Hi folks, I am not in a position to contribute much with so much on my plate at the moment but I am creating this post so you good people may discuss the sad situation here.
Two more arrested over Sarah Cafferkey’s murder
Wayne Flower, Paul Anderson
November 22, 2012 3:01PM
A 32-year-old from Tarneit and a 34-year-old from Point Cook are assisting police with their inquiries.
They are being held at the St Kilda Rd police complex.
It comes as community members will hold a candlelight vigil to remember Ms Cafferkey tonight.
Point Cook residents, shocked by the discovery of Ms Cafferkey’s body in a house in the suburb, will attend the vigil at a local park at 7.30pm.
Organiser Alice Osborne said the community wanted to show their respect for Sarah and her family.
“The community is devastated … we are also wanting to show Sarah’s family we are very saddened about what has happened and we care for them and are supporting them,” Ms Osborne said.
Yesterday, the man accused of stabbing Ms Cafferkey to death and dumping her body in a wheelie bin sat silent in court.
Cafferkey accused remanded in custody
The man charged with killing Sarah Cafferkey has been remanded in custody after a brief court appearance.
In an olive polo shirt and with a shag of bleach-blond hair, Steven James Hunter appeared briefly in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court charged with murder.
His lawyer noted the case already had received significant media attention and, while asking that Hunter’s street address be deleted from the charge sheet to be released to the media, he told Magistrate Donna Bakos he hoped the press would “be mindful” that Hunter had now been charged.
Prosecutor Luke Exell said that the police brief of evidence would be served on Hunter’s solicitors by February.
Hunter sat staring into his lap during the procedural filing hearing. With powerful arms, one bearing a visible tattoo, he stood when Ms Bakos addressed him.
She noted he had no custody management issues and had no intention of applying for bail.
Homicide squad investigators arrested Hunter on Tuesday after he was tracked to a flat in Caroline St, Hawthorn.
The special operations group locked down the street before telling Hunter to come out with his hands up.
It took Hunter less than a minute to emerge from the second-storey unit.
An out-of-sessions hearing on Tuesday night heard Hunter fatally stabbed 22-year-old Ms Cafferkey with repeated blows at his Bacchus Marsh address on November 10.
Detective Sen-Constable Damien O’Mahoney told the court Hunter had made admissions about the killing. He will appear in court on March 27.
- Cafferkey accused remanded in custody (bigpondnews.com)
- Man charged over Cafferkey death (bigpondnews.com)
- More arrests over Sarah’s murder (dailytelegraph.com.au)
- More Cafferkey arrests (theage.com.au)
- Two more arrests over Cafferkey death (news.theage.com.au)
- ‘This is a murder investigation’ (theage.com.au)
The original thread to this sad case can be found here
I just watched footage of saddened ladies laying down bunches of flowers and something struck me out of the blue.
For a bunch of flowers ladies go out and buy one of those personal alarms. No need to wear it inside, or at home or with friends, but for those walks to a car, a taxi, a bus, or short walk home it could save your life.
Once activated they emit an ear piercing siren that cannot be turned off. It would bring attention instantly to your predicament and most likely scare off any would be attacker/abductor.
If you only ever use it once it may save your life girls, think about it.
Here is an example, for 9 dollars I I just googled personal alarm for this example
Protect yourself against intruders/attackers
This Personal Alarm suitable for joggers, elderly, disabled, night shift workers and some people who live alone
120dB high volume alarm will scare away the attackers and remind the others as SOS
Just pull off the hand strap to activate alarm, insert the hand strap to the plug to stop the alarm
The LED Spotlight is useful in the dark place
Key chain design allows you can take it with you to anywhere
Powered by 4 LR44 button cells(pre-loaded)
Weight : 50g
The alarm sound is very loud, never put the unit close to your ears
A fantastic article by veteran crime journo John Silvester, gives us a real insight behind the scenes as to how they caught the “Alleged” rapist and murderer, including the early speculation about why Jill’s husband was checked out as a suspect in a case like this.
Police suspected Jill Meagher’s killer might strike again and acted quickly, writes John Silvester.
At first it was just a missing person’s case. A person who had a little too much to drink had not made it home – an event that happens every night across Australia
By Saturday afternoon Homicide Crew Four, the suspicious missing persons unit under Detective Sergeant Dave Butler, began to monitor the situation. Soon it became obvious this was not a matter of a night spent on someone’s couch.
Jill Meagher’s phone had gone dead and she had not attempted to access her bank accounts, which discounted thoughts she had engineered her own disappearance.
Public grief over Jill Meagher
So by late Sunday, more than 36 hours after she was last seen drinking with her ABC work colleagues in Brunswick, an inner-city Melbourne suburb, Crew Four moved in.
But, at least initially, this was not a normal murder probe, as police were not sure there had been a murder at all.
While the investigation had to remain measured, there was an unspoken urgency. What if Jill had been abducted and was still alive?
When homicide detectives arrived in Brunswick on Monday morning detectives did not even have a crime scene.
What they did have was a starting point. They knew she had left Bar Etiquette to walk to her home in Lux Way. They knew she had refused an offer from a colleague to accompany her for safety.
Eventually her handbag was recovered in Hope Street but police were convinced it was not there when they checked the area on Saturday afternoon. This meant it had been planted some time later.
This would have initially indicated the offender might have lived nearby. (The reality was a local found the handbag in the lane on Saturday morning then returned on Sunday evening to put it back as a result of the media publicity.)
The first step for police was to confirm she had not made her destination, which meant interviewing her husband, Tom.
