Unsolved The Family Murders

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Bits

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Oct 31, 2019
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Erm .... according to Casefile there were bite marks on Muir's vertebrae and where his legs were separated from the torso. Has anybody heard this before?

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This bit about bite marks has been bothering me, but I’ve figured it out. I’m just reading Young Blood again. The section on Neil’s body says there were teeth marks on the vertebrae. As in teeth marks from the saw that was used to cut him up.
 

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DropBearess

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As it seems a bit quiet atm, l thought it a good time to revisit some comments l posted on this thread many moons ago.
I still think it's important background info and might be of interest to newer members.
As mentioned in my post, l firmly believe the sordid Adelaide activities of BVE and co were happening well before Alan Barnes became a victim.
Are there any Adelaideans who are old enough to relate to the relevant scene in the early 70s and may have been involved in social work or related areas at this time?
Looking back, l often wonder if l/we knew a young BVE or a very young Mr. B?
I think we might have a few more pieces to fit into this puzzle.
 

DropBearess

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This thread is great reading. As an Adelaidean, I've followed this case very closely since it's beginning. I have a few different perspectives which might be of interest and might provoke some discussion.

I don't believe for a moment the first murder occured in 1979. I think this whole sordid caper was happening well before then. There are still many missing young men in Australia before and after these crimes who inexplicably disappeared and have never been found.

Strange things have happened in Adelaide from 1970 or before. Around that time runaways and semi-homeless kids would congregate in Rundle Street, with City Cross being their Hub at the time. There didn't seem to be many genuinely homeless kids in those days. They were mostly 15-19 year olds, mostly males. They frequently adopted aliases and their parents were usually searching frantically for them. Several came from Mildura or interstate. They couldn't get any benefits and were effectively non-persons. Churches would assist them from time to time, with their young people offering friendship and peer support. Needless to say, they inevitably found themselves in trouble, usually break and enter etc. Violence was rare. For this they would find themselves in McNally Training Centre at Magill, where they learned all sorts of things and usually exited with homosexual experience.

There began the strange situations. These kids would be released with no verifiable homes and dodgy people to stay with. They would end up back in City Cross and church workers would try to reconnect with them. Then some of them began to mysteriously disappear for days at a time with no-one knowing and few caring where they were. They would reappear for a while, having been living with "some people", then vanish again. Often they would be wearing new, very modern clothes and have new haircuts, as opposed to their previous poverty. They would emerge looking very attractive, with someone having made the most of them. They were uncontactable when at these places and the whole thing was very mysterious. Volunteers were met with hostility over the phone if they managed to make contact. It gradually came about that the 'kind' people who were hosting these street kids were transgender and/or gay and lived a very high life. Their homes were located in places such as Stepney, St. Peters, Hackney, Gilberton and Norwood. The Buckingham Arms was their hang-out at the time.

At this time, it was difficult to ascertain how street kids were making connections with these people. Then it was gradually discovered that some of these creeps worked in central Adelaide in very mediocre jobs, in places where homeless boys might frequent. They had various nick-names. The boys were then introduced by these procurers to the wealthy gay men and transgenders. A couple of well-known stores come to mind.

It seemed the homeless youths were in awe of and afraid of these people. They would return to them for a time, then come back to the streets. They would make snide jokes to each other about sore bottoms and various other ailments but would display their expensive belongings to others and go back for more. But there were a number who were very afraid and in pain from medical conditions they would not discuss, caused during their strange abscences. There is no way of knowing what eventually happened to these young people.

At this time in Adelaide there was a totally inadequate support system for runaway youth and no way of identification. Youth support workers were hopelessly naive, as indeed were many police at the time. No-one had any real idea that there were actually people in existence who did these things. It's hard to believe there are not plenty of people who have information about these times.

Of course ages would not match all those suspects from 1979 onwards. But this scene definitely existed well before then and has obviously thrived since, with plenty of willing participants ready to change their sordid baton to the next team. There are people from the era described above who clearly could have been involved for many years.

I think that when trying to join the dots, we need to go way back. The more I learn about this case, the more I think delving more extensively into previous years might hold the key. And for what it's worth, I think the biggest mistake in the investigation was not putting much more pressure on Pru and co. at the time.
 

