Two detectives who arrived unannounced at a secret treatment plant for stolen gold were ruthlessly shot dead by the gold smelters, who then cut up the bodies, partially burned them and threw the remains down a mineshaft.

The gold thieves, William Coulter, 42, a New Zealander, and Phillip Treffene, were processing their loot near Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, when Detective Sergeant Alexander Pitman and Detective Inspector John Walsh tried unsuccessfully to arrest them. The detectives’ mutilated bodies were found on May 12th, 1926, after a third partner in the crooked gold syndicate had agreed to testify against Coulter and Treffene.

The two killers were hanged at Fremantle Prison on Monday, October 25th, 1926.