Former gangland queen says crime doesn't pay

Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:23pm EDT
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By Pauline Askin

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - As the wife of an Australian gangland boss, Roberta Williams found herself loathed, feared and sometimes admired for the power she wielded over society.

Now, in a newly-released memoir "My Life, The Untold Story of an Underworld Survivor," the often foul-mouthed Williams paints a different picture of the woman once married to Carl Williams, who is serving a minimum of 35 years in prison for ordering at least three murders.

"I want to give people an insight into my side of the story not just what they think from that stupid television show or what the media has portrayed me to be," Williams told Reuters.

With brutal honesty, Williams takes the reader on a journey from an early age when she slept rough on trains to dodge the regular beatings she faced at home; graduating to a life of hardship, a string of violent relationships and finally being surrounded with drug lords and gangland murders.

"I spent many years fighting my ground but as you get older you think about the consequences more, I've got too much to lose now," said Williams.

From a life of neglect and brutality she was happy to embrace an ostentatious lifestyle jetting around the world on shopping trips and buying luxury cars with her ex-husband.

Williams says she didn't think too much about where the money came from at that time. But now she admits crime doesn't pay.

"The joys in my days now are when I see the smile on my kids' faces when they see me waiting for them after school instead of worrying about going Louis Vuitton shopping.   Continued...