23 December 2014

Lingering Doubts - Merry Christmas Henry Keogh and Dr Bob Moles!!

Read about Henry Keogh's release on bail
Dr Bob Moles has been a staunch supporter of Henry Keogh, as he is for others who have been jailed as a result of flawed forensic evidence. 
 Click to read

From the Australian
Robert Moles, legal academic and supporter of Mr Keogh and Bromley, called on the South Australian government to set up a forensic review panel to identify any cases that may need to be reviewed as a result of the Keogh decision.
“The government needs to get on the front foot here and help to identify any defective cases,’’ he said. “If there have been problems, why not set up the review panel which would have the power to refer things back to the courts?”
Dr Moles said a review panel would be an efficient alternative to a royal commission into the state’s forensic pathology service.
To read more about Dr Bob Moles, including his analysis of Lingering Doubts, see the 'reader reviews' page and click on our previous 2014 posts dated: 26 March, 5 April, 9 June, 20 July, 22 & 23 August, 11 September, 7 October.
Imagine, if you will, being jailed for 20 years for a crime you didn't commit?
Deb and Jan

22 December 2014

Lingering Doubts - the first year of publication

A lovely surprise when these certificates arrived today from the State Library of Queensland. Although Lingering Doubts didn't win, to have our grandfather's story recognised and shortlisted was for us the ultimate reward. We wholeheartedly congratulate the People's Choice winner, Kellee Slater (How to do a liver transplant: Stories from my surgical life) and we thank most sincerely all family, friends and supporters who voted for us.
For two previously unknown authors, these SLQ certificates are the finishing touch to what has been an unforgettable year. Many people - from Charleville to Maroochydore and down to Victoria - are now informed about the true facts behind Brisbane's 1947 'Arcade Murder'. We have travelled far and wide speaking and presenting this story and copies of our book are now with the libraries of the Qld. Police Service and Supreme Court. 
Lingering Doubts was launched in March 2014 at the Regatta Hotel (click on the pages above to see more about the launch and the family's connection to this landmark hotel). Our publishers John, Lily and Beth McRobert ensured this was an event we would always remember. Veteran investigative reporter and author, Bob Bottom OAM, travelled from NSW to be our guest speaker, addressing approx. 240 guests. But the real highlight of the evening was the fact that the two surviving children of Reg Brown, Ian (Deb's 86 year old Dad) and Val (Jan's 85 year old Mum) were able to be present. They waited many years for the release of our book and during this time had suffered various health problems. But nothing would keep them from the launch of Lingering Doubts
Just four months later Ian required urgent heart surgery. Tragically during or after this procedure he suffered a major stroke which prevented him returning home and to his fiercely independent way of life. Both Ian and his wife (Deb's Mum) have now reluctantly moved into a care facility. All the readers of Lingering Doubts feel they know Ian and Val personally and many have expressed their sadness at this turn of events. Ian continues to grieve for his home, no doubt just as his father, from behind the bars of a prison cell, grieved for his.
Thank you for your kind thoughts and to all the people who have, in so many ways, supported us and our book Lingering Doubts.
Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and happy New Year.

Deb and Jan

11 December 2014

Lingering Doubts - Memories of Police Commissioner Frank Bischof

Every time we present Reg Brown's case to the public, members of the audience approach us with their own stories of Frank Bischof. It seems there was no limit to what this man was capable of -  both in a personal and official capacity. How frightening to think an individual, backed by the might of the law, wielded so much power; not only in Brisbane but across Queensland.
We have often reflected on the words of a former senior police officer: 
 'your grandfather would've been like a lamb to slaughter at the hands of Bischof and Kerr'.
Sincere thanks to the St Lucia and Taringa History Groups for inviting us, including Val, Jan's Mum, to share the story behind Lingering Doubts
Deb and Jan

4 December 2014

Lingering Doubts - Grandfather's Story Returns to his Former Neighbourhood

We consider this coming Saturday to be a very special day - another milestone on this incredible journey - when we present our grandfather's story to members of the St Lucia and Taringa Historical Societies. These suburbs in Brisbane's west were home to Reginald Wingfield Spence Brown and his family. Firstly, Stanley Terrace, Taringa, where Reg and his sisters grew up.
 His second and last address was Ryan's Road, St Lucia, where Reg Brown and wife Eva (Cocks) raised their three children. Reg lived there with his family for 25 years before he was  arrested for murder on 11 January, 1947. On 11 March that same year he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Bronia Armstrong was the young woman who died in mysterious circumstances. Bronia had lived with her family on Prospect Terrace, known then as South Toowong.
Not only were the Armstrong and Brown children friends, Bronia was Reg Brown's typist at the BAFS Medical Institute on the upper level floor of the Wallace Bishop Arcade. It really is a terribly sad story.
Valerie (Jan's Mum) will accompany us on Saturday. She now musters all her courage to speak about the devastating event that changed her young life forever, an event she had kept  secret for over 60 years, prior to the publication of Lingering Doubts.
Deb and Jan

21 November 2014

Shortlisted - The Courier-Mail 2014 People's Choice Award

Photo: We are very excited to announce the shortlist for The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award 2014.  Congratulations to all the outstanding Queensland authors on the list. 

