Rod Ansell was the model for Crocodile Dundee, but 20 years ago he became a drug-disturbed police killer
Rod Ansell was a forest-haired, blue-eyed bushman who almost never wore shoes
Twenty years ago, the police shot and killed a drug-shooter after opening fire on a roadblock in the Outback and killing one of their colleagues.
The killer was not identified, but was soon revealed as the legendary barefoot bushman Rod Ansell, the original model for Crocodile Dundee.
In his 44 years, Ansell had gone from buffalo catcher to film star, guest at talk shows and one of the most recognizable characters in the Northern Territory.
All this came to an end in a five-minute battle with officers at a roadblock one hour south of Darwin on August 3, 1999.
Ansell was short and powerful and stood in the Top End with his blond hair, blue eyes and insistence not to wear shoes.
The broader notoriety of Ansell, who was not easily with this complicated loner, rested on eight weeks he spent as a 22-year-old stranded on a remote and crocodile-infested river.
That remarkable survival story was relatively slow to reach the wide world, but then attracted unwanted attention.
The acts of Ansell became the subject of a book and a film and later inspired Paul Hogan to invent Mick Dundee when he was interviewed by Michael Parkinson on TV.
Rodney William Ansell was born in Queensland and grew up on an estate in Murgon, about 270 kilometers northwest of Brisbane.
He left school age 15 and moved to North Australia to convert his skills in knocking down beef cattle into catching water buffalo.
Twenty years ago, the police shot a drug-struck shooter who had shot at them at a roadblock in the Outback and killed one of their colleagues. The killer was not identified, but soon turned out to be Bushman Rod Ansell, the original model for Crocodile Dundee
Crocodile Dundee, made for less than $ 10 million and released in 1986, took more than $ 300 million to the register. Rod Ansell was said to be bitter about the fact that until the day he died, he had none of the money from & # 39; his & # 39; had seen the story. His life got out of hand in the nineties
Ansell had just completed a job near Kununurra in the Kimberley region of Western Australia as he crossed the border into the Northern Territory to put a boat on the Victoria River.
He later confided to friends that he had started poaching crocodiles, but then told his girlfriend that after a few months he & # 39; fish & # 39; would come back.
The adventure of Ansell started badly when his 6-meter motorboat capsized and sank after he struck what he suggested a whale or giant crocodile.
He then climbed into a 3-meter rubber boat and rescued his two eight-week-old bull terrier puppies, one of which had a broken leg.
Ansell saved his swag, rifle, 27 bullets, two knives and a sharpening stone. He had a can of milk powder, a pea and half a can of sugar. The dinghy had one oar.
Without fresh water and nobody realizing his predicament, Ansell stranded nearly 200 kilometers from the nearest permanent settlement.
On the first night in the dinghy, Ansell drove into the Timor Sea and eventually washed up on an island at the mouth of the Fitzmaurice River.
Rod Ansell & # 39; s fame, which was not easy with him, rested on the eight weeks he spent as a 22-year-old stranded on a remote and crocodile-stricken river in the Northern Territory. That survival story was turned into a book and a movie called To Fight The Wild. It is depicted in 1979
Rodney William Ansell was born in Queensland and grew up in Murgon, about 270 kilometers northwest of Brisbane. He left school age 15 and moved to the Top End to convert his skills in knocking down beef cattle into catching water buffalo. He also became an expert sniper
He was no longer even on the watercourse that he said he would be.
Over the next two days, the dinghy lifted the Fitzmaurice on tidal currents until Ansell was stranded in his dinghy without eating fresh water and little.
Careful not to waste bullets, he shot wild cattle and buffalo when needed. He sometimes drank their blood to stay hydrated, caught goanna & s and followed bees to their hive for honey.
To protect himself from crocodiles, Ansell slept in the fork of a tree and once shot a 5-meter monster while attacking his dogs. He kept his head as a souvenir.
Ansell later said he did not believe he would be saved. Instead, he hoped to walk overland to a cattle station when the wet season arrived.
But after 56 days, two Aboriginal farmers and cattle manager Luke McCall met the stranded bushman and accompanied him to safety.
Once home, Ansell initially kept his ordeal calm and said his river experience was just no problem.
