Archibald Beattie McCafferty

Another Senseless Killing

Evangelos Kollias
Evangelos Kollias

After the killing of Cox, the gang members returned to the McCafferty unit where they drank beer and watched TV. But Archie could still hear the voices telling him to 'Kill seven' and he instructed two of his disciples to go and find him another victim. In the early hours of the following morning 24-year-old driving instructor Evangelos Kollias picked up Julie Todd and Dick Whittington as they hitchhiked along Enmore Road. Once in the car, Whittington produced a .22 rifle from under his coat. They forced Kollias into the back seat and told him to lie on the floor while Julie drove the car back to the flat.

McCafferty then took over. With Archie driving, the gang set off for Liverpool on the pretext of looking for a factory to rob. But they knew different. They knew that Archie had murder on his mind. Kollias was told to lie low as they did not want him to see where they were going. Assured that he would come to no harm, Kollias lay on the back floor and went to sleep.

Archie's plan was to kill Evangelos Kollias then drive his car to Blacktown and kill Janice McCafferty, her mother and her mother's boyfriend. That would make six. The seventh victim was to be one of his own gang, Rick Webster. Archie felt that Webster was going to betray him to the police.

The body of Evangelos Kollias
The body of Evangelos Kollias

McCafferty told Whittington to kill Kollias. Whittington wasn't sure that he could but as Kollias woke from his nap in the back of the car Whittington held the sawn off .22 rifle to his head and pulled the trigger. Evangelos Kollias died instantly.

'Shoot him again urged McCafferty. Whittington put another bullet into the dead man's  head. They dumped the body in a deserted street nearby.

When he realised that Kollias' car didn't have enough petrol to get him to his wife's house, Archie abandoned the plan to murder Janice and her family. For that night at least. He still intended to make them the next three victims. And if Rick Webster hadn't lived up to Archie's suspicions and gone to the police, there is no doubt that Archie would have killed them. The voice kept telling him to.

When detectives arrested him, Archie told them: 'I was going to Blacktown to kill three people ... I was going to go into the house and just start blasting away until they were all dead. They are very lucky people that the car didn't have enough petrol.'

Then Archie had intended to cut off his wife's head and send it in a box to the chief of the Criminal Investigation Bureau.

When one of the gang members told Rick Webster that he was on Archie's hit list, Webster decided to tell what he knew to the police. McCafferty, Whittington and Meredith followed Webster to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper building where he worked as an apprentice compositor. They sat in a stolen van out the front of the Herald building with loaded rifles, ready to kill Webster when he came out.

Archibald McCafferty under arrest
Archibald McCafferty under arrest

Webster saw them waiting and had a reporter call police. Detectives arrived at the Herald, where Webster told them he was too terrified to leave the building. When they heard his story about the three murders they called for reinforcements and the area was sealed off. Heavily armed detectives surrounded the vehicle while Detective Sergeant K. Aldridge approached it and pointed his revolver at Michael Meredith. Other detectives rushed the vehicle and apprehended McCafferty and Whittington. They took possession of two loaded and cocked rifles.

On the way to the police station, McCafferty told police: 'All right, I knocked the bloke at Canterbury. I knocked the bloke at Leppington. And I knocked the bloke at Merrylands. I knocked all three of them.' He made no less a secret of the fact that he would kill again.


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