Crime + Investigation Podcast
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On 19th August 1992, Andrew Garforth waited by his car for the regular school bus to drop off nine-year-old Ebony Simpson just 1 kilometre from her home.
As Ebony walked towards her home Garforth grabbed her and placed her in the boot of his car and drove to a remote location where he assaulted her, before throwing her into a dam where she drowned.
Shortly after her disappearance, over 300 people set out in search of the little girl, with Garforth joining them in an attempt to cover his tracks.
Investigations eventually led to Garforth. Miraculously he admitted to the murder almost immediately and led police to Ebony’s body late into the night of the 20th August.
Garforth was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1993.
Following Ebony’s tragic death her mother, Christine Simpson, fought tirelessly to change legislations for victims of crime.
Katherine Mary Knight lived in the small town of Aberdeen, NSW. In the early hours of March 1st 2000, Knight attacked her de facto husband John Price by stabbing him repeatedly.
One day earlier, John had gone to court and taken out an Apprehended Violence Order against her.
Knight’s experience as an abattoir worker and her obsession with knives may have aided in how she then mutilated the body. After skinning John’s body she then decapitated him and cooked parts of his body to serve to his relatives.
After noticing John missing from work, his employer notified police and one of the most horrific crime scenes in Australian history was to be uncovered.
She was the first Australian female to be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole and her papers were marked ‘never to be released’.
On 19th April 1999, several times convicted criminal Peter Dupas posed as a new client of psychotherapist Nicky Patterson.
Having made arrangements for his first appointment, 28-year-old Nicky welcomed Dupas into her home under the pretence that she would be giving him counselling for gambling.
Dupas then attacked Nicky with a knife before mutilating her body.
Evidence at the scene led police to Dupas.
Dupas was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole in August 2000 and was later found guilty of the separate 1997 murders of Margaret Maher and Mersina Halvagis and was given two more life sentences.
On 28th April 1996, 28-year-old Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 people in the popular Tasmanian tourist site of Port Arthur and its surrounding areas.
He began his killing spree by killing the owners of the hotel he was staying in.
He then went to the Broad Arrow Cafe in Port Arthur where he ate a meal before opening fire on unsuspecting tourists restaurant, using his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to end the lives of over 20 people in a matter of seconds.
Continuing his rampage, Bryant drove around the surrounding area, chasing innocent victims and shooting them at point blank range, including women and children.
Bryant then took a hostage back to his hotel where police attempted to negotiate with his demands - he wanted a helicopter to take him to Hobart Airport so he could to be flown to Adelaide. At some point during the negotiations Bryant killed his hostage.
He was eventually caught when he set fire to the accommodation and ran out of the house suffering from severe burns.
Bryant was sentenced to 35 life sentences without parole for each of his victims.
Following the Port Arthur tragedy swift action was taken to change gun laws in the country.
On 8th November 2010, Jason Downie broke into the house of his friend’s girlfriend, where Chantelle Rowe and her parents were asleep.
Woken up by the intruder, Andrew Rowe confronted Downie but was stabbed at least 29 times and eventually died. Downie then turned to Rose Rowe as he attacked and killed her in the same way.
After witnessing the attack on her parents, 16-year-old Chantelle hid under her bed in terror, but Downie proceeded to stab her to death.
When their bodies were found Downie showed no remorse but instead was seen to be grieving, laying flowers outside the Rowe family home.
When traces of his DNA and semen connected him to the frenzied attack, he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 35 years.
On 20th July 1969, Derek Percy approached 12-year-old Yvonne Tuohy and her friend Shane Spiller whilst they were playing at their local beach in Warneet, Victoria.
He snatched Yvonne into his car before trying to get Shane too, but Shane managed to defend himself. Percy took Yvonne to a remote location where he then murdered her.
Shane contacted the police and was able to recall several things about Percy’s car, including a navy sticker which led police to the local Navy base HMS Cerberus and to Percy.
After his arrest Percy admitted to the crime and calmly led police to Yvonne’s body.
Controversially, Percy was found ‘not guilty’ on reasons of insanity but was considered too dangerous to ever be released.
Since then, Percy has been a suspect in a number of murders and disappearances of other children all over Australia including 7-year-old Linda Stilwell who went missing from St Kilda beach in 1968.
He was known as Australia’s most notorious child killer until his death in prison in July 2013.