Boggo Road Gaol Podcasts

Season 2


Episode #1

A Sneak Peek of 2019

Gaol Director Jack Sim and Research Co-ordinator Sue Olsen talk about this year’s special anniversaries and important dates.

They also reveal some of the stories that will be covered in this season of BOGGO and for the first time, you the listeners get to influence what we discuss, and let us know what you want to hear more about!


Episode #2

Halliday – The Early Years

In this episode of BOGGO Gaol Director Jack Sim and research Co-ordinator Sue Olsen discuss the early years of Arthur Ernest Halliday otherwise known as Slim Halliday.

2019 marks 80 years since Slim came to Boggo Road Gaol for his first decent stretch of time.

This sentence is a dramatic turning point in the life of Halliday.


Episode #3

Partners in Crime – Halliday Exhibit

In this Episode Gaol Director Jack Sim and Research Coordinator Sue Olsen are joined inside by Tiana Adair, Museum Assistant from the Queensland Police Museum – our partners in crime.

Tiana is here to promote our new Crime, Law and Justice Trail and to discuss with us a fascinating exhibition at the museum on Arthur Ernest “Slim” Halliday and reveals how one piece of evidence was crucial in the conviction of Halliday for wilful murder – “Peter the Dog”.


Episode #4

Documenting SLIM

In this episode Research Co-ordinator Sue Olsen is talking with Director Kate Jorgensen about the short documentary SLIM that has been made at Boggo Road Gaol documenting the life of the notorious Arthur Ernest Halliday, otherwise known as Slim.

Kate shares with the audience the process of developing the documentary and we discuss the upcoming launch date for SLIM.


Episode #5

Victim of Circumstance – Margaret Dove Fraser

In celebrating Queensland Women’s week with this year’s theme “Financial security and literacy”; we have chosen to highlight how the lives of women of Boggo Road Gaol were directly affected with financial insecurity and circumstance.

In today’s episode we are sharing the tragic story of Margaret Dove Fraser a woman of her time and a direct victim of circumstance.

We interview Margaret’s granddaughter Sandra for her story.


Episode #6

Queensland Women’s Week

In this episode Gaol Director Jack Sim and Research Coordinator discuss Queensland Women’s Week 2019.

How it is being celebrated with special events in Boggo Road Gaol and Sue makes a very special announcement!


Episode #7

The Great Escape

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”.


Episode #8

Rules and Regs – Treatment, Discipline and Conduct

In 1959 a new Prisons Act came into force. Sweeping away out of date procedures, clarifying roles and improving prisoner’s rights.

The act laid out clearly punishments and the powers of prison officers. Every officer was expected to know the regulations like the back of his hand.

Part 12 of the Act – Treatment, Discipline and Conduct of Prisoners would form the crucial foundation that would determine the day to day management in the prison.

The rules and regs would decide what prisoners and officers could and couldn’t do …


Episode #9

Prison Workshops

With the closure of St Helena Island as a prison in Queensland came the shift of long service men to Boggo Road Gaol.

What would now be the new number two division, the former prison for females would be moved elsewhere.

The workshops for women were converted into the workshops for men.

Soon however the need for the transfer of workshops from St Helena would necessitate the construction of an all new workshops at Boggo Road Gaol.

2019 marks the 90th Anniversary of these workshops.

Join Gaol Director Jack Sim and Research Coordinator Sue Olsen as they uncover the history of these essential buildings.


Episode #10

The Black Hand

Mafia activity has been known to exist in Australia’s southern states for decades.

Many however would not know that in the 1920s and 1930s Queensland had its very own Mafia.

Known as the Black Hand they were every bit as dangerous as their southern counterparts.

This group of migrant Italian cane field workers was full of extortionists, thieves, pimps, rapists and cold-blooded murderers.

Four of these men would end up in Boggo Road Gaol.


Episode #11

The Secret Inquiry

In the 1950s conditions at Boggo Road Gaol were at fever pitch.

The prison was horribly over-crowded, prisoners and officers were unhappy.

There were riots, protests and regular violence.

Finally, late one night there was an escape attempt by notorious violent offenders.

This attempt and one officers firm stance would be the subject of a secret inquiry held within the walls of Boggo Road Gaol.


Episode #12

Red Flag Protests

A century ago this month, one of the most violent political protests, indeed probably the first real protest of its kind – marched its way through the streets of Brisbane City.

What would ensue over the coming days would change Brisbane forever.

It would also see thirteen men locked up in Boggo Road Gaol for long sentences with hard labour.


Episode #13

The Colossus of Boggo Road

Gold Coast bodybuilder Nathan Jones, at 207 centimeters and weighing 128 kilograms, was nicknamed “The Colossus of Boggo Road” 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.

