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Henry Sapiecha



jack the ripper shadow image

DNA testing has identified Jack the Ripper as Aaron Kosminski, a hairdresser in the British capital’s impoverished Whitechapel district, the Daily Mail reported Saturday.

The claim is based on the findings of the Finnish forensics expert Jari Louhelainen, who examined a shawl belonging to one of Jack the Ripper’s five confirmed victims, all of whom were prostitutes.

Some of the DNA found on the garment matched that of Kosminski, Louhelainen concluded, based on DNA obtained from a descendant of the hairdresser’s sister, the paper said.

The study could not be independently confirmed. The report also did not comment on the possibility of Kosminski getting his DNA on the prostitute’s shawl in a manner unrelated to the woman’s murder.

Kosminski, born in 1865, was a key suspect when police initially investigated the murders attributed to Jack the Ripper, but no case could be built against him.

The hairdresser was an ethnic Jew living in a part of Poland that belonged to Russia during the 19th century. According to the Daily Mail, he fled to Britain in the 1880s to escape from Jewish pogroms, organized mass attacks on Russian Jews.

Kosminski was placed in a mental asylum in 1891, where he remained until his death in in 1919.

Between five and 11 murders of women that took place from 1888 to 1891 in Whitechapel are credited to Jack the Ripper.

The highly publicized murders were never solved, giving rise to more than 100 theories about the identity of the killer.

Several Russian Empire natives made the list of suspects, including a second Polish groomer, a Polish-Jewish boot-maker and a Russian conman. More elaborate theories listed British Prince Albert Victor and “Alice in Wonderland” creator Lewis Carroll as possible perpetrators


NA tests ‘prove’ that Jack the Ripper was a Polish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski

THE search to uncover the identity of Jack the Ripper appears to be over.

DNA on a shawl found near one of the victims, Catherine Eddowes, reportedly contains a match to both her and one of the chief suspects, Aaron Kosminsky.

The Polish hairdresser, who moved to England with his family in 1881, was committed to a mental asylum at the peak of Ripper hysteria.

Aaron Kosminsky is jack the ripper image

Revealed? … DNA evidence reportedly confirms that Aaron Kosminski is Jack the Ripper. Picture: Supplied

The breakthrough came when Dr Jari Louhelainen, an expert in historic DNA, was commissioned to study a shawl found with Eddowes, the second-last “confirmed” victim of the Ripper more than 125 years ago.

The shawl — which still retained historic stains — had been bought by a businessman at an auction in 2007.

“It has taken a great deal of hard work, using cutting-edge scientific techniques which would not have been possible five years ago,” Dr Louhelainen told a British newspaper.

“Once I had the profile, I could compare it to that of the female descendant of Kosminski’s sister, who had given us a sample of her DNA swabbed from inside her mouth.

“The first strand of DNA showed a 99.2 per cent match, as the analysis instrument could not determine the sequence of the missing 0.8 per cent fragment of DNA. On testing the second strand, we achieved a perfect 100 per cent match.”

Killing sports  this map of Whitechapel in the 1800s shows Flower and Dean Streets in purple and the sites of some killings as red spots image ripper killings image map

Killing sports … this map of Whitechapel in the 1800s shows Flower and Dean Streets in purple and the sites of some killings as red spots. Picture: Supplied

Kosminski was born in Poland in 1865 before moving to Whitechapel, England, in 1881.

The murders attributed to Jack the Ripper began in 1888, with up to 11 deaths around the Whitechapel area linked to the killer.

Frances Coles, believed to be the Ripper’s last victim, died in February 1891 — the same year Kosminski was forcibly put in Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum.

He remained in mental health facilities until his death in 1919, aged 53.

Originally published as Is this Jack the Ripper?




Jack the Ripper

20th Century Fox / Everett

1888 was a bad year to be a prostitute. Between August 7 and November 10 of that year, five women were killed in the Whitechapel district of London’s East End, their throats slashed and their bodies mutilated in a way that indicated they all met their fates at the hands of the same person. One victim’s kidney was even mailed to the police, along with a series of taunting notes penned by someone calling himself Jack the Ripper. Serial murder was a relatively new phenomenon and the attacks were highly publicized. The law’s failure to identify the killer led to such an outcry that both the home secretary and London police commissioner resigned in disgrace.

