Dr Bogle and Mrs Chandler mystery

Dr Bogle and Mrs Chandler mystery
Nine Network
Access fees

This news item concerns the mysterious deaths of Dr Gilbert Bogle and Mrs Margaret Chandler on the banks of the Lane Cove River in Sydney on 1 January 1963.

The case became famous because the cause of death could not be established and because it exposed the libertarian activities of a group of left-wing intellectuals in Sydney known as the 'Sydney Push'.

The bodies were found in unusual circumstances. Bogle was partly covered by a carpet square while Chandler's body was covered by cardboard. Both had their clothing laid neatly over them. Conspiracy theories abounded at the time and poisoning of some kind – as reported about here – seemed to be the cause of death.

As recently as 2006 there has been a new theory: that in the early hours of the morning, an eruption of hydrogen sulphide gas from the polluted river caused potentially lethal fumes to pool in deadly quantities at the location where the bodies were eventually found.

The explanation for the strange covering of the bodies was that a passerby, not a murderer, covered Bogle and Chandler to preserve their modesty.

While the clip is not visually exciting, it is still compelling. In part this is because the case itself is a famous Australian mystery but it's also the manner in which the reporter delivers his monologue, which is reminiscent of the Hollywood film noir genre of the 1940s and 1950s.