An Orange resident who was wrongfully convicted of his girlfriend's murder in the 1960s has had his gut-wrenching story of injustice featured in a new documentary.
The Stan true-crime series After the Night focuses on Australian serial killer - Eric Edgar Cooke, who terrorised Perth during the 1960s, murdering at least eight people including John Button's 17-year-old girlfriend Rosemary Anderson.
But it would take decades, and the imprisonment of two innocent men for the truth to come out.
On the night of Mr Button's 19th birthday in 1963, the young couple got in an argument and she had stormed off. In the short time it took for Mr Button to find her, Cooke already had. She was hit by his car and left bleeding to death on the side of the road.
The story seemed far too convenient for Perth detectives, and while his girlfriend died in hospital, the 19-year-old was beaten until he gave police what they wanted: a confession.
Before that night, Mr Button had viewed police as "people that you approached... for directions [or] for help".
"What I found with the detectives was something completely foreign... I was really taken aback when they started getting heavy [handed] and pushing me about, wanting me to change my statement," he recalled to the Central Western Daily.
It was an era when the public's trust in the police was unquestioning, Mr Button explained - so when it came to the young man's trial, he was advised by his own lawyer not to mention the beating.
Fifty-eight years on, Mr Button still remembers his exact words: "[He said] John, the reality is the jury will never believe that police do that, and if you try and tell them the police beat you up and call the police liars, they're not going to believe you and they could hang you".
He was sentenced to 10 years hard labour in Fremantle Prison before being released after five and a half. But the nightmare that had become his life was far from over.
While his family and best friend stood by the young man, the rest of Perth ostracised him.
Even after getting a second chance at love with Helen and having a family, the demons that tormented Mr Button, drove him to make multiple attempts on his life.
He got work as a labourer but as his mental health deteriorated, he needed his wife's constant support just to get through the day.
"I couldn't work. I'd go to work for a couple of hours and then I'd just have to give it up.. and drive down to the swamp where Rosemary [Anderson] and I used to go. I used to spend hours down there," Mr Button said.
"So Helen came out to work with me each day just to keep me at work and she'd be labouring for me. She'd pass me bricks and mix up concrete. She'd bring our daughter out in the playpen and put the playpen on the slab and she'd keep me at work all day.
"She would come home at night with her fingers bleeding ready to cook and iron and wash and sew and all that, and she did this for a couple of years."
After a while, Mrs Button decided it would be easier if she returned to work in an office while her husband became a stay-at-home parent to their two children.
"She did everything. And she's still looking after me now," he said of his wife, whom - in addition to his faith in God - he credits with keeping him going.
It took the work of investigative journalist Estelle Blackburn in the late 90s and the publication of her book Broken Lives for Mr Button's case to finally make it back before the courts, where in 2002 his conviction was quashed.
More digging uncovered that he wasn't the only innocent man to be wrongfully convicted of a crime committed by Cooke.
Daryl Beamish - a man who could neither hear nor speak and used sign language to communicate - had a confession coerced out of him by Perth police for the murder of socialite Jillian Brewer. In 2005, after 15 years in prison, he too was exonerated.
But this was not new information. On the day Cooke was executed in 1964 - the last person to be hung in Western Australia -, he had taken a bible and admitted to both the murder of Ms Brewer and also of Ms Anderson - Mr Button's 17-year-old girlfriend. But no inquiry was launched by police and both men were left languishing in their prison cells.
Despite repeated requests, Western Australia Police still refuse to apologise to either Mr Button or Mr Beamish - something which continues to bother Mr Button on a deeply moral level.
"It's a shame. I feel sorry for them. They're just not man enough. One of the things I used to stress often when I spoke at schools and universities was that in life, you're going to find times when you suddenly realise that you've done something... that hasn't be right," he said.
"But for a man or a woman to be strong, you need to actually stand forward and say, 'I'm sorry, let me try and put it right'.
"It's one of the hardest things you can do in life but it's something you'll be admired for."
After finally clearing his name, Mr Button threw himself into trying to help others who had been wrongfully convicted with the Western Australian Innocence Project, while also lobbying for changes to the state's legal system.
But after years of fighting and witnessing two of the men he had been trying to help die in jail, Mr Button decided it was time to take a step back, and in 2013 he and his wife moved to Orange to be near their son and his young family.
Life has been a lot quieter since that move, and Mr Button sometimes misses the warmer weather of Perth, but he hasn't given up on his goal of assisting other innocent people who have fallen victim to a flawed legal system.
"I'd like to see them make some changes in the [legal] system. I think I'd be happy with that," he said.
"I would feel like I'd achieved something, and I would feel that the time I'd wasted in jail, hasn't been wasted, it's been put to good use."
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