31 March 2014

Response from Reg Brown's son

After having watched you, Deb and Jan, for the last eight years sifting through and researching every written and spoken word of this case I must admit I never expected to see the end result, Lingering Doubts, so thoroughly and professionally written. You have excelled and congratulations are not only due for a job well done, but also for a very successful book launch at the Regatta Hotel - where the number of people present alone, speaks for the success of your story.
You have shown that in 1947 a criminal trial, with a jury, was a prosecutor's playpen, especially with the advantage of a weak defence. The reality was they could convict almost anyone. Prosecutors, police, forensic scientists, were all players on the same team, and they all liked to win. The hallowed principle of 'presumed innocent' was a joke.
A very big thank you to Bob Bottom for travelling interstate to do the honours at the launch and also John McRobert and team, for taking the punt and publishing the 'true' story.
On behalf of my sister, Val and myself, I want to thank you Deb and Jan for opening up the window that we have had locked up tight for the last 66 years. We had never spoken a word to anyone about the shameful horror that happened so long ago to two families - the Browns and the Armstrongs. You have also opened a window of opportunity to enable us to at last come to terms with the fact there definitely would appear to be 'lingering doubts' about our Dad's guilt. I am very proud to be your Dad, Deb, and your Uncle Ian, Jan.
Can't wait for the next book!
Ian Brown

28 March 2014


We are pleased to advise that Matt Condon's Qweekend article about our grandfather's case and the journey of Lingering Doubts  will appear on Saturday 12 April, 2014.
Deb and Jan

27 March 2014

Matthew Condon - author, Courier-Mail journalist

Matt Condon's much-awaited sequel to Three Crooked Kings was released yesterday. Jacks and Jokers delves further into the insidious police corruption that was rife in by-gone Brisbane.
After reading Lingering Doubts, Matt suggested an interview. This has now occurred and Matthew Condon's article on our grandfather's case and the Lingering Doubts journey will be published in the QWeekend magazine - either in this Saturday's, or the following Saturday's Courier-Mail. We will post the date as soon as we know.
Deb and Jan

26 March 2014

Miscarriages of Justice - Dr Bob Moles

Dr Bob Moles has advised that tonight on A Current Affair, Channel 9 will run a program on Gordon Wood, acquitted of the murder of his girl friend. He is highlighting the case of Henry Keogh in South Australia who has been jailed for 19 years for drowning his fiancee in the bath at their home.

Recent media reports on the Keogh case can be found here:

Dr Moles said he will be putting a link to the program and the transcript on his website as soon as it is aired.

Lingering Doubts
is listed on Dr Bob Moles' website titled Networked Knowledge (go to What's New or Miscarriages of Justice - Queensland). Our book will form part of a campaign seeking establishment of a National Criminal Cases Review Commission
Respected investigative reporter Bob Bottom broke this exciting news at our book launch.
Click here to read Bob Bottom's speech

We have discovered there are a group of dedicated people in Australia working behind the scenes to right many wrongs.

Deb and Jan

24 March 2014

Lingering Doubts - reader reviews and conclusions

Our publisher, Copyright Publishing has received a steady stream of reader views.
To see reviews of Lingering Doubts and read other peoples' opinions and the conclusions they have drawn about the 1947 police investigation into Bronia Armstrong's death and Reg Brown's conviction please click here
Our sincere thanks to each and every one of our readers,
Deb and Jan

23 March 2014

Qld. Police Commissioner Frank Bischof - Jacks and Jokers

Detective Sub-Inspector Frank Bischof, one of the detectives who arrested our grandfather for the murder of Bronia Armstrong in 1947 got a mention in today's Sunday Mail. Matthew Condon, in his soon to be released book, Jacks and Jokers, (the sequel to Three Crooked Kings) unearths claims that 'corrupt former Queensland Police Commissioner Frank Bischof may have indecently dealt with young people he professed to be helping'. How many lives did this powerful and unscrupulous individual actually destroy, we wonder?
Deb and Jan

