Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Shand Reveals Real Aussie Underbelly; the Skull Author: Adam Shand Price: $32.95 Published By: Black Inc

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Shand Reveals Real Aussie Underbelly; the Skull Author: Adam Shand Price: $32.95 Published By: Black Inc

Article excerpt

Byline: LES WILSON

I once wrote all reporters should be investigators.

Sadly, only a few dig under the wraps for the real story, take the time to pursue the baddies, have the guts to go where sometimes even the cops have backed off and have publishers with deep pockets.

As one of the early investigative reporters in the late '50s and early '60s I found Melbourne's Painters and Dockers Union was a good example of thugs and killers who roamed free killing and maiming while cops watched.

Then came the house fires and bombings in Kings Cross as Sydney's underworld fought for control of the prostitution industry which the state government said didn't exist.

Bringing home the evidence was a lonely business, but as a few more hardy reporters like Dick McKenzie and Bob Bottom joined the fray Royal Commissions were held and some of the baddies (crooks and cops) got jail terms or death on the streets.

Adam Shand says he became a reporter 25 years ago and got into the investigative side 10 years ago.

He's a good operator and his work is well known if you follow local television documentaries.

He's the author of Big Shots: The Chilling Inside Story of Carl Williams and the Gangland Wars (2007) and now he's launched another tome with another long winded title: The Skull-Informers, Hit Men and Australia's Toughest Cop.

The toughest Aussie cops I've met were Melbourne's Bluey Adams, a homicide sergeant who ended up in the slammer and Sydney's Ray Kelly who ruled Kings Cross for years.

Shand's toughest is Brian "Skull" Murphy, also a Victorian, a "feared and respected policeman, who collars big time crims and small time thugs."

He rubs shoulders with corrupt officials and flashy assassins using a combination of old school heavy boot persuasions and self styled "slychology" to recruit a network of informers. …

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