Carl Williams (criminal)

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Carl Williams
Carl Anthony Williams

(1970-10-13)13 October 1970
Died19 April 2010(2010-04-19) (aged 39)
Cause of deathHomicide (Beaten whilst incarcerated, an exercise bicycle was used as the weapon)
Body discoveredBarwon Prison
Criminal statusDeceased; murdered in custody
Spouse(s)Roberta Williams (née Mercieca) Married 14 January 2001
ChildrenDhakota Williams (f)[1]
  • George Williams (father, deceased)
  • Barbara Williams (mother, deceased)
MotiveMelbourne gangland killings
Criminal charge
  1. Jason Moran (2003)
  2. Mark Mallia (2003)
  3. Michael Marshall (2003)
  4. Lewis Moran (2004)
Target(s)Mario Condello
KilledMark Moran (2000)
(No conviction recorded against Williams)

Carl Anthony Williams (13 October 1970[2] – 19 April 2010) was an Australian convicted murderer and drug trafficker from Melbourne, Victoria. He was the central figure in the Melbourne gangland killings as well as its final victim.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 35 years for ordering the murders of three people and conspiracy to murder a fourth (which was unsuccessful).[2][3] On 4 April 2010, while incarcerated at HM Prison Barwon, Williams was beaten to death with the stem of an exercise bike by another inmate, Matthew Charles Johnson.[4]

Williams enlisted the help of others willing to perform the contract killings in exchange for large payments of cash. At the time of his death, he was in the maximum security Acacia unit of HM Prison Barwon near Geelong.[2] Williams would have been 71 before he was eligible for parole.

Early life[edit]

Williams attended Broadmeadows Technical School, leaving in Year 11. Williams spent much of his childhood in Western Melbourne with his friends and older brother Shane who died of a heroin overdose in 1997,[5] he was married to convicted drug trafficker Roberta Mercieca (born 23 March 1969),[6] with whom he had one daughter, Dhakota, born 10 March 2001. Williams held various labouring jobs before opening a children's clothing store in partnership with his wife, which eventually failed.[2]

On 25 November 1999, Williams, along with his father, George and another associate, were arrested and charged with drug trafficking after a raid on a Fir Close Unit in Broadmeadows illegal drug factory. In excess of 25,000 amphetamine tablets were seized by police, estimated to be worth up to A$20 million.[7]

Williams, who described himself as a semi-professional gambler,[2] was banned from the Crown Casino on 2 April 2004 by police commissioner Christine Nixon under the Casino Control Act. Williams' mother Barbara was found dead in her Melbourne home on 22 November 2008, she had been suffering from depression.

Melbourne gangland killings[edit]

On 13 October 1999, Williams was shot in the abdomen by Jason Moran because he owed the Moran family $80,000; this event gave rise to a lengthy underworld war known popularly as the Melbourne gangland killings. In 2002, after meeting through a mutual friend Tony Mokbel, Williams would court the services of the murderer Andrew Veniamin as his right-hand man until late 2003.[8]

Mark Moran[edit]

Mark Moran was shot on 15 June 2000 after arriving at his home in Aberfeldie. Williams was due to stand trial for his murder, but the charge was dropped when he pleaded guilty to other murders.[9]

Jason Moran[edit]

On the Saturday morning of 21 June 2003, Jason Moran and a colleague, Pasquale Barbaro, were fatally shot in the parking lot of the Cross Keys Hotel in Strathmore, Melbourne,[10] where Moran and Barbaro had brought five children to attend an Auskick football clinic.

The clinic had just finished, and many adults and children were standing around.[11] Moran and Barbaro sat in the front seats of Moran's minivan—with the five young children sitting in the rear—a gunman approached and fired both a shotgun and a handgun into the vehicle.[10] Both men died at the scene. [2] Three years earlier, a shotgun and a handgun had been used to gun down Moran's half-brother Mark.[10] Two of the children in the minivan were Moran's, and all were age 7 or under.[11]

The gunman—nicknamed "The Runner" before he was identified—later told police that Carl Williams was the person who paid him to kill Moran and Barbaro, and that Williams had paid him less than the fee he was originally promised.[11] Williams later pleaded guilty to the murder of Jason Moran.[12]

Mark Mallia[edit]

Mark Mallia was an associate of murdered underworld criminal, Nik Radev.[13] At 8.05am on 18 August 2003 a fire was reported in a stormwater drain in Sunshine. Fire brigade members attending to the fire recovered a wheelie bin containing the remains of a charred body inside, later identified as Mallia.[2]

Michael Marshall[edit]

Marshall was shot outside his luxury South Yarra home in front of his five-year-old son on 25 October 2003.[2]

Lewis Moran[edit]

Lewis Moran was fatally shot in the inner-city Brunswick Club on 31 March 2004. Williams pleaded guilty to his murder.[2]

Arrest and confession[edit]

On 28 February 2007, Williams pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Victoria to the murders of Lewis Moran, his son Jason Moran, and Mark Mallia (whose name was initially suppressed by the court).[13]

Williams also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder gangland rival Mario Condello. A suppression order prevented the media from reporting this until the day of sentencing.[14] Under a deal with police, Williams was not charged for his alleged involvement in orchestrating the murder of Mark Moran, Jason Moran's half brother.[9]

It was also revealed that Williams was serving a sentence of 21 years for the 2003 murder of Michael Marshall; the outcome of this trial had previously been suppressed.[2]

Summary of criminal convictions[edit]

