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Type: Journal article
Title: Line of fire – what happened at the Wantabadgery seige?
Author: Byard, R.
Ford, A.
Raymond, T.
Sofonia, J.
Kaluza, O.
Barnes, D.
Citation: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, 2018; 14(1):133-138
Publisher: Humana Press
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1547-769X
Statement of
Roger W. Byard, Adam Ford, Tony Raymond, Jeremy J. Sofonia, Owen Kaluza, David G. Barnes
Abstract: A gunfight between police and a gang of men led by the self-styled "Captain Moonlite", a.k.a. George Scott, occurred on 16th November 1879 at a farmhouse near Wantabadgery Station in the colony of New South Wales. The skirmish resulted in the deaths of two bushrangers and one police officer. As a result, Captain Moonlite and Thomas Rogan were hung in Sydney's Darlinghurst Gaol on 20 January 1880 for the murder of Constable Edward Webb-Bowen. Culpability for firing the fatal shot, however, has remained a source of controversy. Information obtained from an analysis of historical records was used to guide an archeological excavation at the scene of the shooting in which Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) technology was employed to produce a digital (3D) terrain model of the siege location. Utilizing the terrain model, the relative positions of Moonlite, Webb-Bowen, and the other gang members were established with possible projectile trajectories plotted. This, in combination with inquest evidence from a gun maker and the medical practitioner who examined Constable Webb-Bowen's wound, indicates that the most likely shooter was Gus Warnicke, aged 15 years, the youngest member of the gang, who was also killed in the exchange of fire.
Keywords: Bushrangers; Captain Moonlight; Colonial Australia; Gunshot; Hanging; Moonlite; Police; Wantabadgery
Rights: © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017
RMID: 0030077104
DOI: 10.1007/s12024-017-9915-0
Appears in Collections:Pathology publications

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