The Definitive Kelly Book still hasn’t been written

The suggestion that the definitive Kelly book still hasn’t been written may seem ridiculous to those who are aware of the vast collection of Kelly writing that already exists, or to those who think that Ian Jones wrote the definitive Kelly book nearly 25 years ago. By now, 140 years after it all ended one might be forgiven for thinking that every possible aspect of the Outbreak had been analysed to death, that the minutiae of every newspaper article, editorial, police document and court record had been processed, that every nugget of detail that could be mined from the Minutes of the Royal Commission had been extracted, and the arguments and controversies about the Outbreak were just going over the same old ground and nothing new will ever come of them. Is the Kelly story book now more like a kids colouring-in book, where all the images and outlines are clearly drawn, and all that remains to be done is for the colours to filled in, like what’s happening with Joe Byrnes image on the Outlaws Journal?


Well, no!


The problem has been that until recently access to all those records was extremely limited, and readers were obliged to accept whatever authors claimed the sources said. Almost none of us could fact-check Kenneallys use of the Royal Commission reports in the 1920’s, the claims made by Clune and Max Brown in the 1950’s, by Molony and McQuilton and Jones in the 70’s and 80’s and later – but now thats all changed. Not only can all of us more readily access all the books these authors have written, and more readily discuss their contents with like-minded and not so like-minded enthusiasts the world over, we can also download the actual original documents and read the official reports and the minutes and the newspaper articles for ourselves and discover often enough, that the story we have been told is sometimes not the whole story, sometimes a misrepresentation or even a completely false story.

Here’s a perfect and very clear example : I looked at the Death Certificate of Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick. I was hundreds of miles away from Victoria at the time, and would probably have never seen it, or even known where to begin to look for it in Melbourne if I had taken a few days off and spent several hundred dollars to go there to look for it. And yet, in a few minutes on the Internet I found it and downloaded a copy of it. In so doing, I instantly exploded a 140-year-old myth about Fitzpatrick thats still in print in many places, not the least of which is the Ned Kelly Encyclopaedia which says he died of cirrhosis of the liver. That claim continues to be used by a legion of police-hating Kelly sympathisers to bolster their claim that Fitzpatrick was an alcoholic. In fact, the death certificate clearly and unequivocally shows that Fitzpatrick died of an abdominal malignancy that had nothing to do with alcoholism. Cirrhosis is mentioned nowhere, and there  is no evidence anywhere that supports the idea that Fitzpatrick was an alcoholic, but it’s in all the books that relied on that false claim about him, a claim that won’t be found in the definitive Kelly book waiting to be written.

The Kelly book waiting to be written will start at the beginning and tell the whole story of Red Kellys background in Ireland, not just make a brief mention of him stealing two pigs to make it sound like it was a petty crime. Those pigs were stolen from an equally poverty stricken neighbour, not from some rich Landlord, and Red Kellys role as a police informer and the death of a man he betrayed won’t be concealed either. Ellen Kellys origins will also be fully examined : she also belonged to a poor Irish family, and when she arrived in Victoria with her parents they were penniless. The Whittys were another family of Irish Catholics who arrived in Victoria penniless and destitute around the same time, but the Whittys, whose success Ned Kelly became intensely jealous of, and Ellens father’s stories are fine examples of what poor Irishmen can achieve by working hard. Those stories will be told to put the Kelly family failures into perspective.


The definitive Kelly story wont perpetuate the Kelly family’s complaint that their difficulties were someone else’s fault, but show how even Red Kelly, after serving his time, began his married life with considerable success. He made enough money on the goldfields to buy a very satisfactory little farm, but not much more than ten years later Ellen was penniless and a widow! The definitive Kelly story will show that her predicament wasn’t the result of squatter oppression or police persecution but Reds decline into alcoholism, the final blow after his death being the drunken arson attack in 1868 by Reds brother, Neds Uncle James Kelly that burned their house to the ground, destroyed all their possessions and left Ellen and all her children utterly destitute. And vey lucky to be alive!


The definitive Kelly story will also describe how Red Kelly valiantly fought against the demons of shame and guilt for what he had done in Ireland, demons that eventually brought him down through the medium of drink. Commendably, Ned Kellys father got him to school and shielded him from the worst of the documented background of Kelly, Quinn and Lloyd family immorality, criminality, disrespect for the law, horrendous sexual and domestic violence, animal cruelty and alcoholism that surrounded Ned Kelly as he grew up. Sadly, once Red Kelly died, Neds schooldays ended and his mother Ellen actively encouraged him to participate in a life of crime, sending him off at the age of 14 to be an apprentice to a wanted criminal, learning the power of a loaded gun and disrespect for the rights and freedoms of ordinary law abiding citizens. Later, Ellens volatile temper and her ignorance of the law resulted in an assault on Constable Fitzpatrick, and the triggering of the entire Outbreak. Fitzpatrick, as already mentioned has been the subject of a vast host of falsehoods, insane conspiracy theories and extreme hostility the basis for which evaporates under close examination of the facts, and the support of the scores of petitioners from Lancefied who protested loudly at his dismissal from the force. If there was ever a person denied justice in the Kelly story, it was Fitzpatrick who was made a scapegoat not only for the Kelly crimes but also for police failings. All this will be told in the definitive Kelly story waiting to be written.


