HOLLY BYRNES OUT OF THE BOX
THERE have been a few portraits of Sydney crime king, the late George Freeman. Penning his autobiography in 1988, the man himself admitted to getting a rough start in life, which led to petty crimes and several stints in the violent world of the NSW juvenile justice system.
The extent of that horror period has only just been revealed with an ABC investigation this month exposing the abuse – physical, sexual and psychological – meted out at an institution for boys in Tamworth.
When Channel 9’s Underbelly franchise turned its attention to Freeman’s reign in A Tale Of Two Cities, it was former Flying Doctors star Peter O’brien who showcased him as a violent standover man who ordered killings but kept his hands clean of the drug trade.
He had all the trimmings of the American-style mafioso: white suits, gold jewellery, flash cars and fast women.
In Tough Nuts: Australia’s Hardest Criminals, the producers paint Freeman as a man who lived up to his potential as an accomplished
Crime boss: George Freeman