Skip to comments.'Doris Day' hard man gunned down outside home [Irish Protestant militant]
Posted on 10/04/2005 6:41:32 PM PDT by aculeus
The body of former high-profile Protestant militant, Jim Gray, lies beneath a shroud on a street in East Belfast.
One of Northern Ireland's most high-profile Protestant militants - nicknamed Doris Day - has been shot dead outside his home, police say.
Two gunmen fired several shots at Jim Gray last night after he answered his door in Protestant east Belfast, his longtime power base.
Detectives covered his body with a white sheet as they combed the yard outside his home for forensic evidence.
No group claimed responsibility for his assassination.
Gray, 43, had been free on bail while awaiting trial on charges of money laundering, concealing stolen property and other offences connected to his past ownership of two Belfast pubs and other property.
Gray had been one of the six regional commanders of the Ulster Defence Association, Northern Ireland's largest outlawed group, until March 30, when colleagues ousted him. Police arrested him a week later in a car containing more than $72,332 in cash.
Gray was both a much-feared and much-lampooned figure. With his year-round tan, shock of bleach-blond hair and penchant for Hawaiian shirts, he was known widely - although rarely to his face - by the nickname "Doris Day". AdvertisementAdvertisement
But those who crossed him could suffer severe beatings or death. While a UDA commander he often confronted personal enemies with his bodyguards. An Associated Press reporter witnessed one such attack in June 2002, when Gray and an underling bludgeoned a man in full view of thousands of Belfast concert-goers.
Gray was grazed in the head with a bullet, but didn't suffer serious injuries, in September 2002 during a feud between the UDA and another illegal Protestant gang, the Loyalist Volunteer Force. Like so much bloodshed in the Protestant underworld, it was fuelled by rival drug-dealing rackets.
The UDA, which has an estimated 2,000 members in this British territory of 1.7 million people, was founded in 1971 as a loose umbrella for neighbourhood vigilante groups in working-class Protestant areas. It was responsible for killing about 400 people, mostly Catholic civilians, before calling a 1994 ceasefire.
That truce has been repeatedly violated, partly because of UDA involvement in so many illegal schemes that fuel deadly feuds internally and with other Protestant gangs.
The UDA, like other armed groups with official truces, was supposed to have disarmed fully by mid-2000 under terms of Northern Ireland's Good Friday peace accord of 1998. But the UDA refused, citing the continued existence of the much more sophisticated Irish Republican Army, the major illegal group in Catholic areas.
Despite its large membership, the UDA plays no meaningful role in on-again, off-again negotiations on Northern Ireland's future. Its political wing disbanded in 2001 after failing to build a coherent electoral base.
Jim Gray ... penchant for Hawaiian shirts.
Just another gangster killed by gangsters ... or something else?
An earlier thread on this story couldn't decide who killed Mr. Gray. The uninformed blamed Catholics, of course.
Same as those that are hunting "MadDog" Johnny Adair.
Power struggle amongst the former leaders and the new wave.
For a reputed, "hard man" he was also a really "dumb man" to answer his own front door to strangers in a country where the front step rub out has been a classic ambush technique.
Oh well, another case of I don't give a Shi'ite!
Do you have some basis for that statement, or is it a rash assumption.
My rash assumption would be that he would only open the door to known, trusted, friends and business associates.
Six arrested over loyalist murder
Wednesday October 5, 2005
Six people have been arrested in Northern Ireland in connection with the murder of former loyalist leader Jim Gray, police said today.
Detectives also confirmed that the 47-year-old's former associates within the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) were suspected of being behind his murder.
Gray, a former UDA commander in Belfast who was ousted by the group in April, was shot at point blank range outside his home at around 8pm last night and died at the scene.
Superintendent George Hamilton, the officer in charge of the inquiry, said today: "A significant and major line of inquiry is that Mr Gray was murdered by the UDA, an organisation with which he had an association in the past."
His lavish lifestyle from alleged drug dealing and propensity for violence had reportedly prompted concerns within the UDA before it ousted him.
Weeks after Gray was expelled from the UDA he was arrested as part of a major inquiry into an alleged money laundering scam.
There has been speculation that the UDA may have wanted to kill Gray to stop him from revealing information about it in return for a lighter sentence, if he had been convicted.
Gray, whose bleached blonde hair and fondness for pastel knitwear had earned him the nickname "Doris Day" in some tabloids, was gunned down outside his father's house in Knockwood Park in the east of the city.
He had been ordered to live at his father's address since being released from prison on bail. The killers are believed to have been waiting for Gray and attacked as soon as he got out of his car. He was shot several times in the upper body. The six people arrested were being held at Antrim police station.
Supt Hamilton confirmed that Gray had been warned about his safety on several occasions.
"Since Mr Gray's arrest and retention in Maghaberry Prison in April, there has been a number of threats made against him," he said.
"Police have complied with our obligation in terms of advising him about these and given advice about personal security. Those threats were given to him while in prison and since his release."
But the detective denied that Gray was under police surveillance. "Nor was he the subject of dedicated police protection," he insisted.
Supt Hamilton said officers had gone to his home on occasions to check he was keeping to his bail conditions.
Despite his notorious reputation, police stressed that every effort would be made to bring his killer or killers to justice. Supt Hamilton sad: "I want to be very clear about this, Mr Gray was murdered. This was the brutal killing of a man by another human being.
"The Police Service of Northern Ireland will fulfil its obligation in attempting to bring to justice those responsible for the murder of James Gray."
But I doubt I will do any serious keening over the lot of them.
He may have been an informant.
Snappy dresser for a terrorist!
Then again, he did fit the physical profile of a terrorist better than any Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness clone, two men who resemble sub-par insurance salesmen, to be perfectly honest.
He looks like the kind of guy that would bite the head off a poodle.
"Say cheeeeese... AHHHHH, don't say cheese"