John Lynch: The Berrima Axe Murderer


Lynch returned to the camp to find Ireland preparing breakfast and rather than murder the unsuspecting farmhand immediately, he explained that the boy had gone looking for the bullocks and they should eat without him.

When Ireland was about to serve breakfast, Lynch distracted him, and when Ireland's back was turned, Lynch cracked his head open with the tomahawk. As the man lay dead at his feet, Lynch wolfed down a hearty meal before dragging both bodies to a cleft between two rocks and covering them with brush and stones.

Then Lynch pointed the team of bullocks and dray in the direction of Berrima and set them loose, anticipating that someone would round them up and return them to the Oldbury farm and nothing would come of it. He then took possession of Ireland's team, which was carrying the farm produce.

Believing the Lord was looking out for him, Lynch was in no hurry and remained at the camp for two days. On the second day, he was joined by two men named Lagge and Lee who were in charge of a team of horses. Lynch said he enjoyed the company of the two men and they ate, drank and sang well into the night. The men even performed an Irish jig for Lynch's entertainment. For these reasons Lynch didn't dispatch the men with his tomahawk as they slept, conceal their bodies with the luckless Ireland and the black boy and steal their possessions and sell them in Sydney.

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