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Darcy Whettenhall was a champion sheep breeder, running the Stanbury stud farm near Geelong. His perfectionism, drive and achievements were famous in the area. But he had a dark side, offering work to young vulnerable men then preying on them for sex. One fateful evening it all came crashing down in the most horrifying way. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au or https://subscribe.smh.com.auSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
There's a knock at your front door. A couple of tradies say they've been working on the house next door and they've noticed tiles missing from your roof. Not to worry. For $20, they're happy to climb up and replace them. But upon closer inspection, the hole in the roof is a little worse than first thought, they say. It would cost $970 and there's rain on the horizon. Still later it was worse again: they claim to have found asbestos and it would cost thousands more. This is a scam of international proportions. Starting in Ireland, fake tradies have been ripping off the elderly and the vulnerable in multimillion-dollar coordinated cons in the UK, Canada and Australia. In the latest episode of John Silvester's Naked City, go behind the scenes with the detective who targeted one crew that pulled 37 scams in Melbourne leaving 43 victims, the eldest of which was 93 years old.  Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au or https://subscribe.smh.com.auSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
What he had was information on a notorious armed robbery crew, known as the gym gang, and he was prepared to talk, if the deal was right.  He was The Driver, a trusted insider who turned informer on a gang that police still consider one of Melbourne's slickest. His information would form the basis of a police operation, codenamed Tidelands, which became a cat-and-mouse game straight out of a spy novel.  Crime reporter John Silvester brings you the final instalment of a special two-part episode of Naked City.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Their heists were meticulous, and executed with military-style precision. And as soon as one job was done, they would disappear, sometimes for years. For 40 years, police have been in a cat-and-mouse chase with one of Australia's slickest armed robbery crews - a tight group of Melbourne mates who pulled seven intricately planned jobs over 24 years, starting in the early 1980s. Now, in part one of two episodes of John Silvester's Naked City, their full story can be told. Become a subscriber: Your support powers our newsrooms and is critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au or https://subscribe.smh.com.auSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Supreme Court judge Paul Coghlan has spent more than 50 years investigating, prosecuting and judging serious crooks on serious crimes. Coghlan, the grandson of a Chinese merchant, innkeeper and opium dealer, became Director of Public Prosecutions during Melbourne's gangland war, brokering plea deals that cracked the underworld's wall of silence.  From prosecuting a serial killer to pursuing a dodgy detective in one of Australia's first wire tap cases, Coghlan opens up to veteran crime reporter John Silvester in another episode of Naked City. And a heads-up, there's a language warning for this one.  Become a subscriber: Your support powers our newsrooms and is critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au or https://subscribe.smh.com.auSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
How police caught Paul Charles Denyer, and the women who came chillingly close to the Frankston serial's orbit. In part two of John Silvester's season opening episode of Naked City, go behind-the-scenes of the investigation with the veteran crime reporter and hear from a suburban detective who, almost by chance, became the first officer Denyer chose to confess to. Another woman also talks about her encounter with Denyer a week before he murdered his final victim, as well as Donna's lucky escape. Become a subscriber: Your support powers our newsrooms and is critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au or https://subscribe.smh.com.auSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In the winter of 1993, a serial killer terrorised Melbourne, stalking and murdering three young women in the bayside suburb of Frankston. John Silvester is back for another season of Naked City, starting with a two-part episode on the investigation into Paul Charles Denyer, and the detectives that netted one of Australia's most notorious killers. And a warning, some listeners may find this content distressing. Become a subscriber: Your support powers our newsrooms and is critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The much anticipated fifth season of Naked City arrives on June 22. Make sure to subscribe now and get all the episodes straight to your device.  John Silvester, Australia’s longest-serving crime reporter, will take you on a journey through his 40 years of dealing with the nation’s most dangerous criminals. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Cliff Lockwood was just 19 when he left the peace of a tiny town to join the police force. “I know it sounds funny but I just wanted to do good. Nineteen was way too young. You don’t know anything.” On Sunday April 9, 1989 Lockwood and his partner, Senior Detective Dermot Avon arrested car thief and suspected violent criminal Gary Abdullah and took him to his Drummond Street two level flat to search for evidence and an accomplice. According to police Abdullah grabbed and imitation firearm and Lockwood responded by firing six shots from his gun, then grabbed Avon’s to fire the last and fatal shot.  Both police were charged with murder and were acquitted. Lockwood’s left policing and his life spiralled out of control. He was jailed in the Northern Territory. Now he is back in Victoria trying to rebuild his life. Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
For a time gangland figures lived a fast and often lucrative life, but very few made it out alive. After 11 unsolved murders, including Moran brothers Mark and Jason, and their father Lewis, police put together a taskforce to tackle the gangland war. They investigated Andrew 'Benji' Veniamin, Mick Gatto, Carl Williams and Tony Mockbell among others. Purana ended up investigating over 300 people, listening in on more than 100,000 hours of phone conversations, using 39 tracking devices to follow suspects for more than 22,000 hours. One of the key police informants was lawyer Nicola Gobbo, a fact which puts several convictions into jeopardy. Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The rookie teacher at the tiny country school was startled during morning recess when some of the kids ran into the single weatherboard classroom, yelling: "There's a man outside with a gun."Rob Hunter had been the sole teacher at the Gippsland town of Wooreen for just nine days - his first posting after three years at teachers' college. He was 20 years old. Maree Young was his student, she was just 11 years old. The man with the revolver and wearing a Collingwood beanie as a balaclava was Geelong Prison escapee Edwin John "Ted" Eastwood, 26, who five years earlier pulled the same crime 270 kilometres away, kidnapping a teacher and six students from Faraday. It was February 14, 1977. In the next 21 hours they would experience a car crash, a night imprisoned at a remote campsite, an escape, police pursuit, a shootout and a wounding before final rescue.In this episode of Naked City, Rob Hunter and Maree Young tell their story, first hand.  Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
