Historian rules out skull as Ned Kelly's (Australia)

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BEECHWORTH’S noted Ned Kelly historian Ian Jones says the skull handed to Victorian authorities for DNA authentication this week is not likely the famous bushranger’s.

Mr Jones said the skull was likely Ernest Knox’s, who was executed at Old Melbourne Gaol 14 years after Kelly.

“His initials are EK (the same as Edward Kelly) and it appears the grave that was dug up in 1929 as Ned Kelly’s grave was Ernest Knox’s,” Mr Jones said.

Mr Jones first saw the skull in 1972.

He said the facial features seemed too long and that a cast of the skull taken for reconstruction was very similar to the face of Knox.

And Mr Jones said Kelly’s true skull would have to be in two pieces.

That was unlike the one West Australian man Tom Baxter has presented to authorities.

“Ned’s skull has to be in two pieces because they, doctors and students, removed his head, and took his body apart and his organs out after the execution,” Mr Jones said.

“It was reported at the time that they were going to be able to tell us all about the intelligence of this famous bushranger.

“The only reason a group like that would remove the head is to examine the brain and unless you saw the skull in half the only way you can get the brain out is a teaspoon, which is not going to be much good for research.”

Mr Jones said he still held out hope Kelly’s skull would one day be found.

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