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1926: The Cumming-Walsh murders

Discussion in 'Historical Cold Cases - Pre 1950' started by Lily, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Here's another case that I'm not sure was ever solved or not. I think not, at this stage, being unable to find any reference at all to an arrest. It was certainly huge news in its era, and there's thankfully a lot of reports on it. As far as I can see, the case was still unsolved into the 1930's, but reports are scarce after that.

    The murders occurred on Boxing Day, December 26th, 1926.

    Northern Standard (Darwin, NT : 1921 - 1955)
    Friday 31 December 1926

    DOUBLE MURDER
    Brisbane, Dec. 27.

    The bodies of Police - Sergeant March Cummings 55, and Mrs. Eileen Gladys Walsh, 31, were found in a paddock at South Brisbane. Each had been shot through 'the back of the head. All the circumstances point to foul play. The police believe the case to be one of double murder.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48040312


    The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957)
    Tuesday 28 December 1926

    DOUBLE MURDER.

    BRISBANE SHOOTING.


    Bodies of Man and Woman Found.

    BRISBANE, -Monday. - Investigations made following the discovery of the bodies of Mrs. Gladys Walsh, aged 31 years, and Acting Police Sergeant Marcus Cummings, in a paddock near the railway line at Annerley on Friday morning, suggest that the shots by which the man and woman were killed were fired at fairly short range.

    The bodies were first seen by the driver and fireman of an engine which was passing the spot bound for Roma street, shortly before 7 o'clock in the morning. They informed the police and Sub-inspector Meldon, with a squad of detectives, and Sub-inspector Lipp, with constables from the Roma, street station, visited the scene. They were shortly afterwards followed by a black tracker, George Munro.

    The bodies were found lying on their back» about 2ft. apart. There were no indications that a struggle had taken place. About 8 or 10 feet away two empty shells, apparently from an automatic pistol, were found lying on the ground.

    The scene of the tragedy was a narrow strip of land several hundred yards in length at the back of the Boggo road gaol. The land was reserved by the Railways Department for tho new Kyogle line. The spot is isolated, the nearest house being about a quarter of a mile away. On one side of the reserve is a sharp drop in which it would be possible for a person to be concealed.

    Cummings had been shot in the back of his neck, the bullet penetrating the back of the skull; while the shot that killed the woman had entered her face just below the left eye and passed through her head. It is believed that the shots were fired at between 10 and 11 o'clock on Thursday night.

    Throughout Friday the detectives pursued their investigations, acquisitioning the services of black trackers in an endeavour tolooate and identify foot marks. After considerable difficulty a tracker managed to find the tracks of Cummings and the woman.

    Cummings was aged 47 years, and had served for nearly 27 years in the police force. He was a married man with five children, and lived with his wife and family at Wilton street, Woolloongabba, and had been attached to the South Brisbane station for three and a half years. Mrs. Walsh was living with her mother and sister at Stephen street, South Brisbane.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3829018
     
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  2. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    THE SOUTH BRISBANE MURDERS.

    Brisbane, Friday.— Although a week has passed since Acting-Sergeant Cummings and Mrs Walsh were found murdered in a paddock at South Brisbane, the crime is still shrouded in mystery. Everything in the nature of a clue is being carefully followed up but so far no developments have taken place.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193091206

    (to follow are a pile of articles from the 1927 inquiry into the murders, with lots of details..)
     
  3. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Some papers reported the murders happening on the 26th, here it says the 24th... Also reports have the name of the male victim as "Cumming" or "Cummings", I can't yet work out which it really was.

    Doesn't it sound like the couple was shot while having sex?

    Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld. : 1860 - 1947)

    Friday 27 May 1927

    CUMMINGS-WALSH TRAGEDY. EVIDENCE AT INQUIRY. BRISBANE, Thursdav.

    A magisterial inquiry was commenced today into the circumstances surrounding the double murder of acting Sergeant Marcus Cumming and Eileen Walsh, a married woman, who were found dead in a paddock adjoining the railway line in South Brisbane on the morning of December 24 last.

    At the outset, subInspector Meldon denied that any attempt had been made to influence inquiry. It had taken time to conduct the police inquiries, and when this had been completed, application was made for a magisterial inquiry to be held. If the inquiries had disclosed sufficient evidence an arrest would have have made. All the facts that had been discovered would be disclosed as the inquiry proceeded. However, application would be made not to have certain names disclosed, various women. The police had certain confidential information regarding these women, but the publication of their names would bring about domestic unhappincss, and in some instances might possibly lead to tragedy.

    Asked by Mr. A. Staines, who conducted the inquiry, whether any person was under suspicion, sub-Inspector Meldon replied ''No."

    Acting Sergeant Bonas gave evidence, disclosing that he found the deceased in compromising circumstances.

    Dr. Dodds said that in his opinion the shots were fired at close range by a person standing at their feet. Death was instantaneous in each case.

    Mrs. Cummings, wife of the deceased, said her early married life was happy. The first time trouble occurred was at Mount Morgan, five years ago. At that time Cummings was in charge of the Mount Morgan police station. Witness lived in a house not far from the station, and her husband slept on the station premises. Witness was then shown the name of a woman written on a piece of paper, whom she said she had heard Cummings visited. When taxed, he said he had to go to this place to make inquiries. Her husband used to go out alone and wbuld not tell her where he was going. To this witness took exception. On another occasion witness found a note to her husband from a woman reminding him of an appointment. This created an impression in witness' mind that her husband was spending some of his time with other women. The inquiry was adjourned until tomorrow.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article153207465

    Tuesday 31 May 1927

    BOGGO ROAD TRAGEDY.

