MAKO - Unsolved crimes - The Claremont Murders
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Serial killer will be caught
It's 8pm on Tuesday and Don Spiers is cleaning up after another 16-hour day of shearing sheep near Arthur River,
about 200km south of Perth.
A former State open shearing champion, the 61-year-old still clips about 900 sheep a week - an impressive tally for
a man of his vintage. Weary from the day's labour, he explains it's something he needs to do.
"That's what gets me through," Mr Spiers said. "People don't understand, they think I'm a workaholic, but that's how
I deal with issues. Sometimes I'm fine and other times when the pressure starts building up, that's how I deal with things."
Sadly, a new generation of revellers have little idea who Mr Spiers is, or why he would work such long shifts to
"deal with issues".
Mr Spiers is the father of Sarah Spiers, the bubbly and affectionate 18-year-old who vanished after a night with
friends on Australia Day, 1996.
She was the first victim of the Claremont serial killer but her body has never been found.
The bodies of the killer's other two victims, Jane Rimmer (disappeared June 9, 1996) and Ciara Glennon
(disappeared March 14, 1997), have.
Recently, little has been revealed about Operation Macro - one of the most costly, complex and controversial
inquiries in WA's history - but acting Det-Supt Casey Prins said the crimes were solvable.
"We have a firm commitment to solve these crimes," he said, adding the passage of time may produce fresh leads.
He said there could be many reasons why the killings stopped, such as changes in lifestyle, location or police
tactics: "We would be naive to think he may just be deceased."
The Spiers, Rimmers and Glennons are confident of a result.
"They are working hard and there are some good guys working in the task force and some of the guys in the past
have also put in huge efforts," Mr Spiers said.
"I'm quite confident they are giving themselves a good chance of getting a resolution."
Jenny Rimmer said her daughter's murder haunted her. Since June 1996, the Rimmers have celebrated the birth of
grandchildren and mourned the loss of loved ones, including Jane's father Trevor.
Mrs Rimmer believes police will solve the killings. "It won't ever put it to rest," she said.
A staunch supporter of the inquiry, Ciara's father Denis Glennon said the impact of the crime was huge.
"It is not a sob story, it is not a sad story, we have come out of it in many respects as much stronger
people," Mr Glennon said.
Anniversaries only serve as a painful reminder for Mr Spiers.
His team of shearers are acutely aware of the date and, like many others, stand with him to provide
"I'll be sailing along great, just getting on with life then all of a sudden I'll feel all four walls coming
in on me, there's nothing I can do about it," he said.
"Someone might upset me, they might ask questions maybe they shouldn't, and it just happens. I get through
it . . . but those moments always come back."
Debate over the inquiry is background noise and Mr Spiers said some people treated his daughter's
disappearance as part of a soap opera, forgetting it was real, involved real people and a real family.
They want answers and, more than anything, they want Sarah back.
"I've got one daughter and two granddaughters, and there's still that hole there," he said. "What would
my grandchildren to Sarah be like? What activities would we be involved in, that's something that has been
denied to our family.
"You think about those situations when the family is together, my daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren
are so close to us, yet I know something is still missing."
He said his granddaughters were the "greatest blessing" and would have had a fantastic aunt in Sarah. "She
was so affectionate to her sister, and to Carol and I," he said.
"She was 18 and she was still doing it. She'd walk past and give me a pat on the shoulder or a peck on the
cheek, just walking past, that was Sarah. The kids have been denied that.
"You can't dwell on it, it's been denied and you've got to get on with the other joys in life. Whoever the
perpetrator is who took Sarah away from us, they have no idea of the torment and pain he has caused not just
us but other families as well, he has even denied us the whereabouts of Sarah - that haunts me."
(The serial killer) has even denied us the whereabouts of Sarah - that haunts me " *Father Don Spiers *
The West Australian (22-1-2011)
Crime Investigation Australia -
Hunt for a Killer - The Claremont Murders
Listing Australian Convicted Paedophiles/ Sex Offenders/ Child Killers..
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Prime Suspect Eliminated From Claremont Killings Probe
The Cottesloe public servant who was "the prime suspect" for the unsolved Claremont
serial killings has reportedly been eliminated from the marathon probe.
The quietly spoken middle-aged man who for 20 months was subject to overt
surveillance by detectives is no longer a person of interest in the case, Channel Nine News said tonight.
The Claremont killings probe is the longest-running active investigation in Australian policing history.
