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True Crime - page 2

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

Getting Away with Murder

McNab says that from the late 1970s to the 1990s, 80 gay men died or disappeared in Sydney, most the victims of gay hate crimes. Thirty of those cases remain unsolved, often on account of the refusal of police to investigate properly at the time for reasons of prejudice. Despite… Keep Reading

The Prince and the Premier by David Hickie

Hickie’s book presents an interesting challenge for historians. Published in 1985, its claim that Premier Robert Askin was corrupt, coming after Hickie’s article to that effect in the David Marr-edited National Times in 1981, had an enormous impact and has been believed ever since. The evidence for this is circumstantial. All… Keep Reading

The Pyjama Girl Mystery by Richard Evans

The partly burned body of the so-called “pyjama girl” was found in countryside near Albury in 1934. Eventually she would be identified as Florence Agostini, murdered by her husband Antonio. Evans says doubts remain on both counts. He brings to his sophisticated treatment of the subject appropriate insights into its cultural and… Keep Reading

Milat by Clive Small and Tom Gilling

In the early 1990s Clive Small led the investigation into the murders of seven backpackers that resulted in the arrest and conviction of Ivan Milat. It is one of the most notorious set of crimes in Australian history. Small says he was misrepresented in the TV drama series about the… Keep Reading

Murder at Myall Creek

IN 1838 11 convicts killed 28 Aboriginal people at Myall Creek, in an event that was sadly not all that rare. What was rare was that some were prosecuted. What was almost unique is that some were even punished for their terrible crimes. NSW Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi has… Keep Reading

Remembering Anita Cobby

Very moving account of one of Australia’s worst murders by Daily Telegraph crime editor Mark Morri. Morri was a young reporter for the Daily Mirror when former beauty queen Cobby was abducted and killed in 1986, in one of those crimes that literally “shocked the nation” and has continued to do… Keep Reading

Sin City by Tim Girling-Butcher

Published to coincide with the seminal exhibition of the same name held by the Justice & Police Museum in  2010, this is the best brief introduction to corruption in 20th century Sydney. The illustrations are sensational. Girling-Butcher produced an equally superb documentary to accompany the exhibition, which sadly cannot be seen… Keep Reading

Sins of the Brother by Mark Whittaker and Les Kennedy

Definitive account of the investigation into the so-called “backpacker murders” in the 1990s after seven victims were found in the Belanglo State Forest south of Sydney. The investigation was led by detective Clive Small and the serial killer was Ivan Milat. Like many serious criminals, Milat came from a family… Keep Reading

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