Gatton Murders - Letters To The Editor

Gatton Murders

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Letters To The Editor

4/01/1899

Sir, -Just a few words. My theory is they were Ipswich fellows who knew the girls through going to dances. No doubt they came up to Gatton, too. You are wasting time down there. I cut the cards three nights ago, and saw there were four men, two dark-complexioned, one stouter and darker than the other, one heart (a card heart) man, and another younger and fairer. The stout dark man is gone back to where he came from, the other three are coming down, but going towards New South Wales. They may be coming back, and saying they were away for the holidays. I saw again this morning (presumably by the light of the cards) that they have three or more pounds in gold on them, though at first they had none. I suppose they sold the horses. If the brands were put into the hands of the police along this line, or advertised, they will not do away with the horses, I should think.

It would be another clue if they had any pho. (probably photographs are meant).

I am in a hurry to catch the train.

Will write again if I can see anything fresh.

6/01/1899

Sir, -The letter appearing in your columns to-day is one that very few will not heartily endorse. As one who knows the whole of the district, from Ipswich to the foot of the Range, right up to Toowoomba, I am pretty sure, in my mind, that the murderers are well known to the many young rowdies who in "pushes" infest the whole of these districts. The respectable portion of the Irish population have for years been in fear of their lives. Up at Helidon and Gatton some of the scoundrels should have been hanged long ago. It is not long since a young school teacher was brutally outraged. Was the culprit caught and brought to justice?' How many cattle and horses have been mutilated and maimed up in the Gatton and Helidon district the last twenty years?

The whole of the Police Department requires reorganising, and such places as Gatton and Helidon have proper police barracks, with full complements of men, and not less than three, stationed there. Let only thorough bushmen be placed in these localities; and, above all, let their inspector be stationed at Toowoomba, and be only responsible to the Chief Commissioner and not anyone else-not allow any other inspector in Brisbane to interfere. The whole of the colony will have to insist on larger powers being conferred on our police, magistrates, and Judges, to break up these gangs of rowdies, and nothing less than the lash will be sufficient to properly deal with them, so that the respectable part of the population can go about without being in danger of their lives, and in fear and trembling. Fancy only one constable at Gatton! It is simply disgraceful. I am, sir, &c. ONE WHO KNOWS THOSE DISTRICTS. 6th January.

7/01/1899

Sir, -Before condemning the young men of Gatton for alleged inactivity and want of public spirit regarding the recent deplorable tragedy, your New Farm correspondent, writing in to-day's issue, might in the first place have become seized of the correct state of feeling among the whole community, old and young, in this district. The whole affair is now in the hands of the proper authorities, and if in their wisdom it was found necessary to avail themselves of the assistance of the Mounted Infantry, or any Volunteers, to aid in discovering the perpetrators of a crime we all deplore, I can assure your correspondent scores, nay, hundreds, of young men and old would immediately respond to the call. If this assistance were necessary, the authorities know they have merely to say the word to obtain it; but, until they are asked the young men of the district are not likely to officiously interfere with their work, which, under the circumstances of the case, requires a trained and experienced mind. The feeling of horror at the crime which has stained the fair name of this district, and sympathy with the bereaved, is more deep-seated in the hearts of all here than outsiders can imagine, and, to say the least, it is not kind to judge harshly where one's ignorant of the true state of affairs –I am, sir. &c, FANGALELE. Gatton, 5th January.

9/01/1899

VINDICATION OF THE GATTON DISTRICT.

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, I deeply regret having to write you on this dreadful subject, but two letters have appeared one on the 5th instant, signed Louie H. Hawtree, and another on the 6th instant, by "One Who Knows."

I do think, sir, that when a man takes his pen to write through the Press he should have the manliness to sign his name. These letters are a gross libel and a slander on the inhabitants of the Gatton district, and I can assure you the feeling here to-day is very grievous Indeed.

I claim, sir, that up to the present time the Gatton district has been known as a very quiet, law-abiding, and peaceful community. That there are a few who may be classed as undesirable I am not going to deny. These are to be found in every community; but to infer, as your correspondent does, that life and property have been in fear and danger for the last twenty years, is utterly untrue.

The town of Gatton is situated on one of the main roads through the colony. We therefore have in our midst very frequently men of an undesirable class, but these must not be classed as residents; they are merely comers and goers.

I have lived in this district for the last thirty-four years, and I think I should know something about it and its people.

The charge made in the letters of which I speak is that the young men of Gatton have not given any help to the police.

Any man that is not a blockhead would know that the police do not desire, nor would they tolerate, any interference of the outside public, and rightly so.

Men who are practised in hunting the criminal are best left alone. No doubt they have often wished in this case that there was not so much of information which they may have gathered known to the public. I claim, sir, for the people here that they will compare favourably with any town and district in Queensland of the same population, and they would glory in taking, a hand in bringing the wretches to justice.

If it was simply a matter of scouring the country, this could be done, and I can assure you that if it was the desire of the police a large body of men could be enrolled who would be willing, without reward, to help run those wretches to earth who have brought such a blot upon the fair name of this district." One Who Knows" would seem to know more than those who have lived here for nearly a life-time.

He says a lot of cattle and horses have been maimed and mutilated within the last twenty years.

The only case of this kind that I know of having come before the public was a horse the property of the police, which was shot some years ago.

The outrage upon a young school teacher of which "One Who Knows" speaks I do not think ever took place in this district. I have certainly never heard of it, and upon inquiry I cannot hear of any one who did; and if it did occur I do not think the police would have let it rest in the manner "One Who Knows" wishes to infer. In fact, so much security has been felt that we have the fact of a young girl on the very night of the murder riding from Gatton to Ropely, a distance of eight miles, without protection, and I am certain that our Police Court proceedings will show that a great majority of those who have presented themselves there have been strangers to the district.

That such a terrible crime has taken place in our midst every inhabitant deeply grieves over, but that the district abounds with scoundrels only worthy of the gallows is a libel, which cannot go, unchallenged. "One Who Knows" tells us that there was only one policeman stationed at Gatton.

Let me say for his information that there were two, but unfortunately one was away on other duty, and so Sergeant Arrell was alone during the whole of that dreadful day.

However, there is one point upon which I agree with "One Who Knows." In all cases in which females are criminally interfered with, apply the lash, and that unsparingly. I am, sir, &c., C. WIGGINS. Gatton, 6th January.

10/01/1899

Following up the subject of the letters and telegrams received by the police in reference to the tragedy, I give the following:: A "Gympie Girl" says: "Just a word to try, and help you. I had a dream the other night, and I saw two men, one was a tall, thin man, with red hair, a very thin face, and very red. He had a light coat. It was very dirty. He looked very troubled. I think he had most to do with the murder. The other was a rather stout man: black hair; his face was very white; he had a dark coat on, and, I think, a soft hat. Be very careful of that red one."