He was told firmly, but politely, that the homicide squad begins with those closest to the victim and then work its way out in ever increasing circles.
The reality is that in the majority of murders the victim knows the offender, and in most cases involving females they are killed by their partners.
Meagher had fallen asleep in front of the television late on Friday night and missed a text from his wife saying, ”Meet me at the pub.”
Police were able to corroborate much of his story, which effectively removed him from the suspect list by Tuesday. He was as he appeared. An undeniably decent man subjected to grief beyond imagination
Detectives began to trawl through her personal life to determine whether she had a boyfriend, was under work pressure, or suffered depression or a medical condition that could explain her disappearance.
When these were discounted the strongest theory became the most ominous. That she had been abducted off the street. That someone seeing a pretty, isolated and vulnerable woman simply bundled her off into the night.
And in the void came the theories. The husband had not reacted as he should. Why had she made the last call to her family in Perth and not to Tom? Why had he said she had not gone out with her handbag when she had?
This reflected not so much on Meagher as our need to come up with acceptable alternatives to the awful possibility she was the victim of an opportunistic abduction.
On Wednesday morning the homicide detectives had to make some tough decisions. They had sourced some CCTV footage from a Sydney Road boutique, which showed Jill outside the shop at 1.43am – her last known sighting just 450 metres from home. It also showed a man in a blue hoodie talking to her.
From the moment the detectives saw these images he became their number one suspect.
There was some debate over whether to make to the footage public. Police knew that he would surely be identified once it was released, but if Jill was still alive the consequences would be disastrous.
The truth was police had concluded she was dead. There was further debate over whether releasing the vision could lead the blue hoodie man to destroy evidence, fabricate an alibi, flee or self harm.
Perhaps in a regular homicide investigation police would have waited another 48 hours before releasing the film. But this was anything but normal and they decided to call for a public appeal to find this man. They feared they were hunting a predator who could strike again.
The response from the public was overwhelming, with 550 calls made to Crime Stoppers. Disturbingly many of the calls reported similar abduction attempts in the area that were not initially been reported to police. This is now the subject of a separate police investigation.
The suspect was ultimately identified internally by the homicide squad and by late Wednesday they had a name: Adrian Ernest Bayley, 41, of Coburg.
The surveillance squad, known as ”The Dogs”, was called in to watch him for two reasons – to check if he acted suspiciously and to ensure he could not strike again.
By Thursday morning he was confirmed as the man in the blue hoodie.
Surveillance police observed him behave as if an average guy from the suburbs, heading to work and following his normal routine. But his past showed another side. He was, as they say, ”known to police”. He had a history that fitted the likely profile and the CCTV vision showed him talking to the victim just before she disappeared.
As he was followed on Thursday morning by The Dogs, Crew Four started to rehearse the interview they would conduct with him later that day. They spoke to police who had previously dealt with him and carefully prepared a strategy designed for his personality.
The interview room was arranged to be non-threatening. Gone was the desk, the notebooks and the straight questions of a formal record of interview.
This was to be a friendly conversation rather than the third degree.
On Thursday afternoon Bayley was apprehended and taken to the St Kilda Road homicide office.
At first he was friendly but insistent. He was not in Sydney Road early Saturday morning, had not spoken to the victim and was not the man on the CCTV footage.
After some hours police played their ace. They showed him evidence that he was the man.
Police will allege that he eventually told them the story, admitting he grabbed Jill Meagher and took her to a side street where he sexually assaulted her.
They will produce the videoed confession in which he says he drove to Gisborne, a town 55 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, and used his own shovel to dig a shallow grave to hide his victim.
After initially denying any involvement he finally took police to the site where the body was recovered.
Yesterday he appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court charged with rape and murder.
It took six days to catch him. It took six minutes to remand him.
UPDATE 1pm 28/09/12: THE man charged over the disappearance of ABC employee Jill Meagher sat with head bowed in court this afternoon, charged with rape and murder.
Adrian Ernest Bayley, 41, of Coburg, sat in the dock of courtroom one at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court only metres from Ms Meagher’s husband Tom and her brother Michael – both men sitting in the first row in the courtroom flanked by homicide squad detectives.
Nine hours earlier, detectives had uncovered Ms Meagher’s body in a shallow grave beside a dirt track in Gisborne South.
Mr Bayley had appeared at an out of sessions court hearing about 2.30am, charged with rape and murder in Brunswick on September 22.
In court today, Tom and Michael did not look across at Mr Bayley throughout the short hearing.
Before the filing hearing started, Deputy Chief Magistrate Jelena Popovic greeted Ms Meagher’s relatives and told them the matter would take only a couple of minutes.
Mr Bayley sat in jeans and a blue T-shirt, a tattoo prominent on his muscled arm.
His face appeared flushed.
His legal aid defence lawyer told Ms Popovic there were no custody management issues.
In a meek-sounding voice, Mr Bayley replied “Yes” when Ms Popovic asked him if he understood that she could not entertain a bail application due to the murder charge.
Tom Meagher shot a gaze at Mr Bayley as guards led him from the court, and then whispered something to Ms Meagher’s brother.
Mr Bayley will re-appear in court on January 18 next year.
This thread is for discussion for after the arrest and beyond. This bloke is one dirty dog with plenty of form, including sexual violence! See below
IN the early hours of this morning, homicide detectives were led to a dark field on the edge of Melbourne, to the body of Jill Meagher.
Shortly afterwards, 41-year-old Adrian Bayley was charged with the rape and murder of the popular ABC Radio manager, who disappeared six days ago after spending an evening out with friends and work colleagues.
