Placeholder Content Image

Heartbroken parents of slain Melbourne doctor break silence

<p>Dr Ash Gordon's heartbroken parents have spoken out about the moment they found out their son had died. </p> <p>The Melbourne GP was allegedly killed after <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/major-update-in-tragic-death-of-young-melbourne-doctor" target="_blank" rel="noopener">confronting two teenage</a> boys who had allegedly broken into his home in Doncaster in the early hours on Saturday, January 13.</p> <p>Dr Gordon’s grieving mother Catherine, recalled the moment she was woken by the phone call no parent wants to receive. </p> <p>“He said that Ashley had gone. And I said gone where? He’s gone. He’s no longer with us,” Mrs Gordon told <em>A Current Affair </em>about the moment her son's housemate delivered the devastating news. </p> <p>“I said, ‘Don’t lie, you’re joking.‘ And I hung up on him."</p> <p>Holding back tears, Mrs Gordon also shared the denial she went through as she received the call from a detective. </p> <p>"Then the detective rang and I told him that I didn’t believe him, and he said 'how can I get you to believe?', I said 'until there is a police person in uniform in front of me, it's not happening'"</p> <p>"Well you don't want to believe do you?" <em>A Current Affair </em>host Ally Langdon replied, and both parents shook their heads. </p> <p>“We saw the police car coming up, and I just prayed to God they’d just keep going. I didn’t want them to turn into the driveway, but unfortunately, it happened.”</p> <p>Ally Langdon who was brought to tears during the interview added: “It’s a cruel contrast isn’t it? That Ash has dedicated his life to saving lives, yet his was taken in this horrible way." </p> <p>The 33-year-old doctor was found by police less than a kilometre from his home, but unfortunately he died at the scene. </p> <p>In the days following the incident, two 16-year-old boys with Dr Gordon’s murder as well as aggravated burglary and theft.</p> <p>Dr Gordon's family have since held a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/i-ll-see-you-again-one-day-sister-of-slain-doctor-s-emotional-tribute" target="_blank" rel="noopener">memorial service</a> for him to honour the slain doctor. </p> <p><em>Image: A Current Affair</em></p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Major update in fatal stabbing of young Melbourne doctor

<p dir="ltr">The 16-year-old accused of stabbing a young Melbourne doctor to death had allegedly committed a similar crime just months prior. </p> <p dir="ltr">The teenager was allegedly involved in the home invasion of Dr Ash Gordon, which turned fatal after the doctor chased the intruders from his home, ending when Dr Gordon was stabbed and left for dead. </p> <p dir="ltr">As the teens now <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/major-update-in-tragic-death-of-young-melbourne-doctor" target="_blank" rel="noopener">face charges</a> for his death, an alleged previous victim of the same teenager has come forward, claiming the young man left him with serious head injuries after robbing his house in October. </p> <p dir="ltr">His alleged previous victims claim that the Victorian government has “blood on its hands” and that the boy should not have been released on bail.</p> <p dir="ltr">The victims told<a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/police-courts-victoria/we-feel-anxious-helpless-and-frustrated-with-the-broken-system-alleged-victims-speak-out/news-story/c05575a0908bf85f014217bb4fda7fa4"> <em>the Herald Sun</em></a> that Dr Gordon's death has left them traumatised and struggling to move on from their own terrifying encounter.</p> <p dir="ltr">In an emotional statement, the alleged previous victims pleaded with Victorian premier Jacinta Allan to reconsider the state's planned youth justice reform. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We are trying to move on with our lives, however, when a case on (alleged) teen crime is reported, we feel anxious, helpless and frustrated with the broken system," they told the publication.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The Allan government and the justice system have blood on their hands, and ultimately should be held accountable.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Under the terms of the 16-year-old’s bail, he was to adhere to a strict nightly curfew, but still managed to allegedly break into Dr Gordon's home shortly before 5:30am on January 13th. </p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Allan has faced increasing pressure to abandon Victoria's overhaul of the youth justice system which would see the age of criminal responsibility raised.</p> <p dir="ltr">The government has committed to raising the age that a child can be arrested, jailed or charged from 10 to 12 by the end of 2024, and again to 14 by 2027, with serious crimes such as homicide being exempt from these changes. </p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Allen however has insisted that the reforms are a key priority of her government and that they will help prevent future criminal ­activity.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There’s a huge amount of work that’s being undertaken by Victoria Police to work with those young people ... [and] that sort of prevention-based activity is the best way to address future youth crime,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“At the same time, when offences are made, Victoria Police have the tools and resources to deal with those.”</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><em>Image credits: Facebook</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-deb8779e-7fff-f1a9-74f6-d47cadad48af"></span></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Husband arrested over murder of beloved Nonna

