Thursday 28 May 2015

Ned Kelly murdered Sergeant Michael Kennedy

A Photo from the time of the exact place where the body of Michael Kennedy was found, recently believed to have been rediscovered by Bill Denheld. 
Not many of the things Ned Kelly believed are as insane as the idea that he was defending himself when he murdered three Policemen at Stringybark Creek. When arguing this point, Kelly sympathisers such as 'Anonymous' focus on the first killing, that of Lonigan,  and split hairs over whether or not Lonigan drew his gun, or fired it, was running for cover or behind a log when he was shot, was a person who claimed  he would kill Ned Kelly when or if the opportunity arose, had been given an opportunity to surrender and so on. The idea that Ned Kelly shot Lonigan in self defence is very far from proven, highly contentious and despite the conclusion of the absurd mock repeat trials some years ago there is no certainty any real Court would have accepted it.

However the point that seems lost on the Kelly sympathisers, and which renders all this debate more or less pointless is that no matter what conclusion you draw in relation to the shooting of Lonigan, there is no dispute about the death of Kennedy – Kennedy was killed in cold blood trying to ESCAPE the scene. He was CHASED by the Kelly Gang, and it was Kennedy who was shooting in self defence. There can be NO DOUBT that Kennedys death was cold blooded murder, and its no wonder Kelly sympathisers want to keep the focus on Lonigan because as soon as it turns to Kennedy, all their arguments about Ned not wanting to kill policemen collapse in a bloody heap.If Ned had NOT wanted to kill Kennedy he could have simply let him go - but instead, Kelly followed him a long way through the bush, wounded him, caught up to him and executed him on the spot.

In fact, despite Ned Kellys predictable attempts to exonerate himself in relation to these killings with the claim of self defence, being unable to keep his mouth shut he said a whole lot more in the Jerilderie Letter that exposes his true motivation and frame of mind when he went to SBC to confront the search party:

Firstly, he had convinced himself the Police were going to kill him - this sounds awfully like paranoid delusion:
“they must remember those men came into the bush with the intention of scattering pieces of me and my brother all over the bush.."

“I could not help shoot them or else let them shoot me which they would have done if their bullets had been directed as they intended” 
“this cannot be called willful murder as I was compelled to shoot them or else lie down and let them shoot me”

 “in every paper that is printed I am called the blackest and coldest blooded murderer ever on record But if I hear any more of it I will not exactly show them what cold blooded murder is but wholesale and retail slaughter something different to shooting three troopers in self defence and robbing a bank, I would have been rather hot blooded to throw down my rifle and let them shoot me and my innocent brother”

Secondly, he decided that he would confront the Police:

“We thought it best to try and Bail those up take their firearms ammunition and horses and we could stand a chance with the rest”

And third, he had become so consumed by hatred of the police that he wasn’t going to tolerate the slightest resistance: 

“I am a widows son outlawed and my orders must be obeyed” (HIS underlining !)

“It is only foolhardiness to disobey an outlaw as any Policeman or other man who do not throw up their arms directly as I call on them knows the consequence which is a speedy dispatch to Kingdom Come” 

“had he not obeyed my orders or attempted to reach for the gun or draw  his revolver he would have been shot dead” 

These three quotes explain exactly what happened to Lonigan, Scanlan and Kennedy, and why. Neds out-of-control ego had him believing his word was law, nobody had the right to question it or disobey it, or even hesitate to obey it - the slightest resistance would invite immediate and lethal punishment - not a warning or a second chance, but a speedy dispatch to "Kingdom Come” , no questions asked - exactly what happened to the three Policemen.

In addition to these words there are many more in the Jerilderie letter in which Ned expresses contempt and undisguised hatred of Police – but to confuse the issue there are a few places where he expresses an idea that all he planned to do at SBC was bail up the Police and take their guns and horses, the preferred scheme of kelly sympathisers:

“ We thought there were more in the tent asleep those being on sentry we could have shot those two men without speaking but not wishing to take their lives we waited”

“ I could have shot them without speaking but their lives were no good to me”

“McIntyre jumped on Kennedys horse and I allowed him to go as I did  not like to shoot him after he surrendered”

This is actually quite typical of Ned Kellys thought processes : confusing and contradictory, saying in one sentence he only planned to take their arms ammunition and horses, and in another saying that because they had come to kill him he was “compelled" to shoot them in self defence. I don’t believe he is referring here to a compulsion that derived from someone pulling a gun on him, but a compulsion derived from the very presence of the Police Party in the bush - its quite clear from numerous statements of his, as quoted above that in Kellys eyes they were there to find and kill him, but he wasn’t about to lie down and let that happen. Those few sentences  about simply disarming the Police are paraded by the Sympathisers as their evidence that Neds intentions were benign and it was the police who created the chaos that ended in their deaths, saying that it was foolishness and “cowardice” that made them fight. But his actions are consistent not with these latter statements about not wanting to kill but with the former ones, where he declares his refusal to lie down and be shot, and his readiness to kill anyone who didnt do exactly what he told them to. 

