Glen Anthony HUITSON, BM VA
Northern Territory Police Force
Regd. # 1520
Rank: Brevet Sergeant
Stations: ?, O.I.C. – Adelaide River Police Stn
Service: From ? January 1987 to 3 August 2000 = 13+ years Service
Awards: National Medal – granted 6 August 1999
Bravery Medal – BM – granted 14 February 2000
Valour Award & bar – VA for act performed in February 1999
Born: 20 November 1961, Bridgetown, W.A.
Died on: 3 August 2000
Cause: Murdered – shot
Location: Stuart Hwy & Old Bynoe Rd, Livingstone, N.T.
Funeral date: Saturday 7 August 1999
Funeral location: St Mary’s Cathedral, Darwin
Buried at: Cremated. Ashes scattered at Daly River Crossing, N.T.
Memorial Service: Saturday 3 August 2019 ( 20th Anniversary ) 10.30am –
Glen Huitson Memorial, cnr Stuart Hwy & Old Bynoe Rd, Livingstone, N.T.
[alert_green]GLEN IS mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_green]
Brevet Sergeant Glen Huitson memorial, 3 August 2015
???? GLEN HUITSON MEMORIAL ????
TWENTY YEAR REMEMBRANCE SERVICE
Saturday 3rd August 2019 will mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Brevet Sergeant Glen Huitson who was killed in the line of duty in 1999 whilst stationed at Adelaide River.
We will honour Glen with a gathering on Saturday 3rd August 2019 from 10.30am at the Glen Huitson Memorial, located at the corner of the Stuart Highway and Old Bynoe Road, Livingstone, N.T.
All current and former members are invited to join Glen’s family in remembering a husband, father, son, and workmate who was tragically taken from his family 20 years ago.
Glen HUITSON joined the Northern Territory in January 1987. He served in both Southern and Northern districts of the Northern Territory.
During his service in the Northern Territory Police, Glen Huitson received a Commendation from the Commissioner of Police on 17 March 1994 when he attended a disturbance at a Community near Alice Springs. He disarmed a drunken person who was armed with a knife star picket and was threatening another person with a billy of boiling water.
In February of 1999 in Litchfield Park, Glen Huitson disarmed an armed man who was threatening the driver and passengers of a bus. He received a Valour Award over this incident.
On 3 August 1999 Glen Huitson was on duty at a road block on the Stuart Highway, 60 kms south of Darwin, in bushland.
There were on watch for an armed offender who had already shot and wounded two other persons several kilometres away during the previous night.
The armed offender had managed to come through bush on one side of the road block where he opened fire with a .30/30 calibre rifle. He fired the first round into the back of a civilian then a second shot at Huitson which struck him and was fatal.
For this incident he received the Australian Bravery Medal and a bar to his Valour Medal.
Glen Huitson Park
This park was named in memory of the late Sgt. Glen Anthony Huitson BM, VA, Service No. 1520 on 3 August 2000.
Sgt. Huitson was the officer in charge of the Adelaide River Police Station. He died on 3rd August 1999 as a result of gun shot wounds received in the execution of his duties whilst manning a roadblock on the corner of the Stuart Highway and Old Bynoe Road.
Twice Decorated as a serving Police Officer, Glen Huitson lived his personal life with the same intensity, and was an integral part of community life in Adelaide River. His untimely death has left a gap in this community which will never be filled. Glen is survived by his Widow Lisa and children Joey & Ruby.
Citizens of the Coomalie Region joined with serving Members of the Northern Territory Police Force at this site on 3rd August 2001 to dedicate this memorial stone on the occasion of the second anniversary of Sgt. Huitson’s death.
We honour the life and the achievements of a remarkable citizen.
May He Rest In Peace
“On 3rd August 1999, at about 10:45 am, there was a shooting incident on the Stuart Highway at the corner of Old Bynoe Road in the Darwin rural district. In the course of the incident, two persons were shot dead. One, Glen Anthony Huitson, was a Sergeant of police on duty at the time he was killed.” (Coroner’s Findings)
Glen was performing duties on a roadblock with his partner in Livingstone at the Old Bynoe Road Turn off on the Stuart Highway, 55 Kilometres south of Darwin. They were stopping traffic entering the police cordon following a shooting incident the previous evening when the offender Rodney Ansell ambushed the roadblock shooting Huitson fataly and wounding a civilian in the back with his 30/30 rifle. For this incident he received the Australia Bravery Medal and a bar to his Valour Medal posthumously.
Police responded and set up a forward command post in the area. Roadblocks were set up on the Stuart Highway and other roads. Sergeant Glen Huitson and Senior Constable James O’Brien manned the roadblock on the corner of Old Bynoe Road and the Stuart Highway armed with their Glock Pistols a shotgun and a .308 rifle. It appears that during the night Ansell had escaped the cordon but for some reason chose to sneak up on the roadblock at Old Bynoe Road. Hewson had left the area.
At about 10.45 am on the 3rd of August 1999 the roadblock at Old Bynoe Road was still in place. A local man had approached the road block to talk to the police members and was leaning on the police vehicle when suddenly he was shot in the pelvis from behind a large water pipe in nearby scrub. Huitson used the shotgun from the police car and O’Brien returned fire with his Glock pistol. Huitson was hit by a 30/30 round and fell to the ground. O’Brien reloaded the shotgun and returned fire. He called on Ansell to put his weapons down but he called back “Your all dead”.
In response to the gun battle two Territory Response Group vehicles raced to the scene. Just prior to the roadblock the first vehicle swerved and braked and was struck by the second vehicle causing it to roll over. As police exited both vehicles and began to take up positions Ansell got up on one knee to position himself to fire at the arriving police members. This left him exposed to fire from O’Brien and the shotgun fire finally stopped him. As the Coroner, Mr Wallace, said “There is little doubt his (O’Brien’s) bravery prevented further loss of life”.
It was later determined that there were seven entry wounds on his body from return fire from Huitson and O’Brien and numerous grazes. His covered position behind the water pipe and a small tree had protected Ansell from more serious injury until he was forced to change position.
Glen Huitson joined the Northern Territory Police in January 1987, served in both Southern and Northern districts and was stationed at Adelaide River Police Station.
He received a Commendation from the Commissioner of Police on 17 March 1944 when he attended a disturbance at a Community near Alice Springs. He disarmed a drunken person who was armed with a knife star picket and was threatening another person with a billy of boiling water.
In February of 1999 in Litchfield Park Glen Huitson disarmed an armed man who was threatening the driver and passengers of a bus. He received a Valour Award over this incident.
Glen was survived by his wife Lisa and young children Joseph (2) and Ruby (6 months).
FUNERAL SERVICE FOR SERGEANT GLEN ANTHONY HUITSON
ST MARY’S CATHEDRAL, DARWIN, NORTHERN TERRITORY
SATURDAY 7 AUGUST 1999EULOGY GIVEN BY COMMISSIONER BRIAN BATESSERGEANT GLEN HUITSON WAS A DEVOTED AND LOVING HUSBAND AND FATHER OF LISA, JOSEPH AND RUBY. I CAN ONLY CONVEY THE HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES AND SYMPATHY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE FORCE AND INDEED THE COMMUNITY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY TO GLEN’S WIFE, CHILDREN AND BOTH THEIR FAMILIES. WE WILL DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO HELP THEM, NOT ONLY THROUGH THIS TIME BUT IN THE TIME TO COME.IN HIS LETTER OF APPLICATION TO JOIN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE FORCE, SERGEANT GLEN HUITSON SAID, AND I QUOTE:“I WAS BORN ON 20 NOVEMBER 1961 IN BRIDGETOWN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA, THE OLDEST SON IN A FAMILY OF THREE. MY PARENTS OWNED AND OPERATED A SMALL TIN MINE ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF GREENBUSHES WHERE I LIVED FOR 12 YEARS. GREEN BUSHES WAS A GREAT ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH TO GROW UP AS A CHILD, BEING A SMALL TOWN SURROUNDED BY BUSH. WE SPENT MANY HOURS EXPLORING AND DISCOVERING NATURE.LOOKING BACK ON MY CHILDHOOD I AM GRATEFUL TO MY PARENTS FOR THE STRICT BUT FAIR METHOD OF INSTILLING IN ME A SET OF MORAL STANDARDS AND PRINCIPLES IN KEEPING WITH COMMUNITY IDEALS. THIS GUIDANCE WAS TO BENEFIT ME LATER IN LIFE.”
