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Slater, Henry (Long Harry) (1885–1940)

from Argus (Melbourne)

Henry (Harry) Slater, 55, described by the police as a "stand-over" man and one-time underworld leader in Victoria, was murdered as he walked along a street to catch a tram at Yarra Bay junction this afternoon.

Slater was shot dead less than a quarter of a mile from the shack where he lived with his wife in Yarra Bay Rd. He had left her only a few minutes earlier.

An unknown man, with a bicycle, who had been waiting at an intersection where the shacks and small homes are widely scattered, fired two shots at Slater. One bullet entered his left ear, and Slater slumped on the road and died almost immediately. Tonight police were hunting for the murderer over the sandhills from La Perouse to Daceyville.

The police are trying to ascertain what happened immediately before the shooting. Two .22 cartridge shells were found near where the murderer's bicycle had been standing, and blood stains were discovered on the other side of the road. How these blood stains got there is a mystery, since the murderer, so far as the police know, was not injured.

Detectives are also trying to discover a motive for the murder. Slater was on relief work and until last Tuesday was working near the Long Bay gaol.

Police suspect, however, that someone might have had a grudge against him over starting price transactions, possibly because he was a "stand-over" man in the illegal betting business.

For 20 years Slater had not been in the hands of the police, but before that he was regarded as a dangerous criminal. Many of his convictions were in Victoria, where he was born.

Over 20 years ago Slater was shot three times in the abdomen by "Squizzy" Taylor during a feud with that notorious criminal. Taylor himself met his death in a gun duel in which he killed a man named "Snowy" Cutmore in a house at Carlton.

Slater was later arrested in Adelaide on a charge of murdering Thomas Peter Monaghan in Sydney in June, 1921. Another man arrested on the same charge was found guilty, but the death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He was recently released from gaol. Slater stood his trial three times, but each jury disagreed. The Crown then dropped the charge, and Slater was released.

Slater had lived at Yarra Bay for more than 10 years, and the police had received no complaints concerning him.

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Citation details

'Slater, Henry (Long Harry) (1885–1940)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/slater-henry-long-harry-13649/text24420, accessed 24 October 2017.

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