Unsolved The Family Murders

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Kurve

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Of interest: Out of Sight - The Untold Story of Adelaide's Gay Hate Murders

Use this thread below to lodge media, maps and photos for quick reference.

 
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John Barnes

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Charlie while on the subject of Debi’s book I haven’t seen you post about the story she told when your brother Mike was driving up the South Eastern Freeway. She said a couple of days prior to Alan’s body being found Mike saw Alan sitting in the back seat of a car with two other people. I’m assuming you are aware of this story?

Yes mick has told me the same thing . It’s not upto me to judge that one . Mick is the only one of my family I talk to and we both don’t talk about Alan much . He said he had seen Alan so I leave it at that .

There is a reason I would not talk to Debbie Marshall and it was the fact she was nothing but self serving and wanted to make everything about her . I told her the only way I would have anything to do with her book was if she would give the profit to the victims families. Her answer was “what profits” note I did exclude myself from getting any money !

Sent from my iPhone using BigFooty.com
 
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SSquirrel

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Jul 26, 2022
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I have also read Deb's book. In spite of most of the valid analysis above. The book provides a valuable contribution into these events for its insight into the personalities of so many of those involved and on the edge.
There is no doubt there is a lot of information but they are irrelevant to the topic. Here are some examples. I know now that Jenny Loftes has a degree in Advertising Arts in 1960 and that Paul went to Thebarton High School in 1960. One of the victim‘s parent (I prefer not to name though she has done it) had gone to the Mexican border for failed cancer treatment. I also know that Paul lived in Melbourne and Perth. So who is Jenny, Paul and the cancer patient and what light do they throw on the case.

The book is littered with these ‘information” and they are result of talking to them even thought they and what they say has nothing to do the with the murders. She repeats “6 degrees of separation” thru out the book to validate a link in her mind which misleads readers.

In essence it is tabloid journalism which most of us enjoy reading as it is juicy stuff about others. It is not a surprise that people love reading about the the Kardashians even though they have not done anything. I admit that I know more about Dunstan, Gino, Brown, Manock‘s wife, the house in Greenhill Road etc now then before. But none of it had anything to do with family murders,

The other authors and journalists made attempts to bring the cases to light, explained things to laypersons, avoided conjecture but where there is suspicion, they predicated it.

Just my take.
 

Dell43

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Yes mick has told me the same thing . It’s not upto me to judge that one . Mick is the only one of my family I talk to and we both don’t talk about Alan much . He said he had seen Alan so I leave it at that
Yes mick has told me the same thing . It’s not upto me to judge that one . Mick is the only one of my family I talk to and we both don’t talk about Alan much . He said he had seen Alan so I leave it at that .

There is a reason I would not talk to Debbie Marshall and it was the fact she was nothing but self serving and wanted to make everything about her . I told her the only way I would have anything to do with her book was if she would give the profit to the victims families. Her answer was “what profits” note I did exclude myself from getting any money !

Sent from my iPhone using BigFooty.com
Thanks for getting back to me Charlie just a few questions about this incident if you don’t mind. Did Mick report the incident to the police? If so what was their reaction? Did Mick recognise any of the people in the car? in particular the person described as chubby sitting next to Alan in the back seat. Any idea of his age? Hair colour and lenght?
 
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John Barnes

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Thanks for getting back to me Charlie just a few questions about this incident if you don’t mind. Did Mick report the incident to the police? If so what was their reaction? Did Mick recognise any of the people in the car? in particular the person described as chubby sitting next to Alan in the back seat. Any idea of his age? Hair colour and lenght?

As I said I don’t talk to mick about Alan . The first time he told me about what he said he had seen was about 2 years ago . No he did not tell the cops at the time but he did say he told mom .

I am not here to put s**t on mick but if you seen your brother who had been reported missing for a week wouldn’t you have stopped and got out of the truck ???

PTSD is a horrible condition and can play tricks with your mind if you are not on top of it . Now pls let this one go !


Sent from my iPhone using BigFooty.com
 
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SSquirrel

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Jul 26, 2022
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We all know who where the killers. As you say the people on the edge but how deep are those people??? If we are to put the people on the edge in to it that then you have about 60 more people , then you over 300 more who knows someone who knows someone who knows something. By the time bve was put behind bars it was one of the worst kept secrets in Adelaide . Could the cops have made 2 different investigations out of it ??? NO because of the lines being so blurred.


