DAY NO ONE HAS EVER FORMALLY IDENTIFIED THE PORT ARTHUR SHOOTER
A solid lawyer for Martin Bryant could also have, at
the very least, pleaded diminished responsibility for his client since
Bryant had previously been found incompetent to administer his own estate
and had been awarded a guardianship by the State to take care of his
In 1993 a case was heard in the Hobart Supreme
Court under the Mental Health Act which resulted in Martin Bryant being
found not competent to administer his own affairs and consequently
unable to make any plea in any court due to his mental inability. How
could Bryant's lawyer not be aware of that? With that information Bryant
could not be convicted of anything. He would have been sent to a
psychiatric institution where he could have been rehabilitated and maybe
eventually set free. Well, they couldn't have that now, could they? That
would not appease the lynch mobs and beside if he ever got out he might
divulge what happened at the Seascape Inn and reveal the existence of an
accomplice who lured him there to have some "fun".
Clearly Bryant had to be locked up in solitary
confinement and have the key thrown away. He would become our very own Man
In The Iron Mask.
Bryant was a very lonely boy because of his
annoying personality. He suffered from Asperger's Disease. He got teased
and liked to get revenge on those who poked fun at him by doing all the
kinds of silly things like chucking rocks and disrupting class. The kinds
of things that modern day ADD children do except he was raised in a time
when the government was closing down opportunity schools and mental
institutions. The civil libertarians had an idea that people like Martin,
who had disabilities detrimental to the other children in class, should be
integrated into society to fend for themselves. To the detriment of other
students he was forced into the same classrooms and the other children
suffered torment and loss of concentration because of his behavior. Today
we see the results of these disastrous experiments all the time and, of
course, it was not only our mentally ill who suffered the consequences of
these do gooder's fanciful ideas.
Martin desperately sought friends but besides
several girl friends, who incidentally had never suffered any kind of
violence from him, his father was perhaps the greatest influence in his
life. He loved the boy and tried very hard to change Martin's mental
capacity so that he would become a useful citizen but Martin's
inability to learn impeded any hope of him becoming capable of taking care
of himself. Martin was devastated when his father committed suicide and it
is possible that he blamed himself for not being able to live up to his
father's expectations as much as he wanted to.
In an interview with Inspectors Warren and Paine,
Martin relates how his father took him diving and fishing. He bought a
Zodiac inflatable boat which he eventually sold to buy two weapons only a
few months before the massacre. One was a Colt AR15 more commonly called
an Armalite which was identified by a Victorian gun collector who
recognized it as one that he had handed in at a previous amnesty and was
paid $1700 for.
He told police that a mark on the barrel of the
Port Arthur weapon described to him by Inspector Maxwell, matched a mark
on his rifle made by his gunsmith. "My rifle also had a collapsible stock
and a Colt sight, just as the massacre weapon has," he said. "I did the
right thing and handed the weapon in and if the police put it back into
the Australian community I would be disgusted. "They told me it would be
sent overseas and used for military purposes." See STORY OF A RIFLE USED IN A MASSACRE"No action
can really be understood apart from the motive which prompted it." Arthur
There are conflicting identifications of the
weapons used that I will not go into because its very in depth but suffice
to say that there were far too many guns floating around that day which
could only have been planted to muddy the waters. There are other sites
which delve deeper into this subject and my links refer to these experts
for more information on this matter. However be prepared to discover the
irrefutable and almost unbelievable proof of evidence interference at the
Martin didn't grow up with guns and rifles. His
parents would not have approved. He was 23 when he bought a Daiwoo 12
gauge shotgun but he was so afraid of it's recoil that he never even fired
"A. I never, the funny thing is, I never umm, got
round to using it. Even though I bought it, but it scared me the thought
of it not working, and probably ricocheting out." He was afraid of the
The parlance used by Bryant when he talks about
guns clearly shows that he is not very familiar with weaponry terms. It
also shows that he was a bit of a wimp when it came to handling guns
because although he enjoyed the feeling of owning one, as many people do,
I think they scared the hell out of him.
Only months before the Port Arthur massacre Martin
acquired two more rifles including an AR15 and for the first time in his
life took weapons out into the forest near Mundunna to practice. He had
purchased another rifle six years earlier but had never fired it because
he couldn't get it to work. A gunsmith told him that he was using the
wrong ammo and he had to be shown how to use this weapon. However he still
couldn't get the knack of it so it remained at the gunsmiths.
Q. You went, you
used to go down in that area a fair bit then?
Q. Would it be fair to say you go down there
mare than ahh, you know other parts of the State?
