The front page of the Sydney Morning Herald on February 25, 1958 shows the late Queen Mother receiving flowers from 10-year-old Dennis Ferguson.
Dennis Ferguson spent the last chapter of his life at a secret location within a Department of Housing apartment tucked behind Oxford Street in central Sydney.
With his groceries delivered and a wide-screen television, mobile phone and access to email, there was little reason for the man often dubbed Australia's most notorious paedophile to step outside into the world.
Dennis Ferguson arrives at the Downing Centre Courts in 2009. Photo: Peter Rae
This was precisely the way he and NSW authorities liked it since the media circus of 2009 in which he was hounded from his previous address at Ryde by vigilante residents, including one, Sean Kilgallon, who delivered a pine coffin to his door.
But perhaps fittingly, given Ferguson's controversial and often bizarre history, not even a new address could prevent a near-brush with Hollywood in recent months.
The makers of The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, applied for permission to film in the area surrounding the apartment block, setting off alarm bells within the NSW bureaucracy.
Fearful that he might stray into the way of local media and paparazzi sniffing around the set, the department resolved to move Ferguson to a nearby hotel for a week.
Ferguson complied, but was not happy. In his mind he was once again being hounded from his home by media.
In the end Ferguson, who police say was found in his apartment on Sunday afternoon amid no suspicious circumstances, died as he lived much of his life – in combat with police, the media and the state government.
Ferguson was due to appear back in court next week, charged with attempting to do volunteer work with children in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
Police said he had tried to sign up for the volunteer program in October and November in Bondi Junction without informing police.
He was charged with one count of breaching a prohibition order, which was not to approach any child for 14 years, or work with children.
Meanwhile, Ferguson had also been pursuing a complaint through the Australian Press Council against The Daily Telegraph over its report in July 2012 that he was selling RSPCA-branded biscuits at Circular Quay – without the permission of the charity.
He had also lodged a human rights complaint with the United Nations against law changes in both NSW and Queensland inspired by him.
In September 2009, amid the fury over Ferguson's refusal to budge from his housing commission accommodation in Ryde despite threats from residents, the NSW government pushed through legislation empowering it to terminate leases of registered child sex offenders.
Six years earlier the Queensland government had passed the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act, allowing it to keep paedophiles in detention beyond the completion of their sentence.
The legislation was sparked by community outrage over Ferguson's release from Brisbane's Wolston prison in 2003.
He had served 14 years for, with another man, kidnapping three Sydney children aged six, seven and eight, flying them to Brisbane and sexually assaulting them in a motel room. He never admitted his guilt and refused to take part in rehabilitation programs in prison.
Ferguson's relationship with the media began early with an appearance on the front page of the Herald in 1958, photographed as a 6-year-old handing the Queen Mother a bouquet of flowers during her visit to a school for the blind in Wahroonga, where Ferguson, who is legally blind, was a student.
Several years later, Ferguson would be sexually abused by his mother's partner before being placed in a state home at age 15.
He next appeared on the front page of the Herald in October 2009, following the furore at Ryde, which followed several relocations in Queensland after local media discovered his latest address.
About that time, one of Ferguson's strongest defenders, the prisoners' rights activist Brett Collins, released a provocative photograph of Ferguson relaxing on Coogee beach within metres of small children.
Mr Collins appeared to be making the point that Ferguson had served his time and was not a danger to children as, Ferguson claimed, he was no longer interested in them sexually.
A brief, final, run of the media gauntlet occurred during the recent Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings into the former NSW ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald.
Seemingly unable to resist engaging his media tormentors camped outside the hearings, Ferguson sought to deliver a copy of his human rights complaint to the commissioner, David Ipp.
Ferguson's former counsellor, Wendell Rosevear, told the ABC on Monday he was undertaking regular therapy.
"He was honest about the dimensions of his own life, both victimisation and perpetration," Dr Rosevear said. "That honesty is the biggest predictor of someone's resolution."
But the child protection advocate Hetty Johnston said few would mourn Ferguson's death, at the age of 64.
"2013 is going to be a safer place without Dennis Ferguson," she told Fairfax Media.
An autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death.