Underbelly: articles

Roger Rogerson rates Underbelly

ROGER Rogerson is a former NSW detective who was at the heart of Sydney's gangland drug wars in the eighties.

I never liked Melbourne or their crooks. And watching Underbelly last night reminded me why.

It wouldn't have happened up here in Sydney like down there.

We had more control over the crooks up here, and I reckon most of the crooks would agree.

But as entertainment it was pretty good with more sex than violence.

There was great tit.

It has to be remembered it's a dramatisation and as a drama goes, it was good.

I thought Gerald Kennedy played a great "Munster", a bloke who I knew.

He looked real and I think the Munster was that type of guy, pretty humorous with a tough streak.

I mean he wasn't called the Munster for nothing but Kennedy got the spirit of Graham Kinniburgh.

All the guys seem to have their characters down pretty well.

The guy playing Carl Williams has got an amazing similarity to the real Carl Williams.

He played a fat, little jerk really well, which is exactly what I reckon Carl Williams would have been like.

And like crooks they had nice wives, kids at home and a nice family background.

Then they would go out with their good-looking girlfriends and be scum.

In that way it's pretty close to the real way crooks are.

If I had to make a comparison to Blue Murder I reckon it stacks up pretty well.

Like Blue Murder it's based on some facts with a fair amount of journalistic license and colour.

It's hard to compare the gangland wars of Melbourne in the 90's to Sydney in the 80's. Much like different eras in cricket, it's all changed now. The crooks and the cops aren't the same anymore. The control has gone.

We had nine killed in a year which was pretty good. It cleaned the streets up a bit and saved the taxpayer money, instead of sending them to jail.

It took me back a little, it's been 24 years since I left the police force.

For entertainment, I'd give it four out of five. I'll be watching again next week and at least it's home grown.

By Roger Rogerson
February 14, 2008
The Daily Telegraph