gabbaindicator

The Gabba Dogs, circa 80’s. It has nothing at all to do with the story but a couple of readers who used to be part of our punting circle back then might recognise the bloke ib the yellow shirt next to the pole. The may recognise Stan the Cabbie next to him too, and if I turned around you might even see me.

Mr Seeley said late on May 8, 1986, he was driving along Ipswich Road, following his father, who was driving his Ascot cab.

Eventually, the pair would drive further west along Ipswich Road to where the cab was stored at night, behind a convenience store on Wacol Station Road at Wacol.

Just before this, they had met outside the Princess Alexandra Hospital on Ipswich Road.

“He pulled up outside the PA Hospital and he had all this cash with him and he was drunk,” Mr Seeley said.

He remembered being very worried when he drove off.

“He was in a taxi and he was driving drunk. We got near the (Queensland) Police Academy and he saw a police car and he just took off.”

Raymond Peter Mulvihill’s  Ascot cab eventually drove off Ipswich Road and went down the laneway behind the Wacol convenience store, on Wacol Station Road.

Mr Seeley said he arrived later. – Brisbane Times, today

This is the latest iteration of the ever-changing story of Ian Seeley, the now 50 year old man who claims that his father Raymond Peter Mulvihill murdered poor Sharon Phillips, the 20-year-old Brisbane woman who vanished one Autumn night in Brisbane a few weeks before Monkey Kerr brought Daybreak Lover down the Eagle Farm straight in front a cheering crowd to win his second Stradbroke Handicap.

Detective Inspector Hansen of the Queensland Police believes Ian Seeley’s story, and so does Courier-Mail reporter K-K-Kate Kyriacou, an experienced journalist and crime writer who should know better. In recent day both have confidently pronounced that the mystery of Sharron Phillips disappearance has finally been solved. ‘

Both are wrong.

Ian Seeley’s story doesn’t stand up; not in the way it has been told anyway.

But something has just dawned on me, and all of a sudden I’m starting to realise that they were right too, and I owe them both a huge apology,

So here it is.

K-K-Katie, I’m sorry. You should never have written that story calling me a murderer and I I’ve still got the sh*ts with you, but I shouldn’t have called you a hack journalist either. Not in relation to the Mulvihill murder anyway. And to be fair it’s pretty hard to hold a grudge about a f*ck up when you (me) have just f*cked up yourself.

Detectibe Inspector Hansen, I’m sorry. I should not have questioned you ability or your integrity, and I was wrong. I sincerely apologise, and hope you get the promotion.

Ian Seely, I’m sincerely sorry mate. You’ve got the story arse up but you were only a kid and he was your Dad, and being a broke arse punter he probably told you all sorts of stories about Vietnam and the Bellinos and all manner of other things to impress you and make up for his own deficiencies and failures as a father and a man.

The punt gets all sorts of people by the balls mate, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad guys. And people panic and make mistakes and they’re a bit like lies, once you start telling them you get trapped in the lie and you can’t get out. I’ve seen it happen to people heaps of times, and it’s a damn shame and you shouldn’t tell the lie in the first place and then you will be sweet, but your Dad’s lie was a real bad one, and there was no way out for him because he didn’t have the guts or the balls to tell the truth and cop the consequences like a man, and as a result a whole lotta people suffered and a grieving Dad was branded a murderer and a poor Mum went mad.

Raymond Peter Mulvihill did kill Sharron Phillips.

Yeah, an old memory has just come back to me and when I put it up against Ian Seeley’s story I’m all of a sudden certain of it.

He didn’t murder her though.  Not at first anyway, and I hope not at all.

Mulvihill ran Sharron over while he was pissed and running from the cops to avoid a drink-driving charge, and then he panicked and put her body in the boot.

Was she dead as he thought, or was she simply unconscious? Was it a live or dead Sharon Phillips in the trunk of the car?

Dead I hope, because if she wasn’t I’d hate to think what happened next.

And it’s all because of the bloody Gabba Dogs isn’t it?The greyhounds and the punt killed Sharron Phillips. Can you f*cking believe it?

I’ll tell you the story as I see it in a second sportsfans.

First though, let’s recap the known and verified facts.

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Sharron Phillips leaves her friends house at Redbank Plains at 10.45 pm and heads home to her flat at Sunnybank.

She drives the route marked up Redbank Plains Rd, turns right into Ipswich Road, gets just past Wacol and her car runs out of petrol.

She walks back down Ipswich Rd toward Wacol and makes a phone call from a public telephone box outside a convenience store on Wacol Station Rd, near the corner of Ipswich Rd and very close to the train station.