Given that he made good on his threat to despatch to Kingdom Come three of the policemen who disobeyed him , I cant see why he wouldn’t have done the same to the fourth once he too disobeyed his orders and made a run for it. McInytre certainly believed he was shot at, but fortunately for him he wasn’t hit. Kelly's explanation for McIntyres survival sounds very much like a hypocritical attempt to claim credit for something he had no control over. “I allowed him to go” - yeah right! Sorry Ned, he got away and in spite of your best efforts you couldn’t stop him.

Sympathisers also  love to draw attention to the fact that Kennedys corpse was covered in his Police cloak, making out that this was a sign of some sort of respect for him, but they neglect to explain why the other two victims didn’t receive the same respect, and they ignore the horror of the murder of Scanlan on his horse, the pursuit and killing of Kennedy at point blank range, and the outrageous indignity of robbing all the dead policemen of personal effects like watches and wedding rings. I suggested in a previous Post that the cloak was provided because at first the gang were going to leave Kennedy there alive but wounded, but then they changed their minds and shot him. If it was supposed to be a sign of respect  its typical of the confused contradictory nature of Ned Kellys state of mind at the time - everything else he did and said in relation to the Police was disrespect, violence hate and contempt.

I think its pretty clear what was going on in Neds enraged mind : Does anyone doubt he had developed an intense and irrational hatred of Police? Does anyone doubt he had convinced himself that the Police wanted him dead? Ned formulated a plan to deal with both these problems together - Bail up the Police, take what he wanted and God Help anyone who got in his way. He was more than prepared to kill at the slightest excuse – indeed, was probably looking for one. In fact, given his claims that the killings were "self defence” I think he may have already decided he would kill them pre-emptively. 

Argue if you like about the possibility that Lonigan was killed by Ned Kelly in self defence, that it wasn’t cold blooded murder - but nobody can make that argument in relation to Kennedys death. That was definitely a killing with “malice aforethought"

Thursday 21 May 2015

The Murders at SBC

So now we come to Ned Kellys most heinous crime, the killing of three innocent Policemen at Stringybark Creek.  Had he been successful, Neds plans for Glenrowan would have involved even greater violence, and murder in far larger numbers, but thankfully his plans were thwarted, leaving the events at SBC the central and defining act of the Kelly Outbreak. There are some intriguing controversies within the SBC debate – the  EXACT location of the Police encampment is one, and another is argument about how Lonigan had four bullet wounds when it was reported by Ned Kelly that he killed him with a single shot. Unsurprisingly the precise detail of what happened at SBC is confused because the two witnesses who spoke about it are the traumatized Policeman McIntyre, and Ned Kelly, a man who even Ian Jones admitted, told lies.

However there isn’t much in dispute about the basic facts of the incident.  Ned and Dan Kelly were wanted for the attempted murder of Fitzpatrick. A party of four Policemen searching for them in the Wombat ranges was “Bailed up” at their camp beside Stringybark Creek by the Kellys with Steve Hart and Joe Byrne, in October 1878.  The encounter ended with three Policemen dead, the fourth fleeing for his life and the four assailants escaping with the police horses and ransacked personal effects and equipment, to remain fugitives until the final Act of the Outbreak at Glenrowan in June 1880.  I discussed the events at SBC in some detail HERE but there are still issues I want to return to.

The first of these is the claim by Kelly sympathisers that the Police Party intended not to capture but to kill Ned Kelly. Their “proofs” of this claim are allegations that the Police who went to SBC were in disguise, that they were heavily armed, and that they brought specially made leather straps for the transport of bodies. These three “proofs” are repeated ad nauseam throughout the Kelly literature and by self appointed Kelly experts whenever they pop up on their Forums on TV or in print – but lets be perfectly clear about it – these “proofs” are fabrications – the Police were NOT in disguise, they were NOT heavily armed and there were NO body straps. To prĂ©cis the reasons I describe these claims as fabrications, understand that not being in Uniform is different from being “in disguise” – and it was unexceptional for Police to be out of uniform; understand that in addition to their regular equipment – a single revolver each– they had a total of TWO additional weapons – a shotgun and a rifle, both borrowed at the last minute, and hardly enough to start “a small war” as claimed preposterously by an NKF Member who poses as an expert on all things Kelly; and lastly Ian Jones story of body straps is a very late and unproven oral tradition backed by no evidence and no logic. 

