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Macksville man Tony Vidler to face court on bestiality charges

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macksville man tony vidler to face court on bestiality charges

A man has been charged over video of an Instagram influencer performing a sex act with a dog, which later went viral on Tik Tok.

Tony Vidler, 41, was arrested at his home in Argents Hill, on the NSW mid north coast, last month and charged with bestiality and distributing an intimate image without consent.

Vidler told Daily Mail Australia he denied the allegations levelled at him and would be defending himself in court. 

It is understood the fishing charter operator met the teen on a Sugar Daddy website and police will allege during conversations he gained access to an intimate video of her.

The teen – who has 23,000 Instagram fans – claimed he threatened to send the video to her boyfriend and family, unless she sent him another one, this time with the animal. 

After doing so the teen soon found the video circulating on social media, leading her to defend herself and plead her innocence on her Tik Tok and Facebook pages.

Tony Vidler (pictured), 41, was arrested at his home in Argents Hill on the NSW mid north coast, on June 24 and charged with offences including bestiality and distributing an intimate image without consent

Tony Vidler (pictured), 41, was arrested at his home in Argents Hill on the NSW mid north coast, on June 24 and charged with offences including bestiality and distributing an intimate image without consent

Tony Vidler (pictured), 41, was arrested at his home in Argents Hill on the NSW mid north coast, on June 24 and charged with offences including bestiality and distributing an intimate image without consent

It came after he allegedly coerced an 18-year-old Instagram influencer to video herself as she performed a sex act with her dog

It came after he allegedly coerced an 18-year-old Instagram influencer to video herself as she performed a sex act with her dog

After doing so the teen soon found the video circulating on social media, leading her to defend herself and plead her innocence on her Tik Tok and Facebook pages

After doing so the teen soon found the video circulating on social media, leading her to defend herself and plead her innocence on her Tik Tok and Facebook pages

It came after he allegedly coerced an 18-year-old Instagram influencer to video herself as she performed a sex act with her dog. After doing so the teen soon found the video circulating on Tik Tok, leading her to defend herself and plead her innocence on her personal social media

‘First of all I am sorry to anyone who has seen the video and I’m sorry to anyone who knows me. Second of all I never did that for pleasure and I didn’t do it for money,’ the teen said.

‘There is actually a bigger story behind it but I’m not going to sit on Tik Tok and share my story.

‘It’s an investigation with the police (and) although what I did was disgusting and wrong, I’m not getting in trouble for it and my dog won’t be getting taken off me.

‘I am trying to move on with my life and I hope that made sense.’

In the days after the apology the teen posted another video in which she referred to a ‘bigger story’ at play, she posted another video in which she claimed she had been blackmailed by someone.

She told those watching her Tik Tok live video that the man had access to another video of her which he had threatened to share with her relatives.

‘He was saying that if I don’t make the video he would send the other video to my boyfriend and to my Nan, and put it on a DVD in my Nan’s letterbox,’ she claimed.

The teen claimed she had been ‘sent money’ by the money for the initial video and ‘did not think to go to the police’ because of fears she may be complicit in fraud. 

‘I just thought that I would do it and that no one else would find out about it… and if I just made the video that it would just go away,’ she said.  

‘If people are going to continue messaging on my stuff feel free to message me and I will call and talk about the full story.’

NSW Police raided Vilder's home on June 24 and inside allegedly found cannabis, a mobile phone, a laptop, an SD card and a USB stick. Vidler (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia he denied the allegations levelled at him and would be defending himself in court

NSW Police raided Vilder's home on June 24 and inside allegedly found cannabis, a mobile phone, a laptop, an SD card and a USB stick. Vidler (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia he denied the allegations levelled at him and would be defending himself in court

NSW Police raided Vilder’s home on June 24 and inside allegedly found cannabis, a mobile phone, a laptop, an SD card and a USB stick. Vidler (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia he denied the allegations levelled at him and would be defending himself in court

In the days after the apology the teen posted another video in which she referred to a 'bigger story' at play, she posted another video in which she claimed she had been blackmailed by someone

In the days after the apology the teen posted another video in which she referred to a 'bigger story' at play, she posted another video in which she claimed she had been blackmailed by someone

In the days after the apology the teen posted another video in which she referred to a ‘bigger story’ at play, she posted another video in which she claimed she had been blackmailed by someone

NSW Police raided Vilder’s home in the early hours of Wednesday, June 24 and inside allegedly found cannabis, a mobile phone, a laptop, an SD card and a USB stick.