The time is 11.18 pm and Sharon is calling Martin Balazs, a bloke she has met just a couple of days beforehand and formed a relationship with. He says he’ll come and her and does, but on the way he gets a flat tyre so he’s delayed.

Sharron rings him again at 12.03 am and is told he’s on his way. She has arranged to meet him at a roadhouse (petrol station) but she must have forgotten to lock the car, or have left something in it, probably a quarter ounce of pot and a pipe, so she walks back up Ipswich Road to retrieve it. My guess is she’s going to have a quick toke to pass time while she waits for Balazs to arrive.

Two motorists tell police that shortly after midnight they saw a young woman walking back up Ipswich Road in the direction of where Sharron’s car had broken down. Although they are unable to fully identify the woman as Sharron – they were driving along the road at the time – it’s her alright.

Stop the story here and switch to Ian Seeley and his dad Raymond Peter Mulvihill, Ray to his mates, or at least that’s what I now remember him being called. I knew him you see, not personally like a mate or anything, but as a bloke around the traps.

Can you f*cking believe it?

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From the moment I saw Raymond Mulvihill’s face something was spinning around in my head telling me that I’d seen the bloke before, and it’s  just dawned on me and hit me smack bang in the face, and in an instant it’s all come together like magic.

As related in the Brisbane Times article at the top of the page Seeley says that on the night of Sharron Phillips disappearance Ian Seeley met his father at the Princess Alexandra hospital, although he does not name the time that they met.

I know what time it would have been, because I know where Ray Mulvihill had been before on that night. I’ll tell you in just a second.

Ian Seeley  says his father was driving his cab, that he was rotten drunk, and that he had heaps of cash on him.

I read that bit five times because it was ringing bells in my head, and then the penny dropped.

He was at the Gabba Dogs.

Ray Mulvihill was always at the Gabba Dogs.

That’s where I’d seen him before. He used to drink with George Hagiocostas (not sure if I’ve spelt that right), a dodgy trainer and mad punter who once got scrubbed for whacking one of his dogs with cocaine. I think I may even have snipped him (Mulvihill) for a couple of bucks one night when I was doing my arse.

F*ck me.

The Gabba Dogs were on every Thursday nigh, and every Thursday night almost without fail between the ages of about 14 and 21 I was there at the track too with a bunch of my punting mates, gambling like a lunatic and sucking piss like it was going out of fashion (yes I was too young to drink, but these were different days, everybody did it).

There were heaps of cab drivers who’d go to the Gabba every Thursday night too.In fact it was much of the reason that many of them were cabbies in the first place, because they were desperate punters and couldn’t hold down proper jobs as working for a living prevented them from going to the races or dogs or trots (and later when it opened, the casino) any time that they had more than 3 dollars in their wallets, or the chance to borrow it off someone who did.

The cab driving punters – and I could give you three names that roll straight off the tongue two of them are still mates (g’day Mick and Matt) so I won’t, and instead will only give you one, Stan Griffin, a tireless volunteer for Brisbane Hockey and an early overs punter who was a portly chap that always kicked around the tracks in a Hawaiian shirt, public service style tailored shorts, long socks and hush puppies – would drive like lunatics from taxi changeover time at 4pm until the first race at about 7.30, and then they’d head straight to the track with whatever cash they had earned in that 3 1/2 hours and bet up large.

If they lost all the dough – which they did 8 or 9 times out of every 10 –  they’d go back to work and drive like maniacs until 4 in the morning to earn back the boss’s share that they’d lost, then when they’s balanced the till they’d go home stone broke and then start again all over the next day, and you’d see them again at the Redcliffe trots walking through the gates just before the first the next night, and if you were winning and they’d done their arse you’d often advance them the price of the fare home so they had some cabbage to try to get out of jail with, and later they’d ferry you back to the manor.

On the weeks the cabbies would  win however they’d splash up like they were millionaires, getting blind in one of the Gabba bars until they got chucked out around midnight, grabbing a feed at the Chinese seafood restaurant just outside the front gates, jumping back into their cabs and pissing off home.

After all, what compulsive punter on a short term roll and imagining he’s Eddie Birchley in his prime wants to work when he’s got a wad in his sky rocket that he’s going to turn into an absolute motza at Mindarie-Halidon, Moe and Muswellbrook tomorrow? A man would have to be a mug wouldn’t he?

Non punters won’t understand it, but I do. The psychology of the addicted gambler is something that scientists have studied for years but they still don’t have a clue. Only those who’ve been in the bubble or have grown up on race tracks get it, and as highlighted in the All Horse Players Die Broke story that I published a couple of days ago the only cure is a rope and a strong branch of a tree.

