Stephen John LEACH

Stephen ‘ Steve ‘ John LEACH

New South Wales Police Force

Joined NSWPF via Police Cadets on 24 November 1969

Cadet # 2538

Detective Sergeant

Regd. # 15543

Stations: Homicide Squad

Service:  From  to  ?

Awards:  National Medal – granted 14 December 1988

1st Clasp to the National Medal – granted 28 May 1999

Commissioner’s Commendation ( posthumoulsy ) ” In recognition of his tenacity, dedication and commitment “

Suicide – firearm

Born: 28 October 1953

Died  3 August 2004

51 old

Funeral:  ? August 2004

Grave stone location:

Castlebrook Memorial Park
Location: Stations of the Cross
Section: Cross
Lot: 40
Lat/Lng: -33.69279, 150.92183


Steve Leach
Steve Leach

And in August 2004, Detective Sergeant Steve Leach killed himself with his pistol at police headquarters at Parramatta.


Stephen John LEACH - grave stone
Stephen John LEACH – grave stone.
Castlebrook Memorial Park Cemetery & Crematorium
Castlebrook Memorial Park, Windsor Rd, Rouse Hill, NSW


[alert_red]Steve is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_red]

Policeman shot dead at station

August 3, 2004 – 7:33PM

One of NSW top police investigators was found shot dead in the state’s police headquarters today, shattering his family, friends and colleagues around the world.

Detective Sergeant Steve Leach, 51, an internationally recognised officer who helped investigate former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic on behalf of the United Nations, was found with a single gunshot wound to the head shortly before midday.

Among his local achievements, Det Sgt Leach was instrumental in the arrest of backpacker murderer Ivan Milat and the investigations into missing Sydney school girl Samantha Knight.

NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney rushed to Parramatta upon hearing the news and, while he declined to speculate on the cause of death, said it was not believed to be suspicious.

The detective sergeant was not working today, having returned to NSW from The Hague in the Netherlands only in recent months.

Det Sgt Leach had been on sick leave after sustaining an undisclosed physical injury while overseas, but he had been due to recommence his employment with the NSW Police soon.

The Commissioner said investigations into the death had begun using a specialist team from Bankstown police, who would prepare a report for the Coroner.

“These are very tragic circumstances not only for the officer concerned and his family but equally as important, for his colleagues,” Mr Moroney said.

“I’m sure he will be remembered not only in the coming days . . . but certainly in years to come as one of the most experienced detectives we have (had) here in NSW, and we are the poorer for his loss today.”

Mr Moroney said the married officer had two children who, along with his colleagues, were “understandably very distraught” at the news of his passing.

“He was a very popular colleague and highly respected, not only in terms of his detective skills but certainly the specialist skills that he brought to criminal investigations here in NSW,” he said.

The officer’s colleagues at the NSW State Crime Command in Parramatta were being counselled by police chaplain Barry Dwyer.

Another police officer also was mourned today – Senior Constable Ian Ross Dennis, based in Walgett, north-west NSW, who died in hospital after a short battle with an illness, aged 47.

Mr Moroney paid tribute to both officers, saying they had been outstanding servants of the police force.

“It’s important on these occasions that we honour and acknowledge that service and that commitment,” he said.

“It’s a very sad day for the organisation to lose officers of this calibre who have selflessly served the people of this state to the very best of their skill and ability.

“And that’s all I could ever ask them to do.”




Detective who shot himself bore grief of many

By Les Kennedy
August 4, 2004

Homicide detective Steve Leach, left, and another detective escort the backpacker killer Ivan Milat from his home in 1994. Photo: Rick Stevens



There are few moments of joy in the life of a homicide investigator, and most of those are with their families.

Steve Leach had borne the grief of many, but yesterday it was the turn of his colleagues to face his own violent death.

Detective Senior Sergeant Leach, one of the state’s most experienced homicide detectives, took his life with his own handgun in the heart of the new NSW Police headquarters in Parramatta.

Nobody, it appears, saw such a tragedy coming.

Sergeant Leach had been on sick leave since early June, the result of a car accident in Europe that left him with leg injuries.

He had recently applied to be pensioned off as hurt on duty but those who encountered him recently had found him apparently cheery and looking forward to an early retirement.

He was still on sick report when he walked into the police building yesterday. He went into the soundproof weapons storage room; no one had been expecting him and no one heard the shot. Another officer found his body about noon.

