Kath Pettingill bigraphy, stories - Criminals

Kath Pettingill : biography

1935 -

Kathleen Pettingill (born 1935) is the matriarch of the Melbourne based criminal family, the Pettingill family.

Pettingill has one glass eye, having lost an eye after being shot through a closed door at the Collingwood Housing Commission of Victoria flats by Kim Nelson and Keryn Thompson as she and her son Dennis attempted to repay a $300 debt on behalf of her daughter, Vicky.

Having herself been a prostitute, she then went on to run brothels.

Her children include some of Melbourne's most infamous criminals:


  • Dennis Allen, an infamous Melbourne drug dealer. Died in 1987 of a heart attack while in custody awaiting trial for murder.
  • Peter Allen, convicted of armed robbery.
  • Lex Peirce, minor criminal record.
  • Victor Peirce, acquitted of the 1988 Walsh Street police shootings, killed in 2002.
  • Jamie Pettingill, died of a heroin overdose in 1985, aged 21.
  • Trevor Pettingill, acquitted of the 1988 Walsh Street police shootings. Trevor has multiple convictions for firearms and drug-related offences, and has served several jail terms. He has been described as a "career criminal".


A biography of her life, titled, The Matriarch: The Kathy Pettingill Story was released in 1996 written by Adrian Tame. Pettingill now lives in Venus Bay, Gippsland, Victoria.

A fictionalized version of her appears in the film Animal Kingdom, in which she is portrayed by Jacki Weaver, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance. 
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