• My Brother, But One, T.M.Clark - Author
• Walking on Trampolines, Frances Whiting: Author
• My Island Homicide, Catherine Titasey 
• Atomic City, Sally Breen 
• Jacks and Jokers, Matthew Condon 
• Lingering Doubts: Going Inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder, Deb Drummond and Janice Teunis 
• How to do a liver transplant: Stories from my surgical life, Kellee Slater
• The Power of Bones, Keelen Mailman

You get to decide who the winner will be. Vote now for your favourite book http://qldliteraryawards.org.au/about/peoples-choice

A thrill and an honour!!
To our readers and to all who may have voted for Lingering Doubts - a most sincere thank you.
Your support is greatly appreciated,
Deb and Jan
ps voting closes at 5 pm today

19 November 2014

Lingering Doubts - Brisbane History

"Brisbane History West is an initiative of the St Lucia History Group, Indooroopilly & District Historical Society, Kenmore and District Historical Society, Oxley to Chelmer History Group, Taringa History Group,  Toowong and District Historical Society and the Toowong History Group.

The intent of this collaboration is to provide a platform to raise community awareness and participation in the study and recording of local history, showcase current research and assist with queries...."

The above introduction is taken directly from the Brisbane History West website.
Deb and Jan

Launch of QWC Books from our Backyard 2013 - Lingering Doubts

Queensland Writers Centre's photo.
l - r Ray Drummond, Deb Drummond (Lingering Doubts), David Gilchrist (Life in the Saddle), Ray Clarke (Hannah)

13 November 2014

The Courier-Mail 2014 People's Choice - Shortlisted Authors on ABC Sunshine Coast

Yesterday we were interviewed on ABC radio Sunshine Coast 90.3 FM. Our sincere thanks to Mary-Lou for granting us this opportunity to speak about Lingering Doubts and the reason why we wrote our book.
Listen to interview with Mary-Lou Stephens
Deb and Jan

9 November 2014

Lingering Doubts - Going inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder - Where to buy?

We are very pleased to advise that the Queensland State Library Bookshop now stocks copies of Lingering Doubts. Our book can now be purchased at the following outlets:
  • Annie's Books on Peregian, Peregian Beach
  • Avid Reader, West End
  • Black Cat Books, LaTrobe Terrace, Paddington 
  • Books of Buderim, 82 Burnett Street, Buderim
  • Mary Ryan's, Park Road, Milton
  • Nook and Cranny, Goondiwindi                                                               
  • Paddington Antique Centre, Stall 12
  • Pulp Fiction Books, 144 Adelaide Street, Brisbane
  • Riverbend Books, Bulimba
  • St. George Newsagency, St George
  • State Library Bookshop, SLQ, South Bank
  • The Book Bank, Jephson Street, Toowong
  • The River Read, Noosaville

Or to buy now click 'Buy the Book' to the top right of the screen 
Lingering Doubts 
Deb and Jan

6 November 2014

Emma Jay - Lingering Doubts web designer

A few words about Emma Jay - the lovely lady who created and continually improves the Lingering Doubts site:
Although Emma is a technical whiz, she is also a photographer, an artist, with a deep appreciation of natural beauty and balance.  Emma is, at the same time, fastidious, creative and insightful as we're sure you will appreciate when you explore the page titles displayed above. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts Emma, for our website, but also for the passion you've brought to this campaign to give our grandfather a voice.

If anyone wishes to contact Emma to discuss possible web designs please feel free to pass on a message to Emma via the email address attached to this website.
Deb and Jan

30 October 2014

Lingering Doubts shortlisted for The Courier-Mail 2014 People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

We (and our family) are absolutely over the moon! Our grandfather, Reginald Wingfield Spence Brown, a former St. Lucia resident, finally has a voice  - 67 years after his arrest for murder, sentence of life imprisonment and death in Boggo Road Gaol. 

We are also extremely honoured to be in the company of such esteemed and seasoned authors.
As always we sincerely thank everyone who has supported us on this long journey. We also thank our readers and the many people who have expressed their opinion that this was indeed a gross miscarriage of justice orchestrated by Detective Frank Bischof and the 1947 judicial system.

To see the books on the shortlist and cast your vote please see the link below.

The Courier-Mail 2014 People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Deb and Jan

26 October 2014

The Book Bank stocks Lingering Doubts - Going inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder

The Book Bank has recently re-located from Toowong Village to their spacious new outlet at 48 Jephson Street, Toowong. The Book Bank has also just sold their 20th copy of Lingering Doubts!

It was always important to us that the facts behind our grandfather's arrest would, one day, reach residents from Brisbane's Toowong, St Lucia and Taringa. Reg Brown grew up on Stanley Terrace and, once married, he and his family called St Lucia home. Our grandmother's parents were pioneers of Toowong and their iconic grocery store, Cocks & Sons, forms part of Toowong's history. (see The Cocks Family Tree published by Toowong and District Historical Society).

Lingering Doubts exists to give our grandfather a voice, something denied him, from the moment he was arrested by Brisbane detectives, Stewie Kerr (later Comptroller-General of Prisons) and Frank Bischof (later Police Commissioner).

Deb and Jan

21 October 2014

Lingering Doubts at Pathways Wellness Centre

Please click here to see details of our November 15 author event at Pathways Wellness Centre, Ocean Street, Maroochydore. This event is hosted by the Sunshine Coast Literary Assoc. Inc.

Deb and Jan

17 October 2014

Sunshine Coast Literary Assoc. presents Lingering Doubts - Going inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder

Sunshine Coast Literary Assoc. will be presenting our upcoming author discussion on Saturday 15 Nov.

Pathways Wellness Centre - 7 Ocean Street, Maroochydore

For further details please click the above link or
ph Alison Quigley, secretary SCLA, on 07 5445 1479 or 0414 237 586. 

Deb's family are long time residents of the Sunshine Coast and we are very pleased to be taking our grandfather's story to this beautiful part of Queensland.

