Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Old Geelong Gaol (part 3): George Roberts – Murderer


Old Geelong Gaol (part 3): George Roberts – Murderer

Geelong Gaol cell block - photo: Allen Tiller 2013
George Roberts was a 28-year-old man, who had arrived in Melbourne just six months prior to his conviction. He had found work at Native Creek on the cattle and stock station of Dr Hope.
 George Kelly was a shepherd who lived in a small hut on the Hope property about two miles from the homestead. Prior to living in the hut, he worked and lived alongside Robert’s doing different jobs around the homestead. Since the time that Roberts was employed, he had begun to notice objects go missing, clothing, a small box with some gold in it, and a bag.
 On the 4th of August, Kelly gave Roberts a cheque and asked him to buy some goods for him from town. Roberts left the goods outside the hut as Kelly was off working. When Kelly next saw Roberts, he asked him for the balance of the cheque, which Roberts said he had not received.
 On Sunday the 6th of August, Kelly left a half kettle of tea on his stove as he went out to church. When he returned, he found someone had been in his hut and thought it must’ve been Roberts who had agreed to bring him the balance of the cheque.
 Kelly noticed his half-full kettle had been emptied and refilled with clean water. He drank a gill of water (1 gill= ½ cup) from the kettle and immediately his throat began to burn. Kelly, throat burning, and now in incredible pain, looked inside the kettle where he could see some white powder resting in the bottom. He left the hut and ran towards the homestead but collapsed in agony about halfway there.
 A passing bullock-driver noticed Kelly laying on the ground and went to assist him. A doctor was called, and Kelly was taken to the homestead. On the way there, Roberts appeared and offered Kelly an emetic. Kelly asked what he had put in the kettle, of which Roberts replied “nothing”.  Roberts offered Kelly a glass of water, poured from the same kettle that he drank poison from, Kelly flatly refused to drink it. Roberts insisted he had washed the kettle out, but Kelly said he would never drink from it again.
 
An inquest was held which revealed evidence of arsenic being found in a box under Roberts bed. The box was one stolen from Kelly months before that contained his gold and a small bag. A nine-year witness was called to give evidence, in which he stated he had watched Roberts pour a white powder into Kelly’s kettle and stir it with a knife.
 It took a jury just ten minutes to decide Roberts was guilty of poisoning with intent to murder. George Roberts was sentenced to death by hanging.

George Roberts took sacraments in the morning of his execution. Of his affairs after his death, or contacting his family, he made no decisions.  Roberts walked firmly to the gallows. There he spoke to the hangman and the Gaol Governor, confessing his crimes.
 The bolt was pulled at 8am, and he fell to his death alongside John Gunn who had also been found guilty of murder and convicted to hang.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019



Other Sources:
'CROWDED OUT.', Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer, (10 November 1854), p. 4.
'DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.', The Argus, (28 August 1854), p. 5.
Executed – Victoria, Geni.com, (2019), https://www.geni.com/projects/Executed-Victoria/49212
'GEELONG CIRCUIT COURT.', Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer, (30 October 1854), p. 7.
'GEELONG CIRCUIT COURT.', The Argus, (30 October 1854), p. 5.
'GEELONG CRIMINAL COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald, (7 November 1854), p. 3.
'THE NEW CONVICT BILL.', Mount Alexander Mail, (3 November 1854), p. 3.
'GEELONG SUMMARY FOR ENGLAND.', The Argus, (23 November 1854), p. 6.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Old Geelong Gaol (part 2): John ‘Crankie’ Gunn – Murderer


Old Geelong Gaol (part 2): John ‘Crankie’ Gunn – Murder


George Roberts and John Gunn were the first two convicted murders executed at Geelong. They faced their execution on 9 November 1854. The men were executed on portable gallows at Gallow’s Flat in a public execution that drew a crowd of around 2000 people.[1]

John Gunn was from Inverness shire, Scotland, and before coming to Australia was a convicted criminal, who escaped gaol during a Church service. In 1814, he had been brought before the courts for shooting a man in Melbourne but was acquitted upon insufficient evidence.
 John Gunn was thought by friends to be an impolite, reckless or insane man, which earned him the nickname “Crankie Gunn”.

