Comments & Quotes

Writers love feedback! Please send your feedback to me on any of my books or other items of interest. Your name will not be used, but some of your message may be posted here for others to read and comment upon.

From Phoebe’s mother to publisher

It’s always hard to read about what happened to Phoebe and the painful journey it has been to try to uncover the truth. Given the complexity of the story and the tight legal confines, I think Robin has done an amazing job. I appreciate that there are many others involved too and I am so grateful to you all for going out on a limb as you have to tell Phoebe’s story. There has been such amazing support from the general public and the media over this horrific journey, I think people deserve to know the finer details of what went on and Robins book will give them that. I’ll  never forget my first meeting with her at the inquest on the first day. She introduced herself and said she was thinking of perhaps writing a book about the case but she hadn’t made up her mind yet. I was in a complete daze.

It wasn’t until after she had visited us in Mallacoota some time after, that she called to say ‘I’m definitely going to write it’ (despite be warned off by some legal heavies). She’s not a woman to be intimidated!  I have nothing but admiration.

Dear Robin,

Congratulations on your book Into The Darkness re the mysterious death of the above.

I agree on many levels about your opinions, especially the judicial system in Victoria. Nepotism, for lack of better word?

NSW has a fairer system for all, evident in Harriet Wran’s conviction and jail time, despite the fact she’s the daughter of our former Premier Neville Wran. Plus conviction and jail time for former police detective Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara prove we can trust we will get fair treatment in our judicial system.

I pray someone will probe into the above case, pro bono. It seems fishy to me. If it was my daughter, I will not rest easy after the inquest finding. Hope that’s not the last we will hear of it.

Faithfully,

Ning.

Goodreads reviews of Into The Darkness

Hello Robin,

You asked for it. What do I think of your book? Well, I say a lot in a few words (sometimes).

The ‘thank you’ was genuine and complete.  The reference to it being Phoebe’s book was recognition of your work and her legacy to being heard – she was not represented at the coronial inquest. Coronial inquests are about the living not the deceased’s – that’s often left for a book after an Inquest.

The reason I asked about the transcript was a comment I recalled reading in your book saying something like you rely on your notes. I thought you reason might have been associated with the cost of transcripts. Also my suspicious mind suggests it is a way to avoid comeback from the courts for using the transcripts when the quotes came from your own notes. Similar, in your book, to the obscure thank you to some Police who otherwise are not directly named. I was interested to read you note on transcripts having court copyright – they should be publicly available in the public interest. I was certainly not questioning the accuracy of your work.

I smiled a number of times when reading your account. For example Chinese whispers. I have seen in the records of those attending a death just how the scene was handed over and an understanding of what had happened in the scene change at each handover. And yes I am talking about a real case about which I have a connection. 

I am a bit like Lorn Campbell, only I am the father not the grandfather. Hence the reason I am interested in his response. As his response is seemingly no longer on the Coroners web site and you have not mentioned it in your reply, you might like to pass on this email so that he may choose to forward a copy. In my case I told the Coroner what I thought of his finding when evidence showed his finding not possible but where any other finding would have brought into question the inadequacies of the Police investigation. 

I heard about your book on an early morning ABC interview and I purchase the book to inspire me  to keep writing mine. When family and friends are too close you can’t go to them for help and understanding. So thank you once again.

Victor 

Dear Ms Bowles,

I hope this email finds you well!

I recently concluded reading your true crime book in relation to Phoebe Handsjuk’s death. I fould the book to be compelling, intriguing and frustrating over the course of the trials and tribulations surrounding the death.

I thoroughly enjoyed your ability to portray a fair and excellent combination of objective and subjective analysis.

I am currently a Criminology and Justice student almost in my final trimester.  I have always enjoyed reading true crime books and researching anything pertaining to crime and as your book says, understanding why people do things they do.  I hope to follow in your footsteps one day and develop my own true crime books.

I was hoping to perhaps gain some more insight from you about your experience in writing true crime books (I have no idea where to begin!) and how you began in this industry.  I am located in Melbourne and would be so greatful to meet with you.  Alternatively, if I could perhaps send through some questions if you are unavailable to meet.

Thank you again for providing a compelling insight into an interesting case through your writing.

Adrienne

Hi Robin

Just finished “Into the Darkness” – as usual, a really good read, but with a very unsatisfactory outcome as to what really happened to Phoebe.

