Nellie Cameron - 'the Kiss of Death Girl'
The teenaged Nellie Cameron became a prostitute for no other reason
than she wanted to be one. But she wasn't content with the sordid thrills
of the life of a prostitute. She wasn't happy unless she was associated
with violent men, and it is beyond any doubt that she encouraged them
to violence... Jealousy over her was responsible for more than one
murder. Cameron would be kidnapped, bashed, stabbed, slashed and
shot by her criminal lovers, including Frank Green and Guido Calletti.
Born in 1912, Nellie Cameron hailed from a respectable middle-class
home on Sydney's North Shore. In 1926, she ran away from home and
became a prostitute, cocaine runner and a fence for stolen property. At
the age of fifteen, when she met Norman Bruhn, she was a hooker on
William and Palmer streets. With her beauty and criminal contacts, she
had no need them to enter with Tilly Devine or any other madam.
She perfected the age-old game called 'gingering' in Australia. During
sex with one of her clients, an accomplice would emerge from beneath
the bed and take the client's wallet from his pants or jacket. At that
point, coitus would be interrupted by angry banging on the door by
another involved in the scam, Cameron, feigning panic, would exclaim
it was the police or her irate husband, and urge the client to dress and
depart by the back door. Keen to avoid the embarrassment of public
prosecution or a beating, the customer would flee and usually not notice
until later that his wallet was missing.
Calletti split his time between operating
alone as a one-man crime wave -
pimping, 'protecting' and extorting from
tin-pot gamblers, sly-groggers and drug
pushers, conning and mugging ordinary
citizens - and leading his gang, the
Darlinghurst Push. One of his pièces de résistance was to join a drinker in a pub,
tell a few jokes and buy him a beer or
two then talk his new found friend into
accompanying him out into the night in
search of more alcohol, drugs and women.
The friendship would last until Calletti
found a dark and deserted area. He would
then attack his mark and steal his money.
In October, 1927, Calletti slashed one
Jules De Flyn in a house in Cathedral
Street, Woolloomooloo. De Flyn suffered
deep wounds to his throat, right ear, the
back of his neck and left arm.