Violent young fool Ned Kelly and Thomas Lonigan – heres the true story:

Ned Kelly is supposed to have said that if he ever shot anyone, Thomas Lonigan would be his first victim. And that’s exactly what happened: Lonigan was the first of the three policemen that Kelly murdered at Stringybark Creek on October 26th 1878.

Kellys remark about killing Lonigan was his response to having his testicles forcefully squeezed by Lonigan when Kelly was violently trying to escape from police custody, in 1877. Kelly was trapped inside King the Benalla Bootmakers shop, with no possibility of escape, so instead of doing what any sane person would do in that situation and give up, Kelly fought and struggled and kicked and punched and no doubt yelled and cursed, hoping to inflict as much damage as he could on the three police trying to subdue him before the inevitable happened, and he was placed in handcuffs.  That was when Lonigan applied the “Squirrel grip”.  Later Kelly boasted about this struggle, because like delinquent youths before and since, fighting police is regarded as a smart thing to do.

QUOTE… “In the course of this attempted arrest Fitzpatrick endeavoured to catch hold of me by the foot, and in the struggle he tore the sole and heel of my boot clean off. With one well-directed blow I sent him sprawling against the wall, and the staggering blow I then gave him partly accounts to me for his subsequent conduct towards my family and myself.”

There are several important myths in the Kelly legends about this incident that need correction. As is so often the case, the account everyone knows is Ian Jones account, an account which cynically misrepresented the facts in order to create the impression that Kelly was the victim and the Police were bastards. Jones version, which everyone takes as Gospel is that Ned Kelly was out drinking with Fitzpatrick in Benalla one night, and got drunk because his drink was spiked by Fitzpatrick, who then in an act of pure bastardry arrested Kelly and locked him up.  In the morning, to humiliate Kelly further, before marching him down the street from the lock-up to the Courthouse to be charged for being drunk, Fitzpatrick insisted that Kelly be handcuffed, and this insult was what caused Kelly to take off, only to be chased into the Bootmakers shop and find himself cornered. The  sources for this episode are the Jerilderie letter, and Ned Kellys “Interview” of August 1880, which is to say, Ned Kellys own words.

Here is what Kelly says in the “Interview”:

“Some time ago I had been drinking, and I think I was drugged, and I was arrested for some trifling offence — riding over a footpath, I believe— and lodged in the lock-up. On the following day, when I was taken out of the lock-up, and, still dazed, I escaped and was pursued by the police. I took refuge in a shoemaker’s shop, and four constables soon came in after me. They, assisted by the owner of the shop, tried to put the handcuffs on me, but failed. In the struggle that ensued my trousers were almost torn off me. Finding me a more difficult man to manage than they expected, Lonigan seized me in such a manner — a cruel, cowardly and disgusting manner — that he inflicted terrible pain on me ; but still I would , not surrender…”

…”still I would not surrender…” writes Kelly, thinking normal people would be impressed by such pointless obstinacy. All over a paltry drunken misdemeanour.

The important things to note are firstly, Kelly makes no mention of drinking with Fitzpatrick and secondly, he doesn’t  say Fitzpatrick spiked his drink, only that “I think I was drugged”  which is one of the oldest excuses  in the book, when it comes to trying to pretend you didnt just lose control of your drinking one night.  Why would anyone believe the known liar Ned Kellys excuses? Fitzpatricks involvement was in making the arrest when the drunk Kelly rode his horse over the footpaths. Whoever decided to claim that Kelly was drinking with Fitzptrick and it was Fitzpatrick who spiked his drink – those are baseless additions made up, as usual, by Kelly apologists to blacken police and absolve the delinquent Ned Kelly of responsibility for his loutish behaviour.

Thirdly, note that its clear from his own account that Kelly himself made an impulsive, unprovoked spur-of-the-moment decision to try to escape just as soon as he was taken out of the lock-up, and lastly there was no attempt to humiliate him by putting handcuffs on him – the handcuffs were only used after he had attempted to escape and ended up cornered in the Boot-makers shop. The attempt to humiliate him was another bit of fake news made up to try again to embarrass police and absolve the delinquent Kelly. The police actually treated him like a normal human being and were expecting as he was now sober he would walk quietly to the Court and take his reprimand like a man. They were still learning that Kelly was far from a normal human being.

Notice Kellys inability to concede, when the “Interview” was conducted three years later, that what he did was dumb and that all the pain and suffering that resulted was entirely of his own making. He could have just walked across to the Court, accepted a fine of two shillings and been on his way. Instead, as is typical of larrikins with no impulse control, he decided to make a run for it, messed up by running into a shop with no back door and then decided to violently resist arrest when there was no possibility of him avoiding it. The entire escapade from start to finish was completely idiotic and pointless, and nothing at all to do with police corruption or abuse. But how incredible, that Ian Jones would so deliberately conceal the truth in favour of lies and myth-making.

But heres the final analysis : Kelly gets drunk, tries to escape custody, is trapped and creates a massive brawl, is finally brought under control and then vows to kill one of the police who was forced to use a legitimate tactic to subdue him. And does….

The other famous, but this time lethal interaction between these two men was just over a year later, at Stringybark Creek, and once again Ian Jones is at the centre of the production of the popular but false version of what happened. What Ian Jones did was convince everyone that McIntyre’s account of Lonigan’s death were lies, and Ned Kellys version was the truth. McIntyre’s version, written in his own hand and signed on several different occasions was that Lonigan was shot within seconds of being ordered to bail up, when he was still out in the open and well before he had time to pull his gun out of its buttoned-down holster, let alone fire it. Kellys version was that on being ordered to bail up Lonigan ran to the shelter of a ‘battery’ of logs, raised his head above them and was about to fire at Kelly so Kelly was forced to shoot him first, in an act of self-defence. He fired once and Lonigan died almost immediately.

Jones dismissed all of McIntyres accounts, on the grounds that over thirty years later, an 80-year-old Sadleir wrote an account of what he thought McIntyre had told him, an account which more closely resembled Ned Kellys version than the several actual written accounts given by McIntyre himself. It takes a certain kind of wilful blindness not to see the extreme bias that’s needed to dismiss eye-witness accounts that don’t support your own beliefs in favour of a second-hand 30-year-old memory that does. But that’s what Jones did and he continued to blacken McIntyre’s good name and allege that he was a perjurer right to the end of his life. Today, because of the forensic evidence we know with complete certainty that Kellys version of Lonigan’s death was wrong, and Jones blind promotion of it should be an embarrassment to any Jones defender.

The reason we know that it was not McIntyre but Kelly who lied about Lonigans death is because of the clever forensic observations made by Dr Samuel Reynolds. He performed a post mortem examination of Lonigans corpse and noticed not one but at least three bullet wounds, and he could tell they were allinflicted when Lonigan was alive. Because McIntyre and Kelly agreed Lonigan was killed with a single shot, this latter observation of Reynolds means that what was fired in that one shot had to have been multiple projectiles, perhaps a quartered bullet, with the piece that killed him almost instantly penetrating Lonigans brain thorough the right eye. Another grazed his forehead, another passed right through his left arm and a fourth entered his left thigh from the side. It’s the finding of the fragment in the left thigh that proves Kelly lied, because if as Kelly claimed, Lonigan had been behind a ‘battery of logs’ his left thigh would have been protected – it could only have been wounded if Lonigan was out in the open, as McItnyre said.  Anyone doubting this needs to do one simple thing: pretend to be Lonigan and crouch down as if behind a log, pretend to be lifting your head up above it and taking aim at Ned Kelly, look at your left thigh and try to imagine how a bullet from Kelly could enter your thigh from the side while you are behind a log. It’s quite literally impossible.

Eventually, it was Lonigans murder that Ned Kelly was convicted of, and for which he was hanged.  Self-defence wasnt featured in his defence but Kelly devotees often claim that if it was then he would have been acquitted or convicted of a lesser charge. Actually, any Jury, presented with the facts and the implications of Reynolds autopsy findings would realise not only was Kellys account of his killing of Lonigan a lie, it wasnt self defence but a cold blooded killing, exactly as McIntyre described.

And Lonigan ?  He was an Irishman, 34 years old when Ned Kelly murdered him. He left behind a wife, Maria and four children, the youngest, two years old, the oldest, Emily just ten. What  shocking and entirely pointless tragedy the out-of-control thug Ned Kelly visited on this innocent family.

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76 Replies to “Violent young fool Ned Kelly and Thomas Lonigan – heres the true story:”

  1. Anonymous says: Reply

    Isn’t it possible Lonigan was crouching/ kneeling down at the end of a log with his left thigh exposed?

    1. Its possible only if you then discount what Ned Kelly claimed which was that Lonigan got BEHIND a battery of logs and raised his head above above them to take aim. If his left THIGH was exposed, and his left arm also exposed almost NOTHING was BEHIND the log.

      I am arguing about what Ned Kelly claimed not some other scenario made up to try and rescue Neds credibility.

      The pic is from “Stringybark” the short film.


  2. The evidence given by McIntyre at the trial of Kelly for the murder of Lonigan was very clear and concise. Lonigan was standing up and was behind McIntyre, but as soon as Lonigan moved, Kelly moved the aim of his rifle from McIntyre to Lonigan and pulled the trigger, killing him instantly. Ian Jones made up a great deal of fiction that tried to show that Kelly was acting in self-defence. The facts show it was a cold-blooded murder, as the facts show.
    I consider Jones a disgrace to this nation, promoting the fiction that lauds Kelly and degrades police, throughout his books. Fortunately, many government departments are now removing the myths that Jones promoted. The damage Jones did to truth is enormous and will take decades to remove. Some of those with lower IQ’s will continue to believe the rubbish he wrote, but a new generation will know the truth, and over time Kelly will be again placed where he should be, as a very serious murdering criminal.

  3. Anonymous says: Reply

    Ref. To Bills diagram.
    David what you are suggesting is that Lonigan ran a few yards and without taking any cover, stopped and turned towards Ned when shot. Not a smart move on Lonigans part was it.

    McIntyres evidence is very thorough but when it comes to the shooting of Lonigan there are a few discrepancies. It is clear that he was not looking towards Lonigan when he was shot. On one hand he said he saw him fall on the other he heard him fall but did not see him fall.

    Beechworth Preliminary Hearing.
    “When the man on the right fired at Lonigan he was about 40 yards distant from him. The effect of the shot in Lonigan was that he immediately fell – he ran only 4 or 5 yards before he fell, I heard him fall, I did not see him fall.”

    The Age. 7th August. Beechworth.
    I saw the prisoner the following Tuesday at Benalla ….
    I said “when I turned suddenly round I saw you had my chest covered” He said “Yes I had” And when I held my hands out you shot Lonigan. He said No, Lonigan got behind some logs and pointed his revolver at me. Did you not see that? I said that is only nonsense.

    From McIntyres Narrative.
    P/18 Judging by the expression made by Kelly when he returned from the body of Lonigan it is possible he may not have contemplated murder in the first instance relying on taking us separately and unprepared but there could be no doubt after the shooting of Lonigan he intended to shoot the whole party.

    P/17 Ned Kelly shifted the muzzle of his gun to the right and without from his shoulder shot at Lonigan who had started to run partly towards and partly down the creek putting his hand down as if to get his revolver, he had no time to open the case and must have been looking over his right shoulder when he was shot in the right eye by Ned Kelly.
    I took a hasty glance around when Kelly fired and saw Lonigan fall heavily he said “Oh! Christ I’m shot” , made several plunges, breathing stentorously, after which he remained quiet. The whole affair occurred so quickly that Lonigan did not run more than 4 or 5 paces before he was shot: had he stooped down he would have been under the cover of the logs when no doubt I would have been shot as a preliminary to their shooting him.

    1. No thats not at all what I am suggesting. I think when Lonigan heard the call to bail up, he looked up, saw the gang and the rifles and did what many would do reflexly, which is to step back from the threat and as he did so he reached for his revolver and his left side was turned towards the Gang, perhaps instinctively also to hide the fact he had a revolver on his right side and he was reaching for it. He was shot almost immediately. He would have fallen backwards, then seems to have writhed about on the ground momentarily and then died within a very short time, maybe a minute.

      Regarding those quotes from McIntyre : I see nothing inconsistent between them. Obviously he would have had a glimpse of Lonigans response as he turned around himself to see who was telling them to bail up, obviously he also would have HEARD Lonigans shuffling backward steps and obviously he would have then seen where he ended up after those few ‘plunges’, a few meters away. McIntyre put those into a reconstruction of what happened. He ALWAYS said Lonigan was out in the open and he ALWAYS said he didnt have time to get his revolver out. He wrote that Lonigan must have been looking over his right shoulder when shot but that doesnt make any sense, because that would put his left arm and left thigh on the wrong side of any incoming fire – maybe he meant left side, like Bill has shown?

      The diagram Bill made for me shows it pretty much how I imagine it happened though I think he would have been closer to McIntyre.

      1. Yes, I agree David. What is the discrepancy supposed to be? I’ve never quite understood this line of reasoning, and I hope someone comes along and clarifies it.

        McIntyre was adamant that Lonigan was shot almost immediately because he tried to run.

      2. Hi David, the Lonigan aspect l find very interesting and crucial in the Kelly story. The illustration of the bullet wounds to Lonigan – l believe the quartered bullet theory as shown on Lawless so l suspect Lonigan wasn’t behind a log, but the bullet wound in the left leg was from a revolver. Are we able to know if the bullet wound was from the front of the leg and going out the back or was it from rear to front?
        So l have just read Lonigan had two guns attached to is body? I didn’t know this. Also do we what hand Lonigan used to fire his gun?

        1. Where did you read that Lonigan had two guns on him? What book or source precisely – full reference details please. This is time-wasting lunacy but I want to know what source you are wasting our time with.

        2. In regard to the wound to the left thigh, Reynolds said that it entered from the side and travelled under the skin to the inside of the thigh. He extracted the ‘bullet’ and later said it appeared to be ‘an ordinary revolver bullet’. This led everyone to believe that at some time after being shot through the eye with a rifle, other shots were fired into Lonigans body with a revolver. There are two other pieces of information that have to be fitted into the puzzle – Reynolds said all the wounds were created BEFORE death – or in other words while McIntyre was still there and he DIDNT describe other shots being fired – and the second thing is that both McIntyre and Kelly agreed only ONE shot was fired at Lonigan. In other words its clear that only ONE shot was fired, and given that multiple wounds were created at once, the rifle had to have been loaded with shot of some kind, presumably home-made back at the Kelly camp, or perhaps a quartered bullet, and the small projectile extracted from the thigh was one of them, small like a revolver bullet but not actually fired from a revolver.

          Lonigan didnt have time to get his revolver out and fire it, but if he had shot himself in the leg it would have been a huge wound and its impossible to imagine how if he did, that it could have entered laterally.

          And as Stuart points out, Lonigan had his regular police issued revolver and no other.

    2. Hi Anonymous, I’ve read all those quotes before. Please explain, in your own words, what you think the discrepancy is in McIntyre’s version of events, and if there is one, why it matters.

      1. Anonymous says: Reply

        At the Magisterial Inquiry into the shootings at SBC held before H.H.Kitchen at Mansfield.Cons.
        “Lonigan endeavoured to get behind a tree three or four yards off. Before he could do so he was shot.”
        Preliminary Hearing Beechworth. “When I first saw the men, Lonigan was standing at the opposite side of the fire to me and about 10 or 12 feet from me, Lonigan had started to run towards a tree. The man on the right took the gun off my body and fired at Lonigan. The effect of the shot in Lonigan was that he immediately fell – he ran only 4 or 5 yards before he fell, I heard him fall, I did not see him fall.

        He ran 4 or 5 yards towards a tree that was 3 or 4 yards away and fell before he could reach it? I have some thoughts. But would be interested to hear what others make of this.

        Thanks. Glenn

        1. Thanks Glenn.
          obviously those two estimated distances are hard to reconcile but maybe he meant it was 3 or 4 more yards away from where he got to.

          Perhaps the better way to sort this out is to look at McIntyres map : it has Lonigan at L2 “Place where Lonigan shot” and its VERY close to the place he was standing at L1 “Position of Constable Lonigan at first attack”, or in other words, as I have always said, all he managed was a couple of startled backward steps, putting his hand down to his revolver …

          So what are your thoughts?

          (Almost nobody else cares to comment usually…sadly…)


          1. Anonymous says: Reply

            McIntyre did say he ran 4 or 5 yrds. That is within keeping with the scale on his diagram. I cannot imagine he ran that distance backwards towards the tree. Apart from that I’ll save my thoughts for a while. See if others may like to comment.

            1. OK – but can you imagine him taking two or three steps backwards and then falling back when shot? I would say that puts him about where McIntyre had him on the map – 4 or 5 yards is only 12 -15 feet, barely two body lengths.

              So Glenn, are you wanting to say he turned and ran?

          2. McIntyre said that Lonigan started to run towards a tree and MUST have been looking over his right shoulder when he was shot. For him to say that he must have seen him turn and run.
            This makes no sense if Lonigan was stepping backwards. But I do understand your thoughts.

            1. Yes he did say that but can you recreate a scene with Lonigan turned to run, looking over his RIGHT shoulder, in which the Left arm and thigh are also exposed to fire coming from the same direction? Its not physically possible. In My scenari0 he is actually turning as he steps back, with his LEFT side directed towards the Gang.

