Dancing on the Jetty:
The Death of Michael Hutchence, et al
REVISED & EXPANDED
By Alex Constantine
“Pop eats its young, that’s for sure” – Michael Hutchence on Kurt Cobain
On November 22, 1997, the 34th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination and the morning Michael Hutchence’s body was found tethered by the neck to a door brace in his room at the Double Bay Hotel in Sydney’s eastern suburb, Reuters placed his death in context:
"If Michael Hutchence’s death is eventually ruled a suicide, the INXS vocalist would join a long list of rockers who have taken their own lives. … Joy Division singer Ian Curtis built a career on songs filled with angst, paranoia and death. After making inspired hits such as ‘She’s Lost Control,’ ‘Transmission’ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart,’ he hanged himself in his Manchester, England home in 1980. Richard Manuel, pianist and vocalist with The Band, hanged himself in a Florida hotel room a month shy of his 43rd birthday in March 1986. Little had gone right for him since the group broke up in 1976, and a subsequent reunion -- without main man Robbie Robertson -- further depressed him. … Psychological problems may have played a part in the 1979 death of soul-pop singer Donny Hathaway, who fell to his death from a 15th floor hotel room in New York City. Hathaway, who was 34, was best known for his duets with Roberta Flack."
The mortality rate among rock musicians -- who, as a group receive more than their equitable share of capital, sexual gratification and public adoration -- is unaccountably high. Depression is often cited as the prelude to death among these pitiful creatures. Of course. Michael Hutchence was despondent over a custody battle with Bob Geldof and destroyed himself. Case clo …
But hold the phone. Martha Troupe, his manager, spoke with him by phone at 1:00 am on the morning he died:
The devil lurks in the details, so before rushing this case file to the “Day the Music Died” morgue, one last check in the flotsam of circumstances related to a very peculiar death is in order.
There was no formal inquest. Friends of Hutchence told investigators that the “happy/depressed” rock singer was “involved in kinky sex over the years,” and though it’s fairly certain that he was not the first rock musician (or typical human being, for that matter) to indulge in “kinky sex,” the coroner cast doubt on auto-eroticism as the cause of death. But the salacious indictment appeared in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, took on a life of its own, gathered momentum on the newswires, sprinted across the airwaves and barreled through the world media machine into the minds of the perception managed.
On December 24, police spokesmen announced that they were anxious to quash this ugly rumor. An argumentative skeptic might ask why this particular bit of speculation was reported in the first place. E! News Online:
Two weeks after his death, INXS members called a press conference to complain about a cover story on their late lead vocalist entitled “Auto-Eroticism -- the Sex that Kills” in New Weekly magazine. (New Weekly is owned by the Bauer Media Group, a publishing house that glorifies the Hitler regime.) The article played on the conjecture that Hutchence did not commit suicide but strangled himself accidentally. The stills, lewd S&M bondage scenes, were shot by fashion photographer Helmut Newton two weeks prior. The magazine’s cover featured a photo of Hutchence chained, a ravishing tart barely clad in leather arching over him. Another portrayed the tart wearing a saddle, with Hutchence the domineering equestrian.
Surviving INXSers announced that they were contemplating legal action. A spokesman for the band found the article “incredibly insensitive.”4 It was a smear reminiscent of Albert Goldman’s postmortem demolition jobs.
The Murchoch newspaper chain reveled in the salacious bondage allegations, enraging Tina Hutchence, his half-sister, who posted a scathing OpEd to the world on the Internet excoriating the CEO of the News International Corp.:
Rupert Murdoch has caused much misery to many, many people, famous and otherwise.
‘Hutch Told Mum of Bondage Ordeal’ screeched the headline on the front page of News of the World and subsequent Murdoch-owned rags around the world, just three months after Michael was found hanging in his Sydney hotel room. …
It is soul destroying. You want people to know that it is a lie, an absolute lie. Of course my mother and Michael NEVER had such a conversation. …
You might think, ‘okay, but that’s a gossip paper, take it with a grain of salt.’ But what about when it is repeated in say the Sydney Telegraph, the London Sun and other Murdoch holdings and subsequent books written by people who did not know Michael personally but who took anything they could off the internet and out of so called “serious” newspapers? And that is exactly what has happened since early 1998. …
Is this what we want from the people who give us the news and therefore shape our world? I expect there are some, not many, I’m afraid, journalists who are dedicated to the truth. But if Rupert Murdoch and his family continue to own so much of the press, how can we be sure that we are getting the unbiased truth? Rupert Murdoch has the power to decide who our leaders are because politicians are afraid of his power. …
“Mum, you just don’t know how they’re going to use these pictures.”
This is what Michael said the day they took that photograph they used for their despicable lies.5
Tina Hutchence didn’t know it, but this smear was one smoking gun among many.
Another explanation for Hutchence’s death was not so readily obvious and open to conjecture, but emerged when his family laid claim to his estate. The Murdoch empire’s saturation reporting was a cover story to divert attention from certain connections to the “disappearance” of some $30-million of his funds, as will be seen.
It wasn’t the first time this strategy was employed by Murdoch.
In the ‘70s, his newspapers had steered public attention away from CIA, American military and Australian police ties to the collapsed Nugan Hand Bank, a front for the laundering of drug proceeds, established and operated with an assist from Peter Abeles, Murdoch’s business partner. Legal counsel for the bank was CIA Director William Colby. Directors of the bank hailed largely from the US intelligence establishment and Pentagon.
In 2009, Swans Commentary examined
The “key movers” worked for the US government.
The same Australian Mafia families that supplied the CIA with cocaine, marijuana and other drugs for global distribution stole every cent that Michael Hutchence earned as a performer. Murdoch had an ancillary role in the drug and money laundering activity as perception manager who covered for the “elite interests” of the CIA and corrupt Australian authorities in the ‘70s, a role that he would repeat by concealing the true circumstances surrounding the death of Michael Hutchence 20 years later with sordid sexual diversions.
All considered, it was a damned peculiar death. Senior Constable Mark Hargreaves of the NSW Police media unit, asked by reporters why Hutchence was naked when he hung himself, replied:
He didn't leave a suicide note behind.8
The night before his body was found, Hutchence had dinner with his father and stepmother at a local Indian restaurant. They laughed throughout the meal. His father expressed concern about Michael’s personal problems, but was reassured, “Dad, I'm fine.”
