Charlie says he is reformed. Picture: How Do You Sleep podcast/ABCSource:ABC
Charlie says he is reformed. Picture: How Do You Sleep podcast/ABCSource:ABC

'I'm not sorry': Killer's cold confession

IF you're a bad person, how do you sleep at night?

Whether you're a killer, pokies billionaire or poacher, you live life in the face of judgment.

But what if "do-gooders" swapped places with these people who seem so immoral?

A new podcast puts people in the shoes of those deemed to be bad and attempts to feel empathy for people whose side of the story is not often heard.

The ABC podcast How Do You Sleep, hosted my Sarah McVeigh, gets inside the head of a killer named Charlie, who stabbed two men to death in Brisbane in 1994.

"These chummy blokes I was drinking with, found out they were homosexuals and one was - I thought it was all a joke - f***ing hittin' on to me and I've just f***ing exploded and f***ing stabbed the c**t in the guts a few times."


Charlie is covered in tattoos, some of the ink is even mixed with his own urine so it would take better to his skin.

He was part of a neo-nazi gang called the "Sick Boys" and he has two tear drops under his eye to show his number of victims.

One night in 1994, Charlie attended the Alliance Hotel in Brisbane.

The pub is unrecognisable to Charlie now, but he remembers the night well.

He went to the hotel to "silence" a man who was going to testify against one of Charlie's gang brothers. But when Charlie realised he was in a gay bar, he lost it.

"Automatically I exploded and said 'get the f*** out of my bar you f***ing pooftas'," he told the podcast.

He then met two men at the bar and stabbed one of them for hitting on him.

After the man was rushed to hospital, he stayed at the bar, finished his frothing Victoria Bitter and walked out.

The victim did not instantly die and was later able to give evidence. The victim said he asked Charlie if he was gay, and he claimed to be bisexual. He said Charlie asked him for sex, but the victim refused and made Charlie angry.

Later that night Charlie stabbed and killed another man because he was "filthy".

"That was sheer stupidity, I was just in a f***ing rage," he said.


In 1996 Charlie was sentenced and was never to be released from jail.

He swore at the judge and even the victim's family.

"It didn't matter who the f*** was there, I was just dirty because they'd beaten me," he said.

Charlie ended up being released from prison 11 years ago due to a head injury he had sustained before the murders.

He was hit with an axe during a fight with a rival gang.

He said he is now reformed, but he hasn't apologised for the crime.

"Why be sorry? It happened, you can't take it back," he said.

Charlie claims he can't remember the names of his victims and said "they'd be in a file somewhere" and he doesn't think about the families who lost their loved ones.

"All my mates who are lifers for violent crimes, they don't either. They know it's wrong, but you can't take back anything. They're gone," he said.

"You know you have extinguished someone's life and you get to live on. As I say, it's s*** that happened."


"It's incredibly confronting to speak to someone who has done something so horrific," podcast host Sarah McVeigh told

"He's been through the criminal justice system, he went to jail, served time for double manslaughter. I had questions about what do we want remorse to look like, reform to look like? These people existed in our community.

"It was confronting for me to find the layers of complexity and know I'm never going to truly understand how he got to that point.

"He has a background of mental health problems, alcohol and drug abuse, a head injury, which was a significant factor in his sentencing. All of those things are incredibly confronting.

"It's uncomfortable - he isn't a storybook and this is not a Hollywood story of redemption where he is a completely different person.

"He was in a gang and has now renounced all his views, but he won't say sorry, because, he says, what good does sorry do? It doesn't take back what he's done."

McVeigh said while that was true, it was cold.

"He says all he can do is use the time he has going forward. There's nothing he can do about the past," she said.

McVeigh created the podcast to get people thinking about the world from other people's perspectives before we judge them.

"Some of the episodes, you might come out having the same perspective as you went in. I said to abortion clinic protesters I think women should have the right. They were being honest with me about their perspective. I still believe that now, but I understand why they are there and do what they do and it helps me have a bit more compassion for them. That's the intended outcome, to have a bit of empathy," she said.

"People were really eager to talk. They live their lives in the face of judgment and people feel incredibly judged and want the opportunity to explain their perspective."

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