CIA: Date With A Serial Killer: Cameron Rodney

CRIME & INVESTIGATION – Thursday 30 July, 7.30pm

Rodney Francis Cameron was dubbed ‘The Lonely Hearts Killer’ after he used a radio match-making program in 1990 to lure an unsuspecting woman to her death. Incredibly, he had only just been released from prison for two other killings in 1974. Cameron’s psychopathic tendencies appeared early in his life. At the age of ten he tried to strangle a young girl. He then attempted to strangle two other women, and moved into a life of alcohol and drug abuse, including experimenting with hallucinogenic chemicals. He also dabbled in Satanism. At the age of 19, while working at a nursing home in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, he raped and strangled nurse Florence Jackson. The victim was left with a towel stuffed down her throat in what was to become his signature “mark of death”. A week later, heading south to Melbourne, he hitched a lift with a 19-year-old bank clerk, Francesco Ciliberto, whom he strangled with a football sock. A short time later, he was caught in Queensland after abducting a mother and daughter. He told arresting police he “had to kill three.” He was sentenced to prison for life and served 16 years. While incarcerated he married a lifelong friend named Anne. Soon after his release in 1990, he rang a late-night match-maker talkback program on radio 3AW Melbourne. He described himself as a non-smoker and non-drinker, Gemini marine biologist who was searching for a partner “willing to share his happiness”. Forty-four-year-old Maria Goellner was one of six women who responded to his call. A few weeks later Maria was found lying dead on a motel room floor in the Blue Mountains, the same area where Cameron had committed this first murder 16 years earlier. She had a handkerchief stuffed down her throat. The killer was jailed again for life, this time his file was marked “never to be released.” While in jail he allegedly made admissions to an informant indicating he had killed five additional victims, including two other women after his release from prison in 1990. Police believe he was almost certainly responsible for the 1974 murder of elderly Sydney woman Sarah McKenzie, but there was not enough information to take that case to trial or to identify any of the other alleged victims.

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