Gun victim's family break 22-year silence
A HEARTBROKEN mum told last night how she confronted crime king Arthur Thompson over her son’s gun murder — and the hood simply offered to send her on a CRUISE.
Janette Hanlon broke her 22- year silence to relive the clash with Thompson — known as the Godfather — following the gangland hit on her boy Joseph, 23, and his friend Bobby Glover, 31.
The pals had been blasted to death and their blood-soaked bodies dumped in a car outside a Glasgow pub in 1991.
No one was ever brought to justice despite suspicions Thompson had ordered the killings after blaming the pair and their pal Paul Ferris for murdering his son Arthur Jr.
But, speaking ahead of this month’s release of a movie depicting the shootings, Janette, 68, vowed she’ll NEVER rest until she learns the truth about Joseph’s death.
The mum-of-three said: “I’m not frightened of anyone when it comes to my children.”
She told how she stormed round to Thompson’s plush home ‘The Ponderosa’, in the city’s Provanmill, after learning of Hanlon’s death while on holiday in Spain.
His son — known as ‘Fat Boy’ — had been gunned down outside the house just weeks earlier.
Devastated Janette said: “I stood at the gate and I told him (Thompson Snr) that he had to come out.
“He tried to tell me that I had it all wrong and that his wife Rita was upset about her own boy’s death.
“He actually said he was going to send the two of us on a cruise.
“But I refused and he just shut the door. I stood there and I kept bawling and shouting in the street.
“I said ‘Arthur Thompson, you dirty b*****d — you KNOW what bloody happened’.”
The mum-of-three told how she had doted on Hanlon — known in gangland circles as ‘Bananas’ — as she described the moment she discovered he’d been slain.
She said she had repeatedly tried to ring him ahead of his 23rd birthday before her sister-in-law finally managed to reach her husband.
Janette said: “She started squealing. I said ‘What’s wrong?’ and she replied ‘It’s Joseph’.
Blamed ... feared crime boss Thompson, whose son Arthur Jr was slain before double shooting “I pulled the phone out of her hand and said ‘What is it?’. I was told Joseph had been shot dead.
“I lost all control of myself. I was crying and walking the streets the whole night. I was devastated.” The next morning distraught Janette flew to Newcastle then took a taxi straight to Glasgow’s mortuary 150 miles away.
She collapsed after seeing Hanlon’s corpse and was rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack.
Her son was a trained boxer who worked in gangster Tam ‘The Licensee’ McGraw’s pub The Caravel.
But Janette strongly denied claims her son was a hood and had killed Thompson Jnr.
She said: “That was a load of rubbish. Young Arthur was just a boy desperately trying to step into the shoes of his father.
“He’d a big mouth so he had many enemies.” Janette decided to speak out after being stunned by the release of TV documentary British Gangsters: Faces of the Underworld which hinted at the identity of her son’s killer.
It saw former bank robber Walter Norval claim that Billy Manson — a close associate of Thompson — and his one-legged uncle Billy ‘Tootsie’ Lobban had played key role.
Lobban — who earned his nickname by wearing a blonde wig for an armed robbery — allegedly duped Hanlon and Glover into a meeting where they would be executed.
It’s claimed Manson then trousered thousands of pounds from the Godfather for murdering the pair. Hanlon is believed to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time after being called by Glover, who needed a lift to meet Lobban.
They were rumoured to have been taken to a remote area then shot, before being driven back to the spot where their bodies were found outside the Cottage Bar in Shettleston.
Lobban — who was last known to be living in Inverness — spoke out seven years ago to deny he was involved in the murders.
And Manson died in 1997 from a painkiller overdose.
But Janette said: “Earlier this week I watched that documentary and in it a man makes reference to Lobban and his uncle Billy Manson.
“Lobban is nothing but a dirty Judas who betrayed someone who only ever tried to take care of him. I hope Lobban rots in hell for what he has put me through.”
Janette also suspected that alleged police informant McGraw — who died of a heart attack at home in 2007 — had played a part in her son’s brutal death.
She told how she threw The Licensee out of her home in 1993 after he called round pleading for help.
McGraw had claimed Hanlon “was like a son” to him — and was chosen to carry his coffin when he was laid to rest.
But Janette recalled: “He came and said ‘I’m here for you to help me’. He was pacing up and down smoking cigarette after cigarette. I said ‘Why?’ He said ‘They are going to charge me with Joseph’s murder. You know he was like a son to me. You need to help me’.
“I told McGraw ‘See as quickly as you came in — you can just as quickly get back out. I am not going into the witness box to lie for anyone’. I did not trust him. There had been rumours he had been involved.
“If I knew then what I know now, McGraw would NEVER have carried that coffin.”.
The family say they feel let down by Strathclyde Police over the killing.
Despite her turmoil, Janette says she’s happy her son’s murder will feature in a movie about his pal Ferris’s life.
It was initially claimed she was angry about The Wee Man, starring Martin Compston as Ferris and Scott Peden as Joseph.
But she hopes the flick will bring home the brutality of her son’s death to its audience. She said: “I live every day with the pain of what happened to Joseph — and have done for 21 years. I am happy the film is being released because it will remind the public of his murder and the fact that it has never been solved.
“I sincerely hope that it will put pressure on the authorities.
“I feel as though the police have walked away from this as Joseph was associated with Paul Ferris.
“They think Paul was a gangster and so Joseph was a gangster. But he wasn’t — and I will not rest until I get to the bottom of his murder.”
A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said they “never close” unresolved cases.
Janette was not paid for this interview.