I think The Sister knows more ….

It also strikes me that, if fingerprints weren’t found around the rubbish chute on the 12th floor, is there a possibility a chute on another floor was used?  Were they all tested for fingerprints, etc.   Just a thought.

I finished it within a day of Sue and Bob (from Timber Benders) being tragically killed in a road smash during this week.   They were really good people and what a lovely tribute Len paid to his daughter..

Do you still do the “talking bit” at Probus clubs, etc.? 

Kind regards

Wendy

Dear Robin,

I had to write and tell you what an amazing read “Into the Darkness” was  –  so well researched and well written!  A definite page turner!

I loved your wry comment on page 186 – “Anyway, there were Robert and Sue, having eluded a cordon of Victoria’s finest”   !!!!

I’m not sure that Phoebe received the justice she deserved, however ………………… !

Thank you again for an engrossing read, Robin.

Best wishes,

Jan

Unsolved murder

Tue, 7 April 2009

Hi I would like to know if you could please send me some info on any web sites that would be helpful in trying to find out legal info as i am trying to look into the unsolved murder of my brother and am having no luck so far in finding out anything. so if you could give me any advice it would be greatly appreciated. the reason why i have asked you is because i am a big fan of your books and admirer how you seem to be able to come up with things that others don’t seem to know or care to look for. thankyou for your time!

Keep it up!

Tue, 7 April 2009

Hello robin
ur books are fantastic when i began reading bout adel i couldn’t put it down til i knew the out come… then i was hooked ive read all but the one bout jenny tanner am unable to buy a copy or order it in any book shops… any suggestions on how to get a copy??? another question… what’s the next true crime ur working on??? when can i get a copy??? last but not least… were u scared when researching ur books moments in the jayden book scared the crap outa me!!! thanx 4 writing such excellent books keep it up!!!

Thank you for your book

Tue, 7 April 2009

I am writing to you to ask for some assistance with a research project that I am undertaking as an Honours student in my final year of my law degree.

I have chosen to research and discuss the law in WA as it pertains to Euthanasia.  I recently purchased and read your excellent book about the Freeda Hayes case.  I\’d be really interested in asking you a few questions about the case.  I have tried to contact Max Crispe, the DPP and the Supreme Court to request a copy of the transcript of the Supreme Court Trial, but I am not having much luck getting anyone to help me.  If it were not for your book I would know even less about the case!

Thank you for giving me some hope of justice

Fri, 3 April 2009

Dear Robin, I have just finished reading your book Rough Justice and it has certainly proved to me what I was sure I knew. My darling brother has just been sentenced at Downing Centre in Sydney for a crime he did not commit.
We have two elderly parents and their hearts are broken as is mine at the injustice of the legal system. Anthony was told by his legal team which was Legal Aid that he could not possibly be found guilty and when I spoke to his barrister during the trial in regard to some evidence I thought was very important his comment was don’t worry His Honor is all bark and no bite your brother could not possibly be found guilty and disregarded what I had to say.
My brother is now at Long Bay prior to this he had never even had a speeding fine and we trusted the advise from the legal team and thought everything would be Ok. We are appealing the conviction with a new Legal Team. What a costly heartbreaking lesson to learn I am going out to purchase your other books. Thankyou for giving me some hope of justice when I thought all hope was gone.

More questions than answers

Tue, 7 April 2009

Hello Robin, I have followed the Falconio murder with great interest & have read your, Dead Centre, book numerous times.

I look at page 356 & then take into consideration the Omagh bombing case & say that Murdoch cannot be still considered guilty on the DNA evidence!The English DNA findings also again throws doubt on Joanne Lees identification evidence. Also I still have may doubts about James Hepi & his involvement! What do you think?

Just read Justice Denied. It has opened my eyes, I only ever knew what I read in the papers and on TV news, unbelievable!! More questions than answers….So many lives ruined 🙁

I believe your reporting was fair…

Tue, 7 April 2009

Hello, and I suppose Happy New Year would not be out of place, either!  I just had to write, having sat through your book Dead Centre and found myself unable to put it down till I was finished.  Your style of writing is most enjoyable and zips along nicely.

