Bourke St attacker shot by police


Bourke St attacker shot by police in Melbourne dies in hospital after one killed, two injured in stabbings – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


Bourke St attacker shot by police in Melbourne dies in hospital after one killed, two injured in stabbings

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Video: Police were confronted by a knife-wielding man after responding to a car fire. (ABC News)

A man shot by police after stabbing three people in Melbourne’s Bourke Street has died in hospital.

One of the stabbing victims died of his injuries, while two are in hospital.

Police shot the man in the chest after he charged at them with the knife.

He was taken to hospital in a critical condition and kept under guard before succumbing to his injuries.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told a press conference tonight the attack was being treated as an act of terrorism.

“From what we know of that individual, we are treating this as a terrorism incident.”

He said the attacker was known to “federal intelligence authorities” as well as to Victoria Police.

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Video: Police say the suspect has died in hospital and they are treating the attack as a terrorism incident. (ABC News)

“He’s known to police mainly in respect to relatives he has that are certainly persons of interest to us.

“For operational matters we now have the counter-terrorism command and the homicide squad dealing with this matter, and there are ongoing investigations being conducted by the counter-terrorism command,” he said.

Mr Ashton said police were conducting “security reassessments” in relation to several events in Melbourne scheduled for the weekend; an A-League soccer match between Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners on Sunday, and Remembrance Day events.

“At this stage we’re still encouraging people to go to those events, and it’s highly likely we’ll have additional police at all of those events,” he said.

Bystanders confronted attacker with chair, shopping trolley

Witnesses told the ABC a car sped down Bourke Street and crashed after missing a tram.

Video taken by witnesses shows a car on fire in the area and bystanders using a shopping trolley and chair to confront the attacker.

The video shows the man attempting to slash police officers with a large knife before falling to the ground.

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Video: Witnesses capture a car fire on Bourke St, Melbourne (ABC News)

One witness said the driver got out of the car and threw “something like a bomb” inside before it erupted into flames.

An eyewitness said someone walked up to the alleged driver and was stabbed directly in the chest.

Witnesses said the man began randomly stabbing people in the street. Two police officers were on the scene quickly and confronted the man.

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Video: Police say one person has died after the stabbing attack. (ABC News)

Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton said when police arrived at the scene they were confronted by a man brandishing a knife and threatening them.

“At the same time, passers-by were calling out that members of the public had been stabbed.”

In a later statement, police said the man assaulted police, fled on foot, then was shot while lunging at police with the knife.

Officers said they were initially called to a car fire around 4:20pm (AEDT).

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade said the fire was contained within 10 minutes.

Twitter: Meegan May tweets: Chaos in #bourkest as a guy seems to have set his car on fire then attacked police with a knife. Police response was swift and overwhelming. I heard at least one gunshot initially.

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A caller to ABC Radio Melbourne, Meegan, said she saw the incident from a tram.

She said she saw two policemen trying to subdue a man as a car burned.

“He seemed to be waving something, people around me screamed that he had a knife, but I couldn’t see clearly from where I was,” she said.

“And then I heard one loud bang. It sounded like a gunshot.

“And someone said they could see someone doing chest compressions on someone as an ambulance started coming up the street.”

Another witness, Markel Villasin, told ABC Radio Melbourne he ran out of the store he was working in after hearing there was a fire and found himself next to an injured man.

“Turned out there was an old man in front of me, literally by my feet. He was facedown, facedown, and there was a lot of blood,” he said.

“I was already stepping on his blood.

“There was a lot of bystanders trying to help him out. They didn’t know what to do because obviously in that situation it is pretty crazy.”

Mr Villasin said bystanders were yelling out “just shoot him, just shoot him,” while police officers were trying to disarm the attacker.

Police are asking members of the public to avoid the area.

“Anyone with information or who witnessed the incident is asked to go to Melbourne West Police Station to make a statement,” a police statement said.

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Video: Witnesses describe how the attack unfolded. (ABC News)

Trams are not running along Bourke Street or Swanston Street in either direction.

Twitter: Daniel Andrews tweets: Thank you to the Victoria Police officers who responded so bravely

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Premier Daniel Andrews tweeted, urging people to avoid the area and follow the instructions of emergency services personnel.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy tweeted:

“Today, more than ever, we offer our thanks to Police and first responders for the unbelievable work they do for all of us.”

Topics: fires, disasters-and-accidents, melbourne-3000

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The Keli Lane tapes: From prison, a murderer breaks her silence


abc.net.au

The Keli Lane tapes: From prison, a murderer breaks her silence

By Caro Meldrum-Hanna with Elise Worthington, Jaya Balendra and Julia Pursche

It’s not every day you receive a handwritten letter from a convicted baby killer asking you to reinvestigate their case.

But that’s exactly what happened in 2016 when Keli Lane penned me a letter from Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre, where she’s currently serving an 18-year sentence for the murder of her two-day-old baby girl Tegan. The infant’s body has never been found and the case against Lane was circumstantial.

Lane, a former water polo champion turned private school teacher from Sydney’s affluent northern beaches, has never spoken publicly. She maintained her silence throughout a coronial inquest and her murder trial.

Her letter to me was entirely unsolicited.

An extract of the handwritten letter Keli Lane sent to investigative journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna

She wanted me to apply an investigative journalist’s blowtorch to her claims, warts and all.

Why? Because Keli Lane says she’s innocent, that Tegan would now be 22 years old, that she’s out there somewhere, and that the man who she handed Tegan over to is out there as well. But Lane has also been found to be a serial liar.

Do you know more? Contact exposed@abc.net.au

Investigative journalist Elise Worthington and I decided to delve into this confounding case for the ABC’s new documentary series Exposed: The Case of Keli Lane, to test her claimed innocence, and to analyse the police investigation and the murder trial.

Over the course of several months, Keli Lane rang us to discuss her life and her case. We never called her, and Lane consented to her calls being recorded and published.

No topic was off limits.

CONTEXT During the 1990s, Lane fell pregnant and gave birth to three secret children

CM-H: What was that like Keli those final moments with Tegan just mother and daughter alone?

KL: It was awful… because I’d been there before and I knew how much it hurt. It was just so difficult to just make this decision again and basically to write myself out of it.

CONTEXT During the 1990s, Lane fell pregnant and gave birth to three secret children

CM-H: Can you remember what she looked like…

KL: (cuts her off) I was kicking myself too, why am I here again?

