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
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.