33. The PL plot thickens
Peter is a good name; it means rock. After Peter Lewis had been made Speaker in South Australia’s Parliament state politics entered a dramatic phase. The Liberal Party was still crying foul. The man with the initials PL found himself the most powerful man in the state. Many times had I chuckled to myself about the letters PL which I had included in the politicians “nothing is too hard for God” basket long before I knew the initials PL would surface again. To me ‘P’ stands for Probationary licence; ‘L’ stands for Learner driver.
My first surprise was Peter Liddy’s name. I had no indication that his initials were PL until after my send-a-basket affair. Now another PL had reached a place of prominence making headlines. My astonishment was about to be capped with a newspaper article that linked the two PL’s. How bizarre!
The PL businessman/politician had dealings with a convicted criminal Terry Stephens, who had bought the mansion and assets of the PL ex-Magistrate/prisoner. After this latest bombshell of news there was hardly a day for weeks when the affair did not make headline news. It became a very complex, interwoven, intriguing quiz of who was involved with whom, what deals were done and what lay behind it all.
PL, the magistrate was supposed to have a valuable antique gun collection. Reports placed its value at up to 10 million dollars. In a letter to me Peter Liddy said that the guns are worth only about 100 000 dollars. He suspected Terry Stephens to be involved in a massive fraud.
Correction: On examining correspondence on 16/08/03, the letter from Peter Liddy states:
"The guns are worth nowhere near several hundred thousand dollars". The takings for the auction were only about $ 100 000." Reading it carefully this amount included furniture etc. The actual value of the gun collection is not known.
My apologies, if anybody was misled by my mistake, thinking Peter Liddy told me the guns were worth $ 100 000.
I still carried on correspondence with Peter Liddy. The following letter arrived in April 2002. Peter never dated his letters. To someone serving 25 years in jail, time is meaningless:
Thanks a lot for your kind letter – no there’s nothing you can do for me, thanks. No, I don’t take any medication in here, I suspect I’m the only one who doesn’t. A medical trolley comes around twice each day and I hear it stop at almost every other cell in my section. I imagine most of the prisoners are either drug addicts or find the need to take tranquillizers etc. to cope with life in here.
Throughout my life I’ve been a firm believer in not taking any form of medicine – I would never even have an aspro. Doctors are always discovering side effects of various medicines after people have been taking them for years. I’ve always felt sorry for people who can’t cope without resorting to chemical means. The ‘dopey’ in my last letter was just a reference to myself.
The High Court appeal could take all year although a different appeal against the length of the sentence I received will probably be dealt with soon. I’m hopeful of a Heaven sent release from here rather one which relies on lawyers. Hopefully one of the creeps who put me in here will realize the magnitude of what he has done and confess it, or alternatively one of them might get drunk and make a slip and it will be reported etc.
I believe that Terry Stephens criminal will shortly be arrested for the fake report he gave about my 200 antique guns. With a bit of luck he might try to save himself by implicating the creeps who put me in here as I am reasonably confident that there is a connection. He also tried to defraud many people by selling objects of mine and claiming that they were historic and valuable artefacts. I faxed the auctioneer to warn him that it was a massive fraud but also many things were withdrawn from the auction as a result of the fax, many other things were still sold under fraudulent descriptions. I trust he will be arrested for these activities as well. Had I not been in here he wouldn’t have been able to get my home and perpetuate the fraud.
Terry Stephens had appeared on a TV program. I was surprised at the large amount of airtime he received in the media. At the conclusion of one interview the convicted ex-criminal publicly announced: “If you are listening, Peter Lewis, I will destroy you!” The audacity of the man was beyond belief. In the back of my mind I questioned: Had he done this before, ruin another person’s life? Was he involved in plotting against the other PL perhaps? Was he a specialist in scheming evil?
Having gained some inside information I was alerted as I heard the name Liddy on the ABC TV News on Wed. 10th April 02. The newsreader reported that doubts had arisen about the existence of any gun collection. I phoned the ABC and was surprised to be able to talk to the producer of the News personally. He listened attentively as I explained my correspondence with PL, and what he told me about the value of the gun collection.
I sat down the next morning and wrote the following letter. (I included a copy of above letter). I delivered it personally early the next morning.
Mr. Rick Keegan
ABC TV News
As mentioned in our brief conversation last evening please receive the latest correspondence I received from Peter Liddy. I don’t know the man, have never met him in person and have no connection to any of his family. Why I am interested in his fate is a mystery to myself.
The letter has no date, but from memory I received it the Monday before Easter 02. The writing to me seems very coherent, so he must have deteriorated very rapidly, if he is unable to be interviewed at present. Or are there people who do not want the truth to be known?
I have followed Peter’s fate only since middle of last year. He had a very rough deal with the media, not the least during his sentencing, which I attended. One TV reporter told straight out lies about the uproar and spontaneous applause in the courtroom, when the judge handed down sentence. Peter Liddy wrote to me that I have only sampled a very small part of his treatment by the media. And when I read the Advertiser today (front page) it shows that paedophobia is well and alive in Adelaide.
How can we believe a convicted Con-man? He thinks he is the king-pin to blacken the name and reputation of Peter Lewis and cause a government to collapse. Rather schizophrenic, you agree?
In a previous letter of Peter Liddy he speaks of evidence not tabled at his appeal. His main accuser, a heroin addict and habitual criminal, admitted seven years ago in a juvenile court in Queensland, to never having been sexually assaulted as a child. This evidence has never been tabled in Peter’s case.
