Murder, Suicide or Accident?

This is the script of the above video which I made this week. There are still photos of the River Torrens and Torrens Lake in Adelaide, South Australia as well as video footage I took at the river as it is today.

Police report to the coroner 11 August 1900.
George Mathews reported to Constable Lucas that his nephew William Hollwell had seen something in the water while working near the weir at Torrens Lake. Mathews took his boat and went to the place and discovered what he thought was the body of a woman. Constable Lucas went with Mathews to the spot and discovered a body of a woman, name unknown, and removed the body. It was lying in about 2 1/2 feet of water about 200 yards from the weir. The body was taken to the morgue at West Tce.

The woman was Mary Hayward. She was 80 years old.

Mary’s daughter Catherine at the inquest said she had last seen her mother, who had been living with her for about 6 months, on Monday 6th August when she left home to get rations. She was not seen for five days. Neither Catherine nor any other members of the family reported Mary missing.

Catherine said she wasn’t anxious because her mother often went away for days at a time. The jury found that Mary died from drowning however there was no evidence to show how she got into the water.

Where was Mary for those 5 days she was missing?

It makes me wonder was there foul play? Did she slip and fall into the river? When did she die? How long had she been in the water for? The coroners reports for this period were pulped during World War 2 so these questions may remain unanswered.

In this day and age we would have so many more answers, my brain keeps asking these questions. What happened to her? Mary Hayward was my great, great grandmother.

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