The CSI Team gets Lonigans murder all wrong too..

In last weeks post I discussed the announcement made by the CSI team that they were releasing an updated version of their 2012 Report which purported to have identified the site at which Ned Kelly murdered three policemen in October 1878. In their announcement they claimed their site “has now been examined by Heritage Victoria” and in the Updated Report itself there are photos that they say show an area of bush ‘cleared by Heritage Victoria’. In last week’s post I exposed these claims as untruthful, because in answer to my request for more information about these site visits, an archaeologist at Heritage Victoria said “There has been no formal inspection of this site undertaken by this office”.

I hoped that this updated 2017 version might contain their responses to the criticisms I and many others had made of their original Report but sadly it doesn’t. The “Updated” report is just the old report with the addition of the photographs of the place they wrongly claim was ‘cleared by Heritage Victoria’, and two more Appendices that like all the others, are irrelevant – one is about a bullet found in the area and another about the killing of Lonigan. 

I was drawn to their ‘analysis of the shooting of Constable Lonigan’, a contentious topic I’ve written about extensively on this Blog. The reason this murder is particularly contentious is because Ned Kelly claimed he killed Lonigan in self-defence, and should not have been found guilty of his murder. He claimed Lonigan should have ‘bailed up’ as ordered, like McIntyre did, but instead he ran behind ‘a battery of logs’ removed his revolver from its pouch and rose to take aim at Ned Kelly. Kelly claimed that he fired a single shot in self-defence, a shot which went through Lonigans right eye, into his brain and killed him almost immediately. However at the subsequent autopsy Neds claims were thrown into serious doubt because in addition to the expected gunshot wound to the right eye, Lonigan had at least three other wounds: one was a graze to the right temple, another bullet went through his LEFT arm and one went into his LEFT thigh. To add to the puzzle, Dr Reynolds found that all wounds had been created before death. Uncovering the truth about Lonigans death thus became a contentious and challenging puzzle. The pieces of the puzzle that have to be fitted together are the pattern of bullet wounds to Lonigans body, a single shot, no post-mortem bullet wounds, the conflicting accounts of McIntyre and Kelly, and Reynolds recollection, given at the Royal Commission two years later that the projectile he extracted from Lonigan’s left thigh was “an ordinary revolver bullet”.

There are a few things about the CSI analysis of Lonigan’s death that I like – that’s because they are observations, ideas  and suggestions that they have copied from this Blog in posts that I made about Lonigan’s murder over a year ago.  The first of these is their realisation that Ned Kelly didn’t tell the truth about what happened. They describe two commonly repeated descriptions of how Lonigan died, one of which is Ned Kelly’s version and say “The CSI team found that on the evidence, neither of the above reconstructs reflects with accuracy the actual circumstances”. They wouldn’t dare risk alienating their supporters by saying it plainly, but here they are agreeing with me that Ned Kelly’s version of what happened was lies. 

Secondly, their scenario has Lonigan being shot while out in the open, which is what I have been saying all along. This acknowledgement also implies they regard Ned’s claim that Lonigan rose up from behind ‘a battery of logs’ to be a lie.

Thirdly they write “For the wounds to have been inflicted by the single shot, the carbines charge would need to have consisted of multiple projectiles” This again is what I have been pointing out on this Blog for over a year, and in 2016, I posted a crude diagram of how the multiple projectiles, variously postulated to be a quartered bullet  or ‘swan drops’ might have spread out and impacted different parts of Lonigans body all at once. Subsequently Bill Denheld produced a much more artistic version of that diagram, and now, in 2017 the CSI team have produced their own version of this same diagram. Needless to say, the CSI team doesn’t acknowledge my insights, or admit they’ve borrowed my ideas anywhere but I think they ought to. 
The CSI teams Birdseye view of what they think happened to Lonigan :
shot from behind after he turned and ran.  Nice try but it doesn’t explain how he ended up with a bullet in the LEFT thigh and was found on his back.

