Purana Taskforce detectives are today releasing an image of a man they wish to speak to following the 2003 gangland murder of Willie Thompson.
A $1 million reward was announced in March last year for information in relation to the 39-year-old’s death in Malvern East.
Detectives have been actively working on the investigation over the past year.
Thompson was murdered while alone in his vehicle on Waverley Road about 9.30pm on 21 July, 2003.
He was a regular at a nearby martial arts gym on Warrigal Road and had been at the business until the end of the last class at 8.30pm.
Thompson then returned to his silver Honda Roadster convertible, which he had parked on Waverley Road.
It’s believed a red Ford sedan drove across several lanes of traffic on Waverley Road from a nearby car park and stopped near his vehicle.
A male passenger then got out of the vehicle and fired a number of shots at Thompson before the male driver of the vehicle exited and also fired a number of shots.
Thompson was fatally injured and died at the scene before police arrived.
The two men left the scene and their vehicle, which is believed to have been stolen earlier from a property in Travancore, was later located burnt out in a laneway off Bath Place, Port Melbourne.
Detectives now believe it’s likely that a third person was there with the two men when Thompson was killed.
They also believe a second vehicle was deliberately parked in front of Thompson’s car in an attempt to box him in.
A witness has described one of the men involved in the fatal shooting as “looking like Carlo from Big Brother” (season three).
Police have put together a digital composite image of a man they are hoping to identify and are urging members of the public who may have information about who this man is to come forward.
At the time of his murder, Thompson was known to police and had a number of connections to a range of gangland figures including Nick Radev and Carl Williams.
He was also known to be involved in drug trafficking with particular links to Western Australia.
Police have travelled to Western Australia over the past year in the hope of tracking down people who may have had connections to Thompson at the time of his death.
Detective Acting Inspector Gerry McKenna said police are confident this investigation is solvable.
“Even though it’s been almost 16 years since Thompson’s death, we still believe there are people out there with information about this case,” she said.
“We absolutely believe that it can be solved and the offenders can be brought to justice.
“Obviously circumstances can change, so people who did not feel comfortable speaking to police at the time may now be in a position to do so and this is why we are making this appeal for information again today.”
A reward of up to $1 million will be paid at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner of Police for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Willie Thompson.
In appropriate cases, the Director of Public Prosecutions may consider, according to established guidelines, the granting of indemnification from prosecution to any person who provides information as to the identity of the principal offender or offenders in this matter.
Any payment of a reward will be subject to the applicant signing a deed of confidentiality prior to payment.
Investigators are seeking public assistance to help solve this murder and are appealing directly to anybody with knowledge of this crime and of those responsible to come forward and contact police.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au