GLEN GOES ON TO TALK ABOUT HIS GROWING UP YEARS AND HIS EARLY EMPLOYMENT, PARTICULARLY WHEN THE FAMILY MOVED IN 1978 TO BUSSLETON WHERE HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE LOCAL FOOTBALL CLUB AS A PLAYER AND AN ADMINISTRATOR, AS A COACH AND UMPIRE AND FOR THREE YEARS AS A FIREMAN IN THE VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE AND WITH THE LOCAL ROSTRUM CLUB. TOWARDS THE END OF THIS LETTER OF APPLICATION GLEN SAYS, AND I AGAIN QUOTE:
“APPROXIMATELY FIVE YEARS AGO I DECIDED THAT IF AT THE AGE OF 25 I WAS STILL DISAPPOINTED WITH THE WAY MY CAREER WAS HEADING, THIS WOULD BE THE TIME TO MAKE A START IN A POSITION IN LIFE THAT I WOULD ENJOY. THE MOST HONEST WAY I FOUND TO FIND A CAREER I WANTED WAS TO SIT DOWN WITH A PEN AND PAPER AND WRITE DOWN JOBS IN WHICH I WOULD WORK FOR NO FINANCIAL REWARD. MY LIST CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING: FISHERIES INSPECTOR, CUSTOMS OFFICER, AMBULANCE OFFICER, WELFARE WORKER AND A POLICE OFFICER.
SINCE WRITING DOWN THAT LIST I HAVE WORKED TOWARDS EQUIPPING MYSELF FOR ONE OF THOSE POSITIONS. THIS HAS INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING: BEING A FIREMAN WITH OUR LOCAL VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE, ACHIEVING A FIRST AID CERTIFICATE WITH A ST JOHN AMBULANCE BRIGADE, INVOLVING MYSELF HEAVILY IN COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, MAINLY THROUGH SPORT, AND INVOLVING MYSELF IN PUBLIC SPEAKING. AFTER READING ABOUT THE POSITION OF POLICE OFFICER FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY I DECIDED THAT THIS WOULD INDEED OFFER ME THE CAREER I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR. AS A POLICE OFFICER IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY I WOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION IN MAKING THE NORTHERN TERRITORY A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE IN, THEREBY ACHIEVING MY GOAL OF JOB SATISFACTION.”
ALL OF US WITHIN THE POLICE FORCE AND INDEED THE DEPARTMENT OF POLICE, FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES, ARE EXTREMELY SHOCKED BY THE DEATH OF SERGEANT GLEN HUITSON. HIS LOSS IS A TRAGEDY FOR THE POLICE SERVICE AND THERE ARE SIMPLY NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE THAT SENSE OF LOSS, THE WASTE AND THE TRAGEDY THAT THE WHOLE POLICE FAMILY FEELS TODAY.
I WOULD ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE THE PRESENCE HERE TODAY OF SERVING POLICE OFFICERS FROM ALL STATES AND TERRITORIES OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND.
IT IS TRITE TO SAY THAT ALL POLICE FAMILIES KNOW THE DANGERS OF POLICE WORK, BUT NOTHING CAN EVER PREPARE US FOR SOMETHING LIKE GLEN’S DEATH.
NO POLICE FORCE COULD BE MORE PROUD THAN TO HAVE IN ITS RANKS AN OFFICER OF THE CALIBRE OF GLEN HUITSON. HE TOUCHED AND AFFECTED SO MANY PEOPLE’S LIVES, NOT ONLY WITHIN THE POLICE FORCE BUT WITHIN THE COMMUNITY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY THAT HE SWORE TO SERVE AND PROTECT.
AND HE DID MORE THAN THAT – BECAUSE ON NO LESS THAN THREE OCCASIONS, THE THIRD TRAGICALLY RESULTING IN HIS DEATH, HE WAS CONFRONTED WITH LIFE-THREATENING SITUATIONS.
GLEN RECEIVED MY COMMENDATION FOR AN INCIDENT ON 17 MARCH 1994 WHEN HE ATTENDED A DISTURBANCE AT A COMMUNITY NEAR ALICE SPRINGS.
HE DISARMED A DRUNKEN PERSON WHO WAS ARMED WITH A KNIFE, STEEL BAR, NULLA NULLA AND A STAR PICKET. THE PERSON WAS THREATENING ANOTHER COMMUNITY MEMBER WITH A BILLY OF BOILING WATER. WITHOUT REGARD FOR HIS OWN SAFETY SERGEANT HUITSON PREVENTED THIS PERSON THROWING THE BOILING WATER BUT IN FACT WAS STRUCK AND COVERED IN BOILING WATER HIMSELF OVER HIS UPPER BACK, RIGHT UPPER ARM AND LEFT FOREARM. HIS QUICK ACTIONS ALLOWED OTHER POLICE OFFICERS TO RESTRAIN THE OFFENDER AND REMOVE HIM AS A THREAT TO THE COMMUNITY. THE BURNS GLEN RECEIVED CAUSED HIM CONSIDERABLE PAIN AND SUFFERING AND HE REQUIRED HOSPITAL TREATMENT.