The INXS vocalist “was an unlikely candidate for suicide,” noted Glenn Baker, an Australian pop music historian. “He was the consummate rock star. He took on the role of a star so comfortably. He floated above the pressures. Why he would choose this moment to throw in the towel I think will always remain a mystery.” Ian “Molly” Meldrum, a television celebrity in Australia and close friend, said he last saw the singer in Los Angeles eight weeks before. Meldrum told reporters: “He seemed so happy and at peace, and even said to me, ‘I’ve never been happier in my life.’”9
Zinta Reindel and Tamara Brachmanis, guests at the Ritz during Hutchence's last stay there, talked to him the night before his “suicide,” and recalled, “He looked like he was a bit high on something … but he was happy.” Why not? He was branching out into a thespian career in a Quentin Tarantino production and working on a solo album.
His daughter was to be christened soon. Why abandon her without so much as a note?
Significant details were filtered from most press accounts. Corporate news outlets reported: “SYDNEY, Australia -- Michael Hutchence, the lead singer for the rock band INXS, was found dead Saturday in a Sydney hotel … shortly after midday. The INXS frontman was in Australia preparing for the band’s 20th anniversary tour. His body was discovered by a maid when she went to make-up the room. Prescription pills were found scattered over the floor of his suite and there were bottles of alcohol on a sideboard.”10
Pills, mostly antibiotics, Prozac, booze and a hotel room in a state of squalor -- a death scene consistent with suicide. Hutchence died of asphyxiation. His body was still warm when he was found kneeling, tied to a door, the leather belt looped around his neck. He choked to death – by his own hand or another’s?
Music critic David Fricke, writing in Rolling Stone, supplemented the standard metro daily obit: “His body bore the marks of a severe beating (a broken hand, a split lip, lacerations).11
Yet Australian police found “no evidence” of foul play. Derek Hand, the new South Wales coroner, stated without reservation: “The standard required to conclude that his death was a suicide has been reached.”12 But the coroner’s report did not address obvious discrepancies. Did Hutchence break his own hand? Did he bludgeon himself until his lip bled, then beat himself into a pulp, and by doing so break bones in his hand? Then how, with one good hand and the other in excruciating, throbbing pain, did he manage to loop the belt through the door brace and around his neck securely enough to hang? The coroner didn't address the lingering questions, but was so confident of his verdict that he advised against an investigation: “Nothing will be gained by holding a formal inquest,” he concluded.
A homicide probe would consume unwarranted “time and expense.”
But, please, one more small peek at the record. The suicide verdict may have been self-evident to a trained medical examiner like Hand, but it wasn't universally accepted. Paula Yates appeared on Australian television in March, 1998 to declare publicly that she sought legal advice to contest the finding. She said that Hutchence considered suicide the most cowardly act in the world.
“In no way do I accept the coroner's verdict of suicide.”13
But Australian police clung to it for reasons that had nothing to do with his baby daughter or even his legendary libido, and everything to do with the Australian drug trade and certain local Mafia clans with ties to the CIA.
Whatever Paula and only Paula knew, it’s certain that the name Michael Hutchence appeared on more than one enemies list. He was a political activist. He spoke openly on the Sri Lanka massacre. His will designated Amnesty International and Greenpeace as beneficiaries. And like many popular musicians on the left, he was harassed and set up for a fall.
In a July 1998 interview that appeared in a fan newsletter, Colin Thomas Diamond, Hutchence’s attorney and former executor of his estate, was asked about the vocalist’s September 1996 opium bust and his defense that the narcotic was planted: “Perhaps you should try and figure it out for yourself!” Diamond snapped. “Michael and Paula were out of the country and during that time only a few people had any real access to the place: Bob Geldof, Anita Debney, the nanny who used to work for Bob for twelve or so years, and a woman called Gerry Agar, who had developed a grudge against both Paula and Michael. The police were called days after the nanny claimed she’d found two Smarty packets with opium in them. Geldof immediately had a new custody application before the courts, ‘in light of recent events.’”
Was Geldof, the spurned lover of Paula Yates, responsible for planting the opium? This was the implication, and it may be so, but there was much more dirty work in the wings of the psychodrama that concerned Diamond directly, as will be seen.
“The local police and prosecutors had the media on their case,” Diamond said. “There was enormous pressure on them, but even they had to admit something was a bit fishy. [The court] dropped all charges, remember, and Michael was issued with a certificate of non-prosecution by the Crown.”
When asked if Hutchence “got off” fairly, Diamond snapped again: “Got off, GOT OFF?? I think the question should be who tried to get him on. You figure it out!”14
Whoever wanted him “on” persevered after the opium episode.
The Independent reported in 1998 that
Diamond turned on his interrogator a second time when asked about the late singer’s hopelessly complicated finances, the “missing millions” reported by the press:
Q: You’ve copped a bit of a hiding in the press as some sort of financial Svengali to Michael, with suggestions that, with regards to his estate, all is not as it should be. You've refused point-blank to speak to the media before this, so let me ask you directly: Where's the money?
Diamond: None of your business. That's the point; it’s private. Don’t you guys get it? It’s PRIVATE.
Colin Diamond’s use of the word “private” is not to be found in style guides used by most reporters. Seven months later, Australia's Courier-Mail found the “missing millions,” and a horribly intriguing “Mafia Tie To Rock Star's Lost Riches."”
It was reported that Hutchence
The National Crime Authority, in search of cocaine, descended upon the bowling alley in 1995, a year after it was supposedly sold to Hutchence.
Colin Diamond signed off on the loan to Romeo.
After the death of Michael Hutchence, lawyers and accountants of Mafia-controlled Harbrick were hauled to court by his mother Patricia Glassop and Tina Hutchence in a bid to recoup tens of millions of dollars in assets. Harbrick Ltd. was the nexus in an intricate web of companies, some of them based offshore. The purpose of the lawsuit was to force Harbrick to declare an estimated $25 million in assets not included in the Hutchence estate.
“The NCA … targeted a person associated with Harbrick.” This would be Bruno Romeo, Sr., 69, “jailed for 10 years in 1994 over his role as the ringleader of an $8-million cannabis-growing operation on remote pastoral leases in Western Australia.”
