Kidnapped – The crime that shocked the nation

The story of Australia’s only known kidnapping of a child for ransom

When eight-year-old Graeme Thorne was kidnapped on his way to school in July 1960, Australia was gripped with fear and loathing. What monster would dare take financial advantage of the most treasured bond of love – between parent and child? Just weeks earlier, Graeme’s parents had won a fortune in the Opera House Lottery, and this had attracted the attention of the perpetrator, Stephen Bradley.

Bradley was a most unlikely kidnapper, however his greed for the Thorne’s windfall saw him cast aside any sympathy for his victim or his victim’s family, and drove him to take brazen risks with the life of his young captive.

Kidnapped tells the astounding true story of how this crime was planned and committed, and describes the extraordinary police investigation that was launched to track the criminal down. Mark Tedeschi explores the mind of the intriguing and seriously flawed Stephen Bradley, and also the points of view of the victim, his family – and the police, whose work pioneered the use of many techniques that are now considered commonplace, marking the beginning of modern-day forensic science in Australia.

Using his powerful research and storytelling skills, Mark Tedeschi reveals one of Australia’s greatest true crime dramas, and what can only be described as the trial of the 20th Century.

Mark Tedeschi
Ned Kelly Year: 
Judges Report: 

A detailed and empathetic account of a kidnapping that truly “shocked Australia” – and struck terror into the hearts of a generation of primary school children. Formidably well-researched in its presentation of kidnapper Stephen Leslie Bradley’s Hungarian migrant background; in its analysis of the greed and entitlement that led him to plot Australia’s first ever kidnapping for ransom; and in its presentation of both the police investigation and of the (for the times) ground-breaking forensic science evidence that was so crucial to the case.

Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.