Kelly sympathisers discussing Lonigan’s death a few days ago recycled arguments that were disproved years ago, and contributed nothing new to the debate. They kicked out a contributor who offered a reasoned evidence based rebuttal because, according to the Admin of the site, Members were getting ‘upset’. So, by the time the thread ended, the snowflakes had reassured themselves of two things that were false: Kellys killing of Lonigan was self-defence, and the person they kicked out was probably me using a Fake ID.
In this post I will remind readers yet again of the evidence and the reasoning that disproves the ‘self-defence’ argument sympathisers make about Lonigan’s death.
Firstly, sympathisers might be surprised to learn that at Ned Kellys trial, self-defence was not mentioned. Instead, other arguments were made but at the end of the trial, after listening to them all and hearing the evidence and observing Kelly himself, the Jury found him guilty of murder. One has to ask if Kelly and his own team didn’t think arguments about ‘self-defence’ would advance their cause in 1880, why do modern sympathisers think it would in 2022? They would need to introduce some very convincing new evidence if they ever hoped to get the Jurys verdict thrown out…. but, predictably they haven’t produced any. All they’ve done is recycle disproven arguments from years ago, impressing only people who are uninformed about the detail and don’t know any better.
Their claim is that Ned Kellys version of what happened to Lonigan is the truth, and his version is that when ordered to Bail Up, instead of doing what he was told Lonigan ran behind what Kelly called ‘a battery of logs’. According to Kelly, Lonigan then raised his head above the logs, took aim and was about to shoot Kelly with his revolver but Kelly fired first, hit him in the head and killed him. The only other survivng witness to Lonigan’s killing was McIntyre, but his account sharply contradicted Kellys claim, reporting that Lonigan was shot before he had time to even get his revolver out, let alone get behind ‘a battery of logs’ and come up from behind them and aim it at Kelly.
So, first of all let’s deal with Ian Jones well known and widely believed claim that in providing this account McIntyre committed perjury. According to Jones, McIntyre’s original account agreed with Kellys but he changed it under pressure from his superiors so that they could deny Kelly the defence of self-defence. This claim about McIntyre changing his testimony and telling lies is part of the sympathisers creed, a fundamental belief of theirs that was repeated yet again only two days ago by an Admin of a Kelly idolisers FB page. In fact, McIntyre provided several signed separate statements about what happened, and they all said the same thing about Lonigan’s death – he didn’t have time to draw his revolver let alone fire it and he was out in the open when Kelly shot and killed him.
So where does Jones idea that McIntyre lied come from, if all his known statements say the same thing about Lonigans murder?
What Jones is referring to is an extract from a 1913 Memoir written by police Superintendent John Sadlier. In the memoir Sadleir, now almost 80 years old, records what he thinks he remembers of a conversation he had with McIntyre 30 years previously when the two met briefly several days after the murders. Sadleir’s source wasn’t a document or a statement made by McIntyre, as Jones implies, but his own failing memory. We know his memory was failing by the presence of errors in the memoir such as Sadleir’s belief that it was Dan Kelly who executed Kennedy and that “Ned Kelly insisted on each of his companions discharging their weapons into the dead bodies of the three police, thus fully implicating, as he thought, each and all in the crime that had been committed’ In relation to Lonigan, this claim was disproved by the autopsy findings which showed that every wound was inflicted on him while alive.
Put simply, and as charitably as one can the ageing Sadleirs recollection about Lonigan’s death was just plain wrong. No fair-minded person would think it reasonable to discount an eye-witness testimony, consistently repeated on five separate occasions, in favour of an octogenarian’s recollection 35 years later that didn’t agree with documents handwritten by the eye-witness from as early as 24 hours after the murders. To do so would be preposterous.
For Jones to make out that Sadleir had obtained a ‘statement’ from McIntyre and claim it was the earliest account he gave and that later McIntyre committed perjury is not just wrong, it’s an entirely false claim and a baseless vilification of McIntyre! Jones really needs to be called out on this one: it’s a shocking misrepresentation if not an outright and deliberate lie.
So, we are left with two accounts of Lonigan’s death that contradict each other, one claiming a killing in self-defence, the other a cold-blooded murder. The anti-woke Kelly apologist Sturt Rowsell wants everyone to believe there’s no point in even trying to resolve this conflict because its all so complicated and so far back in the past that it’s impossible to work out who is telling the truth and who is lying here. He says this because the last thing Kelly apologists want is for open evidenced based rational debates to occur and for the answers to be uncovered: the risk is that the myths will be exposed and put to bed.
