23 December 2016

Lingering Doubts - Christmas 2016 Update

2016 has been huge!
Early in the year, we had a fortuitous meeting at one of our booksigning events when we were approached by freelance journalist/author Helen Chryssides. In June we featured in Helen's 'The Two of Us' article published in Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend Magazine. (post 4/6/2016)
 So interested in our story was Helen that she submitted our names to ABC Australian Story.  Consequently Shadow of Doubt went to air in September and since then Bronia Armstrong's death and the conviction of our grandfather for her murder has attracted much interest. (post 22/9/2016)
We will remain forever grateful to the hard-working and thorough Australian Story team and also to supportive program participants Dr Bob Moles, Bibi Sangha, Bob Bottom OAM, Ken Blanch, Wal Bishop and Dr Grant Niemann. 
We must add, however, there is much more to this story than could be shown in a 30 minute time slot. Furthermore new and important information has since been uncovered. Our dream came true! Offers to further investigate and analyse the evidence in this almost 70 year old crime have come from several professionals specialising in the areas of law, justice, forensics and crime scene analysis!
  2016 also saw Matt Condon publish Little Fish are Sweet - a most disturbing book in which Matt grants many courageous folk a long overdue voice. His book also includes - we are proud to say - a chapter titled 'A Matter of Lingering Doubts'.(post 17/11/2016)
Our one sadness is that Deb's father, Ian, passed away in June 2016...we wish he could have witnessed this extraordinary progress in the case.
Thankfully Ian's sister Val, Jan's mother, after a lifetime of guarding the family secret, now openly shares her memories of 1947. Val participates fully in the journey this story continues to take.
 Bronia's parents have long passed and her brothers a few years ago. We will never lose sight of the shocking grief they too suffered in 1947 and well beyond.
Our thanks for your interest in our story and best wishes for happy, safe and peace filled Christmas and New Year.
Deb and Jan





25 November 2016

1947 Arcade Murder Discussion at Qskeptics Meeting

We very much appreciate the opportunity to discuss Brisbane's 1947 Arcade Murder case with members of Qskeptics.
Looking forward to meeting you all at The Morrison. :)
Deb and Jan

17 November 2016

Lingering Doubts features in Little Fish are Sweet

Congratulations once again to Matthew Condon on his recent release of ''Little Fish are Sweet" - a  most disturbing read. What a dark place Brisbane was and what extraordinary courage shown by Matt and others who have come forward to tell what they know.
We, of course, see it as a great privelege that Matt considered our 'Lingering Doubts'' story worthy of a chapter in this superb book. 
Thank you most sincerely Matt for consistently helping us seek justice not only for our grandfather, Reg Brown,  but for 19 year old Bronia Armstrong.
Deb and Jan

26 October 2016

Joe Cinque's Consolation - Dr Robert Moles

This is the link to Dr Robert Moles' review of the film Joe Cinque's Consolation:  
Dr Moles says: 
It is one of the best films I have seen for a long time.
It involves some of my former students at the ANU.
The photo attached is of the Q and A which I was privileged to introduce with the director:
The film raises some important issues about our sense of responsibility and accountability.
Robert N Moles
Networked Knowledge and
Flinders University Miscarriages of Justice Project
Web: http://netk.net.au

8 October 2016

Alan Jones 2GB - Brisbane's 1947 Arcade Murder

Please click to listen to interview
Sincere appreciation to Alan Jones for inviting Deb onto his radio show in the lead up to ABC Australian Story 'Shadow of Doubt'. Link above for anyone who would like to listen.

Deb and Jan


30 September 2016

Brisbane's Arcade Murder - Dr Bob Moles speaks to Courier Mail

30/9/2016 Courier Mail Queensland//brisbane-arcade-murder

Shae McDonald (AAP), The Courier-Mail
September 30, 2016 12:01am
Extract:
Brisbane Arcade Murder: Renewed calls to appeal Reginald Brown’s conviction
D Moles established the research group Networked Knowledge 16 years ago and also co-founded the Miscarriages of Justice Project at Flinders University in South Australia.
He told Australian Story he thought it likely police “got the wrong person” when they convicted Brown of Ms Armstrong’s murder.

The former law professor told The Courier-Mail there were certain features about Brown’s trial that were “very unsatisfactory”.
Dr Moles said in order for a conviction to be set aside on appeal, a court needed to be satisfied there were errors at trial, not whether the evidence pointed to a person being guilty or innocent.

