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Port Philip Herald
24 March 1892


(From the "Argus" Special Reporter)

Perth, Wednesday.
The proceedings for the extradition of Williams have ended as I surmised yesterday. The remand to Melbourne has been granted after a protracted hearing in the police court, during which the question of the authenticity of the warrant and the identification of the prisoner were subordinated to a mass of extraneous evidence, but it may be said at once that all hope of getting the accused away by the Balhurst (?) on Saturday is at an end, and that the departure will be delayed until the following Friday. Mr. R S Haynes proposes to accompany him to Melbourne.

On the remand to Melbourne being granted, Mr. Haynes gave notice of appeal to three grounds. It is presumed that he will now apply to the Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus to delay the departure of the prisoner, and as the warrant will probably be served today the departure of the accused is almost certain to be delayed until next week, when Mr. Haynes has arranged to visit Melbourne himself.

In the meantime the prisoner preserves his customary contemptuous demeanor and stoutly proclaims his innocence. One thing may now be considered as certain. He is fully aware not only of the main materials of the present case, but also of the discovery at Rainhill and all that has happened since. To all outward seeming this knowledge has not the slightest effect upon him.

Detective Cawsey, through a private channel, has been informed that Williams has been urged to make a confession, and that his confession is of so terrible and startling a nature that it seems almost inconceivable. According to this statement, Williams, in a conversation with one of those privileged to see him, confessed himself guilty not only of the Rainhill murders, but of the last murder of the series attributed to Jack the Ripper.

(From the "Argus" correspondent)

Perth, Wednesday.
The hearing of the application for the remand of Deeming, alias Swanston, to the custody of the Victorian detective came on today at the police court. Mr. Cowan, P.M., presided, and adjudicated alone, but a large number of honorary justices were present, who took their seats on the Bench, but no part in the proceedings. Every available portion of the courthouse was so crowded as to leave scarcely standing room. All the windows were crowded on the outside, and the vicinity of the courthouse was thronged.

Swanston, when he entered the courthouse, looked thinner, and occasionally wore a haggard and hunted expression on his face. As a rule, however, he kept his features well under control, and barely moved a muscle when looked at until Mr. Hirschfeldt gave his evidence. Swanston's face then settled into a scowl, and he scarcely removed his eyes from the witness. He smiled occasionally at what he considered points made by his counsel. His chief betrayal of restlessness was when he caught anyone engaged in making a sketch of his features, and to prevent them doing this he frequently changed his position.

The proceedings were of a very formal character, and were conducted by Inspector Waldock on behalf of the Crown, Mr. R S Haynes appearing for the prisoner.

Detective Cawsey went into the box and produced the original warrant.

Mr. Haynes objected, on the ground that the figure 1892 had been altered to 1891.

The objection was disallowed.

Detective Cawsey proved that the warrant was issued by Mr. Nicholson, P.M. He stated that he arrested the prisoner on that warrant on the previous day. He then produced a "Police Gazette" of 1883, notifying the operation of the Fugitive Offenders Act, Victoria, and referring to the "Government Gazette" of that colony for the same month.

Mr. Haynes objected to this summary evidence of the operation of the act, but he was overruled. Later on a copy of the "Government Gazette" of Victoria was produced, to which Mr. Haynes again objected on the ground that primary evidence could not be given after secondary evidence had been taken.

The objection was disallowed.

In cross examination, Detective Cawsey stated that he did not know as a fact that the name of the murdered woman was Emily, but, that there was some doubt whether her name was Emily or Nellie.

Mr. Haynes endeavored to make him swear that her name was Emily, but Detective Cawsey refused to be bound down.

Mr. Hirschfeldt deposed to the voyage in the Kaiser Wilhelm from England to Melbourne, this account being similar to that already published in the papers. He identified the prisoner in the dock as the man who was his fellow passenger on the vessel.

In cross examination by Mr. Haynes, witness said that when he saw Swanston in the lock up in company with others, he picked him out at once. He did not know the other men, but he would know them again if he saw them.

This concluded the evidence.

Mr. Haynes moved that the prisoner be not remanded into the custody of the Victorian police, upon the grounds that the provisional warrant was bad in form, that the prisoner had been wrongly arrested, and that the original warrant was bad, being without a seal; that there was uncertainty in the description of the murdered woman, as she was called Emily in one and Nellie in the other. Lastly, he opposed the remand on the ground that Mr. Hirschfeldt's evidence of identification was insufficient to show that the Williams mentioned in the warrant and the Swanston in the dock were the same person.

The magistrate decided against Mr. Haynes on every point, and remanded Swanston to the custody of Detective Cawsey.

Mr. Haynes gave notice of appeal.

