In a significant turn of events at the special commission of inquiry into unsolved deaths suspected of being LGBTIQ hate crimes in New South Wales, former Lateline host Emma Alberici has challenged allegations surrounding a detective’s interview about the death of American mathematician Scott Johnson. Ms. Alberici refuted claims that the detective, Pamela Young, deceived top officials when giving an interview to the ABC program.
Emma Alberici testified that NSW Police had encouraged Pamela Young to participate in the interview, shedding light on the complex circumstances surrounding Johnson’s death, which was initially classified as a likely suicide. Young had expressed concerns about interference by government authorities in the police investigation. However, her removal from the case followed the interview.
Scott Johnson’s body was discovered at the base of cliffs near a well-known gay beat in Manly in 1988, and this case has been emblematic in the ongoing inquiry into unsolved LGBTIQ hate crimes.
Ms. Alberici, who had multiple conversations with police officials before the interview, asserted that it was not concealed from anyone at NSW Police, emphasizing that it was encouraged. The interview’s aftermath led to revelations that the police commissioner’s response varied from relaxed to panicked, ultimately resulting in the removal of Detective Pamela Young from the investigation.
As the inquiry unfolds, questions about the handling of LGBTIQ hate crimes in New South Wales during the period between 1970 and 2010 continue to emerge. The controversy surrounding Detective Young’s interview underscores the broader issues that the inquiry seeks to address.
In a statement to the inquiry, Ms. Alberici emphasized the importance of public understanding of potential interference in police affairs and defended the integrity of both Detective Young and Detective Sergeant Penny Brown, who were seeking to shed light on the case’s complexities.
The former detective, Pamela Young, is scheduled to provide her testimony before the inquiry on October 5, further adding to the ongoing investigation into unsolved deaths with suspected ties to LGBTIQ hate crimes.