A Kelly Story-tellers tricks exposed.

The first priority of anyone writing about history – and this includes the Kelly story – is to get the FACTS straight. And its even more important for people who purport to be some sort of expert on the topic, that they get their facts right.
So when someone like Jack Peterson gets the facts wrong on his Facebook page called “An introduction to Ned Kelly”, I wonder if its just simple ignorance, or is there a deliberate intent to trick people into agreeing with him, by providing false information? Here are three recent examples to consider:
ONE : Peterson wants you to believe that Fitzpatrick lied when he said he was shot in the wrist, so he wrote :  

“An interesting footnote to Fitzpatricks claim that Ned Kelly shot him is that it couldn’t be confirmed by Dr Nicholson who treated the wound to his wrist”

It’s hard to imagine it was an innocent mistake to refer to only HALF of what Nicholson said, when the WHOLE statement makes it very clear that Nicholson thought Fitzpatrick probably WAS shot in the wrist –  but thats what Peterson did – he used only HALF the sentence! 

The FULL sentence is :

Could not swear it was a bullet wound… ” ( thats the bit Peterson wants you to know about) but the rest of the sentence is – (and this is the bit he DOESNT want you to know about) – “….BUT IT HAD ALL THE APPEARANCE OF ONE
Ian Jones – who Peterson says is his favourite Kelly author – says in a discussion about this wound in ‘A Short Life’ :
“Dr Nicholson said at the trial, in a neglected comment, “The wounds are consistent with Fitzpatricks statement” meaning that in his opinion the entry wound WAS caused by a bullet and the exit wound by a knife”
So take your pick : Petersons view, which is based on only half of the evidence, or Nicholsons’ view and Jones view ( and mine) that the evidence in its entirety supports Fitzpatrick.
TWO: Its hard to imagine Peterson made another innocent mistake when he quoted the middle of a sentence from Fitzpatricks testimony to the Royal Commission, making it sound like Fitzpatrick was admitting to be an unfit policeman, but thats what he did. In fact if you read the whole sentence its blindingly obvious Fitzpatrick was merely explaining what someone had said about him. This is what Peterson wrote a few days ago:
“…… by Fitzpatricks own admission ‘I could not be trusted out of sight and never did my duty’ An acknowledgement that would cast doubt on the truthfulness of his evidence in a criminal trial”
Peterson is propping up a Kelly myth by again only quoting half of the facts, which are these :  At the Royal Commission Fitzpatrick was asked;
Q12891: That does not clear up any points with regard to the outbreak. How long have you left the force ?
ANSWER: I was discharged in April last.
Q12892. What for ?
ANSWER : On the report of Senior-Constable Mayes, at Lancefield ; and I asked the Chief Commissioner if he would kindly inform me why I was discharged from the police force, and he told me. He said, on the recommendation of and communication from Senior-Constable Mayes, of Lancefield, stating that I was not fit to be in the police force, as I had associated with the lowest persons in Lancefield, and could not be trusted out of sight, and never did my duty.”
How could anyone claim that reply was an ‘acknowledgement ‘? Fitzpatrick was merely reporting what was said about him, and certainly NOT agreeing with it. 
THREE: Its just as hard to imagine Peterson made yet another innocent mistake when he got it all wrong trying to explain why an incident with a missing horse resulted in  Ned Kelly getting three years in prison and Wild Wright only eighteen months. Here again he simply ignores words that ruin his argument! What Kelly sympathisers like Jack Peterson want you to believe is that this story about Wild Wright and the horse proves that Ned Kelly was victimised and treated harshly and unfairly by the Courts. Their ‘proof’ is the fact that when Ned Kelly was sentenced for receiving a horse that was originally taken by Wright, Ned Kelly was given double the sentence that Wright was given. This is what Jack Peterson wrote the other day on the topic :
“Kelly was charged with horse stealing but as he had been in Beechworth Gaol when the horse was stolen the charge was downgraded to receiving. Issiah Wright would later be arrested and charged with stealing the horse. Ned Kelly was sentenced to three years hard labour yet Issiah who actually stole the horse was sentenced to eighteen months gaol.”
The problem here is that Peterson is once again deliberately leaving out vital words to create an impression that supports his view, and completely obscures the truth of what happened. In fact, he is only doing what Kelly writers have done with this story for decades, but copying the mistakes everyone else has made doesn’t get him off the hook. So here are the facts : Firstly, Wright was NOT convicted of stealing the horse, as Peterson would have you believe. He was convicted of ‘illegally using’ which is quite different from stealing. “Illegally using” was when someone took  a horse out of someone else’s paddock without permission, rode it into town and returned it back to its paddock, hopefully before the owner became aware of what happened. It wasn’t regarded as a particularly serious crime. Apparently, Wild Wright was known to have done this using that same horse before on more than one occasion, but the owner of the horse, who said he only ever used it on Sundays, hadn’t pressed charges.  However, this time after he had taken the horse it went missing and so Wright couldn’t return it, and the owner reported it stolen. Eventually  Wright was convicted for ‘illegally using’ and he got eighteen months.
Next, Peterson – deliberately or ignorantly? – says Ned Kelly was convicted of “receiving” but that is also not correct. The word Peterson deliberately left out this time is “Feloniously” a term which elevates ‘receiving’ into a whole new stratum of criminality. It was all exposed in Court, on the testimony of James Murdock, who told how Ned Kelly had tried to involve him in a scheme to sell that horse and some others, knowing they were all stolen horses.  Kelly had no intention of ever returning the horse to its owner, whereas Wright would have. Therefore, Kelly was convicted of ‘Feloniously receiving’ a horse, which is a much more serious crime than illegally using. So – bigger crime: bigger sentence : three years! Not persecution of innocent Kellys at all – another Kelly myth laid bare.

