In October 1865, Elijah Dixon alias Charles Alfred Dives took an axe and murdered his wife, Elizabeth and their two small daughters, Julia aged 3 and Elizabeth aged 1. This all took place in the small bedroom of their hut at Cherry Tree Flat near Sebastopol, just outside Ballarat.
The couple’s two sons, James and Alfred were left alive.
What made a husband and father take this course of action – what is jealousy over his belief his wife was being intimate with other men or was it a case of insanity.
Whatever the reason Dives/Dixon was gaoled at Her Majestys pleasure, until he escaped by fashioning a noose in his cell.
Within two years of the murder only one member of the family, James, was still alive .
For all the details on this brual crime, listen to the episode Murder at Cherry Tree Flat …..