Saturday, April 21, 2012


According to the New Zealand National Library website (, there were 1569 news stories published in New Zealand newspapers about the Jimmy Governor murders and his subsequent three-month rampage.
These papers included:
Ahsburton Guardian, Auckland Star, Bay of Plenty Times, Colonist, Daily Telegraph, Evening Post, Feilding Star, Grey River Argus, Hawera and Normanby Star, Hawkes Bay Herald, Inangahua Times, Manawatu Herald, Manawatu Standard, Marlborough Express,  Nelson Evening Mail, North Otago Times, Ohinemuri Gazette, Otago Daily Times, Otago Witness, Poverty Bay Herald, Southland Times, Thames Star, Waimate Daily Advertiser, Wanganui Herald, Wanganui Chronicle, West Coast Times.


US-based GenealogyBank, said to be the largest newspaper archive for family history research, has some online newspaper reports about the Breelong murders.
Idaho Statesman, Idaho, 6 July 1900 - Chasing Criminals
Evening News, California, 25 August 1900 - Two Blacks Leave Wide Blood Trail Butchery of Women and Children Arouses Whole District ...
Morning Herald, Kentucky, 7 September 1900 - Eleven Persons Paid Their Lives as Penalty of Negro's Terrible Vengeance
Daily Herald, Mississippi, 4 November 1900 - Reign of Terror Within 100 Miles of Sydney. Two Desperadoes Engaged in Bloody Work
Idaho Statesman, Idaho, 30 November 1900 - Blacks Finished. Squatters in Australia after Outlaws. One Killed, the other Wounded
Helena Independent, Montana, 30 November 1900 - Outlaws Captured. Notorious Australian Criminals Surrounded and Shot by Squatters

Friday, April 20, 2012


The British Newspaper Archive reveals that the Governor murders of the Mawbey family was reported in newspapers throughout the UK.
Evening Telegraph, Angus, Scotland, Wed 29 August 1900 - Fearful outrage by blacks
Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire, England, Wed 29 August 1900 - An Australian tragedy
Manchester Courier and Lancaster General Advertiser, Greater Manchester, England - Murder by Australian blacks
Worcestershire Chronicle, Worcestershire, England, Sat 1 September 1900 - Family murdered by blacks
In the course of my research, I also found the atrocity mentioned in a Russian newspaper.
I have yet to determine if the story appeared in the London Times.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Last year I learnt why Jimmy Governor murdered the pregnant wife of Werriwa selector, Mick O'Brien.
An O'Brien descendent told me that Jimmy and Mick used to be friends, but fell out one day while fishing at a local creek.
After Mick had thrown a fishing net over the water, he wanted Jimmy to swim to the other side to fasten  it.
A punch up resulted when Jimmy refused.
Then Mick's older and much bigger brother, Ted, appeared on the scene and got seriously stuck into Jimmy.
Mick was egging him on, shouting: 'Kill the black bastard!'
Ted only revealed this story on his death bed, suggesting he felt guilt about the role he played in the murder of his sister-in-law.
A shadow puppet play about this incident, and Jimmy's subsequent return to the O'Brien home with a tomahawk to commit murder, can be seen at
Only a snippet of this appeared to me to have been used in the play for which it was created, Posts in the Paddock, staged in Sydney last November.
There is also a short video of parts of the play at