20 March 2014

sixty-seven years ago - part 9 - death in Boggo Road Gaol

Thursday 20 March, 1947
Early in the morning on this day, our grandfather's body was discovered in a jail cell. He was 9 days into his life sentence. It was alleged he committed suicide by hanging himself with his belt which he had attached to the bars of the cell window. A  statement of innocence was found beside his emaciated body. Once again Reg Brown declared emphatically that he had nothing to do with Bronia Armstrong's death. Also on this day the Courier-Mail received a letter from an unknown person confessing to the Armstrong murder. In keeping with the speed of this entire case, Detective Stewie Kerr instantly disregarded the letter and its contents.
Deb and Jan

16 March 2014

67th anniversary of life sentence draws new evidence in Arcade Murder

It is eerily poignant that this week, 67 years ago, as our grandfather experienced the horrors of the first days of his life sentence in Boggo Road Gaol, we commenced our campaign to inform the public of the injustices and official malpractice prevalent throughout the 1947 police investigation, prison system and Supreme Court trial. It took 2 months to the day to arrest Reg Brown for wilful murder and sentence him to life. Someone, somewhere was in a big hurry to get Reg Brown out of the way. This week has brought with it a myriad of emotions. Apart from the obvious feelings of despair and sorrow for our grandfather, we are  extremely grateful to our audiences and supporters for their interest in  this historic case. Book sales have been good and we have received book reviews we could only dream about. Another high note was our interview with Matt Condon author of Three Crooked Kings and soon to be released Jacks and Jokers,  for a QWeekend article - late March/early April.  But above all, our hope that Lingering Doubts might draw new evidence from the public has already been fulfilled. A lady has signed a statement to say she was in the Wallace Bishop Arcade on 10 January, 1947 and personally heard a 'muffled scream' at approx. 4.25 pm. She was returning a book at a small upstairs library and asked the librarian, 'What was that?'  The librarian replied,
 'I think there's an acting class across the hall and they're practising screaming.' 
 This is HUGE. We are now desperately seeking further information about this acting class and also about an upstairs library. Morgan's library connected to Hollywood Studios was said to be located on the ground floor. The existance of an acting class would clearly explain the extreme variance in the number of screams witnesses said they heard. But it also supports our grandfather's claim that a female had called into the BAFS reception area to collect Bronia that Friday afternoon. He overheard a conversation, something about coordinating the squeals with the pistol shot. All lies, according to the police. No mention ever of an acting class being conducted in the Wallace Bishop Arcade. Who could orchestrate the concealment of such vital and obvious information? Is it possible the legal system was this corrupt?? It truly beggars belief.
Deb and Jan

15 March 2014

Thank you

Thank you to Rosemary Worthington and 101.5 FM; likewise to the Caboolture News,  Caboolture Herald and Moreton Shire Libraries for their support in our quest to re-present Reg Brown's story to the public.

Deb and Jan

13 March 2014

Our travels bring new evidence

We've had an exciting week as we've travelled to libraries within the Moreton Shire to present our book, and our literary journey,  before discerning audiences. There is always the hope that we might discover someone who remembers something or someone linked to the events of 1947.  We have.  A lovely lady gave us some very interesting insights about the day Bronia Armstrong was murdered as she happened to be in the Wallace Bishop Arcade on that very afternoon - January 10, 1947.  This person, who was 17 years old at the time, thought what she had to share was insignificant .  But we can see it just might be a tiny link that supports our claim to our grandfather's innocence. If anyone else has anything to share pertinent to the time or the crime, we are eager to talk with you.  This journey isn't over yet. 

Deb and Jan

12 March 2014

Reader Review - Julie Thomson

It was with some scepticism I started this book, much as I found the subject fascinating and setting familiar, having been brought up in Brisbane in the 1950s and 60s.

 I was holding it at arm’s length because I thought a story written by the main protagonist’s relatives would naturally seek to exonerate him and recalibrate the public perception of a man, tried and convicted for a shocking murder of a young woman, Bronia Armstrong,  in Brisbane’s city heart in 1947.
 But as I read further into the narrative, I was stunned and overcome by a great sense of pity and sadness for a family so brutalised by the justice system and media of the day, it angered and shocked me to the core. Not only do I think it highly unlikely the convicted Reginald Wingfield Spence Brown had anything to do with the killing, but it’s also likely his death just days after being sentenced to life imprisonment in Boggo Road jail, was also not suicide as was ruled. The police sought and got a fast arrest and neat wrap up and that was all that mattered to them and the courts were both too naive to counteract or complicit in the dire proceedings.

