Did Ellen Thomson kill her husband, or was she unfairly executed?
But did she receive a fair trial, and did she deserve the ultimate punishment? Author Vashti Farrer’s latest book reveals a tropical Queensland alive with goldrush excitement, and the hard lives of pioneering communities in Port Douglas, from English immigrants to Chinese settlers, all looking to make a better life. Into this world stepped a young widow, Ellen Thomson, who married an older farmer, Billy Thomson.
?After many years of working the farm on the Mossman River together, on the night of 22 October 1886, Billy Thomson was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. What happened?
VASHTI FARRER was fascinated by the story of Ellen Thomson after stumbling upon her story in the museum at Port Douglas. Initially Vashti wanted to write a novel, weaving the perspectives of Ellen, her lover and her husband, but instead has created a wonderful work of non-fiction set in the historical and social context of the times.Beyond a reasonable doubt outlines events of that fateful night, the subsequent trial and executions and gives a fascinating insight into life at the time. It also raises the question, was Ellen Thomson guilty beyond reasonable doubt?
Jack Sim will be speaking with Vashti on 4BC True Crimes November 20th at 9.35pm.
You can purchase Beyond a reasonable doubt at the Boggo Road Gaol shop. Join Ghost Tours Pty Ltd on a ghost tour within the walls of Boggo Road Gaol and hear the story of Ellen Thomson.
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