JezMez

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How do we find the identities of people who may have been murder victims? Even if kids are are homeless on the street, they usually get accounted for. A couple of issues I see; some street kids have been vocal about their time on the street working the beats. In the simplest form, kid grows up in bad environment probably involving abuse, takes to the streets, meets other kids who find the easiest way to survive is by selling their ass. These people (former street kids) have been vocal about their "abuse". I don't recall any of them saying that they believed any of their associated had been possibly murdered. The other issue is, a lot of these former street kids like to attach their story to The Family, when in reality they were just kids working Veale Gardens. So there's a bit of a credibility issue with these guys.

So the question is, how do we find out who potential victims may have been?
 

GreyCrow

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From the Mullighan Report

1. I’m five and a half years old. I’m terrified—you know, scared shitless—and there’s this bloke [the perpetrator] threatening to bloody kill me. They had a thing in there if you were a telltale, you suffered for it. You’d really get bashed up and everything else to go with it. I didn’t feel that I could actually go to somebody and say because then I’d just be classed as a liar, troublemaker, something. I’m just a welfare child. You couldn’t complain. Who do you complain to? didn’t have anyone else to rely upon. It’s the hand that feeds you and puts a roof over your head, so you have these conflicting thoughts even as a youngster

2. You got to the stage where you thought [sexual abuse] was just part of the norm; keep your mouth shut, otherwise you were worse off than everybody else.

3. Oh, I was the worst in the world. I was a liar. I was a lazy gin.
(her words) I was only saying these things because I didn’t want to work. I don’t know at what point I started telling my welfare officer, and she basically said I was a liar
 

JezMez

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Hey guys/girls, just be aware, if this thread morphs into "all sexual assault in Adelaide", then it collapses. There's a few FB pages around and the fall into a heap because everyone wants to tell their own story of abuse, and then connect every assault to a mythical conspiracy that everyone in power is in on.

I don't think there are other victims based on, if there were families would have come forward, "Our Johnny left home at 16 to live on the streets. We've lost contact, but now we know there was a group of predators roaming Adelaide, we want to check". Maybe it got that far and no one cared enough to follow up, but I would expect some noise.
 

bth18

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As it seems a bit quiet atm, l thought it a good time to revisit some comments l posted on this thread many moons ago.
I still think it's important background info and might be of interest to newer members.
As mentioned in my post, l firmly believe the sordid Adelaide activities of BVE and co were happening well before Alan Barnes became a victim.
Are there any Adelaideans who are old enough to relate to the relevant scene in the early 70s and may have been involved in social work or related areas at this time?
Looking back, l often wonder if l/we knew a young BVE or a very young Mr. B?
I think we might have a few more pieces to fit into this puzzle.
Generally when I speak to people of that time (who have provided photos and info) I ask if they ever met BVE or Mr R and everyone always says no, or something like ‘I may have but I wouldn’t remember’
 

JezMez

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R&M from the eBook said:
Another list (of suspects) was soon gathered which was specific to investigations into the 1983 abduction and murder of 15 year old Richard Kelvin. Once again, Bevan Spencer von Einem was on the list. Others include the Businessman and his boyfriend, a transvestite, two Doctors and a hairdresser.
Right, so who is the second doctor?

The ebook mentions a Doctor Robert who had a clinic/surgery not far from Port Rd where the two pharmacies where BVE used to cash his scripts. Dr Robert issued BVE with over 135 scripts for Mandrax. Dr Robert wasn't a suspect but the eBook suggests maybe he should have been. There's a Dr Robert Koulakis mentioned in TP's diaries but upon searching for this guy, there is no record. It's likely the name was misspelt in the diaries. Anyway, it's not him on the list.

Given the surgery on Muir that closely resembled sex change surgery, it's been speculated that maybe the doctor who performed the operations on the TG's could be involved. Can anyone add anything to that, or debunk it?

Then there's another Doctor with a dodgy reputation.
 

Kurve

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Can rule out the doctor who performed the sex change operations - this was a female doctor, now deceased, highly regarded, and not connected to the crimes in anyway
Thanks bth. Do you know who the doctor was that referred them for sex change operations and before and after care monitoring/management of hormonal fluctuations? Do you know who wrote their scripts?
 

Kurve

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Hey guys/girls, just be aware, if this thread morphs into "all sexual assault in Adelaide", then it collapses. There's a few FB pages around and the fall into a heap because everyone wants to tell their own story of abuse, and then connect every assault to a mythical conspiracy that everyone in power is in on.
I wouldn't want to put anybody off from engaging, all should be welcome to come in if they feel they have something to add. I can move posts later to a more appropriate thread, general unsolved or similar if it turns out to not to have any relevance in here.

Someone's out there that has their own story with information we're all looking for, let's hope they check in here.
 

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Deni

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Aug 18, 2019
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Hey guys/girls, just be aware, if this thread morphs into "all sexual assault in Adelaide", then it collapses. There's a few FB pages around and the fall into a heap because everyone wants to tell their own story of abuse, and then connect every assault to a mythical conspiracy that everyone in power is in on.

I don't think there are other victims based on, if there were families would have come forward, "Our Johnny left home at 16 to live on the streets. We've lost contact, but now we know there was a group of predators roaming Adelaide, we want to check". Maybe it got that far and no one cared enough to follow up, but I would expect some noise.
Most of the FB Cold Case Austraia pages are pretty well organised, a year or so ago i'd agree with you but not so much now. Admin are right onto the trouble makers and the ones posting ridiculous theorys. There isn't so many b*tch fights in there now, if you report it admin will deal with it. I had a trollish stalker in there recently, she went as far as to look me up on Ancestry . com, she found my cousin and wrote to him saying that a Barry on his tree could be her natual father. Well Barry happens to be my deceased brother and we were very close before died. So Yes, you do get your spammers and freaks in FB crime pages but they are few and far between..
 

Rake

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This bit about bite marks has been bothering me, but I’ve figured it out. I’m just reading Young Blood again. The section on Neil’s body says there were teeth marks on the vertebrae. As in teeth marks from the saw that was used to cut him up.
This is how internet threads AND sometimes police investigations get derailed. Great pickup.
 

Nemisis

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Jul 27, 2012
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As it seems a bit quiet atm, l thought it a good time to revisit some comments l posted on this thread many moons ago.
I still think it's important background info and might be of interest to newer members.
As mentioned in my post, l firmly believe the sordid Adelaide activities of BVE and co were happening well before Alan Barnes became a victim.
Are there any Adelaideans who are old enough to relate to the relevant scene in the early 70s and may have been involved in social work or related areas at this time?
Looking back, l often wonder if l/we knew a young BVE or a very young Mr. B?
I think we might have a few more pieces to fit into this puzzle.
I am friends with a guy who was in the same boys choir as Bevan. Said BVE was very effeminate and was of course bullied by his school mates.
 

bth18

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Thanks bth. Do you know who the doctor was that referred them for sex change operations and before and after care monitoring/management of hormonal fluctuations? Do you know who wrote their scripts?
nah no idea about any of that, not sure if he able to find out at the moment
 

takethepowerback

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I also missed this but vaguely recall the implication. I will read this part again because Mannock was indeed a Brit. If he is Dr X then it'd throw a spanner in the works.
New to the thread. I stumbled across this case after listening to the Case Files podcast... Disturbed by the crimes and even more disturbed that multiple people have seemingly escaped conviction I've begun traipsing through the thread to catch up - I've figured out a few names etc...but if anyone could help me out, pm me.

Anyways, I know little about this case compared to others on here so this may be some wildly wrong thoughts...but as someone just looking over it all now a few things stand out to me.

Firstly, as quoted above - Manock. The book 'Dissected' (is this book trustworthy, how is it sourced?) insinuates some sort of involvement or knowledge? If this were to be true...we can't underestimate how huge this would be. There is already a lot of talk around Manock for being simply unqualified for his job - doubting some 400 convictions where he has testified. Ch 7 Journalist Dr. Graeme Archer describes Manocks appointment as the unrivalled forensic science scandal ''of the century'' that no one wants to touch...what does this become if there was some sort of involvement, on any level, with all of this...?

Beyond Manock...the whole Derrance Stevenson - Gino Garmbadella - Darko Kastelan connection stands out to me.

Derrance Stevenson - it has been alleged on the night of his death that Gino Gambardella and High Court judge Lionel Murphy ( what? does anyone have any thoughts on this?) had visited the house. (also: Manock's evidence was key to convicting David Szach for the murder)

Gino Gambardella – Chiropractor, allegedly helped procure young men for various people. Introduced David Szach to Derrance Stevenson. Fled Australia in 1980. Reportedly two Australian hitmen were sent to kill him Italy – who wanted him dead?

Darko Kastelan – friend of Alan Barnes. Associated with Gambardella (worked for him, and according to some was somewhat related?). Kastelan was the last person to see Alan Barnes alive. Also note the section described in this thread from the book where Kastelan allegedly took 'Bowsey' to see Gambardella..

There is a lot of talk in this thread and elsewhere about high profile people being involved...is this true..who knows? Mr R may be wealthy but certainly doesn't appear to be the in top echelon of society...nor did VE or Mr B. But one thing I think we need to remember is there are levels of involvement. There may have been three or four people committing the murders, however, more may have been involved in procuring victims and in what seems to have been an epidemic of sexual assault...and also the films; if the reports are true that they were filming some of the murders and so on, who were they being distributed to? Any link to any of this is huge for any 'high profile' individual.

This all may be useless, but my thoughts so far.
 
Last edited:

SquiffyRae

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Just caught up on the thread after a busy month. A couple of thoughts on some discussion points I noticed in the last 10 pages or so:

On the idea that whoever was doing the cutting was experimenting:

I've brought this up before and I know at least one other user (JezMez) has had the same thought. We don't know enough about Woodards' background to say for sure, but could it be possible that Woodards' original intention was to become a surgeon but he didn't make the grade and had to fall back on being a physio instead?
While I'm reluctant to believe a lot of things B says, one thing that seems accurate is his account of who was involved in Alan Barnes' murder (other than covering for his own involvement). Woodards' name never comes up. Coincidentally, Alan's body wasn't subject to any major mutilation. The worst injuries were the broken back from being thrown over the bridge and the fatal wound inflicted by BVE.
Mr R, however, was definitely involved with Alan's murder. Living with him, Woodards would've known what Mr R was doing with BVE and probably even joined in at times. At some point, the elephant in the room was probably discussed and it came out that yes, BVE and co were responsible for Alan's death. Woodards, knowing this, says he wants in next time. Not just for the opportunity to rape victims but because if they're gonna kill someone it's the perfect chance for him to live out his surgeon dreams and potentially become useful in body disposal.
With NM, he does some level of experimentation (e.g. Neil's genitals, the bizarre wiring of the head after it was cut off) but his main focus is disposing of Neil's body. The OTT mutilation could even be similar to a drug cartel killing since Neil was possibly one of them - send a message to everyone else what will happen if they started talking.
With PS, we unfortunately didn't get a lot of good info on what (if anything) was done beyond cutting his body into pieces. However, since it has never been described as being anywhere near as bizarre as NM's dissection, it's possible this time they were going for ease of transport and limitation of mess. NM's dissection would've been incredibly messy and time consuming. It sounds like with PS they tried to cut down on time and mess as much as possible as it was less elaborate.
With ML, this is when we see the wannabe surgeon really come out. ML had part of his intestine removed but wasn't dissected like NM or PS. It was very much like routine surgery. There was a bit of debate on stitching vs stapling but it'd made sense if it was wannabe Woodards that he decided to try both to see if he could do it even if in real life it'd be unconventional.

On the idea that Peter Stogneff may not be a family victim:

Personally I lean towards him being a victim. We don't have the same evidence to link him to the other 4 (injuries and drugs in his system) but the cutting up of his body is similar enough to NM that there could be a connection.
There's also the fact that Noel Brook lived very close to the Stogneffs and a witness supposedly saw Peter with a man matching Brook's description at Tea Tree Plaza on the day he was abducted. It's just a little too much for coincidence imo
 

SquiffyRae

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Firstly, as quoted above - Manock. The book 'Dissected' (is this book trustworthy, how is it sourced?) insinuates some sort of involvement or knowledge? If this were to be true...we can't underestimate how huge this would be. There is already a lot of talk around Manock for being simply unqualified for his job - doubting some 400 convictions where he has testified. Ch 7 Journalist Dr. Graeme Archer describes Manocks appointment as the unrivalled forensic science scandal ''of the century'' that no one wants to touch...what does this become if there was some sort of involvement, on any level, with all of this...?
The book Dissected is pretty on the level. Imo the Manock connection is one of the areas it flops a little though. The main reason for pointing the finger at Manock seems to be because the dissection of Neil Muir was similar to what is occasionally done at autopsies (although obviously taken further with sawing off of limbs etc.). That coupled with comments that keep coming up about how NM could only have been cut up by a professional seem to have led the authors to the conclusion that someone trained in autopsies did the cutting and Manock is a perfect candidate if that's the sort of person you're looking for.

