Missing Persons - Prue Bird
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Judge tells killer to reveal whereabouts of victim
A judge has for the second time urged convicted killer
Leslie Alfred Camilleri to reveal where he buried 13-year-old
Prue Bird's body.
Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Curtain, who at an earlier hearing told Camilleri to "exercise his conscience" and reveal Prue's
whereabouts, said on Monday now was the time to do the right thing and tell police where the schoolgirl's body could be found.
She said detailing Prue's whereabouts would be a powerful indication of his remorse over the 1992 murder.
Outside court, Prue's mother, Jenny, who has long pleaded for Camilleri to tell her where her daughter was buried
so she could lay her to rest, said she turned to the convicted killer in the dock and mouthed the word "please" to him before
he was led away. Camilleri did not respond.
Mrs Bird said she always believed Prue's murder was linked to the Russell Street bombers.
A witness had earlier told the court how she saw convicted Russell Street bomber Craig
Minogue outside Prue's Glenroy home on the day the 13-year-old was abducted and murdered.
The witness, who can only be identified as Witness L, said on Monday she was 18 and walking
home eating an ice-cream when she saw two men, including one she believed was Minogue,
standing outside the front door of Prue's home on February 2, 1992.
Witness L said she saw Prue later being driven away by the men.
She had earlier seen either a gun or a mask with the face of a president in the car.
Police have alleged in a previous court hearing that the motive for Prue's abduction
and murder revolved around payback over police statements made against the men who bombed the Russell Street police building in 1986.
Prue's grandmother, Julie, and her partner, Paul Kurt Hetzel, gave statements to police about the fatal bombing.
Camilleri had pleaded guilty to murdering Prue but is disputing parts of the Crown case. He claims he acted alone when he killed Prue.
Police believe Prue was killed between the day she was abducted and when Camilleri was arrested interstate on
outstanding warrants nine days later.
Camilleri, 43, is serving two life sentences for raping and murdering Bega schoolgirls Lauren Barry and Nichole Collins in 1997.
Prue has not been seen or heard from since February 2, 1992, and her body has never been found.
Her mother, Jenny, left home that morning, leaving Prue with a family friend who also lived at the house.
Prue was last seen in the kitchen preparing lunch. When the friend returned to the house after packing
boxes in the garage, the front door was open, the television was on and a hot meal was sitting uneaten on a table.
Witness L told the court she waited 18 years before deciding to go to the police to reveal what she had seen because
she had previously had no self confidence.
She said two cars were parked near Prue's home the day she disappeared and she wrote down the
number plate of one of the cars and stuck it on the fridge. As the two men stood in front of Prue's
home, another man sat in the second car smoking.
Asked why she had taken down the number plate, Witness L said: "Something made me think I was in danger."
She later told her family what she had seen but they did nothing.
Witness L only decided to come forward because she said she felt Prue's
presence, and the schoolgirl was telling her to do something.
During a session with a hypnotist, Witness L claimed one of the men looked like Craig Minogue.
Witness L said when she saw Prue being driven away, she thought she was being taken to see her grandparents.
"You don't think your friend is going to be kidnapped," she said.
Final submissions in the case will be heard on June 4.
Facebook - RIP Ann Prudance Bird AKA Prue Bird
Schoolgirl killer Leslie Camilleri refuses to reveal more about the murder of Prue Bird
Triple killer Leslie Alfred Camilleri has failed to reveal where he dumped the body of Melbourne schoolgirl
Ignoring a plea made yesterday by Supreme Court judge Justice Elizabeth Curtain to “exercise his conscience” and tell all,
Leslie Camilleri has remained silent on the whereabouts of Prue’s remains.
Camilleri pleaded guilty late last year to the murder of 13-year-old Prue, who police say was snatched from her
Glenroy home on February 2, 1992.
But he disagrees with the facts and circumstances alleged by the Crown.
Prue's remains have never been found, despite a mixed bag of confessions Camilleri has told other prisoners
and maps he has drawn.