Date Conviction Sentence Notes
May 1990
Fined $400 [2]
March 1993
  • Criminal damage
  • Throwing a missile
Sentenced to 150 hours community work
December 1994 Attempting to traffic in a drug of dependence Sentenced to 12 months imprisonment (six months suspended for a period of two years)
29 October 2004 Drug trafficking Sentenced to 7 years imprisonment [15]
19 July 2006 Murder of Michael Marshall Sentenced to 27 years imprisonment; 21 years non-parole period [2]
7 May 2007 Murder of Jason Moran Sentenced to life imprisonment
7 May 2007 Murder of Mark Mallia Sentenced to life imprisonment
7 May 2007 Murder of Lewis Moran Sentenced to 25 years imprisonment
7 May 2007 Conspiracy to murder Mario Condello Sentenced to 25 years imprisonment

School fees revelation[edit]

On 19 April 2010 News Limited newspapers including the Herald Sun revealed that Victoria Police were paying $8,000 in school fees for Williams' daughter; the reason for the payment was not revealed at the time. However, during the 2011 murder trial, it was revealed Williams had turned informant and had struck a deal with Assistant Commissioner Simon Overland. Williams gave information on several unsolved murder cases believed to have involved corrupt officers and it was also revealed his murderer may have been implicated in at least one of those cases.[16] Williams' lawyer Rob Stary said Williams was upset about the publication of the story.[17]

There was speculation that the police may have agreed to pay the school fees in exchange for information and that publication of the story may have led to Williams' death;[18] the Herald Sun defended its publication of the story.[19]


On 19 April 2010, Williams died from head injury while incarcerated at Barwon Prison, he was struck with part of an exercise bike by another inmate,[17] Matthew Charles Johnson, who was convicted of the murder,[20][21] and sentenced in December 2011 to 32 years in jail.[22]

Williams' funeral was held on 30 April 2010 at St Therese's Catholic Church in Essendon,[23] he was buried in a golden coffin. In January 2011 it was reported that Williams' resting place consisted of a nameless plot, without a headstone.[24]

The circumstances of his death were investigated by the Victorian Ombudsman. A report critical of Corrections Victoria (for approving Williams to share a cell with Johnson) was released in April 2012.[25] Two months later in June 2012, the Department of Justice Secretary Penny Armytage resigned and earlier in May the Corrections Victoria Commissioner Bob Hastings had resigned.[26][27][28]

In popular culture[edit]

Williams was portrayed by Gyton Grantley in the 2008 Australian television series Underbelly, based on the events surrounding the Melbourne gangland wars from 1995 up to his arrest in 2004.[29] In 2014 Grantley reprised the role in Fat Tony & Co..


  1. ^ "Carl Williams' daughter to get six-figure payout for dad's prison death". Nine Network. Australia. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l R v Williams [2007] VSC 131 (7 May 2007), Supreme Court (Vic, Australia)
  3. ^ "Serial killer called the shots". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney.
  4. ^ "Carl Williams dies in prison: report". The Age. 19 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Carl Williams, dad speak of loss". Herald Sun.
  6. ^ Power, Emily (1 June 2008). "Roberta Williams faces driving charge". Herald Sun.
  7. ^ "Carl Williams". The Age. 9 June 2004.
  8. ^ Shand, A. (2007). Big Shots. Penguin Group.
  9. ^ a b Hunt, Elissa (28 April 2007). "Carl Williams tells of murders". Herald Sun. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  10. ^ a b c "Double murder signals stepping up of underworld war". The Sydney Morning Herald. 23 June 2003. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  11. ^ a b c "The gangland hit that shocked a nation". 21 June 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Williams admits to gangland hits". Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Third Williams victim revealed". The Age. 1 March 2007.
  14. ^ Bice, Katie (8 May 2007). "Carl Williams was labelled 'a killer and a cowardly one' by Supreme Court Justice Betty King when she sentenced him to 35 years' jail in 2007". Herald Sun. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  15. ^ R v Williams & Foletti [2004] VSC 424 (29 October 2004), Supreme Court (Vic, Australia)
  16. ^ "Cops 'pay for Carl's daughter's school'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  17. ^ a b "Carl Williams bashed and killed in jail". ABC News. Australia. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  18. ^ Milovanovic, Selma; Webb, Carolyn (20 April 2010). "Killed by a trusted inmate". The Age.
  19. ^ Butcher, Steve (20 April 2010). "Paper defends school fee report". The Age.
  20. ^ Millar, Paul (20 April 2010). "Carl Williams murder accused appears in court". The Age.
  21. ^ Butcher, Steve (19 October 2010). "Revealed: the man charged with Carl Williams' murder". The Age. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
  22. ^ Hunt, Elissa (8 December 2011). "Carl Williams' killer Matthew Johnson jailed for at least 32 years". Herald-Sun. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  23. ^ Duncan, Jamie (27 April 2010). "Williams' funeral on familiar ground". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  24. ^ Flower, Wayne (20 January 2011). "Gangland figure Carl Williams' resting place a pile of mud with no headstone". Herald Sun – via
  25. ^ "The death of Mr Carl Williams at HM Barwon Prison - investigation into Corrections Victoria". Ombudsman Victoria. April 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  26. ^ "Justice chief stands down in wake of Williams probe". The Age. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  27. ^ "Justice head resigns over Williams probe". ABC News. Australia. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  28. ^ "Victoria's prisons boss resigns". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australian Associated Press. 11 March 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Boys in the hood". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 February 2008.