Mr Bayley did not enter a plea in the brief out of sessions court hearing, speaking only to say he understood the charges. He was wearing a navy blue shirt and jeans.
He is alleged to be the man in the blue hoodie police had been searching for since the broadcast of CCTV footage taken from within a bridal shop on a busy road in the north Melbourne suburb of Brunswick which showed Ms Meagher being beckoned to by an unidentified man.
Of all the possibilities that confronted police when Ms Meagher first went missing early last Saturday morning, this was the least likely; a genuinely random, opportunistic attack.
Police believe Mr Bayley did not know Ms Meagher, a petite, vivacious 29-year-old Irish woman who had been living and working in Melbourne for several years.
Ms Meagher’s family, including her distraught husband Tom Meagher, were told of the tragic developments in the homicide and missing persons investigation yesterday afternoon.
When Mr Bayley was arrested in Coburg and brought to the homicide squad’s St Kilda Road police headquarters, he at first refused to answer questions. Eventually, after several hours in custody, he helped police locate her body.
Ms Meagher’s death will shock her family: her parents George and Edith McKeon, who live in Perth; her brother Michael, who arrived from Ireland in the days of uncertainty since she was last in the company of friends in Bar Etiquette, a regular haunt in her Brunswick neighbourhood.
The apartment she shared with her husband was just a five minute walk around the corner from the bar. Despite the offer from a friend to walk her home, she insisted on making the short trip alone.
The news will also devastate the tight-knit ABC Radio community at the broadcaster’s Southbank studios, where Ms Meagher had worked since January.
In a job where broadcasters and producers and journalists and technicians work around the clock in shifts, Ms Meagher was a constant presence throughout the day.
She did the rosters, made the travel arrangements, solved problems. If anyone needed something done, they went to Ms Meagher. At other times she sat at her desk on the other side of a glass partition from one of the broadcasting booths, sharing in off-air jokes.
In the days after she went missing, broadcasters and others struggled to do their jobs. That was when they hoped she was still alive.
The emergence of CCTV footage showing Ms Meagher walking along Sydney Road in Brunswick at about 1:40am last Saturday appears to have been crucial to solving the case. Prior to then, investigating police were uncertain whether Ms Meagher had attempted the walk home, or whether she had left the bar in other circumstances.
The discovery of her handbag in a nearby laneway a day after police had combed the area perplexed detectives, who believed they would not have missed such an obvious clue. They suspected it may have been planted, but did not know by who.
The field where Ms Meagher was found lay off a dirt track near Gisborne South, a country town fast being absorbed by Melbourne’s suburban spread north west of the city. As daylight broke this morning, police were continuing to scour the crime scene.
Mr Bayley was remanded in custody to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this morning.
HERE is everything we know about the disappearance of Jill Meagher:
Saturday 1.39am – A man in a blue hoodie is seen walking in front of Sydney Rd shop Duchess Boutique between 1:39 and 1:43am
1.43am – After leaving Bar Etiquette around 1.30am, the 29 year-old is last seen on CCTV speaking with a man wearing a blue hoodie. The footage captures her looking unsteady on her feet and checking her phone. Minutes later, Ms Meagher’s brother Michael McKeon calls his sister several times, with no response.
2am – Ms Meagher’s husband Tom Meagher tries calling his wife’s mobile phone “non-stop” between 2am to 6am after she fails to return home.
4am – Mr Meagher heads out from their home on Lux Way to search for his wife. He contacts police after failing to locate her.
Saturday morning – Police commence the search to find the ABC worker.
Sunday – Police continue to search for the Brunswick woman. Posters are placed on Sydney Rd appealing for information.
12.30pm – A Facebook page is set up, urging the public to come forward with clues.
3.15pm – Police release a statement appealing for anyone who knows of Ms Meagher’s whereabouts to contact Crime Stoppers.
Monday 6.30am – Police find Ms Meagher’s handbag in a lane off Hope St, Brunswick. Police say they had previously searched the area and suspect the bag may have been “planted” after Sunday afternoon. There are no obvious signs of a struggle and her bag still contains her credit card. Ms Meagher’s phone remains missing.
8.50am –Homicide squad takes over the case.
1.45pm – Forensic experts emerge from the alley way with two brown paper bags.
Monday 1pm – Mr Meagher is questioned by police as routine.
Monday afternoon – A Sydney Rd shopkeeper’s security camera captures one man – possibly two – walking behind Ms Meagher. The shopkeeper also notices a car at the scene. The footage prompts police to seek other store footage. Police confirm Ms Meagher’s phone and bank card had not been used since Saturday.
Tuesday 12.30pm – Police search Meagher’s home and take away the Meaghers’ car for analysis. They spend a total of five hours searching the apartment and leave with six bags filled with personal items. The apartment is so full with forensic specialists, Mr Meagher and his brother-in-law Michael sit outside on the balcony for more than two hours.
3.55pm – Police release a statement and footage of the 29-year-old Irish national walking north along Sydney Rd. Police release several minutes of footage in which a man in a blue hoodie can be seen walking in front of Duchess Boutique.
6.15pm – Police return to the Meaghers’ apartment for a further search. They go back to the squad car to collect more evidence bags.
8.20pm – Police leave the Meaghers’ apartment with more paper bags.
Wednesday 11.43am – Police release another statement urging other people in the CCTV footage to come forward to give details of what they may have seen on the night of Ms Meagher’s disappearance. Prompted by the footage, women emerge with their own stories of attacks on Sydney Rd. The Find Jill Meagher Facebook page attracts more than 67, 000 likes and an outpouring of tributes. A witness claims to have seen the man wearing a hoodie running after Ms Meagher on Sydney Rd.
