The Guardian Special: The Aboriginal tracker who brought massacre perpetrators to trial

The Jaded Newsman’s Editor, Ciaran O’Mahony, has been featured in The Guardian’s final update of the landmark Killing Times project.

O’Mahony conducted a long-term investigation into the Forrest River massacre, crafting a special series on the harrowing discovery of this atrocity and the lives of an Indigenous couple who brought the perpetrators to trial.

Reverend James Noble found charred bone fragments on the banks of the East Kimberley’s Forrest River in August 1926, along with several “improvised ovens” containing further human remains.

Noble had discovered just a fraction of the atrocities carried out in the Forrest River massacre and this evidence would eventually trigger a Royal Commission into the killings.

James and his wife, Angelina, lived extraordinary lives and their Great Granddaughter, Tabatha Saunders, provided crucial insights into the Forrest River massacre as well as the care the couple provided to Indigenous peoples in Anglican Missions across the country.

Part of O’Mahony’s investigative series has now been published by The Guardian, titled They thought they could hide: the Aboriginal tracker who brought massacre perpetrators to trial.

He analysed and collated numerous primary and secondary source historical documents, evidence presented to the Royal Commission, and Saunders’ oral history, to bring this story to life.

This piece is his fourth feature article for the Killing Times, having previously covered the descendants of the Warrigal Creek Massacre, a family living by a massacre site, and the closure of the remote Indigenous community of Oombulgurri.

In just over 24 hours, the Forrest River piece has garnered over 65,000 views.

For more detail on the lives of James and Angelina Noble, make sure you follow The Jaded Newsman.

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