Dead Man Walking by Kate McClymont with Vanda Carson

‘Michael McGurk knew he was a dead man walking.’

I remember hearing about the murder of Michael McGurk, in September 2009, and feeling shocked that his nine-year-old son was present.  I’d a vague recollection of hearing his name and wondered what the story was behind his murder.

In this book, published in 2019, Kate McClymont takes the reader into the world of shady property development, of unscrupulous politicians (mostly bit players in this book), bumbling criminals and conmen masquerading as respectable businessmen.

Having read this book, it’s a bit of a surprise to me that Michael McGurk lived as long as he did.  There was no shortage of people who disliked him or who had been burned through his business dealings.  And Ron Medich? Words fail me.

Ms McClymont, with Vanda Carson, has done a fine job of piecing together the lives, times and crimes of McGurk and Medich.  The story leading to Medich’s conviction is a combination of great police work, a series of confessions by some participants which led to them receiving reduced sentences, and exhaustive investigative journalism. 

Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in business dealings representing the less savoury side of Sydney.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith