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Blue Murder
DVD Blue Murder.jpg
Format Drama
Starring Richard Roxburgh
Tony Martin
Steve Bastoni
Bill Hunter
Country of origin Australia
No. of episodes 2
Running time 198 min
(in total)
Original channel ABC
Original airing 14 September 1995 & 21 September 1995

Blue Murder is a two-part Australian television miniseries produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1995, and is based on true events. Given its confronting content, the DVD release was classified MA 15+. An injunction brought during Arthur Smith's appeal against his life sentence saw its broadcast delayed in NSW and the ACT for six years, until 2001.

Set in the 1970s and 1980s in Sydney, the miniseries concerns the relationship between controversial former detective Roger Rogerson and notorious criminal Arthur "Neddy" Smith. Rogerson and his colleagues were accused of giving Smith the "green light" to commit crimes without police interference, with the relationship fraying when Rogerson orders hitman Christopher Dale Flannery to murder policeman Michael Drury. The murder of prostitute Sallie-Anne Huckstepp also features.

Blue Murder is narrated by the characters of Rogerson, Smith and Drury and focuses on the corruption allegations that plagued the NSW Police Force at the time. Rogerson and Smith achieved a kind of celebrity during the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption.

The screenplay was written by Ian David who has written extensively on the people and events featured. The miniseries was directed by Michael Jenkins and produced by Rod Allan.


The series begins with the arrest of Smith for attempted robbery. He is interviewed by Rogerson, who instead of charging him employs him to protect various drug dealers. After serving a short prison sentence for other charges, Smith teams up with Graham "Abo" Henry and becomes a significant presence in the underworld. His association with Rogerson enables him to escape impending drugs charges and enables him to carry out other crimes unabated.

When Warran Lanfranchi, an associate of Smith's, threatens a police officer with a gun on the way to a robbery, Rogerson shoots him in front of his fellow officers. Sallie-Anne Huckstepp, Lanfranchi's lover, vows revenge. Smith, who transported Lanfranchi to the murder and assisted the police in court by giving a false testimony, is rewarded by Rogerson with a "green light"- he is allowed to commit any crime he likes, with the exception of assaulting or killing a police officer. Rogerson and Smith lead a criminal syndicate in Sydney, distributing drugs and murdering any potential witnesses to their crimes.

Meanwhile, detective Michael Drury carries out an undercover operation against drug dealer Alan Williams. Williams escapes the scene but knows he will soon be caught and is terrified of being imprisoned. Rogerson, on behalf of Williams, tries to bribe Drury to drop the charges, but Drury refuses to accept it. In response, Rogerson and Williams pay Christopher Dale Flannery to kill Drury. Flannery shoots Drury in his home but fails to kill him. The police are unable to obtain any leads on Drury's assailant, but Drury reveals that Rogerson attempted to bribe him, and Rogerson is charged.

Rogerson uses the lack of evidence and his corrupt associates in the NSW police service to escape prosecution, but the negative image and increased police attention caused by the affair begin to damage his criminal enterprises. Flannery and Huckstepp are both murdered when they begin to pose a threat to Rogerson and Smith, but Williams confesses his involvement in the Drury shooting in exchange for protection from Rogerson. Despite this new evidence, Rogerson again escapes conviction, but he is dismissed from the police force arrested by the Australian Federal Police shortly afterwards when he is caught depositing money in a bank account under a false name. Without Rogerson's protection, Smith's crime syndicate begins to fall apart, and eventually Smith is arrested for murder after killing a truck driver in a drunken brawl.

During the credits, the future lives of the main characters are revealed; Drury retired from the police force, Rogerson served three years, Williams fourteen, and Smith received an indeterminate life sentence (which he is still serving).


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