New light has been cast on one of Australia’s most infamous unsolved crimes – the Wanda Beach murders.
Detective Inspector (Ret) Ian Waterson has told Channel 7’s Sunday night program that he believed that US serial killer Christopher Wilder was responsible for the 1965 murders.
Christopher Wilder was born in Australia but moved to the US in 1969 and in 1984 began a six-week killing spree across the US murdering nine young women. The murders were dubbed the “Beauty Queen Murders” by the press.
Waterson, who was in charge of the unsolved Wanda beach murders told the program that “In my mind, it would have to be Christopher Wilder because there are so many signs to this guy that point to his sexual deviancy, his propensity for violence and [he] was around in Sydney at the time, hung around the beaches.”.
Fifteen year olds Marianne Schmidt and Christine Sharrock disappeared on a blustery summer’s day at Wanda beach in January 1965. Their bodies were found the following day. They had been sexually assaulted and stabbed. Their bodies were buried in a macabre shape that showed an evil sense of humour in their killer. The murders have never been solved, but Wilder, amongst others, has been mention as a suspect many times over the preceding decades. His name was originally brought to police attention by his wife. The couple had been married in 1968 but she had left him after only a week due to his violent temper.
A victim, Linda Grober also spoke about the torment that she had endured when he abducted her, in the interview she said “He was electrocuting me. He had me tied up to an electrical outlet in both my pinkies and my toes, and he’d had superglued my eyes shut.” She was able to escape, but others were not so lucky.
He is known to have killed at least 9 women and is the suspect in numerous other cases besides the Wanda Beach murders, however he was never brought to justice, he was killed on April 13, 1984 during a struggle with police in New Hampshire.
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