Thursday, 14 March 2013

Australian Underworld

There is no doubt about it but the Australian Underworld has long been more violent and organised than it`s British counterparts.  Yes, crime has gone on for a long time in this country, but down under, gangland murders are so common place throughout the twentieth century.  The long war in Melbourne from the 80`s into the Millennium has proven that.  The main cities of crime are Sydney & Melbourne, and these cities have had their "Mr Bigs" like Squizzy Taylor, Abe Saffron, Lennie Mcpherson, Richard Reilly, and even women had big prostitution empires that operated for decades.  Women like Tilly Devine & Kate Leigh.

    As an example of how murderous the Aussie criminals were, you have to look at the Painters & Dockers War that ravaged the Melbourne waterfront in the 50`s & 60`s.  Many criminals got a foothold in the docks, and rackets run.  Beatings, maimings, murders.  All part of life with the P & D War.

    Australia has produced a criminal known as a "Standover Man."  Basically, it is a violent man who robs other criminals of their ill-gotten gains.  In this country, they are referred to as thieves ponces, but now they come up with a new name, "Taxmen"  I call them what they have always been called, thieves ponces.  Usually, they are gangsters who do not have the guts or know how to commit the crimes themselves.  The most infamous "Standover Man" is treated as a sort of celebrity; Mark Brandon Read or "Chopper"  However, Mr Read has apparently grossly exaggerated the number of murders he has been involved in and seems to have immersed himself into other people`s crimes.  Plus, every other criminal in Australia seems to be a wanker in comparison to him and his small circle of friends.  His claims have been shot down a few times.

    Some psycho killers emerged over the years, like Chris Flannery and Dennis Allen.  The cops are no strangers to killing criminals like Graeme Jensen, shot to death in his car.  The cops have had many scandals over corruption and had blatantly corrupt officers like Roger Rogerson.  Corruption went right up to the top.  State Commissioners, down to ordinary beat cops.  Top cop Don Hancock was blown up by bikers.

    Different nationalities have strong grips on the criminal world.  The Italians have long been there, now you have Asian gangs, Chinese, Vietnamese.  Biker gangs have long flourished, Hells Angels, Bandidos, Outlaws, Rebels, Black Uhlans, Coffin Cheaters, Satans Slaves, and the Gypsy Jokers, part of the American club that has chapters in Germany & Scandinavia.

    The disappearance of Juanita Neilsen in 1975 from a club run by Abe Saffron has never been solved.  I wonder if it inspired the film "The Killing of Angel Street" and Kate Leigh & Tilly Devine inspired "Kitty and the Bagman"  One film that was supposedly based on real events was "The Money Movers" about the robbery at a security company.  Very tough and very bloody, but I have not come across a crime that may have inspired it.