MAKO/File Online   -  # TRURO Killer/James Miller

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Age: 68 yrs old (2008)


Sentence: Sentenced in 1980 to life in jail /not eligible for parole until 2015... Convicted of 6 murders.

Offence/Other: Abducted, raped and murdered young women in South Australia in 1978/79, with his accomplice Christopher Worrell (who died in a car accident before his guilt was discovered).These murders became known as the "Truro murders". A book called "Murder In Tandem" (by Paul Wilson/ James Wulf Simmonds) was released in 2000. Explores up to 11 cases where killers have worked in tandem.

James Miller

Truro Killer James Miller Dies of Cancer

Notorious Truro killer James Miller has died. The daughter of one of his six victims described the death as a "massive relief."
Miller, 68, who had terminal cancer, was transferred to Mary Potter Hospice from Yatala Labour Prison this week.
Niki Lamb, the daughter of victim Deborah Lamb, said she was advised within minutes of Miller's death last night, around 10pm.
His death was a "massive relief", she said.
"There will never be an end because I don't have my mother," she said.
"But it is an end to a dark chapter and the beginning of a new one."
Miller was jailed for life in 1980 for the murder of six women who disappeared over the summer of 1976-77. He spent most of the past 28 years at Yatala.
Miller, who was not due for release before 2015, was one of the state's longest-serving prisoners.
He had always maintained he only helped bury the victims near Truro and that the murderer was his younger friend, Christopher Robin Worrell.
The short-lived killing spree ended when Worrell, 23, died in a car crash - which Miller, now 68, survived - a week after the murder of a seventh woman.
Miller was acquitted of the murder of the first victim, Veronica Knight.
Worrell raped and killed the women while Miller - who said at trial his job was to be "chauffeur and mug" - waited nearby. Miller was convicted of six murders as part of a joint criminal enterprise with Worrell.
A Correctional Services spokesman would not confirm or deny Miller's death, because members of his family and his victims' families would have to be notified first.

news.com.au (22-10-2008)

TRURO Killer James Miller is on His Death-bed in Yatala Labour Prison

TRURO killer James Miller is on his death-bed in Yatala Labour Prison, with relatives of his victims told he is not expected to survive the week.
Miller, who has terminal cancer, was recently moved under police escort from Mobilong Prison to Yatala's infirmary, where he is expected to die.
He was jailed for life in 1980 for the murder of six women who disappeared over the summer of 1976 and 1977.
Miller has spent most of the past 28 years at Yatala but had been moved to Mobilong for "operational reasons".
A Correctional Services spokesman said Miller had very recently been transferred back to Yatala and admitted to its hospital.
"He is very ill," the spokeman said.
Miller, who was not due for release before 2015, is one of the state's longest-serving prisoners.
He has always maintained he only helped bury the victims near Truro and that the murderer was his younger friend Christopher Robin Worrell.
The short-lived killing spree only ended when Worrell and another potential victim died in a car crash - which Miller survived - a week after the murder of a seventh woman.
Niki Lamb, the daughter of victim Deborah Lamb, who was a new mother aged 20 when she was killed - said Miller's death behind bars was "karma".
"Murder, in my eyes, is a life sentence for the families of the victims," she told Channel 10.
"You do something like that and you pay for it with your life."
Mid Murray Mayor Ian Mann, whose Council covers much of Truro, 80km north-east of Adelaide, said "nobody's going to shed a tear" over the killer's death.
He said the town had largely overcome its notoriety in the three decades since five of the young women's bodies were found buried in scrub nearby.
"It still might be (associated) in some people's minds from way back but I think Snowtown would well and truly have taken over as the country town that would be known for the wrong reasons," Mr Mann said.
"Time certainly heals and while the town did suffer a bit of a bad name for some years, I don't think too many people would associate it (with the killing spree) now."
Worrell had been on parole for sexually assaulting a young female hitchhiker when he and Miller picked up Veronica Knight, 18, Tania Kenny, 15, Julie Mykyta, 15, Sylvia Pittmann, 16, Vicki Howell, 26, Connie Iordanides, 16, and Deborah Lamb, 20.
Worrell raped and killed the women while Miller, whose job was to drive, waited nearby. Miller was convicted of murder, as part of a joint criminal enterprise.
The clumsy yet tragic resting place of one victim was discovered in 1978 by a man mushrooming near Truro, who found what he at first thought was the leg of a cow, but which on closer inspection belonged to a woman. Another body was discovered nearby by bushwalkers.
Another body was buried at Wingfield and one at Port Gawler.

