Colleen Ann WALKER

Name:  Colleen Ann WALKER Sex: Female
Date of Birth: 26 Jul 1974 Age Now: 31
Age when missing: 16 years Height (cm): 175.0 Build: Thin
Hair Colour: Brown Eye Colour: Brown Complexion: Light Brown
Nationality:   Racial Appearance: Aboriginal    
Circumstances - Colleen was last seen on 14 September 1990 at Bowraville NSW.

Please sign this petition calling for a Royal Commission into the unsolved murders of Colleen Walker-Craig, Evelyn Greenup and Clinton Speedy-Duroux.

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-nsw-government-to-grant-a-royal-commission-into-the-bowraville-murders?utm_campaign=friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=permissions_dialog_false

 

See also Evelyn Greenup and Clinton Speedy-Duroux

 

Reward of $250,000 to solve deaths of Evelyn Greenup, Clinton Speedy-Duroux and Colleen Walker

NSW Police

A $250,000 reward is on offer for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the deaths of children Evelyn Greenup, Clinton Speedy-Duroux and Colleen Walker.

The deaths of three persons in their prime and the fact the killer has not been brought to justice had caused considerable distress to the Bowraville community where all three children lived.

The loss of three children within the space of five months was particularly devastating for this tight-knit community.  

The lives of these three young people have been cut tragically short and their loss has left a tragic mark on their families and friends.

Sixteen-year-old Colleen Walker disappeared on 13 September, 1990 and her weighted down clothing was later found in the Nambucca River.

Although her body has never been found, she is presumed dead.

Four-year-old Evelyn Greenup is believed to have been murdered on 4 October, 1990.

Her remains were found in bushland in April 1991.

And sixteen-year-old Clinton Speedy-Duroux was murdered on 1 February, 1991.

His remains were located in bushland a few weeks later.

The three deaths were investigated by Strike Force ANCUD.

A $50,000 government reward was offered in relation to the murder of Colleen Ann Walker in May 1995 and increased to $100,000 in March 1997.

Rewards have not previously been offered in relation to the other children.

 

Detectives investigating the children's deaths have conducted extensive enquiries but have exhausted all leads.

It's hoped that this substantial reward, linking all three cases for the first time, will hopefully now persuade somebody who can help to contact police.

Police want to help the families of these three children put the tragic past behind them and rebuild their lives.


Do you have information that can help police with this case?

Any information you have about this is worth giving to police, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

You can provide information to police via any of the methods below:

Any information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Your help may give police the clue they need to close this case and provide some comfort for the families of victims.

How to claim your reward

  1. Contact Crime Stoppers or your local Police Station.
  2. Identify yourself and indicate you have information about a crime and that you wish to claim a reward.
  3. You will then be put in contact with a police officer involved in the investigation of that case.

 

The Ghosts Of Bowraville
"Sunday" 20 July 1997 - Program Transcript


Chris Bullock: Seven years ago, two children from a small country town were found bashed to death. One was a teenage boy, the other a four-year old girl. Both had been stabbed in the head.

Another teenager who disappeared at the same time is still missing, but most people expect her body too will be found in the bush, eventually.

This is a rural community with deeply enmeshed and complicated family ties, and police who were unable to pick their way through the maze to find a killer. They thought they had: a local man was tried, and found not guilty.

Hello, I'm Chris Bullock and this is Background Briefing.

In the New South Wales country town of Bowraville, the police are turning up the heat in a renewed effort to catch a killer, or killers.

Richard Morecroft: New South Wales Police have renewed their investigation into the murders of three children on the State's north coast seven years ago. The bodies of four-year-old Evelyn Greenup and 16-year-old Clinton Speedie were found in bushland near the town of Bowraville.

Colleen Walker, also 16, is still missing, presumed dead.

Reporter: The investigation remains unsolved, the killer still at large. While police won't say what's led them to reopen the investigation into the Bowraville murders, today they issued a fresh appeal for information.

Policeman: With the passage of time, this investigation is very difficult, and we need every assistance we can obtain from the community and that assistance would help us greatly.

Chris Bullock: The new investigation at Bowraville is part of a big drive by the new Police Commissioner, Peter Ryan, to clean up some of the State's many unsolved murders. More than one murder in ten in New South Wales goes unsolved, that's the worst rate in the country.

Peter Ryan being an experienced homicide detective from England, took one look at the figures and decided to act. His Deputy Commissioner and Head of Special Operations, is Jeff Jarratt.

Jeff Jarratt: There's a community - and rightful community - expectation that police will from the very outset of any homicide, take the view that this is the most serious form of offence in our society, and police will do their level best to unearth the circumstances and to take a suspect before a court for the due process of law to be applied. Commissioner Ryan, on arriving here, was dissatisfied with the level of unsolved homicides or murders, and has set about a series of re-investigations. Our overall homicide rate is extraordinarily low in this country, relative to most westernised countries. It has not really moved in New South Wales in 25 years, it has remained constant - not as a percentage of the population, but in round about 100 murders a year. So it's relatively low.

Chris Bullock: And the statistics suggest that the rate of unsolved murders has increased threefold in the last 20 years in New South Wales.

Jeff Jarratt: Certainly it is at a much higher level than we are happy with, and that's why we're revisiting many of these investigations, and so far, successfully in quite a few cases.

Woman: Say hello to your family.

Chris Bullock: Bowraville could be any one of a hundred country towns in Australia. Situated 20 kilometres upstream on the Nambucca River in northern New South Wales, it's a timber town running out of timber.

There's a small factory producing animal hides, and a few tourists who come to look at the memorabilia in the Settlers' Museum.

Bowraville's main asset is the surrounding countryside of rolling green hills and thick forests.

Some of the locals expect that refugees from the city will soon 'discover' Bowraville, as they did the nearby town of Bellingen.

At the western edge of Bowraville, on the road to the cemetery, is The Mission. You're going to hear a lot about The Mission; this small Aboriginal housing estate gets its name from the old days when it was a government-controlled reserve.

As a girl, Clarice Greenup lived on The Mission, but she moved into the town some years ago. She's one of several aunts of the murdered child Evelyn Greenup.

Clarice Greenup: I hate the thought of even going past The Mission. You couldn't even let the kids go outside unless someone was out there actually watching them and keeping an eye on them. We lived in fear, I mean I remember when I used to drive to Macksville by myself in a car I'd be always looking in the rear-view mirror thinking all of a sudden if you see this car coming out of nowhere, you're thinking My God, where did this car come from? It's a horrible feeling, it really is. Something out of the movies is what it felt like.

I've got a 14-year-old son and when he's not home, when it's dark, I start panicking. I don't know about anybody else, but if I lived on The Mission I think I'd be panicking too, but I mean you can go down the street late at night and you still see our kids running around the streets. So to tell you the truth, I don't think the parents have learned anything. They might be 14 and 15 and 16 year old kids, but they are still vulnerable.

Chris Bullock: Clinton was a big boy wasn't he?

Clarice Greenup: Yes, he was a big boy.

Chris Bullock: All the children were living or staying at The Mission when they disappeared.

Today three remembrance plaques stand forlornly in a small park opposite the houses along Cemetery Road.

A few hundred metres away, the Aboriginal section of the cemetery is well-kept. It's expanding much more rapidly than it should - there's a high mortality rate on The Mission, especially amongst young men.

Most of the adult residents of The Mission are unemployed, with little chance of a job unless they decide to leave town, and some have since the children disappeared.

The murders have traumatised this small community. Some people seem to wish it would all go away, others refuse to stop searching. Clarice's sister, Barbara Greenup-Davis, was living in Sydney at the time of the disappearances; she returned to Bowraville very soon afterwards.

Barbara Greenup-Davis: People don't want to talk about it, people want to forget that these murders ever took place. That seems to be the overall feeling that you get out there in the wider community other than individual family members, seem to want to know who's responsible for the atrocities that have been inflicted on both Evelyn and Clinton, and at this point in time the disappearance of Colleen. I don't expect you to understand but feeling the presence of those who have gone before you in your home or around you at certain times, is very much a real part of our lifestyle. And like I say, I've not only felt but I believe I've witnessed Evelyn's presence in my home over the years since their murder. And I don't believe I'm the only one. I believe most of my sisters have had a similar occurrence. Now I like to believe that when she's with me it's because she's in a safe place.

Chris Bullock: The three kids disappeared during, or perhaps shortly after, parties held at The Mission. The parties were social get-togethers rather than special celebrations, and they were commonplace.

The teenagers Colleen and Clinton were at the parties to socialise. In Evelyn's case, the party was held at the house in which she lived, with her mother, grandmother and two brothers. Evelyn was sleeping in a bedroom.

PARTY MUSIC

Finding out what happened to them next is the hard part.

Sitting in an interview room at the Sydney Police Centre, the Commander of the new investigation measures his words very carefully. Detective Inspector Rod Lynch brought Ivan Milat to trial for the backpacker murders, and he's been given the Bowraville brief with the hope of similar success, success that eluded his predecessors.

Rod Lynch: It's clear that Colleen Walker, the first girl to go missing, went missing from Bowraville on or about the 14th of September 1990. There is some dispute as to the possible sightings which cover a matter of two days. That information has varying levels of substance, and that's one of the tasks of this task force to investigate those aspects and satisfy ourselves as to the actual fact.

Chris Bullock: So you're still not sure of exactly when and from where, Colleen Walker disappeared.

Rod Lynch: Not 100%.

Chris Bullock: To what percent are you sure that she disappeared from the vicinity of that party that night?

Rod Lynch: Well that is a version supplied to us, but there are other versions of sightings later, and that's where the problem lies at the moment, because people are giving their recollections I presume, as truthfully as they can, and that causes some troubles and problems as far as this investigation.

Chris Bullock: The credibility of the information is causing problems?

Rod Lynch: That is so. Because it is difficult at this stage to identify the exact time of the last sighting.

Chris Bullock: At the time Colleen Walker disappeared, she was staying at the house of Thomas Duroux and Marje Jarrett, opposite where the three plaques now stand. Colleen had been looking forward to a trip to western New South Wales.

Marje Jarrett: She was staying here with us when that happened, and she was going away that morning about three o'clock with my daughter to Goodooga, and I was going to the bingo over the road, and Thomas and my brother was here watching TV the last time we saw her, when she brought her clothes here to get ready to go. But when she went to the party, we've never seen her since - that was only next door.

Chris Bullock: So she disappeared after the party as far as you're concerned?

Marje Jarrett: Somewhere, sometime that night. Because my daughter came in to get her, to go to the train, and she wasn't there. I said, 'Look, I don't know where she is.' This was three o'clock --

Chris Bullock: On the Friday?

Marje Jarrett: -- to Sydney, yes. Well yes that was a Thursday; on Friday morning, and she went to some places where she thought she might be, but she wasn't there.

Chris Bullock: And there was also a football carnival here that weekend wasn't there? So there were a lot of people from out of town around.

Marje Jarrett: Yes, same time. Then when I saw her mother and father next day, then, I tried to tell them; they said, 'Oh we know she went to Goodooga, I said, 'I'm trying to tell you, she never went. We haven't seen her since last night.' So they let it go till Monday, I think, before I think they contacted the police.

Thomas Duroux: We had to wait 24 hours or something.

Marje Jarrett: We just kept asking everybody did they see her, well nobody saw her. And somebody thought they saw her here next morning. I said, 'She wasn't here because I was here all morning, and her clothes and that are still in here.' I got her mother to come and check it out even - everything was still in the bag in her room. She was staying in that room with my daughter.

Chris Bullock: The immediate reaction of the police was to assume Colleen Walker had run away. Several weeks after her disappearance, and despite the protestations of her family, police still believed Colleen may have run away to Sydney.

Barbara Greenup-Davis.

Barbara Greenup-Davis: The kids will tend to roam from Bowraville to Macksville, to Nambucca in a day, and then journey back to their home, pretty much by night-time. Running away - look, I ran away when I was 13, but I tell you, I didn't run away out there to the big world, I ran away to my stepfather in Sydney. Colleen had no intentions of running away from home; she was leaving their community to go to Sydney, to stop over at her aunty's place and travel on from there to another Aboriginal community where I'm sure she would have been safe and welcome. Unfortunately she didn't leave their own community.

Chris Bullock: Many people thought the police had not taken Colleen Walker's disappearance seriously enough. Frustrated, they went to their Catholic priest, Father Bernie Ryan at St Mary's Church in Bowraville.

Bernie Ryan: The leader of the Land Council at that time, Larry Kelly, and I were approached by some of the people who said they were somewhat apprehensive about talking to the police, and so we set up a little office down in the Land Council, and people who wanted to, came along and we talked mainly about the actual course of events on the night at the party, on the night that Colleen disappeared.

Chris Bullock: Was a record taken of this?

Bernie Ryan: Yes.

Chris Bullock: In written form, or audio?

Bernie Ryan: Written.

Chris Bullock: And it was all handed to the police, was it?

Bernie Ryan: Yes.

Chris Bullock: So a full record of all those discussions, which may, given the current investigations, be of some value, has all gone to the police?

Bernie Ryan: Yes, they have everything.

Chris Bullock: Three weeks after Colleen Walker disappeared, four-year-old Evelyn Greenup went missing. Evelyn also disappeared during, or soon after, a party, and the party was held at the house she lived in.


Clarice Greenup: Well when I first heard about it, I was sitting up, just up the road, inside with a friend of mine. And I sort of saw Evelyn's mother come down this way, but she never came to my house, she went to two doors up from where I'm living now, and asking people there had they seen Evelyn, and I didn't know till about - oh, it must have been about 8 o'clock, when my brother came down asking me did I see Evelyn, and I said, 'No,' I said, 'why?' And he said, 'We can't find Evelyn.' So he was sort of in a panic, and then I just sort of started panicking too, because I mean, a little four-year-old girl, and no-one seemed to have known where she was. We were sort of in a daze, and wondering well what's going on in our community.

Chris Bullock: In Evelyn Greenup's case, Rod Lynch seems to have more to go on.

Rod Lynch: There are versions of sightings of her on the 4th in the town of Bowraville, but there are also other versions indicating she may have gone missing during the night of the 3rd.

Chris Bullock: Which was when the party was.

Rod Lynch: That is so.

Chris Bullock: And was the party in the house in which she was asleep?

Rod Lynch: That is so, yes.

Chris Bullock: And was she asleep alone in that room?

Rod Lynch: No, she wasn't.

Chris Bullock: Who else was there ?

Rod Lynch: Her two brothers and her mother were sleeping in that particular bedroom.

Chris Bullock: And is it the case that one shoe was found with her and the other shoe of that pair was found in the house, in that room?

(continued in part 2)
(continued from part 1)

Rod Lynch: That is so. When her remains were located there was a shoe at that site, and a matching shoe was found sometime later in the dwelling where the party was held.

Chris Bullock: And how significant would you believe that to be?

Rod Lynch: There are various scenarios to explain that situation. But it must have a strong indication she was taken from the premises itself.

Chris Bullock: As the Head of this Task Force, can you go through those scenarios with me at all?

Rod Lynch: No, I'd rather not at this stage, because it could impact detrimentally on the investigation.

Chris Bullock: Evelyn Greenup did have one daily habit: early each morning she would walk, together with her younger brother Aaron, from her mother's house to where her father was staying, at the home of Marje Jarrett and Thomas Duroux.

Thomas Duroux: He used to get them ready for school, and the little boy came round that day on his own - Aaron - and she never turned up. That's when they reckon they saw her downtown at the swimming hole somewhere.