At 1pm on 11 August 1854, Gunn went to the house of Charlotte Newman to ask about some washing. At around 4pm the same day, Gunn returned with a man named Nolan, both appeared to have been drinking. The men entered the house, followed by Samuel Harris. Gunn started an argument with Newman, then slapped her. He went outside and Nolan followed, trying to calm him down. Gunn started smashing Newman’s windows, so Harris tried to stop him. Gunn, drunk and angry left the house stating he would be back with something to end the argument and anyone that interfered with him.

 Gunn returned a little later with a 6-shot revolver and a cane with a hidden sword inside. Gunn beat on Newman’s door, so Harris went outside to settle him down. The two men got into a scuffle. Newman heard Harris scream “Murder!” and ran outside to see what was happening.
 Gunn was leaning over Harris who was on his knees. Newman ran over to him, only to have Gunn throw her onto the ground and try and stab her with the cane-sword. Nolan rescued Newman, as Gunn left to go back to his own house, just metres down the road.
 Harris was dead.

An inquest into the death of Harris revealed that Gunn’s sword had gone through Harris’ left side, through his stomach, pancreas and then into his heart. A coroner stated Harris could not have lived more than 10 minutes after his wounds.

  Gunn, a 60-year-old Scottish-man, who had lived in Victoria for around 15 years, stated he would like his farm spilt equally amongst his heirs after his death. The night before the execution, he prayed alongside a Scottish Presbyterian Minister and a Gaelic Minister in his cell.
 Gunn walked to the gallows, and wanted to speak before his execution, proclaiming his innocence, but was not allowed. The bolt was pulled at 8am, and Gunn fell through the trap door to his death.

I’ll be hosting two paranormal investigation nights at Old Geelong Gaol in late August 2019. Find the details here: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=509130&

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019


Other Sources:
'DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.', The Argus, (28 August 1854), p. 5.
Executed – Victoria, Geni.com, (2019), https://www.geni.com/projects/Executed-Victoria/49212
'GEELONG CIRCUIT COURT.', Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer, (30 October 1854), p. 7.
'GEELONG CIRCUIT COURT.', The Argus, (30 October 1854), p. 5.
'GEELONG CRIMINAL COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald, (7 November 1854), p. 3.
'THE NEW CONVICT BILL.', Mount Alexander Mail, (3 November 1854), p. 3.
'CROWDED OUT.', Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer, (10 November 1854), p. 4.




[1] 'GEELONG.', The Age (13 November 1854), p. 5.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Old Geelong Gaol (HM Prison Geelong) (part 1)


Old Geelong Gaol (HM Prison Geelong)
Part 1


 Geelong Gaol was built in sections over a period from 1849 until 1864. It was built with locally sourced bluestone, volcanic rock and brick. Its design is based on English gaol, Pentonville Prison in north London. The building appears as a large cross from above (cruciform). V
  The east and west wings served as cell blocks for prisoners, with the north wing serving as an administration wing. The southern wing of Geelong Gaol served as a Kitchen on the lower floor, a tailoring workshop and a hospital as well as a toilet block. A shower block was later added on the east wing of the cell blocks.
 The gaol was built with convict labour, with convicts being housed on floating prison barges on Corio Bay.
An 1850 Argus newspaper article made note of the cost of staff for the gaol proposed for the year 1851:
  • ·         A Gaoler (Governor) at 125 pounds per year.
  • ·         A Surgeon at 40 pounds per year.
  • ·         A visiting Justice at 40 pounds per year.
  • ·         Two Chaplains at 20 pounds each per year.
  • ·         A Matron at 25 pounds per year.
  • ·         A Clerk at 84 pounds per year.
  • ·         A Superintendent of treadmills at 3 shillings 6 pence per diem.
  • ·         Four Turnkeys at 3 shillings and 6 pence per diem.
  • ·         One female Turnkey at 2 shillings and 3 pence per diem. [1]
The first appointed ’Keeper’ of the Gaol was Sergeant Ashley, of the State’s Detective Force announced in January 1851.[2]
The gaol was used for various purposes over the years:
  • ·         In 1853, the gaol received its first occupant.
  • ·         1853 until 1865 the building was used as a gaol for convicts
  • ·         1865 until 1872 the building was used as an industrial school for girls (street kids) housing 180 children aged 9 to 16 who were abandoned during the gold-rush.
  • ·         From 1877 – 1940 it was a hospital gaol
  • ·         From 1940 until 1947 it was an Australian army detention centre.
  • ·         From 1947 until 1958 it returned to being used as a gaol hospital
  • ·         From 1958 until its closure in 1991 it was used as a training prison, retraining the state’s worst prisoners.
  • ·         1998 - 2019, the Geelong Gaol has housed Rotary International, and Lazarus Community Centre (from 2016)
  • ·         2018 the site was purchased by Montgomery International who are going to re-develop the site in a heritage appropriate manner.