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This unfortunately is the wide held view and the investigation went all over the shop with little focus and the end result is one conviction. No different to what Debi has been suggesting in her book. A conspiracy of silence by the city?
 

GreyCrow

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A conspiracy of silence by the city?
More a consequence of the courts holding the prosecution to a high standard and the testimony of unreliable witnesses - some directly involved and fitting a story that makes them innocent to the unreliability of memories affected by drugs given and taken
 

SSquirrel

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Jul 26, 2022
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I thought this might be of interest to those who are following this case over the years. Some might recall this interview with BVE which was his first and 5 years after his conviction. He gave this interview to Dick Wordley of the Advertiser in 1983

The main points he put forth are
  • He is innocent of all 5 murders
  • He does not know who the "family" is
  • The 5 murders are connected to people in "high places"
  • His lawyer told him to keep quiet and not return from his overseas trip
  • The Police threatened him over the Duncan Murder not to reveal anything
  • He feared for his life in prison if he informs on others
He is certainly on the same page as many others who genuinely believe that people in high places are behind the murders and there is cover-up.

Here are the counterarguments:

  • The nature of injuries seen in the 5 are similar and indicates one raving sadist and psychopath helped by a select few.
  • Only 2 people have been seen on more than one occasion as well as seen by more than one person inserting metallic objects in the anal cavity of young males, they are BVE and DR
  • BVE hair strands which carried the distinct die were found inside Richard Kelvin's jeans. There are other evidence as well.
  • The last sighting of Peter Stogneff was in BVE's car seated next to BVE stoned at the well known corner Hungary Jacks at Rundle by his BVE's office colleague. She was threatened by BVE shortly after his arrest and the call by him came from the Remand facility where he was held.
  • None of his close and distant associates are leading lights of Adelaide past or present of that era.
That should put to rest the conspiracy theory and cover-up involving influential people which has been flogged repeatedly over the years.

That leaves the question of competency of SAPOL in the main.
 
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SSquirrel

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In 2008, a task force was formed to specifically look at the 5 murders and not keep chasing after shadows. The Mulligan Inquiry from 2004 to 2008 looked at the abuse of children in state care and the end of the inquiry allowed a re-focus on 5 specific murders only.

The investigative structure was changed significantly. It was 18 man team led by a Supt, 6 of whom have been working on these cases as the cold case team.
  • Each of the murders were investigated separately so as not miss out any possible leads although in the same task force.
  • Focus on 4 key suspects with varying degree of culpability - ( abduction, wrongful detention, sexual assaults, torture, administering stupefying drugs, acts leading to death including murder would be in the frame, with or without common intention)
  • Secondary suspects were also identified
  • Changes in law compelled suspects in indictable crimes to provide DNA. All provided including secondaries.
  • Only 4 victims had traces elements for matching. Stogneff's skeletal remains understandably did not contribute in this.
  • Govt doubled the reward to $1M near the end of review and specifically stated that none of the primary suspects are excluded from it.
  • All suspects including the primary 4 would be considered for grant of immunity.
  • The last two points does indicate the last bite of the cherry as the review was coming to and end and exhausted all available avenues.
  • I do acknowledge that this review left no stones unturned and was run competently
The lack of outcome does reinforce one hypothesis. Serial killers are generally lone wolves. No other murders occurred after BVE's apprehension. The nature of fatal injuries also suggest the same sadistic individual. A number of outliers though indicating partial involvement of others.
  • abduction involved more than one person - the lure and muscle (thought the rest would have no intention to kill)
  • the lengthy detention up to 5 weeks
  • multiple witness have recalled others being invited once the victim has bene drugged
If BVE and DR are 2 of the primary suspects who are then the remaining 2 primary suspects? Not necessarily murder but involved in one way or another with one or more cases. My guess is CW and DSD. Each of them are the closest to one of the 2 key suspects.

One interesting facet of this case is the disposal of the bodies. Of the 5, Richard Kelvin body was in a foetal position when found. Indicating one individual carried him into the scrub. Stogneff's are skeletal remains, Barnes was dropped from height, Muir's was bagged and limbs hacked and Langley's body was thrown and rolled down the side. So disposal as it stands indicates one individual.

Hope to cover the key lapses in the Police investigation in the early years next.
 
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bth18

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In 2008, a task force was formed to specifically look at the 5 murders and not keep chasing after shadows. The Mulligan Inquiry from 2004 to 2008 looked at the abuse of children in state care and the end of the inquiry allowed a re-focus on 5 specific murders only.

The investigative structure was changed significantly. It was 18 man team led by a Supt, 6 of whom have been working on these cases as the cold case team.
  • Each of the murders were investigated separately so as not miss out any possible leads although in the same task force.
  • Focus on 4 key suspects with varying degree of culpability - ( abduction, wrongful detention, sexual assaults, torture, administering stupefying drugs, acts leading to death including murder would be in the frame, with or without common intention)
  • Secondary suspects were also identified
  • Changes in law compelled suspects in indictable crimes to provide DNA. All provided including secondaries.
  • Only 4 victims had traces elements for matching. Stogneff's skeletal remains understandably did not contribute in this.
  • Govt doubled the reward to $1M near the end of review and specifically stated that none of the primary suspects are excluded from it.
  • All suspects including the primary 4 would be considered for grant of immunity.
  • The last two points does indicate the last bite of the cherry as the review was coming to and end and exhausted all available avenues.
  • I do acknowledge that this review left no stones unturned and was run competently
The lack of outcome does reinforce one hypothesis. Serial killers are generally lone wolves. No other murders occurred after BVE's apprehension. The nature of fatal injuries also suggest the same sadistic individual. A number of outliers though indicating partial involvement of others.
  • abduction involved more than one person - the lure and muscle (thought the rest would have no intention to kill)
  • the lengthy detention up to 5 weeks
  • multiple witness have recalled others being invited once the victim has bene drugged
If BVE and DR are 2 of the primary suspects who are then the remaining 2 primary suspects? Not necessarily murder but involved in one way or another with one or more cases. My guess is CW and DSD. Each of them are the closest to one of the 2 key suspects.

One interesting facet of this case is the disposal of the bodies. Of the 5, Richard Kelvin body was in a foetal position when found. Indicating one individual carried him into the scrub. Stogneff's are skeletal remains, Barnes was dropped from height, Muir's was bagged and limbs hacked and Langley's body was thrown and rolled down the side. So disposal as it stands indicates one individual.

Hope to cover the key lapses in the Police investigation in the early years next.

I always interpreted one of the four to be Mr B, but that could obviously be wrong.

The 2008 task force also had a focus on Turtur and CW (Clocker) it seems, police travelled to Sydney and collected LT’s DNA and interviewed him (per the diaries and reports)

I also know the police travelled to QLD and collected Clocker’s DNA and interviewed him.

But whether the media reporting include them in the ‘four’ suspects, unsure.
 

SSquirrel

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Jul 26, 2022
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I always interpreted one of the four to be Mr B, but that could obviously be wrong.

The 2008 task force also had a focus on Turtur and CW (Clocker) it seems, police travelled to Sydney and collected LT’s DNA and interviewed him (per the diaries and reports)

I also know the police travelled to QLD and collected Clocker’s DNA and interviewed him.

But whether the media reporting include them in the ‘four’ suspects, unsure.
For the longest time, I too had Mr B in the frame as no. 3. That was until the emergence of Trevor Peters' diaries in 2014. Certain things emerged - photos of Barnes, the rented unit, DSD comment 4 days before he died, CW mentions the unit, DSD points out the unit, DSD falsely claiming to be Melbourne in the first week of RK's abduction etc. It dawned on me that B could not be in the inner circle and remember he did not like Mr R. TP in his diary mentions all 4 but not B on extracts that were released.

So I went back to re-trace B's involvement. It was all about BVE. He gave details about BVE's MO, description of BVE's house, car and its contents, BVE's drugs including the ones in BVE cupboard. These details impressed the Police as they knew it was accurate as they had already searched BVE's house as well as recovered the pills from the cupboard. B's interview and statement was after BVE's was arrested on 3rd November 83.Albeit they knew he was a liar when came to many other things.

To me he was BVE's accomplice on some occasions and had accompanied BVE to his home and to the shared house with LT and company.

Till today as I understand, the Police could not locate the unit or units used for holding the victims and B had no idea.

The whole thing went pear shape for B and the cops when he starts mentioning the Beaumont and the Adelaide Oval kids at the Committal hearings for Barnes and Langley. He then becomes unsafe to all.

