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Macdonald, Helen --- "My Husband, My Killer by Sandra Harvey and Lindsay Simpson" [2001] AltLawJl 82; (2001) 26(4) Alternative Law Journal 210


My Husband, My Killer

by Sandra Harvey and Lindsay Simpson; Allen & Unwin, 1992 (reissued 2001); $19.95 softcover.

My Husband, My Killer, we are told in the acknowledgments is non-fiction and '[a]lthough the book reads like a novel, the authors have at all times attempted to be accurate in their portrayals of characters and events'. This is the story of the murder of the wife of Andrew Kalajzich, one of Sydney's self-made immigrant millionaires of the 1970s. Megan Kalajzich was shot at point blank range while sleeping next to her husband in January 198. Several more shots were fired into the place where Andrew Kalajzich was sleeping. Miraculously he escaped being injured or killed. A detailed description is provided of what the ambulance officers found and thought when they arrived at 31 Fairlight Avenue, Manly at 1.40 pm. The reader then follows the police investigative team as they discover and come to understand the histories and personalities of the bumbling under­ world characters who were drawn into Andrew Kalajzich's conspiracy to murder his wife.

The authors do not hide from the reader the fact that Andrew Kalajzich is known to be behind the murder of his wife, nevertheless the careful description of the events and characters makes this book a compelling read. The same intriguing and bizarre range of characters and events make this murder ideal material for a movie.

The dramatised description leads the reader to agree with the findings of the police investigation. Kalajzich did orchestrate the murder of his wife. It is the postscript and epilogue that return us to reality of the world in which he was tried. The reader is left with doubts about whether we can be certain that the legal system has delivered the correct outcome. The same can happen in a well-written story when the writer leaves us with doubts about the interpretation of events. Although this book is not fiction, it is just as gripping as any sophisticated murder mystery.


Helen Macdonald is a South Australian lawyer.

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