-  # Malcolm Joseph Thomas Clarke
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Malcolm Joseph Thomas Clarke
Age:56 yrs old (D.O.B- 16-1-1955)
State: VIC- Melbourne
Found guilty 16-6-2004 in VIC Supreme Court. Sentenced to life in jail/ 25 yrs non parole.
Found guilty of murdering 6 yr old girl (Bonny Clarke-not related to the offender),in her bedroom.
Raped/ suffocated and stabbed his young victim in Northcote (Melbourne)in 1982.
Was arrested in 2002 for Bonny's murder. Clarke is also been investigated for other unsolved
sex attacks.Volunteered as a guard on "Puffing Billy" tourist train (1994-2002).
A Killer's Life
BORN- January 6, 1955.
1979- Meets Theresa Verity Crowe.
JUNE 19, 1980- Kills Ms Crowe, 22, in her flat after
proposing hours earlier.
JANUARY 1982- Begins boarding with Marion Clarke
and her daughter Bonny,in
their Northcote home.
DECEMBER 21, 1982- Kills Bonny,6,in her bed.
AUGUST 1983- Rapes a neighbour in her
Brunswick home, threatens to harm
her five-year-old daughter.
SEPTEMBER 1983- Clarke charged with murder after
police investigating the Brunswick
rape link him to Ms Crowe's killing.
FEBRUARY 29,1984- Coroner finds Bonny Clark was
killed by an unknown assailant.
JULY 23, 1984- Clarke found guilty of the
manslaughter of Theresa Crowe.
DECEMBER 13, 1984- Clarke convicted of rape, sentenced to a minimum 11 years' jail.
1992- Clarke released.
FEBRUARY 2001- Police begin reinvestigating Bonny
JUNE 6, 2002- Clarke confesses to Bonny's
murder, but later pleads not guilty.
JUNE 17, 2004- A Supreme Court Jury convicts
Clarke of Bonny's murder.
DECEMBER 31, 2004- Clarke is sentenced to life in
prison, wth a minimum 25 years.
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Bonny Clarke Killer Jailed For Life
The man who murdered a six-year-old girl in her bed 22 years ago has been
sentenced to life in jail, with no prospect of parole for at least 25 years,
in the Victorian Supreme Court today.
Malcolm Joseph Thomas Clarke, 49, was found guilty in June by a Supreme
Court jury of murdering Bonny Clarke (no relation) in her Westbourne Grove,
Northcote home on December 20, 1982.
She was sexually assaulted, smothered with a pillow and stabbed in the
chest. Her mother Marion Wishart found her the next morning.
Ms Wishart was the lead suspect in the murder until the homicide squad cold
case unit reinvestigated in 2001.
Clarke, then 28, had been a boarder at the house in Melbourne's north months
before the murder.
The court was told Clarke admitted the crime to undercover detectives in
June 2001, saying he was heavily intoxicated when he murdered Bonny.
He made further admissions in a formal homicide squad interview later the
same day, but has since claimed he was innocent and that the statements made
earlier were false, the court heard.
In 1984, Clarke was convicted of the manslaughter of a 22-year-old woman in
June 1980, and the stabbing and rape of a woman in Brunswick in August 1983.
In sentencing Clarke, Justice Murray Kellam described him as a "serious,
violent sexual offender" who concealed his "evil and monstrous crime"
against Bonny Clarke for 20 years.
"Those who commit outrageous crimes against children must know that no
matter how long it takes before the are brought to justice they will suffer
severe consequences," he said.
Clarke used his knowledge of the house to get to Bonny and said his
intoxication did not prevent him from climbing the back fence and entering
and leaving the house without detection, Justice Kellam said.
"The murder of a young child in such circumstances is a vile crime," Justice
"For over two decades the matter of (Bonny's) death has certainly haunted
"In particular, her mother has had to live with the suspicion held by some
police that she was guilty of the crime."
Justice Kellam said he took into account Clarke's good behaviour since his
release in 1992 on the earlier convictions, his age, health problems
including migraines and hypertension and the "crushing effect" of a life
But he said the sentence must reflect a specific deterrent and retribution
for the murder.
He sentenced Clarke to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 25
The sentence includes 940 days Clarke has already spent in custody.
Clarke, who wore a navy blue suit and stood hunched and red-faced in the
dock, showed no emotion as the sentence was passed.
Ms Wishart did not speak to journalists as she left the court.
But Bonny's father Denis said he was satisfied with the sentence and that he
was relieved the saga over his daughter's murder was at an end.
"My oath it is," Mr Clarke told AAP.
"This is the best present I've ever had."
Despite the severity of the sentence, which will keep Clarke in prison until
well into his 70s, Mr Clarke said nothing could replace his daughter's life.
"There's no such thing as closure," he said.
Suspect Finally Has Redemption
THE mother of sex murder victim Bonny Clarke has spoken for the first time
about being the prime suspect for 20 years.
Marion Wishart had to live with police believing she murdered her daughter
in 1982 until the real killer was caught in 2002.
Her nightmare should end today with the expected sentencing of Malcolm
Clarke for the murder of six-year-old Bonny (no relation).
"To be accused of such a horrendous crime was awful," Mrs Wishart told the
Mrs Wishart is bitter about the fact that being treated by police as the
prime suspect allowed Clarke to avoid being captured for so long.
While he was free Clarke raped and stabbed a female neighbour.
Mrs Wishart believes Clarke probably sexually attacked other women and
children in the 20 years between killing Bonny and being charged with her
He worked as a volunteer on the Puffing Billy tourist train during that time
and was also employed as a nursing aide in aged-care homes around Melbourne.
"Sex offenders like Clarke don't just do it the once, they usually keep
doing it until they are caught," Mrs Wishart said.
A Supreme Court jury in June found Clarke, 50, guilty of murdering Bonny in
her Northcote home, where he was a former boarder.
It was Mrs Wishart who police blamed from day one right up until Clarke
became the prime suspect in 2001.
Even the fact Bonny was raped did not rule out Mrs Wishart in the minds of
the original investigators, the theory being she accidentally killed her
daughter and tried to throw police off the scent by using an object to rape
The autopsy found Bonny had been penetrated by a finger or blunt object.
"I had to live with being a suspect for 20 years," Mrs Wishart said.
"It wasn't until Bonny's murder was re-investigated by homicide squad cold
case unit Detective Tim Day in 2001 that I stopped being the prime suspect.
I still have no idea why police would ever think I could do something so
terrible to my own daughter.
"Wrongly accusing me of it enabled Malcolm Clarke to avoid capture for 20
years and kept him free to offend again."
Clarke killed and mutilated disco dancer Theresa Crowe two years before
murdering Bonny and raped and stabbed a neighbour a year after Bonny died.
Sen-Det Day charged Clarke with Bonny's murder in June 2002 after a 16-month
His probe started after a childhood friend of Bonny contacted police in 1999
with her long-held suspicion that Clarke may have been the killer.
"Armed with just that little piece of information, Tim Day put in the time
and solved the case and for that I am eternally grateful to him and his
doggedness," Mrs Wishart said.
"I appeal to anybody with any information, any suspicion, any theory -- now
matter how insignificant it might seem -- to come forward and give it to
"Doing so might lead to an arrest and stop that person offending again."
Mrs Wishart said after Bonny was raped and murdered she regularly had
sleepless nights for the next 20 years about who else Bonny's attacker might
"I would wake in the middle of the night wondering who else he was doing it
to. I felt so powerless to stop it," she said.
"So please, please, if you have any information that might help police catch
such people, or have been attacked and not reported it, then come forward.
"Clarke wasn't stopped early enough, but at least he is off the street now.
The community is safe from him at last."
Mrs Wishart asked not to be photographed for this article.
"I just want to sink into obscurity and get on with my life," she said.
Mrs Wishart urged people with information about any crime to phone Crime
Herald Sun (31-12-2004)
Cold Case- Childhood Memories Catch A Killer
In 1999, Melbourne mother
Kylie ward read that
Victorian police were setting up
a special cold cases unit. She had
a particular interest in one of
the unsolved crimes - in 1982
her childhood friend, six-year-
old Bonnie Clarke, had been
murdered in her bed. Bonnie's
killer had never been found.
Kylie, who was eight at the
time of her playmate's murder,
thought she knew who did it.
She telephoned police and
explained she suspected a
boarder who had lodged with
Bonnie and her mother Marion
in the months before the murder.
"I distinctly remember this
man because he gave me the
creeps," recalls Kylie.
"She [Bonnie] was very
cautious of him and was always
avoiding him. She told me he
was really creepy and he kept
looking at her".
The lodger, Mal Clarke (no
relation), had moved out a few
months before the murder But
"drunk as a skunk", he came
back on the night of December
21, 1982. Letting himself in the
back door, the family dogs not
barking because they knew him.
Marion Clarke, now Wishart,
found her daughter dead in her
bed the next morning, sexually
assaulted and smothered with
a pillow. There was a stab wound
through the little girl's lung. The
crime scene examiner said her
body appeared To have been
wiped down. Although police
initially suspected Marion,
no-one was ever charged.
Nineteen years later, Kylie
Ward's suspicions about the
boarder were enough for
Detective Senior Constable
Tim Day to delve deeper and
to eventually link the same
man to three murders.
"When I started going
through the file, I had to
immerse myself in it and
try to make the links and
establish who the players
were - from the deceased,
to the family, the friends,
the boarders, to everything,
and get a full appreciation
of the file," Detective
Senior Constable Day
After going through
the file, I couldn't establish
how the boarder had been
eliminated from the original
investigation, and I couldn't
establish at first who the
Senior Constable Day
discovered the name
"Mal" and then finally the
name "Clarke". He then
began sifting through the
Criminal Records Branch for all
offenders with the surname
Clarke - with or without "e".
He came across a Joe
Clarke whose job was listed
as "assistant projectionist".
Joe had been jailed for the
sexual assault of a mother in her home and the
mutilation murder of 32-
year-old dancer Theresa
Verity Crowe. Tellingly Mal
Clarke had also been an
Soon Detective Senior
Constable Day realised
that Joe and Mal Clarke
were the same person.
It would take another
year for him to gather
enough evidence before
he could bring Clarke in.
On June 6,2002,
Malcolm Joseph Thomas
Clarke was arrested
and confessed Bonnie's
murder to Detective
Senior Constable Day and
Detective Senior Sergeant Ron
Iddles. "God knows why I went
around to that place and
whatever happened, it
happened," he told them "And
whwn I came to my senses, I realised Bonnie was deceased.
I was as drunk as a Mallee bull
and I shit myself. I think I might
have had a knife with me".
A Supreme Court jury found
Clarke guilty of Bonnie's murder
in June this year. He is in jail
Inside Crime (27-9-2004)
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