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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    AUSTRALIA - Theresa Crawford & 3 children, Melbourne, 1970

    With her domestic duties finished for the day Theresa Crawford reclined in her favourite chair. Exhausted, she turned the chair to face directly into the radiating warmth of the briquette fireplace. Karen, the youngest child, had been sick with a toothache for two days and had kept the whole family awake the previous night. But now with the three children tucked up in bed and her husband, Elmer, out working in his garage, it was time to relax. She slipped on a pair of comfortable vinyl Jiffy slippers and began writing a letter to her sister, Vonny, who lived in Queensland. She had managed only a few lines when she heard the back door open, followed shortly by Elmer's familiar footsteps padding up the hallway. Taking no notice, she continued to write.

    Sensing his presence in the living room a few moments later, Theresa put down her pen and paper and turned her head towards the living room door. Elmer stood directly behind her and, before she had a chance to speak, he bought a thick piece of lead-filled rubber hose crashing down on her head. Theresa groaned slightly and slumped unconsious to the floor.
    Grabbing her by the arms, Crawford dragged his wife across the lounge room floor. Her slippers came off near the chair. Once in the master bedroom, he lifted her heavy, limp figure onto the double bed. She was still breathing. Putting his well-laid plans into action, Crawford picked up two of the strange looking devices he had made. Each consisted of a length of cable with an alligator clip on one end and a three-pin electrical plug on the other. He attached one clip to his wife's right earlobe, and the other to the fleshy area between the thumb and index finger of her right hand. What Crawford did next simply defies belief - he plugged the other end of the two leads into the wall socket and switched the power on.

    Theresa Crawford died almost instantly as 240 volts of electricity blasted through her body. The electrified clips left ugly burn marks on her hand and ear. The path of the current burnt yellow-brown welts into her neck. Normally, the resistance of such a current through a human body would blow the fuses - but Elmer Crawford saw that this would not happen. He had replaced two fuses in the meter box, swapping the thin fuse wire with a strand of normal electrical cable. This ensured the power stayed on while he carried out his deeds. Theresa Crawford's unborn child died with her.

    When he was certain she was dead, Crawford switched off the electricity and left his dead wife lying on the bed. Picking up a hammer he had placed under the double bed, he walked out into the hallway and then into the bedroom where his two young daughters slept. The glow of a night-light in the hallway faintly illuminated their bedroom. He walked over the Katherine's bed. She was asleep, lying on her right side.

    Much more at this link. Beware of graphic crime scene pics though!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    February 11, 2008 12:00am

    POLICE believe a Melbourne man who murdered his wife and three children has been living interstate for nearly four decades.
    So determined are Victoria police to close the case, they will announce a $100,000 reward today.

    Elmer Kyle Crawford has been on the run since 1970 when he electrocuted his family and bashed them with a hammer before pushing them over a cliff in the family car at Loch Ard Gorge near Port Campbell.

    Two homicide detectives flew to Perth yesterday in a bid to crack one of Victoria's most savage murder cases.

    Computer technology has been used to produce an image of what Crawford might look like today.

    Homicide squad detectives Damian Jackson and Jamie Ronke are chasing several leads that suggest Crawford is living in Western Australia.

    The new image of Crawford incorporates details provided by a woman who knew him well and who twice saw him in the west 24 years after the murders.

    More here with a pic of what Crawford may look like now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    There was another case like this of man from adelaide by the name of pierce who killed his family except one of his sons, burnt down the house and fled interstate and has not been found since. He apparently approached the boy that lived in the 80's or 90's while he was playing in a park.

  4. #4
    gaia227's Avatar
    gaia227 is offline I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting - M. Twain
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    New York City
    I don't even know what to say. Truly disturbing. I could not find any information on the website about who Elmer was. What was he like? Was he a good father/husband? Was there history of abuse before this happened? Sorry, I am being lazy. I will look up info about him tomorrow when I am not so tired.
    Thanks for posting....I think. I am probably going to have nightmares tonight.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    I don't know what to say , I just can't believe how cruel and inhumane this man was. I pray they catch him and he pays for this crime.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    This man has been identified. A Porchlight member made the match.
    He has been IDed as 966UMTX

    Texas body solves 40-year-old Australian Crawford murder mystery By Keith Moor From: Herald Sun July 13, 2010 9:47AM A 1971 inquest found Crawford electrocuted and bashed his family in Melbourne's north AAP/WA Police Source: AAP

    POLICE believe they have found the body of longtime fugitive and Melbourne mass murderer Elmer Crawford.
    He had been on the run since slaughtering his pregnant wife and their three young children almost four decades ago.

