Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Snowtown Murders


To understand the horrific saga of Australia's worst serial killing case, one must first go back in time. Back to a foreboding 1994 prequel: a grisly find at rural Lower Light, about 50 kilometres north of Adelaide, the South Australian capital.

A farmer had stumbled upon skeletal remains in a barren field on August 16th, 1994. The victim - shown by pathologists to be a young male adult - was never identified.

Social talk in the quiet "City of Churches" turning once again to speculation about what might follow. By 1994, South Australia already had a long, disturbing history of abductions and serial murders. Yet no one versed in the beautiful city's bizarre heritage could have predicted the sequel to that "single body" find: a complexweb of murder and fraud. Like the case's "vault of horrors" itself, the Lower Light corpse's significance would not be revealed until 1999.

When a body is found in South Australia, and the police announce foul play, a sickening sense of deja vu grips both the media and public imagination. A brief review of some notorious cases explains why.


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