Friday, November 18, 2016

Gertrude Mabel Heaydon

Gertrude Mabel Heaydon was born a native of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. She was a member of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and served in France for 3 years This is when she met her husband Alfred Ernest Heaydon, who was in the A.I.F. in England from 1917-18.

They were married in 1919 and in 1922 they had a 2-year-old child, and Gertrude was 3 months pregnant with their second child when she went missing in Sep of 1922.

Alfred stated to the police he and his wife had an argument and she had packed a suitcase and said she was going to take care this, Meaning the unborn baby. Neighbors stated they saw the couple talking but did not see Gertrude with a suitcase and according to her family, she would never have left her child unless she was coming back.

Alfred wrote letters to Gertrude's sister Hilda and her father stating she died of heart problems. This concerned her family because she had never had problems with her heart before. He was also telling other people different stories.

The police were suspicious and started an investigation. 

This lead them to a 41-year-old man named Philip Riley who was a clerk.  Ellen Kreigher 26 a cleaner, Mary Hughes Taylor a nurse and Francis Stainsbury Wallis Taylor a 33-year-old clerk.

Here are some newspaper articles about the events the transpire. 
Charge Against Heaydon.
Alfred Ernest Heaydon, aged 32 years, one
of the four perBons arrested recently on
charges arising out of the death of his wife,
Gertrude Mabel Heaydon, at Coogee in October
last reappeared at the Central Police Court
yesterday. The public portion of the court
was crowded when the following charge was
preferred against him:
"That Mary Hughes or Taylor did at
Coogee, near Sydney, on or about the third
day of October, 1922, feloniously murder ono
Gertrude Mabel Heaydon, and that Alfred
Ernest Heaydon, well knowing the premises,
and also woll knowing the nnme and person
and usual place of resort of the said Mary
Taylor or Hughes, but devising and Intend-
ing as much as In htm lay to obstruct and
hinder the due course of law and JuBtlce,
and to cause the said Mary Taylor or Hughes
to go and escapo unpunished tor the said
offence, afterwards, to wit, on or about
October 3, 1922, near Sydney, unlawfully,
maliciously, wickedly, and wilfully did con-
ceal, keep secret, and neglect to discover the
felony so committed by Mary Taylor or
Mr. R. D. Meagher (Instructed by R. D.
Meaghor, Hogarth, and Co.) appeared for
the accused, Mr. Kidston, of the Crown Law
Department, prosecuted.
Mr. Meagher said that the offence with whlcn
his client was charged was not recognised by
law. According to authorities who were re-
garded ns the main writers on the question,
the offence which was known as "mlsprlsion"
had fallen Into desuetude in Great Britain.
As originally known, the offenco was about
700 years old, and wns doalt with at a period
when his namesakes were Kings of England.
Ho could, however, find nothing relating to
tbe matter In the leading Australian books
on crime, whloh showed that It wns as extinct
as the dodo. Quoting from the Encyclopaedia
of the Laws of England, Mr. Meagher showed
that there were two forms of mlsprlsion
tronBOn and felony. Mlsprlsion of treason hod
fallen Into disuse long ago. He asked that
the Court, In the circumstances, should not
exhumo a law which was now obsolete. In
common law tho offence was a dlsdemeanour
punishable by fine or Imprisonment. Tho lost
case he could find occurred in England 6S
yoars ago.
Tho Magistrate: That IB not so very long
Mr. Mengher: It seems strange that we
should go back to tho days of the thumbscrew
engineer and the witch-burners. This charge.
Uko the appendix, has become obsolete,
Tho Magistrate: It mny bo obsolete, but It
is still tho law, and I must hoar the case.
Detective-Sergeant Lynch said that about
10.30 a.m. on July 11, with Detective Garllck
nnd Sergeant Alexander, he went to RoBOvillo
by motor ear. After a short conversation
witness told Heaydon they had boon making
Inquiries regarding his wife, nnd ? asked him
to necompany them to pollco headquarters to
assist them, if possible, in their investiga-
tions. Heaydon's mother asked whether they
wore going to charge her son with any offenco.
Witness replied In the negative. A room which
accused said he occupied was then searched.
At pollco headquarters Heaydon Bald that ho
was prepared to assist tho police all he could.
Ho then mnde a stntement, which witness
Heaydon salt!, in lils statement, flint ho wns an ore*
member of tile A.I.F., nnd wns in England in 1917-18,
when he carno In contact with his wife, who resided ni
300 Tyiicdnlo-road, Nevveastle*on-Tyne (England). Until
tho time of lils wife's disappearance they resided nt
Manly, A few days before Klght-liour Day last year
his wife wns In the Ant with him tit about dusk, when
she said she wns going nut to seo n friend. On the
night slio left she wns nbout three months' pregnnnt.
She hud snld Hint she Intended taking certain action.
Defendant said to Ivis wife, "Von uro going to do
nothing of the kind," nnd some little argument ensued.
He then accompanied lils wire ns fnr ns the .Manly bont,
and kept pressing tor the nnmes of the friends to whom
she was going. She would not tell him. She then
bonrded tile Manly bont nbout 8 o'clock, nnd accused
returned to look after lils baby boy. She did not
return that night, nntl he had tint seen her since. He
did not report her missing to the police, because he
did not want any publicity. Ho thought Hint nothing
serious could have happened, otherwise lier body would
have been found, and he lind never since seen In the
pnper where nnybotly lind been found. At the time
she left she did not hnve a bnnking nccount, nor did he.
About Jtnrch this year ho wrote to his wife's sister
advising her Hint her sister hntl died. He did this to
shut oir the correspondence. When his wife went nvvny
she took a little leather suitcase with her. He did not
know what it contained, lie told IIIB parents ol his wile's
dlsnpppnrance on last Eight-hours Dny. As far ns he could
remember, he wns nt the Unndivlck races on Hint date.
He never visited nny womnn named Nurse Hughes or
Taylor in Dench-rond, Coogee. He did not know where
Beach-rood, Congee, was. As far ns lie knew, his wife
had not cohnbited willi any niau other than himself.
He had full confidence in her chastity.
Witness stated Mint the accused had ad-
mitted ho had pawned a three-storio diamond
ring bolonglng to lils wife at the Original
Mont do Piole.
Detective-sergeant Lynch thon produced
cortnln letters written by Mrs. Heaydon, in
which she oxplalnod hor condition and ex-
pressed her Intention of undergoing an opera-
Dotoctlvo-Borgonnt Gnrllclc staled that ho
charged accused on July 27. Ho admitted
that certain Information had boon obtained
from a criminal.
Sorgennt Alexander, of Chatswood, said
that ho wont to Lord-stroot, Roseville, on
Juno 27, and wnB told by Heaydon that ho
could not account for his wlfo having left
him. Ho ndmlltod writing a letter to his
wlfo's slstor Mildred saying his wlfo was
dead. Ho told witness ho did not know
whether flho was dead or no1. Accused later
said ho did not think lila wifo was dend, and
thnt he lind read In the papers about tho
morrlago of a woman of tho snme namo some
timo before.
Wlnnlo Flora Wearno, a singlo womnn,
residing at Newstead Flats, Coogee, of which
Bho 1B part owner, said that Mrs. Taylor
occupied Mayfair Flats, now named Myola,
Mrs. Taylor remained at Myola Flats from
October 27 to Novomber 14, 1022, Witness
rocolvod rent for tho flats until January 20,
Elizabeth Prldo, of Addlson-road, Manly,
and formerly of tho Pier Court Flats. Manly,
snld Mint on September IB, nt 8.30 p.m.,
Heaydon and his wlfo Aft their flat. She did
not seo Mi'B. lloaydon again. She was told
by Heaydon, In reply to a question, that lils
wlfo "was very comfortable." Accused kept
tolling witness until Soptombor 30 that Mrs.
Heaydon wns getting on nil right, and would
soon be coming home. On October 1 a man
cnllod and asked to see Heaydon, who nfter
wards informed her that his wlfo was dead.
Fix this textWhon lator questioned on tho matter Heaydon
loid hor that his wife had cleared out and
loft him.
Abo Myora, a boot merchant, of Cniro Flats,
Coogee, sold that in December, 1022, Mrs.
Taylor and Nelllo Krelghor lived in tho flat
noxt door to him.
Mr. Mcnghor contended thnt the Crown had
not mado out a case. No ovldenco had boon
given to Bhow that .Mrs. Heaydon was dead.
Heaydon, who plondod not guilty, reserved
his defenco, and was committed for trial, ball
In ¡ESO being allowed._