Chris Bullock: So every morning Evelyn and her brother would come down here to see their dad before going to school.

Marje Jarrett: Yes well sometimes they'd come down before he went to work, and if they were here, I'd keep them here and send them down to school, or they'd go back home again.

Chris Bullock: But they always came together.

Marje Jarrett: Always came together, yes. But the little boy came on his own because he followed somewhere else down; they were all drinking up there, see, and that fellow got up and he came this way, and little Aaron came with him, and the little girl never came with him.

Chris Bullock: Given that it was that time in the morning, and the little boy had woken up probably because of the party, I mean maybe, you know it's possible Evelyn was still asleep.

Marje Jarrett: I think not, I don't think so. Because I don't think she was down this way that morning. I don't think anyone saw her in town, I don't think anyone had seen her since that day before.

Chris Bullock: And you didn't see her ever again after that party?

Marje Jarrett: No, only the little fellow came down here the next day.

MUSIC

Chris Bullock: At the time Colleen and Evelyn disappeared in late 1990, 16-year-old Clinton Speedy was living in another part of New South Wales with his mother. Clinton came to Bowraville just before Christmas, to stay with his father, Thomas Duroux.

At the end of January, Clinton went to a party at The Mission. In the early hours of the morning after the party, he left with his girlfriend, Kelly Jarrett, and another friend, Jay Hart. They went to Jay Hart's caravan, which was a short walk, and they continued drinking. The following morning, nobody could find Clinton Speedy.

Thomas Duroux: He was only here for a short while, about a month. And after we all just walked the town just trying to find out questions ourselves, but we couldn't just - it didn't do any good, and we all just tried to rally around and see what we could do, but couldn't do anything, couldn't find him. So we had to bring in the police then after that, we just couldn't do anything on our own.

Rod Lynch: Clinton spent the night of the 31st of January 1991 in a caravan with a young lady he was keeping company with, and another person, and he went missing from that caravan as far as we can ascertain.

Chris Bullock: Two weeks later, Clinton's body was found, just off one of the backroads into Bowraville, Congarinni Road. A heavy blow had crushed his skull and he'd been stabbed in the face with a sharp instrument.

CAR

Congarinni Road begins just east of Bowraville, and winds through several kilometres of thick bush with some cleared farming areas, until it reaches Congarinni Bridge, and the road to Macksville.

CAR CROSSING WOODEN BRIDGE

Neville Buchanan, a local elder and a noted bushman, took me to the places where Clinton and Evelyn were found.

FOOTSTEPS IN BUSH

Colleen Walker was Neville's niece, and Evelyn was his grand-niece. He and others spent many days over several weeks searching through the bush along Congarinni Road. Clinton's body was found first, near an old quarry halfway along the road.

Neville Buchanan: This is the location where we found Clinton's body - wattle trees and the gum, and the bloodwood tree. A lot bullrushes here too. I was up there with the father, and I wouldn't let the father come down because I didn't want him to see the sight. But my brother, and Larry Kelly and Louis Kelly came down here and they saw it. They came back and said it was not a terrible good sight to see. White as a sheet, just like they'd seen a ghost.

Chris Bullock: Is this bush along this road bush that the kids, all of those kids, would have known?

Neville Buchanan: Well they know this part of the road and part of the bush because they used to walk along this road. It's not far to Macksville. We were all in groups; there were some groups here and some groups back there, some groups this way, but most of the people still stood back at Bowraville, drinking. That's why I wondered why they never said much. People like them still drinking back there and never came in and helped.

Chris Bullock: Maybe they don't care.

Neville Buchanan: I think they should care because it was their nieces, there were uncles back there drinking, uncles and aunties, grandmother. They should have been down here with us. They never ever came and helped. And that's my doubts about 'em.

Chris Bullock: Do you talk to them about it?

Neville Buchanan: I never talk to them. But one day I probably will. One day when I get close enough to them and talk to them, because they don't talk to me.

WALKING IN BUSH - CAR ON DIRT ROAD

Chris Bullock: Evelyn Greenup was found two months later, when a search party discovered her remains 3 kilometres closer to Bowraville from where Clinton Speedy was found. Evelyn had been dumped 50 metres from the road. Neville Buchanan knows the spot well.

WALKING IN BUSH

Chris Bullock: This is it?

Neville Buchanan: Right there, she was, just where the tree was, just missed her, missed her little body. I was walking along there, me and my nephew, and all of a sudden this little spirit grabbed us, grabbed me by the arm; one leg was missing, one shoe was missing, she had one shoe on, and no clothes, the clothes were gone.

Chris Bullock: Are you assuming that an animal took that leg?

Neville Buchanan: I assumed it was an animal that took that leg. And she was just laying face down that way. It was very lucky that when the fella felled this tree, if he'd have felled the tree a bit further over that way, he would have covered the body - we wouldn't have found the body. When they die, the spirit lives on, like she was lost, she was down there, she was lost; although her remains might have been here, but her spirit was wandering around lost. But why? Why do it to a little four-year-old girl? You know. We believed she was dead at The Mission, but why bring her body here? Someone must have had something to do with the murders. We still want answers. People still live with those things in Bowraville. People are not letting out; people are not talking. Nobody's talking. You'd think the blackfellas forgot what was going on.

Chris Bullock: Do many people come out to these sites where the bodies were found, these days?

Neville Buchanan: No, not many come out here now. I don't know, I wish we could get answers.

WALKING IN BUSH - MUSIC

Chris Bullock: Several searches failed to find the other girl, Colleen Walker, although a bag containing some of her clothes was fished from the river at the end of Congarinni Road.

By this stage, Bowraville was awash with rumour and innuendo. Community accusations were increasingly being levelled at one person, a young white man.

Jay Hart was well-known on The Mission. He worked the local hide factory and had many Aboriginal friends and drinking companions - and he'd attended all the parties that preceded the disappearances.

When Clinton Speedy went missing after spending the night in Jay Hart's caravan, the police had to take community suspicions seriously. The caravan was parked outside the home of his mother, Marlene Hart, a short walk from The Mission. Clinton had gone there in the early hours of the morning after the party, with his girlfriend Kelly Jarrett and Jay Hart. They drank some more alcohol and watched music videos before going to sleep.

The next morning, Kelly Jarrett woke to find Clinton had gone. He wasn't seen again until the discovery of his body along Congarinni Road.

The suspicions and anger of Aboriginal residents were reflected in a Weekend Australian magazine article. It detailed allegations and suspicions about a man called "Fred", which was clearly a pseudonym. The article said "Fred" had formed relationships with several black women in Bowraville.

Reader: One woman is supposed to have woken and found "Fred" watching her from the foot of the bed. Another claims to have surprised him lurking in a corridor of her home early one morning. Others said he'd been chasing teenagers, and tried to pick up Colleen Walker on the night she went missing.

Chris Bullock: The article appeared on Saturday, April 6th, 1991, and Jay Hart was arrested for the murder of Clinton Speedy two days later.

Within months, Jay Hart was also charged with the murder of the four-year-old, Evelyn Greenup, and he was committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court on both charges.

The Director of Public Prosecutions wanted Jay Hart to be tried for both murders at a single trial. The DPP gave Justice Badgery-Parker a set of similar facts evidence, which was as follows:

Clinton Speedy and Evelyn Greenup both disappeared after parties, both of which were attended by Jay Hart. The remains of both victims were found along Congarinni Road. There was no attempt to bury either body, and both victims had penetrating injuries to the skull.

When the judge said, 'No, all of that isn't enough to show that one person committed both murders,' it was a major setback for the DPP and the police.

Jay Hart was only tried for the murder of Clinton Speedy.

The DPP believed it had a strong case against Hart, despite a lack of any forensic evidence to connect him to the crime. Their case relied on circumstantial evidence, in particular, the testimony of a neighbour who told the court she'd seen Jay Hart leave home in his mother's car about 5am on the morning in question and not return until over an hour later.

