Audrey Fagan dead

johnboy 23 April 2007 119

I have this from two sources. The ACT’s Chief Police Officer, Audrey Fagan, is dead.

No further details at this time.

UPDATED: Radio reports on the ABC say it was while on holiday and “no suspicious circumstances”.

Further Update: Jon Stanhope has put out a media release which praises CPO Fagan but offers no insight into her demise. It’s early days but one begins to wonder about the dancing around the cause of death.

The AFP’s media release is now also available.

Another update: Mainstream media has finally caught up and a plethora of sources are on this story.

A thought: This is the same Queensland Police Force that can happily declare “no suspicious circumstances” when Aborigines are murdered in police cells. I don’t see how much short of a royal commission can be avoided here.

MORE: Simon Corbell got a media release online late last night it indicates that Deputy Chief Police Officer Shane Connelly will continue as Acting Chief Police Officer.

And again: The Canberra Times has bestirred itself to put the story on its website.

Big news: The SMH finally has some details:

“It is believed the mother-of-one died by hanging. Queensland police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Yesterday, AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty would not confirm the death of the 26-year police veteran was a suicide. He said Ms Fagan had been burdened by media criticism of poor police media management, and recently undertook professional support for stress.

“Clearly, she felt the pressure of the campaign of the criticism over the last couple of weeks,” he said.”

Can anyone suggest a circumstance in which it is not either; suicide, or suspicious? I also note the serious boot being laid into the Canberra Times (and possibly us I suppose). I would suggest that if the CPO was tipped over the edge by a call for more media access then Mr Keelty needs to be looking seriously at the support and resources his organisation was providing her with. Either way there needs to be a major inquiry.

CT Overload: The Canberra Times is going wall to wall on this today. Most of the stories say the same thing over and over because, at the end of the day, very little is known. So there are stories here, here, here, and here.

More significantly the CT Editor in Chief, Jack Waterford has damned with faint praise before going on to defend his past criticisms.

Monday update: The Brisbane Times is claiming that two notes have been found.

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119 Responses to Audrey Fagan dead
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Pandy Pandy 12:05 am 21 Apr 07


Nik_the_Pig Nik_the_Pig 1:04 am 21 Apr 07

Although all mainstream media are reading from the same press release in saying “Queensland police are investigating but believe there are no suspicious circumstances” the Daily Terror has added the additional proviso stating “They are considering the possibility of suicide.”

The following days will be interesting.

hk0reduck hk0reduck 3:35 am 21 Apr 07

That sucks, who will write the little community messsages in the Chronicle now:(

johnboy johnboy 7:14 am 21 Apr 07

NTP; That’s what I was trying to get across.

Pickle Pickle 10:03 am 21 Apr 07

How many days before it rates a mention on the Canberra Times website?

Sammy Sammy 10:04 am 21 Apr 07

David Eastman wasn’t in the area, was he?

Sammy Sammy 10:05 am 21 Apr 07

The Canberra Times website will pick it up tomorrow, in typical style.

andy andy 10:09 am 21 Apr 07

sammy by “typical style” i assume you mean word for ******* word, including any English errors

VicePope VicePope 11:29 am 21 Apr 07

This is just sad. She seemed a good and decent person, doing a difficult job. She left a husband and children who are no doubt devastated. Can’t we just say that any death of someone, relatively young, doing their best and likely to be grieved is a tragedy? Speculation on how it happened is pointless without information, and leads inevitably to speculation on why, and neither is at all helpful for her family, friends and colleagues.

Please leave this story alone, unless proper inquiries by Qld police reveal that there is something of public interest in it. Otherwise it’s a gratuitous interference in privacy and grief.

(ps – I may have come across her in my work or generally while living here at some stage but I am not a family member, friend or AFP member).

dr. faustus dr. faustus 11:41 am 21 Apr 07

I met Audrey once, not that long ago. She seemed like a really nice person – very genuine, and zero pretense. I was quite shocked to read in the CT this morning that she’d died, as she appeared young and fit and healthy. My condolences to her family, friends and staff, who are no doubt feeling devastated this morning.

johnboy johnboy 11:46 am 21 Apr 07

I’m sorry VicePope, I’m going to have to disagree with you here.

When a 44 year old woman in Ms. Fagan’s position dies a “sudden death” the questions it raises go well beyond the “proper inquiries” of the Queensland constabulary. In my opinion.

Hasdrubahl Hasdrubahl 12:02 pm 21 Apr 07

They’ll probably be more diligent with “proper enquiries” in this case, than they are with Aborigines in police cells.
-Sad to say.

VicePope VicePope 12:18 pm 21 Apr 07

I agree with Hasdrubahl that the QPol inquiries will probably be a bit more thorough this time. What ocurred previously was terrible.
But, JohnBoy, I don’t think there’d be any public interest if the deceased was Marge Simpson from Kaleen. Ms Fagan may have died in some routine (but still tragic) way as people, even young and apparently fit people, sometimes do. Unless someone has some hard information that suggests that her death was in some way linked with her public role, rather than unsupported speculation, it’s decent to keep out of the story as we would with any other person. There are enough in the gutter (eg the Terror) already.

johnboy johnboy 12:22 pm 21 Apr 07

What are the odds?

Think about it.

And then, yes, we’ll all have to wait to see what we shall see.

I would however note that the Qld police don’t find a problem with deaths in custody not because they are lax in their inquiries but because they are corrupt.

Jey Jey 12:41 pm 21 Apr 07

I liked her little columns in The Chronicle. This made me a bit sad.
Blame QLD! Stoopid QLD!

shauno shauno 2:05 pm 21 Apr 07

Odds are that its a suicide which isn’t that uncommon among the Police force compared to other professions. One has to wonder why and whether any internal conflicts in the Police force contributed.

TAD TAD 2:55 pm 21 Apr 07

What no tribute from Jack Waterford?

teddy bear teddy bear 4:37 pm 21 Apr 07

I am deeply shocked. She was a terrific person who was easy to talk to, considerate, intelligent and down to earth. Her daughter (from a previous marriage) is the same age as my own child (15) and I really feel for her and her father. She also has two step-children who need to be considered. I hope people keep this in mind when posting comments.

bubzie bubzie 5:06 pm 21 Apr 07

i agree, she’s a wonderful person, she came to my school last year one time, to talk to us, and she was so down to earth.

el el 9:20 pm 21 Apr 07

I get the point you’re trying to make VicePope, but she was a high-profile person (working in Law-Enforcement no less) in Canberra who has just died young – thus the story is considered ‘newsworthy’ to the public – I do agree that speculation is pointless and insensitive though.

My thoughts go out to her family, loved ones and also her AFP colleagues (some of whom are still possibly dealing with the loss of two other workmates in the Indonesian plane crash last month.)

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