A CRIME committed right here in the Hastings has captured the attention of more than a million Australians after the first episode of a real-life crime drama has aired on television.
Underbelly Badness - the fifth instalment of the Nine Network's popular drama Underbelly - aired on Monday last week.
The series tells the story of Strike Force Tuno, led by then detective sergeant Gary Jubelin, which laboriously pieced together the death of Terry Falconer after his remains were found wrapped in plastic in the Hastings River, near Wauchope, in late 2001.
Producer Peter Gawler said the murder and its investigation had all the attributes of a good television drama.
Episode one drew more than 1.7 million viewers last Monday.
"It was so shocking. It suggested an underworld story bigger than the typical domestic murder," Mr Gawler told the Port News. The victim had previously been lured away from a smash repair business, locked in a box and driven to Girvan, near Bulahdelah, where his body was cut up.
Murderer Anthony Perish was arrested more than seven years later, when police swooped on a cafe in Sydney's McMahons Point in January 2009. The drug kingpin is now behind bars.
"It was a remarkable police investigation by dedicated police officers who refused to give up," Mr Gawler said.
A location in Warwick Farm in Sydney was used to shoot scenes set in Wauchope.
The new drama stars Jonathan LaPaglia (from The Slap) as Perish and Matt Nable (from Bikie Wars) as Jubelin.
The second episode screens tonight on NBN.