Gatton Murders - Telegrams

Gatton Murders

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Why did the telegram sent by Connelly arrive in Brisbane before Arrell’s telegram?

Why did Connelly send a telegram at all?


On the morning of the 27th December, 1898, a man named William M'Neill (a brother-in-law of the victims of this tragedy) informed Sergeant Arrell, who was in charge of Gatton station, that three of the Murphy family lay dead in a field about one mile and a-half from the township.

This information was given, about 9.15 a.m.

The sergeant, in company with M'Neill, rode without delay to the scene.

They were followed by several persons.

The sergeant did not make any notes, nor had he a notebook with him.

We consider that this should have been done, as it might be of the utmost importance that some one should be able to give an accurate description of surroundings and general appearances at the scene of a murder in the event of the prosecution of any given person.

This was the first blunder.

The sergeant remained twenty minutes to half-an-hour with the bodies, and then, after asking a justice of the peace to remain in charge of the bodies, went to the town and despatched a telegram to the Commissioner's office at 10.55.

The telegrams:

Arrell’s was sent out for delivery in Brisbane at 11:52 and was delivered at the head office about 12.32.

About 12.30 a telegram was received at Roma St by Daniel Murphy.