I’m writing to address the statements made by Maryrose Cuskelly in an article published in Crikey last month. I’m writing to defend my objection to this author’s inclusion in the Bendigo Writers Festival (BWF). I’m writing to outline my objections to the content of Cuskelly’s true crime book, Wedderburn: A True Tale of Blood and Dust, and how it was contrived. I’m writing to provide my first-hand insight into the pain, distress and utter devastation that this book’s very existence has inflicted on myself and my immediate family.
Firstly, the festival. When I discovered that Maryrose Cuskelly was to attend the BWF I was distraught. Why had no one flagged this author and her book as potentially controversial, as a locally sensitive issue? After all, the town of Wedderburn, after which the book is named, is just 75kms north of Bendigo. Two of the three victims whose murders the book claims to explore were born and bred in Bendigo. I thought all I would have to do was alert the organisers of the festival to this and they would rectify what I thought was surely an oversight. How wrong I was.