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Forensic experts have confirmed that human remains found at the old Pentridge Prison site in Melbourne are those of notorious Australian bushranger Ned Kelly.
After an exhaustive 20-month investigation, scientists and doctors today revealed that an almost complete skeleton found buried in a wooden axe box were those of the famous outlaw, who was executed in 1880.
A DNA sample taken from Melbourne school teacher Leigh Olver, who is the great-grandson of Kelly's sister Ellen, confirmed the remains were those of the bushranger.
Kelly's remains were mixed among those of 33 others that were exhumed from Pentridge in 2009. His skull was stolen from a glass display case at the Old Melbourne Gaol in 1978 - the mystery surrounding its whereabouts sparking the investigation that led to the discovery.
Attorney-General Robert Clark said it was a remarkable achievement by forensic teams in Australia and around the world.
"To think a group of scientists could identify the body of a man who was executed more than 130 years ago, moved and buried in a haphazard fashion among 33 other prisoners, most of whom are not identified, is amazing," he said.
Kelly's remains were buried in Melbourne Gaol's mass graveyard. Kelly's head was given to phrenologists for study then returned to the police, who used it for a time as a paperweight. In 1929, Melbourne gaol was closed, and the bodies in its graveyard were transferred to Pentridge prison. During the transfer of bodies, workers stole skeletal parts from a grave marked with the initials EK in the belief they belonged to Kelly. The site foreman retrieved the skull and gave it to the Australian Institute of Anatomy in Canberra. The skull in the possession of police was also given, at some unknown date, to the Institute of Anatomy in Canberra who, in 1971, gave it to the National Trust. It was displayed at the Old Melbourne Gaol until it was stolen in December 1978. Tom Baxter, a farmer from West Australia, claims he has the skull stolen in 1978 but has refused to hand it over for identification or burial. Despite attempts, the police have been unable to locate the stolen skull. The skull does not match photographs of the stolen skull, and a facial reconstruction based on a cast made from the skull in Baxter's possession does not resemble Kelly, but does resemble the death mask of Ernest Knox, who was executed in 1894 for murder. If this is indeed the skull stolen in 1978, it means that Kelly's skull was on display originally, but was taken off display at some time and thereafter replaced with Knox's skull.
Originally posted by bluemirage5
reply to post by Kryties
Who cares about Ned Kelly; he got what he deserved and the Australians have glorified this cold blooded lying thieving murdering skumbag since.
Originally posted by Kryties
reply to post by buskey
That's a bloody good question!
Kelly's remains were buried in Melbourne Gaol's mass graveyard. Kelly's head was given to phrenologists for study then returned to the police, who used it for a time as a paperweight. In 1929
One of Ned Kelly's relatives says he is disgusted that the Victorian Government is considering putting the infamous bushranger's skeleton on public display.
Anthony Griffiths, the great grandson of Ned Kelly's sister Grace, says any public exhibition of the bones would be "macabre and disgusting". "The presentation of a corpse on display is something out of medieval times," he said.