Edward James Kelly of Broadwater known around town as Ned Kelly.
Edward James Kelly of Broadwater known around town as Ned Kelly.

Ned's sister will forgive if killer says where he hid head

MARGARET Simmons said she would forgive the man who murdered and decapitated her brother Edward "Ned" Kelly at Broadwater three years ago - if he tells her where he put the head.

But time could be running out for Ms Simmons, who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

"Now I've got an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer - (I am case) number 66 in the world that has been found," she said.

Mr Kelly was shot and decapitated in his River St home by his 47-year-old neighbour Jonathan Andrew Stenberg.

His body was found by detectives with an Akubra hat placed where his head should have been.

A heavily-armed Stenberg was arrested south of Darwin following a six-day manhunt. While on the run he even auditioned for a role as police officer in the murder mystery film Mystery Road.

In September 2013, Stenberg pleaded guilty to Mr Kelly's murder and was sentenced to 25 years' prison, with a non-parole period of 19 years.

"If he truly showed remorse he would have disclosed the whereabouts of Ned's head," Ms Simmons said.

"Police did hope at some stage he may disclose where he dumped Ned's head, but I haven't heard anything since just after he was sentenced.

"I would like him to wake up and realise what he has done and beg for forgiveness because there may be a soul in there worth saving.

"I'd like him to serve out his sentence and if he hasn't disclosed where Ned's head is he should have to serve longer."

GIVE US CLOSURE: Margaret Simmons says she’s willing to forgive Jonathan Stenberg for the murder and beheading of his Broadwater neighbour – her brother – Edward “Ned” Kelly in 2012 if he discloses where he put the head.
GIVE US CLOSURE: Margaret Simmons says she’s willing to forgive Jonathan Stenberg for the murder and beheading of his Broadwater neighbour – her brother – Edward “Ned” Kelly in 2012 if he discloses where he put the head.

After sentencing, Ms Simmons agreed to sign a witness liaison form permitting her to talk to Stenberg, but she hasn't heard anything since.

She said finding Mr Kelly's missing head would give the family closure.

"All human beings are basically the same in that way - to have total closure," she said. "There's (also) always that horrible thought of will it (Mr Kelly's head) show up in an inappropriate place ... will some kid find it or some sensitive soul and it totally shatters their life because they've come across a skull.

Jonathan Stenberg, who was convicted for the murder of Edward Kelly in 2013.
Jonathan Stenberg, who was convicted for the murder of Edward Kelly in 2013.

Mr Kelly's headless body was cremated at Lismore in July 2012.

"I'm willing to forgive him (Stenberg), but for him to receive that forgiveness he needs to give us Ned's head and then the scales of justice will balance," Ms Simmons said. "But that won't exonerate him from doing his time in jail."

Stenberg is eligible for parole in October 2037.


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