AND THEN THERE WAS THE INCIDENT IN FEBRUARY THIS YEAR WHEN SERGEANT HUITSON DISARMED AN ARMED MAN WHO HAD JUMPED ON THE BULLBAR OF A TOURIST BUS IN LITCHFIELD PARK.
THE MAN WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS AND ARMED WITH A LOADED .22 RIFLE AND WAS THREATENING THE DRIVER AND PASSENGERS OF THE BUS ON BATCHELOR ROAD.
GLEN KNEW THAT HELP WAS ABOUT 15 MINUTES AWAY AND WAS DEEPLY CONCERNED FOR THE SAFETY OF THE DRIVER, PASSENGERS AND PASSING MOTORISTS. HE SINGLE-HANDEDLY ATTEMPTED TO DIRECT TRAFFIC, ENGAGE THE MAN IN CONVERSATION AND KEEP POLICE COMMUNICATIONS ADVISED OF THE SITUATION. HE THEN APPROACHED THE MAN TO DISTRACT HIS ATTENTION FROM THE BUS AND PASSENGERS, PLACING HIMSELF AT CONSIDERABLE RISK.
GLEN ENGAGED THE MAN IN CONVERSATION FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES AND EVENTUALLY CONVINCED HIM TO PLACE THE FIREARM ON THE BULLBAR OF THE BUS AND WALK A SHORT DISTANCE AWAY WHERE GLEN TACKLED HIM TO THE GROUND AND WAS THEN HELPED BY OTHER POLICE WHO HAD JUST ARRIVED. THIS WAS WITHOUT DOUBT AN OUTSTANDING EXAMPLE OF PERSONAL COURAGE, AND SERGEANT HUITSON WAS IN FACT DUE TO RECEIVE A VALOUR AWARD OVER THAT INCIDENT.
IN SERGEANT GLEN HUITSON THE NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE HAD A TRUE BUSH COPPER AND AN IDEAL ROLE MODEL FOR OTHER POLICE.
HE WAS A TOTAL PROFESSIONAL WHO GOT ALONG WITH COLLEAGUES AND THE PUBLIC ALIKE AND WAS EXTREMELY POPULAR WITH ABORIGINAL PEOPLE HE WORKED WITH, IN THE COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE TERRITORY. WHAT A TREMENDOUS LOSS HE IS, NOT ONLY TO THIS POLICE FORCE BUT TO THE TERRITORY.
IN CLOSING THERE IS PERHAPS NO BETTER WAY TO TALK ABOUT THIS OUTSTANDING AND COMPASSIONATE POLICE OFFICER THAN BY TELLING YOU ABOUT A REPORT HE RECENTLY SUBMITTED, AND I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT I SHARE THIS WITH YOU ALL.
GLEN HAD RESEARCHED THE HISTORY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE SERVICE AND HE FOUND MANY EXAMPLES OF UNRECOGNISED SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY BY FORMER MEMBERS, AND PARTICULARLY POLICE TRACKERS. HE SAID IN HIS MEMO THAT THIS UNRECOGNISED WORK WAS, AT THE TIME, NO DOUBT CONSIDERED TO BE JUST PART OF THE JOB, AND UNLESS YOU HAPPENED TO DIE ON DUTY OR REACHED A HIGH RANK, VERY LITTLE WAS DONE TO PRESERVE THE MEMORY OF THOSE MANY FORMER MEMBERS.
GLEN APPRECIATED THE SERENITY AND BEAUTY OF THE ADELAIDE RIVER WAR CEMETERY WHERE HE ALSO NOTICED SEVERAL PLAQUES DEDICATED TO MILITARY MEMBERS. HE HAD SEVERAL IDEAS TO HONOUR THE MEMORY OF POLICE MEMBERS, INCLUDING PLANTING TREES WITH PLAQUES DEDICATED TO MEMBERS AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A MEMORIAL AVENUE IN OUR POLICE COMPLEX, THE PETER McAULAY CENTRE. HE SUGGESTED NEW PLAQUES COULD BE DEDICATED ANNUALLY ON A SIGNIFICANT DAY, FOR EXAMPLE, POLICE REMEMBRANCE DAY. THERE TOO, HE EMPHASISED THE WHOLE COMMUNITY SHOULD BE INVITED AND INVOLVED.
IT IS MY INTENTION TO HONOUR GLEN’S SUGGESTIONS IN THAT REPORT, AND ALSO PAY TRIBUTE TO HIM, IN A WAY I FEEL SURE HE AND YOU WOULD APPROVE OF.
