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PETER C BYRNES

A BAD SEED

MURDER SQUAD DETECTIVES JOSEPH LIND


AND SHELLEY SHIELDS
and
SASHA BLAYNEY

A BAD SEED
Peter C Byrnes
Copyright Peter C Byrnes 2016

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PETER C BYRNES

A BAD SEED

1
Something had woken him.
He didn't know what!
He moved his head slightly so that he could hear out of his one good ear. He was totally deaf in
the other.
He heard something then.....
He didn't know what!
More a presence then a sound.....his skin tingled and the hair on his arms stood erect.
There it was again.
He rolled slightly, trying hard not to make a sound. Then he realised that being awake, he had
stopped snoring. Who-ever was there would pick up on that, wouldn't they?
He threw back the blankets and silently stood.
The floor was freezing on his bare feet.
He assumed that he had stood silently. Without a sound. What with him being almost totally
deaf, he could have made such a noise to wake the dead and he'd be none the wiser!
He actually let out a slight harrumph at that thought.
He groped for his Dressing Gown. It was cold. Thinking how on earth had some-one gotten
into his home.
It was locked up tighter than Fort Knox!
He angrily tied the sash tight around his burgeoning waist as he turned and switched the
bedroom light on, suddenly realising that if some-one was out there, then he had just forewarned
that person that some-one was awake and aware of the situation.
Silly thought, he scolded himself.

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There's no-one in the house.


The bloody dog isn't barking.
He looked around him, momentarily wishing he had a cricket bat or a Golf Driver nearby.
Perhaps an AK 47 on automatic, he joked to himself.
That made him giggle.
He swished away the thought with a shake of his head.
'This is serious....' He thought as he headed towards the bedroom door.
He moved slowly down the Hallway towards the Lounge Room.
Gingerly crept towards the door opening into the Lounge Room.
He tripped on something and as he fell head first towards the floor, he vaguely felt an ache, a
searing pain on the back of his head. He indistinctly saw a boot....or something like that, out of the
corner of his eye.
Then blackness.
The next morning he was found by a neighbour, an over-the-fence friend as he peered over the
dividing fence. Something had caught his eye as he had enjoyed his early morning cuppa in the chill
of the first rays of the day, sitting erect on his back veranda. Not as extensive as his neighbour, but
them's the breaks.
He was not into the 'Jones Race'.
The crumpled body of the old man was found lying at the base of the concrete steps that led
from the filled-in back veranda to the yard below. A vertical distance of perhaps five feet in the old
scale. About 150 cms....maybe 180 centimetres. Perhaps twelve steps in total.
"He always goes out behind the Garage to have a widdle at night time." His eldest son advised
between sobs. "He must have fallen....tripped.....he said that widdling in the back yard was good for
the environment....saves on the water that you'd use if'n you went to the toilet and then had to
flush."
The death of the dog forgotten. Assumed to be by natural causes.
The Police Report was written up ready for the Coronal Enquiry that would be held in the
future with a verdict of Accidental Death the logical conclusion.

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There were those who may have suspicions but there was no forensic evidence to back up that
gut feeling.

2
He hated coming down this section of road.
Worse, he hated his missus coming with him but they were running out of supplies and needed
to do a big shop in town. It meant that he couldn't spend too long having a beer at his favourite Pub.
Having a natter with other Farmers who had come into town for the Rodeo and Farm Produce Show
due to begin this coming week-end.
The alternate route was almost as bad. If not worse! The new Motorway. At least it was
relatively flat with long, sweeping, easy curves. But the lunatics who drove on that new
section...their speed scared the bejeezus out of him and his missus.
He came to halt to change into low gear.
This was the worst part of the old road.
Steep, windy...and just a little bit further on it dipped sharply then swung back on itself in a
very acute hairpin. If you got close to the left hand side of the road, you could make out the road
below as it curved sharply on itself. He inched his way forward. A line of three or four cars banked
up behind him. He cursed them. They didn't have a thousand kilogram Bull on the back tray like he
did. Taking it into town to get ready for the Show next week-end.
He inched forward down the steep decline.
A little red sports car came screaming up the incline towards him. Tyres spinning. Motor
revving. Fish-tailing with smoke coming from its rear tyres. It had negotiated the hairpin way too
fast. Over-correcting, it seemed to head straight for the truck.
The old bloke swung the wheel to the left without thinking. His evasive action allowed the
vehicle to miss the truck by inches. The truck seemed to teeter on the edge. The missus grabbed his
arm and squeezed it tightly. The truck began the almost vertical fall onto the roadway below. The
weight of the prize bull added to the concertina effect of the truck cabin crushing into the engine
bay.

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Nothing would survive the accident.


Not even the prize bull!
The little red sports car didn't seem to notice the carnage that it had caused as it continued
hurriedly on its way.

3
He awoke with a start.
His bladder screaming for relief.
He felt that he had only just got to sleep, though a glance at his bed-side clock showed that it
was past two in the morning.
He groggily fought into his threadbare Dressing Gown that his missus had bought for him for
his fortieth birthday.
'That was a bloody long time ago.' He thought to himself.
The sudden image of his wife bought him up short. There wasn't a moment of the day or night
that he didn't think of her. He missed her dearly even now after all this time.
He walked around the edge of the bed, banging his thigh on the bed end-board as he did every
time that he awoke in the middle of the night needing to go to the toilet.
"Bugger!" He complained, rubbing his thigh. "That bloody hurt!" Repeating the words that he
said every time that it happened, which seemed every time that he walked around the end of the bed
towards the door!
'Why can't I just sleep on the other side of the bed. That'd cure the problem, he thought. His
missus had always slept on that side of the bed, so he doubted that he could change sides so late in
life.
This conversation with himself occurred every time that he bruised himself on his left calf,

PETER C BYRNES

A BAD SEED

walking into the edge of the low end-board of the bed.


He went to hobble up the hallway towards the toilet.
Hearing a noise, thinking it was his faithful old dog, he detoured to go through the Lounge
Room and out to the Kitchen.
He tripped over something that was soft and furry.
This he seemed to realise as he fell forward to meet the floor, hitting his forehead on the corner
of his little coffee table that sat beside his Recliner Chair.
His father had made that coffee table with nothing but a saw and a hammer, so he would
proudly boast when-ever that little table was included in conversation. It was where he placed his
reading glasses. He didn't need them to watch the TV. His normal glasses did alright. A glass of
water.A mug full of steaming coffee that he enjoyed immensely after his evening meal. Sitting there
watching the News on TV. He knew that he shouldn't drink anything after his evening meal as he
would always have to get up during the night to relieve himself.
These familiar things seemed to whiz through his brain as he fell.
He didn't remember hitting the floor with all his weight after he ricocheted off the corner of the
little coffee table. He never regained consciousness.
Instead, it took less then four minutes for him to bleed out through a massive wound to his
skull.

4
I threw the Biro across the Office.
I was furious.
As mad as hell.
I bounced up from behind my desk and in sheer anger, sent "Big Red" flying with a series of
punches that shuddered my very core. I didn't let up until I was a lather of sweat and gasping for
breath.

PETER C BYRNES

A BAD SEED

"Don't you dare come anywhere near me, my good man, until you go downstairs into the Gym
and have a rub-down and a hot shower. Change your underdaks too!" Shelley, my long suffering
partner admonished me.
"C'mon, Shells.....who poisoned the dog?"
"Joe....." She shook her head in exasperation. "It has been deemed an accidental death. Sure,
some-one did give the dog a bait. I'll grant you that, but.....it made it through the doggy door at the
back door to crawl towards its Master's Bedroom hoping that he could do something to curb the
pain of the poison. There was ample evidence in the way of spew that the dog regurgitated all the
way through the house from the back door. The poor dog died at the doorway that led to the
Hallway and then to his master's bedroom. Perhaps the old bloke heard something...more then likely
the dog in pain and coming out to investigate, tripped over the dog...and you know the rest."
I shook my head. I wouldn't give up on my gut feeling.
"Along with several litres of blood pooled on the floor, there was also over a litre of urine. The
old bloke had a full bladder. He was going to the toilet but detoured to trip over his bloody dead
dog! He heard something out in the Kitchen that made him forget his screaming bladder. That
Kitchen drawer was open...the one that held all the knives..."
Shelley shook her head.
"Joe.....Joe.....go and have a shower. You stink!"
"And what about Frank Hillier, who died several weeks before this incident? Dead by the time
that he fell in a heap at the bottom of his back stairs. Every night, he'd go around the back of his
Garage to have a pee...yet there was no evidence that his bladder was full on that night...at the time
of his death...and how do you explain those drops of blood on his Lounge Room floor?"
"He was an old bloke. Skin like paper. Just a slight knock and he'd bleed. My Uncle was the
same....jeezus Joe. You're always jumping at shadows in a darken room. You're wanting to bring
another Case in that as far as I know, will be deemed an Accidental Death by the Coroner in
roughly eighteen months time...guaranteed...and that is not just my opinion of it, either. Bloody hell,
you can be a pain at times!"
Exasperation in the tone of her voice.
"No-one was aware of so many elderly Hillier men dying...in suspicious circumstances."
A smug smile on my dial.
"Joe! You're the only bloody idiot deeming these two situations as suspicious circumstances.
Bloody Hell! We've got enough to do without creating murder plots from thin air. Just leave it will

PETER C BYRNES

A BAD SEED

you? You'll send yourself around the bloody twist. Those cases have been put to bed by your coworkers. You carrying on won't earn you friendships, let me tell you. They'd be pissed off with you
poking your nose in where it's not needed. You'd be fucking irate if some-one tried to poke their
nose into one of your jobs....you'd bloody well explode!"
I stood there leaning against my desk, with the blood still thumping through my system. I was
holding myself tight. Wound up. The sweat was running into my eyes.
Shelley looked up at me with a concerned look on her face.
"You okay, Joe? I know that you get passionate about your Cases, but...lately you are not
passionate but straight out angry...fly off the handle at a moment's notice...that's not good, Joe."
I waved her concern away with a swipe of my hand and walked quickly out of the Office
heading for the Sub-Basement Gym.
A good rub down and a hot shower will do the world for me, I thought to myself.
That's all I need.
CB looked up from whatever he was reading as I passed his Office, a frown forming on his
forehead.

5
A small country town nestled in a narrow valley south-west of Sydney. Once a sleepy
backwater until its existence was assured when the large deposit of rock was found that when
pummelled into powder, was the best cement dust in the Southern Hemisphere.
The explosion was heard for kilometres in the still night air.
Hemmed in by the sides of the valley.
The house was utterly destroyed and the four occupants killed.
The two grand-kids were being baby-sat by their favourite Nan and Pa for the night.
"A faulty gas heater." The Investigating Fire Inspector concluded.

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On the same night a faulty electrical heater was to blame for a fire that destroyed another
dwelling. Up in the mountains. Mount Victoria. Both these incidents adding to the exasperation of
local Fire Authorities who frustratingly stated that this winter was the worst on record for house
fires.
"Cheap Chinese imports!" Everyone decried. "They don't meet the strict Australian Design
Guidelines. The Government should ban the entry of such shonky appliances from being imported
into the country."
Not realising that at half the price, they were a bargain compared to the more safer appliances
on the market and that is what most people purchased when looking for a new Heater.
The low bloody price. Any thought of them being unsafe was forgotten at the time of purchase.
The Authorities were a little more circumspect but the message was plain.
Cheap Chinese imports!

6
I refused to get rid of the Murder Book on the death of Harold Hillier.
I was never convinced of the majority of learned opinion and the presence of the Murder Book
on the edge of my desk where the usual one or two 'Unsolves' sat, only made me dig my heels in
further. Its presence mocked me every time that I sat there.
Some mornings it did not alter my mood.
A good mood that was my norm, looking forward to a good day.
On other occasions it continued to anger me.
To make matters worse, I retained the Murder File on one Frank Hillier, the chap who
supposedly ended his life at the bottom of his steep back stairs that led out into the back yard.
Again, the majority assumption was that he was intending to relieve himself up behind his Garage
which was a nightly habit of his. In the middle of a bitterly cold night, he tripped and fell, bouncing
his head several times off the concrete treads of the staircase as he bumped down the flight of steps.
Splitting it like a bloody watermelon.

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So it was written up without a scrap of forensic evidence suggesting anything more sinister.
Me?
I had my doubts, my suspicions, my gut feelings, but there was nothing that I could put into
words that would help my cause. Except to say that I was suspicious of a second death of an elderly
Hillier male. No attachment. No family connection. The two just sharing the same surname. Not
much to rant my opposition upon, but them's the breaks. I was never known for accepting logic on
all occasions when logic gave the simplest answer.

7
I was now the proud father of two beautiful, happy daughters that filled my life and dissipated
all the frustrations and anger that work often piled onto me.
Aleesha or now known as Al.....and Samantha now known as Sam.
A confusing matter some may conclude.
Me?
I was just the proudest father though I had to stand in line nearly every night to get a chance to
hold either one of them. Where our home was usually visited by a tribe of people on week-ends....or
we were off to either Marge and Muscles place, or Dee Dee's, My Dad and step-mum's or one of
many half brothers or sisters, the house was often visited mid-week by the above or Sasha or
Shelley and her partner....or a dozen other people who are compelled to visit because of a new
arrival and not because of the magnetism of mein host!
Me!
Jealous of a three month old? A Two and a half year old who ruled the house?
No. Not me.....though I would question that on occasions.
C'mon!
How shallow do you think I am?

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8
"Good morning young lady. What have you got for us on this gloomy morning?"
"Joe. Shelley...your standard, a-typical Domestic Violence homicide...the hubby accuses the
missus of burning the fried eggs and it escalates from there. The missus is showered in fried egg
and burning hot oil, hit on the upper arm with the cast iron, hot sauce pan, goes to run after
screaming out a couple of expletives that the hubby can't agree with. He hits her again with said
sauce pan as punishment for such foul language. This time on the side of the head. As the wife
attempts to leave the room scared for her life by this stage, he hits her again. On the back of the
head with the edge of said sauce pan."
This all explained by my favourite Forensic Pathologist. She swinging her arms about to colour
the description.
"The missus drops like a sack of shit close to death as she hits the floor. He of course yells out
that it was all her fault. The two kids of the union are sitting at the table watching these proceedings
and are still, I would imagine, arguing over who's fault the sorry proceedings were. Either Mum or
Dad...I mean...there's got to be better things to get riled about, surely...isn't there?"
Brenda Wzerlic was having trouble dealing with the senseless acts that were domestic violence
issues...as we all were!
"Mmm......" I squatted beside the body. "Crime Scene shots taken?"
"Yes...."
I picked up the edge of the woman's Dressing Gown to lay over her bare bum. Stood. Walked
around the corpse. Stepped over the large pool of blood. Noticed the fried eggs leaving a trail of
yoke and yuck down the opposite wall. A patch of oil dribbling down the same wall.
"We haven't seen you for a while, Brenda. Things have been quiet."
"Thanks a lot, old man. I was at Marge and Muscles place the Saturday night before last. For
tea. Sat at the far end of the table to you and Tellie. Nursed your latest for the required five minutes
before handing it back." She giggled. "As usual, I made a splash with my presence."
Shelley giggled.

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"The kids?"
"In the Lounge Room with a Social Worker from the LAC. The Perp I presume is cooling his
heels out in a Paddy Wagon awaiting your piercing interrogation...."
"You're in fine form, young lady."
"Arrh......" She shook her head sadly. "These get to you, don't they?"
I nodded my head.
These were the bread and butter of us Murder Dees. Somewhere in Australia, a wife, girlfriend
or former partner was being murdered by the male half of the relationship. Sometimes in brutal and
ugly ways. Shells and I saw at least four on an annual basis. About the norm for all the Homicide
teams. That didn't make it any more easier to handle. On the contrary, the stupidity and banality of
the act only added to the fury that I sometimes felt towards these cases.
I sometimes thought that the time taken with Report writing and the gathering of evidence
could be better utilised. It was almost so common you could use a pro-forma to cover all the facts.
Usually not much nous or investigative skill was required to wrap one of these cases up ready for
offering to the DPP Reps. It was the time........
Wife bashing took your breath away and hardened your resolve when you were in that mood,
to leave the Cop Force!

