LARRIKIN CROOK The Rise and Fall of Squizzy Taylor

Author: Anderson (Hugh)
Year: 1971
Publisher: The Jacaranda Press
Edition Details: 1st Australian Edn.
Book Condition: Vg+/Vg
ISBN: 0701603704
Price: 20.00
Hardback. Melbourne of the 1920s - a crime-polluted city with a puritanical facade. No innocent citizen was really safe. Guns barked in Fitzroy vendettas; police were shot; gangs operated in hotels and brothels; citizens rioted on Melbourne Cup day. Through it all strode - and slipped - the notorious Squizzy Taylor, not a spot of blood on his immaculate clothing, not a speck of evidence to give his crimes away. Who shot the commercial traveller? Who really murdered Haines? Who was the hit-and-run driver in St Kilda Road? Who ran the two-up schools and brothels? Did Taylor burn the official stand at Caulfield the night before the Cup? Taylor and his associates smothered law and order with a network of crime. Their story shows the police at their most bamboozled; reporters at their most morally irresponsible - making Squizzy's name blacker only meant singing his praises in bigger headline print. Melbourne so doted on his every move that when he "went into smoke", he kept them gaily informed from his secret hideouts through letters to the press. Dolly, Lorna, Ida - a list of Taylor's paramours is almost as long as his crimes. He even became a film star! The activities of his gang brought to a head such public issues as keeping jurors' names secret, abortion and prostitution laws, police corruption, and capital punishment - thousands gathered outside Melbourne gaol the day Angus Murray hung. What was there in the spirit of Melbourne that kept the legend of Squizzy Taylor alive? Was it the thrill of saying self righteously, "There but for the grace of God..."; Was it a sympathy for the little man who could face the world laughing and die game? Was Leslie Taylor the 20th century's Ned Kelly, as the author suggests? Was he the boss of the underworld? Or was he just a bloody-minded little criminal who got what he deserved? Illus. + Note on Sources and Postscript. 220pp. 8vo. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. Lightly browned edges o/w Vg+ in Vg. dw. which has small closed tear to rear.


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