Mug shot of Ellen Kreigher, 13 July 1923, Central Police Station, Sydney.

As I read this newspaper clipping I became upset to know that these individuals all got away with it. Ellen Kreigher was a career criminal. 

Here's her rap sheet that went with her photo above.

Special Photograph no. 965. Ellen ("Nellie") Kreigher was one of four people arrested and charged over the murder of Gertrude Mabel Heaydon. In October the previous year Gertrude Heaydon had been taken to the Coogee flat of a woman known as "Nurse Taylor" to procure an illegal abortion. She died there in the flat. Police later claimed she was murdered by Nurse Taylor, at the behest of Heaydon's husband, Alfred. A team of low-lifes was eventaully assembled by Taylor's husband Frank to remove the putrefying remains in a horse and cart, and their somewhat farcical progress across Sydney was later recounted by numerous witnesses. Police became involved the following year after Gertrude Heaydon's relatives in England became suspicious. The case became known in the press as the "Coogee Trunk Mystery" (referring to the trunk in which the corpse was allegedly removed from the flat). Alfred Heaydon, Frank Taylor, a man named Edward Riley (a trade union official and one time Labor senate candidate) and Ellen Kreigher, who had shared the flat with Nurse Taylor, were all eventually arrested and charged with murder, accessory to murder, concealment and with having illegally disposed of the body. (Nurse Taylor herself had died in the interim). With press interest running high - one paper offered a 1000 pounds reward for information - an intensive search was made for Mrs Heaydon's remains. In early August human bones were found under the flagstones of a garage in Westmoreland Lane, Glebe. The case promptly became known
as the "Glebe Bones Mystery". After a long inquest, the coroner concluded that Gertrude Heaydon had been feloniously and maliciously murdered by the late Nurse Taylor, and that the eleven bones found in the Glebe garage were in fact Gertrude Heaydon's remains. Alfred Heaydon, Taylor, Riley and Kreigher were committed for trial, but a month later the police prosecutor announced that the Crown would bring no evidence against the four, and the charges were dropped.



New South Wales. Police Dept.
City of Shadows at the Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, November 2005-January 2007.

Glass plate negative:

This poor woman and her unborn child were discarded like garbage. Her family must of been outraged. I tried to find out the name of the child left behind looking through census records but found nothing.

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