    EVIDENCE AT INQUIRY. CUMMING-WALSH MURDER. CROSS EXAMINATION OF SON. BRISBANE. Mondav.

    Further evidence was heard today in the magisterial Inquiry into the death of Police Act-Sergeant Cumming and Mrs. Eileen Walsh, whose bodies were found together in compromising circumstances in a paddock at South Brisbane on December 24 last.

    Stanley Cumming, son of the deceased police officer, in reply to questions, recalled an interview when he admitted he had a revolver in his room and was also in possession of his father's revolver. He admitted firing one shot from a revolver about a month prior to the tragedy. At Sangate he fired one shot into the sea. He took the revolver out of a box about a week before the day of the tragedy. A black automatic pistol produced in court was the one he handed to the police. Asked why he did not visit the detective office on the Monday following the tragedy, witness first of all replied that he was advised not to, a statement which he corrected by saying that the reason he did not go was because he was unwell.

    UNANSWERED QUESTIONS.

    Sub Inspector Meldon: Is it not a fact that your mother said to the detectives, 'I won't go near your office or make another, eattement. I have told you all about the matter. You will not find thc murderer here. He has got his desserts and I will say no more?'

    Witness said that he could not remember his mother making such a statement.

    Then did your mother «ay this to the dectectives: 'I don't want Stanley to go over to your office again. You had him there for ten hours on Sunday. I have had legal advice on the matter and will say no more. It appears you are trying to make is out guilty'

    — I do not recollect that being said.

    Did you say to Detective Henderson: 'I am not going to say any more. I have just got my senses now and I am sorry I told you so much?'

    — I do not remember.

    You would not answer any questions yourself. You continued to remain silent. Is that not so?

    — Yes.

    Well, do you not consider that most unsatisfactory! Do you realise now how necessary it was to answer questions put to you?

    — I came to the conclusion that the questions being asked were just a repetition of those I had previously answered at the C.T. Branch on Sunday afternoon and evening.

    FORCED TO LEAVE HOME.

    Witness was then questioned at length regarding his father's affairs with other women. He said that he himself traced the address of a woman, who confessed that his (witness') father was the father of her illegitimate child. Witness said that his father came home one night late in 1925, and putting his hand to his hip pocket, said 'I could shoot the two of you if I liked.' Witness subsequently left home to live at a boarding house on Stephen's-road, South Brisbane. He preferred the company of strangers to the company of his own home at the time.

    Sub-Inspector Meldon: Are you sure that is the reason?

    — Yes I am sure. It was about one month prior to my father's death that I left home, but I went back later on.

    Now tell us what was the real reason of your leaving home.

    — Well, my father had not told me directly that I would have to get out of the home, but he told my mother so.

    Witness gave an account of how he traced a woman with whom he alleged his father was having 'affair'.

    Sub-inspector Meldon: Did you say to this woman, 'My father is no _____ good. He has been causing a lot of trouble at home. A man ought to do time for it?

    — I deny I ever said that. It is a lie!

    Witness then described how he saw his father talking to a woman in Melbourne-street. Witness crossed the street to see who the woman was, and his father chased him back across the street. Pressed by Sub-inspector Meldon as to his real reason for leaving home at one period, and going into a boarding house, witness re-affirmed that his reason was because he wanted the companionship of adults, and not be cause of unpleasantness with his father.

    Sub-inspector Meldon: Do you know who shot your father or Mrs. Walsh?

    —No.

    Did you have anything directly or indirectly to do with either murder?

    — No.

    In answer to Mr. King, who appeared in the interests of Theresa Jane Cumming and Stanley Cumming, witness stated that he bought the revolver because his work entailed him being entrusted with large sums of money. He could account for his movements on the night of the murder and have them corroborated.

    James S. Walsh, husband of the dead woman, stated, that she was aged 29 when shot. The last time he spoke to her was on October 20 last. They had been separated since 1924. He stated that he had no reason to suspect anyone of the murder. The inquiry was adjourned until tomorrow.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article153200753
     
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  4. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Wednesday 1 June 1927

    MURDER MYSTERY.

    CUMMING-WALSH CASE. INQUIRY CONTINUED. A MORBID CONVERSATION. BRISBANE, Tuesday.

    Further, evidence was heard today in the magisterial inquiry into the death of Acting-Sergeant Cumming and Mrs. Eileen Walsh.

    Mrs. Mary Christie, mother of Mrs. Walsh, who resided with her, said, that on the night of December 23, Mrs. Walsh, went out in the best of health and spirits saying that she was going to post a letter. Witness said she had a conversation on Christmas Day with Mrs. Cumming. Mrs. Cumming said: 'I have come to offer you my sympathy, but I don't know whether you will accept it or not.' She said that she would accept it. Mrs. Cumming then said: 'Where is the body. ' Witness told her it had been buried the previous afternoon. Mrs. Cumming replied: 'You got rid of her quickly, didn't you?' Witness made no reply. Mrs. Cumming then said: ' Has my husband ever been here drinking and playing cards.' Witness relied: 'No.' Mrs. Cumming then said 'I have always tried to warn my husband that this would be his end, but he would begin to laugh and say, that it would be a good man who could get him. Evidently a good man has got him — from the back.'

    Mrs. Cumming also said to me: 'My husband was always so fond of beautiful women and girls — but look at them after 24 hours in the morgue with the paint and powder off!' Witness replied that her daughter had no occasion to use paint and powder. Mrs. Cumming then added that it was a strange coincidence that it was the only night her husband went out without his revolver.