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So Ian Seeley does indeed meet his old man at the PA that fateful terrible night, and no doubt old Ray’s as full as a chook and cock a hoop ‘cos he’s just won a stack on the punt at the dogs.

The time’s about midnight I reckon, because they used to call last drinks in the downstairs bar at the Gabba next to the betting ring around 11.15 and kick you out at 11.30, and being flush with cash Ray Mulvihill’s no doubt picked up a feed at the greasy spoon down the road from the track on the way to go and meet his son.

It’s just as Ian Seeley says.

His Dad takes off in the cab, his son follows and they’re heading down Ipswich Road and everything’s sweet until they get to Oxley and they run into some coppers, probably recruits from the Academy out practicing their newly learned skills.

Dad’s a mile over the limit and no doubt speeding – desperate punters who have a big win always believe that they’re the Rulers of the World, despite all evidence to the contrary – and it’s London to a Brick he’s already lost his licence for DUI even though he’s still driving a cab, and Ray knows that he’s f*cked if he gets nabbed and that there will be no punt tomorrow because he’ll be in a watchouse cell instead so he takes off.

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Ian Seeley’s speeding too because he’s trying to keep up with his Dad, but being sober he stops when the cops wave him down and doesn’t say a word about knowing the bloke in the cab in front because what sort of a son is going to pot his old man? They write him a ticket and he cops it and it probably takes about ten or fifteen minutes or so as the young wet behind the ears probationary constables go by the letter of the law and follow the book to a word as their boss looks on.

Meanwhile Ray Mulvihill is flying down Ipswich Road trying to put as much space between him and the coppers as possible.

And Sharron Phillips, having hung up the phone after her second call to her new boyfriend, is walking up Ipswich Road back to her car to get her smoke and pipe.

BANG!

Mulvihill hits her.

Panicked, he stops the car and she’s lying on the road and she’s not moving. F*ck! he thinks, and without really thinking any further he picks her up and chucks her in the boot of his cab and takes off, and in minutes he’s outside the shops at Wacol with the phone booths outside that he has no idea she’s just made two phone call from and then he’s down the lane and out of sight.

Some coppers rock up. Who knows what for? Are they looking for a speeding cab driver who has taken off from their mates up the road? Are they looking for a bird whose car has run out of petrol in the middle of the night and has just rung 000 for assistance? (That would explain why Sharron’s walking back to the car, to get rid of the weed)? Are they just on a nightly patrol?

Who knows, but they are there and Ray Mulvihill’s sh*tting himself, for obvious reasons.

His son arrives and thinks to himself “F*ck, more bloody coppers, what have I done this time? Bloody Dad!”.

Ian Seeley’s Dad tells him to drive, they make it home, Ray Mulvihill takes the car and goes back to the cab with Sharron Phillips in the boot, and I don’t want to think about what happened next other than that it’s a certainty that he did indeed bury her in the scrub at Carole Park that police dug up recently looking for her, but any remaining trace of her body was probably washed away in the 2011 floods.

Ray Mulvihill gets away with it and dies a free man.

Sharron Phillips mother goes insane.

Her Dad is accused by all and sundry of killing his own daughter, including by the kids that he’s become estranged from in the wake of Sharron’s death, and his life is ruined.

Martin Balazs, Sharron’s boyfriend of less than a week, who tried to do the right thing, has fingers pointed at him for three decades.

The police never admit that there were coppers in Wacol Station Road on the night of her death just near where Sharron Phillips made her final call.

Ian Seeley lives a lifetime filled with guilt until one day he decides to unload and tell the police what really happened, or what his Dad told him did anyway, but they are not quite the same thing and so for years no-one believes him. C*nts like me accuse him of making it up for the reward money.

I’d say sorry, but it wouldn’t be right. Seeley should have told; there is no getting around that, and there is no excuse. I know he was his father, but Sharron Phillips had a father too, and look what happened to that poor man.

Journos get it half right and half wrong.

Greyhounds get live baited and the whole world thinks its a scandal.

And Sharron Phillips, poor young Sharron Phillips, who should have had the world ahead of her, lies cold and dead in an unmarked bush grave.

All because a bloke went to the Gabba Dogs, backed a few winners, got pissed, drove home, ran into some cops, fled and hit her as she was walking along the bloody road.

Its not normal is it?

Life shouldn’t be like this, or death either. But it is, and Damon Runyon had it right the whole time.

All of live is 6/5 against, and truth is always stranger than fiction.

Don’t you worry about that.

sha