These phone conversations were extremely difficult to manage.

Firstly, they were largely unpredictable. Keli Lane could call at any time on any day. Following confronting or upsetting conversations, would we ever hear from her again?

Prison rules also limited phone calls to a maximum of six minutes duration, meaning the pressure was high.

So what did we learn about Keli Lane? What were the forces that shaped her? Why did she do the things she did?

Lane grew up in the 1980s on Sydney’s northern beaches. Tall, tanned and athletic, she was known as the local golden girl and is about as far away from a murderer as you can imagine.

She came from a highly respected family, her father Robert Lane was a policeman and coach of the local rugby team while her mother worked at the local hospital.

Keli showed an early talent for swimming, beach sprinting and surf lifesaving competitions but became a talented water polo player, spending years competing on state and national teams during the 1990s.

But her private reality was very different to her public persona. Behind the champion athlete’s public image was a deeply troubled young woman who was terrified of disappointing her parents and was extremely secretive.

In one revealing conversation, she explained in her own words how she had been conditioned to compartmentalise and ignore physical and psychological pain.

CONTEXT Keli Lane’s parents told Exposed they were completely unaware of her pregnancies

CONTEXT In her murder trial, prosecutors argued Lane had an overriding ambition to represent Australia in water polo at the 2000 Sydney Olympics

I was excellent at putting things into boxes and parking them because I had been, from a very young age, able to be different things for different people and trying to please people and I trained from a very young age and so I was under coaches from a very young age and taking direction and being able to put my emotions aside.

CONTEXT In her murder trial, prosecutors argued Lane had an overriding ambition to represent Australia in water polo at the 2000 Sydney Olympics

When things hurt, when you are training at 8, 9, 10 years old and physically you’re hurting you put that aside because you want to please your coach you want to please your parents you want to please the people who expect everything from you and your emotions really don’t come into it.

CONTEXT Keli Lane’s parents told Exposed they were completely unaware of her pregnancies

So I was excellent at hiding how I felt and what was hurting me

The incredulous moments in the Keli Lane case are many and varied. She’d been found to have told a litany of lies over several years to hide the fact that she’d fallen pregnant five times, had two terminations and given birth to three children during the 1990s, all before she’d turned 24.

She put her first and third child up for adoption, but Tegan disappeared without a trace the day Keli Lane left hospital with her in September 1996.

The fact Keli Lane told so many lies about the birth of her children made it hard for us to separate fact from fiction. She sprinkled truth among the lies.

I set a bit of a litmus test at the very beginning, when she rang us.

The test was this: if Keli Lane arced up and denied that she’d told all those lies, then I knew we were dealing with someone who was largely incapable of telling the truth and unable to face up to her conduct.

But she did the opposite. She agreed and accepted she was a serial liar and gave her own reasons for her behaviour.

CONTEXT Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi told the jury in Lane’s murder trial that she told 95 lies to cover up three secret and unwanted pregnancies

CONTEXT Lane was found guilty on three counts of making a false statement on oath in relation to her adopting out two other babies

CONTEXT Lane was 17 years old when she fell pregnant for the first time.

I was hurting, it wasn’t an enjoyable time, I wasn’t doing it light-hearted.

Those decisions affected me and they still affect me and they were important decisions.

The lies were around the shame or the embarrassment or the humiliation of the life I was leading no different to any other young person that makes silly choices or is covering up a part of their life.

CONTEXT Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi told the jury in Lane’s murder trial that she told 95 lies to cover up three secret and unwanted pregnancies

CONTEXT Lane was 17 years old when she fell pregnant for the first time.

But certainly by the time the police were involved, I’d been accused of making numerous lies, and some of them were from fear, from being pushed into a corner and not knowing the position I was in, not understanding the seriousness of what I was involved in.

CONTEXT Lane was found guilty on three counts of making a false statement on oath in relation to her adopting out two other babies

Lane might have accepted she lied and made mistakes, but she strongly denies she harmed her baby daughter.

Those closest to Keli Lane think the bizarre chain of events which consumed her life began in 1992 when, in her final year of high school, she became pregnant and had an abortion.

The only person she told was her boyfriend at the time. After this experience, Keli Lane never told anyone again she was pregnant.

People have always wondered why Keli Lane kept falling pregnant and having babies, with her sex life and her “promiscuity” becoming public fodder.

But she’s never been asked to explain it.

CONTEXT A psychiatrist who reviewed Lane’s pregnancies for the court in her trial found her actions represented “an attempt to gratify underlying emotional and psychological needs”.

I think It was something that just got out of control. I don’t know whether it was almost like a sabotage thing, or a self-harm thing.

I don’t think I consciously did.

CONTEXT A psychiatrist who reviewed Lane’s pregnancies for the court in her trial found her actions represented “an attempt to gratify underlying emotional and psychological needs”.

I certainly didn’t think, “Oh, I’m going to go out and do that again.”

I’d be crazy, literally, but I just think it was a carelessness and a lack of self-protection, and wanting to be with someone and wanting to have a relationship, and then drinking a lot. Drinking, and not using the pill correctly, or not asking my partner to use protection, and not having control I think, is the biggest thing.

Is not having control of the situations I was in.

I really didn’t understand the long term consequences for anybody. Friends, family, especially myself. I just shut down.

Lane had three concealed pregnancies and births between 1995 and 1999. We know that concealed pregnancies aren’t a crime and they do happen. But multiple concealed pregnancies? That’s rare.

Just how a young woman could manage that without anyone noticing, is difficult to understand.

You’d think that the concealment was extremely difficult to do. But Keli Lane told us the opposite of what we were expecting to hear.

CONTEXT Lane’s former teammates who noticed she was pregnant have expressed regret for never having confronted her about it.

CONTEXT Rugby player Duncan Gillies was Lane’s partner at the time. He maintains he was unaware that she gave birth twice during their relationship

CM-H: How did you conceal it? Was it a hard thing to do?

KL: Do you know what? I don’t even remember really putting that much effort into it.

It was like, of course, avoiding people was probably my biggest attempts. I was very good at isolating myself, so wherever everyone was going, I might only go for a little while, or I was going between training, work, home, Duncan’s, so I was really good at dodging everyone.

CONTEXT Rugby player Duncan Gillies was Lane’s partner at the time. He maintains he was unaware that she gave birth twice during their relationship

But I didn’t go and buy extra clothes, or I didn’t do anything outrageously different.

