Posted in Boggo Road Tales

Fish in Prison

Posted on 4 December 2014
Fish in Prison
In the 1980s Boggo Road Gaol was constantly in the headlines. It became a place of riots, hunger strikes and rooftop protests. Many of the prisoners were prepared to starve themselves and even die to tell the world that Boggo Road Gaol needed to go. Within No.2 Division, cells had no toilets and running water, food was inadequate, and prisoners were often treated harshly. Compared to the rest of Australia, it was like going back a century.

Over the years there were many riots and protests leading up to the closure of Boggo Road Gaol. In 1983 rioters took over and destroyed the Industrial Division, damaging cells to the point they were uninhabitable for six months. They rioted in D Wing, burning their sanitation tubs, urinating and dropping burning debris on the fire brigade and officers as they attempted to subdue the inmates.

Finally the authorities started to take notice and in 1986, construction of three new prisons was granted and work began to build the Wacol HM Brisbane Industrial Prison, HM Prison Chewko and Borallon Prison. In 1988 the Cabinet commissioned Mr Jim Kennedy to review the corrective services in Queensland, bringing about the closure of Boggo Road Gaol, with No.2 Division being closed in 1989.

Glen Fish, a former prisoner at Boggo Road Gaol during the 1980s witnessed firsthand the chaos within the red brick walls: being crammed in exercise yards with 30 other men, the brutal bashing's and hunger strikes. On 4BC TRUE CRIMES Jack Sim will be discussing this tumultuous time in the Prisons history and the closure of Boggo Road Gaol.

Listen to this fascinating story and more on Australias 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 General  

DUPED BY A CON.WOMAN : Gladys Hardgrave (1935)

Posted by Jack Sim on 24 November 2014

On the 24th of February 1935 The Truth Newspaper reported that Gladys Hardgrave was found guilty of astute confidence tricks, after a dramatic legal fight. This short, slim woman with tear brimmed sparkling blue eyes stood weeping as she was sentenced to 37 weeks imprisonment. As she was led to the watch house cells she murmured "to think it has come to this".


At large in Queensland for little over a month, Gladys Hardgrave posed as a gentlewoman, robbing businesses in Brisbane, Caboolture and Southport of more than £123 (roughly $10,670). She was revealed to be a clever swindler, tricking over 7 stores, banks and business people, purchasing shoes, hotel rooms, clothing, handing them boomerang cheques and simply walking away with goods and money. Dud cheques fell like autumn leaves.

The C.I.B. Branch started their investigation, Detective acting Sergeant "Nobby" Clark, Detective Currey and Purcel were assigned to the task of catching this fraud.  They found her in one of the leading hotels in Sandgate, posing as a wealthy widow, with a trained nurse to attend to her 17 month old daughter.

When arrested, Gladys was wild and uncaring, but after hours in court she began to weep with her head bowed. She told detectives her crimes were committed in order to live well and look after her baby.
Posted in: Boggo Road Tales True Crime Stories General Jack Sim  

Did Ellen Thomson kill her husband, or was she unfairly executed?

Posted by Jack Sim on 19 November 2014
At 8 o’clock on Monday morning, 13 June 1887, Ellen Thomson was hanged at Her Majesty’s Brisbane Gaol for the murder of her husband. She is the only woman to be executed under Queensland law and on the gallows of Boggo Road Gaol.

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.


http://www.boggorodgaol.com 

https://bookings.ghost-tours.com.au/products.asp?Category_ID=369

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

SBS Documentary "The End Of The Road"

Posted by Jack Sim on 12 November 2014
Boggo Road Gaol Pty presents "The end of the Road" produced Andy Parke - the story of the rooftop protests and riots in 1988 in which 5 desperate prisoners managed to cause the closure of Boggo Road Gaol.

The men's demands to close No.2 Division (today the only remaining portion) forced the Queensland government to hold an inquiry into the entire prison system.

This documentary captures the tension and intense national interest at the time and includes interviews with some of the key players including former Premier Russell Cooper and hunger striker Mark Flewell-Smith.


This documentary will air tomorrow (Thursday 12th November) night at 7.30pm EST on The Feed on SBS2. There are some repeats, please check local guides for details.

After it airs, it will be online here for you to veiw: https://www.youtube.com/user/SBS2Australia/featured.
Posted in: Boggo Road Tales General 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  
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