When family, friends and colleagues looked at the life of Steve Leach, they saw an extraordinary career that began when he joined the force as a 16-year-old cadet in 1969.

He was a second-generation cop. Over 35 years, he played a role in some of the state’s most notorious cases and found his way as far afield as Bosnia, where he investigated war crimes.

Along the way he offered support to the families of victims and perpetrators alike. He even lent his shoulder to Shirley Soir, the sister of the backpacker killer Ivan Milat, who collapsed while sitting next to him in court on the day in May 1994 that her brother was charged with seven murders.

Ten days earlier, the burly detective had walked into police history as one of two detectives who arrested Milat at his Eagle Vale home.

In that case he led the search for the weapon, a Ruger 10/22, of which there were more than 100,000 imported into Australia.

He was often given tough tasks, such as the long investigation into the disappearance of the Bondi schoolgirl Samantha Knight.

In recent years, he was seconded to the European War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. His team in the Netherlands charged the former Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, whose war crimes trial is still before the international court.

Sergeant Leach spent more than two years walking through massacre sites and talking to survivors.

He came back to Sydney last year, returning to the homicide squad and recalling good times in Europe with his wife Christine, a schoolteacher.

He was chuffed that one of his two sons had also joined the police force, while the other had signed up for the army.

The Police Commissioner, Ken Moroney, remembered a detective of impeccable character.

“I’m sure he will be remembered, not only in the coming days … but certainly in years to come, as one of the most experienced detectives we have [had] here in NSW, and we are the poorer for his loss today.”



Colleagues grieve for a lauded detective

By Les Kennedy
August 4, 2004


Homicide detective Steve Leach, left, takes Ivan Milat into custody in 1994.

Apart from time spent with their families, there are few moments of joy in the lives of homicide investigators.

They see the grief of others and are expected to bear their own feelings inwardly. Steve Leach had borne the grief of many – until yesterday. Now his colleagues are facing the tragedy of his own violent death.

Detective Senior Sergeant Leach, one of the Australia’s most experienced homicide detectives, took his life with his own handgun in the heart of the new NSW Police Headquarters in Parramatta.

It seems nobody saw it coming. When family, friends and colleagues looked at the life of 51-year-old Senior Sergeant Leach, what they saw was an extraordinary career that began when he joined the force as a 16-year-old cadet in 1969.

He was a second-generation police officer who, over 35 years, played key roles in some of Australia’s most high-profile and most horrific cases.

His talents were also sought internationally. He was seconded to the European War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague to investigate the killing fields of Bosnia, and was instrumental in the arrest of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, who is facing genocide charges.

But the hard-nosed detective also had a gift for empathy and gave his support to the families of victims and perpetrators alike.

He even lent his shoulder to Shirley Soir, the sister of Ivan Milat, who collapsed while sitting next to him in court on the day in May 1994 when her brother was charged with the murders of seven backpackers.

Ten days earlier, he walked into police history as one of two detectives who arrested Milat.

He was often asked to investigate cases where the trails had seemingly run cold, such as the 1986 disappearance of Bondi schoolgirl Samantha Knight. But by the time his team had secured the conviction of Michael Guider, Senior Sergeant Leach was in Bosnia, walking through massacre sites, talking to survivors.

He returned to Sydney last year, speaking only of the good times in Europe with his wife Christine, a school teacher. He was chuffed that one of his two sons had joined the force, while the other had joined the army.

But he had been on sick leave since early June after injuring his legs in a car crash in Europe. He had recently applied to be pensioned off as hurt on duty, but had appeared upbeat planning for his early retirement.

Senior Sergeant Leach was on leave when he arrived at police headquarters yesterday, went into the sound-proof weapon storage room and took his gun. No one heard the shot. Another officer found his body at noon.

One shocked colleague and mate said: “There you go, buddy. The futility of it all. We are all feeling that empty feeling. Why?”

Those needing assistance can reach Suicide Helpline Victoria on 1300 651 251, Lifeline on 131 114 (both 24-hour lines), SANE on 1800 688 382 or Kids Help Line on 1800 551 800.




Steve Leach Memorial

by Kevin Caruso

Detective Sergeant Steve Leach, from Sydney, Australia, was a well-known, veteran police officer with 35 years of experience.

Steve Leach was so highly respected by his fellow officers that they referred to him as “a policeman’s policeman.”

