Tough Nuts: July 28

Stan Smith (no, not the American Dad character) is the subject of the next episode of Tough Nuts: Australia’s Hardest Criminals.

Stan “The Man” Smith was considered one of Sydney’s criminal heavyweights for three decades, an associate of Len McPherson and George Freeman and who featured in Sydney’s “gang wars” of the mid-1980s.

Smirh died last year but in a remarkable twist, towards the end of his life, he turned to God. In a television exclusive, Tough Nuts will screen footage of the born-again Smith’s own baptism.

Tough Nuts includes dramatised re-enactments (pictured) as well as interviews and investigative information.

Feared enforcer for Australian organised crime; multiple murderer and assassin; and drug trafficker turned man of God.

Smith was mentored by Sydney hard-man and ‘Mr Big’ Lenny McPherson. Together with George Freeman they founded notorious Sydney underworld gang The Team.

With his steely nerves and violent nature, Smith naturally became The Team’s enforcer. Smith was also an accomplished assassin, and the man chosen to rid The Team of its greatest threats, including Chris Flannery and Stewart John Regan.

Together The Team dominated Sydney’s underworld for over 30 years. Stan Smith also operated a venture on his own, becoming the biggest distributor of marijuana in eastern Australia. However in an ironic twist for the man who became rich importing drugs, his oldest son became a heroin addict and died of an overdose. Smith sought revenge by hunting down and murdering his son’s heroin dealer in the most gruesome way imaginable, repeatedly running over him in a car and leaving him to die.

Despite his life of crime, Smith was a devoted family man. He married his wife, Marilyn when they were both just 18 years of age. They remained married until Smith’s death 54 years later.

Presented by Tara Moss, it airs Thursday, July 28 at 7.30pm on Crime and Investigation.

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