<p>Frank Dimasi, 91 has been charged over the murder of his wife, Maria, 85, who was found dead inside the couple's home over the weekend.</p> <p>Maria was found with multiple stab wounds inside the couple's home in Findon, Adelaide, at around 11:20pm on Saturday. </p> <p>Frank was arrested at the scene and charged over the murder of his wife of over 50 years on Monday.</p> <p>He is currently under police guard at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, having suffered from self-inflicted and non-life threatening wounds, according to SA police. He is also reported to suffer from a "neurological disability". </p> <p>Maria was a beloved member of the Italian community in Adelaide. </p> <p>She was regarded as the "neighbourhood matriarch” and was well-known because of her love for cooking, including making meals for the vulnerable.</p> <p>She was heavily involved with the family's taxpayer-funded meal service, Nonna’s Cucina, that even Health Minister Mark Butler recognised her hard work and described her as "extremely generous".</p> <p>“Maria lit up the kitchen at Nonna’s Cucina,” he said. “She was always extremely generous and made sure no one ever left her company hungry.</p> <p>“Maria gave so much to her community and will be greatly missed by her loved ones and everyone who had the pleasure to meet her.”</p> <p>South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas also paid tribute to the beloved great-grandmother and described the murder as "tragic". </p> <p>“On a personal level, Maria Dimasi was a very significant contributor to our state, particularly in the western suburbs’ Italian community,” said the premier. </p> <p>“Nonna’s Cucina, which will be very well-known to a lot of South Australians, did amazing work delivering meals to people that are vulnerable, particularly the elderly.</p> <p>"This is a good person who has lost their life in tragic circumstances.”</p> <p>The premier is currently facing increasing pressure to authorise a Royal Commission into domestic violence in the state, after five women have allegedly been killed at the hands of a partner since November 16, according to <em>The Advertiser</em>.</p> <p>The publication also reported that this is "the worst DV toll in Australia's history".</p> <p>In their first public statement issued through the police late Monday, the couple's family paid tribute to Maria, who they described as “loving mother to her four children, her 10 grandchildren and a great grandmother to 13”. </p> <p>“Maria had a caring nature and shared love and happiness to those around her,” they said in the statement obtained by <em>The Advertiser</em>. </p> <p>“Maria was the centre of our family, bringing us together to care for and support each other. Family was everything to Maria, and she was everything to her family.</p> <p>“Maria has warmed the hearts of many and we would like to extend our gratitude for the support the community has provided as we come to terms with our loss.”</p> <p>They added: “The support truly shows that Maria was loved by many and has made a positive impact to the community.</p> <p>“We will always remember Maria for her warmth, caring nature, compassion and her beautiful smile.”</p> <p>They also thanked Nonna’s Cucina for allowing her to spread joy with the community and said that they will come together as a family in the coming days to celebrate Maria's life. </p> <p>“We thank Nonna’s Cucina for supporting Maria to share her joy with the community.</p> <p>“The past few days have been difficult for our family as we process the grief of losing our beautiful mother and Nonna.”</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook/ Nine News. </em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Text messages reveal accused mushroom killer’s “horrible upbringing”

<p>Texts that alleged triple murderer Erin Patterson sent to a friend have emerged revealing her "horrible upbringing".</p> <p>The texts were sent shortly after the death of Patterson's mum Heather Scutter in 2019, where she described her mother as "cold" and "weird". </p> <p>“My mum was ultra weird her whole life,” she wrote.</p> <p>“We had a horrible upbringing. Mum was essentially a cold robot. It was like being brought up in a Russian orphanage where they don’t touch babies.</p> <p>"That's what my psych reckons. She said she wishes she could have studied my mum lol."</p> <p>The messages, obtained by the <em>Herald Sun, </em>also revealed Patterson's lack of connection with her late father Eitan Scutter, who she called "a doormat." </p> <p>“Dad wanted to be warm and loving to us but mum wouldn’t let him because it would spoil us so he did as he was told,” she said. </p> <p>“She would shout at him if he did the wrong thing so he became very meek and compliant.</p> <p>“My sister and I would hide in our room most of the time so we couldn’t do anything wrong.”</p> <p>These texts have emerged after a former colleague of Patterson described her as “eccentric” and “abrasive”, during her time as an air traffic controller in the early 2000s. </p> <p>The former colleague also told the <em>Herald Sun </em>that Patterson was highly intelligent and capable as she was able to graduate from the challenging training course and work independently in the field. </p> <p>“She was rated in the field and was actually responsible for running airspace for a while,” the former colleague told the publication. </p> <p>“She’s very bright and much brighter than people might think. She managed to get guys wrapped around her little finger although she was very unkempt … and she was abrasive.”</p> <p>A spokesperson from Airservices Australia had also confirmed that Patterson was employed as an air traffic controller from 12 February 2001 until 28 November 2002. </p> <p>Patterson has been <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/erin-patterson-charged-with-eight-counts-of-murder-and-attempted-murder" target="_blank" rel="noopener">charged</a> with three counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder, after being accused of serving up a beef Wellington pie that contained death cap mushrooms which resulted in the tragic deaths of Heather Wilkinson, Gail Patterson and Don Patterson. </p> <p>The attempted murder charges relate to her estranged husband Simon Patterson, and Heather's husband and Baptist church pastor, Ian Wilkinson who miraculously survived but was hospitalised in critical conditions for nearly two months. </p> <p>Patterson's two children were also in attendance, but did not consume the same meal.</p> <p>Ian has since been released and attended his wife's memorial in October. </p> <p><em>Image: News.com.au </em><em style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;">/ A Current Affair</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Woman launches true crime podcast to find her father's killer

<p>21 years ago, Madison McGhee's father was shot in cold blood. </p> <p>Madison was just six years old when her dad, John "JC" Cornelius McGhee, died, and was originally told he had passed away from a heart attack.</p> <p>However, when Madison was in high school, she began to ask questions about what really happened that night. </p> <p>"When I was 16 I had a weird feeling that something else was going on, so I asked my mum about a weird connection between my cousin and the death of my father," Madison told <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today/ice-cold-case-podcaster-hoping-to-solve-fathers-21-year-murder-mystery/a873da03-0198-4e34-b65c-cc3ced6e8cca" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Today Extra</em></a>.</p> <p>"And that's when my mum told me that there was another side of the story and that my dad had actually been murdered and it was a cold case, completely unsolved."</p> <p>Madison's father, who was a recovering drug addict and police informant, was shot in the head in the early hours of July 11th 2002 at his home in Ohio. </p> <p>His 16-year-old daughter and Madison's half-sister, Alyssa, was home at the time and found her father's body on the ground with a bullet hole in a nearby wall.</p> <p>Police investigated his death, but failed to find any evidence that could convict someone of his murder. </p> <p>After Madison discovered the real nature of her father's death, she began digging into the cold case and decided to try and solve the crime herself. </p> <p>In her efforts to find her father's killer, she launched a podcast called <em>Ice Cold Case</em>. </p> <p>"I started asking questions, diving into it and that's when I realised it was much more layered than even I could have imagined," she said.</p> <p>One line of theory by investigators was that JC's death was a home invasion gone wrong, but Madison said things just don't add up to support that.</p> <p>"When you dive into the police files, it's very clear that this is suspicious," she said.</p> <p>"A home invasion to my knowledge is usually very quick and something of value is stolen, but nothing was taken and this home invasion lasted for over 30 minutes.</p> <p>"It just seemed suspicious that someone would feel so comfortable to break into a house and stick around for that long and not steal anything at all - it feels like it was planned and very intentional."</p> <p>Madison admitted that is has been jarring looking into the death of her father, especially when no one has been held accountable, but she has put her own fears aside in the hopes of finding out what really happened. </p> <p>"I do feel a little uneasy putting myself out there in this very public way, but I just feel like justice for my dad is so much more important than worrying about my own safety if his killer is still out there," she said.</p> <p>"But I really want to find out what happened for him and for my own closure, so I have sort of pushed that to the side."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Today Extra</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

“I hate him for what he did to my mummy”: Tragic statement from daughter of slain 23-year-old

<p>Queenslander Gabrielle "Gabbie" Marshall, 23, moved to Tasmania to build a new life and hoped to be reunited with her daughter in the future. </p> <p>Her killer, Colin William Drake, 37, lived on the same street just 230m away, and would later on stab her in a frenzied attack while she slept on the floor of her friend’s house in the coastal town of Ulverstone.</p> <p>Although Drake had no clear motive for the attack on June 14, 2021, he had been arrested and appeared in the Supreme Court of Tasmania on Wednesday after pleading guilty to murder.</p> <p>The Crown prosecutor Linda Mason SC, said that Gabbie suffered 17 stab wounds to her neck, arms and hands, in a desperate act to defend herself. </p> <p>In heartbreaking turn of events, Gabbie's parents Heidi and Rick Marshall paid tribute to their young daughter in court. </p> <p>“I saw two men approaching (our house) in suits. I knew they were detectives,”  Heidi recalled the moment she found out about her daughter's death. </p> <p>“I instantly knew something had happened to Gabrielle and my heart just broke.”</p> <p>Heidi said that Gabbie felt the safest in Tasmania, after getting out of a bad relationship and would call her parents every night to tell them she loved them. </p> <p>“Before her death she was the happiest she had ever been,” Gabbie's dad said. </p> <p>“Just like that she was gone,” Heidi said.</p> <p>“You never think anything like this would happen to your family.”</p> <p>Gabbie's daughter, who was six at the time, was playing on the deck when the detectives arrived and overheard the conversation. </p> <p>She "still sleeps with one of Gabbie’s jumpers,” Heidi said. </p> <p>Gabbie's daughter, who continues to live with her grandparents, has written a heart-wrenching statement which was also read in court. </p> <p>“When I hug my mummy’s jumper at night I get to talk to her,” the statement read. </p> <p>“(She) won’t be there to see me finish school. I hate him very much for what he did to my mummy.”</p> <p>The court was told that Drake, who is set to be sentenced in December, has a mild intellectual disability and a low IQ, sitting at the bottom 0.4 per cent of the population.</p> <p>The Crown prosecutor said that there were several possible motives including sexual jealousy, desire, or that he entered the house to steal something. </p> <p>She added that this is due to the sexualised comments he had made about women he saw while walking with his carer a few weeks prior. </p> <p>He had no connection with Gabbie or her friend. </p> <p>Defence lawyer Greg Barns SC said Drake had indicated to his legal advisers that he had remorse, and maintained that he went to the house to get cigarettes. </p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Erin Patterson charged with EIGHT counts of murder and attempted murder

<p>Erin Patterson has been arrested and charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder following the tragic death cap mushroom incident that occurred on July 29.</p> <p>The incident in question involved a mushroom lunch that resulted in the death of three people and severe illness in several others. Patterson's arrest and the subsequent investigation have brought this harrowing case to the forefront of public attention.</p> <p>On Thursday, just after 8am, 49-year-old <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/erin-patterson-arrested-over-fatal-mushroom-meal" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Patterson was taken into custody</a> by homicide squad detectives and brought to the Wonthaggi police station for questioning. Her Leongatha home was searched extensively with the assistance of Australian Federal Police technology detector dogs, specifically trained to identify items like electronic devices, sim cards and USB drives. As the investigation progressed, the grim reality of the situation emerged.</p> <p>Following that interview, Patterson was charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder, and she was remanded in custody to appear at Morwell Magistrates’ Court the following morning.</p> <p>The murder charges and two of the attempted murder charges are linked to the mushroom lunch incident that took place on July 29. Three victims, Heather Wilkinson, Gail Patterson and Don Patterson, lost their lives after allegedly consuming a beef wellington at Erin Patterson's residence. Heather's husband and Baptist church pastor, Ian Wilkinson, miraculously survived but was hospitalised in critical condition for nearly two months. He was released in September, appearing at his wife's memorial last month.</p> <p>Patterson's two children were also present during the ill-fated lunch but did not partake in the same meal. The three additional attempted murder charges pertain to separate alleged incidents occurring between 2021 and 2022. According to Victoria Police, a 48-year-old Korumburra man fell ill after consuming meals on these dates. It has been revealed that these charges are related to Patterson's ex-husband, Simon Patterson.</p> <p>The investigation at Patterson's residence on Thursday was a significant event, as police and their canine units combed through the property. They scrutinised a garage, shed, green bin and car while the trained dogs inspected the premises. Authorities suspect that the symptoms experienced by the diners were consistent with poisoning by death cap mushrooms, a highly toxic variety.</p> <p>Homicide detectives had previously identified Patterson as a suspect in the case. In her statement to the police, Patterson claimed that she had prepared a beef wellington using button mushrooms from a major supermarket and dried mushrooms from an Asian grocery store. She even stated that she had consumed a portion of the meal and later suffered from severe stomach pains and diarrhoea. This statement contrasts with the detectives' suggestion that she did not experience any ill effects. Throughout the investigation, Patterson has consistently denied any wrongdoing.</p> <p><em>Images: A Current Affair</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Lilie James' grieving family breaks silence as body is found in manhunt for suspect

<p>Lilie James' devastated family have spoken out for the first time, following her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/slain-st-andrew-s-staffer-identified" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tragic death</a>. </p> <p>The 21-year-old water polo coach was found dead with serious head injuries at the gymnasium bathroom of St Andrew’s Cathedral School on Wednesday night. </p> <p>Her male colleague and ex-boyfriend Paul Thijssen is believed to be involved in her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/tragic-new-details-emerge-in-alleged-murder-of-lilie-james" target="_blank" rel="noopener">alleged murder</a>, when he went missing at The Gap in Vaucluse, after reportedly calling the police informing them of a body on school grounds. </p> <p>A body has reportedly been found at the base of the cliffs in Diamond Bay Reserve, however police are currently unable to confirm whether the body was that of 24-year-old Thijssen. </p> <p>“A police operation is currently underway to retrieve a body in Vaucluse,” NSW Police said in an earlier statement.</p> <p>“No further information is available at this time.”</p> <p>Detectives are currently investigating the possibility that Thijssen had taken his own life, as The Gap is a notorious suicide spot, and Thijssen's backpack and an item linked to the alleged homicide was found there. </p> <p>On Friday morning, her family have broken their silence following the grim discovery. </p> <p>“We are devastated and heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful Lilie James,” the family said in a statement released by the police. </p> <p>“She was vibrant, outgoing, and very much loved by her family and friends. We are tremendously grateful for the support of our community at this difficult time.</p> <p>“As a police investigation is underway, we will not be providing further comments.</p> <p>“We ask that you please respect our privacy.”</p> <p>Students have been paying tribute to the fallen water polo coach with a growing flower memorial at the school's entrance. </p> <p>A few of the students she coached also told<em> 7NEWS.com.au </em>that she was an “amazing” and “encouraging” coach.</p> <p>"She always had a smile on her face,” one student said.</p> <p>“You will be in all of our prayers and hearts. Thank you for making PE so much fun, thank you for being an amazing and strong coach, and thank you for being there. We love you,” another student said.</p> <p><em>Images: 7NEWS/Facebook</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Slain St Andrew’s staffer identified

<p dir="ltr">The body of a female staff member at St Andrew’s College in Sydney has been identified, just hours after she was found dead in the school’s gymnasium. </p> <p dir="ltr">Lilie James, 21, was the water polo coach at the prestigious school, and was <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/young-female-staffer-found-dead-in-school-bathroom" target="_blank" rel="noopener">found dead</a> with serious head injuries just before midnight on Wednesday. </p> <p dir="ltr">Police are continuing their investigation into her alleged murder, while also searching for Ms James’ friend and colleague Paul Thijssen. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Thijssen, who is also a sports coach at the college, is wanted for questioning by police, as it is believed he could help with inquiries into her “apparent” homicide. </p> <p dir="ltr">On Thursday morning, police established a second crime scene near The Gap in Vaucluse that they believe is linked to Ms James’ death. </p> <p dir="ltr">Superintendent Martin Fileman said, “We don’t want to make any assumptions of the fact that that person may have taken his own life, but that’s just another line of inquiry we’re looking at at the moment.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Fileman also confirmed that the two school staffers were known to each other, saying, “There’s nothing to indicate that there was any domestic violence, any [apprehended violence orders] or anything between both of them,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">A post-mortem examination has yet to be conducted to formally determine the cause of the woman’s death.</p> <p dir="ltr">“From her injuries, it was apparent that she was a victim of homicide,” Fileman said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“As you can probably imagine, it’s an extremely daunting experience, a very sad time for everybody. Not only the families, the students also who are turning up today to be confronted by this.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The grim discovery was made after emergency services were called to the scene following reports of concern for the woman's welfare. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Superintendent went on to say the crime scene at the elite school was "confronting" for the officers who found the body.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Last night police from Sydney city police area command were responding to a welfare check and attended the school at St Andrew's cathedral where police located the body of a female in her early 20s in the gym area of the school," he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"From her injuries it was apparent she was a victim of a homicide.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Tragic new details emerge in alleged murder of Lilie James

