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Ned Kelly

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Ned Kelly

Under the Microscope

Edited by:
Craig Cormick   CSIRO

Photographs
296 pages, 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing


    Paperback - 2014
ISBN: 9781486301768 - AU $ 39.95

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Winner of the Collaborative Community Award at the 2015 Victorian Community History Awards.

How do you go about analysing and accurately identifying a skeleton and skull that are more than 130 years old? Ned Kelly: Under the Microscope details what was involved in the 20-month scientific process of identifying the remains of Ned Kelly, with chapters on anthropology, odontology, DNA studies, metallurgical analysis of the gang's armour, and archaeological digs at Pentridge Prison and Glenrowan. It also includes medical analysis of Ned's wounds and a chapter on handwriting analysis — that all lead to the final challenging conclusions.

Illustrated throughout with photographs taken during the forensic investigation, as well as historical images, the book is supplemented with breakout boxes of detailed but little-known facts about Ned Kelly and the gang to make this riveting story a widely appealing read.

Listen to Craig Cormick interviewed on ABC Radio National.

Read an article about Ned Kelly titled 'Ned Kelly Under the Microscope unravels bushranger myths' in The Sydney Morning Herald.

 
 
Watch Craig Cormick interviewed on The Today Show.
 

 

Ned Kelly was hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol on 11 November 1880, and his body buried in the graveyard there. Many stories emerged about his skull being separated and used as a paperweight or trophy, and it was finally put on display at the museum of the Old Melbourne Gaol — until it was stolen in 1978.

It wasn’t only Ned Kelly’s skull that went missing. After the closure of the Old Melbourne Gaol in 1929, the remains of deceased prisoners were exhumed and reinterred in mass graves at Pentridge Prison. The exact location of these graves was unknown until 2002, when the bones of prisoners were uncovered at the Pentridge site during redevelopment. This triggered a larger excavation that in 2009 uncovered many more coffins, and led to the return of the skull and a long scientific process to try to identify and reunite Ned Kelly’s remains.

But how do you go about analysing and accurately identifying a skeleton and skull that are more than 130 years old? Ned Kelly: Under the Microscope details what was involved in the 20-month scientific process of identifying the remains of Ned Kelly, with chapters on anthropology, odontology, DNA studies, metallurgical analysis of the gang's armour, and archaeological digs at Pentridge Prison and Glenrowan. It also includes medical analysis of Ned's wounds and a chapter on handwriting analysis — that all lead to the final challenging conclusions.

Illustrated throughout with photographs taken during the forensic investigation, as well as historical images, the book is supplemented with breakout boxes of detailed but little-known facts about Ned Kelly and the gang to make this riveting story a widely appealing read.

Winner of the Collaborative Community Award at the 2015 Victorian Community History Awards.

 

 
  • The only book to focus on the science of Ned Kelly, it turns over some myths rather than extends them.
  • Chapter contributions by scientists, mainly from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (who carried out the research identifying Ned Kelly's remains) as well as others including Adam Ford (lead archaeologist on the Glenrowan dig) and Jeremy Smith from Heritage Victoria who led the Pentridge Prison excavations.
  • Supplemented with breakout boxes of detailed but little-known facts about Ned Kelly and the gang.
  • Illustrated throughout.
 

 Foreword
Timeline
Preface: Do we really need another Ned Kelly book?
Introduction
List of contributors
Acknowledgements

Chapter 1: The arrival of Ned’s skull
Chapter 2: The identification of Ned Kelly: a historical perspective
Chapter 3: Analysing the skull
Chapter 4: Bringing up the bodies: the search for the lost Pentridge burial ground
Chapter 5: Anthropology: identifying the skeleton by its injuries
Chapter 6: Analysis of the skull using odontology and craniofacial superimposition
Chapter 7: The forensic pathology
Chapter 8: Forensic 3D facial reconstruction
Chapter 9: Turning to the DNA
Chapter 10: Looking after Ned in the mortuary
Chapter 11: Judicial hanging: the injuries and effects
Chapter 12: The prison governor
Chapter 13: Who were the other prisoners executed and buried at the Melbourne Gaol?
Chapter 14: Reading Ned’s head: colonial phrenology, popular science and entertainment
Chapter 15: The science of the Kelly gang’s armour: distilling fact from fiction
Chapter 16: The guns: firearms of the Kelly gang and police
Chapter 17: Ned’s injuries and their treatment: then and now
Chapter 18: Sifting through the past: the archaeological dig at Glenrowan
Chapter 19: The police perspective
Chapter 20: Ned Kelly’s inquisition
Chapter 21: Edward Kelly: the last legal rites
Chapter 22: Analysing the handwriting
Chapter 23: Managing the news: a personal perspective
Chapter 24: The end of a 70-year journey?
Chapter 25: So who has Ned’s head?
Chapter 26: Solving the mystery of the skull

Afterword
Appendix 1: DNA processes
Appendix 2: Metal crystallography
Index
View the full table of contents.

