Duncan McNab

Duncan McNab, “Getting Away with Murder”, cover.


80 men murdered, 30 unsolved cases

From 1977 to the end of 1986, Duncan McNab was a member of the NSW Police Force. Most of his service was in criminal investigation. The many unsolved deaths and disappearances of young gay men are the crimes that continue to haunt him.

Around 80 men died or disappeared in NSW from the late 70s to early 90s during an epidemic of gay hate crimes. The line between a vicious assault and murder is a slender one and this was a time of brutal attacks on gay men, featuring gangs of young thugs like the ‘Parkside Killers’ and ‘Bondi Boys’, who took to the growing gay rights community with fists and feet.

Even more troubling are incidents in which gay men disappeared and have never been found, or where deaths were initially dismissed by the NSW Police as either misadventure or suicide. We now know that a number of these men were hunted down by gangs and thrown over beachside cliffs near the nation’s top tourist spots.

Investigation of crimes against gay men wasn’t always high on the list of priorities for the police and over twenty years later they are still slow to come to grips with their own dismal track record. The families of the victims, and some journalists, have not given up and continue to push the NSW Police Force for more answers.

This is the story of a unique time in our history when social change, politics, devastating disease and police culture collided, and you could literally get away with murder.

Cover, Roger Rogerson, by Duncan McNab
Cover, Roger Rogerson, by Duncan McNab
‘This is a wicked individual.’ — former detective Michael Drury, The Australian


On 20 May 2014, former New South Wales police officers Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara murdered student Jamie Gao in cold blood. Both have been found guilty of murder and possession of 2.78 kg of ice, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

But this wasn’t Rogerson’s first trial or conviction. Once one of the most highly decorated police officers in New South Wales, he was dismissed from the police force in 1986, and jailed twice.

That was just the tip of the iceberg.

This is the eye-opening account of Rogerson’s life of crime — policing it and committing it — and reveals the full story of one of the most corrupt and evil men in Australia, and the events that led inexorably to the chilling murder of Jamie Gao in storage unit 803.

‘a poisoned, evil little man’ — a former detective inspector

mcnab-waterfront-cvr IT’S BEEN OVER TWO CENTURIES SINCE THE FIRST CROOKS ARRIVED ON AUSTRALIA’S WATERFRONT. BUSINESS IS STILL BOOMING … Ever since the First Fleet dropped anchor, Australia’s ports have been a breeding ground for many of Australia’s most notorious criminals, and a magnet for local and overseas crime syndicates.

From the rum trade of colonial times to modern-day drug smuggling and alongside the rise and dominance of waterfront unions, a criminal element has always found ways to survive and thrive. After a century of Royal Commissions, reports, denials and crackdowns, crime and wrongdoing in Australia’s ports remains organised, entrenched and incredibly profitable.

In Waterfront, investigative journalist and former police detective Duncan McNab chronicles the larger-than-life characters who have populated Australia’s docks, wharves and ports — and lifts the lid on the crime, politics, violence and corruption that has always been present on Australia’s waterfront.

mcnab-outlaw-bikers-cvrOutlaw Bikers in Australia

Australia has a special place in the history of outlaw motorcycle gangs, boasting the highest per capita membership in the world, and a biker culture where bombings, drive-by shootings, arson, beatings and murder are regular occurrences.

From the clubs’ beginnings in the swinging sixties, their entry into the amphetamine market in the 1970s, through to the 1984 Milperra Massacre that made world headlines, to the Sydney airport brawl between the Hell’s Angels and Comancheros and the brutal murder of Anthony Zervas, Outlaw Bikers in Australia tells how these “one per cent deviants” grew to dominate the recreational drug market and became major players in the international outlaw biker scene.

This is the dramatic true story of the rise and rise of Australia’s outlaw motorcycle clubs, illustrated with twenty photos, many in full colour.

Australian / New Zealand Rights: Pan Macmillan Australia


mcnab-rentakill-cvrDuncan’s book Killing Mr Rent-a-Kill tells the gripping biography of an underworld assassin who associated with some of Australia’s most infamous felons and became dangerously close to many of the most powerful and corrupt police operating at the time. Christopher Dale Flannery was believed to be responsible for up to a dozen murders, most of which he was never tried for. Exposing the double-crossings, brutal gangland wars and bloody reprisals of Sydney’s dark underbelly, this is the true story of Flannery — known as “Mr Rent-A-Kill” — as it has never been told before.

Australian / New Zealand Rights: Pan Macmillan Australia. Cover photograph: The Age Archive

Mission 101

In late 1940 a group of five young Australian soldiers set out on a daring classified mission. Leading a small force of Ethiopian freedom fighters on an epic trek across the harsh African bush from the Sudan, the Australians entered Italian-occupied Ethiopia and began waging a guerrilla war against the 250,000-strong Italian army. It was the first campaign organised by the soon-to-be-legendary Special Operations Executive, and one of the most successful guerrilla actions of the entire war. One of the young Australian soldiers was Duncan McNab’s uncle. Using a combination of fascinating research and personal anecdotes, McNab tells the little known story of Mission 101, and how a small group of Australians helped to free a nation.

Dead Man Running

In 2008 Duncan joined forces with investigative journalist Ross Coulthart to write Dead Man Running, an exposé of the world’s most feared motorcycle gang: The Bandidos. Dead Man Running was published by Allen and Unwin in 2008 and became an instant best-seller.

Above the Law

In this book, the news just gets worse. Above the Law takes an unflinching look at the world’s most successful criminal empire and one that is growing in power, reach and ruthlessness. It exposes outlaw motorcycle gangs as a sophisticated, bloody and brutal international criminal franchise that operates with impunity in plain sight of law enforcement and the public.

The Usual Suspect, a biography of notorious crime figure Abe Saffron, was published by Pan Macmillan in 2005.

The Dodger, based on the life of notorious ex-policeman Roger Rogerson, was released by Pan Macmillan in late 2006.

A former detective in the NSW police force in 1986, Duncan McNab moved into sleuthing for criminal defence cases and the corporate world, then worked as a producer/journalist for television programs like 4 Corners and Sunday, and in the print media as well.