~ writing niche history

A True Story of Murder, Madness & the News in Colonial Melbourne


It's 1850s Australia.

A double murder.

A locked room.

The murderer is dying from a gunshot.

But the reporter says the scene is near impossible.


Miscellany for the book: Three Rabbits Alibi


Click to return to the book’s main web page.


Edmund Finn’s House was in 20 Leicester St. North Fitzroy. It is now a park.

There is a photo of the house from about 1878 in the State Library of Victoria and it is viewable online. Read more about Edmund Finn.


Constable Ambrose Draper, previously thought to be a migrant to Victoria, was, I recently discovered, an on-migrant from South Australia. Draper with wife Rose, arrived in one of the earliest of South Australia’s migrant ships, the Lady Emma, on 4 December 1837. Establishing himself in Hindley Street, Adelaide, he opened a business as a maker of saddles, harnesses and shoes. Their son, Richard Thomas Edward Draper was baptised in Adelaide on 27 May 1838. They left Adelaide 25/26 April 1840 on the Orissa, an emigrant ship from London, arriving at Port Phillip 10 May 1840, part of the small complement of 19 passengers. An unclaimed letter lay at the Adelaide Post Office. What prompted him to leave South Australia? Perhaps a clue lies in an advertisement he placed saying that he had “not joined in the meetings of those who wish to raise the price of SHOES, and that they can be obtained from him at the same price as formerly.” Read about Ambrose Draper, in his second career as a policeman, in Three Rabbits Alibi.