John Wayne Glover: The Granny Killer

A Violent Past

When he migrated to Australia from England in 1956, the 24-year-old Glover already had a criminal record dating back to 1947 for stealing clothing and handbags. Almost immediately after his arrival, he was convicted on two counts of larceny in Victoria and one of theft in New South Wales. And in 1962, he was convicted on two counts of assaulting females in Melbourne, two of indecent assault, one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and four counts of larceny.

Incredibly, he got off with three years probation. As in the later murders and assaults, the Victorian attacks were extremely savage and violent and on each occasion articles of clothing had been forcibly removed. Fortunately, Glover had been disturbed before the assaults could develop into rape or murder. Otherwise his killing spree may have started earlier.

On each occasion, the Melbourne victims were violently and repeatedly bashed about the head and body. They were forced to the ground as the attacker frantically ripped off their clothes before their screams alerted local residents who rang the police and came to their aid.

Those first on the scene were amazed at the ferocity of the attacks. The second victim, a 25-year-old woman walking home from a meeting at 10.30 at night, was found on the front lawn of a home. Dazed and in shock, she told police that the man had followed her down the dark suburban street and chased her when she tried to run away. 

She screamed as he knocked her to the ground unconscious. She awoke on the lawn to find herself bleeding profusely and with her undergarments in a state of disarray. The attacker had fled when her screams aroused the neighbourhood.

Residents reported seeing a young man running into a nearby yard and prompt police action saw the apprehension of 29-year-old Glover, then a television rigger with the Australian Broadcasting Commission and living in the quiet, tree-lined Melbourne suburb of Camberwell. Glover said that he had fought with his girlfriend and was emotionally strung out. He was charged and after spending the night in jail was released on bail the following morning.

As he was leaving the police station Glover was stopped by two other detectives who had heard of his arrest. They wanted to have a chat with him about a similar assault a couple of weeks earlier. At first Glover denied any knowledge of the incident, but under intense questioning he confessed to the previous assault and was taken back to the station and recharged. In light of Glover's previous convictions and the ferocity of the attacks, the detectives were astonished when he was let off with a good behaviour bond and three years probation.

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