The Parkside Body in the Freezer Case:
Gino "Luigi" Gambardella
Gino “Luigi” Gambardella was a well-known, chiropractor who ran his practice from a business premises on Prospect Road, Prospect in the 1970’s.
“Luigi” as he was known, was very well known in Adelaide’s 70’s gay sex scene, often seen frequenting Adelaide’s gay strips looking for young men.
Gambardella was a close friend of Derrance Stevenson, and Bevan Spencer Von Einem, and connected with a number of Von Eminem’s associates.
|Downtown - Hindley Street, Adelaide|
One of the places Gambardella would pick up
young men for his clients
David Szach’s, who convicted for the murder of Stevenson, also speculated that Gambardella was the person behind a number of threatening phone calls that were received at Stevenson’s house after Stevenson had decided to try and leave a secret group of men involved in drugging and filming young men in the late 1970’s.
Gambardella was charged in 1979 as an accessory to murder in the Stevenson case, but his charges were later dropped. It was during the case that it was revealed that Gambardella was known scout for the secretive group, frequenting Adelaide’s gay hotspots, during his lunch breaks, and after work, recruiting young men for sex with a client list of Adelaide’s wealthy and elite.
Gambardella fled South Australia after his brush with the law in 1980. It is believed he went into hiding in Italy. It was during an inquest into “The Family” murders, surrounding the case of Bevan Spencer Von Einem, that Gambardella’s identity and paedophilic past was presented into the public arena.
Gambardella was known to police, he had had several young men place reports against him in the 1970’s, but the reports were ignored by police. A young man reported that Gambardella had picked him up in 1997. Gambardella had first taken him to Stevenson’s Parkside home, only to find the lawyer not home, so he drove the young man to his Prospect business premises.
Once inside, he showed the young man an amateur pornographic movie and then sexually assaulted him.
Gambardella was also known to be a drug dealer, and it is thought this is how he lured young men into his seedy world. It is alleged, that once the men were high, Gambardella could do whatever he wanted, and often he would film them for his network, sometimes he would take photos of the young boys with objects firmly pushed into their backsides – nothing was out of the question for
Gambardella was also known for picking up hitchhikers and sexually assaulting them. It was alleged during the “Family Murders” investigation, that Gambardella would take the hitchhikers up to Stevenson’s home and the two men would sexually assault them together.
It was Gambardella who introduced the 16-year-old Szach’s to Stevenson, Gambardella had promised the teenager a successful career in modelling, and had insisted on photographing him.
It has also been alleged that Gambardella would place fake job ads in local newspapers for a part time gardening position. Young men would apply, and Gambardella would interview them. Often his questioning would lead toward risqué topics, to measure the boy’s response, and it is alleged he would then single out the ones who weren’t suspicious or reacted in certain ways for future sexual assaults.
Gambardella’s location is currently unknown, but Police have dropped any charges they had against
|Veale Gardens - South Adelaide Parklands|
A notorious gay sex hangout in the 1970's, in walking distance
to Derrance Stevensons 'house in Parkside
Another interesting character associated with Gambardella and Stevenson is former High Court Judge, Lionel Murphy. It is alleged that the former Judge was present on the night of Stevenson’s death.
This claim first surfaced in 1991, when the Legal Services Commission contacted David Szach’s and stated that someone had come forward with information about the visit. A taxi driver is alleged to have dropped Mr Murphy and two other men off at the house in Parkside on the night of the murder.
Lionel Murphy died in 1986, after a long career which saw him serve as the attorney-general in the Whitlam Government. His long career ended in controversy when he charged with trying to pervert the course of Justice in 1985, and jailed. His conviction was swiftly over-turned and Judge Murphy returned as a working Judge, this led Bob Hawke to invoke an inquiry into the matter.
The case was reported in The Australian (newspaper) in December 2016 as “one of the greatest judicial scandals since federation was left with no conclusion, the commission being abandoned when it was revealed Murphy had been diagnosed with cancer and had only months to live” by reporter Kylar Loussikian.
Murphy died in 1986 after a brief fight against cancer.
If High Court Judge Lionel Murphy was at the Stevenson house in 1979, what was he doing there?
Who were the other men he was with?
Who were the other men he was with?
The only person who might be able to answer that question in Gambardella, and no one is certain where he is, or if he is even still alive!
(Bibliography in the final blog post of this series)