Brian Cockerill

The Making of Stewart John Regan

Production notes by Bryan Cockerill on November 25, 2011

Stewart John Regan is probably the most evil criminal Australia has ever known. Regan was a psychopath; Neddy Smith described him as having the coldest eyes he'd ever seen, George Freeman said he struck fear into the hearts of everyone he met and Roger Rogerson told us he was "the worst criminal I ever met".

Regan managed to keep a fairly low profile as his grisly work happened in the shadows. Within the underworld he was called the Magician because he simply made his victims disappear.

In researching this episode of Tough Nuts we discovered Regan, like many psychopaths, had begun his love of torture and violence at a young age. He once put a pitchfork through a possum in front of a group of terrified schoolmates. Regan then became a teenage pimp, ruling his girls with threats and extreme violence. According to our sources, Regan revelled in his reputation for ruthlessness and used it to carve out a criminal empire. By his mid-20's he was running large numbers of prostitutes, owned a couple of women's dress shops, and was expanding into real estate, car re-birthing and a TV rental business.

Tough Nuts sources tell of a man who struck fear into the hearts of everyone, even those who had only heard about him, shuddered at the mention of his name. Throughout his short, violent life Regan was charged with serious crimes such as rape, aggravated burglary and vicious assaults but in all instances managed to beat convictions as witnesses and victims were warned off from giving evidence against him. Finally Regan went too far, killing a young boy in his care. The crime shocked Sydney, but police could find no evidence to bring charges. Another criminal challenged Regan over the murder of the child, so Regan shot him dead. It finally fell on the heavyweights of organized crime to bring Regan to justice. He was lured to a meeting in Marrickville, where he was ritualistically shot eight times, each shot representing one of the magician's macabre murders.

The Magician is a great episode of Tough Nuts, chock full of fabulous interviews and some incredible dramatised scenes. Watch out for Sam Haft as a truly terrifying Stewart John Regan.


Bryan Cockerill.

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