MYTH vs. FACT
- “Billy Dargin crept up on Ben Hall and shot him while he was asleep” This story is not supported by the weight of evidence available from the Coroner’s inquiry nor from the description of wounds given by Dr. Assenheim.
- “Ben Hall’s body was used for target practice by the police after he was killed”. As above, the evidence simply does not support this story.
- “Mick Coneley was holding money for Ben Hall in a Forbes bank.” This claim first appeared in Hunted Down or Recollections of Crime and Criminals of the Australian Colonies from the early days to the present time, published in 1882 and was subsequently repeated by several other authors. However there is no evidence that Coneley had a bank account at all in 1865. Further, the obvious question to be asked is why Hall would continue to live a desperate and dangerous life as a hunted man if he had money available which would have enabled him to escape from the Colony. This story has no basis in fact or logic.
- “Mick Coneley was married to a half-caste Aboriginal woman who had a baby by Ben Hall. The baby was seen to have birthmarks which exactly matched the wounds which Ben Hall received.” This is complete nonsense. Coneley married Mary Strickland, the daughter of Pierce and Letitia Strickland, both of 100% English/Irish immigrant stock. Furthermore, she gave birth to a boy, James on 2nd March 1866 – that’s ten months after Ben Hall died.