This is what happens time and again in the Kelly stories : when you uncover all the facts the myth evaporates like a puddle under the hot sun. 

In this post I have shown how Jack Peterson has deliberately misrepresented the facts to promote versions of history which are untrue.  It is simply dishonest to quote half a sentence, or just the middle of a sentence, or to leave out important words and relevant pieces of information whilst trying to make an argument about anything. But he is not alone when it comes to the misrepresentation of Kelly history – its something that Ned Kelly himself began, and it’s continued ever since. I have no doubt that Peterson will continue to behave in this way, but, with these exposures I would say his credibility is zero and nobody should take anything he writes seriously, 
because he cant be trusted to tell you the whole story.

If you want the whole story, the true story – read my Blog!

But its all there in the Court records Jack and you can read them all in Gills “Definitive record” pages 43 to 53. Morrissey wrote about it too, so I wonder how it was you got it all so wrong?
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38 Replies to “A Kelly Story-tellers tricks exposed.”

  1. Peterson book is ridiculous. Poorly researched in fact it seldom shows he has left the comfort of his arm chair. He quotes Jones and Castles and we’re well aware that Jones added his own little spin to the facts. Thus Peterson’s, demise as a researcher and/or author. Peterson had every opportunity to take advantage to instead copy and paste your [Dee] views and opinions. It would have made better reading.
    I can’t sell his books for peanuts. I donated the book to the op shop where it still stands today.

  2. I actually have perused this book and have never found a reference to either of the above mentioned gentlemen. Perhaps anonymous former may need to read a copy first before commenting.

  3. He mentions these authors on his Facebook page. And misquotes them.

  4. Anonymous says: Reply

    Go back and read Petersons Facebook posts you will find what you’re looking for.
    To Anonymous 11 August 2018 at 19:55
    Read Peterson’s book, have you? I’ll like to hear from Peterson how he researched his book. Or would you prefer I do? Or would you? You seem to know it all. I await your reply,you thick headed numbskull

  5. You guys are way too bloody hard on Jack. I really like the book. He is a decent bloke too. Good manners cost nothing.

  6. To the secohd anpnymous you are 100% correct there is absolutely no mention what soever in Mr Peterson' s book of Castle or Jones.In fact there is not mention of any author at all.The book ps a pictorial book of Kelly Country with comments following each photo with the information of what happened at that location.There is absolotely NO controversy in the book at all and is virtually a guide book for tourists.To the original anonymous above you have NOT read the book as you don't have a clue whats in pt.'It would be appreciated if you go and pedal your false comments elswhere.

