A who's who…


1995

1998

  • The Melbourne gangland killings are believed to have begun with the murder of 40-year-old Alphonse Gangitano on 16 January 1998. He was shot and killed in the laundry of his home, while clad only in his underwear. A coroner’s report into his death directly implicated Jason Moran and Graham Kinniburgh.
  • Graham Kinniburgh
    Graham Kinniburgh

    They were both found to be in Gangitano’s home in Templestowe when the murder took place; however, it could not be established who pulled the trigger. Kinniburgh’s blood was found on a banister inside the house, and his skin was found on a dent on the front security door. Both were excused from giving evidence to the coroner on the grounds they might incriminate themselves.

  • On 3 August John Furlan, a 48-year-old motor mechanic from Coburg was killed by a car bomb in his Subaru Liberty outside his home. Domenic “Mick” Gatto was treated as a suspect since he had recently been involved in a payment dispute with the deceased; however, no one has been arrested in connection with his death.
  • 42-year-old stand-over man Charles Hegyaljie, known as “Mad Charlie”, was killed at his Caulfield home on 23 November. He was an acquaintance of Chopper Read and had been associated with the amphetamine industry. Dino Dibra was linked to the killing, which was believed to be either drug or debt related.

1999

  • Vince Mannella a former associate of Victor Peirce and Alphonse Gangitano, was ambushed and killed outside his home in North Fitzroy on the evening of 9 January. Media suspected his death was debt-related or part of an underworld power struggle but no suspects were ever named.
  • Danny Catania was the victim of a drive-by shooting about 6.00am on 24 February. Catania was waiting outside his home in Hoppers Crossing in Melbourne’s western suburbs for a regular lift to work when an early model white Commodore slowed as it cruised by. A gunman in the car, reputedly Andrew Veniamin, opened fire, hitting Catania at least four times in the legs and groin. Catania, a mid-level “player” in the underworld was an ex-boxer who had a string of minor convictions, mostly for violence. Catania almost lost a leg as a result of the shooting and spent 12 months in hospital recovering. Those in the car were never caught. On Monday 22 May 2006 Catania, then 30, was sentenced to a minimum of six years jail for pouring petrol over a man who had annoyed him and setting the victim alight, causing horrific burns. Not surprisingly, Catania told the court that on his eventual release from jail, he wanted to “pack up and travel out of Melbourne”.
  • Joseph Quadara, a 57-year-old greengrocer, was ambushed by two people and killed in a Toorak carpark in the early hours of 28 May as he was about to start work at a Safeway supermarket. The former millionaire was declared bankrupt in 1994. Police believed that his killing was a case of mistaken identity, due to the existence of another Giuseppe “Joe” Quadara involved in Melbourne’s fruit and vegetable industry with underworld connections.
  • Brighton businessman Dimitrios Belias, 38, was killed with a single shot to the back of the head on 9 September in an underground carpark on St Kilda road. He was believed to be heavily in debt.
  • On 13 October known drug dealer Carl Williams was shot in the stomach and survived in Gladstone Park. Williams told the police he blacked out and could not identify the shooter. Known underworld figures Mark and Jason Moran were present at the time, and police believe there was a dispute related to a failed amphetamines batch and ownership of drug manufacturing equipment. A woman told police she heard a man cry “No, Jason!” moments before a shot was fired.
  • On 20 October Vince Mannella’s brother, 31-year-old Gerardo Mannella, was ambushed and killed outside his brother’s home, after attempting to flee from two men.
  • On 25 November George and Carl Williams were charged with multiple drug offences after police raided an alleged amphetamine factory in Broadmeadows. Police seized around 25,000 amphetamine tablets, a pill press, a loaded pistol and 6.95 kg of powders containing methamphetamine, ketamine, and pseudoephedrine with a street value up to AU$20 million. These charges were never brought to trial because of corruption allegations against former drug squad detectives involved in the raid.

2000 – 2002

  • 52-year-old fruiterer Francesco Benvenuto, also known as “Frank Benvenuto”, was shot dead while sitting in his car in the driveway of his Beaumaris home on 8 May 2000. Phone records show that as Benvenuto lay dying he managed to ring ex-employee and associate Victor Peirce on his mobile phone. [citation needed] Police initially treated him as a suspect but later offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Mark Moran and Andrew Veniamin were later named as chief suspects.
  • Richard Mladenich, a 39-year-old career criminal and associate of Mark Moran, was killed with a single bullet in the St Kilda Esquire Hotel on 16 May 2000. He had recently been released from jail where he once shared a cell with Chopper Read. Police later named Rocco Arico as a suspect but were unable to interview him whilst he was in prison. They later named Dino Dibra as their primary suspect
  • On 15 June 2000, Mark Moran was killed by Carl Williams with two bullets as he was getting out of his white Holden utility vehicle, outside his luxury home in Aberfeldie. Moran’s murder was initially thought of as retribution for the death of Frank Benvenuto.
  • 25-year-old Dino Dibra was killed on 14 October 2000, after leaving his house in West Sunshine. At the time he was facing charges relating to kidnap and assault. At a police press conference, Detective Inspector Andrew Allen said “We are confident that this gunman is a hired hitman and that he, along with another person, ambushed Mr Dibra that night about 9.15pm and shot him a number of times … this is not the only murder (the gunman) has committed“. This police profile strongly suggested that “Benji” Veniamin was one of the gunmen. A A$100 000 reward was offered by police for information.
  • George Germanos was shot repeatedly in an Armadale park on 22 March 2001.
  • On 19 May 2001 Carl Williams was re-arrested and charged with drug trafficking and possession. He remained in custody until 17 July 2002 when he was released on bail due to an internal corruption investigation at the Victorian police drug squad.
  • Victor Peirce, 42, was killed on 1 May 2002, while in a car parked opposite the Coles supermarket in Bay Street, Port Melbourne. A white Holden Commodore pulled up beside Peirce, and Peirce exchanged words with the occupants inside the car, before being shot four times at close range. Victor was officially employed as a waterfront worker, however Police believed he was the leader of various drug syndicates in Melbourne and heavily involved with drug trafficking. The death of Peirce heavily impacted the Melbourne underworld. Some media linked Nik Radev with the killing but Police never named any suspects.
  • Alexander Kudryavstev was shot by Michael Goldman on 10 July 2002. Goldman, 55, said he shot to miss a wounded acquaintance on a suburban nature strip despite orders from psychotic criminal, Nik Radev to “finish him”. Goldman said he was “under the gun” and terrified of Radev. Goldman lured Kudryavstev to his Hampton flat and told a Supreme Court jury he was acting like a robot when he shot Mr Kudryavstev in the stomach at the flat. He said Radev told him earlier the same day: “Give him one in the head and I take care of the body.” Goldman, of Highett Road, plead not guilty to the attempted murder of Mr Kudryavstev. The jury heard Mr Kudryavstev, a police informer, was wearing a concealed tape recorder when shot in the abdomen and in the head. He secretly recorded his terrifying brush with death. Goldman shot Mr Kudryavstev in the abdomen as he greeted him at the front door. Mr Kudryavstev said he moved his head when Goldman fired at him on a nature strip near Highett Road. Goldman denied during cross-examination that he knew at the time Mr Kudryavstev was a police informer. He said an angry Radev wanted to meet Mr Kudryavstev over a burglary at a friend’s warehouse. On 27 May 2004 Goldman was jailed for 14 years. Supreme Court judge Justice Robert Redlich ordered Goldman to serve a minimum non-parole term of 11 years. “Your anger and desire to kill him (Mr Kudryavstev) is evident on listening to the tape recording,” said the judge.
  • On 16 October 2002, the body of drug dealer Paul Kallipolitis was found in his West Sunshine home. He was lying on his bed and had one gunshot wound to the head. He clearly knew his killer. Police believe he had been murdered a day earlier and publicly suspected that his one-time-friend Andrew Veniamin was the killer. Veniamin took over Kallipolitis’ drugs business the next day. Veniamin and Kallipolitis had been friends for many years, since they were kids. Kallipolitis shot and killed a man in Deer Park almost a decade earlier after having a gun pulled on him. Angelo Mario Venditti was arrested for this murder on 29 July 2008