“The question is did the person have a fair trial,” he said.

Dr Moles said there were several pieces of physical evidence used during the original court case that “raised alarm bells”.
One of them was the fact Ms Armstrong’s body was “infested” with ants.

Dr Moles said the logical question to ask was where they came from.
“There wasn’t an ants nest within the medical room or medical centre,” he said.

“What it would tell me is that it’s likely she was attacked and either disabled or killed somewhere else, where there were ants.
“Her body was subsequently moved to the medical rooms, with the ants on board.”

26 September 2016

Legal Experts Doubt Reg Brown's Guilt - 1947 ''Arcade Murder''

ABC News2016-09-26/brisbane-arcade-murder-conviction-in-doubt-after-70-years/7854892

Abridged version highlighting key points:
 A lawyer specialising in miscarriages of justice has cast doubt on the murder conviction of a Brisbane man 70 years ago.
In the 1947 case that shocked the nation, 50-year-old accountant Reginald Brown was found guilty of asphyxiating his 19-year-old secretary Bronia Armstrong in his Brisbane office.
However, after studying the case, Dr Bob Moles from Flinders University's Miscarriages of Justice Project has questioned the conduct of the trial.
"I would say Reginald Brown did not get a fair trial by today's standards and he did not get a fair trial by yesterday's standards," Dr Moles told Australian Story.
He said police displayed tunnel vision by focusing their investigation solely on Brown.
"One of the most disturbing things about the case is the fact that the young girl was found at about 9:30 in the morning, and Reginald Brown had been charged with her murder by 6:00pm," Dr Moles said.
"In a circumstantial case, the prosecution should establish there is no other rational explanation consistent with the innocence of the accused."
Brown was tried and convicted within seven weeks of the murder and received a life sentence with hard labour.
Nine days later, Brown hanged himself in his jail cell at Brisbane's Boggo Road Gaol.
A handwritten note was found next to his body in which he proclaimed his innocence.

Police 'got the wrong man': Dr Moles

Key evidence in the prosecution case were the injuries to Brown's hands and fingernails.
He told police he was assaulted by two men the night before Miss Armstrong's body was found on the floor of his Brisbane office.
He said during the attack his hands were bitten.
Police dismissed the assault as "fantastic" and alleged Brown sustained the injuries as Miss Armstrong fought off a sexual advance before her death.
But Dr Moles said the crime scene evidence failed to support the police theory.
"If Bronia had been involved in the altercation with Reg, then I would have expected to find significant damage — blood transfer to Bronia's fingernails and teeth, and bruises to her face and hands. None of that was present," he said.
He said police "got the wrong person".
Dr Moles, who played a key role in the successful campaign to quash the conviction of Adelaide man Henry Keogh, said the Brown conviction could be successfully appealed.

Bitten hands, cuts 'a sign of defence wounds'

Former Queensland detective Alicia Bennett — who has written a book about the case — has no doubt Brown was the murderer, saying his injuries are consistent with the police case.
"The fingernails being bitten, cuts on his knees, these are all significant defence wounds," she said.
Leading forensic pathologist Dr Byron Collins, however, disagreed.
"On the information presently available, if the injuries to Reg Brown's hands are indeed bite marks, they are more likely to have been sustained during an assault than as a result of Bronia Armstrong fending him off," he said after examining transcripts of the court evidence.

Family secret revealed


25 September 2016

Brisbane's Arcade Murder - Radio Interviews

Monday 26 Sept. 7.40 am - Deb  speaking with Alan Jones - 2GB and 4BC

                             10.20 am - Jan speaking with Jasmin Midley - ABC Sunshine Coast (90.3)

                            12.40 pm Eastern Jan with 720 ABC Perth with Geoff Hutchinson

                             3.35 pm Deb on ABC 612 Drive

22 September 2016

Shadow of Doubt - ABC Australian Story


ABC Australian Story 'Shadow of Doubt' 
When we set out to learn more about our grandfather's 1947 murder conviction and the untimely death of 19 year-old Bronia Armstrong, we assumed our findings would remain firmly within the family circle. Initially, our primary goal was to help older family members better understand the workings of the ''ópen and shut'' case that had devastated their young lives. However, very early on we discovered our grandfather, Reg Brown, was not only denied a voice, but was sentenced to life imprisonment with unprecedented speed. Nine days later he too died.
The more we uncovered, the more determined we became to re-present this case to the public. It loomed as an overwhelming task going well beyond our skill set and only became a reality due to the encouragement and support received from veteran investigative journalist/author, Bob Bottom. After reading our material, Bob firmly believed that the telling of this story was not only important for the family but in the public interest.
Never did we imagine our family project would one day appear on Australian Story!
Program to go to air on Monday 26 September.
With sincere thanks to all who have made this possible,
Deb and Jan 
https://twitter.com/AustralianStory 

