Unsolved The Family Murders

moses

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Creepy horrible crimes - discuss here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Family_Murders

The Family was the name given to a close-knit group of Adelaide homosexuals involved in the kidnapping, drugging, sexual abuse and, at times, torture of young men and teenaged boys in Adelaide, Australia and surrounding areas throughout the 1970s and into the mid 1980s. The existence of the group came to the attention of the public following the murder of five teenagers between 1979 and 1983.[1][2] The high profile occupations of some of the suspects led to claims of an alleged high society conspiracy.[3] The term stems from an interview a police detective gave on 60 Minutes,[4] claiming the police were taking some action "...to break up the happy family."
Victims

  • Alan Barnes, aged 17, murdered in 1979. Last seen being picked up by a white Holden sedan with three or four people in it while hitchhiking, his body had been hideously mutilated and dumped in the South Para Reservoir northeast of Adelaide. A post-mortem examination revealed that Barnes had died of massive blood loss from an anal injury, likely caused by the insertion of a large blunt object. He had died several days after he went missing and Noctec was found in his blood suggesting he had been drugged.
  • Neil Muir, aged 25, murdered two months after Alan Barnes in 1979. His remains had been dissected and neatly cut into many pieces, placed in a garbage bag and thrown into the Port River at Port Adelaide. Skin bearing tattoos had been removed and most of the body parts were placed in another garbage bag before being placed within the abdominal cavity. The head was tied to the torso with rope passed through the mouth and out through the neck. A post-mortem examination revealed that Muir had died of massive blood loss from an anal injury, likely caused by the insertion of a large blunt object and Noctec was found in his blood. A prominent Adelaide doctor was initially charged with Muirs' murder but found not guilty at trial. Police are now satisfied that he was not involved.
  • Peter Stogneff, aged 14, murdered in 1981. His skeletal remains were found ten months later by a local farmer at Middle Beach, 50 km north of Adelaide. Peter's body had been cut into three pieces in a similar fashion to Neil Muir. Little more could be determined as the remains had been accidentally burnt by the farmer while clearing his property of scrub.
  • Mark Langley, aged 18, murdered in 1982. His mutilated body was found in scrub in the Adelaide foothills nine days after his disappearance. Among the mutilations was a wound that appeared to have been cut with a surgical instrument that went from his navel to the pubic region and part of his small bowel was missing. The hair around the area had been shaved as it would have been in an operation in a hospital. The post-mortem revealed that Mark had died from a massive loss of blood from gross injuries to his anus, similar to Alan Barnes. Mandrax was found in Langley's blood.
  • Richard Kelvin, aged 15, murdered in 1983. He was abducted a short distance from his North Adelaide home. His body was found by an amateur geologist off a track near One Tree Hill in the Adelaide foothills. Kelvin was held captive for over 5 weeks and a post-mortem examination revealed that he had died of massive blood loss from an anal injury, likely caused by the insertion of a large blunt object. Analysis of Kelvin's bloodstream revealed traces of four hypnotic drugs, including Mandrax and Noctec.
Police do not recognise the term "The Family" stating that "They should not be given any title that infers legitimacy. These people have no such bond, only an association that with time probably no longer exists." [5]
Of the five murders, there has been one conviction. Bevan Spencer von Einem was charged and convicted in 1984 for the murder of Kelvin.[5] In 1989, von Einem was charged with the murders of Barnes and Langley. However, the prosecution was forced to enter a Nolle Prosequi (voluntarily discontinue criminal charges) during the trial when crucial similar fact evidence was deemed inadmissible by the presiding judge. The murders of Barnes, Muir, Stogneff and Langley are unsolved.
A cold case was opened in March 2008 with a $1,000,000 reward available for anyone who provides information leading to a conviction. The reward carries an offer of immunity to accomplices dependent on their level of involvement. Due to changes in the Forensic Procedures Act which now allows DNA samples to be taken from suspects in major indictable offences, all the suspects voluntarily submitted to DNA testing. The ongoing investigation featured in an episode of Crime Stoppers which went to air on Monday, 2 March 2009.[5][6] The cold case review was completed in November 2010 with no charges being laid against any of the three key suspects.[7][8]
Suspects

Police believe that up to 12 people, several of them high-profile Australians, were involved in the kidnappings. Apart from von Einem they list three other core members directly involved in the murders with the remaining known associates involved to a lesser degree, being either indirectly involved or had knowledge of the murders but continued to interact with the group. The suspects include several members of the legal community, the brother of an Olympian and members of the business community. Although many had previously been named, with the exception of 'Suspect 2' their identities have since been suppressed by the courts.[9][10][11]

Bevan Spencer von Einem: Currently serving life imprisonment for the murder of Richard Kelvin, police have evidence he was with Alan Barnes after he was abducted and he was one of the last people seen with Neil Muir following his abduction.