FINALLY, IN THE WORDS OF THE 13TH CHAPTER OF CORINTHIANS:
“THERE REMAINS THEN, FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, THESE THREE; BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.”
ABC News: Aboriginal communities to send reps to police officer’s funeral
Trudy and Rod Bray Fri, 6 Aug 1999 00:26:27 -0700
Fri, 6 Aug 1999 11:41 AEST Aboriginal communities to send reps to police officer's funeral. The Gurindji Aboriginal people, from two communities south-west of Darwin, are sending representatives to the funeral of a Northern Territory police officer. Sergeant Glen Huitson was killed by Rodney William Ansell on Tuesday. The sergeant's partner, Constable Jamie O'Brien, returned the fire, killing Ansell. A Gurindji representative, Roslyn Frith, says the sergeant was given the skin name, Japalyi, because of the community's respect and love for him. She says he will be missed greatly. "To the community he wasn't just a policeman, he was just another person who belonged to the community," Ms Frith said. "He got involved - like if there were ceremonies he'd go down and make sure everything was alright. "With the younger generation, he took them out. Like he was with the emergency services out here, he went out fishing and hunting with them," she said. � 1999 Australian Broadcasting Corporation https://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg01295.html
NT: Aborigines planning funeral for Ansell in Arnhem Land
AAP General News (Australia)
NT: Aborigines planning funeral for Ansell in Arnhem Land
By Catharine Munro
DARWIN, Aug 9 AAP – Rod Ansell, the original Crocodile Dundee who shot dead a policeman last week, is expected be given an Aboriginal funeral in Arnhem Land.
Ansell, 44, was killed in a shootout with police after fatally wounding Sergeant Glen Huitson, 37, about 50km south of Darwin last Tuesday.
The violent deaths followed a 12-hour search for Ansell, who had shot at two houses in the area the previous night.
His motives remain a mystery and the case is being investigated by the coroner.
The events shocked Darwin, where Ansell was known as a buffalo hunter and a bushman who had been living on an Aboriginal-owned property in Arnhem Land, about 600km south-east of Darwin.
Ansell’s two sons, Shaun and Callum, are believed to have requested that an Aboriginal community at Mt Catt, near Bulman in central Arnhem Land, allow a funeral to be held on their grounds.
“The two boys said they want to have the funeral at Mt Catt,” said Lorna Martin, who works at the clinic at Bulman.
Ansell spent some time in the area in the 1980s as a buffalo catcher and continued to make frequent visits.
The service will interrupt an important ceremony being held at Mt Catt but arrangements were being made for the proceedings to be halted for one day for the funeral on Thursday, Mrs Martin said.
“Everybody said it’s okay,” she said.
Ansell’s parents, George and Eva, both in their 70s, are understood to have journeyed to the Northern Territory from their home in Murgon, 260km north-west of Brisbane, to say goodbye to their son.
Meanwhile, the widow of the slain policeman, Lisa, said she had just returned from Daly River Crossing, where she had scattered her husband’s ashes.
Mrs Huitson told reporters she had spent three happy years there with Sgt Huitson and they had taken their son, Joseph, two and Ruby, six months, back there to be baptised.
“It was just a special place for us,” Mrs Huitson said.
Sgt Huitson‘s brother Bevan, sister Julie and parents Carole and John attended a press conference to thank the police and the people of the NT for their support.
“We are absolutely amazed at your generosity, the funds raised, the flowers sent and the well wishes and toys for Joseph and Ruby,” Bevan Huitson said.
The day the real Crocodile Dundee Rod Ansell was shot dead
- Herald Sun
- January 05, 2014
ROD Ansell’s amazing story of Outback survival is one many Australians know – although they’ve probably never heard of his name.
As strong as an ox and as brave as a lion, the blond haired, barefoot bushman survived for more than seven weeks on a small island at the mouth of a crocodile-infested river in the remote Northern Territory, sleeping up a tree with a brown snake at night to avoid the salties lurking below.
His story was the inspiration for the 1986 film Crocodile Dundee. But the film only tells part of the story of Ansell’s wild life.
More than a decade after his tale of survival brought fame and fortune to actor Paul Hogan, the real Crocodile Dundee was shot dead by police after a drug-crazed rampage that saw a police officer killed and three other men wounded.
STRONG men in uniform broke down on the side of the Stuart Highway the day Territory police officer Glen Huitson was shot dead in a gun battle with Rod Ansell.
It was like a scene from a cops and robbers movie.
But nobody won.
Sergeant Huitson was gunned down at a roadblock in bushland 60km south of Darwin by Ansell, who had been on the run from police.
