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The True Story of the Maryvale Murders and the Langley Family Ghost by John Henry Ellen

Front Cover of new book by author John Henry Ellen

Front Cover of new book by author John Henry Ellen

In 1874 a young woman, her illegitimate daughter, and the man who was paid to
marry her, leave Mount Gambier in South Australia to take up a selection in Lubeck, near Murtoa.

Two days later they are camped on the Maryvale Estate near Edenhope and that is the last that the family are seen until the remains of the young woman and her daughter are discovered ten years later on the property.

Where is the husband? Did he murder them and if so why? And was there really a ghost protecting the site where the bodies were buried?

This is a true story with remarkable twists and turns, and was one of the greatest
murder mysteries in Australian history. This is a book that has been thoroughly
researched, and is more than just a murder story. It is a chronicle of the struggle and hardships that our early settlers had to endure, particularly the Langley Family with their seventeen children.

The 19th Century was a time when the new colony of Australia was trying to forge an identity, and it was settlers like Charles Langley and his family who worked tirelessly to bring this about. The True Story of the Maryvale Murders is a book that you will not wish to miss!

Copies of the book can be purchased from Bev Langley, 66 Cronie Street, Rupanyup, Vic 3388 or telephone Bev 0427 737 604



Commemoration activity is planned for March 8 – 9, 2014 (labour day long weekend).

All families and friends associated with the settlements are invited to attend a weekend of activity remembering the 17 settlers from Mundarra Estate and Mundarra Park.

Information including addresses of descendants, photos, stories, newspaper articles or other memorabillia about the settlements is very welcome.

Please contact Jim Farran 0408310107 or David Burns 0409866211 if you have anything of interest or would like more information.


Around the table discussing the proposal to erect a plaque acknowledging two soldier settlements – Mundarra Park & Mundarra Estate). Clockwise from left: John de Fredrick, Alex McDougall, David Burns, Leigh Enright, and Jim Farran

In 1952, Mundarra Park was divided into 8 blocks, varying from 660 to 1004 acres, depending on the productivity of the land. Those successful in being allotted blocks were; Errol Thornton, Norm Joseph, Ronald Lamshed, Reuban Burns, Jack Farran, Les Enright and Ken Mackenzie. 

The Mundarra Estate was divided into 10 blocks, varying from 700  to 1170 acres. The successful applicants were Richard Hood, Lou Kaufmann, Roger Boyton, T Whittingham, Jim McDougall, Tom Kinnane, P.Cain, Frederick, B. Blohm and William Woonton/ Don Cameron