THE AXE MURDERER BUTCHER OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA TO SOON BE RELEASED
A decision on whether a man who hacked four members of a WA family to death with an axe can be released from prison is set to be made by the state’s attorney-general early next week.
William Patrick Mitchell becomes eligible for parole on Sunday, after serving 20 years in prison for the 1993 murders of 31-year-old Karen MacKenzie and her three children, Daniel, 16, Amara, seven and Katrina, five.
Psychologically it affected many of the investigators
The state’s Prisoners Review Board has considered Mitchell’s case and is due to send a report to the WA Attorney-General Michael Mischin.
He will study the recommendation and is due to make his determination public early next week.
“The attorney is advised that Mr Mitchell’s first statutory report date is October 13, 2013 and that the PRB reviewed Mr Mitchell’s case on 20 September 2013,” a spokeswoman for the attorney-general said.
Mitchell’s crime is still considered one of the most shocking in WA’s history, with some details so gruesome they were suppressed by the court at the time of his trial.
Earlier this year, a childhood friend of Amara garnered almost 1500 signatures on a petition urging authorities to keep Mitchell in jail for the rest of his life, which was tabled in parliament by local MP Ian Blayney.
WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan revealed detectives who captured Mitchell were still haunted by what he did.
“Psychologically it affected many of the investigators who went there, and some of them have not gone back to investigating that type of crime,” Mr O’Callaghan said.
Mitchell was originally sentenced to an indefinite term of prison, but that decision was overturned in 1996.
He was transferred to medium security at Bunbury Regional Prison in 2009 and will become eligible for parole from October 13.