    Witness then asked Mrs. Cumming if she had any idea who committed the murder. Mrs. Cumming replied: 'Do you think the husband did it, or did he pay someone else to do it?' Witness told her he had no money to pay anyone to do such a terrible crime. Mrs. Cumming then said: 'My husband was so particular about this that and everything, but look at the headlines he has left on the papers'. Witness replied that they were shocking. Mrs. Cumming then snapped her fingers, and referring to her husband said: 'I don't care that for him or his relations.'

    Witness, in reply to further questions, said that she suspected a certain person, but she would not say whom. It not one of her family or the Walsh family.

    Henry Souter and Charles Clyde gave evidence in support of that given that he was at Wynnum on the night in question.

    J. Bauman, gunsmith, offered expert evidence. He declared that he would definitely say that the two shells found in the paddock near the bodies had not been fired from Stanley Cumming's pistol as the firing pin had struck in a different position. He would also state that the bullets found in the paddock could not have been fired from the deceased Cumming's revolver. The inquiry was adjourned until next day.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article153192036
     
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  5. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Daily Standard (Brisbane, Qld. : 1912 - 1936)

    Wednesday 1 June 1927

    Wedding Ring Was Missing. New Feature In Murder Inquiry.

    CUMMING-WALSH MYSTERY.

    Continuing her evidence yesterday afternoon at the inquiry into the murder of Acting-sergeant Cumming and Eileen Gladys Walsh, Madeline Jones, sister of the late Eileen Gladys Walsh, said her sister was wearing her wedding ring when she left home on the night of December 23. At the morgue she did not notice if the ring was still on her sister's finger. She had since learned that there was no ring on her finger. She had no idea what had become of it.

    "Witness said the only occasion she knew when her sister had gone without the ring was when she pledged it to take out a summons. When she received the first payment from her husband she redeemed it.

    Asked if she knew who had shot her sister and Cumming witness replied that she had an opinion.

    Sub-inspector Meldon- I am not asking you for an opinion now, but if you know.

    Witness: No.

    Regarding a threat against her sister, Mrs. Jones, said she was with her sister in Edward-street at Christmas, 1926, when they met Walsh, who asked his wife if she were going back to him. She answered "No," and Walsh said, "If you don't you will get this," producing a razor. Walsh after words said he had only done it to frighten her.

    To Mr. Kennedy: She did not suspect Walsh of having murdered her sister and Acting-sergeant Cumming.

    Acting-sergeant Bonas, replying to Mr. Kennedy, said he did not notice if there was any mark on the finger to indicate that there had been a ring on it just before her death.

    Mrs. Christie said she could not account for the absence of the ring. Her daughter wore it that day. She had searched for it at home, but had not found it.

    WALSH'S EVIDENCE CONFIRMED.

    Henry Morris, brother-in-law of James Samuel Walsh, residing at Manly, corroborated Walsh's evidence that they were in one another's company at Manly on the night of December 23.

    Francis. Joseph Soutor, barman employed at the Waterloo Bay Hotel, Wynnum South, said he had known Walsh by sight for some time. Walsh and Henry Morris wore at the hotel up to near closing-up time on the evening of December 23.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article179473940
     
  6. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld. : 1860 - 1947)

    Friday 3 June 1927


    CUMMING-WALSH CASE

    WILL MYSTERY BE SOLVED? FURTHER EVIDENCE BY WIDOW.

    BRISBANE, Thursday.

    When the inquiry was resumed today into the deaths of acting-Sergeant Marcus Cumming and Mrs. Eileen Walsh, further evidence was given by Mrs. Cumming, widow of the deceased police officer. She denied many of the statements which Mrs. Christie, mother of Mrs. Walsh, had said that she (Mrs. Cumming) had made during a conversation on the day after the tragedy.

    Whoever committed the murder had displayed a very callous nature in disarranging the clothes of her husband. She was contending this was done after the the tragedy. She admitted that she had followed her husband on two occasions. She denied that she had followed him on three or four nights before the tragedy. Witness expressed the hope that the murder would not be overlooked, and that some day the guilty would be brought to justice. Sub-Inspector Meldon assured Mrs. Cumming thatat the murder would not be overlooked, and that he too hoped that he mystery would some day be solved.

    Mary Crowley, assistant in a Queen street tobacconist shop, gave evidence that she served Stanley Cumming with cigarettes about 7.45 o'clock on the evening of December 23 last.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article153209065
     
  7. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Daily Standard (Brisbane, Qld. : 1912 - 1936)
    Thursday 9 June 1927

    [​IMG]

    The inquiry is being held by Mr. A. Staines.

    Sub-inspector Meldon examined the witnesses. - Mr. W/T. King continued to watch the proceedings in the interest of Mrs. Cumming and her son, Stanley. r

    A number of the public crowded into the small room to listen to the evidence. Many had to stand.

    Fanny Louisa Howden, widow, residing at Jane-street, Valley, mother of Mrs. Cumming, said that on December 23 she lived at Mrs. Gregory's place in Constance-street, Valley. That night, a little after 7 o'clock, just after witness had had her tea, her daughter visited her, remaining with her about two hours. They talked about the Christmas festivities and gifts she had purchased. It was getting on to 10 o'clock when she left. She fixed the times to the best of her knowledge. She was 86 years of age.

    Sub-lnspector Meldon: Do-you recollect telling Detective Henderson a few days after the 23rd that Mrs. Cumming left about-9 o'clock?'

    Mrs. Howden: I have no recollection of it whatsoever.

    Asked how she fixed the time of her daughter's departure, Mrs. Howden said 'It was Just before the light on the top of T. C. Beirne's store went out'.