2003

  • Nikolai "The Russian" Radev
    Nikolai "The Russian" Radev

    Nik Radev, known as “The Russian”, was killed in Queen St Coburg on 15 April. The known drug dealer and standover man was shot seven times in the head and chest as he sat in his Mercedes-Benz coupé. Victoria Police told The Age that they believed his death was planned by a father and son drug manufacturing team, and a hitman suspected of four other murders carried out the killing in a red sedan. Andrew Veniamin met Radev on the day of the murder and unambiguously fitted the police description of the prime suspect, along with George and Carl Williams. Radev had been warned that he was a marked man but ignored the warnings refusing to believe his friends would turn on him. Damien Cossu and Alfonso Traglia were with Radev at the time of the murder but claimed they could not identify the gunman, and were subsequently named by police as ‘persons of interest’

  • On 6 June 28-year-old male prostitute Shane Chartres-Abbott was shot dead outside his Reservoir home. Underworld assassin Evangelos Goussis confessed to this murder and said two corrupt detectives were linked to the murder.
  • Jason Moran
    Jason Moran

    On 21 June 36-year-old Jason Moran, and his minder, 40-year-old Pasquale Barbaro were shot dead as they sat in a parked blue van outside an Auskick football clinic in Essendon. Five children were witness to the murder including Moran’s six-year-old twin boy and girl. The gunman ran away across the football oval and over a Moonee Ponds Creek footbridge to a waiting vehicle.

  • Small time drug dealer Willie Thompson, 39, was killed on 21 July while sitting in his car after leaving a karate club in Chadstone. Police say the gunman strolled up to the car and shot Thompson dead before escaping with a second person in a stolen Ford sedan. Some bullets were lodged in nearby shops. Thompson’s official occupation was a lollipop vendor inside nightclubs, and a police report said he had recently developed an enmity with Nik Radev.
  • Housam Zayat, 32, was found in a paddock in Tarneit with multiple bullet wounds to the head on 11 September. Zayat was also a close associate of Nik Radev.
  • On 20 October Istvan “Steve” Gulyas, 49, and his defacto wife were found executed in their Sunbury home. Together they ran a dating agency, Partner Search Australia, which Police suspected was a front for a brothel. Gulyas was also a friend of Nik Radev.
  • On 25 October 2003, Michael Marshall was shot outside his luxury South Yarra home in front of his five-year-old son.
  • On 17 November Carl Williams was arrested and charged with making threats to kill a Purana Taskforce detective and the investigator’s girlfriend. The alleged threats were made in a taped phone conversation to Victor Brincat in Barwon Prison. Carl was bailed two weeks later. The arrest was dramatically captured on film by The Age photographer Angela Wylie.
  • 62-year-old Graham Kinniburgh, known as “The Munster”, was ambushed and shot dead outside his home in Kew just after midnight on 13 December. Police said he had been killed in front of family members soon after parking his car. Kinniburgh was carrying a gun and managed to return one shot before being killed. He was considered Melbourne’s most influential criminal at the time of his death. Domenic Gatto was a pallbearer at his funeral, Lewis Moran and many other underworld figures also attended. Andrew Veniamin was treated as a suspect in his murder, and Carl Williams was also questioned.

2004

  • On 23 March Andrew Veniamin was shot dead by Domenic Gatto in the Carlton pizza restaurant “La Porcella” after an argument. Gatto was charged with his murder, Police alleging that Domenic had set a trap for Veniamin. Veniamin was a close associate of Carl Williams and was suspected to be a hitman involved in as many as seven underworld murders. Gatto was later acquitted on the grounds of self-defence.

    Domenic "Mick" Gatto
    Domenic "Mick" Gatto
  • The next victim was 58-year-old Lewis Moran, father of Jason Moran and stepfather of Mark Moran. On 31 March he was shot and killed in broad daylight by two balaclava-clad men in the front bar of the Brunswick Club in Brunswick. Lewis had only recently been released on bail for drug trafficking charges and police had warned him that his life was in danger. The shooting also injured his associate, Bert Wrout.
  • On 8 May the body of Lewis Caine was found dumped in Brunswick street, with a single gunshot wound to the head. He was a friend of Carl Williams and had been seen dining with him two nights earlier. In May 2008, Evangelos Goussis was convicted of killing Lewis Moran in March 2004. Goussis was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years for the Caine murder and in February 2009 was sentenced to life in prison for the Moran killing. He will be eligible for parole in 2039.
  • Terrence and Christine Hodson were found executed in their Kew home on 16 May. Terrence Hodson was revealed to be a police informant. A week before the bodies were found ABC radio reported that a leaked document revealing Hodson as an informant was doing the rounds in certain underworld circles. It is also reported that an associate of Lewis Moran hired Hodson to murder Carl Williams in 2001.
  • Purana Taskforce detectives arrested Carl Williams for conspiracy to murder on 9 June. His associates Sean Sonnet and Gregg Hildebrandt were arrested only metres from the home of Mario Condello. Victoria Police said the raids had “absolutely” saved Mario Condello from becoming the 28th gangland victim.Eight days later Mario Condello and Dominic Gatto’s solicitor, George Defteros, were arrested over a simultaneous plan to murder George Williams and Carl Williams.

2005

  • Antonio Sergi was shot as he sat in his car on 13 November. He was parked just 400 metres from the Moonee Ponds police station. Sergi staggered into the arms of police after he was shot in the chest and both arms. Sergi, 32, of Sydenham, was in a stable condition in hospital, having driven himself to the police station after being shot in The Strand, on the edge of Queens Park, about 1.20 am. He was due to appear in court over ecstasy importation charges.

2006

  • On 6 February, the eve of his murder trial, Mario Condello was shot and killed in his driveway at around 10 pm. Condello had dined with Mick Gatto earlier in the night and police have warned Gatto is under increased risk as this may be the resumption of the gangland war.
  • On 20 March Melbourne business man Tony Mokbel failed to appear in Court during his trial for the importation of cocaine from Mexico in 2000. Mokbel had been granted bail by friendly Magistrate Phillip Goldberg, despite protests from the Police. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but Mokbel had not been seen since 5pm on 19 March. His defence team feared for his life. The week before this date, Mokbel raised concerns for his safety, after an incident not related to this case. He eventually reappeared and was arrested by Greek police in Athens, Greece on 5 June 2007. Mokbel was successfully extradited to Australia on 17 May 2008.
  • On 14 October Michael “Eyes” Pastras was shot once in the buttocks and once in the thigh at a house in Albion St, Brunswick. Pastras gave evidence at Mick Gatto‘s murder trial that he spoke to Andrew Veniamin on 23 March 2004, the day Veniamin was shot dead by Mr Gatto. He said that Veniamin never mentioned anything to him about wanting to harm Mr Gatto. But after testifying, he approached the Purana gangland killing taskforce and made a statement refuting what he said in the witness box. Pastras told Purana detectives he saw Veniamin with a gun when he went to meet Mr Gatto in Carlton’s La Porcella restaurant and that Veniamin told him he wanted Mr Gatto dead. He claimed Veniamin told him: “I am fucking dirty on Mick Gatto. He has got to go.” That evidence was not presented to the jury in the Gatto murder trial. Pastras was named in a confidential Victoria Police document that was blamed for prompting the executions of police informer Terrence Hodson and his wife, Christine in 2004. It contained details of what Hodson told police and was leaked to Melbourne’s underworld shortly before the Hodsons were shot dead in their Kew home in 2004. His brother Savas Pastras was an associate of Lewis Moran. Pastras, 39, turned up at Moran’s Essendon unit on 25 October 2002, not knowing police were inside raiding it. One of the detectives asked Moran’s partner, Virginia Strazdas, who was the man walking up the driveway, and she said he was a friend. Moran’s partner ignored a police command not to warn the man and managed to slightly open the door and tell him to go away. A detective, Senior Constable Victor Anastasiadis, said he opened the door, recognised Pastras and said, “Sav, come in.” He was taken into Moran’s house and a search discovered he had $44,000 in $100 and $50 notes hidden under his jacket in a green plastic bag. After removing the bag, Pastras hunched over and began to shake, he said. Detective Senior Sergeant Marty Allison told the court that Pastras had a look of shock and horror on his face when police confronted him. “He looked as though he had seen a ghost; he couldn’t speak. He opened his mouth but words weren’t coming out,” Senior Sergeant Allison said. Forensic tests revealed the cash showed traces of heroin and cocaine. Savas Pastras was charged with possessing the proceeds of crime. Police alleged the $44,000 was to be paid to Lewis Moran to settle a drug debt. Pastras’s lawyer, Stephen Shirrefs, SC, told the court that the warrant used to conduct the raid on Moran’s home was illegal. “The search of Mr Pastras and the seizure of the money on him only arose because he was invited into the house by police,” Mr Shirrefs said. He said the money could not be deemed proceeds of crime because Moran had not touched the cash and police said it was related to a drug deal “purported to have occurred”. Magistrate Ann Collins ruled in April 2004 that Savas Pastras had no case to answer because police could not prove the money was derived from a crime. Collins cleared Mr Pastras in the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court after finding that police could not prove that the money, stashed in a green plastic shopping bag, had anything to do with the sale of drugs. She also found that police could not prove that traces of heroin and cocaine found on the cash did not come from other sources.

