Lawyer X and the Melbourne gangland wars

Go deep into Australian true crime

The Royal Commission into Lawyer X created a media storm around Australia and the world. The Commission took 11 months with 127 days of hearings, 81 witnesses and 1,491 exhibits to investigate how Victoria Police turned criminal barrister, Nicola Gobbo into its number one informant on some of this country’s most dangerous criminals. Lawyer X’s client list reads as the who’s who of the Melbourne Gangland Wars, Tony Mokbel, Carl Williams and disgraced former drug squad detective, Paul Dale, as well as other members of the Carlton Crew.

Australians have had a fascination with the Melbourne’s criminal element ever since the 2008 release of the Underbelly, based on true events of the 1995-2004 gangland war, turning underworld figures Carl Williams, Jason Moran and Alphonse Gangitano into national household names.

Sunshine Coast Libraries members have loaned Melbourne true crime titles 6,586 times! While you're on the couch, check out the range of titles on eAudiobook, eBooks and eMagazines available through Libraries. Free access 24/7 with your library card or to get the full true crime experience head to the library catalogue to reserve these Australian Melbourne gangland items. 


Reserve these titles and collect from your local library:

  • Big Shots by Adam Shand The inside story of how a family feud became a grab for a multi-billion-dollar prize. It is also the author’s personal journey into the lives of Australia’s first celebrity gangsters, the police who pursued them and the media’s role in creating and destroying them.
  • The Job: fighting crime from the frontline by Charlie Bezzina. Charlie was one of Victoria’s top homicide detectives investigating more than 300 suspicious deaths including Melbourne gangland figure Alphonse Gangitano.
  • Lawyer X by Anthony Dowsley and Patrick Carlyon
  • Carl Williams by Adam Shand. Unlikely crime boss, serial killer, prison snitch, surbuban boy turned bad, cult hero – who was the real Carl Williams? When the killer met his shocking end in a maximum-security unit, he left in his wake a trail of brutal murders, an underworld in flames, the murk of police corruption and a broken family. 
  • Cops, Drugs, Lawyer X and Me by Paul Dale and Vikki Petraitis. Disgraced former Drug Squad detective with ties to the Melbourne underworld come together with distinguished true crime author Vikki Petraitis to tell his story. A compelling read.
  • Life sentence: my last eighteen months by Carl Williams. The extraordinary letters written by Carl Williams in super max prison before his murder.
  • Copper: a life in law enforcement by Andrew Atkinson. Thrilling account of a life in law enforcement specialising in technical surveillance for the Victoria Police.
  • Once a copper: the life and times of Brian ‘The Skull’ Murphy by Vikki Petraitis

Reserve these Melbourne underworld drama series on DVD:

  • Underbelly – Season 1 The compelling drama of Melbourne’s infamous gangland war, the rise and fall of Carl Williams. Featuring one of the biggest all-star Australian casts ever with Rodger Corser, Vince Colosimo, Gyton Grantley, Les Hill, Callan Mulvey, Marcus Graham, Madeleine West, Alex Demitriades, Damian Walshe- and Kat Stewart
  • Fat Tony and Co Based on the story of Tony Mokbel, once Australia’s most notorious Melbourne crime kingpin.
  • Informer 3838 Drama mini-series based on the events around gangland lawyer turned police informer, Nicola Gobbo. 

View the help guide for reserving items. Libraries will alert you when an item is ready for collection. If you are not a member, join online.


Libraries love these gangland eBooks:

Borrow up to 30 eBooks on your device. To get started download the ePlatform by Wheelers, RBDigital and Libby apps. Select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and password. Need help setting up your device for eBooks? Watch this video tutorial.


Listen to these gangland inspired eAudiobooks:

You can borrow up to 30 eAudiobooks from each provider at a time for a period of three weeks. To get started, download the BorrowBox, Libby, and RBDigital apps, select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and password. Need help setting up your device for eAudiobooks? Watch this video tutorial.

On the web

Gangland feature interviews on the web:


Listen on the go with these Australian true crime podcasts featuring gangland episodes:

  • Life and Crimes by Andrew Rule. Enjoy one of Australia’s most prolific journalists and true crime authors. In Life and Crimes, the Sunday Herald Sun columnist shines a light on the dark corners of Australian life, from the story behind the biggest mysteries and crims of today. Co-wrote the Underbelly books. 
  • Naked City by John Silvester Take a journey into the dark depths of the Australian criminal underworld with Australia’s most formidable crime reporter. Co-wrote the Underbelly books.
  • Understate: Lawyer X by Adam Shand. Victoria Police turned a criminal lawyer Nicola Gobbo into an informer against her own clients. Dubbed Lawyer X, she helped stop the gangland war but in doing so, undermined the state’s justice system. Journalist Adam Shand presents new evidence that shows the extent of her treachery.  
  • Australian True Crime: Disgraced Detective Paul Dale Disgraced former Drug Squad Detective Paul Dale has seen his reputation so destroyed that his lawyer says he is virtually beyond defamation. As his biographer Vikki Petraitis puts it, he’s been accused of everything, and yet, he’s never been convicted of anything. Is he the victim of a huge conspiracy, or the luckiest villain in the ongoing saga of the Melbourne Gang war? You be the judge as he joins us to tell his story over two weeks.
  • Bloody Murder: Carl Williams Special Edition Crime boss, serial killer, prison snitch, father and husband, these hosts do a deep dive into Carl Williams. The public’s regard for Carl swings between Melbourne underworld cult legend and merciless, simpering coward criminal. It’s thought that he participated or ‘ordered’ between 7 to 12 murders in the Melbourne Gangland war that went on to claim over 30 lives. 
  • ABC Radio Programs: Australia’s gangland history and its long tail Gang crime has seen many a notorious heist or murder committed in Australia across its long history. Susanna Lobez and James Morton are the authors of Gangland Oz, and here, Susanna shares some of the best stories from gang crime history in Australia with Phil Clark. 

All podcasts are free and available to listen on: Android - Google Play, Procast, Downcast, Pocket Casts, Player FM and AntennaPod. iOS - Apple Podcasts app, RadioPublic, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Podbean and Stitcher.


Set up a true crime soundtrack with these Aussie rock classics:

  • It’s a Jungle Out There by Burkhard Dallwitz
  • Benji’s Theme by Burkhard Dallwitz
  • The Honeymoon is Over by the Cruel Sea
  • Jailbreak by AC/DC
  • Boys in Town by the Divinyls
  • Joker and the Thief by Wolfmother
  • Take a Long Line by the Angels
  • Prisoner of Society by the Living End
  • Run to Paradise by the Choirboys
  • Rock n’ Roll Outlaw by Rose Tattoo
  • Black Betty by Spiderbait

Get unlimited music streaming and download five tracks per week with Freegal. Download from the Sony catalogue and thousands of smaller labels. Sign in with your library member number and password.

Need eLibrary tech help? Welcome to the eLibrary helpdesk! Contact libraries to get immediate and expert help with accessing and using the eLibrary on your device. 

Love the program? Complete the online survey.