Time To Rip The Cover Off Hate Crime

Scott Johnson: there's now a sizeable reward for information leading to his killers

Scott Johnson, 27, Body found at base of cliff. Blue Fish Point., North Head, Manly, 9 December 1988 Police announced $100,000 reward in February this year.

As the cases of revellers manhandled by police at Sydney Mardi Gras come before the magistrates, it’s time to remind ourselves that Sydney police have more than just a little housecleaning to do.

Another issue that no-one is talking about in this election. The need for a Royal Commission into the bashings and murders of gay men in NSW, and especially in Sydney, that were ignored, covered up or ‘miscategorised’ by NSW Police.

John Bedser, Antique dealer, stabbed in shop, Parramatta Arcade, 2 December 1980

Some of them, it appears, were actually carried out by NSW Police.

Mannie De Saxe and Kendall Lovett – two of Australia’s oldest GLBTI campaigners –  have documented many cases on their website. Many thanks to them for their work on this: the examples here are taken from their site. Links are below.

Gerald Cuthbert, 27, Stabbed 64 times, Paddington unit, 17 October 1981

Victims were savagely beaten, or shot, or stabbed, or thrown or chased over cliffs.

William Allen, 50 Bashed to death at gay beat, Alexandria Park toilets 28 December 1988

Samantha Raye, Transexual. Body found in cave at South Head, beneath HMAS Watson naval base 20 March 1989

John Gordon Hughes, Gagged and bound, throat slashed, bashed with lamp and bowl in his Greenknow Ave unit, Potts Point 4 May 1989

Some were well known, but for many more, we don’t even have a photograph.

Ross Warren, 24 WIN TV news presenter, disappeared at Marks Park, Bondi-Tamarama 22 July 1989

Graham Paynter, 36, Found at base of 50-metre cliff, with jeans around knees and jumper over his head, at Tathra Beach on the NSW south coast
14 October 1989

John Russell, 31Murdered Marks Park,Bondi-Tamarama 24 November 1989

Wayne Tonks Teacher at Cleveland Street High,found dead in his Artarmon unit 19 May 1990


Richard Johnson, 33 New Zealander,lured and bashed at Alexandria Park,died in hospital 24 October 1990

William Dutfield, 41 Former jockey, struggled before bashed to death with a metal tape dispenser in his Mosman unit 19 November 1991

Cyril Olsen, 64 Bashed then drowned,
Rushcutters Bay 22 August 1992

Of course, the bashings and murders were not confined just to NSW. If you have the stomach for it, I urge you to read through the archive Mannie and Ken have amassed. It will shock you. And then ask yourself:

Why are these killers still free? When will we have justice?

Gay, Lesbian, Transgender Hate Crimes – PREFACE
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes – INTRODUCTION
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes – CHAPTER 1
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes – CHAPTER 2
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes – CHAPTER 3
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes – CHAPTER 4
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes – CHAPTER 5

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)