8 Dec 2013

'Love triangle' involved in Bassett Rd murders too

6:38 am on 8 December 2013

A new book says one of New Zealand's most notorious murders was over a love triangle as well as criminal rivalry.

The murders happened in Bassett Rd, Auckland, on 7 December 1963.

Two Auckland men connected with the illegal liquor trade were machine-gunned to death and two rival gangland figures, Ron Jorgensen and John Gillies, were convicted of killing them.

Crime historian Scott Bainbridge says in his book The Bassett Road Machine Gun Murders that there was also rivalry over a 17-year-old woman between one of the dead men and the gangland boss of both Jorgensen and Gillies.

He says yet another love triangle led Gillies to seek protection by acquiring the machine-gun that was used in the killings.

Jorgensen, who was later paroled, disappeared after a staged car crash. Mr Bainbridge believes, however, that he was probably murdered by criminal associates.

Gillies spent the rest of his life in and out of jail for various offences and could still be alive.