Peter was murdered by George Dobson who also took his own life. The following information has been condensed from the Wangaratta Chronicle of 29 Aug 1894: 'The tragedy was discovered by Mr. Frank Vonarx, brother in law of George Dobson. On the Sunday Mrs Dobson and her father had gone to the Vonarx home. Mrs. Dobson was worried about her husband's brooding over his money problems (he had to meet a twenty pound settlement on his farm) and she feared he would do something desperate. Mr Vonarx left early on Monday morning and arrived at Dobson's farm between 11 and 12 o'clock. When he was within 15-20 yards from the back door he saw the dead body of the youngest Dobson child with his throat cut. Fearing that Dobson may still be in the house, he rode off to Springhurst to seek assistance. He sent a telegram to the Rutherglen police and they arrived one and a half hours later'.
The police statement as told by Constable Cahill:
'As we approached the house we passed the body of the youngest child (boy). Then we discovered the body of Dinsdale, lying quite dead in the fireplace, his face downwards, a large bullet wound on the side of his head near the ear, having apparently caused instantaneous death.
'Several pages of the Wangaratta Chronicle (date 15th) were found near or on the body and his glasses were immediately under his eyes; he was apparently sitting in a chair near the table with his back towards the light of the window, and his murderer had entered by the door as the side and shot him as he sat. His face was powder marked so the gun had been placed almost against him.
'We of course knew nothing of Dinsdale being in the house and imagined he was Dobson and when we turned over the body of Dinsdale and he was at once recognised'.
This discover placed police on alert and they continued their search. The dead body of Dobson was soon discovered in the underground tank. Search was next for the other two children and their bodies were found beneath the shed at the rear of the house and a few yards from where the youngest child was lying. These two (a boy and a girl) were a yard apart and their throats had been terribly gashed. It was estimated that the murders occurred around 2.30 pm on the Sunday.
Mr Vonarx's explanation as to the reason for the tragedy:
'A man could not have been fonder of his wife than George Dobson, and he was a religious man, and one who was honest to the last degree. This latter circumstance, in my opinion, the real cause of his dreadful actions and he was not heavily involved. He occupied 175 acres of land on which was a quantity of stock. Land adjoining was recently sold at 3 pounds per acre, so taking that the value of Dobson's, the sum he would receive for his farm far exceeded liabilities...but a small debt would oppress him and cause intense worry. His wife frequently told us that he was of that nature, and she was always bouying him up and doing her utmost to keep clear of debt'.
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Father: John Dinsdale
Mother: Mary Haywood
England, United Kingdom
August 26, 1894
Springhurst, Victoria, Australia
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