7 October 2014

Dr Bob Moles - a speaker at Miscarriages of Justice Symposium - Flinders University

Professor Kent Roach of Toronto University will be the Keynote Speaker at the Symposium being held by Flinders University on 7-8 November 2014.
South Australia has recently introduced a new statutory right of appeal to allow for second or further appeals in criminal cases. It is the first major change to the criminal appeal rights in Australia for over 100 years. But have they got it right?

The first major case under this new right of appeal is currently being considered by the South Australian Court of Criminal Appeal in R v Keogh. The appeal has been heard and the decision reserved.

Tasmania has announced an intention to introduce its own statutory change to the appeal rights. The Shadow Attorney-General has said they should consider improvements over the South Australian amendment. http://netk.net.au/TasmaniaHome.asp

Should we be considering a Criminal Review Commission as they have in the UK? They have overturned some 360 convictions over the last 16 years. No doubt there are many other issues to be discussed. 

We hope that you might be able to join in the discussion at this important stage.  
For any queries about organisation, accommodation or payments, please contact:
Olivia Thomas olivia.thomas@flinders.edu.au

Robert N Moles
Networked Knowledge
Phone: 08 8270 6524
Mobile: 0405 10 6524
Special upcoming conference on miscarriages of justice 7-8 November 2014 Flinders University

19 September 2014

Lingering Doubts in My Town Magazine

Please click here  to read the great article penned by Breanda Cross as she reflects on the 2014 Sandcliffe Writers Festival.
Deb and Jan

11 September 2014

Analysis of Lingering Doubts by Dr Bob Moles

Networked Knowledge Book Reviews
Networked Knowledge Book Reviews Homepage
This review and page set up by Dr Robert N Moles
Deb Drummond and Janice Teunis, Lingering Doubts – Going inside Brisbane’s Arcade
Copyright Publishing (2013) ISBN 978-1-921452 01 7 262pp

This is a book which has all of the classic ingredients of a “miscarriage of justice” case. The death of a young girl in the most appalling circumstances. The understandable public alarm and outrage in the media. The very quick identification and apprehension of the suspect, sufficient to restore public confidence in the agencies of law and order. The question is, of course, were those handling the investigation too quick off the mark?

Bronia Armstrong, nineteen years of age, was found dead at an office in the centre of Brisbane in January 1947. It was one of the rooms connected to the health practice where she worked as a receptionist. Her immediate boss was Reg Brown who was subsequently convicted of her murder.

The analysis in this book has been compiled by his descendants. It has all of the surreal qualities of other miscarriages of justice including those of Lindy Chamberlain, Edward Splatt, David Szach and Sue Neill-Fraser. The first two have already been recognised as miscarriages of justice, and I am confident that the other two will be in due course. The common feature is that in each case, a person without any record of previous violence, suddenly engages in the most appalling acts in taking the life of another – in most cases someone close to them. Soon after, the alleged perpetrator is seen acting perfectly “normally”. The police, of course, would say that it just goes to show how devious and wicked the person is or was. The other explanation is that they got the wrong person. Reg Brown was by all accounts (he was an accountant) a peaceful and family-loving man. Conservative, hard-working and part of Brisbane’s comfortable middle-class. He was the manager / accountant at a health service centre in town. Bronia Armstrong was his assistant, and a good friend of Reg’s son Ian. Reg said he’d always treated her as a daughter. (p29)

One day, Bronia’s body is found on the floor of one of the consulting rooms at the health practice. Reg had only that morning reported to the police that he’d been attacked the previous evening by some hoodlums in the street near his office. His hands had various cuts and bruises to them which could indicate possible bite marks.

When the police turned up to the scene of the murder, and (literally) looked around for a convenient suspect, there was Reg with bruised fingernails and bits of skin off his hand. The love and support of one’s fellow human beings can be a very fickle thing. “In the space of a few hours Reg Brown’s lifetime of good character was deemed inconsequential. He was suddenly labelled a liar and a murderer and people he was barely acquainted with arrived at the [police station] prepared to vilify him.” (p35) Immediately, Reg was transposed by the media into someone who was smug, sure of himself and slightly sleazy (p20). The fact that Bronia had been outwardly friendly to Reg and his family and had visited them at their home would now be overlooked. (p88)

Reg suffered from a number of flaws common to people in such cases. He disliked injustice (p45) and believed that being innocent and trusting in the legal system, would lead to a correct result. When first asked to go with the police in relation to their inquiries, Reg tried to reassure everyone by saying “it’s all a mistake, it will soon be sorted out”. (p49) The alarm bells should ring when the authors note that all of the police evidence was handed to them on the first day of the investigation and throughout all the subsequent inquiries, nothing further occurred to encourage them to alter their line of inquiry to any significant degree. (p187) With the experience of significant numbers of wrongful convictions, the phenomenon is called “tunnel vision”.

There are a number of other common factors. The police, being confident that they have identified the perpetrator of an unforgivable act, show no sympathy. In this case the police were described as “intimidating and harsh” (p48)

Sometimes they can be over confident and slack about following “proper” procedures. One policeman gave evidence about lengthy interviews with the accused and was able to recite them in detail, without notes - or with rough notes “not presented at trial”. (p25) Why would they follow up other leads, when they have the perpetrator in custody? The book records that the alibi of another person of interest was taken at face value (p84) and that another wasn’t even asked for an alibi (p129). It also appears that other evidence inconvenient to the prosecution case was either overlooked or not pursued. (pp71, 86) It is often the experience with such cases where police have strong suspicions but very little evidence that a convenient informant materialises. In this case, there was a convenient “eyewitness” to inform police about Reg’s prior inappropriate behaviour with the deceased girl. (p91) Another one of the convenient witnesses appeared to have been given certain benefits by the state. (p163)

