Home Port Arthur Bryant’s Anniversary Series, Part 11: An Accomplice Ruins the Whole Story

Bryant’s Anniversary Series, Part 11: An Accomplice Ruins the Whole Story


port arthurSeascape cottage

by Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB

It is wonderful to see that another court case in Tasmania is proceeding apace. That is the new appeal of convicted murderess Sue Neill-Fraser. Gumshoe is not going to put resources into that case, but it has provided me with a clue about Martin Bryant.

Of course there is plenty already to show that Bryant was a patsy and had nothing whatsoever to do with the massacre at the Broad Arrow Café on April 28, 1996. But I have just noticed something about the logic of “accomplices.”

During the siege at Seascape, which involved a hostage-taking, it was acknowledged by police that more than one gunman had appeared at a time. Someone was shooting from the roof of one of the other buildings at Seascape, while Martin was holed up in the cottage.

Also, as analyzed by Andrew MacGregor and Stewart Beattie, a person other than Bryant was doing some shooting right smack dab during a conversation between Bryant (playing the part of Jamie”) and police negotiator Terry McCarthy. Those sounds on the negotiation tape were called “coughs.”  Can you imagine!

And, as reported in Gumshoe, constable PJ Allen said that he had to lie in a ditch in front of Seascape as many shots came his way, shots aimed not at reaching him but at holding him away from the cottage.

Note: “Seascape” was a B&B property on the waterfront that had a cottage and a few other building on it. Bryant’s “assistant gunmen” could have departed, unnoticed, by boat, at the back of the property.


The little “eureka” that this has just given me is as follows: When it is discovered that an accused did not act alone, every aspect of his participation must be called into question.

It would be different for every case, of course.  One thinks of James Earl Ray’s supposed racist motivation to kill Martin Luther King. As soon as other gunmen were discovered – and they were – one could no longer interpret the shooting of King as something done by a man (Ray) who just had to get his personal racist emotions avenged.

I recommend that we look at the records of other “lone-gunmen” cases. If an accomplice is spotted, this will turn the thing around. People reported additional shooters in the Erfurt school shooting in Germany in 2002. and in the Virginia Tech shooting. Possibly it’s true also of Dunblane.

And soon as that be included in the narrative, anything that may have been proposed about the guy “going nuts” has to be discounted if not rejected entirely. No longer can we say the shooter was a disgruntled employee, a rejected lover, a jealous brother, a racist. What rejected lover is able to recruit a co-murderer?

(The case of the Erfurt shooter, by the way, was written up by media entirely on the basis of the boy having been unhappy at his school. Stewart Beattie, our very own gunsmith in the Bryant case, bothered to go to Germany and sorted that case out!)

To repeat, my Eureka (which is hardly original, but I never noticed it before) is: once evidence of an accomplice emerges, the “psychological” explanation for the lone shooter has to be given the heave-ho.

Bryant Had No Accomplice-Type Friends

In many cases where the gunman is of normal intelligence and normal social cleverness, it would be reasonable to look into the matter of his having a partner-in crime. Probably in many murders (even excluding hired hit-man cases) there is collusion.

But Martin Bryant’s history shows him to be unable to make friends. In fact it is a feature of his “psychiatric” record that he was not socially adept. Apparently also he lacked the IQ needed for making any complicated plan.

Note that his motive for (supposedly) killing 35 people on April 28, 1996 is that he had a grudge against the elderly couple who owned Seascape cottage, David and Sally Martin. At Bryant’s sentencing, we read these remarks by Justice William Cox:

The prisoner, it is clear, a lengthy period of time before the day on which it was carried into effect, formed the intention of causing the deaths of Mr and Mrs Martin against whom he had long harboured a grudge and at the very least of causing mayhem…. Indeed he seems to have contemplated mayhem of such a drastic kind that it would in all probability provoke a response which would result in his own death. [Emphasis added]

At this point, some student of human nature, or even a zoologist with an understanding of the life instinct should have interjected that a long-held grudge is not enough to make a person endanger his own life. We are too life-preserving to do such a thing. (Ever watch an injured bird struggle to survive?)

Note: the alleged grudge was not about Bryan’s Dad having been unable to buy Seascape. Rather the Dad, years ago, tried to buy a piece of farmland that the Martins also owned, but did not wish to sell. It really is preposterous to think this would make the young man perform huge acts of violence against an array of innocent people.

