Lingering Doubts: Going inside Brisbane’s Arcade Murder

The authors of Lingering Doubts: Going Inside Brisbane’s Arcade Murder represent the heart of true crime investigative writing.

Deb Drummond and Janice Teunis are the granddaughters of a man named Reginald Brown. Brown, a respected Brisbane accountant, had his world turned upside down in 1947 when he was arrested for the murder of his 19-year-old typist Bronia Armstrong. Bronia’s partly-clad body was found on January 11 in a room of the Brisbane Associated Friendly Society in the Wallace Bishop Arcade building where Brown worked.

Authors Deb Drummond & Janice Teunis. Picture: Lingering-Doubts.com
Authors Deb Drummond & Janice Teunis. Picture: Lingering-Doubts.com

 

The case was a sensation in Australia’s newspapers and his family and friends could not match the loving, moral and community-minded man with who was being portrayed in newspapers and by police.  In March 1947 Brown was sentenced to life imprisonment. Throughout he had maintained his innocence. He spent just nine days in prison before being found in his cell, hanging by his belt.

Brown’s last ever note read: “To Whom it May Concern,“I did not kill Bronia Armstrong. My conscience is clear. RWS Brown”.

Source: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article127074031
Source: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article127074031

The book delves into exhaustive detail about the case and trial and interwoven is family history, interviews with those who knew Brown and Miss Armstrong, people involved at the time and the aftermath of the tragedy on those left behind. The authors never knew their grandfather but this book is a testament to the man who they believe was innocent of the murder.

There is plenty to back up their belief that Brown was framed for the murder – Queensland was a hotbed of police and political corruption for decades during the 20th century (for readers google “The Fitzgerald Inquiry” to start read about Queensland corruption). A senior police officer in the case, a man called Frank Bischof,  looms large as a central figure and as the authors detail, he was named as a key player by The Fitzgerald Inquiry in the “unscrupulous conduct” by Queensland Police. (By the time of the inquiry in 1987, Bischof was deceased.)

The passion and dogged determination of the authors make Lingering Doubts a fascinating read. The memory of Bronia Armstrong is also sensitively dealt with and it is never forgotten that this young woman’s life was cruelly taken.

This is a standout Australian true crime book. My utmost respect to the authors.

Read more at the website Lingering Doubts.

 

 

2 comments

  1. Deb Drummond

    Thank you so much Emily firstly for reading Lingering Doubts and secondly for writing your superb review. Janice and I were very touched. You may be interested to know that important new evidence has been forthcoming. We have learned that in fact an amateur theatrical class was being held in the BAFS buildings on the afternoon screams were heard. This disturbing information fits perfectly with our grandfather’s claim that a female had collected Bronia from work, while speaking of rehearsals. Did the police of the day have the power to cover up this hugely significant evidence? Sadly it seems that way.
    With much appreciation, Deb and Janice

  2. Janet Akroyd-Stuart

    Congratulations Deb and Janice in the mammoth task of collating all that data concerning your grandfather’s trial etc. you have done him proud! I have great admiration for you both and can only hope your research leads to a miss-trial and Reg Brown exonerated from blame. Who know’s, someone may confess on their death-bed – Strange things do happen.
    I was happy to see the above comment regarding an amateur theatrical class being held that day! Wishing you and your family all the very best for the future.

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