ShirleyFinnMurderInquest

Abe Saffron and the purple circle of

 detectives linked to Shirley Finn murder

A powerful inner circle existed within WA Police at the time of Shirley Finn s murder and the corrupt detectives at its centre drank with Sydney underworld identities Abe Saffron and Roger Rogerson at the Raffles Hotel .. the Shirley Finn \Murder in quest heard...
It was common knowledge within the Criminal Investigations Branch that detective sergeant Don Hancock belonged to a powerful group of corrupt police officers who controlled organised crime in West Australia and the then detective sergeant Bob Kucera was his right hand man and lieutenant.

A police whistleblower in a corrupt political system Frank Scott

http://www.bmartin.cc/dissent/documents/Scott17.pdf

A police whistleblower in a corrupt political system Frank Scott

It was common knowledge within the Criminal Investigations Branch that detective sergeant Don Hancock belonged to a powerful group of corrupt police officers who controlled organised crime in West Australia and the then detective sergeant Bob Kucera was his right hand man and lieutenant.

 It was no coincidence that Mr Peter Mickelberg was taken to Belmont CIB for interrogation by detective sergeant Hancock where his mate, sergeant Kucera, was the Officer-in-Charge. Whilst Mr Mickelberg was receiving a beating by the two interviewing officers, sergeant Kucera conveniently went for a casual stroll to the other side of the road to get hamburgers for lunch and on his return failed to see that anything untoward had occurred in his absence. 

The former Assistant Commissioner of Police had also been accused of perjury in another unrelated court hearing. Although the Attorney General denied that he had committed any criminal misdemeanour by showing Mr Lewandowski’s affidavit to his relative, I expect that any detective who showed such an incriminating document to a criminal suspect he was investigating would either be ordered to have his sanity examined by a psychiatrist or faced a criminal charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice. 

As a result of presenting his sworn affidavit to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Lewandowski paid a high price and was charged with numerous criminal offences including attempting to pervert the course of justice, while the Attorney General escaped any criminal liability for tipping off his relative about the contents of that affidavit. In answer to question in Parliament from Ms Sue Walker dated Tuesday 11 June 2002, Mr McGinty stated: 

(1) Yes, I was aware that the then Detective Sergeant Kucera was the officer in charge of the Belmont Police Station in July 1982, when the interview with Peter Mickelberg took place at that office. 

(2) Yes, I am aware that it was his office in which the interview took place at the Belmont CIB office. It would be very interesting to look at the floor plan of the building, because it might throw an interesting light on the issue. 94 

(3) I was generally aware of the Mickelberg matter. I did not have any detailed personal knowledge; I had simply read about the issue in the Press and I was broadly aware of what had transpired. Obviously, since the affidavit was made available to the DPP and then to me on Thursday last week, I have had occasion to read many documents on the matter, including the Court of Criminal Appeal decision handed down in 1999. As a result, I am more aware of some of the details.

 The answer to the member’s question is that I was generally aware of a range of the circumstances.

 I have become aware of other factors since Thursday last week. I have done extensive background reading to fully acquaint myself with the details in view of the enormous public interest in this issue. The former Attorney General’s obscene hypocrisy can be gauged by examining a speech he made in Parliament on the 25 June 1996, when he was the Opposition Leader. During that speech in the Legislative Assembly, Mr McGinty was quick to identify that Mr John Porter, a member of the Official Corruption Commission and a former Commissioner of Police, had a conflict of interest if he remained on the new Anti-Corruption Commission. He called for Mr Porter to resign his position on the Official Corruption Commission because he would be required to examine a call by the Upper House Tomlinson inquiry into the police force for a judicial inquiry into the Perth Mint Swindle. He said that Mr Porter would have a conflict of interest because his son was one of the investigating officers in the Mickelberg case while Mr Porter was the Commissioner of Police. “It becomes a complicated web when one looks at the relationship”, Mr McGinty said. 

He then told the Legislative Assembly that he had spoken to whistle blower and former detective Frank Scott who told him that Mr Porter was one of three senior police officers who were being examined by the Australian Federal Police into his allegations of corruption; 

the other two senior members were retired Commissioner of Police, Mr Brian Bull and former Deputy Commissioner of Police,

 Les Ayton. 

He also advised the Legislative Assembly that Mr Scott told him that Mr Porter’s position on the OCC had stopped Mr Scott taking his allegations to it several years ago and that Mr Scott had initially complained to the Ombudsman who suggested handing the matter to Mr Bull to investigate and later suggested taking his allegations to the OCC. 

 Within hours of Mr McGinty making that speech in Parliament, the former Commissioner of Police resigned from his position as a member of the Official Corruption Commission. 

However, what Mr McGinty failed to inform his colleagues in the Legislative Assembly, is that I also told him that I couldn’t take my complaints to the Official Corruption Commission because one of my allegations was against the former Commissioner of Police himself, who I claimed had authorised the installation of an illegal intercept on a telephone belonging to one of the Mickelberg brothers.

So while the Attorney General was so astute back in 1996 in identifying the complicated web that the former Commissioner of Police had created, he hypocritically considered that it was quite proper for him to forewarn his in-law of the details contained in Mr Lewandowski’s affidavit. Unlike Mr McGinty’s in-law, the son of the former Commissioner of Police was only a junior member of the investigative team and had never been accused of fabricating evidence against the brothers’.

 I have no doubt that Mr Kucera being advised of the contents of that affidavit was a contributing factor in Mr Lewandowski taking his own life. On the 20 June 1996, Mr McGinty also referred a written question without notice to the Premier regarding my claims of corruptions by police and politician Scott, Frank, Allegations Relating to Liberal Party Members 307. 

Mr McGINTY to the Premier: “Former detective turned whistleblower, Frank Scott, has publicly claimed that the Premier would be reluctant to call a royal commission into police corruption because members of the Liberal Party were linked to corrupt police.

(1) Given that Mr Scott's claims were brought to the Premier's attention in question time last week and considering his stunning admission that he was unaware of media reports about them, what has he done to investigate Mr Scott's allegations and to identify the Liberals to whom he is referring? 

(2) Were the Liberals concerned Hon Phil Lockyer MLC and the member for Kingsley, the person sitting immediately to the Premier's left? When I first contacted Mr McGinty as the Opposition Leader I was extremely impressed with his commitment to have my allegations of corruption by senior police officers and their association with some politicians investigated by a Royal Commission. 

 Shortly after the Labor Party won the State Election he also publicly announced that his Government intended to introduce a Bill into Parliament to protect Whistle Blowers. 

At that stage, I was extremely confident that my allegations of Police and Political corruption would finally be investigated in an ethical manner. 

However, I soon discovered that Mr McGinty was nothing but a fraudster who lacked any basic moral or ethical standards and was only interested in further advancing his own quest for political power.

All of a sudden those emphatic demands he made of the Court Government to investigate my claims of police and political corruption evaporated. His call for a judicial inquiry into the Perth Mint Swindle also evaporated and I suspect that 

http://www.awn.bz/LionelMurphy_AbeSaffron1.html

Lionel Murphy Abe Safron


Just how close was the former high court judge Lionel Murphy

 to the notorious crime boss of Kings Cross Abe Saffron?

‘Murphy was his main man’: the alleged links between the judge and the crime boss Abe Safron

Untangling the relationship between Lionel Murphy and Abe Saffron baffled authorities whose inquiries spanned NSW politics, sex trafficking and Sydney landmarks 

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/15/murphy-was-his-main-man-the-alleged-links-between-the-judge-and-the-boss





Lionel Keith Murphy- former Justice of the High Court Of Australia





Abe Saffron the notorious crime boss of Kings Cross and Australia's Crime Boss who had control of many senior senior politicians, police, government employees, lawyers, barristers, magistrates, judges, justices, premiers, prime ministers, business people and organisations, bankers, financiers, criminal networks gangs and organisations and major criminals.
One of Abe Saffrons control methods was holding embarrassing tapes and videos of such senior people in embarrassing sexual and other encounters ... and other damaging information,which is made public would instantly destroy their career and likely land them in prison with a serious criminal conviction .... Abe Saffron and his even more powerful senior silent partners knew that this was a tried and proven method to keep control of these people .... before such well connected people were allowed to rise to their powerful positions such as a Justice of the High Court of Australia, a premier of a state,a prime minster, a police commissioners etc ... is was necessary to have serious dirt of their private life ...so there is no way they could not obey orders .... from Abe Saffron and his even more powerful senior silent partners

 Former high court judge Lionel Murphy. A 1986 parliamentary commission of inquiry investigating Murphy’s conduct identified 15 allegations. Photograph: Lionel Murphy Foundation

Just how close was the former high court judge Lionel Murphy to the notorious crime boss of Kings Cross Abe Saffron?

That question preoccupied investigators on the 1986 commission of inquiry into whether Murphy’s conduct constituted misbehaviour in office.

The extent of their concern is revealed in documents released on Thursday, 31 years after the commission was terminated without making findings.

The commission had before it two allegations that Murphy had lobbied New South Wales Labor politicians on behalf of companies associated with Saffron in order to win them lucrative contracts. One was for the refurbishment of Central railway station. The other was for the lease on Luna Park.

The allegations were based on illegally taped conversations between Murphy and his friend, Sydney solicitor Morgan Ryan, which had formed part of the Age Tapes reports in 1984 and later led to the Stewart royal commission.

But was Murphy doing it because of his friendship with Ryan, who was known to be close to Saffron? Or was there a more direct relationship?

In July 1986, investigator Andrew Phelan met with Superintendent Drew at the 20th floor of NSW police headquarters to find out.

According to his file note, Drew reassured him that “apart from what [crime figure] James McCartney Anderson had told Sergeant Warren Molloy, no link between Saffron and his honour had come to light”.

What that particular link was is not disclosed. But Molloy, then special licensing seargent in the Kings Cross region, had extensive knowledge of Saffron’s operations. Molloy was overseas and did not return until a day after the inquiry was wound up, so Phelan never got to interview him.

However, Phelan also noted that “we were told that the vice squad had been conducting a lengthy investigation into allegations that Filipino girls were imported under some racket involving [solicitor] Morgan Ryan to work as prostitutes at the Venus Room”.

“It was suggested that Ernie ‘the good’ Shepherd, head of the vice squad may be able to tell us something about suggestions that Saffron procured females for his honour.”

The police also confided that that they were investigating several allegations that had come out of the Stewart royal commission, “including the alleged involvement of his honour, Ryan, Saffron, the Yuens and police in the Dixon Street casinos matter”.

The file on the commission of inquiry’s investigation into the Luna Park lease reveals that the main evidence they were relying on was from Mr Egge of the NSW police who had given evidence to the Stewart royal commission based on the phone taps he had listened to as part of illegal phone tapping that the NSW police had undertaken. They became known as the Age Tapes.

Ryan had been one of their targets and conversations with Murphy had been picked up.

In the early months of 1980, Murphy was alleged to have told his friend that he had intervened with the NSW premier Neville Wran on behalf of the Saffron-linked company to secure him the Luna Park lease.

The government announced in early 1980 that all six tenders were rejected and eventually called fresh tenders. The winner was Harbourside Amusements. In its early incarnation it was controlled by a solicitor, David Baffsky, who was known to act for Abe Saffron, according to the commission files. But later it had Sir Arthur George and Michael Edgley as its public face and Saffron’s nephew as its secretary.

The commission also sought help from the National Crime Commission and the Stewart royal commission into organised crime.

They were sent the transcript of an interview with James West, part owner of Raffles nightclub who claimed that he had met Murphy at Saffron’s place, and that “Murphy was his main man, you probably know that”.

At the time it was wound up, the commission records show it was planning to call Saffron, Ryan, Inspector Molloy and numerous denizens of Sydney’s crime world to give evidence.

Murphy died a few months later. The truth or otherwise of his involvement with Saffron remains unproved.


Abraham Gilbert "Abe" Saffron

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abe_Saffron




Abraham Gilbert "Abe" Saffron (6 October 1919 – 15 September 2006) was an Australian nightclub owner and property developer who was reputed to have been one of the major figures in Australian organised crime in the latter half of the 20th century.

For several decades, members of government, the judiciary and the media made repeated allegations that Saffron was involved in a wide range of criminal activities, including illegal alcohol sales, dealing in stolen goods, illegal gambling, prostitution, drug dealing, bribery and extortion. He was charged with a range of offences including "scandalous conduct", possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of stolen goods, but his only major conviction was for tax evasion.

He gained nationwide notoriety in the media, earning the nicknames "Mr Sin", "a Mr Big of Australian crime" and "the boss of the Cross" (a reference to the Kings Cross red-light district, where he owned numerous businesses).

He was alleged to have been involved in police corruption and bribing politicians. Saffron always vigorously denied such accusations, and was renowned for the extent to which he was willing to sue for libel against his accusers.

Abe Saffron’s Early Life

Saffron was born in Annandale in 1919, of Russian Jewish descent. He was educated at Annandale and Leichhardt primary schools and at the highly prestigious Fort Street High School. Although his mother hoped he would become a doctor, Saffron left school at 15 and began his business career in the family's drapery firm in the late 1930s. He enlisted in the Australian Army on 5 August 1940, and reached the rank of Corporal before being discharged 4 January 1944.  Saffron did not serve overseas. Saffron then served in the Merchant Navy from January to June 1944.

Abe Saffron’s Career

Upon leaving the Merchant Navy, he became involved with a notorious Sydney nightclub called The Roosevelt Club, co-owned by "prominent Sydney businessman" Sammy Lee. It is claimed that Saffron began his rise to power in the Sydney underworld through his involvement in the lucrative sale of black-market alcohol at the Roosevelt.

At the time, NSW clubs and pubs were subject to strict licensing laws which limited trading hours and regulated alcohol prices and sale conditions. When Saffron began working at the Roosevelt, alcohol sales were also subject to wartime rationing regulations. A subsequent Royal Commission into the NSW liquor trade heard evidence that in the early 1950s The Rooer being declared a "disorderly house" by the NSW Police Commissioner. After Saffron sold the Roosevelt, it was able to be re-opened. Saffron then relocated to Newcastle; he worked there for a time as a bookmaker, but it has been reported that he was not successful.

When questioned by a Royal Commission about how he had obtained the substantial sum (£3000) with which he bought his first pub licence in Newcastle, he claimed that the money had come from savings he had accumulated from his bookmaking activity, although he was notably vague when pressed about the exact sources of this income.

In 1948 Saffron returned to Sydney and began purchasing licences for a string of Sydney pubs. It was later alleged that he also established covert controlling interests in numerous other pubs through a series of "dummy" owners. The 1954 Maxwell Royal Commission heard evidence that Saffron used these pubs to obtain legitimately purchased alcohol, diverting it to the various nightclubs and other businesses that he operated and selling at black market prices, realising vast profits.

By the 1960s Saffron owned or controlled a string of nightclubs, strip joints and sex shops in Kings Cross, including the Sydney club Les Girls, home of the famous transvestite revue. During this period he began to expand his business operations into "legitimate" enterprises and to establish holdings in other states, such as the Raffles Hotel, Perth, leading several state governments to launch inquiries into his activities.

International connections

The Australian Commonwealth Police alleged that Mr Saffron met with Chicago mobster, Joseph Dan Testa, in 1969, while Testa was in Australia.

Juanita Nielsen Disappearance

One of the most contentious incidents in Saffron's career was his rumoured involvement in the disappearance and presumed murder of newspaper publisher and anti-development campaigner Juanita Nielsen in July 1975. Although no direct connection to the crime was ever established, Saffron was shown to have had proven connections with several people suspected of being involved in Nielsen's disappearance. Saffron owned the Carousel nightclub in Kings Cross, where Nielsen was last seen on the day of her disappearance; his long-serving deputy James McCartney Anderson managed the club; one of the men later convicted of conspiring to kidnap Nielsen was Eddie Trigg, the night manager of the club; it was also reported that Saffron had financial links with developer Frank Theeman, against whose development Nielsen was campaigning.

Expose

In the 1980s investigative journalist David Hickie published his landmark book The Prince and The Premier, which included a substantial section detailing Saffron's alleged involvement in many aspects of organised crime in Sydney. The book's central thesis was that former NSW Premier Robert Askin was corrupt, that Askin and Police Commissioners Norman Allan and Fred Hanson received huge bribes from the illegal gaming industry over many years, and that Askin and other senior public officials had overseen and approved of a major expansion of organised crime in New South Wales.

Using only material that was already in the public domain, obtained from evidence tendered to royal commissions and allegations made by politicians under parliamentary privilege, Hickie devoted an entire section of his book to Saffron's business activities. Among the most damning material was the detailed evidence tendered to the 1954 Maxwell Royal Commission into the NSW liquor trade, which concluded that Saffron had established covert controlling interests in numerous NSW pubs to supply his "sly grog" outlets, and that he had systematically made false statements to the Commission and sworn false oaths before the NSW Licensing Court.

Furthermore, in the second edition of The Politics of Heroin by Alfred W. McCoy, in a chapter summarising the Nugan Hand Bank it is mentioned that Askin and Saffron regularly had dinner together at the Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant, owned by American expatriate Maurice Bernard Houghton.

The NSW Police were unable to effect any substantial convictions against Saffron over a period of almost 40 years, which only served to reinforce the public concerns about his alleged influence over state police and government officials, but after the establishment of the National Crime Authority in the 1980s, he became a major target for the new federal investigative body.

Tax Evasion

In November 1987, following an extensive investigation by the NCA and the Australian Taxation Office, Saffron was found guilty of tax evasion. His conviction was largely made possible by evidence provided by his former associate Jim Anderson, who testified that Saffron's clubs routinely kept two sets of accounts—one set of so-called "black" books, which recorded actual turnover, and another set ("white" books) which were purposely fabricated with the intent of evading tax by falsifying income.

Despite several legal appeals, Saffron served 17 months in jail.  Judge Loveday said on sentencing "In my view the maximum penalty of three years is inadequate."

Saffron undertook a number of highly publicised defamation cases against various publications; he unsuccessfully sued The Sydney Morning Herald but was successful in later suits against the authors, publishers and distributors of Tough: 101 Australian Gangsters  and the publishers of The Gold Coast Bulletin, which contained a defamatory crossword clue.

Abe Saffron’s Death

Prior to his death he lived in retirement at Potts Point, Sydney. 

Abe Saffron died at St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney in 2006, aged 86. 



Ex-Perth brothel madam Linda Watson threatened by vice


Former madam Linda Watson yesterday gave evidence

at the inquest into the murder of Shirley Finn

https://thewest.com.au/news/crime/ex-perth-brothel-madam-linda-watson-threatened-by-vice-ng-b88695913z

A former brothel madam says vice squad boss Bernie Johnson threatened she would “end up like Shirley Finn” if she did not co-operate with him years after the brothel owner’s unsolved murder.

Giving evidence yesterday at the inquest into Ms Finn’s 1975 gangland-style murder, Linda Watson claimed Mr Johnson knocked on her door in the early 1980s in a bid to convince her to help him take down another officer.

Ms Watson said Mr Johnson developed an “evil eye look” and warned she could suffer the same fate as Ms Finn, who was shot four times in the head.

“He said ‘if you don’t give me that information, if you don’t give me what I want, you are going to end up like Shirley Finn’,” Ms Watson said.

“I had heard rumours that the cops knocked her off, in the industry, for years.

“Obviously I was worried that I might be knocked off. I was fearing for my life.”

Ms Watson told the inquest she spoke to police about the containment policy before opening the brothel Man International in East Perth in 1980.

She said she paid officers $100 a week for each prostitute, which added up to a weekly payment of $2000, until she got sick of repeatedly being “busted”.



William Burnett Former Western Australianpoliceman  told the inquest he

 had spent time trying to find the gun that was used to shoot Ms Finn

Under cross-examination, Ms Watson was questioned about why she had not mentioned Mr Johnson’s alleged threat or the payments to police in past statements.

She said she kept the information to herself after her previous lawyer warned she could get sued for defamation.

Ms Watson, who set up the House of Hope in 1997 to help women out of prostitution, rejected claims by WA Police lawyer David Leigh that her story was a “recent invention”.

Earlier yesterday, former policeman William Burnett told the inquest he had spent time trying to find the gun that was used to shoot Ms Finn.

He said he was in the process of trying to find and test every .22 calibre Anschutz rifle in Australia when he was taken off the case.

Mr Burnett said he was not aware of suggestions a police gun was missing at the time and did not test any police guns during his time on the job. He testified police guns were kept in a secure area and were not available for every “Tom, Dick and Harry” to pick up and have a look at.

The inquest is expected to resume next year.                                                                                


Madam recounts vice boss Finn threat

Elle Farcic, PerthNow

December 20, 2017 9:25PM
https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/crime/madam-recounts-vice-boss-finn-threat-ng-b88697091z

Former madam Linda Watson yesterday gave evidence at the inquest into the murder of Shirley Finn

A FORMER brothel madam says vice squad boss Bernie Johnson threatened she would “end up like Shirley Finn” if she did not co-operate with him years after the brothel owner’s unsolved murder.

Giving evidence yesterday at the inquest into Ms Finn’s 1975 gangland-style murder, Linda Watson claimed Mr Johnson knocked on her door in the early 1980s in a bid to convince her to help him take down another officer.

Ms Watson said Mr Johnson developed an “evil eye look” and warned she could suffer the same fate as Ms Finn, who was shot four times in the head.

“He said ‘if you don’t give me that information, if you don’t give me what I want, you are going to end up like Shirley Finn’,” Ms Watson said.

“I had heard rumours that the cops knocked her off, in the industry, for years.



Former policeman  told the inquest he had spent time trying to find the gun that was used to shoot Ms Finn.

“Obviously I was worried that I might be knocked off. I was fearing for my life.”

Ms Watson told the inquest she spoke to police about the containment policy before opening the brothel Man International in East Perth in 1980.

She said she paid officers $100 a week for each prostitute, which added up to a weekly payment of $2000, until she got sick of repeatedly being “busted”.

Under cross-examination, Ms Watson was questioned about why she had not mentioned Mr Johnson’s alleged threat or the payments to police in past statements.

She said she kept the information to herself after her previous lawyer warned she could get sued for defamation.

Ms Watson, who set up the House of Hope in 1997 to help women out of prostitution, rejected claims by WA Police lawyer David Leigh that her story was a “recent invention”.

Earlier yesterday, former policeman William Burnett told the inquest he had spent time trying to find the gun that was used to shoot Ms Finn.

He said he was in the process of trying to find and test every .22 calibre Anschutz rifle in Australia when he was taken off the case.

Mr Burnett said he was not aware of suggestions a police gun was missing at the time and did not test any police guns during his time on the job. He testified police guns were kept in a secure area and were not available for every “Tom, Dick and Harry” to pick up and have a look at.

The inquest is expected to resume next year.

Shirley Finn murder inquest told vice squad chief
Bernie Johnson threatened another madam


By Briana Shepherd

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-20/shirley-finn-murder-inquest-told-bernie-johnson-threatened-madam/9277348

 



Shirley Finn was found shot dead in her car at Royal Perth Golf Course. (Facebook: Bridget Shewring)

 

A former Perth brothel madam was told she would "end up like Shirley Finn" if she refused to help vice squad chief Bernie Johnson fabricate evidence against another policeman, an inquest into Ms Finn's 1975 murder has heard.

Linda Watson said she entered the sex industry in Perth in 1979, four years after Ms Finn was killed.

The infamous brothel madam was shot four times in the head and her body was found at Royal Perth Golf Course just two days before a tax hearing where she had been threatening to blow the whistle on illicit dealings by politicians, businessmen and police.

Ms Watson told the court she was paying the police under an "informal containment policy" to run her brothel, Man International, which she opened in 1980.

She said before opening her establishment, she had met with two vice squad detectives, Niven and Wicks, who outlined the rules to her and told her she would need to pay them $100 per girl per week.

With 20 girls registered on her books, she said that amounted to $100,000 a year, but she agreed because there was a "lot of money to be made".

Ms Watson told the court despite the fact she believed she was paying for police protection, her brothel was constantly raided, so she complained.

But when the raids continued, she said she stopped paying police.



Bernie Johnson was one of the officers who investigated Ms Finn's murder. 
(Supplied)

Some time later she said Mr Johnson visited her at her home, when he asked her to implicate an officer in illegal activity.

"He was hoping I'd help take down a copper," she said.

'He had the evil eye'

Ms Watson said she knew the officer — someone she had been in a relationship with previously — so she refused.

"He said if you don't give me that information, if you don't give me what I want, you're going to end up like Shirley Finn," she told the court.

"He had the evil eye look, my hair stood on end.

"He wasn't just saying it, he really looked at me, I believed he meant it."

She told the court she was fearful for her life and went to the police, telling them everything she knew about the corruption over a 40-hour period.

She said soon after, a man punched her in the face while she was closing her brothel and told her it was a message from the police.

Ms Watson said she went public the next day, airing her story on commercial TV.

Inaccuracies questioned

Counsel for the Police Commissioner David Leigh pushed her on inaccuracies from previous statements.

He told the court that in a record from 1981, she said Mr Johnson had been with another detective the day he threatened her, and had only told her she'd never work again if she did not help him.

Mr Leigh also asked why she had insisted in previous statements that she had never paid police.

But Ms Watson told the court her lawyer had advised her to say that at the time.

Twenty years ago Ms Watson opened Linda's House of Hope, a rehab centre for women involved in drugs and prostitution.

In 2013 she was nominated as a local hero in the Australian of the Year awards.

The inquest will resume next year.


Shirley Finn inquest: Former detective Laurie Tyler gives evidence

Tim Clarke, PerthNow

December 11, 2017 

https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/crime/shirley-finn-inquest-former-detective-laurie-taylor-gives-evidence-ng-b88687504z



Finn Inquest: Ex-cop Laurie Tyler leaves the Magistrates Court today. Photo by Michael Wilson, The West Australian.


A FORMER police officer has told the inquest into the gangland-style killing of Shirley Finn how he witnessed Sydney crime lord Abe Saffron and corrupt cop turned killer Roger Rogerson drinking with WA detectives at the Raffles Hotel around the time the brothel madam was murdered.

Laurie Tyler, a former detective at the former Criminal Investigation Branch himself, gave evidence before coroner Barry King, who continues to hold the inquiry into Ms Finn’s murder in 1975.

And in that evidence, he said he had a clear memory of spotting the two high-profile eastern states identities in the company of Detective Bernie Johnson – the head of WA vice squad at the time, and another detective Mick Reed.

Mr Tyler said while he could not say whether he saw the group before or after Ms Finn was shot in the head four times in June 1975, it was definitely in that year.

And he also said he had a memory of mentioning Mr Saffron’s presence to the officer in charge of the murder investigation to other police at the time.

“I thought it was something to take note of,” Mr Tyler said.

He said that years later, when the rumours about Johnson’s involvement in Ms Finn’s brutal slaying were well known, as was Rogerson’s crimes, he realised the possible significance of the meeting, and its timing.


A former Detective has told the inquest into the murder of brothel madam Shirley Finn about a ‘Purple Circle’ of corrupt and influential officers in the force at the time of the murder.

Mr Tyler also told the coroner about a so-called “Purple Circle” of corrupt and influential officers in the force at the time, which was restated by another former police officer witness Robin Thoy.

Mr Thoy, an officer for 29 years, said that is was well known amongst the police that Johnson was the head of the so-called circle, recruiting officers with invitations to perform corrupt duties and then be favoured for them.

Also giving evidence at the resumption of the inquest was Frank Carter, who previous police witness Jim Boland said had told him that another Sydney crime figure – Arthur “Neddy” Smith had flown to Perth the day before the murder.

Mr Carter, via phone, confirmed he knew Smith well, and had once shared a cell with him in prison, and that he had met Boland in 1975.

But when asked whether he had informed Boland of his presence in Perth in June 1975, or that he had told police he could be Ms Finn’s killer, Mr Carter laughed, and denied the claim.

“I wouldn’t have a clue why he would say that … it is f***ing news to me,” Mr Carter said.

During later questioning by a lawyer for Ms Finn’s daughter Bridget, Mr Carter became angry at suggestions of cooperation with police.

“I would not have made a deal with anyone in a f***ing uniform,” Mr Carter said via phone link.

The inquest continues.

                                                                                                                                

Shirley Finn inquest: Purple circle of corrupt detectives drank with Abe Saffron

By Joanna Menagh

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-11/shirley-finn-inquest-witness-denies-accusing-neddy-smith/9247760

A powerful so-called "purple circle" of corrupt detectives existed in WA's police force at the time of the murder of brothel madam Shirley Finn, an inquest into her death has heard.

Former detective Robin Thoy told the hearing the "heavies" of the group were from the "consorting, vice and break-in" squads, and its leader was vice squad chief Bernie Johnson.

The inquest has heard Mr Johnson was the second detective to arrive at the crime scene near Royal Perth Golf Club, where Ms Finn was found shot four times in the head at the wheel of her car.

Her death in June 1975 came two days before a tax hearing at which she was threatening to expose illicit dealings by politicians, businessmen and police.

Mr Thoy was a junior detective at the time and described the purple circle as "pretty powerful people" who "could do whatever they wanted."

He testified he was once invited to join the circle, but had refused to do what was asked of him by Mr Johnson.

"What he wanted me to do was give evidence in his case," Mr Thoy said.

"I didn't have a clue … I said I wouldn't do it and I knew my career in the CIB was not going to be very good, if at all.

"You didn't say no to Bernie Johnson. He was a very powerful figure. Once you say that, you don't go anywhere."

'It was straight out extortion'

Giving evidence via video link from Tasmania, Mr Thoy also said he was aware police received payments from prostitutes.

"It was just straight out extortion … the girls paid for protection. Bernie was the leader," he said.

When questioned about the veracity of his claims, Mr Thoy replied: "I was in the CIB for 19 years. I watched, I saw if they did well or not.

"I'm not making it up — I was there."

Another former detective, Laurie Tyler, told the inquest he had heard of "the purple circle" and when he first started, it was suggested to him that he should be associating with certain officers if he "wanted a long career".

However, he said they never approached him and he did not know how it operated.

Abe Saffron 'with police at pub'

Mr Tyler also testified he saw senior detectives, including Mr Johnson, at the Raffles Hotel in the company of its owner, underworld figure Abe Saffron.

He said police officer and now convicted killer Roger Rogerson was also present, but at that time he had not been exposed as corrupt and was considered to be a "highly decorated detective."

He had not found it surprising to see police with Saffron, because "that was their job, to associate with criminals. As a junior detective, I didn't ask questions."

Another witness, Kevin Parker, 75, denied telling police in 1975 that underworld figure Arthur "Neddy" Smith was likely responsible for murdering Ms Finn.

In testimony dotted with expletives, Mr Parker described as "shit" evidence from former police officer James Boland that he had said Smith "would have" been the one who killed Ms Finn.

In August, 

Mr Boland told the inquest Mr Parker had told him Smith had flown to Perth on the night of the murder
 
and arranged to meet Ms Finn, whom she "fancied".

Mr Boland said Mr Parker had offered to provide the information in return for the downgrading of charges against a friend.

Giving evidence from Melbourne via a phone link, Mr Parker laughed when the counsel assisting the coroner, Toby Bishop, put it to him that he had told Mr Boland Neddy Smith was responsible for Ms Finn's murder.

"Are you for real? Come on, fair dinkum. What is this shit mate? Jesus f***ing Christ," Mr Parker said.

Mr Parker testified he did not believe he would have tried to do "a deal" with Mr Boland to try to help his friend, saying "that's trying to bribe someone. I know I'm a bit of a dope but I don't think so."

He also angrily rejected suggestions from David Leigh, counsel for the police commissioner, that he was "choosing not to recall" what he said in 1975, to assist or protect Mr Smith.

"Why would I want to protect someone's who's dead? I don't know where you're coming from. The answer is no, I don't recall."

Smith is not dead — he is currently serving life jail sentences in Sydney for the murder of two men, one in 1983 and the other in 1987.

The inquest continues.




Sydney underworld figure Abe Saffron was with police at the Raffles, the inquest has heard.

Shirley Finn was found slumped over the wheel of her Dodge in 1975.


Vice Squad boss Bernie Johnson won't give evidence in Shirley Finn inquest

By Joanna Menagh

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/detective-too-unwell-to-face-shirley-finn-inquest-doctor-says/9247352


The inquest continues into the death of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn who was found murdered in her car in 1975. (Facebook: Bridget Shewring)

The former detective implicated in the 1975 murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn will not give evidence at an inquest because he has Alzheimer's disease and advanced dementia.

Bernie Johnson, who is now aged in his 80s, was the head of the Vice Squad at the time Ms Finn was shot in the head four times as she sat in her car near the Royal Perth Golf Club in June 1975.

Her death was two days before a tax hearing at which Ms Finn had threatened to expose illicit dealings by police, politicians and businessmen.

Mr Johnson was the second detective to arrive at the murder scene.

A close friend of Ms Finn testified last month he believed Mr Johnson organised to have her killed, but said he was still too afraid to say why.

Other witnesses have testified they were threatened by Mr Johnson to keep quiet, while the inquest heard yesterday from former detective Robin Thoy that Mr Johnson was the lead of a powerful group of corrupt officers known as the "purple circle" who could do whatever they wanted.



