Forty years ago, an illiterate young Aborigine faced the gallows. His notorious story is told in a film and a book. Penelope Debelle reports.
"He wanted the truth, you know," Max Stuart told The Age. "I could see him out in the court. I was with the policemen; my lawyer told me it was him."
Neither man - Max Stuart is now 70, Mr Murdoch is 71 - has forgotten.
In a new publication, The Stuart Case, author Ken Inglis says Mr Murdoch, the billionaire mogul, recently sent a message from New York to the Central Land Council in Alice Springs asking how Max Stuart was faring. "The answer is that, no less than the inquirer himself, he has lived a life virtually unimaginable in the Adelaide of 1959," Mr Inglis writes.
The second life of Max Stuart - as a respected tribal Arrernte man and former chairman of the Central Land Council - seems barely to relate to the first.
An early photo of a bewildered Aborigine, condemned to the gallows for the rape and murder of Mary Olive Hattam, 9, near Ceduna in December, 1958, showed a confused, illiterate young man.
The Max Stuart of today is an official and an elder who welcomed the Queen to Alice Springs two years ago and presented her with a painting of the dreaming of his land, the Yeperenye or giant caterpillar.
"I went a long way from where I used to be," he says. "The Queen, she was like ordinary people. I thought she'd talk in big language but really like one of us, really like a bush woman."