AAP (10-9-2008)
Maria Moscaritolo

Predatory Killers Who Hunt In Pairs

James Miller and Christopher Worrell were among Australia's first "tandem" killers two men who sought out and killed seven women. The Truro murders of the late 1970s ended when Worrell was killed in a car smash.
A new book, co-authored by a leading criminologist, explores up to 11 cases where killers have worked in tandem, and he asserts if Worrell had not died he and Miller may have gone on to become Australia's worst serial killers.
THE death of Christopher Worrell in a car smash in 1977 in all likelihood saved Australia from a rampage that may have become the country's worst serial killing spree.
Worrell already had murdered seven young women and buried them near Truro, north of Adelaide.
But one of Australia's most famous criminologists suggests Worrell and his accomplice, lover James Miller were entering a period of Intensity. The lag time between the murders was getting shorter and Worrell was now following the "established behavior of some serial killers".
Worrell and Miller are unique, according to criminologists. They formed a partnership in murder, they shared the intimacy of death there is no more intimate relationship and usually they existed in a dominance/ submissive relationship.
The Truro killings is a case history in serial murders that has been examined down to the minutiae it was the classic horror story of missing young women, the lethal persona of a young, hedonistic killer, and a gutless eyewitness who stood and watched rape and murder.
This was the story of Worell and Miller, killers in tandem.
Professor Paul Wilson in his latest book with co- author James Wulf Simmonds has examined 11 Australian and international murder cases where murder was a "shared" experience, and taken the issue a step further what is the bond between co-murderers?
It was Anzac Day 1978 that William Thomas went mushrooming in desolate bushland off Swamp Rd Truro. He found what he thought was the bone from the leg of a cow.
But the bone had a shoe attached, and on closer examination inside the shoe he discovered skin and neatly painted toenails. Clothes and more bones and blood nearby resulted in a routine police investigation. The dead woman was Veronica Knight, who was 18 when she vanished from an Adelaide street. Nothing happened for another year, the trail was cold.
Bushwalkers later discovered the skeleton of 16-year-old Sylvia Pittman a kilometre from where Veronica had been buried.
Connecting serial killings is notoriously difficult, and in the late 1970s "serial" had still not become a crime buzz word. But to Major Crime investigator Sergeant Bob "Hugger" Giles there was the strong suggestion of a link between two dead women, other young women reported missing and a killer.
In fact, there were two men abducting and killing. Christopher Worrell, young, charismatic and psychosociopathic, and James Miller, a drifter, homosexual and totally dependent on his friend for sex and support.
Miller went into depression and became homeless after Worrell's car rolled and he was killed in the South-East on February, 19, 1977. But the older man's state of mind gave police a breakthrough when he inadvertently told a woman about his dead mate who was thrill-killing.
That woman, known only as Angela, collected a $40,000 reward when she eventually told police of Miller's possible involvement in the murder of seven women, Angela told police and confirmed a profile they had already built up about Worrell of her conversation, which gave a chilling insight into the mind of the dominant "tandem" murderer.
She said: "He (Miller) couldn't stop Chris from doing this. He would just pick them up, rape and strangle them. He said he just drove the vehicle for Chris... one of the victims had been strangled with a guitar string. Jamie (Miller) said he couldn't stop Chris from raping and killing these girls."
Miller also said Worrell became worse before he died, and, in fact, the time lag between the murders had been getting shorter.
In the new book, Paul Wilson says of Worrell: "Despite popular belief to the contrary, he did not always kill by the same method, preferring to experiment with different ways of dealing out death. His confidence was building with each murder, increasing his boldness and his sadistic appetite."
Prof Wilson suggests Worrell was going to go on, far beyond seven murders, and Miller would have gone along as the "driver".
"Had Worrell lived, even more victims may have died and the perpetrators may never had become known," Prof Wilson says,
Miller, who this year was still seeking to be released from his life sentence, was the passive follower of the pair, and he continued to follow Worrell's bidding because he feared losing the sexual and emotional bond between the two men.
But did Miller go along for other reasons? Prof Wilson says: "At worst, Miller's voyeuristic participation in the murders even in some instances, a physical distance ignited dark and pathological emotions of pleasure.
"By helping his lover rejoice in whatever forms of hedonistic satisfaction Worrell got from his passion for thrill-killing, Miller was, even if indirectly, revelling in the spectre of the sexual violence that was the basis for the Truro murders."