As far I know, the media nor the Police never did mention who the 4 are but both mentioned that there 4 primary suspects.
 
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bth18

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good points, TP didn't know who Mr B was at the time, and theorised it was Turtur.


been trying to find this article, from the advertiser at the time of the inquest has the line "The Sunday Mail understands one of the major targets is an eastern-suburbs businessman in his 60s. The man, whose identity is suppressed, was von Einem's closest associate when the murders occurred between 1979 and 1983. He is the most senior member of the Family - besides von Einem - and has never faced any charges over the murders. At the time of the murders, he was living with a man who is also a person of interest in the new police investigation."

that would be ML, who Mr R has lived with since the early 70's - could be one of them perhaps
 

SSquirrel

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Jul 26, 2022
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For the longest time, I too had Mr B in the frame as no. 3. That was until the emergence of Trevor Peters' diaries in 2014. Certain things emerged - photos of Barnes, the rented unit, DSD comment 4 days before he died, CW mentions the unit, DSD points out the unit, DSD falsely claiming to be Melbourne in the first week of RK's abduction etc. It dawned on me that B could not be in the inner circle and remember he did not like Mr R. TP in his diary mentions all 4 but not B on extracts that were released.

So I went back to re-trace B's involvement. It was all about BVE. He gave details about BVE's MO, description of BVE's house, car and its contents, BVE's drugs including the ones in BVE cupboard. These details impressed the Police as they knew it was accurate as they had already searched BVE's house as well as recovered the pills from the cupboard. B's interview and statement was after BVE's was arrested on 3rd November 83.Albeit they knew he was a liar when came to many other things.

To me he was BVE's accomplice on some occasions and had accompanied BVE to his home and to the shared house with LT and company.

Till today as I understand, the Police could not locate the unit or units used for holding the victims and B had no idea.

The whole thing went pear shape for B and the cops when he starts mentioning the Beaumont and the Adelaide Oval kids at the Committal hearings for Barnes and Langley. He then becomes unsafe to all.

As far I know, the media nor the Police never did mention who the 4 are but both mentioned that there 4 primary suspects.
One other thing.

In 1987, Chief Superintendent Bob Lean, Head of SA Major Crime told the media that BVE is the principal person behind the murders. It was first time that SAPOL made that comment which is in itself is revealing. It ties to the signature fatal injuries. It however does not provide closure to the families of the 4 victims as there was no convictions.

It is also explains why BVE was stoic in denying his involvement as other 3 or the wider rings of suspects played a peripheral role and may not be involved in the final fatal acts. And he never names single soul while DR spelled out his MO during the committal hearing which sort of surprised me.
 

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SSquirrel

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good points, TP didn't know who Mr B was at the time, and theorised it was Turtur.


been trying to find this article, from the advertiser at the time of the inquest has the line "The Sunday Mail understands one of the major targets is an eastern-suburbs businessman in his 60s. The man, whose identity is suppressed, was von Einem's closest associate when the murders occurred between 1979 and 1983. He is the most senior member of the Family - besides von Einem - and has never faced any charges over the murders. At the time of the murders, he was living with a man who is also a person of interest in the new police investigation."

that would be ML, who Mr R has lived with since the early 70's - could be one of them perhaps
MGL was a mild character who often took the "boys" for dinner and drinks. They boys did speak of him favourably. They had the opposite opinion of his partner DR. I doubt the "rough trade' was done in MGL's house. Hence the room with one mattress and grandfather clock above the shop.
 
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SSquirrel

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Jul 26, 2022
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As I said previously, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Here I will list the key flaws, lapses etc in SAPOL investigation of these murders.

The bodies were found from 24th June 1979 and the fifth and last body on 24th July 1983. A span of 4 years.

4 had horrific injuries with clear signs of torture, abuse and confinement lasting up to 5 weeks. The skeletal remains of one victim bore marks to reasonably indicate a similar experience and outcome. The similarities from drugs found in their system, fatal injuries, bodies cleaned etc are not coincidental.

