The Ballroom Murder
In August 1925, Audrey Jacob shot dead her former fiancé, Cyril Gidley, in full view of hundreds of guests at a charity ball in Perth's Government House. When she was arrested, she still held the gun in her hand. It was a open and shut case of wilful murder – that is until Jacob assigned prosecutor Arthur Haynes to her defence. His ability to play the press and the jury for sympathy would lead to a sensational result. Not only did Jacob escape the gallows, she was found not guilty of Gidley's murder. Straw, the author of a number of books about notable Australian female criminals, tells a story that is rich with first-hand newspaper accounts from the day.