A 1991 case of three missing and murdered indigenous children is once again the focus of a recent police enquiry in Bowraville, on the northern coast of New South Wales. According to the Guardian, NSW police stated on 5 February 2020 that a series of sexual assaults in the nearby Wollongong area, which began around that time, could be connected to the Bowraville murders. But families in the community were reportedly blindsided by a call for information about these matters, believing they should have been told earlier about potential connections between the children’s slayings and other assaults.
The young victims
The first victim, 16-year-old Clinton “Speedy” Duroux, was found in February 1991, his body abandoned in the bushland. The following April, clothing belonging to 16-year-old Colleen Walker-Craig also surfaced, though her body did not, and a week later, skeletal remains of 4-year-old Evelyn Greenup turned up in the bush. All three were kidnapped from the same Bowraville street – Walker first, followed by Greenup and Deroux – and are believed to have been slain by the same offender.
A community in turmoil
The Bowraville community continues to feel aftershocks of grief from these murders. The case sparked tensions between residents and the police that have also never died down, with many indigenous residents alleging racial discrimination – a claim substantiated by one of the several parliamentary enquiries into this matter.
NSW police still believe the same person, a white labourer who lived (and was well known) in Bowraville, is responsible for all three slayings. But he was arrested, indicted and tried for the murders of Speedy-Duroux and Greenup in 1991 and 2006, respectively, and acquitted on both occasions due to what juries felt was insufficient evidence, per the Newcastle Herald. Despite changes to NSW’s criminal law, multiple parliamentary enquiries and an appeal to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal (which was rejected in 2018), the case remains officially unsolved.
There is still no word on whether the assaults the police are currently examining have any substantive links to the Bowraville murders.
Representatives willing to fight for you
The violent death of a loved one – or a sexual assault against them – comes with incredible grief, and the criminal code related to such offences can be difficult to navigate. Struggling with emotional trauma while pursuing a legal course of action requires a legal partner whom you can trust to fight for what’s right. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault or abuse, now is the time to consult with the experienced and dedicated solicitors at Gerard Malouf & Partners.