Australia Australia - Bowraville Murders, NSW, 1990-1991

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Ausgirl, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    In a five month period between September 1990 and February 1991, three children - all from the same street - went missing from the small community of Bowravillle, NSW. All vanished after attending parties.

    These children were:

    Colleen Walker, 16.
    Evelyn Greenup, 4.
    Clinton Speedy-Duroux, 16.

    Their disappearances apparently weren't taken very seriously at first by local police, who even asked the mother of little Evelyn whether the missing girl old had 'gone walkabout' --- an incredibly ignorant and offensive question, and certainly a terrible and slipshod approach to investigating the disappearance of a 4-year old child.

    No police search at all was made for Colleen, whose family insisted she wasn't simply a runaway.

    Evelyn disappeared from the bed she slept in. Police assumed she'd wandered off.

    Then Clinton Speedy-Duroux also vanished after a party.

    The local community reacted angrily to the lack of investigation, and the community's concerns about killer on the loose proved valid when the body of Clinton was discovered in bushland near the town.

    Little Evelyn's body was found next, and when several plastic bags containing Colleen's clothes were found weighted down in the river, she was presumed dead. Her body has never been found.

    The police reaction to the finding of the bodies was to send in a team from Social Services to investigate the parents for child abuse.

    In 1991, Thomas Jay Hart, then 25, was arrested and tried for the murders of Clinton and Evelyn but was acquitted of Clinton's death and the prosecution dropped Evelyn's case. He was arrested again after a 2004 inquest into the murders, this time for Evelyn's death alone, but was again acquitted in 2006. Hart subsequently left the area and changed his name.

    The detectives in charge of the case, as well as the forensic specialist involved, have stated that there's no doubt in their minds that Hart is the killer of all three children, but it seems the evidence is not conclusive enough for a conviction.

    No other arrests have been made. The families of the children are calling for a Royal Commission investigation into the conduct of the police initially investigating the case.

    And too right, they should. It was shameful and probably the reason the killer walked free.

    In 1997, new detectives took over the case and a lot of progress was made in the investigation but the case is still unsolved.

    http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2006/s1733527.htm

    Bowraville Murders - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://tracker.org.au/2013/03/hundreds-protest-lack-of-action-over-bowraville-murders/

    Feb 2013 - new trial knocked back: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/new-trial-ruled-out-in-bowraville-child-murders-20130208-2e3so.html

    Bowraville murder mystery - YouTube

    A ton of interviews and reports from the 4 Corners site: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20110404/bowraville/
    (click on the top left corner image to see the excellent 4 Corners episode)

    (I'd like to have made this a better post but am running out of time - sorry! There's lots of information and controversy on this case out there, though..)
     
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  3. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    Thanks! I had seen the name of this case before but knew little or nothing about it. What evidence did they have on this Hart guy? He seemed like a pretty straight forward sort in that interview.
     
  4. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Cheers Stan - here's a timeline from the 4 Corners site (pdf file) which documents Hart's horrifically abusive behaviour toward women in the community, his persistent molestation of Colleen Walker and other local girls, claims he drugged drinks and was seen leaving Evelyn's bedroom the night she went missing, and much more:

    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20110404/bowraville/docs/chronology.pdf

    Clinton Speedy-Duroux was last seen in Hart's caravan, and a pillowcase matching linen on Hart's bed was found stuffed down Clinton's pants when his body was discovered.

    There's other evidence discussed, including a confession made by Hart, in the 4 Corners program linked above (well, the site is linked, you have to click on the program to play it).

    Hart's a real piece of work.. and thus far, the sole POI in the case.

    eta: Circumstantial evidence (from an eye witness who saw persons matching the description of Clinton and Hart on the night Clinton disappeared) suggests that Hart put Clinton's body in the middle of a main road, clearly hoping the boy's body would be hit by a vehicle - presumably to mask evidence of the blunt force trauma which killed him. Sickening stuff.

