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Tough Nuts | Chris Flannery | The Man Called Rentakill | S1E1

Tough Nuts | Chris Flannery | The Man Called Rentakill | S1E1

(shovel digging) (fly buzzing) (quiet sobbing) – Hey! – You idiot! (ominous music) (gunshot) (screams) (gunshot) (grunts) – Where do you think your going, tiger? (gunshot) – [Tara] Meet Christopher Dale Flannery, Australian Tough Nut, hitman,
and multiple murderer. He turned killing into a business, created Australia’s own
murder incorporated, and earned the nickname Rent-A-Kill. (electric guitar music) – Hi, I’m Tara Moss. Welcome to Tough Nuts,
Australia’s Hardest Criminals. As a crime writer, I’ve
always been fascinated not just with the crime
itself, but with the question of what made them do it. In Tough Nuts, we’ll
go behind the headlines and peel away the psychological layers to discover what really made and motivated some of the most vicious thugs and killers in Australia’s history. Tonight, Tough Nuts
examines the dark life of Christopher Dale Flannery, Australia’s most notorious hitman. (gunshot) Through dramatized scenes,
first-hand accounts, and detailed analysis of Flannery’s life, we will give a detailed
portrait of the man who’s believed to have
killed 15 people on contract before his luck ran
out and he disappeared, friendless with ruthless
enemies dispatched to kill him. His disappearance has remained a mystery for almost three decades. A coronial inquest
lasting almost five years could not crack the case. On Tough Nuts tonight, we will identify who
killed Chris Flannery. – I think Flannery was the
only person I’ve ever heard of that ran around saying, “Oh, I’m gonna kill people for money.” – I don’t drop my price for nobody. Get it? – “I am a hitman, call me Rent-A-Kill.” – Flannery’s reputation was that he was a psychopathic rat bag. (gunshot) – I saw him break a guy’s
teeth with the muzzle of a gun, and I was sure he was gonna
shoot him right then and there. – Hey! – Chris, no! Chris! – The job was this person had to die. (gunshot) – They bought Christopher
Flannery up to do away with me. – Chris Flannery was
the person who shot me at my house that evening. – When we thing of Australian Tough Nuts, the name Christopher Dale
Flannery looms large. His name and reputation
as a hitman spread fear through the Australian underworld
of the 1970’s and 80’s. Rent-A-Kill’s price was $50,000. And for that, he bragged,
anyone could be eliminated. He was believed to have
carried around a textbook of gunshot wound pathology in order to perfect his skills as a killer. And he could be vicious. He was said to have brawled with a biker in front of a crowd of
people in Melbourne, bashing him senseless. And he even popped the
biker’s eye from its socket, then ate it. However, Flannery was also
a committed family man. Between murders he took time
out to dote on his kids, and his wife Kathleen. This was a man with a long
history of criminal activity. But until the contract killing
of businessman Roger Wilson, in February, 1990, Flannery
had stayed off the media radar. – Mr. Wilson was last seen
here at the factory premises at the corner of Cara Jones
Street and Rob’s Raid in Footsgrey on Friday night. He was working late with
other company executives evaluating a new product. He is said to have been
very enthused by the product and was in high spirits. – Roger Wilson was a cleanski. No background in crime, he was a barrister turned
businessman who got caught up with the
wrong sort of investors. The investors were criminals. And they wanted their money. But the investments went bad, they didn’t get their money, and they figured it was just retribution to take this bloke out an kill him. And that’s what Flannery was asked to do. – I remember him telling me
about the art of killing. He knew all about bodies and what hurt, and where to hurt them in
the shortest possible time. And he said, “The only thing
about this game, Craig, “is the fuckin’ noise.” (gunshot) And I said, “There’s gotta be more things “that worry ya than the noise.” And he goes, “Yeah, not getting’ paid.” – Rent-A-Kill Inc. was a
murder-for-hire business. Chris Flannery was its principle operator, but there were other men,
associates of Flannery, who would on occasion commit murders that Flannery had secured contracts for. The price was always
$50,000 and Chris Flannery would actively tout the business
in the criminal networks of Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Melbourne. (gunshot) – It was money. That’s what drove Chris. That was his demon and
that’s what drove him. In every respect. – In criminal terms, had the opinion that he was a
bigger-than-life personality. And it was important for
him for everyone to know that he was Chris
Flannery, Mr. Rent-A-Kill. – [Tara] Steven Barren, former police detective
turned forensic psychologist, believes Flannery’s killing
of Roger Wilson reveals the early work of a psychopath. – Psychopaths don’t have
the emotional arousal, for example, anger that
you and I would get. It may well have been he was
simply asked to do a job. The job was this person had to die. Because it was probably
his first or second murder, there’s a good chance he was
still acquiring the certain skills required to be an efficient hitman. – Well, Flannery, the committed murderer, would have already played
the whole thing through as a movie so that he just
steps into the real life situation and cold-bloodedly, ruthlessly, with no remorse and no
sense of guilt, acts it out. Now, in his mind would be
a huge hit of dopamine, the endorphin that floods
a gambler when he wins. Or floods somebody in love, even. That real sense of I have the power. – [Tara] With police closing
in over the Wilson murder, Flannery and his wife,
Kath, reacted by conducting a media interview denying all allegations. – [Interviewer] It was
being rumored that you had been retained as a hitman. – That’s incredible, just rubbish. – [Interviewer] You have heard these, sir. – Yes, I have. – [Interviewer] And what’s
your answer to that? – It’s just ridiculous, totally untrue. – [Interviewer] Can you
tell us how you came to be connected with Mark Clarkson and with Roger Wilson? – Mr. Clarkson gave us some
advice on a business matter, through a discotheque that we’re having sort of trouble with. And he came to advise
us, and we had a meeting and Mr. Wilson turned up at the meeting. That’s the only time I’ve seen Mr. Wilson. – [Tara] Despite his denials, the evidence against
Flannery was mounting. – A detective, Brian Murphy,
who was also part of that Micky’s Disco scene, had warned
homicide this would happen. He’d heard there was
a plot to kill Wilson. He’d heard the muttering around
the corners in his disco. – I ran homicide and they said,
“Well, have you got a body?” And I said, “No.” I said, “You gotta be fucking joking.” He said, “No, I’m not actually.” He says, “But when you
get a body, you ring us.” – So the murder went off
and there was obviously some information when out
where the body was buried. Flannery, being a burier
of bodies rather than a drop ’em at sea or whatever,
the body was still there. – [Tara] Flannery approached
Alphonse Gangitano, an up-and-comer in the
Melbourne crime scene, to do some very dirty work on his behalf. – It was up to Gangitano