That afternoon they returned to the home and arrested him. 

‘A man has been charged after a video containing bestiality was shared on numerous social media platforms earlier this month,’ NSW Police said in a statement. 

‘About 12.30pm on Thursday 4 June 2020, officers attached to Tuggerah Lakes Police District, with the assistance of Mid North Coast Police District, commenced an investigation after they were alerted to a video that depicted sexual acts between a woman and a dog.

‘At 3.30pm the same day, a 41-year-old man was arrested at the Argents Road address and taken to Macksville Police Station where he was charged with possess prohibited drug, bestiality and intentionally distribute intimate image without consent.’

In a statement, the NSW RSPCA said they could not comment as the matter remains before the courts.

Vidler was granted conditional bail to appear in Macksville Local Court on Thursday 6 August 2020.

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Sacked Victorian minister Adem Somyurek speaks out on Daniel Andrews’ 8pm to 5am curfew for COVID-19

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sacked victorian minister adem somyurek speaks out on daniel andrews 8pm to 5am curfew for covid 19

A former Victorian minister in Daniel Andrews’ government has claimed his former boss imposed a curfew because he didn’t understand working class voters.

Adem Somyurek has spoken out for the first time since he was sacked in June as the minister for local government and small business, following a 60 Minutes expose on his alleged Labor branch stacking.

The Turkish-born former Right faction party powerbroker said Mr Andrews didn’t understand how working class people often went outside after dark – despite being the leader of the Labor Party.

‘To Andrews the curfew was a trifling thing: “Why would anyone want to go out after 8pm – you can’t go to Coles or a jog so what is the problem?” He could not understand the fuss,’ Mr Somyurek said in an opinion piece for The Australian.

A former Victorian minister in Daniel Andrews' government has claimed his former boss imposed a curfew because he doesn't understand working class voters. Pictured is South Yarra during the curfew

A former Victorian minister in Daniel Andrews' government has claimed his former boss imposed a curfew because he doesn't understand working class voters. Pictured is South Yarra during the curfew

 A former Victorian minister in Daniel Andrews’ government has claimed his former boss imposed a curfew because he doesn’t understand working class voters. Pictured is South Yarra during the curfew

Adem Somyurek has spoken out for the first time since he was sacked in June as the minister for local government and small business, following a 60 Minutes expose on alleged Labor branch stacking. He is pictured outside his Melbourne house in June

Adem Somyurek has spoken out for the first time since he was sacked in June as the minister for local government and small business, following a 60 Minutes expose on alleged Labor branch stacking. He is pictured outside his Melbourne house in June

Adem Somyurek has spoken out for the first time since he was sacked in June as the minister for local government and small business, following a 60 Minutes expose on alleged Labor branch stacking. He is pictured outside his Melbourne house in June

‘In Andrews’ world of middle-class suburban domestic bliss by 8pm everyone should be tucked up in bed.’

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 26,898

Victoria: 20,042

New South Wales: 4,200

Queensland: 1,152

Western Australia: 662

South Australia: 466

Tasmania: 230

Australian Capital Territory: 113

Northern Territory: 33

TOTAL CASES: 26,898

CURRENT ACTIVE CASES: 903

DEATHS: 849

 Updated: 8.50 PM, 20 September, 2020

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Melbourne’s five million residents have since August 2 been subjected to an 8pm to 5am curfew with fines of $1,652 if they are outside during those hours, in a bid to reduce active COVID-19 cases.

Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton earlier this month revealed the curfew wasn’t his idea while the state’s Police Commissioner Shane Patton admitted his force was only given a ‘couple of hours’ notice of the policy.

Mr Somyurek said Mr Andrews, after the hotel quarantining fiasco, became a more authoritarian leader who sidelined his ministers, including those with ‘intimate knowledge of their portfolios’.

‘Decision-making was centralised around the Premier, his private office and his department; department secretaries began reporting directly to the Premier as ministers were sidelined and the government began to operate in silos,’ Mr Somyurek said.

Mr Somyurek said Mr Andrews, who hails from Labor’s Left faction, had little regard for the economic cost of his Stage Four lockdowns.

‘The loss of civil rights and economic damage are just collateral damage,’ he said.

The Institute of Public Affairs, a free market think tank, estimated the Stage Four lockdowns would cost the Victorian economy $3.17billion a week.

