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Rottnest victim s life and crimes
Rottnest victim: Stephen Ramon Cookson.

Stephen Ramon Cookson - whose head was found in a plastic bag on a Rottnest Island beach - is the second man linked to a jailed WA drug trafficker who has been found dead.

As more details emerge about the life and crimes of 56-year-old Cookson, _The West Australian _can reveal that another man charged with Cookson over a multimillion-dollar methylamphetamine deal was found dead in NSW in 2010.

Court documents link Cookson to a drug kingpin who is serving a jail term for offences including trafficking high-purity methylamphetamine to Perth from interstate.

The documents identify a third man as the courier in the supply chain.

_The West Australian _ understands that man skipped bail over charges related to the matter and fled to NSW, where he took his life soon after speaking to a law enforcement agency in that State.

He was in police custody but the death was not considered suspicious.

In September 2010, WA police found two men unpacking high- purity methylamphetamine during a raid on a luxury South Perth apartment, on Mill Point Road.

Searches of another luxury property in Burswood led police to uncover a loaded handgun in a "man bag" inside a Porsche Cayenne.

Major crime squad detectives will not confirm or deny whether the head belonged to Cookson because his next of kin have not been located.

_The West Australian _ understands that police suspect that all or some of Cookson's body was thrown into the ocean somewhere between Rockingham and Mandurah. But whoever was involved in disposing of the head didn't realise there was air in the bag, which enabled it to resurface and float on the current to Rottnest.

Perth's underworld is buzzing with talk of the gruesome demise of the notorious figure.

One source said yesterday that Cookson's dubious dealings in the drug trade and horse racing industry could throw up a number of leads and suspects for police.

Both Cookson and the drug kingpin were known as heavy gamblers.

Sources have told _The West Australian _ it was common for Cookson to drop thousands of dollars in a single sitting.

Cookson had convictions for heroin dealing, armed robbery and payroll robbery.

He was well known among track investigators in WA after several violent incidents.

The former law student fitted the description of the head found on Rottnest. He was missing several upper front teeth, was balding and had a beard.


The West Australian

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