A. With the guns?
A. That's the only place I used to take the guns.
A. Nowhere else and
it's only been the past six, seven months that I've actually used the
guns. Before that I'd never used them, before in my life.
A. That's, it's only been seven months that I've been
firing 'em. Mmm
Q. Did you think that,
did you think it was safe to have the ahh, firearms loaded in your car?
A. Umm, well they've got a safety catch thing.
A safety catch thing?
Thank God for that. Six or
seven months practice on his own shooting cans and cardboard in the bush
and he becomes one of the most impressive shots in the world who describes
a part of his weapon as "a safety catch thing".
It should be noted that
during the interview with Martin and Inspectors Warren and Paine, Bryant's
legal representative at the time gave permission for him to be
interrogated without counsel being present. There are several pages and
portions missing in the transcript especially after Martin talks about the
hostage and the BMW. Did he say something that might have incriminated an
accomplice? Most investigators agree that besides the Martins and the
hostage handcuffed to the staircase there was at least one other person in
the Inn during the siege. Did Martin say something that could have given
up the plan? While Bryant was calmly talking to police by telephone in the
cottage during the 'siege' (and the conversation was recorded,) someone
else fired an SKK rifle 20 times. In the transcript the gunfire is
recorded as 'coughs' but an electronic analysis of one of the 'coughs'
shows that it was an SKK shot.There was someone else besides Martin with a
gun in the building.
There was no way
Martin wanted to plead guilty because in his simple mind he insisted that
he had not even been to the Port Arthur historical site on that day and
why should he plead guilty to something that he didn't do?
At his hospital bed he was charged with only one
murder that being of Kate Scott. He was confused and denied the charges.
However in a strange twist, during the interview with Paine and Warren, he
believed that he had used a gun to stop a Gold BMW at the corner of
Fortesque Bay and Palmers Lookout. He said he wanted to go for a joy ride
in the car and told the woman and a child to get into his yellow Volvo and
the male driver to get into the boot of the BMW. He said he needed a
hostage in case he got into trouble for not having a driver's licence and
worried about the man driving off in his car and going to the police. Then
he said he drove to the Seascape Inn to visit the Martins because he
missed them when he visited them earlier in the day. However his knock on
the door was unanswered yet again. For some reason, he says he can't
explain, he said he took petrol out of the BMW (that he kept in his Volvo
because the gauge didn't work) and he poured the petrol all over the BMW.
He said he wasn't sure whether he set the car on fire or not but there was
a huge explosion and that's how he thinks he got burnt. He said that he
thought the reason he was being charged with murder was because of the man
in the boot of the BMW who must have died in there, and he thought he was
responsible for this man's death. Survivors at the Fox and Hounds watched a BMW set alite
on TV and screams were heard coming from the car. Yet the man who was taken hostage was
said to be handcuffed to the stairs in the remains of the burnt Seascape and the Martins
were supposed to be dead. So who was screaming in the car while it burnt on TV?
Now here's another version of what really happened. No one died in
the boot of the car. It was the real gunman who stopped the BMW at the
toll-booth of the Port Arthur convict site (klms away from Palmers
Lookout) as he was exiting the site and he shot the four occupants in the
car. Then he dragged out their bodies and drove off in their Gold BMW.
When he came upon the white Carolla he slowed down and shot the woman
driver and kidnapped the male passenger putting him in the boot of the BMW
and then drove on to the Seascape Inn. When he got there he took the
hostage out of the boot and into the Inn where he handcuffed him to the
staircase rail and that's where he was burnt to death in the house fire
and not in the car. The gunman might have tried to relate this story to
Bryant and, perhaps because of his mental capacity, he got it all wrong
because he didn't have a clue about what really happened or what he was
supposed to say.
Why would Bryant make up this story of taking the
BMW for a joy ride and burning his hostage in the car fire where he
believes he also got burnt? If he gave himself up for what he thought was
a murder, then why didn't he admit to other murders? Or at the very least
tell some equally fanciful story about that part of the day? He couldn't
have been in any more trouble. However, no matter how hard they tried to
get him to say something about Port Arthur he adamantly insisted that he
was never at the convict settlement on that day. He said he only had $15
and couldn't afford it. When asked how his Yellow Volvo got there he said
that he didn't know and that perhaps the woman he let go from the BMW must
have drove it there. He showed genuine remorse for what happened to the
man in the boot of the BMW but he also thought that this was the reason he
had been arrested and was facing jail. He was clearly very worried about
this incident. Far more than any of the accusations against him for the
murder of another 35 people because he believed he had killed his hostage
in the boot of the car and would go to jail for it. However all of the
other instances were non events to him because, as he said, "I didn't
There were other occasions when he was said to
have uttered strange things that would have incriminated him but if he did
say any of the horrible things that his lawyer John Avery told the press
he had, then it is obvious to any reasonable person who knows anyone with
Aspergers like Martin that he would say anything to keep a conversation
going. He was a lonely person and an attention seeker. After months of
solitary confinement it's more than likely that Martin would have said
anything at all just to keep someone interested in him enough to keep him
company. He could also have used this childish ploy to be aggravating and
annoying. He was obviously being pressured into admitting to something
that he didn't do and could have lashed out with things that he thought
Avery wanted to hear. The shock value would have been entertainment for
him as prison confinement would not have been easy for him to endure
without psychiatric help.