<p>After the prestigious St Andrew's Cathedral School in Sydney was been rocked by the alleged murder of a young water polo instructor, Lilie James, new details about the discovery of a possible murder weapon have been revealed.</p> <p>James was found dead in a gym bathroom within the school, with "serious head injuries" that were <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12674723/Lilie-James-murder-Paul-Thijssen-St-Andrews-Cathedral.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reportedly inflicted with a hammer</a>. The circumstances surrounding her death are both puzzling and distressing, leaving the community in shock and disbelief.</p> <p>James, who had been romantically involved with her colleague, 24-year-old sports coach Paul Thijssen, met a tragic end in the place where she had dedicated her time and passion. The two had recently ended their five-week relationship, and the events of that night have left investigators piecing together a disturbing puzzle.</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">CCTV footage obtained by the police revealed that Thijssen followed James into the school's gym bathroom, only to exit more than an hour later. Four hours after leaving the scene, he called the authorities to report a body on the school grounds – police were then able to trace that call to "The Gap" clifftop at Diamond Bay Reserve in Vaucluse, </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">a notorious suicide spot, where they found </span>Thijssen's backpack, <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">along with an item that has been linked to the homicide.</span></p> <p>The investigation has taken a tragic turn, as authorities are now trying to determine whether Thijssen had taken his own life. Detectives are grappling with the shocking and heartbreaking details of this case, with no prior indication of a history of domestic violence between the two individuals.</p> <p>Thijssen, a former student of St Andrew's Cathedral School, was part of a privileged family that had moved to Australia from the Netherlands in 2015. He excelled as a sports captain during his student years and later returned to the school as a cricket and hockey coach after graduating in 2017.</p> <p>The school, in the wake of this tragic incident, took immediate action to inform parents of the situation via text messages. The message indicated that the school would be closed, except for Year 12 exams, and a "critical incident" had occurred. It assured parents that no students were involved and that there was no ongoing threat to the school community.</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">NSW Premier Chris Minns described it as a “horrible, horrible” crime. “One of the worst that I’ve seen in my public life", while </span>Detective Superintendent Martin Fileman described the crime scene as "quite confronting" for first responders, reflecting the severity and gravity of the situation. The school is working closely with the police to gather more information and provide a safe environment for students and staff members.</p> <p>As the investigation continues, the hope is that it will shed light on the circumstances surrounding her untimely death and provide answers to the many lingering questions.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook / LinkedIn</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Why this pilot was charged with 83 counts of attempted murder

<p>An off-duty pilot, identified as Joseph David Emerson, has been charged with 83 counts of attempted murder following an alleged attempt to crash an Alaska Airlines flight en route to San Francisco.</p> <p>The incident unfolded as Flight 2059, operated by Horizon Air, took off from Everett, Washington, shortly before 5:30pm local time on a seemingly routine Sunday evening. However, what transpired mid-flight left passengers and the aviation community in disbelief.</p> <p>Emerson, who was sitting in the cockpit's jump seat behind the captain and first officer, reportedly attempted to activate the jet's fire suppression system. This system, when triggered, would have closed a valve in the wing to cut off the flow of fuel to the engines. The consequences of such an act could have been catastrophic, potentially leading to a loss of engine power and a potentially fatal crash.</p> <p>The vigilant crew of Flight 2059, including the captain and first officer, quickly responded to subdue Emerson, preventing the activation of the fire suppression system. Their swift actions were pivotal in averting a potential disaster. The aircraft was forced to make an emergency diversion to Portland International Airport, where Emerson was taken into custody by the Port of Portland Police. Thankfully, no injuries were reported during this harrowing incident.</p> <p>The charges against Emerson are nothing short of severe. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office has confirmed that he faces 83 counts of attempted murder in the first degree, 83 counts of recklessly endangering another person, and one count of endangering an aircraft in the first degree. Emerson is currently held in custody at the Multnomah County Detention Centre in Portland, Oregon, awaiting arraignment.</p> <p>The investigation into this troubling incident is ongoing, with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies collaborating to determine the motive behind Emerson's actions. When interviewed by police, Emerson said he had a “nervous breakdown” after not sleeping for 40 hours and stated he had taken psychedelic mushrooms for the first time.</p> <p>“I didn’t feel okay. It seemed like the pilots weren’t paying attention to what was going on. They didn’t … it didn’t seem right,” Emerson told police, according to an affidavit. </p> <p>The affidavit does not state whether Emerson was under the influence of the mushrooms while on the plane, but he later added: “I pulled both emergency shut off handles because I thought I was dreaming and I just wanna wake up.”</p> <p>The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also become involved in the case, supporting investigations into the incident. The Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) commended the flight crew for their swift response, emphasising the priority of safety for the flying public and crews. ALPA noted that the airline pilot profession is one of the most highly vetted and scrutinised careers, with pilots undergoing continuous evaluations throughout their careers through training and medical exams.</p> <p>Emerson's pilot certification, which was updated just last month, underscores the importance of self-reporting any mental health conditions for aviators. This aspect of the case will likely be closely examined as part of the ongoing investigation.</p> <p>In a statement, the Portland office of the FBI assured the traveling public that there is no continuing threat related to this incident. While the shocking episode has left many questions unanswered, it serves as a testament to the professionalism and dedication of flight crews in ensuring passenger safety, even in the face of such extraordinary challenges.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook / FlightAware</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Teenage NRL player charged with gang murder