2009

  • On Monday 15 June underworld identity Desmond Moran is shot dead at Ascot Vale in Melbourne’s north-west. Des Moran is the brother of slain underworld figure Lewis Moran, who was murdered in 2004 during Melbourne’s gangland war, and uncle to Mark and Jason Moran, who were also killed in gangland disputes. Des Moran originally escaped serious injury in March 2009 when shots were fired outside his Ascot Vale home. He was in his car with a friend when one shot was fired through the front windscreen, narrowly missing the pair. At the time, a Purana Task Force detective said police did not believe that incident was gangland-related. On Tuesday 16 June Sister-in-Law Judy Moran was arrested and charged along with two other people in relation to the murder.

2010

  • On 19 April 2010, Carl Williams died while incarcerated at Barwon Prison after allegedly being bashed by a fellow inmate, while another was on the phone.His death was the result of a cardiac arrest linked to severe head injuries received during the attack. It is currently unknown as to whether Williams’ death is directly related to previous gangland killings.
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A who’s who…


1995

1998

  • The Melbourne gangland killings are believed to have begun with the murder of 40-year-old Alphonse Gangitano on 16 January 1998. He was shot and killed in the laundry of his home, while clad only in his underwear. A coroner’s report into his death directly implicated Jason Moran and Graham Kinniburgh.
  • Graham Kinniburgh
    Graham Kinniburgh

    They were both found to be in Gangitano’s home in Templestowe when the murder took place; however, it could not be established who pulled the trigger. Kinniburgh’s blood was found on a banister inside the house, and his skin was found on a dent on the front security door. Both were excused from giving evidence to the coroner on the grounds they might incriminate themselves.

  • On 3 August John Furlan, a 48-year-old motor mechanic from Coburg was killed by a car bomb in his Subaru Liberty outside his home. Domenic “Mick” Gatto was treated as a suspect since he had recently been involved in a payment dispute with the deceased; however, no one has been arrested in connection with his death.
  • 42-year-old stand-over man Charles Hegyaljie, known as “Mad Charlie”, was killed at his Caulfield home on 23 November. He was an acquaintance of Chopper Read and had been associated with the amphetamine industry. Dino Dibra was linked to the killing, which was believed to be either drug or debt related.

1999

  • Vince Mannella a former associate of Victor Peirce and Alphonse Gangitano, was ambushed and killed outside his home in North Fitzroy on the evening of 9 January. Media suspected his death was debt-related or part of an underworld power struggle but no suspects were ever named.
  • Danny Catania was the victim of a drive-by shooting about 6.00am on 24 February. Catania was waiting outside his home in Hoppers Crossing in Melbourne’s western suburbs for a regular lift to work when an early model white Commodore slowed as it cruised by. A gunman in the car, reputedly Andrew Veniamin, opened fire, hitting Catania at least four times in the legs and groin. Catania, a mid-level “player” in the underworld was an ex-boxer who had a string of minor convictions, mostly for violence. Catania almost lost a leg as a result of the shooting and spent 12 months in hospital recovering. Those in the car were never caught. On Monday 22 May 2006 Catania, then 30, was sentenced to a minimum of six years jail for pouring petrol over a man who had annoyed him and setting the victim alight, causing horrific burns. Not surprisingly, Catania told the court that on his eventual release from jail, he wanted to “pack up and travel out of Melbourne”.
  • Joseph Quadara, a 57-year-old greengrocer, was ambushed by two people and killed in a Toorak carpark in the early hours of 28 May as he was about to start work at a Safeway supermarket. The former millionaire was declared bankrupt in 1994. Police believed that his killing was a case of mistaken identity, due to the existence of another Giuseppe “Joe” Quadara involved in Melbourne’s fruit and vegetable industry with underworld connections.
  • Brighton businessman Dimitrios Belias, 38, was killed with a single shot to the back of the head on 9 September in an underground carpark on St Kilda road. He was believed to be heavily in debt.
  • On 13 October known drug dealer Carl Williams was shot in the stomach and survived in Gladstone Park. Williams told the police he blacked out and could not identify the shooter. Known underworld figures Mark and Jason Moran were present at the time, and police believe there was a dispute related to a failed amphetamines batch and ownership of drug manufacturing equipment. A woman told police she heard a man cry “No, Jason!” moments before a shot was fired.
  • On 20 October Vince Mannella’s brother, 31-year-old Gerardo Mannella, was ambushed and killed outside his brother’s home, after attempting to flee from two men.
  • On 25 November George and Carl Williams were charged with multiple drug offences after police raided an alleged amphetamine factory in Broadmeadows. Police seized around 25,000 amphetamine tablets, a pill press, a loaded pistol and 6.95 kg of powders containing methamphetamine, ketamine, and pseudoephedrine with a street value up to AU$20 million. These charges were never brought to trial because of corruption allegations against former drug squad detectives involved in the raid.

