A century ago, in the Sydney slum of Surry Hills, a Chinese gunman shot more than a dozen people, triggering a dramatic police siege that was only ended by the violent intervention of a lone American vigilante. But who was this self-styled cowboy with the six-shooter? For Part Two, click HERE
While many bushrangers are celebrated as rebel leaders, the one man who might really fit the bill—Ralph Entwistle, leader of the Ribbon Boys—is all but unknown. It was his naked swim that led to Australia’s biggest convict uprising—1830’s The Bathurst Rebellion—and resulted in one of the largest mass hangings in our history. Yet the entire tragedy wouldn’t have happened if it not for a police magistrate’s fondness for handing out brutal punishments.
Elected to state and federal parliament, Thomas Ley’s career in 1920s politics was marked by hypocrisy, corruption, ruthless manipulation and the lingering suspicion that he may have killed his rivals. The worst fears of his critics were confirmed in 1947, when Ley was convicted of cold-blooded murder in one of England’s most sensational court trials.