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MURDER OF A CONSTABLE, SHOT DEAD BY A SUPPOSED LUNATIC.

Auckland, July 30. A dreadful murder occurred this morning between 12 and 1 o'clock near Kaipara, Constable Neil M'Leod being shot dead. He wu ' leaving the Dargaville district for Auckland to take up duty elsewhere, and embarked on the steamer Minnie Casey at midnight. On arriving at Mangawhare, half a mile down the Woiroa river, Captain Rawson found Robert Funoke, a passenger, using indeOßnt language and brandishing a gun about. Another constable who was on board retained the gun. On the steamer leaving the wharf again, Funcke, who had a revolver, commenced firing from the wharf, and his third shot penetrated Constable M'Leodte heart. The latter .exclaimed "My God !" and expired at once. The steamer immemediately put back to Dargaville, where the residents armed themselves. They found the murderer still on the wharf, and called on him to throw up his arms. He refused to surrender and a charge of shot was fired at him, hitting him in the body. He was then made prisoner and conveyed to the look-up. The prisoner narrowly escaped lynching. Deceased was highly respected in the district, and was the recipient of a testimonial on leaving. He was a prominent Mason, and was about 40 years of age. The murder caused great excitement at Dargaville. A telegram received by the Native Minister this afternoon says that the murderer is a maniac. ADDITIONAL PARTICULARS. Further particulars regarding the murder of Constable M'Leod show that when Funoke boarded the steamer at Dargaville he was carry* ing a gun and had concealed a revolver and sheath knife. He was very noisy on the passage from Dargaville to Mangawhare, and the gun was taken from him by the captain. This seems to have irritated Funcke. Constable M'Leod with his wife and family had come on bosrd the steamer at Dargaville on their way to Auckland, and Constablo Scott and his wife also boarded the vessel at Mangawhare to proceed lower down the river toAratapu. The steamer had juit left Mangawhare wharf, when Funcke entered the cabin calling for his gun and threatening if he did not get it that ho would shoot some of them. M'Leod and, some other passengers were then in the cabin. Funoke was holding what appeared to be a revolver, but none of those iv the room who saw it imagined it to be loaded. Constable Scott, hearing the shouting, OBme in and pushed Funcke out of tho cabin, and with Constable M'Leod's assistance took him on deck. The steamer was put back to Mangawhare wharf, and Funcke was takeu on shore by the constables. He showed no resistance, aud went quiatly. M'Leod and Scott returned, and the steamer again pat off, when Funcke immediately commenced to use abusive language to the captain, and again called for his gun. The vessel was only a short distance away when Funcke fired, but the bullet took no effect He fired a second time, the shot striking the vessel's side. The man then fired a third shot, and his hullet had a fatal effeot, for it struck Constable M'Leod, who was standing at the rail of the steamer, and pierced his heart, the unfortunate man expiring instantly. Two other shots were fired, one of the bullets penetrating the timber of one of the cabins. After an interval, when the vessel had moved ' further into the stream, Funcke began firing ' acain The »team'er's head was turned, and she went to Dargaville, when M'Leod's body was puft on shore. The settler.s armed themselves with loaded rifles, and under charge of Constables Scott and Carr, set out in pursuit of the murderer, and walked to Mangawhare, which is a little more than a mile from DargaviHe. Funcke was standing afc the end of the wharf. When challenged he made no answer, and a blank cartridge was then fired at him, and m the bright moonlight Funoke was seen to lift up his hands as if to fire. Two r.fleß charged w.th Bhot were then fired afc him, and one of the oharges striking him in the breast and groin, he fe AHhe*foqSesfon M'Leod'a body a verdict of wilful murder was returned against Funoke. Constable M'Leod was a well-known police officer. He joined the force in 1871 in Alexandra, Waikato, and subsequently had charge of different country stations. He held the rank of first-class constable. The murdered man', who was 44 years of age, was of a most genial and friendly disposition, and was widely esteemed. He was a prominent Freemason. The remains of the deceased are to be brought to Auckland for burial. „. . The other passengers by the steamer Minnie Casey stated that Funoke was evidently uuder the influence of liquor when he came on board the vessel at Dargaville. The name of the prisoner is Henry Funcke, and he has been a gum digger. After his arrest Funcke made the following statement : — " I paid my passage and they took my caps from me, so I shot him as my life depended on my caps. I know my life is forfeited. It is a pity they did not drop me, as now they will have the pleasure of hanging me. My life is of no value to anyone. I shot the

man because I thought he was the captain. He took my gun and I cannot live without it. I shoot birds with it and get my food by it."

in; BRS OF THE OK AND NATIONAL. Yearl Winner. Hider. Weight. 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 6 13 9 12 12 6 8 5 4 6 6 13 9 11 6 Hoyalty Fakir Mousetrap ... The Agent ... The Agent Clarence Katerfelto Kosciusko The Agent Moody Canard Faugb-a-baliagb Mangaohsne ... Chemist Daddy Longlegt Mr Martelll S Oaborne P M'Ooy W Hnnklnn Mr H Limn F Hedge W Clifford T Sheenan T Lyford 0 Hobbs Mr H Lunn T Lyford Hlckey Blllngham T Lyford et lb 10 0 10 5 11 4 12 8 12 7 12 2 10 0 10 5 12 6 11 0 12 10 11 13 11 2 13 7 9 7

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18900731.2.68.7

Bibliographic details

MURDER OF A CONSTABLE, SHOT DEAD BY A SUPPOSED LUNATIC., Otago Witness, Volume 31, Issue 1904, 31 July 1890

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1,031

MURDER OF A CONSTABLE, SHOT DEAD BY A SUPPOSED LUNATIC. Otago Witness, Volume 31, Issue 1904, 31 July 1890

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