The Fitzmaurice River in the northern area runs down to the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf in the Timor Sea. Rod Ansell survived in this hostile country for eight weeks when his motorboat capsized
& # 39; All the guys in this country who work with cattle – ringers, fighters, bullcatchers, whatever, all of them – always have very narrow shaves, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; But they never talk about it … I think the opinion is that if you come through in one piece and you're still alive, nothing else really matters.
& # 39; It's like shooting a kangaroo. You don't come back and say you missed an inch. You have it or not.
& # 39; So that's how I looked at it. Until the newspaper got the story, and that has changed many things. & # 39;
By August, Ansell had become a media sensation like a & # 39; modern Robinson Crusoe & # 39 ;.
Later that year he met 22-year-old Joanne van Os, a Melbourne radio operator who works in a remote Aboriginal community in Wadeye.
They married and would have two sons, Callum in 1979 and Shawn in 1981.
The couple lived a simple life, camping under a canvas sheet without running water or electricity.
Rod Ansell said his near-death experiences in the Fitzmaurice River were no problem. & # 39; All the guys in this country who work with cattle – ringers, fighters, bullcatchers, whatever, all of them – always have very narrow shaves, & # 39; he said. & # 39; But they never talk about it … & # 39;
In 1979, filmmaker Richard Oxenburgh asked Ansell to relive his adventures for the documentary To Fight The Wild, which became a book the following year.
Some Top End residents doubted his story and asked why Ansell had not followed the Fitzmaurice River back to civilization. He was accused of looking for publicity.
Ansell agreed to be interviewed by the English talk show host Michael Parkinson in Sydney
In 1981, Ansell agreed to be interviewed by the English talk show host Michael Parkinson in Sydney and his unlikely story reached an even larger audience.
Ansell appeared barefoot for the interview and told Parkinson during his stay in the city that he had slept on the floor of his room at Sebel Townhouse.
That's what Mick Dundee does while staying at a hotel in New York, and just like in the movie, Ansell was confused when she was confronted with a bidet.
Like Hogan's character, Ansell was accepted by the Aboriginals in Arnhem Land and spoke fluent Urapunga.
& # 39; When Crocodile Dundee came out … people started calling me and saying they saw all these similarities between my experience and the movie, & # 39; Ansell once remembered.
Crocodile Dundee, made for less than $ 10 million and released in 1986, took more than $ 300 million to the register.
The poster for Crocodile Dundee stated: & # 39; There is a bit of him in all of us. & # 39; There was a lot of Rod Ansell in Mick Dundee. The film made an international star of comedian Paul Hogan
Ansell was said to be bitter about the fact that until the day he died, he had none of the money from & # 39; his & # 39; had seen the story.
He was not even allowed to promote his property as the & # 39; house of the real Crocodile Dundee & # 39; as a tourist attraction.
Ansell was nevertheless a reluctant local celebrity and was named Territorian of the Year in 1988.
Ansell has always been a heavy smoker of cannabis and has also injected amphetamine
His fame did not go well with some of his colleagues in the Top End – & # 39; providing evidence that the story is true or not would not make much difference & he said.
& # 39; Because the people who would influence it, who influence me, are the people who live where I work and know me.
& # 39; And people here have a phobia about appearing on the media. So that was damaging to my status in their eyes … they thought it was a terrible thing to do. & # 39;
In 1985, Ansell had concluded a pastoral lease in the north of Arnhem Land near Kakadu National Park, where he ran a cattle station called Melaleuca.
Later that decade, he became involved in a lengthy dispute with the Northern Territory government over a program to eradicate bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis.
Ansell was not compensated when he was forced to kill 3,000 cups of buffalo that he intended to house on his property.
Invasive mimosa weed made a large part of his land unusable and in 1991 he and Joanne were forced to sell the land. The marriage was also over quickly.
In 1992, Ansell was convicted of stealing 30 cattle with a value of $ 7,200 and a fine of $ 520 for attacking a station manager.
Ansell's fame did not go well with some of his colleague & # 39; s in the Top End – & # 39; providing evidence that the story is true or not doesn't really matter & he said. & # 39; Because the people who would influence it, who influence me, are the people who live where I work and know me & # 39;
With no job, money or clear prospects, Ansell grew cannabis and later started a relationship with Cherie Hewson, with whom he lived at Urapanga Station on the Roper River.
