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Joseph Theodore Leslie "Squizzy" Taylor
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Birth: Jun. 29, 1888
Brighton
Victoria, Australia
Death: Oct. 27, 1927
Fitzroy
Victoria, Australia

Squizzy Taylor and Snowy Cutmore are hugely famous criminals (if you live in Australia) who died at about the same time, what a coincidence!

Joseph Theodore Leslie Taylor, aged 38, one of Australia's most notorious criminals, was gunned down in a house in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton on the evening of October 27, 1927. A gun battle occurred between Taylor and another known criminal, 'Snowy' Cutmore, who was also killed. Police alleging each shot the other over a long standing feud. Squizzy died at St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy, on 27 October 1927. He earned the nickname 'Squizzy' due to an ulcerated, droopy left eyelid and the fact that he ran in a 'squizzy' motion.

Criminals of Melboune

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Video: Trailer for the movie "Squizzy Taylor"

Video - The Rise and Fall of Squizzy Taylor Part 1

Video - The Rise and Fall of Squizzy Taylor Part 2

More on Squizzy Taylor

Video - Squizzy Taylor: A Guided Tour Around Melbourne

Watch Underbelly Season 6 about Squizzy at Project Free TV

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Taylor Found Cutmore In Bed:

It is believed that Taylor found Cutmore in bed and when Cutmore sat up, both men allegedly produced revolvers--Cutmore's from under his pillow--and shots were fired. The exchange continued for about five minutes, during which time Cutmore's mother rushed into the room and was struck by a bullet in the shoulder.
The police were notified of the shooting at 6.45pm and two constables and a doctor went to the scene immediately. They found Cutmore lying dead on his back in a bedroom at the rear of the house, while the wounded Mrs Cutmore was staggering around the house.
Taylor, who was wounded in the right side, was taken in a taxi to St Vincents hospital where he died shortly afterwards.
Squizzy Taylor was implicated in several murders, suspected of bank robbery and blackmail, and alleged to have been behind numerous other crimes. He had earned himself an equivocal reputation by informing the police of other criminals' activities in order to protect himself.

