THE motive for the murder of a Red Cliffs fruit grower in 1983 remains speculative.
Despite a coronial inquest and two murder trials, the person or persons responsible for the killing of 43-year-old Marco Medici remains a mystery.
Police believe a sniper lay in wait among vines with a high-powered rifle as Mr Medici returned home in a Mini Moke after inspecting a nearby property.
A bullet casing was found in vines about 50 metres from where he was found by ambulance officers slumped on the driver’s seat of the blood-stained Moke.
The vehicle was parked in the driveway of Mr Medici’s Pumps Road property.
Mr Medici underwent emergency surgery at Mildura Base Hospital before he was flown to Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide on the night of the shooting, but he died the following day.
Members of the Melbourne Homicide Squad as well as Mildura detectives conducted a house-to-house search of the area and seized several firearms, while forensic science experts visited the area on a number of occasions and came up with what was described as “valuable information”.
It was suggested the shooting may have been drug-related
however police also said a car crash in which two youngsters died on New Year’s Eve had also been included in one line of inquiry.
The hood framework of the Mini Moke was dismantled and sent to Melbourne for intensive forensic tests.
Police at the time said they were following two “definite lines of inquiry”, however a week after the murder, detectives said they were following a “definite lead” in the murder case, and said they had spent the weekend following “one line of inquiry”.
A coronial inquiry was told that about 2pm on the day of the murder, Mr Medici and his son had inspected a nearby fruit block and as they were about to return home a shot struck the older man causing a fatal wound
In more recent years, the murder was suspected of being an underworld hit.
Mr Medici’s cousin Rocco Medici was shot and killed the year after the Red Cliffs murder and his body was dumped with a criminal associate in the Murrumbidgee River near Griffith.
Police suspected the rifle used in the killing of Marco Medici was supplied by the same man who provided the gun that killed anti-drug crusader Donald MacKay at Griffith in 1977.
Mr Medici’s son Matteo Rosario Medici was charged with his father’s murder and in 1988 – after two trials – was acquitted.
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