Is this Britain’s biggest scandal?
The single-level house sat on a generous block. It had a small front patio of red brick, a garage down the side, and two separate sheds in the deep backyard. It was in that yard that neighbours often saw their neighbour running fitness classes with young boys.
In one of his sheds he had gym equipment, and in the other photographic gear. He liked taking pictures and almost always carried a camera. On weekends, too, he enjoyed nothing more than cruising down to the Gold Coast in his green car, or hanging out at the nearby Garden City Shopping Centre.
WESTMINSTER: Alleged paedophile network investigated
He was a world-class stenographer and his name was Clarence Henry Howard-Osborne. To an outsider, Howard-Osborne, known as plain Clarry Osborne, was nothing more or less than a mild eccentric, a perfectionist, a man who did not suffer fools gladly. Given he was a leading shorthand writer for the Queensland courts and later state parliament, he appreciated order. But as he lived unobtrusively in Eyre St – from at least the early 1960s – he harboured an extraordinary secret within the walls of that plain house.
In the spring of 1979, a suburban Brisbane mother accidentally overhead her young son talking about being photographed in the nude by a man. When she later pressed him for details, he volunteered that a person named Clarry Osborne had taken pictures of him and other boys.
Some weeks later, the mother mentioned the incident involving her son to a friend at a social function. As it turned out, the friend was married to a Queensland police officer. That officer – not a member of the force’s Juvenile Aid Bureau, the unit that might be expected to handle such matters – decided to have Osborne put under surveillance. He was duly caught photographing boys in bushland near Mount Gravatt.
Osborne was taken by police to Eyre St. There, they discovered thousands of pictures of naked children, hundreds of hours of tape-recorded conversations with boys and a meticulously organised filing cabinet filled with index cards bearing the details of his victims, from their names, ages and addresses, to their physical measurements. It was later estimated that Osborne had been involved with more than 2500 under-aged males over a 20-year period.
Police took Osborne back to headquarters in the city for questioning. They also confiscated three carloads of materials – a fraction of Osborne’s sordid trove of information. Investigators were initially bewildered by the magnitude of the case. Here was a short, stocky, 61-year-old man, recently retired, who, if his own documents were to be believed, might go down in history as one of the world’s worst serial paedophiles. And his playground was southeast Queensland.
Down at headquarters, police noted that Osborne was remarkably cooperative. But what might they charge him with? It would take months to go through the photographs, index cards, tape recordings and pornographic material. The Juvenile Aid Bureau and the legal department would have to be consulted.
So that evening in September 1979, detectives drove Osborne back to Eyre St. Former Juvenile Aid Bureau officer Dugald William MacMillan said the JAB was not informed of the Osborne case on the day he was brought in by CIB officers and questioned.
“They [the original investigating officers] never came near us,” MacMillan recalled. “I was absolutely stunned when I heard this story. I couldn’t understand why the CIB hadn’t followed it up and they’d let him go.”
That night, Osborne wrote a note explaining he had been questioned by police and that “this was the best way”. He took some of his files and burned them in an incinerator in his backyard. He then went into the garage down a driveway on the northern side of the house, hooked a hose up to the exhaust pipe and into the cabin of his green car, started the engine and pressed “record” on the audio equipment he had rigged inside, used countless times to capture his illicit conversations with boys and the sounds of their sexual trysts. Osborne then recorded his own last words: “I’ve been sitting here ten minutes and I’m still alive … ”
Incredibly, Osborne and his voluminous files were never thoroughly investigated by police. According to officers who viewed the Osborne material at the time, the names on the index cards, so dutifully recorded by Osborne, were not only those of the boys he had seduced, but adults – members of the judiciary, the legal profession, politicians, academics, and even police officers – with sexual interests in children.
One former officer said the Osborne material was enough “to bring down the [then Queensland] government overnight”. The officer said when he suggested the Osborne case deserved a thorough investigation, despite the fact that Osborne himself was dead, he was warned off by a senior officer and told to leave the matter alone.
MacMillan added “My understanding is the case went as high up as the premier’s [Joh Bjelke-Petersen] office because of who Osborne was.”
By the early 1980s the Osborne case had been all but forgotten, and many of the diminutive stenographer’s secrets were presumed lost with him. Except a retired Queensland police officer with a conscience and a phenomenal memory, who wanted to pursue Osborne at the time – and was warned off by senior officers, and who received a death threat after he pushed the paedophile investigation too far – only to be drummed out of the force, never forgot the case.
