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

130 Folder Collection
00348 published on August 5, 2019
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