The Olaf Perkman train murder case


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They suppose Perkman was nonetheless alive at Goulburn at four a.m. and that there have been then a minimum of three males within the compartment. Police are attempting to speak with these males.

Large Police Search

Police yesterday started a large seek for the assassin and are checking all stations alongside the route for additional clues.

Perkman, a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, was a analysis officer on the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Analysis Organisation irrigation analysis station at Griffith.

He was returning for the week-end to his residence in Orchard Avenue, Thornleigh, the place his spouse and daughter, aged 9, reside.

A railway porter, Francis Vicq, discovered the physique about eight a.m. after different passengers had left No. 9 platform at Central, the place the practice pulled in.

Vicq informed police: “I used to be looking for misplaced baggage when I discovered the physique.

“I lifted the rug which coated the person’s face.

“It was smothered in blood. There was a pool of blood on the ground. The person’s arms have been folded and his arms coated his face.

“He appeared to have been sleeping when attacked.”

Bullet Discovered

Detectives outside the carriage where Perkman's body was found. February 20, 1954

Detectives outdoors the carriage the place Perkman’s physique was discovered. February 20, 1954Credit score:Employees photographer

A big squad of murder detectives have been instantly despatched to the station.

Police who made a preliminary examination of the physique at first believed Perkman had been battered to dying with a heavy instrument.

A post-mortem- examination later revealed, nevertheless, that he had been killed by a .22 rifle bullet.

The bullet was discovered lodged on the base of Perkman’s cranium. Police imagine the assassin stood over Perkman whereas he was asleep, shot him by way of the top, rifled his clothes, after which coated him with the rug.

No cash was discovered on the physique. Police imagine Perkman had a reasonably large sum when he left Griffith on Friday afternoon.

TRAIN MURDER Police Enchantment To Passengers (Feb 21, 1954)

Police final night time appealed to passengers within the final J carriage of the South-West Mail, during which Olaf Perkman was murdered, to speak with the C.I.B. in Sydney or the closest police station urgently. Perkman was within the final automobile – a field carriage.

Police are additionally anxious to speak with anyone on the practice who might need seen something suspicious.

Police are concentrating on the realm between Goulburn and Sydney.

At nation centres alongside the route police are additionally making widespread inquiries.

Perkman travelled on a rail motor practice from Griffith to Narrandera after which Boarded the South-West Mail, which left Narrandera at 7.45 p.m. on Friday.

Medical doctors who examined the physique imagine Perkman was killed whereas the practice was travelling between Goulburn and Sydney. The practice left Goulburn at four a.m. and arrived at Central at 7.15 a.m.

Common stopping locations for the practice after Goulburn are Moss Vale, Picton, Douglas Park, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Strathfield, and Central.

"Scientific experts and detectives discuss clues outside the death carriage."  February 23, 1954.

“Scientific specialists and detectives talk about clues outdoors the dying carriage.” February 23, 1954.Credit score:Employees photographer

Many Photos

The carriage during which the physique was discovered was taken to the previous mortuary station at Regent Avenue and positioned below police guard.

The police scientific specialists made a minute examination of the compartment for fingerprints. They eliminated each home windows of the compartment and the door. A powder was sprinkled over the entire of the compartment to assist in the search of fingerprints.

Ballistics males examined the bullet extracted from Perkman’s physique.

Different specialists are analyzing bloodstained clothes.

Of their examination of the carriage police photographers took greater than 50 images.

The porter, Vicq, informed police there was a suitcase and a coat within the baggage rack. Police who examined the suitcase later mentioned nothing in it had been disturbed.

Born In Russia

First clue to the murdered man’s identification was a printed tag stitched within the lining of his coatsleeve. Police made a examine within the phone listing and communicated with Perk
man’s father.

Olaf Perkman as a young man.

Olaf Perkman as a younger man.

The daddy, Mr. Alexander Perkman, of Boundary Street, Pennant Hills, a metropolis tailor, identifie the physique. Olaf Perkman was born in Russia and got here to Australia together with his dad and mom in 1925.

He was an agricultural scientist hooked up to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Space Agricultural Service.

Each week he caught the South-west Mail from Narrandera to see his household.

Mr. Eric West, head of the C.S.I.R.O. station at Griffith, mentioned Perkman was a quiet, amiable man.

“His dying is a good loss to the station,” Mr. West mentioned.

Mrs. Perkman, who has been sick for a while, merely shook her head in reply to questions yesterday afternoon.

Arm of regulation wanted solely a fingertip (From The Solar, June 14, 1954)

Within the hope of choosing up some thread which could lead them on to the path of the assassin, the Fingerprint Part of the CIB was known as in.

