06-12-2013, 08:10 AM #1
Australia - Donald Mackay, 43, Griffith, NSW, 15 July 1977
Short Overview of Donald Mackays case:
Source: Australian Dictionary Biography
[i]About 6.30 p.m. on Friday 15 July 1977 Mackay left the Hotel Griffith and vanished. His bloodstained vehicle was located seven hours later in the hotel car park. Three spent .22 cartridges lay nearby. Public indignation at the failure of the police to find Mackay's body led the premier Neville Wran to appoint Justice Philip Woodward royal commissioner to inquire into drug trafficking. He reported in 1979 that Mackay was murdered by a 'hit man' on behalf of the Griffith cell of N'Dranghita (The Honoured Society). In 1984 the local coroner found that Mackay died of 'wilfully inflicted gunshot wounds'. His wife, two sons and two daughters survived him.
In 1986 James Frederick Bazley, who protested his innocence, was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiracy to murder Mackay. The report in 1987 of a special commission of inquiry into the police investigation of the death of Donald Bruce Mackay named police officers, politicians and 'Society' members. Few, if any, doubt that Mackay was murdered in 1977, but many questions concerning his disappearance remain unanswered.[i/]
UPDATE: wed 12th june 2013
Police search property in NSW for remains of Donald Mackay
STATE and federal police officers spent this evening working to excavate a remote NSW property as part of the investigation into the death of Donald Mackay, the victim of one of Australia's most notorious unsolved murders.
The operation, which took place on a property near Hay in the NSW Riverina and was believed to focus on a mineshaft, involved dozens of officers, with a mechanical excavator brought in to assist the search in the late afternoon.
Anti-drugs campaigner Mackay, whose death has been described as Australia's first political assassination, was killed in 1977, after leaving a hotel in the nearby town of Griffith, where he had been drinking with friends.
The furniture salesman's keys were left lying on the ground next to his locked van, which was smeared with blood, and three spent .22 calibre cartridges were found on the road nearby.
His wife Barbara died in 2001 without knowing where her husband's body was dumped.
06-12-2013, 08:17 AM #2
This is unbelievable! I remember watching the true crime shows featuring this case. Very sad. Really hoping they find his body for his family. This will traumatise them all over again.
What makes me mad is that someone has known where he has been this whole time, and has withheld this knowledge. And they'll get rewarded financially too.
I'll be watching this one with interest.
06-12-2013, 08:31 AM #3
Its sad when I hear that spouses have passed on without knowing what happened to their loved one
This is one case that needs to be solved.
I wonder where or 'who' the 'new information' came from....
06-12-2013, 08:43 AM #4
ABC NEWS VIDEO REPORT - LINK HERE
Extracts from the transcript:
Mackay had blown the whistle on an Italian mafia drug ring that was behind a multimillion-dollar marijuana trade.
A tipoff has led police to a rural property tonight near Hay in NSW.
(Clive Small is the former head of crime squads with the NSW Police and was an investigator with the Woodward Royal Commission.)
CLIVE SMALL: There have been plenty of searches carried out over the years for the body of Donald Mackay, none of which have been successful. And I think the reason for that is that very few people, if any of them, are still alive, would know about the whereabouts of the body.
LEIGH SALES: So why has a tip off come now?
CLIVE SMALL: Well that's one thing I guess we'll have to wait and see. It's very interesting that it has come at this particular time, but at the same time I think we just need to exercise a fair deal of care before we get too excited about it.
LEIGH SALES: How many suspects were there in the case?
CLIVE SMALL: Well I guess it depends on what you mean by suspects. The fact of the matter is that Justice Woodward identified six people who he said were senior Calabrian Mafia figures and held senior positions in the drug trade and that they all had prearranged alibis on the night of the murder or the day of the murder and he found that very significant.
LEIGH SALES: Of those six, how many are still alive?
CLIVE SMALL: I'm not sure, but probably four.
06-12-2013, 08:49 AM #5
I wonder that too Figtree. I'd imagine their identity will need protecting? I also wonder if it's a criminal making a deal - to shorten a sentence, get parole, or something similar.
Awful thinking about his wife that night - she must have known the risks he was taking, and the enemies he would make. But I'm sure she lived with a broken heart for the rest of her life.
For anyone interested, he was featured in Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities. Andrew McFarlane has an uncanny resemblance to Donald, and played the role so well.
