Inspector

Richard Palmer PETTINGER

YEAR OF DEATH

1862

JURISDICTION

South Australia

DETAILS OF DEATH

Richard Pettinger fell dead on the floor of Government House after one of his former subordinates John Seaver shot him in the head. The 50-year-old gunman had murdered for revenge according to an Adelaide Observer report. Pettinger a father of three and recently appointed Inspector of the Metropolitan Police had fired Seaver for drunkenness just weeks earlier. The disgraced ex-policeman took the opportunity to kill his young former superior as he supervised other officers at an auction sale of Governor Sir Richard MacDonnell’s furniture. The first impression was that he (Pettinger) had committed suicide but suspicion pointed to Seaver, the Observer reported. Pettinger was an estimable young man and had been nine years in the police force. Seaver had been a soldier in India. Police arrested Seaver who faced a trial and subsequent conviction for murder. He went to the gallows in the Adelaide Gaol on March 11 1862. Pettinger who lived at Kent Town left behind his wife Charlotte and three children Alice Aldam and Emily.

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National Police Memorial Australia

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