10th anniversary of the massacre at Port Arthur
April 27, 2006 8:31 PM   Subscribe

The victims of Australia's worst mass murder will be remembered today, on the 10th anniversary of the tragedy in Port Arthur in Tasmania. [MI]
posted by sjvilla79 (21 comments total)
Here's what happened in a nutshell. Quoted from here.
On April 28 and 29 of 1996, a 29 year old male named Martin Bryant murdered 35 people, injured 18 people, attempted to murder 20 people, set fire to a car he had stolen from four of his victims, and set fire to a bed-and-breakfast cottage belonging to two more of his victims.
And this is what the judge said on sentencing.
posted by sjvilla79 at 8:31 PM on April 27, 2006

I thought this was Australia's worst mass murder of all time. 88 of the victims were Australians.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:54 PM on April 27, 2006

posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:20 PM on April 27, 2006

Steven, Tasmania is in Australia. Bali is in Indonesia. Although why push the point? I'm sure the families of both the Port Arthur and Bali victims don't compare nor argue over headlines. Gee.
posted by sjvilla79 at 9:28 PM on April 27, 2006

As far as one person individually killing other people (as opposed to acts of arson/fire or terrorism/bomb which may kill a whole bunch of people at once), Martin Bryant is right up there with the most 'successful' killers ever. He literally had a bag full of guns. And he didn't look like your stereotypical mass murderer either. And then there are those who say it wasn't Bryant at all. An interesting case.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:33 PM on April 27, 2006

Steven, I think the OP meant that it was the worst mass murder to happen in Australia.

Anyway, it's incomprehensible to me how someone could kill all those people. Let's hope that over the last 10 years the victims' loved ones have gone some way to get past their grief.
posted by nomis at 9:34 PM on April 27, 2006

I visited Port Arthur this January. I thought it would wig me out a bit, but it was fine. The visitor’s centre where some of the shooting took place has been torn down and a completely new centre built on a different spot.
We hired a guide to take us for the day and he was a bucket of information. He didn't stop talking from the time he picked us up until he dropped us off. Names, dates, stories - he had them all down pat. Brilliant.
We asked him how he got into the business of tour guiding and it went something like this: He was an ex-army man who was working in security for The Reserve Bank of Australia in Tasmania when the shootings happened. When the Wallis Committee transferred banking supervision functions from the RBA to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority in 1998 he was made redundant, and retired to a life of fishing and reading local history. When a local ferry operator asked him if he'd like to act as a commentator on the boat trips, he accepted and it just took off from there.
posted by tellurian at 11:18 PM on April 27, 2006

posted by greycap at 11:20 PM on April 27, 2006

Steven, the greatest mass murder of Australians would probably be Villiers Bretonneux, April 1918.

Martin Bryant, what can I say? Not much, it was incomprehensible. Sure knocked around the local community. One of Howard's better moments was his response to it.
posted by wilful at 11:34 PM on April 27, 2006

I remember reading about this at the time - but strangely the usually sensationalistic US press didn't really follow the story, which I thought was odd. Tragic and even more strange because it didn't seem like there were any warning symptoms from Bryant.

Here's what the Court TV Crime Library has on the case - no idea how accurate that is.
posted by batgrlHG at 11:42 PM on April 27, 2006

I remember this day very well. Walter Mikac, who has some authority in this matter, suggested to not give the murderer the respect of mentioning his name ever again.

I still get tears in my eyes when I think of Mikac's book "To Have And To Hold"

Thank you for not letting me forget this sad moment.
posted by nostrada at 12:00 AM on April 28, 2006

I'm too busy to find links etc, but I remember there being a bit of a fuss about Bryant's actions being called "the worst mass murder in Australia" by people who considered the near-elimination of Tasmanian Aborigines to be (by far) Australia's worst mass murder.
posted by bunglin jones at 12:01 AM on April 28, 2006

Steven, you're either pretty stupid (and I don't think you are) or you are trying to deliberately turn a post about the Pt Arthur massacre into a post about terrorism because of some sort of chip on your shoulder, which I find really fucking offensive. However, bunglin jones does make a very good point - there are many incidents of the mass murder of Aboriginies in Australia's history.
posted by Jimbob at 12:05 AM on April 28, 2006

posted by fullysic at 4:14 AM on April 28, 2006

Bryant rapidly fired 29 rounds, killing 22 people, 19 from head shots.

Sounds like he had some kinda aimbot, or maybe no recoil. Ugh. Hackers.
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:21 AM on April 28, 2006

I was in class when I heard about this, it must be one of the weirdest things I've experienced in Tasmania. I've never really read up on it, and I still have no desire to today.

Oh, and on behalf of all Tasmanians, we dont fucking care about Monique Brumby so stop parading her about like she's Errol Flynn.
posted by a. at 8:20 AM on April 28, 2006

a. is that the Monique Brumby of the soon to be re-released Thylacine? Obviously below contemplation. Why the hell would you bring her up in this thread?
It didn't directly affect me other than taking some more money from me via the gun-buy-back-levy in my taxes. Why don't you take some time to reflect on the event. Oh! and Errol was not a person to idolise (not that I'm saying you do): drinker to excess, womaniser and all-around bad boy, so there won't be any parading around.
posted by tellurian at 9:38 AM on April 28, 2006

I was not aware that Bali was in Australia. Thanks, Steven, for enlightening me! You truly are the font of all useful knowledge.
posted by dhartung at 9:50 AM on April 28, 2006

Didn't British officers help the Ottomans kill an awful lot of Australian at Gallipoli?

That wasn't in Australia either Steven.
posted by Megafly at 4:27 PM on April 28, 2006

What an incredible terrible crime.

I still wonder how many were murdered during the Lambing Flat Riots, but nobody bothered to count the dead and wounded Chinese.

And once again, Steven shows us all that he's an attention whore. Lets all give a big round of applause to the intellectually void whore, and pray that he seeks the therapy he so desperately needs.
posted by I Love Tacos at 6:55 PM on April 28, 2006

I was recently in Port Arthur, a very creepy and interesting place. And had no idea at all that a mass murder had taken place there except for one tiny thing at the end of the brochure, noting that the guides would prefer not to be asked about the massacre and if you wanted to know, to ask for a special brochure. I didn't ask.
posted by Nelson at 8:22 PM on April 28, 2006

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