Thursday morning – Six days since Ms Meagher was last seen. One of six people seen on the CCTV footage released comes forward. Daniel Gregson says he did not see the man in the hoodie or Ms Meagher on the night she disappeared.
2.30pm – Police arrest a man at his Coburg home in relation to the disappearance of Ms Meagher. He is taken to St Kida Rd police complex to be interviewed.
3:15pm – Social media platforms are ablaze with news of the development, and tweets mentioning Ms Meagher’s name hit almost 12 million Twitter news feeds. Hundreds flood to the Help Find Jill Meagher Facebook page to post their thoughts.
10pm – Police whisk away the man, Adrian Ernest Bayley, from St Kilda Rd police complex. He leads them to Ms Meagher’s body.
1:45am – Police charge the 41 year-old man with the alleged rape and murder of Ms Meagher after discovering her body. They allege he is the man seen on CCTV footage wearing a blue hoodie and talking to Ms Meagher in the early hours of Saturday morning on Sydney Rd.
Friday 3am – Bayley is remanded in an out-of-sessions court hearing that lasts only 90 seconds at St Kilda Rd police station. The bail justice tells the accused he should not receive bail given the seriousness of the charges.
4am – After discovering Ms Meagher’s body in a shallow grave on Black Hill Rd at Gisborne South, Coroner’s Office staff put the body into a white van. Police complete a five-hour investigation at the scene.
11am – Ms Meagher’s husband and brother arrive at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for the filing hearing of the accused.
Thug, 40, jailed for drunken king-hit
Karen Matthews | February 28th, 2012
A 40-YEAR-OLD thug, still on parole, claimed he was too drunk to remember king-hitting a Geelong man, breaking his jaw and rendering him unconcious, a court has heard.
Adrian Bayley, of Burgundy Dve, Wyndhamvale, pleaded guilty in Geelong Magistrates’ Court yesterday to a single charge of recklessly causing serious injury.
Police Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable David Vanderpol said that, about 1.24am on August 12, last year, the 20-year-old victim was standing outside a cafe in Little Malop St having something to eat when Bayley approached.
“Bayley started yelling and abusing the victim, then punched him with a closed fist to the face,” Sen-Constable Vanderpol said.
“The power of the blow lifted the victim off the ground and knocked him unconcious to the ground, striking his head as he fell.”
The prosecutor said Bayley then ran off and the victim was taken to Geelong Hospital with a fractured jaw.
Sen-Constable Vanderpol said the entire incident was captured on CCTV footage and there was also footage which showed Bayley earlier at the Eureka Hotel.
He said police later arrested Bayley who claimed he was too drunk to remember but recalled being involved in some sort of altercation.
Michael Brugman, for Bayley, said his client was distraught that he had harmed someone else.
“He has been losing sleep wondering how or why and trying to remember,” Mr Brugman said.
The lawyer said his client had spent most of his life in jail and was currently on parole until March 17, 2013.
“He stopped drinking on Boxing Day, is due to start a new job today and has no priors for violence,” Mr Brugman said.
But Magistrate Ron Saines rejected Mr Brugman’s claim that his client had no priors for violence.
“I have no alternative but to order an immediate custodial sentence,” Mr Saines told Bayley.
“Your past history involves sexual violence and you have been jailed for other serious matters.”
Bayley was convicted and sentenced to three months jail.
He was also excluded from entering Geelong’s CBD for 12 months.
This bloke is one dirty dog with plenty of form, including sexual violence! I have started a new thread based on his arrest, charges and beyond today for discussion moving forward… here is the link
Update – alleged rapist and killer leads police to shallow grave this morning
September 28, 2012 6:31AM
Jill Meagher’s body found, Adrian Ernest Bayley, charged
Adrian Ernest Bayley has been charged with the rape and murder of Jill Meagher, her body was found 50km away from Melbourne. This is allegedly an image of the despicable mongrel dog
With this disgusting crime there are more than one victim, my personal apologies and thoughts go to Tom Meagher, the husband of Jill, who had to endure the scrutiny and suspicion of being a suspect in her disappearance from early on in the investigation.
It is the first place they go looking when a partner disappears, the police the media the social media. Random Opportunistic crimes of this nature in Australia very rarely happen like this in the city, if anywhere.
How wrong a lot of us were this time. Robbo
THE Coroner has removed the body of Jill Meagher from a shallow grave near a remote road about 50km northwest of Melbourne.
Police made the discovery early this morning on Black Hill Road at Gisborne South, about 15 minutes drive from the Calder Freeway.
The body was in a shallow grave near a tree about five metres from Black Hill Road.
The Coroners Office put the body into a white van just before 4am after detectives finished their five-hour investigation of the scene.
An autopsy will be conducted today.
Police say they were led to the scene by the man charged with the murder and rape of Ms Meagher.
Adrian Ernest Bayley, 41, was remanded at an out-of-sessions court hearing shortly before 3am that lasted only 90 seconds at St Kilda Road Police Station.
The bail justice told Bayley he should not be given bail given the seriousness of the charges against him.
She asked him whether he understood the charges, to which he replied a simple “yes”.
Asked whether he wanted the charges read to him, the accused said “no”.
The accused wore a blue T-shirt, jeans and red-and-black Nike runners and showed no emotion as he sat with his chin in his hand.
Police will allege Bayley raped and murdered Ms Meagher on the morning of September 22 in Brunswick.
He will appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court later today.
This morning’s events came after police swooped on the suspect’s Coburg home at 2.30pm and took him to the St Kilda Rd Police Complex where he was interviewed.
