True Crime Vol.1

What made them do it? What were they thinking? Was it nature or nurture, that is, were they born evil or were they the products of their environment? And why are we so fascinated with crime?
We are delighted to present our first volume in the Grave Tales: True Crime series.
As our nation developed, the bush prospered and the cities grew, there were the terrible crimes that took away our innocence, crimes destined never to be solved that live on in our history… crimes that confound us with their cruelty, stagger us with their brilliance and amaze us with their sheer audacity.
This volume includes the following stories and is available in paperback and ebook:
  • Edward Leonski, the soldier who wanted women’s voices: Overpaid, oversexed and over here – US soldiers during World War II. This is the story of the GI who killed innocent women to possess their voices.
  • The Great Bookie Robbery: A $15 million prize was hijacked in what was the nation’s most brazen and probably biggest cash robbery ever. And despite the ruthless criminals involved, no-one was killed in the heist. But when the robbing was over the killing began.
  • The Pyjama Girl: Who really lies in a humble grave marked with a white cross in a Melbourne cemetery? Is it the woman they call the ‘Pyjama Girl’, Linda Agostini… or does the evidence suggest it’s not her at all?
  • The battle of Broken Hill: Two Muslim camel drivers declared war in the early days of WWI when they killed four innocents on a picnic train because a Turkish Sultan declared a Jihad against Britain’s allies.
  • The poisoner, Martha Needle: The inexplicable carnage of a mother who murdered her husband, her three young girls and her new fiancé’s brother with poison… and how one final cup of tea would seal her fate.
  • Murder on the Rabbit-proof fence: An outback author plotting the perfect homicide for his book unwittingly gave a would-be killer the key to getting away with murder – and it almost worked.
  • The Schippan sisters: The newspaper declared ‘startling disclosures’ would be revealed at the trial of Martha, 24, charged with killing her sister, Bertha, 14. Was it a jealous rage, or was an intruder responsible?
  • The Tichborne heirs: Could a country butcher or an asylum inmate be heirs to a missing British aristocrat’s fortune? What were their chances of convincing the missing man’s mother, that they were really her son?
  • Wife killer, Frederick Deeming: The woman who escaped him was called the ‘uncemented bride’. But those who loved him called him the gentlest of lovers. Several of them were buried under the hearthstone…
  • Who killed Betty Shanks? Educated, attractive and young, Betty was murdered on her way home in Spring 1952. Despite numerous suspects and decades of speculation, Betty’s killer remains at large.
  • Robert Francis Burns – our first serial killer? Was he our first serial killer? Using the solitude of the bush Burns hid his victims’ bodies, but when found guilty of one murder, he told the hangman about some more!
  • The bushranging Clarke brothers: Some bushrangers became folk heroes, others were opportunistic thieves, but the Clarke Brothers were murderous thugs. It would take a Royal Commission to stop them.
  • The murder of Chrissie Venn: How did the body of a murdered 14-year-old girl get into a hollowed-out stump 3.5 metres off the ground? Chrissie never returned from running an errand; her murder is unsolved.
  • Eugenie Falleni: When Harry married Annie he was, in fact, Eugenia – a woman. The case intrigued the nation and after Annie disappeared, Eugenia was charged with murder – but yet she married another woman!
  • Somerton Man: Who was this man found dead on an Adelaide beach in 1948? Police soon discovered a secret pocket in the man’s pants with a piece of paper rolled tightly, bearing the words “Tamam Shud”.
Connect with the authors on the Grave Tales Facebook page, Instagram or YouTube channel.
ISBN: 978-0-9871605-7-7
Price and availability:
  • $25  inc postage in Australia only, if purchased directly from the Grave Tales shop;
  • Available as an ebook and paperback from Amazon (postage cost determined by Amazon);
  • Also available through all good bookstores at the recommended price of $29.95.

Pages: 290pp
Publication date: released 4 April 2019.
Category: Non-fiction, crime, true crime, Australiana, history, modern history.
Atlas Productions