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Cannibalism amongst penitentiary escapees from Sarah Island in nineteenth century Van Diemenís Land


Byard, RW and Maxwell-Stewart, HJ, Cannibalism amongst penitentiary escapees from Sarah Island in nineteenth century Van Diemen's Land, Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology pp. 1-6. ISSN 1547-769X (2017) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2017 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12024-017-9938-6


Alexander Pearce was an Irish convict incarcerated on Sarah Island on the west coast of Van Diemenís Land (modern day Tasmania, Australia) in 1822, following his transportation to the colony from the United Kingdom for seven years in 1819. On two occasions he escaped from the island, in September 1822 and again in November 1823, and was only able to survive the harsh conditions by killing and consuming his fellow escapees. Given that Pearce utilized the only sustenance that was at hand (i.e. his five companions), and that there was a temporal separation between the two episodes, this may represent a separate category of anthropophagy, that of serial opportunistic cannibalism.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:convict, crime, penal, cannibalism
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Maxwell-Stewart, HJ (Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart)
ID Code:125074
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP140100623)
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2018-03-27
Last Modified:2018-05-14

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