The little lad is NOT John Wayne Gacy. His name is Charles Wayne Hudson from Fort Worth, Texas, who weighed 100 pounds at the age of 3.
Mugshots of Alvin Karpis, member of the Barker-Karpis gang and responsible for bank robberies, kidnapping, burglary, auto theft. Arrested in New Orleans on May 1, 1936 by Director Hoover and FBI agents.
According to Jim Quillen in his book Inside Alcatraz : My Time on the Rock, Alvin Karpis tried to impress others with his reputation as Public Enemy No. 1 but he became in time knows as “Creepy Karpis” for his strange behavior.
On May 21, 2015, Adrien Bottollier left his apartment in Chambéry in the middle of the night, armed with a knife, and leaving his girlfriend behind. In the street, the psychology student met a 51-year-old homeless alcoholic man who asked him for a cigarette and his way to the station. “If I kill him and he disappears, who will complain?” He asked himself.
At dawn, the man was found dead in one of the city’s parks, with 28 stab wounds and his pants down to the ankles. Shortly after the murder, Adrien Bottollier prided himself of his achievement in front of his friends, who did not take him seriously because they considered him shy and non-violent.
On Facebook, a few hours after the fact, he wrote to a friend living abroad: “For the first time, my murderous delusions are not delusions. Do you believe me if I tell you that I killed last night?“. ”I have never felt so alive, but if you have the opportunity, put me in prison,“ he adds. Later, to this same friend who does not believe him, he reminded him that he sent him on Snapchat the photo of a bloody knife the night of the murder.
”I expected to wait next year to kill again but to prove my sincerity to you, it will happen sooner.“ Three months later, new message: ”I think I’m going crazy. I don’t know what to do anymore, I’m afraid of myself.”
The investigation that stalled moved forward, January 5, 2016, when the Chambers investigators are contacted by their counterparts in Thonon-les-Bains (Haute-Savoie): Adrien Bottollier has just committed a knife attack there, and he boasted to his victim of having killed a man in Chambéry.
On the evening of December 25, 2015, Bottollier joined a group of customers in a city bar. He had spoken with one of them at great length. He then invited the man back to his mother’s house.
After having a drink together, Adrien Bottollier took off his T-shirt in order to show his guest a scar, the consequence of an injury he inflicted to himself in order to “see his heart to feel alive”. Noting that his host “had a problem”, the guest managed to escape, not without being stabbed twice.
During the investigation, the young man said he felt disgust when thinking about the acts. Ten days before the murder, he also wondered near a friend if he was not a serial killer.
His lawyer Marie-Laure Martinez, of the Chambéry bar, wants this trial to be an opportunity to understand “who he is”, asking to see him “as he is and not as he may have been described in the past”. “He wants to explain himself. It is important for him.” The accused is facing life imprisonment.
The murdered victim is Mostapha Hamadou. Aïcha, his sister is present at the trial, “He lay dying in the street for hours, he bled to death. I couldn’t imagine the atrocity. I finally saw the face of the person who murdered my brother.”
She sees him and learns about his past. Adrien Bottolier broke contact with his father who abused him, and he hurt himself after a chaotic romantic relationship. “I realize today that he is sick. I expect him to have a long sentence. I refuse to see him being placed in a mental health institution. He can be helped but while in prison.”
Aïcha explains that this tragedy destroyed her family, “We are broken…We are all in pain.” This is not the first time a tragedy hit her family, “We are cursed.”
Mostapha was also the brother of Ahmed Hamadou, one of the disappeared from Fort Tamié, a case in which the family suspects a possible involvement in Nordahl Lelandais.
On January 30, 2020, after four days of hearing and seven hours of deliberation, the Court of Savoie sentenced Adrien Bottollier to 25 years in prison, but also to a legal supervision of 15 years after his release from detention.
A moving trial in which, in turn, the parents of Adrien Bottollier walked towards the brothers and sisters of the murdered victim in Chambéry, then towards the man attacked with a knife in Thonon-les-Bains, for which their son was convicted for attempted murder.