The two central myths of the Kelly story, that Ned Kellys behaviour was a reaction to persecution and oppression by police and the courts, and that Ned Kelly planned to establish a republic of north east Victoria will have to get a mention in the definitive story, but only to point out their status as myth rather than historical truth.  Ned Kelly invented the persecution myth in an attempt to shift the responsibility for his behaviour from himself to the police, and Ian Jones invented the Republic myth, and the myth of a republican army to avoid having to accept his own conclusion that without inventing such an explanation for it, Ned Kellys plan for Glenrowan was nothing but a ‘criminal monstrosity’. Other myths that will need to be dissected free and dismissed from the definitive history will be the claim that Ned Kelly was Australia’s ‘Robin Hood’, that Ned Kelly was devoted to his mother, that he would have made a great General, that he was a crack shot with a rifle…the list is long!


The definitive Kelly story will also expose Ned Kelly as a notorious liar, one of his biggest lies being his claim to have killed Lonigan in self-defence. The forensic evidence shows that Kellys claim that Lonigan arose from behind a battery of logs and was about to fire at him was a lie. Kelly also lied about where he was at the time of the ‘Fitzpatrick Incident’ and he committed innumerable outlandish lies to paper in letters he wrote from prison in November 1880, letters we can now all read and wonder at. Ned Kelly was also a self-confessed stock thief, his chosen criminal career that involved many deceits, lies and forgery, and a boast in the Jerilderie letter that he was never caught!


The many myths about Kellys trial, such as that it was rushed, that is was a gross miscarriage of justice and that if conducted ‘according to Law’ the outcome would have been any different will all be catalogued, as will the minutes and the reports of the Royal Commission into the outbreak. The Commissions exposure of Police corruption, blundering, missteps, violence and stupidity, highlighted by Kelly promotors to the exclusion of every other finding made  by the Commission won’t be ignored, but neither will its principle conclusions, the foremost  of which was that the Kelly Outbreak arose out of the ‘unchecked aggregation of alarge class of criminals in the north east’


Lastly, after Ned Kelly was hanged, life returned to normal in the north east, but Ned Kellys brother Jims criminal career didnt come to an end for a few years. He went to goal for horse stealing in 1881 and was acquitted of a similar charge in 1912. Mrs Kelly is supposed to have brokered the peace, but given the kind of volatile woman she had been all her life, I am inclined to think that tale is another bit of Kelly mythology aimed at rehabilitating the Kelly family. Much more likely it was the absence of the dominating psychopath, her son Ned Kelly, that resulted in life returning to normal.


The story of the influence that the outbreak and Ned Kelly had on Australian culture and identity is something else, something for some other book, maybe many more books to discuss into the future.  But at least with the definitive story finally brought together, everyone will know what the true story actually was.

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42 Replies to “The Definitive Kelly Book still hasn’t been written”

  1. The idea that Mrs Kelly is supposed to have “brokered the peace” in the period after Ned’s execution is another fabrication invented by Ian Jones. I covered this in detail in my free book about the republic myth, which can be downloaded via the link up the top right here on David’s blog page. Jones said, “there can be no doubt that on the personal representation of [Constable] Graham, Mrs Kelly and Jim moved among the sympathisers to dissuade them” from a second outbreak (” new view of Ned Kelly”, in “Man and Myth” 1968, p. 180). While Graham’s involvement and persuasion seems fairly certain, the idea that there were any large number of sympathisers around to be dissuaded is cobblers. There were the makings of another criminal gang that might take to the bush, i.e. turn bushranger bandits, but not any army of potential rebellion that Jones fantasised about. The cure resulted at least as much from Superintendent Sadleir’s determined policing in combination with his pushing his superiors to ensure that identified sympathisers (mostly relatives) would not be dispossessed of their selections. Inspector Montfort pursued a similar approach, holding that the Land Act blacklist was only to be used as a lever, not a weapon of force. Graham interceded on behalf of Tom Lloyd In arguing the he should be allowed to purchase his selection, not be pushed off. The blacklist still existed – see my book, pp. 47-49 for all this. The idea that Mrs Kelly ran around dissuading rebellion is ludicrous. Jones gave no credit to Sadleir and Montfort’s role in settling the disaffected outliers down despite the mountain of evidence he was thoroughly familiar with. He simply couldn’t see it because he was already convinced Mrs Kelly pulled the strings. If she hadn’t exercised what little influence she had, she would have lost Jim and a number of relatives and their associates to the bluestone college. Jim seems to have been te main one that needed settling in that regard. As one of the police said to them, a policeman here or there might die but the law goes on forever. (Someone can put the source of that up if they like, I’m doing it from memory.)

    I have attached a photo of my Last Outlaw mini-series cover slip. Created by Ian Jones and his wife Bronwyn Binns, you can see the blurb says “the script combines art with fanatical accuracy”. In fact, there are historical errors every few minutes, some of the massive, such as nearly everything it says about Fitzpatrick and absolutely everything it says about the republic myth, and Jones’ ridiculous belief in a sympathiser “army” that never existed. It is still a terrific 4-part movie to watch, especially the opening section with Gerard Kennedy as Harry Power – it will be interesting to see how Russell Crowe brings Power to life in the upcoming film of Carey’s Kelly fiction book – but it keeps one busy playing “spot the historical crap” all the way through. Great fun yes, fanatical accuracy ho, ho, ho.


