YEAR OF DEATH
DETAILS OF DEATH
Shortly after 7.00 a.m. Tuesday 4 August 1863 O’Boyle was supervising whilst James Murphy a prisoner on remand for horse stealing cleaned the Warrnambool Court House. O’Boyle had knelt down to light the fire when Murphy struck him on the head with a 3 pound (1.5kg) masons hammer inflicting massive head injuries. O’Boyle was beyond medical help and died at 4.50 a.m. the following morning. After he struck the fatal blow Murphy calmly walked from the Court House and made good his escape. The Constable’s body was located some minutes later and the hunt began. Despite the large number of people used in the search Murphy evaded capture for two days being finally arrested at a farm 25 miles from Warrnambool at 2.00 p.m. on Thursday 6 August 1863. Murphy was convicted of the Constable’s murder and he was hanged on 6 November 1863 at Geelong Gaol.