Depiction of crime scene concerning the death of Cecilia Miller
News of the day

Truth, Sunday 26 February 1928

Pretty Girl Shot Dead - Man in Living Tomb

It was a veritable sylvan glade in which the girl’s murdered body was found, in surroundings dedicated to the elves, fairies and the spirits of the trees, with a rippling brook tricking past a sward of rich green fringed and touched with colour by flowering lantana bushes.

It was here that Reginald Vaughan chose to end the life of the girl he loved – into this peaceful haven he drove her in a motor car, his brain unbalanced. As the rays of the headlights shot across the sylvan landscape a cloud was descending upon his mind, which soon was to travel down the lanes of darkness.

The car sped on. Presently it stopped and the two lovers sat on the running board. Then Vaughan shot Cecilia – shot her dead.

What they talked of on that fatal journey no one but Vaughan knows. The mouth of one is sealed for ever; that of the other gibbers meaningless things in a ward where are kept in confinement those who are certified as insane.


The following is an extract from our blog post: Murder on Mt. Coot-Tha. 

On the morning of the 17 November 1927 Thomas Gordan, a dairyman working from Glen Albro Dairy, was driving his dairy herd along Simpson’s Road. The cattle followed the normal routine moseying along the road before cutting through a path between some lantana. However, on this morning Gordan noticed that there was someone in the lantana, a figure whose presence disturbed the cattle so much they bolted.

Gordan called out, thinking that the person in the lantana could be his son, “is that you Arch?”

An unfamiliar man’s voice replied with something that sounded to Gordan like “hi”.

He bent down to get a better understanding of who he was talking to. Under the sweeping twilight shade of the lantana Gordan could make out the figure of a man dragging himself down from a seated position onto his belly. The man began crawling towards Gordan, his long coat dragging in the red dirt. For a moment Gordan thought that the coat meant the man might be a chauffeur who for some reason had been ‘bottled or knocked out’. The man crawled out on his hands and knees from the shade of the lantana into the morning light. Gordan went towards him to offer assistance and to find out what he had been “up to”.

“Good God what happened?”

As Gordan described it in his witness statement:

The man had blood all black and dried on him. I noticed a sort of frothy matter about his mouth. He was not able to speak or stand up … I ran over to the carpenters who were working on a house about 40 yards away, and I told Tom Westerman to come over and have a look at this chap. When we got back he was halfway to the road still crawling.

Tom said to me, “what are you going to do with him?”

“Nothing, get in the car and go up for Sergeant Beck, that’s a police case not ours.”


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