The Reincarnation of Rufus Dawes
Do you believe in reincarnation? Some do, some don’t. Well, by the end
of our story tonight, I venture to say all of you will at least wonder if
maybe, just maybe…
Crime in 1820s England was harshly punished, and if the offense was
serious enough, the penalty could be transportation to a penal colony in
Such was the sentence for one Rufus Dawes, but in this case, the
punishment did not fit the crime, for Rufus Dawes was innocent of the
crime for which he was convicted. Nevertheless, he was, indeed,
transported to Australia, there to reside for the term of his natural life at the
prison at Port Arthur, Tasmania.
After years of incarceration, Dawes became a bitter man. He vowed that
should he ever be freed, he would validate his sentence by killing as many
people as he could, thus earning the sentence he would have already
served. To that end, he conspired with one of the guards, who slipped him
this key that he might make good his escape and fulfill his promise.
Unfortunately for Dawes, his attempt was thwarted by other guards. All
Dawes got for his efforts was a nasty scar under his left eye. He died with
a hate-filled heart and unfinished business in 1881.
I have here three items: the photograph of Dawes; the key he used in his
failed attempt to escape; and a spent cartridge from his gun. (More of this
The performer conducts a “Free Will” type effect here, where the spectator
reads the prediction, regardless of which item she holds.
In April of 1996, an event took place that became known all over the world
as the Port Arthur Massacre. A young man by the name of Martin Bryant
went on a killing rampage at the grounds of the Port Arthur Penal Colony
and surrounding area, ultimately killing 35 tourists and local residents.
Most of his victims were shot, often in the head, with an AR-15 rifle. When
he was finally subdued, he was tried and convicted of the murders and
sentenced to 35 terms of life imprisonment. At his sentencing, when given
the opportunity to speak, all he said was, “I still have unfinished business.”
The performer now conducts a procedure with the spectator that forces
the photograph of Martin Bryant.
Very interesting. This is Martin Bryant. Here are some newspaper articles
that confirm his identity.
So how are these two stories related? Remember earlier when I said that
the shell casing was from Rufus Dawes’ gun? Look at the photograph of
Dawes. Now look at Bryant’s picture. Did you notice the matching scars
under the left eye? Do you believe in reincarnation? Could it be possible
that Rufus Dawes finally made good on his promise? Maybe, just
What you receive:
- 12 handmade cards comprised of the following:
1 photograph of Rufus Dawes
3 photographs of the Port Arthur Penal Colony
5 photographs of young men
1 photograph of Martin Bryant
2 photographs of newspaper clippings
- 1 skeleton key
- 1 spent AR-15 cartridge
- 1 velvet bag
- 1 Quiver purse
- 2 prediction cards
- 1 book box in which to keep all the props
- 1 instruction booklet, written on parchment-like paper, complete with