This is the true crime account of Eugenia Falleni, a woman who in 1920 was charged with the murder of her wife. Eugenia had lived in Australia for twenty-two years as a man and during that time officially married twice. She lived a full married life with her first wife, Annie, for four years before Annie realised that her husband was a woman. Even after Annie knew, they lived together for eight months before they went on a bush picnic, when Annie mysteriously died. Her body was not identified for almost three years, and during this time Eugenia married again, this time to Lizzie. When Eugenia was finally arrested and charged with Annie's murder, the police attempted to tell Lizzie that her husband was a woman. She laughed at them – she was so convinced that her husband was a man that she thought she was pregnant to him.
This is the story of one of the most extraordinary criminal trials in legal history anywhere in the world. The book traces Eugenia's history: from her early years in an Italian immigrant family in New Zealand, to her brutal treatment when she first tried living as a man. The story then follows the twenty-two years that she lived in Sydney as Harry Crawford – exploring how Harry managed to convince two wives that he was a man. The trial of Eugenia Falleni for Annie's murder is extensively analysed in a clear and easily understood way by the author, Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC, one of Australia's foremost criminal law barristers.
‘Outstanding new true-crime … A grimly fascinating and extraordinary tale.’ The Age
‘In the hands of NSW Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, Eugenia’s story is gripping.’ Australian Women’s Weekly
‘Tedeschi writes with a deep compassion ... and makes us all consider how fear, prejudice and ignorance can affect lives, even today.’ Herald Sun
‘Crown prosecutor and barrister Mark Tedeschi QC has drawn on a wealth of legal knowledge and insight.’ Courier-Mail
As a Barrister and Crown Prosecutor for more than forty years, Mark Tedeschi QC has worked on some of Australia’s most significant criminal cases. He was the Senior Crown Prosecutor in New South Wales for twenty years, during which he also served as President of the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors. Mark has published many articles on the law, history, genealogy and photography, and is the author of critically acclaimed non-fiction titles Eugenia, Kidnapped, Massacre at Myall Creek and Missing, Presumed Dead.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia (May 1, 2013)
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