|Malanda Hotel, one of the last places Kelly was seen, the day before leaving the district. Eacham Historical Society n.d., NQ Photographic Collection ID 14368|
|It might have been a train like this that Kelly hoped to "jump", at nearby Aloomba. Wilson Album, NQ Photographic Collection ID 1618|
Was the likeable, good-natured Kelly capable of such a savage act? Could he have been provoked into murder by the irascible Walter? Had he acted in self-defence against his mate who owned the gun found in the hut? Was he, as some suggested, fleeing a third man – someone who had already killed Walter? With no known motive, no murder weapon and the disappearance of the chief suspect, it is small wonder that this crime became a source of fascination across the country.
Bill Johnston’s meticulous recreation of events, compiled from court records and newspaper reports, is packed with detail creating a prosaic but surprisingly intimate portrait of life in the scattered Tableland farms and communities on the brink of the Great Depression.