Possible Serial Killer On The Loose
"We now have proof that the same offender is responsible for all three deaths.”
What you need to know
- A taskforce set up in January has found forensic links to three unsolved murders which occurred in South Australia between 1998 and 2011.
- Police believe theft was the motive in all three matters.
A secret task force set up in January to review the unsolved murders of three South Australians between 1998 and 2011 has found all three cases were carried out by the same offender, South Australia Police revealed today.
Fresh forensic evidence has found Beverly Hanley (64), Phyllis May Harrison (71) and Stephen Hugh Newton (55) were murdered by the same person.
"We now have proof that the same offender is responsible for all three deaths,” Detective Superintendent Des Bray said.
“There has been speculation in the past that the same offender was involved, but now I can say we have proof and we believe theft was the motive in all three matters.”
Police did not reveal the identity of their main suspect, but say he is a 39-year-old man who now lives in the Riverland region of Victoria.
It's believed the suspect knew all three victims, and at the time of the deaths lived about 10 minutes away from them, according to police.
"He knows that he has been a focus of the investigation for many years," police told reporters on Tuesday.
Phyllis May Harrison was found dead in her home in Harvey Road, Elizabeth South on March 3 1998. The 71-year-old grandmother had suffered multiple stab wounds and her house had been ransacked.
Police believe the victim knew her attacker.
On October 6 2010, the body of 64-year-old Beverely Ellen Hanley was found insider her home in Homington Road Elizabeth North.
She had suffered severe head injuries and her home had also been ransacked, with her handbag stolen.
The decomposing body of Stephen Hugh Newton was fond in his home on Davidson Street, Mount Gambier on November 4, 2011.
Police say he died as a result of an assault, but believe he was like killed about a week before he was found.
A range of items including a TV, DVDs, a computer game console, and games were stolen from his home.
Police appeal for help
Police are now urging anyone with information to come forward.
We know that there are people who have provided incorrect or incomplete statements and I would urge them to come forward and speak with us,” Bray said.
“We know that they may be feeling vulnerable, but we can help them.”