The First Murder

By Admin

Date: 31 May 2016

Less than a year later after the license for The National Hotel was granted, William Conroy was arrested for the murder of Councillor John Snook outside Fremantle Town Hall.

Fremantle Town Hall officially opened on 22nd June 1887, this was held back 7 months so it would coincide with the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The double celebration was marked the following day by a series of sporting events and a children’s fancy dress ball.

At some point during the evening, Councillor Snook refused entry to William Conroy, as a crowd gathered. Conroy returned to The National Hotel in a rage. Some time after midnight, in the early hours of Friday 24th June, he returned to the town hall with a pistol. He shot the 70-year-old Snook through the mouth and was promptly arrested. Amazingly, Councillor Snook lived for a further 3 months before dying.

Conroy was charged with and found guilty of Snook’s murder. Despite a lengthy petition again giving him the death penalty (including signatures from the entire jury) he was the last man hanged in Perth Gaol.