2000 – 2002

  • 52-year-old fruiterer Francesco Benvenuto, also known as “Frank Benvenuto”, was shot dead while sitting in his car in the driveway of his Beaumaris home on 8 May 2000. Phone records show that as Benvenuto lay dying he managed to ring ex-employee and associate Victor Peirce on his mobile phone. [citation needed] Police initially treated him as a suspect but later offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Mark Moran and Andrew Veniamin were later named as chief suspects.
  • Richard Mladenich, a 39-year-old career criminal and associate of Mark Moran, was killed with a single bullet in the St Kilda Esquire Hotel on 16 May 2000. He had recently been released from jail where he once shared a cell with Chopper Read. Police later named Rocco Arico as a suspect but were unable to interview him whilst he was in prison. They later named Dino Dibra as their primary suspect
  • On 15 June 2000, Mark Moran was killed by Carl Williams with two bullets as he was getting out of his white Holden utility vehicle, outside his luxury home in Aberfeldie. Moran’s murder was initially thought of as retribution for the death of Frank Benvenuto.
  • 25-year-old Dino Dibra was killed on 14 October 2000, after leaving his house in West Sunshine. At the time he was facing charges relating to kidnap and assault. At a police press conference, Detective Inspector Andrew Allen said “We are confident that this gunman is a hired hitman and that he, along with another person, ambushed Mr Dibra that night about 9.15pm and shot him a number of times … this is not the only murder (the gunman) has committed“. This police profile strongly suggested that “Benji” Veniamin was one of the gunmen. A A$100 000 reward was offered by police for information.
  • George Germanos was shot repeatedly in an Armadale park on 22 March 2001.
  • On 19 May 2001 Carl Williams was re-arrested and charged with drug trafficking and possession. He remained in custody until 17 July 2002 when he was released on bail due to an internal corruption investigation at the Victorian police drug squad.
  • Victor Peirce, 42, was killed on 1 May 2002, while in a car parked opposite the Coles supermarket in Bay Street, Port Melbourne. A white Holden Commodore pulled up beside Peirce, and Peirce exchanged words with the occupants inside the car, before being shot four times at close range. Victor was officially employed as a waterfront worker, however Police believed he was the leader of various drug syndicates in Melbourne and heavily involved with drug trafficking. The death of Peirce heavily impacted the Melbourne underworld. Some media linked Nik Radev with the killing but Police never named any suspects.
  • Alexander Kudryavstev was shot by Michael Goldman on 10 July 2002. Goldman, 55, said he shot to miss a wounded acquaintance on a suburban nature strip despite orders from psychotic criminal, Nik Radev to “finish him”. Goldman said he was “under the gun” and terrified of Radev. Goldman lured Kudryavstev to his Hampton flat and told a Supreme Court jury he was acting like a robot when he shot Mr Kudryavstev in the stomach at the flat. He said Radev told him earlier the same day: “Give him one in the head and I take care of the body.” Goldman, of Highett Road, plead not guilty to the attempted murder of Mr Kudryavstev. The jury heard Mr Kudryavstev, a police informer, was wearing a concealed tape recorder when shot in the abdomen and in the head. He secretly recorded his terrifying brush with death. Goldman shot Mr Kudryavstev in the abdomen as he greeted him at the front door. Mr Kudryavstev said he moved his head when Goldman fired at him on a nature strip near Highett Road. Goldman denied during cross-examination that he knew at the time Mr Kudryavstev was a police informer. He said an angry Radev wanted to meet Mr Kudryavstev over a burglary at a friend’s warehouse. On 27 May 2004 Goldman was jailed for 14 years. Supreme Court judge Justice Robert Redlich ordered Goldman to serve a minimum non-parole term of 11 years. “Your anger and desire to kill him (Mr Kudryavstev) is evident on listening to the tape recording,” said the judge.
  • On 16 October 2002, the body of drug dealer Paul Kallipolitis was found in his West Sunshine home. He was lying on his bed and had one gunshot wound to the head. He clearly knew his killer. Police believe he had been murdered a day earlier and publicly suspected that his one-time-friend Andrew Veniamin was the killer. Veniamin took over Kallipolitis’ drugs business the next day. Veniamin and Kallipolitis had been friends for many years, since they were kids. Kallipolitis shot and killed a man in Deer Park almost a decade earlier after having a gun pulled on him. Angelo Mario Venditti was arrested for this murder on 29 July 2008

2003

  • Nikolai "The Russian" Radev
    Nikolai "The Russian" Radev

    Nik Radev, known as “The Russian”, was killed in Queen St Coburg on 15 April. The known drug dealer and standover man was shot seven times in the head and chest as he sat in his Mercedes-Benz coupé. Victoria Police told The Age that they believed his death was planned by a father and son drug manufacturing team, and a hitman suspected of four other murders carried out the killing in a red sedan. Andrew Veniamin met Radev on the day of the murder and unambiguously fitted the police description of the prime suspect, along with George and Carl Williams. Radev had been warned that he was a marked man but ignored the warnings refusing to believe his friends would turn on him. Damien Cossu and Alfonso Traglia were with Radev at the time of the murder but claimed they could not identify the gunman, and were subsequently named by police as ‘persons of interest’

  • On 6 June 28-year-old male prostitute Shane Chartres-Abbott was shot dead outside his Reservoir home. Underworld assassin Evangelos Goussis confessed to this murder and said two corrupt detectives were linked to the murder.
  • Jason Moran
    Jason Moran

    On 21 June 36-year-old Jason Moran, and his minder, 40-year-old Pasquale Barbaro were shot dead as they sat in a parked blue van outside an Auskick football clinic in Essendon. Five children were witness to the murder including Moran’s six-year-old twin boy and girl. The gunman ran away across the football oval and over a Moonee Ponds Creek footbridge to a waiting vehicle.

  • Small time drug dealer Willie Thompson, 39, was killed on 21 July while sitting in his car after leaving a karate club in Chadstone. Police say the gunman strolled up to the car and shot Thompson dead before escaping with a second person in a stolen Ford sedan. Some bullets were lodged in nearby shops. Thompson’s official occupation was a lollipop vendor inside nightclubs, and a police report said he had recently developed an enmity with Nik Radev.
  • Housam Zayat, 32, was found in a paddock in Tarneit with multiple bullet wounds to the head on 11 September. Zayat was also a close associate of Nik Radev.
  • On 20 October Istvan “Steve” Gulyas, 49, and his defacto wife were found executed in their Sunbury home. Together they ran a dating agency, Partner Search Australia, which Police suspected was a front for a brothel. Gulyas was also a friend of Nik Radev.
  • On 25 October 2003, Michael Marshall was shot outside his luxury South Yarra home in front of his five-year-old son.
  • On 17 November Carl Williams was arrested and charged with making threats to kill a Purana Taskforce detective and the investigator’s girlfriend. The alleged threats were made in a taped phone conversation to Victor Brincat in Barwon Prison. Carl was bailed two weeks later. The arrest was dramatically captured on film by The Age photographer Angela Wylie.
  • 62-year-old Graham Kinniburgh, known as “The Munster”, was ambushed and shot dead outside his home in Kew just after midnight on 13 December. Police said he had been killed in front of family members soon after parking his car. Kinniburgh was carrying a gun and managed to return one shot before being killed. He was considered Melbourne’s most influential criminal at the time of his death. Domenic Gatto was a pallbearer at his funeral, Lewis Moran and many other underworld figures also attended. Andrew Veniamin was treated as a suspect in his murder, and Carl Williams was also questioned.

2004

  • On 23 March Andrew Veniamin was shot dead by Domenic Gatto in the Carlton pizza restaurant “La Porcella” after an argument. Gatto was charged with his murder, Police alleging that Domenic had set a trap for Veniamin. Veniamin was a close associate of Carl Williams and was suspected to be a hitman involved in as many as seven underworld murders. Gatto was later acquitted on the grounds of self-defence.

    Domenic "Mick" Gatto
    Domenic "Mick" Gatto
  • The next victim was 58-year-old Lewis Moran, father of Jason Moran and stepfather of Mark Moran. On 31 March he was shot and killed in broad daylight by two balaclava-clad men in the front bar of the Brunswick Club in Brunswick. Lewis had only recently been released on bail for drug trafficking charges and police had warned him that his life was in danger. The shooting also injured his associate, Bert Wrout.
  • On 8 May the body of Lewis Caine was found dumped in Brunswick street, with a single gunshot wound to the head. He was a friend of Carl Williams and had been seen dining with him two nights earlier. In May 2008, Evangelos Goussis was convicted of killing Lewis Moran in March 2004. Goussis was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years for the Caine murder and in February 2009 was sentenced to life in prison for the Moran killing. He will be eligible for parole in 2039.
  • Terrence and Christine Hodson were found executed in their Kew home on 16 May. Terrence Hodson was revealed to be a police informant. A week before the bodies were found ABC radio reported that a leaked document revealing Hodson as an informant was doing the rounds in certain underworld circles. It is also reported that an associate of Lewis Moran hired Hodson to murder Carl Williams in 2001.
  • Purana Taskforce detectives arrested Carl Williams for conspiracy to murder on 9 June. His associates Sean Sonnet and Gregg Hildebrandt were arrested only metres from the home of Mario Condello. Victoria Police said the raids had “absolutely” saved Mario Condello from becoming the 28th gangland victim.Eight days later Mario Condello and Dominic Gatto’s solicitor, George Defteros, were arrested over a simultaneous plan to murder George Williams and Carl Williams.