Swanston was then removed to the Waterside lock up in a covered carriage van. As he stepped out of the police station adjoining the courthouse and made his way through the crowd several women abused him in round terms, and as he drove away the crowd hooted and groaned him.

In the course of his address to the bench Mr. Haynes assured the Court that the foreign telegrams relating to the murder which had appeared in West Australia were all wrong.


Returning home from a visit to Melbourne a few years ago, being then resident on my small station between Dandenong and Carrum, and extending around Frankston, my wife met me at the entrance gate to tell me that a stranger, a young Englishman, recently come to the colony and very rich, was indoors. Further, that he had been attracted to the colony by hearing that the land thereabouts was charted for sale by the Crown, and he had come to see me and enquire about it, and had generously offered to purchase any of the sections I wished to retain, and give me my own time to repurchase them from him at moderate interest. I had been absent some days. It had been proposed, and he had acquiesced, that he should remain our guest until my return. With this prefatory statement I was introduced to the fellow, and noting that he, a thickset, short and brown haired man of fairly pleasant features, wore a rather shabby suit of tweed, and that he had no other change of linen than he might have carried in his pockets, I instinctively doubted his bona fides. However, the ladies of my household, including a lady help who had been with us some years, were credulous enough to believe in his asseverations respecting his won and his father's - an English squire - wealth. I forget the name he gave as his own, but he stated he had purchased a fine property on the Upper Plenty, where he intended breeding thoroughbred horses and shorthorn cattle, valuable sires having been sent him from his father in England. All he wanted to complete his felicity there was a wife, and he had made such good use of his opportunity that our young lady and he were all but engaged. He had fascinated her with prospect of a life of wealth and was for herself and her aged mother for whom he said he had on his property a handsome carriage sent out, he said recently by his father to him, lined with white satin and drawn by the finest pair of carriage horses he had been able to purchase in Victoria. I reminded the lady that unless I was greatly at fault she was engaged already, and her reply was that engagement was only a dernier (?) resort, fearing she would otherwise be on the shelf for life, and no affaire de coeur. She had now written her former a lover a letter she asked me to post for her breaking off the match, as best for both parties. I was just riding off to our post office, at some miles distance, at first intending to merely write to some of the references our guest named to make enquiries, but on his stating that he had been shipping horses to New Zealand, through Campbell and Co., now of Kirk's Bazaar, I determined to start back at once to Melbourne to interview these gentlemen. It was with difficulty I prevailed on the lady to await my investigations before committing herself. Perhaps ladies long resident in the bush are more credulous or more receptive to amorous wooing than city bred young damsels. I have been a recluse for so many years that I am not informed on such questions, but it was with difficulty that I obtained her permission to retain her letter, calculated to break her first suitor's heart, until I had sifted her second's pretensions. Alas! The result of an interview with Campbell and Co., Matthew McCaw and others, with whom the fellow stated he had been transacting business, demonstrated that he was a thorough impostor, and worse, for he had just served a sentence of three years in Pentridge. Prior to visiting my station he had been at the late Wm Lyall's Toocaulin (?) station, and his boldness of assertion there as to his intimacy with individuals in good position in the colony, and his and his alleged father's wealth, had so beguiled William Lyall that an agreement to sell his station and stock thereon to him was signed, the delivery to be effected on a stated day, when the cattle were being mustered before it was discovered that the proposed buyer is wanted. Consequent on this, Mr. Lyall's emissaries were searching for the pretender and had learned all his disreputable history, and when my description of my guest and his statements were recited I was at once informed of the full particulars. On my return home, nearing my homestead, I met the loving pair, and making as if to avoid meeting, the lady left her companion's side and approached me. I took no notice of him, and that was the last I saw of him. I simply said: "I did not post your letter." She turned round as if to upbraid the fellow, but he was off through the tree scrub, and we heard nothing further of him. He took with him, however, as it was afterwards ascertained, a shepherd's Sunday unmentionables, containing his watch, for he was noticed as wearing them that day. Since date of this adventure, this man (if Williams) has had time to spend many years in Queensland and other places. It is a striking feature in the narrative of Williams's life history and his many successive efforts to entrap the fair sex into matrimony with him, their credulity in his protestations and actual standing so frequently manifested. But this is apparently no new trait in the fair sex. Many years ago I mentioned to mutual friends that a lady relative was about to be married to a gentleman in the Civil Service. They exclaimed at once that I must be misinformed for her intended was a married man; and some few months, or year or two, previously had advertised that he would not be responsible for debts thereafter incurred by his wife. I spent days looking for this advertisement in vain and then offered a guinea for its discovery in the "Argus." When confronted with it the bigamous wooer made the trumpery excuse that his wife being on Sydney streets was dead to him. This it would appear maids wishful to marry are too credulous.

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       Suspects: Frederick Bailey Deeming