There is a lot of talk in this thread and elsewhere about high profile people being involved...is this true..who knows? Mr R may be wealthy but certainly doesn't appear to be the in top echelon of society...nor did VE or Mr B. But one thing I think we need to remember is there are levels of involvement. There may have been three or four people committing the murders, however, more may have been involved in procuring victims and in what seems to have been an epidemic of sexual assault...and also the films; if the reports are true that they were filming some of the murders and so on, who were they being distributed to? Any link to any of this is huge for any 'high profile' individual.
The high profile thing seems to have developed mainly from rumours circulating around Adelaide. The idea that these horrific crimes could take place and only one person gets charged for a single murder is a conspiracy theorist's goldmine. There were some "high profile" people involved on the fringes (e.g. Woodards' partner Magistrate Richard Brown) but the most realistic scenario is that this group was largely a bunch of nobodies who got extremely lucky and covered their tracks fairly well.

I don't think there was ever really an elaborate plan to procure victims. BVE and Mr R both had regular routes they would drive and there was an abundance of street kids around that they could target. Some stories even have BVE drugging people at bars and bringing them back to his place. They didn't need people in high places delivering victims to them cause just driving around was good enough (see Mark Langley getting in an argument and storming off at the worst possible place/time).

The film stuff is news to me. I'm sure it naturally follows the other conspiracies that if they're killing all these people they must be making snuff films but I've never heard anything credible to suggest any of the crimes were recorded
 

Nemisis

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The book Dissected is pretty on the level. Imo the Manock connection is one of the areas it flops a little though. The main reason for pointing the finger at Manock seems to be because the dissection of Neil Muir was similar to what is occasionally done at autopsies (although obviously taken further with sawing off of limbs etc.). That coupled with comments that keep coming up about how NM could only have been cut up by a professional seem to have led the authors to the conclusion that someone trained in autopsies did the cutting and Manock is a perfect candidate if that's the sort of person you're looking for.



The high profile thing seems to have developed mainly from rumours circulating around Adelaide. The idea that these horrific crimes could take place and only one person gets charged for a single murder is a conspiracy theorist's goldmine. There were some "high profile" people involved on the fringes (e.g. Woodards' partner Magistrate Richard Brown) but the most realistic scenario is that this group was largely a bunch of nobodies who got extremely lucky and covered their tracks fairly well.

I don't think there was ever really an elaborate plan to procure victims. BVE and Mr R both had regular routes they would drive and there was an abundance of street kids around that they could target. Some stories even have BVE drugging people at bars and bringing them back to his place. They didn't need people in high places delivering victims to them cause just driving around was good enough (see Mark Langley getting in an argument and storming off at the worst possible place/time).

The film stuff is news to me. I'm sure it naturally follows the other conspiracies that if they're killing all these people they must be making snuff films but I've never heard anything credible to suggest any of the crimes were recorded
Snuff Films are an urban myth.
 

JezMez

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New to the thread. I stumbled across this case after listening to the Case Files podcast... Disturbed by the crimes and even more disturbed that multiple people have seemingly escaped conviction I've begun traipsing through the thread to catch up - I've figured out a few names etc...but if anyone could help me out, pm me.

Anyways, I know little about this case compared to others on here so this may be some wildly wrong thoughts...but as someone just looking over it all now a few things stand out to me.

Firstly, as quoted above - Manock. The book 'Dissected' (is this book trustworthy, how is it sourced?) insinuates some sort of involvement or knowledge? If this were to be true...we can't underestimate how huge this would be. There is already a lot of talk around Manock for being simply unqualified for his job - doubting some 400 convictions where he has testified. Ch 7 Journalist Dr. Graeme Archer describes Manocks appointment as the unrivalled forensic science scandal ''of the century'' that no one wants to touch...what does this become if there was some sort of involvement, on any level, with all of this...?

Beyond Manock...the whole Derrance Stevenson - Gino Garmbadella - Darko Kastelan connection stands out to me.

