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Monday, November 28, 2022

Bikie Code: Jailhouse lawyer-turned-miner Dennis Biggers convinced convicted murderer Gary White is innocent

Dennis Biggers has spent the past few years working at the giant Sino Iron iron ore project near Onslow. He is a quietly-spoken, polite, successful and well-paid member of WA’s resources industry.

Before switching to a career in mining, Dennis was a successful and well-paid armed robber — a shotgun-wielding criminal who terrorised bank tellers in Kalgoorlie and was hunted by detectives determined to bring him to justice.

The extraordinary story of Biggers’ road to redemption, and the friendship he forged in jail with a man he is convinced is innocent is the subject of the fifth episode of The West Australian’s true-crime documentary Bikie Code: Murder, Revenge and the Gyspy Jokers.

“Since I was released from prison, I’ve seen the other side of life, so to speak,” Biggers says.

“I worked hard in the mining industry. I paid my taxes. I go home and take care of my dog. It’s a different life to the chequered past.”

He was sentenced to a whopping 16 years jail when police caught up with him. Knowing such a long stretch would break him, the then 41-year-old prepared his own appeal.

When his jail time was halved after he successfully argued his sentence was excessive, Biggers became a sought-after jailhouse lawyer.

One of the prisoners who approached him for advice was a man serving a life sentence for the murder of Walpole drifter Anthony Tapley.

Bikie Code: Jailhouse lawyer-turned-miner Dennis Biggers convinced convicted murderer Gary White is innocent
Camera IconFamily pictures of murder victim Anthony Tapley. Credit: Supplied
Gary White (holding the child) with some friends supplied
Camera IconGary White (holding the child) with some friends supplied Credit: supplied

“I heard Gary White speaking about his innocence,” Biggers tells the documentary.

“And I just brushed it off as just being another prisoner aggrieved at the fact that they’d been caught. It wasn’t until probably 18 months or two years into my association with Gary that I began to have doubts about his conviction.

“It just didn’t add up.”

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