In March 1877, the stringer of the Geelong Advertiser filed this story. This narrative contains many darkly mysterious elements:
In March 1877 the weather in Geelong was mild. The likelihood of death by sunstroke was remote.
No known process can explain how a body may be “almost buried in sand” unless by human hands.
There is no record of an inquest being held into McLaren’s death. The absence of a coroner’s report in circumstances described is highly unusual.
Edmund Hayes represented the interests of the established order in this election.
Hayes had considerable money and political muscle behind him.