Nine claimed the man's family had been informed by detectives that he had been eliminated from
their inquiries into the murders of Sarah Spiers, Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon in 1996 and 1997.
The Cottesloe man, who was living with his parents at the time, always pleaded his innocence.
The loner, who suffered from depression, came to police attention after he was caught driving around Claremont at night.
He maintained that he was concerned for the welfare of women there and was trying to protect them.
A major covert surveillance operation at his workplace became less than top secret when some
of the monitoring equipment literally fell out of its hiding place in the ceiling and slammed
onto his desk, missing his head by centimetres.
If that wasn't embarrassing enough, the stakeout at his home was blown when an unsuspecting
ratepayer complained at a local council meeting that police were refusing to pay the water
bill at a nearby scout hall.
A reporter from a community newspaper attending the meeting was treated to a description of
how the surveillance squad was using the hall's toilet facilities while keeping an around-the-clock eye on the suspect.
Publicly outed, the police then turned overt and the media watched with amusement as unmarked
cars carrying obvious police types shadowed their man's every move.
A tracking device was placed in his car and listening device was hidden in his home.
Police even pulled up brick paving at his elderly parents' house.
Sarah Spiers, 18, is believed to have been the Claremont serial killer's first
victim after she went missing on January 27, 1996. Her body has never been found.
Jane Rimmer, 23, was killed in early June of the same year, her body was discovered
in bushland at Wellard, south of Perth, in August 1996.
Ciara Glennon, 27, was the last known victim and disappeared in March 1997.
Her body was found north of Perth in bush off Pipidinny Road, Eglinton.
In August this year, police released publicly for the first time surveillance
footage of an unknown ``person of interest'' that had been kept under wraps for 12 years.
The CCTV footage showed a man talking to Jane Rimmer outside the
Continental Hotel in Claremont just before she vanished about midnight on June 9, 1996.
Crime Stoppers-1800 333 000.
Jane Rimmer Murder: Police Get 150 Calls
More than 150 people have called Crime Stoppers after yesterday's release of surveillance
vision of Claremont murder victim Jane Rimmer.
Police appealed for help in finding the man who had a brief conversation with Ms Rimmer
outside the Continental Hotel on the night she disappeared.
All the information has been passed to detectives from the Special Crime Squad who are
reviewing the serial killings of Ms Rimmer, Sarah Spiers and Ciara Glennon.
They have renewed their appeal and would like to hear from anyone who has information,
no matter how insignificant they may consider it.
The enhanced footage shows Ms Rimmer outside the hotel in Bay View Terrace just after
midnight on Sunday June 9, 1996.
She has a brief conversation with a man, who is only seen from behind, and who then
disappears from view.
Det Supt Jeff Byleveld described the conversation as a brief and minor interaction,
when the vision was released.
He said the camera was rotating and 28 seconds elapsed between shots when she was seen
talking to the man and him disappearing.
He said police did not know whether they were acquainted.
"There is just a glimpse from Ms Rimmer to him and then he moves on," Mr Byleveld said.
"It can be anything from a passing comment. It may not be that she knows this man.
It may be that she does."
He said investigators were not sure why Ms Rimmer was standing on the pavement outside
the hotel and there could be several reasons why the man is the only one in the vision
who had not come forward or been identified.
Police were attacked for sitting on the vision for 12 years, despite showing it to 700
people, but Mr Byleveld said the Macro Task Force had experienced investigators, who
had `obviously considered all the options and made a decision determined on the environment at the time'.
"There's always an opportunity that by releasing certain parts of information that you
might damage the investigation or derail it in a certain way," he said.
"They had concerns about the footage. They had concerns about public perception of this
person if it was released.
"The decisions they undertook at the time with the knowledge they had were valid."
He said Perth was a relatively small city 12 years ago, there were too many stories
floating around at the time and people used to get the wrong idea through mis-information.
"Security (surrounding the investigation) had to be tight. It only took a whisper in
the wrong ear and all of a sudden media reports about the wrong person, the wrong
place the wrong situation arose," Mr Byleveld said.
The footage was initially released to Crime Investigation Australia for an episode
on the Claremont killings that aired on Foxtel last night.
"It's never too later to release this sort of information...never to late to put this
"We still have a very live investigation. We have three victims, we have three victim's
families who are very traumatised and our purpose is to resolve this crime."
The public servant who has been under suspicion for many years had not been ruled out of
the investigation, he said.
Other people were also a focus of the inquiry and there may be further releases of vision
as a review of the investigation continues.