9
I sat opposite the two young children.
Nodded my head. Kept my expression negative. A smile would seem so false under the
circumstances. You weren't trying to make friends with these little people.
Introduced myself as just Joe.
Shelley too kept it simple, asking whether they would answer a few questions.
Both nodded their heads uncertainly. Their eyes showing nervousness and terror.

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"Did you see what happened?"


The young girl, ten years of age, her name Simone, buried her head into the side of the Social
Worker. The Social Worker placed a protective arm around the girl. Her brother, Mark Jacob,
nodded his head. He was holding himself very tightly. His fists clasped tightly together.
"Mum burnt the eggs." He stated matter-of-factly, though through clenched teeth.
"She didn't!" Simone fired back. Sitting up straight determined to stand up for her mother.
"Dad always says that it's always her fault when it often isn't. The eggs weren't burnt....and besides,
that is no reason to hit Mum with the sauce pan..."
"It is, if she burns the eggs. I don't like my eggs burnt the same as Dad doesn't. He doesn't like
them burnt either. Mum burnt the eggs and deserved to be hit...."
"No-one deserves to be hit, Mark. That's being a bully, isn't it Mark?" Shelley asked quietly.
"My Dad is not a bully. He just doesn't like his eggs burnt."
"Does your Mum and Dad argue much?"
"Only when Mum does something wrong." The young boy hit back. Another bully and wife
basher in the making I thought. Sad for the future.
"Like what? What would your Mum do that would make your Dad so mad that he hits your
Mum?"
"Different things...if the house wasn't clean enough. If our meals weren't on time or hot
enough. If the beds weren't made properly."
"Your father would hit your Mum if these things weren't done properly?"
"Of course. She deserved it!"
"No she didn't. Nobody is perfect." Young Simone fired back. Sitting up indignantly.
I glanced at the Social Worker, unsure what we should ask further.
She shook her head. According to her, it was way too early to ask and expect to get reasonable
answers.
I stood slowly and exited the house feeling that the world was going to hell on a pack-horse. I'd
no more think of hitting my missus for any reason, least of all for maybe singeing the edges of fried

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eggs....and to do it repeatedly in front of the kids?


Just not on! Not on at all!
Where do these people get off?
I gnashed my teeth. Tightened my jaw as the thought of resignation whizzed around in my
head.
I'd just about had enough.
Seeing what people can do to each other.
I patted the pockets of my jacket looking for that elusive cigarette. I popped a Barley Sugar
into my mouth. Threw the wrapper onto the front lawn of the premises in disgust.
I stood on the edge of the front verandah peering up and down the street. Stepped off onto the
front lawn and wandered out to the Crime Scene Lead Constable.
"You were first on scene?"
"Yes, sir. Constable Garry Hindz.....I tried to get the kids out of the room. They refused to
move until we took their father outside. They are dead scared of him, so it seemed. A bloody
shame....they were scared of doing something wrong and perhaps be in the frame of being hit by the
old man. I reckon a talk with the School Teachers and Social Worker may give you some insight
into their lives. This is not an isolated event....they have been subject to a lot more, is my bet."
I nodded my head. Chalked the item into my brain as a thing to chase up on.
"Any luck with the street door to door?"
"Nothing that we didn't already know. We have been to this address numerous times. Always
for the same old thing with the wife refusing to lay charges...."
"You don't need her acquiescence, you know."
"Yes sir, we know, but if we haven't obtained her approval to lay charges, it invariably gets a
light sentence if one at all in the local Courts. All that happens is that it means so much work for us,
including Court time, for nil result.....there's got to be something more positive than that....a better
system....these cruds get the impression that their behaviour is more or less condoned by the Court
system....you know, like a male bonding exercise in their warped minds. Them coming out like
heroes....legends of their own egos."
I nodded my head.

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"Mmm....but now we have this sorry state of affairs. The expected escalation as it always
occurs. It's just not acceptable.....was the woman ever given the choice of a Halfway House
appointment? Isn't there any Refuges around these parts?"
"Yes....but.....all the ones around here including further afield are busting at the seams.....there's
no vacancies."
"Catch Twenty-two, eh?"
He nodded his head in agreement, affected by the situation that he seemed powerless to
improve upon.
You had the feeling that his feelings of powerlessness was also leaning him towards a
premature release from the Force. Every cop felt the same at just about every bloody and bitter
domestic violence crime scene. And it was only getting worse!

10
We walked into the Interview Room all businesslike. Sat. Fidgeted with the file that I had.
Turned my Laptop on and picked out a series of photographs. Turned it around so that our prisoner
could see the screen.
"You know why you have been arrested, right?"
Maurice Quinlan nodded his head.
"You'll need to speak your response in a strong voice so that it is recorded correctly, Mister
Quinlan."
"Yes, I know why I have been arrested.....but she made me so mad!"
"Why? Because she burnt your eggs?"
"Yes sir...."
"This is a photograph of the eggs that you claim your wife burnt. You threw them at her. Your
throw missed its mark and hit the wall to dribble down to the floor. Is that correct?"

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"I wasn't trying to hit her....."


"Oh....okay. You meant to hit the wall with them. Fair enough. Could you tell me where they
are burnt?"
He glared at three shots of the eggs that may have hinted at a slight browning of the edge of the
fried eggs.
"Mister Quinlan?"
He lowered his eyes.
"Mister Quinlan. Have you anything to say in your defence?"
"She....the way she was not paying attention, she was going to burn them....."
"You killed your wife because you thought that she may burn the eggs meant for you.....give
me strength. You hit your wife with a very hot cast iron frypan twice....then as she was trying to flee
from the room, you hit her hard on the back of the head with the edge of the frypan.......is that right,
sir?"
"Yes.....she makes me so mad when she doesn't try....or do as she is told. She knows that I hate
burnt eggs."
"Yes....well....I think you could be having eggs for breakfast for the next ten or more years and
you will not be able to voice your opinion on the manner that they are cooked......good or not!"
I had to get out of the room as I was as mad as buggery.
Shelley looked at me. A frown of concern on her face.
I had never been so close to springing across the Interview Table and belting the tripe out of an
imbecile in all my life......so close.....so close to smashing his head in!

11
We formally charged the man with the homicide murder of his wife Suzanne Bella Quinlan in
the presence of his Court appointed legal representative.

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The following morning we attended the formal Bail Hearing, not opposing bail. The Matter
took no more than fifteen minutes though we had to patiently wait our turn all morning.
The Accused ran the standard Media gauntlet being assaulted by stupid and banal questions
that he refused to answer. Covering his head as best he could from the prying eyes of at least half a
dozen cameras.
Why this should be "lead" story on the evening News was beyond me. The rest of us phlebs
being reminded of how the other half lived....in abject terror!
The following morning his body, along with his daughter and son, were found in the family car
locked up in the garage adjacent to the family home.
The motor still running.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning was the decree although the two kids had a massive amount of a
sleeping pills in their system. Enough to have killed them eventually.
I was as mad as hell.
Why?
I didn't know.
Relieved that the State would be spared the cost of a trial. Me the shit time of DPP meetings,
meetings with the Forensic Lead, the collating of all facts and attendance at the trial for both Shells
and I. Saved me a couple more grey hairs that were slowly appearing at my temples. But I was still
as mad as all hell at another bastard not fronting the Court for his sins.
If I could only believe in him approaching the Pearly Gates and being forbidden entry due to
his earthly sins, it may have made things easier for me to take....perhaps! If you escape the
punishment of the State, you will never escape the wisdom and truth of that mystical being who
knew everything.
Who knew everyone's sins!
It's such a righteous belief, isn't it?

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A BAD SEED

12
"A Greyhound Trainer. Shit. Things have escalated to this already!" I murmured as I shook my
head slowly.
I looked up at the surrounding park lands.
A train rumbled pass on the main western line.
Parramatta Park was a favourite for all sorts of people who required that early morning spark.
The body was not found until the Park Council Workers began their grass cutting
responsibilities. They saw the dog first, sitting on its haunches beside the fallen body of its Owner.
The leash still wrapped around the man's hand.
At first they thought it may have been a heart attack. Not unknown around these parts.....until
they saw the bullet wound and blood dead centre of his chest.
"He usually walked his dog....yes, usually one dog only, although I've seen him with a couple.
He'd walk through this Park and around a couple of the local streets every day. Rain, hail or
shine....twice a day."
"Makes you wonder who is the fittest for the daily exercise, doesn't it?" I quipped. Trying to
keep it light.
Shelley gave me one of her looks.
"Something you could do with....I've noticed that the six-pack disappeared a while ago."
I pulled my stomach in to show that it was still there....hidden by my loose fitting shirt maybe.
"So the Perp would have this habitual daily regime of his Victim in his head to be able to pick
a spot to ambush the guy, no worries.....anyone report the gunfire?"
Shelley took up the banter as I continued to suck in my stomach and turn in every direction as
though a crowd full of people were standing ogling at my physique.
The light-hearted nature of my charade was being ignored by both Shelley and Pogowski and
his two Assistants. I must admit to turning it on a bit thick because of Pogowski's famed nature at
crime scenes. He couldn't understand why anyone would want to clown about around a dead

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body....and besides, he didn't have one funny bone in his entire bloody body!
"One shot. Several people thought they may have heard it but discounted it as a rifle shot
thinking that it was a car back-firing instead....." Pogowski reported.
Shelley hid her face, close to smiling at his matter-of-fact reporting.
"There is the difference in the national psyche between us and the Yanks. Here, in Australia,
everyone discounts it as a shot, instead believing that it was a back-firing car. In the US, everyone
would discount the belief that it was a car back-firing and duck for cover thinking it was a gunman
on the loose....I know where I prefer to live...."
Pogowski stood and walked out of the forensic tent that had been pitched over the Vic's
position. He looked at me as though I was slightly insane. He scratched his head. Looked about him
as he shucked out of his bio-suit.
"Um....The local Uniforms are doing a house to house and widening their search of the park
area to determine the Shooters position. A rifle was used. Possibly a point 222. I'll be able to
determine that when I remove the slug on the cutting table."
"A good morning to die. Nice. Bright. Sunny. Warm."
Shelley shook her head.
Pogowski gave me a look that belied description.
"So with all the State Government's hoo-haa on the whole industry, we have an idiot who takes
the matter into his own hands....an animal lover...."
"A greyhound lover....." Shelley countered. "Who doesn't believe that Greyhounds are enjoying
themselves running around a sandy track trying to catch a stuffed dummy....you'd think that after a
couple of races they'd twig to the fact that they were never meant to catch that dead
rabbit...Greyhounds can't be that dumb, are they?"
"It's not a dead rabbit."
"I know. I know...they only use dead rabbits, live possums and half dead chooks on training
tracks."
"So they say. That is the reason for the total ban on racing coming into force next year."
"Plus the way that under-performing and old dogs are gotten rid of...a hammer blow or two to
the side of the skull.....or sent to some South-east Asian Restaurant district......"

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"Betcha the Perp is one of those left wing, lesbian types who are always looking for a cause to
defend....the suspect pool is going to be huge if we have to dismiss a member of the family or a
close relo as the Perp. Can you imagine?"
"Yeah, well....after all the hullabaloo that has occurred since the Government made the edict
that it was going to pass a law banning dog racing in NSW by July 2017, all the whackos in the
State and beyond have gotten onto the bandwagon....for both side!"
"Well...look at it....let's say that a quarter of the Industry kills their dogs when they get too
old.....or are too slow to win...which is wrong in my opinion, that doesn't mean that the whole
Industry has to be shut down....."
"Over 4,000 dogs a year are killed. The same number exported to South East Asia where they
may race one or two races and then end up on some-one's plate for dinner......"
"Okay....I'll go along with that, but....what do the other three-quarters do with their dogs? Is
there a Retirement Village for aging Greyhounds out there.....playing Bingo and watching the
Morning Show on TV before that afternoon nap? I mean, what happens to all those dogs once
owned by supposedly reputable Trainers?"
"Race horses are put down....."
"Humanely....."
"They make glue out of them.....dog meat....what are you going to do with around 12,000 aging
and too slow dogs each year in NSW alone. I doubt that you'd get glue out of them....perhaps dog
meat....now there's a thought. A nice circular existence. But truly, what happens to them?"
I looked over at Shelley. That glint in my eye. Challenging her to continue. She'd run out of
puff. A shrug of her shoulders transmitted that she thought that life was way too cruel.
I looked down at our Victim who now looked peaceful lying tucked into the body bag. I looked
around the tent. We were alone as though the Forensic Pathology team had fled from our presence,
unused to this insane, disrespectful and inane banter that Shells and I often adopted.
"Mmm.....did the Vic have any identification?"
"Only an iPhone....in the name of George Hillier. The Forensic Officer gathered the
information. The phone is now in an Evidence Bag. George Alfred Charles Hillier. Aged sixty two.
Married. Two adult kids. Lives two streets over. Westmead. No priors but known to the Locals
because of his walking habit morning and late afternoon."
We ducked out of the tent to allow the Morgue guys to remove the body.

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I nodded my head, looking at a line of Uniforms walking away from the crime scene. Heads
down. Walking slowly.
Pogowski followed my gaze to look at the receding line of Uniforms as they crested the hillock
on which stood a small copse of Gum. Dense Grevillea bushes crowded the base of the tall spindly
trees. A Uniform Officer raised a hand, standing still. I'd say that they'd found the shooter's position
possibly because of the shell casing being located.
"I believe they may have found the empty shell casing. A single shot rifle. Bolt action. A ten
round clip more than likely."
"A good shot...." I commented as I continued to look up at the small rise.
"Depends on how close the Perp was. At a thousand metres it would be a very good shot. At
five hundred a reasonable shot and at one hundred, Blind Freddy couldn't miss....."
"That's what? Less than two hundred metres? Still a good shot."
"Mmm....." Pogowski mumbled, not wanting to join into a conversation that was just a stack of
theories. I'll drag him out one of these days, I thought to myself. A grin on my face at the thought.
Pogowski was never known for small talk at a crime scene. Laughter and a dead body didn't
mix according to his beliefs.
"Hillier? George Hillier......"
"Yes. That's right. George Alfred Charles Hillier."
I turned to Shelley with my eye-brows raised.
"Related?" I asked.
Shelley shook her head in disgust.
She could not understand why I still had the Murder Book on Colin James and Frank Hillier
perched on the corner of my desk gathering dust and the tag of an 'Unsolve.' It would be deemed as
an Accidental at some time, she always claimed. The guy tripped over his dead dog lying across the
doorway and thumped his head on the corner of a small coffee table as he greeted the floor. A pool
of blood.A pool of urine.
Maybe twelve, fifteen months ago now.
Frank Hillier about three weeks after that.

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Both Cases still raising my hackles, causing frequent rude asides from my partner for their
continued presence.
She was convinced that both were accidental deaths and would be proven as such when the
Coronal Enquiry was completed some time in the future.
I got out my iPad and bought up my Calendar. The Enquiry on Colin James Hillier was
scheduled for nine months time. A similar for Frank Hillier was not even scheduled yet.

