There are some moments in your life when you stumble across something so outlandish that you question whether it can actually be real. I know this because this happened to me, around late last year while I was looking for any documents related to another story that I was researching. It was around the time that the Public Records Office of Victoria had just announced that they had digitised the female prison records for the first time. As I scrolled down I came to where they mentioned Mollie Jarvie; however, it was the next name that caught my interest.
It read: There is also a photograph in the records of Harriett Adderley, whose one-legged boyfriend Valentine Keating led a gang of criminals with disabilities in 1890s North Melbourne known as the Crutchy Push.
I was flawed, so opening up another tab for Trove, I searched this Valentine Keating and was amazed that he was quite well-known to the police. Going back to the public records I searched for his name in the criminal records. Sure enough, he popped up and downloading the file I got my first glimpse of a man that I have become to get to know quite well.
At this stage, I am still researching but have already uncovered a lot of information. I plan to go into more detail of how I go about research, collating and my writing process and progress. For now, though, I will leave you with the mug shot of Valentine Keating.