Boxing Day, 1898. Three members of the Murphy family - Michael, Ellen and Norah - are returning to the family farm after a trip into Gatton, a small Queensland town. On a deserted, moonlit road a few miles out of town they are ambushed. Their horse is shot and the Murphys, all aged in their twenties, are taken to a remote paddock where they are bludgeoned and shot, and the women brutally raped.
So begins the story of an horrific and baffling crime. When the Murphys were found the following day, their bodies were at first mistaken for three piles of clothes, so badly were they beaten. By the time the police arrived, locals had swarmed all over the crime scene, obliterating critical evidence.
What followed was a hopelessly bungled investigation, and the crime remained unsolved. Fear and mistrust rocked the farming community, and theories about the perpetrator abounded. Was this heinous crime the work of a sex-crazed tramp? Could a member of the Murphy family have been involved, or was revenge the motive?
Stephanie Bennett's detailed examination of this unsolved crime brings a new and disturbing theory to the surface. The result is a chilling and challenging whodunit.