By that calculation, six weeks of lockdown would cost the equivalent of Victoria’s $17.7billion annual commonwealth allocation from the Goods and Services Tax proceeds. 

The Turkish-born former Right-faction powerbroker said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) didn't understand how working class people often went outside after dark - despite being the leader of the Labor Party

The Turkish-born former Right-faction powerbroker said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) didn't understand how working class people often went outside after dark - despite being the leader of the Labor Party

The Turkish-born former Right-faction powerbroker said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) didn’t understand how working class people often went outside after dark – despite being the leader of the Labor Party

Mr Somyurek said Mr Andrews was an initially a consultative minister during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That changed in June after the decision to use private security firms to guard quarantine hotels resulted in new outbreaks of the virus in the city’s north and west.

This led to the Premier centralising power and decision-making in his office rather than debating the proposal Stage Four lockdowns with his cabinet ministers.   

Victoria’s 761 deaths from coronavirus comprise 89.63 per cent of Australia’s 849 fatalities.

The state’s 20,042 cases also make up almost three quarters, or 74.5 per cent, of the total national case numbers of 26,898. 

Mr Andrews’ Labor government won a landslide re-election victory in November 2018, picking up wealthy electorates in Melbourne’s south-east that had traditionally voted Liberal, including the seats of Burwood and Hawthorn previously held by Coalition premiers Jeff Kennett and Ted Baillieu.

Mr Somyurek said the Premier did not understand how anyone would want to go to Coles after 8pm. Pictured is a Coles supermarket at Chadstone in Melbourne's south-east

Mr Somyurek said the Premier did not understand how anyone would want to go to Coles after 8pm. Pictured is a Coles supermarket at Chadstone in Melbourne's south-east

 Mr Somyurek said the Premier did not understand how anyone would want to go to Coles after 8pm. Pictured is a Coles supermarket at Chadstone in Melbourne’s south-east

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San Churro is giving away 20,000 of its new and delicious Churro Loops for FREE

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san churro is giving away 20000 of its new and delicious churro loops for free

Chocolateria San Churro is giving away 20,000 delicious ‘Churro Loops’.

From now until Monday, September 28, Australians will be able to keep friends and family ‘in the loop’ by sending them a free churro dessert.

To redeem the freebie, simply visit the website to register their details and include a personalised message to help loved ones stay connected across borders.

Flavours to choose from include plain cinnamon, chocolate, ‘flamingo’ sprinkles, ‘kooky’ butter, cookies & cream, and ‘unicorn’.

Australian chocolateria San Churro is giving away 20,000 delicious 'Churro Loops'

Australian chocolateria San Churro is giving away 20,000 delicious 'Churro Loops'

Australian chocolateria San Churro is giving away 20,000 delicious ‘Churro Loops’

Whether you’re looping in with exciting news or simply sharing heartfelt support, the sweet gesture from San Churro will certainly bring a smile to everyone who sends and receives one.

‘Over the past few months, all of us have felt the distance brought on by isolation,’ San Churro CEO Giro Maurici said.

‘This week is all about reigniting those connections and keeping loved ones in the loop. And, the only thing better than a made-fresh-to-order traditional Spanish churro is knowing that it was gifted by someone who is thinking of you.’ 

From now until Monday, September 28, Australians will be able to keep friends and family 'in the loop' by sending them a free churro dessert

From now until Monday, September 28, Australians will be able to keep friends and family 'in the loop' by sending them a free churro dessert

From now until Monday, September 28, Australians will be able to keep friends and family ‘in the loop’ by sending them a free churro dessert

To help pay the tasty deed forward, San Churro is also offering nominated loved ones a ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ Churro Loop to send back.

The chocolateria has a new menu that’s set to launch on September 29, which features the fun Churro Loops and will be available in-store and via delivery. 

The stores are located in New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.

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How a top female cop dressed up as murdered nurse Anita Cobby to help catch her depraved killers

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how a top female cop dressed up as murdered nurse anita cobby to help catch her depraved killers

Retired Detective Superintendent Deborah Wallace was one of the most formidable – and glamorous – officers in the history of the New South Wales Police Force. 

The 60-year-old, known to cops and crooks as ‘The Gangbuster’, was equally famous within the force for her trademark high heels and colourful sense of style.  

In the 1990s, Wallace took on major Asian heroin dealers at Cabramatta in Sydney’s south-west before running the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad.

