Tuesday, 25 December 2012

"On this Day" Christmas in 1912

Merry Christmas


The Haunts of Adelaide

On this day one hundred years ago in 1912

The Advertiser
 Friday 27 December 1912, page 9
Mr P Pearce a butcher with a shop on King William Street, on Christmas day, travelled to Richmond to have Christmas dinner with his Mother.
His Mother-in-law remained in his home on Selby Street in Adelaide City, and popped out at 5:30 pm, returning about an hour and a half later, to find the house had been broken into.
The house was carefully turned over in that short space of time. Mr Pearce was contacted and returned home about 8pm to find that a cash box holding about 46 pounds in silver and gold had been stolen.
Not a good Christmas for the Pearce family in 1912!

An Ad circulating in the Advertiser just before Christmas 1912
The Advertiser, Wednesday 25 December 1912, page 10
What family Christmas would not be complete without an Edison Phonograph as pictured here in an advertisement in The Advertiser

 The Christmas Pageant was yet to be started, but the magic cave existed in 1912!

Thank you for reading 
"The Haunts of Adelaide"
in 2012
Merry Christmas
and a 
New Year

See you in 2013!

© 2012 The Haunts of Adelaide
written and researched by
Allen Tiller

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Adelaide Arcade: Part Six: Horton Hears His Punishment

The Adelaide ArcadePart Six:Horton Hears His Punishment

In our previous entry, we visited the horrible torture one human-being can inflict upon another, this week we look into the consequences of that action.

In our last post, we published a letter Mrs Horton had written, and asked her friend to keep hold of in case anything disastrous happened to her, In it, she speaks of Mr Horton raping and beating her, and accusing her of adultery and prostitution.
During the post-mortem upon Florence Horton's body, Dr A.F. Lynch discovered that Florence had been suffering from “Certain physical conditions” and would, therefore, have been unable to “fulfil the active duties of married life”. It would appear that Mrs Horton suffered from a venereal disease for rather some time and the condition of her genitals would have made sexual intercourse almost impossible for her. (as reported in The Advertiser Friday, April 15th 1904)

Dr Lynch also surmised that Mrs Horton was shot three times through the back, a bullet was lodged in each of her breasts and another went through her heart. It was this last shot, through her heart, that took her life.

Thomas Horton, if you remember, ran after shooting his wife in Rundle Street and was presumed dead for some time. A rumour had spread that he committed suicide in the River Torrens. This was, of course, untrue, and eventually, he was caught near Bridgewater by Mounted-Constable Schumann.
Mr Horton was heading for Murray Bridge and was found with a loaded five chambered revolver as well as copious amounts of ammunition, milk and biscuits.

On Tuesday the first of March 1904, Mr Thomas Horton was brought before the Police Court. A large crowd had gathered outside the Court. It was deemed, the following day, that Mr Horton did indeed have a case to answer and was remanded at Adelaide Gaol until his trial could begin later in March 1904.

On March 3rd Thomas Horton was officially charged, the following was reported in The Advertiser on said date:
The jury, after a short retirement brought in the following verdict:—"That the deceased, Florence Eugena Horton, came to her death by a pistol shot wilfully inflicted by her husband, Thomas Horton."

In the time between his remand and trial Horton attempted to escape the Adelaide Gaol as reported in Barrier Minor ( Tuesday 22nd March 1904 page 1):

Adelaide: Monday Afternoon.
Thomas Horton, awaiting trial at the next criminal sitting for the alleged murder of his wife, made an attempt to escape from the Adelaide Gaol yesterday- Between 1 and 2 o'clock the warder noticed him on the roof of the prison. As soon as he was observed Horton was asked to descend and, knowing that the warders were armed, he readily responded to the Invitation, and was soon safely under lock and key.

On the 14th of April 1904 Thomas Horton faced a jury of his peers, pleading “not guilty” and, after all, witnesses and evidence was presented, was found guilty of charges brought against him.
Horton also tried to use the “insanity” defence but was found of sound mind by Dr Cleland, resident medical officer of the Parkside Lunatic Asylum.

