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Brutal Murder at Chatham Islands.

About three years ago a young girl named Susan Snoswell, a native of, Lyttelton, came down to the Chatharaa, having been engaged as servant by a ’ squatter, Mr. Charles Kerr, residing at the north end of the island. About the end of a year from the time she was engaged, a Maori named Wi Warepa, one of the principal natives, of the Chatharns, asked her to marry him. She consented. She was very young, about seventeen, and rather good looking. Wi Warepa was of a most suspicious and passionate disposition, and a fervent disciple of Te Whiti, exceedingly jealous, although, according to native reports, his own character was immoral in the extreme. On Friday morning, the 19th of November, a blacksmith of the name of Child, went to Warepa’s house, which is about three-quarters of a mile from the beach. Finding it, locked he looked in at the windows ; and, seeing blood on the floor, he went right away to Mr. Deighton’s, the R.M. They both went together and found the room, which is 10ft. square and 7ft. high, in a fearful state. A large dried-up pool of blood was on the floor, which had evidently been attempted to be cleaned up. Blood stains were on the side of the room, and even the ceiling was splashed all over. It was a terrible sight. They then saw the marks in the passage leading to the back door, of a bleeding body having been dragged out. About 130 yards from the house, lying in a small gully, there was the body of the unfortunate creature, literally from the mouth upwards smashed to pieces. In looking into the house, under an old pea coat and some bloody clothes belonging to Warepa, a piece of her jaw, skull, and some teeth were found. The man was then arrested. Ho struggled a little, but was thrown down and handcuffed, and lodged in the lockup. An inquest was held, on the body. One of the jurymen on the inquest, found the weapon with which the murder had been committed. This was a pair of tongs all bent, twisted and bloody. Warepa has confessed, and said he only did what he thought was perfectly right, as his wife had been unfaithful to him, both with white people and with natives; that "he had had a severe quarrel and locked her out, threatening to murder her, or as ho,expressed himself, kill her outright if she came near the house again. She did so, and he did the horrible deed. He is a very powerful man, and must have beaten her until he had no breath to continue. He is fully committed for trial, and has reserved his defence until before the Supremo Court. He goes up per the Omaha.

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Bibliographic details

Brutal Murder at Chatham Islands., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 214, 11 December 1880

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Brutal Murder at Chatham Islands. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 214, 11 December 1880

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