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The Night Dragon

Why did it take over 40 years for the murderers of Barbara McCulkin and her daughters to be convicted? Matthew Condon in his book ‘The Night Dragon’ tracks the events prior to the disappearance of the McCulkins to the final court cases, which sentenced Vincent O’Dempsey and Garry Dubois to life sentences for the kidnapping, rape and finally the slaughter of Barbara and her girls.

The author, by interviewing people who were ‘players’ in the underworld and police force during 1950s-1970s, has pieced together a terrifying picture of O’Dempsey’s character and his criminal life. By exploring the relationship between Vince O’Dempsey, corrupt police and the Whisky Au Go Go fire, which resulted in the loss of fifteen innocent lives, he unravels the reasons as to why it took over forty years for Barbara’s family to achieve some justice for the events which befell her and her daughters: their bodies have never been recovered.

True Crime readers will find this a most intriguing book as it explains, why O’Dempsey was considered gangland’s most feared villain; speculation persisted over the years that he is responsible for many more missing (presumed murdered) people. It also highlights the power he had over people, resulting in his ability to deny involvement in the trio’s disappearance for over forty years and his capacity to almost get away with this and many other heinous crimes.

AuthorMatthew Condon
PublisherUniversity of Queensland Press
ISBN978 0 7022 6020 9
ReleasedMarch 2019