The worst woman in Sydney : the life and crimes of Kate Leigh / Leigh Straw Straw, Leigh

User activity

Share to:
Straw, Leigh
Leigh, Kate, 1881-1964.; Female offenders - New South Wales - Sydney - Biography.; Leigh, Kate.
Matriarch of the criminal underworld ... or the Robin Hood of inner Sydney? The legend of Kate Leigh, Sydney's famed brothel madam, sly grog seller and drug dealer, has loomed large in TV's Underbelly and every other account of Sydney's criminal history from the 1920s to the 1960s. But she has never had a biography of her own. Despite having more than 100 criminal convictions to her name, Kate Leigh is also remembered as a local hero, giving money to needy families and supporting her local community through the hard times of Depression and war. Here, novelist and historian Leigh Straw teases out the full story of how this wayward Reformatory girl from Dubbo made a fortune in eastern Sydney and defied the gender stereotyping of the time to become a leading underworld figure. The pretty girl of the underworld is dead. Depressed and reclusive in her Taylor Square apartment, Nellie Cameron laid her head inside an oven and turned on the gas. She was 41. Nellie left behind a private-school education on the wealthy North Shore and burst onto the Sydney crime scene in the late 1920s. She was a beautiful, extravagant and tough woman who won many a gangster’s heart in what was a violent life. Eighteen months before her death, Nellie’s lover shot her in the stomach. When doctors operated to extract the bullet, they found other healed bullet wounds nearby. These were the physical scars of a life lived in the eastern Sydney ganglands.
Work ID

User activity

e.g. test cricket, Perth (WA), "Parkes, Henry"

Separate different tags with a comma. To include a comma in your tag, surround the tag with double quotes.

Be the first to add a tag for this work

Comments and reviews

What are comments? Add a comment

No user comments or reviews for this work

Add a comment

Show comments and reviews from Amazon users