Former William Tyrrell detective’s heartfelt message
Being a cop changes you - that's the one thing Gary Jubelin wants people to know so they understand the police better.
The former top homicide detective made the heartfelt declaration on Wednesday during a live online Q&A with News Corp Australia readers, as he discussed a career that spanned early days as a uniformed officer, through gangland murders, to his leadership of, and dismissal from, the William Tyrrell investigation.
Asked, "If there is one thing you want the world to know about policing that you think most
people are unaware of, what is it?" Jubelin responded: "Policing changes people. You get to see a different side of life, both good and bad.
"I do not think I have seen anyone leave the force the same person as when they came in.
"I think if the public understood that, they would understand policing a little bit more."
In a wide-ranging discussion with Claire Harvey, Jubelin also tackled questions on cases he'd like to investigate, the public's love of true crime - and its unexpected advantages - and why he decided to write his story, among many other issues, in the live News Corp Australia event to launch his new book I Catch Killers: The Life And Many Deaths Of A Homicide Detective.
Asked what he makes of the seemingly insatiable public appetite for crime storytelling, and whether it can help or hinder police, Jubelin was understanding.
"It's human nature, people are curious," said the 58-year-old, who readily acknowledges his own drive to examine unsolved crime cases.
"It's about what goes on behind the scenes. People don't want to be involved too closely but they want to take a look. We all want to walk on the wild side."
And from a professional perspective he welcomed the interest, saying, "It keeps us all on our toes."
Despite being one of the best-known lawmen in Australia, with an enduring interest in investigation, Jubelin was modest when it came to discussing other well-known unsolved cases - at pains to point out that being interested does not mean he thinks he could do a better job than his former colleagues in the force.
He noted he is fascinated by the Claremont killings case in WA and said he would have relished the challenge of being involved in the original Melbourne "Underbelly" gangland operations, paying tribute to the officers who brought down the likes of Carl Williams.
Setting aside fact for fiction momentarily, he nominated US cop drama The Wire as the most realistic representation of the job ("that's a question I'm asked a lot," he noted) and also saluted True Detective - "the first season" - for its portrayal of police partnerships
Returning to real life, and why he wrote his book, Jubelin referenced his high-profile removal from the investigation into missing three-year-old William Tyrrell. He was found guilty of illegally recording a conversation with a person of interest during the search for answers; and is currently appealing against his sentence and $10,000 fine.
"There was a lot of speculation and I wanted people to understand who I am, warts and all."
While he did not have a particular audience in mind when he sat down to write, along with journalist Dan Box, Jubelin now sees I Catch Killers as for "anyone who is interested in true crime and police work".
But he stressed: "This is just my story. All police officers have their own stories".
I Catch Killers: The Life And Many Deaths Of A Homicide Detective by Gary Jubelin, published by HarperCollins Australia, is available now.
Originally published as Former William Tyrrell detective's heartfelt message