November 5 2014
– It is now 30 years since a perverted paedophile abducted, raped and murdered six-year-old Kylie Maybury.
The low-life sicko who did it has so far not been caught.
You would have to think that after three decades it is more likely than not the murder will remain unsolved.
But Inspector Glenn Woolfe, the detective who prepared the inquest brief and lived and breathed the case for years, hasn’t given up hope of the killer making a deathbed confession or that somebody who knows something about it will decide to finally do the right thing and report it.
“We believe there is someone out there who knows who did it and for some reasons is not telling us,” Insp Woolfe told the Herald Sun yesterday.
“I appeal to them to come forward to help us solve this crime.
“I was in the homicide squad for eight years and this is the one murder that sticks in my mind as the one I would dearly love to solve.
“She was abducted and her body was later dropped in the gutter, just like a piece of rubbish.
“My view is that she would have been held prisoner somewhere before her body was dumped.
“Nobody should get away with such a crime.”
The Herald Sun is revealing today that police are reinvestigating the Maybury murder.
Detectives from the Victoria Police cold case and missing persons squad have already started working on the case that shocked the state.
Bizarre and tragic twists and turns have been a hallmark of the Maybury murder since she was abducted on Melbourne Cup Day in 1984, including:
Kylie’s grandfather John Moss committed suicide in October 1985, just prior to the first anniversary of his granddaughter’s death and shortly after he was accused and then cleared of killing her.
Her uncle Mark Maybury killed himself in jail in February 1987, leaving behind a suicide note in which he named two dead paedophiles he claimed to have murdered.
Kylie’s grave was desecrated in 1985 by a man who claimed to be a gypsy from Queensland and who put a large Greek urn on it before warning Fawkner Crematorium staff he had put a curse on the urn that would see anyone moving it suffer a “punishment worse than death”.
One-time prime suspect and convicted child killer Robert Arthur Selby Lowe got legal aid in 1997 to fund a High Court constitutional challenge to the validity of the Act police were attempting to use to forcibly take his DNA so they could compare it with DNA Kylie’s killer left on her body.
Police hoped Lowe’s legal battle to keep his DNA to himself was a sign he was guilty and were bitterly disappointed when they eventually got his DNA and it proved he wasn’t Kylie’s killer.
Detective Boris Buick yesterday confirmed the cold case and missing persons squad is having a fresh look at the Maybury murder.
He is today appealing through the Herald Sun for public help.
“I was recently contacted by a family member of the young girl,” Sen-Sgt Buick said.
“She just wanted to know how things were going, whether there had been any new leads.
“Sadly, I had to tell her there hadn’t been.
“But that approach prompted me to order a review of the case.
“I think this is an appropriate case to bring to public awareness again, just because of the circumstances.
“This was a young girl who was raped and murdered and her body thrown in the street. It is a terrible case.
“I am hoping an article on the case will triggers someone’s conscience.
“Allegiances change over time and sometimes when relationships deteriorate a wife may dob in her husband or a crook that has a falling out with another crook will dob in that crook and away we go.
“Maybe the person who did it is dead, we just don’t know. We have no firm suspect.
“There will be people out there who know something about this murder. We want those people to tell us what they know.
“The person who murdered Kylie left something indelible behind, their DNA.
“That means the killer is identifiable.
“If the Herald Sun article generates some nominations of suspects then we will pursue DNA testing to see if any of them are the killer.”
Many who saw Kylie’s body lying in the gutter 30 years ago had nightmares about it afterwards — including reporters used to attending homicides and fatal car smashes.
The much-loved Kylie appeared to be sleeping. She was lying on her left side, seemingly uninjured. Her left arm was tucked under her body and her right arm had flopped, like that of a rag doll, over the gutter and was resting on the footpath. Her face and the front of her body were up against the upright section of the gutter.
She was wearing light khaki trousers, a red skivvy and a white singlet. The skivvy and singlet were pulled up, exposing part of her lower torso.
The words “I love you” were written in ink on her arm.
There is something about the death of a child that hits particularly hard on those whose job it is to deal with such traumas — any ambulance worker, police officer or doctor will tell you that.
Anger welled up alongside tears as those at the crime scene in Donald St, Preston, during the dark and miserably damp early hours of November 7, 1984, contemplated what sort of sicko would murder a child then callously dump her in the gutter.
The anger grew when an autopsy performed later that day revealed Kylie was suffocated while being raped. She had suffered horrific internal injuries.
The autopsy showed her injuries were caused by somebody probably three times her size committing unspeakable acts on her tiny body.
Kylie was snatched near her Gregory Grove home in East Preston on Melbourne Cup Day 1984 — the day Peter Cook rode Black Knight into the history books.
Like many Australians, Julie Maybury, 24 at the time of the murder, took her daughters Kylie and two-year-old Rebecca to the pub to watch the race that stops a nation.