<p dir="ltr">A teenage NRL player has been charged with murder over the violent death of an underworld figure in July. </p> <p dir="ltr">Masei Tavui, a 19-year-old West Tigers player, was charged by Liverpool Police on Tuesday afternoon over the death of Dejan “Danny the Serb” Radulovic, who was killed while he was on parole. </p> <p dir="ltr">Police officers arrested the teenager in the early hours of the morning, before executing a search of his home in south-west Sydney. </p> <p dir="ltr">Tavui sat calmly talking to police in handcuffs before being taken away in a paddy wagon. </p> <p dir="ltr">They arrested the 19-year-old before they seized “clothing relevant to their investigation” that was uncovered during the search. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It will undergo further forensic examination,” NSW Police said. </p> <p dir="ltr">Radulovic was killed on July 29th after he was allegedly shot and stabbed in the Sydney suburb of Balmain following an altercation with two men.</p> <p dir="ltr">Officers arrived on the scene to find Mr Radulovic had sustained significant head and torso injuries, with police alleging his wounds were from being bashed and stabbed.</p> <p dir="ltr">He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where he later died. </p> <p dir="ltr">An autopsy of the 29-year-old discovered he had also suffered a gunshot wound. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Police have been told Danny Radulovic was injured during an altercation with two men before the pair allegedly fled the scene in a white Jeep,” a NSW Police spokesperson said in a statement.</p> <p dir="ltr">Masei Tavui was refused bail and will face court next week.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: NSW Police</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

How a garden hose dispute between neighbours ended with a 30-year jail sentence

<p>An Aussie man has been sentenced to 30 years in jail after shooting two of his neighbours, in a months-long dispute that began over a disagreement over a garden hose. </p> <p>Rodney John Lee, a 74-year-old from Melbourne's south-east, was sentenced to 30 years behind bars in court on Monday, after showing little remorse for pulling out a shotgun and murdering Saumoto Gasio and Tibor Laszlo, who lived in the same unit block. </p> <p>The dispute between the neighbours began several months ago, with tensions escalating quickly in the lead up to the shooting, which occurred on January 13th 2022. </p> <p>Lee had accused one neighbour's grandson of being a drug dealer, and was angry others would turn off a hose he used to water a communal garden.</p> <p>On the day of the killings, Lee left the hose running and went inside his apartment, later screaming in anger when he realised that the water had been shut off.</p> <p>According to court documents, Lee yelled to his neighbours, "You turn the hose off again you bastards, I'll f***ing kill you."</p> <p>Later that night, Lee confronted residents in the garden when he got into an argument with Mr Gasio, who told him he would ignore demands about the hose because he was wasting water by leaving the hose running unattended.</p> <p>Lee then went back to his apartment and armed himself with his grandfather's shotgun, before he headed back to the group and from close range fired at Mr Gasio, who was sitting on a bench.</p> <p>Other residents of the building fled the scene looking for safety, while a badly injured Mr Gasio stumbled into a neighbour's unit. </p> <p>As neighbours tried to help Mr Gasio, Lee came through the door and fired the shotgun again, this time hitting Mr Laszlo.</p> <p>Both men died at the scene.</p> <p>Before handing down the sentencing, Justice James Elliott described the killer's actions as "senseless and brutally violent".</p> <p>"Nothing could justify the disproportionate, senseless and brutally violent way in which you responded," Justice Elliott said.</p> <div data-component="EmphasisedText"> <p>"You murdered two people in their places of residence, where they were entitled to feel safe, in the presence of other residents of the unit complex."</p> </div> <p>"Both victims were completely defenceless against you."</p> <p>Lee is likely to die in jail,  as h<span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">e will be aged 97 by the time he is eligible for parole in early 2046.</span></p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph__3Hrfa" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">"You'll almost certainly be imprisoned for the remainder of your life," Justice Elliott said.</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph__3Hrfa" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;"><em>Image credits: ABC News</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Man charged with murder over disappearance of missing Tasmanian teen

<p>A tragic turn of events has led to a murder charge after the <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/human-remains-found-in-search-for-missing-teenager" target="_blank" rel="noopener">discovery of remains</a> believed to belong to Shyanne-Lee Tatnell, a 14-year-old who had been missing in Tasmanian bushland for three months.</p> <p>The arrest of a 36-year-old man from Scottsdale, a rural town in the state's north-east, came after an extensive search in nearby Nabowla. The suspect is now in custody and expected to appear in Launceston Magistrates Court for further proceedings.</p> <p>Tasmania Police confirmed that the remains found on a bush track in Nabowla were human and likely to be Shyanne-Lee's, who was last seen in Launceston on the night of April 30.</p> <p>Northern district commander Kate Chambers expressed her heartfelt sympathy for the community and reaffirmed their commitment to seeking answers and closure for Shyanne-Lee's family and loved ones.</p> <p>While forensic testing on the remains is underway, it may take up to a week for conclusive results.</p> <p>Shyanne-Lee's mother, Bobbi-Lee Ketchell, posted an emotional message to her daughter following the revelation of the remains. The message accompanied a photo of the young girl with a beaming smile, and it read, "I'm home," which was a heartbreaking change from the previous plea, "Help bring me home."</p> <p>In the past two months, police have seized several items during their search efforts. A property in Scottsdale was declared a crime scene and thoroughly investigated. The search in Nabowla involved a massive team of 180 people, including helicopter crews and search-and-rescue volunteers on horseback.</p> <p>Shyanne-Lee was last seen on CCTV near the North Esk River in Launceston, approximately 50km southwest of Nabowla. Despite extensive searches in the river area, no trace of the teenager was found. She had been staying in youth accommodation for two weeks before her disappearance and was en route to visit a friend in nearby Ravenswood when she vanished.</p> <p>In June, more than 100 people, including Shyanne-Lee's family members, gathered for a touching vigil to remember her. The community has been deeply affected by this heartbreaking event, and authorities are dedicated to finding the truth and providing closure to the grieving family.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook / PR Handout</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Suspect revealed in double murder of elderly couple