    1. Stuart I believe you are leaving someone out from the peace talks that took place after the outbreak matter closed. .I believed it was my grt grt grandfather Thomas Lloyd and the Kelly’ siblings uncle that helped broker the peace efforts that Robert Graham helped implement .Please refer Ian Jones a short life page 292.I believe it was probably Toms original suggestion that helped get the ball moving.
      Tom and Jane eventually left the area (Lurg) after the murder of their daughter Ellen Grace Lloyd to the south of Benalla,where they are now buried.

  2. Thanks Stuart. I had forgotten that you had challenged the idea that Mrs Kelly was the great peacemaker after Ned was hanged. As Alice Richardson said on my FB page the other day much about her was to be pitied. She did have a tough and tragic life but sadly much of it was her own doing.

    regarding the Last Outlaw I reviewed it on this Blog way back in 2015. My Posts can be found by using the Search function at the top of the page. Kelly supporters still rave about it, but by any objective measure, as Kelly history its rubbish. As soap opera its probably tolerable.

    Comparisons with the upcoming True Story the Kelly Gang won’t have any real meaning though, because TLO was presented as the actual true story whereas True Story the movie is deliberately and openly fictional. Historical accuracy is not critical.

  3. Hi David, I jut had a look at your 2015 posts – thanks for the search tip – and laughed at your mention that the mini-series was “produced to celebrate the centenary of Ned Kelly’s death” – I think that may have been an unintentional play on words… Anyway, you are much harder than me on the watchability of the movie, which I continue to like. But I do agree that “in addition to the sins of commission, there are even greater sins of omission in this episode, things the average viewer would not realize were missing, and as a result, anyone other than a Kellyphile would unknowingly derive a highly skewed and inaccurate understanding of Ned Kelly’s life story.” That is the heart of the matter. Ian Jones omits or massively distorts all historical evidence that shows Ned in a bad light. Anyone with any doubts about that can follow how he went miles out of his way to blame the police for Metcalf’s death at Glenrowan. That was the reason I wrote my article, “Ned Kelly’s shooting of George Metcalf, labourer”, which can be got free from Monash university on the internet. It wasn’t just to correct history – Jones had all the facts in front of him. It was to show in minute detail how he deliberately and knowingly twisted and perverted the historical evidence to try and vindicate Ned Kelly. He fooled a lot of people, but Ian MacFarlane spotted the hoax in his “Kelly Gang Unmasked” book. A bunch of Kelly enthusiasts with zero research ability then abused MacFarlane as wrong, so I set out to see what the correct story was. Jones’ omissions, distortions and perversions were even worse than I suspected, and the article was written to show what a load of crock had passed as historical research for a couple of decades.

    In your second part of your review of the Last Outlaw, you note that
    “nowhere on the internet can I find a single critical word about this series – it seems to have been universally acclaimed and yet where were the Kelly buffs and the actual historians who could have challenged this skewed version of history, added some notes of caution, pointed out how the unpalatable parts of the Kelly story were left untold, how “facts” were invented, or ignored or misrepresented? … The Last Outlaw is really best regarded as Ian Jones fantasy of how he wished Ned Kellys life would have been.” That pretty well sums it up. the movie’s claim to be based “entirely on fact” is complete and utter garbage. It is based on highly selective facts, distorted facts, and in many places, no facts at all but pure flights of fancy in accurate period costume.

    Two things for a laugh. First, the Irish accents of Ned and the Kelly children. This has been rebutted many times; like other young colonials, he had the “born here” Australian accent that became established from around 1840. His parents no; their kids, yes. Second, how many historical errors of fact can people see in the blurb on the right hand side of the inner DVD liner in the picture below? I’ll be back Tuesday night to see if anyone has responded. Nothing like a late start to a long weekend…


  4. The best thing is that since the Macfarlane and Morrissey books there has been no literary response to either. In the past Ian Jones, and others, could be counted on to berate anti-Kelly books., His horrific condemnation of Alex Castle’s ‘Ned Kelly’s Last Days’ after Alex had passed on and was no longer able to defend himself was nasty stuff. Ian Jones’s convoluted explanation for his misidentifying the ‘Gentleman Ned’ photo in the Christie’s catalogue was utterly creepy – and the fact he dragged in author Keith McMenony to share the blame – was poor form.

    Ian Jones himself has unfortunately passed away. So we will not say what we really think.

    Horrie and Alf

    1. Hi Horrie and Alf, two of the academic historians who wrote testimonials for the back cover blurb of my Republic myth book said to me that they had always doubted as a fiction the republic story Jones wrote; and that I had done a very thorough and convincing demolition job on it. When I started that research, the then rare books librarian at Monash said that I should have little trouble demolishing Kelly myths as they were mostly written by amateur historians, which proved correct. It is important to remember that John McQuilton’s academic book was actually his PhD thesis from back in the mid-1970s, published as a book with minor revisions in 1979. The content is over 40 years old. That was the only academic treatment of Kelly history until Keith McMenomy’s Illustrated History in 1984. Both were written under Jones’ influence. Molony’s “I am Ned Kelly” of 1980 was not a Kelly history and did not purport to be; it was a highly selective presentation of Kelly’s version of the Kelly story as Molony believed Ned would tell it. In other words, Molony took everything Ned said to be true, and dug for evidence that would support that to the disregard of everything else. It could be described as largely an idealised fairy story rather than anything academic, and Molony said himself that he wrote it to try and vindicate Kelly, who Molony saw as a rebel based on the same cock and bull oral history that Jones relied on.