Unhappily for the apologists, in this case – and in many others as well – it is easy to work it out. All one has to do is use the available evidence and simple logic, and without the need for conspiracy theory, alien or supernatural intervention its child’s play to work out with absolute certainty who the liar was : it was Ned Kelly.
We can be confident of this because of the careful way in which Dr Samuel Reynolds performed and recorded the findings of his post mortem examination of Lonigan. Even though Kelly and McIntyre agreed Lonigan was only shot once, Reynolds found three other bullet wounds in addition to the one that entered his brain through the right eye and killed him almost instantly. The other wounds were a graze to the temple, an injury to his left arm and another where the bullet entered his left thigh from the side and tracked across the front of it and lodged under the skin. The other crucial but long overlooked observation that Reynolds made about these wounds was that bruising and bleeding around them indicated they all happened while Lonigan was still alive. These observations – one shot and multiple wounds inflicted while Lonigan was alive – can only mean one thing: Lonigan was brought down by multiple projectiles fired in a single blast from Kellys gun, perhaps a quartered bullet. This fact puts a dent in the claim that Kelly was a crack shot, but much more importantly it disproves his claim that Lonigan was behind ‘a battery of logs’ when he was shot. A person protected by ‘a battery of logs’ doesn’t get shot in the thigh from the side – unless of course aliens or a supernatural force is involved. What it means is that Lonigan was out in the open, exactly as McIntyre said.
Below is Bills brilliant illustration of the scene showing Lonigan at the moment of his murder, looking back as he turns to run, his left side exposed:
Perhaps this was why at his trial for Lonigans murder, Kellys team made no mention of ‘self-defence’. They probably realised that with Reynolds testimony on hand if needed, Kellys claim that Lonigan got behind ‘a battery of logs’ and tried to shoot him would be exposed as a lie, and Ned Kelly as a liar. If that happened, nothing he said would be believed.
As it turned out, they didn’t believe him anyway.
24 Replies to “WHEN NED KELLY KILLED LONIGAN IT WASNT SELF DEFENCE: IT WAS MURDER”
I don’t have a copy of Sadleirs’ memoir but I understand he repeats the claim that it was Dan – not Ned – who executed Kennedy. That’s also in a Clune pamphlet I have from the 1950s.
Any idea where this claim came from?
I know its very much accepted it was Ned, but Dan holding a shotgun to the chest of a wounded police officer begging for his life and pulling the trigger has a whiff of truth about it.
Given that the only eye-witness account of that murder was Ned Kellys, and I have no recollection of him ever claiming that Kennedy was murdered by someone other than himself, I don’t know how we are ever going to be able to sort that one out but I know what you mean about Dan Kelly – he does seem to have been something of a sadist perhaps?
Yes it was Self Defense.
The sketch David shows within his text above was an attempt to reconcile how there could have been three bullet wounds on Lonigan’s body, if only one shot was fired- assumedly by Ned who always took the blame himself.
We will never know the minute details of this first encounter at SBC, but for me, from what information there is, there are always contradictions on both sides. If the police were on a man hunt for the reward moneys offered, then we cannot say it was murder nor was it an ambush.
Had Lonigan put up his hands up like McIntyre had done, nobody would have got shot.
This drawing below recreates the scene, and is another account of Lonigan being shot.
Following the numerals on the sketch –
1, Where Ned said Lonigan was sitting at time of first encounter.
B, Lonigan takes cover raising his head to shoot, and a bullet grazes his head and he jumps up saying ‘Oh Christ I am shot’, he steps back 2-
2, Where McIntyre said Lonigan was standing when shot.
3, Where Lonigan fell.
Logs A and B, McIntyre said Ned jumped over to get Lonigan’s gun.
4, McIntyre said he was on the inner of the logs, while Lonigan was on the outer, on the North side (2)
For those still wondering where this happened at SBC, this view is looking south because McIntyre said Lonigan was on the North side of the logs, and the creek meanders to the left and south with the slope in the background. The footprint of one hut is near item 2, and the other hut is under the fallen tree branches – item A.
