Historical Events - Crime

30 Apr 1886Amy Bock is convicted of obtaining goods by false pretences (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Links: Papers Past
6 Apr 1895Oscar Wilde is arrested (London, United Kingdom)
Links: Papers Past, Wikipedia
26 May 1895Oscar Wilde is convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years hard labour (London, United Kingdom)
Links: Papers Past, Wikipedia
20 Dec 1906Bertha Victor (a.k.a Bert Rotciv) is arrested (Sydney, Australia)
The NZ Truth headline reads "Boy Bertha, a Perplexing Puzzle."
Links: Papers Past, Te Ara
22 Apr 1907Bertha Victor appears in court charged with drunkenness, vagrancy, and using obscene language (Auckland, New Zealand)
Links: Papers Past
28 Aug 1908Dennis William Quill appears in court charged with being idle and disorderly (Wellington, New Zealand)
Quill was arrested wearing female attire near Pirie Street. He assured the judge that he bought the clothing out of "sheer devilment" and was wearing them for a similar fantasy. The charge was dismissed.
Links: Evening Post
27 Apr 1909Amy Bock pleads guilty to forgery charges (Dunedin, New Zealand)
Links: Papers Past, Te Ara
5 Apr 1912The Northern Advocate reports on the "romance of two girls" (London, United Kingdom)
The report headline reads "one poses as a man - the other as the wife". The couple come before the courts for disorderly conduct. Why couldn't they have left us alone? We were so happy together weren't we, darling? said Adelaide Dallamore, Yes love, but they shall never, never part us! replied her partner.
Links: Papers Past
4 Dec 1912James Townsley (a.k.a. Evelyn Hartwood) is jailed for 5 years (Sydney, Australia)
Referred to as the "king of burglers" in South Australia, Townsley is also known for his skill at female impersonation. He is jailed for escaping custody in Adelaide.
Links: Papers Past
20 Jan 1915The Evening Post reports Lindsay Campbell pleads guilty to unlawfully wearing female clothing in a public place (Adelaide, Australia)
Links: Papers Past
18 Apr 1915The Taranaki Daily News reports on the court case of Ellehan Eppheam (a.k.a Miss de Vien) who has posed as a woman for 15 years (London, United Kingdom)
The report documents a court appearance where the chief constable believes Eppheam has symptoms of insanity.
Links: Papers Past
27 Oct 1916The Ohinemuri Gazette reports on the court appearance of Frederick Wright (a.k.a Kathleen Woodhouse) (London, United Kingdom)
Wright is charged with "being an idle and disorderly person in female attire". Wright tells police that he wished he had been a woman.
Links: Papers Past
26 May 1917Dr Hjelman von Danneville is imprisoned on Matiu Somes Island (Wellington region, New Zealand)
Links: Papers Past
17 Jul 1917Dr Hjelman von Danneville is released from Matiu Somes Island after suffering a severe nervous breakdown (Wellington region, New Zealand)
Links: Papers Past
2 Aug 1918The Colonist reports on the Noel Pemberton Billing libel case in the United Kingdom (New Zealand)
Billing had implied that the actress Maud Allan was a lesbian associate of German sympathisers. The news report also mentions the Berlin Black Book. It's claimed that the Germans are blackmailing 47,000 highly placed "British perverts". The alleged aim is to exterminate the manhood of Britain by luring men into homosexual acts.
Links: Papers Past, Wikipedia
16 Aug 1919A youth is arrested in female attire (Auckland, New Zealand)
The Evening Post reports that Norman (last name not published) had been arrested in well-made female attire. The probation officer told the court that the youth who went by the name Ada Reeve "exercised a disturbing influence over other inmates in the probation home".
Links: Papers Past
15 May 1920Charles Mackay shoots and wounds D'Arcy Cresswell (Whanganui, New Zealand)
Mackay is the Mayor of Wanganui at the time.