The Crown Prosecutor told the court that while Clinton's girlfriend slept, Jay Hart had time to kill Clinton Speedy, drive 8 kilometres to Congarinni Road, dump the body and drive back.

However, two other witnesses told the court they'd seen Clinton Speedy, or at least someone who looked like him, hitch-hiking out of Bowraville early that morning. One said he saw Speedy at ten to five in the morning, the other said she'd seen a boy who looked like Speedy hitch-hiking at the same spot at twenty past six.

Hart's barrister, Kim Roser, believes this was the crucial piece of evidence.

Kim Roser: Well viewed objectively, it appeared that there was some fundamental problems with the Crown case. Those problems were probably best summarised in the directions of law that the trial judge gave to the jury at the conclusion of the murder trial. And one of the directions that the judge gave the jury was that they had to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the young Aboriginal person who'd been seen standing at the side of the road at a time when the Crown case suggested Clinton Speedy had already been murdered by Mr Hart, was not in fact Mr Speedy. And it seemed that it would be very difficult for a jury to ever be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the two persons who saw the young Aboriginal person, were mistaken. It was never suggested that they were lying, and so that seemed to be one of the fundamental problems that the Crown case contained.

Chris Bullock: The jury, to the disbelief of the family and friends of Clinton Speedy, found Hart not guilty. The not guilty verdict, by an unfortunate coincidence, was handed down on the third anniversary of the discovery of Clinton Speedy's body.

There were angry scenes in Bowraville, outside the home of Jay Hart's mother, Marlene Hart. Several times over the previous three years her house had been attacked, windows broken, and 'Killer' spray-painted on the buildings.

After Jay Hart was found not guilty, a group of Aboriginal people converged on Marlene Hart's house. Standing between the angry group and the house was Fred Walker, an Aboriginal Police Liaison Officer.

Fred Walker was in a very difficult position: Colleen Walker was his niece and he sympathised with the crowd. But Fred Walker also knew he had the best chance of defusing the situation.

Fred Walker: Oh you know, I just went there because I didn't want the police to go there, I just thought it would have got out of hand if the police went there; I thought I might have been able to convince them to leave.

Chris Bullock: What were they doing?

Fred Walker: Going off their heads there, you know. When I went there I could see - I felt the same way, I wanted to lash out too. But I couldn't, I knew I couldn't, I had to get there and try to get them away from there, you know. And I could see the hate in their faces too you know. One bloke said to me that I had no feelings, and I shouldn't be there, I should be over there with them, and they had a go at me. Well that's when people are hurting you know, they say these things. I know I'd do the same thing if I were there too. But that comes with the job you know, and I've got to accept it.

Then I get to the stage when I think I'm not good enough for the position, you know, I shouldn't be in the position; I should let someone else come in who could take it all you know. And I just look at the negative side all the time, like I said, you know, I should look at the positive side; and people keep reminding me, you know; a lot of people out there think a lot of you, and are glad you're there, and you know, you're helping them. And I know that.

Chris Bullock: Has the community recovered to some extent, given that it's now more than six years since Clinton was murdered?

Fred Walker: I don't think they have. There's a lot of grief out there, a lot of people don't know how to handle grief too you know. Maybe they should seek counselling. I carried a lot of grief with myself because of what had happened to Evelyn, I looked after Evelyn when his mother went up to Armidale for months; and Colleen is my niece, you know. And it gets to me a lot, you know.

Chris Bullock: The family of Jay Hart, many of whom live in and around Bowraville, also suffered greatly from their ordeal. Several family members politely declined interviews, but they told me the financial and emotional strain had been enormous.

Kim Roser says Jay Hart's life has been shattered.

Kim Roser: Jay Hart lived in Bowraville, he had family with whom he worked. He had a place to live, he had a social life, and one assumes some desire to remain there. As a result of this episode, he was precluded from living in Bowraville, he was incarcerated for eight months whilst the judicial wheels turned, and that involved losing his home, losing his employment, and losing the ability to go and do whatever he wanted. So one I suppose could say, that he paid a substantial price.

Chris Bullock: Jay Hart now lives far away, about six hours' drive from Bowraville. He agreed to see me at his new home, but he was unwilling to be interviewed without being paid. The trial process, he told me, had left him owing several thousand dollars to family and friends, and given that his story was the only thing he could sell, that was his price.

After the failure of the Speedy trial, the DPP decided not to go ahead with the Evelyn Greenup murder charge against Jay Hart. The police were back at square one, with two unsolved murders and one unsolved disappearance.

The head of the original investigation, Detective Alan Williams, went to Bowraville to meet with family and friends of the three children, and he dropped what was to some people, a bombshell.

Father Bernie Ryan was at that meeting.

Bernie Ryan: Alan came down I think almost the week after the trial, and expressed his regrets that they didn't get a conclusion to the case at that stage. And at the end of the meeting he made a remark that possibly somebody within the Aboriginal community might have been involved. To me, that came as quite a shock I must say.

Chris Bullock: Many people in Bowraville, including Clinton's father, Thomas Duroux, assumed the police had the right man. The acquittal of Jay Hart came as a shock to him, and life hasn't become any easier in the three years since then.

Thomas Duroux: You can't go on living like this all the time, you've got to get some results, someone's got to know something and if they do I wish they'd come forward and let us know.

Marje Jarrett: I'd say there's a lot of cases you read about that it has happened, never found anything out. Somebody must have a guilty conscience.

Thomas Duroux: I couldn't walk around with something like that hidden all the time anyway.

Chris Bullock: And how big a problem would it be if the police did find somebody who was involved and that person or those people were Kooris?

Marje Jarrett: I don't know, oh dear, just hope it's not that way.

Thomas Duroux: Well it's not as if we've been expecting something like that; y'know we've got this one idea set and that's sort of it.

Chris Bullock: Have you been re-interviewed yet?

Thomas Duroux: No, no, not yet.

Chris Bullock: Have you, Marje?

Marje Jarrett: No.

Chris Bullock: You both took part in the court case previously, didn't you?

Marje Jarrett: Yes, yes, yes.

Chris Bullock: But for Evelyn Greenup's aunts, Clarice and Barbara, the idea that secrets were being kept in the Aboriginal community came as no surprise.

Barbara Greenup: The mere fact that they seem to have focused so much of their early inquiries on one individual, from my point of view, was very naive for police you know. I mean I'm not a lawyer, and I'm certainly not a policeman, but I would think if you even suspect the family or family members maybe involved, then you're going to keep more aware and more focused on their activities. And even the questioning, where they were, and what they were doing at the time the murders took place, people may look at the two teenagers and say, 'Well there are so many possibilities' but what possibilities have you got with a four-year-old? Four-year-olds don't drink, they don't do drugs, they don't do sex, they don't do parties. Teenagers do these things, and yet there seems to have been nobody in the community that knows of anything, yet there were so many around at the time.

Clarice Greenup: You go to any Aboriginal mission in Australia, everybody'll know what everybody else is doing. What time you went to sleep, what time you went to town - the people on The Mission know what's going on and who's doing what and who's been here and who's been there. And then all of a sudden, our mission seems to know - nobody knows anything, they've sort of clammed up. So there is still a lot of suspicion and we're still angry, but we don't want revenge, all we want is justice.

RAIN FALLING

Chris Bullock: It was pouring with rain when I went to talk to Father Bernie Ryan at St Mary's Church in Bowraville. The church is on a hill, and you can see The Mission from there.

At the heart of the Bowraville mystery is the widely-held belief that someone who was at The Mission when the children disappeared, knows what happened. Father Bernie Ryan.