Thomas was sentenced to Death by Hanging for the murder of his wife, Florence Horton.
An appeal was lodged for life imprisonment, but the attempt was unsuccessful. A special Cabinet meeting was held on the 6th of May that sealed Mr Horton's fate. He was to be hung at Adelaide Gaol on the 12 of May 1904 ( Read here for complete court proceedings http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/4961688?searchTerm=Thomas%20horton%20&searchLimits=l-decade=190|||l-year=1904|||l-title=34|||l-month=04) )

In the short time between his sentencing and his death, the Prison Chaplain, spent a considerable amount of time with Horton, a man he considered intellectually weak with no knowledge of the Bible, something which, at the time, was an indication of not being educated as Bible Studies were then a part of a child's education.
In the last few days before his death, Thomas Horton, who was illiterate, dictated some letters be sent to friends and relatives
Hangman's Noose in Adelaide Gaol Museum
photo ©2012 Allen Tiller
Here is one of Thomas Horton's final letters, to a former employer in London:
Dear Messrs. Hamley:
I thought that I would just drop you a line to tell you of my misfortune. Since I left London, I have had varied luck. The first thing on landing at Adelaide I was greeted with the news of my wife's death, which took place two days before. A few months after I married again, and then my troubles commenced afresh.
My second marriage was in every way a complete failure. I had no idea what sort of a woman I was taking for my wife. Everything that I could do to try and live with her in happiness was futile. She so worried me that I hardly knew what I was doing. She left me after we had been married 3-1/2 months and went home to her people. Had she been satisfied and contented with leaving me, all would have been well, but unfortunately for me, such was not the case.
She used to carry on with other men and one Saturday night I met her in the street. I got wild and shot her dead. You may quite imagine my position then. I, of course, was put on trial and the jury brought in a verdict against me. So tomorrow, the 12th, I die. I do not think that I have any more to write about, so will thank you in anticipation and wishing you all success and a long farewell, I am,
Yours Sincerely, T. Horton.
Thomas Horton was executed at 9am on the 12th of May in Adelaide Gaols “New building” the permanent gallows of A-Wing. It was reported in the local media that Horton didn’t look around as he was walked to the Gallows, that he kept his eyes looking at the window straight across from him. One can only wonder what went through his head in his final moments.
Horton's body was buried in the Gaols courtyard and marked 14 TH

Florence Horton was buried in West Terrace cemetery on the 1st of March 1904. Her funeral was well attended by family and friends. Her only child, daughter “Tottie” was raised by Florrie's parents, Philip and Miriam Lovell
Adelaide Gaol, Where Horton was hung
photo by Allen Tiller © 2012

There is a good chance that Florence, who died in the tobacco shop in Adelaide Arcades Rundle street facade could be haunting the location of her tragic death, much paranormal activity has been reported in the Arcade, including that of a young lady seen in the area where Florence was murdered, is it her? Well, that we don’t know, but what we do know is that is the end of our Adelaide Arcade series....for now

© 2012 The Haunts of Adelaide
written and researched by
Allen Tiller

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Adelaide Arcade Part 5: Anglo the Murderer

 The Adelaide Arcade - Part V:

Anglo The Murderer

On the 27th of February 1904, Florence Horton was shot dead in Rundle Mall near the entrance of the Adelaide Arcade, Her murder was committed by her husband, Thomas Horton, also known as “Anglo the Juggler”.

It was Saturday evening and the Rundle Mall precinct was alive with its usual display of Ladies and Gentlemen window shopping, when, at approximately 9:30pm three gunshots disrupted the normal proceedings. Crowds of people ran through the mall and arcade to see what had happened. There, in the front of Adelaide Arcade, lay the body of a young mother, Florence Horton who had been shot three times by her estranged husband, Thomas Horton. Whispers spread through the crowd quickly that the young lady was dead.

