A Killer Amongst Us – The Norfolk Island Murder

CRIME & INVESTIGATION – Thursday 30 April, 7.30pm

On Easter Sunday, 2002, on sleepy Norfolk Island in the south west Pacific, the body of 29-year-old Janelle Patton was found lying in an open field. She had been stabbed to death in a frenzied attack that had left more than 60 wounds from her head to her feet. She had multiple bruises and broken bones and it was clear she had fought back against a sustained attack. Glass fragments in her hair indicated she had been bashed around the head with a wine bottle.   Although her clothes had been neatly cut away from her body there was no evidence that she had been raped. The killing made news around the world. It was the first murder in more than a hundred years on an island famous for its history as a brutal penal colony and the home to the descendents of the notorious Bounty mutineers. With just 2771 residents and visitors on the island at the time it was widely expected that the killer would be quickly identified and brought to justice. Instead, what followed were years of difficult investigations plagued by numerous false leads based mainly on gossip and innuendo. Police obtained great co-operation from the locals but, like all small communities, Norfolk had its ancient feuds and petty jealousies and these were quickly exposed as islanders began whispering and pointing fingers.

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