The rest of their scenario is wrong, and their ‘birds eye view’ of Lonigan being shot is a mess, as is illustrated in their image above. It shows Lonigan running away from the gang, his head turned to the right and a volley of projectiles arriving at Lonigan from behind and to his right. The bullet causing the ‘right temple graze’ is shown tracking across his forehead; the track of the bullet that according to Reynolds passed through ‘the bone of the orbit and drove portions of it into the brain’ is drawn in a trajectory that would completely miss the ‘bone of the orbit’ and the brain altogether. 

Notice also that there is no track for the bullet that went into the left thigh. This is because in their drawing the bullets approach Lonigan from his right side, but as everyone knows a bullet entered his left thigh from the left side. To explain this last fact the  CSI team are forced into recycling Ian Jones’ theory from years before, that the left thigh wound was created in a seperate incident an hour or more later, during the gunfight between the gang and Kennedy. Ian Jones and the CSI team propose that Kennedy, shooting back at the four Gang members as he fled, missed all of them every time but managed to hit his fallen comrade’s corpse collapsed in the grass! What are the odds? Buckley’s or none? The CSI team are going to have to dream up a better explanation than Jones ridiculous idea.

Actually, this suggestion by Jones and the CSI team, along with the one that the gang all fired a bullet into Lonigan’s dead body in some kind of gruesome bonding ritual can all be confidently rejected: Dr Samuel Reynolds autopsy showed that ALL the wounds were inflicted BEFORE death. If other bullets had hit him later on, long after he had died, Reynolds would have recognised them as having been fired into a dead body. He didn’t find any. There were none. 

The CSI teams obvious mistake is to have accepted McIntyre’s account of what he thought happened behind his back when Lonigan was shot. He guessed that Lonigan turned and ran, but was struck in the right eye when he looked back over his shoulder. By the time McIntyre turned to see what had happened Lonigan was on the ground, as good as dead. But McIntyre’s description wasn’t a lie but a guess – he didn’t see exactly what happened. The key to realising that McIntyre guessed wrong is in the pattern of the bullets that hit Lonigan.

Here is the scenario that works the best, and fits the pieces of the puzzle together with the least need to accept ridiculous improbabilities. Its the one I described on this Blog over a year ago, and it has now been brilliantly illustrated in the drawing by Bill Denheld at the top of the post.  When you look at that drawing it all looks so obvious, it makes perfect sense.

This reconstruction requires first of all an understanding of exactly where everyone was when the gang emerged from the spear grass. When the gang appeared they were behind McIntyre and to Lonigans  front in a line going from right to left.  On the cry of “Bail up” McIntyre turned to face the gang, meaning that he could no longer see Lonigan who was now behind him to his left.  When Lonigan looked up he may have been almost facing the person at one end of the line but would have looked along the line of gang members and across to his left to see the man at the other end, Ned Kelly. Lonigan DIDN’T turn and run when ordered to bail up –  instead he kept his eye on the gang and took a few steps backwards. This is a much more natural response to such a threat, to back off and keep your eyes on the intruders, than turning your back on them and making a run for it. So, Lonigan took a few steps back, perhaps turning a little to his right looking for cover-  exposing even more of his left side to Kellys gun and his head turned to the left to see the line of four gang members emerging from the tall grass. Within a few seconds, Ned shot him with a charge of swan-drops or a quartered bullet: one went by his right eye on an angle and into his brain – as Reynolds described – one went through his left arm, another into his left thigh, and a fourth grazed his right temple. One shot. All wounds created simultaneously.  Lonigan was found where he fell, on his back which fits this scenario perfectly. If he had been running away and looking back when shot from behind as the CSI team  have illustrated, he would have fallen forward onto his face. 

Bill Denheld has kindly also drawn an alternative close-up ‘birds-eye’ view to illustrate the scenario that best fits the evidence: all bullets arrive at once, from off to Lonigan’s left, one in the left thigh, another through the left arm, one into the right eye and a graze to the right temple – and no need for ridiculous theories about the corpse being accidentally hit, or used for target practice by the Gang much later. 