Jack the Ripper, whoever he was, has been the subject of hundreds of books and articles. The theories surrounding his identity vary from a covert Masonic plot to a member of the royal family. Here are the most likely suspects:

Montague Druitt, a barrister with knowledge of human anatomy. Rumored to be insane, he disappeared after the last murder; his body was later found floating in the River Thames.

George Chapman, a barber who lived in Whitechapel during the time of the murders and who was later found guilty of poisoning three of his wives.

Aaron Kosminski, a Whitechapel resident known for his affinity for prostitutes. He was hospitalized in an asylum several months after the last murder.


The Zodiac Killings


“I like killing people because it is so much fun.”

So began one of the many encrypted letters sent to San Francisco newspapers by the man who called himself the Zodiac. For most of 1969, a serial killer terrorized Bay Area residents, killing five and possibly more. It started on Dec. 20, 1968, when a couple was shot to death while sitting in a car on a lover’s lane. The killer would strike several more times over the next 10 months, shooting a couple in a public park, trussing up and stabbing yet another man and woman near a peaceful lake, and shooting a cabdriver in the head.

What made the case so fascinating, though, was the way he toyed with police and reporters. He called in several of the murders and began to send coded letters to newspapers, using a cross within a circle as his symbol. At one point, he mailed in a piece of bloodied shirt to prove he was who he claimed to be. Another time, he threatened to shoot up a school bus full of children. The investigation went on for years. Several suspects were considered and questioned, but to no avail. The Zodiac was never caught. The story continues to terrorize people to this day (see David Fincher’s masterful 2007 film).


Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.

Chi Modu / diverseimages / Getty


Tupac Shakur had been shot before. The tattooed, urban poet and self-identified thug was a central figure in the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop rivalry. The first Tupac shooting —November 30, 1994— left the rapper with five bullet wounds, including two in the head. Los Angeles-based Shakur pointed his finger at a number of New York rappers, including Sean Combs and the Notorious B.I.G. He would later release a number of scathing rhymes against both Combs and Biggie, including one in which he claimed to have slept with Biggie’s wife.

On September 7, 1996, Tupac Shakur attended a Mike Tyson boxing match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, then got into the passenger seat of Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight’s car. At a stoplight, a white Cadillac pulled up next to Knight’s car rolled down its windows and fired multiple rounds into Shakur’s passenger seat. Shakur was taken to the hospital, where he died of internal bleeding after six days. A few months later, while waiting at a Los Angeles stoplight, the Notorious B.I.G. met the same fate. Thanks to fanatical conspiracy theories, uncooperative witnesses and shoddy police investigations, neither murder case has ever been solved.

Shakur’s last album, Makaveli: The Don Killuminati/The 7 Day Theory, was released a month after his death. The title referenced Niccolo Machiavelli, the Italian philosopher who was rumored to have faked his own death (this has been largely disproved) and whose works Shakur studied while serving an eleven-month prison sentence in 1994. So did Tupac Shakur really die, or does he still walk among us, cloaked in a new identity?

Nah, he died.


Tylenol Poisonings


time / life pictures

In late September/early October 1982, seven Chicago-area people died from popping Tylenol pills laced with cyanide. Adam Janus was experiencing chest pain. He popped a few Extra-Strength Tylenol and collapsed an hour later. He died. That night, Janus’ younger brother and sister-in-law, grief-stricken and achey, popped a few of Adam’s Tylenol pills. They died. A 12-year old girl with a cold took some Extra-Strength Tylenol on account of a cold. Dead. All in all, seven were felled by the poisoned pills. Hysteria followed. A 1982 TIME story reports, “Police cruisers, rolling through Chicago streets Thursday afternoon and evening, blared warnings over loudspeakers.” The drug was removed from shelves. Vague copycat incidents — pins and needles discovered in candy bars — led several communities to ban Halloween trick-or-treating. A gentleman was arrested after trying to extort Johnson & Johnson for $100,000, though he was never charged with the murders. Tamper-proof seals became the norm.


The Death of Edgar Allen Poe

Hulton Archive / Getty

The Raven author left New York City in 1849 bound for Richmond, but only made it as far as Baltimore, where a passer-by noticed the delirious and incoherent writer slouched in front of a bar on October 3. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died four days later. The local newspaper attributed his death to “congestion of the brain,” then a common euphemism for alcohol poisoning. But scholars later discovered that rumors of his drug and alcohol abuse were greatly exaggerated, especially by vindictive literary critics like Rufus Wilmot Griswold. The death certificate, if it ever existed, cannot be found.

Some historians believe Poe may have suffered from rabies, cholera or syphilis. But because he turned up on the streets the same day as a citywide election, others argue that Poe fell victim to “cooping,” a fairly common practice back then in which corrupt politicians paid thugs to kidnap men (especially the homeless), drug them, disguise them, and drag them to polls all over the city or state. This may at least explain why Poe turned up in Baltimore wearing clothes that weren’t his.


The Nicole Brown/Ron Goldman Double Murder

Vince Bucci / AFP / Getty

Your objection is noted and overruled. Yes, you might have a hunch who killed O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife and her lover on June 12, 1994 in Los Angeles. We all do. But though the court of public opinion has long pinned this crime on “The Juice,” the law says otherwise. With circumstantial evidence piled up against him — from forensics to the slowest, most riveting high-speed chase in history to the dubious decision to pen a book called If I Did It — Simpson, the former All-Star running back and B-list actor, assembled a dream team of lawyers who convinced jurors that since the glove didn’t fit, they had to acquit. And to the disbelief of a transfixed nation, on Oct. 3, 1995, they did. Though Simpson was found liable for the deaths in a related civil suit, the criminal matter remains unsolved.


The Case of the Disembodied Feet

Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press / AP

Since August 2007, five human feet have washed ashore near Vancouver, British Columbia. No bodies, no heads, no clothes, just feet (4 left, 1 right), nearly all still clad in sneakers. Canadian authorities have yet to determine how the feet ended up there or why, though DNA tests matched one of the severed feet to a man who’d been missing for several months. A number of theories have been tossed around, including the possibility of foul play (though coroners familiar with the case say ocean currents and decomposition could have naturally separated the feet from their owners). Others speculate the remains might belong to four unrecovered victims of a 2005 plane crash off Quadra Island.

In June, a prankster spooked local authorities by planting a gruesome surprise for one unwitting beachgoer — a rotting animal paw stuffed inside an Adidas shoe. The most recent discovery was made in November, when another foot turned up in Washington, less than 50 miles south of the U.S.-Canadian border. As to why there have been so few leads, police spokesperson Sharlene Brooks told CNN, “We suffer from the ‘CSI’ effect: People think we can do things faster than we can.” But a Vancouver panhandler told Bloomberg News he’s already cracked the case: “I’ll bet you it was murder. You just don’t find feet lying around.”


JonBenet Ramsey


Almost twelve years have passed since Dec. 26, 1996, when John Ramsey, a wealthy software executive, found his 6-year-old daughter JonBenet dead in the basement of their Boulder, Colo. home. Eight hours prior, his wife Patsy had found a ransom note demanding $118,000 for their daughter’s safe return. No call ever came from a kidnapper. So unraveled the saga of the young beauty queen whose murder has put a cloud over her entire family, the Boulder Police Department and the District Attorney in charge of solving the case. Investigators in Boulder — who were dealing with the city’s first murder that year — failed to conduct a proper search of the house and even allowed friends of the family to walk in and out of the crime scene as the family and police waited for a ransom call.

While John’s two adult children from a previous marriage were cleared of the murder early on, suspicion remained on the three people who were the only ones known to be home when JonBenet was killed — her 9-year-old brother Burke and her parents. Almost three years after the murder, Burke, now 12, was questioned by a grand jury, but never charged. John and Patsy published The Death of Innocence in 2000 detailing their story even as they remained suspects in the case. In June of 2006, Patsy died of ovarian cancer, just two months before the arrest of John Mark Karr, an American man who had admitted to killing JonBenet, only to have the case dropped against him two weeks later when DNA tests showed he could not have been at the crime scene.

This past summer, prosecutors were finally able to conclude that John and Patsy were not responsible for their daughter’s murder, but that DNA points to an “unexplained third party.” John Ramsey still retains hope that evidence will track down his daughter’s killer and finally rid his family of the stain that continues to make its mark.


