Posted in Boggo Road Tales

Classic Crimes with Jack Sim @ Bulimba Library

Posted by Marketing on 13 July 2017
Classic Crimes with Jack Sim @ Bulimba Library

CALL 07 3407 8223 to reserve your spot


Saturday 15th July 2017
10am - 11am
Bulimba Library


Brisbane's infamous "man in black", Jack Sim, walks the shadowy streets of town in search of stories and tales of horrible history. Since childhood, those long years ago, he has been fascinated not by blocks, bikes or cars, but by the stories of the past, especially crime stories, ghost tales and jail birds.
Jack has dedicated his life to preserving the details of things and subjects that we all find both macabre and thrilling. He has published several crime titles, regularly hosts crime and ghost tours around Brisbane and appears on radio 4BC each Monday night for Crime @ Nine.
Join Jack Sim for a thrilling story or two. Bookings essential.



Posted in:Boggo Road TalesTrue Crime StoriesGeneralThe Betty Shanks MurderMurder Trails SeriesKen BlanchBrisbane Crime ToursJack Sim  

Jack Sim talks

Posted by Marketing on 28 February 2017
Jack Sim talks

Join us in welcoming Brisbane's infamous "man in black", Jack Sim to Brisbane Dymocks this March. Jack will share his intimate knowledge of stories of Brisbanes past, especially crime stories, ghost tales and most unscrupulous jail birds.

Jack Sim has dedicated his life to preserving the details of things and subjects that all of us find both macabre and thrilling. Since last century Jack Sim has become an iconic character in SouthernQueensland, seen late at night undertaking his Crime Tours and Ghost Tours, with a collection of other knowledgeable hosts, in historic sites such as Boggo Road Gaol, Toowong Cemetery and South Brisbane Cemetery. His work promoting history and heritage to visitors and locals has been seen in national and international media and documentaries such as Getaway, Extra, and the Seven Network's Great South East. He has strived to gain greater recognition for the value of storytelling and oral history and he has been the longest running operator of ghost tours on mainland Australia.

Jack Sim has also earned himself many fans presenting Crime @ Nine with Walter Williams every Monday evening on radio 4BC (1116am), where he discusses true crime, from Brisbane and international history, some infamous, others long forgotten. As well as a guest on the Paranormal Panel with Tino Pezzimenti from UFO Research Queensland discussing all things paranormal.

Join this dark historian as he strives to undertake us on a journey to the unpleasant side of society, that no-one knew existed or wanted to. This event is free but bookings essential. Books will be available to purchase at the event.


Join our other tour guide on a Crime tour at 8pm

Posted in:Brisbane Ghost StoriesBoggo Road TalesTrue Crime StoriesGeneralMurder Trails SeriesBrisbane Crime ToursJack Sim  


Posted by Marketing on 7 November 2016


Special Event - 17,18, 19 November 2016

Forty-five years ago, when Johnny Cash first came to Australia in March 1971, the "Man in Black" was at the high of his fame. John's passion to play live for his fans led him to come down under on the back of a relentless tour circuit that had criss-crossed the U.S.A.

A little known detail is that John wanted his music to reach everyone - including those inside the worst jail in Australia.
Boggo Road's reputation extended far beyond the Queensland border. The Sunshine State then was regarded as a police state, ruled by Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen and an assembly of corrupt cops and criminals. If there was a place where the sun never shone, it was inside the walls of "Boggo".

So through Boggo's gates strode Johnny Cash, a living legend, somehow given permission to sing to a small hand-picked group of prisoners in the concert hall of No1 Division. No press, no fuss. He played and sung his songs to men serving some of the hardest time in the country including lifers - just a man and his guitar.

The details are scant and hard to verify, as many prison records - such as correspondence from that era - were destroyed long ago. Retired prison officer Bill Eaddows - who sadly has now passed away - recalled that Johnny actually played twice at Boggo in the 1970's - likely '71 and '73 - both times when Cash was touring Australia. Bill was a reliable source of info on Boggo's past - if he said Johnny played at Boggo he did. At this time a strict no photography rule applied inside all prisons so no known pictures exist.

Johnny played Brisbane's Festival Hall on the night of Monday 29 March 1971 - the likely day he visited Boggo and the last show of his Australian Tour before he took off to New Zealand. Brisbane was the fourth city on the tour - beginning in Adelaide, then Melbourne's Festival Hall, then Randwick Racecourse Outdoor Theatre.
Johnny brought his wife June Carter over to Australia along with six members of her famous country singing family, The Carters, her brothers and sisters. Johnny and June's year old baby son John came with them to Australia and together travelled the country in a caravan.

* * *

John was no stranger to hard prisons. Folsom Prison Blues was recorded in 1955. The powerful line 'I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die' followed Johnny everywhere; though many from his songs and he was widely believed to have served hard time himself.
Thirteen years later he recorded it in Folsom State Prison on 13 January 1968 for his live album At Folsom Prison. Then, as now, Folsom was regarded as one of the most notorious prisons in California.
Johnny returned to prison on 24 February 1969 and recorded Johnny Cash At San Quentin. Located across San Francisco Bay, it is one of the state's most infamous penitentiaries.
Johnny did know what it was like to walk the line - in the 1960s he was addicted to drugs and ended up (briefly) in jail himself. As he was quoted in the Australian Women's Weekly in 1971 - 'I feel a kinship with those fellows. I know how lonely they feel, how lonely they are.'