I don’t even know how it happened like that.

I don’t know how no one ever said anything to me.

CONTEXT Lane’s former teammates who noticed she was pregnant have expressed regret for never having confronted her about it.

To understand why she was making these decisions, we needed to understand the sort of community and society Lane was growing up in.

Girls who grew up with her have told us there was a lot of “slut shaming” back then in the northern beaches, it was a cliquey and gossipy place. On top of that was a highly competitive, sexually charged sporting and drinking culture, with some questionable dynamics between older men and younger women.

This phone call captured my attention because it felt like Keli Lane for the first time expressed some uncomfortable home truths about being a girl growing up in that environment.

CONTEXT Lane told us she would have 30-year-old men asking her out when she was 15 or 16

CONTEXT Lane went on to describe a culture of hazing, which she said was part and parcel of joining sporting teams in her time

As long as you won and you were successful, other things didn’t seem to matter.

It seemed that as long as you trained hard and played hard, you could celebrate hard, and that’s generally when these sort of incidences would occur.

CONTEXT Lane told us she would have 30-year-old men asking her out when she was 15 or 16

These out of control situations, especially getting into positions with men, or choosing to have sex with men, a lot of alcohol’s involved, and it all stems from being out of control.

CONTEXT Lane went on to describe a culture of hazing, which she said was part and parcel of joining sporting teams in her time

But none of this explains what happened to baby Tegan.

When police finally questioned Lane years after the birth of Tegan, she told authorities she’d given her daughter to her natural father, a man named Andrew Norris, with whom she had a brief affair.

She said after telling him she was pregnant he agreed, along with his girlfriend and mother, to take the baby. Keli’s version of events surrounding the birth of Tegan has changed over time but she says Tegan’s father, Andrew, came to the hospital and took custody of the baby in the foyer on September 14.

Lane said she remembered that crucial day very clearly. But the police and prosecution say her version of events was a fabrication and that she instead left the hospital and murdered Tegan in an unknown way and disposed of Tegan at an unknown place.

CONTEXT Lane initially told police the father’s name was Andrew Morris, a man from Balmain in Sydney’s inner west, who she claimed to have had an affair with for several months. She later said his name was Andrew Norris

CONTEXT Lane maintains she did not kill her daughter and says she hopes someone will come forward with her. Tegan would be 22 years old.

CM-H: Do you remember… What’s your last image of your daughter Tegan?

KL: She’s so beautiful and just, she’s asleep and she was tucked in this … she looked so little tucked in this capsule. I was very upset, I was crying, and Andrew was with …

CONTEXT Lane initially told police the father’s name was Andrew Morris, a man from Balmain in Sydney’s inner west, who she claimed to have had an affair with for several months. She later said his name was Andrew Norris

Mel and his mother were on the other …

When we went downstairs in the lift it was like a foyer area and there was a lot of chairs. They’d obviously been sitting in the chairs waiting and they stood up as we approached. And just as that feeling of, “Is this the right thing to do?”

I looked at them and, not to judge, but I didn’t know them. And I did have that moment of:

“Maybe I could just take her. Maybe I could just do it myself.”

But just so painful.

CONTEXT Lane maintains she did not kill her daughter and says she hopes someone will come forward with her. Tegan would be 22 years old.

Lots of people, including Keli’s own family, have found this story difficult to comprehend. A casual sexual partner, the girlfriend that he cheated on and his mother coming to take a baby from a hospital.

The phone had just cut out on our call, when she rings back it felt like there’s a different version of Keli Lane on the phone.

When she was describing saying goodbye to her baby she was emotional. But now, she’s composed and collected. It sounds like she’s recalling a story she’s thought about many times before with lots of detail.

CONTEXT Prosecutors argued Lane probably left via a fire escape and avoided the nurses station.

CONTEXT Hours later Keli Lane attended a friend’s wedding with her then boyfriend Duncan Gilles.

CONTEXT The taxi driver who Keli Lane says picked her up from Auburn Hospital has never been found.

CM-H: After you handed Tegan over to, you say, the natural father and his family.

KL: Yup.

CM-H: What did you do next?

KL: Well they left before me, they walked out and I stood there a minute, two minutes and I was very upset, and then I went out…straight out the…electronic doors or whatever they are. You know they pulled back. They pulled back, I walked out and just to the right I think it was there was sort of like a driveway type thing. And I just jumped in a cab and I said, “Venus Street, Gladesville”.

CONTEXT Prosecutors argued Lane probably left via a fire escape and avoided the nurses station.

CONTEXT The taxi driver who Keli Lane says picked her up from Auburn Hospital has never been found.

The cab was white.

I can’t tell you about like the signs or decals, but what I do know is that when we stopped at Venus Street I didn’t have enough money. And I had to run inside, and he said to me, “I’ll wait out the front love.” And I ran inside and took the money out of Duncan’s brother’s room. And it was all coins, it was in a cowboy boot he used to have. And I took all the coins out and ran it back.

CONTEXT Hours later Keli Lane attended a friend’s wedding with her then boyfriend Duncan Gilles.

Lane is clearly very good at compartmentalising and pushing down emotion and getting on with things.

So much was made in the media about Lane’s steely, emotionless demeanour when she’d come and go from court every day.

Her tough appearance seemed to defy what society expects of a woman and a mother and she was dubbed by the press as “the girl with the Mona Lisa smile”.

But Lane took me by surprise one day when she rang to discuss the years her life went off the rails, starting when she was 19 years old.

KL: A lot of personal issues and emotions around that slice of my life, those choices I was making, and it probably sounds selfish, but I feel really sorry for that person.

[gasping crying]

CM-H: Like you see it as a different girl or?

KL: I just feel it just put myself through so much pain and I hurt a lot of people in the process and I don’t feel good about that.

There is no forensic evidence linking Keli Lane to the death of baby Tegan and her body has never been found, but circumstantial evidence led to the conviction for murder.

Keli Lane believes she’s been wrongfully convicted, but all her attempts to appeal against her conviction have failed.

The only avenue left for Keli Lane is a judicial review of her conviction, or if fresh and compelling evidence is found.

Watch the first episode of Exposed: The Case of Keli Lane on iview

Credits:

  • Reporting: Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Elise Worthington, Jaya Balendra and Julia Pursche
  • Digital Production: Mark Doman
  • Development: Nathanael Scott
  • Design: Alex Palmer
  • Header image: Dean Lewins, AAP

Frank Arkell-A look back at his murder and filthy secret life over decades


Frank Arkell: How a vicious murder unmasked a city’s darkest secrets

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WARNING: This story contains graphic details that readers may find disturbing.

