THE PITMAN – WALSH MURDERS

George Rehder

Copied and compiled by JD Schildmann

with the help of the Staff at the “Kalgoorlie Miner”

         Western Argus 18-5-26

         Search continued Wednesday morning.

         Pitman  and  Walsh missing since evening Tuesday 27 May 1926.

Inspector  Walsh  and  Sergeant  Pitman. 

         10 am arrived Millars Find  approximately  6-7  miles  along

         Coolgardie  Road  and approximately 1 1/2 miles south of main

         road.  Shaft approximately  60ft  deep.   Found  charred  and

         dismembered bodies of Pitman and Walsh.

         On   Tuesday  evening  Inspector  Condon,  Chief  of  Criminal

         Investigation Department, who has been  directing  operations

         was  informed by Messrs. Edwards and Brown that they were out

         driving in a sulky that afternoon when passing  a  shaft  at

         Millars  Find  about  6  1/2  miles  from  Kalgoorlie.  They

         noticed an awful odour coming from  the  excavation.   There

         was  also  a  swarm  of  flies  about the shaft which made it

         appear as though something dead  was  lying  at  the  bottom.

         They   had   no  means  however  to  make  an  investigation.

         Inspector Condon immediately made arrangements for Mr George

         Walker, of the Great Boulder Gold Mine,  to  drive  Detective

         Sergeant  Purdue  and  Constable Pight to the shaft.  A motor

         truck with all the necessary gear for making  a  descent  was

         commissioned  to  accompany  the  car.   The  services of two

         experienced miners, Messrs.  W  Batten  and  H  Harris,  were

         engaged to descend the shaft.

         Shortly  after  9am  the  party  set  off from the Detective

         Office  and  about  1/2  hour  drive  bought  them  to  their

         destination.   After examination of the tracks leading to and

         from the shaft, preparations were made for  a  descent.   The

         necessary  tackle  was rigged and a strong acetylene lamp was

         first lowered down the shaft, from which  a  sickening  odour

         was  coming.   The light revealed a quantity of what appeared

         to be bent and twisted pieces of iron.  Mr W Batten was  then

         lowered  down  the  shaft,  which  proved to be about 60 feet

         deep.  At the bottom he found the burnt and twisted pieces of

         iron were portions of a gold treatment plant.

         He first sent to the surface a circular furnace approximately

Crucible for melting Gold

         30 inches in diametre.  Then came a number  of  fire  bricks,

         several  of  which  were thickly splashed with gold.  He also

         discovered a pair of gold scales and weights, a Brace and Bit

         and a light saw with fine teeth.  The saw was encrusted  with

         blood.   He also sent up a large disc some 3 or 4 inches deep

         and about 15 inches in diametre, a pick head,  several  kero

Kerosene Tin

         tins and pieces of bag, partly burnt, were also discovered in

         the  shaft.   The  work  of removing these articles took some

         time because of the unbearabele odour, as  the  workers  could

         remain  underground  for  no more than 1/2 an hour at a time.

         They then had to be hauled to the surface to  be  revived  by

         the fresh air.

         When  the  whole of this material had been removed the miners

         discovered the dismembered and charred remains  of  Detective

         Inspector  Walsh  and  Sergeant  Pitman.   The  heads of both

         bodies had been sawn off.  The legs had been  sawn  off  just

         below  the  hips  and then again about the knees.  The trunks

         had also been sawn in halves.   It  appeared  as  though  the

         murderers  had  placed  the various portions of the bodies in

         the furnace in an attempt to destroy the  evidence  of  their

         crime.   The  bodies  were  badly  charred  and wrapped up in

         pieces of bag.  These gruesome parcels were  removed  to  the

         surface  and  those present will never forget the awful sight

         the dismembered  bodies  presented.   When  the  bodies  were

         discovered,  Sergeant Purdue dispatched word to Headquarters

         and Inspector Condon, Detective Sergeant McGinty and the

         District  Medical   Officer,  Dr S Matthews, proceeded to the

         scene.

