|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (March 2013)|
Anthony John Michael "Rooster" Perish (born 1970) is a convicted Australian murderer from Leppington New South Wales, known to have killed a Sydney drug dealer, Terry Falconer, in 2001. He may also be responsible for other killings. Ostensibly, Falconer's murder occurred because Falconer is alleged to have murdered Perish's elderly grandparents, Anthony Perish Sr. (1902-1993) and Frances Perish (1900-1993), in 1993.
Together with his brother, Andrew Perish, and other members of his criminal gang, as well as outlaw motorcycle clubs, Perish and associates are estimated to be responsible for at least six murders and two suspicious deaths. Altogether, the Terry Falconer/Perish gang murder investigation took over a decade and involved fourteen people, who are estimated to have committed at least one hundred separate offences that involve amphetamine and methamphetamine drug dealing, assault, abduction, murder and manslaughter  Perish and his collaborators were apprehended in 2008 and went to trial in April 2012, resulting in Anthony Perish (42) being sentenced to eighteen years imprisonment, while his brother Andrew Perish (41) was sentenced to nine years and an associate, Matthew Lawton was sentenced to fifteen years, each on murder and conspiracy charges.
In 1993, Anthony and Andrew Perish's grandparents were murdered at their Leppington home, possibly by Terry Falconer, a Sydney drug dealer. At that time, Anthony had already begun his criminal career and was already wanted for manufacturing amphetamines and supplying the drug to others. For the next fourteen years (1993-2007), Anthony evaded justice as an itinerant, periodically relocating to Turramurra and Girvan in New South Wales, and South Australia. During his period in South Australia, he resumed production and distribution of amphetamine and methamphetamine, in conjunction with disgraced former solicitor Justin Birk Hill.
In 1994, Anthony's brother, Andrew Perish, joined the Rebels Motorcycle Club and like his brother, came under suspicion of amphetamine manufacture. In 1995, Andrew killed Kai Dempsey at the Railway Hotel, Liverpool, New South Wales but was acquitted purportedly after having intimidated prosecution witnesses. Four years later, in 1998, Andrew was working as a security guard with Sean Waygood, who had started a failed security business of his own but went bankrupt after several months. Along with Keith Payne, Michael Christensen and Jeremy Postlewaight, Andrew allegedly committed robberies, engaged in drug manufacture, extortion of money from third parties and sundry other offences. In 2001, Sean Waygood was responsible for wounding Gary Mack, a drug debtor to Andrew's distribution network. Ian Draper, a witness to the Mack shooting, was reportedly murdered by Andrew in a local hotel.
Murder of Terry Falconer: 16 November 2001
However, the Perish gang is particularly notorious for the murder and graphic mutilation of Terry Falconer (1949-2001), a convicted drug dealer, believed to be the murderer of Perish's grandparents, immigrants from Croatia, but also a possible police informant with information that might compromise the Rebels Motorcycle Club drug-running, activities. Although Falconer was serving a prison sentence, he was abducted from his prison work release programme, then allegedly taken to Turramurra within a sealed box and finally to Girvan, elsewhere in New South Wales. In transit, Falconer died from asphyxiation prior to a (posthumous) encounter with Anthony Perish, after which the Perish gang mutilated and cut up his body, disposing of the dead man's remains within the Hastings River, near Port Macquarie.
Other Perish gang offences: 2002-2008
In 2002, Waygood and Christiansen tried to kill a rival Bandidos Motorcycle Club member at Haymarket, New South Wales (another Sydney suburb), shooting the individual, who survived the attack. Waygood and Christiansen are believed to have killed Gold Coast, Queensland businessman Michael Davies.[why?] At the same time, Anthony Perish and Waygood stole $A 25,000 worth of chemicals from BOC Gases in Wetherill Park (a southwestern Sydney suburb) for use in drug manufacturing. In 2006, Andrew was arrested in Hoxton Park, a Sydney suburb near Leppington, within a fortified base of operations. In 2007, Andrew was convicted of theft, as well as amphetamine manufacture and firearms offences in 2008, and sentenced to four years imprisonment.
In 2008, Waygood was located in Mudgee, a rural town in central western New South Wales, where Anthony Perish was involved in building a large facility with a spacious basement, suspected to be for further amphetamine production and manufacture. During October 2008, Task Force Tuno traced Waygood to several Gold Coast pubs, nightclubs and hotels believed to be owned by Anthony Perish, before handing a package to Perish in Brisbane at the end of his journey. Finally, in December 2008, Christensen murdered Melbourne gangland figure Paul Elliott, who had arrived in Sydney after being sold a faulty batch of methamphetamine. Christensen dumped the body at sea. In January 2009, New South Wales State Police officers arrested Waygood and Anthony Perish.
Trial and conviction: September 2011- April 2012
In the New South Wales Supreme Court, the Perish brothers and associates were found guilty of killing Falconer in September 2011. On 14 April 2012, they were sentenced as given above for homicide and criminal conspiracy.
Sydney journalist Michael Duffy wrote an account of the activities of the Perish gang and associates entitled Bad: The Inside Story of Australia's Biggest Murder Investigation  The activities of the Perish gang were also the subject of the fifth season of the Underbelly (series) "true crime" television programme, Underbelly: Badness. Perish was portrayed by Jonathan LaPaglia.
Perish's associate, Sean Lawrence Waygood, died 18 March 2014, aged 43, in a secured section of Randwick Hospital following a long illness. The son of Gordon and Evelyn Waygood, he had two children and two step-children. The Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Canice's Catholic Church, Roslyn Street, Elizabeth Bay on 27 March 2014.
- Margaret Schiekowski, "Brothers locked up over lethal revenge on a killing", Daily Telegraph, 14 April 2012
- R versus Perish; Perish and Lawton New South Wales Supreme Court 355
- Profile, aussiecriminals.com.au, 13 August 2012; accessed 21 March 2014.
- Michael Duffy: Bad: The Inside Story of Australia's Biggest Murder Investigation: Crows Nest, Allen and Unwin: 2012
- M.Duffy, Bad: The Inside Story of Australia's Biggest Murder Investigation: Allen and Unwin: 2012
- See Duffy, 2012
- Duffy, 2012
- Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen and Unwin: 2012
- "'Merewether hitman' Sean Waygood dead at 43" by Stephen Ryan, theherald.com.au, 20 March 2014; accessed 21 March 2014.
- Notice of death and funeral arrangements, smh.com.au; accessed 22 March 2014.