He was assigned some of Australia’s most horrific crimes. And he arrested serial killer Ivan Milat (see picture above), who murdered seven people between 1989 and 1992.

He also worked in Serbia and Montenegro from 2000 to 2003 as an investigator for the European War Crimes Tribunal, in which he had to view sites where massacres occurred, and then interview survivors.

Steve was an extremely strong man, both physically and mentally, and handled all of his assignments with the highest levels of integrity, courage, intelligence, and competence.

He was also highly ambitious and believed that he should have received a higher rank than detective sergeant.

And he was frustrated by what he believed was a ridiculous and unfair promotion system in which he and other officers were forced to engage in “role play” during their promotion examinations.

In March, Steve applied for a newly created position as inspector at the coroner’s office, but the job was given to a much younger officer who had only a fraction of Steve’s experience.

Steve was furious and appealed the decision.

Unbelievably, Steve lost the appeal.

And soon afterwards, he became depressed.

On August 2, 2004, Steve, who was off-duty at the time, calmly walked into the police station, went to the armory room, obtained his service handgun, and shot himself in the head.

He was 51.

Steve’s fellow police officers were shocked, and immediately blamed the idiotic promotion system.

One outraged officer did not mince words when he described the promotion system as “bullshit.” He went on the say, “The promotions system is the only that was upsetting this very calm, [great police officer]. The current system is promoting people with just 12 years of experience over someone with 35 years of experience – this just destroys people like Steve Leach.”

Steve was one of the greatest police officers in Australia’s history.

Everyone loved and respected him.

And he made the streets safer because of his hard work.

He was a dedicated, superstar cop who loved his job and who loved to help people.

He was a hero.