         After the parcels containing the bodies had  been  bought  to

         the  surface  a  number  of  buckets of earth were hauled up.

         Amongst this were discovered a number of pieces  of  calcined

         bones  which  Dr Matthews identified as being portions of the

         skulls.  A large number of these  were  picked  out  and  the

         earth was then parcelled up and sent to Kalgoorlie.  The work

         of  bringing  the  remains  and other material to the surface

         occupied Messrs. W Batten and H  Norris  till  about  3.30pm.

         The  dismembered  portions  of the bodies, when bought to the

         surface, were laid out on filter  press  cloth,  awaiting  the

         arrival  of the Deputy Coroner and jury.  The police officers

         speak most highly of the work performed by Messrs.  W  Batten

All of the Body Parts were put in the back of the Truck to be taken back to Kalgoorlie!
Charred Body Parts

         and  H  Norris.  The flag at Kalgoorlie Town Hall was at half

         mast during the afternoon out of respect to  the  memory  of

         the deceased.

         SCENE OF THE DISCOVERY.

        

Desolate Landscape!

         The scene of the ghastly discovery is a desolate one.  It  is

         on   the   crest  of  a  saltbush  ridge,  stubbed  with  the

         occassional clumps of gums, about a mile from the foot of the

         “Seven Mile Hill” which lies to the west  of  Kalgoorlie  and

         about  1  1\2  miles  south from the Coolgardie Road.  A bush

         track leads off to the south at the six mile fork on the main

         road and after  crossing  the  Kurrawang-Kamballie  Woodline,

This is where the old Woodline used to be!
 Kurrawang-Kamballie  Woodline,

         climbs  the  ridge  and  goes within a few yards of the shaft

         where the unfortunate Detectives remains were found.

         Continuing on, the track leads to the gnamma  holes  and  the

         first red lake and then sweeps back to Boulder.  From the top

         of  the  dump  along side the shaft, away in the east, can be

         seen the white tops of the Horseshoe Dump and the black smoke

         from the Golden Mile mining plants.  The towns of  Kalgoorlie

         and  Boulder  are hidden by the high rise at Sommerville.  It

         is a lonely spot, but the silence of the bush was broken  all

         day  yesterday by the operations of the grim faced Detectives

         and assistants who were engaged in recovering the  bodies  of

         the murdered men.

Searching

                            Chapter2         

         Coroner:  Mr E McGinn

         Jurors:   John William Cook, William Minter and Robert Duncap

         John Joseph Walsh

         Alexander Henry Pitman

         Detective Sergeant Purdue

         Dr S Matthew D.M.O

         Minister for Justice:  Mr Wilcock

         J J Walsh:  Born Limrick, Ireland 14 February 1862

                     Queens College, Cork 1879

                     W.A. Police Force 1894

                     Mounted trooper York and Beverley

                     Gold escort to Southern Cross

                     1894 Coolgardie

                     1897 Perth

                     1900 Fremantle

                     1901 Kalgoorlie

                     1905 Fremantle

                     1908 Kalgoorlie

                     1912 Perth

                     1920 Kalgoorlie

                     1900:   Married Mary, daughter of Stephen Newell,

                             Imperial Army

         A.H. Pitman:  Born Rokewood, Victoria – age 53

                       Mounted   constable    Day – Dawn    Murchison

                       Lennonville

                       Plain clothes Fremantle

                       1908 Kalgoorlie

                       Married  Miss Fitzgerald – Farmer’s daughter at

                       Strawberry near Geraldton

         Evan Clarke: (32) England

                      Tattersall Hotel  Boulder,  Duke  of  York  (now

                      licenced as Cornwall Hotel)

                      Married to a Kalgoorlie girl and had 1 child.

         Philip John Treffene:  Born at Dunnelly, Victoria (51)

                                Came  to  the  Goldfields in 1895 as a

                                bicycle rider.  

Was  known  here  and

                                Eastern States in big handicap events.

                                Goaled  6 months for breaches of gold.

                                His wife had a confectioneers business

                                in Burt St.  She died some years  ago.

                                They had two sons and a daughter.

