Imagine a junkyard.
You go there and throw away anything you don’t want to see again and pretend it never existed That’s basically how Britain saw Australia in the 19th century A growing number of English and Irish criminals who didn’t care about the law Were met there by the police who cared even less It’s really impossible to look back at that period and single out someone as a national hero Especially if they were the biggest criminal of the bunch.
Well, unless that someone is Ned Kelly Ned Kelly’s father was sent to Australia’s state of Victoria for stealing two pigs in Ireland Arriving as a cattle thief, it was a habit he continued to practice and was often in trouble with the local police Once, the police arrived because Kelly senior was making a suspiciously large barbecue And was sentenced to six months of hard labor, which ultimately caused him to be ill and later die The Kellys felt it was a harsh punishment and in the following years, they kept getting accused of cattle thievery But never convicted due to lack of evidence, and evidence back then could be "Trust me, I saw it with my own eyes!" Ned Kelly was being harassed by the police too often even for the standards of Australia at the time Kelly felt that police were abusing their power and would often cite this as the reason why he became lawless Every incident from the beginning to the end of Kelly’s career was followed by different views on it The police would state that Kelly had most certainly committed the crime and another one while at it And that he called them names and untied their shoelaces Kelly, on the other hand, would insist he had most certainly not committed the crime And that he was just running around with his butterfly net.
The truth, though, was always somewhere in between When Kelly became the man of the house, he was still only 14, but the police thought that he was lying Because he was huge and incredibly strong It was then when he got his first charge for assault of a Chinese pig trader Ah Fook, and no, we didn’t make that name up Ah Fook probably yelled out his own name when he saw Kelly approach him with clenched fists Not long after, a cop accused him of riding a stolen horse 16-year-old Kelly explained that the horse was borrowed but the cop didn’t believe him and he called in for backup When the help arrived and arrested Kelly, he was sentenced to three years of hard labor Even though it was obvious to everyone that he wasn’t riding a stolen horse He wasn’t riding a horse at all! The police arrived and saw young Kelly, who defeated the cop in the fight Ride the policeman like a horse and stick his spurs between his ribs After the imprisonment, Kelly was arrested for DUI, but managed to escape to a shoe shop There he fought with four cops and the owner, but they managed to handcuff him Only after Constable Lonigan black balled him – which is a not-so-technical term for squeezing his testicles Kelly promised Lonigan that he would kill him for this moment of intimacy And that wasn’t something you’d like to hear from Ned Kelly A year later, Constable Fitzpatrick arrived drunk at the Kelly’s house to arrest Ned’s younger brother for horse stealing However, he stayed in for dinner and ruined the atmosphere when he tried to get jiggy with Kelly’s sister The brothers beat him up and let him go, but Fitzpatrick later claimed he was shot in the arm for no reason The police obviously believed the Kellys and Fitzpatrick was fired for drunkenness and perjury Just kidding, they proclaimed Kelly as an outlaw and put a bounty on his head And Fitzpatrick, reliable as he was, was later really fired for drunkenness and perjury Kelly went into hiding and formed a gang which consisted of his younger brother Dan Kelly, Joe Byrne Steve Hart and Ned Kelly himself as the frontman There were search parties sent after the gang and Kelly ambushed one of them In which, very conveniently, was Constable Lonigan Kelly, of course, killed Lonigan, as promised The last words of Constable Obvious were "Oh god, I’m shot" And two other cops, while the last one managed to survive by hiding in a wombat hole After the killing of cops, the Kelly gang decided to rob banks During the robberies they would hold people hostage, but would never steal from them And always maintained a pleasant atmosphere They would give them food and drinks and play cards and dance with them Also, while they were stealing from the bank, they would burn down mortgage books and help the loanees Kelly was earning himself a Robin Hood reputation and the people were growing tired of the police In the summer of 1880, after killing a police informant, Kelly hid in a hotel with 62 hostages The policemen arrived and an evenly-matched siege started, with 30 cops against four outlaws Unexpectedly, Kelly left the hotel wearing homemade iron armor with a helmet and started shooting at the police This proper battle lasted for the whole day.
Byrne got killed.
Dan Kelly and Hart shot themselves Not wanting to be killed by the police or burn to death when the cops set the hotel on fire Ned Kelly was shot in the left foot and leg, right hand and left arm and twice in the Lonigan area.
He didn’t die.
Despite a petition signed by over 30,000 people, Kelly was sentenced to death by hanging His final words were: "Well, I suppose it has come to this… Such is life.