Misguided Homage to a Killer

On November 11th1880, the convicted murderer Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly was executed for the killing of Constable Thomas Lonigan at Stringybark Creek. He killed two other policemen on the same day, and later orchestrated the murder of Aaron Sheritt, a former friend, as a prelude to what he hoped would be the mass murder of nearly two dozen more police at Glenrowan. Fortunately Kelly’s horrifying plan for mass murder was thwarted and he was captured, tried for Lonigans murder, convicted and hanged. He was then buried within the Prison grounds in an unmarked grave, in accordance with the policy of the time, intended to deny murderers any kind of honour in death and in the hope they would be forgotten for ever. Clearly, that didn’t happen in Ned Kelly’s case.
137 years later, November the 11th is celebrated as Remembrance Day, and wreaths are laid at Cenotaphs to commemorate the heroic men and women of Australia who died in War. If past years are any guide, in what can only be described as a sickening and misguided homage, flowers and cards will also be placed at the Old Melbourne Gaol on the trapdoor where Ned Kelly stood for the last few seconds of his natural life,  with maudlin messages to ‘dear Ned’, the convicted killer. I expect other flowers will appear at the Greta cemetery where his headless remains were reburied in an unmarked grave in 2013. The various Kelly sympathiser Facebook pages will also no doubt participate in this show of emotion,  with expressions of grief and sorrow at their idols fate. Its a quite horrible irony that Kelly is remembered and honoured by a few ill-informed hero-worshippers as if he was a brave soldier who fell in a real war, on the same day when the nation remembers Australia’s genuine heroes, men and women who died for a noble cause. I find it nauseating and offensive when Kelly fanciers try to place these two events alongside one another as if they are in some way equivalent. The Fallen we all agree are heroes whose sacrifice should never be forgotten. Ned Kelly was certainly not one of them. It seems he will never be forgotten but he should be.
There’s no need to ask why people would do these things and want to remember this man : its because they are in denial. They don’t want to accept the fact that he was a murderer, but instead indulge a fantasy, and ignoring reality think of him as a misunderstood hero who fought injustice, made a stand against corrupt police and judiciary who persecuted him and his family, who killed only in self-defence and eventually lost his life in a brave battle for a higher cause. They claim he would have made a great General, and liken him to Peter Lalor, the visionary leader of the Eureka rebellion. They ignore Ned Kelly’s life of crime, his self-proclaimed career as the leader of a criminal stock thieving syndicate, his highway robbery with Harry Power, the bank robberies and hostage taking, his convictions for assault, indecency, and ‘feloniously receiving’, his abandonment of his mother and siblings in ‘poverty and squalor’ to pursue the life of a ‘rambling gambler’, his lies about the Fitzpatrick incident and the Stringybark creek killings, his bloodthirsty plan for a massacre at Glenrowan…they ignore all of this as well as the findings of the Police Royal Commission which investigated the entire saga, and instead embrace the view which Ned Kelly had of himself, and promoted in his Jerilderie letter, that he was a hero, a wronged innocent man, and that it was corrupt police who were to blame for everything.  There is almost no historical basis for any of this, other than the words of the killer himself, and the small number of people who believed him. 
However there’s one historical claim that is often alluded to at this time by Kelly supporters which is indeed true, and which, on first inspection seems to support the sympathisers view of Kelly. Ian Jones wrote about it in the Introduction to his biography  ‘Ned Kelly :  a short life’ : “In country and cities, folk of Neds time acknowledged the potency of his rebellious appeal by signing, in their tens of thousands, a petition for repeal of his death sentence. Of course this spectacular display of support confirmed the darkest fears of respectable society.”
On Facebook pages and elsewhere on the Internet its not unusual to read Kelly sympathisers mentioning this Petition saying it was a petition for Ned Kellys pardon, for the repeal of his death sentence as Jones wrote, or for his release or for a retrial. Following Ian Jones lead they see the petition as a proof that the ordinary person was on Ned Kellys side, but the authorities and the people in power were not.
However, as ever in the Kelly world the truth about this Petition is nowhere near as simple as the Kelly sympathisers would have you believe. Though the document is headed ‘Petition for Reprieve’ the text of the Petition merely asks that “the Life of the CONDEMNED man, EDWARD KELLY may be spared.” There is no mention of repeal or reprieve or of a pardon or a retrial. The Petitioners simply didn’t believe Ned Kelly should be hanged.
The wider story of this petition is that it was motivated not so much by an interest in the details of Ned Kellys case but in the use of capital punishment. David Gaunson who was Ned Kelly’s solicitor was a leading light in the campaign to abolish capital punishment. David and his brother William were prominent members of the ‘Society for the Abolition of Capital Punishment’. They believed that capital punishment was morally wrong, that nobody should hang, no matter what crime they had committed.  It was in this capacity that he established the Petition and arranged meetings throughout Melbourne and further afield, in an effort to have Ned Kelly’s sentence changed. The campaign against capital punishment continued for another 105 years, ending in 1985 when capital punishment was finally outlawed for good in Australia.
The last person to be hanged in Australia was Ronald Ryan, in 1967.  There are interesting parallels between his case and Ned Kellys that show how in both cases support for a reprieve of the death sentence shouldn’t be seen to be support for the condemned man or belief in his innocence. As in Ned Kelly’s case, after Ryan had been sentenced to hang for killing a prison officer, enormous protests occurred around the country and thousands signed a petition for his reprieve. Like Neds petition, Ryans was also ignored by the authorities, and just as thousands gathered outside the OMG to protest on the morning of  Neds execution, so too did thousands gather outside Pentridge when Ryan was executed. At both, no doubt some of the people there believed the condemned man was innocent, but its clear the greatest bulk of the protest was about the cruelty of capital punishment, not the guilt or innocence of the condemned person.  
This campaign against capital punishment continues elsewhere in the world to this day, and in the USA at every execution Petitioners still request the life of the condemned man be spared. Just as they did outside the Old Melbourne Gaol when Ned was executed, and outside Pentridge when Ryan was hanged so today they still gather outside the prisons where felons are executed in the United States, not so much because they believe in the innocence of the condemned man but because they are opposed to Capital punishment.

