True love for crime
AUTHOR Tara Moss is excited about the new series of true crime show Tough Nuts because it includes a female criminal for the first time.
Australian criminals profiled in this series include George Freeman, Nikolai Radev and Tilly Devine. And it’s Devine that fascinates Moss, the show’s host, the most.
Moss ( pictured) says Devine, played in the show by Toni Pearen, was not only a brutal, violent criminal but smart enough to evade the law on a technicality.
‘‘ What I find the most compelling about her story is she was this razor-wielding brothel madam at a time when brothels were illegal but the law said a man cannot benefit from the earnings of a prostitute and as a woman they couldn’t prosecute her for it,’’ she says. ‘‘ They really didn’t see Tilly Devine coming.’’ The well credentialled Moss, who is also a certified private investigator and studied at the FBI Academy at Quantico, says Devine is the first female criminal to make it on to the show.
‘‘ We have our first female tough nut [ this season] and I was very excited to have her on because I did feel female criminality should feature because it is a fact of life,’’ she says.
‘‘ It’s less common than male criminality but we still have some explosive examples and Tilly Devine was one of those.’’
Moss says she’s always been fascinated by the dark side of human nature and was interested in Gothic horror novels, Agatha Christie books, the Perry Mason television series and horror movies from a young age.
‘‘ I’m the type of person that feels bad if I even insult someone let alone commit a crime, so I would be a terrible criminal but that doesn’t stop me from being fascinated by the people who make those choices,’’ she says.
This week’s episode focuses on John Frederick ‘‘ Chow Hayes’’, known as Australia’s first gangster. Hayes ruled the Sydney underworld for almost 30 years.
Tough Nuts, CI Network, Sunday, 12.30pm