Police file – General – 3rd July 1885


The Police File

Memorandum July 3rd 1885


Re: Roebourne Murder

Warburton is living somewhere at the top end of Hay Street. Have seen him twice somewhat reserved and declares he is innocent and knows nothing whatever about the murder and intends going back to Nor-west.

Says he was only accused through being in the company of the Chinaman so often.

The Chinaman has been heard to remark “money no food hang ’em all the same”. I have not seen Bevan and the Chinaman to speak to up to present time.

All the witnesses in the case believe firmly that they are the right men, they don’t think that they actually intended to commit murder – but robbery – but the breaking of the window woke Mr Anketell and on impulse of the moment killed him, and to prevent news spreading too quickly murdered Mr Burrup. People in the city are of a divided opinion. Some think it was a deliberate pre-meditated murder through some gambling transaction or woman by someone of high standing in Roebourne or elsewhere – some say “Why did McRae offer a reward?” The jury in the case are of an opinion that Lillas could tell a great deal but is too frightened. Anything I may hear of any importance I will let you know immediately.

X Y.Z.


[Note: Though the above memorandum is dated July 3rd 1885 it appears to have been written after the not guilty verdicts were handed down in the murder trial on the 7th July. It is not known for whom the following memorandum was intended. A guess would be the Commissioner for Police? The memorandum was signed with a large cross and the initials Y.Z. The author prefered to be anonymous. However, I believe it was written by Detective George Gurney as the handwriting matches his later signed reports.]