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Journalist Bret Christian has covered his share of murder stories in his time as a newsman. In his search to understand and report on these acts of evil he discovered something equally malignant at the heart of our society: the vast cache of examples of extraordinary injustices and wrongfulconvictions within our policing and legal systems. At the centre of this in-depth and often chilling book is the tragic murder, in 1959, of twenty-two year- old Perth woman Jillian Brewer, and the mostly inconceivable wrongful arrest and conviction of a young deaf man, Darryl Beamish, for the act. Charting in extraordinary detail the proceduralerrors, fantastical egos and often deliberate obfuscation of truth that took place in the Beamish conviction, along with many other cases, Christian reveals the startling array of potholes and pitfalls that continue to threaten the execution of proper justice in our society. Readers will be glued to their seats as they encounter the jaw-dropping recollections Bret Christian has compiled of badly interpreted forensics, biased testimony, mismatched and botched statements of fact, and downright dirty policing tactics. All at once horrific, mind-blowing and puzzling, thestories Christian has unearthed might well be fiction - but tragically, are all true.
Bret Christian has been a newsman all his working life, beginning his career on the Perth Daily News, and working in Melbourne and Sydney before returning to Perth to start his own suburban Post Newspapers group at the age of twenty-eight. By coincidence the territories his newspapers service were the hunting grounds for three separate serial killers, fuelling his interest in this mysterious human act of evil. His search for answers led him to unearth many extraordinary injustices, some of which he helped put right. Bret has been a commentator on numerous episodes of the ABC television documentary program Australian Story that have examined injustices in his home town. He lives by the sea at Cottesloe with his partner, Jane, where they have raised six children and more pets than he can count. He is still a reporter.