Russell "Lefty" Munroe was a career criminal and regularly did jobs with his crew Ted West, Bilkey van Heeder, Bert Thompson and Phineas O'Driscoll. He was married to Ngaire Munroe, with whom he had three girls. His nickname was given due to having only one testicle.


Background Edit

At some point, Lefty married Ngaire Munroe and together they had three girls, two of whom were presumably born in the 1960s.

Lefty was the leader of a crew which he did criminal jobs with, consisting of Bilkey van Heeder, Bert Thompson and Phineas O'Driscoll. Ted West joined in 1962, and quickly rose through the ranks to become their new leader, something Lefty didn't notice until his wife pointed it out to him.[1]

Smith & Caughey's job Edit

Around Christmas 1970, Lefty and the crew broke into a Smith & Caughey's department store to get to the safe of the jewellers next door, which was filled with krugerrands — South African gold coins. After loading the coins into the van, they went back in for some Christmas shopping, during which someone stole and got away with their van. (Unbeknownst to Lefty and the lads, it was his wife Ngaire, in cooperation with Rita West and Carol O'Driscoll, wanting to secure themselves an inheritance as crime wives. This was Ngaire's idea, which she had in a fury after catching him cheating with Sharon.) The police arrived at the scene as someone had narked, and Lefty did time in prison.

After his release, he became the new leader of the crew in Ted's absence. They started doing things differently, with robberies instead of cracking safes, for example. Also, Ngaire made him cut Rita off from the crew's earnings while Ted was still away. Detective Sergeant Mike McCarthy would visit them, trying to stir trouble in the crew by making them suspect each other for narking.

When Ted returned in January 1974, the crew were planning to rob a warehouse for Phillips K9 televisions, and Ted was dissatisfied with the way they were doing things. There was some tension between him and Lefty, with Lefty asserting his new position as leader. A dissatisfied Ted departed from the crew momentarily, before returning and re-instating himself as leader some days later.[2]

1975 Road trip Edit

Westside 1x02 - Lefty trades with Rod

Lefty sells jewels to Rod Nugent.

In November 1975, Lefty went on a two week road trip of the with the gang to carry out a string of robberies, including visits to Tokoroa and Tauranga, finishing off with a robbery in Hamilton to pick up trinkets for the ladies on the way home. Lefty brought Ngaire a necklace, and sold the leftover jewels to Rod Nugent at a less than desirable price.

Lefty and the gang headed for the Martha Mine in Waihi to execute a job which they involved Darijo Doslic in, as he worked in heavy machinery and could aid in transporting a heavy safe. Lefty was skeptical of him, but the job went well and they all got a good take. Ngaire's necklace was stolen from her jewellery box and turned up in Nugent's second hand shop, prompting them to find a replacement for Nugent, and resulting in Rita West taking over the shop. The real culprits were Rita and her son Wolfgang, as part of a plan orchestrated by Rita.[3]

Personality and traits Edit

Lefty had a large ego, having an image of himself as the cool guy and the leader. He was known for his infidelity, having had a string of affairs. He was sociable, lazy and an opportunist.[4]


Notes and references Edit

  1. "Ted West"
  2. "All That Impedes Thee from the Golden Round" Westside. Series 1 Episode 1.
  3. "Is't Far You Ride?" Westside. Series 1 Episode 2.
  4. "Lefty Munroe"