Convicted Perth serial killer, David Birnie, has spoken from the grave in newly released audio recorded just before his death in 2005. In a phone conversation with true crime author, Amanda Howard, Birnie speaks about his depression behind bars and emphatically denies sexual assault claims levelled at him while in prison.
Birnie and his partner, Catherine Birnie, were convicted of raping and killing four women in their home in 1986. A fifth victim managed to escape a day after her abduction. They were both sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment.
During interrogation, Birnie sat silent, refusing to speak. Finally one of the detectives said, ‘It’s getting dark, why don’t you just show me where the bodies are, so we can dig them up’. Birnie broke his silence and took police to Wanneroo Pine Plantation to retrieve the victims.
Howard, my co-host on the new podcast Monsters Who Murder: Serial Killer Confessions , was Birnie’s only link to the outside world. She had regular correspondence and phone calls with him for 10 years right up until his death.
The coronial inquest into Birnie’s death heard the serial killer was devastated his contact with Howard had been cut off. Prison officials made that decision after Bernie admitted Howard was recording their conversations, with his permission. Additionally, Bernie’s personal computer was permanently confiscated, his anti-depressant medication was cut off due to a prison error and he was facing court over an alleged sexual assault of a fellow prisoner.
“It’s all getting a bit much really” he confesses to Howard in their last phone call from Casuarina Prison, just hours before he took his own life. While still maintaining his innocence over the new allegations he proclaims, “If I ever did anything it wouldn’t be so bad ‘cause I could just put my hand up and go ‘yeah fair cop you got me’ and it would all go away”.
The most striking thing about the newly released tapes is how normal this monster seems. This is a man who raped and killed five young women, but in this recording he sounds like a gentle uncle as he talks about his love of ‘Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy’ and ‘Doctor Who’.
It’s a chilling insight into a man who appears normal, but is anything but.