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1920's-30's Serial Gas Poisoner, NSW

Discussion in 'Historical Cold Cases - Pre 1950' started by Lily, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    In the late 1920's - early 30's, a series of unusual and truly creepy crimes occurred near Sydney.
    No-one (as far as I know) was killed, but it wasn't for want of trying.

    Several homes across several suburbs had residents wake in the night to find a hose-pipe leaking deadly coal gas (which was used before 'natural gas') into a bedroom where women and young girls lay sleeping. The man responsible was seen at the crime scenes but as far as I can tell no-one was ever arrested for the crimes.

    The hoses used were generally taken from the home, or from a neighbouring yard, cut to the desired length and then attached to the gas-main's lead pipe, in which he'd drill a hole. The hose was then either dangled through a window where victims slept, or he'd creep into the house and place the house near the victim's head.

    What's even creepier? The attacks seem to be an annual event, in the days following Christmas for several years in a row.

    The first case I could find was the gassing of a 25 yo sleeping woman, in Arden St, Coogee (possibly on the corner of Arcadia & Arden), on December 26, 1928.

    A large man's boot print was found in the garden below a window, and plaster-cast by police.

    The crime seems pretty meticulous, and from the following report, I have to assume this was not his first attempt:

    After weeks of patient inquiry the crime became added to the other unsolved cases in police records. Several months before that rumor reached the police that a murder on similar lines had been attempted on another Coogee home, but they could get no confirmation of those rumors. To the police It seemed that the attempt was being blanketed by secrecy because the person whose death was sought felt sure of the identity of the man who attempted her life

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article164010637

    On December 29, 1929 -- almost exactly a year after the Arcadia St attack -- a woman and her two children were almost killed as they slept in their home in Arden St, Clovelly -- the same street as the previous crime, different suburb. And the exact same MO was employed.

    A man was seen in the yard of the home, carrying his boots.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165787221

    Just over one year later, on January 5th, 1931, two sisters aged 22 and 28 were gassed in the night by the same method in their home on Violet St, Bronte -- a short walk from the end of Arden St.

    Less than one hour later, another attack occurred in Tipper Avenue, Bronte, in which a father woke to find a man leaning over the bed of his 12 yo daughter, holding a hose to her mouth.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article195209477

    A man was questioned by Paddington police regarding these last attacks, and "arrested on another charge". As yet, I don't know what came of that. But if he *was* the serial gasser, I'm pretty sure there'd have been massive reportage about it.. but there's nothing.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article195210822

    While accidental deaths by asphyxiation were not all that uncommon in the days of coal gas usage, I went looking for clumps of deaths or near-deaths. I found several locations, including a spate of deaths in Alexandria... and one very alarming near-fatality:

    GAS POISONING.
    Alexandria Mystery.

    "Why anybody should attach a garden hose to a gas jet and lead it into the room in which was sleeping William Kidman, 45, of Beacons field-street, Alexandria. is a mystery which the police cannot solve."

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16718558

    And what's freaked me out there is, I've seen a pile of deaths with hoses involved, which I have assumed were suicides. A couple of them in Coodgee...
     
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  2. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

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  3. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

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  4. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Well, research this afternoon has revealed some interesting stuff.

    The supposed "pajama" gas murder proved to be actually a failed murder-suicide attempt for which the man's wife was arrested. Which explains why the MO and suspect "seen" are nothing at all like the "Coogee cases"!

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17269537

    The poor man from Alexandria is a different story. I think he either survived a suicide attempt and lied to avid shame *or* this was a real attempted murder, with an MO uncannily like the ones from Coodgee --- which isn't very far away at all from Alexandria. IMO, a possible addition to the series.
     
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  5. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Time to look for other victims..

    SISTERS GASSED IN SLEEP


    Satisfied that no suspicious circumstances surround the mysterious death of Gertrude Geary, 5G, and her sister Elcana Geary, 50, police on tho case to-day feel certain that they were accidentally gassed.