The judge continues:

In furtherance of his intention, he acquired high powered weapons and embarked with three of them, a very large supply of ammunition and accessories such as a sports bag to conceal the weapons, a hunting knife, two sets of handcuffs and rope. In addition he carried large quantities of petrol in containers, fire starters and acquired a cigarette lighter en route.

That, by the way, makes me think of Monis and the Lindt Café.

What kind of planning went into his “day at the siege”? Was he, in advance, planning to actually shoot people with his carried-in-a-Woolworth’s-bag shotgun? If he only intended it as a bluff, there was no need for it to be loaded.

I continue with words uttered by the judge at Bryant’s sentencing hearing:

[He] intended to arm himself with the means of igniting the petrol [that is, he bought the cigarette lighter — on the day!] and that this was intended to be used unlawfully causing damage to some property in the course of his expedition.

Expedition? Are we to understand that when Bryant left his home that morning – having not even told his live-in girlfriend that he had anything on the docket for the afternoon – he was planning an “expedition”?

The judge continues:

Arrived at the Martins’ home, he shot both of them dead and continued on to Port Arthur.

Wait. He had at that point supposedly achieved his grudge-relieving goal. The Martins were now dead (per the narrative). Why then go to Port Arthur?  Hey, wait a minute. As noted above, the judge said:

He acquired high powered weapons and embarked with three of them, a very large supply of ammunition and accessories such as a sports bag to conceal the weapons, a hunting knife, two sets of handcuffs and rope.

If the focus was on killing the Martins, why would he need multiple weapons, and why would he buy a sports bag to conceal them, let alone why would he buy handcuffs?

Surely – surely – he could not have envisioned being able to kidnap (or was it carjack? Ah carjackings!) a person who would then serve as a hostage.

But that is what was proposed by the judge! Justice William Cox said that because of the materials

“painstakingly prepared by [the DPP] from the materials diligently assembled by the team of police and forensic investigators” [oh, Crikey] it is unnecessary for me to repeat it in detail or to attempt more than a brief summary.”

As I said above, Cox (later a vice-regal) opined:

The prisoner, it is clear, a lengthy period of time before the day on which it was carried into effect, formed the intention of causing the deaths of Mr and Mrs Martin against whom he had long harboured a grudge and at the very least of causing mayhem…. Indeed he seems to have contemplated mayhem of such a drastic kind that it would in all probability provoke a response which would result in his own death.

Note the circularity. “It is clear” that the purpose was to relieve a grudge, but the evidence that makes that clear is the evidence that – in order to carry out the wonderfully complicated Port Arthur massacre – Bryant did a lot of preparation.

And then we are told, as above, that having murdered the elderly couple, he figured he may as well go whole hog, doing “drastic mayhem.”

Personally, I don’t get it.

Back to the Accomplice Aspect

That was an aside. What I have set out to show in this article is that the very presence of more than one gunman at Seascape cottage, on the afternoon of the massacre, is sufficient proof that Martin did not act alone. The word “proof” is not too strong here.

If he did not act alone, who helped him and why?

So let’s abandon the nonsense about the motivation of a grudge and agree that this was a huge operation, a planned massacre.

I repeat: there were accomplices at Seascape. Thus, the whole case needs to be reinterpreted.

The Cui Bono of It All

OK, then, cui bono? Why would anyone commit the Port Arthur “tragedy”?

Those of us who have put any time into reading the evidence know that it was a government-run event. You can always tell that if police commissioners give crazy stories to the media, and if judges write crazy narratives as above, someone must be standing over such police commissioners and judges.

It seems queer to say it is “government” that does such things. Our understanding of “government” is that of an entity that upholds the law. But nowadays the institution of government has fallen in. It obeys mafia-like bosses.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

As mentioned, it was a quick perusal of the Sue Neill-Fraser case in Hobart that made me think of these things. My “theory” — or whatever you want to call it — is that government did the massacre at Port Arthur.

Stewart Beattie has pointed out that there were numerous ASIO people at the Broad Arrow Café – too numerous for them all to have been coincidentally holidaying at the Port Arthur Historic Site. Some died, but some are still alive.  They could be questioned, couldn’t they?

