A PRIVATE home for boys, a callous superintendent, two dead boys and links to the shadowy world of eugenics … it sounds like the stuff of a thriller.
But they are the elements of a harrowing true story that journalist Joe Fairhurst uncovered in his quest to find out what happened to the two boys, who died horribly at Newhaven on Phillip Island, 11-year-old Freddy in 1926 and 10-year-old Rex in1933.
In conversation with his film-maker son, John, he will reveal all next month at the Phillip Island Literary Festival.
Joe told part of the story in his one-act play, The Killings at Newhaven, which won the 2009 Lyrebird Award. A reading of the two-act version will be performed at the Peridot Theatre in August. Joe is also working on a book about the killings.
He says he continues to uncover new information, much of it held in archives, more than 80 years after the killings.
Literary Festival of Phillip Island, June 9-11. Buy tickets.