I wish I could write as well!  I can remember quite vividly the first time I saw the news bulletin about this alleged murder and abduction/escape; I scoffed then at the original version of events, and was never happy with the way Joanne Lees presented herself or her rendition of the evening in question.  I have read and watched true crime stories for over twenty years and find them fascinating, so to have this unbelievable case unfolding here in this incredible way was riveting.  Reading your account of the whole drame from start to conviction was wonderful, as you had access to information I had not seen/read previously.  I was glad that your account showed such anomalies with Joanne’s story; I have read other accounts of other cases and I thought as I read Dead Centre “ahh, Munchausen’s by Proxy” or at least certainly Joanne had a lot of desire to seize attention to herself.  (“I want to get on with my life”, “..how I was treated..”)

I was pleased, too, to read of your interviews with Bradley Murdoch, as this humanised him in a way I’d not seen to date.  I am ambivalent about his guilt, and just this month (Dec07) have read in the press about doubt over the LCN DNA testing, and especially of such a small (minute) sample.  And you said at one point that someone had said it was not proper blood but something else, and I was thinking about the ooze you get after squeezing a pimple – the clear watery stuff.  Anyway, nothing you wrote makes me change my mind about Ms Lees and her ambiguity, and her unsettling changes in her renditions of what happened.  You didn’t actually say outright what you personally believe happened, and I was trying to read the lines of type and then between them simultaneously.

I believe your reporting was fair, and even though Mr Murdoch was convicted, I am somehow dissatisfied with the verdict; I would be happier if the prosecution had produced evidence that a) Peter Falconio is definitely dead, that b) he was murdered, that c) he was murdered by gunshot and d) that Bradley Murdoch did it.  It was all too circumstantial, and if only the jury had known what you knew from the committal hearing.  We both know that trials are not necessarily about the truth, but who can tell the best story.

Can’t put your books down

Tue, 7 April 2009

Hi robin i’ve read a few of your books (justice denied, rough justice and blind justice) are just a few of my favourites.

 

I’m usually not a big reader but when i pick up your books i can’t put them down till i finish them just wanted to say thankyou for such great reading and i’m looking forward to reading more great novels i was also wondering when your new book about jaidyn leskie is coming out???

 

thanks again hope to hear from you soon.:)

I think Murdoch is innocent

Tue, 7 April 2009

I read your book on the Falconio case (and the other three) and have been moved to contact you by the developments in the Darwin case in the UK. To me, it challenges the mindset of so many people concerning the idea that Falconio and Lees may have faked his disappearance. I know from your Crikey piece following her interview by Denton that you still harbour doubts yourself.

A web seach turns up a couple of articles that suggest there was an insurance payout but the amount has never been revealed. I also noticed that Lees applied for victim compensation and apparently received it.

I also note that Murdoch continues to maintain his innocence and is grabbing whatever opportunity he can to get his case before an appeal.

Personally I think Murdoch is innocent (or, at least, not guilty of murdering Falconio) and I certainly think Lees account is bullshit.

Thank you for a great read

Mon, 6 April 2009

A friend suggest I read Blind Justice. How I feel for Jenny and her family. You told her story well. Thank you for a great read.

Being an ardent reader of true crime I have read several books on the Falconio case. I am yet to be convinced that Murdoch is guilty. Once again I find that shoddy police work has probably led to a miscarriage of justice. Common sense would tell most people that running through the bush in the dark  in a pair of shorts, tshirt & sandals , would leave a person covered in cuts, grazes & may even rip the clothes. So I dont know  how
Lees expects anyone to seriously believe her account of escape. Also I believe Murdoch  is a big man & dont think she could fight him off that easily.  I guess we will never know the truth. I enjoy all your books, keep them coming.

Brave Woman

Mon, 6 April 2009

Dear Robin, congratulations are due to you with the current evidence regarding the Keough case. I was impressed by your book, which I purchase as soon as it was published last year.

Excellent work and what a brave woman you are.

21 thoughts on “Comments & Quotes”

  1. Debra Neale said:

    Hi Robin

    On page 77 of your book, Dead Center, you mention an Irish born male that was found to match the profile of DNA deposited on Joanne Lees t-shirt at 16 markers. You indicated that police then travelled to Ireland in order to test the mans family.

    I am extremely interested in learning more about this, however I could not find anything further in your book. Do you recall where the source of this information came from and if it is available for public viewing?

