One took his own life, and the other had hers tragically taken from her.
Henry Pollington, aged 73
21 March 1924
On the evening of 20 March, 1924, Henry had supper with his family. At the time his son Arthur went to bed, Henry was still awake, reading a book. His bedroom was located directly below his son’s, and Arthur did not recall hearing anything strange during the night.
The following morning, on 21 March, Arthur and his family were up, eating breakfast. They were commenting that Henry had not joined them, and how strange it was as he was normally the first person awake. Arthur’s young daughter offered to take Henry a cup of tea, but Arthur stopped her, saying that no doubt he would no doubt be awake shortly.
A short while later, when Henry had still not appeared, Arthur started to wonder if something may have happened to his father. He went to his bedroom and opened the door, and that was when he found him.
Henry was clad only in his underwear, and was suspended by a stout blind cord, together with a silk scarf, which had been wound around his neck, with the other end attached to the bed post. The rest of the room was in perfect order. Everything was in its set place. The bed had not been slept in, but the sheets and blankets had been folded down as if to prepare Henry for sleep. Henry’s head was pointing along the side of the bed, facing upwards, with his feet resting on the floor.
There was no indication that Henry was depressed in any way, but the evidence speaks for itself and death was ruled suicide by dislocation of the neck.
Hilda Beryl Jones, aged 16
17 March 1924
Adelaide, South Australia
All appearances suggested that Hilda and Bert were very happy. He was accepted by Hilda’s family, with her father saying that he did not think he could like a boy as he liked Bert. Through their courtship, their parents had become close friends. The night before Hilda’s murder both Bert and Hilda seemed exceptionally happy in each other’s company.
At around 1:50pm Thomas Stanton Young, a work colleague of Hilda’s, was in his office enjoying his lunch, when he heard a loud gunshot.
In his words: “I went to my door and walked into the passage. I went toward the office from where the sound came. I saw Neal at our general office door as I approached. I knew Neal by sight… Neal had a rifle in his hand, but was not holding it shoulder high. I was about 10 feet away. I said to Neal ‘What has happened? What is the matter?’ Neal was apparently motionless and did not move the rifle. I went towards Neal, but he motioned me back. He did not speak to me. I then went and rang up for the police.
The muzzle of the rifle was pointing down the passage, which was in my direction. I saw Neal leaning against the counter talking to Miss Jones a few minutes before the tragedy. The rifle was leaning against the counter of Neal’s left side. I did not see Miss Jones at all I did not hear any conversation.”
When the police arrived, Bert collapsed and passed out. The police recovered the rifle together with a cartridge shell lying in Hilda’s lap. Her body was lying on its back. There was a considerable amount of clotted blood on the floor and under her body. Brain substance was splashed on the wall and skull fragments were found in an adjoining room.
Bert was charged with Hilda’s murder. He allegedly stated that he was infatuated with Hilda and became insanely jealous at the thought of anyone else having her. He killed her so nobody else could ever ‘get her’.
Bert was found Not Guilty by way of insanity, and was confined to the criminal ward of a mental hospital until “the pleasure of the Governor be known”.
Put together by Ashley Hall 2014