We called him Boo, or Dennis the Menace. Some disparagingly called him Botch. Dennis Robert Carr passed away of natural causes at the Royal Hobart Hospital this week. He was serving 23 years for murder.
Dennis was a best friend through my entire 20s and early 30s. As was his brother, Mark. I’d describe Dennis as a complex human being. A career criminal. Gregarious. Daring. Charismatic. Not one to play the party politic. Not a man who showed fear. Yes, very dangerous.
But for all of that I found him to be one of the best friends that I ever had in those dark years. He probably had better friends than my plodding mug in his life; I didn’t make real friends that easily. Dennis was a story teller, a sharer of personal confidences and a performer. Looking back, I’d say that he was highly intelligent and under-educated.
Without going into detail… Dennis was a serious robber, gunman, thief, substance abuser and risk taker. A hardened villain.
I mean, for young men in a World of bad ideas… what wasn’t to like about Dennis? In a lot of ways he was larger than life. The best of men; and the worst of men. A brother in arms.
So, yes, Dennis died this week in the Royal Hobart Hospital. I’m not sure what took him out in the end, but possibly cancer by the look of the funeral notice. And although I didn’t send a card, pay for a bereavement notice or make plans to attend his funeral I just wanted you to know that he was a friend.
I don’t particularly care what anybody else thought of the man. He was fundamentally my friend.
Below is a photograph, supplied by Dennis’ daughter Bianca, of the coffin plaque signed by Dennis’ friends.