By early 1985 hitman Chris Flannery was running out of friends. This was hardly surprising, as he’d killed most of them. Flannery had built a fearsome reputation for killing on command but when an attack dog begins to snarl at its master it is time for the big sleep. Flannery’s boss Sydney gangster George Freeman had lost patience with him and was a little frightened of the unpredictable gunman. Flannery had threatened police and had shot one – undercover detective Mick Drury. Even in corrupt Sydney that was a crime that couldn’t go unanswered. He killed gangsters, shot dead a law-abiding Melbourne businessman, stabbed a major banking figure and orchestrated the murder of a teenage girl who could have given evidence against him. The man they called Rent-a-Kill made sure most of his victims were never found and that proved to be his fate when he was ambushed and murdered. He was no great loss. Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Abraham Gilbert Saffron was a successful Sydney businessman who hated his nickname and spent a fortune trying to have it expunged from the record by threatening anyone who used it publicly. The name was Mr Sin and it was well deserved. He built a vice empire on a triangular business model – the three points were bribery, blackmail and arson. He organised sex, often with under-age boys and girls, secretly photographing patrons to use against them.  He paid bribes to police - $750 per club for local police and $5000 a week for senior police and was so brazen he repeatedly visited the bent Deputy Commissioner Bill Allen at headquarters. Six of Saffron’s many properties caught fire between 1980 and 1982 - all deliberately lit.  On June 9, 1979, the ghost train at Sydney’s Luna Park was engulfed in flames, killing six children and the father of one of them. It was a property Saffron wanted to own. The police investigation was a disgrace, not because of incompetence but corruption. Saffron said he wasn’t involved but he would, wouldn’t he?   Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Robbo' Robertson was a natural undercover cop. A Vietnam veteran with the gift of the gab, he slipped seamlessly into the role of Brian Wilson, an underworld heavy from Sydney. In 1978 Robertson was given a new mission. He was to go deep undercover to infiltrate Australia’s best armed robbery crew, the men behind the 1976 multi-million Great Bookie Robbery. He was to pretend to be a corrupt armoured van driver who would tip the team about a lucrative payroll. But this time police would be waiting to make the arrest. What they didn’t know at the time was that one of the gang was the notorious NSW prison escapee Russell “Mad Dog” Cox. In the final meeting before the armed robbery Cox and Robbo were stopped by three uniformed police, unaware of the sting operation. Cox pulled a gun and only the quick thinking and quick talking Robbo saved them all. In 2021 Robbo finally received a Valour Award for his heroism. Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It was a Friday night when Federal Police contacted their Victorian counterparts with an urgent message. A shooting had been ordered by an overseas bikie boss to be carried at a Melbourne fight night. The planning was so detailed police moved in to seize two stolen cars to be used by the hit team, cloned plates, and guns. Someone is walking around today unaware they are alive because cops unscrambled the encrypted message. What the arresting officers didn’t know is the original tip didn’t come from an informer but something much more reliable. As part of an international police sting over three years police had monitored 27 million encrypted messages from crooks from 300 cartels using a purpose-built app called ANoM. The app had been built with a trap door for police and spread through the world enabling police to monitor criminals in Australia, US, Europe, Asia and South America,   In the end police made more than 1000 arrests with more than 200 in Australia alone. Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In 1984 policeman Ron Fenton was nearly given up for dead. Shot in the head and slumped unconscious next to his police car. That is until a cop in an unmarked car took it upon himself to charge do drag Ron to safety. They thought Ron wouldn’t make it to hospital, then that he would not regain consciousness and finally thathe would never return to work. They didn’t know Ron. He battled back and eventually was back on the road. But it came at a cost – he would suffer PTSD and leave the Force to battle his demons alone. Depression, flash backs, mood swings and vicious night terrors had led him to attempt to take his own life. That is, until he met Yogi, a companion dog trained by an inmate in Bathurst prison. The dog and the prisoner saved Ron’s life. Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The first episode of series four will drop Wednesday 7 July, with a new episode published every Wednesday. Make sure to subscribe now and get all the episodes straight to your device.  John Silvester, Australia’s longest-serving crime reporter, will take you on a journey through his 40 years of dealing with the nation’s most dangerous criminals. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Arthur James Nelson was a third rate crook who had convictions for burglary, theft, assault, false pretences and drugs. In July 1988 his path fatally crossed police officers, Lachlan McCulloch and Syd Hadley. We hear the police re-enactment tapes conducted the day after the shooting as McCulloch and Hadley describe blow by blow the one hour chase and reenact the split second moment they shot dead Nelson.  Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
He was the best defence lawyer representing murder defendants in around 200 cases. He went on to be a respected Supreme Court Judge presiding over the most difficult homicide trials, including the Walsh Street police killings, the Russell Street bombing that killed police constable Angela Taylor; the Bega double murder trial of Leslie Camilleri, one of two men who tortured and killed NSW schoolgirls Lauren Margaret Barry, and Nichole Emma Collins in Victoria in 1997; and the trial of serial killer Paul Charles Denyer, who killed three women and stalked hundreds in the Frankston area.Frank Vincent was the long-time head of the Parole Board who often had to decide who should be freed and who would remain in jail. Frank takes us through a journey into the criminal justice system and reveals the secrets of the Supreme Court. Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
He has represented Mick Gatto and Mark 'Chopper' Reid among other Melbourne gangland characters, but even as a school-kid, lawyer Bernie Balmer had an aversion to bullies.  As a year 11 student he had a difference of opinion with a Brother at Assumption College who responded by punching the young Balmer in the face. Bernie, who would go on to be a more than handy heavyweight boxer, dropped the bully. While he was only defending himself, he was forced to leave under threat of expulsion. It still burns that some who knew the truth failed to stand up for him and perhaps that is one of the reasons he became a seven-day-a-week defence lawyer, often giving a voice to those who desperately need one. Balmer is respected on both sides of the law and has a unique insight into the criminal justice system. Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Comments (25)

