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Michael Joseph (Joe) Bannon (1862–1952)

Ex-Superintendent Joe Bannon, the man who led police during the longest gang war Melbourne has known, died in a private hospital on Sunday night.

The gang war was called the Fitzroy "vendetta," and the rival forces were led by "Squizzy" Taylor, a pint sized gunman, and "Long Harry" Slater, a 17-stone thug.

Michael Joseph Bannon, or "Joe," as he was known to everyone around the city, was one of the most astute detectives of the 'twenties.

And as a young constable in the 'nineties he led a squad known as "The Terrible Ten."

These hand-picked, hard-hitting policemen broke up pushes of hoodlums in Carlton, Collingwood, and Fitzroy, known as "The Coffins," "The Crutchies," "The Flying Angels," and "The Bouveroos."

Joe Bannon once had a loaded pistol jabbed in his ribs by a thug who had just shot and killed a pawn-broker in Port Melbourne.

He punched and disarmed the murderer, and had him locked up 40 minutes after the shooting.

Up to 1920 Mr. Bannon had seen 38 successive Melbourne Cups, but he missed the Cup that year, because two hours before the race started a retired engineer was shot dead in Tennyson St., St. Kilda.

As chief of the C.I.B., Mr. Bannon went out on the case himself. With two of his detectives, he traced the gunmen to Melton, and made a sensational midnight arrest on a country road.

Mr. Bannon was 90 last month.

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Citation details

'Bannon, Michael Joseph (Joe) (1862–1952)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]




13 April, 1952 (aged ~ 90)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia