Three Crooked Kings

Three Crooked Kings Having spent the past two years interviewing Terry Murray Lewis former Commissioner of Queensland Police Condon delves into the crime and corruption that finally resulted in the Fitzgerald Inquiry o

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  • Title: Three Crooked Kings
  • Author: Matthew Condon
  • ISBN: 9780702238918
  • Page: 252
  • Format: Paperback
  • Having spent the past two years interviewing Terry Murray Lewis, former Commissioner of Queensland Police, Condon delves into the crime and corruption that finally resulted in the Fitzgerald Inquiry of 1987 Through his extensive research, Matthew Condon has spoken to hundreds of Lewis contemporaries, criminals, former premiers, politicians and ordinary Queenslanders whoHaving spent the past two years interviewing Terry Murray Lewis, former Commissioner of Queensland Police, Condon delves into the crime and corruption that finally resulted in the Fitzgerald Inquiry of 1987 Through his extensive research, Matthew Condon has spoken to hundreds of Lewis contemporaries, criminals, former premiers, politicians and ordinary Queenslanders who were impacted by the events of the inquiry.

    One thought on “Three Crooked Kings”

    1. The first of two books by journalist Matthew Condon tracking corrupt Queensland police chief Terry Lewis' rise and fall. It's well-researched - Condon interviewed Lewis extensively and had access to Lewis's diaries - and teases out the many links that bound the state's politicians, leading police officers, major-league pimps, madams, prostitutes, SP bookies, stand-over merchants, and club owners. Condon excels at laying bare Brisbane's Elmore Leonard-esque underworld, evoking the torpor and trop [...]

    2. I wore my Tony Fitzgerald Fan Club t-shirt till it was in tatters and was in court the day corrupt Queensland Police Commissioner Terry Lewis snookered himself with evidence drawn from his own notebooks. This is the prequel, the dirty years leading up to those history-making events. Good job, Matt. Looking forward to the next one.

    3. Often when I explain to non-Queenslanders (or even Queenslanders born post 70s) the story behind the Fitzgerald Inquiry they think I am making it up. The criminal underworld being run by the police who are sworn to protect community against it. It goes to show you that truth is sometimes (scarily) stranger than fiction.The book is well researched and is best read with a whiteboard or notepad as the number of characters, their many alias and how the fit into the tale sometimes gets very confusing [...]

    4.  I didn’t grow up in Queensland and was only three years old when the Fitzgerald Inquiry took place so up until this year I had no idea of the extent of police corruption in the sunshine state from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. As such I was very keen to read Three crooked Kings by Matthew Condon. The book is set in the time before Terry Lewis became Police Commissioner. It is centred more around the role that detectives Murphy and Hallahan and former police commissioner Bischof, played in th [...]

    5. In Three Crooked Kings Matthew Condon briefly discusses the murder of Barbara McCulkin and her two daughters. According to the book, she had started sounding off in public that she knew the real story of the Whiskey A Go Go nightclub bombing in Brisbane and that it wasn't just the handiwork of John Andrew Stuart and James Finch but included the higher echelons of the Queensland police force. Condon says the word on the street was that Barbara was going to be 'knocked' as she was talking too much [...]

    6. The title gives you the impression Terry Lewis has confessed to something; the marketing "Terry Lewis breaks his silence" gives you that impression too. But there were many passages along the lines of "Lewis denies the meeting ever took place" (p318) or "Lewis says he can't recall what happened".Things that stood out for me were p182: Lewis: "I can't say Murphy was a crook. But it mightn't have been only Jack Herbert who told me lies. Murphy might have told them too.". Lewis associated often wit [...]

    7. I heard Matthew Condon speak at Literati on the Gold Coast in May this year and was so impressed by his talk that I bought Three Crooked Kings. For those who don’t know Queensland’s history, this book is about the lives of the key figures in the Queensland Police Force from the 1950s to the 1970s and the corruption that was endemic in the force during that time, eventually culminating in the Fitzgerald Enquiry. Three Crooked Kings stops short of the enquiry, which will be dealt with in a seq [...]

    8. In the 1950s elements in the Queensland Police Force started to develop the corruption and criminal behaviour that culminated in the Fitzgerald Enquiry in the 1980's and the gradual exposure of many of the key playersREE CROOKED KINGS is the first of two books that looks at the unbelievable situation, the main players, and (in the second book) the enquiry itself.The author of this book, Matthew Condon, is an award winning newspaper journalist and author, and it's this background and his skill th [...]

    9. When most people think of police corruption in Queensland, they think of the 1980s and The Fitzgerald Inquiry that lifted the lid on entrenched corruption in the upper ranks of the QLD Police Service. However in his first book in a two part series (Fitzgerald comes in the next installment), Matthew Condon illustrates beyond shadow of a doubt that corruption in the Sunshine State was a long term reality, dating back to the 1950s and the reign of Commissioner Frank Bischoff.Many will be familiar w [...]

    10. This is a fascinating and well-written account of the rise of police corruption in Queensland leading up to the Fitzgerald Inquiry. The story flows seamlessly from the 1940s to the 1980s against the backdrop of a changing society and Matthew Condon never descends into dry reportage. Full of colourful characters from petty thieves to corrupt politicians and crimes ranging from prostitution to murder, it's sometimes hard to believe it's all true. I'm looking forward to the sequel All Fall Down, du [...]