The inquest was told former WA Police detective Bernie Johnson has dementia so far advanced he should not be called on to give evidence. (Supplied)

There has also been evidence Ms Finn was "targeted" by Mr Johnson, who was described as feared by many, including then then police minister Ray O'Connor who went on to be WA premier.

A statement from Mr Johnson's general practitioner, Fola Bello, was today read to the court, which said the former detective had been in an aged care facility since September last year and was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, advanced dementia and depression.

The statement said Mr Johnson was showing "behavioural and psychotic symptoms of dementia" which included "aggression, agitation, confusion and inappropriate behaviour".

The doctor said Mr Johnson's condition had progressively declined and he was showing "a complete lack of understanding of day-to-day activities".

"His memory and recollection of both recent and long-term events is markedly impaired and unreliable, with associated inability to maintain or sustain any reasonable chain of thought." he said.

"I am of the opinion he has no testamentary capability to give evidence or make any reasonable contribution to any legal proceedings."

More revealed about the "purple circle"

Another former detective provided a different interpretation of the so called "purple circle" within the WA Police.

Lindsay Okamoto said he knew it as a group of senior administrative people "on the sixth floor" who were "all involved in the Catholic Church" and "all lived in the same area".

Mr Okamoto said as far as he was concerned there was nothing "sinister" about the group, which people would joke about, and say if you could not get a particular job, you had better join the purple circle.

"It wasn't anything criminal or illegal, it was just a reference to a group of people," he told the inquest.

Mr Okamoto was the exhibits officer in the initial investigation into Ms Finn's murder and said that at the time there were no concerns among police about any of the officers involved in the case.

He said it was not until about 10 years later that he heard rumours that Mr Johnson may have been involved.

He also said he never heard anything about members of the Vice Squad receiving "protection" payments from brothel madams or prostitutes.

Rumours of police involvement in Shirley Finn's 1975 murder have been rife from the outset. (ABC News)

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-06/the-mystery-of-the-shirley-finn-murder/8322810

The mystery of the Shirley Finn murder

Posted 

Shirley Finn's murder was described as a "bowling ball"-style execution.


Shirley Finn murder inquest told detective Arthur Simms 'confessed' to murder

By Joanna Menagh

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/shirley-finn-murder-inquest-told-officer-confessed-to-murder/9256054

 

 The question of who killed Shirley Finn remains a mystery more than 42 years after her death. (Facebook: Bridget Shewring)

The inquest into the murder of brothel madam Shirley Finn has been told a senior detective named Arthur Simms left a group of colleagues "gobsmacked" when he allegedly confessed he was the one "who pulled the trigger".

The evidence came from former police officer, Chris Ferris, who testified the confession was made at a regular social gathering of officers in the Pinjarra station after Mr Simms, who'd previously been in the CIB, took over as the officer in charge.

Ms Finn's body was found in her Dodge sedan near the Royal Perth Golf Club in June 1975.

She had four bullet wounds to her head.

Giving evidence via telephone, Mr Ferris said Mr Simms told the "gobsmacked" group that Ms Finn "was not playing the game and he pulled the trigger on her".

"It startled me, it alarmed me. I stopped going to the gatherings because I didn't like hearing that stuff … if he was guilty, I didn't want to be around him," he said.

"Was he telling the truth ? I wouldn't know but he seemed to be adamant he'd done it."

Mr Ferris said he had been "haunted" by the confession ever since but maintained he had never been asked before to make a statement about it.

When asked if he said anything to his superiors at the time, Mr Ferris replied: "I would have been finished in the police force if I did that."

"The repercussions would have been catastrophic if you went and told someone. You would be drummed out of the job."

Ferris rejects grudge motivation

Under questioning from David Leigh, counsel for the Police Commissioner, Mr Ferris rejected suggestions that he was motivated by "resentment' or "a grudge" against Mr Simms, who he admitted had tried to get him sacked.

Mr Ferris claimed after he stopped going to the social gatherings Mr Simms had "turned on him" and "verballed him" to try to get him falsely charged with stealing,

But Mr Ferris said it ended up being only an internal departmental matter, after which he got a transfer out of Pinjarra station and went on to do 27 years of frontline policing.

"I have no animosity towards the man because the day he made the confession I treated him with great caution."

Arthur Simms is the third detective to be directly implicated in Ms Finn's murder in evidence at the inquest.

Previous witnesses have named the head of the Vice Squad, Bernie Johnson, as possibly ordering the shooting, while one witness identified former CIB chief Don Hancock as the person who killed her.

Earlier in his evidence Mr Ferris rejected claims from an "informant" that he had told someone at a private party in Tom Price that he had witnessed "the execution" by police "of a well dressed woman in Como."

Mr Ferris described the claim as "bullshit", saying he had never seen anybody executed, apart from on TV.

"That's never happened in my life. I've never seen a woman executed. I've never seen police officers execute a woman."

The inquest continues.

A black and white photo of a car with its two front doors open



 Shirley Finn was found slumped over the wheel of her Dodge in 1975. (Supplied)


The fearsome cop, 'Silver Fox', ex-premier and slain brothel madam

A composite of historical images of Shirley Finn in a cowboy hat, Ray O'Connor, Bernie Johnson and Don Hancock.
The Shirley Finn inquest has painted a picture of a city in the swinging 70s wracked with crime, gambling, and prostitution.

Will we ever know who killed Shirley Finn?

A tight head and shoulders shot of a smiling Shirley Finn.
Violence, sex and crooked cops — the 1975 execution-style murder of the Perth brothel madam reads like a crime novel. But discovering who did it may prove impossible.


Detective Arthur Simms ‘confessed to colleagues’ that he killed Shirley Finn

The Australian- December 14, 2017

 

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/detective-arthur-simms-confessed-to-colleagues-that-he-killed-shirley-finn/news-story/9811bb12e4821d46a53f92b4b59fba3d


 Bernie Johnson the former detective implicated in the 1975 murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn.

The bizarre inquest into the murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn has been told of yet another possible killer, with claims that a former senior detective, ­Arthur Simms, once confessed to colleagues that he “pulled the trigger”.

Former police officer Chris Ferris told the inquest yesterday that Simms, who was his supervisor in the Pinjarra police station at the time, admitted to the crime to several colleagues during a sundowner in the years after the 1975 murder of Finn.

But Mr Ferris, giving evidence via a phone link, said he never reported the confession because he would have “finished in the police force the day after” for breaching the “code of silence”.

Mr Ferris was a junior officer at the time and Simms — now dead — was a detective sergeant.

He said he had long been haunted by Simms’s startling confession.

“I remember the words ‘I pulled the trigger’,” he told Coroner Barry King.

“From that day forward I was of the opinion that he and some ­others might have worked together to do the job.”

Mr Ferris’s evidence follows testimony from other witnesses that have linked several other identities to the unsolved murder, including former police vice squad boss Bernie Johnson, one-time prominent detective Don Hancock, former WA premier Ray O’Connor and Sydney crime figure Roger Rogerson.

Mr Ferris said he had treated Simms with “great caution” after the confession.

He later fell out with Simms, who tried to have him charged with stealing, but he said he did not hold a grudge against his former boss.

Mr Ferris, who served in the police force for 27 years, said he had heard rumours of Mr Johnson’s involvement in the Finn murder. Mr Johnson has been ­excused from giving evidence after the court was told this week he has advanced dementia.

Finn’s body was found in her distinctive Dodge sedan next to Royal Perth Golf Club in South Perth on the morning of June 23, 1975. She had been shot four times in the head.

Finn, who was 33, had a tax debt of more than $100,000 and was threatening to expose police officers to whom she was paying bribes.

The inquest continues.


Coroner to investigate 1972 'overdose' of brothel madam and whistleblower

Queensland orders inquiry into death of Shirley Brifman, who was due to appear as chief witness in a police corruption case

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jan/19/coroner-to-investigate-1972-overdose-of-brothel-madam-and-whistleblower



 Brisbane brothel madam and whistleblower Shirley Brifman, who died in 1972. Photograph: Brifman family

Queensland coroner will delve into the death of a police corruption whistleblower who supposedly overdosed while under police protection 45 years ago.

The Queensland attorney general, Yvette D’Ath, has ordered the state coroner to “make inquiries” into the death of Shirley Brifman, who died shortly before she was due to appear as chief witness in a perjury case against a notorious detective.

D’Ath referred to people having information that could shed light on Brifman’s death, saying a coroner’s inquiries could determine whether a full inquest should be held.

Brifman died on or around 4 March 1972 in what police at the time ruled was a drug overdose at a police “safe house” in Clayfield, in Brisbane’s north.

The brothel madam and sex worker was due to testify the following month in a perjury case against a senior detective, the late Tony Murphy, a close associate of corrupt police commissioner Terry Lewis.

Brifman had told police investigators that Murphy had coached her to give false evidence at a royal commission into police misconduct at Brisbane’s National hotel in the mid-1960s.

Brifman, who attested to paying off police for decades while involved in illegal prostitution in Brisbane and Sydney, including running brothels in Kings Cross and Potts Point, also went public with corruption claims via national media in 1971.

The case against Murphy, who went on to become assistant police commissioner and coined the term “the joke” to describe Queensland’s system of corrupt police kickbacks, was withdrawn after Brifman’s death. Murphy died in 2010.

Brifman’s body was found by her daughter, Mary Anne, who said she was never interviewed by police and pushed to have her mother’s death examined by the landmark Fitzgerald inquiry in the mid-1980s. The inquiry concluded there was no evidence of Murphy’s involvement in Brifman’s death.

Mary Anne petitioned D’Ath’s office in 2015 for an inquest.

Mary Anne told the Courier-Mail’s Matthew Condon, who has written extensively on police corruption under Lewis, that she had several witnesses ready.

“My mother’s death had a horrendous impact on my life,” she said. “I think I have a right to a voice at last. I need to express it. There is a trail of evidence to be followed up.”

D’Ath said: “No inquest has ever been held in relation to [Brifman’s] death and I believe that Ms Brifman died in such circumstances as to require the coroner to make inquiries.

“I understand there also may be some people in possession of further information relating to Ms Brifman’s death.

“In recent years there has been some public interest around the circumstances into Ms Brifman’s death and I believe it is in the interest of justice for the coroner to make further inquiries.

“The coroner will, upon making those inquiries, be in the position to determine whether an inquest should be held.”


A police whistleblower in a corrupt political system Frank Scott

http://www.bmartin.cc/dissent/documents/Scott17.pdf

A police whistleblower in a corrupt political system Frank Scott

 Both major political parties in West Australia espouse open and accountable government when they are in opposition, however once their side of politics is able to form Government, the only thing that changes is that they move to the opposite side of the Chamber and their roles are merely reversed.



The opposition loves the whistleblower while the government of the day loathes them. It was therefore refreshing to see that in 2001 when the newly appointed Attorney General in the Labor government, Mr Jim McGinty, promised that his Government would introduce whistleblower protection legislation by the end of that year. He stated that his legislation would protect those whistleblowers who suffered victimization and would offer some provisions to allow them to seek compensation.

How shallow those words were; here we are some sixteen years later and yet no such legislation has been introduced.

Below I have written about the effects I suffered from trying to expose corrupt senior police officers and the trauma and victimization I suffered which led to the loss of my livelihood. Whilst my efforts to expose corrupt police officers made me totally unemployable, those senior officers who were subject of my allegations were promoted and in two cases were awarded with an Australian Police Medal. I describe my experiences in the following pages in the form of a letter to West Australian parliamentarian Rob Johnson.

See also my article “The rise of an organised bikie crime gang,” September 2017, http://www.bmartin.cc/dissent/documents/Scott17b.pdf 1 Hon. Robert (Rob) Frank Johnson MLA JP Suite 2, Endeavour House Corner Endeavour Road and, Banks Ave, Hillarys WA 6025 (08) 9307 8311

 Dear Mr. Johnson

 My name is Frank Scott and I am a former detective sergeant who was discharged from the Police Service after alleging that some members of the police hierarchy were corrupt. I had intended to contact you last year when I saw the “death notice” you placed in the paper after Peter Ward had died.

 I had no idea that you and he were friends but I am sure that if you knew Peter well, you would have found him to be an extremely honest person and one that went out of his way to help people who needed legal assistance. During the time when Peter was the Ministerial advisor to the Police Minister, he was contacted by an informant who claimed that Detective Sergeant Colin Pace had been receiving corrupt payments from prostitutes and illegal gaming operators whilst he was the officer-in-charge (OIC) of Port Hedland CIB. The informant also told Peter to contact me and I would be able to provide evidence of a corrupt association between detective sergeant Colin Pace and race horse trainer, Bob Meyers.

 This incident occurred when I was the sergeant-in-charge of the CIB Bank Fraud section and detective senior sergeant Pace was my direct supervising officer. I was able to glean evidence that sergeant Pace had concealed a letter of complaint and supporting documentary evidence which had been forwarded to the Fraud Squad for investigation by a large corporation who came to the conclusion that race horse trainer Bob Meyers had presented them with a fraudulent cheque. He was then responsible for falsifying the file register which I maintained to record details of all the investigations carried out by my subordinate officers. Detective sergeant Les Ayton who subsequently became the Deputy Commissioner of Police was also a serving member of the Fraud Squad at the time of this incident and had a close friendship with sergeant Pace. Both of them had previously served in the Fraud Squad together years earlier when the Commissioner of Police, Brian Bull was the Senior Sergeant-in-Charge of the Fraud Squad. As a result of the allegations of corruption levelled at sergeant Pace, the Minister of Police forwarded a memo to the Police Commissioner requesting that an investigation be initiated to determine whether it was appropriate for sergeant Pace to be promoted to the rank of Inspector.

The Commissioner of Police Mr Brian Bull conducted two corrupt internal investigations into the antecedent conduct of sergeant Pace and both these investigations exonerated him from any malfeasance. In his report to the Minister, the Commissioner claimed that the allegations made against sergeant Pace were totally unfounded and he had an excellent service record which warranted his promotion.

 To support his findings, the Police Commissioner attached a statement prepared by brevet Inspector Les Ayton as a character reference attesting to sergeant Pace’s merit for promotion. When brevet inspector Ayton was promoted to rank of superintendent as the inaugural OIC of the Police Internal Affair Unit which had been created by the Commissioner of Police to investigate police corruption, I provided him with overwhelming evidence that clearly established that Inspector Pace was corrupt and had been for many years. I also informed him of the corrupt conduct of several other high ranking members of the police hierarchy that included the chief superintendent in charge of the Criminal Investigation Branch and the chief superintendent in charge of Crime Services. One of my allegations against them which superintendent Ayton failed to investigate related to the incompetent or corrupt manner in which these officers had condoned the outlaw motor cycle gang “The Coffin Cheaters” to illegally supply and distribute vast amounts of prohibited drugs, launder large sums of money, and illegally trade in liquor at their annual Bindoon concerts. In addition, I advised him of the inappropriate manner in which some of these members of the police hierarchy had invited a notorious criminal and the head of this organised crime gang to attend and address a police briefing prior to that concert.

At that briefing which comprised some 20 sectional leaders including myself, the head of this outlaw motor cycle gang began to give us instructions as to how we were to perform our duties at that concert. It was sickening to watch senior police management cower to his demands, knowing that this criminal and his criminal mates would be free to peddle their drugs at their concert with total impunity. I was the only one who challenged his commands and I became extremely concerned with his overtly close relationship with some senior police officers.

 Later, after examining records at the Liquor and Gaming Branch, I was able to ascertain that the Director of Liquor Licensing had refused to grant a Liquor Permit to the “Coffin Cheaters” in a Liquor Licensing Court hearing two years earlier. In his written decision, he concluded that many of “Coffin Cheaters” club members had extensive criminal records and a total disregard for the law and therefore were not fit and proper persons to be involved in the sale of liquor on such a large scale as was intended at the Bindoon Rock Festival.

In his written decision, he wrote; “My third concern is whether the Club is a fit and proper person, or body of persons, to hold the permit. One of the objects of the Liquor Act is to ensure that liquor is not sold by persons who are not fit and proper to do so. In this case, the Club is not a legal entity (although it is related to companies which are). The Club comprises about 15 members. Many of those members have a long history of criminal offences. Mr Withnell, for example, has several convictions for offences in the mid 1979’s.

These include assault, carrying an offensive weapon, disorderly conduct, possessing an unlicensed firearm, and, most seriously rape. For the last of these, he was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment with hard labour. He has received other gaol sentences for serious assault and a further eight years imprisonment in 1979 for robbery with violence. Other members, such as Patrick McKay, Bradley Wood, Christopher McKay, Peter Jewell, Mark Ashelford, Gut Turtun, Larry Allen, Trevor Walton, George Cole and Jeffrey White have also been convicted of many serious offences in the 1970’s and 1980’s. These cover a wide range of offences against the person and property, as well as unlawful possession of drugs and firearms. Some occurred within the last year or two. (In mid – 1987, for example, Jeffrey White was sentenced to 18 months gaol for receiving stolen goods) While in most case, the most serious offence occurred several years ago, the nature and extent of the offences have led me to conclude that many of Club members have a disregard for the law and that, as a result, they are not fit and proper persons to be involved in the sale of liquor on such a large scale as is intended at the Bindoon Rock Festival.

 Despite the fact that there was a Liquor Licensing Court ruling that the members of Coffin Cheaters outlaw motor cycle gang were not fit and proper persons to be issued with a Liquor Permit, senior police officers continued to allow this organised crime gang to sell liquor at their annual concert. It was inconceivable that they would also consider it appropriate for the head of this outlaw motor cycle crime gang to be invited to address a police briefing and allocate duties to police officers who had a responsibility to ensure that his criminal motor cycle gang complied with their legal liabilities. I advised superintendent Ayton that I strongly suspected some senior police officers were consorting with one of the most feared criminals in West Australia and had assisted him in circumventing a court decision by allowing his crime gang to continue to conduct their annual Bindoon rock concerts. I also advised him that I led a team of undercover officers inside the compound during that concert where we obtained photographic evidence of the illegal manner in which it had been conducted and evidence of the vast amount of prohibited drugs which were being openly distributed at the concert.

Once the chief superintendent-in-charge of Crime Services had discovered that I had that photographic evidence, he seized those photographs from me and was attempting to stifle my endeavours to commence criminal proceedings against the “Coffin Cheaters” licensee company and its approved manager. Superintendent Ayton listened to my allegations and I expected that he would conduct a covert investigation into my claims. I certainly did not consider that he would immediately approach those members of the hierarchy who were subject of my allegations and informed them of my complaint against them. Needless to say that was the end of my police career and the following day I received a telephone call from the chief superintendent of Crime Services who demanded that I attend his office forthwith.

 As I had anticipated his response, I attended his office with a small tape recorder and as I sat down to commence our interview, I produced my tape recorded and told him that I would be recording our conversation. When I turned on my tape recorder, he started making threatening gestures at me without saying anything while he waited for a superintended to also attend his office and act as his corroborator. During that interview, I was told in no uncertain terms that my position as officer-incharge of the Fremantle Liquor and Gaming branch had been terminated with immediate effect and that I was being transferred back to Perth the following day to commence an investigation into the accusations of misconduct, impropriety and corruption I had made to superintendent Ayton. He instructed me to liaise directly with him and I was not to discuss my investigation with any other person.

 Should I need to refer to any police documents during my inquiry, I was ordered to notify him prior to taking possession of the relevant document. In effect, I was being commanded to conduct an investigation into the complaints that I had made to superintendent Ayton and report the findings of my investigation directly to one of the persons who I alleged had acted corruptly. (I did exactly that) To support my investigation, he provided me with a small interview room within the Liquor and Gaming branch which contained a table, chair and telephone and told me I was to occupy that room during this special project. Further, he said that this special investigation which he had assigned for me was not a result of any malice he harboured towards me, but because of the expertise I had shown in researching and submitting a comprehensive 20 page report that I had handed him some months previously and had also forwarded a copy to superintendent Ayton. I had submitted that report after receiving a complaint from the detective sergeantin-charge of the Port Hedland CIB who advised me that some managers of licensed premises had a complete disregard for the laws relating to the Liquor Licensing Act and the Gaming Commission Act, which resulted in illegal gaming and prostitution becoming entrenched in some licensed premises at Port Hedland.

In an attempt to disrupt these illegal activities, the local police had conducted an investigation into the manner in which the licensee of the Pier Hotel had conducted his business and forwarded a brief of evidence to the superintendent in charge of the Liquor and Gaming branch seeking his authority to commence legal proceedings against the offenders. However, he failed to respond to their request and the police officers at Port Hedland had become extremely disillusioned by his apathy as they considered that ample evidence had been attained to sustain a conviction against the licensee. The superintendent-in-charge of the Liquor and Gaming branch had previously served as the inspector in charge of the Port Hedland police station and knew the licensee. As I continued my interview with the chief superintendent, he stated that he had great confidence in my ability to adduce the necessary evidence to substantiate criminal charges against all those offenders and expected that I would bring my investigation to a succinct conclusion within three weeks. He also gave me explicit instructions to commence disciplinary charges against a subordinate colleague of mine and charge him with “unlawfully consuming alcohol at an unlicensed restaurant” in Broome while he was on annual leave. As our interview terminated, I advised both of them that I had an appointment to see superintendent Ayton the following day and would be playing the recording of our interview to him as I considered that I was being persecuted for simply performing the duties expected of me as a senior investigator in the liquor and Gaming branch.

After listening to the tape recording, superintendent Ayton said that he considered me to be a competent investigator and advised me to comply with the instructions given to me by the chief superintendent. Despite my protests that it was unethical for me to conduct an investigation into my own complaints against a senior member of the police hierarchy who was my supervising officer, he assured me that he would protect my back and guaranteed that I would not be victimised and my investigations would not be thwarted or impeded. When I told him that the three weeks I was given to conclude my investigation was totally inadequate and I expected it would take me six months, he advised me to submit a short report and apply for an extension of time and he would ensure that it was granted. He then told me that he was leaving for England within a matter of days to conduct an investigation on behalf of the WA Inc Royal Commission and would inform the commissioner of police of my predicament.

 He said that if I experienced any victimisation or my investigation was being hindered in any way, I was to contact his colleague within the Internal Affairs Unit, (IAU) inspector Alan Watson who he said would take the appropriate action.

As I began my investigation, I immediately discovered that some police files which I requested to examine had been destroyed and I was being victimised and ostracised by the chief superintendent who thwarted my investigation and circulated rumours throughout the police service that I was a nut case. My peers within the Liquor and Gaming branch were instructed that they were forbidden to speak to me or assist me in any way during my investigation. After the three week period which I was given to complete my investigations had expired, I submitted a short report as I had been advised to do so by superintendent Ayton, stating that I had nowhere near finished my investigation and requested an extension of time to bring my investigation to a satisfactory conclusion. That request was denied and instead, the chief superintendent instructed me to reorganise the Liquor and Gaming branch file room which was the normal duty of our office cadet. When I reported these matters to inspector Watson of the Police IAU, he told me that he had no knowledge of my investigation and stated that I always had the propensity to swim against the tide. I was completely flabbergasted by his remarks and considered that he was derelict in his duty for failing to support my investigation into the suspected corrupt activities of senior police officers. Whilst performing the demeaning task of reorganising the file room which was in a chaotic state, some of my colleagues were secretly providing me with information. I was able to ascertain that the chief superintendent had forwarded my investigative reports to the OIC of the Police Internal Investigators and demanded that I be charged with criminal defamation. Amongst those reports which I had provided him, was the result of my investigation into the instructions he gave me to commence disciplinary charges against a fellow member of the Liquor and Gaming branch. My investigation concluded that there was prima-facie evidence that he himself had committed an offence under the provisions of the “Police Regulations” and I recommended that disciplinary charges against him should be considered. I also received information that after he was advised by the OIC of the Police Internal Investigators that there was no basis for any criminal charges against me, he decided that when I returned to work after completing my annual leave, he would have me sent to a psychiatrist with a view to have me certified insane. After Superintendent Ayton returned from England, I confronted him and provided him with a copy of all my investigative reports which I had submitted to the chief superintendent and told him that I had received reliable information that he was about to order me to be examined by a psychiatrist with a view to have me certified insane. He laughed and said they were trying to break me and wouldn’t allow that happen. However, he failed to mention why I was not given an extension of time to complete my investigations or why I was not protected from victimization as he had promised.

I knew my police career was over shortly later when I was served with a notice by the commissioner of police ordering me to present myself for a psychiatric assessment by Consultant Physician in Psychological Medicine, Professor Allen German. In his report, Professor German stated that he could find no evidence whatsoever of any diagnosable psychiatric disorder but considered that I was suffering from a work related stress disorder because of the serious conflict I found myself with senior police management. He further stated that my condition would only get worse if I remained in that causal situation and therefore recommended that I be discharged from the Police Service on medical grounds. When I found out that Professor German had recommended that I be discharged from the Police Service on medical grounds, I again confronted superintendent Ayton at 1.00pm on Monday 23 March 1992 and handed him a copy of a 132 page treatise I had written about three years earlier which dealt with the corrupt conduct of members of the police hierarchy and the corrupt association between detective inspector Colin Pace and race horse trainer, Bob Meyers. I kept that treatise confidential for my own protection as I expected that corrupt senior members of the Police hierarchy would attempt to victimize me as a result of the stance I had taken against detective inspector Pace who I knew was being groomed to become the next Chief Superintendent in charge of the CIB. After completing that treatise, I gave a copy to two people I knew I could trust, Mr Peter Ward at the Police Minister’s office and a detective inspector who was my best friend and supplied me with some information of police corruption. I was motivated to write that exposé of corruption by members of the police hierarchy sometime after the 4 August 1988 when Mr Peter Ward from the Police Minister’s Office had brokered a meeting between me, the deputy commissioner of police and the assistant commissioner of police (crime).

That meeting had been instigated after Mr Ward received a telephone call from the assistant commissioner of police on 28 July 1988 who wanted to meet him in his office to discuss matters relating to police corruption. When Mr Ward arrived at his office, the deputy commissioner of police was also present and during their discussion, the assistant commissioner of police said; “Young Scottie has got this bee in his bonnet about police corruption. There is nothing in his allegations. It’s just sour grapes on his behalf because he got the sack from the CIB.”

Mr Ward responded by telling the two senior police officers that he knew exactly what evidence I had and he considered that the WA police force had a similar problem as in Queensland but on a smaller scale and that cancer needed to be cut out. He told them that he supported me 100%. The assistant commissioner then said; “If Scottie has got all this information, why doesn’t he come and tell us?” Mr Ward replied by telling them that if they could show me that they could be trusted, perhaps I would speak to them and he also stated that I was prepared to take my allegations of corruption to the wire. It was then, that the assistant commissioner of police advised him that they would like to speak to me. Mr Ward purposely did not tell them of his own personal knowledge of the corrupt association between detective inspector Pace and race horse trainer, Bob Meyers after his former girlfriend had attended the Police Minister’s office in late February 1988 to complain about police corruption. During his meeting with Bob Meyers’s former girlfriend, she complained of the inept manner in which the CIB Consorting Squad had conducted an investigation into a brutal baseball bat bashing of her boyfriend and his companion which had been organised by Bob Meyers. She advised Mr Ward that she had made a complaint to detective sergeant (name deleted) at the CIB Consorting Squad some months prior to that assault and told him that Bob Meyers was known as the “Godfather” who could easily arrange violent beatings and that he was being protected by detective inspector Colin Pace.

She also informed him of an occasion when inspector Pace was present at Bob Meyers’s racing stables when he and his criminal associates were dividing up stolen property. Despite providing the detective sergeant with that information, he failed in his duty to investigate her allegations and had he done so, the bashing of her boyfriend and his friend may have been averted. She also advised Mr Ward that during that brutal baseball bashing of her boyfriend and his companion, they sustained serious injuries which required hospitalisation and yet Bob Meyers had been charged with a trivial offence which was totally inconsistent with the severity of the crime. She strongly suspected that the detectives in the Consorting Squad had corruptly reduced the seriousness of the criminal charges against Bob Meyers because of his friendship with inspector Pace.

As there is no statute of limitation for indictable offences committed under the provisions of the “Criminal Code”, and the issues of corruption by senior police officers which I made were never investigated by the Ombudsman or the Police Royal Commission, I referred these matters to the Crime and Corruption Commission for investigation. On the 22 April 2015, I received a letter from Mr Tony Wood, Acting Deputy Director of the CCC who acknowledged my complaints but advised me that they would not be investigated because I had previously raised these issues with the Ombudsman, the Anti Corruption Commission, and the Police Royal Commission. He stated that because of the historic nature of my allegations, the CCC would not respond to me again. 91 What the Acting Deputy Director of the CCC failed to acknowledge is that the agencies that he mention had all failed to conduct any investigations into my allegations and had he bothered to closely examined some of the documents I provided him, he would have been able to ascertained that the Ombudsman refused to investigate my claims of police corruption.

Had the Acting Deputy Director also examined my earlier complaint to the Crime and Corruption Commission, he would have determined that my allegations in that instance were not directed against corrupt police officers but against the Former Attorney General, Mr Jim McGinty. My letter of complaint to the Corruption and Crime Commission, dated the 12 November 2004, related to the improper or corrupt manner in which the Attorney General, had dealt with an affidavit prepared by former detective sergeant, Tony Lewandowski who was involved in the investigation and prosecution of the Mickelberg brothers for the theft of a large quantity of gold from the Perth Mint. In his sworn affidavit, the former detective sergeant confessed to fabricating evidence against the brothers’ and admitted that he and his senior partner, detective sergeant Don Hancock had assaulted one of the brothers and had given false evidence against them at their trial to obtain their conviction. Mr Lewandowski had delivered his sworn affidavit to the Director of Public Prosecutions whose role is to provide an independent prosecuting authority for all serious offences committed against State criminal law. His role does not include the investigation of allegations of police corruption and upon receipt of Mr Lewandowski’s affidavit, it was incumbent on the DPP to maintain the integrity and independence of his office by forwarding it to the appropriate investigative authority so that a thorough and an impartial investigation into the allegations contained in that affidavit could have been conducted. However, the DPP had failed to comply with his legal responsibility to ensure that the contents of that affidavit were investigated in an ethical manner.

He also failed to maintain the independence of his office from executive members of the Government to eliminate any possibility of political interference in the administration of Justice. Shortly after receiving the affidavit, the DPP forwarded a copy to the Attorney General, Mr Jim McGinty which was clearly inappropriate as the Attorney General was related to the former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Bob Kucera who along with detective sergeant Lewandowski was suspected of fabricating evidence against the Mickelberg brothers. 92 It would have been obvious to anyone that Mr Lewandowski’s affidavit had the potential of implicating the former Assistant Commissioner of Police. It was therefore not surprising that as soon as the Attorney General had received a copy of the affidavit, he immediately forewarned his in-law of its contents and thereby compromised any further impartial investigation. From my recollection the DPP was never questioned about the necessity of forwarding the affidavit to the Attorney General or for his failure to maintain the required independence of his Office. Had the information contained in Mr Lewandowski’s affidavit gotten into the wrong hands, it could have resulted in a substantial threat to his life.

Senior officers from the CIB Major Crime Squad also considered that possibility because shortly after his death, I was contacted by Detective Sergeant Scott Higgins who advised me that he was conducting an investigation into the death of former police officer and whistle blower, Mr Tony Lewandowski. He stated that his inquiries at Telstra established that on the date of his death, Mr Lewandowski made several telephone calls and one of the last calls he made was to my home telephone number. Sergeant Higgins wanted to know if I had spoken to, or met with Mr Lewandowski. The duration of that call lasted for only a short period of time and no message was left on my answering machine and I was able to tell Sergeant Higgins that I neither spoke to, nor met with Mr Lewandowski. However, I have no doubt that he had planned to speak with me to ascertain if I could provide him with some support as I expected he would have been in a state of absolute fear after he discovered that the Attorney General had advised his relative and former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Kucera the contents of his confidential affidavit. I also suspected that Mr Lewandowski may have wanted to provide me with some information regarding an incident which occurred outside the Supreme Court building on or about the 3 November 2003, during a Western Australian Court of Criminal Appeal Hearing against the Mickelberg brothers’ conviction of the Perth Mint swindle. All the police officers who were alleged to have given false evidence against the Mickelberg brothers were summoned to appear before the Supreme Court on that date and whilst waiting outside the court precinct to see if they would again be required to give their suspected perjured evidence, they were involved in a scrumdown where I was vilified and denigrated and a plan was hatched to set me up. I later received reliable information that the Minister for Tourism and Small Business, Mr Bob Kucera, was the leader of that conspiracy and at 12.38pm on the 29/12/03 I sent him an email letter and accused him of making an anonymous phone call to CentreLink where he falsely and maliciously claimed that I had been fraudulently receiving CentreLink payments. 93 In my letter, I advised him that I expected that he would immediately contact his relative, the Attorney General and inform him of the serious nature of the allegation he made against me and I would welcome his in-law to refer his allegation to the newly established Crime and Corruption Commission so that it could be fully investigated. I did not get a response from the Minister and that was typical of Mr Kucera who as a police officer did all his dirty work behind someone’s back.