 Even dispassionately weighing up the circumstances of the killing, did it not seem absurd to most people at the time that the convicted, Reginald Brown, would attack his beautiful young employee in broad daylight in his workplace and coolly remain within metres of her lifeless body, making phone calls and calmly conducting his business in the minutes and hours thereafter?
 Was not a man of such impeccable character, reliable, trustworthy, respected, moral and kind, deserving of even a smidgeon of doubt and the means to fully defend himself in the face of repeated set-ups, hidden or lost evidence, witness anomalies, influences, lies and trickery?

He was never allowed out of custody to see his family again after being charged.

 Even without the hindsight knowledge we have now of the insidious corruption of the late sub-Inspector ( later Police Commissioner) Frank Bischof, the ambushing and denial of natural justice to Reginald Brown reads like a far-fetched melodramatic script.

Yet it is the factual, punctilious and heartbreaking record of the systematic failure of the crime investigation and courts. It cost Reginald Brown his life and his family peace and joy thereafter.

 This story has been gathered over nearly 10 years and told with a dedication driven by love, hurt and pride by Reginald Brown’s two granddaughters, Deb Drummond and Janice Teunis, who were born after he died and never knew him. They knew only a yawning gap opened up in the lives of their parents, Reg Brown’s children, who were young adults when he died, and a hole filled with pain and shame that took them decades to talk about.

 It’s a gripping read even if you have no connection to the time, people or place of the murder. It’s more chilling if you consider that there but for the Grace of God went many of our relatives living in the fool’s paradise of Brisbane’s corrupt past.

 Julie has many strings to her bow -  journalist, PR, publicist, marketer, web writer, sub editor, events manager - currently a garden blogger, garden writer and freelancer for BMag lifestyle magazine http://bmag.com.au/issues/275/#/26  and event manager for the upcoming Caboolture Twilight Fiesta next summer. https://www.facebook.com/julie.thomson.7370
Up until 12 months ago Julie was an ABCTV publicist  for Gardening Australia , Australian Story and Landline programmes..   http://gardengrapevine.wordpress.com/
We are proud to publish your review, sincere thanks Julie.
Deb and Jan


11 March 2014

sixty-seven years ago - part 8 - guilty!

Tuesday 11 March, 1947

Today our grandfather's (and the family's) worst nightmare came true when the jury returned a guilty verdict. Reg Brown was given a life sentence to be served in Boggo Road Gaol. Minutes earlier from the holding cell below the Supreme Court he had told a reporter:
Well, the verdict could not be guilty. You see, I am not guilty. I didn't kill that girl. There can only be one verdict. I will be free in a few minutes.
The jury's decision resulted from the evidence presented by the Crown. It was impossible for them to counterbalance this body of information with defence evidence, as there was none.
It was reported our grandfather, whose physical appearance had  deteriorated dramatically , struggled to his feet and stumbled from the dock.  Reg was returned to Boggo Road Gaol, this time to the 'lifers' cell block.
Deb and Jan

10 March 2014

Response from Reg Brown's daughter

 Congratulations Deb and Jan and thank you for the years of research that you have done to have Lingering Doubts written and published.
As you know the events in this book took place in 1947 when I was 18 years old. At the time I knew very little of the police case and the trial. I only knew what I read in the papers, but I knew that I loved my father and he was nothing like the monster the press made him out to be.After the trial and my father's death I buried this nightmare deep in my consciousness and I never spoke of it again - not to my mother, or my husband after my marriage and certainly not to my children. So this is the way I lived for nearly 60 years. After the "cousins' meeting" my girls confronted me with the knowledge they had and I was forced to bring the memories of that time into the open. But this time it was a relief to be able to discuss it with them at last. It has been an emotional ride for all of us but it has also been a healing time for me and also my brother Ian.  To read the book and discover more of the truth has contributed to our better understanding of the whole sad affair. So once again thank you girls for 'Lingering Doubts' - I am very proud of you and thankful for what you have accomplished.
Valerie Herbertson (nee Brown) - Janice's mother

