By Robert Cox
The newest paintings from acclaimed old writer Robert Cox, A Compulsion to Kill is a dramatic chronological account of 19th-century Tasmanian serial murderers. by no means sooner than published in such intensity, the tale is the end result of in depth study and adept craftsmanship because it probes the essence of either the crimes and the killers themselves.
starting in 1806 with Australia’s first serial killers, John Brown and Richard Lemon, A Compulsion to Kill recounts the tales of Alexander Pearce, ‘the cannibal convict’; Thomas Jeffrey, a sadist, sexual predator, cannibal, and baby-killer referred to as ‘the monster’; Charles Routley, who burnt considered one of his sufferers alive; cannibal convicts Broughton and McAvoy; Rocky Whelan, who in twenty-four days slew 5 males in chilly blood; and John Haley, who killed 3 humans in suits of rage. the ultimate bankruptcy investigates the still-unsolved Parkmount murders, 3 killings for which the 2 possible culprits two times confronted court docket, purely to be discharged because of defective police research and ignored evidence.
every one of these tales have by no means been informed earlier than, and none has formerly been comparable with such element and verifiable accuracy. A decided storyteller, Cox grants a supremely dramatic page-turner within the real crime style.
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Additional info for A Compulsion to Kill. The Surprising Story of Australia's Earliest Serial Killers
But Cornelius and Brown, when they reached Macquarie Harbour four days after parting from the others, admitted to authorities that Dalton had been killed and 56 The Bisdee confession says the first killing, supposedly of Bodenham, was on the morning after the eleventh night of freedom, which would be 1 October. But that disagrees with the date of Cornelius’s and Brown’s returning to Macquarie Harbour, 12 October, which was supposedly four days after Dalton’s death. 57 Hamish Maxwell-Stewart and Lucy Frost, Chain Letters: Narrating Convict Lives, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 2001, p.
32 2. The Man-Eater: Alexander Pearce Cane. During that time, on 7 July, he appeared as a witness in a case in which three other convicts were accused of assaulting and stealing clothing from Hugh Morgan in Melville Street, Hobart. Morgan subsequently quizzed Pearce, believing he knew the men responsible, and offered him a reward for information. Pearce soon returned some of the stolen property to him, although he himself had an alibi. As he told the magistrate, as a convict he was confined in the watch-house from sunset to sunrise and was there on the night Morgan was robbed.
With seven other men he made a bold bid for freedom, but only he of the eight achieved it. How he did so was to make him one of the most reviled men in Australian history, as well as a continuing source of macabre fascination and the subject of several books and three films. The new arrival had soon learnt of a planned escape and declared his willingness to join it. So on 20 September 1822, at Kelly Basin, a timber-cutting site in the farthest southeastern reaches of the harbour opposite Sarah Island, Pearce and six others attacked and overpowered their guards.