BATTERED TO DEATH
She was surprised when she walked through the unlocked back door to find her neighbours hadn’t gotten up yet, as it was their usual custom to rise early on a Saturday. She entered the bedroom to make sure the old couple were ok, and discovered Mrs Barrowcliffe, who was 77 years old, laying on the floor with her head splintered open. On the floor next to her was her 79 year old husband John Barrowcliff, who had suffered a severe laceration to his throat.
Mr Barrowcliff was still very much alive, and whispered to Mrs Henderson “We had a row yesterday. I did it, and after I hit her she never moved."
Mrs Henderson called for help, and Mr Barrowcliffe was taken to the hospital, where he later died from loss of blood.
Police investigated the murder suicide and determined that at some time in the previous night, Mr Barrowcliff had struck his wife with all his strength in the head, with a tomahawk, splintering her skull and killing her.
He then took a knife from the kitchen and slit his own throat.
The Barrowcliffs had no immediate family in Adelaide, as they had moved from rural New South Wales and had made few friends.
There was no real motive offered for the killing.