KNIFE THUG PROBED ON TAXI DEATH

Herald Sun - - FRONT PAGE - MARK BUTTLER

A VI­CIOUS brute is be­ing probed over a street slay­ing that oc­curred in the pe­riod be­tween two knife at­tacks in which he nearly killed two men.

The Her­ald Sun can re­veal John Sa­muel Thack­ray has been spo­ken to by de­tec­tives over the mur­der of taxi driver Mo­hamud Muke­tar at Fitzroy.

Po­lice were drawn to Thack­ray due to the sav­age and un­pro­voked na­ture of the three knife at­tacks.

Mr Muke­tar’s death came in the six months be­tween knife at­tacks by Thack­ray in South Yarra.

Thack­ray has a long his­tory of vi­o­lent crime, in­clud­ing bash­ing a man who de­fended a child from his abuse, try­ing to abduct a woman, beat­ing a cell­mate and at­tack­ing two bus driv­ers and a truckie.

“He is a dan­ger to ev­ery­one he comes into con­tact with,” de­tec­tive Sen-Con­sta­ble Shane Neville said in a bail hear­ing for Thack­ray last year.

In the first at­tack on March 18 last year, the home­less Thack­ray re­peat­edly plunged his knife into John An­der­son at South Yarra, pen­e­trat­ing his heart with one strike.

On April 20, Mr Muke­tar was sense­lessly mur­dered by a man who crossed Napier St and stabbed his up­per body re­peat­edly. Noth­ing was stolen.

In Au­gust of that year, Thack­ray struck again at South Yarra, in­flict­ing deep wounds to the face, arms, legs and chest of Shaun Foo. Both men at­tacked in South Yarra were able to sur­vive se­vere blood loss.

Mr Muke­tar, whose fam­ily fled war-torn So­ma­lia, had worked as a taxi driver since 2005, shar­ing shifts with his fa­ther. On the night of his death, he knocked off at 11.30pm and parked his car in Con­dell St to start a short walk home. As he turned into Napier St, the knife­man ap­proached and in­flicted hor­rific wounds in a sus­tained on­slaught.

There is noth­ing to con­nect Thack­ray to the killing and po­lice are un­der­stood to be re­luc­tant to ex­clude the pos­si­bil­ity some­one else is re­spon­si­ble. Vic­to­ria Po­lice de­clined to com­ment on Mr Thack­ray but said the investigation was on­go­ing.

“Homi­cide Squad in­ves­ti­ga­tors have spo­ken to a man as part of their investigation, how­ever at this time are un­able link him to Mo­hamud’s mur­der,” a spokes­woman said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors re­leased vi­sion of a cy­clist and a white Toy­ota Yaris, which was seen pass­ing through the Fitzroy Town Hall round­about six times near the time of the killing. mark.buttler@news.com.au Any­one with in­for­ma­tion can call Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000 or visit crimestop­pers.vic.gov.au

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