Jean Lee: The last woman hanged in Australia

Robyn Lincoln, Paul Wilson, Don Treble

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch


Shortly after 8 a.m. on 19 February 1951, Jean Lee, an attractive, red-haired, 31-year-old woman was hanged at Melbourne's Pentridge Prison. She had been sedated and was held upright on a chair before being plunged to her death. Jean Lee was the last woman hanged in Australia and the only one to hang this century. She and her lover Robert Clayton and their friend Norman Andrews had been found guilty of the murder of 73-year-old SP bookmaker Pop Kent at Carlton in 1949. ... The last woman executed in this country went to the gallows despite severe doubts about what part she played in the murder, the highly questionable police interrogation procedures of the time, and the controversial High Court and Privy Council decisions. In addition, the hanging was politically expedient for the residing state government. Undoubtedly, however, Jean Lee died as a warning to other women of the perilous consequences of deviating from the socially approved path of femininity. Researched over nine years, the meticulous detail of Jean Lee - the Last Woman Hanged in Australia shatters assumptions surrounding one of the century's most legally contentious cases.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherRandom House Australia
Number of pages231
ISBN (Print)0-09-183442-2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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