Carl Williams (criminal)
|Born||Carl Anthony Williams
13 October 1970
|Died||19 April 2010
HM Barwon Prison
|Criminal penalty||Life imprisonment
35 years non-parole period
|Spouse(s)||Roberta Williams (née Mercieca)|
|Children||One daughter (Dhakota)|
|Parent(s)||George Williams (father, deceased)
Barbara Williams (mother, deceased)
|Conviction(s)||Murder x 4
Conspiracy to murder
Carl Anthony Williams (13 October 1970 – 19 April 2010) was an Australian convicted murderer and drug trafficker from the state of Victoria. He was the central figure in the Melbourne gangland killings as well as its final victim.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 35 years for ordering the murders of three people and conspiracy to murder a fourth (which was unsuccessful). On 19 April 2010, while incarcerated at Barwon Prison, Williams was beaten to death with the stem of an exercise bike by another inmate, Matthew Charles Johnson.
Williams enlisted the help of others willing to perform the contract killings in exchange for large payments of cash. At the time of his death, he was in the maximum security Acacia unit of HM Prison Barwon near Geelong. Williams would have been 71 before he was eligible for parole.
Williams attended Broadmeadows Technical School, leaving in Year 11. Williams spent much of his childhood in Western Melbourne with his friends and older brother Shane who died of a heroin overdose in 1997. He was married to convicted drug trafficker Roberta Mercieca (born 23 March 1969), with whom he had one daughter, Dhakota, born 10 March 2001. Williams held various labouring jobs before opening a children's clothing store in partnership with his wife, which eventually failed.
On 25 November 1999, Williams, along with his father, George and another associate, was arrested and charged with drug trafficking after a raid on a Fir Close Unit in Broadmeadows illegal drug factory. In excess of 25,000 amphetamine tablets were seized by police, estimated to be worth up to $20 million AUD.
Williams, who described himself as a semi-professional gambler, was banned from the Crown Casino complex on 2 April 2004 by police commissioner Christine Nixon under the Casino Control Act. Williams' mother Barbara was found dead in her Melbourne home on 22 November 2008. She had been suffering from depression.
Melbourne gangland killings
On 13 October 1999, Williams was shot in the abdomen by Jason Moran because he owed the Morans thousands of dollars. This event gave rise to a lengthy underworld war known popularly as the Melbourne gangland killings. In 2002 after meeting through a mutual friend Tony Mokbel, Carl Williams would court the services of the murderer Andrew Veniamin as his right-hand man until late 2003.
Jason Moran and associate Pasquale Barbaro were fatally shot while sitting in Moran's car at a football club in Essendon, on 21 June 2003. Williams ordered two associates to carry out the murder. The location of the shooting was behind the Cross Keys Hotel in Strathmore, Victoria. The murder was witnessed by six children aged 6 and under. There had been children in the car that the shotgun was fired at.
Mark Mallia was an associate of murdered underworld criminal, Nik Radev. At 8.05 am on 18 August 2003 a fire was reported in a stormwater drain in Sunshine. Fire brigade members attending to the fire recovered a wheelie bin containing the remains of a charred body inside, later identified as Mallia.
Arrest and confession
On 28 February 2007, Williams pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Victoria to the murders of Lewis Moran, his son Jason Moran and Mark Mallia (whose name was initially suppressed by the court).
Williams also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder gangland rival Mario Condello. A suppression order prevented the media from reporting this until the day of sentencing. Under a deal with police, Williams was not charged for his alleged involvement in orchestrating the murder of Mark Moran, Jason Moran's half brother.
It was also revealed that Williams was serving a sentence of 21 years for the 2003 murder of Michael Marshall. The outcome of this trial had previously been suppressed.
