FORMER drug squad detective Paul Dale was anxious it would be just family and friends at last night’s book launch in Wangaratta.
But he quickly realised his fear was unfounded.
More than 90 people listened to him at the Wangaratta Library discuss some of his toughest moments in life and how murder charges against him were dropped and he was aquitted of perjury, as told in his book, Disgraced?
“I did think it was just going to be family and friends, but it’s good to see a lot of faces I don’t recognise,” he said.
“It’s good because it shows there’s interest and support.”
Mr Dale, who was overwhelmed by emotion at times, was joined by former head of the homicide squad and Victorian Police Association, Brian Rix.
Mr Rix, who was president of the police at the time Mr Dale faced charges, provided an independent view while discussing the evidence and original charges.
Mr Dale was charged in 2009 with murdering Terence Hodson and his wife, Christine, who were shot dead at their Kew home in 2004.
He spent seven months in isolation at Barwon Prison after being charged with ordering the execution-style killing of Hodson.
Mr Dale fought back tears as he described the mental torture he endured during his time in isolation.
But the charge was dropped after the 2010 death of underworld figure Carl Williams, who had been talking to police about the murder.
In line to get a book signed before the launch was Wangaratta’s Kirsten Campbell.
“I wanted to come tonight because this story it’s part of our local history. The book has everyone talking,” she said.
Another resident, Denis Russ, said he had taken great interest in Mr Dale’s story and was keen to hear what he had to say.
“His time in the force was a tumultuous time for crime,” he said.