The Stuart Case is the story of a murder trial that divided Australia.
In 1959, Rupert Max Stuart, an itinerant Aboriginal, was found guilty of the rape and murder of a nine-year-old white girl. The conviction was based on a typed confession delivered in precise, educated English - a language Stuart could barely speak or write.
As Stuart's life hung in the balance, a courtroom drama began which put police procedures and racial attitudes on trial. A young newspaper proprietor named Rupert Murdoch and his editor Rohan Rivett put the case on the front page, causing fierce debate about Stuart's innocence, and the case against capital punishment gathered unstoppable momentum.
In the forty years since the Stuart case came to public attention, the mystery of the case has grown. Was Stuart innocent or guilty? What happened to Max Stuart during his time in gaol and beyond?
This is a classic reportage, now reissued and with an extended epilogue that sheds new light on the case and its aftermath. In it K.S. Inglis takes up the trail, describing his meeting in 2002 with Max Stuart, the man who went from death row to chairmanship of the Central Land Council.