As commander of the Criminal Groups Squad and Strike Force Raptor, she led the dismantling of the state’s biggest and most violent bikie gangs. 

But before all those senior roles Wallace was a young constable who played a small but significant part in bringing to justice five of the most despised killers in Australian history. 

Detective Superintend Deborah Wallace took on major Asian heroin dealers at Cabramatta in Sydney's south-west in the 1990s before running the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad. As commander of Strike Force Raptor, she led the dismantling of the state's bikie gangs

Detective Superintend Deborah Wallace took on major Asian heroin dealers at Cabramatta in Sydney's south-west in the 1990s before running the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad. As commander of Strike Force Raptor, she led the dismantling of the state's bikie gangs

Detective Superintend Deborah Wallace took on major Asian heroin dealers at Cabramatta in Sydney’s south-west in the 1990s before running the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad. As commander of Strike Force Raptor, she led the dismantling of the state’s bikie gangs

Deborah Wallace joined the New South Wales Police Force in 1983 and expected to spend her career in uniform. She rose to the rank of detective superintendent and commanded some of the state's major crime squads. She is pictured at the Redfern Police Academy in 1983

Deborah Wallace joined the New South Wales Police Force in 1983 and expected to spend her career in uniform. She rose to the rank of detective superintendent and commanded some of the state's major crime squads. She is pictured at the Redfern Police Academy in 1983

Deborah Wallace joined the New South Wales Police Force in 1983 and expected to spend her career in uniform. She rose to the rank of detective superintendent and commanded some of the state’s major crime squads. She is pictured at the Redfern Police Academy in 1983 

As a young constable working general duties at her first station Wallace was asked by detectives to dress as murdered nurse Anita Cobby and re-enact her final train ride from Central station to Blacktown in February 1986. She is pictured on the train

As a young constable working general duties at her first station Wallace was asked by detectives to dress as murdered nurse Anita Cobby and re-enact her final train ride from Central station to Blacktown in February 1986. She is pictured on the train

As a young constable working general duties at her first station Wallace was asked by detectives to dress as murdered nurse Anita Cobby and re-enact her final train ride from Central station to Blacktown in February 1986. She is pictured on the train 

While working in general duties at Blacktown in Sydney’s west in 1986, Wallace was called upon to re-enact the last known movements of 26-year-old nurse Anita Cobby.

Like the onetime beauty queen whose abduction, rape and murder shocked Australia, Wallace was in her mid-20s and lived with her parents not far from Blacktown.   

Wallace’s involvement in the Cobby investigation would shape her outlook on crime and policing and lead to a distinguished 36-year career that ended last December with her retirement. 

She has now told her story to veteran crime reporter Mark Morri in a biography subtitled ‘The True Story of Deborah Wallace, The Cop Known as The Gangbuster’.

‘A woman of force, her inner strength and empathy meant that she was a constant go-to for some of the state’s toughest cases,’ the publisher states.

‘Her poise and compassion earned her a special place in the lives and hearts of her colleagues – and the grudging respect of her criminal foes.’ 

Anita Cobby was a 26-year-old nurse when she was abducted, raped and murdered in western Sydney in a crime that shocked the nation. Her killers were sentenced to life behind bars

Anita Cobby was a 26-year-old nurse when she was abducted, raped and murdered in western Sydney in a crime that shocked the nation. Her killers were sentenced to life behind bars

Anita Cobby was a 26-year-old nurse when she was abducted, raped and murdered in western Sydney in a crime that shocked the nation. Her killers were sentenced to life behind bars

The following is an exclusive edited extract of A Woman of Force by Mark Morri, published by Pan Macmillan and available now: 

Deborah Wallace was stationed at Blacktown after her graduation from the Redfern Police Academy. She is pictured third from left at her passing out parade in 1983

Deborah Wallace was stationed at Blacktown after her graduation from the Redfern Police Academy. She is pictured third from left at her passing out parade in 1983

Deborah Wallace was stationed at Blacktown after her graduation from the Redfern Police Academy. She is pictured third from left at her passing out parade in 1983

Deb loved the rough and tumble of being out on the streets, and the camaraderie that went with it. In her mind she was going to work general duties for the rest of her career.

But then a beautiful young nurse from Blacktown called Anita Cobby was murdered. The case, which outraged a nation, also changed the life and career of Constable Deborah Wallace.

