By Charlotte Fear Urban systems project 20th Century crime in Richmond
Who were the people involved in crime during the 1900s-1930s and how did they affect the development of Richmond during that period? • First Paragraph – Squizzy Taylor • Much of the blame for this horrific perception of Richmond can be attributed to Joseph “Squizzy” Taylor. Taylor was high profile criminal identity and was one of the most significant figures of Richmond during the 1930s for all the wrong reasons. • Who was Squizzy Taylor ? • Squizzy Taylor was a standover man who caused major struggle for the social society of Richmond in the 1930s • What were his intentions – did he succeed ? • His main focuses for his criminal behaviour were blackmail, race fixing, illegal gambling, illegal drugs and illegal alcohol. • How did his actions impact the social society of Richmond? • He caused many people to lose their families, jobs, houses and money and he gave Richmond its name “struggle town” and its reputation as disadvantaged and desperate.
Who were the people involved in crime during the 1900s-1930s and how did they affect the development of Richmond during that period? • Second Paragraph – Martha Needle • Perhaps of the most obvious criminal identities in which these events can be held responsible for is Martha Needle. • Who was Martha Needle? • Martha Needle was a criminal figure who was known for poisoning her husband, her three children and her future brother-in-law. She grew up in a violent and abuse family and showed signs of mental instability from a young age. • What were her intentions – did she succeed? • Martha Needle was desperate for money so she killed her family. This would enable her to receive money from their life insurance and she would do this secretly so nobody would know they were murdered. She didn’t succeed at first when she tried to kill her future brother-in-law and he realised what she was doing however she later on she murdered him. • How did her actions impact the social society of Richmond? • Again, her impacts obviously had a huge affect on the people around her but more importantly these actions shaped Richmond’s reputation as a negative one.
Who were the people involved in crime during the 1900s-1930s and how did they affect the development of Richmond during that period? • Third Paragraph - How these actions shaped Richmond’s reputation • The high profiles of Needle and Taylor perhaps made people less sympathetic to the fact that most people who lived in Richmond were not criminals but in fact ordinary people facing massive hardship and disadvantage through no fault of their own. • Unfortunately, Squizzy Taylor and Martha Needle give a perception that all residents of Richmond are criminals. The reality was that here was a suburb where most people were struggling to survive. • Richmond was a suburb whose residents were normal, working people who were struggling to live within these devastating conditions. • People viewed the social society of Richmond as desperate, lower class, dirty, and as criminals based on Taylor and Needle’s actions – stereotypes. • These reputations and conditions however, caused people to care for one another and be aware of the people around them. This meant that there were many people who formed close bonds and there was a sense of togetherness within the community • Aspects of life to discuss: Fitzroy Vendetta, Desperate people, Poverty, Crime, Richmond got its name “struggle town” , Richmond was a working class and tough, Poverty led to crime.
Who were the people involved in crime during the 1900s-1930s and how did they affect the development of Richmond during that period? • Sub Questions • Who were the criminals responsible for these events? • The most significant criminals responsible for these disastrous actions were mostly leant towards Squizzy Taylor and Martha Needle. • What were some of the crimes done and were any left unsolved? • Martha Needle and Squizzy Taylor are mostly to blame for the crimes done during this period. The crimes included illegal possession of thing as well as actions, blackmail, race fixing, shooting and of course murder. The reasons behind what led to Needle’s drive to murder her family still remain unsolved. • What was culture like in Richmond before these significant events? • Before these events Richmond was a working class suburb where people led normal lives. Obviously, there were many significant changes that had major affects on the social society of Richmond.
Who were the people involved in crime during the 1900s-1930s and how did they affect the development of Richmond during that period? • Sub Questions • Were there any positive events that crime triggered? • The fact that the social society of Richmond was made extremely tough as a result of Taylor and Needle’s actions brought a sense of togetherness to Richmond • How have these events shaped the history of Richmond? • Although these events have shaped Richmond’s reputation as dangerous, “dodgy”, disadvantaged, poor and desperate they have opened people’s minds up to be cautious of what is going on around them and brought the Richmond community together. • What types of crime were committed? • The types of crimes committed during the 20th Century included – Gunning, shooting, murder, illegal drugs, illegal alcohol, illegal gambling, blackmail and race fixing.
Bibliography • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squizzy_Taylor • http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/taylor-joseph-leslie-squizzy-8762 • http://brightoncemetery.com/HistoricInterments/150Names/taylorj.htm • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Needle • http://www.cv.vic.gov.au/stories/felon-families-/9437/martha-needle/ • http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/Martha%20Needle • http://igsp2j.blogspot.com.au/p/martha-needle.html • http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/true-crime-scene/the-black-widow-of-richmond-martha-needle-killed-five-with-poison/story-fnat7jnn-1226412556420