Posted in 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 StoriesBoggo Road TalesToowong Ghost StoriesTrue Crime StoriesGeneralMurder Trails SeriesJack Sim  


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 TalesTrue Crime StoriesGeneralMurder Trails SeriesBrisbane Crime ToursJack Sim  


Posted by Jack Sim on 25 July 2014
In 1983, Brisbane residents were shocked to read of a campaign to release a forgotten murderer from behind the bars of Boggo Road Jail. Wife killer, Jack Foy 66, was at the time Queensland’s longest serving prisoner. His savage crime, his first and only offense shocked the people of Chermside 24 years earlier.

Out on the “back track” of Number 2 Division at Boggo Road Gaol, a lonely lifer weeded and swept. This elderly figure caused no trouble and longed to hear the sound of birds once again. When asked by a new prison officer what he was in for,  Jack Foy would reply ‘I got life because his wife nagged me’.

Though now a frail crippled old man, on the 18th of June 1959 Jack Foy was a fit, hardworking labourer, well-liked by his neighbours and friends, but also an alcoholic.

The 42 year-old council worker and local handy-man was addicted to drink. He and his wife Lola 41, lived in Kingsmill Street Chermside. Jack was an epileptic and should not have been drinking; a fact Lola reminded him of daily. It seems that her nagging resulted in Jack picking up a tomahawk and striking her in the head. The Foy’s neighbour Mrs Jarvis was horrified when Jack walked over to the fence and handed over his little daughter saying ‘I’ve killed Lola, could you look after the kids and call the Police?’

Foy seemed like an unlikely killer in late 1983 after 25 years in Prison, Jack Foy was released to die as a free man.

When does “life” imprisonment mean for life?

Listen to True Crime – every Thursday at 9.30pm on Radio 4BC for this and more crime stories.
Posted in:Boggo Road TalesTrue Crime StoriesGeneralMurder Trails SeriesBrisbane Crime ToursJack Sim  

Jack Sim on the Australian Story

Posted by Jack Sim on 25 June 2013

Jack Sim features in Australian Story Episode: When Blood Runs Cold about the 1898 Gatton murder mystery. 

Watch now at Australian Story Episode: When Blood Runs Cold

Posted in:True Crime StoriesJack Sim  


Posted by Jack Sim on 1 March 2013

Hello everyone - the stories are true! I'm back at my desk, hard at work planning another year of crime, hauntings & history. I'd like to say I have had a break, but I haven't...I've been in Gaol.

Quite a few of you have contacted me recently wondering whether there was any truth in the rumour that I had been sent to prison over the Christmas period.

Yes, I have been given jail time - and I couldn't be more thrilled!

In early December 2012 the State Government licenced me to operate historic Boggo Road Gaol.

I am proud to have been given this responsibility, and I thank every one of you for supporting my efforts to popularise Brisbane's and our state's history. 

Telling the story of Boggo Road Gaol, managing this important heritage site, and creating a commercially viable tourism business will be a challenge - I strongly believe that the tales of this place need to be told through human beings.

We have created a great family-friendly script called THE HISTORY OF BOGGO ROAD GAOL aimed at all ages. My Ghost Tours have resumed at the old Gaol after 8 years and are just are popular as ever.

For those that do not know, I started running tours at Boggo Road Gaol 15 years ago - both history tours and ghost tours (not that there is any difference).

For nearly eight years I tried to convince the then State Government to let me develop the tourism potential of Boggo Road. There was a general reluctance to enter into any arrangement. Frankly, under the previous Government, all I really had were knockbacks. It was for myself, the public, our staff and supporters an extremely frustrating period. Most people would have quit. In 2005 the Gaol was closed for tours. Initially it was supposed to be only for 18 months - 2 years. A letter from the State Government crushed all hope saying they could not promise we would ever be able to recommence at the Gaol.

The 18months - 2 year window became 7 years. The public were shut out of what was really their property.

Last year we met with the new Government and found a committment to get the Gaol open, and for it to be used.

If you haven't as yet taken one of our tours at the Gaol now is the time to show your support - please visit the website at

My staff and I have made very attempt to work with other stakeholders, but I am determined that the story of Boggo Road Gaol should not be told by prison officers alone. Prisoners have tales to be told as well. The people impacted and affected by Boggo Road Gaol extend outside the walls into the Queensland community and beyond. Every piece of the history of this Gaol is fascinating, and in time I hope to meet expectations and create something positive out of a place whose history was largely bad.

Keep reading!

Jack Sim


Posted in:GeneralJack Sim  
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