Moments before the shooting it was reported Mrs Horton was walking through Rundle street with two friends, her husband, with whom she had separated only two weeks prior, came from behind the ladies and said to Mrs Horton that he wanted her to go down a lane with him as he had a present for her, Mrs Horton refused, so Mr Horton asked one of her friends to please persuade his wife to do as he asked. Mrs Horton replied “I'm not going down there with you. The present you've got for me is a bullet.”
Mr Horton, who was behind his wife, pulled his revolver from his hip pocket and fired three shots into his wife's back. Mrs Horton staggered from the middle of the road onto the pavement before she fell.
Mrs Horton was lifted into the safety of Solomon's Tobacco Shop in the Adelaide Arcade, where, before passing she whispered her last words “ My God”

As soon as he had shot his Wife, Thomas Horton fled down Charles street on to North Terrace but was too fast for any man chasing him.

An Official Police report was printed in The Advertiser (Monday 29 February 1904 page 5) and is as follows:
"Sub-Inspector Burchell reports that about 9.15 pm on Saturday Florence Horton, aged about 22 or 23 years, who resided with her mother, Mrs Lovell, at No. 15, Rundle Street, Kent Town, was shot dead by her husband. Thomas Horton, in Rundle-street, Adelaide, opposite the corner of Charles Street. Horton is a shoemaker by trade and resides with his mother at Chief-street, Brompton, and he was aged about 24 years. He fired at his wife's back, and after doing the deed bolted, through Charles-street to North-terrace. A lot of young fellows followed him but did not succeed in catching him. Mrs.Horton at the time of the occurrence was walking between two young women—Nellie Linnett, single woman, residing with her parents at No. 3, O'Halloran street, and Bella Smith, single woman, residing with her parents at 49, Gilbert-street. The Hortons were married on November 5, 1903, and resided in a little street off Carrington street east until about a fortnight ago, when she left him and went home to her mother, in consequence of threats used by her husband towards her. Dr J. C. Verco, of North-terrace, was called and examined the deceased, who had been taken into a shop in the Arcade. The body was subsequently removed to the city morgue."

There is a great deal of information available through local newspapers at the time that tells the story of what happened before the murder of Mrs Horton. Here is a brief summary of some of that information.

Thomas Horton was a well known performing artist in Adelaide, performing under the title of “Anglo The Juggler”. He was married to Julia Chapman and had three children with her, Julia unfortunately died, after the death of Julia, two of his children were adopted by his step-sister, and his youngest daughter was taken in by his Mother.
Thomas Father had died in the Parkside Lunatic Asylum and his Mother had also been detained there for some time.
Thomas had suffered from heatstroke as a child. He had also suffered head injuries after falling out of a 13-foot high tree when he was ten years old.
Thomas also had a bad stutter and was illiterate
Florence Horton (nee Lovell) had an illegitimate child from a previous relationship and was quite often to be seen with her former lover as they were still friends.
At 24, Thomas Horton married Florence Lovell on the 5th of November 1903, the couple lived together on McLaren street (which runs off Hutt Street) in the South-East of the city of Adelaide.

It was reported that Thomas was extremely jealous of his wife's relationship with her child’s father, and believed the two were having “relations” behind his back. This thought fuelled numerous beatings and rapes of Florence by Thomas.
This can be correlated by the evidence given during Thomas's trial by Mrs Horton's two friends, Nellie Linnett and Bella Smith, and also a letter was written by Florence Horton, detailing her husband's crimes and threats, less than a month before she was murdered.

The letter, printed in The Advertiser ( Monday 29 February 1904 ) is as follows:
"I am writing this letter in case of anything happening to me (Mrs. Horton). If ever such a thing happens me it will be by no other hand than Mr Horton. He has threatened my lifetimes out of number for no just cause. We were married on November 5, 1903. The same night he accused me of adultery with his mate ——, who was at the wedding. I am admitting I had a child before marriage, but he knew everything beforehand. He wanted me to give her away, and I did not think it was a right thing to do. If I was to be a mother to his three children I thought he could be a father to one of mine. I told him I would not get married on those conditions, so he decided to take her.