So, on November 11th when you lay your flowers and your cards on the trapdoor at the OMG, don’t feel pity for the fantasy figure of your wishful thinking, an innocent man crushed by a nasty system – he was a remorseless violent killer who deserved to be punished. Instead, express sadness and regret that a young man, a fellow human being, was subjected to a cruel and inhumane punishment and be thankful that at last in Australia we have moved on from such barbarity.
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70 Replies to “Misguided Homage to a Killer”

  1. Was Ned sent off with a full hangman's noose, or the recently introduced smooth metal eye. Noone seems to know. It's not that important I suppose.

    He did get additional weight to ensure a clean 'jerk' though.

  2. Dee, My reading of this was to have the authorities accept a reprieve, 'meaning a cancellation or postponement of any punishment to apply to Ned Kelly, and that’s what the petition was all about.

    If thirty two thousand more or less signed the petition, and an estimate population of Melbourne's was 250k, with 32k signing the petition then there would be another 32k that did not get a chance to sign, that would be equal to a million people today saying, ' No to Ned's hanging, but the authorities totally ignore the petition for a reprieve, nor even a re evaluation. It was just a case of this is what we are going to do and will to teach all the poor buggers a good lesson to not mess with our political system.

    The header image – clearly reads 'Petition for Reprieve', and how else would you say, ' spare the life of the condemned man? Quite obviously the voice of the petitioners did not have enough political influence for the hob nobs to take any notice, unless it was one of them. This is the reason why the Ned Kelly story is unlikely to go away.

    And by the way,
    I have also added a few more images to show why Fitzy and his CSI confederates can't show a decent photo of their site to match the Burman photos.

  3. My point Bill is that the petition wasn't asking for Neds CONVICTION to be overturned – it was the SENTENCE they were objecting to. They weren't saying he shouldn't be hanged because he was innocent but because hanging was wrong. But I think youre right that if the condemned man had connections in the right place his life would have been spared. This is still true unfortunately. The system will never be perfect as long as there are human beings involved – maybe Robots are the answer? Actually, I am pretty sure that if Ned Kelly had simply been imprisoned the entire Legend would have never developed. His madness would have eventually become apparent to everyone and the idea that he was a political revolutionary or any kind of Robin Hood would have never occurred to anyone !

  4. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Much has been written by Kelly enthusiasts suggest that the alleged 32,000 signatures indicated support for Kelly, as though they were supporting a pardon. Despite the dictionary definition of a “reprieve” as “a cancellation or postponement of punishment”, a reprieve is not a pardon. As Dee said, the petition was for reprieve from hanging, not from his sentence or other punishment. The petition wording is clear: it asks “that the life of the condemned man be spared”.

    In the matter of the petitions, it is important to see what was known at the time. This is given in the Launceston Examiner, Friday 12 November 1880, page 3:

    “Strenuous efforts had been made for a reprieve by those who sympathised with Kelly. As previously reported, a mass meeting was recently held at the Hippodrome, the outcome of which was that petitions were forwarded to the Executive praying for a commutation of the sentence. These petitions were taken into consideration on Monday afternoon, but it was resolved that the law should take its course. … Mr Gaunson afterwards waited on the Chief Secretary, and informed him that the petitions contained 32,424 signatures, and that he believed, had the time been a little longer, 500,000 signatures could have been obtained. The petitions are for the most part signed in pencil, the handwriting being that of illiterate people. In a great number of cases the names of whole families were attached, and in numerous instances whole pages of signatures were evidently written by one person. Some petitions were taken round Benalla, but many persons who signed did so for fear if they refused of being looked upon as marked men. The decision of the Executive was received by the crowd outside without any expression of feeling whatever.”

    The petitions are in the Kelly Collection Crown Law files, and the PDF can be downloaded from VPRS 4966 Unit 3 Item 11 – Petitions for Reprieve. Anyone can look at the file and see that what the Examiner said about multiple signatures being written by the same hands is true. Scrolling down the petitions file, there are about 268 petition header pages, with further signatures on the reverse and on attached pages.
    Multiple signatures are rife. See for example the 4 pages from page 463-466 of the PDF, where 94 signatures appear to be from the same pen. Pages 181-2 have the some of the same names written twice on the same page. The same [pen seems to have signed pages 185-6. Pages 619-22 are signed mostly in the same hand with the addresses given as Moonee Ponds or Essendon. Page 632 is another multiple signature page. There are many others, but just checking these proves the point.