    The sisters were found last night in a tiny house In Riley-street, Surry Hills, lying side by side in bed. Both were dressed in nightgowns, and appeared to have died in their sleep. Though a relative had called at the house seven times during, the past fort night neither of the two women appeared. and it was concluded that they were out. But last night their nephew, Mr. A. W. Sutton, became alarmed when his knocks were not answered, and he told the police. Detectives learned that the women had not been seen by neighbors for 12 days, and it is assumed that they died 12 days ago.

    The women's bodies were not marked in any way, and there was no sign of a struggle. Though murder was at first suspected this suspicion was early ruled out and it was thought that the couple died as a result of a death pact. Nothing to substantiate this theory was found, however. None of the gas jets were turned on, but there was a faint smell of gas in the house.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article164247842
     
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  6. GarAndMo49

    GarAndMo49 Not A Sheeple

    This is REALLY twisted, @Lily! Will have to read up in the next few days...thanks for starting this thread!
     
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  7. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Isn't it, though??? As if it's not creepy enough, the guy has to make it an *annual* post-Xmas thing? Good grief.. and you're welcome, hun!

    Even though the guy has probably been dead for at least a couple decades... I thought it'd be cool to work up a layman's profile. For practise, and also hey --- you never know, one day someone might stumble on this thread and think "OMG, that sounds just like Great-uncle George!!" and the thing is solved.

    Cause that's like... so probable. :D But stranger things have happened!
     
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  8. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

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  9. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Probably not related and also 20 years later ----- but creepily similar, and not very far away!

    OLD MAN GASSED BOYS NEXT DOOR

    SYDNEY, Wednesday: A 75-year-old pensioner had connected a tube from his gas stove to the bedroom of his next door neighbor's two boys, police alleged in Paddington Court today.

    Robert John Simpson, of Dover Heights is charged with having on December 19 attempted to administer gas to the two boys -10 and 17- with intent to murder them.

    Sergeant N. B. Townsend said that on the night of December 19, he went to the laundry of Simpson's home, where he found a cardboard box partly covered with newspapers to which was attached a rubber tube about 12ft. long.

    Sergeant Townsend said there was a strong smell of gas in the tube which was burnt at one end. He said Simpson told him he had not seen the tubing since his wife died about two years ago.

    Detective R. J. Whelan said in evidence he saw a hole where the gas pipe entered the kitchen of Simpson's house. The woodwork around the hole had been chipped away recently.

    He said he took possession of a length of plastic and rubber tubing from Simpson's laundry and went next door to the boys' bedroom, which smelt strongly of gas.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71776608




    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71776895
     
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  10. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Omg. I think I've solved this.

    Working on a post!
     
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  11. MissyMoo

    MissyMoo Bronze Member

    OMG that was a creepy read - you are so good at finding the real random stuff Lily.
     
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  12. MissyMoo

    MissyMoo Bronze Member


    Get your typin fingers crackin please........
     
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  13. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    I'll be making a full post tomorrow - there's quite a lot of info! And as for "solved" --- well, while it looks like a quite a good armchair circumstantial case for my suspect being considered a suspect (and he WAS a convicted criminal, so I have no trouble naming him...) I've hit one single, VERY large glitch with the ability to confidently offer him up as the most likely-looking individual I could possibly find. Dammit. But more on that, tomorrow.

    Since I was actually a good ways into my armchair profile of the offender, I thought I'd share what I had come up with before the lightbulb went off that led to me to finding an actual suspect:

    The Waverley Gasman: Lily's Layman Deductions


    Disclaimer: There's no access to case files. There's very little detail in the news reports. And I'm by no means an expert, so this is just what it is, the best I can do with what I have.

    Race: White.
    This is kind of obvious for several reasons, not the least of which is that people saw him. And while no reports mention his race, this all happened long before political correctness was even a thing and xenophobia was still pretty high --ergo, if the offender looked 'foreign', we'd know about it.

    Age: mid 20's-early 40's
    The man was observed to jump out of windows and run away quickly, so a reasonable level of spryness is involved, suggesting that he was not an elderly man, and probably somewhat younger than middle aged. He's called a "man" by the witnesses, and in that era people tended to speak quite clearly in terms of age, ie, a young-looking man would likely be called a "youth" or a "boy" eather than a "man".