Ansell was shot in the chest as Senior Constable James O’Brien returned fire.
“The only verbal communication I had with the gunman was when I was reloading the shotgun for the first time,” the surviving officer, who has never spoken openly about the ordeal, said in a statement almost 15 years ago.
“I called out to him to put his weapons down. He called back, ‘You’re all dead‘.”
Ansell was deranged and wired on speed, more than 20 years after he emerged from the wild, a handsome young hunter armed only with a knife, a gun and a story to tell, his boat having capsized on the remote Victoria River.
His crazed life came to an end on August 3, 1999, but not before he had gunned down a police officer, leaving two young children to grow up without a father.
Northern Territory police say they lost “an all-round good bloke” that day.
Sgt Huitson’s family was robbed of much more.
In 1994, Sgt Huitson had been commended for bravery after arresting a knife-wielding drunk man – who was also armed with a star picket and a billy of boiling water in a bid to harm another person – at a community near Alice Springs.
He received a Valour Award after he talked delusional man Wayne Costan – who had tried to hijack a tourist coach with a sawn-off .22 rifle – into dropping the weapon, before tackling him to the ground at Litchfield Park in February 1999.
Six months later Sgt Huitson was killed, aged 37.
His then-infant daughter, Ruby, and five-year-old son, Joseph, grew up without their dad.
His widow, Lisa, took home her husband’s posthumous Australia Bravery Medal and a broken heart.
Former NT Police assistant commissioner John Daulby was among those who raced out to the double killing.
“Everyone was stunned,” he said. “It was just a tragedy.”
“The grief at the scene is something that sticks with me – grown men in tears.”
Ansell had wounded two men on a shooting spree in Darwin and fled into the bush, raving mad, on the night of August 2, 1999.
He was convinced members of the Freemasons had kidnapped his sons – Callum, then aged 20, and Shawn, 18.
His girlfriend, Cherie Ann Hewson, had told him that as a child she had witnessed the sacrifice of young girls that her family – members of the secret medieval fraternity – “brought out of the woods”. They were bound, raped and slaughtered, she said.
The shared paranoia came to a head when Ms Hewson claimed she spotted three bow hunters, dressed in camouflage with night vision goggles, near their bush camp.
NT Coroner Dick Wallace would later say the “wretched drivel” was at the root of Ansell‘s madness, after the couple visited mates Steven Robinson and his partner, Lee-Anne Musgrave, on a property at Noonamah, about 50km south of Darwin.
Ansell fired six shots at their caravan on Kentish Rd.
Resident David Hobden jumped in his truck, armed with his double-barrel shotty, and went to investigate the shootings. He lost an eye when Ansell put a bullet through the windscreen of his truck.
He ran to alert his neighbour, Brian Williams, who “waxed wrath” at the state of his mate’s face and grabbed a baseball bat.
He charged at Ansell, who was trying to steal Mr Hobden’s truck.
“He was going on about stealing his children, and Freemasons, and being a baby killer … oh, just, he was mad, mate.”
Ansell fired shots at the Williams‘ house.
Then he ran away, his rifle in one hand and Mr Hobden‘s shotgun in the other.
Ms Hewson disappeared before the police shootout. Some feared she had committed suicide.
About 11pm, Territory Response Group sent two troop carriers with six cops in each to set up a command post. They manned the north roadblock.
Adelaide River police station boss Sgt Huitson and his second-in-charge, Sen-Const O’Brien, guarded the south cordon – at the corner of Old Bynoe Rd – with a pistol each, a 12-gauge shotgun and standard police issue .308 rifle.
About 10.30am the next day, a removals worker named Jonathan Anthonysz was leaning on the cop car, chatting to the officers when a bullet blew a hole “the size of a baseball” in his pelvis.
He was flung forward, screaming, on to the ground.
Mr Anthonysz’s colleague – David Hobden‘s brother, Anthony – dragged him out of view as Snr-Const. O’Brien covered them.
The shots were coming from light scrub behind a roadside water pipe.
The cunning fugitive had sneaked through the bush and was hidden by dappled tree shadows.
In his statement, Snr-Const O’Brien said: “I heard Glen shout out, ‘Get on the ground’.
I swung round to look over the boot of the car with my Glock drawn …
“I saw my shots hit the ground close to where (Ansell) was,” he said.
Sgt Huitson called TRG for help and grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun.
He fired a shot through the windows of the police car and two shots over the roof.
But a bullet from Ansell‘s .30-30 lever-action rifle ricocheted off the top of the metal door and struck him in the abdomen.
