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Story of Frank Theeman and Abe Saffron

Frank Theeman and Abe Saffron were two of the most notorious figures in the history of organized crime in Australia. Both men were involved in a range of illegal activities, Abe in drug trafficking, prostitution, and extortion, Frank in corrupting public officials, violently outing tenants in Victoria Street and possibly murder. Both were known for their connections to powerful political and business figures.

Frank Theeman was a post war immigrant. owner of a lingerie company was a wealthy developer and hotel owner who operated in the Kings Cross area of Sydney during the 1960s and 1970s. He was known for his involvement in the Sydney underworld, and was linked to a range of criminal activities, including violence towards tenanted of his properties and corruption.

Abe Saffron, meanwhile, was a notorious crime boss who operated in Sydney during the same period. He was known as the “King of the Cross” and “Mr Sin’ due to his dominance of organised crime in the Kings Cross area. He was involved in a range of criminal activities, including illegal gambling, prostitution, drug trafficking and corrupting public officials.

Both men were also likely linked to the disappearance of anti-development activist Juanita Nielsen in 1975. Nielsen was an outspoken opponent of a proposed high-rise development in Kings Cross, and it is widely believed that her activism made her a target for developer and organized crime bosses, including Theeman and Saffron.

Despite their involvement in a range of illegal activities, both Theeman and Saffron managed to evade justice for many years. It was only in the 1980s and 1990s, after years of investigations and legal battles, that the full extent of their criminal activities began to come to light.

Today, Frank Theeman and Abe Saffron are remembered as two of the most notorious and influential figures in the history of organized crime in Australia. Their legacies serve as a reminder of the dangers of unchecked power and corruption, and the ongoing need for vigilance in the fight against organized crime and injustice.

Who was involved with the disappearance of Juanita Nielsen

Allegations regarding disappearances of Juanita Nielsen and Donald Mackay

It is alleged that Fred Krahe became a criminal for hire after leaving the police force. Investigative journalists David Hickie and Tony Reeves name Krahe as the ringleader/organiser of a gang of “heavies” employed by developer Frank Theeman, who intimidated residents and assaulted protestors during the campaign against Theeman’s high-rise development in Victoria Street, Kings Cross in the early 1970s. In that context, there have been repeated allegations that he was involved in the 1975 disappearance and presumed murder of anti-development campaigner Juanita Nielsen.

There have also been allegations that Krahe was involved in the disappearance and presumed murder of Griffith, New South Wales anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay, in 1977, although the allegation about the Mackay killing was made by notorious Melbourne criminal James Frederick Bazley. Bazley is himself widely believed to have been paid to kill Mackay by infamous Griffith Mafia figure and drug dealer Robert Trimbole. Author John Jiggens claims Fred Krahe was responsible for dispensing, through his Fairfax Media newspaper connections, the rumour that Mackay had not been murdered, but instead ran away with a woman who was not his wife. Jiggens is also a strong proponent of the theory that Krahe murdered Mackay with Keith Kelly, and that Bazley was a patsy.

Defenders of Fred Krahe

Krahe’s memory has had some defenders. One of Australia’s prominent crime reporters of the time, Bill Jenkings, described his former source (and coworker at Fairfax Media) as a ‘clever investigator, who left no stone unturned in his quest to solve the most baffling of cases’, but that, ‘unfortunately, Krahe became far more famous for the crimes he was wrongly alleged to have committed himself’. Jenkings also refused to believe allegations about Krahe’s reputed partner in crime Ray “Gunner” Kelly.[15] In a 1981 letter to the editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, Detective Ray Blisset (Queens Police Medal) wrote to express his ‘disgust at the obituary tendered for former Detective Sergeant first Class Frederick Claude Krahe’. He went on to say that during the years he served in the police force he had worked side by side with Krahe, and knew him as a great investigator of crime, and that ‘as a detective he had no peer.’ Blisset showed little regard for the journalists who publicised allegations against Krahe, writing that they should, ‘show respect for all the good he did and not rewrite scandalous rumours to satisfy some salacious minds’.

Lenny McPherson himself, giving testimony in 1983 at the Juanita Neilsen inquest, told the court, ‘I didn’t like Fred Krahe. He arrested me hundreds of times. If I had any information (on him) I would be giving it to you’. It was at this inquest that McPherson strongly denied telling two police officers, one Commonwealth, one New South Wales, that he’d heard that Krahe had murdered Mrs. Nielsen, an allegation that was quoted initially by journalists Barry Ward and Tony Reeves in an article in the National Times.


Disappearance of Juanita Nielsen

True Crime Walking Tour – recommences May 2023.

Nearly fifty years ago, beautiful, stylish Mark Foys heiress and newspaper editor Juanita Nielsen disappeared during a visit to the Carousel Club (home of Les Girls). She was crusading to save Victoria Street Potts Point from destruction by developers. Was she murdered? Who done it? Where’s her body? Still a mystery. Just last year the NSW Police offered a million-dollar reward for information to assist them to solve this very cold case. The ABC screened a two part documentary and an eight part podcast. Interest in the disappearance of Juanita hasn’t diminished.

She faced off against crime boss Abe Saffron (Mr Sin), his partner James Anderson (Big Jim), developer Frank, Theeman, the mafia, maybe the CIA, plus corrupt police, judiciary and politicians. She didn’t fully realise the hornet’s nest she stirred up and that would ultimately destroy her.