More than 130 years after he was hanged for murder from a first-floor garret at what is now the Old Melbourne Jail, bushranger Ned Kelly still cannot find peace.
Reportedly asking his executioner to "tell them I died game", Kelly was buried in a mass grave and his remains later transferred to Pentridge Prison, where they were exhumed in 2009.
Yesterday Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark said exhaustive forensic tests, including DNA sampling from his sister's great-grandson, had identified the bushranger's skeleton.
Now a new row is brewing over the future of the remains.
The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, which confirmed the discovery, would like the skeleton _ or at the very least, pictures of it _ placed on public display.
But Anthony Griffiths, the great-grandson of Ned Kelly's sister Grace, told ABC radio that any public exhibition would be "macabre and disgusting".
"The presentation of a corpse on display is something out of medieval times," he said.
The Victorian Government has promised wide consultation about the future of the remains.
The institute's analysis of the skeleton, in conjunction with Argentina's EAAF DNA laboratory, also included ballistics experts, anthropologists, pathologists, odontologists and radiologists.
"This is an extraordinary achievement by our forensic team here in Victoria," Clark said.
"To think a group of scientists could identify the body of a man who was executed more than 130 years ago, moved and buried in a haphazard fashion among 33 other prisoners, most of whom are not identified, is amazing."
But Kelly remains without his head. His skull was stolen in 1978 from a display case at the Old Melbourne Jail, where it had rested next to his death mask, and vanished into macabre legend.
It was reported to have been stashed on an Outback station in the north of Western Australia, and in 2009 a skull marked with the inscription "E. Kelly", was turned over to Victorian authorities.
DNA testing established it was not Kelly's skull.
But Kelly's descendants will now have the opportunity to finally lay the notorious bushranger to rest, amid continuing controversy over his place in Australian history.
Historians are still divided between Kelly the champion of the oppressed, and Kelly the thief and cold-hearted killer.
Either way, he is one of Australia's greatest folk heroes, the subject of more books, songs and websites than any other figure in the nation's history, and featured in numerous movies that began in 1906 with The Story of the Kelly Gang - the world's first full-length feature film. Portrayalshave continued into the21st century with Heath Ledger in 2003.
Kelly was born to a convict family in 1855 at Beveridge, north of Melbourne, and was already in trouble by the age of 14, when he was charged with attacking a Chinese man.
After a series of conflicts with the law he took to the bush with his brother Dan and friends Joe Byrne and Steve Hart, spending two years on the run before killing three pursuing policemen.
In June 1880, clad in homemade armour, the Kelly gang fought a final battle with police in the Victorian settlement of Glenrowan that left the bushranger wounded and three others dead. In November that year Kelly was hanged for murder.
The Kelly mythology was enhanced by the publication of the Jerilderie Letter, dictated in the town's pub, which gave a long defence of his actions and attacked British oppression.
"It will pay the Government to give those people who are suffering innocence, justice and liberty," the letter said. "If not I will be compelled to show some colonial stratagem which will open the eyes of not only the Victorian Police, and inhabitants, but also the whole British Army."
Scientists searched through the remains of 34 people to recover and identify Kelly's skeleton.