13
"Yeah...." She said as she dabbed at her eyes. "We get hate mail. We have changed our phone
number. Made it a silent number. We were acc-chooly thinking of moving. Going Interstate. You
should hear some people. The language. The accusations as though they know....they haven't got a
clue and have nothing better to do in their day except contact us and use absolutely foul language.
I'm not denying that there are bad people in the business....that's been proven, but for God's sake,
yer shouldn't paint us all with the same brush.....George didn't deserve this. He loved his dog.....it
was almost a house dog, yer know?.....and all the ones we had, they won races because we loved
them as our dogs....we would never live bait them or kill them off when they had stopped winning
races....never....."
I was on the verge of asking what happened to all those dogs that stopped winning races....and
even those that no matter how hard they trained, they'd never make successful racing dogs.
Shelley jumped in ahead of me, sure in her knowledge of what I was going to ask.
"Would you have some of that hate mail?" She asked as she glanced in my direction.
"A couple....we kept a couple examples to perhaps laugh at when all this stuff dies
down.....some people sure have sick minds.....to actually shoot some-one because he was a
Greyhound trainer? What's this world come to."
I looked over at Shelley.
"Could we have all the examples you have of the hate mail, please?" Shelley asked.
The woman shook her head. Stood unsteadily and left the room. She returned moments later
with two large plastic bins jammed packed with the hate mail. The letters having been placed back

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in the original envelopes.


"You've kept the letters in their original envelopes! Good. That will make things a little easier
for some of the dirt bags to be identified." Shelley coo-ed, trying her darnest to keep me out of the
conversation.
I was gobsmacked.
"How did all these people know who you were? You know, that you were involved in
Greyhound Racing....with one dog?"
"We've more than one dog on a couple of occasions. All good dogs. George was an ace in
picking the good ones out of the litter...but of late...you know with George getting ollder, he found
it hard to keep up with multiple dogs....well no. That's not so, but we never had a mob bigger then
five dogs, never. Reg.....that's his pet or kennel name. He's known as Darkus Night on the Race
Track. Black as the ace of spades. Not even a sniff of a flame. George and I have been involved in
the game for......oh, a lot of years. Reg is a champion dog, like most of our dogs before him. We've
got a lot of Cups, Awards and Ribbons....and I might add, quite a bank account with the winnings.
George at one stage was the Deputy President on the NSW Greyhound Association....and since this
ban was announced by the Government, he has been very prominent in the anti-ban movement.....on
the Tele a fair bit......"
I nodded my head.
"Would your husband be related to Colin James Hillier? Aged sixty one. His wife
died..arrh...maybe in 2008. Cancer. Beverley. Lived at Bexley North near the Railway Station.
Maybe Frank Hillier? Aged sixty-five. Lived out Doonside way."
The woman looked over at me with red-rimmed eyes as she slowly sank back into her Recliner
Chair.
Shelley lowered her head and I thought that I heard her groan.
"Beverley, you say. His wife. Colin Hillier? No.....no, I don't think so. George had a brother.
An older brother. Two years older. Died in a house fire. He pushed his wife through a broken
window but couldn't get out his self. The ceiling collapsed on him. A horrible way to die. He had a
couple of dogs though it was his missus who did most of the work with them. George's brother?
Fred.....Fred Hillier. Lived out near Camden. Bushlands Road. He'd be horrified with all this
garbage that's going on at the moment. Dog racing being banned in the State. Disgusting. I don't
know what I'll do now....the dog alright? Is it? Reg? Where is he? Might move up to me sister's who
lives at Omeau. Not far from the Gold Coast. Between it and Brisbane. Halfway about.Theys got a
couple of dogs too......in the blood, eh?"

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As we took possession of the two large bins full of threatening letters, notes and cards, there
was a flurry of activity at the front door and it seemed half a bus load of people stampeded into the
house.
The old girl was lost in the centre of a bewildering number of people all speaking, crying and
wailing at once.
I had to check to ensure that their surname was Hillier and not some northern or western
Mediterranean name.
At least it saved us the trouble of canvassing neighbours, friends and family as it appeared that
they were all here!
It took us over two hours to settle the mass, identify and place them into family, friends and
neighbour categories.
The two sons and the daughters-in-law were the most vocal when it came to laying the blame.
"You'll find the bastard in amongst that lot!" Simon Hillier, the eldest son screamed, pointing
at one of the bins that we had left on the Kitchen table. "They'll be some lefty, greenie, do-gooder,
save the animals but kill the humans, leave this planet to the animals type nut cases. For bloody
sure! Where do these types of people get off!!??"
He simpered to silence.
I thought he had it in one....in one of those categories at least!

14
I found it extremely difficult to slog my way through the mass of paper. To even begin! What
struck me was the low level of spelling prowess, the absolute carnage of the English language and
the spite, hate and emotion shown in the words.
This decree that Greyhound Racing was going to be totally banned across the entire State
commencing in July 2017 sure got the hackles up of some people. Those I would imagine who had
a lot of years in the Industry. I would say for every letter that we read accusing George Hillier of
animal cruelty and the whole spectrum of indecency, there would be a similar number condemning
the Politicians and those, such as left leaning, greenie, tree-hugging, lesbian animal lovers who were

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in favour of the ban as certain persons so colourfully described the situation.


I'd hate to have to manage through the mountain of vitriol that this ban had generated,
especially in the Halls of Power.
"Okay, how do you want to handle it?" I asked Shelley.
I was not looking forward to even commencing the process.
I could see us being office-bound for two weeks at least!
"How about we get Sasha to help." Shelley offered. "We make three piles. One nominated as
'Non-threatening', another 'Threatening' and the last 'Threatening Violence'. It seems that they have
kept all the letters and placed them back into the correct envelope. That'll be handy..."
"How so?" I asked.
"I'll bet there will be a fair few who couldn't break the habit of writing the return address on the
back of the envelope....or at the top of the letter and the stamp cancellation mark will give us some
idea on point of mailing or suburb of origin....which will help if all we have is a signature that is
legible. We'll cross-reference the name with the stamp cancellation location giving us a suburb..then
it's just a matter of looking up the White Pages for an address...hopefully."
"Seems simple, but do you reckon they'd be that stupid? You know, to put their name....and
possibly their address on the letter or envelope?"
"A large coffee is the bet." She concluded. A wide smile on her face.
"You realise that we'll have to digitise the lot..." I wasn't enthusiastic.
"No....just those that we deem to be threatening violence. That is an Offence under the code in
any case. Whether they....or any of them in fact, was our sniper, remains to be seen....but we have to
eliminate some-one some where. There's always a starting point for these types of cases, Joe. You
know that."
I nodded my head.
Groaned.
Pushed the pile that sat in front of me, away from me.
I didn't want any part of the process.

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Long, slow and repetitive.


It had to be done though, as this was our only 'go forward' strategy on the sniping homicide.
"Okay. Okay. Let's start on it as its not going to go away!" I moaned impatiently, giving in to
the reality of it.

15
By the end of the second week we had sore bums and sore eyes, but we had managed to create
three piles of written communication. The first pile was by far the largest with just on one hundred
and five separate correspondents. Out of that, we could identify and provide addresses to twenty
nine of the letters. Lets say around a 22% hit rate.
This pile we identified as nuisance mail.
Not even worthwhile investigating any further unless the more severe threatening mail pile
produced no nominations for 'Sharpshooter' of the month. This pile neither threatening nor violent.
In fact it was hard to assess whether the majority of the correspondents in this pile were either pro
or anti Dog racing such was the ambivalent language.
I got the impression that many of the writers were in two minds even about the direction of
their diluted vitriol.
The next pile we labelled 'Threatening' where the language was more forceful. More
dangerous. This pile numbered thirty-five, ten of which we were able to decipher the name and/or
address of the 'correspondent'. Around a 30% hit rate.
The third pile we labelled as dangerously threatening where harm was promised on the Hillier
family and the dog. These number twenty-two, half of which we were able to provide either a name
or an address.
With a name furnished, we ascertained a possible address by the location where the letter was
mailed from, so we ended up with a combined total of fifteen names and/or addresses that we
needed to canvass. No matter how these figures turned out, we still had cause to charge the
Offenders with several offences under the passing of illicit or threatening correspondence by way of
a carriage service. A minor charge by some but since the advent of Face Book, Twitter and other
Social Media sites, this form of "threat and menace" was becoming more prevalent and insidious
throughout society.

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We were hoping that just threatening these people with an offence may shake the tree to
dislodge and unbalance one of these persons to confessing that they were quite capable of carrying
out the ambush shooting of George Hillier as he walked his champion dog.
The vast majority of the addresses that we were able to discern were well outside the Sydney
Metropolitan area. We had to mobilise the local Constabulary from far flung districts such as
Canberra, Armidale and Coffs Harbour. This I thought was best undertaken before Shelley and I
began the laborious task of door knocking the remainder located in just about every Sydney suburb
looking for our killer.
Yes, I know that I was dithering, hoping that our murderer may jump up and confess his sins to
the Uniform Constable that knocked on his door in some far-flung address in western NSW.
We had finalised these distant arrangements and planned our sojourn to numerous suburbs for
the following week.
My Mobile buzzed in its deck before commencing the first notes of Stevie Wonder's
Suspicious.
"Detective Lind? This is Officer Branson. Jerry Branson. Ballistics. We've had dealings
previously."
"Yes...yes...the Police issue .38 found beside two bodies that had been buried back of Anzac
Rifle Range. Yes...a Case that I was glad to put to bed. What can I do for you?"
"I think it maybe the other way around, Officer Lind. The slug that was taken from the body of
that Greyhound Trainer ambushed in Parramatta Park on the sixteenth of last month. Hillier. George
Alfred Charles Hillier? We have a match to a previous homicide...
"
"Oh? Have you got the details?"
"The homicide was never resolved. The Case Number is NSW MS1991-2-24/22/GSL/JCJC."
The coding represented the following: MS stood for the NSW Police Force Murder Squad
The year of the homicide
The month of the homicide
The day of the homicide (or more correctly, the day that the body was discovered.)
The consecutive numbering on the number of the homicide in that calender year
GSL/JCC was the initials of the two man team who were the lead Detectives on the case.
Gordon 'Sonny' Liston and John Clifford James Church.

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I read back the Case Number for confirmation. Our illustrious former Boss, John Clifford
Church and his partner 'Sonny' Liston had been the Officers in Charge of the case.
"Case still open?" I asked, surprise in my voice.
Abbey would not have liked leaving an 'Unsolve' lingering before retiring.
What had seemed like a promising break in the case was suddenly an empty cupboard,
especially if those two Officers had been on the case. Abbey would have worried it like a dog with a
bone and would have considered an 'Unsolve' a direct accusation as to him being an unsuccessful
Murder Dee. His reputation was tainted with such a result, according to him.
"Shells? Can you drag out the following case?"
I gave her the details.
"Nineteen Ninety one, Joe. It maybe still a hard cover file and not digitised as yet...."
"Nineteen Ninety One? Surely they would be working quite proficiently on computers by then?
No? You think not? It seems to me that we have been using computers since before Adam's apple
dropped even if they were a might slow compared to nowadays. Can you run it down while I see if I
can contact Abbey...they were going back up to Karumba on the Gulf after he and his missus stayed
at my place after Samantha was born. I haven't heard from them since then...oh, I guess it's only
been about a month since they departed to head north. Knowing them, they may not be out of the
State yet!"
"Why don't you leave him alone. He's been retired for what? A couple of years now.More'n
likely, he has washed his brain of every fact that he use to have when he was working."
"You think? I reckon he may get a kick out of still being required and thought of...."
"Nah....let's us have a go of it Joe....I never would have picked he and his missus as a pair of
enthusiastic Grey Nomads...."
"Like ducks to water......his son and daughter-in-law are shacked up at the old family home.
Works well as they are saving for their own home before they start the children merry-goround...they pay all outgoings and contribute a small amount as rent as well. Helps Abbey's coffers
too."
"Why wait.....there's no time like the present. If you look at it logically, no-one can afford to
have babies....ever!"
I looked up at her. There was a raw nerve there, I thought. Don't tell me I'm about to lose
another partner to the biological pull of parenthood! I said as much only to have a shower of Biros
sail over in my direction.

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"Leave them be as it is working out for them all round."

16
The following week we were out of the Office straight after our morning exercise regime,
returning to the office to knock off and do another hour in the Sub-base Gym.
In the entire week that we were out of the Office, we were called every name under the
sun....and a couple more that I hadn't heard before! A Gold Star to a couple of original thinkers. I
had to smile at the turn of phrase.
The rest? The same old same old......
It was Friday of that week. I was about at my wit's end.
The sixth house that we had visited that day. Thinking of taking an early mark to make it a
longer week-end.
Only two of the six so far had been at home.
Local Uniform lads would need to do the honours at a later time of the day...or night for those
that we had missed.
The inhabitants who were at home were questioned amid their raucous denials and expletives.
Us being instructed in no uncertain terms on how to do our jobs more proficiently which usually
meant that we should leave these poor, simple people alone to carry on with their business. I was
surprised at the volatility of these persons who seemed to think that threatening some-one with a
grisly death through the mail was an Olympic event and the right of all Australian citizens.
I knocked a second time on our seventh and last house of the day and yelled out that it was the
Police at this particular front door.
This resulted in the resident bowling out the back door, colliding with Shelley who, against
Policy and Procedures, had stepped up onto the tiny back landing, a metre or thereabouts above the
level of the back yard. She was launched backwards off the landing onto the pounded dirt below.
Landing awkwardly on her upper back, she ended up with a busted collar-bone and a dislocated
shoulder blade.

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Extremely painful.
I caught the felon as he tried to vault the back fence.
His body mass indicator failed dismally as I seemed to grab at folds of fat. I was surprised at
his agility at making it this far. Unfortunately, somehow, he suffered a broken nose and a split and
bloody lip as he was manhandled off the fence. I unceremoniously handcuffed him to his Hills
Hoist which looked as though it was rarely used....must be the weather hereabouts!
I went to Shelley's aid which only seemed to exacerbate her pain.
Called for an Ambulance and back-up to help in the search of the miscreant's dwelling.
The first guy on scene was dressed in mufti and I viewed him with suspicion and wariness as
he approached us. He must have been up the street such was his speediness in answering my plea
for help.
I stood and had my hand on my gun.
"Whoa, Hopalong. Hang on a tick. Mick Hadley from Gang Related Crime."
He flipped his badge at me.
"I was up the street on watch....we've been surveilling this guy for about a week now hoping
that we could nab his supplier....that's now out of the question, huh? You guys like to blunder about,
don't you? Look, let's wait for back-up, which will be my Boss and a couple of my boys before we
hit the inside of the house, huh? You can help. Let's hope we find something to pin on him for all
the trouble that you've caused us."
My hackles went up.
I was about to push my weight around, only calming down as I thought of Shelley laying
against the Landing brickwork in terrible pain beside me. She also murmured something about me
stepping back a bit through clenched teeth.
We hit the jackpot with almost 3 kilos of Ice, a 5 kilo bag of cocaine yet to be split into deal
sizes, close to half a million dollars in cash and an Aladdin's Cave of illegal weapons. Automatic
and semi-automatic guns and handguns, one of which I pocketed.
The charge of using threatening or malicious language through a carriage service was lost in
the reams of charges that were yelled out at the overweight hood. I again marvelled at the fact that
he had made it to the back fence before I had caught up to him. If he had of vaulted the fence, it
may have been a little hard to nab him.....okay, okay. I would have had trouble vaulting the back

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fence myself!
I arranged for all the rifles to be test fired for comparatives to the murder weapon that had been
used on George Hillier.
I didn't expect a match, but I would be amiss if I did not request such a test.
By the look of the colour of Shelley's face as she was loaded into the Ambulance, it looked as
though I would be flying solo for quite some time.