10/01/1899
A woman who signs herself "A. A." says: "As one who only knows of this murder from reading the newspapers, the suggestion that I take the liberty of offering may have no value at all, but I am sure you will not regard it as an impertinence, for no one under the horror and grief that all must feel could possibly keep silent.. . .. Briefly, whoever waited for the Murphy's at the sliprail, whoever planned and executed the murder, must have known that the dance to which the Murphy's were going would not take place. . . . My own opinion is that the outrage is the work of some brutal and disappointed suitor of one or the girls; but he did not do his work alone."

10/01/1899
A J.P., and a coroner in New South Wales, wires: "It is said that the last object seen by human eye is fixed upon the retina. Have the victims eyes been critically examined?"
A lady at Coorparoo also writes to point out that portrait of a murderer has by photography been plainly seen in the eyes of a victim.

10/01/1899
A J.P., and a coroner in New South Wales, wires: "It is said that the last object seen by human eye is fixed upon the retina. Have the victims eyes been critically examined?"
A lady at Coorparoo also writes to point out that portrait of a murderer has by photography been plainly seen in the eyes of a victim.
A gentleman living on Montague-road, South Brisbane suggests the employment of a "sensitive" or clairvoyant to proceed to the scene of the murder. "Let the clairvoyant be provided with a garment of one of the victims, and to be there upon the spot, and to be there at the time of night at which the murders took place."
A Marburg writer asks for some clothing or hair from one of the victims, on getting, which he will "try to trace the murderer." The method of discovering is kept a secret at present.

11/01/1899

IMAGES IN DEAD EYES. In connection with the suggestion, which has been made to the effect that some clue to the perpetrator of the Gatton outrage might have been obtained from photographic examination of the eyes of the victims, a correspondent of the "S. D. Telegraph" sends the following extract from a London scientific journal. -An evening contemporary recently made a statement to the effect that a physician and enthusiastic photographer, being desirous of testing the amount of truth in the theory that dead eyes retain complete images, had carefully examined the eyes of hundreds of dead people; and, though he had never seen anything like a distinct picture mirrored, he had certainly traced both letters and objects in the iris of the eye, and that when the photographic test was applied these images became visible. In one case a capital letter of peculiar form was shown, which could be traced to a Testament held in the hands shortly before death.

These absurd stories, the "Lancet" now points out, originate in the well-known experiments of Kuhne on the visual purple of the retina, in the course of which he showed that by making special arrangements the cross-bars of a window focussed on the retina could be brought into relief, but no well-defined images of the external world are cost upon the iris, and none, therefore, could be preserved. The surface of the iris is far too uneven to set as a mirror. Moreover, as no arrangements were made to prevent the further action of light after death they would, if formed, be certainly obliterated, as the image on a photographic plate would be it permanently exposed. The only mode in which an image impressed on the retina could be rendered visible would be to adopt the method of Kuhne-namely, by exposing the eye, previously kept in the dark for a minute or two, to an illuminated object, then extirpating it, opening it, and immediately plunging it into a solution of alum. The image develops in the course of twenty-four hours.

11/01/1899

Presbyterian Church, Charleville. Sir, -Referring to letter in to-day's Issue from "One Who Knows," perhaps it would not be out of place to mention that the necessity exists for a more equitable distribution of constables in the bush townships which are situated in the midst of a farming community. At small places where two constables are not necessary, one should be kept, but should be within a few miles of another police station, the two stations to be worked as one. A constable living in one place becomes acquainted with everybody within a certain radius, and by conferring with the other constables stationed in the neighbouring districts the communities could be kept under surveillance. -I am, sir, &c, PREVENTION. Fernvale, 6th January.

11/01/1899

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, -I should like to ask permission to say a word in support of the letter in your issue of last Friday, signed by "One Who Knows Those Districts."

I regret, however, that he did not sign his name, as the letter is precisely the kind of letter that is needed. We have all been horror struck by the tragedy, but what is the use of a colony being affected in that way and not one word be said about the conditions that make such things possible? You can see these tragedies in their initial stages any time you like in the almost disgusting want of chivalry shown by quite a large proportion of young men in any of our towns. For I hope it will not be forgotten that in this case the murder is a secondary matter altogether. But the utter want of respect shown by many of the youths of our towns towards girls, and the easy tolerance of it by the authorities, is about one of the best inducements possible to lead on to such things as these.

Then, sir, I wonder how many homes there are where something is said about the appalling evil of the primary crime in that tragedy? What is the proportion of our young men (or even older ones) who see much in it, except that they will be punished if caught? Why, if a lying promise will gain the same end, they will make a joke of it afterwards. In one of your issues of last week you told us of a similar case in connection with a girl of 11 years of age; and yet because the brutal scoundrel did not murder her we hear no more about it. It seems a great pity that through this whole matter the only objection is that a murder was committed. I consider the murder quite a secondary part.

Some time ago your columns were just flooded with letters in behalf of some vicious scoundrel who was sentenced to be hanged for this offence, and a weakly Executive granted the request.

A much better plan would be to flog these brutes periodically for three years, and then hang them to save the cost of keeping them. And if the authorities were to begin and flog these untutored, low-minded young fellows, who never seem to understand what they owe to the other sex, we should hear less about these matters -I am, sir, &c, JAMES GILLESPIE.

13/01/1899

Sir, -I think your correspondent, "J. Gillespie," in yesterday's issue makes some errors, and for a minister of the Gospel says some bitter things against the young men of this country.

Is it true that you can see these tragedies in initial stages in our towns?

I think, sir, such a statement is false, and an insult to the young men of this country. And if it were true, who is to blame?

Certainly not the young men themselves, who in thousands of cases have been brought up in ignorance and indifference to the common courtesies of life ome, our Sunday and day schools are the places where chivalry should be taught, politeness to ladies, honour, and respect for the aged and worthy.

Good conduct is entirely lost sight of, except so far as relates to the discipline of the school. Were it so taught, there would, I think, be fewer outrages. Your correspondent says the outrage is the premier offence. Our laws are a refutation of that. Hoping Mr. Gillespie will show more chivalry in future, -I am, sir, &c, HON SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE.

13/01/1899

Sir, -Will you allow me space to make a few remarks on the letter appearing this morning, and signed "James Gillespie." The writer advocates a most unchristian and horrible way of dealing with criminals. To flog a man for three years and hang him at last would be the refinement of cruelty, and worthy of the dark ages. Dreadful indeed is the crime to which he alludes, but could not something be done to try and reform the "low-minded and untutored" youths of whom he speaks, and who perhaps think that in giving way to their passions they are only following natural instincts, and do not fully understand the terrible consequences of their crime?

It is true that men of all ages show much less chivalry to woman than formerly, but it is not fair to lay all the blame on them, for have not young girls lost much of their modesty of manner, and, unchecked by their parents, treat men with a boldness and impertinence which must tempt them to disrespect, and in some cases can only lead to one end? -I am, sir, &c, JUSTICE.

13/01/1899

Sir, -"James Gillespie's" letter, which appeared in your issue of Wednesday, aptly recalls the lines of Francis-"Each desperate blockhead dares to write; Verse is the trade of every living Wright." Apart from his reference to the tragedy, which every sane person must deplore, your correspondent casts base imputations against the youth of the colony, and as a remedy to the effect of their flaunted baseness would make the law more vindictive in its application. Is this a worthy emanation from the Church he represents?

Is a readiness to despise, to hate, and to condemn, the temper of a Christian? Can he who passes such sentence on men be a disciple of one who died for the sins of mankind?

Is the decrease in crime noted during last century attributable to such doctrines as your correspondent advances, or rather to the moral and intellectual training of the people? I am, sir, &c" NATIVE. Runcorn, 12th January.

13/01/1899

Sir, -Mr. James Gillespie's letter in your issue of to-day is very regrettable. If there are many in every community who deserve flogging for three years and then hanging, surely this is a terrible indictment against himself and his class. Their teaching cannot avail much if these are some of the fruits. As for such brutal chastisement, history records a great many instances of it, some of which Mr. Gillespie cannot feel proud of; but are they justifiable?

Did they not defeat the object in view?

They brutalised those who took part in them, which brutality they transmitted to their posterity. Some of whom "a posteriori" we are now trying to punish. We know that brutal traits in parents are transmitted with certainty to the offspring; and while the laws of society permit us to defend ourselves against those of its units who revert to the traits of their ancestors, by depriving them of a life which to them cannot have many pleasures, neither science nor experience justifies us in brutalising ourselves and our posterity by brooding over barbarous methods of revenge.

No one can excuse the heinousness of the treatment the Murphy family received, nor try to exonerate the culprits from forfeiting their lives when found guilty; but we should at least remember that those culprits came into the world badly handicapped. Having inherited murderous tendencies, and not being endowed with sufficient will power to control them, they are entitled to our commiseration, though not to our toleration; and we ought always to act with as much humanity as circumstances will permit, and try and eliminate those murderous traits from our own natures, and so transmit to our posterity a smaller legacy in that respect than we inherited from our ancestors. I am, sir, & C, J. J. R. Corinda, 11th January.

13/01/1899

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, -I could hardly believe my senses this morning on reading James Gillespie's letter. For savagery it is on a par with the Gatton murders.

Is it possible that a follower of the humble, lowly Jesus of Nazareth advocates brutality-periodical lashing for three years, and then hanging? No, sir, admitting that a great laxity in morals prevails in all towns; the way to bring about an improvement is not by the means of torture, but by education. Christianity, after 1900 years of effort, has surely not spent itself out, and resort for reform sought in the lash? -I am, sir, &c, HUGH B. MULHOLLAND. Tapporabane, Paddington, 10th January.

13/01/1899

Sir, -By the number of letters written to the daily papers, it is easy to see the feelings of the people have been worked up to an extraordinary pitch. The merits or demerits I shall not attempt to point out; but it is evident that with many feeling is running riot with common sense. I, with my wife, live in the bush about half-a mile from the nearest neighbour, and thirty miles from the nearest police station. We, therefore, have a right to express our views of the case.

He that commits murder will most likely be hanged. But every criminal knows that he can only be hanged once. Now, the Gatton murderer knew this, or he possibly would not have committed the second crime. Does it not strike you, sir that making criminal assault a capital offence is a grave mistake?

I have heard many good and sober minded men think so. There are more ways of killing a dog than hanging him! So it is with criminals. A doctor could suggest one way. Unless actual murder takes place, it must be a mistake on the part of the law to hang the criminal, for it stands to reason if he kills his victim his chance of capture is considerably lessened. This is something for our legislators to think about. We, in our wisdom (or foolishness), when we are making our own laws, often think we can improve on the laws of the mother-country.

More courtesy should be taught to our boys and young men, and where practicable, in country districts, the police should know the people more than they generally do though in our case it would be quite impossible. -I am, sir; &c, A. E. C. Brisbane, 11th January.

14/01/1899

Sir, -The awful tragedy enacted so quietly and easily at Gatton shows us plainly how little protection the law, as it now stands, and is administered, affords to those compelled to make their living in our sparsely populated districts, and how securely the perpetrators of such a horrible crime can rely upon the terror in which they are held in the district to prevent, anyone from giving information to the police.

Many theories have been advanced as to who can have done the deed, but of all that I have heard of or read, none come so nearly to the answer as the writer of a letter in your paper who signed himself "One who Knows the District."

As I read that letter it casts no reflection upon the respectable people of the district, but clearly indicates the rowdy mob as the possible perpetrators of the outrage. I know nothing of Gatton personally, but I do know several decent men who have lived there, and they say most emphatically that there is such a mob there, who make the place a hell for their quiet neighbours, and I know that in nearly every country district there is a mob of young fellows who combine to terrorise the whole district. Many members of these "mobs" (as they call them, in imitation of the "pushes" in the towns) are not at all bad by themselves, but when the whole mob are together they are completely dominated by two or three of the older and stronger men, and they are then ready for any atrocity that these may suggest.

Woe betide any young fellow who may allow him-self to be goaded by insults into fighting one of the mob, if he wins. He is watched for weeks, till the mob get a chance to corner him off from his friends, when he is set upon by the whole mob, knocked down, and kicked into pulp.

Occasionally the victim was never to recover as has happened twice in a Southern colony; but it is not the intention of the mob that he should do so. It draws attention to their dangerous presence amongst us, and they prefer that their victim should be able to crawl about, a living warning to other young fellows who might be inclined to withstand the claim of the mob to dominate the district.

If our lawmakers who live in towns could only see the faces of the men who composed these country larrikin mobs, and hear the vile, filthy language used, as to threaten unspeakable offences to be perpetrated upon anyone to whom they have taken a dislike, they would insist upon the Government bringing in such a measure this session as would put a stop to their once and for all.

At a country race meeting I have heard one of these larrikins decline to fight a young fellow who had knocked him down for insulting a girl with whom he was walking, and say, "No fear, I won't fight; I know a game worth two of that. Just you wait till I meet you with my mob, and see if we don't do for you." The language actually used is unfit for publication, but this is the gist of it.

From what I have heard I am sure that in the outlying country districts young girls are not infrequently ravished or frightened into compliance with the wishes of members of these mobs, and the public never hear of it, because the girls and their relatives are too frightened to report the matter to the police, lest they should incur the vengeance of the rest of the mob, when worse would undoubtedly befall them. In the case of one man, who was afterwards hanged for ravishing a girl in Brisbane, I have heard several men who had been schoolfellows with, and knew him well, say that they knew of seven cases of rape in which he had been implicated, all equally atrocious, and out of which he had got off scot free by bouncing or cajoling his victims.

What does the well-to-do larrikin care for the few shillings' fine, or the idle larrikin for the few weeks or months' imprisonment, which is all that the law at present imposes as a penalty for the most aggravated assaults.

If in a thickly-peopled place like London it was found necessary to put down crimes of violence by giving the ruffians who inflicted such injuries on others a dose of the same sort, how much more necessary is it in a thinly-populated place like this.

The first step towards doing away with this disgraceful state of things would be to declare mobs of men going about the country to be unlawful assemblies, and making every man joining a mob or push liable to be arrested and flogged. All cases of cowardly assaults to have a flogging punishment attached to them, to be doubled for every man more than one engaged in the assault, the floggings to be doubled in all cases where women are molested.

There might be a provision also that in the event of a very serious and painful injury being inflicted on anyone by the mob, they should be kept in gaol and flogged from time to time till their victim was out of pain. I think, however, that if there were a flogging penalty attaching to anyone forming or joining one of these mobs that there would be no further need for the lash, as it would settle the question. I am, sir, &c, AGRICULTURIST.

14/01/1899

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, -I have read Mr. Mulholland's letter this morning, in which he advocates Christianity as a means of improving the morals of our youth. Christianity, with its doctrines of sobriety and courtesy, is certainly an infallible safeguard. But perhaps he is not aware that there are many youth in Queensland who, were you to mention religion to them, would simply laugh and tell you that they do not believe in it. No, something more practical must be done, for the youth of Australia are, I am sorry to admit, becoming very lax in their respect to my sex, judging by the Press chronicles, some of which are very revolting.

If Mr. Mulholland's sisters were treated as those poor Miss Murphy's were, he would see things in a very different light, and would no doubt agree with the gentleman whom he censures in this morning's paper. Now, if the lash were used more frequently our misguided youth would have something to fear, and would not offend in that respect so often. -I am, sir, &c, AN AUSTRALIAN GIRL.

14/01/1899

Sir, -I feel constrained to take a stand on the side of those who have already in your columns taken exception to some of the remarks of your correspondent signing himself "James Gillespie," who evidently wrote without due consideration, and under a strong feeling of revulsion against a crime which we all deplore. The most that any Christian community should desire with regard to a criminal is that justice should be done in accordance with the laws of that community, anything beyond that partakes of the nature of revenge.

If the law is not good, by all means let us work to amend it; but for our own and posterity's sake, let there be no retrogression. The community, which would tolerate prolonging the worst criminal's life simply to torture him as a deterrent to others would forfeit all title to the name "Christian," and would, moreover, defeat the very object professed to be aimed at, by increasing instead of decreasing the number of those belonging to the criminal class. -I am, sir, &c, W.J.L. Brisbane, 13th January.

16/01/1899

An anonymous person, writing from Sydney, suggests the draining and pumping out of all waterholes in the district.

16/01/1899
From Sydney a woman writes, naming a person as the murderer, and saying. "If my conviction be correct I shall claim the £1000 by producing the piece of paper to fit this, also the word. " A portion of the paper on which a word is partly written is cut off.
"A Young Chap" at Lucknow (New South Wales) asks for a plan of the scene of the tragedy, so that he may practice clairvoyance upon it.

16/01/1899
A storekeeper at Balmain-road, Leichhardt (New South Wales), says -"I had a dream last night, and I dreamt that the man who committed this fowl murder was___."

16/01/1899
A P.S. says, "It was a horrid dream!"
An expert in handwriting makes a distinct charge with much flourish of red and black ink, against a Gatton resident.

16/01/1899
"As I am a lady, kindly keep my name private," writes a correspondent at Drummoyne, Sydney, and makes a suggestion that the crime was revenge

16/01/1899
A Logan-road storekeeper makes a lot of thoughtful suggestions, but has based them on wrong information. For instance he runs on the idea that the horse's throat was cut.
A writer from Evan's Plains, Bathurst (New South Wales), suggests that the bullets found at Oxley and at Gatton should be examined by an expert to see if they are of identical class, there being various makes of .380 cartridges.

16/01/1899 
"Olive," writing from Glebe, Sydney, sends a paper containing a story with its theme the discovery of murder by the photograph of the murderer on the retina of the eye.
Another Sydney writer asks if threats had been "levied" against any of the victims, or if there was any jealousy. "I claim, if this turns out to be of any use to you," he adds, "the sum of £1000, the Government or Queensland reward. "As a P.S. he adds, Kindly see that this letter is handed to the reporters of various newspapers."

17/01/1899

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, -in the letters of this morning's "Courier" there are indications of crude and confused ideas of what should constitute a public administration of justice, &c. It is with the hope of facilitating a little clear thinking on this important phase in connection with these terrible tragedies that I crave a little of your valuable space.

There should be drawn a clear line of demarcation between the idea and feeling which demands justice, and that lower and regrettable feeling which cries for vengeance. I believe that I am correct in stating that all eminent jurists hold that the punishments meted out to law-breakers do not take cognisance of the individual offender, except in so far as he is related to society. That is to say, the law does not concern itself primarily with justice to the individual, far less revenge, but it has as its objects the protection and benefit of society.

As regards the criminal, of whatever kind or character, it is a question if he ever obtains strict and even balanced justice by the sentence imposed on him. We need far more light than is at present attainable on the psychological affinities existing in our communities before we can venture on the apportionment of personal guilt, with any hope of even approximate justice.

The law therefore wisely leaves the criminal to receive the recompense of his crime from the operation of these higher laws of our being which in the issue will exact payment to the "uttermost farthing"

The law, and the public whose sentiment forms it, should always hold two aspects of the case steadily before it.

The first, its duty to society. Which has called it into existence, should be a strictly impersonal one, and the punishment meted out would thus have regard to its deterrent effect on that portion of society, which needed a salutary object-lesson.

A case in point is the flogging for garrotting to which one of your correspondents refers. The second aspect would be its duty toward the individual law-breaker, and here, so far as previously-named object would admit, free play should be given to the noble sentiments of pity, compassion, and forgiveness. Hanging- the infliction of the death penalty, so largely, almost universally, condemned by the public conscience of

Continental Europe-should be viewed as a relic of the dark ages of our barbaric forefathers. Every case should be treated with the primary object of reform ever kept in view.

We are a Christian community, and to ignore the practical inferences of the teaching of its Founder is a public calamity. One could have hoped that an enlightened view of the Bible as a whole had rendered impossible an appeal to the crude ideas of justice which obtained when the death penalty was inflicted for Sabbath breaking; or, as in the case of the Amalekites in the times of the first King of Grael, extermination, even to their cattle, was breathed against an innocent people, because they were the children of their fathers of the tenth generation.