Links: GayNZ.net, Te Ara
27 May 1920Charles Mackay is sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for the attempted murder of D'Arcy Cresswell (Whanganui, New Zealand)
Mackay had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge. In the hope of mitigating Mackay's sentence, his defense lawyer pointed to how Mackay had been suffering from homo-sexual monomania for a number of years.
Links: Papers Past
5 Jul 1920Eugenia Falleni (a.k.a Harry Crawford) is arrested over the death of wife Annie Birkett (Sydney, Australia)
Links: Wikipedia, Papers Past
6 Oct 1920Eugenia Falleni is found guilty of murdering Annie Birkett (Sydney, Australia)
Falleni is condemned to death but the sentence is commuted to detainment at the Governor's Pleasure.
Links: Wikipedia, Papers Past
3 May 1921George Rocake (a.k.a Winifred Wilson) appears in court charged with offensive behaviour (Sydney, Australia)
Police had earlier raided Rocake's room and removed "female clothing, paints and powders".
Links: Papers Past
12 Oct 1923Hector Froggatt is sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for indecent assault on boys (Christchurch, New Zealand)
A medical man giving evidence at the trial said Froggatt suffered from "homo-sexual abnormality".
Links: Papers Past
2 Oct 1925Kenneth James Dell is arrested on Queen Street and charged with behaving in a disorderly manner (Auckland, New Zealand)
Dell is seen walking on Queen Street wearing woman's shoes, a hat, veil and neck scarf.
Links: Papers Past
3 Oct 1925Kenneth James Dell is hospitalised on the morning of his court appearance (Auckland, New Zealand)
Links: Papers Past
10 Oct 1925NZ Truth reports on the court case involving Kenneth James Dell (Auckland, New Zealand)
Dell had been arrested in women's clothing on Queen Street. Dell was hospitalised on the morning of the court appearance.
Links: Papers Past
1927Henry Field conducts an investigation into homosexuality (New Plymouth, New Zealand)
Field has an interest in the psychopathology of criminal behaviour and interviews 40 inmates at New Plymouth prison. The exact date of this investigation is unknown - circa 1926-1929.
Links: Te Ara
20 Apr 1927George Grace is convicted and sentenced to 3-months imprisonment for wearing female clothing (Napier, New Zealand)
Grace had also gained admission to the local girls college. The Magistrate said "I will teach you to leave girls' clothing and girls' colleges alone in the future."
Links: Papers Past
9 May 1929The NZ Truth reports on a "man with female mentality" (Auckland, New Zealand)
The news report documents the court case against Nikora Hune Haora. The prosecuting sub-inspector said to the court that Haora is actually wanting "an order to allow him to continue wearing female apparel".
Links: Papers Past
1 Oct 1929Leonard Hollobon is arrested and charged with indecently assaulting a male (Wellington, New Zealand)
Norris Davey (a.k.a Frank Sargeson) is the other party. Both are charged, with Davey later testifying against Hollobon.
Links: Papers Past, Te Ara
29 Oct 1929Norris Davey is convicted of indecent assault on a male (Wellington, New Zealand)
Soon after Davey begins using the name Frank Sargeson.
Links: Papers Past, Wikipedia
31 Oct 1929Leonard Hollobon is sentenced to five years reformative detention after pleading guilty to three charges of indecent assault on males (Wellington, New Zealand)
Norris Davey had earlier testified against Hollobon.
Links: Papers Past
9 Jun 1933Te Ahurangi Matene (a.k.a. Rosanna Laihae) appears in court charged with falsely representing himself to be a woman (Auckland, New Zealand)
Matene's lawyer submits that Matene had every intention of paying money owing, and so therefore a fraud charge could not stand. The case is dismissed.
Links: Papers Past
15 Apr 1935Eric Mareo murders his wife Themla Mareo (Auckland, New Zealand)
Themla was also in a relationship with dancer Freda Stark.
