Roger Rogerson

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Roger Caleb Rogerson
Born (1941-01-03) 3 January 1941 (age 73)
Occupation Former Detective
Criminal charge
Murder
Conviction(s) Drug Trafficking, Perverting the course of justice

Roger Caleb Rogerson (born 3 January 1941) is a former Detective Sergeant of the New South Wales Police Force. He was one of its most decorated officers, having received at least 13 awards for bravery, outstanding policemanship and devotion to duty including the Peter Mitchell Trophy, the highest annual police award.[1][2]

In 1999 Rogerson was convicted of perverting the course of justice and lying to the Police Integrity Commission. Rogerson is also known for his association with other NSW detectives who are reputed to have been corrupt, including Ray "Gunner" Kelly and Fred Krahe, and with a number of organised crime figures, including Arthur "Neddy" Smith and Christopher Dale Flannery. Smith was a convicted heroin dealer, rapist and armed robber who has claimed Rogerson gave him the "green light" to commit crimes in New South Wales. Henry and Lanfranchi were also heroin dealers and armed robbers, while Flannery specialised in contract killing.

As of May 2014 Rogerson is remanded in prison after being charged with the murder of Jamie Gao.

Biography[edit]

Police career[edit]

Rogerson worked on some of the biggest cases of the early 1970s, including the Toecutter Gang Murder and the Whiskey Au Go Go Fire in Brisbane. By 1978 his reputation was sufficient to gain convictions based on the strength of unsigned records of interviews with prisoners (known as "police verbals"). He was brought in to investigate the Ananda Marga conspiracy case, despite having no connections to the Special Branch investigating the case. Tim Anderson, one of the three released in 1985, claimed the confession Rogerson extracted was fabricated, and that he and two other members of the Ananda Marga group were convicted in part because of Rogerson's fabrications.[3][4]

The Peter Mitchell Award was presented to Rogerson in 1980 for the arrest of escaped armed robber Gary Purdey. This was tainted by Purdey's claims that Rogerson assaulted him, prevented him from calling his solicitor and typed up to five different records of interview.[3]

Rogerson was responsible for the shooting death of Warren Lanfranchi.[5] During the inquest the coroner found he was acting in the line of duty, but a jury declined to find he had acted in self-defence. Rogerson was later commended by the police force for his bravery. However, it was alleged by Lanfranchi's partner, Sallie-Anne Huckstepp, and later by Neddy Smith, that Rogerson had murdered Lanfranchi as retribution for robbing another heroin dealer who was under police protection, and for firing a gun at a police officer. Huckstepp, a heroin addict and prostitute, appeared on numerous current affairs programs, including 60 Minutes and A Current Affair, demanding an investigation into Lanfranchi's death. She also made statements to the New South Wales Police Internal Affairs Branch. Huckstepp was later murdered, body found in a pond in Centennial Park, New South Wales.[5]

Fellow police officer Michael Drury has alleged that Rogerson was involved in his attempted murder. Drury claims he refused to accept a bribe Rogerson offered to change his evidence in a heroin trafficking trial of convicted Melbourne drug dealer, Alan Williams. On 6 June 1984, Drury was shot twice through his kitchen window as he fed his three-year-old daughter, Belinda. Rogerson was charged with the shooting and Williams testified that Rogerson and Christopher Dale Flannery had agreed to murder Drury for A$50,000 each. However, on 20 November 1989, Rogerson was acquitted.[6]

Rogerson received a criminal conviction, which was overturned on appeal, for involvement in drug dealing, allegedly conspiring with notorious Melbourne drug dealer Dennis Allen to supply heroin.

After the police force[edit]

Rogerson was dismissed from the NSW Police Force on 11 April 1986. He was subsequently convicted of perverting the course of justice in relation to A$110,000 deposited by him in bank accounts under a false name. He spent nine months in jail in 1990 before being released on bail pending an appeal. His appeal was unsuccessful and he spent a further three years in jail from 1992 to 1995. Rogerson was depicted by Richard Roxburgh in the miniseries, Blue Murder, first broadcast in 1995.

