– The hitman convicted of shooting dead Donald Mackay in July 1977 believes finding the anti-drug campaigner’s body cold help clear his name.
Convicted murderer James Bazley yesterday told the Herald Sun he had nothing to fear from the new search for Mr Mackay.
But Bazley, 87, is living in a dream world if he thinks if finding the body will help him in any way.
There is ample evidence it was he who dead Mr Mackay in a Griffith hotel carpark. He was chosen because the Calabrian mafia did not want the hit to look like one of theirs.
Bazley was convicted of conspiracy to murder Mr Mackay and the murders of Mr Asia gang drug couriers Douglas and Isabel Wilson.
He was released from prison in 2001.
“I hope police find the body. I know I didn’t do it and finding the body could clear my name,” Bazley said yesterday, before hanging up the phone at his Melbourne home.
NSW police yesterday continued their search of a lettuce farm at Hay. Griffith police were tipped off a year ago that Mr Mackay’s body had been dumped down a well or bore on the property.
Police said yesterday that after extensive inquiries they had uncovered “legitimate business links” between the farm and known suspects in the killing. They are combing an area that includes a dam and a well.
But Detective Superintendent Michael Willing said: “We need to be realistic. This is the latest of a number of searches conducted over many, many years.”
The killing of Mr Mackay was ordered by the mafia after the budding Liberal politician started a public campaign against its huge marijuana-growing operation in the Griffith area.
Police hope that if they find his body, it might yield evidence that could see those mafia bosses finally brought to justice.
Mr Mackay’s son, Paul, played an important role in convincing police to keep probing the killing.
The Herald Sun has seen a copy of a letter Paul Mackay wrote to NSW police chief Andrew Scipione in 2007, requesting a full review by the state’s Cold Case Unit.
“Three people were convicted in 1986 on charges relating to my father’s death, but these people were at the bottom of the criminal food chain,” his letter said.
“None of the (alleged) Griffith conspirators identified in the Woodward Royal Commission have ever been charged,” he wrote.
Several of those named by the commission still lived in Griffith and had prospered to an abnormal degree.
“The opinion of most Griffith residents is that these people literally can get away with murder and, to date, they effectively have,” Mr Mackay wrote. “Our family has received little justice and believes that this case remains unsolved.”
Hitman Bazley was charged by Victoria Police with conspiring to murder Mr Mackay, but couldn’t be charged with murder as the killing took place in NSW.
Gianfranco Tizzoni, who died in 1988, gave evidence that he helped Robert Trimbole organise the murder, ordered by Trimbole’s mafia bosses. Tizzoni said he recruited Bazley through Melbourne gunshop owner George Joseph.
Trimbole fled Australia and died in Spain in 1987 – Keith Moor


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

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