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  1. #1
    gaia227's Avatar
    gaia227 is offline I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting - M. Twain
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    Australia - The Gatton Murders: 3 Siblings killed, 1898

    Michael, Nora and Ellen Murphy attended a dance the last evening of their lives. The dance had been cancelled so they turned their cart around and headed home. They never made it. Their brother went out looking for them the next day and found their bodies badly beaten and obviously arranged in a particular fashion. Their cart horse was nearby, shot with its throat slit. Both of the girls had been raped and then brutally beaten with a blunt object. All of their hands had been tied behind their backs and at least one of the girls had a horse rein tied around her throat.
    The brother, Michael and one sister, Ellen, were arranged so they were lying back to back. Nora was carefully laid out on a fresh blanket.

    There was one suspect in this murder but as you will read the investigation was so botched he disappeared.

    This is a link to an article published in January of 1899. It is very informative and described the crime scene in rather shocking detail
    The text is a little jumbled in some spots but still readable:
    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi...en--1----0-all

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatton_murders

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-pa-HTTP%253...M_RESULT%253D0

    Link to PaperPast - all the articles published about the murders in Australian papers. There are tons of them. Once you pick one and it goes to the next screen you need to hit 'page view' for it to go full screen.
    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi...en--1----0-all
    'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated'
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  2. #2
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    What a horrible crime. I looked up the books written about the case on Amazon. Gatton Murders by Stephanie Bennett is available in paperback starting at $29.01. There are only 2 more copies and they're $47. It's an import though. Gatton Man by Merv Lilley isn't available. I'd love to get the Gatton Murders book though and read more about it.
    Please Help Find Brian Shaffer!



    www.findbrianshaffer.com

  3. #3
    gaia227's Avatar
    gaia227 is offline I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting - M. Twain
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    Yeah, I know. I looked into that too. There seems to have been a few books written about the murders. From my internet research it seems that this case is still very much a part of Gatton. It is mentioned numerous times on websites about Australian history, etc.

    Paperspast is a pretty neat resource. Unfortunately it is all Australian and New Zealand publications. It would be nice if we had something like that in the States - that was free.
    'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated'
    --Ghandi


  4. #4
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    Facinating case.I would love to read more about it.
    I find these real old ones very interesting.

  5. #5
    gaia227's Avatar
    gaia227 is offline I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting - M. Twain
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    They are really fascinating to me too. There have been a couple books written.

    The Gatton Murders: The Story of Lust, Vengenence and Vile Retribution was published in 2004 (I think). Stephanie Bennett did years of research sifting through police reports, newspapers, family geneology, pictures, etc and has formed her own theory of what happened. I included link to the new and used copy which BTW MaryBeth - you can get a used copy for $29.00.


    http://www.amazon.com/Gatton-Murders...4251156&sr=1-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Gatton-Murders...4251156&sr=1-2

    The Gatton Man written by Merv Lilley:

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/GATTON-MAN-Me...002122001r2083
    'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated'
    --Ghandi


  6. #6
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    For anyone even remotely interested in the Gatton triple murder of 1898 you must read the story at http://www.gattonmurders.com/page5.php
    I am certain the solution to the mystery is contained in these pages but is not so easy to deduce. It may take a real detective.
    The first episode is available to read FREE of charge at http://www.gattonmurders.com/TheGattonMurdersBook1.xps
    It is quite possible the reward offered at the time is still valid.

  7. #7
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    If I recall, there were several confessions (all almost certainly apocryphal). The last being from an old geezer in the 1970s.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

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    FASCINATING Case! Australia has some of the most interesting cases of missing persons and murders

  9. #9
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    For anyone even remotely interested in the Gatton triple murder of 1898 you must read the story at http://www.gattonmurders.com/index.php
    I am certain the solution to the mystery is contained in these pages but is not so easy to deduce. It may take a real detective.
    The first episode great and is available to read FREE of charge at http://www.gattonmurders.com/TheGattonMurdersBook1.xps
    It is quite possible the reward offered at the time is still valid.

  10. #10
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    I'm really pleased to see a thread on this case here! Information is pretty hard to come by on it, so I'm grateful for the links to books, etc. I keep my eye out at all the used book stores I frequent for historic Aus cases (they are terrific for out of print crime books!) but have so far found nothing on this case.

    I was reading a site that discussed psychopathy and sociopathy a while ago which brought up the fact that these are human traits which have been around forever, they not 'modern' conditions at all. Looking over these old crimes sure makes the point.

    It's always hard to believe that somebody with such a distinctive way of arranging bodies had never killed before, and did not kill again. But I've never heard of any similar crime in Aus, in that period. Of course, build-up crimes might go unreported, as rape was generally not something the papers liked to print.

    Anybody know of cases that might fit?


  11. #11
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    Gatton Murders

    This is a most interesting and baffling case.
    I doubt it was a serial killing but who knows.
    I am pretty sure the reward offered at the time is still valid and would now equate to around $500,000.00.
    I am certain the solution is between the pages of the booklets but it requires an analytical open mind to put it all back together.
    I truly hope someone can do it and clear a lot of peoples' names that have been under suspicion for over 110 years.
    The answer is there.

    Regards,
    Steve

  12. #12
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    Someone was really angry. I mean, shooting the horse?

  13. #13
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    Steve - forgive me for asking -- but are you the author of those pamphletts, or an agent for them?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausgirl View Post
    Steve - forgive me for asking -- but are you the author of those pamphletts, or an agent for them?
    A quick read through the Wiki link (in the OP) shows that Steve Behnke indeed has written a series of 14 pamphlets, so I'm thinking that's his reason for the posts.

    This is an interesting case indeed...talk about slipshod investigation! I will do some more digging around and seeing if I can't turn up other things to read regarding this case.

    Best-
    Herding Cats

  15. #15
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    herdingcats, do hurry back! Can't wait to find out what you uncover.

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