Remembering Bogle Chandler

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'Remembering Bogle Chandler' (2008) interactive narrative by Rebecca Young, audio by Markus Kellow

Click here to download the Flash site and play it on your PC

When you have viewed the story, vote for the most likely murderer and type of poison

The bizarre and tragic deaths of Margaret Chandler and Gib Bogle on the banks of the Lane Cove River in Sydney, 1963, remain an elusive and intriguing Australian mystery. This website explores the theme of inconsistent and impermanent memory, allowing the viewer to shift forward and backward through time, space and point-of-view, and so compare eyewitness accounts of the deaths. The story is represented by a montage of sound, image and text, and is controlled via a map/graph interface. As the viewer progresses through it, the project becomes less about solving the crime and more about revealing the enigma of individual experience and interpretation. It is also about how a time and place, in this case Cold War Sydney, inescapably shapes the perceptions of the people who live within it, and how people who suffer an unexplainable tragedy are often blamed for it. It is the story of an improbable murder or an implausible accident; a puzzle without a solution where objective truth becomes impossible to grasp because it does not exist.

This project was created for my PhD in Creative Media at RMIT University. It is an experiment in hypermedia storytelling. My interest in the Bogle Chandler case was inspired by my mother, who lived near Margaret and Geoffrey Chandler during 1960 - 61, in Kew, Melbourne. Margaret and my mother both had daschund dogs and they sometimes met whilst walking them. After Margaret's death my mother became very interested in the mystery. This may have been partly because both my parents were also scientists, and like Gib Bogle and Margaret Chandler, they were free thinkers in a time of deep conservatism. Part of my fascination with the case is how the police investigation and the media reports reflect a time when Australians were very fearful of difference, whether that difference lay in an individual’s nationality, beliefs, lifestyle or even their ideas.

You can read more about this website in the Digital Creativity article Remembering Bogle Chandler: an exploration of new media's storytelling potential.