    Crawford became one of Victoria's most wanted men after electrocuting and bashing his family before pushing their bodies over a cliff in a car at Port Campbell's Loch Ard Gorge.

    Victorian police now believe they have tracked Crawford's body to the Texan city of San Angelo in the US.

    Police now believe they have found one of Australia's most wanted men

    Facial recognition experts from Victoria Police and the US FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia, have separately compared photographs of Crawford with photographs of the unidentified dead man and each reached the conclusion the body is almost certainly that of Crawford.

    An inquest in 1971 found Crawford murdered his wife Theresa Crawford, 35, and their children Kathryn, 13, James, 8 and Karen, 6, in their Cardinal Rd, Glenroy, home on July 1, 1970.

    Victoria Police is trying to get DNA from a relative of Crawford in the hope of proving the man's identity.

    They have been unable to compare Crawford's fingerprints with those of the man because the body's fingertips were so badly damaged.

    Police believe the man deliberately damaged his fingertips to make it more difficult to identify him. He was carrying multiple identity documents in four different names.

    Victoria Police may have to exhume the body of Crawford's eight-year-old son James in the hope of getting DNA for comparison purposes.

    That will be considered as a last resort and police are today appealing for any relatives of Crawford to come forward to give their DNA.

    A Herald Sun article in 2008 led to a reader contacting Crime Stoppers over the case.

    The caller said an unidentified dead man pictured on a US missing person website was similar to a Victoria Police computer image of how Crawford might look decades after disappearing.

    The information was given to the former Victoria Police homicide squad detective in charge of the Crawford case, Sgt Damian Jackson. He has been working with US authorities to identify the man.

    That man died in a San Angelo hospital on March 31, 2005, after suffering a heart attack earlier that day. Extensive inquiries in the US failed to identify him.

    Sgt Jackson yesterday said the Crawford murder case was an enduring mystery that would be good to solve.

    "If this deceased male in the US is Crawford, as we suspect it is, then it means we can close the book on what has been a 40-year saga," he said.

    Former homicide squad detective Adrian Donehue was one of the original investigators on the case in 1970 and had the grisly task of unwrapping the four bodies from the blankets they were bound in.

    He yesterday said it was a shame Crawford appeared to have lived for decades before dying of natural causes.

    "The thing that really annoys me is the fact he has murdered his wife and three kids and has got away with it," Mr Donehue said.

    Evidence suggests several possible motives for the horrific crime. The first is that he and his wife Theresa argued over whether or not to terminate Theresa's fourth pregnancy.

    That police theory is based on an unfinished letter from Mrs Crawford to her family in which she indicated she wasn't happy about being pregnant again.

    The second theory is that Mrs Crawford discovered her husband had been stealing goods from the Victoria Racing Club at Flemington racecourse, where he worked for 14 years, and she was threatening to expose him as a thief.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Why they think it's him
    Keith Moor From: Herald Sun July 12, 2010 10:50PM Elmer Crawford Source: Herald Sun
    FACIAL recognition experts from Victoria Police and the FBI's academy in Quantico, Virginia, carried out extensive tests on photographs of Elmer Crawford and an unidentified man who died in the US.
    They came to the conclusion the mystery man in the US was almost certainly Crawford.
    The forensic scientists compared the facial and other characteristics of Crawford with those of the dead man.

    Such comparisons can lead to them being able to say person A is definitely not the same person as person B.
    They found no such eliminating features when comparing Crawford's face with the mystery man in the US. What they did find was many things about Crawford that positively compared with the features of the dead man.