On the back of his prison albums popularity Johnny was frequently invited to play at various  U.S. prisons by officials. John was a passionate advocate for civil rights. By the early 1970s he was the most well-known advocate for reform of prisons. Like Jesus whose life Johnny deeply respected, he used his position to try to do some good. Somehow, according to Bill, Cash ended up at Boggo Road.
It is doubtful many of the prisoners who attended knew they were about to see Johnny Cash. It would not have been telegraphed. And it would have had to have been organised well in advance. A former prisoner at Boggo said he believed Johnny had been corresponding with a prisoner.

This fits a pattern for Cash - quietly visiting prisons in the countries he went on tour - more than 20 operating prisons, some say 30 - including some in Sweden and Germany - were visited by Johnny. At each he played to inmates, some of whose letters he responded to.

However things went awry for Cash in March 1973 - the second time he is said to have visited Boggo, again while on tour. There was some unspecified trouble, prisoners started to argue - over what no-one knows - and before he could finish his set John was apparently unceremoniously put out the gates - his guitar was thrown out after him. In no uncertain terms the Man in Black was told don't ever come back.
As far as we are aware he never did. However Johnny Cash continued to draw attention to the dark issues surrounding incarceration for the rest of his career.

As part of his national Far From Folsom concert Australian rock legend Tex Perkins has played at some of Australia's darkest historic prison sites, replaying At Folsom Prison in its entirity bringing Johnny Cash's music to new, and old audiences - relaying his messages of hope in the dark, and that from bad, good can grow.
Far From Folsom has included concerts at Port Arthur, Old Melbourne Gaol , Adelaide Gaol and Freemantle Prison - ending at the only Australian prison John is known to have played at.
For Further reading

BCC Journalist Danny Robins explored the impact Johnny Cash had on prison reform in his article to be found here:

Posted in:Boggo Road TalesGeneralJack Sim  

Jack Sim Book Signing at Dymocks Carindale

Posted on 22 December 2014

On Tuesday 23rd December 2014, Jack Sim will be greeting fans and signing his books at Dymocks Carindale for Christmas.

Come and chat with Jack Sim and Jack will personally autograph any of your copies from the Murder Trails Series, Ghost Trails Series, Classic Crime or Boggo Road Gaol series from 5:30pm until late for the late night shopping this Christmas!

Jack will be also be available to answer your questions about any of the notorious cases from his books, as well as other famous Brisbane Crime Mysteries.

So come on down to Dymocks Carindale on the late night shopping and see Jack for his Christmas book signing!

Venue: Dymocks Carindale
Starting: 5:30 PM
Tuesday 23rd December 2014
Ending: 11:00 PM
Phone Enquiries: 33447264
Posted in:Brisbane Ghost StoriesBoggo Road TalesToowong Ghost StoriesTrue Crime StoriesMurder Trails SeriesBrisbane Crime ToursJack Sim  


Posted on 18 December 2014
Charters Towers, a beautiful outback town South West of Townsville was once a thriving Gold Rush town, the second largest city outside of Brisbane. As the gold dried up, mining became uneconomic, Charters Towers population slowly declined, but the stunning old buildings and ghosts remained.

On the outskirts of Charters Towers sits what the locals call "the old cemetery", the Lynd Highway Cemetery was established in 1895. This bleak, barren and dead flat cemetery is bordered by a well maintained cast iron perimeter fence and charming front gate.  It is the resting place for a number of interesting local characters including Jupiter Mossman who, as the local lore has it, was one of the party that discovered gold in Charters Towers; Doctor Leonard Redmond who discovered Australian Dengue Fever; Frederick Pfeiffer, owner of the rich Day Dawn PC Mine and James Kenniff who was the last bushranger in Queensland.

James and his older brother Patrick were expert horsemen who made a living by horse stealing a very serious crime.

They were wanted in connection to the theft of a horse. A police constable, Aboriginal tracker and station master pursued the brothers for several days through hard, mountainous country in Western Queensland. Surprising Patrick and his brother James they managed to overpower and arrest them both. As the tracker was sent to get handcuffs from the constable's packhorse, gunshots rang out and the tracker ran for his life.

A later search found the constable's horse wandering through the scrub and the burnt remains of the constable and station master.  The brothers were tracked down again and following a shootout, both were captured and tried for murder.

Throughout the trial Patrick maintained his innocence and was denied the right to appeal to the Privy Council in London, by the judge Samuel Griffith. Though there was public shock and outcry, the Queensland Government seemed to be determined to see him hang.

Patrick was sent to the Gallows of Boggo Road Gaol, protesting his innocence to the very last. His final chilling words were saved for one man, the Chief Justice, now Sir Samuel Griffith: "I am as innocent as the judge who sentenced me."

James's life was spared, but he was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. Being released in 1914, he refused visitors and lived out his life alone. Some say he was the one who pulled the trigger. He took the secret to his grave in Charters Towers.

Hear about this amazing story 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.

Visit the grave of Patrick Kenniff on a South Brisbane Cemetery Ghost Tour

Posted in:Boggo Road TalesTrue Crime StoriesGeneral  
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