                                         Chapter 3.

         18 May 1926

         THEORY OF CRIME

        

Murder grabs the Headlines!

         Encounter with Gold Stealers.  Victims Shot or Bluddgened.

         From  all  apparents  the  ghastly  crime  was  committed far

         removed from where the bodies of Inspector Walsh and Sergeant

         Pitman were found.  The shaft and nearby surface workings had

         not been touched for years and apparantly  the  perpetrators

         of  the inhuman outrage drove up in a cart and selected it as

         a good spot as any to hide their frightful evidence of  their

         foul  deed.   The  cart tracks led to and away from the shaft

         coming and going in the direction of Kalgoorlie and  Boulder.

         There was also signs that there was one of the cartwheels had

         been chained and that the horses had dragged the locked wheel

         about for a lengthy period while browsing on the herbage.  At

         the bottom of the shaft in addition to the dismembered bodies

Charred body parts

         were  found fire bricks, gold scales, fire bars, tongs, pots,

         a furnace for treating ore and several other portions  of  an

         illicit  Gold  Treatment  Plant and several fire bricks were

         splashed with gold and must  have  some  considerable  value.

         From these sets the story of the crime can be built up.

         It  is  known  that  Inspector Walsh and Sergeant Pitman were

         watching a plant somewhere south  of  Kalgoorlie.   Seemingly

         they  set  out early on the morning of April 28, to watch the

         place and on arriving either rushed  the  gold  stealers  to

         arrest  them  or  were surprised when creeping up to see what

         was going on.  Apparently there was a desperate  struggle  in

         which  the  detectives  were struck on the head with terrible

         force or were shot and killed.  There seems to be  no  direct

         evidence  on the manner of their deaths, but the cold blooded

         pains taken by the desperate criminals to destroy  or  render

         unrecognizable  the heads of the unfortunate men leads to the

         assumption that the deaths were caused by  head  injuries  of

         some sort.  The victims heads were sawn off from the trunk of

         bodies  and  burned  in  a furnace.  All that was left of the

         skulls were a few calcined fragments of bone  to  which  were

         hanging  a  small  quantity of slag.  The arms and legs of the

         two men had also been sawn off and  attempts  had  also  been

         made  to destroy them in the furnace.  The foul murderers must

         have become frightened at this stage and hurridly packing the

         terribly mutilated remains in bags, loaded  them  on  a  cart

         together  with  their  plant and left the scene of the murder

         for a more secluded locality.  Arriving at  the  shaft,  they

         seemed  to have methodically lowered the bodies and the plant

         to the bottom of the 60 feet  hole,  packed  everything  down

“Millers Find” where the mutilated bodies were found

         tight  and then decamped.  It is probably the most brutal and

         revolting murder that has ever occured in this state.  It  is

         all  the  more  pathetic  because  of the fact that Inspector

         Walsh was 65 years old and was due to retire on  the  end  of

         the  year.   Sergeant  Pitman  also not well up in years, had

         been over 20 years on the Goldfields.  Both were married  men

         with  family.   It  is  hoped  that  the  inhumane fiends who

         committed this awful crime will be brought to justice.

         INQUEST FORMALLY OPENED

        

         Inquest proceeding to tragedy to open by the  Coroner, 

Mr E McGinn in the Kalgoorlie Courthouse at 3.30pm.

         Yesterday  afternoon  the  jurors,  Messrs John William Cook,

         William  Minter  and  Robert  Duncan  were   sworn   in   to

         investigate  the  deaths  of  John  Joseph Walsh and again in

         respect of Alexander Henry Pitman.  After being sworn in, the

         jurors were motored to the spot where the bodies were  found.

         The  jury men and Coroner were piloted by Detective Purdue to

         where human remains were covered by old sacks and the  bodies

         were inspected.  Detective Purdue also showed the Coroner and

         jury  men  the  pile of smashed up treatment plant which will

         furnish a tribute to be brought forward as  evidence.   Going

         to  the  collar of the shaft, Detective Purdue gave a general

         description of the shaft, the  manner  in  which  the  broken

         plant  had  been  deposited  upon  the  bags  of  remains and

         mentioned the existance of water in a  sloping  drive  of  no

         great  extent.   Grappling  hooks, he said, had been drawn to

         and fro in the water but nothing had been  found  during  the

         process of dragging.