The Black Dahlia


Hollywood’s most famous murder case unfolded on January 15, 1947 when the raven-haired, 22-year-old actress Elizabeth Short was found dead on Norton Avenue between 39th and Coliseum streets in Los Angeles. Her body had been cut in half and appeared to have been drained of blood with precision. The murderer had also cut 3-inch gashes into each corner of her mouth, creating a spooky clown-esque smile.

Short’s murder quickly became a sensation, not only because of its location in the show biz capital, but also because the police worked in tandem with the press to disseminate clues in hopes of locating a suspect. Several people confessed, only to be later released for lack of evidence. Much speculation surrounded the details of Short’s life. Grieving after the death of a man she fell in love with, she reportedly befriended many men while frequenting jazz clubs, making it nearly impossible to pin down who she could have been with before she died. Her unsolved murder has spawned several movies, television specials, and books. One such account was written by Steve Hodel who implicated his own father, a Los Angeles doctor, as the Black Dahlia murderer. No charges were ever filed.


The Women of Ciudad Juaréz

Jorge Uzon / AFP / Getty

Sometimes called the City of the Lost Girls, Juarez is a poor, Mexican border town where hundreds (some say thousands) of women have been raped, tortured and then killed over the past decade. Many of these women work in the town’s numerous factories or live there because it is close to the U.S. border, which they can cross for jobs. Amnesty International has urged Mexican authorities to make finding perpetrators a priority. But with an ever-intensifying drug war taking place in the country’s poor neighborhoods and a government rife with corruption, little has been done to stop the assault on the women of Ciudad Juaréz. Marisela Ortiz, the coordinator of the non-governmental organization Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa (roughly translating to: “May Our Daughters Return Home”), told the Latin American Herald Tribune on Dec. 14 that the murders are largely a result of the “toll of an internal war between the drug trafficking mafias who are fighting to conquer the territory.” The date ticker on the group’s website reads: “Today is Dec. 18, 2008 and that doesn’t solve anything.”





Major crime investigators have spoken to the former husband and boyfriend of a 46-year-old woman slain in her home along with her two young daughters.

Heather Glendinning had only recently moved back to the Dongara area, in the newly developed estate of Bluewater Gardens in Port Denison, having lived in Perth for years.

The girls’ father Harley Cuzens rushed to Port Denison from Broome to be with his eldest daughter Grace, 13, who was believed to be living with her grandparents in Perth.

The family was too distraught to speak to yesterday after Ms Glendinning’s body and that of her daughters Jane and Jessica Cuzens, aged 12 and 10, were found by police on Monday night.

Police have described it as “one of the worst crime scenes that they have encountered” and officers have been offered counselling for any trauma they may suffer from such a “gruesome scene”.

The bodies of the young family are yet to be formally identified and it is expected that the investigation may take a few days, according to Inspector Bill Munnee.

The two men connected with Ms Glendinning are assisting police with their enquiries but police want any witnesses to contact Crime Stoppers to help them piece together what may have happened.

It is understood that a friend informed local police about their concerns for the family’s welfare after they had been unheard from on Monday.

An initial investigation of the Damia Circle home uncovered two of the bodies. The third was not discovered until local detectives arrived.

Both girls attended Dongara District High School, which caters for primary school-aged children, and some of their school friends were kept home after hearing news of the tragedy.

The school’s chaplain was also on hand to offer any counselling.

A woman whose youngest daughter used to attend dance classes and netball with the girls described them as “gorgeous”.

A neighbour described Ms Glendinning as a caring doting mother, who was bright and bubbly. Most residents described the deaths as a sick tragedy.

Shire of Irwin President Stuart Chandler said the impact would be “far reaching”.

Forensic officers have cordoned off the housing estate and a nearby playground but police would not elaborate on the link.

Investigators are expected to remain in the area for about a week and a pathologist was due to arrive late last night after experiencing delays at Perth Domestic Airport caused by an electrical thunderstorm.

“It’s going to be a long, laborious process for them to complete their investigation,” Inspector Munnee said.


Being  uncommon, faking one’s death is not new to the world. We’ve seen it in the play  Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, on TV with shows like 24 and in the news This short list looks at ten men who committed pseudocide, pulled a Reggie Perrin, or, in other words, faked their death for one reason or another. This list is in no particular order.


