CRIME CULTURE: BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival, Aug 31 – Sept 2

CRIME CULTURE: It’s a festival like no other featuring a line-up of ex-cons, former judges, detectives, crime-fiction novelists, forensic psychiatrists, true crime writers, psychologists and crime reporters. And it’s on this weekend in Sydney.

The BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival is back by popular demand for its second consecutive year, with a stellar rogues’ gallery aiming to tackle all things crime and corruption.

In a potential festival highlight, ex-armed robber Carl Synnerdahl will reveal all to psychologist Tim Watson-Munro about how he fooled judges, prison officers – and even renowned eye doctor Fred Hollows – into believing he was blind. Synnerdahl’s ruse was eventually transformed into the feature film, Hoodwink.

Sydney’s horrible history of unsolved gay-hate killings and bashings will also come under the microscope, with a panel event featuring ex-cop turned true crime author, Duncan McNab, and former detective Steven Page who led an operative unit in the 1990s tasked with solving some of the crimes.

Other events and talks will feature some of Australia’s best-known crime writers, working across a diverse range of styles and genres, from real-life investigative journalism to noirish novels and true crime thrillers.

Political journalist Laurie Oakes will be in discussion with Malcolm Farr about politics and badness, while investigative journalist Joanne McCarthy will be in conversation with Father Frank Brennan on the child abuse royal commission she helped bring about.

Emerging crime-fiction authors such as Anna Snoekstra will discuss their new works, while festival organiser and all-round crime buff, Michael Duffy, will talk with the experienced forensic psychiatrist and author Donald Grant about the killer lurking inside all of us.

Anna Snoekstra’s first novel ‘Only Daughter’ was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Awards in 2017

Meanwhile, former judge Brian Knox SC will be joined by psychologist Gabrielle Duffy and Wendy Field to discuss how the seeds of much criminal activity are planted in childhood and even earlier.

This year’s festival will be officially launched on Friday, August 31 with the Danger Prize night. The evening will feature a crime trivia quiz involving some of the festival’s guest speakers as well as the inaugural awarding of the Danger Prize to this year’s creator of the best TV series, book or film about crime and Sydney.

Event organisers say the now-annual festival aims to explore what crime can tell us about humanity, both contemporary and historical.

“Sydney is particularly appropriate for such exploration because it was founded by convicts and their guards.

“It has been significantly affected by crime and corruption for much of its history.”

True Crime News Weekly is aware that there are limited $100 all-day passes available for Sunday and $20 tickets available for talks and events on both Saturday and Sunday.

Event: BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival
Date: August 31-September 2, 2018
Location: Justice & Police Museum, Phillip St & Albert St, Sydney NSW 2000

For more information and event listings, visit:



About Serkan Ozturk 117 Articles
Serkan Ozturk is an investigative journalist and the publisher and editor of True Crime News Weekly. His journalism has previously been featured by the likes of RT News, Sydney Morning Herald and Crikey. He is a member of the MEAA.

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