Mutiny and murder on the high seas.
Hi Very interesting Liverpool case:first double execution at Walton...
Acknowledgement to" Newspaper Archives" & "Capital punishment UK" for this Article.
An extraordinary case opened at Liverpool's St George's Hall on the 12th of May 1903. It was the trial of 3 men for mutiny and murder on the high seas. The defendants were Gustav Rau, Otto Monson (both German) and Willem Schmidt (Dutch) who were accused of killing Alexander Shaw, the captain of the ship Veronica and 6 members of his crew. The murders were alleged to have taken place aboard the Veronica in December 1902 at sea off South America. They were only tried on the charge of murdering the captain, the other charges being held in reserve if they were acquitted of this one.
The killings came to light when 5 men (Rau, Monson, Schmidt, Henry Flohr and Moses Thomas were picked up by a British freighter, the SS Brunswick, off the coast of Brazil.) They told their rescuers an incredible story. The Veronica had started its voyage to Montevideo with a crew of 12 men, of whom two had died in accidents at sea. They then had a fire on board and had abandoned ship, in one of the two life boats, losing contact with the remaining members of the crew in the second boat. One of the 5 rescued men, Moses Thomas, seemed afraid of the others and asked to be kept separate from them. It was also noticed that Gustav Rau had some of the captain's clothing which seemed odd to the Brunswick's captain. The Brunswick made its way home to England arriving at Liverpool in January 1903. Moses Thomas told its captain that the missing crew of the Veronica had really been murdered by the other 4 survivors, although they vehemently denied this, and stuck to the story of the fire accusing Thomas of inciting the mutiny and killing the rest of the crew. The captain of the Brunswick was deeply suspicious and handed all 5 over to the police when he docked in Liverpool. Henry Flohr decided to change his story and support Thomas' version of events. It seemed that the first mate, Alexander Macleod, was the first to be murdered by Schmidt and Rau who had quarrelled with him over his authoritarian management style. Macleod was battered to death and thrown overboard. Once they had murdered Macleod, they were then at serious risk, so it was decided to kill any other member of the crew who would not join them. Thus, 4 other men were battered and thrown into the sea while Captain Shaw and another man were shot prior to being thrown overboard. A final man jumped over the side and was shot at in the water.
The trial was to last 3 days before Mr. Justice Lawrence and on the 14th of May, all 3 defendants were found guilty and were sentenced to hang. Otto Monsson was reprieved following the jury's recommendation to mercy and because of his age. Rau and Schmidt were taken back to Walton to await their fate. Just 3 weeks later, at 8.00 a.m. on the morning of Tuesday, the 2nd of June 1903, they were brought together for the final time, side by side, on the gallows and hanged by William Billington assisted by John Billington. This was the first double execution at Walton.
Came fourth...now what?
I wonder what became of the Veronica?
Came fourth...now what?
A fascinating account Reg,it brought to mind an incident on a flag of convenience ship in the 60's. I read about it when I was in Texas and the facts are a bit hazy now,but what I do recall is that there had been two murders on the high seas and the ship was held in an American port but the police could not take action because the murders had happened outside of American waters .
None of the crew would admit to knowing what happened and so the murderer/murderers could not be arrested. The reports stated that the crew,who were not allowed ashore,were living in a state of fear,afraid that they might be the next victim. Does anyone recall that. It was about 63 or 64.
On a totally different note, I had an Uncle ,Joe Daley, a fireman, he disappeared during a sea passage between the States and Japan. my dad,Joe's brother said that they never knew the circumstances of his disappearance. Did he jump or was he killed.who knows?
that was an interesting but very tragic story. At the time I was doing my part in the story started by Brian Daley of the "Mudmens Code, A potty story" This is a ficticious story of where Jess Glasse caused so much misery to my and Daleys family he had to be disposed of.
With my appologies to the original writer I took the theme from this story.
It is on page 13 of the `Mudmens Code`. You are in it and some of the original gang.
One day as the Garstonia 2, was approaching the Island of Fernando Noronha, off the coast of Brazil on her voyage south towards Buenos Aires, The Steward Jasse and Fireman Aspinall were in Jasse`s cabin drinking the famous Cambrinous Brown ale from the condensate that was in the cargo hold. They had been drunk every night of the voyage, both causing trouble with the rest of the crew and with the Officers.
One night as Jasse came out of the Hold with a bucket of the condensate of Brown Ale, he was seen by Mr Reginald Bangoreg, the Mate, a struggle followed and Jasse battered him to death. He dragged him out on deck and dumped his body over the side into the sea.
The Second Engineer had gone into the stokehold and found Aspinall drunk on watch with a Dixie full of ale. When he got on to him a fight started and Aspinall opened a relief valve and scalded the Engineer to death. He was dragged up on deck and thrown overboard. Aspinall told Jasse, he had killed the Second, They decided the only thing to do was to kill everyone and make it look like it was a shipwreck and they were the only two survivors.
Jasse gave Aspinall a revolver he had hidden under his bunk and also armed himself.
Jasse went up to the bridge where Captain King was with the Second Mate and a struggle started when the Captain thumped Jasse but in the fight the gun went off and the Captain fell dead. The Second Mate was next, Jasse shot him in the head. Kevin Thomas was the Sailor on the wheel, Jasse told him to help to throw the Captain and the Second Mate over the wing of the bridge into the sea. And then said ?Are you with us or against us?? Kevin Thomas, who was terrified said ?Yes I am with you.?
Jasse took the Captains jacket off and put it on. He paraded up and down the bridge pretending to be the Captain shouting orders.
