The Pettingill family is a Melbourne-based criminal family, headed by matriarch Kath Pettingill. Family members have many convictions for criminal offences including drug trafficking, arms dealing and armed robberies.
Two of Kath Pettingill's sons, Victor Peirce and Trevor Pettingill, faced a murder trial for the 1988 Walsh Street police shootings, with both acquitted along with two fellow defendants. Victor Peirce's de facto wife, Wendy, later claimed that her husband planned and carried out the murders with the fellow accused. The family was furthermore involved in the infamous Melbourne gangland killings, where it suffered a major blow, with the death of one of its highest-ranking members, Victor Peirce, and resulting in its power being greatly weakened.
|Other names||Granny Evil|
|Born||November 7, 1951|
|Died||13 April 1987(aged 35)|
|Other names||Mr. Death, Mr. D|
|Criminal penalty||10 years imprisonment|
|Criminal status||Died of heart failure|
Denis Allen (nicknamed Mr. Death or Mr. D) was the oldest son of Kath Pettingill. Allen was sentenced during the 1970s to a ten-year prison sentence for rape and was reported to have been a major player in drug dealing in the Richmond and South Yarra areas during the 1980s.
|Born||25 January 1953|
|Criminal status||Still alive|
|Conviction(s)||Armed robbery, assault, drug dealing, drug trafficking|
Peter Allen is the second oldest son of Kath Pettingill. He has spent 28 years in prison. He is a violent armed robber and has a long list of assault charges. He ran a heroin empire which allowed him to purchase a mansion in Lower Templestowe. This was later taken from him due to the Proceeds of Crime act. He continued to deal heroin in jail.
He is very skilled in court and is the jailhouse lawyer of the family. He was released from prison in 2002 after serving time for an armed robbery conviction.
|Born||11 November 1958|
1 May 2002 (aged 44)|
Port Melbourne, Victoria
|Criminal penalty||6 years imprisonment|
|Children||4 (Christopher Peirce born on 1976, Victor Peirce Jnr born on 1978, Katie Peirce born on 1985–2009 and Vinnie Peirce born on 1992)|
Victor George Peirce was the sixth son of Kath Pettingill. Together with his de facto partner, Wendy Peirce, he fathered four children. He was convicted for drug trafficking and served a six-year prison sentence during the 1990s. He once worked as a bodyguard for murdered businessman Frank Benvenuto.
Victor Peirce was murdered in Bay St, Port Melbourne, whilst parked outside a supermarket on 1 May 2002. It would later be alleged in court by barrister and Queen's Counsel Robert Richter that the now-deceased contract killer Andrew Veniamin had murdered Peirce. Veniamin was shot and killed during an argument in 2004 with Mick Gatto in a Carlton restaurant.
Wendy Peirce was the defacto partner of Victor Peirce. The couple never married but produced four children from their long term relationship.
She entered witness protection for 18 months, estimated to have cost approximately $2million. At trial, she refused to give evidence against the accused and all men were later acquitted. In October 2005, Wendy Peirce gave a media interview detailing how her husband planned and carried out the Walsh Street police shootings  for which he was charged and later acquitted.
In September 2008 Wendy Peirce was jailed for six months after pleading guilty to threatening and stalking former lovers of her ex-partner Victor who was murdered in 2002 during Melbourne's underworld war. The threats included using Facebook to make death threats.
