The dark past of Melbourne’s underworld has been thrust back into the spotlight after convicted drug trafficker Tony Mokbel survived Monday’s prison stabbing.
Mokbel was airlifted from the maximum-security Barwon Prison to Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition after he suffered a stab wound to the chest and head injuries in the attack.
It’s believed his alleged assailants branded home-made weapons known as ‘shivs’, which were handed to Victoria Police as part of its investigation.
The return of the drug syndicate mastermind to the headlines has prompted The New Daily to ask: Where are the country’s most notorious characters now?
Status: Deceased (murdered in Barwon Prison by fellow inmate)
Convicted murderer and drug trafficker Carl Williams formed the genesis of the Melbourne underworld story, with his contribution lasting throughout its bloody years.
He was shot in the stomach in October 1999 while working as an employee of the notorious Moran brothers. His crime? Cooking his own batches of amphetamine and selling them at a lower price point than his bosses.
Williams was part way through serving a 35-year sentence for pleading guilty to orchestrating the murders of Mark and Jason Moran, and their father Lewis, when he was set upon by a fellow inmate.
He was killed after being struck in the back of the head with an exercise bike seat and revelations followed he acted as an informer in return for concessions.
The Moran family
Status: Lewis, Jason and Mark Moran deceased (gunned down in separate incidents), Judy serving time for ordering hitman to murder brother-in-law Des
Four of the eventual 36 gangland killings came from the Moran family – Jason having involvement in what’s thought to be the first, that of Alphonse Gangitano.
Following their run-in with Carl Williams in 1999, their victim was set on exacting revenge, starting the following year with Mark outside his home.
The next chapter was one of the gangland war’s most unsettling. A hitman hired by Williams gunned down Jason and acquaintance Pasquale Barbaro while they were waiting outside a junior football clinic in 2003.
Matriarch Judy then became a widow after husband Lewis was gunned down by a masked team arranged by Williams in 2004, before she masterminded the daylight murder of her brother-in-law Des, with whom she had a spiteful relationship.
The ex-wife of gangland kingpin Carl was engaged in a long-running Supreme Court dispute with tax officials over the fortunes of the Melbourne northern suburbs home left in the estate of her father-in-law George Williams.
It was eventually ruled that the house would be used to pay off tax debts.
Underworld figure Gatto has recently hit the headlines again over the Lawyer X scandal, firmly denying he had threatened to kill the lawyer at its centre.
He was acquitted of the killing of Andrew “Benji” Veniamin in 2004 on justification that it was an act of self-defence.
Status: Critical (in hospital after stabbing incident at Barwon Prison)
Currently recovering in hospital, it’s a far cry from Mokbel’s notorious overseas sojourn after skipping bail on cocaine trafficking charges in 2006, becoming the nation’s most wanted man in the process.
The following 15 months read like something out of a Hollywood film fugitive plot – having escaped Australia by boat via Fremantle, he was eventually apprehended in Athens in one of the most outrageous hairpieces known to man.
He’s serving a minimum 22 years for overseeing The Company, a drug cartel alleged to have accrued $180 million through methamphetamine production in the 2000s.