top of page

Thomas Moore

On November 3rd, 1896, Edward Smith, a fisherman local to Bourke, NSW, Australia, went missing. His body was discovered 10 days later, beaten and mutilated. He had been murdered. All fingers pointed to Thomas Moore, a 55 year-old rover who had also been linked to other murders in the area. He was responsible for ending the lives of several people, but he also meets a gruesome end. Who was Thomas Moore? What happened to him after Edward Smith was found murdered? Was he a serial killer?

I have always been fascinated by true crime, particularly delving into what makes the minds of narcissists, psychopaths and serial killers tick. Understanding these high-conflict personalities is not always easy. Sometimes it's near impossible. But it is something I have dedicated my passions towards.


And it is for this reason that I embarked on a journey of local history, specifically regarding the crimes and ultimate demise of one, Thomas Moore. After a lengthy chase, Moore was reprimanded and taken to Old Dubbo Goal where he was eventually hung for his crimes.

 This project was created for my university portfolio and involved the creation of a podcast, which was created, directed and recorded by myself. 

The episode provides a brief biographical summary of Thomas Moore with special guest speaker Richard Mutton, who will provide a psychologist’s analysis of the mind of a serial killer.

The Golden rule for radio broadcasting and podcasting? "Focus on stories which involve health, wealth or affairs of the heart." As a local journalist, committed to truth, I was inspired to uncover a piece of local history that was not widely known about. 

Enter: Thomas Moore.

This story concerns local lore and murder in the Western NSW region. Many Dubbo residents may have heard the name 'Thomas Moore," particularly as they toured the historic Old Dubbo Gaol. However, while some have heard his name, few people knew who he really was, and much less about the crime he actually committed.

My podcast was designed as a documentary biography of one man – Thomas Moore. It did begin with an aim to focus on the Old Dubbo Gaol. However, legal restraints and a lack of a real focus made this idea impractical for my task. Research was difficult, as it primarily involved searches through Trove, and the primary sources that were found from 1896 were difficult to read and interpret. Not only this, current sources which mentioned Thomas Moore, were minimal. Despite this, Richard happened to be very familiar with Thomas Moore due to his work as a criminal psychologist, and so I found my angle, and my co-host, at once.

So sit back, grab your listening device and allow me to take you back in time... to 1896 and the grissly murder of a local fisherman... and perhaps many more...

bottom of page