    As the petition has been digitised and can be viewed and downloaded from VPRO in seconds, no-one can seriously still claim that there were 32,00 people trying to save Kelly’s neck. The number of actual persons signing the petition can probably be reduced to less than a couple of thousand. It would be interesting to do a fuller analysis, as a casual impression is that some of the same handwriting appears on pages under more than one petition header document. A lot of the 4,000 or so crowd gathered at the Hippodrome were there for the sensation or to yahoo, not to save Kelly.

  5. S.A.McCarthy says: Reply

    Is it possible the Burman photos were staged incorrectly? I was previously unaware of McIntyre’s map of the police camp discovered in 2008. The map and the photos appear to disagree.
    According to George Stephens, [Ned said] “while talking to McIntyre by the fire the men appeared in the open I had just time to fall down by the fire – It was very high scorching my knees.- McIntyre then went over spoke to Kennedy he smiled I said throw up your hands”. In the photos Ned is placed at the opposite end of the log to the fire. McIntyre’s map has Ned close to the fire.
    Ned mentions the photos in his prison letter 3rd Nov 1880.
    “What I wish is Constable McIntyre’s first depositions statement to be compared with his depositions of both courts and you will at once see the disparity between the two. Also the photograph of the place and the position of the oven at the time of Kennedy and Scanlon’s advance. McIntyre says two men was in the spear grass, one in the tent and one at the fire, these being in a direct line in front of Kennedy and Scanlon.” Ned was complaining about the photos, and the position the oven is relevant to where the individuals were placed at the time of Kennedy’s return. The oven would have been between the two posts and near the tent.
    It appears the map is more likely to be correct than the photos.
    If correct, Kennedy should be in the background on the left side of the photo, McIntyre should be facing the opposite direction and Ned should be on the opposite side of the log to where they have Kennedy standing, only close to the fire. According to McIntyre’s map the camera is facing north east.
    I would appreciate any discussion on the topic. SA McCarthy 11.11.17

  6. Sorry but I cant take you seriously "McCarthy". And neither would I take seriously anything Ned Kelly told to Stephens – he also told Stephens he had fired twice at Lonigan but everywhere else Kelly said he fired once and that is also what McIntyre reported. Kelly also said he shot at Lonigan as he came up from behind a log but everyone accepts that was a lie, and we now have the Lawless documentary proving it. The idea that the map is more likely to be correct is patently absurd – for one thing the photo shows three logs but McIntyre only drew two of them. And the idea that Burman got it all arse-about -face after having been told exactly what happened by Monk who just a couple of days earlier got it all from McIntyre – highly unlikely. But it is necessary to argue he got it all wrong if you want to support the CSI teams tinfoil hat nonsensical arguments about the Police camp site – and I rather suspect thats where you're coming from. Nobody is fooled "McCarthy"

  7. Horrie and Alf says: Reply

    A picture (or photo) is said to be worth a thousand words. McIntyre's sketches of the crime scene have little value. He had no compass to get his bearings. Maybe Sgt. Kennedy did.

    He made no observations about where Burman photographed the tree where Sgt. Kennedy was found. Why would he? He wasn't there.

    Bill frequently makes the point that even modern visitors to SBC have trouble orienting themselves. McIntyre had never been there before, and had no measuring tools or compass to help.

    To take his observations as gospel is a bit silly.

    He went to the Richmond Police Depot's hospital to recover from SBC. Perhaps it was there he drew his diagrams of the SBC crime scene…

  8. Jim Ledbury says: Reply

    Hearty Congratulations on more than a quarter of a million genuine hits on your site, Dee!

    For ages, I've been exhorting Facebook to audit a certain pro-Kelly hate site. No replies.

    That's a big flood gate of worms Facebook doesn't want to open.

  9. How could the Burman photographs possibly have been "staged"?

    What would have been the point so early in the investigation?

    Burman was not a police photographer. He had a photographic business. His Beechworth Office got the gig. He happened to be there.

  10. S A McCarthy says: Reply

    Thanks for the replies. Kennedy approached the camp from downstream which was from the north. The following articles place the Creek on the opposite side of the logs to the tent.
    The Outlaws of the Wombat Ranges G. WILSON HALL 1879
    “The level space, though pretty well cleared, is surrounded by thick, heavy timber and scrub, and on the right hand side has a patch of very tall spear or sword-grass, which affords a jungle-like cover. In front of the tent, and between it and the creek, were two fallen trees, the ends being crossed at a right angle; there were also some stumps of trees that had been felled in the clearing.”
    THE ARGUS Monday, November 4th 1878
    “Between their tent and the creek and a little to the left were two fallen trees, one lying over the other at right angles. In the angle facing the tent McIntyre, on Saturday afternoon, kindled a large fire to make the night cheerful.”
    If the photos are correct then the camp must be on the east bank? S.A.McCarthy 13.11.17

  11. I am not sure what the point is that you're trying to make. Its always been accepted that the logs were between the tent and the creek.

    And also, reports of TWO trees are inaccurate – as the photos show there were three trees in that group. And there weren't exactly 'right angles' between any of them.