It was the death that could have pushed Wollongong over the edge.

In the late 1990s, the New South Wales city had become a cesspool of corruption and abuse involving civic leaders and Catholic priests, and was in the grip of a heroin epidemic, its streets littered with needles.

Then, 20 years ago on June 26, 1998, the gruesome bashing murder of former Wollongong lord mayor and state MP Frank Arkell helped break the curse that had dragged the steel city to its darkest depths.

Known as Mr Wollongong, Arkell, who was lord mayor from 1974-1991, had proudly coined the phrase ‘Wonderful Wollongong’ to describe the place he loved to work and play.

To many in high places he was the city’s saviour, but to others who knew his dirty secrets, including his predilection for young boys, he was a ‘rock spider’ who deserved what was coming to him.

‘I wanted to kill someone that day’

Arkell’s murder at the age of 62 came exactly a fortnight after the garrotting and decapitation of 59-year-old gay man David O’Hearn.

O’Hearn happened to live a few houses away from 19-year-old unemployed man Mark Valera — who was found guilty of both murders — in Albion Park, south of Wollongong city.

Police evidence revealed Valera posed as a gay man to gain access to Arkell’s West Wollongong home.

Once his quarry turned his back, Valera picked up a lampshade and hit his victim over the head with it more than 40 times.

Valera, who was wearing work boots, also kicked Arkell hard in the ribs, attacked his head with a glass ashtray, and strangled him.

Once the former mayor was dead, Valera punctured Arkell’s cheek and eye with badge pins found inside the home.

O’Hearn’s murder had been similarly brutal, verging on satanic.

His head had been cut from his body and his arm sawn off and used to draw a pentagram and an inverted cross in blood on the wall.

His body was cut down the front with a knife and his intestines removed.

“I had it in my mind that I wanted to kill someone that day,” Valera later told police. “I was really angry.”

A ‘very horrible’ man’s sickening demise

When asked later why he killed Arkell, Valera said he knew he was a paedophile.

“He is a very, very horrible man,” he said.

Southern Highlands-based police inspector John Klepczarek was an acting sergeant at Lake Illawarra at the time and remembers going to both crime scenes.

“The O’Hearn murder is by far the most gruesome I have ever come across in my career in the NSW Police,” he said.

“Considering what kind of tragedies and murders we have seen in the Illawarra, that is saying something.

“The mental state of the person who committed those crimes I can’t even begin to imagine. The time and effort to commit those crimes, it was absolutely horrific.”

Valera was found guilty of the murders and sentenced, in December 2000, to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment, never

Dirty old town

Steen, a proud gay man who today runs a tea shop and theatre company in Wollongong, knew Arkell “quite well”.

“Being in the arts and community sector we came across Frank all the time and I have to say when you meet Frank, [he was a] charming, lovely person to talk to, very good at hiding what he was up to in his private life,” he said.

“You can’t deny Frank did a damn good job at promoting the town, but you can’t deny that he also did a good job at smudging its name on the way out.”

For Steen, Wollongong in 1970s and ’80s was a dangerous place.

“I myself was beaten over the head and left for dead in a creek bed just for what I was wearing, so you kept quiet and you kept everybody else’s secrets,” he said.

There were well known gay beats operating where hoons would turn up to bash so-called ‘poofters’ for fun.

In a city peppered with many Catholic Church-run schools, there was also the dark scourge of child sexual abuse, which authorities all too often turned a blind eye to.

“I can tell you as an absolute fact that it did happen in one school because I was a victim of it, and I was only eight at the time,” Steen said.

“And all they did was just move the priest to another school where he did exactly the same thing all over again.

“Thankfully he is behind bars now.”

The royal commission that broke the stranglehold

Well before the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse came the Wood Royal Commission into Police Corruption, which was extended to investigate paedophilia.

It was a massive undertaking.

Starting in June 1995, it ran for 451 hearing days with evidence from 902 public witnesses, and cost an estimated $64 million.

The royal commission investigated claims Arkell and retired judge David Yeldham were potential paedophiles.

Arkell’s secret life preying on young boys did not become public until five years after he left public office, when state MP and anti-paedophile campaigner Franca Arena effectively outed him in state parliament.

She asked whether Arkell was W1, who was under investigation by the Wood Royal Commission for having sex with underage boys.

It set off a spiral of controversy that turned Arkell from a man who could do no wrong to a person widely despised and verbally attacked.

Yeldham took his own life in November 1996, while Arkell, who denied the allegations, was virtually forced into hiding before he had the chance to clear his name in court.

“Once the Franca Arena allegation became public, the charges then became public,” said Glenn Mitchell, honorary senior fellow in history at the University of Wollongong.

“Had he not been murdered in June 1998, some time in 1998 between June and December he would have been before a judge and jury in Wollongong Court defending the allegations and the charges against him.”

Probe uncovered rats’ nest

Some of the other names associated with paedophilia in Wollongong at the time included former mayor and businessman Tony Bevan, alderman Brian Tobin, parish priest Father Peter Lewis Comensoli and former Edmund Rice College principal Brother Michael Evans.

Bevan — reputedly known in paedophile rings as ‘Commander Hook’ — was investigated by the Wood Royal Commission three years after his death from cancer in 1991.

Tobin killed himself just two hours after being interviewed by investigators from the Wood Royal Commission paedophile team in 1996.

Evans also took his own life in Rockhampton in 1996.

“It was a sad time, a dark time, and with what was being uncovered in the Wood Royal Commission there was a feeling the place was pretty well evil,” current Wollongong Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

Current mayor counselled ‘delusional’ Arkell

After the Arena bombshell, Arkell’s life started to rapidly slide downhill.

“Several graffitists had put ‘W1 equals wanker’ and other words that I can’t repeat painted on his front fence,” Dr Mitchell said.

“He was the subject of several prank calls, one of whom was Mark Valera, his eventual murderer.”

It was around this time a new Uniting Church minister assigned to work in Wollongong’s Church on the Mall and its associated food kitchen catering for those living rough met Arkell.

That minister, Gordon Bradbery, who is now the mayor, said he found the retired politician “delusional”.

“I sat with him for quite a while and was convinced he was heading towards full-blown dementia.”

