The Nine Greatest Deaths in the History of Marsden Creek: 9 | Nick Lachmund

Marsden Creek is a quiet place, just ask the locals. 

The Nine Greatest Deaths in the History of Marsden Creek:


By Nick Lachmund

For the To The Nines Award: Part 1

In ranking my hometown’s greatest deaths, I had a number of factors to consider. Novelty of the cause of death, impact on the town and amount of publicity are but a few. After selecting my nine, I decided to present them in chronological order. So here is number nine. I do hope you enjoy.


Number Nine

William “Billy” Martin was the handyman at Marsden Creek Primary School in 1961. A retiree, he approached the school about ‘giving something back’ and helping them out. If something was broken, he’d fix it. If a globe was blown, he’d replace it. If a child was left unattended, he’d touch it. You see, the thing that people didn’t know about old Billy was that he enjoyed nothing more than the feel and taste of young, soft flesh. Boys, girls, they were all the same for Billy. He easily made children feel comfortable with his grandfatherly demeanour. He spoke of his grandchildren to make the kids feel safe, then he took advantage of them. His two years at the school had been the best of his life. He was living out his dreams.


During a Tuesday morning recess, Billy was fixing some play equipment when he saw the prettiest girl he had ever seen. Her hair was the colour of cinnamon and tied into two pigtails that wobbled as she swung on the monkey bars. Billy estimated her to be in grade three or four. Her eyes were a striking blue that caught his eye and her cheeks were a soft shade of pink. Billy watched as she moved gracefully and gleefully from bar to bar. He was instantly in love. He had to have her. Moving away from the area he began to plot his approach.


Later that day, Billy managed to separate the girl from the other children and had her in his shed. She thought she was helping the nice, old man with his gardening. Billy, in all likelihood started thinking about his time as a child, when he used to help his grandfather with gardening. The seed of what Billy would grow into was planted many years earlier when his granddad taught him a thing or two. It’s odd how we sometimes pay forward our greatest traumas.


The little girl was Annabel Richardson. Her father was Alfred Richardson who, unbeknownst to Billy, was actually a teacher of one of the grade 6 classes. As luck should have it, at the exact point when Annabel screamed ‘stop’ in response to Billy’s affection, Alfred was walking past the shed. He heard his little girl’s cry and responded. Upon opening the shed door and seeing old Billy thrusting on top of his daughter, Alfred was possessed with a rage that seldom few of us ever experience.


After dragging Billy from Annabel, he threw him onto his back. Then the punches started. Alfred, normally a mild mannered man, threw fist after fist into Billy’s head. A few punches in, Billy was unrecognisable. His nose opened in the middle and his lips split. His cheekbones began to depress into his face and his eye sockets started to give way. Alfred didn’t feel the multiple fractures that he was creating in his hands, he simply continued to pound the meat in front of him. When the sockets collapsed, Alfred’s knuckles punctured Billy’s eyeballs and they oozed a pink liquid. The assault only lasted twenty seconds but by the time Alfred regained his senses, a pulp of bloody flesh was in front of him that barely resembled a face.


Alfred called the police and they attended. In those days, though, things worked differently. After Alfred explained the situation, the local Sargent told him to take his daughter home. He took care of the rest. Billy’s wife was told that he had died in an accident following his rape of one of the students. She was told that if she asked too many questions, the whole town would find out that Billy was a kiddy-fiddler. She knew small town politics well enough to keep her mouth shut. Billy was brutally beaten to death and his killer wasn’t even charged. That’s what makes this one of the great deaths.


How do I know this? That’s a good question. Well, one of Billy’s grandchildren was actually my mother. She told me about it one night when she was drunk. But more about her later. We have a few more deaths on the list before hers.