The NSW Police Force has admitted its officers may have made serious mistakes while re-examining potential gay-hate murders among a list of 30 unsolved deaths. An SBS investigation has uncovered a failure by police to check even basic details for some of the men, resulting in an erroneous assessment being provided to NSW State Coroner Michael Barnes.
In a crucial review of the 30 unsolved cases, police dispensed with the 1986 death of a “William Rudney” in four lines, beginning: “There are no coronial records of a death of a person of this name.”
But that is because the dead man’s name was not Rudney. It was Rooney – and there are indeed coronial records for a William Rooney.
The Real Story is a 90 minute feature presenting first-hand accounts of Sydney’s gay hate killings in the 1980s and 1990s.
This documentary unravels the stories of a society in the grips of homophobia as gangs stalked vulnerable victims on the coastline cliffs, brutal gay bashings were carried out, and lives were ended on the rocks below.
Many of those involved at the time, including police, advisors, victims and families of those murdered speak out on the crimes of the past in the hope that new evidence will rise to the surface in the pursuit of peace for the dead and justice for their loved ones.