A young Bassem Hamzy (centre): his story was never going to end well, not even then.
Bassam Hamzy is widely regarded as Australia’s most dangerous criminals, although as someone who knows plenty of criminals – variously and in no particular order of the alleged, convicted, confessed, widely rumored, framed, and clean skinned ostensibly respectable business variety, including among their number at least half a dozen killers – I would argue the toss with the true crime ‘experts’ on that issue any day of the week.
Take it from me, the most dangerous criminals in this or any other country aren’t neglected kids turned psychopaths whose life experience growing up on mean streets of rat holes like the Kings Cross streets, start sucking glass pipes like Chupa Chups in their early teens, and end up that far gone by the time they’re old enough to vote that they think putting a few hollow points into the head of a guy who accidentally bumped into them at the bar and made them spill their drink makes them the godfather.
Intelligent men and truly dangerous criminals know that it doesn’t.
Vito Corleone went to his maker in his eighties, a rich and happy old man playing with his grandson among the tomatoes in the backyard garden of his sprawling mansion, his criminal record as pure as the cherub immortalised in the statue by which he died (as an aside, gee I’ve seen that statue somewhere before: Archie is not the only student of crime history in the wide brown land, don’t you worry about that, but he is the best looking).
Vito Corleone was a smart man, and extremely dangerous too, a man to be feared, respected and – for those aspiring to a successful life of crime – admired, and if you dismiss the Godfather as simply an exaggerated character in a film or novel then I suggest that you think again; the Don Corleone role played by Marlon Brando may be highly stylised, but is does not mean that it is not a remarkably accurate depiction of men of our golden soil both living and dead.
Bassem Hamzy on the other hand is not a smart man; he will never play with his grand-children in a backyard garden, or with their parents, for he was jailed before he had the opportunity to settle down and sire an heir, and we should all be grateful for that.
He will never enjoy the pleasures of a life lived in a luxurious mansion’ the only abodes he will know are the streets, his parents humble home in Sydney’s battling Western Suburb’s, and the small concrete and steel bedsit so humble that it lacks even window out which he can peer at that little tent of blue that men of yore like him called the sky.
Wealth will be a stranger for Hamzy, and happiness unknown, and he will die not in the warmth of the sun and the bosom of the many who love him – if such a human being exists at all – but under artificial lights that burn 24 hours a day, surrounded by hate and visceral malice, yet alone.
Supermax – The luxury hotel where all criminal masterminds hope to live when they retire
For an all too brief – for him, and all too long for the many that he hurt or killed – time at an age when men with pure hearts and horribly bad luck wore SLR’s and greens Bassem Hamzy was the backward-facing baseball cap and handgun wielding big man on a block full of barely literate, uneducated, weak-willed fools; but nearly decades have passed since, and time waits for no man stupid enough to fire a pistol into a strangers head on a crowded street in the full gaze of a gaggle of witnesses and CCTV cameras for no real reason at all, and his only hopes and dreams for the future are that one day he may die a painless and natural death.
This is abridged yet immutable truth about Bassam Hamzy and his life story.
Neither a criminal mastermind or a man of great intelligence, nor a drug lord or some type of Godfather of organised crime, Bassem Hamzy is simply a kid who had a wretched life’s journey along a badly broken path, and along the way somewhere he simply stopped feeling any emotion or empathy for others. In the absence of these feelings that form the base elements of the human soul Hamzy stopped being human; unrestrained by empathy and uncaring of the consequences he did whatever the mood and a heart filled with pain and hurt and hate impelled him to do, and none of it was good.
Hamzy’s is the classic example of the archetypal personality disorder that leads so many violent criminals into the cages in which they inevitably end up spending their lives and die their deaths, and his would be just another tragic tale of little note, but for one thing: Hamzy had charisma.
Not charisma of the movie star kind, but rather a leader of the lion pack type crazy-brave and devil may care because I don’t charisma of the kind that immature, unintelligent young men living quiet lives of desperation on the margins of society have at various times in history been drawn to like moths to a blazing flame.
Lacking imagination, and thus unable to envisage anything of life other than the mind-numbing misery of their daily existence, youths like this are drawn to men like Hamzy who paint pictures of a way out of the bleakness of their lives; crazed fanatics who make them believe that if they follow him they will come to a door, and when he opens it and they walk through they will be stepping into a world filled with more money than they could ever spend, and girls ten times hotter than the porn stars on the free internet tubes, and big flash care and boats and bikes, and a river of drugs that never stops flowing.
It’s their’s for the taking Hamzy tells them, and inspired by his confidence and his spiel and his own fearless actions borne of a mixture of lack of care for consequences and an inability to feel – and oblivious to the fact that Hamzy cares no more about their lives than he does his own, and would have them killed in a heartbeat if it suited his needs – they believe him and will follow him to the edge of hell and jump into the fire.
These are the young men that he gathered around him; the dull-eyed, dreamless youths who Hamzy stared in the eye and swore would always be his brothers.
These were the lemmings who would follow him over the cliff any time that he asked.
These were the Brothers 4 Life.
Bassam Hamzy may not be Australia’s most dangerous criminal – in fact properly monitored and managed inside the maximum security prisons that he’s been incarcerated in since the turn of the century he’s not dangerous at all – but if Hamzy was ever to be provided with an opportunity to ask his acolytes to run to the edge of the abyss and jump in he would be very bloody dangerous indeed.
But he couldn’t ask, could he? He’s an inmate in Australia’s most secure prison.
Be real Archie, how would he possibly do it?
To be continued ………….