A closer look at the Killing of Lonigan

In the Jerilderie Letter Ned Kelly recalled his killing of Lonigan at Stringybark Creek as follows: 
“When I called on them to throw up their hands McIntyre obeyed and Lonigan ran some six or seven yards to a battery of logs instead of dropping behind the one he was sitting on, he had just got to the logs and put his head up to take aim when I shot him that instant or he would have shot me”…………
“As soon as I shot Lonigan he jumped up and staggered some distance from the Logs with his hands raised he then fell he surrendered but too late”
The bullet that killed Lonigan had smashed its way into his brain through the right eye and bony eye socket. Such an injury would not permit a person to leap to his feet and stagger about with arms raised – unconsciousness would have been instant, and death within a few seconds. In other places, Lonigan is also reported to have uttered the words “Christ, Ive been shot”. So theres something not right with Neds recollection already!
Neds claim that Lonigan was aiming at him when Ned shot him, supposedly in self defence, is proven false by the angle at which the bullet entered the brain.  The post mortem examination showed that the bullet entered obliquely from in front and to the right of Lonigans head; if Lonigan had been aiming at Ned, then Lonigans head would have been pointing straight at Ned, and the bullet would have entered from directly in front but it didn’t – it entered from the side proving that Lonigan was looking elsewhere when Kelly shot him.
My diagram of the path of the fatal bullet, shows Lonigan could not have been looking at and therefore not aiming at Ned Kelly when he was killed. Ned Kelly said he was looking at him : this diagram based on the Forensic reports proves he wasn’t. The four circles in a line represent the 4 advancing Kelly Gang members with Ned (NK) at one end ( as in McIntyres drawings of the scene) CORRECTION: The Gang members should be on the OTHER side of NK, to his left not his right as I have wrongly drawn it. This correction has no effect on the argument about the angle hat the bullet entered Lonigans head.

Dr Reynolds post mortem also revealed that Lonigan was not shot once but three or possibly four times.  In addition to the bullet that had smashed through his right eye and eye socket into the brain, another bullet had gone right through his upper left arm, another had entered his left thigh and travelled under the skin towards the inside of the thigh, and the fourth appeared to have grazed his right temple.

This ghastly but important forensic evidence makes a lie of Ned Kellys claims that Lonigan was taking aim at him,  and that he was shot just once: Lonigan was not even looking at Kelly, and he was shot four times.
As usual, Ned Kellys self serving account cannot be trusted.  So what did happen? I wrote about this last year, (Click here) but kelly sympathiser comments have given me a bit more to add to the debate.   
Kelly sympathisers embarrassment at the discrepancy between the forensic evidence and Ned Kellys account has led them to devise some very creative attempts at reconciling the two. Some say that Ned used “Swan drops” or else a “quartered bullet”, so that four or more projectiles emerged from his gun with the one firing, and they simultaneously created the damage to the right side of his head, his left arm and left leg.  Some say that the bullet that went into Lonigans eye first of all went through his raised left arm. Unfortunately for the sympathsiers, swan drops or bullet quarters would have to defy the known laws of physics to simultaneously enter the right and left sides of  Lonigans body, and to reach his left leg when it was concealed behind a log.  I invite anyone who thinks the bullet went through the left arm before the right eye to try to get your left upper arm way across in front of your right eye, and at the same time imagine you are aiming at Ned Kelly with a gun in your right hand –  if you could you would be contorted into a ridiculous posture that immediately reveals the silliness of that suggestion. The suggestion is preposterous but Kelly sympathisers keep making it!
Others have said the wound in the left leg was self inflicted, that is to say, Lonigan would have to have been left handed, and in his haste to get his gun out he fired it into his own leg. So was he left handed or right handed? And why, if he fired a Police revolver into his thigh, was there not a gaping hole in his left thigh rather than a small wound with a bullet still lodged under the skin of the medial thigh? The damage from a Webley fired at point blank range into a thigh would make a huge mess! Another stupid theory postulated by sympathisers fails the slightest scrutiny!
“Anonymous” – which one I wonder? – claimed recently  that the additional wounds to Lonigans body were inflicted by “crossfire” when the Gang was chasing Kennedy through the bush. Is he serious? What are the odds that Kennedy, shooting back at the 4 gang members chasing him, missed them all every single time but managed to hit his dead mate lying on the ground not once but two or possibly three times? Some people will believe anything but the bloody obvious! Another preposterous thought bubble from the Kelly “intellectuals”.
Another “Anonymous”- or is it the same one ? –  wrote this: “Lonigan was shot in the eye/head area because that was the biggest target Ned saw of him as he was looking over the log he was behind and taking aim at Ned. There’s another fact you can scoff at and leave out, and of course you will as it supports Ned’s version of what happened.” Well actually its NOT a fact that a person only gets shot in the head when the body is not available as a target. For all we know Ned Kelly WAS aiming at the body but missed and struck him in the eye instead. Furthermore, as already described, Lonigan was NOT taking aim at Ned when he was shot – he was probably looking at the other gang members.  And how does “Anonymous” explain the left leg bullet wound? Was that sticking up above the log as well? More nonsense.
Bills suggestion that the additional bullets were fired into Lonigans dead body after Kennedy had been killed and after McIntyre had fled the scene is certainly possible. If true it’s a sickening act of disrespect that further undermines the Sympathiser claim about Kelly having respect for the dead Policemen, but it has the virtue, from the Sympathisers perspective of preserving the possibility that Ned killed Lonigan with a single shot. It is also consistent with McIntyres recollection of a single shot being fired to kill Lonigan, though I have previously discussed the possibility that an experience as traumatic as ambush by armed men and witness of the murder of comrades can easily result in unreliable memories. I think Lonigan received a non fatal shot, leapt up and cried “Christ Ive been shot” put his hands up to surrender but was shot again, and killed.