One last minor difficulty remains. Reynolds said the bullet in Lonigan’s thigh was ‘an ordinary revolver bullet’, not a fragment of a ‘quartered bullet’ or a ‘swan drop’.  How can this be explained? Well, because only one shot was fired, the wound in Lonigans thigh could only have happened at that time, along with the others, and therefore Reynolds description of the fragment as an ‘ordinary revolver bullet’ must have been an error.  In his original Autopsy report he described all Lonigans wounds as ‘bullet’ wounds, but made no special mention of extracting the ‘revolver bullet’ from Lonigans thigh.  It wasn’t until two years later, at the Royal Commission that  Reynolds described that bullet as a revolver bullet. However he did specifically mention finding and extracting a ‘bullet’ in the report he wrote of the autopsy he performed on Scanlan. Its easy to imagine him mixing things up a couple of years later, or even wrongly identifying the projectile from the very beginning. He was a trained and experienced doctor not an arms dealer.
This scenario fits every known fact far more readily than any other reconstruction I’ve ever heard of. The CSI teams attempt to account for how Lonigan died is close only because they used the arguments advanced by me on this Blog a long time ago: they correctly recognised that Ned Kelly lied, that Lonigan had to have been hit by multiple projectiles all at once, and was shot out in the open. Where they went wrong was in accepting the guesswork of McIntyre about exactly what Lonigan did the moment he was ordered to ‘Bail up’, that he turned his back on the gang and made a run for it. The pattern of his wounds shows that’s not what he did – his left side was turned towards the gang, and with his head also turned to the left his right eye was exposed to Ned Kelly’s rifle out to Lonigan’s right. Look again at Bills great illustration of the ambush – it all makes sense at last!

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23 Replies to “The CSI Team gets Lonigans murder all wrong too..”

  1. And herein we find the absolute truth about the evidence McIntyre gave in court that led to the execution of Ned Kelly. He gave a beautiful account of everything that happened, which he had to read from his well constructed notebook whilst running away and leaving his copper mates to die. "But McIntyre’s description wasn't a lie but a guess – he didn’t see exactly what happened." Wasn't a lie but a guess!!!. Would most definitely NOT stand up in court today. McIntyre was a gutless worm who simply fled, and abandoned his mates when they needed him most. So Ned Kelly was convicted on the words of a liar, who fabricated evidence, and gave a beautiful account in court and under oath of everything that happened at SBC. Only two people actually know what happened at SBC, and where, and one "guessed" his evidence, and the other was Ned. Pretty shabby!! And thus any information McIntyre gave about the site at SBC has to be discounted as most likely a fabricated lie.

  2. Wow you're way off the mark, and letting your blind hatred of police show to a seriously embarrassing extent! When McIntyre fled the killing ground, Lonigan and Scanlan were already dead, and McIntyre was unarmed so how the HELL do you suppose he was going to help Kennedy? You had better come up with a damn good explanation or else retract your slanderous claim that "McIntyre was a gutless worm".

    Ned Kelly was convicted on the evidence. And as I show above Kelly lied about what happened at SBC, and as we also know, he lied about almost everything. It was Kelly who was the gutless worm – human shields, armour, killing of Sherrit, whining and pleading not to be shot when he was caught…forgot those facts did you anonymous?

  3. Brian Tate says: Reply

    'Anonymous'' words have a certainly familiarity to them. Hmm. I would be interested to hear what he/she would have done in a similar situation to that McIntyre faced. So please give us your take on this. Kelly was convicted of murder because that is precisely what he did at SBC. As Dee has pointed out Kelly's story about what happened at SBC changed over time. And the jury took bugger all time to convict him as the evidence was as clear as day.

  4. Dee, when I first read this your last topic, to be fair I also picked up on what Anon is saying.
    In my opinion Ned was no more a liar than McIntyre an opportunist manipulator of the facts.
    For years I have been working on a proposition to show 'Ned was Duded by McIntyre'.