Ansell was already a heavy marijuana smoker and began injecting large amounts of amphetamine, and his behavior became increasingly erratic.
On the night of August 2, 1999, Ansell shot six shots in a caravan inhabited by a couple in Livingstone, about 50 kilometers south of Darwin.
Sergeant Glen Huitson, 37, was a respected police officer and father of two children
A neighbor drove for investigation and Ansell shot out his windshield.
Another neighbor ran to the shooter armed with a baseball bat and Ansell fired his forefinger.
During this strange series of shootings, Ansell was enthusiastic that Freemasons had kidnapped his sons and are now stalking him.
He came across undergrowth with his .30-30 rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun of the man whose windshield he had fired.
Ansell could have easily escaped from the area, but decided not to flee for some reason.
Police set up cordons and manned a roadblock about 12 hours later at the intersection of the Stuart Highway and Old Bynoe Road near Acacia Hills.
Sergeant Glen Huitson and his partner Senior Constable James O & Brien were in that position when Ansell ambushed them at 10.45 am.
First a local man who had stopped talking to Huitson and O & # 39; Brien was shot in the pelvis while leaning against a police vehicle.
Huitson, armed with a gun, and O & Brien, with a Glock gun, fired back.
A shot from Ansell & # 39; s lever gun ricoached from a police car and hit Huitson in the belly under his bulletproof vest, killing him.
In 22 years, Rod Ansell went from a celebrated Top End survivor to a drug-disturbed police killer
Constable O & # 39; Brien fired his Glock shooting at Ansell & # 39; s position and then shot Huitson's shotgun and resumed shooting at him.
& # 39; The only verbal communication I had with the shooter was when I first reloaded the gun, & # 39; said O & # 39; Brien after the incident.
& # 39; I called him to put down his weapons. He called back: "You are all dead". & # 39;
During the firefight, members of the Territory Response Group arrived at the roadblock in two vehicles and Ansell prepared to shoot at them.
He exposed his position and O & # 39; Brien brought him down with a bang.
A post-mortem examination found that Ansell died of & # 39; bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds involving different parts of the body, including his heart.
Ansell's motive of hiring the police instead of using his bush skills to escape was less clear.
& # 39; I can't say anything about the motive & # 39 ;, said assistant commissioner John Daulby after the shooting.
& # 39; If this person wanted to separate himself, he could easily have done that, if he wanted to escape, he could easily have done that, he was a bushman. & # 39;
Rod Ansell was confronted with Sergeant Glen Huitson and his partner Senior Constable James O & # 39; Brien at a roadblock at the intersection of the Stuart Highway and Old Bynoe Road near Acacia Hills on August 3, 1999. Ansell killed Huitson and O & # 39; Brien killed Ansell
Ansell received an Aboriginal funeral on Mount Catt in Arnhem Land.
Luke McCall, who had rescued Ansell from the Fitzmaurice 22 years earlier, said the crazy gunman could have killed the entire police if he had chosen that.
& # 39; It may sound macabre, but it was a very, very good shot, & # 39; McCall said.
During a coronal examination, psychiatrist Robert Parker determined that Ansell was in a paranoid psychotic state caused by the use of amphetamine.
& # 39; There is no doubt that Ansell was struck by amphetamine intoxication prior to his fatal interaction with Sergeant Huitson, & # 39; Dr. discovered Parker.
& # 39; The behavior of Ansell prior to the first shots is consistent with amphetamine intoxication with restlessness, hyper-vigilance, anxiety, anger, and impaired judgment.
& # 39; He was also affected by a paranoid psychotic condition that is typical of chronic amphetamine use. & # 39;
Huitson's funeral was held at St Mary's Cathedral in Darwin and his ashes were scattered on Daly River Crossing.
The 37-year-old was a decorated officer who was highly respected by the local Gurindji people who had given him the name Japalyi.
A service will be held at 10.30 am on August 3 at the Glen Huitson Memorial near the location of his shooting on the occasion of 20 years since the father of two was killed.
Crocodile Dundee, made for less than $ 10 million, cost more than $ 300 million at the checkout
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