The truth is that we cant be sure of exactly what did happen when Lonigan was killed, but we can be certain that it didn’t happen in the way Ned Kelly claimed it did,  because the forensic evidence is incontrovertible, and it doesn’t fit with Neds  description. The absurd thought bubbles that sympathisers have generated to try to reconcile these differences all burst with the merest critical evaluation, and all we are left with is two facts : Ned Kelly killed Lonigan and he didn’t tell the truth about it.
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42 Replies to “A closer look at the Killing of Lonigan”

  1. Dee,
    In your sketch scenario Ned Kelly is on the left of the advancing men. He should be on the right.

    At Ned Kelly's trial Dr Reynolds is quoted as saying about the four bullets-
    " and one in the inner side of the Right eyeball "

    Another report Dr Reynolds said-
    " The ball that struck the eye must have come slightly slanting" ( McMenomy 2003, page 251)

    Slanting I take to mean drawing a line through the head from higher up slanting down. Not 'Obliquely' from right to left.
    This means Const Lonigan's head was slightly slanting down as if sighting his revolver as you would while keeping your head down.

    To make your case using the word 'Oblique' to describe an angle of trajectory for the fatal bullet is not exactly right. For one thing the distances involved from Kelly to Lonigan when he was shot was said to be 40 yards. This distance is too great to take into account any angles as you have. We are talking about two converging lines with an included angle of about 7 degrees, so that line of sight for Lonigan, he would not need to move his head from left to right to be looking at any one of the four advancing men. It would be like looking straight ahead to one spot.

    So, can you can see your sketch trajectory is all wrong?


    I have tried to capture the moment in the link above. But for the convenience of clarity and getting it all onto the one image the relative distances cannot be true to scale.

  2. Thats a very nice sketch you've made Bill. I’m not the only person who believes the description by Dr Reynolds implies the bullet entered from an oblique angle as Ive shown in exaggerated fashion in my dodgy diagram. But you’re saying that Lonigan got his revolver out and was aiming it at Ned are you? And then later, after Kennedy had been killed the gang fired additional rounds into his dead body? My understanding from McIntyres evidence is that Lonigan wasn’t given anywhere near enough time to unclip the pouch let alone get the revolver out and aim it.

  3. The problem as usual is who to believe.

    Ned was a criminal who had begun shooting police (Fitzpatrick to start with)..

    Constable McIntyre was a sworn member on duty who patiently and endlessly explained what he witnesed at Stringybark Creek..

    Bill believes Ned.

    I don't.

  4. John Kiernan says: Reply

    Neither did the jury at Ned's trial for the murder of Lonigan.

    Ned whinged that his legal team did not allow him to explain everything. But he had at the bank robberies given tedious excuses for the police murders at Stringbark Creek. Most of the evidence of trial witnesses were about those conversations.

