May Meeting – Domenico ‘Mick’ Cacciola
Domenico ‘Mick’ Cacciola is a decorated police officer who joined the police force in 1966. He received the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct in 1977 and the National Medal in 1991, among other awards. Now retired, he runs a consultancy service and enjoys time with his wife, three children and grandchildren. He is the author, with Ben Robertson, of his memoir The Second Father: An Insider’s Story of Cops, Crime and Corruption and Who’s Who in the Zoo: A Story of Corruption, Crooks and Killers.
The Second Father
In the 1950s Mick’s family migrated to Australia from war-torn Italy and, in the Sicilian tradition, as the eldest of four boys, he was considered ‘il secondo padre’, the second father. Growing up with racism and discrimination compelled him into a life fighting for justice and honour. After joining the Queensland Police force in the 1960s, Mick became a ‘sleeper’, risking his life infiltrating illegal gambling dens. In the 1970s he saw the ugly face of entrenched corruption while working in the seedy Licensing Branch. In these turbulent days – before the corruption-busting Fitzgerald Inquiry – he waged a long and bitter battle with now disgraced police commissioner Terry Lewis and the infamous bagman Sergeant Jack Herbert. Later, as a Special Branch detective, he spied on suspected Communists and used his muscle to break up illegal street marches.
In The Second Father Domenico Cacciola breaks a 35-year silence to tell the truth behind Australia’s most notorious era of crime and corruption.
Who’s Who in the Zoo
Who’s Who in the Zoo is a first-hand account of Domenico ‘Mick’ Cacciola’s life as a CIB and Special Branch detective over three decades. It captures the colour and grit of policing in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, which in its heyday was the sleazy epicentre of gambling and prostitution. Be transported to the pre- and post-Fitzgerald Inquiry eras: the crooked cops, the corrupt politicians, the stand-over men, the informants, the bank robbers, the drugs, the murderers, the crime and the violence.
From making the arrest in Australia’s first televised siege (the hijacking of the Seaworld helicopter) to being expected to chauffeur Commissioner Terry Lewis’s mother around, Cacciola has done – and seen – it all. He held a gun to the head of a hitman contracted by the Griffith mafia to kill Cacciola himself and grasped desperately as a woman trying to suicide off a bridge slipped from his fingers. Always an honest cop, Cacciola was told to turn a blind eye to the gambling and prostitution rife in the Valley. He did as he was told, for a while anyway…
Just as the bestselling Three Crooked Kings captured a nation’s interest, this in-your-face true-crime book will enthral.
Date: Saturday 17 May 2014
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm (1:30 pm for a 2:00 pm start)
Venue: Fradgley Hall (above the Burleigh Heads Library), Park Avenue (off Connor Street), Burleigh Heads QLD
Cost: Members $4.00 | Non-members $7.00
This includes afternoon tea and the special workshop.
Parking: Free parking is available in the car park next to the Burleigh Heads Library with access from Connor Street.