  • Of the 5 murders, only 1 case was classified as a major crime, that of the 5th victim. It was done slightly over 48 hours after the missing person report was lodged. Classifying a case as major crime immediately allows SAPOL to throw in resources and bring in experts internally and externally that are many times over what a normal murder investigation has. I did mention before that victim's father profile played a part in it but the man himself is as humble as they come. Even helicopters were brought into the investigation. Till this day I cannot fathom after the finding of the 4th victim and horrific similarities in pattern, it was never escalated to the desired level.
  • The second point is highly contentious as there are 2 versions. 2 days after discovery of the 1st victim, SAPOL was contacted and BVE's name provided as the person behind the murder. First version is a phone call to the Police and the second is that person which later turned out to be Mr B walked into Angas St SAPOL HQ to name BVE. What I know is that the officer that he was referred to was Detective Roger Fappe of Major Crime. This was directly related to the body found 2 days before. The committal records does indicate Fappe. So it was information from a person who identified himself. Not from an anonymous source or a source that could not be identified or traced.
    • Nothing was done until 68 days later. BVE was then interviewed by Detectives Rod Hunter and Anderson at his Unit on 2nd September 1979. The answers that BVE gave was not verified such as car ownership etc. Verification would have a provided a material link as the car details was given by B.
    • Even more remarkable and possibly the worst case of investigative negligence was that Mr B gave the information that BVE was responsible. Yet Mr B was not spoken to again until 4 years, 4 months and 6 days later by Detective O'Brien at the Norfolk Hotel, Rundle Mall.
      • This is important - Mr B's information was given 2 days after the 1st victim's body (Barnes) was found. Mr B was spoken to again after 5th victim was murdered. Nothing in between.
      • Mr B became the star witness for the 5th victim's murder trial.
Just on the above lapses, a public inquiry should have been held. Could the 4 innocent and young lives be spared if the normal and routine investigation was done properly. That is a possibility that cannot be ruled out.
 
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SSquirrel

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Jul 26, 2022
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DR, TP, MGL, MR B, MR R, ML

*... I need a glossary
Unfortunately all the above with once exception are covered by the court suppression orders. Close to 30 names are covered by the orders. 4 were lifted after their deaths and a 5th agreed to the lifting (Lewis Turtur).

DR/R - is the "businessman" and close associate of BVE
MG/ MGL - the businessman\s long time lover and owns the house that both live in.
B - was the star witness during the murder trial of Richard Kelvin, the 5th victim. Was the young associate of BVE when picking up hitchhikers, But he was not associated with BVE's other associates.

TP - Trevor Peters is close to many of associates of BVE and R but he not at all implicated in any of crimes. His meticulously kept diaries found after his death reconciles with many incidents and closes some material gaps. He was close interestingly to R's young associate, Clocker (CW) and BVE closest associate (pussy) but not at all with criminal deeds done. I thought it was interesting that both Clocker and Pussy confided in him with some details such as the mysterious rental unit.

His diary also reveals that CW(Clocker) was a major target when the 2008 task force was formed. It is can reasonably surmised that the doubling of the reward to $1M near the end of the investigation and pointed comment made during the reward media release announcement that the suspects themselves could avail themselves to the reward was done in the hope that Clocker would come forward. It never happened.

With fair bit of digging in the web, the names and further details of these suppressed identities can be ascertained. The names can also be found in the committal and trial transcripts. Worth a visit to the court if you have some spare time.
 

SSquirrel

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Man, I'm so glad I'm not the only one. It makes those posts almost impossible to decipher.
Posts that revealed identities covered by suppression orders have been removed as I recall. Bit of googling and yes, deciphering is required. There is one website that reveals the identities of some. It was done by a chap in the last 2 years I think. Helpful.

These suppression orders were based on jurisprudence of an outdate era. My understanding it cannot be applied now. The Govt should seek a review with a view of lifting in public interest. I also believe that suppression orders also helps conceal the flaws of the investigations as an effect rather than as an intent.

The irony is that 2 of the 3 primary suspects covered by suppression orders actually wrote to the press in support of BVE’s innocence in regard to the murder 5 years after the conviction. It tells how galling they are. Playing both ends.
 

Zebo

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Posts that revealed identities covered by suppression orders have been removed as I recall. Bit of googling and yes, deciphering is required. There is one website that reveals the identities of some. It was done by a chap in the last 2 years I think. Helpful.

These suppression orders were based on jurisprudence of an outdate era. My understanding it cannot be applied now. The Govt should seek a review with a view of lifting in public interest. I also believe that suppression orders also helps conceal the flaws of the investigations as an effect rather than as an intent.