17
I wouldn't say that the whole exercise was a waste of time as we had to go down that road to
cancel out any possibility that our shooter was in the group who had sent threatening mail.
I kind of knew that it was a slim possibility at best, but we had to tick off the plausibility of the
situation.
It happens all the time. Driving up dead ends and investigating shallow suppositions a way of
life for us. It can be at times a frustrating career choice.
I was grumpy, wondering what to do next.
It hadn't been the first time that I had flown solo, and it certainly wouldn't be the last. This
feeling of insecurity and having no confidence that overwhelmed me at present...or whenever I did
fly solo, didn't sit too well with me though. No-one to bounce off, test silly suppositions, joke over
the most mundane thing to take the edge of the day away. There was no-one....it was useless trying
to raise a laugh with yourself.....or stir the shit that way!
It just didn't work!
I stood angrily from my desk, skirted around the area where 'Big Red' took pride of place
threatening dangerous things on my return and went to stand at one of the tall, slim windows that
gave glimpses of Parramatta Park across the way. Stood there with legs apart, jingling loose change
as Abbey had always done when deep in thought.
Unfortunately, my thoughts weren't that deep, instead mulling over the quandary of where I
should disappear to for lunch!

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"Joe?" I wheeled around at the sound of Hendo's voice. "I think it may have been Shelley? She
asked for an ancient 'Unsolve'. One of the few that Abbey left behind....."
I looked down at the File Cart filled with about ten Murder Books. Nodded my head as that
would be Abbey and his working partner back then. Verbosity would have been their middle
name....but in the written form.....I didn't know the word for it. Flowing bullshit! That made me
smile. I harrumphed, nodding my head.
"Just leave the cart beside my desk, mate. Bloody hell, what? Ten Volumes to plod through?
Typical Shelley, leaving when there is so much reading to digest."
"It'll improve your language skills, Joe......"
I had to laugh at that as it was an ongoing joke between the two of us. Me and my wealth or
lack there-of of the Queen's English even though I'd been told that my Reports were always a
pleasure to read.
Go figure!
A stir didn't have to be based on fact...or even partial fact. It just had to get a rise out of the
recipient. The fellow whom the stir was directed at....and I always fell for the bait, too many times
at least!
I wearily sat and extracted Volume One from the cart and began to read.
I missed Lunch and a mid-afternoon coffee. My usual Knock-off time when-ever I was in the
Office.
I looked up to see the Boss disappearing out the door and I still had four volumes to go!
It was close to seven with the early birds of the Night Patrol dribbling into the Office.
Where does the time get to when you're enjoying yourself so much?
I went via the Hospital to gladden my partner's soul. She was unimpressed, not looking forward
to a major lay-off from work. She was already bored out of her brain and I could see a more
difficult patient that I!

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18
I looked intently at the colour photograph.
He was a good looking chap in a classical sort of way.
If only he had the character to go with it. He lacked depth according to the way that he was
described throughout the ten volumes by family and friends. Had an anger problem. Lacked the
smoothness of a con artist which was a pity as he could have made a mint what with his looks.
Ladies especially, would be hanging off his every word.
Pity Shelley wasn't here as she would have accused me as being sexist, misogynist and a
couple of her other favourite names for me.
He was in trouble with the local cops from an early age. Roughing up girls at his school. Was
expelled from three High Schools before the School Certificate. Consequently he left before those
exams. Petty Robbery. When he found alcohol, he was hit with Affray. Drunk and Disorderly.
Swearing at Police Officers. Earned him so many Good Behaviour Bonds you'd have thought he
was saving them for some reason. Never did any time though maybe he should have....it might have
straightened him out....perhaps.
Just a small time Crim who waded at the edges of the big pond.
Dead at thirty-five.
Like so many of them.Expendable in the eyes of the Mister Bigs.Available to do the dirty work
and get jail time for their effort.
A single shot that possibly glanced off a tree.....though the snick in the tree could have been
caused then....or a week ago. Who's to know. That was Abbey's opinion on it in any case.
Written in red!
He was camping in a National Park. In those days, guns and shooting were prohibited in
National Parks. It was known to happen. Guys walking into remote sections of the Park looking for
Deer to shoot. Better still, a royal Stag. Regal Antlers to nail to your Lounge Room wall. A pasttime that didn't pull at my heart. If I had my way, I'd be arming every animal in Australia and
abroad with a military style repeating rifle to protect themselves....the US mental aberration! Solve
the shooting problem in the US by permitting normal citizens to roam the streets going about their
business armed to the teeth!

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There was no logic in that, but you couldn't tell that to a Yank.
A shooting accident. Him the unlucky victim of a random .222 slug that possibly ricocheted of
a nearby Gum....maybe yes, maybe no, but the Case remained as an 'Unsolve' even after all these
years.
The verdict handed down by the Coroner was an open finding. Evidence neither pointed to a
homicide or to an accidental death. No Person of Interest named for further police examination.
Malcolm Terrence O'Reilly dead at thirty-five. His body not found for some three months.
Little evidence in tact with the body mutilated and attacked by feral animals and insects.
Alone in death that mirrored much of his life.
A loner by all accounts who enjoyed camping trips into remote regions of National Parks and
State Forests to get away from life.Possibly from himself.

19
I re-read the ten volumes again on O'Reilly's death.
Then I read the four volumes that I had collated on the homicide shooting death of George
Alfred Charles Hillier in Parramatta Park last month.
That took the entire week!
My bum was sore. My eyes tired. My back screaming at its immobility for so long!
The only association between the two cases was the rifle that killed both men.
Twenty-five years apart....but nothing else.
No family or acquaintance connection. No connection that I could find what-so-ever.
There had to something, I would say over and over again. Getting more frustrated the more that
I recited the lament.
It would appear to me that I was at the cross-roads into the Hillier homicide and it too, could

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become an 'Unsolve'. Its Volumes to accompany that of the O'Reilly and the Colin James and
Frank Hillier death sitting on the edge of my desk, if space permitted, to mock my ability as an ace
Homicide Detective.....who was as as good as his partner was! If not better!
I figured that I had become lazy, relying on my partner to energise my synapses so that those
brilliant pieces of deductive reasoning came easily for me. That was wrong as I was as good a
Detective with or without a partner of some ability. I was undermining my own abilities when I
should be doing the exact opposite. Building myself up.
With nothing else to do I looked up the Obits.
Why not, one should ask?
Because it was one of those sparks that I am known for. An action outside the realms of logic
that often bought a break in a Case.
I was hoping, in any case!

20
"Okay every one. Settle down. I've got to be out of here inside the hour, so let's get through this
quickly......first up, Joe? I got your e-mail which I have mulled over all week-end. Are you trying to
say that some-one is out to rid the world of the Hillier name? Is that what you are getting at?"
"Um....only those that are aged between fifty-five to sixty-five. If you look at the past two
years there has been eleven persons named Hillier killed......"
"Including two women and a number of younger kids....with most deemed accidental by the
way, Joe."
"Yes. In a house fire where the entire family didn't make it out. Off-spring caught up in the
conspiracy.....and a huge explosion that flattened a house out Rylstone way where the four
inhabitants....two were the grand-kids being baby-sat for the night by the Nan and Pa.....the five
year period preceding that two year period, there was no suspicious deaths in the Hillier name...."
"Boxing at shadows again, eh Joe? If there had been no deaths in the preceding five years, that
means that the odds will be that a spike in the number dying after that would occur....that's just
common sense...."

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"Are you saying that all the deaths are suspicious?"


"Well....I haven't investigated that point as yet....."
There were several smart comments and a clap of the hands by one of my colleagues.
"Shelley is not around to keep you on the straight and narrow...look how quickly you go off the
rails!" Another smart-arse commented to a round of applause and more sarcastic comments.
The Boss held up his hand.
"Let's assume you have some weight in your supposition.....then why are the elder statesmen of
the Hillier clan being murdered?"
"They're not related.....well....a distant second cousin but that is all...and the reason for their
close demise within a two year period? If I knew that I'd know who it was who was doing the
killing!"
"That makes your theory even rockier, Joe. I'll give you a bit of time to do some digging.....not
too much, mind you. Okay, what else have we got?"
He turned to the other members who were present. We were down on the number who usually
regularly attended these habitual Monday morning staff meetings.
"Um....we've just written up a Report for the Coroner on an accidental shooting....in a National
Park. Who-ever permitted shooters to roam through these Parks when campers maybe about, is an
absolute drip......Politicians for you....."
"A compromise reached between The Fishers and Shooters Party and the Libs. A silly
situation." Some-one else muttered.
"So what is it?" Clive Butler asked. "You sound a bit....arrh....a bit reluctant to stand by your
conclusions..."
"Um.....we got the ballistics report late Friday. It's the same rifle that was used in Joe's
Parramatta Sniper shooting of that Greyhound Trainer and the chap that he just mentioned. Abbey's
old Unsolve case in the National Park....."
"The same shooter?" I asks incredulously. "The same gun?"
Ron Savage turned to me and nodded his head. He then turned back to Clive seated behind his
desk.

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"Sasha here thinks the whole scene had been orchestrated to make it appear to be an accidental
shooting. A lone camper way back up in the remote corner of the National Park. No-one else
around. No evidence of another person within cooee. A .222 ricochets off the side of a gum straight
into the guts of the camper as he is sunning himself with a coffee. Leaning against a tree......me? It's
a straight-out accident. Perp unknown and never likely to be identified.....he more then likely didn't
even know that he had shot some-one."
"The same gun used in three homicides? C'mon, that's no accident or coincidence!" I
suggested.
"That's your interpretation of the situations, Joe. Homicides. They could all be accidental
shootings."
"Except your Greyhound Trainer of course."
"The decision is up to the Coroner, not you two, Ron. You just provide the facts as you see
them and leave it up to his Honourable self.....okay....anyone else?"
"Ron? Who was the victim?" I asked. The worm starting to wriggle in the pit of my stomach.
"And was there any evidence of where the shooter may have been? Like a dropped empty shell
casing, perhaps?"
Everyone in the Office turned to me with raised eye-brows. I could almost hear what the
majority were thinking. Something sarcastic on my mental ability, you can bet.
"What for, if it is accidental? We could have staggered about that dense bush for months
without coming across the empty shell casing......and besides, a lot of those keen shooters keep their
shells for re-use. It's cheaper. The victim's name? Maurice Brin Hardy DOB 16 December 1974."
"Joe can see those shadows looming in!" Some wag commented.
I shook my head in frustration, willing away the usual smart comments.
"You got a photograph of him? His address?" I asked over the small talk that was taking over
the meeting.
You can't blame anyone.
It usually was the only time that we all got to mingle, to stir each other. Very few of us rarely
even shared Lunch either up in the Cafeteria, down at the Coffee Jar or even squeezed into the little
Lunch Room that was meant for the use of the Clerical staff.
Over the past two weeks solid with me continually in the Office, I often joined the '500' Club at

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cards for an hour.


My skills were usually greeted with groans and whispered expletives, but my offer to make up
the numbers was rarely opposed!
"Um.....yeah.....Sasha? Get the file will you, please. His last known address was Glen Innes.
His parents haven't seen him for just over three years. He was adopted at a very early age. He
wanted to find his biological mother and father. We have glimpses of him here in Sydney for the
past eighteen months about. He flittered about which has made it difficult to keep permanent tabs
on him. Part-time work. Pub labourer. Labourer on Building sites mostly. A lot of cash in hand
while he still received the Dole.....not that bright. Apparently had a chip on his shoulder about being
abandoned as a baby even though his adopted parents tried their best.....they say a bad seed. Never
settled. Never happy. Always appeared to be angry."

21
I held up a finger and stood.
I had to almost climb over a few bodies to make the Office door.
I ran up to my desk and grabbed the first Volume of the 'Unsolve' on the shooting death of
Malcolm Terrence O'Reilly at the age of thirty-five in nineteen ninety one.
I walked swiftly back into the meeting and opened up the Murder Book volume.
"Um....This is an 'Unsolved' that Abbey and 'Sonny' Liston looked after in 1991....the shooting
death of Malcolm O'Reilly in a National Park south-west of Sydney."
"I bet Abbey was seething that it was never solved. He wouldn't have liked that at all."
From the mutterings, those who had worked under our illustrious Boss were of the same
opinion.
I fished out an A4 colour shot of the chap, explaining how he had met his 'maker'.
"Sound very similar, doesn't it? A .222 slug to the middle of the chest. Some presumed that it
was an accidental death though in those days, rifles and shooting were banned in National
Parks.....there was evidence of a ricochet on a nearby Gum. No shell was found and the position of

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the shooter was never located."


Sasha laid a similar sized 'head shot' photo down beside my faded photograph of O'Reilly.
"Shit....they could be twins.....how old is your Maurice Hardy?"
"Forty-two years of age when he died......DOB 1974......if O'Reilly was still alive, he'd be 60
odd years of age to-day......."
"Too far in the realms of inconceivability to be father and son, perhaps?"
"Arrh.....We now know that three persons, including these two, were shot with the same rifle.
See if any blood or tissue samples exist to have a familial DNA test conducted of both men......did
you say that the rifle used in the shooting homicide of your Greyhound Trainer was the same one
used to kill O'Reilly twenty-five years ago?"
"Yes.....it appears that way...."
"What is the connection?"
I shook my head. Looked at Sasha Blayney and Don Savage. Shrugged my shoulders.
"I'll say one thing though. That the three homicides were carried out by the same person....." I
strongly concluded.
"To what end?" CB asked as he cocked his head. "Never mind, looks like your boxing at
shadows has turned up another bloody mystery. You're good at that, aren't you, Joe?"
He glanced at his watch.
"Look, I've got to go in a couple of minutes. Hold any further work on any of the cases,
connected or not, until I return later this afternoon....we'll need to have a talk with you, Joe, Sasha
and Don here.....on the logistics of this jumbled investigation. Okay?"
I stood and gathered up the file. Walked slowly out of Clive's Office following my colleagues
in single file.
Me a little mystified about CB's last words.
I headed downstairs for an early cup of coffee and some quiet time.
"You mind if I sit?" Sasha asked.

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That bright smile on her face.


I gestured for her to sit opposite me as I turned to attract the Waitress's attention.
"It's okay. I've ordered.....Joe? I'm going to ask to team with you on these connected cases. Don
is going off on leave....extended leave. I doubt that he'll be back and he's just getting rid of some of
his Sick Leave before he retires...."
"A little early isn't it? He's got a year or two left to go, hasn't he?"
"Yeah. Twenty months...but he has a good Doctor. Um.....Tom Ballard's death? He took it
pretty bad.....understandable I guess as they were partners for bloody years....and pretty close. They
used to go away together on holidays. Both families. Together. Camping. Hasn't really gotten over
it actually. He doesn't want to leave work the same way as Tom did. Feet first. He says he wants at
least a couple of retirement years in before he goes....um.....you're flying solo and so will I in two
weeks time. Seems like it was meant to be....."
She looked up as the Waitress placed her coffee in front of her.
"You enjoy working with him?"
"Yeah. It's been cool....he's not as care-free as you or have that quirky sense of humour, but he
is a good cop.....a clever Detective. A good bloke."
"I've never had that much to do with him to tell you the truth, which is a pity really. We share
eight to ten hours of the day in the same Office.....maybe one or two more hours if they get down to
the Gym.....and you never get to know them......" I shook my head slowly. "He and Ballard were too
much the old school to want to spend hours swimming laps...I wonder if it would have helped Tom
extend his life by much......there are those who say no......that it is in your DNA already determined,
you know, when your time is up. You believe that?"
I glanced at her not really wanting an answer.
"Yeah. You joining up with me? That'd be good. I feel a little lonely to tell the truth. I miss
being able to bounce nonsense off some-one's head...."
Sasha giggled as she raised her coffee mug to her lips.

