Journalist Tom Noble gives an exhaustive account of the cold-blooded 1988 executions of young Victoria Police Constables Steven Tynan and Damian Eyre in Walsh Street, South Yarra, an exclusive Melbourne suburb. The book also details the life and crimes of one of Australia’s most notorious criminal families headed by Kath Pettingill (the film Animal Kingdom is based on the events of Walsh Street and the crime clan).
The events leading up to the murders of Constables Tynan and Eyre are as important as what came after. The death by police shooting of armed robbery suspect Graeme Jensen is believed to have been the reason for the “payback” death of the young police officers who were lured to Walsh Street and gunned down.
Police worked for over two years to bring the men they thought were responsible to justice – Victor Peirce and Trevor Pettingill (sons of Kath) and their friends Peter McEvoy and Anthony Farrell. Integral to the police case was Jason Ryan, Kath Pettingill’s grandson and Peirce’s de facto Wendy, who gave evidence to police that implicated him in the murders but she retracted it before trial. Ryan, 16 at the time of the murders, was the key witness in the trial and under witness protection.
Noble gives a gripping account of how the police case against the accused fell apart and the men were acquitted.
Walsh Street is one of Victoria Police’s darkest days and this book gives a the reader a thorough view of Melbourne’s crime world and one of the country’s most notorious, and unsolved, crimes.
For background into the crimes detailed in Walsh Street by Tom Noble check out:
Why I lied to protect the Walsh Street killers (The Age, October 1, 2005)
The bloody trail of violence that led to Walsh Street (The Age, May 3, 2002)
Victor Peirce dies the way his mother predicted (The Age , May 3, 2002)