Grappling Hook as was used to find more evidence of the gruesome murders!
Grappling Hook

         Having had their attention drawn to other details the coroner

         and   jury   returned  to  the  Kalgoorlie  Courthouse.   The

         proceedings  were  then  adjourned  since  the  post   mortem

         examination  by  the  Solicitor  Pathelogical Assistant.  The

         coroner directed Dr S Matthew D.M.O to  make  a  post  mortem

         examination  of  the  two bodies and he also asked the proper

         authority in Perth to obtain the service of a pathologist  to

         co-operate  with  the D.M.O.  The pathologist will be able to

         bring knowledge to bear in assembling the  dismembered  limbs

         so   as  to  preserve  the  identity  of  each  body  besides

         indicating the probable manner in which death was caused.

         WESTERN ARGUS, TUESDAY MAY 18, 1926.

         SEARCH FOR MURDERERS.  REWARD MIGHT BE OFFERED.

        

         The  Minister for Justice, Mr Wilcox, returned from Geraldton

         yesterday but has since been confined to his  room  suffering

         from  influenza.   He  stated  tonight  that  the question of

         offering a reward for the apprehension of the  murderers  has

         not yet been considered.

         THE LATE INSPECTOR WALSH.

        

INSPECTOR WALSH.

         The late Inspector Walsh was a son of the late James Walsh of

         Limerick,  Ireland,  where  he was born on February 14, 1862.

         Received his elementary education in  his  native  place  and

         subsequently  matriculated  at Queens College, Cork, in 1879.

         He studied medicine for two years but his health  broke  down

         and  he  left  his  native land for Australia.  After a short

         journey at Sydney, he continued  his  travels  to  Queensland

         where  he  was  associated  with station life for a couple of

         years.  At the end of that period he  joined  the  Queensland

         Police   Force  as  a  mounted  trooper  and  served  in  the

         department until 1887 when he resigned and spent  a  year  or

         two  travelling  throughout  different states.  Ultimately he

         settled in Sydney where he filled a position in a  commercial

         office for a time and in 1891, just after the declaration for

         responsible government for Western Australia, he came to this

         state  and  on  March  16  of  that  year  joined the Western

         Australian Police Force.  Until 1894 Inspector Walsh acted as

         a mounted trooper and was  stationed  at  York  and  Beverley

         where he discharged the duties of a Gold Escort from Southern

         Cross.   Early in 1894 he was transferred to Coolgardie where

         he opened and took control of the  Police  Station  remaining

         there from June to November when he became Inspector Clerk on

         the  same  field.   This position he held until 1897 when ill

         health compelled him to move to  Perth  and  he  entered  the

         Criminal  Investigation  Department   as   a   second   class

         detective.   He  was chiefly connected with office work until

         he was promoted to rank of First Class Detective and was in

         charge  of  the Fremantle Detective office until 1901 when he

         was sent to Kalgoorlie as officer in charge of  the  Criminal

         Investigation  Department  at that centre which he held until

         1905.  While here  he  received  promotion  to  the  rank  of

         Detective  Sergeant  which  was  the first appointment of the

         kind ever made in the State and was transferred to Fremantle.

         In January 1908 he returned to Kalgoorlie and in addition  to

         his  normal work performed the responsible work in organising

         and establishing the Gold Stealing Detection  staff  in  this

         district.   Two  years  later  in  July  1911,  Mr  Walsh was

         promoted to the rank of Sub-Inspector and continued  to  hold

         that  position until June 1912 when he was appointed Chief of

         the  C.I.D  at  Perth.   In   1920  he  was  transferred   to

         Kalgoorlie  where  he  took up the work he was engaged in at

         the time of his  death.   It  is  interesting  to  know  that

         Inspector Walsh always gave high testimony to the law abiding

         character of the pioneer prospector of the Goldfields.

