Who was the real Abe Saffron? Was he this person:

“Abraham Gilbert Saffron was like Chicago’s Al Capone; in a life of organised crime, the only thing they got him on was tax fraud…” — Kate McClymont in The Sydney Morning Herald

“Some will try to remember him as a likeable rogue. He wasn’t. He was scum.” — John Silvester in The Age

“Saffron’s empire blossomed because his payroll included police chiefs, magistrates, judges, solicitors, barristers, politicians and physicians. They took his bribes and they took the free tickets to his strip shows and all-male revues.” — Alex Mitchell in the Sun-Herald

“… he was Mr Sin and there isn’t any doubt about that. You just had to be careful what you said about him because he used the libel laws to shut people up.” — Evan Whitton on ABC Radio’s AM

Or was he this person:

“… in private life Saffron was a quiet-living Jewish businessman who donated generously to Jewish charities and was on excellent terms with his neighbours in the ritzy Sydney suburb of Vaucluse.” — DD McNicoll in The Australian

Now that he is dead, and no longer able to resort to the comforting protection of Australian libel laws, the truth about Abe Saffron can finally emerge. The bribes, the standover tactics, the murder contracts — the details matter and the real life story of Saffron matters.

RIP.

Peter Fray

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