    Judge Barry gave short-shrift to Ned or his legal team's ploys.

  5. Great image Bill (although the horses were a bit rough).

    Surely McMenomy was referring to the sideways slant of Lonigan's head, which was why the bullet entered his eye at an angle and not straight in?. Bill, you have added a lot of interpretation which may be incorrect if based on Ned's version.

  6. Dee,
    Answer to your question marks? Yes I believe so.
    I suppose slanting, oblique, tilt, incline are all the same thing. All we can conclude is that the bullet that killed Lonigan came to his face from an angle and not straight on, but nothing like you have drawn. The bullet line was basically straight onto his face to get him in the inner right eye.

    Whether he was aiming his gun or not comes down to Ned Kelly's account because McIntyre did not see any of this till after Lonigan had made several plunges and fell dead.

    McIntyre Manuscript (page 17) at the time of being 'Bailed up', McIntyre was looking down the creek and Lonigan facing up but he did not see the men coming. At the Bail up moment McIntyre quickly turned around to face the men and raised his arms.

    McIntyre could not have seen what Lonigan did next, because Lonigan was behind him to his left.

    McIntyre wrote later ' he saw Kelly without the slightest tremor turn his rifle to the right' at Lonigan and fired a shot. Mc said
    " I took a hasty glance around when Kelly fired and saw Lonigan fall heavily he said " oh Christ I am shot" and made several plunges, breathing strentorously, after which he remained quite". So we can believe Mc that Lonigan had time to say Oh Christ I am shot.
    Seven days later 2 Nov 1878 Mansfield Guardian , McIntyre's account is reported – " Lonigan endeavoured to get behind a tree, three or four yards off, at the same time placing his hand on upon his revolver; before he could get his revolver he was shot and fell". So here we read what McIntyre made of the event even though he was not able to see exactly what had happened.

    Ned Kellys account, Jerilderie Letter
    " Lonigan ran six or seven yards to a battery of logs instead of dropping behind the one he was sitting on, he had just got to the logs and put his head up to take aim when I shot him that instant or he would have shot me—-"

    Kelly's case is much the same as McIntyre's except Kelly did see what happened, McIntyre did not.


  7. Thanks Bill. These are all valid opinions about something we can never be sure of, because the only actual witness to Lonigans shooting who said anything about it was Ned Kelly a known liar with a motive for describing the scenario in a way that supports his claim that he murdered in self defence.

    The Thought Bubble Kelly “Intellectuals” are noticeable by their absence in this discussion. They have no answers . Theyre finished.

  8. Dee, FYI.
    Taken and sworn at Beechworth in the Northern Bailiwick this 7th August 1880 Before me W Foster P.M.
    Public Records Office: Capital Case File VPRS 4966 Unit 2 Item 10: This file contains the notes from Kelly’s trial. Essentially the judge’s record of the course of the trial.

    Page 98: Samuel Reynolds. Surgeon at Mansfield – Regarding Lonigan gun shot entered inner side went through orbital bone into the hair the bullet travelled round and lodged on inside I extracted the bullet I put my finger into the wound did not meet the ball that was the cause of death in a few seconds another dead body was within a few paces.

    Page 99: The direction of the bullet was slightly slanting as if deceased had turned his face slightly in direction of the shot I did not see Kennedy’s body on the ground.

    When aiming a rifle the head is slightly to one side order to properly sight a target. The same would apply for a revolver.

    Bill has already told you that: ‘In your sketch scenario Ned Kelly is on the left of the advancing men. He should be on the right.” This is correct. Your sketch above does not resemble McIntyre’s detailed drawing of the scene.

    Therefore your “diagram of the path of the fatal bullet, shows Lonigan could not have been looking at and therefore not aiming at Ned Kelly when he was killed. Ned Kelly said he was looking at him” Is not correct.

    I can see no point having any further discussion with someone with such biased and unbalanced opinions as yourself.

  9. Anonymous I am disappointed that you feel that way about having further discussion, but I thank you for your contribution above. It takes time to track down these quotes and type them up, so I appreciate your effort. I think its fair to say that the descriptions provided by Reynolds are not altogether clear, and my interpretation is one of several that are possible. I am not going to insist that mine is correct, only that its a possibility, but even if we abandon it altogether we are still left with so many problems regarding the killing of Lonigan. Another one that I didnt mention is that Reynolds said the bullet from Lonigans thigh was a revolver bullet, and Ned killed him with a Rifle. Peter Fitzsimons reckons this means Lonigan shot himself but as Ive explained, this is very unlikely indeed. What are we left with? Bills interpretation, not mine! Fair enough!

