Lionel Murphy remains an ambiguous figure, despite the release of a mountain of files from a special commission set up to decide his fitness to remain on the High Court.
The reformist attorney-general and senior judge will remain an icon of the Labor left.
To others he will continue to have been unfit to sit on Australia's highest court, if not actually corrupt.
The commission, comprising three former judges, was set up in 1986, shortly after Murphy was finally cleared of two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice on behalf of his "little mate" - Sydney solicitor Morgan Ryan, who'd been charged over an immigration scam.
It was closed, its work still far from finished, when Murphy died in October 1986. Its files, with some names and addresses redacted, were released by parliament on Thursday.
The commission said that at the time of being wound up it had made no findings of fact and therefore no conclusions as to whether his conduct amounted to "proved misbehaviour", the constitutional requirement for the dismissal of a High Court judge.
But the files paint a picture of Murphy as a networker with dubious friends who sailed, ethically speaking, close to the wind.
One name that cropped up regularly was Abe Saffron, a prominent Sydney underworld figure of the time.
The commission received 41 allegations against Murphy, with 21 being dropped after preliminary examination.
The remaining 20, commission lawyers contended, involved misbehaviour within the meaning of the constitution.
There were disparate allegations.
One alleged an attempt to bribe a senior Commonwealth police officer Don Thomas.
During lunch at a Korean restaurant in Sydney in 1979, Murphy was said to have told Thomas "we need somebody inside to tell us what is going on" in the about-to-be formed Australian Federal Police and promised he could be an assistant commissioner in it.
Other allegations related specifically to Saffron, "a person of notoriously low repute".
It included that "there is a long history of the judge receiving sexual favours from women supplied by Saffron".
Two allegations involved a private prosecution of Gough Whitlam, Murphy and two other former Whitlam government ministers by Danny Sankey, represented by David Rofe QC.
Murphy was said to have had Saffron intimidate Sankey into withdrawing his prosecution and to have urged Ryan to "cause harm" to Rofe in revenge for his role.
On another occasion, Murphy allegedly helped Saffron over a contract to remodel Sydney's Central station and a contract to run Luna Park.
Another alleged threat involved Murphy helping Ryan threaten NSW state MP Milton Morris to expose a tax evasion scheme if he wouldn't get the Liberal to stop attacking Ryan.
Two matters involved Murphy's actions during his trials.
The earliest allegation dated back to when Murphy was still attorney-general.
He was responsible for ensuring that two people caught in a bungled burglary at the home of Junie Morosi - the controversial private secretary to Whitlam government Treasurer Jim Cairns - were not prosecuted.
By the time it was wound up, the commission had gathered voluminous files, but had not yet examined any witnesses of substance.
However it had issued a volley of summons, including to Saffron.
That would have produced a fascinating transcript.