On 3 February 1986, a Monday afternoon, a man named Garry Lynch walked into Blacktown Police Station and reported his daughter missing. Her name was Anita Cobby, and she was just 26 years old. Anita had gone out for dinner with friends after work the night before. Her father was supposed to collect her from the train station afterwards, but she never called him to say she was on her way, and she never returned home.

Deb went out searching that Monday night, but the report wasn’t treated as anything other than routine.

The next day police connected a report of a woman screaming to the missing persons report. Around midday on 4 February, that missing persons report turned into a murder investigation after Anita’s naked, bloodied body was found in a paddock on Reen Road at Prospect. The location was known to most general duty officers; it was a well-known spot for local lovers and dumped stolen cars.

Deborah Wallace was 25 when asked to re-enact the last known movements of murdered nurse Anita Cobby. She lived with her parents not far from where Anita lived with her mum and dad  at Blacktown. Wallace is pictured third from left with fellow Blacktown officers on a cruise

Deborah Wallace was 25 when asked to re-enact the last known movements of murdered nurse Anita Cobby. She lived with her parents not far from where Anita lived with her mum and dad  at Blacktown. Wallace is pictured third from left with fellow Blacktown officers on a cruise

Deborah Wallace was 25 when asked to re-enact the last known movements of murdered nurse Anita Cobby. She lived with her parents not far from where Anita lived with her mum and dad  at Blacktown. Wallace is pictured third from left with fellow Blacktown officers on a cruise

Anita had been severely beaten, raped and tortured before having her throat viciously slashed, almost decapitating her. Her injuries were so severe that, even to this day, the detectives working on the case are haunted by what they saw in the paddock. Anita’s fingers had been broken as she obviously fought for her life. The look in her eyes, frozen in death, was sheer terror.

Parts of the autopsy were leaked to the press and also read out on radio. The gruesome details sickened the entire nation.

The city, and particularly Blacktown, erupted in a hotbed of emotion: anger, disbelief, sadness and fear turned into a driving need to find the perpetrator of this heinous crime.

Deb observed the detectives ‘upstairs’ working around the clock, looking for Anita’s killers. As a uniform officer of just three years, her role was minimal. She took some phone tips that came in, but otherwise life, and petty crime, moved on.

But no one was unaffected by the case. Deb could see the detectives, some of whom she knew well, pushing themselves relentlessly.

The 1986 murder of onetime beauty queen Anita Cobby (pictured) led to calls for the reintroduction of the death penalty after her naked, broken body was found in a paddock at Prospect in western Sydney

The 1986 murder of onetime beauty queen Anita Cobby (pictured) led to calls for the reintroduction of the death penalty after her naked, broken body was found in a paddock at Prospect in western Sydney

The 1986 murder of onetime beauty queen Anita Cobby (pictured) led to calls for the reintroduction of the death penalty after her naked, broken body was found in a paddock at Prospect in western Sydney

Many young cops saw detectives as gods. They were the top rung of police work, especially Homicide. But being a detective wasn’t on Deb’s radar; she was content with her role. The work she was doing was interesting and rewarding, and she took satisfaction from helping the community.

Two days into the investigation, Deb was working the switchboard when one of the lead investigators, a man named Graham Rosetta, walked past her, did a double take, and then stopped.

‘Hey Wallace, how old are you? How tall?’ he asked in his gruff way. Deb was 25 years old at the time, a year younger than Anita and of similar height and body shape. When she answered Rosetta’s questions, he paused, looking thoughtful, then said, ‘I think I have an idea. Come with me.’

Gary Murphy points out to detectives Graham Rosetta (left with hands on hips) and Tony Waters (right) the direction in which he and his four accomplices dragged Anita Cobby through the western Sydney paddock where they raped and killed her in February 1986

Gary Murphy points out to detectives Graham Rosetta (left with hands on hips) and Tony Waters (right) the direction in which he and his four accomplices dragged Anita Cobby through the western Sydney paddock where they raped and killed her in February 1986

Gary Murphy points out to detectives Graham Rosetta (left with hands on hips) and Tony Waters (right) the direction in which he and his four accomplices dragged Anita Cobby through the western Sydney paddock where they raped and killed her in February 1986 

Rosetta, or ‘Rosy’, as he was called (why, nobody knew – nothing about him resembled a flower) explained to Deb that they wanted to do a re-enactment of Anita’s last movements. Leads were drying up and the media coverage was starting to drop off.

He wanted to keep the public engaged. There were also some discrepancies about what time Anita may have caught the train. Rosy hoped that broadcasting a re-enactment might jog someone’s memory. He knew the information was out there somewhere.