  10. Anonymous says: Reply

    Yes indeed.

    “The most annoying of all men who assume to be what they are not are the wise men.” T.N.McIntyre.

  11. Gibberish says: Reply

    William Foster was a Police Magistrate and not a Judge. The Committal proceedings at Beechworth was not Ned's Trial.

    The McIntyre sketch does not show in which direction Lonigan's head was pointing.

  12. Anonymous says: Reply

    Google. Ned Kelly Trial: Capital Case File and report to the Governor.
    Fifth one from the bottom. Transcript reads:

    "one wound through left arm perforation through fleshy part of left thigh. Regarding Lonian gun shot entered inner side went through orbital bone into the hair the bullet travelled round and lodged on inside I extracted the bullet I put my finger into the wound did not meet the ball that was the cause of death in a few seconds another dead body was within a few paces. The direction of the bullet was slightly slanting as if deceased had turned his face slightly in direction of the shot I did not see Kennedy’s body on the ground.”

  13. Chook Checker says: Reply

    'Anonymous' keeps on shifting the goal posts and providing little in the way of accurate citation so that we can check his or her's assertions.

    Who is making the observations 'Anonymous' is quoting?

    The Capital Case file covers a lot of ground and contains many files.

  14. Anonymous says: Reply

    Extracts from: VPRS 4966 Consignment P0 Unit 2 Item 4 Record 15 Document: Report for His Excellency the Governor.

    I was standing with my face to the fire I heard voices, more that one cry "Bail up hold up your hands voice was from the spear grass. I turned suddenly round saw 4 men standing each armed with a gun presented at Lonigan and me- Prisoner was on the right of attacking party and on my left they were partly concealed by the spear grass Prisoners gun was in fair line for my chest I threw my hands out horizontally – (shows how)

    Lonigan was on my left behind – Prisoner moved his rifle from direction of my chest to his right in direction of Lonigan & fired it – I saw by a glance shot had taken effect on Lonigan for he fell – ion falling he said nothing for 6 or 8 Seconds afterwards on the ground he said Oh. Christ – I’m shot – that was the only shot fired at that time all 4 advanced on me at a run crying keep your hands up. Prisoner threw his gun into his left hand.

    I heard Lonigan breathing heavily then, in a short time he ceased to breathe – Prisoner jumped across the log went in the direction where Lonigan's body was lying I was still covered; (he (Lonigan) had run some 5 or 6 yards and struggled on the ground)

    Ned Kelly was on the right of the attacking party and on McIntyre’s left (when facing him)
    Only one shot was fired at that time.
    Lonigan had ceased breathing prior to Ned reaching him.

  15. Anonymous says: Reply

    T.N.McIntyre. A True Narrative of the Kelly Gang. Page 36.
    Described the gun used by Ned Kelly as being loaded with slugs made by quartering a spherical bullet.
    (This document can be read unedited online courtesy of the Vic. Police Museum)

    "Judging from the appearance of several bullets in my possession which were taken from the bodies of the murdered men, Kelly had his rifle loaded with slugs apparently made by cutting a spherical bullet into quarters.”

  16. Guesswork says: Reply

    Noone can accuse McIntyre of being a gifted writer. On page 36 he quotes Dr Reynolds and interpolates his own observations. I had to read it all a couple of times to see who was saying what. McIntyre says "Judging from the appearance of several bullets in my possession…Kelly had his rifle loaded with slugs 'apparently' made by cutting a spherical bullet into quarters".

    McIntyre was a policeman and not a forensic pathologist. Considerable damage had been caused to Scanlon and the bullets could well have been deformed or fragmented. Therefore, they could easily have been ordinary bullets, slugs or balls, before being fired and fracturing bones and becoming deformed.

    Who can say?

  17. Anonymous says: Reply

    Not just McIntyre

    G.W.Hall. The Outlaws of the Wombat Ranges. Written shortly after the shootings at SBC. Ned Kelly fired a charge of small bullets at him, one of which, entering his brain through the orbit of his right eye, brought him to the ground as a corpse. The other wounds from the scattered pellets were comparatively unimportant.

