Through the eyes of the people placed right at the heart of the tragedies, the six compelling episodes uncover the biggest crimes to hit our country.
Through gripping interviews, drama reconstructions and archival footage, piece together the murders that shocked our nation. The detailed events leading up to the crime, the crime itself and the aftermath will be revealed.
In 1992, a New South Wales schoolgirl disappeared on her way home from school, leaving the nation in shock. So, what exactly happened to nine year old Ebony Simpson - and why was she murdered?
The Port Arthur Tragedy: Stan Grant presents the 1996 massacre where Martin Bryant shot dead 35 people and wounded 23 others. Bryant's killing spree at a well-known tourist attraction lead to major changes in Australia's gun laws.
On 19th April 1999, several times convicted criminal Peter Dupas posed as a new client of psychotherapist Nicky Patterson. Having made arrangements for his first appointment, 28-year-old Nicky welcomed Dupas into her home under the pretence that she would be giving him counselling for gambling. Dupas then attacked Nicky with a knife before mutilating her body. Evidence at the scene led police to Dupas. Dupas was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole in August 2000 and was later found guilty of the separate 1997 murders of Margaret Maher and Mersina Halvagis and was given two more life sentences.
On 8th November 2010, Jason Downie broke into the house of his friend’s girlfriend, where Chantelle Rowe and her parents were asleep. Woken up by the intruder, Andrew Rowe confronted Downie but was stabbed at least 29 times and eventually died. Downie then turned to Rose Rowe as he attacked and killed her in the same way. After witnessing the attack on her parents, 16-year-old Chantelle hid under her bed in terror, but Downie proceeded to stab her to death. When their bodies were found Downie showed no remorse but instead was seen to be grieving, laying flowers outside the Rowe family home. When traces of his DNA and semen connected him to the frenzied attack, he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 35 years.
Katherine Mary Knight lived in the small town of Aberdeen, NSW. In the early hours of March 1st 2000, Knight attacked her de facto husband John Price by stabbing him repeatedly. One day earlier, John had gone to court and taken out an Apprehended Violence Order against her. Knight’s experience as an abattoir worker and her obsession with knives may have aided in how she then mutilated the body. After skinning John’s body she then decapitated him and cooked parts of his body to serve to his relatives. After noticing John missing from work, his employer notified police and one of the most horrific crime scenes in Australian history was to be uncovered. She was the first Australian female to be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole and her papers were marked ‘never to be released’.
On 20th July 1969, Derek Percy approached 12-year-old Yvonne Tuohy and her friend Shane Spiller whilst they were playing at their local beach in Warneet, Victoria. He snatched Yvonne into his car before trying to get Shane too, but Shane managed to defend himself. Percy took Yvonne to a remote location where he then murdered her. Shane contacted the police and was able to recall several things about Percy’s car, including a navy sticker which led police to the local Navy base HMS Cerberus and to Percy. After his arrest Percy admitted to the crime and calmly led police to Yvonne’s body. Controversially, Percy was found ‘not guilty’ on reasons of insanity but was considered too dangerous to ever be released. Since then, Percy has been a suspect in a number of murders and disappearances of other children all over Australia including 7-year-old Linda Stilwell who went missing from St Kilda beach in 1968. He was known as Australia’s most notorious child killer until his death in prison in July 2013.