Welcome to the Sydney Crime Museum,
the history site of a city founded by criminals.

Organised Crime

Famous Murders

Imagined Crime

The Crimes of Lennie Lawson

One of the strangest of Sydney's murderers was successful comic artist Lennie Lawson, creator of The Lone Avenger and the Hooded Rider. Lawson also ran a photographic studio, and in 1954 was hired to photograph five models at Terrey Hills.
Category archive

Twenty Crime Bosses

Anthony Perish

Perish ran a major drug manufacturing and distribution business for over a decade on the east coast, managing to build a fearsome reputation in the underworld while escaping police attention almost completely. He was brought undone by a personal killing. In the September 2011 trial of Anthony Perish and his… Keep Reading

Arthur ‘Neddy’ Smith

Smith was born in 1944 and was a major criminal, involved particularly in armed robbery, heroin trafficking, and murder. He became a Sydney celebrity because of his close relationship during the 1980s with corrupt police detective Roger Rogerson. It was the type of relationship that had often existed before –… Keep Reading

Richard Walsh

Richard Walsh (pictured above left) has been chosen as a good example of the criminality widespread in outlaw motorcycle gangs. However, many others could have been selected, as the gangs have an extensive history of crime and no particular hierarchy. Powerful members involved in criminal activity tend to come and… Keep Reading

Adnan Darwiche

Earlier we met Redfern-based Frank Hakim, the first major Lebanese criminal in Sydney, and younger men such as Louis Bayeh and Danny Karam. They were followed by other groups of criminals of Lebanese descent, many of whom, in contrast to their predecessors, preferred to remain in the part of Sydney where… Keep Reading

Tri Minh Tran

In the 1990s Sydney’s heroin centre moved from Kings Cross to the suburb of Cabramatta with its large Vietnamese population. For about a decade the suburb also became the city’s murder centre as very young, first-generation immigrant gangsters went to war. The results were shocking and yet they were transient:… Keep Reading

Duncan Lam

Police believe about a dozen Chinese importers have provided most of Sydney’s heroin from the 1980s until now, generally accounting for over 80 per cent of the total supply. This makes sense because of the presence in Australia and Asia of the triad criminal organisations, which are extremely efficient and… Keep Reading

Jim Shepherd

The so-called Mr Asia syndicate existed from 1976 to 1979 and was the first major heroin importer and distributor in Australia. Until that time there had been little demand for heroin, and indeed most serious criminals, like the rest of society, regarded heroin dealers with contempt. But as demand ballooned,… Keep Reading

Frank Nugan

The Nugan Hand merchant bank operated from 1973 to 1980 and has been selected as a rare example of systematic money laundering about which there is public knowledge. The bank was definitely involved in laundering (for a 22 per cent fee), tax fraud, and stealing from investors, and has been… Keep Reading

Frank Hakim

All around the world, first and second generation immigrants often form a higher proportion of criminals than of the general population. One reason is that energetic and ambitious men who have difficulty obtaining legitimate opportunities turn to illegal ones. We have already seen with Robert Trimbole an example of how… Keep Reading

Robert Trimbole

The mafia is a general term used to describe organised crime gangs of predominantly Italian ancestry around the world. The mafia came to Australia with the Italian cane cutters who arrived in Queensland in the 1920s, and grew as the Italian population swelled with post-war migration. Its activities were largely… Keep Reading

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