By 3 News online staff with RadioLIVE
Hundreds of people have paid their respects to notorious Australian bushranger Ned Kelly at a requiem mass today.
Kelly, one of the world’s most famous outlaws, will be buried in an unmarked grave in Victoria this weekend – more than 132 years after he died.
His crimes in the 1800s included a string of armed robberies and murders, and he was hanged in 1880 for shooting dead three policemen while on the run for authorities.
His remains were finally identified in 2011, when DNA from one of his descendents was matched with bones found in the ruins of a Melbourne jail.
A row broke out over who had the rights to his remains.
Kelly's relatives won and he will be buried in an unmarked grave on Sunday.
The 500-strong crowd at today’s church service heard Bible readings from some of those relatives, who had asked for privacy ahead of the funeral.
The large crowd showed that the legend of Ned Kelly remains popular, but the Victorian Police Association says it hopes the site won’t become a shrine to a glorified criminal.
"That would be inappropriate on the basis that while it happened a long time ago, (Kelly) remains responsible for the greatest atrocity in Australia's history when it comes to the killing of police officers," the association’s assistant secretary Bruce McKenzie told AAP.
Kelly will be buried without his skull, which hasn’t been seen since going missing from Old Melbourne Gaol in 1978.
3 News / RadioLIVE
source: newshub archive