          3. The discussion just now seems to be about whether the distances thought to have been run by Lonigan based on selected McIntyre comments might have enabled Lonigan to reach a hypothetical battery of logs that does not exist anywhere in McIntyre’s description or diagrams. In one place McIntyre said 4 or 5 yards; that is the longest of the distances he mentioned, and as David Mac noted, about two body lengths and very few steps when starting to run – if he even got that far, as other McIntyre recollections are less distance. In this context the detailed McIntyre map seems the most reliable indicator of what happened: Lonigan was shot in the open not many paces from where he first stood. He never reached any log or battery of logs.
            Kelly made it up, as he did so much else, to try and justify his instantaneous killing of Lonigan with a long gun the moment Lonigan turned and ran towards some trees while reaching for his still buttoned-down revolver holster.
            McIntyre while looking at the rapidly approaching armed gang heard Lonigan’s steps as he started to run and saw Kelly fire. Lonigan had not got far as the map shows, and McIntyre turned his head only after the shot Lonigan had fallen, as his memoir and other statements records.
            Lonigan was in the open when shot. The battery of logs is a Kelly fantasy, as indicated from everything else that can be pieced together about this.

          4. There are some fallen trees/logs can be seen in the background. I’m sorry now I mentioned them. McIntyre did not show any of these or the third log that was supposedly missing from his diagram.

            Out of interest would you consider that the all the logs referred to in the Burman photo as being the battery of logs?

            If McIntyre turned his head only after Lonigan was shot and had fallen. Is it possible that he did not see Lonigan crouching/ kneeling down at the end of a log with his left thigh exposed? Prior to being shot?

            The end of the log in his diagram perhaps? I’m simply exploring all of the possibilities.


            1. I dont think its clear exactly what Ned Kelly was referring to as the ‘battery of logs’ but its ‘logs’ plural so I don’t see it being a single tree or a stump that he was trying to get behind. In addition he claimed Lonigan raised his head ABOVE the logs so that also seems to rule out a standing tree. Bill thinks it refers to the fallen trees you can see in the Burman photo but they werent behind him they were more in front and to either side…

              I dont believe any other realistic explanation of those wounds is possible Glenn : can you in all seriousness imagine how if Lonigan was desperately trying to get behind a log he could have ended up kneeling with almost all of his body exposed around the end of a log – wouldn’t he be diving headlong behind it as fast as he possibly could? And remember Ned Kelly said he was BEHIND it not beside it : Kellys account implies his head was concealed until he raised it above the log to shoot. None of that description can fit the idea he was kneeling at the end of a log.

              I think we shouldnt really be wasting any more time trying to figure out what Ned kelly was referring to here because his account is a fabrication, as proven by the forensics. There was no ‘battery’, Lonigan didnt raise his head above anything, and he didnt have anywhere enough time to get his revolver out let alone aim it at Kelly.He was out in the open, stepping back in fright, turning his left side toward the Gang, reaching for his revolver and was shot within a few seconds of the order to Bail up, as McIntyre always maintained.

        2. Yes, you’re right about the quote. That’s a discrepancy. But I can’t see why it matters. It’s not as if the proximity of the trees vindicates Kelly’s actions.

          That detail in McIntyre’s statement at the magesterial enquiry is clearly wrong: the trees were not “three or four yards off”. But I can’t think of any malevolent reason why he would lie about that. Why does it matter? The two possibilities that spring to mind are that:

          (a) maybe he meant to say that Lonigan had run three or four yards but misspoke (being very ill at the time and still recovering from the ordeal);
          (b) or maybe he did actually say Lonigan had run three or four yards, but Dr Reynolds misunderstood and transcribed it incorrectly. Reynolds was taking dictation as McIntyre spoke.

          Are there any other explanations? I can’t think of any. Glenn, you’ve indicated that you think this detail is significant. Why?

        3. Thanks for your input David,

          In actual truth I just picked it as example of a discrepancy. As you put me on the spot. Then decided to pursue it. Also cheekily prove something I’ve ponder over to myself.
          The smaller details are often overlooked. I know that I may seem painfully picky but they can help prove or disprove something.

          In this instance it can help figure out which tree McIntyre was referring to and where Lonigan was when he fell.

          Looking at the Burman photos /I’ve always been of the opinion that Lonigan stood near the fire, diagonally opposite where the logs meet and ran towards the right. Basically the same as McIntyre shows in his diagram.

          If distance Lonigan was from the tree is added to the distance he ran before he fell, then I think it would place the tree on the far right of the Burman photos (as an example) well within range. Remembering that Lonigan stood a yard or so from the fire.
          Some fallen trees/logs can be seen in the background. Possibly the battery of logs Ned spoke about.
          If Lonigan was near the fire on the stump side of the photo and he had a few obstacles to contend with when he made a run. Particularly if he was moving quickly backwards. Tree stump, posts, fallen branches.
          He could have also chosen to shield himself behind the stump without running far at all.


        4. Hi Glenn, I think it is reasonable to suggest as I do that McIntyre mentioned and illustrated in his two maps all facts relevant to his observations and recollection of what happened. The copy of the detailed map that was previously uploaded in the comments is a bit hard to read as the sacn is relatively low quality, perhaps from one of the books that reproduces it. I will attempt to upload a good scan, but it is a big file so may not work. Let’s see! Note that this scan was released to me by the Victoria Police Museum with written permission and must not be further reproduced anywhere without written permission similarly being obtained from the VPM.

          It is good that you mentioned the battery of logs issue as it has come up many times and would have come up soon here anyway as highly relevant to this discussion. I don’t think it possible that McIntyre did not see Lonigan crouching/ kneeling down at the end of a log with his left thigh exposed just because he had not yet turned his head towards Lonigan at the instant Lonigan was killed, simply because he had been at the camp fire opposite Lonigan until his attention was drawn by the gang advancing and calling “Bail Up”, whereupon he turned to face them while raising his arms. In other words he knew well Lonigan’s starting position. Lonigan’s killing was almost instantaneous when Lonigan started to run – no crouching in this – and he was killed in the open before getting anywhere near any trees he was making for.

          1. Sorry all, the file upload didn’t work. 30MB is too big for the blog, it seems! Anyway, it is reproduced quite well in Ian MacFarlane’s masterful “The Kelly Gang Unmasked” (Oxford Uni Press, out of print but still findable secondhand now and then).

        5. In actual truth I just picked it as example of a discrepancy.

          I don’t accept that. It isn’t an “example”, it’s the only one you’ve got.

          The hypothetical accounts you give, Lonigan stumbling and so on, presume that Constable McIntyre was lying. They are only viable if Mcintyre lied. Any version of events at Stringybark Creek in which Lonigan hid behind logs starts with the assumption that McIntyre lied., but there is no reason to believe that he did. Certainly, Ian Jones promoted the notion that McIntyre lied about what happened at Stringybark Creek, but that claim has since been well and truly debunked.

        6. Actually I have provided 2 examples:

          One being the distances McIntyre said that Lonigan ran towards the tree.
          The other:
          He said he saw him fall on the other he heard him fall but did not see him fall.
          At the Magisterial Inquiry into the shootings at SBC held before H.H.Kitchen at Mansfield.Cons.
          “The effect of the shot in Lonigan was that he immediately fell – he ran only 4 or 5 yards before he fell, I heard him fall, I did not see him fall.”
          From McIntyres Narrative.P/17
          “I took a hasty glance around when Kelly fired and saw Lonigan fall heavily he said “Oh! Christ I’m shot” , made several plunges, breathing stentorously, after which he remained quiet.”

          No. I do not think McIntyre lied. But there is a space between the time he saw Lonigan start to run to when he was shot.

    3. Glenn, please cut to the chase. Are you suggesting that both could be telling the truth? That Lonigan fell, or dropped, behind a ‘battery of logs,’ but McInytre didn’t see it?

      I don’t think so. For one thing, McIntyre strenuously rejected it. Sure, it all happened fast and his attention was split between multiple things, but he was sure that that didn’t happen.

      Second, as David Mc has explained above and in other posts on this website, it doesn’t fit the forensic facts.

      Third, the whole scenario, the fantasy, of Lonigan taking cover and engaging in a gunfight, rests on an incorrect understanding of the four police and of Lonigan in particular. It relies on a belief that they were crack troops, that they were ready for battle, and that Stringybark Creek heard the first shots fired in a war. But those things aren’t true.

      Lonigan wasn’t a soldier or warrior. The biggest battle of his life thus far had been wrestling with Ned Kelly who was resisting arrest for public drunkenness. He had never fired his police weapon in anger, and he had not been trained in combat. He was just an ordinary beat cop and a family man, pulling a mediocre constable’s salary to make ends meet.

      The ambush by the Kelly gang would have been shocking and terrifying to him. He had never been in such a situation, had never been trained in how to deal with it, and did not expect it to happen to him. He did what many ordinary, untrained people would do. He turned and ran. It’s a perfectly natural and credible response.

      This fantasy that he dived down and was ready to engage in a firefight is ridiculous nonsense. Literally the only evidence for it is that Ned Kelly said so. It doesn’t match the forensics; it doesn’t fit with Lonigan’s level of preparedness and training (which was nil); and Constable McIntyre was adamant that it didn’t happen.