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22
"Um....I've had a think about this Joe. I'm not totally with you on this, but I'll give you enough
rope for a couple of weeks to see what happens. Sash? I want you to team up with Joe as much as
possible over the next couple of weeks. I know that won't give you much time as I also want you to
accompany Don Savage on the couple of Court appearances he will do before he goes off....just in
case there is a call back....you'll at least be able to fill in if that is what transpires.....it's a Coronal
Enquiry and a Preliminary Hearing, isn't it, Don?"
"Yes, Boss.....nothing complicated or spectacular and I doubt the Media will give it much
attention...both cases."
"Okay. I'll get Don to transfer that one 'Unsolve' over to Headley Sullivan that he and Sash
have. See what he can make of it...you haven't any ongoing cases, have you?"
Both nodded their heads in the negative.
"Only those that you have mentioned. I think we may have been next up on something new
when it turned up."
CB nodded his head. You could see that he hated losing another experienced Dee to retirement.
He was of the opinion that it was the older, more experienced Dees that held the place together.
"Okay...that's about it...we'll miss you Don. In a big way...who's organising the Retirement
function?"
"Not having one, Boss...don't want all the attention. A couple of drinks up the Pub with just
Murder Squad people. That'll do me."
Clive Butler nodded his head. He understood that feeling.
Birthdays.
Christmases.
Bah-humbug!
"You realise, Joe, that you will now be the oldest Detective on the boards in the team when
Don here hangs up his gun?"

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I wasn't up for a quick, smart reply. I was that shocked.


I'd forgotten that Peta Daniels, who would have been the oldest Dee on the boards, had been
sequestered to some group formulating the new Police Hierarchy tree. After the Sydney Siege, there
had been a need to spread control and pick a new Police Commissioner on the retirement of the long
standing guy.

23
Sasha was sitting red-eyed at my desk as I came up from the Basement Gym. Earlier then I
usually showed my face on the floor.
"You okay?" I asked as I took Shelley's chair and spun it around to face my new, temporary
partner.
"Yeah...no. They found Don this morning. In his bed. He'd taken a heap of Sleeping Tablets
and Painkillers...his wife...they're separated...she lives in the same house. Upstairs. She tried to
wake him as she passed...as she went to the Laundry to do some washing. She returned when the
washing machine was done. Shook him again. Not realising that he was not snoring. Hung out the
washing before trying to rouse him again...what a......"
"Arrh, shit! Bugger! His missus? Didn't she kinda figure something was up?"
"Apparently not...they...it's complicated. They still share the same house...she has upstairs. Don
has the area downstairs. They've been officially separated for years now...five about, I think.
Decided this was the best arrangement for the kids' sake. To me it's like a time warp thing. A
straight jacket. The kids were old enough to accept a proper separation and divorce I think...I think
they came to that arrangement because neither one of them could or wanted to really severe the
relationship......"
She started crying again.
I stood and walked around to my side of the desk. Took her in my arms and held her tightly,
rocking to and fro gently, hoping that she would cry herself out in as short a time as possible.
Seems crazy I know, but how many minutes is too many minutes for one male work colleague
to hug a female Officer without it being called something else?

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I broke the clinch thinking that it had been for too long.
Some-one may complain.
How bloody stupid as the girl was heart-broken.
"C'mon, I'll drive you home."
"There's not much there to stop me from crying my heart out...."
"Okay, then. Let's go for a drive....to my place. Tellie makes a mean coffee and you can urr and
arrh over Al and Sam...or Shelley's? What-ever you want."
She nodded her head and gathered up her things. I gestured to Clive. He seemed to understand
as it would have been him who had taken the call and told her of the tragedy.
He in fact, looked a little frazzled by the news. Really, in shock!
I went via the Male Amenities to ring Shelley. The two had bonded and become firm friends a
little while back so I figured a friend, a close friend would be better than screaming babies.
They don't call me an ace Detective for nothing!
"Shit! What a bugger....anyone know why he did it?"
That was typical Shelley. Get the shock of the news out of the road pretty quick and then jump
straight into it.
"No. Christ, it's happening too frequently. The hierarchy needs to look into cause and effect
situations. The Cop Force has one of the highest suicide rates of any profession...looks good for us
in the future doesn't it, eh Joe? Cause I'll be home...I can't do much else. Can't drive the car. Can't
do any gardening or look after the animals properly....have trouble even making a sandwich so
there'll be plenty to take her mind off things."
She giggled at her own inadequacy.
"I feel so bloody useless...yeah, for sure, it'll be good to see some-one during the day! Bring
her here. I'll brighten her up...she has a lot on her shoulders what with work, her parents and her
arse-hole, lazy, filthy mouthed sister...and now her work partner of several short months...shit! She
doesn't deserve this so early in her career...it's tough enough as it is....."
We headed out to Shelley's digs up the Leppington Road with very little conversation between
the two of us.

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Shelley greeted us as she stood under the roofed veranda of her recently extended residence. It
was now a very large house with a Granny flat under the same roof still to be completed. Her arm
and shoulder was sheathed in a sling that prevented any movement of her arm or shoulder.
I gave her a kiss.
"How's it going?" I asked off-handedly.
She nodded her head
"He gave me a fair clout. Not only was my collarbone broken and my shoulder dislocated, but
the tendons surrounding the shoulder were wrenched from their connections. That's the part that
will take some time to heal as all the tendons had to be re-connected. Stitched back into place. Still
very sore."
She kissed Sasha and gave her half a hug.
"Sorry Sash...about Don. He was a good bloke...Joe? Make the coffee. There's some cake in the
Fridge. You do the honours, eh? Sash and I will just sit out here in the warmth of the sun and chat a
bit while we are waited on by you..about time that you did some work, handsome."
She whistled in her five dogs and a dozen ducks to keep them company. The only cat on this
crazy property stealthily climbed onto the back of the Cane sofa that both girls sat on. Wrapped its
tail around Shelley's face every now and then. just to let her know that he was there as well.
I joined the conversation when it was well under way. Shelley had encouraged Sasha to open
up about her partner's death.
"I reckon he suddenly realised that he didn't have a retirement plan..."
"How did he react to Tom Ballard's unexpected death?"
"At first he didn't want to talk about it....then he opened up a bit. He and Tom were planning
some big trips. Up to the Gulf Country. Further afield. Vietnam. The trip out of Broome up around
the Kimberley region by boat......and then Tom karks it! It really cruelled Don's reason for
retiring...and I think that he was suffering a bit from PTSD. He took some twelve months
off....oh....maybe ten years ago? About. So he told me. Spent seven months in that Hospice for
PTSD sufferers out past Orange.....so I've been told."
Shelley glanced over at me. I nodded my head slightly.
"There's not enough done for Cops with diagnosed PTSD....in a lot of cases they are even left
to their own devices or accused of trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the medical staff to get
out of the Force on full Disability Pensions.......they're actually chased into the ground. The opposite

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of what should happen....we're such a clever and compassionate society, aren't we?"
I nodded my agreement.
"It is generally accepted that Murder Dees, First on Scene Uniform Cops and cops who
consistently attend vehicle accidents, see more mangled and dead humans then a soldier on front
line duty....and look how many years it has taken the Federal Government to accept and recognise
that returning soldiers needed help...not all of course, but some do before they self harm or become
addicted to drugs or alcohol to try and make it through their day......and the State Government
seems to be dragging the chain for its long suffering Public Servants in the firing line.....even when
you consider medical staff as well....there's little done. Too much ignorance."
We sat there silently for some time, letting the minutes tick slowly by, lost in our own
thoughts.
"I.....I really don't know much about PTSD.....and....I....I am sure that Don didn't suffer from it
in any case. Oh, sure! I'm sure that he suffered from Depression but there is a lot separating just
plain old Depression and PTSD, isn't there? Yer know, he told me after Tom Ballard passed away
that he and Tom's wife....that they were close. I remember at Tom's funeral, Don sat beside Tom's
missus....his missus didn't go even though at one stage, the two women were as thick as thieves. I
forget her name.....I thought then that there was a spark between the two....I suspected that they may
have had an affair......"
She again fell silent for some time. A cough that caught in her throat started her up again.
"I suspect that Don's wife found out about it while Tom himself remained oblivious to the fact.
But it was around that time that Don was relegated to the downstairs part of the house. Separated
but not separated if you know what I mean. I think perhaps that Don thought that after a while he
and Tom's wife would get together.......something happened and Don realised that he had made his
bed......you know, maybe Tom's wife told him not long after Tom had died that there was little
chance of the two of them hooking up. I don't know. I'm just trying to connect dots to make some
sort of sense of the senseless....that was how his retirement days were going to be....living alone
underneath his missus for the rest of his life.....shit, I couldn't even hack that!"
She sat there silently crying. Tears running down her cheeks.
"It's funny, isn't it?" She continued. "How sometimes other people control your life from
afar....how there are always those people that need some-one at least close by regardless of the
depth...or the lack there-of, of their feelings for you."
I had the opinion that she may not have been just referring to Don and how his life had turned
out.

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24
Sasha took the rest of the week off.
The following week as well, supposedly to help Shelley in her hour of need.
Driving her around, shopping as only two good female friends are capable of, doing the
cooking so that Shelley's partner was free from that chore to feed the mnage of animals that they
had accumulated.
During this time, there was little mention of Shelley's mother who failed to visit her daughter.
Maybe there had been a falling out. I don't know.
I left it alone deciding that Shelley would tell me eventually.
When she was ready, perhaps.
Sasha may have been back at work for over a week before she conveyed the fact that she was
living at Shelley's place.
I guess it was to be expected knowing a little of her domestic set-up with her parents as I did.
Her parents were furious at this change of habit having lost their 'carer' with there being no
mention of the other sibling living only four doors away who had been most vocal in her negative
assumptions in the manner that Sasha had been looking after the two parents.
She becoming worse with furious language over the lack of 'caring' of her little sister! Not
really filling the role at all after her little sister's desertion, as she put it. The whole sorry mess never
her fault with her constant negativity and failing to help when things began to get a bit heavy lost to
her logic.
It was only a short period after that, that her parents sold the family home and moved into a
Care Facility never to speak to any of their children again! Except for one son who lived interstate
and had been gratefully spared the imbroglio!
Of course, regardless of all this gossip, I was still left to fly solo until Sasha returned to work
after that two week lay-off on Special Leave.
Understandably, my Cases did not proceed at any speed.

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In fact, I felt as though I was going backwards.

25
"So you reckon seven elderly Hillier men have been killed. Two wives and two grand-kids got
caught up in the conspiracy.....okay, why?"
"Why what?" I asked as I sat almost reclining, with my feet up on my desk.
"Why seven elderly Hilliers? Have you investigated each case to see whether there is proof of
your assertion? Is there an ulterior motive behind all these deaths? Is there any who have died under
suspicious circumstances that would enable you to seek re-opening of any of the cases?"
She looked up at me after having read every piece of information that I had on all the Cases.
My head was thrumming with all the information that I had collated over the past few weeks.
She continued with her summation, trying to be the Devil's Advocate, so I thought.
"What's the connection if there is no familial attachment. Maybe centuries ago.....you know. A
long forgotten member of the family dies in England leaving a small fortune to?......possibly a long
lost second or third cousin or something....the third in line doesn't really know who it is, or who is
stopping him from inheriting a huge castle....."
"That costs a Queen's ransom in yearly upkeep expenses......no....nice thought, but......"
"You were adopted, weren't you?" Sasha suddenly asked as she lifted her feet up onto the
opposite edge of my desk. The difference in the size of our feet was more then laughable. I placed
my feet back on the floor feeling ashamed at the size of my feet.
"In a way, yes; no legal transfer from my biological mother to my maternal grandmother. As
far as I know...To tell you the truth, I don't know if there is a legal requirement under those
conditions. Why?"
"Oh....you know. Like.....the rightful heir was adopted and all his life has lived under a
different name. On his father's death bed he is told that he was adopted as a baby and his birth father
was Hillier....he is so incensed, he goes about killing elderly male Hilliers thinking perhaps the
person may be his arse-hole biological father who has deserted him......"

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"So why doesn't he just go to the Registrar Generals Department? Births, Deaths and
Marriages....or where-ever he needs to go to find out about his adoption where they would keep the
names of his biological parents?"
"He's not that cluey....perhaps his mother was taking drugs as she was carrying him.....you
know, like......and it has effected his intellectual capacity.....they won't release that type of
information freely, will they?"
"I think the laws on Adoption and the rights of the adopted child have been changed. Loosened
up so that information can now be readily available....like any normal person....."
"That'd be a shock, wouldn't it?"
"What?"
"Having some-one knock on your door stating that they are the long lost baby that had been
adopted out....for so many reasons, actually......the hubby doesn't know about it because he was in
prison...or serving overseas, perhaps......"
I looked up at my young colleague and almost burst out laughing.
"You're been reading too many Mills and Boon, my girl." I chuckled.
Then a thought hit me like a golf club to the side of the head.
I sat up straight.
"You know, that Victim.......the guy who was shot at some remote bush camp.....the same gun
was used to shoot George Hillier, the Greyhound Trainer.......and that guy who was shot under
similar circumstances out in the bush....the 'Unsolved' that Abbey and Sonny Liston had all those
years ago......wasn't there some mention that he was adopted?"
"Um.....yes, but not the Unsolve from Abbey's days, but the recent one that Tom Savage and I
had on our books."
The mention of Tom's name bought tears to her eyes.
I guess it maybe a while before she can look at the situation as it was and not get misty eyed.

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26
My desk was a mass of White Folders.
Plastic covered with the Case Name and Number slid down into the edge of the volume. The
Volume capable of holding up to 400 folios in plastic sheaths. These were the only evidential
material permitted in Court. The digital copy was just that, the digital copy which was deemed to be
too easily manipulated, amended and tainted to be considered reliable in that same Court.
So much for the computer age saving the use of paper files!
I even had a separate Volume of every elderly, male Hillier who had died under what I called
was suspicious circumstances in the last two years.
This included the George Hillier shooting death some months back and the two Volume files
that I had held onto stubbornly on the suspicious death of Colin and Frank Hillier.
Along with the ten Volume file on the death of the 35 year old O'Reilly. DOB 1956;DOD 1991
and Sasha's two Volume file on Hardy's shooting death of recent vintage. DOB 1974;DOD 2016
aged 42.
As I rummaged through the files trying to find what I was looking for, I filled Sasha in on what
I had been doing during her absence.
"We have confirmation from Ballistics that the same rifle was used on the three. George Alfred
Hillier. Malcolm Terrence O'Reilly and Maurice Brin Hardy. A point 222 single shot, bolt action
Ruger rifle. Packs a punch......" I looked up at Sasha as I continued. "and oh...the slug that killed
your man Morrie Hardy, shows no definite signs of ricochetting off anything before entering the
body...and I am still waiting on DNA comparison tests to return on the possible familial connection
between O'Reilly and Hardy.....um....also, I have interviewed every close family member, friend
and neighbour of all those Hilliers who met a premature death as far as I am concerned. I expect
you, young lady, to bring yourself up to date on all these current and non-conclusive files on the
cases.....as quickly as possible."
I was waiting for the objection as that was a task within itself, though I had to do it so I
expected my partner to do likewise.
"Okay.....oh.....here we are. Yes. He, Maurice aka Morrie Hardy, was adopted as a new born in
arms. Jennifer and Harry Hardy lived in Glen Innes. They seemed not to be able to have children of

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their own. They had five by natural processes after that....you hear that so often, don't you?"
I read the pertinent points before relaying them to Sasha.
"Moody. A loner. Slow with what they described as no sense of humour. Always serious like.
Didn't mix with his younger siblings. They actually labelled him a bad seed. He was always going
off on his own without telling anyone where he was going.....he didn't fit into the family life-style at
all.....so his closest, younger sister described him. She felt sure that he would end up no good. Him
being murdered was no shock to her."
Sasha nodded her head.
"Looks like I've got some catching up to do.....a Volume a night as homework."
"There's the spirit." I encouraged, with it even sounding condescending to my ears. Sasha
seemed not to have noticed the slight. I tried to improve things. "There you go, girl. You're back for
a day and you are adding to the investigation in a boundless manner. Go girl."
This she did notice, giving me a scowl before beaming at me!

