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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 29 August 2015
NEWS 8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 29 AUGUST 2015 Destroyed by iceEmanuel Sister of cross-dressing Macca’s thief shares her anguish As the drug ice continues to take a toll on our community, the users are not the only victims. In an open letter addressed to the media, the sister of Leonidas 'Leon' David Evangelistis, an ice-user jailed for robbing a Melbourne McDonald's outlet earlier this year, has revealed the difficulties facing families who are forced to witness their loved ones self-destruct. In her heartbreaking letter, Yolanda Evangelistis revealed that the drug turned her older brother - a successful individual, with a great job and investment property - into the shell of the man he once was. "We don't know him anymore - he is a stranger that has tortured us with his lies and Leon Evangelistis’ ‘bizarre’ robbery at McDonalds was captured on CCTV. promised rehabilitation. Not only has he lost his family, but also the respect of his friends, co-workers and society." The 48-year-old father-of- five robbed the Laverton North fast food chain in February while sporting fishnets, a tight black skirt, pink shawl and red wig. After purchasing a soft drink, he told the staff he had an explosive device: "I've got something in a cup which I could detonate," he said. One of the terrified workers pleaded "stop it, stop it, you're making me nervous". Evangelistis then proceeded to steal $200 from the register, after which he fled on foot, unable to recall where he parked his bicycle. After recognising her brother on CCTV footage, Yolanda contacted police, alerting them to his whereabouts. Describing her brother as "someone who everyone relied on", she warned of the strength and prominence of the destructive drug. "What I am trying to say is ice can affect any creed, [and] Letter from Yolanda Evangelistis "My name is Yolanda Evangelistis and I'm Leon's younger sister. The whole family has been ripped apart by his actions. He has been a drug user on and off since he was a young boy - marijuana and sometimes heroin - he grew up in a 'normal' Greek family, middle class, my father being an engineer and mother a housewife. "Mum and dad got di- vorced in 1979 - sad story but common - yada, yada, yada! He got into trouble in 2001 - went to jail - came out a changed man. Clean for 12 years! Has five BEAUTIFUL kids - a wonderful wife who is now his ex-wife and supportive family of 20 - we were happy! He had a great job, investment property, holidays in QLD - the Australian dream! Then ICE came along - what a bastard of a drug! "Leon is a shell of the man he once was - we don't know him anymore - he is a stranger that has tortured us with his lies and promised rehabilitation. Not only has he lost his family but also the respect of his friends, co-workers and society! What he did to the poor 23-year-old woman working at McDonalds was a disgrace, we are so so sorry and I know he is - he is very embarrassed about it - like he should be. "I am not making excuses for him - I knew as soon as I saw the footage of a man dressed as a lady - I knew it was him and I had to call it in - he shouldn't be out in the streets - I have nephews and nieces and I would be devastated if that ever happened to them. "What I am trying to say is ICE can affect any creed, socio economic status etc. Leon was a man who loved and doted over his kids, he was my hero growing up, he cleaned himself up, he won a gold medal at the masters games in Taek- wondo, he was someone that everyone relied on. "Now he is known as a 'Dad that robbed McDonald's in Fishnets'... "For the last two years I have been organising his funeral in my head - waiting for a phone call to say he has overdosed or even worse hearing he unintentionally hurt someone cause he was so high on ice and angry! Not only should we NOT put up with this aggression, paranoia and selfdestruction - why should frontline staff at hospitals, policemen and women, ambulance staff and 23-year-olds trying to earn a living at a FAMILY restaurant! "I know I am all over the place - I am so so sad at seeing a man who was my hero on TV for a drug addiction that I believe cannot be beaten ... I was the kind of person who would look at drug addicts with judgement and also judge where they came from and how could their family let this happen! I know last night when Melburnians were watching the news - some felt this exact same way and I can understand however it can happen to anyone's family! "And my fear is - ICE will take my brother's life, my amazing nephews and niece will be fatherless. His children are protected and so so loved - they aren't aware of his illness - they just know that 'Daddy' is unwell. "Leon chose drugs over everything - however, ICE has such a powerful hold - how do we get him back? "I just wanted to let you know that there was a good man in Leon and still is - we do love him so much - but he can only do this himself - take away the fishnets and wig - he is a man who is committing suicide very slowly! I just wanted you to hear our part of the story!" Yolanda PHOTO: VICTORIA POLICE socio-economic status. Leon was a man who loved and doted over his kids, he was my hero growing up ..." The incident was described earlier this week by County Court Acting Chief Judge Michael McInerney as "bizarre". Jailed for a year on a previous charge, Evangelistis has been ordered to serve 12 months, followed by a threeyear community corrections order for the treatment of drug addiction and personality disorders. Source: Herald Sun The 1993 killing of a taxi driver in Melbourne's south east was a planned hit, not a robbery gone wrong as previously thought, a police review of the cold case has found. Emanuel Sapountzakis, 25, was gunned down in Dandenong's Police Paddocks Reserve sometime after 2.00 am on 2 March 1993. Several hours later a woman on a walk found him dead in the park. His cab was found abandoned in Boronia. Police believe he had picked up a passenger in Boronia shortly before his death. A coronial inquest in 1997 found he was probably killed in a random robbery gone wrong. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Sapountzakis cold case Decades-old taxi driver murder a hit, not random robbery, police believe But after a review of the case cold case detectives now believe his death was a planned murder over money. Officers believe several people were involved in the hit. "For over 20 years Emanuel's family, including his [now] 24-year-old daughter have been left without answers," Detective Senior Constable Kane Taylor said in a statement. "We believe we are close to solving this investigation, but we just need a little bit more help." Detectives said they had in- formation to suggest a maroon Nissan Skyline sedan, with a partial registration of DSD, was used in the killing. Detective Taylor said he was confident someone knew who was responsible for the murder. "We hope that by linking a maroon Nissan Skyline to the incident that memories will be prompted," he said. "I am appealing to those who have information to show some compassion and tell us what happened." Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Source: ABC Former ice addict tells how drug nearly destroyed him Gay community hit hard by deadly drug in wake of growing problem The ice epidemic that is plaguing Australia is hitting every corner of the community. In an interview with News. com.au, one man documented how his life was completely turned by the drug - which inevitably led to him contracting HIV. After spiralling out of control, Alex Bartzis' life hit rock bottom when he lost his job, and by April 2009 he found himself jobless, in debt and dealing with mental health issues - and then he turned to drugs. "In the weeks and months af- ter that I used more substances including more Xanax as well and GHB and crystal and had more risky experiences and condomless sex and extreme sex," Alex told News.
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