The exact location was Griffith, a farming community 600 km from Sydney – the same Mafia enclave that provided the CIA with drugs before the exposure of Nugan Hand Bank.
Bruno was a director of Harbrick, a family-owned operation,
Australian reporter John Jiggens implicated the Griffith narcotics networks – including the Sergi clan with its familial tie to the Romeos (and therefore Hutchence, with or without his knowledge) -- in worldwide CIA drug trafficking. Local police were also involved, but, Jiggins notes,
As it happens, Jeff Pope, the INSX bodyguard, was a NSW police intelligence officer before he took a 10-year leave to work for the band.
Court documents revealed that representatives of Harbrick in the loan agreement also worked for the intricate web of offshore companies that helped themselves to the finances of Michael Hutchence. Guiseppe’s son Bruno Lee Romeo remained on as a director of the Queensland-registered firm.
Attorneys for Hutchence’s family contended that the bowling alley was purchased by a company called Nexcess with the rock singer’s money, and
Paradise Lanes, the bowling alley/narco-refinery “was mortgaged for $2 million in August 1996 to a UK company called Blomep Finance Ltd, a subsidiary of British-Virgin Islands registered Blomep Holdings Ltd. Andrew Paul is Blomep Finance's sole director and Colin Diamond signed the earlier loan documents. The loan was refinanced in January 1998 to the State Bank of NSW which holds a $2.3 million mortgage over the site. Mr. Paul claims the total net assets for the estate amount to just $1.2 million with the first $800,000 to be divided between two charities.”
Accountants and attorneys for Harbrick in the Paradise Lanes purchase also represented the scattered trusts that controlled the Hutchence fortune: “Gold Coast solicitors J.F. Connors & Associates lodged a deed of charge relating to the bowling alley on behalf of Harbrick in October 1993.The following year the same firm’s principal John Francis Connors witnessed transfer documents relating to Nexcess's purchase of the bowling complex. … Surfers Paradise solicitors Freestone and Kumnick, which lodged charge documents with the ASIC in May 1997 on behalf of Harbrick also entered appearances in the Queensland civil action on behalf of Sin-Can-Can Pty Ltd and Nexcess. Sin-Can-Can owns a lavish Isle of Capri waterfront mansion bought for $1 million in 1995 which Hutchence told his family he owned. Harbrick and Nexcess have also shared the same accountant.”
The accountant was mob frontman Tony Alford. Harbrick shared an address with his Southport accountancy firm from August 1993 to January 27, 1994, a day before Harbrick sold Paradise Lanes to Nexcess. Alford was appointed as a director of Nexcess on January 28, 1994. ... Alford also directed a company called Akcess, which subsequently took control of the bowling alley.
On May 20, 2002, Tony Romeo was let loose from a prison farm near Shepparton after serving a six-month sentence. The day Romeo was freed, a white Toyota Prado was hijacked in Griffith.
The Courier-Mail: “Despite rumours it would be unwise to return to Griffith after serving his jail time, Romeo went home after being released from Dhurringile prison farm, near Shepparton. Six weeks later he was shot dead [by an occupant in the white Toyota] while pruning a peach tree. Tony Romeo died on July 1, 2002 after being shot in the back. He was shot once in the left shoulder and the bullet passed through his chest. Romeo was working near about six other fruit workers when he was shot after returning from lunch just before 3pm. … Romeo was dead when the ambulance arrived.”
Such was the mess that Hutchence’s family inherited and attempted to resolve through the courts. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on May 29, 1998,
Hutchence’s mother and sister charged before the bench that the £16 million in dispute had been siphoned off by Diamond. Australian tax inspectors said that the vanishing funds meant that beneficiaries of the will might not receive a cent.
Outraged, the family filed suit in the Queensland Supreme Court against Colin Diamond and Andrew Paul, Hutchence's Hong Kong-based tax consultant.
The Hutchence clan complained that the pop singer had relinquished most of his assets by signing them over to discretionary trusts, including the luxury automobiles and property in the south of France, Australia and London. His immense wealth had completely vanished into the black grotto of investments and trust accounts, and most, perhaps all of these firms were administered by Diamond and Paul. Hutchence himself was penniless the day he allegedly looped a belt around his neck and found oblivion.
Many of his most cherished possessions “were not actually owned by him,” the Telegraph reported in April 1999, “but were controlled by companies -- themselves under the control of others.”
In August 2005, the Sydney Morning Herald listed the others: Gordon Fisher, a tax adviser who set up the Byzantine trust scheme before he resigned as INXS financial handler in a dispute over royalty payments. Control of Hutchence’s millions was passed to Diamond and Young, whose license to practice was revoked for non-payment of taxes; Alford, a Gold Coast accountant and racing car enthusiast deemed by the Queensland Supreme Court to be “a witness of little credit”; Andrew Paul, the accountant based in Hong Kong and executor of the will.
They were all CIA-Mafia cut-outs.
In 1999, Fisher wrote to the Hong Kong legal firm that handled the estate to explain that the key holding company for the assets was the Vocals Trust. But Hutchence was not the key beneficiary of Vocals, a move intended to “protect his assets from third party claims.”18
And separate him from his money …
Family beneficiaries named in his will were told that only Hutchence’s personal effects would be handed over to them.19
Diamond described himself as a “barrister practicing in international law,” and claimed to have practices in Hong Kong, Queensland and New Zealand, but his name is not registered on a practicing certificate in any of these jurisdictions.20
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on March 8, 1998 that Hutchence “died almost penniless.”
Closed hearings on the will were requested by Andrew Paul, who had the audacity to ask that legal expenses in the pending litigation be underwritten by the estate.
Two years later, Glassop maintained that the will was a forgery. “I don't think that will is a real will,” she told a radio interviewer in Sydney. She pointed out that the document presumed to have been written by Hutchence misspelled the names of herself, Tina and Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, his daughter, whose name was misspelled “Hirani.”
But the author of the will may have been a moot point. “I don't think that Tiger Lily’s money will be there,” she said. “I'm not at all confident. I have no reason to be. I mean why haven't they settled the will yet?”22
Too much funny business, and still no formal investigation of the singer’s death. Reporter Vince Lovegrove, New Idea Magazine commented,
Much has been made of auto-erotic asphyxiation as the cause of death, but the “missing millions” and drug ties offer another explanation, one that did not echo internationally through the Murdoch press.
