The McCulkin family murders: How police cracked the case four decades later - Top Post

The McCulkin family murders: How police cracked the case four decades later

The McCulkin family murders: How police cracked the case four decades later

The McCulkin family murders: How police cracked the case four decades later

McCulkin murders: Vincent O’Dempsey guilty of killing Brisbane woman and daughters

McCulkin murders: Wife ‘scares key witness’ in Vincent O’Dempsey trial

GARRY Dubois’ wife was thrown out of court during Vincent O’Dempsey’s trial after a key witness claimed she made a throat-slitting motion while he was giving evidence.

Jan Dubois, who denied making any gesture and has long maintained her husband’s innocence, sat in the same seat of the public gallery behind O’Dempsey for the duration of the month-long trial.

On day 10 of the trial and moments before a prison informant was returning to the witness box, prosecutor David Meredith revealed the witness complained to police about Mrs Dubois making “throat-crossing signs to him while he was giving evidence”.


Justice Peter Applegarth proposed that she not be in court during the former prisoner’s evidence, but said she was free to return once he finished.

Jan Dubois at Brisbane Supreme Court.

Justice Applegarth gave her the opportunity to leave quietly, but she refused.

“I would like it on the record I categorically deny having done that,” she said. “I don’t wish to leave the courtroom unless I’m ordered to do so.”

She was ordered to stay out of the courtroom for the duration of the prisoner’s evidence and left without incident.

Mrs Dubois returned later, and was spotted talking and sharing a laugh with O’Dempsey in the dock ­between court sessions.

Related  Mubarakan Review Anil is the scene-stealer with his half Brit-half

After the verdict yesterday, she declined to comment as she left court with members of O’Dempsey’s family and his lawyer, Terry O’Gorman.

She also declined to comment when Dubois was found guilty of murder, manslaughter and rape last year.

It was a horrific crime, but it went unsolved for so long that too many people had forgotten about it, and the pond scum criminals who committed it were lured into the false notion that they had got away with it.

This week the family and friends of Brisbane mother Barbara McCulkin and her two young daughters, 13-year-old Vicki and 11-year-old Leanne, got the result they had been hoping for for decades.

The notorious career criminal, 78-year-old Vincent O’Dempsey, was for the first time able to be publicly vilified as a triple murderer after he was found guilty in a unanimous jury verdict at Brisbane’s Supreme Court on Friday.

For the full story, visit the 60 Minutes website.

His conviction, together with that of his co-accused, Garry “Shorty” Dubois, in November last year, finally solves a mystery that began 43 years ago.

Late on a hot Summer Wednesday evening on January 16, 1974, in the inner-city Brisbane suburb of Highgate Hill, Barbara and her daughters were duped into taking what they thought would be a short, fun, late night drive with O’Dempsey and Dubois.

The McCulkin family: Vicki, Barbara and Leanne. (AAP)

The McCulkin family: Vicki, Barbara and Leanne. (AAP)

Neighbours had seen O’Dempsey and Dubois at the McCulkin family home earlier that night but attempts to prosecute the pair for the family’s abduction and murder six years later in 1980 had failed for lack of evidence.

Related  Bigg Boss Tamil: Kamal Haasan introduces new entrant Bindu Madhavi, Oviya becomes the target again

How Queensland Police managed to crack this case after so long is a testament to dogged and thorough police work. When Detective Sergeant Virginia Gray and Detective Inspector Mick Dowie reopened their cold case investigations in 2014, they had precious little to go on other than to find a way of overcoming the one thing that had frustrated a breakthrough all along: the so-called criminal code of silence.

At Dubois’ 2016 trial, the prosecution was finally able to tell the jury exactly what happened that night: how Barbara’s and the girls’ hands were tied in the back of O’Dempsey’s Valiant charger car shortly after leaving their Highgate Hill home.

Vincent O'Dempsey. (9NEWS)

Vincent O’Dempsey.

It is still not known where they were taken next – their bodies have never been found – but it was probably empty bush around O’Dempsey’s hometown of Warwick, two hours south-west of Brisbane.

For the rest of that fateful journey both mother and daughters would have known what was coming. Somewhere in remote bushland, Barbara was separated from her children and strangled to death by O’Dempsey.

When he returned, at least one of two no doubt terrified young girls were then raped by Dubois and then the children were murdered, their bodies buried with their mother.

We now know this because three years ago a former criminal associate of “Shorty” Dubois finally decided to break the code of silence.


Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Add Comment