Australian gay murder investigation

The subject line from the email jumped off my screen:  “Scott Johnson Murder CONFESSOR!”  While on holiday with my son in January, the last thing I expected was a confession to a murder I had investigated in Sydney four years previously….

So begins “Close to the Edge,” an article I wrote that just appeared in The Weekend Australian Magazine, about one of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve ever been involved in.  At he behest of the brother of a man whose body was found at the bottom of a cliff in a Sydney suburb in 1988, I delved into a hidden world of gay hate crimes that swept through Australia in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  The police ruled Scott Johnson’s death a suicide at the time, but new evidence suggests that his death was more likely an unsolved murder that fit a pattern of homophobic violence that was ignored — and possibly even abetted — by police indifference.  PDF

In February 2013, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired “On the Precipice,” a documentary on its “Australian Story” series. Coincidentally, the day after the show aired, the New South Wales Police announced the formation of “Strike Force Macnamir” to investigate Scott Johnson’s death. The Unsolved Homicide Unite of the police are completing their investigation as I write this at the end of April, 2014. Stand by for updates.

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