There is only one place at SBC where this scenario can be perfectly be reconstructed, and that is at the fireplaces of two old huts which are located about 360 m south (up the road) from where the recent new signage has been installed, or about 270 m up the road from the current Kelly tree which was once at a BBQ picnic area. Numerous other claims by other parties for the police camp location have been made, but none stack up because they don’t exhibit any steep slope looking south, nor have those claims any evidence of two huts, nor ‘particularly boggy ground’ immediately to the north as described by the leader of the search party looking for Sergeant Kennedy’s body a week later.
The authorities in control of this historic site have deliberately set out to lead visitors up the garden path to where nothing ever happened. It is therefore the duty of all those interested to seek historical truth.
Hi Bill always great to have your input, and another terrific illustration.
You’ve shown Lonigan sort of sitting on the ground behind a log. A couple of points : first Ned Kelly didnt say Lonigan got behind ‘a’ (singular) log but a ‘battery’ of LOGS (plural) – no photo actually shows a ‘battery’ of logs – which I assume must mean a kind of heap of logs lying over and on top of each other. Do you think Ned Kelly was wrong in saying a ‘battery’ and only meant a single log, or is there a battery of logs out of the Burman photos we cant see?
Second, how are you going to explain his left leg wound if he was in the position you’ve shown ?
The picture you drew for me of Lonigan standing and being shot out in the open I believe is a much more accurate depiction of what happened.It explains all his wounds in a way that makes much more sense than an y other scenario that Ive ever heard of.
I always considered those logs in the Burman photo being described – the battery of logs;
If Ned said Lonigan got behind a battery of logs, then the photo shows that battery of logs. What is the meaning of ‘battery’ – “a group of similar items. ”
So, if Lonigan was sitting on one log when confronted, he jumped up and got behind another log, that other log is part of a battery of logs.
Your Q; – Answer; all the logs in the Burman photo was the battery of logs.
Your second Q;
We don’t know the exact sequence of events because one person said this and another said that.
I’d say what is written down will always be according to that person’s ability to record who said what, and for that reason alone, what the archival records allow us to quote 144 years later, but remains only a version according to the writer of the time, and is just as good as any penned oral history of the time, but whichever is closer to the event can be believed more than what someone makes of it 144 years later.
You say the picture I drew showing one shot gun blast directed at Lonigan inflicting three bullet wounds was a good exercise. This scenario is possible as there was also one bullet that grazed Lanigan’s temple. Maybe when he was behind that log and hit, he might have jumped up and said “Oh Christ I’ve been shot” , and as he leapt up he got another shot gun blast from one of the other gang members guns.
I think many Kelly researches are too pedantic about infinitesimal fine details. Nobody bothers about how many first nation Australian Aboriginals were killed when the squatters invaded their lands. You and a few Kelly researchers seem fixated on the killing of a few police, while in the mean time up until 1880s some 40.000 aboriginals had been shot – ‘murdered’ by the British invaders, to which many squatters turned a blind eye to. It was all about money and control.
Ned knew what class he belonged to, and it was not the squatters who had the police in their pockets.
Thanks again Bill.
OK I accept your explanation that a battery of logs refers to the logs in the Burman photos. According to Kelly , Lonigan got behind one of them and “put his head up to take aim when I shot him”
However I cant accept your explanation of how Lonigan got the wounds in his left leg : “as he leapt up he got another shot gun blast from one of the other gang members guns.”
The reason I cant accept it is that even though McIntyres and Kellys accounts of what happened vary considerably at many points – for example McIntyre said Lonigan was STANDING on the opposite side of the fire to him, not sitting on a log – they DO however agree that only ONE shot was fired at Lonigan. They agree on that so I believe we have to accept it. This then still leaves you with the problem of the wound in Lonigans left leg and as I said previously, I believe your earlier diagram perfectly and rationally depicts how it got there.
Incidentally Bill, in relation to your comment about Aboriginal deaths in Australia, not so long ago I attended a Lecture on that very topic given by Professor Lyndal Ryan. She was describing the eight year project she has been leading, creating a map that pinpoints and lists details of every massacre of indigenous people in Australia upon till 1930. Its an absolutely devastating and horrifying record – you are quite right it was all about money and control and the indigenous peoples of Australia suffered almost unimaginable horrors at the hands of the colonisers. Heres a Link : https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/colonialmassacres/map.php
Hello David, that link is fascinating. I had communicated with Frontiers War author Henry Reynolds for information, he was on ABC RN discussion where he said up to 65.000 aboriginal killings might be closer to the mark.