In one version he claimed he stuffed Prue’s body in an old fridge at a tip near Kananook train station.
In another confession, he said he buried Prue next to an unidentified man he claims he murdered as payback
for abuse he was subjected to at an earlier age.
In the Supreme Court this morning, no announcement was made regarding any revelations on where Prue's remains lay hidden.
The Supreme Court has heard that for some time after her kidnapping Prue lay huddled in a locked backyard shed, crying
and saying she
wanted to go home to her mum.
A female witness, referred to only as Witness K, has told police she awoke semi-naked in the shed - which belonged to
Camilleri associate and drug trafficker Mark McConville - and saw the sobbing teen.
Prue said she had been taken from her home and threatened with death, according to the woman.
Michele Williams, SC, for the Crown, said that Camilleri and McConville, who has since died, were criminal
mates and that evidence
suggested the pair kidnapped Prue and held her captive before Camilleri murdered her.
Under cross examination during Camilleri's contested plea hearing this morning, Witness K - a former McConville associate - described
the shed as a small tin structure which contained McConville's bed, a kettle, covered junk, bed linen for curtains and shelves with paint tins.
When asked how it was locked, she said: "He (McConville) had a padlock on it."
According to her statement, she last saw Prue when let out of the shed.
Witness K has also told police she overheard allegedly damning conversations between Camilleri and McConville.
Defence barrister John Kelly spent some time attacking Witness K’s credibility this morning, grilling her on dates and
her claims of past injuries when compared to doctor reports.
Witness K admitted to having used amphetamines and sedatives, and denied she knew about any reward offered during the Prue Bird investigation.
Camilleri is serving life without parole for the shocking 1997 murders of raped Bega schoolgirls Lauren Barry and Nichole Collins.
He claims he encountered Prue in her street while hunting a man who molested him when he was younger.
After asking Prue a question and being told “where to go'', he claims he choked her unconscious, hog-tied her and put her in his car.
He says he realised later she was not breathing.
“We say that version is completely fanciful,'' Ms Williams told the hearing yesterday.
“We say this was a planned murder.''
Ms Williams said Camilleri and McConville were once overheard discussing a plan to knock off a Glenroy girl.
The plea hearing continues.
Herald Sun (5-2-2013)
Listing Australian Convicted Paedophiles/ Sex Offenders/ Child Killers..
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Prue Bird killing was planned, court told
A notorious murderer claims he killed Melbourne teenager Prue Bird when she refused to reveal the whereabouts of her father who
he believed might have sexually abused him, a court has heard.
Bega schoolgirl killer Leslie Alfred Camilleri says he became angry and strangled Prue in a Melbourne street in February 1992 when
she would not say where her father was.
Camilleri's pre-sentence hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court was told on Monday that he had told fellow prisoners he believed
Prue's father may have been one of two men who abused him as a child.
The prosecution told the court Camilleri, 43, also claimed to fellow prisoners he killed one of the two men, whose body was buried near Prue's.
He said he could not say where Prue was buried because he did not want the alleged abuser's body to be found.
Camilleri also told one prisoner he had killed another three people.
But prosecutors dispute Camilleri's version of events and say he planned to kill Prue and committed the crime with another man, Mark
McConville, who is now dead.
Justice Elizabeth Curtain said it might now be time for Camilleri to "exercise his conscience" and reveal where Prue was buried.
Prosecutor Michele Williams SC told the court that a woman woke up in a shed after being assaulted by McConville in February 1992 and
found a 13-year-old girl with her in the shed.
Prue had told the woman, who is known as witness K, that she "wanted to be taken home to her mother", Ms Williams told the court.
Witness K had said Prue had told her she had been warned that if she did the wrong thing she would be killed.
When Witness K later saw pictures of Prue Bird she believed it was the same person.
Earlier Witness K had been in the car with Camilleri and McConville when Camilleri said there was a girl in Glenroy that "had to be bumped
off" and "if they didn't get rid of her they were f***ed".