    J.J.Kenneally. The Inner History of the Kelly Gang. 1980 edition. Page 52. When Ned Kelly fired. His gun was loaded with a charge of swandrops.

  18. Anonymous says: Reply

    Given that the only shot fired at Lonigan in McIntyre’s presence was fired by Ned Kelly. Most certainly the fatal shot.
    None of the others fired at Lonigan at that time.

  19. There you go again, Anonymous. Hall and Kenneally's books are regarded as pro-Kelly propaganda by most experts.

    You can't have it all your own way. Was Ned's gun loaded with quartered bullets, 'Swandrops' or 'a charge of small bullets — or was it just his old rifle and the old pocket Colt revolver?

  20. Anonymous says: Reply

    Quartered bullets, ‘Swandrops’ or ‘a charge of small bullets = Multiple Projectiles.

  21. Its of no importance but I am not sure your interpretation is correct here : McIntyre says “Prisoner was on the RIGHT of attacking party….and on my LEFT they ( the others?) were partly concealed by Spear Grass” This very much reads as McIntyre saying on the right was NK and on the left the others were partly hidden. Your idea is that McIntrye is reporting the scene from NKs point of view in the first part of the sentence and from his own in the second. Who does that? This quotation is entirely consistent with my Diagram.

  22. So nobody is defending the “Lonigan was hit by crossfire” line, nobody is defending the self inflicted left leg wound line, and arguing about swan-drops vs quarters or “a charge of small bullets” doesn’t in any way help explain the multiple wounds in Lonigans body. Sorry folks but I think Bill has it right again – the Gang fired into Lonigans body after he was already dead. No other explanation fits the facts as well. What a sickening conclusion to have to come to about the Kelly Gang, that they used dead Policemen for target practice.

  23. Anonymous says: Reply

    The suggestion that Lonigan received a non fatal shot, leapt up and cried “Christ I’ve been shot” put his hands up to surrender but was shot again, and killed. Can be dismissed through McIntyre’s evidence.

    Upon falling Lonigan said nothing for 6 or 8 seconds afterwards on the ground he said Oh. Christ – I’m shot – that was the only shot fired at that time…….. The shot was fired by Ned Kelly. The fatal shot.

  24. Anonymous says: Reply

    Obviously Ned did not jump the log and endeavour to “finish Lonigan off” by using his misfiring “pop pistol” by shooting him in the leg as has been suggested. As he was already deceased.

  25. I am not aware of anyone saying Lonigan was finished off by shooting him in the leg. What we are saying is that the Gang fired into his dead body, perhaps after Kennedy was dead and when the Gang were looting the Police camp, setting it on fire and flogging the personal effects of the dead men.

    What is YOUR explanation for the bullet in Lonigans left leg? Bills explanation is the best one so far, the only one that accommodates all the known facts.

  26. Anonymous says: Reply

    Partial copy of one of Bill's earlier posts:

    We can believe Dan Kelly also had a firearm, so perhaps three shots were fired or even four if Steve Hart had one too.

    Joe Byrne was said to have had an old large bore shot gun, so perhaps in the scurry, four shots were fired from rifles and pistol without counting Joe's old gun ? And perhaps after Lonigan he had fallen, McIntyre said Lonigan continued to convulse for some time. Perhaps by this time the revolver Kelly was said to have, was used again in an attempt to finish Lonigan off, and because this pocket revolver had to be manually loaded with powder and a bullet, and was not the full ready to load and fire cartridge type gun, perhaps a low amount of Gunpowder sent the bullet at low power into Lonigan thigh.
    I should mention, the body of Lonigan was moved from the north side of the logs to behind Log 'B' as Mc said elsewhere Ned realised the body would be visible to the two other returning police. This is also supported by the illustration of the day – the Sydney Morning Herald drawing McIntyre himself endorsed.

  27. Earlier in this thread, referring to Lonigan I asked Bill if he believed that "after Kennedy had been killed the gang fired additional rounds into his dead body? “ and his answer was Yes. I would have thought that given McIntrye didnt recall anyone else firing at Lonigan then if it happened at all it happened after he had fled the scene, and after Kennedys death. Alternatively, McIntyre forgot – but if you believe he forgot such an important detail as that, then who knows what else he forgot?

    So what is YOUR explanation for the other bullet wounds in Lonigans body?