 It was common knowledge within the Criminal Investigations Branch that detective sergeant Don Hancock belonged to a powerful group of corrupt police officers who controlled organised crime in West Australia and the then detective sergeant Bob Kucera was his right hand man and lieutenant.

 It was no coincidence that Mr Peter Mickelberg was taken to Belmont CIB for interrogation by detective sergeant Hancock where his mate, sergeant Kucera, was the Officer-in-Charge. Whilst Mr Mickelberg was receiving a beating by the two interviewing officers, sergeant Kucera conveniently went for a casual stroll to the other side of the road to get hamburgers for lunch and on his return failed to see that anything untoward had occurred in his absence.

The former Assistant Commissioner of Police had also been accused of perjury in another unrelated court hearing. Although the Attorney General denied that he had committed any criminal misdemeanour by showing Mr Lewandowski’s affidavit to his relative, I expect that any detective who showed such an incriminating document to a criminal suspect he was investigating would either be ordered to have his sanity examined by a psychiatrist or faced a criminal charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

As a result of presenting his sworn affidavit to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Lewandowski paid a high price and was charged with numerous criminal offences including attempting to pervert the course of justice, while the Attorney General escaped any criminal liability for tipping off his relative about the contents of that affidavit. In answer to question in Parliament from Ms Sue Walker dated Tuesday 11 June 2002, Mr McGinty stated:

(1) Yes, I was aware that the then Detective Sergeant Kucera was the officer in charge of the Belmont Police Station in July 1982, when the interview with Peter Mickelberg took place at that office.

(2) Yes, I am aware that it was his office in which the interview took place at the Belmont CIB office. It would be very interesting to look at the floor plan of the building, because it might throw an interesting light on the issue. 94

(3) I was generally aware of the Mickelberg matter. I did not have any detailed personal knowledge; I had simply read about the issue in the Press and I was broadly aware of what had transpired. Obviously, since the affidavit was made available to the DPP and then to me on Thursday last week, I have had occasion to read many documents on the matter, including the Court of Criminal Appeal decision handed down in 1999. As a result, I am more aware of some of the details.

 The answer to the member’s question is that I was generally aware of a range of the circumstances.

 I have become aware of other factors since Thursday last week. I have done extensive background reading to fully acquaint myself with the details in view of the enormous public interest in this issue. The former Attorney General’s obscene hypocrisy can be gauged by examining a speech he made in Parliament on the 25 June 1996, when he was the Opposition Leader. During that speech in the Legislative Assembly, Mr McGinty was quick to identify that Mr John Porter, a member of the Official Corruption Commission and a former Commissioner of Police, had a conflict of interest if he remained on the new Anti-Corruption Commission. He called for Mr Porter to resign his position on the Official Corruption Commission because he would be required to examine a call by the Upper House Tomlinson inquiry into the police force for a judicial inquiry into the Perth Mint Swindle. He said that Mr Porter would have a conflict of interest because his son was one of the investigating officers in the Mickelberg case while Mr Porter was the Commissioner of Police. “It becomes a complicated web when one looks at the relationship”, Mr McGinty said.

He then told the Legislative Assembly that he had spoken to whistle blower and former detective Frank Scott who told him that Mr Porter was one of three senior police officers who were being examined by the Australian Federal Police into his allegations of corruption;

the other two senior members were retired Commissioner of Police, Mr Brian Bull and former Deputy Commissioner of Police,

 Les Ayton.

He also advised the Legislative Assembly that Mr Scott told him that Mr Porter’s position on the OCC had stopped Mr Scott taking his allegations to it several years ago and that Mr Scott had initially complained to the Ombudsman who suggested handing the matter to Mr Bull to investigate and later suggested taking his allegations to the OCC. 

 Within hours of Mr McGinty making that speech in Parliament, the former Commissioner of Police resigned from his position as a member of the Official Corruption Commission.

However, what Mr McGinty failed to inform his colleagues in the Legislative Assembly, is that I also told him that I couldn’t take my complaints to the Official Corruption Commission because one of my allegations was against the former Commissioner of Police himself, who I claimed had authorised the installation of an illegal intercept on a telephone belonging to one of the Mickelberg brothers.

So while the Attorney General was so astute back in 1996 in identifying the complicated web that the former Commissioner of Police had created, he hypocritically considered that it was quite proper for him to forewarn his in-law of the details contained in Mr Lewandowski’s affidavit.

Unlike Mr McGinty’s in-law, the son of the former Commissioner of Police was only a junior member of the investigative team and had never been accused of fabricating evidence against the brothers’. I have no doubt that Mr Kucera being advised of the contents of that affidavit was a contributing factor in Mr Lewandowski taking his own life. On the 20 June 1996, Mr McGinty also referred a written question without notice to the Premier regarding my claims of corruptions by police and politician Scott, Frank, Allegations Relating to Liberal Party Members 307.

Mr McGINTY to the Premier: “Former detective turned whistleblower, Frank Scott, has publicly claimed that the Premier would be reluctant to call a royal commission into police corruption because members of the Liberal Party were linked to corrupt police.

(1) Given that Mr Scott's claims were brought to the Premier's attention in question time last week and considering his stunning admission that he was unaware of media reports about them, what has he done to investigate Mr Scott's allegations and to identify the Liberals to whom he is referring?

(2) Were the Liberals concerned Hon Phil Lockyer MLC and the member for Kingsley, the person sitting immediately to the Premier's left? When I first contacted Mr McGinty as the Opposition Leader I was extremely impressed with his commitment to have my allegations of corruption by senior police officers and their association with some politicians investigated by a Royal Commission. 

 Shortly after the Labor Party won the State Election he also publicly announced that his Government intended to introduce a Bill into Parliament to protect Whistle Blowers.

At that stage, I was extremely confident that my allegations of Police and Political corruption would finally be investigated in an ethical manner.

However, I soon discovered that Mr McGinty was nothing but a fraudster who lacked any basic moral or ethical standards and was only interested in further advancing his own quest for political power.

All of a sudden those emphatic demands he made of the Court Government to investigate my claims of police and political corruption evaporated.

His call for a judicial inquiry into the Perth Mint Swindle also evaporated and I suspect that occurred as soon as he became involved with the former assistant commissioner of police

. ****************************

 In my letter of complaint to the Corruption and Crime Commission against the Attorney General, dated 12 November 2004, I also attached two sworn affidavits. The first affidavit related to the improper manner in which Chief Superintendent in charge of the CIB, Don Hancock, had conducted an investigation back in 1985 into the evidence I had obtained that identified an outlaw motor cycle gang member who had sold large quantities of melted down gold bullion which I strongly suspected had been stolen from the Perth Mint.

This criminal motor cycle gang member had strong connections to an international drug syndicate and the licensed Second Hand Dealer who purchased the suspected stolen gold bullion was closely associated with corrupt senior police officers and a politician who were strongly suspected of their involvement in the murder of brothel owner Shirley Finn. The two detectives, who were appointed by Chief Superintendent Hancock to investigate my claims that the gold bullion in possession of a member of an outlaw motor cycle gang may have been stolen from the Perth Mint, conducted their inquiry in such a pathetically incompetent manner that I could only conclude that their intent was to make certain that the origin of that melted-down gold bullion would never be identified. One of those officers who conducted that pathetic investigation is now an Assistant Commissioner of Police. The second affidavit I provided to the Corruption and Crime Commission related to the evidence I had obtained which showed that senior members of the West Australian Police Service regularly conducted illegal telephone taps and the Commissioner of Police had authorized the installation of a telephone intercept on the telephone belonging to one of the Mickelberg brothers. 97 As a result of my allegations, I received a reply from the Commissioner of the Corruption and Crime Commission, Mr Kevin Hammond, on the 18 January 2005. In his response, he advised me that the Anti-Corruption Commission (A-CC) had previously examined the issues I had raised in my complaint against the Attorney General in some detail and having examined that file, he noted that among other things, the A-CC had obtained and opinion from an independent QC and advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions and on the basis of that advice, the A-CC determined that further action in relation to that matter was not warranted.

 I consider it was extraordinary that Mr Hammond, a former Chief Judge, would find it appropriate for the A-CC to solicit and accept the legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions considering he was responsible for forwarding Mr Lewandowski’s affidavit to the Attorney General in the first place. Mr Hammond further stated that he had considered the information I had supplied him and it did not appear that I had provided him with any new or additional evidence which suggested that a re-examination of that issue would be likely to reach a different conclusion. Accordingly, he concluded that the matter had been subject of appropriate action by the A-CC. Therefore, in accordance with section 18(3) of the Corruption and Crime Commission Act 2003, he decided that further action by the Corruption and Crime Commission was not warranted. He made no mention what investigations were carried out regarding the contents of the two sworn affidavits that I had supplied him.

 ***********************************

 After receiving the letter dated 22 April 2015 from Mr Tony Wood, Acting Deputy Director of the Corruption and Crime Commission advising me that he would not investigate my complaints or have further contact with me, I decided to conduct my own investigation. I contacted the Senior Archivist at the State Records Office of Western Australia and on Friday 24 April 2015, he was able to furnish me with a copy of the transcript of evidence presented by former Superintendent Ayton at the WA Inc Royal Commission on the 6 April 1992. I also received advice from the Corporate Information Officer at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet that all records pertaining to the Royal Commission into Police Corruption were held by the Corruption and Crime Commission. 98 As I wanted to obtain a copy of the transcript of the my sworn testimony before the Royal Commission on the 11 June 2003, I forwarded an email to the Corruption and Crime Commission on 21 July 2015 requesting that they supply me with a copy of the transcript of my evidence. True to the words of the Acting Deputy Director of the Corruption and Crime Commission, Mr Tony Wood, they refused to respond to my request and after waiting some ten weeks, I made an official complaint to the Parliamentary Inspector regarding their refusal to reply to my request. As a witness who was called to give evidence before that Royal Commission, I was always entitled to a copy of that document and shortly after my complaint to the Parliamentary Inspector the CCC emailed me a copy of that transcript on the 8 October 2015. I did not get an apology for their arrogance and incompetence.

**************************************

 In conclusion, I would strongly suggest that you don’t need to be a QC to determine that there is a two tiered justice system in West Australia whereby there have been some senior police officers and some politicians who are untouchable and any allegations of corruption made against them have never been subject to any independent, ethical investigation. Conversely, those who are arbitrarily selected for investigation by the CCC are subjected to intense scrutiny where all covert surveillance and telephone tapping techniques are used. Should you be interested in examining my previous complaints to the CCC which they refused to investigate, I would be happy to forward them to you. Yours sincerely 


90 per cent' of the police force knew who killed Shirley Finn

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/90-per-cent-of-the-police-force-knew-who-killed-shirley-finn-20171127-gztx8g.html

NOVEMBER 27 2017

Shirley Finn was found shot dead in her car in 1975. Photo: Facebook

A convicted race fixer has told the inquest into the 1975 murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn that "90 per cent" of the police force knew she was killed by the then vice squad chief Bernie Johnson.

The mother-of-three was found wearing a ball gown and slumped in her car on the edge of the Royal Perth Golf Course on a rainy winter morning and had been shot four times in the head at close range.


Former race horse trainer Bob Meyers testified in the WA Coroner's Court on Monday, saying his friend Colin Pace, who was the head of the fraud squad, had told him Mr Johnson shot Ms Finn with a gun stolen from the police armoury.

Mr Meyers said he came to know many underworld figures while working in the racing industry and had heard a lot about the case but none of his information was first-hand.

"I know bits and pieces of everything but I don't know the details," he said.

"No-one gave me direct information.

"But I do know Bernie Johnson shot Shirley Finn - no doubt.

"Everyone knew ... 90 per cent of the police force."


Mr Robert (Bob Myers)- Former Horse Trainer operating in Perth, Western Australia

Mr Meyers, who was jailed along with businessman Laurie Connell over a rigged race in Bunbury in 1983, said Mr Johnson was "in charge of the brothels".

He said Mr Johnson "was a very dangerous man" and widely feared, which several other witnesses have already told the inquest.

"Everyone was s*** scared of him and so was I," Mr Meyers said.

"He was a crim.

"He was a well statured sort of bloke, like that Roger Rogerson."

Mr Meyers rejected suggestions Sydney hitman Arthur "Neddy" Smith may have been involved, saying his then-wife's uncle Sam Franchina and Mr Pace would have told him.

"There is no way he (Smith) was in Perth," he said.

"Australia-wide, people think Victorian criminals are worse than over here. That is so far from the mark, it's unbelievable."



Samuel (Sam) Franchina - known in the 1970's and 198's as the Italian Catholic Mafia Godfaher of Perth

Mr Meyers also told the court Mr Franchina was the most powerful underworld figure of the era and he'd once seen him command Ray O'Connor, who became the WA premier, to fetch him some cigarettes.

Mr Meyers also said the two men were in a brothel partnership with Mr Johnson, Ms Finn and the late Ron Cannon, a criminal lawyer who was known as "the mouthpiece".

- AAP 


Shirley Finn's friend admits fear of top cop Bernie Johnson continues 42 years on

By Briana Shepherd

https://www.google.ie/amp/amp.abc.net.au/article/9211476




 
Glenn Properjohn was a close friend of brothel madam Shirley Finn at the time she was killed. 
(ABC News: Marcus Alborn)

A witness at an inquest into the 1975 murder of Shirley Finn has admitted he is still afraid to say why he believes one of WA's top police officers organised to have the brothel madam killed.

Dressmaker Glenn Properjohn told Perth Coroner's Court he was a close friend of Ms Finn and had known her for about 10 years at the time she was killed.

The brothel madam's body was found slumped over the wheel of her white Dodge Phoenix at the Royal Perth Golf Course in South Perth in June, 1975.

She was wearing a ballgown — designed by Mr Properjohn — and had four bullet hole wounds in her head.

The mother-of-three was murdered two days before a tax hearing where she had been threatening to blow the whistle on illicit dealings by politicians, businessmen and police.

Mr Properjohn, appearing in person at the inquest, was clearly uncomfortable on the stand.

He told the court he believed the former head of the Vice Squad, Bernie Johnson, had organised to have Ms Finn killed, but was unwilling to explain what led him to believe that.

Mr Properjohn repeatedly told the court it was just his "instinct".

But when the counsel assisting the coroner, Toby Bishop, asked him if he was afraid to tell the court why he believed Mr Johnson was involved, he replied, "maybe a little — yeah".


 Former WA Police Vice Squad boss Bernie Johnson. (Supplied)

Top cop was 'ruthless, bombastic'

He said he had met Mr Johnson some time around 1960 through a female friend who owned a shoe store and would see him occasionally.

Mr Properjohn said he remembered one night where the top cop had been in a spa with him and his friend.

He told the court Mr Johnson "was quite nice", but admitted he was also "ruthless" and "bombastic".

The witness was questioned over an incident he later told to Ms Finn's daughter, Bridget Shewring, when he had been punched in the stomach by a detective when giving a statement in 1975.

He said it happened while giving one of two statements at the East Perth police station, but provided little other details.

"I can't remember how it was done or who did it — it definitely wasn't Bernie because I know him, but it was a detective," he said.

Mr Properjohn insisted to the court that Mr Johnson was not one of the detectives who interviewed him, but the Vice Squad boss was included as one of two detectives conducting the interview on the police statement.

He said he had heard through some of the women who worked at Ms Finn's brothel that she the madam paid Mr Johnson "protection money".

Mr Properjohn also admitted that he was afraid of police in those days.

Mr Crowley asked if being a homosexual — a criminal offence in 1975— left Mr Properjohn vulnerable to corrupt police, but he said it did not.

The witness was questioned closely on his statements made in 1975, in which he said he had been at the University of WA the night Ms Finn was killed.

The court heard a toilet block there was known as a "beat" for homosexual activity.

A previous witness, Peter Burns, was a security guard at the Crawley campus who said in court he saw Ms Finn there that night.

He was also asked about his 1975 statement which placed him at the Parklane apartments on Mounts Bay Road the night Ms Finn was killed — the same apartments where her girlfriend at the time, Rose Black, said she had been.

Mr Properjohn said he could not remember being there.

The inquest will resume on December 12.

The fearsome cop, 'Silver Fox', ex-premier and slain brothel madam


The Shirley Finn inquest has painted a picture of a city in the swinging 70s wracked with crime, gambling, and prostitution

Will we ever know who killed Shirley Finn?


Violence, sex and crooked cops — the 1975 execution-style murder of the Perth brothel madam reads like a crime novel. But discovering who did it may prove impossible.

RELATED STORY: How 'The Bear' and a boot full of cash struck fear into the heart of Shirley Finn

RELATED STORY: 'I'm alright — I'm waiting for someone': The last words of Shirley Finn

RELATED STORY: Shirley Finn 'didn't have a hope' after becoming target of fearsome cop

RELATED STORY: 'The Silver Fox' murdered brothel madam Shirley Finn, inquest told

MAP: WA
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-29/former-shirley-finn-girlfriend-rose-black-testifies-at-inquest/9205714


The fearsome cop, 'Silver Fox', ex-premier and slain brothel madam


Shirley Finn inquest:
Ray O'Connor, Don Hancock,
Bernie Johnson
and the murder of a madam

Updated Sat at 12:43am


The Shirley Finn inquest has painted a picture of a city in the swinging 70s wracked with crime, gambling, and prostitution

It was the 1970s and Perth was known as the Wild West.

While perhaps unimaginable now, the epithet becomes more believable as the inquest into the unsolved execution-style murder of Shirley Finn continues.

Her coronial inquest has this week heard from 12 witnesses — many of them painting a picture of a city wracked with crime, gambling, and prostitution.

Shirley Finn was a well-known socialite and brothel madam. In 1975 she was living with her 12-year-old daughter, Bridget, and her live-in girlfriend, Rose Black, in South Perth.

On the morning of June 23, 1975, her body was found slumped over the wheel of a white Dodge at the Royal Perth Golf Course.

She was wearing a full-length ball gown, in grisly contrast to the four bullet holes found in her head.

The mother-of-three was killed two days before a tax hearing where she had been threatening to blow the lid on illicit dealings by politicians, businessmen and police.

Despite two cold case reviews her murder has never been solved, and now Coroner Barry King is leading a probe into her death.

After 42 years, it is fair to say most of the witnesses' memories are not what they were.

But between the inaccuracies, varying dates and wild — almost
i
mpossible — claims, a common thread has emerged linking three men to the crime: Bernie Johnson, Don Hancock and Ray O'Connor.



Shirley Finn's ex-lover Rose Black breaks silence on who killed brothel madam

By Briana Shepherd

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-29/former-shirley-finn-girlfriend-rose-black-testifies-at-inquest/9205714



 Ms Black told the inquest she had lived in fear for her life for the past 40 years. (Supplied)


Shirley Finn (left) and Rose Black were living together in South Perth when Ms Finn was killed. (Supplied)

The ex-girlfriend of murdered Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn, Rose Black, has broken decades of silence, telling an inquest into Ms Finn's murder today that she has feared for her life for more than 40 years.

Appearing via video link at the Perth Coroner's Court, Ms Black — who was living with Ms Finn and her daughter in 1975 — said she believed her "lover" was frightened for her life the night she was killed.

Ms Finn's body was found slumped over the wheel of a white Dodge Phoenix at the Royal Perth Golf Course in South Perth on the morning of June 23, 1975.

She was wearing a ball gown and had four bullet hole wounds in her head.

The mother-of-three was killed two days before a tax hearing where she had been threatening to blow the whistle on illicit dealings by politicians, businessmen and police.

Ms Black told the court Ms Finn was stressed around the time of her murder, and had been dealing with a significant tax bill she could not afford.

A fateful meeting with 'The Bear'

PHOTO: Ms Black says Ms Finn broke down in tears and said she was afraid the night she was killed. (Supplied)

She said on Sunday June 22, 1975, Ms Finn told her she was going to meet "The Bear" who had brought someone over from Sydney to fix her tax problems.

She said Ms Finn was fearful of the meeting and had broken down in tears.

"I think at the last moment she wanted to back out," she said.

"She didn't want to meet these people. She said 'it doesn't feel right'."

A previous witness — former horse trainer Robert Meyers — told the court former police Vice Squad boss Bernie Johnson was known as "BJ the bear".

Ms Black said Ms Finn was so scared she offered to hide in the boot of Ms Finn's white Dodge to be present at the meeting, but Ms Finn told her that wasn't possible because it was full of two garbage bags of money that "The Bear" had asked her to look after.

Ms Black also told the court about a time before the murder when "The Bear" had come over to count the money.

She said she was asked to leave but had hidden in the closet instead.

"It was a lot of money - I don't know the amount," she said.

"But $10,000 is a mere pittance to what I saw."

Mr Johnson was the detective who interviewed Ms Black following Ms Finn's murder.

Ms Black said she had later considered that "Bernie Johnson and The Bear were one and the same" but could not be sure.

She told the court she did not tell Mr Johnson what had happened that night and has been fearful for her safety ever since.

"I told them nothing because I was worried," she said.

"I was afraid for my life. Because I thought that it could happen to me."

Black placed at murder scene

Two other witnesses, Edward and Elaine Moseley, earlier told the inquest they saw a woman matching Ms Black's description at the golf course the night of the murder, but Ms Black denied she was there.

The court also heard some of Ms Black's clothes were examined by police and found to have blood stains of the same type — Type O — that belonged to both Ms Black and Ms Finn.

Ms Black could not explain where the blood came from.

Matt Crowley, counsel for Bridget Shewring — Ms Finn's daughter who was 12-years-old when her mother was killed — questioned Ms Black closely, especially on her whereabouts that night.

Ms Black told the court she went to a friend's place that night, after Ms Finn had told her to, "hold tight and I'll come and get you when it's over".

When she did not hear from Ms Finn, she said she left the friend's house around 12:30am, leaving a note on the door for her partner.

She then went to the Park Towers hotel on Hay Street where she booked in and fell asleep.

Ms Shewring has long believed Ms Black has been hiding something from that night.

Ms Black's evidence continues.

VIDEO: Rumours of police involvement in Shirley Finn's 1975 murder have been rife from the outset. (ABC News)

RELATED STORY: 'I'm alright — I'm waiting for someone': The last words of Shirley Finn

RELATED STORY: Shirley Finn 'didn't have a hope' after becoming target of fearsome cop

RELATED STORY: The fearsome cop, the 'Silver Fox', the ex-premier and the slain brothel madam

The fearsome cop, 'Silver Fox', ex-premier and slain brothel madam


The Shirley Finn inquest has painted a picture of a city in the swinging 70s wracked with crime, gambling, and prostitution.


Shirley Finn inquest: Ray O'Connor, Don Hancock, Bernie Johnson and the murder of a madam

By Briana Shepherd


Shirley Finn and the three men connected with her murder — (from top left) former WA premier Ray O'Connor, former Vice Squad boss Bernie Johnson and former CIB boss Don Hancock. (ABC News)

RELATED STORY: Shirley Finn 'didn't have a hope' after becoming target of fearsome cop

RELATED STORY: 'The Silver Fox' murdered brothel madam Shirley Finn, inquest told

RELATED STORY: Police officer threatened after spotting Shirley Finn with fellow cop, inquest told

It was the 1970s and Perth was known as the Wild West.

While perhaps unimaginable now, the epithet becomes more believable as the inquest into the unsolved execution-style murder of Shirley Finn continues.

Her coronial inquest has this week heard from 12 witnesses — many of them painting a picture of a city wracked with crime, gambling, and prostitution.

Shirley Finn was a well-known socialite and brothel madam. In 1975 she was living with her 12-year-old daughter, Bridget, and her live-in girlfriend, Rose Black, in South Perth.

On the morning of June 23, 1975, her body was found slumped over the wheel of a white Dodge at the Royal Perth Golf Course.

She was wearing a full-length ball gown, in grisly contrast to the four bullet holes found in her head.



Shirley Finn was murdered days before she was expected to implicate several people in dodgy dealings.

The mother-of-three was killed two days before a tax hearing where she had been threatening to blow the lid on illicit dealings by politicians, businessmen and police.

Despite two cold case reviews her murder has never been solved, and now Coroner Barry King is leading a probe into her death.

After 42 years, it is fair to say most of the witnesses' memories are not what they were.

But between the inaccuracies, varying dates and wild — almost impossible — claims, a common thread has emerged linking three men to the crime: Bernie Johnson, Don Hancock and Ray O'Connor.

Bernie Johnson — the fearsome cop


Former WA Police detective Bernie Johnson, one of the officers who investigated the 1975 murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn. 

Bernie Johnson was head of the Vice Squad and many witnesses have testified he was well-known to Ms Finn.

A witness named Max Healy told the court that two weeks before the murder he saw the brothel madam slap the detective across the face at the Zanzibar, a club in Perth's nightlife centre of Northbridge.

Mr Healy — who has a number of convictions — also placed Mr Johnson at the Pagoda Ballroom the night before the murder, very near where Ms Finn's body was found.

He said when he made a joke that Mr Johnson had killed Ms Finn, the officer beat him to within an inch of his life.

"Bernie was 'The Man' — he was it," Mr Healy said of his reputation.

He also said he was later told an internal police investigation had discovered Mr Johnson had stolen from police custody the .22 rifle used to kill Ms Finn.

His fearsome image was echoed by former junior officer Michael Joseph Regan, who told the inquest Mr Johnson had targeted Ms Finn, and that she "didn't have a hope".

"We all knew he was going to kill her," he said. "They wanted her killed."

Gregory Hall said he first met Mr Johnson when he was hired to be a 'bagman' — someone who picked up money from Perth's gambling venues and brothels.

Mr Hall told the court Mr Johnson interviewed him for the job.

"Do your job, don't talk to no-one, tell no-one and that's it," Mr Hall said he was told by the Vice Squad boss.


 Shirley Finn's was found slumped over the wheel of her white Dodge with four bullet wounds to her head.

He said "Bernie had a temper" and "was at times a violent person".

Earlier in the week the inquest heard from former motorcycle officer Brian Eddy, who said he saw Ms Finn with Mr Johnson at the police canteen the weekend she was killed.

Mr Eddy said he was later knocked of his motorcycle and warned to keep quiet by four men he believed to be detectives.

The top cop was also placed at the crime scene the morning Ms Finn was found.

Geoffrey McMurray was the first officer to arrive at the murder scene, and he told the court Mr Johnson turned up shortly after but left within five minutes.

Mr McMurray agreed with suggestions from counsel that Mr Johnson had appeared as "cold as ice".

Bernie Johnson now suffers from dementia and lives in a Perth nursing home. He has denied having anything to do with the murder.

Don Hancock — 'The Silver Fox'



Former CIB chief Don Hancock was killed by a car bomb. (ABC TV News)

Don Hancock was a detective who went on to lead the Criminal Investigations Branch before his death in 2001, when he was killed by a car bomb planted by members of the Gypsy Jokers bikie gang.

The inquest heard sensational claims from former brothel madam and City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder councillor Leigh Varis-Beswick, who said she was told it was Mr Hancock — nicknamed "The Silver Fox" due to his white hair — who pulled the trigger.

Ms Varis-Beswick, formerly Harry Varis, said she was told this in 2004 by an ex-boyfriend, Detective Tony Lewandowski, who confessed he had driven the car while Mr Hancock killed Ms Finn.

"The man who killed Shirley Finn is dead now. The Silver Fox is dead," she said he told her following news of the car bomb blast.

Mr Lewandowski took his own life in 2004 after being implicated in the infamous Perth Mint gold swindle, which was also linked to Mr Hancock.

The inquest was told a tip-off that notorious eastern states criminal, Arthur Neddy Smith, had been flown to Perth to kill Ms Finn was allegedly told to Mr Hancock.

Police records show the information was received by Mr Hancock but does not appear to have been followed up.

Earlier, the inquest heard from a witness who said he saw Mr Hancock at the Royal Perth Golf Course the night before Ms Finn's body was found.

Steve Couacaud told the court in September he had been driving past the golf course when he saw a police van parked next to a white Dodge with a woman inside it.

He said a policeman with white, silver hair and black bushy eyebrows looked straight at him before climbing into the passenger side of the Dodge.

He later identified that man as Mr Hancock.

Mr Couacaud said all of his attempts to tell police what he saw that night had been ignored.

Ray O'Connor — the disgraced ex-Premier


Former WA premier Ray O'Connor was linked to Shirley Finn.

Ray O'Connor was the West Australian police minister in 1975, and went on to become premier in the early 1980s.

In 1995 he was convicted and jailed for fraud following the WA Inc Royal Commission. He died in 2013.

Ms Varis-Beswick told the court she believed Mr Hancock had shot Ms Finn as a favour to Mr O'Connor.

She said she believed Ms Finn had been threatening to implicate Mr O'Connor with criminal activities, and it was this that got her killed.

Ms Varis-Beswick, who had been Ms Finn's driver, also repeated her previous claim that Ms Finn and Mr O'Connor had been having an affair.

But witness Max Healy, who befriended Mr O'Connor when the pair were in jail together, told the court Mr O'Connor had vehemently denied any involvement with Ms Finn or the murder investigation, and in fact had said he had not even met her.

"The whole matter upset him because there were allegations made against him," Mr Healy told the inquest.

"He was adamant that he had nothing to do with it."

Mr Healy told the inquest Mr O'Connor believed Mr Johnson and detective Wayne Barnes were responsible for Ms Finn's death.

Inquest delves deeper

All of the witnesses have been put through their paces.

Counsel for the Police Commissioner David Leigh has highlighted a number of inaccuracies among their statements — with many dates and times not matching the generally-accepted version of events from that weekend in June 1975.

The inquest continues with Ms Finn's former live-in girlfriend due to give evidence on Wednesday.

Rose Black has virtually disappeared since the murder, and Ms Finn's daughter Bridget Shewring said she believes the woman knows more than she has previously let on.

Will we ever know who killed Shirley Finn?


Violence, sex and crooked cops — the 1975 execution-style murder of the Perth brothel madam reads like a crime novel. But discovering who did it may prove impossible.

VIDEO: Rumours of police involvement in Shirley Finn's 1975 murder have been rife from the outset. (ABC News)

Shirley Finn with her former girlfriend Rose Black

Updated 

Shirley Finn (left) and Rose Black were living together in South Perth when Ms Finn was killed.


Shirley Finn inquest witness claims she was targeted by Vice Squad boss Bernie Johnson

BY BRIANA SHEPHERD 24TH NOVEMBER 2017 

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-24/shirley-finn-murder-inquest-bernie-johnson-links-revealed/9191356?pfmredir=sm



Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson


Former WA Police detective Bernie Johnson, one of the officers who investigated the 1975 murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn.

A coronial inquest has heard murdered brothel madam Shirley Finn "didn't have a hope" because she was being targeted by former chief of the Vice Squad Bernie Johnson — a man who was feared by many, including future premier Ray O'Connor, in Perth in the 1970s.


Shirley Finn - ex Brothel Madame in Perth, Western Australia,
who was allowed to operate at Brothel under the Western Australian Police Containment Policy,
which was supervised and controlled in the 1970's  by Bernie Johnson, who was at the time,
the head of the Police Vice Squad.
Witnesses have stated that Shirley Finn had to pay protection money to Bernie Johnson,
and other Western Australian Police for the right to operate a brothel in Perth, Western Australia,
until Shirley Finn was murdered in June 19975 by four bullet shots to the head...
Police investigations state that Shirley Finn was shot with one bullet shot in the side of the head,
and three bullet shots in the back of the head

Ms Finn's body was found with four bullet holes in her head at the Royal Perth Golf Course in June 1975, two days before a tax hearing where she had threatened to blow the whistle on illicit dealings by politicians, businessman and police.

Michael Joseph Regan gave evidence at the inquest into Ms Finn's death via telephone on Friday due to ill health.

He said when he was a junior officer he used to drive all of the top detectives around, including Mr Johnson and Mick Reed, who led the investigation into Ms Finn's death.

"They used to run the show," he said.

Mr Regan implied Mr Johnson was at the helm of the "small gang" and said he was so threatening he made Roger Rogerson — a notorious NSW police figure later convicted of murder — look like a "boy scout".

"Everyone was frightened of him," he said. "Ray O'Connor was frightened of him. He was a madman."

Mr Regan said he only saw Ms Finn once, a few weeks before her death, while with Mr Johnson at Gloucester Park.

He said Mr Johnson went up and spoke to her.

"We all knew he was going to kill her," he said. "They wanted her killed."

When asked who "they" were he said: "O'Connor, everyone".

"She had no hope. No hope."

Mr Regan told the court he used to wait while a lot of the detectives went and played cards.

He said they had "so much money in those days" and "all their money came from the brothels".

Mr Regan's evidence was cut short when he became too ill to continue.

The rifle and the hessian bag

Earlier on Friday, the court heard from businessman Ron Brown, who was a member of the South Perth Yacht Club along with Mr Johnson, who owned a yacht.

He said they were friends, and that "everyone knew Bernie".

Counsel Assisting the Coroner, Toby Bishop, asked Mr Brown if he had ever sailed with Mr Johnson to Rottnest Island, and if he had seen the top cop board with a rifle wrapped in a hessian bag before dropping it overboard.

The claim came from Dr William Hunt, a former business associate of Mr Brown who knew both men from the yacht club.

