News National How two policemen got caught for the murder of Jamie Gao

How two policemen got caught for the murder of Jamie Gao

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One was Australia’s most infamous rogue cop, the other a self-styled whistleblower on police corruption.

Now Roger Rogerson and his business partner Glen McNamara have both been found guilty of murdering 20-year-old drug supplier Jamie Gao in a sensational four-month trial.

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How did the two former detectives bungle their crime so badly, leaving a trail of evidence on CCTV?

May 19, 2014: The set-up

At 7:51pm, Jamie Gao arrives at the Meridian Hotel in Hurstville in Sydney’s south to make final arrangements for a drug deal with former police detective turned true-crime writer and private investigator, Glen McNamara.

They walk to a quiet area of the pub near the pool tables, have a conversation, shake hands and leave at 8:23pm. It is the last of 27 meetings between the pair in 2014. In 18 hours, Gao will be dead.

May 20, 2014: The murder

Dressed in a hoodie, cap and sunglasses, McNamara drives Gao into a deserted industrial estate in Padstow in Sydney’s south-west. He punches in the entry code at the front gate of Rent-A-Space. It is 1:42pm.

At 1:46pm, McNamara pulls up outside storage shed 803, carefully parking so the back door of the car aligns with the storage shed roller door. He opens the car’s back door and sneaks Gao into the shed.

Three minutes later, a man with a distinctive gait ambles over to the unit, making no attempt to conceal his identity. It is Australia’s most notorious rogue cop, Roger Rogerson, aged 73.

At 1:58pm, Rogerson moves his car in front of McNamara’s. McNamara emerges five minutes later, collects a surfboard bag from his car and takes it into the shed.

McNamara drags the surfboard bag, now containing Gao’s body, out of the storage shed at 2:18pm. Rogerson helps him lift it into the boot of the car. The two men drive away.

Two hours after leaving the storage unit with Gao’s body, Rogerson and McNamara enter Kennards Hire in Taren Point. They hire a block and tackle to help them lift a heavy load.

Another two hours later, cameras in the lift at McNamara’s Cronulla apartment complex capture him and Rogerson with a six-pack of beer. They have already moved Gao’s body into McNamara’s boat in the garage downstairs.

May 21, 2014: The fishing trip

The morning after the murder, at 7:28am, McNamara tows the boat out of his apartment complex, parks on the street, then walks back inside.

At 7:32am, McNamara and Rogerson are seen in the lift as they leave the Cronulla apartment with two fishing rods. Their trial heard they then dumped Gao’s body at sea.

May 22, 2014: The aftermath

Two days after the murder, Rogerson and McNamara appear to continue life as normal. They have drinks at the Crown Hotel at Revesby with friends. McNamara is seen walking to the table carrying drinks. Rogerson reaches over and moves a hat out of the way.

May 23-24, 2014: The investigation

Just before 10pm on May 23, McNamara returns home in the white station wagon used to transport Gao’s body.

At 4:50am on May 24, just over six hours after McNamara parked the station wagon, police secretly seize it from his car park.

Police find 2.78 kilograms of the drug ice under the front seat of the station wagon. In court, police allege Rogerson and McNamara conspired to kill Gao to steal the drugs.

May 25, 2014: McNamara arrested

Five days after Gao’s death, police pull McNamara over while he is driving in Kyeemagh and charge him with murder and supplying drugs.

May 26, 2014: The body is found

Gao’s body is found wrapped in tarpaulin floating off Shelly Beach at Cronulla. His feet can be seen sticking out.

Police carry Gao’s body after retrieving it from the water.

May 27, 2014: Rogerson arrested

Seven days after Gao’s murder, Rogerson is arrested at his Padstow home in front of a waiting media pack. He is charged with murder and supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs.


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