Ovens & Murray Advertiser (15)
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see previous The deceased man had been looked upon with a certain degree of suspicion until of late, on account of his-intimate acquaintance with a man who turned out such a desperate ruffian; all the more to be regretted when he is remembered (as many residents of this district recollect him) as a youth, but the neglect of whose early training and, as we have before mentioned, evil associations, had rendered a perfect demon, as was evidenced on Saturday evening, when he deliberately and in the most cold blooded manner imaginable, in concert with his three wretched companions, took the life of one who not long previous he had almost regarded as a brother (in fact, many persons not intimately acquainted with them erroneously regarded them as relations). Appended will be found details of the latest; and, we are happy to say, last; outbreak of the notorious Kelly gang of outlaws, as furnished by our correspondents in the various parts of the district mentioned in connection therewith. We may also here mention our indebtedness for valuable information to certain gentlemen, whose names we will not here enumerate, but amongst whom we may particularly thank Detective ME Ward, who had charge of the Beechworth department, and whose onerous duties were most assiduously performed.
The gang handcuffed a German named Anthony Weekes, a well known resident of the locality, brought him within speaking distance of the hut, and compelled him to call for “Aaron,” whom he asked to guide him on his (Weekes’s) way home.
Sherritt unsuspectingly, as might naturally be supposed, at once opened the door, and immediately afterwards received a shot through the neck—it is supposed by the hand of the outlaw Byrne, who exclaimed, “You’ll not blow what you will do to us any more.” He also received a second shot, this time in the chest, as he was falling; fired from the back door by, supposedly, Daniel Kelly; and shortly afterwards expired.
There were in the hut at this time the four policemen, Mrs Barry, her daughter (wife of deceased), and the unfortunate victim.
The night was very dark; and as a good fire was burning inside the hut, and the light, therefore, a bright one, the police were placed at a very great disadvantage, in comparison with the bloodthirsty murderers.
After Sherritt had fallen (inside the hut), the doors were closed and a number of shots subsequently fired by the attacking party through the doors, window, and other openings in the building, a set fire to which an attempt was also subsequently made; but without effect.
The bushrangers remained, it is reported, near the hut for some time, awaiting an opportunity doubtless to increase the list of foul crimes of which they have been guilty. The police were called upon to surrender, but replied that they would rather die than do so.
Several messages were sent by the police to headquarters; but as there was a fear that those had been intercepted, and no relief came, Constable Armstrong started, and personally conveyed the startling news to Beechworth; subsequently learning that the surmise as to the interception of the messages was well founded.
There seems to be not the slightest doubt but that all the members of the gang were present.
Mr W. H. Foster, P.M. and coroner, visited the spot without delay; and found a large crowd surrounding the hut. Mr Foster was very properly himself admitted only, having advised the police in the hut to allow none others to enter; and made full enquiry into the unfortunate affair. The body was found to present a fearful appearance, the clothes being covered with blood; and an inquest (a report of which will be found in another column) in Beechworth on Monday was commenced.
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