    The men were the same height, had the same colour eyes, had heads of similar proportions, similar hairlines and each had a habit of tilting their heads at exactly 6.5 degrees from vertical.
    The experts also found both men had:
    MATCHING deformities of their left ears.
    FOREHEAD wrinkles that matched.
    SIMILAR lips and mouth.
    PROMINENT philtrums (the cleft between the nose and the top of the lip).
    MATCHING double folds around the jowls.
    SIMILAR wrinkles around the eyes.
    FLATTENED nose tips.
    SIMILAR indentations in the forehead.
    Former Victoria Police homicide squad detective Damian Jackson, who now works in uniform at Moorabbin after being promoted to sergeant, said the mystery man in the US had made it very difficult for police to identify him and it appeared he had taken steps to avoid detection.
    "Basically all the US authorities know about him is that he had a heart attack and died in hospital, and was carrying multiple forms of ID on him. All of them appear to be false," Sgt Jackson said.
    "His fingertips were severely damaged. It appeared they had been purposely removed to help disguise his identity.
    "We have his DNA, but need DNA linked to Crawford so we can compare the two in the hope of proving the dead man is Crawford. We hope a relative of Crawford will see this new publicity on the Crawford case and come forward so we can get their DNA to do that comparison.
    "The Quantico people have told us it is highly probable the unidentified body in the US is that of Elmer Crawford.
    "That is a similar conclusion to that reached by Victoria Police experts.
    "We obviously hope a living blood relative of Crawford will come forward to provide DNA so we can be certain."
    Sgt Jackson said if no relatives were found then consideration would have to be given to exhuming the body of one of Crawford's murdered children, probably his eight-year-old son, James.
    Male DNA would be easier to compare, he said.
    "That would only be as an absolute last resort," he said.
    "There would be no guarantee after 40 years that we would get the DNA we need from the remains of the children he murdered.
    "There may have been too much deterioration."
    Police have been unable to get suitable DNA from any of the murder scene exhibits from 1970.
    Sgt Jackson also checked to see if any of the Crawford children had their DNA stored on Victoria's Guthrie card database, but they didn't.
    The Guthrie card system began in the late 1960s and involves blood being taken with parental consent via a heel prick on children at birth. DNA obtained from the blood of the babies is stored and used largely for research programs relating to genetic illnesses.
    Relatives of Crawford, or anybody with information about relatives of Crawford, are asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Just bumping this up to see if any DNA was ever located in this case to definitively identify the body in Texas as Elmer Crawford.

    Does anyone know?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    A RETIREE from Florida could hold the key to fugitive killer Elmer Crawford's true identity.

    Softly-spoken Betty Anstis, 70, believes she is his half-sister.

    "I know, definitely, that I am related to him and I'm not proud," she told News Ltd at her West Palm Beach home.

    Based on historical family documents including letters from a cousin in Ireland, she has concluded the two share the same mother and she is willing to undergo a DNA to test to prove it.

    "It bothers me that I might have a gene hidden somewhere _ it's scary," she said."But I want to help, I want my nieces and nephews to rest in peace."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    POLICE believe they may have tracked down two blood relatives of Victorian mass murderer Elmer Crawford and are seeking DNA from the two men in Northern Ireland.

    The tip came after the Herald Sun this week revealed Victoria Police believes an unidentified body in the US is that of Crawford.

    The Herald Sun has also discovered that one of the identities the dead man in the US used was that of a murderer who shot dead a two-year-old boy and partly paralysed her mother in Oklahoma. Cameron Harold Frysinger was convicted of the murder and shooting with intent to kill in 1983.

    Crawford has been on the run since he slaughtered his pregnant wife Theresa, 35, and their three children, Kathryn, 13, James, 8, and Karen, 6, in 1970.

    He electrocuted and bashed them with a hammer before pushing their bodies in the family car over a cliff at Port Campbell.

    A caller to Crime Stoppers who saw this week's publicity about the case gave police the names of two men he claimed were still alive in Northern Ireland and were blood relatives of Crawford.

    Homicide squad detective Ron Iddles said the caller, who was also from Northern Ireland and said he knew the Crawford family, supplied enough specific information to suggest the information was genuine.

