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A great read – buy it for a loved one for Xmas and they’ll thank you for it forever

The crowd files in. Its a mixed bunch.

Jan Dubois, ever-loving and loyal wife of the accused, is one of the first into the courtroom. She takes a seat in the middle of the front row, directly behind where her husband sits in the perspex enclosed dock. They shoot each other a quick smile and you can palpably feel the affection shared by the pair.

But despite their obvious warmth toward each other, both know that now is not the time for displays of open devotion. This is the day they have been waiting for through all the long and fret-filled nights since Dubois was charged. This is the day that begins the trial that will decide whether they sleep forever in each others arms or alone and apart. This is money time, the first day of the rest of their lives. Its too important to f#ck up with any gushing bullsh#t and they are both old enough to know it.

So Gary Reginald Dubois, who is facing 1 count of depriving the McCulkins of their liberty, 2 of raping the young girls, and 3 of murder – 1 count for each of mum Barbara, Barbara junior known as Leanne, and Vicki – turns to face the judge and this eyes forward position is where he will remain throughout the next six weeks if I am any type of judge.

Dubois’ daughter, his only child, is not in the court. I guess it would be tough to sit there and hear what the prosecution are going to say about her father, terrible terrible things, so perhaps its wise she is not here at this early stage.

There are plenty of journos in the gallery, a bevy of bright young things probably not born until a decade after the McCulkins disappeared, and far to the right of the public gallery in the front row is the thorn among roses, the wizened guru of Brisbane crime writing Matthew Condon, who knows more about the underbelly of this city than all the bright young things combined.

Knowledge doesnt make a man sexy though, or not to this reporter anyway. Im a row behind Condon, having turned up predictably late after the Bead Twirler decided we’d make a pit stop at my old football club for a quickie, and Valleys were kind enough to leave an old sofa on the bar deck for our debauched pleasure. Despite my satiated state i still cannot help glancing at media sketch artist, and happily forgive her for drawing Dubois with hair he doesn’t have, just for the pleasure of watching her bands move as she does it.

Stop it Archie.