Links: Papers Past, Te Ara
26 Feb 1936Eric Mareo is found guilty of murdering Themla Mareo (Auckland, New Zealand)
Mareo is sentenced to death. His sentence is later commuted to life imprisonment on 5 August 1936.
Links: Papers Past, Te Ara
5 Aug 1936Eric Mareo's death sentence is commuted to life in prison (New Zealand)
Mareo was earlier found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder of his wife Thelma Mareo.
Links: Papers Past
26 Sep 1936Phillip Stewart is arrested in an Auckland hotel "dressed as a girl" (Auckland, New Zealand)
Links: Papers Past
26 Jan 1942William Preen is arrested in the women's waiting room of the Timaru Railway Station (Timaru, New Zealand)
Preen is suspected of being a spy when he is seen dressed in women's clothing. The court later hears that Preen's "lapse was the result of some craze to see how it would feel to dress like a woman".
Links: Papers Past
24 Sep 1945Police interview two women about their recent marriage to each other (Auckland, New Zealand)
The Evening Post headline reads "Strange Masquerade, Woman as Man."
Links: Papers Past
7 Nov 1945Garth Gilmour is arrested for breaking and entering (Dunedin, New Zealand)
Gilmour is arrested dressed in female clothing. In a police statement Gilmour said it gave him a certain amount of satisfaction to dress in girl's clothes and he liked "flitting about from house to house."
Links: Papers Past
22 Nov 1945Two women appear in court after being found to be married and living as husband and wife (Auckland, New Zealand)
The court orders both women to submit themselves to psychiatric treatment.
Links: Papers Past
1952Paul De Rungs is court martialed after being charged with buggery (New Zealand)
De Rungs, a 16-year old army cadet, had made a formal complaint about being raped. He was subsequently charged himself.
Links: LAGANZ
22 Jun 1954Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme kill Pauline's mother Honora Rieper (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Links: Te Ara, Wikipedia, PrideNZ.com
30 Aug 1954Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme are convicted of murdering Pauline's mother Honora Rieper (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Parker and Hulme were given indeterminate sentences in different prisons and released after five years.
Links: Te Ara, Wikipedia, PrideNZ.com
1962Two men are discharged without conviction for indecent acts (New Zealand)
The Magistrate comments that the law "is soon to change". Police prosecutors appeal, and the decision is overturned
23 Jan 1964Charles Aberhart is beaten to death by a group of teenagers in Hagley Park (Christchurch, New Zealand)
11 May 1964The six teenagers accused of killing Charles Aberhart are all acquitted by a jury (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Those acquitted were Zane Leslie McDonald, Anthony Dennis O'Connor, Frank Leicester Reynolds, Raymond Clive Neither, Brian Francis Johns and Roger Malcolm Williams.
Links: Spinoff, GayNZ.net
9 Jan 1966Carmen Rupe is arrested with behaving in an offensive manner in a public place (Auckland, New Zealand)
The offensive manner was because Carmen was wearing female clothing: a black frock, black silk stockings and high-heeled shoes. "His face was made up with cosmetics and his hair was dressed in a feminine style."
Links: WorldCat, Google Books
24 Jan 1966Carmen Rupe appears in court charged with behaving in an offensive manner (Auckland, New Zealand)
The charge relates to Rupe dressing in female clothing in public. Rupe challenges the charge.
Links: WorldCat, Google Books
26 Jan 1966Justice McCarthy dismisses the case against Carmen Rupe (Auckland, New Zealand)
Justice McCarthy's decision notes that he is "quite unable to find anything in our law which says that it is unlawful for a male to attire himself in female clothing."
Links: WorldCat, Google Books
Nov 1966Raewyn Petley is found dead in her bed with a deep wound to her neck (New Zealand)
Doreen Ellen Davis is charged with her murder.
