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Twelve Crimes That Shocked the Nation

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  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • New Holland Publishers (2005)
  • English
  • 7
  • Other books

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Review Text

  • By Dr Trevor J Hawkeswood on September 11, 2014

    Book Review: Twelve Crimes that Shocked a Nation by Alan J. WhitickerThis is a paperback of 207 pages which outlines 12 major crimes in Australian history. The book opens with an account of the Gatton Murders of 1898. A brother and two sisters of the Murphy family were ambushed late one night near the town of Gatton in south-eastern Queensland. Michael Murphy was 29 years old, and his sister Norah was 27 and the other sister Ellen was only 18 years old at this time. They were either shot in the head and/or bludgeoned. Even their horse was executed! The culprit was never apprehended.The next account is that of the Pyjama girl of 1934. She was eventually found to have been killed by her husband because of her bad behaviour amongst other things. He dumped her body by the side of a road in Victoria and set the body alight with some petrol fro his car. His name was Tony Agostini and he spent only 3 years and nine months in prison for the manslaughter of his wife Linda Agostini. After his release in 1947 he was deported back to Italy where he died on the island of Sardinia in 1962.The Shark Arm Murder of 1935 is outlined next. On 25 April 1935, a tiger shark on display at the Coogee Aquarium in Sydney, disgorged a human arm as well as other semi digested matter in full view of a curious crowd that had gathered there. The arm had distinctive tattoos of two boxers and had been curt with a knife from the body (the rest of which was never located). The arm was soon found to have belonged to a criminal by the name of James Smith. His murder was never solved fully but a waterfront smuggler by the name of Reginald Holmes was to give evidence on the culprit but he himself was murdered on the night before he was to give evidence! So the case languished.The next case involves the infamous Brownout Murders of three Melbourne women during 1942 but the American Gi Polish nutcase by the name of Edward Leonski. He was tried by a military court and swiftly hung in Pentridge prison, in Melbourne. Good riddance!The case is the Graham Thorne murder of 1960. The poor boy was only 8 years old when he was kidnapped by a crazy Bulgarian by the name of Stephen Leslie Bradley (real name Istavan Baranyay). Thorne was killed soon after being kidnapped by a blow over the head and strangled and placed in a sandstone cave. He was found there 6 weeks laster by two brothers of the McCue family. Bradley only lasted about 7 years in prison as on 6 october 1968, he dropped dead from a heart attack at the age of only 42. Crime dissent pay for most people!One of the greatest mysteries of Australia was the Bogle and Chandler case. Gilbert (Big Ears) Bogle and a cute young nurse by the name of Margaret Chandler were found stone dead amongst the mangroves of the Lane Cove River during 1963. They were both into partner swapping! But it appears that they actually overdosed on LSD or a similar drug. Another mystery is who was the person who placed cardboard over the dead bodies?The Wanda Beach murders of 1965 have been dealt with in a number of other books as have all of the other cases outlined in this book. This is a famous unsolved murder of two teenage girls in broad daylight in a secluded area of Wanda Beach in Sydney. They apparently ventured into a homosexual and pedophile area of the beach and were murdered by possibly someone they knew or were going to meet. The author postulates that there were two murderers, but since there is vey little evidence in this case for anything, any scenario is equally valid. It’s a great tragedy that must be solved one day.The next case deals with the three, young, missing Beaumont children, Jane, Arnna and Grant, who disappeared from the Glenelg Beach in Adelaide during the summer of 1966. No traces of these children have ever been found. It’s extremely bizarre that despite so many people being present on the beach the day they disappeared, that only fragments of information regarding their movements have ever been provided to the authorities.The next case dealt with concerns the infamous Anita Cobby murder of 1986. The five culprits were quickly apprehended and given life sentences. When alls said and done the beautiful but vulnerable Anita Cobby should have been more careful and she should have taken a taxi from the Blacktown station in western Sydney to home, but no, she decided to walk. But she didn’t know she was going to be murdered!The next case deals with the horrific Back-Packer murders of 1989-1992. At least 7 young back-packers (mostly women) were kidnapped and variously killed in the Belanglo State Forest, south-west of Sydney by an idiot by the foreign/English name of Ivan Robert Marko Milat! One of Satan’s very close assistants! The backpackers all died a cruel death. Most of them were shot in the head either from close range or from further away (with their heads used as targets for the gun-toting Milat) as well as stabbed. One German girl, Anja Habshied had her head cut off her body while she was still alive by a samurai sword! Milat is an evil little turd who should have been publicly hung. There is a rumour that at least one of his stupid brothers was also involved in some of the murders. Ivan Milat was sentenced to life imprisonment. He is now 70 years of age and it is rumoured that he has killed at least 20 other people! But the cowardly bastard won’t talk about these other murders and claims he is innocent of the other seven- and pigs can fly!.The second last case dealt with in this book concerns the Port Arthur Massacre of 1996 in Tasmania which was perpetrated by an insane young idiot by the name of Martin Bryant. He killed 35 people and injured 40 others with semi automatic weapons. He finally surrounded to police after setting himself alight! Apparently his father couldn't even handle him and committed suicide in frustration. Bryant, a loyal emissary of Satan, was sentenced to 777 years in prison. I guess he won’t be getting out very soon!The last case concerns a beautiful but somewhat naughty lady by the name of Janelle Louise Patton who was savagely murdered at Norfolk Island during 2002. She was stabbed an amazing 64 times and left to rot after being covered in black plastic in the open air near a seashore. Since this book was published before the killer was apprehended, he is not mentioned in the book - New Zealand chef Glenn McNeill who now claims he is innocent of the murder. More information needs to come to light.This book is a good introduction to these cases and is easily read. The chapter about Martin Bryant is particularly gripping but horrific. There is a 12 black and white block of photographs as well as an index.Dr Trevor J. HawkeswoodAuthor: Beetles of Australia (1987), Host plants of Chrysomelidae of the World (1995), Spiders of Australia (2003) and Light and Dark (2013)


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