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Wild Wild… Australia?

Picture this. It’s the year 1879 and one of the boldest robbers around has just ridden into town. His first stop is to the local police station. What do you think he is going to do? Shoot the local Sherriff? Burn the station down? No he outwits the two police officers on duty and locks them in their own prison cell. Next the robber and his gang steal a set of police clothes and go around hobnobbing with the locals. Suspicions of the town’s people are quelled by convincing lie that they are reinforcements from a town that’s 400 miles away. Two days later the robbers in disguise force most of the town into the hotel, while two of them rob the local bank and burn the townspeople’s mortgage deeds. They all get on their horses and ride away into the sunset. The Government puts out a 400,000 dollar reward for the gang.

 This is just one chapter from the life of Ned Kelley and his gang. Ned Kelley was the Australian version of our (Americans) Jessie James. Apparently some Australian’s treat Ned Kelley like a hero from a rebellion, and others think of him as disgusting and cold blooded. He was caught in a standoff in which he was wearing his own homemade amour. Only a few months from his capture he was hung at the age of 25.

This August the supposed remains of Kelly were found in a burial pit of about 15 people at the jail which he was executed at. These bones were sent off for DNA testing and after gaining a sample from a living relative the bones were positively ID-ed as Ned Kelly’s. Unfortunately the set of bones is not complete, for the skull is currently missing.

 I thought this was a really interesting history story. And because italso talked about DNA testing, which I just had the luck of preforming less than two hours ago, I figured I would share it on the blog. DNA testing is an effective procedure that can be used for many things. When in the media DNA testing is usually involved in two contexts, parental tests or as evidence in a trial. DNA testing is a very important factor to many murder cases. Consider the Casey Anthony murder case. A lab technician for the FBI accidentally contaminated the duct tape that was found on Caylee Anthony’s body. This could have of condemned Casey Anthony, but because of the contamination a pivotal piece of evidence in the case against Casey Anthony was lost. It is amazing how one piece of evidence can be so important. In general DNA testing is just one of the many sciences that is covered in the media.

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