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Imagined Crime - page 2

Bob Bottom

Bottom is Australia’s pre-eminent crime expert outside of law enforcement agencies, and through a series of ground-breaking articles and books in the 1970s and 1980s was largely responsible for alerting Australians to the existence of organised crime and for many government inquiries and royal commissions into the subject. He gained… Keep Reading

Brothers in Arms by Lindsay Simpson and Sandra Harvey

Definitive account of the Milperra Massacre, the shoot-out between the Comancheros and Bandidos bikie gangs in western Sydney on Fathers Day in 1984, when seven people died. An important book on outlaw motorcycle gangs and a classic of Australian true crime writing. Keep Reading

Call Me Cruel by Michael Duffy

Paul Wilkinson was Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer at Redfern Police Station when he began an affair with trainee nurse Kylie Labourchardiere. Both were married. They exchanged over 20,000 text messages in four months and Kylie became pregnant and threatened to tell Wilkinson’s wife unless he left her. Wilkinson killed Kylie… Keep Reading

Can of Worms II by Evan Whitton

Whitton claimed never to have discovered a new fact, but to have made his considerable impact through the practice of what he called “pattern journalism”, the meticulous gathering of accessible detail and its arrangement in order, to reveal meaning. This 1986 book is full of good things, not least a long… Keep Reading

The Crimes of Patriots by Jonathan Kwitny

Definitive account of the Nugan Hand Bank. This superb piece of 1988 investigative journalism by late Wall Street Journal reporter Kwitny was never published in Australia, perhaps due to fears of defamation action. Draws partly on (acknowledged) reporting by the National Times, but contains much, much more. Keep Reading

Crooks Like Us by Peter Doyle

Peter Doyle has selected historical mug shots of uncanny interest from the collection of the Sydney Justice & Police Museum for this follow-up to his similar and very successful book City of Shadows.  Both are published by the Foundation for the Historic Houses Trust and are absolutely fascinating and have attracted interest… Keep Reading

Disorganised Crime by Richard Hall

Published in 1986, this book challenged the canon with the claim that crime in Sydney (and the United States) was not so organised as many writers and cops claimed. Impressionistic and modest (as suits its theme), it contains the most sociological and cultural content of any true crime history of Australia, and… Keep Reading

Drug Traffic by Alfred McCoy

This was published in 1980, the year after Bob Bottom’s The Godfather in Australia, making it (so far as I know) the second Australian book about organised crime. It is the most magisterial treatment of organised crime in Sydney in the 1960s and 1970s, and reputedly benefitted hugely from assistance provided by… Keep Reading

A Collusion of Powers by Philip Arantz

Memoir by detective who in 1971 released true crime statistics to the Sydney Morning Herald. For years the NSW Police had been lying about the real level of crime and the clear-up rate. Following the leak, Arantz was sent (briefly) to a psychiatric institution by outraged Police Commissioner Norman Allan,… Keep Reading

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