As Crikey’s crypto crime correspondents, the Kooka Brothers, discovered long ago, the story of Melbourne’s gangland blood letting, is becoming a story in itself. Just why are so many foreign journos sweating it out in a Darwin courtroom when all the action is on the streets, the frontpages, and the TV screens in beautiful downtown Melbourne – the world’s most deadly liveable city? Here they go again…

Borders bookshop in Lygon St Carlton has two crime sections – one for “crime” and one for “true crime”. Is art imitating life or life imitating art? There was a “false sighting” of alleged drug boss, Antonius “Fat Tony” Mokbel in Lygon St last night, which cause a bit of a panic. But the front page of The Age today is all very real.

John “Sly” Silvester, a media cult figure himself, has a got a fantastic exclusive yarn and pix of heavily armed police arresting notorious criminal Keith George Faure and two companions yesterday at the Bay City Plaza in Geelong. Read the story here:

The Age – Police swoop on gangland suspect

“Keithy George” is another media cult figure. In the award-winning Australian movie “Chopper”, a character called “Keithy George” is stabbed to death in the opening scenes by movie star Eric Bana playing the “real life” Mark “Chopper” Read (or was it just an abstract painting of him? – Ed).

“KG” and wonderfully named Euangelos Goussis were today charged with one count of murder each. It is alleged they “tapped” (shot) Lewis “Headkicker” Caine on Saturday May 8 and dumped his body in Brunswick. Read the story here:

The Australian – Men charged with underworld murder

How much better can this story get? The Herald Sun had nothing. They didn’t get the exclusive access and tip off about KG’s upcoming arrest. They still haven’t named Terry and Chrissy Hodson who were “executed” on their knees in their Kew home on Saturday night. In fact, the Hun was even scooped by its own classified ads today where a death notice appeared for the Hodsons “tragically on May 16”.

The Hun is still labouring under a suppression order bizarrely put in place to protect the now dead drug thug and police informer’s life. But while one Melbourne newspaper is playing funny buggers with the truth, The NZ Herald is having a field day with this story. Writing from Canberra on Tuesday the paper’s Australia correspondent, Greg Ansley, said that Hodson’s son Andrew and daughter Mandy had been charged with drug trafficking as part of the alleged A$2 billion narcotics empire of Antonius Mokbel. Read the story here:

The New Zealand Herald – Australian police informer and wife slain at home

The Kookas are getting so much mail on the gangland beat that our lovely editor has even given us our own email address to protect our crypto criminal status. Send all your tip offs and scuttlebutt to us at kookas @crikey.com.au

“This is the first gangster war of the information age, says journalist Adam Shand in today’s Age entertainment Green Guide, “so it’s necessarily going to have lots more coverage.”

The Age goes on: “And don’t we lap it up? It seems the media and the public cannot hear enough about the latest underworld murder. Who did it? What do the death notices say? What do the survivors say? Who was at the funeral? Who’ll be next? For not only are we in the midst of a violent underworld feud – since 1998, 27 people have been killed in circumstances believed to be linked to organised crime – it seems never before have the players behaved so publicly.

“While they refuse to assist police, several of those players speak regularly to select members of the press. And in which other city do crime figures sign their names to death notices farewelling slain colleagues?

But the big picture can be confusing. Who was Alphonse Gangitano and what was his relationship to Dominic “Mick” Gatto, now on remand over the shooting death of Andrew “Benji” Veniamin?

Enter Shand, who for eight months has investigated the slayings, filing pieces for Channel Nine’s Sunday program and writing cover stories for The Bulletin. On Wednesday, Nine is screening “Badfellas”, a one-hour documentary by Shand, which attempts to put the murders into perspective. Read the full story here:

The Age – TV window into Melbourne’s secret world

The Kookas won’t be missing it. We might even send Adam some of our haiku poetry on the subject. Speaking of haiku. Did anyone see the enormous nonsense coming out of the buffoon Police Association secretary Paul Mullett’s mouth in yesterday’s Age? Mullett, the flat-headed flatfoot, came out with the preposterous statement that the “police lost hold of the streets” because of operational job losses under former premier Jeff Kennett.

The Kookas reckon the gangsters took over the streets of Melbourne when the coppers went on the payroll and set up shop as self-employed drug thugs.

(Keep smiling Fat Tony! We will get you yet.)

Finally, for those of you who – like the Kookas – need to change your identity every now and then to avoid being “tapped”, we recommend this thoughtful peace from the Daily Mirror in London on how to change your ID.

The Mirror – How to change your ID

Go in Peace!

Send “crime” and “true crime” info to the Kooka Bros at kookas @crikey.com.au

Peter Fray

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