Stanley John “The Enforcer” Smith

Stanley John “The Enforcer” Smith

Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Death 14 Jan 2010 (aged 73)
Gladesville, Hunter's Hill Municipality, New South Wales, Australia
Burial Cremated, Other, Specifically: Cremated at Macquarie Park, ashes taken on January 29, 2010
Memorial ID 65243400 · View Source
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"The Enforcer"

Stan "The Man" Smith, aka Raymond Arthur Owens, was one of the most feared criminal enforcers in the Sydney underworld for over 30 years and alongside his companions Lenny McPherson and George Freeman practically dominated Sydney's criminal fraternity from the late 1950's through to the 1980's. One of the most successful hit men in Australian history, he was linked to 25 shootings and 15 murders, yet in his life spent only a small amount of time in prison and was also one of the biggest figures in the drug trade. A man who excelled at remaining in the background, his name was so feared that the mere mention of it was enough to bring other criminals into line making him a true Tough Nut.


There were people present who were from ''a lot of different backgrounds'', the pastor at West Ryde Baptist Church said yesterday, in a masterly understatement suiting the man whose life they were commemorating, the former underworld figure Stan ''The Man'' Smith.
Some looked as though they had tough lives. Many were elderly, having known Smith in his heyday, in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, when he was part of a triumvirate with Len McPherson and George Freeman - ruling the underworld with timely ''suggestions''.
Then there were others, including parishioners from the Evangel Church, a religious group in Putney that Smith had joined after he converted on November 6, 2003, at a city bowling club.
And indeed the tributes flowed. Jack Sparrow, a long-time friend, speaking from the time before Smith's conversion, said Smith had been ''one of the finest human beings I have had the privilege of being able to call my friend''.
''Wherever he was, he was always held in the highest esteem. He always had respect for those who came in contact with him. His loyalty to his friends was legendary. One only has to look around this congregation - people from near and far who have come to pay homage to his memory.''
Pastor Bill Thitchener said Smith, who grew up in Balmain in an irreligious, heavy-drinking environment, had not had early exposure to the true way.
He had married a local girl, Marilyn Moss, when they were both 18, and they had celebrated 54 years of marriage. Marilyn was there, was well as his sons, Hayden and Peter, (another son, Stan, was deceased), his daughter-in-law Victoria, and his sisters, Carol, Maureen and Robyn, and their families, his brother, Edward, and his 90-year-old mother, Florence.
Rex Beaver, who gave Smith a devotional book in 1996, said Smith had come to him in 2003 saying the book was the best thing he had ever read.
Smith had gone to church, attended Bible study, gone on an evangelical trip to Brewarrina to preach the gospel, sung in a men's choir and distributed religious tracts in letter boxes.
''If Stan knew you in the past several years, he would pray for you that you would come to know Jesus Christ,'' he said. ''He said, 'God has forgiven me and I have forgiven anyone and everyone of anything and everything. Someone may have something against me but I would hope that I would not have any argument with any man.'''
Shortly before the end of the service Karl Bonnette, a reputed former Sydney godfather, got up and left the church.

By Malcolm Brown


One of Sydney's criminal heavyweights for three decades, Stanley John "Stan the Man" Smith, described during his prime as a Mafia associate, a "stand-over criminal and international shop thief", has died.
Smith, who was an associate of such luminaries as Len McPherson and George Freeman and featured in Sydney's "gang wars" of the mid-1980s, died on Wednesday night at the age of 73.
Smith grew up in Balmain. In 1963, he and several associates broke into the home of Robert "Pretty Boy" Walker in Paddington. Walker shot Smith several times. Walker was later machine-gunned to death in a Randwick street.
McPherson and Smith became heavily involved in "protection" of Kings Cross nightclubs and suburban gambling clubs. In 1966, the two were barred from entering Hong Kong and managed to put on record their boast that they wanted to get into the "big time" in smuggling gold and narcotics.
In 1968, Smith and Freeman travelled to the US on false passports and spent six weeks as guests of mafioso Joe Testa. In 1970, Smith was fined for trying to sell amphetamines.
Smith did have personal problems. His son, Stan, became addicted to heroin and died in 1979 of a drug overdose, sufficient for Smith to say with feeling at the Woodward royal commission that year that he had never had anything to do with drugs.
Smith gave evidence supporting Freeman's claim that his unexplained income was from "race winnings". Smith said that as a punter taking tips from Freeman, he knew the quality of Freeman's information.
Justice Woodward commented that it might not have been a case of good luck but of "good organisation".
In 1979, Smith was convicted and jailed in Victoria for 15 months for possession of amphetamines. He did his time and then formed a 15-year partnership with drug trafficker Lawrence MacLean.
In 1986, Smith's name appeared on a list of targets for the National Crime Authority. At the top of the list was crime figure Abe Saffron, followed by Karl Bonnette, Robert Trimbole and Frederick "Paddles" Anderson.
Smith found religion in 2003. According to private investigator Rex Beaver, Smith started reading the Bible and ran legitimate businesses.
Smith died at his Gladesville home. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, and a son, Hayden.

By the Boss

Video: Tough Nuts - Stan Smith, The Enforcer

See more Smith memorials in:

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  • Added: 5 Feb 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 65243400
  • Lisa-Maree
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Stanley John “The Enforcer” Smith (3 Jan 1937–14 Jan 2010), Find a Grave Memorial no. 65243400, ; Maintained by graver (contributor 47037760) Cremated, Other, who reports a Cremated at Macquarie Park, ashes taken on January 29, 2010.