Ultimatum (podcast)

Ultimatum tells the story of an attempt by Graham Perkin, Editor of the Age, to bribe the Premier of Victoria, Henry Bolte. The year is 1967. Ronald Ryan is on death row. A deal is offered…

This story poses a serious question that is still relevant today:

Does the media run the state? Or does the government run the state?

Leticia Mooney

Ultimatum tells a story about the Ronald Ryan hanging that nobody else has told. The mainstream view of the story is that the Premier of Victoria wanted Ryan dead. But that is not the case.

Built on deep research and oral histories, Ultimatum unearths a shocking, untold story. And it shows us that two men with vastly different views are actually facing the same issue.

Ultimatum, the podcast

This podcast was originally hosted at Libsyn, and syndicated through podcast networks. But I’ve pulled it back here because this space is free and I own it. Ha! If you’d like to host or syndicate Ultimatum for some reason, send me an email.


Preface to Ultimatum

In the preface to Ultimatum Leticia gets you up to speed with the context for the story. Without it, the importance of the moment in time captured by this narrative will be lost to you. 

Part 1

Meet the three significant people in this story: Ronald Ryan, Graham Perkin, Henry Bolte. In this opener, the day is dawning. Ronald Ryan is contemplating his death; Henry Bolte and Graham Perkin anticipate meeting in the middle of a social uprising.

Part 2

In Part 02, Graham and Bolte feel each other’s arguments: Perkin is there for a reason. But what is it? Meanwhile, Ronald Ryan holds hope that he may still be pardoned.

Part 3

In Part 3, Ronald Ryan is pondering his status and whether or not he will be the last man hanged in Australia. We meet his priest, Father Brosnan, hear from another prisoner on his opinions about Ryan’s actions. And we learn the reason why Perkin has come to visit Bolte. It’s a deal. But what kind?

Part 4

In the finale of Ultimatum, Henry Bolte considers Perkin’s deal. They appear to be wildly different men, from wildly different worlds. But are they really more like the same person? We know that Ronald Ryan hanged, so what happened and why? Listen in to find out.

Postscript to Ultimatum (author’s note)

This postscript tells you a bit about how Ultimatum came to be a podcast, when it was never intended that way in the beginning. In it, I talk about how the story found me, the steps along the way, and for how long this story has been sitting in my drawer (and why)!

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