Showing posts with label Santo Versace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Santo Versace. Show all posts

Friday, July 27, 2012

exclusive : The Mafia Hit on PI Frank Monte

Frank Monte
One person who probably suffers from the Tall Poppy syndrome in Australia -where those who reach great heights in the public gaze must be torn down to size by the media, is the private investigator Frank Monte.
It happens to sportsmen, businessmen, entertainers and so on .
 Comedian Barry Humphries described it this way in an interview many years ago: "when I first left to go overseas, a reporter at Sydney airport said "aren't we good enough for you Mr Humphries?"" Two years later when I arrived back he was there again: "what happened Mr Humphries-couldn't make it overseas?"

Monte was bankrupted by legal costs defending a debilitating law suit lodged in the Federal Court by Donatella & Santo Versace  who said they were 'outraged' when he wrote in his book Spying Game that designer Gianni Versace was killed by the feared Italian Mafia, Ndrangheta.
The combined Australian media had a field day, attacking Monte in every imaginable way.

Giving evidence during the case Donatella Versace, on oath, replied to a question by Monte's counsel Clive Evatt QC, saying that she had "never ever" used drugs.
Two years later she gave an interview to Vogue which was reprinted throughout the world saying she had been addicted to drugs before and after Gianni's murder outside his Miami house and that Elton John had persuaded her to dry out in a clinic.

Gianni's Miami house
Gianluigi Nuzzi
In 2010 one of Italy's most respected investigative journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi published a book Metastasis about the notorious Ndrangheta finally confirming that Monte was accurate with his information about Versace's death.

Santo Versace expressed the same 'outrage' as he had over Monte's book and threatened to sue anyone who repeated the tale. Dozens of European and British newspapers re-printed Nuzzi's information on Gianni Versace's death, many who interviewed and quoted Frank Monte. Not one has heard a peep since out of Santo.

Nuzzi's source was the former N'drangheta Godfather Giuseppe di Bella who also assisted the AntiMafia Office in Rome and the Shuttle has now seen an English translation of his book : in it he describes how alarmed the Mafia where when they first read Monte's version of Gianni's death : it was spot on.
 They pondered whether to put out a hit on the private eye.
The Shuttle has spoken to a well connected Italian journalist who has followed the case from the beginning. She says a hit on Monte was well advanced with a hit man contracted in Calabria and plans made for him to travel to New York to kill Monte.

A 2006 N'drangheta hit in Germany-tentacles everywhere
The Mafia also believed they had a rat in their ranks who they thought may have been an informant for Monte. In the end, a round table meeting of 8 Mafia Dons concluded that killing Monte may bring unwanted attention upon them and basically confirm what Monte had revealed.

 The Shuttle has also seen the unpublished manuscript of the memoirs of a retired Miami detective who concurred that the police did not believe Andrew Cunanan had carried out the Versace murder and that he was a patsy. However they concluded proving the case would be far too difficult and finding the real killer would be impossible.
 And where are the Australian media reports on all this?. There aren't any. It's been completely ignored.
# Frank Monte's Spying Game can be purchased here.
# Gianluigi Nuzzi's latest book about Vatican corruption can be purchased here.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Pope,His Butler The PI, A Hooker & The MP

Are the wheels about to come rolling of the wagon that besieged MP Craig Thomson has been lashed to by Fairfax Media and the Federal Opposition ?.
As the days go by and the dust settles, it seems Craig Thomson may have been the victim of a massive set-up that involves dirty political deeds to unseat a Federal Member of Parliament, which if successful, could have brought down Julia Gillard's premiership.

The sight of Coalition leader Tony Abbott sprinting to the doors in the Chamber 2 days ago, and hammering to be let out as Craig Thomson crossed the floor to vote with Abbott's party was one of the most extraordinary scenes witnessed in Canberra for some time.

Channel 7
Fairfax senior journalist Kate McClymont has written over a dozen tales about Thomson (without interviewing him ) including about  his alleged visits to bordellos and the money supposedly racked up on his union credit card. Where McClymont obtained the documents published in the original tale is a  mystery. Did they come from Thomson's union enemy Kathy Jackson?.

 Dark clouds are now gathering around Jackson and her partner, a judge with Fair Work Australia who investigated Thomson's spending of large sums of union money including contributions to Thomson's election campaign. Thomson has slammed the Fair Work report and the Electoral Commission has dismissed the claim about his electoral expenses.

It seems odd that a bordello that has changed hands twice in the 7 years since Thomson allegedly visited (long before he became an MP) would keep such pristine records. When it was pointed out to McClymont that the photocopied credit card slip showed the name as ThomPson , not Thomson, her Twitter reply was "ask him, he spent the money". Odd words for an investigative journalist.

However the website Independent Australia has been investigating while others like Fairfax and News Ltd have seemingly sung from the same song sheet.

 It appears all is not what it seems with the claims against Thomson and in particular, the documents from the bordello. IE have uncovered that the credit card slip actually carries a rejection code on it. In other words the card was rejected by Mastercard. The very idea that the bordello would keep a rejected slip for over 7 years seems like a fantasy.

Channel Nine's tabloid show, A Current Affair had been frothing at the mouth about it's interview with a hooker for which she was to be paid a $60,000 fee. She claimed to have slept with Thomson while working at the brothel. Yesterday ACA quietly announced they wouldn't be broadcasting the interview.

 Last Thursday noted private investigator Frank Monte was interviewed on 2UE's Drive Time.
Monte scorned the idea that a prostitute could possibly remember a client from 7 years ago particularly as Thomson was an unknown face.
When Frank Monte became involved with the David Jones $38M  harassment suit, within 4 weeks the matter was quickly settled for a 20th of that sum. The rumour at the time was that Monte had uncovered damaging information.

Frank Monte today refused to either confirm or deny if he was involved with Craig Thomson or investigating on Thomson or Channel 9's behalf. Yet within days of his interview, suddenly the Channel Nine interview, trumpeted by them so vocally in the media, vanished.
                                                                                                         Even more bizarre was the attack piece McClymont wrote 5 weeks ago about Monte, much of which was just a re-hash of a previous piece by a hack. She even dredged up the now tainted  Gianni Versace case in 2000 where Donatella & Santo Versace spent over $4M suing Monte in the Federal Court.

Monte had written a book Spying Game in which he said fashion great Gianni Versace was murdered by the Italian Mafia. Santo and Donatella were 'outraged'. Donatella, surrounded by lawyers and under oath, said via video link-up to the Federal Court that she had 'never ever' used illicit drugs. Two years later she gave a well publicised interview to Vogue saying she had 'been addicted to drugs before and after Gianni's murder" and that friends like Elton John has persuaded her to go to re-hab.
There is word the matter may be returning to the Federal Court. If it's found Donatella lied, she could face serious consequences let alone a gigantic law suit from Monte. At the moment, the ex-News Corp editor Andy Coulson is being interviewed in respect of possible perjury in a court case in Scotland. In the Scottish case, socialist MP Tommy Sheridan was jailed for 3 years (serving one) for perjury. Now Coulson is being questioned about evidence he gave in Sheridan's trial.


In 2010 Italy's most respected investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi published a book in which he confirmed what Frank Monte had said 8 years previously-that Gianni Versace was indeed killed in a Mafia hit. Santo Versace vowed to sue anyone who repeated the claims. The Shuttle has received emails from 4 Italian newspapers that did in-depth stories on Nuzzi's Versace claim. Not one has heard a peep out of Santo and they don't expect to. Nuzzi says he is not worried by Santo's threats.

Last week as a result of Nuzzi's investigations of The Vatican in his book Vaticano S.p.A, Pope Benedict's butler was arrested.

And last night the Shuttle attended an Eastern Suburb's function and chatted to a local Liberal Party heavy. He mused that the Coalition's Thomson attack was a shambles and that he expected that, rather than Julia Gillard, it will be Tony Abbott who will be gone within 4 months. You read it here first.

Below is a reminder of Tony Abbott at work:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Versace Mafia Claims & The Australian Link

The story is so hot in Italy that the media there has gone into meltdown. On December 2nd  respected investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi published his new book Metastis; A Chronicle of 'Blood & Money".