At Kylie’s inquest, before Coroner Hugh Adams in January 1986, Ms Maybury — who was separated from her husband — explained that she and the girls spent the morning at home in their flat.
“About 12.45pm, I left home and went to the Council Club Hotel with my two daughters and a neighbour of mine, Lorna Simpson,’’ Ms Maybury said.
“We arrived at the hotel at about 1.15pm. We had some lunch and watched the Melbourne Cup on the big television screen. We left shortly after the running of the Melbourne Cup and went and visited a friend of mine by the name of Liz Radakovic in Thornbury. We left there shortly after 4pm and went home.
“We arrived home just before 4.30pm and went straight to Lorna’s flat to have a cup of tea. In the flat were myself, Lorna and my two daughters.
“Lorna made me a cup of tea and I then rang my mother in Albury. I was still on the phone when Lorna wanted some sugar from the shop. Lorna asked Kylie if she would go to the shop and get the sugar and I said she could as long as she came straight back.’’
Ms Simpson said she gave Kylie 90 cents to buy the sugar.
“Before she left to go to the shop she wanted to know how to spell ‘I love you’ so I wrote it on the bottom of a newspaper,’’ Ms Simpson told police.
“I used either a blue or black ink biro. I then gave the same biro to Kylie and she wrote ‘I love you’ on her arm. After she had written on her arm she left to go to the shop.’’
And so the mystery of how ‘I love you’ was on Kylie’s arm was solved — if only the many other mysteries which still surround her murder could be unravelled.
Ms Maybury initially told police she thought Kylie left the flat to buy the sugar about 5.15pm, but later said it was possibly a little earlier — but not before 4.45pm.
“She was wearing a red skivvy, greyish pants and bare feet and was carrying a small red Strawberry Shortcake bag,’’ Ms Maybury said.
“When she hadn’t arrived back for a fair while I went up to the Food Plus shop and asked the lady behind the counter if she had seen my daughter. She said my daughter had been in but had left a fair while ago.
“I then contacted the police and searched the area and I didn’t see my daughter again.’’
Police quickly started looking for Kylie, with Ivanhoe Inspector Graham Greenway in charge of the search.
The Food Plus store in Plenty Rd was only about 150m from Kylie’s home. Manageress Kerry Margaritis confirmed to police that Kylie went in to buy sugar.
“Between 5.30pm and 5.35pm I was serving behind the counter when a young girl approached me and placed a packet of sugar on the counter,’’ she said.
“She gave me a handful of small coins and I put them in the till without counting them. I said “That’s all right sweetheart’, but she just stood there. I said ‘That’s all right sweetheart’ again and then she left.
“This young girl who purchased the sugar was the deceased girl Kylie. I saw her photograph on television and although it is slightly different I am sure that it was her. I have seen the deceased in the Food Plus on other occasions with her mother.
“At about 6pm on the same day, Kylie’s mother came in to the Food Plus and she was very upset. She asked me if I had seen her daughter and I told her I had.’’
Customer Iola Loretta Tanburrino later told police she saw Kylie near the petrol bowsers in the Food Plus forecourt.
“I stopped the car as I got the impression that the little girl did not know where she was going,’’ Ms Tanburrino said.
“I can’t describe what the girl looked like or what she was wearing, but I do recall she was carrying a bag of sugar. When I saw the girl, my first thought was ‘Fancy sending a little girl like that to the shop’. I remained stationary until the little girl had got to the footpath.’’
Kylie was walking south back towards her home when she was last seen.
Insp Greenaway later described the search for Kylie for the coroner.
“I deployed police in mobile units and on foot to search all streets, lanes, reserves and school grounds within a radius of approximately 1km,’’ he said.
“When the area had been thoroughly searched, the search was extended to include the tram lines in High St and Gooch St. The yards of private homes in the vicinity of Gregory Grove were searched by police and specific addresses of school friends of the missing child were also visited by the police and checked.’’
The search proved fruitless. Meanwhile, Ms Maybury was frantic with worry.
About 45 minutes after midnight, as a desperate Ms Maybury waited at home for news, fire brigade electrician Neil Rickwood was driving home to Preston.
“As I turned from Tyler St into Donald St my headlights caught an unusual object lying in the gutter in Donald St, between Rene St and Tyler St,’’ Mr Rickwood said.
“I stopped my car and put my head out the window to have a closer look. I had a fair idea that it was the body of a small child. I went home and got my father out of bed and we both went back to Donald St. My father confirmed the fact that it was the body of a small child. I went back home and called the police. I went back and waited for the police to arrive.’’
Ambulance officer Trevor Mitchell received a call to attend at 12.50am, about the time police first arrived.
He and fellow ambulance officer Stanley Sandford arrived in Donald St at 12.55am.