 
Geelong Gaol Cell Block - photo: Allen Tiller
The Geelong Gaol cells never contained heating, cooling or any plumbing. Prisoners were forced to use buckets for toilets, emptying them every morning.
 There were six executions at the Geelong Gaol, most of which happened outside the gaol at Gallows Flat. Gallows flat was approximately 200 meters down the road from the gaol where present-day St Mary's Hall sits (162-190 Myers Road) it sat between Myers Road and Little Ryrie Street.[3]
EXECUTIONS:
  • ·         1854: George Roberts (16 December); murder. Gallows Flat
  • ·         1854: John Gunn (9 November); murder. Gallows Flat
  • ·         1856: James Ross (22 April); murder. Gallows Flat
  • ·         1858: Owen McQueeny (20 October); murder. Gallows Flat
  • ·         1863: James Murphy (6 November), murder. Permanent Gallows inside the gaol.
  • ·         1865: Thomas Menard (28 October), murder. Permanent Gallows inside the gaol.


I’ll be hosting two paranormal investigation nights at Old Geelong Gaol in late August 2019. Find the details here: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=509130&

Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2019



Other Sources:

The Old Geelong Gaol, Intown, (2018) https://www.intown.com.au/locals/geelong/attractions/geelong_gaol.htm

Former Geelong Gaol, Heritage Council Victoria, (21 February 1997), https://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/539

Exciting vision for Geelong Gaol revealed, City of Greater Geelong, (27 July 2018), https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/news/item/8d5f3a6a93a67b2.aspx

[1] 'Domestic Intelligence.', The Argus, (18 July 1850), p. 2.
[2] 'LOCAL INTELLIGENCE', The Melbourne Daily News, (30 January 1851), p. 2.
[3] 'TOWN TALK.', Geelong Advertiser, (30 November 1898), p. 2.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Old Geelong Gaol Paranormal Investigation with Allen Tiller


Want to investigate the Old Geelong Gaol with Allen Tiller? 


As many of you know, I don't run investigation nights very often, but this year, I am running two investigation evenings at the Old Geelong Gaol on the 28th and 29th of August.


This is a massive goal, considered very haunted, and is the place that Gaurav Tiwari famously snapped a full spectrum photograph of what is believed to be a guard that haunts the gaol.

Each night is limited to 15 guests. from 8:30pm until 2am. With a short talk and tour before we start investigating, and plenty of time for you to explore. If you have ghost hunting equipment, you are more than welcome to bring it along...

 
BOOK HERE: https://www.trybooking.com/BCZDY





Saturday, 27 April 2019

INVESTIGATIVE PERMISSION AND EVIDENCE RELEASE FORM


Hi Folks, Allen Tiller from Eidolon Paranormal here, I thought I would make available to those who need it, an example of an evidence release form that is similar to the one my teams use. Please feel free to download or copy and paste it, insert your details and use it for your team (or make changes as necessary).




INVESTIGATIVE PERMISSION AND EVIDENCE RELEASE FORM <EXAMPLE>



<TEAM NAME>


INVESTIGATIVE PERMISSION AND EVIDENCE RELEASE FORM
PERMISSION TO INVESTIGATE:
I, _________________________________, hereby allow <INSERT TEAM NAME>to investigate and research alleged Paranormal Activity at the following site location: __________________________________________________ , on this date of __________________ . I understand that I, _________________________________, am not responsible for any unforeseen physical injury or accident occurring during the course of an investigation.

EVIDENCE RELEASE:

<INSERT TEAM NAME> understands and respects the confidentiality of this arrangement and will not post, advertise or share our findings without your explicit permission. The form below itemises the scope of evidence and your subsequent permission for release. This encompasses all photo, video, audio and supplemental documentation pertaining to a particular investigation. In addition to permitting the release of said evidence, we also need your authorisation to share these findings. If you do not want us to publicise our results, we will most definitely respect your decision.