A rank way to treat the copsTranscript
ADAM SHAND: Steve Leach was the model of what a detective should be – tough, uncompromising in his pursuit of crime, but fair and compassionate. He kept his own counsel as he served others right up to the day he took his own life.
KEN MORONEY, NSW POLICE COMMISSIONER: A very sad day for the organisation to lose officers of this quality and this calibre who’ve selflessly served the people of this state to the very best of their skill and ability.
ADAM SHAND: In 31 years of service, Steve Leach had worked some of NSW’s most difficult cases. He had seen the dark side of humanity, arresting backpacker murderer Ivan Milat, and solving the abduction of school girl Samantha Knight. In Leach’s death, his comrades saw their own images. At his funeral, the priest said that no-one should speculate on Leach’s own untold story.
GARY HESKET, FORMER NSW DETECTIVE: I looked in the church. I could see a lot of young police there with promotion on their shoulders. I saw a lot of older police there, experienced heads. And not at the same level. “Don’t speculate”, I thought to myself. I thought, “That’s just saying we should never ever speak about this matter ever again.”
ADAM SHAND: No-one will ever know why, at the age of 51, Steve Leach lost hope that day. But many senior detectives can trace their own disillusion back to the massive changes introduced after the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption in the mid-1990s. The Commissioner recommended a complete overhaul of the force’s management style. A new promotion system was introduced that no longer ensured progress through the ranks based on years of service.
MARK FENLON, FORMER POLICE SERGEANT: It’s had a huge detrimental effect on morale. It’s had a huge detrimental effect upon police officers with experience who have been disenfranchised by the process. Who have been and are continue to seek exit from the police force at the earliest opportunity. And this has left a huge void in the organisation in terms of experience, in terms of training and development of younger police, in terms of expertise to deal with crime, which can’t be replaced.
ADAM SHAND: Gary Hesket left the force a year ago after three decades in the job. He keeps up with his mates through his role in as a trainer in the police rugby league competition.
GARY HESKET: This is good for the camaraderie, the esprit de corps. It’s the best things they could do after working in the police environment they’re in – get out here and have a game amongst each other.
ADAM SHAND: You pick up the paper and see Steve Leach has committed suicide. What did that mean to you when you heard that?
GARY HESKET: The first question I asked was, “Was he passed over for promotion?” And the word that came back to me was ‘yes’.
ADAM SHAND: Like Steve Leach, Gary Hesket devoted his life to catching villains. He was a natural-born detective, voted policeman of the year in 2001 by his local community in western Sydney.
GARY HESKET: Then you’re told, “Well, Gary, if you want to be promoted, the best thing you can do is forget about police work, find a desk somewhere and hide and do yourself a degree or diploma because that’s the only way you’re going to get promoted in the future of NSW Police.”
ADAM SHAND: Hesket says many of his generation of detectives have simply been dumped on the scrap heap.
GARY HESKET: But at the end of the time when you put in 35 years, where is your reward? Where is your reward?
ADAM SHAND: On the day his family and comrades farewelled Steve Leach, NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney awarded him a ribbon recognising his achievement in solving 15-year-old mystery of Samantha Knight’s disappearance.
GARY HESKET: And he did a magnificent job and he solved it, and now, posthumously, Mr Moroney is giving him a medal for that. Why wasn’t he given a medal when the case was solved, while he was alive?
ADAM SHAND: When Leach was seconded as a war crimes investigator to the former Yugoslavia, he won praise for a difficult job. On his return to Australia, he expected a promotion to finish his career as a commissioned officer.
MICK KENNEDY, FORMER NSW DETECTIVE: And the reason he couldn’t get promoted was he could do the job but he couldn’t pretend he could do the job. He couldn’t get through the assessment stuff, I suppose, or the role play nonsense. I was a detective for 20 years in the NSW Police…
ADAM SHAND: These days Mick Kennedy is researching trends in modern policing for a PhD. He believes the root of the crisis facing Steve Leach’s generation is a lack of support for field officers.
MICK KENNEDY: He didn’t kill himself because he was working in the evils and the horrors of criminal investigation, because that’s part and parcel of the work that you can deal with. You insulate yourself from it, you deal with that. But all of the time that you’re dealing with those murky, dirty hands areas of working it needs to be constantly reinforced that you’re dependent upon your organisation to support you in times of crisis or when things go bad.
ADAM SHAND: When Kennedy faced his own crisis, he found there was no-one to turn to.
MICK KENNEDY: I was in this house some years ago and I had my 38 on the bed and I was in despair over a range of issues. And I was thinking seriously, “Well, the best thing I could do is to kill myself”, so I ring the police medical officer and I got through to a woman who couldn’t speak English. I was on the phone with her for 20 minutes telling her that I was considering shooting myself and I’d like to speak to someone about it. In the end, I hung up in disgust because I couldn’t speak to anyone. Now I thought, “God, almighty! I can’t even try to attract attention. No-one’s interested! No-one really cares”, you know?
ADAM SHAND: Faced with growing criticism, the NSW Government asked former Assistant Commissioner Geoff Schuberg to investigate the promotions system. He found many detectives had lost their sense of purpose in the job.