To desire the administration of Justice with a revengeful feeling is creating and perpetuating the evil deprecated. It is bad law, and no gospel. And it is entirely opposed to the teachings and principles of him, who, when the greatest crime in history was being perpetrated, is reported as exclaiming, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."-I am, sir, &c. W. A. MAYERS. Toowong, 16th January.

17/01/1899

Sir, -Please allow me, if possible, a little space to write in support of Mr. Gillespie's letter. With all the present laisses faire (Is not Queensland becoming known as the "Never-mind" colony?) we need more men who can be, like him, nobly and hotly indignant.

What effective check other than fear of physical pain can be applied to men capable of such crimes, or what appeal can be made to the higher nature of creatures so entirely in the brute stage?

A good many will, I think, consider it a most essentially Christian act to take when occasion requires a "scourge of cords" to all desecrators of any fair temple of God. Some hold, too, that it is Christian teaching that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, to protect them, first from the evil in ourselves, and then, to the best of our ability, from the evil of others. Is it known by those who signed the petition for reprieve in the case Mr. Gillespie refers to, that, allowing for good-conduct concessions, the man may be loose again in almost the prime of life as a terrible menace to society?

We need only to realise that such crimes may happen again to feel that it is only the barest form of justice due to society to do anything that will put a very great fear of the consequences ever before three men. -I am, sir, &c, J. H. S. 16th January

18/01/1899

Here are a few more of the letters, which are available to the Press on the "astrologers file" at the headquarters of the police in this district. A lady, writing from Surry Hills, Sydney; begins I ask you to read this letter to the end," and suggests that mesmerism be applied to a person now in custody," and compel him, "the writer says" under its strong influence to tell where he was on the day and night of the 26th, December also, who was with him, what they did before and subsequent, and that while he is under its influence compel him to sign the confession. All's fair in love and war, and besides, the means justified the ends. I have seen it done by some one of very powerful will." The letter ends with "Do not, I beg of you, scout this my idea."

18/01/1899

A gentleman whose name is well known asks that a note be taken of men who were not at the funeral of the victims of the tragedy, they should be “shouted” for liberally, made drunk, and if two are concerned make a "pretext for arresting them on some trivial charge, put them in the same cell, having previously arranged that their conversation may be heard by a patient listener at a portion of the wall or ceiling made ready before.

18/01/1899

An Ipswich lady gives what she believes to be the description of the murderers, suggests certain inquiries, and closes with: " If my suggestions are of any use, and any of the reward mine, give it to the Ipswich Hospital."

In my recent letters I have referred to what I deemed the insufficient search made for articles, which the murderer or murderers would naturally desire to make away with. So far as one could see, nothing had been done to remedy this defect in the operations of those charged with unravelling the mystery of the crime.

18/01/1899

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, -As you courteously inserted my first letter I do not feel disposed to trouble you again, and, like one of my professors, I do not much care about explanations; but I am sending a short reply, if you care to insert it. As nearly all of the correspondents who took exception to my suggestions were ashamed of their own names, I felt disposed to say, so am I, but I should like to say that I have studied human nature perhaps as closely as any of these writers, and I have probably a much clearer idea of right and wrong than any of them, and I say unhesitatingly that we have in our land a class of men to whom nothing will appeal but the lash. I refer now to a class who are past home and school training, and who never come near any institution that can possibly teach them anything approaching morality. For these there is no remedy, not even imprisonment, except the lash.

I am glad to notice that in the old country there is a decided tendency in favour of the introduction of that most effective method of punishment, and I wish my letter to be my contribution towards the introduction of that strong, healthy, national, moral sense which says that crime must go, by gradual improvement, if possible, but, if not, then by stern stamping out.

For your correspondents to presume to teach me what the life and teaching of Christ are is too absurd to notice further-I am, sir, -a, JAMES GILLESPIE.16th January.

18/01/1899

Sir, -The letter appearing in the "Courier" of the 13th instant signed "Agriculturist" describes very truly the state of things in the farming districts between Ipswich and Toowoomba, as regards police protection. The officers seem content to stay quietly in whatever little township they are stationed, instead of paying at least an occasional visit to the surrounding parts, and breaking up these bands of country larrikins, many of whom are the sons of so called respectable people. Alone, these hoodlums will hardly look a person In the face, but when in the mob they become insulting and dangerous, preferring the cover of darkness for their ignorant doings. I believe if the lash were used a little more frequently we should have less of this kind of crime. -I am, sir, &c, FARMER.

19/01/1899

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, --Men have already written to protest against the lash as a means of reformation or punishment suited to 1899, and I think it not out of place that a woman should too.

First, I wish it to be understood that I agree with Mr Gillespie that outrage is the premier offence (if the larger half the population whom it more deeply concerns consider it so, laws made by man do not refute it), but to advocate the lash-such talk is naught but foolishness. "An Australian Girl" stands too near the picture. I agree with her that anything a brother might think or do under such circumstances would be excusable, at the same time it is well to remember that the bereaved mother in the Gatton tragedy prayed for the souls of the murderers, and it is not for outsiders to lose their heads. For clergymen, it is to think of the sinners' reformation, and for citizens to discover a preventive of wrongdoing. These things do show in the initial stages, and I think a little more strictness in regard to small children spending their time on the streets, and idle larrikins whistling and calling after passing girls, and there would be less cause for talk of severity when the mischief is done. Now, a word to my sisters to remind them of their duties and responsibilities. They are the connecting links, and a chain is only as strong as us weakest link. Let them develop their brains and hearts.

The woman who can talk of flogging for a man or even a beast is hard of heart and soft of head, a combination of cruelty and stupidity-nice handicapping inheritance for a son, he has but to come upon evil days to find himself become a criminal. We might easily alter and improve some of our laws, but it rests with women to work the miracle of reformation, and I hold the practice of self-control as being the method-it is a good mental exercise, and very infectious -I am, sir, &c, ONE WHO THINKS.

19/01/1899

Sir, -As your correspondent "James Gillespie" writes in to-day's issue as if all who took exception to his first letter had condemned the use of the lash in toto, kindly permit me to correct this apparent misapprehension, so far as I am concerned. There are doubtless some cases where this punishment proves beneficial as a deterrent at least, although the effect upon the criminal receiving it has, from past experience, proved to be hardening, but what I took exception to, and what others objected to, in your correspondent's first letter, was his advocating that certain criminals should, after sentence of death-the law's utmost penalty-be kept alive for three years, in order to inflict periodical floggings. This, I still maintain, would be the reverse of progression, and could only increase brutality in the community, which sanctioned it. So far from taking up the position Mr Gillespie charges his critics with, I for one am still a learner in the matters referred to, and never hope to get above the position of being able to receive instruction, even from a little child. -I am, sir, I&c, W. J. L. Brisbane, 18th January.

