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.

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.

Crime & Investigation Network – Thursday 26 June, 7.30pm

On July 10 2001 Sef Gonzales murdered his sister Clodine 18; mother Mary Loiva Josephine 43, and his father Teddy 46, in their North Ryde home. He claimed that he had discovered the bodies when he arrived home, and that racist graffiti was sprayed on the wall. However as more evidence was unearthed, police started to see Sef as a very likely suspect. It was revealed that Sef attempted to cover up his academic failure by falsifying results, and when his parents found out they threatened to withdraw certain privileges such as the use of his car. At the same time, he had argued with his mother over a girlfriend she had disapproved of. These along with the desire to inherit the family’s fortune were established as strong motives for Gonzales killing his parents and sister.

World Premiere: CIA: Assassination of John Newman

Crime & Investigation Network – Thursday 27 September, 7.30pm

John Paul Newman was a member of the New South Wales state parliament and Member of the seat of Cabramatta. He was the first politician to be assassinated in Australia. For many years Newman had been waging a campaign to break up the Asian crime gangs and corruption that had plagued the area. He had been the target of numerous death threats from such gangs but did not seek police protection. On the night of September 5, 1994 while outside his Woods Avenue home, he was shot and killed. His fiancée, Lucy Wang, was with him at the time but saw little of what happened because of the swiftness of the murder. A local nightclub owner, Phuong Ngo, who had previously attempted to secure Labor Party pre-selection for the seat, was convicted of the killing in 2001. Two of Ngo’s associates escaped convictions. In 2003, an appeal by Ngo against the conviction failed.

Crime & Investigation Launch: CIA: Ivan Milat – The Backpacker Murders

Crime & Investigation Network – Sunday 2 September, 7.30pm

CIA is a bold, prime time investigative series, which examines shocking crimes which remain forever embedded in our history. Hosted by respected journalist and broadcaster Steve Liebmann, each episode of CIA includes interviews with those affected by the crimes featured, from the detectives and news reporters to the families of the murdered. Some of these people speak publicly for the very first time, highlighting the real human drama of these terrible acts. The series also enters the world of forensics and examines the investigative methods available. It provides factual accounts of the ground-breaking detective work and cutting-edge technology that is being used to help solve crime.

Ivan Milat – The Backpacker Murders:
The backpacker murder case in the Belanglo State Forest, south west of Sydney, has entered Australian, and indeed international, criminal folklore. The brutal murders of seven young people, most of them overseas tourists hitchhiking around Australia, attracted world-wide media attention. The remains of their bodies were uncovered in 1992. The arrest and conviction of Ivan Milat would catapult him to become Australia’s worst individual serial killer. It is believed that Milat was involved in several other killings and there is strong evidence that he didn’t act alone. (M)