Camilleri told a number of different versions of his story to police and other prisoners, Ms Williams said.
She said he also gave different versions about where the body was buried, including that he put the body in a fridge at a rubbish tip next
to a Melbourne train station, the court heard.
"Much of the admissions are self-serving ... ultimately we would make the submission that he did not commit the murder in the way he says
he did," Ms Williams said.
"This was a planned murder."
She said there was evidence that Prue was abducted from her Glenroy home, including that her lunch was uneaten and the house door was open.
Ms Williams said it would not be alleged by the prosecution that a connection between Prue and a Russell Street bombing witness was the
motive for the murder, as it could not be proved.
Prue's mother Jenny sat just metres from Camilleri during the hearing.
Camilleri, wearing a white t-shirt, sat with beads in his hand.
The court heard he had converted to Islam while in prison.
Camilleri pleaded guilty last year to murdering Prue.
He is already serving life in prison for the murder of Bega schoolgirls Lauren Barry and Nichole Collins in 1997.
McConville died in prison in 2003.
The hearing resumes on Tuesday.
Judge calls on schoolgirl killer Leslie Camilleri to reveal more about the murder of Prue Bird
Notorious Bega schoolgirl killer Leslie Camilleri has been urged by a judge to "exercise his conscience" and reveal where murdered teen Prue Bird is buried.
Triple killer Camilleri has pleaded guilty to murdering 13-year-old Prue after she was taken from her Glenroy home on February 2, 1992.
Despite the plea, Camilleri is contesting the prosecution’s version of the facts and circumstances surrounding the death.
Today the Supreme Court heard that a former associate of a man implicated in the disappearance told police she awoke semi-naked and drugged in a
backyard shed beside Prue, who was sobbing for her mother.
The now dead criminal Mark McConville’s former associate, who can only be referred to as Witness K, told detectives the violent drug trafficker would
often lock her in the shed.
After waking up in there on one occasion semi-naked and drugged, she noticed a frightened young girl huddled on the floor next to her.
The Supreme Court was told that the girl told Witness K her name was Prue and that she had been taken from her home and told that if she “f---ed up”
she would be “knocked straight away”.
Camilleri claims he came across Prue in her street while hunting for one of two men who sexually abused him earlier in his life and, after asking Prue
a question and being “told where to go”, he grabbed her, choked her and later stuffed her body in a refrigerator at a rubbish tip.
It is a claim not accepted by the prosecution.
“We say that version of events is completely fanciful,” Ms Williams told Justice Elizabeth Curtain today.
“We say this was a planned murder – for whatever motive.”
Ms Williams said the Crown was not relying on “the Russell St bombing motive”; a motive previously alleged in court suggesting Prue was snatched and
killed as payback for two of her relatives testifying against the men who carried out the fatal 1986 bombing of the Russell Street police complex.
Ms Williams said evidence suggested Camilleri had acted with McConville to snatch Prue from inside her home – where her dinner sat untouched and the
television left on.
Ms Williams said Camilleri and McConville were associates “based on drugs and crime”.
McConville, a former associate of cold-blooded hitman Rodney Collins, was convicted of murdering couple Ray and Dorothy Abbey in 1987 - but was
acquitted at retrial.
Prue’s body has never been found, despite Camilleri’s alleged confessions and maps being drawn as to her whereabouts.
“This man (Camilleri) does have a tendency to pick up young girls and does have a tendency to kill them,” Ms Williams said today of the man serving
life without parole for the shocking murders of raped Bega schoolgirls Lauren Barry and Nichole Collins.
Prue’s long-suffering mother, Jenny Bird, sobbed in court as Ms Williams read through the Crown’s opening and outlined what relevant witnesses are
expected to say in evidence.
Ms Williams said Witness K overheard conversations between McConville and Camilleri in which they discussed “knocking off” a Glenroy girl who was
a Crown witness, before scouting streets in a car and looking at a particular high school.
The court heard Witness K told police that the girl in the shed who said her name was Prue “kept saying she wanted to go home to her mother”.