      The funniest thing I found when reviewing these two writers (whom I would shudder to call balanced historians) was that they had located Kelly’s alleged meeting with a mythical “sympathiser army” at Glenrowan in opposite directions from the town – see the analysis in my Republic myth book – having been fed nonsense oral history stories from the same man; stories which they eagerly lapped up as he pulled their gullible legs. The ex-policeman and sympathiser descendant source told both Doug Morrissey and Leo Kennedy’s dad, with Leo present, that he had fed the Kelly researchers utter rubbish, to embarrass them. No wonder the mythmakers have gone quiet since MacFarlane’s, Morrissey’s and Kennedy’s books.

      But that is only one of the many stupid stories the amateur imaginative “researchers” dreamed up. The Fitzpatrick myth, the boxing champion myth, the Metcalf myth, the Ned’s last words myth, the body straps for the Stringybark Creek expedition myth… that barely scratches the surface of the crap that has been presented as Australian Kelly history since the late 1960s. At this rate the Carey movie will have less historical errors than the so-called historical experts! And what got me going here was mention of the venomous spleen Jones dumped all over legal historian Alex Castles, not just on the front page of the Age, but in his videotaped talk at the first Beechworth Kelly weekend, and no doubt other places. A pathetic effort from a self-styled expert who claimed a lifetime spent in so-called Kelly research as a basis for believing his version of the story where Ned’s antisocial actions are minimised, , distorted, excused, etc..

      Essentially Jones (and Molony) took Ned Kelly’s side of things in all possible places except where it was demonstrably impossible, and in those places they went out of their way to justify his every adverse action. They were highly selective, totally biased, and built an artificial, manufactured hero out of a semi-literate halfwit larrikin yob who had few sympathisers in his day outside of his relatives and criminal associates mostly in horse and cattle theft. The few thousand people who signed the petition to save Ned from hanging, a small number of the mostly forged and cobbled up 32,000 odd signatures on the petition, with whole pages written by the same hands, were primarily people opposed to capital punishment rather than Kelly sympathisers – but that is a study in itself. Kelly history is certainly interesting, but not in the way it has been heavily mis-presented since and including J.J. Kenneally.

  5. I much liked and respected the lady archivist who did Molony’s research. I cannot describe her opinion because I cannot reach her to get permission to publish it here. However, Stuart, you can contact me privately, and I can tell you what she said.

    Ian MacFarlane

    1. Hi Ian, will do, although the fact that the Canberra-based Professor had a Melbourne researcher says a lot in itself. The way that usually works is the academic gives instructions as to what is searched and what is being searched for. It means the Professor or other lofty being is not personally looking thorough the archives – none of which were online in those days at the end of the 1970s – and so gets a very skewed and selective view of a subject, heavily swayed by what they set out to find. . We can see that most obviously by putting an “ist” in front of their perspective – Marxist, feminist, socialist, liberalist, etc., which filters their research efforts and limits their potential findings. It happens everywhere; as the Marxists point out, it happens with conservative perspectives too. there are a few of us non-aligned researchers who just look for everything we can find about a topic and throw it all up in the air and see what falls out. We look at stuff put forward by a whole bunch of perspectives, and let the historical sources guide us. Unfortunately we are in a minority; most people have agendas.

      1. By not doing his own archival research, the Prof deprived himself of a broader view of Ned’s malefactions. Many government agencies became involved, not least being Treasury which funded The Hunt.

        As I pointed out in my book there is a later series of police records that has never been archivally described. If earlier police records were accessed and actioned back than, it is likely they now might be among the later records. Noted genealogist Helen Harris OAM has begun the task of describing those later police records – a mammoth, perhaps impossible task for her alone.

        Hundreds of boxes are involved…

        It is likely therefore that further, undiscovered Kelly records exist (as well as the missing records mentioned in my book) – but will they be found in our lifetimes?

