Coroner to examine killer cop Roger Rogerson's death

Miklos Bolza
AAP
**FILE** A May 9, 2016 file image of Roger Rogerson as he leaves the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney. Former NSW policemen Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara have been found guilty of murdering Sydney student Jamie Gao. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING
**FILE** A May 9, 2016 file image of Roger Rogerson as he leaves the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney. Former NSW policemen Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara have been found guilty of murdering Sydney student Jamie Gao. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING Credit: JC/AAPIMAGE

The last days of crooked killer cop Roger Rogerson will be probed by a coroner after he died while serving a life sentence over the cold-blooded murder of a drug dealer.

Rogerson died at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital on January 21, 2024 after suffering a brain aneurysm.

The 83-year-old had been serving a life sentence at Long Bay prison for the execution-style murder of drug dealer Jamie Gao in 2014.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Rogerson always claimed he was innocent and had no idea of a plan by fellow crooked former detective Glen McNamara to murder the 20-year-old.

He lost a series of appeals for his murder conviction, including a 2023 High Court ruling that ensured he would die in jail for the crime.

Mr Gao was lured to a darkened storage shed in the city’s south and shot dead before the former police officers attempted to cover their tracks by dumping his body at sea.

McNamara has also been jailed for life over the murder.

NSW Deputy State Coroner Elizabeth Ryan on Tuesday set down an inquest into Rogerson’s death to be held at Lidcombe Coroner’s Court from October 29.

Counsel assisting Matthew McAuliffe told the court that time was needed to collect additional material, serve a brief of evidence on any interested parties and apply for suppression orders.

Rogerson’s family is aware of the coronial proceedings but chose not to attend court on Tuesday.

The 83-year-old had been serving a life sentence for the execution-style murder of a drug dealer.
The 83-year-old had been serving a life sentence for the execution-style murder of a drug dealer. Credit: DM MB/AAPIMAGE

At one time, the disgraced detective was considered the NSW Police Force’s most decorated officer.

The culmination of his recognition came with his receipt of the coveted Peter Mitchell Award for outstanding police work in 1980.

But within six years, his career had unravelled spectacularly.

In 1981 he was controversially found responsible for the fatal shooting of another young drug dealer, Warren Lanfranchi, but deemed to have acted in the line of duty.

Lanfranchi’s girlfriend, sex worker Sallie-Anne Huckstepp, claimed that Rogerson deliberately killed the young man over a drug-related dispute involving corrupt police.

Ms Huckstepp was later found drowned in a murder case that remains unsolved.

Rogerson was also implicated in the attempted execution of NSW undercover operative Michael Drury after the decorated drug-squad detective declined to accept a bribe in exchange for evidence tampering in a heroin-trafficking trial.

Drury was shot twice through the kitchen window at his home on Sydney’s north shore.

Rogerson was charged but eventually acquitted of the attack in 1989, although by then he had been kicked out of the force for depositing $110,000 in bank accounts under a false name.

Latest Edition

Friday 19 July The Nightly.

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 19 July 202419 July 2024

Airlines, banks, major companies fall victim to the very system designed to protect our cybersecurity.