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Oxford’s wonted serenity was yesterday morning greatly disturbed by a terrible affair, which has plunged the whole dietrict into a state of painful excitement. It appears that a number of railway laborers were preparing for the day’s work on the line, and were proceeding at 8.15 to load a trolly with tools and requisites for making a stop block which had to be put on the line. They were near the building formerly used as the immigration barracks, close to the railway at East Oxford. Daly had put on a small box and a hammer, Grenfell was standing near with a newly-sharpened new adze in his hand, Daly made way from the trolly to allow deceased Horn and Pegnatz to place a sleeper on the carriage, and had gone back about five yards to pick up some other article. Horn had placed his end of the sleeper on the trolly, and Pegnatz was pushing it a little further on. Horn was in the act of raising his head, and takin" a step back from the trolly, 'when Grenfell said, “You b , I’ll do for you,” and with one determined blow chopped at Horn, driving the blade ot the adze two and a half inches into the poor fellow’s neck, nearly severing the head

from the body, and he fell to the ground. It is more than probable that Grenfell meant to aim the blow at the back of Horn’s neck, but in turning, the latter received the blow in the left side. Pegnatz did not see the blow struck, but saw his mate drop. Daly also turned round and saw him fall. He called to Grenfell—“Jack, Jack, what have you dune. Grenfell excitedly lifted the adze covered with blood, called out in a fiendish manner, “ And I’ll do for you, too,” making • for him with the adze in the air. Daly ran for a distance of twenty-four yards, Grenfell following, when Daly, looking round, thought it best to wheel round and try to disarm Grenfell, As Daly did so, Grenfell gave him a blow on the head, inflicting a small bruise on the left side of the top of his head. Daly, however, soon seized the adze and jerked it from Grenfell, when tho latter made off across a paddock. Pegnatz had turned his attention to tho deceased Horn, and was vainly endeavoring to staunch with a towel the blood which was flowing from the wound. On Daly’s return to the dying man, assistance was sent for to Oxford, as well as a messenger despatched for the police. The deceased Horn never spoke after the fatal blow, and died in about seven minutes after, while being held up at the time in the arms of the ganger. Dra Weld and Rowley were promptly on the spot, but their services .were of no avail

Search was immediately instituted for Grenfell, and Daly and Constable Lawler made a search over a large grass paddock belonging to Mr W. F. Pearson. Well away from the fences, in fact 20 chains from the nearest fence, quite in the open, they found his lifeless body, deceased lying face downwards, with all his face in a pool of water, which Daly described as about three feet one way and eighteen inches the other way across, and, trying the depth with his hand, the water did not reach above his extended finger, namely, about 3.V inches There remained no doubt but that Grenfell had thus committed suicide by drowning himself in this way. The bodies of the unfortunate men were conveyed to Hale’s Oxford Hotel, where the? await the inquest. The murdered man was about 40 years of age, and was much liked by all who knew him. He leaves a wife and ten children behind him. The murderer, Grenfell, leaves a widow and four young children. No motive can be assigned for the murder, except that it is supposed to have been done in a moment of insanity. Grenfell’s manner, it is said, has been very strange lately, although not sufficiently so to cause any suspicion as to his being dangerous.

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Bibliographic details

MURDER AND SUICIDE AT OXFORD., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 661, 13 June 1882

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MURDER AND SUICIDE AT OXFORD. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 661, 13 June 1882

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