The Mayor said the Catholic Church had had an immense influence on the city when he arrived in 1996.

“There were locations in Wollongong where we had intense power in the Catholic Church. It could control the narrative,” he said.

He said the shackles of the past were thrown off in part by the Wood Royal Commission, but also the later ICAC inquiry into sex for development at Wollongong Council and the growing influence of the university.

Path to redemption

The city’s transformation, brought on by the necessity to progress past a narrow reliance on ever-shrinking industrial base, opened Wollongong up to greater scrutiny from the outside world.

“What I think probably opened it up more than anything else was the work of the university, just the fact that people were coming in here and asking questions and expecting a higher standard of accountability, transparency and good government,” Cr Bradbery said.

This extended to the moral behaviour of its citizens, with murder and paedophilia scandals doing little to enhance the image of Wollongong as a desirable location.

The Wood Royal Commission and association media publicity helped bring the skeletons out of the closet, but many still feel even now it remains a work in progress.

“[Royal commissions] are a wonderful part of the process, but unfortunately I don’t think they go far enough, because there are still people at the top covering their tracks,” Steen said.

The murders of Arkell and O’Hearn at the hands of Valera were not the only murders going on at the time — they were simply the worst of a very bad lot.

A bizarre additional chapter of the double murder played out when Valera’s sister, Belinda Van Krevel, pleaded guilty in 2003 to soliciting her boyfriend Keith Schreiber to murder her father Jack Van Krevel while she was pretending to sleep in the adjoining bedroom.

Schreiber, now imprisoned for life, was also the best friend of Valera.

The murder triangle serves as a reminder of how things have changed for the better and the need to remain vigilant against secrecy and complacency.

For Dr Mitchell the journey has been a difficult but necessary one.

“We have come along a very gut wrenching and torturous journey, but I think the destination we have reached is probably a better destination than anyone could have dreamed of,” he said.

Topics: murder-and-manslaughter, history, crime, wollongong-2500

RSL Thieves deep in the pig trough-Now the inquiry


  • File photo: NSW Veterans’ Affairs minister David Elliott (left) and NSW Police Superintendent Mark Walton (AAP)

Allegations of financial misconduct in the NSW RSL’s fundraising arm will be investigated by an independent inquiry.

Retired Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin will head the inquiry, to be announced by the NSW government later on Monday.

The NSW branch has been plagued by a series of financial scandals and allegations of fraud.

In December the state government referred former NSW RSL president Don Rowe to police over claims he used his corporate credit card to withdraw $200,000 in cash.

NSW Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott made the referral after reviewing a damning interim report into claims senior figures at the NSW branch were stockpiling millions of dollars in consultancy payments instead of spending it on veterans.

The allegations had already sparked NSW Police fraud and Australia’s charities watchdog inquiries.

On Monday Mr Elliott told Fairfax Media: “Based on the emails, letters and conversations I have with veterans around NSW, as well as their sub-branches, there is overwhelming support for the government to intervene.”

“We want to clean up the mess and make sure it never happens again,” Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean said.

Mr Elliott and Mr Kean will address media on Monday afternoon


RSL NSW chief defends Anzac attendance
RSL NSW president John Haines has defended his decision to defy a state government request to not participate in Sydney’s Anzac Day commemorations.

NSW RSL spent $93,000 defending ‘homophobic attack’
The chief executive of the NSW RSL has described a decision to spend $93,000 defending a senior executive accused of vilifying a gay veteran as disappointing.


Ex-RSL NSW boss ‘spent $475k on expenses’
Senior RSL NSW figures received more than $2.5 million in “consultancy fees” from the organisation’s aged-care arm, an auditor’s report has confirmed.


Our site still under threat by pathetic anoms


Struggling with attack

IM A BLOGGER NOT A SOLICTOR. ANY HELP WOULD BE GREAT.

i HAVE THE ENTIRE SITE SAVED UP TO THE DAY…Sorry about caps I look down to type.

Our 3 sites are

aussicecriminals.com.au

aussiecriminals.com

aussiecriminals.wordpress.com (this one is free forever unable to be stolen)

 

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale charged with extortion amid CCC investigation


Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale has been arrested and charged with extortion amid an investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

Mr Pisasale was arrested by the CCC this afternoon in Ipswich and was taken to the Brisbane police watch house where he was formally charged with extortion and two other offences.

The CCC said the investigation was ongoing.

Prior to being charged, acting Ipswich Mayor Paul Tully said he and his colleagues were shocked by Mr Pisasale’s arrest.

“As I understand it, these are strictly personal matters — have nothing to do with the Ipswich City Council,” he said.

“It is a matter for Paul and his legal advisors and the Queensland judicial system.

“We had no warning that this could happen, but the city must go on and we’re going to provide positive leadership into the future,” Cr Tully said.

“Our sympathies do go out to Paul’s family who are obviously very concerned at this difficult time.

“I think people will still remember Paul whatever happens as the person who put Ipswich on the map, did a lot of economic development for the city.

Breaking the Brotherhood-Digging up the bad old days of systemic police corruption and graft supported by the Government of the time


Background Information

FEATURE Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force by Mark Willacy | ABC News | 12 Jun 2017 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-12/four-corners-moonlight-state-afp-protected-chris-masters/8607314

FEATURE The Bagman, the secret codes, and the payments to a secret brotherhood of bent cops by Mark Willacy | ABC News | 12 Jun 2017 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-12/fitzgerald-inquiry-files-reveal-inner-workings-of-corrupt-cops/8600046

Fact Check: Did Joh Bjelke-Petersen instigate the Fitzgerald inquiry? | ABC Fact Check | 20 Nov 2014 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/factcheck/2014-11-20/did-joh-bjelke-petersen-instigate-the-fitzgerald-inquiry/5889002

Journalism Matters: Fitzgerald inquiry resulted from basic reporting | The Courier-Mail | 7 Oct 2014 – http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/journalism-matters-fitzgerald-inquiry-resulted-from-basic-reporting/news-story/f34f2b0a95d86007fe12a9bd1a5c6c8a

Moonlight Reflections by Chris Masters | Griffith Review | Aug 2008 – Chris Masters reflected on the making and remifications of the Moonlight State investigation. https://griffithreview.com/articles/moonlight-reflections/

Queensland: Ten Years After Fitzgerald | Background Briefing | 16 May 1999 – http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/queensland-ten-years-after-fitzgerald/3565808