A police report from Dr Hunt stated Mr Brown had told him of the rifle and the Rottnest trip, but Mr Brown said that was "garbage".

He said Dr Hunt was a liar and would say anything to get him in trouble following the collapse of their business relationship nine years ago.

The inquest continues.
Will we ever know who Murdered Shirley Finn?
Will we ever know the real and full reasons why Shirley Finn was murdered in a bowling ball style execution?
Will we ever know who at the top  of the very top of  food chain, actually ordered the  blowing ball execution style murder of Shirley Finn ?

The question is whether Toby Bishop, the counsel assisting Barry King, and Barry King, the coroner,

will allows witnesses that have offered to give evidence at

the Shirley Fin Murder inquest to give evidence that will fully answer the above questions in full?

Will we ever know who killed Shirley Finn?


Violence, sex and crooked cops — the 1975 execution-style murder of the Perth brothel madam reads like a crime novel. But discovering who did it may prove impossible.

Getting away with murder




Shirley Finn inquest: Man ‘beaten close to death’ by detective

Tim Clarke, PerthNow

November 23, 2017

https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/crime/shirley-finn-inquest-man-beaten-close-to-death-by-detective-ng-b88669442z


SHIRLEY FINN FORMER PERTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA BROTHEL MADAME

A MAN who says he resided in the next-door prison cell to disgraced WA premier Ray O’Connor has told the inquest into the death of Shirley Finn that he was beaten close to death by former detective Bernie Johnson because of what he knew about the night of her killing.

Max Healy, 70, a former real estate agent who has convictions and consumer sanctions for dishonesty, was the latest witness to front coroner Barry King’s inquiry into the 1975 murder of the flamboyant brothel madam.

Mr Healy told the inquest he was a regular at the clubs and gambling joints around Perth in the mid 70s, as well as an associate of Mr O’Connor, Johnson - the WA Police’s head of vice, and CIB boss Don Hancock over the years.

Today’s account of those the years began in the late evening of June 22, 1975 – the night Ms Finn was shot dead at Royal Perth golf course – when Mr Healy said he was driving friends home from a party who needed to use a toilet.

While driving them towards public facilities near the Pagoda nightclub – minutes from the Finn murder scene - Mr Healy said he saw Johnson leaning into the driver’s side of a dark car talking to two men inside.

Mr Healy said he thought little of it, until he heard of Ms Finn’s murder later that week, and then saw Johnson again at his regular haunt of the Zanzibar nightclub the following weekend.

Shirley was murdered in 1975.Shirley was murdered in 1975.Picture: Facebook

Mr Healy said when he queried with Johnson what he had been doing in that spot, at that time, he said the detective’s reaction was furious.

“He was very annoyed, and very angry – and said: ‘Don’t ever, ever say that again’,” Mr Healy said.

“I thought: ‘I have stirred up a hornets nest here’.”

After being “snubbed” at the club from then on, and making an off-hand comment about the Finn murder to another woman at the same nightclub months later, Mr Healy said he stopped going.

But an invitation from owner Bert Tudori saw him return, Mr Healy said - only to be greeted with Johnson and violence.

“I was pushed out and hit with something – a bat or a club – and Johnson said to me: “I told you to keep your big mouth shut … you wont be mouthing off anymore.”

Mr Healy claimed he managed to escape with a broken arm, ribs, and teeth from the attack – which he said could have been worse still.

“They definitely tried to kill me,” Mr Healy said.

After being convicted in 1995 on a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, within a race-fixing scandal involving businessman Laurie Connell, Mr Healy said he was housed in Wooroloo prison with Mr O’Connor, who had been jailed for stealing a $25,000 cheque from the Bond Corporation.

While there, Mr Healy said they spoke about the Finn murder – which O’Connor described to him as a “millstone around his neck”

Mr Healy said that Mr O’Connor also said to him the rifle used in the Finn murder was stolen from a police property room by Bernie Johnson.

“He was 100 per cent confident about that,” Mr Healy said.

The inquest continues.


Brian Eddy - former police officer threatened after spotting brothel madam with another cop, Shirley Finn inquest told

By Briana Shepherd

21st November 2017

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-21/shirley-finn-coronial-inquest-resumes/9168504

A former police officer has told an inquest he was knocked off his motorbike and threatened by other officers after telling his superiors he had seen brothel madam Shirley Finn at the police canteen with the head of the vice squad on the weekend she was killed.

 Shirley Finn was found slumped over the wheel of a car in 1975.

RELATED STORY: I saw policeman get into Shirley Finn's car but police ignored me: witness

RELATED STORY: 'Shut your mouth or bang': Brothel madam threatened by top cop, inquest hears

Shirley Finn was found slumped over the wheel of a white Dodge parked at the Royal Perth Golf Course on June 23, 1975.

There were four bullet holes in her head.

The mother of three was killed two days before a tax hearing at which she had been threatening to blow the lid on illicit dealings involving politicians, businessmen and police.

An inquest into her death has heard from Brian Allen Eddy, a former motorcycle patrol officer.

He said on the weekend of the murder he was at the police canteen playing pool when he saw Ms Finn and Bernie Johnson, who was head of the vice squad at the time, enter with two other people.

He told the court he could not remember if it was a Saturday or Sunday night but said just after 11:00pm he heard the bartender yell out, "Bernie, get that woman out of here. We don't have that sort here".

He said Johnson's group was asked to sign the visitors book, and when he left shortly after he noticed the name Finn was written in it.

The next morning when he heard Ms Finn had been murdered, he told his superiors about what he had seen.

A few days later he said he was knocked off his motorcycle by a police car near Mirrabooka Avenue.

Mr Eddy said four men got out of the car, one holding a small "five shot", which he said detectives used to carry.

He said they stood around him as he lay on the ground and one of the men told him he should "keep your mouth shut" if he wanted to see his wife and kids again.

'These guys are serious'

Mr Eddy said he did not call in the incident but instead told his father, who was a senior police officer.

He said his father told him to inform the head of his unit.

Soon after, he said he was visited by a fellow officer who he had always had a lot of time for and was told to keep his mouth shut as "these guys are serious".

Mr Eddy said it caused a rift between his patrol squad and the Criminal Investigations Branch.

However, counsel for Police Commissioner David Leigh questioned most of Mr Eddy's statements.

Mr Leigh questioned Mr Eddy's timeline, claiming he had leave booked in the police system for that weekend.

He also said the police canteen was never open on Sundays, which meant Mr Eddy must have been there on the Saturday night.



Brian Eddy former Western Australian Motor Bike Traffic Policeman outside Shirley Finn inquest

21st November 2017

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-21/brian-eddy-outside-shirley-finn-inquest/9177702

Brian Eddy says he was told to keep his mouth shut.


The mystery of the Shirley Finn murder-ABC Video



Rumours have been rife of police involvement in the murder of Shirley Finn


Terence Mclernon

Just cross examine EX Det Sgt Wayne BARNES...

He was nominated to me By VICPOL as the shirley finn triggerman..Great friend of ex Bent Inspector Burnie JOHNSON now claiming Demetia and booted ex Head of WA FRAUD SQUAD Colin "CIRCLES" PACE every bit of a circle is bent

first came to notice when he crammed millions into hessian bags rather that the correct cash bags.He and others had found the SCAFIDI drug cash hole..A bit later he resigned and moved to the east coast Now back running his sons TAB in Morley..He was nominated to me By VICPOL as the shirley finn triggerman..Great friend of ex Bent Inspector Burnie JOHSON now claiming Demetia and booted ex Head of WA FRAUD SQUAD Colin "CIRCLES" PACE every bit of a circle is bent

The mystery of the Shirley Finn murder-ABC Video

MON 6 MAR 2017

Shirley Finn's murder was described as a "bowling ball"-style execution.

ABC NEWSPOSTED MON 6 MAR 2017

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-06/the-mystery-of-the-shirley-finn-murder/8322810


Shirley Finn Murder Mystery

The murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn - in the 1970's - is one of our state's high-profile unsolved crimes.


Teresa van Lieshout

political and judicial men in Australia should go to jail for these deaths as they do nothing to solve and stop them,
and thousands of other Australians have died as a result of 'govt action', over the years.

I was told Shirley Finn would not hand over money to the police who were extorting her unsavoury business,
and so they killed her. Allegations the WA govt and high profile business people have colluded in other murders of women
, including Corryn Rayney, and the Claremont killers of several women, have been brought to my attention by Australian citizens, through research.

CORONIAL INQUIRY INTO MURDER OF SHIRLEY FINN.


Terence Mclernon

Published on Jul 16, 2016

The names mentioned in this posting are all people of interest only.They have information that will assist in the solving of the murder,

I have purposely left the name of the actual triggerman off. --- CORONIAL INQUIRY INTO MURDER OF SHIRLEY FINN.

Contrary to popular belief many people still live that can shed 'light onto just how this COP KILL went down.

See list below. Colin Burns PACE ex head Fraud Squad WAPOL -side kick of all involved-such as

Burnie Johnson ex WAPOL Superintendent and main suspect and known to all involved - Disgraced booted bent cop.

Described by Commissioner Brian BULL as Corrupt to the core and as Bent as a dogs hind leg.

John JENNINGS allowed to resign ex detective WAPOL. Well known to all the usual suspects. Pryce Scanlan, now Superintendent WAPOL, given vital information years ago by a well-respected ex police now journalist West Australian Newspaper. I gave the information to the Journo to pass on. So I could establish a paper trail.

That information was yet again buried. Bob MEYERS.. Infamous racing identity who at one time "owned Colin Burns PACE

when he was Det Sgt in WAPOL Fraud Squad. Pace when questioned as to his relationship with Meyers stated he was merely employed to "do Meyers books"?? I contacted Bob MEYERS re his understanding of the FINN murder and he replied in short "i have plenty to say and happy to say it.”

No WAPOL Cops showed any interest. Rowan WAITE Vicpol Police, contacted me regarding checking out information from a "alleged” eye witness to the murder?

I asked him why contact me, go to the coppers. He said I contacted you because we Don’t trust WAPOL..

Says it all in my opinion. Maxwell HEALY, eye witness to where Superintendent Bernard Johnson was at the crucial time of the murder..

It was a long way away from where Johnson claimed to have been Mind boggling evidence that can be substantiated by others.

I have repeatedly named who Vicpol named as the TRIGGER MAN but alas he is still free and living off millions he and others nicked from the Scaffidi drug hole and of course the money he invested in TAB agencies via another entity. Then of course there is still 3 Monkees O"Calaghan.

The key to it all is for the coroner to exercise his powers of gaoling anyone who refuses to answer or lies for two years.

It’s good for the Bikies so its good for these "gander's” included news video from here http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-06...

Terence Mclernon

just cross examine EX Det Sgt Wayne BARNES... first came to notice when he crammed millions into hessian bags rather that the correct cash bags

.He and others had found the SCAFIDI drug cash hole..A bit later he resigned and moved to the east coast Now back running his sons TAB in Morley.

.He was nominated to me By VICPOL as the shirley finn triggerman..Great friend of ex Bent Inspector Burnie JOHNSON now claiming Demetia and

booted ex Head of WA FRAUD SQUAD Colin "CIRCLES" PACE every bit of a circle is bent

just cross examine EX Det Sgt Wayne BARNES... first came to notice when he crammed millions into hessian bags rather that the correct cash bags .

He and others had found the SCAFIDI drug cash hole..A bit later he resigned and moved to the east coast Now back running his sons TAB in Morley..

He was nominated to me By VICPOL as the shirley finn triggerman..Great friend of ex Bent Inspector Burnie JOHNSON

now claiming Demetia and booted ex Head of WA FRAUD SQUAD Colin "CIRCLES" PACE every bit of a circle is bent

The State Sanctioned Murder of Brothel Madam Shirley Finn - Australian Story

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wIYoaIb0R4

FontaineGroup

Published on Apr 2, 2017

“I didn’t know this would become the most intriguing murder case in Western Australia’s history.” – Terry Willesee, journalist In June 1975, dressed to impress in her finest ball gown, dripping with expensive jewellery and driving a limited edition luxury car, socialite and brothel madam Shirley Finn was invited to the grounds of the Royal Perth Golf Club for a special occasion – her own modern day public execution. The killers knew they wouldn’t be caught. Their power reigned supreme in one of the most remote and prosperous cities on earth, during an era of police protection and ‘containment’ of organised crime. Rising out of an abusive welfare system to become a police-protected madam, Shirley’s fate took an astonishing turn towards the top end of town. As one of Perth’s best-known socialites, she hosted fabulous parties. But her downfall was fast and furious, following fears she might expose money laundering and high-level corruption in ‘The Wild West’ of the seventies. Find out more at: http://www.fontainepress.com/dirtygirl





Former WA cop tells Shirley Finn inquest he was threatened

after revealing he saw her at the police canteen

Tim Clarke

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/former-wa-cop-tells-shirley-finn-inquest-he-was-threatened-after-revealing-he-saw-her-at-the-police-canteen-ng-b88666986z

Shirley Finn was murdered in 1975.Shirley Finn was murdered in 1975

The former police officer who claims to have seen Shirley Finn with WA’s head of vice Bernie Johnson on the night before she was murdered has given evidence at the inquest into her killing.

Brian Eddy had never revealed his full identity before arriving at the WA Coroner’s Court in a wheelchair today to relay his story about seeing Ms Finn in a police canteen on the night before her body was found riddled with bullets on Royal Perth golf course in June 1975.

And he also confirmed that his account was taken so seriously when it was first revealed in 2015, both the Corruption and Crime Commission, and former police commissioner Karl O’Callaghan, sought him out to give details before his appearance today.

Mr Eddy said that after finishing a shift as a motorcycle patrol officer on either June 21 or June 22, he went to the police canteen to buy cigarettes, and while there played a game of pool with another officer.

It was then that barman Huntley Lockhart shouted to four people that had arrived, telling them: “Get those women out of here – we don’t want that sort in here.”

Mr Eddy said he didn’t know who they were at the time, but was later told the older woman – who he said was “dressed to kill” - was Shirley Finn and the older man was Bernie Johnson.

After buying some “top shelf liquor” all four left, and Mr Eddy said he thought little more of it.

That was until one or two days after, when he learned that Ms Finn’s body had been found in her distinctive white Dodge car.

Mr Eddy said he immediately told his superiors what he had seen, but was not asked to make a statement.

The next day, he said, a statement was made to him.

“I heard this screech of tyres and a car came alongside me, ducked in and smashed into my right front forks,” Mr Eddy said. “I flew off and landed in the sand.

“Next thing four blokes got out, one of them was a young fella carrying a ‘five shot’ which the detectives used to carry.

“A big bloke had got out of the drivers seat, and he said, ‘Shut your f***ing mouth if you want to see your wife and kids again —you’ll shut your mouth.”

Mr Eddy said when he reported those threats, a rift broke out between the WA police CIB and the traffic officers, with motorcycle cops for a time targeting detectives for on-road infringements.

But the threats to Mr Eddy stayed with him – he said he constantly feared for his life – and said little until author Juliet Wills wrote a book about the Finn murder, which he contributed his story to.

Mr Eddy told the coroner this morning that he had given sworn evidence to the CCC in 2015, and former commissioner O’Callaghan also sought him out personally to listen to his account.

But David Leigh, a lawyer appearing for the WA police at the inquest, questioned whether Mr Eddy was even in work in the week after Ms Finn’s murder after leave records from 1975 revealed he may have been off work.

“I am sure I saw Shirley Finn,” Mr Eddy said outside court.

The inquest continues.


Perth brothel madam murder: Blonde woman seen near Finn car

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/perth-brothel-madam-murder-blonde-woman-seen-near-finn-car-20171120-gzp2aj.html

NOVEMBER 20 2017

Shirley Finn former perth western australia brothel Madame

A husband and wife have told the inquest into the death of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn they saw a blonde-haired woman walking towards her distinctive car on the night she was murdered.

The mother-of-three was found slumped in her Dodge and wearing a ball gown at Royal Perth Golf Club on the morning of June 23, 1975, and had been shot in the head four times at close range.

Edward Moseley told the WA Coroner's Court on Monday he was driving on the Kwinana Freeway with his wife the night before and saw the big white car with its doors open and lights on, and a woman with shoulder-length blonde hair was walking towards it.

Mr Moseley said she was clearly visible as she was illuminated by street lights on Melville Parade.

But he couldn't even tell the gender of another person who was walking alongside her as they were several metres apart and the other person was shrouded in shadow, Mr Moseley said.

His wife Elaine Moseley also testified, saying she too saw a blonde-haired woman with a bob-style cut but didn't see a second figure.

They both said the car caught their attention as it stood out.

"We thought it was odd. We discussed it after and thought someone was having an argument with the doors open like that," Mrs Moseley said.



Mrs. Shirley's car  Finn

After news of Ms Finn's murder broke the next day, Mr Moseley reported what he'd seen to police during a half-hour interview at the central station.

He said detectives "paraded" a woman and he told them she looked similar to the woman he'd seen walking next to the golf course.

"I couldn't say it was definitely her," Mr Moseley said.

"I wasn't sure one way or the other."

Police notes stated he was taken to the scene, but that definitely didn't occur, he said.

Mr Moseley also rejected a note stating he had said the woman looked similar to Rose Dean, who was Ms Finn's girlfriend, and also went by the name Rose Black.

"It didn't come from me," he said.

"I didn't know who Rose Dean was."

Ms Black is scheduled to give evidence via video link on November 29.

Several people have already told the inquest they saw two men near Ms Finn's car on the night she was murdered but this is the first time witnesses have described seeing a female.

AAP



Sensational claims noted detective Don Hancock killed Shirley Finn, inquest hears

Tim Clarke

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/sensational-claims-noted-detective-don-hancock-killed-shirley-finn-inquest-hears-ng-b88668168z



Don Hancock was killed in 2001 by bikie Sid Reid

The inquest into the murder of Shirley Finn has heard sensational claims that Don Hancock - one of WA’s most noted and now notorious detectives - was the man who killed the flamboyant brothel madam.

Leigh Beswick, a former friend, employee and driver for Ms Finn in the late 60s and early 70s, told coroner Barry King that the former head of WA’s Criminal Investigation Branch was the man who shot her four times in June 1975.

Ms Beswick, who used to be known as Harry and who has been a Kalgoorlie former brothel madam herself, said she had been told that by another former detective, Tony Lewandowski, whom she had had a brief gay relationship with around the same time.

Ms Beswick, via video link, described how Mr Lewandowski rung her shortly before he killed himself in 2004.

She said that he told her that he knew Hancock had shot her, because he also was there on the night.

“He said ‘The murderer of Shirley Finn is dead’ … I drove the car, Don Hancock was the triggerman,” Ms Beswick said.

Quizzed about the revelation, Ms Beswick said her understanding was that Hancock “was doing a mate a favour” - that mate being Ray O’Connor, the police minister who became WA’s Premier.

Ms Beswick said before and after she underwent a sex change in the mid 70s she had been a driver for Ms Finn and the girls she had working for her.

In that role she said she saw Ms Finn and O’Connor carrying out an affair for months, picking him up at the rear of police headquarters in Hay Street and driving them to the foreshore or Kings Park.

On one of the last occasions Ms Beswick saw them together, she claims she heard Ms Finn asking Mr O’Connor for help with a mounting tax problem – and told the politician “If I go down, I am taking you down with me.”

Mr O’Connor reputedly told the brothel madam he couldn’t help, after which the atmosphere in the car was “frosty”.

And she said when she later found out about Ms Finn’s murder, she said she made the connection between O’Connor and Hancock after Mr Lewandowski rang her and told her to get out, or stay out of Perth.

Hancock was killed in 2001 when the car he was being driven in by a friend was bombed on the way home from a race meeting. Bikie Sid Reid later confessed to the murder as a retaliation over the death of another bikie Billy Grierson, who was shot as he sat around a campfire.

The bikie group believed Hancock, who ran the nearby Ora Banda Inn, had shot Grierson after an altercation at the hotel earlier the same afternoon.

Lewandowski, who was a detective in the CIB for many years, was connected to the 1982 Perth Mint Swindle after admitting he fabricated evidence against Peter and Ray Mickelberg.

 Mr Lewandowski is alleged to have committed suicide at his Parmelia home in 2004,

 however there are rumours that is actual fact Mr Lewandowski was murdered and his murder made look like suicide.



Brothel madam murder ‘at former WA premier’s direction’

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/brothel-madam-murder-at-former-wa-premiers-direction/news-story/cd3c252ddbfb2252dd68bf73e1a2c34f



Murdered brothel madam Shirley Finn

Notorious detective Don Hancock murdered Perth brothel owner Shirley Finn at the direction of former West Australian premier Ray O’Connor, the madam’s former driver has told a coronial inquest.

In explosive evidence today, Leigh Beswick said her friend and one-time lover, detective Tony Lewandowski, rang her just before he killed himself in 2004 to confess he was with Hancock at the Royal Perth Golf Club on the night of Finn’s murder in June 1975.

“I drove the car, Don Hancock was the trigger man,” Lewandowski allegedly told Ms Beswick in their final conversation.

Ms Beswick told coroner Barry King via videolink that O’Connor — who was police minister at the time of Finn’s death and later become premier — was having an affair with the brothel madam and that she had driven the couple around Perth for dalliances.

Lewandowski told her Hancock was “doing a mate a favour” in shooting Finn four times in the head. That was a reference to O’Connor, she said.

She said she once overheard Finn threatening to expose O’Connor if he did not help her settle a major tax debt.

“I heard her say, ‘You know I’m in trouble with the tax man and I if I go down I’m taking you with me’,” she said.

“He told her to f**k off.                                    

“She was going to bring him down. She was going to go to the newspapers and television to tell them she had an affair with him. He was going to become the premier of Western Australia. But he was a corrupt politician … just an evil man.”

O’Connor served as premier from 1982 to 1983 but was jailed in 1995 for stealing a $25,000 cheque from Alan Bond’s Bond Corporation. There has long been speculation linking O’Connor to Finn’s death but, before he died in 2013, he denied ever meeting the madam.

But Ms Beswick told the court that the pair were having an affair and she would regularly pick up O’Connor from behind police headquarters in East Perth.

“They used to tell me to go for little walks,” she said. “I’d come back and they’d be putting their clothes back on. I knew what they had been up to — I’m not stupid.”

Ms Beswick, who once identified as a man, told the inquest she had worked as a prostitute, including for Finn in the early 1970s, and later as brothel madam in Kalgoorlie.

She first met Lewandowski, who was Hancock’s junior partner, at Finn’s brothel.

“Back in them days, poofs and police don’t mix” she said.

“But he liked me and I liked him. We had a bit of a pash and Don Hancock caught us and he was ropeable at Lewandowski.”

Ms Beswick said she continued to see Lewandowski but this ended when Hancock threatened to expose his colleague for having a homosexual relationship.

Lewandowski identified himself and Hancock as culpable in the framing of the Mickelberg brothers over the 1982 Perth Mint Swindle.

Hancock was killed by a car bomb in 2001 as payback over the death of a Gypsy Jokers motorcycle gang member the previous year.

The inquest continues.



Shirley Finn shot by Don Hancock, inquest told

Tim Clarke, PerthNow

November 22, 2017

The murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn - in the 1970's -

 is one of our state's high-profile unsolved crimes.


https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/crime/shirley-finn-shot-by-don-hancock-inquest-told-ng-b88668190z


Don Hancock former CIB chief-Running for justice ...

 one of the three Mickelberg brothers, Peter, chases the then CIB chief, Don Hancock, down the street

Former CIB chief Don Hancock led the original investigation into the Perth Mint swindle



Don Hancock was killed in 2001 in a bikie car bomb revenge attack.

Ms Beswick, via video link, described how Mr Lewandowski rung her shortly before he killed himself in 2004.

She said that he told her that he knew Hancock had shot her, because he also was there on the night.

“He said ‘The murderer of Shirley Finn is dead’ … I drove the car, Don Hancock was the triggerman,” Ms Beswick said.

Quizzed about the revelation, Ms Beswick said her understanding was that Hancock “he was doing a mate a favour” - that mate being Ray O’Connor, the police minister who became WA’s Premier.

Ms Beswick said before and after she underwent a sex change in the mid 70s she had been a driver for Ms Finn and the girls she had working for her.

In that role she said she saw Ms Finn and O’Connor carrying out an affair for months, picking him up at the rear of police headquarters in Hay Street and driving them to the foreshore or Kings Park.

Shirley Finn was murdered in 1975 by an unknown gunman

On one of the last occasions Ms Beswick saw them together, she claims she heard Ms Finn asking Mr O’Connor for help with a mounting tax problem – and told the politician “If I go down, I am taking you down with me.”

Mr O’Connor reputedly told the brothel madam he couldn’t help, after which the atmosphere in the car was “frosty”.

And she said when she later found out about Ms Finn’s murder, she said she made the connection between O’Connor and Hancock after Mr Lewandowski rang her and told her to get out, or stay out of Perth.

Hancock was killed in 2001 when the car he was being driven in by a friend was bombed on the way home from a race meeting. Bikie Sid Reid later confessed to the murder as a retaliation over the death of another bikie Billy Grierson, who was shot as he sat around a campfire.

The bikie group believed Hancock, who ran the nearby Ora Banda Inn, had shot Grierson after an altercation at the hotel earlier the same afternoon.

Lewandowski, who was a detective in the CIB for many years, was connected to the 1982 Perth Mint Swindle after admitting he fabricated evidence against Peter and Ray Mickelberg.

He committed suicide at his Parmelia home in 2004.

 

THE inquest into the murder of Shirley Finn has heard sensational claims that Don Hancock - one of WA’s most noted and now notorious detectives

- was the man who killed the flamboyant brothel madam.

Leigh Beswick, a former friend, employee and driver for Ms Finn in the late 60s and early 70s, told coroner Barry King that the former head of

WA’s Criminal Investigation Branch was the man who shot her four times in June 1975.

Ms Beswick, who used to be known as Harry and who has been a Kalgoorlie former brothel madam herself, said she had been told that by another former detective,

Tony Lewandowski, whom she had had a brief gay relationship with around the same time.




Shirley Finn’s lesbian lover Rose Black to testify at murder inquest

https://thewest.com.au/news/crime/shirley-finns-lesbian-lover-rose-black-to-testify-at-murder-inquest-ng-b88665629z

Tim Clarke - Monday, 20 November 2017

Shirley Finn was shot to the head on the Royal Perth golf course.Shirley Finn was shot to the head on the Royal Perth golf course.Picture: Facebook

The former lover of murdered brothel madam Shirley Finn will give evidence at the inquest into the 40 year-old mystery of who killed her.

This morning, at the resumption of the inquest into Ms Finn’s execution-style killing in 1975, it was revealed that Rose Black, also known as Rose Dean, had been tracked down and locked in to give evidence to the inquiry next week.

She has never publicly spoken about the killing of Ms Finn, who was found shot to the head in her distinctive Dodge car on the Royal Perth golf course.

But a witness list released today shows Ms Black scheduled to give what is certain to become key testimony about the weeks and days leading up to Mrs Finn’s brutal murder.

Earlier in the inquest, Ms Finn’s daughter Bridget Shewring said that she believed her mother’s live-in girlfriend at the time knew more about the mysterious murder than she has ever revealed.

Ms Black’s account of the night before Ms Finn’s body was discovered — June 22, 1975 — has her leaving the South Perth house to visit a friend, before departing there at midnight, checking into a motel, and then returning home sometime after 4am.

But Ms Shewring said the accounts were “strange” and “odd”.

Bridget Shewring, the daughter of Shirley Finn.Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

“I never liked Rose from the minute I saw her ... I believe Rose knows more than what she is saying in her statements,” Ms Shewring said

Adding intrigue to Ms Black’s appearance was this morning’s evidence from Mandurah man Ted Moseley, who told coroner Barry King that he had seen Finn’s distinctive car parked on the golf course on the night – with the headlights on and the doors open.

What he also claimed he saw was a woman, with a blonde bobbed haircut and a three quarter length coat walking towards the car, along with another shadowy figure.

Mr Moseley said while it was strange at the time, he thought it vital the following morning when he became aware of a police plea for any information about the discovery of Ms Finn’s body.

After going to the police, and giving a statement, Mr Moseley said this morning that police then “paraded” women in front of him, asking to say if any of them resembled the woman he had seen at the scene.

He said one of them did, but he could not positively identify her.

But in a later police record of his interview, it was noted that the woman’s hair “was similar to Rose Dean”.

Mr Moseley said he could not have said that, because he had no idea who that was at the time. He also noted that it said in his police statement that officers had taken Mr Moseley to the scene.

But he said that was “absolutely and completely false”.

Mr Moseley’s wife Elaine, who was also in the car on the night, also gave evidence, and said she too had seen the woman close to what must have been Shirley Finn’s car.

Shot: Shirley FinnShot: Shirley FinnPicture: Facebook

Speculation has swirled for decades about a possible police cover-up into the killing of the brothel boss, whose body found dead dressed in an elaborate ball gown and expensive jewellery.

The opening testimony of the inquest revealed claims that notorious Sydney criminal Arthur “Neddy” Smith was paid $5000 to fly to Perth to murder Finn on behalf of her business partners.

Former WA Police detective James Boland detailed the alleged “hit”, which was backed up by an official police document in the original case file which showed police inquiries confirmed a person with Smith’s name travelled to Perth on the day of the murder.

Another witness, Philip Holland, whose ill health has brought forward his witness testimony to the coroner, claimed how a chance stop on the side of the same road in June 1975 led to him becoming a witness to one of Perth’s most mysterious murders.

Mr Holland told how he heard the four shots rings out on the golf course having earlier seen Ms Finn’s distinctive car – which he described as a “Yank Tank” parked alongside a van he said belonged to the police.

He then told how two men – one short and stocky, the other tall and skinny - then banged on the roof of his car, and warned him not to tell the police what he had seen, or they would know straight away.

Mr Holland named one of those men as Laurie Tudori, a Northbridge nightclub owner and Perth underworld figure.

Mr Tudori’s family has now engaged a laywer, Mark Trowell QC , to act for them in the inquest.


Shirley Finn inquest told former police chief Don Hancock murdered Perth brothel madam

BY SARAH COLLARD AND BRIANA SHEPHERDhttp://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-22/shirley-finn-inquest-told-don-hancock-murdered-brothel-madam/9180496?pfmredir=sm

22nd November 2017-11-22


Don Hancock

Former CIB chief Don Hancock was killed by a car bomb.-ABC TV NEWS


"There were two of us — Don Hancock was the trigger-man," Ms Varis-Beswick said Mr Lewandowski revealed to her.

The person who shot Shirley Finn is now dead. The Silver Fox is dead," she recounted Mr Lewandowski saying on the phone call.

A coronial inquest has heard explosive claims that CIB chief Don Hancock shot and killed brothel madam Shirley Finn, whose body was found riddled with bullets at Royal Perth Golf Course in 1975.

The claims came from Leigh Varis-Beswick, a former madam who went on to become a Kalgoorlie city councillor, who was told of the link between Mr Hancock and Ms Finn's murder by her ex-partner — former detective Tony Lewandowski — following Mr Hancock's death in a car bomb blast in 2001.

Ms Finn's body was found with four bullet holes in her head and slumped over the wheel of a white Dodge at the Royal Perth Golf Course in June 1975.

he mother of three was killed two days before a tax hearing where she had threatened to blow the lid on illicit dealings by politicians, businessmen and police.

Ms Varis-Beswick, formerly known as Harry, said she was Ms Finn's driver from about 1968 to 1971, before going on to work as a prostitute for Ms Finn.

She told the inquest that in 2004 she received a phone call from Mr Lewandowski, a detective who had worked closely with Mr Hancock — the detective in charge of the police Criminal Investigation Branch — and with whom she had been involved for several years.

She said he refused to give his name over fears the line was bugged, but asked Ms Varis-Beswick if she knew who she was talking with.

Ms Varis-Beswick said Mr Lewandowski — or Lou as he was commonly known — told her he had been the driver while Mr Hancock shot Ms Finn.

Mr Hancock was killed in a car bomb planted by members of the Gypsy Jokers bikie gang out the front of his house in the Perth suburb of Lathlain in 2001.

The attack was revenge over the shooting death of bikie Billy Grierson near the Goldfields town of Ora Banda, for which Mr Hancock was blamed but never charged.

Ms Varis-Beswick told the court she had long been scared of Mr Hancock — known in police circles as "The Silver Fox" due to his white hair — because of his reputation.

She told the court Mr Lewandowski used the same nickname in the phone call to her following Mr Hancock's murder.

Mr Lewandowski, who was found dead in his home in the Perth suburb of Parmelia in 2004, admitted fabricating evidence connected to the Mickelberg Perth Mint Gold swindle in 1982.

Ms Varis-Beswick also repeated claims she used to drive Ms Finn around with the then police minister Ray O'Connor — stating the two had been having an affair of sorts.

She was questioned strongly on her timeline of events by council for the Police Commissioner, David Leigh, who said there were inconsistencies in her previous police statement.

Ms Varis-Beswick admitted she had been mistaken on some dates.

The inquiry into Ms Finn's death continues.

Will we ever know who killed Shirley Finn?