        Ian MacFarlane

        1. Hi Ian, that is great news that there are more archival police records potentially available that bear on the Kelly story. I imagine the first step would be to find and identify them, and the second and probably costly step would be to index and digitise them. I remember the Police Museum said in an email back when I was doing the Fitzpatrick research that they only had a manager and a couple of part time employees, and their search priority was requests for information and documents from police and descendants, not external researchers, who had to wait in line. It took quite a while for me to get a scan of Fitzpatrick’s police Record of Service and Conduct, but it was worth the wait, as it proved that Ian Jones, who had seen and quoted the record, made a total mess of his Fitzpatrick story by never mentioning that Fitzpatrick was rated as “an efficient constable” several months after the Fitzpatrick incident. He was never a drunken lout, and there was no criticism of his performance until the time he was sent to Sydney in 1879. Jones entirely fabricated the nonsense story about Fitzpatrick’s drinking on the way to the Kelly house to arrest Dan Kelly in April 1878, that became the opening section of his Fitzpatrick chapter in his Short Life book. He took that story entirely from what the Kellys said, and disregarded a stack of compelling evidence against it that I presented in my Redeeming Fitzpatrick article. He then tried to “balance” his imaginative Kelly-derived fabrications against documentary evidence to the contrary, and ended in holding that we “will never know what happened that day in April”. This is total amateurish rubbish. We know very well most of what happened as most of it can be independently corroborated as I showed. Fitzpatrick’ testimony stacks up, but Jones never bothered to pursue that possibility because of his blind prejudice. The result was nonsense presented as balanced history, the second worst fabrication in his book, and one the became massively influential on practically every Kelly writer for the past 60 years. The number one fabrication was of course the lens of republicanism that he thought to see in Kelly, which tinted everything he wrote about NK from the late 1960s onwards. That is the biggest outright nonsense of his legacy, which he spread everywhere in writing, video, letters to institutions, and into other researcher’s work such as Cofield’s Kelly Encyclopaedia, which is more a labour of pro-Kelly love than anything else.

          Corfield repeats the factually incorrect rubbish that Fitzpatrick was dismissed from the force as a liar and larrikin, based on one negative police comment in a letter written in rejection of a petition by over 100 residents of Lancefield and surrounding district, to have Fitzpatrick reinstated in the force after his dismissal for insubordination to his superior, Constable Mayes at Lancefield. Again, wholly incorrect material presented as fact and recycled endlessly by people who don’t know any better, sometimes by citing Corfield as a reference.. The general state of Kelly research has been pathetically amateurish throughout my entire lifetime. It only started to lift when Ian MacFarlane brought objectivity to the process in his 2012 Kelly Gang Unmasked book, which is full of gems from the archives that Jones and others never bothered to acknowledge, or change their minds about, as a result. Or if they did, they kept remarkably silent, because it blew many longstanding Kelly myths out of the water. Possibly the first major challenges to the narrative were the meticulously researched 1980s articles on Kelly and horse and cattle stealing, and on the Greta larrikin mob, by Doug Morrissey, which were similarly ignored by most Kelly writers since, who were largely too stupid and shallow to track down and read them. Much of what has been written as Kelly history has long belonged and continues to belong in the fiction shelves.

  6. Stuart, we are big supporters of your views and thank you for your overview reply.

    We haven’t a copy of Leo Kennedy’s book yet but are trying to get it.

    Keep up your excellent commentary.

    Horrie and Alf

    1. Hi Horrie and Alf, it is now available in hardback for $12.99 plus $5 postage from QBD books. The only drawback is they keep emailing you book offers, and are difficult to unsubscribe from; I call them “spam university”. It is also available in paperback at Big W for $25, and about $20 from Booktopia, not sure what postage costs but not much I think. Try Googling for other options! The paperback version out very recently has some minor corrections from the first hardback print run. The silly publishers did not change the title of the Fitzpatrick chapter despite its idiocy or make half a dozen other corrections to it that they were advised of in time, sticking to the dominant narrative. Changing narratives is a slow business…

  7. The website about “The Kelly Gang Unmasked” book has published this bunkum with no citations or refs. Fitzy writes:


    CONSTABLE FLOOD – ‘I did a good number on them.’
    …certain police officers saw to it that the Kelly’s were blamed for all horses stolen in the district. One such officer, Constable Flood a suspected horse thief himself had more reason than most to accuse the Kelly’s of horse stealing. It is believed Flood either stole or planted horses and then blamed the Kelly’s or their relatives for the offence. As the police force is a brotherhood and secretive to the tactics used, Flood was never charged but at the insistence of Chief Commissioner Standish he was removed from the district.

    CONSTABLE ARTHUR – ‘It was the fault of the police treatment of the Kelly’s that made them what they were. As to whether they were guilty or not the police were continually lagging them and accusing them of offences.’
    Constable Arthur also claimed that other police officers had treated female members of the Kelly family very badly.

    Where is your evidence for this tripe?


    1. Bob McGarrigle says: Reply

      Falesly accused, spot on Roy. Falsely accused by you as it was not Fitzy or his site that made the comment .Try Jacks wonderful site “An Introduction to Ned Kelly” ,where it was actually correctly recorded.As far as the proof goes buy Kelvyn Gills Definitive Record and you will find it all there.
      .Horrie and Alf you can get Leo Kennedys book anywhere in Sydney or Melbourne but you wont find Ian MacFarlanes book anywhere because it simply doesn’t sell.Leo tells me that there is going to be a second edition of his book with new stuff in it.Leo is a very approachable man and is very helpful in anything anyone asks him.He is also a man of his word and good to converse with despite what some think.
      Regards Bob McGarrigle still a real person.

      1. Yes Bob, Ian MacFarlanes brilliant book, The Kelly Gang Unmasked is hard to find. Thats because it was so good and so popular that it has sold out. Fortunately copies are still available on such places as EBAY, where I see you can still get a brand new coy from the USA for about double the original price.

