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Frederick Deeming By Popular Demand!

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Old July 9th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #41
Mike Covell
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Mataura Ensign, 5 September 1895
Tuapeka Times, 18 September 1895

THE DEEMING MURDERS IN ENGLAND.
HOW THEY WERE DISCOVERED.
A TRUE DETECTIVE STORY.
[From the 'Argus.']
It was bitterly cold in the city on the 9th of March, 1892, and tiny stalactites of slowly-thawing ice hung from the heavy moustache of a strongly-built man who had just come in from the street outside and was resting his elbows on the mahogany writing-table of one of the largest dealers in dairy produce in London. The dealer and his visitor talked in rapid confidential tones upon business matters, upon the prices and qualities and grades of butter, upon the state of the market, cargoes and methods of packing, the present glut and the future prospects of Danish, Normandy, and Australian sorts. Ding-a-ling-a-ling went an electric bell across the passage, and in a moment or two a well-drilled office-boy knocked at the door, and, addressing the latest comer, said : " You're wanted at the telephone, sir." The stoutly-built man stepped across to the telephone, and raised the receiver to his ear.
"Hullo, there. Is that you, Lowe?" came a voice out of nowhere, disentangling itself with difficulty from the confused current of interwoven noises that crossed each other on the tingling wires. " Yes. Who's speaking ? " " Townend, at the * Argus ' office. Look here, I want to see you as soon as possible. There's a big murder case on in Australia, and we've just got a cable from the office in Melbourne instructing us to make inquiries at this end. Be as sharp as you can."
Mr Samuel Lowe, member of the London staff of the •Argus,' dropped the instrument, hastily apologised to the merchant, and went down the office staircase three steps at a time. Commerce absorbs a large amount of the average pressman's time and attention, but it sinks into insignificance in the presence of— Crime.
A quarter of an hour later Mr Lowe and Mr Townend were staring intently at the sheet of paper lying on the table before them. The cable message from Melbourne read simply : " Inquire Scotland Yard, Williams murder. Send portraits. Interview mother."
Mr Townend looked at Mr Lowe interrogatively. Mr Lowe looked at Mr Townend affirmatively. "All right," he said, "I'll look after it."
The Bow street officials were polite but unsatisfactory. They had never heard of a murder in Australia in which a person of the name of Williams was concerned. It was as though one had asked them for details about a man named Smith, wanted for a forgery committed on the shores of Baffin Bay. A close
examination of newspaper files at the Central News Agency failed to disclose any accounts of the murder mentioned in the cable message, and two hours had passed without the faintest gleam of light being shed upon the occurrence.
"Scotland Yard, cabby," shouted the stoutly-built man through the aperture in the roof of the hansom, and- sat back in the seat to think hard, as the experienced London cab horse skated over the slippery wood blocks of the Strand, heading for the mysterious building in which the highest detective acumen of England daily gathers up the clues of information that come rolling in from every quarter of the globe. So busy, indeed, were the autocrats of the metropolitan police and the detective department that they could not even see Mr Lowe when he sent his name in by the German man servant. If Mr Lowe desired any information he must be kind enough to forward his request by letter. This seemed a little discourteous on the part of Superintendent Shore and Superintendent Anderson, but the occupant of the hansom cab had still another string to his bow, and as the cab "horse skated back into the city Mr Lowe again devoted himself to an accomplishment which is, unfortunately, growing somewhat rare — that of thinking. As the result of his cogitations the cab horse was pulled on to his haunches in front of a red lamp, and Mr Lowe lost no time in explaining the position to an old acquaintance of his — the police official in charge.
" I fancy this is what you want," said the officer, with a smile, as he spread the "information sheet" for that very day on the desk before him, and pointed to entry No. 44, which contained a full description of Albert Williams, wanted for wife murder, at Melbourne, on Christmas Eve, 1891. The entry set forth that Williams spoke with a Lancashire accent, and stayed formerly at Rainhill. It was signed by Superintendent Shore. Mr Lowe devoured that information sheet with the hearty appetite of one who has been subjected to semi-starvation for some time past. He committed the entry to -memory verbatim by reading it over carefully two or three times, a knack which is always useful to a journalist. M. Blowitz, the Paris correspondent of 'The Times,' proved its value when he learned off the terms of peace at the close of the Franco-German war in one reading, and telegraphed them in extenso to his paper. Only M. Blowitz was dealing with murder on the grand scale— the murder that is committed with grape and shrapnel and bayonets at the charge. When Mr Lowe returned to Scotland Yard after a hurried visit to the 'Argus' office in Fleet street, he had a letter from Mr Townend to Superintendent Shore requesting information in his pocket, and he had the information itself up his sleeve. Warned by his previous experience, he omitted the formality of sending in his card, and, running up a flight of stone steps and along a passage, entered Superintendent Shore's private room and introduced himself in person. The superintendent eyed him coldly, and read the letter asking for particulars as to the murder and for the address of " Mrs Williams" in Liverpool.
"I know nothing at all- about it," said the superintendent, in the measured tones of a man who has learnt by long experience to be economical in administering his stock of veracity, " and moreover," he added, with engaging frankness, " if I did know I should not tell you."
Mr Lowe leaned across the table with a queer smile, and looked straight into the superintendent's eyes. "As you know nothing about the matter," he said, " perhaps you will allow me to enlighten you. Albert Williams murdered his wife in Melbourne on Christmas Eva He formerly stayed at Rainhill. He speaks with a strong Lancashire accent, and there is a detailed description of him published as the forty-fourth entry in to-day's information sheet. It is doubtless correct,
for the memo, bears your own signature, Superintendent Shore." The superintendent sprang to his feet. "The man who told you this shall be dismissed from the force," he hissed with an oath.
' Don't you think you had better find him first," replied the other, with just the suspicion of a sneer, " and you may discover, when you have got him, that he is not under your authority. The city police and the metropolitan constabulary are very different bodies, as you know." Few men would attempt to bluff
a Scotland Yard superintendent in his own milieu, but Mr Lowe tried it on for the sake of the friendly police officer who had shown him the information sheet The bluff came off, and the king of clubs was safe, but the superintendent never knew that it was the only card in his opponent's hand. " I am going to Liverpool to-night," Mr Lowe remarked, as he buttoned his over coat, " to follow this thing up.' "We shall be delighted to hear of your discoveries," said the superintendent sarcastically. "By the way, when you get to Liverpool you might call on Inspector Williams — he is in charge there — and tell him that his brother has committed a murder in Australia. He will be so pleased to see you." "Thanks for the hint," rejoined the pressman. " I shall certainly call on Inspector Williams. I shall tell him that I do so at your request, and that I am instructed by the Scotland Yard authorities to furnish them with any information that I may gather. Your recommendation will, no doubt, be of great service to me." And he bowed himself out, leaving Superintendent Shore fully three inches smaller in stature than he had been before the commencement of the interview.
" Where the deuce is Rainhill ?" asked Mr Lowe anxiously in the office afterwards.
" Rainhill," replied Mr Townend practically, emerging from a dusty file of the ' Liverpool Post,' " appears to be a lunatic asylum about ten miles out of Liverpool, but you had better hurry up or you will miss the -express." "It seems to be rather a wild-goose chase, doesn't it ?" said Mr Lowe.
Mr Townend looked at him straight. " It's the biggest wild-goose chase a man was ever sent on," he said, " but we have
our instructions and we must carry them out." Then he turned out his pockets, and produced a couple of
sovereigns and 4s 3d in silver, which he handed to Mr Lowe, remarking that the banks- were closed, and that he would want some money. The petty cash box yielded another £10, and with this provision against immediate necessities the amateur detective entered the next stage of the inquiry — and a cosy first class carriage on the 10.5 p.m. express to Liverpool.