    Another thing we could discuss was that ordinary bullet taken from Lonigan's left thigh.
    If the doctor said 'an ordinary revolver bullet' then perhaps that’s what it was. You allege this was only reported at the Royal Commission two years later, but reading Ian Macs NKUnmasked, page the doctor performing the post mortem removed an ordinary bullet from Lonigan's thigh ( bullets have a rounded tip). So perhaps the gun that fired all those projectiles at once consisted a mixture of chopped up lead balls ( maybe described as swan drops) and a few ordinary revolver bullets, that according to McIntyre Ned had plenty of.

    At the time of my discussion with the Genepool and script writer, I had proposed the exhumation of Lonigan's remains to see what had entered his eye socket and brain. That would end any arguments as to what projectile had killed Const. Lonigan, and whether Ned Kelly had indeed fired a single shot inflicting all four wounds.

    I don't think McIntyre was a bad bloke, but have doubts about Kennedy leaving them at camp, knowing what Kennedy knew about SBC location, the two huts there and the tip off from Tolmie which had not been passed on to McIntyre nor Lonigan. They were described at the Royal commission as decoys. That’s a lot worse than a lie or manipulating the facts.

    PS, the images came out well, I think the maim top picture even though its been cropped hard is a convincing scenario of when Lonigan got hit, but then while McIntyre did not see anything we have to believe Ned's version too, that maybe Lonigan did crouch behind that log, (The log McIntyre did not draw)and in a last attempt to fire back got it in the eye. I say this because if you are hit in the head I don't think he would be able to say 'Oh Christ I'm shot'.

  5. wow thats a harsh thing to say about McIntyre that Ned was no more a liar than he was, and an opportunist manipulator of facts! Do you REALLY mean it Bill?

    Thanks again for your brilliant drawing! Can you explain how Lonigan would have got all those wounds if he was crouched behind that log – and also, if he stood up to 'fire back' as you say, wouldn't he do so facing them rather than being turned side on to them?

    The scenario you've illustrated for me is the scenario that makes the most sense. By a long way!

  6. Thank you Bill. There is little doubt that McIntyre gave a well fabricated account of what happened at SBC. Not saying it was all totally made up. Far from it. But certainly McIntyre certainly gave a well written version of events that he simply could not have actually seen at SBC. Retract my statement about McIntyre being a gutless worm. I think not. You tell me how McIntyre could have possibly seen every thing he gave as evidence. It is simply not possible. McIntyre was a quivering mess who abandoned his mates. As for slanderous. I think not. If you can prove that I have been slanderous in describing McIntyre, you need to prove it. As for hatred of police. If you only knew who I was, which you don't and never will you would retract your slanderous comment without delay Dee. This time you are way out of line. As for Brian Tate's comments. Bye Brian. I would not waste my breath commenting on anything you write as you only see things through an ex coppers eyes and with total blind bias.

  7. The word I should have used was libellous, the only difference between that and slander being one is spoken the other the written word. But yes, calling McIntyre a liar, a gutless worm, and accusing him of running away and abandoning 'his mates when they needed him most' is libellous and if you spoke it, would be slander. But I note happily you have already withdrawn your disgraceful allegation he was a gutless worm, and now I think you should retract your claim that he 'abandoned his mates' because, firstly only ONE was still alive when he fled to save his own life, and because secondly, being unarmed there was absolutely nothing he could do to help Kennedy. Absolutely nothing – so how dumb are you to suggest he should have done something other than try to save himself and raise the alarm? Perhaps you can explain what exactly YOU would have done in that situation, you bloody great hero.

  8. Anonymous says: Reply

    You never read my reply properly did you? I never retracted my comment about McIntyre being a gutless worm, and I never will. Read it again.

  9. Oh dear, yes I see my mistake. Sorry.

    So know-all, explain again exactly what YOU would have done to help Kennedy, facing four armed killers with nothing but your bare hands? If you can explain how you would have saved him and not got yourself killed I will take my hat off to you. Until then I will regard you as a foul mouthed police hater, in other words a typical Kelly fancier, and if I happened to know who you were it wouldn't make that any different.

    I dont suppose you're the dim wit who said she's tired of Ned Kelly being called a cop killer are you? (The truth can be so annoying when you want to believe a fairy tale !) Or maybe you're the ignoramus who said if you find the ruins of a hut "you've hit the jackpot"??