On the nineteenth of November two lady friends, came to see me. They knew he was brewing for a row, so they went. He had me by myself. Then he made the most cruel accusations. One was that I let the green-grocer come to the door and let him take me in the bedroom—instead of paying him. On November 27, 1903, I went to town, intending to go to Dr. ——, but changed my mind when I got in town. I told Mr. Horton I was suffering from severe pains and had a good mind to go to the doctor. The answer I got was that he 'was not going to have a doctor pulling his wife about. They all do what they like to the women.' On the Friday fortnight before Christmas, as near as I can remember, he came home from work. I was lying down. He asked me if I had just let a man out of the back when he came in the front. I said, 'No, but if I had the name I would have the game.' He told me to go to bed, as he had sent for a doctor. Dr Bonnin, of Hind-marsh, attended me for just on a fortnight. I was in bed over a fortnight. He came up to town on Saturday, then came home and started a row. I was too weak to row with him, so I said nothing. He got worse. He told me that every time he went out he got hold of a nice little girl and had all he wanted. I made no answer at first. Then he said, 'Why don't you answer me? Why don't you tell me you have men in the house when I am, at work? I am not frightened of you. I have got my pretty woman.' So I said,'Good luck to you; have as many as you like. I don't care. And when you have got cause to accuse me of such things you are quite at liberty to do so; but not before. I'll leave you first.' Then he said he did not mean it, and asked me to look over it, so l did. Then he would not let me go to my own people's place without him, or to do any shopping. He would say, 'Where did you go? Did you stop long? Was it an old or young man? Did he have much, to say?' I said, 'Do you think everyone is like you?' He said, 'I'd, get another man like him.'

On December 28; 1903, I was in bed asleep, when I heard a bottle go smash. It woke me. I asked him what he was doing. He said, 'A bottle fell down.' Just on that, another went smash. He said, 'That will keep you awake.' I said, 'You had better be careful, or perhaps I can smash too. Don't you think you can frighten me.' With that, he rushed into me, caught me by the throat, and left marks of his fingers, which his own mother has seen. He said he would never do it again if I let him off. So I did.
On December 23, 1903, I went to Hicks' grocer's shop at the corner of Compton and Wright streets, with some coupons in the afternoon. Took one of his children with me, and left him with the two younger ones, which he was quite willing I should do. I caught the quarter to 4 tram from Bowden, and went the shortest way to Hicks'. My brother waited on me. I told him I was going out to see mother. So he said, 'Leave the parcel and I'll take it out for you." I got out home about 5.30. By 7 o'clock Horton was out after me. He said he came to help me with the parcel. As soon as we got out of the train at Bowden he told me he had 'foxed' me everywhere. 'You never went near Hicks', but straight into a brothel. I'll blow your brains out when you get home. Just as I got in the door—his mother was minding the children he left home—he said, 'Mother, I have caught her this time going in a brothel.' I could not stand it any longer, so I hit him first on that occasion. But he soon sent me senseless to the ground. He promised to be everything a woman could look for if I didn't summons him. I said, 'No;' but his mother begged me to stop. I gave him another trial. Then his mother said she could not put up with him any longer, and he would have to go out of her house. But he wouldn't. Next, she sent a lawyer's letter to him to go. Still, he would not. I said I would go without him.

On that, one of Singer's machine travellers came round. I wanted one, so I took it in and was to pay the deposit in a fortnight's time. Horton came home and saw the machine, and wanted to know what it was doing there. I said I was thinking of having it. He said, 'Where did you get the deposit?' I said, 'You had better ask him when he comes again and your mother as well.' Then we moved into town to McLaren-street, off Regent-street, Adelaide. The machine did not exactly suit, so I told the gentleman when he came. He said, 'Come round and pick one for yourself. 'But I could not leave the children. I told Mr. Horton that he had asked me to go and pick one that would suit. That stirred him up again for the time. He said he was not going to have a butcher, baker, or green-grocer, or grocer calling at the house. I said, 'What about the milkman?' He said 'I'll get one that calls before I go to work, and I'll take it myself.' I said, 'I was not going to go out shopping when I could get served nearly as cheap at the door.' Then things went on all right till January 25,1904. I said I was going to the races with my sister and would take two children with me. He was willing to go. Then his mother came up, and about 1 o'clock my sister came. Then his mother went, and Horton followed her to the door and asked her for some money. She would not give it to him, so he came in and we had dinner. After that, I went to clean the children. He said, 'You need not take them; I'll mind them for you, and we will go out together tonight.' I did not say no to that. So I cleaned myself, and he came into the bedroom and said. 'What time will you be home?' I said, 'After the races are over.' Then I went to get my hat, which was missing. I asked him, where it was, and he said he had not seen it. That caused a fair row. I knew he had locked it up in his trunk. I said I would batter it up with the axe, which I tried, but I failed. About 6 o'clock my sister went. We had tea, and things got a bit quiet till10 o'clock. He said, 'You wait till the turn of 12, and everybody's in bed. I'll shoot you stone dead.' He knocked me right and left till I was senseless. I did not wake till morning. I looked over it, or he would not have got to work.

