Saturday, August 23, 2014

Who is Roger Rogerson?

Reference Investigation into the relationship between Police and Criminals: First Report 1993 © ICAC

Rogerson was born on 3 January 1941, he joined the Police Force as a cadet in 1958, became a probationary constable in 1960, and was appointed as a constable in early 1961.

He went to 21 Division in September 1962 and received his training as a detective there as did many others. The details of intervening promotions do not matter, but Rogerson became a sergeant in 1975. He joined the Anned Hold-up Squad in 1974 and remained there until 1979. From time to time before, during and after this period he received commendations and awards. One of them, awarded in 1981, was the Peter Mitchell Trophy for Outstanding Police man ship and Devotion to Duty. It was awarded to Rogerson in relation to the arrest of three armed escapees. It is the highest annual police award.

Despite all of this, in the mid 1980s Rogerson’s career took a turn for the worse when he was charged with disciplinary offences. He was ultimately dismissed from the Police Service on 11 April 1986.

In December 1992 Rogerson went to prison, having been convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice with a doctor named Nick Paltos and a solicitor named Ross Karp. He is still in prison.

Rogerson when at his peak was a highly effective police officer, a very prominent detective, and hugely popular with most of his fellows. The following records what two of his colleagues had to say about him, before his manifest fall from grace.

Ross Nixon was an Assistant Commissioner of Police when he retired on 21 October 1988. When he gave evidence to the Commission, it was suggested to Nixon that Rogerson was a man of striking personality. In what follows Nixon speaks first:

Let there be no doubt about that. He is the life of the party.

In addition to being striking, he is also considered by his peers to be a person of considerable leadership -possessing leadership qualities, correct?-- --When I left the CID he was still a junior man.

I am not talking about his rank. I am talking about the image that he has amongst the persons that I have mentioned and from your own observations, he appears to be a person who is a leader?----That is correct.

And it is undoubted that when he was in the Armed Holdup Squad, junior officers -and now I am talking about rank- junior officers viewed him almost with awe, didn’t they?----Yes, he was an excellent detective at that time. He also was a very good shorthand typist which made him very valuable.

John Burke is now a Chief Inspector of Police, stationed at Annidale. He worked at the 
Armed Hold-up Squad for two periods, between 1974 and 1979, and again between 
1982 and 1985. During the first period Rogerson was there, and he and Burke knew 
each other well. It was suggested to Burke, when he gave evidence, that Rogerson was 

...within the squad as a fairly genial, happy-go-lucky sort of a fellow?---
-Yes, he was regarded 

by myself as a very charismatic person, a close friend, and I must say a 
brilliant detective.

And that would have displayed itself in the results that he obtained during 
that time?----Yes.

Both these men were critical of the man Rogerson later turned out to be.

Rogerson charged with murder 2014

Roger Caleb Rogerson is about as famous - and infamous - a police officer to ever flash a badge. In the publicity blurb from his autobiography, The Dark Side, Rogerson wrote: "All that people know about me is that I'm a corrupt cop, shot three men [in the line of duty]  and was a mate of Neddy Smith..." 

That’s probably all that most people would need to know about Roger "the Dodger" Rogerson.  It was his mate Arthur “Neddy” Smith, one of the most notorious rapists and murderers ever to pull on a balaclava, who claimed that Rogerson was the man to go to if you wanted the "green light" to commit crimes in NSW.

Back in the 1980s, Rogerson was the most decorated, most admired and most feared detective sergeant in the NSW police force who earned 13 awards for bravery; he was the can-do cop always on hand to nab bank robbers, drug dealers and a vast assortment of the other denizens of the dark who occupied Sydney's seamy underbelly.

The problem was, somewhere along the way, this lauded police officer forgot where the thin blue line stopped and the dark side began.

From Wikipedia
Death of Warren Lanfranchi - Rogerson 3rd right of body
Rogerson was responsible for the shooting death of Warren Lanfranchi.[5] During the inquest the coroner found he was acting in the line of duty, but a jury declined to find he had acted in self-defence. Rogerson was later commended by the police force for his bravery. 

However, it was alleged by Lanfranchi's partner, Sallie-Anne Huckstepp, and later by Neddy Smith, that Rogerson had murdered Lanfranchi as retribution for robbing another heroin dealer who was under police protection, and for firing a gun at a police officer.  Huckstepp, a heroin addict and prostitute, appeared on numerous current affairs programs, including 60 Minutes and A Current Affair, demanding an investigation into Lanfranchi's death. She also made statements to the New South Wales Police Internal Affairs Branch. Huckstepp was later murdered, body found in a pond in Centennial Park, New South Wales.[5]

Fellow police officer Michael Drury has alleged that Rogerson was involved in his attempted murder. Drury claims he refused to accept a bribe Rogerson offered to change his evidence in a heroin trafficking trial of convicted Melbourne drug dealer, Alan Williams. On 6 June 1984, Drury was shot twice through his kitchen window as he fed his three-year-old daughter, Belinda. Rogerson was charged with the shooting and Williams testified that Rogerson and Christopher Dale Flannery had agreed to murder Drury for A$50,000 each. However, on 20 November 1989, Rogerson was acquitted.[6]

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