Brutality at Birch Grove

Research on the epitaph on a tombstone in Sydney’s old Devonshire Street Cemetery led to the shocking story of the deaths of Samuel Bradley, 59, and his wife Esther, 65, who were brutally murdered at their home in Birch Grove on 15 August 1822. Listen to Rachel...

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...

Sydney’s Oldest Unsolved Murders

When people talk about the convicts sent to Australia across the early years of colonisation, there are two dominant stories that emerge. There’s the story of the unjustly treated convict: driven, by poverty, to steal basic supplies such as clothing and food to...

Australia’s first serial killer

This week on 2SER Breakfast, Tess talked to Dr Rachel Franks about the ‘al-fresco murderer’ Frank Butler, who was possibly Australia’s first serial killer. Listen to Rachel and Tess on 2SER here Of all the different types of criminals, it’s the...

Murder most foul: the Sussex Street Mystery

This week on 2SER Breakfast, the Dictionary’s special guest Dr Catie Gilchrist talked to Tess about one of the stories she’s come across during her work as a Fellow at the State Library of New South Wales into colonial coroner’s inquests. The Sussex...