Ms Williams said Witness K later identified the girl as Prue Bird after being shown images of Prue.
The court heard a person named Witness L had undergone hypnotherapy to provide police with a description of last seeing Prue in the back of a car
yelling “help me!” and banging her hands against the window.
The court was told a car seen in the area at the time matched that of McConville’s blue hatchback.
Ms Williams outlined how several witnesses had told police of jail conversations with Camilleri during which he made differing admissions about how
he killed Prue, including raping and burying her.
He told others he accidentally strangled her before dumping her in a fridge at a tip near Kananook railway station, while another version had Prue’s
remains lying next to a man Camilleri murdered for sexually abusing him at an earlier age.
Camilleri, who sat in the dock with eyes closed for most of today’s proceedings, told police he acted alone when he killed Prue.
Before adjourning the case for the day, Justice Curtain suggested Camilleri “exercise his conscience” and reveal where Prue’s remains were buried.
The hearing resumes tomorrow.
Herald Sun (4-2-2013)
Man makes admissions in 20-year mystery of Prue Bird murder, court told
A man charged over the cold case murder of missing Glenroy teenager Prue Bird has made certain admissions, a court has heard.
While Leslie Camilleri had made admissions in a police record of interview, certain issues were in dispute, the Melbourne Magistrates' Court was told today.
The dispute centred on alleged motive and how the murder happened, defence lawyer Jacqui Kennedy said.
Ms Kennedy asked that the matter be adjourned for six weeks, as she had only just finished reading the extensive police brief.
She said Mr Camilleri also needed time to study the police documents in full.
"It's not going to be wasted time," Ms Kennedy said of the requested adjournment.
Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg decided to adjourn the case for three weeks.
Mr Camilleri, 42, appeared via a video link from prison, but will be required in court on July 11.
Police believe Prue, 13, was murdered between February 2-9, 1992, in the days after she disappeared from her Glenroy home.
In February this year, Det-Sgt Brent Fisher, of the homicide squad, alleged in court that the motive for Prue's abduction and murder revolved around payback over police statements made against the men who bombed the Russell Street police building in 1986.
Prue's grandmother, Julie, and her partner, Paul Kurt Hetzel, gave statements to police about the fatal bombing, Melbourne Magistrates' Court was told in February.
Police unsuccessfully searched for Prue's remains in Gippsland earlier this year.
Herald Sun (20-6-2012)
Bomber in court over missing girl Prue Bird
Russell St bomber Craig Minogue will face court today as police apply to question him over the disappearance of Prue Bird.
Homicide squad detectives will ask a magistrate's permission to interview Minogue over the Melbourne schoolgirl's 1992
abduction and killing.
Minogue, who is serving life in jail with a 27-year minimum term, is expected to front Melbourne Magistrates' Court via video
link for the hearing.
Police are also expected to apply soon to quiz fellow Russell St bomber Stan Taylor over the 13-year-old's disappearance.
The 1986 bombing killed Constable Angela Taylor and injured 21 other people.
Les Camilleri, 41, last week was charged with the murder of Prue.
Investigators revealed at a court hearing for Camilleri on Wednesday that four men remained "persons of interest" in Prue's murder.
They said three of them were in custody.
Prue disappeared from her Glenroy home on February 2, 1992.
Police believe she was killed some time during the next seven days.
A major search for Prue's remains was conducted this week at Flat Rock Creek, north of Cann River in East
Gippsland, but it found no trace of her.
It emerged this week that police were investigating whether Prue was murdered as part of a payback plot over Russell St.
Paul Kurt Hetzel, the partner of Prue's grandmother, gave crucial evidence against the bombers.
A Coroner's Court hearing in 1999 was told Minogue had threatened to kill Prue if Mr Hetzel betrayed them.
Camilleri is due to face court again in June.
A $500,000 reward remains for anyone able to help solve the killing of Prue.
Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit crimestoppers.com.au.