The Reocities website, an archive on Australian organized crime syndicates, notes that documents ...
“implicated the Romeo family with deceased INXS rock band lead singer Michael Hutchence. Upon further investigation it has been alleged that the Romeo crew illegally obtained a bowling alley, known as Paradise Lanes, owned legally by Hutchence. Despite claims that Hutchence’s 1997 death was linked to the sexual act known as ‘asphyxiation,’ authorities believe that he committed suicide [as a] result of threats made by the Romeo family. What is known is that Hutchence owed money to the Romeo family, and that bowling alley had ties to Romeo family financed cocaine transaction[s], with one such deal resulting in a 1995 raid of the facility.”24
Since “time and expense” ruled out a murder investigation, the world has come to accept sexual asphyxiation or suicide as the most plausible explanations. There is the other, one that a little “time and expense” might have found.
An attempt to kill him in 1993 has, true to form, been completely bungled by authorities and the media.
On February 9, 2014, Jeff Pope, Hutchence’s bodyguard, appeared on Australian television before the premiere of Never Tear Us Apart, a televised drama about INXS.
A former bodyguard has told how a crazed fan tried to kill INXS singer Michael Hutchence with a letter bomb.
Hutchence shrugged off the attack, saying “our aim is to entertain people” and insisting the 1993 tour must go on.
The “clumsy package” was sent to the Australian pop star at a German hotel where the band were staying during their Get Out Of My House World Tour.
Mr Pope said:
The bodyguard took delivery of the parcel, became suspicious about its contents and called the police. He said: “It looked heavy and lumpy. I have done bomb disposal courses and I knew you don’t touch stuff like that. It was meant to burst into flames the moment Michael opened it. I told him what had happened and we decided we didn’t want it to become an issue, something that was going to grab everybody’s attention.
Once again, too many questions are left lingering. Who was the “crazed fan?” Why did the anonymous “fan” try to assassinate one of the world’s most celebrated performers? No explanation. How was it determined that the culprit was “only” a “crazed fan,” why didn’t the police make an arrest to prevent future attempts on the life of Hutchence or others? No explanation.
Did precious “time and expense” hamstring the authorities in this case, too?
Was there a valid reason to explain why the murder attempt was hushed up and not related to the press?
As it happens, Hutchence’s Mafia connections neatly explain everything. Jeff Pope, an Australian cop, provided the timeframe. The letter bomb arrived during the German leg of the Get Out Of My House Tour, early June 1993. The timing and MO are clues that the anonymous “crazed fan” with a minor character flaw – acting out on homicidal impulses – that didn’t seem to merit a police investigation had an actual name: Domenic Perre. The Perre and Romeo clans were related by intermarriage. Domenic was heavily involved in the Romeo syndicate’s drug operations -- he, too, was a Hutchence “business associate.”
The police attempted for ten years to gather enough evidence to put Bruno Romeo behind bars on drug charges. Finally, in 1993, they began to make progress.
In April, a matter of several weeks before the parcel bomb was mailed to Hutchence, Tony Grosser, a police informant, learned that Adelaide police stations had been targeted for bombing by the Romeo family.26 (He gave SA police the names of two men involved in the bomb plot. Both were questioned by police and notified that Grosser had blown the whistle on them, leaving him open to retaliation. This explains why the job was assigned to Domenic Perre.27)
In early June, Hutchence received his bomb in the mail but didn’t open it, and lived four more years.
The following March, in retaliation for the conviction of Bruno Romeo’s father and two brothers on drug charges, a second parcel bomb was mailed to police. The package was addressed to Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Bowen of the National Crime Authority (NCA) in Adelaide. Bowen headed up the investigation of the Romeos. (Perre was the next mafioso he intended to haul into court.)
This bomb was also “heavy and lumpy,” rigged to explode when opened. But it was not shrugged off like the one sent to Hutchence.
An inquiry before State Coroner Wayne Chivell heard that the bomb arrived at the NCA office in a cardboard express post package marked “IBM.” The bomb was packed in a black plastic bag, consisting of a nine-volt battery, wires, micro-switch and a small amount of highly volatile explosive.
After he opened the plastic outer covering, Bowen looked inside and said, with tragic irony, “It might be a bomb.” After examining the package further, he said: “Well, there’s no wires.”
He then removed the cardboard box from within the plastic pack. Using scissors … Bowen proceeded to open the cardboard box by breaking the masking-tape seal. Wallis described what then happened as follows: “There was a loud crack, like a rifle shot or something similar, and I remember Geoff letting out a strangled-type cry, a yell, and falling sideways, and then -- it must have been almost instantaneously -- then there was an enormous buffeting of - like wind buffeting and an enormous sound that I can only describe as very very loud static. That is what it was like. I was immediately blinded. That was the last thing I saw.” …
The coroner listed considerable circumstantial evidence linking a member of the Calabrian Mafia, Domenic Perre, to the bombing.
Perre was spotted by police standing outside the NCA building when the bomb exploded.
Chivell concluded: “In my opinion, the only reasonable inference to be drawn from the evidence is that Domenic Perre was responsible, in the sense that he constructed the bomb, and either posted it or arranged for someone else to post it on his behalf to Detective Sergeant Bowen. I am unable to find whether Perre acted alone or in concert with another person or persons. Accordingly, I find, pursuant to Section 25(1) of the Coroners Act (1975), that the circumstances of the death of Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Leigh Bowen were that he died when he opened a parcel bomb, sent to him by Domenic Perre.”28 (Police informant Tony Grosser contacted reporters about the passivity of the SA Police in response his prior warnings, and an article appeared on the front page of The Advertiser. He complained that he had received death threats from the Mafia and local police officers as well. He was wary of both.29)
Police did not arrest Perre for Bowen’s murder, citing “lack of evidence.” But in 1997 -- the year Hutchence died -- the mobster was arrested in a meth lab sting. The evidence against Perre included multiple confessions made in the course of the investigation:
Perre [possessed] knowledge of red phosphorous, a highly inflammable controlled chemical used in the bomb (and also used in the illegal speed lab for which he was subsequently prosecuted). When asked by the undercover operative why he was reluctant to get it for the drug lab, Perre pulled down his lower eye lid and mouthed the word ‘bomb’... then said: “The police department, that’s what they were looking for.”