 

 General audience, especially Ned Kelly enthusiasts and those with an interest in forensic science and solving mysteries. 

 "a comprehensive book from CSIRO Publishing, Ned Kelly: Under the Microscope, aims to provide definitive answers to the mysteries of Ned Kelly's life and death, using scientific analysis."
Debra Killalea, Daily Telegraph, Oct 2014

"Fans of forensic science will appreciate the unravelling of long-held beliefs about certain Kelly artifacts through DNA analysis."
Cris Kennedy, Canberra Times, Nov 2014

"Cormick has succeeded in incorporating history, folklore and scientific analysis in his very readable book that will be interesting to both scientists and historians."
Denise Donlon, Historical Records of Australian Science, Vol 26 (2), 216-217
 

 EDITOR:

Craig Cormick is a science communicator and author. He has published over a dozen books on topics ranging from Antarctica to time travel, and his awards include a Queensland Premier's Literary Award and the ACT Book of the Year Award. He works for CSIRO Education and in 2014 was awarded the Unsung Hero of Science Communications Award by the Australian Science Communicators.

CONTRIBUTORS:

The Hon. John Coldrey QC is a retired Justice of the Victorian Supreme Court and chair of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine council. He was Director of Public Prosecutions for Victoria and Director of Legal Services for the Central Land Council in the Northern Territory.

Adam Ford is an experienced archaeologist, television presenter and author. He presents the ABC TV series Who's Been Sleeping In My House? and has just written his first book.

Carlos María Vullo is the Director of the Forensic DNA Laboratory of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), Director of Immunogenetics Laboratory (LIDMO), Córdoba, Argentina.

Chris Briggs is Consultant Forensic Anthropologist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne.

Dadna Hartman leads the Molecular Biology Laboratory at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, specialising in the DNA analysis of compromised samples, and research activities to improve profiling techniques.

David Ranson is the Deputy Director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and an Associate Professor in the Department of Forensic Medicine at Monash University.

Dean Wilson is Reader in Criminology at Plymouth University in the UK. Prior to that he was a senior lecturer in Criminology at Monash University in Melbourne.

Deb Withers' career has spanned most areas of the media, as a journalist, publicist and producer.

Elizabeth Marsden is currently co-manager of the Museum Accreditation Program in Victoria.

Fiona Leahy is Senior Medico-legal Adviser at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Frank McDemott was a member of the Department of Surgery at Monash University's Alfred Hospital from 1964 to 1996. In 1973 he joined the Road Trauma Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and was Victorian Chair from 1982 to 1997.

Gordon J. Thorogood is a solid-state physicist, currently working at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

Helen D. Harris OAM is a professional historian and genealogist, specialising in 19th-century police and criminal records.

Helen McKelvie is the Manager of Medico-legal at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Iain West is the Deputy State Coroner, having been appointed to the position in 1993.

Ian Jones has followed two careers – as a historian and as an award-winning screenwriter, producer and director. He has been a full-time author since 1990. His books include the best-selling biography Ned Kelly: A Short Life, as well as The Fatal Friendship: Ned Kelly, Aaron Sherritt & Joe Byrne.

Jeremy Smith is Heritage Victoria's Senior Archaeologist and has been a member of the Archaeology Advisory Committee of the Heritage Council since 2002.

Jodie Leditschke is Manager of the Forensic Technical Services department at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Lee Franklin works as a real estate valuer with Charter Keck Cramer.

Malcolm Dodd is a full-time senior consultant forensic pathologist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Mark Finnane is ARC Laureate Fellow at Griffith University, where he works in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.

Max Esser is currently Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at Monash University Alfred Hospital.

Noel Woodford is Head of Forensic Pathology Services at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Richard Bassed is a forensic odontologist and is the consultant in charge of identification services at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Robert Clark is the Member for Box Hill and is also the Attorney-General, Minister for Finance and Minister for Industrial Relations in the Victorian government.

Rob Hulls was Attorney-General for Victoria from 1999 to 2010, and during that period held several other ministerial positions. In 2012 Rob was appointed Director of the Centre for Innovative Justice at RMIT University.

Ronn Taylor has, for almost 25 years, been the forensic sculptor to the Victoria Institute of Forensic Medicine and conducted many workshops nationally and overseas.

Soren Blau (PhD) is the Senior Forensic Anthropologist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Stephen Cordner is Professor of Forensic Medicine at Monash University and Director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. He is also Patron of the African Society of Forensic Medicine.

Tahnee Dewhurst is a Senior Forensic Document Examiner with the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department.

Tony Hill was a forensic odontologist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine from 1992 until his untimely death in December 2013.

 

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