All that is left of this idea that the police were planning to kill them on sight is an allegation made by Ned Kelly, in the Jerilderie Letter, that certain Policemen had vowed they would kill Ned if they ever came across him, then say they had called on him to surrender first. Its never a good idea to uncritically believe anything said by Ned Kelly but Ian Jones says that these threats were confirmed by “police sources” though he doesn’t provide any additional detail. In any case, it is completely misleading for Kelly sympathisers to claim angry expressions like that were expressions of police Policy – they were not. This was perfectly illustrated much later on when Ned was brought down at Glenrowan by Sergeant Steele, who then, in an excitable state wanted to execute him on the spot. He was prevented from doing so by Constable Bracken who is reported to have said “ I’ll shoot any bloody man that dares touch him” So the idea that 'the Police' were planning to kill Kelly rather than capture him has nothing to support it. It’s a myth.

The next issue I wish to revisit is the Kelly sympathisers  portrayal of the encounter at SBC as some sort of a fair fight that Ned won because of his superior marksmanship and his skill in battle.  According to a self appointed Kelly expert on the NKF  “The police had enough weaponry and ammunition to start a small war”. Firstly, as we have already seen this is simply wrong. The Police were armed with just one revolver each - their regulation equipment -  plus a single additional rifle and a shotgun which they borrowed. Two extra guns, one a “fowling piece” between four is hardly heavily armed! Moreover, when Kelly later took possession of these guns, the shotgun was loaded with shot for killing game, not people - so Kelly somewhat ominously emptied out the “ shot” and replaced it with bullets. Secondly, when the Gang approached the Police camp only two of the Police were there and one, McIntyre was unarmed and making a cup of tea. The other, Lonigan, had a revolver secured in a leather pouch and was shot and killed almost immediately. When the other two Police returned their reaction to being ordered to surrender was to fight back, but being on horseback they were sitting ducks. Scanlan was killed almost immediately, whilst scrambling off his horse and trying unsuccessfully to get to the rifle slung across his back at the same time. Kennedy fought back as he fled into the bush, wounded, he was followed and eventually dispatched with a point blank shot to the chest. 

By no means was this a “fair fight” – the Gang had the advantages of surprise, cover and numbers. The outcome was inevitable. It was a slaughter. Admiring Ned for coming out on top after this encounter would be like admiring an adult who bashed kids. Sickening.

Friday 15 May 2015

Ned Kelly was NOT a victim of Police Persecution

The "Fitzpatrick Affair" happened in April 1878, when Ned Kelly was about 23 years old. It resulted in warrants being issued for his arrest on the serious charge of Attempted Murder, and began the last chapter of his life, which up to that point had been one of relatively minor but escalating criminality. 

As we have seen in our review of Neds Charge Sheet, it had begun at age 14 when he was alleged to have assaulted a Chinaman. The case was dismissed. The following year he was charged with highway robbery as an accomplice of Harry Power, and that case was dismissed as well. However later the same year, 1870, for his part in the McCormick incident he was convicted and served 3 months for Assault and Indecent behavior. A few months after that, in 1871 he was convicted of horse stealing and returned to Prison, this time for three years.  In 1876 he narrowly avoided another conviction for horse stealing, and in 1877 he was fined for drunkenness, riding on a footpath and resisting arrest.  In 1878 further warrants for Horse stealing were issued, but attempts to execute these warrants resulted in the so-called “Fitzpatrick” Incident, following which warrants for Attempted Murder were issued. From that moment on Kellys criminal career became something altogether different, something desperate and dangerous.

In my review of all these cases up to this point, April 1878, in each one I have been trying to identify the Police corruption and Judicial persecution that the Kelly sympathisers claim was the true cause of all this supposed Kelly criminality, but I have been unable to find it.  I have also repeatedly asked readers to point out their evidence of the Kelly Family being picked on and hounded by the authorities, but they have not provided it. What I am asking for is evidence of police action involving the Kellys for reasons other than legitimate Police interest in allegations of criminality, for the things alleged in the pro-Kelly literature and the Jerilderie Letter like being Irish, for being Poor, for being selectors, for no reason other than a desire of the police to harass and vilify and  interfere in the lives of the otherwise God fearing law abiding citizens of the Kelly legend. 