“I then observed the body of a young child lying face down in the western gutter of Donald St, with the head towards the south. I observed the right arm to be lying on the footpath,’’ Mr Mitchell said.
“I then checked for the radial pulse in the right arm, but could not detect any. I then rotated the head, which had been face into the gutter, and checked for a carotid pulse, but could not find any. I then checked the pupils and observed that they were dilated and fixed.
“Officer Sandford then checked the person’s chest with a stethoscope and indicated by shaking his head that he couldn’t hear any cardiac sounds.
“I formed the opinion the child was deceased. A sheet was supplied from the ambulance to cover the child.’’
Insp Greenway was called to Donald St at 1.15am and after viewing the body had the awful job of telling Ms Maybury about 2am that her daughter was dead.
When Donald St was searched by police about 7.30pm, the body wasn’t there.
Police believe whoever snatched Kylie held her captive somewhere for several hours before dumping her in the gutter.
Kylie’s body was taken to the nearby Preston and Northcote Community Hospital, where Dr Stephen Margolis formally pronounced her dead at 4.50am.
The then homicide squad detective Glenn Woolfe, who is now the Inspector in charge at Seymour police station, was present at 6.55am when pathologist Dr Stanley Pilbeam carried out an autopsy at the Melbourne Coroner’s Court.
Dr Pilbeam later told the coroner it appeared Kylie was suffocated and had been raped.
Sen-Det Woolfe later told the coroner: “Because of the comprehensive search for the deceased, which encompassed Donald St, it must be concluded that the body was not left there until very late at night. There were no external indications of violence but she was sexually penetrated and suffered internal damage.’’
Coroner’s Court toxicologist Debbrah Stephen examined specimen’s taken from Kylie’s body and discovered she had recently taken the strong sedative diazepam — indicating Kylie’s kidnapper drugged her before raping and killing her.
Kylie’s mother Julie Maybury gave evidence at the inquest that Kylie had not been given diazepam for medicinal purposes and could not have accidentally taken it while in her care.
State Forensic Science Laboratory officer Alan Atchison found traces of semen on swabs taken from Kylie. He also identified male brown pubic hairs on Kylie’s right leg.
Such evidence was not much use in the pre-DNA days of 1984 but, fortunately, Kylie’s clothing and samples were stored in the correct assumption that science would one day be able to glean something from them.
The rape and murder of Kylie Maybury received massive media attention and the homicide squad appeal for help brought thousands of separate items of information that had to be slowly and methodically checked out.
Detectives also tracked down and interviewed hundreds of known sex offenders.
One suspect was dobbed in by one of his three ex-wives. She told police he used to work near where Kylie disappeared and had taken her to where the body was found and pointed it out to her.
“When the news reports came out about Kylie he was glued to the TV and read every newspaper article. It was like a fixation. He was too interested in anything to do with Kylie,’’ the man’s ex-wife said.
Armed with this information, police obtained a search warrant and raided the man’s home. They found many porno videos and blankets that had fibres similar to fibres located on Kylie’s body. But forensic tests ruled him out as a suspect — he was just another one of Melbourne’s sad, sick puppies.
There were many reports to police about a photographer who had been touting for business in the streets near the murder scene in the weeks before Kylie was killed. Police were told he stopped parents and asked if he could photograph their children. Police provided the media with a photofit of the mystery photographer, who was eventually tracked down and eliminated as a suspect.
Several psychics wrote to the homicide squad and provided drawings of what Kylie’s murderer would look like and detailed his supposed characteristics.
One suspect, nominated by his former girlfriend, provided investigating officers with a bit of light entertainment. A search of his flat revealed he was in regular correspondence with a woman who advertised in Truth newspaper for men to write to her care of a Post Office box number. She replied to the man’s first very explicit letter with an offer to send naked photos of herself in whatever positions he nominated in return for $5 cash for each pose. The loser spent a fortune in $5 bills, suggesting the woman contort herself into the most bizarre positions. He kept all the lurid photographs and letters, which were found by police. But he didn’t kill Kylie Maybury.
Police received hundreds of other reports that nominated possible murder suspects.
They included a 77-year-old father dobbed in by his daughter; others were nominated by their doctors and prison officers; the police surgeon even named a patient who was obsessed with the Kylie case. Police in South Australia sent details of a pervert arrested over sex offences against a seven-year-old girl who had news clippings of Kylie’s murder in his house. All were interviewed and eliminated.
Within hours of Kylie’s body being found, her grandfather John Moss had the job of viewing the body in the morgue and formally identifying it as his grandchild.
Mr Moss told Sun police reporter Jim Tennison there was no way Kylie would have got in a car with a stranger.
“She had been taught well by her mother not to go with strangers. She would have to be forced or really coaxed somehow,’’ Mr Moss said.
Tennison also spoke to Kylie’s uncle Mark Maybury soon after her body was found.
