Leslie Herbert Kane
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Leslie Herbert Kane (1 January 1945 – 19 October 1978) was an Australian gangster who lived in Melbourne, Australia. He was portrayed by Australian actor Martin Dingle Wall in the television series Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities in 2009.
Kane was one of three brothers who also were in the same line of business, but Les was considered the most violent and unpredictable of the three. All eventually killed others. Les a fellow Painter and Docker[who?], Brian famously Ray Bennett and Ray his estranged girlfriend.
Kane left school and became a member of the Federated Union of Painters and Dockers at the age of fourteen. By the time of Kane's death, he had appeared in court 27 times as the accused.
He was married twice. Through Trish, his first wife, he had a son and two daughters, Suzanne and Trish. Trish later married Jason Moran. In 2009, Suzanne was arrested and charged with accessory after the fact of murder for her involvement, along with Judy Moran and two other males, with the death of Desmond "Tuppence" Moran in Ascot Vale in June 2009.
On the night of 19 October 1978, Kane, Judy (his second wife) and the children returned home to their Wantirna unit after visiting family. Judy found three gunman lying in wait in her bedroom armed with silenced 'machine guns'. Les Kane was in the bathroom when Judy was dragged to another room by one of the gunmen and the other two opened fire on Les. The gunmen are believed[who?] to be Raymond Patrick "Ray Chuck" Bennett (later shot dead in a courthouse corridor), Vincent Mikkleson and Laurence Pendergast. The body of Les Kane was loaded into the boot of his distinctive pink Ford Futura by a fourth man believed to be hitman Rodney "The Duke" Collins who was outside during the murder, and neither the body nor the car were seen again..
It is believed[who?] that this murder was performed to eliminate the Kane brothers after a fight between Brian Kane and Vincent Mikkleson in a Richmond pub, in which Brian was beaten and suffered the ignominy of having a chunk of an ear bitten off. Believing the Kane family would come after him, Mikkleson and his friends decided to strike first.
After the murders, Judith Kane observed the painters and dockers' code of silence and did not make contact with police. Rumours circulated among criminal and police circle alike, and the police eventually queried Judy about the whereabouts of Les Kane.
The three suspected killers were charged, but later acquitted in a court of law, primarily owing to the lack of a corpse. One, Ray Bennett, was shot inside a courthouse the following year, by a man police believe to have been Brian Kane.
- John Silverster and Andrew Rule, Tough - 101 Australian Gangsters, Floridale Productions and Sly Ink, 2002 ISBN 0-9579121-2-9