Derrance Stevenson - it has been alleged on the night of his death that Gino Gambardella and High Court judge Lionel Murphy ( what? does anyone have any thoughts on this?) had visited the house. (also: Manock's evidence was key to convicting David Szach for the murder)

Gino Gambardella – Chiropractor, allegedly helped procure young men for various people. Introduced David Szach to Derrance Stevenson. Fled Australia in 1980. Reportedly two Australian hitmen were sent to kill him Italy – who wanted him dead?

Darko Kastelan – friend of Alan Barnes. Associated with Gambardella (worked for him, and according to some was somewhat related?). Kastelan was the last person to see Alan Barnes alive. Also note the section described in this thread from the book where Kastelan allegedly took 'Bowsey' to see Gambardella..

There is a lot of talk in this thread and elsewhere about high profile people being involved...is this true..who knows? Mr R may be wealthy but certainly doesn't appear to be the in top echelon of society...nor did VE or Mr B. But one thing I think we need to remember is there are levels of involvement. There may have been three or four people committing the murders, however, more may have been involved in procuring victims and in what seems to have been an epidemic of sexual assault...and also the films; if the reports are true that they were filming some of the murders and so on, who were they being distributed to? Any link to any of this is huge for any 'high profile' individual.

This all may be useless, but my thoughts so far.
There's no evidence any of those four people you mentioned were involved. Derrance died before the first murder and Gambar left for overseas. There's no evidence either were involved in the rapes with BVE. Darko may have lured Barnes but there is no real evidence of that. As far as this board is aware, there's no evidence of Manock being involved. The ebook goes pretty hard on a theory he was involved but we don't know if that's based on pure speculation, or if he was the "other doctor" who was a suspect in the Kelvin murder.
 

squawk

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A very quick response - being Easter and all, I don’t have a lot of spare time at present!

Some recent research has now uncovered who Dr Robert is/was that prescribed all the pills to BVE. Also, the likely chemists he filled the scripts at.

I have a lead on the potential cutter. Very sensitive area is that. Remember - there are a lot of doctors woven in to this scene. Dr Woodards, Dr Robert, someone who helped Woodards with his medical exams and ‘the cutter’. Then there is the sex change doctor(s), whoever the GP(s) were referring people in the scene to gender reassignment specialists, ‘the butcher’ from Grange and of course Manock the pathologist is now being thrown out there. It’s a tangled web.

There is a definite link between Stogneff and BVE. The connection appears to be through two other linked groups. One group linked to Peter, the other group to BVE. More work needs to be done there.

Is anyone reading this, researching anything?
 

takethepowerback

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There's no evidence any of those four people you mentioned were involved. Derrance died before the first murder and Gambar left for overseas. There's no evidence either were involved in the rapes with BVE. Darko may have lured Barnes but there is no real evidence of that. As far as this board is aware, there's no evidence of Manock being involved. The ebook goes pretty hard on a theory he was involved but we don't know if that's based on pure speculation, or if he was the "other doctor" who was a suspect in the Kelvin murder.
Indeed we have very little evidence, and I'm not necessarily saying they were directly involved with the murders. However, three of these people - Stevenson, Gambardello & Kastelan appear to be at least linked in a chain of knowing each other. Thus, I wouldn't brush aside the Stevenson murder as un-related too soon. There were rumours he was killed for rejecting or wanting to leave the Family in some way. Gambardello was reportedly at Stevenson's house that night. Kastelan had reportedly taken a 15 year old kid 'Bowsey' to Gambardello's residence...only for the kid to run away, realising he had been taken there to participate inn some sort of pornographic film. Gambardello flees Australia, reportedly two Australian hitmen are sent to kill him (who and why?). Kastelan is the last to see Barnes alive. Possibly part of a larger story we do not quite yet understand?



The film stuff is news to me. I'm sure it naturally follows the other conspiracies that if they're killing all these people they must be making snuff films but I've never heard anything credible to suggest any of the crimes were recorded
The films have been mentioned a few times. Sunday Mail reported back in '89, that Stevenson had been murdered for refusing to take part in Snuff films with the family. After Kelvin was taken, an anonymous tip came in that said they had seen a 'film' involving Kelvin. But agreed, it is currently speculation. Not inconceivable though, given it seems clear photos were being taken.
 

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