On 16 December 1929, at the Rothbury colliery near Newcastle, thousands of miners protesting against an illegal wage cut were fired on by police with tragic results. But the battle began long before the bullets started flying. For most of that year, these miners had been at the centre of a bitter battle that toppled a federal government, saw the NSW state government use basher gangs of police and resulted in a new Labor prime minister committing an act of political betrayal — all just as the economic after-shocks of the Wall Street Crash were starting to be felt. The police shooting would result in one of Australia’s most stunning front pages — which was actually a fake. Then, ten years later, Rothbury would be the scene of a mysterious bombing — and another brazen case of media manipulation.