Reopen a 76-year-old mystery

Posted by Jack Sim on 5 November 2014
Reopen a 76-year-old mystery

Brisbane True Crimes author Ken Blanch, will call on Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie to reopen the case of the 1938 mysterious disappearance of a Brisbane social identity when he launches his latest book nest Sunday November 5 at Boggo Road Gaol.

In Marjorie Norval: The Girl a railway Station Swallowed, Ken Blanch recalls the sensation and the massive police and fatal air force search that resulted when Miss Norval failed to return from a trip to Bundaberg to see a sick relative. He also produces evidence that her inquest was manipulated to avoid a political scandal.


Marjorie Norval was well known in Brisbane - the social secretary to the wife of Premiere William Forgen Smith was driven to Brisbane’s central railway station on the 11th of November 1938 and was never seen alive or dead again.
Miss Norval told her friends and work colleagues that she was going to Bundaberg, but had told her sisters that she was going to the North Coast with secret business for the Premiere.


The coroner, Mr J Leahy, concluded that she had died at the hands of an unidentified abortionist. The inquest was held was the first held in Queensland into a case where a body had not been found.


In this book Ken Blanch reconstructs Marjorie’s movements on the night she disappeared and shows she would have exited the railway station unobserved and walked the short distance to the rooms of Brisbane’s most active medical abortionist of the time in Edward street.


Blanch also accuses a former Police Commisioner of failing to properly investigate a sighting of Marjorie Norval the next day at the Doctor’s Caloundra holiday home and uncovers the men who conspired to perjure evidence given at the inquest to prevent a political scandal.


Blanch has published reviews of homicides that he covered as a Police rounds reporter during the 1950s with Jack Sim’s Classic Crime series, but is now self-publishing as Seagle Crime Stories. His new book Marjorie Norval: The Girl a railway Station Swallowed is the first in a series of a small books about unsolved Queensland crimes and is available from Blanch’s website www.seaglecrimestories.com and the Boggo Road Gaol Shop.

BOOK LAUNCH In Marjorie Norval: The Girl a railway Station Swallowed
When: Sunday November 9, 10.30am
Where: Boggo Road Gaol Shop at Boggo Road Gaol Precinct, Annerley Road, Dutton Park


Hear who Ken Blanch believes had a hand in the disappearance of Marjorie Norval Thursday 6.11.2014 on Australia’s longest running true crime show “True Crimes” – presented by Jack Sim on 4BC Nights with Walter Williams. Thursday evenings 9.35pm on Radio 4BC.
 

Posted in: Brisbane Ghost Stories True Crime Stories General Murder Trails Series Ken Blanch Brisbane Crime Tours Jack Sim  

Jack Sim talks on the Ghosts of Brisbane on radio 612 ABC

Posted on 30 October 2014

This Halloween Jack Sim talks with Kelly Higgins-Devine on Brisbane radio 612 ABC.

In this interview, Kelly Higgins discusses the topic of Halloween and all things ghostly and creepy about Brisbane with Jack Sim. 

Jack reveals the details of things about Brisbane that most of us find both macabre, thrilling and surprising.

You can listen to a recording of this interview here: http://blogs.abc.net.au/files/khd-301014-jack-sim.mp3

Posted in: Brisbane Ghost Stories Jack Sim  

ON THE RUN IN JAIL

Posted by Jack Sim on 27 October 2014
The people of Queensland have been amazed with the arrest of two men in relation to the disappearance of Barbara McCulkin and her two daughters in 1974. This 40 year old cold case suddenly appears close to having a solution.  One line of inquiry pursued by Police to explain why Mrs McCulkin and her children were murdered, was that she had valuable knowledge relating to the Whiskey Au Go Go night club bombing. Another person who claimed to have inside knowledge was Billy Stokes.

37 years ago the Sunday Sun Newspaper published a story titled “ON THE RUN IN JAIL”.  Prison officials were forced to transfer an inmate from Boggo Road to Wacol Prison following a confrontation with the Whiskey Au Go Go killer John Andrew Stuart.

In an incredible twist William Stokes, a staunch supporter of Stuart’s innocence turned on Stuart and labelled him as a killer. In February 1975 Billy Stokes published an account of the firebombing of the Whiskey Au Go Go Nightclub in Port News – which he claimed the crime was carried out by a group of criminals known as the “Clock Work Orange Gang”. As editor of this Brisbane publication Stokes used the magazine to publish strongly worded articles supporting the innocence of John Andrew Stuart and James Finch – the two men convicted of the firebombing in which 15 people died.

Hear what Stokes had to say on on Australia’s longest running true crime show “True Crimes” – presented by Jack Sim on 4BC Nights with Walter Williams. Thursday evenings 9.35pm on Radio 4BC.

Posted in: Boggo Road Tales True Crime Stories General Brisbane Crime Tours Jack Sim  

Jack Sim Book Signing at A&R Ipswich

Posted by Jack Sim on 22 October 2014
Want to have a chat or your book signed this weekend? Then come on down to Angus and Robertson Ipswich this Saturday 25th October! I will be there greeting fans and signing books at Angus and Robertson Ipswich.

Come and have a chat and I will personally autograph any of your copies from the Murder Trails Series, Ghost Trails Series, Classic Crime or Boggo Road Gaol series from 10:30am.

I'll also answer your questions about any of the notorious cases from featured in my books, as well as other famous Brisbane Crime Mysteries! Looking forward to seeing you all there this weekend.
Posted in: Brisbane Ghost Stories Boggo Road Tales Toowong Ghost Stories True Crime Stories General Murder Trails Series Jack Sim  

"I AM SURE I FIRED THREE" THE HOLLAND PARK TAXI MURDER (1939)

Posted by Jack Sim on 14 August 2014

This year marks 75 years since Derwent Evans Arkinstall murdered taxi driver Howard Thomas Chambers at Holland Park on Brisbane’s Southside. In June 1939, Brisbane was shocked when it was learnt that the killer was only 18 years of age. An electrician’s apprentice Arkinstall seemed a most unlikely killer. Indeed when interviewed by police soon after his arrest in Bangalow New South Wales where he had fled after committing the crime, he seemingly did not realise the gravity of what he had done: “It was not an accident, and I did not do it deliberately, yet I do not know how I did it. I just took the revolver out of my pocket and fired it.”

 

It was truly a terrible crime. Tom Chambers was a veteran cabbie, 74 years of age. His body was found at Slack’s Creek. He had been shot twice in the back of the head and once in the forehead – to make sure he was dead.

When he appeared in Brisbane Police Court Arkinstall was asked whether he admitted he had fired the shots that had killed Chambers. Cold-bloodedly the youth responded “They say there were only two shots, but I am sure I fired three”.  Arkinstall was found guilty of murder in the Supreme Court soon after.

He would spend 43 years living behind the walls of Boggo Road Gaol becoming Australia’s longest serving prisoner at that time. In “Boggo” he was regarded as a dangerous trouble maker. In 1946 notorious escapologist Arthur Halliday, Arkinstall and Victor Travis staged one of the most daring prison breaks in Australian history. For this he was never trusted again.

His release 31 years ago was controversial. He had only one word for reporters at the time when asked what it was like to be leaving prison – “wonderful”.

The 62 years old had been released to die as a free man.  In this case justice could truly have been said to have been served – prison had claimed the best part of Arkinstall’s life.

Listen to True Crime – every Thursday at 9.30pm on Radio 4BC for this and more crime stories.

Posted in: Boggo Road Tales True Crime Stories General Murder Trails Series Brisbane Crime Tours Jack Sim  
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