  10. Anonymous says: Reply

    Dee, for a person who said that personal attacks are not allowed on your page, you are doing a pretty good job. Of nothing, I need explain. If I was there I would have done whatever it takes to protect my mates, even if it meant giving my own life. I would do the same today. And no I am not the "dim-wit" you mention, or the ignoramus. Maybe from here on you can just call me Clare.

  11. Oh so after describing McIntyre as a gutless worm, accusing him of 'running away and leaving his copper mates to die," 'abandoned his mates when they needed him most' – youre objecting to 'personal attacks' ??? Really? So you can hand it out but can't take it Clare is that it?

    So just explain precisely what you mean by "whatever it takes" . Big shot talk is all I am hearing. And remember it was only Kennedy – not ' his mates' that you're going to try to 'protect'. So you would have thrown a stick at Dan? Or Ned or Joe and Steve? You would have been shot and killed within seconds. Great work!

  12. Brian Tate says: Reply

    But I notice that while 'anonymous' retains his description of McIntyre as a 'gutless worm' he offers no answer to the question of what he thinks the unarmed McIntyre should have done. He tries to fob me off because he knows he can't answer the question. All piss and wind!

  13. The Lawless program tomorrow gets a paragraph in the Sun TV guide. There are two gigantic mistakes. One is that there was a shootout at SBC. If so it was one sided. Neither Lonigan or Scanlon got off a single shot, which left four murderous thugs chasing after Sergeant Kennedy.

    The other is the claim of an archival find – the drawing of the crime scene done by Const. McIntyre. BOTH of McIntyre's drawings have been available to all in The Kelly Gang Unmasked since 2012.

    Lawless is going to be an embarrassing comedy show.

  14. Anonymous says: Reply

    Personal attacks on posters on your blog Dee, not people who died long ago is to whom and what I refer. Brian, you get no response from me. No fob off here. You do not merit a response. Dee, I am disappointed. I thought you were above resorting to insults but it appears I am wrong. McIntyre even had time to chat with Ned on the trip back to Beechworth, and was in a cell in the gaol in Beechworth very close to Ned. McIntyre had plenty of time to milk Ned for info to garnish his evidence and no doubt he did.

  15. Oh I see but attacking the reputation of someone no longer here to defend it is OK?

    So Clare when are going to explain what heroic acts YOU would have undertaken to save Kennedy, even if it was obviously going to be fatal, and mean nobody would ever get to hear any version of events other than the murderers, and even if it might leave behind a bereaved partner and children if you happened to have them? Are YOU going to explain what would have been different if YOU had been there and by your heroism made it impossible for a police hater to call you a gutless worm? Its not bravery or heroism to pointlessly and needlessly waste your life, so please explain how your completely pointless intervention where death was an absolute certainty would somehow protect you from being labelled a brainless fool?

    And which bits of McIntyres evidence were you referring to that were 'fabricated' and 'garnished'?

    Are you going to put up or shut up?

  16. Brian Tate says: Reply

    I don't think you'll get a response from 'anonymous' because he doesn't have an answer. We had a description for blokes like him who criticised others when I was a copper and it was that they had never laid hands on an angry man, therefore they shouldn't criticise. This poster is prepared to call McIntyre 'a gutless worm' but as yet, hasn't offered any suggestion as to how he would have dealt with it. Talk about gutless.