We went on all right till January 30, 1904. That Saturday night we went up the street together. Going home we saw the father of my child. He said, 'There goes Tot's father. ' I said, 'Good luck to him.' He said, 'Curse him.' I said, 'He has done you no harm. When he has, it is time for you to curse him.' Then he said, 'Don't you wish you had him instead of me?' I said, 'I would be better off if I did I would not get knocked about, and accused of things you accuse me of." I said, 'You have no right to mention this sort of thing if I don't?' There was no more said till we got home and in bed. He said,'Now I've got you, I'm going to bring men down for you, and knock off work and make you keep me.' I said, 'You won't get the chance; I am going to leave you. Then you can get whom you like to keep you.' He said, "Where will you go to?' I said 'Home to my mother's.'He said, 'Your mother will not have you or your kid.' Then I pushed him out of bed. He put the lamp out and kept punching at my head and face till I fainted. When I came to he said, 'Would you like some more?' I said, 'It wouldn't be well for you. I will call for assistance.' He said, "I will stun you" then I will be able to do what I like. I have only got to die once.' Then he started punching again till I had to call for help, but no one came.' He said,'Shut up, or l'll punch your brains in.' I sang out again. He gave me three knocks in the left ear. I do not remember any more till morning. When I woke I could not move. My lip was cut and swollen,and I was black and blue on the head and chest and arm. He asked me to forgive him. I said, 'Never as long as I live. I am going to leave you today.' Then he
locked all the windows and doors, and took away all my clothes. I knew I could not get away while he was in the house, so I said, 'I will look it over,' to get him to go to work while I cleared out, as I think I was mad if I put up with it any longer. So I managed it all right, and am deter-mined never to go back to risk my life. He said he would torture my eyes, and then he would shoot me dead, and put the revolver in my hand, and they would think I did it; or he would make out that he was very sorry when it was found out that I was shot and swear we lived happy. Any-body who knows us knows different. And say, 'The only one who had me set through jealousy was ——.' I have got in my possession four cartridges and things to take the place of a revolver I managed to get from him. Then he said he would drive me to Torrens, and push me in, and then sing out for help and say I did it myself. So I think I could not do any worse than write this letter in case of anything happening. I think you could get further particulars at the Hindmarsh police-station, because his own mother has been to the station several times for protection and also Mrs. Ashby, the lawyer, knows a good bit. His mother told me he would do for me. He has accused Dr. —— of misconduct with me also the gentleman who delivered the machine; even to the young grocer boy, who is about 17 years of age. He has threatened me to my face, and my sister, my several friends, who if necessary will gladly appear if anything happens me. This letter is for the protection of myself and others, who he said he would blame for it. It will be by no other than Mr. Thomas Horton, false name Anglo, the juggler, Chief-street, Brompton, late McLaren-street off Regent-street, Adelaide. This letter will be produced on sudden death. Others will not suffer for him.
There would never be any trouble with him. I would never do risky work, such as murdering someone, and draw false will,and me to sign it, or let him start making false coins and me say nothing about it. He said he would do anything for money, and if he gets caught he would make out he was mad. I was to say the same. But I said I would report any false work he started. He held me down with a knife, but I got away from him. Then he said he would give me an overdose of ether, and go for the police, and swear he found me like it. I hop if anything does happen, and you read this letter, that you won't bring it in that I am in an unsound mind. Everything I have written is true,and I know what I am doing. I am get-ting two witnesses to sign this letter as soon as I have written it, and will leave it in the possession of Miss Nellie Linnett, 0'Halloran street off Gilbert-street, Adelaide. The murderer will be Mr. Thomas Horton, juggler, at present living in McLaren, otherwise Mr. Anglo, off Regent-street, Adelaide. Witnesses (no names are given).—I am, believe me, Mrs T. F. Horton. In sound mind. 2/2/1904."