Mar 1967Doreen Ellen Davis is found not guilty of murdering Raewyn Petley (New Zealand)
Davis' defence argued that she had been "befriended by a woman outwardly kind and sympathetic but inwardly a hunting lesbian"
1976Labour MP Gerald O'Brien is charged with molesting two boys (Christchurch, New Zealand)
It was alleged that O'Brien asked them back to his motel room for a drink. The charges were thrown out at a depositions hearing. Later O'Brien commented it was an "attempt by my political enemies to get rid of me."
Links: Wikipedia, Stuff
27 Nov 1978Harvey Milk is assassinated (San Francisco, United States of America)
Links: Wikipedia
1 Feb 1980Police raid Westside Sauna (Auckland, New Zealand)
Eight men are arrested and charged.
24 Apr 1980Arthur Ball stabs Miles MacFarlane to death (Wellington, New Zealand)
MacFarlane is a total stranger to Ball, who is later found not guilty on the grounds of insanity.
16 Sep 1980Arthur Ball is found not guilty of murdering Miles MacFarlane (on the grounds of insanity) (Wellington, New Zealand)
10 Apr 1984Customs officials raid Gay's the Word bookstore (London, United Kingdom)
The raid was named Operation Tiger and the bookstore was subsequently charged with conspiring to import indecent literature.
5 Jun 1985The media reports self-defense courses for gay men are becoming more popular (New Zealand)
This follows a reported increase in gay bashings as the Homosexual Law Reform Bill moves through Parliament.
11 Sep 1986The Lesbian and Gay Rights Resource Centre is damaged by arson (Wellington, New Zealand)
Links: LAGANZ (1), LAGANZ (2)
24 Jan 1990Expatriate New Zealander Richard Johnson is murdered by a gang of youths (Sydney, Australia)
15 Apr 1991Alex Mihailovic and Dean Howard are convicted of the murder of Richard Johnson (Sydney, Australia)
Mihailovic and Howard were part of a gang of youths convicted of the murder of the New Zealander in Sydney.
2 Aug 1994Richard Leonard kills ex-Aucklander Stephen Dempsey with a crossbow. (Sydney, Australia)
Leonard later claims it as was an act of self-defence after Dempsey propositioned him. Leonard was finally captured, tried and found guilty of two murders and sentenced to life in prison.
Links: Forensic Investigators
22 Apr 1995Tai Tahi Marsters attacks Jim Curtis (Napier, New Zealand)
Marsters hit Curtis using a glass decanter. Curtis is left with brain damage while Marsters is later acquitted of both attempted murder and assault. At his trial Marsters uses the provocation/gay panic defence, claiming Curtis made a sexual advance.
Links: Parliamentary debate, GayNZ
1996Patrick Clotworthy stabs Wayne Cowan six times while shouting anti gay comments (Auckland, New Zealand)
Clotworthy later pleads guilty in 1997 and was initally sentenced to a 2 year suspended sentence but this was appealed by the Crown. In June 1998 his sentence was increased to 3 years imprisonment
Links: Sensible Sentencing Trust
Mar 1996Tai Tahi Marsters is acquitted of attempted murder and causing Jim Curtis grievous bodily harm (New Zealand)
Marsters hit Curtis using a glass decanter. Curtis is left with brain damage while Marsters is acquitted of both attempted murder and assault. At his trial Marsters uses the homosexual panic defence, claiming Curtis made a sexual advance.
Links: Parliamentary debate
4 Nov 1996Bryan James Gardner murders David Shore in a hotel room (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Gardener is sentenced to life imprisonment in May 1997.
Links: Sensible Sentencing Trust
26 Mar 1997The Awhina Centre in Mein Street is badly damaged by a suspected arson (Wellington, New Zealand)
The Centre moves to 45 Tory Street.
May 1997Patrick Clotworthy pleads guilty to assaulting Wayne Cowan in a side street off Karangahape Road (Auckland, New Zealand)
Clotworthy stabbed Cowan six times in 1996 while shouting anti gay comments. He was initally sentenced to a 2 year suspended sentence but this was appealed by the Crown. In June 1998 his sentence was increased to 3 years imprisonment
Links: Sensible Sentencing Trust
26 May 1997Bryan James Gardner is sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering David Shore in November 1996 (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Gardner tried unsuccessfully to use the homosexual panic defence.
