How To Delve Into The Truth Behind SBS Crime Series Deep Water

Bondi's dark history of gay hate crimes is depicted in a compelling new series.

06/10/2016 10:32 AM AEDT | Updated 06/10/2016 9:28 PM AEDT
SBS / Blackfella Films
Deep Water is a fictional series based on true events.

As a TV show, Deep Water has it all -- murder, intrigue and the complex nature of sexuality and culture.

Yet the SBS drama documenting the deaths of gay men near Bondi Beach is not mere fiction -- It's estimated 80 gay men were murdered during the 70s and 80s in Sydney.

Along with the series, SBS is also airing a documentary about the events, while LGBTQI groups are launching renewed campaigns to bring these deaths to justice, and plans for a memorial are underway.

Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby co-convenor Chris Pycroft said the call for justice was being heard.

"The response to Deep Water will help acknowledge and heal the significant trauma these crimes have caused for the loved ones of the victims as well as the LGBTI community," Pycroft said.

"The facts are that there were dozens of deaths in and around beats between 1985 and 1995 that remain unsolved.

SBS / Blackfella Films
Yes, that's Yael Stone, who also plays Lorna Morello in Netflix show Orange Is The New Black.

"During this time gay men lived in an atmosphere of extraordinary fear.

"Justice and recognition of crimes perpetrated on men based on their sexuality is important, not only for the families involved, but for our entire community."

While the series is ongoing, here's how to find out more about the true events that inspired Deep Water.


Documentary 'Deep Water: The Real Story' on SBS on Sunday, October 16 at 8.30pm.

Police, victims families and experts speak about the chilling chapter in Australia's history.


Bondi Badlands: The Definitive Story of Sydney's Gay Hate Murders.

Read about the gangs who perpetrated gay hate crimes as well as the police who did not fully investigate deaths.


Through a process called Operation Parrabell, NSW Police is currently reviewing investigations to determine if gay hate was a motive.

People with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Find support:

NSW's leading HIV prevention and LGBTI health organisation ACON is leading a project with Waverley Council to create a memorial artwork for victims of gay hate crimes in Bondi.

CEO Nicolas Parkhill said a memorial would help the community to heal.

"SBS's Deep Water content serves as a chilling reminder of a time in our state's recent history when the LGBTI community was confronted not only with the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS, but also this horrific spate of murders," Parkhill said.

"The willingness from so many quarters to support the planning, commissioning and construction of a memorial to honour and bring justice to the victims of these events recognises how we far we have come as an inclusive society."

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