Regarding Lonigan’s wounds, when he was first hit he is quoted as saying ‘Oh Christ I’ve been shot’. I had always understood when he saw the four men approaching their camp to bailup, he quickly ducked behind a log. Which log we don’t know, but by carfull study of the Burman photo and analysis , I had concluded log ‘B’ as the most likely which was the north side as Mc had said. If he got that bullet to his eye and into his brain in the first instant, would he still be able to say Oh Christ I’ve been shot?
I concluded the most likely scenario was what I had first drawn for Peter fitzsimons’s book, and then when you asked me to make the second drawing showing Lonigan on his feet, just after he leapt up, he most probably got the final quartered shot gun bullet blast that finished him off instantly,
Hi again Bill
Yes, after exploring that map for a few minutes its easy to agree with indigenous people who regard January 26th as Invasion Day.There was nothing about colonisation that could be construed as a cause for them to celebrate.
As far as your analysis of Lonigans murder is concerned you have proposed he was shot twice before he died. Neither McIntyre nor Kelly himself said he was shot twice, so I dont think that explanation of yours is tenable. I will say it again : your second diagram perfectly and rationally depicts what happened – and the one for Fitzsimons book doesnt!
OK so lonigan died in the line of duty and he wasnt murdered but simply shot and died. Self defence is a crock of crap argument.
So forget about Lonigan and explain how the wilful and admitted by Kelly shooting of Sergeant Kennedy isnt murder!
Of course it was murder plain and simple.
The deliberate killing of a police officer going about his lawful business cannot be anything but MURDER.
Hello Anon, it seems strange that 2 parties of four police dressed as ordinary prospectors can go on a man hunt, kill them if they resist, and that is not murder.
Bill, you full well know that police at that time wore plain clothes, and not the uniforms they had to buy themselves. One could hardly state that was a disguise. You also know that the police team at Stringybark Creek had two sets of handcuffs to secure the Kelly brothers. None of those police had any intention of killing the Kelly’s. They intended to arrest them, as Constable McIntyre stated.
If a felon resists with a firearm shooting at police and police retaliate and the felon is killed, that is NOT murder in any sense. That is self-defence.
The only basis for the claim the police were going to kill the Kellys are reported words of Kelly sympathisers and Kelly himself – exactly what you would expect them to say in trying to absolve themselves of blame by trying to make the a case the the murders were self defence.
But murdering criminals was not something those Police or anyone else in the Victoria police had ever done, and to start such a campaign on people wanted for attempted murder would be absurd over-reach, quite apart from being illegal. Personally I feel those claims are outrageous. Have you any persuasive evidence from anywhere at all that Vic. Police either before or after SBC murdered criminals? Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, and extraordinary claims like this one need extraordinary evidence to be credible.
I have not looked deeply into where the camp was or where the murders took place at Stringybark Creek. Although I have been there several times, health issues present me from investigating too far. I am not sure that puzzle will ever be solved. I do, however, find the evidence of Constable McIntyre to be honest and accurate. I would believe him over Ned Kelly any day.
Well Sam I have looked very closely at all the proposals about where the Police camp was, and by far the most well researched and the most convincing case as to where it was is the Two Huts site identified by Bill. He has done an ENORMOUS amount of work up there and a lot of quite ingenious analysis based on the Burman photos and there is virtually no doubt in my mind he has the right place.
The Kennedy Tree group forced their way into the limelight by convincing local newspapers to take up their cause, and by encouraging them to disparage and vilify Bill. They got what they wanted, which was to have their claims taken seriously by Heritage Victoria and DEWLP, but when those same authorities rejected their claims they went silent, claiming HV was wrong and they would show why. But they haven’t.
What they ought to do now is retract their claim, apologise to Bill and get behind his site and try to get it investigated in the same way, and hopefully have it officially recognised as the place where the Kelly Gang murdered two policemen.
I had a brief look at this today, and will eventually make a comment regarding what McIntyre described. What I will say now, is that I have not seen one drawing that represents what McIntyre stated in his writings. He said that one of the trees was 4 feet in diameter. That is a very thick tree. Something like 1.2 metres metric. That tree was large to say the least. None of the drawings I have seen represent that tree correctly. I have much to digest, but will come back in due course with a considered opinion.