  12. S A McCarthy says: Reply

    Thanks again. A commercial photographer “stages” an after-event photo. It may be correctly staged or not and it may be or may not be faithfully accurate according to the facts/stories presented at the time. If these photographs are incorrectly staged then it explains why there are so many differing views as to the location of the camp. The point being that the photos have always been available and may be the cause of the disagreements. This new ‘evidence’ [McIntyre’s map], makes me doubt the veracity of the photos. S. A. McCarthy 13.11.17

  13. You want the photos to have been 'staged' wrongly because you don't want to accept what those Photos tell us about where the Police camp was, and what direction the camera was pointing in when it captured the slope behind the logs. But there is no logical reason to suppose that Burman got it wrong – in fact there is every logical reason to believe he would have got it right because he was there within a week of the events and was told what happened and where it happened by Monk who saw the dead bodies lying on the ground only two or three days earlier. The suggestion Burman got it wrong is laughable.

  14. S A McCarthy says: Reply

    Thanks again for your response. S.A. McCarthy 13.11.17

  15. Is this the SA Mc Carthy who wrote "Ned Kelly-The Widows son"? Stephen if I recall? If so, I have a copy of your book. Dee. Lets give this bloke a further listen? His book was interesting…

  16. Anonymous says: Reply

    Is it possible the Burman photos were staged incorrectly? I would say yes. Most definitely.
    If the images were taken looking towards the south then both the seated man (Mc) and the one behind the log (NK) with the gun are facing west, towards SBC road. The man with his arm raised is facing east, towards the creek. So that is incorrect for a start. To make it all fit together (as Bill found) would need to move the seated man across to the other log turn him around so that he faces north (Looking down the creek). Move the man with the gun (closer to the fire) where the logs met and rotate him so that he also faces north looking towards the direction Kennedy and Scanlon came. The man with his arm raised should then be behind the camera out of frame or at least have his back towards the camera facing south. (Assuming he represents Kennedy) NML

  17. No I think you're completely wrong! The orientation of the photos is provided by where the figures have been placed, unless you want to propose that Monk got everything completely confused in the short interval between when he saw the dead bodies and McIntrye showed him what happened, and when Monk later showed Burman. I think everyone acknowledges Burman moved figures closer together so they would all be in the shot, but other than that as an acknowledged professional and expert in his field, there is every likelihood that he recreated the scene as accurately as possible. You will have to provide a very good reason if you are going to assert he got it all wrong. That is your first hurdle.

    Thus, we know roughly where north is because thats where Kennedy approached from, and its where the seated figures are facing. The camera is facing roughly southwest. Clearly if it was facing exactly south "Kennedy" would have his back to the camera and the seated figures would be looking directly at it. They aren't.

  18. Anonymous says: Reply

    Dee, I suggest you do some more homework before asserting your opinions. Even Bill has said that the seated man is on the wrong log. Further he writes “I believe the resultant photo is the actual place as seen from the north side of the logs looking south but the actors are not in the proper place as during the confrontation” NML

  19. Ive done the homework.

    As I said above everyone acknowledges Burman moved people closer together to get everyone into the shot, and yes, "McIntyre would be seated on the log further to the right of the picture, but that is a far cry from your suggestion that people should be turned round to face the other way. I can't put my. finger on the quote right now but I believe the photo was labelled as a photo of where Lonigan was killed, and that I expect is why he moved the figures across to where he did, so that everything would be caught in that one photo.

    I agree with Bill – the photo is taken from the north side of the logs but "looking south" is more or less true,. You on the other hand, I am guessing would have the photo direction being northeast? Do tell!

  20. Re Anonymous we know who they are.
    Firstly, the Burman photo was about where Lonigan was shot, ( in front of the left log in the photo), Anonymous would have us believe Lonigan was shot 'behind that log' on the other side. The figure was seated on the south side of that log. Oh um oh well ok if you want !

    Secondly Burman was trying to get the three main figures into the one photo frame, so they were artificially compressed in.

    This type of discussion has been going on since 2009 and their comments re CSI team can't be taken seriously. They are just using an old political ploy, 'If you're not winning the argument just create doubt', that’s what CSI cronies do. I call it after egg face saving.
    Please lets not suffer any more fools.

  21. Anonymous says: Reply

    Therefore if the seated man was moved to the other log further to the right then he would be looking north and facing the camera. He is shown to be in the wrong position. That is just one of the incorrect positions shown in the image.The Burman photos were staged incorrectly . NML

  22. Burman did produce postcards from the image titled "Wombat Ranges Where Troopers Were Shot"

  23. Horrie and Alf says: Reply

    This has all entered the realms of supposition. I listen to Bill because he is the well-known Stringybark Creek expert.

    I watched encores of 'Lawless' on Saturday and Sunday (jeez there are a lot of 'encores'). This was about Ben Hall, and featured another quartered ball fired at a gelatin figure. The gun had to be fired very close indeed to get the effect of four wounds.

    Maybe readers will remember in the Ned Kelly Lawless show a quartered ball was fired at forty yards (supposedly as done at SBC) and missed a gelatin 'Lonigan' altogether. I think the Ben Hall Lawless episode proves a quartered ball must be fired exceedingly close, maybe just a few feet, to have effect.