Apart from some disputation about the role of the hated Fitzpatrick, there has been no attempt by anyone to challenge my repeated claim that none of these interactions between the Kellys and the Law support the Kelly Legend story of  an unjustified campaign of Anti-Kelly police and Judicial persecution, harassment and corruption. 

Not only that, none of these events had anything whatsoever to do with Ned Kelly defending the rights of the downtrodden, the Poor and the marginalised, these people he later referred to as the "suffering innocents", in his attempts to create an image of himself as their champion. In fact, in two cases his criminality involved wrongs against his own people, the McCormicks and Wild Wright, and the Public brawls were about his ego and his desired image of “flashness”.

In every case to April 1878, Police interaction with the Kellys, and Ned in particular has resulted not from Police interference or gratuitous provocations but entirely from choices made by Ned Kelly  – to assault the Chinaman, to join Harry Power, to involve himself in the McCormicks dispute and send those testicles, to try to double cross Wild Wright and sell the borrowed horse, to violently resist arrest, to violently refuse handcuffs, to steal Lydekers horse and foal, to steal Whittys horses….and none of it to do with anything noble or revolutionary or about  social justice.

Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence that rather than exhibiting bias against the Kellys the Judicial system was lenient, tolerant fair and on occasion even tried to be helpful in its dealings with the Kellys.  For example Ned received the benefit of considerable doubt when the charges of assault against the Chinaman were dismissed, because the witnesses who backed Ned were all associates of his and almost certainly lied. When Ned Kelly co-operated with the Police to help them catch Harry Power they dropped charges against him and offered him an opportunity to escape the life of criminality they could see him being drawn into. They even loaned him money – which he didn’t repay. And after his first spell in prison, a good Policeman visited him at home to offer further support. And for good behavior in both cases his time served was reduced in keeping with regulation practice.

Never-the-less, Ned Kelly writes in the Jerilderie Letter:
“ There was never such a thing as Justice in the English Laws but any amount of injustice to be had…”
Kelly sympathisers read this and nod their heads in agreement, feel sorry for Ned Kelly and never doubt for a minute he was telling it like it was. Poor persecuted Ned! No wonder he did what he did! But as we have seen in a closer analysis of what really happened to Ned Kelly, and why it happened, at least up until April 1878, his complaint that there was no such thing as Justice is simply wrong. The Police and the Judiciary did not persecute or entrap or provoke or in way involve themselves in the lives of the Kellys except when the Kellys invited them to do so, by assault, by obscene abuse, by highway robbery, by stealing horses and cattle, and by refusing to comply with Lawful   requests from the Police such as to be hand-cuffed, or to accompany a Policeman to a Station.

I will pause here and wait for the Kelly sympathisers to respond and point out the evidence in support of Ned Kellys claim “ There was never such a thing as Justice in the English Laws but any amount of injustice to be had…” I want to read why it is they think up to this point, Ned Kellys problems were created by the police and the “authorities” rather than by his own deliberate choice. Perhaps the Neducator, the anti-Book madman, the NKF Key Master, Bob and the other hangers on who were always so ready to attack me on my other forums could instead make an attempt to do something constructive and defend the Kelly Legend?

If they don’t produce anything, I will assume they have nothing apart from blind faith, and conclude that Neds claim in the Jerilderie letter, like so many of them, and the Legend of Ned Kelly itself is delusional. 

Saturday 9 May 2015

Imagining Ned Exhibition

How often do you see a photo of the back of the armour? And is that Dees family reflection?
Or the side?

Great Depiction of the Gang by Chevalier Matania, 1930. 
This work was on loan from “The Collection of Leigh Olver” 
the Kelly descendant whose Mitochondrial DNA matched that of the Bones identified as Neds.
Autumn colour in the Streets of Bendigo
The two huge works on the left are amazing carpet reproductions of famous Nolan Paintings
Cabinet contains old Ned magazines and comics  
Ned the Gay Icon
I finally got to see this exhibition, and I am not sure it was worth the effort, but as the photos show, I did get to see Neds armour, his gun, the Jerilderie Letter and Neds Death mask, among other things. I was particularly on the look-out for the Banker Letters that the NKF members got so excited about in January, because it had been suggested then that if found to be genuine they might be included in this exhibition but they weren’t. NKF members trumpeted that these letters debunked Ian MacFarlanes book, claimed they had more information to be released in due course and harshly abused me for expressing scepticism about these letters and their credulous over-the-top reactions to them. Well, these letters seems to have sunk without trace, they haven’t dared to mention them again anywhere so I guess that concludes that particular saga with the NKF red-faced.
Neds Snider enfield Rifle
Actually that rifle of Neds has inscriptions carved into it which would further embarrass one of the NKF members who already has egg on his face from the Letters saga. He is the so-called “Neducator" who claims Neds girlfriend was a distant relative of his, but he has never had the courage of his convictions to make his evidence publicly available for scrutiny, so who knows? The Exhibition reports that, as you can dimly see on the above photo 

