A Domestic Tragedy

Newspapers recorded appalling tragedies, resulting from lives of quiet – or not so quiet – desperation.  In 1889 one such event caused three deaths: Ralph Monahan, his wife Amy, and their three-year old son Isadore.

Amy’s mother, Mrs Moses, was an eye witness to the shooting, which she described to the coroner.  She also stated that 30-year-old Ralph, “a native of Jamaica”, was separated from 21-year-old Amy at the time of the disaster, “owing to the husband’s immorality”.

Before he fired the shots that killed all three of them, Ralph wrote to the coroner, blaming Mrs. Moses for setting his wife against him. He had quite made up his mind to kill his wife and child, as he could not live without his wife. And he asked that the three of them be buried in the same grave. (Barrier Miner 6 May 1889, p2)