The Fitzgerald Inquiry | Crime & Corruption QLD | 1989 – The Fitzgerald report was tabled in Parliament in July 1989. It made over 100 recommendations covering the establishment of the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission and the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and reform of the Queensland Police Force. Download the report here: http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/about-the-ccc/the-fitzgerald-inquiry

Police inquiry turns blowtorch back on accusers by Paul Bongiorno | The Bulletin Archives | 26 May 1987 – https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1363645-the-bulletin-police-inquiry-turns-blowtorch-back.html

Sir Joh says PM has dingoed out on electorate | SMH Archives | 28 May 1987 – https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1363976-smh-sir-joh-says-pm-has-dingoed-out-on.html

RELATED 4 CORNERS PROGRAMS

Beyond Bethany | 3 Mar 2008 – Twenty years on Chris Masters assesses the Joh Bjelke-Petersen legacy. Watch Online

The Moonlight State | 11 May 1987 – Chris Masters’ investigation into Queensland police corruption led to the Fitzgerald Inquiry, resulting in over 100 convictions and the police commissioner being jailed. Watch Online


“The Joke” was a system of protection involving illegal gambling, bookies, and brothels in QLD for more than a decade, probably decades


Updated June 12, 2017 14:19:00

It was Queensland, the year was 1987, and the State’s police force was riddled with corruption. The brotherhood of crooked cops who gave the green light to illegal gambling and prostitution believed they were untouchable.

“The level and systemic nature of it, reaching to all levels, including the highest political levels, was truly a shock to me.” Leading Criminal Investigator

There was a conspiracy of silence, from within the Queensland Government and all the way up to the highest levels of the force. The nature and the extent of the corruption sickened the honest cops, who operated in a world where they could trust no-one

Breaking the Brotherhood – Monday 12 June 2017

“‘Break his camera and break his mouth too!’ was the order.” Chris Masters, ‘The Moonlight State’ (1987)

It was Queensland, the year was 1987, and the State’s police force was riddled with corruption. The brotherhood of crooked cops who gave the green light to illegal gambling and prostitution believed they were untouchable.

“The level and systemic nature of it, reaching to all levels, including the highest political levels, was truly a shock to me.” Leading Criminal Investigator

There was a conspiracy of silence, from within the Queensland Government and all the way up to the highest levels of the force. The nature and the extent of the corruption sickened the honest cops, who operated in a world where they could trust no-one.

“There were times that I actually feared for my life and for the life of my family. It was clear to me that we had institutionalised corruption taking place.” Undercover Operative

A small band of brave crime fighters, and their families, took the enormous risk to trust a journalist with the State’s darkest secrets. The result was ‘The Moonlight State’, perhaps the most explosive true story ever told on Australian television.

“There is another side to the Sunshine State. Despite some wholesome attempts to pretend otherwise, the Queensland Government has not managed to stop the devil at the border. In the Sunshine State, sex is a great little earner.” Chris Masters, ‘The Moonlight State’ (1987)

Chris Masters’ landmark report prompted one of the most important anti-corruption investigations in Australian history, the Fitzgerald Inquiry, which led to the jailing of the Queensland Police Commissioner.

But the whole story of how the whistle was blown has never fully been told. Now the key players who put their trust in Chris Masters have come forward to tell their story, on camera, for the first time.

“I’m sitting there with my wife at home, because I knew when it was going to air, and I’m watching it. And I had this silly grin on my face, but it was also teary because we actually made it, we survived. The story got to air.” Whistleblower

“I believe that fate brought (us) together and that something had to be done.” Undercover Operative

The program also reveals the shocking lengths corrupt police went to, to try to silence the whistleblowers, and reporter Chris Masters.

“My son had been walking home from school and a car had pulled up beside him and told him that his father was going to be killed.” Undercover Police Officer

“Things got very scary, and a very powerful syndicate of organised criminals and corrupt police realised that they had an illicit empire to protect and they started to play nasty.” Chris Masters

Thirty years on from ‘The Moonlight State’, leading law enforcement figures warn that every police force today must remember the lessons of those dark days so they can never be repeated.

Breaking the Brotherhood, reported by Mark Willacy and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 12th June at 8.30pm EDT. It is replayed on Tuesday 13th June at 10.00am and Wednesday 14th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.

First posted June 12, 2017 13:43:00


Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force

June 12th, 2017 Updated about 2 hours ago

It was an unusual assignment, and Australian Federal Police officer Dave Moore wasn’t happy about it.

“I had a call to go and visit the assistant commissioner,” he recounted.

“He asked me to keep a lookout for a bloke by the name of Chris Masters from Four Corners.”

To Mr Moore, babysitting a journalist was not part of his remit.

“I’ll be honest, I told [my assistant commissioner] I didn’t want to do the job,” he said.

But an order was an order.

It was 1987, and the AFP hierarchy had information that Masters was in danger.

He wasn’t at risk from the criminal underworld, but from the corrupt members of the Queensland police.

“It was made very clear that they were concerned for Chris’s safety,” said Mr Moore, speaking for the first time about the AFP’s secret role in protecting the Four Corners reporter.

“So we put the resources of the AFP, discreetly, behind keeping a lookout for Chris.”

‘We were being watched and shadowed’

Masters was getting too close to a brotherhood of bent cops and their network of graft and corruption, an arrangement known as “the Joke”.

What was the Joke?

The Joke was a vast system of graft and protection involving illegal gambling, starting price bookmakers, brothels and massage parlours that stretched back decades in Queensland.The dirty money flowed to the police, particularly to several senior members of the infamous Licensing Branch, who in exchange for regular cash payments turned a blind eye to vice.

In its later and most lucrative form, the Joke was administered by Jack Herbert, who, by the time it all came crashing down, was passing on nearly $60,000 a month in protection money to police.

Herbert was estimated to have received more than $3 million in payments.

In early 1987 The Courier-Mail ran a series of articles about unchallenged vice in Brisbane.

Then in May, The Moonlight State program was broadcast on Four Corners, revealing that police were being bribed to protect vice in Queensland.

The next day the acting premier Bill Gunn called a judicial inquiry.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry would run for two years and hear from more than 300 witnesses.

Evidence from the inquiry would lead to four government ministers and police commissioner Terry Lewis being jailed.

Other police would go to prison, while senior officers — including the assistant commissioner Graeme Parker — would give evidence in exchange for indemnity from prosecution.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry would also lead to the establishment of Queensland’s first anti-corruption body.

