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February 2, 2005
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Aaron Sherritt by IronOutlaw56 Aaron Sherritt by IronOutlaw56
The charismatic bushman, Aaron Sherritt is an example of the true Australian.
He was best friends with Joe Byrne, and had a profound respect for Ned Kelly whom he regarded as superhuman.
Sherritt expressed this belief one night to the police he was with.
The night was so cold water was freezing in the creeks and the police were all rugged up.
Aaron was sleeping on the grass in his shirt sleeves, completely unaffected by the cold.
He later told the superintendant upon being asked if the gang were as tough as he, "I have always beaten Joe Byrne, and the two youngsters [dan Kelly and Steve Hart] I cold lick into fits. But I regard Ned Kelly as superhuman."
During the Kelly gang's outlawry, Sherritt worked as a double agent - giving false information to police to throw them off the scent of the gang, and getting information from the police to help the gang.
Sherritt would often get the police to camp out at the Byrne property knowing where they would see nothing.
He had the police so bluffed that not only would he recieve wages for his 'assistance' but he was often given gifts from Superintendant Hare who idolised Sherritt.
One policeman, detective Ward, was an enemy of Sherritt and Joe Byrne and plotted the demise of Sherritt and the Kelly gang.
He started rumours about Aaron betraying the gang and soon these worked their way to the Kelly gang.
Joe Byrne decided that Sherritt must be stopped and volunteered to kill him as the precursor to Ned Kelly's grand plan at Glenrowan.
On June 26 1880, Byrne and Dan Kelly kidnapped a local farmer and used him as a decoy to lure Sherritt to the backdoor of his house.
When he opened the door Byrne unloaded one barrel of his shotgun into Sherritt's throat, then the other barrel into his stomach.
The next evening Joe Byrne was shot by police fire at Glenrowan.
Joe's body was searched and on his body was found in one jacket pocket a bible, and in the other a bottle of poison.
Joe obviously wanted to end it at Glenrowan, perhaps because he had just murdered his best friend.
Aaron Sherritt is buried in an unmarked grave in Beechworth cemetary.

AP
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