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One of the most colourful identities of the Melbourne criminal world was born on 29 June 1888 at New Street, Brighton the son of Benjamin Taylor (d 1901, St. Kilda Cemetery) a coachbuilder and his wife Rosina née Jones (q.v.); the 1890s depression forced the family to move to Richmond where Taylor was educated. Being the pint-sized runt in the family ("timid, scared, sly and furtive") he became a jockey apprentice and it was while mingling with the shady characters of the pony circuit realised the easy money to be made in crime. Taylor's criminal career can be divided into that of minor thefts and crime (1906-08), blackmailing and mastermind (1910-16) and cunning underworld figure (1917-27). Convicted eighteen times mainly for minor offences, his efficient and lucrative business in jury rigging was used with great effect and the longest he spent in jail was two years' imprisonment for pickpocketing a watch at Burrumbeet racecourse near Ballarat in January 1908 a crime in which the judge Sir Joseph Hood (Melbourne General Cemetery) noted Taylor was now a confirmed criminal. It also marked his rise into the ranks of notoriety as a blackmailer and mastermind with the ‘Bourke Street Rats' - a rough mob of brawling thieving hooligans who abetted Taylor in his audacious deeds of extortion; a popular plan was to use female decoys to lure a married man of money into a private room, and when in a compromising position, one of Taylor's lieutenants acting as the ‘husband' would burst in threatening repercussions unless a tidy payment of silence was made. By the mid-1910s, having served his apprenticeship, Squiz was now firmly part of the underworld scene. He was believed to have been linked with a number of sensational crimes, including the robbery (£215) and murder of Arthur Trotter (Melbourne General Cemetery) a commercial traveller on 7 January 1913; and the sensational outrage on Thomas Berriman (Boroondara Cemetery) manager of the Commercial Bank, Hawthorn on 8 October 1923 in which Berriman was killed for £1,851; Taylor was at first charged with being an accessory along with Angas Murray and Richard Buckley but won a nolle prosequi. In spite of the sensational claim in "Power Without Glory" (1950), Taylor was not involved in the burglary of the Melbourne Trades Hall in which Constable David McGrath (Coburg Cemetery) was killed. As Hugh Anderson noted, "Taylor was never questioned by detectives…because they knew where [he] spent that night and it was remote from…the Trades Hall". The cunning of Taylor was evident in his acquittal of the infamous ‘Bulleen Road' murder of William Haines (Coburg Cemetery), a cab driver who refused to participate in the hold-up of a bank manager on 28 February 1916. Witnesses who before the trial positively swore the identity of Squiz had been ‘got at' and found themselves suffering memory loss; his victory was short-lived for after the trial he lost an appeal presided by Judge William Moule (q.v.) on a charge of vagrancy and was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment. In 1918 not long after his enforced holiday in Pentridge prison, Squiz masterminded his most successful robbery, that of Kilpatrick's jewellery store in which £2,000 worth of diamonds were audaciously stashed away under the nose of the shop assistant; the proceeds were split three ways but not before Squiz ‘shelved' an associate upsetting the Fitzroy faction and thus beginning what became known as the 1919 Fitzroy vendettas. But the real ‘war' began one winter's night when Taylor's ‘moll' Dolly Grey was sent to a sly-grog place at 27 Webb Street to test the feeling of the Fitzroy faction only to have her jewels whisked away and left semi-naked; within three weeks some eighteen bullets had been extracted from men who could think of no motive. The artful dodger provided the public with first-class entertainment when he absconded bail after being caught red-handed for breaking into a warehouse on 16 June 1921. For the next fourteen months he eluded the entire detective force taunting them with letters to the press ("…I have not quite fixed up my private business yet, but as soon as I have I will pop to the C.I.D, knowing that I will be quite welcome…" and "…I trust that others who are wanted by the police will follow suit and join in the "Back-to-Pentridge" celebration, which they will find under better conditions than of old…") until he gave himself up in September 1922 only to be acquitted after two trials. It was while awaiting a decision of the courts he attended a race meeting at Caulfield but was ordered off resulting in the mysterious burning of the administrative offices on the night before the 1922 Caulfield Cup. Described as "5 feet 2 inches, light build, dark complexion, clean shaven, with dark piercing eyes", Squizzy's downfall came in sensational circumstances during a shoot out with Sydney rival John Daniel ‘Snowy' Cutmore (Coburg Cemetery) on 27 October 1927 at 50 Barkly Street, Carlton. The circumstances of the shooting have become shrouded in mystery even though the coroner settled the matter by finding a simple fatal gun duel between two opposing criminals. This was in spite of the Eibar "Destroyer" .32 calibre used to shoot Squiz being found under the picket fence of a house in McArthur Square some 200 paces from the house while the Melbourne Truth contended that three more bullets than what could have been discharged by the revolvers of Cutmore and Taylor were fired. Were Squiz and Cutmore knocked off in one go?

