Tuesday, 17 May 2011


I remember newspaper reports from the late seventies about Underworld violence from Liverpool.  One was about an axe gang rampage around the city, late one night and a number of people were attacked in their homes.  It was alleged that many of this gang were doormen at the She Club, a notorious nightclub.  I have heard some tales about this club, and the extremely violent methods used to control the door.  The gang in question were acquitted, after the main prosecution witness refused to give evidence and so was jailed for contempt.

    Shortly after this, a big murder trial started.  Joe Keatley was facing murder charges arising out of the death of Eddie Palmer, a very notorious thug and gang leader.  Palmer was the leader of the "Stanley Boys" a notorious mob well-known for carving up their victims with stanley knives.  The gang comprised of two families, the Campbells & the Fitzgibbons`.  Joe Keatley was convicted of manslaughter and received three years.  My mate Steve, a scouser from the Dingle area of Liverpool, said that his dad stated that Palmer was marked down for murder fifteen years before his death, due to his propensity for mindless violence.  Palmer was declared to have been the most feared man in the city.  Former villain Charlie Siega also told of how he nearly killed Palmer, due to his bullying of a young girl.  These stories are just the tip of the iceberg, as most do not make the national papers.  You would need to do an extensive scan of the archives of the Liverpool Echo.

    The regional TV programme, Granada Reports, did a special on the Underworld in Liverpool.  An interview with Chief Constable Ken Oxford, in which he declared that nearly fifty pubs and clubs were used as a front by twelve crime families operating throughout the city.  It spoke with one of the victims of the axe gang, an interview with a tough club doorman and the run-ins with Palmer and his gang, protection rackets, and the violence that went with it.  Also spoken to was club owner Peter Stockley, who described how he just managed to avoid an assassination attempt.  Shortly after, his club was burned down.