    Thank you so much
    Deb

    • Hullo Deb, sorry I’ve been a while getting back to you. I think I said there was a PARTIAL match for the stain on JL’s t-shirt.The full 16 alleles would have been a perfect match. But people can share a number of the same 16 alleles, eg one person might have 8397654300715352. Another might have alleles with 4 or 9 of those numbers in common. Or more, or less. Any combination, but the more numbers in common the likelier the relationship. There are also specific markers in that chain of alleles that can rule out parenthood.(I don’t think it can conclusively rule IN parenthood, so you can find out you are NOT the father of a child, but not that you ARE conclusively.) In that Irish case, the DNA of one of a big family of brothers showed up as a partial match. The police had that guy’s DNA on a data base because he’d been in prison for some crime for which he’d had to provide DNA, but he’d been released. They couldn’t find him, or any of his several brothers, who had also come to Australia. Eventually police went to Ireland and DNA tested his parents. Those tests proved that the mark could not have come from any of their offspring.

      Is that data available to the public? I think if you suspect your own DNA is on a police or other data base and it shouldn’t be, you can apply to find out through Freedom of Information in most states and if it shouldn’t be there, you can have it taken off. If it’s an inquiry about someone else, I don’t like your chances. There are private labs you can engage to test or confirm DNA, but you need a sample and a control sample to do this. It’s not cheap. For example, if you had held close to your heart and never used your father’s old hairbrush because he’d scarpered when you were 4 and then 15 years later you spotted a guy in a pub who could have been your dad.If you can get his empty glass, a used cigarette (butt), dandruff off his coat (well, all right, that might be stretching it a bit to get dandruff, but it does provide DNA!) you can send both samples to be checked. The hairbrush is the control.If you don’t have the brush, but still think the bloke you see is the long-lost dad, you can send the sample from him and prick your finger or spit in a jar and send off a sample from you as well. Don’t worry, labs get a lot of disgusting stuff! Then they might get a partial and you get to reclaim your drunken old dad. Or however you want it to end!

      Good luck!

      R.

  2. What happened to Freeda Hayes was the first of your books that I read. The reasons being
    1 I could afford it in a used book store and 2 it was about illness and dcotors (2 things I’m very familiar with).
    I was totally absorbed and really enjoyed your “just the facts’ style. I have now ready about 5 of your books and keep on enjoying your writing.
    I’ve also noticed the new covers which have a chequerd edge which makes them so easy to find.
    Thanks for all the pleasure you’ve passed on to me. I’ve been interested in murder and crime for years and now have a daughter who is a barrister so some of my interest must have rubbed off!

    Cheers

    • Hi , thanks for your kind words. Freeda’s and Darryl’s stories were important to me to get out for discussion. The interesting thing about that book was that everybody did what they thought was the ‘right thing’. Darryl in helping Freeda, her brother and sister for going along with it, the nurse reporting something wrong, the head of the hospice calling police, the coroner being called, the DPP charging on a prima facie set of evidence.It really shows that sometimes justice and the law are at odds.. I have 2 e-books available on my website (cheap to download) new stories going up in a week or so and and all the books in hard copy from he website if you feel like getting another one to read.

      Nice to know people are finding them interesting.

      Cheers,

      Robin

  3. Helen Hinwood said:

    Hi Robin,
    I have just read Blood Brother, which is the first book of yours that I have read. I have had it on my bookshelf for some time but only picked it up after watching the first episode of Bad Blood on Australian Story 3 weeks ago. I couldn’t put the book down and loved the way you tell the story and the interesting facts and reactions from your personal experience of being involved with the main players and the case through the courts and your interviews.

    I was curious to know what you thought of Australian Story and whether you had a chance to read the guest book entries. It certainly generated a lot of comment for both sides. Personally from what I have seen and read, I think Jeffrey Gilham’s support group are naive and immoral. They all could not possibly consider he is innocent but merely trying to appeal on a technicality out of some moral obligation to his wife and children. It’s almost as if the dead victims lives don’t count anymore!