<p>A 62-year-old woman from Adelaide has had official charges laid against her by South Australian police over the alleged double murder of her elderly parents – Brenda and Lynton Anderson – who police believe were <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/double-murder-investigation-launched-into-elderly-couple-who-died-a-year-apart" target="_blank" rel="noopener">deliberately poisoned a year apart</a>.</p> <p>After initially concealing the identity of the suspect, detectives – who had been treating the deaths of Andersons, both aged 94, as a double murder – described their main person of interest as someone who was <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">"known and close to both of them." </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">At the time, Detective Inspector Mark McEachern told reporters that </span>suspicions had arisen due to similarities and irregularities found in the toxicology reports of the deceased Andersons.</p> <p>It was determined that the presence of certain medications in their systems was unexplained and raised concerns. "There was no reason for the medication to have been in their system and that's raised concerns in respect of both deaths," McEachern said.</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">"Mrs Anderson's hospital death was identified during the coronial investigation process after toxicology results gave significant rise for concern. </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">When an innocent explanation for toxicology abnormalities was eliminated, the possibility Mrs Anderson's death being a deliberate act by another party became the primary subject of the investigation.</span></p> <p>"It is believed Mrs Anderson was killed by a person known to her and in close enough relationship to have been visiting her while she was in hospital."</p> <p>In the case of Lynton Anderson, he was discovered unconscious at his residence in Hackham by a caregiver on April 30. He was immediately transported to Flinders Medical Centre by SA Ambulance but succumbed to his condition the following day. Detectives then became suspicious of his toxicology results after closely analysing Brenda's case. </p> <p>After ruling out any of the carers who looked after the Andersons during their time in hospital, SA p<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">olice have now taken the couple’s daughter – Raelene Polymiadis – into custody and laid appropriate charges against her.</span></p> <p>It will be alleged by SA Police that Raelene Polymiadis carried out her crimes while visiting her parents – mother Brenda while she was being treated in hospital for unrelated issues, and father Lynton at his Hackham home.</p> <p><em>Images: SA Police</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Double murder investigation launched into elderly couple who died a year apart

<p>Detectives are treating the deaths of Brenda and Lynton Anderson, both aged 94, as a double murder, with the main suspect believed to be someone close to the victims. The couple, who were great-grandparents, passed away a year apart under suspicious circumstances.</p> <p>Speaking at a press conference, Detective Inspector Mark McEachern revealed that both deaths were deliberate acts carried out by the same person, who had a close relationship with the Andersons.</p> <p>"Both were deliberately murdered by the same person who was known and close to both of them," Detective Inspector Mark McEachern told reporters.</p> <p>The suspicions arose due to similarities and irregularities found in the toxicology reports of the deceased couple. It was discovered that the presence of certain medications in their systems was unexplained and raised concerns.</p> <p>"The medication that was in there should not have been there, there was no reason for the medication to have been in their system and that's raised concerns in respect of both deaths," McEachern said.</p> <p>Brenda Anderson's demise initially occurred while she was receiving medical treatment at Noarlunga Hospital in March of the previous year. As her condition worsened, she was transferred to Flinders Medical Centre, where she eventually passed away.</p> <p>During the coronial investigation process, her hospital death came under scrutiny when significant abnormalities were found in the toxicology results. After ruling out any innocent explanation for these irregularities, the investigation turned its focus to the possibility of foul play by a third party known to Mrs. Anderson. The police have expressed confidence in the level of care provided by both hospitals.</p> <p>"Mrs Anderson's hospital death was identified during the coronial investigation process after toxicology results gave significant rise for concern.</p> <p>"When an innocent explanation for toxicology abnormalities was eliminated, the possibility Mrs Anderson's death being a deliberate act by another party became the primary subject of the investigation.</p> <p>"It is believed Mrs Anderson was killed by a person known to her and in close enough relationship to have been visiting her while she was in hospital.</p> <p>"Police have no concerns about the level of care in either hospital, which was exemplary," <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">McEachern</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> said.</span></p> <p>In the case of Lynton Anderson, he was discovered unconscious at his residence in Hackham by a caregiver on April 30. He was immediately transported to Flinders Medical Centre by SA Ambulance but succumbed to his condition the following day.</p> <p>Detectives also became suspicious of the toxicology results for Lynton after analysing Brenda's case. However, they have ruled out the involvement of external carers in his death. The police have identified a suspect but declined to provide further details at this stage of the investigation.</p> <p>Authorities are now urging anyone who had contact with the Anderson couple and possesses information related to their deaths and the events leading up to them to come forward. They are particularly interested in hearing from individuals who may have knowledge of any prescribed or non-prescribed medications used by the couple or discussed by them.</p> <p>The community has been left shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of Brenda and Lynton Anderson. As the investigation into these distressing circumstances unfolds, the hope is that justice will be served and the truth behind these untimely losses will be revealed.</p> <p><em>Images: SA Police</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Former X-Factor star charged with murder of baby