John Darwin


John and Anne Darwin, a couple who lived beyond their means, had acquired debt of tens of thousands of pounds. They decided to escape their debt by faking John’s death and collecting the insurance money. On March 12, 2002, John left in his canoe and disappeared. A large search ensued and, on March 22, 2002, John’s wrecked canoe was found. In February, 2003, he was declared legally dead, allowing his wife to cash in on the insurance policy and pay off their debt. This left enough money to start a new life that, eventually, took them to Panama.

On December 1, 2007, John turned himself in to the police, claiming to have no memory of what happened and believing he was a missing person. The police had started looking into his disappearance three months before he turned himself in, and the ruse was uncovered when it was proven he had been with Anne the whole time.


Ken Kesey


Ken Kesey was an American author best known for his book, “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” He joined the CIA’s experimental program on the effects of LSD. After publishing his book, he continued using drugs, eventually getting involved with Timothy Leary. In 1965, Ken was arrested for possession of marijuana. This led to the idea of escaping jail time by faking his death.

Ken, with the help of his merry pranksters left his truck on a cliff near Eureka with an elaborate suicide note. His friends then smuggled him to Mexico where he remained for eight months. On his return to the United States, he was arrested and sent to jail for five months.


Lord Timothy Dexter


Timothy Dexter was a self-proclaimed Lord, born in Massachusetts in 1748. He was a prime example of a self-made man, having little to no education and accomplishing so much. He became an author, publishing his book with no punctuation and horrible spelling. Originally, he had to give it away, but it immediately became popular and went to the eighth edition printing. His second book included an extra thirteen pages of punctuation, with a note saying, “place it as you please.”

Timothy decided he wanted to know what people would say about him if he were dead, so he faked his own death and made plans for a funeral. Three thousand people attended the wake and, because his own wife didn’t cry for him, he decided not to reveal himself. Later, he caned his wife for not showing sympathy and crying. He officially died on October 26, 1806.


Bennie Wint


Bennie Wint led a troubled life, deeply into drugs and involved with a South Carolina drug ring. He decided he needed to start a new and better life. He felt the only way he could do this was if everyone thought he was dead. While on vacation with his fiancée, in September, 1989, he swam out past the breakers at Daytona Beach and disappeared.

He left behind his fiancée and a four-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.  Bennie made a new life in North Carolina, under the name of Bill Sweet. He acquired a common-law wife and had a son. Neither knew anything about his identity until he was stopped for a traffic violation, in January, 2009. His fingerprints came back as belonging to a dead man, so he came clean and told his story.


John Stonehouse


John Stonehouse was a British politician who got in over his head during his business affairs. He started cooking the books and got wind that the Department of Trade and Industry was looking into his affairs. He started moving money and set up a new identity as Joseph Markham. On November 20, 1974, he faked his own suicide by leaving a pile of clothes on a beach, making it appear that he drowned. He was, instead, on his way to Australia to make a new life with his mistress.

John was caught in Australia by an astute banker who caught on to the fact that he was moving money under more than one name. Police first thought he was the fugitive, Lord Lucan, who, two weeks before Stonehouse, was believed to have faked his own death as well. John was identified by a photo of himself on a list of the recently deceased and was arrested on December 24, 1974.

Alexander “Ace” Baker


Ace Baker is an American composer and keyboardist. He played with the Supremes, Iron Butterfly and Reo Speedwagon. Ace is also a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. His theory is based on the Hutchison effect, and claims that the planes in the video were faked.  Ace was doing a radio program, The Real Deal, with host Jim Feltzer, with other members of the 9/11 truth movement when Ace felt that he was receiving unfair treatment. He then made references to his deceased parents and asked for forgiveness from his wife and children. Shortly after, he left the phone line and gun shots were heard. Ace later called it performance art.


Friedrich Gulda


Friedrich Gulda was an Austrian pianist in both classical and jazz fields. Gulda is most famous for his Beethoven interpretations, though Mozart was his idol. Gulda had a strong dislike of authorities, and declined the honor of receiving the Beethoven Ring for his performance.

