4 May 1826 – Mark Jefferies and Matthew Brady

Tasmanian devil Mark Jefferies was put down today for cannibalising his way round the Aussie island in the 19th century alongside another robber by the name of Matthew Brady.

He was a notorious bushranger, which is tantamount to a highwayman. But they were outlaws who had skills necessary to survive out in the bush. And like birds of a feather, he hooked up with fellow criminals – a gang led by Matthew Brady.

Brady’s bunch

Brady, on the other hand, had started life in Manchester and was a corporal in the army. He was done for forgery, which in that day and age carried the death sentence normally. But he was lucky, his sentence was reduced to transportation and he was whipped off Down Under.

He was originally housed in the penal colony in New South Wales, but his bitter complaints saw him moved to Van Diemen’s Island (Tasmania as it’s known today).

He escaped along with a host of others and together they’d rob the locals. But he was a self-styled gent, as he’d never rob women and always treated them with respect.

Humans for lunch

Not so Jefferies. He was a monstrous man who escaped from Macquarie Harbour penal colony too and is said to have killed and eaten one of the fellow escapees. He then teamed up with Brady, but soon after was booted out from the gang because of his inhuman behaviour. Brady could not bear to see the way he treated women as Jefferies would regularly molest them.

But that wasn’t all he did. Jefferies is said to have eaten at least four people and he abducted the wife of one of the victims and bashed their five-month-old baby’s brains out against a tree.

Luckily for the law-abiding inhabitants of Tasmania, his luck ran out and he was finally apprehended in 1825, and the feral felon promptly grassed his former mates up, telling the authorities all the secret hideouts for the other bushrangers. And so Brady was snapped up too.

The two men were hanged together despite Brady’s protestations that he didn’t want to be executed next to the lowest common denominator – a mass-murdering informer. Nevertheless, Brady died roughly 27, while Jefferies age remains unconfirmed.

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