Call off the dogs - Australia's most notorious criminal, Ned Kelly, has been found.
At least, the bones of his remains have been found solving a near century-old mystery as to where they were. Officials from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Victorian Government have confirmed various remains they have found in a buried ax box at the old Pentridge Prison in Melbourne do belong to Kelly.
In a country that was found as British penal colony, Kelly may be Australia's most famous criminal ever. He was a famous bank robber in 19th century Australia, who along with his gang committed two major robberies: one in Eurora, Victoria and the other in Jerilderie, New South Wales. During several raids, Kelly killed police officers. His robberies were typically so cunning, his myth was perpetuated in the years following his death.
In Australian folklore, Kelly can best be compared to Jesse James or Billy the Kid.
In 1880, Kelly was captured during a police shootout in Glenrowan. During a shootout, Kelly was nearly killed, but he survived enough to stand trial. Later that year in November, he was convicted and hanged at the Melbourne Gaol.
His death was polarizing as Kelly was identified by poor people as someone who fought authority, and reportedly 30,000 people signed a petition to spare his life.
His remains were supposedly buried in the Melbourne Gaol until it was closed in 1929. It was believed they were moved to Pentridge Prison although there was suspicion that workers stole his remains during this transfer. Since then, it was a mystery as to whether or not Kelly's remains were in the prison or missing.
Two years ago, researchers thought they had discovered what Kelly's skull. While it wasn't, it led them to a wooden ax box, which did contain Kelly's remains. Along with the medical records of Kelly and DNA testing, they were able to confirm it was Kelly.
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, Robert Clark, attorney general of Victoria, said in a statement.