Half-past nine next morning found him at the headquarters of the Liverpool detective department in Dale street, and the officer in charge, though at first suspicious and reticent, gradually thawed under the influence of the strong personal recommendations from Superintendent Shore, which Mr Lowe presented glibly by word of mouth, adding, with a deft adaptation of the superintendent's sarcasm, that he was commissioned by the Scotland Yard authorities to furnish them with all possible information about the murder. Thus it was that he enlisted the assistance of the officer, who, by merely pressing an electric button, summoned to the joint consultation a constable who was well acquainted with Rainhill, and in the space of a few minutes Mr Lowe learned that Rainhill was a township with a population of about 2,000, that it contained a lunatic asylum, two churches, and a railway station on the Liverpool and Manchester line. But the constable knew no one there of the name of Williams.
Mr Lowe ruminated for a few moments, chewing the end of his big moustache. " Can you put me on to the local gossip," he said ; " the man or woman who takes an intelligent interest in other people's business and knows all about the births, deaths, and particularly marriages that have taken place in Rainhill for the last twenty years or so 1 " "There's John Hingham," said the constable reflectively ; "he's the local letter carrier, and he knows everyone in the place. Perhaps he might help you." Of course ; just the very man, and Mr Lowe felt that he was close to the haunts of the wild-goose after all. It had been snowing and blowing hard all night, with thunder and lightning, and hurrying squalls of hail and sleet. In the morning the storm had almost blown itself out, but it was still piercingly cold, the air was thick and opaque, and the half-seen sky was leaden, so that the day suited well with the task in hand. It was fitting weather for following up the death trail. Everyone knows that Nature can accommodate herself to human moods, especially the poets', and Browning lets the interdependence be seen very plainly. In ' Prospice,' that Alpine storm in verse, cannot one feel the fog in the throat, the mist in the face, and the cold blasts that blow about the narrow pass where death sits waiting? In the song from 'Pippa Passes,' on the other hand, or 'Home Thoughts from Abroad,' does not one get life at its brightest in a flood of sunshine 1 Listen how the "chaffinch sings on the orchard bough." One can hear the gushing melody right through the poem. But when Mr Lowe reached Rainhill the storm was over, though the soft, white, newly-fallen snow covered the whole township— like a shroud. He despatched a lad from the railway station in search of John Higham, who presently appeared wheezing, and opened
his old eyes in astonishment at the tale which the stranger had to tell of a squatter king who had died in Australia, leaving a fortune of fabulous amount to his next-of kin, a person of the name of Williams, formerly of Rainhill. Old Higham knew two ladies of the name of Williams, who were both interviewed at once, and left to their own flustered anticipations as soon as Mr Lowe had satisfied himself that they could have no possible connection with the murder. Here the scent was lost temporarily, and he had to. cast about patiently to recover it. As he walked down the street with old Higham, there appeared upon the scene young Higham, a stripling of eighteen, who assisted his father with the delivery of the mails. To him the old man unfolded the story of the fortune which had been left in Australia, and of the efforts which were being made to recover the long-lost heir, a lucky individual named Albert Williams.
The boy's features worked in a desperate effort to grasp the thread of some associations, and then his eyes took on a
new light, glowing with the joy of a great discovery. "Feyther," he said, speaking in the long, liquid Lancashire drawl, "doant 'c moind thot theer Williams as coom'd to Rainhill last 'arvest toime. Mayhap 'c wur tha feller. 'Im s married Emmie Mather an' took 'er off to Chancy ? "'
"Ay, ay, sewerly," the old man responded. "I moind 'im well, ma lad. 'E rented Dinham villa from Mrs Hayes, an' Ben Young cemented tha kitching floor fur 'im. Dear, dear, so 'es coom'd into a fortin. I hallus thowt theerwur suthin quare wi' him afoor 'c went away. Ay, thots 'im sewerly."
