Johnson spared no expense in funding Glick's investigation and the pair became close friends. They created a Facebook page "Justice for Scott Johnson," hoping to find leads.
As a result of Glick's investigation, the coroner overturned the suicide verdict in Scott's death in 2012. At the time, Johnson was besieged by reporters and agreed to tell his story to the press. "It was on the 6 o'clock news that night and 15 or 20 articles appeared over the next week," he said.
But Johnson said police continued to "stonewall" him, maintaining the northern beach where Scott had died was not a gay hangout –- until the documentary aired.
The day after the film was broadcast, Johnson and his sister held a news conference with police to announce Scott's case would be reopened. Seven families who saw the show came forward to say they also had lost sons –- at least five at the beach.
Scott's partner, an academic, declined to be part of the documentary for privacy reasons. He now lives in the United States, according to Johnson.
Johnson admits the seven-year investigation could never have been accomplished without his financial backing, but other families still want answers.
He is pushing for broader investigations into other cases.
"These crimes are still solvable," he said. "These youth gangs are still in their 40s and probably live in the same cities. One thing about gang violence –- they like to brag. We've heard dozens of stories from former gang members or their girlfriends."
Records kept by the Lesbian and Gay Society Melbourne show that about two dozen men were convicted in the gay-bashing cases in the Bondi area and sentenced to prison terms from the late 1980s to 2009. The rest of the cases are still open.
Times have changed in Australia in regard to hate crimes directed against LGBT people, according to a recent report by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “I would say that in Australia, in practice, we have achieved a remarkable degree of recognition and equality for same-sex partnerships,” author Dennis Altman told the network.
“Cops in general are much more aware and much better trained and much less homophobic,” said Glick. “But I talked to one cop who was openly gay in 1988, and he said it was not easy then.”
And gays can openly serve in military now.
Johnson has set up an email address for anyone with information about the case at firstname.lastname@example.org