The dying carriage was “remoted” and Constable Hennessey, an professional with greater than 14 years’ expertise, set to work to examine the carriage for a doable “print” that the killer might have left behind.

Meticulously he coated the compartment during which Perkman died, inch by inch. He discovered prints — dozens of them in truth — however this was solely a begin.

These needed to be photographed, enlarged and intently checked to eradicate passengers, railway staff and even ambulance and cops.

This sluggish, however none the much less vitally obligatory job, was carried out; it took many hours of elimination.

Once more Hennessey went over the carriage and behind the rest room door he “picked up” the faintest of faint print of ONE FINGER TIP! This, too, was rigorously photographed and enlarged and convention of senior members of the Fingerprint Department studied it minutely.

Finally they agreed that it was a print of the center finger of a left hand, that it had been made by a European BUT it belonged to a classification which includes 60 per cent of European prints.

Had an entire set of 10 prints been discovered, and the set was on report, identification may have been established in a couple of minutes. However a single print was a special matter altogether.

In 1942 the Central Bureau of Fingerprints was established in Sydney, whereby are recorded prints from the entire of Australasia.

Right this moment there are greater than half one million units listed. The yearly consumption of prints, is across the 80,000 mark, about half of that are “clean-skins” or first-offenders. These are divided into three main courses — and this, described technically as an “ulnar loop sort” — belonged to the biggest of the three courses.

Fingerprint Section of the Criminal Investigation Bureau on July 1, 1954. The  lavatory door on which Ronald Vincent Holl's print was found is shown.

Fingerprint Part of the Legal Investigation Bureau on July 1, 1954. The toilet door on which Ronald Vincent Holl’s print was discovered is proven.Credit score:Employees photographer

Workforce work by specialists

It was a case of search! search after which extra search… It was a “team-work” job, led by Hennessey, and the police specialists set about slowly and care absolutely going by way of the numerous 1000’s, realising that it would take weeks, that even then their efforts may simply be in useless if the killer had not beforehand been “printed”.

Then 4 days later Hennessey “struck oil”.

The only print belonged to a set taken from a younger man, Ronald Vincent Holl, when he was arrested and convicted on a cost of breaking and coming into a number of years beforehand.

Holl was traced, questioned, and at last admitted taking pictures Perkman however claimed that he had dedicated the crime solely after Perkman had made indecent strategies to him.


A 24-year-old labourer was sentenced to dying yesterday for the homicide of a Authorities scientist on the South-west mail practice on February 20.

The labourer is Ronald Vincent Holl, 24, of Belmore Street, Herne Bay, and he was sentenced by Mr. Justice Clancy in Central Legal Court docket.

After half an hour’s retirement, the jury had discovered Holl responsible of the homicide of Olaf
Perkman, 41, a scientist employed on the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Analysis Organisation’s laboratory at Griffith.

1954 mugshot of Ronald Vincent Holl, suspect in the Olaf Perkman killing

1954 mugshot of Ronald Vincent Holl, suspect within the Olaf Perkman killingCredit score:Police handout

Holl stood with bowed head from the time the jury returned to courtroom till Mr. Justice Clancy pronounced the dying sentence.

He then raised his head and muttered, ‘Thanks,” earlier than he was eliminated to the cells under.

His spouse — the mom of three kids — hurried from courtroom simply after the foreman of
the jury introduced the decision.


Perkman was shot by way of the top in a carriage of the practice as he was travelling to Sydney. The Crown alleged that Holl shot Perkman, who was asleep, simply earlier than the practice reached Picton. Holl left the practice at Liverpool, and Perkman’s physique, coated by a rug, was discovered by a railway worker when the practice reached Sydney.

The Crown claimed the motive for the crime was theft.

The Crown Prosecutor, Mr. L. C. Furnell, mentioned that after taking pictures Perkman, Holl went
by way of his pockets and took a pockets containing £10.

The defence sought a verdict of not responsible on the bottom of madness.

The Public Defender, Mr. F. W. Vizzard, mentioned the details usually weren’t contested, but it surely was contended by the defence that Holl was affected by such a state of psychological dysfunction that he didn’t know what he was doing when he fired the shot.

Dr. E. A. Marsden, Macquarie Avenue psychiatrist, known as by the defence, mentioned that
Holl had been subjected to extreme psychological stresses since his marriage.

In his opinion, he suffered an emotional disaster within the practice and was not acutely aware of what
he was doing when he shot Perkman.

Dr. John McGeorge, guide psychiatrist to the Legal professional-Common’s Division, mentioned he had been unable to find any psychiatric dysfunction which might clarify or excuse Holl’s act. In his opinion,  Holl knew what he was doing when he fired the bullet at Perkman.

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