Once a Copper The Life and Times of Brian ‘The Skull’ Murphy

Author(s): Vikki Petraitis

True Crime

Petraitis explores the many facets of The Skull's story. Starting on the mean streets of South Melbourne, to his early years as a policeman, then his fight against police corruption. Dodging crooks and corruption on both sides of the thin blue line, The Skull carefully cultivated a reputation for being a 'mad bastard'. Much has been written about The Skull's escapades, but few have explored the method behind the madness.

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Vikki Petraitis has been writing crime books for nearly two decades. Her book on Frankston serial killer, Paul Denyer has become a classic in the genre.


Above all else, Vikki is known for the human side to her stories. She asks the questions: why do people do what they do? How do people cope when they are victims of crime, or the loved ones left behind? What is the human cost when people choose the wrong path?


“This book captures the gritty reality of the life of Brian ‘The Skull’ Murphy, almost the last of the ‘old school’ coppers. The legend of ‘The Skull’ lives on in this unique book.”
–Robin Bowles, award-winning true crime writer, Australia’s True Crime Queen

“A very compelling insight into the [Victorian] Police Force of yesterday … I kept thinking of what Winston Churchill said in the British Parliament: The opposition occupies the benches in front of you, but the enemy sits behind you.””
–Les Twentyman; National youth advocate

General Fields

  • : 9780648066330
  • : Wild Dingo Press
  • : Wild Dingo Press
  • : February 2018
  • : ---length:- '23.4'width:- '15.4'units:- Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Vikki Petraitis
  • : Paperback
  • : 2018