23 February 2014

sixty-seven years ago - part 6 - Boggo Road Conditions

Sunday 23 February, 1947

Today, while our grandfather lanquished in Boggo Road Gaol, the Truth published an article titled Inside Light on Boggo-Road Conditions. A 'hush hush' departmental inquiry was apparently underway following the escape of three prisoners including Arthur 'Slim' Halliday. But another man, after a stay in Boggo Road, went public describing 'appalling filth' and hygiene; a privileged prisoner who slept regularly in the hospital, 'his favourite resort'; gaol food where fruit and vegetables were unheard of; stealing of prison rations; and smuggling of goods in and out of the prison.

This disturbing article hit the news stands on the day Ian Brown (Deb's father - Jan's uncle) should have been celebrating his 20th birthday. There were no celebrations in the Brown family. However today in 2014 there are celebrations - Ian turns eighty-seven.

Deb and Jan

21 February 2014

Our Upcoming Library Talks

We are looking forward to meeting and sharing our journey with the folk who come along to our talks at the following Moreton Shire libraries:

Burpengary Library - Monday 10 March, 10 am   ph. 3888 5366

Bribie Island Library – Tuesday 11 March, 10 am   ph. 3408 1388

Albany Creek Library – Tuesday 11 March, 6pm    ph. 3264 5267

Redcliffe Library – Wednesday 12 March, 10.30 am   ph. 3283 0311

Deception Bay Library – Thursday 13 March, 10.30 am   ph. 3203 1094

Caboolture Library – Saturday 15 March, 10 am   ph. 5433 2000
 Books will be for sale for $30 - but please be aware there are no credit card facilities available.
Deb and Jan

17 February 2014

Reader Review - Reg Brown's former neighbour

We think you should have become professional investigators yourselves, you have done so well with this. We could not think of a more apt title. We hope you can all feel overwhelming family relief that all these doubts have been so eloquently aired.

Jim and Mavis Mackenzie

Jim was a neighbour of the Brown family in Ryan's Road, St Lucia. He and wife Mavis have been amazingly supportive.

Deb and Jan

16 February 2014

Boggo Road Blog - Interview

Chris Dawson from the Boggo Road Historical Society interviewed us last week for the Boggo Road Blog and newsletter. 

Chris  is a professional Brisbane historian and founder of the Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society. He curated several exhibitions at the Boggo Road Gaol Museum and has authored many publications on the prison, capital punishment and local history.

Click here to read the interview.

Thank you for your ongoing support Chris,

Deb and Jan

15 February 2014

Brisbane Square Library - Brisbane's Dark Past

Last night we presented our grandfather's story to the public for the first time! A milestone we will never forget!

Thank you to everybody who contributed to this most enjoyable event. And a huge thank you to the family and friends who gave up their Valentine's evening.

Deb and Jan

Reader Review - Noela Whitton

I would like you and Jan to know how moved I was to read your story. The most revealing evidence came in the early chapters, especially from Kerr but the awful tragedy (for the family) was contained in the words from Ian Brown.
He "knew" his father could not possibly have done this terrible deed, he'd only recently begun to have strong feelings for Bronia, he was totally confused because of the inept handling of the case, and he was a victim, as we all were at the time, of the almost universal belief that the police always behaved honourably.
My heart broke, when I read that even friends began to slip away. Was it really necessary to remove two fingernails, I wonder? And that little trio seemed to vanish in the shadows of Turbot Street.
Lingering Doubts is a work of considerable scholarship and you, and your publisher, must be proud to finally hold it in your hands.
Congratulations from Noela Whitton

Much appreciated, sincere thanks Noela, we will pass your thoughts onto Ian.

Deb and Jan

13 February 2014

Brisbane Square Library - Brisbane's Dark Past

Emma Spelman from BSQL has advised that, as of today, 140 people are booked in to listen to the panel discussion tomorrow evening!!

Deb and Jan

12 February 2014

Brisbane Square Library - Brisbane's Dark Past

Our panel discussion with Matthew Condon, Mick Cacciola and Rosamond Siemon is filling up fast.

As of last Monday 120 bookings had been received!

How fortunate we are to be given such a marvellous opportunity to present, for the first time, an insight into the Lingering Doubts story.

A huge thank you to the accomplished members of the panel and to Nadia Patch, Emma Spelman and other Brisbane Square Library staff. Thank you also to our publishers, John, Lily and Beth who will be in attendance with our books for sale.