Summary of criminal convictions
|May 1990||Handling stolen goods
Possession of stolen property
Failing to answer bail
|March 1993||Criminal damage
Throwing a missile
|Sentenced to 150 hours community work|
|December 1994||Attempting to traffic in a drug of dependence||Sentenced to 12 months imprisonment (six months suspended for a period of two years)|
|29 October 2004||Drug trafficking||Sentenced to 7 years imprisonment|
|19 July 2006||Murder of Michael Marshall||Sentenced to 27 years imprisonment
21 years non-parole period
|7 May 2007||Murder of Jason Moran||Sentenced to life imprisonment|
|7 May 2007||Murder of Mark Mallia||Sentenced to life imprisonment|
|7 May 2007||Murder of Lewis Moran||Sentenced to 25 years imprisonment|
|7 May 2007||Conspiracy to murder Mario Condello||Sentenced to 25 years imprisonment|
School fees revelation
On 19 April 2010 News Limited newspapers including the Herald Sun revealed that Victoria Police were paying $8000 in school fees for Williams' daughter. The reason for the payment was not revealed at the time. However, during the 2011 murder trial, it was revealed Williams had turned informant and had struck a deal with Assistant Commissioner Simon Overland. Williams gave information on several unsolved murder cases believed to have involved corrupt officers and it was also revealed his murderer may have been implicated in at least one. Williams' lawyer Rob Stary said Williams was upset about the publication of the story.
There was speculation that the police may have agreed to pay the school fees in exchange for information, and that publication of the story may have led to Williams' death. The Herald Sun has defended its publication of the story.
On 19 April 2010, Williams died from head injury while incarcerated at Barwon Prison. He was struck with part of an exercise bike by another inmate, Matthew Charles Johnson, who was convicted for the murder, and sentenced in December 2011 to 32 years in jail.
Williams' funeral was held on 30 April 2010 at St Therese's Catholic Church in Essendon. He was buried in a golden coffin. In January 2011 it was reported that Williams' resting place consisted of a nameless plot, without a headstone.
The circumstances of his death were investigated by the Victorian Ombudsman. A report critical of Corrections Victoria (for approving Williams to share a cell with Johnson) was released in April 2012. Two months later in June 2012, the Department of Justice Secretary Penny Armytage resigned and earlier in May the Corrections Victoria Commissioner Bob Hastings had resigned.
References in popular culture
Williams was portrayed by Gyton Grantley in the 2008 Australian television series Underbelly, based on the events surrounding the Melbourne gangland wars from 1995 up to his arrest in 2004. In 2014 Grantley reprised the role in Fat Tony & Co..
- "Carl Williams' daughter to get six-figure payout for dad's prison death". Nine Digital Pty Ltd. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
- R v Williams (2007) VSC 131, Supreme Court of Victoria, 7 May 2007
- The Daily Telegraph- Serial killer called the shots
- Carl Williams dies in prison: report, The Age, 19 April 2010
- "Carl Williams, dad speak of loss". Herald Sun.
- Emily Power (1 June 2008). "Roberta Williams faces driving charge". Herald Sun.
- Carl Williams, The Age, 9 June 2004
- Shand. A, Big Shots, Penguin Group, 2007
- Hunt, Elissa (28 April 2007). "Carl Williams tells of murders". Herald Sun. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- Third Williams victim revealed, The Age, 1 March 2007
- Bice, Katie (8 May 2007). "Carl Williams was labelled 'a killer and a cowardly one' by Supreme Court Justice Betty King when she sentenced him to 35 years' jail in 2007". Herald Sun. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- R v Williams & Foletti (2004) VSC 424, Supreme Court of Victoria, 29 October 2004
- "Cops 'pay for Carl's daughter's school'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- "Carl Williams bashed and killed in jail". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- Milovanovic, Selma; Webb, Carolyn (20 April 2010). "Killed by a trusted inmate". The Age. Melbourne.
- Butcher, Steve (20 April 2010). "Paper defends school fee report". The Age. Melbourne.
- Millar, Paul (20 April 2010). "Carl Williams murder accused appears in court". The Age. Melbourne.
- Butcher, Steve (19 October 2010). "Revealed: the man charged with Carl Williams' murder". The Age. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
- Hunt, Elissa (8 December 2011). "Carl Williams' killer Matthew Johnson jailed for at least 32 years". Herald-Sun. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- Duncan, Jamie (27 April 2010). "Williams' funeral on familiar ground". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- Gangland figure Carl Williams' resting place a pile of mud with no headstone, By Wayne Flower (Herald Sun), January 20, 2011 dailytelegraph.com.au
- "The death of Mr Carl Williams at HM Barwon Prison - investigation into Corrections Victoria". Ombudsman Victoria. April 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
- "Justice chief stands down in wake of Williams probe". The Age. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
- "Justice head resigns over Williams probe". ABC News. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
- "Victoria's prisons boss resigns". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP 11 March 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
- Boys in the hood, The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 February 2008