Not long ago he was one of Australia's most notorious criminals, now he lives in Launceston and is the subject of an iconic Australian band's song.
Robert "Bertie" Kidd has a long rap sheet and has spent 30 years in prison for crimes ranging from horse doping to armed robbery, but his major gripes were with the federal reserve bank.
Kidd's first crime that caught police attention was forgery of $10 notes - something that set him off on a lifelong career of crime.
But many people that know of Kidd's notoriety are unaware that his humble beginnings started in little old Launceston. He first landed in the Apple Isle at age 14 after migrating from England. What drew him here was a connection with his Aunt Mabel Munroe who was the host of a Launceston radio program.
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"She thought we'd have a better chance of a life in Tasmania. We went through the documentation in London and ended up in Tasmania, Launceston," he said.
"Mabel Munroe ... She was on the radio with hospital benefits." She had her own Sunday morning show and sought a better life for Kidd in Launceston.
But Kidd had his sights set on bigger goals, and when he got his first taste of crime he knew the prospects were better on the mainland.
""I got the smell of the big smoke. I heard so much about it, so I went over and looked it over," he said.
He said moving across the Bass Strait gave him the opportunity to "do what he liked" and it was not until a lifetime later that he looked back. "When I was 30 years old I decided on a life of crime," he said. "I would have been a square head in Tasmania ... be a motor mechanic or something like that."
And Kidd said he would not change anything. The life of crime was the life for him.
"I'm happy with what I've done ... I wouldn't change anything," he said.
Though it is estimated that Kidd fleeced others of millions of dollars, he was not without his fruitless foibles.
He was busted trying to rob a plane of a million dollars of Federal Reserve Bank money, and he played a part in what has been described as the largest horse racing fiasco in Australian history.
A plan was devised to enter a different horse in the stead of the unsuccessful Fine Cotton and capitalise on the long odds the bookmakers had offered it. Kidd said it was a plan that was hatched in jail.
"The guy approached me in jail. He said, 'you've got the connections in Sydney'. I didn't like the bloke but I liked the scheme. It gripped me like, what a good trick. I handed it over to my mate and they stuffed it up," he said.
By stuffed it up, Kidd means they swapped out Fine Cotton for one that looked nothing like it and used white paint to try to fix the problem. At the end of the day the brains trust behind the operation were out of pocket $55,000 plus their dignity and membership within the racing industry.
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While many of Kidd's crimes get gums flapping, it was a unique one that piqued the interest of The Whitlams lead singer Tim Freedman.
Freedman heard about another foiled robbery from a lawyer and thought it sounded like one that would make for a good song.
"A lawyer told me that there was a comic scene of these blokes that got done on their way to a robbery allegedly because coppers saw their balaclavas," he said.
"I thought it was humorous so I wrote the song, but the bloke said, 'change the name because Bert might not like it'
Freedman said he did not know who Kidd was so he reached out to the author that was writing Kidd's biographer, who gave permission for it to be used.
"It's more about the young guy that gets caught in it when he doesn't want to," he said. Freedman released the song in late October without having met or spoken directly to Bert then booked in to play a gig at Country Club Tasmania in Launceston.
Through a serendipitous turn of events suited to a man such as Kidd whose life is hardly believable, an opportunity was present for the singer and the bandit to meet.
Only months earlier Kidd had returned to Launceston to care for his sick brother when he got stuck in Tasmania after COVID-19 hit.
Now Freedman has sung some of The Ballad of Bertie Kidd to its inspiration.
While Kidd said all of the stories he tells are "straight down the line", Freedman's song has had a bit of sauce added to it, like a man Kidd said is a "good comedian whose made a good career out of telling lies" in Mark "Chopper" Reid.
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