John Kerr worked as a police roundsman and court report for a daily newspaper in New Zealand, and has resided in Melbourne and Sydney since 1977. He has published many true crime books, including Untold Violence; Walsh Street; Neddy: the life and crimes of Arthur 'Neddy' Smith; The Phillip Island Murder; Hellbent: Ces Waters and Me; and Roger Rogerson's memoir, The Dark Side. He is the author of Wanted: John & Lucy about the helicopter hijack and prison break, Bloody Relations: true stories of murder in the family and a series of 96-page books on true-crime themes. He is working on this country's first book on its killings by contract, The Hit Men, and a dictionary of Crime & Punishment in Australia, to be published in 2010.
‘The verdict in the Walsh Street trial was all four not guilty. Repeat not guilty. All units are warned - keep yourselves under control.'
Radio newsflash message to all State police
The killings called ‘Walsh Street’ arose when police and armed robbers went to war. Both sides, convinced the other started the war, were righteous in the letting of blood. The packs held sway and their deeds left many casualties - some celebrated but others unrecorded - and a bitter legacy. Players were driven by the strongest of emotions, sweeping others up in the cruel storm they’d created. The criminal justice system’s contribution was a fistful of not guilty verdicts.
Using material the jury and the public never saw, A Pack of Bloody Animals tells the story of that war. It re-examines the evidence, much of it in the players’ own voices or in previously unpublished interviews with the accused shooters made soon after their acquittal. This big story raised the toughest law-and-order questions of the decade, spilled over State borders, provoked grassroots citizen action, and occupied those in the corridors of power, media and the law.