The tale of Melbourne’s own ‘vampire gigolo’ Shane Chartres-Abbott made headlines when he was murdered on his way to court back in 2003.
Proceedings regarding a horrific rape committed against a Thai stripper were underway, and Chartres-Abbott was the prime suspect.
He was on his way to submit evidence which he claimed would expose corruption in law enforcement – going all the way to the top, with Chartres-Abbott indicating before his death that even court officials were in on it.
In a PodcastOne production, Walkley Award-winning journalist Adam Shand has delved deeper into this bizarre instalment from Melbourne’s criminal underbelly.
And for Shand, this series The Trials of The Vampire has raised questions about the criminal justice process.
“We believe there is a veneer of security around our courts, that here in Australia we live in a peaceful, civil society and justice will be done. In this case it wasn’t,” Shand said.
“It’s really an examination of our legal system, and how justice is not always equally distributed. It’s a contest on the day, and it’s about each side putting up a plausible argument that either persuades a jury or creates reasonable doubt. And a lot of our convictions, and even a lot of our acquittals, are not necessarily about truth.
“Shane Chartres-Abbott, a guy from nowhere, no money, no nothing. He’s a male escort and people look down on him morally. Does he get the same sort of justice as somebody who’s from a nice part of town with a good lawyer? My eyes have been opened in that respect in this story to that sort of possibility.”
PodcastOne is a part of Southern Cross Austereo.