GEOFF SCHUBERG, FORMER ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: And one of the great problems in the system was that a number of police were applying for positions outside their area of expertise and winning them and they were put in a position where they were supervising and managing police when they had no experience or previous qualifications to do so.
ADAM SHAND: Promotion, it seemed to Schuberg, had become more important to the rank and file than the job itself.
GEOFF SCHUBERG: Police really took their eye off the game of catching crooks and the promotions race seemed to be the main topic of the day, where people simply talked about positions that were being advertised, positions which they were applying for. There was a lot of resentment. There was a lot of drop in morale because of people who were applying for positions and couldn’t even get interviews. And I think that’s still very much the case.
ADAM SHAND: Crime reporter Steve Barrett has been watching this generation of police officers for over 20 years. He’s seen the job consume too many of them.
STEVE BARRETT, CRIME REPORTER: There was another detective inspector up at one of the stations in the Newcastle area who, with his service pistol, shot himself in the police station. Till this day, that family doesn’t know what happened to that person, why he took his own life. And you really have got to say to yourself, “What is this all about? Why is this happening?”
ADAM SHAND: The Wood Royal Commission identified this generation of detectives as fertile ground for corruption, and set about purging its ranks.
STEVE BARRETT: I mean, there was some very good work done by the Royal Commission but there was also some work where evidence was put before the Commission which was just, quite frankly, not true. And there was bad collateral damage and when you look at what’s happened, you think to yourself, “Well, a lot of police did down tools.” There’s no doubt about that. Then you see all these gangs growing up around Sydney – and I suppose it’s bit like if you don’t weed the garden, you’re going to get weeds.
MARK FENLON: And this is reflected in the crime clear-up rates for NSW. They’re the lowest in the country. Around about 12 percent of robberies are being solved within the first 90 days of the offence occurring. 5 percent of break and enters within the same period. It’s scandalous. That’s how this policy is impacting and has impacted and will continue to impact on policing in this State.
ADAM SHAND: Old-style cops say policing has become a numbers game these days. In crime statistics, a bust for a broken window counts for the same as a murder. The critics say it is the same wherever the police have moved from a paramilitary-based model free enterprise-style management – commanders are forced to strive for quantitative outcomes like managers in a boardroom.
MICK KENNEDY: The problem is that productivity is measured, in policing terms, in terms of arrests, and they say, “That’s great.” But it’s about trivial arrests. What they do, you get a senior commander and have a meeting and he humiliates everybody by yelling at them and screaming at them, “Why aren’t your – why aren’t your arrest rates up? How come my stolen vehicles is down?” You say, “We don’t have any staff. I’m not interested in that!” And it’s humiliating, and it’s a humiliating process and it is a degrading.
ADAM SHAND: Kennedy says the older detectives often find the pressure intolerable as they watch younger colleagues ride a desk to the top. He says the promotions system rewards those that work it. You gather merit points from education and role playing sessions where officers must show a grasp of the new language and politics of community policing. For an undercover detective, this is the theatre of the absurd.
MICK KENNEDY: I had been doing undercover work for far too long. I had a twitch. I had a stutter. My hair was dropping out. I had psoriasis all over my hands and I have no doubt if I had have killed myself some idiot would say, “But, mate, he was just a bit tired, We didn’t know he had any real problems.”
ADAM SHAND: Former sergeant Mark Fenlon served for 20 years. He left the force reluctantly after a distinguished career.
MARK FENLON: I had to get out of policing. I blew the whistle on promotions corruption in 1999. Nothing was done in relation to the complaints I made. The promotions system, it’s allowed people who haven’t got the qualifications, the experience, to gain promotion to gain positions – senior positions within the organisation – to lead the organisation.
ADAM SHAND: Although his complaints were investigated, the system remains relatively unchanged and Mark Fenlon says its major faults are beginning to show.
MARK FENLON: No better example than recently would be Redfern, where there were two images that is stuck in my mind. One was of police being directed to line up across a street and be subjected to bottles being thrown at them, Molotov cocktails being thrown at them. The other image is that there were perhaps half-a-dozen senior officers in the background in the background with mobile phones to their ears looking for a direction, looking for some guidance in relation to what to do with the situation.
RON STEPHENSON, FORMER POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: In my day – and I’m not blowing my trumpet – but if you were placed in that situation, if you were in arm’s length away from some of the offenders, they’d be in the back of the truck and charged with assault, indecent language, offensive behaviour, whatever the matter was.
ADAM SHAND: Inspector Ron Stephenson was the officer in charge the day, in 1984, when two bikie gangs, the Bandidos and the Comancheros, squared off in the car park of the Viking Tavern, in Milperra. Seven people already lay dead and experience told Stephenson that, without quick thinking, the murderers would walk free.
RON STEPHENSON: A decision would be made that they’d be rounded up, interviewed, and charged. They were only charged that day with offensive behaviour and cause of fray but, three weeks later, after we’d worked out the full picture, we raided simultaneously 43 homes, arrested 43 bikers and charged them with 301 charges of murder.