Police will allege he is the man seen on CCTV wearing a blue hoodie top and talking to Ms Meagher on Sydney Rd early on Saturday Rd moments before she vanished.
UPDATE TONIGHT 7PM 27/09/12
31 yr correction 41 yr old man from Coburg has been arrested in relation to Jill’s disappearance- More to come
POLICE have arrested a man over the disappearance of missing woman Jill Meagher.
A 41-year-old Coburg man will be charged with her abduction and murder.
Police swooped on the man late today at his home and took him to the St Kilda Rd Police Complex where he was being interviewed. No charges have yet been laid.
The Herald Sun has been told police have no other suspects and it was allegedly an opportunistic crime.
His arrest by the homicide squad missing persons unit came a day after police released CCTV video of a man wearing a hoodie, who was seen talking to Ms Meagher, 29, at 1.43am on Saturday as she walked home.
Police have not said if the man who has been arrested is the person in the hoodie.
Ms Meagher’s brother, Michael McKeon, was overwhelmed when told of the arrest. Police fear Ms Meagher was abducted while making the short walk home from a Sydney Rd bar in Brunswick.
This sad situation is becoming more mysterious and sinister as each day passes
UPDATE MIDDAY 27/09/12
THE CCTV footage video makes for some interesting new possibilities, the end result is what is important no matter how police get to it. One person in the video has already come forard and provided a statement. Others are urged to do the same as reports of new CCTV has been made available.
Here is a interactive map of the Bridal Boutique from which the current CCTV footage came from (I hope it works)
Also someone sent me this video, which shows the path Jill may have taken with all the info available.
A video walk from the last confirmed sighting of missing Brunswick woman, Jill Meagher, down Sydney Road onto Hope Street, the lane where her handbag was found on Monday morning and to her home on Lux Way. Note: the purpose of the video is to show the distance and landmarks on this route only. It is no way implying that this is route Jill took in the early morning of September 22, 2012. For those of you in Brunswick and familiar with the area, this is not made for you. Rather, this video is made for those not familiar with the area- By Matt Mitchell
Update 11.55am 26/09/12
POLICE have confirmed that they will release “relevant” CCTV footage into the disappearance of Jill Meagher today. Says a lot, very selective in what they are releasing
Homicide Squad Det-Insp John Potter said the footage would be released after he provides an update on Ms Meagher’s disappearance at a press conference at 1pm. Will post video on completion folks
Update 10.30am 26/09/12
‘Mystery man captured on CCTV’ on morning Jill Meagher disappeared
THE image of a mystery man who could be following Jill Meagher is being analysed by police investigating the ABC employee’s disappearance, according to reports.
A man was pictured in the same frame of CCTV footage with Ms Meagher on the morning she disappeared, and police will decide whether the image of that man will be released today, 3AW reported this morning.
Homicide detectives spent five hours in total inside the Melbourne home of the missing woman yesterday, leaving at 8.20pm with filled brown paper bags.
The search for clues continued after the last known moments of Ms Meagher were recovered, with crucial CCTV images showing the Irish national just minutes from home in the city’s inner north.
A time stamp on the footage places Ms Meagher, 29, walking north on Sydney Rd in Brunswick less than 100m before Hope St, where her bag was found just around the corner.
As the probe enters its fifth day, the homicide squad’s Detective Inspector John Potter said they did not have a suspect but it was odd there was no evidence of a struggle in Hope St, where her bag was found in a laneway.
update 4.20pm 25/09/12
UPDATE: MISSING person Jill Meagher has been captured on CCTV in the early hours of Saturday morning, police revealed this afternoon.
Homicide Squad detectives said the footage shows Jill walking north along Sydney Rd, Brunswick, just south of Hope Street, at 1.41am.
update 3.30pm 25/09/12
BREAKING Police have removed bags full of potential evidence from the apartment of Tom and Jill Meagher
September 25, 2012 11:58AM
Jill Meagher, 29, was last seen leaving Brunswick’s Bar Etiquette about 1.30am on Saturday
UPDATE: POLICE are probing whether missing woman Jill Meagher’s handbag was planted as a decoy to distract the investigation.
Ms Meagher, 29, failed to arrive home following a five-minute walk from Bar Etiquette to her Lux Way apartment after leaving a friend in Sydney Rd, Brunswick, early Saturday.
Questions about the handbag have emerged as more than 60 calls were made to Crime Stoppers about the disappearance of the Irish-born woman, with other women reporting abduction attempts in the vicinity of where the ABC worker vanished from Melbourne’s inner-north.
Police today are examining the calls prompted by pleas for information about the case.
Homicide Squad Det-Insp John Potter, who is spearheading the investigation, told the Herald Sun it was odd that a police search of the area on the weekend which “left no stone unturned” had failed to locate the handbag, which police were alerted to early yesterday.
“On Sunday police conducted a full line search up and around Hope St,” he said.
“There’s two options – the original search found nothing and then on Monday the bag was found by a local resident.
Police find items of missing woman
Police say they’ve found items they believe to belong to an ABC radio employee who disappeared in Melbourne.
“You’ve got to ask which is true.”
He said the bag was found in a “clearly visible” spot on the ground in a laneway off Hope St.
“We’ve got to look at the possibility of the bag being placed there late on Sunday or early Monday morning,” he said.
He said the bag’s contents had been untouched, except for Ms Meagher’s mobile phone which was missing.
“Her cards and the other contents were still inside. She hasn’t accessed the bank or anything like that,” he said.