20/01/1899

On the "Astrologer" file at the police quarters there are now 639 letters. A new batch is to hand, chiefly recounting dreams, and giving supposed descriptions of persons.

A lady at Toowoomba points out the case of a young man who left for Sydney the night the murder was revealed, and snipping a piece of paper out of her letter, presumably for identification, she says: " P.S.-shall claim reward if anything comes of this."

20/01/1899

A Melbourne lady gives her dream, and says: "I feel it my duty to report this dream, hoping that it might be of some assistance to the police in bringing the criminal to justice."

20/01/1899

A man at Hillside, Guildford (New South Wales), offers to come over to render assistance if his expenses are paid, but wishes for some object formerly possessed by the victims of the tragedy, presumably for clairvoyant purposes. "I hope, sir," he says, "that you will not think I am worrying you too much with my letters. ... I can give you any amount of testimonials of cases that I have found out."

20/01/1899

A Sydney man says: -"Would you have inquiries made around the Gatton district if three young men were in Sydney about two or three months before the tragedy; if so, please advertise through the 'Personal' of Sydney 'Herald' thus: '1899, Yes.' ... If you can give me the information I ask, I might throw some light on the matter."

20/01/1899

A lady at Sydney-road, Auburn, and a Brisbane man send accounts of blood-curdling dreams, in which they saw the victims and the murderers.

20/01/1899

From a Lady Palmist, Newtown (New South Wales)," stating: "I have just cut the cards with view of giving you some information concerning the Gatton outrage." She says that three men were in the tragedy; one of them has crossed the water.

20/01/1899

"Irishman" writes that the tragedy is the outcome of bad blood (faction) and says: " Double reward, and give Government protection in the colonies, or some other country-and then you have the informer coming forward at once."

20/01/1899

An Adelaide lady suggests putting the cowl of a funnel into a room with a pipe long enough to reach the outside of the wall, and fixing on it a length of small sized garden hose, to overhear what is said in a house "without attracting notice or exciting suspicion, especially if it looked to be a contrivance for conveying water instead of sound." The idea is to put the funnel into a room where "the criminal" is sleeping, but who the criminal is, or into whose room the funnel is to be put is not stated.

20/01/1899

A writer from Footscray (Victoria) suggests that suspected parties should be confronted with persons dressed to represent the victims, so as to give a shock. The writer had had a vision, which showed the murderer was detected by the means he suggests.

20/01/1899

A SYDNEY DETECTIVE'S VIEWS.

The Sydney detective force is manifesting a deep professional interest in the Gatton case (states the Sydney " Telegraph" of Wednesday last), and it is not to be wondered at that many of our criminal trackers believe that they would not have been baffled over it so long as their Northern confreres appear to have been.

From an outside view it really does seem that the Queensland detectives are ferreting out the perpetrators very slowly.

Owing to the reticence of the Queensland police authorities it is impossible to form any idea as to the strength of the case against Burgess; but the Sydney detectives incline strongly to the belief that the horrible mutilation of the bodies proves that the element of revenge entered very largely into the crime.

They argue from this that the perpetrators-and they think it almost impossible that only one man could have committed the triple murder-must have been more or less acquainted with the victims.

Therefore, many of our detectives, going on the facts they glean from the newspapers, think that the best place to find the criminal would be in or around Gatton.

It is proverbial that the man looking on at anything is firmly persuaded that he can do what is required much better than the individual actually engaged in the endeavour; but then, again, an old hand's experience is always worth something. In conversation with a "Daily Telegraph" representative yesterday a well-known member of the Sydney police explained what would be his modus operandi in a case such as the one under notice. Using a well-known sporting term, he said he would have "bustled" them. The latter pronoun referred to the perpetrators. By this he meant he would have arrested everybody to whom suspicion pointed, and would have done it instantly. In the excitement and confusion of being apprehended on such a grave charge some- body would he sure to "squeak," and make a confession, perhaps implicating others.

This officer expressed the opinion that in view of the serious and horrible nature of the case the police should not have been gingerly in their tactics. As it was, he considered that the Queensland authorities had allowed the matter to get "cold," which would throw stumbling-blocks in the way of justice being vindicated. Retribution is generally supposed to be slow but sure, and it may be that the officers who have the matter in hand are wiser in their generation than appears in the dim light of existing information.

27/01/1899

CRIME AND ITS DETERRENT.
TO THE EDITOR. Sir, -Why cannot two or more persons discuss a matter for the benefit of mankind without sandwiching sarcastic remarks about one another?

When I referred to your correspondents who advocate the use of the lash as "ignorant," I did so advisedly in the sense that they had not an adequate idea of what it really means.

Why is the flagellator held in universal disgust?

How many of your correspondents would accept the office?

Have they seen a flogging, and if so, do they long to see another?

Why do they so persistently cling to the lash?

Why not gouge out criminals' eyes, annex their nose, twist a leg around, or vary the performance in some way?

None of those are more barbarous than flogging, but they and dozens of other tortures (among them the one inflicted on an English King which would find considerable favour here) have been abandoned as civilisation and humaneness have progressed.

I am afraid "J. Kay" (has rushed into print again before properly reading my epistle.

He asks will imprisoning offenders for a term of years protect his defenceless head?

Well, I can imagine nothing safer. He proposes to flog his man and loose him on society again, smarting under his recent infliction.

Now, without question of desert, would "J. Kay" or his confreres employ a man who had just been flogged?

No, and he is ten times more a criminal than before, and as he becomes gradually forced further and further back he becomes more desperate. Supposing though that when it is plainly seen a youth is making straight for a bad life he be imprisoned for a term of years where he will be taught a trade, the knowledge of which used at the time will help to keep him, and will when he is released be of service to him.

In such an institution he would be free from those associations, which tend to enrich his precocious villainy. He would, in fact, be in time civilised. (This is a tempting theme, but I will forbear.) "J. Kay" and Co., I have no doubt, would when they took possession of station property immediately slaughter or mutilate the brumbies as dangerous and useless. Others know better. They subject their brumbies to rigorous but as far as possible humane treatment, and gradually win them from their wild ways. "J. Kay" will argue now that I am simply encouraging crime. Even as those brumbies are not responsible for the vice in them, so are not the human brumbies amongst us.

For the sake of the community we must adopt such measures as will effectually restrain crime, but let us do so in a manner in keeping with modern ideas.

I think it is David Christie Murray who said that capital punishment will only deter those who do not intend to commit a crime. Will "J. Kay" (and Co.) explain why men have received as many as eight and nine separate sentences of flagellation extending over years if it is such a deterrent?