2005

  • Antonio Sergi was shot as he sat in his car on 13 November. He was parked just 400 metres from the Moonee Ponds police station. Sergi staggered into the arms of police after he was shot in the chest and both arms. Sergi, 32, of Sydenham, was in a stable condition in hospital, having driven himself to the police station after being shot in The Strand, on the edge of Queens Park, about 1.20 am. He was due to appear in court over ecstasy importation charges.

2006

  • On 6 February, the eve of his murder trial, Mario Condello was shot and killed in his driveway at around 10 pm. Condello had dined with Mick Gatto earlier in the night and police have warned Gatto is under increased risk as this may be the resumption of the gangland war.
  • On 20 March Melbourne business man Tony Mokbel failed to appear in Court during his trial for the importation of cocaine from Mexico in 2000. Mokbel had been granted bail by friendly Magistrate Phillip Goldberg, despite protests from the Police. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but Mokbel had not been seen since 5pm on 19 March. His defence team feared for his life. The week before this date, Mokbel raised concerns for his safety, after an incident not related to this case. He eventually reappeared and was arrested by Greek police in Athens, Greece on 5 June 2007. Mokbel was successfully extradited to Australia on 17 May 2008.
  • On 14 October Michael “Eyes” Pastras was shot once in the buttocks and once in the thigh at a house in Albion St, Brunswick. Pastras gave evidence at Mick Gatto‘s murder trial that he spoke to Andrew Veniamin on 23 March 2004, the day Veniamin was shot dead by Mr Gatto. He said that Veniamin never mentioned anything to him about wanting to harm Mr Gatto. But after testifying, he approached the Purana gangland killing taskforce and made a statement refuting what he said in the witness box. Pastras told Purana detectives he saw Veniamin with a gun when he went to meet Mr Gatto in Carlton’s La Porcella restaurant and that Veniamin told him he wanted Mr Gatto dead. He claimed Veniamin told him: “I am fucking dirty on Mick Gatto. He has got to go.” That evidence was not presented to the jury in the Gatto murder trial. Pastras was named in a confidential Victoria Police document that was blamed for prompting the executions of police informer Terrence Hodson and his wife, Christine in 2004. It contained details of what Hodson told police and was leaked to Melbourne’s underworld shortly before the Hodsons were shot dead in their Kew home in 2004. His brother Savas Pastras was an associate of Lewis Moran. Pastras, 39, turned up at Moran’s Essendon unit on 25 October 2002, not knowing police were inside raiding it. One of the detectives asked Moran’s partner, Virginia Strazdas, who was the man walking up the driveway, and she said he was a friend. Moran’s partner ignored a police command not to warn the man and managed to slightly open the door and tell him to go away. A detective, Senior Constable Victor Anastasiadis, said he opened the door, recognised Pastras and said, “Sav, come in.” He was taken into Moran’s house and a search discovered he had $44,000 in $100 and $50 notes hidden under his jacket in a green plastic bag. After removing the bag, Pastras hunched over and began to shake, he said. Detective Senior Sergeant Marty Allison told the court that Pastras had a look of shock and horror on his face when police confronted him. “He looked as though he had seen a ghost; he couldn’t speak. He opened his mouth but words weren’t coming out,” Senior Sergeant Allison said. Forensic tests revealed the cash showed traces of heroin and cocaine. Savas Pastras was charged with possessing the proceeds of crime. Police alleged the $44,000 was to be paid to Lewis Moran to settle a drug debt. Pastras’s lawyer, Stephen Shirrefs, SC, told the court that the warrant used to conduct the raid on Moran’s home was illegal. “The search of Mr Pastras and the seizure of the money on him only arose because he was invited into the house by police,” Mr Shirrefs said. He said the money could not be deemed proceeds of crime because Moran had not touched the cash and police said it was related to a drug deal “purported to have occurred”. Magistrate Ann Collins ruled in April 2004 that Savas Pastras had no case to answer because police could not prove the money was derived from a crime. Collins cleared Mr Pastras in the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court after finding that police could not prove that the money, stashed in a green plastic shopping bag, had anything to do with the sale of drugs. She also found that police could not prove that traces of heroin and cocaine found on the cash did not come from other sources.

2009

  • On Monday 15 June underworld identity Desmond Moran is shot dead at Ascot Vale in Melbourne’s north-west. Des Moran is the brother of slain underworld figure Lewis Moran, who was murdered in 2004 during Melbourne’s gangland war, and uncle to Mark and Jason Moran, who were also killed in gangland disputes. Des Moran originally escaped serious injury in March 2009 when shots were fired outside his Ascot Vale home. He was in his car with a friend when one shot was fired through the front windscreen, narrowly missing the pair. At the time, a Purana Task Force detective said police did not believe that incident was gangland-related. On Tuesday 16 June Sister-in-Law Judy Moran was arrested and charged along with two other people in relation to the murder.

2010

  • On 19 April 2010, Carl Williams died while incarcerated at Barwon Prison after allegedly being bashed by a fellow inmate, while another was on the phone.His death was the result of a cardiac arrest linked to severe head injuries received during the attack. It is currently unknown as to whether Williams’ death is directly related to previous gangland killings.

Timeline of deaths


1995

1998

  • The Melbourne gangland killings are believed to have begun with the murder of 40-year-old Alphonse Gangitano on 16 January 1998. He was shot and killed in the laundry of his home, while clad only in his underwear. A coroner’s report into his death directly implicated Jason Moran and Graham Kinniburgh. They were both found to be in Gangitano’s home in Templestowe when the murder took place; however, it could not be established who pulled the trigger. Kinniburgh’s blood was found on a banister inside the house, and his skin was found on a dent on the front security door. Both were excused from giving evidence to the coroner on the grounds they might incriminate themselves.
  • On 3 August John Furlan, a 48-year-old motor mechanic from Coburg was killed by a car bomb in his Subaru Liberty outside his home. Domenic “Mick” Gatto was treated as a suspect since he had recently been involved in a payment dispute with the deceased; however, no one has been arrested in connection with his death.
  • 42-year-old stand-over man Charles Hegyaljie, known as “Mad Charlie”, was killed at his Caulfield home on 23 November. He was an acquaintance of Chopper Read and had been associated with the amphetamine industry. Dino Dibra was linked to the killing, which was believed to be either drug or debt related.  1999
  • Vince Mannella, a former associate of Victor Peirce and Alphonse Gangitano, was ambushed and killed outside his home in North Fitzroy on the evening of 9 January. Media suspected his death was debt-related or part of an underworld power struggle but no suspects were ever named.
  • Danny Catania was the victim of a drive-by shooting about 6.00am on 24 February. Catania was waiting outside his home in Hoppers Crossing in Melbourne’s western suburbs for a regular lift to work when an early model white Commodore slowed as it cruised by. A gunman in the car, reputedly Andrew Veniamin, opened fire, hitting Catania at least four times in the legs and groin. Catania, a mid-level “player” in the underworld was an ex-boxer who had a string of minor convictions, mostly for violence. Catania almost lost a leg as a result of the shooting and spent 12 months in hospital recovering. Those in the car were never caught. On Monday 22 May 2006 Catania, then 30, was sentenced to a minimum of six years jail for pouring petrol over a man who had annoyed him and setting the victim alight, causing horrific burns. Not surprisingly, Catania told the court that on his eventual release from jail, he wanted to “pack up and travel out of Melbourne”.
  • Joseph Quadara, a 57-year-old greengrocer, was ambushed by two people and killed in a Toorak carpark in the early hours of 28 May as he was about to start work at a Safeway supermarket. The former millionaire was declared bankrupt in 1994. Police believed that his killing was a case of mistaken identity, due to the existence of another Giuseppe “Joe” Quadara involved in Melbourne’s fruit and vegetable industry with underworld connections.
  • Brighton businessman Dimitrios Belias, 38, was killed with a single shot to the back of the head on 9 September in an underground carpark on St Kilda road. He was believed to be heavily in debt.
  • On 13 October known drug dealer Carl Williams was shot in the stomach and survived in Gladstone Park. Williams told the police he blacked out and could not identify the shooter. Known underworld figures Mark and Jason Moran were present at the time, and police believe there was a dispute related to a failed amphetamines batch and ownership of drug manufacturing equipment. A woman told police she heard a man cry “No, Jason!” moments before a shot was fired.
  • On 20 October Vince Mannella’s brother, 31-year-old Gerardo Mannella, was ambushed and killed outside his brother’s home, after attempting to flee from two men.
  • On 25 November George and Carl Williams were charged with multiple drug offences after police raided an alleged amphetamine factory in Broadmeadows. Police seized around 25,000 amphetamine tablets, a pill press, a loaded pistol and 6.95 kg of powders containing methamphetamine, ketamine, and pseudoephedrine with a street value up to AU$20 million. These charges were never brought to trial because of corruption allegations against former drug squad detectives involved in the raid.

