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Mick Gatto leaves newspaper message to family of dead hitman, James Bazley

Mick Gatto has paid tribute to underworld hitman James Bazley.

Bazley, released from prison in 2001, died in a Melbourne nursing home last week, aged 92.

He has long been suspected of being the hitman who murdered Liberal candidate and anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay in Griffith, NSW, in 1977, but never confessed.

Bazley, also known as ‘Machine Gun’, was also jailed for the murders of two drug couriers in Rye on the Mornington Peninsula in 1979.

Two tributes have been published in the Herald Sun today.

One comes from Bazley’s relatives, and the other is attributed to Carlton identity Mick Gatto.

“Jimmy was a very loyal, staunch friend,” it read.