"It's never been a narrow investigation, its been a very broad one," Mr Byleveld said.
He also said there were sightings of Ciara Glennon just after midnight Saturday March 15, 1997,
talking to someone in a light coloured vehicle.
Sarah Spiers was waiting for a taxi at 2am on January 27, 1996, the headlights of another car
were seen approaching her in Stirling Road.
That vehicle has never been identified.
"It's very frustrating. If you talk to any of the 80 or 90 people who have worked on Macro they
are all still deeply passionate about resolving this crime.
"Every investigator would love to be the one that makes the phone calls to the victims families
and says we've just charged the person responsible for your daughters crime.
"That's what we hold in our heart that we can do that."
Sarah Spiers, 18, is believed to have been the Claremont serial killer's first victim after she
went missing on January 27, 1996. Her body has never been found.
Jane Rimmer, 23, was killed in early June of the same year, her body was discovered in bushland
at Wellard, south of Perth, in August 1996.
Ciara Glennon, 27, was the last known victim and disappeared in March 1997. Her body was found
north of Perth in bush off Pipidinny Road, Eglinton.
Video Released in Serial Killer Probe
West Australian police are asking the public to help identify the mystery man seen talking to Claremont
serial killer victim Jane Rimmer outside the hotel where she disappeared.
PerthNow reports police investigating the Claremont killings today released the controversial security footage that
they have sat on for 12 years. In the security footage, the man is seen briefly, but only from behind.
Police are now asking the public to help identify a man who approached Ms Rimmer, 23, outside the Continental Hotel, in Claremont, on June 6, 1996,
the night she disappeared. Her body was discovered in bushland at Wellard, south of Perth, in August 1996.
Detective Superintendent Jeff Byleveld said the footage had been retained by police until now for "investigative reasons" and also because of its
poor quality, the fact it only shows the man from behind and because the tonal quality of the black and white footage.
"The existence of the footage has never been a secret, with it shown to 700 people during the exhaustive investigations to identify people inside
and outside the hotel that evening," Supt Byleveld said.
"Police have been able to identify every one of the people in this vision, except for this man.
"He is seen approaching Jane at one minute after midnight on the morning of Sunday June 9, 1996, there appears to be some interaction between Jane and this man,
in the next vision 28 seconds later Jane is still there, but the man cannot be seen.
"We would like this man, or any person, who recognises this man to come forward and contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, so that the Special Crime Squad
can complete this line of investigation."
The security footage also includes details of two vehicles that interested police. One was seen near Sarah Spiers, 18, shortly before she went missing and
the other near Ciara Glennon as she waited for a taxi. Ms Spiers is believed to have been the Claremond killer's first victim after she went missing on January 27, 1996.
Her body has never been found.
Ms Glennon, 27, was the last known victim and disappeared in March 1997. Her body was found north of Perth in bush off Pipidinny Road, Eglinton.
The decision to withhold the vision was slammed by civilian forensic expert Robin Napper and politicians.
The Sunday Times (28-8-2008)
New Bid To Nail Claremont Killer
The Claremont serial killer task force is to be trebled
as it sets about investigating what senior police describe
as "unresolved matters" in the nine-year-old mystery.
The Macro task force, regarded as the biggest serial killer
investigation in Australia, has dwindled from a peak of about
120 officers to a handful of detectives in recent times. But
its strength is to be boosted as it pursues recommendations from
a review of the case late last year.
An international panel of experts headed by South Australian
Det-Supt Paul Schramm, who has worked on more than 100 murder
inquiries, flagged the possibility that the case of the abduction-murders
of Sarah Spiers, Ciara Glennon and Jane Rimmer was capable of being solved.
Supt Schramm said: "What the future holds none of us can see, but
certainly we do believe that by careful, incremental gathering of
further information there are still opportunities for this to be
Several months before the panel began work, then police commissioner
Barry Matthews indicated that the task force would have to be disbanded.
But yesterday, Deputy Commissioner Chris Dawson said that while the
case was unresolved and had avenues of inquiry the task force
had a "job to do".
"This has got permanency in terms of the structure we are putting
in place," he said. "Quite frankly we have set our jaw and our
resolve and we are going to keep going. I'm not prepared to make
a decision to park the thing while we've got unresolved matters
Mr Dawson would not say what those matters were.
"I've got absolutely no intention of giving the direction we
will target," he said. "I'm not going into details about the
unresolved matters of the inquiry but there is sufficient to
say, 'Look, we need to follow these things through'."