“The first and clearest of these (inscriptions) is on the right hand side of the butt and reads NK son of Red. The conjoined NK is reminiscent of Neds brand which was a reversed K and E conjoined. Neds father was known as Red Kelly. The second inscription on the left hand side of the butt is a cryptogram. The upper drawing is of a deer, beneath which is the letter K and the number eight(k8) and below that is a heart shape with the letters U and R inside it. The Cryptogram reads Dear/Kate/You are/in my heart. It is know acknowledged that Neds sweetheart was Kate lloyd, daughter of Tom Llloyd. At the time this would not have been widely known”

However the Neducator might have approved of this information:
 For Kids: During his life Ned Kelly was already well known. Some people thought he was bad, that he had broken the Law and done terrible things. Other people thought that there were reasons for what had happened and that Ned had just been trying to help his family. The story of Ned kelly and the Kelly Gang was talked about In Australia and over seas and people wrote books plays and films about it.
In this room you can see lots of different pictures of Ned. Can you find the postcards? And the cards from chocolate boxes? Do you think people would have liked to collect the whole set? Why?"

Call me old fashioned but I am nauseated by this sort of  propagandist approach to history for kids. It is misrepresentation to write that  “some people THOUGHT  Ned Kelly had broken the law and done terrible things” - the FACTS are that he DID break the Law and do terrible things. By all means discuss WHY he might have broken the Law or done terrible things, or the fairness of the Laws, but to begin by suggesting there was some sort of balnced debate about whether he even broke the Law or was just trying to help his family is a dumb way to tell history unless you are wanting to persuade young minds to a particular view of it. 

The exhibition, being held in an Art Gallery rather than a Museum was understandably focussed on cultural aspects of the Kelly story rather than true History, and it was a nice little window into the art and literature that has continued right to the present, and the small number of historical items like the armour and the gun helped to put these images into context. Overall one would probably come away with an impression that Ned was misunderstood, that the "Hero or Villain” debate was still unresolved, an impression that would not have been left if I had been the curator!

Monday 4 May 2015

That Bloody Fitzpatrick

Ned Kelly admitted that he stole horses, but he claimed that was Whittys fault. Ned Kelly also admitted killing the Police at Stringybark Creek, but this time it was Fitzpatricks fault : “Fitzpatrick was the cause of all this” he wrote in the Jerilderie Letter, and modern day Kelly sympathisers believe it. But is it true?

I discussed this episode in detail last year in “The modern-Fitzpatrick-cover-up scandal” which you can read here. However this subject is worth revisiting, not just because it occupies an important place in the Kelly mythology but because since last years Post, Doug Morrisseys book has been published and it contains fresh insights. In a fascinating chapter called “That Bloody Fitzpatrick” Morrissey details the friendship that existed between Fitzpatrick and the Kellys, and writes “Ned and Fitzpatrick were larrikin friends sharing an interest in fast horses and shanty good times”. He also discusses Fitzpatricks relationship with Kate, Neds sister, and suggests that initially Ellen and Ned “may even have encouraged it” because for the Kellys as well as for the Policeman there were mutual benefits.

Essentially, for anyone unfamiliar with the Fitzpatrick Incident, what happened was that on April 15th 1878 Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick went to the Kelly homestead to arrest Dan Kelly for horse stealing. There was a directive at the time that Police should not approach the Kellys alone, but because of his familiarity with the family Fitzpatrick ignored it and went by himself. Unfortunately there was a dispute, it escalated to violence, Fitzpatrick was shot in the wrist and eventually returned empty handed to complain that Ned Kelly had tried to kill him. Warrants for Attempted Murder were added to those already issued for horse stealing and Ned and Dan fled into the hills. Various embellishments are added to the story to further blacken the name of Fitzpatrick - such as that he was drunk, or that he made some sort of unwanted advance towards Kate - but they are not supported by facts or by consistency between the various versions and cannot be relied on.

