Story: Violent crime

Grisly souvenirs (3rd of 3)

Grisly souvenirs

Minnie Dean’s four-day trial at the Supreme Court in Invercargill in June 1895 attracted much public attention. She was charged with killing one-year-old Dorothy Edith Carter and bringing her body back to her home, The Larches, in a hatbox. Police found three children's bodies buried in Dean's garden after witnesses reported the disappearance of Dorothy and of one-month-old Eva Hornsby. Both babies had been put in Dean's care. These little hatboxes, complete with tiny babies, were said to have been sold as souvenirs by hawkers outside the court during the trial.

Image courtesy of Lynley Hood.

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Lynley Hood, Minnie Dean: her life and crimes. Auckland: Penguin Books, 1994

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Greg Newbold, 'Violent crime - Controversial murder trials, 1840–1939', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 June 2023)

Story by Greg Newbold, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 18 Mar 2019