of Rivkin cafe Society - 24th March 2004
The Sydney Morning Herald)
photograph that once adorned the walls of Joe's Cafe
in Kings Cross, shows a group of friends whose paths
have ceased to cross. Kate McClymont reports.
photograph is one of a dozen which, a decade ago,
used to adorn the walls of Joe's Cafe in Victoria
Street, Kings Cross.
the paths of the participants have ceased to cross.
the left, cigar in hand and a ring on his smallest
finger, is the disgraced stockbroker Rene Rivkin,
who is serving weekend detention for insider trading.
to him, with tattoos to the wrist and wearing a gold
Rolex, which he told friends was a gift from Rivkin,
is Gary Redding, revealed by the Herald on Saturday
to be the second man police want to question over
his knowledge of the murder of the model Caroline
his back to the camera is another employee and former
business partner of Rivkin's, George Freris, who has
recently departed for Tasmania.
and Redding ran a tattoo shop, Skins and Needles,
in the early 1990s. Rivkin went guarantor on the lease.
the man smiling to the camera is none other than the
controversial businessman Jim Byrnes, a twice-bankrupt
former property developer who currently runs the auction
generosity to his young friends from the cafe was
extraordinary, and included gifts of a Ferrari, a
Harley- Davidson, Rolex watches and overseas trips.
Saturday, the Herald revealed that each week, until
Redding's disappearance four years ago, Rivkin paid
him a "huge wad of cash" which was handed
over at the corner table of Joe's Cafe.
Byrnes told the Herald yesterday that Rivkin also
used to "set up trading accounts for them all
... and he used to trade in all their names. And he
stood to have some of the profit".
and Byrnes no longer speak, having fallen out over
a commission Byrnes claims Rivkin owes him on a car,
a 1957 Californian custom-built Chrysler Imperial
to Byrnes, the man who took the photograph was his
former flatmate, Rafael Budzynski, who is known round
Kings Cross as "the Watch Man". Budzynski,
an Austrian, would pull up outside the cafe in a World
War II jeep, with a pile of Rolexes for sale to its
habitues at the bargain price of $15,000 or $20,000.
Rivkin bought many.
1998 Business Review Weekly quoted Budzynski saying
of his relationship with Rivkin: "He collects
watches, I collect watches. We click on that level.
Basically I was trying to educate him that older watches
are better investments than modern watches.
you buy an old Rolex the value increases almost every
are keen to talk to Redding about his knowledge of
the murder of Caroline Byrne, who was thrown from
The Gap in June 1995.
brief has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions
urging that Gordon Wood, a former chauffeur to Rivkin,
be charged with Ms Byrne's murder.
is not mentioned in the brief. Police have also stressed
that Rivkin is not suspected of any involvement in
Caroline Byrne's death.
to Redding, Byrnes said he was a "nutter"
who was on medication. "He had a bit of a swinging,
angry personality," said Byrnes.
had Gary crying his eyes out in my car for an hour
and half because he needed his medication . . . and
was super stressed out and went off his head.
I had to - ahem - severely speak to him, so to speak.
that I got on well with him because I was one of the
only ones who wasn't scared of him."
asked what Redding did for a living, Byrnes said:
"Like a lot of people, from day to day. He was
one of those sort of guys, one of the bottom-dwellers."
Redding was a complete "red herring" in
the Caroline Byrne murder investigation, said Byrnes.
fact of the matter is, he didn't like Gordon Wood."
Rene Rivkin Report
insider trades outside for inside
Hot bed for cafe's in Sydney's east, by Greg Tingle
History of Coffee
of the World
(ABC "Enough Rope with Andrew Denton)