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The Gatton Tragedy Exposed At Last. An Examination Of The Secrets And Lies.
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Commissioner Parry-Okeden's Input And Time Spent in Gatton
To-day Mr. Commissioner Parry-Okeden, head of the police force, arrived in Gatton, and he has been closely engaged all day with Inspector Urquhart and Sub inspector Galbraith. Mr. Parry-Okeden's keen analytical mind and wide experience must no doubt prove a great assistance to his officers in this terrible case. The Commissioner in the
administration of the Peace Preservation Act in 1894 showed his capacity for taking, weighing, and utilising evidence.
Representatives of the Press waited on Mr. Parry - Okeden, Commissioner of Police, to-night to confer with him as to the method of obtaining news.
A special train, with Drs. Wray and Von Lossberg, and Sub-inspector White, arrived this morning just before daylight. They left the train before reaching town, and drove direct to the cemetery, where the exhumation took place.
To-day news reached Gatton that several stowaways on a goods train from this district had been arrested at Brisbane on charges of offences against the railway by-laws-travelling without tickets.
Mr. Okeden, Inspector Urquhart, and a number of police and trackers were going out this morning, but the Commissioner and Inspector Urquhart will remain, for the present. Several fresh members of the Police Force arrived this morning.
To-day we had a visit from the Hon. A. H. Barlow, Acting Chief Secretary. Mr. Barlow visited the scene of the tragedy with Mr. Parry Okeden, and on his return to town I had
an opportunity of conversation with him. I have no authority to make the hon. gentleman's views of the tragedy known, save to state that speaking for the Government, of which he is a member, there is a determination that no effort and no expense should be spared to bring the murderers to justice. The Premier and other members of the Government, Mr. Barlow states, are deeply moved by the appalling nature of the crime. As to the work of the police, he was
much impressed with the system adopted, and the completeness with which investigation is proceeding.
At the time of writing Mr. Parry-Okeden has not returned from Brisbane. Inspector Urquhart is now the only officer in town.
Mr. Parry-Okeden returned to Gatton last night, and goes back to Brisbane by the train this evening. The Commissioner seems to feel very acutely the strictures upon the Police Department while everyone is working at high pressure and under great difficulty. He said to me to-day " I do not mind criticism; I think it does good. If there is a weak spot, discover it and condemn it. But I think it would be better to defer any actual condemnation at all events until the present strain is over." Mr. Parry-Okeden proposes to return to Gatton on Thursday.
THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE INTERVIEWED.
Mr. Parry-Okeden, Commissioner of Police, returned to Gatton this morning, as I have already advised by wire. The Commissioner has gone carefully into the recent developments in the case, and on the whole regards the situation as hopeful.
Captain Deacon, formerly Mayor of Ipswich, was here yesterday, and informed me that after seeing the spot and hearing some of the inner circumstances of the case he had altered his view regarding it. Captain Deacon now considers it quite possible and very probable that one man was responsible for the whole of the shocking tragedy. On this
"one man" theory the Commissioner of Police has informally expressed himself. A visitor to the town asked, " Do you think one man could have committed the crimes? "Mr. Parry-Okeden replied briefly and to the point. "Yes, I do."
I think the authorities are satisfied that some closer system must be tried within a mile or two of the scene. Mr. Parry-Okeden and Inspector Urquhart discussed the question to-day pretty fully, and if further steps are deemed necessary they will probably be taken early next week.
Mr. Parry-Okeden and Mr. Morris, solicitor, of the firm of Morris and Fletcher, arrived here to-night. Sub-inspector White also arrived.
A regular police caucus has been held here by the Commissioner, Mr. Parry-Okeden Inspector Urquhart, Sub-inspector Galbraith, and Sub- inspector White, and Mr. Charles Morris (of Morris and Fletcher, Brisbane solicitors), was present also.
Mr. Parry-Okeden, Commissioner of Police, with Mr. Shand, Acting Police Magistrate of Ipswich, and Dr. Von Lossberg arrived this morning. The inquiry will be opened shortly. There is much excitement here.
THE DETECTIVES BAFFLED.
The Commissioner (Mr. Parry-Okeden), Sub-Inspector White, and Mr. Morris left for Brisbane this morning, and Sub-inspector Galbraith for Tent Hill and Inspector Durham for Helidon last night.
Sub inspector Urquhart arrived in Brisbane from Gatton yesterday night. He and the Commissioner, Mr. W. E. Parry-Okeden, and Chief Inspector Stuart, had a long consultation at Mr. Okeden's private residence to-day on the Gatton and Oxley affairs. The Commissioner states that investigations are progressing satisfactorily.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Parry-Okeden, attended at the inquiry towards the close.
The Commissioner, of Police (Mr. Parry-Okeden) arrived this morning, and, previous to opening the inquiry into the late murders, he and Inspector Urquhart, with Mr. Shand, had a conference, but the outcome of this has not been disclosed.
“Yes,” said Mr. Parry Okeden, the Chief Commissioner of Police in Queensland, as he met me with a smile more serious than cynical, I really believe that when I die 'Gatton' will be found written on my heart. Not that the crime should have been difficult to solve, but mistakes were made at the outset, and the stars in their courses seem to
have fought against us ever since.
The Royal Police Commission took further evidence on Saturday morning.
ADDENDUM BY FRED. W. DICKSON, ESQ.