17 April 2006

Stories from the outback

Two stories about the outback from the News Ltd website: the first
"Outback survivor or fraud?" casts doubt on a man's claim that he survived 70 days in the desert.

Ricky Megee has told an amazing tale of his 70-day survival in the desert and says a diet of lizards, frogs, snakes and leeches kept him alive.
And Mr Megee, from Toowong, Queensland, has hit out at claims he is a liar.
"People need to understand what I've been through; to have survived out there for so long and then be told I am making it up makes me sick," he said.

Mr Megee said his extraordinary ordeal began when he was hijacked on an isolated dirt road south of Halls Creek, drugged and left for dead in a shallow grave on January 24.He was found by station hands on April 4, weighing just 45kg and extremely malnourished, living in a makeshift shelter – a section of pipe – beside a dam on remote Birrindudu cattle station, near the WA border.

Initially he was heralded as a hero but police have voiced suspicions about parts of his story. Mr Megee says he is "no angel" and admits to a close association with a known NT drug dealer. He also said he was convicted of drug-related crimes in Queensland "about 10 years ago".

But he says his past has nothing to do with him being left for dead in one of the world's harshest environments."The police might not believe how I ended up there but nobody is saying that I wasn't lost in the bush; look at me, for God's sake," he said."I will take any lie detector test. I will eat frogs on camera to prove I did it out there. I couldn't make this up if I tried."

The second story revisits another outback mystery

It's good to see that Ms Lees' life is, as the headline says "full of promise". No doubt the prospect of good sales for her book (is it the fifth or sixth about the disappearance of Peter Falconio?) has contributed to this. I have some qualms about her (or any other victim of crime) being able to capitalise on their misfortune, but it's hard to know how to stop or even regulate it unless the money (or part thereof) victim writers earn from their books or media appearances are used to offset any victim of crime payment they may receive.

1 comment:

nod said...

Two thoughts occur to me
1) A victim of crime always will command higher moral ground than a convicted criminal.
2) I never cease to be amazed by the baseness of the public's taste and its quest for gorey detail.

A jury has accepted Ms Lees' version of the facts. The jury acts for us all and we are stuck with the decision [right or wrong] until it is overturned.