Another common problem is the fact that forensic procedures may often be incomplete or inappropriate. In this case, some of the forensic evidence had been thrown away after the initial forensic tests had been done. (p65) The forensic examination at the scene was incomplete (the failure to take temperatures) and key pieces of evidence which did not fit the crime scene were “overlooked”. In this case it was the presence of ants on the body which might have indicated that the body had been moved. (p97) There also appeared to be inconsistencies between the injuries to the accused and the lack of injuries to the deceased. (p99) Indeed, it seems the police were keen to ensure that no further testing was carried out on some of the crime scene items. (p101) Sometimes presumptive tests were used without follow-up confirmatory testing. (pp101, 103)

By the time much of this evidence comes to be put before the public in the trial, it may seem almost rude to suggest that everything has not been done properly. In those days, before the comfort of television, people were keen to get out and see what was happening. The authors say that in this case Reg was confronted with huge crowds which turned out to see the public enemy. Here, some 300 people waited in the hot sun for hours to get into the court. (p61) The Crown prosecutor’s zeal (p136) may no doubt help to explain why proper rules of evidence and procedure were not followed. One of the prosecution police witnesses was described by a senior officer as a “near expert” which means that his opinion evidence should have been held to be inadmissible. (p140) The legal position is that only “real experts” can give opinion evidence in such cases.

In this case even witnesses, without any pretence to expertise, were allowed to express opinions about where certain noises had come from, and their evidence was contaminated by the way in which it was elicited by showing them around the scene. (p150) As the authors state, it was clear that the detectives had led the witnesses to make false assumptions. (p152) The evidence of one “witness” was referred to by the prosecution without that person ever being produced in court. (p176) Inappropriate fingerprint “evidence” was described by the examiner as insufficient to be used in court – but it was. (p142)

The authors say that the failure of the defence lawyers to object to this was puzzling. (p177) They also observe that sometimes the defence did not pursue appropriate lines of inquiry. (p130) Such reticence on the part of defence lawyers is a common feature in such cases. As Reg found to his cost, with the benefit of hindsight, the most trivial of everyday incidents can be turned against him and will be seen to be more dubious. (p116) Reg, every time he opened his mouth, was labelled a liar. (p183)

The outcome was predictable if deeply regrettable. Throughout, Reg stuck to his belief that truth would prevail over adversity. (p190) Despite that, Reg was convicted of this heinous offence and sentenced to life with hard labour. Many of the police officers involved in the case were given letters of commendation or other prizes for their “devotion to duty”. Some went on to obtain high office and some of them along with others were subsequently found to be guilty of corruption.

The final twist in the tail is when we learn that Reg (or someone on his behalf) took his life - by hanging in his prison cell - barely a week after he was convicted. There is no doubt that such cases are the working out in real life of the old good vs evil stories. Police investigators, prosecutors and even members of the public can excuse the lack of attention to detail or the failure to follow proper procedures, because of the wickedness of the crime and the obvious evil involved.

But what if, as the authors suggest, the lack of attention to detail in the investigation and prosecution, means that the wrong person was convicted? Then, of course, we haven’t corrected a social wrong, but perpetrated another, maybe as bad as the original crime itself. Then of course the inevitable question arises. Is it better to “put things right” or to “let sleeping dogs lie”. On many occasions, the authors recognised that “an inconvenient truth” can be very troublesome to those (sometimes including themselves) who may not wish to hear it. I believe them when they say that they were “seeking the truth” whichever way it was to come out. They have provided compelling reasons to suggest that this was in fact a serious miscarriage of justice. In terms of legal procedures, it is never too late to put things right. There have been many other cases where people brought appeals long after their cases were thought to have been finally determined. Throughout the cases (UK and Australian) there are constant references to the need to maintain confidence in our criminal justice system and in our system of appeals.

On 16 September 2012 it was reported in Victoria that the case of John Bryan Kerr who had been convicted of murder in 1949 had been reopened after another person recently confessed to the crime: “Police expected to contact the Office of Public Prosecutions for the John Bryan Kerr conviction to be reviewed.” The article also reported that: “In 2006 an appeal for mercy was made to Victoria’s Chief Justice in the case of Colin Ross, hanged over the notorious Gun Alley Murder in 1921. In May 2008, Mr Ross was pardoned by the Governor of Victoria.”

In December 2010 it was reported, “Fred McDermott, an itinerant shearer and alcoholic, was convicted in 1947 of the murder of Bill Lavers, an English-born shopkeeper and service station operator at Grenfell, in southern NSW.” It continued, “A hearing begins today in the Court of Criminal Appeal, against a murder conviction, in which the victim has been dead for 74 years—and the accused for 33.” In May 2013 the conviction was set aside and a verdict of acquittal entered.

There have been four cases in the UK where those who were hanged have had their convictions overturned. The authors are to be congratulated for their painstaking work and the clear and balanced presentation of their findings. It is clear that they have worked hard to do what those with legal responsibilities in relation to the case failed to do. It will be interesting to see whether it leads to the conviction being challenged through the courts in due course. I am clearly of the view that it ought to be – although I am well aware of the considerable procedural issues which might stand in the way.

Robert N Moles 1 April 2014

6 September 2014

Bob Bottom speaks out - Des Houghton C-M 6.9.2014

When we discussed our book last Saturday at the Sandcliffe Writers Festival, as we usually do we told the audience about a man who has played a significant role in the publication of Lingering Doubts. We said he had always encouraged us to write our grandfather's story and quoted his exact words 'not just for the sake of your family but in the public interest'. We said how grateful we were to Bob for writing our Foreword and travelling from interstate  to launch our book. We mentioned that Bob had introduced us to our publisher, John McRobert. We also conveyed to the audience that Bob Bottom is an exceptionally brave man explaining how he has put his life on the line to expose criminal activity in our country. Bob, who is more informed than most, has written extensively on organised crime and has initiated some 18 Royal Commission and other inquiries.
 Today in The Courier-Mail Des Houghton describes Bob Bottom as 'Australia's most successful crime buster..' Bob has felt the need to come forward with some strong views.

