The headless remains of the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly have been identified, officials said yesterday. Kelly led a gang that robbed banks and killed policemen in the state of Victoria between 1878 and 1880.
He was hanged in 1880 but the fate of his body was unknown. It was long suspected it lay alongside 33 other executed inmates in a mass grave at a prison. Officials located the grave in 2008 and exhumed the bodies for analysis.
A DNA sample from one of Kelly's descendants confirmed that one of the skeletons – which was missing most of its skull – was his. Kelly, whose father was an Irish convict, is now seen by many Australians as a folk hero, a Robin Hood-like character who fought the British colonial authorities and championed the rural Irish underclass.