Gatton Murders - More Murphy Confusion

Gatton Murders

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More Murphy Confusion

At an Interview

25/1/99

Mr. MíNeill, the brother-in-law of the victims, in the coarse of an interview, said that he was in business at Westbrook, but the shop was recently burned down. He is rendering every assistance to the police.

He expresses himself doubtful whether the perpetrators will ever be discovered.

He says that the tragedy is as great a mystery as was the burning down of his shop.

A correspondent of the Brisbane Daily Telegraph interviewed the relatives with the following results: -

Mr. Murphy, the father of the victims, said: -"On the night the murder was committed I stayed at home the whole night with the family. We all went to bed early, and M'Neill went to bed at 9 o'clock. In the morning we all got very anxious, and as the result of the anxiety M'Neill went out to look for the girls, and you know the rest."

Mr. John Murphy, who is the youngest brother, said: -"I was at Upper Tent Hill on the night of the murder, but I returned home at 10 o'clock and went to bed. The house was then in darkness and everybody had retired. M'Neill must have gone to bed early, though I did not actually see him getting into bed."

Mr. William Murphy, eldest brother, said:-"M'Neill went to the races at Mount Sylvia on Monday, and stayed in at night. We all turned in early, M'Neill retiring at 9 o'clock. I saw him get into bed then. In the morning mother was anxious because the girls had not turned up, but I was not a bit disturbed, and went on with my ordinary work. M'Neill also was anxious, because he thought his trap was not safe, and that an accident might occur. He had had an accident with, it near Helidon, and the wheels were shaky. Mother asked M'Neill to go and look for the girls, and he consented to do so. He then went out, and after being some time absent brought back the dreadful tale."

At The Inquiry

7/03/1899

EVIDENCE DANIEL MURPHY SEN.
Witness went to bed between 10 and 11 o'clock, up to which time no one else arrived at or left the house.

The only one he left sitting up was his wife.

10/03/1899

EVIDENCE JOHN MURPHY

He went away to Tent Hill, and returned about 10.30.

He did not think the dogs went to Tent Hill with him, but he did not remember hearing them bark on reaching home.

He went to bed.

Inspector Urquhart: Where was MíNeill? Witness: In his room. I would not be sure he was there. He was supposed to be.

Who supposed him to be there? -I did.

Did you think about him on that occasion? -No.

Now, as a matter of fact, you don't know whether he was there? -No. Continuing, witness said he went to sleep almost immediately, and did not hear a snore, a laugh, or any one speaking. In coming home that night he passed within fifty yards of the house paddock.

After returning from Tent Hill on Boxing Night he did not strike a light, and never saw boots then or the next morning.

9/03/1899

EVIDENCE WILLIAM MURPHY

A little before 9 o'clock witness went to the yard and turned all the horses out into a grass paddock containing about 100 acres. None of the horses were shod.

Coming in afterwards he saw his father and mother and M'Neill in the sitting-room. M'Neill went to his bedroom at 9 o'clock, and witness went to the kitchen to assist Katie.

From where he was he could see any one leaving the front door. He certainly heard no one. Witness went to bed about ten minutes to 10 o'clock.

His bed lay along a partition on the opposite side of which was a bed occupied by M'Neill. During the night he heard nothing but M'Neill's snores before he (witness) went to sleep. He did not see who it was snoring, but he thought it was M'Neill. He could not swear positively.

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