Cold case from Werribee 1932 – a look at ‘Unlawfully and Maliciously Murdered’

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. ) Sat 18 Feb 1950
Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. )Tue 29 Nov 1932

Track 9 off the new Doomed Bird album is called Unlawfully and Maliciously Murdered. It concerns a murder of Sicilian market gardener Giovanni Garetto in Werribee, near Melbourne, in late 1932.

His body was left with over 50 gun shot wounds.

The general consensus is that Garetto had no enemies, yet it’s hard not to think that there must have been motivation for what he kept under his pillow:

Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. )Tue 29 Nov 1932

Little clues could be found pointing to who the murderer was. Police started to speculate that Garetto was the victim of the Camorra, ‘an Italian secret society’. Although, some contested this. Local Italians suggested this unlikely as he wasn’t stabbed to death. What possibly convinced police to pursue this theory further was the incredible efficiency with which the murder was carried out. They couldn’t find any clues of any sort at the scene.

Having said this, it was also suggested that he was simply the victim of a grudge.

Garetto’s wife and child were still in Vizzini, Sicily at the time of the murder. Had the murder not taken place, they may have emigrated over and lived in Werribee. But this was not to be the case.

The murder remains unsolved.