Suspect 1: An eastern suburbs businessman who is believed to have been with von Einem when Kelvin was abducted. The man he was living with at the time of the murders is also a "person of interest."
Suspect 2: An Adelaide doctor. The man he was living with at the time is also a "person of interest."
Suspect 3 A close friend of von Einem and suspect 1 and a former male prostitute.
[edit] Further reading

Bob O'Brien Young Blood: The Story of the Family Murders HarperCollins 2009 ISBN 9780732290368
O'Brien was the lead detective for the "Family Murders" investigation.
[edit] References

  1. ^ Shadowy clique preyed on the young AdelaideNow 1 April 2008
  2. ^ The "Family" Murders TruTV
  3. ^ Lock up your sons in the world's murder capital The Age August 14, 2002
  4. ^ Von Einem: Lawyers in new bid to re-open Kelvin case 27 October 1996
  5. ^ a b c DNA tests for Family murder suspects PerthNow 29 March 2008
  6. ^ Family Murders - Adelaide Crime Stoppers 2 March 2009
  7. ^ Hunt, Nigel (December 5, 2010). "Family murder truth may never be known | Adelaide Now". adelaidenow.com.au. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/family-murder-truth-may-never-be-known/story-e6frea6u-1225965724732. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  8. ^ $5m reward bid to solve Family murders The Advertiser 26 October 2008
  9. ^ $5m reward bid to solve Family murders The Advertiser 26 October 2008
  10. ^ Shadowy clique preyed on the young AdelaideNow 1 April 2008
  11. ^ Focus on three key suspects AdelaideNow 5 December 2010
 

NSWCROW

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Was going to start this thread but couldn't decide whether to put SOLVED or UNSOLVED as the prefix.
Yes Von Einem went down for it but 100% sure he wasn't Robinson Crusoe.

Heard MANY names bandied about over the years.......
 

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moses

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Was going to start this thread but couldn't decide whether to put SOLVED or UNSOLVED as the prefix.
Yes Von Einem went down for it but 100% sure he wasn't Robinson Crusoe.

Heard MANY names bandied about over the years.......
High profile and high powered positions. Whole case is just sickening.
 

Ebert80

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Obviously can't name any of the names mentioned, but yeah some I've heard are particularly interesting.

These types of murders essentially stopped once Von Einem was arrested, so perhaps we can conclude from that that he was certainly a major ring leader. The only similar case I can think of in recent times is the disappearance of Daniel Sheppard in early 90's.
 

childeric

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I know the USA has its share of serial killers but we seem to punch above our weight unfortunately
 

Blugazi

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Can someone PM some of the names bandied round, it's a very interesting case - especially considering it could potentially have involved people in high places, seemingly acting as if they are untouchable. Scary stuff.
 

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lincsPJ

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young blood is the last book i picked up and couldn't put down - and this was 10 years ago when it was released. did it in 2 nights which is pretty good going for me! chilling reading.
 

bunsen burner

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Just watched Crime Investigation Australia about this. And I remember watching the 60 minutes episode about this when it came out, and there was also an expose in Playboy or Penthouse that I read.

This is some sick shit.

What I can't work out is why they thought it was a group of people on not just von Einem going solo? From the CIA (Crime Investigation Australia) they show a guy who gives evidence against von Einem and claims he was with von Einem on several occasions when he was picking up men. Why doesn't this guy know the names of other involved?

Have they ever found where the victims were kept before being killed? Obviously not at von Einem's place. Where was it?
 

Ghostwriter

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So the suspects include a lawyer, a doctor, a businessman, the "brother of an Olympian"?

The cynic in me says will never be "solved" then!
You could say a magistrate currently serving time for molesting young boys and media person recently sentenced to 25 years home detention are among the family, as I recall around the time Von Einem was arrested a magistrate was rumoured to be involved, another who was investigated but not charged was a man nicknamed 'mother goose' because he walked like a goose, regularly picked up street kids to have sex with.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/how-mother-goose-ducked-pedophile-net/story-e6frg6p6-1111115980267

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/police-seek-von-einem-associate/story-e6frea83-1111116239262
 

bunsen burner

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So the suspects include a lawyer, a doctor, a businessman, the "brother of an Olympian"?

The cynic in me says will never be "solved" then!
Suspect 1: An eastern suburbs businessman who is believed to have been with von Einem when Kelvin was abducted. The man he was living with at the time of the murders is also a "person of interest."
Suspect 2: An Adelaide doctor. The man he was living with at the time is also a "person of interest."
Suspect 3 A close friend of von Einem and suspect 1 and a former male prostitute.

