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Crime of the True Variety

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  • The Murder of Alma Tirtschke – A Challenge to T.C. Brennan – By Madame Ghurka Prenologist 1923

    The Murder of Alma Tirtschke – A Challenge to T.C. Brennan – By Madame Ghurka Prenologist 1923

    Colin Ross was accused of the ‘violation and throttling’ of a young girl, Alma Tirtschke, whose body was found near Gun Alley, Melbourne.

    Ross was found guilty and executed in April 1922.

    His defence counsel, T.C. Brennan, was convinced of his client’s innocence published his opinions in “The Gun Alley Tragedy”.

    Madame Ghurka a phrenologist in the Eastern Arcade, (and a key witness for the prosecution) wrote this extraordinary response to the deliberate and malicious lies that Brennan made regarding Madame Ghurka in The Gun Alley Tragedy.

    Octavo, 138 pages in original wrappers, with tape holding the front cover on and quite grubby. Still a good copy … and try to find another one … only second time we have seen it in a dozen or so years.

    Very scarce publication relating to a sensational Australian murder case in Melbourne in 1923

    $120.00

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  • (Sir) Mick Jagger as Ned Kelly

    (Sir) Mick Jagger as Ned Kelly

    An original photograph of “Old Rubber Lips”, rock icon Sir Mick Jagger starring as the famous bushranger Ned Kelly “Down Under” in the movie about the said Ned Kelly.

    Taken as part of the movie promotion in 1984.

    We think Ned would have liked jumping Jack Flash!

    Impress your friends with this family photo

    $50.00

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  • Michael Howe: The Last and Worst of the Bush rangers of Van Diemen’s Land

    Michael Howe: The Last and Worst of the Bush rangers of Van Diemen’s Land

    A nice facsimile production by The Folio Society, London, published in 1977. With useful introduction by Ian Atkins

    Three copies of the original book are known to exist, one in the Bodleian (from which this facsimile is produced), one in the British Museum and the other in the National Collection, Canberra from which was bought from Maggs in 1946 having been purchased by them at Sotheby’s.

    This original account was the first book of general literature published in Australia, in Hobart Town, in December 1818.

    Nostalgic and interesting in many ways

    $25.00

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  • A Matter of Trust – MI5 (1945-1972) – Nigel West

    A Matter of Trust – MI5 (1945-1972) – Nigel West

    Published by Weidenfield, London a first edition 1982. Larger octavo, 196 pages in very good condition.

    Nigel West’s classic book on the British Spy Agency and a “classic” following on from his earlier book which ran up to 1945 … this is where it got really exciting.

    Need to know Spying … the genuine Smiley!

    $40.00

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  • (Professor Sydney Sparkes) Orr – W.H.C. Eddy – 1961

    (Professor Sydney Sparkes) Orr – W.H.C. Eddy – 1961

    Published by the superb Jacaranda Publishers, Brisbane in 1961. Thick octavo, 764 pages, complete dust jacket and all in very good condition.

    Controversial then and would be now as well as the book. For those not from Tasmania, Sydney Sparkes Orr was a Belfast born Professor of Philosophy who was accused of misconduct involving a young student. The processes that led to his dismissal were unusual and it went all the way to the High Court of Australia. Pretty lengthy evaluation by Orr supporter Eddy who suggest that the circumstances parallel Dreyfus although we are not so sure.

    A forceful account that may not sit well today

    $40.00

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  • The Mysterious Anonymous Confession to the Murders of Constable George Doyle and Albert Christian Dahlke at Lethbridge’s Pocket (Queensland) on 30th March 1902

    The Mysterious Anonymous Confession to the Murders of Constable George Doyle and Albert Christian Dahlke at Lethbridge’s Pocket (Queensland) on 30th March 1902

    A report of investigations made to the Queensland Parliament. Foolscap, 16 pages plus map of the locality where all manner of things took place. Scarce real crime investigation involving poetry, with many other unusual circumstances.

    Patrick and James Kenniff had already been found guilty of the murder of Doyle and Dahlke and sentenced to death. Then an anonymous letter turned up the writer claiming to be the perpetrator and admitting to previous orders.

    Unfortunately, the anonymous party was soon found out to be James Matthew O’Brian who had been dismissed as a Constable who was at one time stationed at Windorah and who has been prosecuted for robbing, being a “hawker” and perjury … he had also charges a Constable Scanlon with attempting to poison him. O’Brian was pretty slack in his approach as he had left some self-penned poetry and this had been written on the same hall-marked paper that the confession was made on … and experts attested to the handwriting being the same person although different pens. Strangely the poetry is published here.

    Interestingly, one of the experts will be well known to Queensland history buffs … none other but Thomas Welsby.

    The “Goings On” are much more complex than this but too much to summarise here .. they would make a good plot to a Queensland murder mystery … the jury is still out at Voyager. And poetry, well quite endearing … about love, separation and friendship.

    Real Crime with Poetry in Queensland 1902

    $70.00

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