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100 Years ago....

"Squizzy" Taylor winged during gangland affray

Oct 2, 1922

The elusive Leslie "Squizzy" Taylor, linked to Melbourne's criminal factions, was shot at three times and wounded as he entered the bookmakers' clerks' club rooms in Bourke Street tonight. Three shots were fired from a .25 calibre auotmatic pistol, one of them hitting Taylor in the leg.

Taylor said he did not see his assailant, but police believed they knew the gunman and late tonight they arrested and charged Joseph Lennox Cotter, a 28-year-old clerk who was found in bed in a house in Gore Street, Fitzroy, with an automatic pistol and several cartridges at his side. Police are concerned that the shooting , which startled a crowded Bourke Street, could mark the beginning of a new gangland war similar to the Melbourne vendettas of 1919.

Taylor seemed to fear a further attack and asked police to go with him to hospital where the bullet was removed and he was allowed to go home. He surrendered to police only a few days ago after eluding them for a year on charges of breaking into a city bond store. He is due to appear in court tomorrow and told police he was shot because the underworld against whom he was fighting were trying to keep him away from court.

Article from "Chronicle of the 20th Century" ISBN 1 872031 80 3

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