And why was it of benefit for “ASIO” — whatever the hell that is – to create a massacre? Many investigators chalk it up to the Gun-control movement. I go a bit further in saying it is part of the overall planning for the destruction of society.

Either way, the criminals need to be rounded up, don’t they? Oh, were you of the mind that if they are salaried members of government, their work is not criminal but something less, like malfeasance?  Forget it. Murder is not a mater of malfeasance. Murder is a very solid crime.

Jobs, Jobs

Oops, I just went to ASIO’s website, to check that it stands for Australian Security Intelligence Organization – yep, it does, and what do I find at the very top of the website (today, August 6, 2016)?  This exhortation:

“If It Doesn’t Add Up, Speak Up”

Why thankye kindly, ASIO, I will.

Oopsie, and there is also an ad for employment with them. I am too old but you go for it, OK readers?  It says:

“ASIO is seeking talented Australians to help collect information, connect the dots and play a crucial role in providing advice to government.”

Jayz. You can’t beat that.

— Mary W Maxwell lives in Adelaide.  She has lots of grudges to settle.


Photo credit: southeasasianews.org/portarthur


  1. To convict someone of murder you have to at least postulate a motive. (Preferably you would display good evidence of that motive). Usually it’s a jury doing the convicting, not a single judge.

    In any case, the motive stated for Martin Bryant was “a grudge”. I proffer the suggestion now, that in ANY murder case where a psychological reason is given as the motive (e.g., grudge), a whole set of questions must be answered.

    “Grudge” cannot be allowed to win a conviction for murder, since it is extremely unlikely to motivate a murder. (Marital jealousy, on the other hand, often causes a murder — see “Homicide” by Martin Daly and the late Margo Wilson, both sociobiologists.)

    Some people also murder a business rival if they can hope to get away with it. Old man Rockefeller did it routinely. In that case, though, we don’t say the killer acted on some psychological impulse, but rather acted strategically for good reasons. (You know what I mean.)

    “My thesis” should have been used at James Earl Ray’s trial. He would not, as a plain American, even if he were a rabidly Black-hating American, have risked all for the purpose of killing MLK. “It just wouldn’t pay.”

    By the way, Ray pleaded guilty under pressure from his “defense” lawyer, then wrote to the judge a week later to rescind his guilty plea. The judge was then found dead at his desk. (No eyebrows were raised. about that. Damn, what kind of world do we live in?)

    As I said, there was more than one gunman at Seascape. Or, if you wish to hold — as I do — that Martin did not involve himself in any shooting that day, then you will have to phrase it as: “There was a at least one gunman at Seascape who was not Bryant.”

    And as I said, that is PROVEN.

    • There is a bloke in WA who has a blog. (can’t think of his name now or the name of his site.) He seems to spend time in and out of goal.

      In the blog when I took a screen cap of it, there was a statement attributed to the other half of the girl from WA who was the first person to die in the Cafe.

      According to the survivor, the girl lent over the table and said to her other half “there are two blokes staring at me.” The other half lent over the table to see the two blokes (presumably standing in a doorway,) At that instant she died and he was grazed.

      It stands to reason that if the govt organised this then they would have had a backup shooter in case the first got taken down but then again they could have been a mere handler.

      I still have screen cap if that helps.

  2. There are now many of us in Australian Society that KNOW that the Port Arthur Massacre was an intentional case of mass murder by government agencies, both Federal and State. But unfortunately a big percentage of that group are not willing to speak up, because of the fear factor and or the worry as to what others will say of them. Those in the Public Service are concerned about jobs and promotion, but if these projects are allowed to continue there will not be any jobs or professions as we know them. Any person that does retain a job will have to obey any illegal task given to them by their superiors, no matter how vile that order may be. So we must speak up, to have these manic criminals locked away to prevent following disasters in the future. If not for yourself, think of your children and grandchildren. So people push your politicians towards a Royal Commission to have this catastrophe opened up so that those involved are jailed as punishment and to let the “Powers That Be”, know that they are not going to get away with another such crime. Don’t let your Federal Politician tell you that it has nothing to do with him because it was in the jurisdiction of the State of Tasmania. That argument is total crap. A.S.I.O. had a large number of personnel at Port Arthur that day and John Howard, the Prime minister of Australia gave orders that the café was to be demolished and that there would be no Inquiry, which the law states, must happen.

