Rotten to the Core


If this post brings about a sense of deja vu it’s likely because you’ve read it all before.

Ten weeks ago back in May I ran this book review with the promise that later in the year Channel 7 would show a two-part mini-series documenting the same sordid tale in all it’s disquieting and twisted glory. That time has now arrived.

This Sunday night the first half of BLUE MURDER: KILLER COP goes to air, starring Richard Roxburgh as the real life former NSW corrupt police detective Roger Rogerson who is now an inmate of  the Kevin Waller Unit of Sydney’s Long Bay jail.

This mini-series, which also stars Toni Collette and former South Sydney footballer turned actor Matt Nable, is actually a sequel of sorts to the two-part miniseries BLUE MURDER produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation which went to air in 1995. Twenty-two years ago that series also featured Richard Roxburgh playing Rogerson. When you see the physical resemblance between the two you’ll understand why the producers stuck with the same actor and knew they were onto an authentic ratings winner.

Reprinted below is the originally posted book review, which I composed after reading the book earlier in the year.

How does a person go from a once highly decorated NSW police detective to luring, (at the age of 73) a 20-year-old to a Sydney storage unit, murdering him and then dumping the body at sea the next day in waters off Cronulla?

This is the question that author and former police detective himself Duncan McNab sets out to answer in what is his second book on this country’s most infamous and crooked former cop. The answer is delivered across 30 chapters in this book but may be summarised in just one word – ‘incrementally’.

In Australia’s long, inglorious history of bent coppers – going right back to the country’s very first constable James Smith, dismissed by Governor Arthur Phillip for larceny – there has been none more tarnished and synonymous with crime then Roger ‘The Dodger’ Rogerson.

In a notorious career, which included associations with some of Australia’s worst criminals (he famously ventured on speaking tours with professional stand-over man and alleged author Chopper Read), extrajudicial killings, being implicated in various murders and disappearances; countless allegations of threatening behaviour, bribery and drug dealing; and convictions for perverting the course of justice and perjury, he was dismissed from the police force in 1986 and jailed twice.

He is now 76 years of age and began serving a ‘life’ sentence in Sydney’s Long Bay jail in September of last year for the 2014 pre-meditated murder of twenty year old Jamie Gao, that took place inside Rent-A-Space storage shed 803 housed within a deserted industrial estate in the Sydney south-western suburb of Padstow.

A recent newspaper report has it that Rogerson, who plays the piano, has formed a singing trio with two other inmates and regularly belts out old Frank Sinatra tunes (think “My Way“) in the jail wing for the elderly and infirm.


3 thoughts on “Rotten to the Core

  1. Well Glen, you’re not wrong with the uncanny resemblance, and it’s no surprise Richard Roxburgh reprised his menacing role from 20 years prior.

    It’s quite a fascinating story, isn’t it? An amazing fall from grace!

    During his career, he received at least 13 awards for bravery, outstanding policemanship and devotion to duty. Obviously, throughout his career, he immersed himself so deeply in the seedy underbelly of crime that he became part of the scene. Pleading not guilty at his trial, Rogerson seemed to view himself more as a hero rather than anything else, perhaps in the Ned Kelly type style.
    He once said,
    “You sleep easy because people like me keep things nice and tidy … Makes you wonder how I got in here.”
    When you see (hear about) the backstory, I guess it humanizes the perpetrator, but it’s certainly chilling stuff.

    Once again, very thought provoking blog, Glen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Channel 7 at 8:30pm tonight will be the place to be.
    And the best part?
    I get to watch it all on a newly purchased (4 days ago) large screen HD LCD smart tv with more bells and whistles than a computer-rigged emergency firetruck.
    Worth every cent I paid for it, which is way more than the woman in this video can say.


  3. Pingback: Seeing Double with Uncle Chop Chop | Scenic Writer's Shack

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