- The son of an Australian rock music legend was killed by one of his best friends on Sunday morning.
- Confused witnesses mistook over half an hour of Liam Anderson’s cries for help as just the noises of the first ‘boot camp’ exercisers of a Sydney summer.
- It’s a bitter tragedy that twists a familiarly Australian milieu – two best friends, dawn at the beach on the hottest day of the year so far, the sounds of a summer park floating outside an open window.
SYDNEY – The past weekend brought a mini heatwave to Australia’s biggest city.
Down near Manly beach on the north side of Sydney Harbour, the surf was strong. Summer is on its way.
But early on Sunday morning while residents in beachside apartments apparently listened on, the 26-year-old son of one of Australia’s greatest rock legends was allegedly being beaten to death by one of his best friends.
Liam’s father, Gary “Angry” Anderson, is the lead singer of Rose Tattoo, a hugely iconic Aussie rock band.
He was on tour with his band in Perth when he was told of his son’s death. He rushed back to Sydney overnight.
The star’s eldest son Galen reportedly broke the news to his dad by phone.
Details are still scarce, but what police have reported describes a horrifying scene of prolonged violence at a beachside park.
Flame was allegedly found early Sunday standing over the bloodied body of Liam Anderson. Police say he was still beating on Anderson as officers arrived and confronted him at a well-known park, Pavilion Reserve.
The officers eventually had to resort to pepper spray to contain him.
Detective Inspector Michael Boutouridis told reporters the attack on Anderson was targeted and the men were known to one another. Their social media profiles confirm that they were good friends.
The detective described a man beyond control in a “brutal” killing and a “graphic” sight.
“It was quite a bloody scene,” Boutouridis said.
“The man we have in custody was violent and it took a number of police officers to subdue and arrest him… pepper spray was used and significant force was used to arrest him.”
An emergency services helicopter – a common sight for surfers off Manly Heads – was set to pick up Liam but he died at the scene.
On Sunday afternoon, a statement was issued on behalf of Angry, confirming Liam’s death and asking the media and public to respect the family’s privacy.
Flame was formally charged with the murder today.
How it happened
The Daily Telegraph retraced the pair’s steps that night, following the pair as they moved from the Sydney city in the early evening onto a party in an apartment near the park and they left together before the alleged assault occurred.
Witnesses have come forward and described Sunday morning’s events to local television.
Many local residents said they heard noises all morning. Common sounds, or so they thought – yelling, groaning, shouting, exhaling – and just assumed it was coming from a local “boot camp” – a group exercise format that’s a common sight on Sydney’s northern beaches.
One local woman said she heard a man exhaling very loudly and yelling, before he would exhale again.
“I just heard a lot of, say for at least half an hour, moaning,” the woman told Sydney’s Channel Seven.
“Then we found out it was obviously him being kicked or stabbed.
“We should have looked out but we didn’t… It just sound like a guy doing boot camp, running up the hill and exhaling.”
Flame has appeared in Manly court, wearing a long-sleeved white jumper, he “smiled from ear to ear at a person he knew in the public gallery,” news.com.au reported.
He did not apply for bail and it was refused.