Mr Lowe gave an involuntary exclamation of surprised delight. When hounds are hunting live game and they pick up the scent again after a check they always give tongue. "When did you say he married her, my lad 1 " he said. "Last 'aivest-toime," replied the lad, " oop at tha choorch yonder. They wur married by pass on 'isself, an' yo can see tha stiffkit if yo loike. But 'ere cooms Joe Pickering ; 'c married Emmie Mather's sister, an' 'c can tell you moor o' Willums than me." Joe Pickering, a stalwart young carpenter, remembered Williams perfectly, and recollected doing the woodwork in the scullery at Dinham villa when the cementing of the floors was being earned out by Ben Young. Moreover, he had lately seen a letter written to Mrs Mather by Williams from Melbourne, in Australia, in which Williams said that " dear Emily was quite happy, and in the best of health." The letter was dated some time in January. There could no longer be any doubt in Mr Lowe's mind that he was on the right scent, and he almost
whistled as he remembered that the unfortunate "dear Emily " was murdered by the polite letter writer on Christmas Eve.
Higham, sen., in his capacity as parish clerk, soon found the marriage register in the vestry of the old church, and turned up an entry relating to the marriage of Albert Oliver Williams, bachelor, and Emily Mather, spinster. A copy of the entry would cost 3s 7d, he remarked meaningly. Mr Lowe handed over the fee, as well as a couple of half-crowns' for the old man's private purse. " Yo woant want the munny back if it's not tha roight Williams, will 'a?" said the careful clerk ; and when reassured on the point went off to call the " pass on."
Mrs Mather and her daughter, Mrs Pickering, were both at home when Mr Lowe cafled and was shown into the neat little parlour, with its horsehair sofa and armchair, its cheap German prints on the walls, and its square table in the middle of the room, with a brass-bound family Bible lying mathematically in the centre. The visitor introduced himself by handing the old lady his card. " I represent the Melbourne ' Argus,' " he began, " and also [after a short pause] Scotland Yard. I want to ask you about a Mr Williams who married your daughter last September."
It was wonderful how readily Mrs Mather talked. She had had the letting of Dinham villa, which belonged to Mrs Hayes, and applicants to view the property had to come to her for the key. Mr Williams wished to take the house, and when he came for the key he met Emily. He fell very much in love with Emily, and almost at once proposed marriage. The marriage came off in a very short time, and ' was celebrated by a dance in Dinham villa, in the kitchen, which had been newly cemented. Certainly some of the neighbors had blamed her for allowing her daughter to marry a man whom no one knew anything about, but he was a free-handed, well-spoken man, and he had promised her a good home. They were very happy together, and Emily had written several letters home since they had left. Her last letter was dated from Colombo, but her husband had written from Melbourne.
" Now, Mrs Mather," said Mr Lowe, " I want to ask you about your daughter." The old lady looked up at him sharply. " I want to know first," she said, " what you are driving at, and I will not say another word until you tell me."
" Mrs Mather," said Mr Lowe, " I have something very painful to say to you. I am going to tell you now about two people, a man and a woman. The man I am positive is Albert Oliver Williams. The woman may be your daughter, or it may be the woman who, I have ascertained, came to Rainhill to visit Williams as his sister, but who, I have reason to believe, was his wife.. Williams murdered his wife in Melbourne on last Christmas Eve."
Almost before he had finished speaking Mrs Mather had fainted, and it was not without some difficulty
that Mr Lowe and Mrs Pickering together managed to revive her. Then he told her all that he knew, weaving the tangled scraps of information together into as consistent a whole as possible. But there were still some terrible gaps to be filled up.
" Mind you, I do not believe that it is your daughter who has been murdered," said Mr Lowe, arguing against his own convictions. I think it is very probable that his real wife, who visited him here at Dinham villa, followed him to Melbourne, and that when she made herself known to him there, and reproached him for his desertion, he took her life."