Read Bob Bottom's opinion by Des Houghton

30 August 2014

Researching and Writing True Crime - Sandcliffe Writers Festival

Many thanks to the staff at the Bracken Ridge Library for hosting our shared presentation today. Steve Bishop's informative albeit disturbing introduction, describing the police culture that once prevailed in Brisbane and in Queensland, led the way for us to tell our grandfather's story. Today we were reminded once again that the pain and suffering caused by past injustices continues to take its toll on families.  A member of the audience approached us with tears in his eyes as he spoke of the abuse and unfair treatment he received at the hands of the justice and penal system 50 years ago.  The trouble is the perpetrators - like Frank Bischof - got away with it.

Thank you also to Cheryl Jorgensen and Adele Moy for their dedication and hard work in organising this year's spectacular Sandcliffe Writers Festival.
From left - Cheryl, Deb, Steve, Janice and Adele

23 August 2014

Dr Bob Moles on 60 Minutes

Information just received from Dr Moles:
Bob Moles has spent some time in Hobart in the last week or two.
The case of Susan Neill-Fraser. This is a shocking miscarriage of justice case:
I met with politicians and media people in Hobart last week.

I hope you find the program to be of interest.
Best wishes,

Dr Bob Moles
Networked Knowledge
Tel 08 8270 6524
Mobile 0405 10 6524
Web: http://netk.net.au
Email: robertnmoles@gmail.com

18 August 2014

Lingering Doubts - Book Review

Our latest reader review! Unfortunately for very good reason the writer must remain anonymous:

I came to "Lingering Doubts" as a sceptic. Instead, I find myself both fascinated and impressed.
Here is old-time Brisbane, twenty years previous to my earliest memories. Deb and Janice have evoked this lost city in loving detail. Few buildings remain today. The rattle of trams, full of people reading the Telegraph, are long vanished. The country town, with its contented and untroubled citizens, has become our bustling metropolis. A thousand small businesses in older buildings have given way to towering skyscrapers where only high-priced companies can find premises.
One of these former places was the rooms of the Brisbane Associated Friendly Society, upstairs at the now vanished Wallace Bishop Arcade. When I was a boy I met a very old Watchmaker who remembered "Old Mr Wallace Bishop" and the superior work he did on watches.
"Lingering Doubts" is no crime novel, featuring strange and wonderful coincidences that require convoluted solution. It is a true tale of Brisbane. It tells of the infamous Frank Bischoff, who was later to become the spectacularly corrupt Police Commissioner of Brisbane. He supervised the murder investigation of pretty young Bronia Armstrong. He weaved his web around mild-mannered accountant Reg Brown, with planted evidence and unsigned and unwitnessed "interview statements". That Reg was known for his steady employment, his good works, his happy marriage, meant nothing. According to Bischoff this man had spent weeks secretly planning to rape and murder his typist right there in the rooms, stowing her body in the back storeroom.
Fantasy featured deeply in Mr Bischoff's life. He led repeated raids on the milk bars and sandwich shops where Bodgies and Widgies gathered, confiscating their clothes and issuing them clean white shirts so they could look like decent people.
The corruption revealed by Queensland's Fitzgerald Enquiry was fully developed by 1947. Planting of evidence was normal practice. Police examined the medical rooms where the body was found. Later that day they came back for further examination, opened the Accountant's desk, and there in a drawer was the murdered girl's necklace. Look, we found a clue! This cunning and secret plotter must have left it there unwittingly.
I do not think we will ever know who killed this teenager. Reginald Brown was convicted. He had worn a hernia truss every day for years, but apparently that didn't prevent him from having his wicked way with the girl. Except, the autopsy showed she died a virgin. The makers of hernia trusses ought to have advertised the miraculous convenience of these devices, which apparently in no way inhibit a man's amorous activity.
I have done a good deal of research into various topics, but I take my hat off to Deb Drummond and Janice Teunis. They have uncovered police documents that never came to the courtroom. They found a still living sitness whom police pretended had never come forward. In fact, his testimony had been literally suppressed. They found detail after detail, document after document. People in their eighties recounted their knowledge of the case. An aged prison guard gave hair-raising accounts of almost unbelievable things that went on in Boggo Road Prison during the 1940s. "Lingering Doubts" is peppered with people like this. This book is easy reading but Deb has a file twice as thick, of back-up documents for every statement in the book, in case other researchers want to look too.
All these characters come to life in the book. The reader is right there among them. Those of us who love Brisbane will know that few books bring to life the 1940s city like this.
Greatly appreciated, Deb and Jan

17 August 2014

Lingering Doubts - Riverbend Books and Teahouse

Lingering Doubts - Going inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder has now been included in Riverbend's Catalogue. Lingering Doubts available at Riverbend Books
Settling down with a cup of tea or coffee and a new book under the trees in this leafy haven... does it get any better than that?? :)
Deb and Jan

8 August 2014

Lingering Doubts to be presented with Steve Bishop

Back home now and looking forward to presenting our grandfather's story alongside Steve Bishop, author of The Most Dangerous Detective - The Outrageous Glen Patrick Hallahan and the Rat Pack at the upcoming Sandcliffe Writers Festival. Saturday's program below:

