June 30, 2003


The Independent’s Kathy Marks reports from Melbourne on the death of gangster Jason Moran:

Some observers believe his killing was retaliation for the murder of Victor Pierce, shot dead outside a supermarket last year. Pierce was an associate of Frank Benvenuto, gunned down in 2000. The theory is that Pierce blamed the Morans and shot Mark as payback. Jason then murdered Pierce - and was killed himself. The other suspect is a rival amphetamine manufacturer who survived after being shot in the stomach, allegedly by the Morans, over a £160,000 debt.

Whatever the reason, Jason knew he was a marked man. He changed addresses frequently and varied his routine. His only regular activity was taking his twins to football training. He would have felt safe there; killing people in front of children is regarded as bad form, even by gangsters.

The flouting of that code has shocked Melbourne's most hard-bitten characters. Kath Pettingill, matriarch of a renowned crime family, said: "It's not on. It's a sad world if it comes to that."

Great reporting, Independent. Kath isn’t just the “matriarch of a renowned crime family”. She’s the mother of Victor Pierce, who you mentioned in the previous paragraph. She’s also kind of sweet, in a deadly sort of way. Hi, Kath!

Posted by Tim Blair at June 30, 2003 04:08 AM

I am shocked, shocked. Shocked and disillusioned. I thought that Australians didn't have any guns.

Posted by: Ernie G at June 30, 2003 at 04:39 AM

The lovely Kath also only has one eye- the Victorian Police BCI had a lengthy operation running on the old bat, dubbed "Operation Cyclops". Who says cops have no sense of humour?

Posted by: paul bickford at June 30, 2003 at 10:32 AM

Be very nice to her, Tim... you don't want to get on her bad side, I'd think. Al Capone in an apron, baking cookies? Scary thought.

Posted by: Eric at June 30, 2003 at 02:08 PM

We have guns. It's just that the crims have most of them now.

Posted by: Huddo at June 30, 2003 at 02:46 PM

She's an old pal, Eric! I've interviewed her a few times. We get on fine.

Posted by: tim at June 30, 2003 at 03:16 PM