Notorious gangster's evil plan to get him off murder hook
Gangland boss Carl Williams hatched a desperate plan to try to get Mick Gatto to give evidence in his defence at a murder trial.
Ahead of the 10th anniversary of Williams' jailhouse slaying on Sunday, the Herald Sun can reveal that he wanted ex-wife Roberta to visit Gatto "ASAP" ahead of his trial over the killing of Jason Moran.
Jailhouse notes he wrote to her were titled: "I believe if this is done we will win.''
They were written after Gatto sensationally persuaded a jury in 2005 that he had killed Andrew "Benji" Veniamin in self-defence at an Italian restaurant in Carlton in 2004.
Considered enemies at the time, the prospect of Gatto testifying for Williams was remote.
There is no suggestion he was ever approached.
Regardless, Williams wrote: "I believe Mick Gatto can give evidence for the defence (me) at Moran/Barbaro trial of what he told me."
Williams had been charged with arranging a hit on Moran, gunned down alongside Pasquale Barbaro at an Auskick clinic in Essendon in 2003.
Roberta Williams said she wasn't aware of the bizarre plan. A decade on from her ex-husband's death, she told the Herald Sun that she would rather he had been "shot on the street" than killed in a sneak prison attack: "No one deserves to be killed like that."
She claimed "nothing's been done" to uncover the truth of his murder inside high-security Barwon Prison.
Matthew Johnson, a violent gang leader and one of two men sharing a secure unit with Wiliams, attacked him with the seat stem of an exercise bike after it became known Williams was co-operating with police on unsolved gangland murders.
Guards failed to notice the attack on CCTV as Williams lay dying for 27 minutes.
"The prison officers haven't been held accountable, when clearly you'd have to be stupid to think they weren't behind it,'' Roberta said.
"The one question I asked was: 'There was one person who was supposed to be monitoring the cameras. That was their only job. How did that person move away from their station for that long?' It doesn't take 27 minutes to zap something in the microwave."
Roberta said there "could be many reasons he was murdered", but ultimately blamed his supergrass lawyer, Nicola Gobbo. Williams' notes were unearthed by a royal commission probing Gobbo's role as police informer Lawyer X. Williams had suspected for years that she had double-crossed him.
The note discussing the Gatto plan ended with "urgent" instructions for Gobbo to get a statement on his behalf off another person.
Roberta blamed Gobbo for Carl's death. "She caused it all, she's to blame. Carl would still be here if it wasn't for her. Look how many lives she's ruined," she said. She will tomorrow visit Williams' grave with family, including their daughter Dhakota, 19.
THE MYSTERY OF NO INQUEST
Rob Stary was among the last people to speak to jailed gangland boss Carl Williams, and has revealed he could hear barking and howling down the phone line.
The call on the morning of April 19, 2010 came in the wake of a Herald Sun story about Victoria Police paying the school fees of Williams' daughter.
Williams told Stary he wasn't too bothered, even though the high-profile Barwon Prison inmate had publicly been outed as a police informer.
"I heard it in the background," Stary said of the dog howls. "I was the last person to speak to him."
Williams' death, within hours of the call, pained Stary on two fronts.
He had worked hard to position Williams to gain a sentence discount - most likely a decade shaved off his 35-year minimum prison term - for his co-operation in the prosecution case against Paul Dale, a former police officer.
Dale had been charged with ordering - through Williams - the murder of Terence Hodson, a criminal and a police informer who informed to Dale.
The deal also meant Williams would also be required to roll on a former friend, hitman and fellow inmate Rod Collins.
Stary said he remained mystified that a coronial inquest into Williams' murder never happened.
"At the time (of Williams murder) I called for a royal commission," he said.
"It was bigger than what happened to him."
Stary believes the bigger picture has never been unearthed.
"I'm staggered there was never a coronial inquest," Stary says.
"There were enough alarm bells. Not to have a proper inquest was designed to avoid many of the other issues."
Among those issues was Lawyer X Nicola Gobbo, a lawyer turned police informer who acted as Williams' lawyer before becoming a Crown witness alongside him against Dale.
Dale had an association with Williams, and she was a conduit between them.
Gobbo was also Terence Hodson's lawyer when he was murdered in May 2004 at his home in Kew, along with his wife Christine.
Gobbo was regarded as a suspect in her underworld dealings leading up to the executions.
Originally published as How Williams asked Roberta to get Gatto for him