Kelly Summerfield

We love your work Sly you old dog

Jul 14th
Reply

Cristina Corales

Sound quality is poor, but podcast content is very interesting.

Jun 26th
Reply

Katie Bray

It was Seaford station where PCD attacked another woman the same night he killed Debbie Fream, not Kananook.

Jun 22nd
Reply

Wanda Egan

I've very much enjoyed yr podcast John. Also very much saddened to hear yr having a break. Get back when you can please. Many thanks for yr time and keeping me amused in the many boring hours I spend driving cheers

Sep 2nd
Reply

Trevor Bloye

Thankyou for sharing this great story without doubt one of you best.Keep up the good work.

Aug 21st
Reply

Michael Anthony

always enjoy your stories, well done John

Jul 29th
Reply

Simon Bradley

Thanks for telling Ron's story John. Touching and done with great respect of an outstanding person.

Jul 28th
Reply

Damo son

sly, why don't you do more podcasts !!! I really enjoy them. but want more mate and I know you have a shxt load more stories to tell, so pleàse get on with it mate . thank you for your work

Jun 23rd
Reply

Trevor Bloye

Looking forward to hearing something new from you.

May 7th
Reply

pongsu

what's going on, has the world's best podcast had a week off? been refreshing th app every half hour and still nothing.. come on Sly pick it up..

Apr 21st
Reply

Trevor Bloye

Good job you put together a great Pod Cast

Apr 14th
Reply

Michael Anthony

always interesting stories. love the Sly humour

Mar 31st
Reply

Trevor Bloye

You do such a great job thanks for your hard work in getting the info for these great podcasts

Mar 30th
Reply

Kerri Ryant

Wonderful story. So inspirational.

Sep 20th
Reply

Marc Maddock

this proves that if you use people for your own gain you are playing a very dangerous game

Sep 12th
Reply

Jenni Allen

Love this series. Great listening.

Sep 6th
Reply

Lin

So many of these stories are ones I still remember reading about in newspapers and watching on the nightly news when I was in Melbourne. It's fascinating to hear the in depth details behind these (mostly) notorious incidents, many of which happened in my local area or just a few kms away. The only downside to listening is that hearing the years when the stories occured has made me feel slightly ancient. Lol 😏

Sep 2nd
Reply

laura pacenza

Get podcast! Well made with interesting stories.

Aug 31st
Reply

Marc Maddock

great stuff as usual

Aug 19th
Reply

Luke Sinclair

Great Podcast, well worth the listen.

Aug 19th
Reply
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