YEAR OF DEATH
DETAILS OF DEATH
On the night of Wednesday 30 January 1952 Constable Howell rode his police bicycle to the Crystal Palace Theatre Dandenong Road Caulfield. He had been assigned to investigate and prevent the numerous thefts from cars which occurred in the vicinity. About 10.35 p.m. Constable Howell intercepted a man tampering with a Morris Minor motor car. After a struggle the man ran off and the Constable ran after him. The offender then shot the Constable in the stomach with a sawn-off .22 calibre rifle. Although unarmed and mortally wounded the Constable continued to chase the gunman before collapsing in the centre of Normanby Road. The offender then escaped. Although in shock and terrible pain and lapsing in and out of consciousness he was able to give a description of his assailant to bystanders who assisted him and to police who arrived shortly after. Crucially to the later trial he identified a hat and other items as belonging to the offender. Rushed to the Alfred Hospital for emergency surgery Constable George Howell died in the early hours of 1 February 1952. A skilful investigation primarily based on articles found at the crime scene and information from Constable Howell led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of a well known and active criminal.