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Cameos of Crime p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to find a few good reading tips. It includes samples of stories from out of print or forgotten books.

This issue features Cameos of Crime by Michael O’Sullivan, (1866-1950). It’s a police officer’s memoir of his professional life throughout country Queensland and Brisbane. He was born in Ireland but arrived in Rockhampton in 1883, joining the Queensland police force as a mounted constable in the same year. He was posted to western towns like Roma, Winton, and Cunnamulla.  He writes some interesting stories about his cases, like chasing murderers on horseback, arresting burglars hiding in the bush, and guarding the Prince of Wales in his visit to Queensland in 1920.  This 1935 book provides some interesting insights into the history of Queensland: the good and the bad.

One of the cases the author recalled was an apparent bank robbery in Brisbane. (Mr O’Sullivan became second in charge of the Criminal Investigation Branch, in Brisbane, in 1904). He writes that one Monday morning he received a report of a robbery at the Post Office Savings Bank. He went to the bank, where the manager was apparently unconscious on the floor. 

He writes: After a while, I went out the back door, but returned almost immediately, very quietly, and slipped into a room from which I had a view of the office. Soon after, two more detectives came in and examined the prostrate man on the office floor. One, quite audibly, said: “This fellow has been sandbagged by – and his mate” (two well-known Brisbane criminals). The detectives had a glance around and then walked out. Just as they were passing through the door, the prostrate manager deliberately and quietly raised his head, opened his eyes, and made a keen scrutiny of the two detectives. My suspicions now became a conviction…

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