Bernie Ryan: Well it's just hard to judge, isn't it, but you've got to look at the Leigh Leigh case, don't you, and the movie, which I haven't seen myself, but I understand that the main theme is do you dob your mates in, and I think you've got a situation like that, plus a much deeper Aboriginal cultural trait I think, which is that they select what information they feel that you are entitled to. And given the very strong family ties, it's even deeper than the dobbing question. It's your business, you know, your business. It's a strange conglomerate that in one sense, in a community like this, certain of my business, most of my business, is everybody's business. But there's certain business that's yours and if I know it, I have to respect that it's yours. That's a deeper level than dobbing I think.

Chris Bullock: You're describing also a terribly difficult barrier for the police to overcome, aren't you?

Bernie Ryan: Sure, yes. Yes I think they've got quite a contract on their hands.

Chris Bullock: A study by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, analysing murders over 25 years, has some striking findings about the relationship between victims and suspects.

It found 75% of murdered teenagers were killed by someone they knew. The other 25% are called 'stranger homicides', but for child victims under the age of ten, 95% were killed by someone they knew, and for 80% the murderer was a family member.

So how much notice should investigators take of figures like these, especially in a place where half-a-dozen extended families make up nearly the entire community? Rod Lynch.

Rod Lynch: One must keep them in the back of one's mind, and balance them with the facts of the individual cases. But in my view an investigation should never be conducted in accordance with statistics.

Chris Bullock: There is one special requirement for the detectives in the new Bowraville Task Force. They must have no connection with the last one.

Rod Lynch says this is a firm rule.

Rod Lynch: Naturally we confer if required with former investigators of the original investigation, but I wanted a new approach with completely new people so that attitude could be encouraged.

Chris Bullock: How much harder is it to run an investigation seven years after the facts?

Rod Lynch: Well it's much more difficult than conducting the original investigation. There's memory loss, on the part of witnesses; people draw conclusions and it's difficult sometimes to interpret fact from what is actually general discussions or someone's belief or thoughts in regard to a matter.

Chris Bullock: So over seven years, people may have built up their own mental scenario of what happened and then that becomes fact when you talk to them about it.

Rod Lynch: It becomes fact to them. We have disproved a number of versions given during the original investigation, and we are continually disproving versions given to us through our present investigation. Having said that there is a large amount of information we've got that is factual and quite clearly factual.

Chris Bullock: To what extent in an investigation like this, is there a danger in focusing too much on one person, or on one lead?

Rod Lynch: Well the way I've structured this Task Force, that will not happen. There's no possibility of group think coming into this investigation.

Chris Bullock: And how much new information have you got since you started this re-investigation?

Rod Lynch: We've received at this stage, 19 calls in the last couple of weeks; we've received 19 calls that's supplied fresh information; that information's been of varying levels of value at this point, on initial analysis.

Chris Bullock: And is all of that information that's come from people who live in the area, or who were in the area at the time?

Rod Lynch: Basically from people with knowledge of Bowraville. All those people have been interviewed personally, or will be interviewed personally.

Chris Bullock: Are you aware of the sense, particularly amongst the families of the victims, that there has been a problem of trust between themselves and police investigators in the past? Have they talked to you about that?

Rod Lynch: It has been raised with me. One must gain the trust of the local community from whom we're attempting to obtain information, and I've personally kept in close contact with certain nominated representatives of each family.

Chris Bullock: There is one person who can't be charged with murdering Clinton Speedy - Jay Hart. To do so would put Hart in what American lawyers call a position of 'double jeopardy'.

Kim Roser.

Kim Roser: If Jay Hart were to be charged with the murder of Clinton Speedy, he would be entitled to argue successfully that those proceedings could not proceed. It's called a plea in bar; there is a principle that you cannot be tried for an offence in respect of which there has been a previous trial, and the previous trial has reached a decision one way or the other.

Chris Bullock: Rod Lynch is not prepared to say if Jay Hart remains a suspect. But Jeff Jarrett, the Deputy Commissioner, says an acquittal should not hinder further investigations.

Jeff Jarratt: I think the fact that someone is discharged, or the person is found not guilty, that means that there's been insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is guilty, does not automatically mean that the person is innocent.

Chris Bullock: But that's what the law considers it to mean if they're found not guilty.

Jeff Jarratt: Certainly the person cannot be re-charged with that offence, that is the end of the matter. And so for all intents and purposes, the person is innocent in the eyes of the law, but I think it's still an important point to say that at that point it doesn't prevent proper and further investigation where that's warranted.

Chris Bullock: In the Aboriginal community of Bowraville, there's a deep and enduring grief. The non-Aboriginal people of Bowraville too, are more than just interested bystanders in a macabre murder mystery.

Lyn an Alan Summerville are long-term residents; Alan was raised there. Now they run the takeaway food shop in the middle of town, opposite the Post Office, and next to the Bowraville Land Council. They have a broad, mixed-race clientele, and like everybody else, a view on the matter.

Lyn Summerville: Yes, there's definitely been a lack of justice on both sides.

Chris Bullock: And how do people express that lack of justice?

Alan Summerville: Most of the people that you talk to just generally don't believe the police did a thorough investigation of it.

Chris Bullock: Why?

Alan Summerville: Well I believe that they thought they had their man, and that was it.

Chris Bullock: Do people talk about it much still?

Lyn Summerville: No, they don't talk about it much any more. Only when something happens to bring it back to the limelight.

Chris Bullock: And something has happened, there's a re-investigation and they're re-interviewing people.

Lyn Summerville: It should have happened a long time ago. Everybody basically I think is pleased that things will finally, hopefully, be brought to a head and thoroughly and properly investigated.

Chris Bullock: And if there is a thorough and proper investigation which comes up with nothing ?

Lyn Summerville: I don't know if I really like to look at it from that angle; I'd like to be a little bit more positive and think that there has to be an answer somewhere. There has to be an end to it, because if there's no end to it, there's always going to be this cloud hanging over Bowra.

Chris Bullock: Has that cloud been hanging over it for seven years?

Lyn Summerville: Most definitely, most definitely.

New reward for serial killer
Exclusive by Kara Lawrence
April 07, 2007 12:00

FOR 16 years, the suspected serial killings of three children in the small community of Bowraville in the state's north have gone unsolved.

But police and relatives are hopeful the cases will take a new turn with the annoucement of a $250,000 reward for information leading to their killer or killers.

Police Minister David Campbell yesterday announced the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murders of Evelyn Greenup, Clinton Speedy-Duroux and Colleen Walker.

The previous reward was $100,000 and it was only for Colleen's murder.

She was the first to disappear, on September 13, 1990.

The sixteen-year-old's body was never found but her weighted-down clothes were later recovered from the Nambucca River.

Evelyn Greenup was just four when she disappeared from her home on October 4, 1990. Her remains were found in bushland six months later.

Clinton Speedy-Duroux, 16, was killed on February 1, 1991, and his remains found in bushland weeks later.

A man local to Bowraville at the time, Jay Thomas Hart, was charged with Clinton's murder in 1994 but acquitted.

He was later charged with Evelyn's murder but acquitted after a 2006 trial.

An inquest in 2004 was told the three killings had "direct or indirect sexual overtones".

Mr Campbell yesterday said the loss of the three children was devastating for the tight-knit community.

"There can't be many people in the community who did not know someone affected by these terrible events," he said.

The murdered children's relatives said yesterday that with the community being so small, someone must have crucial information and urged them to come forward.

Leonie Wilmshurst, partner of Clinton's brother Marbuck Duroux, 34, said that when Marbuck was diagnosed with motor-neurone disease more than two years ago he was only given six months to live.

"His dying wish would be to see someone come forward with some information," she said.

She said the tragic loss of Clinton had affected their own sons, aged 9 and 11, who wanted to see justice for their father.

Evelyn's aunt Michelle Straede said Evelyn's mother had never gotten over the loss of her first child, despite bearing other children.

"Evelyn would have turned 21 this year so it's a very sad time for us," she said.

Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin, who has devoted 10 years to trying to solve the case, welcomed the reward.

