What Rogerson did when I asked him about undercover cop hit

The first time The Daily Telegraph’s Crime Editor saw Roger Rogerson he tried to run him over in his Ford Falcon. The last time he saw him, he threatened to kill him. But, the 30 years in between saw regular drinking sessions with the corrupt cop, writes Mark Morri.

Crime Editor Mark Morri relives one of the most notorious moments in the career of crooked cop Roger Rogerson- who has died in jail.

In between those two incidents – 30-odd years apart – there were 10 years where you could say we were associates of sorts, having the odd long lunch and regular drinking session in various Sydney pubs.

The Roger Rogerson I met was charming, full of colourful stories about the good old days and how NSW cops had gone soft on crooks.

It was well after his glory days when he was pictured strutting Sydney crime scenes with a shotgun in his hand and a NSW Police Force badge in his wallet.

He was working hard at rebuilding his image after a couple of stints in jail and the stench of corruption was all around him and doing a pretty good job of it.

Kim Hollingsworth with The Daily Telegraph’s Crime Editor Mark Morri and Roger Rogerson in 2010.

A lot of people, myself included, swallowed the narrative that back in the 70s and 80s controlled corruption kept the streets safe, so the cops knew who the bad guys were and could control them.

Roger left out the part they were lining their pockets and killing people along the way, some of them totally innocent who dared to speak the truth like Sallie-Anne Huckstepp and her friend Lyn Woodward.

Sally-Anne Huckstepp.

Former police detective Roger Rogerson pictured on his old turf of Surry Hills. Picture: Sam Mooy

He would never talk about the attempt to kill undercover cop Mick Drury who refused to be drawn into the web of corruption and deceit that Rogerson wove throughout the force.

The look in his eyes when I asked about it and the silence meant I never asked it again.

Rogerson’s death is one of the last links to a Sydney where money and intimidation bought police, politicians and judges.

When word broke that Rogerson, at the age of 73, was wanted for murder again I, like a lot of other people, couldn’t believe it and kicked myself for being so naive.

The old man in the camel coloured jacket who spent his time having a few beers and telling stories of the past was nothing more than a cold-blooded killer whose legacy of murder and corruption will be buried with him.

Rogerson died at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital at 11.15pm on Sunday night.

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