         In  earlier  life,  the  late  Inspector  Walsh  was  a great

         sportsman and athlete and took an interest in  the  progress

         of  the  various  organizations for the promotion for outdoor

         recreation.  In 1900 he married Mary, the  daughterr  of  the

         late  Mr  Stephen  Newell  of  the Imperial Army and an early

         arrival in Western Australia.  He leaves a widow and  several

         children.

         THE LATE SERGEANT A.H. PITMAN

        

SERGEANT A.H. PITMAN

         Sergeant Alexander Henry Pitman was born at Rokewood Victoria

         in  1873  and  had  been a member of the W.A Police Force for

         about 28 years.  For some years he was engaged as  a  mounted

         constable  in the Murchison District,  being stationed at Day

         Dawn and Lennonville, later he  did  plain  clothes  duty  at

         Fremantle.   He was transferred to Kalgoorlie in 1908 and had

         since been  detained on the Gold  Detection  staff.   He  was

         married  for nearly 25 years to Miss Fitzgerald, the daughter

         of a farmer at Strawberry near Geraldton.  He leaves a widow,

         two sons and a daughter.

                                      4.

         WESTERN ARGUS 12 MAY 1926

         INTEREST IN PERTH

        

         The  disappearance of Detective Inspector Walsh and Detective

         Sergeant  Pitman  has  been  the  all  absorbing   topic   of

         conversation  since  Monday  and  it  was  thought  generally

         regarded as a foregone conclusion that they were no longer in

         the land of the living.  When the news came through today  of

         the  discovery  of  the  maimed bodies there was a universal

         feeling of horror.  Detective Inspector Walsh was  almost  as

         well  known  and respected in the metropolitan area as he was

         in the Goldfields.  Everybody who ever came into contact with

         him, passed a high tribute to his fairness and proverty.  His

         companion was not nearly as well  known  on  the  coast.   It

         seems  incredible  to  the majority of the people that such a

         long time was allowed to elapse before efforts were  made  to

         discover the whereabouts of the men.

         WESTERN ARGUS, 18 MAY 1926

         DETECTIVES MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE.

        

         Inspector  Walsh  and  Sergeant  Pitman.  No trace of missing

         men.  Search to be organized.

         The chief of the C.I.D, Inspector Condon who  is  engaged  in

         the  search for Inspector J.J Walsh and Sergeant A.H. Pitman,

         members of the Gold Stealing Detection staff, connected  with

         the  C.I.D  who  have  been missing since April 27 1926, when

         spoken to Monday night stated, Detective Sergeant Manning and

         O’Brian had been engaged throughout the whole of the day when

         they returned to Headquarters  at  nightfall,  they  reported

         that  they  had scoured the district south of Boulder and had

         made a large number  of  inquiries,  but  had  little  or  no

         progress  to  report  regarding to reaching a finality to the

         mystery.  During the day Mr Condon had received  offers  from

         various  persons  to  assist  in the search and in the way of

         providing motor  cars  and  rendering  what  ever  assistance

         possible.  A special meeting of the Chamber of Mines was also

         held  Monday  afternoon to discuss the matter and the meeting

         decided to render the Police whatever assistance lie in their

         power in an endevour  to  locate  the  missing  men.   It  is

         understood  that  the  Chamber  has  offered  to  supply  the

         Department with a number of cars, should a general search  be

         decided  upon.   The  disappearance of the two detectives was

         discussed in every nook and corner of Kalgoorlie and  Boulder

         on  Monday  and  dozens  of  different theories were advanced

         towards the solving of the mystery.  During the  morning  the

         idea  was  held  by  many  that  Inspector Walsh and Sergeant

         Pitman were engaged  in  work  that  might  have  taken  them

         outside  their usual sphere and that they were in such places

It would be very hard to find someone without getting lost yourself!

         as St Ives, Celebration or even Norseman. 

However as the day

         wore on and no tidings were received of the missing  men  the

         matter became a more serious aspect.  Feelings were expressed

         that  they might have lost their bearings in the bush.  But a

         statement yesterday was made regarding both men as  excellent

         bushmen and knew that country thoroughly and for miles around

         therefore little evidence could be given to that idea. Should

         however this idea prove correct, little hope could be allowed

         for  them to be found alive.  Owing to the severe cold nights

         experienced during  the  past  fortnight.   It  was  reported

         unofficially  that  Inspector  Walsh and Sergeant Pitman were

         seen on the morning  of  the  28th  of  April  1926,  in  the

         vicinity  of Celebration, some miles south of Boulder.  Again

         it was thought that they were watching some  plant  south  of

         Kalgoorlie.  It was learned when an entry was sought into the

         camp  which  was occupied by Sergeant Pitman, it was found as

         if the occupier had made a hurried exit.  This would lead one

         to believe that the two missing men  had  set  off  on  their

         journey  early  of  the  morning  of  the 28th of April 1926.

         Owing to the time that has elapsed since the disappearance of

         the two detectives, it would be virtually impossible to  pick

         up  any  definate  tracks.   Five  points  of  rain have been

         registered at the  Kalgoorlie  Post  Office  since  then  and

         exceptionally  strong winds have been blowing since that day.

         Several stories have been circulated  to  which  some  regard

         might  be paid.  One which was expressed by many was that the

         men might be engaged that in some old workings and  may  have

         been  buried  by  a  fall  of  ground. 

Take care where you walk.

It is alleged that in

         pursuing their inquiries these men were often called upon  to

         descend  apparently  old shafts to explore old workings in an

         endeavour to locate clues which might assist them in any case

         on which they would be engaged.  As is generally known,  the

         ground  in  these  old  drives,  slopes  and  passes when not

         attended  for  any  length  of  time,   become   particularly

         dangerous  and  the  slightest movement might cause a fall of

         earth.  Again old ladders are particularly  unsafe  and  they

         might  have  met  their  end  descending one of these shafts.

         Then foul air may have been encountered within some of  these

         old  workings  and the detectives may have been unable to get

         out.  The discovery of the mens missing bicycles would  be  a

Bicycle hidden in the shrub

         big  step  in  locating  the mystery because the machines, if

         discovered, would almost certainly  be  in  the  vicinity  of

         workings  where  thses  men might have met their death.  Many

         people are possessed with the idea that the  detectives  have

         been  victims  of foul play and many opinions have been aired

         as to the way in which they have been murdered.   The  duties

         which  befall members of the Police Force make them unpopular

         with the small criminal class,  more  particular  with  those

         most  deeply  interested in any case on which police might be

         concerned.  Both Inspector Walsh  and  Sergeant  Pitman  were

         regarded as most conscientious and anybody engaged in illicit

         transactions  of gold received little considerations of these

         men.  They were incredibly incredulous and for  this  perhaps

         they  incurred  the  ill  favour of a certain section, a very

         small one no doubt.  The opinion has been heard expressed  by

         some  men  of  this  class  that  should  they  ever  get the

         opportunity they would feel for the detectives.  However, the

         theory that they were waylayed and not murdered is never  the

         less  not  worthy  of any great consideration.  A more likely

         theory however, and one which has been heard  expressed,  was

         that  Walsh  and Pitman may have come across some plant where

         gold was in the process of being treated.   They  might  have

Gold poring

         rushed  the  plant  and as soon as they were seen, one of the

         workers at  the  plant  might  have  fired  or  perhaps  even

         wounding  or perhaps even killing one of the detectives.  The

         miscreants  then  realizing  the  positon  they  had   placed

         themselves  in  and seeing that if the other detective should

         return to town, their chances of escaping the long arm of the

         law was very small and decided to do  away  with  the  other.

         Should  this  prove  the  case, the detectives engaged on the

         case have a particularly difficult case  ahead  of  the.   If

         this is right, the murderers have had a fortnight on which to

         cover up their tracks and possibly make their get-a-way.  The

         bodies  and  the  bicycles  of the unfortunate men could have

         been thrown down an abandoned  shaft  or  even  carried  many

         miles away and buried.  The possibility that they were caught

         watching  some  plant, shot on sight, is somehow far fetched.

         However, so far these are but suspicions, none the less as no

         tidings what so ever have been received of  these  men  since

         the  27th approximately, it begins to assume a serious aspect

         and anything is possible.  It  was  also  rumoured  yesterday

         that  the  bicycles  used  by the missing detectives had been

         found in an abandoned shaft at a depth of 120 feet  but  this

         report  was  unfounded.   In  quite  a  lot of cases in which

         members of the  Gold  Stealing  Detection  staff  have  taken

         action,  it is said that they have had an informant and it is

         thought that perhaps the person who informed the missing  men

         regarding  the  case  on which they were later engaged, might

         give the detectives some  point  from  which  a  start  might

         possibly  be  made.   Late  Monday  night  Sergeant Pitman is

         reported to have been seen 9 miles out from Boulder along the

         Celebration Road.

         Inspector Walsh and Pitman were held in  the  highest  esteem

         and the news of their mysterious disappearance has occasioned

         the  widest concern and the investigating detectives, hourly,

         have been receiving offers of assistance.   Scores  of  motor

         car  owners  intend to go out this morning in an endeavour to

         solve this mystery.

                                      5.

         DIFFICULT TASK

        

         Little or no headway was made Tuesday in solving the  mystery

         of   the  disappearance  of  Detective  Inspector  Walsh  and

         Sergeant Pitman.   The  two  members  of  the  Gold  Stealing

         Detection  staff,  who have been missing since the evening of

         Tuesday April 28th 1926.  Early on Tuesday morning  Detective

         Sergeant  O’Brian and Manning accompanied by a black tracker,

         set  off  in  a  motor  car  in  a  westerly  direction  from

         Kalgoorlie  and  a  large number of shafts and tracks between

         Kalgoorlie  and  Bindoolie  were  examined,  but  when   they

         returned  at nightfall they had nothing to report which would

         tend to throw any light on the mystery.

         During  the  morning,  Inspector  Condon,  who  is  directing

         operations,  organized  a  search party with the idea that an

         extensive search might  be  made  of  the  country  south  of

         Boulder.   The  party  which  was  composed  of  about 30 men

         including several members of the Police force, set out  in  7

         motor  cars  from  the  detectives office Kalgoorlie at about

         1.30pm.  The  party  was  in  charge  of  Detective  Sergeant

         Purdue,   who   arrived   from  Perth  yesterday  morning  to

         participate in the search.  Another member of the  party  was

         Constable  Pight  of  Boulder,  who was at the time associated

         with Inspector Walsh and Sergeant Pitman on the Gold Stealing

         Detection staff.  The party proceede  along  the  Celebration

         Road to Mount Robinson where the first hold was made. 

Area near Mt Robinson

One of

         the  cars  was then sent back along the road and branched off

         to a mine track at the point about 6 miles from  Boulder  and

         proceeded  in  a  south-westerly  direction for a distance of

         about  14 miles. Two other cars were stationed where the hold

         was made and the occupants were instructed to conduct a search

         in the vicinity of the road.  The other cars were  halted  at

         various   stages  along  the  road  and  the  occupants  were

         instructed to search the country  on  either  side  on  which

         should  they  discover  anything  with which they consider to

         have any bearing on the case they were ordered not to touch or

         disturb it but to report the matter to Headquarters.

         MISSING MENS WIVES:  Perth May 11th 1926.

