University of Otagoheader image header image



Patrick John Jager

Chronic systematised delusionalinsanity

In 1926 South Dunedin was rocked by a murder case that highlighted the tragic consequences of untreated delusional insanity. In the early hours of 3 May 1926 Patrick John Jager climbed out of his bed at the Railway Workshops Hotel and struck fellow rope worker, room mate and boyhood friend Arthur Creagh over the head with a bottle. Then, after almost severing Creagh's head with a razor, Jager turned himself over to the South Dunedin Police. Jager frequently complained of frightful headaches, heard voices and was convinced Arty Creagh was after him for his money. He had twice tried to commit suicide in the days leading up to the tragedy. His trial was a straightforward one, completed in about two hours. The jury agreed with the plea of not guilty entered by defence lawyer AC Hanlon, adjudging that Patrick John Jager was indeed insane. He was committed to the Asylum at Seacliff.

Site last updated 25/07/03
Best viewed in Internet Explorer