  28. Additional wounds before or after Lonigan's death. Bill cannot have it both ways.

  29. Dr Reynolds was not suggestive that any of the wounds were caused after death.

    The Melbourne Trial. October 1880.
    Source. McMenomy. Ned Kelly The Authentic Illustrated History. Page 251.
    Samuel Reynolds, medical practitioner at Mansfield, made a ‘post-mortem examination on the body of Thomas Lonigan. There were two wounds – the one in the eye, the other on the temple, which was merely a graze. He had also a wound on the left arm, and one on the left thigh. They were all gunshot wounds. The wound through the eye was the cause of death.
    Cross-examined by Mr Bindon – The ball that struck the eye must have come slightly slanting. Did not think the other wounds were inflicted after death. . . . . I extracted a bullet from Lonigan’s thigh. It was an ordinary revolver bullet. Re-examined – If wounds were inflicted before the circulation had actually ceased, it would be impossible to state accurately whether they were before or after death.

    VPRS 4966 Consignment P0 Unit 2 Item 4 Record 15 Document: Report for His Excellency the Governor.
    I extracted the bullet from Lonigan's thigh small as of a revolver if wound were inflicted before circulation had ceased could not tell difference between wounds inflicted before and after death. At 5.35 P.M. Verdict guilty Sentence death –

  30. No. It is not consistent with your diagram. Ned Kelly was on McIntyre's left when facing the attacking party.

  31. But thats not what McIntyre says. He says “Prisoner was on the right…. and on my left….” deliberately juxtaposing left and right. By your interpretation “on the right” and “on my left” refer to the same end of the attacking Party, which would make this a very odd use of English. If there were two doors in front of you and I said the Ladies Toilet is the door on the right, the mens on the left, which one would you go to if you were a lady?

    Incidentally, if you look at McIntyres diagram reproduced among the illustrations in Ian Jones book “A Short Life” you will see he agrees with me, saying NK is represented by the first circle on the left!

    As I said its of no importance but I believe your dogmatism on this point is misplaced.

  32. Your problem is that whichever explanation you go for, none supports Neds version as the truth of what happened. If these bullets were fired before Lonigan was dead, the only possible way one could have gone into his leg was if he was NOT behind the logs as Kelly claimed. If it was only one shot you have to explain why the bullet extracted from Lonigans thigh was not a quartered bullet or Swandrops or shot but “an ordinary revolver bullet” when Kelly claimed he killed Lonigan with a Rifle. And though Reynolds was inclined to think they were inflicted before death, he quite fairly stated that he couldn’t be certain if a wound was inflicted before or after death. So Bills theory holds up better than all the others.

    We are still waiting for your explanation for the wounds in Lonigans leg and elsewhere. If its better than Bills we are keen to hear it.

  33. Anonymous says: Reply

    McIntyre’s diagram as held in the Vic. Police Museum clearly shows the order of the gang when looking North towards the logs. Hart, D.Kelly, Byrne, N.Kelly.
    Ned is on the same side as Lonigan. (East). This is on McIntyre’s left when he faced the gang. You’re drawing would have Ned on McIntyre’s right therefore it is should be corrected. As it is misleading. Bill shares the same opinion.

  34. OK Ive just found that same diagram in The Kelly Gang Unmasked so I stand corrected on that one! I should check that book much more often! So should Ian Jones!

    Now can someone please explain Lonigans wounds in any other way than the method suggested by Bill, that they were acquired after death? If none is forthcoming we must conclude the Gang used the poor mans body for target practice, and Ned pretended that didnt happen. How gross and disgusting.

  35. Anonymous says: Reply

    I take it that the previously strongly held opinions and suggestions that more than one shot was fired at Lonigan by Ned Kelly or others in McIntyre’s presence have now been abandoned.

    In favour of Bill’s current theory. That apart from the eye wound the other wounds were all sustained after death through other members of the gang firing into his body prior to leaving the scene. Using Lonigan’s body for target practice

  36. Not at all. I have written a correction to my drawing rather than replace it so that readers coming later to this page will understand what gave rise to some of this discussion, but where Ned was in relation to the rest of the Gang is neither here nor there.

    What we are trying to find here is the best explanation for Lonigans death, because Ned Kellys description of it doesn’t fit with the forensic evidence, and the explanations provided by modern day sympathisers are ridiculous, as I pointed out n the Post. Personally I am still in favour of at least one shot before the one into his brain, because I am convinced that the one into his brain would have made it impossible to leap to his feet, lift his arms up to surrender and to cry out “Christ Ive been shot”. Bills explanation would account for the leg wound and the arm wound.