His bulletproof vest hadn’t been properly fastened. The bullet tore through a velcro strap that should have been covered by a Kevlar panel.
Sgt Huitson fell, landing on top of the shotgun.
Snr-Const O’Brien, who wasn’t wearing a vest, dodged a bullet and rolled his bleeding colleague off the shotgun, reloaded it and returned fire.
“I realised unless TRG arrived I could run out of ammunition, in which case I would have to retreat with the others,” he said.
“I loaded two more rounds, looked up and saw the gunman wriggling forward.
“I heard a sound like a match being struck just past the right side of my head.”
Then the TRG troop carriers came hurtling down the highway.
The first driver hit the brakes and swerved as he heard gun fire – the 4WD rolled when the second car crashed into it, unable to stop in time.
Ansell got up on one knee and began lining up the cops, who were crawling out of the vehicle.
Snr-Const O’Brien got a clear shot.
The autopsy showed 33 bullet wounds and grazes to Ansell‘s body.
Two were fatal. One shot had ripped through his aorta.
He fell face down in the dirt.
Sgt Huitson was declared dead after being rushed to Royal Darwin Hospital.
Snr-Const O’Brien was scrutinised and cleared of any wrongdoing after a rigorous police investigation.
His actions were praised as “simply outstanding” when Magistrate Wallace handed down his coronial findings in September 2000.
“If he felt any fear, it seems to have been submerged by his concern for his wounded colleague and others,” he said. “There can be little doubt his bravery prevented further loss of life.”
Ms Hewson handed herself in to Queensland police four days later.
Evidence that Ansell clung to the back of a road train and escaped the roadblocks fuelled a question that would never be answered – why would a skilled bushman give up his ticket to freedom and return to gun down police when he could have slipped away?
IT was no secret the 44-year-old buffalo hunter and grazier was bitter.
Writer Robert Milliken, who spent time with Ansell while working on projects in the NT, said Ansell never saw a penny for the myth surrounding his tangled life, despite being the inspiration for the main character in Crocodile Dundee, which propelled actor Paul Hogan to fame in 1986.
Ansell blamed his troubles on a Federal Government program to wipe out wild buffalo, his livelihood, to eradicate tuberculosis from the cattle industry. He had told reporters he was living on unemployment benefits and “bush tucker”.
Magistrate Wallace heard Ansell believed police and the government were against him.
He had moved to the Territory aged 15 from the small town of Murgon, 270km north of Brisbane, in country Queensland.
The ordeal that brought him fame happened when he took a fishing trip in a motorboat on the Victoria River in May 1977.
When the boat sank, he jumped in a dinghy and salvaged his two eight-week-old bull terriers, a rifle, a knife, some canned food and bedding. The tinny drifted out to sea, washing up on a small island at the mouth of the Fitzmaurice River.
He slept in the fork of a tree, out of reach of crocodiles, at night, but shared the branches with a brown tree snake.
Ansell never counted on being rescued. He roamed for seven weeks before stumbling on two Aboriginal stockmen and their boss.
But he kept the adventure under his hat – fearing his recklessness would upset his mother – until media got hold of the yarn.
Dubbed the “modern day Robinson Crusoe”, Ansell said: “I think if you come through in one piece, then nothing else really matters.
“It’s like going out to shoot a kangaroo.
“You don’t come back and say you missed by half an inch – you either got him or you didn’t.”
Mr Milliken described Ansell as “strikingly handsome with blond hair, blue eyes and bare feet” when he met him in 1988. It was the year Ansell was named Territorian of the Year for his role in putting the Top End on the map.
At the time, he lived with his wife, Joanne van Os, and their two small sons on their buffalo farm at Melaleuca, between Darwin and Kakadu.
“He was charming,” Mr Milliken said.
“He seems never to have worn shoes, even when travelling on aircraft and staying in city hotels at the height of his fame.
“The press went mad over his story and no one seemed to mind if the details grew ever more incredible.
“A hero had been born.”
He said Ansell once told British TV personality Michael Parkinson he preferred to sleep on the floor of his five-star Sydney hotel in his swag rather than in the kingsize bed.
Ansell’s Parkinson interview sparked the interest of Hogan and led to the creation of Mick “Crocodile” Dundee.
But the fame took its toll on Ansell’s personal life. His marriage disintegrated.
In 1992, he was convicted of cattle rustling and assaulting the owner of a cattle station in Arnhem Land.
Police raided Melaleuca. He eventually lost the property.
For more than a year before his death, Ansell had been living with Ms Hewson, a former tour guide, on a billabong at the Aboriginal outstation Urapunga, on the Roper River, about 480km south of Darwin.