Stretching back several decades, the Joke was a system of protection payments that flowed from brothel owners, SP bookies and illegal gaming operators into the hands of corrupt police.

It was worth millions, and the Joke’s tentacles reached right to the top of the Queensland force.

In late 1986, early 1987, Masters had been sniffing around Brisbane’s red light district of Fortitude Valley for weeks talking to pimps, prostitutes and disgruntled police.

His inquiries were making the brotherhood nervous.

“We were being watched and shadowed,” Masters recalled.

“I didn’t really know that until Dave started to point out people who were surveilling me.”

Mr Moore says he first met Masters “up at the Tower Mill [Hotel]”.

“It became quite apparent to me that there was someone paying quite a lot of attention to Chris across the road,” he said.

“We later found out it was a hired vehicle which was being used by officers of the [Queensland] Police Force.”

The plan to frame Chris Masters

As Masters got closer to cracking the Joke, the police brotherhood knew it had to destroy the Four Corners reporter before he destroyed them.

“They took him extremely seriously, to the point where they were on the brink of literally setting him up,” said Matthew Condon, the author of a three-book series on police corruption in Queensland.

“The plan was that they would plant an underage boy in Masters’ hotel room in the city and ultimately, whether they could prove it or not, the mud would have been thrown against Masters to discredit him.”

Masters would only be told of the plan to stitch him up many months later, after The Moonlight State had gone to air.

“I learnt of it through [former rugby league player] Tommy Raudonikis. He’d heard of it from a police mate and he then tipped off my brother Roy who told me,” Masters said.

“But when it was all supposed to happen I wasn’t in Brisbane, I was back in Sydney.”

The plan revealed the lengths the corrupt Queensland police brotherhood was prepared to go to protect the Joke.

It had flourished for years under the stewardship of a man known as “the Bagman”.

Jack Herbert was a former police Licensing Branch detective who for years was the conduit between the crooks and the cops.

He doled out hundreds of thousands in bribes to corrupt police.

Masters travelled the state speaking to and interviewing people about the Joke.

On May 11, 1987, The Moonlight State went to air on Four Corners.

“The pivotal thing about The Moonlight State and why it caused an earthquake was that for the first time, what Masters achieved, was a link between criminal figures, the underworld and corruption and police,” Condon said.

“That’s what caused so much drama and why it was an astonishing piece of television journalism.”

For Masters, the day after The Moonlight State would bring fresh drama.

“I wake up to the sounds of my own heartbeat,” he said.

“These are scary moments, sometimes the worst moments because you’ve done your best, you’re pretty much exhausted, but then a whole new battle begins.”

That battle would become the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

It would run for two years, hear from 339 witnesses and see the police commissioner, Sir Terence Lewis, jailed and stripped of his knighthood.

Also convicted were senior police and Valley kingpin, Gerry Bellino, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for paying bribes.

As for Jack “the Bagman” Herbert, he escaped jail by rolling over and telling all to the inquiry.

Watch Four Corners’ Breaking the Brotherhood at 8:30pm on ABC and iView.

The Moonlight State, the 1987 report that prompted the Fitzgerald Inquiry, can be viewed in full on the Four Corners website.

Topics: law-crime-and-justice, police, qld, australia

First posted about 4 hours ago

Contact Mark Willacy


en.wikipedia.org

Fitzgerald Inquiry – Wikipedia


The Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct (the Fitzgerald Inquiry) (1987–1989) into Queensland Police corruption was a judicial inquiry presided over by Tony Fitzgerald QC. The inquiry resulted in the deposition of a premier, two by-elections, the jailing of three former ministers and a police commissioner who was jailed and lost his knighthood. It also led indirectly to the end of the National Party of Australia‘s 32-year run as the governing political party in Queensland.

History

The inquiry was established in response to a series of articles on high-level police corruption in The Courier-Mail by reporter Phil Dickie, followed by a Four Corners television report, aired on 11 May 1987, entitled “The Moonlight State” with reporter Chris Masters. Both reports highlighted prostitution, gambling and possible police corruption.[1] With Queensland‘s Premier of 18 years, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, out of the state, his deputy Bill Gunn ordered a commission of inquiry the day after the television report was broadcast.

The allegations aired in the media were not new; they had surfaced from time to time and some news organisations had been forced to pay damages to aggrieved people who alleged their reputations had been damaged (Bjelke-Petersen himself was notoriously litigious in response to unfavourable press coverage). Ian Callinan drafted the terms of reference for the inquiry as well as appearing before it.[2] While the terms of the inquiry were initially narrow, restricted only to the specific allegations raised against specific persons named in the media over a period of just five years, Fitzgerald used his moral authority to lever the inquiry into a position of being able to inquire into any relevant matter. The terms of reference for the Commission were extended twice.[1]

This enabled him to set a new precedent for commissions of inquiry and Royal Commissions in Australia generally, using innovative methods such as indemnities from prosecution for key witnesses to secure vital evidence. The inquiry was initially expected to last about six weeks; it instead spent almost two years conducting a comprehensive investigation of long-term, systemic political corruption and abuse of power in Queensland. Public sittings were held on 238 days, hearing testimony from 339 witnesses.[1]

On 28 August, a Licensing Branch sergeant, Harry Burgess implicated Jack Herbert, and assistant commissioner Graeme Parker. Parker confessed and implicated police commissioner Sir Terry Lewis on 16 September.[3]

The inquiry would eventually outlive the Bjelke-Petersen government. Mike Ahern became the new Premier after Bjelke-Petersen was deposed by his own party.[4] Evidence revealed by the investigation (including testimony from Bjelke-Petersen himself) caused significant political damage and an internal power struggle within the National Party, resulting in Bjelke-Petersen resigning as Premier after his unsuccessful attempt to have the Governor of Queensland sack all of his ministers after they deposed him as party leader.

The inquiry’s special prosecutor was Doug Drummond QC. It was Drummond who decided not to retry Bjelke-Petersen after the hung jury.

Findings

Fitzgerald’s report was submitted on 3 July 1989.[1] Based on the inquiry’s final report,[5] a number of high-profile politicians were charged with crimes; notably Queensland Police Commissioner (Sir) Terry Lewis was charged with corruption.