27
"For that you'll need a Court Order, I'm afraid Officers....you are not related are you?"
We had waited patiently in line until it was our turn. I knew that I should have just rung it
through, but it was a beautiful day for a drive into the CBD.
I nodded my head. Went to turn away. Thought better of it and addressed the counter again,
much to the annoyance of the person next in line.
"Um, while we are here......I was reared by my maternal grandmother whom I thought all my
life was my mother. Right up until she died when she left some papers with her Solicitor. Could it
be possible to find out if....one, I was formally adopted by my Grandmother during that time and
two......whether that was required under the Law at that time?"
The woman took my details and said that she wouldn't be long.
"You seem to be concerned about this, Joe...and...if you didn't know of your biological father,

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how come you have his surname? I presume that you have been called Lind right throughout your
life?"
I shook my head.
"No....I changed it to Lind as I entered High School. That was possibly the wrong time to do it
with a fair amount of explaining required. Gran had to provide some paperwork which she never
showed me at the time. There was all this secrecy which I just put down to Gran's reticence in being
left in the lurch to raise me when my mother pissed off....you know, something to be ashamed of at
that point in history. Back then, all the neighbourhood gossips would be going hell bent on the
phone. A scandal in the middle of their staid suburb.....that's how it was back then. Afraid what
neighbours and friends may have thought of her mothering skills to have the daughter firstly falling
pregnant out of wedlock without the father ever being identified, and then to have the young mother
still nursing her newborn just disappearing causing all sorts of derision and ridicule. Too much for
the old biddies around the suburb."
"How old were you when that happened?"
"I'm still not too sure....around three months old, I think."
I was getting a little uncomfortable talking about it, even now. It is funny how something like
that can upset your equilibrium and outlook on life so long after the event.
It made me think of Maurice Brin Hardy and how he may have viewed his beginnings. His life.
What is the right thing to do, when is the right time to do it and how is the right way to explain
it so that it leaves only positive thoughts of the situation instead of a negativity that can ruin your
life.....or in my case, create that little shadow that lurks.....clings to some crevice inside your brain.
Exposing itself at the most inopportune moments to sadden your day every now and then.
I remember that Gran took every opportunity to denigrate her daughter, my mother, not
concerned so it seemed, what the result was on me, what effect that may have had on my well-being
or thought patterns. She carrying on that way thinking that she would forever have an ally in me.
I suddenly remembered my father, after I had accidentally found him during a Case, he asking
the question why I had become a Police Officer.
I replied quickly that it was in order to find my mother and father.
It had just spilt out.
I had said it without thinking. Without a thought as to the real meaning behind it. How much
this parent-less boy had truly missed them. Don't get me wrong, my Gran had bought me up well as
far as I was concerned....as my mother.....yet there was something still missing.

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Maybe Hardy didn't have it as good as his ' adopted family' tried to make out. Maybe he had
yearned all his life thinking that his birth parents were a better bet then this old fashioned, stuck in
the mud, country bumpkins that he was stuck with. Mulling over the question of what if?
What would I have been like if I had been reared by my true mother and father....maybe they
were now famous people. Important people....this continually circling around in his brain only
exacerbating that feeling of uselessness and being unloved. Then to possibly find out the truth that
they were nothing but trash!
That could send you slightly mad.
Around the twist.
I could empathise with that. Understand it.
I shook my head, sure that tears had welled in my eyes.
Sasha got the message and we stood in silence waiting for the woman's return.

28
"Joe? Your Court Order submission has been rejected.....the one that permits you to open the
papers to determine the mother's name of Maurice Brin Hardy. There is no collaborative evidence
to show that this information was paramount to your case in finding the murderer of Hardy.
According to the Judge, there is no connection. Sorry."
I shook my head.
I was a little concerned that it would not be approved, but I had to try.
Back to the drawing board. I turned and was walking out of the Boss's Office.
"Joe? Let me finish. How-ever, the Court has decreed that we can submit an application under
a separate Court Order, to have the Birth Certificate of one Maurice Brin Hardy made available to
us......in about two days....as he is the Victim in this ongoing investigation. That may....or could
register the birth mother's name."
"You're an Ace, Boss."

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"Yes, I get these sudden bolts of inspiration occasionally. Why were you placing so much
emphasis on finding out his mother's identity and address, in any case, Joe?"
I shrugged my shoulders. I didn't know except there was this nagging thought.....when I
thought about it, it may have links back to my own biological mother and discovering her for the
first time.
A shock.....and if you were so inclined, start that spark that fermented insanity to reign, if you
were halfway there already.
I really didn't know.
"There's something not sitting right with these seemingly unconnected homicides....the
accidental deaths of so many people that could be straight out homicides.....this rifle
connection.....by their very unconnectedness, they seem connected in my brain."
I again shrugged my shoulders.
Clive Butler seemed to follow the logic of that statement.
I could see that Sasha was having difficulty!

29
"C'mon, Sash. I quick trip out to Westmead again."
It was a nice day but rain was forecast later in the afternoon.
It was a ten minute drive from the Police Building to Westmead and the address of the recently
deceased George Hillier.
I knocked gently on the front door and stood patiently. I was going for my third knock when
the door opened slowly.
It had been some three weeks perhaps since George Hillier's funeral, but the difference in his
missus's appearance was astonishing. She now was a frail, old thing who required a walking stick or
a Walker to move about.

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"Yes.....?"
Reg, the 'dark as night' house Greyhound, playfully looked up at us and wagged its tail. Not
much of a guard dog, I thought to myself.
"Oh! Detectives. Thank you for being at George's funeral. It was appreciated but I suspect that
you were there just in case his Shooter showed up, eh? What can I do for you now?"
"No....we went to his funeral to show our respect....and may we come in?"
"Yes....how rude of me. Come in."
The place was in darkness. Curtains drawn. A single light on in the Lounge Room. The TV on
with the volume on mute as though she sat in front of it but wasn't really interested in what was
being broadcast.
"You okay?" I asked as I sat opposite her.
"No. Not really. I never thought it would be this hard." She replied as she lowered herself into
her favourite sofa chair. "You know....I guess you always know that one of you will go first
regardless of the way that occurs.....he was a good man....he was never going to make me a wealthy
person in dollars, but he gave me much more then money for all our married life.....I miss him
so...."
"Have you been to see your Doctor, Missus Hillier?" Sasha leant towards her as she asked the
question.
"No.....what will he tell me....sure Missus Hillier, it will be tough for a while but here is a tablet
to make you feel better. Come back and see me in four weeks......I've never taken tablets for
nothing, thank you very much....and I ain'tgunna start now!"
The dog looked up at her. Stood and nuzzled his long, thin snout into her clasped hands as
though knowing that in doing so, things would be alright.
She gave a momentary smile. Patted his head and reassured him that she was fine.
She wasn't, but what would a dog know about it?
I let the moment drift before skimming up a photograph on my iPad.
"Would you know this person, Celia?"
She bent toward my outstretched hand, moving it slightly so she could see the screen clearly.

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"Mmm.....he's dead, right? That's a death mask, ain't it? What happened to him?"
"His name is Maurice Hardy......he was shot"
"Maurice Hardy. Maurice Hardy. Morrie Hardy.....Around forty from memory. A bit slow.
Didn't like hard work. Not a trustworthy type of bloke. I didn't take to him. Came around here a
couple of times."
I nodded my head.
"A good mate of George's, was he?" I asked gently.
She sniffled. Blew her nose. Stuffed the saturated tissue back up into the sleeve of her
cardigan. Shook her head slowly. With effort.
"No...no. Benito Continos. Benny.....lives out the back of Seven Hills.....he and George usually
went together to the Races if'n they were running any dogs. Or not. Theys were always running
about the State when the dogs were on. A good man. Greek or Italian. Not too sure. His parents
came out here straight after the War. As young married lovers wanting to start a better life. Been
here plenty of times. He's done pretty good over the years with his dogs but he'd never say so......he
fell over. Done his hip in. While he was in Hospital and after, recuperating, he hired a bloke to walk
his dogs. Went on for close on three months. Cash in hand. Then Benny got a whisper in his ear.
Hardy was walking the dogs up to the local park, tying them to one of those Merry-go-rounds and
just kept pushing it around for half an hour. Then he'd go the other way.....Benny didn't like that.
Benny was old school. Yer walk yer dogs. Side be side. Sacked him on the spot even though Hardy
thought it a good idea. Benny did too as he built a contraption in his back yard that did the same
thing......Benny and George almost wet their pants laughing about it....it's bought up every drunken
afternoon party time.....they's in short supply now....."
"Would you know where this Morrie Hardy lived?"
"He's dead yet you don't know nuttin' about him? That' sad. I think he lived at The Hills Hotel.
Had a fancy red sports car until it got knocked off. Burnt out. Benny would know for sure. I'll get
his address for yers. He'll be home......George's death knocked the shit out of him......sad eh?"

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30
"Morrie Hardy? He was a scoundrel, a bludger and a layabout......"
"He worked for you?"
"Several short months. I sacked him on the spot." Benny Continos replied belligerently.
He was a short bloke. As round as he was tall though there was solid muscle there. I reckon
you'd feel as though you'd run into a brick wall if you tried it on.
"Where did he live?"
"He originally had digs at the Hills Hotel. The Pub. Near Seven Hills Railway Station. He used
to do casual work there....you know, pick up glasses, make sure the yard area was free of broken
glass every morning. Wash out the Beer Garden before opening time. Stack the empty kegs ready
for pick-up day. He was sacked....this was while he was also working for me supposedly walking
me dogs. He moved into The Pendle Inn.....the Pub near Pendle Hill Railway Station.....he was
looking for his mother. His birth mother. He told me once that he had been adopted as a newborn
baby. Didn't fit in with his adoptive family and was looking for his birth mother to......" He
shrugged his shoulders. "What the heck, you do your best under the circumstances...."
"Your dogs?"
"Got rid of them...except two who are now house dogs. I couldn't keep up the exercise. The
work....and then when George was killed, I thought it was about time.....not worth risking your life
if there are people out there who are resorting to such tactics to show their opposition to the
industry."
I nodded my head. Looked down the expanse of yard with kennels and runs still in place.
"You've got a bit of land here...."
"Yeah....around ten acres....a bit more.....worth a bit so's I been told but the Council rates are
killing me. Gunna sell up and move up the coast where it's a bit warmer...it was in the bush once but
now I'm surrounded by suburbia....when we bought we was told that it was in the middle of a green
space...Green Belt they called it and would never in a million years be turned over for housing." He
gave a cut-off chuckle. "Look at it now....shouldn't complain, it's ensured a steady price hike over
all these years...now it's worth a bit for housing.....they should turn it into a Park and plant millions

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of trees on it....that'll never happen though."


"The dogs? Yours? What happened to them?"
"You investigating Hardy's murder or dog cruelty?" He looked up at me, squinting his eyes in
the bright sunshine.
"We're from the Murder Squad...."
"Mmm.....it all depends on who you know. Some I guess, could be in Singapore by
now....racing their little hearts out knowing what their fate would be if they didn't perform.....others
already been eaten on some oriental menu as a delicacy....and I guess there could even be some who
have had their head squashed in and are lying in some large pit out in the bush. I don't know. I
couldn't do any of those things but that's what can happen.....I couldn't do that to me dogs. I loved
them like me kids....."
"But you could let some-one else do it for you...."
"I never said that.....nah."
I nodded my head and began to walk away. I stopped and turned back to him, standing several
metres from him.
"As a matter of interest, did Hardy have a car?"
"Yeah....don't know how he could afford it....a little red MR3. Sporty little thing but it was
stolen and burnt out.....could have been me or some-one I knows who does that type of thing....for a
price. Maybe or not!"
"Why?"
"Coulda been because he stole some money from me. Bet on me dogs when he was given
direct orders not to....I don't know why or who stole and burnt out his stupid little car....was told
once that he was seen running me dogs along behind the car because he had sore legs.....I'd've given
him sore legs if'n I'd caught him doing that! Let me tell you."
I nodded my head, thanked him for his time and walked back towards the Unmarked.
"Ya never heard any of that from me and I'd deny ever saying it if'n you haul me in for further
questioning. Hear me?"
I turned to him as I went to sit into the Unmarked. Gave him a wave to indicate that I knew
where I stood. He was old time. As cunning as a sack full of sewer rats.

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"That's the type of guy that has given the whole business a bad name....yet people won't see it
that way. He's the type who straddles the line. You want something done? See Benny.....he's the
middle man who has all the contacts, wink, wink....but he sure is a bonzer bloke."
"So! What now?"
"The Pendle Inn."

31
He leant across the Bar to shake both our hands.
A huge man with hands that easily encircled mine.
"Trevor Willoughby.....I understand you're asking about a former worker I had here for a while
so the Barman tells me....maybe that is the wrong description.....Morrie Hardy. An absolute
louse.....a bludger and a petty thief. I reckon he took me for at least two cartons of Bourbon and a
bit of ready cash when he skedaddled out of here."
He looked about the Bar to see who was in residence. Nodded his head a couple of times.
Squinted his eyes at a couple of other patrons.
"Arrh....listen....come through to me Office. There's a couple of big ears out here at the
moment, if'n you know what I mean."
He walked down the length of the Bar and lifted the bar-flap to invite us in behind the Bar.
As I said, a big man. He stood head and shoulders above me so he was well over the six foot
height. He had to duck when he went through a standard door opening. Over 2 metres or 6'8" in the
old scale.
He gestured for us to sit in a small but tidy room.
It looked as though there was a place for everything and everything in its place.
The large Safe door was ajar. He rammed it shut with his foot and turned the handle. Spun the
wheel.

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"It's not that I don't trust you, especially as I'm an ex-cop meself....it's just that it doesn't look
good.....I was doing last night's takings.....now, Maurice Brin Hardy. I was taken by the name more
than anything else. The Manager at The Hills Pub, he warned me....but he looked as though he was
a worker what with his physique....had to have been gotten from somewhere, so I thought. The
missus accuses me of being too soft-hearted. 'We're not a bloody charity here, Trev!' She'd storm at
me when-ever I put on another no-hoper, according to her."
He chuckled. Shook his head.
"I mean, that knapsack that he carried out into the bush for miles with enough supplies to last
him at least ten days minimum.....so he would say....it weighed half a bloody ton! But work? Not on
your bloody life...oh, he'd put in the token gesture, but half the time he'd be up in his room smoking
'J'.....doesn't take an ex-cop to recognised that smell. It permeated all through upstairs.....I'd be in
heaps of trouble if the wrong cop came a-calling, if you know what I mean."
"How long did he last?"
"Mmm....three months about.....yeah, three months. He was looking for his birth mother so one
of the Barmaids said after he'd taken off.....he had her in his pocket. Free beer outa her too.....she
went the same time as Morrie did.....no...not together....like....she was married to a good bloke....but
I think the two of them may have had it off a couple of times....up in his room."
"Would you know where he lit out too?"
"With at least two cartons of my Bourbon and about two hundred cash? Don't recall. Don't
care....maybeMaroubra. Malabar. Down that way from memory....anything else? I gotta change a
couple of kegs over......"
We shook our heads. Shook his hand again. Followed him out to the Bar.
"What with his knapsack, and what little clothes he possessed, he'd have very little room left in
that Sports Car of his to cram in the Bourbon, but he did. You have Lunch yet? I'll shout you from
the Kitchen. A good selection.The best around here. It's very popular. We get all the workers from
the factories close by come in for lunch. Grab something before the rush begins."
It was as good as he said with the outside area filling up rapidly just after twelve.

