Paul Dale admits he has never been able to move on.
And whether you believe he is innocent or not, he has remained in the headlines for the better part of a decade - more recently caught up in the Lawyer X scandal and subsequent royal commission.
Dale is no stranger to controversy and despite saying he knows his latest book, Cops, Drugs Lawyer X and Me which goes on sale today, "isn't going to change people's minds" he felt compelled to once again tell his side of the story.
The former drug squad detective sergeant, and Wangaratta local, who "seriously considered suicide" while incarcerated in Barwon Prison's notorious Acacia Unit for eight months believes the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informers was "gold".
And it is no coincidence that his second book was released the week after the commission hearings came to a close. Dale has always maintained his innocence.
Book number two
"My name was dragged through every day of those hearings," Dale told The Border Mail.
"That is the simple and only reason why I wrote this book - to tell my story, the true story, and for people to read how corrupt the police were who targeted me.
"My first book Disgraced? which came out in 2013 was really to try and tell my story to the community because I had been so poorly portrayed in the media, and that was a tactic by Victoria Police.
"Because of my training as a detective sergeant within the drug squad, which I believe to be the pinnacle of policing, I knew how the police used the media to convict people in the public arena. But I was never going to go away on this."
Dale admits ultimately the book isn't going to change people's opinions of him but believes he "now has back up" with the evidence given at the royal commission.
"I have back up to justify everything I say about these very senior police that drove this corrupt and illegal disgraceful vendetta against me.
In those early days Nicola Gobbo was an Amazonian figure. Her short skirts, exposed cleavage and long blonde hair stood out in courtrooms dominated by men in dark suitsPaul Dale
"And a lot of people ask me 'why you, why you' and the commission has finally been able to answer that for me.
"I look at it now and it wasn't just me - there were others who came close to being charged like I was.
"You never clear your name, because mud sticks.
"It is costly, emotional, draining, and you never recover from it."
Dale said finally he feels like his long-running issues with police and his cooperation with ongoing investigations is coming to an end.
"It isn't done yet, but in the next 12 months or so when the findings from the royal commission are out and we go down the path of civil litigation I might finally be free," he said. "But I haven't really been allowed to move on."
'Devastating' family impact
Whether you believe his story or not, there are two aspects of Dale's life which have always been concrete.
Even from a young age, his love for policing was evident.
He wanted to be "the best of the best" and did everything he could to reach his heights.
He details in his book the impact of Yackandandah cop Kevin "Smithy" Smith had on his life growing up in the small North East town.
"I definitely say that Smithy was my inspiration for becoming a cop," Dale said.
"But as much as I admired what he did, I never wanted to be that 'only cop in town' type of policeman.
"The big city lights drew me in and that is where I wanted, no I needed to be."
The second is family.
His wife Ditty and two children Bailey, 18, and Ava, 12, he said "have been through it all".
"When I was in Barwon my wife and the kids used to drive up each week and visit," Dale said.
"That was what really got me through, as much as the conditions were disgusting and inhumane, my family stuck by me and that was a major support for me. Bailey has probably grown up with me being in the spotlight and the media.
"It has been hard on him, and we haven't kept anything from him, I think he was about six when I was in prison for eight months, and Ditty had Ava as a newborn.
"It has taken its toll on them, I know that."
For his parents, Jenny and John Dale, it has been "a long road". "Dad was the Yackandandah butcher for 47 years and in a small town we all know you can't go anywhere without people knowing your business," Dale said.
"I think it has had a greater impact on them, but when I was cleared of the (Terrence) Hodson and Carl William's murder that was a definite relief for them. But they have always stuck by me.
"Policing is like a gory version of Forrest Gump's box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get.
"But I didn't think that my career was going to go like this."
Nicola Gobbo - Lawyer X
Dale described former gangland lawyer Nicola Gobbo, now dubbed Lawyer X, as "the best of the best" when it came to defending against drug charges.
And in the "early days" he said she was like an "Amazonian figure".
"Her short skirts, exposed cleavage and long blonde hair stood out in courtrooms dominated by men in dark suits," Dale said.
So when he found himself charged with drug trafficking and the burglary involving Terence Hodson and fellow former police officer David Miechel he called Gobbo.
"She was my first call," Dale said.
"Of course I regret that now, but I wanted the best and she was the best.
"Over the years I had been in the court room, as a drug squad detective trying to prosecute these crooks and she was there defending them. We did get to know each other and I did consider her my friend until it came out that she had recorded our conversation and that she was a police informer.
"I couldn't believe it.
"Police and criminal lawyers were supposed to sit on difference sides."
Dale believes that Gobbo had a "large influence" over his arrests and said that he "regrets" his friendship with her.
In his book he confirms the pair had intimate relations one night.
Terrence and Christine Hodson were murdered in their Kew home in September 2004.
Dale was charged and later cleared of their deaths.
To this day, no one has been convicted of the double murder.
"I remember the day they arrested me over the Hodson murders," Dale said.
"They plucked me out of my service station in Wangaratta and they took me straight to Barwon and put me straight into isolation.
"It was designed to break me."
Dale admits he will never get over the eight months he spent in prison.
"I try hard every day, work hard and keep the family life and all that but it is something you will never get over.
"I knew if I eventually got to court I would be found not guilty and be free so the really difficult time in the Acacia Unit I still had the light at the end of the tunnel."
Dale believes the royal commission also has "just as much to do with" what the police did to him as it does with the handling of police informers like Gobbo.
"And I can say that because I am named every single day in that commission," he said.
"When I heard about the commission I couldn't get in contact with them fast enough, no one wants to go to the commission but I put my hand up.
"The first day of my evidence the commissioner said 'if you weren't called to give evidence you would be standing at the steps out the front telling everybody anyway'.
"I have been through so many inquiries that have been one-sided that I hoped this royal commission would be a fair inquiry about what has gone on.
"I have been fairly satisfied that it has been.
"But obviously I am angry and I now have the backing to explain why I am so angry."