The irony is that 2 of the 3 primary suspects covered by suppression orders actually wrote to the press in support of BVE’s innocence in regard to the murder 5 years after the conviction. It tells how galling they are. Playing both ends.
Debi Marshall names them both in Banquet.
 

SSquirrel

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Thought I share my views on the AG, the Department of Prosecution, Forensics branch, the prosecutors and the members of judiciary involved in the committal hearings, the inquiry, the trials etc.

This is because comments attributed to SAPOL investigators by members of the public along the lines that they had done all they could but the prosecution did not want to proceed or the magistrate or the judge got it wrong.

I personally thought that Prosecutors Brian Martin and Paul Rofe and the Prosecution branch did an outstanding job for the murder trial of the 5th victim. Remember there were no eyewitnesses to the abduction, detention, abuse and the murder of the 5th victim. Prior to the trial they brought in a UK expert to confirm the forensic findings in particular the fibres and hair. Kudos to our scientists. Judge White instructions to the jury was clear and they returned a verdict in less 7 and half hours. An impressive speed.

AG impressed with his immediate appeal on the leniency of the non-parole period of sentence which he considered lenient. This led to 36 years and not 24 years. A new record for non-parole was set. The immediate appeal sent a powerful signal that cannot be discounted.

Now for the attempt to convict BVE for Barnes and Langley murders. Magistrate David Gurry on 11th May 1990 committed BVE for trial despite some material issues raised and the conduct of one key witness during the committal. Prosecutors for the committal hearing were Brian Martin and Tom Birchall. Again a great job.

The defence launched an appeal in the Supreme Court claiming abuse of process. And they did have a prima facie case. Though they failed, the damage was done. The transcript for this can be downloaded or google for the link.

In essence the Justice Duggan presiding over the appeal determined the threshold for the similar facts argument was not met. This was the important and one of two premises the prosecution case was predicated on. Mainly due to limited corroborating evidences and eyewitnesses. Though he allowed much of the evidence, there were conditions. Mark Langley’s case was first withdrawn in December 1990. Justice Duggan ruled a separate trial for the 2 murders as the similar facts failed. And there was nothing much in terms of evidence for the Langley murder case to carry on. In February 1991 Barnes case was also withdrawn.

The withdrawal of Barnes case deserves 3 paragraphs as it is important. Why did it clear a difficult committal hearing, an even more difficult abuse of process Supreme Court appeal hearing and even made it to pre-trial and yet proceedings stopped. And why the prosecution entered nolle prosequi - withdraw or abandon the case, on the advice of the AG. It stumped many. It was a long awaited opportunity for the whole of the state of South Australia to bring to closure and serve a semblance of justice for the innocent boys and their families. Their cases appeared to be neglected due to the their socio-economic background.

The second premise was that of the key witness - Mr B. During the committal hearing, B on the stand stated that BVE admitted that he was behind the Beaumont Kids as the Adelaide Oval girls disappearances. It was stunning. In my opinion it led to the chain of events including the abuse of process appeal.

With the one corollary thrown out ie. similar facts argument, B testimony became the remaining corollary. Now in the course of the trial, if B's testimony is rubbished as false, beyond fantasy and the case is thrown out There would be consequences. And they were dire. There is a strong possibility that BVE's original conviction for the murder of the 5th victim would be in jeopardy. All one has to do is launch an appeal for unsafe conviction as B was star witness during that original trial that led to BVE's conviction. Was it worth proceeding with the Barnes murder case when the possibility that the monster BVE might actually see freedom. AG and the prosecution cannot provide this reason for the withdrawal because it will be an admission that the prosecution itself thinks it is probably unsafe. Note: this is my conclusion for the withdrawal.

So where did the process fail. Certainly not with the prosecution or the judicial system of the state. The failure falls squarely on the SAPOL, the investigative leadership in 1979 and 3 detectives. First error was not recording a comprehensive statement on 27th July 1970, 2 days after B walked in and implicated BVE and that he has seen Barnes with BVE. The second error was the failure of the 2 primary detectives to follow-up with BVE until October 1979. The third failure is not verifying the details provided by BVE when they finally spoke to him. On the stand one of the primary detectives admitted that the make, model and colour of the car was provided by B but not checked after speaking with BVE. The last and most glaring and unforgivable mistake is taking 4 years, 4 months and 6th days to finally track B and record the first comprehensive statement. It was 18 pages long and took 6 hours.