    "MARQUIS IS SHOT."

    Witness said .her daughter came and told her of the tragedy. She was dressed in black, and witness realised that there had been a death.

    "Don't be shocked at what I am going to tell you," her daughter said, "Marquis is shot."

    -Witness replied, "God bless and save us; who shot him?" Her daughter replied, "I do not know.". She left witness a paper containing a report of the murder.

    Questioned about her daughter's domestic life, Mrs. Howden said, she did not know anything about it "If they had a tiff she would not tell me', witness said.

    HEARD THREE SHOTS.

    Francis B. Waygood, motorman, living at Tottenham-street near where the couple were shot, said he returned home at six minutes past 9. He fixed the time by the running of the tram on which he travelled. Not long afterwards—before a quarter-past 9—he heard three automatic revolver shots. .The first two were in quick succession, and there was a pause before the third was fired. He lived about 100 yards, from the scene of the tragedy as the crow flies. The shots came from that direction.

    Witness said to his wife: "That is another South-side tragedy or some body escaping from Boggo-road."

    Out of curiosity witness went on to the front veranda to listen if there were any more shots. There were none, and after a while he returned inside the house.

    Sub-inspector Meldon: Why did you say: "That is another South-side tragedy?".

    Witness said that at the time there' had been a number of shooting cases.

    Asked how he knew the shots had been fired from an automatic revolver, witness said he had had five years' war experience, during which he handled revolvers, and was taught to distinguish the sounds.

    CUMMING WAS TEMPERATE.

    Senior-sergeant M. Caulfield, who is in charge of the South Brisbane Police station, said Cumming should have had his handcuffs on the night of December 23. A key found on Cumming's body, corresponded with one for handcuffs he usually carried.

    Where the tragedy occurred was outside Cumming's district. Witness examined the State relief tickets, and saw that Cumming had signed tickets for Eileen Gladys Walsh on January 12, 19, and .26, 1926. The last time Cumming had done special duty at the Trocadero was October 13, 1926. Witness said it was usual for Cumming to wear a leather belt to which nine or 10 keys and his hand cuffs were attached. Cumming was very punctual reporting on and off duty. He was very temperate.

    "Bushie" Who Bought a Revolver

    Walter Frederick Hawgood, pawn broker's assistant, in the employ of Samuel Hawgood, licensed pawnbroker, carrying on business in George street, Brisbane, said between 4.30 pm, and 5.15 p.m.- on December 23, a man came into the shop, and said "Have you got any revolvers?" Witness asked him if he wanted one, and he replied yes. There was only one in the shop, and the man paid 32s 6d for it.

    Sub-Inspector Meldon: Did he examine it?

    Witness: No, he Just took it, that is all.

    Do you know what kind of a pistol it was?—It was a "F.N., 25-20."

    Sub-inspector Meldon showed witness a revolver, one of the exhibits, and asked if the revolver he sold was similar to it.

    Witness said it was the same pattern, but not so big. They traced back the revolver, and found it was a "25-20."

    Asked to describe the man, witness said he was a "bushie." He was tall, and had sharp features and hollow cheeks, and badly wanted a shave. His age was about 40 years. His suit was pretty dirty.

    "LIKE YOUR OWN." '

    Sub-lnspector Meldon questioned the witness further about the suit, and its color.

    Witness: It was like your own. (Laughter).

    Sub-Inspector Meldon: You are not very complimentary.

    Witness assured the Sub-inspector he was only referring to the color of the suit, and not inferring'it was dirty. The man's suit was dark.

    Questioned if he noticed anything about the man's demeanor, witness said, "He seemed to be in a deuce of a hurry; his idea was to get the revolver and get out.'' He added that the man was normal.

    Mr. King: Perhaps before the price went up... (Laughter).

    DEAD WOMAN'S BROTHER'S MOVEMENTS

    Frederick Slaughter, retired coach builder, residing at James-street, Highgate Hill, said Frederick Claude Christie, brother of Eileen Gladys Walsh was at his house on the night of December 23, between 7 p.m. and about 9.40 p.m. He listened on the wireless during most of that time. Before December 23 Christie visited the house regularly.

    "THAT'S MY DAD."

    Josephine Clutterbuck, single, residing at Warwick, said she had known Stanley Cumming about "10 months." On December 23 she was living at a boarding house in Merivale-street, South Brisbane. That night she met Stanley Cumming outside the boarding house by appointment, and walked with him to the city. When they were passing the Palace Hotel Stanley pointed out to her his father who was talking to two other policemen and a civilian. "That's my dad," he said. She had never seen Stanley's father previously.

    They walked across Victoria Bridge and went to the Empire Theatre. On the way Stanley purchased a cigar. They sat in the dress circle, remaining there until the show terminated about half-past 10. After they had had a drink in a cafe near the theatre Stanley walked back to South Brisbane with her.

    At this, the inquiry was adjourned until 2.30 p.m.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article179475252
     
  8. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

  9. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    The Daily Standard appears to have been quite the tabloid rag, in its day... Get ready for some right proper muck-raking! For goodness' sake, they don't even censor the word 'damn'. How uncouth.


