In the months leading up to his death, Carl Williams sent a paranoid letter from his prison cell outlining his fears his inner circle had turned against him.
In neat cursive handwriting, the convicted gangster – who sparked Melbourne’s bloody underworld war – outlined his fears of betrayal.
Eerily, what at the time appeared to be the paranoid ramblings of a desperate criminal turned out to be 100 per cent correct, with police receiving information about his crimes and associates.
A letter sent by Carl Williams (pictured) before he was brutally murdered in jail
Carl Williams was never one to shy away from the spotlight and would pose outside court
Carl Williams at the height of his powers is followed closely by wife Roberta Williams
The never-before-seen prison letter, sent just months before his brutal execution, reveals Williams believed a trusted lieutenant was a double agent who helped police turn his hitman into a police snitch.
Williams was murdered in April 2010 in a secure unit of Barwon Prison after he agreed to turn rat against fellow criminals in exchange for extraordinary concessions from Victorian authorities.
He had started his meteoric rise to criminal fame in the 1990s, working as a ‘gopher’ for Melbourne’s notorious Carlton Crew.
Police had already agreed to pay for his daughter Dhakota’s school fees at Melbourne’s exclusive $20,000 Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School when he was killed.
News of the deal was splashed across a Melbourne newspaper on the day Williams was bashed to death by notorious prison gang boss Matthew Johnson.
Dhakota Williams (right), and Williams’ step-daughter Breanne Williams, arrive at the funeral for Carl’s father George Williams at Saint Therese’s Parish in 2016
Matthew Johnson prepares to kill Carl Williams in a CCTV image captured from prison. Carl is reading a copy of a newspaper that reported he was a police snitch
Carl Williams claims there is a ‘lot more stuff’ that he can’t say in the letter
Carl Williams, who called himself ‘The Premier’ signs off: ‘be good or be good at it’
In chilling CCTV footage captured from Barwon Prison, Williams is seen reading the newspaper with his killer standing behind him with the weapon that would be used to bludgeon him to death.
THE RISE AND FALL OF CARL WILLIAMS
Early 1990s: Carl Williams is a low-level drug dealer working as a ‘gopher’ for Melbourne’s notorious Carlton Crew
October 13, 1999: On Carl Williams’ 29th birthday Jason Moran puts a .22 slug into his guts over a drug dispute
June 15, 2000: Williams murders Mark Moran outside his Aberfeldie home
June 21, 2003: Williams hires a gunman to deal with Jason Moran at a kids’ football clinic in Pascoe Vale
April 2003: Mark Mallia, a wanna-be drug baron from the western suburbs, was tortured, murdered and his body burned
October 23, 2003: Williams hires the Moran hit team to murder Michael Marshall in front of his young son in a South Yarra street
March 31, 2004: Two gunmen blast Lewis Moran inside the Brunswick Club
June 2004: Purana taskforce detectives arrest Williams
Various conspiracy theories and investigations into why Williams was murdered have amounted to nothing.
Williams, who proudly named himself ‘The Premier’ during his period at the top of Melbourne’s underworld, signed off the letter ‘Be good or be good at it’.
The hitman Williams feared had turned gave a detailed statement against him and drug lord Tony Mokbel, telling police how the murderous crew met, how they chose and targeted victims for assassination, and also identified corrupt police.
It was the crucial police break that ended Melbourne’s bloody underworld war which claimed at least 20 lives.
The hitman – who can now only be referred to publicly as ‘Witness B’ – received a discounted jail sentence, which he served in a secret location.
‘(The lieutenant) admitted….. that (the lieutenant) told or advised (Witness B) to go with the police and make a statement against me,’ Williams wrote.
He went on to claim the lieutenant visited Witness B and advised him to strike a deal with police.
The body of Carl Williams after it was dragged from the spot where he was bludgeoned to death
Carl Williams was buried in a gold casket before a who’s who of colourful identities
Williams wrote that he believed the lieutenant was a police plant who was used to end Melbourne’s brutal underworld war.
‘Believe me I am 100 per cent right, as much as I don’t want to think I was right, the writing was on the wall,’ Williams wrote.
The lieutenant’s conduct has been the subject of at least two secret high-level police investigations and his identity remains a heavily protected state secret.
The lieutenant, who has been warned of death threats, denies ever being a police plant and has resisted requests to join the secretive Witness Protection Program.
Williams wrote of his affection for the trusted lieutenant, stating he would go into battle for his friend.
‘I had a lot of time for (the lieutenant) and stuck up for (the lieutenant) quite a lot of times with different people,’ he wrote.
The pole removed from an exercise bike used to murder Carl Williams inside prison
Carl Williams’ killer Matthew Johnson on one of his many visits to the Supreme Court
CARL WILLIAMS IN WRITING
I trust all is good as can be expected for you. As for me I’m fine.
I received your letter tonight & as always it was good to hear from you.
I am 100% correct as much as I didn’t want to think I was right, the writing was on the wall.
I had a lot of time for (the lieutenant).
There is a lot more stuff that I cannot say at the moment, but believe me I am 100% right, as much as I don’t want to think I was.
I have subpoenaed all material that I haven’t looked over as yet, if there is anything which confirms what I am telling you I will pass it on. I believe there will be.
Anyway that’s all for now.
Until next time be good or be good at it.
Williams’ killer, one of the state’s most feared criminals who was bizarrely housed with Williams, said he murdered the tubby drug dealer in self defence.
Johnson is part of the notorious Prisoners of War jailhouse gang which despises snitches and is known for its brutal hazing rituals.
An official autopsy report showed Williams – who was wearing Calvin Klein underwear – was struck once to the right side of the head from behind while he sat reading the newspaper in the high-security unit’s common area he shared with two other prisoners.
He then fell to the ground where he was struck up to seven times to the left side of his head.
‘He was later dragged, face down by the offender to his cell where he remained for almost 30 minutes before being located by prison guards,’ forensic pathologist Melissa Baker wrote in a report soon after the murder.
The brutal attack saw Williams die almost instantly.
Johnson was sentenced in 2011 to to life in jail with a non-parole period of 32 years.
Matthew Johnson had convinced Carl Williams they were mates before killing him
Only four years earlier, Williams was sentenced to life in jail with a minimum term of 35 years for the murder of three rivals.
Williams pleaded guilty to the murders of underworld figures Mark Mallia (August 2003), Jason Moran (June 2003) and Lewis Moran (March 2004).
He had previously been found guilty of the murder of Michael Marshall, who was shot dead outside his Toorak home in October 2003.
The murders happened at the height of Melbourne’s notorious gangland war that raged between 1998 and 2006, leaving 27 dead.
Carl Williams in the prison dock on being sentenced to life in jail
Lewis Moran, 58, was shot dead in the inner-city Brunswick Club on March 31, 2004.
Jason, 36, was shot dead as he sat in a car watching a children’s football clinic in Essendon in June 2003.
Mallia’s charred corpse was found in a drain in Sunshine, in Melbourne’s west, in August 2003.
At the time, Williams’ barrister David Ross QC told the court there should be a minimum term fixed for his client.
‘That is, he should not leave prison in a box, that he should be able to walk out at some stage,’ he said.
He needn’t have worried.
A snap of Carl Williams relaxing on the couch back when he ruled Melbourne’s underworld