1974, alibi, arthur pitts, barbara mcculkin, basil, basil hicks, billy mcculkin, billy phillips, case, cold case, coroner, corruption, crime, detective, dubois, estelle long, finch, fitzgerald, flood, garry, gary, gayton, glen, glenn, graham gayton, hallahan, hickes, highgate hill, intelligence, jack herbert, leanne, mcculkin, murder, o'dempsey, peter hall, police, rape, report, sergeant, southport betting, statement, stuart, terry lewis, the gap, tony murphy, trial, verbal, vicki, vince, vincent, warwick, whiskey
Those with an interest in TrueCrime in BrisVegas will know all about the myth of Basil ‘the Hound’ Hicks, the honest cop of various ‘true crime’ writers myth-making, who had a penchant for throwing the odd brick or three at punters, including two – well actually they were alleged bookmakers, not punters – down at the Gold Coast that in his wisdom Hicks and his comrade Arthur Pitts decided were guilty of whatever he decided they were guilty of, and swore false warrants to prove it.
It was an unwise decision by our Basil, because a little thing called the Lucas inquiry came along and showed him up to be a deceptive type of tyke, although the damning findings didn’t prevent his later apologists from painting him as a saint.
Perhaps it’s time to bust open that myth, and a few more, by taking a looks at then Detective-Sergeant Hicks involvement in the investigation of the disappearance of Barbara McCulkin and her kids, although the word investigation is to be quite honest somewhat of a misnomer, in my humble view at least.
It’s a well-known, but little reported fact that Edward William McCulkin, the estranged ex-husband of Barbara and father of Leanne and Vicki – and the logical prime suspect in their disappearance given that by his own reckoning he was at their house until 8pm the night before they disappeared, saw Barbara on the very day of her disappearance, and discovered and reported them all missing after he broke into their house a couple of days later was a police informant.
The police officer to whom he would regularly supply information was Detective-Sergeant Basil Hicks of the Brisbane Criminal Investigation Unit.
Detective-Sergeant Hicks, who carried the nickname ‘The Hound’ met McCulkin on both Sunday the 20th of January and Monday the 21st of January to discuss the disappearance of his wife and children, and then made a number of inquiries over the following week and compiled a Crime Intelligence report on 22 January 1974.
Hicks made further inquiries between 27 January 1974 and 31 January 1974, although given that Brisbane was underwater in the major floods that occurred at this time it is somewhat difficult to imagine how he managed to get around town in order to do so, but we’ll have a look at and work out whether he traveled by car, boat of helicopter as he ducked all over town with his Sheriff’s badge pinned to his lapel.
In fact, we’ll examine Detective-Sergeant Hick’s Crime Intelligence Reports in some detail, and then compare them to Billy McCulkin’s police statement of 5 February 1974, for as any detective will tell you crime scene evidence and witness statements are like mother milk, best served fresh.
And if what I have to tell you raises your eyebrows, well don’t worry, because they did mine too.
Everything we have been told is a lie.