  7. Anonymous says: Reply

    Numbskull dimwit hello just how much do you really know about the Kelly gang? Very little judging by your comment. 'It would be appreciated if you go and pedal your false comments elsewhere.
    The origin of Petersons research would appear to have came directly from the pages of the so-called authority on Kelly Mr. Ian Jones. Peterson my, my you have cleverly placed me in check! Excellent move I did not foresee.

  8. Anonymous says: Reply

    As Dee has pointed out the comments were made in a facebook page not a book dimwit .

  9. Anonymous says: Reply

    Anonymous 12 August 2018 at 13:06 the Numb-nut friend of numbskull
    I’m no longer referring to the facebook comment. What is wrong with you people? It’s apparent now why, Mcfarlane, Dee and Dawson are walking all over you.
    Dee we of the Mansfield T.U.N.C group await your Fitzpatrick conspiracy : Part Three

  10. Anonymous former, this blog is littered with anonymous posters. I am thick headed numbskull. I do possess some skills but unfortunately, mind reading is an ability that escapes me.I have read and re read your post and at no stage do you mention any facebook page. Excuse me but i thought you were critiquing a book. Perhaps if you possessed an ability to write with some coherency one may understand what you were alluding too. If abuse if your first course of rebuttal then perhaps your should accept some of the sage advise of Dee, the admin and not read items that upset you so much. I have too say the i agree with M Perry, this blog is humorless and a tad abusive. I will not continue this exchange because readers may confuse who the thickheaded numbskull may be. Nice to have had an exchange though.

  11. No we aren't Mark. If its good manners you are interested in, don't you think it would be good manners to give ALL the facts and ALL the quotations and the correct descriptions of what people are convicted of when you are purporting to supply People with an 'introduction' to Ned Kelly.

    Jack Petersons repeated and very deliberate misrepresentation of the facts can only be aimed at pulling the wool over peoples eyes and advancing his own unhistorical theories about the kelly story. I find it very rude and disrespectful and he needs to be called to account. His book was junk and his Facebook page is full of lies and is a disgrace.

  12. Humour is indeed the best medicine. For whatever ails us all in the Kelly world.

  13. I like the book. Jack Peterson made the effort. Respect that. Lets all be decent to those who think differently. It ain't rocket science. Others will not post here if they think they are going to cop it for not "measuring up". I'm an exception. I like taking the bull by the horns but others may not be the confrontational type… Have a good week all. Don't you just love Mondays?

  14. Anonymous says: Reply

    Talk about playing the man and not the ball. Dee why don’t you practice what you reach? I agree with Anon 12 August 18:51 that you were referring to a book not a facebook page. Why is the book in question junk Dee? Is it because you don’t know any of the places it has pictures of? Dee why are you so hostile towards people who do not agree with you, are people not allowed to have their own opinion? Remember Dee aim for the ball not the man.

  15. Lindsay Verne says: Reply

    Mark, Jack Peterson can't be all that much of a decent bloke.
    He always 'likes' the worst virulent attack posts of the barmy mini-army at the hate site?
    Based on what I've seen of his book, and Dee's comments, he seems a bit of a dipstick.

  16. Anonymous says: Reply

    Stick to your guns Mark, at least you are aware of what is actually in Peterson's book. These so-called experts that say they have also we at least do know the truth not like some on this site who are simply telling porkies.

  17. Actually Peterson DOES mention Jones in his book. In the Preface he writes "It wasn't until reading Ned Kelly A Short Life by Ian Jones that I began to take my interest in the Kelly outbreak to another level." ON facebook he has made his admiration of Jones very clear. But then, I admire Jones too, which is not the same as saying I think every word he ever wrote is gospel and he never made a mistake.

  18. If you eat a rotten meal, is it not ok to say the person making it must be a lousy cook? And yes Mark you might want to say to that person I appreciate the effort you made and thanks for trying. But saying they're a lousy cook doesnt mean they are lousy at everything – they could be a terrific pianist or gardener and a really nice all round person, but still a lousy cook. In a similar vein my criticisms of the book were not about the man but the book. It was promoted first and foremost as a pictorial guide to Kelly relics that can still be seen. So I criticised it on that basis. The pictures were lousy. He clearly knew nothing about exposure or cropping or the fundamentals of what makes a good photo.