    Vehicle: Probably None
    The offender planned his crimes carefully, and brought some tools with him -- but stole the hoses he used, adding to his risk of being caught. But mainly, in those days cars were a luxury item and quite noisy to boot - I think people would have seen or heard a strange car on their street.

    Local or Not: I'm going with "Local" at least at some point in his life.
    The offender seems very comfortable with the region spanned by Arden Street - the bulk of the crimes all happened in quite a small geographical area. This suggests familiarity, to me. But while he seems the type to plan his crimes, he isn't too careful about being seen, which makes me think he may not be an immediate local any more.

    The fact that his crimes in the Arden St area were annual suggests he might only return to the area for the Christmas/New Year holiday period, though there might be other explanations for that. So there's a good chance, in my mind, that he used to be a local but has moved away for work, and has family members/parents in the area that he visits at Christmas. Either that, or he's married/living with parents and has to wait for them to go away for weekends or vacations in order to go about his crimes comfortably.

    Because he commits crimes against families, and during a holiday period that is often all about family, it suggests the possibility that his own family is quite dysfunctional at the core, or at least stress-inducing and hey-- rather than spending all his holiday time with loved ones, he's out in the night trying to kill women and children so I'm thinking it's a safe bet there's some dysfunction there.

    Height/Weight: Described by witnesses as "fairly tall". By the way he's described as clambering over fences and bolting away rapidly, I think he's probably more of an athletic or thin and wiry build, rather than thick-set.

    Organised/Disorganised:
    VERY organised BUT also impulsive.
    Organised, in some ways meticulous. Yet he takes big risks, and at times improvises materials necessary to his more impulsive crimes. So I think there's also an impulsive/opportunistic element to his behaviour as well.

    I don't think he's a beginner at all when he commits the first documented crime in 1928. He's way too confident, and went prepared with a tool used to drill a hole in the gas main. Looking at his later crimes, I note that there's evidence he may have stalked the area and targetted specific homes, probably watching them for a time before gassing them.

    Personality: Narcissistic/Passive-Aggressive/probably mild OCD (may be a gambler)/Problems with authority manifesting as sabotage rather than direct confrontation where possible/probably a sociopath as well

    Narcissism - well, I am pretty sure he was reading the newspapers and adjusting his behaviour according to details of the investigation. For example, after the papers printed that his boot-print had been plastercast by police, in the very next crime he is careful to remove his boots (was seen carrying them). Also, he liked to hang about and gets as much satisfaction out of the crime as he could, to the point of almost being caught almost every crime. This suggests an inflated sense of confidence in his ability to "cut it fine" and get away.

    Passive-Aggressive: He doesn't stab or shoot or strangle -- he attempts to poison his victims.. which is "traditionally" a female trait. I think he does want to incite terror in people, but is far too squeamish and cowardly to physically confront or attack any of his victims. I think this speaks to a lot of anger in him, but also a deep and abiding fear of expressing the violence. This is a wild-haired guess? But I have to wonder if this is a reaction to a particular pattern of parental abuse, one that incited him to rage but in which he was very severely punished for exhibiting any sign of anger at all. But that's just a theory.

    Mild OCD: Each crime scene is pretty much exactly like all the others, his MO and behaviours are so carefully alike that it seems he's working to a script. I've observed this behaviour in other serial criminals who liked to creep and peep, and they too exhibit a certain fussiness about their crime scenes and follow a "script". If I am right about this man, he's been a compulsive peeper (Note: LIGHTBULB moment!) for a long time, and this series of crimes is probably an extension of that.I had to wonder whether his last known crime being a "double event" was due some serious breach in his script that left him feeling angry and dissatisfied -- he broke MO in a big away by attacking a 12 yo girl, and having direct contact with her as did, in a way that suggests he really desired to cause her death more directly. He may have indulged in other thrill-seeking, compulsive behaviours like gambling. He was probably also a compulsive and effective liar.

