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Russell Street Bombing

On 27 March 1986 an unprecedented act of public violence resulted in the death of a policewoman, Angela Taylor, serious injuries to many others and millions of dollars in damage. The crime, motivated by a hatred of police, was intended to create a diversion while a gang of criminals committed an armed robbery in Donvale. Until 1978 Russell Street had been the site of the police headquarters, and in 1986 the complex housed many sections including the D24 Communications Centre. The massive explosion blew in every window of the building and most in the nearby Magistrates' Courts. The explosives had been stolen a year earlier from a mine at Blackwood. They were packed into a stolen car, which two of the gang left in a bus zone outside Russell Street. A timer set off the explosion. An exhaustive investigation led to the July 1988 conviction and sentencing of Stanley Taylor and Craig Minogue for murder, and of Rodney Minogue and Peter Reed for related offences. Rodney Minogue's conviction was set aside on appeal. Followed closely by the murder of two policemen in Walsh Street in 1988, the bombing underscored continued police vulnerability to criminal threat.

Gavin Brown

Brown, Gavin, Gary Presland, and Ralph Stavely, In the performance of duty, Victoria Police Historical Society, Melbourne, 1994. Details