    11. Amazing read. Growing up in Tasmania it was accepted that the sun rose in the east and all Queensland cops were dirty. This is a great insight into the origins and development of the crooked culture that became so famous. Fascinating read and a good argument for the legalisation and control of so-called "victimless crimes" like prostitution. Very entertaining!

    12. Wow - this book is full of so many mind blowing facts. It makes you think - who in authority can you trust? Look forward to reading the next book.

    13. It took me a while to get into this book, but as I started to figure out who the main players were and spent a bit of time online looking at news articles and the 4 Corners programme that blew the decades of corruption in the Queensland police wide open, I really became engaged. You only find out at the end that the author had initially been approached by Sir Terence Lewis to 'tell the story', but as Sir Terence had been found guilty of corruption and gaoled, his repeated denials that any of the [...]

    14. Matthew Condon reveals a compelling account of corruption in the Queensland Police Force. What a tangled web it was. I lived in Queensland during part of this and had no clue to the extent of the dishonesty and injustice that prevailed. What an eye opener. At the very end, a police officer who owned a block of land next to my current property is mentioned. Still shaking my headbut a riveting story non the less.

    15. 2.5 starsThis is a fascinating tail about history and depths corruption in Qld.I ended up skimming a lot due to the constant back and forth between characters, as it was confusing and some details boring.

    16. Condon's series in this period of Queensland history should be read by everyone who lived through it, and everyone who wants to understand more about this incredible period.

    17. This is obviously a meticulously researched book. I am not a native Queenslander and the Fitzgerald Inquiry is at the edge of my political awakening, but I do remember it. This book gives provides the background to why the Fitzgerald Inquiry was needed and why it was so explosive. The level of corruption within the Queensland Police force was astounding. Having said that, at times the book was a bit dry - almost like a recitation of information with little colour or embellishment. I did finish i [...]

    18. This was a seriously impressive book. Condon explains three decades of systematic police corruption, the role of the key players in it, and how it fit in with a wide range of disturbing historical events that are forgotten to people of my generation but really shouldn't be. It makes for a complicated web, and Condon explains how it all fit together really well. He deftly covers such a wide span of historical events that you could write thirty books on the events that happen within it, and yet I [...]

    19. This book pulls together an overwhelming amount of information about corruption in Queensland and NSW involving the police service, state politicians, and the judiciary between 1950 and mid-1970. At the centre of the hornets' nest is the so-called police Rat Pack, namely Terry Lewis, Tony Murphy and Glen Hallahan, the first of whom provided much of the information for the book. For readers not familiar with this tumultuous period of Brisbane's history, this would not be an easy read due to hundr [...]

    20. The book commences with the graduation of Terry Lewis from the Academy and ends in the mid-70s just after he and Joh have their first real discussion about the future of the QPS (Lewis was located in Cunnamulla at the time).It's pretty slow to begin with and frankly is rather boring for the first half, but once you hit the late 60s pace begins to pick up.I'm really looking forward to reading the second book. As someone who grew up in Queensland in the 80s, in a family who spoke freely about poli [...]

    21. The story of corruption across the political and police spheres in Queensland that shows corruption was a mainstay in the state long before Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen and the National Party came to power. Although marketed as a book that tells the story of disgraced former police commissioner Terry Lewis, this book goes much further than just his story and although Lewis was used as a main source seems to be very well balanced. Beginning from the 1940s and ending up at the establishment of the Fitz [...]

    22. To read this book is to be reminded how long and how enmeshed betting and gambling has been a part of Australia's culture. Starting-Price (fixed odds) SP bookmakers working away from the racetracks provided a steady second income to Queensland police in on 'The Joke'. This protection racket exempted operators from arrest and prosecution. Protection rackets extended to brothels. Condon takes readers on a brutally unpleasant journey in parts of this book through the life and times of Shirley Brifm [...]

    23. "Three Crooked Kings" is the first instalment in Condon's trilogy covering corruption in the Queensland police force from the 1940s to the 1999s. I remember many of these events from my childhood, adolescence and early adulthood and found the recollections rather interesting. Some readers have found the short segments (no longer than three pages) and journalistic style of writing difficult to read, but Condon is primarily a journalist, and this is his style. The seedy story keeps the the reader [...]

    24. All about police corruption in QLD, if you live in QLD, as i do, then this book is important.Although it could of introduced the various characters involved a little better- it took me awhile to get used to the expanding cast of characters included- nevertheless it does a fairly good job of focusing on the main players and the main events. Highlight moments include accounts of the QLD police in the fifties forcibly enforcing dress codes for the general population(no bloody rockers in this town b [...]

    25. Great book. Matthew Condon writes an engaging oversight of the crooked times I grew up in within Qld. I look forward to the subsequent books on the subject. I felt that Terry Lewis was treated gently and respectfully in this book. I imagine, if the author stands by objectivity and balance, the next installment or two will be a lot less favorable. Perhaps I am over blowing Terry's corruptness? TL comes across as an interesting character who was somewhat "created" by his early family years and the [...]

    26. This story of police corruption in Queensland in the mid to late 20th Century is hideous. Murders, forced suicides, tortured so the list goes on. However, the odd thing is the character at the centre of this book - Terry Lewis. In his 80s, he cooperated with the author and provided his police diaries because he wanted his story to be told but there's no enough evidence of criminality compared to what his peers were doing to make sense of where he did fit into the story. I'll just have to read th [...]

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