Edward "Ned" Kelly was born in 1854 or 1855 in Victoria, Australia, the son of an Irish convict. Kelly would become a symbol of the Irish-Australian resistance against the British ruling class, an Irish-Australian Bushranger who gained a reputation as a hero as well as a villain. A bit of a then modern-day Robin Hood, Kelly robbed banks, burning mortgages in the process. He wasn't just content with robbery and freeing homeowners from debt, however. His robberies, committed on horseback, were outlandish. At one point his gang performed horseback riding tricks for the captives inside a bank.
Kelly's downfall would come on June 27, 1880, though not in a typical fashion. During a holdup, in which he and his gang had taken seventy hostages, they had damaged some nearby railroad tracks. This should have caused a derailment of a train loaded with police, but one clever hostage convinced them to release him. Using a lantern, he waved down the train, averting disaster. A bit peeved with Kelly for the attempted murder, the police arrived in force to apprehend the outlaws.
Upon arrival they discovered that four members of the gang were outfitted with homemade armor. The baffled police were amazed to find that bullets bounced off of the 96 pound protective gear. No one is sure who fired first, but in the gunfight that ensued, terrified police watched as Kelly walked towards them in what they described as a "lurching motion."
It didn't take long for police to realize that their direct head shots were failing to stop him. Shifting tactics, they instead fired at his vulnerable lower limbs. All of the gang members died in the hotel that day, but Kelly survived to stand trial.
On November 11, 1880 Kelly was hung for murder. His folk-hero status helped him garner as many as 30,000 signatures on a failed petition to spare his life.