  17. Brian, Brian, Brian you know so little really. Never laid hands on an angry man? I have dealt with many, on both sides of the law. In fact I would have gone absolutely apeshit crazy and gone after all four gang members with my bare hands if I was in McIntyres position. I would not and have never run away from a fight. And many of those I have been involved in have involved guns. No not gutless. McIntyre was though. Dee, what was fabricated and garnished? You tell me how McIntyre could possibly have seen everything he related in court as evidence, when he was running away? Did he have eyes in the back and the side of his head? No!!! McIntyre had to resort to his notebook when he gave evidence because he could not remember what he wrote. Why could he not remember? Because it was a fabrication and distortion of the truth that he was well and truly helped to write by more senior police officers. Dee your hypocrisy shines through. You criticise me for having a go at McIntyre, but you have a go at Ned daily and he can't defend himself. No difference!! If McIntyre was so good at remembering everything how come there is so much disagreement about the actual place where all the action happened at SBC? I await yours and Brian's response with anticipation. Happy to keep going here. I am enjoying it immensely, Yours…Alex…

  18. Ian Bequin says: Reply

    If forensic psychiatrist Dr Russ Scott's "Lawless" interview hasn't hit the cutting room floor, his will be the only expert voice in the entire show.

    I suppose we should be grateful they didn't dredge up Ian Jones, Peter FitzSimons and Brad Webb for comments. Instead we're getting South Australian "experts" who know little if anything about Ned Kelly. None have Kelly credentials.

    Foxtel need to do a thorough review of its History Channel brand. Just recently I saw a WWII doco that claimed British aircraft company De Havilland was French!

    Foxtel History are feeding us poor research and crumbily written show that are full of errors.

    History deserves much better than this.

  19. Oh what a bloody great big-noting self-promoting hero you are Alex, who never runs away from a fight! ( formerly Clare ?) You've been reading too many super-hero comics I think. So you would have gone after all four gang members with your bare hands would you? you would have taken a bullet through the head in no time, wouldn't have laid a finger on any of the Gang members and people would have said what an idiot you must have been not to get the hell out of there when you could have! Great cannon fodder you would have been. Blundering in where even fools dare to go…Don't make me laugh –

    As for McIntyre – he admitted himself that he didn't actually see what happened behind him. And referring to his notes? thats about wanting to be accurate and about knowing how unreliable memory can be….Or, if you're paranoid and have a blind hatred of police and a fanatical conviction that Ned Kelly was set up, then its a conspiracy theory about police persecution of the innocent hero and wonder boy Ned Kelly, and facts are irrelevant for such delusions as that. You're a waste of time. Enjoy.

  20. Brian Tate says: Reply

    So it's 'Alex' now. Of course you've dealt with many angry men on both sides of the law including some armed with guns. Sounds like you must have been some sort of gunslinger in another life. You would have attacked the Kelly gang with your bare hands? Seriously? For a start I very much doubt it as the survival instinct would have kicked in very quickly as it did for McIntyre. Your bare handed assault would have lasted a few seconds, so what would have been the point? As for McIntyre referring to his notes, you have obviously very little knowledge of the criminal legal system. Witnesses, including police, can refer to their notes, or statements as needed. It's a long accepted practice. And can you give us a source for your claim that McIntyre's statement was written for him by a senior officer?

  21. I have created a little webpage to show what will be pushed upon the viewer of Lawless tonight at 8.30 on the Foxtel history Channel.

    Click here
    Lawless – Police camp SBC site will be wrongly shown to be at the Picnic Ground Kelly tree area.

  22. What a shame Mike Munro was not introduced to the real on-the-ground experts that had solved this location puzzle back in 2009. Even days before this first Lawless viewing, I predicted what Adam Ford, through his engagement script writers, was going to present. My pre-screening comments based on the advertising for the show are here.
    This first episode Ned Kelly and StringyBark Creek has been a terrible lost opportunity to get things right this time. In my opinion, this has been mainly due to Leo Kennedy succumbing to the "big show" mentality, despite being shown the true sites and the substantial body of research that backs these sites up. In my opinion, the Kennedy family story was reduced to pathetic hat lowering to the memory of Leo's great-great grandfather, at a location where nothing ever happened. So much for big time archaeology – what's the point of identifying a site that is demonstrably wrong?

  23. Warren Hunt says: Reply

    'Lawless' was a shambles. The experts were duds. The mistakes were many. Too much was contrived.

    The Stringybark Burman photos look like flat ground, but it is an optical illusion. Bill could have patiently explained this if Genepool had bothered to check.

    Their 'experts' outguessed the real experts.

    Won't be watching the rest of the series.

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