Face of the day

Alrighty, I’m back into it after a small hiatus.

Events moved quickly in 1895. On 2 May a railway guard saw Dean board a train carrying a young baby and a hatbox. On the return trip he noticed she only had the hatbox, which, as railway porters later testified, was suspiciously heavy. After a fruitless search along the tracks, police unearthed from Dean’s garden the recently buried bodies of two babies – identified as Eva Hornsby and Dorothy Carter – and the skeleton of an older boy (whom Dean later claimed had drowned). An inquest determined that Dorothy Carter had died of an overdose of the opiate laudanum, commonly used to calm irritable infants.

Minnie Dean went on trial for Carter’s murder in Invercargill on 18 June 1895. She was defended by the renowned defence lawyer Alfred Hanlon, who later wrote that:

“Sober, home-loving folk from end to end of the country shuddered … when the grim and ghastly story of Minnie Dean’s infamy was narrated by the prosecution. Imagine a being with the name and appearance of a woman boldly using a public railway train for the destruction of her helpless victims, sitting serene and unperturbed in a carriage with one tiny corpse in a tin box at her feet and another enshrouded in a shawl and secured by travelling straps in the luggage rack at her head.”

Despite Hanlon’s defence that the baby’s death was accidental, on 21 June Dean was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. She was hanged at Invercargill gaol on 12 August 1895, earning the dubious honour of being the only woman ever executed in New Zealand. – source

There we go, I just knew colonialism was to blame for starting an baby killing epidemic in NZ.

We used to hang them, now we let them off or slap them with a wet WINZ ticket.



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  • Statehousekid

    The evidence was circumstantial. She kindly looked after over 100 illegitimate children before finding them foster parents. It looks like it was a witch hunt. Not a good example to blame colonisation for baby bashing. I think you will find better reasons from pre colonial Maori cannibalism.

    • “Not a good example to blame colonisation for baby bashing.”

      Yes but then you’re smart enough to know that was a facetious comment :)

      • Statehousekid

        Yes Travis quite correct. I know you were targeting the blame mentality of these baby bashing low life scum. Just trying to expand on your provocative post.

        • It’s high time something was done about the elephant in the room. Several infant deaths a year seems to be the new normal, even one is unacceptable.

          These are not one off bashings but sustained violent, cruel torturing attacks.

          There is something wrong with the social evolution of some corners of our society.

          • Statehousekid

            Yes and there is very little leadership from political parties that are in position to do something about it.

          • kehua

            I wonder how you can blame any Political Party for the fact that some people are just plain Evil?

          • Statehousekid

            Yes but are they born plain evil or is it the environment they live in. I would say it is mostly the latter. There is a lack of good role models in this country from the top down. I would put politicians at the top. They do not set good examples. A lot of the baby bashing is by boyfriends of solo mums who have multiple partners. Where are the role models who say that screwing around is not acceptable. The Len Brown case is a classic example. What sort of role model is he? Also what sort of role models are the apologists for his behaviour. Why hasn’t, he been marched out of council by the scruff of his neck. It is because most people don,t give a shit.

          • Salacious T Crumb

            Hand wringing political correctness is the enabler for this abhorrent behaviour. Add to that the weak leadership showed by so called kaumatua, the out of touch judiciary and the reward for nothing attitude of society and government is it any surprise?

          • kehua

            STC, the only qualification that Kaumata have is age, 40 years ago most who wore this title were in their 70`s and age had indeed tempered them with lifes experience, unfortunately smoking, diabetes and other `new age` ailments has reduced the age to a situation where I see kaumata status being put on the shoulders of people in their 40`s , unfortunately many of these have had very little life .experience compared to their forbears . This of course is not only a Maori situation.

          • Statehousekid

            Yes you are right. What pisses me of about New Zealand now is the continual reference to race. I.e. Maori and pakeha. These terms are used to stop people taking responsibility for their own lives. We have state condoned racism in this country which is getting worse every year. We have political parties based on race. We have education based on race. We have government funding based on race. We have sport based on race. This racism will only lead to evil. It will be our downfall unless it someone with balls to stand up and stop it.

    • williamabong

      And post colonial Maori drunkeness.

      • kehua

        Who sold them the booze Willy?

        • FredFrog

          Cop out.

          Who’s drinking the booze, and behaving like savages?

    • kehua

      Fathered by useless ratbag sperm donors of European descent no doubt. 100 illegitimate babies in the South Island int the late 1800`s would have been a fairly significant number, mind you there are still a bunch of Hore`s down South.

      • FredFrog

        Yup, probably. Then a certain sector of society cleaned up its’ act somewhat, while another sector of society didn’t.

    • Kimbo

      Why hasn’t the obnoxious and always loquacious Peter Williams QC been thundering his outrage to clear Minnie Dean like he has with David Bain,
      Mark Lundy, David Tamahere?!

      I don’t think “kindly” had anything to do with it. She was a ‘baby farmer’, so she was in it for the money.

      Which is fair enough as it provided a necessary social service at the time. Nevertheless, despite high infant mortality rates for the era, I think the number who died on Dean’s watch suggested she was either grossly incompetent, or something much worse.

      • williamabong

        Maybe some of Ms Deans methodology applied today could help to save the country from the train wreck that is our current welfare system.