and one or two others that were sent up there to
where this body was buried. They dug it up, must’ve
been a grisly job of itself, and reburied it in another spot. Gangitano told people
later that that was the most disgusting thing he
had ever done in his life. – [Tara] Wilson’s body
has never been found, but police believe they
had enough evidence to proceed with the prosecution. – Chris Flannery, Mark
Clarkson, and Kevin Williams were charged with the
murder of Roger Wilson. The three men were tried in
the supreme court in Victoria. It was, at the time, the longest trial in Victorian criminal history. – [Tara] But the crucial crown witness, Debra Boundy, disappeared. She had overheard a conversation between Chris Flannery and her
boyfriend, Kevin Williams, describing the murder of Wilson in detail. She is believed to have been killed at Flannery’s orders alone. Without her testimony,
the crown case collapsed and the three men were acquitted. Flannery was free to kill again. When we return, we’ll
delve deep into the life of Rent-A-Kill and
examine the forces at work in his formative years. His family background, his
failure as a street criminal, and the time he spent in
Australia’s hardest prison. – Prisoner 363598. – Sir. – Welcome to H division. I think we’re gonna
enjoy having you around. – Welcome back to Tough Nuts,
Australia’s hardest criminals. And the story of
Christopher Dale Flannery, the man called Rent-A-Kill. Chris Flannery was born in 1948, and grew up in a tough
patch in the working-class Melbourne suburb of Brunswick. His father, Edward, was
unable to hold down a job, drank heavily, and was abusive
to his wife and children. When Flannery was just nine, his father left the family
home never to return, leaving Flannery and
his two oldest siblings with their mother, Emily, and Flannery’s maternal grandmother, Mary. Flannery despised his father
for leaving his mother high and dry, but Emily Flannery was a fighter. She worked two jobs to
keep food on the table and a roof over her children’s heads. Edward Jr. and Louise managed
to overcome their hardships, to become positive
contributors to society. Ed Flannery became a
lawyer and Louise a nurse. However, Chris drifted
into a life of crime. Why is it that Chris, the
youngest of the Flannery brood, shunned society so spectacularly? – There is no doubt that
Flannery had some exposure to neglect and abuse. But I’m kinda curious whether
his father had the range of parenting skills that most
fathers had at that time. Too, nature vs nurture. I think it’s nature vs nurture vs choice, and it’s an interactive process. What makes people bad and why do siblings in the same family exposed
to the same environment turn out not bad. And I guess the answer
there is the siblings are often protected by
their age, their gender, they process their experiences
slightly differently, and they see the abuse
and neglect in terms of another context. Dad’s authoritarian, dad’s strict, dad’s loving but can’t show it to me. I think Flannery had an abusive childhood. I’m led to believe that Brunswick was a difficult area to grow up in. And I think the experience
at Morningstar Reformatory may well have made Chris Flannery
the man he led to became. – [Tara] Flannery was
only 14 when he was sent to Morningstar for break
and enter and car theft. One man who can shed
light on his time there is Flannery friend, former
prison inmate turned author and playwright, Ray Mooney. – I met Chris first in
prison, ’round about 1968. And it was through his
experiences in prison I got to know about his
experiences at Morningstar. Sent to Morningstar when he was about 14, and what he told me was
that it was one of those institutions where it
was a pretty tough place run by Franciscan friars in
a beautiful old building. But they were as tough as nuts
in terms of their attitude to reforming the kids
who’re under their care. And hey were quite
ferocious in the way they went about that. And Chris was one of those
kids who was a cheeky kid. He was a charismatic
kid, he was a tough kid, he was an in-your-face kid but he was also a very good looking kid
which made him quite vulnerable at the age of 14. He’d been abused in three separate ways. He’d been abused physically, he’d been abused psychologically, and it’s my opinion that
he’s abused sexually. He never said it, but I knew. – One of the side effects
of putting teenagers into prisons, or prison-like institutions, is that they model, they
copy, all of that bad stuff. How to break boundaries,
how to be a criminal., as opposed to somebody who
stays in a loving family where they’re constantly being reminded and reinforced for good behaviors. – The die was cast somewhere
in the rough and tumble streets of Brunswick and at Morningstar. At just 19 years of age
and with a criminal record as long as your arm,
Flannery was sentenced to nine years for a string
of offenses, including rape. He entered the gates of
Pentridge prison in Melbourne with a smoldering resentment
towards male authority figures. He then quickly found
himself in a living hell, a place reserved for the worst
of the worst: H division. (knocking on door) – Come. – Stand to attention scum. To attention. – Prisoner 363598. – Yes, sir. – I’m not a sir. They offered me a knighthood
once but I knocked it back. I’m your governor. Welcome to H division. I think we’re gonna
enjoy having you around. Has 363598 been strip searched? – No, governor. – Drop ’em, blossom. (grunts) – Nothin’ up here, governor. – Well, let’s just be certain, shall we? – When I get outta here,
I’ll back up on all ya. I’ll kill your fuckin’ kids, and leave em to die
like dogs in the gutter. – I’ve seen shit like you come and go. Get this through your
head, I run this show. You might’ve been a bigwig out there son, but you’re just a shitty number to me. – Fuck you. – In your dreams, 363598. – You just wait till the
press sees about this. They’ll love it. – Ah, perhaps I could call
the editor of the H for ya. Put him in next to Reed,
they deserve each other. – Conditions at H
division were pretty bad, the only thing they let you do was live. And that’s underplaying it. It was as bad as it comes. It wasn’t as bad for
me as it was for Chris. They chose the people who
worked in H division on the disposition of their
psychological attitude and their size. They were incredibly large,
ferocious prison officers who loved their job. Chris said that they broke him, and by broke him what I
mean is that he agreed to the conditions that they
let you survive in H division. In other words, you quick-marched,
you never looked up, you always looked down at the ground, you never looked at a prison officer. You saluted, you did everything
that you were told to do. They broke him in that
he acquiesced to their rules and regulations. – It was a hideous place. A 19th century style prison
where prisoners would literally break rocks. That was their task for the day. They’d be routinely bashed,
subject to indignities like being sodomized
with batons and so forth. – [Tara] After seeing a good
friend rushed to hospital as a result of another brutal beating from H division guards, Flannery
decided to fight back. – He took ’em all on, offered all the screws
to fight him one out, which they wouldn’t of course. And they flogged him
