Pyjama murder

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Last updated on June 24th, 2017 at 10:16 am

A Chandleresque scene in wartime Sydney.

(From the Justice & Police Museum archives)

Posted by Tim B. on 04/21/2008 at 12:16 AM
    1. Reminds of the Police Van that was always a staple of the Perth Royal Show in the 60s.  You were supposed to be over 16 to get but being tall I got away with it.

      It was a collection of similar photos and exhibits, intended to shock the populace into living a blameless life.

      Fascinating, but failed (not with me, I hasten to add!).

      Posted by walterplinge on 2008 04 21 at 12:25 AM • permalink


    1. Pyjama murder? Does Dan Rather have an alibi?

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2008 04 21 at 12:25 AM • permalink


    1. OK, it’s the wrong era, but it reminds me of Dave Warner’s (from the suburbs) “Big Bad Blood”.  There must be loads of Aussie period Noir, but I’ve never read anything else.

      Posted by Mr Hackenbacker on 2008 04 21 at 01:17 AM • permalink


    1. Looks like Dave Marr during one of his hissy fits

      Posted by Nic on 2008 04 21 at 01:24 AM • permalink


    1. Wow!, I was reminded of this famous Pyjama Murder.

      The newsreel is well worth watching.

      Posted by Pogria on 2008 04 21 at 01:25 AM • permalink


    1. Looks like Lenny the Leaf, who ran the Arugula racket on the East Side.  That is, until Don Radicchio moved in.  Now he sleeps with the endives.

      Posted by cuckoo on 2008 04 21 at 02:26 AM • permalink


    1. #6 cuckoo. LOL. Thanks for that. I’m also thankful that I am a regular reader here so that I understood it.
      Talk about esoterica!

      Posted by Skeeter on 2008 04 21 at 02:36 AM • permalink


    1. #5 Pogs, I’m old enough to have seen that one in the news. It was very famous at the time.

      Tim, I wrongly thought your “chandleresque” link was going to take me to this chandler crime.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2008 04 21 at 02:48 AM • permalink


    1. The photograph does have a surreal quality, such as you’re looking at something that you’re not sure is real.

      Thanks for the link Tim, that blog is probably worth keeping around.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2008 04 21 at 03:11 AM • permalink


    1. The Justice and Police Museum in Sydney, near Circular Quay, is well worth a visit.

      It’s really fascinating, and the exhibits have always been top notch.

      Not a lot of people know about it though.

      Posted by ann j on 2008 04 21 at 04:25 AM • permalink


    1. Chandler would have rips shreds off that ridiculous academic-style eight-point analysis. Death is ugly and brutal, not surreal.

      The image reminded me of a still from a surrealist movie.

      How can death remind you of a movie? Of course it has to be ‘surrealist’. You heard that one coming.

      It also recalled the work of night photographers Brandt, Weegee and Brassai. Surrealism’s obsession with bodily contortion, irrationality, violence, and nightmare, hovers as a putative presence.

      Christ almighty. Murder as post-modern photography-as-art analysis.

      Posted by ilibcc on 2008 04 21 at 04:31 AM • permalink


    1. I don’t suppose anyone here ever visited the Police Rescue Squad museum in Marrickville in the late 70s?
      It was fascinating. Some of the displays were used at the Easter Show.

      Posted by kae on 2008 04 21 at 04:42 AM • permalink


    1. #10
      That’s probably where the PRS museum stuff is now. Thanks for the information.All the budding forensic investigators amongst us will be making the effort to visit.The site is interesting, I’m disappointed there’s not more to see there.I think the author of the comment on the picture reads a lot into it. There would have been more evidence, and there’d be a reason to take that particular photograph from that direction…

      Posted by kae on 2008 04 21 at 04:45 AM • permalink


    1. Great photo.
      “Surreal” is an over-used word, but it applies here.

      Posted by daddy dave on 2008 04 21 at 06:14 AM • permalink


    1. C’mon people, he is on his back and wearing pyjamas.  It’s called sleep.

      Posted by surfmaster on 2008 04 21 at 06:28 AM • permalink


    1. That’s nothin’.

      I’ve got one of a guy who managed to commit suicide with a band-saw. Messy.

      Wouldn’t be my first choice, no.

      Posted by mojo on 2008 04 21 at 10:15 AM • permalink


    1. Don’t you have an Australian Perry Mason?
      Like, some Raymond Burr type with a cork hat and a beer?

      Posted by Merlin on 2008 04 21 at 02:50 PM • permalink


    1. #17 Merlin

      I think the closest we have is Roger “The Dodger” Rogerson.

      Not as dignifed as Perry Mason, or Harry Callaghan for that matter, but got results.


      hard on bank robbers wot pinch stuff from the farmers bank

      Posted by Pickles on 2008 04 21 at 06:24 PM • permalink


    1. The second clip had a certain Dirty Harry quality about it.
      I like it. Give me more.

      Posted by Merlin on 2008 04 21 at 06:30 PM • permalink


    1. The Brotherhood


      Posted by Pickles on 2008 04 21 at 06:48 PM • permalink


  1. #11 wrote:

    Chandler would have rips shreds off that ridiculous academic-style eight-point analysis. Death is ugly and brutal, not surreal.

    Considering Chandler’s style used lots of lyrical and metaphorical imagery, like:

    Here and there a light hung in the darkness, like the last orange.

    I think that the very succinct and sensitive analysis of the pajama photograph would have appealed to him.

    Mr.Hackenbacker: I don’t know about loads of Aussie noir but the best I’ve ever read is by Sydney-based author, academic and blues guitarist, Peter Doyle. Check out “Amaze Your Friends”, and “The Devil’s Jump”.

    And, irony of ironies, he works at the Museum Tim linked to:

    He also works as a part time curator at the Justice & Police Museum in Sydney. He curated the exhibition ‘Crimes of Passion’ (2002-2003) and more recently ‘City of Shadows: inner city crime and mayhem, 1912-1948’ (November 2005-February 2007) which examined inner-Sydney in the first half of the twentieth century via police crime and accident scene photographs.

    Posted by Abu Chowdah on 2008 04 22 at 05:39 AM • permalink