The naked body of 12-year-old Alma Tirtschke was found lying on a drain grating in Gun Alley, Melbourne, on New Year’s Eve, 1921, just 100 yards from a wine bar owned by Colin Campbell Ross. A local woman, Ivy Matthews, who had just been sacked as a barmaid by Ross, pointed a finger at him and told police: “He did it.”

She was the principal prosecution witness at his trial, and other witnesses against Ross included a career criminal and a young prostitute, whose evidence was clearly prompted by Ivy Matthews.

On the basis of their dubious testimony, Ross had been arrested and charged with little Alma’s murder. The jury took 24 hours to find him guilty and on Monday, April 24th, 1922, he was hanged at Melbourne Prison still protesting his innocence which, in all the circumstances, was much more believable than the jury’s verdict.