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SQUIZZY TAYLOR; MELBOURNE'S MASTER CRIMINAL

Joseph Leslie Theodore (Squizzy) Taylor was born on 29th June 1888, the second youngest of five children. In a short space of time he would rise from his humble but respectable beginnings to become the overlord of the Melbourne underworld.
In his late youth 'Squizzy' rattled up a string of minor convictions -- assault, larceny, picking pockets and even blackmail. One of the rackets he organised involved luring punters into compromising positions: a moll would entice a successful punter into a private room, then one of Taylor's stooges would burst in claiming to be the moll's irate husband. Only an offer of money would appease the 'husband's' rage, and the married punter - willing to do anything to avoid trouble - was always willing to be generous. Standover tactics and blackmail were to become Taylor's hallmarks during his career.
In 1913 Taylor was suspected of assisting in a murder with one of his close acquaintances, Harold 'Bush' Thompson. The murder resulted from a well planned robbery that went wrong when the victim, Arthur Trotter, tried to resist the intrusion into his house. It was thought that Thompson shot Trotter, he and his diminutive accomplice later escaping with a bag of money. In all probability the jockey-sized offsider was Squizzy, but the police were unable to provide sufficient evidence to convict him or Thompson.
By 1915 it became apparent just how much 'muscle' Squizzy Taylor was developing. It is thought that he was the man behind the robbery at the Melbourne Trades Hall building in 1915 which resulted in the murder of a police officer - and later a startling court case.The three robbers, Richard Buckley, Alexander Ward and John Jackson, were captured and faced charges relating to the death of Constable David McGrath. In the first trial Jackson was found guilty of murder, and sentenced to be hanged. The jury could not agree on the guilt of the two others, but on the third trial they were found guilty of lesser offences and received light sentences.
Many were surprised at the leniency of the sentences passed on Ward and Buckley. The case smacked of corruption, and those who knew of Squizzy Taylor's skill in rigging juries were certain that he was the man behind it. Frank Hardy stirs the imagination along these lines in his famous book Power Without Glory.
Squizzy went much closer to conviction the following year when he was charged with murder. It was an elaborate plan, typical of the ingenuity Taylor constantly displayed. It was alleged in court that he and John Williamson had hired a cab to take them from Melbourne to Clayton. Apparently the cabbie, William Patrick Haines, was to be the driver for a robbery they had planned. But he declined their generous offer, and received a bullet in the back of his head.
Police investigating the case found a suitcase near Haines' body containing disguises. They also discovered that a Templestowe bank manager carrying more than £400 was to ride past at about the time Taylor and Williamson were in the area.
Close by was a partly dug grave that was to receive the bank manager's body. Thanks to the non-cooperation of the cabbie, however, the manager survived.
Many people had seen the cab on its journey through Melbourne's suburbs, and from their description police were able to identify the occupants as Taylor and Williamson. But as the case progressed the witnesses' memories seemed to fade, and by the time the case reached court they were unable to say just who was in the cab. Taylor and Williamson were acquitted due to lack of positive identification.
That was one of the last times Squizzy Taylor actively participated in a crime. From then on he began to confine himself to masterminding robberies for his cronies, always taking a sizeable cut, but steering clear of the limelight.