Perre was also recorded admitting to an undercover officer about the bombing: “They were all f**king looking in the wrong place. It might be to fucking do with me. At least if they looked in the right place, they might find something instead of pissing me around.”
Perre also was recorded expressing his anger about his house being searched by NCA officer Bowen and said: “They f**king annoyed me so much that I wish I’d f**king done and taken out the whole f**king building, you know. F**k them. The f**king bomb. I dream about it.”
When undercover operative Pahia raised the bombing directly with Perre and asked him if he did it, Perre nodded his head in the affirmative and smiled. On another occasion, Perre was mouthing the word ‘bomb’ to the undercover pointing at his chest and saying: “Do you know what I mean? Do you know what I mean.” These conversations were recorded and independently corroborated by notes taken by NCA investigator Colin McLaren.30
Maria Vittoria De Simone, an Italian prosecutor, issued a public warning concerning the Griffith mob in June 2012:
Police confiscated phone-tapping equipment when Perre was arrested, recalling the bugs discovered by Hutchence and Yates.32
Michael’s heroin-addicted girlfriend raises another hanging question – the roles that she and Geldof played in his death. They have both provided explanations, a false dialectic: Paula fed the Murdochian sexual asphyxiation allegations, Geldof the Tiger Lilly-custody-dispute-suicide narrative.
Detectives Mark Smith and Michael Gerondis described the scene inside Hutchence’s room when his body was found. They told reporters that on one hand they found
No “months-old cigarette burn” turns up in photos taken shortly before Hutchence’s death. Again, Rolling Stone reported that one hand was broken when his body was found. It’s possible, even probable, that the detectives attempted to explain away reports of an injury to his hand years later by depicting it as a severe “cigarette burn.” The allegation is vaguely defamatory, a Murdochian smear that presumes Hutchence to have been a slothful idiot. It’s extremely unlikely that he would have left an infected, excruciating burn “to the bone” untreated for several months. (In the unlikely event that he did, the injury does more even more violence to the “auto-erotic asphyxiation” ruse.)
The detectives also said they found
The apparent rational explanation, based on all available evidence, is that he was bathing when interrupted by intruders. The tub was filled and the tap turned off. As mentioned, police were unable to explain precisely why Hutchence was found naked. The bath explains it. He was dragged from the tub, strangled, injured in the struggle. He fought and broke his hand. His killers punched or kicked him in the face, lacerating his lip. The rope used to strangle him was left tied to the door so the murder could be dismissed as suicide. This is why he didn’t leave a note.
The motive for homicide is self-evident: his wealth had been hijacked by Diamond and his colleagues, the Romeo family and their CIA partners. Hutchence was suicided before he could discover the slick accounting tricks that left him a pauper.
The will had been altered, as Patricia Glassop noted, to conceal evidence of financial chicanery, perhaps a flat statement that members of the family were ultimate beneficiaries of the trusts set up by Colin Diamond, a fact that would turn up in the second set of books that the barrister without a license likely kept to show Hutchence, destroyed once he was dead.
The financial debacle still flares up periodically. In September 2010, the Sydney Morning Herald reported, members of INXS
[caption id="attachment_83756" align="alignleft" width="372"] Gianni Versace[/caption]
Financial ties to the Calabrians raise the specter of Michael Hutchence’s close friend Gianni Versacé, the celebrated fashion designer gunned down on the front steps of Casa Casuarina, his palatial South Beach home, supposedly by a serial killer on July 15, 1997 -- five months before the INXS vocalist was found dead.
Versacé was raised in the south of Italy, a locale dominated by the Calabrian Mafia. The Telegraph reported shortly after his murder that Versacé
In Europe, the press ran rampant with allegations of Versacé's Mafia “connections.” Newspapers in Italy and Ireland ran lurid stories about the designer and the Mob. The Russian Information Agency offered a feature on the topic.
There was, for instance, the dead mourning dove found lying beside Versacé's body. The dove was rumored to be a “hit man's calling card,” but police denied there was any connection to the Mafia. Seems one of the .40 caliber bullets that struck Hutchence’s friend in the head ricocheted off the front gate of his house, a police spokesman explained, sending a lead fragment hurtling skyward. The fragment struck a mourning dove sailing overhead in the eye, killing it instantly. The dove (the reincarnation of John Connally?), said a police spokesman, plummeted to the gutter, bounced off and flopped down beside Versacés dead body.37
The conclusion of a private detective formerly employed by the fashion designer was sharply at odds with the official verdict. Frank Monté, an Australian P.I. -- and former recruiter of mercenaries for the African campaigns of the 1960s -- told radio shock jock Howard Stern and other interviewers in 1997 that he was convinced “both Versacé and Cunanan were murdered by the Mob.”
Monté said that he'd been hired by the designer to investigate the killing of a friend’s lover, and was retained again to follow up on reports that employees of his own company had been laundering dirty money.
The essential fine points of these allegations have confused the press to no end. The fashion doyen was unaware that his business had been infiltrated by the 'Ndrangheta, just as Michael Hutchence had no knowledge that his wealth had been co-opted by the very same Mafia faction. Every reporter who has touched the story has begun with the assumption, based on the aforementioned rumors, that Versacé must have been a willing Mafia collaborator. He wasn’t. It has been debated endlessly in print media whether his company was laundering money for the mob. If so, it is universally assumed that he knew. He didn’t.
Versacé was a gifted clothing designer, not a Harvard-trained money manager. Executives of the company have noted that he couldn’t even write a check. The complexities of money laundering were completely beyond him.
This utter lack of accounting skills was his Achilles’ heel.
Universally, back in 1997, America’s sober, seasoned newsmen giggled away the “conspiracy theories” and adhered to police statements that Cunanan was, without question, Versacé’s assassin. Miami police were certain of this fact, after all, case clos …
But hold the phone once again, please. Thirteen years after the “gay” murder in Miami, two Mafia hitmen, Giuseppe Di Bella and Filippo Barecca, independently confirmed, as “conspiracy theorists” had argued years before, that Cunanan was framed and that Versace had indeed been rubbed out by the Mafia.38
The informants also confirmed that the dead dove found beside Versace’s corpse was, as the “theorists” also surmised in 1997, a calling card from the mob.
