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In 1902 the notorious Kenniff brothers were convicted for one of the grisliest double murders in Queensland colonial history and one was hanged for the crime: it was a brutal crime and a brutal punishment – but was justice served?
Mike Munro’s real surname is not Munro: it’s Kenniff. The notorious Kenniff brothers were the last of Australia's 'wild colonial boys' roaming remote north Queensland at the turn of the century, stealing cattle and horses with the confidence and skill of organized criminals. Their careers culminated in a showdown in the Carnarvon Ranges that left one policeman and a civilian dead. Their victims’ bodies were found burned and chopped into pieces. Patrick and James Kenniff were caught and tried for willful murder – but they maintained their innocence to the bitter end. What turns thieves into brutal mutilators? Was there reasonable doubt that they didn’t do the deed? Mike Munro needs to know – this isn’t just a question about the nature of crime and punishment, this story is deeply personal. The Kenniffs were Mike’s ancestors and the cause of shame for his family through generations. The Lawless team embark on a factual and forensic analysis of the crime to search for answers and Mikes meets descendants from the other side of the story. Against the backdrop of a brutal event, this case marks a pivotal point in the history of our evolving laws and nationhood and this investigation makes for an extraordinary personal journey for host Mike Munro.
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