Crime & Mystery

Alexander Pearce – Australia’s Cannibal Convict.

Imagine yourself in that scene in The Shining where Jack Nicholson is chasing you in the snow and wielding an axe.  Now picture that same scenario within the Australian bush and that the man with the axe is in fact a cannibal.  It may sound like the stuff of nightmares, but Alexander Pearce was Australia’s cannibal convict.

Alexander Pearce escaped from prison in Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania in 1822, along with half a dozen others.  About a week into their journey, three of them left the group. Due to starvation, it was not long afterwards that the remaining members of the group, including Pearce, began killing and eating their fellow inmates. Eventually only Pearce and one other, Greenhill, remained. This resulted in a cat and mouse game, as it was Greenhill who had the axe.  Having lulled Greenhill into a false sense of security, Pearce managed to get hold of the axe and murdered Greenhill.

Pearce had been on the run for 113 days before finally being captured. Despite telling authorities of these events (he was not believed), he was once again imprisoned, only to escape almost a year later. With him this time was another convict by the name of  Thomas Cox.  A few days later, Pearce was discovered alone, claiming that Cox had drowned.  In his pockets, however, were the remains of Thomas Cox, along with other sources of food.  Alexander Pearce was found guilty of murder and was hung on 19 July, 1824.

Not only was he a cannibal, but Alexander Pearce is also considered by some to be Australia’s first serial killer.  He has been immortalised in both film and song, including the award-winning drama The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce.  Somehow, I don’t think the line ‘Here’s Alex’ works quite so well as ‘Here’s Johnny’ don’t you think?

Does the idea of cannibalism frighten you?  Do you think Alexander Pearce was a serial killer? Do you think there should be more axe-wielding maniacs in horror? What’s your favourite scene from The Shining?

Free image by Boaz Yiftach courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Crime & Mystery, Movies/Television

Wolf Creek & Ivan Milat – A Backpacker’s Greatest Nightmare.

Wolf Creek undoubtedly has to be one of the scariest movies I’ve seen in a long time. John Jarrett did a brilliant job in the creepy role of Mick Taylor. If anything was to put off potential tourists to this country, one would only need to watch this movie.

Every summer, in my local caravan park, back-packers arrive to work as fruit pickers. Last summer, I watched as many of them stood by the side of the road and began hitch-hiking.  This became a daily routine of theirs.  I thought to myself ‘haven’t  these people heard of Ivan Milat and Wolf Creek? I don’t know about you, but it would certainly stop me in my tracks! I know for some it is their only means of traveling, and they were fortunate to have been given rides, yet one cannot always be too trusting.

The words ‘Ivan Milat’ and ‘backpackers’ have become synonymous in the Australian psyche. It was during the late 1980s that Ivan Milat began murdering backpackers in Belangalo State Forest in New South Wales. He abducted, sexually molested, tortured and murdered seven people and concealed their bodies, making him one of Australia’s worst serial killers of the 20thcentury. Fortunately his killing spree came to an end in the early 1990s, however his legacy still remains. Which is why it is so creepy watching Wolf Creek.

Now there is the prospect of John Jarrett reprising his role as Mick Taylor – a seriously spooky thought!

Have you ever done any hitch-hiking? Did watching this movie put you off visiting Australia? Are you looking forward to a Wolf Creek sequel?

Images copyright South Australian Film Corporation.

Postcards from Australia

Photo Friday – ‘Confusion’.

This week’s Photo Friday will be a little different.  Fellow campaigner, Susanna Leonard Hill has started something different on her blog.  A theme will be posted every week, so that others can place a photo representing that theme on their own blogs.  As she’s a children’s writer, the photos need to be kept in a range appropriate for 0-12 year olds.

As this week’s theme is ‘Confusion’, I didn’t have to search far amongst my photo collection.  A few years ago, I went to the Mulga Bill Bicycle Festival at Yeoval.  This was once the home of famous Australian poet Banjo Patterson, better known for his poem The Man from Snowy River.

The confusion?  Well, along the road as we got closer to the town, we encountered things like this:-

Somebody obviously went to a lot of effort for the day’s bike ride (you certainly wouldn’t be seeing me doing this).  And it certainly can create a bit of havoc when you’re the one driving!

Fortunately on the day I was honoured to meet the legendary Australian actor Jack Thompson.  I’d also show you photos of me with him, but unfortunately, my husband couldn’t work my camera! 🙂

Image by Debbie Johansson.