    This of course means that the Burman figures would have been close together, as was shown.

    All the arguments and suppositions about SBC are questionable. I doubt McIntyre's diagrams and orienteering. Ned's accounts of SBC are as daft as those of Anonymous and others.

    At the end of the day, at Bill's Two Huts police camp site, we have the Burman photograph background. This is unavailable at the CSI site or anywhere else.

    C'mon Anonymous, did McIntyre have a surveyor's chain or a compass?

    Back to the drawing board for everyone except Bill!

  24. I wonder if Fitzy will be on the spit at the Nov 25 DELWP SBC BBQ? I don't like acres of fat so I hope not!

    I hope they are not using this happy get-together to hide what their expensive consultant has come up with now. I daresay another round of consultation or more was necessary after all the many mistakes in his original presentation.

    I wonder if there will be any biffing.

    A strong Victoria Police presence might be necessary!

    Actually, I think most would get on fabulously. Deep down I think they respect one another, no matter how divergent their views.

    But The Hulk worries me a bit…

    I will nip at his ankles if he gets out of line.

  25. And many others of Glenrowan!

  26. Anonymous says: Reply

    C’mon Anonymous, did McIntyre have a surveyor's chain or a compass? Horrie and Alf

    Page 28 McIntyre’s – A True Narrative of the Kelly Gang
    “I had a compass in my pocket but I could not make use of it without leaving my place of concealment which I considered neither safe nor necessary."
    "I got behind a log and taking off my coat I held it around my head, and endeavoured to see the compass by the light of one of the matches. The first was unsuccessful but with the second I succeeded in getting a sight of the compass, and found that I was travelling in the right direction.” NML

  27. Well I think the Burman photo suggests that if he was seated on that log to the right, the one we agree he actually DID sit on or stand near, he would probably have his head turned a little to his left to be looking north. The point is, north is more or less to the right in that photo, and photo is directed to the southwest.


    Saying the photos were staged 'incorrectly' is overstating the case. The general orientation and relation of people to each other and the physical environment are more or less correct in my opinion.

  28. Dee, see if this link works.
    Its a PDF so it may not work unlike a html webpage page link.

    The true extended Burman photo

  29. Bill thats a nice graphic. I don't understand why you have an arrow pointing to the bottom left of the image saying "North"? Shouldn't that arrow be pointing in the direction the two men are looking, which is to the north from where Kennedy approached?

  30. Anonymous says: Reply

    The bottom line is the positions of the men shown in the photo are incorrect and cannot be used as reliable source of evidence. NML

  31. …..in your opinion.

    Sweeping aside the entire photographic evidence because the men are not precisely where you think they should be is an approach to evidence that if applied generally would mean almost no evidence would be acceptable. If your Gold standard is that only perfect evidence can be used then you'll never get anywhere, because nothing ever is perfect. Certainly the two maps drawn by McIntyre are far from prefect, so to be consistent you would need to chuck them out as well. Ned Kelly told lies, McImtyres writings contain inconsistencies, newspaper reports vary in detail, …

    So where are you going to go from here? If you're only going to accept perfect evidence then you will have almost nothing to say about anything in history, let alone the Kelly story.

    My approach is based on what seems reasonable and logical.

  32. Horrie and Alf says: Reply

    Thanks for clearing up the compass issue.

  33. Anonymous says: Reply

    Your welcome. Just trying to help. NML

  34. Anonymous says: Reply

    None of the positions of any of the men in the photo are in the correct position. This is not just my opinion. Just look at the positions Bill has placed them (The true extended Burman photo) compare them to the Burman photo. Read McIntyre’s descriptions. Even you agree that the man is sitting on the wrong log. That in itself is enough. McIntyre had in his possession a compass, he new which way was north. Unlike some. (No doubt that’s a line for you to take up)
    Sweeping aside the entire photographic evidence is a far cry from saying the photos were staged and the positions of the men shown in the photo are incorrect and cannot be used as reliable source of evidence. NML

  35. His compass could have made sure that the orientation of his sketch map was correct, even if he couldn't use it in the dark somewhere else later after escaping for fear of detection. He could have used it earlier when they set up camp, to get his orientation. He went back again to the spot, so he could have a precise orientation for his sketch of what happened where?

  36. Alright NML then if you think the photographic evidence isn't ENTIRELY to be dismissed, please explain on what basis you've decided that if the seated man was placed on the right hand log and turned around that he would be facing north? Your scenario implies that SBC itself is somewhere between those men and the slope. I don't see it.

  37. Anonymous says: Reply

    That is a very silly question. One you have answered yourself.
    "Bill thats a nice graphic. I don't understand why you have an arrow pointing to the bottom left of the image saying "North"? Shouldn’t that arrow be pointing in the direction the two men are looking, which is to the north from where Kennedy approached?” North is looking down SBC. If the photo was taken looking south then the creek would be out of frame on the left side of the image. Not between the men and the slope. Whichever way you look it either follow Bill’s layout or McIntyre’s the positions of the men shown in the Burman photo are not correct. NML

  38. NML, how do you show northerly or southerly on photo?
    The two figures are looking Westerly N.W. towards Kennedy coming into camp from the bridle track that passed the two huts like the road does now.