2000 – 2002

  • 52-year-old fruiterer Francesco Benvenuto, also known as “Frank Benvenuto”, was shot dead while sitting in his car in the driveway of his Beaumaris home on 8 May 2000. Phone records show that as Benvenuto lay dying he managed to ring ex-employee and associate Victor Peirce on his mobile phone. Police initially treated him as a suspect but later offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Mark Moran and Andrew Veniamin were later named as chief suspects.
  • Richard Mladenich, a 39-year-old career criminal and associate of Mark Moran, was killed with a single bullet in the St Kilda Esquire Hotel on 16 May 2000. He had recently been released from jail where he once shared a cell with Chopper Read. Police later named Rocco Arico as a suspect but were unable to interview him whilst he was in prison. They later named Dino Dibra as their primary suspect
  • On 15 June 2000, Mark Moran was killed by Carl Williams with two bullets as he was getting out of his white Holden utility vehicle, outside his luxury home in Aberfeldie. Moran’s murder was initially thought of as retribution for the death of Frank Benvenuto.
  • 25-year-old Dino Dibra was killed on 14 October 2000, after leaving his house in West Sunshine. At the time he was facing charges relating to kidnap and assault. At a police press conference, Detective Inspector Andrew Allen said “We are confident that this gunman is a hired hitman and that he, along with another person, ambushed Mr Dibra that night about 9.15pm and shot him a number of times … this is not the only murder (the gunman) has committed“.This police profile strongly suggested that “Benji” Veniamin was one of the gunmen. A A$100 000 reward was offered by police for information.
  • George Germanos was shot repeatedly in an Armadale park on 22 March 2001.
  • On 19 May 2001 Carl Williams was re-arrested and charged with drug trafficking and possession. He remained in custody until 17 July 2002 when he was released on bail due to an internal corruption investigation at the Victorian police drug squad.
  • Victor Peirce, 42, was killed on 1 May 2002, while in a car parked opposite the Coles supermarket in Bay Street, Port Melbourne. A white Holden Commodore pulled up beside Peirce, and Peirce exchanged words with the occupants inside the car, before being shot four times at close range. Victor was officially employed as a waterfront worker, however Police believed he was the leader of various drug syndicates in Melbourne and heavily involved with drug trafficking. The death of Peirce heavily impacted the Melbourne underworld.  Some media linked Nik Radev with the killing but Police never named any suspects.
  • Alexander Kudryavstev was shot by Michael Goldman on 10 July 2002. Goldman, 55, said he shot to miss a wounded acquaintance on a suburban nature strip despite orders from psychotic criminal, Nik Radev to “finish him”. Goldman said he was “under the gun” and terrified of Radev. Goldman lured Kudryavstev to his Hampton flat and told a Supreme Court jury he was acting like a robot when he shot Mr Kudryavstev in the stomach at the flat. He said Radev told him earlier the same day: “Give him one in the head and I take care of the body.” Goldman, of Highett Road, plead not guilty to the attempted murder of Mr Kudryavstev. The jury heard Mr Kudryavstev, a police informer, was wearing a concealed tape recorder when shot in the abdomen and in the head. He secretly recorded his terrifying brush with death. Goldman shot Mr Kudryavstev in the abdomen as he greeted him at the front door. Mr Kudryavstev said he moved his head when Goldman fired at him on a nature strip near Highett Road. Goldman denied during cross-examination that he knew at the time Mr Kudryavstev was a police informer. He said an angry Radev wanted to meet Mr Kudryavstev over a burglary at a friend’s warehouse. On 27 May 2004 Goldman was jailed for 14 years. Supreme Court judge Justice Robert Redlich ordered Goldman to serve a minimum non-parole term of 11 years. “Your anger and desire to kill him (Mr Kudryavstev) is evident on listening to the tape recording,” said the judge.
  • On 16 October 2002, the body of drug dealer Paul Kallipolitis was found in his West Sunshine home. He was lying on his bed and had one gunshot wound to the head. He clearly knew his killer. Police believe he had been murdered a day earlier and publicly suspected that his one-time-friend Andrew Veniamin was the killer. Veniamin took over Kallipolitis’ drugs business the next day. Veniamin and Kallipolitis had been friends for many years, since they were kids. Kallipolitis shot and killed a man in Deer Park almost a decade earlier after having a gun pulled on him. Angelo Mario Venditti was arrested for this murder on 29 July 2008

2003

  • Nik Radev, known as “The Russian”, was killed in Queen St Coburg on 15 April. The known drug dealer and standover man was shot seven times in the head and chest as he sat in his Mercedes-Benz coupé. Victoria Police told The Age that they believed his death was planned by a father and son drug manufacturing team, and a hitman suspected of four other murders carried out the killing in a red sedan. Andrew Veniamin met Radev on the day of the murder and unambiguously fitted the police description of the prime suspect, along with George and Carl Williams. Radev had been warned that he was a marked man but ignored the warnings refusing to believe his friends would turn on him. Damien Cossu and Alfonso Traglia were with Radev at the time of the murder but claimed they could not identify the gunman, and were subsequently named by police as ‘persons of interest’
  • On 6 June 28-year-old male prostitute Shane Chartres-Abbott was shot dead outside his Reservoir home. Underworld assassin Evangelos Goussis confessed to this murder and said two corrupt detectives were linked to the murder.
  • On 21 June 36-year-old Jason Moran, and his minder, 40-year-old Pasquale Barbaro were shot dead as they sat in a parked blue van outside an Auskick football clinic in Essendon. Five children were witness to the murder including Moran’s six-year-old twin boy and girl. The gunman ran away across the football oval and over a Moonee Ponds Creek footbridge to a waiting vehicle.
  • Small time drug dealer Willie Thompson, 39, was killed on 21 July while sitting in his car after leaving a karate club in Chadstone. Police say the gunman strolled up to the car and shot Thompson dead before escaping with a second person in a stolen Ford sedan. Some bullets were lodged in nearby shops. Thompson’s official occupation was a lollipop vendor inside nightclubs, and a police report said he had recently developed an enmity with Nik Radev.
  • Housam Zayat, 32, was found in a paddock in Tarneit with multiple bullet wounds to the head on 11 September. Zayat was also a close associate of Nik Radev.
  • On 20 October Istvan “Steve” Gulyas, 49, and his defacto wife were found executed in their Sunbury home. Together they ran a dating agency, Partner Search Australia, which Police suspected was a front for a brothel. Gulyas was also a friend of Nik Radev.
  • On 25 October 2003, Michael Marshall was shot outside his luxury South Yarra home in front of his five-year-old son.
  • On 17 November Carl Williams was arrested and charged with making threats to kill a Purana Taskforce detective and the investigator’s girlfriend. The alleged threats were made in a taped phone conversation to Victor Brincat in Barwon Prison. Carl was bailed two weeks later. The arrest was dramatically captured on film by The Age photographer Angela Wylie.
  • 62-year-old Graham Kinniburgh, known as “The Munster”, was ambushed and shot dead outside his home in Kew just after midnight on 13 December. Police said he had been killed in front of family members soon after parking his car. Kinniburgh was carrying a gun and managed to return one shot before being killed. He was considered Melbourne’s most influential criminal at the time of his death. Domenic Gatto was a pallbearer at his funeral, Lewis Moran and many other underworld figures also attended. Andrew Veniamin was treated as a suspect in his murder, and Carl Williams was also questioned.

