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Detective Roger Caleb Rogerson

Okay he wasn't from Melbourne, but the 'Dodger' deserves his place in any Underworld Hall of Fame.

The life and times of the corrupt Sydney detective are portrayed brilliantly by Richard Roxborough in the ABC produced TV series, 'Blue Murder', broadcast in the mid-90's and now available of video and DVD.

Rogerson, a former Homebush High boy, was heavily involved with notorious members of the Sydney underworld while he was the head of the armed robbery squad during the 1980's. 

A highly decorated officer, he coveted with criminals such as Arthur 'Neddy' Smith (below) and 'Abo' Henry and 'green lighted' the men to commit armed robberies, receiving a 'whack' of the takings later on.

Rogerson, Smith and a band of corrupt Sydney detectives were also involved in the importation and distribution of large quantities of heroin.

Arthur 'Neddy' Smith


It was Rogerson who shot drug dealer Warren Lanfranchi in a suburban back lane one Saturday afternoon.

Neddy Smith had taken Lanfranchi to a meeting called by the dodgy detective.

After the two men met, Lanfranchi (left) was shot twice. 

His girlfriend, prostitute and anti-corruption (Rogerson) campaigner, Sally-Anne Huckstepp (below), died shortly after, her body found floating in a pond in Centenial Park.

It was Rogerson who conspired with Melbourne hit man, Christopher Dale Flannery, to kill a detective on behalf of Melbourne heroin dealer Allan Williams.  

The attempted hit on detective Mick Drury failed.

Allan Wiiliams was an associate of famous Melbourne crime figure, Dennis Allen.

The pair met in Pentridge where Dennis was serving a rape sentence.

Dennis Allen later purchased heroin from Williams but later the pair had a falling out and a hit on Williams was ordered.

In a case of mistaken identity, Wiiliams brother in law Ray 'Red-Hat'Pollitt was murdered in front of his family.

In her biography, The Matriarch by Adrian Tame, Kath Pettingill, mother of Dennis Allen and Victor Pierce among others, says that Dennis was directly involved with Rogerson and that drugs were purchased from and sold to him at airport meetings.

Kath says that a woman who claimed to be the girlfriend and close associate of Dennis was instrumental in bringing Roger Rogerson down. She is currently on a witness protection program and who cannot be named.

Miss X was a useful source of information to police, providing the evidence that produced the only conviction recorded against Rogerson. The story in this case alleged Dennis sent Miss X to Sydney Airport on May 14, 1985.

Miss X, an associate and alleged girlfriend of Dennis Allen, is instructed by him to meet Rogerson at Sydney Airport. Allen gave her a black ravel back containing $100,000 and two tickets, to and from Sydney, under different names. She arrives in Sydney at 11.30 a.m. and finds Rogerson in the terminal close to the women's toilets. 'He sort of said: 'G'day, threw a bag at me and ripped the other one (containing the money) off me and ran away,' she later told a court in Sydney.

The bag Rogerson threw at her contained books, clothing and plastic bags of heroin weighing about a kilo. She flies back to Melbourne, where the heroin is collected from her, and the next morning, an envelope containing $7000 is placed in her letter box.

Rogerson's version was as follows: After being phone the previous day by Kath Flannery, Chris Flannery's wife, expressing concern over her 15 year-old son, depressed after his father's disappearance the previous week.

He takes the boy and his sister, together with his own two teenage daughters, on a boat trip on the Georges River, presumably at the same time the airport exchange is alleged to have taken place.

May 21, 1985:

Rogerson opens two accounts in false names at the York Street, Sydney, branch of the National Australia Bank, and in three visits deposits $110,000 cash.

As a result of this chain of events Rogerson was initially convicted of conspiring with Dennis Allen to supply heroin between March and May 1985, but the conviction was overturned on appeal.

Later Rogerson was charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice by allegedly misleading a police inquiry into the source of the $110,000 deposited False accounts. 

Rogerson was initially convicted, but after serving nine months of his eight-year sentence was released in 1990, pending appeal.

Rogerson's pending release in 1990 did not please Miss X, who claimed at the time in an interview with Age reporter John Silvester, that her years as a protected witness had wrecked her life.

She claimed to be in fear of Rogerson who , she said, mouthed death threats at her in court during his committal hearing.

He lost the appeal and was returned to jail in 1992 with a reduced sentence. He was released in December 1995.

When released went into the scaffolding and security industries.

Rogerson appeared on 60 minutes in early 2000. Some of the transcript is as follows:

He was Australia's most notorious cop; a real-life Dirty Harry who finally crossed the line and finished up in jail.

Roger Rogerson was the teak-hard NSW detective who instilled fear in Sydney's underworld with his rough-house policing.

That, he tells Jeff McMullen, was absolutely deliberate. "You must create fear. Crims, be they tough crims, hard crims, they feared certain police officers and I was one of them."

In this chilling interview, Rogerson talks about the killing of drug dealer Warren Lanfranchi, the shooting of fellow detective Mick Drury and other episodes that made his name infamous throughout Australia.

Mick Drury

Policeman sues over not being promoted
The Age
August 28, 2001

A retired drug squad policeman who alleged that disgraced former detective Roger Rogerson arranged to have him killed has launched court action against the New South Wales police service.

Michael Drury, 46, lodged papers in the NSW Supreme Court, claiming that the service breached its duty of care by failing to promote him.

The officer was hit by several shots fired through the window of his Chatswood home in 1984.

The shooting led to accusations of widespread corruption and betrayal within the police service.

Mr Drury accused Rogerson of orchestrating the attempt because he refused to accept a bribe from the highly decorated detective, in exchange for not giving evidence in a heroin case.

Rogerson was found not guilty in 1988 of conspiring with the now-missing "hitman", Christopher Dale Flannery, to murder him.

In 1990, Rogerson was jailed for eight years for conspiring with convicted drug runner Nick Paltos to pervert the course of justice. 

The events were depicted in the ABC series Blue Murder, which was cleared for screening in NSW last month after a decision to drop a murder charge against notorious criminal Neddy Smith, who featured in the hit drama.

Mr Drury's medical retirement in March 2000 came after his failure to win promotion to superintendent after 28 years in the force.

On October 22, 2001, Rogerson pleaded guilty to two charges of managing a corporation while disqualified, which were brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Rogerson appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court and the matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

ASIC laid charges in relation to Mr Rogerson's role in the management of two corporations, Re-Con Holdings Pty Ltd (also known as Re-Con Scaffolding) and Scafco Scaffolding Pty Ltd (also known as Ramcon Holdings Pty Ltd).

Mr Rogerson pleaded guilty to managing the two companies within five years of his release from prison following a conviction of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Mr Rogerson was released from prison on 15 December 1995 and later became a director of the two companies whose principal business activity was in the scaffolding industry.

Mr Rogerson was convicted and required to enter a two-year good behaviour bond.

As a result of this latest conviction, Mr Rogerson is prohibited from being involved in the management of a corporation for a further five years.

The Corporations Law prohibits persons who have been convicted of, or imprisoned in relation to, offences of serious fraud or dishonesty from being involved in the management of companies.



Taken from several publications and news stories including:

Policeman sues over not being promoted
The Age
Tuesday 28 August 2001

60 Minutes
The Enforcer: ruling by fear
April 9, 2000

Line of Fire
By Darren Goodsir. Published by Allen and Unwin

Huckstepp: A dangerous life - By John Dale

60 Minutes
The Enforcer: ruling by fear

April 9, 2000
Reporter - Jeff McMullen. Producer - Steve Barrett


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