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WAIKOMITI MYSTERY., Auckland Star, Volume XXIII, Issue 270, 12 November 1892
THE CORONER'S INQUEST,
CONTINUATION OF THE EVIDENCE,
THE CHARGE OF MURDER.
We continue our reporb of the proceedings at the inquest ab the New Lynn Hotel yesterday afternoon into the recent suspicious death of William Thompson ab Waikomiti, before Mr J. Bollard, J.P., coronor, and a jury of six :— A CHEMIST'S EVIDENCE. Arthur Augustus Selwyn Maxwell, chemisb and druggist, carrying on business in Newmarket, gave evidence. He aaid he knew Aloxander Scott, the accuaed. He had seen him ab least half-a-dozen times. He first saw him early in October, about the 6th or 7th. He introduced himself by the name of Scobt, and said he lived at Waikomiti, where he had taken up a farm of some 200 acros. He said that Mr and Mrs Thompson were neighbours of bis. On the firsb occasion he came to get some medicine that was prescribed by Dr. McKellar for Mra Thompson. Ho invited witness out to ahoot rabbits on his place, telling him he would drive him from Waikomiti Railway Station to his place. Witneas did not go out. Scott called again on several occasions in the month of Octobor. Scotb on one occasion bought some tincture of orange from him. (Witness's bill produced.) From tho bill, witness said it waß evident that the first medicine for Scobb was purchasod on bhe 24th of Sopbember. On the 28th he gob a mixture and also a shillings' worth ot tincture of orange, the mixture being a tonic, quinine and iron. The tincture of orange was chiefly used for flavouring tonics. Witness askod Scott about tho payment for medicine sent to Mrs Thompson. He said that it would be all right, that he lived close bo Mr Thompaon's place, and that if witness would pub everything to him (Scott) he would be responsible for the paymenb. On the 15th Scobt got a box of cachous, and a bottle of perfume Mr Hnakoth at this sbago objected to a certain document put in evidence, being returnod to the Crown Prosecutor. He asked that any documents pub in in evidenco should be attached to the depositions, so that ho could make a copy of thorn. Tho coroner said this would be done, bus ho strongly objected to an insinuation by Mr Hesketh that the enquiry was nob being fairly conducted. Subsequently Mr Tolo aaid that it had been arrangod that all necessary documents could bo accessible to the counsel for the accused and other counsel. Tho witness, in answer to Mr Hesketh, said that it was not an unusual thing for people to come to this shop for medicine for other people, and Scott did nothing unusual in coming for medicine which was not for himself, or in having it charged to ! himself. By tho Coroner :It was usual for chemists to flavourbittertonics with orange tincture to mako them palatable. After tho luncheon adjournment, Stephen Barclay, chomistaapprontico with MrGraves Aickin, chemist. Quoon-street, Auckland, said he had received prescriptions from Dr. Roberton to make up. Ho recojjniied two prescriptions (produced), one dated October, 17th, 1892, and the other by roference to an oflice book, was received on the 13th of Octobor. Ho prepared the medicines himself. Michael Edward McGarry, chemist's asbiatant to Gravoa Aicken, chomist, Auckland, deposed that in Ocbober he saw two prescriptions (produced), proparjod, tho proscription boing chocked by him. DETECTIVE GRACE'S EVIDENCE. Martin Grace doposed thai he was a police dotoctivo stationod ab Auckland. Ho know tho accused, Alexander Scott. Ho «aw him ab doceasod's houeo ab Waikomiti on tho Ist inst. Detootivo Chrystal was with Scott. They wont upstair* to a room in Thompson's houao, and Chrystal aakod him for a black bag which ho had takon from his uncle's house on tlio previous evening. Scott pointed out a black bag which was lying on tho floor. It was empty. They searched Scott, and from his breast coabpocket Chrystal took some letters. He said ho bad taken a change of olobbes in tho bag to Thompson's. Scotb said, whon tho letters were taken from him; "Those are Mrs Thompson's, she gave thorn to me last night to keep for her." Detective Chrystal also took from Scott's pocket a small round