Squizzy's operations revolved around robbery, sly grog and illegal gambling. His partnership with the head of Melbourne's two-up empire. Henry Stokes, gave him control of major blackmarket dealings in Melbourne. Squizzy Taylor was the king of Melbourne's underworld.
His skill and artistry in plotting schemes, as well as his elusiveness and ability to keep out of jail for extended periods, were unmatched in the tough world of crime.
In 1918 Taylor's rule began to come under challenge for the first time. The Fitzroy Vendetta was about to make headlines as rival gangs fought for supremacy.
The vendetta had its origins in a jewellery store robbery in 1918. It resulted in a haul of several thousand pounds worth of diamond rings, one third of which went to Squizzy Taylor for masterminding the job. A faction of the Taylor gang based in Fitzroy, dissatisfied with the division of loot from a series of robberies including this latest haul, reacted violently. Soon open warfare developed.
The following year Squizzy's mistress, Dolly Grey, had her diamond rings lifted from her fingers as she lay in a drunken stupor. Not surprisingly Squizzy was furious. One Ted Whiting was marked down for death, as the culprit behind the act, but attempts on his life all failed.
Taylor's rather extreme methods of vengeance for the humiliation of Dolly Grey strengthened the opposition between the two criminal forces. Both sides were aware that the gang battles were really a test of supremacy. Over many months the streets of Fitzroy echoed to the sounds of gunfire as the two factions battled for the two-up and sly grog empires.
Miraculously no one was killed, but many were wounded, and the casualty wards had a constant stream of gunshot victims to treat.
In June 1921 Taylor was charged with breaking and entering. He subsequently broke bail and for twelve months eluded police efforts to track him down. He occasionally wrote letters to the newspapers, which his admiring public loved to read. For Squizzy had become a hero - a modern-day Ned Kelly.
Finally, after tiring of the hide-and-seek game, he announced he would give himself up. True to his word, one morning in September 1922, he fronted up at the Russell Street Police Station.
It was well staged - members of the press were on hand to capture the moment, and a large crowd of well-wishers cheered him on. The dapper little crook had captured the public imagination with his audacity. At his trial for the charge of breaking and entering, Taylor spoke eloquently of 'falling into the factory in a drunken state to avoid the attentions of a rival gang'. Though the jury was unable to reach a verdict at the first trial, he was acquitted at the second.
To celebrate, Taylor decided to spend a day at the races, but was ordered off the course as an undesirable. Infuriated, he returned later that night and set fire to the main building, thereby wrecking the running of the Caulfield Cup that was scheduled for the next day.
game, he announced he would give himself up. True to his word, one morning in September 1922, he fronted up at the Russell Street Police Station.
It was well staged - members of the press were on hand to capture the moment, and a large crowd of well-wishers cheered him on. The dapper little crook had captured the public imagination with his audacity. At his trial for the charge of breaking and entering, Taylor spoke eloquently of 'falling into the factory in a drunken state to avoid the attentions of a rival gang'. Though the jury was unable to reach a verdict at the first trial, he was acquitted at the second.
To celebrate, Taylor decided to spend a day at the races, but was ordered off the course as an undesirable. Infuriated, he returned later that night and set fire to the main building, thereby wrecking the running of the Caulfield Cup that was scheduled for the next day.