    Anyway, the case has been on my mind and I have been enjoying hashing it over with my mum who also enjoyed the book and read it in a weekend straight after me. One thing that occurred to me that I don’t remember coming up, though it may have in all the evidence that went for days, is the timing of the killings. Isn’t it a bit odd to try and murder someone violently in the quietest part of the morning? It is my opinion that Jeffrey waited until his brother was in the shower downstairs before murdering his parents as it is very unlikely that you would hear anything in a shower downstairs in a brick house. The length of time a normal person would take in a shower (5mins) should be enough to get the noisy part out of the way. I would have thought it was extremely feasible for a 25 year old Chris to have sat up late playing computer games or watching TV before going to bed on a Friday evening. I don’t think he had any particular commitments on the Saturday. I know Jeffrey’s personal hygiene habits were brought up but what about Chris? Surely his girlfriend would have know whether he a) showered before he went to bed and b) slept in the nude. I think he stepped out of the shower, put on a robe and was heading straight for bed when he was attacked by Jeffrey who had already murdered his parents upstairs. I think it is also likely that Chris left his glasses on the shelf in the bathroom while showering but did not need to retrieve them as he was going straight to bed. Probably not going to read a book at that time of night. I wouldn’t be having a shower at that time of night but I wouldn’t be surprised if they both were in the habit of showering before they went to bed because from what we understand of Helen’s character, I would say she was an absolute stickler from a young age about them being clean to get into bed and it may be a habit that stayed with them, at least especially while they were living under her roof. Which probably suited them both well, as long as they were prepared to abide by her rules. Fair enough too!
    Would be interested to hear your thoughts about the Australian Story programme, the upcoming appeal and whether anything like the scenario I have outlined was brought up. Thanks and regards,
    Helen Hinwood

    • Hi Helen, as I am finally getting round to answering all my emails after a big house move (ARRGGH!) and a spell of being unwell, many of your remarks have now been addressed by Gilham’s appeal. For the best (in my view) and most comprehensive summary of the case and the Appeal outcome I suggest you go to http://netk.net.au/NSW/GilhamAppeal.asp. The NetK website where this appears is maintained by a friend and colleague, Dr Bob Moles, who is truly one of Australia’s leading campaigners for justice. When my book came out he put it on his site, but also voiced some doubts about the verdict. In this long and carefully considered assessment of the case, you will see the prosecution timeline of events as they saw them occurring.I like you, thought they may have been more as you described. However, it’s all a bit academic now, as Gilham won his appeal and has been released from prison. The best thing to come from that, in my opinion, is that 3 little girls got their daddy back.

      I sat through the trial and absolutely agreed with the jury’s verdict. And my book will not be changed, as I am now publishing ebooks on my website http://www.robinbowles.com.au. My latest book is Have You Seen My Child, which is an inspirational story. You can download it to your computer or to a kindle or ereader, if it has a 9free) Kindle app.

  4. Hi
    I’ve now read three books about the “murder” of Peter Falconio and have to say that yours is by far the best. Your attention to detail is marvellous and the book was very easy to read. Quite compelling in fact! I couldn’t put it down!
    Coming from the same home town as Falconio and Lees I have an added interest in the case. I’m not sure what I believe happened that night, but I do believe that Murdoch was stitched up, and that Lees isn’t telling the truth. One small pool of blood and a dubious witness are no proof of murder. Hopefully one day the real truth will emerge.
    Thanks for a great read!

    • Hi Jacky, thanks for your kind words about the Falconio book. It may interest you to know that when my husband and I stayed at the Daly Waters pub, (see http://dalywaterspub.com/)in the middle of nowhere, we ran into a girl who was chamber-maiding there and she was from Huddersfield. AND her dad worked with Peter’s dad in the Post Office. Can you believe that coincidence?? Not sure if I put it in the book or not.If you like my books, you might like to download a couple from my website http://www.robinbowles.com.au. The latest and an inspiring read, if I say so myself, is Have You Seen My Child. The story got a lot of publicity in the UK. There is also an updated version of the Falconio story, about another 25000 words added to the original book, to bring you up to date. The Falconio story is also examined in Rough Justice, another of my ebooks.

      Anyway, thanks for writing.

      Cheers,

      R

  5. I doubt this comment will be published on your site, but I feel that Dead Centre was grossly unfair to Joanne Lees and Peter Falconio. You have resorted to rumour and speculation about Falconio still being alive but you have nothing to substantiate this. I also notice you obfuscate facts supporting Lee’s account, and the pictures you provide to backup your claim Lees could not have hidden in the surrounding scrub from Murdoch, the bush not being dense enough,are deceptive. In Joanne’s book she also provides a picture which shows the exact shrub she hid under looking large enough to conceal her. Futher she provides photos of her injuries which look very serious and nothing like the description you provide in your book. Further stating Joanne Lees has a personality disorder based on the observations of someone who has never met her but seen her on T.V. is just plain silly.

    • Hullo Claire, thank you for your comments on Dead Centre. Of course your email can be put on my website. This story has generated a lot of healthy debate.

      In answer to your comments however (I’ve underlined sections you might like to search for in the book) please let me state the following:

      I have never said or implied, in my book and the hundreds of interviews I have done about this case, that Peter Falconio is alive. I certainly think he is dead.I have often stated that for the police to draw a long bow about the means of his death (.22 pistol) and the way he died (shot in the head) are speculative and not able to be substantiated. There is no body, no weapon, no cause of death and no witness to this alleged shooting. Therefore the police version is speculative.

      During my investigations over two years of writing Dead Centre and since, I have found few ‘facts’ that support Joanne Lees’s story. This search for the truth was made more difficult as she changed aspects of the story quite often- giving seven different descriptions of the gunman’s dog, for example, none of which looked like Murdoch’s dog. The most amazing change was that she had always said, in statements and under oath at the committal, that she was put into the passenger seat of the gunman’s car and then while he was otherwise occupied, she wriggled through the space between the seats, dropped down from the tailgate and ran off into the bush. She said she could ‘hear the man behind her’. However upon being told the police had personally investigated over 4000 4WD white vehicles around Australia and found NOT ONE with a crawl-through space, her story to the jury went:’It’s a possibility that the man lifted the flap where he got the bag out [on the rear tray of the vehicle] and I was put in there.’ This evidence did away with the need for a crawl-through between the seats, which the jury never heard.

      Re the bush density. I have been to that exact spot. It is scrubby mulga, spinifex grass and fallen branches from the mulga. There is no undergrowth except the spinifex grass.There is also a strong cattle-proof fence running 50m in from and parallel to, the highway. If Joanne could indeed ‘hear the man behind her’, as soon as she crouched under her bush he also would have heard immediately that she had stopped running and would be able to pinpoint her position in minutes. If by some chance an experienced bushman failed to do that, he could have just kept walking towards the sound and if he passed her (as she said he did) he would have encountered the fence in about ten strides, turned back, quartered the area he last heard her and found her within 10 minutes. As my ‘gunman’ did when we re-aenacted her exact description of the events (same time, place and time 2 years later) she said occurred on that night.

      As to her injuries: The highway is paved with very sharp blue metal, not bitumen. Joanne had gravel scratches on her knees and elbows. No other injuries. I have the police photos taken at Barrow Creek. Dr Matthew Wright, who examined her at Alice Springs hospital the next day gave evidence from the notes he took on that examination that ‘a couple of small lacerations were dressed’. She made no mention of being hit in the temple and he did not observe any injuries other than the elbow and knee lacerations. As Murdoch told me, ‘If I’d punched her in the head I would have broken her jaw’. I believed him.

      Various statements were made to me about Joanne’s state of mind at the time,including from profilers employed by the NT police, various police officers who’d spent time with Joanne, her former boss in Sydney, to name a few. The only ones I quoted were given by a police detective trained in psychology who spent dozens of hours with Joanne, probing the inaccuracies in her story; the hypnotist who is a qualified psychologist who conducted two sessions with Joanne on behalf of the NT police and when I told her I had a copy of her report to the police on those sessions agreed to let me quote her; and the opinion of a senior member of the NSW university psychology teaching staff, who was asked by the NT police to provide an opinion on Joanne’s demeanour during the famous interview she did with Martin Bashir on British TV. The police were willing to seek this opinion and I subsequently interviewed this woman, who expanded on her views to me. It is common practice for highly qualified people who know about human behaviour to view police interviews etc. to give an opinion. I also found a psychologist/grief counsellor who interviewed Paul Falconio and Joanne after they returned from Alice Springs to Sydney. His professional opinion agreed with the other three I quoted in my book, but I did not include it.

      I have made no observations of my own about any disorders Joanne may or may not have. I saw her recently on the tenth anniversary of Peter’s disappearance, being chased by TV cameras in the UK. She looked pretty sad to me. I’m sure the incident at Barrow Creek, whatever happened, has ruined her life. I hope that’s not a silly comment!.

