Norman Bruhn The Upstart

Norman Bruhn

(2 June 1894 – 23 June 1927) was a notorious and violent Australian dockworker, armed robber and standover man with links to the criminal underworld in both Melbourne and Sydney. In September 1926 Bruhn relocated with his family from Melbourne to Sydney, where he attained a brief ascendancy by targeting the underworld vice trade, using violence and intimidation against cocaine traffickers, prostitutes and thieves. Bruhn’s criminal gang used the straight razor as a weapon of terror and are attributed as Australia’s first ‘razor gang‘, at the beginning of a period of gang violence in Sydney in the late-1920s known as the ‘razor gang wars’. His period of domination of the inner-city vice economy was opposed by the more established criminal networks in Sydney. In June 1927 Bruhn was shot twice in the abdomen in an inner-city laneway in Darlinghurst. He died in Sydney Hospital the following morning, refusing to name his assailant.

Bruhn’s life and times were portrayed in the television series on the Nine television network in Australia, Underbelly: Razor.[1]

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