Here is something else. When the long belated search for B was launched in Oct 1983, the detective assigned could not locate him even after flying interstate. One month later, it was the effort of one of the primary detectives for the 5th victim that located him. He was the one who recorded his detailed statement. This particular detective was not mentioned in folklore but was formally transferred to Major Crime a short while before 5th victim's abduction. It was no surprise that this detective was fast tracked to the Senior Officers course shortly after the conviction and subsequently rose thru the ranks before retiring. He was also mindful to be clinical and professional and not get too close with victims' families and feed them with excuses over the years.

The importance of recording a near contemporaneous and detailed statement cannot be discounted. If B's statement was properly recorded 2 days after Barnes body was found, it would have gone a long way. Even if B turned or made nonsensical comments years laters, the original statement would carry much weight.

ps. sorry for the wall of text. Tried my best to be succinct.
 
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bth18

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Thought I share my views on the AG, the Department of Prosecution, Forensics branch, the prosecutors and the members of judiciary involved in the committal hearings, the inquiry, the trials etc.

This is because comments made that has been attributed to SAPOL investigators by members of the public along the lines that they had done all they could but the prosecution did not want to proceed or the magistrate or the judge got it wrong.

I personally thought that Prosecutors Brian Martin and Paul Rofe and the Prosecution branch did an outstanding job for the murder trial of the 5th victim. Remember there were no eyewitnesses to the abduction, detention, abuse and the murder of the 5th victim. Prior to the trial they brought in a UK expert to confirm the forensic findings in particular the fibres and hair are in line with international standards. Kudos to our scientists. Judge White instructions to the jury was clear and they returned a verdict in less 7 and half hours. An impressive speed.

AG impressed with his immediately appeal on the leniency of the non-parole period of sentence which he considered lenient. This led to 36 years and not 24 years. A record for non-parole was set. The immediate appeal sent a powerful signal that cannot be discounted.

Now for the attempt to convict BVE for Barnes and Langley murders. Magistrate David Gurry on 11th May 1990 committed BVE for trial despite some material issues raised and the conduct of one key witness during the committal . Prosecutors for the committal hearing were Brian Martin and Tom Birchall. Again a great job.

The defence launched an appeal in the Supreme Court claiming abuse of process. And they died have a prima facie case. Though they failed, the damage was done. The transcript for this can be downloaded or google for the link is available online.

In essence the Justice Duggan presiding over the appeal determined the threshold for the similar facts argument was not met. This was the important and one of two premises the prosecution case was predicated on. Mainly due to limited corroborating evidences and eyewitnesses. Though he allowed much of the evidence, there were conditions. Mark Langley case was first withdrawn in December 1990 as Justice Duggan ruled a separate trial for the 2 murders And there was nothing much in terms of evidence for the Langley murder case to carry on. In February 1991 Barnes cases was also withdrawn.

The withdrawal of Barnes case deserves a dedicated 3 paragraphs. Why did it clear a difficult committal hearing, an even more difficult abuse of process Supreme Court appeal hearing and even made it to pre-trial. And why the prosecution entered nolle prosequi - withdraw or abandon the case, on the advice of the AG. It stumped many. It was a long awaited opportunity for the whole of the state of South Australia to bring a semblance of justice for the innocent boys and their families whose cases appeared to be neglected due to the their socio-economic background.

The second premise was that of the key witness - Mr B. During the committal hearing, B on the stand stated that BVE admitted that he was behind the Beaumont Kids as the Adelaide Oval girls disappearances. It was stunning. In my opinion it was important as it led to the chain of events including the abuse of process appeal.

With the one corollary thrown out ie. similar facts argument, B testimony became the remaining corollary. Now in the course of the trial, B's testimony is rubbished as false, beyond fantasy and the case is thrown out. There is a strong possibility that BVE's original conviction for the murder of the 5th victim is in jeopardy. All one has to do is launch and appeal for unsafe conviction as B was star witness during that trial that led to BVE's conviction. Was it worth proceeding with the Barnes murder case when the possibility that the monster BVE might actually see his freedom. AG and the prosecution cannot provide this reason for the withdrawal because it will be an admission that the prosecution itself thinks it is probably unsafe. Note: this is my conclusion for the withdrawal.