Background: In the mid-1980s, according to Di Bella and Barecca, Franco Coco Travato, a Calibrese Mafioso and restaurateur, relocated from Calabria to Milan where the Versacé design house was based at the time. Trovato, currently serving a life sentence for murder, wormed his way into the designer’s confidence by showing up frequently at parties that he attended and letting it be known that he was an affluent businessman. The plan, Di Bella and Barecca maintain, involved investments in Versace’s myriad companies. The mob money passed through Versacé’s enterprise and was stashed in secret Swiss bank accounts. A cut was entered into the books of the design house, the lion’s share of the money returned to the Mafia.39
Trovato was a ruthless capo who killed his way to the apex of the Honor Society. The Daily Mail:
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was involved in a brutal war with rivals from the Camorra which left 200 people dead. And he was infamous for torturing those who betrayed him. … But during the early years of his ‘friendship’ with Versace, Trovato allegedly delighted in showing off ties that had been made personally for him by the designer. Di Bella says: ‘Franco was obsessed with fashion and would call us lads in and show us his handmade ties that had been signed on the back and on the front by Versace.
He said they were friends and that they did business together. They would go on business trips to Majorca and Brazil. I can say with confidence that from 1983-84 Versace worked with Trovato laundering money. ‘I’m not saying that Versace knew where the money came from — in fact maybe he didn’t even know that his friend Trovato was a boss and was one of us in the N’drangheta. But look at it this way: one plus one, for me, makes two.’
Di Bella claims the money was laundered … in the Italian tax enclave of Campione in Switzerland. And it was the fallout from this ‘arrangement’ that allegedly led, according to a number of sources, to Versace’s ‘execution.’
The question, of course, is whether the two informers can be believed.
But while it may be tempting to dismiss their testimony as far-fetched, the two men are regarded as highly reliable by prosecutors and anti-Mafia investigators, who have relied on information provided by them to secure mob convictions for a series of murder cases, including that of a judge and the former head of the Italian State Railways.40
Back in 1997, Frank Monté posited that Versacé was gunned down because he intended to turn evidence of the money laundering operation over to Italian police.
Andrew Cunanan, the patsy, was kidnapped and suicided to furnish the cover story for the hit (as had Hutchence). Monté had been so confident of the Mafia plot that, before Cunanan’s “suicide,” he had publicly advised the accused serial killer to turn himself in or he would be next.
Ten days after the slaying of Versacé, the PI told reporters: “Nothing that has happened since then has changed my mind.” He could not shake off certain unresolved discrepancies. To wit: Cunanon is reported to have stolen a .40 caliber pistol and used it to shoot Versacé twice in the head then subsequently turned it on himself. Cunanon was so badly disfigured by one blast that police were initially unable to ID him -- but somehow the same gun left two small, pristine holes in Versacé’s skull. The private investigator was skeptical that the stolen gun could have produced such drastically dissimilar wounds, and accused the FBI of “fudging” ballistic tests.41
But such reasoning was dismissed by Miami police and the mass media as so much brainless conspiracy theory. Professional journalists know with complete certainty that any official verdict is beyond reproach. On July 27, 1997, Knight-Ridder reported with grinning condescension that the dead dove found at the murder scene had “begun a new round of conspiracy theories” in Europe. Ridiculous, of course, but the “rumors were white-hot: the Mafia snuffed out Gianni Versacé.”
The press knew better, of course, because “evidence gathered by Miami Beach police shows otherwise.”
Transcribers of the press are locked into an authoritarian system. When not spinning facts deliberately, they are evidently unaware that police lie every day of the week, and that conspiracy is the Mafia’s stock-in-trade.
The funeral of Gianni Versacé at Milan Cathedral was attended by Diana Spencer, the Princess of Wales, one brief month before her own death in a Parisian tunnel. As it happened, another social butterfly and friend of Michael Hutchence with organized crime connections was Dodi Fayed. Dodi’s uncle was arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi of Iran-Contra fame, recruited by the CIA in the 1960s. Mohamed al-Fayed, Dodi’s father, is “one of the richest men in Britain,” notes the St. Louis Tribune. “The source of al-Fayed's Alexandria, Egypt, he acquired a university education and married Samira Kashoggi, sister of the fabulously wealthy Saudi Arabian arms dealer. Married to the CIA. His brother-in-law gave al-Fayed his start in business by putting him in charge of his furniture-importing interests in Saudi Arabia.”42 Dodi is said to have sicced Donna Rice on Gary Hart to sabotage his bid for the Oval Office. He and his uncle introduced Maria Maples to Donald Trump. Denise Brown, a gadfly in organized crime circles with a black book of mobbed up boyfriends, dated Dodi. Al Fayed and Adnan Khashoggi were closely associated with the Sultan of Brunei, who has been accused by an American beauty queen of presiding over a white slaver’s harem.
Dodi and Diana Spencer were killed in a car crash on August 31, 1997, four months before Michael Hutchence died. Intelligence officials still withhold files on the accident and have steadfastly refused to declassify them. In November, 1998, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the proprietors of the APBNews website, the National Security Agency confirmed that it had on file “39 NSA-originated and NSA-controlled documents” concerning the crash, but “refused to release them.” The NSA maintained that the files were “top secret” and declassification could result in “exceptionally grave damage to the national security.” Press accounts of the secret files moved Al Fayed to lodge a series of lawsuits in Baltimore and Washington district courts for their release. His demands included any intelligence that might be cabbaged away in CIA, DIA and NSA files. Each agency was sued separately in February 1999, and to date Fayed and the media have been denied access to any of the files related to the deaths of his son and the estranged princess.43
The Deep Politics of Pop Music
The Really Really Spoilt? The flight is over?
Paula Yates threw champagne over a Thai airport official who was asking her to reboard the plane. Paula, out of her box on champers and prescription drugs and in company of her lawyer and child, was smuggled out of her hotel to view the body of the recently deceased. There is to be an airline report on the incident.
