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Advices from Melbourne State' that a singular case of murder occurred on ( Sunday morning (18th insblj. in Flinders. • street, near, Princes Bridge* Railway Station! It was committed by a religious lunatic, and arose out of the accidental meeting of this man with another half-demented creature. Shortly after two o'clock on Sunday morning, which _was wet and raw,' 1 Constable Mullens heard cries for help j coming from'near the Princes Bridge Railway Station. He hurried over and .saw a man lying on the footpath near the entrance to the station, and another man standing over him braud.-

ishing a long stick in one hand, and a heavy iron door scraper in the other, and shouting in a wild manner " Arise, ye Catholics." The man on the ground was groaning piteously, and it was evident that lie had been seriously hurt. As soon as Constable Mullins appeared on the scene, McGrath, who was the assailant, turned upon him, and having thrown away the stick made.a savage lunge at the constable;* withthedoor scraper. Mullins narrowly escaped serious injury. McGrath fought, viciously, and it. was „ some v > time before he could; be handcuffedjr even with a good deal of assistance. The attention of the little crowd which had gathered was then_ directed tb''th:e-'* injnred man. As they liftedliirii from the ground,, they saw , that the back portion of his head had been smashed in in a horrible manner./ He was still. > alive, however. ;The ambulance litter which: was. kept 1! at < tHe station,' f -wa* o brought into requisition^ ' and he 1 rV*i^ taken to tHe r Melbourrie f HosjSiti*^; but^ before the institution""^^, 're^j*es''. .he' 1. r was .dead? McGrath, 1 wjio fis twenty sevenfyears;of age, had come from -* Queenscliffe,- where -he—had-^jeen*-** coach driver, and a good one, but latterly he n^» fceen sUghtlyf affected in his mind'on religious subjects. He ■ came to Melbourne r about ten days ago, but his 'movement? ujs ' to ,(|Batvirday night have"not' 1 been traced;; 'On that night he went, -to ,a ,lodging T hoj«se,in« Little Collins street >, ; a Mrs Humphries, and took, a "bed for the i~ night, -.'for- which he paid Is. •<{ Thjs was shortly after -IT; o'clock; and'-;h'e^ was at once shown to the '^Tdoin^ which- he was to''-share with two men named-. ; Henry : . „ Chiles: and James "Williams. 'He ''then" appeared right enough, but about one o'clock on ; Sunday morning he rose and dressed himself: While r so dom^^ni^^' much noise' that: He aroused%is^r6om mates, and they discovered that he wag,* conducting himself like a madmaiu-■* Finding that/^eyi'werer,a^akejJMi' rushed at them, ■brandishing jone oi his boots in his hand.- —They considered that discretion iwas: the * better part' of valor and fled tb^bash^ room< wherein j they rbarncaded- them»\ selves. McGrath followed tiiein, ]&tj when he found that he could not get into the bathroom lie';pifcke&J up the door scraper, whichTw£s standing in, the passage and left the housed' He seems to have gone straight to Princes Bridge Railway Station; and had. ithe ill-luck to meet another madman in the man he murdered, who was Conrad, Retaz^ laff. He was a German; and a plumber by trade, a resident'of adistant suburb^ He was very eccentric, and"had been examined for lunacy hy medical men, but they would not certify that he was insane, and he^was'sentitb gaol for six months. It is supposed. that being . in town on Saturday night he missed liis train, and was waiting about, till th.c ; morning. What passed when the. twoi? men met is not known, but a porter heard an altercation going on, and one saying to the other, "You* are-no Roman Catholic, you're an, Australian > : gossoon." In the watch-house McGrath: 1, had to be put in a straight' waistcoat, k> and he passed the night in alternate ':" raving and praying.. , . ' ,' ;/' >'i

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Bibliographic details

MURDER BY A MADMAN., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2435, 27 May 1890

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MURDER BY A MADMAN. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2435, 27 May 1890

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