Writers at Stanton - Phillip Roope and Kevin Meagher
12-Feb-2020 • 1pm
Shark Arm - Phillip Roope and Kevin Meagher
In an aquarium at Coogee Beach in 1935, a 4.4 metre tiger shark glided warily past onlookers, freshly caught just one week earlier off the coast of Sydney. To their horror, the shark suddenly vomited up a human arm tattooed with two men boxing, and the ripple effect continues to this day.
This dark, compelling story is full of high-speed boat chases, gunshots, police collusion, forgery, drugs and smuggling around Sydney Harbour. One of Australia’s most famous cold cases, it has eluded many investigators over decades.
When ex-boxer Jim Smith was murdered at Cronulla, a horrific warning was sent. Then his arm resurfaced and with so much at stake, the guilty closed ranks and gradually—with intimidation, money, and the murder of another mate who they feared would betray them— they re-imposed their control. Those who knew the truth took their secrets with them to their graves.
Authors Phillip Roope and Kevin Meagher have forensically reviewed the entire police investigation, the court documents, the frenzied newspaper reports, and unearthed previously unseen photographs. They believe they have uncovered the truth behind this extraordinary tale of power and brutality across the divide of Sydney’s upper and under classes before World War II.