The Mickelberg Stitch

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True Crime
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$653,000 in gold bullion stolen from the Perth Mint in West Australia. No violence, no victim and precious little evidence, yet three brothers were convicted and given sentences of 12, 16 and 20 years. The brothers maintained that they were framed.

This book demonstrates shortcomings in the 'security' of installations and services dealing with gold bullion, subsequent police investigation, and the judicial process in Australia's wild west.

Relevant to everybody in that the authors' observations published in 1985 are being proven factual in 2002 - Evidence was manufactured and destroyed so that jury members were not given the opportunity to dispense justice - and this in a western, first world democratic society.

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A fascinating true story of what happens when a crooked senior copper manufactures lots of evidence, gets three brothers convicted of a crime they may/may not have committed, gets promoted, retires, is blamed by Gypsy Joker motor cyclists for a murder he may/may not have committed, then has all of his shady possessions blown up and is finally executed by explosion. His chief assistant copper turns alcoholic, confesses to a judge that he shared the stitch and commits suicide. Avon Lovell, a persistent dogged reporter, at times the only man prepared to risk his life to see justice done, wrote this book and suffered at the hands of the crooked senior copper, then supported by Western Australian judiciary, State and Federal governments as well as the police union. A great read, better than fiction and there are many bad copper still out there.

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