So from the above letter, we can see there was a great deal of torture going on in Florence's life before she was murdered by the bullets of her Husband, a death she had foreseen...

Next week: Adelaide Arcade Part Six: Horton Hears His Punishment
Featuring The Post-mortem of Florence Horton and the Capture and Punishment of Thomas Horton

© 2012 The Haunts of Adelaide 

written and researched by 

Allen Tiller 


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Adelaide Arcade Part Four: Madame Kennedy

The Adelaide Arcade - Part IV: 

Madame Kennedy

Previously we read about the death of the Arcade Beadle, Mr Cluney. This week we look into the second recorded death at the Adelaide Arcade, and the possibility of two more spirits lingering in the impressive structure!
In 1902 a scandal broke out in quiet Adelaide town. A little boy, just three years of age had died or possibly been murdered, in the upstairs home of a shop in the Adelaide Arcade. What seemed like an open and shut case soon unravelled into a story reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel.

There have been many psychic's and clairvoyants take up residence in the Arcade over the years, even in the present day the Arcade boasts at least one clairvoyant. In around 1900 Professor and Madame Kennedy set up a business in the Arcade in shop 11. The couple used the upstairs section of their business as a living quarters, and downstairs as their reading rooms, advertising in local newspapers under the alias “Madame and Professor Kennedy, Clairvoyants, Phrenologists and Palmists, may be consulted daily – 11, Arcade, Hours 9 to 9” - ( The Advertiser: Wednesday 29 May 1901 page 7)
Their real names were Bridget Lauretta Kennedy Byron and Professor Michael Kennedy Byron
The Kennedy's were very successful in their business, but behind closed doors, their relationship was falling pieces. The couple had a son named Sydney, when the boy was one year old, The Kennedy's separated, and Professor Kennedy left with the young child, without telling Bridget. Mr Kennedy made his way to Tasmania with the boy, where it appears he struck up a relationship with another Clairvoyant named Madame Cleria – (It is not clear if he knew her from Adelaide or elsewhere on the mainland or whether the relationship began in Tasmania).

Bridget was a left a distraught woman, her husband had left and stolen her son, she enlisted the help of a private detective who travelled the country in search of the Professor and finally tracked him down in Tasmania, by this time Bridget had started to resort to alcohol and pills to calm herself and to help with going to sleep. The detective returned with Sydney's whereabouts and Bridget collected her son before Christmas of 1901.

It is not known publicly if events that unfolded happened on the 10th or the 11th of January in 1902, but on the 12th of January Adelaide, and the rest of Australia, awoke to a news story that would catapult the small Adelaide family into the national newspapers.
In Kalgoorlie on the 14th of January the story was reported as follows: ( Kalgoorlie Western Argus 14 Jan 1902 page 30)
ADELAIDE, Jan. 12. The three-year-old son of Professor and Madame 'Kennedy, palmists and phrenologists, of the Arcade, Adelaide, was found dead yesterday in one of the rooms under peculiar circumstances, the nature of which had been kept a secret by the police. At the formal opening of the inquest, Madame Kennedy was cautioned that she need not say anything that might incriminate Herself Later on.
Madame Kennedy was placed in custody on no charge, but, it is alleged, for her own safety. Professor Kennedy is at present in Tasmania.

The story broke nationally, intriguing the public, who wanted to know all the details, rumours of foul play spread across the state, Mrs Kennedy was allowed some leave as she awaited the arrival of her legal representative, Mr Glynn, from Melbourne, special circumstances were laid in case Mr Glynn's arrival was delayed allowing more time if needed.