Sunday Mail (10-9-2000)
Peter Haran

The Model Parolee Who Was Really A Killer

CHARLES Cornwall's conscience is finally clear.
More than 25 years after seven young women were abducted, raped and murdered in the infamous Truro case, the retired probation and parole officer has finally shaken off his feelings of anguish and despair.
Mr Cornwall, 66, was Christopher Worrell's parole officer while Worrell and convicted killer, James William Miller went on their Killing spree between 1976 and 1977.
With the stroke of his pen Mr Cornwall could have put Worrell back behind bars and saved the lives of the seven victims.
But, as Mr Cornwall now reveals in a book he has written. The Punishment, Fit The Crime. Worrell was a model parolee and did nothing which warranted having it revoked. Nor did he do anything to arouse suspicion about his serial killing spree.
Some people at the time said there should have been some sign or something but there never was," Mr Cornwall said.
"When I found out what he had been doing I was just flabbergasted, it was hard to believe."
Between December, 1976, and February, 1977. Worrell and Miller abducted and murdered the seven women.
Their reign of terror ended when Worrell was killed in a car accident in late February, 1977.
Miller was arrested in May, 1979, and is serving a 35-year non parole period after being found guilty of six of the seven murders.
A probation and parole officer for 25 years, Mr Cornwall first met Worrell in 1974 when he was given a bond for armed robbery.
"The one thing that was remarkable about my initial interview with him was the number of questions he asked me about the conditions of the bond and what his responsibilities were," Mr Cornwall said.
Ironically, he said that encounter left him with the impression he was not going to be a problem.
"How wrong can you be?" It was only a couple of months later he abducted and sexually assaulted a young woman hitchhiker," Mr Cornwall said.
Worrell was sentenced to four years' Jail for the attack and had his bond revoked for the armed robbery. He was paroled in October, 1976, after two years in jail.
It was while he was in jail he formed his close relationship with Miller.
"Worrell was required to report to me weekly, which he did," Mr Cornwall said.
"There was never any inkling that anything was going on."
Mr Cornwall said while he did not feel guilt, he had often asked himself: "Was there something that I could have done? Was there something I should have picked up? The answer to both questions is 'no'."
He said if Worrell had not been paroled, his killing spree would simply have been delayed.
"I don't think keeping people in prison longer reforms them," Mr Cornwall said.
"It might have saved the girls who died then but there would still have been others if he was released after six years instead of two. I have no doubt about that."

Adelaide Advertiser (23-11-2002)
Nigel Hunt

City Of Churches And Murder

The discovery of bodies in a northern South Australian town has rekindled memories of some of the state's grislier murder cases.
While SA jealously guards its reputation for sporting prowess, fine wine and a capital known more for its churches than its nightlife, it also has a rpeutation as home to some of the country's worst multiple killers.
Adelaide's placid image as the city of churches was shattered in the late 1970's and early 1980's by the horrific killings that came to be known as The Family murders.
According to SA police, The Family a gang of up to nine homosexual men, was resposible for the abduction and rape of up to 200 boys and the murder of five people during a 10-year reign of terror between 1973 and '83.
The first person killed was Alan Barnes, 17, who disappeared on June 17, 1979, while hitchiking in Adelaide. His body, which had been washed and redressed, was found a week later on the banks of a resevoir. An autopsy revealed he died of blood loss associated with severe internal wounds caused by a blunt object thrust into his anus.
The death disgusted Adelaide but there was worse to come. The body of Neil Frederick Muir, 25, was skilfully dismembered into 43 pieces and found lying in a plastic bag in Adelaide's Port river on August 28, 1979.
The final death was that of Richard Kelvin, 15, the son of a prominent Adelaide newsreader.
A court heard evidence Bevan Spencer Von Einem had kept the schoolboy captive in a drugged state for up to five weeks before killing him.
von Einem, who maintained his innocence and refused to nominate anyone else involved in the death, was sentenced to a then SA record 36-year non parole period.
The Family murders came just two years after a gruesome discovery of a body of a woman at Truro, 100km north of Adelaide.
In what became known simply as the Truro murders, seven women aged between 15 and 26 were raped and killed. Five of the bodies were dumped near Truro; the two others were also found in bush.
The serial killings were uncovered the week after the last murder when one of the killers, Christopher Worrell, 23, died in a car accident.
His lover, James William Miller, was convicted in 1980 over six of the deaths and sentenced to life in jail. He said Worrell killed the women and he helped bury them.
The one crime that still haunts Adelaide is the still unexplained disappearance of the Beaumont children on Australia Day, 1966.

Brian Walsh

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