He said questions raised surrounding the discovery of the bag had prompted investigators to re-examine whether Ms Meagher had even left Sydney Rd in Brunswick the night she disappeared.
“One would now argue that we don’t know for sure if she actually walked up Hope St,” he said.
“We don’t know whether she made it that far.
“We hold grave concerns for Jill’s welfare – the fact the bag was discovered so close to home and the fact this disappearance is totally out of character for her.”
Insp Potter said it was now thought that Ms Meagher left Bar Etiquette after 1.30am, and it was unclear whether she left with by herself, with others, or got into a car.
No CCTV footage was available from Bar Etiquette, making it harder for police to piece together her night.
Det-Insp Potter urged any patrons of Bar Etiquette in Sydney Rd to contact Crime Stoppers immediately as they could “hold the key” to establishing a detailed timeline of Ms Meagher’s movements before she disappeared.
CCTV examined as cops probe more kidnap fears
Insp Potter said police would also continue to review CCTV footage from nearby businesses.
The spike in reported abductions and kidnappings comes as Ms Meagher’s family made desperate pleas for her return.
Ms Meagher’s mother, Edith McKeon said her daughter would have fought any attacker.
“Whoever (has her) just let her go, let her (go),” she said.
“Even though she’s tiny I think she would have fought.”
Insp Potter said police were investigating claims women have been followed by a car in the same area that Ms Meagher disappeared.
“Some of them (the claims) have not been reported to police and we need those people to contact us,” he said.
The desperate search for Ms Meagher comes as Victoria Police figures show reported abduction and kidnap offences have skyrocketed in the region, up from 226 in the previous financial year to 291, a rise of 28.8 per cent.
There were 611 offences recorded in this category in 2011-2012, and 159 of those occurred on the street.
has also been posted on the Facebook page.
Official reports show:
ON June 24, a 34-year old woman reported that she was attacked on Albert St in the early hours.
ON May 6, a man attempted to abduct a woman as she walked along Mitchell St towards Sydney Rd.
The man covered the woman’s mouth and forced her to the ground but she was able to fight him off. Police believe he threw kerosene in the woman’s face before he fled.
IN July 2010, a 29-year-old woman walking her dog through Gilpin Park was struck on the head, dragged and thrown to the ground before a man attempted to sexually assault her at knifepoint.
IN January that year a 13-year-old girl was assaulted by a man behind a church on Saxon St after being lured from Sydney Rd.
Police fear the ABC staffer has met with foul play.
Insp Potter said Ms Meagher’s will be forensically examined.
“I think there is always concern for the community when something like this happens,” Insp Potter said.
“The biggest problem is we don’t know what has happened to Jill so I would say people should be cautious when walking along the street at night.”
Insp Potter said somebody must know what happened to Ms Meagher.
“It’s not too late to tell us or indeed if Jill can hear this, please contact us,” he said.
In a heartfelt plea, her husband, Thomas, said he was going through “hell” with only hope keeping him going. “It’s just devastating,” he said.
“I just hope somebody saw something or she will just walk through the door.”
He said he couldn’t allow himself to believe his wife was no longer alive.
Mr Meagher has appealed for help from the public using Facebook and flyers posted around the area.
“I just want as much out there as possible,” he said.
“It’s Friday night on Sydney Rd, it’s busy – people have to have seen something. Somebody has to have seen Jill at some stage.
“I just want people to really think if they’ve seen anything at all.”
Mr Meagher rejected suggestions his wife was going through any personal problems.
Brother Michael McKeon, who arrived from Perth on Sunday, said Ms Meagher phoned him about 1.45am on Saturday to check on their father, who recently had a stroke.
“I suppose I was the last one to talk to her,” he said.
“She was just calling to see how things were. She hung up and she just sounded a little worried.
“I called back a few times and she never answered.
“It sounded like she was on her way home.”
Mr McKeon described his sister as happy-go-lucky, fun-loving and always positive.
“It’s not like her at all,” he said.
“She always does what she says she is going to do.”
Speaking of his parents, he said: “They’re just distraught and worried and just hoping for the best.”
Jill is described as being of a fair complexion, 165cm tall, slim build, long curly black hair and brown eyes.
She was wearing a blue dress, black jacket, black patterned stockings and high heels.
WHAT a difference a day makes to a homicide investigation.
On Monday the police hunt for the missing Jill Meagher concentrated on streets she might have used to walk home from a Sydney Rd bar in the small hours of Saturday morning.
Police ran crime scene tape across half a dozen streets and lanes in one seedy light-industrial block, apparently spurred on by the discovery of her handbag in a narrow side street early on Monday.
But by yesterday morning things had changed.
None other than the chief commissioner cast doubt on whether it was Ms Meagher who dropped the bag the night she vanished.
Chief Commissioner Ken Lay hinted the bag might have been “planted” by an unknown offender in an attempt to distract investigators – who, he said, had already searched the area where the bag turned up.
But the homicide rulebook states that before widening the search, detectives first have to eliminate the people closest to the missing person.
That means the proud young man, photographed with his bride in the good times they shared, now has to endure the routine procedure of being treated like a potential suspect.
Within three hours of the chief’s cryptic statement, the search had swung from the mean streets where the bag was found to the nearby modern apartment block where Thomas and Jill Meagher have lived for about a year.
Just after midday two homicide detectives had returned to the Meaghers’ first-floor apartment to run the worried young husband once more through the exact sequence of events in the hours his wife vanished.
Then the cavalry arrived.
Two vans parked on a nearby council reserve. In them was a team of four forensic crime scene analysts, dressed head to toe in blue protective clothing and carrying a pile of oversize empty paper bags.
