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Alan K | all galleries >> Melbourne >> Old Melbourne Gaol (Jail) > 13190 The Condemned Cell
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24-DEC-2010 AKMC

13190 The Condemned Cell

Old Melbourne Gaol (Jail), Russell St Melbourne VIC

It's fair to say that Colin Campbell Ross was a complete {bleep}hole who needed something unpleasant dropped on him from a great height. To give one example, when a woman refused his offer of marriage he pulled a gun on her. Charming. However he wasn't, as far as we know, a murderer at the time of his last arrest.

That arrest was for the rape and murder of a 12 year old girl named Alma Tirtschke in 1921. Through a combination of false witness statements from people who stood to gain either reduced sentences or reward money, a forensic "expert" who was either corrupt or incompetent, a massive amount of public pressure to solve the murder, and, at a guess, a police force which figured that Ross was overdue for a smack, Ross was convicted of it.

He spent the last two months of his life in this cell. I was originally going to shoot it empty but my fellow visitor wasn't in any hurry to leave and her presence gives a better sense of scale.

After a fresh forensic examination by people who actually knew what they were doing, Ross received a posthumous pardon in 2008. I'm sure that came as a huge relief to him, especially as the hanging was botched and rather more protracted than a normal one. I'll spare you the specifics.

Canon EOS 40D ,Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
1/10s f/4.0 at 24.0mm iso800 full exif

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