Michael Edwards prepared this report.
I get blamed for so many things, and it's horrible that this should happen.
That's Abe Saffron in 1978, defending himself when South Australia's Attorney General described him as the principal character of organized crime in Australia.
He was labeled many things in his time; a businessman, a benefactor to charities, but it's the label of vicious gangster that one of Australia's best crime reporters, Andrew Rule, thinks fits best.
When we say, you know, colorful identity and old-style crook and all these things, these are euphemisms, which cover and probably soften the image of people who were responsible, either directly or indirectly, for very vicious crimes.
Abe Saffron got his start running a nightclub in Sydney's King Cross during World War II, his clubs were the go-to place for thousands of US servicemen looking for recreation, both legal and illegal.
He eventually established a multi million dollar business empire, however according to Andrew Rule, Abe Saffron and his colleagues didn't play by the rules.
They ruled by fear. They would collect debts for over illegal activities.
They would used armed people who were willing to injure people or to kill them, to collect debts or to dominate a certain industry, whether it be gaming machines or brothels or strip clubs or whatever it might be, it's all very much like the Sopranos, really.
Abe Saffron might have given up using street muscle, but he wasn't afraid of using legal muscle to help with this venture.
Andrew Rule was among many journalists to feel the sting of Saffron's lawyers via defamation cases.
He says his death will enable the real story to be told.
Now that he's dead it's quite clear that people will link him without fear with the death of Juanita Nielsen, I believe, the Sydney heiress, who was ... opposed certain development in Kings Cross and vanished, most certainly murdered.
And that's not the only one.
He was also, I'm told by very good sources, responsible for the torching of Luna Park, one of the rides at Luna Park in Sydney, in which some children died, this was being burned off presumably for insurance purposes. He was never held accountable for that. Again, now he's dead, that's a story that can be pursued.
Crime reporter Andrew Rule ending that report from Michael Edwards.