Deborah Benson

Judicial Murder

the Victorian Goldfields in 1864 were wild and chaotic places. Tens of thousands of hopefuls had streamed in from every continent in search of wealth. Many were desperate. Daylesford in 1864, a rush and mining town, was a place where men outnumbered women and where drinking houses and brothels proliferated.
It was there that Margaret Graham, a seventeen-year old bride, was brutally murdered in her bed. And it was there that the hunt was on to track down her murderer.
David Young, an ex-convict and a Vandemonian, was looking for work. He had camped near her cottage and had briefly flirted with Margaret. That was enough! The case was made to fit. He was charged, tried …and hanged; the first at the Castlemaine Gaol.
But other and more likely suspects abounded: violent, possessive and from the dark side of this world. They were ignored or passed over. Judicial Murder lays out the case for David Young’s exoneration. It paints a world where senior officials lived wealthy, dissolute lives; where ordinary people made do in canvas homes and one or two-room shacks; and where a few good men tried valiantly to assert the rule of law and raise the flag of compassion for the most down-trodden in their midst.
495 printed pages
Original publication



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