THE WAIKIVI TRAGEDY.
It was tit Wjiikivi (Southland), and not Waikava, as was reported by telegraph, , that Mrs Whitting drowned her children. Mrs Caroline Whitting is the wife of one Carl Whitting,-a labourer residing at , Chalmers's old saw-mill, the Bay road, near Waikivi. She left home at alnut
half-past four o'clock on Saturday evening* saying she was going to see if rim cow liad calved. She took with her four of her children, the eldest.of the four being a girl aged nine years, and three sons— Fred, Karl, and John — aged eight years, five years, and eleven months 'respectively.- JJot long afterwards the daughter returned home and told her eldest sister, a girl bordering upon womanhood, that the mother had thrown baby, Karl, and Fred, into the creek, and had also thrown herself in, but that while her mother vraa running after Fred, she had got out and run away home. The eldest girl, with her younger sister, who had so narrowly escaped death, then proceeded to the plncoj but they could see nothing of the mother, and could not take out the bodies, the creek'being high at the time. They returned home and informed three woodcutters, named Sinclair, Cahill, and Trainer,- of what had occurred. The men proceeded to the spot forthwith, and found the bodies of the two boys, lying upon the bottom of the creek near the brink, and some yards lower down found the baby almost on the surface, in the centre of the creek, where it had been caught, after floating down a few yards, by some rails lying across the wat<:r. Tho
baby, when found, was warm, and the men consider that the bodies had been quite dead for a little time before they recovered t em. After recovering the bodies they left Hiem on the bank of the river and then went to Invorcargill and reported the circumstances to Snb-In-apector Fox. That officer and Sergeant Fleming proceeded without delay to the locality, and upon reaching Whitting's place, started through the Waikivi bush, accompanied by the father, Karl Whitting, and the son—a lad about 10 years old. At about 10 o'clock at night, they reached the bodies, and conveyed them to Whitting's house, where they were'closely examined, but uo marks of violence wore found upon them. The
distance from Whitting's to the scene of the drowning is at least a mile and a half through the bush. No search could ho made during the night for the mother, hut shortly after daylight next morning (Sunday), a party of nine assisted: the police to scour the bush, and a boat was taken up the New Itiver to drag the creek. At about three o'clock in the afternoon, Mr Morton, one of the searchers, came upon the mother, crouched in the hush. He convoyed her to Mr Russell's house, which was the nearest one ; and SubInspector Fox took her into custody a few minutes afterwards. She appeared to have lost her reason, and not to be in strong bodily health. She is a woman of about 38 years of ago, and her eldest daughter says that when she left her home she appeared to be woll, and in her usual state of mind. The father and eldest son worked at Waikivi —the former at Myer's brickyard, and the latter at the sawmill. They left home for their work early on Satnrday morning, bat, before leaving, tho father and mother had a quarrel about work, and money, and jealousy. No blows were actually struck. The son informed Sub-Inspector Fox that it was a common saying with his mother that wore it not for the children, she would soon find a place for herself. The husband and wife appear to have lived moat unhappily together for many years, and a neighbour says that he has known the mother and children sleep in the bosh all night, from fear of the father. It is said that the husband never owned to beiug the father of the youngest child, and the son, at the finding of the bodies, exclaimed, "Oh, what a trouble that child has been its whole lifetime !" The resident* for miles around consider Whitfcing "cracked." Ho has a peculiar expression arid manner, bnt he works hard, and nothing is known against him at VV&ikivi or at Qaeenatown, where "ho has formerly1 been. Whilst at Queenstown, his wife visited him ; they quarrelled violently, and she did not remain with him many days. The deceased children were very strong and healthy. There appears to be a very cold, hardened feeling in the family, and one could hardly believe they could treat the matter with such otfbl flippant indifference as they manifest. It may be mentioned that the mother in leaving home prior to committing the murders, tried to induce one of her daughters, a girl about eleven years old, to accompany her, but she refused to do so. The Whittings are Prussians, and have lived in the district for about ten years. Mra Whitting was a patient in the Inrercargill Hospital some time ago, but has latterly been in tolerable health. - An iuquegt was held on Tuesday, before the Coroner, the.result of which, as we have already published by telegram, was a verdict of " Wilful Murder" against Mrs Whitting.
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THE WAIKIVI TRAGEDY., Otago Daily Times, Issue 3345, 25 October 1872
THE WAIKIVI TRAGEDY. Otago Daily Times, Issue 3345, 25 October 1872
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