Born in 1935 in Sydney, Kevin John Simmonds was a teen rebel without a cause, who’d do time in two juvenile prisons before serving a three-year stretch as an adult in Goulburn Gaol. Released in February 1959, he embarked on a crime wave that saw him steal the equivalent of $1.1m worth of goods in just four months. For these offences, Simmonds got a 15-year sentence, and, in court, vowed to escape. He did just that, breaking out of Long Bay Gaol on the 9th of October 1959, triggering the biggest manhunt in NSW history — and the first Australian media circus of the television age.
In 1931 John Kennedy, his mind unravelling partly as a result of being sent white feathers for supposed cowardice during the Great War, took to the streets of Bondi Junction with a rifle. A number of young Sydney police responded, and two would pay the ultimate price.
In the early 1950s, Sydney teenager Jeanette Elphick was a modelling sensation, so beautiful that she was nicknamed “The Face”. At 17, she made her local movie debut with Chips Rafferty in an Australian cowboy flick called The Phantom Stockman. In 1955 Jeanette got her big break when she worked with Bob Hope, during his first tour Down Under, and the veteran funnyman recommended she go to Hollywood. She did — and became an overnight star under the name Victoria Shaw, thanks to her role with Tyrone Power in The Eddy Duchin Story. More good roles followed — in film noirs The Crimson Kimono and Edge Of Eternity, biopic I Aim For The Stars and sci-fi hit Westworld. But her fame came at a price.