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Friday, April 08, 2016

Unofficial A-Z Challenge: H Is For Jody Harris, J Is For Audrey Jacob

Today's badly behaved Aussies are both female. Both stories are short, but interesting. 

As I had no I crooks in my book, I'll just mention another G, Frank Gardiner, a bushranger who robbed a gold coach at the Eugowra Rocks in 1862. He was arrested and served time, but ended up being exiled from Australia - the only person ever to suffer this. It's thought he went to San Francisco and opened a saloon. One of the witnesses to the Eugowra robbery was a child, George Burgess. George lived to a ripe old age and many years later he wrote about his adventure. His story inspired my contribution to Ford Street's anthology Rich And Rare(see below for a link)

H is for Jody Harris

Known as Australia's Catch Me If You Can thief, a con artist who was caught in 2006 with 100 drivers' licences, disguises, fake passports, Medicare cards, all the tools of her trade. She was sentenced to four years in jail.

J Is For Audrey Jacob

He was her man and he done her wrong, as the song goes. The quirk of this story, which happened in 1925, is that the killer, Perth girl Audrey Jacob, was seen to shoot her faithless fiancé in public, with hundreds of witnesses, as he was dancing with another woman - and was acquitted after a two day trial.  

He shouldn't have lied to her, the bounder.

If you're enjoying this, check out the Ford Street Publishing site: 


Ford Street is one of Australia's best small presses, specialising in children's and YA books. 

Tomorrow: Jim Kelly
                  Eddie Leonski



2 comments:

Lexa Cain said...

Is it horrible if I think the Jacob story is funny? lol I'm pretty sure I've heard of the other Harris one. I watched a docu-series on con artists in Australia (and several on serial killers - yes, that's my preferred TV programming!). I had no idea about the guy getting exiled from Australia though. Guess he got voted off the island! Thanks for the cool info & have a great weekend. :)

Sue Bursztynski said...

The Jacob story is one of a lot of over-the-top/bizarre ones I used in the book, because kids love wacky stories. There are plenty more where that came from. ;-) It wouldn't happen today, of course. She would have done some jail time. But this was the 1920s and the judge and jury must have felt he had it coming. And no, I don't think it's horrible. The bounder had it coming. ;-)

The Frank Gardiner story is strange. Why him, of all the bushrangers in Australia? It's thought he died in the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. A couple of his American born sons visited around then.

If you like con artists, in the book I tell the story of Murray Beresford Roberts. One of his exploits involved stolen diamonds he'd conned a dealer out of, and excrement... Plenty of serial killers are mentioned too; my poor editor pleaded for me to write something less gruesome!