    My graphic text reads, Easterly creek side. Of course the creek is out of frame. As you suggest, I could have drawn the red N-South line the other way around but then where do you place the raised arm man coming from the west-NW. We have to keep it in perspective. Why don’t you produce your own extended Burman photo view
    We’ve had these sort of discussions before.
    Just accept the photo was taken looking southerly.
    The true extended Burman photo

  39. NML earlier today you wrote "If the photo was taken looking south then the creek would be out of frame on the left side of the image" Yes, thats exactly right. However if you think that to have those figures looking north they have to be turned around 180 degrees – as you wrote two days ago – then the photo would need to have been taken from their left, which is further west, and looking to the east. We all agree that to the east of the camp site was SBC, and therefore, if you are right THAT PHOTO would be looking directly at or across the creek. As I said, I don't see it.

    Can you please be more specific about what you mean by 'turn him around' – is that a 180 degree turn ?

    If that IS what you mean, then you are proposing that the photo was taken to the west of the seated figures aiming eastwards, and beyond them in the same direction is where the creek is. But instead of a creek there is a slope.

  40. Bill,
    What has all of that got to do with the subject? Is it possible the Burman photos were staged incorrectly? A simple yes would do. If you have issues with your orientation then perhaps talk to Dee about it.
    You may consider yourself an expert but believe it or not everyone has a right to their own opinions. Without having yours and your graphics constantly jammed down their throats.
    Or be called fools.
    You may also learn some things you didn’t know. I don’t have the need to produce my own extended view of the photo. Nor do I or anyone else just have to accept the photo is looking southerly. I have said all I wish to say about the subject with you. NML

  41. So NML you have made your point that the photos were 'staged' which was something everyone knew from the start, but your idea they were staged 'incorrectly' is true only in a non-significant way. As I said before, claiming that the photos were staged 'incorrectly' is overstating the case. The general orientation and relation of people to each other and the physical environment are more or less correct in my opinion. And yes you're entitled to your opinion. I am just curious to know what its based on. And why, if you think turning the men around results in them facing north, there is no SBC to see in the photo between them and the slope. Because there should be.

  42. Dee, why not have a meeting at the SBC site with Denheld and co, and the CSI team. Debate it at the site. Everyone brings their evidence and presents it on the site where it happened. All this benchtop archaeology will prove nothing. Visit the site, and sort it properly. Maybe even a re-enactment between Denheld and Co, and the CSI team.lol

  43. Interesting suggestion but the arguments will be the same wherever they are conducted.

    The CSI team really only participated in public debate when it was about Bills site and consisted of attacks on Bills arguments, but once I published my critique which directly addressed the inadequate and weak arguments for THEIR site they withdrew themselves from public debate .

    Ive never seen them defend their linkage between "burls" and the 'Beautiful Mansfield', their claim the Burman photos were taken looking to the north east, their arbitrary selection of one known hut site over many others, their wrong arguments about the Lonigan shooting or the Spencer bullet find mentioned as supporting evidences in their latest 'Update', their explanation for all that unnecessary verbal padding in their report or their deceit about 'allowing' Heritage Victoria to investigate their site – so they wouldnt want to participate in a public debate about any of it I am sure.

  44. I should have added that you will have no doubt noted their self-appointed spokesperson, the abusive Kelly fancier Mick Fitzsimons is continuing the CSI approach of attacking Bill while completely ignoring the gaping holes in their own case, posting garbage that exhibits his ignorance of photographic perspective and drawing lines on photos to indicate slopes that aren't there. A debate with Fitzsimons would be pointless, except perhaps as a demonstration of a spokesperson who would resort to any kind of dishonesty or personal attack to try to 'win'.

  45. Anonymous, regarding a SBC meeting, I’d be happy to be in that, but I set one up in 2009, and recently last August.

    See page9 – SBC Interpretive Strategy DELWP document wherein I suggested to the authorities and DELWP before spending any moneys I wrote to them asking-

    “ Why not invite a large number of interested persons, photo forensic experts, archaeology students, the police history museum people, forest managers, historians and anyone interested meet at SBC. A show and tell by all parties, and then on another date attend a SBC symposium set up to unravel and evaluate all that can be presented, and filmed as we go by University Film making students. This would make a very interesting documentary and let primary sources, science and logic decide where all this signage is to go.”

  46. That would mean his orienteering may have been relatively correct given the circumstances, but leave his measurements still a bit suspect. McIntyre may well have been fastidious, but its not everyday three of your mates get gunned down in cold blood.

    I'm only Horrie's dog, and don't claim to know everything. But think of your luck. You could be on the FB hate page against an anti-kelly book where you would be listening to the raves of a retired gander (well, Goose anyway) who knows even less than me!