    But more recently given his antics on Facebook, I have been more directly critical of the mans character. As pointed out he frequently 'likes' abhorrent posts attacking me on Facebook, he banned me from making posts to his own page and deleted what I contributed months and months ago, but permitted all manner of vile anti-police hate to be posted there, and now he is posting material that is based on deliberate misquotation and deliberate misrepresentation of the facts, whilst posturing as some sort of expert on the topic. That behaviour goes to character. Its pretty clear his interest is not in uncovering the historical truths about the Kelly story, or allowing discussion of differing points of view but in promoting a particular view of it, irrespective of facts. Lets just leave it at that shall we?

  19. I am not Mark. Let us have a play with words and see how your argument stacks up.

    "Could not swear he was a rapist… " (and here’s what Dee doesn’t understand about the English language) – "….BUT HE HAD ALL THE APPEARANCE OF ONE, being a man". Can you now see how absurd you point of view is? Are you one of these men bashing women who wears overalls and has pink and green hair?

    Because you have no reasonable excuse for your hostility towards Jack Petersen you now attack his photography. So you are an expert on photography too are you? Where are your books Dee and your superior photography for that matter? It’s easy to slag off at someone but can you back it up?

    🙂 FUD

  20. Your analogy is whats absurd here. There are no particular agreed facts about what rapists look like , so in fact any person can look like a rapist. However there are agreed facts about what bullet wounds or shark bites look like, and Nicholsons view was that those wounds looked like bullet wounds, and they were consistent with the story Fitzpatrick gave about them.

    So thanks for proving my point exactly, which was that Nicholsons view was that he was looking at a bullet wound, just as your pal believed he was looking at a rapist. Peterson tried to claim the opposite by quoting only half the sentence.

    And that trickery is a perfectly fair justification for being critical of Peterson. It was a deliberate misrepresentation. It was dishonest. And as I showed its not a one-off for Peterson. Its his MO.

    As for my qualifications regarding photography, to re-use my earlier analogy, would you say you have to be a Celebrity chef to tell whether or not a meal tastes like shit?

  21. Isn't it great how Jack has the date stamp on his picture of the Kelly house at Beveridge. Now the whole world knows where Jack was one fine afternoon in 2008. Clever photography, and worth every cent as it appears. Unless a friend took it for him.

  22. Anonymous says: Reply

    The photograph is giving the readers the impression that, that section of the house with the Red brick chimney is the original section WTF! Misleading don’t you think.

  23. Lindsay Verne says: Reply

    Mark, I disagree.

    Peterson's book was full of disproved errors about the Kelly Legend. He simply copied old mistakes. He can't have done any research, otherwise he would have avoided making a fool of himself. Dee has pointed out that his FB page continues his waywardness by misquoting evidence and recycling disproved Kelly folklore.

    No-one, not even you, Mark, nor any of the Anonymice have argued that Peterson's deliberate FB misquotes, and his error-laden book, are correct. No-one has argued any of Dee's points. That's ignoring the elephant in the room.

    I'm sorry, but the guy is a 24-carat chump.

    The photos in his book were (half) OK I suppose. A bit ordinary though. He couldn't fudge them.

  24. Guys. Come on. Be decent. Why would you want Jack to feel second rate? Is this what I can look forward to when my book is out there? Old habits die hard. The revisionist info on Kelly will filter through sooner or later but Jack getting a book out there is a good thing. Not to be ridiculed. By all means, review but don't be arseholes. A chump? What does that even mean? And of course the pics are the most important thing over the text. Just seeing the format for the first time you can see that. Its a visual introduction. If you want to hold anyone responsible for "Kelly fairytales", you will need to go all the way back to Max Brown. Or further. Be nice. Don't be bullies.

  25. What's worse is that souvenir hunters have been nicking bricks from that chimney for years, foolishly thinking it was part of the Kelly Home. It was a later add-on.

  26. Anonymous says: Reply

    Your not a very honest man are you Lindsay? You know absolutely nothing about Jacks book at all do you naughty boy? I am going to ask a simple question to confirm it. There is a photo of the policemens stables at Jerilderie In the book. What page number is it on? It's not a very difficult question to answer Lindsay
    . By the way Jack Peterson's main publication hasn't even been finished yet.
    I bet the admin of this site and your goodself Lindsay can hardly wait to give your undoubted biased opinions.

