“Goodbye, And Meet Me In Heaven”
"The end is now drawing near, and I wish to make my last statement. When I purchased the revolver it was for the purpose of shooting Otto if I saw him misbehaving with the girl Norma, as I looked upon her as a sister. I carried the revolver loaded for a fortnight, and once drew it to cover Otto with. This plan failed, and I was ordered to leave the place and then I shot the child to protect her from evil. After this I tried to shoot myself, but the revolver would not go off. I then gave myself up to the police. I am sorry for what I have done. Good-bye."
This was the last written and signed statement of Carlos Bonello before he was taken to the Gallows at Adelaide Gaol and hung at 8am on May 5th 1910
Bonello, a Portuguese immigrant was sentenced to death on April 7th after the shooting murder of 13 year old girl, Emma Norma Plush (known as Norma) in the Barossa Valley town of Nuriootpa.
Bonello had been working as the Gardener around Emma's home, in March he reported to Mrs Plush that he witnessed a young man named Otto be “unduly familiar” with Norma.
Norma's parents dismissed the notion entirely.
On March the 5th, Bonello walked up to the Kitchen of the Plush home and said to Mrs Plush, “you don't believe my word!”. He then pulled out a gun and fired at Norma, missing her. Mrs Plush and Bonello struggled as she tried to disarm the enraged man. Another shot rang out, this time fatally wounding the young girl as she cowered in fear.
Bonello fled the scene back to his sleeping quarters, which were also on the property, before giving himself into then police later the same day.
In Adelaide Gaol, Major Williams of the Salvation Army began to visit the murderer on a daily basis, he reported to the courts that he thought the man was eccentric, but his heart in many ways bound to doing good, and that this murder was a mistake.
Bonello became very remorseful and tried to make his peace with God, confessing his sins to his creator, and, reportedly, feeling somewhat better for it.
Before his death, Bonello repeated the parable of the ten virgins, and then said “ My Lamp is trimmed and burning brightly. I have the oil of grace in my soul. He then sang “Nearer My God To Thee”
His last words as he stepped upon the scaffold were “Goodbye, and meet me in heaven” (spoken in Italian)
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