    Sociopathy: Well, what sort of person could coolly gas to death women & kids, and stick around to watch then die? But he'd hide it well, probably behind a fairly mild-type personality. I think his wife would know on some level what he really was. They usually do. But most people would have a hard time spotting it on casual acquaintance. He probably was good mimicking emotion.

    Married? Single? : I think he's married or lives with at least one family member/parent, for reasons I mentioned above. If married, he probably married late for his age group. The fact he's attacking the woman and children in houses occupied by families that include male members - and these males are home at the time - implies some kind of deeper rage toward the "family", as opposed to just women. This could be displaced anger toward his own wife and kids, as well as his parental home. I would not be surprised if his wife had left him right before the crimes commenced, or threatened to take his kids away. His crimes could be all about exerting the control he felt he'd lost at home. But again, this is speculation.


    -----So that's what I had.. before I decided that I was probably really onto something with the "serial peeper" thing and started looking for cases of criminal voyeurism is the area. And did I hit the jackpot? You bet I did!

    But that's tomorrow's post. Cheers, guys for reading along. It's so nice to have company with these old cases. :hug:
     
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  14. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Forgot to add:

    Employment: He was probably quite employable and would be drawn to work where he could express his meticulous behaviour. He might've had a series of jobs, leaving each when his resentment of authority or other workers got too high to manage (that a guess..) or he was forced to move areas due to his compulsive peeping (in which he was often seen, so it's a good bet he would eventually be recognised...or even caught). I think he was a reasonably intelligent person and probably had some kind of skilled or semi-skilled job, seeing as how he could neatly mess with pipes full of deadly gas and not gas himself. Also, that sort of meticulousness more often comes with intelligence that enables the getting of higher-skill work.
     
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  15. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    The United States FBI assert that some individuals who engage in "nuisance" offenses (such as voyeurism) may also have a propensity for violence based on behaviors of serious sex offenders.[25] An FBI researcher has suggested that voyeurs are likely to demonstrate some characteristics that are common, but not universal, among serious sexual offenders who invest considerable time and effort in the capturing of a victim (or image of a victim); careful, methodical planning devoted to the selection and preparation of equipment; and often meticulous attention to detail.[26]

    Little to no research has been done into the demographics of voyeurs.

    http://therapytwins.com/voyeurism-the-peeping-tom-illness/
     
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  16. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Killing someone with poison, by it's very nature, requires careful planning and subterfuge, so it comes as no surprise that poisoners tend to be cunning, sneaky, and creative (they can design the murder plan in as much detail as if they were writing the script for a play). Male or female, they tend to avoid physical confrontation and, instead, rely on verbal and emotional manipulation to get what they want from others.

    Convicted poisoners also tend to have a sense of inadequacy, for which they compensate through a scorn for authority, a strong need for control, wish-fulfillment fantasies, and a self-centered, exploitive interpersonal style. Often either spoiled as a child or raised in an unhappy home, some experts liken the poisoner's personality to an incorrigible child whose immature desire for his/her own way leads him/her to try to control and manipulate the world. It's as if the poisoner never grew up and is determined to take what s/he wants just as a child would from a candy store. Developmentally stunted, other people are viewed without empathy and the poisoner's internal compass is guided instead by greed or lust rather than morals. And, because poison is often not detected initially, the power and control poisoners experience with success tends to increase his or her confidence in future endeavors.

    Given that 1 out of 5 verified murders by poisoning is never solved, it's hard to draw a definitive psychological profile of the typical poisoner. Those who've been caught and convicted give us some clues - clever, sneaky, emotionally immature, methodical, and self-centered. Many of them are amazingly skilled at pretending to be something they're not - a doting husband, caring nurse, or devoted friend. Behind the mask, though, lies a psyche that is propelled by childish needs and unencumbered by moral restraints.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-equation/201207/psychological-profile-poisoner
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
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  17. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Okay - so I started looking for peepers in the Waverley area, to start with. Found a few reports, a few arrests.. nothing that really made me zero in on anyone in particular. And then this:

    17th November, 1926
    "PEEPING TOM"
    COOGEE MENACE
    WOMEN SCARED

    A "PEEPING TOM" has again made his appearance in the Eastern suburbs where he has scared many householders. For the past week he has been confining his operation to Coogee.
    A few nights ago he knocked at the window of a house in Hamilton-street, where two young girls were sleeping. On hearing the knock, one of the girls opened the window, when the man made a disgusting remark. The girl screamed and slammed the window, and the man made off. Last night he again visited Hamilton-street, and, after knocking on the window of a woman's room, made off. He was chased for some distance, but made his escape.
    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117325022

    -- So there's the type of behaviour I'd expect to see from our Gasman - returning to the same street, even though it's risky. Also, I noted that there were two girls in the bedroom. With a bit more digging, I found this:

    16th March, 1927
    "PEEPING TOM"
    CAUGHT AT COOGEE
    PREVIOUS OFFENCES

    At 9.45 last night, defendant was seen in a crouching position near a window of a house in Hamilton-Street, Coogee. I have no doubt he was acting as a "Peeping Tom". Constable Stinson, of Daceyville, gave that evidence against Joseph James Madigan, 43, engineer, who was charged at the Central Court to-day with having, without lawful excuse, entered the enclosed land of the house. He was fined £5, in default imprisonment for a month.

    Constable Stinson said that when Madigan was spoken to by a civilian, he jumped the fence and ran away. He was chased for 300 yards, and caught. Defendant said he went into the yard to get a drink of water. It was stated in court that he had previous convictions for similar offenses. Madigan said he had a wife and five children. Mr. Camphin, S.M.: You should give this up for the sake of your children, as you will be getting yourself into gaol.
    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117689902

    -- And I'm like, WOAH! Not only is this guy a persistent serial offender, he alluded to using to the hose AND -- he's an engineer!!!

    So of course I started tracking this man. And I found the most incredible stack of offenses and arrests, going all the way back to 1918 - in South Australia:

    August 1918, Adelaide
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/63757312

    December 1, 1919, Adelaide (this is a doozy!)
    "PEEPING TOM'
    CAPTURED AT RICHMOND.
    A MANIA FOR WOMEN.
    "I MUST BE MAD."

    The residents of Richmond and other western suburbs felt greatly relieved a few days ago when they heard that the man who had been terrifying them by peeping through their bedroom windows at night had been captured. The "Peeping Tom" business began at Richmond about two years ago and it was carried on at intervals until about two months ago, when matters assumed a very serious aspect. During the past three weeks numerous com- plaints were made to the police by persons residing at Nottingham-avenue, North Rich- mond that they had seen a face at the win- dow either while they were preparing to retire for the night or when they had gone to bed. The women in that locality especially were alarmed, and in some cases they refused to stay at home at night alone.

    Mrs. Leslie Aldridge declared that she saw a man peering at her through the window one night, and at about 4 a.m. on a subsequent date. Mr. Aldridge observed somebody sneaking along the verandah in the direction of a window. When he went outside a man ran off. On another night Mr. Aldridge saw a man coming out of his gate, and when he spoke to him the man bolted. Within the last few months Mes. L. Barnes, of Nottingham-avenue North Richmond, reported having seen a man on her verandah, and similar com plaints were received by the police from Mrs. R. Simons, who lives m the same locality.

    The residence of Mrs. Payne in Kingston-avenue, Richmond, was also visited, the man on tnis occasion having been seen coming out of the laneway by Mr. C Barnet. The man was not wearing boots at the time and when he saw Mr. Barnet he ran to his bicycle, which had been left against the fence, picked up his boots, from the ground, and pedalled off as fast as he could. Constable Knowles also had an experience with the "Peeping Tom," for a couple of weeks ago he left his bed to chase a man who had been on the verandah at his mother's residence in North Richmond. The offender, who was again not wearing boots, made another hurried escape.