The family of the murdered victim said about the parents of the convicted murderer: “It pains us, it is their son, we feel for them. We suffer but they also suffer, we understand their pain.”
Adrien Bottollier’s father, who deemed the sentence against his son “fair”, wanted to thank this empathy, “I want to salute them for their dignity, for me it means a lot. And for Adrien, he realizes that people’s empathy exists, it is real, they will never forget what happened but they are really great people.”
“You were a number, you weren’t a name; I wasn’t Jim Quillen. Hell, I was Number 586, and nobody wanted that.” – Jim Quillen, author of Inside Alcatraz – My Time on the Rock
In 1942, Jim Quillen escaped from San Quentin with 2 other prisoners. While on the run they went on a robbery spree and ended up taking 2 people hostage. Known for his many successful escapes, Quillen was sentenced to 45 years of prison and sent to Alcatraz.
From his record at Alcatraz : “Subject is impulsive and seems to think himself a ‘Big Shot’ because of his long sentence.” “Subject is a bitter youth.” and “Maladjusted attitude.”
His attitude improved through the years and he went on to work in the medical wing where he received training as a x-ray technician. He was transferred to Saint Quentin in 1952 for his good attitude and became a certified radiology technician. Following his release he married, had a daughter and worked as a radiology tech. until he retired.
Serial Killer Edward Wayne Edwards was arrested in 2009 for the murder of Tim Hack and Kelly Drew. His own daughter, April Balascio, tipped off the police. They investigated her claims and found out a DNA match from the murder victims, Tim Hack and Kelly Drew, both killed in 1980. He was sentenced to life in prison for this double homicide and subsequently confessed to the murder of his adopted son, Dannie Boy Edwards, whom he killed for the insurance money, as he was seeking the death penalty to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison. During a jail interview he also confessed to the killing of Judith Straub and Billy Lavaco in 1977.
Edwards has been connected to other murders but one stick out in particular.
On the evening of November 26, 1960, Larry Ralph Peyton and his girlfriend, Beverly Ann Allan, were killed in Forest Park, Portland, Oregon. Peyton’s body was found inside the car, stabbed 23 times, while Allan was nowhere to be seen even though her purse was still in the car. Her body was found two months later, 30 miles away from the crime scene. She had been raped and strangled to death.
Edward Jorgenson and Robert Brom were later wrongfully convicted for the double homicide.
Why is Edward Wayne Edwards the perfect suspect in this case? Years later, when he was arrested in 2009, he was officially linked to four murders, killing two couples.
In 1977, Judith Straub and Billy Lavaco were shot to death in Silver Creek Park, Ohio.
In 1980, Tim Hack and Kelly Drew were killed in Oregon. Drew was discovered naked in the woods. Hack in a nearby cornfield. According to Phil Stanford, author of the book “The Peyton-Allan Files“, these murders were “a virtual carbon copy of the Peyton-Allan murders.”
Edwards was in the Portland area at the time of the murders and was actually hanging around the crime scene when the police was investigating. One officer noticed a fresh bullet wound on his arm. A bullet hole was in the car’s windshield, and detectives determined the gun was fired from inside the vehicle, which led to believe that Peyton used a gun he presumably kept in his car.
Edwards was later arrested in Portland for impersonating a federal officer, firing shots at a residence and turning in false fire alarms. The detectives working on the Peyton/Allan case planned to interrogate him about the murders but he escaped jail the day following his arrest.
Even after being arrested for murder Edwards was never asked officially about this case.
Robert Mark Steele had always wanted to be a policeman.
The boy with the cheeky smile idolized their family friend who worked in the police force.
They nicknamed him the “gentle giant”. He grew up to be very tall for his age, always happy and adventurous. He was a sports-loving kid from the bush.
He had won trophies for cricket and football, and he was proud of his achievements. He had to be proud of himself because his father never was.
But on Christmas Eve, 1984, then 13-year-old Robert was hit by car while pushing his bike along the side of the road.
His skull was fractured and his hip was injured so severely it left him with one leg shorter than the other.
