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Adelaide Historical Crime

Tours > Murder & Madness


Welcome... to the 'City of Corpses'


Adelaide and its surrounding plains were originally home to the Kaurna people.  This tribe lived in family groups of around 30 people and the area that they were responsible for was known as Yerta's.  The Yerta that the Adelaide City Centre stood on was known as the 'land of the red kangaroo' or 'Tandanya'.  Sadly before the white Europeans had even arrived here in 1836 there was estimated to be only 300 to 1000 Kaurna left due to outbreaks of smallpox which had already spread down the Murray River from interstate.

In 1836 several ships set sail from England for the shores of South Australia, one of them being the Rapid, which carried Colonel Light, the Surveyor General of Adelaide.  By the time they arrived at Kangaroo Island, the Buffalo was also on its way carrying Governor Hindmarsh.  The settlers were quickly moved on to Holdfast Bay (Glenelg) and there was much debate as to the final site of the future City.  After much mudslinging, Colonel Light won and the City of Adelaide was built, named after King William IV's wife, Queen Adelaide.

Although a free settlement which was carefully thought out, life in the new colony was certainly not easy at times.  The fact that this supposed utopia soon had to build an elaborate Gaol, which quickly filled and nearly bankrupted the State, was testament to this.  Theft, murder and suicide was as much a part of this free colony as it was in other penal ones, appearing more to be a part of human nature and of our society as a whole.  For Adelaide, this trend continued and in modern times has seen some change its name (although tongue in cheek), from the 'City of Churches' to the 'City of Corpses', due to the many now famous cases of serial killers operating here over the years.  The Truro Murders, The Family and  the Snowtown bodies in the barrels are just a few examples.  It certainly shows that the darkside of human nature is always alive and well.


"I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of man" ~ Isaac Newton

Join us on this unique tour of Adelaide City where we delve into a darker past and meet some of the people enveloped by this madness!

Wander with us through the streets of Adelaide as we explore her history through murder, tragic tales and mystery.

Let us tell you about:

  • The many murders to take place on Hindley Street alone and follow in the steps of Adelaide's first serial killer.

  • Find out which of the killers ended up on the Gallows at the Old Adelaide Gaol.

  • The murder in Government House.

  • What caused a friendly, well respected realter to suddenly shoot himself in the head.

  • Learn about the sad end to a well known Founder of Adelaide

  • Which of the hangings in S.A. went very wrong

  • Murder and tragedy in the Adelaide Arcade

  • The tragic love story that drove a young maid to kill herself

  • The successful young magician who stalked and murdered his wife in front of shoppers

  • The fate of 'fallen' ladies who dared to became pregnant

  • How and why a police constable shot his best friend through the head

There are plenty more tales to share as we go back in time and stroll the streets of Adelaide.

These are just a handful of the intriguing stories we will be sharing as we explore the darker side of human nature and Adelaide's past!

Tours available most weekends as booked
Other days available  by request
3hr Tour - Cost $33 pp (inc 10%GST)
Bookings Essential
Recommended for children 13+ (younger by parental discretion)

This is a street walk so comfortable walking shoes recommended.

To make a booking contact:
Phone 0407 715 866

Tour may be cancelled should minimum numbers not be reached

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