2004

  • On 23 March Andrew Veniamin was shot dead by Domenic Gatto in the Carlton pizza restaurant “La Porcella” after an argument. Gatto was charged with his murder, Police alleging that Domenic had set a trap for Veniamin. Veniamin was a close associate of Carl Williams and was suspected to be a hitman involved in as many as seven underworld murders. Gatto was later acquitted on the grounds of self-defence.
  • The next victim was 58-year-old Lewis Moran, father of Jason Moran and stepfather of Mark Moran. On 31 March he was shot and killed in broad daylight by two balaclava-clad men in the front bar of the Brunswick Club in Brunswick. Lewis had only recently been released on bail for drug trafficking charges and police had warned him that his life was in danger. The shooting also injured his associate, Bert Wrout.
  • On 8 May the body of Lewis Caine was found dumped in Brunswick street, with a single gunshot wound to the head. He was a friend of Carl Williams and had been seen dining with him two nights earlier. In May 2008, Evangelos Goussis was convicted of killing Lewis Moran in March 2004. Goussis was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years for the Caine murder and in February 2009 was sentenced to life in prison for the Moran killing. He will be eligible for parole in 2039.
  • Terrence and Christine Hodson were found executed in their Kew home on 16 May. Terrence Hodson was revealed to be a police informant. A week before the bodies were found ABC radio reported that a leaked document revealing Hodson as an informant was doing the rounds in certain underworld circles. It is also reported that an associate of Lewis Moran hired Hodson to murder Carl Williams in 2001.
  • Purana Taskforce detectives arrested Carl Williams for conspiracy to murder on 9 June. His associates Sean Sonnet and Gregg Hildebrandt were arrested only metres from the home of Mario Condello. Victoria Police said the raids had “absolutely” saved Mario Condello from becoming the 28th gangland victim.Eight days later Mario Condello and Dominic Gatto’s solicitor, George Defteros, were arrested over a simultaneous plan to murder George Williams and Carl Williams.

2005

  • Antonio Sergi was shot as he sat in his car on 13 November. He was parked just 400 metres from the Moonee Ponds police station. Sergi staggered into the arms of police after he was shot in the chest and both arms. Sergi, 32, of Sydenham, was in a stable condition in hospital, having driven himself to the police station after being shot in The Strand, on the edge of Queens Park, about 1.20 am. He was due to appear in court over ecstasy importation charges.

2006

  • On 6 February, the eve of his murder trial, Mario Condello was shot and killed in his driveway at around 10 pm. Condello had dined with Mick Gatto earlier in the night and police have warned Gatto is under increased risk as this may be the resumption of the gangland war.
  • On 20 March Melbourne business man Tony Mokbel failed to appear in Court during his trial for the importation of cocaine from Mexico in 2000. Mokbel had been granted bail by friendly Magistrate Phillip Goldberg, despite protests from the Police. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but Mokbel had not been seen since 5pm on 19 March. His defence team feared for his life. The week before this date, Mokbel raised concerns for his safety, after an incident not related to this case. He eventually reappeared and was arrested by Greek police in Athens, Greece on 5 June 2007. Mokbel was successfully extradited to Australia on 17 May 2008.
  • On 14 October Michael “Eyes” Pastras was shot once in the buttocks and once in the thigh at a house in Albion St, Brunswick. Pastras gave evidence at Mick Gatto‘s murder trial that he spoke to Andrew Veniamin on 23 March 2004, the day Veniamin was shot dead by Mr Gatto. He said that Veniamin never mentioned anything to him about wanting to harm Mr Gatto. But after testifying, he approached the Purana gangland killing taskforce and made a statement refuting what he said in the witness box. Pastras told Purana detectives he saw Veniamin with a gun when he went to meet Mr Gatto in Carlton’s La Porcella restaurant and that Veniamin told him he wanted Mr Gatto dead. He claimed Veniamin told him: “I am fucking dirty on Mick Gatto. He has got to go.” That evidence was not presented to the jury in the Gatto murder trial. Pastras was named in a confidential Victoria Police document that was blamed for prompting the executions of police informer Terrence Hodson and his wife, Christine in 2004. It contained details of what Hodson told police and was leaked to Melbourne’s underworld shortly before the Hodsons were shot dead in their Kew home in 2004. His brother Savas Pastras was an associate of Lewis Moran. Pastras, 39, turned up at Moran’s Essendon unit on 25 October 2002, not knowing police were inside raiding it. One of the detectives asked Moran’s partner, Virginia Strazdas, who was the man walking up the driveway, and she said he was a friend. Moran’s partner ignored a police command not to warn the man and managed to slightly open the door and tell him to go away. A detective, Senior Constable Victor Anastasiadis, said he opened the door, recognised Pastras and said, “Sav, come in.” He was taken into Moran’s house and a search discovered he had $44,000 in $100 and $50 notes hidden under his jacket in a green plastic bag. After removing the bag, Pastras hunched over and began to shake, he said. Detective Senior Sergeant Marty Allison told the court that Pastras had a look of shock and horror on his face when police confronted him. “He looked as though he had seen a ghost; he couldn’t speak. He opened his mouth but words weren’t coming out,” Senior Sergeant Allison said. Forensic tests revealed the cash showed traces of heroin and cocaine. Savas Pastras was charged with possessing the proceeds of crime. Police alleged the $44,000 was to be paid to Lewis Moran to settle a drug debt. Pastras’s lawyer, Stephen Shirrefs, SC, told the court that the warrant used to conduct the raid on Moran’s home was illegal. “The search of Mr Pastras and the seizure of the money on him only arose because he was invited into the house by police,” Mr Shirrefs said. He said the money could not be deemed proceeds of crime because Moran had not touched the cash and police said it was related to a drug deal “purported to have occurred”. Magistrate Ann Collins ruled in April 2004 that Savas Pastras had no case to answer because police could not prove the money was derived from a crime. Collins cleared Mr Pastras in the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court after finding that police could not prove that the money, stashed in a green plastic shopping bag, had anything to do with the sale of drugs. She also found that police could not prove that traces of heroin and cocaine found on the cash did not come from other sources.

2009

  • On Monday 15 June underworld identity Desmond Moran is shot dead at Ascot Vale in Melbourne’s north-west. Des Moran is the brother of slain underworld figure Lewis Moran, who was murdered in 2004 during Melbourne’s gangland war, and uncle to Mark and Jason Moran, who were also killed in gangland disputes. Des Moran originally escaped serious injury in March 2009 when shots were fired outside his Ascot Vale home. He was in his car with a friend when one shot was fired through the front windscreen, narrowly missing the pair. At the time, a Purana Task Force detective said police did not believe that incident was gangland-related. On Tuesday 16 June Sister-in-Law Judy Moran was arrested and charged along with two other people in relation to the murder.

2010

  • On 19 April 2010, Carl Williams died while incarcerated at Barwon Prison after allegedly being bashed by a fellow inmate, while another was on the phone. His death was the result of a cardiac arrest linked to severe head injuries received during the attack.It is currently unknown as to whether Williams’ death is directly related to previous gangland killings.

Melbourne Gangland Killings


The Melbourne Gangland Killings were the killings of 36 criminal figures or partners in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in a series of retributional murders involving various underworld groups between 16 January 1998 and 19 April 2010. The deaths caused a sustained power vacuum within Melbourne’s criminal community, as various factions fought for control and influence. The majority of the murders are still unsolved, although police from the Purana Taskforce believe that Carl Williams was responsible for ten of them. The period culminated in the arrest of Carl Williams, who pleaded guilty to three counts of murder on 28 February 2007.

