FERRET DEATH REVIEW – Wednesday April 3 2013

– Victoria Police has launched a new probe into the 1971 disappearance of Melbourne waterfront war victim Alfred Nelson, known as “The Ferret”.
Detectives will question mafia hitman James Bazley about his possible role in the unsolved case.
They have already quizzed an associate of painter and docker Billy “The Texan” Longley about whether Longley was involved in the suspected murder of Nelson.
Bazley and Longley were on one side in the bloody waterfront war and Nelson was on the other.
Longley yesterday denied playing any part in Nelson’s disappearance and Bazley’s wife, Lillian, said her husband was innocent.
Victoria Police Cold Case Squad head Ron Iddles yesterday confirmed his unit was preparing a brief of evidence for the coroner on the Nelson case.
Nelson, 47, went missing in 1971 during a battle between warring factions of the notorious Painters and Dockers Union. He has never been found.
Longley, 87, was heavily involved in the 1970s waterfront wars that resulted in dozens of murders during a battle for control of the union.
He was released from jail in 1988 after serving 13 years for ordering the murder of union secretary Pat Shannon.
Shannon, 45, was shot dead in the Druid’s Hotel (now the Water Rat) in South Melbourne in 1973.
Bazley, 86, was released from jail in 2001 after serving 21 years for various crimes, including murdering drug couriers Douglas and Isabel Wilson in 1979 and conspiring to murder Griffith anti-drug campaigner Donald Mackay in 1977.
Australian Calabrian mafia boss Robert Trimbole recruited Bazley to kill Mr Mackay and the Wilsons.
Detective Senior Sergeant Iddles said there had never been an inquest into Nelson’s death so the main purpose of the probe was to prepare a brief of evidence so the coroner could hold one.
“But I can’t rule out charges being laid even after all this time because in the process of talking to people about it – and because of new publicity about the case – someone might tell us exactly what happened and we would go from there,” he said – Keith Moor


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

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