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Mark Jefferies
Background information
Died: 4 May 1826
Cause of death: Execution
Killings
Number of victims: 4+
Country: Australia
State(s): Tasmania
Date apprehended: 1825

Mark Jefferies was a bushranger, serial killer and cannibal in the early 19th century in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania, Australia).

Contents

Crimes

Jefferies was known to have murdered and eaten at least four adults during his escape from Macquarie Harbour by land. In his escape he took some accomplices along with him, at least one of whom he later ate. He kidnapped the widow of one of his victims, and killed her five-month-old baby by bashing its head against a tree. For a brief period Jefferies ran with Matthew Brady's gang, but was expelled by Brady for being "a de-humanised monster" and molesting women.

Death

Jefferies was captured in 1825 without a fight. He willingly told the Corps all he knew of the locations, movements and habits of other Bushrangers. He was hanged on 4 May 1826 at the old Hobart Jail alongside Matthew Brady on the infamous six-man scaffold. Brady complained about being executed in such poor company.

Infamy

Jefferies is one of only six people in Australian history to have successfully escaped from Macquarie Harbour. He ranks alongside Alexander Pierce and Mad Dog Morgan as one of the most infamous criminals in Australia's colonial history.

References

  • Prior, Tom; Bill Wannan, and H. Nunn (1970). A Pictorial History of Bushrangers. Dee Why West, N.S.W.: Hamlyn.  
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