Balmain, New South Wales, Australia
|Died||6th October, 1960 (aged 71-72), Randwick, New South Wales)|
|Cause of death||Peritonitis from ruptured gastric ulcer|
|Other names||"Aunt Thally" whilst imprisoned|
|Criminal penalty||Life imprisonment|
|Victims||4 (3 attempted murders)|
Span of killings
|State(s)||New South Wales|
Caroline "Auntie Carrie" Grills (nee Mickelson) ( born c.1888, Balmain, NSW, Australia – 6th October 1960), was an Australian serial killer.
Grills was born to George Michelson and Mary (nee Preiers) in Balmain, Sydney and married on 22nd Aprll, 1908 to Richard Grills, and had 6 children, five daughters and a son. She first became a murder suspect in 1947 after the deaths of four family members: her 87-year-old stepmother Christine Mickelson; relatives by marriage Angelina Thomas and John Lundberg; and sister in law Mary Anne Mickelson. Authorities tested tea she had given to two additional family members (Christine Downey and John Downey of Redfern) on 13 April 1953, and detected the common household rat poison, thallium.
Grills, who was a short dumpy woman who wore thick rimmed dark glasses, commonly served her friends and in-laws tea, cakes and biscuits, and lived in Gladesville, after the death of her father in 1948. She appeared in court charged with four murders and three attempted murders (the third being Eveline Lundberg, Christine Downey's mother) in October 1953. She was convicted on 15 October 1953 and sentenced to death, but her sentence was later changed to life in prison. She became affectionately known as "Aunt Thally" to other inmates of Sydney's Long Bay prison. In October 1960, she was rushed to the Prince Henry Hospital at Randwick where she died from peritonitis from a ruptured gastric ulcer. In the months that followed more cases of thallium poisoning were stated, including notably, prominent Australian Rugby League footballer Bobby Lulham
- Hidden Evidence: Forty true crimes and how forensic science helped solve them by David Owen (Firefly Books, September 2000).
- Murder! 25 True Australian Crimes by Vivien Encel & Alan Sharpe
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