Here is something interesting. the remains of Ned Kelly who is Australia’s equivalent of America’s “Billy the Kid” has been identified:
The headless remains of the infamous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly have finally been identified, officials said Thursday, solving a mystery dating back more than 130 years.
Considered by some to be a cold-blooded killer, Kelly was also seen as a folk hero and symbol of Irish-Australian defiance against the British authorities.
After murdering three policemen, he was captured in Victoria state in 1880 and hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol in November of the same year. But his body went missing after it was thrown into a mass grave.
The bodies in the grave were transferred from the jail to Pentridge Prison in 1929 and then exhumed again in 2009. The investigation into Kelly began when a skull believed to be his — and stolen in 1978 — was rediscovered.
Doctors and scientists at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine identified his body, found in a wooden axe box, after a DNA sample was taken from Melbourne teacher Leigh Olver, Kelly’s sister Ellen’s great-grandson.
“The wear and tear of the skeleton is a little bit more than would be expected for a 25-year-old today,” said institute director Professor Stephen Cordner.
“But such was Ned’s life, this is hardly surprising.”
However, tests found that the skull believed to be Kelly’s was in fact not his.
Victoria’s Attorney-General Robert Clark said he was amazed by the work of the forensic scientists.
“This is an extraordinary achievement by our forensic team,” he said.
“To think a group of scientists could identify the body of a man who was executed more than 130 years ago, moved and buried in a haphazard fashion among 33 other prisoners, most of whom are not identified, is amazing.” [AFP]
You can read more about Ned Kelly at the link but basically he is a cultural icon Down Under due to how he is perceived to have stood up to corrupt police that were protecting the wealthy in the rural areas of the state of Victoria. However, once again like Billy the Kid there are very strong opinions about the guy because in areas that he victimized especially the town of Mansfield where he killed three policemen he is thought of as nothing more than a killer and outlaw. I have seen interviews where descendants of the people he murdered are appalled that he is considered a cultural icon. So the controversy surrounding Ned Kelly will assuredly live on, but at least the whereabouts of his body has been solved.