29 March 2015

Lingering Doubts - Thank you to Toowong & District Historical Society

Last Friday we shared our grandfather's story with another wonderful group of people from our family's former neighbourhood. We consider this an honour and a privilege. Bronia Armstrong and her family were also residents of this neighbourhood.  
Following our presentation a gentleman came forward to express his admiration for a young woman he met in the fifties. He said she was not only beautiful on the outside but also on the inside. The young woman was our Aunt Melva, the eldest of the Brown children.
A snapshot of our family's pioneering life in Brisbane's western suburbs can be read in the Toowong & District Historical Society publication The Cocks Family Tree - available for purchase from the Society and held by the Toowong Library.

Deb and Jan

20 March 2015

Lingering Doubts - 68 years ago - Death in Boggo Road Gaol - Part 9

Thursday 20 March, 1947

Early in the morning on this day, our grandfather's body was discovered. He was 9 days into his life sentence. It was alleged he committed suicide by hanging himself with his belt which  apparently he had attached to the bars of the cell window. On a piece of jail issued toilet paper Reg Brown declared his innocence.

Coincidentally, also on this day the Courier-Mail received a letter from an unknown person confessing to Bronia Armstrong's murder. In line with the speed of the investigation and trial, Detective 'Stewie' Kerr instantly disregarded the handwritten confession letter.

Deb and Jan

excerpt from The Courier-Mail - 21 March, 1947

11 March 2015

Lingering Doubts - 68 years ago - Guilty! - Part 8

Tuesday 11 March, 1947

Today our grandfather's (and his 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.
It was reported our grandfather, whose physical appearance had deteriorated dramatically since his arrest only 8 weeks earlier, struggled to his feet and stumbled from the dock. Reg Brown, family man and accountant, was returned to Boggo Road Gaol but this time to the 'lifers'  block.

One year ago on this very day, exactly 68 years after the event, we were presented with new and important evidence. This evidence supports our grandfather's claims of innocence, and shows just how criminal the all-powerful investigating police were in their pursuit of a conviction.

New evidence: a visitor to the Wallace Bishop Arcade heard a scream that Friday afternoon 10 Jan 1947.  When she queried the scream, this visitor was told, by the Arcade librarian, that the screams had been going on all afternoon; the librarian supposed the rehearsals were taking place across the passageway.

There was never a mention of these rehearsals, instead police said the screams had come from Bronia Armstrong when she was attacked by our grandfather in his office during business hours.

At the trial, Crown witnesses reported hearing screams, ranging in number from 2 to 100. The only person to speak of rehearsals was our grandfather when he was responding to police questioning. Within 9 days of his sentence being handed down he was dead.

Deb and Jan

7 March 2015

Lingering Doubts - 1 Year On

12 months since Lingering Doubts was launched at Brisbane's Regatta Hotel! And our grandfather's story has travelled further than we could ever have imagined. Furthermore, the growing support we are receiving in favour of Reg Brown's innocence is nothing short of astounding. It continues to be an incredible journey. 
Thank you one and all, from us and on behalf of our family.
Deb and Jan

5 March 2015

Lingering Doubts available in Caboolture

We are happy to advise that copies of Lingering Doubts - Going inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder can now be purchased at Caboolture Park News located in King Street.
Our thanks to Tony.
Deb and Jan

3 March 2015

Lingering Doubts - 68 years ago - Supreme Court Trial - Part 7

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 later relayed 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. This is, naturally, considered to be fundamentally unfair and  unethical and would support an application to discharge the jury on the basis it involved a mistrial. The breach was not acknowledged; not by the Crown,  the defence team nor the Supreme Court judge, (Sir) Alan Mansfield.
Deb and Jan