Wellington, August 26 (ANI): A woman from New Zealand has revealed that she has the famous murderer Ned Kelly's head - one of Australia's most sought-after relics.
Anna Hoffman, 74, was given the skull 30 years ago, while she was on a holiday in Melbourne, by a security guard who told her that it was Ned's head.
The discovery has raised the interest of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, which had matched Kelly's remains to the DNA of a surviving relative.
Hoffman, who courted notoriety as a witch in the 1960s and '70s, said that she was given the skull by a mysterious uniformed man at a family dinner in 1980.
We got talking about skulls and the next day he turned up with this skull, Stuff.co.nz quoted her as telling New Zealand's Herald On Sunday newspaper.
He said it was Ned Kelly's skull, and told me to 'put it in the bottom of your bag and wrap it up', she said.
Hoffman said that she had cared for the remains - one of more than 20 skulls that are in her collection.
I have treated it with respect, I haven't lit candles in it or drunk red wine out of it or anything bohemian like that, she said.
Kelly, an Australian bushranger, was hanged in 1880 for killing three police officers, but the location of his remains had been a mystery until late last year, when scientists identified his bones through DNA testing of two dozen skeletons exhumed from Melbourne's Pentridge Prison site.
Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine spokeswoman Deb Withers said on Sunday that they were keen to learn more.
There is a chance that that is his head, although it is a long shot. That would be wonderful if it was, she said.
But a forensics expert at Auckland University, Gina McFarlane, said that the way the skull had wires attached, indicated that it had been used in teaching, which made it less likely that it was Kelly's. (ANI)