Sounds like Suspect 1 is also known as Mother Goose. probably not after the below research.
 

bunsen burner

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You could say a magistrate currently serving time for molesting young boys and media person recently sentenced to 25 years home detention are among the family, as I recall around the time Von Einem was arrested a magistrate was rumoured to be involved, another who was investigated but not charged was a man nicknamed 'mother goose' because he walked like a goose, regularly picked up street kids to have sex with.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/how-mother-goose-ducked-pedophile-net/story-e6frg6p6-1111115980267

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/police-seek-von-einem-associate/story-e6frea83-1111116239262
Mother Goose is:

Robert William Symonds

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-06-07/mother-goose-sex-trial-starts-in-adelaide/2749578

It is alleged:

BRAD Shannon knows Adelaide's dirtiest secret. It involves a man called Mother Goose and what happens at night in Veale Gardens, out of sight and out of mind.
At 39, with a loving partner at home and his life on track, Shannon counts himself lucky. He survived the sexual abuse he suffered as a child in state care, and being a teenage rent boy in Veale Gardens, where he encountered Mother Goose and the pedophiles who lurk in its shadows.
Shannon knows Mother Goose's real name. So do the South Australian police: it was forwarded to them on Shannon's behalf by former Supreme Court judge Ted Mullighan, whose commission of inquiry this week laid bare the "foul undercurrent" that reached into South Australia's child-protection system.
Yet nearly three years after he gave evidence to Mullighan detailing his alleged rape in 1984 at Mother Goose's north Adelaide home
......

Mother Goose, however, tells a different story. A bespectacled 56-year-old bookmaker, he lives alone in the house he inherited from his family. When approached by The Weekend Australian he admitted that he had been a frequenter of Veale Gardens and other sex beats in the Parklands ringing Adelaide's CBD since 1973.

Yes, he was aware that "some people" might refer to him as Mother Goose, though he couldn't say why. He knew Shannon - a "thorough rotter" - but insisted he had never had sex with him. As for Shannon's allegation that Mother Goose had drugged him on that hot summer's night in 1984, taken him to his home, and been present or involved when two other men may have raped the unconscious boy, Mother Goose says derisively: "Absolute nonsense".

 

bunsen burner

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Let’s refresh on what we know and what we don't:

There are said to be up to 10 people who made up The Family. Police are sure Bevan von Einem was the main man along with one other guy.

In Adelaide during the 70s, as homosexuality was still illegal there was an underground movement. This included gay beats all around the city - that grassy parkland surrounding the city - well there was and still are a lot of gay beats around there used for cottaging.

At the gay beats were gay dudes looking for consensual sex and gay prostitutes, often boys who were drug addicts and from low socioeconomic backgrounds. The "gay scene" at the time were procuring these young men and often taking advantage of them. One witness claims it was sort of an ownership deal, gay dudes parading around their young gay partners as if to say "he's mine". Sort of shit you get in US prisons.

In this gay scene were also lots of drugs including mandrax and rohypnol. Around this scene literally hundreds of young boys were getting date raped. It was sort of a scene where these people all knew each other and lots of them were doing it. Some were going to the extent of picking straight male hitchhikers and date raping them, and some were going to the extent of abduction, holding against will, sadistic torture, and murder.


TBC
 

bunsen burner

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There are 3 main suspects:

Suspect 1

What we know for sure

- An eastern suburbs businessman. Live in Eastern suburbs very close to his business
- His business is/was on a main Eastern suburbs shopping strip
- His business is/was a 2 storey building
- In one of the rooms upstairs was just a matras on the floor (not evidence was founf when examined)
- He visited von Einem the night von Einem was first questioned
- He visited von Einem in prison soon after convistion
- Police monitored him when we was a suspect. Every day he came to work at the same time, then locked up for lunch at 12pm, went cruising the gay beats, came back at 1pm after lunch, then when closing his shop instead of going home which was close by, he went cruising the gay beats again. Pretty much all day, everyday he was looking for dick.
- At the time of murders he lived with suspect 2
- He was still in Adelaide as of a few years back running same business
- Suspect 1 was referred to as "Mr R" in court.

What we can speculate

- His shop is/was on one of Melbourne St North Adelaide, Magill Road Maylands, The Parade Norwood
- To be able to leave his shop everyday for lunch suggests he sells high end goods that are slow moving. You can't leave a newsagent, chemist, bakery, florist, fashion store at lunch time. I would suggest antiques, art, gemstones, maybe even a music store like a piano store. Or maybe an adult shop.
- He was with von Einem when Richard Kelvin was abducted. Police believe this to be the case but ultimately there is no proof
- He was with von Einam and Alan Barnes after Barnes was abducted. Witness "Mr B" claims he was there when Barnes was out cold and suspect 1 arrived after von Einem had called him to join in.

What is unclear

- Is suspect 1 still in Adelaide and is he still running his shop?
- What does R stand for in Mr R? First name or second?
 

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