In prison, an upset Nathan is said to have torn his cell door off; in reality he was a gentle giant.

Having served his sentence Nathan was released and turned his life around eventually becoming a WWE wrestler and later a famous Hollywood movie star.


Episode #14

Our Strangest State School

Boggo Road Gaol is hardly a place you could imagine that a State School would be.

However, in 1948 that’s exactly where there was one was opened.

Under the tutaledge of an experienced Brisbane State High School teacher a school for prisoners was opened inside the walls of Boggo Road Gaol.

It schooled all kids of prisoners… from petty thieves and armed robbers to infamous murderers.

Come and visit Our Strangest State School.


Episode #15

Prison Players – Male Division

Gaol Director Jack Sim and Sue Olsen discuss the upcoming launch of the Male Division Prison Players from the 1970s era at Boggo Road Gaol;

The important steps being taken in obtaining items to represent prisoners and officers of that time as accurately as possible and some recent acquisitions.


Episode #16

From the Headlines – 4 more prisoners swallow wire

Prisoners often cause themselves harm to escape the confines of gaol, if only for a short time.

In the 1970s a new era of prisoners were in Boggo Road Gaol, with them came new methods of injuring themselves and others.

Gaol Director Jack Sim and Research Coordinator Sue Olsen discuss an important discovery in a 1974 newspaper.


Episode #17

A Female Burglar – Maria O’Rourke

Young women of poor origins quite frequently found themselves falling afoul of the law.

Her Majesty’s Prison for Women Brisbane at Boggo Road was where most of these women ended up.

Maria O’Rourke was among the poorest of the poor and she did what she had to do to survive – Steal.


Episode #18

Gentleman Joe

In number 3 yard, in two division Boggo Road Gaol there is a highly piece of graffiti on the wall of F wing cell block – Gentleman Joe.

Written in paint and about 20cm high, it is certainly unmissable.

Just who Gentleman Joe was has long been shrouded in mystery.

Join Gaol Director Jack Sim and Research Coordinator Sue Olsen as they uncover the identity of Gentleman Joe.


Episode #19

From Boggo to Marry

“From Boggo Road to Marry & Back to 10 Year Sentence” A story from the Headlines of the Truth Newspaper on the 10th of December 1939, tells the remarkable story of prisoner John Daniel Robertson who was given the extraordinary permission to marry while under sentence of ten years at HM Prison Men Brisbane (colloquially known as Boggo Road Gaol)


Episode #20

The Reverse Escape

Three young men; each of them out of work and down on their luck broached the big lights of Brisbane for a change in their fortunes.

Three days and a short voyage later their trip to Brisbane would end in salvation for one and for the other two a twelve month stay in a hell hole.

“The Reverse Escape” is a thrilling edge of your seat drama from beginning to end.


Episode #21

Mischievous, Malevolent or Mad? Cyril James MacIntosh

Cyril James MacIntosh was perhaps one of the most frequent prisoners in gaols all over the eastern side of Australia.

His remarkably habitual career as a celebrated bogus doctor graced Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

Known by at least seventeen aliases and with at least forty charges to his name, the question remains: was he simply mischievous, malevolent or completely mad?


Episode #22

Soap Gun Escape Anniversary

Tuesday, The 17th of September 2019 marks 60 years since notorious cat-burglar and jail-breaker Arthur Halliday, better known as Slim, made his last major escape attempt.

Halliday, already a house-hold name for two successful escapes in the 1940s, was serving life imprisonment in Boggo Road Jail for the dreadful murder of a taxi-driver at Currumbin in 1952. The victim had been killed by blows to the head from the butt of a Colt .45 calibre handgun. In a struggle when arrested in Sydney, where he had fled after learning police discovered he had been living on the Coast, Halliday was shot in the leg by the same model gun that he had in his possession.

Detectives swore he admitted to the murder; Halliday claimed senior police framed him.


Episode #23

KING HIT – Former Prisoner Dean King

40 years ago, Dean King left Boggo Road Gaol for the last time.

Today, he returns to share his story with Gaol Director Jack Sim and to promote his self-published biography ‘King Hit’.

Dean was a prisoner in the tumultuous 1980s and witnessed some of the biggest events in Boggo Road Gaol history.

Dean’s time in prison was hard, and he found ways to survive. It can be confronting and challenging to hear, and read, but it is a true account of his life.

However, time spent locked up in Boggo Road Gaol is only part of his remarkable story …

Listen to this podcast, and come and meet Dean Sunday 17th November, 2019 at 11:00am, when Dean returns to Boggo Road Gaol to take a Prisoner Tour. Places are limited, click here to book in. Hopefully Dean might take some other tours with us in the future too!

***Language and Content Warning – Recommended 15+ years. Parental Guidance To Listen***