  27. Anonymous says: Reply

    Calling Jack Peterson, Calling Jack Peterson, calling Jack Peterson
    Stand up and take a stand. You owe it to the book and to those of us that purchased a copy. Set the record straight and redeem your good name.
    To each individual that posted negative comments towards Mr. Peterson, well I suppose you have every right. However for those of you that have taken it a tad too far, you should all be ashamed of yourselves. It called internet bullying.
    Dr D. Macfarlan, rumour has it you’re in the finishing touches of completing an anti-Kelly book. I have it on good authority your book will receive much more critique than you would care to imagine. On the plus side, sales will hit the roof.

  28. Ashleigh Broad says: Reply

    We don't want Jack to feel second rate, Mark.

    He is already second rate. Dee has demonstrated this already. Jack makes stuff up. He cheats original witnesses by misquoting their evidence.

    He hasn't read the newer books that show he is way off track by representing old parts of the destroyed Kelly myth over and over again.

    G R O A N !

  29. Lindsay Verne says: Reply

    So we all have to unthinkingly accept the mediocre Peterson book – overlook its mistakes – and love his FB piffle with misleading misquotes. What is so hard about quoting evidence accurately, and not picking out just the parts you like. So far, there is nothing about Peterson's scribblings that is remotely accurate.

    Mark, chump means "a foolish or easily deceived person". By that I mean Jack believes discredited Kelly mythology and not the actual facts as presented in the official, archival records. He has never seen any of them.

    The anonymous who accuses me of not being very honest also makes things up. I never claimed to have a copy of Peterson's book. So how could I possibly answer your rude test question? I read 3/4 when it was being prepared for online publication. It seemed a long step backwards. Didn't buy it, did I?

    Mark, you claimed Jack was decent. I replied he couldn't be that decent if he always likes the most extreme posts on the hate site. No response from you. No response from you or the crowd of anonymous people here about the many points brought up by Dee.

    Instead you accuse me and her of being bullies. How the hell can it be bullying to simply point out that Paterson is wrong? That is not bullying. It is pointing out the obvious.

  30. The revisionist Kelly info will flow through eventually I said!!! Hello? Anyone listening? Old habits die hard I said. Instant answers are not to be had with this scenario. Jacks book is a reflection on the Kelly history as he has known it for a long long time. Stop reaming him. Are you guys going to put me through the mincer too if I get things incorrect from your point of view? Everyone is entitled to their view point. You may think its wrong. Jack thinks it right. That's life.

    I think Brian Johnson is the best ACDC singer. Sharon believes Bon Scott is better. Its down to interpretation, perception and many other things. By all means, disagree with Jack. You have that right. But don't persecute him. And this endless carping about his work and how he "doesn't get it" smacks of persecution now. Move on. To something or someone else. And Dee? Still cant post on your FB page. Very strange. Dunno what is wrong.

  31. No Mark This is NOT about OPINION, its about very ordinary very simple factual detail of the Kelly story. Peterson DELIBERATELY MISREPRESENTED Nicholsons opinion about those wounds, he DELIBERATELY MISREPRESENTED what Fitzpatrick said to the Commission and he DELIBERATELY MISREPRESENTED the nature of the convictions that Ned Kelly and Wild Wright received.

    I dont care what his opinions are, but I do care about facts and about people being told the truth. He is not alone among Kelly promotors who claim to be researchers and Kelly historians, and they share one thing in common ; they are only able to sustain their versions of Kelly stories by ignoring, distorting misquoting and
    being tricky with the facts.

  32. Anonymous says: Reply

    The new Doug Morrissey book and Leo Kennedy's are book on the way. That's two more nails in the coffin of the Ned Legend. The Loon who runs the Hate Page thinks the mediocre Jack Peterson book has been highly acclaimed. No it hasn't. Peterson is a wannabe Kelly expert and historian who has run into trouble because he is ignorant of the facts and just makes stuff up. No newspaper book crits I can find.

    A dud book by a scammer.