"The increase in the reward is a positive thing which hopefully will encourage someone to come forward with fresh information," he said.

Lone cop to tell inquest name of killer suspect
By Alex Mitchell February 8, 2004 The Sun-Herald

Police will name a suspected serial killer when NSW Coroner John Abernethy opens an inquest tomorrow into the disappearance and presumed murder of 16-year-old Colleen Walker 14 years ago.

The inquest is the latest chapter in the heart-wrenching saga of three Aboriginal children, whose tragic fate has haunted the rural township of Bowraville on the mid-North Coast since 1990.

Mr Abernethy will hear police, scientific, medical and community witnesses during the two-week inquest to be held in Bellingen.

Central to the police evidence is that a local identity is the prime suspect in the long police investigation conducted by Strike Force Ancud.

The sole police witness, Detective Sergeant Gary Jubelin, who will start his evidence tomorrow morning, has been tracking the mystery disappearance of Colleen Walker since the taskforce was created by former police commissioner Peter Ryan in 1997.

He and Detective Senior Constable Jason Evers have logged thousands of kilometres in travel and hundreds of hours of testimony to discover what happened to Colleen and any link to the murder of her four-year-old cousin, Evelyn Greenup, and 16-year-old Clinton Speedy.

The first to disappear was Colleen, who vanished on September 13, 1990. Despite the offer of a $50,000 reward, her whereabouts remain a mystery and her body was never found.

The second victim, tiny Evelyn, went missing on October 4, 1990, and her body was found on April 27, 1991. Clinton was reported missing on February 1, 1991, and his body was found dumped in bush on February 18.

Both had been killed by blows to the head. All three were from the Aboriginal housing estate on the outskirts of Bowraville, known as "The Mission", or "The Mish".

On April 8, 1991, a local white labourer, Jay Thomas Hart, then 25, was arrested and charged with Clinton's murder. On October 16 1991, while on bail, he was rearrested and charged with Evelyn's murder as well. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.

On June 3, 1992, the NSW Supreme Court granted him bail of $85,000, with the condition that he not enter the Bowraville area.

When a Supreme Court jury in Grafton cleared Hart of Clinton's murder on February 18, 1994 - the third anniversary of the discovery of his body - angry relatives demonstrated in the main street of Bowraville.

They threw bottles and rocks, overturned garbage bins and smashed shop windows before police reinforcements were rushed to the scene from Macksville, Nambucca Heads, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Port Macquarie and Taree.

With the failure of the trial, the Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to go ahead with the Evelyn Greenup murder charge against Mr Hart.

For the Aboriginal community, the news was devastating. For the police, it was deeply disappointing and frustrating - they were back with two unsolved murders and a mystery disappearance.

Over the intervening years, the case has been the source of pain and simmering resentment among the 1000 population of Bowraville. Mr Hart, who now lives away from the area where he grew up, has been requested to appear before Mr Abernethy during the inquest.

Asked if Mr Hart would testify, Sergeant Jubelin said: "It would be inappropriate for me to make any comment on that."

Coroner links man to three disappearances
By Les Kennedy - SMH September 11, 2004


For 14 years, Bowraville has been haunted by the disappearance of three of their children.

At the packed Bellingen local court yesterday, the State Coroner, John Abernethy, moved closer to healing the pain of the former Aboriginal mission on the mid-North Coast.

Mr Abernethy said he would recommend to the Director of Public Prosecutions "that a known person" be charged with the murder of a four-year-old girl who disappeared from her sleeping mother's bedroom on October 4, 1990.

But while not naming the suspect, he said he would urge the DPP to take into account the circumstances surrounding the murder of a 16-year-old boy on February 1, 1991; the September 3, 1990 disappearance of a 16-year-old girl; and the relation of Jay Thomas Hart, 38, to each case.

However, Mr Abernethy said that there was not sufficient evidence for a jury to convict a person of the murder of the 16-year-old girl in the absence of a body.

Hart, a white man and former Bowraville resident, was acquitted by a jury in February 1994 of the 16-year-old boy's murder.

He cannot not be retried even with new evidence.

The boy was last seen asleep with his girlfriend in Hart's caravan. His body was found near a bushland marijuana crop four kilometres from Bowraville.

The four-year-old girl's remains were also found close by. Only the clothes that the 16-year-old girl was last seen wearing were found.

Hart, who declined to give evidence at two hearings of the inquest in Bellingen this year, did not attend the court yesterday.

He has been branded by police in evidence at the inquest as the killer of all three children.

Counsel assisting the coroner, Sergeant Matt Fordham, told the inquest yesterday that Hart was the last person seen with all three children.

He said Hart coveted the 16-year-old boy's girlfriend and was also seen near a lane where the drunken 16-year-old girl - who he was trying to pick up - had walked to her home on the night she disappeared.

Series 7 Episode 7

Wednesday, 18 April, 2007 - Living Black

 

Welcome to Living Black. Hello. I'm Karla Grant. This week the NSW Police Minister, David Campbell, announced an increase in the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murders of three children from Bowraville on the mid-North Coast of NSW in the early 1990s. The reward was increased from $100,000 to $250,000. Video journalist Kris Flanders brings us this report.

VOICEOVER: If the quiet waters and surrounding bushland of the Nambucca River could speak, they would reveal the identity of the Bowraville serial child killer. It was here in 1990 that the weighted-down clothing of missing 16-year-old Colleen Walker was discovered. Her remains have never been found. Six months later, the body of 16-year-old Clinton Speedy-Duroux was found buried in nearby bushland. Soon after, the body of 4-year-old Evelyn Greenup was discovered only metres away. In less than five months three children from Bowraville's Aboriginal community were killed. Almost two decades on, no-one has ever been convicted of the three murders. In  an effort to close the case, the NSW Government has posted a $250,000 reward.

DAVID CAMPBELL, NSW POLICE MINISTER: The reward is for information that would lead to the charge and conviction of a person or persons responsible for these particular murders. It's not just that someone comes forward and says, "I heard this." There has to be some substance behind it.

VOICEOVER: News of a reward increase has been welcomed by the families of the three victims.

PAULA CRAIG, COLLEEN WALKER'S SISTER: Now that it's gone up, and for the three kids, I mean, it gives us a bit of hope. And hopefully from this we might get someone ringing up with some more information. Marbuck Duroux is the brother of Clinton Speedy. One of his last wishes before he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease was to see a conviction of the person or persons responsible for Clinton's muder.

LEONIE WILMSHURST, MARBUCK DUROUX'S PARTNER: It's been so long and it'd just be good to see some closure for Clinton's family, especially for Marbuck.

REBECCA STADHAMS, EVELYN GREENUP'S MOTHER: It would be real good news if someone does come forward and give that information to the police to help us, to help them with the kids.

MICHELLE STRAEDE, EVELYN GREENUP AUNTY: And it'll finally give Evelyn - she can rest in peace, like all the kids can.

VOICEOVER: Despite the years of pain  and grief felt by family members, they've never lost hope.

LEONIE WILMSHURST: The pain's still raw, and it really hasn't been dealt with, and I don't think it will be until we get some justice.

PAULA CRAIG: It might just jog people's memory. The thing that I've always thought is that someone might know something small and think it's not of great concern but it could be that little piece of the puzzle that could help out.

MICHELLE STRAEDE: It's finally showing that people are listening and that there is a serial killer out there, still on the loose after 16 years.

VOICEOVER: The Police Minister is determined to see that justice prevails.

DAVID CAMPBELL: These are three murders over a relatively short period of time in the one community and there's a lot of impact on the community. That's why

the police want to get closure.

VOICEOVER: The families of the victims now hope that the reward will uncover new information.

PAULA CRAIG: That's the biggest hope for this reward, is that we will have new evidence and maybe find Colleen's remains and put her at rest.

LEONIE WILMSHURST: Eventually, I would like to see a parliamentary inquiry into the original investigation, most definitely. So the family members can have answers. They've been looking for answers for so long.