It was a plausible hypothesis, and it was of priceless value just then, for it enabled Mrs Mather to hope. With her hopes her strength revived, and unlocking an old-fashioned secretaire she took out all the letters written by Emily Mather since her marriage, and also portraits of both the bride and bridegroom. After a little persuasion, she handed the letters and portraits to Mr Lowe, who desired to take them to London and get them copied, receiving in return an assurance that they would be safely guarded and given back uninjured.
"Now, you must tell no one what I have told you," said Lowe, as he took his leave. "It is absolutely necessary that you preserve the strictest secrecy." And the old lady, terrified and full of vague misgivings, pledged herself to silence.
When Mi* Lowe took his seat in the up express for London he had gjood reason to congratulate himself upon his day's work. He had succeeded beyond his most sanguine anticipations, and he had made his position secure by closing the door completely against subsequent inquirers for information. Not only had he extracted a promise of silence from the one living individual capable of giving positive information about the murderer, but he had swept off all the letters and all the portraits as well — that is to say, all the documentary evidence and all the means of identification. After rifling the treasure
chamber he had locked the door and left with the key in his pocket. Next morning the ' Argus,' away on the other side of the globe, published an interview three-quarters of a column long with the mother of the hapless Lancashire girl whose remains had been dug up a few days before from the cemented grave in the house at Windsor. It was the first of a series of perhaps the most remarkable coups ever known in the history of Australian journalism. Backwards and forwards between London and Liverpool went the
restless Mr Lowe, collecting and piecing together all the ravelled ends of hearsay, all the tangled strands of inference, all the stray fibres of circumstantial and direct evidence, until he had made a rope that was strong enough to hang a man. And yet he was only at the commencement of his task. It was strange how that other woman, the sister or, more probably, the wife of Williams, who had visited him at Rainhill with her four children, kept on intruding into Mr Lowe's busy brain. She quite upset his calculations. It was odd that, in spite of all his efforts, he could find no trace of her whereabouts. She and her four children were like so many unquiet ghosts that refused to be laid until they were avenged. As this last thought struck him Mr Lowe lifted his hand to his forehead and found it wet. He was sweating from sheer excitement.
A vague idea came to him, stayed with him, and finally possessed him. He hurried from London to Rainhill once more and hunted out Ben Young, the man who had cemented the floors of the kitchen and scullery in Dinham villa under instructions from Williams.
" Where did you get the cement from, Ben V was the first eager question. " It wur in the coach-'ouse," said Ben.
To the coach house accordingly they went, and sure enough they found there three empty barrels which had evidently contained cement.
" Did you use all the cement out of the three barrels," asked Mr Lowe.
"Naw, " said Ben Young.
" How much did you use, then ? For Heaven's sake hurry up, my good man. It's a matter of life and death."
Ben Young collected his thoughts deliberately. " A laaid doon tha stoof oot o' two o' "they barls," he replied, with irritating slowness. " A knaw nowt aboot this 'ere other worm. It wur empty afoor a got tha job." Empty before you got the job," echoed Mr Lowe, with the ring of a strengthening conviction in his voice. "Then what became of the cement from that barrel ? "
The village plasterer wagged his head slowly from side to side, but never a word spake he. Mr Lowe might as well have asked him what had become of the snows of yester-year. Then a great light flashed in upon the amateur detective's brain, illuminating all that was black a moment before, and silhouetting in the sharpest outlines objects which up to that moment had been wrapped in darkness. When the line-of battleship shows her mighty search light every detail of the torpedo boat stands revealed, painted in black upon a disc of blinding white. " Where the missing barrel of cement is there I shall find t/ie missing woman also, said Mr Lowe, half to himself, and darted off to submit his ideas to Sergeant
Chipchase, the local constable, with whom he at once concluded an offensive and defensive alliance against the outside world. Sergeant Chipchase laid the facts before the district superintendent, an official named Kelly, and the digging then began in Dinham villa under Mr Lowe's direction, a digging the result of which most gruesomely verified the calculations which that far-sighted individual had worked out. And so it was that this Childe Roland to his Dark Tower came.
