Alf Morley's Incredible Story as told to Peter A Blood

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     If you believe in " eye for an eye..." you'll just hate what you're going to read in this book. Fairness? Justice? Believe me, you'll be asking, "On whose behalf?". On the other hand, if you know what it’s like to be on the other side of the law, you'll laugh your head off a good part of the time while you're reading this!

     For myself, the stories that Alf has told me about his exploits were initially met with my usual strong scepticism. Until my research failed to find a single instance of any misrepresentation on Alf’s part in any part of this book. So many of his stories are in the public record. Trial transcripts, newspaper articles, autobiographies, and much else besides, all support the stories he tells us as being true.

     I find amazing both the innate skill and “bush cunning” Alf used to help himself out of his many legal and personal confrontations and the astonishing level of incompetence, corruption, and dysfunction exhibited by the many sections of the bureaucracy charged with exacting fair punishment for crime on behalf of  his victims. If you believe, as I do, that crime in Australia has for too long been treated in a farcically inadequate manner as regards consequential punishment, then this book will ably support your belief.

     On the other hand, there is much too, to please the “bleeding heart” fraternity. There are circumstances that many might see as cause for Alf’s choices in life. He acknowledges their existence but refuses to blame them. Oddly, I trust and support Alf as I would trust and support no other, though I make a poor bleeding heart. Alf is a contradiction in nature, a man driven by a simple set of principles and strong primal emotions. So many actions in his life can only be considered as reprehensible, yet his character is otherwise outstanding.
    You see, Alfie was a genuine "old style" crim, one who wouldn't give up
anything to the coppers, or anyone else, but who still lost his freedom time after time when the system got its act together. But when the system got a bit bent out of shape, or even when it was pushed a little out of shape, well...

So how come a bloke, famous for not saying a word to anyone about his life, spilled his story to me, a casual friend he'd known only a few years? Why did Alf want to tell me about his life as a career criminal? Me, with not even a teenage misdemeanour, much less a criminal record, to my name?

Well, I guess I was as straight a friend as Alf had ever had. I was someone he'd learned to trust and, strangely enough, given our vastly different backgrounds, he recognised that I trusted him in turn. I can tell you now that he's never given me the slightest reason to doubt his word to me, no matter how bizarre that might sound when you read his story.

The fact was, Alf was desperate. He needed help deciding what to do. His kids knew nothing of his real background. But he knew he had to do something, and soon, because, as curious teen-agers now, he knew they were bound to find out something in any number of ways. He didn't want to lose his kids. And he had to tell them the truth, because any lies would come out in an examination of the public record.

So we discussed the problem. Once I understood where he was coming from, I made it clear that he should tell his kids his real story right away. I knew Alf shared a wonderful rapport with his two kids. I'd never seen a shortage of love or respect in his home. I felt the chance of him losing them was non-existent.

Alf went away and thought about it. No matter what he did though, he just couldn't get himself to put everything to his kids. It was just too much and just too confronting. He saw his story as a real burden for  them.

We pondered and talked some more. I finally suggested, "If you can't tell them Alfie, maybe you should just write it all down for them...?"

He gave me a stare then. "Mate" he said, "I never got past 4th grade! How the fuck would I write down something like this?"

I was astounded. I'd never have realised if he hadn't told me. I thought for a moment. "Maybe I could give you a hand...." I said.

Part time, it took us longer than we thought - five years, actually. When we finished, we smiled a lot. We both felt our labour was well spent. Alf had his story for his kids. All he had to do was tell them the bare bones, give them the book and hope for the best. I wished him well and started work on new projects.

But what a story it really was! Maybe not told as Hemingway might have told it, but what a yarn! I can tell you, I laughed and I cried, I feared for Alf and I feared for others. Most of all while writing it, I looked forward to the next installment as told by Alf. Because I knew it was true and the truth was blowing my mind day after day. At times the revelations just took my breath away.

I knew there was no way this story would ever get into the public domain. Alfie had named all the names! Corrupt coppers, bent bookies, pickpockets, sadistic prison warders, psychotic prisoners, opportunistic escapees, murder, thievery, double-crossing conmen, cat burglars, drunken playwrights, famous kidnappers, infamous murderers... car bombers, prison riots, and much, much more! And then there was a character central to so much of the story – a seemingly incorruptible, thoroughly honest copper who saved Alf's bacon a few times over the years.

So we changed a few names. Who wants the trouble? But the stories are just as true nevertheless. And these stories are also a reflection of the times - a social commentary if you like. A slice of Australian history as seen through the eyes of someone who helped make it - from the wrong side of the law. And we changed these names because I felt the story was just too damned good for everyone to miss out on!

There's much in this book that law-makers should heed. There's even more that would-be wrong-doers should take note of and act upon.

But most of all, think of Alf's kids, confronted with the information in this book. Read it. Then tell me, what would your kids do if it was you? And how would your family react... if it was YOU?

Peter A Blood – Sunshine Coast QLD Australia

December 2007

Book Presentation

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Book Presentation

CHARACTERS & CAPERS - The Life and Times of Alf Morley - The Book

Peter A Blood

A few of Alfie’s character-building playmates who feature in his stories...

Stephen Bradley Kidnapper

Jim McNeill
Jail Playwright

John Andrew Stuart

Darcy Dugan
Armed Robber

Joe Meissner

“Chow” Hayes

Lancelot McGregor Saidler
Standover Man

Neddy Smith Murderer, etc...

Stephen Bradlley Neddy Smith Jim McNeill Ernie Good John Andrew Stuart Darcy Dugan Joe Meissner Chow Hayes Lancelot McGregor Saidler

Ernie Goode
Wine Bar Owner

Book Presentation