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22 April 1957|
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
16 January 1998 (aged 40)|
Templestowe, Victoria, Australia
|Other names||Black Prince of Lygon Street|
Alphonse John Gangitano (22 April 1957 – 16 January 1998) was an Australian criminal from Melbourne, Victoria. Nicknamed the "Black Prince of Lygon Street", Gangitano was the face of an underground organisation known as the Carlton Crew. He was also an associate of alleged organised crime bosses Tom Domican (Sydney) and John Kizon (Perth).
Gangitano is considered to be the second of the thirty Melbourne gangland killings between 1995-2010, when he was murdered in 1998. Gangitano was portrayed by Vince Colosimo in the 2008 TV series Underbelly and by Elan Zavelsky in the 2009 TV series Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities.
Gangitano was born on 22 April 1957. He attended De La Salle College and Marcellin College. In later years through the 1980s and 1990s Alphonse had been alleged a co-owner of a King Street nightclub and numerous fight promotions and other ventures that went on to include horse racing and protection rackets. At the height of Gangitano's criminal career he was earning an estimated $125,000–$200,000 a month as a high profile member of The Carlton Crew. Unlike other criminals, Gangitano purely wanted to be a criminal from a young age.
King Street nightclub attack
Gangitano, Moran and associate Tony Rapasarda were charged over serious assaults on several patrons at the Sports Bar nightclub in King Street, Melbourne on 19 December 1995.
Moran later said of Gangitano: "He's a fucking lulu ... if you smash five pool cues and an iron bar over someone's head....you're a fucking lulu". The attack was portrayed on Underbelly.
On the day of his death 16 January 1998, Gangitano was reported to have had a telephone conversation with Kizon. That same day, Graham Kinniburgh drank at the Laurel Hotel in Ascot Vale with associate Lou Cozzo before driving to Gangitano's home in Templestowe. At a subsequent coroners' inquest, evidence was presented that Kinniburgh and Jason Moran were in Gangitano's home that night. Both were exempted from giving evidence at the inquest, on the grounds that their evidence might incriminate them.
Kinniburgh left Gangitano's house shortly after 11 pm to purchase cigarettes. Upon his return 30 minutes later, he found that Gangitano had been shot several times in the head in the laundry. Gangitano's de facto wife, Virginia, was with the body. Traces of Kinniburgh's blood were later discovered on the back flyscreen door at Gangitano's home.
Kinniburgh reportedly respected the code of silence, frustrating police investigating the murder. Gangitano's pallbearers included Mick Gatto and John Kizon. Gangitano is survived by his wife and two daughters, and was widely believed to have had another child with which he had no contact to an unidentified woman.
Kinniburgh and Moran were both later murdered themselves. Jason allegedly pulled out a gun after an argument with Alphonse and shot him in the head. The murder may have led to as many as 75 revenge assaults on underworld members. Gangitano was charged with shooting petty criminal Gregory John Workman dead in 1995, at 1 Wando Grove, St Kilda East; however, Gangitano never went to trial over the shooting after two witnesses retracted their statements.
- John Silvester & Selma Milovanovic. "Rogues' gallery emerges from ex-cop's testimony". The Age. 5 June 2004. Accessed 13 March 2008.
- "Alphonse John "Black Prince of Lygon Street" Gangitano". Find a Grave. 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2013-09-23.
- Melbourne's underworld grave sites gloss over the brutal pasts of druglords, killers and thugs. Herald Sun. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Actors go full out to show violence of Underbelly". Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "An industry built on intimidation". theage.com.au. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- Ryan, Kelly (11 February 2008). "Schoolboy's dad, Gregory Workman, 'was no gangster'". Herald Sun. Melbourne: News Limited. Retrieved 6 December 2009.