again and what have you. He refused to obey any orders. – [Tara] In an act of defiance, Flannery stripped off his clothes and went on a hunger strike. This moment was detailed
in a screen play written by Ray Mooney for the film
Everynight, Everynight. – Youse can all get fucked. You’re on me fuckin’ own. I’m no longer part of your fuckin’ system. I’ve resigned, I’m free! You hear that, dish lickers? I’m free! – [Tara] News of the protest
found its way into the media. – You just wait till the
press hears about this. They’ll love it. – [Tara] This led to a
Victorian parliamentary inquiry, and ultimately to the release
of the Jenkinson report, which found conditions
in H division barbaric. In the wake of these findings, some of the more sadistic
guards were pensioned off and conditions improved. – So Flannery, because he stood
up to the authorities in H, became a hero to many
prisoners at the time. – When somebody goes into
an institution where they’re totally powerless and they
are tortured and abused, they really lose sense of
their ability to make things in their world happen. Then when Flannery very cleverly
came up with this plan to go on a hunger strike,
he was taking control. And that’s what he thrived most on. – [Tara] Flannery emerged from prison a psychological time bomb full of anger and contempt for authority. After the break, we
explore Rent-A-Kill inc and Flannery meets the one
person who can control him. – [Kathleen] Darlin’? – What now? – Give us a kiss, will ya? Be good, darlin’. – Welcome back to Tough Nuts,
Australia’s Hardest Criminals, And Christopher Dale Flannery,
the man called Rent-A-Kill. Chris Flannery left Pentridge
Prison having served five years of his nine year sentence. He fell into the arms of Kathleen, a young woman with a child
from a previous relationship. Chris and Kath had met years earlier, but his time in jail had put
their relationship on hold. Towards the end of his incarceration, Kath wrote frequently to
Flannery and within six months of his release they were married. The newlywed Flannery found
employment as a bouncer at Mickey’s Disco, a Melbourne nightclub. The nightclub was a
gathering place for many underworld figures of the
day and Flannery quickly found his way back into crime. The only problem was, he
wasn’t very good at it. He was arrested for possession
of a pistol at Mickey’s in 1974 and though he
escaped a jail sentence, six months later he was
arrested and charged for an armed robbery. He absconded while on
bail and fled to Perth. And while on the run, Flannery found the only
gainful employment of his life. Working at the menswear counter
at David Jones in Perth, a job that suited the vain
killer down to the ground. Former acquaintance of
Flannery’s, Craig Cousin, recalls Chris and his vanity. – He was in love with Italian
haute couture, you know. That was his thing, he
loved the ties, the silk, the threads, that was his world. He thought the better he
looked, the better he felt. And he used to dress beautifully but he smelled like a whore’s handbag. He had five different colognes on at once and you couldn’t get
within 15 feet of him. If you had asthma, he’d
kill you without a gun. – This is a great story
that he was employed by David Jones in Perth right
in the menswear counter there. In fact, he was so good at
it that they promoted him. He didn’t last all that long. He absconded on bail from
Victoria at the time. He knew he was hot so he
had to give up his job as the manager of the menswear
section at David Jones in Perth and he went back there the
next day and robbed the place with an accomplice. Shot a guard while he was there. – [Tara] Roger Rogerson,
then a detective with the New South Wales police,
received a tip off from West Australian police
that Flannery had fled to New South Wales. Rogerson knew that Flannery
had sent a cache of weapons to a suburban railway station in Sydney. A stakeout was organized
and Rogerson and the armed robbery squad lay in
wait for Flannery’s arrival. – So on the day in question
I was there with some other detectives and the first person
we met was Mrs. Flannery. And she put head into the
office and was very nice and saying, “Look, I’m
here to collect a box,” and of course the guys
came in and then these blokes realized that they were trapped. I mean, these blokes
were incredibly towey. I would describe Flannery
as being, obviously, a psycho and of course
it then developed into a free-for-all and I went
up and down on the railway tracks with Flannery and
finally got over top of him and got some handcuffs on
him and they took him back to the CIB. – He was taken back to be questioned. They’re in a room where
there’s about six detectives. They take the handcuffs off Chris and Chris attacks them straightaway, breaks the jaw of one of
the top detectives there. Here’s a guy who was one
out, surrounded by police. He’s just been given a
flogging on the way in, and he takes ’em all on,
attacks the main guy, Rogerson’s there, sees it. Knows that there’s something
this guy’s got that very few people got. – [Tara] Back in jail
for another three years, Flannery decided he needed
a change of occupation. – He had one moment, he
pulled aside his old mate Allen Williams. And he told Williams he said,
“Look, I’m not good at this. “I’m not good at crime. “I think what I’m gonna do
is kill people for a living.” And that’s pretty much how
Rent-A-Kill Inc. started. It was a murder for hire
business designed by Flannery because he was no good at anything else. – Looking at his background
it may well be saw a prison full of people who’d
committed crimes like drugs and street crimes that
were very unsuccessful, hence they were in jail. And because prisons
contain so few murderers, Flannery may well have
decided that murdering people was a lot less risky in
relation to being caught, convicted and going back to jail. – [Tara] Flannery was
just 24 years old when he decided to become a gun for hire. Christoper Dale Flannery
married Kathleen Egan in April, 1978. Kath came from tough stock,
she could handle Chris easily. And she was a doting wife and mother. – Have a word with the
kids about leaving their toys lying around. It’s fuckin dangerous. Christ, where’s me bag? – What time will you be home? – I don’t know, late. – Why late? Call me. – Yes, alright I will. – Darlin’! – [Chris] What now? – Give us a kiss, will ya? Be good, darlin’. – I’m the fuckin’ best there is, baby. – There’s been intense speculation about Kath Flannery’s role with Chris. What we certainly do
know is that she provided the structure and the
organization in his life that he would not have had otherwise. – Psychopaths have traditionally
very poor structure. They don’t normally aspire
to long-range goals, long-range planning. I don’t think that Kath
was probably involved planning the murders but
I think that she gave him the structure. She gave him the structure at home, she gave him the structure in
terms on their relationship, so it may well be he learned
from Kath how to plan, how to structure. – What could I say about Kath? She was certainly very loyal
to him, I could tell you that. When we were out and about
if Chris was just there in their company, he was a
pretty likable type of a bloke. Just one on one and you’re having a drink. As soon as she’d turn up
