Ned Kelly was a dangerous man to be around. At Glenrowan, before the siege began, he was fiddling with a confiscated revolver when it accidentally discharged, wounding a hostage in the eye. That individual died months later in wretched circumstances. The organised crime network of stock theft, of which the Kelly Gang was a major part, inspired community fear. But Ned's extended family also included violent individuals, such as the Quinn and Lloyd menfolk.
Two brothers-in-law seriously injured a Senior Constable with a stirrup iron, one of them 'shouting like a madman'. An uncle avenged himself on a neighbour by hacking his horse to death with an axe. Crazed, violent men like these created a general climate of terror in north-east Victoria. This controversial book re-examines the story of the Kelly Gang in fascinating detail and with many new insights.
The mythology created by pro-Kelly writers is critically explored, unravelled, and often found wanting. Many missing official documents have been identified for the first time. A pattern of extreme hostility against police emerges both before and after the Stringybark police murders.
About the Author
Ian MacFarlane is a former journalist, public relations consultant, radio broadcaster and musician. During twenty-one years at Public Record Office Victoria (Victoria's State Archives) he co-edited the Historical Records of Victoria series, a primary source documenting pioneer European settlement in Victoria. He later became familiar with the extensive archival records about the Ned Kelly Gang.
'A damning history... mesmerising in its detail.' - Lesley McDowell, UK Independent, March 2014 'Ian MacFarlane's assiduous research provides a valuable antidote to those who would unthinkingly sentimentalize violent men.' - Sir Clive Sinclair, Times Literary Supplement, December 2013'... this work provides a fascinating insight into one of the great Australian sagas and sets many aspects of the story to rights."I found it to be a compelling read and I highly recommend it.' - Retired Chief Inspector Ralph Stavely, The Police Association Victoria Journal, November 2012To read the full review, click here.'The author - amoung other qualifications a long-experienced archivist - lays out for us all the known sources for the Kelly story, locates them for us, and offers his cool judgement on their value and veracity. Any Australian seriously interested in Ned Kelly needs MacFarlane at his elbow.' - Peter Ryan, Quadrant, March 2013 'This is not a balanced book, nor is it meant to be; MacFarlane positions himself (several times) in the anti-Kelly camp, as if the title were not clue enough.' - Clive Sinclair, Times Literary Supplement, December 2013 'Close examination of his developmental history and subsequent criminal behaviour reveals that Kelly was a violent and vindictive man who demonstrated prominent psychopathic features including pathological lying, callous lack of empathy for others and a parasitic lifestyle.' - Russ Scott & Ian MacFarlane, Ned Kelly - Stock Thief, Bank Robber,Murderer - Psychopath, Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, July 2014
Problems with archival recordsHow this book is structuredAcknowledgmentsChronology1. 'I am bullet proof. You can't hurt me.' 2. Organised rural crime and terror3. The killing ground at Stringybark Creek4. Forensic science investigations5. 'We shall all have to go to a bigger court than this.'6. Victoria Police actions defended7. The bitter aftertaste of the Kelly legendNotesSelect bibliographyIndex