  47. Dee. Can I suggest you may want to take Mr Mc Carthy more seriously? I reckon he may be the author of "Ned Kelly: The Widows Son". Which you may or may not have come across. His first name is Stephen. The book was interesting. May be worth listening to him further before dismissing him. Just sayin'. MP

  48. Anonymous says: Reply

    McIntyre’s – A True Narrative of the Kelly Gang.
    Page 21. “Kelly then said to his mates “that will do lads, take your places”. Byrne and Dan Kelly returned to the rushes. Hart remained in the tent, and Kelly concealed himself at the angle of the logs near our fire. He called me over and directed me to stand in almost the same place I had occupied when first stuck up. Kelly was in one angle formed by the logs, on the creek side, and I was in the angle other, on the tent side.” Conversation with Ned etc….. Followed by:

    Page 23. “During the above conversation Kelly was kneeling on one knee behind the log and in looking down the creek he looked over the body of Lonigan which was about 8 yards from him and a couple more from myself.” To be looking both down the creek and over the body of Lonigan they were facing north.

    Refer to Bill’s (The true extended Burman photo) Dee, your question:
    ‘“Why, if you think turning the men around results in them facing north, there is no SBC to see in the photo between them and the slope. Because there should be.”

    I don’t know. If you think the creek should be between the men and the slope you will have to work that out for yourself. NML

  49. NML are you deliberately avoiding or just forgetting to answer my request for clarification about what exactly you mean by turning those men around? If you mean that turning them right round, through 180 degrees, results in them facing north, then what you are saying is that the photo is looking from the west side of the creek towards the east. That would mean the creek should be somewhere on the other side of the logs and the men in that photo. It's not me that is suggesting there should be a creek in that photo, but YOU because that is the direct implication if your claim that the men should be turned around.

  50. Dee, and readers, you can now see how some try to confuse and create doubt and twist un-complicated logical conclusions to seem a problem, when no problem ever existed.

  51. That guy wants to say the photo should have shown what he wants to see instead of what it does. Amazing.

  52. Interesting how nobody has tackled Stuart about how the petition looks like it only had a few thousand signatures and not thirty thousand. Thanks for the page numbers Stuart. I had a look today and think you may be right.

  53. Anonymous says: Reply

    “The problem is, in the photo he has the logs on his left and on his map (if he faced north) he has the logs on his right” SBC, the authentic location. by Bill Denheld.

  54. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Hi Cameron – by "tackled" do you mean criticised? I'm not arguing anything, just pointing out that what the newspaper article of the day said about the petition signatures seems to be correct, after scrolling through the PDF file which is about 700 sides of paper under about 270 header pages or "batches". I'm not sure there is anything to "tackle" here, it's a straightforward observation.

  55. Anonymous says: Reply

    “ To make it all fit together (as Bill found) would need to move the seated man across to the other log turn him around so that he faces north”
    Turn the seated man by a lot or a little. If north or close to it is looking down the creek then that is the direction McIntyre said he and Kelly were facing.
    "Kelly was kneeling on one knee behind the log and in looking down the creek he looked over the body of Lonigan which was about 8 yards from him and a couple more from myself”.
    So where was the body of Lonigan located? NML

  56. I think most people would agree the ordinary meaning of "turn him around" equates to rotating someone through near enough to 180 degrees. NML you seem to be deliberately refusing to answer my request that you clarify exactly what you meant by this, now yet again failing to give a direct answer and instead asking a new question about Lonigans body. Its becoming apparent, as Bill has suggested that you're not fair dinkum : lets see if you will answer this simple question : are you a supporter of the CSI teams findings?

    North, or 'down the creek' is clearly indicated in the Burman photos by the direction the "McIntyre" and "Ned Kelly" actors are looking, and the place from which "Kennedy" approaches.

  57. Dee, like usual your special topic is being ignored. Please accept my apology as I changed the subject in my first post. Sorry. Stuart kept it on track but SA McCarthy then posted and it went on from there.

  58. Its fine Bill. Whatever people want to discuss is up to them!

    As you well know there was once a time when I had a different Forum, and several different threads on different topics would have continuing discussions going simultaneously but as we all know, Mick Fitzsimons sabotaged them because he hates people who have views that are different from his, and because he is too stupid to be able to engage in any kind of constructive debate. The only debate he knows is personal abuse, or else if he can engineer it, censorship, banning or gagging of anyone who disagrees with him.

    Much as I would like to restart such a Forum again, having had them wrecked by this odious Kelly vandal twice already, I don't have the energy to try again. So in that regard as someone who hates free speech he has something to be proud of, because he has to an extent succeeded in suppressing our right to freely express our views.

  59. Anonymous says: Reply

    Dee, If by using the words “turn him around” is the cause for any misunderstandings. Then I retract them. Perhaps I should have said something like, move the seated man across to the other log and face him looking towards the north. (That is of course if the image was taken looking towards the south) Trust that answers your request.

    If the seated man has his back towards the creek, I fail to see how he could be looking north or down the creek towards SBC road. Perhaps you mean to the N/W. Pointing him wherever you like. As far as I am concerned he would be sitting on the wrong log anyway. My opinion.

    Am I supporter of the CSI teams findings? I am not entirely a supporter. (For reasons of my own) They certainly have a better sense of direction than some here. More firmly use McIntyre’s evidenced, do not play with Photo Shop, draw creative images, or generally change things around. I mostly support the man with the compass. NML

  60. Warren Hunt says: Reply

    Dee, you've gotta admit though that Fitzy has given us all huge laughs from his frequent gaffes over the years too!

    He's not exactly a Kelly expert. Let's just leave it at that.