he’d change his attitude, he’d come this tougher attitude. She really held a lot of strings with him and she picked and choosed. She was always asking
questions about people. One night she walked over to me and said, “How many people have you killed?” And I said, “If I’d killed
anyone, you’d be the last C “I’d ever tell.” – The only person that
I knew on this planet that Chris Flannery was
afraid of was his wife, Kath. He made that clear, pointedly
clear on numerous occasions. He wouldn’t kick on after
hours, he’d say I gotta get home or she’ll have my nuts,
that was one of his sayings. And he meant it. And I’m sure she would’ve, having met her. – I’ve never seen anyone
who was more in love than Kathy and Chris when they were young, not only when they were young but forever. It was the closest bond
that I’ve ever come across. They were infatuated with each other. It was genuine love. It was a Romeo and Juliet style love. And I keep reading that
Kathy was Mrs. Macbeth or what have you and
the truth of the matter is it couldn’t be further from the truth. Chris protected Kathy
at every possible level. They were just in love, totally in love. And I think people underestimate
the quality of that love when they try to analyze
their relationship. – [Tara] Kath was charged
with being an accessory after the fact in the Wilson murder trial. When Flannery was acquitted
the charges against her were dropped. It seems Chris Flannery
was in love and in fear of his wife at the same time. After the break, we
explore Rent-A-Kill inc. And later, we reveal who
murdered Chris Flannery. – Welcome back to Tough Nuts,
Australia’s Hardest Criminals, and Christopher Dale Flannery,
the man called Rent-A-Kill. After walking free from court over the murder of Roger Wilson, Flannery was arrested within
minutes and extradited to New South Wales to face
another murder charge. While out on bail for that crime, Flannery openly touted
for business in Sydney. For $50,000 he’d kill anyone. For $10,000 he’d bash people senseless. Rent-A-Kill Inc. was
now open for business. Naturally, the underworld sat
up and started taking notice. All the crooks in Sydney wanted
to know who Flannery was, and if his reputation as
a killer had any basis. They quickly discovered that it did. – He hated the druggies,
hated the drug dealers. He was old school, he was a dinosaur, and he hadn’t woken up to
the fact that drugs were the in thing, hitmen and bank robberies, and $20,000 TAB robberies
were the old thing. So Chris didn’t like that,
and he didn’t like Barry, and he didn’t like that whole crew. The Sayers crew, Chubb, all of them. He didn’t like any of them. So they had a falling out and I said, “Mate, this is gonna turn nasty here,” and he goes, “I don’t
give a rat’s ass how nasty “it’s gonna get.” And he just walked up to ’em and he goes, “Why don’t you pick
six of your best blokes “to come out in this car park.” And Barry said, “Oh, fuck off. “Six blokes, what are you talkin’ about?” Chris undoes his suit jacket and he just pulls it back like that, and he’s just got this snub-nosed
.38 poked in his pants. And he goes, “One, two,
three, four, five, six. “So, anytime you’re ready boys.” And he walked out to the
car park and that whole pub emptied into as many cabs
as they could and left. – In the 10 years before 1985, the drugs were taking over as the rivers of cash that fueled crime. This was ruled over by two men publicly: George Freemen, Lenny McPherson, the little fella and the big fella. They’re often called the team. The other person, kinda
on the scene somewhat, but associated with them
was Stan “The Man” Smith. – George Freemen gave him a job. Someone told me he was
paying him six or seven hundred bucks a week which
back in those days wasn’t bad dough for doing nothing. All he had to do was behave himself. And I don’t think George ever
asked him to do much at all, there’s been rumors he got
him to stand over this person, stand over that person. I don’t think George needed to do that. But because Flannery was forever
getting around, you know, offering his services to kill people. (boxing match play by play) – [Tara] World champion
boxer Barry Michael became a target for Flannery. Underworld figure Ron Feeney
requested the services of Rent-A-Kill after a
business venture went sour. – The next thing I know
I’m warned around town that they’d bought up
Christopher Dale Flannery to put a contract on me. And Christopher Dale
Flannery, fortunately for me, turned around and said,
“Barry Michael, no way.” He said, “I was there the
night he beat Frank Ropus. He said, “I’m a fan of
his, not interested.” He wasn’t interested in
the job so that was good. – My opinion of hitmen is, hired hitmen, is that I think they’re gutless. I always have. I’m talking about people
who kill for money, you know, it’s the last resort. My opinion of him wasn’t very good. Lower class, he was a toecutter. In other words, he was a back stabber. He’d put one in your back,
he’d turn on you like a snake. – Perhaps Flannery’s most grisly
crime was the double murder of Terence Bashum and his
de facto, Susan Smith. Bashum was a former painter
and docker who Flannery had known from the old days in Melbourne. He had fallen out with
his drug dealing mates who gave Flannery a call. And so Flannery turned
up on Bashum’s doorstep. – [Flannery] That’s a beautiful place, you’ve done very well. – [Bashum] Yeah, cheers. – Here she is, cheers and kisses. – You know Chris. – Christ, Terry, you spawned some. – Yeah. – Ah, she’s a little beauty, mate. Thank God she hasn’t got your looks, eh? – I live for her, mate. We both do. (sighs) – We need to do a little business, mate. – Yeah, I was wondering why
you came all the way up here. I got some bad news for you mate. Sue and I are pulling out. – Would you make us a cup of tea, darling? White ‘n two. – Listen, I know you got
this Colombian thing all workin’ out and under
normal circumstances I’d be right there with you but I
got the kid now, you know? It changes everything. – Ah, white n’ two. – Here’s the thing, mate,
Barry says you haven’t retired. He says that you’re branching out, doing business on your own. – Barry and I just had
a little blue, you know. It’s nothing serious, I’ll patch it up. – What? So you’re not retired? – Not retired exactly. – You see, mate, I don’t care it away. I mean, it’s just business, you know. – Chris. Hey, mate. I got a little kid now. I got cash too, I got over
a hundred thousand so just tell Barry it’s all sweet and I’ll never cross his path again, I promise. You got my word on it. – But what sort of a bloke would I be, what sort of a businessman
would I be if I doubted Barry? Do you see? The customer’s always right, Terry. That customer wants you retired. (gunshot) I’m sorry, darlin’. It’s just business. (gunshot) Where’d you say that
hundred grand was, mate? – Get fucked. – There’s plenty of room
at the table, Terry. But you got greedy. Can’t say I didn’t look after you, mate. (gunshot) Come on. Do you know where daddy keeps his money? There we go. (baby fussing) – Terence Bashum was a
former painter and docker, he and his wife were actively involved in the distribution of
marijuana and heroin. They’re operatives working for Barry Ball, and other drug traffickers. They had decided to go out on their own. It’s a very dangerous business. And Barry Ball contacted Chris Flannery, and asked him to go and murder them for the price of $50,000. – [Announcer] 39 year old Terence
Bashum and his 30 year old de facto wife Susan were in
the lounge room of their home at Stokers Sighting on Friday
night when someone came through their back door. The intruder shot both at
point blank range through the head and body. Their two year old daughter,
Sarah, was left unharmed. – I think the sociopath is very capable of compartmentalizing their mind. And so he might have thought, it’s a child so I’m not
going to kill the child, but it’s not a child he
can empathize with or feel the feelings of so he can easily walk away and leave the child
there with dead parents. When he walked away, the
child was not a person to him. It was just part of him
carrying out the code of commitment I will not kill the child, but that child is nothing to me. I don’t care. – Abandoning a two year old
girl after killing her parents was an appalling act, but
Flannery would go a step further when he attempted to kill
a serving New South Wales police officer. Undercover detective Michael
Drury had been involved in a drug investigation which
led to charges being laid against a drug dealer and mate
of Flannery’s, Alan Williams. Williams tried to buy
himself out of trouble by attempting to bribe Drury. When that didn’t work, he
called on Flannery to kill him. Drury was shot twice in the
kitchen of his Sydney home in front of his two year old daughter. On the verge of death,
Drury made a statement that Roger Rogerson had offered the
bribe on behalf of Williams. The shooting of a policeman
was a crime that horrified the nation. Chris Flannery had well
and truly crossed the line. – This was the type of crime
that was beyond the acceptable behavior of people like Lenny McPherson and George Freemen. They would never interfere in
this way with a police officer or families within the community. They would only interfere
with other violent criminals. Alan Williams came before
the supreme court in New South Wales on a charge
of conspiracy to murder. When the indictment was read
out to him in court in that Alan Williams conspired with
Christopher Dale Flannery and Roger Carly Rogerson to
murder Michael Patrick Drury, how did he plead? He pleaded guilty. – When Mick Drury got shot, I was as shocked and
stunned as anyone else. And had I had any information at all which would’ve had a bearing on it, I’d have been very happy to
pass it on to the police. – [Announcer] Rogerson faced
trial for the attempted bribery of Drury but was acquitted. However in July, 1986,
a police tribunal found Rogerson guilty of misconduct charges and he was dismissed from the force. – [Tara] Flannery never
had his day in court over the shooting of Drury as
he had disappeared by then. But Drury is certain of his guilt. – I’m satisfied, beyond
all reasonable doubt, and I knew many years ago
shortly after I was shot that Chris Flannery was
the person who shot me at my house that evening. – When we return a gunman
fires shots at Flannery, Kath, and their children in the driveway of their Sydney home. This attempt on his life
would throw his volatile personality into overdrive. – Nah, fuck it. – Chris. Chris! – Hey. – Chris, no! – Welcome back to Tough Nuts,
Australia’s Hardest Criminals, and Christopher Dale Flannery,
the man called Rent-A-Kill. In 1985 Sydney’s streets
were awash with blood. A new criminal outfit led by
Barry McCann had commenced a war for control of Sydney’s rackets. Three weeks into the new year, an attempt was made on Flannery’s life. A car pulled up at
Flannery’s Arncliffe home and shots were fired from
a machine gun at Flannery and his family as they arrived
home from a Sunday lunch. – [Announcer] Christopher
Flannery’s Sydney house was peppered with bullets. They smashed through windows,
splintered aluminium cladding, and shattered brick work. Part of the 30 shots fired,
only two found their target. – [Tara] To this day no
one knows who did it. Flannery believed Tom
Domican was responsible, but there’s nothing to suggest that. In the ensuing weeks, Flannery set about killing Domican. Shots were fired at him and his associate. Flannery had become unhinged. – Who ever used the Armalite
to try and kill Chris simultaneously meant to kill
Kath because it was sprayed and they were both together. So whoever did that was
out to get them both. Kristine answers the
door at the same time, so she’s also there. So there’s a young
child, 12 year old child, who’s being shot at
potentially by and Armalite. It changed the rules a little bit. – Flannery took a wound
in the ear which was of no consequence except it
deafened him for a time. The wound in the webbing between his thumb and his forefinger was very painful. – He refused to be treated
with painkilling drugs because he didn’t want to be
in a situation where he could get potentially get caught off guard. So therefore he was suffering
incredible pain all the time. – [Tara] The pain and
the close call with Kath and his family made the
already volitile Flannery more erratic. – In many ways he was the rather true sociopath. He had very little regard
for the well being of other people, and this is quite a disturbing
psychological trait to have. My understanding is he would often brag amongst other people of
the crimes he’d been involved in over the years that went
through the full spectrum to several murders, kidnappings, etc. – I’ve seen him put shots
in, gunshots into roofs of people’s houses over, you know, because he didn’t feel they
were giving him enough respect. I’ve seen him threaten
people that owed him money. – One of Flannery’s more famous lines was, “You’re not a koala bear, I can kill you.” He’d say it to police officers,
he’d say it to criminals. He’d say it to anyone in the street. – Flannery seemed to have fallen
for the trick of believing his own publicity. His spectacularly
violent temper had become even more lethal. He would lash out, assaulting people who had
once regarded him as a friend. No one was safe. – So the doc says, “What
seems to be the problem?” And the bloke goes, “It
hurts when I jerk off.” (laughing) – What’s that bastard up to? – I don’t know, just getting a drink. – Prick, he always shows up empty handed. That’s my personal piss. – He doesn’t know, mate. I’ll replace him. – Nah, fuck him. – Chris. Chris! – Hey. Hey! – Chris, no! Chris! – Next time he’ll bring his own piss. Aye! – I had seen him explode on occasions. I’ve seen him break a guy’s
teeth with the muzzle of a gun and I was sure he was gonna
shoot him right then and there, and he just grabbed this mate by the hair, shoved him up against
the wall of that theater and shoved this gun into
his mouth so violently that it pushed all his
teeth out and split his lip. And he was wide eyed and
absolutely off the planet. – He could fight a bit,
he just rather, he didn’t and that was because he
didn’t want to be scarred. He didn’t like having
facial scars or marks on him so he’d rather hit you or
stick a gun in your face. – Yeah, he was a very good
looking person who didn’t look as if he could fight, but a
lot of people fell into Chris. He was a ferocious fighter. In fact, he could’ve fought of
Australia in the Octagon UFC. That’s the type of fighter he was. – We were in the hotel on
a, I think it was a Thursday night actually and Chris got
into an altercation there with a bloke and his wife. And the girl threatened
him with a stiletto, and he king hit this girl
and he hurt her quite badly. But he’d just lost his temper,
he’d had too much to drink. He didn’t like the bloke,
and he clocked his wife. He started reaching for his gun and I thought he was so
drunk that he would shoot both of them. And so I just king hit him. – And it wasn’t just alcohol
adding to the problem. – Flannery had been
taking cocaine and speed most of his adult life but in the last three months of his life, he was taking cocaine
virtually 10, 20 times a day. He wasn’t staying with his wife, Kath. He remained in contact with
her but for the most part, he was in deep cover taking
cocaine, sleepless nights, deep anxiety, psychosis. – The drugs that he was
taking would’ve surly made his mind quite, you know,
addled and all of those traumatizations, the beatings,
starting right when he was little and the tortures in prison would have made him a
very irrational person. – Flannery was now living in the shadows. His crimes, particularly the
attempt on Michael Drury’s life, were catching up with him. He spent his days wired on
amphetamines, sleep deprived, moving from house to house. The walls were closing in. When we return we reveal
for the first time the answer for who killed
Christopher Dale Flannery. Welcome back to Tough Nuts,
Australia’s Hardest Criminals, and the story of
Christopher Dale Flannery, the man called Rent-A-Kill. The investigation into the
shooting of New South Well’s police officer, Michael Drury,
gathered up a head of steam. The investigations was initially
hampered by corrupt police who spread the word that
Drury himself was corrupt, but that wouldn’t fly. The corrupt cops knew that
Flannery could give them all up. Flannery was caught in a
maelstrom of his own making. George Freeman and his team,
who had kept him on side, now feared him. They knew that Flannery’s
very presence stood in the way of establishing a lasting
peace with the up and comers, McCann’s gang. In February Flannery’s old
mate from prison in Melborne, Mick Sayers, was murdered by three gunman outside his Bronti home. Flannery’s only surviving
friend in the Sydney scene was Tony Eustace, and Flannery
shot him in an attempt to curry favor with Freeman. – [Announcer] 42 year old
Anthony Eustace was about to get into his Mercedes
outside the airport Hilton when the gunman opened fire. There was six shots from
a .45 caliber handgun, four hit Eustace in the the chest. – I think, with the Eustace murder, what was obvious is that,
to they who’s in the know, is that Flannery did it. Because it raised a question about him. Flannery was probably closer
to Eustace than anyone else in Sydney and if Eustace
couldn’t trust him, no one else could. I would say it would be a
factor in them deciding, look, if he’s gonna shoot Eustace,
we better get rid of him. – Chris Flannery told a number of people if he was arrested for my shooting, he was going to roll over and
tell the truth on everyone. And I’m also mindful of the time, he was totally out of control. People were being murdered
left, right, and center, and there was some significant
organized crime figures that couldn’t guarantee their own safety. – I heard the time of his disappearance, there was a dispute that on the one hand between George Freeman and Lenny McPherson and on the other this group
who I’ll loosely describe as the McCann group. And Flannery was seen
as an absolute pissed, and the catalist for solving
the differences between the two groups was to get rid of Flannery. – I spoke with him in the last
couple of months of his life, I’d visited him a couple of times. He was edgy, basically, about the police. He thought that they had locked
him into the Michael Drury shooting and he thought
that there was an obligation on the police to back him up, to back up for what had
happened to Michael Drury. – By May 9th, 1985, Flannery was out of luck, out
of friends, and out of time. He’d been hiding out at
various places around Sydney when crime boss, George
Freeman, tracked him down at an apartment at The Connaught building. According to Kath Flannery, George invited Chris over to
test a new machine pistol. Chris left the building
and was never seen again. (electric guitar music) – [Announcer] Flannery’s family
raised the alarm last night when the 36 year old
Melbourne crime figure failed to return from
a business appointment. – There are a number of theories. One is that he was taken
to George Freeman’s place, tortured on a billiard
table before he was killed. – [Interviewer] So you
say you had nothing to do with his death? – Oh, I had nothing– Is he dead? – [Interviewer] Well, I don’t know. – Is he dead? – [Interviewer] Police
seem to think he might be. – Well, then. Well, I don’t know that. – There’s been all sorts
of conjecture as to what happened to Chris Flannery. Ned Smith came up with a story that I shot Chris Flannery right
between the eyes and killed him. – Rumors abound about how
it happened, what happened, and everyone has their own
two bobs worth on that. But once again, it was all over money. Probably would still be alive
although given Chris’ penchant for guns, he’d probably would
have got himself in the same pickle in another city. – [Tara] Other theories have
Flannery escaping Sydney alive and living under an assumed name but the one person to survive
a hit from Rent-A-Kill, Michael Drury, knows that
Flannery is not the kind to live a quiet life. – He was the type of fellow
that if he was living in any Australian town, even
today, he would want to, within a week or two, be in
charge of the truck raffles in the local pub. And ever person would know he was in town. In criminal terms, had the
opinion that he was a bigger than life personality and
it was important for him for everyone to know that
he was Chris Flannery, Mr. Rent-A-Kill. – A coronial inquest lasting five years took evidence from over 400 witnesses but could only conclude that
Chris Flannery was murdered by person or persons unknown
on or around the date of May 9th, 1985. Just who did it has remains
one of the great mysteries of Australian criminal
history until today. Recently a significant player
in the Chris Flannery story has revealed to Tough Nuts
that Flannery was murdered in or around George Freeman’s
home the day he disappeared and that his killer was
Stan “The Man” Smith. Tough Nuts has checked into
this account with a number of other sources who’ve
agreed that Smith was indeed Flannery’s killer. Stan Smith was a significant
criminal figure in Australia who trafficked in drugs,
yet he was old school. A friend of both George
Freeman and Lenny McPherson and when some dirty work was required, Stan Smith could always be
called upon to do the business. He is believed to have killed
more than a dozen criminals, those like Flannery
that stepped out of line and threatened the
livelihoods of the established criminal network. The powers that be in Sydney decided that Christopher Flannery
should go for the sake of peace. In a funny kind of way, the man who killed for a
living was himself sacrificed so that the business of crime could go on. See you next time on Tough Nuts, Australia’s Hardest Criminals. (dark, sinister music)

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63 thoughts on “Tough Nuts | Chris Flannery | The Man Called Rentakill | S1E1

  1. Why do the cops really go after someone that kills there on more then the rest after all they are the ones that take the oath not the rest of us or children.I say if your a cop you should go after everyone the same way and not rest till you catch them.

  2. I live in Turrella and can clearly recall the machine gun shots when they shot at his house… My Dad was Australian Army Ex-SAS and remember him saying "that was a machine gun" <he would've known being ex SAS> and that night in the news it was confirmed that Chris's house was shot at. I was young and used to see Chris at a local shop on a regular basis, and at the time I had a Ex Police Mini Cooper S. Chris pulled up at a local shop and made comment that he liked my car, and he was driving a Jaguar wearing a safari suit. He seemed like a nice man and had respect for British cars which now I think was quite amazing that he made comment of the car I was driving 🙂 Chris to me seemed like a businessman, and seemed like a nice guy.. Will always remember this and can still see his face and his well spoken manner… This is the google Earth street view of his house in Turrella which is still the same now….. Arncliffe was close but no cigar to the documentary..,151.1461987,3a,43.8y,137.33h,90.06t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sg7XtgURNa5NKXrMoxHNBJA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656…(Watch "Blue Murder" as this was filmed at the actual houses/locations that the things happened ) Also Roger Rogerson was seeing a lady nextdoor to where I lived.. Neddy Smith was living in Banksia at the time, and all too close when you look at the google map.. This is when people had respect for people and I'm currently 51 and still can't imagine what was going on around where I was living/live. Would love to dig around Chris's backyard and see what he left behind 😛 Also see that he lived very close to a river and and wonder what Magnet Fishing would bring up?

