Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 – 1899), Tuesday 3 July 1855, page 3


Hobart Town Gaol,

25th June, 1855.

I, John Whelan, alias Rocky Whelan, condemned to suffer to-morrow morning for robberies on William Kearney and Richard Carpenter, which I acknowledge to have committed, with deep sorrow, and in order to make what reparation I can, do solemnly declare that I did, and being then alone, commit the following murders:

1. An elderly man between Brown’s River and North-west Bay, about two months ago. I shot him in the head, and robbed him.

2. A young man (I learned afterwards his name was Dunn), on the Huon track, about six or seven weeks after Carpenter’s robbery. I shot him in the head, and struck him on the head, with the butt of the pistol, then robbed him.

3. An elderly man at Bagdad, six or seven weeks ago. I shot him in the head, and then robbed him.

4. A young man on the Westbury road, about a week after the the last murder. I shot him in the head, and took away a few shillings.

5. A hawker, near Cleveland, about three days before I was taken. I shot him in the head, and took away several things, most of which are now at the police office.

The full particulars of these murders I have given to the Very Rev. W. Hall, Vicar-General, and the Rev. W. Bond, hoping that the bodies yet undiscovered may be found. I most humbly and sincerely beg forgiveness of the friends of these victims of my cruelty, and hope that the Almighty will have mercy on my poor soul.




Taken before me in the gaol at Hobarton, this 25th June, 1855, at five minutes before seven o’clock in the evening, having been just read, over to Whelan, who declares that the same is true. W. T. CHAMP.

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