    Shortly after midnight on Tuesday last Constable Hipwell received information that Mr. Robert Simons had caught the man who had been responsible for disturbing the peace of the neighborhood. The constable rode to the house on his bicycle and found a man there who gave the name of Joseph James Madigan (36) of 29, Falcon-avenue, Mile End, and said he had a wife and four children, and was head engineer at the Adelaide Meat Stores. When asked what he was doing there he replied, "I came here for a drink." Afterwards he said he went there to put some water in his acetylene lamp. The officer examined the lamp on his bicycle and found that it did not require to be re- filled with water. When captured the man had his boots off. The constable asked him why he had removed his boots 'and he answered, "I don't know. I must be mad. I have got a mania for the damned things." "A mania for what things?'' the officer enquired, and Madigan replied, "For women." He pleaded, "For God's sake spare me. I have a wife and four children."

    Madigan further stated that he had played that night in a band at Hindmarsh and that he afterwards went to North Richmond purposely to look at the women going to bed. "I have a mania for women. It is my failure." Con stable Hipwell asked him what satisfaction it gave him to peep in at windows when people were going to bed. and he replied. "God knows: I'm mad." He admitted that he had been doing that sort of thing for a lonz time. The constable arrested him and locked him up for the rest of thenight.

    The next morning Madigan was brought before Mr. J. M. Sutherland at the Rich mond Magistrate's Court and charged with having been unlawfully on the premises of Mr. Robert Simons. He pleaded guilty and made an appeal not to be sent to gaol. He was sorry for what he had done and would see that it did not occur again. A fine of £5, with £1 7/6 costs, was inflicted.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/5646552#pstart990312


    ------- and WOW, there's the boots thing!!! TEN years before the Gasman struck in Waverley, NSW, this man was *compulsively* exhibiting the same behaviours observed as the offender in those crimes. And he was also showing a tendency to escalate his behaviour toward the end of the year and the holiday season.

    Note also his referring to women as "the damned things"...

    But wait, there's more.... (brb)
     
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  18. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    So I started researching "Joseph John Madigan". I found heaps of other arrests - we'll get to those a moment - and I also found that the Madigan family is HUGE, with it being not unusual for there to be 10+ kids in each family group, with a lot of name-repetition among them. So tracking this guy isn't easy, especially as the records are pretty hard to find.

    What I did find was, there were two branches of the Madigan family (which, according to an interview I found with a living family member, was extremely clannish)-- one located around Adelaide, the other in NSW. And the one in NSW had branches in areas very close to... guess where? Yup - Waverley! Another branch was in Alexandria -- remember the guy who was gassed there? But more on that, later.

    Here's all the articles I've so far found on Joseph John Madigan and his peeping habits in NSW, in chronological order:

    NOTE: There is record of members of the Madigan family in Newcastle in this period, and the original "seat" of the family line in NSW is quite close to Camden. It seems Madigan bounced back and forth between locations where he had lots of family.

    March 1922, Newcastle - I think we can presume this is him, considering the next article. The locals were so up in arms they decided to take action, and he was possibly shot at:
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/122599220

    April 27, 1922, Camden
    Quite a sensation was caused in Broughton St., Camden, at a late hour on Monday night, where a man named Joseph James Madigan, was arrested by Const. McPherson. The actions of the man had aroused the constable's attention, and he decided to arrest him, this the man, resented, and after putting up a strenuous fight and finding he was playing a losing game, he began called loudly for help. The help he desired was not forthcoming- consequently he was lodged safely in the lock-up, and the following morning brought before the Police Court on a charge of being a suspected person found at night in enclosed premises for an unlawful purpose. Remanded for eight days. Recently several people about Camden have been annoyed to discover the presence of an unwelcome and uninvited stranger on their premises or gazing through their windows at night, and it is hoped that this little incident might terminate the annoyance.
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/136648099

    May 4, 1922, Camden - he seems to have copped quite a beating.. and 6 months in prison.
    'Peeping Tom.'
    Joseph John Madigan on Tuesday last appeared before Messrs. W. C. Furner and A. D. Little, Js.P., at the Camden Police Court,' on two charges of being a suspected person found at night on enclosed premises for an unlawful purpose. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months hard labour in Long Bay Penitentiary, on each charge, sentences to be concurrent. It was stated that this per son was a recent arrival from Newcastle, where a number of complaints had been made of a certain individual who was known as 'Peeping Tom' being in the habit of paying nightly and uninvited visits to the windows of various residences, through which he peep ed. He left Newcastle about a month ago, and the nuisance ceased there, but a similar annoyance was felt at Camden until Const. McPherson surprised him one dark night at the Newtown end of the town, with disastrous results to Madigan, who still carries conspicuous marks of having passed, through, a trying ordeal. He certainly presented a sorrowful appearance before the Bench on Tuesday morning, and grew even more sorrowful as he left the Court between Constables McPherson and Leary after the Bench had severely censured him.


