A combination of cleverness, charisma, corruption and criminality combined to make it more than three decades before the law truly caught up with corrupt cop Roger Rogerson.
Even after he was booted from the police force in 1986 – outed ‘dog’ drug dealer Neddy Smith as his informant and was jailed twice – the man known as Roger the Dodger seemed a Teflon man.
Allegations bounced off.
Not much stuck.
‘Because he was (Clint Eastwood’s) Dirty Harry’ says one veteran reporter.
‘It was the ’80s. It was a different time. Right or wrong people saw him as an enforcer who was getting the bad guys – old school style’.
Rogerson was implicated in – but never convicted of – two killings (hitman Christopher Flannery and the girlfriend of drug dealer Warren Lanfranchi – Sallie-Anne Huckstepp) – acquitted of conspiring to murder fellow detective Michael Drury and accused of bribery assault and drug dealing in the 1980s – and continues to protest his innocence.
In 1981 Rogerson shot dead Lanfranchi in an inner Sydney lane.
An inquest found he was acting in the line of duty and he was never charged.
But Huckstepp’s accusations of corruption against Rogerson and other police – and her later murder for which nobody has been charged – meant the accusations lingered.
Rogerson now faces a life sentence for the murder of Jamie Gao.
Those who have associated with the 75-year-old across four decades say his bravado charisma and charm remain legendary.
He’s a convicted killer and also the bloke who could regale a crowd of strangers with his stories and drink most of them under the table.