  33. ARE YOU YELLING AT ME DEE? I most certainly hope NOT!!!!!! (wink..) Blood pressure control is important. I was trying to say that old habits die hard!! You have to admit that he (Jack) is coming from the angle MOST Kelly authors come from. Its not his viewpoint alone. AND, as I said, chill. The revisionist detail will filter down. But there are no instant answers here. Let other people absorb your opinions without bashing them over the head with it. Do them the courtesy of letting the information makes its way in my osmosis or whatever. You may be surprised that when given the time, without all the rancour and the demand for instant mind set change, they approach the story differently. You know MY story too and my Kelly journey and how long it took. Go easy on people. It's a tide change and time is important. As is a little bit of empathy. Remember, these people are all very possibly like me and met Ned when quite young. A very different way to how you were introduced to the story with Ian McFarlanes book. Good though it is, you started on the absolute opposite mind set to us. Anyone else? Guys? Some support and feedback with what I am saying here? Someone? Anyone?

  34. No Mark not shouting at you just trying to emphasise the point I was trying to make, which is that the issue is not about opinions but about facts. And I am not trying to change the minds of Peterson and his supporters minds by osmosis or anything else because as I have often pointed out these people are not interested in having their minds changed .

    No, I just want to make it clear for the interested observer still trying to make up their mind about the Kelly stories. I want them to be under no illusions about the tactics the myth-makers employ, shonky operators who play very loose and free with the facts.

    As for YOUR Book, I already know it will be a good one because its author has an open mind and is interested in the true story, warts and all. ( its mostly warts I am afraid)

  35. The objectionable thing about Jack Peterson's book is that it purports to be 'An Introduction' to the Kelly Story. In other words it is intended for people interested in finding more about Ned Kelly. Photos and captions, and a mild introduction would have been OK. But the dill chose to recycle all the disproved history as well.

    Despite all your admonitions Mark to us, Jack blew it. He's a middle-aged man who should have known better. Being a publishing neophyte (a person who is new to a subject or activity) is no excuse. His introduction should have been just that and no more. 0/10!

    Also looking forward to your book Mark. You know a lot and have experience of the net and some of the weirdos who inhabit it. Good luck.

  36. I may even give you one for free Dee. And a copy of my book. (wink..)

  37. OMG! Settle ….

  38. I think I know why Jack Peterson wrongly claimed that Alexander Fitzpatrick admitted that 'I could not be trusted out of sight and never did my duty' . He was simply copying something written by respected Kelly expert Keith McMenomy, in his 1984 book "The Authentic Illustrated story"

    Looking into it a bit more, I discovered that another respected Kelly author, John McQuilton said exactly the same thing in his 1979 book 'The Kelly Outbreak' (p86): 'Fitzpatrick glumly summed up the official reasons for his dismissal for the Commission in 1881:" I was not fit to be in the police force …..and never did my duty"
    McQuilton listed the Royal Commission Question Number 12892 as his reference, but as I pointed out in reference to Petersons use of that quote, it is only part of the answer, and the whole answer provides a completely different perspective on that quote.
    The entire answer at Q12892 is
    Q12892. What for ? ( Meaning what was he dismissed from the police for)
    Answer: "On the report of Senior-Constable Mayes, at Lancefield ; and I asked the Chief Commissioner if he would kindly inform me why I was discharged from the police force, and he told me. He said, on the recommendation of and communication from Senior-Constable Mayes, of Lancefield, stating that I was not fit to be in the police force, as I had associated with the lowest persons in Lancefield, and could not be trusted out of sight, and never did my duty."

    The idea that this statement is in any way an admission by Fitzpatrick, or an agreement by him that those statements made about him by Mayes were true is completely unsustainable, its ridiculous. It would be as much an admission or agreement as someone saying Dee had admitted to being "bald and fat" because I wrote somewhere that "someone SAID I was bald and fat."

    So it seems that this kelly myth that Fitzpatrick admitted that he couldn't be trusted out of sight started. with McQuilton in 1979, was copied by McMenomy in 1984, and who knows who else has copied it, but it seems Jack Peterson has done so in 2018.

    The reason people put references in their writing is so their facts can be checked. So heres a myth that grew out of a misinterpretation that nobody bothered to check. The Kelly story is full of them.

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