Monday, June 01, 2015

'Don't worry about it, we've got our man': Is this the moment police let the Claremont Killer walk free because they were too focused on tying another man to the crime?

The Claremont killer, who abducted and murdered three young blonde women, was never captured and could still be walking the streets almost 20 years on – and it's suggested police may have let the culprit go.

Taskforce Macro have been investigaing the Perth serial murders in what has become Australia's longest running and most expensive active man hunt

The FBI, Nassar and a former Mossad agent have been called on to assist - yet the person or people responsible remain at large.

The bodies of Jane Rimmer, 23, and Ciara Glennon, 27, were found dumped in bushland in 1996 and 1997 respectively.

However, the body of the first victim, 18-year-old Sarah Spiers is yet to be found after she disappeared from a pub in the affluent Perth suburb of Claremont on Australia Day in 1996.

Police officers have now spoken out to allege the investigations were bungled, with potential suspects allowed to walk and key pieces of evidence disregarded.

A terrifying encounter with a sinister man in a car equipped with 'abduction tools' has been pinpointed as a potential moment the police allowed a prime suspect to walk away without inquiry, as they were too focused on a man they believed to be the killer.

'It seems to me the Macro taskforce was a situation where the cops really mucked up and now we've got a cover up. And that's the saddest part, that they've never said 'we made a mistake', said former West Australian officer Con Bayens.

The former head of WA's prostitution taskforce says police looking for the Claremont serial killer in the 1990s and 2000s were dismissive of a suspect because they were too focused on trying to tie another man to the crime.

In 2008 the man, public servant Lance Williams, was finally dismissed as a suspect after years of round-the-clock surveillance.

Mr Bayens fears investigators failed to adequately probe potential suspects he encountered while running his taskforce between July 2000 and August 2002.

One particularly harrowing night has 'haunted' him 'for years' and Mr Bayens is adamant the disturbing man he found was never properly investigated by the taskforce. Mr Bayens recalls the chilling night he pulled over a man during an undercover operation in Highgate in 2002 - 11 kilometres away from Claremont.

The boot was lined with blue plastic and there was a pair of pliers and masking tape – disturbing equipment which he believed appeared to be for an abduction.

The driver was questioned but Mr Bayens does not know why he was cleared in inquiries by officers on Task Force Macro, which was set up to investigate the killings.

Mr Bayens said the head investigator into the killings had rejected his offer to pass on information from the undercover operation, which was uncovering people every night 'and every one of them had the potential to be the Claremont serial killer.'

'He said, 'Don't worry about it, Con, we've got our man.' And those words will stick with me forever,' he said. 'That just hit about 10 on my weird s***-o-meter.'

WA Police insist they looked into the sinister man Mr Bayens encountered, but the former constable insists the enquiry never took place.

'What happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I'd love to see the proof,' he said.

Police still believe they will find the killer, who abducted and murdered the women after they partied at nightspots in the affluent suburb of Claremont.

The three disappearances were extremely similar – as former Ferguson puts it 'they each got into the wrong car and it cost them their lives.'

Investigators believe the women trusted the drivers of the vehicles so focussed their attention on taxi drivers –taking DNA samples from thousands of registered cab drivers in the city.

The women disappeared in 1996 and 1997 in the ritzy western Perth suburb, Claremont in an area that was a hub of activity.

Sarah Spiers was just 18 years old when she became the first victim in the Claremont serial murders.

She left a nightclub in Claremont, Club Bayview, on Australia Day 1996 and called for a cab from a payphone at 2.06. By the time the taxi arrived at 2.14am, she had disappeared. Her body has never been found.

On June 6 of that year childcare worker Jane Rimmer, 23, disappeared from the same Claremont pub – Club Bayview after declining a lift with friends.

Her body was found two months later August 3 in dense bushland south of Perth. She was found naked, partially decomposed and covered with leaves and twigs.

The third incident occurred early the following year on March 15, 1997. Ciara Glennon, a 27-year-old lawyer, disappeared from Claremont's Continental Hotel, just 200 metres from Club Bayview in the same party precinct.

She wandered out onto the Sterling Highway, potentially in search of a taxi. A witness told police they saw her talking to someone in a car. When the witness looked back a moment later, Ciara and the car were both gone.

Original report here

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