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When eight-year-old Graeme Thorne was kidnapped on his way to school in July 1960, the whole of Australia was gripped with fear and loathing for a person who could try to take financial advantage of the most treasured bond of love – between parent and child. This is the story of Australia’s only known kidnapping of a child for ransom. Just weeks earlier, Graeme’s parents had won £100,000 in the Opera House lottery. It was this that attracted the attention of kidnapper, Stephen Bradley. Bradley was a most unlikely kidnapper, having a wife, Magda, and three children of his own. However, his greed for the windfall that had benefitted Graeme’s parents, Bazil and Freda, caused him to put aside any feelings of sympathy for his victim or his victim’s family. His zeal for the ransom plot made Bradley blind to the likelihood of eventual detection, and also led him to take some brazen risks with the life of his young captive.
This book tells the astounding, true story of how this crime was planned and committed and describes the extraordinary police investigation that was mounted to track down the person responsible. This book is both a who-done-it and a psychological thriller. It explores the mind of the intriguing and seriously flawed Stephen Bradley. The author tells the story from the point of view of the victim and his family, the police and the perpetrator. The police investigation utilised many investigative tools and techniques of forensic science that had never been used before, but have since become commonplace. It therefore marks the beginning of modern-day forensic science in Australia. Stephen Bradley’s 1961 trial can justifiably be described as the trial of the 20th century.
Mark Tedeschi AM QC is the Senior Crown Prosecutor for NSW and the President of the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors. He has been a prosecutor since 1983, a Queen’s Counsel since 1988, and the Senior Crown Prosecutor for New South Wales since 1997. He is also a Professorial Fellow at the University of Wollongong, a member of the Board of Directors at the National Art School and a Trustee of Sydney Grammar School. He was awarded the AM in 2013 for prosecution services and photography.
Mark is the author of publications in a wide variety of areas, including a book on international trade law, and articles on environmental law, social welfare law, business law, criminal law, genealogy, and history. He is also the author of two true-crime books: ‘Eugenia’ (published in 2012) and ‘Kidnapped’ published in 2015. Mark is also an exhibiting photographer, with his work included in State galleries and private collections. A book of his photographic work over 25 years entitled ‘Shooting around corners’ was published by Beagle Press in 2012.
Mr Ian Rose
Hon. Legal Secretary
Tel: (03) 9645 1597 or 0419 551 362
Dr Raphael Kuhn
Hon. Medical Secretary
Tel: 0419 399 719