On Friday the 17th of January 1902, Mrs Kennedy was formally brought before Magistrate J Gordon and Justices at the City Police Court on a charge of murder.
Proceedings were published in the Advertiser, the following is small extract ( The Advertiser page 5 - Wednesday 15 January 1902 )

"Bridget Lauretta Kennedy, Byron,", continued the clerk, "alias Madame Kennedy, you are charged, on the information of Inspector Sullivan, that on or about the11th day of January 1902, you did feloniously, wilfully, and of malice aforethought kill and murder one Sydney Kennedy Byron." The Assistant Crown Solicitor (Mr J. H. Sinclair) appeared for the prosecution and Mr H. A. Parsons for the defence.
On the application of Mr Sinclair, further proceedings were adjourned until Friday next, at 11 a.m.
Professor Kennedy arrived from Melbourne on Tuesday morning and called at the watch-house to see his wife, who had just previously been removed to the Adelaide Gaol. He journeyed to the prison in the afternoon and there conversed with Mr Kennedy. The professor found police-men in possession of the premises in the Arcade, and after the latter had communicated with their superior officers they allowed him to take charge of the place.
The following day after a lengthy hearing the bench came to the conclusion that no jury would convict on the evidence before the court, and the case was thereupon dismissed."

So by now, you are wondering what happened to the poor Kennedy boy? As it turns out, with the coverage the story was getting nationally, all the details of what happened emerged, here is one of the reported versions from the Barrier Miner: ( Barrier miner – Broken Hill - Tuesday 14 January 1902 )
ADELAIDE, Tuesday.
The inquest on the body of the child Sydney Kennedy, 3 years, was concluded yesterday afternoon. The jury concluded that death was due to coal-gas poisoning, but that there was no evidence to show by whom the gas was turned on. Mrs Kennedy thereupon was released from custody, but later on, the police took action and arrested her on a charge of murdering her son.
The accused was to appear at the police court this morning. After formal evidence, she will be remanded to enable the police to prepare their evidence.
Mrs Lauretta Kennedy, giving evidence at the inquest yesterday, said “The child was registered under the name of Sydney Kennedy Byron. Her husband's name was Kennedy Byron” Witness' full name was Bridget Lauretta Kennedy Byron.
The first thing she could remember on Saturday was that Mrs Marshall came to her room and called, "Are you awake, madam? 'There is a great smell of gas "Mrs Marshall then opened the windows and put on the gas jet on the wall, which was burning low. That was in the dining-room, where the deceased was found.
Witness went into her bedroom and left Mrs Marshall to do anything which was necessary. The boy usually slept in the dining room on a rug on the floor and would go into witness' room when he wanted anything. That was the reason she had left the gas burning. The child was able to look after himself in that respect, being a smart boy. She did not remember how she went to sleep in the dining room that night. She had visited Tasmania a week before Christmas.
Her object in going there was to get the boy, who had been taken away by his father, who had gone away with a woman who had practised as a palmist and abortionist " Palmistry was only a blind for the other," added the witness. She had detectives looking for the child and had spent a great deal of money in all the Australian States. Witness' life was insured, and the policy was in force Deceased was not insured.
In the event of the death of witness, her husband would have benefited. by the policy. (The policy produced and numbered " 158,010, A. M. " was put in.)
By Mr Glynn: Witness did not know at the time her husband left where he had gone to, but she had led people to think she did know. She was very anxious about the child and had telegraphed to New Zealand, West Australia, Broken Hill, Tasmania, Mount Gambier, Bendigo, and other places to endeavour to find where her husband had gone. She also reported the matter to the police. She ascertained that he was in Tasmania She was very fond of the child, who was a strong, bright boy, and very playful. Everybody liked him. The drugs she had taken lately were to make her sleep. .She had taken some on the night before the child died, and, had also taken some champagne
The child was in the habit of waking during the night and would walk about and take a drink of water. There were two gas stoves in the dining-room. The deceased had been in the habit of turning on the gas, and she had found it necessary to beat him for it.
The coroner read certain clauses in the insurance policy, and called attention to one, which set out that if within one year and, 30 days the policy-holder should take her own life the policy should become void, The time limit for this provision expired on December 28 last.”

