Football routine killed a gangster 23 June —
Football routine killed a gangster 23 June — Born into a notorious crime family, he had carried a gun since he was a teenager and was considered an expert in counter surveillance. He had repeatedly changed addresses in the past 12 months. After selling his luxury apartment in Grosvenor Street, Moonee Ponds, he moved into his sister-in-law's house, before relocating to the large home of a friendly hotel owner.
The killer would have found Moran's unpredictable movements hard to track. But he did have a habit: To the killer, it was the ideal time to strike. Moran was at his most vulnerable. On those mornings he appeared to be an average suburban dad rather than a gangster in survival mode - although associates say he always carried a gun, even at Auskick.
The killer also would have known - as he watched the spot on previous Saturdays to plan the murders - that no-one would have noticed him, or if they had, that he would have been mistaken for a footy dad or a punter heading to the pub. Advertisement A stranger in a quiet street sparks interest. A man in a busy carpark is ignored as just another face in the crowd. The spot also gave the killer a clean exit strategy - across a footbridge over the Moonee Ponds creek to a waiting car.
On Saturday he rolled a balaclava over his face and blasted Moran through the closed driver's side window with a shotgun before his victim could draw his own gun. He then used a handgun to shoot Moran's long time friend, Pasquale Barbaro, who was sitting in the passenger seat. Barbaro, known as "Little Pat", is believed to have returned to Melbourne about two years ago after serving time in a Perth jail over amphetamine charges.
Unlike Moran, he did not have an extensive criminal record. The same types of weapons, a shotgun and handgun, were used to kill Moran's half-brother, Mark, three years ago. One of the first on the scene on Saturday was ex-policeman, Phil Glare. He found Moran and Barbaro dead in the van. Glare, a former member of the now disbanded consorting squad, is no stranger to gangland wars and public executions. He was escorting Raymond Patrick Bennett to an armed robbery hearing when he was shot dead by an unknown gunman inside the Melbourne Magistrates' Court building in November Bennett's murder remains unsolved.
Police are never short of theories or the names of likely hitmen when an underworld figure is killed. In the case of Jason Moran, two names have already been raised, although there is no proof of their involvement.
Frank employed Peirce, a gun for hire, on a freelance basis when he needed protection. Frank Benvenuto was shot dead in Beaumaris in May and Peirce was said to have blamed the Morans, shooting Mark the following month as a payback.
Jason then shot Peirce to avenge his brother's murder, and the circle was completed with Jason's murder on Saturday. But Peirce's widow Wendy says the theory is just another fantasy. Victor didn't kill Mark and the Morans had nothing to do with shooting Victor," she said yesterday.
Jason Moran was among the mourners at Victor Peirce's funeral. Despite all the bloodletting, Wendy Peirce was still shocked at the way Moran and Barbaro were killed. But Jason Moran himself had shown no remorse for leaving children without a father. He shot dead his former friend and business partner, Alphonse John Gangitano, in his fortified Templestowe home on January 16, Coroner Iain West found that Moran was in Gangitano's house when the gangster was shot three times and that Moran had lied when trying to establish an alibi.
Moran was known as a hothead. Once, when a driver cut in front of him without indicating at the intersection of Bridge and Punt roads, Moran grabbed a wheel brace, smashed the other motorist's windscreen, dragged him from the car and beat him severely. Recently, Moran knew he was under threat and had been looking for new, unlicensed handguns.
He was at war with a man alleged to be heavily involved in the amphetamine industry. A woman nearby heard a voice cry, "No, Jason", just before the shot. The victim has always refused to tell police who pulled the trigger. He is the main suspect for the murder of Mark Moran and now is listed as a suspect in the weekend's double execution. Ironically, the children of the two feuding families attend the same private school.
The wife of the man allegedly shot by the Morans went to the police last year to complain she had been harassed by Jason outside the school. She considered seeking an intervention order but later withdrew her complaint. Jason's father, the well-respected hard man of the family, Lewis, is in Port Phillip Prison, remanded on drugs charges.
He is expected to be given compassionate leave to attend his son's funeral - just as Jason was given leave while serving time for assault to attend Mark's funeral three years ago. Lewis Moran once told friends he was prepared to make sacrifices for his son.
After Mark's murder, Jason placed a death notice in the Herald Sun which said: This is only the beginning. It will never be the end.
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