Claremont killings: DNA proof helps convict man of killing two girls in considered one of Australia’s most infamous chilly circumstances

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Bradley Robert Edwards was discovered responsible Thursday of murdering 23-year-old childcare employee Jane Rimmer in 1996 and 27-year-old lawyer Ciara Glennon in 1997. He was discovered not responsible of murdering Sarah Spiers, an 18-year-old secretary whose physique has by no means been discovered, as there was inadequate proof.

The decision got here after a seven-month judge-alone trial of the case which has continued to loom giant within the minds of residents of Perth, within the state of Western Australia.

“The occasions in query occurred greater than 20 years in the past however have haunted the reminiscence of many individuals and troubled the general public conscience,” Western Australia Supreme Courtroom Justice Stephen Corridor mentioned in his judgment.

“The disappearance and certain homicide of three younger girls was in itself sufficient to trigger extensive concern. The truth that all three went lacking from a well-liked nightlife space frequented by many younger folks impressed an actual and pervasive sense of worry.”

What occurred

All three of the ladies had been final seen within the early hours after spending an evening out within the prosperous Perth suburb of Claremont. Photos of Spiers — who went lacking in 1996 — had been plastered across the metropolis and he or she often featured of the entrance web page of native newspapers.

The ladies’s disappearances sparked widespread worry in Perth, the place many had been shocked that girls had been kidnapped from a suburb like Claremont which was perceived as secure.

“The truth that three younger girls disappeared from the streets of Claremont created what was described as an enigma of the darkish,” Corridor mentioned. “That’s to say that there was a thriller as to who had taken the three victims.”

Inside weeks of their deaths, the our bodies of each Rimmer and Glennon had been present in bushland. Each had been killed by a sharp-force harm to the neck, Corridor mentioned in his judgment.

Spiers was final seen within the early hours of January 27, 1996. Her physique has by no means been discovered, however there’s nothing to point that she remains to be alive, Corridor mentioned.

“She should have been kidnapped or killed, however the circumstances through which she was taken and the way she died are unknown,” he added.

For many years, their disappearances went unsolved. Then, in 2016, police had a breakthrough.

Edwards — who was was despatched to jail in 2016 after being discovered responsible of two rapes — was recognized as a suspect.

Police matched his DNA to samples taken from below the nails of Glennon’s left hand. The prosecution argued that the DNA doubtless obtained below her nails throughout a violent battle earlier than her loss of life.

Additionally they mentioned fibers discovered on the our bodies of Rimmer and Glennon matched these taken from Edwards’ work automobile, which indicated that he kidnapped each girls in that automobile. On the time of their abductions, Edwards was employed by Australian telecommunications firm Telstra.

Response to the decision

Lee Rimmer welcomed Thursday’s verdict, saying the end result ended greater than twenty years of not realizing what occurred to her sister.

“I believe you get some closure but it surely’s all the time going to be the identical. Nobody’s ever going to carry her again,” she informed CNN affiliate Channel 9.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan mentioned what occurred to the younger girls modified the state.

“It induced unimaginable heartbreak and haunted these concerned for nearly 25 years,” he mentioned in a tweet following the decision. “Nothing will ever undo the ache felt by these courageous households.

“All through this lengthy, tragic ordeal, Western Australia has grieved with you.”

Edwards will probably be sentenced on December 23, Channel 9 reported.

CNN’s Samantha Beech and Angus Watson contributed reporting.



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