Saturday 30 August at Bracken Ridge Library, Barrett St. Bracken Ridge
9.30am-11am. Researching and writing true crime stories. Presenters: Deb Drummond, Janice Teunis
and Steve Bishop, followed by question time
10.30am – 12.30pm. Choose your own adventure stories- a writing workshop for upper primary aged children, from ideas to story trees’ with Duncan Richardson, at Bracken Ridge Community Hall next to the library
11.00 – 11.30am: Morning tea
11.30am-12.30pm: In conversation with local writers ‘Aunty’ Ruth Hegarty and Jacqueline Husson,  followed by question time
2.00pm-4.00pm. Making Picture Books a workshop for adults with Peter Carnavas at Bracken Ridge Community Hall next to the library, please bring paper, lead and coloured pencils
2.00pm – 5.00pm. Poetry writing workshop for adults with Samuel Wagan Watson
All  the above author events and workshops are free of charge, but bookings required.
Phone Bracken Ridge Library (open Tues-Sunday) on 366 76060
To see the full weekend's program please click here
Deb and Jan

31 July 2014

Lingering Doubts - Granddaughters speak in S.W. Queensland

We have now shared our grandfather's story with residents of both Cunnamulla and Charleville. Copies of Lingering Doubts - Going inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder sold particularly well in Charleville. Following our presentation of the story orders continued to flow in via our Motel Manager. :)

Thank you to the staff at St George and Cunnamulla Libraries and Charleville's Healthy Ageing Program (every town should have one of these wonderful centres). Older residents who grew up in Brisbane remember the 'Arcade Murder' and expressed their parents' doubt, back in 1947, that Reg Brown was guilty of this crime. We continue to meet fascinating people on this journey. Tomorrow we present Lingering Doubts to patrons of the Mitchell Library.

More photos will soon appear on our facebook page...
Deb and Jan

26 July 2014

Lingering Doubts - pics from SW Qld. speaking tour

Our husbands Ray and John speaking about their Lingering Doubts journey and how they have grown old during this book writing process. :) Photo taken at our second book launch which was held at Delicate in St George. Another wonderful experience. The food and company was superb. Friday was a busy day, St George High School, St George Library event and then our evening launch.

June, the Goondiwindi librarian organised a very successful event. The tour so far has been fabulous. Cunnamulla on Tuesday. For more photos please visit the facebook page.

Deb and Jan

25 July 2014

Reg Brown's story travels far and wide

We are pleased to advise that the Nook and Cranny Book Shop in the extremely friendly and tidy town of Goondiwindi in Queensland's south west now stocks Lingering Doubts - Going inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder.
Deb and Jan

20 July 2014

Lingering Doubts - Miscarriages of Justice Website

The article titled Story of Murder comes to Town published in the Goondiwindi Argus on 9 July 2014,  which promotes our western tour, has been included on Dr Bob Moles' Networked Knowledge website. Click here to read
Dr Bob Moles and his assistants work tirelessly in the name of justice. Bob and his committed team of professionals are currently advocating for Henry Keogh who was convicted of murder and sentenced to a life term with a non-parole period of 25 years. We strongly recommend reading Losing their Grip - the case of Henry Keogh by Robert N. Moles. The wheels turn painfully slow and we wish this committed team and also Henry Keogh the energy and the will to endure.  Our own grandfather was swiftly locked up and virtually gagged prior to his trial. Unbelievably  his notes to his solicitor were confiscated by prison guards. Can you imagine what it must feel like to be accused of, and jailed for, something you didn't do?
Deb and Jan

17 July 2014

Lingering Doubts - Going inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder at Riverbend Books

Copies of Lingering Doubts are now being stocked by Riverbend Books, the lovely bookshop and tea room situated on a leafy Oxford Street corner in Bulimba.
Deb and Jan

12 July 2014

Lingering Doubts - Authors take their story to Queensland's West

Later this month we will take our grandfather's story to south west Queensland. This will be our first long distance speaking tour! Our presentations will commence in Goondiwindi (where Deb lived as a child) and then onto St George where Janice currently lives. From there we'll travel to Cunnamulla and Charleville and  onto Mitchell.  This week an editorial appeared in the Goondiwindi newspaper. It shows the path Reg Brown's son Ian (Deb's father) took in the years following his father's arrest, conviction and death in Boggo Road Gaol. Although Ian never really recovered he was blessed with his father's moral values and strong work ethic.
Story of Murder comes to Town, Goondiwindi Argus
Deb and Jan

9 July 2014

Lingering Doubts - The River Read

As of this week copies of Lingering Doubts can now be purchased from The River Read, the very popular bookshop and cafe in Thomas Street, Noosaville. Many thanks Natalie and Lucinda.
Deb and Jan

5 July 2014

Cousins and authors Deb Drummond & Janice Teunis - Mary Ryan's Milton

Mary Ryan's, Park Road, Milton - thank you to Mary Ryan's staff and to our guests who ventured out on a chilly evening. It was a pleasure to share our grandfather's story with you.

Deb and Jan

30 June 2014

Lingering Doubts - Going inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder - Where to buy?