ADAM SHAND: But just how you restore confidence in a force that has lost so much in terms of experience is another matter. More than half of NSW police have been in the job for less than five years. Training simulation exercises like this one are now a key measure of competence and suitability for promotion.
STEVE BARRETT: I can tell you about another guy who was the boss of homicide for five years. In the north-west of Sydney. And he had to go to an assessment testing centre for a day, where they role play. And, I don’t know – because he wasn’t a good actor, he didn’t get promoted. Now, he just walked away. He’s gone. So all this experience over years and years and years of hard slog for the taxpayer of NSW has just gone like that.
ADAM SHAND: But NSW Police Minister John Watkins denies the service is in crisis, that many more officers like Steve Leach are at risk. He insists morale in the force is at its highest since the Wood Royal Commission clean out.
JOHN WATKINS, NSW POLICE MINISTER: The separation rate for NSW Police is the lowest it’s been for eight years and the actual resignation rate is the lowest it’s been for 10 years. It’s a very stable force in NSW and morale is the highest it’s been for a generation.
ADAM SHAND: But the Minister does accept the need for a review of the promotions system. He chairs a working party of detectives which is discussing the problem.
JOHN WATKINS: There was a working party, the Schuberg working party, that’s reported to me. I’ve given that to the Anderson working party to report to me by the end of this year for legislative changes to be put in place so a new promotions system can be up and running from 1 July, 2005.
ADAM SHAND: Victoria Police Service has also established a merit-based promotion system, which favours education over experience. There are morale issues in Victoria as a result, but the greater problem is a war on corruption.
CHRISTINE NIXON, CHIEF COMMISSIONER, VICTORIA POLICE: I did come to Victoria Police with an understanding there was corruption here. It’s the kind of attitude Victoria Police had that they didn’t have corruption really was a bit of a myth.
ADAM SHAND: Unlike NSW, where the Royal Commission fast-tracked a clean out of bent coppers, Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon’s management team is driving reform.
CHRISTINE NIXON: In policing, there will always be corruption. What you have to do is figure out where the high-risk areas are, where the likelihood of that corruption is to occur and to try change the systems and practices or, in fact, focus on people who might be working in those areas.
ADAM SHAND: Nixon has identified so-called legends in the force which, she says, have set bad examples for young officers. Though he left the force nearly 20 years ago, Brian Murphy is still Victoria’s most feared and revered officer – a legend amongst crims and coppers. Back in 1971, Murphy was charged with the killing of a suspect in custody. Although he was acquitted, he found the incident gave him an unhealthy reputation amongst some junior officers.
BRIAN MURPHY, FORMER VICTORIAN POLICE OFFICER: There would be a lot of young people think, “Well, Murphy did it and got away with it. I’ll try do what he did or what he was involved in, something similar.” And it’s not always a good thing.
ADAM SHAND: Should you have been gone back in the force, do you think?
BRIAN MURPHY: From time to time I think that it was most probably a bad move that I did go back in, but I couldn’t think of doing anything else than police work.
ADAM SHAND: When Murphy returned to duty he was given a new role. Leading a small team known as “Murphy’s Marauders”, he took on the villains in their own pubs, sending a message of fear through the underworld. It was an old-school, often violent, method that, although successful, is certainly not endorsed in today’s force.
BRIAN MURPHY: If somebody is arrested and he received a certain amount of corporal punishment, it would most probably be as a result of an assault on the policeman first. And policemen are permitted, the same as anybody else in the community, to prevent an assault, to use force, more than what is being used on them.
ADAM SHAND: Some Victorian police feel the pendulum has swung too far. Officers now feel powerless in the face of criminals who have exploited the new, sensitive approach to police enforcement.
CHRISTINE NIXON: I guess I don’t quite see that and I have a lot of contact with police. Australia has this kind of way of seeing villains as the heroes – Ned Kelly, I suppose, Roger Rogerson in NSW, and Brian Murphy is another. I don’t think they see them as the heroes, the real heroes in policing. I think they see them as people who just behaved and were of their time. What we have to do now is live within the legal boundaries.
ADAM SHAND: But Brian Murphy believes some officers are being used as political pawns as management seeks to reassure the public of the integrity of the service. He could see the writing on the wall and took early retirement. He finds himself counselling many young officers unsure of their future career direction.
BRIAN MURPHY: And a lot of them have left the job and rue the day they ever left because it’s a big, hard, cold world out there and the wages they were getting on numerous occasions they’ve found wanting and they get outside. They haven’t got the camaraderie, they haven’t got the protection of the government behind them.
ADAM SHAND: Maybe the job isn’t what it used to be, and many would say that’s a step forward. But men like Gary Hesket feel they’ve been let down by an administration that’s changed the rules in the middle of the game.
GARY HESKET: At the end of my days, for all the hard work you did, they take your badge, they take your ID. There’s nothing. You’re stripped. At the end of your days, who are you? You’ve given all these years of service. You just walk away and there’s this wealth of experience just sitting out there just wasting away and dying away.Click here for a printer-friendly version.