They, too, trooped upstairs into the rear apartment on the first floor.
They did not use the lift that takes residents and their shopping or luggage up and down from the ground-floor internal carpark enclosed under the three residential floors.
The apartment was so full of forensic specialists looking for clues that Tom Meagher and his wife’s brother Michael McKeon had to sit outside on the balcony at the rear.
For more than two hours the pair sat in glum silence, fiddling with their mobile telephones. They were joined at one point by a female detective wearing rubber gloves.
Mr Meagher was showing the strain of four days of hell. He appeared not to have shaved since the weekend and his eyes were red.
Earlier, before the forensic team started combing the apartment, he and his brother-in-law had put on a brave face by laughing and joking with camera crews outside the apartments.
There was no joking by 4pm when the forensic team finally emerged with half a dozen brown paper bags, all full.
Police said no evidence was taken from the flat, but it looked as if a lot of material had been removed for testing at the forensic laboratories at Macleod, which has hi-tech equipment to test DNA and fingerprints.
Early in the day, Tom Meagher told the Herald Sun he would consider talking about his ordeal.
But he later got in touch to say he would be too busy going through some details with the police.
While investigators combed the Meaghers’ apartment yesterday, their colleagues pinpointed security camera footage of Jill Meagher taken at 1.41am on Saturday morning in Sydney Rd, just south of Hope St.
This tallies with information from the staff at Bar Etiquette, the fashionable nightspot where the beautiful and popular young Irishwoman had a last drink after a long night out with colleagues from the ABC radio studios in Southbank.
Bar Etiquette staff stopped serving and locked the door to new customers at 1am.
But it let existing customers out over the following half hour or so.
It seems beyond doubt Ms Meagher left the bar just after 1.30am and walked north up Sydney Rd, apparently alone. She had earlier told work colleague Tom Wright she was happy to walk home alone after he twice offered to escort her.
Sometime after that, she vanished.
The investigation is continuing.
ANALYSIS: THE Investigator Charlie Bezzina examines the scene where ABC radio worker Jill Meagher went missing.
As an investigator I’m scratching my head.
The first thing you do is to ask yourself why someone would pick Jill out.
If in fact foul play is involved, it is still possible she may well still emerge safe and sound and we hope that is the case.
Something isn’t quite right to me. If it’s a robbery, they take the bag and go. Why take the victim?
Looking around the scene, it’s a very good spot to launch an attack or assault or abduction.
Its industrial and there’s not people living here, even though it’s near Sydney Rd.
The lighting is poor.
I suspect everyone until I can rule them out of the investigation.
And there are some crazy people whose behaviour you just can predict.
She had her ATM card but there is no facility for police to check her card movement – we have to wait until business hours Monday.
You are in the hands of the corporate world.
It’s so crucial to investigators but we just don’t have that clout. Police and crime happen 24 hours a day seven days a week and it’s a problem for investigators that we can’t do it.
Your chances of solving a case are best in the first 24 hours. It’s now been more than 48 hours.
I’m surprised they didn’t conduct a line search sooner. The line search will indicate any evidence, including forensic.
They would be looking for blood, anything that will indicate a crime has been committed.
With missing persons, you need to do things early to get the evidence. Time is of the essence. It’s critical to make an assessment early in the piece if it is serious.
There might be reasons for it, but my usual process would be a line search along the route.
Only about 50-60m is cordoned off, but widening it would include searching drains, rooftops, front yards.
If she was hurt, you’d think she would have been found.
Getting someone to go somewhere against their will is not easy, and would need a car.
Someone else might have been leaving at the same time and followed her from the bar, so its important to track down people who were at the bar at the same time.
You have to open up your mind to looking at any criminal reports in that area – there may have been reports of attempted abductions, burglaries, peeping toms.
I’d be going to all the local bars to ask regulars if they saw anything. People often won’t come to you so you need to go to them.
I’d suggest flooding the area next Friday night and saturate the area around midnight, talking to people who may have been out at the same time the week before.
You never write off that someone may have simply left. It would still be open that she may have gone missing by choice.
That’s why you speak to neighbours, including at previous addresses. We need to get to know the victim.
The handbag being found doesn’t really add much to the picture – it may have been planted there, it may have been discarded there on purpose or fallen accidentally.
The area is an industrial area and would be very quiet at that time of the morning
There would have been activity alone Sydney rd., but once she turns off that, it’s quiet
If we take it it’s an abduction, they are very rare.
Homicide would come out to oversee things as its not clear as yet whether it is a homicide or not.
Someone may have been infatuated with her, stalked her. Is it opportunity, or planned?
Ms Meagher’s brother, Michael McKeon, believes he was the last person to speak to her.
Mr McKeon, who arrived from Perth yesterday, said Ms Meagher called him in the early hours of Saturday to check on their father who recently had a stroke. He believes she called at about 1.45am.
“She was just calling to see how things were,” Mr McKeon said.
“She hung up and just sounded a little worried.
“It sounded like she was on her way home.
“I called back a few times and she never answered.”
Mr McKeon described his sister as happy go lucky, fun loving and always positive.
“It’s not like her at all,” he said.
“She always does what she says she is going to do.”
It is now more than 48 hours since Ms Meagher was last seen after mysteriously vanishing following a night out with work friends.
Ms Meagher had been drinking for several hours at The Brunswick Green bar on Sydney Rd before catching a final drink at nearby Bar Etiquette, where she was a regular.
Police will door knock in Melbourne’s north today as the hunt for the 29-year-old, who works as a unit coordinator with ABC radio, intensifies.