He was left intellectually impaired, and his hopes of ever becoming a police officer were quashed in an instant.
The gentle giant ran away from home.
He had no friends. No one to go to. He admitted he was a “loner”. He found refuge at a halfway house where he would come to meet the head nurse — a man named Leonard Kevin Leabeater.
Leonard was 18 years older, with a receding hair line and wild unkempt hair. Locals suspected him of being a pedophile, but Robert saw otherwise.
“We sort of clicked straight away,” Robert later said.
“I had nowhere else to go and Len helped me. He helped improve my body and mind.”
The pair became inseparable. They would later be labelled as Leonard and his Lieutenant.
They moved into a house together in Sydney’s west at Warwick Farm.
Leonard began training up “his champion” to become a fighter and entered him into organised street fights. Robert grew to love inflicting pain on others.
Eight years later in August 1992, Leonard, Robert, and their new friend Raymond Bassett, found an ad in the Yorke Peninsula Times newspaper to move into a run-down, 19th century sandstone building in the small South Australian town of Bute.
Bute had a population of just 300 people, and these three strangers could not help but stand out. Leonard had recently been charged with sexually assaulting two teenage girls near Adelaide and Bute was to be the perfect sanctuary.
The three men planned to renovate the former local hospital into a hostel for the intellectually and psychiatrically impaired. It had been a lifelong goal of Leonard’s.
But their plan to convert the 15-room building was opposed by the local police and council.
Leonard was brooding. He told locals that the council and the police were victimising him.
Eight months later, in March 1993, the three men suddenly left town, telling one person they had “to settle the score with some people”.
A dark maroon 1970 Holden Monaro rolled through Mount Isa.
No one took a second glance at the three men inside. Why would they?
No one could have known of the stockpile of guns and ammunition they planned to use for their “murderous rampage” down to South Australia.
Mark Barlow, a 27-year-old Sunshine Coast helicopter pilot, might have seen the men inside that Holden Monaro.
He was travelling on a Husqvarna 610 dirt bike on his way to the Northern Territory.
Someone spotted him talking to a man in a dark maroon Holden Monaro. A week later, Mark’s decomposing body was found lying inside his swag near Corella Creek, with a shotgun blast to his head.
It was to be the gentle giant’s first kill.
Meanwhile in Mackay, 14-year-old Deborah Gale told her mother she was just going out to dinner with some friends for the night. Nothing unusual. Sue would wake the next day to find her daughter had never returned.
She had jumped into the dark maroon Holden Monaro, headed towards the town of Dalby, west of Toowoomba.
Everyone at the Dalby caravan park knew ‘Robbie’, ‘Raymond’ and ‘Debbie’ well. They seemed like normal, decent, friendly people.
So when Greg and Rita Lasserre were asked by their four children, Lorraine, 13, Trevor, 11, Tonia, 9, and Robert, 6, if they could go on a picnic with them to Lake Broadwater, 30km south of Dalby, they of course said yes.
The dark maroon Holden Monaro trundled in along the dirt road next to the wide, blue lake. Robbie was in love with this young girl from Mackay. They planned to become Australia’s Bonnie and Clyde. The gentle giant grabbed her hand to help her out of the car.
The pair started kissing and cuddling on the ground. A gust of wind picked up and unexpectedly blew dirt in her eyes. She barely had time to wipe away the dust, when she was shot in the head.
Robert sat on top of her with wide eyes, the smoking sawn-off shotgun in hand, the Lasserre children staring at what just occurred.
Leonard had ordered his lieutenant to kill her.
He was becoming jealous of their relationship and so convinced Robert she was going to rat them out to the police.
“She was going to the cops,” Robert later said.
“I did have a strong emotional attachment to her, but as far as I’m concerned, I ain’t going to jail for nobody.”
They stashed her body in a trailer and set it alight. The men put the Lasserre children in the back of the dark maroon Holden Monaro and took off.
