Tomorrow marks the tenth anniversary of the most traumatic episode in modern Australian history, the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, April 28, 1996. In summary, Carl Wernerhoff writes in his new e-book, What's Going On?: A Critical Study of the Port Arthur Massacre, the story the appalled public was told 'was that shortly before 1.30 p.m. that cloudless Sunday afternoon, the gunman had entered the Broad Arrow Café at the Port Arthur Historical Site [PAHS] and picked off, with unfathomable callousness, one tourist after another. He killed a number of other individuals [including small children - ed] as he exited the PAHS and holed himself up in a nearby tourist guest house, the Seascape, in a siege that only ended when he burned the building down the following morning (an event that was seen shortly afterwards on television).'

As Wernerhoff explains, in the immediate aftermath of the shootings the alleged perpetrator - a 29-year old simpleton (IQ 66) with practically no shooting experience whatsoever named Martin Bryant - was subjected to a campaign of vilification which has surpassed that directed against anyone in Australian history. [After Hitler he is the most vilified individual I know of - ed.] In addition to reports that implied that he may have been responsible for two prior deaths (those of his benefactor - an eccentric old woman, Helen Hervey - and his father), the Australian public was told that he persistently harassed women, threatened to shoot his neighbours for no reason and slept with a pig in his bed. Here's Wernerhoff on the pig story, surely the most damning of them all:

'It is not my purpose in this book to provide a systematic analysis and critique of the campaign of character assassination waged against Martin Bryant by the police and the media after the Port Arthur massacre. What I would like to do, first of all, is remind readers that by far the most incriminating component of the anti-Bryant rhetoric - his alleged partiality for violent videos – turned out to be wholly unfounded. Bryant’s video collection not only contained entirely standard fare, his tastes in films were far from violent. According to his girlfriend, Petra Wilmott, he once walked out of a movie because it depicted violence too realistically for his liking. His preferences in videos - his favourites were musicals such as The Sound of Music - seem to have been as anodyne as his preferences in music, which included The Lion King and Cliff Richard.

But, second, it is important to realize that the allegedly violent nature of his video collection was only one of a great many lines of defamation that were pursued by those who were determined to depict him as a monster. Most Australian readers will recall that Bryant is supposed to have threatened to kill a number of people, and to have given women the creeps. The best known book about the case, Mike Bingham’s trashy book Suddenly One Sunday (1996; second edition 2001), is replete with (mostly unattributed) stories of Bryant’s untoward behaviour to women, presumably in order to encourage disturbed female readers [who, after all, make up fifty percent of the public the police was trying to convince of Bryant's guilt - ed] to draw the conclusion that the police must definitely have found the right mass murderer.

However, most Australians will probably have forgotten one of the most sensational ‘revelations’ the media diffused about Bryant – which was that he slept with a pig in his bed! According to Macer Hall (The Star, April 30, 1996) – Hall is now the political editor of the same London tabloid in which the story appeared - "The psycho behind the Tasmanian massacre was a twisted loner who slept with a pig. … Bryant was known to wander around toting guns under cover of darkness - and snuggle up to his pet porker during the day."’ (SOURCE)

BELOW: Picture of a pig. Why have police refused to release pictures of Bryant's pet porker? Could the truth be that the massacre was the result of a love triangle involving Bryant, his girlfriend Petra Wilmott and the pig that went terribly wrong? Why wasn't the pig mentioned even once during Bryant's sentencing hearing? What's being covered up here?

Any resemblance between the pig shown in the above photo and Bryant's pet porker is entirely coincidental. This pig is NOT being accused of any kind of complicity in the massacre at all.

Wernerhoff continues: 'Without wishing to impugn the journalistic integrity of a Macer Hall (who is a member of the British parliamentary press gallery, and therefore should possess at least a modicum of the stuff), I would suggest that this particular claim can be pretty much dismissed as an unsubstantiated allegation. If there was a pig in Bryant’s bed, Bryant's girlfriend seems not to have noticed it there, while his mother, Carleen Bryant, who regularly cleaned her son’s house for him, never mentions the pig droppings she must have been finding all over the place.

What’s more, the identity of the pig itself – and other pertinent facts, such as its sex, age and breed - have never been released by the Tasmania Police. Whether or not the police have obfuscated the truth about Martin Bryant by deliberately suppressing information about the pig is a matter that concerned readers should probably take up with the Tasmanian Department of Public Prosecutions rather than with this author, who is entirely unfamiliar with the appropriate forensic procedures for investigating intimate relationships between psycho killers and porcine bedmates.


A question I would like to leave the reader with is whether such an extensive campaign of personal vilification as that which was waged after the massacre against Martin Bryant, however deviant or creepy he may have been (and there is no reason to think that he was either), would have been necessary if there had actually been some evidence that he had in fact been its perpetrator?'

NOTE: Carl Wernerhoff's What's Going On?: A Critical Study of the Port Arthur Massacre can be downloaded free of charge from the following locations: