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 a Crown Prosecutor for thirty five years, Mark Tedeschi QC has appeared in some of the most significant criminal cases in Australia. He has been the Senior Crown Prosecutor in New South Wales for fifteen years and is the President of the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors. He has had many articles published on the law and is the author of a legal text book and the critically acclaimed biography Eugenia. He has published many articles on history, genealogy, photography, and horticulture. Kidnapped is his second work of creative non-fiction.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia (September 1, 2012)