Few names in Australian criminal history are as redolent as the Painters and Dockers. They were a union gone to the bad. From their outset in the early years of the 20th Century, they attracted more than their fair share of shady waterfront characters, and by the 1960s, '70s and '80s they had become a fully fledged criminal fraternity of some of the most violent and dangerous men in Australia. Standover, smuggling, gambling, prostitution and drugs were the daily trade of the Painters and Dockers, whilst arguments and old scores were more often than not settled with the lethal blast of a sawn-off shotgun.
From famous criminals of the past such as Squizzy Tailor, through the recent gangland wars in Melbourne, the story of the Painters and Dockers touches almost every part of our violent and bloody underworld history. Their members and associates are a rollcall of some of Australia's most brutal and violent offenders: Brian and Les Kane, Ray Bennett, Billy Longley and the Moran family among many others.
Written by James Morton, author of the bestselling Gangland Australia (MUP 2008) and Russell Robinson, Shotgun and Standover brilliantly tells the story of the Painters and Dockers in a definitive work of true crime.
Before he turned to writing full time, James Morton was a London lawyer specialising in criminal defence work. He is the author of over 30 books dealing mainly with organised crime. He now divides his year between England and Australia where, with Susanna Lobez, he has written the bestselling Gangland Australia and where he is a keen follower of the Richmond Tigers.
Russell Robinson is an investigative reporter at the Herald Sun, Melbourne. His award-winning journalism includes a series of exclusive stories on the suicide of Joe Korp. In 2009 and 2010 he published a major investigation into the impact of killings by repeat murderer Leigh Robinson.