A tight head and shoulders shot of a smiling Shirley Finn. 
Violence, sex and crooked cops — the 1975 execution-style murder of the Perth brothel madam reads like a crime novel. But discovering who did it may prove impossible.

Shirley Finn inquest probes one of Australia's biggest murder mysteries

BY BRIANA SHEPHERD

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-23/shirley-finn-coronial-inquest-probes-42-year-old-murder-mystery/8968842

Shirley Finn stands with her hands on her hips in a white dress smiling for the camera.

PHOTO 

The case of who murdered brothel madam Shirley Finn when she was 32, has never been solved.- SUPPLIED: BRIDGET SHEWRING

Will we ever know who murdered Shirley Finn?

The 1975 execution-style murder of the Perth brothel madam reads like a crime novel — a tale of sex, violence and crooked cops.

Killed two days before a tax hearing where she had been threatening to blow the whistle on the illicit dealings of politicians, businessmen and police, Ms Finn's death resulted in more than four decades of speculation about the identity of her murderer.

Over the past week, the coronial inquest into her unsolved killing has heard from 12 witnesses — many linking some of WA's most high profile figures to the case.

But with the majority of significant players now dead, and witnesses facing the challenge of accurately recalling events from more than 40 years ago, determining who was behind Ms Finn's murder may prove an impossible task.

The woman who knew too much



Ms Finn was a brothel owner in the 1970s, when Perth was known as the 'Wild West' and almost anyone in a position of power appeared to be on the take.

It has been alleged by those close to Ms Finn that she paid police a fee to run her establishment, in return for their protection under the 'containment policy' that was in place at that time.

By 1975, she was living in a mansion on Riverview Street in South Perth with her 12 year-old daughter Bridget and a woman named Rose Black, her partner.

Known around town for her oversized American car — an eye catching white Dodge — she rubbed shoulders with the who's who of Perth, businessmen, doctors, politicians and artists, most famously entertaining singer Elton John during a visit to Perth in 1974.

But her lifestyle was costly and she chalked up a $150,000 debt with the tax department that she was unable or unwilling to pay.

It is widely believed her threats to reveal the secrets of the powerful unless that debt was cleared eventually led to her demise.

The perfect crime?

On the morning of June 23 1975, as the rain poured down on the green at the Royal Perth Golf Course in South Perth, Ms Finn was found slumped over the wheel of her white Dodge. She was dead at 32.

A black and white picture of a WA Police detective looking inside a car for evidence with plastic covering the front seat.



A Western Australian Police detective looks for evidence inside Shirley Finn's Dodge

Ms Finn was wearing an evening gown and had four bullet holes in her head — three at the back and one at the side, in what was known as a bowling ball execution.

But despite the brazen nature of the crime and two cold case reviews, the murder remains unsolved.

Rumours of police involvement have dogged the case and last year the WA Coroner agreed to an inquest, leading to the events of this week.

So far, the Perth Coroner's Court has heard from a range of witnesses including Ms Finn's daughter Bridget Shewring, former police officers and a number of people who have come forward for the first time — with some prominent names mentioned.

Police Investigation Under Scrutiny

"Rumour, scuttlebutt, whatever had it that police were involved, rightly or wrongly," one witness, John Mearns, said.

Many witnesses expressed relief at the chance to put their evidence on public record, with a number of them saying their statements were changed by police or information they proffered was ignored.

Determining whether the rumours are fact or fiction will be the job of Coroner Barry King, and it is a responsibility few could envy.


 What has perhaps become clearer is that the police investigation was at best mismanaged, and at worst, set up to fail.

The court heard evidence from former deputy police commissioner Frank Zanetti who was quizzed on police protocol.

He was asked how so many reports from the investigation had seemingly disappeared, why his name and signature appeared on countless police documents he had no memory of, and why — after only four months — it appeared police began to wind down the investigation.

As Coroner King put to him, "How could it be that a document like 393 (which included a tip-off notorious Sydney hit man Neddy Smith had allegedly been flown to Perth to kill Ms Finn) was in possession of the police department and it doesn't seem to have been followed up?"

Daughter left fighting for justice

Ms Shewring — Ms Finn's only surviving child — has spent years pushing for the inquest.



Bridget Shewring

AUSTRALIAN STORY: MARC ALBORNFRI 22 SEP 2017

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-22/bridget-shewring/8976254

While dry-eyed during her own testimony in the first week, 

Bridget Shewring has since been moved to tears on more than one occasion,

 having to hear about the details of her mother's death over and over again.

The inquiry will continue in November, but with no further witness list provided,

the question remains: who will be called upon to tell the coroner what they remember of that day in June 1975?

And what might they have to say to help shed light on a 42-year-old mystery?

Who are the key players?

Bernie Johnson — Former Vice Squad chief

Don Hancock — Former CIB chief

Arthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith — Convicted murderer

Ray O'Connor — Former premier

Owen Leitch — Former police commissioner

Bernie Johnson

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-22/former-wa-detective-bernie-johnson/8976092


A tight head and shoulders shot of Bernie Johnson.

Former head of the vice squad Bernie Johnson was placed at the scene of the murder by a witness.

 Was head of the Vice Squad in 1975.

The former top vice cop was placed at the scene the night of the murder. Witness Philip Hooper told the court he heard four gunshots when parked near the golf course and had been threatened to keep quiet by Mr Johnson for years, with the detective once putting a gun to his head.

Former police officer Geoffrey McMurray told the court Mr Johnson was the second detective to arrive at the murder scene that morning. He said he passed on the registration of a silver, green car he'd seen leaving the crime scene to Mr Johnson, who left five minutes later. The head investigator of the murder case said Mr Johnson never passed that information on.

Former police officer James Boland told the court he'd heard rumours Mr Johnson had been one of the people Ms Finn had threatened to expose.

Mr Boland was asked in court about a previous statement where he'd said, "… if Bernie Johnson was guilty of this murder, there's no way we would catch him".

Mr Johnson has denied having anything to do with the murder.

Still alive, he lives in a nursing home and has dementia.

Don Hancock

A head and shoulder sshot of Don Hancock wearing a yellow shirt standing in front of the Ora Banda pub.

PHOTO Former CIB chief Don Hancock died in a car-bombing in 2001.

Was a detective in 1975 who went on to become head of the Criminal Investigation Branch. Was nicknamed the 'Silver Fox'.

Former police officer James Boland said he'd been given a tip-off a short time after the murder that notorious eastern states underworld figure Neddy Smith had been flown to Perth to kill Ms Finn. He told the court this information was passed onto his superior, Mr Hancock, who told him to "leave it alone".

Witness Steve Couacaud placed Mr Hancock at the crime scene the night Ms Finn was killed. Mr Couacaud said he saw a police officer with white, silver hair and black, bushy eyebrows get into a white Dodge parked at the golf course, later identifying him as Mr Hancock. He told the court police ignored his numerous attempts to pass on this information.

Died in a car bomb in 2001. Bikie Sid Reid was convicted of his murder.

Arthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-22/convicted-criminal-arthur-stanley-neddy-smith/8976010


Arthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith

PHOTOArthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith

WWW.AUSTRALIANBUSHRANGERS.COMUPDATED FRI 22 SEP 2017

Arthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith was spotted drinking with an associate around the time of the murder.

FRI 22 SEP 2017

Arthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith

PHOTO Arthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith was spotted drinking with an associate around the time of the murder.

WWW.AUSTRALIANBUSHRANGERS.COM

A convicted double murderer, serving two life sentences in a Sydney jail.

Former police officer James Boland told the court he'd received a tip-off that Neddy Smith had been contracted to kill Ms Finn.

According to a police document read out in court, someone called police saying they'd spotted Neddy Smith drinking with an associate in a local tavern around the time of the murder.

The lead was never followed.

Neddy Smith has been named as a suspect in a further seven cases.

It is understood WA Police spoke to Smith in 2014 before handing the case to the coroner. The contents of that discussion are not yet known.

Ray O'Connor

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-22/former-wa-premier-ray-oconnor/8976094

Police minister in 1975, became premier in 1982. In bizarre testimony given by the first person claiming to be an eyewitness, retired taxi driver Ray Gardner said he saw O'Connor and a plain clothed-policeman shoot Finn. O'Connor, who was jailed for six months in 1995 as part of the WA Inc scandal and died in 2013 aged 86, was forced to publicly deny any link to the Finn murder.

Former WA premier Ray O'Connor

Ray O'Connor was believed to be in a secret relationship with Shirley Finn at the time of her murder.

Was WA's police minister in 1975.

Was believed to be in a secret relationship with Ms Finn at the time.

Former police officer James Boland told the court he'd heard rumours Mr O'Connor had been one of the people Ms Finn had threatened to expose.

The inquest heard from witness Ray Gardner who said he saw Mr O'Connor shoot Ms Finn twice in the head. Mr Gardener's evidence was questioned heavily for mismatched details.

Went on to become WA premier, leading the state from 1982-83.

Convicted of fraud following the WA Inc. scandal and jailed in 1995.

Died in 2013.

Owen Leitch

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-22/former-assistant-police-commissioner-leitch.jpg/8976442

Old photo of former Assistant Commissioner of Police Owen Leitch saluting.
  


George Owen Arthur Leitch (1919-2006, known as Owen)_Western Australian  Commissioner Of Police
Western Australian Police Commissioner from  13 September 1975 to 15 February 1981


Former WA Police assistant commissioner Owen Leitch

ABC- FRI 22 SEP 2017

Owen Leitch was promoted to Police commissioner months after Ms Finn's murder.

Was assistant commissioner of Police in 1975.

Allegedly met Ms Finn days before her death when she went for help with her tax problems. Witness Jacqueline de Gaye told the court of a conversation where Ms Finn said Mr Leitch threatened to kill her when she told him she would "name names".

According to Ms de Gaye, Ms Finn said Mr Leitch had told her he was going to introduce her to an important person who could help her and she should "dress to impress". Ms de Gaye said Ms Finn had brought over the dress she'd intended to wear for that meeting, and it was the same one she was killed in.

Promoted to Commissioner of Police months after the murder.

Owen Leitch -Died in 2006

Rumours have been rife of police involvement in the murder of Shirley Finn

The mystery of the Shirley Finn murder-ABC Video

MON 6 MAR 2017

Shirley Finn's murder was described as a "bowling ball"-style execution.

ABC NEWSPOSTED MON 6 MAR 2017

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-06/the-mystery-of-the-shirley-finn-murder/8322810


Brothel madam’s lover to talk about murder

The Australian Newspaper 21st November, 2017

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/brothel-madams-lover-to-talk-about-murder/news-story/4218845ea410185fe36da7312be30d79






Shirley Finn the Perth, Western Australian brothel madam was murdered in 1975

The lesbian lover of murdered Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn will speak about the 42-year murder mystery for the first time, when she gives evidence at a coronial inquest next week.

The revelation came as the ­inquest into Finn’s brutal death was told yesterday that a woman with shoulder-length blonde hair was seen by a passing motorist at the scene on June 22, 1975.

It is the first time a witness has placed a woman at the scene, following earlier testimony that two men were spotted near Finn’s car on the night of the murder.

Police wrote in a statement at the time, based on an interview with the witness, that the woman at the scene looked “similar to Rose Dean”, who is also known as Rose Black and was Finn’s live-in girlfriend when Finn was found dead in her distinctive white Dodge at the Royal Perth Golf Club.

She had a tax debt of more than $100,000 and had been threatening to expose police officers to whom she was paying bribes. Speculation has linked the murder to corrupt police, politicians, rival brothel madams and criminal figures.

In September, Finn’s daughter Bridget Shewring claimed Ms Black “knows more than she is saying” about the murder of her mother.

She told Coroner Barry King that she thought the actions of Ms Black on the night of the murder were “odd”.

Ms Black had left the house when she was meant to be babysitting, checked into a city motel about midnight, and later phoned the house to ask Bridget, then aged 13, to check whether Finn was home.

Ms Black eventually arrived home about 4am.

Witness Edward Moseley told the inquest yesterday that he and his wife Elaine had been driving along the Kwinana Freeway on the night of June 22, 1975, when he saw a blonde-haired woman wearing a three-quarter length coat walking towards Finn’s car at the golf club

Mr Moseley gave a statement to police the next day. He said police had “paraded” a woman in front of him who looked similar to the woman he had seen on the golf course, but he could not positively identify her.

The court was told that in a ­record of the interview with Mr Moseley, police had written that the woman had hair “similar to Rose Dean”. But Mr Moseley said he had no knowledge of Ms Dean at the time and her name had not been mentioned in the interview.

The inquest continues.


Dirty Girl by Juleit Wills

Chapter 10 –King of Vice


Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson

Dirty Girl by Juleit Wills

Chapter 10 –King of Vice

https://books.google.ie/books?id=toRGDgAAQBAJ&pg=PT113&lpg=PT113&dq=Detective+Bernard+Bromilow+Johnson&source=bl&ots=611D5Aanu-&sig=XDP-kNS8pItOcaSp9FXPENSWdFI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj-ierc9bvXAhUIJ8AKHcbzAdEQ6AEINTAC#v=onepage&q=Detective%20Bernard%20Bromilow%20Johnson&f=false

The summer’s flower is to thw summer sweet,

Though to itself it only live and die,

But it that flower with base infection meet,

For sweetest thoungs turn sourest by their deds;

Lilies that fester smell far wrose than weeds.

-          William Shakespear

The Western Australian writer Dorothy Hewitt once described the palpable sense of corruption she experienced in both Sydney and Perth. Writing in 1982, she said the glitzy materialism and conspicuous consumption linked with vice and organised crime in Sydney was “vulgar articulate and unashamed”; whereas in Perth, “the worm in  the bud is secretive”.

It is this sectretiveness that most observant followers of Western Australian cultural life consider the decisive factor behind Shirley Finn’s murder in 1975, and which forms the subject of Dirty Girl.

I first met Juliet Wills in 2008 while researching Shirley Finn’s murder. This project began for me in 1988 when I met and became friends with

 Shirley Finn’s youngest son, Shane. At the time, I was teaching a poetry class in Casuarina Prison, and Shane shared with me documents

given to Shane by a sympathetic policeman. Shane encouraged me to wite about his mother’s murder.

The inquires I made and the people I met informed the three crime novels I’ve written –

using crime fiction entertainment as a vehicle to explore the stories, characters and secrets of my hometown.

Initially, I had no idea what I was in for. However, the climate of fear and suspicion and the real threats of reprisal for

 writing about the murder were soon made clear.

 I mention this background only to express my great admiration for Juliet Wills and the evidence she has gathered, at significant personal cost,

 here within the pages of Dirty Girl. The overall picture of policing practices, and their connection to Shirley Finn’s murder,

is as damning as it is exhaustive and detailed. Juliet Will’s quiet determination and investigative skills, so apparent at my first and

subsequent meetings with Juliet, are applied here is the best kind of journalism. Juliet shines a light into the darkest corners,

bringing clarity and vivid expression to the characters, the stories and the secrets that have hitherto remained unspoken, and so unknown

. There is much that will surprise the research and much that gives flesh and voice to what was once only speculation, rumour and innuendo.

Dirty Girl is not only an expose of this terrible and cruel unsolved murder, and it’s devastating effects on a family, and a community.

It is a work of social history, covering a period and a stratum of society rarely examined in print. Much is new in this publication, including descriptions of close links between Sydney’s organised crime and corrupt policing, and Perth’s police service and criminal world.

We are presented with the statements of new witnesses and new evidence.

The author’s careful structured application of these testimonies creates a damning timeline of events – involving those from the lowest level on the street to the highest office in the state.

This book, Dirty Girl, is a highly readable, tough-minded and clear-sighted explanation of why it became necessary

for vested interests to kill Shirley Finn, and then to cover up her murder, both at the time and well into the future.

However, Dirty Girl is also a moving personal story – the story of the woman and mother behind the public persona, of her children,

and of the  damage done by loss and grief to each of their lives.

Dirty Girl is the result of over two decades of patient and often unnerving research. It is a great testament to the unwavering fight

 for justice by both Bridget, Shirley Finn’s last surviving child, and the author, Juliet Wills.

Dirt Girl deserves tyo be widely read and to endure as an important historical document that reveals the secrets and lies of powerful interests, criminal and political.

David Whish-Wilson, 21/02/2017

Introduction to Dirty Girl

The Kwinana Freeway runs alongside the Canning and Swan Rivers for almost then kilometres before the city of Perth comes into view.

The six-lane freeway is the main path for commuters heading to and from work. As the ciry comes into view, most eyes are drawn

 to either the broad expanse of the Swan River dotted with yachts, or to the city skyline ahead. But I always look to the right,

towards the shrubs and trees on the side of the Royal Perth Gold Club.  Men and women tee off from the seventh fairway on manicured greens,

mostly unaware of the cold calculated murder that took place just metres away, more than thirty years ago…..

Four shots – point blank range.

The small frame of a petite woman slumps behind the wheel of her luxury limited edition car. A trickle of bloods runs down the side of

her face from beside her ear, past her large hooped earring. Hr styled short blond hair is stained red with blood. She is 26 years old, a mother of three.

The shimmer of her glittering ball gown glistens through the window.

Satin bell sleeves and cinnamon-coloured pleats fan out from just below her breasts over the leather seats to the floor below.

Were it not for the revealing low cut, the design was the type you might find on a church choral singer, but Shirley Finn was no choral singer.

Shirley Finn was one of two police-protected brothel madams running an enormously successful criminal enterprise in Perth in the early 1970’s. When police decided to organise ‘crime greenlightling’ to certain criminal groups. It must have seemed like a good idea

…The Zanibar club’s owners Betr and Laurie Tudori provide security at Dorrie FLatman’s brothels. Their businesses compliments each other, and they worked together. No-one would cross the Tudoris and their henchmen without serious consecquences, “They’s pulverise them, break their arm.” They were handy security for the brothels. Detetctive Bernie Johnson would sometimes work on the door at the Zanzibar, and he’s also help out Dorrie Flatman is she had trouble…

Chapter 9
 

Perth and Kalgoorlie Madam Stella Strong

Stella’s Secret

“..Repeated trauma in childhood forms and deforms the personality. The child trapped in an abusive environment is faced with formidable tasks of adaption, She must find a way to preserve a sense of trust in people who are untrustworthy, safety is a situation that is unsafe, control in a situation that is terrifyingly unpredictable, power is a situatopn of helplessness…” -Judith Lewis Herman.

Stella Strong retreated to Kalgoorlie in the early 1970’s after her brothel in Perth was firebombed. “I thought I was in Siberia … I felt like I was in jail. Dirt roads, all red dust, the washing was always dirty. There were bars on the windows. We (prostitutes) were allowed into town to go shopping for two hours. We couldn’t go the racetrack or the public pool, and we had to tell the CIB were we were..”

Stella Srong was in Kalgoorie when Shirley Finn got shot. “Shirley was a working girl, with a greedy husband, trying to support three kids. Shirley did not deserve what she got.”

Sitting back in her big chair with two white poodles by her side, Stella’s accent reminded me of  Zsa Zsa Gabor. “They hurt something in me. The people I knew before, they were thieves and con merchants but not killers and liars. To run a monopoly is anything was shit. Shirley didn’t deserve what happened to her. Shirley was only a day late.”

”Yes”

“Do you know who did it?”

Estelita Roma (“Stella”) Strong paused and sighed, taking a long drag on her gigarette. “ It was someone in charge. I can’t afford to tell yoy. I hope someday someone will tell you it, but I want to live. If a criminal speaks (out), they can’t win.”#

…. My original name was Galea, Have yoy seen this book? “ she said, pulling out Davif Hickie’s expose on crime and corruption in NSW in the 1970’s, entitled “The Prince and the Premier”. The Prince was Perce Galea, the affable uncrowned king of Sydney;s gamblinmg world, a pillar of the Catholic Church and a flamboyant racetrack punter who enjoyed entry into the most privileged of circles. “My father, he sold me for a racehorse. I was so stupid, so naïve. It was my decision. You should have seen the dollars. I didn’t speak English. He was a benefactor. Look, he’s given me this tip, a handful of money. The tips, you should have seen the tips. He was my father. My benefactor.” Galea maintained a façade of honesty and respectability despite his extensive links to organised crime. Journalist David Hickie quoted an ‘impecccable’ source from the Galea empire as saying that NSW Commissioner of police, Fred Hanson, and NSW Premier Askin each got $100,000 a year from Galea’s gambling operations.

… Galea was notorious for fixing races and doping horses….  “her ste me up at th Lotus Blossom with my husband,”… my cousin Vince, a Yugoslav, I cannot tell you his last name because he could hurt me. He knew the vice squad. He had a book and knew who to protect, who to collect and who to leave out.”

“The worst of the lot was Lennie McPherson. He tells you .. ‘Go and shoot him. Right knew, left knew… between the eyes.’ Two of my husband’s friends, big businessmen from America, “Mafiosi’ .. I seen them with Lennie McPherson, I said, ‘Who is going to get knocked off?’ Next day, Johnie Regan.

Regan was one of the heads of the Sydney underworld in the later 1960’s. He was known as The Magician, as people closely associated with him a habit of disappearing – permanently. Ruthless and cruel, Regam was executed in a hail of bullets in Marrickville in 1974.

……

…. While Dorrie Flatman and Stella Strong disagree on who came first, they both agree they teamed up and were friends and business partners when starting up their brothel businesses; that they required approval from Bernie Johnson; and that, in 1970, witj Shirley Finn, they were the three women who dominated the sex trade in Perth, Western Australia. Stella Strong had brothels in Norfolk Street, Francis Street, William Street and Brisbane Street, Northbridge. A dispute with former Roe Street madame Dot Walsh over the payment for the Francis Street brothel, caused antagonism amongst the madams at the time. Stella Strong said she paid police in Sydney and the same thing happened in Perth. “Back them we did have to pay police. If we had ten girls, it was $1,000.”


He struck me as not only intelligent but frank.

In the witness box his attitude to Superintendent Daniel s, whom he had at one time considered defamation, was admirably restrained and fair – Judge John Gerald Norris, 1976

There has never been a man with more control over crime in the state of Western Australia before or since Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson. Wielded his stick (“gun actually according the witnesses that had dealings with Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson. In the 1970’s”) on Perth’s mean streets in the 1970’s. Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson was said to be unstoppable – a law unto himself.

Newspapers dubbed Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson the ‘King of Vice’, though four enquires would clear Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson of any wrongdoing. Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson built a reputation that scared Pert’s toughest villains. Bad, brilliant or misunderstood, depending on who you are speaking to, Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson had extensice contacts with organised crime and police, both in Western Australia and interstate, and wasn’t afraid to use them. Locally in Perth and Western Australia, Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson held dirt on lawyers, politicians and other police officers.

Shirley Finn was a ‘fizz’, an in formant who told Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson who was doing what. It was also Johnson who gave the late Shirley Finn the go ahead to operate a brothel in Perth, Western Australia.

Together with Detective Ron Whitmore, Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson first arrested the late Shirley Finn in 1969. …

…. The policy of ‘containment’, still in operation in Western Australia, had been outliners and made official by Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson at the Norris Royal Commission in 1975-1976.. If anyone knew how the ‘containment’ policy worked, it was Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson.

Paula, my Channel co-journalist looked Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson in the eye and asked:

“ Did you kill Shirley Finn?”

The camera cut to an extreme close up of Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson, his lined face alert and on the ball. No sign of discomfort. Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson staed right back at Paula, and answered with a smile and a single word, “no.”

“Have you got any idea may had killed Shirley Finn?” Paul asked.

“Not the slightest. No,” Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson replied.

Bernie had a motice, and Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson acknowledges that fact, but he was one of several people who had a motive  (to see that Shirley Finn did not live…)…

….. We sat down at the breakfast bar, and I began recording…

“it was easy to manage because we were the power,” the retired detective said of the police system Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson oversaw in the years leading up to Shirley Finn’s death.

“The way we ran it, there was only five or six brothels, and if anyone opened, they needed permission from me. We had strict rules, there was no men, no drugs, they had to subject themselves to a medical examination and they had to behave.”

Raiding brothels had always been fraught with problems. Police officers battled with laws that made the industry illegal, and fears that upholding those laws would drive the industry underground, leaving it to organised crime and mean who were willing to kill to ensure they got the biggest share of the profits. With no legislative guidelines, police officers were often forced to draw their own lines.

The WA Police chose to keep the industry in check through a policy that would later be known as ‘containment’, though such a policy was never written down. Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson said the Western Australian formula was the best in the country (Australia). The oldest profession was heavily controlled, there were no streetwalkers, no male pimps and less violence than elsewhere.

Police c ontrol over brothels was beneficial to both parties. The police got valuable intelligence, and for the madams, the detective help keep violent criminals out and stopped new operators opening up. Police charges could make life impossible for any opposition, Security for the girls was also an issue, and it helped if you could call on the police.

“If they wanted to open up a brothel in Western Australia, they had to come to the Consorting Squad. It was my (Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson) job to run the prostitution side, and I interviewed them ( all prospective brothel madams). I laid down the rules, We had a good relationship with the madams. The madams knew if they didn’t to the job they were out,” Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson said.

It was Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson who gave Dorrie Flatman and Stella Strong approval to open un brothels in Perth, Western Australia.

“. I was there when both of them (Dorrie Flatman and Stella Strong ) started .”

Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson said the two of them ran a clean game and that is why they got the go-ahead. It was Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson’s word that gave Dorrie Flatman and Stella Strong the power, that so annoyed Johnson’s police colleague, Spike Daniels.

“Shame what happened to Spike. Spike used to give me veggies from his vegetable patch.”

…. Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson was good at getting confessions, Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson arrested one of the Croation men said to be a member of the Croation Revolutionary Army, wanted for the detonation of a series of bombings in central Sydney in 1972.

Well know Perth lawyer, Ron Cannon wrote inside the cover of a book to Johnson:

“To Detective Sergeant Bernie Johnson, the only police officer in WA who can obtain a confession from a non-English speaking Yugoslav whose jaw is broken, and teeth wired up and clamped shut…”

The man Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson arrested was later acquitted.

Johnson got results when results were what mattered. Former Police Commissioner Owen Leitch said Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson was one of the best detectives around at the time.

“Bernie knew more criminals, so he got more evidence,” …former Police Commissioner Owen Leitch.

Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson’s close association with madams, gambling lords and sly grog operators, as well as interstate consorting squads and criminal, ensured that Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson knew  when crooks were trying to move in from other states…


Shirley Finn inquest probes one of Australia's biggest murder mysteries

By Briana Shepherd

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-23/shirley-finn-coronial-inquest-probes-42-year-old-murder-mystery/8968842

Will we ever know who murdered Shirley Finn?

The 1975 execution-style murder of the Perth brothel madam reads like a crime novel — a tale of sex, violence and crooked cops.

Killed two days before a tax hearing where she had been threatening to blow the whistle on the illicit dealings of politicians, businessmen and police, Ms Finn's death resulted in more than four decades of speculation about the identity of her murderer.

Over the past week, the coronial inquest into her unsolved killing has heard from 12 witnesses — many linking some of WA's most high profile figures to the case.

But with the majority of significant players now dead, and witnesses facing the challenge of accurately recalling events from more than 40 years ago, determining who was behind Ms Finn's murder may prove an impossible task.

The woman who knew too much

Ms Finn was a brothel owner in the 1970s, when Perth was known as the 'Wild West' and almost anyone in a position of power appeared to be on the take.

It has been alleged by those close to Ms Finn that she paid police a fee to run her establishment, in return for their protection under the 'containment policy' that was in place at that time.

By 1975, she was living in a mansion on Riverview Street in South Perth with her 12 year-old daughter Bridget and a woman named Rose Black, her partner.

Known around town for her oversized American car — an eye catching white Dodge — she rubbed shoulders with the who's who of Perth, businessmen, doctors, politicians and artists, most famously entertaining singer Elton John during a visit to Perth in 1974.

But her lifestyle was costly and she chalked up a $150,000 debt with the tax department that she was unable or unwilling to pay.

It is widely believed her threats to reveal the secrets of the powerful unless that debt was cleared eventually led to her demise.

The perfect crime?

On the morning of June 23 1975, as the rain poured down on the green at the Royal Perth Golf Course in South Perth, Ms Finn was found slumped over the wheel of her white Dodge. She was dead at 32.

A black and white picture of a WA Police detective looking inside a car for evidence with plastic covering the front seat.PHOTO: A WA Police detective looks for evidence inside Shirley Finn's Dodge. (Supplied)

Ms Finn was wearing an evening gown and had four bullet holes in her head — three at the back and one at the side, in what was known as a bowling ball execution.

But despite the brazen nature of the crime and two cold case reviews, the murder remains unsolved.

Rumours of police involvement have dogged the case and last year the WA Coroner agreed to an inquest, leading to the events of this week.

So far, the Perth Coroner's Court has heard from a range of witnesses including Ms Finn's daughter Bridget Shewring, former police officers and a number of people who have come forward for the first time — with some prominent names mentioned.

Police investigation under scrutiny

"Rumour, scuttlebutt, whatever had it that police were involved, rightly or wrongly," one witness, John Mearns, said.

Many witnesses expressed relief at the chance to put their evidence on public record, with a number of them saying their statements were changed by police or information they proffered was ignored.

Determining whether the rumours are fact or fiction will be the job of Coroner Barry King, and it is a responsibility few could envy.

Detectives looking of photos of the crime scene of the 1975 murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley .PHOTO: Detectives examine photos of the crime scene after Ms Finn's murder. (ABC News)

What has perhaps become clearer is that the police investigation was at best mismanaged, and at worst, set up to fail.

The court heard evidence from former deputy police commissioner Frank Zanetti who was quizzed on police protocol.

He was asked how so many reports from the investigation had seemingly disappeared, why his name and signature appeared on countless police documents he had no memory of, and why — after only four months — it appeared police began to wind down the investigation.

As Coroner King put to him, "How could it be that a document like 393 (which included a tip-off notorious Sydney hit man Neddy Smith had allegedly been flown to Perth to kill Ms Finn) was in possession of the police department and it doesn't seem to have been followed up?"

Daughter left fighting for justice

Ms Shewring — Ms Finn's only surviving child — has spent years pushing for the inquest.

Bridget ShewringPHOTO: Bridget Shewring, the daughter of Shirley Finn, has spent years pushing for the inquest. (Australian Story: Marc Alborn)

While dry-eyed during her own testimony in the first week, she has since been moved to tears on more than one occasion, having to hear about the details of her mother's death over and over again.

The inquiry will continue in November, but with no further witness list provided, the question remains: who will be called upon to tell the coroner what they remember of that day in June 1975?

And what might they have to say to help shed light on a 42-year-old mystery?

Who are the key players?

Bernie Johnson — Former Vice Squad chief

Don Hancock — Former CIB chief

Arthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith — Convicted murderer

Ray O'Connor — Former premier

Owen Leitch — Former police commissioner

Bernie Johnson

A tight head and shoulders shot of Bernie Johnson.PHOTO: Former head of the vice squad Bernie Johnson was placed at the scene of the murder by a witness. (Supplied)

  • Was head of the Vice Squad in 1975.
  • The former top vice cop was placed at the scene the night of the murder. Witness Philip Hooper told the court he heard four gunshots when parked near the golf course and had been threatened to keep quiet by Mr Johnson for years, with the detective once putting a gun to his head.
  • Former police officer Geoffrey McMurray told the court Mr Johnson was the second detective to arrive at the murder scene that morning. He said he passed on the registration of a silver, green car he'd seen leaving the crime scene to Mr Johnson, who left five minutes later. The head investigator of the murder case said Mr Johnson never passed that information on.
  • Former police officer James Boland told the court he'd heard rumours Mr Johnson had been one of the people Ms Finn had threatened to expose.
  • Mr Boland was asked in court about a previous statement where he'd said, "… if Bernie Johnson was guilty of this murder, there's no way we would catch him".
  • Mr Johnson has denied having anything to do with the murder.
  • Still alive, he lives in a nursing home and has dementia.

Don Hancock

 Former CIB chief Don Hancock died in a car-bombing in 2001. (ABC TV News)

  • Was a detective in 1975 who went on to become head of the Criminal Investigation Branch. Was nicknamed the 'Silver Fox'.
  • Former police officer James Boland said he'd been given a tip-off a short time after the murder that notorious eastern states underworld figure Neddy Smith had been flown to Perth to kill Ms Finn. He told the court this information was passed onto his superior, Mr Hancock, who told him to "leave it alone".
  • Witness Steve Couacaud placed Mr Hancock at the crime scene the night Ms Finn was killed. Mr Couacaud said he saw a police officer with white, silver hair and black, bushy eyebrows get into a white Dodge parked at the golf course, later identifying him as Mr Hancock. He told the court police ignored his numerous attempts to pass on this information.
  • Died in a car bomb in 2001. Bikie Sid Reid was convicted of his murder.

Arthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith

Criminal Arthur “Neddy” Smith after being acquitted of the 1986 murder of Sallie-Anne Huckstepp.


Arthur 'Neddy' Smith and his wife Debra on their wedding day at Long Bay Jail.

* ARTHUR "NEDDY" SMITH


Arthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith was spotted drinking with an associate around the time of the murder.(www.australianbushrangers.com)

  • A convicted double murderer, serving two life sentences in a Sydney jail.
  • Former police officer James Boland told the court he'd received a tip-off that Neddy Smith had been contracted to kill Ms Finn.
  • According to a police document read out in court, someone called police saying they'd spotted Neddy Smith drinking with an associate in a local tavern around the time of the murder.
  • The lead was never followed.
  • Neddy Smith has been named as a suspect in a further seven cases.
  • It is understood WA Police spoke to Smith in 2014 before handing the case to the coroner. The contents of that discussion are not yet known.

Ray O'Connor

 Ray O'Connor was believed to be in a secret relationship with Shirley Finn at the time of her murder. (Supplied)

  • Was WA's police minister in 1975.
  • Was believed to be in a secret relationship with Ms Finn at the time.
  • Former police officer James Boland told the court he'd heard rumours Mr O'Connor had been one of the people Ms Finn had threatened to expose.
  • The inquest heard from witness Ray Gardner who said he saw Mr O'Connor shoot Ms Finn twice in the head. Mr Gardener's evidence was questioned heavily for mismatched details.
  • Went on to become WA premier, leading the state from 1982-83.
  • Convicted of fraud following the WA Inc. scandal and jailed in 1995.
  • Died in 2013.

Owen Leitch



Owen Leitch was promoted to Police commissioner months after Ms Finn's murder. (ABC News)

  • Was assistant commissioner of Police in 1975.
  • Allegedly met Ms Finn days before her death when she went for help with her tax problems. Witness Jacqueline de Gaye told the court of a conversation where Ms Finn said Mr Leitch threatened to kill her when she told him she would "name names".
  • According to Ms de Gaye, Ms Finn said Mr Leitch had told her he was going to introduce her to an important person who could help her and she should "dress to impress". Ms de Gaye said Ms Finn had brought over the dress she'd intended to wear for that meeting, and it was the same one she was killed in.
  • Promoted to Commissioner of Police months after the murder.
  • Died in 2006.

Lifting the lid on the Finn murder mystery

https://thewest.com.au/news/perth/lifting-the-lid-on-the-finn-murder-mystery-ng-b88606379z

Lifting the lid on the Finn murder mystery

Grant Taylor

Friday, 22 September 2017 6:30PM

Juliet Wills, Jacqueline De Gaye and Bridget Shewring.Juliet Wills, Jacqueline De Gaye and Bridget Shewring.

Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Arthur “Neddy” Smith was not yet a household name back in June 1975 when Shirley Finn turned up dead in her car with four bullet holes in her head.

The brutal murders, hold-ups and extreme gangland violence that would cement his place in Australian underworld history were still to come.

But even in the early days of his criminal career, Smith had begun to build himself a pretty decent rap sheet that included convictions for robbery and gang rape.

The rape earned him a seven-year jail sentence and he was released from prison just a few months before Ms Finn, a brothel madam, was murdered.

So when the Sydney-based criminal was named as a possible suspect by two separate witnesses in the weeks after Ms Finn’s death, it must have seemed like a gift to investigators, who were struggling to find strong leads.

But what the inquest into Ms Finn’s death sensationally revealed this week is that rather than pursuing Smith, detectives did nothing at all.

The question that naturally follows is why?

Could it be explained away as a simple oversight or even incompetence? Or was something far more sinister afoot, like a co-ordinated cover-up running to the highest levels of WA’s police force?

With so many of the key players in the Finn story now either dead or in nursing homes, the answer may never be known.

But what is becoming clear after the first few days of the inquest is that police failed Ms Finn and her family in 1975 with an investigation that appears to have been fundamentally flawed from the outset.

The taxi driver said he drove past the crime scene four decade ago.

Former WA detective James Boland was the first witness to appear before the inquiry and it was his evidence that immediately raised troubling questions about the police investigation.

Mr Boland’s role was limited to taking a few witness statements.

But one of those witnesses was another Sydney criminal named Keith “The Kid” Lewis. He was living in Perth and keen to swap information about Neddy Smith in exchange for fraud charges against his boyfriend being dropped.

Mr Boland said Lewis told him he had bumped into Smith in Sydney a few weeks before the murder and that Smith had asked if he wanted to help him run brothels in WA.

Lewis claimed that Smith had then flown into Perth under his mother’s maiden name on Sunday, June 22, for a prearranged meeting with Ms Finn where he killed her in exchange for $5000.

Her body — dressed in an expensive satin ball gown — was found in her car the next morning at the Royal Perth Golf Club in South Perth.

Lewis also claimed that Smith met him in Perth again at a tavern a few days after the murder where he repeated the offer to help him run brothels in Perth.

Mr Boland told the inquest he conducted preliminary inquiries into those claims and found there was some supporting evidence that put Smith in Perth at the time of the murder.

An anonymous witness had also contacted police about the same time and confirmed that they had seen Smith and Lewis drinking together at the Perth tavern days after Ms Finn’s death.

But when Mr Boland took what he had learnt to his senior officer, Don Hancock, he got a strange reaction.

Mr Boland told the inquest he was initially told by Mr Hancock to sit on the information for a few days. Mr Hancock then came back to him and told him to tell Lewis that a deal could be done to get his boyfriend off the fraud charges in exchange for his evidence about Smith.

Mr Boland did as instructed, but a day or so later he was contacted again by Mr Hancock who told him he was to have no further involvement in the Finn inquiry.

“He (Hancock) said ‘stay away from it’. He just told me to leave it alone, that was it,” Mr Boland said.

“I took it that it was to be handled by someone more experienced.”

Mr Boland left the force a few years later and became a prison officer. But his curiosity about what had happened with the evidence provided by Lewis never waned.

And when former CIB chief Don Hancock was killed by a car bomb in 2001, he tried to contact police to find out what inquiries had been conducted.

He would ask the same question two more times over the years that followed, even ringing Crime Stoppers to pass on what he knew. But no one ever got back to him.

The answer to what was done was finally revealed on Monday when former deputy police commissioner and ex-Finn detective Frank Zanetti appeared before the inquiry.

Like Mr Boland, Mr Zanetti had played only a minor role in the investigation. But his signature appeared on a crucial document from the original case file which recorded the information provided by Mr Boland about Lewis and Smith.

That document stated that detectives Hancock and Boland were to follow up on the information.

Mr Zanetti was then asked why no further documents appeared in the case file to show what action had been taken.

He suggested that those documents could have gone missing from the file over the years. But he had no memory of what was done,

or of Mr Hancock ever working on the case.


Frank Zanetti.Frank Zanetti.Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

It was then that Coroner Barry King produced another police document prepared in 1993 as part of a review of the original investigation which clearly indicated that Smith was never pursued.

“The inquiry appears unresolved as there is no evidence of Smith being interviewed,” the 1993 document said.

In response, Mr Zanetti admitted: “I am surprised someone did not go across there (to interview Smith).”

An interview did finally happen in 2014 when detectives preparing to hand the case over to the coroner flew to NSW to speak to Smith, who is still serving two life sentences for murder.

What he told them should be revealed this year when the inquest resumes in November.

But it is understood there was no confession from the frail 72-year-old, who is suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease.

Smith’s name was not the only one to have been thrown up as a potential suspect at the inquest.

The court heard seemingly incredible testimony on Wednesday from retired cab driver Ray Gardner, who claimed to have seen the now deceased former premier Ray O’Connor hold a gun to Ms Finn’s head before firing two rounds into her skull.

That supposedly happened at 6am on the Monday morning that Ms Finn’s body was found.

Philip Hooper says he saw Finn’s car on the night of the killing.Philip Hooper says he saw Finn’s car on the night of the killing.Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

Another witness, Philip Hooper, told a different story. He was parked near Ms Finn’s white Dodge at the golf course on the Sunday night when he heard four shots ring out.

He also claimed to have been threatened for years by men he named as former Northbridge nightclub owner Laurie Tudori and vice squad boss Bernie Johnson.

Witness Jacqueline De Gaye told the inquest Ms Finn had come to her home three days before her death, telling her husband that former police commissioner Owen Leitch had threatened to shoot her in the head if she named names at an upcoming tax-office inquiry.

The inquest also heard from a former prison officer that former detective Boland had confessed to her that he shot Ms Finn.

Mr Boland described that claim as ridiculous.

Other witnesses told how they tried to pass on seemingly important information to police in 1975. But they were repeatedly told their information was not needed.

Sitting quietly in the back of the Coroner’s Court through all of the evidence was Bridget Shewring, who was just 13 when her mother was murdered.

At times she was visibly shaken by some of the testimony, which included graphic descriptions of the bloody crime scene found in her mother’s car.

It was Ms Shewring’s persistence and badgering over many years that finally helped to bring the inquest about.

While it remains to be seen if the inquest can bring her any closer to finding out who killed her mother, those with something to hide will be nervously awaiting the inquest’s resumption.


Shirley Finn inquest told former police officer confessed to Perth brothel madam's murder

By Briana Shepherd- 18 Sep 2017

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-18/shirley-finn-murder-inquest-told-former-police-officer-confessed/8956396



PHOTO: Shirley Finn's murder remains unsolved despite two cold case inquiries. (Supplied: Bridget Shewring)

A former prison guard has told an inquest into the 42-year-old murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn of a time in 1995 when her superior, former police officer James Boland, confessed to the killing.

It is another twist in the unsolved murder of Ms Finn, who was found with four bullet holes in her head at the Royal Perth Golf Course in June 1975.

Her death came three days before a tax hearing where she had threatened to blow the whistle on illicit dealings of politicians, businessmen and police.

Margo Ann Devine worked under Mr Boland at the Pardellup Prison Farm in Western Australia's South West.

She told the Perth Coroners Court how, around six months after the former police detective began working at the farm, he asked if she knew anything about a prostitute she heard him call "Shirley Flint".

Ms Devine said when she replied she had not, Mr Boland told her the prostitute was an informant who he and two other police officers had killed.

Ms Devine told police of the alleged admission in 2007 and told the court on Monday her impression at the time was that he was possibly telling the truth.

Mr Boland gave evidence last month at a preliminary hearing into the inquest, saying he had received a tip-off that notorious eastern states underworld figure Arthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith had been contracted to kill Ms Finn.

He said he passed on the information to his superiors but was told to let it go.

First officer's evidence 'not passed on'


Geoffrey Patrick McMurray

Geoffrey Patrick McMurray was the motorcycle police officer who was the first to call in the murder on the morning of June 23.

se.

He told the court he thought it might have been stolen so went to investigate and found a body with bullet holes in the head and immediately called it in.

He told the court Bernie Johnson was the second detective to arrive at the scene and Mr Johnson left within five minutes without showing any emotion or surprise.

Mr McMurray agreed with suggestions from counsel that Mr Johnson had appeared "as cold as ice".

He also told the court how he immediately passed on information to Mr Johnson including the licence plate number of a man he had seen driving away from the golf course.

Four months later, Mr McMurray said he supplied the same information to the detective leading the murder investigation - who had made it clear Mr Johnson had not passed it on.

Investigator can't recall if leads followed up


Former Western Australian Police Detective FRANK LIONEL ZANETTI 

Frank Zanetti, a detective involved in the murder investigation, told the court he had little memory of details relating to the case.

Mr Zanetti, who later became the deputy police commissioner, told the coroners court he had been working on several cases at the time.

"I wasn't the lead investigator. I did some things as the duty detective sergeant," he said.

"That's how it was in those days. You didn't have dedicated whole groups of people working on it, you did some of the things and then you went off."

Mr Zanetti was questioned about various documents relating to the investigation with his name or signature on them - including one identifying eastern states underworld figure Arthur Stanley 'Neddy' Smith as a possible suspect.

He agreed it would have been a significant line of inquiry but said he could not recall whether it had been followed up.

"One would have hoped so but I don't recall ... I can't see it being ignored," he told the court.

He suggested that part of the file may have been missing because there were problems with the filing system at the time.

The document included information provided by James Boland, who appeared to investigate the information with Don Hancock, an officer who went on to become the chief of the Criminal Investigation Branch.

Mr Zanetti told the court he did not know Mr Hancock had been involved in the case and agreed it did not make sense that Mr Boland would make inquiries into information he had supplied.

PHOTO: Former deputy police commissioner Frank Zanetti told the Shirley Finn inquest he has little memory of working on the case. (ABC News: Sarah Collard)

Former WA Police assistant commissioner Owen Leitch



Shirley Finn decided to get in on the "containment' system

 after meeting Sydney madam Dorrie Flatman


 Sydney and Perth Brothel Madame Dorrie Flatman who worked for

Sydney Vice King Abe Saffron, who was known as Mr Sin

http://www.finnmurder.com/finn-murder.html

After meeting Sydney madam Dorrie Flatman, with her fabulous parties, outrageous wardrobe and run of Perth's nightclub scene, Shirley decided to get in on the "containment' system. Vice head, Bernie Johnson brought her in as one of three police sanctioned madams in Perth. The mining boom ensured a steady flow of men. Police closed down all opposition and the profits were enormous. Never acknowledged franchise fees were paid up the chain . A tax bill which did not take the franchise fees into account angered Shirley. She was fighting the tax bill at the 

The Shirley Finn Murder Mystery

 

Shirley Finn

https://youtu.be/20GJcntXYfg

Date: 22/23 June 1975
Location: Royal Perth Golf Club next to the Kwinana Freeway- the main transit route into Perth CBD
Victim: 33 year-old mother of three, and police sanctioned brothel madam Shirley Finn
Modus Operandi: four gunshot wounds to the head at close range, short bullets.

Shirley Finn was asked to dress in her finest ball gown for the occasion. Her body was found slumped behind the driving wheel of her rare limited edition Dodge sedan on the golf course near the 9th Fairway. Reports emerged she was at the police canteen two days before the murder. 40 years later an officer who was there confirmed he saw her at the bar but had been intimidated and threatened by senior officers into silence. The page was ripped out of the visitor's book.

She had told a close friend that the soon to be Commissioner of Police and "the boys" had it in for her. She was terrified. Shirley Finn was due to appear at a tax hearing two days after her murder and had threatened to name names.

Shirley Finn's murder was the culmination of years of corrupt and dirty dealing in Western Australia.
It's a story that authorities are still working hard to bury. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, no authority in WA has acknowledged any wrongdoing in relation to this crime to this day. The story is still unfolding.

The number of public officials implicated in the murder and subsequent cover-up is staggering. The family's call for answers, an apology or at least acknowledgement of police and political involvement in this crime is still being met with a deathly silence.

The State Sanctioned Murder of Brothel Madam Shirley Finn happened when Perth really was the wild wild west. Where villains ruled the roost and anybody who dared say otherwise suffered terrible consequences. The families of whistleblowers like Police Superintendent Spike Daniels are also waiting for answers.

Shirley's story in itself is remarkable. A young girl at the top of her class, taken from her middle class home and put in the Catholic laundries in Leederville forced to wash sheets to cleanse her soul. Shirley had been caught having sex when she was 14 and the magistrate recommended a dose of the nuns and hard labour would straighten her out. The 20 year old boy she was with, suffered no consequence. The Catholic laundries, using free labour, posted their biggest profit the year Shirley Finn worked with other "dirty" girls to clean hotel and hospital sheets. Her education came to abrupt end,

Shirley married and had three children, but her husband was injured at work and became depressed. He was hospitalised Shirley was left to care for the three young children and pay the bills. Body painting next to the boxing tent at the Royal Perth Show proved a highly lucrative business until a public outcry forced it's closure.

After meeting Sydney madam Dorrie Flatman, with her fabulous parties, outrageous wardrobe and run of Perth's nightclub scene, Shirley decided to get in on the "containment' system. Vice head, Bernie Johnson brought her in as one of three police sanctioned madams in Perth. The mining boom ensured a steady flow of men. Police closed down all opposition and the profits were enormous. Never acknowledged franchise fees were paid up the chain . A tax bill which did not take the franchise fees into account angered Shirley. She was fighting the tax bill at the time of her murder.





Abe Saffron the notorious crime boss of Kings Cross and Australia's Crime Boss who had control of many senior senior politicians, police, government employees, lawyers, barristers, magistrates, judges, justices, premiers, prime ministers, business people and organisations, bankers, financiers, criminal networks gangs and organisations and major criminals.
One of Abe Saffrons control methods was holding embarrassing tapes and videos of such senior people in embarrassing sexual and other encounters ... and other damaging information,which is made public would instantly destroy their career and likely land them in prison with a serious criminal conviction .... Abe Saffron and his even more powerful senior silent partners knew that this was a tried and proven method to keep control of these people .... before such well connected people were allowed to rise to their powerful positions such as a Justice of the High Court of Australia, a premier of a state,a prime minster, a police commissioners etc ... is was necessary to have serious dirt of their private life ...so there is no way they could not obey orders .... from Abe Saffron and his even more powerful senior silent partners

The King of Vice- Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson

A Current Affair 2008 interview with retired Detective Bernie Johnson - 
Courtesy of Channel Nine Perth

https://youtu.be/l3rFrg9Ntjc

Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson

was the man who ruled vice in the 70's when the Finn murder happened. The 1983 Dixon inquiry  dubbed him The King of Vice. He determined which madams could and couldn't operate. He is a suspect in the Finn murder.
He speaks here with journalist Paula Hudson, producer Juliet Wills.

During the Royal Commission and in repeated interviews to the author in the last decade an allegation was made about a body that washed up  on Cottesloe Beach in September 1975. Civil Libertarian Archie Marshall received a phone call the night before it washed up alleging there had been a second murder.

Juliet Wills investigated this allegation, locating the body  and in 2004 the remains were exhumed, for DNA testing.

This video is supplied with permission from Today Tonight - aired 2004

The WA Coroner will hold an inquest into the murder of Shirley June Finn on 11 September 2017.


Claims Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn followed days before her death

AAP, PerthNow- September 19, 2017 

https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wa/claims-perth-brothel-madam-shirley-finn-followed-days-before-her-death-ng-18ebd7f4bdaca59fc803666c18d55533

A WOMAN has told the inquest into the execution-style murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn that she claimed she was being followed two days before her 1975 killing, saying a detective had threatened her.


Paule Jacqueline De Gaye 

The WA Coroner's Court heard on Tuesday the mother of three was agitated and pacing when she visited the Mt Hawthorn house Paule Jacqueline De Gaye shared with bookmaker and nightclub owner Don Mack on June 20, 1975.

"She was very jumpy, very fidgety," Ms De Gaye said.

She said Ms Finn arrived in a taxi because she feared her distinctive American car was being followed.

Ms De Gaye said Finn was also carrying a pleated, beige satin dress wrapped in drycleaner's plastic she later recognised in media reports about the murder.

Ms De Gaye said the 33-year-old seemed to be visiting because she needed help and had previously sought tips from Mr Mack on setting up her own nightclub.

According to Ms De Gaye, who secretly listened in on their conversation by turning the volume down on headphones she was wearing, Ms Finn said: "Donnie, I'm in deep trouble. It's serious. I've got to talk to you. I think I'm gone, Don."

She said she had threatened detective Owen Leitch - who three months later became the commissioner of police - that she had a meeting with the tax office about a large bill and would "name names".

"If I go down, so will you and your boys," Ms Finn told him, according to Ms De Gaye.

Ms Finn said he told her to shut her mouth then suggested she would be shot if she did not keep quiet by making a gun gesture with her hand and pointing it at her head.

Mr Mack gave Ms Finn an envelope, presumably containing cash, and she also sought his opinion about the dress, which she had carefully selected for a meeting with an "important" person, Ms De Gaye said.

That was scheduled for the night of June 22, which turned out to be her last.

Mr Leitch had allegedly told her, "Don't look trashy - dress to impress", and Mr Mack approved of the gown, telling her it looked "very jazzy".

On the morning of June 23, when news of the killing broke, Ms De Gaye ran into the bathroom to inform her de facto.

She said he replied: "The bastards got her."

David Leigh, counsel representing police, said it made no sense Ms Finn would seek help from Mr Mack given he had opposed a liquor licence application for her Northbridge club Strip-O-Rama two years earlier and paid for a private investigator to dig dirt on her.

"He's essentially trying to sabotage her business," Mr Leigh said.

But Ms De Gaye said her account was truthful.

"This is what I heard. I don't make up anything."

The inquest continues.


Shirley Finn murder inquest told

police ignored evidence about officer at crime scene

By Briana Shepherd - 20 Sep 2017

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/shirley-finn-murder-inquest-told-police-ignored-witness-evidence/8963982

20 Sep 2017, 11:47am

Shirley Finn sitting in a car smoking a cigarette.PHOTO: The murder of Shirley Finn remains a mystery more than four decades on

A witness has told the inquest into the 42-year-old unsolved murder of Shirley Finn how he saw a police officer at the crime scene on the night the Perth brothel madam was killed, but police ignored his evidence for years.

Key points:

  • Police officer at murder scene was former detective Don Hancock: witness
  • Repeated attempts to report evidence not taken seriously by police, inquest told
  • Taxi driver says he saw Ms Finn being shot by former premier Ray O'Connor

Ms Finn was found dead in her white Dodge at the Royal Perth Golf Course in June 1975, dressed in a ball gown and slumped over the wheel with four bullet holes in her head.

She was killed three days before a tax hearing where she was threatening to "name names" of prominent politicians, businessmen and police.

Steve Couacaud told the coronial inquest he had stopped on the Kwinana Freeway when he saw a police van parked next to a white Dodge with a woman inside it.

He said a policeman with white, silver hair and bushy black eyebrows — who looked straight at him — got into the passenger side of the Dodge with the woman.

Mr Couacaud told the inquest he now believes it to have been Don Hancock, who later went on to become chief of the WA Police CIB. He said later, on his way back past the golf course, he saw the police van reverse out and drive off — and when he went past the Dodge he could no longer see anyone inside and the door on the driver's side was left slightly open.

Mr Couacaud said he saw in the paper the next day that Ms Finn had been killed in the same car, at the same location.

He was questioned on his memory of reading the news on a Sunday morning after claiming to have seen the car on a Saturday night, as Ms Finn was found on a Monday morning.

Mr Couacaud said he was fairly certain it had been a Saturday night, but conceded time could have affected his memory.

A head and shoulder sshot of Don Hancock wearing a yellow shirt standing in front of the Ora Banda pub.

Don Hancock

Posted 20 Sep 2017,

Former senior detective Don Hancock was the officer who got into the car, the inquest heard.

ABC TV News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/don-hancock/8965450

'Thanks mate, we got that'

Mr Couacaud said despite making an immediate attempt — and others since — to tell police what he had seen, he was ignored.

"I went to another suburb to make a phone call because I was also a little worried to become victim number two," he told the inquiry.

He said the person on the phone said "thanks mate, we got that" and hung up before asking his name or any other details.

Mr Couacaud said his multiple attempts to tell his story over the years were not taken seriously, including one time when he was told he was "an idiot".

A formal statement was eventually taken from him by police in 2005.

Another witness told the inquest how evidence he tried to give police about seeing the white Dodge abandoned at the golf course was also ignored.

John Mearns said despite detectives being sent to his house, nothing came of it.

Mr Mearns told the court he and his family had lived in fear ever since — saying while there were no threats made directly, they had been implied.

Former premier implicated in bizarre claims

Earlier, the inquest heard bizarre claims from a former taxi driver who said he saw Ms Finn being shot by former premier Ray O'Connor.

Ray Gardener said he was driving past the golf course when he saw two men get out of an unmarked police car.

He said one of the men used a rifle to shoot a woman in the white Dodge twice in the head, before firing a shot at him.

Mr Gardener — who gave evidence to police for the first time in August this year — identified the man as then-police minister Mr O'Connor, who died in 2013.

However, his statement did not match the day or time of the murder.

Earlier this year, Ms Finn's driver Leigh Beswick told the ABC the brothel madam was in a relationship with Mr O'Connor at the time.

According to Mrs Beswick, Ms Finn had warned Mr O'Connor of her intentions to blow the whistle on illicit dealings by public figures unless he helped her deal with a $100,000 tax debt.

The inquest is due to recommence in November.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/shirley-finns-car-1975/8964958

A black and white photo of a car with its two front doors open

Shirley Finn's car

Updated 20 Sep 2017, 

Ms Finn was found dead in her white Dodge after being shot in the head.#

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/shirley-finns-car-1975/8964958

Witness John Mearns leaving the inquest in Perth into the unsolved 1975 murder of Shirley Finn

Posted 20 Sep 2017, 11:15am

John Mearns says nothing came of his reports to police.

ABC News: Sarah Collard

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/john-mearns-leaving-the-inquest-into-the-unsolved-1975-murder-o/8965862

Witness John Mearns leaving the inquest into the unsolved 1975 murder of Shirley Finn

Witness John Mearns leaving the inquest in Perth into the unsolved 1975 murder of Shirley Finn

Posted 20 Sep 2017, 

John Mearns says nothing came of his reports to police.

ABC News: Sarah Collard



        Perth brothel owner Dorrie Flatman 

       says wealth lies in police policy
    

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/101970347

Canberra Times 18th June  1988 Page 1

Former Red House madam Stella Strong, right, pictured with Dorrie Flatman around 1970    

        Perth brothel owner says wealth lies in police policy

         PERTH: Brothel owner Dorrie Flatman says she has the Western Australian police to thank for making her a wealthy woman in Perth, according to a British TV program.

In     In  an interview screened on the BBC in Britain on Friday, Mrs Flatman said the police's containment policy on prostitution had prevented new brothels opening in Perth.

S      he revealed there were 200 women working in Perth's 16 contained brothels, with another 120 working outside the system.

T     The BBC program, presented by Alan Whicker, was part of a series on the lives of successful British migrants in Australia.

        Mrs Flatman, who left Liverpool in1963 with her three daughters and only £45, was described in the program as one of Australia's richest women.

T      The program said she ran three flourishing brothels, employing between 25 and 45 women, and took 50 per cent of each prostitute's earnings.

    Perth's brothels, though illegal, are said to be tolerated by police provided there are no under-age girls, no drugs and no men involved in their management.

      Mr Whicker told British viewers, "Containment frees prostitutes from the parasitical pimp and prevents organised crime getting its

         hands upon the flourishing brothels of Perth and Kalgoorlie."
  

rs      Ms Flatman told Mr Whicker that no new brothels could open and people who wanted to get into the business had to buy into an existing establishment.

            Business had been good in the old days before police controls, but was now even better.

        Western Australia's Police Commissioner, Mr Brian Bull, quoted in the program as saying that containment was the "ideal system",

            told Perth's Sunday Times that his comments did not conflict with Western Australia's planned legalisation of prostitution.

"I    I believe the current system is ideal until something better can be found," he said. Mrs Flatman told the newspaper that she was shocked to hear

        about her reported statements on prostitution, but declined to comment further until she had seen the program.
 

S      he said she thought she had been on a family TV show to promote the bicentenary.

A      A spokesman for Western Australia's Minister for Police, Mr Hill, said Cabinet would make a decision in the "near future" about legislation to legalise prostitution.

Mr Mr Hill has condemned the containment system, saying it puts police in the unfair position of having to administer an illegal activity.

He wants a judge to head a new authority administering legalised prostitution. -



Shirley Finn cold case: Local author convinced former cop to break silence about 1975 murder of Perth brothel madam

PerthNow- May 21, 2015 

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/shirley-finn-cold-case-local-author-convinced-former-cop-to-break-silence-about-1975-murder-of-perth-brothel-madam/news-story/5d6975e37bec2c70bac8b9661e22d90f

COLD CASE: Shirley Finn was ‘with cops’ night she died

MYSTERY: WA Police re-open brothel madam murder mystery



Police at the Shirley Finn Murder Scene 23rd June 1975

UPDATE: 

A LOCAL author convinced a former WA police officer to break his silence over the gangland-style murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn.

Juliet Wills, who has been writing about the Finn case for 12 years, convinced the retired police officer “Brian” to break his silence with the help of Ms Finn’s daughter Bridget Shewring.

She said Brian did not know Ms Finn at the time, but recognised her later.

Ms Wills said when the then-young constable heard the news that Ms Finn had died, he went straight to his immediate superior and reported that he recognised the woman who was killed from the police canteen the night before.

“The superior took that it was noted and that Brian would be contacted,” Ms Wills told ABC Radio on Thursday morning.

“He was contacted, but certainly not in the way he imagined.

Ms Wills said nothing happened for the next two days, until one morning when Brian was on patrol.

“It’s dark still, and all of a sudden a car comes out of nowhere. He gets knocked off his motorcycle and four detective get out of the car holding a gun, telling him to ‘shut up or he’ll be killed’.

“He was staggered. He was absolutely mortified, as you could imagine.”

She said Brian confessed to his father, who was also involved in policing and told his son of people he could trust within the force after he was threatened.

Another officer went to the head of the CIB at the time and reported Brian’s claims, but instead of being interviewed, Brian was again threatened by detectives, Ms Wills said.

“It was at his own home and his family were threatened. His family have been utterly terrified since, even now,” she said.

“It’s been very brave of him to come forward. It’s been a terrible secret for him to bear all these years.”

The author said Brian was willing to give evidence to an independent inquiry but not WA Police.

Ms Wills, who is the author of Dirty Girl, a book detailing the brothel madam’s life and the murder inquiry, said Brian had heard Ms Shewring’s pleas and wanted to do something.


 Dirty Girl, a book detailing the brothel madam’s life and the murder inquiry



Juliet Wills -Journalist and Author of the Book Dirty Girl 

“The worst of the bullies are either very old, some of them have passed on, so they no longer have the power the once did,” she said.

The author said she had appealed to a number of police in the hope that they would explain their version of events.

“I’ve endeavoured to fill in lots of missing pieces, it’s been like a giant jigsaw puzzle,” she said.

Ms Wills said she was concerned on a number of occasions her book would have to be shredded.

“People can really turn and get very nasty when stories they don’t want told are told. I was very much aware of this and went to everyone who had serious allegations made against them,” she said.

But after years of seeking information, Ms Wills said she was disappointed by the efforts of WA Police.

“I’ve really tried to believe today’s police force is a very different police force,” she said.

“I’ve tried right from when I received some very disturbing allegations to co-operate in the hope they would see the importance of dealing with this one really well, but at no point did they offer any real support at all.

 

Shirley Finn

The brothel madam Shirley Finn was with two detectives

 the night she died, a former police officer claims.

Ms Wills said she wanted the police to “come clean about what they know.

“I’ve been very forthcoming about what I know and I would like them to be absolutely straight. There’s been so much subterfuge,” she added.

“I believe it’s in the interest of the WA Police to deal with this matter, and to be seen to be dealing with this matter — it’s not the first inquiry.”

Ms Wills also said it was high-time those involved came forward.

“If they’ve got half an ounce of decency, they should find it now. It’s about justice, it’s about what the police force should do,” she said.

Ms Finn was found dead in her car.

Major Crime Division detective superintendent Anthony Lee said the investigation into Ms Finn’s murder had not received any information from the Corruption and Crime Commission regarding the allegations.

Det Superintendent Lee said further comment would not be made until the investigation was completed.

Premier Colin Barnett said he wanted to see this “infamous” case solved.

“[The murder was] forty years ago, so whoever is involved is certainly getting on in age I would think,” he told 6PR Radio on Thursday.

“But the police started a cold case review in 2014 and it sounds like some more evidence has come forward.

“It’d be good to see it resolved. It’s almost like a couple of generations ago.”

Miss Finn’s car was discovered near Kwinana Freeway in South Perth on June 23, 1975

Police at the Shirley Finn Murder Scene 23rd June 1975

WA NEWS

Perth brothel madam murder: Cop 'got into Shirley's Dodge at the golf club'

http://amp.theage.com.au/wa-news/perth-brothel-madam-murder-cop-got-into-shirleys-dodge-at-the-golf-club-20170920-gylgf2.html

September 20 2017

A man has told the inquest into the execution-style murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn that he saw a policeman get into her distinctive American car on the morning her body was found.

Steve Couacaud said he saw the uniformed man get out of an unmarked van, take his peaked hat off and put it back in the vehicle.



Mrs. Shirley Finn Car


Knowing there were signs on the edge of the Royal Perth Golf Club warning against parking there, Mr Couacaud thought the man was going to give Ms Finn a ticket "but he got in beside her" in her white Dodge.

The man had white or silver/grey hair and dark, bushy eyebrows, Mr Couacaud said, and he later concluded it was detective sergeant Don Hancock, who became the chief of the Criminal Investigation Bureau and was himself murdered in a 2001 car bombing.

Mr Couacaud said he distinctly remembered he saw the cars on the night of June 21, 1975, which was a Saturday, and he read about Ms Finn's murder in The Sunday Times the next day.

Ms Finn in fact went out on the night of Sunday June 22, 1975 and her body was found early next morning.

Mr Couacaud said it was possible he got his dates wrong given 42 years had passed.

The court also heard from John Mearns, who said he was driving down Melville Parade with his family around 6am on June 23, 1975 when the sight of the Dodge with its front doors wide open in the pouring rain caught his eye.

Shirley Finn was found shot dead in her car in 1975

Mr Mearns said he was a car enthusiast so was concerned the upholstery would be drenched and a green vehicle, small as a Torana, was parked right beside it.

He said he couldn't see anything inside them.