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As a sequel to what is believed to have been a private feud of long standing, two men were shot dead, and a woman was seriously injured in a house in Carlton early last night. They were:-

Dead
- Taylor, Joseph Theodore Leslie (known as "Squizzy"), aged 43 years, of Darlington street, Richmond.
- Cutmore, John, aged 38 years, of Barkly street, Carlton.
Wounded
- Cutmore, Bridget Delia, aged 58 years, of Barkly street, Carlton, mother of John Cutmore.—Suffering from a bullet wound in the right shoulder. Admitted to the Melbourne Hospital.

Hailing a taxi-cab in Lonsdale Street at 5 o'clock yesterday evening, Taylor, accompanied by two men, ordered the driver, John William Hall, to go to Carlton. When he engaged the cab Taylor gave no indication of his destination beyond saying that he wished to visit an hotel in Carlton. Calls were made to several hotels in the vicinity of Rathdown, Lygon, and Elgin streets. The movements of the men indicated that they were in search of another person or persons. Their conversation, however, gave no clue as to whom they were seeking. Eventually Taylor told the driver to go to Barkly Street. Turning from Rathdown Street the cab had only travelled a few yards in a northerly direction along Barkly street, when the driver was told to stop. Taylor, accompanied by one of his friends left the cab, and walking some distance along the northern side of the street went into one of a terrace of houses. The third man, as far as is known, remained in the car.
When they reached the house the front door was open. The occupants were accustomed to strangers entering—some of the rooms are occupied by lodgers—and no attention was attracted as Taylor and his companion walked through the house to a small room at the rear, where Cutmore was lying in bed, suffering from an attack of influenza. According to statements made to the police, only a few words were spoken but these were indistinguishable. Suddenly the attention of Mrs. Bridget Cutmore, the mother of the dead man, was attracted by the report of a revolver shot. Other shots followed in quick succession. Hurrying to the room, Mrs. Cutmore saw two men, one of whom was holding a revolver. Her son had not left his bed. While she stood in the doorway she received a shot in the right shoulder. Although in a dazed condition she recollects that one man left the house by the front door, while the second man ran into the back yard, presumably leaving by a gate leading to a lane.
Taylor staggered towards the car, which was waiting in the street, and exclaimed, "I am shot. Take me to hospital." His companion helped him into the car, and told the driver to hurry to St. Vincent's Hospital. Travelling by way of Johnston Street the car was delayed for some minutes in a traffic crush at the intersection of Brunswick street. Apparently disregarding the serious condition of his friend, Taylor's companion opened the door of the motorcar—a sedan—and jumping out, said to the driver, "You had better see this through yourself." He disappeared down Brunswick street. Realising that no time should be lost in getting his passenger to the hospital, Hall hurried to St. Vincent's Hospital. Taylor was assisted into the casualty ward, where he was found to be unconscious. His death occurred 20 minutes later. An examination showed that Taylor had received a bullet wound on the right side below the ribs.
Occurring at a time when it was thought that any feuds which had existed among members of the criminal class had been buried, the shooting created a sensation at police headquarters, and revived memories of the Fitzroy vendetta. The police have no definite knowledge of the cause of the rivalry between Taylor and Cutmore. It is said, however, that jealousy concerning a woman was the main reason of their enmity. Cutmore, who was well known to the police, left Melbourne some months ago, and with his wife took up residence in Sydney. He returned to Melbourne last Sunday with his wife and went to live with his mother in Barkly Street, Carlton. It is known that he visited the Richmond racecourse in company with a man who is said to have occupied a room as a lodger in the house in Barkly Street. Since then, however, he had been confined to bed with a severe attack of influenza. It is assumed that Taylor, hearing of his return from Sydney, set out yesterday evening with the object of finding him.
The house in which the Cutmores lived is one of a terrace of four old-fashioned brick cottages on the northern side of Barkly street, about 50 yards from the corner of Rathdown street. The dwelling is single-fronted, abutting on to the footpath. The main rooms of the house are reached from a narrow passage leading from the front door to a doorway giving access to the back yard. The room occupied by Cutmore yesterday is at the extreme rear of the house, and was neatly furnished. It had one window, facing the back yard. A peculiar feature of the shooting is that, although there are houses adjoining the Cutmore's home on either side, the attention of no one in the vicinity was attracted by the shots.
When news of the affair became public, mainly through the arrival of the police and ambulances, much excitement and speculation about the cause of the deaths of the two men was evident, and for many hours the Cutmore's home was the object of the curiosity of a large crowd.