On Sunday afternoon, a grazier found 13-year-old Lorraine and six-year-old Robert on the side of the Leichhardt Highway, 100km west of Dalby. They were alive. But the other two children, Trevor and Tonia, were not with them.
The three men were now on the run. Police were searching for that dark maroon Holden Monaro, with the two child hostages on board. And they knew it. They needed to find another car.
Miners Anthony Percival, 50, Robert Miller, 38 and Gordon Currell, 50, simply found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Their bodies were found scattered around Bakers Creek falls, 25km east of Armidale, with bullets through each of their heads. Their car had been stolen.
Police were now hot on the gunmen’s tails.
A local service station employee tipped them off when he spotted the three men and two children driving towards Hanging Rock station. Police now had them surrounded.
“Even if you’ve got a legitimate beef with the cops, Leonard, it’s a bit tough to go and kill a 14-year-old girl and three miners,” Mike Willesee asked Leabeater.
“Well, I suppose you got an argument there but at the same time I had to be ensured that the police hated my guts,” Leonard responded.
“That’s the way me and Robbie wanted it. We want to be taken out.”
They had been holed up in the farmhouse for close to 24 hours now. The gunmen had released their two child hostages, claiming Leonard’s religion forbade him from killing children under 12. Bassett had surrendered.
Source : The Courrier Mail
Newspapers nicknamed serial killer Gordon Stewart Northcott the “Ape Man” because, according to his nephew, Sanford Clark, he had thick black hair all over his body.
John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster by Sam L. Amirante : “Sam, could you do me a favor?” Thus begins a story that has now become part of America’s true crime hall of fame. It is a gory, grotesque tale befitting a Stephen King novel. It is also a David and Goliath saga—the story of a young lawyer fresh from the Public Defender’s Office whose first client in private practice turns out to be the worst serial killer in our nation’s history.
Sam Amirante had just opened his first law practice when he got a phone call from his friend John Wayne Gacy, a well-known and well-liked community figure. Gacy was upset about what he called “police harassment” and asked Amirante for help. With the police following his every move in connection with the disappearance of a local teenager, Gacy eventually gives a drunken, dramatic, early morning confession—to his new lawyer. Gacy is eventually charged with murder and Amirante suddenly becomes the defense attorney for one of American’s most disturbing serial killers. It is his first case. This is a gripping narrative that reenacts the gruesome killings and the famous trial that shocked a nation.
American Legal Injustice: Behind the Scenes with an Expert Witness by Emanuel Tanay : Forensic psychiatrist Emanuel Tanay has testified in thousands of court cases as an expert witness, including such notorious cases as those of Jack Ruby, Sam Sheppard, and Theodore ‘Ted’ Bundy. Tanay walks the reader through his experiences in the courtroom, explaining the role of the forensic psychiatrist in the litigation process and providing a ‘behind-the-scenes’ view of our criminal justice system, including individual chapters on some of his most interesting and infamous cases. Tanay also provides clear examples of the rampant injustice that he has witnessed and argues that the potential for injustice is built into our legal system in the form of incompetent lawyers, the imbalance of resources between the pricey defense lawyers hired by large corporations in civil trials and the inexperienced lawyers often hired by plaintiffs, and the political concerns of elected judges and prosecutors. American Legal Injustice: Behind the Scenes with an Expert Witness is a must-read for Law & Order, Court TV, and true crime enthusiasts.
The Last Victim: A True-Life Journey into the Mind of the Serial Killer by Jason Moss : It started with a college course assignment, then escalated into a dangerous obsession. Eighteen-year-old honor student Jason Moss wrote to men whose body counts had made criminal history: men named Dahmer, Manson, Ramirez, and Gacy.
Posing as their ideal victim, Jason seduced them with his words. One by one they wrote him back, showering him with their madness and violent fantasies. Then the game spun out of control. John Wayne Gacy revealed all to Jason — and invited his pen pal to visit him in prison…
It was an offer Jason couldn’t turn down. Even if it made him…
The book that has riveted the attention of the national media, this may be the most revealing look at serial killers ever recorded and the most illuminating study of the dark places of the human mind ever attempted.
