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The Condemned Murderer., Mataura Ensign, Issue 271, 30 March 1897
The Condemned Murderer.
: A REMARKABLE HISTORY. ' * < WHAT THE FIRST MRS BOSHER - . SAYS. Etienne Jean Brochev, or Stephen Bosher , as he is now generally called, who now awaitß execution for the murder of Mr and Mrs Jones at Petone, has (says the ' Post ') had cv remarkable career, as to which, now that ho has been convicted of and sentenced for the most atrocious crime in the calendar, there is no longer any need for reserve. ) NATIONALITY AND EABLV CAREER. His earlier history is not known with certainty, but he is said to have been born in 1857 at or near Belfort, now on the Franco-German frontier. The condemned man is therefore now 40 years of age. EABLY CRIMES. Bosher first came under the notice of r the police in 1874, when he must have been 17 years of age. He was then in Timaru, and was arrested on a charge of ' theft. Tho case was dismissed, but next year Bosher again came before the court . at Timaru, and received a sentence of 18 ■.months' imprisonment for forgery. He ; ■ was sent to Lyttelton to serve his term, . and while there was known to Mr P. S. : Garvey, now Governor of the Terrace Gaol. Inspector Pender also recollects fie prisoner in Timaru. ,"• . - HIS FIRST MARHIAGB. ' ',- On being released from prison Bosher ■ went to Akaroa, and became acquainted ■ with tho French settlers there. He worked for one of them, and succeeded so well ; that on Ist January, 1878, at Lyttelton, he married that settler's daughter^ The • wife had been married to himijfor six months before she found out thatfhe had served a sentence in Lyttelton Gaol. Boaher remained in Akaroa for some time. Whilst there he was connected with some trouble about a sum of money collected for, a Catholio Church, and then, according to his first wife, ho stole his father-in-law's deeds in order to raise money on them. He found that he could not do this without his father-in-law's signature, and the deeds wero returned. Quite in keeping with Boshor'a pro- ■ fessedly religious habits, as evinced in his attendance at the Petone Salvation Army barracks, it appears that whilst at Akaroa he taught at times in the Sunday School of the Catholic Church, but of all his French" acquaintances at Akaroa it_ is significant that none speak well of him. Indeed, the only good character he is known to possess is the character of the steward of the s.s. Doric, in which vessel Bosher returned to the colony in the capacity of assistant steward. HIS LIFE IN AKAROA. In Akaroa Mr and Mrs Bosher lived in the house of the wife's parents, and while there grave scandals were current concerning his family relations. After this he vanished to Lyttelton, but returned a few months later. After his return he continued to live with his wife for two years. ' During his stay in Akaroa he took up the study of photography, and, according to his wife, got a bill-of-sale ■ over her father's property to pay for learning the art. HIS DISAPPEARANCE. , In 1882 he again disappeared under peculiar circumstances. He borrowed a horse, bridle, and saddle from his brother-in-law, and went to Lyttelton with a photographic outfit. Arriving thore, he sold the horse and went to Melbourne. A warrant was issued for his arrest on a charge of horse-stealing, and curiously v enough this warrant is still in existence, but the wituesses who would have been able to give evidence at the time are not now forthcoming. Then Bosher is said to have spent some time in coasting boats in this colony, but his life until his return to the colony in 1890 is known only from his own statements. IN FRANCE AND ALGIERS. It appears that ho went to France, but on arrival there was arrested, either as a deserter or as not having served' his full term of military service in the French army. .He was sent to Lisle, where, on his refusing service, he was sentenced to spend four years with a regiment in Algiers. The above is the murderer's account of his adventures, but confirmatory evidence of a certaia degree is furnished hy the fact that Bosher wrote to the Colonial Secretary of New Zealand from Algiers, demanding his naturalisation papers. He had been naturalised in New Zealand en 18th June, 1877. His name is given on the papers as Etienne Jean Brocher, and his occupation as cuisinier de marine. The Colonial Secretary forwarded the copies as desired. HE RETURNS/ TO NEW ZEALAND. After receiving his discharge from Algiers, Bosher went to London, and in . 1890 shipped thence to New Zealand in the capacity of assistant steward on the s.s. Doric. He came to Wellington, aud subsequently lived for some time at the " Taita, and more recently still at Potoue. On the 17th of August, 1892, he bigamously married Miss Recce. Such, as far as can be gleaned at present, is the career of this remarkable murderer. NO WELCOME FROM HIS WIFE. Turning now to tho wife he left in Akaroa, we find that she never heard from him after his desertion' of her iv . 1882 until in 1890, when he returned to . -the colony in the Doric. She had two - children, a boy and a girl. In 1890, Mrs Bosher received a telegram which ran — "Do you wish to see me?" and signed "Bosher." She did not reply, and later another telegram came — " Will I come, as lam going back to England ?" On the advice of a man named Nichols, she replied — " No, never," and Bosher never troubled her from that day to this. The fact that Bosher was convicted of bigamy and is now undergoing a sentence for that ■ crime is well known. . HIS CHARACTER. A most pregnant sentence in the light of recent events, and a valuable light upon the murderer's character, occurred in a statement made by Mrs Bosher at Akaroa. The words were : "My husband is the sort of man who, if he knew a man had money in his house, would make friends of him, and after that had been accomplished would take every means to get it. One who did not know him would , think him genuine, but he is a bad lot."
The Condemned Murderer., Mataura Ensign, Issue 271, 30 March 1897
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