After leaving the police, Rogerson worked in the building and construction industry as a supplier of scaffolding. He also became an entertainer, telling stories of his police activities in a spoken-word stage show called The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, with former Australian footballers Warwick Capper and Mark "Jacko" Jackson.[7]

On 17 February 2005, Rogerson and his wife were convicted of lying to the 1999 Police Integrity Commission. Rogerson served 12 months of a maximum two-and-a-half year sentence. He was released from Kirkconnell Correctional Centre on 17 February 2006. Rogerson's wife, Anne Melocco, was sentenced to two years periodic detention for the same offence.[8] Following his release from prison in 2006, Rogerson resumed his entertainment career with Mark "Jacko" Jackson by appearing in a show called The Wild Colonial Psychos with Jackson and Mark "Chopper" Read.[9]

In 2008 Rogerson reviewed episodes of the Underbelly series and Melbourne's underworld war on The Daily Telegraph's online blog.[10] Rogerson has also blogged about the 2009 series of Underbelly for The Daily Telegraph.[11] In 2009, he published an autobiography about his time as a detective. The 160,000-word manuscript was reviewed by an editor to "cut out some of the bullshit and make it a good read". At the time, Rogerson said: "We haven't thought of a name for it yet but it'll have 'Roger Rogerson' right across the front of it."[2]

The book is entitled The Dark Side and was launched by Alan Jones. It consists mainly of accounts of the less controversial murder investigations and arrests he was involved in. Rogerson also talks about his family, his childhood, other police officers, the charges made against him and his time in jail. It is a combination mini-autobiography and collection of accounts, memoirs, opinions and anecdotes, with the occasional touch of humour.

On 27 May 2014 Rogerson was charged with the murder of Sydney man Jamie Gao, allegedly after a drug deal having gone wrong.[12]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Investigation into the relationship between Police and Criminals: First Report" (PDF). Independent Commission Against Corruption. February 1994. ISBN 0 7310 2910 0. 
  2. ^ a b Rogerson, Roger (3 April 2008). "Q&A with Roger Rogerson". News.com.au. Retrieved 10 April 2007. 
  3. ^ a b see Take Two by Tim Anderson, 1992, http://lorikeet.and.com.au/t2/t2.htm>
  4. ^ Research Report on Trends in Police Corruption. nsw.gov.au; Police Integrity Commission, December 2002. Parliament, New South Wales, Australia.
  5. ^ a b Morri, Mark (28 May 2014). "Disgraced Sydney detective Roger Rogerson is a consummate storyteller who loves a beer, writes Mark Morri". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Goodsir, D. Line of Fire: The inside story of the controversial shooting of undercover policeman Michael Drury, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 1995. ISBN 1-86448-002-5.
  7. ^ Cashmere, Paul, (27 October 2003). "Who Are The Good The Bad and The Ugly?" at the Wayback Machine (archived May 21, 2007) Undercover Music News; Undercover Media Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 27 October 2003.
  8. ^ I could have been chief: Roger Rogerson at the Wayback Machine (archived May 29, 2007). ninemsn.com.au; Nine National News. 13 March 2006. AAP. Archived from the original. Retrieved 9 May 2010.
  9. ^ Rogerson's roadshow[dead link]
  10. ^ Rogerson, Roger (26 March 2008). Roger Rogerson reviews 'Underbelly' and blogs live blogs.news.com.au; Daily Telegraph blogs.
  11. ^ Rogerson, Roger (23 February 2009). Roger Rogerson reviews the third episode of Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities blogs.news.com.au; Daily Telegraph blogs. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  12. ^ Roger Rogerson charged over Jamie Gao murder; Gao shot twice in the chest, police allege

References[edit]

  • McNab, D. "The Dodger – Inside the world of Roger Rogerson', Pan Macmillan, Sydney 2006, ISBN 9781405037518