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32
As I turned into Benny's street, he and his missus was standing, talking to two people who
could never be mistaken for anything else except Real Estate Agents.
"Didn't take him long, now did it....you reckon that he is now in a hurry? What with cops
hanging about?"
He looked up as we slowed and came to a halt behind the Agents' vehicle. He seemed to push
the two towards their car as though in a panic.
I curled out of our Unmarked and watched the other car take off.
"Ten acres......four to five homes to an acre at about a quarter mil a block....one maybe two mil
to you....a nice little nest egg for your retirement, Benny. Not bad."
"You should be in the Real Estate business, Detective. What're you leave behind?"
"Maurice Hardy's sports car? You said that it had been stolen and burnt out.....that right?"
"Yeah....I said that....."
"You sacked him. He then went to work at The Pendle Inn......for about three months, before he
was sacked for failing to do his job, smoking weed in his room, and stealing grog and money from
the Tills......"
"A Leopold never changes its spots....."
"He left in a hurry...this is some three, maybe four months after you sacked him. You keep tabs
on him?"
"What for...he was a bloody loser....."
"He left the job at The Pendle Inn in his red sports car.....I was of the impression from the way
that you spoke that he had lost his car while he was working for you....and it was done as a favour
earned by some-one you knew."
Benny nodded his head. Slower and slower. Pursed his lips then squeezed them together tighter
by his fingers.

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"Keeping tabs on him? What for? Would you like to fill us in, Benny?"
The squat man looked around him nervously. Told his missus to go make some coffee and a
couple of slices of cake.....if the Realty people had left any.
"Come through, Detectives. Come through. We look like shags on a rock standing out here all
serious like."
We followed him around the side of the house and up onto the back deck. His two greyhounds
came to sniff about and then departed to the farthest point of the Deck away from us. Two little
Maltese X's came bounding out the doggy-door flap yapping their heads off.
"Hey, Mittens. Silky. Stop it. Hear me."
Both dogs looked up at the Boss, twisted their heads to the side then crawled under the large
cane chair that the Master sat on. Looked once at Sasha and I then immediately fell asleep!
Benny scratched his chin. He'd had a shave and it wasn't for our benefit.
"I guess it was maybe six months ago. Could have been nine months, about. George and I were
down at the Dapto Dogs when low and behold, as brazen as all hell, who walks up to us to have a
natter but Mister Maurice Hardy! He wanted a few tips, he says. Neither George or I had any dogs
racing that week but we had a couple of sure things....left the track with over two grand each
topping up our accounts. A good night all round. Maurie was annoying us. I told him a couple of
times to piss off....a good couple of times as I was not giving him any inside info. No way. He still
hung around like a bad smell....couldn't take the hint....I had to threaten physical harm to him before
he wandered off....talk about slow! Made a call......two nights later I got confirmation that his car
had been stolen and found burnt out a couple of days later...that wouldn't have been too far away
from when he was killed.....I suspect.....No? Some time later, huh?"
"How do you know that he was killed?"
"Now come on Detectives, even you should be able to work that one out....one guy who
deserved to die and two Murder Dicks asking questions about him....now I ain't no Einstein, but....."
He opened his arms wide and shrugged at the same time like a Mafia Don.
"This person that you got to do your dirty deed..."
"Don't know what you are talking about, but let me make a call and get the bludger's address
for you....as long as you leave me and me wife alone to enjoy our retirement....."

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"You do realise that we could have you for several illegal activities?"
"Now, now.....the telephone number, it's slipped my mind......get my drift, Officer?"
This reminded me of the old days when it was harder sometimes, to get information out of one
of your snitches then expecting Jesus to rock up and get wine out of a water bubbler....or something
similar. It was called Horse Trading back in the days....something that I had missed now that this
little arse-hole reminded of it!
"Okay, okay. I get the point."
I glanced at Sasha who was sitting adjacent to me in an oversized cane chair. Her mouth agape.
She possibly had never been involved in this type of caper before.
The old bloke hobbled up the back yard as he pulled a mobile from his pocket. The rear pocket
of his pants. He had another two in the two top breast pockets of his flannelette shirt. His missus
silently came out onto the deck carrying three coffees like a practised waitress. A little while later
she bought out some sliced cake and sugar for the coffees.
Benny returned to sit heavily back in his chair. Huffed and puffed for a bit before he got his
breath. Sipped the coffee. Closed his eyes
"You have a coffee machine?"
"Yes......for most of our married lives. We could not live without one, yes?"
He looked over at me as though I belonged to some outback tribe that didn't even know about
coffee, let alone a coffee machine!
"I don't know what I'm gunna do when Sylvia passes. I can't operate the machine like she
does.....and it takes a bit to clean, regular-like, otherwise it spoils the taste of a good coffee....we
cleaned it specially for you two....." He smiled showing yellowed teeth. One or two solid gold.
"The address, Benny....."
He held up his hand like a traffic cop.
"Wait until you finish your coffee. Have a piece of cake....my Sylvia made it yes-tare-day
knowing we were gunna have visitors....not youse of course but the Estate people, the bloody bloodsuckers! Business after we enjoy our coffee."
Just like a respectable Businessman that he wasn't, but I reckon he could fool most of the
people that he came across. A good old fashion con-man. You gotta love them!

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33
"What are we going to do?"
"Get collaborative evidence before we go knocking on any doors."
"He was on the dole, wasn't he? He has to supply his updated address once he landed in
Sydney, doesn't he? And every time that he changes his address?" Sasha asked.
This is the reason why I prefer to be partnered by delta woman.
They tended to think! Especially filling those holes that I forget about.
I nodded my head.
"His Medicare details as well." She added. "So! What do you want to do?"
I glanced at my watch. I figured it was a little too late to get to Maroubra and back in enough
time to knock off. I needed to be home at a reasonable hour as one of my Half-sisters and her family
were coming over for Tea. My turn on the BBQ.
"We'll do it to-morrow." I muttered as I turned the Unmarked around and headed back towards
Parramatta.

34
"Bloody hell! That kind of fouls things up."
The entire suburb.....well for a three or five block section, was separated off with Builders'
Hoarding.
I drove around the perimeter of the huge site until I spotted the Builders' huts, Amenities and
Site Foreman's Hut on top of large timber posted scaffolding. This was the only point that gave

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vehicular access onto the site.


I drove in and parked the vehicle away from the gateway.
"Hey, Dude. No can park there, ya silly prick. You got clearance? No? Then go somewhere
else off the site. We don't want Canvassers. Understand? Piss off!"
I opened the door of the vehicle and stood, producing my ID Card as I did so.
"Welcome...." I stated quietly. "And yes thank you, it is a glorious day and I am feeling well.
Now that we have gone through the pleasantries, The Boss? Where is he?"
"This is a protected site, mate. I don't care if you're the bloody Queen of England, you can't be
here. Asbestos.....and you're not ticketed.....belonging to the Union."
"You're not wearing any mask...."
"I'm the Union Rep on the site...."
"That makes you immune to asbestosis, eh? The Boss? Which Site Hut?"
I peered up at the long line of huts sited on the scaffolding. A bloke came out of one looking to
see what all the shouting was about. He had a blue safety helmet on while all the rest that I could
see were yellow.
"You the Boss?" I yelled up to him.
"I'm the Housing Commission Architect-in-control. What is it that you want?"
I again flashed my badge. Sasha did the same.
"Cops....come up that stairway over there....."
"My vehicle okay there?"
"Yeah. No worries."
"Dean Dameritz." He shook my hand. Leant past me to shake Sasha's. We followed him to a
two storey site hut that must have been at least ten metres long. Air-conditioned. Sealed from the
outside even having a double door lock to prevent dust or asbestos fibre floating in.
"Mention the word asbestos even if its a minor deposit, and you have scare tactics. The guys on
site get a special loading until all contamination is removed, which, hopefully, will be within the
month....."

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He gestured for us to sit at a conference table.


Plans strewn all over the top.
"What's this all about. I noticed that you are Murder Dees.....thanks Jason."
Jason had slipped a cup of coffee in front of his boss. One each for us.
"I'm training him well.....he's my Architect's Assistant. Please, what is this all about?"
"I....well....I expected to visit an address of a woman that we are looking for in connection to
three homicide murders. Now?" I spread my arms wide in an astonished gesture.
"Yes....well.....this has been on the Drawing Board for years......sorry we didn't inform you."
There was no sarcasm, just an easy going air about the man. I wondered what he'd be like by the
end of the project.
Hassled.
Frazzled and having lost weeks off his life expectancy!
"Is there any way of finding out where a certain person may have been relocated to? Who lived
here prior to you guys starting up?"
"Mmm.....possible. Jason? Hear that? What do you think?"
"The Human Resources Leasing Department of the Housing Commission should know. It
would have been quite a feat to relocate what? Over one hundred families, most of whom will move
back in when we are finished the contract. I'll ring them, Boss.....who is the woman that you are
after?" He turned to Sasha. I smiled at the attempt to entertain her and not include me. Dameritz
nodded his head. Lowered it and tried to hide a smile.
"Sonya Pritchard Burke.....B.U.R.K.E.....not the way that the western town is spelt."
"Yeah. Right."
The young chap left the room with Sasha in tow.
As we waited, I was led through the large project.
"Most of these dwellings were built in the fifties as a Housing Commission NSW initiative. All
have asbestos in the wall and ceiling linings. The eaves and the Bathrooms.Nothing wrong with that

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as long as you leave it alone. Housing had projected to sell all its assets in this part of the world in
order to get some ready cash. A real bonanza. But the only persons wanting to buy such a huge
swathe of dwellings would pull the lot down and put up residential structures of multi-floors....and
not provide sufficient accommodation of reasonable rental for those on a pension, ect., that had
lived here previously. The Government wasn't willing to go down that road so a joint partnership
was formed where additional Commission dwellings would be provided along with just as many for
sale to private buyers. Increased the population by over 100% around these parts....you're what? A
stone's throw from the beach. Good stuff, eh?"
I nodded my head as the young bloke came back into the room immediately followed by Sasha.
I smiled to myself.
My phone rang the twelve O'clock Big Ben chimes. Both men looked at me as though I was
slightly off.
I took it from my pocket, excusing myself as I walked away from the table.
"Lind?"
"This is Dee Dee Symonds doing your dirty work. Sorry about the delay. We had some
problems. That DNA comparative test that you asked on a Malcolm O'Reilly and Maurice Hardy.
Trouble getting any saved tissue or blood sample of the older twenty-five year old case.....Muscles
ran it down for us. They're a match Joe. Father and son.....and there is a familial connection in the
system. One Sonya Pritchard Burke....minor offences.....minor prison time, mainly for repeat
prostitution charges in the bad old days. Also a couple of drunk and affray....drunk in public....bad
language.....the usual for an aging working girl on the downhill slope."
"Thanks for that, Dee Dee....you've just closed the circle for us. I don't suppose you have a
LKA on the woman, do you?"
"Well, she's an old woman by now. Fifty-eight according to her Rap Sheet. Out of the trade
though the history shows that she moved about a fair bit. The Cross in the early days.....the usual
one bedders around the Cross.....she's now on a Full Disability Pension....am I doing your job for
you, handsome? Um....latest we have is her mother's place at Redfern.....any good?"
"How long ago was that registered?"
""Um....yeah, well.....late 90's, early 2000's."
"It's out of date and so is the one that we have been chasing....its now a huge building
construction site out Maroubra way, but thanks for that. My next shout with a good quality Red..."
"Just don't tell Muscles, eh? He has such a lousy taste in wines..."

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"Nah....he just refuses to park out a twenty for a wine for you and I. See you at the next night.
Our place, I think."
I hung up and turned to face those in the room.
"Good to see that there are some professionals who have their priorities right." Dameritz
remarked. "You can't beat a good Red when friends call around for a good BBQ meal.
I nodded my head. A little embarrassed that the conversation had been overheard.
"Joe? Get your ears checked will you?" Sasha commented amid laughter. "You talk on your
mobile as though your caller is a suburb away and you're talking through two cans connected by a
length of string."

35
We had come full circle back to Pendle Hill. A large group of Villa Homes that were easily
identifiable as Housing Commission stock. They snaked around on a very large block of ground. I
wondered whether there would come a time when these too, would be demolished to make way for
a joint venture enterprise.
I knocked on the door.
Knocked again.
Walked the length of the unprotected concrete slab veranda that had neither a roof over or
protective balustrade.
I tried to peer in through a number of windows that were half open.
"No-one home, Joe. How about we come back tomorrow?"
"No use coming back tomorra as I won't answer the door then neither." A woman screeched
out.
"Missus Burke? I'm Detective Joseph Lind from the Murder Squad. My partner Sasha Blayney.
We'd like to ask you a few questions about your son, Maurice Hardy.

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"Fuck off. I ain't got a son."


"We know that you have.....a DNA test has confirmed that you are the mother of Maurice
Hardy and a Mal O'Reilly is the father....."
"Don't know no Mal O'Reilly so's piss off before I shoot you."
"Have you a gun, Missus Burke?"
"Sure have. Knows how to use it too and not afraid to do so."
I gestured for Sasha to get down off the veranda and drive the Unmarked further up the road.
Then to ring through for back-up. I backed down to the far corner of the property line near the
Council footpath.
"Yer can't bloody hide, copper. I can hit you any time." A whining, nasally, high pitched
screech that was an excuse for a civilised voice.
A shot reverbed. I felt a large section of timber splitter off the corner fence post not inches
from where I was standing.
"Get out of it, copper. Leave me alone. Piss off now before you get one in the centre of the
forehead."
I heard the bolt slide back, the shell casing eject and another bullet slide into the breach.
I ran, pulling my mobile from my pocket and speed dialling Comcentre.
"Shots fired. Woman holed up in house with a bolt action Ruger." I shouted out the address as
Sasha came squealing around the bottom corner.
"Drive up a little further so that we can at least see the front door. I don't think she will shoot us
dead as she has had the chance and not done it. She's scared. She's trapped and she knows she's
fucked.....here. Here. Stop here." My voice was quavery. I still stung from the splintering timber.
"I've put out an 'all car alert'. We'll have company in a little while. No sirens."
As she said this, four Patrol vehicles screamed down the street to park around our vehicle.
"You call in the Tact boys?"
"Yeah....."

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"Then we'll wait until they arrive. No hero tactics Joe. Okay? I hear that you often go off the
deep end and want to play Captain America!"

36
"Ya bastards, yacoulda knocked ya know, instead of bashing the door down......"
"Missus? Put the gun down, hear me?"
"If'nya want ta have a conversation with me, show a little bit of respect to a lady and take off
that ridiculous helmet, those silly glasses and that balaclava that's hiding ya face.....what? Ya got a
disfigurement that is too bad ta show in public?" She thought that was funny regardless of her
hopeless situation.
"Missus? Put that rifle down. Slowly. On the floor. Do it, missus!"
"No need to get feisty with me, young man. No need at all. All ya got to do ask nicely, like."
"Put. The. Gun. Down. NOW!"
"Bloody hell, brother. Betcha like this with ya own bloody kids...."
"Only if they are holding a high powered rifle in their lap.....now slowly, ma'am. The gun. Put
it on the floor. Slowly."
The woman grabbed the rifle lying across her lap by the stock. Up close to the trigger guard.
"No, Missus. I will shoot you if you don't let go of the stock. Lift the rifle by the barrel and
slowly and carefully, place it on the floor beside you. Do it!!! The barrel facing away from my
position. Do it!!!!" He shouted.
The Lead Tactical Response Officer had inched closer to her. His Remington Shotgun pointed
at the small featured woman sitting on a hard backed Kitchen chair positioned so she could look out
through the Lounge Room window.
"Who's gunna pay for that damaged front door of mine?" She whined.

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"I think, missus, that's the least of your problems....now....for the last time....."
"Alright. Alright. There's no need to get in a tither about it. The rifle ain't loaded though there
is a full clip less a couple....none up the spout."
She bent to one side as she placed the fire-arm on the floor beside her chair. She straightened
and without being asked, placed her hands on her head.
Two black uniformed Officers in full riot gear aiming Heckler and Koch PSG 1 semi-automatic
sniper rifles rushed the woman, roughly placing her hands behind the back of the chair. Using black
plastic ties, they manacled her to the chair. One picked up the Ruger point 222 bolt action rifle and
quickly removed it.
After the rest of the house was declared save, Sasha and I entered through the opening that was
once a front door. The jamb split asunder by the force of the battering ram. The door lying on the
floor.
"C'mon, missus. Let's get you out of this room so that our forensic people can do their work."
I cut off the wrist ties and led her to the rear of the house.
Sat her at a Kitchen table that had weathered somewhat. The back yard was knee high grass. I
was concerned about the safety of the back veranda. The flooring timbers were badly in need of a
little love and care.
She lit up.
I have no idea what she was smoking but it didn't cause me to salivate or want one myself. It
smelled vile.
"Do you know Maurice Brin Hardy?"
She nodded her head. Took a deep puff on the cigarette.
"Who is he to you?"
"My son....."
"...and you are?"
"Sonya, with a 'Y', Burke......my maiden name."
"Your married name?"