We all want justice. Either Peter Liddy is innocent or he deserves eternal damnation in its highest form for his cruel acts, his lies and then claiming he is a Christian. Perhaps this is why I am so passionate about it.
PS. I also am sending you a bit of artwork that I have sent to some people in Adelaide. (Jeremy Cordeaux, Carol Altmann, Des Ryan (Mess. Press) Nick Xenophon. This was last year. Greg Kelton from the Advt. Newspaper received one only recently.
You may ask, what is going on? I say, only God knows.
Sometimes I wished I never had gotten involved in PL, the convicted Magistrate. It all seemed so extreme to use a letter combination, a gut feeling an observation in a courtroom to start befriending a man that had already been convicted of an ugly crime in the normal legal process. What’s more, if I would categorically state PL is innocent then I am also saying that other people are lying. I will not go that far.
There may be readers who doubt my true motives for befriending an alleged paedophile. There was a time when I suspected a rumour about me being gay was circulated. In 2000 I wrote an article highlighting the desperate state male to male relationships had suffered in Australia in the 1990’s. I wrote from my own experience and tried to flavour my message with humour.
All names have been changed, except that of Mr. Heimann (pronounced Haman). For anyone not knowing the story of Haman and Mordecai, it is found in the Old Testament Book of Esther. Haman plotted to kill the Jews. By God’s miraculous intervention, Haman himself was hung on the very gallows he had built for his opponent Mordecai.
Do you feel as saddened as I do, that our friendship has faded away? I have such fond memories of our bicycle tours and picnics with our families. My wife and I were very happy to be welcomed into the church family. I had hoped that you, Peter and I would continue our early morning prayer sessions and get to know each other even closer. It was so refreshing to see us men sharing our lives and praying for each other, even though it only lasted a few weeks. It still puzzles me, why we just gave up.
I felt very strongly in recent months, that an invincible force is pulling us men apart. It’s the way, I believe, society is viewing male to male relationships and sadly the church may be falling into the same trap. Let me explain.
Years ago I taught a young man to drive. His name was Hans, of German descent, in his early 20’s. He had a nervous condition, was unemployable and seemed very depressed. But we struggled through the lessons. I got to develop a real compassion for him and could see his potential as a useful member of society. He passed his test six months later and I continued to call on him occasionally to say hello. Christmas came, so I bought a little present for him.
When I called on Hans to wish him Merry Christmas his parents were also there visiting. The family name was Heimann (pronounced Haman). I handed him the small gift and tried to start chatting in German. His mother seemed to be pleased. But before I could get much further into a conversation his father ushered me firmly out the door. He must have misinterpreted my motives. I was hoping to stay in touch with Hans, be a friend and introduce him to other church members in his age group.
Another time a young teenager came over to where I had parked the car during a break in my schedule. He said that a man was trying to get him to climb into his house through a window. He had locked his keys inside his house and was looking for some help. The teenager had been well trained about stranger danger. I went over and talked to the elderly, rather shabbily dressed man. It took me no time to climb through the toilet window and open the door from the inside. Rushing off to my next appointment, the old chap, with a strong German accent, tried to hand me some coins. I refused to take them, but promised to call by sometime for a chat.
When I did visit a few times, I borrowed a German magazine, found out about his family and talked about the old country. On the third or fourth visit, he revealed his puzzlement about my true motives with this question: “Why don’t you bring your wife around sometime?” I regret that I never got around to it. He passed away shortly after.
David, have you also noticed a certain thought pattern prevalent in today's tabloid press? Women’s Magazines are full of headlines like ‘Where is your husband tonight?’ or ‘Bi-sexual and loving it’ or ‘Gay man murders lover’ to name a few. Sure, there are horrible people amongst us, but what attitude do young girls (and boys) develop about men, reading these headlines?
On talkback radio a caller lamented recently, how he sat on a park bench. When giving a young child some attention, his mother snatched the child away, making the elderly man feel like a leper. What attitude will this child form towards men?
It reminds me of a funny incident. I took my two boys to school while singing my heart out to Abba’s ‘Fernando’ on the radio. My older son, about 12 at the time, said: Dad, do you know you’re singing a love song to a man?’ I didn’t really look at it that way. Just then, our six-year old Jon in the back seat topped it off with this classic: ‘Dad, promise you are not gay!’
Do you remember the trip I took with George two years ago? His wife, like Cynthia, doesn’t like travelling. We drove over to Victoria and had ball. I and my mate, (we were addressed as “you and your partner” a few times) stayed in Motels and Caravan Parks. George, who works for a Bank, wanted to visit a Benedictine Monastery. I’m not sure, if it was a spiritual yearning or because he had heard about free accommodation. I felt so sorry for the ancient nun, who showed us around, when George enquired about ‘visitor’s quarters. The poor old nun was in a terrible dilemma, hospitality or morality? Her prayer was answered. She informed George, that they accept a donation, the sum of which would have been more than a motel room anyway.
When talking about our trip at church, I couldn’t help wondering why your wife’s first question was: “Is George a bachelor?”
Close relationships in our churches strengthen the whole body. We men must learn to trust each other. One day, I trust that you, Peter and I will again cycle and pray together.
I emailed it to the Family Standards organisation for possible publishing in their magazine. I never heard any more about it.
Autobiography - Dieter Fischer
1. More in number 2. A sound mind 3. Now I'm found 4. Candle and the Wind
5. Realm of Nature 6. All in his Hand 7. The Wonder of it All 8. To Think God loves