'One woman. Two husbands. Four trials. One bloody execution. The last woman hanged in NSW.
'In January 1889, Louisa Collins, a 41-year-old mother of ten children, became the first woman hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol and the last woman hanged in New South Wales. Both of Louisa's husbands died suddenly. The Crown was convinced that Louisa poisoned them with arsenic and, to the horror of many in the legal community, put her on trial an extraordinary FOUR TIMES in order to get a conviction. Louisa protested her innocence until the end. Now, in Last Woman Hanged, writer and journalist Caroline Overington delves into the archives to re-examine the original, forensic reports, court documents, judges notebooks, witness statements and police and gaol records, in an effort to discover the truth.
'Much of the evidence against Louisa was circumstantial. Some of the most important testimony was given by her only daughter, May, who was just 10-years-old when asked to take the stand.
'The historical context is also important: Louisa Collins was hanged at a time when women were in no sense equal under the law - except when it came to the gallows. 'Women could not vote or stand for parliament - or sit on juries. There were no female politicians and no women judges.
'Against this background, a small group of women rose up to try to save Louisa's life, arguing that a legal system comprised only of men - male judges, all-male jury, male prosecutor, governor and Premier - could not with any integrity hang a woman.
'The tenacity of these women would not save Louisa but it would ultimately carry women from their homes all the way to Parliament House.
'Less than 15 years after Louisa was hanged, Australian women would become some of the first in the world to get the vote. They would take seats in State parliament, and in Canberra. They would become doctors, lawyers, judges, premiers - even the Prime Minister.
'Caroline says: 'My hope is that Last Woman Hanged will be read not only as a true crime story but as a letter of profound thanks to that generation of women who fought so hard for the rights we still enjoy today.'' (Publication summary)
Sisters of Mercy2012single work novel 'This is the haunting story of two sisters - one has vanished, the other is behind bars...
Snow Delaney was born a generation and a world away from her sister, Agnes.
Until recently, neither even knew of the other's existence. They came together only for the reading of their father's will - when Snow discovered, to her horror, that she was not the sole beneficiary of his large estate.
Now Snow is in prison and Agnes is missing, disappeared in the eerie red dust that blanketed Sydney from dawn on September 23, 2009.
With no other family left, Snow turns to crime journalist Jack Fawcett, protesting her innocence in a series of defiant letters from prison. Has she been unfairly judged? Or will Jack's own research reveal a story even more shocking than the one Snow wants to tell?' Source: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/ (Sighted 26/11/2012).
'It was four o'clock in the morning. The car park outside Sydney Children's Hospital was quiet. A young woman, dressed only in a dressing gown and slippers, pushed through the front revolving door. Security staff would later say they thought the woman was a new mother, returning to her child's bedside - and in a way, she was. She walked past the nurses' station, into the nursery, where a baby girl - a gorgeous, black baby girl - had kicked herself free of her blankets. The infant was laying face down, the way babies sometimes will: her cheek was flat to the white sheet; and her knees up under her chest. The infant stirred, but did not wake when the woman placed the girl gently in the bottom of the shopping bag she had brought with her. The woman put a toy giraffe from the nursery into the bag with the baby. With the bag hanging heavily from her left hand, and the giraffe's head poking up, through the handles, the woman walked back down the corridor and out to the car park.
'There is CCTV footage of what happened next, and most Australians would have seen it, either on the Internet, or the evening news. The woman walked across the car park, toward an old Corolla. For one long moment, she held the child gently against her breast. She put her nose against the back of the girl's head, and with her eyes closed, she smelled her. She clipped the infant into the baby capsule, and got in the car then drove out, turning left at the lights, toward Parramatta Road. That is where the footage ends. It isn't where the story ends, however. It's not even where the story starts.' (From the publisher's website.)