    "We are in the process of contacting the two men to establish if they are relatives and we will be seeking to get DNA from them so we can compare it with the DNA of the unidentified body in the US to see if the dead man is Crawford," Det-Sen-Sgt Iddles said.

    The Herald Sun has also spoken to two women who claim to be related to Crawford.

    One of the women, Trisha Crawford, 59, who lives in Cambridge, northeast of London, believes she may be Elmer Crawford's daughter.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    I have not been able to find any confirmation as to whether or not this guy has been positively identified as Elmer Crawford.


    Family photos here.


    A police spokeswoman said detectives were recently contacted by a NSW resident who believes they are a Crawford relative.

    'They've since established that there is a relation to Crawford and arrangements have been made to take a DNA sample,' the spokeswoman told AAP on Thursday.

    The DNA sample will be collected and compared with the unidentified man in Texas in the near future.

    Crawford had been on the run since July 1970, shortly after the discovery of the bodies of his wife Theresa and their children, Kathryn, 13, James, eight, and Karen, six, in the family car in Loch Ard Gorge near Port Campbell.


    UPDATE: Neil Mitchell says the mother of Tricia Crawford, who believes she is the biological daughter of killer Elmer Crawford, has contacted Tricia to say that she is right with her assertions.

    EXCLUSIVE: Neil Mitchell speaks to a woman - Tricia Crawford - in the UK who believes she is the biological daughter of 1970 Victorian mass murderer Elmer Crawford.

    She has told 3AW she is willing to co-operate with authorities trying to determine whether a man who died in the US in 2005 is, in fact, Crawford.

    The case has sparked international interest, and has police keen to put the case to bed in relation to the murder by electrocution of Crawford's family.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last edited by OkieGranny; 04-09-2015 at 01:43 PM. Reason: fixed broken link

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Penn's woods

    August 27, 2010 - 7:24AM

    Lead in Crawford cold case collapses

    A chance for police to solve one of Victoria's oldest cold cases has collapsed after DNA evidence ruled out a major lead.

    Victoria Police has determined that the unidentified body of an elderly man in Texas is not missing mass murderer Elmer Crawford, who has been a fugitive from the state for nearly 40 years.

    Detectives had used DNA from a Crawford blood relative to compare with DNA from an unknown man who died of a heart attack in Texas five years ago.
    More at link.

  15. #15
    As the author or the only book ever written on the case, Almost Perfect, I'd just like to make a few comments.

    1. This case was completely forgotten by the Victoria Police, until in 1997 when I published the book, and received huge publicity. Even then their interest was mediocre.

    2. The information held by the police is next to nothing. I had more. The police were always of the opinion that Crawford was a timid, shy man. I tracked down a woman in Melbourne who was one of the family's best friends and she painted a very different picture of Crawford. Again, there was little interest by the police.

    3. Even though the man in Texas was not Crawford (as if that wasn't obvious), the initial two women contacted to supply the DNA were only known by me.
    The police had no idea about these women, and even though they'd been contacted by Trisha Crawford some years earlier at my insistence, they'd obviously not taken her seriously or just simply lost/forgotten that they'd ever spoken to her. I initially gave the names of these two women to Neil Mitchell (3AW) and then to the Herald-Sun and the Vic Police. The other lady in Florida has also been known to me for many years.

    3. Many of the Herald-Sun's "exclusive research" was actually pulled from my book. I know this because some of the words were unchanged, and some of the people referenced were known only to me. I had to write to the editor of the Herald-Sun to get at least some acknowledgement. The "investigative" reporter Keith Moore claimed to have never heard of the book - interesting, for an investigative reporter, the first things that came up when you searched on Crawford Murders was the book. Not much of an investigator?

    4. The lady being given all the credit for opening up this case, only took an interest in it after reading my book. Sure she searched the john doe sites of the world, but she didn't put in thousands of hours of research and thousands and thousands of dollars in investigating this case.

    5. There is a basic website about the book at http://members.optusnet.com.au/~gf61

    6. The book is in the process of being republished, with updated information

    7. The author (me) is happy to discuss any aspects of the case, I spent many years researching the case, lived in the street when the murders happened and am a former member of the Victoria Police.

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