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Next, Bruhn, and Wallace even held up Mack's, a sleazy cocaine and sly-grog den run by Joe McNamara and Bruhn's old stamping ground, in Charlotte Lane, another dive in which Phil Jeffs had a stake. They took money and a quantity of five-shilling deals of cocaine. Bruhn, Wallace and Cutmore then raided a number of Tilly Devine's brothels, assaulting prostitutes and patrons alike. Bruhn was out of control.

Bruhn's Death Wish
All day Wednesday, 22 June 1927, Norman Bruhn drank in the Courthouse Hotel, Darlinghurst, with a young horse trainer from Melbourne named Robert Miller; Jim Hassett, a professional punter, and a man named Dick O'Brien. At about 9:45pm, Bruhn, Miller and two other men hailed a checker cab. The taxi driver, Noel Infield, told the coroner that all four were drunk. Bruhn order Infield to take them to Mack's in Charlotte Lane.

Infield noticed a number of dark figures in the lane outside Mack's. Suddenly, the cabbie said, he heard four gunshots and saw men scatter in all directions. Then Infield heard a wail of agony - 'Help, I'm shot! Oh, I'm shot!' Bruhn had been shot twice in the stomach. His clothes were blood-soaked and there was blood and foam pouring from his mouth. Even as he died, Bruhn refused to identify his attackers. Irene Bruhn was with her husband when he died in the early hours of 23 June, yet she too refused to divulge. If Bruhn's mistress Nellie Cameron mourned her lover Bruhn at all, she did not do so for long. Within weeks of his demise, she was arm on arm on the streets of Razorhurst with Frank 'the Little Gunman' Green.

So who killed Norman Bruhn?

Did Miller, Hassett and O'Brien lead him into an ambush?
Did MacNamara kill Bruhn to pay him back for earlier trashing and robbing Mack's?
Did Snowy Cutmore kill Bruhn to avenge a friend who'd been robbed by Bruhn?
Did Kate Leigh have him killed to stop his invasion of her territory?
Did Phil Jeffs have him killed?
Did Frank Green kill Bruhn at the behest of his boss Tilly Devine, or could he have done so to win Nellie Cameron, to whom he was attracted?
Was his death a case of mistaken identity?
Adapted from the award winning book Razor, by Larry Writer © 2001, Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd. Second edition now available with new material. Find out more >> about the bookBuy the book >>
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