cardbourd box. Ho took tho corcr off it. Tho box contained a email proventativo peßsary. He said, " I boughb that for a young woman. I must havo it back." Ho ondeavoarod to take it back, but was proven tod. The box contained a drawing with printed instructions for its use. The purpose of tho thing was to prevent conception. Witness said he would retain the box. Scott then became very excited. He went to the head of the stairs and called out for Mra Saul several times. Mrs Saul did not come, and he then called Mrs Thompson. She camo up-staira to the room, and Chryetal had bho box and poseary in his hund. Mrs Thompson aaid, " You must not take that box uway ; it's mine ; I gave ib to Mr Scobb to keep for mo.'1 They then went downstairs, and with Chryabal they wont into Mr Thompson's bedroom. Witness told her thab he bad come into the room to search for any letters which ahe bad in her posoasion that she had received from Scotb. fc-ho said: "1 have some lotbers which I roceived from Mr Scobb, they are in my box." She liftod the lid of the box, in which were a number of letters. Witness took them oub. Thore were ten letters addressed to Mra Thompson, and there were also cix letters from Mr Thompson to Mrs Thompson, two letters from Mrs Haslebb bo Mrs Thompson, and ouo English letter to Mrs Thompson. There were four photographß found also, there being one phobograph of Scotb with the ton letters from Scotb. Three other photoß of Scott werofoundiiiMrsThompaon'sdroasing-case. There waa also a razor strop lying on her dreasintr-room table, and in the drawer of tho dresfling-toble waa a razor. Scotb claimed tho strop und razor. Ho said•' "I shaved myself in this room this morning." Scott had einco been the ton letters in witness1 possession and Baid : " You seem to be very careful of them Mr Grace, thoy are my letters." This was on the Bth of this month. Later on in the day (the Ist) he arrested Scotb in doceaaed'a house, on a oharge of murdering Mr Thompson. He told him that he was going to soarch the room at his uncle's house occupied by him; that he would have to accompany himself and Detective Chrystal there, and be present at the search. They wenb to his unclo's (Mr Wilson) house, and Scotb pointed out a room which he said was occupied by him. They commenced to search the room, and on a couch in a room ho saw two lady's ohemiaes (produced), one marked "S. A. Thompson." Sootb aaid: " I wear them next my skin for softness. They are my mother's. She lefb them when she was here." In a box wituoHs saw Chrysbal find a letber,addressed to "A. J. Soott, Esq., Waikomiti, Auckland," and signed " Alice Thompson," and a poatscript Bigned " D." The letter was dated July 14th, 1892. Witness also saw Chrystal find a second letter (undated) in a pocket of a pair of brouaors hanging up in Scott'a room. The water mark on the letter was, " Original Turkey Mill, Kent." That water mark was on two other letters, one dated the 17th of Juno, from Mr Thompson
to Mrs Thompson, which waa on similar paper, and the second letter bearing the same water mark, dated 20th of June, 1892, from Mr to Mrs Thompson. In a match box found in the room, witness found three pawn tickets, one dated July 8,1892, for an O.F. gold G. watch, in the name of Murray. The socond was dabed July 8, 1892, in bho narao J. H. Murray, for a gold chain. The third was dated the 16th of July, 1892, for a gold ring, in the name of "Mr Murray." The gold watch and chain were pawned at Neumegen's, and the ring at Levi's, Vicboria-streeb, Auckland. Witness also found a letter addressed " Mrs Thompson, care of Mr Scotb," which contained a bill from Mr Maxwell, chemist, for medicine supplied. He produced the threo tickets at the pawn - brokers, and he then gob the articles in question, watch, chain and ring (produced). The letter found in the accused's trousers' pockeb was being read by Detective Chrystal, who said it was from a man to his wife, in reply to witness. I asked him who waa the man, and he aaid " It's Mr Scobb, signing himself Bertie." Scobb said nothing. Witness found one book on bhe dressingtable in Scobb's room (" Thalma "), marked " Alice Thompson," dated May 4tb, 1892.
The letters produced, from Scotb ro Mra Thompson, were bhen read. The firsb one was as follows :—" Grand Hotel, Auckland, June 11,1892. —Dear Mrs Thompson,—Just a few linos to say that I will send you down one or two books to pass away the time. I hope you will have a pleasant trip down, and nob havo bhe sea-sick experience. One thing I am glad of is that the day was very fine. Poor little Alfgar folt inclined to come back with me. Mr Thompson has atarted home. I don't think he will fret; extra cheerful to-night. I think Sunnydale should in future be changed to " Waikomitay," and "Hermit" should be added to Mr Thompson's long lisb of tibles. He will have given me a collection by the time you return. I will not forgot bo take the plant home and tako care of ib. Supposing ib dies, shall I be blamed ? Had I better leave it to leb Mr Thompson experimenb with wood ashes. What do you think ? Give Alfgar some kieaea from me, and tell him not 10 forgeb his 2s and the pigeon, and tell him to build tho house ho promised for me, and I will come down. I will aond him down one of the picture books uexb week. I must now finish with kind regards.—Believe me, yours sincerely, Bkrtib Scott. P.S.—Remember me to Mr Hall, and say that any time he is in Auckland and feels inclined to tako a run out to Waikomibi, that we will be glad to see him, and make him as comfortable as we poaaibly can.—B.S." The other letters from Scobt to Mra Thompson were of a friendly character, showing that the partiea were on very friendly terms, but contained nothing of importance beyond chronicles of local uventsandexpressionsof kind regards to Mrs Thorn paon and baby. All the lettorß wore signod "Bertie Scocb." Tho letter from Mra Thompson, addressed to A. J. Scott, Waikomiti, waa dated July, 1892, and was written from Mackay-Btreet, Thames, and was with roferenco to meeting Mrs Thompson ab bhe wharf on her arrival from bhe Thames. She mentioned having posted him a smoking oap. The letber'was signed Alice Thompson. A LOVE LETTER. The Icttor found in Scott's trousers pocket, signed " Bertie," was as follows :— " Friday night: My own darling wife,—As I told you, T. went to town today and has nob yeb returned. You can see by the note-paper whero lam writing this. I am sitting in my darling's chair to writo. T. gaid if he was not homo oarly would I come down and feed Robo and Bees, and I said I would. So lam hero waiting for him. Oh, my darling, what opportunities I am getting. I can do it any time, dear, and I wish to God it was dono, bo that I could call you my very own. Oh, Dolly, dear,, what a difference betwoon this Friday and last. Ah !my sweet Wife, 1 was happy with you, darling. Are wo going to havo any more happy daya? Dolly, my sweet wife, do your wonb to come bock to your own Bortio, do you, darling ? I am only just soribbling a few lines. I saw paper on the table. My Dolly, I won'b wait much longor; I can't stand it.—Your own truo, loving, and dovotod husband, Bkktik. I think lam writing with your pen. Whab do you think?— Bertie." Tho coroner aaid thab this letber and those previously read seomed to be in the same handwriting. Tho wabor marks were also tho sumo. LETTER FROM MRS THOMPSON. The following letter was pub in by Detective Grnce, as having been found in Scott's box, writben by Mra ThompHOn : _ " Mackny - atrcet Tharaoa, 14th July, 1892. My dear Mr Scotb.—l received your letter this morning and 1 was wondering if you would be in town on Saturday if you would meeb our boat. I should like you to ao much, if you do not think it too much trouble. They want bo telegraph from here for one of the Cousins to meet the boat, bub I have told them either you or Mr Thompson will. Mrs Haaletb also said she would if I told her whab day, but I said thero was no need for hor to. So if you can manago somehow I should be so glad. You will not be able to get this letter till Suturday, but I thought if you wero riding to the station you could ride on and take the bus. If it should be wet don't trouble to come. It is hard to say to-day what the weather will be like on