    Daily Standard (Brisbane, Qld. : 1912 - 1936)

    Friday 10 June 1927

    Detective Henderson Admits Making Pointed Reference About Guilt to Mrs. Cumming

    WHAT CUMMING'S INAMORATAS TOLD THE DETECTIVES

    Alleged Statements That involve Married Women


    Acting-sergeant Henderson's Evidence


    Detective Henderson said he knew the late Marquis Cumming, but did not know Eileen Gladys Walsh. On the morning of December 24, on arriving at the C.I. Branch he was informed about the finding of thebodies, and, accompanied by Sub-Inspector Meldon, and other detectives, he proceeded to the scene of tho murder. A black tracker was sent for, and on his arrival he made a search for tracks, but no tracks were found that would assist to indicate who mur dered the couple. There were no signs of any struggle. The ground was stony, and bare of grass. There were no tracks to show where the murderer coud have entered the reserve.

    A search was made over a large area near, the scene of the murder for the missing belt, handcuffs, and keys, I but those articles were not found. Tho ground was also sieved for the bullet that killed Mrs. Walsh, but it was not found.

    Witness and other detectives searched Mrs.. Walsh's room, and, other parts of the house, hut found nothing that would be of any assistance. He informed her people what had happened to her and Cumming, and obtained certain information concerning the late Mrs. Walsh's husband.

    Later Walsh was located at tho Labor Bureau. He was interrogated by witness. He told where he had spent the previous day and night, as given in evidence.


    PATHETIC SCENE AT MORGUE

    Witness took him to tho morgue, AND showed him tho bodies. He identified bis wife's body. Then he commenced to cry, and said:- "I swear to God you did not meet your death at my hands."

    Asked who hr thought might have caused her death he said he did not know. Walsh said he know Cumming, from seeing him on duty in South Brisbane but did not know he had gone out with his wife.

    On the same date witness saw Mrs. Gumming and her son, Stanley, at the O.I. Branch. Other detectives interrogated them.

    On the following day (December 25), Detective Campbell and witness set out to locate the woman mentioned as having been seen at a picture show with Cumming. They located her, and obtained a statement from her. Her movements on the night of the murder were verified. They established that she was not in the vicinity of the murder that night.

    With Cumming Three Times at Fatal Spot

    During the course of their interrogations they learnt that that woman on three occasions had visited an allotment near the scene of the murder with Cumming, the last date being December 21. His mode of meeting was to arrange for her to be at the Dutton Park tram terminus at a certain time. They would then proceed to a vacant allotment on the eastern side of the gaol. That woman said Cumming used to remove his belt, to which were attached his handcuffs and keys, and place them aside. He would return to the city on a separate train.

    She mentioned the picture show incident, and about Stanley Cumming following her. She also told of a conversation she had with Stanley,

    ALLEGED CONVERSATION.

    Stanley said: "My father is no damn good; he has been causing a lot of trouble at home; a man ought to—— well do time for him." Stanley looked in the direction of the gaol.

    Witness visited the spot described by the woman as where the conversation took place, and found that there was aclear view of the gaol from there. Stanley Cumming denied that he made that statement to the woman.

    Inquiries were made concerning the woman's husband and his movements, and it was established that he was not in Queensland at the time.


    This Morning's Evidence


    Detective Henderson,'continuing his evidence this morning, said that the Mount Morgan woman detailed incidents when she met Cummong away from her house. From her description Cumming would have been on a similar position regarding his dress with her as his body was when found with Mrs. Walsh's.

    Cumming said to her that it was always better to get into an open paddock so that they could see anybody likely to come on them in surprise, and a man could then put up a fight. That, said witness, would show Cummming's tendency to go to open ground, and would dispel the idea that the bodies were put where they were found, as suggested by Mrs. Cumming.

    The Mount Morgan woman said further that she had received letters from Cumming in which he complained bitterly about the treatment he received at home from his wife and son (Sta ley), and that they had frequently threatened to shoot them.

    When at Mount Morgan on holidays on June, 1925, he said to her (she alleged) not to be surprised if he were shot, and that if he were shot it would be in the dark, and that it would be one of them, meaning his wife and Stanley.

    She said also that Cumming told her that they were giving him hell at home over her, and that Stanley had picked the lock of his box and found one of the letters she had written to him. Cumming said he always carried his keys, but he had shifted all his letters to the South Brisbane station and put them in his locker there.

    Detective Henderson said letters from that woman were found in the locker at the police station; also letters from various other women.

    Asked about revolvers, Detective Henderson told the Mount Morgan woman stated that Cumming told her that they (Mrs. Cumming and her son) had two revolvers at home.

    PASSIONATE LOVE FOR HIM.

    That woman said she had a passionate love for Cumming, and went so far to say she would have left her husband, and gone to live with him, only for the position he (Cumming) was in. Cumming's letters disclosed that he was fond of her.

    Detective Henderson next gave evidence about the test with Stanley Cumming's pistol, and what it revealed, as given in evidence by the witness Bauman. It was found that the cartridges picked up near the bodies had not beon fired from that pistol, Detective Henderson said.

    Witness next told of his questioning of the girl Clutterbuck, whose statement, he said, coincided with her evidence. .Miss Clutterbuck gave him butts of the theatre tickets. He made inquiries and found that the seats in the dress circle indicated on the tickets had been occupied on the night of December 23. The girl in the ticket box said the tickets wore sold on that particular night.

    A Yellow cab-driver bore out Stanley Cummlng's statement that he drove Stanley Cummlng towards Woolloongabba late that evening on his return home.

    INTERVIEW WITH MRS. CUMMING

    After questioning Miss Clutterbuck on Sunday, December 26, witness and Detective Campbell went to Mrs. Cumming's residence. Mrs. Cumming was in an excitable state of mind, and before entering into a conversation with witness, and Detective Campbell, she ordered David Cumming (brother of the late husband) to wait outside.

    "This has nothing to do with you, she said to David Cumming, "It is private business we are talking. Just wait outside."

