June 18th, 2016
With Roger Rogerson safely behind bars with his reputation destroyed beyond defamation, his secret connections with Victorian criminals and corrupt police have come under new scrutiny.
Rogerson has always been blamed in underworld and police circles for heading a group of corrupt Sydney cops who allegedly murdered Melbourne-born hit man Christopher Dale Flannery in 1985 on the orders of serial race-fixer George Freeman.
Flannery was last seen getting into a car with other men near his apartment in inner Sydney on May 9 that year.
It is thought Flannery’s body was dumped in the sea.
This was almost identical to the way Rogerson’s last victim Jamie Gao was disposed of two years ago, echoing the chilling scene in cult drama Blue Murder in which rogue police lash a live man to a stove and throw him overboard.
An associate of notorious underworld figures has told the Sunday Herald Sun Rogerson was one several rogue Sydney detectives who came to Melbourne on a “hit and run” mission to kill Flannery weeks before his disappearance.
They had heard Flannery was visiting old haunts. Kill Flannery in his hometown, the theory went, and the hit could be blamed on almost anyone. It was a good theory but a dud plan.
The would-be hit squad set up headquarters at the shady Port Melbourne pub run by former VFA footballer Fred Cook. They ran up a huge bill for alcohol and prostitutes but did not pay it.
Cook would reveal later that notorious drug dealer, killer and police informer Dennis “Mr Death” Allen paid the bill for the “visitors”.
Murder victim Jamie Gao.
An undated image of Dennis Allen.
The vicious and erratic Allen kept guns, drugs and cash at the pub as well as at 16 houses he owned in Richmond. He had strong links with Melbourne’s infamous corrupt cop Paul Higgins and another policeman who left the force long ago but is still alive.
Sources close to Allen say he paid $14000 a week to the pair — a figure representing exactly $1000 a day for each. In return they managed to get bail for him no matter how serious the charges were.
Rogerson and one of his henchmen reputedly who went to Brunswick but their “mail” that Flannery would be at a particular address was wrong and they returned to Sydney, where they ambushed Flannery later.
It wasn’t the first time Rogerson strayed into the Victorian underworld, where he reputedly had a working relationship with Higgins and others.
In 1982, Melbourne drug dealer Alan David Williams had been the target of a drug squad operation in Melbourne. A NSW undercover policeman, Mick Drury, was playing the part of a Sydney heroin buyer in a classic sting.
Williams was suspicious of the unknown buyer — especially when Drury did not want to get into a car with him to do the deal. He dodged arrest but was caught four months later.
Williams contacted Flannery, asking if Rogerson or other police could bribe Drury or “slow him down”.
Roger Rogerson inside a police truck being taken into Bankstown Court to face charges relating to the murder of Jamie Gao. Picture: Craig Greenhill
Roger Rogerson with Mark Chopper Read in 2006. Picture: diimex.com
The story goes that when Drury refused $100,000 bribe, Flannery offered to kill him for the same amount. Drury was shot in his suburban kitchen on June 6, 1984, but survived.
Whether Flannery pulled the trigger is a mystery. There is a persistent rumour Rogerson stepped in at the last moment because Flannery was too “twitchy” from using cocaine.
Rogerson would openly boast of shooting others “in the line of duty” but was always evasive about Drury. His alibi for the evening Drury was shot was that he met someone at a certain club. The someone was Flannery.
Flannery and Rogerson swore they were with each other at the time Drury was shot, so who did it? Asked this question, Rogerson once said he heard it was another Melbourne gunman, Laurie Prendergast.
Once asked to name a corrupt policeman, Rogerson said he know only one: “Michael Drury”. It was his idea of a joke but now the laugh is on him.
– Andrew Rule