On 15 December 2009, Wendy and Victor Peirce's 24-year-old daughter, Katie Peirce, was found dead in her home in Greensborough from a suspected drug overdose. It has been reported in the media that she had been suffering from a serious heroin addiction. At the time of her death, she and her mother were on bail for an incident at the Clare Castle Hotel in Port Melbourne on 28 March 2009, when Mark Lohse, a regular patron at the hotel, was attacked with a meat cleaver and left seriously injured with a deep and long gash across his face, three fractures to his jaw, broken teeth and facial nerve damage. Police allege that Wendy and Katie Peirce and a third woman agreed to pay Tong Yang A$200 to assault Robert Sales, the father of a woman who was dating Katie Peirce's ex-boyfriend. Sales had been sitting one table away from where the assault occurred but was outside having a cigarette at the time of the assault, and in a case of mistaken identity Mark Lohse was hacked across the face with the meat cleaver. Senior County Court judge Geoff Chettle said at the plea hearing the incident was "the worst example of intentionally causing serious injury he has seen." Tong Yang pleaded guilty to charges of intentionally causing serious injury but Katie and Wendy Peirce both pleaded not guilty to charges that included attempted murder and intentionally causing serious injury and Katie was bailed pending a committal hearing which had only been partly heard at the time of her death. Wendy Peirce was in custody at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre in Deer Park when her daughter died. Wendy Peirce's lawyer said he had spoken to her on the phone on 15 December 2009 to inform her of her daughter's death and would apply to the prison for permission allowing her to attend the funeral.
Lex Peirce (born 1960) is a son of Kath Pettingill and has a minor criminal record.
Trevor Pettingill is a son of Kath Pettingill, born in 1965. He has a history involving drugs and burglaries. He has multiple convictions for firearms and drug-related offences, and has served several jail terms. He has been described as a "career criminal".
Pettingill was charged and acquitted over the Walsh Street police murders.
Vicki Brooks (nee Pettingill)
Daughter of Kath Pettingill. Born in 1954. Later turned against the family and gave evidence for the prosecution at the Walsh Street trial. She went into witness protection.
Victor Peirce's nephew and son of Vicki Brooks (née Pettingill). Star prosecution witness who turned against the family and gave evidence over Walsh Street. Ryan has battled drug addiction for years.
In popular culture
Members of the family, their associates and real life exploits, have been depicted in multiple media works.
- Two Australian TV series: Janus and Phoenix
- The Australian film Animal Kingdom (2010)
- Fears of gangland war in Melbourne, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 23 June 2003
- Coming clean, The Age, 1 October 2005
- Crime world loses one of its finest, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 May 2002
- Shand, Adam (24 February 2004). "Cast of characters; The main Melbourne crime factions and their most prominent members". The Bulletin. 122 (8).
- Munroe, Ian. Butcher, Steve (3 May 2002). "Brace for more gangland shootings, police warn". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
- Jolly Rogerson, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 November 2003
- Victor Peirce dies the way his mother predicted, The Age, 3 May 2002
- Andrew Veniamin shot dead Victor Peirce, court told, Herald Sun, 11 March 2008
- Why I lied to protect the Walsh Street killers, The Age, 1 October 2005
- Nolan, Kellee (15 September 2008). "Wendy Peirce sentenced to six months". Retrieved 14 December 2009.
- Butcher, Steve (15 December 2009). "Gangland daughter Katie Peirce found dead". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
- "Underworld daughter Katie Peirce found dead". Ninemsn. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
- Andrerson, Paul (27 May 2009). "Daughter of gangland widow Wendy Peirce in bitter love feud". Herald Sun. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
- Anderson, Paul (30 June 2009). "Tong Yang pleads guilty over meat cleaver attack on Mark Lohse". Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
- AAP (10 November 2009). "Smoke saved me from meat cleaver". Herald Sun. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
- Butler, Mark (15 December 2009). "Katie Peirce, daughter of hitman Victor Peirce found dead at home of suspected drug overdose". Herald Sun. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
- AAP (15 December 2009). "Dead woman daughter of underworld figure". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
- Iaria, Melissa (15 December 2009). "Gangland widow's daughter dies". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
- Butler, Mark (15 December 2009). "Katie Peirce, daughter of Wendy Peirce and hitman Victor Peirce, found dead at home after suspected drug overdose". Herald Sun. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
- "Melbourne crime figure's son guilty". Ninemsn. 20 May 2010. Archived from the original on 24 February 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
- "Melbourne crime figure's son Jamie Pettingill guilty over assault". News Limited. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2010.