Crime and “chasing bad guys” wasn’t always in the cards for Gary Jubelin.
As a 22-year-old working on a building site, he saw police chasing a bad guy through the street and thought that looked like something he wouldn’t mind doing.
“It was more of a light bulb thought and it looked like more fun than working in construction, so I signed up to the [police] force the next day,” he said.
More than three decades later, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin of the NSW Homicide Squad, which works from Parramatta, currently leads the investigation into the disappearance of three-year-old William Tyrell who went missing almost three years ago.
“We’re doing a lot of things that don’t hit the public’s attention and go just as hard on people,” he said.
“We base our investigation on facts, we don’t speculate, but we come up with theories.”
Jubelin’s respect for those he helps is legendary, especially on the mid-north coast where he has been supporting the families of the three murdered Bowraville children (Colleen Walker, 16, Evelyn Greenup, 4, and Clinton Speedy-Duroux, 16) since he first walked onto the case in 1997.
“At the time I had a young family and was considering getting out of homicide but I was sent up there and spent the next 18 months working intensively on the case,” he said.
“I thought I understood Aboriginal people, but going there showed me a whole new world...I don’t like injustice. I couldn’t believe the way the families had been treated and was shocked, but understood the resentment the families had for the police.
“Homicide is the pinnacle for me – it’s my passion.”
He said it was very raw and confronting to watch himself being portrayed as one of the central characters in the fifth season of Nine Network’s crime drama series Underbelly – Underbelly: Badness.
The series depicted the criminal activities of Australian kidnapper, murderer and drug-dealer Anthony Perish’s (aka ‘Rooster’) criminal activities around the Sydney suburb of Lindfield and adjacent areas, and followed the NSW Police ‘Strike Force Tuno’, who finally apprehended him after almost a decade of intensive surveillance and informant information.
Jubelin led that team and was successful in convicting five people for the abduction and murder of Terry Falconer.
“I count it as a particular career high for myself and my team because we were consistently told we would not be able to solve it,” he said.
Homicide is the pinnacle for me – it’s my passion.Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin
This weekend he will present at the inaugural BAD: Sydney Crime Writers Festival, which explores what crime can tell us about humanity, both contemporary and historical.
Speakers and writers hail from the worlds of crime writing, film, investigative journalism and forensic psychology and include judges, high-profile lawyers and detectives, who will discuss Sydney’s unique relationship with crime.
Hosted at the Justice and Police Museum this weekend (eptember 2 to 3), Bad: Sydney Crime Writers Festival, is the brainchild of academic Denis Tracey and writer Michael Duffy.
“Sydney is a city founded by criminals and their guards,” Mr Tracey said.
“Its convict culture helped shape egalitarian and larrikin Australia. From the Rum Corps of the First Fleet to the razor gangs of the 1920s, the colourful characters of the 1970s and the drive-by shootings that came later, you cannot understand this city without comprehending its vital criminal subculture.
“BAD: Sydney Crime Writers Festival is an exploration of the dark side that is part of being human.”
Over the two days, sessions cover advice for writers with Malla Nunn and Caroline Overington, bushrangers, crime in 1920s Sydney, corruption in the NSW police force, and the groundbreaking legacy of 1980s journalist Bob Bottom.
As a special feature, Dendy Cinema will host a screening of the modern Australian outback noir film, Ivan Sen’s Goldstone, starring Aaron Pedersen, Jacki Weaver, David Wenham and David Gulpilil, introduced by Sue Turnbull with a Q&A after the screening.
For the full program visit BadSydney.com.