Ballina & Richmond River GenWeb
Mr and Mrs O'Keefe had two children, Tim and a daughter. They also had a male state ward (orphan) living with them. At the time of the murders there was a Catholic Mission on at Wardell and Tim and his sister had gone to the mission. When they arrived back home they noticed the state ward was hiding in the shadows around the house, he made an attempt to hit Tim with either an axe or machette and fortunately missed him, when Tim tried to hit back he ran away. When Tim and his sister went into the house they found their mother and father dead, it is thought the mother could have been in bed. They both had been attacked with an axe/machette.
Walter Ellis lived near by and rounded up a few farmers. They searched the area but couldn't find any trace of the attacker. He was eventually found some time later on Pimlico Island. It is thought he swam the river to get away from the searchers. Police arrested him, he was charged and convicted of double murder and sentenced to death at the court appearance. He was later hung at Grafton goal.