  37. Anonymous says: Reply

    I think it would be wise for any readers to refer to McIntyre's diagram in order to gain a realistic understanding.

  38. Perhaps when Const Lonigan was shot through the eye the bullet exited without severing vital arteries in his neck. He may have survived long enough to say 'Oh Christ I am shot'.

    Dr Reynolds did say the bullet shattered the eye orbit bone splintering into the brain which caused his death.

    Anonymous said " Bill cannot have it both ways",
    As far as my two scenarios –
    (1) One shot from Ned,
    (2) That the others fired shots into the body after Lonigan was dead.

    I agree there can only be one true scenario.

    If McIntyre had good memory recall and that only one shot from Ned had killed Lonigan, then the other wounds can only have occurred after McIntyre had left the scene, hence the others present may have later fired into the dead body of Lonigan as a sign of mutual implication.

    A third scenario I have not previously mentioned was that if Ned Kelly did load his muzzle loading Enfield rifle with one of his big calibre conical bullets ( .577 inch), and on top some chopped up bullet lead including perhaps a few small calibre bullets, the trajectory of the big rifled bullet at full charge would be accurate but the other lead splayed out with some hitting the Constable, all in one shot.

    This implies Lonigan was shot while on his feet and raises difficult the issues of bullet directions, an implausable explanation as Dee has pointed out previously, but worth considering.


    PS, Google " man survives serious brain injury"
    "A Brazilian man reportedly survived a harpoon through the brain, following a freak accident in which he accidentally shot himself through the left eye while cleaning his harpoon gun."

  39. Following Bill’s third scenario:

    Lonigan could not have been shot whilst running away from Ned, as only the right side of his body or back would have be exposed.
    Public Records Office: Capital Case File VPRS 4966 Unit 2 Item 10. “The direction of the bullet (To the eye) was slightly slanting as if deceased had turned his face slightly in direction of the shot"
    For one of the projectiles to travel from the outside towards the inner of the left thigh, then he would have needed to be facing in the direction of the shot.

    To sustain the wounds in the head and fleshy part of the left arm these must also have been exposed. Therefore:

    Either he turned whilst standing to face Ned, or he reached the end of the log:

    Rapt his lower body around the end of the log. Left leg kneeling and exposed. Upper body exposed. Facing the direction of the shot.

    This could account for all 4 wounds.

  40. Whatever happened, Lonigan is unlikely to have been very rapt

  41. Anonymous says: Reply

    !0 points to you Sagacity. No, Lonigan would not have been at all rapt about having a shot load of multiple projectiles heading his way.

  42. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Hi, I have been enjoying the discussion on Fitzpatrick but can't understand why you allow "Anonymous" to publish outright abuse. I have been reading this site for a little while now and think there is no excuse for trolling anonymously, or for any abuse at all. I am in favour of automatically not publishing any comments at all that someone is not wiling top put their name to. No blog has any obligation to publish someone's abusive comments, it just lowers it for everyone and distracts from the discussion. Dee, I admire your patience with the trolls who appear on several topics, but they really don't deserve a voice if they behave like this. They can always get a hearing with their name and a point to make.

    On the comment about Constable Joseph Mayes' low opinion of Fitzpatrick, when Mayes said to the 1882 Royal Commission that "From
    enquiries I made in the neighbourhood of Greta and elsewhere, I came to the conclusion that he was at the bottom of the whole of the Kelly trouble—in fact, the originator of it," it is not surprising that people around Greta would give that opinion. Fitzpatrick was put under Mayes' command in Lancefield in September 1879. The Kelly gang were still on the run. The Kellys had launched a defence of Mrs Kelly, Williamson and Skillion by Bowman at the Beechworth Assizes in October 1878 that Fitzpatrick was drunk when he went to Mrs Kellys on 15 April, amongst other things. Stories of Fitzpatrick's failings were well publicised long before Fitzpatrick was sent to Mayes in Lancefield, including in GW Hall's February 1879 Mansfield pamphlet. Greta was the heart of Kelly country. Mayes' opinions add nothing new; they only show his hostility to Fitzpatrick, and not necessarily for any good reason. (Reposted by Dee)

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