Ciara Glennon: How her battle helped ‘resolve’ Australia’s longest operating homicide investigation

Ciara Glennon: How her fight helped 'solve' Australia's longest running murder investigation

a person in a blue dress: Claremont, claremont serial killer, bradley edwards

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Claremont, claremont serial killer, bradley edwards

Days after Ciara Glennon grew to become the third girl to fade off the streets of Claremont within the mid-90s, her father Denis struggled via a press convention interesting for assist.

“The way in which she’s been introduced up, she is going to battle,” he stated.

Greater than twenty years later, through the trial of her accused assassin, prosecutors claimed the 27-year-old lawyer did simply that – she fought – and in doing so “took a chunk of her attacker along with her”, his DNA embedded beneath her fingernails after she scratched him.

a brown horse standing next to a building: Bradley Edwards, Claremont serial killer trial, Claremont,

© Equipped
Bradley Edwards, Claremont serial killer trial, Claremont,

The hint DNA, described as “one fifth of 1 billionth of a gram”, grew to become essentially the most essential piece of proof that may result in the arrest of alleged Claremont serial killer Bradley Edwards in 2016.

Nonetheless his lawyer, Paul Yovich, stated the state had the mistaken man, and Mr Edwards’ DNA will need to have contaminated one in all Ms Glennon’s nail samples in a lab, though he couldn’t clarify how or when that occurred.

Ms Glennon disappeared round midnight on March 14, 1997, after she was final seen strolling alone on Stirling Freeway in search of a taxi following an evening out with buddies on the Continental Lodge.

Her case is the strongest in opposition to Mr Edwards. It contains DNA proof, 61 fibres recovered from her physique, witness sightings and a lacking alibi for her accused.

A couple of dozen folks noticed a lady who appeared like Ms Glennon strolling alongside the road, some telling police they had been paying nearer consideration to her due to the 2 ladies who had not too long ago gone lacking from the realm in related circumstances.

Two of these witnesses had been buddies Troy Bond and Brandon Grey, who had been sitting at a bus cease consuming burgers after they observed a “newer mannequin” Holden Commodore VS station wagon pull up alongside a lady.

Mr Bond stated he noticed the girl speaking to the driving force via the window, however didn’t proceed watching to see if she received in.

The automobile described by the boys matched the outline of the Telstra-issued 1996 Holden Commodore VS Sequence 1 station wagon Mr Edwards drove on the time.

Lower than three weeks later, Ms Glennon’s physique was found in distant bushland in Eglinton, 40 kilometres north of Perth, by a person in search of hashish.

The crime scene revealed her attacker had minimize her throat and tried to hide her physique with branches from close by timber.

It might be one other 11 years earlier than the most important breakthrough in her case was made.

In 2008, a clipping from Ms Glennon’s torn left thumbnail was examined for DNA together along with her left center fingernail.

The low copy quantity testing passed off in a UK lab with extra superior capabilities than WA and returned an unknown male profile that matched the profile of the perpetrator of an unsolved 1995 rape at Karrakatta cemetery.

The person’s profile was within the PathWest database as ‘unknown male 4’.Regardless of the brand new lead, the path to catch a killer ultimately ran chilly once more. Investigators believed that they had the Claremont serial killer’s DNA, however they did not know who he was.

One other eight years would move earlier than an proof field referring to a 1988 intercourse assault in Huntingdale can be despatched to PathWest as a part of a routine chilly case overview to see if any of the historic gadgets could possibly be examined for DNA.

A semen-stained silk kimono left on the scene was examined and returned a DNA profile that matched the thriller Claremont profile.

The case was reopened – and solved inside weeks.

Mr Edwards was arrested in December 2016 and charged with the murders, the Karrakatta cemetery rape, and the Huntingdale intercourse assault.

After initially denying the Karrakatta rape and Huntingdale intercourse assault, Mr Edwards confessed to the crimes on the eve of his triple-murder trial amid overwhelming DNA proof.

Nonetheless, he denied the murders.

The change in plea allowed Mr Yovich to argue the DNA discovered beneath Ms Glennon’s nails may have gotten there via contamination.

He stated Mr Edwards’ DNA was within the PathWest lab from February 1995, when he raped a 17-year-old woman he kidnapped from Claremont one yr earlier than his alleged homicide spree started.

Mr Yovich argued whereas there was no documentation to assist his concept, DNA from the rape reveals someway contaminated Ms Glennon’s fingernail container.

The closest timeframe the reveals had been examined to one another was 14 months. Worldwide fibre skilled Jonathan Whitaker described the probability of lab contamination as “very low”, whereas he stated the chances Ms Glennon scratched

Mr Edwards had been “reasonably excessive to excessive”.

Fibres recovered from Ms Glennon’s hair and T-shirt additionally allegedly linked Mr Edwards to her homicide via his Telstra uniform and the work automobile he drove.

The proof prompt Ms Glennon had been sitting in a 1996 Holden Commodore VS Sequence 1 or 2 station wagon earlier than she was bundled into its foot nicely.

Blue polyester fibres additionally recovered allegedly got here from custom-made Telstra trousers from the mid-90s.

Uniform data confirmed Mr Edwards, a Telstra technician, owned pairs of the trousers.

He was unable to offer an alibi for the night time Ms Glennon vanished; his former buddies Murray and Brigita Cook dinner recalled Mr Edwards was meant to reach at their Dawesville vacation house about one hour’s drive south of Perth on Friday night, however didn’t arrive till the next day.

The couple testified Mr Edwards instructed them he was late as he was making an attempt to reconcile together with his spouse, however by March 1997 she had moved on with one other man and had a new child child.

Mr Yovich tried to argue Mr Edwards had stated he was reconciling together with his girlfriend, nonetheless when referred to as to provide proof, the previous companion testified the pair had been nonetheless collectively till April of that yr.

His buddies had been sure Mr Edwards had stated “spouse”.

As Mr Edwards arrived on the vacation house mid-morning, Ms Glennon’s mom Una was frantically making an attempt to find her daughter after discovering she was not asleep in her mattress.

When she learnt she had visited Claremont the night time earlier than, she instantly referred to as police.

In a ebook she wrote in 2010, Una described the grief of shedding a toddler.

“Days that should be days of celebration are actually days tinged with unhappiness,” she stated.

“There may be all the time somebody lacking, a conspicuous absence, an empty chair … we don’t discuss her however our silence speaks louder than phrases. We miss her acutely.”

Mr Glennon has attended almost daily of Mr Edwards’ seven-month trial.

Justice Stephen Corridor, the decide presiding, retired on Thursday to succeed in his verdict.

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