It was not only the lash that put down the notorious garrotting. Every second man was not a garrotter; so the supply had 'to give out,' and the police were greatly reinforced, and the epidemic gave cut. "J. Kay" wants to apply a remedy that is not a remedy; for that It has failed is proved by the fact that dozens of men have received the lash more than once. (Set-off against the great garrotting cure theory.) Then they are to come out worse than ever and garrotte " J. Kay" again. Not for me. As soon as I observed the symptoms I would take my youth in hand, and keep him where he would have no opportunity for crime until he bad grown out of the desire. But you cannot convince the lash advocates. They pin their faith to the cat, so to speak. -I am, sir, &c, 23rd January. AUSTRAL

27/01/1899

Sir, -The late horrible crimes perpetrated at Gatton and Oxley necessitates a higher mode of training in our schools and a truer explanation of Christ's teaching in the churches, together with a more just distribution of the workers' wealth. Early marriage would follow such a condition of Socialism.

Improvement cannot come by the use of the cruel lash. History tells us, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." Let those who cry so loudly for blood by the lash see where the carrion is there will the vultures be also. If those self-constituted Judges will look up what Lord O'Hagan says upon the excessive punishment for crime, they may become doubters about using the lash upon the undeveloped plants of humanity. Brutality committed by either State or individual always was, and always will be, a curse to morality. -I am, sir, &c, FAMILY MAN. Warwick, 23rd January.

27/01/1899

Sir, -In view of the Gatton tragedy, much condemnation of the ways of young men and women of Queensland has been poured forth. Alas! It is true! But whose fault is it? I say, unhesitatingly, in nine cases out of ten, the fathers. Let us look at the average family in the evening. The "old man" strolls up the street after tea with his pipe, and goes to the School of Arts or street corner, and talks politics, &c, with his mates.

The "old woman" is washing up and attending to the baby, and the youngsters running about the streets shouting, throwing stones, chasing cows, and playing old Harry generally.

The remedy for this state of affairs lies with the father. I am a father, and I say to my son, "You shall not leave the house after dark," and I stop at home myself. Instead of strolling up the street to talk politics, which I cannot understand, and leaving the children to mope indoors, I am at home, too. I read to them. I play cards with them. As they grow older I hope to introduce them to the noble sciences of whist and chess. They ask me questions, and "after tea" is the time for answering them. They often ask me questions I cannot answer; so I say, " I don't know, after tea we will try and find out," and finding out will often take us to bedtime. There is the way. Help them to stop at home; don't drive them. Make home attractive and they will stop. Then when the Judge asks the question, "What have you done for your children?" we may be able to say, "We have done our best."-I am, sir, &c, A FATHER.

27/01/1899

Sir, -Will you kindly insert the following narrative, which is truthful, and can be verified at least the most of it, if you think fit from the authorities?

This is written to warn people that they are on the right track, and not to make mistakes. In the first place, I don't approve of a man's photo, to be first hawked round, and then people called to identify the said man, and to be allowed to pick him out; but, be this as it may, I hope the perpetrator or perpetrators of these fearful crimes will be brought to Justice, for I do not know, or have even heard, of such horrible murders, even in the old convict days.

When a (boy in the forties, I went to school at the Hutchins's School, with the two eldest sons of Captain Chamberlain, a whaling captain out Of Hobart. -. They lived at Brown's River or the Huon, I forget which now.

A younger brother was waylaid into the bush, and murdered like this poor boy at Oxley. The supposed murderer was traced by the peculiarity of big boots, and was sworn to, and identified by, plenty in the neighbourhood. The man protested his innocence of the crime to the last. The circumstantial evidence was so strong that the old captain was in court with a brace of pistols in his pocket, and swore if he was acquitted he would blow his brains out, so it was said.

Years rolled by, and Mr. Coleman, who came out with me as a Government emigrant, and who was the chief warder, or a warder, In the Hobart Hospital, told me a patient was dying, and he was heard to confess, to the priest, by another patient who was lying next to him, and who was not expected to recover, that he was the murderer of young Chamberlain, and that he afterwards replaced the boots, which he had taken and used from the man who got hung. Mr. Coleman told the authorities. They tried to hush it up as much as they could, but it was the talk of Hobart for some considerable time; but there was nothing to be done, as the poor innocent man had suffered the penalty of the law.

I have read a good many letters lately, sir, in your valuable issues, pro and con on the flogging, and, I may also add, at different times, on the hanging question, and will you be kind enough to let me add my version, which dates back to the old convict regime?

I ask, has hanging ever stopped crime? I say No; not even under the Hanging Governor of Van Dieman’s Land at that time, Sir John Franklin-for so he was called then, when I was a boy; and there were so many to be hung of a morning that they had to hang them In two batches.

I remember this well, as I was at Mrs. Giblin's school at the time, opposite the "Tewh," in Macquarie-street, and we boarders were kept in, and not allowed to go out, until the hanging was over.

Did flogging ever reform men under John Price, who I knew well when commandant of Norfolk Island, when they said he used to flog them to death on the triangles, and who Marcus Clark so ably depicts in his "Natural Life" as Lieutenant Freear. (Although Marcus Clark made one great mistake in the convict ship, the Lady Franklin, getting wrecked or burnt, I forget which now, as it was not so many years ago I saw her sailing out of Hobart as a whaler under the name of the Emily Downing.)

Again, did flogging do any good in the army and navy?

If so, why was it done away with?

When a youngster at sea I have been shipmates with sailors who had been flogged out of the navy, and they were incorrigible then, and were proud of showing their backs and defying the captain.

No, sir. You will never reform men by such means as the above. Thanking you for inserting the same, -I am, sir, &c, W. H. SPODE. Milton, 24th January.

27/01/1899

Sir-As all roads led to Rome, so all questions lead to one question-the social question. The correct solution of this problem is the golden key to all problems.

Reading the correspondence in your columns evoked by the Gatton tragedy, I am struck by the pertinent attacks made all round the fringe of the subject, while the root of the evil is either vaguely hinted at, or slight importance attached to it.

Not how to repress larrikinism, but what causes larrikinism, is the question of questions. And I think this evil must largely be laid at our own doors. We indirectly encourage the growth of this upas tree, pruning and watering it by our total indifference to the welfare-material, physical, and moral-of our young men.

Where can many of these young fellows meet for comradeship but in the streets, and what efforts or attractions are ever brought before them to lure them from evil to good?

We are pitifully out of date in this matter, and until altered, society will have to continue paying the penalty, in tragedies such as these, for its refusal to become its brother's keeper. To cast out seven devils by repressing evils and replacing nothing therein, is truly to make the last state of that man worse than the first. That can never answer, and only as the power of good overcomes evil by its own inherent attraction-as it can and does-shall we be able -to wound, and finally slay, the larrikin monster.

To the real remedy: First, cleanliness is next to godliness. Why should not every town and township possess a swimming bath, if even on a small scale, at no higher charge for use than will pay its actual cost of maintenance?

The need is paramount, and no clean thinking is ever to be carried on in unclean bodies.

Attached to this, why not a gymnasium, simply in scope and design to commence with, and conducted upon similar lines?