And in breaking his silence, he would link Osborne to an international paedophile ring, and the child abuse scandal currently rocking Westminster in the UK.
Items seized from Clarence Osborne’s home which were held by police.
Clarence Henry Howard-Osborne was born in Brisbane on May 26, 1918. His father was James and his mother Anna Elizabeth (née Orth). Osborne had twin sisters, Anna and Irene, and a brother, Leonard. The family worshipped at the Church of the Latter Day Saints in Woolloongabba, in the city’s inner south.
For a man who would develop powerful secrets, Osborne appeared to have had a need to communicate in his childhood. He was constantly submitting adolescent writings to newspaper competitions, and regularly winning shilling prizes and passes to the movies. Living with his parents at 88 Dunellan St, Greenslopes, (map) he was also an active youth. He once listed his favourite sports as tennis, cricket and swimming, and his hobbies as reading, writing and sketching. Osborne would later run a gymnasium. But he felt stifled by the family’s devotion to Mormonism.
“Osborne constantly referred to his own very strict puritanical upbringing and often described his own childhood as being for this reason ‘hypocritical’. He stated that he was born into a very repressive religion and was not allowed to play with children outside the particular church to which he belonged. He had a brother two years older than himself from whom he was emotionally distanced, but he often wrote warmly about the very cordial relationship he had with his twin sisters who were four years older. Osborne did not feel close to any other female figures, including his mother, whom he described as ‘strict’ and ‘aloof’.”
Osborne attended the State Commercial High School (on the campus of what would ultimately become the Queensland University of Technology), and later attained an associate certificate of accountancy from the University of Queensland. During wartime, he joined the civilian militia.
Criminologist Paul Wilson in 1996.
In 1940, the Osborne family made the papers again. This time it was reported that Clarry’s sister, Anna Elizabeth, was leaving Queensland for Salt Lake City in the United States to marry a Mormon elder, as was her cousin, Dorothea Darlene Orth. Anna’s mother refused to comment on the nuptials to the Brisbane Truth.
“My daughter is too dear to me to discuss her affairs in public,” she “protested pleasantly”. “I would really rather not have anything to say.”
Ultimately, Osborne became an accomplished shorthand writer. His skills attracted the attention of the Pitman shorthand school in London, which often deferred to him for advice. By the 1960s he was a top government court reporter. On the side he bred budgerigars and remained a fitness fanatic.
During the 1970s, Osborne was a familiar face around Parliament House. Political staffers remembered his outgoing personality, and his obsession with holidaying in Thailand. And a trainee shorthand co-worker recalled Osborne’s most peculiar hobby.
“He used to take and develop his own photos – 8[-inches] by 10s [20cm x 25cm] – of the boys he went with,” remembers the co-worker. “He would show these photographs around at work. I saw hundreds of them. There were even pictures of babies. He was on about it every day in the office, about picking up hitchhikers and rooting them. He was a little muscular fellow, had plenty of money and was very clever.”
Complaints over Osborne’s behaviour were lodged. Two secret inquiries were held by the Public Service Board in 1973 into Osborne, and as a result, the chief court reporter was moved to the Hansard bureau at Parliament House where his contact with young people was monitored.
In 1976, Osborne went to the University of Queensland campus at St Lucia in Brisbane’s inner west to pay an unexpected visit to criminologist Wilson. He had brought with him paperwork and photographs. “Osborne said that he had come to see me because of my reputation as a civil libertarian, and because he was sure I would respect his rights to privacy,” Wilson later wrote.
The Brisbane home where Osborne lived from the 1960s until his death in 1979.
Osborne was worried that a pornographic film of men having sex that he had purchased by mail order from Denmark had been seized by Australian Customs, and that if the police got involved, they might seize his “research” – the filing cabinet, photographs and audiotape of his sexual relations with more than 2500 boys.
“He was certainly close to his material and several times called it his ‘life work’ and continually worried about the Commonwealth Police taking it away from him and posterity,” Wilson later wrote. “Over the next two months I met Osborne on several occasions and each time he brought me new material to look at. Transcripts, tape-recordings and his manuscript documenting his own life were freely given to me and supplemented by face-to-face conversations of how he had met the young men in his life and why he acted as he did.”
In the meantime, Osborne was found dead the day after he was questioned by investigators in September 1979.