      All the best,

      Robin

  6. Sue Waters said:

    Hey Robin,

    Just wondering what you think of the developments in the Jeffrey Gilham case? It will be interesting to see what comes out at the new trial.

    Also are your book updates, eg Dead Centre, available in hard copy as well as e-books? I like to feel the paper in my hands.

    • Hi Sue, a lot of people have written about the outcome of Gilham’s appeal. Check out the messages and replies.I doubt there will be a new trial. The NSW DPP has already spent millions on two trials and I’ve now heard they have dropped their action to reclaim property that he obtained using his $1m start from his inheritance and, of course, his hard work as an engineer.If they are not going ahead with the ‘Proceeds of Crime’ action, I guess it’s because they don’t think they can convict him for the crime. I guess you heard that Uncle Tony died of a broken heart soon after the Appeal decision was handed down.

      Sorry, updated books no longer available in hard copy. Paper books are good, but publishers are a PIA.So all electronic for me from now on.

      All the best,

      R

  7. Simon Whitehouse said:

    Hi Robin,

    Thanks for contacting me, sorry about my incomplete comment…I
    was in the process of writing it, when I must have sent it by mistake.
    I have read a few of your books, and they all have left me with a
    sense that justice has missed its mark. In particular, I feel that Murdoch’s
    conviction of the murder of Falconio was unsafe and am disappointed that
    the system seems to have locked its doors in that case.
    On the other hand, the Jeffrey Gilham case seems to be getting an
    appropriate level of review. I have yet to read your book (Blood Brother), but I am of the view that the account of events given by Jeffrey Gilham does not stack up. A main reason for the overturning of the conviction of Gilham, namely the incorrect assessment of the meaning of the levels of CO in Christopher Gilham’s blood, does not itself mean J Gilham could not have been a perpetrator; there are a number of plausible scenarios whereby significant levels of CO could have built up in the victims’ blood that would not exclude Jeffrey Gilham as a murder suspect. I also believe that the photo of the bloody thumb/finger print on the intercom panel above Mrs Gilham’s body could actually be helpful in support of a prosecution case against J. Gilham. There are many aspects of this case that are worrying in terms of the manner in which police managed the crime scene, as well as forensic evidence associated with the case. I am pretty sure that, if the prosecution does not proceed with murder charges against Gilham, another (coronial?) inquiry will be undertaken as to the possible guilt of Christopher Gilham. As it stands, the evidence is inconclusive and so, I suspect, an open finding would result.
    I’m not in any way associated with the case, just a private citizen with an inquiring mind and, I believe, a higher than average level of tenacity. I would really like to see the Murdoch conviction looked at critically, at the same level as that of Gilham’s. The two men’s images and support base are so different that it is difficult not to reach the assumption that this played a significant part in how the appeals process panned out in each case. If that is so, then this is more evidence that “justice” is much more political than it should be.

    Regards,

    Simon

    • Hi Simon, thanks for your considered comments. Of course politics does feature in ‘the law’ and a good example, I believe, is the decision that the then quite new NSW DPP acted at the Appeal Court hearing instead of Margaret Cunneen, Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor, who knows the case backwards. And who was so passionate about obtaining justice at the (second) trial.

      Murdoch has recently been moved back to Darwin (Berrima Prison) due officially, to ‘overcrowding’, which was why he was moved from Berrima to Alice Springs in the first place. The difference is that in Alice, he could be usefully employed by fixing up vehicles that the Prison took in on contract for repair, and unofficially showing many of the young, short-stay inmates (mostly indigenous) how to make an honest living after release. (Murdoch told me that many young local offenders spend more time on remand, waiting for their hearings, than they would have been sentenced, so of course as soon as the hearings are over, out they go due to ‘time already served’). No time for training and rehabilitation in prison, as remand prisoners don’t participate in rehabilitation or education programs, other than at very basic levels.In Darwin, he has nothing useful to do. And another 18 years in which to do it. I believe deprivation of liberty is the punishment, not all the additional abuse and despair layered on top.

      Anyway, observers like yourself know the law is not always just.

      Cheets,

      R

  8. I have just finished reading (which has left me with mixed emotions) “Justice Denied”.

    May I humbly suggest what a possible scenario maybe.

