Lynnette Clair GRIGGS

The victim is Lynnette Clair GRIGGS.  She was 25 years, married woman who resided at Prospect Hill via Meadows.  She married Keith John Griggs.  In August 1941, Keith left Australia to fight overseas in the war.  Lynnette was living with her father-in-law, William Griggs at the post office at Prospect Hill and assisting him.  A neighbour said she had heard Lynnette had been friendly with some soldiers who were at Kutypo, but they left here a couple of months ago. 

Her father-in-law last saw her alive on Sunday 27 September 1942, when she told him she wanted to go to Adelaide to visit her sister.  She was also going to stay overnight with her father who lived in Adelaide.   

On 30 September 1942, she was found lying in a reclining position alongside a post on the side of Fosters Road, Northfield.  Later that day her father, Horace Edgar Hosking of 224 Wattle Street, Unley identified the body of his daughter at the City Morgue.  He last saw her alive two or three months ago and then she was in good health.  He did not know she was pregnant.

Henry Jenkin NOBLE, attendant residing at 120 Sturt Street, Adelaide states: At about 7.00 a.m. on Wednesday 30 September 1942, in company with Mr. Day and Nurse BEHNCKE, he was riding his bicycle along Fosters Road, Northfield when about ¾ of a mile south from the hospital he saw the body of a woman on the western side of the roadway.  She appeared to be dead.  He returned to the hospital and asked the head attendant to notify the police.   

At about 7.10 a.m., on Wednesday 30 September 1942, police arrived at the scene and saw the body of a woman now known to them as Lynnette Clair GRIGGS partly propped against a fence.  There was a suitcase and bag near the body.  The body was removed and taken to the morgue and later an autopsy was performed to determine the cause of death.  The cause of death was determined to be an attempted abortion.

Police made numerous enquiries with the post office where a number of phone calls were made from here to doctors clinics in Adelaide.  It was determined that she had been to see Doctor Dunstan of Prospect and he informed her she was about 5 months pregnant.  She told the doctor that her husband was overseas and a man she was partly in business with, overpowered her and after this she was in the family way.  She did not disclose the identity of this man and did not return to the surgery.

Police investigations stopped for three years until they got a breakthrough.   Information which came into their possession late last year ended in the arrest of Ernst Gustav Geue, 48, of 51 Park Terrace, Bowden.  Geue appeared before the Adelaide Criminal Court and was charged with being an accessory after the fact in the killing of Mrs. Griggs and with his wife, Mary Ann Geue, and others, with having conspired to defeat the course of justice.

The Crown said that on 29 September 1942, Mrs. Griggs died at Geue’s home, as the result of an abortion illegally procured.  It is believed Mrs. Geue performed the abortion.  Mrs. Geue had told a boarder at the house there was a body in his room. Later, Geue, his wife and the boarder put the body in a car.  The owner of the car and Geue drove to Northfield, where they dumped the body.   Witnesses against Geue included the boarder at the house, the man who drove the car and a woman neighbour.  

Geue, in an unsworn statement, said that on 29 September 1942, he injured his knee, and was told to go into hospital that night.  When he got home, Mrs. Geue told him the man who owned the car would drive him to hospital.  He was taken to the hospital in the car, but he knew nothing of a body in it.

Geue said his wife died in 1943.  Before her death he had had many arguments with the boarder, whose part his wife would take.  On his wife’s death he told the boarder to leave the house. The boarder strongly resented this.  Geue added, “The boarder, the man with the car, and the woman witness no doubt feel they have assisted themselves by putting the blame on me.” Judge Mayo, sentencing Geue to six months jail. 

Sign up for our mailing list!

Subscription Form