A Woman of Force by Mark Morri is published by Pan Macmillan and available now

A Woman of Force by Mark Morri is published by Pan Macmillan and available now

A Woman of Force by Mark Morri is published by Pan Macmillan and available now

Deb’s head was spinning. Here was Detective Sergeant Graham Rosetta, an iconic officer in the Blacktown region, asking her, a freshly minted young constable, to become involved in the biggest murder case in recent Australian history. Until then she had very little to do with the detectives apart from nodding hello or passing on statements.

She quickly agreed. Whether or not she wanted to, you didn’t say no to Rosy.

The re-enactment was quickly organised. The friends Anita had caught up with for dinner on the night of her disappearance, Lyn Bradshaw and Elaine Bray, were brought to the Blacktown Police Station to meet Deb. They had been among the last to see Anita alive, and were asked to provide a detailed description of what she had been wearing that evening.

The trio went to Westfield at Parramatta, trying to get the exact clothes Anita had been wearing: ski pants and flat ballets. Deb found the experience quite strange, and knew it was hard on Anita’s friends, trying to remember every detail while consumed with grief, and struggling to come to terms with their friend’s bloody murder.

Deb dressed in Anita’s clothing at Blacktown Police Station and then caught the train to Central station with one of the lead detectives on the case, Kevin Raue.

In her naivety, Deb thought there would be only a small media contingent – maybe a couple of cameramen and the odd photographer. She couldn’t have been more wrong. It was a true media scrum, even for 1986. 

Deborah Wallace was handpicked to dress as Anita Cobby and re-enact her last train ride from Central station to Blacktown. Wallace thought there would be only a small media contingent - maybe a couple of cameramen and the odd photographer

Deborah Wallace was handpicked to dress as Anita Cobby and re-enact her last train ride from Central station to Blacktown. Wallace thought there would be only a small media contingent - maybe a couple of cameramen and the odd photographer

Deborah Wallace was handpicked to dress as Anita Cobby and re-enact her last train ride from Central station to Blacktown. Wallace thought there would be only a small media contingent – maybe a couple of cameramen and the odd photographer

The press were allowed to film Deb getting onto the train, but were kicked off a station later. The scene was carefully managed to ensure the re-enactment didn’t include 50 journos on a train carriage that would have been deserted.

Likewise at the other end, the cameras were allowed to film Deb getting off the train, but that was it. While the cops wanted publicity, keeping the media on the train was a risk. If by chance someone got on the train who did see Anita they would be swamped by journalists, or worse still, be frightened off from talking to the cops.

As Deb travelled to Blacktown with the cameras behind her, it really sunk in just how deeply the community was invested in solving this murder.

When Deb started the walk that would be Anita’s last, with night falling all around her, she couldn’t help wondering what had been going through Anita’s head at that moment.

John Raymond Travers was 18 and considered the ringleader of the gang who kidnapped, raped and murdered Anita Cobby in February 1986. All five killers were sentenced to die in jail

John Raymond Travers was 18 and considered the ringleader of the gang who kidnapped, raped and murdered Anita Cobby in February 1986. All five killers were sentenced to die in jail

John Raymond Travers was 18 and considered the ringleader of the gang who kidnapped, raped and murdered Anita Cobby in February 1986. All five killers were sentenced to die in jail

At first she was focused on the job she had to do, asking herself, Am I doing it right? Am I walking at the right speed? Then she reached a point where she thought to herself, This is the fine line between life and death. Anita had probably been thinking about seeing her parents, planning for the next day.

At the time Deb was also living at home with her parents. They didn’t live that far from Blacktown. Putting herself in Anita’s shoes at that exact moment was all too easy, and it made the walk all the more difficult.

Anita would have been oblivious to what was about to happen to her. Deb couldn’t stop thinking of the terror she must have endured, the awful violence she’d suffered.

After the re-enactment, mentally drained, Deb went back to Blacktown Police Station with the detectives. As they stood in the car park, Rosetta came over and told Deb that a journalist would like a quick chat. He gave her the okay to speak to the journo, saying not much harm would come of it, and every little bit of extra publicity helped. 