To be followed by a reading-room, with portion set apart for chess and other games.

And lastly, as the inspiring soul of all, music, the establishment of a full brass band in every such dull and soulless township.

Let the fullest amount of liberty, compatible with ordinary decency and toleration of similar liberties in others, be allowed, and I think we are in a fair way to solve our larrikin trouble. It is worth every effort to bring about, and every municipal councillor who really wishes to serve his country and district should heartily support such a scheme. I should like to see it a national movement, with a head institution in Brisbane and affiliated branches throughout the country, the larger towns serving as centres for the sub-districts.

Young men "at home" are provided for in this way in dozens of towns, and with the happiest results.

Our electric trams, our mere mechanical devices and improvements, are nothing in importance to this matter.

We ourselves cannot be " up-to-date" - magic phrase to conjure with! -While Cain's attitude is Queensland's attitude to her sons and daughters. -I am, sir, &c. OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.

31/01/1899

BRISBANE TO KILLARNEY.

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, -In your issue of Saturday last I observed a statement by Mr. Mattingley, of Killarney, to the effect that Burgess could have been at Oxley on 10th and 11th December and at Killarney on 13th.

He could it was said, easily have walked the distance, and Brisbane could be reached in two days' walking. Being familiar with the route over which Burgess would have to travel, and in the interests of fair play, I trust you will allow me to place before your readers a statement of the distances to be travelled and the difficulties to be surmounted.

The distance, Oxley to Dugandan, is fifty-two miles; Dugandan to White Swamp, twenty eight miles (not fourteen, as stated by Mr. (Mattingley); White Swamp to Killarney, fifteen miles; total, ninety-five miles. The Macpherson Range has to be crossed twice. Carney's Creek, at the foot of the range, Queensland side, is 800 ft. above sea level, and after ascending for four or five miles the crest is reached at an altitude of nearly 2500ft. Entering New South Wales territory, you descend for about three miles to the White Swamp, which is about 1700ft. above sea level. Shortly after passing the White Swamp settlement you again ascend the Macpherson, and re-enter Queensland on the head waters of the Condamine River, which has to be followed in a zigzag course to Killarney, and has to be crossed and recrossed about fifteen or twenty times, the water in some places being at least 3ft. deep.

Taking into consideration the fact that the journey would have to be made under a blazing hot sun, and that considerable portions of the road traverse plain country without a tree to give shade. I do not think one man in a thousand would accomplish the task under the above conditions. I consider it a very fair performance to cover the distance in two days on horseback, during the summer months. -I am. Sir. &c, J. HARDCASTLE. Corinda, 29th January.

30/03/1899

Sir, -Commenting on the article, which appeared in last Saturday’s issue of the “Courier” anent the Gatton tragedy, the public, must obviously acquiesce in its deservedly applied contents.

Foremost, and perhaps most important, is the reorganisation of the Police Department. It has frequently occurred to me that suggestions, or, in fact, any matter that might tend to further the effort for improvement, would be received (per medium of Press or otherwise) by the Commissioner from a good-natured point of view, displaying to a certain extent a zeal for the betterment of the department generally, and especially for the protection of the lives and properties of our citizens.

In Queensland the "black tracker" is often a useful appendage of the police stations; in sparsely-populated and unsettled districts his services have frequently been 'brought into requisition with tolerable success. But in places such as Oxley and Gatton, within, I might say, cooey of the metropolitan authorities, where a rush of local residents to the scene of the murders must necessarily obliterate the tracks, his usefulness, as practically recently illustrated by an ignominious failure to discover anything, ceases to bear fruit.

In many parts of the United States and Canada, in Russia, and in the forests of Germany and France, well-trained and well bred bloodhounds have been and are made use of-prior to the Civil War in America for the purpose of running down escaped slaves or horse thieves, and in out-of-the-way places of France, Germany, and Russia for following up the scent of murderers, robbers, or assassins who have their haunts amongst the brutal and ignorant charcoal-burners of those regions, and far distant from the society of their fellow-men.

Had a couple of such dogs been laid on to the scent twenty four or forty-eight hours after the murders, the police might possibly have obtained a substantial clue. The chances would be, I am of opinion, in favour of the bloodhounds; their instinct is, under such circumstances, invariably unerring, where the black tracker must of necessity fall.

To import a dozen or even half-a-dozen of those animals (well-bred and already trained) would not cost a great deal. Their usefulness would he more than adequate to the expense. Their maintenance would he a mere trifle compared with the black tracker. They could he distributed throughout the larger (townships and cities of the colony, and exercised daily by the constables in charge. The services of dogs and trackers could be utilised at the same time, and concentrated at a given point without unnecessary delay.

Mr. Parry-Okeden probably might advance the argument that such diabolical outrages and murders would not take place again in half-a-century. Granted. On the other hand, more revolting and atrocious crimes might take place to-morrow, for remember the Oxley and Gatton murderers are still at large. The Home Secretary might do worse than take the hint. I am. sir, &c, EUGENE F. JUDGE South Brisbane, 27th. March.

28/07/1899

Sir,-Let me Introduce myself to you by saying that I am the writer of the letter headed, "The Police and the Premier," which appeared in the "Courier" over the signature of "Justice" on the 2nd July, 1884. As what I then predicted has come to pass, I am induced to send you the following under the above heading:- The object of the above inquiry is to discover tho cause of the failure of the Queensland police to detect the perpetrators of the Gatton, Oxley, Woolloongabba, and other outrages.

Will this inquiry be a fiasco, like all others that have preceded it?

Will it be like the bursting of a bombshell on a thoroughly bomb-proof magazine? I hope not. The cause of those failures is easily found, as it has been in existence for years; for each succeeding Government has made the Queensland Police the dumping-ground for young, inexperienced men.

Sub-inspectors hop over the heads of old and experienced men who have spent years in learning their very many duties.

The police profession is one that takes years of attention and study to become proficient in.

How, then, can a man who has no previous knowledge of police duty be expected to guide the police in the detection of crime?

Yet this is what has been done, and old and experienced men, thoroughly competent in all police duties, have been overlooked, and young men, without any previous training, have been put over their heads. Many of those old and experienced men have left in disgust, or were hounded out of the Police.

What wonder, then, that crime is rampant, and the perpetrators go unpunished.

Would Krupp, the great gun manufacturer, employ a man to superintend his business who was unacquainted with it?

Would Rotherham, the great watchmaker, do it?

Would any wholesale manufacturer do it?

Would our own D. L. Brown do it?

In the early days, when the Police were first organised by Mr. Lewis, owing to the want of telegraphic communication and the unexplored bush, criminals had a far better chance of escape than now; yet very few crimes then went without being detected.

What do we find now?

But let the Royal Commission on Police find out.

It can discover many things, if not hoodwinked.-I am, sir, &c.,y Brisbane, July. JUSTICE.

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