    Colleen Ann Walker, listed on the Australian Missing Persons Register (though she is presumed dead.. there's lots of interview transcripts on this as well):

    http://www.australianmissingpersonsregister.com/ColleenWalker.htm
     
  5. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    Thanks Ausgirl. Well, then I can see there was a case against Hart; just not a good enough one apparently.

    I was just taken aback by Hart's reaction when that reporter surprised him. Usually suspects in those situations either run and hide or counteract in a threatening way. This guy, although clearly surprised, stood there and calmly answered the questions without evasion, although not necessarily truthfully. He also seemed to be relatively intelligent which I didn't expect. Maybe he's one of those truly diabolical criminals who can come off that way, sort of like George Nassar, the convicted killer who became involved in the Boston Strangler investigation.
     
  6. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Stan, I think probably after two separate arrests and trials for child murder, he'd be pretty used to dealing with the media and denying everything. He isn't on the run, either - just moved away with a new identity. Hunt is a free man, and the Govt are refusing to allow another trial -- so he has has nothing to worry about, so to speak.

    Just as aside - I had a really emotional moment when that elderly lady was talking about how white men were once not allowed on the mission, and her clearly painful memories.. "they came with horses and stockwhips" - jeez, broke my heart.

    I believe Hart is a predator who knew exactly how to play his cards in that community. I deeply suspect he would not have quit this behaviour in the two decades since Bowraville, and that should be looked into..
     
  7. SilkySifaka

    SilkySifaka Active Member

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    Three young girls, two from the same street, brutally murdered. No justice in 21 years but now it seems there might be new evidence.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...rs-21-years-no-justice-until-now-7827904.html

    There seem to be racial tensions that impeded the original investigation, from both sides, cultural differences among the aboriginal townspeople and the white law enforcement. Some right down to how a witness is perceived, not looking straight into the eyes (see article).

    This Hart creep seems like he is POI number one, this is a case that WS might be able to get their teeth into.
     
  8. LambChop

    LambChop Former Member

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    Hopefully there night be an open thread on this case here.
     
  9. ellie b

    ellie b Member

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    Interesting that this article was written in June 2012, I wonder if any progress has been made since then.
     
  10. ellie b

    ellie b Member

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  11. SilkySifaka

    SilkySifaka Active Member

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    Thanks Lambchop, it didn't show when I searched. I hope people find the because I think there is a lot of meat to get into
     
  12. SilkySifaka

    SilkySifaka Active Member

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    During the first trial Hart admitted to killing to two men:
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national...girl-court-told/2006/02/06/1139074171433.html
     
  13. SilkySifaka

    SilkySifaka Active Member

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  14. SilkySifaka

    SilkySifaka Active Member

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    This link has a transcript of interviews with certain members including the police officer and the families, towards the end it talks about getting the double jeopardy law overturned which the first article i posted said happened.

    http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2006/s1733527.htm
     
  15. SilkySifaka

    SilkySifaka Active Member

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  16. SilkySifaka

    SilkySifaka Active Member

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  17. Taco

    Taco New Member

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  18. Oddsocks

    Oddsocks Active Member

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    How is this man not in gaol??
    I sometimes have coffee near a certain police station and who should come and sit next to me? None other than Detective Sergeant Gary Jublin.
    And I'll tell you this, he is a man on a mission.
     
  19. Oddsocks

    Oddsocks Active Member

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  20. Oddsocks

    Oddsocks Active Member

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  21. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    BOOYAH! :happydance::yesss:
    :tyou:

    Best news possible!!!! -- aside from actual guilty verdict, that is! But at least the legal hurdles seem to have been removed for a retrial... Awesome, Oddsocks thank you for keeping up with this case.

    I was sure I'd replied to your previous post... idk, I might not have hit 'submit, I post late at night a lot.. anyway, very belated "NO, you are NOT too nosy!!' there.

    Omg, justice for these poor kids and their families might possibly come now. What worries me is, what else he might have done and so far got away with, as a free man...

    This is so fricken awesome. It's the Year of the Cold Case down under, I swear.
     

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