    You have done devastating damage to the Kelly Legend which has been wrecked.

    Some fools can't let go. We will be correcting them for ages perhaps aeons.

    Nil Desperandum Dee! You're doing them splendidly. That's why they still demand to know who you after five years.

    Keep 'em guessing sweetie!

  61. Anonymous says: Reply

    “The problem is, in the photo he has the logs on his left and on his map (if he faced north) he has the logs on his right” SBC, the authentic location. by Bill Denheld.

  62. Ashleigh Broad says: Reply

    Many petitioners only put down their suburbs and not street addresses. This undermined proper identification and rendered the petition useless.

  63. Ok fair enough. But its still not clear to me what point you were trying to make. My point is that the Burman photos show us where north is because, irrespective of their exact placement on logs, Burman has the men on the logs LOOKING to the north, and "Kennedy" is APPROACHING from the north. This then reveals that the camera was facing the south and west when the picture was taken.

  64. Anonymous says: Reply

    “4. That the Burman photo is looking SOUTH SE with the creek on the left of the photo” SBC the authentic location. by Bill Denheld.
    You say S/W? Understand what I mean about generally changing things around?
    The man seated on the log in the Burman image is looking towards the right side of the image. WEST. (Towards SBC road)
    Now, if you were to move the seated man and (NK) across to the other log and face them looking towards the north and that he and Kelly are looking down the creek over the body of Lonigan. Who was shot as he ran partially towards and down the creek (N/E). According to Bill he was shot near the stump in the foreground and then later moved to the other side of the log. (Where the guy NK with the gun is in the image.) Even though there is no written evidence to support this conclusion. The point is that when it comes to positioning of all the men involved, McIntyre’s diagram and descriptions make sense. Bill’s do not and are like a mad woman having a shite, all over the place. NML

  65. Anonymous says: Reply

    Totally agree Bill. An SBC symposium would be a great way to get everyone together and present their findings, which can then be analysed by everyone present. Put your cards on the table so to speak.

  66. Thats a quite offensive metaphor to describe Bill, NML. Not at all helpful.

    However I do accept that Bills site contains numerous variations of things that seem to track the evolution of his thinking about SBC, and so I would be very interested to hear from Bill if his current thinking is that the photo was taken to the SE.

    My interpretation of the photos rests firstly on an assumption that Burman would have tried to be as accurate as possible when attempting to recreate the scene of the murders. I believe the information he received from Monk would have been accurate as Monk saw exactly where the the dead bodies were, and was informed of events by McIntyre. I therefore contend that irrespective of the need to have people in places that would make a useful photo rather than an exact recreation of the scene which could not be captured in a single frame, Burman would never-the-less have had the seated figures looking north, and the "Kennedy" figure approaching from the north. If you take a photo of a person looking north from their front right hand (north and eastern) side, then you are necessarily pointing your camera towards the south and the west.

    There is no rational reason to propose anything else about these photos, and I have yet to be shown anything written by McIntyre that necessarily contradicts that interpretation of them.

  67. Anonymous says: Reply

    No doubt Monk saw exactly where the bodies were. To say that he was informed of the exact details of the events by McIntyre is only an assumption. Just as it is an assumption that Burman tried to recreate the scene as accurately as possible. He was not a forensic photographer. I have already demonstrated that it is highly questionable that the figures are indeed facing towards the north. (That is if the image was taken looking towards the south) If Bill’s current thinking varies things or he does change his mind on directions to suit a purpose then how can they be taken seriously? He has stated his case and presented his conclusions more than enough.

    The positions of the men shown in the Burman image have been the cause of much confusion for good reason. They are not an accurate portrayal of their positions at the time of the conflict. Do match McIntyre’s own descriptions or how he has placed them in his diagram. I fail to see how they can in anyway be used as a reliably reference. NML

  68. Anonymous says: Reply

    I was referring to Bill's descriptions. Not Bill. NML

  69. Anonymous says: Reply

    My apologies. I am a bit rushed today. In my last post I wrote “Do match McIntyre’s own descriptions or how he has placed them in his diagram” Obviously this should read “Do not match”. I will be away for the duration of next week. I am enjoying our discussion. Hopefully we may continue upon my return. NML

  70. No problem! I look forward to your return and your next contribution.

    But while you're away you're going to have to think about this : what is your justification for suggesting its 'highly questionable that the figures are indeed facing towards the north"?? I agree assumptions have to be made about what Burman may have had in mind when he created those images, because he didn't record them as far as I know and he's not here to tell us what they were. But why HIGHLY questionable ? None of us has the luxury of being able to advance an argument WITHOUT making assumptions, but I believe my assumptions about what Burman would have been trying to do and about what he would have most likely known and attempted to recreate are logical and reasonable, whereas yours seem to me to be illogical and unreasonable.

    I think if you told the story of SBC to someone who had never heard it before and then showed them a Burman photo, their immediate response would be 'oh thats Ned Kelly hiding behind the Log with McIntyre nearby and looking to the north to see Kennedy arriving and about to get shot' If only Burman had thought to put him on a horse.

    And the other thing – south or southwest or south east is a very long way from the CSI idea about the photo orientation, which they reckon is northeast and I am certain is 180 degrees out.

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