The Colossus of Boggo Road
Gold Coast bodybuilder Nathan Jones, at 207 centimeters and weighing 128 kilograms, was nicknamed “The Colossus of Boggo Road”.
The Colossus of Boggo Road in the movie “The Condemned”
Nathan was convicted in the Brisbane Supreme Court in April 1989 on five counts of attempted robbery and three of the unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
His eight-year sentence was increased to 12 years after an appeal by the Attorney-General.
In prison, an upset Nathan is said to have torn his cell door off; in reality he was a gentle giant.
Nathan was transferred when Brisbane Correctional Centre closed in 1992.
After serving his time, Nathan had a successful wrestling and movie career – including roles in blockbusters Troy, Mad Max: Fury Road, and horror films, Charlie’s Farm and The Condemned – filmed inside No.2 Division.
“TRIPOD” The Prison Cat
One of the last occupants of No.2 Division was “Tripod” – a much loved three-legged black tomcat.
“TRIPOD” the prison cat: photograph
taken 5th March 1988.
Source: Courier-Mail Library
His front left leg was badly broken during riots when it was caught in a cell door. Prisoners raised the money to have it amputated.
Prisoners jokingly referred to him as a “lifer” after 16 years of being in Boggo Road Gaol…
The Courier-Mail newspaper ran a story in March 1988 about Tripod:
“Most people consider black cats to be unlucky. But one group of people who have more reason than most to claim they are always down on their luck believe their black cat, Tripod is their good luck charm. Tripod is the mascot of the inmates of the notorious Division II wing of Brisbane Jail. Tripod, so named because he has only three legs, is jokingly referred to as a “lifer” around the jail as he has been there for 16 years.
He lost his left front leg when a cell door was slammed on it during a prison riot about 15 years ago. As a “registered” member of the prison establishment, Tripod gets his own ration of cat food each day before settling down in the main yard of Division II to keep an eye on things. When caught up with by photographer Graham Hutton, Tripod showed his displeasure at having his afternoon siesta disturbed by completely ignoring a visiting media group in the background.“
There has even been unconfirmed reports from some former prisoners that Tripod got a little angry towards the end of his life, and as a result, some prisoners put out a contract on Tripod’s life!
When his ‘9th life’ ran out Tripod was buried in a garden bed in No.2 Division where he remains to this day.
We have a special offer for these April, 2019 school holidays – all kids get a free Tripod the Boggo Road Cat poster with every family booking…
(to get the poster, please make sure to select “Newsletter” when checking out under the “How did you find out about our tours?” question)
The 1980s were the most turbulent decade in the history of Boggo Road Gaol.
Riots, roof-top protests and hunger-strikes by prisoners became the norm. On Saturday 11 March 1989 the biggest mass-breakout ever took place when eight prisoners managed to escape Brisbane Prison.
Officers remember it as the “Laundry Truck Escape.” Journalists called it “The Great Escape.” Prisoners called it the “Boggo Road Fun Run.”
As the prison laundry van readied to leave No.1 Division, 30 prisoners exercising on a nearby oval raced towards the inner hydraulic gate. One got his leg caught as it closed; eight made it into the gatehouse. Armed with replica guns, they forced officers to open a side door before fleeing down the driveway to a waiting vehicle under gunfire from the tower.
All were recaptured, including the mastermind of the escape Frankie Post, convicted rapist and armed robber.
Blame was laid on the gatehouse officer who was selling raffle tickets at the time of the escape – though this was unfair. He had not received an internal memo issued two days earlier warning an escape was planned. A breakdown of communication and chronic under-staffing were really to blame.
This dramatic escape is now part of Queensland’s prison history…
Come along for one of our very special Escapes Tours on the second Sunday of every month! For prices and booking, click here.
Discover more of Boggo Road Gaol’s infamous Escapes with Gaol Director Jack Sim’s book – Boggo Road Gaol Escapes. Find it in our Gaol Shop or click here now!
Went on the Ex-Inmate Tour at Boggo Road Gaol on Sunday 6th March, 2016, with an Ex-Inmate by the name of Wayne, and it was brilliant.
Was amazing to hear about what life was like being locked up in prison straight from a former prisoner’s mouth!
Did the History Tour a few weeks ago too, another brilliant tour. Was fascinating to hear the stories and information that was shared.
Highly recommend both tours to everyone, you wont be disappointed!!
Next Tour, the Escapes Tour, cant wait!
Matthew – Gold Coast
“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)