MICHELLE STRAEDE: Please come forward, because it'll help Rebecca and her family. Look at your own kids that you may have now. You'd most likely be anonymous. So just come forward, because it will help a family to become a whole family again.


Kris Flanders with that report. The announcement by the NSW Government to increase the reward for the unsolved Bowraville murders is welcomed not only by the family members, but the detective leading the investigation, Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin. He joins me now. Detective Inspector Jubelin, welcome to the program. Thank you. First of all, what do you hope this increase in reward money will achieve?

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR GARY JUBELIN, NSW POLICE HOMICIDE SQUAD: We see the increase in reward as being a positive step. We're hoping that by increasing the reward it might encourage people that have information to come forward and provide it to the police. It also gives the community of Bowraville hope in the fact that they realise that we're continuing on with the investigation and hopefully that it will be resolved.

KARLA GRANT: What kind of evidence or information would you be looking for?

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR GARY JUBELIN: What we are asking for is anyone who has any information - be it small, or they might consider it's not even relevant to the investigation - if they got have any doubts, I would encourage those people to provide that information to police. The type of information that we are looking for is anything in relation to the murder of Evelyn Greenup, Clinton Speedy and Colin Walker. So anyone that has anything that they think might be of assistance to police, I would encourage them to provide that information to police.

KARLA GRANT: OK, well, it's a very small community, and many people are related or know each other well and there might be fear of coming forward with information in the case, just in case they're implicated or blamed or embarrassed or even threatened for taking so long to speak up. What would you say to them if they are listening right now?

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR GARY JUBELIN: I understand people's concern. It is a small country town and a very tight-knit community. I can understand people's reluctance to come forward. What I would say those people, if they do have information, if that they provide that to police we can treat it with the strictest of confidence and protect their identity if necessary.

It is only as recent as last year that more people have come forward and provided information that we were following up as late as last year.

KARLA GRANT: So what should people do if they think they have any information that could help, no matter how small? Some might think that after 16 years what they know may not help.

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR GARY JUBELIN: Yes, I know that's probably a perception that a lot of people have. These events occurred 16 years ago, and what possibly could new information how could that assist the investigation? As I said, last year we recieved some fresh information that we followed up. And it could be a small amount. It is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, and just that one piece of information we are looking for, that person might have it. So we encourage them to come forward and provide the information to police. If they want to contact me directly, I can be reached through the homicide office of NSW police, or they can pass the information on to the Crime Stoppers hotline of the New South Wales police.

KARLA GRANT: You have worked on this case for some 10 years now. You must have become very close to the family. What has it been like for them?

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR GARY JUBELIN: It's a devastating situation. You have got a small country town and a small community within that town, and they have had three of their children's lives taken way too early. The pain is still there for the community. I see that every time I speak to a member of the community, you can still see the pain that they are carrying with the loss of these three children. What I'm hoping - and I believe this is also from the community's point of view - that some form of closure will come into play if we can have the person responsible for murdering these children brought before justice.

KARLA GRANT: Finally, are you confident that you will indeed solve this case and that you will find the killer?

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR GARY JUBELIN: It has been a long investigation, a long, hard investigation, but one thing that I am confident - and something that I have said to all the relatives of the children - is that we are never going to give up on the investigation. It's a message I'd like to send out to the person responsible for murdering these children, or persons responsible, is that we are not going to give up on it. I've assured the family that we won't give up on it. We gain strength, from the police point of view, in the fact that the family are still keen and still championing the cause that we solve this matter. So we will continue on, and that's the message I'd like to also send out to the community that the deaths of their children haven't been forgotten and we would do everything in our power to bring the person or persons responsible to justice.

KARLA GRANT: Detective Inspector, thanks very much for joining us.

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR GARY JUBELIN: Thank you, Karla.


That was Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin who is leading the investigation into the Bowraville murders. And if you have any information that you think may be of assistance in solving these murders, you're urged to contact the Crime Stoppers hotline on: 1800 333 000

Serial killer suspect still free despite new evidence

A SUSPECTED serial killer has escaped retrial despite "fresh and compelling" evidence that he had killed three young people being presented to the government in a secret police report.

The suspect was the only person at the scene of the disappearance of each of the children in the small town of Bowraville, on the state's Mid-North Coast.

New investigations revealed evidence linking him to one of the victims after the teenager's disappearance, homicide officers have claimed.

A clincher was that never in Australian history had three children from a country town been murdered within six months of each other - never mind by more than one killer - said the report, rejected by Attorney-General John Hatzistergos.

Mr Hatzistergos has refused to use the state's double jeopardy laws to recharge the man, who has twice been acquitted of murder, on the ground there was "no reasonable prospect" of gaining convictions.

The report, by Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin, who headed Strike Force Ancud which reinvestigated the 20-year-old killings, has been obtained by families of victims Colleen Walker, 16, Evelyn Greenup, 4, and Clinton Speedy Duroux, 16 under Freedom of Information laws.

The children lived three doors away from each other and disappeared in 1990 and 1991.

A local man was acquitted in 1994 of the murder of Clinton, who was last seen in the man's caravan, and in 2006 he was acquitted of the murder of Evelyn, abducted after a party at her mother's house attended by the man.

The body of Colleen has not been found but her clothes were discovered along the same road where the bodies of the other two children were left in the bush.

"I believe that this man is responsible for the murders of Clinton Speedy and Evelyn Greenup, the suspected murder of Colleen Walker and disposal of their bodies," the report said.

"After [he] was charged with the murder of Clinton Speedy in April 1991, no other murders of this nature occurred in the area."

Clinton's sister-in-law Leonie Duroux yesterday said they could not understand why Mr Hatzistergos never spoke to the police in the eight months it took him to reject their submission.

"If the matter took eight months to consider one would assume there was some merit in the application," Ms Duroux said. "If the decision was that difficult would it have been more appropriate to have a court decide the strength and weaknesses of the evidence?"

Opposition police spokesman Mike Gallacher has asked Mr Hatzistergos to review his refusal in the light of the report and pledged the Coalition would reconsider the case if they are elected next year.

The families have invited Mr Hatzistergos, Premier Kristina Keneally and Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery to a public meeting in Bowraville on December 11 to explain.

THE laws, which had blocked people being tried twice for the same offence, were overturned in 2006 directly because of a campaign by the Bowraville families. Along with the police, they want the suspect to face trial again for the murders of Clinton and Evelyn and to be charged with Colleen's murder.

A study conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology's National Homicide Monitoring Program said the murder of three children from a small country town over six months was unique and "the likelihood of three separate offenders committing those murders appears even more remote".

Bowraville's Unfinished Business

Sunday, 17 October, 2010  - SBS
 
It's been 20 years since three Aboriginal children disappeared from the NSW town of Bowraville; their unsolved deaths a source of continued anguish for their extended families.
 

Watch Online: Bowraville's Unfinished Business


Two of these children, four-year-old Evelyn Greenup and 16-year-old Clinton Speedy-Duroux, were murdered. Colleen Walker, 16, is still missing, presumed dead.

Over the years, the grieving families of these three victims have continued their efforts to have the same man retried for the deaths. They believe the circumstances surrounding all three deaths should be put before the Court at the same time.

Now, changes to double jeapardy laws mean the families' hopes may be realise. They hold hopes the Attorney-General will use his power under new retrial laws to have the cases reopened.

Video journalist Kodie Bedford spoke with relatives of these lost children in Bowraville about the pain they still suffer.

UPDATE

The families of the three Bowraville children whose deaths remain unsolved have called for a parliamentary inquiry after New South Wales Attorney-General John Hatzistergos rejected their application to pursue a further trial.

Leonie Duroux, the sister-in-law of murder victim Clinton Speedy-Duroux, said the families were very upset by the Attorney-General’s decision.