        On the other hand the pre-schoolers book full of trashy rubbish and lies packaged as The Iron Outlaw by Brad Webb is in the remainder bins at rock bottom prices – this junk can’t even be given away!

        But Bob great to see you’re still reading my Blog and facebook pages. Don’t you realise that by posting here youre giving me the oxygen that keeps me going? Fat Greg is going to be SO annoyed with you…..

      2. Bob, If Jack Peterson’s rubbish was republished on the retired truck driver’s hate site, it is still rubbish. Where are the refs and citations?


        1. Roy cant you read mate.The Article discussed is on Jack Petersons site NOT Mick Fitzsimons site.Mick had nothing to do with the article.Good to see you are still around from the forum jar days Roy but you havn’t improved your knowledge one bit.Why dont you criticise Doug Morrissey for his lack of references Roy and be a bit more even handed but then again you support the admin of this site don’t you Roy?I am not going to do your dirty work for you Roy go and buy Kelvyns book and you might just find it.Heres a little hint for you Arthur wasn’t the only policeman that actually blamed his own men for the outbreak.Now theres one for you to look up Roy or are you too lazy and rely on other people?.

    2. Hi Roy, the quote from Constable Arthur about the police making the Kellys what they were and continually lagging them is fairly well known. It is quoted in McQuilton’s Kelly Outbreak p. 145; the reference note is “Report on Constable Arthur to ACC, 28 March, 4 July 1882, Police Correspondence, VPRO.” The other comment attributed to Arthur rings a bell. I don’t know about the stuff attributed to Flood, but this is a good example of why Kelly research struggles to get anywhere, as people often refer to stuff without giving any references. That’s why I don’t bother looking at any commentary that doesn’t follow academic citation conventions; it’s a waste of time. There is more than enough stuff that does follow conventions to keep any accurate researcher busy for decades.

      And Kelly sources are often misquoted or partially quoted by people pushing agendas. Ian Jones part-quoted and thereby misrepresented many source documents; see the section in my Republic myth book on his theory of a sympathiser army at Glenrowan where his claim of 30 sympathisers is misquoted from an English newspaper in a classic piece of bungling; the piece actually refers to the prisoners who were released from the Inn at 10am and were lying on the ground outside while the police checked that the Kelly gang were not amongst them. Jones totally screwed that one up. He cobbled together two part sentences from two different pages! His “evidence” is pure fabrication, and he must surely have known that when he wrote it, as the paper he quotes from never said what he claimed it said. Either that, or he is one of the biggest bunglers ever to take up a history pen. Read my modestly titled “NK and the MYTH of a republik of NE Vic” to see that stuff up given its long overdue scrutiny. It is obvious that 99.9 percent of people claiming to do Kelly research never go back to check Jones’ source references, as this is not the only case of this type of thing in his magnum plonkus. Maybe he shouldn’t have called Alex Castles’ book “outrageous rubbish”, “unbalanced to the point of psychosis”, and “poisonously inaccurate” on the front page of the Age back in 2005, lol. Pot kettle, eh?

  8. Bob McGarrigle says: Reply

    No David Greg (who is not fat by the way) knows exactly where the real Kellyana is being discussed and it isn’t on here or NKS either and it must really annoy you because you’ or none of your cronies know where or what is being discussed.
    In regards to your namesakes book it is simply not being sold anywhere because of its content and its absolute failure to resonate the masses like other Kelly books do.In simple terms it is an absolute flop. Sorry Ian but that’s the absolute truth.

    1. Its public discussions about Ned Kelly that worry me Bob, not uninformed idiots like you and the non-fat Greg having a group hug in your secret mutual masturb…oops I mean mutual admiration club. Say whatever the hell you like in there – it has no effect on anything other than your own delusional state of mind. (ROFLMAO)

    2. Gibberish by a non-entity. What would you know, you clown?

      The book sold out long ago.

      Even if never reprinted, it completely sank the Kelly legend forever.

      You guys are just wasting your time and ours!


    3. Bob, you could always ring up Oxford Uni Press in South Melbourne and try to order a copy of Ian MacFarlane’s masterful book. Don’t hold your breath. It’s been out of print for several years.

      Good luck!

      Horrie and Alf

      1. Horrie and Alf have you been hiding under a rock?I was probably one of the first to purchase your masterpiece that two or three people on this site actually like.I happen not too because it is full of excuses that he couldn’t find material that other researchers could locate.Then he blames others for misappropriating them or worse still stealing them.There is not one other researcher of the Kelly history that would create such a lame excuse as that.You probably wont be able to read this post as David has a habit of deleting ones that don’t agree with him.

        1. Bob, you have already been asked this – but name just ONE document Macfarlane said was missing that other people could find. Just name one!

          Just one.


          Horrie and Alf

  9. Bob you fronted here saying Ian MacFarlane’s book could not be found and was unavailable due to lack of interest – when in fact it had sold out years ago. You are a bit of a Goon my friend, aren’t you!


    1. No Rebecca. I stand by my comment.The copy I purchased from Dymocks Paramatta years ago and had to wait days to get itThe book store actually had never heard of it.,The simple fact is Leos book is popular but Ians is NOT.I would say Leos book would have sold ten times or more than Ians book.Leos book is well worth the read but Ians is not.Sorry if that upsets people on here but too bad.It is an honeset appraisal.

