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Certain Admissions: A Beach, A Body And A Lifetime Of Secrets

Certain Admissions: A Beach, A Body And A Lifetime Of Secrets 2

by Haigh Gideon and Gideon Haigh

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 24/06/2015

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Certain Admissions is Australian true crime at its best, and stranger than any crime fiction. It is real-life police procedural, courtroom drama, family saga, investigative journalism, social history, archival treasure hunt - a meditation, too, on how the past shapes the present, and the present the past. On a warm evening in December 1949, two young people met by chance under the clocks at Flinders Street railway station. They decided to have a night on the town. The next morning, one of them, twenty-year-old typist Beth Williams, was found dead on Albert Park Beach. When police arrested the other, Australia was transfixed: twenty-four-year-old John Bryan Kerr was a son of the establishment, a suave and handsome commercial radio star educated at Scotch College, and Harold Holt's next-door neighbour in Toorak. Police said he had confessed. Kerr denied it steadfastly. There were three dramatic trials attended by enormous crowds, a relentless public campaign proclaiming his innocence involving the first editorials against capital punishment in Australia. For more than a decade Kerr was a Pentridge celebrity, a poster boy for rehabilitation - a fame that burdened him the rest of his life. Then, shortly after his death, another man confessed to having murdered Williams. But could he be believed? 'A work of true detection that not only compels belief in its every detail but has the breathtaking suspense of that very weird and rare for of crime writing that has the truth of a work of art.' Weekend Australian 'Haigh's work is a mesmerising detective story itself . . . it finds a new twist in the archives.' The Saturday Paper 'A beautifully written, tirelessly researched and ultimately very compelling and true story . . . Fascinating and tragic.' Herald Sun 'The trial of John Bryan Kerr was the first murder trial that I read about in detail, as a boy of eleven. I longed, even then, to know the whole story. Gideon Haigh's book has made the wait worthwhile.' Gerald Murnane 'In carefully and curiously lifting from the shadow the story of a lost girl and a troubled man, Haigh explores a writer's true territory: the space between what is, and what might be.' Sonya Hartnett 'Gideon Haigh understands the real tragedy of murder - it is never really solved.' P. M. Newton
ISBN:
9780670078318
Category:
True crime
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
24-06-2015
Publisher:
Penguin Australia Pty Ltd
Pages:
320
Dimensions (mm):
234x159x24mm
Weight:
0.44kg
Gideon Haigh

Gideon Haigh has been a journalist for more than three decades, has contributed to more than a hundred newspapers and magazines, published thirty-two books and edited seven others.

The Office: A Hardworking History won the NSW Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction; On Warne was shortlisted for the Melbourne Prize for Literature; Certain Admissions won the 2016 Ned Kelly Award for True Crime; and Stroke of Genius: Victor Trumper and the Shot that Changed Cricket was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Award for Nonfiction.

Gideon lives in Melbourne with his wife and daughter. Nobody has played more games for his cricket club - nor, perhaps, wanted to.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (2 Ratings)
  • Investigative journalism at its finest

    by on

    In December 1949, two people met under the clocks on the steps of Flinders Street in Melbourne. One of them will not be alive by the morning and will be found dead on the beach in Albert Park. This is the true story of Beth Williams and John Bryan Kerr, a son of the establishment. John was sentenced. Shortly after his death another man confessed to the murder of Williams. Written by master journalist, Gideon Haigh, this is police procedural, courtroom drama, investigative journalism and social history.