At an outback campfire at Ora Banda, a hidden gunman shoots down Gypsy Joker, Billy Grierson.
The isolated gold mining town was owned by a former ranking cop, Don Hancock. He had the pub, the race track, the general store, caravan park and a gold ore crusher.
Hancock earned millions in illicit gold when he was Western Australia's most senior detective. He owned a gold mine, race horses, properties and a large share portfolio in gold ventures. He also received regular cash from prostitutes for his protection.
He was the State's foremost cop, and foremost corrupt cop.
His reputation was based on an infamous sting on the Royal Mint, Perth. Bullion worth (in today's money) about $2.9m was extracted by a cunning thief using only a telephone. No witnesses, no violence, no victim. An extraordinary crime that was solved by Don Hancock, delivering up three brothers, Brian, Peter and Ray Mickelberg, who copped lengthy sentences.
And it was all based on falsified evidence.
Lovell's first book, The Mickelberg Stitch, detailed a forged fingerprint, false confessions and a sham sketch of a suspect. The book was swiftly banned on police applications. His second book, Split Image, did not even hit the streets because of police and Crown threats to booksellers.
A few weeks after the murder of Billy Grierson, Ora Banda was blown to pieces. A year later, Don Hancock was executed by a car bomb. Was it the bikies? . . . Or was it crooked fellow cops afraid he would reveal his dark secrets?
The entire bizarre history of a twisted judicial and police system is exposed in:
Litany of Lies