Kath Pettingill

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Kathleen Pettingill
Born (1935-03-27) 27 March 1935 (age 84)
Other namesGranny Evil
OccupationFormer brothel owner
Conviction(s)Drug trafficking

Kathleen Pettingill (born 27 March, 1935) is the matriarch of the Melbourne criminal family, the Pettingill family.

Personal life[edit]

Pettingill has a glass eye to replace the eye she lost after being shot through a closed door at the Collingwood Housing Commission of Victoria flats by Kim Nelson and Keryn Thompson as she and her son, Dennis, attempted to repay a $300 debt on behalf of her daughter, Vicky.[2][page needed]

Having herself been a prostitute,[3] she went on to run brothels.[1]


Pettingill's children include:

with Dennis Ryan:

  • Dennis Allen (1951–1987), a drug dealer, who died in 1987 of a heart attack while in custody awaiting trial for murder.[4]
  • Peter Allen (born 1953), convicted of armed robbery, who was once Victoria's most dangerous man and has spent 28 years in jail.[1]

with William George "Billy" Peirce (died 1968):

  • Vicki Brooks (nee Pettingill; born 1954), gave evidence against the family in the Walsh Street trial and subsequently went into witness protection.
  • "Shelley" (born 1956), real name unknown. Given up for adoption and reestablished contact with Kath in 1989.[5]
  • "Stephen" (born 1957), real name unknown. Given up for adoption and reestablished contact with Kath in 1989.[5]
  • Victor Peirce (1958–2002), who was acquitted of the 1988 Walsh Street police shootings and was killed in 2002.
  • Lex Peirce (born 1960), who has a minor criminal record.[1]
  • "David" (born 1961), real name unknown. Given up for adoption and whereabouts currently unknown.[5]

with Jimmy Pettingill (died 1972)

  • Jamie Pettingill (1963–1985), who died of a heroin overdose in 1985 at age 21.[6]
  • Trevor Pettingill (born 1965), acquitted of the 1988 Walsh Street police shootings, who has multiple convictions for firearms and drug-related offences and has served several jail terms.[7] He has been described as a "career criminal".[7]


A biography of her life, The Matriarch: The Kathy Pettingill Story, was written by Adrian Tame and published in 1996; as of 2007, Pettingill was living in Venus Bay, Gippsland, Victoria.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

A fictionalised version of her appears in the film Animal Kingdom, in which she is portrayed by Jacki Weaver, who was nominated for an Academy Award for the Best Supporting Actress for her performance.


  1. ^ a b c d "Coming clean". The Age. 1 October 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  2. ^ Shand, Adam (2007). Big Shots. Viking Books. ISBN 978-0-670-04071-1.
  3. ^ Tame, Adrian (1996). The Matriarch: The Kathy Pettingill Story. Pan Macmillan. pp. 58, 60. ISBN 978-0-7329-0854-6. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  4. ^ Munroe, Ian; Butcher, Steve (3 May 2002). "Brace for more gangland shootings, police warn". The Age. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  5. ^ a b c The Matriarch ISBN 978-0732908546
  6. ^ "Crime world loses one of its finest". The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 May 2002. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Melbourne crime figure's son guilty". Ninemsn. 20 May 2010. Archived from the original on 24 February 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  8. ^ Tame, Adrian (10 June 2007). "Bingo dogs' number's up". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2 July 2010.

External links[edit]