Four sweating constables armed with pickaxes carried out this strange exhumation. Under the stone floor of the kitchen they came upon the cement from the third barrel, and in the cement they came upon the bodies of a woman and four children. The woman and three of the children had their throats cut from ear to ear, and the fourth child had been strangled with a piece of clothes line, which was still round its neck.
Mr Lowe had an unusually interesting cable message to send to the ' Argus ' in Melbourne that afternoon, and in just a week from the day on which he received his first instructions he sent a complete report of the murders which he had been mainly instrumental in discovering, and with which all England was ringing some hours later.
When the story of the Rainhill murders was published in the ' Argus ' alone of all the Melbourne papers next morning Albert Oliver Williams, alias Frederick Bailey Deeming, was already on his way from Southern Cross in custody. If the Windsor charge broke down, the Rainhill case would hang him safely enough. "Ah ! Mr Lowe, glad to see you," said Superintendent Shore next day, stretching out his hand cordially to his visitor. "Let me congratulate you upon the smartest piece of detective work that has been done in England for many years."
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Old July 9th, 2010, 10:04 AM   #42
Mike Covell
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NZ Truth , 31 January 1925

INFAMOUS DEEMING.
Wife- Murderer
Next to Butler probably comes Frederick Bailey Deeming, who was hanged m Melbourne on May 23, 1892, under the name of Albert Oliver Williams. Deeming, like Butler, was a manifold murderer, and as with most criminals, he was inordinately vain. This vanity was not of the loquacious variety that distinguished Butler; rather was it a vulgar and ostentatious vanity. This wife- murderer- loved to pose as a person of substance and position, and he, was forever telling of his wealth, his voyages, to distant lands, his many adventures, and his friendship with people who were well known. He loved jewellery, and was never tired of displaying it. When a youth, Deeming ran. away from home, 1 and went to sea, visiting Australia during one of these voyages. First Plunge Into Trouble. Returning to England, he married, and' in a Very short while left for Australia. His wife joined him later, and before she did so Deeming had got into trouble. A plumber by trade, he was accused of having stolen some" lengths of piping from the shop where he was Working. He was ultimately arrested for this offence, and tried. He claimed that he had bought the piping, and exhibited the receipt of a big firm to show the truth of his story, But his clever, and daring ingenuity was discovered when, an adjournment was granted' in order to test the authenticity. of the receipt. Then it was proved that the receipt was not genuine. Deeming had
called at the firm's office early m the morning. The caretaker was the only person there at the time, and Deeming handed him some money, saying that it was' for certain piping length 3 which he had purchased. The caretaker wanted him to come back when the bookkeeper was there, but on the plea that he was leaving town, Deeming declined, and succeeded m extracting a receipt for the amount from the man. World Wanderings. Deeming carried on his trade m various parts of Australia, and met many adventures, including that of going bankrupt. He then visited South Africa, and besides swindling a man out of a considerable sum of money over a nonexistent diamond mine, he is more than suspected of having committed a double murder. But officially it was not until 1891 that he came forth as a -murderer. In that year he murdered his wife and her three children, burying their bodies beneath the cement hearthstone, and m a very short, time was married again. With his wife he travelled to Melbourne as "Williams, and landed there at the end of 1891. Engaging a villa on Andrew Street, he cruelly murdered his wife, and, adopting the same methods as he had successfully employed at Rainhill, he buried her body beneath the hearthstone. But this time the murder was soon discovered, and Deeming was traced to the little mining hamlet of Southern Cross, Western Australia. He was arrested, brought back to, Melbourne, tried, and executed. Deeming is .hop such an, interesting personality' as Butler. He was a clever and callous murderer; but; he was far from intellectual. Still, his vulgarity and ostentatious Vanity, and the fact that he was a great and a successful lover, raised Deeming above the ordinary run of murderers.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #43
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Spectacular job, Faulty !!!
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Old July 16th, 2013, 06:22 AM   #44
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Bump up of Mike's thread from 4 years ago.
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