Crime Investigation Australia

CRIME & INVESTIGATION – Thursday 26 November, 7.30pm

The quick mind of a country telephone exchange supervisor led to a horrific discovery at a NSW country homestead in 1978. The supervisor had been checking complaints that the phone line to “Summerfield” station, near the southern town of Jerilderie, was out of order. Living at the old homestead was a celebrated “gun” shearer Mick Lewis, his wife Sue and their two small children.

After trying the line off and on for several hours it was finally answered by a tiny girl who said her mother and father were sleeping. When asked to wake her mother the child replied in a faltering voice: “I don’t like Mummy anymore ’cause Mummy’s turning black”.

CRIME & INVESTIGATION – Thursday 29 October, 7.30pm

On the night of May 4, 1982, 13-year-old Terry Ryan rushed into his family home in Marsden, a suburb of Brisbane, and told his mother an astonishing story. Terry said that he had been forced by two men to participate in the sexual assault and prolonged torture and murder of his best friend, 13 year old Peter Aston. He said he had buried Aston in a shallow grave in scrubland about 60 kilometres south, over the New South Wales border, near the seaside hamlet of Kingscliff. Belita Ryan immediately rang the police. Terry retold his story to Detectives of the Queensland Criminal Investigation Branch. At approximately 4:45 on the morning of May 5th, the detectives drove Terry and his mother over the border into New South Wales. Terry led his mother and the detectives along the sandy track into the scrub. After about 200 meters, the track opened onto a roughly cleared area and the tire tracks disappeared into bush land on the other side of it. “There … in there,” Terry Ryan said as he pointed into the foliage. “It’s in there.” The detectives led the way, and as they entered the track, they came across a grave-sized mound of earth off to the north-east. It was covered with small tree branches and twigs obviously broken from the nearby trees. Terry stepped back into his mother’s arms and began to cry as the police officers approached the ominous mound and examined the freshly turned earth. In the dawn light, they saw spots of blood in the sand and a large, wet, blood-soaked section in the centre of the raised soil. Lying in the sand at the head of the bush grave was a dark sock and a knife in a sheaf. What the police officers found beneath the mound almost defied their comprehension.

CRIME & INVESTIGATION – Thursday 24 September, 7.30pm

The highest ranking police officer in Australia to be murdered, Assistant Federal Police Commissioner Colin Winchester was shot twice in the head at point blank range as he was getting out of his car outside his Deakin home on January 10, 1989. At the time of his death Winchester was the Chief of Police in ACT region. He had served in the law enforcement of 27 years, firstly with the Australian Capital Territory Police Force and then in the Australian Federal Police after its formation in 1979. The shock of his death and the long investigation which followed left a lasting imprint on his fellow officers as they struggled to bring the killer to justice.

CRIME & INVESTIGATION – Thursday 27 August, 7.30pm

Michael Kanaan was an angry young man in a hurry to make a name for himself in Sydney’s underworld. But his volatile temper and penchant for violence soon led him to kill three men before he was finally captured in a wild shootout with Sydney police.

Born in Australia in 1975 to Lebanese parents he grew up following American crime gang culture in films and music. As a teenager he moved into petty theft and assault before his first arrest, for drug possession, in his early twenties. Despite being given a suspended sentence and a two-year good behaviour bond, he was soon in trouble again, this time for common assault, for which he escaped with a fine. He quickly returned to drug dealing and his gang – known as ‘DK’s boys’ – made huge profits distributing cocaine in Sydney’s Kings Cross. His reputation grew and by 1998, at age 23, he had become a lieutenant to organised crime figure Danny Karam. Although outwardly courteous and well spoken, Michael Kanaan had an uncontrollable temper and did not hesitate to use violence to settle disputes. In July 1998, he made a passing comment to some people involved in a fight outside the Five Dock Hotel in Sydney’s inner west. When one of them approached him, Kanaan suddenly drew a pistol and shot two men dead. His attempt to shoot a third failed as he had run out of bullets. A few months later, Kanaan led his gang in a drive-by shooting attack on the police station at Lakemba in Sydney in which the building was sprayed with bullets. Soon afterwards he organised the brutal execution of his underworld boss, Danny Karam in December 1998. He was finally cornered by police and arrested after a shoot-out in inner city Rushcutters Bay in which Constable Chris Patrech was wounded. Michael Kanaan was sentenced to three life sentences in the Supermax high security facility at Goulburn jail. But even the toughest incarceration did not deter his hoodlum instincts. Within a few years he had organised his own gang in prison, hiring several notorious killers to be his enforcers; paying them by having outside accomplices deposit cash into their prison bank accounts.