Saturday, but Ido hope it will be fine. This afternoon it looks so gloomy. In case I come to-morrow, will you call in ab flaslebt's, Quoen-street, to see before you go down to the boab. On Saturday the boat loaves here ab 10 a.m;, and I suppose will geb to Auckland 2.30 or 3 p.m. I am ao aorry to hear you are unwell. I trusb you are better before this. Please do not come to town, if you don't feel well enough. I would like to drive up on Sunday just to hare a look round, but am afraid funds will nob aliord it. Perhaps we shall be up some time next week to stay for throe or four weeka. Hoping to see you on Saturday, with lota of kissos from Alfgar, and youra very sincerely, Aliob Thompson.—l wrote you a short letber yeaterday, and posted your smoking cap last Saturday. You ought to have received ib before you posted on Tuesday, and aorry you did not. —D." This letter waa addressed to "A. J. Scott, Esq., Waikomiti, Auckland." DETECTIVE GRACE continuing, said, in answer to questions by Mr Hofiketh, witnesß could not tell whebher Mrs Thompson had slepb ab Thompaon'B house on the night of the 31ab of October. Witneas stayed at Waikomiti on the nights of tho 2nd and 3rd mat. ab Mr Wilson's house. The results of his inquiries as bo Scobt's wheroaboubs lor three or four weeks before this showed that he had stayed ab Thompson's house, sleeping tbere ab nighb, excepb that ho wenb to and from his uncle's house almost daily. Mrs Thompson was staying all that time, ho believed, at Newmarkot. Witness had not arreebod Scobt when he aearched him. This was by his own conaenb. He was searohed before he gave evidence at the inquesb. He was the tirsb witness called, and the inquest opened immediately after two o'clock. Witness knew accused made a statement before ho was arrested. Aocused made a statement bo Debeotive Chrystal. Wibneas did not know the contents of that statement, oven now. Witness did warn accused that if he gave evidence he might incriminate himself, at hla house, before witness asked him a question. This was ab five o'clook on the Ist of Novltaber. WitneßH asked him
if he would point oub to witness the ash heap where he said he had buried some strychnine. Ho pointed mo out a small ashpit and said that he threw it there. Witness said: " Scott, 1 am going to ask you a question. You are not bound to answer it, bub if you do answer it anything you may say may be given in evidence against you." Scotb was undor arrest at the time. Witness and DetectiveChrystal wereengaged in investigating this matter. No warning was given to Scott before he went into the witness - box at the inquest that what ho said might incriminate him. At that time there wob other evidence against him, other than hia evidence, that was known to witness. Witness had been a detective seventeen or eighteen years, and during that time had had considerable experience in detective work. Witness did not know of the evidence that was given by Scott himself. VVitness had collected some bottles and things, which he gave to the Provincial Analyst. He had heard of a small, silver ■ stopped glum* phial, Ho had seen it in the hands of Dr. Robertor.. He believed it was in the possession of Mr Pond. He heard of bottles bning found ab Thompson's bouse. The only other documents that there were in the possession of the police were two letters (produced), and a chemist's bill. On coming in to town from Waikomiti on the day of the Ist insb., with CHrystal and witness in a cab, Scotb said :—" Now there are only two of you here, and so help me God, that man TOOK HIS OWN LIFE." By Mr Baume: He would not Bwear that Mrs Thompson was not asked to turn out her pockets. Witness had not a search warrant in connection with Mrs Thompson's property. He would not swear thab some of the letters produced there to-day had not come out of Mrs Thompson's pocket. The inquest was then adjourned until ten o'clock this morning. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 5.)
WAIKOMITI MYSTERY., Auckland Star, Volume XXIII, Issue 270, 12 November 1892
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