Australia's most notorious mobster, jailed over a string of gangland killings which captivated the country and left 30 people dead, was himself killed in a prison bashing on Monday, police said.
Carl Williams, a cherubic-faced underworld killer known widely in Australia as "Fat Boy", died after he suffered head injuries and went into cardiac arrest at Barwon Prison, south of Melbourne.
Williams, 39, had been serving a 35-year minimum jail term after pleading guilty in 2007 to the murder of three gangland rivals.
"Police believe an altercation occurred between Williams and another inmate. Homicide squad detectives are at the scene and are investigating the circumstances," a police statement said. Australians have for years been fascinated by the sordid drama involving Williams which played out on Melbourne streets for almost 10 years. The vicious underworld war was fodder for a hit local television series called "Underbelly".
In October 1999, drug-runners Jason and Mark Moran shot Williams in the stomach over a debt while they celebrated his 29th birthday.
Williams lived, but sought revenge through years of mayhem as rival gangs swapped brutal payback hits, often in public places. Williams made a fortune through the sale of drugs, using the money to eliminate rivals, often using hitmen.
Jason Moran and a bodyguard were shot dead by a contract killer sitting in Moran's van at a football club in June 2003. Moran's two children were also in the vehicle.
His brother Mark was shot dead arriving home in 2000.
Another well-known underworld figure, Mick Gatto, said he would not comment on the death of Williams, who had many enemies after payback wars stretching between 1995 and 2004, as he would "rather let dead dogs lie".