Australia Australia - Maria James, 38, Thornbury, Vic, 17 June 1980

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by marlywings, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. marlywings

    marlywings Former Member

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    Breakthrough in 34yo murder cold case provides new leads for retired investigator's first case

    23rd April,2014

    As Australia's most experienced murder investigator, it is fair to say Ron Iddles does not give up easily.

    Despite leaving Victoria's homicide squad early this month, Mr Iddles is still working behind the scenes to solve the first murder he was ever assigned to - 34 years ago.

    In 1980, when he was a 24-year-old detective senior constable, Mr Iddles was sent to a bookshop in the Melbourne suburb of Thornbury.

    The bookshop's owner, mother of two Maria James, had been killed while her two sons, 13-year-old Mark and 11-year-old Adam, were at school.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-...-breakthrough-in-a-34-year-old-murder/5407564
     
  2. marlywings

    marlywings Former Member

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  3. MsAnais

    MsAnais Verified Clinical Psychologist (AU)

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    I love when you read stuff like this! How fabulous that they look likely to catch Maria James' murderer, so many years later. He/she would have definitely thought they were home free!!

    I love cold case work!!!
     
  4. moreinfo

    moreinfo New Member

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    Oh wow, so glad this case is open again. Have read a bit about this case. Such a sad and horrible story. I remember reading somewhere, that Father Bongiornos sister was asked to give her DNA sample via saliva swab and she refused. Hence why they are now seeking to exhume his body. Filthy priest he was, hope this gets solved. Cant hide your sins forever.
     
  5. moreinfo

    moreinfo New Member

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  6. moreinfo

    moreinfo New Member

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  7. SouthAussie

    SouthAussie Well-Known Member

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    What is taking so long about getting an exhumation order and gathering the required DNA? :confused:

    This suspected pedophile priest seems to have enough accusations against him to warrant it.

    Maria James and her sons deserve justice for her brutal and horrific murder.

    Enough of the covering up already!! :mad:
     
  8. they'll get you

    they'll get you CHRIS. P. BACON

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    OMG! That's the worst nightmare possible!

    bookshop murder victim Maria James answered this telephone and asked her former husband, Fitzroy town clerk, John James, to hang on while she attended to an inquiry. He heard his former wife being killed. Picture: HWT library
     
  9. SouthAussie

    SouthAussie Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/new...s-of-mums-murder/story-e6frg6n6-1226600093368



    Poor guy ... he could probably hear a lot with the phone placed like that. I'm guessing help was able to get to Maria quite quickly then, but that it was to no avail.
     
  10. Kell1

    Kell1 Verified law enforcement

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    Wow someone was pissed ..

    They sound like they are on the right track, definitely someone known to the victim, wasn't planned

    Id like to see them get DNA from the priest,

    Id almost be willing to bet the binding was done post mortem, and the offender was in the process of staging the crime scene, possibly to look like a rape or a robbery when he was interrupted.

    Covered in the victims blood, he would've been noticed, so its likely he drove to and from the location.

    Most likely there'd be inadvertent blood transfer, from the offender to his vehicle, and most likely to his residence as well.

    Post offensive behavior, would be pretty evident

    NOW I will say that receiving a phone call from her Ex -husband WHILE she was being killed, raises BIG red flags, (at least with me ) a bit. That seems a little too coincidental, though it absolutely could be just that . But in criminal investigation coincidences are a RARE occurrence... so ID make sure I clear that VERY thoroughly.

    This investigator sounds like a pit bull.. once he gets the DNA from the priest it would be interesting to see where it goes from there .
     
  11. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    Yes, if it is the guy, he can't be arrested but at least they'll know not to spend any more precious time and money on the investigation.

    One thing that causes me pause though; why didn't she tell her former husband the priest was there when she was about to lay down the phone, if it was indeed the priest? In that case, it seems odd to me that she would just indicate that some unspecified person was there for an inquiry.
     
  12. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Ron Iddles -was- a pit bull, what a pity we cannot clone him. He's solved so many of these neglected older cases, or at least got them moving again. One of the best -- he's in a position at the Police Union now AFAIK.

    Poor Maria and family. This case is a can of worms that's needed to opened for so many years. What a shame they can't force that filthy pedo's sister to give up her DNA -- what's she scared of??? Tarnishing his good name?? What a selfish wench.

    I don't find it much of a coincidence that Bongiorno was charged that same year. Acquitted of course, but they all were back then. It'd be a different story these days, one would hope.
     