  3. He suffered a lot of abuse, but no where near what happened in Russian gulags, so these fuckwit psychologist puppets (I have done psych at uni) have no fucking idea about true systematic torture. Breaking the spine with hammers and letting it heal, then re breaking it in freezing temperatures that cause frostbite is true torture. i am not saying that what they did to him was good, but it is in no way the worst thing you could do to a human. You can keep people alive and cut them all day using blood transfusions.. these indoctrinated experts that they use in these shows are full of shit

  4. He wasn't that tough..
    They say Neddy Smith finally put an end to him. Im a prison officer and I asked Smith if he murdered Flannery, and he said nothing and just smiled…

  5. At 15.00 mins what a load of crap. If we as a prison officer even refer to a paedophile in a derogatory manner, they are on the phone to the official visitor ombudsman dobbing us in, and an investigation will ensue let alone openly assaulting inmates…

  6. Shit I just found this channel who did I miss this I know I live in America but I love murder shows expecialy Australian ones there like us kind of but just not as many but they are wild and I live in Alaska where killers go to retire (kind of)

  7. I went to Oz for a holiday a long time ago. During that trip I got into a fight with a guy who looked just like Flannery. The loon actually bit one my nuts off!

  8. Aussie crims are as good as they get. Australia, per capita, has the most violent and ruthless crims in the world!

  9. If a wife gets 50/50 of all of her husband's (or husbands' in some cases) posessions and endeavors in a divorce for having supported him at home over the years.. shouldn't she also get a 50/50 split of the sentence in a trial where the guy's lived a life of crime? Especially if she knows about it? =p

  10. Does anyone else just want to listen and watch the first girl speak as a commentator she was one hot milf man I love the way she kept moving her head in circles as if a porn star lmao

  11. So Many people had something to say about Chris. Especially the one who assumed he was raped by a man..which was way out of this guy's league to say such a thing without truth. OKAY Chris went after loosers and drug addicts, and killing crime gangs. Pretty crazy Chris with huge nuts!! Disappears and never seen again !!! I don't believe Flannery is dead their were no body to be found. A whole Lotta talk only action was Chris !! Cool upload thanks!!

  12. The guy was a nutjob.. as Neddy once asked him you’ve been charged for every one you did haven’t you Chris..😂

  13. Fuck that what they going to do get locked up ya already locked up so that means that ya home they gu St so what ya do is wait to th lacking strike once strike fast strike hard make sure to chop they h ad ooff kick it down the hall and let them know ya number one

  14. The copper the one that did the drive by on him and that's why it no found out see the bitch ass cops try to kill his kids and not have no worries

  15. The presenter woman needs to learn how to pronounce the word 'Australia'. There is an 'L' in the word. What a dunce.

  16. In India when a police officer is killed none take much serious note of. Because of their corruption and legalities they are despicable and hated lot. A thin line inbetween police and criminals is erased long back!

  17. And a boarding school for kids named "Morning Star" where kids were most likely sexually assaulted! That's some satanic sh*t if you ask me..

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