New Evidence for an old Murder (DM1)

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New Evidence for an old Murder

Two days before the 35th anniversary of the disappearance of Donald Mackay,  the NSW Government announced a doubling of the reward for information leading to the recovery of the remains of the Griffith businessman to $200,000.

Mackay went missing from the car park of a hotel in Griffith on the evening of 15 July, 1977. Although the evidence suggested he had been murdered (his car door was splattered with his blood and there were three spent .22 shells found nearby) no body was ever found. A convenient patsy, James Bazley, would serve fifteen years in Victoria, not for murder, but for conspiring to murder Don Mackay, on an improbable account of the murder: the lone assassin theory.

Jimmy Bazley was framed by Gianfranco Tizzoni, the Supergrass. Tizzoni was facing ten years for major drug trafficking charges when the Victorian police started playing the game of snitch with him. Tizzoni played it so often, he ended up gaming the police by framing James Bazley. He and his gang were given indemnities for their drug charges because Tizzoni pleaded guilty to a bigger charge, ordering three murders, including the murder of Don Mackay, which he said were carried out by Bazley. Unaware that a lone assassin story was contradicted by the evidence, Tizzoni insisted that Bazley was a lone assassin to make framing Bazley easier. Bazley always worked alone, Tizzoni maintained, so in court, it was simply the word of Tizzoni and his gang against Bazley, making the conspiracy to murder  easy to win.
Because it was conspiracy to murder, not murder, the witness evidence from the Mackay murder, which would have shown that a lone assassin theory was untenable, was never compared against Tizzoni’s story of a lone assassin. The murder had occurred in New South Wales, a separate jurisdiction. So although the Victorian courts convicted three people of conspiracy to murder Don Mackay, nobody was ever convicted of the murder. Supergrass Tizzoni’s inventions about the murder were never tested against the evidence.
As a consequence of turning informer, Tizzoni would serve only fourteen months, for ordering three murders, a remarkable result when you are facing ten years for drug trafficking, but he gave the Victorian police the trophy of “solving” the biggest murder in Australian history. It was a good looking trophy, but unfortunately it was made from Fool’s Gold.
Explaining the doubling of the reward, Griffith Local Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Michael Rowan, said.
“We are confident that someone knows what happened to Mr Mackay’s body and, in what we believe may be a last-ditch effort to solve this matter, we are appealing for them to come forward. If people wish, they can give us the information anonymously.”
The police also appealed for information that might assist the ongoing murder investigation by State Crime Command’s Unsolved Homicide Team.
“We would very much like to provide some closure to Donald Mackay’s family, and want to hear from anyone with previously undisclosed details about those events 35 years ago,” Detective Chief Inspector John Lehmann of the Unsolved Homicide Team said.
Reporting that the New South Wales government has doubled the reward for information leading to the discovery of Donald Mackay’s remains, ABC radio interviewed the former editor of the Griffith newspaper, Terry Jones, who revealed the probable motive for increasing the reward: “I think the man who holds the key to it all is James Frederick Bazley. He claims that he was framed and that he never did it. If there’s a new reward coming out and he’s in need of some cash in his dying days, maybe he could be persuaded to claim the reward.”
Thus the reward was only meant for Jimmy Bazley to bribe him to reverse his ongoing denial of involvement in the murder, but only if he could divine the location of the body of a man he never killed. It was an impossible reward.
As a critic of the lone assassin theory, I wrote a media release which was reported in the Griffith Area News on 16 August 2012 in an article called: Mackay murder reward a joke.

DON Mackay was assassinated on the orders of an ex-banker – not the mafia – and a move to double the murder reward was the “last act of desperate men”, a controversial author has claimed.
Queensland academic John Jiggens has long-maintained corrupt former cops Fred Krahe and Keith Kelly were hired to kill Mr Mackay by Griffith man Frank Nugan of Nugan Hand Bank, who feared Mr Mackay would expose drug money laundering operations at the bank.
Mr Jiggens, author of The Killer Cop and the Murder of Donald Mackay, has just released a two-part documentary on YouTube titled Who Killed Don Mackay, challenging the popular theory that Mr Mackay was murdered by hitman James Bazley on behalf of local organised crime figures.
At the heart of his argument is testimony by former Griffith solicitor Ian Salmon, who was first on the murder scene in 1977 and has been a staunch advocate of the “two assassin theory”.
Mr Jiggens blasted the state government for last month doubling the reward to $200,000 into the Mackay murder – and softening the conditions for it to be collected – calling instead for a parliamentary inquiry.
“The doubling of the reward looks very much like the last act of desperate men,” he said.
“After 35 years, they offer more of the same?
“The money would be better spent by actually looking at the evidence that I and other critics have presented.
“The best way to proceed would be through a parliamentary inquiry.”
Mr Jiggens also dismissed the evidence of “supergrass” Gianfranco Tizzoni, who fingered Bazley as the lone assassin.
“For the past 30 years, the AFP have been selling this snitch’s tale to Australian journalists and the Australian public,” Mr Jiggens said.
“Tizzoni was facing 10-15 years for drug trafficking so he began playing the game of snitch with the Victorians and the AFP, hoping to reduce his own sentence by giving up others. Instead of doing 10 years, he got 14 months.
“All along they (police) have known the evidence for his story is so slim it has never been tested in court.
“Mackay was killed by the Mr Bigs of the Australian drug trade. Krahe was a known assassin, in Griffith the day of the murder, and working for Frank Nugan, who was bigger in the drug trade than any Australian has ever been.
“The Mackay murder was Australia’s first political assassination. Surely the NSW Parliament owe it to Don to investigate his murder?”

And so it was, in a curiously ironic manner that the NSW police doubling of the reward would contribute to the solution to the mystery of the Mackay murder. The irony was that the witnesses with the previously undisclosed details about those events did not contact the police.
They contacted me.

 

The Video “Who Killed  Don Mackay” can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw3L0NIifDk#movie_player

Who killed Don Mackay?

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