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
So anyway, DS Basil ‘The Plant’ Hicks rocks up at the Ampol servo on Waterworks Road at Gap at 3pm on Sunday 20 January 1974 to meet with his snitch Billy McCulkin, the known violent offender and career criminal who should by anyone’s reckoning be the absolute prime suspect in the frame for the disappearing of his ex-missus and kids, a vanishing act and magicians trick that happened somewhere between 2 and 4 days before.
We don’t learn at this stage how DS Bazza and bank-robbing Billy arrange their meeting – that story will emerge later – but DS Baz faithfully records in his Crime Intelligence Report (we’ll call it the CIR from here on in) that Billy rocked up at the servo in a car driven by his new girlfriend Estelle Long.
Estelle was a dodgy old tart, who for 17 years before had been the missus of a big city-grade crim named Paul Meade, who was tied up with the tough boys in old Sydney Town, but like a seven-year-old mare who’d once won a Saturday race at Randwick but had been weighted beyond her ability and slowed down by age, she’s now dropped to Brisbane class races and was being ridden by the provincial jockey Billy.
As I just said, Basil swears on his heart that Billy rocked up at the Ampol that Sunday driven by Estelle. Fair enough you might say, no wucking furries, except for a couple of things.
Firstly, immediately after telling us that Estelle drove Billy to the meet, DS Baz says – and I quote – ‘I was not in a position to see this vehicle at the time’.
Now DS Baz is either as blind as the bum-bandit who got blinded by Agnes, or he’s f*cking lying through his teeth, cos the old tart Estelle drove a bright pink brand-new Holden Premier with a white flat top, a very rare and most distinctive sort of sedan back in those days in BrisVegas, and one that everyone in the world who saw it remembered, as we’ll see in witness statements down the track.
How does a barmaid afford such flash wheels? Good question.
And Waterworks Road, as every BrisVegas punter knows, was then and remains today, a major thoroughfare that is very hard to get a street park on, if you can at all, and logic suggests beyond any shadow of a doubt that if she was in fact piloting the pink poodle Estelle would have hooked off the main drag and straight into the servo driveway, right were DS Baz was waiting, unless he was off in the dunny taking a dump, and he doesn’t for a moment say that was the case.
So the alarm bells automatically start ringing don’t they sportsfans?
The other thing that you need to know is that a schnitzel-loving seaman named Gunther Wagner – yep, same name as the old Nazi Adolph’s favorite fiddle player – lived just down the road at 168 Waterworks Road, Ashgrove.
This won’t mean anything to you right now, but all will become clear in the fullness of time.
I’ll give you an early tip though, and if you’re a Cluedo fan with access to Google and a calendar, and are interested enough to cross-check them with dates in the O’Dempsey/Dubois arrests, you might even work it out for yourself.