A compelling true story of homicide and injustice in an outback town.
At first it looked like a swag, said the grader driver. He'd found the body just off the road outside the outback town of Katherine in the Northern Territory. Police quickly identified the dead man as Ray Nicefero, who'd recently appeared in court for aggravated assault and breaching a domestic violence order.
Three days later, three young local suspects were arrested, including nineteen-year-old Indigenous man Zak Grieve. A month later, Ray's former partner was also arrested. But when the accused faced court in the rough justice system of the Territory, it quickly became apparent that there were few provable facts to be had. Depending on who was talking, a loving friend could be an abusive monster, a battered wife a conniving temptress. And a joke between mates about the best way to dispose of a body could be a conspiracy to murder.
The outcome of the case was no less murky, thanks to the Territory's mandatory sentencing laws, which, the judge said, 'brings about injustice'.
Mandatory Murder is the compelling true story of murder in an outback town and the extraordinary aftermath. It raises several important questions, including how an Indigenous man who didn't attend a murder can be sentenced to jail for twenty years.
About the Author
Steven Schubert has spent most of his career as a reporter working in northern Australia. Starting out in Mount Isa, he was the only journalist to cover Bob Katter's election party when he won a share of the balance of power in 2010. As a rural reporter with the ABC in Katherine he was living in the town when local man Ray Niceforo was murdered, a case that resulted in the controversial imprisonment of young local man Zac Grieve.
Get a copy now from your favourite trusted store
Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through the below links.