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Certain Admissions: A Beach, a Body and a Lifetime of Secrets de Gideon Haigh
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Certain Admissions is Australian true crime at its best, and stranger than any crime fiction. It is real-life police procedural, courtroom drama, family saga, investigative journalism, social history, archival treasure hunt - a meditation, too, on how the past shapes the present, and the present the past. On a warm evening in December 1949, two young people met by chance under the clocks at Flinders Street railway station. They decided to have a night on the town. The next morning, one of them, twenty-year-old typist Beth Williams, was found dead on Albert Park Beach. When police arrested the other, Australia was transfixed: twenty-four-year-old John Bryan Kerr was a son of the establishment, a suave and handsome commercial radio star educated at Scotch College, and Harold Holt's next-door neighbour in Toorak. Police said he had confessed. Kerr denied it steadfastly. There were three dramatic trials attended by enormous crowds, a relentless public campaign proclaiming his innocence involving the first editorials against capital punishment in Australia. For more than a decade Kerr was a Pentridge celebrity, a poster boy for rehabilitation – a fame that burdened him the rest of his life. Then, shortly after his death, another man confessed to having murdered Williams. But could he be believed? 'Haigh's work is a mesmerising detective story itself . . . [it] finds a new twist in the archives.' The Saturday Paper 'A beautifully written, tirelessly researched and ultimately very compelling and true story . . . Fascinating and tragic.' Herald Sun 'The trial of John Bryan Kerr was the first murder trial that I read about in detail, as a boy of eleven. I longed, even then, to know the whole story. Gideon Haigh's book has made the wait worthwhile.' Gerald Murnane 'Gideon Haigh understands the real tragedy of murder - it is never really solved.' P. M. Newton.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)364.1523099451 — Social Sciences Social problems and services; associations Criminology Crimes and Offenses Offenses against persons Homicide Murder History, geographic treatment, biography
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