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Crime Bosses/Kerr, John/Paper/1921667109/S037-C
The Little Fella, George Freeman, used the phone to tell the owner of The Palace, a Kings Cross casino, everything was `sweet in town' - but that's just for now, change was coming. It sounded like a provisional all-clear, from the officer in charge of illegal gaming in Sydney then. He sounded confident of his information and of his record of having the right oil, handy for exerting power (and casinos did normal trade afterwards). So is having ear of The Big Fella, of Chris Flannery and other hard men.
L'Onorata Societa [The Honored Society], our mafia, will celebrate the centenary of its Australian branch's first killing in the 2020s. In the heel of Italy, they have been at it longer, and the good folk there call the way of the Black Hands, `L'Mal Vita,' the Bad Life. Here, we look at how they handle succession and generational change. It's an antidote to The Godfather, but the shotgun does appear, rather too regularly for those in the top jobs in Australia then and now, just as it does in the movies.
Beer, served in contravention of liquor licence conditions, at heavily marked up prices, after WW2 was the `liquid gold' that gave Abe Saffron his kick-off as the Sydney crime baron they called `Mr Sin'. The sure- footed fixer became most well remembered for providing female flesh, in the chorus, a strip club, a magazine or in private rooms by the hour, as the wars went by.
When troops went to the Gulf the first time, he went to prison after four decades of criminal leadership. Carl Williams joked he ran Victoria, that he was `the premier'. He wasn't even close, of course, but he did behave like the State's Lord High Executioner though, for 5 bloody years. Why did he do it? For 15 years Cabramatta was where heroin was usually available, the number of ambo calls to overdoses on the railway embankment alone a measure of that. Tri Mahn Tran's Viet-Australian 5T street gang wanted to control supply of this major artery, nine blocks of it.