News

“WHO KILLED HER?”: BETTY SHANKS (1952)

This year marks 62 years since Betty Thomson Shanks – a kind, thoughtful young woman, was brutally murdered in the Brisbane suburb of Wilston, only a few hundred meters away from her home. It is still Queensland’s longest running cold case. This was the crime said to have stolen Brisbane’s innocence. The Brisbane of the 1950s […]

THE HAUNTED HOBO PART 2: HARRY BROWN (1937)

This week we conclude our chilling story of the Haunted Hobo. We take up our tale in the Brisbane City Morgue as the government pathologist examines the body of the victim Harry Brown, who’s life was brutally ended in Victoria Park by a man he thought to be his friend. A violent maniac on the […]

WIFE OF A ‘CRIM’ : GLORIA MCSWEENEY (1991)

While notorious characters often gain headlines, internet, TV and radio coverage the people behind them, their families and friends rarely do. Although popular media often portrays criminals as violent, mindless monsters for those that love these men (and women) they are still husbands, fathers, lovers and parents. It is rare to hear about the private […]

THE HAUNTED HOBO PART 1 : HARRY BROWN (1937)

Brisbane has a fascinating Haunted History. Jack Sim manager of Brisbane Ghost Tours loves nothing better than finding old ghost stories and trying to discover whether there is any truth in the tale. A great Brisbane oral tradition is the story of the “Haunted Hobo”. Told by homeless men and Queensland Railways workers in the […]

THE CHERMSIDE TOMAHAWK MURDER (1959)

In 1983, Brisbane residents were shocked to read of a campaign to release a forgotten murderer from behind the bars of Boggo Road Jail. Wife killer, Jack Foy 66, was at the time Queensland’s longest serving prisoner. His savage crime, his first and only offense shocked the people of Chermside 24 years earlier.   Out […]

THE HUSBAND WHO DROWNED HIS WIFE (1961)

The public interest in and media coverage of the trial of Gerard Baden Clay mirrors that of half a century ago when Dutchman Hank Plomp claimed his pregnant wife vanished at night after a swim. When 30 year-old Brisbane City Council bus driver Hendrikus Plomp staggered out of the surf at Southport 53 years ago […]

KILLER ON WAY TO BOGGO ROAD GAOL (60 YEARS AGO)

Today marks 60 years since Arthur Ernest Halliday was found guilty of the murder of taxi driver Athol McCowan. Otherwise known as “Slim”, Halliday was already well-known.  In 1940, and again in 1946, he managed the seemingly impossible – escaping from Brisbane’s Boggo Road Gaol. He served a lengthy period of imprisonment following those two […]

HERITAGE WORK: Padlocks – Acquisitions

It never ceases to amaze us the incredible connections to Boggo Road Gaol that are out there in the community. We recently acquired four original prison padlocks from a member of the public whose father performed maintenance for the State Government at Wacol prison. Three are “Chubb” brand padlocks, commonly used to secure cell doors […]

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