"That's when I thought 'this is not adding up'," he said.

"I wish I had've been able to see something."

Mr Mearns said he was sure his wife jotted down the licence plate numbers of both cars and put the note in his glovebox.

The court also heard bizarre evidence from Ray Gardner, who claimed he saw two policemen shoot Ms Finn twice in the top of her head while she slept in her Dodge and a shot was then fired at his taxi, which missed.

Mr Gardner said it was a "beautiful fine day" when it was, in fact, raining heavily and also claimed the man who pulled the trigger was then-police minister Ray O'Connor, who became premier.

Mr Gardner also claimed that moments later, he saw the tax office being robbed by a policeman.

He muttered "bull****" as he finished his testimony and left the courtroom.

AAP


Ex-cop denies killing Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn

Grant Taylor, PerthNow- August 29, 2017

N inquest into the 1975 murder of brothel madam Shirley Finn opened with explosive new claims yesterday that notorious Sydney hit man Arthur “Neddy” Smith was paid $5000 to fly to Perth and kill her on behalf of her business partners.

Details of the alleged hit were provided to the Coroner’s Court by a former WA detective who confirmed that he received what he believed to be “credible” information from another career criminal just weeks after the murder about Smith’s possible involvement.

James Archibald Boland

But the former officer, James Archibald Boland, said he did not know if the tip was ever followed up by the team investigating the murder because he had been ordered to “let it go” when he passed the information to a superior officer.

Shirley was murdered in 1975. Picture: Facebook.Shirley was murdered in 1975. Picture: Facebook

Under questioning, Mr Boland said he had met a man known as Keith Alan Lewis who told him that Smith flew to Perth on June 23 — the day Ms Finn was killed — for an arranged meeting with her and an unnamed police officer.

Ms Finn was found dead in the driver’s seat of her car in South Perth the following morning with four gunshot wounds to the back of her head.

Mr Boland’s recollections of Mr Lewis’ claims were sup-ported by an official police document that was produced in court yesterday. That document, known as “serial 393”, said Mr Lewis had been willing to provide information about Smith in exchange for fraud charges against his boyfriend being downgraded.

Former police officer James Boland. Picture: Seven News.Former police officer James Boland. Picture: Seven News

he police document was dated two months after Ms Finn’s murder and included details of preliminary inquiries that had been carried out by Mr Boland into Mr Lewis’ claims.

Those inquiries included checking flight records, which confirmed a person with Smith’s name had travelled to Perth on the day of the murder.

The document also confirmed that another witness had seen Smith drinking at a Perth pub with Mr Lewis several days later.

The document said that Mr Lewis told police Smith asked him during the pub meeting to go into business with him running Perth brothels but Mr Lewis had said he was not interested.

Mr Lewis had also told police that Smith liked to always sit in the back seat of a car which was the position Ms Finn’s killer is likely to have been sitting in when the murder happened.

His favoured gun was a rifle, which also matches the type of weapon used in the murder.

Mr Boland said that, based on the preliminary inquiries he conducted at the time, he formed the view that the information provided by Mr Lewis appeared to be worth pursuing.

But he said that when he presented it to his senior officer — former CIB boss Don Hancock — he was told to sit on it for a couple of days.

Mr Boland said he was later told by Mr Hancock to tell Mr Lewis that police were willing to do the deal with him to get his boyfriend’s charges downgraded.

But days after that conversation, Mr Boland said Mr Hancock approached him again and told him that he was not to have any further involvement in the inquiry.

“He (Hancock) said ‘stay away from it’. He just told me to ‘leave it alone’, that was it,” Mr Boland said. “I took it that it was to be handled by someone more experienced.”

Mr Boland left the police to join the Department of Corrective Services several years later.

Shirley Finn’s daughter Briget Shewring was at the inquest. Picture: Steve FerrierShirley Finn’s daughter Briget Shewring was at the inquest. Picture: Steve FerrierPicture: PerthNow

He told coroner Barry King that he had tried several times over the years to contact investigators to find out whether anything had come from Mr Lewis’ information about Smith.

But he said his calls were never returned.

Mr Boland was also asked if he had ever suspected that Mr Hancock had tried to “cover up” the information about Smith.

But he strongly rejected that suggestion, describing Mr Hancock as an exceptional policeman who had been a good friend to him during his time in the force.

Mr Hancock was killed in 2001 by a car bomb planted by a Gypsy Joker bikie.

Sitting in the Coroner’s Court to hear the new claims was Ms Finn’s daughter Bridget Shew-ring who was 13 when her mother was killed.

Outside court, she said she was glad the inquest had finally begun, but declined to comment on the latest twist in the long-running case.

“I just hope everyone tells the truth after 42 years,” she said.

Mr Boland was the first police detective to arrive at the scene of Ms Finn’s murder on the morning after she was killed near the Royal Perth Golf Club.

He described to the court walking up to her car and seeing her slumped, with her head to one side and a trickle of blood coming from it. When asked if he had anything to do with the murder, he said “no” and described the question as “absolutely ridiculous”.

The inquest will resume on September 11.


New witness names the police who were involved in the murder of Shirley Finn,

well known brothel madame in Western Australia in in June 2005, 


Western Australian Police Getting Away with Murder – The Shirley Finn Story- Australian Story

https://decidertv.com/page/2017/3/5/getting-away-with-murder-the-shirley-finn-story

March 5, 2017

Shirley June Finn, née Shewring 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Finn

Shirley June Finn, née Shewring (2 November 1941 – 22 or 23 June 1975) was a prostitute and, at the time of her murder, a brothel keeper of Perth, Western Australia. A well-connected businesswoman and socialite, she operated a nightclub at Northbridge and, in 1974, had hosted a "Hollywood-style" party for Elton John at her South Perth home.  She was shot dead with four bullets in the head at about midnight on 22–23 June 1975. Her body, dressed in an elaborate ball gown and expensive jewellery, was found at dawn in her car which was parked on a golf course next to a busy freeway.  The murder is notable because of Finn's close relationship with WA police detectives who, in that era, controlled and regulated Perth's prostitution and gambling activities. As of September 2017, the crime remained unsolved despite the fact that a former police officer swore to having seen Finn drinking with detectives on the night of her murder.  On 29 August 2017, after 42 years, a coronial inquest was commenced.

Early Life and Career

A wartime baby, Finn was the eldest child of a bomber pilot, and of necessity was brought up by her mother during her early years. After the war, the family lived in comfortable surroundings in the affluent riverside suburb of Mt Pleasant, where she became a teenager before the birth of her three younger siblings. Though successful at her schoolwork, she was sexually active by age 14, which caused her to be committed for eight months to a notoriously cruel Catholic Church welfare home.

Her biographer Juliet Wills recounts that Finn left school at 15 and found work at a city frock shop, where she met her husband-to-be Des Finn, a 22-year-old air-force mechanic. They married in Perth and went to live in Melbourne, where he continued with the RAAF and she worked as a sales assistant at Buckley & Nunn. Her sons Steven and Shane were born in 1959 and 1960 respectively. They transferred back to Perth, where daughter Bridget was born in 1961. (Bridget later adopted her mother's maiden name of Shewring.

Sex business

When the husband suffered a serious injury and subsequent mental instability, Shirley Finn was aged 21 and chose sex-oriented activities as a means of supporting her three children, including strip-dancing and body-painting. She also joined a witchcraft coven which conducted "black magic and sex" activities in Kings Park. From this she advanced to a career of topless dancing and body painting in association with a travelling fairground boxing troupe. In 1969 Finn was conducting a "body painting and escort business" which was raided by police, and she was charged and convicted with "keeping premises for the purpose of prostitution." As a result, the family was socially ostracised and the children had to leave the Catholic primary school.

Regulated prostitution

Finn became associated with King's CrossSydney, brothel operator Dorothea Flatman who transferred to Perth in 1968 and set up a number of brothels under the symbiotic protection of Australian vice overlord Abe Saffron and a policy of "containment" upheld by the W.A. Police. It seems that she, Stella Strong (also from Sydney) and Shirley Finn were among a privileged few allowed to operate in the prostitution business under the rigorous line management of Vice Squad chief Bernard Johnson.

Murder

Finn's body was found by a motorcycle traffic officer at about 8.30 a.m. on Monday 23 June 1975, in her parked Dodge DG Phoenix car near the 9th fairway of the Royal Perth Golf Club, South Perth. The location is clearly visible from the adjacent Kwinana Freeway, from which it was then separated only by a waist-high fence and an access road (Melville Parade). Inside the car, Finn's body was slumped behind the wheel with four bullet holes in her head. She wore valuable diamond jewellery which had not been touched.

At the time, various rumours regarding the murder attributed it to specific issues relating to prostitution and the way it was being handled by police and government in Perth, but no evidence of this was made public.

The murder, and the implied connections with issues relating to policing of the sex industry, resulted in a Royal Commission being held.

Purported investigations

Continued interest in Finn's murder, and the lack of evidence, led to periodic speculation as to the murderer's identity and has been the subject of numerous articles and television pieces and two books—Juliet Wills's 'Dirty Girl' and David Whish-Wilson's crime novel 'Line of Sight'.

There is evidence that major Sydney underworld figures were in Perth at the time, including vice king Abe Saffron and corrupt police officer Roger Rogerson, yet no significant line of investigation was pursued by the police.

In 1985, according to former state premier Brian Burke, a "very senior police officer" was under investigation for murder, resulting in that officer's retirement and the matter then being deemed to have been "resolved". The West Australian newspaper reported Burke's belief that the subject killing was that of Shirley Finn.

On the thirtieth anniversary of the murder—23 June 2005—a cold-case review of the case was announced. An opinion was canvassed that no solution of the case was likely.

Over time, a range of interpretations as to who the murderer was have been speculated upon.

In 2014, another cold-case review was launched by WA Police. The following year, the Corruption and Crime Commission confirmed it had received new information about the murder. News reports said a former policeman had spoken about seeing Shirley Finn with detectives in the bar of the old central police station, in East Perth, on the night she was killed, As of 7 September 2017, no further information had been released by police about their cold-case review.

On 6 March 2017, the ABC Television documentary series Australian Story aired a story titled "Getting Away With Murder" which revealed that a coronial inquest would be conducted in 2017. The story also presented testimony from Shirley Finn's former driver, Leigh Beswick, that Finn had an extended relationship with then police minister Ray O'Connor.

Coronial Inquest

The inquest scheduled to open on 11 September 2017 was in fact commenced on Tuesday 29 August to take evidence from former WA detective James Archibald Boland about an officially documented 1975 rumour that Sydney criminal Neddy Smith had flown to Perth "for an arranged meeting with [Shirley Finn] and an unnamed police officer."

Rumour of contract killing

Witness Boland said he had met a man known as Keith Alan Lewis who told him that Smith flew to Perth on June 23 and was "paid $5000 to kill her on behalf of her business partners." An official police document, known as “serial 393”, was produced to support the witness's claim that "Mr Lewis had been willing to provide information about Smith in exchange for fraud charges against his boyfriend being downgraded." Following suggestions that Smith was aiming to take control of Perth brothels, Boland said he was ordered by former CIB boss Don Hancock not to have any further involvement in the inquiry.



New witness names the police who were involved in the murder of Shirley Finn,

well known brothel madame in Western Australia in in June 2005, 



The unsolved murder of Perth brothel owner Shirley Finn has haunted the people of Western Australia for more than 40 years.

“I didn’t know this would become the most intriguing murder case in Western Australia’s history.” – Terry Willesee, journalist

When Shirley Finn’s body was found slumped in the front seat of her Dodge, with four bullet holes to the back of her head, there was no doubt it was a professional hit. But the question remains, who did it and why?

Rumours of police and political involvement in the June 1975 murder have swirled around the case from the outset, some believing that Shirley Finn was silenced after threatening to reveal the secrets of powerful figures in Western Australia.

In Monday night’s episode of Australian Story, we hear for the first time from Jacqueline, an acquaintance of Shirley Finn, about the brothel madam’s fears and the reported threat made against her by a senior police officer just days before her death:

“…He told me to shut my mouth, watch what I said or ‘bang’.’’

Shirley Finn’s daughter Bridget Shewring was a schoolgirl at the time of the killing. She has been tormented by the failure to find her mother’s killer and fought tirelessly for an independent inquiry.

“There are people out there who know who murdered my mother. I’d like to see them brought to justice.” – Bridget Shewring, daughter

                                                            

Western Australian Police Getting Away with Murder – The Shirley Finn Story- Australian Story
Australian Story March 6th- 8pm ABC



In 2004 her hopes of an inquiry were buoyed when she met journalist Juliet Wills, who had begun investigating her mother’s murder.

“The more I learned about Shirley Finn the more disturbed I became about the level of corruption in this story.” – Juliet Wills, journalist and author

A decade later, Juliet has interviewed dozens of people about the murder. She recently handed startling new evidence to authorities in a successful attempt to secure the coronial inquest Bridget so desperately wanted.

This program includes interviews with people who knew Shirley Finn, most of whom are speaking publicly for the first time in the hope of encouraging others to come forward to assist the upcoming inquiry.

The date of the coronial inquiry has yet to be set. It is expected to commence later this year.

Getting Away with Murder - The Shirley Finn Story premieres on Australian Story, 8 pm Monday 6 March on ABC & ABC iview


Perth brothel owner Dorrie Flatman  says wealth lies in police policy

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/101970347

Canberra Times 18th June  1988 Page 1

Former Red House madam Stella Strong, right, pictured with Dorrie Flatman around 1970

Perth brothel owner says wealth lies in police policy

PERTH: Brothel owner Dorrie Flatman says she has the Western Australian police to thank for making her a wealthy woman in Perth, according to a British TV program.

In an interview screened on the BBC in Britain on Friday, Mrs Flatman said the police's containment policy on prostitution had prevented new brothels opening in Perth.

She revealed there were 200 women working in Perth's 16 contained brothels, with another 120 working outside the system.

The BBC program, presented by Alan Whicker, was part of a series on the lives of successful British migrants in Australia.

Mrs Flatman, who left Liverpool in1963 with her three daughters and only £45, was described in the program as one of Australia's richest women.

The program said she ran three flourishing brothels, employing between 25 and 45 women, and took 50 per cent of each prostitute's earnings.

Perth's brothels, though illegal, are said to be tolerated by police provided there are no under-age girls, no drugs and no men involved in their management. Mr Whicker told British viewers, "Containment frees prostitutes from the parasitical pimp and prevents organised crime getting its

hands upon the flourishing brothels of Perth and Kalgoorlie."

Mrs Flatman told Mr Whicker that no new brothels could open and people who wanted to get into the busi ness had to buy into an existing establishment. Business had been good in the old days before police controls, but was now even better.

Western Australia's Police Commissioner, Mr Brian Bull, quoted in the program as saying that containment was the "ideal system", told Perth's Sunday Times that his comments did not conflict with Western Australia's planned legalisation of prostitution.

"I believe the current system is ideal until something better can be found," he said. Mrs Flatman told the newspaper that she was shocked to hear aboutn her reported statements on prostitution, but declined to comment further until she had seen the program.

She said she thought she had been on a family TV show to promote the bicentenary.

A spokesman for Western Australia's Minister for Police, Mr Hill, said Cabinet would make a decision in the "near future" about legislation to legalise prostitution.

Mr Hill has condemned the containment system, saying it puts police in the unfair position of having to administer an illegal activity.

He wants a judge to head a neauthority administering legalised prostitution. -



Shirley Finn decided to get in on the "containment' system after meeting Sydney madam Dorrie Flatman

http://www.finnmurder.com/finn-murder.html

After meeting Sydney madam Dorrie Flatman, with her fabulous parties, outrageous wardrobe and run of Perth's nightclub scene, Shirley decided to get in on the "containment' system. Vice head, Bernie Johnson brought her in as one of three police sanctioned madams in Perth. The mining boom ensured a steady flow of men. Police closed down all opposition and the profits were enormous. Never acknowledged franchise fees were paid up the chain . A tax bill which did not take the franchise fees into account angered Shirley. She was fighting the tax bill at the 

The Shirley Finn Murder Mystery





Former Red House madam Stella Strong, right, pictured with Dorrie Flatman around 1970

After meeting Sydney madam Dorrie Flatman, with her fabulous parties, outrageous wardrobe and run of Perth's nightclub scene, Shirley decided to get in on the "containment' system. Vice head, Bernie Johnson brought her in as one of three police sanctioned madams in Perth. The mining boom ensured a steady flow of men. Police closed down all opposition and the profits were enormous. Never acknowledged franchise fees were paid up the chain . A tax bill which did not take the franchise fees into account angered Shirley. She was fighting the tax bill at the 

Date: 22/23 June 1975
Location: Royal Perth Golf Club next to the Kwinana Freeway- the main transit route into Perth CBD
Victim: 33 year-old mother of three, and police sanctioned brothel madam Shirley Finn
Modus Operandi: four gunshot wounds to the head at close range, short bullets.

Shirley Finn was asked to dress in her finest ball gown for the occasion. Her body was found slumped behind the driving wheel of her rare limited edition Dodge sedan on the golf course near the 9th Fairway. Reports emerged she was at the police canteen two days before the murder. 40 years later an officer who was there confirmed he saw her at the bar but had been intimidated and threatened by senior officers into silence. The page was ripped out of the visitor's book.

She had told a close friend that the soon to be Commissioner of Police and "the boys" had it in for her. She was terrified. Shirley Finn was due to appear at a tax hearing two days after her murder and had threatened to name names.

Shirley Finn's murder was the culmination of years of corrupt and dirty dealing in Western Australia.
It's a story that authorities are still working hard to bury. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, no authority in WA has acknowledged any wrongdoing in relation to this crime to this day. The story is still unfolding.

The number of public officials implicated in the murder and subsequent cover-up is staggering. The family's call for answers, an apology or at least acknowledgement of police and political involvement in this crime is still being met with a deathly silence.

The State Sanctioned Murder of Brothel Madam Shirley Finn happened when Perth really was the wild wild west. Where villains ruled the roost and anybody who dared say otherwise suffered terrible consequences. The families of whistleblowers like Police Superintendent Spike Daniels are also waiting for answers.

Shirley's story in itself is remarkable. A young girl at the top of her class, taken from her middle class home and put in the Catholic laundries in Leederville forced to wash sheets to cleanse her soul. Shirley had been caught having sex when she was 14 and the magistrate recommended a dose of the nuns and hard labour would straighten her out. The 20 year old boy she was with, suffered no consequence. The Catholic laundries, using free labour, posted their biggest profit the year Shirley Finn worked with other "dirty" girls to clean hotel and hospital sheets. Her education came to abrupt end,

Shirley married and had three children, but her husband was injured at work and became depressed. He was hospitalised Shirley was left to care for the three young children and pay the bills. Body painting next to the boxing tent at the Royal Perth Show proved a highly lucrative business until a public outcry forced it's closure.

After meeting Sydney madam Dorrie Flatman, with her fabulous parties, outrageous wardrobe and run of Perth's nightclub scene, Shirley decided to get in on the "containment' system. Vice head, Bernie Johnson brought her in as one of three police sanctioned madams in Perth. The mining boom ensured a steady flow of men. Police closed down all opposition and the profits were enormous. Never acknowledged franchise fees were paid up the chain . A tax bill which did not take the franchise fees into account angered Shirley. She was fighting the tax bill at the time of her murder.



The King of Vice- Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson

 

A Current Affair 2008 interview with retired Detective Bernie Johnson - 
Courtesy of Channel Nine Perth


Detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson

was the man who ruled vice in the 70's when the Finn murder happened. The 1983 Dixon inquiry  dubbed him The King of Vice. He determined which madams could and couldn't operate. He is a suspect in the Finn murder.
He speaks here with journalist Paula Hudson, producer Juliet Wills.

During the Royal Commission and in repeated interviews to the author in the last decade an allegation was made about a body that washed up  on Cottesloe Beach in September 1975. Civil Libertarian Archie Marshall received a phone call the night before it washed up alleging there had been a second murder.

Juliet Wills investigated this allegation, locating the body  and in 2004 the remains were exhumed, for DNA testing.

This video is supplied with permission from Today Tonight - aired 2004

The WA Coroner will hold an inquest into the murder of Shirley June Finn on 11 September 2017.



Killer cop Roger Rogerson quizzed over murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn

Grant Taylor

Friday, 17 June 2016

https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/killer-cop-roger-rogerson-quizzed-over-murder-of-perth-brothel-madam-shirley-finn-ng-ya-110278

Crooked former cop Roger Rogerson was this week convicted of murdering a drug dealer.Crooked former cop Roger Rogerson was this week convicted of murdering a drug dealer.

Awaiting trial for murder in a NSW remand centre in late 2014, Australia's most notorious bent cop was about to get a surprise visit from the other side of the country.

Detectives from WA’s cold case squad were keen to talk to Roger “the Dodger” Rogerson about the 40-year-old unsolved murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn.

Police will not confirm whether the interview went ahead, let alone what may or may not have been said.

But it is understood Rogerson admitted nothing, sending the WA detectives home none the wiser about the identity of Ms Finn’s killer.

Exactly what sparked their sudden interest in Rogerson so many years after Ms Finn’s death remains unclear.

But what is known is that the once decorated detective was a regular visitor to Perth back in the mid 70s as part of a mentoring program where the once legendary Sydney-based crook catcher would share his knowledge and experience with WA’s finest.

One of those trips west just happened to be in the same week that Ms Finn’s body was found slumped in her car near the South Perth golf course with four bullet wounds in her head.

A former WA detective toldThe Weekend West in February that he had been introduced to Rogerson at the Raffles hotel a couple of days after Ms Finn’s murder.

Also drinking with Rogerson that day was the hotel’s owner Abe Saffron — dubbed “Mr Sin” because of his vice connections — and former WA vice squad detective Bernard Bromilow Johnson.

The detective who witnessed that meeting never gave it a second thought at the time because Rogerson and Johnson were considered above reproach in 1975. But with Rogerson’s conviction this week in Sydney for the murder of drug dealer Jamie Gao, the idea that he could have had a hand in other killings no longer seems far fetched.

“I think he could have done it, yes I do,” Ms Finn’s daughter Bridget Shewring said yesterday.

“He was seen in Perth at the time with Bernie Johnson and Abe Saffron so there is the possibility, but I can’t say for sure because I do not know what else the police know about him.”

What Ms Shewring does know is that she does not want Rogerson — who at 73 faces dying in jail — to take his secrets with him to the grave.

She also wants police to go back to see him again in case he is now ready to talk.

“I think it is worth a chance...I would like him to tell the truth and get it over and done with,” she said.

If WA police do go back, it is likely they will have to join a queue with more allegations surfacing this week about Rogerson’s possible involvement in as many as a dozen killings — some he had been implicated in previously and others he had not.

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported this week details of secretly recorded conversations between Rogerson and his co-accused in the Gao case, Glen McNamara, where Rogerson allegedly made admissions to some of the offences.

The Finn case was not among them.


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 Ron Cannon, well know Perth Criminal Barrister told a client in 1978

that Brothel Madame Shirley Finn had left her son Shane  in her will one of her brothels..
Ron Cannon was Shirley Finn's lawyer for many years before Shirley Finn was murdered in June, 1975,
however others that were behind the organising of the murder of Shirley Finn had other plans for the running of the brothels under the control of Shirley Finn.
There are strong rumours around Perth, that the real person and people behind allowing Shirley Finn to take control of brothels in Perth, wanted Shirley Finn out of the way..


Colourful Perth Criminal Lawyer Ron Cannon



PHOTO Shirley Finn had three children — Shane, Bridget and Steven.





Claims Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn followed days before her death

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/claims-perth-brothel-madam-shirley-finn-followed-days-before-her-death/news-story/18ebd7f4bdaca59fc803666c18d55533

Claims Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn followed days before her death


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AAP, PerthNow

September 19, 2017 8:52am

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A WOMAN has told the inquest into the execution-style murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn that she claimed she was being followed two days before her 1975 killing, saying a detective had threatened her.

The WA Coroner's Court heard on Tuesday the mother of three was agitated and pacing when she visited the Mt Hawthorn house Paule Jacqueline De Gaye shared with bookmaker and nightclub owner Don Mack on June 20, 1975.

"She was very jumpy, very fidgety," Ms De Gaye said.

She said Ms Finn arrived in a taxi because she feared her distinctive American car was being followed.

Ms De Gaye said Finn was also carrying a pleated, beige satin dress wrapped in drycleaner's plastic she later recognised in media reports about the murder.

Ms De Gaye said the 33-year-old seemed to be visiting because she needed help and had previously sought tips from Mr Mack on setting up her own nightclub.

According to Ms De Gaye, who secretly listened in on their conversation by turning the volume down on headphones she was wearing, Ms Finn said: "Donnie, I'm in deep trouble. It's serious. I've got to talk to you. I think I'm gone, Don."

She said she had threatened detective Owen Leitch - who three months later became the commissioner of police - that she had a meeting with the tax office about a large bill and would "name names".

"If I go down, so will you and your boys," Ms Finn told him, according to Ms De Gaye.

Ms Finn said he told her to shut her mouth then suggested she would be shot if she did not keep quiet by making a gun gesture with her hand and pointing it at her head.

Mr Mack gave Ms Finn an envelope, presumably containing cash, and she also sought his opinion about the dress, which she had carefully selected for a meeting with an "important" person, Ms De Gaye said.

That was scheduled for the night of June 22, which turned out to be her last.

Mr Leitch had allegedly told her, "Don't look trashy - dress to impress", and Mr Mack approved of the gown, telling her it looked "very jazzy".

On the morning of June 23, when news of the killing broke, Ms De Gaye ran into the bathroom to inform her de facto.

She said he replied: "The bastards got her."

David Leigh, counsel representing police, said it made no sense Ms Finn would seek help from Mr Mack given he had opposed a liquor licence application for her Northbridge club Strip-O-Rama two years earlier and paid for a private investigator to dig dirt on her.

"He's essentially trying to sabotage her business," Mr Leigh said.

But Ms De Gaye said her account was truthful.

"This is what I heard. I don't make up anything."

The inquest continues.


WA police re-open brothel madam Shirley Finn murder mystery


https://www.google.ie/amp/s/amp.couriermail.com.au/news/national/wa-police-reopen-brothel-madam-shirley-finn-murder-mystery/news-story/a925a27542001426a7860884c94dd021



WA police re-open brothel madam Shirley Finn murder mystery

AAP- November 7, 2014

POLICE have reopened an investigation into the murder of a Perth brothel madam executed in a gangland-style hit 40 years ago.

Shirley Finn was wearing a ball gown when she was shot four times in the head at close range while she sat in her car.

It was found parked near Kwinana Freeway in South Perth on June 23, 1975.

A cold case review was held earlier this year and detectives are now re-investigating in a final attempt to solve the mystery while key suspects are still alive.

It was reported today that detectives are re-interviewing witnesses, including Ms Finn’s lover Rosie Black, who still lives in WA.

Rumours have suggested the possible involvement of corrupt police officers, politicians and other brothel madams.

Former WA premier Ray O’Connor, who died last year, was forced to publicly deny any link to the crime.

The case was re-launched at the request of Ms Finn’s daughter Bridget Shewring, who was 13 when her mother was killed at the age of 34.

She is also reportedly seeking a coronial inquest if the police investigation fails to find the culprit.

Author David Whish-Wilson, who researched the case and wrote a fictionalised story about it, said he supported a coronial inquiry. Most theories about why she was killed involve a $100,000 tax bill she could not pay.

One theory suggests she tried to blackmail high-profile clients to help raise the money, while another theory claims she threatened to tell the tax commissioner about prominent people involved in her business.

Mr Whish-Wilson said Ms Finn had left a letter with the taxation department and had made several statements before she died.

“She was threatening a very, very lucrative racket by threatening to name names, so financially, it was certainly worth these people’s while to silence her,” he told 6PR radio.

Originally published as Shirley Finn murder mystery re-opened



Lifting the lid on Shirley Finn’s murder

Witnesses at an inquest into the killing of brothel madam Shirley Finn have made sensational claims

New witness names the police who were

 involved in the murder of Shirley Finn  well known brothel madame,

 in Western Australia in June 2005, 


The West Australian0 23 Sep 2017

https://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-west-australian/20170923/283845803578800

Arthur “Neddy” Smith was not yet a household name back in June 1975 when Shirley Finn turned up dead in her car with four bullet holes in her head.

The brutal murders, hold-ups and extreme gangland violence that would cement his place in Australian underworld history were still to come.

But even in the early days of his criminal career, Smith had begun to build himself a pretty decent rap sheet that included convictions for robbery and gang rape.

The rape earned him a seven-year jail sentence and he was released from prison just a few months before Ms Finn, a brothel madam, was murdered.

So when the Sydney-based criminal was named as a possible suspect by two separate witnesses in the weeks after Ms Finn’s death, it must have seemed like a gift to investigators, who were struggling to find strong leads.

But what the inquest into Ms Finn’s death sensationally revealed this week is that rather than pursuing Smith, detectives did nothing at all.

The question that naturally follows is why?

Could it be explained away as a simple oversight or even incompetence? Or was something far more sinister afoot, like a co-ordinated cover-up running to the highest levels of WA’s police force?

With so many of the key players in the Finn story now either dead or in nursing homes, the answer may never be known.

But what is becoming clear after the first few days of the inquest is that police failed Ms Finn and her family in 1975 with an investigation that appears to have been fundamentally flawed from the outset.

Former WA detective James Boland was the first witness to appear before the inquiry and it was his evidence that immediately raised troubling questions about the police investigation.

Mr Boland’s role was limited to taking a few witness statements.

But one of those witnesses was another Sydney criminal named Keith “The Kid” Lewis. He was living in Perth and keen to swap information about Neddy Smith in exchange for fraud charges against his boyfriend being dropped.

Mr Boland said Lewis told him he had bumped into Smith in Sydney a few weeks before the murder and that Smith had asked if he wanted to help him run brothels in WA.

Lewis claimed that Smith had then flown into Perth under his mother’s maiden name on Sunday, June 22, for a prearranged meeting with Ms Finn where he killed her in exchange for $5000.

Her body — dressed in an expensive satin ball gown — was found in her car the next morning at the Royal Perth Golf Club in South Perth.

Lewis also claimed that Smith met him in Perth again at a tavern a few days after the murder where he repeated the offer to help him run brothels in Perth.

Mr Boland told the inquest he conducted preliminary inquiries into those claims and found there was some supporting evidence that put Smith in Perth at the time of the murder.

An anonymous witness had also contacted police about the same time and confirmed that they had seen Smith and Lewis drinking together at the Perth tavern days after Ms Finn’s death.

But when Mr Boland took what he had learnt to his senior officer, Don Hancock, he got a strange reaction.

Mr Boland told the inquest he was initially told by Mr Hancock to sit on the information for a few days. Mr Hancock then came back to him and told him to tell Lewis that a deal could be done to get his boyfriend off the fraud charges in exchange for his evidence about Smith.

Mr Boland did as instructed, but a day or so later he was contacted again by Mr Hancock who told him he was to have no further involvement in the Finn inquiry.

“He (Hancock) said ‘stay away from it’. He just told me to leave it alone, that was it,” Mr Boland said.

“I took it that it was to be handled by someone more experienced.”

Mr Boland left the force a few years later and became a prison officer. But his curiosity about what had happened with the evidence provided by Lewis never waned.

And when former CIB chief Don Hancock was killed by a car bomb in 2001, he tried to contact police to find out what inquiries had been conducted. He would ask the same question two more times over the years that followed, even ringing Crime Stoppers to pass on what he knew. But no one ever got back to him.

The answer to what was done was finally revealed on Monday when former deputy police commissioner and ex-Finn detective Frank Zanetti appeared before the inquiry.

Like Mr Boland, Mr Zanetti had played only a minor role in the investigation. But his signature appeared on a crucial document from

the original case file which recorded the information provided by Mr Boland about Lewis and Smith.

That document stated that detectives Hancock and Boland were to follow up on the information.

Mr Zanetti was then asked why no further documents appeared in the case file to show what action had been taken.

He suggested that those documents could have gone missing from the file over the years. But he had no memory of what was done, or of Mr Hancock ever working on the case.

It was then that Coroner Barry King produced another police document prepared in 1993 as part of a review of the original investigation which clearly indicated that Smith was never pursued.

“The inquiry appears unresolved as there is no evidence of Smith being interviewed,” the 1993 document said.

In response, Mr Zanetti admitted: “I am surprised someone did not go across there (to interview Smith).”

An interview did finally happen in 2014 when detectives preparing to hand the case over to the coroner flew to NSW to speak to Smith, who is still serving two life sentences for murder.

What he told them should be revealed this year when the inquest resumes in November.

But it is understood there was no confession from the frail 72-year-old, who is suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease.

Smith’s name was not the only one to have been thrown up as a potential suspect at the inquest.

The court heard seemingly incredible testimony on Wednesday from retired cab driver Ray Gardner, who claimed to have seen the now deceased former premier Ray O’Connor hold a gun to Ms Finn’s head before firing two rounds into her skull.

That supposedly happened at 6am on the Monday morning that Ms Finn’s body was found.

Another witness, Philip Hooper, told a different story. He was parked near Ms Finn’s white Dodge at the golf course on the Sunday night when he heard four shots ring out.