    -----There's a gap here of five years, where I can't find mention of him being arrested anywhere but there's peeping cases which sound awfully familiar -- around Waverley and Coogee.. and ofc, Madigan's name pops up soon after.

    May 29, 1926, Waverley
    'PEEPING TOM'
    FACE AT WINDOW- A GIRL SCREAMS

    A "PEEPING TOM" made his appearance at Waverley early this morning and scared Miss Whits, who lives in Bennett street. The young lady was awakened by a light tapping on her window, and was startled to see a man's face peeping through the window. She screamed and her father, seizing a hammer. rushed to her assistance. Mr. White threw the window up and made a vio- lent blow at the Intruder with the ham mer. Tbo man dodged the blow, however, and ran into the roadway, where he remained for some time. Mr. White informed the police, but when Sergt. Best, of the wireless patrol, arrived, there was no sign of the man.
    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117292380

    March 17, 1927 -- Coogee
    "PEEPING TOM,"
    Fined £5 and Warned.
    COOGEE PROWLER.

    SYDNEY, Thursday.
    A peeping Tom, who proved to be Joseph James Madigan, 42, engineer, was chased and captured at Coogee on Tuesday night, and was before the Court yesterday when it was stated that he had been causing considerable annoyance around many houses in Coogee by creeping up around bedroom windows and watching womon folk retiring. Although ho pleaded for leniency on the ground that he has a wife and five children, Magistrate Camphin said his place at night was at home with his family and not peeping around other homes. Tho police reported that ho had been convicted several limes for similar of fences. Ho was fined £5 and given a warning that It was not a healthy occupation to follow as one night someone might put a bullet through him.
    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article185452383

    -- lol

    March 22, 1927, Coogee
    J. J. Madigan, 42, engineer, has an obsession — if he sees a light in a bedroom window he can 't resist (lie 'urge to sneak up and peep in.
    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article126818304

    July 10. 1928, Waverley- A flasher leapt out at several women in the streets of Waverley. Guess who was arrested for a very similar crime, not long after? Of note here is the escalation from peeping to flashing.
    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115409620

    July 23, 1928, Waverley --- and another 6 months in jail....
    HALF-MILE CHASE
    PERVERT GETS GAOL
    A SEQUEL to a chase on which police and civilians joined, was the appearance at Paddington Court today of Joseph James Madigan, 43, engineer, who pleaded guilty to s charge of having behaved in an Indecent manner before women In Botany-street, Waverley, late on Saturday night.
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/115414414

    And here lies the problem ---- while everything about Joseph Madigan just screams "He's the Gasman!" -- if he went away for 6 months in July 1928, he may have still been jail on December 26 that year -- which was when the first gas attack happened.

    Now, it would be brilliant if I could find out whether Madigan got an early release - he was good at using his wife and five kids to appeal to the courts for leniency, maybe he was let out a bit early because of that....

    If he did the whole 6 months, though -- it's back to the drawing board. :(
     
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  19. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Oct 13, 1929 - Waverley
    Peeping Tom

    'THIS man was peeping through a window of a house in Park-road, Waverley, said Constable Baird, refer ring to Joseph Madigan, who was charg ed at the Central Police Court with be having in an offensive manner. Mr. Shepherd, S.M., fined Madigan £5 with the alternative, if he did sot choose to pay, of going to Long Bay for three months.
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/169313817
     
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  20. MissyMoo

    MissyMoo Bronze Member

    Well i have found how i will be filling in my time on Australia Day afternoon.
    Lily you should be an investigative journalist or something.
    Im hooked already. HOW CREEPY :eek:
     
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