The Phantom Killer: Unlocking the Mystery of the Texarkana Serial Murders: The Story of a Town in Terror by James Presley : Set in the rowdy, often lawless town of Texarkana shortly after WWII, The Phantom Killer is the history of the most puzzling unsolved cases in the United States.
The salacious and scandalous murders of a series of couples on Texarkana’s “lovers lanes” in seemingly idyllic post-WWII America created a media maelstrom and cast a pall of fear over an entire region. What is even more surprising is that the case has remained cold for decades. Combining archival research and investigative journalism, Pulitzer Prize nominated historian James Presley reveals evidence that provides crucial keys to unlocking this decades-old puzzle.
Dubbed “the Phantom murders” by the press, these grisly crimes took place in an America before dial telephones, DNA science, and criminal profiling. Even pre-television, print and radio media stirred emotions to a fever pitch. The Phantom Killer, exhaustively researched, is the only definitive nonfiction book on the case, and includes details from an unpublished account by a survivor, and rare, never-before-published photographs.
Although the case lives on today on television, the Internet, a revived fictional movie and even an off-Broadway play, with so much of the investigation shrouded in mystery since 1946, rumors and fractured facts have distorted the reality. Now, for the first time, a careful examination of the archival record, personal interviews, and stubborn fact checking come together to produce new insights and revelations on the old slayings.
The Only Living Witness: The true story of serial sex killer Ted Bundy by Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth : Michaud and Aynesworth are a reporter and an investigator team who interviewed serial killer Ted Bundy while he was on death row in Florida. This volume chronicles his activities throughout several states but is at its best in a long section of transcripts from the interview in which, while he never admits his quilt, Bundy offers vivid details of the crimes and commentary on the mindset of a serial killer. This revised edition includes some additional information.
Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters by Peter Vronsky : In this unique book, Peter Vronsky documents the psychological, investigative, and cultural aspects of serial murder, beginning with its first recorded instance in Ancient Rome through fifteenth-century France on to such notorious contemporary cases as cannibal/necrophile Ed Kemper, the BTK killer, Henry Lee Lucas, Monte Ralph Rissell, Jerry Brudos, Richard Ramirez, “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, Ed Gein, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, and the emergence of what he classifies as the “serial rampage killer” such as Andrew Cunanan, who murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace.
Vronsky not only offers sound theories on what makes a serial killer but also makes concrete suggestions on how to survive an encounter with one—from recognizing verbal warning signs to physical confrontational resistance. Exhaustively researched with transcripts of interviews with killers, and featuring up-to-date information on the apprehension and conviction of the Green River killer and the Beltway Snipers, Vronsky’s one-of-a-kind book covers every conceivable aspect of an endlessly riveting true crime phenomenon.
Escape from Alcatraz: The True Crime Classic by J. Campbell Bruce : In 1963, just weeks before the original publication of this book, the last prisoner was escorted off Devil’s Island and Alcatraz ceased to be a prison. Author J. Campbell Bruce chronicles in spellbinding detail the Rock’s transition from a Spanish fort to the maximum-security penitentiary that housed such infamous inmates as Robert Stroud, aka the Birdman of Alcatraz, and mobster Al “Scarface” Capone. The chapters describing the daring escape attempts by Frank Morris and two accomplices from this “inescapable” prison became the basis for the 1979 Clint Eastwood movie. Discover the intriguing and absorbing saga of Alcatraz, whose name is still synonymous with punitive isolation and deprivation, where America’s most violent and notorious prisoners resided in tortuous proximity to one of the world’s favorite cities.