        

         Both Mrs Walsh and Mrs Pitman cling to the hope that  all  is

         well  with their husbands, though naturally they are awaiting

         news  with  great  anxieties.   Mrs  Walsh   told   a   press

         representative  today that she heard from her husband about a

         week before he left Kalgoorlie on his  last  expedition.   He

         mentioned  a  probable  trip to which she understood would be

         made to a spot about 30 miles from  Boulder.   In  travelling

         they  often took roundabout routes for their trade of secrecy

         and they would leave their bicycles about  a  mile  from  the

Their Bicycles were hidden in the surrounding Bush.

         suspected  place.   Her  husband  placed  a great reliance on

         Sergeant Pitman and she could not  think  that  mischief  had

         befallen them.  From what she knew she did not think that the

         men  with whom her husband dealt with would use violence.  At

         the worst perhaps they had been discovered watching and  were

         being  held until the work was finished.  Mrs Pitman was also

         very hopeful.  Her husband was a strong  man  and  would  take

         care  of himself.  He never talked much about his work at home

         but she remembered him mention an investigation  to  be  made

         beyond  Kunanulling.  On a previous occasion during a trip to

         that district he had been away from home  a  fortnight.   She

         received  a letter from him on April 25th in which he said he

         was going into the bush for 2 or 3  days.   Probably  he  was

         still on the trail of a gang.  Once he had found the trail he

         would  keep at it.  There might have been an accident but she

         did not think it would have any effect on both men.  She  was

         trusting to hear good news from the search parties.

                                        Chapter 6.

         Tuesday, May 25th 1926.

         THE MURDER MYSTERY

        

         The   Search   For  The  Murderers.   Large  Reward  Offered.

         Yesterday’s Search Unsuccessful.

         The tragic end of Inspector J.J  Walsh  and  Sergeant  Pitman

         was  the  sole  theme  of discussion on all sides on Tuesday.

         Many theories were advanced as to how the unfortunate men had

         come to their deaths.  Feeling is particularly strong against

         the  fiendish  perpetrators  of  the  crime.   On   Thursday,

         Detective  Sergeant’s  O’Brian  and  Manning, in company with

         Mounted Constable Goldie and two black trackers, were engaged

         in tracking operations in the vicinity of the shaft in  which

         the remains were found, but their investigations gave no very

         definate  result.   Detective  Sergeant  Purdue  had his time

         occupied in sorting out the material that was brought out  of

         the  shaft.   Naturally,  the result of his work, whatever it

         may have been, is not likely to  be  made  public  until  the

         proper time.  Rumours of an arrest were in circulation during

         the  day,  however, enquiries made by Inspector Condon, Chief

         of the C.I.D who has the whole matter in hand,  fully  stated

         that  these  reports  were  unfounded.   Up to a late hour on

         Thursday night, no arrest had been made  in  connection  with

         the  case  and no important developments appeared to have had

         occured which might tend  to  lead  to  the  solving  of  the

         mystery.

         TRACKING OF THE MURDERERS.

        

         Difficulties in the Way.  Fortnight on Trail.

         Early  Thursday  morning,  Detective  Sergeants  O’Brian  and

         Manning left Kalgoorlie for the scene of the discovery of the

         bodies  of  Inspector  Walsh  and  Sergeant  Pitman.   In  an

         endeavour   to   pick   up  and  follow  the  tracks  of  the

         perpetrators  of  this  awful  double  murder.    They   were

         accompanied  by  Mounted  Constable  Goldie  and  two  native

         trackers, Tommy and Sambo.  Soon after arriving at the  shaft

         a  start  was  made  but the rush of morbid sightseers to the

         locality had so cut up  the  country  that  the  work  of  the

         trackers  was increased thence forth and in addition to that,

         it must not be forgotten that the traces of  the  crime  were

         already  weathered and worn by the fortnights exposure to sun

         and wind.  Working patiently and carefully, the leader of the

         party   followed   up   several   tracks   but   all    ended

         unsuccessfully,  mostly  in dead ends while some doubled back

Police and Volunteers were looking everywhere

         to the shaft.  Apparently the murderers took every precaution

         not to be pursued by means of their tell tale trail  and  the

         crossing  and  re-crossing  of  their  part  tracks  and  the

         frequent  circuling back to the shaft made the task an almost

         impossible one.  At the end of the strenuous  day,  Sergeants

         Manning  and  O’Brian  had very little to report and no fresh

         development had occured which would help the police in  their

         efforts to apprehend the murderers.

Condemned prisoners William Coulter and Phillip John Treffene – execution of.

1926-10-12 – 1928-05-21 (Accumulation)

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