Links: Sensible Sentencing Trust
10 Nov 1997Richard Leonard is found guilty of killing Stephen Dempsey with a crossbow in 1994 (Sydney, Australia)
Leonard claimed it was an act of self-defence after Dempsey propositioned him. Leonard was also found guilty of murdering a taxi driver. He was sentenced to life in prison
Links: Forensic Investigators
12 Oct 1998Matthew Shepard is killed in Wyoming (United States of America)
Links: Wikipedia
9 May 1999Teenager Jeff Whittington dies (Wellington, New Zealand)
Whittington was murdered in Wellington by Jason Meads and Stephen Smith
Links: Wikipedia
3 Dec 1999Jason Meads and Stephen Smith are found guilty of murdering teenager Jeff Whittington (Wellington, New Zealand)
Links: Wikipedia
19 Apr 2001Dallas Peneha, Daniel Beams and Jack Blance attack Jeff Pinfold and Peter Kitchen in Napier
Kitchen died in hospital a number of days later
18 Aug 2002A man is arrested in connection with the killing of John Rogers. (Tauranga, New Zealand)
Rogers was found near a public domain toilet block in central Tauranga.
Links: Gay NZ
2003David McNee, an interior designer and former television host is killed
The provocation defence is successfully used by Phillip Layton Edwards who is found guilty of manslaughter. Edwards was sentenced to nine years imprisonment. He is due for release in April 2012
18 Sep 2004Peter Wells writes about the killing of David McNee (New Zealand)
Wells writes an article for the Listener about the trial of Phillip Layton Edwards who killed David McNee in Auckland. The article begins: Listening to a dead person being made responsible for their own violent death is an odd sensation. Later in the article Wells makes the point: It is impossible in New Zealand - and many other countries - to murder a homosexual. It is possible to be found guilty of manslaughter. The underlying message is that any homosexual's life is of little value
Links: Listener
2 Dec 2004A trans woman burglar is sent to a male prison. (New Zealand)
5 Oct 2005Justin Dalley is found not guilty of criminal nuisance. (Wellington, New Zealand)
Dalley used a condom during sex with a woman but didn't tell her of his HIV-positive status. It is the first time in New Zealand that anyone is charged with criminal nuisance following protected sexual intercourse. The case sets a significant legal precedent: that HIV-positive people can choose not to tell sexual partners about the virus, as long as they wear a condom.
Links: NZ Herald
26 Nov 2007The trial of Ashley Arnopp and Andre Gilling begins over the death of Stanley Waipouri. (Palmerston North, New Zealand)
Arnopp and Gilling are charged with murdering Waipouri in Palmerston North on 23 December 2006.
Links: Gay NZ
3 Dec 2007During his trial, Ashley Arnopp pleads guilty to the murder of Palmerston North man Stanley Waipouri. (Palmerston North, New Zealand)
Arnopp's co-accussed, Andre Gilling maintains his innocence.
Links: Gay NZ
6 Dec 2007There is a hung jury in the murder trial of Andre Gilling. (Palmerston North, New Zealand)
Gilling, along with Ashley Arnopp, is on trial for the 2006 killing of Palmerston North man Stanley Waipouri. Co-accused Ashley Arnopp, 20, earlier changed his plea to guilty.
Links: Gay NZ
29 Apr 2009Diksy Jones is killed by two men in Disky's home in Upper Hutt
Phillip Sanders and David Galloway were later found guilty of manslaughter
Jul 2009Ferdinand Ambach is convicted of the manslaughter of Ronald Brown
Ambach was initially charged with murder, but the charge was downgraded after Ambach's lawyer successfully argued the provocation defence (gay panic)
30 Nov 2009Glenn Mills is found dead in a remand cell. (Auckland, New Zealand)
Mills was accused of purposely infecting a number of sex partners with HIV. He was awaiting trial at the time of his death. He faced 28 charges relating to 14 people.
