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The Orari Mystery.


The mystery surrounding the suppQsed suicide of a man named Thomas Chambers, at Orari, a little over a week ago, is exciting considerable interest m South Canterbury. The body was found m a paddock close to a plantation, and near the main road between Orari and Eangitata. It was discovered by an agent of a sewing machine company, who returned to Orari and telephoned to the Temuka police, who immediately repaired to the scene, and had the body removed to the Orari Hotel. When the body was found, the deceased lying on his back with his head towards the planfatioD, and a bad cut across his throat. In the same paddock was found a cap, and m I the plantation were picked up a pair of drawer?, a towel, a tabloknife, and anew billy. What puzzled the police and others at the time was the fact that there was practically no blood on the body and clothes or on the ground where it lay, and moreover, there was no knife or other sharp instrument at hand to indicate how the deed had been carried out. • Evidence at the inquest went to prove that probably the body had been lying m the rain for a day or two, and the blood had been washed away, and it was further suggested that the deceased might have cut his throat and thrown the knife away afterwards, and that it might still be lyins somewhere m the tussocks. Strange to ! say, there was no medical evidence called at the inquest to show the extent of the injuries, and the result is that there is doubt as to whether the important vessels of the man's throat were actually cut or not, the body having bean interred at Geraldme the same night by torchlight. Naturally, public opinion has been aroused sinoe the inquest, and rumours have been current that the man was foully murdered, and did not commit suicide, as was supposed. On Thursday morning an Orari resident, who conducted an independent investigation about the locality where the body and swag were found, and who made drawings of suspicious footprints, discovered at the spot between the cap and the billy, a piece of flat iron, similar to what a stonemason uses to scrape soft stone, wrapped up m a piece of " The Field," another part of which paper was found with the file and butcher's knives. On Thursday morning two sergeants, two constables, and a detective visited the scene of the affair, and made further inquiries. It is now said that a storekeeper m the district remembers Belling a new billy to a strange swagger, who was passing through on the day that Chambers went m the same direction. The faot that a new billy wag found m the plantation, and what appeared to be two separate camps were discovered a quarter of a mile from each other, has led some to believe that Chambers was not alone m the paddock. The matter has so excited the minds of the people of the district that naturally they feel uneasy until the mystery is definitely cleared up, and, before this can be done, the body may have to be exhumed. Owing to the strong expressions of the public at the Geraldine sale ou Wednesday concerning the case, Mr Platman, member for the district, immediately telegraphed to the Minister for Justice, drawing his attention to the facts. Mr Flatman has since received the following reply : —''Tour telegram yesterday's date re Thomas Chambers, deceased, is receiving immediate attention. Full inquiry,will be made.—Jas. MoGowan."

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Bibliographic details

The Orari Mystery., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6592, 10 June 1905

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The Orari Mystery. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6592, 10 June 1905

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