Select all that apply below:

o I release all photographic evidence collected on the premises.
o I release all auditory evidence collected on the premises.
o I release all video evidence collected on the premises.
o I release all documentation pertaining to this investigation.
o I release all information/evidence collected to be publicised (including websites).
o I release all the names of clients or witnesses involved.
o I release all names of clients or witnesses involved to be publicised (including websites).

I have read this agreement, understand it, and sign it voluntarily as my own free act and deed; no oral representations, statements or inducements, apart from the foregoing written agreement, have been made.

I am of legal age (18 years or older) and fully competent and I execute this release for full, adequate, and complete consideration fully intending to be bound by same.
CLIENT’S NAME: __________________________ SIGNATURE: _______________________ DATE:
WITNESS'S NAME: _________________________ SIGNATURE: _______________________ DATE:

TERMS OF SERVICE (T.O.S.) / DISCLAIMER FORM



G'day folks Allen Tiller here, founder of Eidolon Paranormal. I thought I would make available to ghost hunting teams an example of a Terms of Service/Disclaimer form similar to one I have used with my team in regard to investigating historic public locations.

Feel free to copy and paste it as a template, insert your own team's details and use it in your own investigations!


TERMS OF SERVICE (T.O.S.) / DISCLAIMER FORM <EXAMPLE>




<INSERT TEAM NAME>


TERMS OF SERVICE (T.O.S.) / DISCLAIMER FORM

I, _________________________________, understand that <INSERT TEAM NAME> is a non-profit paranormal investigation group located in <INSERT STATE>. <INSERT TEAM NAME> independent research of alleged paranormal activity does not require payment or donations.

I understand that <INSERT TEAM NAME> utilise scientific methodologies to determine the validity of alleged Paranormal Activity. <INSERT TEAM NAME> do not employ ritualistic techniques such as medium-ship or exorcisms to “remove spirits”. Furthermore, I understand that <INSERT TEAM NAME> is not responsible for the removal, treatment or cessation of the alleged paranormal phenomena or activity.

I understand that all members of <INSERT TEAM NAME> are proficient and capable individuals that will handle each experience with the utmost professionalism. I also understand <INSERT TEAM NAME> right to immediately terminate or suspend an investigation at any time during the course of their engagement if they deem ay risk or injury to themselves or others at an investigation location.
I understand that at the end of an investigation, all experiences, evidence and documentation are presented to me, the client, and I will be given the opportunity to re-evaluate my opinion in regard to public evidence release. 

I understand <INSERT TEAM NAME> investigative methods and professional conduct towards evidence collection, documentation, review and presentation. If any follow-up investigation is required or warranted, <INSERT TEAM NAME> team members will make themselves available in the future

As my own free act and deed; no oral representations, statements or inducements, apart from the foregoing written agreement, have been made by myself.
I am of legal age (18 years or older) and fully competent and I execute this release for full, adequate, and complete consideration fully intending to be bound by same.

CLIENT’S NAME: ___________________ SIGNATURE: _________________ DATE:
WITNESS'S NAME: _________________ SIGNATURE: __________________ DATE:
INVESTIGATORS PRESENT:
SIGNATURE: ___________________________ ROLE: _______________ DATE: _______
SIGNATURE: ___________________________ ROLE: _______________ DATE: _______
SIGNATURE: ___________________________ ROLE: _______________ DATE: _______
SIGNATURE: ___________________________ ROLE: _______________ DATE: _______

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Paranormal Resume

Paranormal Resume



**Tip for Today***


So, you’ve started a new ghost-hunting team, and you’re finding it hard to access to locations?

Have you considered having a “resume” of past investigations?

We all have resumes to gain potential employment, but you can use the same idea to build a resume to send to potential locations you wish to investigate.

After completing a successful investigation, ask nicely if the owners wouldn’t mind writing a short reference about your conduct. Add that reference and a short brief about your investigation into a file in the style of a resume.

Place your police checks, insurance policy, your team's code of conduct and a short brief about your team in the same document.

You now have an investigation resume you can forward with your letter of intent to investigate!