Les Murphy was 22 when he took part in Anita Cobby's murder and was known as having the worst temperament of the Murphy brothers

Les Murphy was 22 when he took part in Anita Cobby's murder and was known as having the worst temperament of the Murphy brothers

Gary Murphy was 28 when he took part in Anita Cobby's murder and was known to have a particularly violent temper

Gary Murphy was 28 when he took part in Anita Cobby's murder and was known to have a particularly violent temper

Les Murphy (left) was 22 when he took part in Anita Cobby’s murder and was known as having the worst temperament of the Murphy brothers. Gary Murphy (right) was 28 and also known to have a particularly violent temper

Michael Murphy was 33 at the time of Anita Cobby's murder and the oldest of nine Murphy brothers

Michael Murphy was 33 at the time of Anita Cobby's murder and the oldest of nine Murphy brothers

Michael Murdoch was 19 and a longtime friend of John Travers when they killed Anita Cobby with the Murphy brothers

Michael Murdoch was 19 and a longtime friend of John Travers when they killed Anita Cobby with the Murphy brothers

Michael Murphy (left) was 33 at the time of Anita Cobby’s murder and the oldest of nine Murphy brothers. Michael Murdoch (right) was 19 and a longtime friend of John Travers

It was Deb’s first contact with the media. The questions were fairly routine – the journalist asked Deb how the reenactment had gone, and how she’d felt while doing it. As he put away his notepad he muttered conversationally that it was a horrendous murder, and he hoped they would catch the killers. 

Deb agreed, and the journalist commented that he believed in an eye for an eye.

‘I can understand people wanting that,’ Deb replied, not thinking much of it.

That night after everything had died down, Graham Rosetta turned to the young cop.

‘How would you like to stay with the team?’ he asked.

Dumbfounded, she said, ‘I’m not a detective.’

He shrugged and said, ‘You’ll be fine.’

Wallace went on to have a distinguished career in the New South Police Force, receiving the Australian Police Medal and retiring in December last year. She is pictured with sword on parade

Wallace went on to have a distinguished career in the New South Police Force, receiving the Australian Police Medal and retiring in December last year. She is pictured with sword on parade

Wallace went on to have a distinguished career in the New South Police Force, receiving the Australian Police Medal and retiring in December last year. She is pictured with sword on parade 

Deb went home exhausted, but also proud that she had been asked to join the team. She knew it would be menial work, but she didn’t care – she had a chance to help catch the men who had killed Anita Cobby. Having relived Anita’s last moments, Deb was now even more invested in catching the men responsible for her death.

Deb’s first day on the task force didn’t start in quite the way she’d have liked. The station boss called her up to the office and announced, ‘I don’t want you to panic, but Detective there’s a bit of a furore about what you said to that reporter last night.’

Deb was baffled. Her boss explained that the police hierarchy had been approached by the top-rating Ray Martin variety show Midday. At that time, two young Australians, Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers, were facing execution in Malaysia for drug smuggling.

Gary Murphy (far right) is taken by police to the spot where Anita Cobby's naked, broken body was found in a paddock in western Sydney. The killer is pictured with marks on his face caused during his capture the previous night

Gary Murphy (far right) is taken by police to the spot where Anita Cobby's naked, broken body was found in a paddock in western Sydney. The killer is pictured with marks on his face caused during his capture the previous night

 Gary Murphy (far right) is taken by police to the spot where Anita Cobby’s naked, broken body was found in a paddock in western Sydney. The killer is pictured with marks on his face caused during his capture the previous night

‘They want you to discuss the merits of capital punishment, which you are not doing!’

Deb remembered the journo’s ‘eye for an eye’ comment, and what she’d thought was her neutral response. Another lesson learnt: be very careful of the media.

For the next two weeks Deb divided her time between helping the detectives on the Cobby case and doing her other regular duties. She was officially on what was called the ‘A’ list, which is when young cops are given a chance at detective work before being asked to take the detectives course, a sort of ‘try before you buy’.

Two weeks later the Cobby killers were caught. Sydney went wild. As word spread a massive crowd built up around Blacktown Police Station. They made makeshift nooses and hung them from nearby buildings with ‘Hang the bastards’ written on them.

An angry crowd congregates outside the Blacktown police station as news breaks of the arrest of the five men who raped and murdered Anita Cobby. This images was taken on 24 February 1986, almost three weeks after the nurse was killed at Prospect in far western Sydney

An angry crowd congregates outside the Blacktown police station as news breaks of the arrest of the five men who raped and murdered Anita Cobby. This images was taken on 24 February 1986, almost three weeks after the nurse was killed at Prospect in far western Sydney

An angry crowd congregates outside the Blacktown police station as news breaks of the arrest of the five men who raped and murdered Anita Cobby. This images was taken on 24 February 1986, almost three weeks after the nurse was killed at Prospect in far western Sydney 

The hatred for the men was palpable. As police drove the accused killers into the station, the cop cars were rocked as the crowd tried to get their hands on the murderers.