On Thursday, September 20, a small death notice appeared in The Courier-Mail: “Osborne, Clarence Henry, of Eyre Street, Mount Gravatt. Passed away at home 12.9.79. Sadly missed friend of John and Pauline and ‘Uncle’ of Peter and Geoffrey. There will be no funeral service as requested.”
In the winter of 1980, almost a year after Osborne had gassed himself at Mount Gravatt, a Juvenile Aid Bureau detective in the city branch headed down to the storeroom to retrieve a fresh police notebook. The detective had had several years’ experience in the JAB in North Queensland and was known as a straight, reliable and effective investigator. He could not know that that routine trip for some stationery would change his life.
The officer, respecting protocol and the chain of command, approached a superior.
“I went to this inspector and I said to him – I’ve just come across all this stuff in the Clarry Osborne exhibits in there,” he recalled. “I said it’s like Pandora’s box, [and] is anybody doing anything about it? I said I’ve read some of the stuff very briefly and it’s just a goldmine of information.”
He said the inspector replied that he was to do nothing about it, “just sit on it and use it later on to further your career”. The officer was nonplussed. Regardless, he began to secretly return to the storeroom, read the files and smuggle out copies of photographs.
The following year, another young detective was transferred into the JAB. The officer developed a trust and rapport with the newcomer, and they were soon digging through the Osborne files together.
“But we both realised we had to do it on the quiet, we had to sneak the stuff out,” he said. “We found magazines. There were German issue magazines. There were American magazines. And the thing that was very disturbing about them was that the Brisbane kids [photographed by Osborne] were appearing in the German magazines … then we’d find a copy of the same magazine in English … and it was almost like a tourist guide for paedophiles.
They could come to Brisbane and meet these kids. And this was all arranged through bloody Clarry. We discovered that the motto of the paedophile group over there was – ‘sex before eight [years old] before it’s too late’.
One of the German magazines was named Spartacus and it was the codename of an international underground paedophile network. It was run by a bloke called John Stamford out of Amsterdam. He originated from the UK and I think sort of got himself in a bit of strife there and went over to Amsterdam and he was running this network, and Clarry Osborne was part of that.”
Spartacus was in fact published by former British Catholic priest and paedophile Stamford, who had fled the UK for Amsterdam in the early 1970s after being convicted of sending obscene literature through the post. Stamford also ran the Spartacus Club, part of the British-registered Spartacus International. The company described itself as “general publishers of trade and business directories, periodicals, newspapers and journals”.
Spartacus magazine, run by John Stamford
Through the 1970s Stamford also appeared regularly in the press as an advocate for gay rights, and was a leading member of what was known as the Paedophile Information Exchange. It was founded in 1974 as a pro-paedophile activist group. In addition, PIE had a “contact page”, a bulletin where members placed advertisements. They were required to quote their membership number, general location and their sexual predilections. PIE managed the replies through a private post office As Osborne was sitting down with Wilson at UQ on the other side of the world, PIE was causing a storm in the UK. Several members were charged with conspiring to corrupt public morals, and details of the outfit emerged during court proceedings. It was described as “sick and a force of evil”. Media coverage of PIE intensified through the late 1970s, as did the group’s attempts to push its message, which included the abolition of the age of consent. And its contact point in Australia was Osborne.
“Clarry had been operating for so long that he virtually became the guru of paedophiles,” the officer said. “All of the paedophiles that we looked at were all in there [in the Osborne files], and that was only scratching the surface. They all came from Osborne’s system.”
In the end, the officer and his partner were on the brink of launching a major sting. Through a contact, they planned to open a post office box in Fortitude Valley and infiltrate the international paedophile ring.
“[The contact] was going to open a post office box for us so that we could use Clarry’s code number and start communicating with Stamford in Amsterdam, to get more code numbers and contacts and stuff like that,” the officer said. “We were getting to the point … like I said, we didn’t know who to trust … it was making you feel you were being scrutinised, that people were watching you. The tension was just unbelievable. We took some of the Osborne files one day and we read them on a hill in Dayboro [46km north-west of Brisbane]. We couldn’t get caught with it. It got to the point where we actually said to each other, don’t be surprised if they find one of us dead in the Brisbane River … that’s how bad it was getting.”
The officer also found a bullet in the drawer of his desk at the Juvenile Aid Bureau. He took it as a death threat. In the end, his investigation petered out, having met with constant obstructions. His attempts to crack the Osborne case would haunt the rest of his police career, and he would retire “medically unfit” at the age of only 46.