Pride of the Welsh, Tom Jones, has suggested that the band will “be devastated” and Michael Hutchence “was a nice guy.”
So that's it, huh? Death due to hanging?
Sorta unusual that … even for the music industry. Those wonderful featured artists. Really light up the sky every now and then. Maybe we should consider making the poor darlings an endangered species?
Think about this the next time you buy your next conglomerate primitive/folk music. Every time you buy, every time you watch a movie using well known material, you add strength to the cartel monopolies because nobody else is allowed (by their governments’ lack of legislation and their ineffective inquiries and “monopolies boards.” And that, now he had “reached his peak,” MH is probably worth far more to his conglomerate dead than alive.
I spoke to a close friend tonight. He suggested that Paula was so outta her head that Sir Bob had every legitimate right to keep an eye on his kids. My friend was not a fan of “herself.” In the past he had always avoided an introduction.
However, apart from being a less than mediocre music journalist employed by the Cartel and lousy singer (for the Boomtown Rats), Sir Bob is still being condemned by the industry’s creative “cognicenti” for using the kudos and money he obtained by reinventing and promoting himself with “LIVE AID” to gain his title.
He blamed Paula for just about everything to do with the situation that led to the strange death of a man who was probably one of the “sub-normal featured artists” used by the industry to maintain its monopoly over 95 percent of the western world market.
MIHRA first came into contact with Micheal after he had contacted Central TV’s (now Carlton TV) John Pilger and David Munro in relation to “Death of a Nation,” their doc about the genocide in East Timor. He was after all ashamed of his nation’s appeasement policies on Indonesia. But like the rest of these elite musical figures, Michael was isolated and uncontactable in person and so the proposed “INXS benefit concert for ET” never took place.
Then MH became a waste of MIHRA’s and British Coalition for East Timor’s time. In fact, to do such a concert would have laid the band open to a court case by a well-known UK promoter who was looking to sue INXS as soon as they performed, as they had reneged upon a previous contract to appear in London.
“The sexiest man alive,” Michael was brash and brutal. He punched the paparazzi who had locked on to the affair he was having with Paula Yates, herself well used to controversy during her long (for showbiz) marriage to “Bob” the TV tycoon.
The police are now seeking a man in his forties with a weird haircut and beard, a taste for kudos and titles.
Pop saint Sir Robert Geldof of “LIVE AID” (or something even more patronizing) should call his lawyer immediately, just in case.
“And where were you between the hours of . . . Sir Robert?” Are INXS fans now thinking of building another long living $ Shrine to yet another isolated god of the paparazzi?
MH was 37 years old and although INXS was not selling conglomerate product as much as over their previous five year span, they had gone back to Australia to plan yet another tour.
Featured artists are sometimes Very Strange, sometimes very unprofessional “creators” indeed. The Stones are a much iconed and imperfect example of the “kick back at society” role model syndrome that now exists, not to enlighten society but simply to make even more money. Similar to the overpowering ethic of the six conglomerates.
The Music Publisher’s Association rules the world of music and the six conglomerate recording companies with their old friends MTV and Rupert Murdoch in close association, they really don't care a damn about governments or legislation because the industry turns over $20-billion a year. They can afford to be and are very generous to both sides of any argument or national election.
Music is the third richest industry on the planet. To do this they have to seek “talent” and provide the public with a marketing false god syndrome so that it can consistently buy its products. But unlike sport (if one gets the right invitations), the talent of an athlete will stand a chance of reaching the commercial surface. Whereas this may be a difficult struggle for some athletes, in the music industry there is no such thing as true competition.
Who judges what is good and what it not, the audience? The Artist and Recording Manager from the record company down for a fleeting visit to catch the band playing live? This person is probably readying himself to fly for the weekend to Mex with a couple of groupies and a few ounces of coke on one of his clients’ accounts.
“Double indemnity” is a very tough clause indeed. Into this world comes children on the make and the genuinely talented. When an artist’s “usefulness” to a conglomerate is over, things can get a little “sticky.” Lawyers tend to proliferate and costs rise. Michael Hutchence may have been “trouble” to deal with.
In recent years artists have begun and won more battles in the courts than over the whole of the previous four decades. Artists, who are said to be “difficult to work with,” are winning and becoming “the norm.” Sometimes, if I were a tycoon with a problem, maybe I would think to myself, “I wish that little faker were dead, then I could become his career.”
Was Michael more trouble than he was worth? Tom Jones doesn't think so. Tom says that “Michael was a sensible guy.”
Bob Geldof … journalist (ha!), he worked for Melody Maker, one of the papers OWNED by the six member Cartel. … Bob and Midge Ure (a nice guy and ex-neighbour of ours) who played in Ultravox started LIVE AID the concert that went around the world and raised millions of KUDOS and MONEY for the Third World and the conglomerates as the guys got tons and tons of news exposure when their careers were seriously faltering. Suddenly Brave Bob was on every TV in the land, day after day.
So the Show/Music biz doyens got together and did the first big Wembley Concert, they did not consider putting something together like MIHRA outta this massive bundle of cash, they were the EXCLUSIVE FEATURED ARTISTS and were the “untouchables.” The promoter of LIVE AID, Harvey Goldsmith, also arranged the Concert (some say on behalf of the UK and US Govts) for the Kurds after Desert Storm.
So Midge and Bob got back into the world headlines saying, “I want to stay in the background, outta the headlines.” Huh? Of course Amnesty and the NGOs were very pleased with LIVE AID, and the chaps all went off on a happy tour around Africa showing their “solidarity” with all the natives. So AFTER all the dosh had been made and the limos paid for and the HARVEY GOLDSMITH (recently honored) Promotion Agency got their good works publicized, the money started to get dispersed.
Some LIVE AID money bought a ship full of SPOILT GRAIN from an Indian businessman to go to SOMALIA or somewhere. As the docks were on strike, the grain ship stayed in dock, the ship eventually left dock when the strike finished, the ship arrived, Lo and Behold the grain was discovered to be SPOILT, inedible. It cost LIVE AID millions. That’s just one example, there may be others, we do not know them, maybe one could begin to ask more loudly? But where did it ALL go?
