Born in Lang Lang, Victoria, in 1911, charismatic crook and killer James Robert Walker pretty much wrote the playbook that Mark “Chopper” Read would later follow. Finally convicted of murder in Melbourne in 1953, he made headlines by demanding to be hanged.
Denied his death wish, Walker then planned a massacre in Pentridge Prison – setting out his reasons in a book-length confession he’d written in secret, in which he also admitted to unsolved murders, shootings and robberies.
The publication of “The Robert Walker Story” in newspapers around Australia enthralled hundreds of thousands of readers, though his life and times would soon be inexplicably forgotten — until now. In part one of this three-part episode, we follow Walker in the 1930s as he rejects his respectable upbringing for a career as a petty criminal and cold-blooded gunman responsible for two murders. For part two, click here