The Schramm review was the eleventh time the investigation had
been under independent scrutiny.
In 1998, The West Australian revealed that a Cottesloe public
servant was the prime suspect in the case. In April last year,
Macro task force detectives raided two Cottesloe properties linked
to the man. Then in August and September they raided properties
owned by former Claremont mayor Peter Weygers, including one
linked to his friend, taxi-driver Stephen Ross.
The West Australian (2-9-2005)
New Squad Takes Over Macro Case
The Claremont serial killer task force will be disbanded
and replaced with a new squad with a permanent brief to
investigate the abduction-murders and other long-term
In a major boost to the almost decade-long inquiry, more
than a dozen detectives backed by other specialist officers
will work in a city high-rise building, away from the Curtin
House base of other crime investigation units.
Deputy Commissioner Chris Dawson said yesterday that work
done by the Macro task force, which was formed after the
killer's second attack, would be taken on by the new Special
"It is not now a task force. Task forces have an air of
temporary work until a specific job is done," he said.
"The Macro task force and the work they have done has been
exhaustive and of an extremely high level. We are consolidating
it into a permanent squad which will have ongoing responsibility
for both Macro and other matters."
Mr Dawson said the new squad would continue to carry out
recommendations made by an international panel of experts
that reviewed the case last year.
It was led by South Australian Det-Supt Paul Schramm, who
flagged the possibility that the abduction-murders of Sarah
Spiers, Ciara Glennon and Jane Rimmer in 1996 could still be
Supt Schramm said after the panel's detailed examination of
the case he was confident the murders had been thoroughly
and comprehensively investigated.
But the panel was still able to make recommendations about
additional avenues of inquiry in a secret report to WA police.
In the months leading up to the Schramm review, detectives
raided two Cottesloe properties linked to a Cottesloe man
identified as a prime suspect in the case. Four months later
they raided properties owned by former Claremont mayor Peter
Weygers, including one linked to his friend, taxi-driver
Mr Dawson said that no new leads, breakthroughs or people
of interest had been uncovered by detectives working on the
review panel's recommendations.
"There's (still) avenues of inquiry and while those avenues
of inquiry are open we will continue to pursue them like we
do, quite frankly, with every unsolved homicide," he said.
"It's a perception that we need to correct that unsolved
serious crimes are closed. They're not. They remain under
the spotlight and under our notice and if anything additional
causes us to take further action then of course we'll do that."
Top SA Detective To Hunt Serial Killer
A HIGH-profile South
Australian police officer
will head a review of
Perth's Claremont serial
West Australian Police
Commissioner Barry Matthews announced the
review on his second- last day
in the job yesterday.
He said leading overseas
and interstate experts
would be brought to Perth
in November for an independent external review of
the unsolved case.
The review panel will be
headed by Superintendent
Paul Schramm, who led the
investigation into the
"Supt Schramm is one of
the most experienced homicide investigators in
Australia," Mr Matthews said.
"He has been a detective
for 30 years and focused
upon homicide investigation for 10 years," Other
members of the panel include a serving member of
the New South Wales police
service and two UK- based
All four will spend several
weeks in Perth and be
Joined by other independent experts during the
review. The Claremont investigation involves the death
of two young women and
the disappearance of a
third, all from the same suburb, in the 1990s. Sarah
Spiers, 18, is believed to
have been the first victim of
the serial killer She disappeared after leaving a
Claremont nightclub in 3998
and has not been seen since.
The body of Jane Rimmer,
23, was found in bush south
of Perth in August, 1996
after she disappeared from
Claremont in June that
The third victim, Ciara
Glennon, 27, was found
murdered on April 3, 1997,
- 19 days after she was last
seen in Claremont.
A 46- year- old Cottesloe
public servant is the prime
suspect in the case.
The investigation into the
murders - a taskforce
named Macro - has been
WA's longest running and
Other members of the
panel named yesterday are:
Russell Oxford, of NSW
police, an experienced
homicide investigator who
in 1997 was awarded the
Michael O'Brien Memorial
Scholarship and travelled to
the US to work with the FBI
and police departments.
DAVID Barclay, head of
physical evidence section of
the National Crime and Operations Faculty in the UK.
MALCOLM Boots, also a
forensic expert from the
National Crime and Operations Faculty with
experience in homicide reviews.
Adelaide Advertiser (18-6-2004)
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Claremont serial murders (Wikipedia)
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