Although her condition is considered serious Mrs. Cutmore was well enough last night to be interviewed by Detective-sergeants Davey and Brophy in No. 6 ward at the Melbourne Hospital. In her statement she was unable to say much of the tragedy which involved the death of her son.
"I was in the kitchen preparing the evening meal," said Mrs Cutmore, "when I heard footsteps in the passage. I took no notice, as some of the rooms in the house are let to lodgers, and I thought perhaps it was one of them returning home. It also occurred to me that it might have been one of the many friends who had called to see my son since he returned from Sydney. The front door had been left open by my son's wife, who had left the house to buy some milk at a shop near by. Shortly after I heard the footsteps in the passage I heard men's voices in my son's bedroom. The words were not distinct, but I did not think that there was a quarrel. Suddenly I heard two shots. While hurrrying into my son's room I heard several more shots, and on opening the door I saw two men standing at the end of his bed, which faced towards the back yard. Before I could even see my son another shot was fired and I felt a sharp pain in my right shoulder. I was dazed for the moment, and so unexpected was the whole affair that I cannot say which of the two men was carrying a gun, nor did I see that one of the men was seriously wounded. They both brushed past me into the passage, and one ran out of the back door, while the other seemed to stagger up the passage towards the front door. In the bedroom I saw my son lying on the bed. It seemed only a few minutes before the police arrived and I was taken to the hospital."
A pathetic incident occurred at the end of the interview of Mrs. Cutmore by the detectives at the hospital last night, when she was told of her son's death. Apparently she knew that he had been wounded, and asked Detective-sergeant Brophy if he was seriously ill. When told that he had been shot dead Mrs. Cutmore was obviously affected.
An X-ray examination of Mrs. Cutmore is to be made this morning, and it is expected that an operation for the removal of the bullet will be carried out during the day.
From descriptions given to the police, it is apparent that Taylor's companion, who left the house by the back door, is identical with a man who hurried to the surgery of Dr. McCutcheon, in Rathdown Street, and told him of the shooting, and later went to the Carlton police station for assistance. He then disappeared, and up till a late hour last night had not been traced by the detectives. Search was also made in the city and suburbs for the second man, who jumped out of the taxi-cab at the corner of Brunswick and Johnston streets, Fitzroy. In their efforts to find these men from the meagre descriptions which had been supplied, a large party of detectives visited the hotels in the Carlton district at which the taxi-cab had called during the afternoon. They were, however, unable to trace either of Taylor's companions.
An extraordinary feature of the tragedy which is engaging the close attention of the detectives is the fact that one of the revolvers used in the duel has disappeared. A .32 automatic six-chambered pistol, which was empty, was found in Taylor's possession when a Fitzroy constable searched his clothes at St. Vincent's Hospital. Reconstructing the duel last night, Sub-inspector Piggott advanced the theory that, of the succession of shots in the bedroom, Taylor fired six, as the chambers of his pistol were empty. That the shots were fired by each man simultaneously is indicated from an examination made last night by the police of Taylor's weapon. Evidently a bullet from Cutmore's revolver struck the barrel of Taylor's pistol, and, glancing off, inflicted a flesh wound in the little finger of his right hand. Part of the nickel cap of a bullet, apparently from Cutmore's revolver, had become jammed in one of the chambers.
From his youth the life of Leslie Taylor was a sordid record of criminality. Taylor, who affected smartness of dress and "polish" in his dealings with the police force, delighted to surround himself with an air of mystery and cleverness. By his spectacular exploits he came to be regarded as a master-mind among criminals. This reputation was not well-founded. Taylor was a criminal of ordinary mentality, whose distinguishing features were his callous disregard for the lives of others, his treachery towards his associates, and his personal cowardice.
Leslie Taylor, alias Leslie Grout, alias Michael McGee, was born at Brighton in 1884, and was one of the family of five brothers and two sisters. After receiving a state school education he worked for three years in a training stables, and from then on, so far as is known, he did no honest work. His early criminal record included imprisonment for 21 days for larceny in 1896, and imprisonment on no less than five occasions in 1907 on minor charges. Subsequent offences for which he received sentences included larceny, assault, vagrancy, stealing from the person, and obstructing the police. His total convictions until 1916 numbered 18.
The robbery and murder of a commercial traveller, Mr. Arthur Trotter, at his home at Fitzroy, on January 7, 1913, for which Harold Thompson, a labourer, was tried, was committed by three men, one of whom the police believe was Taylor, although no direct evidence could be obtained. Thompson was arrested after a reward had been offered and the chief evidence against him consisted of finger prints. It was considered that this evidence was insufficient, and the prisoner was acquitted.