    After telling witness that she was at her mother's place on the night of December 23, Mrs. Cumming said:

    "I am satisfied somebody from the underworld has done this (meaning the murder). All policemen have enemies. My husband was all that a husband could be in his own home. He never stopped out at night, and always gave me all his money. I am quite satisfied that he has been trapped into this. He would never go to a place like that with a woman in his uniform. He often told me that he had to visit that place round about the lock hospital on account of complaints having been received of fellows hanging about there.

    What I want to know is how the police did not find the bodies before daylight," Mrs. Cumming asked witness. "They could not have looked very far," she said. " You won't find the murderer on his side; you will find him on the woman's side."

    FROM ALL SIDES.

    Witness told her that they had to go into the matter from all sides. He said he understood that very searching inquiries had been made that night. There was no record of any complaints having been received at the police station that would cause the late Acting-sergeant Cumming to go to the locality where the shooting took place, he told Mrs. Cumming. He added: "As a mattor of fact I believe it is in the Woolloongabba Police Station area."

    Witness said Mrs. Cumming seemed to be very annoyed and was not very communicative.

    Stanley agreed to go to the C.I. Branch. He made a statement as given in evidence by him, but the writing of it was not completed. Stanley did not return to the office.

    Witness and Detective Campbell went to the house. He said to Mrs. Cumming: "We have come to see Stanley."

    "NO GOOD COMING HERE."

    Mrs.'Cummlng said: '"It is no good. your coming here. We have told you all we know about the thing. Nobody in this house did it. Why don't you go somewhere else, and look for the murderers?"

    Witness said: "We have to make every possible inquiry in this matter, and it is in the interests of Justice as well as your own interests that you should tell us everything you know."

    "GOT HIS DESERTS."

    Mrs. Cumming said: "I don't want Stanley to go near your office any more; You had him there over 10 hours on Sunday. As far as I am concerned I am finished with the ma ter. He has got his deserts (meaning her husband) and that is the end of it. I am not going near your office and am not going to say any more. I have had legal advice on the matter.

    Mrs. Cumming named a solicitor, who later assented that he gave Mrs. Cumming such advice.

    Mrs. Cumming said that the way you are coming here, it looks as if you are trying to make us out guilty.

    THE QUESTION OF GUILT.

    Witness said: We are not trying to make you out guilty, but your attitude now would not impress anyone that you are not guilty.

    Detective Henderson said other detectives were making inquiries elsewhere at that time.

    STANLEY CUMMING'S ALLEGED STATEMENT.

    Asked if he proposed to finish the statement, Stanley said; "No, I have seen a solicitor. I am not going to answer any more questions. You had me there long enough on Sunday, and I told you all I knew. I am just beginning to get my senses now; I am sorry I told you as much as I did. Why don't you go and get hold of some body else for the job? While you are questioning us here the murderer has gone free." ,

    Stanley later went to the C.I. Branch, but refused to answer questions.

    Mrs., Cumming at first refused further information, but on January 4, she said she was sorry she had taken up that attitude. She then made a statement.

    Detective Henderson said he had heard Mrs. Cumming in her evidence deny passages of the statement he said she had made.

    Inquiries were made regarding women, some married and some single, and their movements on the night of December 23 were investigated. The whereabouts on that night of others associated with those women were alsoinvestigated.

    CHRISTMAS CARD FROM MRS. WALSH.

    On the morning of December 21 a Christmas card addressed to Cumming was delivered at the South Brisbane Police Station. On it was a Brisbane post mark dated December 23. Underneath a small verse was "From Eileen." The writing was identified as that of Eileen Gladys Walsh.

    Nothing could be found of any immoral relationship between Eileen Gladys Walsh and anybody apart from Cumming. It could not be established that Cumming and Mrs. Walsh had met by appointment prior to December 23.

    Detective Henderson said information was obtained that two men were seen near the police station on the night of December 23, whose actions appeared to be suspicious. Those men had been located. It was found that they were waitigg for somebody, but not for Cumming.

    TIME OF SHOOTING.

    Replying to Mr. W. T. King, solicitor for Mrs. Cummlng and her son, Stanley, witness said the shooting appeared to have taken place between 9,15 p.m. and 10.40 p.m.

    Detective Henderson was being questioned by Mr. King when the inquiry was adjourned until 2.30 p.m.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article179475417
     
  10. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)
    Wednesday 15 June 1927

    DOUBLE MURDER EVIDENCE AT INQUIRY.

    LAW CLERK'S PRIVILEGES.

    Quite a stir was caused in the inquiry Court yesterday morning, when Gerald M'Grath, an articled law clerk, for a time refused to enter the witness
    box to give evidence in the Cumming- Walsh murder inquiry, claiming the privilege of the profession.

    Sub-Inspector Meldon's desire was to ascertain if it was true that M'Grath had advised Mrs. Cumming and her son Stanley not to give statements or answer questions put by the police.

    The inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Acting Sergeant Cumming and Mrs. Gladys Eileen Walsh, whose bodies were found in a reserve in South Brisbane on December 24, 1926, was resumed in the Inquiry Court yesterday before Mr. A. Staines, J.P.

    Mr. W. King appeared to watch the interests of the widow (Mrs. Cumming) and her son (Stanley). Sub-inspector M.G. Meldon examined the witnesses.

    Sub-inspector Meldon called Gerald M'Grath to the witness box, but M'Grath refused to take the box on the ground that he did not wish to disclose business concerning the office in which he was an articled clerk. He pleaded privilege as between solicitor and client. Mr. Staines, however, ruled that he should take the box, and he then agreed to do so.