In an interview with Avery for the Bulletin by
Julie-Anne Davies she wrote that, quote "Avery also needed to persuade
Bryant not to press with his not guilty plea." unquote. Avery told her,
quote "I had very little I could offer him in terms of legal solutions."
unquote. That's probably because he didn't even try to build a case for
Martin. Even with all of the evidence he should have had at his disposal
to prove Martin innocent his only plan was to get him to plead guilty so
everyone could go home and forget about him.
Ten years later Avery discredited himself and was
disbarred after revealing confidential interview tapes between himself and
Bryant which he said he believed the public should be made aware of.
However although, on the face of it, Bryant admits to the killings on the
Avery Tapes, it is blatantly obvious by the way he has to be led into each
admission and by the contradictions that Avery helps him 'get it right'
for the records, that Bryant does not have a grasp on what he thinks he's
supposed to say. His eagerness to please and do whatever was required of
him only serves to further empathise his ignorance and
absence of intellect. On several occasions Avery was on one train of
thought while Bryant was on another and Avery took advantage of Martin's
ineptness. He admitted to things that didn't happen such as shooting Mrs.
Martin who was not shot at all but bludgeoned to death or knocking on the
Martin's door when he was supposed to have already shot them previously or
not knowing the magazine capacity of the rifle he was supposed to be so
communication levels continuously moved in only one direction and that was
to get Martin to plead guilty. It was also obvious that Martin's coercion
had begun long before Avery had got to him. He had already been instructed
on what he must say and why. As the tapes show Bryant's main concern was
how long the court case was going to take and anything that he could say
to get it over with sooner. He was convinced that if he said and did the
right things that there might not even be a court case.
In his initial interview
with Detectives Paine and Warren Martin confessed to killing a man who was
trapped in the boot of the BMW when he thought he set fire to it. He
neither set fire to it or killed anyone in the car. The man he thought
he had killed was found burnt in the Seascape Inn. He was obviously told
what to say and got it all wrong. He had no idea at all what he was being
charged with and probably still doesn't know. Martin Bryant should have
received professional help years before he was incarcerated. He saw his
first psychiatrist when he was only six and it was obvious from that time
that he had a problem. The authorities were aware of his inability to take
care of himself but they didn't have a place for him to go where he could
get specialised care. His father retired early to look after him but when
he died the only other person who befriended him was the woman who took
him on as a gardener and left him her fortune when she died. He lived
alone to fend for himself in a huge mansion with a generous income. His
mother and sister loved him dearly but they were not as able to "put up
with him" as his dad did and they suffered the indignity of his
imperfections as much as anyone else who had anything to do with him.
People in the mental medical profession see this
kind of condition all the time. I know at least 2 people with varying
degrees of the same characteristics
but because someone is a little weird, stupid or attention seeking does
not predispose them to committing mass murderer. In fact the very reason
Martin can't be the Port Arthur shooter is because he's all of the above
and it would have been impossible for anyone to have trained a man with
his lack of intelligence to be a combat shooter.
Who ever planned the Port Arthur massacre did not
make a good choice when they selected Martin for the patsy. If the real
killer wasn't such a show-off and Martin's IQ was at least double, the
differences between the two might have been less obvious. It would have
been easy for the gunman to portray Martin by donning a blond wig and
acting a bit peculiar but for Martin to be mistaken for a combat shooter
Obviously the authority's plan to put Martin away
with a minimum of fuss would not work unless Bryant pleaded guilty because
a jury trial was the only other option. It was also apparent that the
authorities were nervous about witnesses not being able to identify Martin
seeing him up close in the witness stand so they must have put a lot of
work into getting him to change his mind. They could have used torture of
some kind (some investigators referred to his solitary confinement as
torture) but bribery is most likely since his child-like mind-set would be
easily enticed by offers of fair play and a comfortable confinement.
