Australia Australia - Julie-Anne Leahy, 26, & Vicki Arnold, 27, Atherton, Qld, 9 Aug 1991

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by marlywings, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. marlywings

    marlywings Former Member

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    March 01, 2013

    IN a shock ruling, a Queensland man has been committed to stand trial by a coroner over the killings of his wife and her best friend, two decades after the friend was blamed for the brutal crime.
    Queensland coroner Michael Barnes said a properly instructed jury could find Alan Leahy guilty over the slayings of Julie-Anne Leahy and her best friend Vicki Arnold, whose bodies were found in remote far north Queensland bushland in August 1991.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/new...nold-near-cairns/story-e6frg6nf-1226588472111
     
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  3. CaseClosed

    CaseClosed Registered User

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    I lived in that region for many years and remember all the talk about this case. Nobody believed that this was a murder-suicide. It is all very bizarre and I am pleased that finally the husband is going to be looked at very closely!
     
  4. catswhiskers

    catswhiskers New Member

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    You are on the ball Marlywings! :) I was going to message you and ask if this case should have a thread - thank you. I have heard a bit about this case over the years, and neither of the women's families ever believed that murder/suicide was the real cause of their deaths.
    I'm sure this case was featured on an Australian true crime series - I thought it was Crime Investigation, but I can't see it in the episode list.
     
  5. alioop

    alioop Verified Attorney (AU)

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    Well done to the coroner at this latest inquest for looking at this case with fresh eyes and seeing what the police and two previous coroners did not. That this was not a murder suicide by two best friends.

    A cold case now moving forward. Great news for the families of the 2 women.
     
  6. marlywings

    marlywings Former Member

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    A couple of older reports...

    First is the transcript from Sixty Minutes program back in 2005...

    Murder at Cherry Tree
    Sep 18, 2005

    It's a crime that's never quite added up. There's much more to this mystery than meets the eye.

    Picture the scene of the crime, a remote bush track in north Queensland. There are two bodies — both young women. One has been shot, bashed, strangled and had her throat cut. The other's been shot several times. She's holding a sawn-off rifle.

    For the police it's an open and shut case of murder-suicide. So how did the alleged killer manage to shoot herself in the back of the head? It must be asked whether police bungled the entire investigation and let the real killer walk free...

    http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com/stories/lizhayes/259340/murder-at-cherry-tree-creek
     
  7. marlywings

    marlywings Former Member

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    This one is from the inquest held in 2011...

    Flaws in Leahy-Arnold investigation
    November 15th, 2011

    A FORMER police officer has told an inquest into the deaths of Vicki Arnold and Julie-Anne Leahy his theory that the best friends were shot by a third party who was having an affair with one of the women.

    http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2011/11/15/283431_news.html
     
  8. alioop

    alioop Verified Attorney (AU)

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    http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2011/11/30/193981_local-news.html

    This is a report on evidence given by Julie-Ann's younger sister Vanessa at the inquest. She said she first had sex at the age of 16 with her brother in law Alan one week after her sister went missing and she later came to believe he had killed her sister and friend. She claims he coached her on what to say about his whereabouts that night, thereby providing him with an alibi.
     
  9. CaseClosed

    CaseClosed Registered User

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    Atherton (pop. 7000) and Herberton (pop. 900) are very small towns where everybody knows everybody. Who knows if the husband had connections in the police force or paid someone for their silence, or for turning the investigation into the direction of murder-suicide, etc. In life there is corruption at all levels.
     
  10. alioop

    alioop Verified Attorney (AU)

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    From those links in the previous few posts and from my own memory of reading about this case over the last few years, I think the husband just may have got lucky that the police first on the scene botched the crime scene and minimal forensic evidence was able to be collected a couple of days later when the forensic people came to Cairns to examine the vehicle and gun. Fingerprints had been washed off the car in the weather.

    That and the apparent alibi Julie-Ann's sister provided for Alan.

    Seems like his luck may have just run out!
     
  11. marlywings

    marlywings Former Member

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  12. KG1

    KG1 Registered user

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  13. SapphireSteel

    SapphireSteel New Member

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    Wow thanks so much for posting!

    This one always stayed with me, I cannot believe there may finally be justice.

    This case is important also as a good example of police incompetence and blinkered investigations...they still happen and much more frequently than most of us like to think.
     
  14. Makara

    Makara Former Member

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    Husband of victim Julie-Anne Leahy said he had ''ways of shutting people up'', woman tells court

    Melanie Petrinec | November 18th, 2011

    http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2011/11/18/192205_print-version.html
     
  15. Makara

    Makara Former Member

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  16. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Woah - this is awesome, thanks heaps for the updates on this case. I bet Vicki's family is thrilled to bits that the truth is coming out, at last.

    Just an interesting snip, from the 60 Minutes transcript linked above:

    ALAN LEAHY: I absolutely had nothing to do with my wife's murder.

    One day, I am going to go through a ton of solved cases in which the killer denied responsibility in the press, and count up how many of them say, "I absolutely had nothing to do with..."

    I predict: there's a lot.
     
  17. tarjessi

    tarjessi New Member

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    I always wondered whether the <modsnip> would finally ever be bought to trial..been following this case for years now and I have never for one second believed the murder suicide theory. This site has a really interesting write up on the case:

    http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/scenario.htm#Events

    And the events described seem quite plausible. It is possible that initially Alan did involve Vicki as part of the murder plot and then murdered her either because he thought she might dob him in or maybe it was always a part of his plan.

    Use Vicky as the bait, get her to buy the gun, butter her up by sleeping with her every now and then and then kill her anyway...either way it is a horrifically vile case...and the actions of the sister raise a lot of eyebrows...I know she was young and manipulated by Alan but I think she knows more than she is saying as well...
     
  18. tarjessi

    tarjessi New Member

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    And just because the media states that they were the best of friends does not mean that was the case at the time...nor in the months leading up to the murders.

    Mid last year I attended an inquest for a close friend who had disappeared...and the family and I are sure he was murdered based on what we know but the coroner was not interested in hearing that evidence.

    They continued to harp on about how they were best of mates based on the testimony of the guy who murdered my friend. Despite there being numerous statements from family and myself that pointed to the exact opposite being true...but the coroner had already made his decision prior to the hearing as far as we are concerned...no justice there at all...
     
  19. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Great points you've made there, tarjessi! And thanks for the link. Thought provoking indeed.

    Is your friend's case discussed anywhere? If you don't mind me asking, np if you don't wish to share that info though.
     
  20. catswhiskers

    catswhiskers New Member

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    It's just so sad for Vicki Arnold's family. I can imagine their sense of relief when the recent arrest was made and murder suicide was ruled out, but this theory would turn some of the blame back onto Vicki again. What a nightmare. :(
     
  21. alioop

    alioop Verified Attorney (AU)

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    Not only did Alan get his wife's life insurance he sued Vicki's estate for the death of his wife and got $45,000! Unbelievable! And was free to live with his young sister in law and she looked after his and Julie-Ann's 4 children. He must have been thinking it was all so easy, if of course he did kill them and if not, then it was still all so easy for him.
     

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