They went down below., to the Mess room. Aspinall had killed the other Engineers and firemen, The Chief Steward, Fred Kinghorn was sat there, with Ernest Norris Green, both looking white and scared. Again Jasse said to Fred, ?Are you with us or against us?? Fred said ?No way, you`ll hang for this.?, a shot rang out and Fred fell dead, blood pumping out of his head. Ernest was next, ?OK? said Ernest ?I am with you.?. scared in case he got what Fred had just got.
Jasse said to Aspinall ?Go down below and open the sea valves and set fire to anything that will burn, Ernest and Kevin swing out the lifeboat. And I will set fire to anything around here.
The boat was swung out and all four climbed into it and they lowered away and then cast off.
The GARSTONIA 2 was ablaze from stem to stern and sinking by the stern. The men rowed away into the darkness as the fires were extinguished as the ship slid under the waves.. The following morning a ship hove into view and with much waving and shouting they were seen and the ship stopped and rescued them.
She was the Raphael, one of Lamport and Holt`s steamers homeward bound from Buenos Aires.
They told their rescuers an incredible story. The Garstonia 2, had started its voyage to Buenos Aires, with a crew of 12 men, of whom two had died in mysterious accidents at sea. They then had a fire on board and had abandoned ship, in one of the two life boats, losing contact with the remaining members of the crew in the second boat. One of the 4 rescued men, Kevin Thomas, seemed afraid of the others and asked to be kept separate from them. It was also noticed that Gleff Jasse was wearing the Captain's Uniform jacket which seemed quite odd to the Raphael`s Captain. The Raphael made its way home to England arriving at Liverpool in January 1901. Kevin Thomas told the Raphael`s Captain that the missing crew of the Garstonia 2, had really been murdered by the other 3 survivors, although they vehemently denied this, and stuck to the story of the fire accusing Thomas of inciting the mutiny and killing the rest of the crew. The Captain of the Raphael was deeply suspicious and handed all 4 over to the police when he docked in Liverpool. Ernest Norris Green, decided to change his story and support Thomas' version of events.
It seemed that the Mate, Reginald Bangoreg, was the first to be murdered by Jasse and Aspinall who had quarrelled with him over him finding out that they had been discovered broaching cargo, namely the barrels of Aspinalls Cambrinous Craft Brewery containing condensate of Brown Ale.. The Mate was battered to death and thrown overboard. Once they had murdered Reg Bangoreg, they were then at serious risk, so it was decided to kill any other member of the crew who would not join them. Thus, Jasse who had some arms stowed under his bunk, passed some to Aspinall and the two of them went on the rampage.Then other men were killed and thrown into the sea while Captain King and Second Mate were shot on the bridge prior to being thrown overboard. A final man jumped over the side and was shot at in the water.
The Murder case opened at Liverpool's St George's Hall on the 10th of May 1901. It was the trial of 3 men for mutiny and murder on the high seas. The defendants were Gleffe Jasse, Steward, Swede, Michael Aspinall, Fireman, and Ernest Norris Green, AB/Cook, who were accused of killing the Captain of the ship ?Garstonia 2? and 6 members of his crew. The murders were alleged to have taken place aboard the `Garstonia 2 `in December 1900, at sea off South America. They were only tried on the charge of murdering the Captain, the other charges being held in reserve if they were acquitted of this one.
They were taken to the Court in St Georges Hall, from HM Prison at Walton. .
After an intensive inquiry it was discovered that One Gleff Jasse was not a Swede but an Englishman hiding his identity, his real name being Jeff Glasse. More investigations proved that he was the son of one Jeff Glasse who was also convicted of murdering the Captain and Chief Officer of the good ship Garstonia forty years previously. It was rumoured the Jeff Glasse senior had cheated the hangman by getting the prison warder drunk and changing clothes with him and so the Warder was unfortunately executed in his place.
The trial was to last 3 days before Mr. Justice Robert Fairley and on the 14th of May, the Jury pronounced that all 3 defendants were guilty. Mr. Justice Fairley, placed the black cap on his head and said, ? You will be taken from here to a place of execution and hanged by the neck until you are all dead and your bodies will be buried within the precincts of the Prison. Take them away.? Ernest Norris Green, was later reprieved following the jury's recommendation to mercy and because of his age. Jeff Glasse and Michael Aspinall were taken back to Walton to await their fate. Just 3 weeks later, at 8.00 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, the 2nd of June 1901, they were brought together for the final time, Jeff Glasse, was Hanged first, as he was the ring leader, and three minutes later Michael Aspinall was led out and was dropped alongside him, hanged by William Billington assisted by John Billington.
On the scaffold, Glasse was heard to shout ?Up yours, Kong? just as the trap door opened and he went to his maker. After the executions, the two bodies were left to hang for an hour.Then Mr W. Billington lowered the two bodies down into the chamber below. They stripped the bodies, Mr John Billington commented to Mr William Billington that ?We have a dirty one here? as he removed Glasse`s trousers as they stripped the bodies prior to placing them into the coffins. Mr Glasse, for all his bravado, had actually crapped himself.
Graves were dug by the prison wall and then they were both interred, a number fixed on the wall as the only marker of their existence.
That was the end of an infamous voyage and the end of an era of horrific happenings to all the ships of the Gerston Mud Trading Company of Garston. Lord Twyze Daley, VNC. DR never went into ship owning again. After those tragic events, he died a broken man, the Company only used chartered ships after that. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last edited by captain kong; 02-14-2009 at 09:26 AM.
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