Late on the night of February 28, 1916, the garage manager of the Globe Motor and Taxi Company was called by telephone by a man who said that his name was Lestrange, and ordered a car for the following day to take him to Eltham. He asked for the number of the car, and particularly requested that it should not be of a certain make. The order was booked, and on the following day William Haines, who was a relieving driver only, was sent to the address given. He left the garage at five minutes to 8 o'clock in the morning, and nothing more was heard of him until late on the same night his body was found huddled on the floor of his car at the junction of Bulleen and Templestowe roads, at Heidelberg. The body had been covered by a motor rug and hidden from view. Bullet wounds in the head and neck showed that Haines had been a victim of a cold-blooded and diabolical crime, for which the entire absence of apparent motive baffled the detectives engaged on the case. The car had been noticed by people at the side of the road several hours before the body of Haines was discovered. A fortnight after the discovery of the body, Taylor and another man were charged with the murder. When charged, Taylor broke into tears and explained that he did not murder anybody. Earlier in the day both men had been brought before the City Court and sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months on charges of vagrancy. Their trial for murder began on April 18, when the Crown case was that the accused had intended to rob a bank manager who was taking bank money from Doncaster to Templestowe. It was the belief of the police that Taylor and his accomplice, intending to make Haines drive them to a suitable spot where they could disguise themselves, and that they evidently expected that the promise of a substantial share in the booty would have induced Haines to assist in the crime. It was found that a grave had been prepared at Clayton, several miles away, and the theory was that the body of the bank manager was to be placed in this grave. Among the witnesses for the prosecution was the matron at the City Watchhouse, who repeated conversation concerning identification between the prisoners which she had overheard. During this conversation Taylor had said, "They can't very well pot us. They can't identify us." In his summing up, Mr. Justice Hood told the jury that the evidence of identification showed simply that one of the murderers was tall, and the other short, and he added that if the jury believed the story for the defence it was extremely strong. Taylor and the other man were found not guilty.
Taylor appealed against his sentence of 12 months for vagrancy, but on the evidence of several detectives that he was a known associate of criminals and undesirable characters, the appeal was dismissed. A second appeal by Taylor against the sentence for obstructing the police in the execution of their duty was also dismissed.
The "Fitzroy Vendetta," as it was known, which lasted for many months in 1919, formed one of the most extraordinary chapters of Taylor's sordid career. The vendetta arose, it is believed, from a quarrel among a number of criminals over the disposal of jewellery obtained in a carefully planned robbery of a Collins street jewller's shop. Some months after the robbery a woman associated with one of the criminals appeared at an "underworld" party wearing a quantity of jewellery which other guests recognised as a portion of the haul to which they considered that they were entitled. For months afterwards there was a bitter war between opposing parties of criminals, one of which Taylor was supposed to lead. The victims in these affrays never sought the assistance of the police and when they were so seriously injured that the police were able to interview them, they maintained an obstinate silence regarding the identity of their assailant. One man was brought to hospital in the early hours of the morning with six bullet wounds in his head. He recovered. Other shootings occurred, but no one was killed, and eventually the feud died.
In 1921 Taylor absconded from bail of £300, which had been fixed in connection with a charge against him of having broken and entered a warehouse and bond store in King street. For more than 12 months the police searched for him unsuccessfully. During the 14 months that he was in hiding many messages had come from him to the police promising to give himself up when he was ready. The eventual surrender was carefully arranged between Taylor's friends and the detectives. Punctually at a quarter past 8 o'clock on the morning of Thursday 22, 1922—the night arranged with the police—a large motor-car stopped outside the detective office. Taylor stepped out, paid the chauffeur. He told the detectives that he had never had any intention of running away. He added that he had spent most of his time in a flat in East Melbourne, and he told the police that he had often come out of hiding in disguise and had attended several race meetings sometimes dressed as a woman, but more often as a schoolboy in knickers. Taylor was a "showy" criminal, who thought a great deal of impressing members of the underworld, and the detectives were sceptical about the truth of the story. He was again committed for trial on the charge of having entered the warehouse, and was once more released on bail. His trial took place early in October. On the day before it took place a man who was walking up Bourke street about 8 o'clock in the evening fired three shots at Taylor as he alighted from a motor-car near the entrance to the