Hanging out with the hangman

Today is the anniversary of the death of Robert Rice Howard, the hangman for New South Wales from the 1870s until 1904, who died on 3 February 1906. Listen to Rachel and Alex on 2SER here Less than two years earlier, Howard had given up his post as executioner, and a...

The first woman hanged in Sydney

On 23 November 1789, Ann Davis became the first woman hanged in New South Wales. Listen to Rachel and Alex on 2SER here Davis was, as we would say today, ‘known to police’. In England, Davis (also known as Judith Jones) had been indicted in April 1786 for feloniously...

Order in the Court! The Trial of Two Murderers

In the mid-eighteenth century, the famous London magazine Punch published a short piece on the ever-increasing popularity of true crime stories: We are a trading community—a commercial people. Murder is, doubtless, a very shocking offence; nevertheless, as what is...

The last public hanging at Darlinghurst Gaol

On 21 September 1852, illicit grog dealer, snappy dresser and murderer Francis Green was the last man to be publicly hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol.   Listen to the whole conversation with Rachel and Tess on 2SER here Green (also known as John Brown) was 32 years old...