33 episodes

Take a journey into the dark depths of the Australian criminal underworld with Australia’s most formidable crime reporter - John Silvester.

Naked City The Age and Sydney Morning Herald

    • True Crime
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Take a journey into the dark depths of the Australian criminal underworld with Australia’s most formidable crime reporter - John Silvester.

    The fugitive's fatal mistake: police shooting of Arthur Nelson

    The fugitive's fatal mistake: police shooting of Arthur Nelson

    Arthur James Nelson was a third rate crook who had convictions for burglary, theft, assault, false pretences and drugs. In July 1988 his path fatally crossed police officers, Lachlan McCulloch and Syd Hadley. We hear the police re-enactment tapes conducted the day after the shooting as McCulloch and Hadley describe blow by blow the one hour chase and reenact the split second moment they shot dead Nelson. 

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    • 25 min
    Justice Frank Vincent: The secrets of the Supreme Court

    Justice Frank Vincent: The secrets of the Supreme Court

    He was the best defence lawyer representing murder defendants in around 200 cases. He went on to be a respected Supreme Court Judge presiding over the most difficult homicide trials, including the Walsh Street police killings, the Russell Street bombing that killed police constable Angela Taylor; the Bega double murder trial of Leslie Camilleri, one of two men who tortured and killed NSW schoolgirls Lauren Margaret Barry, and Nichole Emma Collins in Victoria in 1997; and the trial of serial killer Paul Charles Denyer, who killed three women and stalked hundreds in the Frankston area.

    Frank Vincent was the long-time head of the Parole Board who often had to decide who should be freed and who would remain in jail. Frank takes us through a journey into the criminal justice system and reveals the secrets of the Supreme Court.


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    • 30 min
    Bernie 'The Attorney' Balmer, knockabout lawyer

    Bernie 'The Attorney' Balmer, knockabout lawyer

    He has represented Mick Gatto and Mark 'Chopper' Reid among other Melbourne gangland characters, but even as a school-kid, lawyer Bernie Balmer had an aversion to bullies.  As a year 11 student he had a difference of opinion with a Brother at Assumption College who responded by punching the young Balmer in the face. Bernie, who would go on to be a more than handy heavyweight boxer, dropped the bully.

    While he was only defending himself, he was forced to leave under threat of expulsion. It still burns that some who knew the truth failed to stand up for him and perhaps that is one of the reasons he became a seven-day-a-week defence lawyer, often giving a voice to those who desperately need one.

    Balmer is respected on both sides of the law and has a unique insight into the criminal justice system.

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    • 27 min
    Graeme Alford: The stick-up, the lawyer and the long lunch

    Graeme Alford: The stick-up, the lawyer and the long lunch

    Graeme Alford was a smart, cunning, hard-working criminal lawyer with a loyal and regular client base all connected to the feared Painters and Dockers Union. It was a licence to print money.

    He was also a heavy punter and prodigious drinker - both vices that are not unknown in the legal fraternity. Eventually, facing huge gambling debts, he stole from his trust fund, was jailed and became a full time criminal.

    It was October 15, 1982, when a half-drunk Alford donned a balaclava, grabbed his shotgun and with fellow armed robbers burst into the Chapel Street Prahran branch of the National Bank. He was a better lawyer than bandit and was arrested at the scene.

    We speak to the police who nabbed him and to Graeme about his descent into the underworld and his battle to reclaim his life.

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    • 27 min
    Kill or be killed: The cop and the country bandit

    Kill or be killed: The cop and the country bandit

    Wayne Sherwell was a country cop on traffic duty on a quiet rural road when he pulled up a speeding motorist who claimed to be a vet. The man behind the wheel was calm and matter-of-fact and there was nothing initially to make the cop suspicious.  

    In fact he was the notorious 'Country Bandit' who made a specialty in robbing regional banks. The confrontation ended with the bandit dead and the policeman recognised as a hero. But for many years Sherwell had to live with the ghost of the man he killed.

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    • 37 min
    Jane Thurgood-Dove: The mistaken identity murder

    Jane Thurgood-Dove: The mistaken identity murder

    Jane Thurgood-Dove was murdered in front of her three children in the driveway of their Muriel Street, Niddrie in November 1997 - as she stepped from the car and with her kids aged 11, six and three still strapped securely in their seats she was confronted by a pot bellied gunman who chased her around the family’s four-wheel-drive before shooting her in broad daylight.

    Jane was just 34 then and appeared to be an average mum in an average street married to an average guy. For years police worked on the theory a man obsessed with her was the killer. They were wrong. A hit team was hired to kill the blonde mother with kids who lived in Muriel Street. But it wasn’t Jane. It was a case of mistaken identity.

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    • 27 min

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