      Sure, it fits with Ian Jones’ theory that Kennedy’s patrol were a professional hit squad, who went into the mountains to assassinate the Kelly brothers. But you need evidence, and there isn’t any.

      The only mystery about Lonigan’s death is why had had four bullet wounds instead of one.

  4. Because McIntyre and Kelly agreed Lonigan was killed with a single shot, this latter observation of Reynolds means that what was fired in that one shot had to have been multiple projectiles, perhaps a quartered bullet, with the piece that killed him almost instantly penetrating Lonigans brain thorough the right eye.

    I’m open to the quartered bullet theory, but not convinced. I accept that it’s possible Kelly had a quartered bullet, but if so, surely at least one of the quarters would miss? What are the chances that all four quarters found their mark? I imagine the projectiles would diverge and at least one (or more) would go wide enough to miss. But I’m not an expert in ballistics so maybe my assumptions are wrong.

    Is the gang-initiation theory – that the other shots were fired later – completely done? It may be possible that although Lonigan was unconscious and not moving on the ground, he wasn’t dead, even though McIntyre thought he was dead. (The fact that Kelly walked over and inspected the body doesn’t count for anything, kelly could have noticed signs of life and decided not to say anything); and that the gang finished him off after the shootout with Kennedy and Scanlan?

    1. Thanks David, good question. I must admit Ive always thought that the odds of all four pieces hitting their target was low, which is why I always say something like I did above that it was “multiple projectiles perhaps a quartered bullet” . I haven’t got the reference right now but I think there is one to Kelly substituting bullets for ‘shot’ – or vice versa- so maybe the gun was loaded with Kellys home-made version of ‘shot’ , multiple small balls or something like that. I am not a ballistics expert but I did read somewhere long ago that those kind of large bore rifles were capable of being loaded in that way.

      As for Lonigan being shot later, that would have to have been quite a bit later because McIntyre didnt report ever seeing anyone shoot Lonigan again, so if it happened it was after he had fled the scene. I think its very unlikely that he was still alive all that time later. But if they did shoot him again later, why would they fire into his leg? His torso would be the obvious target but no wounds were recorded there.

      So yes I do think the ritual shooting scenario is dead, as are all the other attempts to explain those multiple wounds all inflicted while Lonigan was alive.

      1. I suppose the real mystery is the discrepancy of one shot versus four wounds. Although they diverge on other things, Ned Kelly and Constable McIntyre both state, unequivocally, that Lonigan was killed by a single shot. Sure, Kelly reckons Lonigan was behind a log, whereas McIntyre says Lonigan was trying to escape.

        But in both accounts, just one shot. At least they agree on that. Yet Lonigan’s body had four wounds.

        Hence the gang ritual theory (the gang all fired shots into the body post-mortem) and the quartered-bullet theory (one shot yet four bullets).

        The schematic of the injuries (above) supports the quartered-bullet theory. Looking at the picture, you can see that Lonigan’s injuries could have occurred as he turned around to glance behind. For a shooter, that would be the best time to shoot. So the quartered-bullet theory explains pretty much everything: one -shot-yet-four-wounds, and the position of those wounds. You’ve done some detailed articles about it in the past, which made a compelling case.

        The main doubt, for me, is the accuracy of the shot. A quartered bullet is a bit like a shotgun; you get more projectiles, but the tradeoff is less force and accuracy. Yet all four fragments found their mark, and one even got him right through the eye. How likely is that? And how much of it would be due to skill versus chance? This is where some bona-fide ballistics input would help. It would be awesome if an expert could come along and either say that it’s plausible or that it’s not.

        That’s why I don’t rule out the other possibility. Dr. Reynolds was just an all-purpose country doctor. Could he have been wrong about whether an injury was postmortem? And even if he was right, the time frame between Lonigan’s death and the Kennedy-Scanlan shootout wasn’t that long, a couple of hours at most. I don’t think it’s entirely implausible that, in colonial Victoria, a man lying in the grass, immobile or unconscious from one or more bullet wounds, could be written off as dead although his body had not yet shut down.

        Incidentally, I can think of one reason why someone would fire into Lonigan’s leg: it was the first time they had shot a man (e.g., Dan or Steve) and they couldn’t bring themselves to do worse than that. And maybe doing it while standing further back from the body. I’m not saying that it’s right, I’m just working through the ideas, and happy to be corrected.

        1. Thanks David youre working through the same possibilities that I did before getting to where I am now. Regarding Reynolds I asked myself what was he more likely to have got wrong – the medical thing about wounds being inflicted before death, or the ballistics thing about the fragment being a revolver bullet – because both those opinions of his cant be right : either he was wrong about the wounds all being inflicted while Lonigan was alive and it really WAS a revolver bullet and the thigh wound WAS inflicted after death, or else he was wrong about it being a revolver bullet, and therefore all the wounds WERE inflicted by that one shot he received while alive.

          So I decided he was more likely to be right about his field of expertise which is medicine, than about ballistics which I have taken to NOT be his field of expertise : so correct about the wounds and incorrect about the bullet.

          I am also quite sure that Reynolds was right, that Lonigan coudnt have survived that head injury more than a few minutes, so the ritual killing in my view is out of the question.

  5. David Dufty - (via DMCF) says: Reply

    Glenn, please cut to the chase. Are you suggesting that both could be telling the truth? That Lonigan fell, or dropped, behind a ‘battery of logs,’ but McInytre didn’t see it?

    I don’t think so. For one thing, McIntyre strenuously rejected it. Sure, it all happened fast and his attention was split between multiple things, but he was sure that that didn’t happen.

    Second, as David Mc has explained above and in other posts on this website, it doesn’t fit the forensic facts.

    Third, the whole scenario, the fantasy, of Lonigan taking cover and engaging in a gunfight, rests on an incorrect understanding of the four police and of Lonigan in particular. It relies on a belief that they were crack troops, that they were ready for battle, and that Stringybark Creek heard the first shots fired in a war. But those things aren’t true.

    Lonigan wasn’t a soldier or warrior. The biggest battle of his life thus far had been wrestling with Ned Kelly who was resisting arrest for public drunkenness. He had never fired his police weapon in anger, and he had not been trained in combat. He was just an ordinary beat cop and a family man, pulling a mediocre constable’s salary to make ends meet.

    The ambush by the Kelly gang would have been shocking and terrifying to him. He had never been in such a situation, had never been trained in how to deal with it, and did not expect it to happen to him. He did what many ordinary, untrained people would do. He turned and ran. It’s a perfectly natural and credible response.

    This fantasy that he dived down and was ready to engage in a firefight is ridiculous nonsense. Literally the only evidence for it is that Ned Kelly said so. It doesn’t match the forensics; it doesn’t fit with Lonigan’s level of preparedness and training (which was nil); and Constable McIntyre was adamant that it didn’t happen.

    Sure, it fits with Ian Jones’ theory that Kennedy’s patrol were a professional hit squad, who went into the mountains to assassinate the Kelly brothers. But you need evidence, and there isn’t any.

    The only mystery about Lonigan’s death is why had had four bullet wounds instead of one.

    1. Hi David D and Glenn, at risk of putting my foot in it, I suspect that Glenn is trying to do what many historians do, which is to look for a way to reconcile divergent accounts. In this case it can’t be done. What we are dealing with is consistently recounted testimony from a victim versus inconsistent and contradictory lies from a perpetrator. For further confirmation of Kelly’s lying and obfuscation see his condemned cell letters comments on what happened. What Glenn appears to be doing – and correct me if I’m wrong – is fossicking for discrepancies in McIntyre’s statements while ignoring the gulf of differences in Kellys. That is not remotely good enough. But very much reflects Jones’s approach to the Kelly story. Tell me if I’m wrong.

      1. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.
        I’m all for attempts to reconcile divergent accounts too, but one of the ways to do that is to conclude that someone is lying.
        McIntyre explicitly repudiated Ned Kelly’s version. The haziness of memory recall notwithstanding, he was sure of that much. He may have remembered minor details slightly differently at different times, but even so, he was certain that Kelly’s account was wrong.
        For me, Kelly’s narration of the Stringybark Creek killings later, to hostages at Euroa, struck me as bloviating and dramatic exaggeration. The sort of thing people do – some more than others – when telling stories about past events. Drinking stories. Sit-around-and-shoot-the-breeze stories. Kelly’s embellishments and exaggerations strike me, in that sense, as rather ordinary. If we view Kelly as a rough-and-tumble, hard-drinking, working class crook, it makes sense.
        Historians have come up with all sorts of complicated theories, but (it seems to me), they’ve not tried to understand the sort of man Kelly was, nor Lonigan was, nor McIntyre was.
        Lonigan did not jump behind a battery of logs.
        Kelly shot him as he tried to run, then lied about it.

