By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
By Glen McNamara (New Holland, $29.95, softcover, 152 pages)
Glen McNamara, former police detective stationed in Sydney’s Kings Cross and whistle blower, has delved deep and written about crime stories that cover obsession from every perspective.
This book pulls no punches and highlights police violence, police informants and their murders, women who kill their mothers, paedophiles, suicides and gang rapists.
You will be drawn through the sleazy back streets and into the ignoble workings of the criminal mind.
The succinct style of writing, however, is easy to comprehend. Every chapter, in short, tells a distinct story interwoven into the central theme of unlawful addiction. It is a disquieting read.
McNamara knew it would be tough at Kings Cross in the late ‘80s, but his enthusiasm turned to display, betrayed by the very people he thought would back him up. Disillusionment followed: the “criminal mind is self-obsessed and determined, and I realised that this trait knows no boundaries, professional or otherwise”.
He did have the satisfaction of seeing the notorious paedophile ‘Dolly’ Dunn behind bars, but he had much more to tell than just his quest for justice.
McNamara was unprepared for the “deep level of utter entrenchment of police in criminal activities, especially in organised crime and drug dealing. This corrupt system was highly cultivated and provided for organised pay-backs and set-ups for all of those outside the ambit of the protection of that corrupt system”.
Some insights include Schapelle Corby’s case and an informant’s gen about a baggage handler’s involvement in drug trafficking; and disreputable offenders such as Warren Lanfranchi, Andrew Mark Hampson, Bilal Skaf, Heidi McGarvie and Bruce Synold.
The collection of people in the ‘True Crime from the Streets of Kings Cross’ reveal a savage obsession about something they “couldn’t control ... intriguing in the way they were so self-destructive”.
Edition 405, 15 April 2014
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.