Tony Reeves

Author of ground-breaking journalism that contributed to the establishment of the 1973 Moffitt Royal Commission, Reeves remained for many years one of Australia’s leading lay experts on organised crime. Much later in life he published his popular biographies of Lennie McPherson (2005), Abe Saffron (2007), and George Freeman (2011).


Gripping though they are, the books gain their narrative strength from a great deal of speculation and unsourced allegations, some of it lurid. Did Lennie McPherson, for example, really hold “court’ in Parramatta prison and sentence inmates to death? Did Abe Saffron really control Sydney because he had a library of films taken at sex parties attended by judges, politicians, cops and businessmen?

Reeves is dead now. He had many good sources but perhaps many unreliable ones too, and it is now too late to disentangle them. Nevertheless the three biographies, particularly the one on Lennie McPherson, are required reading.