Judy Moran

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Judy Moran (born 18 December 1944)[1] is the matriarch of the infamous Moran criminal family of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, involved in the Melbourne gangland killings.

Personal life[edit]

Judy Moran was married to Leslie John "Johnny" Cole, who was shot dead in Sydney drug-related gangland conflict in 1982.[2][3] Cole was the father of her son Mark Moran (born Mark Cole), who was murdered in 2000.

Moran was divorced from Cole at the time of his death and had begun a relationship with Lewis Moran. Their son Jason Moran was murdered in 2003. Lewis Moran was shot dead in the Brunswick Club in Melbourne in March 2004, at which time Judy and he were estranged.[citation needed]

In June 2009 Des Moran, Lewis's brother, was murdered. Judy Moran was arrested, charged and subsequently convicted of his murder.[4]


Just under two weeks after the death of her de facto husband, Lewis Moran, Judy Moran signed with celebrity agent Harry M. Miller and announced that she was planning to write a book of her experiences, intending to "clear her estranged partner's name."[5] The announcement immediately brought criticism: both police and the leader of the Victorian Opposition, Robert Doyle, were reported to be "outraged" at the news,[6] and a victims of crimes group called for new legislation to prevent the book from being published.[7] However, while Victorian law prohibits people convicted of a crime from writing or selling stories about those actions, Judy Moran had never been convicted or charged in relation to her family's activities.[8]

Although the book was delayed in October 2004,[9] it was released in February 2005 as My Story through Random House, and covered her upbringing in Carlton, the murders of her husbands and two sons, and her relationship with other underworld figures.[10] Less than a week later, Random House recalled the book from sale and pulped 20,000 copies after it was revealed that the book contained false allegations in regard to a deceased Victorian detective, Fred Silvester.[11] At the time Random House stated that the book would be reprinted without the false allegations, and the book was reprinted and returned to book stores in May of that year.[12] As of August 2005 over 4500 copies of the book had been sold.[13]

In 2007, Moran revealed that she was in the process of writing a second book.[14]

Murder of Des Moran[edit]

On 15 June 2009 Moran's brother-in-law Des Moran (commonly known as "Tuppence") and brother of Lewis, was shot dead in Ascot Vale. On 16 June, Judy Moran and three others were arrested in connection with his murder. Those arrested include 45-year-old Suzanne Kane, sister-in-law of Moran's deceased son Jason Moran and daughter of Painter and Docker Les Kane, an associate of Lewis Moran who was murdered in his family home on 19 October 1978. Moran and Kane were subsequently charged with being an accessory after the fact and Kane's partner, 43-year-old Geoffrey Amour, was arrested in Portland and charged with murder.[15] The fourth person arrested was later released without charge.

At an out-of-sessions bail hearing in the evening of 16 June, police alleged Moran concealed the getaway car in her garage and later disposed of it in Mincha Street, Brunswick. Police had her under surveillance and she was arrested as she walked back to her home. Police discovered a rifle in the abandoned car and white gloves Moran was allegedly seen wearing while driving the car were found discarded in bushes nearby. On executing a warrant on Moran's home, police allegedly discovered a hidden safe containing three hand guns, two stolen Victorian licence plates, a wig and clothing which police claim matches witness descriptions of clothing worn by the gunmen.[16] Moran was remanded into custody on 16 June and later that night her home in Ascot Vale was set on fire in an apparent arson attack.[17]

On 17 June, Moran and Kane appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court before Chief Magistrate Jelena Popovic who denied bail on grounds that their access to weapons represented a danger to the community and remanded them into custody to reappear on 9 September.[18] On 18 September, Kane's partner, Geoffrey Amour, faced Melbourne Magistrates' Court charged with murder. He was also remanded to reappear on 9 September and magistrate Dan Muling granted his lawyer's application for an order suppressing publication of Amour's image.

On 9 March 2011, a jury found Moran guilty of murdering Des Moran.[4]

On 10 August 2011 Judy Moran was sentenced to 26 years' jail, of which she will serve a minimum of 21.[19]

In popular culture[edit]

Moran was portrayed by Caroline Gillmer in the 2008 TV series Underbelly. In 2014 Moran was played by Debra Byrne in the mini series Fat Tony & Co.


  1. ^ Roberts, Brendan (17 June 2009). "Judy Moran's life surrounded by violence". Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  2. ^ "Judy Moran signs with Harry M Miller", Sydney Morning Herald, 12 April 2004.
  3. ^ Topsfield, Jewel, and Adam Morton. "Underworld man shot in daylight hit", The Sun-Herald, 22 June 2003.
  4. ^ a b Petrie, Andrea (9 March 2011). "Moran guilty of murder". The Age. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Judy Moran signs with agent". The Age. Melbourne. 15 December 2003. 
  6. ^ Anderson, Paul; Connolly, Fiona (12 April 2004). "Crime Pays". Herald Sun. 
  7. ^ Hart, Karen (13 April 2004). "Crime mum's book move riles victims". Geelong Advertiser. 
  8. ^ "Judy Moran signs with Harry M Miller". Sydney Morning Herald. 12 April 2004. 
  9. ^ Buttler, Mark (1 October 2004). "Gangland book delay". Herald Sun. 
  10. ^ "Crime family matriarch defends book". The Cairns Post. 8 February 2005. 
  11. ^ Bachelard, Michael (17 February 2005). "Slur sees Moran memoir pulped". The Australian. 
  12. ^ "Crime widow faced death threats". AAP. 29 May 2005. [dead link]
  13. ^ Anderson, Paul (12 August 2005). "Moran bid for crime payout". Herald Sun. 
  14. ^ Hewitt, Sue (11 March 2007). "The gang's all here". Sunday Herald Sun. 
  15. ^ Four people arrested over killing of Des Moran, The Australian, 16 June, 2009.
  16. ^ Anderson, Paul, Judy Moran and three others charged over Desmond Moran killing, The Herald Sun, 16 June, 2009.
  17. ^ Rout, Milanda Judy Moran expected to make bail application after house set on fire, The Australian, 17 June, 2009.
  18. ^ Rout, Milanda; Wilson, Lauren, Judy Moran denied bail over gun bust The Australian, 18 June, 2009.
  19. ^ Farnsworth, Sarah (10 August 2011). "Judy Moran jailed for 26 years". abc.net.au. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 

External links[edit]