Iddles to talk about book ‘The Good Cop’
THE friends of the Euroa Library have once again responded to a request from readers in selecting their first guest speaker for the year.
The book ‘The Good Cop’ is the biography of this country’s best known and most successful homicide detective, Ron Iddles, who has spent more than 25 years in the Victorian Homicide Squad.
During those years he was involved in the investigation of 320 homicides with a success rate of 95 per cent solved and a conviction rate of 99 per cent.
He is currently head of the Victorian Police Association and retires from that position and the Police Force in February.
Ron Iddles was raised on a dairy farm in Rochester in country Victoria.
Like most country boys he grew up playing football, and due to his imposing height, played as a ruckman and forward for the Echuca Football Club first XVIII while still a teenager.
It was not unusual for Ron to play for both the firsts and seconds on the same day.
He was no stranger to hard work, and would milk 120 cows before breakfast then cycle eight kilometres to the school bus stop. Weekends would be spent carting hay.
It was that early work ethic that would stand him in great stead in whatever career he chose- and all he ever wanted to be was a policeman.
After graduating (as Dux) from the Police Academy Ron spent five years in uniform before transferring to the Fitzroy CIB.
Six months later he was working full time at the Homicide Squad, where he impressed his superiors and colleagues as a totally fearless and tireless worker.
His rise through the ranks was rapid, but dealing with murder daily takes its toll on even the most skilled investigators and Ron quit the force in 1989 at the age of thirty-four.
His second love had been machinery, and he began his own successful trucking business. Five years later, however, the Chief Inspector of Police persuaded him to return to the force.
Ron sold his trucks and reentered the force as a constable.
Within three years he has worked his way up to his former rank; Detective Senior Sergeant, and leading his own team.
Ron immediately set about clearing up scores of major investigations through dogged determination and a belief that he owed it to the victims and their families.
When working on a case he would work 30 to 50 hours straight to achieve a quick and successful result. His team would loyally follow him.
At the Homicide Squad he earned the nickname ‘The Great Man’, not only because of his reputation for solving cases, but the unique way he went about it and the impact he had on the families of victims, the legal system, and the criminals themselves.
A spokesperson from the Crime Victims Support Association de- scribes Ron Iddles as “a fearless, physically strong, mentally tough policeman, and a humane and compassionate man.”
To the criminals he had the reputation of playing it straight with them, and also earned the nickname ‘Honest Ron.’
His relaxed, conversation-style interviewing technique resulted in many criminals simply opening up and confessing to him. Even when interviewing some of the country’s most dangerous criminals, Ron never altered his technique.
Many of this state’s most shocking homicide cases landed on Ron Iddles’ desk bringing with them considerable media attention. As he successfully solved these cases the media began to focus on him and he became a high profile figure on television news bulletins and documentaries.
Ron also became a popular figure with viewers who were drawn to his empathy and honesty.
While never comfortable with that level of attention, Ron recognised the role the media could play in assisting the police and made himself available when requested. Despite his thoughts being totally focused on catching a killer, Ron treated reporters and journalists with patience and courtesy.
Ron left his beloved Homicide Squad in 2014 to become secretary of the Victorian Police Association.
However, before he took up that position he had one last case he had promised to solve.
In 2012, as head of the newlyformed Homicide Cold Case Division, Ron was asked to re-open the file on an old unsolved homicide.
Shepparton teenager Michelle Buckingham was murdered in 1983, and in 2013 Ron promised her mother to re-open the case and solve it.
At that time the Homicide Squad was stretched to the limit due to the gangland killings.
With no resources at his disposal Ron worked the case alone and in his free time.
A year later, 31 years after her murder, Ron Iddles flew to Brisbane and arrested Michelle Buckingham’s killer.
The Great Man had kept his promise and solved his final case.
Ron Iddles has earned numerous awards during his career, including the Police Commissioner’s Citation for Bravery.
The citation was awarded to Ron after he had been in a physical fight for his life while arresting a dangerous escapee.
In 2015 he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his charity work and support for the families of victims of crime.
He has raised over $1.5 million for charity through speaking engagements yet has never charged a fee for his appearances.
The Friends of the Euroa Library are proud the Ron Iddles accepted an invitation to speak at a literary dinner in Euroa a week prior to his retirement.
Tickets for the dinner have sold out and The Already Read Bookshop is taking names on a waiting list in the event of any cancellations from ticket holders.
Ron will be speaking at the Third Age Club Hall, Euroa at 6.30pm on February 15.
AUTHOR: Homicide Squad detective Ron Iddles will be a guest speaker at the Euroa Third Age Hall on February 15.