Gulda is perceived as one of the twentieth century’s outstanding pianists. His unorthodox styles of mixing jazz and classical earned him the nickname of “terrorist pianist”. Cementing his nickname, Gulda faked his death in 1999, and reigned as enfant terrible among pianists. Gulda also expressed a wish to die on his hero, Mozart’s, birthday. On January 27, 2000, he did just that


Philip Sessarago


Philip Sessarago was a military man in The Royal Artillery with aspirations of joining the SAS. He failed to be accepted twice by the SAS. He saw himself as a James Bond type and was disappointed not to be a part of the SAS. In 1993, he faked his death by claiming to detonate a landmine in Bosnia. He changed his name to Tom Carew and a penned the book, Jihad!

The book was on its way to being a best seller after being serialized in the New York Times. Jihad! was released in paperback the day before the 9/11 attacks. The book’s timing was perfect as he claimed to be an expert on the tactics used by the terrorists, which led to many interviews. In a 2001 interview his deception came to light when he was recognized by his children.


Arthur Bennett


Arthur Bennett was a Marine Staff Sergeant. He was accused of sexual assault charges in 1994, and allowed to go free. On February 3, 1994, the trailer he was living in was found burned to the ground with a badly charred body inside. The body was believed to be Arthur’s and was cremated and buried with full military honors.

Arthur assumed the name of Joe Benson and, with the help of his family, moved to Hurricane, Utah. To cover his identity he dyed his hair red and wore blue contacts over his brown eyes. Arthur was found out when he was accused of molesting his daughters and a neighborhood child. Fingerprints proved he was really Arthur Bennett. He was arrested October 31, 1997, and pled guilty in 1998. He still had a court martial to deal with when he hung himself in his cell, on July 12, 1999.  The body found in his trailer has never been identified, and there is no way to identify it as it was cremated.


Jenaro Jimenez Hernandez


Jenaro Hernandez went out spear fishing early on April 13, 2008. When he didn’t return home, his wife reported him missing. The Civil Guard found his car and belongings, but his scuba gear and fishing stuff was missing. The only thing they found was his flipper.  Jenaro was heavily in debt, which led police to suspect he had faked his death. The family didn’t believe he would do that, as he had a young child at home and another that was due soon. He was found in South America and was extradited back to Spain and arrested.


Lord Lucan


Richard Bingham, the seventh Earl of Lucan, on the night of November 7, 1974, killed the family nanny, Sandra Rivett, and tried to kill his wife. She fled for safety and Lord Lucan fled to several friends before arriving at a friend’s house, 42 miles away. Friends and relatives believed he was innocent and jumped to help him, while police were being slow on the uptake. The car he was driving was found on the coast of Newhaven and there was no sign of Lord Lucan. Some friends believe he committed suicide due to his grief over murdering the nanny, by mistake, instead of his wife. Others believe he disappeared and is innocent and alive to this day. Sightings have been reported in South Africa and New Zealand.



Elderly man found dead in pool

of blood after train beating

Dan Proudman

August 29, 2011 – 12:03PM

CCTV footage shows the elderly bashing victim calmly waiting for the train on which he was fatally attacked.CCTV footage shows the elderly bashing victim calmly waiting for the train on which he was fatally & brutally attacked.

An elderly man waits at Newcastle station to board the Sydney-bound train, a journey that would ultimately cost him his life.

Strike Force Ploughman detectives have launched a murder investigation after the 76-year-old man died in John Hunter Hospital on Saturday night, less than two days after he was savagely beaten on the lonely ride somewhere between Newcastle and Fassifern stations.

Homicide squad members have joined Lake Macquarie investigators in their hunt for the man’s attackers.

Detectives last night released the closed circuit television footage of the victim waiting patiently near the guard room on the Newcastle station platform shortly after 3am on Friday.

Less than an hour later he boarded the 3.59am service to Central Station, and less than 30 minutes after that he suffered severe head and facial injuries in a beating that was to prove fatal.

Commuters found him in a pool of blood minutes before the train was due to stop at Fassifern about 4.27am.

Strike Force Ploughman detectives are continuing to trawl through security vision from a series of train stations and on board the service.

The service is known to have stopped at Civic, Wickham, Hamilton, Broadmeadow and Cardiff stations before it arrived at Fassifern.

Detectives are yet to confirm the man’s identity, although he is believed to be from Sydney.

He is described as being of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance and 160 centimetres tall.

He was wearing a dark grey sloppy joe, dark pants and brown leather boots.