So where it fail. Certainly not with judicial system of the state. The failure fails squarely on the SAPOL, the investigative leadership in 1979 and 3 detectives. First error was not recording a comprehensive statement on 27th July 1970, 2 days after he walked in implicated BVE and that he has seen Barnes with BVE just. The second error was the failure for the 2 primary detectives to follow-up with BVE until October 1979. The third failure is not verifying the details provided after speaking with BVE. On the stand one of the primary detectives admitted that the make, model and colour was provided by B but not checked after speaking with BVE. The last and most glaring and unforgivable mistake is taking 4 years, 4 months and 6th days to finally track B and record the first comprehensive statement. It was 18 pages long and took 6 hours.

Here is something else. When the long belated search for B was launched in Oct 1983, the detective assigned could not locate him even after flying interstate. One month later, it was the effort of one of the primary detectives for the 5th victim that located him. He was the one who recorded his detailed statement. This particular detective was not mentioned in folklore but was formally transferred to Major Crime a short while before 5th victim's abduction. It was no surprise that this detective was fast tracked to the Senior Officers course shortly after the conviction and subsequently rose thru the ranks before retiring. He was also mindful to be clinical and professional and not get too close with victims' families and feed them with excuses over the years.

The importance of recording a near contemporaneous and detailed statement cannot be discounted. If B statement was properly recorded 2 days after Barnes body was found, it would have gone a long way. Even if B turned or made nonsensical comments years laters, the original statement would carry much weight.

ps. sorry for the wall of text. Tried my best to be succinct.
Look to put a long story short - 100% haha
 

John Barnes

Team Captain
Nov 13, 2017
452
636
AFL Club
Adelaide
As I said previously, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Here I will list the key flaws, lapses etc in SAPOL investigation of these murders.

The bodies were found from 24th June 1979 and the fifth and last body on 24th July 1983. A span of 4 years.

4 had horrific injuries with clear signs of torture, abuse and confinement lasting up to 5 weeks. The skeletal remains of one victim bore marks to reasonably indicate a similar experience and outcome. The similarities from drugs found in their system, fatal injuries, bodies cleaned etc are not coincidental.

  • Of the 5 murders, only 1 case was classified as a major crime, that of the 5th victim. It was done slightly over 48 hours after the missing person report was lodged. Classifying a case as major crime immediately allows SAPOL to throw in resources and bring in experts internally and externally that are many times over what a normal murder investigation has. I did mention before that victim's father profile played a part in it but the man himself is as humble as they come. Even helicopters were brought into the investigation. Till this day I cannot fathom after the finding of the 4th victim and horrific similarities in pattern, it was never escalated to the desired level.
  • The second point is highly contentious as there are 2 versions. 2 days after discovery of the 1st victim, SAPOL was contacted and BVE's name provided as the person behind the murder. First version is a phone call to the Police and the second is that person which later turned out to be Mr B walked into Angas St SAPOL HQ to name BVE. What I know is that the officer that he was referred to was Detective Roger Fappe of Major Crime. This was directly related to the body found 2 days before. The committal records does indicate Fappe. So it was information from a person who identified himself. Not from an anonymous source or a source that could not be identified or traced.
    • Nothing was done until 68 days later. BVE was then interviewed by Detectives Rod Hunter and Anderson at his Unit on 2nd September 1979. The answers that BVE gave was not verified such as car ownership etc. Verification would have a provided a material link as the car details was given by B.
    • Even more remarkable and possibly the worst case of investigative negligence was that Mr B gave the information that BVE was responsible. Yet Mr B was not spoken to again until 4 years, 4 months and 6 days later by Detective O'Brien at the Norfolk Hotel, Rundle Mall.
      • This is important - Mr B's information was given 2 days after the 1st victim's body (Barnes) was found. Mr B was spoken to again after 5th victim was murdered. Nothing in between.
      • Mr B became the star witness for the 5th victim's murder trial.
Just on the above lapses, a public inquiry should have been held. Could the 4 innocent and young lives be spared if the normal and routine investigation was done properly. That is a possibility that cannot be ruled out.

Every time I talk to the cops about the case I hold up 4 fingers that is to show the 4 other boys killed after Alan. Ps please use the full names of the boys , not victim 1 ect !


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