Logic (Pinba), a convicted murderer, was described in the Advertiser of 12 December 1885 as ‘one of the most popular men in the colony’. While working as stockman on Tinga Tingana Station, south of Innamincka, in 1878, Logic (who may have been a Dieri man from the vicinity of Lake Eyre in the Far North) argued with a white stockman, Cornelius Mulhall, who stock-whipped and shot him in the back. The two men fought and Mulhall was killed. Logic fled the district, but was captured when he returned two years later. Convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 14 years’ hard labour, Logic escaped from the quarries adjoining Yatala Labour Prison in October 1885 and travelled north, freely provided with food and clothing by local farmers. Assisted by an Aboriginal tracker, the police recaptured Logic near Blinman on 10 December 1885. His case became a cause célèbre. As he was transported back to Adelaide by train, crowds gathered at stations en route to catch a glimpse of him; his exploits were recounted in the press and a letter-writing campaign and numerous petitions called for his release. Pardoned by the governor in late December 1885, Logic lived out his life in the Innamincka region.  

By Robert Foster

This entry was first published in The Wakefield companion to South Australian history edited by Wilfrid Prest, Kerrie Round and Carol Fort (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2001). Edited lightly. Uploaded 30 June 2015.

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