    On the ground that he would be disclosing the firm's business, M'Grath refused to answer several questions put by Sub-inspector Meldon. He stated, how- ever, that he had called at the C.I. Branch to get particulars of a certain document or documents dealing with the late Marquis Cumming. His inquiries were regarding documents taken charge of by the police.

    Sub-inspector Meldon: Did Detective Henderson ask you any questions regarding Mrs. Cumming having told him that she would not answer any questions because you had advised her not to?

    Witness: To my knowledge, on the day I saw Detective Henderson, he did not ask me any question concerning Mrs. Cumming. The questions were about her son.

    In reply to a question by Sub-inspector Meldon as to whether he had seen Mrs. Cumming and her son together professionally after December 23, 1926, witness again pleaded professional privilege, and refused to answer. The question was allowed to stand over for a ruling from Mr. Staines.

    "I REFUSE TO ANSWER."

    Witness said he had told Detective Henderson that he did not advise Stanley Cumming not to make a statement to the police. Witness stated that when he had been at the C.I.B. neither Detective Henderson nor Sub-inspector Meldon had asked him questions about giving advice to Mrs. Cumming and her son on the matter of making statements or answering questions put by the police.

    Sub-inspector Meldon: Do you deny that I asked you anything about you having advised Mrs. Cumming and her son not to make a statement to the detectives or answer any question?

    -Yes.

    And if I go into the witness box and swear that I had I would be lying?

    -Yes, either that or your memory is tricking you,

    And the same applies to Detective Henderson?

    -The same answer would apply.

    Witness said he did not know that detectives had interviewed his father, Mr. W. .J. M'Grath, to whom he was articled, concerning Mrs. Cumming and her son, and did not know that his father had said there was no record in the books of them as clients. He refused to answer as to whether he had called at Finney, Isles, Ltd., to collect a professional fee from young Cumming.

    Sub-inspector Meldon: If Mrs. Cumming states, and is prepared to substantiate on oath, that you had advised her not to make any statement or answer any question regarding the murder, would she be correct?

    -I refuse to answer on the grounds of professional privilege, as before.

    Even though your client says that you gave her such instructions?

    -I again refuse to answer.

    PRIVILEGES DENIED.

    There were some differences of opinion in regard to the matter of privilege, and Mr. Staines upheld the witness's contention, in so far as to what transpired at interviews, but decided that witness could not withhold the fact of his having interviews.

    Witness then detailed the various occasions on which he had interviewed Mrs. Cumming and/or her son. Some of the interviews concerned the administration of the estate of the murdered man. In answer to Sub-inspector Meldon, he said he was unable to give details of the various interviews without his principal's consent. It was not that he would not do so.

    NO BOOK RECORDS.

    Detective Acting Sergeant James Henderson stated he had called on Mr. W. J. M'Grath, solicitor, the previous witness's principal, and was told that there was no record of the Cummings as clients in his books. Gerald M'Grath had spoken to him subsequently at the C.I. Branch regarding certain documents, and he (witness) had told him that Mrs. Cumming had said she had received advice from him not to answer questions from the police. M'Grath, said witness, denied having done so, and said he would not do such a thing.

    Witness said inquiries had been made to ascertain where the automatic revolver, which had been found near the bodies, had been purchased, and by whom, but without result. He denied that Stanley Cumming had been submitted to "Third Degree" methods. He and his mother were treated with every consideration. The statement was slanderous, unfair, and, untrue.

    In reply to a question by Mr. King, Detective Henderson stated that they had been unable to upset in any way the corroboration of Stanley Cumming's alibi, although they had made every investigation.

    The inquiry was adjourned until 10 a.m. next Friday.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21843648

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  11. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    [​IMG]


    Mr. .A. Staines, JP., presided.

    Mrs. Theresa Jane Cumming, recalled, said she consulted Mr. Gerald M'Grath about December 26.

    Sub-Inspector; Meldon: You told us you were advised by your solicitor not to answer any questions or make a statement to the police, is he the person who advised you?

    —Yes.

    Has he your permission to divulge the advice he gave you?

    —Certainly.

    Have you any complaint on behalf of yourself or son regarding the investigating detectives, of their Interviews with you and your son at the C.I. Branch?

    —None whatever.

    You did not suggest at tho inquiry that you had any complaint against .the detectives?

    —No...

    Mr. W. T. King (solicitor): You nre quite willing for Mr. M'Grath to give the details of any interview you had with him?

    —Yes, my interview with Mr. Grath was very brief.

    INSPECTOR MELDON'S STORY.

    Sub-inspector MartinJohn Meldon, officer in charge of the C.I.Branch, said about the end of December, 1926, Mr. Gerald M'Grath called at the C.I. Branch, and was shown into witness's office' by Detective Henderson. Mr. M'Grath told witness he was acting for Mrs. Cumming and her son, and that he desired to get some particulars regarding certain documents. During the course of conversation witness said--

    Mrs. Cumming and her son have informed the detectives that they will not go to the C.I. Branch or answer any further questions, or make a statement
    respecting the murder of her husband and the woman Walsh, stating you advised her to do so. Is that correct?

    Mr. M'Grath replied: No, I never gave her that advice.

    THIRD DEGREE ALLEGATION.

    Regarding a Sunday newspaper article to which he (Sub-inspector Meldon) referred on Tuesday last, he said the suggestion of third degree methods towards Stanley Cumming was not correct. As far as witness knew the paper in question had not been represented at the inquiry.

