Gun Alley: Murder, Lies and Failure of Justice

Kevin Morgan

Gun Alley: Murder, Lies and Failure of Justice
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Gun Alley: Murder, Lies and Failure of Justice

Kevin Morgan

In the early morning of New Year’s Eve 1921, 12-year-old Alma Tirtschke’s naked body was found in Gun Alley, a dead-end Melbourne lane. She had been raped and strangled. In an atmosphere of public frenzy, the police were pushed to find a culprit and charged saloonkeeper Colin Ross with her murder. Rapidly convicted, and with his appeals to higher courts rejected, Ross was hanged u protesting his innocence to the end. Researching the case in 1995, author Kevin Morgan stumbled upon an envelope containing critical evidence: hair samples. During the trial the prosecution claimed hairs found on Ross’s blanket matched a sample of Alma’s hair. This was the first time such forensic evidence brought a conviction in Australia. Re-examination by modern-day experts has proven the hairs do not match a Gun Alley is the riveting story of how botched policework, trial by media and lynch-law hysteria spawned a staggering conspiracy to convict and hang an innocent man, and reveals for the first time the vital clues missed in the original investigation that point, more than 90 years on, to the true killer. Now updated, this edition documents the extraordinary events leading to the historic pardon and charts the aftermath for the Ross and Tirtschke families as a hanged man’s body is recovered from an unmarked prison grave …

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