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Stringybark Creek (Vic) 1878, Ned Kelly and his gang kill three policemen in a brutal gunfight: he later claimed the killings were in self-defence, so was Ned Kelly a legend or a liar? The brutal gunfight between Ned Kelly’s gang and Victorian policeman on the banks of Stringybark Creek is the pivotal event in the Ned Kelly story, transforming Kelly from a petty thief to wanted outlaw and eventually a national icon. But were the killings an act of self-defence as Kelly later claimed? Folklore holds Ned Kelly to be a hero, endlessly mythologised. But what if he was a clear-eyed killer? Our team embarks on the first ever archaeological and scientific investigation of the events at Stringybark Creek to answer the questions. Using the latest cutting edge survey technology (LiDAR 3D Laser Scanning), traditional archaeology and forensic ballistics testing together with new historical evidence, the team put conflicting claims to the test. Finally we bring descendants from both sides of the story together for the first time to hear the team reveal their findings. Controversial and highly provocative, this investigation challenges the legend that has shaped our national identity and aims to change how Australians see their most famous folk icon: the hero of the underdog.
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