Story: Violent crime

Daniel Richard Cooper, abortionist and murderer

Daniel and Martha Cooper's trial on charges of child murder in Wellington in May 1923 attracted considerable public attention. People queued for more than a block to get into the courthouse and the trial was reported in detail in the local press. Evidence was given at the trial about the disappearance of two children Cooper had fathered with his mistress, Beatrice Beadle, who had lived with the couple for several years. Cooper had taken the babies away to be adopted, but it was suspected that they were among the murdered children. He initially protested his innocence, but was found guilty of child murder. Cooper confessed to the killings before he was hanged on 16 June 1923.

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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: NZ Truth, 26 May, 1923, p.5

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Greg Newbold, 'Violent crime - Controversial murder trials, 1840–1939', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 31 March 2023)

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