We are very pleased to advise Lingering Doubts is now available from:
Mary Ryan's, Park Road, Milton
The Book Bank, Top floor, Toowong Village
Black Cat Books, La Trobe Tce., Paddington
Avid Reader, West End
Pulp Fiction Books, 144 Adelaide Street, Brisbane
Annie's Books on Peregian, Peregian Beach
St George Newsagency, St George
website:  www.lingering-doubts.com
Copyright Publishing, National Trust House, William Street, Brisbane
Deb and Jan

27 June 2014

Lingering Doubts - Copyright Publishing

What a splendid old building The Irish Club is! We were there yesterday at the launch of Life on a Column, written by Mike O'Connor and published by John, Lily and Beth McRobert. For anyone who reads the Courier-Mail, Mike is a household name (in more ways than one) as is Frances Whiting, who was his warm and equally amusing guest speaker. Great to catch up again with our publishing family and enjoy the company of guests, some of whom attended our own book launch in March but due to the numbers present, we were unable to meet personally. Thank you to all.
Deb and Jan

25 June 2014

Lingering Doubts - 'Brisbane's Modern Past'

On Saturday 28 June at 10.30 am, we will be discussing Reginald Wingfield Spence Brown's  case with patrons of the Brisbane Square Library.  The Local History Gallery of the Library runs a program of talks on various aspects of Brisbane/Queensland history under the banner "Brisbane's Modern Past". How honoured we feel to be included amongst the following, who have previously given lectures for the Local History Gallery.
Matthew Condon's "Brisbane" (Matthew Condon) 
Dressing Colonial Brisbane Women (Dr Michael Marendy) 
Brisbane Modern: mid 20th century design (Chris Osborne) 
Notorious Australian Women (Prof. Kay Saunders) 
Retro-fitting your home (Robert Riddel, architect) 
Off to Bundy on the Beemer (Roly Sussex) 
Between Two Coasts (Peter Spearritt) 
Building Brisbane's History (Helen Gregory)
Once again we very much appreciate the opportunity to share our grandfather's story and this disturbing chapter of Brisbane's criminal history. 
Deb and Jan

21 June 2014

Jacks and Jokers and Lingering Doubts

 Matt Condon has probably become more informed than most about Brisbane's  history of  corruption. As always corruption boosts the egos, careers and bank balances of some while others must be destroyed or obliterated.  Lingering Doubts is about giving our grandfather a voice, and naturally, we are thrilled to have Matt's support. After almost eight years of research and writing (including at least 5000 tweaks and edits and the invaluable assistance of Copyright Publishing) our book made it over the finishing line uniquely positioned between Matt's  Three Crooked Kings and  sequel, Jacks and Jokers.  Our grandfather's disturbing story was instantly believable.
 Photo taken last Thursday by Alison Quigley (Sunshine Coast Literary Assoc. Inc) when Deb and sister, Faye, spent time with Matt, Annie and Rachel at Annie's Books on Peregian, where we are pleased to say, copies of Lingering Doubts can now be purchased.
Deb and Jan

18 June 2014

Lingering Doubts - Meet us at Mary Ryan's

If you would like to meet us and hear the Lingering Doubts story we invite you to come along to Mary Ryan's Books, Music & Coffee, Park Road, Milton at 6.15 pm on Thursday 26 June. Sparkling and refreshments will be provided as we  touch on  our pioneering ancestors and discuss the research and writing journey that culminated in Lingering Doubts. We'll also take guests back to a dark time in Brisbane when a man could be arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment within the space of eight weeks. Although we welcome every opportunity to re-present our grandfather's case to the public, speaking about him at Mary Ryan's in Milton has particular significance. Coronation Drive is in close proximity and it was along this road our grandfather travelled to and from work. He commuted for the last time on the morning of 11 January 1947 and never again returned home to St Lucia as he was arrested for murder. Coronation Drive is also the address of the historic Regatta Hotel. built by our great-great grandfather, William Winterford. Hope to see you at Mary Ryan's.
Deb and Jan

12 June 2014

Lingering Doubts - Annie's Books on Peregian

We're pleased to advise that copies of Lingering Doubts are now available from the very popular  Annie's Books on Peregian....and also, from personal experience,  a fabulous place for a picnic. Matt Condon will be visiting Annie's on 19 June to speak about, and sign copies of, his recently released Jacks and Jokers. We will always remain amazed at the timing of Matt's explosive books about police corruption.  Three Crooked Kings paved the way for Reg Brown's  case to be re-presented to the public and Jacks and Jokers leaves no doubt about the true depth of corruption that was once prevalent in Brisbane. We not only throw significant doubt on our grandfather's guilt but also on the guilt of others who found themselves defenceless against police generated evidence. We now wonder at the number of families who may have suffered, as our family did, under the judicial system of the day?

 A digital copy of the article Matthew Condon wrote about Lingering Doubts in Qweekend (12-13 April)  can be seen on Dr Bob Moles' NetK website
courtesy of our long time supporter Mr Bob Bottom (OAM).
Deb and Jan

11 June 2014

Lingering Doubts - Society of Women Writers, Queensland

Click here  if you would like to see a photo of us with former President Shirley Lawrence at a meeting of the Society of Women Writers, Queensland. We were invited to discuss Lingering Doubts and our grandfather's story at their meeting in April of this year. What a wonderful group of ladies, not only a bunch of sunflowers as the link will show but also helpful, interesting and talented. The support we've received from each and every person not only makes the learning curves a little less daunting, but helps us achieve our main objective of giving our grandfather the voice he was denied. We look forward to seeing the ladies again at the Sandcliffe Writers Festival.
Deb and Jan

9 June 2014

Dr Bob Moles - David Eastman Case

Dr Bob Moles sent us an interesting article published in the Canberra Times and the Melbourne Age about the David Eastman case. Eastman, currently in jail, was convicted of the murder of AFP Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester. Click to read

Dr Bob Moles is the coordinator of the Networked Knowledge (Netk) website and is a tireless campaigner for justice. His book, Forensic Investigations and Miscarriages of Justice (co-written with Bibi Sangha and Kent Roach) has been credited with the recent changes to the appeal laws in South Australia.

Who would ever have thought our grandfather's case would be included on the Netk website?! Along with Dr Moles' analysis of Lingering Doubts the Netk website also includes the speech veteran investigative reporter and author on organised crime, Mr Bob Bottom OAM gave at our book launch earlier in the year.
Click to read Bob Bottom's speech

I wonder if Australians truly realise what a great debt they owe people like Bob Bottom and Bob Moles and others who put in enormous effort, tirelessly campaigning and making personal sacrifices, for the good of society.

