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 dramatic break-outs. Following his release in 1949, Halliday seemingly stayed out of trouble, until the discovery of a brain and blood spattered taxi cab at Southport in May 1952. Police initially had few leads, but after learning of the gaol-breakers presence on the Coast, their efforts turned to locate him. Halliday had already fled, casting suspicion on him even more strongly. READ MORE FROM THE ORIGINAL ARCHIVES…

Arrested in a dramatic shootout in New South Wales, Halliday was extradited to Queensland where he faced trial. On Monday 2 March 1953, jurors found the evidence overwhelming. Even, Justice Stanley, not known for expressing his thoughts on cases, commented ‘I agree with this verdict’. Read the front page coverage by The Courier Mail newspaper sixty years ago…

However, veteran reporter Ken Blanch in his book THE TAXI DRIVER KILLER cast doubt on Halliday’s involvement. Blanch questioned the scientific evidence presented by police of the era, and their motives. Copies of this true crime book are available HERE

To visit Boggo Road Gaol – book a tour at

Boggo Road Gaol
Boggo Road Gaol