In New South Wales, the years 1966-1972 were an era when police presided over a carnival of corruption, when criminals like Lennie McPherson, Abe Saffron and George Freeman made millions from illegal gambling, prostitution, and any other criminal activity that made a profit.
Bob Askin was Premier of New South Wales, and everyone was in on what was called ’the joke’, although this book argues that Askin may not have been the kingpin that his detractors claimed. Two of the main ‘jokers’ were lovers: vice queen Shirley Brifman and violent detective Freddie Krahe – but Brifman’s corrupt police friends deserted her, and she died a squalid death.
In the middle of it all were thousands of American soldiers on their seven-day leave from Vietnam, busy turning Kings Cross into one big party.
A fresh look at one of the seamier epochs in Sydney’s history.