Whatever they did it worked to a certain extent
since his lawyer was convinced that he had talked him into pleading guilty
and they went to a sentencing hearing with this in mind.
However, surprise, surprise. When the judge
finally asked Martin how did he plead? He replied "not guilty".
I would love to have seen the look on the
prosecutors face, or, for that matter, even the lawyer's face, since he
was the one who would have worked so hard on that answer to be "guilty".
guilty' plea was not accepted. The hearing was suspended. Everyone packed
up and went home to start all over again. A 'not guilty' plea was not part
of the plan and Martin Bryant was sent to solitary confinement until he
agreed to co-operate. Never heard of before! Finally, in another hearing,
he did plead guilty as would a little boy playing a game. He knew it was
silly for him to be doing this and he laughed and snickered though all 71
counts of guilty, probably because he felt foolish telling lies.
This action was reported by the ever ravenous
press as being insensitive and cruel, something that I didn't believe for
an instant. I remember when I was 11 and I can only imagine how ridiculous
all of this must have appeared to him. He had no one to defend him or
listen to his side. His lawyer didn't make any attempt to investigate a
case for him and didn't appear to be helping him. From a humane point of
view he shouldn't have been subjected to a hearing in the first place
because of his legal mental status. The whole thing was a sham designed to
quell the anger of a nation stirred up by the press doing their dirty work
for the anti-gun nuts who couldn't even find a very convincing patsy, or
maybe they didn't know how good their shooter was going to be.
What did they offer him that was so attractive?
There was no way that he was going to go free and they must have told him
this. So, what do you offer a man condemned to prison for the rest of his
life? A colour TV set?
Anyone can judge Martin's mental ability by
reading his "psychiatric report on this site" and having done
so you can deduce that the simplest of pleasures might have appealed to
Martin. Things such as a colour TV in a very comfortable cell where he
could play computer games and order any videos he liked. What else is
there in the life of a simpleton but endless entertainment in your own
little realm rather than have a very bad accident and perhaps not survive.
The most insidious police ploy was to talk Martin
Bryant's mother into convincing Martin that he should plead guilty for the
sake of the family. Not knowing the facts at that time this poor tormented
woman believed that Martin would be treated better if he did as she asked
and this ploy would also have been an incentive for Martin to plead guilty
at the second inquest. I can't imagine how she felt when she eventually
learned the facts that prove her son was innocent.
Media generated hatred akin to a Salem witch hunt
incited the public to approve of his death but attempts on his life would
have shone a light on him and reminded the public of a massacre they were
determined to forget. There has never been a follow up story about the
Port Arthur massacre. No documentaries, no movies, no Current Affair or
Today Tonight reports, no 4 Corners. Even channel nine's Sunday would not
have a bar of it at my own personal request. They knew the truth would
only implement themselves by overturning their own bias reporting.
They may even have uncovered some of the truth
about Martin's inability to have committed the crimes he was accused of.
Much safer to let sleeping dogs lie and keep Bryant silent in his "Iron
Mask" behind closed doors forever.
The seascape fire was started when the police
fired a flare into the building and it smoldered for a length of time
before it caught fire. During this time the fire trucks were available to
put the fire out but were told not to resulting in the building being
burnt to the ground. (See the burnt out BMW, Seascape Inn and fire trucks
near the building.)
There were at least three people known to be in the building when it was
fired and only Bryant escaped after being badly burnt on his back, hand
and side indicating that he was lying face down when the heat hit him.
Perhaps this is what woke him up and enabled him to escape. But, why was
the building fired on when at the time it was not known if the Martens and
Pears were dead or alive in the building? Or did they know, since the real
killer had already left the building. And why were there weapons found on
the roof of a nearby shed and in adjacent bushland.
It is especially easy to keep things quiet in the
present climate since the public seem to accept the silence generated by
the media on this subject. Absence of any updates and ongoing hush hush
about the subject keeps the peace and life goes on. Nothing is said "out
of respect for the dead" and Martin Bryant's name is never mentioned. The
authorities and the media have convinced the general public to forget the
man accused of Australia's worst crime. He is behind bars and that is the
end of that.
Those of us who take everything the media tells us
with a grain of salt have heard a different story to the official one. So
many blatant anomalies should aggravate even the most skeptic of us and
anyone who has read the unofficial versions on the Port Arthur massacre
can't help but be curious about questions that the government won't answer
and the media refuses to report.
So what do the people of Tasmania think? In
particular those who live and work in the Port Arthur region and may even
have been there on the day?