Minnie Dean Memorialised

Infamous Winton baby-farmer Minnie Dean, the first and last woman to be hanged in New Zealand, will soon have a headstone erected on her unmarked grave in the Winton Cemetery. Dean’s Scottish great-great-nephew Martin McCrae has divided the small Southland community by gaining approval for the memorial. Dean, who was born Williamina Irene McCulloch in Greenock, Renfrewshire in 1844, went to the gallows in 1895 for murder after the bodies of three infants were found buried in her garden. McCrae is on a mission to leave physical clues for future generations of his family who may wish to delve into their roots. “My only concern is for the members of my family in an ancestral sense. What they did is not part of the issue for me at all,” he says. “Minnie was like the bogeyman of our town when I was a kid,” wrote Helen Henderson, a singer-songwriter originally from Invercargill, on why she composed ‘The Ballad of Minnie Dean’ three years ago. “If you were being naughty, you were told, ‘You’d better watch it or I’ll send you off to Minnie Dean’s farm and you’ll never be heard of again’.”


Tags: Guardian (The)  Helen Henderson  Minnie Dean  

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