Australiaís leading corruption author Raymond Hoser has been vindicated yet again.
Yesterday both of Melbourneís major daily papers carried front-page headlines stating that the prime suspect for the murder of Jane Thurgood-Dove at her Niddrie home on 6 November 1997 was a well-respected serving Policeman. This is the same information that was published last year in chapter 10 of the best-selling book Victoria Police Corruption.
At the time the book was released a spokesman on behalf of the Victoria Police said "Hoserís assertion that a serving Policeman hired two hitmen to kill Mrs. Thurgood Dove is pure fantasy. Such a statement by Hoser in his book is proof that he is given to wild conspiracy theories and typifies the sort of trash that he publishes. There is no factual basis for his assertions"
Both the Herald-Sun and the Age bought the official Police line and refused to print a single word about the new book in spite of the immense public interest in police corruption.
However increasing questions being asked about the Thurgood-Dove matter arising from the ever increasing sales of the Hoser books has finally forced Police to admit that yes, he got it right.
Hoser parallels the police protection of their own in the Thurgood-Dove matter with the same protection of Policeman Denis Tanner in relation to another murder 20 years earlier. Hoser says "the Thurgood-Dove matter is proof that nothing has changed in the Victoria Police in 20 years and that contrary to assertions by the Police, corruption within remains effectively unchanged."
When both major papers ran lead stories on the Thurgood-Dove matter yesterday it came as no surprise that both refused to mention the fact that the same information had been printed nearly a year earlier in Hoserís book. Instead both papers reported similar information as being the results of their "investigations". The Herald-Sun led the Thurgood-Dove story on page one as an "Insight" investigation. This is the same style of story the same paper used when reporting on the Hicks/Pilarinos drug and police corruption matters less than a month ago. That case had also been reported in depth nearly a year earlier in chapter 9 of Hoserís book. The Herald-Sunís and AgeĎs storyís effectively added nothing new to what Hoser had written and in fact contained significantly less detail. Unlike the major papers, Hoser named the two key informers in that matter. Again both papers refused to mention Hoserís book by name.
Today Hoserís publisher Kotabi released a statement saying "The Herald-Sun and the Age are looking increasingly stupid by continually printing material from Hoserís books while pretending that the books donít exist. The thousands of readers of Hoserís books know better, and their numbers are increasing daily." Kotabi now sells the books on the basis that the Herald-Sun and Age wonít print details of them because they are "too hot too handle". While author and publisher collect defamation writs like postage stamps, the fact remains that theyíve never lost a case yet and in all cases relied upon truth as their defence.
Sales of the books are powering along since a failed injunction attempt by a police informant and convicted extortionist Anthony Adam Zoccoli two weeks ago. Zoccoli had been supported in his injunction attempt by the Victorian Ombudsmanís office.
A sales rep at Collins Chadstone said that Victoria Police Corruption was their most commonly requested title. As of Friday they had none in stock and more copies on order. Most shops across Melbourne reported a similar sales pattern.