Investigators are also keen to piece together the man’s last movements before he boarded the train at Newcastle and believe people may have seen him in the central business district in the early hours of Friday.

Early reports that the man was homeless are also yet to be confirmed.

Anyone with information is asked to phone Lake detectives on 4942 9999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The Newcastle Herald


For the first time, the Morcombes are finally able to think about planning a funeral for their son Daniel eight years after he went missing.

Bruce Morcombe has spoken to media after the police confirmed the shoes found at the Sunshine Coast search site are the same Globe brand as the Sunshine Coast schoolboy was wearing when he disappeared in 2003.

Deputy Queensland Police Commissioner Ross Barnett told reporters the shoes found last week were consistent with Daniel’s footwear, although forensic tests were under way.

Bruce Morcombe addresses the media on Monday for the first time about the discovery of human bones, possibly Daniel's, at the Beerwah search site.Bruce Morcombe addresses the media on Monday for the first time about the discovery of human bones, possibly Daniel’s, at the Beerwah search site. Photo: Robert Shakespeare  

“If that hasn’t been confirmed [publicly], we can say they are the same brand [Globe] as those we believe Daniel was wearing at the time of his disappearance,” he said.

He said the exact size of the shoes was yet to be confirmed, but their characteristics were consistent with Daniel’s shoes.

And Mr Barnett said the forensic testing of three bones found yesterday was likely to take weeks rather than days. However, he said it was a top priority.

Second major breakthrough ... search teams have found human bones.Authorities have suspended the search for Daniel Morcombe’s remains due to bad weather. Photo: Getty Images 

Police today suspended the search for the remains of missing schoolboy due to bad weather.

Rain set in on the Glass House Mountains bushland search site over the weekend and has continued this morning.

The search will not resume today, but police said they would continue to monitor conditions so the search can recommence as soon as practical.

Search for Daniel Morcombe’s remains

Denise and Bruce Morcombe talk to the media, thanking the public for their support, on Monday, August 15, 2011, two days after a man was charged with the murder of their son Daniel. They are outside the Daniel Morcombe Foundation headquarters on the Sunshine Coast. Photo: Michelle Smith

The scene will continue to be guarded by police who found human remains at the site over the weekend.

It could take “anywhere from days to weeks” for DNA analysis of the bones, with the analysis depending chiefly on the condition of the bones and the resources available at Queensland Health’s Forensic and Scientific Services at Brisbane’s John Tonge Centre.

Mr Barnett said today authorities would do “whatever it takes” to get the forensic examination done as quickly and professionally as possible, but would not rush the work.

He did not rule out getting help from interstate or overseas forensic experts if such assistance was needed.

Mr Barnett said the search was suspended today purely because of the heavy rain overnight, which made the site muddy and water-logged.

However, this meant police and SES volunteers were getting a well-deserved break.

Mr Barnett was hopeful of finding more evidence at the same site when the search resumed.

“Having found what we’ve found in relatively close proximity to each other, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t find further evidence,” he said.

Daniel’s parents were in Melbourne for Denise’s parents’ joint 80th birthday party when they learned bones had been found.

They decided to keep the news to themselves to avoid overshadowing Denise’s parents’ party but Mr Morcombe said it was hard to contain the emotion.

“All this time I have not known what to call Danny and how to receive any news,” he said.

“And now we are thinking ‘is this going to be the final chapter or not?'”

But for the first time last night, the Morcombes thought about making funeral arrangements after learning of the discovery of three bones in the dense bush in Beerwah.

“Certainly the significance of the find is not lost on the family,” he said.

“We were choked with emotion.

“We are really hopeful it is him.”

Peter Boyce, the solicitor acting for Daniel’s parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe, said he hoped the forensic testing process would be expedited in this case.

“Police have not given us an indication as to how long the DNA testing might take,” he told

“At the end of the day, we would hope that it is given some priority. It should be able to be done within one week or two weeks I understand.

“They’ve been waiting such a long time and now, in a week, three major finds of significance have been taken by police from the site.

“The sooner they find out the answer as to whether it is Daniel’s DNA or whether DNA can be obtained from each of the samples, the better for them.”

Yesterday, investigators scouring bushland at Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast, just 40 kilometres from where the 13-year-old went missing eight years ago, uncovered the bones in the primary search area at the end of Kings Road.

