Newspaper articles – The West Australian – 20th, 23rd & 25th February 1885

The West Australian



Sub-Inspector Rowe proceeds, we hear, to Roebourne per s.s.Otway, to investigate the circumstances Attending the late dreadful murders and if possible to discover the criminals. It is a thousand pities that he, or someone experienced in the detection of crime, was not dispatched in the Flowerdale , as the delay which has taken place will probably make it very difficult to pick up traces which must by this time have become very faint.




With regard to the arrest, at Roebourne, of the man Gilroy, on suspicion of having been concerned in the Bank murders, we learn that the only evidence against him is that he was absent from his usual sleeping place on the night of the murder and that he was seen on the following morning coming from the direction of the Bank.

Suspicion also rests, we hear, upon a man called William Pont who was noticed to be limping on the day after the murder, it is surmised from a cut in his boot; this man has gone to Kimberley.

From the state of the Bank verandahs, covered with blood, and from the fact that no stain of blood was found inside the bank room, it is believed that whoever attempted the robbery had no hand in the murders, but waited outside until they had been committed.

The Cossack correspondent of our Fremantle contemporary in his remarks concerning the Roebourne murders published last Saturday states that in the house of ‘ San Qui, the Chinaman arrested on  suspicion, were found “clothes smothered in blood.” Our own accounts of the horrible affair, obtained from the most reliable sources, make no mention whatever of such a startling piece of direct evidence against this prisoner. In fact, up to the latest date upon which information has been sent us, the statement is constantly repeated that no direct evidence has been found against any of the men who have been hitherto arrested. And there can, we think, be little doubt that this story of blood stained clothes having been discovered is quite imaginative.




We take leave to doubt the statement that at the residence of San Qui, the Chinaman arrested on suspicion of having been concerned in the Roebourne murders, a suit of the man’s clothes were found ‘ smothered in blood,’ not only because our own informants are silent as to such a piece of direct evidence against the prisoner having been discovered, but because, also, no such statement has, we believe, been made either to the Government or to the Bank, and it is inconceivable, were it true, that from the first every despatch received should have distinctly asserted that no direct evidence against any of the suspects had been obtained.