CRIME & INVESTIGATION – Thursday 27 August, 7.30pm

Michael Kanaan was an angry young man in a hurry to make a name for himself in Sydney’s underworld. But his volatile temper and penchant for violence soon led him to kill three men before he was finally captured in a wild shootout with Sydney police. Born in Australia in 1975 to Lebanese parents he grew up following American crime gang culture in films and music. As a teenager he moved into petty theft and assault before his first arrest, for drug possession, in his early twenties. Despite being given a suspended sentence and a two-year good behaviour bond, he was soon in trouble again, this time for common assault, for which he escaped with a fine. He quickly returned to drug dealing and his gang – known as ‘DK’s boys’ – made huge profits distributing cocaine in Sydney’s Kings Cross. His reputation grew and by 1998, at age 23, he had become a lieutenant to organised crime figure Danny Karam. Although outwardly courteous and well spoken, Michael Kanaan had an uncontrollable temper and did not hesitate to use violence to settle disputes. In July 1998, he made a passing comment to some people involved in a fight outside the Five Dock Hotel in Sydney’s inner west. When one of them approached him, Kanaan suddenly drew a pistol and shot two men dead. His attempt to shoot a third failed as he had run out of bullets. A few months later, Kanaan led his gang in a drive-by shooting attack on the police station at Lakemba in Sydney in which the building was sprayed with bullets. Soon afterwards he organised the brutal execution of his underworld boss, Danny Karam in December 1998. He was finally cornered by police and arrested after a shoot-out in inner city Rushcutters Bay in which Constable Chris Patrech was wounded. Michael Kanaan was sentenced to three life sentences in the Supermax high security facility at Goulburn jail. But even the toughest incarceration did not deter his hoodlum instincts. Within a few years he had organised his own gang in prison, hiring several notorious killers to be his enforcers; paying them by having outside accomplices deposit cash into their prison bank accounts.

CRIME & INVESTIGATION – Thursday 28 May, 7.30pm

On the 6th October 1997, 14-year old Lauren Barry and 16-year-old Nicole Collins disappeared while walking along a road near their home town of Bega, on the New South Wales south coast. A huge manhunt by police and the girls’ families and friends failed to find any trace of them. Three weeks later police in Canberra found a stolen car containing maps of Bega and other evidence that led them to uncover the whole horrifying story of what had happened to Lauren and Nicole. The terrified girls had been abducted about 10pm by Leslie Camilleri and Lindsay Beckett, a pair of drug-crazed career criminals with a combined record of more than 200 convictions. Over a period 12 hours, the girls were driven on a hellish ride of several hundred kilometres across the border into Victoria during which they were repeatedly assaulted and raped.

Thursday, April 30, at 7.30pm

CI Network’s popular true crime series, Crime Investigation Australia, explores the mysterious death of Norfolk Island resident, Janelle Patton, in the world premiere of A Killer Amongst Us – The Norfolk Island Murder.

Premiering exclusively on the CI Network on Thursday, April 30 at 7:30pm, the special re-visits the events that left one woman dead, a killer on the loose and a tight-knit community torn apart.

Hosted by Steve Liebmann, this episode of CIA features detailed re-enactments and interviews with key figures, including the head of the police investigation, local Norfolk Island residents as well as intimate interviews with Janelle Patton’s mother and father.

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 bravely fought back against a sustained attack.

The first death on the island in over one hundred years, the brutal killing made news around the world.  With just 2,771 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. By the time the coroner’s inquiry opened two years later no less than 16 persons of interest had been investigated by the man in charge of the case, Detective Sergeant Bob Peters. The naming of the 16 caused a furore of resentment and distress among the islanders.

The inquest closed naming the killer as “person or persons unknown”. Soon afterwards police conducted a review of all the evidence and, in a separate file unrelated to the murder, they came up with a match for the fingerprints found on the plastic that had covered Janelle’s body.

The prints belonged to a 28-year-old chef named Glenn McNeill who had left the island a few months after the murder to return to his native New Zealand.

Detectives located McNeill’s car and collected further evidence including glass fragments and a match to Janelle’s DNA.

Soon after his arrest, McNeill told police that while under the influence of drugs he had accidentally run over Janelle and then, in a panic, had stabbed her to make sure she was dead. Mysteriously, forensic investigators said Janelle’s injuries did not match McNeill’s story.

The truth of what actually happened may never be known. At his trial, McNeill withdrew his confession. He pleaded not guilty and refused to be cross-examined, declaring only that he had no involvement in the murder.

He was convicted and sentenced to 24 years in prison.

World Premiere of CIA: A KILLER AMONGST US – THE NORFOLK ISLAND MURDER
Crime & Investigation Network, Thursday, April 30, at 7.30pm.

CRIME & INVESTIGATION – Thursday 25 September, 7.30pm

The Crime & Investigation Network’s smash-hit local production, Crime Investigation Australia, investigates landmark Australian crimes that shocked the nation and remain forever embedded in its history. Hosted by respected journalist Steve Liebmann, CIA uncovers the true stories behind these cases through chilling re-enactments and access to the key detectives, family members and witnesses involved.

CRIME & INVESTIGATION – Thursday 28 August, 7.30pm

The Crime & Investigation Network’s smash-hit local production, Crime Investigation Australia, investigates landmark Australian crimes that shocked the nation and remain forever embedded in its history. Hosted by respected journalist Steve Liebmann, CIA uncovers the true stories behind these cases through chilling re-enactments and access to the key detectives, family members and witnesses involved.