– Murdered Maria James’ younger son has broken a 33-year silence to implicate the family priest in the stabbing slaying of his mother.
And the Cold Case Squad believes DNA tests can now finally determine whether the late Father Anthony Bongiorno was indeed the man who killed the Thornbury bookshop owner back in 1980.
Adam James was just 11 when his mother was knifed in her Thornbury bookshop.
He was never questioned by police: he suffers from an intellectual disability, and his carers told police he would find it too distressing.
But Mr James’ elder son, Mark, who was 13 when his mother died, said he had discussed Fr Bongiorno with Adam recently.
He said Adam, 44, had then revealed information he had never spoken about before.
“What he told me implicates Fr Bongiorno in the death of my mother, and is new evidence that Adam and I believe warrants digging up Bongiorno to get his DNA so we know one way or the other if he is a murderer,” Mr James said.
For legal reasons, the Herald Sun can’t reveal what the new evidence is. But the head of the Cold Case Squad, Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles, last week took a statement from Adam James about the allegations against Fr Bongiorno, and is following them up.
The James brothers are convinced their mother confronted Fr Bongiorno after Adam revealed to her the information that is the subject of the new evidence.
That confrontation, they believe, could have ended with his murdering her in her Thornbury
They now want the Catholic priest’s body exhumed in order to obtain his DNA.
Whoever killed Ms James left DNA behind. Senior Sergeant Iddles wants to compare that DNA sample with Fr Bongiorno’s DNA.
Exhuming Fr Bongiorno’s body to obtain his DNA is an option, but Senior Sergeant Iddles said he would need strong evidence to justify such a drastic step.
Police first spoke to Fr Bongiorno about the 1980 stabbing murder of Ms James decades ago. While they had received tips that he might have killed Ms James – one through former premier Jeff Kennett – none was sufficient to make him a firm suspect.
It was only last week that he became a stronger suspect, in light of the new allegations – Keith Moor


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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