Voices From the Grave

Three nights later on 27 August, Archie his gang to the Leppington cemetery to show them the grave of his son. Archie had been there many times with Carol Howes since the funeral. Howes said that they would sit at the grave and Archie would sob and say things like: 'The poor little bloke. He never stood a chance. It's not fair. It's not, bloody fair.' On one occasion he had promised his son that he would avenge his death.

It was a cold, bleak night and the rain came down in sheets. Small patches of fog gave the cemetery an eerier atmosphere than usual. Archie was off his face on angel dust again. Now the voice was coming from the grave.

chapter continues

'Kill seven. Kill seven. Kill seven.......'

Archie and his gang stayed at the grave for a while and then went to a nearby hotel where they planned the night's events. All Archie wanted to do was get back to the grave... and the voice. He instructed his gang to take him back to the cemetery.

Along the way they dropped Julie Todd and Mick Meredith off to hitchhike. The plan was that as soon as a car stopped they would force the driver to the cemetery at gunpoint and the gang would rob him.

Back at the cemetery, Archie was spinning out. He could see a bright light over his son's grave. There was a figure standing just out of the light. Archie approached the person who said 'Dad. Is that you Dad?' Archie knew that it was his son. He had come back from the grave.

'Is that you, Craig?' he asked.

'Yes Dad, it's me,' the voice replied.

'But son, it can't be. You're dead.'

'Do you want me to come back to you, Dad?'

'Of course I do. But how can you do that, son?'

'You've got to do something for me, Dad. Do this thing and I will come back to you. Do you want me to come back to you?'

'Yes. Yes. More than anything in the world. I will do anything to have you back. Anything. Anything you ask.'

'You must kill seven people. As soon as you do, you can have me back. But you must kill seven people.

Kill seven. Kill seven. Kill seven.......'

Moments later a car pulled into the cemetery and stopped about 150 metres from the graveside. In the car were Julie Todd and Mick Meredith. They were holding 42-year- old Ronald Neil Cox at gunpoint. A miner who had just finished his shift at the Oakdale colliery and was on his way home to Villawood in Sydney's western suburbs, Cox had felt sorry for the two kids hitchhiking in the rain and had stopped to give them a lift. It was a fatal mistake. Meredith had held a gun to his head and forced him to drive to the cemetery.

McCafferty left the graveside and ran over to them. Ronald Cox was forced to lie face down in the mud while McCafferty and Meredith held rifles at the back of his head. Cox begged for his life as the voices urged the murderous McCafferty on.

'Kill seven. Kill seven. Kill seven.......'

The number bounced around in Archie's twisted brain.

McCafferty turned to his gang and said. 'I'll have to knock him. He's seen all of our faces. Mick ... kill him.'

'What are you saying Archie?'

'Fuck you. Kill him' said the demented Archie.

Ronald Cox's body
Ronald Cox's body

Again Ronald Cox begged for his life telling them that he was the father of seven children. Although he had no way of knowing, it was a mistake that sealed his fate. At the mention of the word seven McCafferty and Meredith then each shot Ronald Cox through the back of the head.

As they were leaving to drive to Liverpool, Archie looked over to his son's grave. The light was still shining over it and the shadowy figure was laughing loudly. Archie burst out laughing with his son. He later told detectives that his only regret about murdering Ronald Cox was that he wasn't closer to his son's grave so that some of Cox's blood could have dripped onto the plaque.


1. The "Kill Seven" Murders

2. "The toughest Kid I have ever met"

3. The Fatal Accident

4. Lucky Seven

5. Archie Graduates to Murder

6. Kill seven. Kill seven.

7. Voices From the Grave

8. Another Senseless Killing

9. "I'd Like To Cut Your Head Off"

10. The Trial

11. The Sentence

12. Australia's Worst Prisoner

13. Parole and Deportation

14. The Author

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