Deb and Jan

9 February 2014

Reader Review - Joe Donovan

To find out at mature age that your grandad was a convicted murderer would be a shock; then to realise that the shame and disappointment involved, impeded an accurate family understanding of the events comprising the story would prove very frustrating.
Deb and Jan have addressed these issues with zeal. Official documents, media reports and interviews with connected persons have been used to piece together a comprehensive account of the saga. They use a time line of events interspersed with mini 'bios/vignettes' to tell the story in a way that makes it easy to digest their findings. Their research reveals a number of aspects to the case that are indeed cause to have 'lingering doubts'.
We now know from Fitzgerald that Frank Bischof was not an exemplary cop and that police procedures and forensic methods have seen vast improvement over the intervening 67 years. We also know that some cold cases have been re-opened to indict and to exonerate other Queenslanders.
It is understandable but disappointing that the Armstrongs chose not to participate. A frank family account of Bronia's hopes and aspirations along with her relationships particularly those outside the work environment is an obvious omission to a comprehensive understanding. It would be 'balanced' to know what they could have contributed.
I found the type a tad small and would have appreciated a locality map to help with the mental geography. Congratulations Deb and Jan. Stacks of worthwhile effort! You have done yourselves and your family proud. All the best always.
 Many thanks, Joe, for your insightful and constructive comments and observations.

Deb and Jan

7 February 2014

sixty-seven years ago - part 5 - Back to Boggo Road Gaol

Friday 7 February 1947

Today, after the five day committal hearing, Mr Landy SM said he thought a prima facie case had been made out. Our grandfather was committed for trial. Detective Sub-Inspector Bischof had predicted that a prima facie case was apparent less than three days after Reg Brown's arrest. Bail was not granted. Our grandfather returned to the remand wing at Boggo Road Gaol, Brisbane Prison.

Deb and Jan

4 February 2014

Lingering Doubts book launch - Regatta Hotel

It's official!

We are excited to announce that the book launch for Lingering Doubts will be hosted in the Winterford Room at the Regatta Hotel on March 6th. It's fitting that the venue for our launch is at the hotel built by our great-great-grandparents, William and Margaret Winterford.

We will be joined by the esteemed investigative journalist, Bob Bottom OAM, who has been a tremendous support to us while we were researching and writing Lingering Doubts. Bob continues to offer his invaluable support.

Signed copies of Lingering Doubts will be available for sale on the night!

Seating is limited, so please register with Copyright Publishing early to avoid disappointment.
Booking details below.

On arrival guests will receive a complimentary drink and hot finger-food will be served during the evening. Tickets $15 per person. A cash bar will also be available.

We look forward to your company at the Regatta.

Deb and Jan

Lingering Doubts book launch
Thursday 6th March, 2014
6pm - 7.30pm
please arrive at 5.30 for seating
and a complimentary drink!
Regatta Hotel 
543 Coronation Drive
Toowong, Brisbane
RSVP Fri 28th Feb
Bookings: (07) 3229 6366

3 February 2014

Reader Review - Kate Chapple

Your email prompted me to 'pen' the note I'd been planning to send ever since I finished Lingering Doubts, which, by the way, I read within a day of its delivery. What a story, what a read. There's a lot to say about the extraordinary thing you two have done, and nothing I can offer will come close to fully articulating that. Passion, stamina and dogged determination to topple injustice is one mighty effort in itself. However, years of research, piecing together bizarre and disparate chunks of people's days and lives and motivations, seriously impressive forensic analysis, objectivity, fair and balanced assessment, restraint from colour and sensation escalate your effort to beyond monumental. And before, after and through all of that, it was about your very own grandfather, your family, then and now and hereafter. 
I admire you both enormously; society needs more of you. And, I have to say that I found the manner in which the Defence was conducted, at best, casual. Far too often however their omissions and oversights smacked of professional negligence, or even worse, complicity with the Crown. I just shook my head in disbelief, as you two no doubt have over and again for nearly a decade.
I hope this terrible tale travels far and wide, and disquiets many.

Your words mean more than you know, many thanks Kate,

Deb and Jan

Steve Bishop - The Most Dangerous Detective

Thank you Steve for permission to publish your words of support

Dear Deb and Jan,
Many congratulations on having completed the long and arduous journey that has led to the publication of Lingering Doubts.
I know you will have spent many days and nights researching and have travelled up a couple of dry gullies but your perseverance has been rewarded.
It became obvious to me when I was researching The Most Dangerous Detective that Frank Bischof, who plays a pivotal role in your book, was undoubtedly corrupt. 
Best wishes,
Steve Bishop

Deb and Jan

sixty-seven years ago - part 4 - Detective Frank Bischof

Monday 3 February 1947

The opening of the five day committal hearing in Brisbane's Police Court. Detective  Sub-Inspector Frank Bischof prosecuted. For the next five mornings the Magistrate read out the charge of 'wilful murder'. Every day our grandfather firmly answered, 'Not guilty, Your Worship'.

Deb and Jan

1 February 2014

sixty-seven years ago - part 3 - Boggo Road Gaol

Saturday 1 February 1947

The following day, Sunday, was the last day of preparation for our grandfather's defence team before Monday's commencement of the committal hearing in the Police Court, now known as the Magistrate's Court.  However, today in 1947, our grandfather's defence was 'seriously hampered' by Boggo Road Gaol authorities when the notes he attempted to hand his solicitor were confiscated.

Deb and Jan