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The Dark Man

Australia’s first serial killer

(6 customer reviews)
Authors: Jason K. Foster
True Crime

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The Dark Man is the amazing true story of one of Australia’s first serial killers, who kept the colony of New South Wales in the grip of fear as the police ruthlessly hunted their man.

In late 1896, three men go missing in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

Each man has answered a newspaper advertisement posted by charismatic conman and notorious criminal, Frank Butler (one of his many aliases). Lured to the western goldfields by stories of the untold wealth that awaits them, the men find themselves at the mercy of the psychopathic Butler in some of Australia’s most isolated and inhospitable terrain.

Motivated by the thrill of killing and by a sick pleasure in outwitting his trusting victims, Butler makes his prey dig their own graves before he shoots them in the back of the head, buries them, and steals their few meagre possessions.

After an exhaustive search of the rugged mountains near Glenbrook, police discover the bodies of the victims. In a criminal investigation that would become legendary, police are led on an international manhunt as Butler uses a Master’s ticket from one of his victim to secure a berth on the steamer, the Swanhilda, headed for San Francisco.

Following a dramatic arrest at gunpoint, Butler is returned to Sydney, found guilty, and hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol, having confessed to those three murders – and alluded to many more. This compelling account of a cold and calculating killer is told in a gripping historical narrative that brings Australia’s Gold Rush period vividly to life.

Jason K. Foster

Jason K. Foster

Jason Foster is an author, poet, journalist and History teacher at Jamison High School in Sydney’s western suburbs. He holds a Masters Degree in History and is currently studying a Diploma in Languages (Spanish). He has taught in Australia, the United Kingdom, Spain and Argentina. He has been published in American History magazines, Australian travel […]

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6 reviews for The Dark Man

  1. Nice Book…

  2. Finished reading The Dark Man about Australia’s first serial killer. Great read felt like I was there living in that time

  3. this is a strange and gripping tale of one of Australia’s most notorious criminals.

  4. Great reading! This true story is well written wth lots of twists and turns to keep you interested until the very end.

  5. Foster does a great job of painting the movements of this crazy man. What a great description of the Australian landscape

  6. Finished this book in 2 days I couldn’t put it down. The level of detail in the book is outstanding and feels as if you are part of it

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