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MAKO/File Online   -  # David Birnie

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Name: David Birnie (Deceased - 2005)

Age: 58 yrs old

State: WA

Sentence: David Birnie was serving a life sentence/ eligible for parole in 2007. He was found hanged in his prison cell (Casuarina Prison, WA) in October 2005.

Offence/Other: Victims were 4 young women. They were abducted, raped and murdered by Birnie and his wife Catherine Birnie in Perth in 1986.






Serial Rapist, Killer Found Hanged

One of Australia's most notorious serial killers, David Birnie, has been found dead in his cell in Western Australia's main maximum security prison.
Birnie, 55, was serving a life sentence in Casuarina prison, south of Perth, for the abduction, rape, torture and murder of four women in 1986.
The offences were committed in partnership with his de facto wife Catherine Birnie, 52, who is serving a life sentence in Bandyup women's prison, in Perth's north-east.
Police this morning confirmed the prisoner's identity as David John Birnie.
Birnie's body was found hanging in a cell about 4.30am (WST) today.
The prison squad and forensic police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.
The Birnies embarked on a five-week killing spree in October and November 1986, luring the women to their house in suburban Willagee or abducting them, before raping them and stabbing, strangling and clubbing them to death.
The spree ended when a fifth rape victim managed to escape and alert police.
Catherine Birnie left her husband and their six children in 1985 to live with David Birnie. She never married Birnie, but took his surname.
The pair was due to be eligible for parole in 2007.
"Police can confirm that sentenced prisoner David John Birnie, 55 years, was found deceased in his cell at Casuarina Prison at approximately 4.30am (WST), this morning," police said in a statement.
"The police investigation into his death will be co-ordinated by the Police Prison Unit, on behalf of the Coroner.
"At this point in time, the circumstances do not appear to be suspicious."

AAP (7-10-2005)

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'No Tears' For Death Of Killer

NO one would shed tears over the death of serial killer David Birnie, a Perth lawyer said today.
Birnie, foung hanged overnight in his cell at Western Australia's Casuarina Prison, had been due to appear in court again next year to answer allegations he raped a fellow prisoner.
The former prisoner, whose identity has been suppressed, was awarded more than $70,000 in criminal injuries compensation last year after successfully claiming he was raped by Birnie and convicted pedophile Adrian Barrett while in the prison in 1999.
WA's Department of Justice is appealing against the decision in the District Court next June, with Birnie and Barrett set to appear as state witnesses.
The former prisoner's lawyer, John Hammond, said today his client had lost the opportunity to cross examine Birnie but the case would proceed without him.
"My client is obviously going to lose the opportunity to have David Birnie be cross examined in the District Court next year ... to appear to meet the allegations that he raped my client," Mr Hammond said.
"The case will proceed without him and my client will defend the state's attempt to deprive him of his compensation.
"I don't think anyone will be shedding any tears over the death of David Birnie."
Birnie claimed in an affidavit presented to a directions hearing in December 2004 that he had been celibate for the 18 years he had been in prison.
Mr Hammond today rejected the notion.
"We say that was a lie, it is rejected out of hand," he said.
Mr Hammond said his client told him Birnie was "a dangerous person" who acted as a mentor to new inmates at Casuarina.
"My client believed that (Birnie) was a very dangerous person, he should have been kept under closer control in the prison and he shouldn't have had access to young prisoners in the jail," Mr Hammond said.
"My client says he was used by the prison as a mentor to younger prisoners.
"When new prisoners came into the system David Birnie was someone who would assist the younger prisoners."

AAP (7-10-2005)


Partner Barred From Birnie Funeral

The partner of serial killer and rapist David Birnie, found hanged in his jail cell, would not be released from prison to attend his funeral, West Australian prison authorities said today.
Birnie, 54, was found hanging in his cell early today at Casuarina prison, south of Perth, where he had been serving a life sentence for the abduction, rape, torture and murder of four women in 1986.
The offences were committed in partnership with his de facto wife Catherine Birnie, 52, who is serving a life sentence in Bandyup women's prison, in Perth's northeast, for the same crimes.
"At this point in time, the circumstances do not appear to be suspicious," police said of his hanging death.
Birnie, who had been incarcerated since 1986, was fine when checked at midnight (WST) last night.
A routine cell check four hours later revealed his body hanging in his cell.
A code red was called and medical officers at the jail responded immediately but he was already dead, WA's executive director of prisons Ian Johnson said.
In the weeks leading to his death, Birnie had stuck to the normal routines of the maximum security protection wing where he was housed and had given no indication he was considering self harm, Mr Johnson said.
"In this case, I am led to believe and I have confidence that there was nothing there that would have indicated he was about to take his own life," Mr Johnson said.
Birnie had, however, been upset by the confiscation of his computer which was found to contain pornographic images.
"That was at the end of August but you can't say that's the reason this has happened," Mr Johnson said.
"I mean, that's five or six weeks ago.
"We monitored Birnie's behaviour after that to make sure that he accepted that decision and then that was fine."
Mr Johnson said Catherine Birnie who never married her partner but took his name was listed as the next of kin and was advised of his death about 8am WST.
It is understood the pair had been estranged for a number of years.
"Suffice to say that she was upset, obviously distressed, but there was support there during that time," Mr Johnson said.
He said if she made an application to attend Birnie's funeral, it would be refused.
"I have already considered that matter and she will not be allowed to go to his funeral," he said.
Mr Johnson said he had taken into account the fact that she had once spat on the grave of one of her victims.
The Birnies embarked on a five-week killing spree in October and November 1986.
They lured or abducted the women to their suburban Willagee house before raping, stabbing, strangling and clubbing them to death.
The spree ended when a fifth rape victim managed to escape and alert police.

AAP (7-10-2005)
Holly Nott


Couple United By Sex And Death

David Birnie and lover Catherine were convicted in 1987 for the murders of four women and a further count of abduction and rape.
They were each sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for at least 20 years.
The crimes were carried out in their suburban Perth home and Gleneagles Forest at Wanneroo, north of the city.
Beginning in October 1986, the Birnies kidnapped four women and chained them up, raping and assaulting them before their deaths.
The bodies of Mary Neilson, Susannah Candy, Noelene Patterson and Denise Brown, were dumped at the pine plantation.
They were caught after a teenage girl - destined to be their fifth victim - escaped from their Willagee house.
The Birnies came to the attention of authorities in 1969,when David was jailed for break and enter and theft and Catherine,was freed on probation for the same offences.
David escaped in 1970 and rejoined Catherine for more break and enters before they were caught and went their separate ways.
Catherine later left her husband and six children to rejoin Birnie, for whom she suffered a fatal infatuation.
Although they never married, Catherine changed her name to his by deed poll.
The court heard how she was unable or unwilling to deny her lover anything.
Their names join those of notorious tandem killers Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley and House of Horrors killers Fred and Rosemary West sharing an interest in sex and murder.

news.com.au (7-10-2005)












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