This story was initially printed on October 26, 2018. But the tale of the Coogee Bay Poo Mystery stays unsolved, and we won’t relaxation right up until we know the reality.

The 7 days of October 26, 2008, was a massive a person for news. Grant Hackett retired from swimming and Stephanie Rice was anointed Australia’s new Queen Of The pool. James Packer gave up control of his father Kerry’s beloved media empire, and Labor MP Kate Ellis was crowned Sexiest Lady in Parliament in a poll of her fellow MPs (truly). And confident, some individuals could don’t forget that week for the impending election of Barack Obama as US President, but to me, it will often be about a single thing: The Coogee Bay Poo Secret.

The story commenced a handful of months before, on October 5th, when Steven And Jessica Whyte, their kids, and some household good friends collected at the newly refurbished Coogee Bay Lodge in Sydney’s east to watch the NRL Grand Ultimate. The Manly Sea Eagles would defeat The Melbourne Storm 40- that night, but another off-placing spectacle would steal the headlines in coming months.

The events of that day are however not entirely apparent, but what is recognized is this: At some level in the night, the Whytes complained about the price tag of an adult provide of gelato ($19) from the hotel’s new cafe. In purchase to maintain the buyers happy, the hotel’s manager hand-shipped a complimentary bowl to the desk.

At 6.39pm, Jessica Whyte took a chunk and rapidly spat it out just before wiping her mouth on a serviette. There is no other way to say it: The “chocolate” gelato was not chocolate at all. It was shit. Human shit.

“There have been four scoops together with vanilla, chocolate and hazelnut. At the base, there appeared to be chocolate,” Whyte explained to the Sydney Early morning Herald at the time. “Greedily, I went for it in advance of the young ones. Thank heavens I did. The stench, the flavor … I spat the meals into a napkin and straight away I was unwell.”

As you’d be expecting, a mum taking in human shit in a restaurant induced rather a stir. There was a “heated argument” which, according to the Herald, manufactured its way again to the hotel’s kitchen.

Above the subsequent several weeks, statements and counter-promises flew involving the Whytes and the hotel’s management as the lawyers had been called in. In a letter, the resort recommended the incident could have been an act of industrial sabotage by a competitor.  The police have been identified as. The NSW Foods Authority stepped in to examine, and the Whytes took their have sample to the National Measurements Institute — an actual govt system — for an impartial analysis. Retired Federal Court docket Judge Trevor Morling QC was brought in to broker a peace deal among the warring events.

Much of this was having location quietly as the two functions looked to occur to some sort of resolution, but then the shit really hit the enthusiast.

Like so many fantastic stories, Sydney Morning Herald athletics journalist Andrew Webster stumbled across his good scoop via a mixture of luck and a nose for a great yarn.

“I lived in Coogee at the time and was a common patron of the CBH’s sports bar and TAB services, which would surprise nobody,” he advised me. “One Sunday evening, I went there for a few of beers right after coming off a actually tight deadline for Monday’s sports activities webpages.”

“I’d experienced two beers but was then ridiculously asked to depart immediately after my thong acquired caught up in a stool. The bouncer reported I was drunk, which I wasn’t. In any case, I remaining.”

“Coincidentally, I experienced been commissioned a several times earlier by the Sunshine Herald to compose a bar assessment of CBH, which had been through a massive renovation. A week afterwards, I wrote about their foolish protection workers. Just after the critique appeared, I got a simply call at operate from a man who had been at the lodge with his spouse and children on NRL grand ultimate day. ‘You reckon you’ve had a terrible encounter there?’ he reported. ‘My wife discovered poo in her ice cream…’”

“Human Excrement Identified In No cost Gelato” reported the Sydney Early morning Herald on Sunday, October 26, particularly three months soon after the fateful gelato was served.

Often capable to sniff out a fantastic tale, Sydney tabloid The Each day Telegraph immediately jumped on the bandwagon, and right away, the Coogee Bay Poo Mystery was an global feeling.

“The tale went mad,” Webster remembers. “It went world wide because of how sickening it was. The pub went into destruction control. There was a genuine perception that it could’ve been the finish of the place.”

It was a classic poodunnit. CCTV footage exposed the Whytes’ “moment of horror” when the restaurant’s manager personally sent the gelato. The Whytes built many media appearances, insisting that this dispute wasn’t about money all they required was an apology and an admission of wrongdoing.

