Bernard Hugh Dalton steps out of Sharland’s Strand Hotel, Woolloomooloo into the warm evening air of 9 November 1929. The shadows are beginning to creep along the footpaths as the sun starts its journey toward the horizon.
Alongside Dalton are his associates, Walter Tomlinson and Edward Brady. All three men are members of the fearsome Kate Leigh razor gang.
Dalton, better known as “Barney”, was broad shouldered and still cut an athletic figure from his rugby league playing days.
He carried a reputation for brutality and served as Leigh’s bodyguard and cocaine supplier.
On this particular evening he barely starts up the street outside the hotel before a short, angry man, who appears to be waiting for the trio shouts “cop this you bastard”, and fires five shots.
Barney is hit square in the chest, dropping him to the pavement. As Tomlinson tries to help his fallen friend, he’s hit twice, once in the chest and once in the arm. Brady is hit in the hand.
The stout gunman in a fedora with a distinguishing L shaped scar on his right cheek takes off, tossing his smoking revolver into a backyard on Palmer Street and disappearing back into Sydney’s underworld.