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Who was Roger Rogerson, corrupt NSW detective?

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Disgraced NSW detective Roger Rogerson was dismissed for corruption and forming links to criminals before he was jailed for murder in 2016.
Roger Rogerson

Former NSW detective Roger Rogerson has died aged 83.

During his police career, Rogerson was accused and later acquitted of bribery and conspiracy to murder. Media outlets labeled Rogerson “the Dodger”.

Rogerson was dismissed from the police in the 1980s over corruption allegations, and was serving a life sentence for a 2016 murder at the time of his death.

Here’s what you need to know.

Roger Rogerson

Roger Rogerson was born in Sydney in 1941. He began training as a police cadet at age 17 before he was sworn into the NSW Police Force two years later.

In 1981, Rogerson received a NSW Police award for “Most Outstanding Performance of any Phase of Police Duty”.

At the time, Rogerson was already developing ties to organised crime and was made a detective sergeant.

Deadly deal

Sydney drug dealer Warren Lanfranchi allegedly fired shots at a police officer during a 1981 robbery.

Lanfranchi then sought to bribe Rogerson to avoid being charged for the shootings.

Rogerson later shot Lanfranchi dead in a police ambush, claiming it was in self-defence.

An inquest into the ambush found little evidence of self-defence, but no formal action was taken against Rogerson at the time.

Whistleblower

Lanfranchi’s girlfriend Sallie-Anne Huckstepp made a formal statement to NSW Police, alleging rampant corruption.

During an interview with Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes, she accused Rogerson of conspiring with organised crime leaders. A 1994 report confirmed Rogerson had worked with drug kingpin Arthur “Neddy” Smith in the lead up to Lanfranchi’s death.

Huckstepp was found dead in Centennial Park in 1986. Smith was later acquitted of her murder.

Bribery

A major investigation was launched in 1984 after a NSW officer, Mick Drury, was shot at his home.

Rogerson was charged with attempting to bribe Drury over a case that the drug squad detective was working on.

Rogerson was initially found not guilty in 1985. However, he was eventually dismissed from the police force after several criminal charges were brought against him.

In 1990, Rogerson was convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice after attempting to stop investigations into money transfers made to bank accounts he made under false names.

Notoriety

In the decades after he was expelled from the police force, Rogerson became infamous for his bribery and corruption.

He spent a year in prison after he was found to have lied during a police integrity investigation in 2005.

Rogerson was the subject of a 1995 ABC television series “Blue Murder” and a 2017 sequel, Network Seven’s “Blue Murder: Killer Cop”.

Murder

More than 30 years after Rogerson left the police force, he was found guilty of murdering 20-year-old university student and drug dealer Jamie Gao.

Roger Rogerson and fellow former detective Glen McNamara were found to have killed Gao and then stolen 2.78 kilograms of ice (methamphetamine).

Gao’s body was later found floating off a beach in Cronulla in Sydney’s south.

Both men were sentenced to life in prison in 2016.

Death

Rogerson died in a Sydney hospital on Sunday night. Media reports have suggested Rogerson had a brain aneurysm.

His cause of death has not been confirmed. A spokesperson from Corrective Services NSW said “all deaths in custody are also subject to a coronial inquest”.

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