First myth: Squizzy Taylor's sister, Mrs Bufford, ran the Hallam Hotel and he was a frequent visitor there. (Click here for an account of this) According to a report in The Argus of July 12, 1927 Elsie Bufford took over as licensee of the hotel in July 1927. Previous to this she had been at the Commercial Hotel in Yea, and a report in the Alexandra and Yea Standard said Mrs Bufford sold this hotel in February 1927. Squizzy Taylor died October 27, 1927, so he may have been a frequent visitor for the three months before he died, but she wasn't his sister. According to the Indexes to the Births, Deaths and Marriages, Leslie 'Squizzy' Taylor had three sisters and four brothers - one of his sisters, Irene, died as an infant; Gladys married Leslie Mouldey and Alice married Alfred Wiggin. His parents are listed as Benjamin Isaiah Taylor and Rose Jones. Elsie Bufford was born in Corowa in 1892 to Dougal McDonald and Maria Green. She married George William Bufford in 1916, it was obviously not a happy marriage as an article in the The Argus of April 14, 1937 (reproduced below) shows she was granted a divorce from her husband on the grounds of desertion.
Second myth: Squizzy Taylor attended the races at Nar Nar Goon and Garfield. According to the book by Hugh Anderson The rise and fall of Squizzy Taylor: a larrikin crook, Taylor was a keen race goer and started his 'legitimate' working life as a apprentice jockey. Garfield held races from 1902 to 1933 and there were races at Nar Nar Goon until 1942. Both towns were on the train line, so access was easy. So, this myth is plausible.
Third myth: Squizzy Taylor frequented Cannons Creek. Why first reaction to this is 'Why would he bother?' Today, of course, this area is a pleasant town but in the 1920s, and before, it was really nothing but coastal scrub - the first land sales in the area didn't take place (according to the Shire of Cranbourne Rate books) until 1930, three years after Taylor died, so at the time there would have been nothing but a few fishing shacks, the holiday house of Sir Aaron Danks and the house of the fisherman, Nicola Nicolella. There were no shops and no hotel, it was around seventy kilometres from Melbourne and past Cranbourne the roads would have been dirt tracks. It was a long way from the bright lights and social activity of Taylor's inner Melbourne haunts. Anderson has reports of him in Frankston (which was a holiday destination in the 1920s) and St Kilda, so there were plenty of closer places to go to the beach. I am saying that, once again, this is a myth and has no basis in fact.
Fourth myth: Squizzy Taylor had a hide out in North Garfield. There is a property in North Garfield Road that is currently on the market and this connection is one of the 'selling points'. Once again, my reaction is 'Why would he bother?' In the 1920s North Garfield was pretty remote, the property that is for sale is 5 kilometres north of the highway and about the same distance again into the township and about 85 kilometres from the inner suburbs, Taylor's usual haunts.
Apparently, Taylor was on the run from police from around mid 1921 until September 1922. According to Hugh Anderson it was impossible to say where Leslie Taylor spent all his time during those months, but fantastic stories were current throughout his Pimpernel period of him being seen, here, there and everywhere, in many disguises as a quick change artist. Anderson said he may have spent time in the cellars beneath the old Bijou Theatre, then a flat in East Melbourne and in the summer he lived in St Kilda. He was also nearly caught during a robbery in Elsternwick during this time. Taylor wrote various letters to the newspapers at the time to taunt the police. It takes both money and connections to be able to hide out from the Police for over a year and for Taylor, his sources for both would be found amongst his supporters in the inner city. Garfield was a small town, strangers would have been noticed, and as Taylor carried out at least one robbery during this time, it would seem that he didn't have a years supply of money under the bed to maintain his lifestyle and there are more targets to rob in the city rather then Garfield.
Another rumour I have heard connected to Garfield is that a female acquaintance of his grew marijuana on the hide out property and took the train to town periodically to sell it, on his behalf. It seems like an awfully long supply chain - it was nearly ten kilometres to the Station, along some fairly quiet roads; Taylor had both enemies and the police looking out for him all the time, it just sounds like a woman would be fairly vulnerable to being captured or attacked by either parties. So the myth is that Taylor had a hide out in North Garfield. I am saying that this is just myth and has no basis in fact.
If you are a Taylor supporter, then I am happy for you to present facts to prove that I am wrong!