The Darra Tragedy

The death of a young boy found af­ter the mur­ders of the Mur­phys sent lo­cals into a panic, fear­ing the crimes were con­nected

Real Crime - - Tracking The Gatton Triple Murderer -

Just ten days be­fore Michael, Nora and Theresa were killed, po­lice were alerted that 16- year- old Al­fred Hill had left his home in Nun­dah in Queens­land for Red­bank Plains on his piebald pony, but had not ar­rived at his des­ti­na­tion. He had last been spot­ted in Ox­ley. His horse’s car­cass was found on 6 Jan­uary. The fol­low­ing day his de­com­posed body was dis­cov­ered roughly 200 me­tres away and ap­prox­i­mately two kilo­me­tres from the place he was last seen. He had been shot in the head with the same weapon used to kill Michael and his horse.

Res­i­dents in the sur­round­ing area formed the opin­ion that there was a con­nec­tion to the Gat­ton mur­ders. A man named Ed­ward Wilson be­came a sus­pect, as he had been miss­ing from Bris­bane when the in­ci­dent oc­curred. A for­mer mem­ber of the teach­ing staff of the Ip­swich Boys’ Gram­mar School, he was ar­rested when re­turn­ing from Al­bury on the train with his dis­abled son. Wilson was brought be­fore the Ip­swich Court on 6 Fe­bru­ary. When ques­tioned, Wilson de­nied hav­ing met a boy any­where be­tween Goodna and Ox­ley. How­ever, his son said they did meet a boy on a pony, af­ter which his father left him and went into the bush. Some­time later his father came back and said he had shot a hawk but warned him not to talk about it to any­one.

De­spite the ques­tion­able ac­tions re­layed by his son. Wilson was found not guilty of the mur­der at the Crim­i­nal Sittings of Dis­trict Court, Ip­swich.

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