“We’ve got no justice. We kept our silence since the submission [was made]. We have been dignified, done all of the right things hoping the system would give us a chance. All we wanted was a day in court,” Ms Duroux said.

The families argue the Attorney-General did not fully investigate the matter.

“During the time the Attorney-General had the submission he didn’t make any contact with the detective who has been investigating the case [and] no contact with the witnesses,” she said.

“He didn’t come to Bowraville. For such an important decision he should’ve visited the place”.

It’s been 20 years since three Aboriginal children disappeared over the course of 5 months from the northern New South Wales town.

Sixteen year old Clinton Speedy-Duroux and four-year-old Evelyn Greenup were murdered, their bodies found four kilometres apart in bushland just outside the community.

Colleen Walker, 16, is still missing and presumed dead after her weighted down clothes were discovered in the Nambucca River seven months after she vanished in September 1990.

A Bowraville man was charged over the murders of Clinton and Evelyn but he was separately tried and acquitted in both cases. No charge has been laid for Colleen’s death.

The families have continued their efforts to have this same man retried, believing the circumstances surrounding all three deaths should be put before the courts at the same time.

In 2006 the State Government modified the double jeopardy law, allowing the NSW courts to over ride this principle, which says an acquitted man cannot be tried twice.

High profile law firm Allens Arthur Robinson made a submission to the Attorney-General on behalf of the families to have the case reopened under these new laws.

It took eight months for the Attorney-General to reach his decision.

In a statement to Living Black, lawyers acting for the families expressed their disappointment.

“This was an opportunity for the Attorney to test this important new legislation and allow a court to assess the significance of the evidence. It is an opportunity that this Attorney has passed up”, lawyers Oscar Shub and Brendan Ferguson said via a spokesperson.

The lead detective in the case Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin said he would be meeting with the families in the near future.

“It is my intention to properly assess the information supplied by the Attorney-General, then seek advice and see if there is anything further that can be done to find justice of the families of the three murdered children.”

The Attorney-General released a statement last Friday saying he was concerned nobody has been brought to justice over these deaths.

“Decisions of this type however must be made objectively and on the basis of all the available evidence,” Mr Hatzistergos said.

“The Crown Advocate, The Director of Public Prosecutions and Solicitor General have all considered this matter, and are of the view that there is no reasonable prospect of success.” 

The families of the three victims have said they will not give up but conceded they are running out of options.

“If there was a change of parliament we could resubmit the submission [to a new Attorney-General]”, Ms Duroux said.

“We’re not giving up just yet. We’re going to keep on fighting.”

TRANSCRIPT

MICHELLE STADHAMS, EVELYN’S AUNTY: Rebecca had come in and said, "Evelyn's missing", and I said to her, you know, "What do you mean missing?" I just started spinning because I just couldn't believe what I was hearing.

KODIE BEDFORD: Michelle Stadhams is reliving the night her niece Evelyn Greenup disappeared. It's now been 20 years since Evelyn's death, but the memories are still fresh.

MICHELLE STADHAMS: I had to go around and tell everybody else, you know, get up looking for her, we can't find her.

KODIE BEDFORD: Evelyn was one of three Aboriginal children to disappear from the Bowraville mission in northern NSW. All three disappeared over the course of five months. 16-year-old Colleen Walker was the first to go missing in September 1990. Her body was never found, but her weighted down clothes were discovered here in the Nambucca River seven months later. Four-year-old Evelyn was murdered in October 1990, and in February 1991, 16-year-old Clinton Speedy-Duroux had also been murdered. Both Clinton and Evelyn's remains were found four kilometres apart in the same tract of bushland just outside the town. For the families, the pain of losing their loved ones has been intensified by the fact no one has been convicted over their deaths.

DIANNE DUROUX, CLINTON’S AUNTY: The pain is still there. You know, I don't think it will ever go away. You know, to find out, you know, something like that had happened to him and where they found him and, you know, how he was found.

MICHELLE STADHAMS: We want justice. We want someone behind bars. We want to be able to say, "You did this to our girl, you took her away." We want someone to be accountable for taking her life.

KODIE BEDFORD: For the past 14 years, Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin has led the police investigation into the deaths. During that time he's become close to the grieving families.

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR GARY JUBELIN, NSW POLICE: They've taken comfort from the fact that people do care, and that people are trying to help them find out what happened to their children and then bring justice.

KODIE BEDFORD: A local Bowraville man was charged over the murders of Clinton and Evelyn, but he was separately tried and acquitted in both cases. No charge has yet been laid for Colleen's death. Over the years the families of the three victims have continued their efforts to have the same man retried for the deaths, believing that the circumstances surrounding all three deaths should be put before the court at the same time. And with the 2006 legislation now allowing the NSW courts to override changes to the double jeopardy principle, which says an acquitted person cannot be tried twice, they hold hopes that the NSW Attorney-General will use the new retrial laws to have the cases reopened. Sydney barrister Chris Barry believes it will be rare that a case is able to meet the strict criteria necessary for this to happen.

CHRIS BARRY, BARRISTER: For them to do that that they need to satisfy the court of criminal appeal that there is fresh and compelling evidence against the particular person and the court of criminal appeal needs to be satisfied that it's in the interests of justice that the person be retried. High profile law firm Allens Arthur Robinson has taken up the case on the families' behalf. In a statement to 'Living Black' they said: "This is a case that deserves wider attention and our team working on the matter is very committed to assisting the families in whatever way it can." The matter was submitted to the NSW Attorney-General eight months ago, and the families are still waiting on a decision. In the meantime, they are sustained by the memories of the children they lost.

DIANNE DUROUX: Dancing all the time. He was always doing some Michael Jackson move. Yeah, dressing the kids up when he used to stay with me. 

MICHELLE STADHAMS: The first thing you'd see were her curls and her blue eyes and her smile. You know, we couldn't protect her in life but we're going to fight for her and make sure she gets the justice that she deserves. That's the least we could do for her, you know.

KODIE BEDFORD: It is not known how long it will be until the cases' future is determined. 

Justice sought in Bowraville murders

A FORMER Bowraville resident may become the first person to be re-charged under changes to double jeopardy law which came into force in 2006.

The matter is currently before the NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos.

The man has been acquitted twice on murder charges following the deaths of three Bowraville children 20 years ago.

“The matter is currently being reviewed and is not yet resolved; as such, the Attorney General cannot provide any further comment on it,” a spokesman for Mr Hatzistergos said yesterday.

Colleen Walker, 16, Evelyn Greenup, 4, and Clinton Speedy, 16, were murdered in late 1990 and early 1991 at Bowraville.

The remains of Clinton Speedy and Evelyn Greenup were later found near the town.

The clothes last worn by Colleen Walker, weighted down by rocks, were found in the Nambucca River by a fisherman. Her remains have never been found.

Despite the efforts of NSW Police homicide detectives from Strike Force ANCUD, no-one has been convicted of the murders.

The same man was tried for the murder of Clinton Speedy in 1994 and for the murder of Evelyn Greenup in 2006.

He was acquitted on both occasions but the families of the three victims have continued their efforts to have him tried again.

In 2006 they campaigned successfully to have the NSW Government to change the double jeopardy legislation, which prevented anyone from being tried twice for the same crime.

The changes made four years ago mean that the same person could be tried again, if fresh and compelling evidence was found against the person and if in all the circumstances, a re-trial was in the interest of justice.

“We want justice for our kids,” said Evelyn Greenup’s aunt, Michelle Stradhams.

“Evelyn’s life was taken so early.

“Justice would provide healing for the family and community.”

The new legal push by the three Bowraville families is being assisted by The Public Interest Law Clearing House, a senior counsel and international law firm Allens Arthur Robinson, working on a pro bono basis.

“This is a case that deserves wider attention,” said spokesman for Allens Arthur Robinson, Chris Fogerty.

“Our team working on this matter is very committed to assisting the families in whatever way it can.”