Herald Sun (17-2-2012)
Four more linked to Prue Bird's murder
Police have quizzed two men over the disappearance and murder of Glenroy teenager Prue Bird.Picture: Source: Supplied
Four more men are "persons of interest" in the disappearance and murder of teenage schoolgirl Prue Bird, a court has been told.
One man, Leslie Camilleri, who has already been charged with Prue's murder, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court via video link from jail yesterday.
His appearance came after it emerged police were investigating possible links between the murder and the deadly Russell St police bombings of 1986.
Prosecutor Luke Exell told the hearing that police required the full 12 weeks allowed by law to prepare a brief of evidence.
Mr Exell said 120 statements were taken in the early 1990s, and those witnesses had to be revisited.
Prue, 13, disappeared from her Glenroy home in February 1992. Charge sheets suggested she died between February 2 and 9.
Update: Homicide detectives are investigating whether Prue Bird was murdered in a revenge plot linked to the Russell St bombing.
The court was told three of the other four persons of interest were in custody.
One was questioned this week while the fourth man was at large interstate, Mr Exell said.
Some 80 further statements would have to be obtained, including 10 relating to what Mr Camilleri had told police, the court heard.
Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg allowed the 12-week period for preparing a brief.
Mr Camilleri, 41, is due to next appear in court in June.
Senior police yesterday declined to comment on detectives investigating whether Prue was murdered as a payback connected to the Russell St attack that killed Constable Angela Taylor and injured 21 others.
Investigators are examining whether she died because Paul Kurt Hetzel, the partner of the girl's grandmother, gave evidence against the bombers.
A Coroner's Court hearing in 1999 was told convicted bomber Craig Minogue had threatened to kill the teenager if Hetzel betrayed them.
Police yesterday called off their search for Prue's remains in bush at Flat Rock Creek in East Gippsland.
They had used cadaver dogs, excavation machinery and even an archaeologist in their hunt for remains.
An afternoon downpour that washed away soil dug up during the search brought a premature end to the 2 1/2 day probe.
Police have told Prue's mother Jenny Bird they did not find any clues to suggest her daughter's body was hidden in the area.
They have not ruled out searching other areas if credible information was provided to suggest it was Prue's final resting place.
Herald Sun (16-2-2012)
Paul Anderson and Michelle Ainsworth
Russell St bombing link to Melbourne teenager Prue Bird's murder
Homicide detectives are investigating whether Melbourne teenager Prue Bird was murdered in a revenge plot linked to the notorious Russell St bombing.
Police are examining whether figures involved in the 1986 bombing, which killed Constable Angela Taylor, paid to have Prue abducted and murdered.
Prue, 13, was snatched from her Glenroy home 20 years ago last week while in the care of a family friend.
Police were searching an area of bushland, near the Victoria-NSW border, for her remains but have ended it after three days.
The search involved crews of police scouring Flat Rock Creek near the East Gippsland town of Cann River using earth-moving machinery, rakes and shovels.
An archaeologist and cadaver dog also visited the site, but Prue's remains were not found.
Les Camilleri, 41, was charged last week with Prue's murder and appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court via video link from Melbourne Assessment Prison this morning.
Police will allege well-connected Melbourne criminal Mark McConville, who has since died, was also involved.
Police are examining whether the girl was taken and killed in revenge for Paul Kurt Hetzel giving evidence against members of the bombing gang over the deadly car blast outside the then police complex that injured 21 others.
He was the long-time partner of Prue's grandmother when the teenager disappeared and a star witness for the prosecution in the Russell St bombing trial.
A Coroner's Court hearing in 1999 was told convicted Russell St bomber Craig "Fatty'' Minogue had threatened to kill the girl if Mr Hetzel ever betrayed them.
"If any bastard ever thought about going to the cops about us, they'll be killed and so will their f---ing families,'' he allegedly said.
"It would be a shame if anything happened to your sweet little Prue, wouldn't it?''
Mr Hetzel was an associate of the Russell St bombers, but escaped a lengthy jail term when he gave evidence against them.