  6. Anonymous says: Reply

    Cameron Letter 14 Dec 1878
    “We approached the spring as close as we could get to the camp, the intervening space being clear. We saw two men at the log. They got up, and took a double barrelled fowling piece and one drove the horses down and hobbled them against the tent, We thought theire was more men in the tent, those being on sentry. We could have shot those men without speaking, but not wishing to take life we waited.”

    Jerildery letter. Feb. 1879
    “We approached the spring as close as we could to get to the camp as the intervening space was clear ground and no battery we saw two men at the logs they got up and one took a double barrelled fowling piece and fetched a horse down and hobbled at the tent we thought they were more men in the tent asleep those outside being sentry we could have shot those two men without speaking but not wishing to take their lives we waited McIntyre laid his gun against a stump and Lonigan sat on the log I advanced, my brother keeping McIntyre covered which he took to being Constable Flood and he not obeyed my orders, or attempted to reach for the gun or draw his revolver he would have been shot dead, but when I called on them to throw up their hands McIntrye obeyed and Lonigan ran some six or seven yards to a battery of logs instead of dropping behind the one he was sitting on, he had just got to the logs and put his head up to take aim when I shot him that instant or he would have shot me as I new well.”

    The only stump that Kelly could have been referring to is the one seen in the foreground of the Burman photo. This being the tent side of McIntyre’s diagram. McIntyre himself stood facing the fire near this stump. As shown in his diagram.

    The Kelly’s advanced from the right of the photo. When bailed up “Lonigan ran some six or seven yards to a battery of logs instead of dropping behind the one he was sitting on”. Some logs can be seen in the background of the photo. Some partially obscured by the logs in the foreground.


    1. Hi Glenn, no one is disputing that there are some logs in the Burman photo. But Lonigan was shot dead well before he had a chance to reach any. And before he could get his revolver out of its button down case.

  7. Anonymous says: Reply

    It is clear from Neds accounts that there was a battery of logs or what he considered to be a battery. Apart from those logs seen in the foreground of the Burman photo/shown in McIntyre’s diagram.

    McIntyre said that Lonigan ran 4 or 5 yards before he fell. (Heard him fall but did not see him fall) Ned said he ran 6 or seven yards in the same location before reaching the logs. (He saw Lonigan fall)

    I think you understand where I’m heading with this.

    1. Hi Glenn, I think you’re suggesting that Lonigan ran 4 or 5 yards in the direction of some trees or logs, whereas Kelly’s version has him reaching possibly the same trees or logs 6 or 7 yards away, then getting behind one. Is that it?

      In which case there is no contradiction as far as making for potentially the same trees or logs, if such was the case. But alas, poor Lonigan didn’t make it that far. His 4 or 5 yards – to go by the longest distance he gave, rather than the shorter one – wasn’t enough to get to Ned Kellys boasted battery of logs 6 or 7 yards away.

      But that didn’t bother bold Ned Kelly, who shot poor unarmed (because then still only reaching for his encased revolver) Lonigan for having the temerity to disobey an outlaw’s order (even though muddled-headed Ned hadn’t yet been outlawed at that point).

      The necessary conclusion is that Kelly killed the defenceless Lonigan in cold blood before Lonigan could reach any cover or draw his revolver. Then made up a “poor me” bravado story about self defence. Maybe Kelly was mad by then and believed his own tales; he was certainly inconsistent and at times wildly self contradictory in his narrations.

    2. “It is clear from Neds accounts”
      … and here’s where you may be going awry; treating Ned’s accounts as reliable.

      “I think you understand where I’m heading with this.”
      I don’t.

      All my ideas have been spelled out in black and white: I went to the trouble of writing a book on the topic (“Nabbing Ned Kelly”). The same can be said for David Mac and Stuart with their work.

      If you can, please do us the courtesy of explaining what you think and why. Or to put it another way, do what we have done: articulate your theories and let them see the light of day.

  8. Anonymous says: Reply

    Hi Stuart, firstly may I ask, do you agree that McIntyre stood facing the fire near the stump as I have described? And Lonigan was positioned as McIntyre shows on his diagram?

    Thanks, Glenn

    1. It seems reasonable to think that McIntyre was standing where he said he was standing and that Lonigan was standing where McIntyre said he was standing. McIntyre later drew the detailed map to indicate where all persons were at the start of the encounter and where they ended up. Beyond that I can’t go.

      The Burman photo was done some days later and hopefully got things about right! But it was done to sell postcards so apart from likely being in the right place, there may be some poetic licence or necessary scene compression (to fit the figures into the shot) with the positioning of the actors when reconstructing the scene.

      1. Stuart I should advise you that Glenn is of the view that the Burman photos were taken, as he wrote above, from the ‘tent side ‘ of the logs looking to the north and east. Most people don.t agree with this suggestion because as you can see in the Burman photo below, in which Burman placed people on logs and what-have-you to recreate Kennedys arrival, if Glenns view is correct then Burman had the people all on the wrong side of logs and all facing the wrong direction. If you are looking north and so are people in front of you, you will see the backs of their heads not their faces. Glenns interpretation has Kelly hiding behind a log and looking to south or south east for Kennedy who as we know returned from the north…It would also have “Kennedy” advancing from the right which is the southeast.

        Given that Burman knew what side of the logs people were on and where they were facing, to my mind it would be absurd to imply as Glenn does that he lugged all his photographic equipment up thorough the bush to take photos of the scene, and then couldn’t be bothered to place people in roughly the right position and facing the right direction. My argument has always been that he would have wanted to get it right, for the sake of the Record and for the preservation of his reputation upon which his Photo sales and income depended.

        Bill Denhelds analysis of where light and shadow are also supports this view.

        So I think the evidence and logic indicates the Burman photos were taken from the north side of the logs, and from the same side of them that Lonigan was standing when the Gang appeared.

        But this has little to do with the accounts given by McIntyre and by Kelly about Lonigans death. Kelly didnt mention a stump – Kelly mentioned a ‘battery of logs’ – plural. McIntyre said Lonigan didnt get behind anything and was shot out in the open and before he could get his revolver out. The forensic evidence does NOT support Kellys account, it supports McIntyres.


        1. Hi David, the Burman photo there shows Kelly holding his rifle crouched down behind a seated McIntyre while one of the other two walks in when returning to the camp. It is a nice dramatic photo, but not an accurate reconstruction. For one thing the returning police were still on horseback when Kelly started shooting. For another, McIntyre was walking towards them to call for them to surrender, not sitting on a log.

          The Burman photo is only relevant to the interminable discussion about the location of the event. It is no help at all when sorting out what happened when Lonigan was shot. That happened quite some time before the events of Burman’s scene took place.
          All we have to go on is McIntyre’s consistent testimonies and his two sketch maps, the second being the much more detailed annotated one.

  9. Anonymous says: Reply

    “Kelly didn’t mention a stump – Kelly mentioned a battery of logs – plural.” From the Jerildery letter. Feb. 1879

    “We approached the spring as close as we could to get to the camp as the intervening space was clear ground and no battery. McIntyre laid his gun against a stump and Lonigan sat on the log.”

    The only stump that Kelly could have been referring to is the one in the foreground of the Burman photo.

    “Glenns interpretation has Kelly hiding behind a log and looking south or south east for Kennedy who we know return from the north…It would also have “Kennedy” advancing from the right which is the southeast”
    I’m sorry David but that is not my interpretation at all. I don’t understand how you could reach that conclusion. Ned was on the opposite side of the log from where McIntyre stood, near the fire. Looking north. As in McIntyre’s diagram.

    From McIntyre’s Narrative. “Kelly concealed himself at the angle of the logs near our fire. He called me over and directed me to stand in almost he same place I had occupied when first stuck up. Kelly was in one angle of the logs, on the creek side, and I was on the other on the tent side. He had two rifles laid up against the log on his right hand, (Away from the fire) and I stood upon his left with a log between us. Kelly was kneeling on one knee behind a log and in looking down the creek (North) he looked over the body of Lonigan which was about 8 yards from him and a couple more from myself.”

    1. “I’m sorry David but that is not my interpretation at all.”

      Time to spill the beans. What is your interpretation?

      To quote an old vernacular idiom, “Either sh*t or get off the pot.”

      1. Anonymous says: Reply

        Hey Dufty you obviously disagree with Glenns interpretation? Care to enlighten us as to why? plz fill in the gaps to Dia 1. David MacF looking forward to you’re input also.
        Stuart, see Dia 2

        I remain you’re most obedient servant


        1. Hi Anonymous, is the Diagram 2 you refer to the photo of a picture of the Kelly gang advancing done with little models? That image is labelled Dia-1, so not sure if that’s what you arte referring me to…
          If so, please confirm.
          If not, please upload Diagram 2

          1. Hi Stuart
            Diagram 2 is the Maca sketch. Unable to download due to its size.
            I remain you’re most obedient servant

          2. Hi Paul, I’m not sure what I am encouraged to comment on re the photo with the little model figures, but there are three things wrong with it when compared with McIntyre’s 2 sketches, which are consistent with each other as regards the positioning of those involved. This are his first sketch and his later more detailed and annotated one. Both sketches are legibly reporduced if a little small in the photo pages in Ian MacFarlane’s ‘The Kelly Gang Unmasked’.

