Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Contract Killers - Chris "Rent-a- Kill" Flannery

Christopher Dale Flannery alias "Mr rent - a Kill" was a notorious contract killer that flitted between Melbourne & Sydney, but is officially listed as dead, though nobody has come forward with definitive proof as to who killed him and where his body is.  Flannery was a greatly feared individual who took up killing because being a bouncer bored him.  This earned him the title of "Rent - a Kill."  The TV series "Underbelly" depicted him as being shot with a machine gun but this is only one of the theories floating about.  Flannery was born in Brunswick, Melbourne, in 1948, left school and started having some run-ins with Police.  He had his first conviction at 17 and it was nothing trivial.  The charges ran from housebreaking, car theft, assault on Police, possession of firearms, to rape.  He received 7 years.  Did he get lucky?

    After release, in 1974, he was suspected of a robbery of a store in Perth, with two others, and was later arrested in Sydney by that notoriously corrupt cop, Roger Rogerson, and bribed their way out.  They were later extradited to Perth to stand trial on the robbery charge and were subsequently acquitted.  Flannery was arrested in Victoria on a warrant for - rape! - and received another jail sentence.  Coming out of jail, he got employment as a bouncer at Mickey`s Disco in St Kilda, Melbourne.  This soon bored him and deciding on a job change, he turned from throwing punches to pulling a trigger.  For a fee.  Mr Rent - a - Kill was born.

    Some of his victims have allegedly been the Barrister Roger Wilson, which seen Flannery charged with his murder in August 1980, alongside Mark Clarkson & Kevin Williams.  The following year, in October, all three were acquitted.  Flannery was immediately arrested by New South Wales for the murder of a Sydney brothel owner Ray Locksley at Menai in May 1979.  The trial in 1982 resulted in a hung jury unable to agree, so a retrial was ordered for April 1984.  This saw Flannery walk yet again.  Now Flannery took up being a bodyguard for top Sydney villain George Freeman.  Gang war broke out amongst factions in the city which Flannery relished, which according to top villain Neddy Smith, Flannery became paranoid and was shooting at anything and anybody.  Smith again, claims that Sydney Police attempted to organise a truce amongst the participants, but this was made extremely difficult by the actions of Flannery.

    Then Police had to step in hard after the attempted murder of a drugs squad Sergeant, Mick Drury.  On |June 6th 1984, he was shot and wounded, allegedly by Flannery.  A friend, Alan Williams, claimed that bribery and sorting out murder contracts was going on between Flannery & Rogerson, but nothing came of this.  27th January 1985, saw the home of Flannery get shot up by an assailant with a rifle.  He was wounded in the hand as he pushed his wife out of the way.  Tom Domican was convicted of this crime but this was overturned on appeal.  Another alleged victim of Flannery was a man called Tony Eustace.  On 23rd April 1985, he was found by two children with six bullets in his back.  Rushed to hospital, he died but not before refusing to say a word to Police.  Flannery received a call from his boss, Freeman, telling him to come to a meeting.  His car failed to start so he hired a taxi.  That was the last seen of him.  Neddy Smith claimed to have seen Flannery get into a Police car with cops he recognised, indicating that they volunteered to take him to see Freeman but killed him instead.  No proof of this has surfaced and as ever, such claims have to be taken with a pinch of salt as whatever villains say, usually is self serving.