The main initial line of inquiry in the months after Prue's murder was whether she was taken as part of a revenge plot.
Investigations later looked into other theories, including that the girl was murdered by an armed robber linked to Prue's family.
Finding old telephone lines in remote bush has emerged as a key element in the search for a murdered teen.
Police said yesterday they needed to talk to anyone with information about telephone lines that ran through East Gippsland's Flat Bed Creek area before the 1990s.
The lines were removed about 20 years ago but their location could help investigators find the remains.
Herald Sun (15-2-2012)
Les Camilleri charged with missing Glenroy teen Prue Bird's murder
Prue Bird was was 13 when she disappeared from her Melbourne home in 1992
- Prue Bird went missing from her home in 1992
- Les Camilleri, 42, has been charged with murder
- Teen last seen peering through car window
POLICE have charged a man with the murder of a Melbourne teenager who went missing 20 years ago.
Les Camilleri, 42, was today charged with the murder of
Prue Bird, 13.
He is expected to face Melbourne Magistrates’ Court via video link next Wednesday.
Homicide squad detectives last week revealed they were confident of solving the Bird killing.
They yesterday successfully applied to a court to question him.
The Herald Sun revealed two years ago that Camilleri was under investigation over the Prue Bird killing.
She was last seen alive peering through the rear window of a Ford Laser as it drove from the area around her Glenroy home on February 2, 1992.
The teenager had been left in the care of a family friend who went to a shed to pack boxes while Prue made her lunch.
When she returned, Prue was gone.
The Justin Ave property’s front door was open, a television set was on and a hot meal sat on the table.
Herald Sun (9-2-2012)
Schoolgirl killer a suspect again
Bega schoolgirl killer Les Camilleri has emerged as the prime suspect in one of Melbourne's most disturbing cold case murders.
The sinister Camilleri is under scrutiny over the baffling 1992 disappearance of 13-year-old Glenroy girl Prue Bird, the Herald Sun reports.
Camilleri is already serving two life sentences for the murder of Lauren Barry, 14, and Nichole Collins, 16, in 1997.
He and an accomplice abducted the girls in southern NSW, raped them and murdered them by a creek in Victoria's east.
The investigation into the killing of Prue Bird was first thought to be linked to the Russell St police bombings or a notorious armed robber who was friendly with her family.
But Camilleri is now in the sights of the homicide squad.
Investigators have been trying to piece together Camilleri's movements in the period when Prue vanished.
She was last seen alive preparing lunch in the kitchen of her mother's Justin Avenue house on February 2, 1992.
A family friend who had been packing boxes in a garage returned to find the front door open and the television on.
Earlier this year, police publicly appealed for anyone who knew of Camilleri's whereabouts or could place him in Melbourne in the 1990s to come forward, but did not specify why.
A $500,000 reward is in place for anyone able to help find Prue's killer.
Victoria Police would not comment on any link between Camilleri and the Bird case.
"The investigation into the murder of Prue Bird remains unsolved, and police urge any person with information in relation to the homicide to contact CrimeStoppers," a police statement said.
In 1999, Supreme Court judge Frank Vincent sentenced Camilleri to life in jail with no minimum term.
"Through your own acts, you have forfeited your right to ever walk among us again," Justice Vincent said.
Now 39, Camilleri is serving his term in the state's most secure jail, Barwon Prison, near Geelong.
Lindsay Beckett, was sentenced to life in jail with a minimum of 35 years before he can be considered for parole.
One of the early theories after Prue disappeared was that her death was linked to the Russell St police bombings of 1986.
Her grandmother was a long-time partner of convicted armed robber Paul Hetzel, who turned Crown witness against four men accused of the bombing.
At one stage, police also examined whether a sexually twisted armed robber, who had spent time with the family, was responsible.
That man, known at one stage as Bank Enemy Number One, had sexually assaulted a relative of Prue's.
Anyone with information on the murder of Prue Bird can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au.
Herald Sun 29-12-2009
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