Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Home : People Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

 

 

Brian Kane and the Keoghs

and others from the UNDERBELLY of life

 

The Crevelli Street Reservoir neighbourhood where Brian Kane and his brother grew up and were identities in the 1950s and 60s. A few kilometres south the Keogh family was making its mark in Northcote.

Crevelli Street through the eyes of one Reservoir boy:

In the the late fifties and sixties the public housing village bounded by Wood street, Albert Street and the Darebin creek in East Reservoir was known throughout Melbourne’s northern suburbs and beyond as 'Crevelli Street'.

The local police referred to it simply as 'Little Chicago'. The strip shopping centre in Crevelli street was the royal court and the royal family was “the Kanes”.

Brian, Les and youngest brother Ray, known to one and all  as 'Muscles', presumably because he had none, ruled their domain with a combination of adolescent thuggery and anti authoritarian swagger that in the Middle Ages would have inspired wandering minstrels to sing of their exploits.

Post war Reservoir was an oasis of housing commission homes like these. A young woman from this street  was raped by Peter Keogh's brother and his mates in April 1959.

Contrary to their portrayal in the Underbelly series on Channel Nine, the Kanes were not romantic Ned Kelly figures. Whilst it's true they sought to earn a living beyond the constraints of wage labour, they were typical of an underclass in the working class north. I was never besotted with men of their ilk in the Coburg of my childhood.

Rape was a common weapon in the milieu.The girl from the house above was not alone. Peter Keogh, the man who murdered my sister in 1987, was almost a law unto himself when it came to the bullying and rape of women. And the justice system? It was part of the problem.

A police photograph of the path taken by the boys who raped the 'Reservoir' girl in the lane behind Tom Patheras' fish and chip shop in Station Street Northcote.

 

The single-fronted house at 201 Clauscen Street Nth Fitzroy where the Keoghs lived before moving to McLachlan Street in 1958.

Two doors east, towards St Georges Road was the Veitch family - Ian, Geoff and Laurel. Beyond the lane it went: Mustard, Lamb, Bonnell, Sutherland and Fields. Across the road was Terence and Christine Barker.

The Keogh home at 31 McLachlan Street where Peter Keogh lived from 1958 to the early '70s. No woman was safe when he was on the street..

The Keoghs moved here from Clauscen Street North Fitzroy. Keogh was a menace at his school, Merri Creek Primary. A swaggering menace with a hatred of any woman who questioned his authority. It was at the back of this house that he killed 66-year-old Sam Pidgeon in May 1966, three years after being shot by Const Bellessini at Preston Railway Station.

A view of Merri Creek Primary from across the creek. Keogh was in Grade 5 at the school when he alerted the world to his contempt for women.

On 19 December 1959 Keogh was summoned by L/C Armiguet - Brunswick CIB - for the indecent assault of girl from Alister Street, Fitzroy. She was 8 years of age and he received a good behaviour bond.

Bob Bonnell, who went to the school, listed the following people as being at Merri Creek at this time - Butch Magnussen, Jim Tucker, Ted Walsh, Ann Reid, Bev Peach, Barbara Calder, Janise Sedgman.

I'd love to hear from anyone who can add to the story

phicleary@bigpond.com

 

The flats in The Grove in Coburg, where Keogh attempted to rape a woman in 1970.

Again the justice system was a disgrace. Records indicate Keogh received a fine of $35. No wonder he went on to murder!

According to the police report the girl, Cherrie Aileen Thompson, was attacked by Keogh after he went to Flat 8 on 3/8/70 in relation to the sale of a car. He attempted to tie her up with a bedspread and punched her in the mouth after she escaped and hid in another flat. Fortunately, Cherrie's boyfriend arrived home.

 

Canterbury Street Richmond, where Keogh raped a 9-year-old girl in 1974.

Although Justice Rapke - father of the current Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions - was damning of Keogh in sentencing, he gave him a light (around 15 months) sentence. Keogh was clearly dangerous to women and girls.

The flats at 223 Westgarth Street Northcote - now renovated - where Keogh lived around the time of the June 1980 Thornbury Bookshop murder. Keogh was a suspect, but police say he didn't do it.

It was probably in these flats - Number 5/223 - that Keogh raped a 16-year-old girl he'd 'kidnapped' in Station Street, Northcote. The woman had previously been preyed upon by Keogh's mate Brian Freake and was known to him.

The house in Preston where Peter Keogh was living with Brian Freake when he murdered my sister on 26 August 1987.

When Keogh left that morning he told Brian Freake he was going to kill Vicki. Freake rang another friend, Pam Duggan, and told her of Keogh's intentions. Freake was murdered here a decade later.

 

The Quarry Hotel in Brunswick has been renovated since the days when Brian Kane drank there and died there in 1982.

 

The Laurel, a favourite haunt of the Moran crew in the '80s.

Publican Con McMahon had been one of the anxious souls on the floor when Chuck Bennett and his boys carried out the Great Bookie Robbery.

We were standing alongside this pole on a Sunday night in September 1989 when club official, Roly, emerged from the Prince of Wales with his ear severed.

Ear-biting of the kind practiced by Jason Moran that night on Roly was not uncommon among the thugs and standover men of the northern suburbs. It had happened to Moran's uncle, Brian Kane, twenty years earlier.

 

Phil,

I’m currently working in India and at present I’m at work baby sitting the Operating company after a successful start-up of the plant here. I’ve just read one of your articles on the Morans, which I came across whilst looking for articles on the Kane brothers, when I was younger I lived at one time near to both Les and Pat Kane. I still have memories of Les Kane taking me to the greyhounds each week and where we lived which was on top of a factory in Abbotsford (it was like a fortress) I remember the police laying in wait downstairs waiting for someone to open the door so that they could burst in on Les Kane.

I found your article excellent and it also brought back a lot of memories for me when I was young and being raised in Richmond and then moving to Abbotsford.

Regards

 


 

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