She insisted that she wanted to walk home alone, a friend has revealed.
Her distraught husband, Thomas, is still holding out hope his wife will walk through the door safe and well.
Mr Meagher said he was going through hell as he anxiously waited for news about his wife.
“I’m just trying to push on,” he said.
“I just hope somebody saw something or she will just walk through the door.”
He said he couldn’t allow himself to believe his wife was no longer alive.
Mr Meagher has appealed for help from the public using Facebook and flyers posted around the area.
“Friday night on Sydney Rd it’s busy – people have to have seen something,” he said.
“Somebody has to have seen Jill at some stage.”
Mr Meagher told 3AW radio station this morning that he rang his wife’s mobile phone “non-stop” from 2am to 6am on Saturday with no success.
He also went out looking for her at about 5am.
“Her phone has gone flat,” he said.
Det Acting Sgt Steve Bull said police were treating the disappearance of Ms Meagher very seriously.
“We have concerns for her safety. This is totally out of character for Jill and we just haven’t been able to find her,” he said.
Phone records which could shed vital clues into the disappearance of Ms Meagher are due to be retrieved today.
ABC Local Radio has released a statement about the disappearance of Ms Meagher.
“Friends and colleagues of Jill Meagher are saddened and concerned by the news of Jill’s disappearance,” the statement said.
“Jill is the Unit Coordinator of Local Radio Victoria. She is a highly valued and much loved member of the Local Radio team.
“Our thoughts are will Jill’s family and friends during this very difficult time.”
ABC colleagues also told of their distress today.
“Jill works with us here at 774 ABC Melbourne. She is our unit manager. She keeps the place running. She is a delightful colleague and it’s impossible to imagine that something bad may have happened,” 774 host Jon Faine said.
Reporter Rochelle Hunt said Ms Meagher’s disapperance “was one of the most difficult stories any of us at the ABC has had to try and cover”.
“Jill is a dear friend and colleague of ours and hasn’t been seen since Saturday morning,” Ms Hunt said.
“I know everyone at the ABC is absolutely distraught at the moment.”
Another ABC colleague, Tom Wright, told the Herald Sun he was the last person to see Ms Meagher.
Mr Wright offered to walk her home, but she declined.
“I said, ‘can I walk you home?’, because it’s late at night, and she said: ‘No, no I live around here, I know it really well, don’t worry’. I said goodbye and I said, ‘really, you don’t want me to walk you home?’, and she said: ‘No, no, no’,” Mr Wright said.
An Irish cousin of Ms Meagher’s said that her family is “desperate” for information on her whereabouts.
The cousin, who didn’t wish to be named, told the Herald Sun that Ms Meagher’s parents were “distraught” at hearing of their daughter’s disappearance and were hoping that police would be able to uncover more details by examining CCTV footage.
“My mother has been speaking with her mum and dad in Perth and they really just feel as if their hands are tied,” he said.
“Her brother has travelled from Perth to Melbourne but they are all just waiting to get more information from police.”
The man said that Ms Meagher’s family, which includes relatives in Spain and England, continued to be baffled by her mysterious disappearance.
“As far as we know she was out with colleagues and she was very close to her home when she went missing,” he said.
“That’s what’s killing us.”
The cousin, who last saw Ms Meagher when she visited Ireland last year, described her as a “bubbly” person with a “big time happy-go-lucky” outlook on life.
He said that they had stayed in touch via Facebook and occasional visits since she moved to Australia from her home town of Drogheda on Ireland’s east coast.
He said Ms Meagher’s disappearance was “all over” the Irish national news.
He is now helping to support a social media campaign spearheaded by Ms Meagher’s husband, which is already being followed by Irish celebrities including pop-group Westlife
Ms Meagher, who moved to Australia from Ireland three years ago, had been drinking with work friends from ABC radio and lived a short walk from the bar.
Mr Meagher said he was “freaking out”.
“She didn’t take her purse out, so she didn’t have any identification or anything on her other than her bank card,” he said yesterday.
“We’ve checked with all the hospitals, but I think that someone has done something to her.
“I fear that because it’s not something she would do without contacting anybody.”
Mr Wright said Ms Meagher had expressed some anxiety about her job, but otherwise seemed upbeat.
“She said to me she was having some sort of mid-life crisis – she didn’t really expand on it,” he said.
“There was nothing to suggest disappearing as abruptly as she did.”
Mr Wright said he was riddled with guilt about not taking her home.
Although she was captured on CCTV in at least one bar, the vision has not helped the investigation, police said.
“We still have more to review, but we’re hoping someone may have seen her and can shed a bit further light on what her movements might have been,” a spokesman said.
A Facebook page has been set up and people are sending Ms Meagher’s image to other networking sites in the that hope someone comes forward with information.
Colleagues, friends and relatives have also put out appeals for public help on Twitter, using the hashtag #JillMeagher
Ms Meagher is described as being of a fair complexion, 165cm tall, slim build, long curly black hair and brown eyes.
She was wearing a blue dress, black jacket, black patterned stockings and high heels.
Anyone with information on Ms Meagher should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
- What happened to Jill Meagher? (aussiecriminals.com.au)
- Search for Jill Meagher witnesses (bigpondnews.com)
- Search for Jill Meagher witnesses (news.theage.com.au)
- Facebook page set up to help find Jill Meagher (siliconrepublic.com)
- Search for man who spoke to Jill Meagher (bigpondnews.com)
- Australian police release CCTV footage of Jill Meagher (newstalk.ie)
- Police find missing woman’s items (bigpondnews.com)
- Grave fears for missing woman (bigpondnews.com)