The story gives us some insight into what happened but misses a few key details that are found in other newspaper stories.
Mrs Kennedy's cleaner, Elizabeth Marshall, arrived, as she did every day at a quarter to 7 in the morning to begin her chores, not long after her arrival Sydney’s Nanny, a 13-year-old girl named Jeannie Barrett arrived.
Mrs Marshall roused Mrs Kennedy, who was lying on the dining room floor with Sydney and complained of the smell of gas, she then began to open the windows to help remove the smell.
Jeannie tried to wake Sydney and found that she couldn't rouse the small boy.
 A doctor was called, Dr Hines declared the boy dead at 7:30 am
After a post mortem, it was declared the boy died of coal Gas poisoning.
Dr Hines also reported that Mrs Kennedy smelled of alcohol and was in a drug haze, most likely brought on by “Chlorodyne”, a very popular drug at the time that contained Cannabis, Opium and Chloroform, a highly addictive combination that often resulted in addictions and overdoses.
In his statement, Dr Hines concluded that the drug could cause memory loss and that Mrs Kennedy was “Mentally Unhinged” and therefore not responsible for her actions

Mrs Kennedy had dictated a note to Sydney’s nanny, Jeannie on the day before, or perhaps the day of, Sydney’s death, the note is as follows
Tired of life; heart is broken; husband in Tasmania, with long Ada Brown, called Madame Cleria, abortionist, by trade. Let my baby and myself go to the students to the hospital. Has been connected with Mrs Brown for about two years. Anything I have left will go to my friend Mrs William Clarke, Mirtna Charters Tower, insurance money, or any money I have left.”

Another interesting side-note about the case includes Dr Hines refusing to kiss the Bible in Court, as he thought it was an unsanitary thing to do, the court overruled him.

The case was so well documented because of the national interest that every aspect of the court case was written about, even the clothing worn by Mrs Kennedy, it was also reported that the Court case was so popular that the place was packed like a “tin of sardines” and was standing room only, with some onlookers turned away at the door.

Mrs Kennedy, as we read earlier was not formally charged with murder, and left the court a free woman, not facing any other prison other than that in her own mind.
It would appear that Mrs Kennedy suffered greatly with the loss of her infant son, turning to Alcohol and drugs to calm her nerves. It is recorded that twice she was pulled up by the law and charged with public intoxication over the following months after Sydney’s death.
In August 1902, 7 months after being under public scrutiny over the death of her son, Bridget Kennedy's body was found in the west parklands, near the southern train lines of Adelaide.
Police were not able to determine if she was murdered or if her death was self-administered, but due to the large amounts of drugs she had in her basket and the fact a witness had come forward stating Mrs Kennedy had been on a two-week drinking binge, it was thought her death was accidental. Professor Michael Kennedy formally identified the body

Mr Kennedy went back to work at the Adelaide Arcade, offering his psychic abilities for a while, before turning his shop into a waxworks museum, and offering lectures on the various waxworks of famous people he had created.
In 1903 Mr Kennedy was charged with assault, but the case was dropped after the prosecutor didn't appear at the court proceedings.

Mr Kennedy later moved from the Adelaide Arcade and died at his new premises (The Register: Monday 30 November 1908 page 4)

BYRON.— On the 28th November, at his residence, 173 Flinders Street, Adelaide, Michael Byron (known as Prof. Kennedy), in his 60th year.

The Adelaide Arcade Museum is situated where the Kennedy shop and apartment would have once stood

Is it possible after her tragic death that Bridget Kennedy returned to the scene of Sydney's death, and together they haunt the old shop 11 in Adelaide Arcade? Is it Bridget that is seen at times walking with the Beadle of the Arcade, a man who died a few years before her, and a man she quite possible knew?
Anything is possible...

Next week we look into the murder of Florence Eugena Horton at The Adelaide Arcade


Kalgoorlie Western Argus 14 Jan 1902 page 30 : http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/32607410?searchTerm=opening%20of%20adelaide%20arcade&searchLimits=l-australian=y


© 2012 The Haunts of Adelaide
Written and Researched by
Allen Tiller