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"Never been married."


"You shot your son. Why? Out in the bush. Why?"
She lit another cigarette off the remains of the first. Coughed. It seemed to rattle in her chest.
She punched out the remains of the first cigarette into an overflowing ashtray that sat centre of the
small table.
"Why?....I only knowed him around the past couple of years......he was adopted out. Not my
choice but I had no say in it.....back then, a girl of sixteen. Raped. Viciously raped. Left pregnant by
this AO who walked away not thinking much about the act ever again. In fact, the AO never
knowed that he left me pregnant....can you believe that!!??"
"Did you contact the Police? About being raped?"
"Nah....little point. Youda said I asked for it....typical cops. Me from the poor side of town.Left
school at thirteen. No airs and graces like those women on TV......they'da said that I deserved it
back then and I don't know if its changed much these days."
Her voice was starting to grate already. There was a whine to it. ...and a sharpness that went
with the pulled features. The ratty look. The negativity that engulfed the woman. She didn't much
care about her appearance. Maybe she had just given up, convinced that the world had passed her
by.
"You said that your son, aged forty-two when he was shot, managed to track you down about a
year ago....."
"Yeah....maybe a bit longer then that....maybe. Coulda been around two years ago, I guess."
"Why did you shoot him?"
"He.....um......he felt that the world owed him big time and he was gunna fix for me and my
shitty life, by killing his father and the AO who had raped me.....as though that was gunna solve my
problems....what a dirtbag, huh?"
"If this man had raped you leaving you for dead back in 1991, when you were sixteen, how did
you know his name?"
"I was working at Maccas at Granville back then. Used ta walk home. Not far. He grabbed
me.....introduced himself.....like a fuckin' gentleman would....how sick is that? I'll always remember
it as it was on the street that Maccas was at in Granville. Hilliers Road....."

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"What makes you think he was telling the truth?"


She looked blankly at me wondering what I was talking about.
"You were obviously not that far from Hilliers Road when you were ambushed and raped.....he
was being smart perhaps and had seen the road sign as he waited in ambush for you......"
She again looked blankly at me.
Shook her head violently, repeating nah, nah, nah over and over again as though she may have
just realised that she had demonised and hated a man and a name all her life. Realising that perhaps
it was the wrong bloody surname.
She couldn't reconcile that fact.
"Your son set about killing off the Hilliers surname as a way of helping you. Would that be
right?"
"He wanted to make it better for me...."
"By killing off any man whose name was Hillier and was in a certain age bracket thinking that
it may have been his father. That about right?"
"I didn't agree with what he was doing.....I caught him putting the rifle back on top of the
cupboard. I didn't know that he knew that it was up there.....and then on the News for the next
week....this Greyhound Trainer being shot dead as he exercised his dog. Everyone thought it had to
do with all this baloney about Dog Racing being banned by the Gov'ment....but then I heard his
name and knew......George Hillier. Morrie had killed him....and several others as he didn't know
who his father really was......what a bloody loser, trying to rid the world of Hilliers.....how stupid
can you get....."
"Especially when it may turn out to be the wrong surname that you have despised for all these
years....."
She again looked blankly up at me. The thought was still alien to her and she again shook her
head violently to rid her mind of the possibility.
"In 1991, you shot a man in the National Park down near Nowra. Did you know his name?"
"Yeah....he was the bastard who raped me. Made me pregnant."
"So you thought he was doing the wrong thing, so you shot him?"
This threw her in a loop. I had completely bamboozled her, changing the line of questioning so

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suddenly.
She nodded her head. Lit up another cigarette.
"How many?" She asked, blowing smoke from her mouth and nose.
"How many what?"
"You know.....Hilliers?"
"We'll never know for sure now that your son is dead. There has been a spike of eleven Hilliers
dying in the past two years...how many your son was responsible for and even if they were at all
suspicious, we'll never know for sure."
She shook her head. Lowered it to cradle it in her hands.
"What the fuck have I done?"
"You know that Prison today is a non-smoking environment?" Sasha spoke for the first time. I
figured that she was getting a little fed up as she was down wind of the woman. Her words hardly
registered with the woman.
"Where did you obtain the gun? It's quiet a fancy rifle."
"It was me Dad's....Tony said it was a good hunting rifle. Pigs. Roos. He used to use it
sometimes."
"Tony who?"
"He was me de facto. Lived with me for, oh......ten years I guess. Tony Patchett."
"Where's Mister Patchett now?"
She shrugged her shoulders.
"He got up one morning. Went to work and never came back. The AO.....just like all bloody
males.....tarred with the same brush. Will always leave you in the lurch."
"Did you report him missing?"
"Him??!! What for? He was a good for nothing, lazy sod like all males."

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37
"Detectives? I think you need to see this." A bio-suited Forensic Officer ducked his head out
the back door and called to us.
I stood, nodding to Sasha to stay with the old woman.
"Do I need to don a bio-suit?"
"Just the booties, head cap and mask will do Joe......plus some latex gloves of course."
At least I was saved from the embarrassing contortions of trying to worm into a full bio-siut. I
seemed to be the only person in the world who had trouble putting the one-piece on and removing
it.
I stepped into what was obviously a man's bedroom. A pile of dirty clothes on the floor. The
guy had been dead for some six weeks and yet the rubbish piled up still remained. It was an
indication of how house-proud the woman was.
The Officer handed me an Exercise Book. Several actually, joined together with sticky tape to
make a thick volume.
I flipped through the pages.
It looked like a Diary written by some-one that was angry. Hurt. Alone and disappointed at
finding that his birth mother didn't add up to expectations.
That was the gist of the last entry in the Diary.
The Officer stopped me and returned to the front of the book.
Fifteen Hillier names and addresses.
Five of whom were obliterated by a red biro mark drawn through the name.
George Hillier. Greyhound Trainer. An address in Westmead. Shooting. Make it look like
some hateful anti-greyhound person did it.
Colin Hillier. A faithful old dog that would need to be taken care of. Easy entry into the house.

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Frank Hillier.....Rylstone. Burnt to death in a house fire. A big fire it was. Cool.
Frank Hillier.....tripped down a set of steps causing massive brain injuries. Even if you gotta
take him inside, make it a head injury. Last time he'll piddle in the back yard behind the Garage.
Bryan James Hillier.....a gas heater. Needs to be jiggled. (Wife and two grandkids also killed in
big explosion. Real cool. It completely destroyed the house. Yahoo.)
My suspicions had been confirmed, though it didn't make me feel any better.
"Can you bag it? We'll need to examine it in detail at some stage....at least some of these
'Unsolved' cases will be able to be put to bed with this information....he's writing is that of a school
kid, isn't it?"
Whether it was or it wasn't, was of no concern to the Forensic Officer....or to me, as a matter of
fact. I just commented to try and rid my brain of the banality of the reason for wanting.....trying
....committing murder on completely innocent lives that had no connection to the man, all because
his mother had harboured this hate for all her life.
What a bloody waste!!!
It was moments like this that allowed me to think, how-ever casually, about a life away from
the Murder Squad. The Cop Force........
I stood there in the middle of this bloody untidy bedroom. My shoulders sagging.My arms
hanging limply at my sides.My mind kicking into neutral trying to rid itself of these negative
thoughts.
The night before I had hosted my step-sister and her husband for a meal. During the normal
after-dinner banter, I was asked why I enjoyed being a Cop, especially a Murder Detective. I had
commented enthusiastically on the virtues, on the pleasure of being a Murder Dee. Now, I could not
remember one point of satisfaction that I had espoused on.....my mind blank of any positive thought
at all.
I returned to the small veranda ripping off the shoe covers, mask and hair-cover. Throwing
them haphazardly into a bio-bin located near the back door.

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38
Sasha must have seen the mood I was in. Changing so quickly from my normal positive and
happy-go-lucky stance into a brooding look, full of thunder and lightning.
I slumped heavily into the hard-backed chair opposite the woman who had aged before her
time. Full of hate and anger and the psychotic need for revenge.
Enough to turn her insecure and negative son into an avenging ghoul.
"Fifteen.....he had a Diary. Fifteen names. Hillier. Five of them murdered for you.....for you!" I
spat out. I clenched my jaw....and my fists. Sasha put a hand on my upper arm to relax me. To get
me to take a step backwards.
This was happening too often of late, I concluded. Where I became more then angry. More
then fed up with the human race.
Sasha judged the state of my mind and took over.
"Why did you shoot Malcolm Terrence O'Reilly, oh?....about twenty-five years ago? Out in the
bush. It worked that time didn't it, so you decided to use the same approach with your son a month
or two ago......the gun left a message for us to follow, missus. You should have known that." Sasha
stared at the woman as she asked the question.
"Who?"
"Mal O'Reilly."
"Don't know no Mal O''Reilly. Who's he?"
"The guy that raped you some forty-two years ago and who called himself John....John wasn't
it? Hillier, as that was the name of the road where you worked. On the corner of Hillier Road and
Parramatta Road, Granville.....isn't that right. A big Maccas store on the corner. He introduced
himself as John Hillier the night that he raped you.....how did you find him?"
"Mal O'Reilly......not John Hillier....shit......Morrie only shot one Hillier didn't he? Please tell
me that that is the case. Only one Hillier. He was so pissed that his father had raped me....that he
was the product of a rape. He called himself a bad seed. No matter what I said he wouldn't believe
anything else and he was gunna make that Hillier bastard pay!"

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She swiped her forearm across her nose. Sniffled. Lit another smoke. Wiped away tears.
"John Hillier? I started looking for him about a year after they took me baby away from me. He
used to hang around the Maccas joint waiting, hoping to pair up with one of us girls. You know
how it is. Get a group of girls together, there will always be a horny young stud sniffing around.
Always. That's males for ya! Only one thing on their minds. To get what they want and then yer can
bugger off! One of the girls was close to him....she was being used as he wanted me more.
Everyone could see that. She told me where he lived...and the rest as they say, is bloody history."
"And you still didn't know his proper name even then...to you he was always John Hillier?!"
She took a deep drag on the smoke. Ash fell onto the grey and split floorboards beside her. She
didn't seem to notice.
Sasha shook her head. Leaned into the woman.
"Not really.....history that is. You were sixteen when you were raped. Hadn't turned seventeen
when you had the baby. Mal O'Reilly was around eighteen when he raped you, but it took you
what? Another seventeen years to kill him......why the gap if you knew where he lived so long
before that? A year after he raped and put you up the duff....."
"I had to learn to shoot.....properly like.....as I was always gunna shoot him.....I've always had
the gun. It was Dad's gun but he was gunna leave it to me when he died....he just left one morning
and never came back either. Me Dad!!! Just like all the males in me life. Just walked out and
disappeared. I wanted to stand in front of him and tell him why I was gunna kill him.....just like
that. I gave him hell for a lot of years. Cutting his tyres. Scratching the duco of every car he owned.
Torching two of his cars. Torching his Garage. Baiting and killing three....maybe four dogs that he
had. I drove him crazy......and I enjoyed it. He didn't know at the time who was doing all those
things......the case of him raping me had completely deserted him.....he'd forgotten all about it, the
prick. I was sorry that I made up my mind to end it....you know, to kill him. When I explained who
I was and what I had done for so many years....and what had happened to my baby, he
laughed....and then he looked completely puzzled. He did not remember the act.....the.....the.....he'd
forgotten about it. What an absolute crud!"
She cried silently, having trouble puffing on her cigarette. It must have become wet as she
pummelled it into the overfull ash tray. She coughed again. The rattle more pronounced as though
something else had worked free from the walls of her lungs.
I nodded my head. Went to stand. Slumped back down again. I was not in a good space.
"You stood in front of him with your gun pointed at his stomach and you told him your life
story....what an absolute crud he was....then you shot him. Is that right?"
"Yep....and enjoyed it too...." She lifted her head to look straight at me, jutting her jaw to show

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how proud she was of herself. "I so wanted to shoot him in the balls first but thought that may cause
more problems then what I would get out of the act......"
I angrily swiped away her words.
"Your moments of contrition don't hold much water for me....you shot the guy who raped
you....got you pregnant what? Twenty-five years ago? Yet you lead your son by the nose to
continue to kill....what he understood was his father and your scourge.....there was no real reason for
you to manipulate your son to kill those Hillier men....because you already had slain the
dragon.....except perhaps you manipulated your son to help you kill these other poor bastards who
had nothing to do with you except for your secret desire to get off seeing some-one dying
perhaps......you needed your son's help....as you couldn't do it by yourself. The methods of killing
were your idea.....you are one evil woman....but your son wanted to show you that he could do it on
his own. He wanted you to be proud of him when he shot the dog trainer, but that is when it all
started to unravel, isn't it......."
I knew then that it was doubtful that this woman would ever be punished for her crimes in a
Court of Law.
I wondered who the guilty person may have been. Did it start with her father perhaps. Maybe a
brother long before she was raped by O'Reilly so many years ago. She had already seen the dragon.
Some-one she loved whom she could not kill for the sins committed on her....or had she killed every
male that had been drawn into her ever-decreasing circle of attraction.
It was a point that I would trace out during a down turn, I promised myself.
I rapped the Diary now in an Evidence sleeve against my knuckles, perhaps to give me time to
cool it. To calm down.To think.
"You know, we've interviewed plenty of people over the past month or two who had some
dealings with your son. Even his adoptive parents and siblings. One of the common things that they
all seemed to comment on...agree on, was the man's habit of hating hard work....for that matter, any
form of real work. He was always looking for the inside track if you get my meaning. The easy
money....and his mental prowess.....in other words he'd not challenge the dunce of the class. Get my
drift? He was slow.....showed no initiative. The murders of the five Hillier men showed nous. Street
smarts. A cunning mind that to me was well beyond your son's abilities. Would I be right on that?
Just to collate a list of fifteen Hillier names that might have been your rapist was way beyond him,
wouldn't you say? But you had already gotten rid of your rapist twenty-five years ago, so why?"
"You know fuckin' nuttin' copper!" She screamed.
This caused a coughing fit that sounded awfully like a death rattle.

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PETER C BYRNES

A BAD SEED

"I may not know at present, but I betcha this Diary of his will fill me in on a certain amount, eh
Missus? What do you reckon?"
This was spat out with vehemence. My face must have been red as a beetroot as my temples
pounded and a head-ache spun across my forehead. I had never got myself into this type of knotted
emotion ever before.
"You feel no sorrow for all those Hilliers who were killed by your son....and you. You
manipulated, coaxed and cajoled the boy with little brains to do your dirty work for you....and for
that, you shot him. Your own son. Tell you what, missus. Have another smoke as I reckon it will be
the last that you'll have for the rest of your life." I said this with a certain anger in my words.
Sasha stood and walked inside the house, waving her hand in front of her mouth as though she
was on the verge of throwing up. Disgusted at the utter cruelty and disregard that a human being
could subject another to.
I gestured for two Uniforms to take our prisoner out to the Patrol Van and transport her back to
the Prisoner cells at the Police Building at Parramatta.
I wandered out to the front veranda.
Sasha was standing, holding her arms tightly around her chest.
"You okay?"
She shook her head. Turned to me and buried her head deep into my shoulder. I could feel the
depth of her sobs. I let her cry herself out, not worried by some smart comment that the clinch may
cause. I couldn't care less....but whose shoulder could I cry into?

pcb
23/08/2016

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