Secrets of deadly 1979 Luna Park fire to be revealed
The truth about two of Sydney's enduring tragedies including the Luna Park ghost train blaze will be revealed following the death of the son of Abe Saffron, the original King of the Cross.
Alan Saffron, 71, died two days ago in a Texas hospital and his widow has told The Daily Telegraph that his last wish was to give "closure" to the families of the fire victims and the relatives of Kings Cross activist Juanita Nielsen.
Genevieve Saffron said her late husband Alan had left behind documents that contained the facts about his ruthless father's involvement in the Luna Park fire that killed seven people including six children in 1979 and the presumed murder of Ms Nielsen in 1975.
"He wants them to know the truth about what happened," Ms Saffron, 73, said from Texas on Friday.
Alan Saffron died two days ago in Tirr Memorial Hospital, Houston after suffering a heart attack in February but his family was devastated because they had not been able to be with him because of the coronavirus lockdown.
"I do want redemption and to follow his wishes as much as I can," Ms Saffron said.
"Redemption because his father was not a good man and he did things he should not have done and I think Alan was at odds with that."
However she said she would not release the documents until after a year's mourning as required by her late husband's Jewish religion.
She said Alan also wanted the $650,000 money his father had left to his grandchildren and mistress to go to the victims' families, as well as other money hidden in overseas bank accounts.
"I want to do it when I feel my husband is at peace," American-born Ms Saffron, who moved back to the US with her husband to leave the Saffron legacy behind, said.
"I think there is a lot more at stake here. I want the facts to be revealed and verified but I don't have the stamina right now."
Known as "Mr Sin", the organised crime boss Abe Saffron, who died in 2006, ruled Kings Cross through his nightclubs and bribery. It has long been rumoured that he was behind the Luna Park fire in 1979 because he wanted to take over the lease of the park on Sydney Harbour.
The coroner was unable to determine how the fire started but said it was unlikely to have been an electrical fault.
Four Waverley College schoolmates died along with John Godson and his two sons, Damien, six, and Craig, four.
Saffron was a suspect in another seven fires around the same time.
In 1987 reinvestigation by the National Crime Authority found the original inquiry and inquest had been inadequate.
In 2007, when Abe Saffron's niece, Anne Buckingham, told a newspaper during the fight over Saffron's fortune, that he was responsible for the fire, Alan Saffron leapt to his father's defence, saying there was no evidence and that the family was outraged by the accusation.
Ms Nielsen disappeared after visiting one of Abe Saffron's nightclubs, Carousel Cabaret, as she opposed a high-rise planned by a developer linked to Saffron.
Alan Saffron, who became a film producer, resisted his father's attempts to get him involved in his nightclubs and his daughter Rebecca Saffron, 39, said he was her hero.
"He was my hero and always will be number one in my heart," she said.
Married for almost 42 years, her mother said: "I want him to be remembered by people who knew him and enjoyed him. He was a character, he was so full of life and all he really wanted was to be loved.
"He had this relationship with Abe that was very brutal. He tried all his life to have Abe love him like a son but Abe was not capable."
Originally published as Secrets of deadly 1979 Luna Park fire to be revealed