The Adelaide Major Crime Squad this morning announced that they have linked three unsolved cases via forensic evidence. Police had always suspected that the cases were linked but now they have the evidence to prove that theory.
Detective Superintendent Des Bray told Nine News that the murders of Phyllis Harrison, Beverley Hanley and Stephen Newton have been linked and police are now looking for the same person for all three murders. The victims were killed between 1998 and 2011.
The cases were part of a secret cold case review that has been looking into unsolved murders since January.
Phyllis Harrison was stabbed to death in her Harvey Road, Elizabeth South home on March 4, 1998. Twelve years and only six kilometres away, Beverley Hanley was murdered in October 2010 in her Elizabeth South home. At the time of the Hanley murder, police believe a person who lived near the Hanley home and well known to both women was responsible for the murders however no arrests for the murders were made according to The Advertiser. Stephen Newton’s decomposing body was found in his Mount Gambier apartment a year later, he had been killed five weeks before he was found. All three homes had been ransacked a number of items stolen in a case reminiscent of the Granny Killer case in Sydney in 1989-1990 where John Glover murdered at least six elderly ladies and stole their handbags for gambling money.
Now South Australia police have irrefutably linked the three cases and theft was the motive for the murders according to the press conference given this morning. Police also noted that a man had been charged and imprisoned in relation to theft of property shortly after the 2011 murder. At this time no further details link the offender to the murders.