John Wayne Glover: The Granny Killer

Two Murders in One Day

Reinforcements were called in and Australia's biggest task force to ever search for one man was formed. Thirty-five of the state's most experienced detectives gathered at police headquarters and were told by task force chief Hagan that they must work day and night and investigate every lead, however minute, until the killer was caught. A $20,000 reward was posted by the New South Wales government. Composite pictures of the suspect were left in shops, service stations and newsagents.

Meanwhile, Hagan was becoming a nervous wreck and later said: "I've had nearly thirty years on the job and I think the worst month of my police experience was November 1989. You get so frustrated with yourself and those around you when you can't get a result and that's very stressful. You'd go home and you're on tenterhooks all night. I wasn't eating or sleeping and this cowardly killer kept murdering frail old ladies".

Hagan spent most of the day after Mrs Pahud's death at the murder scene yet, as the hours passed he had to face the grim reality that the killer had eluded them yet again without leaving so much as a trace.

Exhausted from the lack of sleep by the end of the day, Hagan called into the Pennant Hills police station on his way home to answer an urgent message on his beeper. He dialled task force headquarters. His knees sagged as he was told that they had yet another body — another pantyhose strangling.

He later said, "I just can't explain my feelings that night. To have just come from a murder and to be told there's another one. It was terrible. We'd had two serial murders within twenty-four hours. We'd never heard of such a thing before."

Miss Olive Cleveland
Miss Olive Cleveland

The Granny Killer's fourth victim was 81-one-year-old Miss Olive Cleveland, a resident of the Wesley Gardens Retirement Village at Belrose on the upper North Shore. Glover had called there in the early afternoon and, unable to get a pie order out of catering manager Rob Murrell, he left.

On his way through the garden, he struck up a conversation with Mrs Cleveland who was sitting on a bench, reading. When she got up and walked toward the main building, Glover seized her from behind and forced her into a secluded side walkway. Here he repeatedly slammed her head to the concrete before he removed her pantyhose and knotted them tightly around her neck. Glover then made off with $60 from her handbag.

Unbelievably no one connected this murder with the attack on Mrs Moseley at the Wesley Home only six months earlier. The task force still had no knowledge of the previous offence. If they had, they may have discovered that a portly middle-aged man with grey hair was in the vicinity on both occasions.

There were no clues and the seemingly invisible murderer vanished into the afternoon. Again the task force was baffled. Surely someone must have seen something? They checked and cross-checked witnesses statements and canvassed retirement villages, joggers, cab and bus drivers and junk mail deliverers.

They even sent a history of the case to the FBI in the vain hope of a lead. No luck. Sydney's lower north shore was now under siege. People stayed off the streets and anyone with elderly neighbours or relatives was checking on them at regular intervals. Old women were being driven to and from the shops. No one was taking chances. And still police investigations continued. The checking and cross-checking went on.

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