Since the confession of Williams, the ultimate source of the violence has become public knowledge.On his 29th birthday while meeting with Jason Moran and his half brother Mark Moran on 13 October 1999 at a suburban park in Gladstone Park, Jason Moran shot Carl Williams in the stomach over a dispute about money earned in the amphetamine trade. Through the period after his run-in with the Moran family, Williams commenced a war with the aim of killing all of the Moran clan.

The murder of former lawyer Mario Condello on 6 February 2006, caused speculation of a possible resurgence in the killings, although this was denied by police.

A drama series detailing the gangland war and the efforts made by the Purana taskforce to contain it, Underbelly, premiered on the Nine Network on 13 February 2008. Due to ongoing legal proceedings in Victoria, Justice Betty King prohibited the Nine Network from airing the show in Victoria and from providing access to the show via their website. An edited version commenced screening in Victoria on the 14th of September, 2008.

On 19 April 2010, Carl Williams died while incarcerated at Barwon Prison after allegedly being bashed by an inmate.Williams would have been 71 before becoming eligible for parole.

Carl Williams bashed and killed in jail


Carl Williams bashed and killed in jail

Updated Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:55pm AEST

Melbourne underworld figure Carl Williams has died at Barwon  Prison.

Melbourne underworld figure Carl Williams has died at Barwon Prison. (AAP: Jason South, file photo)

Gangland killer Carl Williams died at the high security Barwon Prison after being bashed several times with part of an exercise bike, Victoria Police has revealed.

Police say Williams was sitting in a common area outside his cell area just before 1:00pm when an inmate snuck up behind him and struck him several times in the head with the stem of the bike.

Williams suffered serious head injuries, went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived.

Another inmate was in the room at the time of the attack and both men are now being questioned by police.

A prison officer was about 10 metres away when the incident occurred.

Corrections Minister Bob Cameron said three investigations would be held into Williams’ death.

He said they would be conducted by police, the coroner and the Office of Corrective Services.

Mr Cameron said Williams was housed in a unit with two other inmates.

He said the three men were allowed to associate with each other for six hours a day, between 8am and 2pm, but were not always supervised.

Mr Cameron said Williams was not supervised at the time of the bashing.

“We are very, very concerned that such a notorious criminal has been murdered. That’s why there are all of those investigations and we want to get to the bottom of it,” he said.

“What we do know is that he was in a unit with two others that he was comfortable with, but notwithstanding that there was a murder and that’s why these investigations are underway.”

Deputy Corrections Commissioner Rod Wise has defended prison security.

“It is of concern naturally, but we are limited in what we can do in any prison environment,” he said.

“There is no prison environment that is without risk and crime can occur in a prison just as it can out in the community.”

Mr Wise said it was not practical to have every prisoner supervised when they were out of their cell.

“There are times when they are supervised, there are times when they are not,” Mr Wise said.

Williams body remains at the prison and is expected to be removed later tonight.

Call for independent investigation

Williams’ lawyer, Rob Stary, said his client was held in solitary confinement at the prison and the only time he came into contact with other prisoners was when he exercised.

“He was in the state’s most secure prison environment; solitary confinement, supervised for every moment of every minute of every day, and whatever happened one would expect would have been supervised,” he said.

Mr Stary wants a separate investigation into Williams’ death, independent of police and prison authorities.

He said Williams died only hours after he spoke to his client about a story in News Limited papers, which said police have paid $8,000 so Williams’ daughter can attend an exclusive private school.

Mr Stary said Williams was upset about the story because it exposed his daughter to risk.

Williams was sentenced in May 2007 to a minimum of 35 years in jail for the murders of gangland rivals – father and son Lewis and Jason Moran, Mark Mallia and Michael Marshall – and conspiracy to murder Mario Condello during Melbourne’s underworld war.

His father George was released from prison in June 2009 after serving a sentence for drug trafficking, while his mother Barbara was found dead in 2009 after an apparent overdose.

Williams was refused permission to attend his mother’s funeral.

He leaves behind ex-wife Roberta Williams and his daughter.

‘No conspiracy’

Melbourne’s gangland war spawned the Underbelly books on which the popular TV series was based. Co-author of the Underbelly books, Fairfax journalist Andrew Rule, told ABC local radio he was not surprised by Carl Williams’ death.

“It’ll be tempting for people to speculate about that because one would wonder who stands to benefit from this. People do get assaulted in jail for very banal reasons over, you know, arguing over a packet of cigarettes or whatever,” he said.

“So who’s to say? Maybe he was a victim of his own publicity.”

And Mr Rule says Williams’ death is unlikely to reignite the gangland war.

“I think this is probably an isolated incident and I tend to guess that it may be a bit of a fluke, that it’s not part of a conspiracy,” he said.

“If it is part of a conspiracy, it’s not one that I’d want to speculate about here because it would involve ongoing court cases. I’m not suggesting it is.”

Infamous figure

In 2007, Williams made no apologies when Justice Betty King sentenced him to life for the murder of his rivals.

The man who Melbourne grew to know as the “baby-faced killer” wrote to his mother Barbara, admitting he was responsible for the loss of lives.

“Yes, I did what I did, and nothing I or anyone does will ever change that,” Williams wrote in his letter.

“I am guilty of defending myself and my loved ones from being murdered – that I am.

“I am certainly not ashamed of the lengths I was forced to take to protect myself and my loved ones. I did what any man would do, if they’d been shot.”

In the letters, given to Channel 7 and reprinted by The Age newspaper, Williams blamed the gangland war on a shooting at his 29th birthday.

He claimed he was shot in the stomach by the now slain Jason Moran and said from there it never stopped.

“Everyday soldiers have to kill the enemy, otherwise the enemy will kill them, and no-one calls soldiers murderers,” Williams wrote.

Williams’s murders of Jason Moran, his father Lewis, and of drug dealer Mallia occurred at the height of Melbourne’s notorious gangland war that raged between 1998 and 2006, leaving 27 dead.

“The people I killed were far worse people than I will ever be … I never killed or harmed any innocent people,” he wrote.

“What about those who worked alongside me, whose crimes were every bit as bad as mine?

“Was it really fair, was it really justice that they got away so lightly, and in some cases without penalty at all, in exchange for my liberty?”

Williams did lament the loss of his freedom, his incarceration in solitary confinement, and missing out on seeing his daughter grow up.

“I won’t be there to see her start high school. I certainly won’t be there for her 21st birthday. I also doubt if I’ll be there to walk her down the aisle if she gets married,” he wrote.

Williams was also outraged by his portrayal as a bumbling imbecile on TV series Underbelly.

“I don’t mind them telling the truth about me, but telling lies and painting me out like some d***head who is brain-dead, well that’s just bull***t,” he wrote.

“They’re having me associating with people I’ve never met before such as Alphonse. They also have me committing crimes that I’ve never even been suspected of – what a load of crap.”

Carl Anthony Williams


Carl Williams
Carl Williams

Carl Anthony Williams (13 October 1970– 19 April 2010) was a convicted murderer and drug trafficker from the Australian state of Victoria. He was the central figure in the Melbourne gangland killings.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 35 years for ordering the murders of three people and conspiracy to murder a fourth (which was unsuccessful).On 19 April 2010, Williams died while incarcerated at Barwon Prison after being beaten to death with part of an exercise bike by another inmate.[3]

Williams enlisted the help of others willing to perform the contract killings in exchange for large payments of cash. At the time of his death, he was in the maximum security Acacia unit of HM Prison Barwon near Geelong. Williams would have been 71 before he was eligible for parole.

Williams was portrayed by Gyton Grantley in the 2008 television series Underbelly, based on the events surrounding the Melbourne gangland wars from 1995 through to 2004.

Aussie Criminals and Crooks


Welcome to Aussie Criminals and Crooks, where you will find true stories about the murders, criminals, hit-men,the underworld figures as well as the shady businessmen, the sports cheats we once adored and the shonky companies out there ripping off innocent people