Episode Two of the hugely successful new crime series TOUGH NUTS: AUSTRALIA’S HARDEST CRIMINALS premieres on Thursday, July 29 at 7.30pm AEST, delving in to the life of Frederick ‘Chow’ Hayes, arguably Australia’s most feared gangster.
Following on from the hit premiere episode of TOUGH NUTS – which saw the life of Christopher Dale Flannery exposed and his killer named for the very first time – this next episode looks at Chow Hayes, a convicted double murderer who was sentenced to hang in 1952 for the brazen killing of standover man and former boxer, Bobby Lee.
Hayes’ sentence was subsequently reduced to life in prison and he was released from jail in 1978 during the final decade of his life. At the time of his death, Chow had served almost 40 of his 74 years in prison.
Hayes’ criminal career reads like a social history of the Sydney crime world in the 20th century, from the razor gangs of the 1930s, to the post-war booms in sly grogging, brothels and illegal gaming, to the criminal networks founded on drugs.
In his later years, Hayes became a celebrated crime figure: he was the subject of a biography by crime writer David Hickie and also a chilling portrait by artist Bill Leak that was short listed for the Archibald Prize in 1991 – the portrait shows an elderly man who still possessed the eyes of a killer.
TOUGH NUTS charts the course of Chow’s life, beginning with his formative years as the son of a WWI veteran who was broken by his experience of the bloody conflict. Chow was nine years of age when he first set eyes on his father, who was straight-jacketed in an asylum.
Did this episode fuel Chow Hayes’ murderous rage and his complete lack of regard for humanity that saw him the most dreaded figure in Sydney’s underworld?
Featuring never-before-seen interviews with psychologists, police detectives and investigative journalists as well as dramatised scenes of some of the pivotal moments in Hayes’ life, TOUGH NUTS delves deep in to the psyche of Frederick Chow Hayes and offers a remarkable insight in to the boy, the man and the criminal.
Presented by bestselling crime author Tara Moss, TOUGH NUTS is an explosive eight-part series that blows the lid off Australia’s criminal underworld and reveals the real story behind what made and shaped the most notorious figures in Australian criminal history.
The 8 x 1 hour series profiles a different criminal in each episode and features, in order: Christopher Dale Flannery, Chow Hayes, Alphonse Gangitano, Dennis Allen, Russell Cox, Michael Sayers, Raymond Bennett and Lenny McPherson.
TOUGH NUTS is produced by Bryan Cockerill from The Full Box and is exclusive to Crime & Investigation Network.