Gregory John Brazel Brazel
has been known for years as "Bluey" because of his
distinct ginger hair. He
has long been considered one of the most dangerous inmates in the Victorian prison system and is usually shackled when taken to court. Brazel
first entered jail in the mid-70's and has only spent about four years outside since.
The former altar boy and son of a New South Wales detective has more than 75 criminal convictions and a prison record involving at least 25 violent offences.
These include stabbing three prisoners in separate attacks, breaking the noses of two prison officers, assaulting police, cutting off the tip of his
left ear, threatening to kill staff, pushing a governor's head through a plate-glass window and using jail phones to intimidate witnesses.Brazel
once smuggled a knife out of jail during a trip to face charges and produced it inside Brunswick Magistrates' Court.He
has been caught at least three times with smuggled mobile telephones inside maximum-security divisions.Brazel started numerous jailhouse fires and is a serial hunger striker.His
criminal record also includes being in possession of a pistol and house-breaking equipment, burglary, forgery and receiving stolen goods.Brazel's
also got form for obtaining goods by deception, armed robbery, resisting arrest, bribery of a public official, false imprisonment, arson and making threats to kill.
In 1976, while in the army medical corps, he
took five privates hostage during an exercise in Healesville. He
fired shots during the siege before a captain persuaded him to give up. He
was dishonourably discharged from the army.
In 1979 Brazel slit celebrity criminal, Mark "Chopper" Read's stomach open during a prison brawl.
Chopper burst his
stiches the next day doing push ups to get fit enough for a revenge attack on Brazel
has admitted to executing mother of two Mildred Hanmer, 51, in her
Warren Road hardware shop on September 20, 1982.She
was shot in the chest.
first admitted to murdering Mrs Hanmer soon after the death of his mother-in-law from cancer in August 2000.
claimed to have become concerned over the years about how the children of his
three victims coped after he
executed their mothers. He
admissions might help them by removing uncertainty about the murders.
Detectives interviewed Brazel
in the St Kilda Rd homicide squad office amid tight security and have also questioned him several times in Barwon Prison.
In a video-taped confession, he
shot Mrs Hanmer and stole money from her
hardware shop and bank agency to make it look like a robbery gone wrong.
"I have little remorse for most of the things I have done, but with Mrs Hanmer it was like killing your mum," Brazel
said from inside Barwon Prison.
said being diagnosed with a life-threatening pre-cancerous condition caused him to reflect on his
past and prompted him to confess. Brazel
told the Herald Sun he
would plead guilty.
would not give the incriminating tapes to police.
Homicide squad detectives had searched for the tapes, but were unable to find them.
It is believed the two men Brazel claims he
recorded discussing the murder of Mrs Hanmer have been questioned by police and have denied involvement in her
Police arranged for Brazel
to speak to one of the five implicated men by telephone from inside Barwon Prison in the hope the man -- who was in an interstate jail -- would admit his
involvement, but he
told the Herald Sun he
had decided not to pass on the tapes as he
feared those secretly taped might harm his
family or friends.
A lawyer had the tapes.
"The police are aware that at that time I used to tape all my conversations," Brazel
"And they are aware that I have certain tapes, but I don't want to disclose them because I am fearful for my family."
On December 3, 1982, only weeks after murdering Mildred Hanmer, Brazel
committed an armed robbery on a bank in Whitehorse Road, Balwyn.
In 1988 convicted police murderer Peter Allen Reed claimed that Brazel
crept into his Pentridge cell.
Reed stated that Brazel
then repeatedly stabbed him with a pair of scissors.
was later jailed for killing two prostitutes, Sharon Taylor and Roslyn Hayward in 1990.
The Supreme Court heard Brazel
drugged and strangled Ms Hayward in September 1990 and buried her off a bush track near Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula.
told the Herald Sun
that the motive was to prevent her
from giving evidence against a bikie in a South Australian murder trial.He
murdered Miss Hayward while on pre-release after serving a sentence for armed robbery.He
stabbed Ms Taylor, who was on a witness protection program, while on parole.
Escort agency records showed Brazel
was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years with a minimum of 25.Brazel
has since claimed that he
used some of the money he
was paid to kill the prostitutes to ensure life inside was more comfortable for him in jail than it was for some of the other inmates.He
paid a corrupt prison officer about $26,000 over a two-year period in the 1990's to supply him with three mobile phones and a steady supply of vodka and Kahula.
Brazel claims he
used the phone to place bets on his
TAB phone account.Brazel
held a Melbourne Remand Centre
staff member hostage with a knife to his
throat in November, 1991. He
threatened to kill Gunther Krohn because of a decision to transfer him from the Remand Centre
to Pentridge but finally surrendered after a three-hour siege.Brazel
told prison authorities he
had a cigarette lighter and two oxygen cylinders and that: "When you guys come in here you'll find two corpses - this place will be blown off the face of the earth.
position as Victoria's most feared prisoner after he
was bashed and seriously injured by by fellow inmates in 1998.
But police say he
remained violent and erratic.He
has been assessed as one of the state's highest-risk inmates and is kept in the Barwon Prison's top-security Acacia Unit.
In October 1998, Brazel
was bashed by a revenge-driven group of prisoners.
While in Brazel
was Barwon Prison's maximum security Acacia unit, a group of prisoners broke into the exercise yard after spending considerable time breaking a window with a rowing machine.
In May 2001, Brazel
was attacked by another inmate in Port Phillip Prison
, this time with a broken bottle.
The prisoner was later found guilty of recklessly causing serious injury and jailed for two years and nine months.
On July 8, 2002, Brazel
pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, via a video link to Barwon Prison near Geelong to killing Mildred Teresa Hanmer.
"The bottom line is that Gregory John Brazel
appears before this court charged with murder, a murder he
freely admits he
committed and after many years of reflection has come forward," Mr Brazel
claimed to have shot her
in the back after forcing her
to lie face down.
On January 6, 2003, a Herald Sun story stated that Brazel
had sweet-talked an elderly woman into putting up to $30,000 into his
TAB telephone betting account.
The benefactor was Brazel's
religious counsellor before she
retired from volunteer prison duties.
The "donations" happened while Brazel
and the woman maintained their friendship in a series of phone calls the murderer made from Barwon Prison, near Geelong. Brazel
, a convicted double killer awaiting sentence over a third murder he
has confessed to, is said to have received up to $30,000 from the woman over four years.
The TAB account is operated by another female friend.
It is believed the killer told his
former counsellor he
needed the money for his
first opportunity for parole comes in 2020.
It is believed Brazel
used the cash to bet on horses through his
other female friend and to send her
on shopping sprees. Brazel befriended the religious counsellor about 10 years ago while she was working for the Prison Fellowship at the