Gianluigi Nuzzi
In Metastis Mafia godfather Giuseppe di Bella, now a police supergrass says that fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered by the notorious Calabrian Mafia  N’drangheta, a little known but feared group with close ties to South American drug lords.
di Bella says that he and his fellow mobsters laundered billions of dollars for the South Americans by filtering it through legitimate businesses and one of them was the Versace fashion empire to the tune of $200M a year. 

He claims that Gianni Versace was taking so much money out of his fashion business and taking so much cocaine he was beginning to believe the money belonged to him. di Bella says a hit was ordered on Versace to teach others a lesson.

And he says the reported killer of Versace, Andrew Cunanan was a patsy and was himself murdered by the Mafia.

Giancarlo Capaldo, of the Rome based anti Mafia department, said: 'We have opened a file into what Di Bella says - he is an informer and his information in the past has always proved correct.'
In a statement the Versace family said: 'The declarations from the informer are false and shameful.

Gianni Versace, whose celebrity friends included Diana, Princess of Wales, Elton John,  Madonna and Naomi Campbell was shot at close range in the back of the head on the steps of his Miami mansion on July 15, 1997 in what detectives at the time speculated had the hallmarks of a mob hit.

Cunanan was found dead  several days later on a Miami houseboat. It was claimed to be a suicide.

Donatella
But the Versace Mafia claims are not new.
                                                                               
Ten years ago Santo and Donatello Versace took Australian private eye Frank Monte to court in Sydney after he published a book, The Spying Game in which he detailed the very same claims. The Versaces won their case and the book was pulped.
Frank Monte

While few questions were asked at the time about why the Versaces  bothered coming all the way to the Sydney Supreme Court to take on Monte something quite different was happening in Italy.

Numerous Italian publications said that  it was common knowledge that Gianni Versace and the Mafia were ln bed together.

While Monte was on the receiving end of criticism in the Australian media, the opposite was happening in Italy. He was being hailed as a hero for exposing the Versace empire as a fashion fairy tale just too good to be true. They treated him as the underdog in the Sydney trial. Meanwhile Italian newspapers published photographs of Gianni leaving by boat from his lavish villa on Lake Como accompanied by known Mafia members. 

The local Australian media has all but ignored the di Bello story but in Italy, the UK and the USA the story is gaining traction. At least 2 major British newspapers are to shortly publish new details about the Versace empire and both have contacted Monte.

Now the Shuttle has seen a copy of a manuscript written not long after the Versace shooting-The Miami Jigsaw. The author received several credible death threats at the time and decided not to publish. The manuscript contains  never before published details of the Versace and Cunanan deaths in Miami, much of it sourced from detectives who worked on the case.

There are details that possibly didn't seem that important at the time but with  the Gianluigi Nuzzi book now become very pertinent.

Such as the fact that ownership of the houseboat on which Andrew Cunanan's body was found , linked back to a known Mafia member and was a base for mob members. Despite the well publicised details of Cunanan's trip across the USA from California to Miami on a serial murder spree, no publication at the time mentioned  his stay in Las Vegas before the trip began.

In FBI records there are details of Cunanan receiving large sums of money  in Vegas despite having no job or income with photos of him meeting with mob members. In police reports the pathologist who examined Cunanan's body said that the claim that he had died 8 days after Versace was dubious and that he may have in fact, died before Versace.

Witnesses say the man who shot Versace yelled a known Mafia curse in Italian. Cunanan did not speak the language. Nor did any of those witnesses identify Cunanan as the shooter. Beside Gianni's bod lay a dead pigeon, a known Mafia symbol.

In The Miami Jigsaw it's clear that Miami police held little faith in the Cunanan murder theory, particularly as Versace had been killed in a classic Mafia style hit in broad daylight.   Added to this was the manner in which Cunanan had killed all his other victims-shooting them front on while facing them or torturing them first.

The book has  FBI records to show the federal agency thought similarly.

Last night Santo Versace confronted  Giuseppe di Bella on Italian television and poured scorn on di Bella's claims. But when di Bella said that he had met Santo on a number of occasions which Santo denied, he revealed intimate details of Santo's home. Today talk back radio in Rome was running hot with callers on the side of Giuseppe di Bella.

Journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi talks on Italian TV about the N’drangheta and the Versace murder.