Ned Kelly gave his version of events in the Jerilderie Letter, and denied wounding Fitzpatrick, or even being at the house at the time of this incident. This view is accepted as Gospel by Kelly Fanatics like those on the IO site and the Ned Kelly Forum but Morrissey wrote “As a template for what occurred, Neds Jerilderie Letter account is totally unreliable”. Morrissey was not the first Kelly scholar to hold that view - I pointed out last year that both Ian Jones and Max Brown also believe that Neds version was not the truth. However, this information is ignored in the modern Kelly myth, and there is almost no acknowledgement that Fitzpatricks relationship with the Kellys was complex, that he wasn’t the evil Villain they like to portray him as and that Kelly lied about him and about the Incident in the Jerilderie Letter. I called it a cover-up and a scandal.
This is some of what Ned Kelly said in the Jerilderie Letter about this episode:

“…(I) left the colony and became a rambling gambler soon after I left there was a warrant for me and the Police searched the place and watched night and day for two or three weeks and when they could not snare me they got a warrant against my brother Dan and on the 15th April Fitzpatrick came to the 11 Mile Creek to arrest him….

Dans mother said Dan need not go without a warrant unless he liked and that the trooper had no business on her premises without some authority besides his own word. The trooper pulled his revolver out and said he would blow her brains out if she interfered in the arrest she told him it was a good job Ned was not there or he would ram the revolver down his throat…”

The Kelly fanatics believe this statement to be factually correct, but for a start, Ellen and Ned are mistaken in their belief that it was necessary to produce the actual warrant. It wasn’t . Modern Kelly sympathisers also dismiss Fitzpatricks claim that Ned was not only present but shot at him, as the lies of a corrupt Policeman, but again they are wrong - Ned WAS there and he DID shoot at Fitzpatrick :

Read what Alex Castles wrote in Ned Kellys Last Days (p123)
“As Senior Constable John Kelly reported, he had discussed the matter with Ned at Benalla and during the conversation the bushranger had freely admitted that he had shot at the former constable. ‘Ned what about Fitzpatrick? Was his statement correct?’ the Policeman enquired. ‘Yes, it was I that fired at him’ To this, Senior Constable Kelly was prepared to swear under oath”

And now, Ian Jones“This confession may be discredited as another example of police perjury but it supports stories told by Kate, Jim and Brickey Williamson”
Of Fitzpatricks version he says “ appears to be closer to the truth than Neds…”

Later Jones writes “If Ned had admitted that he shot Fitzpatrick, he would also have given credence to the rest of the troopers evidence and implicated his mother, Skilling and Williamson. So he lied”

Jones believes the reason Ned Kelly lied was to protect members of his family, which would have been an admirable act. It could be true. Its what the Mythmakers want to believe.  But given what we have observed of Ned Kellys tendency to look for someone to blame for his faults and his endless refusal to accept responsibility for his own misdeeds and his adoption of a criminal career, his lies were more likely aimed at trying to protect himself, and put the blame for what happened onto someone else - Alexander Fitzpatrick.

Jones chapter on this subject is called the Fitzpatrick Mystery, and the Iron Outlaw site calls it the same thing. But really the only way that this event can be construed as a ‘mystery’ is if you try to reconcile Ned’s account of it with everyone else’s - but you can’t. However rejecting Neds version for what it is, - a self-serving misrepresentation - in other words, lies - makes the Mystery disappear. The consensus of the experts is that Ned lied, that he WAS there and he shot Fitzpatrick in a chaotic scuffle precipitated by Ellen Kellys attempts to stop Fitzpatrick performing his legal duty. End of story.

At the end of its egregious vilification of Fitzpatrick as a “Real Villain” the IO site has this to say:

'The question still remains today, did the Kelly outbreak arise due to one constable's battle with the bottle and his countless lies and half truths?'

This really is a stupid question. It exposes the deep ignorance of leaders in the modern Kelly sympathiser crowd about an important and central event in the Kelly Outbreak, and a desperate hope like that expressed so often by Ned Kelly that someone else can be blamed for what took place -  anyone but their Ned. But the Police cant be blamed for trying to bring criminals to face justice - the answer to that stupid question is an emphatic “No” : the Kelly Outbreak arose from Ned Kellys horse stealing. 

Its time the Kelly sympathisers faced facts - Fitzpatrick was not the cause of the Kelly outbreak and Ned Kelly lied about it.