Police confirmed just hours after the discovery the bones were human, but cautioned the find might not be related to the investigation.

The breakthrough followed the discovery of the two matching shoes at the site – one was found last Wednesday and the other was uncovered on Saturday.

Mr Boyce described the agonising process as “putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle”.

“Who knows what’s next on the agenda?” he said.

“[The Morcombes] are experiencing a mixed bag of emotions at the moment,” Mr Boyce said.

“While this is a very significant event in the case it is still pretty tough on Bruce and Denise. It brings up memories from the very first day Daniel was [reported] missing.”

Mr Morcombe spoke of the four ‘monumental’ phone calls he has received in the past eight days – the arrest, the discoveries of the first and second shoes, and the discovery of three bones.

He hoped the fifth call would be to report police had discovered an entire skeleton.

“The feeling that the bones are potentially Danny’s is one of relief,” he said.

“It’s not good news or celebratory, just sheer relief.”

A DNA analysis of the three bones will be compared with Daniel’s DNA profile, which was created immediately after his disappearance from items including his clothes and shoes.

Claude Roux, director of the Centre of Forensic Science at the University of Technology Sydney, said DNA analysts would be inclined to be more cautious under the circumstances.

“It all depends on the quality of the biological material. It could take days or weeks,” he said.

“In a case like this it would be cautious to take a bit more time. First [analysts] would want to identify the remains … but they would also want to reconstruct what happened to the person.”

He said the best chance of identifying remains was analysing dentistry or traces of clothing.

More than 100 State Emergency Service volunteers and police officers have been scouring the muddy bushland near Coochin Creek since the arrest of Brett Peter Cowan on charges of Daniel’s abduction and murder on August 13.

The findings come after it was revealed Mr Cowan was monitored for months at a Perth caravan park before his arrest.

He had almost every second of his life monitored by detectives who were living just metres from him at Crystal Brook Caravan Park.

The former truck driver reportedly acted as an unofficial handyman for older residents in the park, before heading to Queensland in early August.

Mr Cowan will fight the charges of murder, child stealing, deprivation of liberty, indecent treatment of a child and interfering with a corpse when he faces Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 26.

The Morcombes are determined to continue their work with the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, which helps educate children on how to keep safe, provides financial support to young victims of crime and kept the search for Daniel on the public and authorities’ agendas.

– with Marissa Calligeros

Man armed

with gun and machete

terrorising northern suburbs

of Perth Western Australia

Lucy Rickard

March 3, 2011 – 12:01PM

Police are on the hunt for a man who terrorised seven people with a machete and gun during three separate occasions in Perth’s northern suburbs late last month.

One victim was left seriously injured in one of the attacks.

Detective First Class Constable Hannah Vialls from the Regional Investigations Unit said the man’s violent behaviour and clear aggression was of major concern to police, with seven victims all traumatised from the events.

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The first offence occurred about 2.50am on February 22 when a man entered Baker’s Delight in Merriwa armed with a handgun.

Detective Vialls said the man pointed the gun at three staff members, demanding money from the till and from the staff.

“The man forced two of the staff to lie on the ground and pointed the handgun at the head of the third employee, repeating his demands,” she said.

The man was not able to gain access to the till, and fled Merriwa Plaza in the direction of Baltimore Avenue.

Three days later on February 25, three youths were walking along Marmion Avenue in Butler about 10.15pm when they were approached by a man riding a dark mountain bike.

Detective Vialls said the man on the bike produced a machete and began threatening the group before pulling a handgun out of his drawstring bag, and pointing it at the trio.

The group fled but the man found them a short time later hiding in bushes on Staplehurst Crescent. He forced them out of the bushes at gunpoint and took several items from them before leaving on the bike.

The same night, between 10pm and 10.45pm, a man was walking through a park near Merriwa Primary School when a man jumped out of nearby bushes waving a machete over his head.

A scuffle broke out between the two and the victim sustained serious injuries to his hand and arm.

Detective Vialls said the description of the man is consistent across all three incidents: he was wearing black pants and a black hooded jumper with black gloves. He is described as being 175 to 180cm tall, with a slim build, brown eyes and dark eyebrows.

Detective Vialls said the victims in each of the attacks were left traumatised.

The handgun is described as being silver or chrome with a dark handle.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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