former Hells Angels gang leader implicated in the contract killing of single mother Vicki Jacobs in 1999 will be jailed next week
former Hells Angels gang leader implicated in the contract killing of single mother Vicki Jacobs in 1999 will be jailed next week - but the murder remains unsolved and a $1 million reward unclaimed.Investigators believe Terrence Raymond Tognolini set up the murder of Ms Jacobs, 37, shot dead as she slept beside her six-year-old son at their Bendigo home on June 12, 1999. She was shot six times with a silenced weapon that did not wake the little boy or Ms Jacobs' teenage niece, asleep nearby.
Tognolini will be sentenced in the County Court on Tuesday after being convicted of 16 charges of arson, blackmail and assault connected with an extortion racket he ran using his former Hells Angels connections. He is already serving eight years for sex offences against teenage girls, offences that led the outlaw motorcycle club to throw him out in 2007.Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles of the homicide squad and other investigators believe Tognolini ordered Ms Jacobs' murder after she gave evidence against her estranged husband, Gerald Preston, convicted of a double murder in Adelaide in 1996.Tognolini had supplied Preston's weapon, a stolen Luger pistol, and police intelligence indicated a Hells Angel had paid Preston $10,000 for the killings, which were drug-related. The fact Tognolini was overseas at the time of both the Adelaide murders and Ms Jacobs' murder suggested he had constructed alibis for himself after hiring hitmen.''Gerald Preston believes Tognolini was behind it,'' Senior Sergeant Iddles said of Ms Jacobs' ex-husband, who is serving a 32-year-sentence in South Australia for shooting two men at an Adelaide garage in 1996. ''He claimed he didn't know it (Ms Jacobs' murder) was going to happen but his diaries have been analysed and some stuff was found that indicates he did know.''
Tognolini and Preston met in a Victorian jail in the 1980s and communicated regularly before and after the Jacobs murder. Police at first believed a hitman came from Darwin via Adelaide to kill Ms Jacobs for Tognolini but now believe the killer came from closer to home.Detectives believe that a veteran Hells Angel who committed suicide at Broadford last year knew of the murder plot. They also believe that another well-known Hells Angel and two other men who drove to Adelaide the day after the Jacobs murder hold the key to who pulled the trigger.''(The Hells Angel) ended up in an Adelaide hotel next day after they'd driven from Melbourne. But we never identified the two with him,'' Senior Sergeant Iddles said.Tognolini, now 45, was arrested after getting off a London flight in Melbourne in 2007. He was tried separately on the sex offences and the arson-related matters. Suppression orders on the trials have been lifted.