Sins of the brother: The definitive story of Ivan Milat and the backpacker murders by Mark Whitaker and Les Kennedy : Seven young backpackers brutally murdered. A nationwide police hunt spanning three years and thousands of hours of forensic investigation. And finally, the capture and conviction of one man.Sins of the Brother tells the gripping story of road-worker Ivan Milat and the horrific Belanglo Forest murders that shocked the world and forever etched themselves into Australian criminal folklore. It explores a family culture so twisted and bizarre it would lead inexorably to a serial killing spree, scrutinises the police case – its successes and failures – and reveals the chilling mystery left behind.Told in novelistic style from interviews with the Milat family, key police investigators, Crown lawyers and the lucky souls who escaped with their lives, Sins of the Brother is a classic of crime literature – a psychological thriller come to life and a disturbing portrait of a man whose delusions became reality.’More than just the suspenseful story of some notoriously evil murders, this shocking and strangely seductive book is a painstaking examination of today’s society. This is Australia on the slab.’
Allan Chisholm was the boss of Goulburn Jail when numerous murders happened. When asked if it took a toll on him, he said only one death did and it wasn’t a murder, “Sure it does affect you — watching a man die is not pleasant — but with all of them…well… it was just part of the job. But there was a particular death during my time at Goulburn that stands out. One that really got and one that I am still saddened by now. “
“Hey you, retard,” the inmate yelled, throwing a handful of food slop.
“Yeah, you, dumb shit,” he continued to bully as the leftover meat and veggies slid down the target’s spine. “You giant piece of spastic shit. I’m going to hurt you. Hurt you real bad.“
Backed by a posse of tattooed arms and battle-scarred heads, the big-mouthed man stepped in. His leading left crashed into chin. His right, the enforcer’s trusted knock-out blow, slammed into temple.
The ‘giant piece of spastic shit’ shook his head. “Don’t make me hurt you,” he said. “I don’t want to have to hurt you. No trouble, please.“
The prison heavy went red with rage.
A body shot this time.
The giant wrapped his hands around the attacker’s neck, and with nothing more that a flick of his wrists and should twitch, he lifted the prisoner into the air.
“I told you!” the giant screamed.
The force of the blow that followed knocked the name-calling, food-throwing man out cold.
“He never hurt anyone unless he had to,” recalled Chislom of Robert Mark Steele, a man imprisoned for his role in five murders.
“Only one that I can recall. He was a bit like the guy from the movie The Green Mile — a gentle giant who looked like a killer. He was simple but kind, and could have destroyed anyone in the jail but didn’t. He was that sort of inmate. I really had a soft spot for him, and I don’t think he should have even been in jail.“
The rays of the rising summer sun, hot enough to wring steam from the damp grass, could not drive the evil away.
The light did not deter the devil.
“I ain’t going out without a fight,” said self-described sociopath Leonard Leabeater, surrounded by police in a Hanging Rock Station farmhouse at Cangai, New South Wales. “I’m going to make sure they kill me.“
He hugged the shotgun like a teddy bear as he reflected on the two hostages he had just released : Trevor Lasserre, 11, and his sister, Tonia, 6.
“I don’t kill people under 12,” he boasted. “I’d rather be in South Australia killing cops.“
Leabeater had let the children go shortly after fellow fugitive Raymond Basset surrendered himself to police; the 25-year-old wasn’t ready to die. The third murderer, Robert Steele, 22, stayed with Leabeater even after the children had been released. Like Bassett, he didn’t want to be shot down in a hail of bullets, but he couldn’t leave the man who had taken him in, either. Steele believed Leabeater was the religious prophet of the spirit Astra. He had followed Leabeater, who foretold that his own death would come when he was killed by a warlock, without question. But with the death he predicted drawing near — it would later be revealed he told his sister he would die on an altar on the fourth month of 1993 — Leabeater instructed his loyal follower to leave. He told him to walk towards the light.
At 6am Steele strolled from the farmhouse, calmly smoking a Winfield Red, and handed himself over to police.
But Leabeater remained in the dark. The fresh sun, the threatening guns and the pleas driven through police-issue PAs not stopping him from claiming one last life — his own.
After a 26-hour siege, the nine-day rampage that saw Leabeater, Bassett and Steel kill five people was finally over. Leabeater’s body was found lying on a blood-soaked bed, a half-smoked cigarette still gripped between his fingers.
A shotgun was lying next to the remains of his head.
