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

“Arizona” Ryan became an instant celebrity, but no-one looked too closely at his background.

One of the last times this story was recounted was back in 1949 — but this article,
like all others, didn’t bother to question the background of the American hero.

During the battle, thousands of people poured into Surry Hills, staying all night for what The Sun newspaper called “the fun”. Some even brought their own guns to take potshots at Lee Hin.

Lee Hin’s little wooden cottage, besieged by onlookers after he’d been carried out dead. Many of the siege spectators were children, with some boys using pea shooters to get in on the action.

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.

This is how Truth newspaper in 1952 envisaged the murder of John Greenwood.

The start of George Suttor’s 1830 letter about the Bathurst Rebellion.

Part of The Sydney Gazette’s report on the trial and execution.

Part of the September 1833 list of convicts Thomas Evernden had flogged.
Lionel Long remembered the events in his 1963 song “The Bathurst Rebellion”. You can hear it in full at the end of the episode.

Henry Bialowas’s Ten Dead Men is the best resource on the Ribbon Gang and was very useful in researching this episode.
For more information, visit his website.

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.

Thomas Ley was dubbed “The Minister For Murder”.
Former federal MP Frederick McDonald went missing in 1926 after a public falling out with Ley over bribery allegations.

NSW state politician Hyman Goldstein died in mysterious circumstances in 1928 after pursuing Ley for fraudulent business practices.

In 1947, in England, the law finally caught up with Ley when he was tried for the sensational “Chalk Pit Murder”.
The 1947 murder case led to renewed interest in whether Ley had been involved in Frederick McDonald’s disappearance.