  3. Mary you’ve done it again. Just as I have settled into retirement as a journalist, after my one and only editorial you go and post another good article that I cannot resist commenting on.

  4. Look at that pretty picture of Seascape cottage [R.I.P.] .

    Makes one wonder if there was compo from insurance. Maybe the insurers would like to know who set the fire. And what of the hostage Glen Pears who is said to have died in the fire. Is there an autopsy report? Did the house insurance pay his family?

    One feels that the court of equity is suffering a silencing these decades. If anybody out there can think of a way in which Equity could help Bryant’s cse, please put your 2 cents in. By “two cents” I mean even a snippet of information will help. Ta.

    • Whoopee, a chance finding – get a load of this, O ye Seppos:

      In 1822 (46 years after Paul Revere’s ride) the US Supreme Court said, in its rules:

      “In all cases where the rules prescribed by this court, or by the circuit court, do not apply, the practice of the circuit court shall be regulated by the practice of the high court of chancery in England.”

      Wow, that Benedict Arnold city!

      • Sorry about this, but I don’t believe Paul Revere did any such thing. Probably the only way he would have got any blisters on his backside would have been from sitting on a stool in his jeweller’s shop. The ride more logically was achieved by a dispatch rider (fore runner to the pony express) surname of Israel, possibly Christian name Aaron, but I’m not certain of that. Revere, it appears was a33 degree freemason and the character who started the myth was a poet I believe named Longfellow who it would seem was also a 33 degree freemason.
        Now I’m going to have my breakfast..

    • I have witnessed results that parallel the way the following situation was handled re matters of much greater import. Unlike the judiciary, the Country’s electorate tends to say one thing and do another: behind closed doors that is.

      On 16 Jan’08 Magistrate Cicchini extends bail to 30 March re CR/AL/1033 – 1036/07.
      Four days later the respective accused is told, via a Court Notice, that six weeks have been cut off said extension :
      “under S. 31 of the Bail Act“
      *AL/1033 – 1036/07 MAGISTRATES COURT NOTICE OF 18 JANUARY ‘08
      He looks up said law:
      (2) A different time, or a different and place, for the appearance by the accused may be substituted as mentioned in subsection 1 –
      (a) upon adjournment of proceedings at which the accused is present…….
      (b) upon an adjournment of proceedings from which the accused is absent for a reasonable cause…….

      And he alerts the Attorney General accordingly:
      ‘On 17 January 2008 Magistrate Cicchini extended bail to 26 March 2008.Yesterday I received a notice that claims to have reduced that time on the basis of S. 31 of the Bail Act. The problem is that said section does not make any provision for a bail extension to be withdrawn behind a concerned parties back and neither does any other law”

      The response is that :
      “I cannot direct or instruct the Albany clerk of courts”

      At 9 p. m. on 14 February fifteen police officers surround his residence and he’s is taken to the lock-up in handcuffs.
      When he’s taken before magistrate Hamilton the following day he draws further attention to the fact that bail could not have been cut short via Australia Post.
      She responds by claiming that he’s in contempt of a summons.
      As there’s no provision for a summons to be:
      * superimposed on an extant bail undertaking
      * issued by an anonymous clerk
      He’s then charged with breach of bail(charge 789 of 2008)
      Said charge is never prosecuted or formally withdrawn

      • Dear Berry, Bill Windsor in the US has singlehandedly tracked down a thousnad or more items like the one you describe. Fact is: it isn’t just bureaucrats being bureaucrats. It’s a deliberate plan to use the courts to torment people.

        We are lucky that a court tormented Bill, as it has led to his Youtuibe series Lawless America, q.v.

        • The point is that its largely a creation of those who play along with it. The Martin Bryant stitch-up couldn’t possibly have succeeded if enough people had refused to engage.

  6. The new senator from One Nation Malcolm Hughes has catch my attention, an intelligent and well spoken man who appears not be afraid to speak his mind, and challenge the establishment and has caught the main stream medias attention, he could be a person worth sounding out for Martin Bryant

    • I heard his words, could be an enlightenment under parliamentary privilege….?… will he take up the challenge?
      On history, Hinch will turn out all ‘meow’.
      Be interseting if he really cares about children………… including those we have destroyed in the Middle East and expose the lies of the Howard government and his runing dog shock jocks

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