ABC Australian Story Jan and Deb 

Shadow of Doubt Press Release 
 

16 September 2016

Networked Knowledge - Intriguing case of David Joe Szach

Coming up on Sunday 18 Sept 2016 at 8am with Damien Carrick on ABC Radio National Background Briefing –
the intriguing case of David Joe Szach - another of South Australia's mystery cases:
 Robert N Moles
Networked Knowledge and
Flinders University Miscarriages of Justice Project

8 September 2016

1938 Disappearance of Marjorie Norval

Bob Burton, former prison warder and police officer, has conducted extensive research into the 1938 disappearance of Brisbane resident Marjorie Norval. Miss Norval,  personal assistant to the then Premier's wife, walked into Central Railway Station and was allegedly never seen again.
Several political and legal figures associated with Marjorie's case and also high profile police officers attached to the investigation would also appear in the case of 19 year old Bronia Armstrong, whose body was discovered in 1947 in the Brisbane CBD.

For anyone wishing to learn more about the sad and mysterious disappearance of Marjorie Norval and the police investigation and Coroner's Inquiry that ensued please visit Bob's very informative website. 
 Marjorie Norval Disappearance

4 September 2016

Lingering Doubts - Angus & Robertson, Brookside Shopping Centre

Thank you to Jane, Josh, Natalie and Andrew from Angus and Robertson, Brookside. What a popular bookshop!...and I can see why...your customer service is second to none! And huge thanks to all the interesting folk who stopped to talk about the story behind Lingering Doubts
Furthermore, I felt extremely privileged that so many of you were willing to share your own private stories with me.
Many thanks also to the staff at Boolarong Press.
Deb

20 August 2016

Lingering Doubts - The Bookshop at Caloundra

Extremely pleased to advise that copies of Lingering Doubts are now available from The Bookshop at Caloundra, 18 Bulcock Street. A charming store and I (Deb) am delighted our book is now available in my old hometown. I have such fond memories of growing up in Caloundra.
Thank you to owners, Graeme and Chris.
Deb and Jan

22 July 2016

Lingering Doubts - Wynnum/Manly Historical Society

Thank you so much to the lovely people in our audience last night. We were made to feel so welcome and we thank you for your invitation to share our story. The evening was made all the more special as Wynnum was for many years, home to Jan and her family. As doesn't often happen, Auntie Val, Jan's mum, spoke about the devastating effect her father's conviction and death had on her. Val also acknowledged the grief the Armstrong family too had suffered. This amazing lady's courage in speaking about this painful chapter in her life was rewarded with warm applause...and hugs from old friends.
Much appreciation for our gifts and we look forward to reading 'Mangroves to Moorings Revisited by society member Myrtle Beitz.
Please click for Wynnum/Manly Historical Soc. facebook 
 Deb (and Jan)

4 July 2016

Henry Keogh on Sunday Night Program

This is the link to the transcript and promo of the Channel 7 Sunday Night program which is to be broadcast next weekend. Please share it with your contacts and colleagues. This scandal has gone on for far too long without any proper govt response:

Robert N Moles
Networked Knowledge
Web: http://netk.net.au

10 June 2016

Lingering Doubts - Ashgrove Book Club

Loved our visit with the Ashgrove Book Club members! As Lingering Doubts was chosen as their May book members were familiar with the story and engaged in an active discussion, asking many valid questions. Our evening culminated with us all agreeing upon one thing:
the 1947 police investigation that saw accountant, Reg Brown, convicted of murder was built on a  foundation of smoke and mirrors, which was then presented to the jury as 'strong circumstantial evidence'.          
Many thanks for inviting us to share our story and also to Communify Qld.              
Deb and Jan      

4 June 2016

Deb Drummond and Janice Teunis - '2 of us'' Good Weekend Magazine

'2 of us' Sydney Morning Herald/Melbourne Age

Many thanks to talented freelance author and journalist Helen Chryssides for submitting our story to Good Weekend Magazine (SMH & The Age) and to photographer Paul Harris for doing his best with our photo. :) 
Deb and Jan

27 May 2016

Lingering Doubts - 69 years ago - 27 May, 1947

27 May, 1947
Our grandfather's body was found in a Boggo Road Gaol cell just 9 days into his life sentence. Five weeks later -  69 years ago today - an inquest was held in Brisbane. City Coroner, Thomas Elite, heard evidence from Dr John Tonge - State Pathologist, one police constable, four prison officers and Reg Brown's 20 year-old son, Ian.