            First, this photo model shows the first encounter with Lonigan just shot. Tthe model has McIntyre in the wrong place. He was standing near the intersection of the logs next to the fire, not way over to the left.

            Second, Lonigan’s body is in completely the wrong place. Lonigan was standing opposite the fire on the far side of the log, and he had run further back and to the right when he was shot, not to the left as shown here.

            Third, the figure of Steve Hart at the back of the group (the line up is in McIntyre’s annotations, and they should be in more of a line even if Kelly was slightly leading at that time, although that would be an assumption by the model maker) is shown holding a revolver. But at the time of this first advance they were all holding long guns.

            The details of who held a riflle and who held a shotgun are in McIntyre’s memoir if anyone is interested.

            So only 4/10 for this photo art project, and that includes a bonus mark for the little hat band embelishment on Steve Hart’s hat, clearly a misplaced labour of love. People who want to contribute historical model reconstructions to a debate need to get the details right.

    2. Yes Glenn I missed Kellys reference to a stump. But I would say that makes it less likely he was referring to the stump when he described where Lonigan was trying to go – why wouldnt he just say he ran toward the stump where the gun had been resting …or something like that instead of inventing a whole new and confusing term to describe a SINGLE stump as a BATTERY of LOGS (plural)?

      In relation to what I claim is your position in regard to the Burman image I based it on what you wrote, which was this:

      “The only stump that Kelly could have been referring to is the one seen in the foreground of the Burman photo. This being the tent side of McIntyre’s diagram.”

      I took that to mean you believe he cameramen was somewhere in that area where the tent was and the photo was taken pointing towards the logs McINtyre described as one running roughly east to west and another meeting it at right angles – as in the Map he drew. Thus the man crouching and looking to the right of the image would be facing east or south east…

      1. In an area that had had some clearing done (as there were ruins of at least one hut there), it is reasonable to guess that more than one tree might have been felled over time and that more than one stump may been around then, not just the great big photogenic one towards the front of the Burman photo?

  10. Anonymous says: Reply

    David, I have always been a great believer in McIntyre’s diagram. And have always maintained that the Burman image was taken looking towards a N/Easterly direction. With McIntyre (M1 on his diagram) standing facing the fire behind the stump in the foreground. The Kelly’s advancing from the South, right side of the image.

    Whereas you place Lonigan where I place McIntyre. And have the Kelly’s advancing from the left side of the image. So where back to the same old debate of the orientation of the Burman photos and camp location.

    So I see little point in continuing this discussion any further. I’m sure this will please David D. ( I look forward to reading your book) Thank you Stuart for your participation.


    1. Yes Glenn back to the question of the photo orientation!

      I am not trying to be stubborn but I just cannot see it as the most sensible explanation, to say Burman went to ALL the considerable trouble he went to to get out there, and then put his people on the wrong side of the logs. Do you at least concede that if your belief about the camera direction is correct then Burman had the people on the wrong side of the logs and looking in the wrong direction?.

    2. David Dufty says: Reply

      “I’m sure this will please David D.”

      No, you’ve misunderstood me. What would please me is for you to put something on the table. To explain what you think, and why you think it. To plant a flag in the ground, as it were.

      I have to admit, Ned’s ‘battery of logs’ might have just been a reference to the logs where the campfire was burning.

    3. Hi Glenn, and others, I am coming from a different perspective on all this. As I have said somewhere before on this blog, I couldn’t care less where the SBC murders took place. I have been to SBC as marked by the Shire, which may or may not be the actual location. But all the bush looks the same in that general area. There are no magical ghosts or spirits or hauntings there IMO. It is just bushland. I can however see why especially descendants from the murdered police may like the correct location to be identified for memorial purposes, which is fair enough.

      I’m only interested in what happened, which does not depend on the location but on what witness evidence is available. In this case there are multiple statements from the survivor McIntyre that are consistent over time, and multiple statements (or perhaps comments) from the perpetrator Kelly that range from self-contradictory to simply impossible, but consistently state that he did kill Lonigan.

      As nothing required that Kelly and his gang approach the police camp with long guns raised in an armed confrontation, where they could alternatively have left their hut some mile away and gone further bush, self-defence was never a viable excuse. Judge Barry said as much in Kelly’s trial; but it was equally clear from the August committal hearing that the only thing that might leave any room for a fanciful claim of self-defence was lawyer Gaunson’s aggressive grilling of McIntyre about his refusal to swear on oath to anything that he couldn’t precisely recall given that his statement written at the time had got lost somewhere in the police records. McIntyre had such rigorous integrity and honesty that he refused to swear to some details and was consequently made a fool of most unfairly by Gaunson. It is McIntyre’s integrity that is the key to understanding this, not that amateur clown Jones’s moronic accusations of police perjury.

      After the hearing McIntyre requested a search for his first statement, which was located and placed in the prosecution file (where anyone can read it now in the VPRO PDF). The statement was then available to the defence before the trial. It was clear from that that McIntyre had correctly and consistently described what happened when Kelly murdered Lonigan, and not the slightest chance of mounting a self-defence argument.

      That is why barrister Bindon, instructed by Kelly’s same solicitor Gaunson, did not try to claim self-defence in Kelly’s trial. It was not anything about Bindon’s incompetence as many incompetent Kelly writers (including high-flying lawyers exercising their larrikin streak) have claimed, but the fact – as McIntyre spells out in his manuscript – that when his statement was located and provided, there was nothing to claim self-defence from, as his statements were consistent, and the prosecution was left with no counter-case to make. Kelly done it, and swung for it. Such is life.

  11. Here’s a question for you, David Mac:
    How likely is it that a man, after being shot through the eye, would say “Oh Christ, I’m shot!”
    Is that possible?
    Is it possible that he would be capable of saying such a thing if the injury was fatal, and if, according to the coroner, it would have killed him almost immediately?

    1. For crying out loud Mr Dufty. My thoughts exactly.
      In my point of view, instant death, no hope of any man crying out “christ I’m shot”
      Therefore Ned shoots Lonigon in the eye socket, so who’s the other shooter that could account for the wounds that Lonigon sustained?

      Was it one shooter or one or two firearms involved?

      1. well, this is why I wonder if he got hit in the arm or leg, and lay on the ground bleeding out from an artery, the eye-shot coming later, after MacIntyre had escaped.

        But even so, there are several lines of evidence to the eye wound coming first:
        1. Ned said so; and agreed with Macintyre that the first shot was the kill shot (admittedly not strong on its, own, but still)
        2. no motion or signs of life from Lonigan after being hit;
        3. Ned behaved as if Lonigan were dead during his inspection of the body;
        4. MacIntyre believed Lonigan was dead from that moment on;
        3. The coroner said the shot to the eye killed Lonigan.

        So I don’t know. As I said earlier, I don’t buy the ‘jumped behind logs, took aim at Ned’ version; but there are some bits and pieces that remain unresolved.

        1. Maybe some forensic people could look into this. McIntyre described Lonigan crying out then collapsing and struggling while gasping on the ground. Perhaps his body was convulsing after death, the same way Kelly’s body convulsed after his neck was broken by the hangman’s noose. His legs went up and down several times. Suppose Kelly had been lying on or fallen on the ground at the moment of death. His leg convulsions could have propelled him along a short way, no? Doing the Newgate jig, only horizontal….

      2. Firstly Tony to answer your last question : there is no doubt, and the forensic evidence proves it – there was ONE shooter, ONE shot and ONE firearm which was loaded with several projectiles of some kind, perhaps a quartered bullet.

        As for what Lonigan is reported to have said : the problem is that McIntyre said that Lonigan DID say those words, and he was very clear in his recollections about what happened. McIntyre had nothing to gain from making them up, and much as its hard to imagine how someone could speak after being shot in the head, what I think needs to be done is not to dismiss the testimony of an honest witness but think of ways in which that COULD have happened – and I can think of a perfectly reasonable one, not an outlandish extreme near-impossibility and its this : Note firstly that one of the projectiles hit Lonigans thigh and travelled under the skin and was removed from there by Reynolds. This must mean it was not travelling with speed or great momentum if the skin and subcutaneous tissue can stop it. So imagine the one that hit Longans right eye was a similar small fragment travelling with little momentum that could easily be stopped : effectively this was an eye injury – Reynolds said it took parts of the eye socket into the brain but he said that he didnt track the course of the projectile or try to remove it. So we dont actually know how extensive the brain injury itself was, and its certainly therefore feasible the brain injury was not “instant death” but death within a minute our two from blood loss into the brain, and the blood loss from the arm and leg injuries.

