I’ve blogged previously about this strange neighbourhood I’ve landed in; the proximity to serious rime past and present, to jailbirds historic and current, to the violence and desperation which shadows a brisk drugs trade. It is one thing to observe, until very recently the ability to write in depth about it alluded me.
I have the key now, thanks to the persistence of some informants eager to share their experiences. I wanted to avoid writing about local and current criminality, I’m not that brave. Instead I saw the path leading back to the rich, fecund fields of crime in Sydney in the 1960s and 70s.
Living there around that time I had some insights, if not personal experience, enough to create a canvas on which to paint the narrative. Best of all, the min players are now dead for the most part or never likely to leave prison. Those still active in the community seem to live happily with their notoriety, so again little risk there.
Enter corruption on a grand scale
The problem is staying focused and safe. I am being given great detail on the criminals of the period; bank robbers, hold-up men, hit men and body disposal experts. All suitably colourful and dramatic in their own right. But a little research leads to a deeper darker pond.
From the 1930s through to the mid 60s
With the advent of
While my informants can give me minute detail on our home grown criminals they quickly develop amnesia when it comes to that next level, even though they don’t deny associations. In fact it was talk of purely local activities that bought up the linking names, research is filling the rest of the picture.
My long concern over corruption is taking on a new level of understanding with the information being pieced together. There is now a picture of a corrupt local cop linked to a corrupt state premier linked to a know CIA agent or US Mafia figure linked to the highest levels of US government. I can understand the reticence of my informants, even dead some of these characters looms large as a threat, and besides others always fill the gap left by the dead.
Curiosity is going to drive the desire to research further but I’m not sure just how or how much I’m willing to revel. A book on the
In the end I’m seeing that corruption is just crime, that international leaders, political and corporate, can be just crooks like the local variety.