‘My father was a policeman – he was shot’
Pebbly Beach remains a timeless place, but it holds a dark secret
The waves lap at the stony shore, seemingly wearing away at a 38-year-old mystery – the death of South Australian police Inspector Geoff Whitford.
Who was this man who headed a highly-secretive organised crime task force? Why did he take his own life on this lonely piece of South Australian coast, leaving suicide notes to be found on October 22, 1981? Why did he leave behind a wife and three daughters?
In these pages, Amanda Schultz, the youngest daughter, sets out on a journey to discover her father, as seen through the eyes of his colleagues and superiors. Her goal was to “meet” her father so she could share her lived experience and support and educate others about suicide awareness.
Amanda, herself a former police officer and now a corporate executive, collaborated on this book with Greg Mayfield, who was a police reporter at The Advertiser at the time of the incident. The pair weave an intriguing story of a career detective who loved life, was slated to be the next Police Commmissioner and whose death has never been fully explained.
It was an era when South Australia was wracked by sensational allegations of corruption against its police force and drug squad. Amanda, who was aged nine years old at the time of her father’s death, travels far and wide to meet the people who knew her father best. Her unrelenting search for answers – and plea for access to secret Coronial files – results in the case being mentioned in State Parliament in Adelaide.
Is the tide of opinion gathered by Amanda enough to break open the official silence on the matter? You be the judge.
‘Amanda discovers her Dad through yarns that are hilarious, absurd, harsh, inspiring and tragic, but always insightful … why did a conscientious and incorruptible detective die?’
—Michael O’Connell AM APM, former SA Commissioner for Victims’ Rights
‘A powerful story well told.’
—John Silvester, crime reporter and co-author of Underbelly