8 March 2014

Lingering Doubts - Official Book Launch

We will never forget 6 March, 2014!! A dream come true. We will remain eternally grateful to John, Lily and Beth McRobert, our publishers, Mr Bob Bottom OAM and his wife Judy and the huge number of supportive family members, friends and invited guests who helped send our grandfather's story out into the world. Also to the Regatta Hotel staff including Patrick McDonald who not only provided a lovely meal afterwards but gave us the opportunity to share details of Brisbane's 'Arcade Murder' with members of the media and other dinner guests. The  media staff present were granted exclusive access to Bob, one of Australia's most respected investigative reporters and author of many books on organised crime. 
A highlight of the evening was the attendance of Ian Brown (Deb's 87 year old Dad) and Val Herbertson (Jan's 85 year old Mum). This courageous  brother and sister witnessed the official release of their family's tragic 67 year old story in an atmosphere of love, support and empathy...and in the Winterford Room named in honour of their great grandparents. Reg Brown's five other granddaughters were in attendance - there were many emotions. It was truly a remarkable and memorable event - on many levels.
But when Bob Bottom delivered his speech we were left in sheer disbelief. Bob commenced
In launching Lingering Doubts, I am happy to announce that it has already attracted national attention for its exposure of a possible miscarriage of justice.
Bob went on to advise everyone present that Lingering Doubts is now listed on Dr Bob Moles' website titled Networked Knowledge (go to What's New or Queensland Homepage) which highlights miscarriages of justice and has provided more than four million documents to over 400,000 readers. Unbelievably our book will form part of a campaign seeking establishment of a National Criminal Cases Review Commission
 Click here to read Bob Bottom's speech
The inclusion of Lingering Doubts has come about, not only with Dr Moles' considered approval  but on the recommendation of Bob Bottom OAM and Evan Whitton, award-winning journalist and author of Our Corrupt Legal System. Click here to see Evan Whitton's homepage

Some long time and generous supporters of Lingering Doubts were unable to attend the launch for various reasons - a couple were unwell, sadly others have passed away. We want you to know you were sorely missed and are not forgotten.
Deb and Jan

5 March 2014

Published review - Cheryl Jorgensen

Cheryl Jorgensen, accomplished Brisbane author and book reviewer for The Courier Mail and several prestigious literary journals,  has evaluated Lingering Doubts.
Click here to read full book review

Cheryl's summarised comment:
Lingering Doubts is a compelling—if disturbing—read, for anyone who takes the interests of a just society to heart.
This is our first published review, many thanks Cheryl.

Deb and Jan

4 March 2014

Lingering Doubts Book Launch

Our book launch is shaping up to be something else!! Publishers John, Lily and Beth McRobert are putting in an extraordinary effort to ensure a memorable evening for all.
We feel so honoured (and humbled) to have our guest speaker Bob Bottom OAM one of Australia's most respected crime reporters, travel from interstate especially for the launch of Lingering Doubts. Bob has been involved in 18 Royal Commissions, and is a keen observer of and commentator on the Australian legal system. 250 guests are expected - family, friends, supporters, and an impressive list of dignitaries and people from the media. Family are travelling from central and western Queensland and also from Melbourne.

The Regatta Hotel staff too are enthusiastic supporters of this event and value our family's connection to the Winterfords, the original owners of this historic building. We seem to be pinching ourselves on a daily basis! As usual this story makes its own way. The book launch coincides with the 7 day Supreme Court trial that saw our grandfather sentenced to life imprisonment in Boggo Road Gaol 67 years ago. Looking forward to seeing you at the Regatta,
Deb and Jan

3 March 2014

sixty-seven years ago - part 7 - Supreme Court Trial

Monday 3 March, 1947

Today, less than two months after our grandfather's arrest, the murder trial officially known as Rex v Brown commenced in Brisbane. The Crown prosecutor's opening address, included a piece of significant 'evidence' which, he said, would be told to the court by the 'Crown witness' himself. However the Crown failed to call this 'witness' to the stand, therefore Reg's defence team were denied the opportunity of cross-examination which is considered to be fundamentally unfair and  unethical. This would support an application to discharge the jury on the basis it involved a mistrial. The breach was never acknowledged, not by the Crown,  the defence team nor the Supreme Court judge. A model of fairness, we don't think.
Deb and Jan