The Argus at KellyGang 15/2/1879
We have received from a correspondent an epitome of the written statement which the outlawed murderer Edward Kelly, left at Jerilderie on the occasion of his last robbery under arms. It is a wandering narrative, full of insinuation and statements against the police, and of the type familiar to all who have bad experience of the tales which men of the criminal stamp are accustomed to tell, it being as impossible to prevent these men from lying as it is from stealing. According to Edward Kelly, his criminal career commenced when he was 14 years old, when he received a sentence of three months imprisonment for using a neighbours horse without his consent. After this convictions were frequent and, says Kelly, somewhat naively, "the police became a nuisance to the family." At one period of his life Kelly describes himself as a "wandering gamester." When the affray with Constable Fitzpatrick took place, however, Edward Kelly was engaged in the horse stealing business, and he says he had stolen 200 horses. His narrative of what took place when Constable Fitzpatrick was shot may be given. He says -" Constable Fitzpatrick came to apprehend my innocent brother Dan. My mother asked him had he a warrant. He replied he had a telegram Dan was having something to eat at the time. My mother said ' If my son Ned were at home, he would throw you out of the house.' Dan, looking out of the window said 'Here he comes." Fitzpatrick turned suddenly round to look when Dan, throwing down his fork, jumped up and seized him and in the scuffle Fitzpatrick was shot." We quote this statement because of the publicity which has been given to serious charges against Constable Fitzpatrick. It was alleged in Parliament that the policeman had attempted to take liberties with Kelly's sister, and that this had led to the fight in the hut.
Only the other day a Melbourne journal actually published a tale told by the women of the wretched family to the same effect, and in other ways things have been done which have had the effect of working up sympathy with the Kellys on this account. But from Edward Kellys own narrative it is apparent that these charges are pure invention. The woman is not mentioned and it is admitted that Constable Fitzpatrick was resisted and assaulted while in the execution of his duty. An account is given of the terrible tragedy at Mansfield but it is obviously a string of falsehoods and it would be improper for any journal to publish it. It is admitted however that the police were not in any way the aggressors but were surprised and shot down in cold blood.
No authentic intelligence of the bushrangers came to hand yesterday.
HOW TO CAPTURE THE KELLY GANG
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ARGUS
Sir,-If the Government are in earnest in their endeavour to capture the band of desperadoes that now defy all the efforts of the Victorian police authorities, let them immediately follow up the suggestions and advice tendered in your columns this day and obtain the assistance of black trackers and their officers from Queensland, as I feel assured from my own experience with them that if two small parties were once placed on their tracks they would soon be brought to bay. If the services of Inspector Gilmore could be obtained. His experience would be almost invaluable, as he was during my residence in Queensland noted for his energy and skill in all undertakings that require bravery combined with perseverance -Yours, &c WARREGOO Bairnsdale, Feb. 12.
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