Later, one of the lead detectives Ian ‘Speed’ Kennedy said, ‘We had to call in extra cops to stop the crowd from breaking into the police station to lynch them.’

Sydney had never witnessed such mass hysteria over a killing and inside the station was Deb Wallace, bewildered at what was happening outside.

While she hadn’t done the heavy lifting on the case, her involvement had given her a taste of another sort of police work – a type that she would excel at as her career progressed.

Until Rosy had asked her to be on the task force, Deb was welded to the truck and thought she would be a uniform copper until she retired.

Deborah Wallace believed she would spend her police career in uniform until asked to join the task force investigating Anita Cobby's murder. She is pictured in one of her colourful suits

Deborah Wallace believed she would spend her police career in uniform until asked to join the task force investigating Anita Cobby's murder. She is pictured in one of her colourful suits

Deborah Wallace believed she would spend her police career in uniform until asked to join the task force investigating Anita Cobby’s murder. She is pictured in one of her colourful suits

But now she could see all around her the enormous satisfaction in the team that had helped bring the Cobby killers to account and something stirred inside her. Deb knew that locking up drunks and car thieves was important police work, but the adrenaline and warm feeling surging through the team that day made her rethink her career path. Maybe, just maybe I want to be a detective and catch big time crooks. Just being a small part of helping catch the Cobby killers was life-changing.

Several years later, in 2002, Deb met Anita’s parents at – bizarrely – an art exhibition centred on Anita’s murder, held at the Penrith Regional Gallery.

Deb thought it was odd too, but she’d received an invite, so decided to go along with others who had worked on the case.

Wallace met Anita's parents Garry and Grace Lynch in 2002 at an art exhibition and she formed a bond with Grace that last until her death in 2013. The Lynches are pictured at Anita's grave

Wallace met Anita's parents Garry and Grace Lynch in 2002 at an art exhibition and she formed a bond with Grace that last until her death in 2013. The Lynches are pictured at Anita's grave

Wallace met Anita’s parents Garry and Grace Lynch in 2002 at an art exhibition and she formed a bond with Grace that last until her death in 2013. The Lynches are pictured at Anita’s grave

Garry Lynch walked over, put his arm around Deb and sat her down next to Anita’s mum, Grace.

It was an emotional meeting. Deb knew that Grace had been upset by the re-enactment, saying that Anita would never have worn ski pants as tight as those Deb wore that night, so she wasn’t sure what to expect. But she was lovely, and the two connected right away.

That meeting forged a unique relationship between Grace Lynch and Deborah Wallace that would last until the day Grace died, in 2013. It also led to Deb’s involvement in the Victims of Homicide Support Group, which was founded by the Lynches and the parents of another murder victim, a young girl by the name of Ebony Simpson.

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33419018 8729915 image m 41 1600654299903

Gary Murphy was pictured in public for the first time in 33 years  in July 2019 when he was taken from Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick back to Long Bay jail  where he had been bashed by at least six other inmates in a shower block 

Grace was an amazing woman with enormous strength, and her compassion was inspiring. Even as Grace was dying, whenever Deb visited her all she would ask about was others. Meeting her and being involved in her work was an honour, and one of the highlights of Deb’s career.

On 10 September 1989 Constable Deb Wallace became a designated detective. Her days of working the truck were over. She came in the top ten in her class, which was topped by a female officer called Catherine Burn, who went on to be the deputy police commissioner.

Deb’s career was about to soar.

A Woman of Force by Mark Morri is published by Pan Macmillan and available from here now for $34.99. 

Five men – John Travers, Michael Murdoch and Gary, Les and Michael Murphy – were convicted of Anita’s rape and murder and sentenced to life in jail. Michael Murphy died in prison in February last year aged 65. 

Wallace is pictured at NSW Government House after being presented with the Australian Police Medal by then Governor Marie Bashir in 2012

Wallace is pictured at NSW Government House after being presented with the Australian Police Medal by then Governor Marie Bashir in 2012

Wallace is pictured at NSW Government House after being presented with the Australian Police Medal by then Governor Marie Bashir in 2012 

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