Deb and Jan

6 June 2014

Lingering Doubts - June events

To keep abreast of what's happening in Brisbane, especially in the literary world, take a look at Watchwords, Lois May's most informative website. An absolute wealth of information! Thanks most sincerely Lois for all your advice and support  and for consistently advertising our upcoming events. Click here to read 
Deb and Jan

1 June 2014

sixty-seven years ago - part 12 - the final chapter

Today the Truth newspaper published an extensive article including a one-off interview with Reg Brown's reserved although courageous wife.
From the moment of its perpetration in a city office on January 11 to the final curtain fall in the Brisbane Coroner's Court on Tuesday last, the murder of vivacious, 19-year-old typiste [sic] Bronia Armstrong by 49-year-old accountant Reginald Wingfield Spence Brown remained on official records as the most psychologically-baffling crime in Queensland history. ............ and the public generally has accepted the Criminal Court jury's verdict that Brown took a human life. But not Brown's wife, his son, or his daughter. They believe, despite everything that was said, and all the evidence that has been produced, that Brown was blameless. They see him as a grimly wronged man. They believe implicitly his last written words, in pencil, on a sheet of gaol paper: "I did not murder Bronia Armstrong. My conscience is clear." They care not what the world says, or does, or thinks. They have utter, abiding, unshakeable faith in their now dead household head.
It appears the Brown family weren't the only ones unconvinced of Reg Brown's guilt. Eva Brown said she had received many letters and telegrams of condolences from people who believed in her husband's innocence.
Sadly, ten days after this interview, our grandparents, Reg and Eva, should have been celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary.
Sixty-seven years on, many more people, after reading Lingering Doubts, have also formed the opinion that Reg Brown was indeed 'a grimly wronged man'.
Deb and Jan

27 May 2014

sixty-seven years ago today - part 11 - Inquest into Reg Brown's death in Boggo Road Gaol

Our grandfather's body was found in a Boggo Road Gaol cell just 9 days into his life sentence. Five weeks later - exactly 67 years ago today - an inquest was held in Brisbane. On that Tuesday, City Coroner Thomas Elite, heard brief evidence from Dr Tonge - State Pathologist, a police constable, four prison officers  and Reg Brown's 20 year-old son. 

Reg's son, Ian, told the inquiry that only four days before his father's death, he had visited with him in Boggo Road Gaol. Although Reg warned his son not to 'get off side with the police, you will never win' and described the prison as 'worse than you could ever imagine', there were no good-byes, nothing to indicate his father was considering suicide. In this crusty courtroom environment Ian was shown, for the first time, his father's last words; a final and concise statement of innocence written and signed in pencil on a piece of gaol issued toilet paper.

 Each prison warden, one of whom we actually met, gave their testimony regarding the prisoner's final days; each concluded with the identical words, 'He never said or done anything which might suggest to me that he was going to take his own life.'

Although our grandfather was unwell and had been prescribed Phenobarbital by the prison doctor, this doctor did not appear at the inquest. After a reported one hour and forty minutes, the coroner ruled no suspicious circumstances. But as we show in Lingering Doubts, there are several reasons for suspicion. Unanswered questions remains to this day. Was our grandfather in an observation cell when he died? We have been told there was some contention about this matter amongst prison staff. Was Reg Brown assessed by the medical officer after receiving a life sentence? That same evening he was distressed, still professing his innocence and  subsequently suffered a severe  asthma attack. Even so he wrote a letter to his equally distraught wife and family.

At the time a half-hearted inquiry into gaol administration was taking place, following  the 1946 escape of three prisoners. But despite QPP leader Bruce Pie's demand asking for a full inquiry into Queensland's gaol administration and the suicide of Reg Brown, this did not occur. In 1949 in a heated accusation about another matter Bruce Pie said the Government 'would come at anything' to prevent the appointment of a Royal Commission.

This was a heart-breaking time also for the Armstrong family. Their daughter Bronia should have turned 20 years-old yesterday, 26 May - 67 years ago.
Deb and Jan

23 May 2014

Lingering Doubts recommended by Matt Condon

Fantastic that Matt referred to Reg Brown's 1947 arrest and conviction for murder when he spoke about Jacks and Jokers at the Kenmore Library last night. Thanks Matt please keep spreading the word about the unbelievably unjust treatment our grandfather received under Queensland's legal system.
Deb and Jan

21 May 2014

Lingering Doubts - Black Cat Books & Cafe

We are very pleased to announce that copies of Lingering Doubts can now be purchased from Paddington's Black Cat books - the delightfully charming book store situated on Latrobe Terrace.
Deb and Jan

19 May 2014

Lingering Doubts - 4BC

CORRECTION! Deb will now be discussing our grandfather's story and Lingering Doubts with Patrick Condren 4BC at 11.00 am Tuesday 20 May instead of 9.30 am. This decision was made to allow for more time as the station considers this story to be one of great interest.
Deb and Jan

17 May 2014

Lingering Doubts - Radio 4BC

It's been a busy but wonderfully productive week. We've discussed Lingering Doubts with many interesting people, spoken with Bep on radio 4EB, delivered copies of our book to the Black Cat bookshop in Paddington and conducted our first official book signing at The Book Bank in Toowong.  We have since received another excellent opportunity to share our grandfather's story, this time on radio 4BC. Jan will be unavailable for the upcoming interview as she is returning home to western Queensland but Deb can be heard on Tuesday at approximately 9.30 am speaking to 4BC's Patrick Condren.