Kathy Pettingill is a name that's both respected and feared, not only by Australia's criminal underworld, but by many in the Victorian police force. As the matriarch at the head of the most notorious and violent family of habitual offenders in Australian criminal history, her life has revolved around murder, drugs, prison, prostitution and bent coppers–and the intrigue and horror that surround such crimes.
Her eldest son Dennis Allen was a mass murderer and a $70,000-a-week drug dealer who dismembered a Hell's Angel with a chainsaw. Two younger sons were acquitted of the Walsh Street murders, the cold-blooded assassination of two police officers which changed forever the face of crime in Melbourne. One of the two, Victor, was gunned down himself in the street 14 years later, becoming the third son Kathy has buried.
In this authorised book Kathy Pettingill reveals the chilling truth behind many of the myths and legends that surround her family, including her experiences in the blood-spattered charnel house at the centre of Dennis's empire of drugs and violence. But The Matriarch is no plea for pity–gritty, forthright and deeply disturbing, like its subject this story pulls no punches.