<p dir="ltr">Mitchell David Callaway, a former <em>X-Factor </em>contestant who appeared alongside Johnny Ruffo in the show’s 2011 season, has been charged with murder for the death of a nine-month-old girl in 2018.</p> <p dir="ltr">Emergency services had been called out over reports of an unresponsive baby girl in the Central West, and despite the best efforts of medical professionals and transport to Coonabarabran Hospital, she passed away. </p> <p dir="ltr">Callaway was arrested on June 8 - five years after her death - at a house in Bowraville, New South Wales. That same day, the 37-year-old faced Macksville Local Court, and was refused bail with instruction to attend court again the following week. </p> <p dir="ltr">The arrest was the culmination of a five year investigation under Strike Force King, after police officials received new information and executed a crime scene warrant at another property - actions which eventually led them to Callaway’s door. </p> <p dir="ltr">And now, the young girl’s mother has spoken out on social media about his arrest, and the devastating loss of her baby. </p> <p dir="ltr">“After almost five years to the day, an arrest has finally been made,” she wrote. “All the years of pain, suffering and grief and following my mother’s intuition.</p> <p dir="ltr">She spoke of how there was still a “long road ahead” in getting justice for her daughter, with court proceedings still to occur, but that it was good to see “the beginning of justice” in the wake of her heartbreak.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She has been the reason I have continued to fight, live and have made it this far,” she added. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Not a day goes by that I do not miss you and wish you were here.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This doesn’t bring you back but it does bring you some peace and the justice you deserve. Forever my little girl. Mummy loves you, xx”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Additional online tributes - from the time of her passing - described her as a “precious daughter”, and someone who was also an “adored and loved great-granddaughter, granddaughter, niece, and cousin”.</p> <p dir="ltr">A funeral was held for the girl, where more heartfelt words were shared, and her loved ones came together in a flurry of bright colour to “celebrate the first birthday she never got to have.” </p> <p dir="ltr">“She was the definition of perfect,” an obituary for her declared. “She was the happiest, smiliest, cheekiest baby who melted the hearts of everyone that met her.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: NSW Police</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Father of murdered Aussie soldier voices support for Ben Roberts-Smith

<p> The father of an Australian soldier murdered in Afghanistan has spoken out in defence of former SAS member Ben Roberts-Smith.</p> <p>Hugh Poate’s son, Robert, was playing cards with two other Australians when they were tragically shot by a rogue Afghan soldier named Hekmatullah in 2012.</p> <p>According to Poate, Roberts-Smith was simply following orders in a bid to apprehend Hekmatullah, who had brutally taken the lives of their son.</p> <p>Acting on intelligence, they were taken to the village of Darwan, where Roberts-Smith had allegedly kicked a farmer named Ali Jan off a cliff and ordered his execution.</p> <p>“These citizens in the village could well have been a civilian one day and pulling the trigger the next, that‘s the way the Taliban operated. This perspective should have been included to provide some balance and context,” Poate told the<em> Daily Telegraph</em>.</p> <p>The federal court <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/a-win-for-the-press-a-big-loss-for-ben-roberts-smith-what-does-this-judgment-tell-us-about-defamation-law" target="_blank" rel="noopener">dismissed</a> Roberts-Smith’s defamation trial against the <em>Sydney Morning Herald</em>, <em>The Age</em>, and the <em>Canberra Times</em>, with Justice Besanko concluding the various titles had substantially proven the former soldier unlawfully killed four unarmed Afghan prisoners during his service in the SAS between 2009 and 2012.</p> <p>The judgement also acknowledged instances of Roberts-Smith’s alleged bullying of fellow soldiers. However, the court dismissed two other murder allegations and an accusation that he had assaulted his mistress.</p> <p>In his thorough 736-page judgement, the judge determined that Roberts-Smith and four key witnesses called to testify were both dishonest and unreliable in their evidence.</p> <p>Following the release of the completed judgement, Roberts-Smith’s legal team is now closely inspecting the document to identify potential grounds for an appeal.</p> <p>Poate emphasised the fact that Hekmatullah was captured and convicted of war crimes and subsequently released. In comparison, Roberts-Smith <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/australian-war-memorial-urged-to-remove-ben-roberts-smith-s-uniform-from-display" target="_blank" rel="noopener">has not been convicted</a> of any war crimes. Potae perceives the treatment of Roberts-Smith as a case of double standards.</p> <p>Additionally, Poate asserted that the responsibility for any wrongdoing committed by the SAS in Afghanistan lies with others in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). By acknowledging the collective accountability within the organisation, Poate has suggested a wider perspective on the matter.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Magpie murderer slapped with massive penalty

<p>A Victorian man has copped a $2,349 penalty after inflicting “callous” acts on magpies.</p> <p>His sentence comes after an investigation by Victorian authorities who were tipped off that birds were being shot at a property in the state’s Sunraysia region. After inspecting the property in 2021, investigators discovered four dead magpies as well as two so severely injured they had to be euthanised.</p> <p>The 57-year-old was placed on a good behaviour bond after appearing at the Mildura Magistrates Court. He admitted to 10 offences of wounding and inflicting aggravated cruelty on the native birds.</p> <p>While Victoria does allow wildlife to be killed by property owners, they must apply for a permit before they start shooting.</p> <p>After the sentence was handed down, the state’s Conservation Regulator Glen Smith warned offenders would be prosecuted.</p> <p>“Magpies are an iconic native bird and they are protected in Victoria. There is no excuse for unlawfully killing or injuring them," he said.</p> <p>“The Conservation Regulator takes wildlife crime extremely seriously and this court result should act as a warning that we will pursue penalties for offenders.”</p> <p>These “callous” acts on the native birds come soon after another Australian man was found guilty of <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/man-who-killed-350-kookaburras-ordered-to-pay-fine" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shooting and killing</a> a staggering 350 kookaburras.</p> <p>Anyone with information about wildlife crime can report it anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

Our Partners