  13. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Here's a lovely story on Ron's retirement, detailing some of the 300+ homicide cases he's investigated, including Maria James:

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/homi...an-police-association-job-20140322-35afb.html


    "He was the best thief-catcher I've seen in my whole life,'' the 80-year-old former senior sergeant reveals. "He was fearless. Tireless. It's unbelievable to think someone could be that good."

    Sometimes, Iddles would even turn up to work with a crook in tow, having caught them in an illegal act on his way to the station.

    -- they just do not make them like that anymore.
     
  14. TootsieFootsie

    TootsieFootsie Well-Known Member

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    Priest ruled out in Vic cold case murder

    "A parish priest who died more than a decade ago has been ruled out as a suspect in one of Victoria's oldest cold case murder investigations.

    Father Anthony Bongiorno was regularly reported as a key suspect in the murder of mother-of-two Maria James on June 17, 1980, inside her Thornbury bookshop.

    'Homicide Squad detectives can confirm that Father Bongiorno, who died on February 15, 2002, has been eliminated as a suspect through a variety of investigative techniques,' Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey said on Saturday"



    http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/2015/06/27/priest-ruled-out-in-vic-cold-case-murder.html
     
  15. Puggle

    Puggle Well-Known Member

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  16. Jenelle

    Jenelle Member

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    Just an update about this - ABC Radio National have produced a podcast called 'Trace' about the Maria James murder.

    The link is here - http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/trace/

    I am not sure how many weeks this will go on for but - it has some very interesting information in this first episode.

    There are some gaps that definitely need to be filled (and can be filled) and I think this may have come about because of so much attention being placed on Father Bongiorno.

    My mother worked across the road at the time and we lived nearby. There has ALWAYS been an interest in what happened in the bookstore.

    Please take a listen and see what you think about the mention of the man who worked for Telecom.

    After hearing about this, I did some searching and found a Herald-Sun article from 2007 that talks about this Telecom worker. The article is here - http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/vi...84f16de41?sv=a774f46ff49577e45b5242c2d029bcbb

    The quote that interested me was -

    What he said to the detectives (that is discussed in the podcast) really does contradict what Maria had told the doctor.

    The strange thing was - he committed suicide two days after being interviewed by police.

    If he was a 'new Australian' who was so new he didn't speak English well, he definitely wouldn't have roots in Melbourne or stand out to anyone as displaying strange behaviour at the time. My dad worked for Telecom at the time and he remembers that he and others were told he had gone back to Greece - he just basically disappeared. They were not told at the time that he committed suicide. For the name that they can 'kinda' remember, I have searched the GMCT records for all funerals/services and have had no luck finding anything. I was just speaking to mum and as she said - maybe his body was actually returned to Greece instead. This would make sense as to why there has been no other focus on this man and his involvement.

    Anyway - this Podcast is going to be really interesting I think and shine a new light on the case that had always had the focus in recent years on the Priest.

    The show producers say at the end - they want to speak to anyone who knew either the Telecom worker OR the lady mentioned in that Herald Sun article above who nearly hit the man running across High Street - her name is Jeanette Hodson.
     
  17. JLZ

    JLZ Well-Known Member

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  18. JLZ

    JLZ Well-Known Member

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    A bit more detail:

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/a...in-maria-james-cold-case-20170712-gxa29s.html

    That decision has now been called into question, after the ABC Trace podcast discovered that a bloodstained pillow case included in the case file of Maria James, who was stabbed to death in 1980, was related to a separate homicide investigation.
    . . .
    Police want to retest up to a dozen suspects, but will have to find a DNA sample on another of Maria James' exhibits to compile a new profile of the killer.
     
  19. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    http://www.abc.net.au/news/about/backstory/radio/2017-09-03/the-making-of-trace-podcast/8860872
    [h=2]Maria James murder:[/h] [​IMG]



     
  20. Bohemian

    Bohemian Well-Known Member

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    Trace: Family calls on coroner to consider church-police collusion in Maria James murder cold case
    RN BY RACHAEL BROWN AND JEREMY STORY CARTER FOR TRACE
    ABOUT 8 HOURS AGO (as at 18:13 AEST 07 September 2017)

    'The family of murder victim Maria James is calling for the coroner to investigate whether collusion within Victoria Police contributed to a major DNA bungle that derailed the cold case investigation into her death.'

    Read more at:

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-...r-to-consider-church-police-collusion/8874042

    Related:

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-...t-in-maria-james-murder-investigation/8717254
     

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