    The sub-inspector added that all the available evidence that would assist in throwing any light on the tragedy had been produced at the inquiry. Anything that cropped up during the inquiry had been investigated.

    Regarding Mr. M'Graths evidence, Sub-inspector Meldon said the suggestion that hos (Sub-Inspector Meldon's) memory would be tricking him or that he would be speaking untruthfully respecting the interview Mr. M'Grath had with him was not correct. As

    It was admitted by Mrs. Cumming and her son, Stanley, and given in evidence that Mrs. Cumming and Stanley, in refusing to give any further information at one stage, acted on the advice of her solicitor, it would be only natural for him (witness) to have inquiries made from Mr. M'Grath to ascertain if that wore correct. It was done. Mr. M'Grath admitted in part that it was done.

    MRS. HOWDEN'S EVIDENCE.

    Detective Acting-sergeant Henderson, re-called, said, in reply to Mr. King,, that he was satisfied that Mrs. Cumming acted on legal advice in refusing information. He had no reason to disbelieve the evidence of Mrs. Howden, mother of Mrs. Cumming.

    Answering Sub-inspector Meldon, witness said, in consequence of an anonymous letter received by him (Sub-inspector Meldon), he inter viewed a South Brisbane boarding housekeeper, and her son, but they were unable to give him any information.

    From those inquiries did you find anything to contradict in any way the evidence given by Josephine Clutterbuck?

    —No,

    Detective Henderson said the same people were interviewed on December 26, and they had no information to give.

    Sub-Inspector' Meldon: Any rumors that came to the office were investigated?

    —Yes.

    Replying to Mr. Staines, witness said, in looking for the missing belt, handcuffs, and keys; the Cumming home was thoroughly searched.

    To Mr. King: Searches also were made elsewhere.

    DETECTIVE'S THEORY.

    Mr. Staines: Have you any theory in regard to the missing, articles?

    Mr. King questioned if the witness had the right to theorise at the inquiry.

    Mr. Staines held that the question was in order.

    Detective Henderson said he had formed an opinion, and would give it for what it was worth. He thought the perpetrator or perpetrators of tho murder first secured tho belt attached to which were the handcuffs and keys before firing the shots. 'There was evidence that Cumming, when out with women he used to take off his belt, and it would probably be lying some distance away. It was reasonable to assume that there would be a weapon attached to it. Anyone out to do Cumming an injury might take the precaution of securing the belt, perhaps thinking that Cumming would be disarmed. The handcuffs might look like a revolver in the dark.

    Mr. King: If Mrs. Cumming said her husband never had the handcuffs attached to the belt would you be surprised to hear it?

    Detective Henderson said he had heard that Cumming's practice was to have tho handcuffs attached to the belt.

    COULD NOT DISBELIEVE EVIDENCE.

    DetectiveCampbell, recalled, said in reply to Mr. King that he could not disbelieve evidence given by Mrs. Cumming, Stanley Cummlng, Mrs. Cumming's mother, and Josephine Clutterbuck concerning movements on the night, of December 23.

    Mr. Staines said he proposed to adjourn the inquiry sine die.

    Inquiry Had Got Them Nowhere

    Mr. King said the Inquiry had led them nowhere, in that they were practically as far away as before in solving the mystery. On the night of the murder there must have been people in the reserve who might be able to throw some light on the matter. The scene of the murder was a place frequented by people—whether rightly or wrongly was their own concern— and he considered some inducement should be offered to them to give information which might elucidate the mystery. The Government should do its part, and, if necessary, offer a substantial reward with a view of getting information that would bring to Justice the perpetrator or perpetrators of the crime. Sometimes a reward had a magnetic effect. Information was obtained that would not be otherwise received. The police and Mr. Staines had done their duty to sift the matter, but were unable to go any further—valuable information might be obtained if the Government offered a reward.

    "DANGEROUS WEAPON."

    Mr. King said another matter that indelibly impressed itself upon him at the inquiry was the harm that could be done to innocent persons by (illegible) of the procedure that allowed the permissibility of hearsay, and irrelevant evidence. He (Mr. Staines) had nothing to do with that, as his duty was to control the factors, and forces as he had found them, but in his (Mr. King's) opinion the system under which he was working was wrong. Certain things had been said at the inquiry against Mrs. Cumming and her son, Stanley, which could not be said in the Police Court.


    AN OBSOLETE SYSTEM.

    "I have no quarrel with you at all," said Mr. King, addressing Mr. Staines. "You are Just administering an obsolete system."

    Mr. Staines said the Inquiry Court was not governed by the rules of evidence, with certain limitations, and he thought it would always be that way.

    Mr. King: Then it really means that you give a person a weapon to attack another, and damage his character. You give him a dangerous weapon.

    MATTER FOR LEGISLATURE.

    Mr. Staines said Mr. King's statement was a matter for the Legislature, and not him.

    The Inquiry was adjourned sine die. Sub-inspector Meldon said he would ask to have it reopened if tho occasion arose. His duty was to produce the evidence he had, and he had done that to the best of bis ability.

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article179476691
     
  12. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Daily Standard (Brisbane, Qld. : 1912 - 1936)
    Saturday 9 July 1932

    Cumming —Walsh Murder

    "Will It Ever Out?"
    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article182808386

    (article shows the case as still unsolved 10 years after the murders, and I can't find any more recent ones, more's the pity)

    WELL. That was a lot of articles. lol..

    The reason I re-type them all is that many are really hard to read due to poor copies or damage, so I thought it'd be good to have them up here in nice clear type.

    Dunno about you, but like sub-Inspector Meldon and co, I am seriously eyeballing Mrs. Cummings...
     

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