To be published this week, the intriguing and often poignant memoir of forensic psychologist Tim Watson-Munro. Starting at Parramatta Gaol in the seventies, the young W-M moved into private practice and became a shrink to the stars of the criminal firmament, providing expert evidence for the defence of monsters such as Julian Knight and Alan Bond.
W-M became a celebrity in his own right, and his career boomed. There was the mansion, the German cars, and a lot of fun. But thanks to Knight, W-M “began to experience some of the symptoms of a post-traumatic stress disorder”, which he self-medicated with Krug and cocaine. It ended badly and sadly, for a while – he was dobbed in by his dealer, struck off, then readmitted and rebuilt his life. “Roller coaster” doesn’t start to describe this account of insight, disaster, and also great friendships and a lot of love.
After negotiating no less than three checkpoints, I arrived at the office of the prison superintendent, Mr Harry Duff. He sat on a slightly oversized chair, like Tiberius holding court, in his dark musty room. Behind him, slightly askew, an imposing portrait of Her Majesty the Queen adorned the wall. The ambience was menacing.
“Tim Watson-Munro,” I squeaked as I held out my hand.
“Harry Duff,” he replied. “You know that the last prison psycho only lasted a short time … Always remember this, mate. If you can be conned, you can be fucked!”
He chuckled as I politely excused myself from the room.
TO BE PUBLISHED 27 JUNE 2017