A TREACHEROUS LIFE: Former underworld enforcer, Graham 'Abo' Henry sits down for a Coffee Chat with Matt Collins.
A TREACHEROUS LIFE: Former underworld enforcer, Graham 'Abo' Henry sits down for a Coffee Chat with Matt Collins. Contributed

PODCAST: Life and crimes of retired gangster

The criminal world is one unlike the majority of us live in. An eye for an eye is common practice. After 30 years involved in organised crime, Graham 'Abo' Henry knows more about this dangerous world than most. From armed robberies, break and enters and attempting to murder his own father as a teenager, Graham was always headed for a destructive life. It wasn't long before he was partners with the underworld's elite and had a 'green light' from NSW police. That was of course, until he stabbed one of them.

LISTEN: Get the full interview with Graham 'Abo' Henry here.

Matt Collins:

Tell me about your childhood.

 

Graham Henry:

I had a terrible upbringing. My mother was as tough as teeth, but she was the only rock in the house that was worth leaning on.

 

MC:

Tell me about your father.

 

GH:

He was a returned soldier from the war and a violent drunk. Full of tablets called phenobarb. They were actually barred off the market in the 70s but he was still getting them. He ended up killing himself on them. He overdosed.

 

MC:

Why do you think he was so heavily attached to the drugs?

 

GH:

Through injuries he received from the war. Then they put him on morphine and all of that but when he came from the war he was on all these pain killers. He used to flog my mother to pieces. He used to punch her like a prize fighter.

 

MC:

And you defended her?

 

GH:

Yeah, I was punching on with him from the age of 13. That went on until I was about 16, when he tried to kill me with a garden mattock in my bed. I jumped out the window and when I came back he it was stuck in the middle of the mattress. It would've copped me right in the chest.

 

MC:

It is no surprises than you found yourself in this criminal world. Do you remember how old you were when you started?

 

GH:

I was doing armed robberies at 15. On my own or I'd have a guy who would drive the car. I was knocking off banks at 15 years-of-age.

 

MC:

What was the appeal to do that at such a young age?

 

GH:

Mate, I've got no idea. I just always wanted to do things that were a bit bigger than the next bloke. The older I got the more things I got into and the worse it got. It was just a matter of survival mate. Never took it out on anyone else only other gangsters. They knew the rules and if you break the rules you were going to pay a penalty.

 

MC:

Did you ever inflict that penalty on someone?

 

GH:

Many times.

 

MC:

Graham, do you remember the first time you shot someone and how you felt afterwards?

 

GH:

Yes, it gives you a very false sense of security because it puts you on a high. Your adrenalin is right up and you feel high. I guess that is how people can get addicted to it.

 

MC:

How do you sleep at night thinking about other gang members coming after you?

 

GH:

That's how it is in that life. You know, I used to sleep pretty good.

 

MC:

Your book is called, A treacherous life. Do you look back after writing the book and regret some of the things you have done?

 

GH:

No mate, I have no regrets about nothing and I mean that. Well, when I say I have no regrets, I am sorry I stabbed the police prosecutor. I shouldn't have done that.

 

MC:

How much time did you get for that?

 

GH:

I got eight years, and the only reason I got eight years is because we proved he was corrupt in the trial.

 

LISTEN: Get the full interview with Graham 'Abo' Henry here.