Ian told the inquiry that only four days before his father's death, he had visited 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', Ian said there were no good-byes, nothing to indicate his father was considering suicide. In the 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.

Although our grandfather was unwell and had been prescribed Phenobarbital by the prison doctor, the doctor did not appear at the inquest. At the end of one hour and forty minutes the coroner ruled no suspicious circumstances. But as we show in Lingering Doubts, there are  some reasons for suspicion. Unanswered questions remain e.g. was our grandfather in an observation cell? We were told there was some contention over this matter amongst prison staff. Also was Reg assessed by the medical officer after receiving a life sentence? He was distressed, still professing his innocence and subsequently suffered a severe asthma attack during his first night in the lifers' block.

Bronia Armstrong, the young woman Reg Brown was accused of murdering should have turned 20 years old on 26 May, the day before the inquest. If things had been different, yesterday in 2016 Bronia might have celebrated her 89th birthday, perhaps surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In a strange twist of fate my (Deb's) only granddaughter was born on 26 May. Yesterday she turned 2 years old.
Deb and Jan

13 May 2016

Bob Bottom - The Saturday Paper

https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/2016/05/07/gadfly-reptile-biz-function/14625432003208
follow link and scroll down to the following:

Extract from The Saturday Paper, 7 May 2016 (Richard Ackland)

Rocked Bottom
Back to journalism. Bob Bottom, an old investigative sleuth, was incensed by a recent column in The Sun-Herald by barrister Charles Waterstreet
The columnist claimed in his April 10 piece, to the puzzlement of many, that lawyers like him get paid the same whether working on a matter involving a parking ticket or a million dollars’ worth of coke. 
He also complained about another professional burden: “people accuse us of lying for a living, but my real job is to stop truth from ever coming out.” 
Bottom whipped off a note to the editor-in-chief, Darren Goodsir: “As a subscriber to The Sun-Herald, and a one-time correspondent, may I advise that I am appalled by a proclamation in a column by Charles Waterstreet ...” 
He wasn’t appalled by the pay scale for cases of drug importations and parking tickets, rather the claim that the brief says his job is to stop the truth ever coming out. 
Unlike the lawyers’ code of conduct, newspaper writers are bound by an ethical regime that says they should “report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness”, etc.
“Thus,” according to Bob Bottom, “Charles Waterstreet should no longer be accepted by Fairfax as a weekly columnist.”
Goodsir wrote back: “I am forwarding this to some of my senior editors for discussion. It is a serious matter and I will talk to them next week upon my return to work.” 
They must still be discussing it because Waterstreet continues to appear in the paper.

....'my real job is to stop truth from ever coming out'  - we too are appalled!!
Thank you Bob, we remain honoured to have your name attached to Lingering Doubts.
Deb and Jan

7 May 2016

Recently published book - Code of Silence (Colin Dillon)

Our sincere congratulations to Col on the launch of his book Code of Silence - How One Honest Police Officer took on Australia's Most Corrupt Police Force. The name Dr Colin Dillon APM, AM appears more than once in the acknowledgement section of Lingering Doubts. Not only was Col wonderfully supportive throughout our research into our grandfather's murder conviction, Col also very generously read through some draft chapters for us. 

Colin Dillon, a former Police Inspector, is best known for his courageous stand against corruption, voluntarily giving first-hand evidence to the Fitzgerald Inquiry of 1987.

With much admiration Col and heart-felt thanks from us and our family,
Deb and Jan

7 April 2016

ABC The Weekly with Charlie Pickering - "Wrongful Convictions"

This is the link to the program ABC The Weekly with Charlie Pickering: whilst a comedy show it dealt with the very serious issue of wrongful convictions with great effect.
Also good to see that they had used some of the Channel 7 Today Tonight footage to help make some good points.