He was initiated as a white member of local Aboriginal clan and got on well with the Ngukkur community. But the spiral into a drug-induced psychosis continued as Ansell smoked cannabis and injected amphetamines with vengeance.
“I didn’t know Ansell really well, but I’d met him a few times,” long-time Territorian and former reporter Chips Mackinolty said.
“He was tough as nails, the sort of person that could do what he said he did, and did do it when he was working as a stockman, as a wrangler and that stuff.
“He was an extraordinary person at that level, but it ended up in tears.”
Mr Mackinolty was heading to Katherine and had been allowed through the roadblock earlier on the day the killing happened.
“It was one of those ‘goose steps on your own grave’ sort of feelings – you were very close to what ended up being a very awful thing.
“It’s always sad when the threat of poverty and frustrated ambition get mixed up and send people off the edge, big time,” Mr Mackinolty said.
“I was completely shocked, as were a lot of people who knew him in the earlier years.”
In his coronial ruling, Magistrate Wallace said the contrast between the “original Crocodile Dundee who appeared on television” and the emaciated drug addict – who weighed just 53kg when he opened fire on police – could hardly be more marked.
“His drug abuse rendered his mind so addled he believed fantasies that a child would dismiss with contempt,” he said.
“His pointless and destructive actions caused immediate agony and suffering to the men he wounded.”
The infamous rampage means Ansell is remembered in Darwin not as a knockabout bushman, but as the man who murdered a heroic cop.
Along the side of the Stuart Highway, heading to Batchelor and points south, there’s a turnoff at Old Bynoe Road. On this corner there’s a simple cross like far too many you see on Australian roads. This one is the same in that it marks the point where a loved one lost his or her life. The ever-present, neatly-arrayed booze bottles testify to the fact that his friends have not forgotten him.
However this site is also different. It doesn’t mark a road fatality, but rather the death of a police officer on duty, Sergeant Glen Anthony Huitson, killed protecting the community from a man who had gone on an overnight shooting spree. The further tragedy is that this death, left a young widow and two little children who will never know their father: the risks that police face daily in doing their duty.
By all accounts Glen Huitson was a quietly impressive young man and an excellent policeman who was soon to receive the Police Valour medal, given posthumously to his wife, Lisa. Huitson had worked out bush and was well respected by the communities he’d worked in. Stationed at Adelaide River at the time of the shooting, Huitson is also remembered by a memorial there.
Across the new railway track on the Old Bynoe Road, there’s a different kind of memorial from the simple cross with beer bottles. It’s the official memorial in Glen Huitson Park. It has an impressively large stone brought from a distance and plaques to honour the man and the police officer.
I recognise that another family lost a person they’d loved that day. No doubt as they pass Huitson’s memorial they think of their own loved one. However for me this is about the loss of a man doing his duty. As you go about your routines today, please remember all those police officers who daily risk their lives to protect us.
I leave you with Glen Huitson’s eulogy, testifying to his concern for others and his true community spirit. Rest in Peace, Sergeant Glen Huitson, you did your duty well.
4 thoughts on “Sergeant Glen Huitson”
Family and friends pay tribute to brave officer
- NT News
- August 03, 2014
IT was 15 years on Sunday since one of NT Police’s darkest days.
On August 3, 1999 Brevet Sergeant Glen Anthony Huitson was manning a roadblock on the Stuart Highway at Livingstone when he was shot and killed by “Crocodile Dundee” Rod Ansell.
Ansell was then hit with fatal return fire by Sgt Huitson’s partner, Senior Constable Jamie O’Brien.
Sgt Huitson’s wife Lisa said the anniversary was always emotional.
“But he’s always with us and it’s good to see his colleagues and friends return,” she said.
“It’s nice to come back.”
The couple’s children Joe and Ruby were just 2 and 10 months old when their father was killed.
Police Commissioner John McRoberts said the memorial was a sobering reminder of the dangers of policing.
“It’s really good to pay our respects to a man who died doing what he loved and wanted to do – which was serve and protect,” he said.
Sgt Huitson joined the NT Police in January 1987. He served in both Southern and Northern districts.
During his service, he received a Commendation from the Commissioner of Police in March 1994 when he attended a disturbance at a community near Alice Springs. He disarmed a drunk armed with a knife and star picket, and was threatening another person with a billy of boiling water.
Then in February of 1999 in Litchfield Park, he disarmed an armed man who was threatening the driver and passengers of a bus. He received a Valour Award over this incident.
For the incident which cost him his life, he was awarded the Australia Bravery Medal, and a bar to his Valour Medal.