“We must find the animal who did this. It’s hard to grasp that one day you have a harmless bright little girl and then a phone call comes and you find she has suffered something no one deserves to suffer — and is thrown in the gutter,’’ Mr Maybury said.
Police had to consider that Kylie might have been taken by somebody she knew and her grandfather and uncle became suspects. When police discovered the father and son shared similar sexual quirks, including wearing women’s underwear, they delved even further into their backgrounds.
Both men ended up committing suicide, Mr Moss in October 1985, just prior to the first anniversary of Kylie’s death, and Mark Maybury in February 1987.
Each man had to live under the suspicion that he killed Kylie. Both men had strong alibis — but that didn’t stop people accusing them.
While both men had other troubles, experts believe the suspicion contributed to their suicides.
Both men became obsessed with finding the killer, with each separately visiting journalists covering the case.
Mark Maybury provided police with the names of several suspects over the years — including his own father.
In December 1984, only weeks after Kylie was murdered, Mark Maybury made a statement to police in which he outlined his suspicion that his father might have killed her.
He said he and various other members of the Maybury family, including Kylie’s mother Julie, were at his grandmother’s house several hours after Kylie’s body was found.
“My father and I went up the street to the Food Plus store, where the police caravan was set up,’’ Mark said in a statement to police.
“When I was going to speak with Pamela Graham (a television crime reporter) about an interview my father was joking about me wanting to be seen on TV. He appeared to be treating the matter very light heartedly.
“On November 8, 1984, I was interviewed by the homicide squad to see if I could assist their inquiries into the murder. I was interviewed for about 2 1/2 hours. When I got back to my grandfather’s house I was a bit annoyed about being questioned and in the upset state I was in I complained to the family. Then my father said `Everybody in the family is under suspicion except me’. Because of my mental state at the time, I did not think any more of what he said.
“A few days later I was with my father when he drove to Broadmeadows to pick up his sister Margaret. I was in the car with my cousin Gayle and her husband and their son, my cousin David. On the way back to Preston my father said he would show us the spot where Kylie was found. As we got near the Food Plus store, where the police caravan was, he appeared to panic and started driving all over the place, except for Donald St. He said something like ‘I can’t remember the spot. I will show you later on’. He knows the Preston area very well and I know he wouldn’t forget where Donald St was.
“On the day before Kylie’s funeral, I did an interview with the Truth newspaper and when I told my father I had said I would get Kylie’s killer no matter what the cost he laughed at me and then disappeared for a couple of hours.
“All the arrangements had been made for Kylie’s funeral and my father was to be one of the pallbearers. Then the day before the funeral he just said he wouldn’t be doing it and gave no real reason why not. That was another strange reaction by him.
“Since the incident I have not stopped thinking about Kylie’s murderer and today, the 23rd of December, I was talking to my grandmother and I would like to make the following facts known to police.
“My father was born John Roy Maybury in Christchurch, New Zealand, but for the last 11 years he has been known as John Roy Moss and gives a false date of birth of 14/03/1938. I don’t know his correct date of birth, but my mother says he is 50 this year (1984).
“On the night that Kylie went missing he was not able to be contacted at his home in Mornington until after 9pm and he did not arrive in Preston until about one and half hours after Kylie’s body was found.
“I have known him to borrow a blue and white car from his father-in-law Bob Brown, who lives in Mornington. This is the same colour as is the car that was used when the little girl was raped in Preston about a week ago. Also, the description given by the little girl could fit my father.
“My father used to live in the Wantirna area, which is the vicinity of where a Strawberry Shortcake purse was found after Kylie was murdered.
“I have known my father to wear female clothing and make-up and I know he did belong to a club for transvestites. I know he had some strange sexual habits.
“I know from my own childhood that he is violent with children and I have seen him use excessive force towards his children, who were very young.
“Since the time Kylie’s body was found I have not known or seen my father show any emotion.’’
The suspicions of Mark Maybury, plus confirmation of John Moss’s penchant for wearing women’s clothing, put Kylie’s grandfather well and truly on the list of suspects.
He knew he was a suspect and was repeatedly grilled by police over Kylie’s murder. He denied it, had a strong alibi and police could find no evidence he was involved — but still the rumours persisted and the pressure took its toll.
His body was discovered on October 27, 1985, almost a year after Kylie was murdered. He had driven his Holden sedan down a remote track in Cranbourne South near the Dandenong-Hastings Rd and parked in thick scrub. He then attached a hose to the car’s exhaust and swallowed various tablets, washed down with beer.
Constable Jonathan Taylor was called to the scene and discovered Mr Moss lying on his right side with his head resting on a pillow. He found an empty pack of valium inside the car, along with an almost empty bottle of prescription-only sedative pills.
A search of Mr Moss’s house found three suicide notes, two to his third wife Evelyn Moss and one to his mate Arty Fraser.
Mornington vicar Richard Pidgeon told police Mr Moss had been very distressed in the months leading up to his suicide.
“In late January 1985 a person who I know to be John Moss attended at the vicarage to receive help,’’ Mr Pidgeon said.
“John appeared to be very disturbed. I counselled him concerning his grief over the murder of his granddaughter Kylie Maybury. John was upset by rumours that he was the killer.
“I believe that John loved his granddaughter dearly and his wife and other family and was deeply distressed at the rumours that he was the killer. I believe that life became unbearable to him. Bearing this in mind, I believe that John was capable of taking his own life.’’
Mr Moss’s GP, Stewart Johnston, told police he had been treating Mr Moss for depression.
“During the time I saw Moss he related to me that he was worried and very upset that he had been accused of murdering his granddaughter, and that this was one of the factors that was contributing to his state of depression,’’ Dr Johnston said.
The then Sen-Det Woolfe gave evidence at Mr Moss’s inquest.
“Since the 6/11/84 I have been responsible for an investigation into the death of Kylie Maybury. She was a six-year-old girl who was found in Preston raped and murdered,’’ Sen-Det Woolfe said.
“John Moss was the grandfather of the deceased. As a relative he was interviewed on a number of occasions during the investigation as a natural consequence. There is no evidence to suggest that John Moss was involved in any way in the death of Kylie Maybury.’’
Evelyn Moss told police her husband was with her, and other people, at a barbecue at the time Kylie was snatched. She also confirmed his liking for dressing in women’s clothes.
“John and I were married on the 9th of December, 1978. I had known him for about five years prior. When I met John he was married to his second wife Amelia Moss and he had been married prior to this to his first wife Margaret,” she said.
“John and I had a normal marriage to begin with. We argued about different things, like most couples, but there was more good times that bad times.
“It was about in 1981, when Amanda was born, the marriage started to go downhill.
“Just before we got married I had found that John was a transvestite. But I wasn’t sure what the term meant so I wasn’t worried. John had mentioned calling the marriage off because of it, but I wouldn’t.
“It wasn’t until 1981 that I found out how strong his habit was. It was around this time he joined an organisation called Seahorse, a transvestite club. John started wearing ladies nighties to bed.
“I couldn’t cope with this. Towards the end of 1981, I left John for four days. I only went back because his sister Margaret phoned from Broadmeadows and said he was drunk and had a shotgun and was threatening to kill himself. He had never done this before.
“I went back to him and the marriage seemed to get better. He stopped attending Seahorse meetings, his attitude changed and we got along better.’’
Mrs Moss’s statement to police provided her husband with an alibi for the time Kylie disappeared.
“It was November 6, 1984, Cup Day, when John and I were at a barbecue in Surrey Hills. We arrived there at about midday. We stayed there to about 7pm,” she said.
“When we left, we were in separate cars and I stopped at Red Rooster to buy the kids’ tea. I got home and John was on the phone. I think it was Mary, his first wife. He hung up and said Kylie, his granddaughter, was missing. About 12.30pm that night we found out that Kylie had been murdered.
“Other members of the family had suspected John of Kylie’s murder and this hurt him deeply. The only reason I can put to anybody thinking this is that he was a transvestite.
“John started to feel rejected by his three children from his first marriage and this affected him badly.’’
Mrs Moss said she left her husband in February 1985 as his behaviour was affecting their two children.
She said she later found out he spent a couple of weeks in hospital after he slashed his wrists and then, in October, police told her he had killed himself.
Mark Maybury was a troubled soul long before his niece Kylie was murdered. He had been in and out of jail and was addicted to various drugs, including heroin.
Like his father John, he enjoyed wearing women’s clothing and while in Pentridge Prison unsuccessfully sought a sex change operation.
A senior Pentridge Prison officer contacted the homicide squad the day after Kylie was murdered and told them they should have a good hard look at Mark Maybury.
“While Mark Maybury was in Pentridge in 1983 he was put in Jika Jika for his own protection from sexual harassment,’’ the prison officer said.
“While in prison he made an application to prison authorities to have a sex change operation and to wear female underwear and other clothing.’’
A couple of months after Kylie was murdered; Mark Maybury visited a journalist at The Herald to try to persuade him to write more about the case in the hope of flushing out the killer.
While sitting with the reporter, in the crowded newsroom, he pulled down his jeans to adjust the lacy red crotchless women’s knickers he had pulled over his hairy legs — not a pretty sight.
Mark Maybury became a regular visitor to the newsroom at The Herald then, sometime in 1985, he stopped dropping in. He got into trouble in Sydney and was in Long Bay jail.
He was released in February 1987 and landed on his sister Julie’s doorstep soon afterwards and was arrested again days later after assaulting his sister and her friend.
After being arrested for the assaults, Mark Maybury, 28 at the time, was taken to Pentridge Prison on February 16, 1987. He attempted to hang himself the next day and spent three days being medically and psychiatrically assessed before being returned to H Division on the morning of February 20, 1987. He hanged himself later that day and his body was found in his cell about 10.30pm.
Sen-Det Graeme Sprague told Mark Maybury’s inquest that he arrested Maybury after Julie Maybury and Judith Phillips complained that he assaulted them.
“The deceased continually talked about the death of his niece Kylie Maybury and the death of his father,’’ Sen-Det Sprague said.
The death of Kylie haunted Mark Maybury right up until he killed himself. In a suicide note he left for prison officers, he said he hated child molesters and claimed to have killed two paedophiles.
“My sister’s daughter was raped and murdered, my father was driven to death, my son died of cot death,’’ Mark Maybury’s suicide note said.
“I hurt my sister and my fiancee and I brought in suspects to homicide. I’ve killed one child molester — and killed Alexander William Allen by kicking him off the 6th floor of Gordon House.
“Children are being raped and sexually assaulted every day and I can’t take any more pain of jail and having to read about little babies who know of no evil or peril.
“It seems death is where I can get away from cruel sonsabitches. They satisfy their endless needs and justify their bloody deeds.
“To Mum. I loved you Mum but why didn’t you me.’’
Mark Maybury’s suicide note also nominated another suspect for the murder of Kylie. Police could find no evidence of that person being involved.
Police also investigated Mark Maybury’s claim to have killed notorious paedophile Alexander Allen, but found no evidence to substantiate it.
Allen’s body was found in the car park at Gordon House, a men’s refuge in Melbourne, on September 3, 1985. An inquest found Allen, 64, jumped to his death.
Coroner Anthony Ellis was told Allen bragged in his 344-page autobiography to have had sex with 2000 boys and that he had devoted his entire adult life to paedophilia.
Sgt Larry Proud said Allen had written and lectured on paedophilia.
Mr Ellis said suicide notes indicated Allen’s intention to take his own life and said he was satisfied no other person was criminally implicated.
He found Allen died from multiple injuries suffered when he jumped and fell to the ground.
Sgt Proud said at the time of Allen’s death he was in the process of bringing to Australia a child he was fostering through World Vision. He had fostered three children and allegedly sexually assaulted all of them.
During committal proceedings and at his trial, Allen said he would kill himself rather than go to jail.
Allen had an appearance in the Supreme Court on September 2, 1985, in relation to paedophile charges, the day before his death.
While police found no evidence of Mark Maybury being involved in the death of Allen, Herald journalists Lynne Cossar and Bill Ayres discovered Allen and Mark Maybury both lived at Gordon House prior to Allen’s death.
It was just one more bizarre twist surrounding the death of Kylie Maybury.
Bizarre is a much overused word in describing murder mysteries — but it’s still the most appropriate in Kylie’s case.
The circumstances of her abduction and murder were bizarre enough, but events that followed were highly unusual.
A number of macabre incidents in the years since she was murdered ensured the case stayed in the headlines.
As well as the suicides of her grandfather and uncle, there was the desecration of Kylie’s grave and the painting of a weird slogan on the side of a Richmond brewery.
Although unconnected to the Kylie killing, there was a murder on the previous Melbourne Cup day and two murders on Melbourne Cup day the year after Kylie’s death.
Five years after the murder, homicide squad detective Peter O’Connor appealed for information through The Herald.
He said it was a major concern to squad members that child sex offenders rarely only struck once.
The man who raped Kylie and held her captive for several hours before dumping her tortured body in the gutter near her Preston home in 1984 had almost certainly terrorised other youngsters.
“While we have to maintain a certain detachment from each case, so we can do the job properly, it is fair to say that child murders hit us hard, particularly if the detectives involved have kids of their own,’’ Det-Sgt O’Connor said in 1989.
“I would dearly love to solve this one.’’
Det-Sgt O’Connor said it was particularly tragic that Kylie’s death appeared to have been a factor in the suicides by John Moss and Mark Maybury.
“While both men had a history of being disturbed, there is no doubt Kylie’s death, and the suspicion by some of their involvement in it, disturbed them further,’’ he said.
Julie Maybury also had to put up with what she described as “desecration’’ of her daughter’s grave.
In July 1985, a man placed a large Greek urn on her grave and warned Fawkner Crematorium staff he had put a curse on it.
Saying he was a gypsy from Queensland, he warned that anyone moving the ornate urn would face a “punishment worse than death’’.
A note pinned to a bunch of imitation roses in the urn read: “For sweet baby with deepest sympathy. Kylie, my promise kept the hunt begins. I love you sweet baby.’’
Another handwritten message taped to the urn itself read: “The theft or removal of this Greek vase that is a dedication to sweet baby Kylie Marie Maybury shall result in a punishment worse than death. So thieves, be yea aware the eyes of the spirits are watching you. A curse placed on the theft.’’
A month later, somebody placed a white statue on Kylie’s grave.
Ms Maybury said the interference with her daughter’s grave caused her untold distress.
“That grave means such a lot to me. I hate to think of someone desecrating it. I want my daughter to be allowed to rest in peace,’’ she told the Herald Sun.
A 28-year-old man eventually gave himself up to police and admitted to having placed the items on the grave. Police were quickly able to rule him out as a murder suspect.
Soon after The Herald reported the sinister grave finds, a slogan reading “Pimp Herald `Pro’ Kylie — Milo’’ mysteriously appeared on the side of the old Victoria Brewery in Victoria Parade.
The sign stayed there for several years. Its significance, if any, was never explained.
Kylie’s unsolved murder next made newspaper headlines in 1995 when convicted child killer Robert Arthur Selby Lowe was named by police as a strong suspect.
Lowe, a former church elder, abducted six-year-old Sheree Beasley near her Rosebud home in June 1991. Her body was found in a Red Hill drain later that year. Lowe was convicted of murder in 1994 and sentenced to life.
There were several similarities between the murders of Kylie and Sheree Beasley — and some circumstantial evidence.
Police hoped science would provide conclusive proof he did it.
Kylie’s killer left some of his pubic hairs on her body and traces of semen were found in her underwear.
Police were unable to do anything with that evidence in 1984, but had the good sense to safely store the exhibits in the hope technology would advance sufficiently that they might one day help identify the killer.
In 1997 police began legal proceedings to obtain blood from Lowe so that his DNA could be compared with the DNA extracted from the semen left by Kylie’s killer.
That news delighted Kylie’s mother Julie. She went to Kylie’s grave in April 1997 and prayed that technology was about to identify her daughter’s killer.
“I honestly feel that Lowe did it,’’ she told the Herald Sun at the time.
“I have been told he was working in the Preston area at the time Kylie was taken from there. And about the time Kylie was murdered, Lowe was caught playing with himself near where her body was found. He was trying to entice two young girls to go away with him.
“I am praying that Lowe is the one because I would dearly love to know for sure that Kylie’s killer is behind bars. Maybe then I can go about trying to get my life back in some sort of order.’’
Police told Ms Maybury it would be the first time in Victoria that a convicted murderer has been ordered to give blood so his DNA profile could be extracted and stored in the DNA computer database.
While confident Lowe was their man, police warned Ms Maybury not to presume that Lowe killed Kylie.
They stressed that, while there were reasons Lowe was a suspect, they had no firm evidence linking him with Kylie’s murder.
“But it is hard not to get my hopes up and pray that at last Kylie’s murder can be solved,’’ Ms Maybury said at the time.
“My only regret is that if it is Lowe he is already serving life for the murder of another little girl and he can’t really be punished further for killing Kylie.
“If the tests show it was Lowe I would like to get revenge for what he did to Kylie. I would like five minutes alone in a cell with him — he would get what he deserves.’’
Ms Maybury said she would be extremely upset if the DNA tests eliminated Lowe as a suspect.
“I want so much to have the case closed and there are a number of things that point to it being Lowe.’’
The similarities included:
Kylie and Sheree Beasley, both six years old, were abducted while returning from short trips to local shops.
Sheree’s body was found in a drain while Kylie was dumped in a gutter.
Lowe was working as a travelling salesman in the Preston area at the time Kylie was abducted.
Police interviewed Lowe within weeks of Kylie’s murder about complaints made by six-year-old Pauline Montalto and her sister Melissa, 11, that Lowe had talked dirty to them, exposed himself in front of them and begged them to go with him. That incident took place in Tyler St, Preston, not far from where Kylie’s body was found.
Kylie’s Strawberry Shortcake handbag was found in Tyner Rd, Wantirna, near Lowe’s Glen Waverley home.
But Lowe wasn’t going to make it easy for police to get his DNA and signalled he would oppose the application at the May 1997 court hearing.
In a blow to common sense, Lowe — a convicted child killer — was granted legal aid to mount a constitutional challenge to the validity of the section of the Crimes Act which gave Victorian courts the power to order convicted sex murderers or serious sex offenders to provide police with blood samples so DNA could be extracted and compared with DNA from crime scenes.
Put simply, all police wanted was a drop of blood, or a mouth swab, from a man who was already serving life in jail for murdering a six-year-old girl to see if he was guilty of murdering another six-year-old girl — but the legal system is so screwed he was able to get money provided by taxpayers to go right up to the High Court to fight the police application.
Ms Maybury came face to face with Lowe in the Supreme Court building on May 23, 1997, the day he won the right not to provide a blood sample until after his constitutional challenge could be heard.
