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"Fisher's Ghost" :: Old Crime Recalled

Why Worrall, Losing Reprieve, Went to Scaffold

Almost exactly a century has elapsed since the date of the Campbeltown murder (near Sydney) that forms the foundation of the 5000 feet film, "Fisher's Ghost." As young men, Fisher and Worrall were deported to Australia; they were emancipated m due course; and m 1826 they had adjoining farms at Campbeltown, 34 miles, from* Sydney. Worrall did not have a house of his own. He lived, with Fisher The letter's farm was much the better of the two. Fisher and Worrall went out together early on the evening of June 17, 1826. Except by Worrall, Fisher was never s*en alive from that moment.

The report spread by Worrall was that there was a woman m the case; that Fisher had slipped away to England; and that he had left him his farm. Nobody questioned his statements. Six weeks later a man named Farley, a farmer of the neighborhood, was returning home one night. . He had to cross the bridge between the hotel and the Fisher^-Worrall farms. As Fapjey came to the bridge— co the story goes — he was astounded to see Fisher sitting on the rail. Farley was sober. He knew the missing man intimately. From a distance of a few yards he spoke. Fisher made no reply. He did not step down from the rail; he merely moved from it; and with a queer gliding motion went along the creek." A© he did so he beckoned Farley to Follow. Farley's experience at once became the talk of the township, without Worrall being the least perturbed — outwardly at any rate. Suspicion was first aroused through Worrall trying to get the title deeds of Fisher's farm. The New South Wales Government offered a reward m the belief that there had been foul play; and the body was discovered — four months after the^ murder — at a point m the creek where Farley thought he saw the apparition disappear. "The man who saw the ghost," exclaimed Worrall, ','must have been the one who did it." Worrall was arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to death. The evidence was circumstantial. Further, the effect of Worrall's words had been to create considerable doubt as to whether Farley was not the murderer. So influenced was Governor Darling by the agitation that had sprung up, that he signed a reprieve to be delivered at the scaffold at 7.30 on the morning of the execution. But during the night Worrall — knowing nothing of the reprieve — sent for a minister. To him he confessed having murdered Fisher on the bridge, and he had been haunted, night and day, by the apparition seen by Farley and that it was because of a visitation by the dread spectre — m the cell of a few hours previously — he had been driven to reveal the truth. The picture is by the well-known Australian producer, Raymond Longford. The picture rights have been bought for New Zeafand by Selznick Pictures (Australia), Ltd.

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"Fisher's Ghost":: Old Crime Recalled NZ Truth, Issue 1007, 14 March 1925

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