Bjelke-Petersen himself was charged with perjury in respect of evidence given to the inquiry. The jury in the case remained deadlocked, bringing about a mistrial.[6] In 1992 it was revealed that the jury foreman, Luke Shaw, was a member of the Young Nationals, was identified with the “Friends of Joh” movement and had misrepresented the state of deliberations to the judge. According to an ABC TV analysis, “A later inquiry conducted by Justice Bill Carter found the selection process had been manipulated by …ex-police officers …helping to put Joh before a jury led by Young Nationals member, Luke Shaw.”[7] A special prosecutor announced in 1992 there would be no retrial because Sir Joh, then aged 81, was too old.

Jack Herbert had been the bagman, collecting bribes for police commissioner Terry Lewis from 1980. Lewis himself had been a bagman for former commissioner Francis Bischof.[3] Lewis was convicted (and subsequently stripped of his knighthood).

Leisha Harvey former health minister, was charged with misappropriating of public funds as part of an investigation resulting from the findings of the inquiry. She spent one year in jail.[4] Don Lane, former transport minister, was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment for falsifying expense accounts.[4] Lane’s resignation resulted in the 1989 Merthyr state by-election. Brian Austin, another former health minister, was convicted of misappropriating public funds. Hinze’s resignation led to the 1988 South Coast state by-election.

The Queensland Police Special Bureau was formed on 30 July 1940 and renamed Special Branch on 7 April 1948. It was criticised for being used for political purposes by the Bjelke-Petersen government in the 1970s and 1980s, such as enforcing laws against protests (sometimes outnumbering the protesters or using provocateurs to incite violence so the protesters could be arrested[8]) and investigating and harassing political opponents.[9] It was disbanded in 1989 following a recommendation by the Fitzgerald Inquiry.[9] Special Branch destroyed its records before Fitzgerald could subpoena them.[9]

In large part due to public anger over the revelations in the Fitzgerald report, the National Party was heavily defeated in the December 1989 state election, which brought the Australian Labor Party to power for the first time since 1957.

Recommendations

The two most significant recommendations were the establishment of the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission which was to review electoral boundaries.[1] The need for Freedom of Information legislation in the state was noted, as was the need to review laws relating to public assembly and guidelines for the disclosure of pecuniary interests of parliamentarians. The CJC was to be responsible for investigating specific individuals mentioned during the inquiry.

The police culture of the state was also criticised. Aspects such as loyalty to fellow police officers, police not enforcing laws against other police and criticism of other police being impermissible[clarification needed] were condemned because they led to misconduct, inefficiency and contempt for the justice system.[1] Many of the inquiry’s recommendations were implemented by Wayne Goss, the first Labor Party Premier of Queensland in 32 years.

Cultural depictions

Bjelke-Petersen’s trial was later the subject of a TV movie, “Joh’s Jury“.[10]

Margot Hutcheson painted a picture of the inquiry, Wasn’t the Fitzgerald Inquiry Fun?[11]

In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, the Fitzgerald Inquiry was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for its role as a “Defining Moment”.[12]

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct, “Fitzgerald Inquiry report”, Government Printer, Brisbane, 1989.

Further reading

FOR more than three decades, Queensland Police simply called it “The Joke”.

And for the crooked cops who were in on it, along with a cavalcade of pimps, gamblers, prostitutes, drug dealers and politicians, being part of the punchline was lucrative business.

When The Courier-Mail finally exposed the system of corrupt payments with the landmark reporting of journalist Phil Dickie in 1987, it was clear the operation had penetrated the highest echelons and darkest recesses of life in the Sunshine State.

Police Commissioner Terry Lewis and other corrupt officers were caught taking bribes from a pool fed by bookies and brothel owners, such as Geraldo Bellino.

Vic Conte

The main beneficiaries were the police. Courier-Mail journalist Matt Condon, who has written a best-selling ­trilogy about that era, wrote The Joke was an “elaborate, multi-million dollar scheme of kickbacks from illegal gambling, SP bookmakers, brothels and escort services”.

At its zenith in the mid- 1980s, the system’s meticulous bookkeeper Jack “the Bagman” Herbert was raking in so much cash he was running out of places to store it in his luxury, riverfront apartment at East Brisbane.

By 1987, he was chan­nelling about $56,000 a month to police to protect SP bookmakers, casino and brothel operators from any serious law enforcement.

By then, the system was brazenly operating in the open, secure in its institutional hold on the police force and protection from the National Party government of then premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

Bagman Jack Herbert

Detective Sergeant Tony Murphy

Dickie’s investigative skills eventually shattered The Joke’s sense of impunity as he exposed the chain of money flowing to the police’s notorious Licensing Branch.

Reports in The Courier-Mail and an expose by ABC journalist Chris Masters on Four Corners led to the Fitzgerald inquiry, which finally finished The Joke in 1989 as three government ministers and police commissioner Terry Lewis were jailed.

Want to see more?( 6 more photos in collection )Continue to full gallery

In the final instalment of his trilogy, All Fall Down, Condon details a 1984 document written by serving police that provided forensic insight into The Joke’s structure, operation, breadth and membership.

It traced the system back to the 1950s, when the force was riven by factional fighting between Irish Catholics and the Masons.

The Joke then flourished under Frank Bischoff, who was commissioner from 1958 to 1969. Bischoff initiated Lewis, who was a young detective at the time, into the system and groomed him as a future successor.

Police Commissioner Frank Bischoff.

Notorious poker machine king, businessman and yachtsman Jack Rooklyn.

Lewis readily accepted his new duties, becoming one of the notorious Rat Pack, which included Herbert and detectives Tony Murphy and Glen Hallahan.

Murphy, who later rose to be assistant commissioner, allegedly coined the term The Joke and ensured that the Rat Pack controlled its operations. He was known as The Godfather.

The rest of The Joke operated as a series of autonomous cells led by an officer known as a “control”. Controls answered to another control on the level above them but would not deal with any other person, insulating the Rat Pack from being ­exposed. Citing the document, which was sent to then opposition police spokesman Kevin Hooper, Condon said the Rat Pack used police resources to corrupt politicians, government departments and leaders of industry.

“Illegal tapping of phones and use of sophisticated electronic surveillance gear, control of illegal gambling, prostitution at all levels and the keeping of comprehensive files on citizens of prominence are all ways in which this group of men are able to get appointed to high rank in the department,” the document said.

“There is not a level of ­society that these men do not have contacts and informants who work for them either through fear of exposure or for monetary gain.”

Hector Hapeta

Graeme Parker

 

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