Tongues are flying as yet more AFL football players get caught up in underworld machinations. Three AFL stars were meeting at a pub with a fourth person when that fourth person was kidnapped, beaten and tortured by some other people. Sadly, it's not the first time that AFL players have been in thick of things when it comes to gang violence and organised crime.
(I have to be really careful with what I say here: I'm not afraid of our draconian libel laws since you can't get blood from a stone. You can, however, get blood from a pulverised blogger with a smashed up face and severed toes. Lots and lots of blood.)
Let's step through this.
The three [Carlton] players, Lance Whitnall, Nick Stevens and Heath Scotland, were at the Ivanhoe Hotel drinking with an acquaintance when a group of men, some wearing Hells Angels colours, walked in and abducted the victim. (The Age, 30/7/05)Let's keep in mind that Carlton is the same club where Laurence "Moses" Angwin stated that many of his teammates "used drugs, usually ecstasy, every two weeks or so" (The Bulletin, 18/5/05) .
Also, witnesses are well-connected enough to recognise and parse bikie colours as opposed to, oh I dunno, a Mad Max-themed party. This suggests they are not totally naive in this area. Personally, I couldn't spot a Coffin Cheater from a Hells Angel from an Outlaw. Unless they have it tatooed on their foreheads, a possibility we should not discount. (Mind you, once the bolt cutters are applied to appendages any notions of a Mad Max homage are quickly dispelled and you can be pretty sure you're dealing with a genuine Bad Scene.)
Now, who was this abducted individual? Apparently the poor bloke's name is Brendan Schievella. The newspaper is reporting that his
... father Mike "Lucky" Schievella, 44, and partner, Heather McDonald, 36, were murdered in their St Andrews home in 1990. The pair, who were known drug dealers, were bound and their throats slashed. The murders have never been solved. Brendan Schievella's uncle, Thomas Schievella, was arrested by the National Crime Authority in 1986 and sentenced to six years' jail for drug trafficking. (The Age, 30/7/05)
"Lucky"? Geez, what sick bastard makes up these underworld nicknames? Anyway, we can be sure that Brendan has many other characteristics besides belonging to what the media blithely refer to as a "crime family". For example, he plays for the Diamond Creek Football Club. But they won't print that, just nasty facts about his family.
OK, so what happened to young Brendan? Apparently, the group
...walked in and abducted the victim ... Witnesses said the man was beaten and then forced into a car and driven away ... The badly beaten victim was taken to the Austin Hospital the next day. Doctors had to amputate one of his toes, which was mangled - probably with a set of bolt cutters. (The Age, 30/7/05)
That is so awful I don't know what to say, other than I hope it hasn't ruined his football playing days. (I've got no major beef with amateur footy, just the overpaid prima donnas in the AFL.) I also hope he was so pissed out of his brain when it happened that he didn't feel it.
Next, it's reasonable to ask about the relationship between the players and the victim: "It is believed the players said they were associates of the victim but did not consider him a close friend."
So, at 1am in a suburban pub, three members of a footy club (coincidentally with that week off) that has well-documented drug problems meet an associate - not a friend! - who "is known to have links with several members of the underworld" (according to the paper) and whose family has a history of drug-dealing. The associate is then abducted and tortured by a group including bikies extensively involved in drug manufacture and distribution.
No one knows why. Not the AFL players. Not the victim. Not the police.
Normally we don't speculate here, but in this case it's fair to assume the bikies were trying to head off late-night discussions around a new grassroots anti-drug campaign spearheaded by Lance Whitnall, Nick Stevens, Heath Scotland and Brendan Schievella. United through a love of football and a realisation that drugs have destroyed those near to them (teammates and family members respectively), the four were - most likely - planning a series of television spots, school appearances and a "Say No to Drugs" show bag in time for the Melbourne Show. Sadly, those dastardly bikies got wind of it and wanted to shut the whole thing down to protect their profits.
And until I get bodyguards and libel insurance, I will ruthlessly delete all comments that posit any alternative theories!
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