“SLIM” HALLIDAY – ESCAPED 28 JANUARY 1940
Special Event – Wednesday 28 January 2015
Join us Wednesday 28 January 2015 at 3pm outside the prison gates to commemorate 75 years since Halliday made his first daring breakout.
Seven and a half decades ago, on 28 January 1940, a housebreaker from New South Wales, 30 years-old Arthur Halliday – nicknamed “Slim” on account of his tall, thin frame – made his first successful escape from Boggo Road Gaol’s
Number 2 Division – this section of wall became known as “Halliday’s Leap”. He would again escape in 1946 – taking two other dangerous men with him including Victor Travis, a would-be gun-man and Derwent Arkinstall, a convicted killer of an elderly Brisbane taxi-driver. Halliday was one of the few who ever escaped Boggo Road Gaol twice. Released in 1951, the following year he returned to Boggo Road Gaol – this time for the murder of Gold Coast. taxi-driver Athol McCowan.
Regarded as the most dangerous man in any prison in the British Commonwealth, Halliday was the Brendan Abbott of his time. Although Halliday never succeeded in actually escaping Boggo Road again, it wasn’t for the want of trying. Throughout the 1950s he continued to make headlines – his most audacious saw him make a replica Colt handgun out of soap! Halliday was kept under the strictest of supervision, isolated from other inmates, becoming a living legend within the walls. His uniquely-modified cell, No9, D Wing cellblock, Number 2 Division had three slide-bolts to keep him secured.
He was easily the prison’s most infamous inmate earning the title of the “Houdini of Boggo Road,” after Harry Houdini, the world famous escape artist. After 23 years of incarceration, Halliday was eventually paroled and released as a free man.
Until his death, Slim maintained he was not responsible for the murder for which he served a life sentence – claiming he was framed by former Police Commissioner Frank Bischof – today widely regarded as corrupt.”SLIM HALLIDAY: The Taxi-Driver Killer” by Ken Blanch found vital evidence that would have benefitted Halliday’s defence was deliberately held back by police at the time. ESCAPES Volume 1 by Gaol Director Jack Sim details Halliday’s two escapes and other gaol-breakers of Boggo Road.
Heritage-listed Number Two Division is today the only remaining section of “The Road”. Since December 2012 Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd has been conducting historical tours, events, re-enactments & experiences at this historic site.
Gaol Open 6 Days
HISTORY tour (11am) & new ESCAPES tour (1pm)