Bassett and Steele were charged with the murders of a pregnant 14-year old, whose charred remains were found on a Queensland farm; three miners, all shot in the head and two thrown from a cliff; and a helicopter mechanic murdered near Mount Isa.
Bassett was given two life sentences for the shocking crime. Steele received five life sentences plus 12 years without the possibility of parole.
The giant Steele, 130kg of bulk and brawn, was sent to Goulburn Jail. That’s where he pulled out a packet of Winfield Reds and offered it to the boss.
“I smoked Marlboros, and he looked at them and told me they were no good,” recalled Chisholm. “He offered me his whole pack. I remember that because no one in prison had ever offered me anything, and smokes were a very big deal to them. They are like gold in prison. That was the first time I saw his good heart.“
The next time Chisholm saw the giant’s kindness was when he reluctantly flipped the bully.
“A crook was picking on him,” Chisholm said. “He was a heavy and he was giving Steele heaps because he was simple. The guy was in high-security because he was a handful; someone who couldn’t be contained elsewhere. He was a tough bloke, but he picked out Steele. It was a huge mistake. Steele upended him and knocked him out with a single blow. He could have kept on going, but he walked away. He didn’t hurt him more that he had to, and I was there soon after the fight. He was apologizing. ‘It’s not my fault, chief. He was picking on me. I’m sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt him so bad,’ he said.”
Chisholm knew Steele was telling the truth. “He could have killed the bloke if he wanted to — and everyone else in the room — with his bare hands. But he was just protecting himself.“
Chisholm found Steele to be incredibly kind but easily led. “He was involved in that hostage thing,” Chisholm said. “He was involved in the killings and the siege, but it was a cult-type thing and he was very young. I’ll go further than that — to be blunt, he was retarded. He wasn’t all there. He was the youngest, and he was taken advantage of. He was like a big kid who is extremely strong. He believed in what the other two were doing and he did as he was told.“
Chisholm became fascinated with the behemoth man-child.
“I was always in close contact with Steele,” Chisholm said. “And I built a rapport with him, mainly because we initially thought he was going to be such a threat to everyone else in jail and a major problem. But he didn’t hurt officers or anyone else. I would tell him to get back to his cell and he did. I honestly believe he should have not been in jail. He should have been in some psychiatric facility. He was a child trapped in a giant’s body. Yes, he deserved to be punished because of his horrendous crimes, and he couldn’t live in society, but Goulburn wasn’t the place for him, and it would kill him.“
Chisholm got the call on Christmas Eve, 1994.
“He’s dead, boss,” said an officer. “You better come down.”
Steele was on his knees, a twisted blanket the only thing stopping his head from falling onto the cell floor.
“About 12.05 am we got a call to say he had necked himself,” Chisholm said. “He was so big that he had to kneel down and fall forward to get enough tension on the sheet. He had tied it to the cell bars and pulled forward until he was dead. It took us ages to get him out of the cell because he was so big. It was really a horrible thing to see.“
Steele was to spend Christmas in solitary confinement after threatening to go out with a bang.
“I went and saw him on the Christmas Eve because of somme allegations he had made,” Chisholm recalled. “He always said that he was going to go out with something big and that he was going to make headlines. He said he would take officers with him, and that he would do it on Christmas Day. We didn’t think he would harm anyone, but we had to take the threat seriously. He could have cause absolute havoc in the prison. We would not have been able to handle him. It would have taken lots of men to contain him, and there would have been a lot hurt.
So we put him in segregation for the night. We told him no officer was going to go near him because of what he had said. We told him no officer would come, even if he knocked. They would have to call me first, and I would come and see him. He assured me there would be no problem. He seemed absolutely normal.“
The next time Chisholm would see Steele, the prisoner would be dead.
“It was a complete shock. We had no idea he would hurt himself. We were worried about others, not him. It’s the prison death that has affected me the most. It was such a sad tale, and I still think about it now. “
Sources: Australia’s Most Murderous Prison : Behind the Walls of Goulburn Jail and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Part 2 coming soon.