Part One: The Razorhurst Wars


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It’s 1926, and Sydney’s underworld is held tightly in the hands of Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine. But down in Melbourne? They’ve got a fella called Joseph Theodore Leslie Taylor running the show, or ‘Squizzy’ as he was better known. Squizzy Taylor is a bonafide gangster in every sense, backed up by a handful of savage henchmen and crooks, known as The Fitzroy Gang.

Norman Bruhn is one of Squizzy’s closest confidants. Well, he was. Until…he crossed him. Usually, a betrayal of the kingpin would cost you your life, but Norman Bruhn had been spared, under one condition. That he get the hell out of Melbourne quick-smart, and never, ever return.

So Norman, his wife, and their two sons pack up and head north, to Sydney. A fresh start, he thinks. This man is a hardened gangster, a standover man, thief, and pimp, and he doesn’t think much of two women running the streets of Sydney. Norman thinks he can shake things up around Darlinghurst. He wants to take a slice of the pie that in his mind, has been in the wrong hands for too long.

It doesn’t take him long to assemble a crew of villains, a gang who would roam the streets of East Sydney carrying not guns to intimidate their enemies, but cut-throat razors. Sharp enough to cause serious damage to anyone caught on the wrong side of Norman Bruhn or one of his boys. Not only are these razors serious weapons, they’re a cheap and easy way to protect yourself, and fly under the radar of police, who are busy targeting mobsters carrying illegal firearms.

Momentarily, life will get more difficult for Tilly and Kate under the disruption their new Victorian competitor brings. But Norman Bruhn is about to bite off more than he can chew. Kate and Tilly are already in a never-ending battle to dominate Darlinghurst and its surrounds. This town? It just ain’t big enough for three of them.

In a few short months, Norman Bruhn will be dead. And it will be just the beginning of bloodshed between East Sydney’s cruelest and most cunning gangsters.


Host: Emma Gillespie

Guests: Larry Writer & Leigh Straw

Producer: Gia Moylan

Audio Producer: Rhiannon Mooney


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