On a side note, any fellow WSers from outside Australia may want to look up the underbelly series - a great insight into the history of Australian crime across the decades. Be warned though, there's a bit of nudity and violence
06-12-2013, 09:15 AM #6
06-12-2013, 09:30 AM #7
Plenty of trailers for the show though...
Found one vid on an alternative view...
Who Killed Don Mackay
"The doco shows why the version shown in the TV series Underbelly was wrong and the explains relationship with the Nugan hand Bank. Features interviews with crime writer, Tony Reeves (author of Mr Sin and Mr Big) and with Ian Salmon, the man who discovered the murder scene"
Last edited by FigTree; 06-12-2013 at 09:38 AM. Reason: add link & correct link
06-13-2013, 08:42 AM #8
UPDATE THURSDAY 13TH JUNE 2013
*Killers dumped Mackay in well, police told.
New South Wales police reinvestigating the 36-year-old murder of Griffith anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay have been told two hit men dumped the body in a well at a property near Hay on their way back to Melbourne.
Police have been able to establish historical links between key figures of the Griffith mafia – alleged to have organised the hit – and the property now at the centre of the latest investigation.
Video - Tony Wright Interviewed Mackay 2 days before he went missing:
There was a $200,000.oo reward for information which would locate the body of Donald Mackay - looks like someone needs some money.
Lets hope this tip is the right one and Donald Mackays body is found.
Last edited by FigTree; 06-13-2013 at 08:49 AM. Reason: *add News Headline
06-13-2013, 09:08 AM #9
Very thorough report on the case:
Herald Sun Report by KEITH MOOR HERALD SUN JUNE 14, 2013 12:00AM
06-14-2013, 12:40 PM #10
SOURCE: HERALD SUN REPORT
THE former deputy commissioner whose taskforce cracked the Donald Mackay case expects several murder charges to be laid if Mr Mackay's body is found.
''I have every hope that this new search in Hay will find Mr Mackay's remains, although I am not confident of this outcome,'' Carl Mengler told the Herald Sun.
Convicted murderer James Bazley told the Herald Sun he had nothing to fear from the new search for Mr Mackay.
"I know I am innocent and there might be evidence if the body turns up that could prove that," Bazley said.
But Bazley, 87, is living in a dream world if he thinks finding the body will help him in any way.
06-15-2013, 08:33 AM #11Registered User
- Join Date
- Dec 2012
- NSW, Australia
How does it take two years to act on a tip off or am i misreading the following article?
I remember this growing up. How sad, i didn't realise his wife had passed in 2001.
You are also right about Andrew McFarlane. When i was googling i was amazed at the likeness of some the other underbelly characters to the actors that played them.
06-15-2013, 10:46 PM #12
It is widely believed Melbourne hitman James Bazley was the trigger-man but despite ailing health, he has steadfastly refused to reveal to authorities where he dumped Mr Mackay’s body.
06-21-2013, 08:06 AM #13
Headline: Big find in hunt for Donald Mackay
Extracts from the article:
Sources told The Daily Telegraph officers had located the landmark after several days spent digging at Willow Farm, on Maude road just west of the small rural town of Hay.
Speaking on Friday last week search commander police Detective Superintendent Michael Rowan said the tip-off had been investigated by officers and had been verified to the point where it "couldn't be ignored".
Ex-editor of the Griffith based Area News Terry Jones said he was contacted during part of that investigation last year about a journalist working for the paper at the time, which The Daily Telegraph has chosen not to name.
"They rang me last November and asked me and another editor about a journalist we had working for the paper," Mr Jones said. "He was in court the day of the trial of the Coleambally (marijuana drug bust) accused."
"He died not so long ago. But he must have left something about the case behind in written form."
Mr Jones said the latest search was in an area which made no sense and was "a long way off the beaten track" but pointed out it was the largest and most "site specific" in the last 30 years.
"What (suppressed) has written and left behind who knows," he said.
07-26-2016, 06:27 AM #14
In 1977, Mr Mackay was murdered by hitmen acting on instructions from the Calabrian mafia, also known as the ‘Ndrangheta. His fierce stand against the expansive cannabis-cultivation trade led to his death.
Italian roots run thick in Griffith, with 60 per cent of locals tracing their heritage back to Italy.
The Calabrian mafia maintains its influence in the Griffith region through familial links, dating back to the 1930s...
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