RIP Detective Senior Sergeant Leach

Silver Member
 leggingsandlace's Avatar…476494599.html…55E421,00.html

An unbelievably tragic death.

He brought Ivan Milat to justice. He worked on the disappearance of nine-year-old schoolgirl Samantha Knight and the death of Sydney mother Zoe Zou, who died last November. He recently spent two years walking through massacre sites and talking to victims of Slobodan Milosevic for the European War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.

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04-08-2004, 10:44 AM   #2
♥♥ pEeK-a-bOo ♥♥
 mdo's Avatar
i know.. i heard bout that yesterday
noone knows why he done it.. and his got a family and kids too… so sad….
my condolence goes out to them all.

.R. I . P.
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04-08-2004, 10:54 AM   #3
Platinum Member
 SoniaMurphy's Avatar

It is very very sad that such an important man within the Australian justice system has gone.

I can’t imagine the things he must have seen over his 35 years as a policeman. Obviously it was to much for him in the end.


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04-08-2004, 11:01 AM   #4
New Member
i just read about this. how tragic. he helped so many people by bringing people like ivan milat to justice, and it just got too much. it’s awful. my heart goes out to his family, friends and colleagues.
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04-08-2004, 11:02 AM   #5
 sultry's Avatar

It is so sad and the worst part is the not knowing.

Perhaps we could also say RIP to Senior Constable Ian Ross Dennis?…ectionID=media

Another fine Police Officer taken from us too early. If only there were more out there like him.

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04-08-2004, 11:12 AM   #6
Bronze Member
 Sambellina's Avatar
Zoe Zou was my friend. I hope this doesn’t effect the trial of the accussed.
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04-08-2004, 11:12 AM   #7
Bronze Member
 Sambellina's Avatar

Edit: double post

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Sambellina on 2004-08-04 12:13 ]</font>

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04-08-2004, 11:13 AM   #8
Wildlife Warrior – Sadly Missed
 Emily-May's Avatar
corrupt maybe?
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04-08-2004, 11:15 AM   #9
Gold Member
 Elemi's Avatar

I saw him talk about the backpacker murders in Adelaide when I was in first year doing a forensic and analytical chemistry course and he inspired me to finish my degree. I am quite that he’s gone – he was an amazing speaker and a tenacious investigator.


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04-08-2004, 11:16 AM   #10
The heart ages last . .
 Nightshade's Avatar

What this the one who dies under sus circumstances?

It is so sad how all these people who do wonderful things for their community usually don’t have outlets for how they are feeling/coping with everything they have seen.

Her Most Noble Lady Nightshade the Precocious of Kesslington under Ox – Going to Paris for my birthday!!


04-08-2004, 11:20 AM   #11
Platinum Member
 Vogue_Chic04's Avatar

It just about breaks my heart to read things like this…

As someone who dreams of becoming a police officer one day, I’m glad to know that there are such fine members of the police force within Australia and to know that their hard work and compassion in the job has assisted so many people and has set a respected precedent for future officers.

It’s important to commend and appreciate our nation’s police officers to help dispell the hostile attitude many members of public have against police officers – we often quickly forget that there are real people and families beneith the blue uniform.

My dad was friends with a member of the Victorian Police force who was killed while on duty, it’s upsetting to remember the sadness that his death had on our family as his friends, let alone what it must be like for immediate family..

My heart and prayers go out to both families – especially Snr Det. Leach’s son.

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04-08-2004, 11:29 AM   #12
Platinum Member
 Vogue_Chic04's Avatar
On 2004-08-04 12:12, Sambellina wrote:
Zoe Zou was my friend. I hope this doesn’t effect the trial of the accussed.

How heart-breaking for you… I do doubt that it will effect the outcome of the case – but most likely a collegue of Snr Det. Leach will be presenting any facts and evidence.

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04-08-2004, 12:03 PM   #13
 ~erika~'s Avatar
thats awful.
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04-08-2004, 12:12 PM   #14
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 leggingsandlace's Avatar
On 2004-08-04 12:02, sultry wrote:
It is so sad and the worst part is the not knowing.Perhaps we could also say RIP to Senior Constable Ian Ross Dennis?…ectionID=mediaAnother fine Police Officer taken from us too early. If only there were more out there like him.

Thank you very much for that link.

I can’t believe the police force lost two such fine men in the space of only a few hours.

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05-08-2004, 09:23 AM   #15
 generictypegirl's Avatar
On 2004-08-04 12:13, Emily-May wrote:
corrupt maybe?

Do you mean maybe he was corrupt or he saw too much corruption? Regardless, it’s tragic the amount of police officers who end up comitting suicide because of the stress involved with their job or the ‘inner workings’ of police culture. A truly fine police officer who potentially saved a lot of people’s lives



Further reading



Location of Cremation plaque


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Stephen Leach was a brilliant man and although I had a relatively brief encounter with him, I am sure of his integrity and enormous intellect. I think of him often and feel sad for his loss.

[…] Moroney paid tribute to both officers, saying they had been outstanding servants of the police […]

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