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