True Crime Roundup – December 2020

True Crime Round Up - December

The most important or intriguing news stories from Australia and around the globe, in one place.

CRAIG McLACHLAN FOUND NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS

Craig McLachlan faced court this week on 7 counts of indecent assault and six common law assault charges. Magistrate Belinda Wallington dismissed all of the 13 charges.

McLachlan stepped away from his role as Dr Frank N Furter in 2018 after four former co-stars accused him of sexual assault.

His lawyers argued that that the women had provoked the alleged attacks because of clothes they wore, and the way the cast interacted.

More here.

AWYER X SCANDAL LEADS TO QUASHING OF MOKBEL CONVICTIONS

Melbourne drug king pin Tony Mokbel became the third person to have a conviction overturned due to the actions of Lawyer X aka. Nicola Gobbo and Victoria Police.

The Court of Appeal overturned a 12-year-sentence for commercial importation and Rowena Orr QC from the Commonwealth advised the prosecution would not be retrying. 

Mokbel’s counsel advised that she would be testing his other convictions before the Court of Appeal in a bid to get Mokbel released from his 30 year sentence. 

More here.

INDONESIAN MAN LINKED TO 2002 BALI BOMBINGS ARRESTED AFTER 17 YEARS ON THE RUN

Late last Thursday, Aris Sumarsono, aka Zulkarnaen, was arrested in Sumatra in relation to his role in the 2002 Bali Bombings.

Sumarsono is alleged to be the leader of the Al Qaeda linked Jemmah Islamiyah network and the person who made the bombs for the attack.

He is also suspected of being involved in other bombings throughout Indonesia and is said to have gone to Afghanistan for training. 

More here.

MELBOURNE MATHEMATICIAN CRACKS ZODIAC KILLER CIPHER

Dr Sam Blake is an applied mathematician who has spent his time off during Corona working on the Zodiac killers famous “340 cipher”, along with two other cryptologists.

Dr Blake used a new algorithmic solution to decipher to long held mystery. After roughly 650,000 different way to read the cipher, Dr Blake, alongside US cryptologist Dr David Oranchak had a breakthrough on Thursday December 3.

By Saturday night, the team sent their work to the FBI in the US who after further vetting agreed upon the solution within a day. 

More here.

21-YEAR-OLD COLD CASE FINALLY SOLVED

DNA has once again led to the conclusion of a cold case with the murder of Jennifer Watkins in 1999 finally being solved.

Watkins body was found in a stairwell wrapped in plastic and duct tape. She had been raped and murdered. 

Watkins murderer, Ricky Severt, was identified through a public genealogy website using familial DNA. Unfortunately, Severt died in 2001 in a head on crash so won’t face repercussions for his heinous crime. 

More here.

TRUMP ADMINISTRAION IGNORES PLEAS FROM CELEBRITIES, FAMILIES AND EX-JURORS TO EXECUTE BRANDON BERNARD

Brandon Bernard became the ninth federal execution this year under the Trump administration and the first during a presidential handover in 130 years. 

Kim Kardashian and other celebrities plead with President Trump to commute Bernard’s sentence for murder which occurred when he was a teenager. 

Bernard played a small role in the abduction and murder of Todd and Stacey Bagley in Texas. After the couple had each been shot in the head, Bernard lit the fire to burn the car they were sitting in. However. Unbeknownst to him, Stacey Bagley was still alive, and he found himself with a murder charge. 

More here.

HEADLESS TORSO FROM IDAHO CAVE IDENTIFIED

A new wrinkle has been added to a 40-year-old murder mystery. A headless torso found in an Idaho cave in 1979 has been identified as the remains of Joseph Henry Loveless. Loveless was an escaped convict who murdered his wife in 1916, but the identity of his killer remains unknown.

More here.

We'll be back with another roundup next month.