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  • It was Thursday when more than 50 police officers entered an old bank building in

  • a tiny country town north of Adelaide and unearthed what's believed to be

  • Australia's worst serial killing.

  • Our major crime detectives in conjunction with a

  • small group of forensic police officers were able to open the vault where you

  • have had decomposition of the bodies.

  • I guess we weren't surprised with what we found given the smell coming from the place.

  • As a story it had all the elements.

  • Everything from entrapment to merciless slaughter to almost a vampiric things like putting

  • bodies in barrels and and then hiding the barrels away.

  • There were a lot of disability pensioners, there was a lot of people who

  • were on the dole. These people were living in fairly average conditions, a

  • lot of poverty. There wasn't the same support network that perhaps you and I

  • might have around us.

  • The jury found 37year-old John Justin bunting guilty of

  • murdering 11 people and 31 year-old Robert Jo Wagner guilty of seven murders,

  • he's already pleaded guilty to three.

  • Before killing many of his victims

  • Bunthing forced them to recite lines and phrases which he recorded and then used

  • these recordings to deceive concerned relatives and others.

  • The jury verdicts confirmed Bunting and Wagner as Australia's worst serial killers.

  • Theirs was a remorseless and relentless campaign of murder.

  • Unlike other such cases their targets were not randomly selected, they knew all

  • their victims.

  • It's a very dark tale and the darkness of that tale is very attractive against

  • a town called Snow.

  • At the time it was just more of a spotlight on the town and and on the

  • gruesome facts of it all but we probably didn't realise it was going to have a

  • negative such a negative impact on the town.

  • Snowtown the community we were

  • victims of this whole thing. The banks still standing there like it's just

  • being left exactly as it was when it was found 20 years ago and like surely in

  • the aftermath of it they probably would have been time and money to demolish it.

  • People forget nothing happened in Snowtown apart from it being a storage place.

  • Murders happened in other towns that don't receive the media attention.

  • Uncover a tale of torture... a shattered human skull... Australia's worst

  • serial killing has left an indelible mark...

  • Probably when they called the movie Snowtown it was a bit of a a sore point.

  • There was minimal consultation with the town when it came to the making

  • of the movie Snowtown. They generally didn't want to participate in that.

  • There's no doubt that we have a number of people rolling through Snowtown to

  • get a look at the bank and it's a pile of bricks and a shiny door. People want

  • to go to the place where this massive story happened.

  • So people sometimes drive

  • in pull up opposite the bank get out take a photo and drive away. It's like it's

  • no big deal it's sort of it's even funny when they look at the old bank and they

  • take a photo in front of the old - other bank they got the wrong bank.

  • There had been a suggestion that at the end of all the investigation and all the court

  • cases that that building would be taken over by government and as was done at

  • Salisbury North it would be demolished so that there was nothing to encourage

  • spectator tourism.

  • I would be perfectly happy for the memory of the bodies in

  • the barrel to fade into the past but I accept that we will never be rid of the

  • stigma of it.

  • It could have happened at 20 towns around the community except

  • that happened to us.

  • Have you've forgotten Jack the Ripper?

  • I mean it doesn't happen... It's always going to be this, somewhere we are

  • suppose have just got used to the notoriety but um it's a bit of also give

  • a dog a bad name, they think that it's now an evil place where it's clearly not

  • it's just a little country town in rural South Australia.

It was Thursday when more than 50 police officers entered an old bank building in

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Snowtown murders: 20 years on from Australias worst serial killings | ABC News

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    00348 posted on 2019/08/05
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