The dramatic confrontation happened as Lowe stepped out of a lift.
“Our eyes met and I said to him, ‘Are you looking at me? I hope you are because I am looking right at you, man’,’’ Ms Maybury told the Herald Sun at the time.
“Tears welled up in my eyes, but I still made sure I got my message across to him. He was shaking like a leaf. He knew I was Kylie’s mother. I want Lowe to have some sleepless nights, God knows I have had plenty.’’
Ms Maybury was disgusted that taxpayers’ money was being used to try to stop police getting blood from a convicted murderer like Lowe.
“How come people who haven’t been convicted of anything can’t get legal aid yet this killer can?’’ she said.
“I wouldn’t have thought he was entitled to any civil rights after what he did. All police want is a few drops of his blood. Surely that isn’t too much to ask, especially if he hasn’t got anything to hide.
“I wouldn’t mind the chance to draw some of his blood myself. It’s pathetic that the government is spending more money on him, knowing what he has done.’’
Ms Maybury’s presence unsettled Lowe in court.
She stared at him, wept and silently mouthed insults in his direction.
At one stage Lowe, sitting in the back of Court 19, hid his face behind a large envelope.
“I am glad I got to him. I wanted to kill him there and then. By refusing to give blood, he is prolonging my agony,’’ Ms Maybury said.
She was stunned when the case was adjourned for eight weeks. “That means another eight weeks of misery for me,” she said.
But that was just the beginning. Lowe’s determination to prevent his DNA being obtained would see the legal battle drag on for four years.
In the meantime, police set about secretly getting a DNA sample from Lowe. That sample would never be able to be used in evidence against him, but at least police would know if he was Kylie’s killer or not.
It also made economic sense — if it was Lowe then police would continue the legal battle at all costs; if the secret test cleared Lowe, then police could abandon the expensive court battle and save tens of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars.
The then homicide squad detective Ron Iddles, who is now secretary of the Police Association, decided that while unorthodox, the unusual circumstances of the Lowe case warranted getting Lowe’s DNA without him knowing it.
Sen-Sgt Iddles arranged to secretly obtain personal items from Lowe’s prison cell in 2000, including Lowe’s comb, a cloth, two razors and one of his socks.
Forensic scientists were able to extract Lowe’s DNA from one of his razors and excitement was high as it was compared to the sample found on Kylie.
“After reading the file, and talking to other police members who had investigated Lowe, I honestly expected it to come back that it was him,’’ Sen-Sgt Iddles told the Herald Sun at the time.
“I got a phone call from the forensic science unit to say absolutely it can’t be him. To some extent I guess it was a bit of disbelief. But in the end I have proved him innocent of it.’’
Sen-Sgt Iddles defended the tactic of secretly obtaining Lowe’s DNA.
“An investigation is really a search for the truth. To either prove or disprove someone’s involvement. I wanted to know whether or not Lowe killed Kylie, and getting his DNA would prove it one way or the other.
“So I made an operational decision to get a covert sample. There was no legislation which covered covert samples, so I was doing nothing wrong.
“I wanted to do it in a way which was as least disruptive as possible to the prison system and, of course, I wanted it done without Lowe’s knowledge because if the DNA turned out to be positive that it was him, then I would have looked at a whole range of other techniques to deploy in an effort to get some admission from him.
“I think I did it with the minimum amount of fuss. Many people said Lowe was responsible for the Kylie Maybury murder. What I did proved he wasn’t. It was quite a legitimate tactic.’’
Because the Lowe sample was a secret one, Ms Maybury had to wait until the State Government rewrote the Crimes Act to specifically bring Lowe under its umbrella to find out the DNA result.
So it wasn’t until 2001, four years after police first applied for Lowe’s blood, that an official DNA sample was taken from Lowe and Ms Maybury learned he wasn’t the killer.
She said she felt sick when told by police.
“I broke down and wept. I really thought Lowe was the killer,” Ms Maybury told the Herald Sun.
“All the evidence pointed to it being him and I had really convinced myself that at last my daughter’s murderer was going to be brought to justice.
Now we are back at square one without a suspect. I need to know who killed my daughter. It won’t bring Kylie back, but at least I could begin to start a new life.
“Lowe caused me enormous heartache by fighting police moves to get his DNA. That helped convince me he was the killer. Why would he fight it otherwise? It just shows what a sick puppy Lowe is anyway. Maybe he just wanted to prolong my agony for another few years.’’
Ms Maybury then pleaded for anybody with information about Kylie’s murder to come forward.
“My daughter’s killer is still out there. He must be caught. Somebody must know something,” she said.
“I am begging them to help police solve this dreadful crime.’’
Julie Maybury made that tearful plea in 2001. Sadly, it is yet to be answered.
Sen-Sgt Buick is today appealing to anyone with any information about the Maybury murder to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
– Keith Moor