        Just out of interest FYI, the history of the development of frontal lobotomy as a treatment included an observation of a man working in an iron foundry whose frontal lobes were badly damaged by a metal rod that flew up and went through the front of his head, he survived and people noticed his entire personality changed as a result. The lesson is that brain injury doesnt always result in ‘instant death’ and the literature abounds in examples of people who have been shot and had all kinds of other ghastly head injuries and survived not just a few minutes but for years.”Oh christ Ive been shot” is perfectly possible, once you know something!

        Yeah that funny old thing called “Knowledge”….a great myth buster and antidote to speculation.

  12. Move over folks and be reminded as we can appreciate Maca was in shock from the very first moment he and Lonigon were bailed up. The commotion around him would have played a pivotal part on what he heard and what he thought he saw. It would have taken Maca sometime for his nerves to settle before he could even process the situation. Then comes the second wave. From this point on Macas nerves were shot and tunnel vision set in. Therefore Macas account, is based on what he thought he saw. He was not in a clear state of mind when he put pen to paper.

    There are discrepancies in all reports, statements and memoirs. Thus far Stuart has giving us the only logical explanation of what may have transpired.

    1. Yes Tony youre right – Stuarts explanation is the logical one : he supports McIntyres account, as do all of us who have seen through Ian Jones apalling vilification of McIntyre as a perjurer. So yes, Kelly murdered Lonigan almost immediately after the order to bail up.

      Stuart also enlightened me with his explanation of McIntyres remarkably ethical behaviour at the Committal, in refusing to swear to what exactly he had previously said because he couldn’t remember it exactly. ( This reminded me of Reynolds refusal to swear Fitzparicks wound was caused by a bullet, because he hadn’t been there to witness the incident – but of course he went on to say that it had every appearance of being one, which is the bit so many Kelly apologists neglect to mention) But how telling was it, as Stuart pointed out that once Kellys team saw McIntyres deposition they dropped the self-defence plea like a hot potato.

  13. Anonymous says: Reply

    Stuart, at last you bring commonsense to this never ending argument about the veracity of the burman photographs and their relevance to the discussion of the positions of the police and the gang.
    Photographs are a snapshot in the time continuum of an event and so do not provide much in the way of historical commentary. Your comments over the recent posts you made are absolutely correct in that Burman took his photographs for commercial gain not to record for posterity the acts of murder committed by the gang.
    Mcintyre’s written commentary and his very detailed diagram (the one drawn to scale and only “discovered” in the recent past) give all scholars and others the only “eye witness” forensic details to be relied upon. His diagram gives the positioning of the various participants at four moments in time not the single and wrong depiction constructed by Burman for his purpose of making a photograph.
    The now tiring to and fro of of the people trying to “prove” that Burman was a chronicler of precision of the moment that Kennedy returned to camp is an exercise in futility which your recent comments should put an end to.
    Thanks for the clearsighted observations you have made.

    1. With respect Anonymous ( can you confirm you’re also Paul and Tony??) Stuart was referring to the image posted from the Lawless documentary. His criticisms of it were minor anyway. But yes he also made some criticisms of the Burman photographs.

      But are you saying that because Burman photos were in your opinion NOT created to record historical material but were purely commercial in nature, then they cannot be relied on for anything?

      Heres my response to Stuarts and your criticism of the photographs : firstly, if it is pure commercial interest at stake then how much better to have the photo as accurate as you can make it, this enhancing your reputation and getting the edge over the opposition?
      Secondly if making it as accurate as possible was NOT a consideration then why go to all that trouble time and expense of lugging the heavy photographic equipment up into the bush when a suitable bush setting half a mile from Mansfield would have sufficed? Thirdly if you are going to place people in the photo why would you put them in the WRONG place if you can just as easily put them in the RIGHT place. In fact knowing the direction that the camera was facing from analysis of the direction light is entering the picture, we can say that those people ARE in roughly the correct positions, making an allowance for the impossibility of a single frame being able to include everyone if they were all in EXACTLY the right places.

      1. Hi David, there is a middle ground there: the Burman photos WERE created to show people what happened, and approximately did that, and did it in the actual location that his guide took him to; AND at the same time the motivation was also commercial. When he got there, he would have framed his photos to give his readers what he thought was a reliable image of the scene, based on what he was told happened, and with assistance from whoever it was there helping out as characters.

        When Burman framed up the scene, he simply compressed some of the action with some minor inaccuracies as I have noted, e.g. he made do without a horse under the arriving third policeman, whose actor was likely positioned walking in from the right so he can be clearly seen in the photo, rather than trying to foreensically reflect the actual direction the policeman came in from in the SBC encounter, for which see McIntyre’s detailed sketch.

        The resulting photo is a ‘near enough’ historical reconstruction that ticked the boxes for informing viewers about the drama of the situation in the location it took place. It was not intended to be a forensic reconstruction!!

        And given the difficulties Burman faced getting his big box plate camera and related gear through the bush to SBC, I don’t think we can doubt his desire for authenticity as best he could achieve it. I think David that you have answered your own third question: Why would you put people in the wrong place if you can just as easily put them in the right place?; and as you then note, the people are in approximately the right positions giventhe IMPOSSIBILITY of a single frame being able to include everyone if they were all exactly in the right places; which is my point exactly.

        I think we can take it that the Burman photos, or one of them at least, is about right – McIntyre himself noted that about one of them, I think on its reverse – but we can also accept that it is a postcard photo, not a forensic crime reconstruction, and just be glad that he took it.

        But the arguments about what exactly happened have to be based on McIntyre’s consistent statements and his sketches; otherwise we could be arguing that the third policeman arrived on foot rather than horseback, and we’d look as sily as Jonesy-bones trying to invent a Kelly republic.

        1. Thanks Stuart, I agree 100%.

          Incidentally I think the point is worth making for Anonymous benefit that even if you remove/ignore those figures, as Bill has shown theres lots of other information to be gleaned from those images.

  14. Paul ? Tony? whats it matter.
    The whole point of my posting and which has been clearly enunciated by Stuart is that the photos Burman took are totally incorrect as to the positioning of the actors used. I would think that Burman as a professional picture taker would have made it his business to at least take his two pictures at the scene and he clearly went to great trouble to do so. As to your (David) comment about lugging his gear to such a remote place would also be applicable to every other picture he took during his career which were up country. The only true eyewitness would later detail his recollections and would prepare a very detailed diagram which provides us with indisputable evidence of the layout, the directions of the log battery and the movement of the two returning police relative to where McIntyre and the Kelly gang were situated at four moments during the encounter.
    Clearly the two returning police were arriving back at their camp from a northerly direction (and this is how Burman depicted Kennedy albeit on foot which is historically incorrect) approaching the seated McIntyre so to correctly interpret Burmans picture then the north is on the right hand side of his picture. Probably of inconsequential detail to Burman who simply framed his diorama to ensure a dramatic representation for his purpose.
    Thats why his pictures were never used in evidence except that it was noted they did provide
    I have used the csi team report for the following.
    Burmans photo card no1 (it was the first in a set of cards sold by Burman) was presented as part of the prosecutions case, endorsed exhibit A dated 6 August 1880 – its online in the vic public records material in vprs4966 unit 2 item 9.
    Mcs sworn deposition of 11 August 1880 pointed out the log which Ned was behind in the photograph marked A.
    Mcs sworn statemnt prepared for the prosecution brief on 15 October 1880 says the photograph represents the camp site of the police.
    Barrys trial notes notes that the photograph of the place was produced.
    At no time has the depiction of the seated or standing man been referred to by either the prosecution, the defense or Mcintyre.

    1. Hi Anonymous, that’s all fine but just clarifying that I am not saying the Burman photos are “totally incorrect as to the positioning of the actors”; rather I am saying that at least the one endorsed by McIntyre indicates that it shows the right place and whatever specific features or points McIntyre mentioned or noted in his evidence, and beyond that we can’t go.

      My other point was that the positions of the actors was not a forensic reconstruction but a dramatic approximation which clearly got some details and positioning wrong, but I’m not going so far as to say totally incorrect. Don’t want to be overly pedantic but I also don’t want to be said to say anything wider that what I said. But yes, I think all we have to go on is McIntyre’s testimony and memoir and his two sketches, and anything else is speculation.

      I’m not getting into the perennial argument about where the exact location was, or where precisely the camera was as regards the McIntyre map, and so on. I am not able to do the kind of geographical or topographical analysis and field work needed to get into that and honestly don’t think it matters. It was not necessary for jurors to go to the location, and it is not necessary for latter day commentators to know that, in order to clearly understand what happened there from McIntyre’s consistent testimonies and other statements and memoir. What happened was clearly murder.

      Kelly murdered Lonigan the second Lonigan started to run, whether or not he actually thought that Lonigan was a different policeman at any point. As there was never anything wrong with Kelly’s eyesight it is possible that he was consumed with a vengeful passion in the moment, but we can’t know for sure as he lied continually and variously about what happened from then through to his condemned cell letters. He fits the modern clinical criteria for psychopathy as the forensic study a few years back showed.

