Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Sexual Maniac

"Sexual Maniac"

Friday 8 October 1943, Adelaidians, and indeed other parts of the country, awoke to read in their morning newspaper a story about the death of Clarence Keith Seckhold

The Advertiser ), Tuesday  October 1943
Seckhold had come to Adelaide from Melbourne, he was 25 years old and an employee of the railway company constructing the railway line from East to west across the country.

At the time, Seckholds death was reported as “One of the most fiendish murders committed in this State”

Seckhold's body had been found brutally savaged between Government House and the Torrens Parade grounds, by the caretaker of the Torrens Drill Hall, still breathing, the caretaker called for help, and Seckhold was taken to hospital.
Seckhold had been badly beaten, and then slashed copious times with a sharp instrument, across his face and lower body. His face was swollen, and his clothing savagely cut and torn, with blood covering every inch of the man.
Discovered at 7:25am, Seckhold would last 3 more hours in hospital before his death from his excessive wounds.

Police began immediately to try and discover his attacker, who they tagged as a “Sexual Maniac”.
A ticket found in Seckholds clothing showed he had arrived in Adelaide only the day before on a direct train from Melbourne, other papers detectives found established that he had been in New South Wales visiting friends only days before that.
Nothing was found to suggest who his attacker was, but there was another case very similar to this in Adelaide, where a 22 year old man had been attacked in a very similar way on the banks of the river Torrens – did Adelaide have a serial sex offender in the 1940's, one who went unpunished?

No motive was ever put forward for the attack.

Seckhold was later cremated, his ashes were placed into a bronze casket and handed to his workmates at Loongana on the East-west line, where he was interred somewhere along the train tracks...

© 2013 Allen Tiller

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