation into the Satherley mystery, so as to endeavour to follow out the jury's verdict of wilful murder, and bring the crime home to the guilty person. In this work the Inspector has his hands strengthened by the Government's offer of a reward of ?500 for information which shall lead to the apprehension and conviction of the murderer.
... A plan of the locality of Satherley's wanderings on the night he was last seen by his friends - compiled from evidence adduced at the inquest, and taking in the river from its source to outfall - has been prepared with much care, and an examination of it must give ample scope to the police for theory-building. The plan bears prominent marks upon various spots deserving close attention according to evidence. The river takes a winding course, and nearly half-way between the place where some money and a stick of tobacco were found and the distance railway bridge is the spot where the body was found, caught in a snag. Now, was the body thrown into the water from the town paddock (supposing the case murder) and carried by the tide, which rises and falls considerably in Blenheim, along its unusually winding course?
Did the murderer or murderers carry the corpse that distance away and drop it in the water where it was found? or (supposing the case one of suicide) did Satherley wander out of his way, in an opposite direction from his home, and fall into the water whilst crossing the railway bridge? Or, yet again - for mystery ever deepens when theorising - supposing it a case of disappearance, did Satherley, whilst leaving Blenheim, accidently fall into the river from the bridge?
These are some of the knotty points which the police have to unravel during the enquiry now talking place.
Detective Cox, who has spent some time incognito in Blenheim over the case, was present at the inquest in his 'unknown' personality.
... The Nelson Mail of Tuesday last contains a paragraph which still further extends enquiry. Says our contemporary:- In connection with the mysterious disappearance of the man Satherley at Blenheim, and the recent recovery of his body, many rumours are afloat. It is gathered from police enquiries that some 13 days before Satherley's disappearance two prisoners were discharged at Wellington and returned to Blenheim; whence they had had been sentenced. One of these was a 'short thick man,' in this respect answering to the description of one of the two men said to have been seen by a woman at Blenheim putting the body of a man into a boat.
... Sergeant McARDLE called the attention of the Blenheim police to this matter some time ago, and certain enquiries were made, and now that Satherley has been found no doubt the enquiries indicated will be prosecuted with renewed vigour. It was further stated that Satherley was an important witness against the 'short thick man' when he got six years' hard labour for larceny in Blenheim
... When Satherley was reported to have disappeared a public subscription was opened in Blenheim on behalf of his family, but when rumours got about that he had been seen in various places, the fountains of relief ceased to flow. We notice by the local papers that the list has again been opened and further subscriptions are coming in. There is also talk of a popular concert being given to aid the fund
Marlborough Express, 28 September 1897
THE SATHERLEY CONCERT
... The ladies and gentlemen interested in the Benefit Concert to be given on Wednesday week for the widow of the late Harry Satherley, practice to-night in the Wesley Hall at 7.30. A full attendance is requested
Marlborough Express, 29 September 1897
... VICTOR OHLSSON was charged, on remand, at the Police Court this morning, before Mr J. Allen; S.M., that he did, on July 9th last, steal from Matthew Beattie the sum of £87 in National Bank of New Zealand bank-notes. Mr Rogers appeared for accused, and Mr McCallum on behalf of the Crown ...
If you are intrigued so far:
* interesting evidence
* the verdict
* Matthew BEATTIE, manager of the Bluff, Kekerangu
* Victor OHLSSON who was serving at the bar of the Criterion
* Edward Russell McLean DYMOCK, accountant at the national bank
* Mary SATHERLEY, widow of the late Harry Satherley
* Marie RAYNER, wife of the licensee of the Marlborough Hotel
* Charles HILL, stud groom
* George SHERIDAN, farm manager at Nelson
Marlborough Express, 8 November 1897
THE SATHERLEY FUND
... It affords us much pleasure to announce that the Satherley Fund benefits to the extend of about ?20 by the popular win of Horton in the Farmers' Plate at the M.R.C.'s recent meeting. Horton was one of the horses being trained by Mr Harry Satherley, and his owners generously decided that his first winnings, not matter how much, should be handed to the widow of the murdered man. We are informed that the collection lists in connection with the Satherley Fund are no closed, and that shortly will be convened a meeting of subscribers, to be duly advertised, which Mr E. Purser will ask to decide as to the best method of dealing with the Fund
West Coast Times, 8 November 1897 122 days later
... The last policeman engaged inquiring into the Satherley case has now returned to Wellington. Nothing fresh has been discovered, and it is doubtful whether the real truth will ever be known
NOTES OF INTEREST
* the amount of the cash fund paid to Henry's widow, Mary Satherley, in December 1897 was £145 13s 0d (Sep 2013 equivalent $26,400). The Secretary of the Satherley Relief Fund was later receiving offers for the purchase of a four-roomed cottage about January 1898. A sufficient sum remained to pay the first years insurance premium
* Mary Christina had 3 more children with a partner:
* 1900 - 1992 Gilbert Gordon Satherley
... born in Blenheim
* 1906 - 1983 Nora Janet Satherley
... born in Blenheim
* 1907 - 1992 Ronald Charles Satherley
... born in Wellington
* HARRY SATHERLEY is buried:
Plot 5, Row O, Block 2, Lawn Division at Tuamarina cemetery
The OPAWA RIVER where they found Harry's body