Received from
Dr Robert N Moles
Networked Knowledge
Web: http://netk.net.au

20 March 2016

Lingering Doubts - 69 years ago - 20 March 1947

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

17 March 2016

Lingering Doubts - Meet the authors Dymocks Garden City

Looking forward to sharing our story at Dymocks Garden City, Mt. Gravatt this Saturday. Much appreciation to Dymocks and Boolarong Press.

11 March 2016

Lingering Doubts - 69 years ago - 11 March, 1947

Tuesday 11 March, 1947
 On this day in early Autumn 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 it was reported he had said:
Well, the verdict could not be guilty. You see, I am not guilty. I didn't kill that girl. 
Our grandfather, whose physical appearance had deteriorated dramatically since his arrest  8 weeks earlier, apparently struggled to his feet and stumbled from the dock. Reg Brown, St. Lucia family man and accountant, was returned to Boggo Road Gaol but this time to the 'lifers'  block.
One year ago on this very day, we were presented with new and important evidence. This evidence supports our grandfather's claims of innocence, and demonstrates just how corrupt the all-powerful investigating police were in their pursuit of a conviction.

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

There was never a mention of these rehearsals at the trial, 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,  anywhere from 2 to 100! The only person to speak of rehearsals was Reg Brown when he was responding to police questioning. He was called a liar.
Deb and Jan

6 March 2016

Launch of Lingering Doubts - 2nd Anniversary

Two years today since Lingering Doubts - Going inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder was launched at Brisbane's Regatta Hotel! Never could we have imagined that public interest in this old crime would be so great or that new and important evidence would be forthcoming (see post dated 1/11/2015).
In fact interest in 19 year old Bronia Armstrong's mysterious death and our grandfather's unlikely and speedy arrest for her murder, at the hands of infamous detective, Frank Bischof, continues to grow.
It certainly helps that Matthew Condon (Three Crooked Kings, Jacks & Jokers and All Fall Down) recommends Lingering Doubts when he presents his exhaustively researched topic of police corruption. 
So we celebrate this day with heart-felt and sincere gratitude to all our readers and supporters and to those interested in a fair and just society.
Deb and Jan

3 March 2016

Lingering Doubts - 69 years ago - 3 March, 1947

Monday 3 March, 1947
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 later be relayed to the court by a Crown witness. However the Crown failed to call this so called 'witness' to the stand, which meant Reg Brown's defence team were denied the opportunity to cross-examine.
Such an action is considered to be fundamentally unfair and  unethical and would support an application to discharge the jury on the basis it involved a mistrial. 
However, this serious breach was not acknowledged; not by the Crown,  the defence team nor the Supreme Court judge, Alan Mansfield - later Sir Alan Mansfield, Governor of Queensland.
The jury, no doubt, placed importance on the damning evidence, after all it had been delivered by the Crown Prosecutor. 
What hope did an innocent person have in this one-sided contest?
Deb and Jan

28 February 2016

Dymocks Carindale now selling Lingering doubts

Very excited yesterday signing books and sharing the story of Brisbane's Arcade Murder with customers at Dymocks Carindale. This very busy store is the first Dymocks to stock Lingering Doubts! Huge thank you to staff at both Dymocks and Boolarong Press.

Deb with Year 12 student and aspiring writer Emily

 

23 February 2016

Lingering Doubts - 69 years ago - 23 February, 1947

 23 February, 1947
While our grandfather, Reg Brown, was on remand in Boggo Road Gaol, the Truth newspaper 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 Gaol, went public describing 'appalling filth' and hygiene; he told of a privileged prisoner who slept regularly in the hospital, 'his favourite resort'; 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 (Deb's father) should have been celebrating his 20th birthday. There were no celebrations for the Brown family. 

Today Ian Brown turns eighty-nine
Deb and Jan

16 February 2016

Lingering Doubts at New Farm Editions



New Farm Editions Homewares, Gifts & Books

New Farm Editions facebook

Looking forward to discussing our book with customers at New Farm Editions this Saturday 20 February between 11 - 2 pm.
 Deb and Jan

11 February 2016

Lingering Doubts - QNS Winter 2015 Catalogue

QNS Catalogue Winter 2015
We really have to pinch ourselves sometimes! What an honour to be listed in the QNS audio book catalogue alongside such talented authors as Matthew Condon and Helen Garner!
Listening to Qld. Narrating Service (QNS) narrator Kaye Stevenson's splendid delivery of Lingering Doubts still gives us goosebumps!
Audio books are invaluable for people with vision impairment and/or a print disability, however as we've discovered, audio books are also great to take on a road trip...or to turn on while doing the housework.. or just relaxing. We have a whole new appreciation of audio books and this includes the wonderfully dedicated QNS staff and their volunteers.
Deb and Jan

