Frederick Deeming

The Long Arm of the Law

In the meantime, the circumstances surrounding Emily Williams' death captured the public's interest. A curious crowd of onlookers watched as her coffin was lowered into a pauper's grave one week after the discovery of her body. 

Meanwhile, an observant employee of a coastal shipping company told police of having seen a man answering to the missing Williams' description boarding a vessel that sailed Jan. 23 from Melbourne to Perth in western Australia. The flamboyant character was now travelling under the name of Baron Swanston.

Police immediately issued a 'WANTED" poster to every settlement in western Australia. Baron Swanston wasn't hard to find. In the small mining settlement of Southern Cross, situated in the remote western Australian gold fields, the Baron had taken a job as the engineer in charge of machinery at the Fraser Gold Mine.

Deeming as Baron Swanston
Deeming as Baron Swanston

The outrageous Baron's jewellery, city clothes, large distinctive moustache and English accent stood out like a forest fire. The day after Emily Williams' remains were laid to rest, a trooper wired the Melbourne detectives to tell them that the man they were looking for was safely under lock and key in Southern Cross. He looked terribly out of place in jail amidst the usual collection of drunken miners.

PC Williams
PC Williams

Williams, a.k.a. Baron Swanston, had been arrested at about 1:00 p.m. on March 14, 1892, and said as he was handcuffed, "I shall say nothing. I am innocent. I have never been to Windsor to the best of my knowledge. I do not know where it is." He then added, "My name is not Williams." The arresting trooper, PC Williams replied, "I can't help that," as he loaded him into the wagon to take him to jail. 

By the time of the arrest of Albert Williams, alias Mr. Druin, alias Baron Swanston, reached the people of Victoria via the blazing headlines: "Windsor Murderer Arrested", Dets. Considine and Cawsey knew him by yet another name, only this time it was the correct one — Frederick Bailey Deeming.

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