To the displeasure of Paul Simon and some of the other artists appearing, the UK/US Gov’t bought bread for the Kurds instead of bullets. So under John Major, Sir Bob became a TV TYCOON. Sir Bob owns the production company that does the BIG BREAKFAST SHOW for young people five days a week. “Big Bob” they call him at the office. And it seems TV power is now his most favourite “toy.” …
Again under PM Major Sir Bob gained his title, Sir Bob of something as one of the showbiz awards from the “Krown.” Sir Bob doesn't bother too much with being a “singer” anymore. Midge is now living in Cal … He probably can be contacted through his Cartel (RCA) contract, but we would rather not.
Geldof now lives at his mansion in Kent and his house at 129. We have the address on file somewhere because when we started MIHRA we wrote to the TOP HUNDRED PRS EARNERS IN THE UK. One of the hundred we wrote to was Sir Bob. Only one responded. Bob Geldof, the man of “vision” was not that singular person.
In fact the person who did write, really didn’t write at all. And so that's why MIHRA returned the tiny cheque from Mark Knopfler to his manager ED BICKNELL. Head of AURA, the organization that represents the UK Featured Artists in their indecently hasty chase for the multi-millions of Euro royalties about to hit the UK after Brussels started ruling on the lack of econ-system in the UK music industry and the “policies” of the UK Musician’s Union.
But you are not going to hear us saying that the death of Michael Hutchence on the 22nd November 1997 was a hit by the mob. …
Buddy Holly would only be the first.
MIHRA's sources also say that Cath, ex-girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix, has exhausted herself trying to reopen an inquiry into his death and as she is married to his doctor, has now given up. As it was through this contact that Jimi became a star in the UK and later the world, I suggest we take this as “gospel.”
1. Gil Kaufman, “INXS Manager Says Hutchence ‘Snapped’ And Took Life,” MTV interview, December 6, 1997.
2. Mike Gee, The Final Days of Michael Hutchence, London: Omnibus, 1998, p. 152.
“INXS fury at photos of bondage,” South China Morning Post, December 11, 1997.
Tina Hutchence, “Rupert Murdoch Responsible for Michael Hutchence’ Death?” July 20, 2011. http://www.michaelhutchenceinfo.com/rupertmurdoch.htm
Michael Barker, “The CIA, Drugs, And An Australian Killer Cop,” Swans Commentary, October 5, 2009.
Gil Kaufman, “Police Say INXS Singer Left No Suicide Note,” Music News of the World, December 5, 1997.
Geoffrey Lee Martin, “Hutchence seemed so happy, say friends,” Telegraph, Issue 914, November 24, 1997.
Gee, p. 150.
David Fricke, “The Devil Inside,” Rolling Stone, January 22, 1998, p. 17.
Derek W Hand, Inquest into the Death of Michael Hutchence, February 6, 1998.
“Yates in Legal Move to Fight Suicide Verdict,” Telegraph, March 30, 1998.
Diamond interview transcribed by Leah Sungenis, INXS newsletter, July 1998. In May 1998, six weeks after the suit was filed by Hutchence’s family against Diamond and co-executor Andrew Morrison Paul, the Australian attorney told the Queensland Supreme Court that he wanted to be released from any legal responsibility for administering the estate. The diversion of Hutchence’s income makes hash of Diamond's boasts of a bosom relationship with the late singer, and in fact the Morning Herald reported on May 29, 1998 that Colin Diamond, “who has been described as one of Hutchence’s closest friends, did not attend the funeral or the scattering of his ashes.”
Robert Milliken, “Death of a Rock Star,” The Independent, April 5, 1998.
Paul Whittaker and Rory Callinan, “Mafia Tie To Rock Star's Lost Riches,” The Courier-Mail, February 20, 1999.
John Jiggens, The Killer Cop and the Murder of Donald Mackay, Network to Investigate the Mackay Murder, 2009, p. 52.
Kate McClymont, “Hutchence millions kiss dirt, leaving family with zilch,” Sydney Morning Herald, August 5, 2005.
Mark Chipperfield, “Hutchence family fights for ‘missing’ fortune,” Sunday Telegraph, April 19, 1998.
“Mr Diamond and Michael's elusive fortune,” Sunday Star Times, September 3, 2005.
Ian Verrender, “Fight begins for control of Hutchence assets,” Sydney Morning Herald, March, 8, 1998.
“Will a forgery says Hutchence's mother,” News24, November 7, 2000.
"Griffith NSW: Trimbole-Sergi-Romeo Families," Reocities website....
25. Matt Gibson,
16. Bev Goode, "SUMMARY OF TONY GROSSER’S CASE," Networked Knowledge - Media Reports, June 7, 2011. http://netk.net.au/Grosser/Grosser1.asp
"Police officer Geoffrey Bowen killed in NCA bomb attack - key suspect Domenic Perre still free," Crimestoppers Crimenet: http://www.crimenet.org/index.php?tp=rewards&id=148&t=unsolved
Bev Goode, "SUMMARY OF TONY GROSSER’S CASE," Networked Knowledge - Media Reports, June 7, 2011. http://netk.net.au/Grosser/Grosser1.asp
Ross Coulthart, "Terror at home," Sunday Night (Australian television program), July 5, 2012. https://au.news.yahoo.com/sunday-night/a/14146021/terror-at-home/...
Sarah Crawford and Mark Morris,
Vanda Carson, "INXS say no to use of songs, footage in Hutchence film, Sydney Morning Herald, September 24, 2010....
Caroline Davies, “Boy Raised Among the Brothels Who Became a Fashion Star,” Telegraph, July 16, 1997.
James Langton, “Did Mafia silence Versacé to hide financial scandal?” Sunday Telegraph, July 27, 1997.
Bruce Taylor Seeman, “A murder theory takes wing: ‘Dead bird clue’ fosters speculation,” Miami Herald, July 27, 1997.
38. Andrew Malone and Nick Pisa, “Was Gianni Versace murdered by the mob?” Daily Mail, December 12, 2010.
42. Anonymous, “Dodi's Royal Romance Was Coup for Father,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 3, 1997.
43. Tami Sheheri, “Al-Fayed Demands Spy Agency's Diana Files,” APBNews.com, April 19, 1999.
44. Open correspondences from Roger Bunn, MIHRA, November 24 and 30, 1997.