OK Bill so you want us to believe that it wasnt murder because the police were dressed as prospectors. You therefore imply that they were travelling around in disguise and that for the charge of murder NOT TO BE LEVELLED they should have been in uniform.
You seem to be ignorant of the ways of the police in the 1870s and 80s . They would not wear a uniform when out in the bush or often called to duty in the country (just look at the photos of the police groups taken at Glenrowan where they are in civvies and not uniform). In fact even today police do not go about in uniform when doing det3ective or undercover work.
To try and justify the actions of a murderer by claiming the absence of uniform dress is an absurd proposition.
The police were obliged to pay for uniform damage which happened while on duty so why would they want to travel the rugged country in uniform? Kelly knew they were police from the observations he had made earlier of the horse hoof prints he came across and I would also suggest the type and style of the tent that the police had pitched.
That’s not a murder weapon.
And dont forget the work of the csi team who also have done an invcredible amount of analysis and research which they published in their report. There view of where the camp was is very much as probable as the so called 2 huts site of bills. I would put my money on the csi work as being nearer the correct spot of the camp than that of bills. The csi stuff has drawn upon many bit of information and has correlated all of this to be able to hone in on their suggested spot bills stuff is a one dimensional argument which does not acknowledge the vast amount of other ‘evidence which the csi team present as part of thier analysis.
The precise spot of the camp will never be established beyond reasonable doubt.
The CSI Team believe when Burman recreated the scene he got it all wrong, and had people sitting on the wrong side of logs and facing the wrong direction. That makes no sense. Their attempt to identify the correct place using ‘burrs’ seen on trees in different photos is pseudoscience. Also, its only at Bills site that a photo can be taken pointing roughly south that replicates what is seen in the Burman photos, so the Two Huts site, with its remnants of huts that are seen in the Burman photos is almost certainly the right place.
You mean burls which are a recognised deformity which occur on trees and which enable identification as every burl is unique. if this is your only rebuttal to all of the points raised by the csi people then i assume you accfept that the points made by the csi people are valid. they show that the burman photo is taken pointing towards the north east with the two logs in their diagram representing the north south and east west logs, that the speargrass from which the gang emerged is to the south of these logs all of which correspond to the details provided by mcintyre in his detailed diagram. THe position of the police at the camp and the return of the other two police later again shown in the mcintyre diagram are exactly as shown in the burman pics. a photo taken pointing roughly south is a nonsense as that would have the police positioned in total contradicton to the mcintyre diagram which by the way can be orientated as he showed a compass as well as direction of nearby settlements.
The tams work stands full scrutiny and is the most extensive and thorough work which seeks to put the police camp in the close vicinity of where it was.
You need to get out and about and spend some time on the ground so you can fully appreciate the nonsense you support is just that.
You say burls “enable identification as every burl is unique” Yes thats right, which means that if two photographs of a tree with a burl on them are two different trees, then the burls will be different too. And thats exactly what os seen in the two burl trees in the CSI Report : two very differently shaped burls. And its not just the burl problem that undermines the CSI claims.
As for your claim about the Burman photo: its wrong. Your proposed orientation shows ‘Kelly’ hiding on the north side of a log but the McIntyre diagram has him on the south side. Your orientation shows ‘McIntyre’ looking south waiting for Kennedy and Scanlon but we know they came from the north.
The burl is not the only point. It is only one point. Bill left the CSI group over many points and had a massive critique of their report (which they still refuse to make available free online after all these years) on his website. If CSI wanted to engage with more people and promote their case further they would put the report online Fred instead of playing hard to get. It sounds like you haven’t read Bill’s critique of CSI but just go blogging about the CSI report that no one can get without paying seventy dollars or so for what looks from Bill’s critique to be a very dubious document.
I cant find the report that Charlie says is $70, Where can I buy it? I cant get to the city library where there is a copy of the report im too far away to make the trip down
Apparently $50, not $70, but read David’s review here, https://nedkellyunmasked.com/2017/10/the-updated-csisbc-report-50-wasted/
And see these discussion pages about it and its faults on the IronIcon website, https://ironicon.com.au/csi-at-sbc-2017.htm
Once you read those reviews, you may be happy to wait until you can get to Melbourne and spend yopur $50 on a train fare instead