“The real concern is that we were being fed, as a spouse and children, shit, at someone’s pub,” Steven Whyte explained to radio station 2UE.

The hotel fought again, suggesting the Whytes have been seeking up to $1 million in payment, and questioning the authenticity of the sample. The NSW Minister for Most important Industries, the now-jailed Ian Macdonald, described the incident as “an problem of community importance”.

The public was, understandably, on the aspect of the female who had unknowingly eaten shit. As the pub experimented with to carry on with organization as regular, the escalating scandal was using its toll.

“It was odd. There was a ton of concentration on the resort,” John*, a former Coogee Bay bartender who was at work on the day of the incident, told me. “There ended up information cameras established up all close to the lodge.”  

“The bosses experienced a staff meeting about it a couple of days immediately after. They claimed ‘we can not genuinely speak about it, due to the fact it is all below NDAs’, but they warned us not to talk to the push.”

Right after weeks of media frenzy, the Whytes and the Coogee Bay Hotel arrived at a private settlement, reportedly value $50,000. The disaster was about, but the legend would are living on.

When I initial commenced investigating this piece, a naïve element of me considered we may possibly in fact crack the circumstance. Possibly just after a 10 years, a responsible conscience might give us the data we needed to find the Coogee Bay Poo Bandit. But no, he or she (and it is a lot more likely to be a she) continues to be at huge.

The NSW Foods Authority confirmed to me that its investigation closed without a remaining resolution. The circumstance is as cold as a bowl of freshly served gelato.

“While the analysis of a 2nd sample supplied by the complainant showed weak traces of female DNA, this is no aid in determining who may well have contaminated the food stuff,” reads a assertion from 2008. “After 3 laboratory analyses, inspection of CCTV footage and interviews with all persons involved in the complaint, there is even now no definitive evidence of whom or where by the faecal subject came from.”

“While the analysis of a next sample provided by the complainant showed weak traces of woman DNA, this is no support in identifying who may well have contaminated the food”

NSW Police in the same way pointed me to a statement from December 2008: “After reviewing all the facts and evidence presented by the Food items Authority police are glad that a thorough and appropriate investigation has been concluded. The case has been suspended pending any fresh new data arising.”

Understandably, the major players ended up reluctant to discuss. The Coogee Bay Resort declined a ask for to remark, and inspite of extensive endeavours, I was not able to observe down Steven or Jessica Whyte.

John the bartender stays amazed with the Poo Bandit’s capacity to evade detection.

“There were that quite a few cameras and that considerably stability. If anyone was seeking to do a little something, I just assumed they would have been caught. But no a single ever was,” he claimed.

“I never heard a identify of a particular person who could possibly have been concerned. It was peculiar. There was a great deal of suspicion. A thing clearly occurred. But what essentially went down, I’m none the wiser. You likely know as a great deal as I do.”

Every single person I spoke to — each individual media adviser, every journalist, every colleague, each former Coogee Bay worker — responded the identical way when I instructed them what I was composing about.

“Oh yeah,” they giggled, “I try to remember that one particular.”

Ten decades on, the Coogee Bay Poo Thriller retains a unique spot in our hearts. It’s the primary poo tale. The progenitor to so several other classic poo yarns, like the Brisbane Poo Jogger, or that lady who tried to dispose of a poo during a date and finished up trapped in between two windows.

John says the memory stays as refreshing as the turd in that gelato.

“That’s almost certainly the largest effects. To this working day, if I fulfill someone and tell them I applied to perform in the lodge, the 1st factor they say is ‘are you the dude who shat in the ice product?’”

We could never know who is accountable for the Coogee Bay Poo Mystery, but does that really make a difference? The important detail is the classes we learned and the friends we made alongside the way.

In the meantime, the resort is continue to likely sturdy. This Sunday is the 10th anniversary of the Coogee Bay Poo Incident steaming its way into the general public consciousness. If you’re in the region, why not end by? You can no for a longer period buy a bowl of ice product, but you are assured an afternoon of family members pleasurable.

Or you could hold out right up until next Wednesday, October 31, when the hotel will be dressed up for a “frightful Halloween” event. “Prepare to enter the depths of hell,” states a advertising for the occasion.

So why not head down? You just may shit you.


Rob Stott is Junkee Media’s Managing Editor. If you’re the Coogee Bay Poo Bandit, slide into his DMs @Rob_Stott.

*Name altered to guard John’s id. John was working in yet another portion of the resort on the day, and insists he didn’t shit in the ice product.