He also claimed to have been threatened for years by men he named as former Northbridge nightclub owner Laurie Tudori and vice squad boss Bernie Johnson.

Witness Jacqueline De Gaye told the inquest Ms Finn had come to her home three days before her death, telling her husband that former police commissioner Owen Leitch had threatened to shoot her in the head if she named names at an upcoming tax-office inquiry.

The inquest also heard from a former prison officer that former detective Boland had confessed to her that he shot Ms Finn.

Mr Boland described that claim as ridiculous.

Other witnesses told how they tried to pass on seemingly important information to police in 1975. But they were repeatedly told their information was not needed.

Sitting quietly in the back of the Coroner’s Court through all of the evidence was Bridget Shewring, who was just 13 when her mother was murdered.

At times she was visibly shaken by some of the testimony, which included graphic descriptions of the bloody crime scene found in her mother’s car.

It was Ms Shewring’s persistence and badgering over many years that finally helped to bring the inquest about.

While it remains to be seen if the inquest can bring her any closer to finding out who killed her mother, those with something to hide will be nervously awaiting the inquest’s resumption.



Perth brothel madam murder: Cops, hitman, premier named in Shirley Finn inquest

Rebecca Le May
 

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/perth-brothel-madam-murder-cops-hitman-premier-named-in-shirley-finn-inquest-20170922-gymmtr.html

SEPTEMBER 24 2017

Bent cops and politicians, threatening union heavies, yank tanks left in the rain, car bombs, a former prime minister's old boyfriend and murdered madams in the wild west: the Shirley Finn inquest reads like a film script.

The inquest into the 1975 execution-style murder of Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn has heard colourful evidence from equally colourful characters, but some recurring themes are emerging, including police doctoring statements and ignoring tip-offs.

Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn was mysteriously murdered in 1975.Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn was mysteriously murdered in 1975. Photo: Facebook

He said two men then drove up in a station wagon and threatened him and his girlfriend not to tell police because they would "come after" them.

After waiting a few moments with their eyes down and hands on the dashboard as instructed, they drove around the corner and saw the two men, who he later determined were illegal gambling figure Lawrence Tudori and his driver.

Standing with them near a small green car was WA Police vice chief Bernie Johnson, Mr Hooper said.

But he said he kept it secret until 1994 when he'd finally had enough of years of threats and harassment by Mr Johnson and other plain-clothed police.

"He'd just turn up and you'd never know when he was going to come," Mr Hooper said.

He said he had a gun held to his head, was shot at and was so scared by his tormenters - including Bruce Wilson, Julia Gillard's ex-boyfriend and the then- leader of the Australian Workers Union in WA - he lost his bodily functions on several occasions.

"I had to make a decision - keep it a secret as long as you can. That's why I'm still alive," he told the inquest.

According to Mr Hooper, when he finally made a statement, a detective made him sign a "completely different" document, saying "if you don't sign it, terrible things will happen".

Another recurring theme has been tip-offs being ignored.

Policeman Geoff McMurray, who discovered Ms Finn's body slumped in her white Dodge, saw the car from the nearby Kwinana Freeway while on his motorcycle patrol and rode over to investigate.

The way it had been parked, it may have been stolen, he said.

But before he got there, a middle aged man driving away from the golf course stopped to ask for directions to Cottesloe, saying he was from Victoria, although his number plate was from WA.

While the man appeared "quite at ease", Mr McMurray jotted down the number plate and immediately passed it on to Mr Johnson, who he recalled was one of the first detectives on the scene.

He said it was surprising Mr Johnson quickly looked at the body then left before others arrived, and agreed with lawyer Tom Percy's suggestion he appeared "cold as ice".

"Within five minutes, he was gone," Mr McMurray said.

He was surprised again four months later when he gave the licence plate number to a different detective who was leading the investigation and learned Mr Johnson had not passed it on.

Evidence pointing to a complete failure by police to follow up the Smith tip- off, however, left the coroner dumbfounded.

The WA Coroner's Court heard the Finn file was reviewed in 1993 by detective sergeant Wayne Gregson, who noted there was no record of Smith being interviewed and urged detectives travelling to NSW to speak with the convicted murderer in prison.

"It looks to me like nothing has ever been done," WA Coroner Barry King said.

"How could it be?"

His comments were pointed at former WA Police deputy commissioner Frank Zanetti, who signed the statement about Smith, made by a man named Keith Alan Lewis, who was cutting a deal with police on behalf of his bad cheque-dropping boyfriend.

Evidence about the small green vehicle also recurred, with car enthusiast John Mearns telling the court he saw one parked at the golf course right beside Ms Finn's distinctive Dodge which had both front doors wide open in the pouring rain.

Like Mr Hooper, another witness, Steve Couacaud, told the court he saw an unmarked panel van next to the Dodge.

Mr Couacaud said he assumed it was a police vehicle because a man in an officer's uniform got out and into Ms Finn's car, while Mr Hooper said it had lights on the roof.

Mr Mearns also told the court he tried to provide information to police, but they weren't interested, and he too had been told to watch his back.

He said his fears intensified in 2001 when Don Hancock, who became the chief of the Criminal Investigation Bureau, was murdered in a car bombing.

"When Hancock got taken out, I was even more worried," Mr Mearns said.

Former cab driver Ray Gardner said he saw two policemen shoot Ms Finn twice in the head while she slept in her Dodge, then fire at his taxi but miss.

Mr Gardner claimed the man who pulled the trigger was then-police minister Ray O'Connor, who became premier.

Wherever it lies amid the extraordinary claims heard in court, Mr Mearns and Mr Hooper both want the truth to come out.

"There was a lot of corruption in this town, it's been here for years and it's cost this community billions of dollars," Mr Hooper said outside court.

"This crime would have been very easy for the police to solve. They could have solved it in a bloody instant."

The inquest resumes on November 20.

Key Players at The Shirley Finn Murder Inquest



Abe Safron well known as Mr Sin and the Australian Godfather


Sam Franchina was known in the right circles as the God Father who could make anything happen, help fix serious problems that arose for powerful people in Perth, Western Australia who through his early life on the streets of Perth, made friends and gained respect from police, politicians and other various people in the business, horse racing and criminal world and help various politicians, police, judges, magistrates, Perth City Councilors gain powerful positions so they could return various favours when asked and in some cases demanded ...

Perth Brother owner Dorrie Flatman says her wealth lies in the police containment policy

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/101970347

Canberra Times 18th June  1988 Page 1



Former Red House madam Stella Strong, right, pictured with Dorrie Flatman around 1970 

      Perth brothel owner says wealth lies in police policy

 

   PERTH: Brothel owner Dorrie Flatman says she has the Western Australian police to thank for making her a wealthy woman in Perth, according to a British TV program.In an interview screened on the BBC in Britain on Friday, Mrs Flatman said the police's containment policy on prostitution had prevented new brothels opening in Perth. She revealed there were 200 women working in Perth's 16 contained brothels, with another 120 working outside the system.

Criminal Arthur “Neddy” Smith after being acquitted of the 1986 murder of Sallie-Anne Huckstepp.


Arthur 'Neddy' Smith and his wife Debra on their wedding day at Long Bay Jail.

* ARTHUR "NEDDY" SMITH
Cutting a deal with police on behalf of his bad cheque-dropping boyfriend, Keith Alan Lewis told officer James Boland soon after the murder Smith had been paid to do it by Joe Martin, whose business relationship with Finn had soured. Smith is serving two life sentences for murder in NSW.

* JAMES Archibold BOLAND

James Archibold Boland-Mid shot of James Archibold Boland with court building in the background.James Archibold Boland-Mid shot of James Archibold Boland with court building in the background.

Vehemently denied he murdered Finn after witness Margo Devine, who worked with him at a prison in 1995, claimed he had bragged about shooting the mother-of- three in the company of two other police officers. Passed on information provided by Lewis to his superior Don Hancock.

* DON HANCOCK

 

Witness Steve Couacaud said he saw a uniformed policeman, who he later concluded was Hancock, getting into Finn's car at the golf course where her body was found. A detective sergeant in 1975, he became the chief of the Criminal Investigation Bureau and was murdered in a 2001 car bombing widely seen as revenge for the fatal shooting of a bikie at Ora Banda. Investigated the "Perth Mint swindle", which resulted in the Mickelberg brothers being jailed, claiming they were framed.

* FRANK ZANETTI


Detective sergeant who signed Lewis' statement and later became deputy commissioner of WA Police. Told the coroner he could not recall whether the Smith tip-off was followed up. Also said some of the documents in the Finn file looked incomplete and may have been misplaced.

* BERNIE JOHNSON


Witness Philip Hooper claimed he saw WA Police vice chief Bernie Johnson with illegal gambling identity Lawrence Tudori and his driver near the murder scene, moments after he saw Finn's car and heard gun shots. Hooper said he was repeatedly threatened by a gun-toting Johnson over many years. The officer who found her body, Geoff McMurray, said Johnson was one of the first if not the first detective to arrive after he called it in.

* RAY O'CONNOR


Police minister in 1975, became premier in 1982. In bizarre testimony given by the first person claiming to be an eyewitness, retired taxi driver Ray Gardner said he saw O'Connor and a plain clothed-policeman shoot Finn. O'Connor, who was jailed for six months in 1995 as part of the WA Inc scandal and died in 2013 aged 86, was forced to publicly deny any link to the Finn murder.

* OWEN LEITCH

  


George Owen Arthur Leitch (1919-2006, known as Owen)_Western Australian  Commissioner Of Police
Western Australian Police Commissioner from  13 September 1975 to 15 February 1981



Paule Jacqueline De Gaye testified she overheard a conversation between her bookmaker and nightclub owner de facto Don Mack and Finn two days before the killing in which the tax debt-laden madam said she and detective Owen Leitch had exchanged threats. He became police commissioner three months later.

Shirley Finn told to 'shut her mouth' before death

by  AAP NEWS SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

https://www.riverineherald.com.au/national/2017/09/19/110378/finn-told-to-shut-her-mouth-before-death

Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn claimed she was being followed two days before her execution-style murder in 1975 and said a detective had warned her to watch her words, a woman has told an inquest.

The WA Coroner's Court heard on Tuesday the mother of three, who had a big tax bill, was agitated when she visited the Mt Hawthorn house Paule Jacqueline De Gaye shared with her bookmaker and nightclub owner partner, Don Mack, on June 20, 1975

AAP

George Owen Arthur Leitch (1919-2006, known as Owen)
George Owen Arthur Leitch (1919-2006, known as Owen)

Shirley Finn inquest: Witnesses ready to break silence with more explosive claims

Grant Taylor

Sunday, 17 September 2017 

https://thewest.com.au/news/crime/shirley-finn-inquest-witnesses-ready-to-break-silence-with-more-explosive-claims-ng-b88600364z

Phillip Hooper spent four decades living in fear but has spoken to the public.

Hit men, bent cops and even death threats made by a former prime minister’s boyfriend.

The Shirley Finn inquest has proved to be a headline writer’s dream after just three days of hearings.

And the explosive claims are expected to keep coming this week as more witnesses prepare to tell the Coroner’s Court what they know about the brothel madam’s murder in June 1975.

Among the nine people listed to appear this week are two witnesses who kept their evidence secret for four decades, including one who made contact with the Coroner’s office only in recent weeks.

He broke down and said he feared for his life and couldn't trust police.

The man’s testimony, scheduled for Wednesday, is expected to include claims that he was shot at by a group of men who he thought were police after he stopped to see what they were doing at the South Perth golf course on the night Ms Finn was murdered. She was found dead in her car with four bullet wounds to the head.

A second witness, due to appear Tuesday, is expected to tell the court that Ms Finn came to her house three days before she was killed in a highly distressed state, claiming her life had just been threatened by a senior police officer.

The woman claims Ms Finn said the officer had warned her she would be shot in the head if she “named names” at a meeting she was due to have with the tax office the following week.

Those due to give evidence on Monday include the former motorcycle police officer who was the first to find Ms Finn’s body.


Former deputy police commissioner Frank Zanetti.
Former deputy police commissioner Frank Zanetti.

He will be joined on the stand by former deputy police commissioner Frank Zanetti who is expected to be quizzed about his knowledge of claims that notorious Sydney hit man Arthur “Neddy” Smith may have been the trigger man.

Another former officer, James Boland, has already told the inquiry that a witness came forward just weeks after the murder claiming Smith had been paid $5000 to fly to Perth and carry out the killing.

But during questioning, Mr Boland could not say whether the claims were ever fully investigated because his senior officer Don Hancock had told him to “let it go”. Mr Hancock was killed by a car bomb in 2001.

But official police documents tendered to the court show that Mr Zanetti had also been aware of the claims made about Smith.

He is expected to be asked to explain what action was taken to determine whether there was any substance to the allegations.

Smith, who is serving two life sentences for murders committed in NSW, was interviewed by WA Police in 2014. It is not yet known if he will be called as a witness at the inquiry which is scheduled to adjourn until November 20 at the end of this week’s hearings.

He broke down and said he feared for his life and couldn't trust police.

The man’s testimony, scheduled for Wednesday, is expected to include claims that he was shot at by a group of men who he thought were police after he stopped to see what they were doing at the South Perth golf course on the night Ms Finn was murdered. She was found dead in her car with four bullet wounds to the head.

A second witness, due to appear Tuesday, is expected to tell the court that Ms Finn came to her house three days before she was killed in a highly distressed state, claiming her life had just been threatened by a senior police officer.

The woman claims Ms Finn said the officer had warned her she would be shot in the head if she “named names” at a meeting she was due to have with the tax office the following week.

Those due to give evidence on Monday include the former motorcycle police officer who was the first to find Ms Finn’s body.

He will be joined on the stand by former deputy police commissioner Frank Zanetti who is expected to be quizzed about his knowledge of claims that notorious Sydney hit man Arthur “Neddy” Smith may have been the trigger man.

Another former officer, James Boland, has already told the inquiry that a witness came forward just weeks after the murder claiming Smith had been paid $5000 to fly to Perth and carry out the killing.

But during questioning, Mr Boland could not say whether the claims were ever fully investigated because his senior officer Don Hancock had told him to “let it go”. Mr Hancock was killed by a car bomb in 2001.

But official police documents tendered to the court show that Mr Zanetti had also been aware of the claims made about Smith.

He is expected to be asked to explain what action was taken to determine whether there was any substance to the allegations.

Smith, who is serving two life sentences for murders committed in NSW, was interviewed by WA Police in 2014. It is not yet known if he will be called as a witness at the inquiry which is scheduled to adjourn until November 20 at the end of this week’s hearings.

The investigation into the 42-year-old murder has reopened again.


Shirley Finn murder:

Brothel owner threatened to expose alleged lover former WA premier Ray O'Connor

AUSTRALIAN STORY BY JENNIFER FELLER  MON 6 MAR 2017

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-06/shirley-finn-murder-brothel-owner-threatened-to-reveal-lover/8311826

VIDEO 0:51 

Rumours of police involvement in Shirley Finn's 1975 murder have been rife from the outset.

ABC NEWS

http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/news/video/201703/ASTb_ShirleyFinn_0603_512k.mp4

A black and white photo of a car with its two front doors open



Shirley Finn's car

Shirley Finn wearing a hat and fur trimmed coat

PHOTO Shirley Finn was murdered just three days before a tax hearing as she faced a $100,000 debt.

 

The former driver of murdered Perth madam Shirley Finn has revealed compelling new details about the brothel owner's relationship with then police minister Ray O'Connor, who went on to become WA's premier.

Key points:

Driver claims former police minister Ray O'Connor had affair with Shirley Finn, despite denials he ever met her

Witnesses previously too scared to talk expected to give evidence at inquest

Allegations persist police, politicians played role in Finn murder

In an interview with Australian Story, Leigh Beswick confirmed long-standing rumours Finn was in a relationship with O'Connor.

"I used to drive them up to Kings Park and take them to the Swan River. Nine times out of 10 they'd have a bottle of wine. They were having a great old time," Mrs Beswick said.

O'Connor, who died in 2013, consistently denied having met Finn and said suggestions otherwise were "a joke".

Finn was murdered just three days before a tax hearing, at which she was threatening to blow the whistle on illicit dealings by politicians, businessmen and police.

According to Mrs Beswick, Finn had warned O'Connor of her intentions unless he helped her deal with a $100,000 tax debt.

"I know she went to him and asked him for help. The conversation I heard between Shirley and Ray O'Connor was 'if I go down you go down'," Mrs Beswick said.

Finn was allegedly paying kickbacks to senior detectives under the police "containment" system, which allowed police to determine who could run brothels in Perth and how.

Rumours of police involvement in the murder have been rife from the outset.

O'Connor was jailed in 1995 after misappropriating a $25,000 donation to the Liberal Party from the Bond Corporation.

Chilling murder with a macabre twist

Finn was last seen by a neighbour as she was leaving her home in a "glittering gown" at 9:40 pm on Sunday, June 22, 1975.

According to an acquaintance of Finn, named Jacqueline [surname withheld], she had been on her way to a meeting with an "important person" who could help her with her tax problems and had been told by a senior police officer to "dress to impress".

The following morning, Finn's body was found slumped in her Dodge, four bullet holes in her head, at Royal Perth Golf Course.

She was wearing a full-length ball gown.

There was little doubt Finn had been professionally executed in what was known as a "bowling ball execution".

The first reporter on the scene, television journalist Terry Willesee, has been haunted by the memory of what he saw that day.

"I walked over to an American sedan and I saw the body of a woman. This magnificent gown she was wearing still sticks in my memory today," he said.

Police recovered a bullet cartridge from the back seat of Finn's car but the murder weapon was never found.

The original police investigation ended after less than a year. Two cold case inquiries in 2005 and 2014 failed to find the killer.

Daughter tormented by 'failure to fully investigate'
 

Bridget Shewring and author  of the book Dirty Girl Juliet Wills

 

Juliet Wills author  of the book Dirty Girl 

In June 1975, dressed to impress in her finest ball gown, dripping with expensive jewellery and driving a limited edition luxury car, socialite and brothel madam Shirley Finn was invited to the grounds of the Royal Perth Golf Club for a special occasion – her own modern day public execution.

The killers knew they wouldn’t be caught. Their power reigned supreme in one of the most remote and prosperous cities on earth, during an era of police protection and ‘containment’ of organised crime.

Rising out of an abusive welfare system to become a police-protected madam, Shirley’s fate took an astonishing turn towards the top end of town. 

As one of Perth’s best-known socialites, she hosted fabulous parties. But her downfall was fast and furious, beginning with money laundering and fears she might expose high-level corruption in ‘The Wild West’ of the seventies.

An important historical document that reveals the secrets and lies of powerful interests, criminal and political. 
– David Whish-Wilson

Born in Sydney, Juliet Wills has lived and worked throughout Australia. She has been awarded for her Excellence in TV Journalism, written for major newspapers, and lectured in broadcast journalism at two universities.




Although Finn's daughter, Bridget Shewring, was only 12 years old when her mother was murdered, she remembers the day clearly.

"I was in first period social studies and the headmistress came in and asked for me. She wrapped her arms around me and said, 'I don't know how you are going to live through this Bridget'," Ms Shewring told Australian Story.

Ms Shewring said she heard little more about her mother until 2004, when she was contacted by author and journalist Juliet Wills.

Wills had begun investigating the case and was shocked by "the level of corruption" she had discovered.

"I told Bridget I believed there had been an incredible wrong and police had attempted to cover up the murder of her mother and that I was determined to get to the bottom of it," Wills said.

Over the next decade, Wills conducted interviews with dozens of witnesses, including a retired police officer who claimed to have seen Finn on the night she was murdered, in the police canteen with two detectives.

"When he learned of the murder he went straight to senior officers to report what he'd seen," Wills said.

"He said that the next day he was knocked off his motorcycle, had a gun held to his head and was told to shut his mouth or he'd be killed."

Wills handed interviews she had conducted to police but has been disappointed by what she described as their inaction.

"This is possibly the highest level politically sanctioned murder in the history of Australia

but they just weren't willing to delve further," Author Juliet Wills author of the book Dirty Girl said.

Ms Shewring and Wills first sought an inquest in 2005, only to be told there was insufficient evidence.

However, last year, after the Special Crime Squad reviewed the case and after significant new evidence was presented to them, an inquest was granted.

In a statement to Australian Story, a WA Police spokesperson said: "The Commissioner welcomes the forthcoming coronial examination of this case especially if it can help resolve the matter."

In 2015, Western Australian Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said he "would like nothing better" than to be the police commissioner who resolved the Finn murder.

Plea for witnesses to come forward

Although time is not on her side, Ms Shewring believes there is still information to be found.

"We have been told in the past that it's hopeless but we have had three significant new witnesses come forward in the past two years," she said.

One of those witnesses, Jacqueline, has been too scared to talk publicly until now.

She saw Finn just days before her murder and said the brothel owner feared for her life.

She agreed to be interviewed on Australian Story to encourage other witnesses to come forward at the inquest to be held later this year.

"I am looking forward to going to the inquest and telling what I know and speaking about what happened. I just hope that others do the same," she said.

Watch Australian Story's "Getting away with Murder" tonight 8pm (AEST) on ABC TV.

A black and white photo showing the back of two men pointing at an investigation pinboard


PHOTO After more than 40 years a coronial inquest is to be held into the death of Shirley Finn.

SUPPLIED

Black and white photo of Shirley and three kids in a portrait photo



PHOTO Shirley Finn had three children — Shane, Bridget and Steven.

SUPPLIED        

A black and white photo of four men with their heads down looking at the grass


PHOTO Officers inspect the scene at the Royal Perth Golf Course where Shirley Finn was found dead in 1975.

SUPPLIED

A black and white photo of Shirley Finn wearing a flowing ball gown



PHOTO Shirley Finn was found slumped over in her car wearing a full-length ball gown.

SUPPLIED: BRIDGET SHEWRING

A black and white photo of a car with its two front doors open



PHOTO Shirley Finn was found in her Dodge car with four bullet holes to her head.


VIDEO 1:38The cold case of the murder of Shirley Finn

MON 6 MAR 2017

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-06/the-cold-case-of-the-murder-of-shirley-finn/8316018

The cold case of the murder of Shirley Finn is under the spotlight again as new people come forward to Australian Story ahead of an inquest in 2017.

ABC NEWS POSTED MON 6 MAR 2017

http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/news/video/201703/ASTb_AwayWithMurderOnline_0603_512k.mp4

 

Shirley Finn inquest: Colourful evidence but recurring themes emerge in Perth Coroner's Court

AP, PerthNow-September 22, 2017


http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/shirley-finn-inquest-colourful-evidence-but-recurring-themes-emerge-in-perth-coroners-court/news-story/40eaf2f6f90d5b3f0d33838ce5bf21b9

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/0a1ad08472b6b191df08d764c0b28ca8?width=316

Shirley Finn, who was murdered in 1975.


Philip Hooper

Philip Hooper and Witness-Who_Saw_Lawrence Tudori-and-driver-and-WA Police vice chief Bernie Johnson and a police panel van parked near Ms Finn's distinctive "yank tank" on the edge of the Royal Perth Golf Club before hearing gun shots.

Philip Hooper gave compelling evidence that he saw a police panel van parked near Ms Finn's distinctive "yank tank" on the edge of the Royal Perth Golf Club before hearing gun shots.

Mr Hooper said two men then drove up in a station wagon and threatened him and his girlfriend not to tell police because they would "come after" the couple.

After waiting a few moments with their eyes down and hands on the dashboard as instructed, they drove around the corner and saw the two men, who he later determined were illegal gambling figure Lawrence Tudori and his driver.

Standing with them near a small green car was WA Police vice chief Bernie Johnson, Mr Hooper said.

But he said he kept it secret until 1994 when he'd finally had enough of years of threats and harassment by Mr Johnson and other plain-clothes police.

"He'd just turn up and you'd never know when he was going to come," Mr Hooper said.

He said he had a gun held to his head, was shot at and was so scared by his tormenters - allegedly including Bruce Wilson, former prime minister Julia Gillard's ex-boyfriend and the then-leader of the Australian Workers Union in WA - he lost his bodily functions on several occasions.

"I had to make a decision - keep it a secret as long as you can. That's why I'm still alive," he told the inquest.

According to Mr Hooper, when he finally made a statement, a detective made him sign a "completely different" document, saying "if you don't sign it, terrible things will happen".

BENT cops and politicians, car bombs, a former prime minister's old boyfriend and murdered madams in the wild west: the Shirley Finn inquest reads like a film script.

The inquest into the 1975 execution-style murder of the Perth brothel madam has heard some colourful evidence from equally colourful characters, but recurring themes are emerging, including police doctoring statements.

Retired police officer James Boland kicked off proceedings with the explosive claim he'd been informed Sydney hitman Arthur "Neddy" Smith had been paid to shoot the mother-of-three.

This week's session included bizarre claims from retired taxi driver Ray Gardner that he saw future WA premier Ray O'Connor shoot Ms Finn in the top of the head, when in fact she was shot in the back of the head.

Mr Gardner also claimed the then-police minister fired a shot at his taxi but missed.

Earlier, Philip Hooper gave compelling evidence that he saw a police panel van parked near Ms Finn's distinctive "yank tank" on the edge of the Royal Perth Golf Club before hearing gun shots.

Mr Hooper said two men then drove up in a station wagon and threatened him and his girlfriend not to tell police because they would "come after" the couple.

After waiting a few moments with their eyes down and hands on the dashboard as instructed, they drove around the corner and saw the two men, who he later determined were illegal gambling figure Lawrence Tudori and his driver.

Standing with them near a small green car was WA Police vice chief Bernie Johnson, Mr Hooper said.

But he said he kept it secret until 1994 when he'd finally had enough of years of threats and harassment by Mr Johnson and other plain-clothes police.

"He'd just turn up and you'd never know when he was going to come," Mr Hooper said.

He said he had a gun held to his head, was shot at and was so scared by his tormenters - allegedly including Bruce Wilson, former prime minister Julia Gillard's ex-boyfriend and the then-leader of the Australian Workers Union in WA - he lost his bodily functions on several occasions.

"I had to make a decision - keep it a secret as long as you can. That's why I'm still alive," he told the inquest.

According to Mr Hooper, when he finally made a statement, a detective made him sign a "completely different" document, saying "if you don't sign it, terrible things will happen".



Geoff McMurray outside court at the Shirley Finn inquest. Picture : Ian Munro

Another recurring theme during the inquest has been tip-offs being ignored.

Policeman Geoff McMurray, who discovered Ms Finn's body slumped in her distinctive white Dodge, saw the car from the nearby Kwinana Freeway while on his motorcycle patrol and rode over to investigate.

The way it had been parked, it may have been stolen, he said.

But before he got there, a middle-aged man driving away from the golf course stopped to ask for directions to Cottesloe, saying he was from Victoria, although his number plate was from WA.

While the man appeared "quite at ease", Mr McMurray jotted down the number plate and immediately passed it on to Mr Johnson, who he recalled was one of the first detectives on the scene.

He said it was surprising Mr Johnson quickly looked at the body then left before others arrived, and agreed with lawyer Tom Percy's suggestion he appeared "cold as ice".

"Within five minutes, he was gone," Mr McMurray said.

He was surprised again four months later when he gave the licence plate number to a different detective who was leading the investigation and learned Mr Johnson had not passed it on.

Evidence pointing to a complete failure by police to follow up the (Neddy) Smith tip-off, however, left the coroner dumbfounded.

The WA Coroner's Court heard the Finn file was reviewed in 1993 by detective sergeant Wayne Gregson, who noted there was no record of Smith being interviewed and urged detectives travelling to NSW to speak with the convicted murderer in prison.

"It looks to me like nothing has ever been done," WA Coroner Barry King said.

"How could it be?"

His comments were pointed at former WA Police deputy commissioner Frank Zanetti, who signed the statement about Smith, made by a man named Keith Alan Lewis, who was cutting a deal with police on behalf of his bad cheque-dropping boyfriend.

Evidence about the small green vehicle also recurred, with car enthusiast John Mearns telling the court he saw one parked at the golf course right beside Ms Finn's Dodge, which had both front doors wide open in the pouring rain.

Like Mr Hooper, another witness, Steve Couacaud, told the court he saw an unmarked panel van next to the Dodge.

Mr Couacaud said he assumed it was a police vehicle because a man in an officer's uniform got out and into Ms Finn's car, while Mr Hooper said it had lights on the roof.

Mr Mearns also told the court he tried to provide information to police, but they weren't interested, and he too had been told to watch his back.

He said his fears intensified in 2001 when Don Hancock, who became the chief of the Criminal Investigation Bureau, was murdered in a car bombing.

"When Hancock got taken out, I was even more worried," Mr Mearns said.

Wherever it lies amid the extraordinary claims heard in court, Mr Mearns and Mr Hooper both want the truth to come out.

"There was a lot of corruption in this town; it's been here for years and it's cost this community billions of dollars," Mr Hooper said outside court.

"This crime would have been very easy for the police to solve. They could have solved it in a bloody instant."

The inquest resumes on November 20.


Arthur ‘Neddy’ Smith flew to Perth to kill brothel madam Shirley Finn in 1975, inquest hears

Grant Taylor & Shannon Hampton, The Daily Telegraph

August 30, 2017

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/arthur-neddy-smith-flew-to-perth-to-kill-brothel-madam-shirley-finn-in-1975-inquest-hears/news-story/489f60c51d28250bb36f6d447822f558


Perth brothel madam Shirley Finn, who was found in a car with gunshot wounds to the head in 1975.


Criminal Arthur “Neddy” Smith after being acquitted of the 1986 murder of Sallie-Anne Huckstepp.CriCCriminal Arthur “Neddy” Smith after being acquitted of the 1986 murder of Sallie-Anne Huckstepp.

NOTORIOUS Sydney criminal Arthur “Neddy” Smith was paid $5000 to fly

 to Perth to murder a brothel madam on behalf of her business partners, it was revealed yesterday.

The extraordinary claims emerged at an inquest into the 1975 shooting murder of brothel worker Shirley Finn.

During the opening of the inquest in Perth yesterday, details of the alleged “hit’’ emerged from a former WA Police detective, who confirmed he had received information in 1975 about Smith’s possible involvement in Ms Finn’s death.

The former officer, James Boland, said the information had come from another career criminal and seemed “credible” to him at the time.

But Mr Boland said he did not know if the information was ever followed up because he was ordered by a superior officer to “let it go”.

Under questioning, Mr Boland said he had met with a man known as Keith Alan Lewis, who told him that Neddy Smith flew to Perth on June 23, 1975 — the day Ms Finn was killed — for a prearranged meeting with her and an unnamed police officer.

Ms Finn was found dead in her car the following morning with four gunshot wounds to the back of her head.

BRIBERY, BLACKMAIL, MURDER: Sydney’s biggest crime kingpins

Mr Boland’s testimony was supported by an official police document contained in the original case file which confirmed that Mr Lewis had been willing to provide information about Smith in exchange for fraud charges against his boyfriend being downgraded.

The police document, known as “serial 393”, was dated two months after Ms Finn’s murder and stated that Mr Boland had carried out preliminary inquiries into Mr Lewis’s claims. Those inquiries included checking flight records which confirmed a person with Smith’s name had travelled to Perth on the day of the murder.

The document also confirmed that another witness had seen Smith drinking at a Perth pub with Mr Lewis about a week after the murder.

The document stated that Mr Lewis had told police Smith had asked him during the pub meeting to go into business with him running Perth brothels, but Mr Lewis had told him he was not interested.

WHEN ROGER MET NEDDY: Making a deal with the devil

Mr Lewis had also told police that Smith liked to always sit in the back seat of a car, which was the position Ms Finn’s killer is likely to have been sitting in when the murder was carried out.

His favoured weapon was a rifle which also matches the weapon type used in the murder.


Former Police officer Roger Rogerson is taken into custody.

THE ROGER ROGERSON LINK

It is understood WA police wanted to talk to disgraced former detective and killer cop Roger Rogerson about the murder of the Perth prostitute.

Detectives from WA’s cold case squad were keen to talk to him, believing he may have had information about her death, in relation to which he has never been charged.

BEHIND GRIN WAS A BLOODTHIRSTY KILLER

Police will not confirm whether the interview went ahead, let alone what may or may not have been said, the West Australian reported in 2016.

Exactly what sparked their sudden interest in Rogerson so many years after Ms Finn’s death remains unclear.

But what is known is that the once decorated detective was a regular visitor to Perth back in the mid 70s as part of a mentoring program where the once legendary Sydney-based crook catcher would share his knowledge and experience with WA’s finest.


Arthur 'Neddy' Smith and his wife Debra on their wedding day at Long Bay Jail.

NEDDY’S LIFE AND CRIMES

Arthur “Neddy” Smith rose to fame in the 1980s when he developed a close relationship with corrupt police detective Roger Rogerson.

Like Lenny McPherson and other successful criminals, Smith survived by being a regular police informer. In his autobiography, The Life and Crimes of Arthur Stanley Smith, he wrote: “There has always been crime and corruption within the NSW police force, but nothing like it was [in the 1980s]. …

“I could never have committed any of the major crimes I did, and got away with them, with