The murderer was caught by his victim's ghost
On a dark winter's evening in 1826, James Farley, a highly respected farmer of Campbelltown, New South Wales, was walking near a house belonging to a man named Frederick Fisher. There he saw a figure sitting on a railing and pointing to a spot in Fisher's paddock. So sinister was the figure that Farley fled, convinced he had seen a ghost.
Fisher was a paroled convict who had become a prosperous farmer. Some time before, when he has been imprisoned for debt, he had transferred his assets to a friend, another ex-convict, named George Worrall, in order to prevent them from being seized by his creditors. After six months in prison he had returned unexpectedly.
On June 26, 1826, some months before Farley saw the ghost, Fisher had been observed leaving a Campbelltown pub after a long drinking session and had not been seen since. Worrall circulated the perfectly reasonable story that Fisher had returned to England on the ship Lady Vincent. But three months after Fisher's disappearance the authorities became suspicious and inserted a notice in the Sydney Gazette that offered a reward of $100 for the discovery of Fisher's body.
Worrall was questioned by the police because he had been seen wearing trousers known to have belonged to Fisher. He accused four other men of murdering his friend, saying that he had seen them do it. This unlikely tale deepened official suspicion, and Worrall was arrested.
It was at that point that Farley saw the ghost. On Farley's insistence a Constable Newland went to the paddock with an aborigine tracker. He found traces of human blood on a rail and, at the spot that the ghost had indicated, discovered Fisher's savagely battered body in a shallow marshy grave.
Worrall was convicted of the murder and, before his execution, admitted that he had killed Fisher, but he said the blow was accidental.