      1. You went to a Dymock chain bookstore and asked for an Oxford University Press book. A bookstore that doesn’t sell any academic book titles. And you were surprised when they hadn’t heard of it. Why didn’t you go to Sydney University bookshop, Einstein? At least Paramatta was nice and ordered it in for you.

  10. Bob, you are a crashing bore. You are here to try to cause a stir. I was going to reply but, after a moment’s thought, said why bother?

    David, Bob is someone you should permanently ban. He has contributed nothing worthwhile here-ever-and is terribly disorganised in his facts and thinking. Proved wrong here about his absurd postulations about “‘The Kelly Gang Unmasked’ book. He never presents any evidence for his wacky claims.

    Show him the door…


    1. I always publish Kelly supporters comments because anyone reading them will learn something important about the quality of person who is a Kelly apologist! Actually, they realise it themselves, and so try hard to resist the urge to comment on anything I post here and on Facebook, because even they have learned that when they do post an attack on me they usually end up exposing their ignorance of the facts, or the nastiness of thier personalities.

      Bob will be cursing himself for giving in to temptation and making a fool off himself once again, so he will go silent or a while now.

    2. Maybe Rebecca if you were myself or a member of our family you might think of Ian MacFarlane a little differently like we do.Members of the Lloyd family (yes my family) were all labelled incorrectly in this book.He has on many occasions incorrectly got members of our family wrong and not identified correctly.He didn’t know one family member from another.Our members with the same name is confusing I admit but when you write a book like Ian has you should try and get it right..His researching of my branch of the family is and was really not good at all.I have many ancestors that are still in the land of the living and deserve better treatment than what we received from him.Not once on any site have I seen Ian correct or apologise for his errors.
      Initially I was on the side of the administrator of this site and a couple of others as well.After what has been going on in the past few years you probably would find that hard to believe Rebecca but is true.,Yes I was against Fitzy but then the forum jars which Roy participated in (I didn’t) started and then things changed and the members on those jars were disgusting and fortunately were closed down.The then admin did nothing to rectify what went onto those sites Thus .end of my relationship with this person.
      I have no regrets in changing sides you side with David Rebecca and I side with Fitzy and we have the rite to do that.I have never praised my cousins Ned and Dan for their behaviour never, especially with what happened at SBC was nasty.. As my cousin Noeleen has pointed out on many occasions some of our Lloyd members were a nasty lot and we admit that as well.In this conflict a lot of people on both sides get on very well as stated before I communicate with Leo Kennedy and have been very amiacable with him.Some of my members and friends don’t like what I have said about Leos book but that doesn’t worry me at all.It is only a personal opinion just an opinion.
      I have been banned many times Rebecca.I only come to this site to correct errors that are made just as I did this time.Jacks site is NOT Fitzys site as explained previously.,,,,,,Bob

      1. SO Bob you claim Ian MacFarlane confused one Lloyd with another Lloyd of the same name – Ive done the same thing. So can you please quote the pages and the places where that happened? And can you also please provide the details of any other errors? But it has to be said that if all you can find wrong with Ian MacFarlanes book is confusing one Tom Lloyd with another Tom Lloyd then your condemnation of the entire book is completely ridiculous. Your mate Fitzy hasn’t identified any yet – all he has done is abuse authors and make dumb assertions that he hasnt ever backed up.

        One other thing – if youre claiming the Forum Jar episode was something to do with me youre wrong, and you dont know your history. They were well underway long before I ever had anything to do with the Kelly story.

        1. David You might think I am rather dumb but am not as dumb as you might think. I gave only some of the errors that are in Ian’s book as they were all directly to do with the Lloyd family including some from my branch thus I reported on them. .
          Members of this blog we have been through all this before and first reported these errors on the Eleven Mile Creek blog several years ago. These errors were all ratified by Brian Stevenson and David’s good friend Sharon Hollingswoth can attest to what I have just said.Brian did a summary of the book in 3 parts and believe they would probably still be there. Like when I told you about the errors in Kelvin Gills first book I told you to work it out yourself David if you could. The same applies to you now so please do your own researching just as I did. All the pages were .shown on the Eleven Mile blog if it is still there. Go and find it yourself as you say you know the book back the front. I have already proved my case more than once and it is up to you to disprove me. As I said before your memory is rather slack David because you and I have done it all before and you know it.
          I can look up all the pages again but can’t be bothered just to help you out as you haven’t been too kind over the years to many people. Tit bits for you Davy are Thomas Peter Lloyd is not my grt grt grandfather’s Son and is not Tom Lloyd jnr either as his father was Jack Lloyd snr.The same bloke and my Grt Uncle Jack (John) Lloyd jnr are not brothers but cousins. If you think your namesake did a good job WRONG basic errors that no writer should make. .Just a few more George King and the Sherritts errors too. Can you figure those Out?
          If my records are correct your first forum jar commenced on the 28th December 2012 after you split the scene just as I did. I am sure Sharon Hollingswoth will remember that as well. I also remember one of the last conversations you had on NKF was a week earlier on the 21st December with Lisa. Do you remember that one David.?They were the days David when we actually got on quite well although we never met. Thank heavens for that.
          In a final summary I am not out to prove anything to either you or Ian as it is certainly not my job to do so. I haven’t written any book and not likely too.i just make comments on how I feel and I liked Leo’s but not Ian’s Sorry if that offends you guys but that’s life.
          I am just Bob McGarrigle looking after my family always. As Mr Ripley once said believe it or not that is the question.

          1. David Im afraid Bob has got you there. I recall those thrilling forum jar days when you mashed that daft fitzy and his incoherant blethering


      2. “I have never praised my cousins Ned and Dan for their behaviour”. But you have not condemned them for being total assholes either. “especially with what happened at SBC”. And with taking citizens prisoner and trying to destroy a police train. And with thieving other poor selectors horses.

        1. Sorry John I have done so on many occasions especially the looting of their bodies.that was totally uncalled for. I have plentyy of friends and enemies that can ratify that John.

  11. An honest appraisal by a nobody. Yeah. Yawn!


  12. Bob still hasn’t answered our simple question posed above [September 11, 2019 at 10:14 pm].

    It’s another of his furphies!

    Horrie and Alf

  13. I never expected everyone to like my book. Bob you don’t like it and have repeatedly said so.

    Can’t please everyone. But please keep your apologies to yourself.

    When you come here, it seems be your purpose to tie us up with silly statements, mistaken guesswork and general rudeness. You have done this several times under your own name, perhaps more.

    I cannot answer your criticisms of my handling of George King and the Sherrits, because you have not specified what they are.

    I am pleased there has been no literary response to my book or those of Dr Moloney ( just noisy yapping from the likes of you and Fitzy). I was very disappointed Ian Jones didn’t treat me like he did author Alex Castles. Would have been great publicity.

    Ian Jones rashly advised author Peter FitzSimons to ignore my book. This did far more damage to their reputations than it did to mine.

    People’s opinions I trust include eminent Australian historian Michael Cannon, Sir Clive Sinclair, inventor of the Sinclair computer and many other things (in his London Times Literary Review). Few authors get a Times Literary review. I am proud of mine. Industry Reviews:

    ‘A damning history… mesmerising in its detail.’ – Lesley McDowell, UK Independent, March 2014 ‘Ian MacFarlane’s assiduous research provides a valuable antidote to those who would unthinkingly sentimentalize violent men.’ – Sir Clive Sinclair, Times Literary Supplement, December 2013’… this work provides a fascinating insight into one of the great Australian sagas and sets many aspects of the story to rights. “I found it to be a compelling read and I highly recommend it.’ – Retired Chief Inspector Ralph Stavely, The Police Association Victoria Journal, November 2012. ‘The author – among other qualifications a long-experienced archivist – lays out for us all the known sources for the Kelly story, locates them for us, and offers his cool judgement on their value and veracity. Any Australian seriously interested in Ned Kelly needs MacFarlane at his elbow.’ – Peter Ryan, Quadrant, March 2013. ‘This is not a balanced book, nor is it meant to be; MacFarlane positions himself (several times) in the anti-Kelly camp, as if the title were not clue enough.’ – Clive Sinclair, Times Literary Supplement, December 2013 ‘Close examination of his developmental history and subsequent criminal behaviour reveals that Kelly was a violent and vindictive man who demonstrated prominent psychopathic features including pathological lying, callous lack of empathy for others and a parasitic lifestyle.’ – Dr Russ Scott & Ian MacFarlane, Ned Kelly – Stock Thief, Bank Robber,Murderer – Psychopath, Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, July 2014.

    I guess I can live with your lesser opinion rather easily, Bob.

    I hope you leave us soon.

    Ian MacFarlane

  14. This discussion is going nowhere. The last four comments that have been submitted – two from Bob – Ive sent to the trash. Sorry people but this was descending into nothing but personal abuse and repetition of the same arguments that have been going around for years.

    Move on, nothing left to see here folks!

  15. Nothing to see on Fitzy’s site either. He is petrified about getting banned on Facebook, and has removed a lot of his most defamatory material.

    But we doubt we have seen the last of Bob. He thinks that by distracting everyone here that you David won’t be able to write more blogs damaging their Ned Kelly brand. Sort of childish, but sort of expected.

    Horrie and Alf

  16. David, you have been a courageous supporter of my book since you spotted it at Sydney Airport on your way to humanitarian endeavours in Ethiopia. You wanted to support it on the Ned Kelly Forum where you were attacked often, but supported by the daring Denhelds. Fitzy attacked you way back then and is still attacking you and me today.

    We are not relations, nor born in the same country as Fitzy foolishly believes. But I have met you since and here openly admire your efforts in diminishing and dismissing the contorted Kelly Legend.

    You are admirable as a human being and as a determined Kelly critic.

    I’m glad we share the same surname of a great Scottish Clan.

    Ian MacFarlane

  17. Kelly expert Brian Stevenson contacted me yesterday to point out an error in my blurb about people who have supported my humble book.

    Brian wrote a three-part review of my book, by far the most detailed and comprehensive so far. This was a “literary” review (although I originally meant books rather than articles or reviews. But articles and reviews are also literary). My poor choice of words.

    Brian’s review was generous but questioned some

    Its all on the Eleven Mile Creek blog, folks.

    Ian MacFarlane

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