The Melbourne Gangland Killings were the killings of 36 criminal figures or partners in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in a series of retributional murders involving various underworld groups between 16 January 1998 and 19 April 2010. The deaths caused a sustained power vacuum within Melbourne’s criminal community, as various factions fought for control and influence. The majority of the murders are still unsolved, although police from the Purana Taskforce believe that Carl Williams was responsible for ten of them. The period culminated in the arrest of Carl Williams, who pleaded guilty to three counts of murder on 28 February 2007.
Since the confession of Williams, the ultimate source of the violence has become public knowledge.On his 29th birthday while meeting with Jason Moran and his half brother Mark Moran on 13 October 1999 at a suburban park in Gladstone Park, Jason Moran shot Carl Williams in the stomach over a dispute about money earned in the amphetamine trade. Through the period after his run-in with the Moran family, Williams commenced a war with the aim of killing all of the Moran clan.
The murder of former lawyer Mario Condello on 6 February 2006, caused speculation of a possible resurgence in the killings, although this was denied by police.
A drama series detailing the gangland war and the efforts made by the Purana taskforce to contain it, Underbelly, premiered on the Nine Network on 13 February 2008. Due to ongoing legal proceedings in Victoria, Justice Betty King prohibited the Nine Network from airing the show in Victoria and from providing access to the show via their website. An edited version commenced screening in Victoria on the 14th of September, 2008.
On 19 April 2010, Carl Williams died while incarcerated at Barwon Prison after allegedly being bashed by an inmate.Williams would have been 71 before becoming eligible for parole.