6 February 2016

Lingering Doubts - 69 years ago - 6 February 1947

6 February 1947
Nearing the end of the five day committal hearing in Brisbane's Police Court where Detective  Sub-Inspector Frank Bischof prosecuted. Every morning the Magistrate read out the charge of 'wilful murder'. Every day our grandfather firmly answered, 'Not guilty, Your Worship'.
Deb and Jan

1 February 2016

Lingering Doubts - 69 years ago - 1 February 1947

1 February 1947
Only one day remained for the preparation of our grandfather's defence against the charge of wilful murder before the  commencement of the committal hearing in the Police Court. Unbelievably, on this day in 1947, our grandfather's defence was 'seriously hampered' by Boggo Road Gaol authorities when notes he had written for his solicitor were confiscated by a prison guard. Following his barrister's protest in the presence of the magistrate, incredibly, the only official response on record is from Police Prosecutor, Detective Sub-inspector Frank Bischof. An extract from Bischof's report:
....There is no desire by any member of this [Police] Department to ascertain the contents of any notes BROWN may wish to hand his Solicitor.
The privilege existing between solicitor and client was, and is, sacred. But this was not upheld when Reg Brown was on trial. 
 We ask the question in our book: Does Bischof's response imply that when a person was denied bail and subsequently detained on remand, police officers  investigating the crime, had the ability to curtail the prisoner's defence? Worse still be privy to a prisoner's notes written in a vain attempt to defend him or herself?
It defies belief that this extraordinarily corrupt and cruel practice, incorporating the justice, penal and legal systems, was very obviously common place in Brisbane -  only 69 years ago. 

Deb and Jan

11 January 2016

Lingering Doubts - 69 years ago - Saturday 11 January, 1947

Saturday 11 January, 1947
Sixty-nine years ago at approximately 8.30 in the morning 19 year-old Bronia Armstrong's body was discovered in a back room at the BAFS Medical Institute, Wallace Bishop Arcade, Albert Street, Brisbane. Queensland detectives swiftly targeted Bronia's boss, Reg Brown, ruthlessly interrogating him, without legal representation, for the entire day - his rights only read that evening, moments before his arrest for willful murder. Despite his protestations of innocence the fifty-year-old accountant and BAFS Medical Institute Secretary was charged and taken to the city watch house. He would never again return to his family, waiting anxiously in their St Lucia home.
This was the day in 1947 that life took a devastating turn for two ordinary Brisbane families....the Armstrongs and the Browns.
Deb and Jan

10 January 2016

Lingering Doubts - 69 years ago - Friday 10 January, 1947

Friday 10 January, 1947
On this date, during the late afternoon or evening, at a time undetermined, Bronia Mary Armstrong, a popular young Brisbane woman, lost her life - at whose hands and under what circumstances remains a mystery. History shows her immediate supervisor, Reg Brown, was responsible and the justice system, of which Detective Sub-Inspector Frank Bischof was a key player, took exactly 8 weeks to see St. Lucia family man, Reg Brown, arrested and sentenced to life in Boggo Road Gaol.
Nine days after the life sentence was handed down, Reg, our grandfather, who consistently professed his innocence, was found dead.
 The files on the 'Arcade Murder' were closed; another successful conviction for Frank Bischof, Queensland's future police commissioner (for more on Bischof see Matthew Condon's Three Crooked Kings and Jacks & Jokers). Police officers moved up the ladder and enjoyed stellar careers, as did the Supreme Court judge, prosecutor, government pathologist and junior defense barrister, (Sir) Harry Gibbs. 
Life would never be the same, however, for the two devastated families left behind. The Armstrongs grieved their loving daughter and sister, and the Brown family, a much loved husband, father and grandfather.
As a result of many years of research we've exposed glaring anomalies and flaws in this so-called 'open and shut' case, including the Supreme Court trial. We, and we're pleased to say many others, now hold the opinion our grandfather was most likely innocent of this crime.... if so, who was responsible for taking Bronia Armstrong's life? We invite readers to form their own opinion. Did the 1947 'Arcade Murder' investigation and Supreme Court trial result in a severe miscarriage of justice?  
Deb and Jan  
 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.
Dr Robert N Moles, Law Professor, 1 April 2014   click to read about Brisbane's Arcade Murder on NetK