Bookmakers' Clerks' Association. Alarmed pedestrians ran in all directions. Taylor was shot in the right leg, and fearing that further shots would be fired limped across the footpath and was assisted into the motor-car. Taylor's assailant escaped as soon as the shot had been fired, but later a man was arrested on a charge of having shot at Taylor. Taylor limped into the dock on crutches to answer the charge of entering the warehouse and in answer to the charge he said that he had been drinking heavily, and that an enemy of his had challenged him to fight. Running away he had entered the warehouse, and when he heard the police whistle he had thought that his enemy was pursuing him. "I tell you I was glad when I found that it was the police," added Taylor. The jury failed to agree, and Taylor was again released on bond. At his second trial the jury returned a verdict of not guilty, and he walked out of court free to continue his criminal career.
In connection with the robbery of Mr. T. R. V. Berriman, a bank manager, at Glenferrie, on October 8, 1923, a house in Barkly street, St. Kilda, was raided by 12 detectives before dawn a few mornings after the crime had been committed. Angus Murray, who was later convicted of the murder of Mr. Berriman and executed, was discovered in the house and apprehended, and in another room of the same house Taylor and a woman were found. Taylor then gave his age as 35. He was charged at St. Kilda with having been the occupier of a house frequented by thieves, and was remanded on bail of £1,000. On October 18, at the same court, he was charged with having harboured Angus Murray, who had broken from the Geelong gaol. Detective Clugston then said that the police believed that Taylor was "the organiser of a gang of murderous ruffians." Additional bail was granted and while he was on remand he was rearrested and charged at the City Court with having been an accessory both before and after, to the felony at Glenferrie, on the day that Murray was charged with murder. Bail for Taylor was refused, in spite of two applications to the Practice Court and then followed a long series of remands, both at the City Court and at the St Kilda Court. In all, Taylor was remanded 31 times on these charges, and after many protests bail was allowed. On November 1, while he was in gaol, his wife sued for divorce on the ground of misconduct, and proceedings were postponed during the hearing of the murder trial. A decree nisi was granted on February 4, 1924.
At the coroner's inquest, Taylor was named as an accessory and he was granted bail at the Criminal Court. He was re-arrested and fined at the St. Kilda Court for using threatening words; and almost two months after when the trial of Murray began, it was decided at the Criminal Court that the charge of having been an accessory would be withdrawn. The trial on the harbouring charge dragged on, and late in March he was imprisoned for six months. It was requested then that he be declared an habitual criminal, but Judge Dethridge, before whom the application came some time later, said that as in the last 10 years he had had no convictions he would give him a chance, and the order was not made.
His last conviction was in January, 1926, for illegal betting. A constable who had often come into contact with Taylor described him as a "doormat thief," who had from petty crimes worked his way into the underworld, where his long career of crime began.
John Daniel Cutmore had had 18 convictions recorded against him since 1914. Known as "Snowy" Cutmore, he had also appeared under various aliases, including that of John McLaughlin, John Nolan, John Watson, and John Harris. His longest sentence was 12 months in Sydney in 1923 for thieving. His offences included assaulting the police, shooting with intent to do grevious bodily harm, and thieving. While in gaol in Victoria he gave little trouble to the authorities, but was a source of considerable worry to the detectives, who, while suspicious, were very often unable to obtain convictions. He was said to have usually carried a revolver, and was suspected of more than one "hold-up." In police circles he was regarded as a dangerous criminal, whose cleverness enabled him to escape the consequences of many crimes.
In 1915 Cutmore was suspected of having been associated with the murder of a sailor in Melbourne. He was presented for trial, and was found not guilty. He joined the Australian Imperial Forces, but did not leave Victoria. He gave a great deal of trouble to the military authorities, and served sentences on various occasions in Geelong and other gaols, and also in Langwarrin.

- Melbourne Argus, October 28, 1927
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Benjamin Taylor (____ - 1901)
 
 Children:
  June Lorraine Taylor (1920 - 1921)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
IN MEMORY OF
JUNE LORRAINE TAYLOR
10. 1. 1921 - AGE 7 MONTHS
ALSO
JOSEPH THEODORE LESLIE
TAYLOR
29. 10 1927 - AGE 58 YRS
 
Burial:
Brighton Cemetery
Melbourne
Victoria, Australia
Plot: CE ZA Grave 1894
 
Created by: graver
Record added: Dec 23, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 63250087
Joseph Theodore Leslie Squizzy Taylor
Added by: graver
 
Joseph Theodore Leslie Squizzy Taylor
Added by: graver
 
Joseph Theodore Leslie Squizzy Taylor
Added by: graver
 
 
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-
 Added: Apr. 12, 2014
Rest in peace with your baby girl.
- Mary
 Added: Sep. 3, 2013

- Lance
 Added: Oct. 29, 2012
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