Links: TV3, Gay NZ
5 Nov 2010Phillip Sanders and David Galloway are found guilty of the manslaughter of Diksy Jones
Galloway was [finally] sentenced to nine years imprisonment, and Sanders nine years and six months
16 Jan 2011A lesbian couple's business is burnt down in a continued serious of hate crimes at Mangawhai Heads
7 Mar 2011Jason Meads is released from prison after serving a sentence for murdering Jeff Whittington in 1999 (New Zealand)
Links: Stuff, Wikipedia
25 Jun 2011Sitaleki Koloamatangi attacks Trevor Kaukau leaving him severely brain damaged. (Auckland, New Zealand)
Koloamatangi is later sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
Links: GayNZ, NZ Hearld
3 Oct 2011A couple's car is targetted in an ongoing series of hate crimes at Mangawhai Heads
19 Oct 2011Willie Ahsee is found guilty of the manslaughter of Denis Phillips
10 Dec 2011Phillip Cottrell is assaulted while working home and subsequently dies, Wellington
15 Dec 2011Willie Ahsee is sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for the manslaughter of Denis Phillips
23 Jan 2012Roman Skorek is stabbed to death in Kuirau Park, Rotorua
Four young men were charged with his murder
28 Feb 2012Nicholas Nitro is convicted on a charge of receiving commercial sexual services from a person aged sixteen
Nitro is the co-owner of the Closet cruise club in Christchurch
28 Feb 2012Sitaleki Koloamatangi is sentenced to 12 months in jail for attacking Trevor Kaukau
Koloamatangi was charging with "injuring that, had death been caused, he would have been guilty of manslaughter". Kaukau was left severely brain damaged
11 Aug 2013Police search for Phillip Edwards after a child is abducted. (Auckland, New Zealand)
In 2003 Edwards was found guilty of the manslaughter of interior decorator David McNee.
Links: Gay NZ
3 Sep 2013Phillip Edwards is arrested after a child was abducted in August and later found abandoned. (Auckland, New Zealand)
In 2003 Edwards was found guilty of the manslaughter of interior decorator David McNee.
Links: Gay NZ
25 Sep 2013Correction Minister Anne Tolley announces that transgender prisoners will be housed according to their legal sex. (New Zealand)
At the time of the announcement there were nine transgender offenders in the prison system.
Links: Stuff
30 Sep 2013A public meeting is held to discuss safety on Karangahape Road. (Auckland, New Zealand)
The meeting follows an increase in violence towards rainbow people in the K'Road area.
Links: K'rd Community Safety
17 May 2017Chelsea Manning is released from US military prison (United States of America)
Manning, a former US military intelligence analyst, was released after serving seven years in a US military prison for passing on classified documents to WikiLeaks. Manning's 35-year sentence was commuted by President Obama just before he left office.
2 Jun 2017Dr David Lim is found guilty of stupefying and indecently assaulting patients (Hastings, New Zealand)
Links: Stuff
18 Jul 2017Johnny Lumsden admits in court to endangering the health of three men by criminal nuisance (Christchurch, New Zealand)
After lying about his HIV status, Lumsden has unprotected sex with three men he met through social media
Links: Stuff
18 Aug 2017Dr David Lim is sentenced to five years in prison for indecently assaulting five male patients (New Zealand)
Dr Lim was sentenced in the Napier District Court
11 Feb 2018Zena Campbell is killed (Wellington, New Zealand)
Campbell is found strangled in a car in Aro Valley.
Links: Stuff
6 Jul 2018Australian police charge Pastor Logan Robertson after allegedly harassing worshippers at two Brisbane mosques (Australia)
Robertson faces deportation back to New Zealand. In July 2017 the Pastor called for gay people to be shot through the head.
Links: RNZ