Notorious Australian hit man dies in prison
ONE of Australia's most infamous hit men has died in prison, taking his dark secrets to the grave.
Rodney Collins, who was involved in a series of violent murders spanning decades, has died in custody, the Herald Sun reports. It's understood he died of cancer.
The 72-year-old was serving a life sentence for murdering Ramon and Dorothy Abbey in 1987 as their children slept nearby.
For decades Collins had connections to some of Australia's most evil criminals, and police suspected him of committing up to nine murders.
He was named as the hit man hired by convicted Australian murderer and drug trafficker Carl Williams to kill police informer Terence Hodson and his wife Christine.
The pair were tied up and shot in the head at their Kew flat in May 2004. Williams reportedly paid him $150,000 for the murders, and later told police he hired Collins as the hit man. Williams was later killed in jail.
The Hodsons' murders remain one of the state's highest profile unsolved cases, and Collins remains the chief suspect.
Collins was also believed responsible for the slaying of drug dealer Michael Schievella and his wife Heather McDonald, who were found tied up with their throats cut in 1990.
He's been linked to the murders of Raymond Bennett in 1979, Brian Kane in 1982 and Mario Condello in 2006.
According to the Herald Sun, Collins was a target in prison over the rumour he had provided police with information about other criminals.
In 2011, CCTV footage from Barwon Prison showed him being manhandled by another inmate. After he later appeared with a black eye, he was moved into virtual isolation.
Collins still had almost three decades to spend in prison, and would have been in his nineties before he'd have a chance at parole.