    I believe that there were at least two people involved. It appears that there WAS a woman involved. ( see extra clothing) They were both members of the Pigs Head Team.

    It also appears that the PHT did not know that Jaidyn was in Gregs house at the time they threw the pigs head through the window. Perhaps it struck him and he woke and began crying loudly or perhaps the noise of the window breaking woke him and they heard him crying then. If the pigs head DID strike Jaidyn this would explain why it was thrown outside to cover what occurred. It also appears that because of Jaidyns crying the music was turned to cover it up.

    Jaidyns presence complicated things for them. Common sense suggests that maybe someone insisted that they check on Jaidyn. Perhaps he was injured and needed care. It may explain why Greg maintained that Jaidyn was in hospital having been told about the event by someone. . But it also appears that he was never admitted to hospital. Panic by the PHT? Some members kept him for a time,and maybe tried to address his injuries, but his pain caused him continuous crying and finally someone out of frustration and anger took his life.

    In relation to the police handling of the matter. If the allegation that police officer Russell Fraser was having an affair with Yvonne Penfold could be substantiated, it would give a very good explanation why he may have wanted to protect her. Even if he was just a friend (as he admitted) this may have applied. Maybe this was why the police investigation was unsatisfactory and flawed from the outset. Beverley

    • Hi Beverley, thanks for all this. I must say I have no argument with any of it. (You will notice I have removed some names, as the actions suggested might be considered defamatory. The law is a funny thing. We can talk freely about a murdered baby, but not about people who may have been involved. There you go!

      All the best,

      R

  9. Jack Hilton said:

    Dear Robin,
    I have just finished rereading “Blood Brother”, and again I could not put it down. Well done! I hope that you have been following the saga since then as I would look forward to reading your full account of what has transpired, as opposed to the snippets that appear in the press.
    We finished up with a “HUNG” full bench of the appeals court, which surely shouldn’t be enough to allow a convicted killer to go free.
    Just for interest do you know the balance of numbers of how the jury voted in the first trial?
    The title for the new edition should be slightly changed, with a strike through the “at last” and “denied again” added.
    Regards
    Jack

    • Hullo Jack, thanks for your comments. I see my books as complete when they are finished, if you get that explanation. ie, a bit like a baby, if you want to change something it’s too late when it’s done!! I like the suggested new title though. I guess you have read about Uncle Tony’s heart giving out. If ever anyone died of a broken heart, it was Tony Gilham.

  10. greg wilder said:

    Have read Blood Brother again, since the acquittal and can’t get my head around how just one piece of evidence ( CO levels) being discredited can over-ride all of the many other circumstantial evidence which pointed directly towards his guilt. It shakes one’s confidence in the legal system.Apparently the perfect murder. But how would he sleep at night.

    • Hi Greg, thanks for your comments. The law moves in mysterious ways! I suppose one up side is that the three little girls have got their vdaddy back. But yes, sleep might be a problem!
      R

  11. Nicole Zar said:

    Hi Robin,

    Just wanted to say a big thank you for writing such wonderful books, and the way in which you write them. You only ever put down information, and really give your own opinion, but rather let the reader make up their own mind.

    As a childhood, and still now, friend of one of Denis Tanner’s children, I was oblivious to all that was happening in 1999, even though I was seeing Denis and his family at least once a month. To think of the pain his family must have been going through with all the media turning on them is unimaginable, but they never showed any the whole time I’ve known them. I have always been a complete believer in “innocent until proven guilty”, so I always ignored any passing comments made by gossiping people. I have always hated gossip.

    After reading your other books, I really just cant comprehend the legal system, the police system and the media in Australia.

    I have always been the kind of person who see’s a police car somewhere and automatically felt safer. Not so anymore. I thought if you read something in the newspaper, it had to be true as surely its illegal to print “opinions” as news. Wrong again. And in regard to the legal system, I always thought that surely Jury’s can tell when they are being “led down the garden path” as one might say. Stupid me.

    I again thank you for at least trying to open our eyes to what is happening in our legal and police systems. Some may want to believe that “it doesn’t work like that these days”, but I think you have proven otherwise.

    Regards,

    Niccy

    (I’m sorry that it not my real name as I would prefer to remain anonymous as to not harm my friendship)

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