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THE MURDER OF MISS DOBIE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 202, 27 November 1880
THE MURDER OF MISS DOBIE.
Further Particulars. Accounts to hand of rthe murder do not hp to this morning throw any more light on the; murder of Miss Dobie.The: young lady was an artist of ho mean order, and the sketches of New Zealand scenery that have from time to time appeared in the Graphic were from her pencil. In company with another lady she- made a tour of the most picturesque portion, of the North Island, and sent an account of the tour to the Graphic, accompanied by several excellent sketches, which those of our readerswhosee the Graphic will no doubt remember having seen, and enjoyed. When she met her death, she is supposed to have gone on a sketching, expedition to Te Ngamu Bay, where the Lord Worsley was wrecked, about a mile and a halffrom the township of Opunake. She was waylaid while on the road, by some ruffian, and brutally murdered, and there is only too much reason to fear that her murder was a necessary following to as great a crime : committed, against her. • Miss ' Dobie, with her-mother, were about to proceed to England, and had been on a visit to her sister, Mrs.'Goring* at the camp at Cape Egmont, where Major Goring is stationed. She had been sketching all parts of the country, and had then gone to-Parihaka, where she had been most kindly treated by Te Whiti and the natives. From telegrams received over ; night by our Christchurch morning contemporaries’we make the following extracts : SOME ACCOUNT’OF' MISS DOBIE. Her father was Major Herbert Mayne Dobie, of the 30th Native Infantry, Madras ; afmy. ■ He died in India, on active service. There were six childreh, three sons and three daughters, of whom she was the third and youngest. The eldest daughter is in England, and is married. The youngest brother is Herbert Dolpje, 411 officer .in the Auckland Railway Department; the eldest brother an officer in the Horse Artillery, and the second an army surgeon. All the sketches of New Zealand scenery in the London Graphic were the product of Miss Dobie’s pencil. In that journal was published recently “A ride by two Auckland ladies, through the Northern district of the Colony,” illus-: trated by sketches. Miss Dobie was one of' these ladies: Miss Dobie’s mother is sister of Mr. -Frederick Locker, editor and proprietor of the. Graphic. '- Last year;; through a love of art/'' Miss ! Dobie ; arid her sister, , Mrs. Goring, took a trip to Fiji, accompanied by Herbert Dobie. 1 When in Fiji they were guests of Sir Arthur Gordon. His Excellency, when he heard the tidings of Miss Dobie’s murder, -was- much shocked and grieved, as he greatly admired the talent of the young lady. A few months ago a performance by some amateurs took place in the Choral Hall, Auckland, for a benevolent object, when Miss Dobie sustained the role of Lydia Languish, in Sheridan’s comedy of “The Rivals,’’.and her,.graceful impersonation. of that difficult part .was much commended.at the time..
; . WHO DID IT? Opinion is : greatly divided in Wellington,on the point as to whether the crime was committed by a European or a Maori. ' The township of Opunake consists of a. hotel, a ’ store,' billiard saloon,' post And telegraph office,, with one or two mere shanties; they are .situated- on either side; of the main road. : The'Opunake redoubt and camp are situated about six or seven hundred yards from the township on a bold bluff overlooking the sea. Jt is here that Miss Dobie must have been staying, probably as the guest of Captain Morrison, the officer in command. The telegram states that her body was found “ about two miles south of the Opunake camp.” The inference from this is that Miss Dobie did not walk'along the main road, to’ reach which she must have passed in close proximity to the township, but must have strolled along one of the numerous Maori tracks leading direct from the camp through the flax and between' the main road and the sea. If this inference is correct, then the murder rpust have taken place in close proximity to Maori whares, which are here scattered all about. If-she screamed- her cries must have been heard by the Maoris, while they could not have been heard at either the camp or the township. The question turns upon whether the murder was committed by an Armed Constabulary man, by one of the unemployed, or by a Maori. . TtyTajor Goring is, such an immense favorite with the Constabulary, that it is: to Be feared, should the Maoris be suspected, it will be almost impossible to restrain the men from making reprisals that may precipitate a collision. Taking into consideration the use ; of a knife, - and the fact that all Europeans in the district carry sheath knives, while comparatively few Maoris have them,' it would point to a European; while, on the other hand; considering the supposed locality of the crime, it would indicate a Maori. It has also to be remembered that some Maoris have obtained knives from the Constabulary, and others by way of, barter/ ! THE SCENE OF THE MURDER.
. The telegrams forwarded to the press -on the subject’’ of the murder are not sufficiently full to point to the exact locality of the scene of the murder.. A newspaper correspondent r ih ; Wellington, well- acquainted with; the ground, ,says 'that 'much depends upon. where the crime was as the locality gives a clue ( to whether - it,-was- done by a, European'or by .He adds : From, a J personal; knowledge-of.the spot, -I f am strongly inclinedrto: believe -that if the body/'was found south of the camp,- the ! murder' wascommitted by a ; Maori; if north of the camp, by a European. My reason for arriving at this ’ conclusion is that, by going south of the camp Miss Dobie’-would get into the imrnedjuteyiciuityofscatteced;Maori jWliares-without having first to to pass through therrOpunttker - township;. Tf going! northtvafd oftlfe cam]s l’she would have to pass through the township, and -might have been observed and followed by" one or more of the blackguards flaunting that locality.?*¥he-Wellihgtdmi defectives have been communicated ■witty and they J)ave succeeded in lobtaining 'from'friends bf -the deceased a raiinute description of the watch she wore. Should this have been taken, from her (as I suspect is the case, although the police are very reticent) its discovery in the 'ffossOssidh"of-any
person will be an important'clue. It is not impossible that Detective Benjamin, wvho, it is understood, obtained a description of the watch, will proceed to Opunake: Opinions here differ widely as to whether a. Maori or a European is the culprit, and-the excitement in town is still very intense. WHAT WAS THE OBJECT OF THE CRIME ? A telegram from Wellington, dated noon to-day, says the body of Miss Dobie shows no signs of violation. It has to be borne in.mind, however, that there may be no thanks to the murderer for this, as the first telegram we published on the subject of the murder said the ground around where the body lay bore evidence of a desperate struggle having taken place. THE MAN STANNARD. The same Wellington telegram says, concerning - Stannard, who; has -been arrested on suspicion : —He has resided in Hawera for the past twelve months, and. has been, engaged as a billiard-marker in one of the hotels there for some .time, and also was employed as a clerk to a butchering company. It is said that he arrived at Lyttelton, about, three years . ago, as m ate. of a sh i p.r ■
THE MURDER OF MISS DOBIE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 202, 27 November 1880
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