Getting Away with Murder
Sydney's shame: Up to 80 men murdered, 30 cases remain unsolved. From 1977 to the end of 1986 Duncan McNab was a member of the NSW Police Force. Most of his service was in criminal investigation, working on major frauds, crimes against children, homicide, armed robbery and finally corruption within the organisation. The outstanding crime that still troubles him more than any other has been the unsolved death or disappearance of so many young gay men. Now is the time to address that. In the decade from 1985 to 1995 around fifty gay men were murdered in 'hate crimes' in Sydney. At least thirty of those cases are unsolved. Even more troubling were incidents in which gay men disappeared and have never been found, or those whose deaths were dismissed by the NSW Police as either misadventure or suicide - they add a further thirty to the toll. Some of these men died because they were thrown over beachside cliffs near the nation's top tourist spots. The line between a vicious assault and murder is a slender one and during this time there were also numerous brutal attacks on gay men, featuring gangs of young thugs like the 'Parkside Killers' and 'Bondi Boys', who took to them with fists and feet. Some of the assailants were allegedly members of the police force. One thug bragged the vicious attacks were 'heaps of fun. We used to love how they screamed', and kept souvenirs stolen from his victims. Surviving the attack was largely a matter of luck. Investigation of crimes against gay men weren't high on the list of priorities for the NSW Police Force and twenty years later the police are still unwilling to come to grips with their own dismal track record. Members of the families of victims, and some journalists, have not given up and have continued to push the NSW Police Force for more answers. The Johnson family were successful in gaining a third inquest into the death of their brother Scott. Tensions remain within the NSW police force in regards to these crimes.
Duncan McNab is a former police detective, private investigator, investigative journalist and media adviser to government and the private sector. He is the author of eight books, including the phenomenally bestselling The Dodger - Inside the World of Roger Rogerson and Dead Man Running