    2. “Paul, Tony whats it matter”

      I am just fed up with Anonymous commentators who cant even stick to one pseudonym , so that I can never be sure if I am arguing with one two or three different people…but no it doesn’t really matter except that I think its bad faith….but that is typical of people in the Kelly world so I should expect it.

      But you wrote “to correctly interpret Burmans picture then the north is on the right hand side of his picture” – so now youre agreeing with me that North is to the RIGHT of the Photo, and the actors are positioned somewhat accurately ?

      I think its important to orientate the photo properly, as you also have done with north to the right, not so much for the arguments about where people were and what happened but for the people trying to work out exactly where the photo was taken so that the police camp-site can perhaps be identified.


  15. Anonymous says: Reply

    David, yes i havent oriented the photo to the North – I have oriented the scene implied from the photo but this doesnt mean that the photo wwas taken in the correct direction.
    The placing of the two actors by Burman and referring their positions to those shown by McIntyre requires that the viewer identifies that North is to the right hand side of the photos. But this does not mean that the true northerly aspect can be adduced as being to the right. Any photograph taken with the construct of the placement of the two actors as depicted from any angle of the compass in which the camera was pointed gives a defacto correctness. facing north . THe csi report appendix showing the estimated camera positions and the beautiful mansfield booklets later photograph of 1897 with the camera position to the west ie pointing north east (the 1897 photo clearly shows in the background to the east a point rising above the general landscape which rises to 940 metres . Csi note that this is approx 20 degrees NE of the camp site. the topographic map shows this is the highest point observable in the east.
    Carefully assessing the work of the csi team I am convinced that their notional positioning of the cameras of Burman and the photographer of the later 1897 photo were placed to the west of the camp site and were facing as the csi team have deduced and drawn in their various diagrams to the north east.
    Now there are at least four contenders being the bill site, the ktg site , the csi site and the film site vieing for acknowledgement of being the correct site. I doubt that there will ever be a resolution of this.

    1. Hi Anonymous, when you say the “film site” in your last sentance, does that mean the 2017 Lawless episode 1 doco, where the presenter claimed to have found the sBC location? Just wanting to clarify which :”film site” you mean.

      And does “ktg” in the same sentence mean the Kennedy Tree Group location claim?

      If so, there are 4 contenders each with a different location, plus the 1897 Beautiful Mansfield booklet location, potentially a fifth location?.

      From memory two of these can be discounted based on earlier lengthy discussions by others on this blog.

      But even if the exact location could be agreed beyond reasonable doubt, does that help understand what happened there? No matter what direction the Burman photos were taken from, – and I suspect that as we have these, we can ignore the Beautiful Mansfield photo/s altogether as far as gleaning any info about what happened (and possibly even where it happened, given the Burman photos) goes.

      That leaves only McIntyre’s consistent testimony about what happened, and his sketch maps about how it happened as regards the gang approaching the campsite and the movements of the various persons involved.

      The photos don’t seem relevant to that except in respect of the point that McIntyre said that one of them showed where it happened; but still, that doesn’t add anything about how it happened in terms of analysis, or even, as discussed above, in terms of accuracy.

      So even if agreement is never reached about where it happened , it seems we can still know what happened and how it happend with a high degree of accuracy?.

      1. Yes thats correct Stuart. The use that is being made of the Photos is to try to discover exactly WHERE the Police camp was. I dont think anyone is using them to try to figure out WHAT happened, but given we know something about what happened ie that Kennedy and Scanlan returned from the north it helps us to understand the orientation of the photo – AS LONG AS YOU ACCEPT that Burman tried to make his photo as accurate as he could – which to my mind makes the most sense.

        There is absolutely nothing rational, in my view, about the belief that even though it would have been just as easy to make his photos reasonably accurate, Burman decided to make them less accurate and have the actors on the wrong side of the logs. It just makes NO sense at all. CSI supporters are obliged to believe that Burman did this dumb thing because to believe otherwise renders all the rest of their case meaningless.

        So on that basis, the CSI team and the Adam Ford picnic site are discounted, because they both believe the camera was positioned somewhere near where the tent had been and was facing north and east. That leaves Bills site and the KTG site as the only viable contenders. And the KTG site is a disaster.

  16. Thanks David. While keeping clear of the arguments about where exactly the SBC murder site location was, which have had various location proponents arguing relatively obscure points for decades, I am still inclined to think that Burman’s primary interest was a dramatic scene photographed at the place it occurred. We know he was guided to the place. We know he had a narrative description of what had happened there, and at least one guide who had been in one of the search parties for Kennedy’s body, yes? So there is no reason to doubt the photo was taken at the right place, wherever it was.

    Having arrived at the right place, and presumably knowing that Lonigan and McIntyre had been standing around a fire roughly where the fallen logs met, I ask myself, isn’t that accurate enough for his dramatic representation? Do we have to read “accuracy” to further mean that he actively concerned himself with framing the orientation of the logs in respect of other campsite features (e.g. the place where the police tent was burned) and the placement of his actors? Or might he simply have seen a big photogenic stump with a couple of burnt posts in the foreground, with the big logs in the background, and thought that that looked pretty good for his photo?

    I think he likely walked around the place for a while, discussing what happened there while keeping a trained eye out for a good angle for his dramatic reconstruction. I’m not convinced that he would have thought that taking an attractively framed photo of the scene that was done in the right place was doing something less accurate than it could have been.

    For example, he could have waited until the late afternoon, to parallel the time that Scanlan and Kennedy had returned to their camp – but he didn’t, because the light was good when he photographed the scene that he did. (I think he commented in a paper about needing to get the photo done because of the light, but I can’t find the reference so don’t hold me to it.)

    I don’t think that Burman deliberately decided to make his photos less accurate than they potentially could have been. That seems to imply that what Burman wanted or should have wanted was as close as possible to a forensic representation rather than a dramatic postcard representation of the event at the actual place where it happened. I think that goes too far into what we might now think that Burman “should” have done.

    1. Stuart you think Burman wanted a ‘dramatic scene’ – well why couldnt the actual dramatic scene he DID photograph be the actual place with actors in their more or less accurate spots?

      Youve imagined one possible scenario Stuart, of course, so heres another, which is he one I imagine : Burman is walking about and learning what happened and where, and asks is this the actual log where McIntyre sat, and what side was he on? OK so he was sitting here was he…and looking there? And so Kelly must have been over there crouching down …like this? And then Kennedy entered from where?…ok he entered from over there…so lets recreate the scene and take a couple of photos….

      I accept he may NOT have done it like that but to me it seems if he could have made his reenactment MORE accurate than LESS accurate and there was no special reason for him not to have, then thats what he would have done. And as Ive also said, if he could say of his image that it was as close as an approximation to the event and a moment in time as it was possible to re-create on film, that could only enhance its commercial appeal and his reputation.

      1. Hi David, I think he did photograph the actual place, just to clear that up! I think that because McIntyre said the photo showed the place. The dispute by various people seems to be about where the camera was positioned. I suggested that he took a broad range photo of the place and the logs with a couple of burned posts and a big tree stump in the foreground. A nice, natural composition, as it were.

        But as to him possibly discussing with his guide where exactly McIntyre sat, and facing which way, and where Kelly crouched, etc., I think probably not, as the guide wasn’t there when the shooting happened, so both would be going by general descriptions, not forensic or blow by blow detail. I think the photo shows the general idea of what happened as reported.

        By a dramatic scene I meant that his photo captures the drama, not that he sought to dramatise it. I also don’t think his photo was intended to be a forensic reconstruction, as the entrance of the actor portraying one of the returning police walking in one foot from the front right of the scene shows. In fact the returning police seem historically to have come from the far side of the logs if one looks at McIntyre’s sketch in relation to where McIntyre and Kelly were located at the time of the incident. (BTW this is saying nothing about camera directtions, locations, or anything else on that score.) But an actor positioned somewhere way back on the far side of the logs would not have made much of a photo.

        Also, I think that as a professional photographer who also made money out of selling postcards Burman was commercially astute and had no need to say of his photos anything other than they were taken at the place and illustrated what happened. I can’t see the general public wanting to consider whether the photo was ” as close as an approximation to the event and a moment in time as it was possible to re-create on film”, that seems to go way too far for a commercial postcard. I don’t have any problems with it being an approximation taken in thne right place, and I don’t think the public of the day would have either…

        McIntyre had no quibbles with it when he OK’d it as showing the place wher the murders took place, regardless that the actor standing in for the returning policeman was on foot and impossibly placed at the front right of the scene. I think we ask too much of it if we expect it to have been an almost forensically accurate reconstruction.

  17. Anonymous says: Reply

    Stuart sorry its taken so long to answer your questions ive been crook.
    film site is the one referred to in the 2017 doco and ktg means the Kennedy Tree Group location,

    1. Thanks Anonymous, and hope you feel well again soon

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