briffo

Does anyone remember our stories about how a battling copper named Ronald Joseph ‘Ronnie’ Redmond moved in across the road from a woman named Shirley Brifman not long before she died?

Or how he moved out of the dingy flat in Bonney Avenue, Clayfield just after she died, copped a huge promotion and promptly bought a McMansion at the top end of town with a price tag that was seemingly well beyond his explicable means ?

Can you recall that I told you that this Brifman bird was the star witness in a perjury case that was due to be heard not long after the day she died?

And that the defendant in the case was a senior coppper named Anthony Denis ‘Tony’ Murphy, a bloke who had long been rumored to be the CEO of the wholesale police corruption system that they laughingly called The Joke?

I’m sure you’ll remember me saying that the case was dropped and The Joke was saved after Shirley Brifman died, because there was no-one left to give evidence against the alleged perjurer and crooked king Tony Murphy.

No doubt you, like me, wondered how a bloke who looked like a mid-level public servant in charge of an archive room rose to the top of the cop force and became Honest Terry Lewis’s chief handbag carrier and right hand man, and then when his bent boss fell over for a brief period actually took the top job, until it became so hot in Police HQ that he had to be chucked into the river lest the Roma Street joint burn down.

Did I ever think to tell you that in Queensland nothing is ever as it appears?

I can’t bloody remember, but anyway it doesn’t matter.

What really matter is sticking by your mates.

It’s the 20 year rule we used to apply back in the day in the Bung.

The only people you can really rely on in this life are the blokes you grew up with, because you share both shameful childhood secrets and a rock solid common bond, and when push comes to shove you can always depend on your old mate to watch your back.

And if you can pick up an earn along the way, well then everyone’s a winner aren’t they?

Everyone except Shirley Brifman.

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Queensland electoral rolls 1954 and 1958. Young coppers fresh out of the Academy didn’t earn a lot back in the days before The Joke, so they tended to stay living at home with Mum and Dad until their first posting to a job that came with replete with a police house at a peppercorn priced rent. 

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Tony Murphy’s old man Ted used to own the newsagent at the Fairfield five-ways, and the brood used to live three to a bedroom in the house out the back.

The kids who worked on the till at the newsagents might not have been rich, but they never went hungry either because Dad’s mate’s butchers shop was just around the corner, and the Murphy boys mates worked at the counter.

Mates always look after mates. After all it’s the Queensland way.

You never need to worry about that.

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