More than three decades later, the impact of PIE continues to play out in Britain via its Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse, announced by Home Secretary, Theresa May in mid-2014 following the scandal surrounding late entertainer Jimmy Savile and his abuse of hundreds of children. The statutory inquiry, expected to take five years, recently announced 12 separate investigations as a part of the overall inquiry. They include child exploitation by organised networks, and allegations of child sexual abuse linked to Westminster, the British Parliament.
British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1980.
Last year it was revealed Thatcher did not want a senior diplomat linked to PIE and paedophilia named.
In January last year, a file compiled in 1980-81 was released to Britain’s National Archives which revealed that the then British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, did not want a senior diplomat linked to PIE and paedophilia named. The late Sir Peter Hayman had been accused by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens in parliament in March 1981 of sending pornographic material through the post. Hayman had come to the attention of police in 1978 after a package of sexually explicit correspondence, addressed to a Mr Peter Henderson of Notting Hill, was found on a London bus. Henderson was Hayman’s pseudonym with the Paedophile Information Exchange. Hayman died in 1992.
The Independent newspaper later wrote of Dickens: “Eighteen years after his death … the backbencher’s reputation as a political lightweight is being revised in the wake of a Scotland Yard investigation which is exhuming a scandal long buried in the Westminster of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership. New evidence suggests that Dickens stumbled upon an Establishment paedophile ring in the early 1980s – and that his efforts to expose a cover-up left him in fear of his life. Dickens told fellow MPs that after warning of the existence of the network, he had received threatening phone calls and been burgled twice. He also claimed he had been placed on a ‘hit-list’, he told the House of Commons in a little-noticed speech.”
Incredibly, a part of that same massive ring had taken root in Brisbane, Queensland, courtesy of Clarence Osborne. Equally astonishing is that the extensive Osborne files were never properly investigated, despite the best efforts of a handful of honest officers. The boxes of material sat for years in the JAB storeroom under lock and key. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.
In Osborne’s wake remain a number of serious questions. Why did the Queensland police never look into the expansive Osborne material given that his notorious activities were known to some officers prior to his suicide in 1979? How did the Osborne material, given its global reach, manage to evade the serious scrutiny of various subsequent inquiries, including the Fitzgerald and inquiries? (PDFs below) And why hasn’t Australia’s current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse not examined historic links with government and institutions such as the police?
For the officer who lost his career over the Osborne material, there’s nothing left but regrets. “It would have gone worldwide,” he recalled. “The connections were there. If there had been a proper team put in place, there’d be arrests, there’d be bloody suicides all over the bloody place. In the end we could do no more. I think they were glad to see the back of us anyhow. And it all happened in our own backyard.”
THE MAN THEY CALLED A MONSTER — Written by Dr Paul Wilson READ HERE ON SCRIBD https://spidercatweb.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/141446603-the-man-they-called-a-monster.pdf https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Osborne https://archive.is/Uoft9
Ex PM DAVID CAMERON is close to A LOT of paedo, for example
- (L) Patrick Rock. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36427629
- (R) Derek Laud. Article in full http://scallywagmagazine.blogspot.co.uk/ https://archive.is/jsVas
“Neither can there be any doubt that the Astor’s/ Sheffield’s are both evil families. You will all no doubt already know that Derek Laud was friends with Sam Cam’s family before his long association with Dave the Rave began. Moreover, it is important that you do not get the wrong impression of Samantha Cameron in so far as she is a long way removed from being a drug addled hippy.” Spivey goes on & points out this article“A close friend of Tory leader David Cameron was arrested and then held at a police station for more than 12 hours for an alleged assault on two teenagers. Shadow work and pensions minister Nigel Waterson, who has been the MP for Eastbourne since 1992, was released by police yesterday morning.”
‘Diana Princess of Wales opposed the whole culture to which Laud aligns himself and challenged arms dealing with which Julian Lewis is closely linked. Deceased investigative journalist Simon Regan challenged both Laud and Lewis frequently and died ‘after a short illness’ soon after his final tirade against Laud and Lewis. The alleged victims of VIP abuse who died in the fire in Palmeira Avenue Hove in 1991 had also linked Laud, Lewis, and Greer, to the circumstances of the abuse they said they had suffered in care.’ ” SOURCE