Mystery of Ned Kelly’s missing head ‘solved’ after pensioner comes forward
One of Australia’s biggest mysteries – what happened to the head of notorious outlaw Ned Kelly – may have been solved after a pensioner in New Zealand claimed she has it.
Earlier this month, Kelly’s descendants issued an appeal for information on where the skull is when the rest of his remains were handed over to them after being identified through DNA testing.
In a family statement, Ellen Hollow, great-granddaughter of Kelly’s sister Kate, said: “We appeal to the person who has the skull in their possession to return it.”
The family won the right to give the skeleton a final burial following a dispute with a property developer working on the site of Melbourne’s Pentridge Prison, where the bones were unearthed in 2009.
Now Anna Hoffman, a 74-year-old New Zealander, says she was given the skull 30 years ago while on holiday in Melbourne, by a security guard who told her it was “Ned’s head”.
“We got talking about skulls and the next day he turned up with this skull,” she said.
“He said it was Ned Kelly’s skull, and told me to ‘put it in the bottom of your bag and wrap it up’.”
Ms Hoffman, who courted controversy as a witch in the 1960s and 1970s, told the Herald on Sunday newspaper that she has cared for the skull, one of more than 20 she has in a collection.
“I have treated it with respect, I haven’t lit candles in it or drunk red wine out of it or anything bohemian like that.”
FYI: It’s not easy getting rid of skulls.